1 Wednesday, 27th May 1998
2 (In open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Could the
6 Registrar please call out the case number?
7 THE REGISTRAR: IT-95-13a-T. Prosecutor
8 versus Slavko Dokmanovic.
9 For the Prosecution: Mr. Niemann, Mr. Williamson,
10 Mr. Waespi
11 For the Defence: Mr. Fila, Mr. Petrovic
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Dokmanovic, can you hear
13 me well? Thank you.
14 We will now proceed with our next witness.
15 May I ask you to -- yes, to stand and read out the
16 formal declaration, the solemn declaration?
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
22 Mr. Fila, I may be wrong, but I think we have
23 not received a statement of this witness, and I think
24 it was given to the Prosecutor.
25 MR. FILA: Yes.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: But I can't find it in my
2 file. It's probably because I'm a bit messy. All
3 right. So I was wrong, so I apologise. Good. So you
4 may start.
5 WITNESS: MILORAD PAVLOVIC
6 Examined by Mr. Fila
7 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, did you make a statement to the
8 investigator from my office on the 11th of May 1998?
9 A. I did.
10 Q. Could you please take a look at it and see
11 whether this is your statement?
12 And I would like to tender it as evidence,
13 Defence Exhibit.
14 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 114 and
15 114A, for the translation.
16 A. This is my statement and my signature.
17 MR. FILA: If there are no objections from
18 the Prosecutor, I suggest that it be admitted into
19 evidence as D114.
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
22 MR. FILA: May I continue?
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
24 MR. FILA:
25 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, did you graduate from the
1 military academy of the Army of Yugoslavia in Belgrade?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you graduate from the faculty of
4 political sciences in Belgrade?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Did you graduate from the higher military
7 political school of the JNA?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you graduate from the school of
10 journalism at the Yugoslavia Institute for Journalism?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When did you get your masters degree and what
13 was your -- the subject of your masters degree?
14 A. In 1990 I got my masters degree, and my
15 subject was the main forms of implementation and the
16 prospects of collective security of the organisation of
17 the United Nations.
18 Q. Did you receive a doctorate, and what was
19 your subject?
20 A. I received a doctorate in 1995, and my
21 subject was peacekeeping forces in the system of
22 collective security with special reference to the
23 characteristics and reaches of UNPROFOR in the former
25 Q. Are you the author of the book "Secession as
1 Directed by the Great Powers"?
2 A. Yes, in 1996.
3 Q. Are you an active officer of the Army of
4 Yugoslavia now with the rank of Colonel?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Where are you employed now?
7 A. I now work in the federal Ministry of Foreign
8 Affairs in Belgrade.
9 Q. In the period that we are interested in, in
10 1991, rather 1990, 1991, were you an officer of the
11 JNA, and what rank did you have?
12 A. The rank of Colonel I received in 1989, so in
13 1990 and in 1991 I had the rank of Colonel and I was an
14 officer of the Yugoslav People's Army.
15 Q. What duties did you perform then in that
16 period as a Colonel of the JNA?
17 A. At that time I worked in the Department for
18 Public Information in the Federal Secretariat for
19 National Defence -- in 1991, I mean. And immediately
20 afterwards, when the peacekeeping forces came to the
21 territory of the former Yugoslavia, I worked as
22 assistant head of Department for Information for
23 co-operation with UNPROFOR.
24 Q. Is that is what we say, that you were the
25 spokesman in 1990, 1991? Would that be a fair
2 A. Well, not really, because according to the
3 job descriptions we had then, there was no such
4 person. I was just head of Department for Public
6 Q. So you issued press releases to the public
7 and public information bulletins and things like that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. As head of the Department for Information in
10 the Federal Secretariat for National Defence and
11 assistant head of the Department for Co-operation with
12 UNPROFOR, participate in the working group that
13 prepared a report on the activities of paramilitary
14 units of Croatia towards the JNA?
15 A. Yes, I was a member of that group, and after
16 that I helped elaborate this report and similar
18 Q. On that basis, could you please take a look
19 at these documents. Is this one of the reports that
20 was made by your department in this period?
21 Please, I would like to have this admitted
22 into evidence as a Defence Exhibit.
23 Could you please take a look at the letter,
24 which is there in the Serbian language, and is that the
25 report that you have been speaking of?
1 A. Yes, that is that report and the contents of
2 that report.
3 Q. Was that report made on the basis of the
4 information provided by the working group that you were
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So that is a report in whose elaboration you
8 participated, and you say that it is your report, if I
9 may put it that way?
10 A. Well, yes, I did participate in its
11 elaboration, and I fully agree with everything that is
12 mentioned here
13 MR. FILA: If there are no objections, I
14 would like to have this admitted into evidence.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, this is a very
16 extensive document, this is the first time we've seen
17 it, so at this point in time we are not prepared to
18 agree to admission into evidence. I apologise for not
19 standing. Sorry.
20 And, as well, I think that there are a number
21 of issues in here which are addressed which we would
22 have an objection to on the basis of relevance,
23 particularly issues of cease-fire violations and
24 blockades of barracks.
25 If the court is prepared to hear this and
1 does feel it is relevant, we will have extensive
2 cross-examination on this and we have a substantial
3 amount of materials that we would submit, both to this
4 witness, and likely in rebuttal we would call witnesses
5 on these issues.
6 So if the court feels it's relevant, we are
7 certainly willing to enter into that, but otherwise we
8 would raise an objection to its materiality.
9 MR. FILA: Your Honour, may --
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Two points. As for the
11 admission into evidence, I mean, for the time being I
12 think the Prosecutor has the right to go through this
13 document, and so this item can be discussed later on,
14 whether or not it can be admitted into evidence.
15 As for the matters which are touched upon in
16 this report, we also feel that the, say, breaches of
17 cease-fire and other matters are not relevant to these
18 particular cases. There may be matters addressed by
19 Mr. Fila in his statement, but we feel now that they
20 are no longer relevant, they are not relevant.
21 MR. FILA: Your Honour, may I suggest
22 something in relation to what you said before we
23 actually heard the witness and when we talked about the
24 documents. Perhaps the Prosecutor will agree to this
25 too. I have other documents as well, and we didn't
1 even manage to have them translated. This one was
2 translated only yesterday. So I suggest, if the
3 Prosecutor agrees, that we see that all of this is
4 there, and then once it is all translated, then in June
5 the Prosecutor can say whether they agree that this be
6 admitted into evidence. Perhaps they will agree to
7 some things, they will not agree to other things, but
8 there is no point in presenting arguments of this sort,
9 you know, we are going to have a lot of rebuttal or
10 this and that. I mean, this is frightening the other
11 side, so I think we've had good co-operation and it's
12 not necessary to present these kind of documents.
13 So all of this, let it be recorded as Defence
14 Exhibits. We are going to hear Mr. Williamson in June,
15 and, if we agree on this, fine, and, if we do not,
16 well, all will be well also. I haven't made any
17 problems to you so far and I won't be making any
18 problems now.
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, we would agree
20 to Mr. Fila's proposal, if these are just all marked
21 for identification and then we will have some period.
22 Because certainly documents that we are receiving in
23 Serbo-Croatian, it's going to be impossible to make any
24 determination about them at this point.
25 MR. FILA: Just one more thing, sir. I'm
1 sorry, may I just say one more thing. I received those
2 documents only yesterday, so I apologise.
3 Q. So that we would all know what we are talking
4 about, could you just give us a brief comment on the
5 report, nothing more than that?
6 A. Certainly.
7 Q. Please do.
8 A. May I proceed? Thank you. As I said a few
9 minutes ago, this report was made on the basis of
10 documents, orders, decisions, reports of the then
11 Federal Secretariat of National Defence of Yugoslavia.
12 I had the opportunity of participating in this and I
13 had insight into the written documents related to these
14 events. This report relates to 1991.
15 Q. And it speaks of what?
16 A. This report, first of all, highlights the
17 most important points in this report, that is, there
18 are the dates and days and even the actual timing, the
19 actual hour, when the Croatian illegal formations or
20 armed forces attacked the members of the Yugoslav
21 People's Army, their facilities, property, et cetera.
22 Q. Briefly, is that the content of this
24 A. Yes, that is the content of this document.
25 Q. Thank you. I think that would do at this
1 point. I mean, we have described what it's all about,
2 so let us proceed.
3 I kindly ask Your Honours now to submit only
4 in the Serbian language, just for the purpose of
5 identification, the documents which essentially prove
6 how justified it is to present this first document. So
7 please let them just be marked for identification and
8 let the witness say what it is about, so that whatever
9 this chamber does not agree to in June, I will
10 certainly withdraw it. And that will certainly not be
11 a reason for delaying the trial.
12 I kindly ask the usher to show the witness
13 this document.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder whether meanwhile we
15 could give a number to the other document which was
16 received in Serbian and for identification purposes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that would be document
18 D115, the report. This would be D116. Yes, this would
19 be D116.
20 MR. FILA:
21 Q. Please take a look at it and tell us what
22 it's about, also briefly, like you did a few minutes
24 A. This is information on the illegal import of
25 armaments and military equipment from Hungary into the
1 Republic of Croatia by agricultural aircraft of the
2 Republic of Croatia in the period from the 20th of
3 August until the 9th of September, 1990.
4 Q. Nothing else?
5 A. No, nothing else.
6 Q. Could you please take a look at the next
7 document too.
8 I ask the usher to kindly show the witness
9 the next document.
10 That can be marked as D117 for the purposes
11 of identification.
12 A. This is also information about the illegal
13 import of armaments into the Republic of Croatia by an
14 aeroplane of the Ugandan airline to Zagreb airport, and
15 this information speaks of the quantities imported.
16 Q. Colonel, at that time was the resolution on
17 the embargo of importing arms into Yugoslavia in force?
18 A. This information was made on the 31st of
19 August, however, the first resolution, 713, came out a
20 bit later.
21 Q. Would you please have a look at the next
22 document now and tell us what it's about. What is
24 A. This is a numerical review of the
25 representation of the nations and nationalities of then
1 Yugoslavia in the Yugoslav People's Army.
2 Q. So that is the national structure, the ethnic
3 structure of the Yugoslav People's Army's?
4 A. Yes, it is. First of all -- I mean, in the
5 first column it shows the nationalities on the
6 territory of the former Yugoslavia. The next column
7 shows population, the population of Yugoslavia, that is
8 to say the actual number of inhabitants and also their
9 percentage in terms of the total population. The third
10 column shows the number of active officers, that is to
11 say, officers and non-commissioned officers.
12 Q. All right, we have identified that. And what
13 about the next page?
14 A. On the next page -- well, there is one more
15 thing I wish to add. And that is that this document
16 shows that this is the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA,
17 which was at that time a multi-national army. This is
18 1991. It consisted of representatives of all the
19 nations and nationalities of Yugoslavia.
20 On page 2 is a list of Generals who were not
21 of Serb or Montenegrin ethnic origin, and this was the
22 situation of the 1st of January 1992.
23 MR. FILA: Thank you. Could we please mark
24 this document for identification too? Please have a
25 look at this.
1 Q. Could you tell us what kind of a map this is
2 and what it shows?
3 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 119.
4 A. This map shows military facilities that the
5 Croatian forces, the ZNG and the MOP (phoen) of Croatia
6 on the 10th of November 1991 attacked, captured or
8 Q. Could you please take a look at the next
9 document. Please explain what this is about.
10 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D120.
11 A. This is an order of the presidency of then
12 Yugoslavia dated January 9th, 1991. This order was
13 issued that on the territory of then Yugoslavia, SFRY,
14 all armed units which are not under the armed forces of
15 Yugoslavia or the Ministry of the Interior, so that
16 such units should be disbanded, and also this equipment
17 should be put into warehouses.
18 Q. At that time was the presidency in its full
19 composition, all representatives?
20 A. Yes, it was signed by the president of the
21 presidency of Yugoslavia, Milos Vojnovic.
22 Q. And what about this next document?
23 THE REGISTRAR: This is D121.
24 Q. What is this document?
25 A. This document is a request made by the chief
1 of general staff of the Armed Forces, General Blagoja
2 Adzic, to the command of the fifth Army district, that
3 is the Zagreb Army district, for the command to get
4 into contact with the civilian authorities in Croatia.
5 And, it says, that on the basis of this previous order
6 that we had seen, to put under joint command 20.000
7 automatic rifles of the Kalashnikov type, and the
8 rifles that were issued to the reserve forces of the
9 police should be taken back, et cetera.
10 Q. So, practically, this document relates to the
11 implementation of the previous document.
12 A. Yes, this is orders to the commander
14 Q. Could you please take a look at this next
15 document and say what it is and who signed it?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document D122.
17 MR. FILA:
18 Q. Could you please explain who signed it and
19 what it's about?
20 A. This document was signed by the Deputy
21 Federal Secretary for National Defence, Admiral
22 Stane Brovet.
23 Q. What was he by nationality?
24 A. A Slovene.
25 Q. From the 13th of August, 1991, he addresses
1 the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia,
2 Mr. Franjo Gregoric, and informs him that military
3 equipment was looted, as it was being transported by
4 railway on the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
5 Q. And who robbed this?
6 A. This robbery was conducted by the members of
7 the ZNG. They attacked the train, they disarmed the
8 escorting officers, and they took 10 wagons full of
9 military equipment, et cetera, which was being
10 transported from the territory of Croatia to the FRY,
11 or what is today at the FRY.
12 Q. Thank you. Would you take a look at the next
14 THE REGISTRAR: It is document D123.
15 MR. FILA:
16 Q. Would you briefly tell us what the document
17 is about?
18 A. This is a document by the commander of the
19 5th military district, the Zagreb military district,
20 General Zivota Avramovic who informs the general staff
21 of the armed forces of Yugoslavia about the fact
22 that -- he is informing him about a great massive
23 grouping of the members of the Ministry of Internal
24 Affairs of Croatia around certain facilities in certain
25 municipalities where there is a majority Serb
1 population, to concentrate the forces of internal
2 affairs and it states which directions, in which areas
3 they should be grouped. For example, in Kostajnica,
4 400 members have arrived, 600 elsewhere and this
5 document is dated the 4th of July 1991.
6 Q. And what period does it encompass?
7 A. This document of the 4th of July encompasses
8 a period -- characteristic of the provocative attacks
9 on members of the JNA from the 27th of June to the 30th
10 of September 1991.
11 Q. Thank you. Would you now take a look at the
12 following document, please.
13 THE REGISTRAR: It is document D124.
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, if I might
15 intervene just a moment. Might I suggest that the
16 gentleman could identify all of these documents in
17 globo as documents that he is presenting and then we
18 can just wait and have the translations and determine
19 if they are relevant. It's impossible for us to
20 cross-examine on these because they are in another
21 language that, unfortunately, neither of us can read.
22 So all we have to go on is what he is saying. If he
23 can just identify them and then we get the documents in
24 English, we can make a -- I think an informed decision
25 as to whether we would admit them.
1 MR. FILA: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Judging from the brief
3 description given so far by the witness of the various
4 documents which have been presented by the Defence
5 counsel, we feel that most of these documents, probably
6 all of them, are irrelevant to our case. We are only
7 interested in those documents which directly touch upon
8 the situation in Vukovar. So therefore I wonder --
9 MR. FILA: It's inside. Your Honour, if I
10 may. In all those reports include Vukovar, but they
11 haven't been translated. There is mention of Vukovar.
12 They are for the whole territory of Croatia, which
13 includes Vukovar. So Vukovar is included in the
15 And when the documents were drawn up, we did
16 not know that there would be hearings of this kind so
17 as to focus on Vukovar itself. But they do include
19 This is the last document that I have in my
20 hand. This is the last document to be marked for
21 identification, and I have two more which have not been
22 translated. So it will be easy for us to see in June
23 what is relevant and what is not relevant. There is no
24 problem there, once the documents have been
25 translated. As I say, this is the last document.
1 Otherwise, as I say, all the documents refer
2 to Vukovar. They include Vukovar as well.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: But, of course, Mr. Fila,
4 when I mentioned Vukovar, I meant to say that they
5 explicitly, express mention should be made of Vukovar
6 in those documents. If they generally describe the
7 whole situation in the Republic of Croatia or touch
8 upon matters such as, say, breaches of cease-fire or
9 prohibited importation of arms by the authorities in
10 Zagreb, these are matters which are not relevant to our
11 particular case. We are dealing with a very specific
12 case, and the issue is whether or not the accused is
13 guilty or innocent. Innocent or guilty.
14 MR. FILA: No. Your Honour, I did not bring
15 Wheeler to testify here, so I must respond, if it is
16 not relevant, then, very well. Then nothing is
17 relevant. Wheeler isn't relevant either.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: You are right, Mr. Fila, I
19 said before, I mentioned Wheeler on purpose, to say
20 that, of course we were at the outset of our
21 proceedings, but --
22 MR. FILA: Very well. I have given you the
23 last document and that completes the document bit.
24 Q. Now I would like to ask you something else.
25 It is document D125.
1 A. This document deals with a request for all
2 the police departments. That the members of the
3 reservists be taken to the reservist, internal affairs
4 department, and it is signed by Deputy Internal Affairs
5 Minister Dzelko (phoen) Tomanovic. That is the
6 document I have before me.
7 MR. FILA: The defence has completed its set
8 of documents to be marked for identification now.
9 Q. I now would like to ask you something else.
10 As a relevant question, the question was raised of the
11 uniform of the JNA in the Vukovar period, particularly
12 the pilot's uniform of the JNA. And two witnesses, if
13 you recall, identified these.
14 Now, I have a small technical problem in this
15 regard. The original documents are in colour and we
16 are dealing with colour, are we not? So I can just
17 hand them over to you and if you have the technical
18 possibilities to photocopy them, please do so, because
19 I do not.
20 Whereas the instructions as to how these
21 uniforms are worn, I have this in five copies, but once
22 again, unfortunately, only in Serbian. So once again I
23 request that this be translated later on. And this is
24 Defence -- these are Defence exhibits.
25 Would the usher come and collect these
1 documents, please. That is the technical part. Yes,
2 it is not possible to -- you have it in colour.
3 The witness would have to see these in
4 colour, so could you give him an identification, mark
5 it with an identification, and then hand it to the
6 witness. First, the second piece of evidence is what
7 we want. The second is just the law on how the
8 uniforms are worn. The second document is actually
9 what the uniforms look like.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document D126.
11 MR. FILA: There are two different
12 documents. So we need two numbers for identification.
13 Mr. Garmes. There are two different documents as I
14 say, two different documents.
15 THE REGISTRAR: 126, 127.
16 Q. Would you first -- have you received the
17 first document, the one over there. First have a look
18 at the black and white document that we are going to
19 show you. Have a look at D127 first, please. The
20 photograph and what it is about. First have a look at
21 the photographs, 126. Could you tell us what they
23 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, might I suggest
24 that these be displayed on the ELMO, since we don't
25 have copies ourselves.
1 MR. FILA: Yes, I forgot about the ELMO.
2 They are going to put it on the ELMO for you
3 on the right-hand side, and then everybody will be able
4 to see. Mr. Pavlovic, the usher will do it for you.
5 Q. Please take a look at the uniforms, please,
6 now, on the ELMO, and speak into the microphone. It's
7 a bit difficult, but try please. These are the
8 official, daily uniforms of active military personnel
9 at the ground forces, the winter uniform and the summer
10 uniform. Which is the summer, which is the winter?
11 A. The winter uniform.
12 Q. Please show us with your finger or pointer.
13 A. That is the winter uniform, suit and cap,
14 trousers, shirt and cap, and the daily uniform of the
15 parachute units, the winter ones with the overcoat.
16 Q. Very well. Would you take a look at the next
17 one, please.
18 A. This shows the official daily uniform of
19 active military personnel of the aviation and the
20 anti-Air Force defence, the winter one with the
21 overcoat. The official daily uniform of the aviation
22 and Air Force defence, winter, once again with a coat,
23 and the daily uniform of active military personnel of
24 the Air Force, the summer uniform.
25 Q. May we have a look at the next slide,
1 please. Would you describe that?
2 A. This shows the rank and insignia which are
3 worn if an active officer -- active officers worn in
4 front on the left-hand side on the breast when a
5 raincoat is worn, an overcoat is worn, and so on and so
6 forth. These are the different ranks, the Major,
7 Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, and these are the
9 Q. May we see what an Air Force Colonel wears.
10 A. And the Lieutenant here, so two wide ones --
11 one wider one and two narrow ones and three narrow ones
12 and one wide one.
13 Q. What is the material used?
14 A. It is metal. It is made of metal.
15 Q. Would you look at the next slide please? We
16 have no more slides.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Fila I would like to see
18 these now, please, the originals. Can we see the
19 originals here. I want to see them now while they are
20 still in mind.
21 Would the witness please look at this
22 exhibit. And I am now looking at -- I don't know the
23 number of it, but the exhibit in which the person shown
24 is in the greyish uniform. Would you look at that and
25 tell us if that's the colour it appears as you look at
1 it. Is it a good representation of the colour or not?
2 A. You are thinking about this one here? It is
3 the official daily uniform of active personnel of the
4 ground forces, yes, that's -- that is the colour.
5 JUDGE MAY: The ground forces, is that the
7 A. The ground forces, the army, yes. It is of a
8 greyish/green, olive green colour, greyish, olive
10 JUDGE MAY: And that is a good
11 representation, is it, in your judgement? Does it look
12 like that?
13 A. Well, perhaps it's not clear enough, but that
14 is the colour, yes.
15 MR. FILA:
16 Q. Are you a Colonel of the ground forces? Do
17 you wear that uniform?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. What colour is the uniform?
20 A. As I say, greyish, olive greenish in colour.
21 Q. Is it more green or does it move towards the
22 green colour more or is it more grey in colour?
23 A. Predominantly greyish or greenish. Greyish,
24 I would say.
25 JUDGE MAY: I wonder if we can have an
1 exhibit number for that so that we can avoid
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, might we also
4 have an opportunity to look at this.
5 JUDGE MAY: Of course.
6 MR. FILA: When we complete everything and
7 then I'll supply you with a set.
8 JUDGE MAY: I would rather have a number now,
9 because otherwise we are going to get confused. Can we
10 have the next number and mark it.
11 THE REGISTRAR: It is number D126 and it is
12 document 126A.
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: If I could just get some
14 clarification. Which is 126 and which is 126A.
15 JUDGE MAY: We've got this exhibit as 126.
16 THE REGISTRAR: I think that's 127, what
17 Judge May has in his hand. Judge May is holding 127, I
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: This one is.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That is D127. The black and
21 white documents are D127. The black and white
23 MR. WILLIAMSON: Thank you.
24 JUDGE MAY: So the army then, the army
25 uniform, the colour one which we have on the ELMO, that
1 is 126; is that correct?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's right. The
3 colour document is 126, the one we actually showed is
4 126A whereas the other documents are B, C and D.
5 MR. FILA:
6 Q. Would you take a look at the next document,
7 please, which shows the Air Force uniforms.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Fila, if you wouldn't mind.
9 There are some matters I want dealt with next, please.
10 MR. FILA: Your Honours, there are ranks as
11 well, and I wanted to complete this and then discuss
12 matters. There are in colour, the ranks in colour.
13 JUDGE MAY: It's a matter that we want to
14 deal with while it's in our mind.
15 Would the witness look at this exhibit which
16 we've been shown, which I think is the Air Force
18 Very well, 126L. Is that the Air Force
19 uniform, Colonel?
20 A. Yes, it is. The first picture here, this
21 first picture, has been crossed out, but don't let that
22 trouble you. It is not actually topical now, but it
23 was the uniform worn at the time. It is a 1989 rules
24 governing uniforms and clothing. So it is the official
25 daily uniform of active officers of the Navy and
1 descent units with the overcoat. The next is the
2 official daily uniform of active officers of the Air
3 Force and anti-aircraft attack with the winter uniform
4 with the overcoat. That is the second picture.
5 The following one is the official daily
6 uniform of active officers of the Air Force and
7 anti-aircraft defence, winter with the overcoat, and
8 also the daily uniform of active officers, Air Force,
9 the summer uniform without the overcoat. And that is
10 -- those are the uniforms.
11 JUDGE MAY: So the figures shown, as we look
12 at them on the right, are the Air Force uniform?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. Thank you,
15 Mr. Fila.
16 MR. FILA: Just to -- that there is no
17 misunderstanding, how many of these uniforms are Air
19 A. All three are Air Force, but this one
20 here is with an overcoat, the second is with a coat and
21 the third is only the trousers, the jacket and the
23 Q. Do the higher officers, the Lieutenants and
24 First Lieutenants, did they all wear uniforms of this
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And your rank too, the Lieutenants and
4 A. Yes, those were the uniforms we wore.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you just describe the
6 colour, the last one on the right, the Air Force,
7 without the coat. What colours are those? The
8 trousers, the jacket, and then the shirt and the tie,
9 what colours are those?
10 A. The colour of the uniform is sky blue. Air
11 Force and Air Defence, sky blue colour.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: And the shirt?
13 A. The shirt is blue, light blue.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: And the tie?
15 A. Dark blue or navy.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: May I also ask you a
17 question. Are there any sort of casual jackets worn by
18 members of the Air Force, because I -- normally army
19 personnel tends to also wear some sort of jacket which
20 are more -- less elegant and formal than the overcoats
21 we see here in the two central figures. I wonder
22 whether there is any -- any such sort of jacket,
23 particularly in winter, for winter jackets?
24 A. Your Honour, there are no other clothing --
25 there is no other clothing, apart from the ones shown
1 here. These are copies from the rules and regulations
2 governing the clothing of the Air Force.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: In practice members of the
4 Air Force never wear some sort of different jacket --
5 they only are obliged and in practice they do wear
6 either the jacket which we see here on the right-hand
7 side, or the overcoat, which we see in these central
9 A. Yes, a pattern from the pilots. They have
10 pilots' jackets, which are characteristic, once again,
11 for pilots. But this is -- the regulation clothing,
12 regulation uniforms.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: What is the colour of the
14 pilots' jackets?
15 A. Similar to these colours here, blue, but they
16 are characteristic intended to change in practice.
17 They were not always the same. They had fur, or
18 without fur lining. They had sleeves, tight sleeves
19 around the wrist, or not so tight. They were
20 different. They tend to change.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
22 A. Belts on.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, yes.
24 MR. FILA:
25 Q. Would you please tell us now, in war what
1 were all the officers of the Yugoslav People's Army
2 wearing, the pilots and the others, the Air Force and
3 the others?
4 A. Under conditions of mobilisation war, all the
5 officers wore camouflage uniforms, that is the
6 coloured, multi-coloured uniforms, which are uniform
7 for all the branches of the army, of the Yugoslav Army
8 of that day.
9 Q. So can we say that in November 1991 all the
10 officers of the JNA who were active around Vukovar had
11 to wear the -- I'm sorry -- the camouflage uniforms,
12 olive green, of the multi-coloured type or the ones you
13 showed us?
14 A. Well, as a rule everybody was to have worn
15 camouflage uniforms, the mixed colours one, with a
16 beret, and they wore this in 1991, in the war
17 operations around Vukovar, yes. Regardless of what
18 branch of the army they belonged to.
19 Q. And these are the official uniforms when they
20 go home, when they go to the general staff, these are
21 the daily, regular uniforms that are worn, so to say,
22 in peace time from their homes to their place of work
23 and so on?
24 A. In the course of the day.
25 Q. Let us clear this up. Of these four uniforms
1 that you have before you, the first on the left is the
2 Navy uniform; is that right? What colour is that?
3 What colour is the Navy uniform?
4 A. It is the same colour of the olive greeny
5 greyish colour as the ground forces, the army.
6 Q. Can we then conclude that the period that is
7 relevant for us, 1991, November is the month, that the
8 JNA had daily uniforms of the type you have shown us,
9 the Air Force as well, and under war conditions that
10 prevailed in 1991, around Vukovar and further afield,
11 but we are dealing with Vukovar, that regardless of the
12 branch of the army they had to wear camouflage
13 uniforms. Very well, yes. Now, would you like to
14 explain to us what insignias they had. And look at the
15 other documents that you have before you.
16 May we continue, if you agree, with the
18 Would you explain them to us, one by one.
19 They are also in colour. What is this in front of you?
20 A. These are ranks, ranks of officers, ranks of
21 officers, made of metal. I explained that.
22 Q. Yes, I know that. But please could we mark
23 this and -- camouflage uniforms did people wear these
24 ranks made of metal?
25 A. These ranks, the insignia, were put on only
1 if a raincoat was worn -- a raincoat, and if one wears
2 a war uniform, this kind of insignia are placed on war
4 Q. What is a war uniform like, you said a few
5 minutes ago?
6 A. It's a camouflage uniform, the multi-coloured
7 one, how should I put this?
8 Q. So if a Lieutenant-Colonel of the JNA in
9 November 1991 was in war uniform, what did he have to
11 A. He had to have this insignia here.
12 Q. Where?
13 A. On the left-hand side of his breast.
14 Q. Near his heart?
15 A. Yes, near his heart.
16 Q. Did he have something on his shoulders, on
17 his epaulettes ?
18 A. No, no, if he wore this in front, then he
19 didn't have anything on his shoulders.
20 Q. Thank you. Has this been marked? For
21 identification I mean. All right. So could we please
22 continue. What is that? Black and white?
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you give a number to
24 the -- this last -- yes, to the insignia document, I
25 mean the picture of the various insignias.
1 THE REGISTRAR: D126M.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
3 MR. FILA:
4 Q. Could you please take a look at the paper
5 that you have on the ELMO, rather than the paper in
6 front of you.
7 A. This is uniform of active officers with the
8 rank of Colonel and General of the Air Force and the
9 Air Defence for winter and summer, and this is a
10 ceremonious (sic) uniform, for example, there is one
11 for holidays, for the day of the JNA, particularly for
12 that -- those acts of service, et cetera.
13 Q. So could we please mark this as 126, whatever
15 A. What is this that we are showing you.
16 THE REGISTRAR: This is 126B.
17 Q. What are you showing us now, what is that?
18 A. This is one on epaulettes, these are insignia
19 worn on epaulettes, on the uniform. These are the
20 lower ranks, soldier, Corporal.
21 Q. So this is document 126 again and now the
22 next one, what is that?
23 A. These are non-commissioned officers. This is
24 a Corporal, yet another Corporal, then a Sergeant, a
25 Staff Sergeant and a warrant officer, first class and
1 second class.
2 Q. So those are non-commissioned officers?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. What is this?
5 A. These are insignia of ranks of Army, Air
6 Force and Air Defence, so that is to say Corporal,
7 Sergeant, warrant officer; second class, warrant
8 officer; first class. And at the same time these are
9 the insignia used for students attending military
11 Q. Let us proceed.
12 THE REGISTRAR: The document we are looking at
13 now is 126E.
14 MR. FILA:
15 Q. Now.
16 A. These are insignia worn by officers
17 Lieutenants, First Lieutenants, Captains, Captains;
18 first class, Major. There is a district difference
19 here. There are two stripes here, as you can see, so
20 Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel. These are the insignia
21 that were worn then and are still worn today.
22 Q. Can you please explain something to me now.
23 What about Lieutenant-Colonels and Colonels, how do you
24 compare them to the others?
25 A. This is the rank shown here.
1 Q. How do you wear it on your shoulder?
2 A. This way along the shoulder, see.
3 Q. Not this way, not crossing the shoulder?
4 A. No, no, no, no never.
5 Q. And are the stars always one next to the
6 other or is there a star and then empty and then
7 another star?
8 A. According to the rules, this is -- this is
9 the way it is done, so there is a star that is closer
10 to the head and the one right next to it, I mean for
11 example the two stars cannot be at this end. It can
12 only be here.
13 Q. And they can never be put cross-wise?
14 A. No, never.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: I'm afraid we have not
16 received copies of these documents. Did you only hand
17 in one copy in colour?
18 MR. FILA: Only one. I asked for your
19 permission, Your Honour, to have the registry copy this
20 in colour for you, because we haven't got colour
21 photocopying machine.
22 Next please. Oh, yes, could I ask you
23 something else.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This is 127F.
25 MR. FILA:
1 Q. My last subject on this. Look at the
2 Colonel's insignia. Can a Lieutenant-Colonel wear this
3 by pulling out the middle star, or do the stars have to
4 be one next to another?
5 A. They have to be placed this way, and it is
6 not placed by the person himself. That's the kind of
7 uniform one buys with these insignias. So this was
8 already done at the workshop where these uniforms were
10 Q. Thank you. Please take a look at this and
11 tell us what you are showing.
12 A. These are Generals, Generals, Major-General,
13 Lieutenant-General, Army General, et cetera.
14 Q. Next.
15 THE REGISTRAR: 126G.
16 MR. FILA:
17 Q. What is this that you are showing now?
18 A. These are Admirals' insignia in the Navy, so
19 it is Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral of the Fleet, and
20 here is a Corporal and the highest rank is Colonel.
21 Q. Is this also -- is this also worn along the
22 shoulder blade, like the others?
23 A. Yes, yes, yes, along the shoulder, yes, like
24 the others.
25 Q. Could you please?
1 THE REGISTRAR: 126H. That is the document
2 that we've just seen.
3 MR. FILA:
4 Q. What are we looking at now?
5 A. These are ranks that are worn on the sleeve
6 in the Navy.
7 Q. All right. You don't have to go into all the
9 A. Corporals -- Corporal of the Frigate all the
10 way up to Captain.
11 Q. The last one?
12 A. 126I.
13 Q. What is this?
14 A. These are insignia of Admirals, all the way
15 up to Admiral of the Fleet.
16 Q. Please let us see what this is, 126G: And
17 finally, what is this at the end?
18 A. This is also the official daily uniform of
19 active army officers, winter uniform with an overcoat
20 and another coat.
21 Q. And what colour is this?
22 A. Olive green, grey.
23 Q. When you say SMB, what are you saying?
24 A. I'm saying olive, green, grey.
25 Q. And we have completed this particular line of
1 questioning. And I ask for this to be admitted into
2 evidence. This is 126K.
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection, Your Honour.
4 MR. FILA: And now, Your Honour, I wish to
5 show 127, Exhibit 127. These are rules and
6 regulations, again unfortunately this has not been
7 translated either. We've just received it. This is
8 rule on military uniforms of the armed forces of the
9 SFRY. From when and how long was it in force?
10 A. This rule on the uniform of armed forces --
11 of the SFRY would be in force from the 1st of January
12 1989. All these photographs that we have seen just now
13 belong to these rules and regulations.
14 Q. And do you have something special on Air
15 Force officers there, Colonels or Lieutenant-Colonels
16 from the Air Force? Is there something specifically
17 related to that and if there is, you could read it
18 out. If not, then we shall move onto further?
19 A. No -- do you have something that is worn in
20 war, wearing a war uniform.
21 Q. Yes, read that to us?
22 A. "The war uniform is worn by officers" --
23 slower please. "War uniform is worn by military men in
24 the following situations at mobilisation and during a
25 state of alert, extraordinary circumstances,
1 mobilisation and war."
2 Q. Thank you. That would be all.
3 Colonel, the last question that I am
4 interested in, could you tell us how the Army districts
5 were organised during the time of the SFRY? Was this
6 according to republics or was it not according to
7 republics, or was it according to some other criteria?
8 A. At that time there were Army districts, in
9 terms of organisation. There were five of them. The
10 Air Force and Air Defence and the Navy, that is a total
11 of seven. The commands of the Army districts were in
12 the capitals of the republics, respectively. Their
13 territory did not coincide with the territory of a
14 specific republic. It is well-known in all armies that
15 operation, strategic lines are organised according to
16 the assessments of the top state and political and
17 military leadership, so one Army district could include
18 the territory of one and part of a second and a third
19 republic even, if necessary. If that is what you are
20 referring to, Mr. Fila.
21 Q. Yes, that is what I had in mind. No further
22 questions for the defence?
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Williamson.
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I have a few
25 questions on unrelated issues, but the bulk of my
1 questions would be on these uniform points. And we
2 were unaware that this witness would be testifying
3 about this. There was nothing contained in his
4 statement. So I would request a recess of
5 approximately 30 minutes, if that would be possible, in
6 order to prepare this. We have some material that we
7 would like to present to the witness and it is going to
8 take us some bit of time to get it together.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: What about the famous
10 pictures --
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have those. I will bring
12 those when I return.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: I understand Mr. Fila has --
14 yes, he has an engagement until 11.30, I think. So I
15 suggest that we take a 40 minute --
16 MR. FILA: Oh, I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm
17 sorry. I always seem to be interrupting you. Sorry,
18 I'm not really that impolite, but I have just received
19 a piece of information saying that the meeting has been
20 cancelled. So I don't have any engagements. I just
21 heard about it a second ago. I'm sorry for
22 interrupting you once again. I'm terribly sorry.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Don't worry. All right.
24 Thirty-minute recess? Is it fine? So we will resume
25 -- reconvene at 20 past 11.
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: Thank you very much.
2 THE REGISTRAR: All rise.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.28 a.m.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Williamson, before you
6 start, let me again restate that we intend, and as I
7 said before to Mr. Fila, we intend to disregard many of
8 the points made by Dr. Wheeler in his testimony, those
9 points which are not relevant to our case.
10 Therefore, I wonder whether you could refrain
11 from tackling issues which we regard as immaterial to
12 our case? Thank you.
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: Very well, Your Honour. My
14 questions on the issues of the documents that were
15 submitted are very limited, at most five or six
16 questions, and then I'll move on to the other issues.
17 Q. First of all, Colonel, I want to clarify
18 something. Right before we went into the break, you
19 indicated that in 1991, there were five military
20 districts as well as a Naval district; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, the Air Force was also counted, the Air
22 Force and Air Defence in the rank of a military
24 Q. So there were five districts in total,
25 including the Naval district and the Air Force
1 district, or were there five Army districts and then an
2 additional Navy district --
3 A. Yes, seven, a total of seven.
4 Q. Well, in fact, weren't there only three Army
5 districts? The fifth Army district situated at Zagreb,
6 the first Army district situated at Belgrade, and the
7 third Army district situated at Skopje, and then a
8 Naval district situated at Split?
9 A. Yes, that is correct. The Naval was in
11 Q. But you were incorrect then when you said
12 that there were five military districts?
13 A. There was the first district, the second, the
14 third, the fifth, and the seventh, which makes it five,
15 plus the Navy district and the Air Force and Air
16 Defence district.
17 Q. Where was the second district situated and
18 the seventh?
19 A. I can't quite remember at that particular
20 time where it was, but the fifth was the Zagreb
21 district -- the first, Belgrade; the second, Nis; the
22 third, Skopje; the fifth, Zagreb, and the seventh
24 Q. Well, I'd like to show you a military
25 district map from 1991, and can you tell me if this is
1 incorrect, and I will mark this as Prosecutor's
2 Exhibit, I believe it will be 207; is that correct?
3 Two hundred and seven.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's correct, P207.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON:
6 Q. Because isn't it a fact, Colonel, that the
7 district lines were redrawn in 1988 and that, in fact,
8 Ljubljana and Slovenia came under the fifth military
9 district at that time situated in Zagreb?
10 A. Yes. The lines were redrawn, and some
11 military districts were conjoined, but I can't tell you
12 the details of that redrawing.
13 Q. So do you have any reason to disbelieve this
14 map that I have displayed to you which shows three
15 military districts situated respectively in Zagreb,
16 Belgrade, and Skopje. And then perhaps, if this might
17 assist you, I will show you an exhibit which I will
18 mark as 208, which shows the various Army corps within
19 those districts, and it indicates there was an Army
20 corps situated in Ljubljana and an Army corps situated
21 in Nis but that these were both within other military
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 208.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Williamson, have you got
25 any further copies for the Defence and for the Court?
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: I'm afraid I do not, Your
2 Honour. This is something again that was put together
3 in quite a hurry in this break, and we were rushed as
4 it was.
5 MR. FILA: I have nothing against the Defence
6 showing all this, but could you explain why this is
7 more important from what I submitted earlier on?
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, my response to
9 this is Mr. Fila asked this question at the end, and
10 this gentleman -- he asked where the military districts
11 were and how they were set up. He raised this issue.
12 We didn't object. We should have the right to
13 cross-examine on it and --
14 MR. FILA: No, no, no, no, no.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: This gentleman has presented
16 himself as an expert on the JNA. If he doesn't know
17 where the military districts are within his own Army, I
18 think that is indicative of his expertise in this
19 field. I think this is a legitimate area for
21 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. You may proceed.
22 A. I should like to ask you one thing. I
23 cannot, at this point in time, tell you that in 1991
24 what military district encompassed what borders, what
25 towns, because very often what happened was that there
1 were changes in redrawing military districts into Army
2 areas, Army districts, but I can say with full
3 responsibility that this was never -- we never took
4 detailed account of the fact that one republic should
5 have exclusively in its area its own military
6 district. Those kind of borders were determined
7 according to the strategical and operative or operative
8 strategic needs and assessments of the supreme state
9 and military leadership. That is why, at this point in
10 time, I really can't tell you what towns, if they were
11 on the borders, between the borders of two republics or
12 in parts of a republic, to which military unit --
13 district they belonged to.
14 In concrete terms, the command of the third
15 military district encompassed my own native town of
16 Vranje, which is in Serbia, and it goes up to the town
17 of Leskovac. So we are talking about operative
18 strategic lines and directions. Of course, that is no
19 longer the case. But it did change, lines were really
20 redrawn, and I apologise for not being able to give you
21 a detailed overview of all this at this particular
23 If you need information of this kind, we can
24 get detailed information for each year, and that is no
25 problem. We can supply the court with that
2 Q. Just a couple more points on this, Colonel.
3 I'm not asking you where each village in Yugoslavia was
4 located in terms of military districts. I'm asking you
5 the total number of districts and where those were
6 headquartered, and so I understand that you are not in
7 a position to say, if towns that were on borders, where
8 they were located. But I think that this is a pretty
9 simple question as to how many military districts were
10 there in the JNA in 1991, because, in fact, there were
11 no redrawing of lines after 1988, were there?
12 A. I couldn't give you a detailed answer to
13 that, a precise answer.
14 Q. Now, would you agree, Colonel, that in autumn
15 1991 that the JNA and forces of the Republic of Croatia
16 were engaged in armed combat?
17 A. In the course of the whole of 1991 --
18 Q. I'm asking you about the autumn of 1991.
19 Would you tell me if, in the autumn of 1991, the JNA
20 and the forces of the Republic of Croatia were engaged
21 in armed combat?
22 A. I should like to ask you to allow the witness
23 to answer fully before interrupting.
24 Let me repeat that at the beginning of 1991
25 and only around mid-1991, in the second half of 1991,
1 the first, so to speak, armed combat began, not between
2 the JNA and the Croatian Armed Forces but it is the
3 Croatia Armed Forces, the paramilitary forces, illegal
4 forces, attacked members of the Yugoslav People's Army,
5 the military facilities, the army barracks, army
6 property and so on and so forth. Therefore, it is a
7 question of the attacks launched by the Croatian
8 paramilitary formations on the Yugoslav People's Army.
9 The members of the Yugoslav People's Army,
10 according to its character and according to the
11 constitution, were duty-bound to defend the
12 constitutional order of the state, the territorial
13 integrity and sovereignty of the country, and that was
14 still Yugoslavia. It was a unified country, the
15 unified country of Yugoslavia, and the JNA fulfilled
16 that task. First of all, in separating the conflicting
17 parties, between the Serbs and the Croats at that time;
18 and later on, when the barracks were attacked, when the
19 barracks were blocked, it had to defend itself and the
20 lives of its members and army property.
21 Q. Colonel, you have not answered my question.
22 My question was to you: In autumn of 1991, was the JNA
23 and forces of the Republic of Croatia engaged in armed
24 combat? It's very simple. It's a "Yes" or "No"
25 question. If you need to explain it further, please
1 do, but can you answer that question? It's very
3 A. Armed combat was waged in the sense of
4 defence of the military facilities, the barracks, and
5 the members of the Yugoslav Army who were being
7 Q. Can you tell me, are military installations
8 legitimate military targets during a time of war?
9 Again, "Yes" or "No," and then explain as you need to.
10 It's a simple question.
11 A. We are talking about a civil war here, an
12 armed insurrection, not a war in the classical sense of
13 the word. Therefore, military installations which are
14 located on Croatian territory and the barracks there
15 were there for 50-odd years.
16 Q. Again, I will ask the question: Are military
17 installations legitimate military targets during a time
18 of war?
19 A. Yes, that is correct, theoretically speaking.
20 Q. Now, these figures that you have presented to
21 the court for the composition of the JNA in 1991, in
22 fact that was on the 1st of January, 1991, was it not,
23 which is marked as Exhibit 118?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. And those figures changed significantly
1 during the course of the year 1991, did they not?
2 A. Those figures changed somewhat, to a certain
3 extent but, in actual fact, the Yugoslav People's Army,
4 right up until the end and at the beginning of 1992,
5 remained of multi-national composition because it
6 continued to have offices and generals and junior
7 officers from all the nations and representatives of
8 the then Yugoslavia.
9 Q. By April 1992, Serbs and Montenegrins made up
10 90 percent of the JNA; is that correct?
11 A. That piece of information is not correct.
12 Q. It is not? By April of 1992?
13 A. No, it is not. 1992, you're talking about?
14 MR. FILA: Your Honours --
15 A. No, it is not correct.
16 MR. FILA: Objection. April 1992, is it
17 relevant? Is it a relevant date to what we're
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, my next
20 question I think will make it relevant, but he has
21 answered it, and so it's not necessary to ask the
22 following question.
23 Q. I will ask you then, if you would look at
24 this document very briefly, which we'll mark as
25 Prosecutor's Exhibit 208. I do have copies of this.
1 And as this is being passed out, if you can tell me,
2 would it be a fair assessment to say that Serbs and
3 Montenegrins were over-represented in the officer corps
4 beyond their share of the population?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, allow me to explain, please.
6 The Yugoslav People's Army was truly of multi-national
7 composition, and I can tell you that strict attention
8 was paid to having all nations and nationalities
9 represented in the Yugoslav People's Army, especially
10 when it was a case of senior officers and generals.
11 And the fact that, for example, there were
12 less Slovenes in comparison to the number of
13 inhabitants, I can tell you that the Slovenes came
14 forward less frequently for service in the army than
15 Montenegrins, for example. The reason for this I see
16 lies in the fact that Slovenia was an economically
17 well-developed republic, so young men rather chose to
18 enter into business rather than the army.
19 On the other hand, there is a tradition in
20 Serbia and Montenegro that the Serbs and the
21 Montenegrins had greater affiliation for the army, they
22 liked to serve the army. So that whenever a
23 competition for military schools and academies came up,
24 they were open, they were publicly announced in the
25 media, radio, press, television, and depending upon the
1 number of applicants, the personnel were selected for
2 the military schools and academies. I can tell you
3 that as a regular practice, there were far less
4 applications from Slovenia and partially from Croatia
5 as well, and there were far more applicants from the
6 other republics.
7 That was the reason why, as the army had to
8 be fulfilled with a certain number of officers, this
9 was one of the reasons that the state of affairs was as
10 it was, which I do not consider to be of such
11 importance because, in actual fact, the Army, as I say,
12 was of multi-national composition as long as it existed
13 as the Yugoslav People's Army.
14 Q. My final question on this point then is: You
15 indicate that there were 28 non-Serb Generals at the
16 beginning of 1992; I believe the date on that was
17 January 1st, 1992. Can you tell me what happened to
18 the other 30 or so Generals in the meantime between
19 April of 1991 and January of 1992, the other 30
20 Generals of non-Serb ethnicity?
21 A. A certain number of them left the Yugoslav
22 People's Army, and in view of the present political
23 situation and situation in general, they joined up with
24 their republican armies, so that they themselves, by
25 their own free will, left the Yugoslav People's Army.
1 Those who were of retirement age were retired, not only
2 those of other nationalities, but this was the case of
3 the Serbs and Montenegrins. I'm talking about the
4 Generals here, of course.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: I would offer this as
6 Prosecutor's Exhibit 208 -- I'm sorry, is that 209?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document 209.
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: 209.
9 MR. FILA: Your Honours, we object, not
10 because we don't think this should be adopted, but then
11 I think you should adopt as a Defence Exhibit a list of
12 the Generals of national composition of Yugoslavia for
13 1991, 1992, to which Prosecutor Williamson is against,
14 and now he is using this by the same token -- to tender
16 So it is a question of principle. I don't
17 mind, I have nothing against that, but, if you are
18 against the list of Generals as being accepted in
19 evidence, why do you want your exhibit to be accepted?
20 If we accept both, then I have no objection because --
21 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I think we
22 should reach agreement on this. I'm sorry. I agree
23 with what Mr. Fila's saying. That's fine. We will be
24 happy to delay submission of this until after the other
25 exhibits have been resolved.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. All right. So it's
2 P209 only for identification purposes, not yet admitted
3 into evidence.
4 MR. WILLIAMSON:
5 Q. Now, Colonel, you indicated a few moments ago
6 when you were testifying that there were very strict
7 rules for uniform wear within the JNA; is that correct?
8 A. As far as the JNA is concerned, that is
9 correct, yes.
10 Q. And these rules were scrupulously observed
11 during the conflict in Vukovar?
12 A. As far as the members of the Yugoslav
13 People's Army, yes, the rules were scrupulously
15 Q. At this time, I would like for you to be
16 shown a video clip which comes from Prosecutor's
17 Exhibit -- it is the video compilation, I'm not sure of
18 the exact number of the exhibit -- but it is in the
19 booth. I believe it is ready to go forward.
20 (Videotape played)
21 Q. That's fine. We see a variety of uniforms
22 there. Now, certainly Major Sljivancanin, who is
23 talking to the Red Cross representative, is wearing a
24 camouflage uniform. The other people around him, some
25 of them are wearing regular solid green or
1 SNB overcoats, are they not?
2 A. The camouflage uniform was compulsory
3 uniforms for all officers in the JNA at the time, NCOs;
4 whereas the others, I don't know about them. They were
5 probably various improvisations.
6 Q. I would like for you to view a video which
7 has been marked as Defence Exhibit 2, if you would,
8 please? We will start the portion where everyone
9 arrives at VELEPROMET. What I would like for you to
10 do, Colonel, is to identify all the various uniforms
11 that we see in this photograph and to which army groups
12 they belong.
13 (Videotape played)
14 Q. This uniform there. The first man that went
15 by in camouflage, this dark camouflage colour. Right
17 A. That is not a uniform of the members of the
19 Q. If it can proceed, please? This man?
20 A. That too is not a uniform of the JNA. They
21 are improvisations.
22 Q. What about the man at the gate?
23 A. I was not able to recognise that.
24 Q. This uniform here?
25 A. That is a uniform without insignia, without a
1 cap. I don't think that it is a member of the JNA. I
2 wouldn't say that it was a member of the JNA.
3 Q. This uniform, these uniforms here?
4 A. That is not a uniform worn by a member of the
6 Q. Stop, please.
7 A. Neither is that one.
8 Q. Now, this uniform, would it have been
9 possible to purchase something like this at a shop in
10 Novi Sad, say, some kind of army surplus store?
11 A. Yes, that was possible. It was possible to
12 buy some uniforms, and there was the possibility of
13 exchanging on the spot, on the spot, to exchange
14 uniforms and combine uniforms. So that some of those
15 who were not members of the JNA, such as the ones you
16 can see here, wore different uniforms and were in the
17 locality, on the terrain.
18 Q. Let me ask you: What happens to someone when
19 they leave the JNA, if they retire from the JNA? What
20 happens to their uniform? Do they keep it? An
22 A. The uniforms, when an officer retires, the
23 remaining uniforms he has, he is duty-bound to return.
24 But there were cases when the uniforms were not
25 returned. They keep the uniforms but don't have the
1 right to wear them after their retirement. And most of
2 them like to keep their uniforms as a souvenir of their
3 army days.
4 Q. That's understandable, I assume. And there
5 were a lot of instances of guys showing up wearing
6 uniforms from World War II or from the 1950s or 1960s,
7 were there not?
8 A. Yes, that's right. But those were people
9 who, at various ceremonial occasions and other various
10 events, were invited to attend and then to invoke their
11 memories concerning certain events in the past.
12 Q. While we were watching this videotape, we saw
13 this photograph of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan. Did you
14 recognise him?
15 A. I don't know him but I -- from the
16 information media, I was able to see that it was him.
17 Q. Now, he was heading up a paramilitary group
18 in the Vukovar area. Can you tell me what the
19 relationship was between the JNA and these paramilitary
20 groups that were fighting in Vukovar?
21 MR. FILA: Objection, Your Honour. First of
22 all, it is not correct that Arkan was in the
23 paramilitary units, and that is incorrect. It has not
24 been ascertained as correct and it is not. If the
25 Prosecutor is interested, he fought within the
1 compositions of the JNA, but it is not up to me to say,
2 it is up to the Prosecution to prove that he was at the
3 head of a paramilitary unit. That is not correct. If
4 that is relevant at all.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: It is relevant. It is indeed
6 relevant. So I --
7 MR. FILA: Very well then.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: So please go ahead.
9 MR. WILLIAMSON:
10 Q. Can you tell me what the relationship was
11 between the JNA and Arkan?
12 A. I don't know because I was not on the battle
13 front, I did not take part, and the involvement of the
14 units on the spot is something that is not known to me.
15 Q. Now, you have written a paper about Croatian
16 paramilitary forces. What is your understanding of
17 paramilitary forces on the Serb side?
18 A. I don't know that paramilitary forces
19 existed. I know that there were volunteers who
20 volunteered to offer assistance to the Serb population
21 who had begun en masse to go to Serbia as refugees.
22 Now, the relationship between the Yugoslav
23 People's Army and those volunteers, I really don't
24 know, and I cannot tell you about that relationship.
25 And let me repeat: I was not on the battle ground, I
1 did not take part, and therefore I cannot answer that
3 Q. Are you familiar with General Andrija
5 A. I know that he was a commander.
6 Q. In fact, he was commander of the Novi Sad
7 corps, and from the 4th of November, 1991, he was the
8 commander of Operational Group North, was he not, which
9 was operating in the Vukovar military theatre?
10 A. I don't know which units took part and who
11 their commanders were, nor am I familiar with their
12 behaviour on the ground, and I'm not familiar with the
13 activities that were carried out in general.
14 Q. Now, these volunteers from the Serb side that
15 you were talking about, were these under the command of
16 the JNA?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. Well, you've done this extensive study on
19 Croatian paramilitaries. It seems like you would have
20 some idea of what was going on in your own army.
21 A. But, you see, I was interested, first of all,
22 in the situation and attacks on members of the JNA
23 because Croatia had seceded, went through violent
24 secession, and that was the backdrop against which I
25 wrote a book about this later. So I was personally
1 interested in following this, and I also had certain
2 data officially. And we informed the public about
3 this; we wrote press releases and prepared reports for
4 the competent authorities, for the federal government,
5 the Federal Ministry for National Defence, et cetera,
6 that was my duty, and the rest I'm really not familiar
8 Q. And you did not think it was relevant to this
9 study to know what was going on on the Serb side?
10 A. The basic thesis of my study was to prove
11 that violent secession was carried out, that this is a
12 civil war.
13 Q. Well, it sounds like you had pre-formed
14 opinions as to who was to blame if you weren't willing
15 to look at both sides of the issue; wouldn't that be
16 fair to say?
17 A. No. It was only in 1996 that I wrote my
18 book, and I was only interested in this facet. Someone
19 else could prepare the other facet, write about it,
20 analyse it, but I really couldn't do that.
21 Q. I would like for you to view a videotape, if
22 you would, please, which comes -- it was originally
23 shown from Beli Manastir television, January of 1992,
24 General Bijorcevic talking about his relationship with
25 paramilitary groups in the Vukovar theatre in 1991.
1 And I will mark this as Prosecutor's Exhibit 210 and
2 the transcript as 210A, which includes both one in
3 Serbian and one in English.
4 If you would, would you tell me if what
5 General Bijorcevic is talking about is consistent with
6 the policy of the JNA?
7 If this can be run now, please?
8 (Videotape played)
9 This can be forwarded to the part where
10 General Bijorcevic is speaking. Here.
11 (Videotape played)
12 Thank you. Is that the policy of the JNA:
13 to surround a village, to send in volunteers, and to
14 kill those who refuse to surrender?
15 A. No, by no means. The policy of the JNA,
16 until the end, was an all Yugoslav one, and until the
17 end, the members of the Yugoslav People's Army were
18 convinced that some kind of Yugoslavia would be
19 preserved all the way up to that point when Slovenia
20 and Croatia were recognised by the European Community
21 and later by the International Community on the 15th of
22 January, 1992. The members of the JNA were never
23 taught to do things like that, to surround, kill, to do
24 those things that are perhaps being referred to.
25 Q. But this was a General in the JNA. In fact,
1 this man was a corps commander and was the operational
2 commander in the Vukovar military theatre. Sir, are
3 you telling me that the view that he is expressing was
4 not the one of the JNA but that he was some type of
6 A. I can speak to you about the general policy,
7 that is, that the Yugoslav People's Army separated
8 those who were fighting, and that therefore it was
9 attacked by both one side and the other. The Serbs
10 sometimes also were not satisfied with the attitude of
11 the Yugoslav People's Army because it did not place
12 itself on their side. They even thought that the JNA
13 was protecting the Croatian side or, rather, the ZNG,
14 the National Guards Corps. In that kind of situation,
15 I think that it is difficult to find any example in the
16 world for an army to find itself in that kind of a
17 situation, one that certainly could not be envied
18 because the Yugoslav People's Army was never prepared
19 for that, nor did it ever have the intention of waging
20 a civil war. It only wanted to separate the parties in
21 the conflict on one side, and on the other side were
22 our people.
23 Of course, all the way until the 15th of
24 January, when it definitely became obvious that the
25 kind of Yugoslavia that existed until then was no
1 longer there and then the members of the JNA withdrew
2 from the territory of Croatia.
3 Q. So what you're talking about is what the
4 theory of the JNA was, but it appears that the
5 commanders on the ground, in fact the overall commander
6 of the Vukovar military theatre, had a different
7 practice from the theory you're expressing.
8 A. Again, I have to say to you that as far as
9 concrete examples of behaviour in practice is something
10 that I am not familiar with, so I don't have anything
11 to say on that matter to you.
12 Q. So all you're able to tell the court about
13 then is what the theories of the JNA were and you're
14 not able to actually relate to them how this was
15 applied in practice?
16 MR. FILA: Objection, Your Honour. I did not
17 bring this witness in as an expert witness. If he were
18 an expert witness, then these questions would have been
19 valid. But he is speaking about what he knows, and the
20 man said that he's never been to the front and that he
21 was never actually on the spot there, so there's no
22 need to discredit him. As a witness, he is speaking
23 about what he knows, not about what he doesn't know.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, the Prosecutor put
1 a very clear question to the witness, namely, to
2 comment on the declaration of this General Andrija
3 Bijorcevic and to say, not as an expert, as a Colonel
4 of the JNA, whether he feels that this statement was
5 consonant with the theory or the policy or the strategy
6 of the JNA.
7 It's a very straightforward question, so I
8 think the witness --
9 MR. FILA: Yes, but I didn't raise any
10 objections to that question, I didn't object to that
11 question. I objected to the next question.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Actually, the --
13 MR. FILA: And that question related to
14 Bijorcevic was one that I accepted.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: But I would like to ask the
16 witness to answer the question put to him by the
17 Prosecutor; namely, to comment on the statement by
18 General Bijorcevic to say whether or not this statement
19 was inconsistent or consistent with the general policy
20 of the JNA.
21 A. Related to that part where he says the
22 following, surround the village, et cetera, I mean that
23 is the way I understood it. I couldn't really remember
24 everything that he was saying.
25 Ah, that part, you mean. That part. Oh,
1 just a minute, please.
2 Of course, this statement, this last part, is
3 not in accordance with the policy of the JNA or with
4 the command.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON:
6 Q. Can you tell me what disciplinary action, if
7 any, was taken against General Bijorcevic for this
8 departure from policy?
9 A. I do not know whether disciplinary action was
10 taken or not.
11 Q. In fact, he was promoted after this, was he
13 A. Believe me, I'm not familiar with that
14 either. I have been working in the Ministry for
15 Foreign Affairs for quite some time now, so I have not
16 been following.
17 Q. As an officer in the JNA, are you instructed
18 in the laws of war and the provisions of the Geneva
20 A. I did not understand your question.
21 Q. As an officer in the JNA, do you receive
22 instructions in the laws of war and the provisions of
23 the Geneva Conventions and your obligations thereunder?
24 A. Yes. Yes. I remember that at that time
25 also, expert instruction was organised in all the
1 brigades and units of the Yugoslav Army about
2 humanitarian law, about the law of war, about the
3 Geneva Conventions, about the treatment of combatants,
4 et cetera. We even distributed brochures in all the
5 units, how to behave towards a prisoner, how to behave
6 in war, et cetera.
7 Q. In relation toward behaviour toward
8 prisoners, would it be your understanding that as an
9 officer who takes prisoners into your control, that you
10 have an obligation to not kill them and also to see
11 that they are not killed? Is this what the JNA
12 instructs its officers?
13 A. Yes. Yes, of course, prisoners should be
14 taken care of, their lives should be preserved, and
15 elementary conditions should be ensured for their
16 survival and their life.
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time, I would like
18 for the witness to be shown Exhibit 9. The original is
19 in English, but I can read out the key provisions of
21 Q. Can you tell the court who General Andrija
22 Raseta was and what position he held in 1991?
23 A. We have a document now with the signature of
24 Andrija Raseta as commander of the fifth district in
25 which he informs of attacks on the command of the
1 military district on blockades of army barracks, on
2 cutting off electricity, water, and supplies to members
3 of the Yugoslav People's Army in that territory. This
4 report was one that he sent to the Federal Secretary
5 for National Defence.
6 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I think that the
7 witness is speaking of the document that I handed in
8 this morning; is that right?
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 MR. FILA: I'm sorry, Mr. Williamson, I think
11 I'm just trying to clarify what he is speaking about.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON:
13 Q. The document that is in front of you is in
14 English, is it not?
15 A. In English.
16 Q. And this has General Raseta's signature in
17 the bottom right-hand corner for the Yugoslav People's
18 Army; is that correct?
19 A. I don't know General Raseta's signature.
20 Q. Would you look on the document?
21 A. Of course, if there is one, but I really
22 never -- maybe it's on that document, but I never
23 really noticed what his signature was.
24 Q. Is it fair to say that General Raseta, as
25 commander of the fifth military district, was the
1 designated negotiator with representatives of the
2 Republic of Croatia during the conflict in 1991?
3 A. I'm not familiar with that.
4 Q. Colonel, your position at this time was
5 director of the Office of Information for the Army, was
6 it not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Surely, you must have been getting inquiries
9 from the press about what the JNA representative in
10 Zagreb was doing.
11 A. My competence was as head of the office for
12 informing the public to obtain something from the
13 command, that is to say, from the Federal Secretary for
14 National Defence and the general staff and to present
15 this to the public through the Tanjug news agency. So
16 I did not decide on what would be made public and what
17 would not be made public.
18 Personally, I wrote some articles for the
19 media about certain events, notably in the newspaper
20 called "Vojska," "The Army." At that time it was
21 called, actually, "Narodna Armija," "The People's
22 Army." That was my duty.
23 Apart from that, with regard to all these
24 developments on the territory of the Republic of
25 Croatia, that is to say, about their activities, about
1 the establishment of paramilitary forces, about their
2 actions, I wrote reports about that for the committee
3 of the federal government and for the leadership of the
4 Army, the committee of the federal government for
5 co-operation with peace-keeping forces, that is.
6 Q. The peace-keeping forces didn't come until
7 1992; correct?
8 A. That's right. And at that time a group was
9 established in the latter half of 1991, a group was
10 established which monitored these activities. For a
11 certain period of time I was also a member of that
13 Q. Since you don't seem to have any familiarity
14 with the facts that are involved, I will ask you a
15 question in theory then about the JNA. If a General of
16 the JNA signs an agreement on behalf of his Army, would
17 a Major within the JNA be obligated to carry that out?
18 A. According to the rules, that is the way it
19 has to be and that is the way it should be.
20 Q. And if that Major failed to carry out the
21 agreement signed by his General to do a certain thing,
22 he should be subject to disciplinary action, should he
24 A. That's right. He would be held responsible
25 for refusing an order. For refusing to obey an order,
1 one is held responsible, according to the law.
2 Q. And do you know the gentleman that we saw in
3 this first videotape clip, Veselin Sljivancanin, who
4 was a Major at the time of the battle in Vukovar?
5 A. I know I have heard of Major Sljivancanin,
6 but really, as far as his activities are concerned and
7 his engagement, I don't know.
8 Q. Do you know that he is now a Colonel and is
9 assigned to the military academy in Belgrade?
10 A. I am not familiar with that.
11 Q. And the last question I have for you is: Are
12 you aware of any disciplinary action which was ever
13 taken against him?
14 A. I only know that through the media, that due
15 to his alleged behaviour proceedings were initiated
16 against him by this court for alleged omissions, but
17 I'm not aware of anything else.
18 MR. WILLIAMSON: Just a moment, Your Honour,
20 Your Honour, I have no further questions.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila?
23 MR. FILA: Perhaps for the sake of
24 clarification -- I mean, I don't have any questions.
25 Re-examined by Mr. Fila
1 Q. Was Major Sljivancanin the Guards Brigade?
2 A. I think he was.
3 Q. Was the Guards Brigade subordinated to
4 General Raseta or did it have a special command?
5 A. The Guards Brigade was not subordinated to
6 the Novi Sad corps and it wasn't subordinated to
7 General Raseta and Bijorcevic, et cetera.
8 MR. FILA: Do we understand each other well
9 now? The Guards Brigade is a separate brigade. Of
10 course, he has to obey his orders, no doubt, and he has
11 to observe the Geneva Conventions. I mean, it does not
12 appear that I am speaking against that, no. But he is
13 under a special command --
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: Objection, Your Honour.
15 Mr. Fila is making argument.
16 MR. FILA: No, I'm just helping. Sorry.
17 Sorry, sir. I just wanted to help. I just wanted to
18 help. Nothing else.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. But you don't
20 have any questions?
21 MR. FILA: No, no, no.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. The witness may
23 be released. There's no objection to his being
24 released? Thank you so much for giving evidence. You
25 may now be released.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 (The witness withdrew)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we adjourn, may I turn
4 to the Prosecutor to ask whether we could be given the
5 famous still pictures before lunch so that we can
7 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I apologise. I
8 got so rushed with everything else in the break, I did
9 not get them. Perhaps I can bring them down to
10 Ms. Featherstone right now and she can forward them to
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, as well as the Defence.
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, there was only
14 one copy made at this time, so we don't have a set.
15 There's only one volume. We can attempt to have others
16 made, but this has been quite an undertaking to get the
17 one copy, so I'm not sure --
18 MR. FILA: Are those the photographs showing
19 Arkan and Goran Hadzic together? I don't know what
20 photographs we are really talking about.
21 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, these are the
22 photographs. The photographs that are here are still
23 photographs of every time that Mr. Dokmanovic is
24 depicted in the videotape.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: That is what I requested.
1 MR. FILA: All right. In that case, you
2 don't have to give me a copy. Let me save some money
3 for this court.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila, you're
5 very kind and cooperative. Thank you.
6 So we adjourn now until 2.00?
7 MR. FILA: Thank you, sir.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Two o'clock? All right. We
9 stand now in recess until 2.00.
10 --- Luncheon recess at 12.30 p.m.
1 --- Upon resuming at 2.00 p.m.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. Mr. Fila.
3 MR. FILA: Your Honours, the Defence calls
4 its next witness, Mr. Dokmanovic.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon,
6 Mr. Dokmanovic. May I ask you to make the solemn
7 declaration, please.
8 WITNESS: SLAVKO DOKMANOVIC
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
14 Mr. Dokmanovic, before Defence counsel starts
15 asking questions, let me ask you whether you feel
16 comfortable. Do you feel comfortable?
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you for your question.
18 Yes, I do.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Dokmanovic, I would like
20 to ask you to try to relax and please feel confident
21 that this court will adjudicate your case in full
22 equanimity and with absolute impartiality. The Trial
23 Chamber will ensure that your examination-in-chief and
24 your cross-examination will not become for you an
25 excruciating ordeal. And if at any point in time you
1 feel uncomfortable, tired, or tense, please do tell
2 me. And we shall suspend the hearing.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila.
5 MR. FILA:
6 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic, would you tell us something
7 about yourself and your origins. How long has your
8 family lived on the territory, where were you born,
9 when were you born, et cetera?
10 A. My forefathers came to the region around
11 Vukovar to the village of Trpinja at the beginning of
12 the 18th century from around Karlovac also in Croatia.
13 I was born in Trpinja on the 14th of December 1949 and
14 since that time, up until 1996, with my family, I have
15 lived in Trpinja.
16 Q. What schools have you completed, where and
18 A. I went to primary school in Trpinja and
19 Vukovar, Gymnasium in Vukovar, and the faculty of
20 agricultural in Osijek and graduated in 1974.
21 Q. Where were you employed after that?
22 A. Having graduated from the university in 1975,
23 I did my military service in the Yugoslav People's Army
24 and from the 20th of March 1976 I was employed in
25 Vupic, Vukovar, the agricultural concern of Vupic. I
1 worked there until 1984 and since 1984 to the end of
2 1988 I was employed in the organs of management of the
3 Municipal Assembly of Vukovar, in the Secretariat of
4 Agricultural as counsellor for agricultural matters.
5 Since the 1st of January 1989 I returned to
6 the Vupic Vukovar concern where I worked until my
7 election to the function of President of the Municipal
8 Assembly of Vukovar on the 1st of June 1990.
9 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic, tell us, please, something
10 about your social activities. Prior to your
11 appointment in 1990 did you perform any social
12 functions in the local community?
13 A. As a young man I was an active sportsman and
14 until 1977 I played football actively. Since 1977
15 until 1981 I was the President of the local community
16 in my village, that is a village which numbers 2.300
17 inhabitants, which is very close to Vukovar where, at
18 the time, a group of us youngsters, intellectuals,
19 tried in the village to create conditions for life
20 identical to those that prevailed in the town. And
21 therefore to stop the brain drain of young people from
22 the village to the town.
23 At that time, in those four years in the
24 village, roads were built, pavements for pedestrians, a
25 water works was introduced and telephones were
2 We were proclaimed amongst the ten best local
3 communities in Yugoslavia at that time, and I
4 personally received recognition for this, along with
5 others, of course.
6 Q. Could you tell us -- I apologise. Yes,
7 please, finish what you were saying.
8 A. From 1982 to 1988 I was the president of the
9 local football team and in that period, during those
10 six years, that football team achieved the best results
11 ever in its 70 year long tradition.
12 From 1990 onwards I was elected President of
13 the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar.
14 Q. Would you take a look at a document now,
15 please. And would you tell us what the document
16 purports to.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It is document D128.
18 MR. FILA:
19 Q. It is the document --
20 A. (No translation).
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, there was no
22 interpretation. Sorry.
23 Q. Were you President of the local community in
24 Trpinja at that time?
25 JUDGE CASSESE: This was your question?
1 THE INTERPRETER: The light didn't turn on.
2 MR. FILA: My question was: Were you
3 President of the local community of Trpinja?
4 A. Yes, I was.
5 Q. Were you as such acclaimed? Did you receive
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How?
9 A. I received recognition, merits, diplomas of
10 merit from the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar, and the
11 Republican Conference of the then Socialist Alliance of
12 the working people of Croatia, as well as the federal
13 institution, the same institution at federal level.
14 Q. And how did they proclaim your local
16 A. I said before the local community of Trpinja
17 was proclaimed to be one of the 10 best local
18 communities in the area of the then Yugoslavia.
19 Q. Therefore, from that position were you put
20 forward for Deputy? No?
21 A. I said that for six years I performed the
22 function of the president of the local football team,
23 football club, but in my previous mandate, until 1990,
24 I was a Deputy in the Council of Local Communities of
25 the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar.
1 Q. And at the first party elections in 1990 you
2 were also elected as Deputy for Vukovar. On whose
4 A. I was on the list of the SDP party, the Party
5 of Democratic Change.
6 Q. Why did you opt for that particular list?
7 A. At that time, before the first multi-party
8 elections in Croatia, several parties were formed. One
9 of those parties was the Party of Democratic Change,
10 and that party had a programme which, at the time, was
11 closest to my own views. It was pro Yugoslav in
12 character and it was peaceable in character. And that
13 is why I was on that particular list.
14 Q. How were you elected? How did you come to be
15 elected as President?
16 A. Well, I was first put forward in my local
17 community as a candidate. The procedure was such that
18 at meetings of the working people and citizens, the
19 names of candidates were put forward. And one of the
20 names of candidates put forward was my own name and at
21 elections in my own village, in my own local community
22 I won and therefore gained the mandate of Deputy in the
23 Municipal Assembly of Vukovar in the socio-political
25 Q. How were you elected as President of the
1 Municipal Assembly?
2 A. After the second round of voting, the first
3 and second, which was in April and May of 1990, I think
4 it was on the 29th of May 1990 to be more exact, when
5 the first constitutive meeting of the Municipal
6 Assembly of Vukovar was held, I was put forward by the
7 party on whose list I was, that is, the party of
8 democratic change, as one of the candidates for the
9 post of President of the Municipal Assembly of
10 Vukovar. There were two candidates put forward at a
11 secret ballot, which took place in the Municipal
12 Assembly. I was elected as President of the Municipal
14 Q. With what majority?
15 A. Decisive majority.
16 Q. Did only Serb Deputies vote for you or others
17 as well?
18 A. The Party of Democratic Change was a
19 multi-party, multi-nationality party, and that was one
20 of the reasons why I belonged to the party in the first
21 place. For me, the people who voted for me, in view of
22 the national structure of the Assembly itself,
23 Municipal Assembly, and bearing in mind the number of
24 votes that I myself gained, both Serbs and Croats voted
25 for me and probably those of other nationality as well
1 within the Deputies of the Municipal Assembly of
3 Q. Could you please tell us who were those
4 individuals who voted for you? What were their
6 A. They were moderates. They were all
7 moderates. Because these were difficult times. We
8 lived -- we had lived for 50 years in a system in which
9 it was impossible to conceive of something that was
10 multi-party in any form. And when the time came for
11 multi-party elections to be held, there were major
12 changes taking place. I did not say that the
13 competitive party for the area of Vukovar was -- to the
14 Party of Democratic Change was the Croatian Democratic
15 Union, and in that match, electoral match, the decisive
16 victory was won by the Party of Democratic Change. Of
17 the 170 mandates for Deputies in the Municipal Assembly
18 of Vukovar, the HDZ only got 24 mandates. Therefore,
19 for my election, as I said, both the Croats and the
20 Serbs voted for me and the basic option was the
21 programme whose basic guidelines I mentioned a moment
23 Q. How did the Municipal Assembly function after
24 your election? Who was the President of the Executive
25 Council, for example?
1 A. Let me say, first of all, what the assembly
2 was composed of, for us to understand this better. The
3 assembly had three Chambers, the chamber of associated
4 labour, the chamber of local communities, and the
5 socio-political chamber. In view of the fact -- and
6 the balance of forces in the assembly at the time, the
7 Party of Democratic Change, bearing in mind the number
8 of Deputies that it had, could, without any problems by
9 two-thirds majority, if necessary, retain all the
10 posts, all the leading posts in the assembly.
11 However, we bore in mind the fact that we
12 should find a common solution, and in an interparty
13 agreement, which was implemented, we decided that the
14 Croatian Democratic Union, the deputies of the HDZ,
15 would be allowed many more places, much more places in
16 leadership positions. The presidents of the Chambers
17 and the Deputies and the boards, than they could have
18 had by virtue by the number of mandates they had won.
19 Q. Why did you decide this?
20 A. In the structure of Deputies of the Party of
21 Democratic Change, most of the people were moderates,
22 as I say, people with moderate views. In the
23 pre-election campaign in Croatia at the time, the
24 Croatian Democratic Union were expressly nationalists
25 -- were a nationalist programme, markedly so, let
1 caution in the start. People were wary of it. And we
2 tried, as people of goodwill, to form a sort of damper
3 zone -- buffer zone, I'm sorry, and try with our joint
4 work to contribute to the fact that in the area of the
5 municipality of Vukovar, that nothing terrible was
7 I should like to mention here that the
8 municipality of Vukovar is a multi-nationality
9 community with 23 nations and nationalities inhabiting
10 it. So stressing any form of one nation above another,
11 one ethnic community above another, would necessarily
12 lead to confrontation.
13 Q. Is that the reason why you -- they got the
14 number of places, although not by virtue of Deputies.
15 So who became President of the Executive Council?
16 A. After the assembly was constituted, the
17 assembly had its executive organs, the executive organ
18 of the assembly was the executive council. Bearing in
19 mind the fact, as I said of the national structure, and
20 in view of the fact that the President of the assembly
21 was a Serb, we considered that it would be logical for
22 the President of the local government, the Prime
23 Minister or the President of the Executive Council, be
24 a Croat by nationality, and Stipo Lovrincevic was
25 elected as a Croat, as an ethnic Croat. I apologise,
1 the Executive Council was also proportionately in the
2 membership, they were proportionately represented all
3 the nations and nationalities, as far as was possible,
4 of course, bearing in mind the number of members of the
5 Executive Council itself.
6 Q. Could you describe to us what you mean by
7 president of the assembly? What is meant by that term?
8 A. When we speak from these positions, this
9 sounds a very major position, function. The President
10 of the Municipality and its competencies, according to
11 the statute, were very small in fact. That is to say,
12 the function of President was contained in the fact
13 that it represented the assembly between two meetings,
14 that it -- come the work (sic) of the meeting that it
15 convene meetings of all the Chambers and that it sign
16 the Acts drawn up by the assembly. No ability to order
17 an executive organ were envisaged by the statute, nor
18 did he have the right to do so.
19 Q. But you represented the assembly, didn't you,
20 and the town of Vukovar in certain relationships
21 between towns and so on. Was there a conference of
22 towns in Yugoslavia?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were you at some time President of that
25 conference of municipalities or towns?
1 A. Within the then Yugoslavia we had a permanent
2 conference of towns and it included over 500 members.
3 I had the honour of being a member of the presidency of
4 the standing conference of towns, until I was replaced
5 in June 1991.
6 Q. You will agree with me when I say that the
7 function of President of the Municipal Assembly implied
8 respected individual to fill the post?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. I should now like to ask you for a small
11 excursion. You know the village of Srb. Were you in
12 the town of Srb, was a Serbian National Council elected
13 there, and were you elected as one of its members? How
14 long were you a member and what are the conditions that
15 prevailed around this question?
16 A. Well, in this court hearing my election and
17 my presence at the meeting in Srb was mentioned many
18 times and my election to the Serbian National Council.
19 Regardless of how this Trial Chamber will come to
20 understand my words, but I was never a nationalist, nor
21 did I attend any importance to this.
22 I tried, while this was possible, to remain
23 along one particular line, one course, which was a
24 multi-national course. But bearing in mind the
25 national structure and everything that took place at
1 that time in the territory of the Republic of Croatia,
2 I tried, by my presence at various meetings, which
3 became more and more one party to attend, and therefore
4 to satisfy all the parties, if that was at all
5 possible. It is quite certain that in a constellation
6 of relations of this kind one makes mistakes, and time
7 will tell whether I have made a mistake. But I
8 received an official invitation to attend the Serb
9 Sabor assembly in Srb. I consulted the President of
10 the Executive Council and I decided to go to the
11 meeting. The circumstances governing that meeting were
12 not known to me.
13 When I came there, I found an atmosphere
14 which was different from the atmosphere that reigned in
16 Q. Just one minute, Mr. Dokmanovic. How did you
17 go there? Did you receive an official information, did
18 you have an official travel permit, document signed by
19 the President of the Executive Council?
20 A. Yes, I had all of that. It was an official
21 meeting. I attended the Sabor assembly at which the
22 Serbian National Council was elected. There were many
23 people, several thousands. I can't tell you exactly,
24 about 100 metres from the rostrum on which were
25 probably the official guests and organisers, I guess.
1 They elected me to the Serbian National Council.
2 When I returned to Vukovar, of course this
3 was published by all the papers, there were different
4 reactions, but to all events the Croatian press, at
5 that time, attacked my election to the Serbian National
6 Council very severely. And the Deputies of the
7 Croatian Democratic Union also opposed my election.
8 I convened an assembly meeting and at the
9 meeting I stepped out of the Serbian National Council,
10 stepped down. At the meeting there were many
11 journalists present and my stepping out of the
12 organisation was public and it was publicised by the
13 entire Yugoslav press of the day.
14 I should like to mention that I never
15 attended any meeting of the Serbian National Council,
16 nor in any way took part in its work. My membership
17 was reduced to those ten days, I can't say, some ten
18 odd days. That is to say since I arrived from Srb to
19 Vukovar and to the convening of the assembly meeting.
20 Q. Can we conclude therefore that when you went
21 to Srb that you did not know that this National Council
22 existed and let alone that you would be elected to that
23 National Council?
24 A. I did not know, you are right.
25 Q. And when you came there and saw that there
1 was a certain amount of feelings against you, you
2 stepped down. Why did you do so?
3 A. The tensions in Croatia at the time were
4 burgeoning. I have in mind the nationalistic
5 tensions. We in Vukovar resisted, as far as we could,
6 to what was happening in other parts of Croatia.
7 Probably, because of our multi-national composition,
8 this was probably possible. And, also, perhaps because
9 the majority of reasonable people and moderates were --
10 held certain posts whereby they could contribute
11 through their work and efforts that -- to prevent an
12 escalation of the situation. So I stepped down from
13 the Serbian National Council so that I should not, as
14 being a member of it, cause reactions on the part of
15 any nation or nationality living in the Municipality of
17 Q. Because this would be an expression of overly
18 strong national affiliation, had you stayed; is that
20 A. Yes, probably. But I did not in fact know
21 the true intentions and what was hidden behind all of
22 this and what was to happen in the future. But at that
23 time I considered that it would be better for me to
24 withdraw, and my withdrawal from the Serbian -- my
25 public withdrawal from the Serbian National Council
1 caused a lot of bad feelings with the extremist Serbs,
2 who attacked me for that particular reason, and are
3 probably still attacking me and criticising me for
5 Q. As President of the Municipality of Vukovar,
6 did you go to the promotion of certain Croatian
8 A. Yes, absolutely.
9 Q. Can you give us some example?
10 A. I went to the promotion of Croatian parties
11 and celebrations, but not only of Croatians, but of
12 Slovaks. At that meeting I usually took the floor and
13 addressed the meetings, I was one of the official
15 Q. Did you attend a HDZ promotion?
16 A. I attended the main HDZ promotion where there
17 was a large number of guests from Zagreb, including
18 Mr. Seks and I spoke there too.
19 Q. When was the meeting held?
20 A. It was in the compound on the castle of Count
21 Eltz in Vukovar and the speech I made there
22 was criticised by the Serbs. But I went before that,
23 before I was President of the Municipal Assembly, I
24 went regularly to attend the Vinkovac (phoen) autumn
25 festivities which are an especially Croatian cultural
1 manifestation, and as President of the Municipal
2 Assembly I was an official guest at that event.
3 Q. Could you please tell us now what was the
4 political climate in Croatia at that time, especially
5 in the municipality of Vukovar in 1990, 1991?
6 A. I said that we lived in a system where the
7 expression of national affiliation, ethnic affiliation,
8 was suppressed, so-to-speak, was not expressed.
9 Particularly in the Municipality of Vukovar no one had
10 ever noticed any nationalistic or ethnic incidents, but
11 the times that were being ushered in, that is this
12 multi-party system and also the abolition of socialism,
13 brought about the establishment of national parties,
14 and they viewed the national as their basic objective.
15 First of all, national parties of Croatian
16 orientation were established, especially in Vukovar in
17 1991. There weren't any parties of Serb orientation.
18 And, at least at that point in time, for all of us it
19 seemed quite strange, not to say that we were all very
20 wary of it, because one nationalism causes another
21 nationalism. In the rest of Croatia this came to full
22 expression even before than it did in the Municipality
23 of Vukovar.
24 Q. An interesting question. In Krajina, in
25 Knin, et cetera, the log (unknown term) revolution was
1 taking place, conflicts as far back as 1990. In
2 Vukovar this was not happening, and also with the Serbs
3 that were closer to the borders with Serbia. What is
4 the difference?
5 A. The first major incidents on the territory of
6 the Municipality of Vukovar happened eight or ten
7 months after what had happened in Knin and its
9 Q. What is the reason for that? Could you
10 explain that to us?
11 A. I think that a large number of people of
12 moderate orientation successfully resisted the assault
13 of nationalism, and that is the main reason why Vukovar
14 for such a long period of time managed to preserve the
15 peace, compared to other areas where the population was
17 Q. Do you see your personal contribution in this
18 respect and also the Municipality of Vukovar, of all
19 the ethnic groups, the Croats and others?
20 A. I think that this is first of all the merit
21 of the assembly of the Municipality of Vukovar, which,
22 through its appeals to the citizens, through the mass
23 media, and through the people, who were practically
24 going to municipalities every day and every night, and
25 they tried to pacify the situation as much as
1 possible. And then only is it my merit.
2 Q. Could Mr. Dokmanovic please be shown D6,
3 Exhibit D6. And could he please explain how this
4 document came into being and what it represented.
5 Could you please tell us what the nature of
6 the document is and what is the objective of this
7 document? What is this?
8 A. This is a resolution on resolving
9 inter-ethnic tensions, which was drawn up by a group of
10 people. Among them, Mr. Milinkovic, Mr. Modalek,
11 Mr. Jukic, members of Parliament, all of them.
12 Q. Sorry, Modalek and Jukic, what ethnic
13 background do they have?
14 A. They are Croats. Perhaps I am going to
15 forget to mention some of these people. At any rate, a
16 lot of time has gone by. So it's a few of us,
17 Mr. Lovrincevic too. And we tried to draw attention to
18 events which might occur because of growing tensions,
19 which was on the rise in the territory of the
20 Municipality of Vukovar.
21 And with this document we informed not only
22 the citizens, but also the highest authorities in the
23 Republic of Croatia and then Socialist Federal Republic
24 of Yugoslavia. So that is to say republican and
25 federal authorities. This was a cry for help so that
1 that, which regrettably did happen, wouldn't happen.
2 Q. Could you please take a look at this document
3 and tell us what it is and why it was made?
4 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 126 -- 129.
5 I'm sorry.
6 MR. FILA:
7 Q. The original is in the Croatian language.
8 A. This is an appeal issued by the President of
9 the Municipal Assembly, Slavko Dokmanovic, on the
10 occasion of moving children out of the Municipality of
11 Vukovar, across the Danube, to the territory of Croatia
12 -- the territory of the Republic of Serbia, I'm sorry,
13 and the autonomous people of Vojvodina, more precisely.
14 Q. In that document you are calling upon people
15 to bring their children back, and to bring them back to
16 schools, to their homes, and you promised them safety
17 and a peaceful life?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. With what aim in mind did you call upon Serbs
20 to return their children home?
21 A. The departure of children from the
22 Municipality of Vukovar was an omen showing that their
23 parents would follow suit, but what happened had a
24 scenario which, unfortunately, Slavko Dokmanovic did
25 not understand and could not prevent.
1 What I had available was my authority and my
2 reputation, if I had one, because nothing else was in
3 the hands of the president of the municipality. The
4 assembly, namely, did not have any powers whatsoever,
5 any authority over the Army, rather, the Territorial
6 Defence, the police, finance, inspection services, the
7 judiciary, and many other institutions. But the people
8 didn't know that and they sought a stronghold.
9 They sought help from the Assembly of the
10 Municipality of Vukovar. Both Zagreb and Belgrade were
11 far away. It was very difficult to explain that the
12 President of the Municipal Assembly did not have
13 anything else to resort to but his authority, and that
14 that was the only thing with which he could guarantee
15 that people should come back and could come back.
16 This appeal of mine caused quite a bit of
17 negative reaction among the Serb population because it
18 was interpreted as if I were on the side of the
19 Croatian authorities, and that I insufficiently
20 understood what was going on.
21 MR. FILA: Please, if there are no
22 objections, could this be admitted into evidence as a
23 Defence exhibit, as well as the previous document too.
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
25 MR. FILA: Would you please look at the other
1 document too.
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
3 THE REGISTRAR: This document, D130.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, what is the date of
5 the document D129? Is it 6 of March '91, because I saw
6 on --
7 MR. FILA: Yes, the 6th of March, 1991.
8 Q. Could you please tell us what this is now,
9 and could you particularly explain the last sentence to
11 A. I think that this was a last attempt, or one
12 of the last attempts, made by Mr. Lovrincevic and
13 myself, and not only us, but other people we were in
14 contact with. I mentioned some of them, Milinkovic,
15 Jukic, Modalek, and also some others. Of course, I am
16 at trial here, so I hope you won't mind if I put myself
17 first sometimes. But this was a last appeal for us to
18 draw attention to the competent authorities of the
19 Republic of Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic
20 of Yugoslavia that we exhausted everything that we had
21 available. And I already said what we did have
22 available, was primarily our personal authority, and if
23 urgently measures were not taken which would stop
24 radicalisation, that there would be an escalation and a
25 major conflict.
1 I must point out that what
2 Mr. Lovrincevic and I did was a shared effort,
3 so-to-speak. Mr. Milinkovic and I usually went to Serb
4 villages. And drawing on the authority I had, I tried
5 to pacify the population. Mr. Lovrincevic, with
6 Modalek, Jukic, went to Croatian villages drawing on
7 his authority, and he tried to pacify the situation
8 there. That is the way it went for as long as it was
9 possible. But when shooting started at peoples homes
10 and when people were wounded, then all of this went to
11 the dogs.
12 Q. Can I draw a conclusion on the basis of this,
13 that you and Mr. Lovrincevic, the President of the
14 Executive Council, who was a Croat, and you who were a
15 Serb, tried to do your very best so that there would
16 not be a conflict between Serbs and Croats?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. So could you please look at this other
19 document and explain what it is, and could we please
20 have the previous document admitted into evidence as a
21 Defence exhibit.
22 So that was 130 and this is 131.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, this is D131.
24 MR. FILA:
25 Q. Please, Mr. Dokmanovic, could you tell us
1 what date is on this document and what is this?
2 A. I did not say (sic) that the assembly had its
3 presidency, which consisted of the president of the
4 assembly, the Vice-President of the assembly, and the
5 presidents of the three chambers, the Chamber of
6 Associated Labour, the Chamber of Local Communities,
7 and the Social Political Chamber. This is one of the
8 conclusions of this presidency. You can see the date,
9 the 10th of April.
10 Q. Of '91?
11 A. Yes, of '91. This is five minutes to 12,
12 so-to-speak. So that is to say it is only 20 odd days
13 before the 2nd of May. Whatever we said here was an
14 attempt to pacify the situation. Unfortunately, we did
15 not succeed in that effort.
16 Q. What are you calling upon in this
17 conclusion? What are you asking for?
18 A. I would have to read all of this, if it won't
19 be too tiring.
20 Q. We have it as an exhibit, so you can re-tell
21 it to us.
22 A. No, I can't re-tell it, because every word is
23 very important here. And I'm afraid that I tried to
24 say what it was about, but I don't know how convincing
25 I was.
1 The presidency of the Municipal Assembly of
2 Vukovar, at its 16th session, held on the 10th of April
3 1991, considered the current situation in the territory
4 of -- I'm sorry -- considering the current situation in
5 the territory of the Municipality of Vukovar, adopted
6 the following conclusions: One, all citizens, all
7 political parties, institutions of the system, and
8 associations of citizens, are called upon to work for
9 redressing the complicated situation so that the
10 accumulated political, economic and social problems
11 could be resolved in a peaceful and democratic way.
12 Number two, we call upon all citizens,
13 political parties, institutions of the system, to avoid
14 any kind of activity which could deteriorate the
15 already very difficult situation. We particularly
16 condemn citizens who have firearms and abuse them by
17 uncontrolled shooting in inhabitant settlements,
18 because in this way they seriously jeopardise peace,
19 law and order and they intimidate citizens.
20 Number three, we call upon all citizens,
21 political parties, institutions of the system, and
22 associations of citizens, to peacefully and in a
23 dignified manner worthy of man, wait for the denouement
24 of the general Yugoslav crises.
25 Four, we call on all citizens of the
1 Municipality of Vukovar to commemorate the holiday of
2 Vukovar, at the 12th of April, in a peaceful fashion
3 and also in a working atmosphere.
4 MR. FILA: Could this please be admitted into
5 evidence as a Defence exhibit, and could we please show
6 the next document to the witness.
7 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I ask you
9 about the 12th of April? It's the liberation of
10 Vukovar, to commemorate the liberation of Vukovar from
11 it's Second World War, probably? It's the fourth
13 MR. FILA: I don't know.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Dokmanovic?
15 A. Yes. Yes. On the 12th of April, Vukovar was
16 liberated, and that was the day of liberation from
17 fascist occupation. Every year it was commemorated in
18 -- ceremoniously. Sometimes people didn't even work
19 on that day. But in 1991 we did go to work.
20 MR. FILA:
21 Q. This is the Vukovar newspaper. That is the
22 20th of April 1991. What is this all about? Why did
23 you talk about the situation, and who took part in this
25 A. This is a meeting which was held at the
1 initiative of the President of the Assembly and the
2 President of the Executive Council and Mr. Boljkovac
3 and Mr. Degoricija came to this meeting.
4 Q. Who were they? What were they?
5 A. Mr. Boljkovac was Minister of the Interior.
6 Mr. Degoricija was his deputy.
7 Q. Of the interior of Croatia, right?
8 A. Yes, of Croatia.
9 Q. And what was this conversation about,
10 because, after all, this is their newspaper article, so
11 perhaps you could tell us a bit more?
12 A. Already at that stage, as we can see from the
13 previous document that I read out, strange things were
14 happening, difficult things rather than strange.
15 Shooting started in villages, also shooting in town.
16 We asked Mr. Boljkovac and Mr. Degoricija to come and
17 to invest their ministerial authority, and through the
18 police in Vukovar, to try to prevent this. Namely,
19 this speaks more of the following, that the assembly
20 and its executive bodies did cooperate with the
21 government of the Republic of Croatia, although Vukovar
22 the SDP was in power and, if you look at the whole of
23 Croatia, the HDZ was in power.
24 Q. Through your acquaintances, for example, with
25 witness Milinkovic, did you try to invite someone to
1 come hunting or to contact the authorities of the
2 Republic of Croatia in some other way in order to
3 pacify the situation?
4 A. Yes, there were contacts. I think that
5 Mr. Slavko Degoricija is a reasonable man, and in
6 formal talks, and also in official talks, quite a few
7 things could be agreed upon with him. Since I am a
8 huntsman and he is a huntsman, I invited him on several
9 occasions, and I asked Mr. Milinkovic to speak to him
10 in the Sabor Croatian Parliament, because he was also a
11 member of Parliament, to invite him to come hunting
12 with us. So that he could see what kind of people
13 these were. These were peasants. These were working
14 people. The majority of the population are good
15 people, peaceful. Unfortunately, they were becoming
16 less and less able to influence what was going on.
17 Q. You keep talking about the population. Do
18 you think that the majority of the population was
19 moderate, irrespective of their ethnicity?
20 A. Absolutely.
21 Q. You must admit that there were nationalists
22 on the Serb and the Croatian sides?
23 A. Absolutely.
24 Q. And now comes the tragedy in Borovo Selo.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What happened? What did you know about this
2 and what did you do about it later?
3 A. Before that, on the 1st of May, the first
4 killing took place in Brsadin. Mr. Milinkovic spoke
5 about this, so I am not going to elaborate about that,
6 except that it caused a great deal of anxiety. And the
7 road was closed between Vinkovci and Vukovar, in the
8 village of Brsadin, which was somehow resolved after
9 long-lasting talks and negotiations. And finally the
10 rest of the man, who committed the murder in the late
11 afternoon hours, I think it was sometime around 7.00
13 And then, on the 2nd of May, something even
14 more tragic happened in Borovo Selo, where, according
15 to various information, 12, 14, 19, or even more people
16 were killed. The number was never exactly ascertained,
17 but it is a sad thing if even one person was killed,
18 because this need not have happened. I'm sorry.
19 Q. Please continue.
20 A. It is very difficult for me to speak about
21 these events, because I know about this only from what
22 others have said, and different people say different
23 things. Namely, on the 2nd of May, I was not at work,
24 I was at home in my village, and I heard about that at
25 12.15 that day over the phone from Mr. Milinkovic. I
1 went to Borovo Selo, a day or two or three days later.
2 I took a shortcut because already then they didn't
3 allow me to enter Vukovar, so I went through --
4 Q. What did you do, and did you do anything
5 about this event?
6 A. Yes, we did.
7 Q. What?
8 A. Without going into guilt and who is guilty of
9 this, it is certainly both sides that are guilty. I,
10 as the President of the Assembly, did not have the
11 power to resolve this, but resorting to force further
12 would have brought about more casualties, that is for
14 I tried to get into contact with people --
15 not to repeat all these names again -- these people
16 that I was in touch with anyway, so that we would
17 agree on the following, that the representatives of the
18 Government of Croatia come to Vukovar and the
19 representatives of the federal government. I think I
20 will not be wrong if I say that this was on the 11th of
21 May, Mr. Manolic came to Vukovar, Mr. Boljkovac -- I'm
22 sorry, Mr. Manolic, Prime Minister of the Republic of
23 Croatia; Mr. Boljkovac, Minister of Internal Affairs.
24 Mr. Degoricija, at that time I think he held a
25 different office related to the Croatian Parliament,
1 but he was familiar with the situation. And on the
2 part of the federal authorities, Mr. Ante Markovic,
3 Federal Prime Minister, came. And Mr. Brovet came,
4 Admiral Brovet, I think he was Deputy Chief of Staff or
5 Assistant Chief of Staff, and Mr. Ondolostav (phoen).
6 And Mr. Gracanin, Minister of the Interior, came too.
7 There were quite a few people there, there they were
8 associates. I can't remember their names.
9 Q. What was the subject?
10 A. The main subject were events in Borovo Selo
11 and how to prevent this from being repeated again,
12 because one of the conclusions was that a thorough
13 investigation should be carried out as to why these
14 events took place, how this took place, and that the
15 culprits should be punished. I held this post for a
16 very short period of time, but, unfortunately, as far
17 as I know, this was not done yet.
18 Q. You mentioned your office, your post just
19 now. Could you tell me, in May and June, before you
20 ceased to operate as president of the Municipality of
21 Vukovar, you lived in your native village of Trpinja?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you would take your own car from there to
24 work, right?
25 A. Yes, with my own car until the 2nd of May.
1 Q. And how far away is Trpinja from Vukovar?
2 A. From the last house in Trpinja, I think --
3 and to the first house in Vukovar, I think there is not
4 more than three kilometres. However, since this
5 measurement is made from the centre of the village to
6 the centre of town, it is 10 kilometres, really.
7 Q. Did you have trouble getting to work, and
8 when did these problems begin?
9 A. Absolutely. I did have problems. Until that
10 day, until the 11th of May, I could not go to work
11 because the city was closed at the entrance to Vukovar
12 from -- on that side. From Osijek, from Trpinja there
13 were roadblocks, barricades, and, literally, I was
14 prevented from getting into Vukovar, and my driver was
15 not allowed to come and pick me up and to take me
17 Actually -- I'm sorry. I asked a man, whose
18 name was Racu Chucara (phoen), to try, in the local
19 community, Bravdo Dinstra (phoen), fraternity unity on
20 the road of Trpinja, that is the road that links the
21 town of Vukovar in my village, in a way, to see -- to
22 find a way for me to get to work. And he talked to
23 Mr. Mercep, and then he came back to see me -- to see
24 me in my village. He said that there was a price on my
25 head and that I shouldn't go back to town because I
1 will be killed.
2 After that, after the 11th of May,
3 Mr. Manolic and Mr. Boljkovac guaranteed my safety, on
4 the condition that every morning an official automobile
5 come and pick me up and take me to work and take me
6 back home, and of course be made available to me
7 through -- while I was at work.
8 Q. Did this function and for how long?
9 A. Every morning the car would come and pick me
10 up. This was a singular car, so-to-speak. It was
11 easily recognisable, a Mercedes, very recognisable on
12 the territory of the municipality. However, constant
13 provocations carried out against me and, literally,
14 that meant that I would be stopped every day. I would
15 be taken out of my car. I will be searched very often
16 in the centre of town, when I would go to see various
17 institutions, work organisations, et cetera.
18 So you can imagine what that looks like, when
19 the President of the Municipal Assembly is stopped by,
20 under quotation marks, "his own police" from a car, and
21 then he is ordered to put his hands on the vehicle and
22 a search is carried out. Can you imagine what this
23 looks like to other citizens?
24 And all of this happened until the 6th of
25 June, and that was the last day when I went to work.
1 And from that day my driver was forbidden to come and
2 pick me up, and from that day I didn't go to work in
3 Vukovar any more.
4 Q. So one cannot say that you voluntarily left
5 Vukovar, although it was wonderful for you there, but
6 you were simply prevented from going there?
7 A. Every day at home -- at work, and especially
8 at home, I received telephone calls where threats were
9 made to me and my children. My daughter stopped going
10 to work and my son stopped going to school, from the
11 2nd of May. And all of this caused a great deal of
12 nervousness in my own case, and particularly in the
13 case of my family.
14 Of course, all of this was aimed at
15 preventing me from discharging my duties as president.
16 I was not even asked -- I'm sorry, but attempts were
17 being made to legally replace the President of the
18 Municipal Assembly, however, because of the composition
19 of the Assembly and the opinions of the deputies, that
20 is, that the president is not that wrong, and that he
21 should not be replaced. And that wasn't sufficient for
22 legally replacing the president. This was one of the
23 ways in which I could be prevented from coming to work.
24 And after that I was finally replaced too.
25 Q. When was the last assembly of Vukovar held?
1 When was it last in session?
2 A. I cannot remember the exact date, but the
3 last meeting was convened for the 17th of May. And it
4 was not held, because at the entrance to the assembly
5 so many people had gathered that they did not allow the
6 deputies to get in. So we did not have a quorum. And,
7 practically, that is the last day of the life of the
8 assembly of Vukovar. Yes.
9 Q. We saw the statute of the Municipality of
10 Vukovar, and the statute -- generally -- I mean, you
11 have been following this trial too. The Secretariat of
12 National Defence was being mentioned. Who was
13 Secretariat of National Defence in that period?
14 A. When I was president, it was Zivko Sekulic,
15 and afterwards he was replaced by Tomislav Mercep --
16 then Tomislav Mercep became this.
17 Q. Did you as President of the Municipality of
18 Vukovar, did you as the President of the Municipality
19 of Vukovar have any powers over the Territorial
21 A. No.
22 Q. Who was in charge of the Territorial Defence?
23 A. The republican secretariat or institutions at
24 republican level in general. Actually, to the best of
25 my knowledge, these functions also intertwined with the
1 federal functions and the Yugoslav People's Army,
2 because the Yugoslav People's Army consisted of active
3 duty officers and also this Territorial Defence. So
4 who was more superior or subordinate to who, I don't
5 know. But at any rate, this was not within the
6 authority of the municipality.
7 Q. While you were -- while you held this office,
8 was there a state of war, because the statute says that
9 the Presidency of the Municipality of an assembly does
10 have certain powers in a state of war?
11 A. The situation was quite difficult, but we
12 were not the ones who would proclaim a state of war. A
13 municipality cannot declare a state of war. It is only
14 the republic that can declare a state of war and then
15 the assembly can be dissolved and Municipal Assembly
16 can be dissolved and only when the assembly cannot be
17 convened then war presidency is established or, rather,
18 a presidency which also exists can take these powers
19 but the municipality is not the one who declares a
20 state of war.
21 Q. Can I say that throughout your stay in
22 Vukovar, I mean the Assembly of Vukovar, this kind of
23 presidency was not established? Did you have any
24 powers in respect of this?
25 A. No, I did not have any powers in respect of
1 this, nor could this presidency be established in this
3 Q. And so on the 6th of May -- on the 6th of
4 June, 1991, you were stopped -- prevented from
5 performing your duty as President of the Municipal
6 Assembly of Vukovar. When were you formally replaced?
7 A. I think that was in July, but I can't quite
8 recall the exact date. It was published in the
9 "Narondi List." That's the official gazette of the
10 Republic of Croatia. I'm not sure whether I ever got
11 this paper, this document, saying that I was being
12 replaced, because the situation had become very
13 complicated and roads were not open to communication.
14 Most of the villages were closed off, shut off. So I
15 am not sure that I got this document relieving me of my
17 But it was published in the -- in the
18 "Narondi List" that the assembly was being dissolved
19 and the President and the President of the Executive
20 Council was dissolved, as was all the organs, and in
21 the next Act it was stated that the government of
22 Croatia would nominate a mandate for the Municipality
23 of Vukovar.
24 And in 1991 Croatia enacted a law by which
25 the government was authorised to dissolve the municipal
1 assemblies and to nominate representatives. This was
2 the so-called law on government.
3 Q. May we now show the accused Exhibit D5. And
4 is that the document that he has just mentioned?
5 A. Yes, it is the law on the government of the
6 Republic of Croatia and it states everything that
7 should go into the preamble. And this is an order on
8 undertaking special measures in the Municipality of
9 Vukovar to dissolve the assembly under one, and that
10 the Deputies relieved of duty and that the executive
11 council as well.
12 Q. A little slower please. Does that mean with
13 that date -- what is the date on the document? What
14 date is that?
15 A. The 23rd of July 1991. 23rd of July 1991.
16 Q. Thereof, by decision of the corresponding
17 organs of Croatia as of that date you were no longer
18 President of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. (No translation) -- of the Serbian province
22 of Krajina also replace you and dissolve the assembly?
23 A. That was later when the Serbian region of
24 Slavonia Baranja, and Western Srem was made up. The
25 assembly made a decision by which all the organs should
1 be dissolved, elected by the organs of the Republic of
2 Croatia, and so my mandate stopped by virtue of that
3 decision as well.
4 Q. I think that was September 1991. Does that
5 mean that at the relevant time for this particular
6 hearing, which is the 19th, 20th and perhaps 21st of
7 November, you were not President of the Municipal
8 Assembly of Vukovar, either by Croatian law or by
9 Serbian law?
10 A. That's right. As of the 6th of June 1991,
11 that was the last time that I went to work. And let me
12 give you just one example. I continued to receive
13 invitations from the permanent conference of towns,
14 which were held generally in Belgrade, but I did not go
15 to those meetings because I did not consider myself to
16 be the President of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar
18 Q. Now we come to the next matter. What
19 happened to you as you did not consider yourself to be
20 President anymore, what did you do after that time?
21 A. I apologise. It's not whether I considered
22 myself to be President of the Municipal Assembly of
23 Vukovar. I was not President of the Assembly of
24 Vukovar. And as I did not perform that function, then
25 I could not consider myself to be President and the
1 assembly did not exist. The Municipal Assembly did not
2 exist, so it could not have had a President.
3 Q. Is that right?
4 A. Yes. After that I continued to live in my
5 house, with my family. I am an agronomist by
6 profession. The harvesting season was coming up and
7 for the villages around me before I had been doing the
8 functions of President, people knew me in my village
9 and the environs. They knew that I did that work
10 fairly well, and I helped organise the wheat harvest
11 and to save what could be saved under those difficult
12 conditions. And all contacts with Vukovar were severed
13 as they were with opstina Vinkovski . The villages did
14 not have anywhere to place the grain. It is one of the
15 richest farming areas in the former Yugoslavia.
16 The peasants are very diligent, hard working,
17 and so we had to do -- get through the harvest and to
18 put the grain away somewhere. And the only way to do
19 this was across the Danube, and that is how we took the
20 grain there. Not by the bridge, but by boat, because
21 the bridges were under the control of the police of the
22 Republic of Croatia and it did not allow any
23 transport. That is to say, there were barricades on
24 both sides. I don't want to enter into who had the
25 larger barricades. But the roads were closed off. The
1 bridges were closed off and passage was limited.
2 I have been doing this -- I did this kind of
3 work until August.
4 Q. At one time you became member of the
5 government of Serb -- the Serbian region of Slavonia
6 Baranja and Western Srem. How did you come by that
8 A. The previous formation of the government --
9 what happened, in fact, was that in an area inhabited
10 by Serbs, there was no parent authority, no rule. No
11 authorities. And when there are no authorities,
12 strange things happen. Every village lived for itself,
13 closed off. And basic problems, supply problems
14 occurred. We did not have any links with a town. And
15 groups of individuals, I can't say who the exact people
16 were, who thought the idea up first, but I was invited
17 to come to Dalj and to attend a meeting, I can't
18 exactly remember the date. It was in August,
19 mid-August, I think, thereabouts. And I took part in a
20 meeting that discussed the formation of some form of
21 government authority for the area.
22 That attempt was abortive. Furthermore, once
23 again at the initiative of some people, I can't
24 remember their names now, but there was the formation
25 of assemblies, and in the meantime terrible events had
1 occurred. The war had broken out, the situation was
2 becoming more and more serious and there was the
3 formation of the Great National Assembly, as it was
4 called, which nominated Goran Hadzic as the mandator.
5 And he composed a government in which I was the
6 Minister of Agriculture.
7 Q. It would be a good time now to ask you,
8 Mr. Dokmanovic, of the living conditions. Was there
9 any electricity, water?
10 A. At the beginning there was some electricity,
11 until August or September. Perhaps later on this was
12 severed and for some eight months, I believe, most of
13 the villages did not have any electricity.
14 Q. What about water? How did you solve the
15 water problem?
16 A. Well, in the beginning most of the villages
17 did not have any water. In the villages water work
18 systems were constructed to supply one village, but the
19 plant was run by electricity. As there was no
20 electricity, we could not activate the water work
21 system. And at that time some people resorted to
22 various ideas and they came by some power generators
23 run by diesel fuel. And then the mechanics would
24 connect them to the water works, and in that way we
25 were able to come by water. But the supplies were very
1 limited and restricted and only several hours a day did
2 we have water for the population and for the
3 livestock. Because the basic problem was that there
4 was no diesel fuel.
5 So that there was water from time to time,
6 but very limited quantities, whereas there was no
8 Q. How did you solve the question in your own
9 village, Trpinja? Who brought the power generator to
11 A. Well, as I say, major events were taking
12 place. There was a large number of soldiers in our
13 area, and I think it was the army. I'm not quite sure,
14 because I began working in Erdut and there were people
15 in the local community, in the village that did this.
16 But someone came by some -- a power generator, I think
17 it is still active in the village, and from time to
18 time there was water, thanks to that generator.
19 Usually in the morning for livestock and in the
20 evening, depending on army needs, because there was
21 more and more army members and we had to dovetail our
22 schedule with that of the army.
23 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic, while you were in Vukovar, we
24 discussed the first Serbian National Council that was
25 formed in Srb. On the territory of Slavonia, Baranja
1 and Western Srem was another second Serbian National
2 Council formed?
3 A. Yes, it was.
4 Q. What can you tell us about that second
5 National Council and were you a member of it?
6 A. I know that it was formed sometime at the
7 beginning of January 1991. I think that it was in
8 Banovci. I don't know what -- who the members were. I
9 was not a member at any time.
10 Q. Why? Had they asked you to be a member?
11 A. No, they did not. They did not ask me.
12 Q. Why not?
13 A. Well, I don't know the answer to that
14 question. You should asked Mr. Koncarevic that
15 question. He was a member of the Serbian National
16 Council and he was a witness here.
17 But it was probably because I had some
18 different views than people who were members of the
19 Serbian National Council. I held different views.
20 Q. What different views did you hold?
21 A. Well, to a large extent, national tensions
22 had increased greatly. In the meantime, in 1990, in
23 Vukovar, we had the formation of the Serbian Democratic
24 Party and there was a great division. Many people
25 moved from the SDP party into the HDZ or SDS, so the
1 polarisation became greater and there were more and
2 more incidents. And the most demanded goods on the
3 market were arms, weapons and people sold what they had
4 to buy arms, rifles, guns so that it was a very
5 difficult time. And were I not in this particular
6 position that I find myself now, perhaps I could tell
7 you something more. But sitting on this chair now, I
8 can only say that the situation was extremely
10 Q. You attended a television programme of Novi
11 Sad, it was an exhibit, you said that it was in 1990,
12 1991. You said you were not a member of the Serbian
13 National Council?
14 A. That's right. It was a television programme
15 which I was invited to take part in. Mr. Kekovic was
16 the mediator and there were other people together with
17 me. We were able to see that here in the courtroom and
18 political views were put forward for the most part and
19 I presented my own views on the occasion. At that time
20 it was my unfortunate circumstance to be pro Yugoslav
21 oriented. And I considered that Yugoslavia in one form
22 or another can survive. Unfortunately, events proved
23 me wrong.
24 Q. You spoke about your authority as President
25 of the Municipal Assembly. Who did you have authority
1 over, with?
2 A. Well, it is difficult to say, to talk about
3 oneself. It's always very difficult to talk about
4 oneself. But if I did have any authority, it was
5 authority with the people who knew me, the moderates,
6 people of moderate views. Relatively quiet working
7 people who knew me as such.
8 Q. In a book that was presented here from the
9 Prosecution, Mr. Petrovic calls you an incapable
11 A. Well, according to me I was probably
12 incapable. What does your "incapable" qualities -.
13 Q. Why do you think they said that?
14 A. Well, I am a witness here in -- for myself
15 and I should speak well of myself, as I am speaking in
16 my own favour. But what Mr. Petrovic considers -- what
17 he criticises me for as being incapable, is that I
18 turned over Vukovar to the Croats and for not having
19 organised and armed the Serbian people to fight or for
20 taking away eight communities, eight municipalities.
21 He spoke about some municipalities. No, they
22 were villages that belonged to the municipality of
23 Vinkovci. They made the demand, that is to say they
24 made the request, by referendum, to be conjoined to the
25 Municipality of Vukovar. And they asked me to bring in
1 such a decision, or the assembly to make a decision
2 along those lines. That was not possible as the
3 municipality's competency is not there to perform
4 changes of territorial borders. It is up to the
5 republic to do that. So I was not able to place that
6 on the agenda and I was criticised particularly for
7 this, not having been sufficiently supporting Serbian
9 Q. So was this a problem when you were elected
10 as Minister of Agricultural at the time?
11 A. Yes there were problems over my election.
12 Q. What were those problems?
13 A. What happened was that there was a new form
14 of territorial organisation. People knew me for the
15 most part from Vukovar and the surrounding villages,
16 which were within the composition of the Municipality
17 of Vukovar, and some of the villages in which we had
18 sports manifestations. And they knew me there for my
19 sports capabilities. However, the formation of the
20 Serbian region of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem
21 these incorporated villages that had only heard about
22 me and had not known me personally and the people were
23 fairly nationalistically coloured and considered, and
24 they do so today, that I betrayed Serbian interests.
25 And Mr. Hadzic, in his first attempt to place me in the
1 government, proved unsuccessful, and when he tried on
2 the second occasion at the people in Beli Manastir to
3 take the rostrum to convince people that I should be a
4 member of the government, in view of the fact that
5 there was -- there were not enough professional men.
6 And I think that is the main reason why they
7 elected me to the government, because I was a
8 professional man.
9 The majority of educated people lived in the
10 towns and as the towns were outside the control of the
11 Serbian district of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem
12 and the cadres from Vukovar were expelled from the
13 Croatian and Serb nationality there were not people who
14 could perform this job professionally and I think that
15 is what spoke in my favour.
16 Q. In other words, the nationalists didn't like
17 you much, of either nationality?
18 A. Yes, that's right. Both the Croats
19 criticised me for being a great Serb and the Serbs
20 accused me of being at the service of the Croats and
21 working in their interests, and I'll probably suffer
22 here as well.
23 Q. Can you tell me what that government was?
24 Did you receive a salary?
25 A. Well, it was an unsuccessful attempt to
1 organise something in this situation of disarray. The
2 government had been functioning for several months and
3 viewed on paper and administratively something might
4 have been -- you might have said that there was a kind
5 of organisation. But in actual fact it was a time when
6 war raged and where the basic instruments of
7 implementing power and authority was something that the
8 government did not have. So it was not able to
9 establish its authority.
10 Q. Did you have a salary?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you have a deputy assistant, a cabinet?
13 A. I had one and a half offices in the Ministry
14 for Agricultural, which was located in Erdut with three
15 assistants and one lady, she was the administrator. I
16 had two graduated agronomists and two doctors of
17 science. If necessary, I can give you their names.
18 Q. That's not necessary, thank you. Can you
19 tell us of your relationships with the army and
20 Territorial Defence, the whole government and you
21 yourself, you personally. What were your relations?
22 A. On the area -- in the area of the villages,
23 each village, there was a defence of the village
24 organised with its command and its commander. In the
25 majority of cases we were dealing with people who had
1 -- I don't want to be too strict in saying this -- but
2 they had extremist views and imposed themselves through
3 those extremist views.
4 I was lucky because the commander of my
5 village was not like that and so I was less -- it's not
6 the right expression, but I was not mistreated. I had
7 a little more freedom, perhaps, to put it that way.
8 And practically all the power in the villages was in
9 the hands of the headquarters of the village defence.
10 That was at the beginning. Later on, with
11 the arrival of the army and a decision of the assembly,
12 all this was placed under the control or tried to place
13 it under the control of the Yugoslav People's Army for
14 the greatest part this was implemented. So that the
15 government, neither before nor afterwards, had any
16 practical parent authority. Some agreement could have
17 been reached, perhaps, but the government had no
18 authority over Territorial Defence, particularly not
19 the Ministry of Agriculture.
20 Q. Did you have any police and army?
21 A. No, nothing.
22 Q. Tanks, planes, anything of that kind?
23 A. No, nothing.
24 Q. And when you moved along the territory, could
25 you tell us what territory are we talking about that
1 your government tried to control?
2 A. The territory was part of the Vinkovci
3 Municipality, the Vukovar Municipality, a portion of
4 the Municipality of Osijek and Baranja.
5 Q. Were they compact, were they conjoined in one
7 A. No. No. I was never in -- in most of the
8 places, I never went to most of the places. It was
9 very difficult to reach them.
10 Q. Did you have to have a permit by the army to
11 be able to move around?
12 A. Yes, absolutely.
13 Q. Were you controlled? Were there checkpoints
14 when you passed through?
15 A. At each village, and this is a later period,
16 that is to say September, somewhere at the end of
17 September in each village there was the Yugoslav
18 People's Army, which was stationed there, and at the
19 entrance and exit to the village there were control
20 points set up so that the control was regular and you
21 were not able to leave the village without a special
23 Q. The fact that you were a member of the
24 government, did that help? Could you say, "I'm a
25 member of the government, I am the Minister of
1 Agriculture," that seems to be very important for the
3 A. The Yugoslav People's Army did not recognise
4 our government, including the soldiers who considered
5 themselves to be stronger than the Minister of
6 Agriculture. So very often I had a lot of problems,
7 precisely for the fact that I was Minister of
8 Agriculture and because it said on my permit that I was
9 Minister of Agriculture and they sort of laughed at me,
10 it was a laughing matter.
11 Q. So you couldn't order an officer or the whole
12 Yugoslav People's Army, you couldn't issue orders to
14 A. No, absolutely not. With some officers,
15 lower ranking officers, one could establish contact.
16 I already said that I did things related to
17 agriculture, and since this entire area was full of the
18 army, it was -- it required quite a bit of effort to
19 organise some kind of production, primarily harvesting,
20 the autumn harvest. So with some lower ranking
21 officers one could establish contact and people could
22 be allowed to get to certain plots of land or to move
23 along certain roads in order to do the agricultural
24 work that was needed.
25 Q. Did you have trouble with them asking you to
1 give -- you to give them people for the army and you
2 needed them for agricultural work?
3 A. Yes, that's right. To work in agriculture
4 was humiliating and it -- it at that time was very
5 fashionable to be a soldier, and this was considered to
6 be a small thing.
7 Q. How long were you there?
8 A. I think until January 1992. Well, four or
9 five months, I think, yes. Four or five months.
10 Q. And which government came after you did?
11 A. After the Republic of Srpska Krajina was
12 established, which elected its own authorities, the
13 assembly and the assembly chose a prime minister
14 designate. I think it was Mr. Zeotrinic (phoen) and he
15 chose his own ministers. I was not in that government.
16 Q. So that was your ministerial career, those
17 four or five months?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. Why were you not elected to this other
20 government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina. You were
21 a still an agronomist. They still needed a Minister of
22 Agriculture. What kind of people were elected then?
23 A. I probably didn't suit them because I had
24 trouble with Knin afterwards too, so -- I imagine
25 that's the reason.
1 Q. What's the reason? Your positions?
2 A. Yes, my positions.
3 Q. What kind of positions, political?
4 A. Yes, political.
5 MR. FILA: I think that at this point in
6 time, Your Honour, it would be a good time to break.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: So we'll take a 20 minute
9 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 3.52 p.m.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila?
12 MR. FILA:
13 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic, we stopped at the point when
14 you were no longer a member of the government of the
15 Serb autonomous district of Slavonia, Baranja, and
16 Western Srem. A government was set up, as we heard, in
17 the republic of Srpska Krajina. You were not in it, so
18 what did you do then?
19 A. Until the 1st of June, I didn't do anything.
20 I was at home. On the 1st of June, I was appointed
21 director of the Vinarija in Vukovar.
22 Q. Please tell us the year?
23 A. I'm sorry, 1992.
24 Q. And then?
25 A. I remained in that position until 1994 when I
1 was elected President of the Municipal Assembly again.
2 Q. Perhaps this is a good point to show you a
3 document and to ask you what this is.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document D133?
5 A. This is a document signed by one of my
6 associates while I was Minister of Agriculture. This
7 was signed by Mr. Vidovic. This is a certificate
8 showing that I worked at the Vinarija and he became
9 director of the Vinarija after I did, and this is a
10 certificate saying that I was director of the Vinarija
11 from the 1st of June, 1992, until the 1st of July,
13 Q. So could this please be admitted into
14 evidence, D133, and the translation will be D133.
15 Before we move on to your new election as
16 mayor, please have a look at this next document. What
17 does it show?
18 This is Defence Exhibit D ...
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D134.
20 MR. FILA:
21 Q. What does this document show?
22 A. This is my passport.
23 Q. Your passport. It was issued where?
24 A. In Vukovar.
25 Q. And what does it say? What citizenship did
1 you have at that point?
2 A. Croatian citizenship, and I had Croatian and
3 Yugoslavian citizenship.
4 Q. Did all Yugoslavs at that time have
5 republican and federal citizenship?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So you had a republican citizenship of the
8 Republic of Croatia and federal citizenship of the
9 state of the SFRY?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Could you please show the serial number of
12 your passport and from where can one see that it was
13 issued in Croatia?
14 A. The passports were such that the first letter
15 shows the Republic and mine was H for Hrvatska,
17 MR. FILA: Could this please be admitted into
18 evidence as a Defence Exhibit?
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
20 MR. FILA:
21 Q. Could you please now look at this next
22 document. Would you explain what we can see from
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document D135.
25 MR. FILA:
1 Q. What is this document that you have in your
2 hands now?
3 A. This is a copy of my refugee ID.
4 Q. What is refugee ID mean? Could you explain
5 this situation a bit? What is a refugee ID? Why did
6 you get it and who got it?
7 A. My family got it when we moved to Sombor in
8 1996, my wife and I, because I was on the list of Serbs
9 who did not receive an amnesty from the Republic of
10 Croatia, and with the establishment of this authority
11 on that territory now, which was, until then, under the
12 control of the UNTAES, there was a danger of my being
13 arrested and that's why I left the area.
14 Q. So can I say that now you have the status of
15 refugee in the SFRY?
16 A. No, you cannot. I am a prisoner and My Lady,
17 wife, is a refugee.
18 Q. So the last valid citizenship you had was the
19 citizenship we saw on this last passport, and that was
20 of Croatia and of the SFRY; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And practically now you do not have
23 citizenship and your permanent residence is at the
24 detention unit in The Hague; right?
25 A. Right.
1 Q. Now I am going to show you this next
2 document. Could this previous document be admitted
3 into evidence, if there are no objections?
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objections.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document D136.
6 MR. FILA:
7 Q. What is this document that you have in your
9 A. This is a military ID.
10 Q. What does it say in your military ID? What
11 are you? Who are you?
12 A. My military service in Krusevac in Yugoslavia
13 in 1975. I went there as a regular soldier, a
14 conscript, and then I left as a Private. I was
15 actually in charge of a particular company, but only in
16 terms of administrative work.
17 Q. And could you look at this now.
18 Participation in war. Can you see that rubric there?
19 What does it show?
20 A. It's empty.
21 Q. What does that prove?
22 A. I did not take part in the war.
23 Q. In other words, to summarise, you did your
24 military service in the JNA as a Private?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And during this war, in relation to which we
2 are having this debate here, you did not have any
3 functions as an active or reserve officer?
4 A. I was not mobilised at all.
5 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic, on the 20th of November, were
6 you a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Yugoslav Air Force?
7 A. No, I was not. That is nonsense.
8 Q. Could you take at that look at the next
9 document so that we could ascertain your military
11 Could you explain to us what this document
12 is? Could the previous document be admitted into
13 evidence as a Defence Exhibit, please.
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
15 MR. FILA: D136.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document D136 (sic).
17 MR. FILA:
18 Q. What can one see from this document,
19 Mr. Dokmanovic?
20 A. This is a certificate issued by a military
21 post called 3001 which certifies that as they check
22 through their military records, professional military
23 men of the JNA, the Slavko Dokmanovic from Vukovar was
24 never an officer or a non-commissioned officer or a
25 civilian person serving in the JNA or in the Army of
2 Q. And please, could you take a look at the last
3 paragraph? No, no, no, sorry. I suggest that this
4 document be admitted into evidence as a Defence
5 Exhibit. I made a mistake. Sorry.
6 MR. WILLIAMSON: Just a moment, Your Honour,
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Are we speaking of D137?
9 MR. FILA: Yes.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: There's a mistake in the
11 transcript. The registrar said document D137.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
14 MR. FILA: Could we please have the next
15 document shown to ...
16 And with this, we would end the military
17 career of Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic as far as Defence
18 Exhibits are concerned.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document D138.
20 MR. FILA:
21 Q. Would you tell us what this document is?
22 A. This is a certificate of military post 3065
23 from Novi Sad from the area covered by the Novi Sad
24 corps and that is the area in which I lived, that I was
25 not a member of the reserve army corps in that area in
1 1991, 1992, I was not in their records as a reserved
2 officer, reserved non-commissioned officer or a soldier
3 in reserve.
4 MR. FILA: Thank you. If there are no
5 objections, I suggest that this be admitted into
6 evidence as a Defence Exhibit.
7 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objections.
8 MR. FILA:
9 Q. Now let us continue. In 1994, you become
10 President of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar once
11 again. How did that happen?
12 A. At the elections that were held in 1993, the
13 Radical Party won. I was an independent candidate and
14 I won the election, but due to certain problems -- and
15 I don't want to go into all of that now -- the Deputies
16 were not satisfied with the work of the President who
17 belonged to the Radical Party, that is Mr. Vukicevic,
18 and they asked me, the coalition of the socialists and
19 the SDS, because they could not agree on who they would
20 choose as President, probably, or for some other
21 reason, I can't know that now, they suggested that I be
22 the new President of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar
23 as an independent candidate.
24 Q. And then you were not involved in any
25 political parties, were you?
1 A. No, not in any political party.
2 Q. What do you think? What is the reason why
3 you were elected?
4 A. I can say what my opinion is.
5 Q. Yes, I'm asking you about your opinion.
6 A. The city was destroyed and a little bit was
7 done in terms of restoration, but practically nothing
8 was happening. Instead of getting more and more
9 inhabitants, we were losing inhabitants. People were
10 unsatisfied with the work of the assembly and the
11 assembly organs. More could have been done, and it is
12 probably for that reason that they proposed me as
14 I appointed Mr. Teofilovic, the Prime
15 Minister designate, and he proposed a very successful
16 local government, and over a very short span of time,
17 they built quite a bit in Vukovar -- not to enumerate
18 all of that.
19 Q. Well, do enumerate it.
20 A. We repaired almost 70 kilometres of road.
21 Most of the waterworks started operating once again.
22 We made seven electric power plants or stations. A
23 marketplace was built so that the people could get
24 proper supplies, three schools were repaired. A bus
25 station was built. We fully repaired 25 apartments and
1 150 were supposed to be completed during that period of
3 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic, could we say that you were
4 elected as a man of peace because the times of war were
5 slowly going by?
6 A. I was never in favour of the war. People
7 knew that. And that was probably the case. People
8 there had had enough of the war, at least reasonable
9 people had had enough of the war.
10 Q. And someone needs war?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. During your career, I mean, during this last
13 term of office of yours before you were replaced, could
14 I ask you why you were replaced? When?
15 A. After Croatian operations vis-à-vis the
16 Republic of Srpska Krajina, only a part of our district
17 remained peaceful. There were quite a few advocates of
18 war. I must say that we did not use a single bullet,
19 we did not fire a single bullet while all of that was
20 happening there and one really had to invest one's
21 authority in order to do that.
22 It is difficult to speak from this position
23 now and it was even more difficult for me to speak in
24 that position then, and we entered negotiations, and
25 these negotiations ended with quite a few problems, but
1 they did come to an end with the signing of the Erdut
2 agreement. And I was one of the participants in the
3 negotiations because of the extremism of the people who
4 were against signing any kind of agreement with Croatia
5 and who were in favour of continuing war, pressure was
6 being brought to bear against me again, and that led to
7 my replacement.
8 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic, could you please take a look
9 at the next document? What is this? Who is inviting
10 you and what for?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Document D139.
12 MR. FILA:
13 Q. What is this document, Mr. Dokmanovic?
14 A. This is an invitation to a seminar in
15 Liechtenstein that was addressed to me.
16 Q. Why was it addressed to you? What were you
18 A. President of the Municipal Assembly of
20 Q. Could you now take a look at this document?
21 Could this document please be admitted into
22 evidence as a Defence Exhibit?
23 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, we would have
24 an objection to this. It's just getting a little bit
25 off the issue at hand here and being irrelevant,
1 but ...
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Are you speaking of D139?
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes, Your Honour.
4 MR. FILA: Mr. President, I should explain
5 this immediately. We are not getting off the issue
6 because these are documents which show the personality
7 of the accused, and this is my duty, and that is what
8 we agreed upon at the beginning of this -- these two
9 weeks. So I'm talking about his reputation as a mayor
10 and what he was like as a man. That's all.
11 After all, you have to know what kind of
12 person we are talking about. Nothing else.
13 Q. What is this next document?
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We do admit D139 into
16 MR. FILA:
17 Q. Please take a look at the next document I
18 have just given you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D140.
20 A. This is information through Mr. Milanovic,
21 who was head of the negotiating team during the
22 negotiations. This is from Mr. Bell on behalf of
23 UNTAES. It was sent to me, that I would be visited by
24 a delegation of the Council of Europe on the 10th of
25 January, 1996.
1 MR. FILA: Could this document please be
2 admitted into evidence as a Defence Exhibit?
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
5 MR. FILA: Next document.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document D141.
7 MR. FILA: If there are no objections or,
8 rather, perhaps you could explain first what it is and
9 then ...
10 A. This is an interview I gave to Dnevnik.
11 Q. And what do you speak of?
12 A. I speak of peace and the restoration of
13 normal life in the area. We are trying to explain the
14 Erdut agreement to the people to the best of our
16 MR. FILA: Could this document please be
17 admitted into evidence as Defence Exhibit?
18 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
19 MR. FILA: Next Defence Exhibit would be an
20 entire set of photographs. Mr. Dokmanovic is going to
21 explain each and every photograph, and they should be
22 marked as D142 A, B, C, D, et cetera. Everyone has
23 five copies, as needed.
24 Immediately after this, I am going to fulfil
25 Mr. Williamson's wish and I am going to move on to
1 concrete questions.
2 A. The first photograph is from the Zagreb
3 airport where we are shaking hands with people who were
4 in charge of our security while we were there for
5 negotiations. This man was shaking hands,
6 Mr. Milanovic, Mr. Dokmanovic, Mr. Hadzic, Mr. Bell.
7 I can't remember the date exactly, but I think it's
8 November or October 1995.
9 Q. So these were negotiations that were already
11 A. These were negotiations that we were supposed
12 to have in the Assembly of the United States of America
13 in Zagreb, but due to certain problems this did not
15 Q. And this?
16 A. This is a photograph which was taken. I wish
17 to say that Mr. Modalek was also in our delegation. He
18 is the first one you can see here. He is a Croat by
19 nationality. Mr. Lakic, Mr. Loncar, Dokmanovic,
20 Milanovic, Hadzic, Mr. Galbraith at the same time.
21 This picture was taken in the Embassy of the
22 United States of America in Zagreb.
23 Q. Next one?
24 A. This is from a meeting that we had in Erdut
25 with the Croatian delegation.
1 Q. In relation to the negotiations?
2 A. In relation to the signing of the Erdut
3 agreement. These negotiations were held by
4 Mr. Galbraith and Mr. Stoltenberg. There were other
5 people from the European Community, but the two of them
6 bore the brunt of these negotiations.
7 Q. Next?
8 A. This is also a photograph of a meeting --
9 probably the result was successful because we're all
10 smiling, Mr. Galbraith, Mr. Milanovic and Mr. Hadzic
11 and myself. This is in Erdut where I am shaking hands
12 with Mr. Galbraith. We have the interpreter, the
13 UNTAES representative, and Mr. Bell.
14 Q. What are you doing there?
15 A. I am shaking hands with Mr. Galbraith. I
16 don't quite say what we're handing over here, but it is
17 from the same meeting.
18 Q. Yes? Would you explain that picture?
19 A. This is an artwork which, as President of the
20 Municipal Assembly, I was presenting Mr. Galbraith
21 with, and on the back it says "Peace comes with those
22 who bring it."
23 Q. And you were replaced, therefore.
24 Can this be adopted as D142, whatever?
25 And then you were replaced as mayor, you left
1 for Sombor, and we'll leave the other events.
2 A. Let me explain this. I was replaced in an
3 unusual way. The assembly meeting was called without
4 me, and they wanted to discuss the Erdut agreement
5 again, to re-examine it. I gave my word that we would
6 recognise and implement the Erdut agreement, not only
7 myself but stronger people than me, both politically
8 speaking and in every other way, and the agreement was
9 adhered to.
10 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic --
11 A. I apologise. After that, as I said, a list
12 was published of 250, I think, if I'm not wrong, a
13 number of 250 non-amnestied (sic) Serbs from the
14 region, and I left for Sombor.
15 Q. When was this? When did you move to Sombor?
16 A. In June or July of 1996.
17 Q. About one month after the indictment was
18 brought against you?
19 A. Yes. My children chose to remain in our
20 family house for one year. I visited them from time to
22 Q. Certain individuals have appeared here as
23 witnesses, and I'd like to take you back now to the
24 reason for our gathering here, and that is November
25 1991. The headquarters of your government was in
1 Erdut, and you saw a tape, you listened to the
2 witnesses, and I'm going to ask you where you know
3 certain individuals from.
4 Where do you know Jova Cvetkovic and since
5 when have you known him?
6 A. I have known him since 1990 as President of
7 the Municipal Assembly of Jagodina.
8 Q. Were you friends later on?
9 A. Yes, we became close and friends.
10 Q. Was that the same case with
11 Nebojsa Lazarevic?
12 A. I have known Nebojsa Lazarevic from the
13 conference of towns of the Danubian countries held in
14 Belgrade in the Intercontinental Hotel in 1990.
15 Q. Of the individuals who were important, how do
16 you know Goran Hadzic?
17 A. I have known Goran Hadzic from earlier on,
18 our villages are in close proximity to each other, and
19 while I worked in Vupik, I was his immediate chief.
20 Q. Do you know the individual Arkan, and since
21 when and how?
22 A. Yes, I do. We said hello from time to time,
23 sometimes not. He was stationed in Erdut, and I saw
24 him from time to time.
25 Q. Did you have to pass through his barricade?
1 A. The road to the government, led by the camp,
2 and that was where an obstacle was set up, a checkpoint
3 where they stopped us regularly and asked for our IDs.
4 Sometimes they recognised some individuals, not
5 everybody had to show their IDs, perhaps some people
6 didn't, but in any case there was a barricade set up, a
8 Q. And that was the only relationship that you
9 had with Arkan?
10 A. I never sat at the same table with Arkan.
11 Q. In the indictment raised against you, you
12 have three more names, Mrksic, Veselin Sljivancanin,
13 and Radic, Captain Radic. Do you know those
15 A. Mr. Mrksic I saw from a distance of 20
16 metres, on one occasion, I think that it was in 1995.
17 We never became acquainted.
18 Captain Radic, I don't know him at all.
19 And Veselin Sljivancanin, I got to know him
20 in the Vukovar Days held there, where we presented the
21 economy of Vukovar, and our artists, musicians and
22 poets, had a programme there. I don't know who invited
23 him, but we met there on the occasion. We did not talk
24 more than two minutes.
25 Q. When was that?
1 A. At the end of 1994, 1995. I was President of
2 the Municipal Assembly. I can't quite recall. It was
3 not -- whether it was in 1994 or 1995. But the host
4 was the President of the Municipal Assembly of
5 Podgorica and he invited guests to attend. We attended
6 that meeting as guests.
7 Q. After you had spent some time in Sombor, you
8 came into contact with the organs of the prosecuting
9 office in The Hague. How and when?
10 A. Mr. Milanovic called me up, I think it was at
11 the beginning of 1997, and he had also left Vukovar and
12 was located in a village, was staying in a village near
13 Belgrade. He asked me whether I would agree to speak
14 to the representatives of The Hague Tribunal. I said I
16 Q. When did you talk to them?
17 A. It was in his house. I think it was February
18 1997. I'm not quite sure. It was winter at any rate.
19 Mr. Purkovic and I went in our own car, we went there
20 and we talked to a lady, I don't recall her name. Boro
21 Savic and Mr. Milanovic were present on the occasion.
22 Later on, on several occasions, we talked by telephone,
23 I don't know who I talked to, but at all events we had
24 several telephone conversations, and I was once asked
25 to come to Vukovar. I said that I could not because
1 there were the Croatian authorities there and they
2 would probably arrest me as soon as they saw me. And
3 so we decided to meet in Sombor on the 24th, I think it
4 was, of June, last year.
5 Q. What did you talk about during that meeting?
6 What did they ask you? Well, not on that day. In
7 general. In general.
8 A. Well, we discussed what happened in Vukovar.
9 The subject, according to what I was told and in my
10 interests, not only because of me, but for others, to
11 clarify what had happened in Vukovar in 1990 and 1991.
12 So the subject we discussed was Vukovar, and, as far as
13 I remember, in those two days of talks, we did not
14 arrive at the date of the 20th of November. I think we
15 left with the 2nd of May and tried to throw more light
16 on the events of the 2nd of May in Borovo Selo.
17 Q. Can I take your mind back to those key days
18 of the 19th, 20th, and 21st of November, 1991? Would
19 you cast your mind back to those particular dates?
20 Would you tell me where you were on the 19th of
21 November in the morning and carry on from there?
22 A. On the 19th, in the morning, I was in Erdut.
23 There was a government meeting in the morning which
24 lasted for about one to one and a half hours. After
25 that, I went to Backa Palanka. I returned from Backa
1 Palanka to Erdut.
2 Q. When did you meet Jova Cvetkovic?
3 A. In the late afternoon hours I met Cvetkovic,
4 and I think that was how it was. I would remember, had
5 I known that I would be brought to trial, but in
6 general Mr. Cvetkovic, Mr. Lazarevic and myself met
7 that evening. Mr. Leskovac was there too.
8 Q. And then you went to your house; is that
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. And you spent the night in Trpinja in your
12 own home. Who were your guests?
13 A. Cvetkovic, Lazarevic, and Lazarevic's driver,
14 I think his surname was Ivezic.
15 Q. Were there a lot of people staying the night
16 in your house, as they said, that they slept on the
18 A. The times that are now behind us, but which
19 were ahead of us, meant that there was a lot of coming
20 and going in my house. People came daily from Vukovar
21 and they had -- wanted somewhere to spend the night.
22 My house has not -- is not completed, not all the rooms
23 have been furnished to accommodate overnight stayers,
24 so people had to sleep on mattresses on the floor. I
25 don't really remember. This is not something that I
2 Q. And this brings us to the 20th of November in
3 the morning. Would you carry on from there. As far as
4 you recall, what happened on the morning of the 20th of
5 November, when you got up? What did you find?
6 A. On the morning of the 20th, I woke up, I got
7 up about seven, half past seven. I think that was the
8 time, more or less. I can't tell you the exact
9 minute. My wife had already -- was already up,
10 Cvetkovic was already up, Lazarevic and Ivezic had
11 already left. I must clarify this, if I may?
12 Lazarevic came a day earlier, and he said that a
13 delegation from Kladovo would be coming with
14 humanitarian aid on the following day, and that he had
15 agreed that they would come to Backa Palanka -- that he
16 would go to Backa Palanka, that he would have talks, I
17 don't know exactly, but that he was to have a meeting
18 with them in Backa Palanka.
19 As that was the agreement -- why it happened
20 like that, I don't know, but we decided, Jova Cvetkovic
21 and myself, to go to Backa Palanka ourselves and,
22 according to the conclusion of the government, we were
23 to be in Vukovar on the 20th. So we went to Backa
24 Palanka. I think Cvetkovic, myself and Ivezic came at
25 about nine, half past nine.
1 Q. So on the 19th you had a government meeting
2 in Erdut; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were the minutes kept?
5 A. Yes, regularly.
6 Q. You saw the minutes when we brought out the
7 witnesses. Are those the same minutes? Do you need to
8 have a look at them, or can you identify them?
9 A. Well, if you're going to ask me questions
10 from the minutes, then let me have a look at it.
11 MR. FILA: Would you show the witness D53,
12 please, Exhibit D53? Would the usher show the witness
13 Exhibit D53? Defence Exhibit D53.
14 Q. Do you remember having taken part at that
16 A. Yes, I was present, quite certainly, quite
17 definitely, but I don't remember all the details. So
18 I'd like to read through, please, if I may?
19 Q. Would you take a look at item 5, and do you
20 remember what it is about?
21 A. That the government of the Serbian district
22 be above the JNA units on its territory, superior to
23 the JNA units on its territory.
24 We had a lot of problems. I think that
25 everybody had a lot of problems with the army. We had
1 some ambitions, that is up to the Defence Ministry, not
2 the Ministry of Agriculture, and from that side, that
3 is where the initiative came from, I suppose, that the
4 army be placed under the control of these civilian
5 authorities; namely, our government over the army was
6 nil. Our contacts, at least my own contacts and most
7 of the contacts of most members of the government,
8 perhaps some members of the government had more
9 contacts, but officially there were no relationships
10 between us and the JNA and the armed formations and the
12 Q. Were you able to place your government above
13 the units of the JNA ever?
14 A. Well, I apologise. Perhaps I will be wrong
15 in saying, but Mr. Stipe Mesic took the stand here when
16 he was president of the presidency of the SFRY, and he
17 clearly stated who was able to command the JNA and how
18 can a replaced President of the Municipal Assembly
19 command the army if the presidency of Yugoslavia was
20 not able to do so.
21 Q. Now, item 3. Could you explain to us the
22 sense of the meeting held on Wednesday, the 20th of
23 November, in Vukovar, the last paragraph, below the
24 item we discussed a moment ago?
25 A. That a meeting be held on the 20th of
1 November, 1991, in Vukovar. According to the
2 information we had, the operations in Vukovar, military
3 operations in Vukovar, had ended, and the President,
4 when he proposed this, had the intention of having the
5 members of the government appear in Vukovar; and in
6 that way, to show people that civilian authority
7 existed, at least on paper, if not in reality.
8 In my view, it was an attempt, in the town in
9 which we were not at all popular and we had absolutely
10 no control, not even in harmonising views and
11 discussing matters, that this should appear on that day
12 so that the people, or what was left of the people,
13 could see us there, could see our presence. The
14 meeting was not compulsory, was not mandatory -- I
15 forgot to say that a moment ago -- so that -- and I
16 think that was what was said, that it was not
18 Q. So because of that and because of Nebojsa
19 Lazarevic, you decided more because of Lazarevic than
20 because of the meeting itself?
21 A. (No audible response)
22 I think it is the right time to show D2, the
23 tape marked Exhibit D2, as of 10.00, when he comes --
24 and his arrival in Backa Palanka.
25 Every time that you see yourself appearing on
1 the screen, would you say so and would you say when you
2 hear your voice, say it is your voice that you are
4 (Videotape played)
5 MR. FILA: This is not Dokmanovic. Play the
6 tape further.
7 Q. Have you recognised yourself?
8 A. Yes, somewhere in the corner.
9 Q. Could you show us, please? Tell us when --
10 A. That's me there.
11 Q. Continue with the tape, please.
12 A. I'm saying something there at that point.
13 (Videotape played)
14 A. That's me.
15 Q. May we speed up the tape a little? All
16 right. Now. Where are we now?
17 A. That is the Orthodox church in Tovarnik.
18 Q. Which means that you're going from Backa
19 Palanka to Vukovar. So that destroyed house is in
21 A. I'm not quite sure what we saw a moment ago
22 was. This is the Vinarija. We are at the entrance
23 there now.
24 That's the entrance to VELEPROMET. That was
25 our rallying place.
1 Q. Who was to meet there?
2 A. The members of the government.
3 Q. What about the people there?
4 A. They were people who had left the basements
5 and cellars and had gathered there. I don't know who
6 gathered them. Probably the army.
7 Q. Who is that?
8 A. It is Goran Hadzic and Zeljko Raznjatovic.
9 That's me. Mr. Vasic and Mr. Kosic. Myself, Kosic's
10 voice there.
11 Q. May we now move the tape to 3.00 p.m.?
12 Mr. Dokmanovic, at what time was that
13 government meeting held, the meeting we mentioned a
14 moment ago?
15 A. It was about 2.00 p.m.
16 Q. How long did it last?
17 A. About an hour.
18 Q. Do you know who took part in the meeting?
19 Who can you remember having taken part in the meeting?
20 A. The Prime Minister, Mr. Hadzic; the Vice
21 Premier, Dr. Hadzic; Miro Micenogorac (phoen).
22 [N.B. May be persons missing here - not on tape]
23 Q. They are Ministers?
24 A. Yes. There were some other people that I did
25 not know. There were some Assistant Ministers. I
1 can't quite remember. There was such a crowd at the
2 VELEPROMET compound.
3 Q. Was there a military man there?
4 A. At the meeting? There was an officer at the
5 meeting. I don't know whether he was a Colonel or
6 Lieutenant-Colonel. I think that he took us into the
7 room. I did not enter first, so I don't quite
9 Q. What did you discuss at the meeting?
10 A. Most of the people had come earlier. I came
11 just before 2.00 p.m. Most of the people were already
12 in town and they had been discussing their impressions
13 of what they saw. Everything looked so terrible that,
14 quite simply, people felt terrible about the whole
16 Q. Did you say anything at the meeting?
17 A. Well, the officer did most of the speaking.
18 I think he sort of held a lecture, he lectured us. I
19 did not expect to come to a meeting and be lectured.
20 It was said that there was military rule in the town
21 and that there was no civilian parent authority and
22 that the government had nothing to look for there, that
23 nothing could be done without the army, and on that
24 occasion or -- I asked, "What are we going to do when
25 you leave? How are we going to supply the population
1 with food?" I asked whether it would be the army who
2 was going to do the harvesting because there were still
3 some crops that could be saved, and what were we going
4 to eat the following year? I think that I only took
5 the floor once and for a very brief moment.
6 Q. What else was discussed at the meeting?
7 A. I can't quite recall. But generally
8 speaking, I was disappointed and I think the other
9 people were disappointed in the manner in which they
10 were received.
11 Q. Do you remember whether there was any
12 discussion of prisoners of war, officers or civilians?
13 Do you remember whether anything was discussed of that
15 A. Well, I can't remember. Perhaps -- there was
16 a lot of talk there in circles. It was not a regular
17 meeting. It is possible that some groups discussed
18 prisoners of war. I myself did not know that prisoners
19 of war existed. But what was discussed was what to do
20 with the people there. I think the officer's name was
21 Vojnovic, and I think he said that that is up to the
22 army and that we have nothing to do there, with that
24 Q. And, as you say, the meeting lasted about one
25 hour. After the meeting, you left the room and you
1 went into the yard of VELEPROMET. Is there any one
2 entrance and exit from that particular room when you
3 had the meeting?
4 A. Yes, just one.
5 Q. Afterwards, was anybody waiting for you
7 A. Well, I was at the meeting and Leskovac was
8 with us. I'm not sure that he attended the meeting the
9 whole time. He walked about a lot. The people who
10 were waiting were those people from Kladovo and
12 Q. Now, we discussed how you left Backa Palanka,
13 who was with you, and so on and so forth. Could you
14 tell us who left and how you left Backa Palanka, how
15 you came to VELEPROMET, whether you used the same road
16 to go there and to get back?
17 A. Yes, we left Backa Palanka, I think that it
18 was somewhere after noon, after 12.00. Three cars, one
19 car was driven by Leskovac; in another car, a red Lada
20 Niva, that was the make of the vehicle, was Cvetkovic
21 and Lazarevic, Nebojsa, Jevtovic and myself; and in the
22 third car, there was Tomasevic and Mirko, the
23 professor, and the driver.
24 Q. What happened to Leskovac's car?
25 A. Well, Leskovac drove his car so that we could
1 go back to Banovci because Cvetkovic was stationed
2 there and the two of us had to return to Trpinja where
3 we lived, but there was a puncture in the car tyre so
4 he -- the car stayed there and we moved to the other
5 car, the Niva, which was a terrain vehicle. The road
6 was bad. There was a lot of mud on the road.
7 Q. And that is how you entered VELEPROMET. At
8 the end of the meeting, did they wait for you, for the
9 meeting to finish?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you leave VELEPROMET in that same
12 composition, using two cars, two vehicles now?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Where did you go from the VELEPROMET
16 A. We went towards the town, down into town, we
17 passed the Orthodox church and the administrative
18 building of VELEPROMET on the right-hand side, we
19 passed the children's first aid shed and we turned
20 left, which was where the army was stationed, and we
21 could not pass through that side.
22 MR. FILA: May we see the tape again from the
23 moment of departure from the VELEPROMET compound?
24 Q. Is that how you left the compound?
25 (Videotape played)
1 Q. When you hear your voice, your own voice,
2 please tell us.
3 A. That's Leskovac and I. That's me. That is
4 me talking. Once again, my voice. That's my voice
5 again. That's me again.
6 Q. Where are you moving towards?
7 A. We're moving towards the centre of town, that
8 is towards the Orthodox church and towards the
9 children's clinic.
10 That's my voice again.
11 That is the administrative building. That is
12 the cross-roads with the Ivoandric Street and the
13 children's clinic and the old building of the SDK. We
14 stopped here because we couldn't go any further, at
15 least we couldn't go any further.
16 Q. When you leave the town, please tell us.
17 When you leave the centre of town, please tell us. Is
18 that your voice?
19 A. Yes, it is. That is my interview, my
20 interview to a reporter of radio calling -- Tomasevic
21 is the name.
22 Q. Is that still your voice?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. You're giving your interview to Radio Polinje
1 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid I can't hear.
2 Q. Is that the same road you took?
3 A. Yes, the same road as we took towards
4 VELEPROMET. According to the information that we had,
5 it was the only road that could be traversed, the only
6 open road.
7 Q. You are now moving where?
8 A. We're moving -- we're going back.
9 Q. What is this?
10 A. That is the Orthodox church.
11 Q. And this?
12 A. We are going up the street that we went down
13 a moment ago.
14 That's my voice again. That's also my
15 voice. That's my voice again. We're leaving Vukovar.
16 These are the last houses in Vukovar.
17 Q. And you're on the road to Negoslavci from
18 whence we came.
19 May we take the tape back a little to 1543 --
20 1542? May we take the tape back to 1442, please, the
21 technicians? Rewind the tape to 1442.
22 So you're leaving Vukovar and are on the road
23 to Negoslavci. There are some buses there. Did you
24 stop there?
25 A. Well, we caught up with a column of people
1 who were being taken from Vukovar.
2 Q. Where?
3 A. In Negoslavci.
4 Q. Between that place and Vukovar, you went
5 along the straight road or did you turn off anywhere?
6 A. No, it's the straight road to Negoslavci.
7 Q. Did you turn off the road at any point?
8 A. No.
9 Q. For a time you worked in Vupik and in Ovcara
10 in the course of your lifetime. You know where the
11 road leads off to Ovcara. Is that turnoff before or
12 after that house?
13 A. No, there's no house there. There are no
14 houses at the road that turns off.
15 MR. FILA: I would like to show the witness
16 Prosecution Exhibit 58. It is the map of Vukovar which
17 was shown to Witness D or B.
18 Would you please put this on the ELMO so that
19 you could show it then?
20 Q. Could you please show us on this map where
21 Vukovar is and where you went and where did you stop?
22 A. This is the road from Negoslavci to Vukovar.
23 We were going back and on our way there --
24 Q. No, no, no. I'm talking about your way back,
25 on your way out of Vukovar. We're going back this
2 A. From Vukovar we went straight to Negoslavci,
3 Orolik and further on -- yes, Negoslavci, okay.
4 Q. Where is the turnoff to Ovcara on this road?
5 A. Somebody marked it. Probably somebody used
6 this map. Over here approximately, where it should
7 be. I cannot say with certainty whether it is here or
8 500 metres left or right but approximately there.
9 Q. Is it halfway between Vukovar and Negoslavci?
10 A. Yes, one could say that.
11 Q. So approximately that's it. So you had to
12 pass that in order to get to the last photograph or,
13 rather, the last shot on the tape; right?
14 A. We came -- yes?
15 Q. But no dilemma about this turning off.
16 A. Right.
17 Q. Before I ask you, why did you go -- why did
18 you go back the same way because there is a road which
19 is closer?
20 A. According to the information that we had, the
21 only road that was open and that the army allowed
22 traffic on was that one.
23 Q. But in Sidski Banovci there was a car
24 waiting; right?
25 A. Yes, yes, there were many reasons, because of
1 the delegation that came from Kladovo who wanted to see
2 Vukovar and we had to pass that way. But at any rate,
3 according to the information that we had, that was the
4 only way -- the only road that the army allowed for
5 traffic. I don't know if somebody else could have
6 passed some other way, but we couldn't have.
7 Q. After you stayed there in Negoslavci -- I
8 mean, how long did you stay there?
9 A. I don't know. I can't say exactly. In
10 Negoslavci, we didn't have any major problems. We
11 stopped once, and we also tried to overtake some buses
12 when we were stopped by a big group of soldiers. They
13 stood in front of us and they cursed at us.
14 Q. And then you continued?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. After a few minutes, you went on?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. When did you stop then?
19 A. We stopped next at the entrance to the
20 village of Orolik, we were there in a column of buses
21 and some other vehicles that were transporting the
22 population of Vukovar. We got out of that column and
23 we started moving towards the barrier. It wasn't a
24 classical barrier, it was an improvised barrier made of
25 an Acacia branch and it was down. A soldier stood
1 there and he didn't let us pass through. I was sitting
2 in front next to Mr. Cvetkovic who was driving the car,
3 and I got out and I asked him to let us pass, and I
4 showed him the pass I had, but he very rudely answered
5 me, insulting me.
6 Q. Tell us what he said?
7 A. I can't. It's not decent.
8 Q. But could you sort of try to describe it to
10 A. Well, he said, "Who fucks you in your
11 government? I'm the government here." And I responded
12 to that, and I said, "How can you behave that way, you
13 young whipper-snapper?" This was a very young man.
14 "You don't even know who I am and you are so rude."
15 And at that point, the others got out of the vehicle,
16 and there were other people there from cars that were
17 behind us, there were quite a few civilian cars there,
18 so some other people got out and watched this. And, at
19 one point, some other soldiers came here, two, five, I
20 don't know how many, I can't remember exactly, and at
21 one point -- from a house that was from the other
22 side. We were facing Orolik. An officer walked out
23 and Mr. Cvetkovic also got out of the car, and he was
24 wearing a uniform, and I think the situation then
25 calmed down. I think it lasted some 20 minutes or so.
1 Q. Did somebody draw their weapons?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Who?
4 A. This first young man who stopped us. I
5 remembered him. I shall remember him all my life. He
6 had a dark complexion. I don't want anyone to feel
7 offended by this, so I hope no one will mind, but he is
8 of Romany descent, he was rather short, and he pointed
9 a rifle at us.
10 Q. What time could have this been?
11 A. This was dusk, I imagine it was sometime
12 before 5.00 p.m., before 1700 hours.
13 Q. Where did you go then?
14 A. Then we went to Sidski Banovci.
15 Q. When did you arrive in Sidski Banovci?
16 A. Well, the road was in bad shape. It's not
17 very far away, but the road was muddy so one had to
18 drive slowly because of the holes made by the tanks and
19 others. So I think we arrived sometime before 6.00.
20 Q. How long did you stay in Sidski Banovci and
21 then how did you move further on?
22 A. About half an hour.
23 Q. And then? What happened then?
24 A. And then we parted. Tomasevic and Zoran
25 Jevtovic left earlier, and Nebojsa Lazarevic left
1 together with us in this other car, Leskovac and I in
2 his car.
3 Q. And what is "his" car?
4 A. Leskovac's car. And then we went again via
5 Sid, Backa Palanka, Odzaci, Bac -- Bac, Odzaci, I mean,
6 Bogojevo, Erdut, and we came back. Leskovac brought me
7 some -- to Trpinja sometime before 8.00 and he stayed
8 for a certain period of time at my place, I don't know
9 how long.
10 Q. As you were going there from the centre of
11 town until you arrived in Sid, was it the same
12 composition of people who were there? I mean, in the
13 car, up to Sidski Banovci, I mean, in the Lada Niva?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The same people who left VELEPROMET?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Who was in front? The Lada Niva?
18 A. Lada Niva. Jova Cvetkovic was driving, I was
19 sitting next to him, and in the back seat were
20 Jevtovic, Lazarevic, and Leskovac.
21 Q. And in the other car?
22 A. In the other car was the driver Ivezic,
23 Tomasevic, and this professor, Mirko.
24 Q. During this period of time, until you arrived
25 in Sidski Banovci, during this entire day of the 20th,
1 or even after that, were you at the place of Ovcara
3 A. No, certainly not. I was not there. That is
5 Q. ... in the indictment. If it were nonsense,
6 you wouldn't be sitting here.
7 Throughout this period, did you know that
8 there was an evacuation of the hospital that was
9 underway and that some people were taken from the
10 hospital in buses?
11 A. No.
12 Q. That they stopped somewhere at the army
13 barracks, the JNA barracks?
14 A. No.
15 Q. How far away is the JNA barracks?
16 A. From VELEPROMET, when you go from -- to the
17 town perhaps, 500 metres on the right-hand side.
18 Q. Did you know during the day that they had
19 passed at all?
20 A. No, I didn't.
21 Q. Mr. Dokmanovic, as you talked to the
22 investigators of the Tribunal, had they told you to
23 come to The Hague, would you have come?
24 A. That is what I told the gentleman who came to
25 see me, Mr. Curtis. I said that I was prepared to make
1 a statement and, if necessary, to come to The Hague.
2 But I -- I -- I didn't even think about the possibility
3 that I would find myself in this situation, in this
4 humiliating situation. I was prepared to come here and
5 to clarify matters. What was done to me was extremely
6 humiliating, and never in my life have I been more
7 humiliated than when I was arrested.
8 Q. As you were going then to this alleged
9 meeting with Mr. Klein in Vukovar, were you afraid of
10 The Hague Tribunal or the Croats?
11 A. No, I trusted the Tribunal. I had the
12 guarantees of Mr. Curtis, and I trusted him and I
13 trusted Mr. Klein because he came in accordance with
14 the agreement that I signed. I was one of the
15 signatories. I did not have any right not to trust
17 But I didn't trust the Croatian police
18 because they could have arrested me because of the
19 indictment that they had issued against me because of
20 armed rebellion.
21 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the question
22 of the Defence attorney.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, could you ask your
24 question again, please? The interpreters didn't hear
25 your question.
1 MR. FILA: I forgot it, Your Honour. I'll
2 take a look now.
3 Q. The question was: Would you have reported to
4 The Hague Tribunal had Mr. Curtis offered us the
5 possibility to come here rather than to go to Vukovar?
6 A. Yes, I would have come in. I have nothing to
7 be ashamed of, nor am I to be blamed for anything, nor
8 am I guilty of anything. I did not commit any crime.
9 Q. You would have at least had the advantage of
10 having voluntarily surrendered yourself.
11 One of the parts is not in the transcript.
12 How did you move towards Sidski Banovci? Who went in
13 Lada Niva and who went in the other car?
14 A. In the Lada Niva, Mr. Cvetkovic was driving
15 and I was sitting next to him on the right-hand side.
16 In the back seat were Leskovac, Lazarevic, and
18 Q. And near Sidski Banovci, who left and with
20 A. From Sidski Banovci. You mean on the way
22 Q. From Sidski Banovci, what happens after that?
23 A. Jova Cvetkovic stayed in Sidski Banovci;
24 Lazarevic, with his driver, left in his car; and
25 Leskovac and I took his car. We went back to Trpinja.
1 He brought me to Trpinja and then he went to --
2 Q. And just one more detail and that concludes
3 my questioning. During that day, the 20th, did you
4 hear something about Zlatko Vodicka and his wife?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. (redacted)?
8 (redacted). Who was Zlatko Vodicka?
9 Please calm down, Mr. Dokmanovic. I will be
10 over in five minutes and then you will rest until
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, do you want us to
13 adjourn until tomorrow, maybe?
14 MR. FILA: No, this is the last question I
15 have, if he can answer it.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Dokmanovic can calm
17 down. Probably it's better.
18 MR. FILA: All right. Thank you.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: We will adjourn until
20 tomorrow morning at 9.30.
21 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
22 5.11 p.m. to be reconvened Thursday,
23 28 May, 1998, at 9.30 a.m.