1 Thursday, 6 December 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good afternoon, everyone in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, could you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
9 This is the case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
13 MR. STRINGER: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
14 Douglas Stringer, Matthew Gillett, Thomas Laugel for the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. For the Defence of
18 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 The witness may be brought in.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Witness. I remind you that
23 you're still on your oath.
24 Mr. Gillett.
25 WITNESS: TOMISLAV RUKAVINA [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Your Honours. If there's no objection
3 from the Defence could I provide a hard copy again to the witness of his
4 statement, since I'll be referring to it.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No objections.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 Examination by Mr. Gillett: [Continued]
9 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Rukavina.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. Now, on Tuesday, when we left off, you stated at transcript
12 page 2123 that the inhabitants of Bapska who remained after the expulsion
13 on 15 October 1991 were mistreated in various ways, and you described
14 some of those ways.
15 What I'm interested in, is whether all those inhabitants who
16 remained in Bapska after that date stayed there or if some of them left
17 in the following months, after that.
18 A. You see, after that, there was abuse and mistreatment, and
19 subsequently there were expulsions all the way until the military police
20 action Flash in 1995. That's when the last residents of Bapska left the
22 Q. And how did you find out about these subsequent expulsions?
23 A. We heard about that from the media reports, and I also met some
24 of them because I was in Opatija. And on the way from Opatija to
25 Vinkovci, I ran into certain people and I learnt about the expulsions and
1 everything else.
2 Q. And where were those people from that you ran into?
3 A. There were people not only from Bapska, Sarengrad, and Ilok, but
4 also Lovas and Tovarnik. They were put up together with me in a hotel in
5 Opatija as displaced persons.
6 MR. GILLETT: Could I now get document 65 ter number 05879 on the
7 screen, please. And we could remain in public session for this, as long
8 as the document itself is not publicly broadcast.
9 And if we could go to page 4 of the B/C/S version of this, which
10 is page 3 in the English version, second-last paragraph before the
12 Q. In that paragraph, there's a reference to 22 people leaving from
13 Bapska in March 1992. Are you aware of this group leaving Bapska?
14 A. Yes, I know they left Bapska, but I think there were more of
15 them. From this, however, I see that only 22 were registered.
16 Q. And why did these people leave Bapska?
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: This call -- it calls for speculation.
18 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, the witness said that he spoke to
19 people who had left from Bapska, so I think there's a basis to ask him if
20 he knows why these people left from the town.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: But not with these specific people.
22 MR. GILLETT: Perhaps I could ask him if he's able to clarify the
23 situation in that respect.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
25 MR. GILLETT:
1 Q. Mr. Witness, do you know why this -- this group of people left
2 Bapska in March 1992?
3 A. From what they told me about why they left, room was needed for
4 settlers, and before the new settlers moved in, these houses needed to be
5 looted. So they were driven out in order that the looting could take
6 place. And some of the houses were kept safe from it, because somebody
7 wanted them safe from looting.
8 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we would now tender that into
9 evidence. We'd ask that if it is admitted it be admitted under seal.
10 And that's due to Rule 70 considerations.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked under seal.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document under 65 ter number 05879, Your Honours,
13 will be assigned P00327, and marked as confidential.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. Could we now get document 05884 placed
16 before the witness, but, again, not publicly broadcast.
17 Now, while this document's coming up, I'll say that the relevant
18 reference is page 3 in the English, fourth paragraph down, which should
19 be page 4 in the B/C/S, last line.
20 Q. Now this document, again, refers to a group of people leaving
21 from Bapska on 22 March 1992 [sic]. And is this the same group, as far
22 as you understand?
23 A. Just a moment. I don't see any reference to Bapska here.
24 Yes, the 6th of March is mentioned again. This document refers
25 to the 6th of March. That must be, then, the same group.
1 Q. The next paragraph of the document refers to people being
2 expelled from Tompojevci and Sarengrad. And then it goes on, two
3 paragraphs further down, to refer to people being expelled from Nijemci
4 and Tovarnik. Are you aware of people being expelled from those towns?
5 A. I said before, since we were put up in those hotels and people
6 were from various places, we found out about each other and I learned
7 about the expulsions, the moving out.
8 MR. GILLETT: Your Honour, we would tender that as well --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, before we do that, I had trouble
10 following it. I don't see the paragraph you refer to. I don't see
11 22nd of March, but I'm probably --
12 MR. GILLETT: Apologies. It should be on page 3 of the English,
13 fourth paragraph down.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: 1, 2, 3, 4. That's March 6th. Well, the page I
15 have on the screen is about the 6th of the March.
16 MR. GILLETT: That -- that's the one about Bapska indeed.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
18 MR. GILLETT: And then in the next paragraph, I believe it refers
19 to the people from Tompojevci and Sarengrad.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: March 16, Tompojevci and -- yes. Is it that one?
21 MR. GILLETT: Yes, that's the one.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So 22nd of March, you mentioned, is that a
23 mistake? Or is it somewhere?
24 MR. GILLETT: I believe it is supposed to be 22nd -- 22 people on
25 the 6th of March.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
2 MR. GILLETT: As that was in the previous document.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Perhaps it's a mistake in the transcript
4 then. Okay.
5 MR. GILLETT: Thank you for clearing that up.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 05884 will be
8 assigned P00328.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Under seal.
10 THE REGISTRAR: And marked as confidential.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. Could we now get document 06094 on the
14 And, again, could this not be publicly broadcast. Thank you.
15 Q. Now, on the first page, there is a list of people who are named
16 in this document. And I would like to ask you to have a look and tell me
17 if you recognise any of those names.
18 A. I do.
19 Q. Which ones, or one or ones in particular, do you recognise?
20 A. The president of the local commune, Dragoljub Savicin. He was a
21 neighbour of mine. He also is my former teacher, so I know him very
22 well. As far as I know, he was convicted in absentia by the Croatian
23 state for his acts in Bapska.
24 Q. Do you recognise any of the other names in this list?
25 A. Yes. The second one is Zoran Janjic, also a native of Bapska.
1 The third who was named administrator, Boro, or Borislav Tomic. That's
2 the man who brought the ultimatum. And another one, Miroslav Jaric, also
3 a native of Bapska. His mother is Croat; his father is a Serb so he
4 comes from a mixed marriage. That's all I know.
5 MR. GILLETT: If we could turn to page 3 in the English. And
6 this should be page 1, second-last paragraph, in the B/C/S. And it
7 should be the second paragraph down in the English.
8 Q. Now, in this paragraph, it refers to a school being renamed
9 B. Radicevic. Are you aware of this?
10 A. I heard from the people who were expelled that they also changed
11 the school. And I heard there was an initiative to change the name of
12 the village from Bapska to Arkanovo.
13 Q. And referring to changing the name of the village, why would they
14 change it to Arkanovo?
15 A. Most probably to erase the identity and the origin of the people
16 who were born there. There can be no other reason.
17 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, at this stage we would tender this
18 document under seal for admission.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document under 65 ter number
21 06094 will be marked as Exhibit P00329, confidential.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 MR. GILLETT: Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Rukavina, you've referred to the Croats being forced out of
25 Bapska in the months after 15 October 1991. What happened to the houses
1 of the people who were forced out?
2 A. As people were driven out, their houses were looted.
3 I had occasion to speak to some of them. They said they would be
4 rounded up in their own yard, not allowed to take any of their things
5 with them, but, instead, they were just put on a bus and sent to Croatia.
6 One man told me that this is how he left behind a significant sum of
7 money, something like 30- to 35.000 German marks. That's just one
8 example. And there were many such examples.
9 Q. You've referred to looting and the people being rounded up. Who
10 were the people looting from the houses; and who were the people rounding
11 them up?
12 A. I cannot tell you by name, but the people who did that were
13 paramilitaries. Just as illustration, I can tell you that Bapska was one
14 of the wealthier places in that area. In 1991, it had 300 tractors.
15 There were about 2.000 heads of cattle. About 4.000 pigs and other
16 livestock. All this ended up on the way to Serbia. And I later heard
17 that about 700 train cars of maize were taken from our fields and
18 transported away.
19 Q. And the paramilitaries that you've referred to, just to clarify,
20 what ethnicity were they?
21 A. Serbs.
22 Q. In that line, a couple of final clarifying questions about
23 evidence that you gave on Tuesday.
24 Firstly, on Tuesday, you mentioned that some of the inhabitants
25 of Bapska who remained after the attack on 15 October 1991 were forced to
1 dig trenches, and that's at transcript page 2124. Who made them dig
2 these trenches?
3 A. It was organised like a labour platoon. Its task was to go dig
4 trenches on the forward front lines. And who made them? Those
5 paramilitary units forced them. I don't know if the JNA was involved for
6 a fact. I suspect it was. Although it kept a low profile and let the
7 paramilitaries do that.
8 Q. And one final clarifying question.
9 On Tuesday at transcript page 2122, you mentioned that some
10 people detained in the Partizan sports hall in Sid were sent back to
11 Bapska in front of military units as human shields.
12 Which military units were they placed in front of when they were
13 sent back?
14 A. In the statement, it says that people from Bapska were held in
15 the sports hall, Partizan. I told you that one part of them went via
16 Bosnia to the free part of Croatia. A small part ended up in the camp,
17 as far as I heard. Some were made to go back as human shields, and the
18 rest were returned to the village, precisely in order to keep the houses
19 so that they can be systematically looted later on.
20 Q. And to clarify the ones that were made to go back as human
21 shields, who made them go back as human shields?
22 A. The paramilitary units.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. GILLETT: I have no further questions on direct examination.
25 Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I cannot see -- microphone here, but ...
4 I'll use this microphone.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Rukavina. My name is
7 Zoran Zivanovic. In these proceedings, I represent Goran Hadzic.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. Mr. Rukavina, I must tell you straight away that I challenge some
10 parts of your testimony, especially those parts of your evidence that
11 concern events you were not present at, that you know only about from
12 others. I'll sum it up so that's perfectly clear.
13 It refers primarily to the raid by Chetniks in Djelatovac,
14 Miovice [phoen], Tovarnik, Ilovaca, Slavkovci, and Tompojevci. Also your
15 allegations about the alleged murders of four people after you left
16 Bapska and the killing later of another ten persons, again, after you
17 left Bapska, the torching of five houses and the later destruction of
18 another 80 houses after you left Bapska, about the mistreatment of
19 residents and using them as human shields after you left Bapska, and what
20 you testified just now about the group of 22 people who were driven out
21 of Bapska on the 6th of March, 1992.
22 I will now move to some issues that I want to clarify with you.
23 First of all, you were a reserve officer of the Yugoslav People's
24 Army, weren't you?
25 A. I was.
1 Q. Could you explain to us, at that time, what was the difference
2 between a member of the Territorial Defence and a member of the reserve
3 JNA force?
4 A. Under the previous system, the one that prevailed then, there was
5 a difference. While I was part of the reserve force of the former JNA,
6 there was a difference, but in 1991, I did not see any major difference.
7 Q. When you say you did not see any major difference, was there
8 perhaps a minor difference; and what was it? Did you observe any
9 difference at all?
10 A. No, I didn't. Both of them seemed the same to me.
11 Q. Do you mean to say in terms of appearance or in terms of their
13 A. Their actions.
14 Q. To the best of your knowledge, since you did have some contact
15 with the JNA officers during the negotiations in October 1991, did you
16 gain any impression about the relationship between those officers, on one
17 hand, and members of the Territorial Defence, the rank and file and
18 officers, because obviously you couldn't distinguish. Was there any
19 control of one over the other?
20 A. I believe there was some control. Because in every army, there
21 must be some sort of hierarchy. How that hierarchy was set up between
22 them, I don't know.
23 Q. The day before yesterday, you told us about raids of people you
24 called Chetniks into Dzelatovci and other places. I would like to know:
25 Did they also raid Bapska before the JNA came, as you described in your
2 A. At the time when they were attacking, they did not enter Bapska,
3 but I said in my statement that I heard all that from people who fled
4 these places.
5 Q. Can you tell us -- or, rather, do you know why did they enter
6 every other place but Bapska?
7 A. At that time, it was still not their primary goal. In those
8 places, they lay on the Sid-Vinkovci and Sid-Vukovar road. Roads were
9 their priority. They had to free up those axes in order to send troops
10 and equipment and other things. Bapska was a bit to the side of that.
11 Q. If I understood you properly, and I believe that this arises from
12 the document that the Prosecutor showed you, the ultimatum, things were
13 rather calm in Bapska. There were no incidents before that ultimatum;
15 A. Obviously not. Because it said in the ultimatum that people in
16 Bapska are peaceful, that they do not provoke. But I was surprised with
17 the fact that the ultimatum was issued at all. Why was it then requested
18 for me to disarm people?
19 Q. In paragraph 6 of your statement, you stated that you were
20 elected as the commander of Bapska. Who was it who elected you? Who
21 appointed you to that post? Who decided you would occupy that position?
22 A. It was the villagers who did that because they knew that I had
23 military training, and that's why they chose me. They thought that I
24 would be the best person to organise some things.
25 Q. What things were you supposed to organise as commander?
1 A. This term, "commander," was something that I inherited from the
2 army. I was in the army at that time. In the statement, it says that we
3 had a Crisis Staff, and the Crisis Staff was not a military organisation.
4 My duty was to organise reconnaissance, occasional guard duty, in order
5 to prevent unwanted consequences.
6 Q. I believe that one part was not interpreted properly. You said
7 in the statement that you were commander, and, actually, you were
8 zapovjednik. Is that one and the same but commander is Serbian and
9 zapovjednik is Croatian? Is that one and the same thing?
10 A. Yes, as a matter of fact, it's one and the same thing.
11 Q. And as commander of the place you also became a member of the
12 Crisis Staff; is that right?
13 A. Yes, I was in charge of the Crisis Staff.
14 Q. Who appointed the members of the Crisis Staff? Who was it who
15 decided who the members of the Crisis Staff would be?
16 A. Again, locals.
17 Q. And what was the Crisis Staff supposed to do, unlike you, as the
18 commander of the village?
19 A. The Crisis Staff, together with me, was an advisory body which
20 meant that no person alone could do everything. Basements had to be
21 prepared. When the evacuation took place, there was a commission that
22 visited the women and the children prior to the evacuation. That means
23 that all the tasks were distributed among a number of people because no
24 single person could do it on his own.
25 Q. In your statement, in the same paragraph, paragraph 6, you said
1 that the Crisis Staff was a commission of the executive type. Maybe you
2 can consult your statement at this point.
3 A. I don't see the word "executive" here.
4 Q. I believe that it is in paragraph 6, but bear with me for a
5 moment. I'll try and find it for you.
6 A. It says here the Crisis Staff was not a military body but a group
7 of villagers who tried to protect the interests of the village.
8 Q. It may be in paragraph 7. Please bear with me for a moment.
9 I'll try and find it.
10 I'm almost sure that I read it somewhere, but I can't find it
11 now. But, never mind, I won't waste your time.
12 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, if it helps, I do see in paragraph 7
13 a reference to forming an executive-type committee. I don't know if
14 that's the reference you're looking for.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you. Thank you, Colleague.
16 Q. [Interpretation] The Prosecutor has now told you where to look
17 for that.
18 The Crisis Staff comprised nine people and they were an
19 executive-time committee. This is in the first sentence in
20 paragraph number 7.
21 Could you please shed some light on that? It arises from this
22 that the Crisis Staff executed or carried out some decisions. Wasn't
23 that indeed the case? What were the decisions that the Crisis Staff
25 A. The Crisis Staff implemented decisions taken by the locals. The
1 Crisis Staff did not want to assume all of the responsibility.
2 Q. Was the Crisis Staff involved in arming?
3 A. No. In my statement, I stated that the Crisis Staff was not a
4 military organisation. It was not involved in arming at all.
5 Q. Was it involved in the military training of the villagers of
7 A. We did not have any military weapons. The only weapons we had
8 were hunting rifles, so there was no need to train people.
9 Q. In paragraph 10, you stated that in the capacity as the commander
10 of Bapska, you travelled to Vukovar. Why did you travel to Vukovar in
11 that capacity?
12 A. I did introduce myself as a commander, and that's the terminology
13 that I inherited from the JNA. I was a representative of the
14 Crisis Staff, if this sounds more appropriate to you. Obviously I did go
15 to meetings. Bapska was a commune in the municipality of Vukovar.
16 Bapska could not make decisions on its own without consulting anybody
18 Q. So those consultations took part in Vukovar, which is why you
19 went there.
20 A. The seat of the municipality was in Vukovar.
21 Q. Who were your consultations with? Was there a Crisis Staff
23 A. With the representatives of the civilian authorities, which
24 represented people in Vukovar at the time.
25 Q. I'm sure you remember their names.
1 A. No, not really. It was 21 years ago.
2 Q. Not a single name? You can't give us a single name?
3 A. No, not at the moment. No.
4 Q. When you went to those meetings in Vukovar, was it just you as
5 the representative of Bapska; or were there the representatives of other
6 villages there as well?
7 A. It was not just me who represented the Crisis Staff. I could not
8 always go, so there were other people who went on behalf of the Crisis
10 When I did go, I was there. Later on, I no longer went to those
11 meetings because I had some other duties in the village. And I believe
12 there were other people from other villages present there as well.
13 Q. And I assume that after those meetings, you informed your fellow
14 members on what had been discussed and agreed in Vukovar.
15 A. Of course, of course. Both myself, as well as the others who
16 attended those meetings.
17 Q. And could you please tell us something about the topics that were
18 discussed at those issues [as interpreted].
19 A. The topics depended on the circumstances. We discussed topical
20 issues. People were instructed to be calm, not to try to do anything,
21 that there should be no provocations and that's how things were done.
22 Those were facts. And before the ultimatum, Bapska did not provoke
23 anybody to do anything.
24 Q. And did you ask for some assistance at those meetings? Did you
25 ask for manpower? Did you ask for financial aid or some other -- or
1 something else?
2 A. There was no need. We did not need manpower since nothing was
3 happening, really.
4 Q. In Bapska, was there an HDZ board?
5 A. Well, Bapska had a majority Croatian population, and it was only
6 normal that it had an HDZ board.
7 Q. Who was its president?
8 A. I believe that, at that time, it was Ivica Sojat.
9 Q. Were you a member of the HDZ?
10 A. No, I was not.
11 Q. And what about the other members of the Crisis Staff?
12 A. Some were.
13 Q. Was there a permanent police station in Bapska?
14 A. No, there wasn't. The police station was in Ilok.
15 Q. And I assume that there was no Croatian military.
16 A. Likewise, the military was in Ilok.
17 Q. Did the police and military arrive in Bapska? Did they come?
18 A. The police came every day, because that was their job. As for
19 the military, they didn't come.
20 Q. I'm asking you this because, according to some information that
21 we have, during your proofing with the Prosecutor, you said, inter alia,
22 and I'm going to read it to you in English and that will be interpreted
23 for you:
24 "[In English] The witness stated that there were some army
25 members and some police from Ilok present in Bapska at the time the
1 ultimatum was delivered to Bapska."
2 A. There was an intervention military group in Ilok. Their
3 representative came to see if there was any need for that intervention
4 platoon to come to Bapska.
5 Q. [Interpretation] In other words, they were not present in Bapska.
6 How am I supposed to understand what you said to the Prosecutor?
7 A. No, they were not in Bapska permanently.
8 Q. If they were there only on some occasions, what occasions were
9 those? I can see that there were when the ultimatum was issued.
10 A. They came when they needed. If there was some danger or threat,
11 then that intervention platoon would come. Since there was nothing going
12 on, there was no threat or danger, they did not come to Bapska at all.
13 Q. How big was that unit? What was its strength? How many men were
14 in that unit?
15 A. I believe that there was a company of the ZNG in Ilok, and this
16 was just its intervention platoon.
17 Q. And what about the police?
18 A. There was a police station in Ilok, and they used to send patrols
19 comprising three to four men. They had their working hours, lasting
20 12 hours, and that's how they changed shifts.
21 Q. Can you tell us how many ultimatums did the JNA give to Bapska?
22 Was there just one, the written one that we saw, or were there more than
24 A. There was one written ultimatum, and when we attended the
25 negotiations with the JNA, that -- they added some verbal provisions to
1 that ultimatum.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Rukavina, could I ask you to pause a few
3 seconds before you start answering Mr. Zivanovic's questions, that will
4 help the interpreters to keep up speed. Thank you.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We saw the written ultimatum. What were the verbal provisions to
7 the ultimatum?
8 A. You can find it in my statement. The written -- the written
9 ultimatum envisaged the surrender of weapons. What was added was the
10 Croatian police and the Croatian army had to leave the village. The
11 Croatian military did not have to leave the village because they were
12 never there, and then all the Croatian symbols and markings had to be
13 removed from the village, meaning flags, coats of arms, and things likes
15 Q. In your statement in paragraph 16, you stated that the ultimatum
16 was read out on Croatian television. Did that also imply the verbal
17 provisions, or just the written ultimatum that Tomic gave you?
18 A. Just the written part was read out, as far as I know.
19 Q. During the negotiations concerning the ultimatum, you said to
20 Major Barjaktarevic that there were no weapons in Bapska, if I understood
21 you properly.
22 A. I told him so, but I added to that, that there were hunting
23 rifles. There were no automatic rifles or things like that.
24 Q. You also asked him to protect you from the Chetniks.
25 A. Yes, I did. I asked, but he answered it was impossible for him
1 to do. So we had nothing more to talk about.
2 Q. Until that time, Bapska was never attacked by Chetniks or other
3 paramilitaries; correct?
4 A. Until that time, no.
5 Q. What was it that protected you from the Chetniks until that time?
6 A. Well, we protected ourselves.
7 Q. Why would you need the protection of the army if you surrendered
8 your weapons to the army? Do you believe that you were protecting
9 yourselves until then with hunting weapons?
10 A. We felt those hunting weapons enabled us to defend ourselves, if
12 Q. I suppose that those from whom you -- you were protecting
13 yourself must have been very poorly armed if you were able to repel their
14 possible attack with hunting rifles.
15 A. They had much better weapons, more lethal, but not much stronger.
16 Q. Did they outnumber you?
17 A. Considerably. You see, they had 62-millimetre mortars which are
18 infantry weapons, you carry them on your back. Also 72-millimetre
19 mortars, again, infantry weapons you carry.
20 So they had that, they had Zoljas and Osas, which you know what
21 they are. They are hand-held rocket-launchers.
22 Q. You said in your statement, in paragraph 22, something about the
23 infantry attack of 4th October 1991, and you said that the village guards
24 repelled that attack.
25 I'd like to ask you: In view of that disproportion in weapons
1 between the two sides. On one hand, you have village guards with hunting
2 rifles; and, on the other hand, you have infantry that outnumbers you by
3 far and is much better armed, including 62- and 72-millimetre mortars.
4 Did you say 72 or 82?
5 A. 82.
6 Q. 82-millimetre mortars. Can you tell us how was it possible to
7 repel a much greater military power that outnumbered you by far with only
8 hunting rifles?
9 A. It was possible because we were defending our homes, and they
10 were attacking. We were in our homes, and we fired from our homes.
11 You know the saying: Two men can get scared from an empty rifle.
12 Q. I did not understand this saying. Do you think that they
13 believed you had empty rifles or perhaps they thought you were better
14 armed than you were?
15 A. It is possible. In any case, they did not really barged in --
16 barge in with so much confidence.
17 Q. I mean, if it was the army that was attacking you, they would
18 have been able to realise very quickly that fire is opened only from
19 hunting rifles. If that was the case, of course. I don't see how they
20 would be unable to overpower those village guards carrying only hunting
21 rifles with all the power that they had. Or is it perhaps the case that
22 there were other weapons in Bapska as well?
23 A. There were only hunting rifles. But that includes carbines.
24 Carbines have grooved barrels and use different ammunition, not the same
25 ammunition you use for hunting.
1 So we had hunting rifles, the regular kind, and carbines.
2 Q. Were you there when this fighting was going on?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And where did it take place?
5 A. From the direction of Movin [phoen] village.
6 Q. Can you tell me how many people got killed in the fighting?
7 A. On our side, there were no casualties. One person was injured by
8 shrapnel from a 62-millimetre mortar.
9 Q. You don't know what losses you inflicted on the attackers?
10 A. I don't know because we were not able to see.
11 Q. I don't know whether you, as a reserve officer, find it hard or
12 easy to understand, but how is it possible that the attacker is attacking
13 you with so much power, including mortars, and, in the end, only one
14 person gets hurt on your side?
15 A. Well, first of all, we made some preparations. That's what
16 scared them, maybe. We dug trenches around the village, and we put up --
17 we put up obstacles so people could have some protection. We protected
18 our own people.
19 Q. You withdrew from Bapska on the 15th of October, I believe you
20 said, because that's when the defenders of Bapska also left, those
21 village guards with hunting rifles and carbines.
22 A. Not everybody had left yet.
23 Q. They did not put up any resistance later to the attackers, did
24 they, when the attackers were coming in?
25 A. I wasn't there, so I can't give you a precise answer.
1 Q. You said that after your withdrawal from Bapska, about 500 people
2 remained in the village, and the Chetniks killed four when they came in.
3 Can you tell me who are these people who were killed?
4 A. Those four got killed on the 15th. On the 15th. Later on, more
5 people got killed. I can tell you who the four are. In fact, I don't
6 know three of them. One was from Ilok; two from Sarengrad; and one only
7 was from Bapska. But the group that was killed later, I heard who they
8 were. But I would not like to cite their names, because their families
9 are over there still. They go shopping to Serbia from time to time, and
10 I don't want them to suffer any consequences.
11 Q. If I understood you correctly, three of those killed were not, in
12 fact, from Bapska. They were from other places. They just happened to
13 be there.
14 A. They were not from Bapska but they were killed in Bapska.
15 Q. You don't know the names of those three?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Can you tell us, have you heard why those four people were killed
18 rather than somebody else? I see that several hundred people had stayed
19 behind in the village. Why were those four chosen?
20 A. Those four - two from Ilok and one from Sarengrad - wanted to
21 leave via Bosnia to Croatia. They happened to be in Bapska when the
22 paramilitaries came in and killed them.
23 Q. I only want to know how these paramilitary units knew about the
24 intentions of those people, that they want to go via Bosnia somewhere
25 else. You think that was the reason they were killed? Because they
1 wanted to cross over into Croatia via Bosnia?
2 A. Nobody asked them where they were going. They just opened fire,
3 and what happened, happened.
4 Q. Briefly, nobody knows the reason why those precise four people
5 were killed out of the 500 locals who remained in Bapska.
6 A. No, we don't know.
7 Q. You also said five houses were torched on that occasion. I
8 suppose there were many more houses in Bapska. Would you be able to tell
9 me why those precise five houses were torched? Whose houses were they?
10 A. Those five houses were torched during the tank attack on Bapska.
11 All of them are along the main road, the road between Sid and Sarengrad.
12 There's no particular reason. They were hit randomly.
13 Q. So that information you received about the four persons who were
14 killed and the five houses that were burned down, you got it from
15 somebody who was in Bapska then.
16 A. As for the burned houses, I am an eye-witness because that
17 happened earlier, during the tank attack on Bapska, which was on the
18 5th of October; whereas the killings were on the 15th.
19 Q. In other words, you saw those five houses burn with your own
20 eyes, and that was before the JNA entered Bapska, before you left on the
22 A. I told you, the 5th of October was the tank attack. It's not
23 just the five houses that were burned down. The bank was hit, the church
24 was fired at. My own house is just behind the bank. My tractor was
25 damaged. My house was damaged. There was a lot more damage. I just
1 chose to mention only those five houses along the road.
2 Q. Can you tell me who told you about the killing of those four
3 persons which happened after you left?
4 A. From the boys who were still in Bapska then. And they came after
5 me to Ilok.
6 Q. And you cannot give us their names either.
7 A. It would not be a good idea because these people often travel to
8 Serbia, and I don't want them to suffer any unpleasantness.
9 Q. Speaking of those 80 houses you mentioned, what period would that
11 A. After the 17th, after the convoy left Ilok, that's when the
12 burning and looting and other things were going on.
13 Q. Which period are we talking about? What length? A month, a
15 A. The burning followed very quickly after the 17th.
16 Q. And who -- oh, yes, you told us you can't give us the names.
17 You also spoke here, on page 2115 and 2116 of the transcript,
18 that Bapska would have fared even worse if you had accepted the JNA
19 ultimatum to surrender your weapons. You said there were no police or
20 army troops in Bapska, and they wanted you to take down Croatian symbols.
21 So I would like to know why do you think that the removal of Croatian
22 symbols and the required surrender of weapons would have made things
24 A. Well, if I take down all our signs of our identity, I'm erasing
25 my identity. Why would I have to be ashamed of who I am? Why would
1 anybody mind the identity and the symbols of somebody else? I can't
2 understand that. And, of course, we would have fared worse. Imagine if
3 we hadn't had even those few rifles that we did. I guarantee that there
4 would have been 50 dead in Bapska, another hundred would be in the camps.
5 God knows what else.
6 Q. You see, when we look at our discussion from a moment ago, after
7 you left Bapska and after the army and the paramilitaries came in, around
8 500 people remained and practically only one local got hurt. Why do you
9 think you would have fared worse? Those people were not armed at the
10 time. They would not have been able to resist the army and the
12 A. It's not true that one person only got killed. More people got
13 killed. One person, for instance, hanged himself because he couldn't
14 stand the mistreatment any longer. Another person was beaten up. A
15 third man was found hanging legs up. Another was killed after the
16 curfew, when he was going to register at the local commune. More people
17 than one were killed.
18 Q. You have told us about four people who were killed. One was a
19 villager of Bapska; the others were not.
20 A. Yes, that's what I said. This happened on the 15th, and you're
21 asking me about the period after the 17th, when 500 people remained in
22 the village.
23 Q. Yes. And you testified that you heard that ten people had been
24 murdered after that. You spoke about that here as well.
25 A. Yes, I mentioned that in my statement.
1 Q. But you don't know the exact period when that happened, as far as
2 I understood you.
3 A. I can't tell you the exact dates. However, it happened during a
4 very short period of time after the 17th, within the space of a month,
6 Q. We again come back to a question that I would like to revisit
7 with you.
8 Are you saying that more people than that would have been killed
9 if the weapons had been surrendered? You say that just one local of
10 Bapska was killed of those four and another ten or perhaps fewer people
11 than that. How could things have been worse than that?
12 A. Well, you see, the 500 who remained living in the village were
13 elderly people. Younger people left with the convoy. And that is why I
14 said that there would have been a lot more casualties if the weapons had
15 been surrendered.
16 Q. Earlier today, you spoke about a group of 22 people who moved out
17 from Bapska on the 6th of March, 1992. They were driven out, basically.
18 Who were they?
19 A. They were locals. They were all Croats. Villagers of Bapska.
20 Q. And now I'm going to ask you -- we can go into private session,
21 if you wish to do so. I would like to ask you the names of the people
22 who left Bapska on the 6th of March, 1992, who were driven out of Bapska.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move into private session, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
25 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We are in public session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I don't know, is it time for a break?
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is, indeed, Mr. Zivanovic.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yeah, thank you.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
5 Mr. Rukavina, we'll take the first break and come back at 4.00.
6 You will be escorted out of the courtroom by the usher. Thank you very
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 3.59 p.m.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Rukavina, could you shed some light on your
16 last answer. I asked you about those names and whether you remembered
17 those names.
18 A. I remember your question.
19 Q. Are you refusing to tell us the names although you know them, or
20 is it that you simply can't remember those names?
21 A. You keep on insisting on names.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, we are in open session. And your
23 previous questions were in private, right?
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Oh, yes, sorry. May we move into -- into private
25 session, please.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
2 Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
3 [Private session]
11 Page 2156 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in public session, Your Honours.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. The Prosecutor showed you a document, P329. I would like you to
22 see it once again.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have it in e-court,
25 Q. Before it appears, I would like to ask you this: Those people
1 who arrived from Bapska once you left Bapska, did they tell you that the
2 military authorities were put in place in Bapska?
3 A. Yes, I heard that there were military authorities, as well as --
4 as police.
5 Q. Did they tell you when the police came to Bapska?
6 A. After the convoy, a certain while later - I can't give you the
7 exact date; maybe you have it - I have no records of any kind. However,
8 this did happen.
9 Q. Well, you see, let's look at this document. And then, if you
10 can, I'm sure that you know as a reserve officer, you're familiar with
11 some military terms and expressions. In the heading, it says 1 mK. Do
12 you agree with me that is the command of the 1st Motorised Corps?
13 A. This is quite possible. I was an infantryman in the army. I was
14 not an artillery man. I was not a member of a tank crew or anything like
16 Q. Those people who arrived from the region and with whom you spoke
17 later on, in 1992, did they tell you about the existence of a JNA command
18 at Principovac?
19 A. I know nothing about that.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at the last page
21 of this document.
22 Q. Did you see that the document was marked as a military secret?
23 Now that page was removed from the screen so I won't insist on the
25 Please look the signature. You will see that the document was
1 drafted by assistant commander for civilian affairs of the unit that was
2 in the letterhead. Could you please repeat your answer? Your answer has
3 to be registered.
4 A. What was your question?
5 Q. My question was whether you see that the document was drafted by
6 the assistant commander for civilian affairs of the unit that was
7 mentioned on page 1.
8 A. Yes, I can see that.
9 Q. And now please look at the Croatian/Serbian, or Serbian/Croatian
10 version; paragraph 3. In English, it is on page 4.
11 In English, it is paragraph 2; in Serbian, it's paragraph 3.
12 Can you read the text? Maybe it's too small.
13 A. Yes, I can.
14 Q. You see here that it says PK for CP. This is the abbreviation
15 for the officer's position, assistant commander for civilian affairs.
16 Would you agree with that?
17 A. I suppose that that is the case.
18 Q. It says here:
19 "I assign sign-posts and specific tasks in the establishment and
20 functioning of the civilian authorities."
21 Can you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And now, look at bullet point 3 in the same document.
24 In the English version, we have to go to the following page.
25 It says here that a TO and police force unit should be formed as
1 soon as possible, and that the security of the village should be built
2 upon that, as well as the safety of individuals.
3 Can you infer from this that this was the military commander's
4 instruction, the one who was in charge of the territory of Bapska?
5 A. That's how things should have been. I don't know whether they
6 were implemented on the ground or not.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Rukavina. I have no further questions for you.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, re-direct?
9 MR. GILLETT: No -- no questions on re-direct. Thank you,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 Questioned by the Court:
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, please, I have a very
15 short question to clarify things.
16 You spoke on the Crisis Staff. I don't know on which page that
17 was. The Defence counsel asked you about that Crisis Staff and whether
18 it was a military body. You said that that Crisis Staff was not involved
19 in military matters, that it was not involved in the training of troops
20 or anything like that.
21 Did I understand you properly?
22 A. Yes, you understood me well. It was a civilian body. It was not
23 a military -- a military body.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And what about the guards around
25 the village, those who stood guard, who were involved in guard duty?
1 They had hunting rifles; right? There were people who provided for the
2 defence and the safety of the village with hunting rifles.
3 Is that what you said?
4 A. Yes, that's correct. They had exclusively hunting rifles. They
5 were hunters. They did not need to be trained.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And did they put up resistance
7 when your village was attacked at that moment?
8 A. I told you that they did put up resistance.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I understand the
10 matters better. You said that villagers with hunting rifles put up
12 I did not hear your answer, sir.
13 A. Yes, they were villagers with hunting rifles.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And we are talking about the
15 village of Bapska; right?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. The village of Bapska.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Rukavina, you said this afternoon in response
19 to a question of Mr. Zivanovic:
20 "The group that was killed later, I heard who they were, but I
21 would not like to cite their names because their families are over there
22 still. They go shopping to Serbia from time to time, and I don't want
23 them to suffer any consequences."
24 Is this about the ten people that got killed?
25 A. Yes, those ten.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: They were -- they were victims of the army
2 attack? Or -- or of the paramilitaries coming into the village?
3 A. They were victims of the paramilitaries.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Now, my question is: Why do you need --
5 why do you feel the need to protect their families? Why would those
6 families suffer consequences if the names of the victims were known? If
7 they were only victims of -- of an attack, why would they suffer
8 consequences, even in Serbia?
9 A. There's just one thing. I don't want anything to happen to
10 anyone for which I could be blamed. If you insist, I will give you some
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: I -- for the moment, I'm just trying to
13 understand why anyone would suffer consequences from the fact that one of
14 their relatives was victim -- a victim in the war, if nothing else.
15 A. I don't know why. Because they travel across the border.
16 Co-existence is picking up again. People are becoming close to each
17 other again and I don't want any conflict to disrupt that.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Isn't that a normal part of co-existence that
19 people know that on both sides there were victims and it's not the fact
20 of being victim that is considered to be negative on the other part? I
21 would say eventually combatant, that could be -- or perpetrator of
22 crimes, that could be considered by the other side as being negative and
23 having consequences eventually for families. But the fact of being a
24 victim, should that have a consequence, being seen as negative on the
25 other side?
1 I just fail to understand.
2 A. You know what? I don't really understand myself, but it still
3 could happen. But, again, if you insist, I will give you the names that
4 I remember. The names I know. I gave you five examples how people got
5 killed, or found their death.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: And more or less the same question goes for the
7 22 people who -- who were forced to leave Bapska. No? With their -- the
8 question -- Mr. Zivanovic's question:
9 "Could you tell us the names of the people you spoke with about
10 this incident?"
11 A. You see, those people themselves want to forget all this as soon
12 as possible. They don't want to go back to what they had been through,
13 to relive it, and that's one more reason why I don't want to name them.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Not even in private session.
15 A. Still, it may come out some day. Anything can happen. I don't
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 Anything out of the Judges' questions for the parties?
19 MR. GILLETT: Not on this side, Your Honour.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Not, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 Mr. Rukavina, this brings an end to your testimony before the
23 Tribunal. We thank you very much for coming to The Hague to assist us.
24 You are now released as a witness. The court usher will escort you out
25 of court, and we wish you a safe journey back home.
1 Thank you very much.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I want to thank you, too, for
3 inviting me, for allowing me to contribute as much as I could. I thank
4 the Prosecution. And the Defence, too; I know they're doing their job.
5 Every job is to be respected. I don't hold a grudge against anyone.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, your next witness is the videolink
10 MR. STRINGER: That's correct, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm told that we need at least a half-hour break.
12 Let me just ask something of the Registrar.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: The best thing to do, in order to avoid two
16 breaks being needed, is to take now a break of 45 minutes. Then after
17 that, we can sit until -- in -- in one rush, until 7.00.
18 You okay with that, Mr. Stringer? I see you making the
20 MR. STRINGER: Yes. We have that this witness, it's estimated a
21 one-hour examination-in-chief, which, if it's used, in theory raises a
22 two-hour cross. We had hoped to -- I think there is a chance that if we
23 were to possibly start earlier, we could finish the witness today. We
24 were going to be trying to not use a full hour. I think that -- that
25 some of that time is built in a little bit for delays related to
1 videolink. But if it is possible to finish the witness today, that is
2 our desire.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's, of course, another and also an important
4 concern. I was just, for the moment, thinking about the maximum time we
5 can sit in -- in -- in one session, and that's one hour, 45. So if we
6 come back by 5.00 we have to take another break of at least 15 minutes.
7 So we can, as well, take those 15 minutes right now, and come back at
8 5.15. By then, there will be no problem anymore for the videolink to
9 start, and then we will see how -- how far we go for the -- for the rest
10 of the day.
11 MR. STRINGER: Very well, Mr. President. Of course, we are aware
12 they need to change the tapes and whatnot, on the technical side.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: So we'll come back at 5.15 -- well, in fact, my
15 two colleagues will come back at 5.15 and sit 15 bis, I'm afraid.
16 Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 4.29 p.m.
18 [Closed session]
11 Pages 2166-2200 redacted. Closed session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in public session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
2 So we rise, to resume tomorrow morning in this courtroom at 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Friday, the 7th day of
5 December, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.