1 Tuesday, 28th April 1998
2 (8.30 a.m.)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. I ask the
4 Registrar to call out the case number, please.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-13a-T,
6 Prosecutor versus Slavko Dokmanovic.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, your Honours. My
8 name is Niemann. I appear with my colleagues,
9 Mr. Williamson, Mr. Waespi and Mr. Vos for the
11 MR. FILA: My name is Mr. Toma Fila, I appear
12 with Mr. Petrovic for Mr. Dokmanovic.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: As usual, I will turn to
14 Mr. Dokmanovic to ask him whether he can hear me well --
15 thank you.
16 Before we start, I have some bad news.
17 I have received from the Registry a note saying that in
18 the week of May starting on 18 May, we cannot afford to
19 sit for more than three hours, namely, from 9 to 12,
20 instead of from 8.30 to 12.30 as we had planned,
21 because the Tribunal cannot pay for a third team of
22 interpreters, so I am afraid we will have less time,
23 but we will try to manage.
24 I understand that the Registry is also
25 offering us another option, namely, instead of sitting
1 every day that week, from 9 to 12, to sit only three
2 days -- two and a half days actually -- and each time,
3 on Monday, Tuesday, the whole day, because then the
4 courtroom will be taken by the other case, Aleksovski,
5 that week. Instead of having five hearings of three
6 hours, we would have two and a half days each -- except
7 for Wednesday, when we would have only half a day -- we
8 would have full days on Monday and Tuesday.
9 I understand probably from the viewpoint of the unit
10 for the protection of victims and witnesses it would be
11 much better. Let us think about that and perhaps we
12 can decide tomorrow. I will be happy to hear from the
13 parties what their preference is.
14 Let us now leave it in abeyance and we move
15 to our next witness. Could you please stand up and
16 make the solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly swear to the tell
18 the truth, the whole truth and nothing about the truth
19 WITNESS DA
20 Examined by MR. PETROVIC
21 Q. Since this is a witness who requested
22 protective measures including distortion of image and a
23 pseudonym. I hope those measures are in place now.
24 I will now show to the witness a piece of paper with
25 his name and I would ask the witness to confirm whether
1 this is indeed his name and we would like to call this
2 witness under the pseudonym A -- since this is the
3 first Defence witness to have requested this protective
5 MR. NIEMANN: I think it might be confusing
6 if they double up with our pseudonym numbers, if they
7 could select the next alphabetical one.
8 MR. PETROVIC: Maybe we could call him DA.
9 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, something to distinguish
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, DA.
12 MR. PETROVIC: I would like the usher to show
13 this piece of paper to Witness DA so that the witness
14 can confirm whether this is indeed his name.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document will be marked as
18 MR. PETROVIC: I would now like to ask the
19 witness to state whether, on 16 September 1997, he gave
20 an interview, a statement, to Miroslav Vasic, whether
21 he had signed that statement and whether this is the
22 statement. I tender the statement in Serbian and in
23 the English translation. (Handed).
24 Can you please confirm whether this is your
25 statement and your signature on it?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document D51, English
2 translation D51A.
3 MR. PETROVIC: I would now like the witness
4 to be shown a statement he gave to the Defence
5 investigator on 26 February -- again, I have the
6 Serbian and English versions and if he can confirm
7 whether this is the statement and whether both the
8 English and Serbian versions have been signed by him.
9 THE REGISTRAR: D52, English translation
10 D52A. D51 and D52 will all be under seal.
11 MR. PETROVIC: There is also the supplement.
12 I would now like to ask the witness whether these are
13 his statements and are they signed by you?
14 A. Yes, yes, both statements have been signed by
16 Q. The microphone for the witness has not been
17 switched on. My apologies.
18 A. These statements are both mine and the
19 signatures are mine.
20 MR. PETROVIC: If there are no objections
21 I would like to tender these statements as Defence
22 exhibits under the numbers with which they have been
24 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection.
25 MR. PETROVIC: Are you a graduate mechanical
1 engineer and where did you graduate from?
2 A. I graduated from the Novi Sad faculty -- the
3 faculty of technical sciences, mechanical engineering,
4 I am a graduate mechanical engineer.
5 Q. Where did you live?
6 A. From 1987 I lived in Pacetin in the Vukovar
8 Q. Where were you employed?
9 A. I was employed in the Borovo company in the
10 machinery and tools factory.
11 Q. When did you stop coming to work?
12 A. I was going to my work until 2 May 1991 --
13 from May 1991 on I was afraid to go to work any more.
14 Q. Why?
15 A. On 2 May I was en route from Vukovar to
16 Vinkovci where I was intercepted by the Croatian
17 police, or the army -- they were going by the side of
18 the road, and in a fighting formation they stopped me
19 there. I was with my wife in our car. They approached
20 us, and they put their weapons against our heads, they
21 questioned us what was happening on the road which we
22 had already passed and after a while they allowed us to
23 go on, and that was the reason why I no longer went to
24 Borovo and to Vukovar.
25 Q. In the period that preceded the war, were you
1 involved in political activity?
2 A. No, I was not engaged in politics.
3 Q. You were in the Government of the Serbian
4 district of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem
5 as the Minister for Communications. When were you
6 appointed the Minister?
7 A. I was the Minister in that Government -- the
8 Government itself was formed in September 1991, and
9 that is when I was appointed to that Government.
10 Q. How do you explain the fact that you were
11 appointed or elected the Minister without having had
12 any previous political experience?
13 A. I was elected a Minister according to a
14 different principle or standard, because
15 I had graduated from a technical faculty -- since, as
16 I said, I am a graduate of the technical faculty, that
17 was the reason why I was elected the Minister of
18 Transport and Communications.
19 Q. What was the criterion for the appointment of
20 Ministers in that Government?
21 A. Well, professional experience in my case, and
22 in most of the cases, maybe some of the Ministers were
23 not elected according to that criterion.
24 Q. Do you know how Slavko Dokmanovic was
25 appointed a Minister in the Serbian district
2 A. Slavko Dokmanovic was elected according to
3 the same criterion and at the same time. Since
4 Dokmanovic is an agricultural engineer, an agronomist,
5 he was elected the Minister of Agriculture, and in the
6 election process Slavko Dokmanovic had some problems,
7 because in the previous period, before the Government
8 was appointed, he was the President of the Municipal
9 Assembly in Vukovar, and the Serbian population was not
10 happy with him, so his participation was not something
11 that everybody was happy about, but he was elected the
12 Minister of Agriculture of the Serbian district all the
14 Q. What was your competence as the Minister of
15 Transport and Communications in the Serbian district
17 A. Well, the very name of the Ministry defines
18 the competence, but in September conditions were a bit
19 specific, and what I could do was also a bit
20 questionable. At the first session of the Government,
21 I proposed that we should not be using the
22 term "Government" at all and that we should not be
23 labelled as Ministers, but officers in charge, since we
24 could only undertake to solve some current problems and
25 according to priorities. This is not something that is
1 in the purview of Ministers. As far as my competency
2 is concerned, I had to solve problems and to achieve
3 that we have at least some telephone communications
4 with the rest of the world, to repair at least some of
5 the roads, and to organise communications -- at least
6 some bus service in the district, because it was cut
7 off from the rest of the world at that time.
8 In my view, this is not something that a
9 Minister should be doing, and the Government, but this
10 is the only thing we could do in the conditions in
11 which we lived in this period from September on. My
12 first task was for this group of people which called
13 itself the Government, because the Government was only
14 appointed -- there were no assistants to Ministers and
15 they could not find personnel, because there were not
16 that many people who were capable of working or who
17 were prepared to accept jobs like that, so we solved
18 those mundane problems for the population that still
19 remained in the area.
20 Q. Do you know what Slavko Dokmanovic as the
21 Minister of Agriculture was doing, what were the tasks
22 that he was engaged in at the time?
23 A. I know, since this is September, and since
24 the preparations for the harvest and the sowing were
25 underway, and since there were no production materials
1 left, no machinery left to harvest the crops, he was
2 engaged in that -- since he used to work in Vupic until
3 the beginning of the war, some parts of the Vupic
4 company remained in the areas outside of Vukovar --
5 Vukovar of course was something else. His task was to
6 coordinate all those cooperatives and companies and to
7 seek assistance. His whole work boiled down to looking
8 for donors and sponsors who would be able to organise
9 something, so that not all the harvest that had -- not
10 all the crops that had to be harvested -- so that at
11 least something of that could be saved.
12 Q. How did the policy of the Government in the
13 district, how was it implemented? Can you please
14 explain what areas composed the Serbian district and
15 then explain how and to what extent the Government
16 policies were implemented in the area?
17 A. The district itself was cut off, in practical
18 terms, the eastern or the southern part, with the part
19 of the farmer Vinkovci municipality. There was the
20 Vukovar municipality without the city of Vukovar, and a
21 part of the Osijek municipality -- this is in the Srem
22 and Slavonia part and on the other side of Bosna, there
23 was Baranja. It was very difficult to link this all up
24 and to implement some kind of a policy. I think it
25 took quite some time for the people to get to know the
1 so-called Ministers who were supposed to implement the
3 We were unable to implement any of those
4 policies and to work in the field as far as the
5 political aspect of the job was concerned. The only
6 possibility was for the Ministries vitally linked to
7 certain parts of the economy to organise something, and
8 maybe coordinate something, and it usually depended on
9 your personal contacts and connections, so you could
10 not really define that as implementing a policy.
11 Q. With the part of the district to the south of
12 the town of Vukovar, did you have any access to that
13 territory at all? The decisions of the Government, if
14 we can call it that, were they implemented in that
16 A. That was the most difficult area, we had very
17 little or no links at all with that area.
18 Q. Were they cut off in communication terms?
19 A. Yes, they were cut off completely, there were
20 no telephone communications, and in order to get from
21 the seat of the Government, which was in Erdut, to that
22 area, you had to travel more than 100 kilometres.
23 Q. What was the route?
24 A. From Erdut or from Pacetin where I lived,
25 I had to go to Erdut, cross the Danube to Bogunjevo and
1 then go to Backa Palanka and then go through Sid and
2 then back to the area. It was longer than the road to
3 Belgrade -- even further than to Belgrade.
4 Q. What was the influence of the Government on
5 the events as a whole in the region?
6 A. I think that the influence of the Government
7 on the events was virtually nil. The Government or the
8 Prime Minister and certain Ministries had some contacts
9 with the international community which was already
10 involved in some way in the events, so those who came
11 from the outside world, from the international
12 community, were not able to communicate with the local
13 communities in the field and if they were unable to
14 communicate with them, then they would contact the
15 Government in Erdut, and we who were in charge of the
16 economy did not take part in the negotiations with the
17 representatives of the international community.
18 Q. Who was actually the authority -- who carried
19 out the power in the field?
20 A. Well, this Government was -- had the ambition
21 to exercise the power in the mandate which was quite
22 short, but it was unable to do so. There were local
23 communities all over this area; there were the village
24 watches, the village headquarters, and in fact in those
25 individual villages they were in charge of functioning
1 of those villages. The Government merely tried to help
2 to put those people in touch with other people who
3 wanted to provide assistance.
4 Q. The headquarters in the villages, did they
5 receive orders from the Government and, if they did
6 receive those orders, did they comply with them?
7 A. No, no, the Government was unable to issue
8 orders to all those headquarters, so the compliance was
9 non-existent because there were no orders. They mostly
10 dealt, all those Ministers were trying to constitute
11 the Ministries themselves and, also, the services that
12 were associated with Ministries, but they were unable
13 to do so. Some had the ambition to form, for instance
14 in justice and in the judiciary, to make things
15 function in that period.
16 Q. Let us now be more specific, what period are
17 we talking about?
18 A. I am talking about this whole period of the
19 mandate of the Government and that was until the end of
20 January 1992. As far as the Department of Justice is
21 concerned, I know that some of the courts had been
22 established, but I do not want to talk about that in
23 any detail, because I do not know what these courts
24 were and what their jurisdiction was, but I know that
25 they were trying to do something about that. They were
1 trying to gather all the lawyers in the field, and to
2 do something so that at least that branch of the
3 Government would function.
4 Q. Did you have the Minister of Defence and the
5 Minister of the Interior in the Government?
6 A. As far as I know, all the Ministries were
7 present -- all the Ministries for which we knew, they
8 had all been established, all the Ministers had been
9 appointed -- the Minister of Defence --
10 Q. Did you have the army, did you have the
12 A. No, neither the army nor the police, we only
13 had the Ministers, but they came to the Government
14 sessions very seldom and they would change very often,
15 after just a few days, because they did not have their
16 competencies defined and that caused problems, so the
17 easiest solution was to remove a person from the office
18 and to appoint another and then to continue.
19 Q. The Government of the Serbian district, did
20 it control any of the armed formations in the region?
21 A. No, no, we did not even have reports about
22 what was happening in some parts of the region, as far
23 as these armed formations were concerned.
24 Q. The members of the Government, did they
25 belong to an armed unit?
1 A. I can speak for myself as a member of the
2 Government -- I did not belong to any of the units and
3 if my mandate expired, then I was a member of the
4 Territorial Defence in my village, in the place where
5 I lived.
6 Q. Was it the same with Slavko Dokmanovic?
7 A. Yes, yes, the same applied.
8 Q. Did members of the Government carry weapons?
9 A. Most of them were not armed. I never carried
10 any weapons. Some of the members of the Government had
11 their security details, but most of them not. I think
12 that maybe even the Prime Minister had his security,
13 the rest of us we did not have weapons.
14 Q. Maybe it would be a good time now to explain
15 how the Government of the Serbian district of Slavonia,
16 Baranja and Western Srem was formed?
17 A. The Government was formed and appointed by
18 the Assembly of the Serbian district of Slavonia,
19 Baranja and Western Srem -- of course by voting, by
20 ballot at the proposal of the mandate, he became the
21 Prime Minister of course and then he proposed the
22 Ministers, who were appointed and I do not know at what
23 date, but it was in September, by the Assembly.
24 Q. What is the Great National Assembly, who
25 composed this Assembly?
1 A. As far as I know, the Great National Assembly
2 was composed of the Assemblymen from the Assemblies of
3 the municipalities, which were under the control of the
4 Serbian district, and who were in the field, that is to
5 say, in the district, and, also, a large number of
6 people who were put forward by the local communities in
7 the region, and they were also co-opted into that
8 Assembly. According to some kind of a key, depending
9 on the size of the settlement, those people from the
10 local communities were also recruited into the
12 Q. Do you know how many members there were in
13 the Great National Assembly?
14 A. I do not know the exact number but I think it
15 is close to 200 but I am not sure about that fact.
16 Q. What is the Serbian National Council for the
17 Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem?
18 A. The Serbian National Council -- and I am now
19 talking on the basis of a rumour, on the basis of what
20 I heard -- it was formed in early 1990 -- myself and
21 most of the people did not know who was in the National
22 Council. The reason why it was formed was to protect
23 Serbian interests in the district. Before the
24 Government was formed, we learned who were some of the
25 people who were members of that council, and after that
1 it was no longer -- it did not exist any more, because
2 there was a Government.
3 Q. This National Council, was it a legitimate
4 representative of the Serbian population in that area?
5 Was it democratically elected or appointed in any other
6 democratic manner?
7 A. No, it was not formed according to a ballot
8 or an election; it was for a while even a secret --
9 some kind of a secret society. Since I was not in that
10 Council, I do not know what was the criterion for the
11 election into that Council, but they simply started to
12 issue proclamations as tensions rose in Croatia.
13 Q. Was Slavko Dokmanovic a member of the Serbian
14 National Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem
15 according to your knowledge?
16 A. As far as I know, on the basis of my
17 knowledge from August and September, he was not a
18 member of the Serbian National Council.
19 Q. Are you aware that another Serbian National
20 Council existed?
21 A. I know about the Serbian National Council of
22 Serbs in 1990. There were reports in the press about
24 Q. So there was the Serbian National Council
25 with a seat in Knin?
1 A. I do not know whether it was in Knin or in
2 the village of Srb.
3 Q. When was it formed?
4 A. In 1990, in July or August -- I am not sure
5 about the exact date.
6 Q. Do you know anything about the role of
7 Mr. Dokmanovic in that National Council?
8 A. Well, I know what the atmosphere was and what
9 the opinion of Dokmanovic was at the time, and this all
10 has to do with the National Council. I know that
11 Dokmanovic was in Srb as the President of the Vukovar
12 Municipal Assembly, and most of the Presidents of the
13 municipalities with the Serbian majority were invited
14 there, and it was published that Dokmanovic was also a
15 member of that Council -- there were reports in the
16 press -- it was not a secret. But things developed in
17 another way.
18 Q. What were the reactions to that news?
19 A. In the Serbian population?
20 Q. In general?
21 A. Among the Serbian population, there were not
22 any particular reactions, but the Croatian population,
23 or, rather, the HDZ as the Party in power, reacted very
24 strictly to all that, and very soon Slavko Dokmanovic
25 left that National Council -- it all probably happened
1 within a month.
2 Q. So it all happened in 1990 before the autumn
3 of 1990?
4 A. Yes. I think that that is when the Serbs
5 began to react, and they criticised Dokmanovic for
6 leaving and it was interpreted as giving way to the
7 HDZ, which, regardless of the fact in Vukovar, in the
8 Assembly, it was not a majority Party, but it was
9 slowly beginning to take over power, and it appeared
10 that he was very tolerant towards the minority in the
12 Q. Let us return to the Serbian National Council
13 for the district of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem,
14 that second Serbian National Council, which existed in
15 the region in which you worked. Were there any links
16 between that Council and the Great National Council and
17 the Government of the Serbian district itself?
18 A. I do not see any links there in the political
19 sense. I do not know if there was continuity of any
20 kind, but only some individuals from that Council
21 became members of the Great National Assembly, deputies
22 there, and some of these individuals were members of
23 the Government of the Serbian district.
24 Q. How long have you known Slavko Dokmanovic?
25 A. I have known Slavko Dokmanovic for a long
1 time -- more than 20 years. I know him as a man who
2 played football in the local club, first of all, and it
3 was the opposite team to the one in my particular
4 locality. I know he came to my village, because he had
5 relations there and that is how we met. We were
6 officially introduced at the beginning of September
7 1991, and I met him personally on that occasion.
8 Q. You are from Pacetin. What were the opinions
9 in Pacetin of Dokmanovic while he was performing his
11 A. Well, the general view was not a favourable
12 one -- he was not regarded as being a good President,
13 because of his tendency to give way. There were other
14 matters, too, that he was criticised for, for example,
15 for allowing SUP to go from Vukovar to Vinkovci and
16 similar things -- some of these things were actually
17 not true, but the tension was such between the Serbs
18 and the Croats that the Serbs did not have much
19 confidence in him. They did not have a very good
20 opinion of Slavko Dokmanovic at that time.
21 Q. Where is Pacetin located?
22 A. Pacetin -- if you go from Vukovar towards
23 Vinkovci, it is halfway between the two. You turn
24 right on this road -- I do not know how clear I can
25 make it -- it is in a triangle between Osijek, Vinkovci
1 and Vukovar and it is equidistant from these three
3 Q. At the time when war operations were being
4 waged in the area, what were the living conditions in
5 Pacetin and its environs -- Bobota, for example, or
6 Erdut, which is -- Trpinja, which are fairly near?
7 A. I think in all these places, at least the
8 ones that I moved around in, that the living conditions
9 were more or less similar -- they were all difficult --
10 the whole region was left without electricity, which
11 meant that there was no water, no telephone
12 communication, and life changed overnight. There was
13 no problem with food in that region, because it is a
14 rich agricultural region, but everything else created
15 great problems. There was no communication, there were
16 no buses, bus routes. So, the living conditions were
18 Q. How did Slavko Dokmanovic come to work most
19 frequently -- I suppose you saw him in the Government
20 building in Erdut?
21 A. Well, I did see him frequently, and
22 I remember him coming to work.
23 Q. What was he wearing?
24 A. He was in a sort of fashionable type of suit,
25 a dark grey hunting suit. In the summer period, he
1 would be just wearing a sort of vest, but when it was
2 colder, he would have a shirt, dark green in colour
3 with brown. That is what I saw him wearing most often.
4 Q. Let me now move to the period which is the
5 most interesting for all of us here, that is to say,
6 the end of November 1991. At the Government meeting of
7 19 November 1991, was it decided that the members of
8 the Government should meet the following day in
10 A. Yes, it was, on the 19th.
11 MR. PETROVIC: Would you now take a look at a
12 document, please, which the usher is going to show you,
13 and tell us what the document relates to. (Handed).
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D53 and
15 the French translation D53A.
16 MR. PETROVIC: Will you tell us what this
17 document is about?
18 A. It is the minutes from a Government meeting
19 held on 19 November.
20 Q. In the introductory part, please tell me
21 whether you took part in the meeting? Is your name and
22 your presence recorded there?
23 A. Yes, it is -- my name is there.
24 Q. Would you read out point 3 on page 2 of the
25 minutes -- the last paragraph on that page on page 2,
1 above the signature of the recorder?
2 A. "Goran Hadzic, President of the Government,
3 informed the members that, due to the situation, it was
4 necessary for the Government members to come on
5 Wednesday, 20 November 1991, to Vukovar and for Friday
6 22 November 1991, a meeting of the Government is
7 convened in Beli Manastir for 9 o'clock."
8 MR. PETROVIC: I tender this in evidence as
9 Defence exhibit number 53 and the French translation
10 53A, if there are no objections.
11 MR. WAESPI: No objection, your Honour.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, although it is
13 only in Serbian and French; you do not mind?
14 MR. WAESPI: I understand French.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
16 MR. PETROVIC: We have it in English as well,
17 if you need it.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
19 MR. PETROVIC: We can tender that as well.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The English translation
22 will be D53B.
23 MR. PETROVIC: You read out a moment ago the
24 last paragraph of the minutes, where it states that it
25 is necessary for the members of the Government to go to
1 Vukovar on Wednesday. Can you tell us whether it was a
2 Government meeting, or a meeting of the members of the
3 Government and what the difference is between those two
5 A. It was not a meeting of the Government at
6 which an agenda was to be formed and minutes kept in
7 the form of the document that you have just shown me.
8 It was a meeting of the members of the Government,
9 because the Government did not have any links with
10 Vukovar as a town, and there were intimations that
11 there would be a settling of accounts with members of
12 the Government, because those who were in Vukovar did
13 not accept the existence of a Government and the
14 formation of a Government and that a Government can
15 decide on any matters at all, so that it was an
16 affirmative, an assertive meeting, so to speak, to show
17 that there was some form of Government, that the name
18 given was a sort of form of organisation and that these
19 divisions should stop.
20 It was not an easy thing to go to Vukovar at
21 the time, and the dilemma remained as to who would be
22 going to Vukovar, which Government members, and that is
23 why the Government did not convene the meeting but it
24 was just a meeting of the members of the Government to
25 show that some form of Government existed.
1 Q. When were the members of the Government to
2 meet in Vukovar and was the locality discussed as to
3 where the meeting would be convened?
4 A. No, we did not discuss the venue, but when
5 entering into Negoslavci there are only several
6 locations where this meeting could take place, where
7 all these people could get together and one of those
8 venues was the municipal -- the administrative building
9 that is to say, and the building of VELEPROMET in
10 Vukovar -- the VELEPROMET company and it was decided to
11 come sometime around noon or after 12, and that the
12 meeting itself would take place at around 2 p.m.
13 Q. Do you recall the atmosphere in the
14 VELEPROMET building -- the VELEPROMET company's
16 A. There were many people there, a mass of
17 people, and we did not know where they all came from.
18 Some of them came up from the cellars, civilians, there
19 were members of the territorial units of the army. It
20 was even difficult to enter the yard of the compound
22 MR. PETROVIC: May we now see a videotape,
23 which we are all well acquainted with, and I should
24 like the witness to tell us whether the tape depicts
25 what he saw that day in the VELEPROMET area. Is that
1 the atmosphere that prevailed and are those the people
2 who were there?
3 (Videotape played)
4 MR. PETROVIC: Take a look at the clothing
5 worn by Slavko Dokmanovic; was that the usual kind of
6 clothing that he wore at the time.
7 (Videotape played)
8 MR. PETROVIC: Can we see this tape in
9 colour, please? The tape is in colour, as far as
10 I know.
11 (Videotape played in black and white)
12 MR. PETROVIC: Did you recognise anybody on
13 that tape -- did that happen on that day and in that
15 A. Yes, that is VELEPROMET. I do know some of
16 the people there, too.
17 Q. Could you tell us some of their names -- who
18 did you recognise?
19 A. I recognised Goran Hadzic, Slavko
20 Dokmanovic. I know the voice of Rade Leskovac,
21 I recognised his voice, and Zladko Kosic and some
23 Q. Did you see what Slavko Dokmanovic was
24 wearing? Was that the usual type of clothing that he
25 was wearing when you had occasion to see him?
1 A. I could not see the colour -- it appeared to
2 be that type of clothing, but I did not see the colour.
3 MR. PETROVIC: May we have the tape shown in
4 colour, because it does exist in colour. We saw the
5 tape yesterday, the Defence and myself and it was in
6 colour -- it was a colour tape.
7 THE REGISTRAR: It appears that there is
8 some technical problem.
9 THE BOOTH: The only copy we got was black
10 and white. There is no colour copy here available.
11 MR. PETROVIC: I should like to ask the
12 witness to be shown Defence Exhibit 48 -- it refers to
13 the clothing. Is that the clothing that Slavko
14 Dokmanovic wore at the time? It is D48 and that is the
15 clothing itself. (Handed).
16 Take a look at the clothing, please -- take
17 it out of the bag. You can take it out of the plastic
18 bag and tell us whether that is the clothing in
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. How do you know that all this took place, the
22 meeting we are talking about, took place on 20
24 A. I know, because for the first time after
25 2 May I was in Vukovar, on the occasion, and what I saw
1 there can never be forgotten.
2 Q. What did you see in that town?
3 A. I saw that mass of people that had gathered
4 there, people who had been having a hard time. As I
5 came before 2 o'clock, I walked around VELEPROMET, some
6 100 metres around VELEPROMET, and the devastation and
7 the rubble and the dead people -- dead bodies about the
8 town is something that one can only see -- that you
9 cannot describe. It is a terrible impression -- the
10 scenes that I saw.
11 Q. Did you see dead people, people killed of the
12 Serb nationality?
13 A. Well, I do not know, if I see somebody lying
14 down, whether they are Serbs or Croats, but there were
15 a lot of them at any rate.
16 Q. How did you arrive in Vukovar -- what road
17 did you take?
18 A. I came to Vukovar from Erdut to Palanka via
19 Sid and then further on to Tovarnik, Orolik and there
20 the road moves on to Negoslavci and I entered Vukovar
21 via Negoslavci.
22 Q. Were there any control points along the road?
23 A. Yes, there were several control points, which
24 -- and you had to show your documents at each of these
25 checkpoints and you needed permits to go to Vukovar.
1 Q. Who issued these permits and what did they
2 allow you to do?
3 A. They allowed movement.
4 Q. Who were they issued by?
5 A. The military authorities issued these
7 Q. Does that mean that, in the area that we are
8 discussing, military administration existed at the time
9 on 20 November?
10 A. Yes, we got these permits in Erdut from
11 someone -- I do not exactly know what service issued
12 those permits. I just received them. I did not ask
13 for them personally -- asked to be granted these
14 permits personally. It was done by the secretary of
15 the Government, or some such official. Although we did
16 have our official IDs, which allowed us movement, but
17 in that case, those IDs were not sufficient -- we had
18 to have these additional permits.
19 Q. Let us go back to the VELEPROMET building.
20 Why did the members of the Government meet at
21 VELEPROMET itself?
22 A. There was a mass of people inside and we
23 found ourselves there, too. Everybody coming out of
24 the town came to this VELEPROMET compound and that is
25 where we found ourselves. We did not know where we
1 would actually hold this meeting.
2 Q. Was it the only place where people could meet
3 in view of the fact that the town had been almost
4 completely destroyed?
5 A. Well, it was a risky business going further
6 away from the VELEPROMET compound, because there were a
7 lot of mines, and of the buildings that existed we had
8 the Vinarija building, but there was nobody in that
9 building -- everybody was in the VELEPROMET compound
10 and it was logical for all of us to meet up there. At
11 that particular point, you could not plan where you
12 would be holding a possible meeting, because, at least
13 when I came, we began to meet people we knew,
14 relatives, and there were no conditions -- proper
15 conditions for holding a Government meeting of an
16 official kind.
17 Q. Do you remember when it was decided for the
18 Government members to meet?
19 A. As far as I recall, they were to arrive a
20 little earlier, but the meeting was to have taken place
21 at 2 p.m.
22 Q. When did the meeting start and where was it
24 A. The meeting started a little after 2 p.m. --
25 I do not know exactly what time -- and it was held in
1 the administrative building of the VELEPROMET company
2 -- when you enter the courtyard, on the right-hand
3 side there is a building, you go into the corridor in
4 the first or second door on the right and there was a
5 corridor -- a hall -- where the meeting was held.
6 Q. How long did the meeting last?
7 A. It lasted for about an hour, more or less.
8 I cannot tell you exactly.
9 Q. Do you remember who attended the meeting?
10 A. Yes, I do remember some of the people who
11 were there. I remember that the Prime Minister was
12 there and the President of the Assembly.
13 Q. Could you tell us their names please?
14 A. Ilija Koncarevic was there, Goran Hadzic was
15 there, Mladen Hadzic was there, Vitomir Devetak, Bogdan
16 Vojnovic, Slavko Dokmanovic, Boro Bogunovic and some
17 others I do not know. I am certain about the ones
18 I have mentioned -- the others I cannot quite recall.
19 Q. Was there a set agenda and were minutes kept
20 of the meeting?
21 A. No, there was no set agenda, and, as far as
22 I know, there were no minutes, because there were
23 Government meetings later on and minutes would have
25 Q. What was discussed at the meeting?
1 A. First of all, all the members were highly
2 disturbed and were troubled by what they had seen and
3 we spoke of our impressions and, as it was a meeting of
4 part of the Government, in a way, we tried, as
5 Ministers in this newly arisen situation, when nothing
6 had happened with our arrival in the VELEPROMET
7 compound -- there were no incidents that took place --
8 so that we can say that Vukovar should be under the
9 control of the Government and the capital of the
10 Serbian district, and some of the Ministers talked
11 about the tasks to be performed by each of us in our
12 particular departments.
13 Q. Was the area that we are talking about under
14 military rule at the time?
15 A. The army was present, but the manner in which
16 it was present, I do not know -- the kind of control it
17 had, I do not know. There were people coming in, in
18 military uniforms -- I do not know their names. One of
19 them said he was the commander of the town and he said
20 that the town was under his competencies and that the
21 Government had nothing to do there -- nothing to
22 undertake, nor was it necessary for it to be present in
24 Q. Do you recall whether Slavko Dokmanovic
25 attended the meeting and whether he was in the hall
1 where the meeting took place all the time?
2 A. Yes, he was at the meeting and, during that
3 one hour, while the meeting lasted, he was inside.
4 Q. Did he take part in the discussion?
5 A. Yes, he did, and he spoke about his
6 department, that is to say, agriculture, and what
7 remained to be done in view of the newly arisen
8 situation and, as this district of Srem was not divided
9 any more, but was conjoined, he spoke about the final
10 harvest and the sowing season and that was the 19th and
11 20th of November. He said what had been completed and
12 what was still to be done.
13 Q. When did you leave the VELEPROMET compound
14 and where did you go -- in what direction?
15 A. I left soon after the end of the meeting --
16 perhaps I stayed on for five more minutes. Some other
17 people left the building with me, who had come out of
18 the cellars -- perhaps five or 10 minutes later I took
19 the same road towards Negoslavci, through Negoslavci,
20 Orolik and back to Sid and the same way I had come.
21 Q. Were you stopped along the road?
22 A. Yes, the checkpoints were the same ones as
23 when we came, three or four. One I recall vividly, at
24 the entrance to Olijek -- that was the largest
25 checkpoint. After that, there were checkpoints, but
1 they were not as stringent as the checkpoint
2 that I mentioned.
3 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us who managed the
5 A. The army.
6 Q. Was it the Yugoslav People's Army?
7 A. That is how I saw it at the time.
8 MR. PETROVIC: Thank you.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Petrovic, have you
10 finished your examination-in-chief.
11 MR. PETROVIC: Yes, I have completed my
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time, the
14 Prosecution would request a brief recess for
15 cross-examination of this witness. The prior statement
16 that we had made no mention whatsoever that this
17 individual was in the Government. It just indicated
18 that -- it is very brief, I think your Honours have it,
19 and he says that Slavko Dokmanovic was President of the
20 Municipal Assembly from Vukovar and talks about that
21 and then he goes:
22 "I know that 10 days after the liberation of
23 Vukovar the Executive Council of the municipality set
24 up its first form of civilian rule."
25 The first time we found out he was a member
1 of the Government was when we received this statement
2 this morning, or that he was present at the meeting at
3 VELEPROMET. Therefore we request some time before we
4 commence cross-examination on this witness.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: I grant your request.
6 I think we could maybe have a recess until 10 o'clock
7 -- is that sufficient?
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: Very well, your Honour. How
9 about five after -- if we could have 30 minutes?
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, 5 minutes after 10. We
11 will stand adjourned now.
12 (9.30 a.m.)
13 (A short break)
14 (10.10 a.m.)
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
16 Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
17 Q. First of all I would like to thank you, your
18 Honours, for your indulgence for the 30-minute recess.
19 Witness DA, you talk about this Serb National
20 Council and you have indicated in your testimony,
21 I believe, that Slavko Dokmanovic attended these
22 meetings in Srb, which is near Knin, in his role as
23 President of the Vukovar municipality; is that correct?
24 A. He was there as the President of the Vukovar
25 Municipal Assembly in 1990 at that meeting.
1 Q. Do you know anywhere in the statute of the
2 Vukovar municipality where it indicates that these are
3 part of the duties of the President of the
4 municipality, to participate in functions of the Serb
5 National Council?
6 A. I do not know anything about that, because
7 I was not in the Municipal Assembly and I was not
8 involved in politics at the time.
9 Q. But Vukovar municipality was a multi-ethnic
10 community, was it not -- it was not just made up of
12 A. Yes, it was a multi-ethnic community, but
13 with a Serbian majority.
14 Q. You think that there was a Serbian majority
15 in Vukovar, do you?
16 A. Well, the statistical data indicates that.
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: I would like the witness to
18 be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit 188, please. (Handed).
19 Witness DA, if you can look under the figures
20 for Vukovar, which appear on lines 25, 26 and 27, and
21 then percentages on 28, 29 and 30, look for the years
22 1991, 1981 and 1971 and tell me if, during any of those
23 years, there were more Serbs listed than there were
25 A. (Pause). Well, if you look at the figures
1 here, in the absolute figures for Serbs and Croats, if
2 this information is correct, indeed, there are more
3 Croats, but you also have about 6,000 Yugoslavs and
4 Croats -- 6,124 Yugoslavs -- Croats never declared
5 themselves Yugoslavs, only Serbs did that, and also in
6 the Vukovar Municipal Assembly SDP was in the majority
7 and only Serbs voted for them. Slavko Dokmanovic could
8 not have been elected President of the Municipal
9 Assembly in 1990 if Serbs had not won the elections in
11 Q. Let us take your answer one point at a time.
12 You indicate that only Serbs declared themselves as
13 Yugoslavs. Would you read out the figure of Yugoslavs
14 in the year 1971 for Vukovar municipality?
15 A. Where is that?
16 MR. PETROVIC: Please bear in mind that this
17 witness is not an expert for statistics and he cannot
18 give his opinion about statistical data, so I would
19 like the Prosecutor to go on to his next question, if
20 the court sustains the objection.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: The Prosecutor is not asking
22 for a sort of technical assessment or scientific
23 assessment from the viewpoint of statistics. He is
24 simply asking the witness to read out the figures which
25 are set out in that particular document. I think it is
1 quite proper -- the Prosecutor may proceed.
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: Would you read out the
3 number of Yugoslavs which are listed in Vukovar
4 municipality in 1971?
5 A. What column is that for 71 -- is it column
7 Q. It is line 27, all the way across under the
8 category of "Yugoslavs", does it not say 4,699
9 Yugoslavs, for Vukovar municipality?
10 A. Yes, it does.
11 Q. Then, for 1981, it shows 17,199 Yugoslavs;
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And then, for 1991, 6,124 Yugoslavs; correct?
15 A. Yes, it does say that.
16 Q. Now, let us go back and look on line 27 at
17 the number of Croats in 1971. Does it not show 34,629?
18 A. Yes, it does.
19 Q. In 1981, it shows 30,157, does it not, so
20 there is a decrease of 4,000 Croats during that period,
21 between 1971 and 1981, is there not?
22 A. I would say that there is a decrease from
23 34,000 to 30,000.
24 Q. So a decrease of about 4,000. Then, if you
25 look at the figure for the number of Serbs in 1971, it
1 shows 28,470 and the figure of Serbs in 1981 is 25,146,
2 is it not? So it is a decrease of around 3,000?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. If you would look at the very first figures
5 for 1971 and 1981 which give the total population of
6 Vukovar municipality, it shows an increase in
7 population of 5,000, does it not, from 76,000 to
9 A. Yes, that is correct. That is what it says
10 in this document.
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: So, if you have a decrease of
12 4,000 Croats and a decrease of 3,000 Serbs, but the
13 continual population of the district grows, and the
14 number of Yugoslavs grow by 12,000, would it not seem
15 to indicate that those 4,000 Croats had also declared
16 themselves as Yugoslavs and, in fact, more Croats had
17 declared themselves as Yugoslavs than Serbs.
18 MR. PETROVIC: How can we indulge in such
19 speculation from statistical data, how people declared
20 themselves? These figures do not indicate how the
21 population moved and how the population swung from
22 Serbian and Croatian into Yugoslav. You cannot see
23 this from this data. I would like this to stop,
24 because this is a question for an expert in
25 demographics, not for the fact witness.
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, this witness
2 said that all Yugoslavs were Serbs and he said that no
3 Croats declared themselves as Yugoslavs and he said the
4 statistics will show that. He is the one that said
5 this -- I am testing what he has offered -- the opinion
6 that this witness has offered. If he could offer
7 another explanation after he has said that the
8 statistics show it, for why you have a continual rise
9 in the population, a decrease in the number of Croats,
10 a decrease in the number of Serbs and a rise in the
11 number of Yugoslavs, I am happy to hear it, but he is
12 the one that offered this opinion, and if he is going
13 to say that and he asserts that the statistics show it
14 he should be able to look at the statistics and tell me
15 where they show it.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder if the witness
17 could answer the question and then we move on to a
18 different question.
19 THE WITNESS: I did not want to start
20 analysing figures which appear here and they can be
21 interpreted in mathematical terms in different ways,
22 just as the Prosecutor has done. I could have a
23 mathematical model and then state that my theory is
24 true on the basis of this information presented here,
25 but to cut a long story short, I would not now want to
1 use those mathematical models. I just want to state
2 what we all know, Slavko Dokmanovic was the President
3 of the Vukovar Municipal Assembly. One thing is for
4 sure, he was not elected to that position by Croats,
5 and the breakdown of the overall number of the members
6 of the Assembly, they had -- the majority were Serbs,
7 so it was his own assessment whether he can answer the
8 invitation and to attend the session of the Serb
9 National Council. I think that we have to simply cut
10 this whole thing short, because otherwise we will not
11 be able to extricate ourselves.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: You said that his
13 involvement with the Serb National Council occurred in
14 the autumn of 1990; correct.
15 MR. PETROVIC: Please be more exact -- which
16 Serb National Council. We keep talking about two Serb
17 National Councils, so please ask this witness a
18 question which will not confuse him right from the
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, may I ask the
21 Prosecutor to clarify this particular point?
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: You indicated that he
23 participated in the Serb National Council of Knin, or
24 of Srb in autumn of 1990; correct, and that his
25 involvement lasted for perhaps one month?
1 A. I know that Slavko Dokmanovic -- this is
2 something that I know from the papers -- that he
3 attended the meeting of Serbs near Knin in Srb in July
4 or August, I cannot remember the exact date, in his
5 capacity as the President of the Municipal Assembly and
6 the reports in the papers were that the Serbian
7 National Council was formed there. I do not know --
8 I did not read any decisions where it was established
9 and so forth, but I know that after that there was a
10 lot of disturbance among the Croats because he was
11 present there -- after maybe about a month, maybe 25 or
12 30 days, Slavko no longer participated in the work of
13 the Serbian National Council in Srb and Serbs were not
14 happy with that decision, because he no longer
15 participated in their work. This was again reported in
16 the papers.
17 Q. So this was reported in the papers -- this
18 was known publicly, that he no longer participated in
19 this group?
20 A. Well, that was published in the papers, that
21 he was not there any more. As for how credible all
22 this information is, then the same goes for the two
23 reports -- the first and the second one. I did not
24 participate in the work of that body, so I did not see
25 any decisions or minutes from the meetings. One thing
1 is for sure, that all the Serbs knew that he no longer
2 participated in the work of the Serbian National
3 Council and it was resented in this region, in Vukovar
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: I would ask that the witness
6 be shown Exhibit 196 and on page 40 -- we have prepared
7 a draft translation of this portion of this -- this has
8 still not been proof-read. I will provide it to the
9 court for your assistance as we go through this.
10 However, I would ask the court's indulgence to
11 supplement it with a final copy after the Registrar's
12 revisions have been made. The interpreters have
13 already been provided with copies of this.
14 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I apologise for
15 getting involved, but could this practice of
16 translations being promised for a later date be
17 stopped? I still have not received the translation of
18 the law on citizenship which has been promised to me
19 and to this court. Could the Prosecutor's Office put
20 in an effort, just as the Defence team is doing, and we
21 have only two people here, to provide the translations
22 instead of always promising to provide translations.
23 Because if you are talking about a fair trial in which
24 you have one counsel on one side and another one, so
25 two counsel on one side and God knows how many counsel
1 on the other side, then it is probably harder for me to
2 provide translations, so this is an official protest
3 that I am lodging now. This is not something that
4 happens in the Anglo-Saxon law system and in the civil
5 law system.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Before asking the Prosecutor
7 to reply, may I say that this is not a practice in the
8 common law system and so on, because normally there is
9 only one language so you do not need a translation. To
10 the best of my knowledge, translations are not provided
11 by the Prosecutor's Office but by the Registry, and
12 I may be wrong --
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is correct. Although
14 there are four of us sitting at this table, none of us
15 speak Serbo-Croatian, although two of his colleagues
16 do, so we are in a position of having to depend
17 entirely on the translators. The fact that there is
18 four of us here does not speed up the process, that the
19 translators are doing the translations.
20 MR. FILA: Let us clear this up. This book
21 was tendered by the witness Milenkovic in February 1997
22 when Slavko Dokmanovic was still at large. Now we are
23 in March/April 1998. If they had wanted to have it
24 translated, they would have done so. This morning
25 I did not want to react before the half hour recess.
1 They received the supplementary statement earlier --
2 not this morning, the statement that indicates there
3 was a session of the Government in Erdut and they asked
4 for 20 minutes to prepare themselves, but this is
5 something that I was prepared to accept. They have had
6 this book since February 1997, and that is the point.
7 MR. WILLIAMSON: If I could reply to that, we
8 did not receive that statement before this morning.
9 That is the first time we have seen the supplemental
11 JUDGE CASSESE: I am sure the Registry will
12 endeavour to provide translations as soon as possible.
13 On the other hand, you must, Mr. Fila,
14 understand and appreciate the difficulties of the
15 Registry, because, in particular, the unit for
16 translation is flooded with documents to be
17 translated. I promise that we will -- I will ask
18 personally the head of the translation unit to make an
19 effort and I am sure that the Prosecutor's Office is
20 also going to cooperate, as it has done so far.
21 MR. WILLIAMSON: Certainly, from our own
22 personal perspective, we are unable to operate as
23 attorneys until we have translations. It is certainly
24 in our interests to get it as soon as possible.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Let us now move on,
1 otherwise we waste our time.
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: Witness DA, at the beginning
3 of paragraph 5, or section 5, which appears on page 40,
4 could you read this initial paragraph, please?
5 A. "Immediately after the council was
6 established, General Dusan Pekic reacted from Belgrade
7 and asked whether it was a 'parallel' for the Council
8 in Knin. On the last day of January 1991, on the
9 premises of the Association of Serbs in Belgrade, on
10 the proposal of Pekic, representatives of the Serbian
11 National Council of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem
12 met with Dr. Milan Babic in order to eliminate all
13 possible dilemmas about the competencies of the two
15 The following people attended the meeting:
16 Mihailo Vucinic, the President of the Association,
17 Dusan Pekic, Milan Babic, Ilija Koncarevic, Goran
18 Hadzic, Ilija Petrovic, Caslav Ocic and Slavko
19 Dokmanovic. The latter two are not members of the
21 Should I go on?
22 Q. Yes, please?
23 A. "However, Dokmanovic still considers himself a
24 member of the Knin Council despite the fact that he
25 withdrew from it 'because of the public'. Veljko
1 Dzakula from Pakrac was also called to attend the
2 meeting but , as Vucinic said, he refused to come in
3 order to avoid meeting with Ilija Sasic, a lawyer from
4 Podravska Slatina and one of the leaders of the SDS in
6 Q. You can stop at that point, that is fine. If
7 you would begin reading the third paragraph which is in
8 that section which begins with "Pekic"?
9 A. "Pekic tried to moderate Babic's stance and
10 asked him to be more tolerant towards the Council
11 established in Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem. It
12 was already noticed that the Serbian movement in
13 Croatia was not well coordinated and that many ideas
14 and many actions, as well as the readiness of many
15 people to be active, had been ineffective. It was also
16 noticed that the SDS, which was at the moment the
17 leading light of the Serbian people in Croatia, and the
18 Serbian National Council in Knin lacked men who could
19 coordinate all the activities in all the parts of the
20 country populated by Serbs.
21 Because of that, the Council in established
22 Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem should be supported
23 and that many activities in this area could be
24 completed through it. The Council could also be used
25 for the liberation of the left bank of the Danube River
1 which could then offer assistance, and thus prevent the
2 extermination of the Serbian people on the other side.
3 Babic opposed both Pekic and the
4 participants' arguments, but in the end 'had mercy' and
5 agreed that the said organ should work as a regional
6 committee of the Serbian National Council. This way,
7 said he, many dilemmas and disagreements about the
8 composition and the competencies of the Council could
9 be eliminated. Ocic proposed that instead of the name
10 'Council' the expression 'Committee' be used, but
11 Babic turned it down and explained that the Statute did
12 not provide for 'the committee'.
13 He continued insisting on 'the Council' being
14 a 'verified name'. Babic then raised his voice and
15 started speaking as if he were superior; he would have
16 difficulties if he, God forbid, would need to share the
17 power he gained. It was probably the result of the
18 situation in Knin, where, as he himself had said, and
19 as Pekic had further explained, there were not enough
20 people who could do serious political work. With his
21 speech he made the impression that he alone represented
22 the Serbian National Council of Krajina, worked on its
23 behalf, made decisions on his own, and probably did not
24 consult with the others much. After a long argument
25 about 'the Council' and 'the committee' and after an
1 unpropitious moment Dokmanovic started insisting on the
2 differences between Vukovar and Knin, Babic finally
3 'accepted' that the Serbian National Council of
4 Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem be renamed the
5 Regional Committee of the Serbian National Council."
6 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is fine, you can stop at
7 that point.
8 Perhaps if the usher could bring the book
9 back, we will have him read one other portion, but if
10 that can be marked, that would make it shorter.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: What sort of document is
12 this. Is it minutes?
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: This is from the same book.
14 This is the history of the Serb National Council which
15 was a book that was prepared -- it was handed over by
16 Mr. Milenkovic. This is one provision -- this is the
17 same page where Mr. Fila had Mr. Milenkovic read the
18 footnote from the other day. We have taken this whole
19 section and have had this draft translation done and
20 would have the final translation supplemented.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: I assume therefore the
22 author of this text is Petrovic, the author of the
23 whole book?
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is correct.
25 If you can start reading from this point,
1 perhaps the usher can -- starting right there.
3 Your Honours, on the translation, this would
4 be at the end of line 2 on the second page.
5 MR. PETROVIC: Can we have this working
6 document -- the draft translation, please?
7 MR. WILLIAMSON: If you can begin reading at
8 that point, Witness DA, please?
9 A. "Slavko Dokmanovic, an agricultural engineer,
10 until the war -- "
11 Q. This has already been read -- if the usher
12 can bring it back again, I will point to the exact spot
13 and do not read the footnotes?
14 A. "Babic assessed that as such Krajina should
15 involve Beli Manastir, municipalities in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, but also asked with certain reserve what
17 would have been a reaction to his proposal that Vukovar
18 be involved in Krajina as well. Both Hadzic and
19 Dokmanovic doubted that such a proposal would be
20 adopted in Vukovar, mostly because Vukovar inclined
21 towards uniting with Vojvodina."
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is fine. We would
23 introduce this as the next Prosecutor's exhibit -- this
24 is a translation of just one portion from the entire
25 book, which has already been tendered, so perhaps it
1 would be better to introduce it as Prosecutor's Exhibit
2 196A because it is just a translation of a document
3 that is already in evidence.
4 MR. PETROVIC: I see -- I apologise -- I see
5 no reason for these excerpts from the book to be
6 treated separately as evidence, if we have already
7 accepted the whole book as D196. Why should we
8 pinpoint these excerpts and admit them once again as
9 separate evidence?
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Why not? Is there any
11 problem? It may be useful to have them as a separate
13 MR. FILA: If something has been adopted
14 once, is its value greater if you adopt it five more
15 times? If that is so, then I am going to tender
16 evidence four or five times in the future, if it will
17 have greater value.
18 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is why I suggested it
19 should perhaps be marked as 196A, because it is just a
20 translation of a document already in evidence. I was
21 trying to address that issue before they stood up.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Therefore, the only document
23 which is now tendered in evidence is the English
24 translation, I understand.
25 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is correct.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: I see no objection on the
2 part of Mr. Fila, thank you.
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: Witness DA, can you tell me
4 why was it necessary to have a separate Serb Government
5 in this region -- in the Vukovar region?
6 A. I cannot say that, because I did not take
7 part in all this. I have partially read this book and
8 I have my opinion of it -- the portion that I read --
9 but, as I say, I did not take part in the National
10 Council and in the political events. I said previously
11 that I have information from what was published in the
12 press, so I can go back to the witness, to Slavko
13 Dokmanovic, and September 1991, when his failure to
14 take part in what happened by the Serb public was
15 criticised, and I did not take part in this, nor can
16 I say whether what Ilija Petrovic has written is
17 correct or not. I think --
18 Q. I did not ask you about what is referred to
19 in the book. I am asking you, in your role as a
20 Minister in this Government, you had to have known the
21 basis for forming the Government in the first place.
22 Why was the Government formed in that region -- what
23 was the reason for it?
24 A. The Government was formed by the Assembly of
25 the Serb district in September 1991 and the Government
1 has no continuity with the Serbian National Council.
2 I said that just some people appeared in the Government
3 -- the Prime Minister, Goran Hadzic, for example, was
4 in the Assembly, and, it was also well-known,
5 Koncarevic and Petrovic as well.
6 MR. PETROVIC: The witness thinks you are
7 asking him about the book. Explain to the witness you
8 are not talking about the book but the reasons in
9 general for which a Government was set up in the area,
10 not as explained by Ilija Petrovic in the book, but the
11 real reasons for forming that Government in that area,
12 Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: If you want to clarify once
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have tried to do that
16 twice, your Honour, but I will try.
17 Mr. DA, why was the Government formed --
18 putting aside the Serb National Council, putting aside
19 the book, why was the Government formed? What was the
20 reason for forming a Serbian Government for Slavonia,
21 Baranja and Western Srem -- not how, but why -- what
22 was the reason?
23 A. Before that, there was the setting up of the
24 Assembly of the Serbian district. The reasons probably
25 were that this area in which Serbs lived be united,
1 because the area was made up of parts of the Vinkovci
2 municipality, Osijek, and the municipality of Vukovar.
3 So, all this made up one region, one area at the time,
4 and I am talking on behalf of the Assembly -- it was
5 seen that this district should be conjoined and to set
6 up executive power and authority in the region, because
7 the Assemblies no longer functioned in these areas,
8 particularly the Vinkovci and Osijek municipalities.
9 I cannot -- they proposed that I be in the Government
10 of that Serbian district several days prior to its
11 formation. I could have accepted or rejected the
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: I would like for the witness
14 to be shown Defence Exhibit 19, please, at this time.
16 Concurrently with this, the English
17 translation, which is listed as Defence Exhibit 19A.
18 Witness DA, would you look at article 11 of
19 this document, which sets out the areas which are
20 included under the Serbian district and would you tell
21 me, under paragraph 3, for Vinkovci, or section 3 of
22 article 11, it lists all of the communities in Vinkovci
23 municipality, does it not, to the best of your
25 A. The copy is a little dark, but I can see that
1 a lot of the places are enumerated in all the
3 Q. And it includes the city of Vinkovci, does it
5 A. I do not know if it includes the town of
6 Vinkovci -- if they are some places around Vinkovci,
7 then it would be logical to suppose that it does.
8 Q. If you look under section 3, I think it
9 appears that it is the second to last name in that
10 section, is it not -- the name of the town of Vinkovci?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And then under section 5 for Osijek, where it
13 says, "Provisional seat in Tenja", it also lists the
14 towns and cities in Osijek municipality, does it not?
15 A. Yes, it does.
16 Q. And, in the centre of that list, it includes
17 the city of Osijek; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And neither Osijek nor Vinkovci were under
20 the control of this Serbian district, were they?
21 A. No, they were not, never.
22 Q. Both Osijek and Vinkovci had sizeable
23 Croatian majorities, did they not?
24 A. Yes, they did.
25 Q. Did you participate in the discussions where
1 these communities were included within the Serbian
2 district, in your role in the Government?
3 A. No, I never took part in those talks, and it
4 had nothing to do with the Ministry for Communications,
5 so these kind of things did not go through the
6 Ministry. Decisions were taken -- I do not remember
7 when a decision of this kind was taken.
8 Q. How many Ministers were there in the
9 Government of this Serbian district?
10 A. About 15 -- I do not know the exact number.
11 Q. You have already mentioned some of the
12 different roles -- an Agriculture Minister, a Minister
13 of Interior, a Minister of Defence, a Minister of
14 Agriculture -- was there also a Foreign Minister?
15 A. Yes, there was.
16 Q. And who held that post?
17 A. At the time, Caslav Ocic.
18 Q. How long did you remain in the Government?
19 A. I remained in the Government from September
20 to the end of January or the beginning of February
21 1992, so between 1991 and 1992, when the Government
22 ceased to exist in fact.
23 Q. At that time, it became part of the Republic
24 of Serb Krajina; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. On the day of this meeting at VELEPROMET --
2 I am sorry, let me go back -- strike that question.
3 On 19th, you indicated that you attended a
4 meeting in Erdut; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And how many people were present at this
7 meeting in Erdut, if you recall?
8 A. I do not recall. There was part of the
9 Government there, and some other people -- I do not
10 know them all. That was a frequent practice, that at
11 Government meetings many other people would attend whom
12 the Ministers did not know -- at least not know all of
13 them, so that I could not tell you what Ministers or
14 anybody else -- it was a long time ago. I could
15 perhaps recall this on the basis of the minutes, but
16 not all the people there.
17 Q. But Mr. Dokmanovic was present and Mr. Hadzic
18 was present and you were present; correct -- you do
19 remember those three?
20 A. As far as Dokmanovic goes, I do not recall,
21 but Hadzic did, because he presided.
22 Q. What was discussed at this meeting?
23 A. At all events, Slavko was in Erdut. At the
24 meeting, I remembered clearly that it was decided that
25 members of the Government go to Vukovar on the
1 following day. I cannot remember the other things that
2 were discussed.
3 Q. And you indicated that, when you went to
4 Vukovar the next day, it made quite an impression on
5 you; correct?
6 A. Yes, it did.
7 Q. Would it be fair to say that this was perhaps
8 the most memorable day of your life?
9 A. I do not know whether it was the most
10 memorable -- I have had better days.
11 Q. I am sure. Perhaps that was not a good way
12 to phrase that. But, in any event, it struck your
13 consciousness and your memory very strongly --
14 everything that you did and everything that happened on
15 that day, I can imagine?
16 A. That has remained in my memory -- clearly
17 embedded. It is the first time I went to Vukovar after
18 2 May, to a Vukovar of the type that I saw on that
19 particular day.
20 Q. And do you recall exactly what time you
21 arrived at VELEPROMET, or approximately what time you
23 A. I only know roughly that I arrived somewhere
24 around 12 -- perhaps a little after 12 -- half an hour
25 after 12, and I went a little further off from
1 VELEPROMET to see that part of town, about 100 metres
2 further off, as far as I had the courage to go.
3 Q. Was that in the direction back towards the
4 town of Vukovar or in the direction towards Negoslavci?
5 A. Towards town.
6 Q. So that would have been very close to the JNA
7 barracks, correct?
8 A. The barracks were across the road, if you
9 look at VELEPROMET, so further off from the barracks.
10 Q. Did you go to the JNA barracks at all?
11 A. No.
12 Q. On this video that we have seen, Defence
13 Exhibit 2, Arkan features very prominently in that.
14 What was his role at the VELEPROMET on that day, 20
16 A. As far as I know, Arkan, with perhaps some
17 other individuals -- I do not know the others by sight
18 -- he came with Hadzic as security, in view of the
19 fact that Hadzic did not feel safe coming to Vukovar --
20 whether that was his security or anything else, he was
21 there with Hadzic.
22 Q. And approximately what time did this meeting
23 start that everyone was involved in?
24 A. The meeting started about 2 or quarter past 2
25 -- I do not know exactly. It was not before 2; it was
1 a little after 2.
2 Q. I believe you indicated in your
3 examination-in-chief that it lasted approximately one
4 hour; correct?
5 A. Correct, that is my assessment, it lasted
6 somewhere around one hour.
7 Q. Was it your recollection that everyone who
8 was involved in the meeting stayed inside the meeting
9 room for the entire period, or did some people come and
11 A. There were some comings and goings but the
12 Ministers who were there did not leave the room -- at
13 least, I do not recall any of the Ministers having left
14 the room, and going in and out of the meeting, but, in
15 the general melee, there were some other people
16 that I do not know and they would walk about and so on.
17 Q. Was there any discussion at this Government
18 meeting or any vote taken as to what was going to be
19 done with the Croatian men who had been taken from the
20 hospital and who were being held at the JNA barracks?
21 A. No, we did not discuss that. I did not know
22 that anybody had been taken from the hospital and that
23 he was at some locality or other. It was not
24 information known to the Government, that such a thing
25 had taken place.
1 Q. Was there any discussion to the effect that
2 the civilian authorities would take over Croatian war
3 criminals from the army?
4 A. The information was given that all these
5 people from VELEPROMET, which included Serbs and Croats
6 -- they were all inside -- that, by military truck, be
7 taken towards the border between Serbia and Croatia --
8 somewhere around Sid, and that they could then decide
9 where they would be going, whereas taking them over --
10 there was nobody over there to take them over from the
11 Government. There was nobody to do this, and so we
12 could not discuss this, and for many of them we did not
13 know what was happening, because we came there on that
14 particular day -- some had come immediately prior to
15 the meeting; I had come perhaps an hour before the
16 meeting. I walked around that part of the town and
17 went back to VELEPROMET, because I knew many of the
18 people in the VELEPROMET compound.
19 Q. But there was no discussion about prosecuting
20 or gaoling people who were seen as war criminals from
21 the Croatian side?
22 A. No. In that part, there was no discussion of
23 this kind, as the commander of the town was decisive
24 and clear, and stated that the Government had nothing
25 to discuss, even questions of the economy, because he
1 is the commander of the town and the town was being
2 controlled by the military.
3 Q. There was no discussion about establishing a
4 people's court?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Had any of the subjects been discussed in the
7 meeting at Erdut the previous day, on the 19th?
8 A. No -- at least I do not remember that
9 anything of this kind had been discussed.
10 Q. Now --
11 A. Let me make one thing clear: the Ministry of
12 Justice in the two months had some jobs to do in
13 setting up civilian courts -- not people's courts --
14 they are regional or district courts or whatever in the
15 hierarchy of courtrooms, but not a people's court --
16 I do not know about that.
17 Q. Did you discuss what had gone on in the
18 meeting with anyone who was outside, after the meeting
19 was concluded -- with anyone who had not been a
20 participant in the meeting?
21 A. You mean me personally, did I talk to
23 Q. Yes?
24 A. I only talked to the people that I happened
25 to meet by chance in VELEPROMET -- the ones I knew.
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no further questions,
2 your Honour.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Any re-examination?
4 Re-examined by MR. PETROVIC
5 Q. I have just one question, that is to say a
6 clarification. The exhibit presented to the witness,
7 D19, is a law on territorial and economic organisation
8 and could he clarify as to who adopts the law -- the
9 Government or the Assembly, because, from the answer,
10 one could conclude that it was something adopted by the
12 Therefore, the question is: who adopted the
13 laws in the Serbian district, including that particular
15 A. Laws and this particular law, you can see
16 this from the text, was enacted by the Great National
17 Assembly and it was put forward -- it need not have
18 been put forward by the Government. One of the
19 Ministries, perhaps, or one of the Assembly Councils.
20 MR. PETROVIC: Thank you, I have no further
21 questions, your Honour.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: I have a few questions.
23 First of all, can you remember the name of
24 the Defence Minister in that particular period, say
25 November 1991 -- who was the Defence Minister of that
2 A. I cannot quite remember who it was at the
3 time. They changed and did not attend the Government
4 meetings much. I think that the first was Ilija Kojic,
5 but later on he was replaced and somebody was appointed
6 and very often nobody was appointed. I cannot quite
7 remember whether at that particular time anybody was
8 appointed as Defence Minister.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Can you remember the name of
10 the Minister of Interior, again with reference to that
11 particular time?
12 A. I am not quite sure -- I think it was
14 JUDGE CASSESE: You said a couple of hours
15 ago that the Government had "no control" -- I am
16 quoting what you said -- "no control over armed
17 formations". Did the Government have any enforcement
18 agency at its disposal -- we are speaking of course of
19 the Government of the district of -- the Serbian
20 district of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem?
21 A. Could you please clarify your question? What
22 do you mean?
23 JUDGE CASSESE: I meant to ask you whether
24 the Government had any police force -- any military
25 units under its control?
1 A. No, the Government could not have any
2 influence over any police or military units in the
4 JUDGE CASSESE: What were the links or the
5 relations between the Government and the JNA, or
6 paramilitary units in the area?
7 A. First of all, I do not know anything about
8 any paramilitary formations. The army was there and
9 the Territorial Defence was there. The Territorial
10 Defence of course was part of the armed forces. As for
11 the paramilitary units, I do not know what the
12 definition is, nor did we as a Government have any
13 formations in this respect. As far as the army is
14 concerned, in the southern part, from Sid onwards to
15 Vukovar, we had no links with them, and as for this
16 part where the seat of the Government was, we had only
17 links as much as we had to ask for permits for movement
18 or to carry out any work in the field -- farming work
19 -- and, also, depending on the competencies of the
20 Ministries, that was the only touch that we had with
22 Although we as a Government, as far as I am
23 able to remember, we were not happy, because we had to
24 do that, because, in some areas, we would be checked
25 every 100 metres if we moved through some areas and we
1 often lodged protests with the military administration
2 -- I do not know what all those departments were in
3 the army -- the logistics and so on -- to do
5 I can give you an example from my
6 jurisdiction. Since there were no telephone links, if
7 there was a man, a professional man who was supposed to
8 do something about it, there was this whole procedure
9 that had to be gone through in order to achieve that.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: But did you hold
11 consultations -- did the Government hold consultations
12 with the army -- with the military commanders or with
13 the commander of the Territorial Defence?
14 A. Not the Government as a whole. At the
15 Government sessions, some information would filter
16 through, but I as a Minister, and most of the other
17 Ministers, we did not participate in that -- whether
18 somebody in the Government had that, I do not know.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Can you please explain to me
20 the following: I am reading the minutes, document D53,
21 the exhibit produced by the Defence. These are the
22 minutes of the meeting in Erdut on 19 November 1991.
23 In point 2, item 2, it is stated, and I will read
24 slowly -- actually, I wonder whether the witness could
25 be given a copy of the Serbian version, so that he can
1 follow in the original text -- it is D53. It is item
2 2, it is stated here and I will read slowly:
3 "Goran Hadzic, President of the Government,
4 briefed those present ..."
5 including yourself:
6 " ... about the current situation from the
7 international point of view and the talks which had
8 been held with the representatives of the Republic of
9 Serbia and the Yugoslav People's Army. Radovan Stojcic
10 briefed those present on the military situation. The
11 following took part in the discussion."
12 And a few names follow. Then it is stated,
13 and I quote:
14 "A unanimous decision was reached that the
15 commander of the Territorial Defence had their full
16 confidence and that his status had been established by
17 the decision of the Great People's Assembly which
18 proclaimed that units of the Territorial Defence form a
19 part of the Yugoslav forces."
20 If you move to the following page on the
21 English version, it is stated, and again I quote:
22 "The following conclusions were unanimously
24 If you skip number 1 and 2, you read number
1 "That a joint meeting of representatives of
2 the Republic of Serbia and the JNA shall be organised,
3 that a joint meeting with representatives of other
4 Serbian districts that will be organised."
5 And 5:
6 "That JNA units are subordinated to the
7 Government of the Serbian district on its territory."
8 Could you please help us by explaining the
9 meaning of this particular decision, "JNA units are
10 subordinated to the Government of the Serbian district
11 on its territory", because reading a simple reading
12 from outside of these minutes would convey the idea
13 that there were close links between the JNA and the
15 A. No, such decisions, as I already said, are
16 the result of the fact that there were so few links and
17 all the problems that I have described, how it was
18 difficult for us to move around this territory, so this
19 was the result -- this was the conclusion, so that the
20 JNA recognises the Government.
21 MR. PETROVIC: Let me give you a
22 clarification, I apologise for interrupting the witness
23 and the court. In the Serbian version it says that the
24 Serbian Government "shall be" or "will be" -- that is
25 the future in Serbian and in paragraph 5 of the English
1 translation, there is the present tense, so we have to
2 make that distinction.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
4 MR. PETROVIC: Maybe the witness could read,
5 in Serbian, paragraph 5.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, please.
7 A. Let me just explain about paragraph 3. It
8 says, "organises a joint meeting with the
9 representatives of the Republic of Serbia and JNA" --
10 that was precisely for those reasons, because there
11 were no communications and Serbia was mentioned here in
12 order to maybe exert some influence over the JNA so
13 that this meeting would take place, and paragraph 5 was
14 that it "will be" or "shall be" above, or subordinate
15 to the JNA units, which means that at the time it had
16 no influence over those units, so this was an
17 intention, an ambition of the Government. Of course,
18 this never took place, because the Government itself
19 did not have a long mandate.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. How would you
21 explain the fact that under item 2 it is stated that:
22 "The President of the Government briefed the
23 other members of the Government about the current
24 situation and the relations with the JNA and Radovan
25 Stojcic briefed those present on the military
2 A. This was just information that we received
3 from other members -- mostly from the Prime Minister --
4 and we, other members of the Government, could only
5 talk about this information -- those pieces of
6 information, but we could not take part in the
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Do you remember --
9 A. As far as the issues of personnel are
10 concerned, with regard to the Territorial Defence, the
11 Government had no influence over who was to be a
12 commander of the Territorial Defence, but, in one of
13 the decrees, it is obvious that it was a good thing,
14 but it only has to do with certain individuals.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Do you remember
16 whether Mr. Jovan Pejakovic was present at the meeting
17 of the Government on the 20th in VELEPROMET, namely,
18 the clerk of the Government?
19 A. Jovan Pejakovic?
20 JUDGE CASSESE: He was the man who wrote the
21 minutes of the meeting held by the Government on 19
22 November 1991 in Erdut. I was wondering whether the
23 same clerk was also present -- officer, registrar --
24 present at the meeting of the Government that took
25 place on 20 November?
1 A. I cannot remember whether Jovan Jakovic was
2 present at this meeting, but I do know that he signed
3 the minutes of the Government meetings, which does not
4 mean that he attended all those meetings of the
5 Government, because there was also somebody who acted
6 as the recording clerk and then he would sign it as the
7 efficient recording clerk. I cannot remember whether
8 he was there on 20 November. Most of the members of
9 the Government arrived in a single vehicle, except for
10 myself -- I went there in my own car.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Do you remember whether
12 anybody was there to take minutes -- to record the main
13 points of the discussion on 20 November -- whether or
14 not thereafter minutes were produced, whether somebody
15 was taking notes?
16 A. I cannot remember that anyone took any form
17 of notes, or took down the minutes and if there had
18 been somebody from the Government making the minutes,
19 I would have seen it. I have not seen it, so I assume
20 that nobody took down the notes, but we did not even
21 have the agenda -- I remember that clearly. It was not
22 a usual meeting of the Government -- it was a meeting
23 of the members of the Government and some five or six
24 other people -- I do not know who they were.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: In a way it was rather
1 unusual, first of all, because there was no agenda and,
2 secondly, because it was held one day after the other
3 meeting -- normally governments do not meet every day
4 -- and, thirdly, no minutes were taken. How do you
5 explain the unusual character or nature of this meeting
6 of the Government?
7 A. I will give you an explanation of what
8 preceded the arrival of the members of the Government
9 to Vukovar. The atmosphere was such that it was not
10 necessary for the Government to go to Vukovar and
11 actually the attitude was if the Government came to
12 Vukovar at all, that maybe something could happen,
13 maybe even a conflict. They could even be banned from
14 entering Vukovar. The conclusion at the previous
15 meeting was that we should go, but each of us had to
16 make our own personal decision whether we would go
17 there, considering all the risks, and considering the
18 aversion towards this Government that prevailed in the
19 town itself. Once we were there and once we saw what
20 the situation was, it was impossible to set up the
21 agenda and to hold a meeting of the Government, which
22 would result in some conclusions.
23 In such an atmosphere, it was simply -- we
24 were all very surprised by what we saw there, and we
25 did hold the meeting and the Government felt that the
1 aim had been achieved and that it was clear that the
2 Government existed in Vukovar, that it had not been
3 destroyed, so that was the only contribution -- maybe
4 that is not a good term. That was some kind of
5 progress for that Government, that it was able to
6 appear to be in Vukovar, in a town in which it had --
7 with which it had nothing to do until that time.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Two minor questions. We saw
9 previously a videotape and we saw many, many people,
10 including Mr. Dokmanovic and other well-known persons,
11 such as Arkan. Those people there were before the
12 meeting -- what we saw on the videotape, did it happen
13 before the meeting of the Government, or after the
14 meeting of the Government? I am not clear about this
15 -- those people who were gathered there, all together,
16 were they there before they started the meeting of the
17 Government or were they there after?
18 A. I do not know what video you saw.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: The one we saw before in
20 court, when it was shown to you at the request of
21 Defence counsel, to identify Mr. Dokmanovic -- it was in
22 black and white and not in colour?
23 A. It is probably before the meeting of the
24 Government when people had already arrived, because,
25 after the meeting, everybody went their own way.
1 I think that after the meeting they did not linger in
2 the VELEPROMET compound -- at least, I did not --
3 I just stayed there for about five minutes and then
4 went straight to my car and left and since there are
5 quite a few people in that video, it could have been
6 only before the meeting itself.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Did Arkan take part in the
8 meeting of the Government, since he was there, you
9 said, probably as a sort of chief of security of the
10 Prime Minister, so I was wondering whether he took part
11 in the meeting?
12 A. As far as I can remember, Arkan did not take
13 part in the meeting.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: One final question, which
15 has nothing to do with the issue we have been
16 discussing. You were born in Slavonia, in the Republic
17 of Croatia -- you were born in Pacetin. In this period
18 which we are now discussing, between September and
19 December 1991, were you a citizen of Croatia -- what
20 citizenship did you have in that particular period,
21 leaving aside nationality and ethic origin, this is of
22 no importance to us; what was your citizenship in this
23 period between September and December 1991?
24 A. I was born in Vinkovci. I lived in Pacetin
25 -- I had the ID card that was issued in Vukovar, and
1 at the time none of us thought about our citizenship.
2 We all thought that we had Yugoslav citizenship, and
3 I felt that I was a citizen of Yugoslavia, despite the
4 fact that you had republics within the federation, but
5 the citizenship was Yugoslav.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: I know, but we were told by
7 the Defence counsel that in addition to the Yugoslav
8 citizenship, every person also had citizenship of a
9 particular republic -- the republic where he was born
10 or where he was living. I assume you had the
11 citizenship of Croatia in addition to the citizenship
12 of Yugoslavia; is that correct, or am I wrong?
13 A. That is correct. In some of the documents in
14 the birth certificates and so forth, in addition to the
15 Yugoslav citizenship, in some cases, it is stated that
16 there was the citizenship of the Republic of Croatia.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: And so you held this
18 citizenship also of the Republic of Croatia also in the
19 period between September and December when you were a
20 member of the Government of the district?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: I am asking this question
23 for a particular legal reason, because we were told in
24 court that there was a provision in one of the laws
25 passed by the Assembly of the Government [sic] of the
1 Serbian district, whereby the citizenship of Croatia
2 was annulled -- was made invalid and only the
3 citizenship of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia --
4 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was retained
5 by living in this area. Am I correct in saying that
6 probably you did not attach any importance to this
7 particular provision about the withdrawal of the
8 republican citizenship, for those living in the
9 territory under the control and the authority and the
10 jurisdiction of the Serbian district of Slavonia,
11 Baranja and Western Srem?
12 A. Well, you are right, but if I can make a
13 clarification, this may be a decision passed by the
14 Assembly -- I cannot recall what the decision was that
15 was made by the Assembly, but I do know that the
16 Republic of Serbia and Krajina, or rather the Serbian
17 district, never reached the stage in which it would
18 issue certificates of citizenship of the Serbian
19 State. It never happened in the Republic of Serbia and
20 Krajina. The only thing was that we were issued with
21 ID cards.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I wonder whether
23 there are any further questions arising out of those
24 questions which I have put. Mr. Fila?
25 MR. FILA: I have just one note -- when you
1 asked the question, the last question, you said it was
2 the decision of the Government. It was not the
3 decision of the Government but of the assembly -- the
4 decision on citizenship, so I would like that to be
5 corrected in the transcript -- that is why he is not
6 aware of the fact.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Who said the decision of the
8 Government, the witness or -- because I am aware --
9 I know probably it was a mistake, but I am fully aware
10 that the law I was quoting, I think it was article 4 --
11 I am quoting by heart, was a law passed by the Assembly
12 of the Serbian district. There is no doubt about that
13 -- not by the Government. I know that the Government
14 could not pass laws.
15 Are there any questions?
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: No further questions.
17 MR. PETROVIC: I apologise. Just one formal
18 matter. For Witness DA, we have not filed an official
19 request for him to be named under this pseudonym, so
20 I hereby request permission for this witness to be
21 named as such.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: We had already granted the
23 request of course, and this applies also, I assume, to
24 the next witnesses, yes? There is no problem about
25 that. There is therefore no objection to Witness DA
1 being released?
2 I would like to thank you so much, Witness
3 DA, for coming here to give evidence in court and you
4 may now be released. Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: I would also like to thank
7 (The witness withdrew)
8 MR. FILA: While we are waiting for the next
9 witness, your Honours, I do not know what the reason
10 is, and it is not up to me to think about the reasons
11 why you asked the questions that you did ask of this
12 witness, but let me clarify something. In the
13 pre-trial brief, the Defence counsel submitted
14 documents about this Government, about the Ministries,
15 and the Ministers. This has not been admitted into
16 evidence, but the Registry has that document and it has
17 been translated into English. So, if you need that, it
18 should not be a problem for the Registrar to have those
19 documents brought into court.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: You are right,
21 Mr. Fila, I thank you. Of course, you know very well
22 that there is a huge difference -- very often in our
23 countries there is a huge difference between the law
24 and the reality. We are interested in what happened in
25 reality -- not only in the normative --
1 MR. FILA: It is not what I wanted to say.
2 I just wanted to make it clear to you that you have
3 that document at your disposal. I just wanted to be of
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you very much indeed.
6 I suggest that we move on with your next witness, and
7 then we take a break around, say, 10 to 12. Is that
8 suitable? The next witness will be DB?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
10 MR. PETROVIC: Yes, I move that he be named
12 (The witness entered court)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Witness DB, may I ask you to
14 be so kind as to make the solemn declaration?
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
16 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
17 the truth.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: You may be seated.
19 WITNESS DB
20 Examined by MR. PETROVIC
21 Q. I should like the witness to be shown this
22 piece of paper with his name on it to confirm that he
23 is that individual?
24 A. Yes, that is my name and surname.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D54,
1 under seal.
2 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I should like to ask
3 that we enable a member of my team with the tape to
4 come in. He is an investigator of the Defence, but the
5 security men will not let him pass, and he has the tape
6 which we are going to play and our witness is on the
7 tape. Could you ask them to let him in, please? Thank
8 you. Otherwise, we would have technical problems.
9 MR. PETROVIC: Would the Witness DB be shown
10 the document that I have in my hands in the Serbian and
11 English translations, and tell us whether that is the
12 statement he gave to the Defence investigator, that is
13 to say, in the English translation. (Handed).
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D55,
15 English translation D55A, under seal.
16 MR. PETROVIC: If there are no remarks,
17 I propose that this document be tendered and admitted
18 as D55.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection?
20 MR. NIEMANN: No objection, your Honour.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
22 MR. PETROVIC: Witness DB, did you graduate
23 from the faculty of economics in Zagreb?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Where did you live?
1 A. I lived in Vukovar, I was born in Vukovar and
2 lived in Vukovar the whole time.
3 Q. Where were you employed?
4 A. I was employed in Vukovar. I held several
5 jobs. Shall I enumerate them? At the beginning,
6 I worked in the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar and,
7 later on, in the waterworks of the city of Vukovar.
8 Q. How long did you live in Vukovar and when did
9 you leave Vukovar?
10 A. I lived in Vukovar up until 22 July 1991,
11 when I left the town because I felt unsafe there.
12 I felt that life in Vukovar was unsafe.
13 Q. How did you feel, the fact that it was unsafe
14 -- did you have any adverse experiences?
15 A. Well, this lack of security was reflected in
16 some of the incidents that took place previously, and
17 there was some cafes that were blown up, the
18 proprietors of which were Serbs. After that, several
19 prominent citizens disappeared -- Serbs, again. Let me
20 mention the name of Mladen Mrkic -- he was one of
21 them. The others I cannot recall at the present time,
22 but there were more.
23 Q. Were you mobilised by the Yugoslav People's
25 A. Yes, I was mobilised by the Yugoslav People's
1 Army, and I can say that it was at the beginning of
2 September and on the occasion I was given duties, I was
3 to see to the chemical and hygienic control of the
4 drinking water of the town and to organise water
5 supplies in the rural settlements where this was a
6 possibility, given the technical facilities.
7 Q. How did the waterworks supply function in
8 Vukovar and the surrounding villages in the period that
9 we are talking about, that is to say, from the autumn
10 of 1991 to the spring of 1992?
11 A. In that period, there was no organised water
12 supply system. In the city of Vukovar itself, the
13 population got its water supplies from open sources --
14 open water sources -- water wells, and, at that time,
15 I conducted the analysis of the water that I spoke to
16 you about a moment ago and in the rural areas, where
17 for technical reasons this was possible, we set up
18 power generators for the production of electricity,
19 which were put into motion by pumps, and in shorter
20 periods of time, during the day, there was a certain
21 amount of water. There were some water supplies in the
22 villages, but it was just enough for people to come and
23 collect the water they needed for their daily needs,
24 either for drinking or to prepare food -- for cooking.
25 Q. Since when have you known Slavko Dokmanovic?
1 A. I have known Slavko Dokmanovic since the time
2 I began working in the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar
3 and about two years -- we worked two years in the same
4 office, for about two years.
5 Q. When did Dokmanovic become the President of
6 the Municipal Assembly?
7 A. Dokmanovic became President of the Municipal
8 Assembly after the first multi-Party elections in
9 Croatia, which means some time in the spring -- April
10 or May of 1990. I cannot say exactly.
11 Q. How long did he perform his functions?
12 A. The function of President of the Municipal
13 Assembly, according to my knowledge, he performed until
14 the end of May and the beginning of June, more or less,
15 1991, when he was incapacitated from further carrying
16 out that function.
17 Q. Do you have any direct knowledge as to when
18 and how he was prevented from coming to the Municipal
19 Assembly building to work?
20 A. Yes, my direct knowledge is the following:
21 on one particular day, I cannot exactly remember the
22 date, Slavko Dokmanovic was in my family home, when he
23 was informed that he would not be able to leave Vukovar
24 safely in the direction of Trpinja and Slavko
25 Dokmanovic then called the commander of the barracks
1 and requested a military vehicle -- an armoured
2 military vehicle -- which then took him to Trpinja.
3 Q. On 20 November, were you in Vukovar?
4 A. Yes, I was in Vukovar on 20 November.
5 Q. How do you recall that it was precisely 20
7 A. Well, I remember because I was in Vukovar on
8 19 November as well, because my wife and I went to look
9 for her mother, who spent the entire time in Vukovar,
10 and on that particular day, 19 November, we found my
11 mother-in-law, and on 19 November, we took her in the
12 direction of Sid, where the rest of her family was
13 located, which means the father and the brother.
14 Q. On 20 November, where were you in Vukovar
16 A. I was, on 20 November, in the building of
17 VELEPROMET and my wife and I, because on 19 November we
18 did not find my aunt, which was the only member of my
19 family who had remained, so we went to look for her on
20 20 November, and, for that particular reason, in the
21 early hours of 20 November, we returned to Vukovar. We
22 were in the VELEPROMET compound, because that was the
23 place where all the civilian population was gathered --
24 all the population leaving the town.
25 Q. And you thought that you would find the
1 individuals who you were looking for there?
2 A. Yes, I hoped to find my aunt there.
3 MR. PETROVIC: I should like the witness to be
4 shown a segment of the tape from D2 -- Exhibit D2, does
5 he recognise any of the individuals, does he recognise
6 himself on the tape?
7 (Videotape played)
8 MR. PETROVIC: You need not identify
9 yourself, just the other people you recognise.
10 A. This is Mr. Jovan Cvetkovic, Goran Hadzic,
11 this is Dusan Jaksic.
12 (Videotape continued)
13 MR. PETROVIC: Could we replay the tape from
14 the beginning? Perhaps he will recognise somebody
16 (Videotape replayed)
17 A. Rade Leskovac, Nebojsa Lazarevic, Goran
19 Q. Do you see the defendant anywhere?
20 A. I can now see the accused.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. PETROVIC: Would you show the witness
23 photographs -- stills -- taken from this segment of the
24 tape, so that he can identify himself without
25 indicating publicly who he is.
1 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
3 MR. PETROVIC: Would you show him this still
4 as well -- show the witness the following still?
6 Are the stills what you saw on the tape a
7 moment ago, and do you recognise yourself on them?
8 A. Yes, I do. That is I.
9 Q. Does that mean that you were at the
10 VELEPROMET compound on that day, 20 November, when that
11 tape was made?
12 A. Yes, I was.
13 Q. Did you see Slavko Dokmanovic on the
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. How was he dressed?
17 A. He was wearing -- I can describe it as a
18 hunting suit -- a hunting uniform.
19 THE REGISTRAR: The second photograph is
20 marked D57.
21 JUDGE MAY: What is the second photograph --
22 I am not following -- what is D57?
23 MR. PETROVIC: The second photograph is also
24 a photograph taken from the videotape.
25 JUDGE MAY: What is it supposed to show?
1 MR. PETROVIC: On the left-hand corner, you
2 can see Witness DB, on the left-hand side, whereas, up
3 front is somebody else -- I do not know if the witness
4 recognises that individual?
5 A. No, I do not.
6 MR. PETROVIC: So, on the left-hand side is
7 the image, the picture, of our Witness DB.
8 I should like Witness DB to be shown Defence
9 exhibit number 48 -- D48, so that he can identify what
10 Slavko Dokmanovic was wearing on that particular
11 occasion and whether it is the suit that he most
12 frequently wore?
13 A. Yes, it is -- yes.
14 Q. May we continue? Do you know whether, on
15 that day, 20 November, a meeting of the Government
16 members was held in the VELEPROMET compound?
17 A. I know that there was a meeting of some kind
18 being held -- it is possible that it was a meeting of
19 the Government, but I did not know that at the time,
20 but I know that there was a meeting.
21 Q. How do you know that there was a meeting?
22 A. At the time of the meeting, I stayed outside
23 the doors of the building and talked to some other
24 people who did not attend the meeting. We talked about
25 many things, because those people were my friends and
1 acquaintances, and I had not seen them for three or
2 four months.
3 Q. How long did you stay in the courtyard of the
4 VELEPROMET building and where did you go after that?
5 A. I stayed in the courtyard of VELEPROMET -- we
6 stayed there until about half past 3 -- 3.30 p.m.
7 Q. Where did you go after that?
8 A. After that, we went in the direction of
10 Q. Who were you with, but do not mention their
11 names, please, and where did you go to?
12 A. I was with my wife, and my own personal car,
13 in a column, with the other people who were present on
14 the occasion, and we went towards -- in the direction
15 of Negoslavci, Orolik and Sid, where my wife's family
16 was located.
17 Q. Did you stop along the way, on the road from
18 VELEPROMET towards Sid?
19 A. Yes, there were several stops -- the first
20 stop, as far as I recall, was in Negoslavci, there was
21 a control of some kind -- a check of some kind -- I do
22 not know what, because it was a long column of vehicles
23 and we did not see why we were being stopped, but we
24 were stopped for a short period of time. After that,
25 we moved in the direction of the Orolik village, where
1 at the entry to the village we were stopped. In front
2 of us there was a column of buses -- a long line of
3 buses, and we remained there for some time.
4 Q. Could you tell us what time of the day this
6 A. As it was winter time, it was around dusk --
7 night had begun to fall -- somewhere around 4 or half
8 past five in the afternoon.
9 Q. Before getting to Orolik, did you notice a
10 crowd in which Slavko Dokmanovic was present?
11 A. Yes, there was a sort of crowd, but it was a
12 situation in which visibility was reduced, so I could
13 not ascertain who was in the crowd and why the incident
14 had taken place -- what was happening exactly, but when
15 I moved closer, because I did not stay in my car, I
16 heard that Slavko Dokmanovic had taken part in that
17 general commotion.
18 Q. And then you passed the buses and continued
19 along your way?
20 A. Yes, after that incident, traffic was allowed
21 again -- vehicles could move forward, whereas the buses
22 remained where they were.
23 Q. Where did you go after that?
24 A. We went to Sid.
25 Q. On that same day, where did you last see
1 Slavko Dokmanovic?
2 A. I saw him for the last time in front of
4 Q. What time was that?
5 A. According to what the general situation
6 looked like -- it was winter time, as I say -- it was
7 around 5 o'clock.
8 Q. Who was in control of the town immediately
9 after its liberation?
10 A. It was military rule -- the town was
11 administered by military rule.
12 MR. PETROVIC: I would now like to show the
13 witness a document --
14 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask you whether you
15 have many other questions --
16 MR. PETROVIC: No.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: We can then decide when to
18 take a recess.
19 MR. PETROVIC: I will complete my
20 examination-in-chief in five minutes.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Very well.
22 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D58
23 and the English translation D58A.
25 MR. PETROVIC: What kind of document is this,
2 A. This is a document by which the military
3 command appoints me the head of the waterworks, with
4 the task of first and foremost retaining the waterworks
6 Q. Could you read out the document, please,
7 where it says "I order" and below that?
8 A. (redacted)
11 (redacted). The provisional administrator
12 is given these competencies to protect the property,
13 which has been given to him to administer. In taking
14 over his duties, he is duty-bound to set up a commission
15 to determine the state of the property and the
16 equipment, to make a list of the situation as found and
17 to determine whether the equipment or property has been
18 damaged in any way.
19 He is also duty-bound to list any changes that
20 take place and to inform the command thereof. It is
21 prohibited to alienate any property or equipment from
22 the former waterworks without the knowledge and
23 go-ahead of this command. The provisional manager may
24 engage a minimum number of workers, according to their
25 qualification structure, necessary to maintain the
1 equipment and property for use. This command should be
2 supplied with a list of the workers engaged in order
3 for them to be given permits."
4 Q. What is the signature?
5 A. Commander -- Colonel Milorad Vojnovic and the
6 stamp says the "military post number 77 of Kragujevac".
7 Q. The commander of what place -- what locality
8 -- what town?
9 A. The town of Vukovar.
10 Q. Why the commander -- why does the commander
11 of the town appoint a manager for the waterworks?
12 A. Because, at that period, as I said, the town
13 was administered by military rule.
14 MR. PETROVIC: Thank you, I have no further
15 questions. I should just like to ask the redaction and
16 the evidence that we have been tendered be admitted
17 under the numbers we have submitted.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection?
19 MR. NIEMANN: No.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: We take a 20-minute recess.
21 (11.55 a.m.)
22 (A short break)
23 (12.15 p.m.)
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Niemann?
25 Cross-examined by MR. NIEMANN
1 Q. Witness, you said in your evidence that you
2 had a position in the municipality prior to the war; do
3 you remember saying that?
4 A. You misunderstood me. I worked as a clerk in
5 the municipality -- I did not hold a function there --
6 I was not an official of the municipality.
7 Q. How long had you worked there -- I think that
8 -- I gathered from your evidence that you drew a
9 distinction from working in the municipality and the
10 position you had in the waterworks, or are you saying
11 that they were both the same position?
12 A. No, let me explain. From 1979 until 1984,
13 I worked in the municipality as a clerk, in the
14 administrative department, so I did not have a post --
15 a function there. After 1984 -- November 1984 --
16 I worked in the waterworks.
17 Q. You worked in the waterworks right up until
18 the beginning of the war, did you?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. I think you knew Mr. Dokmanovic rather well?
21 A. Yes, you could say that -- we were friends --
22 quite close friends -- we visited each other.
23 Q. I think the two families were friends -- your
24 family and Mr. Dokmanovic's family?
25 A. Yes, you could say that.
1 Q. During the war -- and I am talking about the
2 period August through to November of 1991 -- what work
3 did you do then?
4 A. I have already said that I was assigned by
5 the JNA to carry out the chemical and bacteriological
6 control of the drinking water.
7 Q. You worked under Mr. Dokmanovic during this
8 period -- that is right, is it not?
9 A. No -- I was given my tasks by the army --
10 I received orders from the army.
11 Q. I was not asking you who gave you the tasks;
12 I am merely saying that did you not work either for or
13 with Mr. Dokmanovic during this period, because he was
14 in the position of the Minister for Agriculture in the
15 Government of the Serbian district of Eastern Slavonia,
16 Baranja and Western Srem and because his duties
17 included water?
18 A. Yes, one could say that.
19 Q. And so you saw him during this period?
20 A. Several times -- actually, maybe two times.
21 Q. The position that you had, even though you
22 were assigned -- the position you had during this
23 period that you were assigned by the military
24 authorities, was that a military position, or a
25 civilian position?
1 A. It was a military position.
2 Q. Were you armed?
3 A. Throughout the time that I carried out my
4 function, my tasks, actually, I had people with me who
5 escorted me and who drove me to the places where I had
6 to carry out my duties, so there was no need for me to
7 carry weapons. My job, my function, did not call for
8 weapons to be carried.
9 Q. But nevertheless you wore a uniform?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What was the type of uniform that you wore?
12 A. Well, it was a camouflage uniform -- a
13 military uniform.
14 Q. Did it have insignia or markings on it?
15 A. No, since I did not hold a rank in the
17 Q. Did you wear a military cap or hat?
18 A. No, I did not wear a cap.
19 Q. Where did you get the uniform from?
20 A. I received the uniform in Sid. I cannot
21 remember -- it was a building where I was issued this
22 uniform and assigned to carry out those tasks.
23 Q. And this was a military establishment, was
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. People who were not necessarily performing
2 military duties such as yourself often wore military
3 uniforms, did they not, so people performing civilian
4 functions, if I could call it that, during this period?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. Among other things,
6 I also wore the military uniform when it was not
7 necessary, and the reason for that was because I did
8 not have other clothes, because all my clothes remained
9 in the house to which I had not access during this
11 Q. In fact, it is true, is it not, that from
12 time to time members of the Government of the Serbian
13 district of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem
14 wore uniforms of a sort?
15 A. I am not aware of that, because I did not
16 meet with the members of the Government often.
17 Q. We saw the video a moment ago, Exhibit D2,
18 and in that we see, or we saw Goran Hadzic -- do you
19 remember pointing him out?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. He was at the time walking or with Arkan --
22 do you remember seeing that in the video?
23 A. Yes, I remember seeing Goran Hadzic. I did
24 not know Arkan at the time.
25 Q. If I was to tell you that the gentleman that
1 was walking beside him was Arkan, can you tell me why
2 Mr. Hadzic -- Goran Hadzic was dressed in the same
3 uniform as Arkan, or maybe you do not know?
4 A. I do not know about that.
5 Q. You know Goran Hadzic, do you not?
6 A. Yes, I do know Goran Hadzic from before.
7 Q. And, during that time, that is, November
8 1991, what position did he hold?
9 A. I know from the media, from the press, that
10 he was the Prime Minister in the Government.
11 Q. And he was wearing a military uniform at the
12 time -- you agree with that -- in the video?
13 A. I suppose so. I cannot confirm that with
15 MR. NIEMANN: Okay. I would like to be
16 precise about it, so I will ask the video D2 be played
17 again and you can look at it yourself and we can point
18 it out -- you can point out Mr. Goran Hadzic for me,
19 please. I do not know that it is possible for it to be
20 played now, but I can move on and come back, if that is
22 Just look at this video as it is played. The
23 moment you see Goran Hadzic, I will ask that the video
24 be stopped -- the frame be stopped.
25 (Videotape played)
1 MR. NIEMANN: Did you see him?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can we scroll back and I will ask the video
4 to be stopped. I wanted you to say and we will stop at
5 that point. If we can roll more forward now, a couple
6 more frames?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Those two gentlemen, they appear to be
9 dressed in the same uniform, do they not?
10 A. Yes, one could say that on the basis of this
12 Q. Looking at the screen -- directly at the
13 screen -- the person on the right side, do you
14 recognise that person?
15 A. Yes. I cannot say that I met Arkan, but
16 I saw his face later on TV.
17 Q. Arkan is the gentleman on the left-hand side
18 looking at the screen?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And the gentleman immediately beside him is
21 Goran Hadzic, the Prime Minister?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know this military uniform -- can you
24 recognise the military uniform?
25 A. No, I do not know this uniform -- the army
1 that I dealt with, they did not wear uniforms like
3 Q. Certainly not a JNA uniform -- you would
4 agree with me there?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I want to move on, if I may, to the events
7 that occurred on 20 November 1991, or immediately just
8 prior to that -- I think you said that you went to
9 Vukovar first on 19 November and then again on 20
10 November -- I think that was your evidence?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On the 19th, where did you leave from when
13 you went there on the 19th -- where did you go from?
14 A. From Sid.
15 Q. Again, on the 20th, where did you leave from?
16 A. Also from Sid.
17 Q. I am just wondering if you could help us by
18 showing us on a map the route that you followed.
19 I would ask the witness be shown Exhibit P4. I am
20 wondering if you would do something for me. I will
21 have the map put on the screen there beside you. It
22 will appear on your television set but I would ask you
23 to look at it on the machine beside you, to your
24 right. Just with a pointer, could you show us firstly
25 where Sid is? It has to come up on the screen -- yes,
1 okay. Just take your time and orient yourself and when
2 you feel comfortable with the map, see if you can find
3 Sid for me?
4 A. (Witness points on the map) the route went as
5 follows -- to Tovarnik.
6 Q. If you mention the towns?
7 A. The village of Tovarnik, Ilaca, Sidski
8 Banovci, Orolik, then you go past Berak, but not
9 through Berak, Negoslavci, Vukovar.
10 Q. Is that the route that you followed on both
11 days -- 19 and 20 November 1991?
12 A. That is correct. That is the only route one
13 could take towards Sid.
14 Q. Is that the only route because it was the
15 only route open or because it was the only way you
16 could get there by car?
17 A. As far as I know, that was the only route
18 that was open in the direction of Sid.
19 Q. Coming back on the 19th, what route did you
20 follow then -- coming back from Vukovar to Sid on the
22 A. The same route.
23 Q. And on the 20th?
24 A. The same route.
25 Q. The route from Vukovar to Sid, on the way
1 that you have shown, goes past a turnoff which goes off
2 to Ovcara farm, does it not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On 20 November 1991, what time did you arrive
5 at VELEPROMET, approximately?
6 A. It may have been around 10.
7 Q. And, when you arrived there, did you go
8 anywhere else, or did you just stay at VELEPROMET?
9 A. Only in the VELEPROMET building, since that
10 was the place where the civilian population congregated
11 and that was the place where I expected to find my
13 Q. Did you see Mr. Dokmanovic arrive at
15 A. Yes, I did see him.
16 Q. What time did he arrive?
17 A. He arrived at around 2 p.m.
18 Q. Who was he with?
19 A. He was with Rade Leskovac, Goran Hadzic,
20 Jovan Cvetkovic, Nebojsa Lazarevic and a group of
21 people whom I did not know.
22 Q. And did you see the car that he arrived in --
23 assuming he came by car?
24 A. No, I did not. I did not see the car.
25 Q. Did you talk to Mr. Dokmanovic on that day?
1 A. Of course, I did.
2 Q. What did you talk about?
3 A. It was just the usual chit-chat; how are you,
4 how is your family, is everyone alive and well, do you
5 have any problems -- things like that.
6 Q. I think you said that, after Mr. Dokmanovic --
7 I withdraw that.
8 I think you said that there was a meeting of
9 the Government at the time; is that right?
10 A. At the time, I knew that there was some kind
11 of a meeting going on, but I did not know that that was
12 the meeting of the Government. After that, after the
13 fact, I heard from other people that it was the meeting
14 of the Government.
15 Q. Do you know who participated in the meeting?
16 I know you did not go in and see it yourself, but did
17 you know who went into the meeting?
18 A. I do not know -- I remained in front of the
19 building, talking to the people who had also remained
20 in front of the building. I do not know who entered
21 into the building to attend the meeting.
22 Q. Do you know what time the meeting took place?
23 A. I cannot really say.
24 Q. Do you know how long it lasted?
25 A. Well, as far as I can remember now, maybe
1 about an hour.
2 Q. You saw Mr. Dokmanovic when he first arrived
3 and you think that was about 2 o'clock. The meeting
4 then followed after that, did it -- is that what you
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Did you see Mr. Dokmanovic again in
9 A. I saw Mr. Dokmanovic after he had left the
10 VELEPROMET building -- in that area where I stood at
11 the time.
12 Q. This was outside the building, in the yard?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. You obviously did not see him when he
15 attended the meeting?
16 A. No, I could not have.
17 Q. The time that you saw him after, did you
18 speak to him then, or did you just see him?
19 A. I just saw him -- we did not talk.
20 Q. How long did you keep him under observation
21 for -- how long did you look at him for?
22 A. Well, maybe about 10 minutes -- it was a
23 joint agreement that we should all set off in a line of
24 vehicles towards Sid because we were all going in the
25 same direction.
1 Q. Who proposed this joint agreement -- who said
3 A. I cannot remember. It has been a long time,
4 so I do not remember who it was, who said that -- who
5 proposed this, but we did reach an agreement, although
6 I do not know who initiated the agreement -- I cannot
8 Q. How many cars were there at the time?
9 A. Since I was at the beginning of the line of
10 vehicles, I cannot really say -- maybe about 10
11 vehicles, maybe even more -- I cannot say with any
13 Q. Were there any trucks or buses?
14 A. In that column, there were only cars.
15 Q. When you say you set off, you were in the
16 front of the column -- did you remain in the front of
17 the column?
18 A. I cannot say that I was the first car, but
19 I was in the front among the very first vehicles.
20 Q. Do you know who were in the vehicles ahead of
21 you or behind you?
22 A. Well, no, all those people who were there
23 when this agreement was reached that we should all set
24 off in a column of vehicles -- that means it was Goran
25 Hadzic, Leskovac, Slavko Dokmanovic, Lazarevic,
2 Q. You went directly from VELEPROMET to
3 Negoslavci, did you, or did you stop on the way?
4 A. We went directly from VELEPROMET in the
5 direction of Negoslavci and then we stopped for a short
6 period in Negoslavci. The reason was because there was
7 a line, or a checkpoint in front of us.
8 Q. You did not stop at Ovcara on the way
10 A. This route does not lead via Ovcara.
11 Q. But you can get to Ovcara off this route, can
12 you not, by turning off the road and going --
13 A. Yes, that is correct, from the route, but we
14 did not stop there.
15 Q. After you left VELEPROMET, the next time you
16 saw Slavko Dokmanovic was at Orolik, I think you said?
17 A. We did -- actually, yes, I am sorry,
18 I misunderstood your question -- yes -- not in Orolik,
19 but outside of the village of Orolik, we stopped
20 because there was a line of buses. That is when I saw
22 Q. When you were working in the Municipal
23 Assembly, did you know a person called Emil Cukalovic?
24 A. Yes, I knew him.
25 Q. I think that you said that, when you were in
1 VELEPROMET, you stayed in the compound all the time --
2 did you not say that?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. Is it not true that you went over to the JNA
5 barracks, which was nearby VELEPROMET, during that day
6 of 20 November 1991?
7 A. No, there was no need for me to go there,
8 because no civilian population was gathered there,
9 according to the information at my disposal at the
11 Q. You were looking for your aunt, were you not?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Is it not true that you went to the JNA
14 barracks and there were a number of buses with people
15 loaded in them -- in the buses?
16 A. In the courtyard of VELEPROMET there were a
17 number of buses with people on them. I know about
19 Q. I am talking about JNA barracks, which is
20 very nearby?
21 A. No, I did not know about that.
22 Q. Is it not true that you walked around these
23 buses and that you saw, among other people there, Emil
25 A. I did walk around the buses, but I cannot
1 recall -- I saw many people whom I knew. It is
2 possible that I saw Emil Cukalovic there, too, but
3 I cannot recall it.
4 Q. These people had been brought there from the
5 Vukovar hospital, had they not?
6 A. Yes, that is what I had heard.
16 Q. I put it to you that, at the time, you knew
17 full well that the people on those buses were going to
18 be taken to Ovcara, where they were going to be
20 A. I did not know that.
21 Q. I put it to you that the people that had
22 gathered at VELEPROMET knew that this is what was going
23 to happen to those people who were kept in the buses at
24 the JNA barracks?
25 A. No, I do not know that.
1 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions.
2 MR. FILA: I should like to ask to restrict
3 ourselves to asking the witness questions -- not to
4 intimidate the witnesses. I am interested in
5 Mr. Niemann's questions -- they are important -- not his
6 assertions there was a group of buses. A question is
7 being asked by Mr. Niemann and the other the witness is
8 asking. If you look at the transcript, you will see
9 this, and it would be a good idea to clarify that up --
10 whether we are dealing with the group of buses.
11 MR. NIEMANN: It is entirely appropriate for
12 me to put propositions to the witness in circumstances
13 such as this, your Honour, bearing in mind the
14 testimony that has been called in this case -- entirely
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, I think Mr. Niemann is
17 right. He asked questions of the witness and the
18 witness said "no" and so it is a different way of
19 putting questions, which is appropriate, because these
20 questions were based on the testimony of another
21 witness. Do you have any questions for
23 MR. FILA: Just the question of the buses.
24 What group of buses were you talking about? Can we
25 clarify the group of buses in question? It is not
1 clear from what has been said.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Are you asking this question
3 of the witness?
4 MR. FILA: Yes, what buses has the witness in
5 mind when he says he saw them -- where did he see those
7 A. I saw the buses in front of Orolik.
8 Q. No, with the group of people?
9 A. In VELEPROMET.
10 Q. And the Prosecutor is asking or asked you
11 whether you were at the barracks and whether you saw
12 buses at the barracks with people in them?
13 A. I said no, and my answer was no to that
15 JUDGE CASSESE: It was very clear also to
17 MR. PETROVIC: I apologise, your Honour, just
18 two questions to clarify matters.
19 Re-examined by MR. PETROVIC
20 Q. The question asked by the Prosecutor as to
21 whether the position held in autumn was a military one
22 and you said "Yes"; would you tell us whether the
23 position you were placed at was a civilian post, or
24 whether the -- to which the military command had
25 appointed you was a civilian post?
1 A. That I was appointed to by the military
3 Q. May we clarify another matter? Did you see
4 Dokmanovic coming and who did he come with, and you
5 mentioned Mr. Hadzic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you see that Mr. Dokmanovic had come with
8 Mr. Hadzic or did you say that Mr. Hadzic -- that
9 Mr. Dokmanovic was there in the group with Mr. Hadzic, so
10 he had not come with him?
11 A. I did not see that -- I cannot say who came
12 with whom.
13 MR. PETROVIC: Thank you. I have no more
15 JUDGE CASSESE: No questions? I assume
16 there is no objection to the witness being released.
17 Thank you for coming here to give evidence.
18 You may be released. I wonder whether Mr. Fila or
19 Mr. Petrovic could tell us whether they need a lot of
20 time for -- is it too late? Do you prefer to adjourn
22 MR. PETROVIC: Yes, I fear that it would be
23 best to begin tomorrow morning. We have one more
24 witness that we have called for this part of the trial.
25 MR. FILA: I should like to ask something as
2 (The witness withdrew)
3 MR. FILA: I wanted to ask something but the
4 witness does not have to hear it.
5 I would like to ask your Honours to allow me
6 to say something. The witness that is coming tomorrow,
7 and it is the wife of the previous witness -- we have
8 concluded our list of witnesses -- when the Prosecutor
9 presented his evidence, witness Vidic mentioned that
10 Mr. Dokmanovic took part in a mission -- in a broadcast
11 by Television Novi Sad and that they did not like it.
12 The book that Mr. Williamson has been showing
13 persistently, with a National Council of some kind --
14 I do not know what it is about -- the author is a
15 certain Petrovic. The tape that I have in my
16 possession has three-fold importance: first, it is the
17 programme mentioned; second, the programme shows that
18 Dokmanovic was not a member of the Serbian People's
19 Council, and I am sorry to disappoint the Prosecutor,
20 but that is evident on the tape and, thirdly, we hear
21 the attitude of Mr. Dokmanovic with regard to extremists
22 and non-extremists. It is a tape taken in the spring of
24 If the court agrees, we can show the tape
25 tomorrow -- I would like to give it to the interpreters
1 -- to prepare it, because it lasts for two hours, but
2 I said that it has three-fold importance. It is
3 important on three counts -- first of all, to hear what
4 Dokmanovic says and to hear what the individual who is
5 a member of the Serbian National Council says.
6 Fourthly, in the supporting material provided by the
7 Prosecutor it is stated that Dokmanovic in that
8 particular programme said that the Croats were not a
9 mature nation, which must be placed under political
10 tutelage. On this tape we can see that Mr. Dokmanovic
11 never said those words, but the author of the book did
12 -- of that capital work that the Prosecutor constantly
13 is placing before the Tribunal.
14 So, if you agree, I should like to show this
15 tape tomorrow morning.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I do not know
17 what the tape is, and I find it objectionable that we
18 get a summary of evidence of what its contents are in
19 this way. The tape speaks for itself. If there is a
20 tape, which I have no idea what it is, if it is of any
21 benefit to the Defence, they should present it in the
22 usual way as an exhibit and we can deal with it in that
23 way. But I cannot respond to something that has been
24 said. I had heard at one stage -- I think Mr. Fila
25 suggested playing the BBC programme -- "The Death of
1 Yugoslavia". I do not know that this is the tape he is
2 talking about, but I have some views and comments on
3 that, if that is what he is talking about. That is
4 something I have seen. I do not know whether or not
5 this is the same one.
6 MR. FILA: "The Death of Yugoslavia", I think
7 we agreed that this tape should be shown, but it is the
8 Prosecution that has the tape, not myself, and I think
9 it would be beneficial for us to see that tape, if that
10 is what Mr. Niemann is talking about. This tape is by
11 Television Novi Sad, and Mr. Dokmanovic takes part as
12 the President of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar.
13 You can see it tomorrow. I shall be tendering it in
14 evidence, of course.
15 But I do not have any abridged version,
16 neither did I receive any abridged versions from the
17 Prosecution, which I have looked through. So, when
18 people are leaving Vukovar, the Jewish choir is singing
19 -- that is probably the abridged version of something
21 MR. NIEMANN: I do not know what Mr. Fila is
22 talking about -- unless it is a video that we have
23 provided, I do not know what the video is about and
24 I can only suggest that, if he can give us a copy of
25 it, we can look at it overnight and would be in a much
1 better position to respond to it in the morning.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, I wonder whether
3 you could give a copy to the interpreters and to the
5 MR. FILA: I have just one example -- they
6 can copy it as much as they like, but I have only this
7 one example and do not have the possibilities of
8 technically multiplying this. Take a look at it and we
9 can play it tomorrow.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Give a copy maybe to the
11 Registry for the interpreters and for the Prosecutor --
12 the Prosecutor I hope will be able to make a copy.
13 I wonder whether we could receive from either
14 party as soon as possible a still of the accused, of
15 Mr. Goran Hadzic and Mr. Arkan taken from the videotape
16 we saw today, as well as other videotapes. In
17 particular this applies to the accused, whether we
18 could have a still of the various pictures.
19 MR. NIEMANN: We will do that, your Honour.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: In colour, if possible --
21 not in black and white. You may remember that tomorrow
22 we start at 8.30 and we sit on another case, so we will
23 resume on the case of Mr. Dokmanovic at 10 o'clock
24 sharp. We stand adjourned now.
25 (At 1 p.m. the matter adjourned
1 until Wednesday, 29th April 1998 at 10 a.m.)