1 DAY 5 Tuesday, 3rd February 1998
2 (9.15 am)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. May I ask the
4 Registrar to call the case number, please?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-13a, the
6 Prosecutor versus Dokmanovic.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Appearances, please?
8 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, my name
9 is Grant Niemann, I appear together with Mr. Williamson,
10 Mr. Waespi, Ms. Sutherland and Mr. Vos for the
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
13 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I am Toma Fila and
14 I am the Defence counsel of Slavko Dokmanovic together
15 with Mr. Petrovic and Ms. Lopicic.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Does the accused
17 hear me well in a language accessible to him? Yes.
18 Thank you. All right. We will now proceed with the
19 witness to be called by the Prosecution.
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes, your Honour.
21 Your Honour, this is a witness who has
22 requested full protective measures so he will be
23 testifying with a pseudonym, Witness N as in November.
24 We will also be using the image and voice alteration so
25 after the witness comes in I will have him confirm his
1 name, provide that both to the court and to the Defence
2 and then we can proceed.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask the Prosecutor
4 whether this is the witness whose number is 4 on the
5 list attached to the confidential document filed on
6 29th January?
7 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes, your Honour, it is.
8 That is correct.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Number 4?
10 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes, your Honour.
11 (The witness entered court)
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
13 Good morning. May I ask you to make the
14 solemn declaration, please?
15 WITNESS N (sworn)
16 JUDGE CASSESE: You may be seated, please.
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time I would like
18 the witness to view this piece of paper and to indicate
19 without saying the name, if this is, in fact, your
20 name. (Handed).
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, at this time
23 I would like to tender this as Prosecutor's Exhibit 16.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
25 MR. WILLIAMSON: That would be submitted
1 under seal.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any objection
3 from the Defence?
4 MR. FILA: No.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
6 Examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
7 Q. I will be referring to you as, "Witness N",
8 during the course of this testimony.
9 So, Witness N, do you recall in July of 1995
10 speaking with an investigator from the Tribunal?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And at that time did you give a written
13 statement to this investigator and sign this statement?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At this time I would like for you to view an
16 item which I will mark as Prosecutor's Exhibit 17, and
17 tell me if you recognise your signature on this
18 document. (Handed).
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that is, in fact, your signature?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: Okay. At this time, your
23 Honour, I would like to tender this as Prosecutor's
24 Exhibit 17, and I would also tender as Prosecutor's
25 Exhibit 17A a Croatian translation of the same
1 document. Both of these are submitted under seal.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection? Mr. Fila?
3 MR. FILA: No.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection. Thank you.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: Sir, you are originally
6 from Vukovar, are you not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you grow up there?
9 A. Yes, I was also born in Vukovar.
10 Q. And what is your nationality?
11 A. Croat.
12 Q. Where were you educated?
13 A. In Vukovar.
14 Q. And in what field did you receive training
16 A. At first I studied at secondary engineering
17 school and since I did not manage to get a job in
18 Vukovar I continued my education. I trained as
19 a professional driver.
20 Q. At some point in time were you obligated to
21 do national service with the JNA?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When was this?
24 A. 1988, 1989.
25 Q. And where did you serve?
1 A. Kraljevo prison.
2 Q. And you indicated that you had gone back to
3 school. Was this before or after your JNA service?
4 A. After I did my service.
5 Q. Did there come a time when you took a job at
6 Vukovar hospital?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When was that?
9 A. In May, only for a certain period of time,
10 but then, on 28th June I got it as a permanent job.
11 Q. And, I am sorry, what year was that?
12 A. 1991.
13 Q. And what was the nature of your job?
14 A. I was an ambulance driver.
15 Q. And what were the circumstances under which
16 you were able to get this job?
17 A. There was a job vacancy. I came to replace
18 someone and that is how I stayed on.
19 Q. What was the situation in Vukovar when you
20 initially took this job?
21 A. Very tense.
22 Q. And what was the reason for this tension?
23 A. Well, at that time the shelling of the
24 neighbouring villages had started. Also some parts of
25 town and all that.
1 Q. Now, you indicated that there was some
2 shelling of neighbouring villages. Was there a point in
3 time when the city of Vukovar began being shelled?
4 A. Not yet, but later towards the end of July.
5 Q. Did there come a time when your family left
7 A. My parents left Vukovar in August.
8 Q. Why did they leave?
9 A. My daddy is a heart patient so he could not
10 have taken it anyway, and I drove them to Vinkovci and
11 I went back then.
12 Q. And your family is Croatian; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And were Serbs leaving the town as well?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Where were you living during the battle?
17 A. When my parents left town I spent a few days
18 at home and then I moved to the hospital permanently.
19 Q. And how were you accommodated at the
21 A. A few of us found a place where we could stay
22 and where we would not prevent the medical staff from
23 doing their job and we would not bother the patients
25 Q. What were conditions like at the hospital
1 during this time period?
2 A. At first it was not that bad, but then more
3 and more wounded people came into the hospital.
4 Q. And what were your duties as the battle was
6 A. My duties during the battle were to collect
7 the wounded regardless of whether they belonged to the
8 military or whether they were civilians. The important
9 thing was to get them to the hospital.
10 Q. And so in carrying out these duties were you
11 able to move about freely in Vukovar?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did you ever leave the hospital?
14 A. No.
15 Q. How were you able to pick up the wounded
16 without leaving the hospital?
17 A. I mean, I did not leave the hospital of my
18 own free will. If there was a call, an emergency call
19 then I would leave the hospital with an ambulance, yes.
20 Q. And as you were going out in this ambulance
21 were you able to observe what had happened to the city?
22 A. Yes. Every day the city was destroyed more
23 and more.
24 Q. At the end of September did there come a time
25 when you left Vukovar and went to Zagreb for a short
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what was the reason for that?
4 A. I drove the wounded to Zagreb.
5 Q. Was it difficult for you to get out of the
6 city or to return to it?
7 A. It was very difficult for me because in the
8 village of Seric there had been a lot of shelling and
9 I almost got killed.
10 Q. Was it necessary for you to pass through the
11 front-lines to go in and out of Vukovar at that time?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was the city surrounded entirely or
15 A. The city was surrounded. There was just this
16 one road across the fields. In order to get to
17 Vinkovci you have to drive through maize fields.
18 Q. And was this Vukovar's only connection with
19 the outside world at that time?
20 A. Yes. Yes. Vukovar, Bogdanovic, Zidzaric,
22 Q. After you returned from Zagreb to Vukovar,
23 did you make any other trips outside the city?
24 A. I would go out to town, but I did not go out
25 of Vukovar.
1 Q. Was it possible to travel outside of Vukovar,
2 after that date?
3 A. Not any more.
4 Q. Why was that?
5 A. It was completely surrounded.
6 Q. As the battle was coming to an end in
7 mid-November, did you become aware of more townspeople
8 gathering at the hospital?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Are you aware of why they were coming there?
11 A. Because they thought that their only
12 salvation was the hospital because they heard that the
13 international community would be coming in.
14 Q. Do you recall the JNA's arrival at the
15 hospital after the battle ended?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. When did this occur?
18 A. On 18th November 1991 in the afternoon.
19 Q. What was happening at the hospital during the
20 course of that evening and into the next day?
21 A. That evening some people were being taken
22 away slowly, and the next day they separated us. They
23 separated the men from the women.
24 Q. On the morning of 20th are you aware of
25 a meeting which took place inside the hospital?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you attend this meeting?
3 A. I did not attend the meeting because
4 Dr.Ivankovic said that drivers were not medical staff
5 and he asked us all to go out.
6 Q. And when you went outside what happened?
7 A. In front of the surgical emergency ward they
8 were separating the men from the women, and we had to
9 stand in a row in a queue all the way to the other side
10 of the hospital.
11 Q. You said that they were separating men from
12 women. Did you see other patients out there?
13 A. Yes. They were amongst us.
14 Q. And the medical staff was there as well?
15 A. No. They were in the plaster room.
16 Q. What happened to you personally after you
17 were made to stand in this line?
18 A. Then soldiers came and they started searching
19 us. After that, on Gunduliceva Street there were five
20 buses and then we all started boarding those buses.
21 Q. Why did you start boarding the buses?
22 A. According to orders.
23 Q. And who gave you these orders?
24 A. The military officers. I do not know what
25 rank he had.
1 Q. Was this an officer in the JNA?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When you got on the bus, who else was on
5 A. My colleagues, drivers, also some of the
6 lightly wounded people and other people who had
7 technical jobs at the hospital.
8 Q. Did you also see patients on the bus?
9 A. Some people I knew.
10 Q. What happened to you after you got on the
12 A. After I got onto the bus a few minutes later
13 a JNA officer walked in. I do not know what rank he
14 had, whether he was a major, a captain, I could not
15 really tell. He showed us a card that we had, and where
16 it said who was what in the hospital. At that point I
17 did not know what to do, but sitting behind me was
18 Zdravko Dapic, the head of drivers, he was my boss, and
19 when he lifted his card I also raised my card and at
20 that point the officer said that we should go out.
21 Q. Are you aware of any other people getting off
22 the bus, buses, under the same circumstances?
23 A. Yes. Out of all five buses only five of us
24 got off, but as far as I know an officer walked into
25 the first two buses only. In the remaining three buses
1 most of the people who were on these remaining buses
2 were technical staff from the hospital who had those
4 Q. And after you got off the bus what happened
5 to you? Where did you go?
6 A. On that same side we stood by the fence, the
7 hospital fence. A few minutes later all the buses
8 turned around and started moving towards the centre.
9 I thought that my colleagues were going to be exchanged
10 and that I had to stay behind and at that point Major
11 Sljivancanin came with a list and he was checking
12 whether we were on that list, and then he asked me what
13 I did at the hospital and after a few moments he sent
14 us back to the hospital again.
15 Q. How long did you remain at the hospital after
17 A. Perhaps an hour or two.
18 Q. And where were you during this time period?
19 A. In front of the emergency surgery ward in the
21 Q. What were the circumstances under which you
22 were able to leave the hospital eventually?
23 A. When I came back, when I stood in front of
24 the emergency ward once again, a soldier took me aside
25 and asked me where I was from. I said that I was from
1 Vukovar. He asked me where, exactly, and I said the
2 name of my street was Narodnih Mucenika and then he
3 asked me where this was and I said that it was at
4 Mitnica and he told me that I should come with him.
5 At that point a lady, Mr. s Vukar, who was
6 a lab technician in the hospital, walked up to him,
7 told him something and at that point he gave me my card
8 back. I hugged her and she accompanied me to the buses
9 that were standing at the other side of the hospital
10 that were waiting for civilians. They were to transport
11 civilians, these buses.
12 Q. This woman that got your card back, was she
13 a Serb?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And she had worked at the hospital throughout
16 the battle?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And she intervened on your behalf at this
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. After you got on the buses on the other side
22 of the hospital, where did you go from there?
23 A. When I boarded the bus my boss Zdravko Dapic
24 and I were squatting between the seats on the bus and
25 women covered us up with their coats and bags because
1 the soldiers from the outside were asking for the men
2 to be taken off the buses again. They were shouting,
3 they were banging on the buses. After some time the
4 buses set off towards the centre of the city.
5 Q. And where did you go from there after the
6 buses went into the centre of town? Where did they go?
7 A. They went through the centre of town, then by
8 Velepromet, and then towards Modateks and from Modateks
9 they moved to Negoslavci. From Negoslavci to Sremska
11 Q. And what happened to you after your arrival
12 in Sremska Mitrovica?
13 A. When we arrived in Sremska Mitrovica we spent
14 the night there. The next day there was an exchange in
15 Bosan Skidvorove.
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no further questions,
17 your Honour.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila?
19 (9.45 am)
20 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
21 Q. Please, sir, with your permission I will ask
22 you several questions relating to your testimony.
23 First of all, can you tell us on what day was
24 this that you were just talking about?
25 A. This in Sremska Mitrovica?
1 Q. No, the events at the hospital on 19th and
2 20th November.
3 A. I know that the military entered on 18th in
4 the afternoon, and on 20th the evacuation of the
5 wounded and the civilians started.
6 MR. FILA: Apologies, your Honours. This is
7 because on page 3, actually page 2 of your statement,
8 a confusion may have been created because the -- it
9 says that the military entered on the 18th and then it
10 says, "the next day", whereas it was really two days
11 later on the 20th so that is what we are trying to
12 point out.
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, if he has
14 a question I would suggest that he ask a question
15 and - (redacted)
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Fila?
18 MR. FILA: I just wanted to clarify the
19 dates, that is all, so that I could pose my question.
20 But let us move on.
23 A. That was on the 18th in the evening.
24 Q. And Marko Mandic?
25 A. Also.
1 Q. Tomica Hegedus and something Lukenda. That
2 was the investigator Lukenda.
3 A. You only mentioned the last time.
4 Q. This was also on the 18th in the evening. If
5 I remember correctly you said that they were still
6 reported missing.
7 A. Only Glavasevic, not Selemor. He was found in
8 the Ovcara mass grave and the other three, their
9 whereabouts are still unknown.
10 Q. Just not to have any misunderstanding, the
11 person called Glavasevic was led away on the 18th and
12 was identified in the Ovcara mass grave. Is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. That same evening I assume that
16 Marko Vlaho was also led away, who was returned two
17 days later?
18 A. I believe so.
19 Q. I am just reading your statement. You said
20 that Marko had a son, Miroslav, who was led away and it
21 is still -- his whereabouts are still unknown. When was
23 A. Yes, this was also on the buses for
24 evacuation in one of the five buses from which I came
1 Q. So that was also the 20th?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The buses where you were on the 20th stopped
4 for a while in front of Velepromet?
5 A. Yes, for a moment.
6 Q. Around what time was this? Can you tell us?
7 A. I cannot. I do not know. I do not know the
8 hour, but it could have been 2 o'clock or 2.30.
9 Q. In the afternoon, you mean, not 2 or 3 in the
11 A. Yes, that was in the afternoon.
12 Q. If I showed you a tape could you perhaps
13 recognise somebody from the bus?
14 A. Perhaps.
15 MR. FILA: Very well. May we do that? With the
16 court's permission I would like to replay one minute of
17 the Prosecution exhibit number 2.
18 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection, your Honour.
19 I believe it is a Defence exhibit though, your Honour.
20 I think it is marked Defence Exhibit 2, but no
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
23 MR. FILA: While this is being prepared,
24 I only have one additional question. You mentioned
25 a JNA officer came into some of these five buses and
1 when you showed him your ID card he brought you out?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. My question is; during all this time have you
4 seen the paramilitary, specifically somebody from
5 Vukovar? Was somebody of these people with them? During
6 all these events in Vukovar?
7 A. You mean was there anybody from the
8 paramilitary there?
9 Q. We do not understand each other well. Besides
10 Major Sljivancanin, this other military, did you see
11 any locals from Vukovar who were not part of the
13 A. I did see the paramilitary but I think they
14 were not from Vukovar.
15 Q. I think you mentioned a son of Dr.Ivankovic,
16 if I believe correctly.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What was he?
19 A. He was probably a volunteer. He was wearing a
21 Q. Was he wearing a paramilitary or a JNA
23 A. Paramilitary.
24 Q. So, you did see somebody from the
25 paramilitary, after all. Were there any others like
2 A. No.
3 MR. FILA: Thank you very much. Now I would
4 just like you to watch the portion of the videotape, so
5 your Honours, if we could play the videotape, please.
6 (Video played)
7 Q. One single question; have you recognised
8 anybody from the buses in which you were?
9 A. I did not recognise anyone.
10 Q. Were these -- was this personnel from your
12 A. No.
13 Q. So you do not know anything. Are you sure
14 that these are not the persons from your hospital
15 because yesterday you did recognise them.
16 A. I could not recognise anyone on this bus. On
17 these buses.
18 MR. FILA: Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Prosecution?
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no additional
21 questions, your Honour.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Is there
23 therefore any objection to the witness being released?
24 No objection?
25 Well, Witness N, thank you so much for
1 coming. You may now be released.
2 (The witness withdrew)
3 (10.00 am)
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Niemann, are you going to
5 call the next witness?
6 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
8 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, in relation to the
9 next witness, Witness E has previously had protective
10 measures in relation to him and he seeks that the
11 protective measures in relation to him be that he is
12 referred to as Witness E, and that his face be
13 distorted during the course of his testimony. Thank
14 you, your Honours.
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Niemann, could you help with
16 one matter. Velepromet is mentioned in the evidence.
17 We just wanted to know what it is or where it is.
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes your Honours. The next
19 witness may be able to help us with that by pointing to
20 it on a photograph and I will get him to give some
21 descriptions of where it is, but briefly, your Honour,
22 it is in the town of Vukovar. It is near the JNA
23 barracks, and it is a being of sorts, like a hangar,
24 I believe, or a storage shed of sorts, but I will ask
25 the witness to expand. This witness should be able to
1 assist us with that, your Honours.
2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
3 MR. NIEMANN: This next witness who is coming,
4 your Honour, appears as witness number 5 on your
5 Honour's list.
6 (The witness entered court)
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning Witness E,
8 could you please make the solemn declaration.
9 WITNESS E (sworn)
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be seated.
12 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
13 MR. NIEMANN: So, during the course of your
14 testimony this morning we will refer you to as,
15 "Witness E". Do you understand that? When you answer
16 me, if you could speak the answer, because if you shake
17 your head it cannot be taken down on the transcript, so
18 if you could answer me when I ask you a question,
20 A. I understand that.
21 Q. I would like you to look at a piece of paper
22 that I am now going to show you, and if the piece of
23 paper contains your name could you say, "yes", or,
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. NIEMANN: Might that be shown to the
2 Defence, and your Honours, I tender that under seal as
3 the next Prosecution exhibit in order.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 18.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection from the
7 MR. FILA: No, your Honour.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: I ask Mr. Fila whether he
9 objects to this document being exhibited, the name --
10 MR. FILA: No, your Honour, no.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Witness E, in -- on 19th June
13 1995 were you visited by some investigators from the --
14 from this Tribunal, the International Criminal
15 Tribunal, and during the time of that visit did they
16 obtain from you a statement of the evidence and events
17 that occurred to you in Vukovar during the latter part
18 of 1991?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And was that statement taken in the English
21 language but translated to you in Croatian?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when the statement had been taken down
24 fully and complete, was it read over to you by an
25 interpreter who read to you the contents of the
1 document and did you agree that it was a true and
2 accurate record of your statement?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And at the conclusion of events were you then
5 asked to affix your signature to this document?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Would you look at the document
8 that I now show you, please? (Handed).
9 There is a Croatian translation of the
10 document, your Honours.
11 Witness E, would you look at the document
12 that appears in the English language and tell me if you
13 see there your signature on each page of that document
14 at the foot of the page?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honour pleases, I tender
17 that statement together with the Croatian translation
18 of the statement.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 19 and
21 the Croatian translation, 19A.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection from
23 Defence counsel?
24 MR. FILA: No, sir.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
1 MR. NIEMANN: Witness E, were you located in
2 the Vukovar area when the tensions began to escalate in
3 the latter part of 1991?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And were you involved in -- at that time --
6 were you yourself involved in civil protection which
7 included providing food and medical supplies?
8 A. Not immediately.
9 Q. Were you then later involved in that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Perhaps you might explain to us what you were
13 doing and at what time this was, in terms of months and
14 days, if possible.
15 A. I think this was in May of 1991 when the
16 policemen were killed in Borovo Selo. In my opinion
17 that is when the trouble started in the territory of
18 the city of Vukovar. Up until then we had believed that
19 such things would not happen. However, after the murder
20 of the Croatian policemen we saw that something was
21 being prepared, that something was going to happen.
22 Q. Well, what did you see was being prepared and
23 what did you think was going to happen?
24 A. One of the indicators was the departure of
25 people of Serbian ethnic origin from Vukovar. First
1 they took a raft across to the Republic of Serbia and
2 people were leaving en mass. Our friends of the Serbian
3 ethnic origins were leaving. They were asking them why,
4 where were they going and why. They did not want to say
5 why. But they were saying that they were threatened in
6 the Republic of Croatia. That is in the city of
7 Vukovar. I asked several of my friends who were leaving
8 the city, "please tell me, why are you leaving?" They
9 would shrug their shoulders and they would say, "we
10 believe you will see it soon too".
11 The others who did not leave by this ferry or
12 whatever means, would go to the barracks and the
13 military transported them in their vehicles towards
14 Borovo Selo. Since I live on the main street in
15 Vukovar, every day you could see the departure of these
17 Of course, this was an indication, and it was
18 obvious to us that something would happen, that is that
19 something was being prepared, but even then we could
20 not comprehend what was to follow.
21 Q. Now, the ferry or raft you spoke about
22 a moment ago, that was crossing the Danube River to the
23 Republic of Serbia on the other side. Is that right?
24 (10.15 am)
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the military barracks where these people
2 were also being gathered and taken from by military
3 transport was the JNA barracks in Vukovar. Is that
5 A. Yes. The only barracks in Vukovar.
6 Q. Now, during the time of the siege of Vukovar,
7 were conditions for the people of Vukovar very
9 A. They were very difficult.
10 Q. Was there shortages of food and electricity
11 and the essentials of life during that period?
12 A. The first shelling of Vukovar was -- took
13 place some time in July of 1991. The shells started
14 falling in the city without any prior warning or any
15 kind of notice. They started falling suddenly.
16 Naturally, panic ensued in the city and
17 everybody had to fend for themselves so that they would
18 save themselves and the lives of their own, and the
19 lives of people who could not take care of themselves,
21 After a while, Vukovar was blocked. That
22 means it was surrounded by all four cardinal directions
23 and remained surrounded for three months.
24 In the city itself there was no electricity,
25 no water. The food supplies that were there would spoil
1 fast, so that people were having difficulties in their
2 attempt to survive during the siege of Vukovar.
3 Q. Now, in order to protect yourselves and
4 fellow citizens of Vukovar from the constant shelling,
5 did you take shelter in an establishment near the
6 hospital of Vukovar?
7 A. The location of Vukovar is such that it had
8 some natural protection, and some that were man-made,
9 namely nuclear shelter and also some cellars and
10 basements in big apartment buildings. I was in one of
11 these buildings across the street from the Vukovar
12 hospital. This was a store of the enterprise Vupic from
13 Vukovar. In this shelter underneath the store there
14 were about 60 persons. They were of different ethnic
15 origins. There were ethnic Serbs and ethnic Croats.
16 I think it was about 50/50, the ratio.
17 Q. And how long were you in this cellar of the
18 Vupic building?
19 A. We were there about two and a half months
20 until the fall of Vukovar.
21 Q. During the time that you were in this shelter
22 did you from time to time receive reports from people
23 who were coming and going as to the events that were
24 happening outside in Vukovar?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And did you subsequently come to learn of the
2 fact that there were negotiations going on in order to
3 achieve a peaceful evacuation of the citizens of
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What did you find out about this, and when?
7 A. Since the shelter that I was in, together
8 with the other citizens, was right next door to the
9 hospital in Vukovar which was the major target of
10 shelling, taking into account all the facilities in
11 Vukovar, and in the immediate vicinity of the hospital
12 was the building of the Ministry of the Interior in
13 Vukovar, so all of this was within a diameter of
14 100 metres, and of course we were wondering what would
16 I found out that negotiations were underway
17 with the then Yugoslav People's Army on the surrender
18 of the town of Vukovar, so that people, civilians --
19 and I estimate their number to be 10-12,000 in the town
20 itself and there were a lot of people who were wounded
21 too, that is to say so that people could leave of their
22 own free will, go wherever they wanted to go, and that
23 in return the city would surrender to the then Yugoslav
24 People's Army.
25 Q. Now, do you know when this was to occur? When
1 did you understand that would happen?
2 A. In my opinion, in my opinion, this was
3 supposed to take place very early. So that the killing
4 of people and destruction of property would be avoided.
5 However, these negotiations seemed to be very
6 painstaking, very difficult and very long.
7 Q. Now, did you learn that an agreement was
8 finally reached in relation to the evacuation of the
10 A. Since the building of the Ministry of the
11 Interior was set on fire, the employees together with
12 the then director moved into our shelter together with
13 us because it was rather big and there was enough room.
14 Mr. Polak, Stjepan, who was director then, he was the
15 head of police in the town of Vukovar, he was on the
16 negotiating team on behalf of the city of Vukovar. And
17 Ms. Vesna Bosanac would come to see him as well as
18 Mr. Marin Vidic Bili, so we knew and we saw how the
19 negotiations were going.
20 Q. And did you understand that in November
21 towards the middle of November and later, that the
22 evacuation was to take place pursuant to this
24 A. Yes. We were told that an agreement was
25 signed with the Yugoslavia People's Army, that the city
1 would surrender as I said a few minutes ago, and that
2 all people, including the military and the police,
3 would be allowed to leave the town of Vukovar and go
4 wherever anyone wanted to go. At that point there was
5 a confusion or rather panic, and people, and I was
6 among them, went to the hospital. As I said, it was
7 across the street from my shelter because, because, we
8 believed that if there were more people, if there was
9 a mass of people our chances were better, I mean our
10 chances of survival, so that is exactly what we did.
11 Q. Now, what date was this that you went to the
12 hospital? Can you remember that, the date?
13 A. 25th November 1991 in the evening, late in
14 the evening.
15 Q. And you say 25th; are you sure of that date
16 or could it have been another date?
17 A. Well, it is hard to tell exactly as far as
18 dates are concerned, because the situation was such,
19 then, that there was a lot of fear involved, so it is
20 possible that it was the 25th or 26th November.
21 Q. And -- but what you are sure of is that it
22 was the month of November.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, when you went to the hospital, what were
25 the people fearful of, and what drove them to go to the
1 hospital? What were they fearful of?
2 A. People were not fearful of surrendering to
3 the Yugoslavia People's Army, but they were fearful of
4 surrendering to the paramilitary units, the so-called
5 Chetniks, and rumour had it that they were committing
6 atrocities around Vukovar in the villages that had
7 fallen before the town of Vukovar itself. Therefore,
8 people were fearful and they went to the hospital
9 believing that their chances of survival were better if
10 there were more people together en mass and that these
11 people would be protected by the then Yugoslavia
12 People's Army.
13 Q. And when you arrived at the hospital, what
14 happened? What did you do when you got to the hospital?
15 A. When we came to the hospital we were followed
16 by people, masses of people from all the shelters that
17 were nearby in the centre of the town of Vukovar. We
18 were told by the Red Cross, or rather by people who
19 were involved in negotiations, that agreement was
20 reached, that a list of people should be made according
21 to buses, 50 or 55 people per bus, and that buses would
22 come and take people out of the town of Vukovar and
23 that is exactly what we did.
24 Q. Now, how long did you stay at the hospital
1 A. I stayed in the hospital until 19th November
2 1991, around 5 pm.
3 Q. And what happened on 19th November 1991 at
4 5 pm?
5 A. We were all expecting the arrival of
6 representatives, or rather the arrival of the
7 Yugoslavia People's Army and that is when they came.
8 Q. And do you know who came? Who came from the
9 people's Yugoslavia People's Army?
10 A. Officers came in camouflage uniforms, and one
11 of them introduced himself by saying, "I am Major
12 Sljivancanin. From now on you are going to obey my
14 Q. And what did they do? What did these officers
15 do when they arrived?
16 A. When they arrived, as I said, they said that,
17 "from now on..." we would be listening to his orders
18 and that we would be transported to a collection
19 centre, as they called it, this collection centre being
20 the storage space of Velepromet in Vukovar. We then
21 realised that nothing would come out of the previous
22 agreement reached.
23 Q. And who was it that was to be transported to
25 A. They said that first they would transport
1 women, children and very old people, and then everyone
3 Q. And when you say, "everybody else", or,
4 "everyone else", did that include, so far as you know,
5 the patients of the hospital, or did it only include
6 the people who had gathered at the hospital for this
8 A. I do not know. I think that everybody was
9 supposed to be evacuated.
10 Q. And by what means were you to be evacuated
11 from the hospital area over to Velepromet?
12 A. They evacuated us by military trucks from the
13 hospital to Velepromet, namely to the yard of the Vupic
14 enterprise which is across the street from the
15 Velepromet storage area.
16 Q. And were there any other form of vehicles
17 used apart from the military trucks? Did they have any
18 other form of transport that you could see?
19 A. There were also some military APCs.
20 Q. Now, apart from Major Sljivancanin who you
21 have spoken of, did you recognise any of the other
22 military people that had arrived at the hospital yard
23 on that day, 19th November?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you recognise any local people who were
1 dressed in military uniform?
2 A. When we went out into the yard, when we went
3 out of the hospital building, I saw several persons,
4 local people from Vukovar, who came to the Vukovar
6 Q. Now, when you were transported to the -- to
7 Velepromet, what happened when you arrived there?
8 A. When we were taken to Velepromet, namely
9 myself and my group, we got off the trucks in the yard
10 of Vupic. As I said, it was across the street from the
11 Velepromet warehouse. There were already many people
12 there who were brought in somehow from places and were
13 simply left there.
14 Q. Did you at any stage while you were there see
15 any buses?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Now, what did they do with the people that
18 arrived there in your group?
19 A. When we arrived there or when we were
20 arriving there there were individuals there, local
21 people from Vukovar, among whom I knew quite a few.
22 They were dressed in different types of uniforms. They
23 were both men and women in uniforms.
24 Q. And did you recognise these uniforms?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell us what you recognised them as?
2 A. There were camouflage uniforms, there were
3 old olive green/grey uniforms as we call them, those
4 were the old military uniforms. There were people in
5 civilian clothes, only with caps, there were all sorts
6 of things.
7 Q. And did you, in addition to that, see
8 soldiers, regular soldiers of the Yugoslavia People's
10 A. Apart from those who had transported us,
11 there were not any of them there then.
12 Q. So, the people that you saw in uniform and in
13 civilian clothes were people other than JNA soldiers.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, did these people who were dressed in
16 military uniform other than JNA soldiers, do anything
17 to the people that were getting out of these transport?
18 A. It is hard to describe the situation there at
19 that moment, at that place that we were brought to.
20 There was general confusion, general chaos. People were
21 moaning, crying. There was shooting. There were people
22 whom I knew and people whom I did not know, and it was
23 night-time. They had torch lamps and they went from one
24 person to another. They took away the people they
25 wanted to take away to the places where they wanted to
1 take them, so that is what happened to me too.
2 Q. Now, when you say, "they took them away", you
3 are talking about these people in military uniform?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you able to ascertain, or did you know
6 from your local knowledge, the ethnic background of
7 these people that were dressed in these uniforms?
8 A. The people I knew are the people whom I can
9 recognise and I can claim that they were the people who
10 were there, and of course, the people whom I did not
11 know I cannot say what ethnic background they were.
12 I knew the people who were locals from Vukovar and they
13 were of Serb ethnic origin.
14 Q. And was it these people who were among those
15 that were dressed in the military style of uniform?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, you said a moment ago that they were
18 taking people away. Were people being mistreated or
19 maltreated anywhere around you when you first alighted
20 from the buses and were first there, first arrived
22 A. I said that it was difficult to describe the
23 situation that was there then. People were being taken
24 away, beaten, in a way, maltreated in every possible
1 Q. And you said that they took you away too. Is
2 that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, do you know who it was that took you
6 A. I was taken away with a friend of mine who
7 was with me. His name is Aleksandar Cotar, and we
8 were taken out of the group by Darko Fot, and he took
9 us to the other side, to the Velepromet yard, and he
10 put us into a group by a big wall and that is where we
12 Q. Did you ask what was happening at any stage?
13 A. I asked him because I knew him well. We were
14 both hunters. So I asked him, "Darko, what is going
15 on?". He said, "you will find out in good time".
16 Q. Now, when you were put against the wall, what
17 happened then?
18 A. Again, people came to this wall, to this
19 group of people who are standing by the wall. Again
20 they used torch lights to light the faces of the people
21 who were standing there, and then these people were
22 taken away in an unknown direction. However, it was
23 dark. There were no lights.
24 Q. Did they take you away or tell you to do
1 A. Again, I was taken out of this group by
2 another man. His name was Mico Dankovic. I knew him
3 personally, too. He was a waiter in Vukovar.
4 Q. And did he say anything to you?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did he do anything to you?
7 A. No.
8 Q. What happened then?
9 A. After that a man was standing next to me.
10 I know his name was Blaskovic and that he was
11 a policeman in Vukovar. Mico Dankovic took him away,
12 saying that they had certain things to settle from the
13 past. He hit him with his rifle, he hit him on the
14 face, and he cut his entire face that way.
15 Q. What then happened?
16 A. He took Blaskovic, and I did not realise at
17 that point where he was taking him. After some time
18 a third man came who took me out for the third time,
19 and a man I remember, his name was called Jurica, and
20 he worked in the catering enterprise in Vukovar. He
21 said, "come here. You belong to me". This man's name
22 was Boro Sujanovic and I knew him personally, too.
23 Q. Just pausing for a moment there too,
24 Blaskovic, you said he was a policeman, what was his
25 ethnic background?
1 A. Yes. A Croat. From Sarengrad, a village near
3 Q. I am sorry, I interrupted you. Jurica said,
4 "you are mine, come with me". What happened then?
6 A. Holding our arms he took us away into the
7 dark and at one point I asked him, "Boro, where are you
8 taking us?", and he replied - (redacted)
9 (redacted). There is going to be a mess
10 here tonight".
11 Q. And what happened then, after that?
12 A. He took us in front of a small building which
13 is somewhere in the middle of the storage area of
14 Velepromet, and afterwards, when I walked in I realised
15 that it was their workshop, their carpentry workshop,
16 and in front of his workshop was a man wearing a
17 camouflaged uniform without a cap. He had long black
18 hair. He was very, very tall, and Boro, who brought us
19 there, said, "Topola", he called him, "Topola, these
20 guys are mine, so do not let anybody touch them".
21 It was cold, so I was wearing a long denim
22 overcoat, fur-lined, and I held a small bag in my hand
23 with some personal belongings of my own and my wife's.
24 I was ordered to put the bag aside, to take off my fur
25 coat, and on that pile there were already quite a few
1 bags and quite a lot of clothing. So I did that. After
2 that, this same person, Topola, asked me to give my ID.
3 I had a wallet and I took it out and I gave it to him,
4 all of it. He opened it, he took the money out, he put
5 it on the table that was in front of him, and there was
6 already a small pile of money on that table, and he
7 threw the documents and my wallet under the table.
8 I remained standing there in a short leather
9 jacket and he said, "take that off too, and put it on
10 the pile there". When I did that, I told him, "give me
11 back my ID, at least", and he answered, "you will never
12 need that again. Stand over there".
13 The same procedure followed. He did all of
14 these same things with Jurica except that Jurica had
15 German marks, I think, so this same person put the
16 German marks in his pocket and he said, (redacted)
17 (redacted). He opened the door -- it is a sliding door. You
18 know, you open them this way (indicates), and he said,
19 "get in". I walked in first and he kicked Jurica in
20 the backside and he closed the door.
21 Q. Now, when you got into that room what
22 happened then?
23 A. It was dark in the room at first, and then
24 later on I could see in a corner there was a light and
25 I observed that the room was filled with people. Some
1 of these people -- and I later find out (redacted)
2 (redacted) and they said, "what are you doing here?", and so
3 I recognised the people who were there.
4 This person who called me out and who was
5 crouching next to the door is Mirko Blidovic, he is an
6 investigator, he was actually an inspector for markets
7 in the town of Vukovar.
8 I also knew other people and I can mention
9 several other names. There was a physician there who at
10 that time worked in the Vukovar hospital. I think that
11 his last name was Nadas. There was Petar Cicvaric who
12 worked in the post office, and there was a man by the
13 name of Zeko who worked for Velepromet. Then there were
14 brothers, Molnar, I believe were their names, and
15 there were other people who I knew from sight and whose
16 names I do not know.
17 Q. And these people, like you, were being
18 detained in this room, the people you have just
20 A. Yes. Yes, they were.
21 Q. Did there come a time during that evening
22 when a person was thrown into the room who had been
24 A. A little before that, it is hard for me to
25 pinpoint it, we heard burst of fire in front of the
1 building where we were. After a while the door opened
2 and a young man was thrown inside. His both legs were
3 shot through.
4 I know him by sight also. We tried to help
5 him. At that moment this same physician, Nadas, who was
6 there, tried it but we had nothing to help him with so
7 I took my undershirt off, I gave it to Dr.Nadas so that
8 he would stop his bleeding. However, we were not
10 At that moment I started banging at the door
11 of this building and calling these men so that this
12 person could be helped and indeed the door opened and
13 this Topola person came in, and I told him that this
14 man was bleeding and he was going to die. Soon
15 thereafter two men showed up and they took him away. He
16 was brought back about 10 minutes with his legs
17 bandaged. We saw that this was done pretty well and we
18 asked him, "Dragan, who bandaged you?". He said,
19 "Dr.Maric did this".
20 Q. Now, after some time around about 9 pm in the
21 evening, did someone then enter the room that you were
22 detained in?
23 A. After about 15, 20 minutes to half an hour,
24 the door opened and a young man with blond -- with
25 a beard showed up. He had a bottle in one hand, he had
1 an automatic rifle on his chest. He was visibly
2 inebriated, and he said, and I quote, "at 9.30 you are
3 all going to be executed". That was it. He just closed
4 the door and left.
5 Q. Now, what happened after that?
6 A. After that we all fell silent. Our fear
7 peaked, and indeed, around 9.30 the door opened of this
8 room where we were, but the person who showed up at the
9 door was not this blond man, but an officer of the JNA
10 in the uniform with glasses. He had two soldiers by him
11 with the same green/grey uniforms. At first, we thought
12 that this was a firing squad. However, the men
13 addressed us by saying, "people, get up." Up until
14 then nobody called us anything else but Ustasha. We
15 were surprised by his words and he continued, "take
16 each other by the hands, two by two. Bow your heads. Do
17 not look left or right. There is a bus waiting outside
18 for you. Get on and sit down quietly. Nothing will
19 happen to you".
20 When we started taking each other by the
21 hand, he told his soldiers, "turn around and whoever
22 approaches, shoot". Outside there were people who were
23 yelling, "kill Ustasha, do not take them anywhere".
24 However, nobody approached us. So we entered the bus
25 which indeed was in front of the building. The officer
1 came on board. He said to the driver, "drive towards
2 Negoslavci, and park behind a military vehicle called
3 a peace carrier", and this is indeed what he did.
4 After that, we watched from the bus.
5 Immediately after that, we saw -- that is I saw -- that
6 behind us other buses were lining up. I think there
7 were seven or eight of them but I am not sure.
8 Q. Were you then taken to a camp where you were
10 A. We started in the direction of Negoslavci,
11 and I know this area so I know that we were going via
12 Sid, and we reached Sremska Mitrovica. It was dark. We
13 came to a stop in front of the prison in Sremska
14 Mitrovica, and we remained there until the morning.
15 Q. And when were you finally released? When did
16 you finally go back to Croatia? What date, if you can
18 A. I believe I went on 23rd of 1992. This was
19 part of an exchange in Nemetin, near Osijek.
20 Q. 23rd of what month?
21 A. Of March. Of March.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Now, I would ask you to look, if
23 you would, for me, please, at a series of photographs,
24 some you will not recognise, I will just ask you to
25 pass over them. Those that you do recognise you may
1 comment upon, but there is one particular photograph
2 that I want to ask you about, so might the witness be
3 shown the series of photographs in the binder entitled,
4 "the route from Vukovar hospital".
5 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder, would you mind if
6 we take a recess now for twenty minutes?
7 MR. NIEMANN: Not at all:
8 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So we stand in
9 recess now for twenty minutes.
10 (11.00 am)
11 (A short break)
12 (11.20 am)
13 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, before the witness
14 is brought back, if I may, would I just like to raise
15 a matter in connection with this witness. In a moment
16 I am about to show him an exhibit which we recovered
17 from the scene in Ovcara and it is an object that he
18 recognises and he will testify to. It is a very
19 personal matter to him and he has asked me whether or
20 not it is possible that he could have this artefact
21 which will be shown in evidence. I have discussed it
22 with my colleague, Mr. Fila, and he has very generously
23 and kindly agreed that he would have no objection to it
24 being photographed, after it has been actually
25 tendered, to photograph it and then the witness in due
1 course can be given this artefact, if your Honours have
2 no objection to it.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. All right.
4 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please.
5 (Witness returns to court).
6 MR. NIEMANN: Might the witness be shown the
7 book of photographs entitled, "route from Vukovar
8 hospital", and perhaps it could be allocated
9 a Prosecution exhibit number at this stage.
10 THE REGISTRAR: It will be allocated exhibit
11 number 20.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Witness E, I have taken the
13 liberty of actually marking with a yellow sticker the
14 page of the photograph that I wish you to go to. For
15 your Honour's -- the page is the 13th photograph in the
17 Now, with the assistance of the overhead
18 projector which we will have turned on in a moment
19 I will get you to put that photograph on the screen
20 beside you there. Could you do that? Do you see on that
21 screen beside you there? Now, looking at the photograph
22 on the projector but not on the television screen if
23 you would, for me, please; Witness E, do you recognise
24 that photograph?
25 A. This is the barracks in Vukovar.
1 Q. That is the JNA barracks, is it?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. And in relation to it, can you point to where
4 Velepromet is, and point with a marker, if you would.
5 The area of Velepromet. You may not be able to see it
6 there but the area of it.
7 A. Approximately to the right and another
8 5-600 metres ahead away from the barracks to the right
9 on the right-hand side of the street.
10 Q. Thank you. So it is not clearly shown on that
11 photograph. Perhaps that might be returned --
12 A. No, no you cannot see it. You cannot see it
13 at all.
14 MR. NIEMANN: I will not seek to tender that,
15 your Honour, at this stage, if it could just be marked
16 for identification and a subsequent witness will go
17 through it in greater detail.
18 Now, Witness E, you are a married man. Is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You had two children, a boy and a girl.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At the time of the conflict -- when was your
24 boy born?
25 A. 1968.
1 Q. What was his first name? Just his first name.
2 A. Josip.
3 Q. And at the time of the conflict that you have
4 testified about in your evidence, what was your son
6 A. He was a member of the defence of the city of
8 Q. And did you see him during the course of the
9 conflict from time to time?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did he from time to time come to the shelter
12 that you were in when you were in Vukovar during the
14 A. Yes. Both my wife and I were there.
15 Q. And did your son visit you occasionally when
16 you were there?
17 A. Yes, he did.
18 Q. When was the last time you saw your son?
19 A. On 19th November at the time when I was
20 departing from Velepromet.
21 Q. So you saw him at the hospital, did you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What was he doing at the hospital when you
24 saw him on the last occasion, on the very last
1 A. Together with other people he had duty to
2 transport the seriously wounded from the Vukovar
3 hospital. He was part of the transportation and escort
5 Q. Have you ever seen him since that time?
6 A. After that, no. After that, since then,
7 I have not seen him. After 19th, between 4 and 5 in the
9 Q. Did you make enquiries as to what may have
10 happened to him?
11 A. After my departure from the hospital I was
12 taken to the camp in Stajicevo and then to the Sremska
13 Mitrovica camp. The International Red Cross came and of
14 course I tried to enquire about him, but there was not
15 a single word, nothing, that I could find out about his
17 Q. Did you, any time from that time or not,
18 November 1991 to this present, obtain any information
19 about what happened to him?
20 A. I received different kinds of information.
21 Some were to the effect that he was in prison in the
22 Republic of Serbia. Other information was that they
23 were all killed in Vukovar, at Ovcara, and various
24 other types of information which all unfortunately
25 proved incorrect.
1 Q. Now, I would ask you to look at this object
2 that is now shown to you, or two objects that are now
3 shown to you. Would you please, when you receive them,
4 take them out of the bag and place them on the overhead
5 projector so we can see: if the overhead projector can
6 be set up, please, to receive them. Spread them out
7 when you put them there, please, Witness E:
8 Now, looking at those two objects that you
9 now see on the screen, Witness E, do you recognise
10 those at all?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what are they?
13 A. This is a silver chain that my son had on
14 with a little plaque on it where it says, "God and
15 Croats". The other pendant is a golden clover. This was
16 a gift from my daughter Ivana, who lives with me. This
17 is a statue of Saint Anthony given to him by my wife in
18 the hope that it would protect him.
19 Q. And when was the last time that you saw these
20 artefacts that are now on the screen, before coming
21 here to The Hague?
22 A. I did not see these items except in Zagreb
23 when I went to identify them and the last time we saw
24 them was on him in the hospital in Vukovar, and that is
25 how we identified him.
1 MR. NIEMANN: I tender those, your Honours.
2 And your Honours, might I make an application on behalf
3 of the witness? He has requested me that they be
4 photographed and that he could recover the originals
5 and if your Honours please, Mr. Fila has indicated he
6 has no objection to that.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. All right.
8 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please. I have
9 no further questions.
10 A. Thank you very much.
11 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
12 Q. My apologies to you, sir. It is difficult for
13 me too at this moment. Witness E, how far is the police
14 station in a straight line?
15 A. 50 metres.
16 Q. If you know, was there any bullets fired from
17 it at the time?
18 A. As far as I know, there were not.
19 Q. My apologies again for having to ask some
20 questions regarding your son, I know it is very
22 A. Go ahead and ask.
23 Q. Do you know whether he was taken out on the
24 19th or the 20th from the hospital, based on the
1 A. 20th.
2 Q. Do you know that anyone of those who were
3 taken out on 18th or 19th ended up at Ovcara, that is
4 ended up being killed at Ovcara?
5 A. I think they were not.
6 Q. During your testimony you mentioned the name
7 of Darko Fot. Is he a Serb or Croat?
8 A. As far as I know, he was from a mixed
10 Q. However, Fot is a Croatian name.
11 A. It was a mixed marriage.
12 Q. But Mirko Vidovic?
13 A. I believe he was from a mixed marriage too.
14 I am not sure.
15 Q. I am asking you this because when you were
16 there, mistreated by the paramilitary, were there just
17 Serbs there or Croats there?
18 A. I mentioned the names that I know. As far as
19 I know, he was from the mixed marriage but most of them
20 were Croats.
21 Q. But there were others, too; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In closing, I would just like to ask you one
24 more question and not use any more time. You said that
25 you had some kind of trust in -- and in the end it was
1 a JNA officer who saved you?
2 A. According to me, yes.
3 Q. You recognised the locals from Vukovar in the
4 paramilitary formations?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were these people who could take the military
7 around and show them where everything was?
8 A. Absolutely, yes.
9 Q. In other words, they did not need any third
10 party to go and show them where the hospital was, and
11 other facilities?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Again, I would like to -- this is my last
14 question and my apologies for having to ask these
16 A. You are welcome.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Re-examination?
18 MR. NIEMANN: Nothing in re-examination, your
19 Honours. I do not know whether the exhibited has been
20 given an exhibit number, but...
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, number 21.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. I have no questions,
23 your Honour.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I have one
1 Witness E, I have one question. In your
2 witness statement you said that, when you said, and
3 I quote:
4 "When we got to Velepromet, JNA soldiers
5 started to divide people in four groups. Women were in
6 one group, Serbs in the second group, Croats in the
7 third fourth and known Croats in the fourth group."
8 Now, my question is, what do you mean by,
9 "known Croats", in the fourth group? Who made up this
10 fourth group?
11 A. As far as I know, before the war there were
12 about 23 ethnic groups and nationalities living in
13 Vukovar. When we were taken from the hospital to
14 Velepromet, we all had to identify ourselves according
15 to the ethnic group, and we were divided accordingly.
16 That means that the Croats, or, as we were popularly
17 called then, the Ustasche, would be separated one side,
18 the Serbs on the other and then the Ruthinians,
19 Ukrainians and Hungarians and others made the third
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Fourth group. Yes. Thank
22 you. Any objection to the witness being released?
23 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection? Thank you so
1 MR. FILA: No, your Honour.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may now be
4 A. Thank you, too.
5 (The witness withdrew)
6 JUDGE CASSESE: I assume the Prosecution is
7 going to call the next witness, witness number 6.
8 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Thank you for not referring
9 by his name, because this witness would also like
10 protection, and the Defence has kindly agreed to that.
11 His name will be Witness O.
12 (The witness entered court)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: I would like to ask
14 Witness O to make the solemn declaration.
15 WITNESS O (sworn)
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be seated.
17 Examined by MR. WAESPI
18 Q. Good morning. According to your wishes,
19 witness, your name will not be disclosed, so you are
20 now Witness O. I will have you shown a piece of paper
21 with your name on it, and please look at it and just
22 indicate by saying, "yes", or, "no", whether you see
23 your name on that.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Please show it to the Defence, and
1 I would like to tender that under seal, and it is
2 probably going to be Prosecution exhibit number 22.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That is correct.
4 MR. WAESPI: Witness O, do you remember having
5 been interviewed in April 1996 by an investigator from
6 this Tribunal?
7 A. I do remember.
8 Q. And did you sign a document which was the
9 English translation of this interview?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, I would like the usher, again, to show
12 him a document, and it comes with the Croatian
13 translation. I would like you, Witness O, to tell
14 us whether you see your signature on the document on
15 the bottom of the document.
16 A. This is my signature.
17 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much. I would like
18 to tender it now, together with the Croatian
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection from the
22 MR. FILA: No, sir.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 23,
24 Croatian translation, 23A.
25 MR. WAESPI: Thank you. Are you comfortable,
1 Witness O?
2 A. Yes, I am.
3 Q. Thank you very much. What is your profession?
4 A. I am an economist.
5 Q. Are you still working now?
6 A. No, I am retired, but I will work again
7 because I am needed at the hospital when the adequate
8 facilities are found.
9 Q. Thank you. Would you please outline for us
10 your educational background and especially your work
12 A. I had difficult times during education. I was
13 orphaned during World War II and when I started the
14 secondary school I basically remained in the street
15 because the people who had adopted me, the woman who
16 adopted me died, so I put myself through school alone,
17 by myself.
18 Q. Is it correct that your main experience in
19 work as a professional was carried out in the Vukovar
20 hospital for three decades?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In 1991 were you still employed in the
23 Vukovar hospital?
24 A. Yes, although until the fall.
25 Q. What was the nature of your job? What did you
1 do there?
2 A. During the war I was not working in supplies
3 department, I think, between August and October I was
4 involved, in fact -- there were about 30 men who were
5 husbands of the female physicians and nurses and they
6 were part of a group that worked in providing oxygen
7 tanks and moving the wounded and cleaning and all kinds
8 of manual labour.
9 Q. Thank you very much, but your main job before
10 the war, let us say in 1990, was, you were in charge of
11 providing supplies, general supplies, within the
12 hospital. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes. I was at first in charge of supplies.
14 That means that I had under me the department for
15 providing food and all medical supplies and various
16 inventory. That was all part of my job.
17 Q. Now, turning to these final days before the
18 fall of Vukovar, you said you were sort of involved
19 into food providing, preparation. Can you tell us for
20 how many people you prepared the food in those days?
21 A. For about 700 people. These were both
22 patients and hospital staff.
23 Q. Thank you. Where were you living at that
24 time? In the hospital? And if so, since when?
25 A. At that time I lived at the hospital. After
1 August I was not going home any more because my home
2 was destroyed. I was -- the conditions were very
3 difficult and I myself would lie and sleep under the
4 patients' beds.
5 Q. Was the hospital ever directly targeted? Do
6 you recall such incidents?
7 A. Yes. It was fired at non-stop, and I am
8 trying to remember. It was, I think, in the October
9 when two so-called, "hogs", were fired at the hospital.
10 It landed and it passed through all the floors and it
11 did not explode. The other one exploded in the hospital
12 yard and inflicted a lot of damage to both the old and
13 the new buildings of the hospital. In other words, it
14 was horrible because it broke down the doors, windows,
15 and in the middle of the hospital there was a sign
16 which measured 20 by 20, and also on the roof there was
17 a sign that it was a hospital.
18 I can also say that at times up to 4,000
19 shells were falling on the hospital in a single day.
20 Q. Was the hospital defended? Were there any
21 weapons in the hospital?
22 A. No, the hospital did not defend itself. There
23 were no weapons, but at the reception desk there were
24 guards and also at the entrance to the wards there were
25 two guards. Nothing else.
1 Q. Were you informed at some point by the
2 hospital management that you would be leaving in
3 a convoy?
4 A. Yes. Dr.Vesna Bosanac -- well, I am not sure
5 whether this was 18th or 19th in the evening, she went
6 to see all the employees at all the departments. She
7 said that Vukovar had fallen and that everyone would be
8 allowed to go where they pleased. Whoever wanted to go
9 to Croatia, whoever wanted to go to Serbia would go to
10 Serbia. That was the agreement reached.
11 Q. On that day you just mentioned, the day you
12 were informed about being evacuated, was there any more
13 fighting going on?
15 A. Well, not really. From afar you could hear
16 shooting but the actual fighting had ceased. You could
17 hear burst of gunfire from afar.
18 Q. What happened now in the early morning of
19 November 20th? Were you preparing breakfast?
20 A. Early in the morning the food department was
21 preparing breakfast for all the wounded and for the
22 staff, and behind us was a soldier with a machine-gun.
23 This was very unpleasant to us and he was monitoring
24 every step we made so it was quite unpleasant.
25 Q. At a certain time now, did one of the
1 hospital staff members inform you that you had to leave
2 now the hospital?
3 A. Yes. This was between 9 o'clock and 9.30.
4 I do not know if it was a cleaning woman or a nurse,
5 I really do not know, but somebody came to call us
6 because we were much farther from the crisis staff in
7 the hospital and the hospital staff than others because
8 this was a special department for food.
9 Q. Where were you directed to?
10 A. We were directed to the entrance for
11 emergencies through the shelter. We were met there by
12 soldiers, regular soldiers, not paramilitary units.
13 They stood in a line and they checked all our personal
14 belongings and then we boarded the buses. I entered the
15 last bus, the fifth bus and it was crowded. There were
16 over 60 people on it.
17 Q. Who were these other 60 people you had just
18 mentioned? Were they civilians, patients? Can you
19 recall that?
20 A. The other people, there were paramilitaries
21 and civilians. How should I put this? I think they are
22 paramilitary units too. Those were our local Serbs who
23 entered the yard. They entered the hospital yard.
24 Q. When you talk about paramilitaries, you talk
25 about the soldiers you saw outside in the hospital
1 yard. Is that correct?
2 A. In the hospital yard I saw paramilitary units
3 too. They were not the army. They were -- well, how
4 should I put it? Paramilitaries.
5 Q. But when you talk about the passengers in the
6 buses, or in the bus, you boarded, the last one, the
7 fifth one, who were those other passengers?
8 A. The other passengers were wounded people with
9 lighter wounds, some civilians and also technical staff
10 from the hospital.
11 Q. Do you recall some of the names of those
13 A. Who were on the bus, you mean?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. Adaga Jozo, Zeljko Jozo, Varenica Franjo,
16 Fradic Tomo, Sven Juro, Jarabik Slatko, Bajndrauch
17 Ivan, Gavric and others.
18 Q. Thank you. Were there only men on this bus?
19 A. Not only in that bus, but on all the buses
20 there were men only.
21 Q. Do you recall what kind of buses those were?
22 Civilian? Military? The colour of it, maybe?
23 A. I think they were olive green, of very poor
24 quality with wooden seats on the bus. Those were real
25 military vehicles, I imagine, for going out.
1 Q. When did those buses, specially your bus,
2 pull off?
3 A. Approximately around 10 o'clock.
4 Q. Were you told which direction or which aim
5 this bus would have?
6 A. No. I personally thought it was some kind of
7 routine check. We were not informed as to where we were
8 going but I simply thought that we were going for
9 a routine check of some kind.
10 Q. Which route now did the bus take?
11 A. The bus went along Gunduliceva Street through
12 the centre of town but on the right-hand side towards
13 the military barracks, then we crossed the bridge, then
14 by the orthodox church up towards the health centre,
15 towards Velepromet, and then we turned to the barracks
16 and that is where they stopped us and they parked the
17 buses in a semicircle.
18 Q. You just mentioned that you passed by the
19 Velepromet. How far away is Velepromet from the JNA
20 barracks, your final goal of the trip?
21 A. About a kilometre, a kilometre and a half
23 Q. Now, what did happen at the JNA barracks? Did
24 the buses stop?
25 A. The buses stopped and after that
1 paramilitaries started coming in from all sides.
2 Arkanovci, Seseljovci and the local Chetniks, rather,
4 Q. Can you describe their mood? How were they
5 acting? Were they quiet, were they organised?
6 A. They were in a terrible mood. How shall I put
7 this? They were euphoric. Most of them took out knives.
8 They threatened us. They had beards that I have the
9 feeling that they had not taken a bath for two months.
10 They had encircled the buses and they were threatening
11 that they would kill us.
12 Q. Did then an officer come into the bus and ask
13 for the names of a number of doctors, like a certain
15 A. Yes. A higher officer walked in and he asked
16 for Dr.Farkas and Dr.Emedi and Dr.Simunovic and
17 Mr. Esterajher, a journalist, and Sinisa Glavasevic,
18 a journalist.
19 Q. Now this officer, this higher ranking officer
20 you just described, do you think he was one of those
21 paramilitaries who were walking, running around, the
22 paramilitaries you said who were threatening you, or
23 was he from another unit?
24 A. No. He was simply a military person with
25 a high rank, not to say a very high rank.
1 Q. How did he behave? Was he more friendly than
2 the other soldiers you had just described?
3 A. Yes. He behaved in a fair manner. He simply
4 came and asked us whether we knew where these people
6 Q. And did somebody know on the buses who were
7 these people were, he asked for?
8 A. I personally knew about Dr.Farkas, Dr.Emedi,
9 and Dr.Simunovic, because naturally I had worked with
10 them and I knew that all three of them were in
11 Borovokomerc but naturally I did not want to say so.
12 Q. Now, after the officer had left and while you
13 were still waiting in the bus, did at a certain time
14 Rudolf Wilhelm or somebody else on the bus recognise
15 one of the soldiers whom you had just described as
16 being circling around the bus?
17 A. I could not say with certainty that this was
18 Rudolf Wilhelm, but judging by his voice I knew him.
19 I thought it was him but I knew this same person too,
20 but I had hidden because during his free time he worked
21 with Neso, this other person from the warehouse and
22 when Rudolf appealed to him for help and said, "save
23 us", he answered, "I cannot help you in any way. The
24 people who are on Neso's list are done in for".
25 Neso is an abbreviation, a nickname for
2 Q. Thank you. What happened next? Did another
3 soldier, a higher ranking one, board the bus with
4 a list?
5 A. Yes. He boarded the bus with a list, and he
6 called out five or six people from each bus, so about
7 30 of us were called out. We were called out and we had
8 to get off the bus and a new bus was there, about
9 50 metres away, prepared for us, and we walked there
10 and in the meantime these paramilitaries were lined up
11 and they had iron bars and wooden bars and they were
12 hitting us as we were walking as much as they could.
13 Q. Thank you. You just mentioned a list. Were
14 you also on that list?
15 A. Yes. My name was called out too and I was
16 second or third on the list that was called out on my
18 Q. Were also relatives of you mentioned on that
20 A. Yes. My brother and my nephew, who were also
21 employed in the hospital.
22 Q. Did you find out later who may have put your
23 names on that list?
24 A. Yes. This is how it went. When we were taken
25 away, rather kidnapped, that is a better word, because
1 Sljivancanin had a meeting with the medical staff and
2 in the meantime they were taking us away, the men,
3 those who were not medical staff but who belonged to
4 the technical staff, and at the very last moment
5 a nurse walked out. Oh, I cannot remember her name
6 right now. Well, it is not important. A nurse who saw
7 her husband and she said, "people, I am getting
8 suspicious. Our men are being taken away in an unknown
9 direction", and then nurse Mokos, who worked at
10 surgery, asked Dr.Ivankovic to ask Mr. Sljivancanin to
11 make a list, saying that we were employees of the
12 hospital, that we did not have weapons, that we did not
13 participate in the war and that we should be withdrawn.
14 That was done, so my wife put my name on the
15 list and my nephew's name and also the names of my
16 friends who had worked with me for years, but
17 unfortunately I think that a certain restriction was
18 made already in the hospital, so not all the people
19 from that list were called out. That is to say that in
20 the hospital they decided this person is okay, this
21 person is not. I think that this was done by the fifth
22 column that was present in the hospital and they made
23 this decision.
24 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that you were taken
25 out of this bus into another bus. Were in this other
1 bus again soldiers?
2 A. No. There were two local paramilitaries,
3 Chetniks, one Bulic Milan and the other one I do not
4 know personally. He is from Negoslavci and in the front
5 of the bus itself there was a young soldier, 20-ish,
6 perhaps, and I had the feeling that he had arrived in
7 the army only a day or two before that.
8 Q. Were you beaten by these soldiers you had
9 just mentioned in this bus?
10 A. They beat us terribly with iron bars. All of
11 us. But Zelvko Jozo the most. Bulic Milan hit him with
12 an iron bar. He hit him on the head, and also he kicked
13 him in the face, and he fell, and he said, "Milan, are
14 you doing this? How many lunches and dinners did you
15 have at my place?", because they were personal friends
16 before the war, because his wife worked with him in the
17 hospital kitchen.
18 Q. Obviously, these soldiers sort of had some
19 conversation with you. Did they also threaten you,
20 besides beating you? Did they threaten you with words?
21 A. They threatened, saying that they were taking
22 us to be executed as the bus was leaving, but they were
23 saying this only to frighten us. They said that they
24 were taking us to be executed, but that was not true.
25 They just wanted to intimidate us.
1 Q. Do you remember names of those people who
2 were now with you on the bus?
3 A. Well, I do remember some, Wilhelm Zvonimir,
4 Vlaho Miroslav, Vlaho Marko, Kolesar Mihovil, Danko,
5 I do not know his name, Danko is his last name, then...
6 I cannot remember right now. There were about 30 of us.
7 Adaga Jozo, Zeljko Jozo and others. I did not know only
8 one person there. I did not know his name or surname.
9 He worked at Jugopetrol, at the bus station and they
10 were saying that he had killed Jovo Rakijica, he was
11 killed, but that was not true. We were accused, we who
12 were on the bus, that we had slaughtered 50 children as
13 Ustashas which was not true. That was denied only a few
14 days later. An Italian woman journalist had written
15 this. I do not know how, and this was released
16 throughout the world, but in a few days it was denied.
17 Q. Do you know these people you had just
18 mentioned being with you on the bus well?
19 A. Yes, except for this man whom they said
20 killed Jovo Rakijica. I had only seen him from time to
21 time, but these other people I knew personally and
22 I was even friends with some of them.
23 Q. Thank you. For how long did you stay in this
24 JNA compound until you left?
25 A. Approximately three-quarters of an hour or an
1 hour, not more than that, but only we, these 30 men
2 I mentioned and the remaining buses stayed on at the
4 Q. Now were you told this time where your bus
5 was heading to?
6 A. No. They said that they were taking us to
7 Anica to be executed but that was not true. They were
8 only frightening us.
9 Q. So where did the trip eventually go to?
10 A. They brought us to the back entrance to the
11 hospital in Gunduliceva Street, some in front of the
12 hospital. We were supposed to get off there, but the
13 local Serbs who worked with us were supposed to
14 guarantee that we did not have any weapons and that we
15 worked at the hospital. Some of the nurses got their
16 husbands out, some of the doctors got their husbands
17 out and I asked two doctors who did not refuse, but
18 they did not come, so accidentally Ms. Bosanac showed up
19 and she went to Sljivancanin when she saw us and she
20 asked Mr. Sljivancanin to release us, which is what he
21 did. So I, my brother and my nephew got off. Zeljko
22 Jozo and Adaga Jozo remained on the bus, crying, and
23 they asked me to talk to the head of the food
24 department, a lady, and to go, to ask her to go to
25 Mr. Sljivancanin and to let them go too.
1 Q. Were they also able to get off the bus, those
2 two people you mentioned?
3 A. They could not leave. Somebody had to
4 guarantee for them and ask that they be released.
5 Q. And were they released, eventually?
6 A. No, they were not. As soon as I got off the
7 bus I addressed Anica Sila, who was head of the food
8 department. I asked her to go to Mr. Sljivancanin and to
9 ask him and my wife went too and Zeljko Dragica, Zeljko
10 Jozo's wife. She was about 50 metres away from them,
11 and they addressed Mr. Sljivancanin who said, "wait. Now
12 we are going to take care of this". In the meantime
13 a man, paramilitary Chetnik with a beard walked up to
14 him, asked him to come to the other side, whispered
15 something to him, and gave Dragica a terrible look and
16 then Sljivancanin said, "go, if they are guilty they
17 will be punished and if they are not guilty they are
18 going to be released". Unfortunately they were not
19 released. I know that one of them has been identified
20 and buried already.
21 Q. How long did you stay there at the hospital
22 in the yard?
23 A. In the hospital yard I did not stay there
24 very long. I simply went to the other street through
25 the hospital where there was a convoy with the wounded
1 and medical staff and the European Monitors were there.
2 They had -- I do not know what. White flags or
3 something. There were quite a few vehicles, the
4 European Monitors were there, and buses for the medical
5 staff, and ambulances with the heavily wounded on them.
6 Q. Can you describe these buses for us? Were
7 they the same with which you came and you described
8 earlier as being olive grey?
9 A. Quite frankly, I do not remember. I think
10 they were a bit more comfortable, but since I did not
11 even get to see the seats, I cannot tell. I, for
12 example had to stand all the way because we were packed
13 like sardines.
14 Q. Who else was on that bus? Do you remember
16 A. Well, there were people, medical staff
17 mostly. My wife was there. I know that Ms. Cakalic was
18 there, who did not belong to the hospital. That is the
19 wife of a colleague who used to work at the hospital,
20 and the rest were all employees of the hospital;
21 nurses, doctors, medical technicians, et cetera.
22 Q. Were these hospital staff members wearing
23 white coats?
24 A. In the convoy?
25 Q. Yes, in the buses when in the convoy.
1 A. No, no, no. They were wearing civilian
2 clothes and we all had white overcoats when we were
3 taken to the military barracks.
4 Q. Now, when did your bus start to move and into
5 what direction was that?
6 A. Our bus started to move some time between
7 2 and 3 pm. We went along the main street, Ive Lole
8 Rebara and we turned by the pharmacy and then we turned
9 to the street -- actually we went straight through the
10 centre of the town then we went through Radiceva Street
11 and then we turned to Senoina Street. From Senoina we
12 turned to the right towards the cemetery. We reached
13 a cross-roads then we turned to the left, towards the
14 health centre, or rather towards Velepromet and
16 Q. Did you stop at Velepromet?
17 A. Yes. We stopped there for a short while. From
18 the windows we saw that there were a lot of prisoners
19 in the yard, then Dr.Maric showed up. He waved to us,
20 and we, all the employees of the hospital, turned our
21 heads away from him in protest.
22 Q. Who is Dr.Maric?
23 A. Dr.Maric was an orthopaedic specialist. As
24 soon as the war broke out he went I do not know where,
25 to Negoslavci or to Bobota, to the clinic there. He no
1 longer worked at the hospital. And, as far as I found
2 out, he was a colonel in the army.
3 Q. Was he a Serb?
4 A. Montenegrin, I think, but I am not sure.
5 A Serb or a Montenegrin.
6 Q. Now, you said that you were just waiting a
7 few moments, you said, I think, a short time, at
8 Velepromet. Afterwards, into what direction did you
9 move on?
10 A. We started moving towards Modateks and they
11 were driving us around and finally they took us to
12 Negoslavci because they told us that they were
13 negotiating with the Croat government and then they
14 said that allegedly Tudjman did not want us, which was
15 not true, and they did not know what to do with us.
16 Q. Did you drive from Vukovar on the main road
17 to Negoslavci or did you use any detours?
18 A. We took a detour. We took a village by-roads
19 which slowed down the evacuation itself. I guess this
20 was part of their psychological torture, because they
21 kept telling us, "Tudjman does not want you. We do not
22 know what to do with you". Things like that.
23 Q. So the pace of that convoy was rather slow?
24 A. Rather slow. That was intentional. They
25 intentionally slowed it down. That was my impression.
1 Q. Was there lots of traffic on those roads you
2 were taking?
3 A. No. There was no traffic at all. We only saw
4 in the villages through which we passed from nearly
5 every backyard of a house tanks were pointing their
6 turrets, their barrels in various directions.
7 (12.30 pm)
8 Q. Were there any checkpoints? Were you stopped
9 on the way?
10 A. No. As far as I recall, no.
11 Q. Was it already dark when you reached
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. After Negoslavci, did you continue on the
15 road to Orolik?
16 A. Yes. We went in the direction of Orolik, and
17 I do not recall exactly where they took us after that,
18 but we ended up in Sremska Mitrovica. In Sremska
19 Mitrovica the European Monitors registered us and told
20 us not to move, to listen to them, even though the
21 soldiers had insisted that we go to a large hall we,
22 however, we decided to listen to the European Monitors
23 and even though we spent practically the entire night
24 on a single foot, crammed in the buses, that is where
25 we stayed.
1 Q. One final question. Was the road between
2 Negoslavci and Orolik any different to the road you had
3 been travelling before in terms of traffic and road
5 A. Yes, yes. It was clear and it was almost
6 intact, and when we moved there at that time it was
7 just potholes next to one another, and so we barely
8 moved along.
9 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, your Honours. No
10 further questions.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
12 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
13 MR. FILA: Yes, your Honour. The record
14 reflects that you passed Velepromet from the hospital
15 to the barracks.
16 A. It was to the right. To the left was the
17 barracks and to the right is the Velepromet.
18 Q. So what comes first, so you could not have
19 passed Velepromet?
20 A. Yes, but they took us there but then they
21 took us to the barracks.
22 Q. Oh, I see. Then it is fine. That is then
23 correct, what you said.
24 In your statement you said that on
25 19th November some Bojan Kuzmic took out Ivan Bozak and
1 then Marko Mandic. This was on the 19th?
2 A. Sorry, yes, yes. Yes, that night.
3 Q. Very well. As well as Marko Vlaho?
4 A. Marko Vlaho stayed alive.
5 Q. Yes. Do you know what happened to Ivan Bozak
6 and Marko Mandic?
7 A. Marko Mandic was taken in an unknown
8 direction and he still has not been identified and as
9 far as Bozak is concerned I know that he was killed in
10 front of the hospital. Personally did I not see this,
11 but a female janitor saw this and I mentioned that in
12 my statement.
13 Q. My apologies. This person is in the
14 indictment as if he was killed at Ovcara. This Ivan
16 A. Let me try to answer that question. When we
17 arrived in Zagreb all the hospital employees were given
18 work duty with the Red Cross of Croatia to help compile
19 lists but since we knew all the personnel, all the
20 staff, since the families were already searching for
21 their own members, so that this hospital staff was also
22 being looked for and I knew this, even Bozak. I did not
23 say to anyone that he was killed, but I personally put
24 him down on the list so that he would not disappear,
25 but I know that he was not killed on Ovcara.
1 Q. Thank you very much. The reason for my asking
2 this was not to question your testimony but rather to
3 point to the indictment.
4 You said in your testimony that in May many
5 Serbs from Borovo Selo were brought who were shot by
6 the dum-dum bullets and that you were affected by that.
7 Would you elaborate?
8 A. Yes. At that time I was in my office and
9 I received a message that in Borovo Selo there was
10 shooting going on and that all ambulances should be
11 sent over there because there were wounded. I informed
12 the chief of the transportation unit and he sent the
13 vehicles and I also put my vehicle to their disposal,
14 the vehicle that belonged to my department, and I also
15 wanted to personally go there. He told me, "do not go,
16 wait for me and if necessary, be ready to provide some
18 When they came back I was shocked because
19 indeed there were massacred. They looked terrible. It
20 looked horrible. I am not a medical expert, but I felt
21 horrible, and since I was orphaned, I had lost both my
22 parents, who were killed by the Chetniks during World
23 War II, so I was in a state of shock because I realised
24 that we had a -- repeated events and I was -- I spent
25 20 days in a Europe psychiatric ward and lost 20
2 Q. So those were Serbs?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. So you know personally the hospital staff?
5 A. Absolutely.
6 Q. If I showed you a videotape of some buses
7 with people on board, could you recognise certain
8 persons if they were your hospital staff?
9 A. Absolutely.
10 Q. With your permission your Honours, and if
11 there are no objections by the Prosecutor, we would
12 like to replay the same tape that is the Defence
13 exhibit number 2.
14 Meanwhile, did the military give out tea?
15 A. No, no, only in Mitrovica when we stepped out
16 at one point. That was in Serbia were we given some
18 Q. You said it was about 2, 2.30 when you were
19 at Velepromet.
20 A. Yes, about that time.
21 Q. Well, obviously that was an approximation.
22 There was no situation to know the exact time.
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. If you recognise anyone, please do say so.
25 (Video played)
1 A. This is our nurse with her daughter who
2 worked at a maternity ward. This is at Velepromet. This
3 is Vesna Vrancic with her daughter. This is Seremet,
4 I do not know her first name, and her daughter-in-law,
6 Q. When the bus, when you see people on the
7 buses, can you tell us if you recognise anyone?
8 A. This is Hadzic. Hadzic again. Arkan. This is
9 Terek, and this is the janitor in the -- the cleaning
10 lady, so I recognise Marija Terek on the bus who worked
11 as an administrator in the department for hygiene and
12 disease control, and the other one was a cleaning lady.
13 I do not know what department she worked on.
14 Q. I would like to tell you, to ask you, was
15 this on the 20th? Are these -- the bus is from the
17 A. I would not know that.
18 Q. How about the people who were being evacuated
19 from the hospital?
20 A. You see, you have different things. A little
21 bit of Velepromet, a little bit of this, so this is an
22 edited tape, so I do not know what to tell you. I think
23 that something is not right. There is a bus there which
24 was leaving, that is where Miss Terek and this cleaning
25 lady was, but there were more buses. I would recognise
1 at least some people.
2 Q. Was this a bus from the convoy or the bus
3 which went on the 20th?
4 A. It was on -- on the convoy because Miss Terek
5 left together with me on the convoy.
6 Q. Was this on the 20th, then?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. This is an amateur tape. You are aware of
9 that. We are just trying to identify...
10 A. My apologies. I am not sure this is part of
11 the convoy because this could have been in Velepromet,
12 it could have been transferred from Modateks, I cannot
13 guarantee this because several things are spliced
14 together so it is unclear because the hospital staff
15 were separate from the wounded. There were several
16 buses so here you have a little bit of Velepromet and
17 a little bit of another piece of tape where I recognise
18 two persons, so it does not mean anything to me.
19 Q. It does not matter that you do not recognise
20 it. Was it on the 20th?
21 A. I cannot say. I do not know whether this
22 person have been -- were taken prisoner somewhere else
23 and then transported later.
24 Q. Was this on the same day?
25 A. I do not know that. My colleague Miss Terek
1 I recognised her. She was leaving on the 20th together
2 with me.
3 MR. FILA: Thank you very much. That is what
4 I needed.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Re-examination?
6 Re-examination by MR. WAESPI
7 MR. WAESPI: I have a couple of questions.
8 First of all, you just said that there was
9 something not right with that tape. Do you want to see
10 it again to tell us more specifically what you doubt
11 about this tape?
12 A. What bothers me is that Velepromet was put in
13 there and then only one bus in which I recognised these
14 two persons, one cleaning lady and this administrator
15 in the department for disease control, so you have
16 a little bit of the Velepromet and a little bit of...
17 as far as I know, neither Arkan or Hadzic were at the
18 hospital and now I see them there, so it is all mixed
19 up, so I...
20 Personally, I did not know, I never saw him
21 nor did I hear that he was ever at the hospital.
22 Q. Let me come back to other points Mr. Fila
23 asked you. The first one, he asked you if these were
24 Serbs shot at Borovo Selo, and you said that these were
25 Serbs that had been shot, I am just taking it from the
1 transcript. Is that what you were answering to
2 Mr. Fila's question?
3 A. Yes. That is the answer, but I cannot say
4 with certainty that if there were not some local people
5 from Vukovar whom I did not recognise. As far as
6 I know, none of our people were killed, so I assumed
7 that these were the Serbs because this was in Borovo
8 Selo. Because all of our staff returned with ambulances
9 and they brought back the seriously wounded, so I did
10 not recognise a single local from Vukovar and a single
11 Croat in that convoy.
12 Q. So you personally -- you were not aware of
13 any Croats being shot in Borovo Selo also?
14 A. I know that they were executed but they were
15 not brought to the hospital because if they had been
16 executed then they were not taken to the hospital
17 because as far as I know the rule is that you do not
18 bring back dead bodies. You just bring back the wounded
19 people who may -- can be helped.
20 Q. Were there any Croatian policemen shot there?
21 A. Yes, but I heard that. I never saw it or
22 experienced it. I heard that the policemen were killed
23 at the very entrance to Borovo Selo and in Borovo Selo
24 itself. This is what I have heard so I cannot claim
25 anything with certainty.
1 MR. WAESPI: Thank you. One moment please,
2 your Honours. (Pause).
3 No further questions, your Honour.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I would like to
5 ask two questions of the witness.
6 Now, you told us that you came across two
7 groups of military people, so one
8 consisted of JNA officers or soldiers and the other
9 were local, as you say, you said, "local paramilitary".
10 Now, my first question is as follows; when you were
11 beaten up, I understand that you were beaten up by
12 so-called, "local", paramilitary people at the
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. While you were being beaten up, were there
16 any JNA officers there present?
17 A. No. There was only one soldier who probably
18 had just arrived. It was just a regular soldier who
19 must have been mobilised just prior to that. He was
20 about 20 years old, but I would like to make
21 a correction. I did not see military personnel in those
22 groups. They were the Arkan people and the Seselj
23 people and the locals. They were all paramilitary of
24 whom I thought, you see, they are honest, they did not
25 take part in this war, but they all showed up at this
1 barracks. The people that I knew.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, my second question is more
3 general. Judging from what you saw, what sort of
4 relationship was there between the JNA officers or
5 soldiers and the paramilitary people? Were the JNA
6 people in command or in control of the paramilitary or
7 not, or vice versa, for instance?
8 A. No, not at all. They simply pretended not to
9 see these atrocities and there were not many of them.
10 They simply did not want to see what was being done.
11 They sort of tried to distance themselves. They did not
12 say, "do not do this", but simply allowed that they do
13 these atrocities to us.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Is there any
15 objection to the witness being released?
16 MR. FILA: No, thank you.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much for
18 coming. You may be released.
19 (The witness withdrew)
20 JUDGE CASSESE: We stand now in recess until
21 2.30 sharp. The hearing is adjourned.
22 (1.50 pm)
23 (Luncheon adjournment)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder whether the
3 Prosecution would like to call the next witness.
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes your Honour, we are
5 prepared to. We have spoken previously with this
6 witness and he has indicated that he did not wish
7 protective measures but my colleague Mr. Waespi is
8 checking with the witness right now to see if that is
9 still the case and as soon as he returns, we will be
10 ready to proceed.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
12 I wonder whether I could ask the Prosecution
13 whether they have handed in the statements of Witness K
14 and witness number 15. So witness 11 and witness 15 on
15 the preliminary list of witnesses.
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, in relation to
17 witness 15, no statement was taken from that
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Oh yes.
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: And in relation to
21 witness 11 I believe it may have already been provided
22 but with his real name. I am checking that, and perhaps
23 in the break this afternoon I can verify that and I can
24 report back to the court. If not, then we can provide
25 copies later this afternoon for both the court and the
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: Just a moment, your Honour.
5 Your Honour, the next witness has requested
6 image alteration but other than that, everything else
7 is fine, so he will be testifying under his real name
8 and there will be no voice alteration necessary.
9 (The witness entered court)
10 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. May I ask the
11 witness to make the solemn declaration?
12 HAJDAR DODAJ (sworn)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be seated.
14 A. Thank you.
15 Examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: Sir, could you state your
17 name for the record, please?
18 A. HAJDAR Dodaj.
19 Q. And Mr. Dodaj, where are you from originally?
20 A. From Dakovica.
21 Q. And have you lived there most of your life?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Where did you live, growing up?
24 A. In Bjelovar.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not
1 hear the address.
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: And what is your nationality?
3 A. Albanian.
4 Q. At some point in time, were you obligated to
5 go to the JNA for your national service?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when was this?
8 A. On 18th March 1991.
9 Q. And Mr. Dodaj, if you can just lean up
10 a little bit and speak closer to the microphone,
11 I think the interpreter is having a little difficulty
12 in hearing you.
13 When you went into the JNA on March 18th of
14 1991 where were you sent initially?
15 A. Petrovac Na Mlavi.
16 Q. And where is that located?
17 A. That is in Serbia, near Pozarevac.
18 Q. What was the military unit to which you were
20 A. Mechanised.
21 Q. When you entered the military was your unit
22 composed of persons from all of the Yugoslav republics?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Was there any differentiation in treatment
25 based on where soldiers were from?
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. And how were soldiers from different areas
3 treated differently?
4 A. We who were from Croatia had to work harder
5 than those who were from Serbia. They had more
6 favourable conditions than we had.
7 Q. Did this apply to soldiers who came from
8 other republics as well or was it only limited to
10 A. No, especially for Croats.
11 Q. During the course of 1991 did you see
12 a decrease in the number of soldiers who were coming
13 from other areas of Yugoslavia?
14 A. Yes. They were not coming from Slovenia or
15 from Croatia then.
16 Q. Were you aware of some of the tensions that
17 existed between Serbia and Croatia or between
18 Serbia and Slovenia during this time period?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you told anything about what was
21 happening by your superior officers?
22 A. Well, they said that there was a group of
23 people... I do not know how to put this. A group of
24 people who were rebelling.
25 Q. At some point did you try to leave the JNA?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us what happened?
3 A. Well, I was running away. I escaped from the
4 barracks in June and then they caught me in Zemun again
5 and then they took me back to Pozarevac.
6 Q. Were you punished as a result of this?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. And what punishment did you receive?
9 A. 60 days of military imprisonment.
10 Q. At some point thereafter was your unit
11 deployed to Croatia?
12 A. Not yet.
13 Q. When was it sent to Croatia?
14 A. In July, Bjelo Brdo by Osijek.
15 Q. And when your unit went to Bijelo Brdo, what
16 tasks were you given?
17 A. Well, we received the task of destroying
18 about 20,000 Ustasha in Zedlosdo and the villages
19 around Osijek.
20 Q. To your knowledge was there 20,000 Ustasha in
21 the villages around Osijek?
22 A. No, not a single one, no. These were people
23 who were defending their homes.
24 Q. How long did your unit remain in Croatia?
25 A. About 20 days. We spent about 20 days in that
2 Q. And where did you go from there?
3 A. Then they took us back to Petrovac Na Mlani,
4 back to the military barracks.
5 Q. At some point were you sent back to Croatia?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when was this?
8 A. In September.
9 Q. At that time what were you told about where
10 you were going or what you would be doing?
11 A. We were not told anything. We were not told
12 where we were taken, 10 or 20 soldiers were selected,
13 most of them from Croatia and then we were sent to
14 Sremska Mitrovica.
15 Q. And when you arrived in Sremska Mitrovica
16 were you told what you would be doing?
17 A. Yes. Yes. We were told. We got all our
18 equipment, our war weapons, et cetera, and we went to
20 Q. Now, by September of 1991 when you were
21 arriving in Mitrovica, had the composition of the
22 military forces changed even more in terms of ethnic
23 breakdown than it was before?
24 A. Well, yes. There was more hatred. There was
25 more hatred.
1 Q. Were there more Serbs in the military than
2 there had been previously?
3 A. There were, yes.
4 Q. And what about the numbers of Croats?
5 A. There were very few of them. Very few.
6 Q. What about Slovenes?
7 A. There were not any Slovenes, not a single
8 one, because they all went back to their republic. They
9 were taken back.
10 Q. Where did the additional Serbs come from that
11 were in the JNA?
12 A. Reservists were coming in. There was
13 mobilisation then in Serbia. They were volunteers from
14 all parts of Serbia. They came from all parts of
16 Q. Did this also include soldiers from
17 Territorial Defence units?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, a moment ago you said that there was
20 more hatred in the army. Can you explain what you meant
21 by that?
22 A. Well, they said that they could hardly wait
23 to reach Vukovar to destroy all the Croatian people, to
24 simply destroy everything that was Croatian. They
25 played Serbian songs to us...
1 Q. Did it appear to you to still be a truly
2 Yugoslav army at this time?
3 A. No, it did not seem that to me any more. When
4 I saw that these were reservists and they did not have
5 the insignia of the Yugoslav army, they had Serbian
6 flags and they had the Kokarda sign, et cetera, they
7 had the Serbian flag. It was the Serbian flag that we
8 had, rather than the Yugoslavia flag.
9 Q. At any point in time did you encounter any
10 Serb paramilitary forces?
11 A. In Negoslavci I saw them there.
12 Q. And do you know which groups these forces
13 were affiliated with?
14 A. I do not know about that.
15 Q. What was their role?
16 A. Well, the same as ours, to destroy the entire
18 Q. Did these paramilitary forces appear to be
19 co-operating closely with the JNA?
20 A. Well, it seemed so, that they were
21 co-operating because in Negoslavci they had this crisis
22 staff of theirs, the Territorial Defence and the
23 Yugoslavia army was with them.
24 Q. Was your unit engaged in any fighting in
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What were you able to observe in terms of the
3 way that the battle was being conducted?
4 A. We came on the 1st September, the position
5 between Luzac and Bogdanovci. That is on the road
6 between Vinkovci and Vukovar so we had cut that road
7 and we dug in there with our tanks and transporters and
8 then we were shooting at the city with everything we
9 had available.
10 Q. What types of weaponry was the JNA using?
11 A. Well, this unit of mine used tanks. 100
12 millimetre tanks, and 20 millimetre transporters and
13 PKT automatic rifles and small arms and mortars, 60 and
14 80 millimetres.
15 Q. Did you ever see JNA aircraft being used
16 against Vukovar?
17 A. Yes. On 14th September 1991 I saw them, when
18 they shelled the city with five or four aircraft.
19 Q. Did you also see heavy artillery?
20 A. Yes, yes, I saw that too. Cannons...
21 Q. Tanks?
22 A. Tanks? That unit of mine at that point had
23 about 20 tanks.
24 Q. How often was the city shelled by the JNA
25 forces and the Serb forces?
1 A. Day and night.
2 Q. It was continuous?
3 A. Well, only when we would go to have breakfast
4 or lunch then we would take a break about one hour.
5 Q. Were there any orders in regard to what was
6 being targeted in the town?
7 A. Well, with tanks, you know, we mostly used
8 tanks to fire at the city.
9 Q. And were you targeting anything in particular
10 in the city?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Were any instructions given as to certain
13 areas being places that you should hit or other places
14 that you should not hit?
15 A. No, nobody looked at that. We were simply
16 shelling the city regardless of whether these were
17 military targets or civilian or something else.
18 Q. What type of resistance was coming from the
19 Croatian forces that were defending the town?
20 A. Very little resistance.
21 Q. Did the Croats have aircraft?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did they have artillery?
24 A. No, they did not have any kind of heavy
1 Q. Did they have tanks?
2 A. No, no.
3 Q. Could you tell anything about the level of
4 destruction that was occurring in the city?
5 A. Well, everything was being destroyed in town
6 and around town. All civilian houses, big buildings,
7 the water works, all of that was happening from our
8 positions. While I was in the army, every day we fired
9 about 100-200 shells.
10 Q. Just from your unit alone?
11 A. Our unit alone, but then there were other
12 units too but then I did not see these units. I know
13 about my unit because I was still in the army then.
14 Q. Did there come a time when you decided that
15 you would try to escape from the JNA?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you, in fact, do this?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Were you by yourself?
20 A. No, I was the fifth soldier to escape.
21 Q. How did all of you actually go about getting
23 A. We were together most of the time, and that
24 is how we agreed on that, that we should escape from
25 that army and join the Croat army or the Croat side.
1 Q. And how were you able to accomplish this?
2 A. On 24th September around 12 o'clock we simply
3 set off for certain houses that were on neutral
4 territory, it was a neutral zone. There were not any
5 civilians there. We said we would go to these houses to
6 get something, you know, so that we would not be cold,
7 so that is how we left our positions.
8 Q. And what happened when you got to these
10 A. Well, then we encountered a civilian and we
11 asked him to go to the guard and to tell them that
12 there were five soldiers there who were on the run and
13 who wanted to surrender and then the Croatian soldiers
14 took us in. They treated us kindly. We were all all
16 Q. Where were you taken?
17 A. We were driven away to Vukovar to the police
18 station in Vukovar.
19 Q. And what happened after you arrived at the
20 police station?
21 A. Well, they welcomed us there. We took off our
22 uniforms, we were given civilian clothes and we were
23 there in the police station, we were questioned as to
24 whether there were other people from Croatia there,
25 whether there were any Croats in the army and whether
1 they wanted to escape too, et cetera.
2 Q. When you made it to the Croatian side did it
3 appear to you that the town was occupied by Ustashas?
4 A. No. It was people who were from that town
5 only. They were defending their homes with whatever
6 they had.
7 Q. Was this consistent with what your officers
8 in the JNA had been telling you?
9 A. No, no, not at all.
10 Q. What had they been telling you in terms of
11 who you were fighting?
12 A. You mean the JNA?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. They were telling us that we were fighting
15 against the Ustashas, against mercenaries who came from
16 elsewhere. Mostly against the Ustashas, that is what
17 they told us, that we were fighting against them, and
18 we were actually supposed to fight against the Croat
19 people rather than Ustashas. I did not see any Ustashas
21 Q. When you were able to see first hand what the
22 Croats had to fight with in terms of weapons and
23 manpower, would you say that the Serb forces and the
24 Croatian forces were evenly matched?
25 A. No, no, not at all, because the Serb side had
1 heavy weapons, aviation and the Croat side had hunting
2 rifles, pistols, small calibre guns, hardly anybody had
3 an automatic rifle.
4 Q. Did you join the Croatian forces in Vukovar?
5 A. I did, yes.
6 Q. Do you know if there were any Serbs fighting
7 with the Croats, defending Vukovar?
8 A. There were some Serbs also fought against the
9 army, the Serb army, I mean in the defence of Vukovar.
10 In Vukovar, you know, there were different
12 Q. Once you were in the city itself were you
13 able to see more closely the damage that the city had
15 A. Yes, I saw quite a bit of damage in town.
16 There was hardly a single building that had not been
17 shelled with at least a few shells.
18 Q. Were there any buildings which seemed to be
19 particularly hard hit?
20 A. There were, yes. Yes. There were. I mean, the
21 hospital, too. I was in the hospital pretty often so
22 I saw what was happening there. They were shooting at
23 it from aircraft, also from tanks from all sides.
24 Q. When you were at the hospital on various
25 occasions did you observe anything which indicated to
1 you that it was a military target?
2 A. I did not. I did not notice anything. It was
3 not a military target. It was a civilian target.
4 Q. At some point in time did it become apparent
5 to you that the battle was nearing an end?
6 A. Well, yes, yes, yes, towards the end. They
7 had already occupied the entire city and you could not
8 get out of it.
9 Q. And when was this, as the battle was coming
10 to a close?
11 A. Well, 17th November, something like that.
12 Q. Where did you go at the end of the battle?
13 A. On the 18th November 1991 I came to the
14 hospital because I thought that was the safest place.
15 I thought nothing would happen to me there so
16 a colleague of mine and I came there, although there
17 were quite a few people there, civilians, wounded
19 Q. What was the situation at the hospital when
20 you arrived? Were there many people there?
21 A. There were quite a few people there, about
22 450 wounded, and then also civilians and women and
23 children and old people. All of them were at the
25 Q. Did you take your weapon with you to the
2 A. No, I did not. We were not allowed to carry
3 the weapons into the hospital.
4 Q. Did there come a point in time when you
5 became aware of the fact that the JNA had arrived at
6 the hospital?
7 A. Yes. The JNA came and the Territorial Defence
8 and the volunteers, all their military formations, so
9 the soldiers from all different formations were coming
10 to the hospital and around the hospital.
11 Q. And what happened when the JNA arrived there?
12 A. On 19th they separated the women and children
13 and they took them some place, I do not know where,
14 while the men were kept in hospital and then on
15 20th around 9 o'clock, 8.30, 9 o'clock, they lined us
16 up in front of the hospital, and then the buses
17 arrived, they loaded up on to these buses and took us
18 to the barracks.
19 Q. Okay, just going back a little bit, what was
20 going on in the hospital on the night between the 19th and
21 the 20th November.
22 A. I do not know what happened there.
23 Q. Where were you during that time?
24 A. During that time I was in a basement at
25 a hospital. That is in the 19th to 20th in the morning.
1 Q. Now, the morning of the 20th you indicated
2 that you were taken outside of the hospital and
3 eventually put on buses. Did anything happen before you
4 were placed on the buses?
5 (3.00 pm)
6 A. Before we left hospital there was Major
7 Sljivancanin there who was in command of the guards
8 from Belgrade then. They searched us to see whether we
9 had any valuable personal belongings and they took
10 everything. We had to keep our hands behind our backs
11 and head bowed, and some people were separated out from
12 us and then they put -- they placed them aside in
13 a group and I do not know what happened to them, but we
14 were then placed on the buses.
15 Q. You indicated that your valuables were taken
16 during the course of the search.
17 A. Yes. Yes. They were. Yes.
18 Q. And after you all were searched what happened
20 A. Then they put us on the buses and took us to
21 the Vukovar barracks.
22 Q. Were there guards on the buses?
23 A. Yes. There was one and the driver of the bus.
24 There was one soldier with an automatic rifle which he
25 kept pointed at us so that we would not try to do
2 Q. Now, you indicated that the buses travelled
3 from the hospital to the Vukovar barracks. What did you
4 see when you arrived at the barracks?
5 A. I saw that the town was completely destroyed.
6 I saw a number of dead bodies lying around in the
7 streets at the edge of the roadway, then we arrived at
8 the barracks. There was an officer, a captain, who came
9 and he would call people out as people were coming out,
10 they were beaten so that they were all bloodied by the
11 time they were in the yard, and then they were put on
12 the trucks.
13 Q. Were you able to see what was going on
14 outside the buses, around the barracks, other than
15 these men being taken away?
16 A. I only saw that these people were being
17 beaten as they were coming off the buses and there were
18 soldiers all around, the soldiers and the volunteers
19 and the White Eagles and they threaten us, they
20 threaten to kill us all, that none of us has any chance
21 of survival.
22 Q. Did any of these soldiers get on your bus?
23 A. Yes. They got on to the buses. They were
24 threatening us. The ones who were sitting up front were
25 also getting beaten. They were just hitting everybody
1 who they could reach.
2 Q. Did there come a time when the buses left the
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And where did you go from there?
6 A. From the barracks we went to a hangar.
7 Q. Do you know where this hangar was located?
8 A. I think this was Ovcara.
9 Q. Had you ever been to Ovcara prior to that
11 A. No.
12 Q. In the transport between the JNA barracks and
13 Ovcara, were there still guards on the buses?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was it the same guard that had been on from
16 the hospital to the barracks?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When the buses arrived at Ovcara, what did
19 you see occurring?
20 A. The people from the barracks were carrying
21 with them handles of pickaxes and shovels and things
22 like that so they had arrived before we did and they
23 formed a gauntlet of sorts, so that -- we would get off
24 the buses they would start beating us so that everybody
25 was near death. They were all beaten up and broken up.
1 Q. At some point in time did you see another
2 former JNA soldier that you knew getting off one of the
4 A. Yes. I did.
5 Q. And what was his name?
6 A. Zlatko Zlogleda.
7 Q. And what, if anything, did you see happening
8 to him?
9 A. We were first soldiers in, so before me and
10 Zlatko, Petar Kuscevic from Split, from the island of
11 Brac came out and a Serbian soldier struck him and he
12 said, "do not beat me, I am a JNA soldier, I was
13 arrested by the Croatian police", so they took him
14 aside and they asked him whether there were any other
15 soldiers here and then he pointed at me and Zlatko
17 Q. Once you were identified as a JNA soldier,
18 what was done with you?
19 A. We were separated out, we were placed off to
20 the side until everybody got off the buses and taken
21 into the hangar and locked up there and we were all
22 taken to Negoslavci.
23 Q. At any point did you enter the hangar at
25 A. No, I did not. But I saw what was being done
1 to the people in front of the hangar.
2 Q. And is this what you have already described,
3 the men being forced to run through the gauntlet?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How long were you left outside the hangar
6 before you went to Negoslavci?
7 A. About an hour and a half to two.
8 Q. And how were you transported from Ovcara to
10 A. We were taken in a military vehicle. There
11 was a major there, and a soldier who was his driver,
12 and they took us to Negoslavci. They blindfolded us and
13 they put us in a basement of a civilian house.
14 Q. How long did you remain at this house in
16 A. Four days. About four days.
17 Q. On the morning after this had happened, on
18 the 21st, did you have an opportunity to speak with a JNA
20 A. There were four soldiers who guarded us. They
21 took shifts but on -- on the morning of 20th-21st
22 around 6 o'clock a soldier from Sabac came and said
23 that the Chetniks slaughtered about 600 men at Ovcara.
24 Q. After the four days that you spent at
25 Negoslavci where were you taken?
1 A. We were taken to Topcider, to the barracks,
2 that is we were taken to Belgrade, basically.
3 Q. And what occurred after you arrived at
5 A. They questioned us there, what we were doing,
6 why we had fled the military. We were beaten. There
7 were some reserve personnel and some active duty
8 personnel, and they kept beating us for 14 days. We
9 fainted, they did not give us anything to eat. They
10 took us to the detention, military detention centre in
12 Q. As a result of these beatings did you sustain
13 any injuries?
14 A. Yes. I had a concussion and my ribs were
15 fractured on the right-hand side and also I have some
16 spinal injuries.
17 Q. How were your ribs fractured?
18 A. They beat us in the cinema theatre. There was
19 a stage there and they would -- they put us up on that
20 stage and then they would throw us down from it. That
21 was the theatre, a hole, where they watched the movies
22 and then they beat us with the handles of the broom
23 sticks and things that they used to wipe and clean
24 floors. That is what they beat us with.
25 Q. Were you accused of any crimes?
1 A. I was accused of desertion, mutiny, and theft
2 of weapons.
3 Q. Was there pressure put on you to sign
4 statements admitting to these crimes, or to other
6 A. They applied -- well, they pressured us into
7 confessing that we killed Serbian individuals and raped
8 and so they forced us to sign such statements where --
9 and these statements were what they were saying to us
10 that happened, rather than what really happened, so we
11 did not sign anything by our own will, just what they
12 forced us to sign.
13 Q. Were you ever taken to court on any of these
15 A. No, I was not taken to court for these
16 charges, only for the armed mutiny, for the desertion
17 and the theft of weapons.
18 Q. And were you convicted of these charges?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What sentence did you receive as a result of
21 that conviction?
22 A. I received six years. I got one year off
23 right at the sentencing so I was sentenced to five
25 Q. How much of this sentence did you actually
2 A. Two years.
3 Q. And where was that served?
4 A. Seven months in the military detention unit
5 and seventeen in Valjevo.
6 Q. And was Valjevo a military prison?
7 A. No, a civilian prison.
8 Q. And Valjevo is located in the Republic of
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When were you finally released from Valjevo?
12 A. 21st November 1993.
13 Q. And at that point did you return to Croatia?
14 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time I would like to
16 show the witness a document which we will mark as
17 Prosecutor's exhibit...
18 THE REGISTRAR: 24.
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: 24. Mr. Dodaj, do you
20 remember in 1996 being interviewed by an investigator
21 from the Office of the Prosecutor of the Tribunal?
22 A. Yes, I remember.
23 Q. And during the course of this interview did
24 you give a statement which was recorded in English and
25 then translated back to you in the Croatian language?
1 A. It was signed -- the English copy is the only
2 one that is signed but I also had a Croatian copy,
3 a copy in Croatian.
4 Q. At the time that you gave the statement was
5 it translated to you orally in Croatian?
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 Q. And did you sign the statement?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you tell me if that is your signature
10 that appears on the copy of the statement?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time, your Honours,
13 I would like to tender this as Prosecutor's Exhibit 24
14 under seal, and the Croatian version would be tendered
15 as Prosecutor's Exhibit 24A, also under seal.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I see there is no
17 objection from the Defence counsel, so it is submitted.
18 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no further questions,
19 your Honour.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
21 Mr. Fila?
22 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
23 Q. Just for the Trial Chamber's information,
24 there are different ways of serving sentences. There are
25 no separate prisons where you can serve the sentences
1 imposed by military courts. Is that correct? Can you
2 confirm this for me?
3 A. I do not know how it is. We were four men
4 from Croatia and 150 criminals there. Imagine being in
5 such a prison.
6 Q. I agree with you, but it was just a civilian
7 prison for...
8 A. Yes, it was a civilian prison.
9 Q. You see, there are no special military
11 Now let us move on to the timetable. When did
12 you move towards the JNA barracks? Approximately
14 A. We started some time between 8.30 and 10, so
15 maybe we arrived by 11 there, at the barracks.
16 Q. How long did you stay in front of the
17 barracks, more or less?
18 A. About 45 minutes.
19 Q. Do you know what time it was, about, when you
20 arrived in Ovcara and when did you leave, because you
21 said you stayed there for about an hour and a half.
22 A. We left Ovcara around -- I could not tell you
23 precisely. I think it was about 2.30.
24 Q. In other words, it was still daytime?
25 A. Yes, it was daylight. Yes.
1 Q. From your statement it seems that you
2 observed a door in front of the hangar. Do you know how
3 many doors, entrances there were to the hangar?
4 A. Two.
5 Q. Two, one next to another or one front and
7 A. One front, one back.
8 Q. Which one could you see?
9 A. The first one.
10 Q. Could you see inside, and how far inside?
11 A. Yes, you could see because the door was open.
12 Q. And it was daytime?
13 A. Yes, it was.
14 Q. Was there any light inside?
15 A. No, there was not.
16 Q. Since now you use your full first and last
17 name, I do not have your date of birth. Can you give us
18 that information?
19 A. Do you need to know that?
20 MR. FILA: Because you were in Valjevo.
21 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I would object
22 to the date of birth. I do not see that that is
23 relevant. I think it is trying to get too much
24 identification information from this witness.
25 MR. FILA: I apologise. I think that he only
1 asked for his face protection measure, but if he
2 refuses to answer any questions, that is fine, too.
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: Perhaps if Mr. Fila can
4 explain the relevance of this, but broadcasting this
5 man's date of birth to everyone in the world -- just do
6 not see the reason for that.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: On the other hand, we have
8 his name, I mean, so I wonder...
9 Mr. Fila?
10 MR. FILA: My next question would be the date
11 of birth, the names of father and mother and his
12 nationality. That is what you have in every statement
13 and there is none of that information available in the
15 JUDGE CASSESE: You may proceed. Yes. Do ask
16 this question.
17 MR. FILA: So if you could give me your date
18 of birth, where you were born, what is your ethnic
19 background and what is your father and mother's name.
20 A. I do not wish to answer that question.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask the witness why he
22 is refusing to answer this question?
23 A. Because of my safety, simply said. Because
24 I am from Kosovo, this is under the Serbian occupation,
25 so that is why, and I live in Croatia. I have a family
1 in Croatia, but I also have old family in Kosovo.
2 MR. FILA: Are you an Albanian by ethnic
4 A. Yes, I am.
5 Q. You said that only the local Vukovar people
6 were fighting in Vukovar.
7 A. Yes, they did.
8 Q. Are you from Vukovar?
9 A. No, I am not.
10 Q. How many such locals from Vukovar were there,
11 like you?
12 A. I only know four.
13 Q. The ones who fought in Kosovo?
14 A. That is part of Croatia.
15 Q. You mean Kosovo is Croatia? So are you from
17 A. No, I am an Albanian from Croatia. I have the
18 ID, I have the passport, I went to school in Croatia,
20 Q. When you left the JNA did you take your
21 weapons with you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What did you take?
24 A. The automatic rifle.
25 Q. That was probably not your property.
1 A. It was issued to me by the JNA.
2 Q. Is that why you were tried in Belgrade? Is
3 that why you had a trial against you in Belgrade,
4 because you took away a rifle that was not your
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And for desertion?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you shoot from that rifle?
10 A. I did not.
11 Q. In your statement it says that you joined the
13 A. Yes, I did join.
14 Q. So what did you shoot from?
15 A. From a rifle.
16 Q. Was it that rifle?
17 A. There was another rifle.
18 Q. What other rifle?
19 A. A hunting rifle.
20 Q. And what happened to the rifle that was
21 issued to you?
22 A. I threw it away.
23 Q. Is that correct?
24 A. I am telling you the truth. Before we went to
25 Vukovar we threw away our rifles.
1 Q. You said that there was no other weapons but
2 hunting rifles, there was no mortars in Vukovar.
3 A. I did not see any mortars or rockets.
4 Q. You were in the police station. Is that near
5 the hospital?
6 A. About 200 metres from the hospital.
7 Q. In a straight line?
8 A. On foot, I would say.
9 Q. How about in a straight line?
10 A. I am not an expert for that.
11 Q. Are you an expert for guns?
12 A. No, I am not. No, I was just in the armoured
13 mechanised unit.
14 Q. Did you see any weapons at the police
16 A. Just small arms weapons.
17 Q. What did you see? Hunting rifles?
18 A. Some pistols. There were very few automatic
20 Q. And lastly, how many buses were there at
21 Ovcara when you were there?
22 A. Six or seven, I am not sure. I know that
23 I was in the last one.
24 Q. You include the bus that you were on in
25 amongst this six or seven?
1 A. As I said, it is six to seven.
2 MR. FILA: Thank you, your Honours, no further
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Any re-examination?
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no other questions,
6 your Honour.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: I have a couple of
9 First of all, you said when you were at the
10 barracks you said in your oral testimony that you saw
11 soldiers, volunteers and White Eagles. What do you mean
12 by, "volunteers"? Probably these were not members of
13 JNA. Were they paramilitary people? Paramilitary
15 A. It was -- these were their paramilitary
16 troops. There were civilians. These were Serb civilians
17 who had put on these Chetnik uniforms.
18 Q. And they were carrying weapons? Were they
19 carrying weapons?
20 A. Yes, yes they did carry weapons.
21 Q. Thank you. I have two questions relating to
22 the period when you were a member of the JNA, around
23 September 1991. First of all, you said that when you
24 were in a unit, a member of the unit which was shelling
25 Vukovar, no distinction was made by your unit between
1 military and civilian objectives, or targets. I wonder
2 whether you were under military instructions, in other
3 words, whether you had received orders to this effect;
4 namely not to distinguish between military and civilian
5 objectives or whether this was an initiative of your
6 unit. Are you aware, were you aware of any orders or
7 instructions issued by superior authorities to the
8 effect that you should not make any distinction between
9 civilian and military objectives?
10 A. We received instructions from our commander
11 to destroy the town, that there was no distinction
12 between the military and civilian targets. There were
13 no military targets in Vukovar. These were all civilian
14 targets that we were shelling, so that anything that
15 was Croatian would be destroyed, mildly said.
16 Q. Thank you. You also said again that when you
17 were a member of this unit of the JNA you were -- and
18 I am quoting your words, you were, "closely
19 co-operating with paramilitary troops". Could you
20 explain what you mean by, "close co-operation", with
21 the paramilitary troops? Close co-operation between
22 members of the JNA and paramilitary troops there?
23 A. The military personnel collaborated with
24 them, the officers did not meet personally. They had
25 the headquarters in Negoslavci and that is where the
1 Arkan's people and Seselj's people and the military,
2 and the White Eagles, that is where they would all meet
4 Q. But do you know whether these paramilitary
5 troops were receiving instructions from the JNA or
6 whether they were part of the chain of command in the
7 JNA or whether totally independent, acting
8 independently of the JNA.
9 A. I think that they acted independently and
10 what it did was just unbelievable.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Is there any
12 objection to the witness being released? Thank you so
13 much for coming, Mr. Dodaj. You may now be released.
14 A. Thank you too for having listened to me.
15 (The witness withdrew)
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Is the Prosecution going to
17 call Witness I?
18 MR. WAESPI: Yes. In fact, this witness has
19 sort of turned the other way around and he has agreed
20 that he is called by his own name. He just wishes, like
21 the previous witness, not his face being shown.
22 (The witness entered court)
23 (3.30 pm)
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. May I ask
25 you to make the solemn declaration?
1 ZLATKO ZLOGLEDA (sworn)
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be seated.
3 Prosecutor, you may proceed.
4 Examined by MR. WAESPI
5 Q. Thank you, your Honours. Good afternoon,
6 Mr. Zlogleda.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Just for the record, can you please state
9 your name?
10 A. Zlatko Zlogleda.
11 Q. Thank you. Were you interviewed in April 1996
12 by an investigator from this Tribunal?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you recall having signed a document
15 which was the English translation of that interview?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can I please ask the usher, as soon as he has
18 finished his previous job... thank you. (Handed).
19 Can you please have a look at this document
20 and tell us whether you find your signature at the
21 bottom of this document?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you. I would like the usher
24 again to show it to the Defence, and tender it into
25 evidence as I assume, exhibit number 25 as of the
1 English document and 25A as of the Croatian
3 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection to that? Thank
5 MR. WAESPI: So, let us start with the
7 Where were you born?
8 A. Sisak.
9 Q. That is in Croatia, is that correct?
10 A. Yes, Croatia.
11 Q. Can you please outline for us your
12 educational background and your work experience?
13 A. I finished elementary school in Hrvatska
14 Dubica and secondary school in Bosanka Dubica and I was
15 not employed after I finished school.
16 Q. After school did you then go straight into
17 the army? Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Which army is that? Is that the JNA?
20 A. In Valjevo.
21 Q. Yes, but by, "army", we agree that is the
23 A. Yes, the JNA, yes.
24 Q. For how long have you been in this army?
25 A. About six months.
1 Q. Can you tell us exactly in what time?
2 A. From March until September.
3 Q. And you are talking about 1991, is that
5 A. Yes, 1991.
6 Q. Now, can you outline to us what kind of
7 military service did you do? Did you first start with
8 the training? Is that correct?
9 A. Yes. We had accelerated training for about
10 three months.
11 Q. And then where did you go to?
12 A. No.
13 Q. After having completed this training, were
14 you told to go now to some place, to resume your duties
15 as a soldier?
16 A. Yes, when we finished this shorter training
17 we were supposed to go to Slovenia.
18 Q. Did you ever reach Slovenia?
19 A. No. We reached Sabac and that is where we
21 Q. For how long did you stay in Sabac?
22 A. We stayed there about two months.
23 Q. Now, thereafter were you told to do something
25 A. No. They said that the situation was quiet
1 now, that we would be going back to barracks either in
2 Sabac or Belgrade.
3 Q. Which barracks did you go to?
4 A. We did not go to any barracks. We stayed in
5 Sabac, the same place where we were.
6 Q. After this stay in Sabac, were you supposed
7 to go to Vukovar? Is that correct?
8 A. Yes. We left Sabac for Vukovar and Sid.
9 Q. Did you arrive first in Vukovar or first in
11 A. No. First to Sid and then from Sid we went to
13 Q. Now, did you go directly into the town or did
14 you have to hold some positions outside the town?
15 A. Yes. We came to Negoslavci and from
16 Negoslavci we were in the suburbs of Vukovar, not in
17 the town itself.
18 Q. At some point did you decide to escape, to
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you recall what date that was?
22 A. Yes. That was around 20th September.
23 Q. And that is still 1991?
24 A. 1991, yes.
25 Q. Can you explain to us why did you decide to
1 escape? Were you encouraged by the fact that the ethnic
2 composition of the JNA was mostly Serbian?
3 A. Yes. Yes. Because everything showed that this
4 was a Serbian army. The flag, the Serbian songs,
6 Q. Did the Serbian soldiers who served with you
7 also tell you that you should leave the army because it
8 is now a Serbian army?
9 A. Yes. They kept provoking us. They said, "what
10 are you waiting for Ustashas, ZNGs, why are not you
11 running away"?
12 Q. And so you ran away. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Where did you go to, exactly?
15 A. Went to our settlement called Luzac, I think,
16 and then with the assistance of a civilian we got to
18 Q. Where exactly did you go in Vukovar?
19 A. Went to the police station.
20 Q. Did you eventually join a Croatian formation
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know how this formation was called?
24 A. The reserve composition of the police.
25 Q. Did you also go to the front-line now with
1 this unit you have just described?
2 A. Yes. We went to a front-line, yes.
3 Q. Did you eventually go to the Vukovar hospital
4 because one of the persons who was with you was
6 A. Yes. Yes. We took this person to the hospital
7 and we remained in the hospital.
8 Q. Do you remember the date when you went to the
10 A. I think it was 18th November 1991.
11 Q. In the hospital, did you see any JNA
12 soldiers, your former comrades and reservists?
13 A. That day when we arrived, no, not yet.
14 Q. When did you see them?
15 A. The next day, that is to say some time on the
16 19th in the afternoon.
17 Q. What kind of soldiers were they? Can you
18 describe them to us?
19 A. They were the local Serbs, reservists who
20 were full of hatred, despair, I do not know what. They
21 looked terrible.
22 Q. How can you tell what the difference was
23 between those local Serbs and the JNA soldiers?
24 A. Basically there was not any difference, but
25 these local reservists were even more unkempt than the
1 JNA soldiers.
2 Q. At that time, when you were in the hospital,
3 was there still the battle going on in Vukovar?
4 A. No. Practically there was no more fighting.
5 Q. How long did you stay in the hospital?
6 A. That is to say I stayed that day until the
7 next morning and during the night too.
8 Q. And where were you staying in the hospital on
9 a certain floor?
10 A. I do not really understand the question.
11 Q. Was there a basement in the hospital where
12 you were staying, or were you on the first or second
13 floor in the building?
14 A. Yes. I was in the basement.
15 Q. Were you told that the people in the hospital
16 would be evacuated ?
17 A. Yes, that is to say that in the afternoon of
18 19th there was an evacuation.
19 Q. Were you also evacuated in the course of this
20 evacuation you just described?
21 A. No. That is when they evacuated old people,
22 women and children. I decided to stay.
23 Q. Now, turn to go the next morning, the morning
24 of 20th November, were you told to go towards the exit
25 of the hospital?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you recall the time?
3 A. It was around 8 o'clock in the morning.
4 Q. Can you tell us what you saw at the entrance?
5 People, vehicles?
6 A. At the entrance there were Serb soldiers,
8 Q. What happened with you? Were you directed to
9 behave in a certain way?
10 A. Yes. We were told to put our hands on our
11 backs and to go out of the hospital and to line up.
12 Q. What happened thereafter?
13 A. These Serb soldiers searched us, and we had
14 to stand there.
15 Q. What did they search you for? Do you have an
17 A. They were searching us in order to find some
18 weapons or something, I do not know.
19 Q. Were there any children or women around you?
20 A. I think there were a few women and that they
21 were medical staff but I did not see any children.
22 Q. Were the women searched as well?
23 A. Yes. Everyone.
24 Q. Now, what happened next? Were you taken to
1 A. When all of that was over we were told that
2 we should board the buses.
3 Q. How many buses were there?
4 A. In my estimate, about eight.
5 Q. Can you describe those buses? Were they
6 civilians or military buses?
7 A. Yes, these were civilian buses.
8 Q. Can you recall the colour?
9 A. I think blue and red .
10 Q. Now, going back for a moment to the soldiers
11 who were searching you. Were they also local Serbs?
12 A. Yes, it was mixed.
13 Q. Did they also point at some of the men who
14 were then removed?
15 A. Yes. They would recognise their friends,
16 their neighbours, and they would get them out of the
18 Q. Now, did you see only soldiers around there
19 or also an officer with a rank ?
20 A. Yes. I saw Mr. Sljivancanin.
21 Q. Was he the only ranking officer being there,
22 at least what you saw personally?
23 A. I saw him and I recognised him, but I think
24 there were other officers too with a lower rank.
25 Q. How was he dressed?
1 A. He was wearing camouflage uniform.
2 Q. What impression did you have of Sljivancanin?
3 Did you think he was in charge there?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was Sljivancanin part of the JNA or part of
6 the local Serbs you described a moment ago?
7 A. JNA. All of them are basically the same.
8 Q. You said that you saw local Serbs, you saw
9 also Sljivancanin being part of the JNA; were there
10 also JNA soldiers there, around?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Did you have the impression that all the
13 soldiers, JNA, but also the local ones, acted in
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You saw about Sljivancanin, how long were you
17 able to see him there around?
18 A. He passed by a few times. He would go into
19 the hospital and get out of the hospital.
20 Q. How long did you stay there?
21 A. Well, taking into account the search and
22 everything, about an hour.
23 Q. And then you were taken to the buses, you
24 just described a minute ago.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were there guards on your bus ?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you recall how many?
4 A. There was a driver who was armed and I think
5 two more men up there near the driver.
6 Q. Was the driver also wearing a uniform?
7 A. Yes. He had a uniform too, yes.
8 Q. Now, those guards, were they from the JNA or
9 local Serbs?
10 A. The guards I think were JNA.
11 Q. How many people were on the bus with you?
12 A. The bus was full.
13 Q. And "full", means about how many people?
14 A. Oh, between 40 and 50.
15 Q. Did you know one of the other passengers?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us the name?
18 A. Dodaj Hajdar, and I do not remember the other
19 names. I remember their faces more than their names.
20 Q. Were you told where the trip in this bus went
22 A. No. They simply set off and we were moving in
23 an unknown direction.
24 Q. Now, when you pulled off with those buses did
25 you have the impression that the fighting in the city
1 still was going on, or had it stopped?
2 A. No, there was no more fighting.
3 Q. Where did the trip go to?
4 A. They were driving us towards the Vukovar
5 barracks where we stopped.
6 Q. How long did it take to arrive, for you to,
7 at this destination, the barracks?
8 A. About half an hour.
9 Q. Do you recall when you arrived at those
11 A. Well, let us say it was around 11.
12 Q. Now, what happened at the barracks? First of
13 all, did you see any soldiers around?
14 A. Yes. Their soldiers were in the barracks.
15 Q. Now, could you again tell us whether those
16 were JNA soldiers or soldiers you would describe as
17 local Serbs?
18 A. Yes. Again, it was mixed. JNA soldiers and
19 local Serbs and reservists.
20 Q. Now, did local Serbs enter the bus you were
21 sitting in and started to beat people who were sitting
22 in the front of the bus?
23 A. Yes. They came in through the front door and
24 they were beating people up and they were yelling,
25 shouting, "Ustasha, we are going to kill all of you",
1 and, "all of you are going to be executed".
2 Q. And do you know that these soldiers are local
3 Serbs because neighbours in your buses sort of knew
5 A. Yes, because they were getting into the bus
6 and they recognised three or four of them and they got
7 them out of the bus.
8 Q. So people were taken from the buses. How many
9 in -- with regard to your own bus?
10 A. From my bus they took out about four men, 4-5
11 men, 5, perhaps.
12 Q. Do we know their names?
13 A. I do not know. I think three or four were
14 local people from Vukovar and there was a boy from
15 Zagreb. I know that he is from Zagreb but I do not know
16 what his name was.
17 Q. How long did you remain in the barracks, in
18 the yard around the barracks?
19 A. We stayed there for about an hour, perhaps
21 Q. What happened then?
22 A. Then we went on further. We did not know
23 where they were taking us and then we stopped in front
24 of a hangar on a field.
25 Q. Now, just getting a minute back, were there
1 still guards on the bus when you took off at the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And were these guards the same ones as had
5 entered the bus in the hospital?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. WAESPI: Maybe that would be a convenient
8 time, your Honours, to stop for the break.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We will stand in recess
10 for 20 minutes.
11 (4.00 pm)
12 (A short break)
13 (4.25 pm)
14 MR. WAESPI: Just before the break you were
15 mentioning that the buses, again, pulled off into
16 another direction, starting at the barracks. Is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, were you told this time where the trip
20 would go to?
21 A. No.
22 Q. And where did the trip, in fact, go to?
23 A. We started in the direction that we did not
24 know, and then we stopped in front of a hangar in
25 a field.
1 Q. How long did it take for you, for your bus to
2 arrive at this destination?
3 A. About 20 minutes to half an hour.
4 Q. You just said there was a hangar. Can you
5 describe in more detail what you saw there?
6 A. Yes. This was a long building. The door was
7 open, and later the people from the buses entered it.
8 Q. Apart from the buses, were there any other
9 vehicles, military, civilian, farming machinery?
10 A. Yes. There were military vehicles there,
11 transport vehicles, Jeeps, APCs, and civilian
12 bulldozers. There was one off to the side.
13 Q. In which position was your bus with respect
14 to all the other buses?
15 A. It was in a column. That is, they moved in
16 a column, one behind the other.
17 Q. Now, what did you think at this point when
18 you arrived this location? What was going to happen?
19 What were your feelings? Can you describe it to us
20 after so many years?
21 A. Yes. I sensed that something would go awry at
22 the time that we got off there, that something was going
23 to happen.
24 Q. Now, what happened to the passengers of the
25 other buses, the ones in front of you? What could you
1 observe from your position?
2 A. Yes. All the buses would stop in front of
3 this door and people were getting off the bus and were
4 supposed to enter the hangar and to the side there were
5 soldiers with batons, sticks, stakes, and they were
6 beating the people who were passing there while
7 entering the hangar.
8 Q. Were there some people from over sort of
9 walking from the buses to the hangar singled out?
10 A. Yes. There were the local Serbs who probably
11 would recognise their neighbours and they would be
12 separated, so they would be also beaten up but would
13 not enter this hangar.
14 Q. You mentioned local Serbs. Were there also
15 JNA solders?
16 A. Yes. It was mixed.
17 Q. How many soldiers altogether? The local Serbs
18 and the JNA soldiers? Can you give us an indication
19 about the numbers?
20 A. There were about 30 of them altogether,
22 Q. Can you tell us whether there were more JNA
23 soldiers or more local Serbs?
24 A. I think there were even little more of the
25 local Serbs.
1 Q. Now, after your bus had stopped, did
2 a soldier climb into the bus and ask about Albanians?
3 A. Yes. They entered and they asked whether
4 there were any Albanians there, that they should step
6 Q. And were there any Albanians in your bus that
7 you were aware of?
8 A. Yes. There was Dodaj. He stepped forward and
9 the soldier told him that he would be his.
10 Q. What happened next?
11 A. When our turn came, I think there was
12 a lieutenant colonel or a colonel there with two of his
13 colleagues there who had been beaten and they told him,
14 they told him that they were JNA soldiers, that they
15 had been taken prisoner and then they asked whether
16 there were any additional prisoners and they told them
17 about the two of us, so they waited for us at the door
18 of the bus.
19 Q. So you said the two colleagues, those were
20 colleagues of yours and not of the JNA officer. Is that
22 A. Yes, yes. Our colleagues who were in the bus
23 before us.
24 Q. Can you name us those two colleagues?
25 A. Petar Kuscevic and Samir Hrkic.
1 Q. So what happened when you got off the bus?
2 Did you have to go through the same line of beating
3 soldiers as you had described with respect to the other
4 passengers, or were you taken aside?
5 A. No. We did not have to pass through. They
6 waited for us and they put us aside.
7 Q. So you went to your two colleagues and this
8 JNA officer.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you beaten as well in the course of
11 these hours?
12 A. Not at that place.
13 Q. What did the officer you just mentioned look
14 like? I think you said you indicated the rank, like
15 a colonel. Can you describe him?
16 A. Yes. He had greying hair, receding hair, and
17 he was not very tall. And a bit stocky.
18 Q. Can you give any indication about his age?
19 A. Between 40 and 50 years of age.
20 Q. Did you have a conversation with him?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What were you talking with him?
23 A. He questioned us, what JNA unit we were from,
24 where we had been, things like that.
25 Q. So he probably assumed that you were JNA
1 soldiers at that time.
2 A. Yes. He probably thought that we were Serbs,
3 and that we were their soldiers.
4 Q. Did he find out at a certain time that this
5 was not true, that you were not Serbs?
6 A. Yes. Then later he asked us what nationality
7 we were and then he found out that we were not Serbs.
8 Q. What was his reaction when he found out that
9 you were not Serbs?
10 A. He said that we need to know that we were
11 military deserters, that we had escaped, that the
12 military deserters are executed, that we would be
13 executed and that there would be a possibility for us
14 to maybe go to Belgrade and face a court martial.
15 Q. You mentioned earlier in your testimony that
16 you saw Sljivancanin in the hospital area. Did you see
17 Sljivancanin again now --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In this location?
20 A. Yes. I believe so. I think he passed by us.
21 Q. Was he alone or with others?
22 A. No, he was not alone. He was with another two
23 or three officers.
24 Q. How was he dressed?
25 A. He was wearing also a camouflage uniform.
1 Q. Did you have the impression that he was again
2 like in the hospital, in charge of the situation there?
3 A. You could say that, yes.
4 Q. How long did the conversation with the JNA
5 officer last?
6 A. This was maybe for up to one hour, perhaps.
7 Q. During this time of waiting, were you able to
8 hear what happened to the persons you mentioned being
9 in the -- inside the hangar?
10 A. Yes, because there was another bus behind us.
11 They all went through that same procedure, so to speak.
12 They would be beaten as they came off the bus and then
13 they would enter the hangars and in the hangars they
14 were beaten additionally.
15 Q. As of those beatings, did you see these
16 beatings or did you hear the beatings?
17 A. Yes. We saw it and we could also hear the
18 moans and screams.
19 Q. What impression did you have of the scene at
20 Ovcara farm? Was it chaotic or was it well-organised?
21 A. It was -- you could say rather that it was
22 all organised because they were already waiting there,
23 so they knew the location, this hangar, and everything
24 was prepared for these people.
25 Q. What happened next after the conversation was
1 over with the JNA officer?
2 A. Then he had told us if we spoke only truth
3 that we would be taken to Belgrade to face a trial, and
4 after this conversation which went on for about one
5 hour, we went in the direction of Negoslavci.
6 Q. When you left with, I assume a vehicle, what
7 kind of vehicle was it?
8 A. Yes. This was one of their military Jeeps.
9 Q. Okay. When you left, was it still daytime?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Where were you taken to?
12 A. We thought that we were going directly to
13 Belgrade. However, we stopped in front of a house. We
14 then learned that this was Negoslavci.
15 Q. Who was with you in that military vehicle?
16 A. The driver. This lieutenant colonel and
17 another soldier who was a guard.
18 Q. Did at one point this lieutenant colonel ever
19 indicate his name to you?
20 A. No. I personally do not remember that.
21 Q. What happened next when you arrived at this
22 location in Negoslavci?
23 A. We got out of the vehicle, we were searched
24 again. They brought out some blindfolds and they
25 blindfolded us.
1 Q. And then you remained blindfolded for how
3 A. When we were blindfolded we were taken one by
4 one to a basement of this house.
5 Q. And what happened there?
6 A. When we entered this basement we also heard
7 moans because there were people there, and based on the
8 moans, and we could peak from underneath our blindfolds
9 a little bit. We saw that there were some wounded
10 people there because some of them were on stretchers
12 Q. Were you beaten as well?
13 A. When we arrived there, yes. They were coming
14 and they would beat us. Also they told us that they
15 would also kill us.
16 Q. Can you remember the persons who were beating
17 you? You just said you were blindfolded, but was there
18 any indication as to the perpetrators?
19 A. Most probably they were the locals, maybe
20 from Negoslavci, local Serbs because when we were told
21 that we would be killed, they were the JNA soldiers
22 present. They were telling us that they were
23 responsible for us so that they told them to kill us
25 Q. Were you at a certain point in time
1 transferred to another location away from Negoslavci?
2 A. We stayed there for a few days, about four
4 Q. And after this time, after these four days,
5 where were you taken to?
6 A. After four days we were taken to Belgrade to
7 the barracks in Topcider.
8 MR. WAESPI: No further questions, your
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Now I turn to
11 Mr. Fila, but before you start, Mr. Fila, may I ask you
12 at the request of the interpreters to ask questions and
13 then to wait for the interpretation into English? Thank
15 MR. FILA: You recognise Colonel
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Actually major. I do not know what he was at
19 the time. Did he wear anything on his head?
20 A. On his head? Yes, a hat.
21 Q. And what was on the hat?
22 A. There was something.
23 Q. When did you start your military service?
24 A. In March.
25 Q. Of 1991?
1 A. Yes, of 1991.
2 Q. Did you take an oath at that time?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you have a hat?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What was on that hat?
7 A. I guess it was a star. I guess.
8 Q. What do you mean, "you guess"? Was it or was
9 it not?
10 A. Yes, it was.
11 Q. Is the five pointed star JNA or Serbian
13 A. It was JNA.
14 Q. Before you left the barracks, did you have
15 a flag in the barracks?
16 A. Yes, in the barracks.
17 Q. What flag?
18 A. In the barracks? It was a Yugoslavia flag.
19 Q. Where and when did you see a Serb flag being
20 flown in the JNA barracks?
21 A. Beyond Sid.
22 Q. Where did you see Sljivancanin?
23 A. I saw Sljivancanin in Vukovar.
24 Q. And the Yugoslav flag was no more in use
25 while you were in the military?
1 A. The reservists had them. They were
2 flying the Serbian flag.
3 Q. What about the JNA flag?
4 A. I did not see JNA flag flying only Serbian flags.
5 Q. But the JNA and the reservists were mixed
6 together, so your inference is your own inference. But
7 did the JNA have a flag before you deserted and what
8 was on it? Was it a red star on it or something else?
9 A. There were both of them. They were both the
10 red star and the four Ss.
11 Q. So the JNA at the time of Vukovar had four
13 A. During the attack on Vukovar.
14 Q. You saw the four S flag during the attack on
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You also spoke about a bulldozer.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you mention this in a previous statement
20 you gave to the investigators?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I did not see a mention of this bulldozer in
23 your statement, but if you saw it, why do you -- did
24 you see it being used at that time?
25 A. No, it was just parked there.
1 Q. Okay. When you saw this hangar, when you saw
2 this building, whatever it was, you saw some machinery,
3 some kind of vehicles, Jeeps, things like that. Did you
4 get an impression that this hangar was occupied by the
5 military, that this is where the military was put up,
7 A. No, it did not look like it was something
8 that they -- there would be accommodations --
9 Q. I did not mean accommodations, but you said
10 that there were all these vehicles there. What were
11 they doing there?
12 A. They were waiting for the people who were
13 getting there.
14 Q. Who is, "they"?
15 A. The reservists and the JNA military.
16 Q. You said that there were also local Serbs
17 there. How did you recognise -- how did you make
18 a distinction between the paramilitaries, the local
19 Serbs and the JNA? Did you know anyone?
20 A. Personally, I did not know anyone, but by
21 name, when certain people who were getting off the bus,
22 they would call this person by their name, so that
23 means that they were his neighbours.
24 Q. So, were these local Serbs townspeople from
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you infer by the way they moved that they
3 were locals, that they knew where they were going?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. FILA: Thank you very much. I have no
6 further questions.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
8 Any re-examination?
9 MR. WAESPI: No, your Honours.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. All right. Is
11 there any objection to the witness being released? No
13 Thank you so much for coming. You may be
14 released now.
15 A. Thank you too. Thank you.
16 (The witness withdrew)
17 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder whether the
18 Prosecution -- have you got another witness?
19 MR. NIEMANN: Unfortunately we have not today,
20 your Honours. We have run out and we have been going at
21 a speed much faster than we ever anticipated and we
22 have run right out of witnesses, but we will be ready
23 and tooled-up tomorrow morning to proceed from there on
24 in, but we have just had a temporary run out. But
25 Mr. Williamson was going to address your Honours on that
1 anyway, I think.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, you had asked
4 me previously about the statement of Witness K. During
5 the break I was able to ascertain that this statement,
6 I believe, has already been handed over with the
7 witness's name. This witness had originally requested
8 protective measures and then indicated that he did not
9 wish these. When we spoke with him immediately prior to
10 the commencement of the trial, he had rethought it and
11 said that he would like protective measures again, but
12 they were handed over in the anteroom with his real
13 name so I have written his name down at this time and
14 I can give this to the usher when he returns and there
15 is one copy for the Defence and one for your Honours.
16 You can see the witness's name.
17 If, for some reason, you have not received
18 a statement under this name we can certainly provide
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
21 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, the Defence has
22 indicated that they have that statement. I believe your
23 Honour should as well, but again, if you do not, if you
24 can let us know and we will be happy to provide it.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: In addition, witness 10
2 which was on the list, Vlado Franjic, will not be
3 testifying so as a result we are going to have to
4 supplement this list with additional witnesses for this
5 week and we will be continuing down -- I think it will
6 cover some of those witnesses for which no
7 statements -- from which no statements have been taken,
8 so in relation to those witnesses we will provide
9 a brief summary as to what their testimony will be
10 about tomorrow.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So tomorrow
12 morning we will start with witness number 9.
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is correct, yes, sir.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: And move on to number 11,
15 and then...
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: Number 12, yes.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. All right. We may now
18 stand in recess until tomorrow morning at 9.15 sharp.
19 (4.50 pm)
20 (Hearing adjourned until 9.15 tomorrow morning)