1 Friday, 7 December 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused not present]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Ms. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
11 May we have the appearances, please.
12 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Prosecution,
13 Douglas Stringer, Matthew Olmsted, Case Manager Thomas Laugel.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 For the Defence.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours, for the Defence of
17 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 Can we go into closed session now, please.
20 [Closed session]
11 Pages 2204-2245 redacted. Closed session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, while we're waiting for the next
14 witness can to come, can the record reflect that Muireann Dennehy is now
15 present in the courtroom. She will be leading the next witness, and we
16 also have our intern, Mr. Uros Zigic present as well.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Mr. President, we're ready.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
20 Good morning, Mr. Witness. Can you hear me in a language you
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you for coming to Zagreb to assist the
24 Tribunal, Mr. Witness. Can you give us your name and date of birth,
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Zeljko Sandor. I was
2 born 19 March 1966.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: What is your ethnicity, please?
4 Did you hear me, Mr. Witness? I asked you what your ethnicity
5 was. Could you tell us?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I heard you. Your Honour, I
7 am Croat by ethnicity.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 Mr. Sandor, you are about to make the solemn declaration by which
10 witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth. I need to point out to
11 you that by making that declaration you expose yourself to the penalties
12 of perjury should you give false or untruthful information to the
13 Tribunal. Could you now read the solemn declaration, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: ZELJKO SANDOR
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 [Witness appeared via videolink]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
20 Ms. Dennehy, your witness.
21 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Examination by Ms. Dennehy:
23 Q. Mr. Sandor, are you able to hear me?
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer.
25 MS. DENNEHY:
1 Q. Mr. Sandor, can you repeat your answer, please?
2 A. Yes, I can hear you.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sandor, do you recall giving a statement to the
4 investigators of the Tribunal in 2000?
5 A. Yes, I recall that.
6 MS. DENNEHY: And turning to tab 1 of the Court's bundle could I
7 please ask that the English version of 65 ter 2417.1 be shown to the
9 Q. Mr. Sandor, do you recognise the document before you to be the
10 statement that you gave?
11 A. Yes, this is the statement that I gave.
12 Q. And looking at the first page of that document, can you please
13 look at the signatures at the bottom of the first page and tell me
14 whether you recognise any of those signatures.
15 A. Yes, I do recognise my signature.
16 Q. And before testifying today, did you have an opportunity to
17 review a translation of the statement in your own language?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when you reviewed the statement, I believe you had a number
20 of corrections to make. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. Now if I can refer you to paragraph 29 of your statement, and at
23 that paragraph you said ... at paragraph 29 your statement said:
24 "Six or seven men were selected from the buses ..."
25 Is there anything that you would like to correct in relation to
1 that paragraph?
2 A. Yes, there is something I would like to correct here.
3 Q. Can you please tell me what that is.
4 A. Those people were not separated from our bus. They had already
5 been separated from the other buses or from the column.
6 Q. And were those men taken from the bus that you were on?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now turning to paragraph 33, your statement notes that the convoy
9 was stopped at a cattle farm in either one of those towns, referring to
10 the previous paragraph where you referred to Aljmas and Erdut. And you
11 say "I can't remember which one." Is there anything you would like to
12 correct in relation to this paragraph, that's paragraph number 33?
13 A. Yes, there is something I would like to correct.
14 Q. Please explain to me what you would like to correct.
15 A. This was the cattle farm in Bogojevo and not in either Aljmas or
17 Q. Now, Mr. Sandor, if you were asked the same questions today about
18 the material in your statement, would you give the same answers in
20 A. Yes, my answers would be the same.
21 Q. And now that you have taken the solemn declaration, do you affirm
22 the truthfulness and accuracy of this statement?
23 A. Yes, my statement is accurate and truthful.
24 MS. DENNEHY: Your Honours, the Prosecution tenders this
25 statement as 65 ter number 2417.1 and asks that it be entered into
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Gosnell.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, we have a document from 2003, I
4 believe, which is a series of corrections that were made when the witness
5 attested to his statement which is the same one that is now being
6 tendered before Your Honours and this Chamber. And these corrections
7 have not been gone over with the witness and some of them are material
8 changes, I would suggest. I don't know how important they are, but they
9 are material changes, they run to more than a page. So I'm not sure how
10 the Prosecution wishes to handle this. The witness has answered as he
11 has answered, but then he did also make this attestation in 2003.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy.
13 MS. DENNEHY: Your Honours, the Prosecution has reviewed this
14 document and it is of the view that these are clarifications rather than
15 corrections to the witness's statement. The witness has reviewed this
16 document and any clarifications that need to be made to the statement
17 will be done so now during the witness's further testimony.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Does that mean that you're not tendering that
20 document, Ms. Dennehy?
21 MS. DENNEHY: That is correct. The Prosecution's understanding
22 is that we were only allowed to tender one statement and that is the
23 underlying statement that I have referred to.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: And what you're saying is that these
25 clarifications will transpire to -- through the testimony today?
1 MS. DENNEHY: That is correct, yes.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Well, Mr. President, I don't think that complies
4 with the requirements of 92 ter, but we will not object.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy, the Bench considers that document
7 with clarification as being part of the original statement, so you should
8 tender it.
9 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Your Honours. I can certainly do so now
10 if Your Honours will allow me to do so.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: But it's a different 65 ter number; right?
12 MS. DENNEHY: It is indeed, yes.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So let's admit and mark both documents.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the statement under 65 ter 02417.1
15 will be Exhibit P347. And if Your Honours -- if counsel for the
16 Prosecution can provide the 65 ter number for the document.
17 MS. DENNEHY: The 65 ter number is 02512.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 02512 will then become
19 Exhibit P348.
20 MS. DENNEHY: May I proceed?
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Ms. Dennehy. I suppose that will save some
22 time in your direct examination because you don't have to ask those
23 questions anymore?
24 MS. DENNEHY: That's correct, yes. Thank you.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
1 MS. DENNEHY:
2 Q. Mr. Sandor, are you currently employed?
3 A. No, I'm not.
4 Q. And why are you not currently employed?
5 A. I'm retired due to disability.
6 Q. And what disabilities do you suffer from that caused you to
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy, you mean disabilities with regard to
9 the case?
10 MS. DENNEHY: Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think you should say so to the witness.
12 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Sandor, do the abilities [sic] from which you suffer and the
14 reason for your retirement, do those relate to the events of your
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Sandor, at paragraph 12 of your statement you refer to
18 negotiations that were taking place in relation to the evacuation of
19 civilians from the Borovo factory complex. Where did these negotiations
20 take place?
21 A. The first round of negotiations with regard to the evacuations of
22 civilians took place in the village of Dalj.
23 Q. And what were the parties that participated in those negotiations
24 in Dalj?
25 A. As far as I know, there were members of the ZNG and the police on
1 the one side and members of the JNA on the other.
2 Q. And what happened at those negotiations?
3 A. According to what I know, the negotiations were interrupted by
4 Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan. He had his say in the final outcome of the
5 negotiations. He interrupted the negotiations and he did not want to
6 proceed negotiating with the Croatian side.
7 Q. And what was the outcome of the negotiations?
8 A. Simply, the negotiations fell through. Our representatives who
9 went to Dalj to negotiate returned to Vukovar, and as far as I know,
10 before they returned Arkan's men had beaten them.
11 Q. Who did Arkan's men beat?
12 A. Ivica Banusic, Marko Filkovic and three other lads that were
13 there. Those people attended the negotiations as representatives of the
14 Croatian side.
15 Q. Mr. Sandor, you were injured by shrapnel at the Borovo shoe
16 factory on the 18th of November, 1991. I would now like to show you a
18 MS. DENNEHY: Would the court officer please display 65 ter 3038
19 and that's at tab 3 of the witness's bundle.
20 Q. Mr. Sandor, do you recognise the map in front of you?
21 Can I please ask you to repeat your answer, Mr. Sandor. I'm
22 afraid I didn't hear you.
23 A. Yes, I recognise the map.
24 Q. And what is this a map of?
25 A. This is a map of the general area of Vukovar and the city of
1 Vukovar itself.
2 Q. And can you please circle for me the position of the Borovo
3 factory complex on the map in front of you.
4 A. [Marks]
5 MS. DENNEHY: Your Honours, the witness has now indicated where
6 the Borovo factory complex is on the map. I can indicate for you if you
7 would like or I'm not quite sure how we proceed from here.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: It depends on what you want to do, Ms. Dennehy.
9 MS. DENNEHY: I would now ask that 65 ter 3038 be admitted into
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: The one marked by the witness?
12 MS. DENNEHY: Yes, correct.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is there a way for us to be able to see the
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Perhaps the Registrar could try to show it to us.
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] It's in this area.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. That's more or less Vukovar.
19 [Microphone not activated].
20 I'm sorry. You tender it, no objection, admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the map as marked by the witness
22 will be Exhibit P349.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MS. DENNEHY:
25 Q. Mr. Sandor, I would now like to take you forward to paragraph 33
1 of your statement where you describe your journey from Vukovar on the
2 buses and where you said earlier that the convoy stopped at Bogojevo.
3 What happened to you at Bogojevo?
4 A. JNA troops entered Bogojevo and they started pulling out
5 detainees one by one from the bus. We were beaten up there and we were
6 tied. They threw us down a slope by a long white building. They threw
7 us against that wall, tied up, and they told us to go to a place called
8 Gornje Bare, that a group would come and they will take us to Gornje
9 Bare. And they did come later on, that group did appear later on.
10 Q. And what injuries did you suffer as a result of these beatings at
12 A. A soldier of the JNA came and told me to crawl out of the bus.
13 When I reached the front door, two other guys pulled me out of the bus
14 and handed me over to the other two. There were four of them around me
15 and they brutally started beating me up with all sorts of things. They
16 kicked me. They hit me with rifle-butts. I was beaten up black and
18 Q. At paragraph 41 you say that you were taken to a prison at
19 Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia.
20 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that the court officer display
21 65 ter 2964. That's at tab 6 of the Court bundle.
22 Q. Mr. Sandor, do you recognise the map in front of you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What is this a map of?
25 A. This is a map which depicts one part of Croatia and one part of
1 Serbia and the border between the two.
2 Q. Can you please indicate on the map the place where you were
3 detained in Serbia in 1991 and 1992?
4 A. [Marks]
5 MS. DENNEHY: Your Honours, can I please ask that 65 ter 2964 be
6 admitted into evidence?
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the map as marked by the witness
9 will be Exhibit P350.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 MS. DENNEHY:
12 Q. Mr. Sandor, at paragraph 43 of your statement you said that when
13 you arrived at Sremska Mitrovica, you were forced to run through a
14 gauntlet of prison guards who beat you. What did they beat you with?
15 A. They were beaten by rubber police batons, by fists. We were
16 kicked. We were hit with rifle-butts, with sticks. They used all sorts
17 of things to beat us up. Mostly police batons and some wooden sticks,
18 like broomsticks of sorts.
19 MS. DENNEHY: Your Honours, if I can please ask that the record
20 be amended at page 54, that's at line 2. It currently says: "They were
21 beaten ..." Can I ask that the witness clarify who was beaten. I
22 understand this to be interpretation point.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter misspoke. The witness said:
24 We were beaten.
25 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Sandor, at Sremska Mitrovica you were taken to a cell. How
2 many men were in the cell with you?
3 A. Anything between 120 and 130 people.
4 Q. And how would you describe the cell and the conditions in the
6 A. Its footprint was about 60 square metres. There were no beds.
7 There was a wooden floor and we were like sardines in a tin. There was
8 no room to walk around, to turn around, to go to the loo. Let me put it
9 simply. You had to keep your original position for hours because there
10 was no room to manoeuvre. We were compressed in that room. We could not
11 turn around.
12 Q. What happened when the guards entered the cell?
13 A. Whenever the door was opened, whenever we heard a key being
14 turned in the lock, we had to stand up, face the wall. We had to bow our
15 heads and put our hands behind our back. So whenever we were about to
16 get in contact with a guard, that's how we had to stand.
17 Q. And where did you wash?
18 A. We had a bathroom in the basement, but we did not wash ourselves
19 very often. For example, for the first month or so we never washed.
20 Q. And why did you not wash for the first month?
21 A. They didn't allow us.
22 Q. Mr. Sandor, I'd now like to ask you about Damir Kiralj. How did
23 Damir look when you saw him in the cell?
24 A. Damir Kiralj was one of the four persons who had been brought to
25 the cell before us. He was already there when we were brought in and he
1 was seriously wounded.
2 Q. And how did he look, given that he was seriously wounded?
3 A. He was covered with blood. He was exhausted. He had open wounds
4 on the chest and on the back. He had dark hair, he had a beard. He was
5 visibly exhausted and he kept on asking us for water. He could still
6 speak when we arrived in the cell. He was still half conscious and he
7 kept on asking us to give him water to drink.
8 Q. And did Damir survive?
9 A. No.
10 Q. How were you treated by the JNA soldiers when they took you for
11 interrogations at Sremska Mitrovica?
12 A. Every time when I was taken for interrogation, and not just I but
13 everybody, we were beaten up by the guards who were members of the JNA.
14 Q. And can you describe for the Court those beatings?
15 A. Look here, one guard would come to the door and would call my
16 name. I would leave the cell. I would be taken to an officer to be
17 interrogated. And on the way, one or two or more of them were there.
18 They daunted me. They shoved me. They started kicking me ever so
19 lightly at first and then more heavily with sticks and they shoved me to
20 and fro. And if I were to fall down, then they would kick me and then
21 they would start daunting me, saying, "Look at Ustasha, he's weak, he
22 cannot stand." And if I would remain standing, then they would continue
23 beating me on the shoulders, in the neck, on the back, all over the body.
24 Q. And where did the guards bring you for those interrogations?
25 A. They took us to JNA officers. Those who were probably one of
1 them investigating judge, the other in charge of the prison. In any
2 case, they were JNA officers and they were sitting in separate rooms that
3 looked like offices.
4 Q. And when you were brought to those offices, did you enter them
6 A. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
7 Q. And what would happen when you didn't enter immediately?
8 A. Sometimes I would be standing by the door for hours with my head
9 bowed and hands behind the back. I was not allowed to move or look
10 sideways. I was not allowed to address anybody. They did not give me
11 water to drink. And then when I entered, sometimes the officer would
12 say, "No, no, I didn't want to talk to this guy, I wanted to see somebody
13 else." And then without a word of explanation, they would just take me
14 back to my cell.
15 Q. And you mentioned that you used to have to stand with your head
16 bent and your hands behind your back. What would happen if you raised
17 your head?
18 A. One of the guards was always there observing us. If we lifted
19 our heads, he would come and punish us by beating us. We would suffer
20 corporal punishment for moving slightly or for disobeying those orders
21 that the guards had previously given us.
22 Q. And at paragraph 65 of your statement, you say that you had to
23 carry out work and one of those jobs was to scrub a stair step for hours.
24 Can you please describe that incident.
25 A. Yes. One day I was taken out from my cell and they took me up
1 the stairs made of stone that a guard had spilled water on and he told me
2 to sweep and wipe the stairs, and I did so for an hour with my own bare
3 hands. I spent an hour rubbing the steps.
4 Q. Were the beatings of prisoners ever recorded at Sremska
6 A. You mean by the JNA?
7 Q. Yes, if they were recorded by the JNA.
8 A. No.
9 Q. What special treatment did deserters of the JNA receive while at
10 Sremska Mitrovica?
11 A. Those people were rounded up and taken to isolation cells where
12 they were mistreated every day in various ways, from beatings to singing
13 Chetnik songs. They called these people out every day and mistreated
14 them mentally and physically.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The witness also said something about a light
16 bulb that the interpreter did not understand. Could he repeat maybe.
17 MS. DENNEHY:
18 Q. Mr. Sandor, I'm afraid we didn't capture everything that you
19 said. Could you please repeat the part where you mentioned a light bulb.
20 A. I said those people were isolated, in isolation cells, only one
21 person per cell, and they were exposed to physical and mental torture by
22 the guards on a daily basis, the military guards. Apart from beatings,
23 they had to sing Chetnik songs. They had to bark like dogs at light
24 bulbs and say things like, "Long live Serbia." And they were at the
25 mercy of the military guards, or rather, the military policemen who
1 guarded them every day.
2 Q. And can you please describe what happened to Mr. Musa.
3 A. Mr. Musa is a defector from the Yugoslav People's Army who joined
4 the Croatian defence forces. He was in an isolation cell and he was one
5 of the people who were mistreated in those ways I described.
6 Q. At paragraph --
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy, it's that time.
8 MS. DENNEHY: Yes, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: So we will -- Mr. Witness, the Court will take
10 its second break, come back at 12.45, and we will continue with your
11 testimony at that time. Thank you.
12 Court adjourned.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Ms. Dennehy, please proceed.
17 MS. DENNEHY:
18 Q. Mr. Sandor, can you please explain what happened to
19 Nikola Cibaric?
20 A. Nikola Cibaric was captured, taken to the basement of that
21 building which was a school. He was beaten up and his genitals were cut.
22 Q. At paragraph 89 of your statement you describe how you were
23 interrogated by Mr. Salic, a member of the KOS. What, if anything, did
24 he make you eat during your interrogation?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I'll repeat the question again, Mr. Sandor. What, if anything,
2 did he make you eat during your interrogation?
3 A. He made me eat salt and pepper.
4 Q. And how much salt and pepper did he make you eat?
5 A. A couple of tablespoons, not full but four or five tablespoons of
6 salt and pepper. There were two dishes. I had to take some salt from
7 one and some pepper from the other and put it in my mouth.
8 Q. And what did you do after eating the salt and pepper?
9 A. I was choking. It was very difficult to swallow. I returned to
10 my cell, had some water, and I threw up. I threw it all up and, of
11 course, I had pain in my stomach, a burning feeling in my mouth. The
12 inside of my mouth was bloody and cracked.
13 Q. Mr. Sandor, can you describe for the Trial Chamber what injuries
14 you had while at Sremska Mitrovica?
15 A. My lungs were damaged. It was something like a concussion of the
16 lungs. My chest is deformed. My ribs were broken. There's damage to my
17 spine and my hearing and vision are also damaged. I had problems with
18 headaches and I had a concussion of the brain.
19 Q. And what caused all of these injuries that you describe?
20 A. It was caused by the physical torture inflicted by the guards, by
21 the military police at the camp, the beatings.
22 Q. Mr. Sandor, what happened on the 14th of August, 1992?
23 A. We were exchanged.
24 Q. And where were you exchanged?
25 A. In Nemetin, near Osijek.
1 Q. And how did you feel on that day when you were exchanged?
2 A. That day was the longest day in my life. It was longer than all
3 the days I'd spent in the camp, and you can imagine that a day in the
4 camp is an eternity.
5 Q. And how has the detention at Sremska Mitrovica affected you and
6 your family's lives?
7 A. I still have problems nowadays. While I was single I was
8 withdrawn, I was trying to run away from myself, something was always
9 chasing me. I still feel somehow poisoned, damaged. I am often dizzy,
10 very depressed. Contacts with various officials are very difficult for
11 me. I'm nervous. I shake. I sleep 10, 15 minutes a night and then
12 don't sleep for hours. For years I didn't allow my bedroom door to be
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MS. DENNEHY: Your Honours, that concludes my questions for now.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:
20 Q. Good day, Mr. Sandor. Can you see and hear me?
21 A. I can see you and I can hear you.
22 Q. My name is Christopher Gosnell. I appear on behalf of Mr. Hadzic
23 and I will be asking you a few questions. If anything is unclear, please
24 feel free to ask for further clarification or details and I'll do my
25 best. Do you understand that?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. Now, sir, you were describing during your questions to the --
3 your answers to the questions by the Prosecutor that you came across some
4 deserters in the prison at Sremska Mitrovica. Do I understand that they
5 on occasion were detained along with you in the same cell or were they
6 always separated?
7 A. They were with me in the cell for a while. That's how I know
8 they were deserters and I know they were taken to isolation cells. And
9 some of them were brought back from the solitary cell back to ours, so I
10 know what they had gone through while in isolation.
11 Q. And approximately how many of these deserters did you meet?
12 A. [Microphone not activated] ... is one. And there was an
13 active-duty NCO of the JNA, his name was Ivica, I don't know his last
14 name, he was with me in the room number 8. They took him to the
15 isolation cell and then he appeared before the court in Belgrade. He was
16 an NCO of the JNA and he defected to the Croatian army.
17 Q. The beginning of your answer was cut off, but would it be correct
18 to say that you met three deserters or did you meet more than three
19 deserters or less?
20 A. Two, two. I mentioned Musa and that active-duty sergeant of the
21 Yugoslav People's Army. Ivica was his name and I don't remember his
23 Q. Did they inform you whether desertions were widespread in the JNA
24 at the end of 1991?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Sir, I just want to confirm that the previous occasions on which
2 you have given statements, and I understand that you, of course, have
3 given one statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in the year 2000 and
4 then you corrected or made some amendments to that statement in 2003.
5 And in 2004 -- excuse me, in 1994 you spoke to someone who was apparently
6 from something called the Commission of Experts. It was a woman named
7 Nancy Paterson. Do you remember having given that statement in 1994?
8 A. Yes, I remember that statement.
9 Q. So other than the statements I've just mentioned, have you ever
10 given any other statements to anyone about the -- about your experiences?
11 A. I gave those statements to the Croatian justice authorities,
12 their investigation authorities.
13 Q. When did you give that statement and to whom?
14 A. I don't remember exactly. I think it was in 1993 or 1994 at the
15 Ministry of Justice of Croatia. The person was Ivica Crnkovic, and it
16 was an occasion when ten of us former camp inmates gave statements. And
17 I believe I also gave some statement last year to the Croatian
18 investigating authorities regarding events in Vukovar.
19 Q. Did you ever see your -- the content of your interview put into a
20 note or put into a statement form which you then reviewed? Or was it,
21 rather, that you were interviewed and then you never saw a statement or a
22 note to review?
23 A. Which statement do you mean?
24 Q. I'm referring to the now two interviews that you've described as
25 having had with the Croatian authorities, one that you recall having
1 occurred in 1993 or 1994 and the second having occurred last year.
2 A. Yes, I had the opportunity to see, to review, that last
4 Q. That's the one from last year?
5 Not sure if my question came through, sir. You say that you
6 reviewed one statement, the second. And I just want to confirm, the
7 statement that you reviewed was the statement that you say you gave
8 during an interview last year with the Croatian authorities; is that
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter doesn't hear anything.
11 MR. GOSNELL:
12 Q. Sir, could you just try one more time. The audio seems to be a
13 little bit off. I didn't hear your answer.
14 A. I said that's correct. I saw that statement given to the
15 Croatian authorities last year.
16 Q. And you never saw a statement that was produced after your
17 interview in 1993 or 1994; is that correct?
18 A. No, I don't think I saw that one -- at least I don't remember
19 seeing it. I saw that statement that you just mentioned. Can you help
20 me? I don't know whether it was somebody from The Hague Tribunal, but
21 it's the one you just mentioned.
22 Q. That's fine.
23 A. I was about to say the statement I gave to Ivica Crnkovic at the
24 Ministry of Justice, that one I never saw, but it was a summary of my
25 statement on one or two pages but I never saw it.
1 Q. Sorry, sir, could you just repeat the last name of the person to
2 whom you gave the statement.
3 A. It was the minister of justice of the Republic of Croatia,
4 Ivica Crnkovic, C-r-n-k-o-v-i-c. I think he was the minister of justice
5 at the time in the Republic of Croatia.
6 Q. And have you ever been interviewed for a television documentary
7 about events during the battle of Vukovar, in particular in
8 Borovo Naselje?
9 A. For a documentary, I don't think so. But I was once invited to a
10 programme dedicated to the anniversary of the fall of Vukovar, to a
11 radio/television show. And I gave one interview to something that is
12 called Index, and I'm not sure whether it's a news agency or something
14 Q. And the programme that was dedicated to the anniversary of the
15 fall of Vukovar, do you recall what radio or television station that was?
16 A. Croatian Radio Television, channel 1. It was the headlines of
17 the news programme at noon.
18 Q. And have you yourself seen documentaries on television about the
19 battle of Vukovar, in particular the events in Borovo Naselje?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And your comrades in arms have been interviewed extensively as
22 part of those documentaries; is that correct?
23 A. If you allow me to say this, you probably mean the series called:
24 "Heros of Vukovar."
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. Some of my comrades in arms did give interviews for that series.
2 I, myself, didn't want to be a part of it.
3 Q. Sir, I'd like to direct you to paragraph 3 of your statement, the
4 second-last sentence, it should be page 2 --
5 MR. GOSNELL: May I just ask whether the witness has an
6 enumerated B/C/S version of his statement there? I'm not sure whether I
7 should be asking the Registrar there or whether I should be asking the
8 Prosecutor here.
9 MS. DENNEHY: I believe the witness has a numbered copy, but I
10 would like the Registrar to confirm just in case.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I can confirm that the witness --
12 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, ought I to direct that through you
13 or should I simply ask the Registrar whether --
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: The Registrar just confirmed, Mr. Gosnell.
15 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.
16 Q. Sir, do you see the second-last sentence of paragraph 3 of your
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. What it says is, in English, and I'll read it:
20 "At this time my Serb neighbours were being mobilised into the
21 military. None of the Croats were being mobilised. In the beginning,
22 there was no defensive organisation among the Croat civilians."
23 Now, I just want to understand the first sentence there:
24 "At this time my Serb neighbours were being mobilised into the
1 Are you saying that your Serb neighbours were starting to take up
2 arms in preparation for a civil war?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Okay. And then you say:
5 "None of the Croats were being mobilised. In the beginning there
6 was no defensive organisation among the Croat civilians."
7 So do I understand your statement to be saying that at this time,
8 in May 1991, Serbs were arming themselves and preparing for civil war but
9 Croats were not?
10 A. At that time not so much. Only the Croatian police were arming
11 themselves. Civilians had no access to weapons, at least not in the area
12 about which I testified.
13 Q. If we can just go up two sentences from the sentence that I've
14 just been looking at, you described some men coming to look for you and
15 you say:
16 "I was known to be very friendly with Zadro Blago, who was one of
17 the main leaders and organisers of the Croatian defence."
18 What was the Croatian defence?
19 A. Blago Zadro was at that time a member of the Croatian police.
20 The Croatian Democratic Union was in the process of being established,
21 but I was no part of it. If you let me clarify, I was friends with
22 Blago Zadro along completely different lines, nothing to do with the
23 party or the military or the police. We were just friends. At that
24 time, the whole of 1991 and 1992, I was not a member of any political
25 party --
1 Q. Sir, sir --
2 A. -- my relationship with late Blago Zadro has not --
3 Q. Let me just cut you off there. I will be asking you a series of
4 questions and you will be able to answer these questions, I assure you.
5 But my first question, just to keep the focus is: What was the Croatian
7 A. That was the Croatian police.
8 Q. Then why didn't you say "Croatian police," instead of the
9 "Croatian defence"?
10 A. I have my own viewpoint. I think this sentence is taken out of
11 context. When I say "our men," I mean the Croatian police and the ZNG,
12 the Home Guards Corps. You can make your own conclusions from that
13 sentence. At that time, the Croatian police was the only armed
14 formation, if we are talking about March, April, and May 1991.
15 Q. Well, here we're talking -- you, not we, you are talking in your
16 statement about May 1991. You've used this term "Croatian defence." I
17 think I now hear you clarifying that you consider the Croatian defence to
18 be the police and the ZNG. Is that right? Or did the Croatian -- when
19 you use the term "Croatian defence," does it encompass anything else?
20 A. The Croatian defence includes only the Croatian police and later
21 the Home Guards Corps, once it was established. If you let me clarify,
22 beginning with the events in Borovo Selo on the 2nd of May, the Croats
23 had night guards organised by the Croatian Democratic Union, but they
24 were not armed apart from those people who were licensed by the Croatian
25 police to carry a weapon. So at that time it was only the Croatian
2 Q. And how many people were licensed to carry weapons by the
3 Croatian police, according to you?
4 A. I could not tell you that. I've already told you that I was not
5 a member of any political party or any other organisation at the time.
6 When I joined the Croatian side it was spontaneously and it was after the
7 armed operations by Serbs against Croatian police in Borovo Selo. That
8 was already the beginning of the armed conflict. Before that, Croats
9 were not armed.
10 Q. Well, is it correct to say - and I believe this is -- this
11 follows from your previous statement - you say that members of the night
12 guards were organised by the Croatian Democratic Union and that then
13 members of these night guards were licensed by the Croatian police to
14 carry weapons. Is that the situation in May 1991?
15 A. I think there must be a misunderstanding. In May, only the
16 Croatian police carried weapons. Civilians at that time did not have
17 weapons. More precisely, in early May, let's say, that was the
18 situation, perhaps later. Civilians stood guard but not armed.
19 Q. So you're saying that these night guards that were organised by
20 the HDZ were walking around unarmed, with no weapons?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. What was the purpose of the night guards walking around with no
24 A. I was just going to explain. There was always a police officer
25 with them and police officers were licensed to carry weapons.
1 Q. At what stage did the police start to licence other members of
2 the night guard to carry weapons?
3 A. I can speak about myself. In the month of June I joined the ZNG
4 and I was issued with a weapon. So the answer would be as of the
5 beginning of June onwards.
6 Q. I understand that about yourself. Do you know of others who were
7 licensed to carry weapons who participated in these night guards? I
8 don't want names. The question is simply: Do you know whether others
9 were licensed to carry weapons at part of these night guards?
10 A. There was always a police officer licensed to carry weapons who
11 accompanied those night guards. At that time, civilians were not
12 licensed to carry weapons. Perhaps somebody had a weapon or, for
13 example, a rifle hidden in the house, but I wouldn't know that. At that
14 time, civilians did not carry weapons legally. They acted as an extended
15 arm or an extended ear or eye, as it were, for those police officers who
16 were licensed to carry weapons.
17 Q. And was Mr. Zadro part of the police or was he a part of the
18 night guard? What was his function and role in May 1991?
19 A. Mr. Zadro was a member of the Croatian police. He was a member
20 of the Vinkovci police station.
21 Q. Was he a career police officer or had he joined shortly before
22 May 1991?
23 A. I don't know that, so I can't answer your question.
24 Q. Weren't you friends with him in May 1991?
25 A. If you listened to me carefully, we were friends before the war.
1 In the war I saw him very seldom in passing. I did not have many
2 occasions to talk to him once the war started.
3 Q. Well, before the war when you were friends with him, what
4 occupation did he have, if you know?
5 A. He was an employee of the Borovo factory.
6 Q. And do you have any knowledge as to when he left that employment
7 and became a policeman?
8 A. No, I wouldn't know that.
9 Q. Now, at paragraph 10 of your statement, you say that you wore the
10 green camouflage uniform that the Croat army now wears.
11 "I had been issued with a rifle and uniform by the crises
13 Am I right to say that you've just testified you received your
14 rifle in June 1991; is that right?
15 A. I apologise. Can you repeat the name of the month. You referred
16 to the sixth month of the year, yes, June. June 1991, yes.
17 Q. Is that also when you received your uniform?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And those were both from the -- what you describe in your
20 statement as the crises council?
21 A. I would like to correct that. I was issued with weapons in the
22 office of the chief of the defence council of the city of Vukovar. At
23 that time it was also known as the crisis council.
24 Q. Would you ever use the term "Krizni Stab" to refer to that, of
1 A. Yes, that office for defence was reappointed as the Crisis Staff
2 once the war started or once the war became imminent.
3 Q. And who was a part of that council or -- yeah, who was a part of
4 that council? Who were the members?
5 A. The chief of the Crisis Staff was Tomislav Mercep.
6 Q. Was anyone else a part of the council?
7 A. There were other people there, but I didn't know them. There was
8 a whole structure of men belonging to the Crisis Staff, but I did not
9 know any of them.
10 Q. When did that structure come into existence?
11 A. I'm not sure. I know that I was issued with a weapon in the
12 month of June. I don't know when they became operational. I suppose
13 that that coincided with the democratic changes that were happening in
14 the course of 1990 and 1991, but I'm not sure of the time.
15 Q. And when you received your weapon, did you receive it from a
16 depot in which there were other weapons? Did somebody bring it to you?
17 How did you actually get your rifle? What were the circumstances?
18 A. I reported to the Crisis Staff and the person who organised
19 defence at the time took me to the Crisis Staff. On the order of the
20 chief of the Crisis Staff, Tomislav Mercep, I was issued with a weapon.
21 There was a depot and a person -- the person in charge of the depot
22 issued me with an automatic rifle and 150 rounds for it and that uniform.
23 Q. So did I understand that you reported to the Crisis Staff on the
24 order of the chief of the Crisis Staff, Tomislav Mercep?
25 A. A slight correction, sir, if I may.
1 Q. Please go ahead.
2 A. I did not report to the Crisis Staff on the order of the chief of
3 the Crisis Staff. The person who organised those night guards in
4 Nove Banijske took me to the chief of the Crisis Staff and I was issued
5 with a weapon on his order. Once I already reported to the Crisis Staff,
6 it was the chief of the Crisis Staff who said that I should be issued
7 with a weapon. That was his instruction.
8 Q. What I'm interested in knowing is whether you voluntarily went to
9 the Crisis Staff or whether you were conscripted or ordered. Whoever may
10 have given the order, were you conscripted or did you volunteer?
11 A. I volunteered.
12 Q. Now, we have a note from the Prosecution of their conversation
13 with you, I believe it was yesterday, and you indicate that the attack on
14 Vukovar started on the 4th of July, 1991. And you specify that that was
15 an attack of combined artillery and infantry. Now, I'll get right to the
16 point without beating around the bush. Isn't it true that the first
17 combined infantry and artillery attack on Vukovar occurred -- started on
18 the 24th of August, 1991?
19 A. Yes, that was a JNA attack. On the 4th of July paramilitary Serb
20 units attacked Borovo Naselje. I'm talking about the formations that
21 were established between March and July 1991. Those Serbs were mobilised
22 and joined those paramilitary units. Those were Serb paramilitary units.
23 I don't know how else to call them. Those were local Serbs who acted in
24 concert with those who had come from Serbia. So that was not a JNA
25 attack on Croatians; it was an attack of the local Serbs against the
1 local Croatians, and that took place on the 4th of July, 1991.
2 Q. And artillery was not involved in that, was it?
3 A. What do you mean when you say "artillery"? It was a mortar
4 attack. It was a combined infantry and mortar attack. Those mortars
5 were of smaller calibre. I don't know how else I am supposed to explain
6 that to you.
7 Q. Do you remember that there was a much larger-scale attack that
8 occurred on the 21st of August, 1991?
9 A. No.
10 Q. When do you, as best you can recall, believe that the first major
11 attack occurred on Vukovar -- if I could add to that, involving the JNA?
12 A. I believe that it was on the 14th or 15th of September when JNA
13 sent its tanks to Trpinska road and their attack ensued from there.
14 Q. And Croat forces managed to destroy many of those tanks; isn't
15 that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And, in fact, you succeeded in repelling the attack as a whole,
18 did you not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you did that despite being massively outgunned and
21 outnumbered; right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And you were able to disable the tanks using 64-millimetre Zolja
24 rocket-launchers; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you also have 90-millimetre Osa rockets?
2 A. Yes, there were Osa rockets as well.
3 Q. And isn't it correct that the Serb forces at this stage sent
4 their column straight down the middle of the road and thought they could
5 just steamroll over you; right?
6 A. Yes, that's correct. It seems that they overestimated their own
8 Q. And do I understand correctly that your tactic, the tactic of the
9 Croat forces, was to line the roads on either side of where the tanks
10 were proceeding and would shoot using infantry from one side as a decoy
11 and would then launch rocket attacks from the other side; is that
13 A. Yes, but we did not launch rockets. We launched RPGs and Zoljas.
14 Q. And wasn't the idea that you would attempt -- given that you had
15 a limited number of rockets, you would attempt to disable the front, the
16 lead vehicle, and the rear vehicle of the convoys, thus pinning in the
17 remaining vehicles?
18 A. Yes, that was the tactic.
19 Q. And concealment was, for you, essential to be able to make this
20 tactic work; correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And you hid in basements and in houses, behind windows and doors
23 behind which you had -- you were fortified with sandbags; correct?
24 A. Well, we used houses as shelters. We were not overly fortified.
25 There were no bunkers. We used houses and ruins. Because a lot of the
1 houses had been destroyed by tanks previously and those ruins, those
2 remains, of the former houses were used as shelters.
3 Q. And you were so successful at destroying tanks and armoured
4 vehicles that the road on which this attack occurred, Trpinja road became
5 known as "tank cemetery" amongst Croat forces; is that right?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And is it right to say that generally these convoys would consist
8 of a tank up front leading armoured personnel carriers with soldiers?
9 A. Well, one could put it that way although they were not travelling
10 in convoys. They move forward in a combat formation rather than a
12 Q. And your aim was to immobilise the combat formation by disabling
13 the front and the lead vehicles; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Now, once you would immobilise the column, were there ever
16 occasions in which Serb soldiers tried to exit the APCs in the middle of
17 the convoy and surrender?
18 A. I don't know that. If you will allow me, Trpinjska road is wide
19 enough so the convoy could manoeuvre. We did not pin it down if we
20 destroyed the tank at the front and the tank at the rear. They could
21 still manoeuvre. They could pull themselves out. And if you're asking
22 me whether soldiers got killed, they did.
23 Q. Well, you did succeed in immobilising APCs as well as tanks;
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And on those occasions, did it ever occur, did you ever see or
2 did you ever hear, that Serb soldiers attempted to exit the APCs or any
3 other armoured vehicle and tried to surrender?
4 A. I don't know that. There were cases when those lads were
5 captured and taken to the Vukovar Hospital. I myself was not an
6 eye-witness. I just heard stories to that effect. At that time, I never
7 got in close contact with a live soldier. Most of the soldiers managed
8 to return to Trpinja unscathed once they got out from those destroyed
10 We never used the situation in order to try and kill them when
11 you were withdrawing. They always had an opportunity to withdraw from a
12 vehicle. I myself never captured anybody, but I also never saw a
13 situation when withdrawing soldiers, retreating soldiers, were shot at.
14 Q. You say they always had an opportunity to withdraw. Did they
15 ever have an opportunity to surrender?
16 A. As I've told you, I was not in a situation to see a soldier
17 surrendering to us. I was not in a situation where I could receive a
18 surrendering soldier. There must have been some who surrendered. I
19 myself was never in such a situation.
20 Q. Well, where were you stationed during the battle of Vukovar
21 mainly, if there was one location?
22 A. In the Crepulje sector, in the direction of Borovo Selo.
23 Q. But you weren't on the front line?
24 A. Please repeat your question.
25 Q. But you weren't on the front line, do I understand that
2 A. It was the front line. It was the front line in the Borovo Selo
3 sector, in Crepulje to be more specific.
4 Q. And did you ever see any prisoners, Serb prisoners, being brought
5 back from Trpinjska road or elsewhere to the hospital or to any detention
7 A. No.
8 Q. And do you have any idea how many Serb soldiers died in the
9 battle of Vukovar approximately?
10 A. I don't know. There are speculations about that number and the
11 number of those casualties is exaggerated. Some say 15.000, some say
12 20.000. It doesn't seem real. It's far-fetched, much exaggerated, I
13 would say.
14 Q. And after the -- this engagement that you've described as
15 occurring in September along the Trpinska road when many armoured JNA
16 vehicles were immobilised, did the JNA start to change its tactics as to
17 how it sought to invade Vukovar?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How did that change?
20 A. Open frontal attacks stopped and were replaced by large-scale
22 Q. And in order to avoid being attacked on either side of the roads,
23 didn't they start to destroy houses on those either sides of the roads
24 and move through the neighbourhoods? Wasn't that how they responded to
25 the success of Croat forces against their columns?
1 A. No.
2 Q. I should have broken up my question. What is "no" answering to?
3 What do you mean "no"?
4 A. What I'm trying to say is from the point of view of a Croatian
5 defender. If you start moving in a convoy of some ten vehicles and if
6 you start opening fire from your starting point to provide support to the
7 APC and your manpower, that's an open attack. That's your intention, to
8 attack. You -- and the other side has the impression that it is being
9 attacked. You open fire. It is not your intention to negotiate
10 peacefully. If you set out from Trpinja and if you start opening fire,
11 your intention was to destroy. None of our artillery assets could reach
12 as far as Trpinja. We couldn't do that.
13 Q. Sir, all I'm asking is: Isn't it true that the JNA was moving
14 through these houses because you had devastated their armour as they
15 moved down the roads?
16 A. I apologise. I don't understand. Are you referring to armoured
17 vehicles or manpower?
18 Q. Well, I'm referring to tanks. Instead of moving their tanks down
19 the roads on which they were --
20 A. I've told you already. I've told you.
21 Q. At paragraph 7 of your statement --
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, could you lay some foundation about
23 "these houses." I'm a little bit lost. What is happening here? I mean
24 on the ground. Obviously you seem to say that something different
25 happened after the Trpinjska road incident or battle or whatever you call
1 it, but what did happen?
2 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, Mr. President, I haven't laid the foundation I
3 was hoping to at the beginning of page 78. Let me just go back. I
4 thought I received a different answer than I actually did receive.
5 Q. Sir, let me go back and ask you, after the Trpinjska road battle
6 in which many tanks were immobilised, is it correct that the JNA started
7 to attempt to move along the neighbourhoods through houses on either
8 sides of the road? Is that -- did they change their tactic along those
10 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Tanks could not go
11 through those houses. The foundations are very solid, very firm. A tank
12 cannot go through a house like that. It just can't pass, so I don't
13 understand what you're asking. A tank cannot pass through. It can
14 destroy a house with a shell, but it cannot go through.
15 Q. And didn't they seek to destroy these houses with shells to clear
16 a path for the tanks? Isn't that precisely what occurred?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So you don't know --
19 A. I don't see why.
20 Q. Well, I won't take the matter further, sir. I'd like to direct
21 your attention to paragraph 7 of your statement and you say that:
22 "The JNA were positioned between Borovo Selo and Borovo Naselje.
23 They could supervise the Serb civilians leaving the area and the
24 paramilitaries entering the area."
25 Can you tell me what period you're referring to in that
1 paragraph? Is it throughout the battle of Vukovar or starting as of what
3 A. It started with the events in Borovo Selo on the 2nd of May until
4 the 4th of July, so it's those two months.
5 Q. And your understanding was that the JNA was controlling whether
6 or not to allow paramilitaries into the area; is that right?
7 I'm not sure if we got the answer.
8 A. Yes. The JNA was controlling entries of paramilitaries from
9 Borovo Selo to Borovo Naselje and exits of paramilitaries from
10 Borovo Selo to Borovo Naselje.
11 Q. Now, sir, at paragraph 19 you describe being lined up in front of
12 the commerce building on the 19th of November. And then you describe, in
13 the following paragraphs, being transported and eventually ending up as
14 you've described earlier today at Bogojevo. And what I'd like to ask you
15 is first a general question. From the time that you were lined up at the
16 commerce building until you arrive in Bogojevo, was it your understanding
17 that throughout that entire time you were in the custody of one or
18 another unit of the JNA?
19 A. If you mean the active personnel of the JNA, no. As for the JNA,
20 there was only one officer, that major I mentioned, who was an
21 active-duty officer and the rest were all reservists and paramilitaries.
22 Q. Well, by "JNA," I meant active-duty, regular JNA, or reserve.
23 A. Yes, there was active-duty personnel, for instance, that officer,
24 and there were people dressed in JNA uniform with the JNA insignia,
25 including the five-point star.
1 Q. And the one part of your description that leaves it unclear as to
2 who is escorting you is your description of moving from the Komerc
3 building to where you were picked up by buses. You say that you were
4 picked up by three buses.
5 Now, my question for you is: Between the Komerc building and the
6 time when you were picked up by three buses, which you describe at
7 paragraph 27 of your statement, who was it who actually escorted you
9 A. We were escorted by paramilitaries. When I say "paramilitary," I
10 mean men who had different insignia from the JNA.
11 Q. And was this Gojkovic with them?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And did the major go along or did he not go along?
14 A. I don't know whether the major went the whole way but he was
15 there when people were getting off the bus.
16 MR. GOSNELL: Could tab 1 of the Defence list be shown to the
17 witness, please.
18 Q. Now, earlier we were discussing -- the document is 03256.
19 Now, earlier we were discussing the 4th of July and it's fair to
20 say that this is a date that sticks out in your memory; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, first of all, I should ask you to make it clear for the
23 record and not have any confusion, this is a statement that you say was
24 extracted from you with physical abuse; is that correct?
25 A. Sorry. This is ...
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I believe there is an error with
2 the hardcopy document -- was contained --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you ...
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The document contained -- is
5 obviously not the one related to this witness.
6 MR. GOSNELL: I'm sorry, I didn't hear what the -- I didn't hear
7 what the Registrar said, if anything.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Registrar, could you repeat, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The document contained in the
10 Defence binder is not -- that it's -- this witness --
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is not the document about this witness -- I seem
12 to remember that we have seen exactly the same --
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Definitely not the one under the
14 title at the --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Registrar, you're -- there is a sound problem
16 there because we can't -- we hear the beginning of your sentence and then
17 the end of it, but not the substance.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Could I add a bit of information that possibly
19 could get around this problem? The document as well as being on our list
20 was also at -- was also at tab 7 of the Prosecution's original list. And
21 I don't know whether the Registrar took the original list or took the
22 revised list.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: I seem to remember that we have seen exactly the
24 same document but about another witness. Perhaps the confusion is there.
25 I even think that it is -- that it has the same date on it.
1 MR. GOSNELL: When I look at the front page of the document, I do
2 see the witness's name indicated.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: The one on the screen , indeed. Yes.
4 MR. GOSNELL: And I believe the number is correct. So I'm not
5 actually sure what the difficulty is, because unfortunately I can't hear
6 the Registrar in the location of the video.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] If I may --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you -- can you use the witness's
10 microphone? Because yours is obviously not working well.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Sure, Your Honour. The document
12 that is contained, the hard copy document in the Defence binder isn't the
13 one that was called by the Defence.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm not sure I understood. The document --
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The table of contents --
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah.
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] -- of the documents to be used
18 with this witness that was provided by Defence --
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes --
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] -- lists one document that was
21 called by the Defence.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Under 65 ter number --
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can't hear you.
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] With 65 ter number 3256; however,
1 document with 65 ter number 3256 is not the one --
2 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. Registrar, I don't know whether you have the
3 Prosecution's bundle --
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Not contained in the bundle.
5 MR. GOSNELL: -- but if you could look and see --
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, I do.
7 MR. GOSNELL: -- whether you have the old bundle, you will see
8 tab 7 of the old bundle would be the document that I'm looking for.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: So that is the Prosecution's old bundle,
10 Mr. Registrar, tab 7. Would that be the document with the witness's name
11 on it?
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I don't think so because the
13 document under tab number 7 in the Prosecution binder is a photograph.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. We have a problem here, Mr. Gosnell.
15 MR. GOSNELL: Well, if I may, and with the optimistic, perhaps,
16 expectation that perhaps there would be no objection, I would propose to
17 read the section of the document that I wish to use and elicit the remark
18 or any response from the witness because that's what's significant here.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: The Registrar tells me that we could try to
21 broadcast the document we have on the screen to the screen in Zagreb.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's see whether that works.
24 And in the meantime, Ms. Dennehy.
25 MS. DENNEHY: If I may assist, Your Honours, this document was
1 shown to the witness and the witness may have a copy with him still or
2 the investigator may have a copy of that document. So it might be
3 helpful to ask whether the witness is in possession of that document.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: But before we can ask the witness whether he has
5 a document, we should be able to show it to him because if not -- so
6 let's see what the broadcast solution would bring.
7 In the meantime, Mr. Gosnell, I see the time. How long do you
8 think you still need?
9 MR. GOSNELL: I can wrap this up very shortly. I would say
10 within five minutes.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. They have it on the screen now.
12 And then re-direct, Ms. Dennehy, just to know where we go?
13 MS. DENNEHY: I will only have one or two questions,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So the document is on the screen in
16 Zagreb, Mr. Gosnell, so please go ahead.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much.
18 Q. Mr. Witness, Mr. Sandor, I'm sorry, I understand that you've seen
19 this document in preparation for your testimony. And just to make it
20 clear, is it correct that this is the statement that you say was
21 extracted from you under conditions that were oppressive by the JNA
22 officer investigating judge?
23 A. With your leave, that's just a part of that detailed, long
24 statement that was dictated to us. But I agree, that's the part of that
25 statement, yes.
1 MR. GOSNELL: Could we turn to page 2, please -- correction, that
2 should be page 4 of the English and page 3 of the B/C/S.
3 Q. And, sir, if you look at the -- midway down the page, the long
4 paragraph, this statement says:
5 "On 4 July 1991, sometime between 0900 and 1000 hours, an
6 exchange of rifle fire was heard," and this is referring to
7 Borovo Naselje. And the statement goes on:
8 "I was at my uncle's, and at first we did not know what was
9 happening ..."
10 First of all, is it true that you were at your uncle's on this
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And is it true that there was an exchange of fire at between 0900
14 and 1000 hours?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Statement goes on:
17 "Sometime later we were all called to come in front of the
18 'Nikola Demonja,' MZ local commune and I went there together with all the
19 others. After arriving at this commune, at some point the guard also
20 came towards this MZ and then immediately left."
21 Now, first of all, is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And by "guard," are you referring to the ZNG?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And that's what actually happened; correct? That's true?
1 A. Yes, that's true.
2 Q. The same time goes on:
3 "This is when I heard that Serbs would be cleared out from a part
4 of Borovo Naselje."
5 Did you hear that at that time?
6 A. That was coerced.
7 Q. So just that sentence was the part that was inserted by the JNA
8 investigating judge; is that right?
9 A. In this entire part, yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Okay. Was the next sentence also inserted by the JNA
11 investigating judge or is that true?
12 I'm not sure if my question came through. The question was: Was
13 the next sentence also inserted by the investigating judge or was that
15 A. Which next sentence? I did not hear that sentence.
16 Q. The next sentence reads:
17 "After a while in front of the local commune, Zoran Gotal, at
18 least I think it was him, told us that Zadro Blago reported that
19 Stara Banijska Street had been taken and that we could return."
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And by "return," does that mean that you had formerly lived on
22 that street?
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, before that, what does --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- the "yes, that's correct" mean?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Does that mean that it was coerced or does it
3 mean that -- that's not clear in the transcript, I'm afraid.
4 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Sandor, your second-last answer was not perfectly clear, so
6 let me put the question to you again, hopefully more clearly. Did -- was
7 it the investigating judge who inserted the sentence about Zoran Gotal,
8 telling you that "Zadro Blago reported that Stara Banijska Street had
9 been taken and that we could return." Was that true to your knowledge or
10 was that something that had been inserted against your wish into the
11 statement by the investigating judge?
12 A. That is my statement to the effect that we were told, informed,
13 that we could go back to Stara Banijska.
14 Q. And your statement goes on and you say:
15 "We brought the guard to Nove Banijske Street where they set up a
16 check-point. I did not have a weapon at that time ..."
17 Now, earlier today you testified you received your rifle in June?
18 A. That's correct, yes, and it is correct that on that day I did not
19 have a weapon.
20 Q. But you did --
21 A. On that day I did not manage to get hold of my weapon. It
22 remained in my uncle's house.
23 Q. If there were shots being fired, why would you leave your rifle
25 A. Because what we heard were not only infantry shots, but also
1 mortar fires. I can give you an explanation about the two streets, Stara
2 and Nove Banijske to shed some light on the events, maybe you will
3 understand better.
4 Q. Well, let me proceed to the next sentence.
5 "After this clearing out, it happened that literally all of the
6 Serbs or a majority of the Serbs fled Stara Banijska and other streets."
7 Is that part of your statement also true?
8 A. No. The investigating judge inserted that and this is exactly
9 what I was going to explain to the gentleman from the Defence.
10 Q. Please go ahead, sir.
11 A. Look, there are two streets. One is Nove Banijske and
12 Stara Banijska, two streets sharing partially the same name. Nove
13 Banijske was held by the Croatian forces, whereas Stara Banijska was held
14 by the Serb forces. The JNA enabled Serb civilians from Stara Banijska
15 to be evacuated to Borovo Selo. If we are talking about that buffer
16 zone. And then Serb paramilitaries from Stara Banijska launched attacks
17 on Croatian check-points on Nove Banijske. They launched mortar shells
18 and an infantry attack ensued. In other words, there were no civilians
20 This was not a mopping-up operation. It was an operation to
21 liberate Stara Banijska, where well-armed and well-organised military
22 formations were stationed. There were no civilians because the civilians
23 had already left and went to Borovo Selo.
24 Perhaps you will remember that I said that I used to live in
25 Stara Banijska; my house was there. I did not mop-up Stara Banijska. I
1 went there to free my home.
2 This was not ethnic cleansing. All the civilians who were on
3 that side had already fled to Borovo Selo for their own safety because
4 they knew that the Serbs were going to attack the Croats. All the other
5 Serbs that remained in the area, they went completely unscathed. Not a
6 single Serb was even slapped. They still live in Vukovar. They shared
7 the destiny of us Croats. They live in the city of Vukovar. And those
8 people who claimed that were killed by us during those operations are
9 still living happily in Vukovar.
10 I hope that the gentleman from the Defence now understands the
11 distinction between Nove and Stara Banijska. I repeat that there were
12 well-armed and well-organised Serb paramilitary formations who used JNA
13 weaponry and the TO depots to attack Croats in the city of Vukovar, and
14 they chose the 4th of July because it was formerly celebrated as the day
15 of veterans. And that was the first open conflict between the Croats and
16 the Serbs in the area, if we exclude hostilities by the JNA that happened
17 previously. Thank you very much.
18 Q. Mr. Sandor, thank you very much for your answers and your
20 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Re-direct, Ms. Dennehy.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]
23 Re-examination by Ms. Dennehy:
24 Q. Mr. Sandor, at paragraph 85 and 86, you refer to a handwritten
25 statement that was dictated to you. When you wrote that statement, did
1 you feel free to write what you wanted to in the statement?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And did you agree with the entire contents of the statement?
4 A. At the end I had to state, I had to put down, that I gave my
5 statement under no coercion, that it was not given under duress.
6 Q. And was it true that the statement was not given under duress?
7 A. That statement was given under duress. It was dictated to me.
8 Q. And at paragraph 96, you refer to the proceedings before the
9 investigative judge. Did you feel free at the time to speak openly and
10 freely before that judge?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MS. DENNEHY: No further questions.
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Sandor, I have a very
16 short question for you and it consists of three different parts. I would
17 like to come back to your detention in Sremska Mitrovica, in the prison
18 there. Correct me if I'm wrong, that prison was actually established in
19 a building -- in a school building; is that correct?
20 A. No, it was an old Austro-Hungarian prison. It was a
21 purpose-built prison. There were also classrooms for those who wanted to
22 study. There were classrooms within the prison complex, but it was a
23 proper prison.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. So it was a prison but
25 there were classrooms, right? Did I understand you well?
1 A. Yes, you understood me properly.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] In the basement or on the ground
3 floor of that prison - I'm reading on page 59, lines 6 and 7 of today's
4 transcript - you remembered that there was a man called Nikola Cibaric
5 who was taken to the basement of that building; is that correct?
6 A. I apologise. You did not understand. Cibaric was not taken to
7 Sremska Mitrovica, to the prison building there, but to Luzac which is a
8 suburb on Vukovar. That's where he was detained in a school in the
9 basement. It was either a school or the local commune building but it
10 was outside of Vukovar.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this
12 clarification. And my last question, you told us that there was
13 ill-treatment, that he was ill-treated. Do you know that -- whether he
14 survived or whether he succumbed to the wounds?
15 A. Yes, he himself told me what he had gone through because we
16 shared the same cell in Sremska Mitrovica subsequently. That happened to
17 him when he was taken prisoner in Vukovar and then our paths crossed in
18 Sremska Mitrovica when we were detained there together.
19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for your
20 answers. Now I see where my confusion may have arisen from. He was
21 first taken prisoner and then you were detained together later.
22 A. I apologise, I was brought to Mitrovica before him. I was the
23 one who was in that cell first in Sremska Mitrovica, and he rejoined me
24 later. I believe that he was brought in perhaps two or three days later.
25 I don't know where he was in the meantime. What happened to him happened
1 in Vukovar in the suburb called Cibac, and later on in the camps known as
2 Begejci and Stajicevo. I don't know what they're called. He joined me
3 in my cell later. I was there before him.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you for all these
5 clarifications. Thank you.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Sandor, this brings your testimony to an end.
7 Thank you for coming to Zagreb to assist the Tribunal. You're now
8 released as a witness and we wish you a safe journey back home. Thank
9 you very much.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thank you for your
11 patience. Thank you.
12 [The witness withdrew via videolink]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.21 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day of
16 January, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.