1 Tuesday, 11 June 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.12 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 I would like the record to reflect that the late start is due to
8 technical problems.
9 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 This is the case IT-04-75-T, The Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
15 MS. BIERSAY: Good morning, Your Honours.
16 Lisa Biersay on behalf of the Prosecution, with
17 Ms. Muireann Dennehy, our Case Manager Indah Susanti, and our intern
18 Ms. Khushboo Hashu Shahdadpuri.
19 I should also inform the Trial Chamber that midway we may be
20 switching because I think we may be finished before the first break and
21 the next witness will be examined by Ms. Sarah Clanton, and she will be
22 with our intern Ms. Childs.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
24 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
1 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 Now, then, Mr. Mujanovic, do you hear us?
4 I have a still on my screen.
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, if I may, given that there's a delay
7 with this -- the call, there is one minor procedural matter with which I
8 would like to deal before we begin. And it might be a good time to do
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
11 MS. DENNEHY: The Prosecution would like to request that the
12 Trial Chamber allow it to use an annotated version of the annex to the
13 indictment which the witness has marked, and he did so and signed during
14 proofing. The Prosecution noted -- notified the Defence of its intention
15 to use this, and the Defence has agreed to use this. This document was
16 circulated on Friday, and the proposed 65 ter exhibit number is 6440.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] So you want to add it
18 to your 65 ter list, right?
19 MS. DENNEHY: Yes. The Prosecution would like to seek
20 clarification that it can use that -- this proposed exhibit with this
21 witness now.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Anything from the Defence?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No objection, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. The request is granted.
25 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you very much.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: It could take another ten minutes, so we will
3 adjourn and wait further notice.
4 Court adjourned.
5 --- Break taken at 9.23 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.08 a.m.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Mujanovic. Good morning,
8 witness. Do you hear us in Zagreb?
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Your Honour, I can confirm that we
10 can hear you but we are on another location.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Well, we didn't notice that, you know, so that's
13 Mr. Witness, could you tell us -- you -- you have protective
14 measures so I won't ask you your name, but the Registrar will show you
15 a -- an identification sheet, and could you please verify whether your
16 name and date of birth are correct, without reading them out loud?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: And I forgot to ask you, you hear me in a
19 language you understand, don't you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. I will ask you to make the solemn
22 declaration, by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth. I
23 have to tell you that by doing so, you expose yourself to the penalties
24 of perjury, should you give untruthful or false information to the
1 Could you now read the solemn declaration, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: GH-054
5 [Witness testified through interpreter]
6 [Witness testified via videolink]
7 Examination by Ms. Dennehy:
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
9 Ms. Dennehy, your witness.
10 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Good morning, Mr. Witness. Can you hear me in a language that
12 you understand?
13 A. Yes.
14 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, I appear to have some problems with
15 my audio-link. Can you just give me a moment, please.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, Mr. President, Mr. Hadzic has the same
18 problem. He can -- he cannot hear the witness.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. We'll have to check that.
20 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: You think it will work now, Ms. Dennehy?
22 MS. DENNEHY: I hope so, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hadzic will also tell us whether can he hear
24 once the witness --
25 Mr. Witness, could you count to three? Mr. Witness, did you hear
1 me? Could you please count to three, just for testing purposes?
2 Mr. Mujanovic.
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: So you can hear me.
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I can hear you loud and clear.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: And how about the witness? Mr. Witness, do you
7 hear me?
8 THE INTERPRETER: We are currently having problems with the B/C/S
9 booth. Can you give us a moment. The B/C/S both does not hear anything.
10 It's okay now. Only -- it's all right.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: It seems to be all right now.
12 Mr. Witness, do you hear me?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hadzic, did you hear this? "Da"?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear you, but I can't hear
16 the witness.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, could I ask you to count to three
18 loud and clear, for testing purposes?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One, two, three ...
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: We still have a problem, Madam Registrar.
21 Madam Registrar, could you -- could you...
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Should we test again, Mr. Hadzic?
24 Mr. Witness, could you, once more, count to three, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One, two, three ...
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah. Okay. We're back in business. Thank you.
2 Ms. Dennehy.
3 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Examination by Ms. Dennehy:
5 Q. Mr. Witness do you recall giving a statement to the
6 representatives of the Tribunal on the 11th of May, 2012?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. DENNEHY: And now can I ask the Court Officer to turn to
9 tab 16 of the court bundle, and can I please ask that B/C/S version of
10 65 ter 2792 be shown to the witness at this time but not to be broadcast,
11 please, at -- 65 ter 2792.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Perhaps in the meantime, Ms. Dennehy, you could
13 tender the identification sheet.
14 MS. DENNEHY: Ah, yes. Sorry, Mr. President. I hadn't realised
15 that it hadn't been done.
16 In that case, can I please ask that 65 ter 6445, which was the
17 pseudonym sheet of the witness, be tendered into evidence.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2031 under seal, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MS. DENNEHY:
22 Q. Mr. Witness, do you recognise the document before you to be the
23 statement that you gave to the representatives of the Tribunal?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And can you please look at the signatures at the bottom of the
1 first page and tell me whether you recognise any of those signatures?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And before testifying here today, did you have an opportunity to
4 review your statement in your own language?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And during that review, you identified two minor typographical
7 errors in your statement which I would now like you to correct.
8 MS. DENNEHY: Could I please ask the Court Officer to turn to
9 page 3 of the statement.
10 Q. Mr. Witness, at paragraph 8 of page 3, if you look at the last
11 sentence, do you have a correction to make to the last word in that
13 A. No.
14 Q. And now turning to page 12 of your statement, at paragraph 45.
15 At the third-last sentence, which begins: "Paramilitaries took away
16 Tihomir Perkovic ...," do you have a correction to make to the last name
17 listed in that sentence?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Mr. Witness, can I now ask whether you're satisfied that the
20 information contained in your statement is accurate and correct?
21 A. I am.
22 Q. And if I were to ask you the same questions as you were asked in
23 2012 when you met the representatives of the Tribunal, would you give the
24 same answers?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And now that you've taken the solemn declaration, do you affirm
2 the truthfulness and accuracy of your statement?
3 A. Yes.
4 MS. DENNEHY: Your Honours, at this time the Prosecution tenders
5 65 ter 2792 into evidence under seal, and in addition pursuant to the
6 Chamber's request, the Prosecution has also prepared a publicly redacted
7 version of the statement which bears the 65 ter 2792.1 which may also be
8 admitted at this time.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked. The first one under seal.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 2792 will become
11 Exhibit P2032 under seal.
12 And 65 ter 2792.1 will become Exhibit P2033. Thank you.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
14 MS. DENNEHY:
15 Q. Mr. Witness, turning to paragraph 6 of your statement, you say in
16 that paragraph:
17 "I was not directly involved in the defence of Vukovar. However,
18 we organised ourselves in the building where I lived."
19 Can you please tell the Court what this organisation involved?
20 A. Well, how shall I explain?
21 We, the residents of the building, organised ourselves to help
22 the infirm, women and children, and cater to the needs of others in the
23 building. That was outside the time that I spent doing my work
24 obligation. That was in my free time.
25 Q. Can you please elaborate on the types of activities that that
1 organisation involved? You said that you helped the infirm, women, and
2 children. Can you please describe exactly what that involved.
3 A. A lot of residents of Vukovar rallied around. Not only those who
4 were in the building, people who were living with their friends or family
5 who had fled from buildings that had burned down from other areas. We
6 had a lot of people to put up, to supply with food, water, electricity,
7 to provide them with medical assistance, and other assistance.
8 Q. Mr. Witness, the activities you've just supplied, so supplying
9 water, foods, and helping with the electricity and medical assistance,
10 these relate to humanitarian activities. Were you at any point involved
11 in any armed defence activities in Vukovar?
12 A. No, I did not participate in the armed conflict at all. All the
13 activities I engaged in fell within the framework of my work obligation,
14 of the company where I worked, and also in my building, where I lived.
15 And that was my free choice.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Witness, at paragraph 7 of your statement you say that
17 your wife and yourself stayed in your apartment until 16th of
18 November 1991 when that building burned down.
19 Can you please describe for the Court what caused your building
20 to burn down?
21 A. Yes. Until the 16th of November, we lived in our own apartment.
22 That day, in the early afternoon, the building was hit by a projectile
23 from a gun or a mortar; I don't know exactly. And, as a result of that
24 hit by a military projectile, the building was set on fire, and the whole
25 building was seized by panic. Even a wall caved in.
1 Q. And when you say that the building was hit by a projectile, what
2 forces, what armed forces, hit your building with the projectile?
3 A. Well, those were -- I don't know whether I should call them
4 the -- the enemy forces which attacked us and wanted to liberate Vukovar
5 on their behalf. In any case, the projectile was launched from military
6 weapons, according to what I know, from the direction of Negoslavci,
7 which is in the east. And that's where the army was deployed with its
8 heavy weaponry. That's where fire was opened from on Vukovar and that's
9 where that projectile came, either from a cannon or a mortar.
10 Q. Moving, then, to your time at the hospital in Vukovar, in your
11 statement you say that you went there with your wife on the 19th of
12 November, and you say that the situations in the hospital was very hard.
13 Can you please describe for the Court the situation at the
15 A. The situation in the hospital was - how should I put it? - the
16 hospital had already accommodated a lot of wounded and sick people. It
17 functioned under very dire conditions in terms of the organisation, the
18 staff, and the necessities that required to meet the conditions of life
19 and work in the hospital.
20 Q. Mr. Witness, I would now like to show you a video.
21 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that 65 ter 4892.5, that's at tab
22 13 of the Court's bundle, be shown to the witness.
23 And just to note, there is no transcripts for this video, and the
24 Prosecution proposes only to rely on the footage in this video.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 MS. DENNEHY:
2 Q. Mr. Witness, did you recognise the scenes shown on this video?
3 A. Yes. I recognised -- that video reflected the way patients were
4 accommodated in the basement of the hospital. Everything that was above
5 the basement on the ground floor was what was left of the building. All
6 the patients were accommodated in the basement, in the corridors, and
7 there was also a shelter that was connected to that basement area.
8 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that this exhibit, 65 ter 4892.5,
9 be tendered into evidence.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2034, Your Honours.
12 MS. DENNEHY:
13 Q. Mr. Witness, I'd now like to show you another video that will
14 appear before you.
15 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that 65 ter 4892.6, that's again
16 at tab 13 of the the Court's bundle, be shown. Again, there are no
17 transcripts for the video. It's merely footage upon which the
18 Prosecution wishes to rely.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 MS. DENNEHY:
21 Q. Mr. Witness, did you recognise the scenes depicted in the video
22 that has just been shown?
23 A. Yes. The last scene was the scene from that shelter which was
24 part of the hospital basement. It also served to accommodate patients on
25 the beds. There were a lot of them who -- whose beds were -- were in the
1 corridors. Some of them did not even have beds.
2 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that this exhibit, 65 ter 4892.6,
3 be admitted into evidence.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2035, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 MS. DENNEHY:
8 Q. Mr. Witness, at paragraph 14 of your statement, you describe how
9 the soldiers separated women and children at the hospital. And later in
10 your statement, you describe how you were ordered onto the buses in front
11 of the hospital. What did you think would happen to you as you boarded
12 the bus in front of the hospital?
13 A. Yes. This is how it happened, just the way you put it.
14 However, we lived with a naive vision based on the information
15 that the hospital would be evacuated into a neighbouring village called
16 Sid on the border between Serbia and Croatia. And then from Sid we would
17 be free to go wherever we wanted to go.
18 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, can I please now move into private
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
21 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] thank you.
19 MS. DENNEHY:
20 Q. Mr. Witness, at paragraph 28 of your statement, you say that the
21 five buses left the JNA barracks between 2.30 and 3.00 and headed towards
23 I'd now like to show you a video-clip, and that will appear on
24 the screen in front of you.
25 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that 65 ter 5015.2 be shown and
1 that's at tab 3 of the Court's bundle.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 MS. DENNEHY:
4 Q. Mr. Witness, did you recognise the building that was shown in
5 this video?
6 A. Yes, I did. I did, yes.
7 Q. And what did you recognise the building to -- to be?
8 A. That building was a storeroom or, rather, the place where
9 agricultural machinery and equipment were stored. Those that belonged to
10 the Vupik agricultural combine in Vukovar.
11 Q. Mr. Witness, is this the building in which you were detained
12 along with other prisoners?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And, Mr. Witness, is this the building and the hangar near
16 A. Well, what we saw in the clip were two hangars, both on the
17 right-hand side. However the one that we were put in has a concrete path
18 leading to the hangar from the main road.
19 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that this exhibit, 65 ter 5015.2
20 be tendered into evidence.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2036, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] Thank you.
24 MS. DENNEHY:
25 Q. Mr. Witness, at paragraph 32 of your statement, you describe how
1 you had to pass through a gauntlet and you were ordered inside the hangar
2 to stand against the wall with the other prisoners. Before you reached
3 that wall, you said that you were beaten by two Chetniks. Can you please
4 describe for the Court what those men did to you.
5 A. Well, the buses arrived. You saw the road leading to the hangar
6 in the video-clip. As buses arrived at the entrance into the hangar,
7 they stopped and we had to get off one by one. We were met by two
8 soldiers who searched us and who stole our property, to put it that way.
9 They took all the valuables, including golden chains, rings, money, and
10 similar things.
11 I had a bag and in it I had clothes, some of which belonged to
12 myself and the other -- to my wife and they took that away. They also
13 took my coat and they took the documents that I had in my shirt pocket.
14 I had my personal documents there and some money, and all those were
15 taken by the two soldiers who met us as we get -- got off the bus.
16 Q. And, Mr. Witness, at paragraph 32 of your statement you say that:
17 "The whole process of entering the hangar took about an hour and
18 it was about 4.00 when we all came in."
19 Can you please describe for the Court the scene when all of the
20 prisoners were inside the hangar?
21 A. When all the detainees were inside in the hangar, I already said
22 that in my statement, the principle of our arrival and accommodation
23 along the walls of that hangar was that we faced the walls and our arms
24 had to be above our heads. From the entrance to the hangar, on the
25 right-hand side, around the hangar, in the shape of the Cyrillic letter
1 P, the prisoners who were the last to arrive and who could no longer fit
2 in the hangar because everything was already full on the -- along the
3 walls of the hangar. On the opposite side of the hangar, there was a
4 pile of straw. You know what straw is, don't you? And they were placed
5 on that pile of straw, and they were in a more favourable position than
6 us who had to face the hangar walls. They could sit on that pile of
7 straw, and they could observe what was happening to us. It was rather
8 calm. It was rather quiet. And all that time, there were regular
9 soldiers of the JNA who were with us and who actually arranged us around
10 that hangar. They were rather fair towards us.
11 Q. Mr. Witness, at paragraph 33 of your statement, you describe an
12 incident with a young JNA soldier who said to you:
13 "You're surrounded by cold-blooded murders and you will be all
14 killed tonight."
15 Can you please tell the Court what went through your mind when
16 you heard him say this to you?
17 A. Yes. The young soldiers were very fair, but there were three of
18 them who came behind my back with automatic rifles and they wanted me to
19 give them money. They told me that if I had money and didn't give it to
20 them, they would kill me. And finally one of them told me, "You would
21 not need money anyway because we would all be killed that night." And
22 what came to my mind at that moment I don't know. All sorts of things.
23 And now after a such a long time, it's very difficult to remember what
24 crossed my mind. But I'm sure that I had to be thinking about what will
25 happen to me. What my lot would be.
1 Q. Mr. Witness, at paragraph 38, you described how Mirko Ljubisic
2 brought to you a JNA officer and said that you were not guilty. What did
3 he mean when he said that you were not guilty?
4 A. Well, let me put it this way: I never had a serious conversation
5 with him about that event after the event. But what he meant was that I
6 did not participate in the organisation of armed rebellion, I did not
7 participate in armed conflict, and he thought that I had not sinned
8 against anybody and I had not contributed to the situation that prevailed
9 in Vukovar at the time, the situation of war.
10 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, can we now please move into private
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
13 [Private session]
11 Page 5496 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
5 MS. DENNEHY:
6 Q. Mr. Witness, I'd now like to move to your time at Velepromet. At
7 paragraph 40 and 44 of your statement, you describe how you were taken
8 from Ovcara to Velepromet and imprisoned in a room that you call the
9 death room. Can you please tell the Court why you call that place the
10 death room?
11 A. Yes. That room was on the premises of Velepromet. It was a
12 carpentry work-shop used by the company carpenters who repaired the
13 equipment and maintained the building. But when it comes to the name
14 "death room," that was mentioned in conversations amongst the prisoners.
15 Those who were there before me, they told us that those who were taken
16 from that room never returned, and that's why they were inspired to call
17 it the death room.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Witness, I'd like to show you one last document.
19 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that 65 ter 6440, that's at tab 18
20 of the Court's binder, be shown to the witness. Can I please ask that
21 this not be broadcast.
22 Q. Mr. Witness, do you recognise the document in front of you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And do you recognise the signature op this document?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And whose signature is that?
2 A. Mine.
3 Q. And can you please tell me why there are some names that have
4 strikes next to their -- them, under paragraph 31 at Velepromet?
5 A. Yes. Those are persons who were with me in the death room, and
6 persons --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat.
8 MS. DENNEHY:
9 Q. Mr. Witness, we didn't quite catch what you said. Can you please
10 repeat what you just said.
11 A. I said that those persons were with me in the death room, in the
12 carpentry work-shop and who are no longer with us.
13 Q. And looking at --
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy, just to make sure, Mr. Witness, are
15 you -- what you just told us, is that with regard to the people that have
16 a strike through the number before their names; that is, 2, 4, 5, 10, 14,
17 and 15? Are those the people that you were talking about?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 Please proceed.
21 MS. DENNEHY:
22 Q. And, Mr. Witness, under paragraph 32, in relation to Ovcara farm,
23 you have -- there are circles next to a number of names over the course
24 of the three pages.
25 Can you please tell the Court why there are circles next to those
2 A. The persons under 2 through 81 were killed at Ovcara. They all
3 belonged to my group. They had all been taken from the hospital. I knew
4 them personally.
5 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that this 65 ter 6440 be admitted
6 into evidence, under seal.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked, under seal.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2038, under seal, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] Thank you.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could all the microphones which are not in use
11 please be switched off. Thank you.
12 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President. That concludes my
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 Mr. Zivanovic, cross-examination.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. My name is
19 Zoran Zivanovic. I represent Goran Hadzic in these proceedings as his
20 Defence counsel.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could the witness be asked
22 not to turn the pages so close to the microphone.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Witness, would you kindly look at paragraph 5 in your statement
25 where you stated that you had finally decided to give this statement
1 after thinking long and hard.
2 Could you tell me why did you have to think long and hard before
3 giving this statement?
4 A. The period of war and everything that happened certainly left
5 permanent consequences on all of us who survived it, especially those who
6 survived specific events.
7 The situation in Vukovar was very difficult and very unpleasant.
8 Vukovar is a very idiosyncratic community that showed a face in the war
9 that we hadn't known before. You used to be a friends with -- people
10 with whom you socialised in cafes, at football matches, at work, suddenly
11 became violent and threatened you. There were threats over the
12 telephone. There were threats issued indirectly through third persons.
13 There were people who could be suspected that they had been involved in
14 something and could know something. There was also the consideration of
15 my family. But, finally, I decided to give this statement and describe
16 all that I've been through and all the events that I remember well.
11 Page 5501 redacted.
1 Q. Further, in paragraph 26, you talk about a nurse who said to the
2 medical staff that they should save their husbands, brothers, and sons
3 because they were being taken to be executed.
4 Could you just tell me where she said that? Where exactly.
5 Because what is said here is that when five buses left the hospital, they
6 headed for Ovcara. I understood the buses were headed to the barracks.
7 A. Yes, first to the barracks and then to Ovcara.
8 That is a nurse who worked at the medical centre who attended the
9 briefing held in the surgical ward, in the plaster room specifically,
10 where Sljivancanin made a speech, or, rather, delivered instructions to
11 the medical staff as to how they should act if a time comes when patients
12 need to be evacuated or saved.
13 Now from whom she had heard this and why she said this, I don't
14 know. I only learned from others that she told the medical staff that
15 everybody who had been taken off by bus were taken to be executed. And
16 if anybody has a family member amongst these people, they should try to
17 save them.
18 Q. Could you tell us: Did she say this before the buses left the
19 hospital; or did she say that after the buses had left? If you could be
20 more precise.
21 A. I don't know this very precisely. But from all I know, I think
22 she said that after the buses had left the hospital.
23 Q. Considering that you know to whom the nurse said this, do you
24 know if those people listened to her? Did they try to do what she said?
25 A. Yes. One of them made a list of family members and people they
1 knew from their own words, and she gave that list to Sljivancanin. And
2 everybody on the list who had already been taken to the barracks were
3 brought back, pursuant to Sljivancanin's orders. And all of them
5 Q. When you say they were brought back, were they brought back from
6 the barracks?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, I don't know whether you would
9 move to another topic, but on this topic, I would like to ask the
10 witness -- he told us that he only learned he had been taken off --
12 He only learned from others that she told the medical staff that
13 everybody who had been taken off by bus were taken to be executed.
14 My question, Mr. Witness, would be when did you hear that? When
15 did you hear that she said this.
16 Where were you when you heard this?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a long time ago, so I can't
18 tell you exactly. But that's what I learnt after leaving the camp, after
19 the -- not after the interrogation and all the procedures, but it's
20 either after I left the camp or after I was released from the prison in
21 Sremska Mitrovica.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. [Interpretation] In paragraph 31, you said, among other things,
25 something about Slavko Dokmanovic. You said that he became involved very
1 early on and he was very vociferous about promoting ideas about greater
2 Serbia and that he was a very prominent person at public rallies
3 organised by the Vukovar branch of the SDS.
4 First of all, I would like to know if you can tell me: Did you
5 attend any of those rallies organised by the SDS?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you hear with your own ears his speeches promoting ideas
8 about Greater Serbia?
9 A. No. All I know, I know from people who were there and who
10 listened to him and from press reports.
11 Q. When you say that he became involved very early on in promoting
12 ideas about Greater Serbia, which period do you have in mind? Is it the
13 period before the armed conflict in Croatia, in the spring and summer
15 A. Most of all just before the beginning of the conflict. But he
16 was known as an extremist. And he was also known as a football player, a
17 professional in his own branch in Vukovar, and he was also seen going
18 together with certain people to those rallies that were a harbinger of
19 what was to come.
20 Q. We have information that at that time the policy of the Serbian
21 Democratic Party in Croatia was against the cessation of Croatia from
22 Yugoslavia and against Croatian independence. Do you recall that? Can
23 you confirm?
24 A. Not really because I was not involved in those things. I did not
25 have any particular nationalist feelings, and I had also no contact with
1 such persons who held their own closed meetings, preparing for certain
2 missions, and preparing for the period that followed, so I would not be
3 able to give you any specifics or any more detailed explanation.
4 Q. Since you lived in Vukovar, I suppose you knew a lot of people
5 and you talked to a lot of people, you were able to hear what they
6 thought. Are you aware that some people, especially among the Serbs,
7 were against Croatia's cessation from Yugoslavia?
8 A. I've already told you, I did not get involved in such
9 conversations and did not attend such rallies. But it was quite clear
10 from the rallies in Serbia that the Serbs in Croatia, in the event of
11 Croatia's cessation, were bent on keeping a part of Croatian territory
12 and annexing it to Serbia.
13 Q. And how do you know that?
14 A. I know that from everyday life, from everything that went on,
15 from minor and major incidents, public statements, et cetera. It was no
17 Q. When you mention incidents, are you aware that people complained
18 against incidents and attacks against Serbs and their property?
19 A. No, I was not aware of that. I didn't know anything specific in
20 order to be able to confirm. But from the entire course of events, I
21 know that such things happened on both sides.
22 Q. I would now like to move to paragraph 33 of your statement.
23 You said, among other things -- I'm not sure now if it's
24 paragraph 33; at least that's what our LiveNote says.
25 You said that before leaving the hangar, one man and you
1 approached a Yugoslav officer saying that you were innocent. You had not
2 done anything. Do you know anything about that officer? His rank?
3 A. I don't remember the details anymore. It was so many years ago,
4 and I am getting on too. But that is the person who recognised me and
5 took me out of the hangar.
6 Before taking me out of the hangar, he took me to see that
7 officer. I was rather dazed at the time, but I was surprised, I
8 remember, that this officer wore his shirt unbuttoned, which was not
9 really soldierly. And he had this ordinary cap on his head, not the
10 usual officer's cap with a vizor. But that's all I can remember. I
11 can't tell you anything more about him.
12 Q. Could you tell us roughly the age of that officer? Was he your
13 age, younger, older?
14 A. He must have been younger because I was not young, even then.
15 But it was rather dark in that hangar. I couldn't estimate his age.
16 I don't know what the criteria were for promotion in the army and
17 how many years of service you had to have for a certain rank. If I knew
18 these things, then I could perhaps estimate his age. Also, if it had
19 been lighter inside the hangar, maybe I could have told you.
20 Q. Can you tell me: When you left the hangar, did you notice any
21 vehicles around?
22 A. There were some passenger car, yes, parked on the side of the
23 road. But these are all details that I cannot remember anymore. There
24 were vehicles, but they were mostly passenger cars.
25 Q. I would like to ask you to look at paragraph 61 in your
1 statement. It is about your presence during the conversations, during
2 the talks in Budapest in July 1992. Croatia was one of the participants,
3 as well as Yugoslavia, and representatives of the Red Cross were also
4 there. Do you remember that meeting?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tell me, please: Do you remember whether there were any words
7 exchanged about Ovcara at that time?
8 A. Let me put it this way: I believe that that was the main topic,
9 or, rather, the Vukovar Hospital was the main topic, because people who
10 organised that meeting were mostly physicians and Dr. Bosanac as the head
11 director of the hospital.
12 And Ovcara and the events that took place there were also
13 mentioned. And if you look at my statement, you will see that I talk
14 about what was going on in the hospital, on the way from the hospital to
15 Ovcara and back, and the final departure to Sremska Mitrovica, and
16 everything that was said at the meeting was along those lines.
17 Q. Can you remember the position of Yugoslavia, i.e., what the
18 Yugoslav side said about the destiny of the people who had been taken
19 away from the hospital?
20 A. At that time, Ovcara was still a mystery. Nobody actually knew
21 what had happened there. And the two sides, which were not that opposed
22 to each other in those terms, one side tried to explain what had
23 happened, and the other side accepted that with a lot of reservations, a
24 lot of doubt as to what had happened. They did not believe the things
25 happened the way they were described by the other side. Everything was
1 within the framework of a polite exchange of thoughts.
2 Q. [No interpretation]
3 A. I don't know anything about that. That was not discussed.
4 However, that was the first such meeting for me. I attended the first
5 such event that was supposed to reveal what had happened in the hospital
6 and at Ovcara and the rest of the events.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: For the record, I would repeat my question.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: That would be good. Yes, indeed.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. My question was: According to what you know, was that the first
12 such meeting between the two delegations or had there been other meetings
13 that you did not attend? You already answered that, sir.
14 A. I said I didn't know that. It was the first such meeting for me
15 on that subject.
23 But let's not waste time -- or, rather, we didn't want to waste
24 time because we knew the same facts. I mostly confirmed what he said and
25 added just a few details, mainly relative to what had happened to me and
1 had not happened to this other person.
2 Q. Thank you, Witness. I have no further questions for you.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I have no further
4 questions, thank you.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
6 Ms. Dennehy, anything in re-direct?
7 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, we don't have any re-direct.
8 However, I would like to clarify one matter in the record, if I
9 could. At page 10, line 19, there is a typographical error. It should
10 read, as I tendered the exhibit, 4892.5.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: So that's on the record now.
12 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, this brings your testimony to an
14 end. You are released as a witness, and we thank you for coming to
15 Zagreb to assist the Tribunal, and we wish you a safe journey back home.
16 Thank you very much.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [The witness's testimony via videolink concluded]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Mujanovic.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: We should, indeed, continue with the next
22 witness. I suppose we need Ms. Clanton in court now.
23 MS. BIERSAY: That's correct, Your Honour. We'll just
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, Your Honour, I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Mujanovic. Is the next witness
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The next witness is available. I
4 just had to co-ordinate the two witnesses to be -- not to see each other.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So as soon as the next witness can be
6 brought in, we will continue.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I just need one minute, please.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 MS. CLANTON: Good morning, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Ms. Clanton.
11 MS. CLANTON: While we're waiting for the witness, I would like
12 to raise a procedural issue.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
14 MS. CLANTON: Yesterday I distributed a proofing note for this
15 witness by e-mail and there were typos in this that were my mistakes and
16 so I wanted to correct them now. The first one is in paragraph 3 of the
17 proofing note. The last name that is listed in that paragraph, the first
18 name of that person is incorrect. And the first name should be Mate.
19 And in the last paragraph of the proofing note, the
20 second-to-last line, the first name of the sister is incorrect. It
21 should be Elizabeth. Those were my mistakes.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: This is about the proofing -- Mr. Kovacevic's
23 proofing note, no?
24 MS. CLANTON: No, I'm sorry. This is for GH-138, Ms. Pitl.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Oh, it is for this witness.
1 MS. CLANTON: Yes.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry. Okay. And this is something you can
3 correct and we don't have to ask the witness about?
4 MS. CLANTON: Yes. I wanted to avoid any questions to the
5 witness about this because as it was a mistake that I made and not her
6 mistake. If possible.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: If there's no objection from the Defence, it's on
8 the record.
9 Okay. Yes.
10 Good morning, Madam Witness. Can you hear me in a language you
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. I can, yes, yes.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you please tell us your name and your date
14 of birth.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Katarina Pitl is my name. I was
16 born on the 27th of January, 1935.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
18 You are about to make the solemn declaration, Madam Pitl, by
19 which witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth, and I must point out
20 to you --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- by doing so you expose yourself to the penalty
23 of perjury should you give false or untruthful information to this
24 Tribunal. You understand?
25 So would you now please read the solemn declaration the court
1 usher gave to you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I?
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
5 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 WITNESS: KATARINA PITL
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 [Witness testified via videolink]
9 Examination by Ms. Clanton:
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
11 Ms. Clanton, your witness.
12 MS. CLANTON: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Good morning, Ms. Pitl.
14 A. Good morning.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, Ms. Clanton.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Clanton, just so that you know, we will take
19 a break for technical reasons as well as other reasons by 12.00.
20 Please proceed.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. At -- well, let's take it on the safe side
23 and we'll take the break in ten minutes.
24 MS. CLANTON: Thank you.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
1 MS. CLANTON:
2 Q. Ms. Pitl, do you recall giving a statement to the investigators
3 of the Tribunal in November of 1998?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And do you recall that in October of 2012 --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- you met with representatives of the Tribunal in Borovo Naselje
8 to go over your statement again?
9 Ms. Pitl, I'm going to ...
10 A. Well, no. I don't know that. I don't know that I met with
11 somebody there. No.
12 MS. CLANTON: At this time, if we could please pull up
13 65 ter 6336. This is at tab 1, and it's a witness statement dated the
14 24th of November, 1998.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't remember. Is that
17 MS. CLANTON:
18 Q. Ms. Pitl, if you could look at the bottom right corner of the
19 page that is page 4 in the B/C/S. This is page 1 of the English.
20 At the bottom of page 4, do you recognise the signature? On the
22 A. Yes. These are my initials on there; right? P and K.
23 Q. Ms. Pitl, at page 4, do you see a signature?
24 A. Tell me what I'm supposed to say and I'll say it.
25 Q. Ms. Pitl, I would like for you to look at the page that is the
1 first page of this statement. It's page 4 of the B/C/S copy that is in
2 front of you.
3 And let me know when you have that in front of you, please.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Clanton, did you hear Mr. Mujanovic's
6 MS. CLANTON: I did not [Microphone not activated].
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
8 Could you repeat that, Mr. Mujanovic.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I was just requesting counsel to
10 clarify whether she's referring to the attestation, which is in English
11 in the copy I have, which is the first page of which the fourth page is
12 the beginning, the first page of the statement itself.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: The question -- the question is whether -- can
14 you read it on the screen?
15 MS. CLANTON: Just one moment, please. [Microphone not
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, I can.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, it's not for you, Mr. Mujanovic. It's for
19 Ms. Clanton who didn't hear you. Just one moment.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MS. CLANTON: Mr. President, I apologise. I cannot hear
22 Mr. Mujanovic, but I was able to read the transcript. I think what he
23 has asked is for the pages in the B/C/S and the English. And in the
24 B/C/S, the cover page of the witness statement is page 4; and, in the
25 English, it's page 1.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Does that clarify it for you, Mr. Mujanovic?
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] We'll have to see that.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whatever I said, it was the truth.
4 Please go on, put your questions, and I'll answer them.
5 MS. CLANTON: Mr. President, would it be all right if we take the
6 break and get this sorted. I know we said in five minutes but I want to
7 make sure that we're giving the correct pages.
8 I have been told by the Registrar that this is page 7 in English,
9 if that would assist.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Would that -- would that assist, Mr. Mujanovic?
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] If we make a break? Is that what
12 you're suggesting, Your Honour?
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: No. Whether the fact that this is page 7 in
14 English, would that assist?
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I don't think that would assist
16 the witness because she is referring to the B/C/S version and she was
17 looking at the cover page of the statement and her signature in
18 [Overlapping speakers] ...
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Then I think the best option is to take the break
20 and come back in half an hour and have this sorted out during the break.
21 MS. CLANTON: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
23 --- Recess taken at 11 .45 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.21 p.m.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Clanton -- sorry. Ms. Clanton, I think you
1 can try to proceed.
2 MS. CLANTON: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Mr. President, can I confirm that the witness is available? Yes.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: The witness is there in front of us, Ms. Clanton.
5 MS. CLANTON:
6 Q. Ms. Pitl, can you hear me?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you. If I could please ask the Registrar to assist
9 by providing you with 65 ter 6336. This is at tab 1. And if we could
10 look at page 4 of the B/C/S version.
11 Ms. Pitl, do you see a signature at the bottom right of this
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And whose signature is it?
15 A. Mine, Katarina Pitl.
16 MS. CLANTON: Just one moment, please, Your Honour.
17 Q. And, Ms. Pitl, if the Registrar can assist you by turning to
18 page 7 the B/C/S, please. Do you see a signature at the bottom right of
19 this page?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Whose signature is that?
22 A. Mine.
23 Q. And prior to testifying today, did you meet with representatives
24 of the Tribunal to have your statement read back to you in your language?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And with respect to the statement in front of you, if you were
2 asked the same questions today, would you provide the same answers?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And now that you have taken the solemn declaration, do you affirm
5 the accuracy and truthfulness of this statement?
6 A. I believe so.
7 MS. CLANTON: Your Honour, at this time, the Prosecution would
8 like to tender 65 ter 06336 --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2039, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 MS. CLANTON:
14 Q. Ms. Pitl, what is your ethnicity?
15 A. Yes. I am a Croat.
16 Q. And, for the record, please, what was the ethnicity of your
18 A. The same, Croatian.
19 Q. Now the first topic I want to ask you about is what you observed
20 in the summer of 1991. If I could ask for the Registrar's assistance,
21 please. This is paragraph 5 of your statement. And it says that Erdut
22 was shelled at the end of July 1991 by the JNA.
23 It further says in paragraph 6 that you left Erdut on the 1st of
24 August, 1991, and travelled to Aljmas in a van.
25 I would like to know why you left your home in Erdut on this day.
1 A. Because we were under fire. The Serbs shot at us, and in my
2 courtyard shrapnel was falling. A neighbour came. He said that shrapnel
3 was also falling in his courtyard, not to leave the house. That was
4 that. What were we supposed to do? Sit and wait?
5 Q. Thank you. If you could tell us what was different on the 1st of
6 August from what you said earlier happened at the end of July?
7 A. I don't know. That was the beginning, and I heard early in the
8 morning that there was shelling, that fire was opened. I was afraid that
9 it might have been Borovo because that's where my children were.
10 However, that was the police station in Dalj which was under attack.
11 When I got up, I realised that it was in Dalj and that the -- the --
12 there were shots here in our village and that the military post was also
13 attacked. My husband also got up and since our house was at the
14 cross-roads in the centre of the village, he went to see what was going
15 on. He said that the station was under attack and that was that.
16 I don't know what you meant as the last thing. We went with the
17 convoy. We joined the convoy and that's how we left Almas and went to
19 Q. And, Ms. Pitl, what did you hear about groups near your home in
20 Erdut or in the Dalj area?
21 A. We were told that Arkan had crossed the bridge, that he was
22 entering Erdut, and a neighbour -- or, rather, the neighbour's son came
23 to us. His parents were in our basement. And he said that the entire
24 village was in Aljmas, what are you waiting for. He loaded us onto a
25 vehicle and we went with the hope that we would return. However, we
1 never went back.
2 Q. Thank you, Ms. Pitl. When you found out from the your neighbour
3 that you had to leave, can you briefly tell us how you prepared to leave
4 your home?
5 A. We didn't. We just left our house as we were. A small bag, the
6 bare necessities, some -- a change of clothes, and that was it.
7 Q. Thank you. Now I want to ask you about the cargo boat that you
8 mention in paragraph 6 of your statement. This is the boat that you took
9 from Aljmas to Osijek on the 1st of August, 1991.
10 In your statement, in paragraph 6, it says that the roads out of
11 Erdut were blocked and that there was panic. People trying to gather
12 their families and leave Erdut as soon as possible. Further in that
13 paragraph, you've said that the only way out of the area was by the river
14 Danube. Can you describe the scene on the banks of the river Danube on
15 that day?
16 A. Yes. Well, when we arrived, there was complete chaos already on
17 the bank of the Danube. You couldn't travel to Borovo, you couldn't
18 travel to Osijek. The only way across the bridge was to Serbia, and they
19 were not letting people cross the bridge. So everybody from the
20 surrounding area gathered there. The only thing we could do was, coming
21 from Aljmas, to jump into the Danube. There was so many people. Of
22 course, I could not recognise all the people.
23 There was already a crowd there. Many, many people. And that
24 barge came from Osijek. It came, in fact, to pick up the wounded but
25 eventually they took everyone on board and my husband put me on that
1 barge. He said, "You have to go now," and -- and it was really lucky,
2 fortunate, that I went.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MS. CLANTON: I would now like to ask the case manager to please
5 pull up 65 ter number 06324.1. This is admitted Exhibit P94. This is a
7 For the record, it's an excerpt from V000-3844, and it goes from
8 16 seconds to 5 minutes and 5 seconds. And I would like for this to be
9 played without the sound. There's no transcript to be tendered, and I
10 would like to ask for this to be played to 1 minute and 6 seconds and
11 then we will pause there.
12 I should have said for the benefit of the Registrar that this is
13 at tab 5.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MS. CLANTON:
16 Q. Now, Ms. Pitl --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. -- we've paused the video. Do you recognise the person in this
20 A. Of course I do. It's me.
21 Q. And where are you standing at this time?
22 A. It's before a house which housed a lot of displaced people in the
24 Q. And what town is this in? Or village?
25 A. Aljmas.
1 Q. And can you tell the Court, please, what day this video is taking
3 A. The 1st of August.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MS. CLANTON: I would now like to ask the case manager to please
6 skip ahead to the 3-minute mark, please.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 MS. CLANTON:
9 Q. And, Ms. Pitl, we've paused the video again. I want to ask you:
10 Were you part of the group that boarded this boat?
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the witness.
12 MS. CLANTON:
13 Q. Ms. Pitl, could you repeat the answer to that question, please.
14 A. Yes, yes. Yes. I was.
15 MS. CLANTON: And now, again, I would like to ask the
16 case manager to please skip forward to 4 minutes and 38 seconds. And
17 we're going to play from 4 minutes and 38 seconds to 5 minutes and 5
18 seconds, which is the end of this clip.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 MS. CLANTON:
21 Q. Now, Ms. Pitl, in this video-clip that we watched, can you
22 describe what the men on the shore are doing?
23 A. Yes. They stayed behind and waved to us as we were departing.
24 The barge departed and the people on the bank were waving to those of us
25 they knew. Among them was my husband, but I can't identify him on the
2 Q. And other than what you've just mentioned in terms of the waving,
3 can you tell us if the men on the shore were making any other gesture?
4 A. Not that I saw.
5 MS. CLANTON: With the leave of the President, I would like to
6 ask to play that clip one more time.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
8 MS. CLANTON: If the case manager could please go back to
9 4 minutes and 38 seconds.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well I can't recognise him. I
12 don't know. He stayed behind, but I can't tell where he is. They told
13 us to crouch because we were passing through an area where there was
14 fighting in a nearby village, Bijelo Brdo. They wanted us to keep our
15 heads low out of harm's way.
16 MS. CLANTON:
17 Q. Ms. Pitl, can you describe for us -- and you have just said that
18 you were keeping your head low and ducking to keep out of harm's way,
19 what kind of harm did they think could happen?
20 MR. GOSNELL: Objection. That's calling for speculation.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
22 MR. GOSNELL: The question was -- that asked was what harm did
23 "they" think could happen. Clearly this witness is not in a position to
24 know what "they" were thinking.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you clarify what you mean by "they,"
1 Ms. Clanton.
2 MS. CLANTON: Yes.
3 Q. I would like to know what harm did you, Ms. Pitl, think could
5 A. That they would be shooting from - how shall I put it? - from
6 Bijelo Brdo. Bijelo Brdo was also again under their control. The Serbs'
7 control. There was fighting there. They had surrounded Bijelo Brdo and
8 Borovo, so there was no way to go except to go across the bridge which
9 was also not possible. So we could only jump into the Danube. So when
10 the barge headed towards Osijek we had go via Bijelo Brdo, and we had to
11 crouch and keep our heads low, to duck, so that they wouldn't shoot at
13 Q. And, Ms. Pitl, just to make this completely clear for the record.
14 A moment ago you said "so that they wouldn't shoot at us." Who are
16 A. Serbs. Well, the Serbs. Who else? Who else attacked us?
17 Q. Thank you, Ms. Pitl. I'm now going to ask you a few questions
18 about the fate of your husband, Franjo Pitl.
19 When you gave your statement to the Tribunal in 1998, you said
20 that you didn't know whether he was alive or dead.
21 MS. CLANTON: This is in paragraph 11 of her statement.
22 Q. Do you know today if he's alive or dead?
23 A. Yes. I know. I know because I went to identify the body, I
24 recognised him. In fact, I recognised his suit, and he had two cheques
25 for paying rent and electricity in his pockets, and they asked me what he
1 was wearing when he was taken away. I didn't know because I wasn't
2 there, but when I saw him, I saw that those were his clothes.
3 Q. Thank you. In your statement, and this is in paragraphs 7 and 8,
4 you've described what you were told by others about what happened to your
5 husband after he returned to Erdut.
6 My question is: Did you hear that any other persons from Erdut
7 disappeared during the same time-period?
8 A. Yes, I heard. I heard from a couple of women I knew who were
9 there at the time when he was taken away, but I know about all the other
10 people who were taken away at the same time as he was, and he was -- they
11 were buried at the same place they were executed. Thrown into the
12 Danube. Some were found in a well in the area of Dalj, Daljski Atar.
13 Q. Ms. Pitl, you've told us that you know about all the other people
14 who were taken away at the same time as he was. Do you recall any of
15 their names?
16 A. Yes. Stevo Tesanac, then what's his last name? You know it's
17 been 20, 22 years. Franjo's niece, Jelica of the Alberts. Her husband.
18 Her sister-in-law. I can't remember everybody's name because I haven't
19 lived in Erdut for a long time. There were quite a few people I knew.
20 MS. CLANTON: At this time, Your Honour, I would like to call up
21 65 ter 06448. This is the document that was provided by the witness
22 during proofing. We sent it through yesterday. It's at tab 7 of the
23 revised exhibit list. And the Defence has indicated they have no
24 objection, so we would ask that it be added to the 65 ter list and also
25 available to the witness at this time.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Granted.
2 MS. CLANTON:
3 Q. Ms. Pitl, do you recognise this document?
4 A. Yes, certainly. Of course, I do. Not each and every one of
5 them, but they're all from Erdut, and I know quite a lot of people on
6 this list.
7 Q. Can you tell us the Chamber who do you know that is pictured
9 A. Well, first of all, my Franjo. Franjo Pitl. Andreja Matin.
11 Q. Ms. Pitl, I can clarify my question for you. Of the people that
12 you see there, can you tell us which people are people that you know, of
13 course, in addition to your late husband?
14 A. That's what I'm saying. I know Andrija Matin. I know Matej
15 Butkovic, Jelica Albert and her Djuro. Viktorija Albert. Manda Maj,
16 Stevo Tesanac and this Ana Terzic. I don't know the
17 rest. But there are not many left; two or three.
18 Q. Ms. Pitl, a moment ago you mentioned Andrija Matin. I want to
19 ask you, what did you hear about Andrija Matin related to the day of your
20 husband's disappearance?
21 A. I heard that Andrija was already in a tractor trailer when three
22 men came to round up Franjo. He was already sitting on a trailer. There
23 was one woman, Stana, who is now dead. She was passing through my house.
24 She had gone to the bakers to buy some bread and she happened to pass by
25 just as this was happening. She's the one who told me. Unfortunately,
1 she died. It's quite a long time ago. She's no longer with us.
2 Q. And, Ms. Pitl, the persons that you identified as people that you
3 knew who were on the document in front of you, what was their ethnicity?
4 A. Croats.
5 MS. CLANTON: Your Honours, at this time we would seek to tender
6 06448 into evidence.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2040, Your Honours.
9 MS. CLANTON:
10 Q. Now, Ms. Pitl, I just have one more topic that I want to cover
11 with you.
12 What I want to ask you is other than the disappearances and the
13 killings that you've -- excuse me. Other than the disappearances and the
14 persons who you've identified on the document in front of you, I would
15 like to know if you know what happened to other Croats who stayed in
16 Erdut after you left on August 1st, 1991?
17 A. Well, to tell you the truth, elderly people remained, at least
18 some of them; let's say, enough to fill a bus. And they were sent to
19 Osijek on a bus towards the very end. They were the only ones who stayed
20 behind in Erdut. And, later on, they were transported to Osijek. They
21 were also Croats. And no other Croats remained.
22 Q. And, Ms. Pitl, you just described persons who were sent to Osijek
23 on a bus. Can you tell me who sent them?
24 A. Yes. Well, those Serbs who came into Erdut and who rounded up
25 and killed our younger men. But they didn't kill the older ones.
1 Instead, they sent them to Osijek, to Croatia.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. CLANTON: Mr. President, at this time I have no further
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Ms. Clanton.
7 MR. GOSNELL: No questions, Mr. President. Thank you.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Pitl, this brings your testimony to an end.
11 Thank you for assisting the Tribunal. You are now released as a witness,
12 and we wish you a safe journey back home. Thank you very much.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank you too. I wish you all
14 the best. Good-bye.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 [The witness's testimony via videolink concluded]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: We have one hour left. Mr. Kovacevic is in the
18 building. We are at a cross-examination exercise, right? Are you ready,
19 Mr. Gosnell.
20 MR. GOSNELL: I am, indeed, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes. Okay. Thank you.
22 Ms. Biersay.
23 MS. BIERSAY: We'll do some reorganisation so Mr. Gillett can
24 come into the courtroom.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. And can we bring the witness in, in the
1 meantime, or should we ask -- should we wait for Mr. Gillett.
2 MS. BIERSAY: I think it's okay to bring the witness in,
3 Your Honour.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 The witness may be brought in.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Kovacevic. Please be seated.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.
9 WITNESS: MILOMIR KOVACEVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell: [Continued]
12 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
13 Good morning -- or good afternoon, Mr. Kovacevic.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. Yesterday you said that you crossed over the bridge or -- sorry,
16 that you crossed over the river Danube in a ferry and that this was 1 or
17 2 kilometres from the bridge itself. Do you remember as you're facing
18 the bridge from Serbia crossing to Croatia were you to the right of the
19 bridge or to the left of the bridge?
20 A. To the right of the bridge, looking from Serbia to Croatia.
21 Q. Is that upstream or downstream from the bridge?
22 A. Downstream.
23 Q. Now, yesterday when we left off, we were discussing your trip to
24 Pacetin. And am I correct in understanding that between -- while
25 travelling between Vera and Pacetin, you would pass through the town of
2 A. I was not going from Vera to Pacetin via Bobota. I said we took
3 the dirt road through the fields.
4 Q. So you say you didn't pass through Bobota?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Was there some reason why you couldn't take the road that
7 connected Vera and Bobota, the asphalt road?
8 A. The reason was, was that there was frequent shooting at the road
9 going from Vera to Pacetin and Brsadin and further on.
10 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, let's focus right now on my question. The
11 connection, the road between Vera and Bobota. Are you saying that the
12 road between Vera and Bobota was not safely passable at the time that you
13 were making this journey?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Well, let's have 1D444, please. This is Defence tab 30.
16 And while that's coming up, where was the firing that endangered
17 the road between Vera and Bobota? And by "firing," I mean rifle fire,
18 artillery fire, mortar fire. Any kind of danger. Where was that
19 originating from?
20 A. The fire came from a place called Nustar.
21 MR. GOSNELL: Could we zoom in a little bit on this. That's
22 good. Maybe just slightly move the image downwards. I mean up. That's
23 perfect right there. Thank you.
24 Q. Now, am I correct, sir, that -- can you see Bobota there on this
25 image, marked on this image?
1 A. On this image, I can't see -- could you please bear with me for a
3 Yes, I can see Bobota above Pacetin. And you -- you can also see
4 Trpinja, a place on the northern side in the direction of Pacetin.
5 Q. And we see a road heading north from Bobota. Am I correct in
6 saying that if you follow that road a little ways and, unfortunately,
7 it's not visible on this image, but if you follow that road a little ways
8 to the north, you reach Vera; correct?
9 A. Yes. That is the road marked as 2 from Trpinja to Vera. And
10 there's another one from Pacetin via Bobota, but it's not marked here by
11 any numbers.
12 Q. Correct, it's not marked by any numbers. But if you look there
13 at the screen, you do see what appears to be a road marked in yellow;
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And if you follow that road north from Bobota, you reach Vera;
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How far is that, from Bobota to Vera?
20 A. I really can't remember the distance in kilometres. I'm sorry.
21 Q. Well, you were a driver. That was your job. How do you not know
22 the distance in kilometres between Vera and Bobota?
23 A. That was in 1991. I can't remember. But it can't be more than
24 10 to 15 kilometres at the most.
25 Q. Would it be correct to say that it's about the same distance as
1 between Bobota and Pacetin? Or is it more, or is it less? Just give us
2 an idea. It doesn't have to be perfect.
3 A. I believe that the distance from Bobota to Vera is slightly more
4 than from there to Pacetin. As far as I can remember.
5 Q. Down there at the bottom of the screen, do you see Nustar,
6 apparently, marked?
7 A. Nustar is marked by an inscription. It was on the road marked by
8 number 55, the road that led from Nustar towards Brsadin and further on
9 towards Borovo Naselje. And on the other side, it went in the direction
10 of Vinkovci.
11 Q. And that's the location from which you say there was fire -- or
12 there was artillery based that made it unsafe for you to travel on the
13 asphalt road not only between Bobota and Pacetin, but between Vera and
14 Bobota; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. It was not safe to travel from Pacetin along the road that
16 joined the road number 55 leading towards Brsadin. We used the dirt road
17 between Pacetin and Trpinja road in the direction of the Brsadin silo.
18 Q. And the dirt road is no further from the source of the fire than
19 is the asphalt road. Is that a correct statement or is that not a
20 correct statement?
21 A. Well, the road was a little bit further than the asphalt road.
22 However, nobody opened fire on those dirt roads, ever.
23 Q. Was this dirt road, as you were travelling south from Vera to
24 Pacetin, was that dirt road to the left or the right of the asphalt road?
25 A. That road was as you go from Bobota, Pacetin, and Vera on the
1 left-hand side of the road. It was between the roads leads from Bobota
2 and to Pacetin, and the road that is marked by number 2.
3 Q. I've never served in the military, I've never been in combat.
4 I've never under been artillery or mortar fire, and nor I do imagine most
5 people -- have most people in this room. But can you help us understand
6 why it would be safer to travel on a dirt road to the left of that
7 highway than it would be to just travel down the highway?
8 A. First of all, let me correct you. It was not a highway. It was
9 just an asphalt road with just one drive way split in two so that the
10 vehicles could travel in both directions. But there were just two lanes.
11 It was safer because fire was never opened on any of the dirt roads.
12 From Nustar, fire was opened from howitzers, mortars, and a tank. The
13 tank shell has a very high start velocity and travels in a straight line,
14 whereas mortar shells fall under a certain angle of descent. They follow
15 a certain arch as their trajectory.
16 Q. What does that have to do with making it safer to travel along
17 the dirt road than on the regular road, the asphalt road?
18 A. It has a lot to do with that, because in our units, there were
19 topographic maps of the area, and it was easy to identify the
20 co-ordinates of the asphalt roads. For anybody.
21 MR. GOSNELL: I'm done with that document, Mr. President, but I
22 would tender it, please.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D62, Your Honours.
25 MR. GOSNELL:
1 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, yesterday at page 5474, you were describing the
2 meeting between Mr. Hadzic, Mr. Radovan Stojicic, and your commander,
3 Mr. Sljukic at Mr. Hadzic's house in Pacetin. And at page 5406 of your
4 testimony, which was earlier in the day, you said that you could not see
5 their interaction.
6 Now, am I correct that you did not see either the first meeting
7 that you say was at Mr. Hadzic's house or the second meeting, which you
8 then say was at the Pacetin local commune? Is what you said about not
9 seeing the interaction, is that true for both meetings?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And how long did they remain, these three individuals whom you
12 identified being at Mr. Hadzic's house, how long did they remain there
13 before they went to the local commune?
14 A. I don't know exactly how much time they stayed there, but I would
15 say that they were not there long.
16 Q. Did you witness them leave the house, Mr. Hadzic's house?
17 A. I saw my superior as he was leaving and as he came to my car. I
18 didn't see when Mr. Goran Hadzic left the house.
19 Q. Are you saying that Mr. Hadzic remained behind and your
20 commander, Mr. Sljukic, left the house and went to the local commune on
21 his own, or was he perhaps accompanied by Mr. Radovan Stojicic?
22 A. My superior was the first to leave the house. He came to the car
23 and then he told me where to -- where I should drive him. I drove him
24 there. He went into that building. I remained behind in the car with
25 the escorts who were in the car with me.
1 Q. And while you were sitting in that car, how far were you from
2 the -- from the local commune building at that point?
3 A. I believe that I was about 20 or 30 metres away from the entrance
4 into that building.
5 Q. And please tell us everything that you observed while you were
6 sitting there observing the local commune building.
7 A. Various people entered the building. Civilians, people in
8 uniforms. They went in and out. And that's all I could observe as I was
9 sitting there.
10 Q. Well, who did you identify as arriving and entering the building?
11 A. At one point in time, some minutes after my commander and I
12 arrived, Lieutenant-Colonel Vaskovic arrived. Mr. Stevo Pavkovic also
14 Q. Anyone else?
15 A. Some other people arrived. They went into the building. They
16 came out. I stopped paying attention. There were a lot of people whom I
17 didn't know and whom I had never seen before.
18 Q. Did you see Radovan Stojicic enter the building?
19 A. No, I didn't see him.
20 However, when I returned to the base, my commander,
21 Zeljko Sljukic, told us that he had attended the meeting.
22 Q. I think I heard you say that you left with your commander before
23 Radovan Stojicic did. Let me start that question again.
24 I thought I heard you testify that you saw -- or that your
25 commander left Mr. Hadzic's house before Mr. Stojicic; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when you left in the car from Mr. Hadzic's house to go to the
3 local commune, did you drive directly there?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So if Mr. Stojicic had gone to the local commune and he departed
6 after you did with your commander, wouldn't you have seen him enter the
7 local commune building?
8 A. Well, I didn't pay that much attention to the people who were
9 entering and leaving the building. And as for the exact moment when
10 Radovan Stojicic arrived, I wasn't focused on that. Perhaps I was
11 parking the car at that moment, or perhaps I was involved in a
12 conversation with the people who were in the car who were on
13 Mr. Sljukic's escort detail.
14 Q. Did you see Mr. Hadzic enter the local commune while you were
15 parked there in front of it?
16 A. No. I didn't see him personally.
17 Q. You just testified that Mr. Sljukic, your commander, told you
18 that he -- that Radovan Stojicic participated in the meeting. Did your
19 commander tell you whether Mr. Hadzic was at that second meeting or did
20 he not mention that?
21 A. Well, he didn't mention Mr. Goran Hadzic. He said that
22 Radovan Stojicic, Badza, had attended as well as Mr. Savo Milovanovic,
23 who was the commander of the defence of Brsadin village. My commander,
24 Sljukic, very often met with the latter and had a lot of contacts with
1 Q. And did Mr. Sljukic or anyone else tell you about what had
2 transpired at either of the two meetings, either the first one at
3 Mr. Hadzic's house or the second one at the local commune?
4 A. Well, in general terms, he told me that they discussed further
5 activities by the units that were deployed there and co-operation among
6 those units.
7 Q. Anything more specific than that?
8 A. Well, nothing more specific was mentioned. He said that they had
9 agreed future co-operation, future combat activities, future supply of
10 the units that were deployed in the area, and the organisation of the
11 local authorities in the area.
12 MR. GOSNELL: Could we please have P2027, please. And if we
13 could please go to page 10.
14 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, this is your statement coming up on the screen in
15 front of us. It's paragraph 44.
16 And you have it there in the B/C/S in front of you. And your
17 entire description of your trip to Pacetin and the meetings -- the
18 meeting that occurred there is as follows:
19 "I attended a meeting between Radovan Stojicic, Badza, my
20 commander, Zarko Sljukic, Lieutenant-Colonel Vaskovic, Goran Hadzic,
21 Rade Leskovac, Savo Milovanovic, Major-General Bratic, Mile Jerkovic,
22 Arkan's logistics commander, and several other men. The meeting was held
23 in the house of Goran Hadzic in Pacetin village. At this meeting, Bratic
24 proposed a plan for liberating ... Brsadin silo, but Radovan Stojicic,
25 Badza, was against that plan and proposed another one, upon which the JNA
1 and we acted."
2 Now you'll agree with me, Mr. Kovacevic, that this is quite a
3 different description than the one that you've given in this courtroom
4 towards the end of yesterday and today; right?
5 A. What you have just read out and the persons that I've mentioned
6 in paragraph 44, that meeting was not in Pacetin. That meeting took
7 place in Dalj.
8 Q. Why does it say "the meeting was held in the house of
9 Goran Hadzic in Pacetin village"? Why does it say that at paragraph 44
10 of your statement?
11 A. When -- I've just told you that the meeting which was attended by
12 Mile Jerkovic and General Bratic took place in Dalj. That's what I said.
13 And the persons who you just mentioned were there.
14 Q. Sir, we're going to discuss the alleged meeting in Dalj which you
15 describe at paragraphs 45 and 46 of your statement. What we see in
16 paragraph 44 is a different meeting which you say in your statement which
17 you, on oath, have sworn to yesterday morning, you say that there's a
18 meeting in Pacetin with these individuals. Don't you?
19 A. I have stated that the first meeting was in Pacetin and that
20 Mr. Radovan Stojicic, Badza, attended it, as well as Mr. Rade Leskovac.
21 And I stated that, according to my commander, that meeting was to discuss
22 combat activities that were supposed to be carried out, the supply of the
23 units deployed in the area, and the organisation of the civilian
24 authorities in the area under our control.
25 Q. And you've given -- and that's a different version of events than
1 the one that appears in paragraph 44 of your statement; correct?
2 A. The subsequent events and my deployment in the area together with
3 my commander --
4 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Kovacevic. I think you can answer my question
5 with a yes or a no. Is it correct, yes or no, paragraph 44 of your
7 A. What is stated under 44 is correct.
8 Q. So it's correct that there was a meeting with all of these
9 individuals at Mr. Hadzic's house in Pacetin?
10 A. I cannot claim that all the persons that are mentioned here were
11 in Mr. Goran Hadzic's house in Pacetin. However, from subsequent
12 conversations, from my subsequent deployment in the area, and my
13 subsequent conversations with my commander, those persons are -- were at
14 the meeting in the Territorial Defence Staff in Pacetin village.
15 Q. Sir, I put it to you that you have not in your testimony here
16 mentioned the presence of several of the individuals mentioned in
17 paragraph 44. You haven't mentioned that there were two meetings. You
18 haven't mentioned that there was a plan developed at that meeting for an
19 attack on Brsadin silo. You have not mentioned that you concluded from
20 this event that Radovan Stojicic had de facto control over the territory
21 of Eastern Slavonia. You haven't mentioned any of those things.
22 Now, at page 5700 of yesterday's transcript you were asked the
23 question by the Prosecution whether you would give the same testimony in
24 court as appears in your statement. You clearly haven't done so, have
1 MR. GILLETT: If I could just interject there. In the question
2 he says that there's no mention in the witness's testimony of two
3 meetings, and the witness had clarified that there were two meetings.
4 I'm not sure if my learned colleague is referring to two meetings in
5 Pacetin or one meeting in Pacetin and one meeting in Dalj, so perhaps it
6 would help to clarify that before putting the question.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Would you clarify, Mr. Gosnell.
8 MR. GOSNELL:
9 Q. You have not mentioned that there were two meetings in Pacetin.
10 You have not mentioned that any meeting attended by Mr. Hadzic was also
11 attended by Mr. Stojicic and your commander, Mr. Sljukic. You have not
12 mentioned that the topic of the meeting, according to you, was a plan to
13 attack Brsadin silo. You have not mentioned the conclusion that you drew
14 about Badza in relation to that meeting. You have also not mentioned the
15 names of some of the individuals whom you identify in paragraph 44 as
16 having appeared at either of the two meetings or having been mentioned to
17 you as attending either of the two meetings.
18 Now, I think the matter is clearly put to you. And I think it's
19 a simple question I ask you at that point. That's different. The
20 testimony you've given here before the -- Their Honours, under oath, is
21 different from what appears in paragraph 44; right?
22 A. I stated that I first took my commander to Goran Hadzic's house.
23 He went into the house. After a certain while, we left and we drove to
24 the local commune building in Pacetin. According to what I know, that's
25 where the centre of the Territorial Defence of Pacetin village was.
1 The second meeting was held there, and that meeting, as far as I
2 can remember, lasted between three and four hours.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D437, please, which is Defence
4 tab 23.
5 Q. And before I ask my question in relation to this document, let me
6 just ask you: When you were asked yesterday morning by the Prosecution
7 that you would testify in the same way or that you would give the same
8 answers as you had given in your statement, did you understand,
9 Mr. Kovacevic, that you were entitled to answer no if you didn't remember
10 things that were in your statement. Did you understand that if you no
11 longer remembered things that were in your statement, you were entitled
12 to answer no?
13 A. That was my first statement. I provided it in 2003, when my
14 recollection was much fresher. However, whatever I said then, whatever I
15 stated then, I stick by that. At the trials of Stanisic and Simatovic
16 and Mr. Perisic, some more details were provided with regard to the
17 paragraphs in my statement. A lot more details were asked for.
18 And as for some details, for example, the duration of the meeting
19 and certain other things, I really can't remember. I can't be precise
20 about some of those things. If I was in one location, I really can't
21 remember, as I sit here today, where that location was. If I was there
22 only once.
23 As for the other locations where I spent a longer time, I can
24 still remember them. I can mark them on the map. I can mark the exact
25 distance between certain locations, how many kilometres were they away
1 from each other. I can also mark the road that we took from the Vera
2 village to Brsadin village. It was a dirt road. I can mark that road.
3 I can tell you what features we crossed on our way. And so on and so
5 Q. So you -- you're now saying that indeed you can't remember
6 certain details such as the duration of the meetings and certain other
7 things. Would you agree that that includes you can't remember in some
8 respects, and certainly this is the case in respect of paragraph 44, you
9 can't remember the individuals who were present? You can't remember
10 whether this was one or two -- well, now you've given a different
11 account, two meetings instead of one, and you've forgotten the purpose of
12 the meeting as expressed in your statement.
13 Would you agree with me - and I think you have gone part way down
14 this road - would you agree with me that you've forgotten those other
15 details that I've mentioned in paragraph 44?
16 A. Perhaps I forgot certain details, but as for the more important
17 people who were at that meeting and whom I saw with my own eyes and those
18 I heard from my commander were there, I cannot forget or omit these
20 Q. If we turn the page of the document in front of us to
21 paragraph 7. This is a proofing note that we received from the
22 Prosecution. I presume that you have not seen this document. Am I
23 correct? It's only in English.
24 A. No, I did not.
25 Q. Now, there, at the first sentence of paragraph 7 it says:
1 "In relation to paragraph 44 of his statement, he," and this is
2 referring to you, Mr. Kovacevic, "he stated that there was an initial
3 gathering at the house of Goran Hadzic in Pacetin and then a meeting at
4 the agricultural centre, which was located in the centre of town."
5 Now, was that second meeting at the commune or was it at the
6 agricultural centre, as this proofing note appears to indicate?
7 A. A meeting was also held in the building of the local commune. To
8 the best of my knowledge, in that building, there were offices of the
9 agricultural co-operative.
10 Q. When did you provide this information to the Prosecution?
11 A. During the interview, during the proofing when we were going
12 through this. I think it was on the 10th of May, 2013, if my memory
13 serves me right.
14 Q. You mean it was a month ago?
15 MR. GILLETT: Just to interject there.
16 There was an earlier version of the proofing note that we
17 provided to the Defence I believe a couple of weeks ago, which is also
18 contained in this more full proofing note. So there were two meetings,
19 just in fairness to the witness.
20 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I don't think there was any need for that
21 intervention, Mr. President. It was a simple question of when did he
22 provide that information to the Prosecution.
23 MR. GILLETT: Well, I'm sorry, but the witness wouldn't be aware
24 of the process of producing proofing notes, and so I wanted to avoid any
25 confusion in that respect.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.
2 MR. GOSNELL:
3 Q. So was that -- am I correct in understanding your answer, that
4 that was about a month ago that you provided that information?
5 A. As I said, I had a discussion with the Prosecution on the 10th of
6 May in Belgrade. Then I also spoke to the Prosecution once I arrived
7 here in The Hague. Now what is the exact provenance of this note, when
8 it was drafted, I don't know.
9 Q. If we can go back now, please, to your statement, which is P2027.
10 And, again, going to page 10, which is paragraph 44, you mention a name
11 here which you've also mentioned at least twice in your testimony here,
12 and that's Savo Milovanovic. Are you sure that that's the name of the TO
13 commander in Brsadin?
14 A. Very sure.
15 Q. You're sure that his name wasn't Savo Milankovic?
16 A. As far as I remember, all the times that we went to see Mr. Savo
17 in Brsadin, because my commander was co-operating closely with him
18 concerning also supplies to the observation post, I remember his last
19 name as Milanovic.
20 Q. Yesterday at page 40 -- 5465, you mentioned the TO commander of
21 Bijelo Brdo, what was his name? Can you repeat it, please.
22 A. Rajko Pantelinac.
23 Q. Are you sure it wasn't Caslav Niksic?
24 A. As far as I remember, to the extent we co-operated and all the
25 times we went there, Mr. Rajko Pantelinac had his own unit in Bijelo Brdo
1 and co-operated with my commander, and later in 1993 or perhaps 1994, he
2 was also president of Dalj municipality.
3 MR. GOSNELL: For the record, the name that I mentioned was
4 Caslav Niksic.
5 Q. Who was the TO commander in Pacetin?
6 A. I spent very little time in Pacetin so I don't know who the
7 commander was. I mean, commander of the defence in Pacetin. And I did
8 not mention in any of my statements that I knew who the commander of
9 defence in Pacetin was.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 04642, please. Prosecution tab 11.
11 Q. Sir, it's not true that you've never identified the TO commander
12 in Pacetin. Do you know that that's not true?
13 A. I cannot remember ever stating the name of the defence commander
14 in Pacetin.
15 MR. GOSNELL: Could we please have transcript page 6708.
16 Q. At page 6708, and it's coming up on the screen, at line 16 --
17 well, starting at line 14. This is the question:
18 "Q. Witness, you state here that -- or, rather, tell us first do
19 you know who Goran Hadzic was?
20 "A. Goran Hadzic was from the village of Pacetin. Initially he
21 was commander of the defence of the village of Pacetin."
22 Do you remember giving that testimony?
23 A. Yes, I remember saying that Mr. Goran Hadzic was earlier on the
24 commander of Pacetin defence. But later on, when I arrived, I don't know
25 who held that position. And that Mr. Goran Hadzic used to be the defence
1 commander is something I found out from my superiors.
11 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] Thank you.
25 MR. GOSNELL:
1 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you've said here today that there was a second
2 meeting, or a different meeting, which you say Mr. Hadzic attended in
3 Dalj. Can you please describe that meeting for us.
4 A. I said in my statement that second meeting was held at the
5 Municipal Assembly of Dalj.
6 Q. And you said at 5407 that you thought it was in the second half
7 of October. Can you give us any further details or description as to
8 this meeting. Who was there, anything you learned about it?
9 A. Well, at that meeting there was my superior, Mr. Zarko Sljukic,
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Vaskovic. From what I learned, the meeting was also
11 attended by the commanding cadre of the Novi Sad Corps; also
12 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, with his deputies in his unit; and also
13 Mr. Goran Hadzic; Mr. Radovan Stojicic, Badza, as well. Because as we
14 arrived Dalj, and my commander got out of the car, I saw Mr. Goran Hadzic
15 standing outside the municipal assembly building shaking hands with some
16 people and talking to them.
17 Q. Was Milorad Ulemek there, also known as Legija?
18 A. From my commander, Zarko Sljukic, I heard that
19 Mr. Milorad Ulemek, known as Legija, later also attended that meeting.
20 At what point he joined the Serb Volunteer Guard, I don't know, but I
21 only heard from my commander that he was also at that meeting. And I
22 also heard from him that this gentleman held the position of
23 deputy commander of the Serbian Volunteer Guard.
24 Q. When you say that later -- when you use the word "later" in
25 saying that Legija attended the meeting, do I understand you to mean that
1 he arrived part way through the meeting?
2 A. I was not inside the building. I was not at the meeting. I was
3 outside in the street with the other men from the entourage of my
4 commander. So when exactly Legija arrived at the meeting, I don't know.
5 I can't say anything. I know only what I heard from my commander.
6 Q. And that's what he told you, that Milorad Ulemek came part way
7 through the meeting; correct?
8 A. Well, he said that Legija appeared a bit later. Now when
9 exactly, I don't know.
10 Q. But later at the meeting, not after the meeting; right?
11 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, this has been asked and answered
12 twice now. He said he arrived later. When exactly Legija arrived at the
13 meeting, I don't know. That's at transcript page 68, line 23. So I
14 don't know if it's going to take us much further to keep repeating the
15 same question.
16 MR. GOSNELL: I have not foreclosed of the witness the
17 possibility that he arrived after the meeting. There's a forensic
18 purpose for this that is coming up very quick, very soon.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
20 MR. GOSNELL:
21 Q. So he didn't arrive after the meeting, he arrived during the
22 meeting. Maybe a little bit late, but during the meeting according to
23 your commander; correct?
24 A. Well, he came to the meeting, according to what my commander
25 said. Now whether he was just late for the meeting, or arrived after the
1 meeting, I can't tell you exactly. I told you already, my commander told
2 me that Mr. Ulemek came to the meeting, and he was at the meeting. Now
3 whether he arrived after the meeting, or into the meeting part way, I
4 don't know.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 0642, please. The same document we
6 just had up. And we're going to go back to the same page in fact, which
7 is 6708 at the bottom of the page.
8 Q. Now I'll start reading while that is coming up for your benefit,
9 Mr. Kovacevic. And this was your testimony in the Stanisic case. And
10 here's the question. And to be clear, this is referring to paragraph 45
11 of -- of your statement, the statement that has been admitted in this
13 "Q. Which year does this portion of your statement relate to? Is
14 it 1991 when you arrived in the area of Erdut?"
15 MR. GOSNELL: And for the benefit of the the Registry, now we're
16 turning over to page 4709.
17 Q. "A. Yes.
18 "Q. You said ... you recall there being Goran Hadzic, Arkan with
19 his commander [sic] including Milorad Ulemek, also known as Legija, his
20 deputy at the time; is that right?
21 "A. Yes.
22 "Q. This was a meeting held sometime in 1992 in a place called
23 Dalj. Did you see Legija in 1991?
24 "A. No, not in 1991. In 1992 when the meeting in Dalj took
1 "Q. You had not seen Legija at all before the [sic] meeting?
2 That meeting?
3 "A. No, not Legija. I would see Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, his
4 deputy commander for logistics, Mr. Mirko Jerkovic.
5 "Q. Do you recall which month this meeting was held?
6 "A. I can't recall that. The only thing I know was that it was
7 held in the building of the Dalj Municipal Assembly."
8 Now, to be fair to you, sir, there appears to have been a
9 question that might not quite get the year correct, but did you mean to
10 testify there in that case that you think that this meeting occurred in
11 1992? Do I read your testimony correctly in that respect.
12 A. I said in 1991, and that meeting was held in October 1991 in
13 Dalj, I did not see Mr. Milorad Ulemek, Legija, at that meeting myself.
14 What I said was that, from talking to my superiors, I learned that
15 Mr. Ulemek, Legija, attended that meeting, arriving late. And in 1992, I
16 saw Mr. Milorad Ulemek, Legija, in the field in Western Srem, Slavonia,
17 and Baranja.
18 In my statement and in the transcript, the name of the
19 deputy commander for logistics is misstated. It's Mile Jerkovic, not
21 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, let me just focus your attention on line 7 to 9.
22 The question was:
23 "This was a meeting held sometime in 1992 in a place called Dalj.
24 Did you see Legija in 1991?"
25 Your answer:
1 "No, not in 1991. In 1992 when the meeting in Dalj took place."
2 Aren't you saying there that this meeting that's being discussed
3 occurs in 1992?
4 MR. GILLETT: Again, this has just been asked and answered. It's
5 the same question that was just asked.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Overruled.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that in 1991 at that
8 October meeting in Dalj, I did not see Mr. Milorad Ulemek, Legija,
9 myself. Instead, I found out from my commander that Legija was at that
10 meeting. I have been saying this for the umpteenth time today.
11 MR. GOSNELL: I kindly ask how much time I have left?
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] You mean in total or
13 you don't mean today?
14 You mean time left for your cross-examination?
15 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Madam Registrar.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Some 40 minutes, Mr. Gosnell.
19 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, am I correct that you witnessed an altercation
21 between Mr. Vaskovic and Arkan sometime in September or October 1991?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when was that and what did you see?
24 A. As I said in my statement, a problem cropped up between one
25 officer of the Serbian Volunteer Guard and the commander of the Ruma
1 Artillery Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Vaskovic. We went to the
2 training centre in Erdut where the Serbian Volunteer Guards were based,
3 and he wanted to iron out some misunderstandings with Zeljko Raznjatovic,
5 Q. And those misunderstandings, in summary, concerned Mr. Vaskovic
6 saying that he would prevent and arrest some of the Serbian Volunteer
7 Guard whom he considered were committing crimes.
8 Does that accurately sum up the nature of the altercation?
9 A. Well, the gist of the misunderstanding was that. But there was
10 also a problem of mistreatment of JNA members, namely, members of the
11 Ruma Artillery Battalion, who went on a two-, three-day leave home, and
12 transport was organised from Vera village to Ruma, and Serbian Volunteer
13 Guards searched them on the bridge and confiscating -- confiscated
14 certain things from them. And, at the same time, Mr. Vaskovic wanted to
15 put a stop to some looting they were guilty of. And he said that he
16 would take certain steps to stop it if they attempt to go on in the area
17 where he has control.
18 Q. Those last words are what I'm particularly interested in. Do I
19 understand correctly that Mr. Vaskovic was concerned about this because
20 the crimes were occurring within his area of responsibility?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, do you see the time?
24 MR. GOSNELL: Oh, I didn't understand that we were breaking at
25 2.00, but -- I'm not sure --
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: I thought everyone was told.
2 MR. GOSNELL: I apologise. I'm sure that I was told, and I --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: The plan is to have a one-hour lunch break and
4 resume at 3.00.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness. Mr. Kovacevic, the court usher will
7 escort you out of the court for the lunch break for one hour, and you
8 will be back at 3.00, hopefully to finish your testimony for the -- for
10 Thank you.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 2.01 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 3.00 p.m.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: While the witness is brought in, a short oral
17 ruling, if possible.
18 The Prosecution filed today a motion for extension of time to
19 submit additional documentation demonstrating that Witnesses GH-079 and
20 GH-142 are unavailable pursuant to Rule 92 quater. The Defence see that
21 motion and can take a position on it.
22 MR. GOSNELL: A response as is in the process or has been filed.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. And would you object to the motion?
25 MR. GOSNELL: We do oppose the motion, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. We'll have a look at it then. Thank you.
2 MR. GILLETT: Sorry, in relation to that motion, if I could just
3 quickly add that as an update, we have received today the medical
4 documentation in relation to, I believe, it's GH-079, and so we can
5 provide that today. That was one of the witnesses for whom we were
6 requesting extra time. So we can just provide that update.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 Mr. Gosnell, please proceed.
9 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, going back to the meeting that you describe as
11 having been attended by the commanding cadre of the 12th Corps, amongst
12 other individuals in Dalj, you say that that meeting occurred at what you
13 describe at the Municipal Assembly building; is that correct? Is that
14 how you know that building where they met?
15 A. That's the name under which I remember that building. Later on,
16 I learned that the government was based in that building.
17 Q. Which government?
18 A. Well, as far as I know, that was the government of the --
19 Slavonia, Western Baranja, and Srem.
20 Q. Can you describe this building.
21 A. The building was located in the centre of Dalj. It was on the
22 right-hand side as you arrived in Dalj from Erdut.
23 Q. Is it possible you're confusing the commune offices with whatever
24 offices of the district government, or the proto-district government
25 might have existed in Dalj?
1 A. Well, the structure of that organisation before the war --
2 actually, I don't know whether Dalj was a municipality before the war or
3 was it just a local commune?
4 During the SAO Baranja and Western Srem district, the village of
5 Dalj certainly became a municipality.
6 Q. Well, sir, I -- I didn't use the expression "municipality." It
7 was you who did that in your testimony in the Stanisic case in 2010; for
8 the record, at page 6709. And that was were you used the expression
9 "Dalj Municipal Assembly."
10 So even in 2010, am I right you knew that building as the Dalj
11 Municipal Assembly building?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You didn't attend that meeting yourself, did you?
14 A. No, I did not.
15 Q. Do you know specifically what, if anything, was decided at that
17 A. Well, from my conversation with my commander, I know that the
18 meeting was organised, to -- to discuss the final operations to liberate
19 Vukovar. In that conversation, my commander, Sljukic, stated something
20 about Goran Hadzic. What he said was that Mr. Goran Hadzic is a very
21 promising man and that he always advocated a peaceful situation of the --
22 a peaceful solution of the situation in the area.
23 He always insisted on the population in the area to be protected,
24 especially the Serbian population, which was threatened by the
25 then-Republic of Croatia. And he also told me about Mr. Goran Hadzic,
1 that Mr. Goran Hadzic advocated the protection of all the population and
2 that he tried, according to my commander, to find a peaceful solution to
3 the situation and that Goran Hadzic also discussed the political
4 situation and the combat activities, but that he did not have -- enjoy
5 political support. The political situation was different than the
6 situation on the ground.
7 Q. Am I right in thinking that if a command order was going to be
8 given for the final assault on Vukovar, it would be somebody from the
9 command cadre of the 12th Corps who would make that final decision and
10 issue that final order? Isn't that correct?
11 A. Well, judging by the situation in the area during that period of
12 time, it was the 12th Corps and the Serbian Volunteer Guards that were
13 deployed there, and on the Sid and Tovarnik side there was a guards unit.
14 Judging by the hierarchy of the then-Yugoslav People's Army, the General
15 Staff of that army was probably supposed to issue an order to the
16 12th Corps and the Guards Brigade.
17 As for the further orders and activities, those were in the hands
18 of the 12th Corps and the guards unit.
19 Q. During your testimony yesterday at page 5443, you were talking
20 about who has check-points around the Bogojevo bridge and what you say
21 there is:
22 "It was the military police and the Serbian Volunteer Guard that
23 controlled the bridge on the Croatian side."
24 Now, during what period was that the case, that it was the
25 military police and the Serbian Volunteer Guard that controlled the
1 bridge on the Croatian side?
2 A. When I noticed that, I moved around the area before Vukovar was
3 liberated, and that was in the end of August until the fall of Vukovar,
4 and when Vukovar fell, I returned to Belgrade via Tovarnik and Sid.
5 Q. So what date range specifically? What dates do you say that is
6 the case?
7 A. Well, I can't be precise. I can't tell you on what dates. But,
8 in any case, that was from August 1991, when I was there, when I crossed
9 the bridge into Serbia. In other words, that was from August 1991 until
10 the liberation of Vukovar. That's when I was there.
11 I don't know who controlled the bridge after November 1991. I
12 never crossed the Bogojevo bridge after that, so I was not abreast of the
14 Q. And when you say it was the military police and the Serbian
15 Volunteer Guard, do you mean that they were present at the same time
16 together at a check-point?
17 A. Well, on the Croatian side, there were both the military police
18 of the Novi Sad Corps and members of the Serbian Volunteer Guard.
19 Q. Was that a yes to my question? They were together at a
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have D41, please, which is Defence tab 19.
23 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, did you need a pass from the JNA in order to drive
24 around in the area of Eastern Slavonia?
25 A. A pass to move around the area was not needed. We had travel
1 orders from the unit that was deployed there, and that document depicted
2 the military post number and a gas station where we were supplied with
3 fuel. And when we crossed from Croatia into Serbia, if we needed to go
4 there, then we had to have a pass which showed the route, the
5 registration plate of the vehicle, and if we carried arms, we were not
6 allowed to carry long-barrelled arms across the bridge. The only thing
7 that we could carry was our personal weapon, i.e., a pistol, and that
8 pass also depicted the registration number of that pistol, if necessary.
9 Q. I see we don't have the document in e-court, but I'm just going
10 to skip to the next topic.
11 Mr. Kovacevic, at paragraph 4 of your statement, and we can bring
12 that up, please, at P2027, you indicate that you -- well, there it is.
13 In any event, I'm just going to proceed, Mr. President.
14 At paragraph 4 of your statement, which is at P2027, you indicate
15 that you had been - and this is the statement you gave in 2003 - that you
16 had been under investigation for a traffic accident.
17 "In 1998 I was charged and convicted, but the appeals court
18 overturned this conviction. Other than that, I have never been under
20 That was in 2003.
21 MR. GILLETT: Sorry, are we going to get the statement on the
22 monitor, in accordance with the prior ruling from yesterday.
23 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I have no objection to it being pulled up.
24 That's why I gave the reference. And it's page 2, paragraph 4.
25 Q. Now when you were asked questions by the Prosecution yesterday,
1 you indicated that that wasn't true. And we're going into that a little
2 more. But I want to, first of all, ask you whose idea was it that
3 paragraph 4 should appear in your statement? Did you raise that with the
4 people interviewing you, or did they ask the question of you and then you
6 A. As far as I can remember, that question was put to me by those
7 who interviewed me.
8 Q. Did you know that it was -- that this paragraph 4, at the time
9 did you know that that was false?
10 A. That -- that was an official conviction.
11 As for that paragraph, there was some other cases which were in
12 the stage of investigation. They were not completed by then, which is
13 what I stated yesterday when I was asked about that.
14 Q. Well, yesterday you didn't answer the question I've just posed,
15 and you again have not answered it.
16 The question is: Did you know that paragraph 4 was false when
17 you signed this statement in 2003?
18 A. I was aware of that. However, those convictions were not final.
19 Actually, the cases had not been heard before the court by then.
20 Q. But the issue isn't whether or not you had been convicted. The
21 issue is the second sentence or, excuse me, the third sentence. You
22 don't say, Other than that, I have never been convicted. You say, Other
23 than that, I have never been under investigation.
24 Now you knew that to be false at that time, didn't you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Then why did you tell that falsehood to the investigators?
2 A. Well, as far as I know, under law, a person who is not found
3 guilty is presumed to be innocent, until that person is found guilty and
5 Q. And in 2009, when you testified in the Perisic case, by which
6 time you had been investigated in numerous cases, and you had been
7 convicted in at least four cases, you swore that this statement in front
8 of us, including paragraph 4, not only that it was correct but that you
9 would answer that the same way again; correct?
10 A. I provided this statement in 2003. I repeated that in the
11 Perisic case and again in the Stanisic/Simatovic case. I stated that, in
12 the meantime, I was convicted. In 2003, I was under investigation, and
13 until the conviction became final, that person was presumed to be
15 Q. Let's take a look at just a few of these court documents
16 concerning the proceedings against you.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 02532, please, Defence tab 3.
18 Q. To briefly summarise, this is a judgement which appears to be an
19 appeals judgement from the Subotica Municipal Court, and the cause of
20 action appears to arise from you promising to obtain ten tonnes of
21 cement, you received 1450 Deutschemarks in exchange for providing it
22 this, and not only did you provide the cement as requested and these
23 details all appear at page 10 --
24 MR. GOSNELL: I see we have the wrong document.
25 Let me restate the number. 02532. This looks promising. Now if
1 we can please turn to page -- well, just first look at page.
2 Q. It says there in the very first paragraph that there had been a
3 public hearing held on 18 November in the presence of the prosecutor and
4 the accused. Now am I correct - and let's just limit ourselves to this
5 question - did you take part in a hearing in a criminal case against you
6 on the 18th of October, 2002? Yes or no?
7 A. On the 18th of October, 2003, yes.
8 Q. It says 2002, sir.
9 A. Yes. That was in 2002. There was conviction but it was not
10 final. All of the convictions were made public, and a single sentence
11 was issued and here this is just one conviction. When the single
12 sentence was made public on all convictions, some of the convictions were
13 overturned and a single sentence was passed.
14 Q. Well, sir, I don't think a single one of these convictions were
15 overturned. There was a joinder of sentences but that's a different
17 In any event, let's take it step by step.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Can we turn to page 10 of this document, please, in
19 the English.
20 Q. And it describes that you have received 1450 Deutschemarks in
21 exchange for ten tonnes of cement. You did not supply the amount. And,
22 in addition, you did not return the money. And the court says --
23 MR. GOSNELL: I'm afraid that's not the correct page in English.
24 Could we go back one page in English, please.
25 Q. Here in the large paragraph in the middle of the page, it says:
1 "Added to this the fact that the defendant changed his statement
2 several times about the reasons why he failed to carry out his obligation
3 towards the injured party. The logical conclusion is that at the time
4 when the defendant promised to deliver the cement to the injured party he
5 knew that he would not fulfil his obligation within the deadline."
6 Is that correct, you knew that you weren't going to fulfil this
7 obligation but you, nevertheless, took the money and made the promise?
8 A. No, I didn't know that I would not be able to fulfil my
10 The situation when the delivery of the cement was agreed was
11 different. That happened after the bombardment of the Federal Republic
12 of Yugoslavia. Later on, the complete manufacture of cement and building
13 materials were placed under the authority of the agency for the
14 reconstruction of the land, which is why I could not fulfil the
16 MR. GOSNELL: This document is tendered, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D63, Your Honours.
19 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 02554, please.
20 Q. Sir, this involves a promise on your part to procure a car, an
21 Audi, in fact, from Germany, for which you received the sum of 800 euros.
22 This is a judgement in the case from the Municipal Court in Ruma.
23 MR. GOSNELL: If we could please turn to page 5 in the English.
24 And, for the record, the date of this is the 19th of February, 2004.
25 Q. At the bottom of the page it says:
1 "Based on all of the above, the court finds that the actions of
2 the accused bear all the [sic] subjective and objective elements of the
3 crime of fraud ... during the trial it was established beyond any doubt
4 that the accused ... had misled the injured party, telling her that his
5 brother could get hold of a cheap vehicle and he persuaded her to give
6 him 800 euros to her own detriment. And after she handed over this
7 amount, he kept deceiving her that he would bring her the vehicle he
8 promised, but during the trial it was established that he had not
9 obtained this vehicle, since his brother, to whom he referred when coming
10 to an agreement with the injured party ... did not know anything about
11 this agreement."
12 Did you defraud this lady of 800 euros on the false promise of
13 providing her with a car?
14 A. Yes. I took 800 euro from the lady. I could not obtain the car.
15 After the trial, the lady in question was reimbursed. She
16 received the money back after the court issued the sentence.
17 Q. You only gave her, her money back when the court had issued an
18 order to you to do so?
19 A. Yes. The lady filed a complaint because she didn't want to wait
20 any longer.
21 MR. GOSNELL: That document is tendered, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D64, Your Honours.
24 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 02553, please. Defence tab 4.
25 Q. This is from the Subotica District Court dated the 11th of
1 February, 2004, entitled: "Judgement." You're named there as the
3 Down there at sub-point b on page 1:
4 "The District Court regarding as proper the prison sentence as
5 set out in the aforesaid judgement for the crimes of which
6 Milomir Kovacevic was pronounced guilty in that judgement, namely ..."
7 And then the crimes listed are: Unauthorised procuring and
8 bearing of a fire-arm, fraud, forging documents, and apparently the
9 separate crime of forgery.
10 Is that right, that were convicted of these various offences,
11 fraud, forging documents, and forgery?
12 A. This is an integrated -- amalgamated sentence for the -- under
13 the previous two judgements you've shown.
14 Q. You're denying that this involves a separate course of conduct on
15 your part, involving weapons and forging the documents that supposedly
16 would entitle you to carry and hold those weapons?
17 A. I'm not denying that. I'm just saying that these weapons were
18 not used.
19 What happened is that during a brawl, the weapons just fell out
20 of the holster that I was carrying. The weapons were not used in that
22 MR. GOSNELL: This document is tendered, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D65, Your Honours.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D436, please. Defence tab 22.
1 Q. Sir, this is a document from the Office of the National Council
2 for Co-operation with the ICTY, dated the 12th of May, 2009. The
3 information recorded in this document is that you have been investigated
4 no less than eight times, or at least under eight separate dossiers, and
5 you appear to have been convicted in four separate judgements.
6 Is that accurate, that that's -- do you have knowledge that that
7 was the number of investigations and convictions against you?
8 A. As I said, there were some investigations. Some investigations
9 were suspended, and the rest that resulted in prosecutions, were
10 eventually combined into a single sentence.
11 Q. What was that single sentence; and how much time did you actually
13 A. That single sentence was four years, and I served three.
14 Q. What years did that occur, that you served that sentence?
15 A. That was sometime after 2003.
16 Q. After you gave your statement to the Office of the Prosecutor?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Immediately after?
19 A. Not immediately after.
20 MR. GOSNELL: This document is tendered, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D66, Your Honours.
23 MR. GOSNELL:
24 Q. Where was your father while you were in Eastern Slavonia, serving
25 in Vera? Where was your father at that time?
1 A. My father was with the Yugoslav People's Army in the area of
2 Eastern Slavonia and Baranja, until the 10th of October.
3 Q. Where precisely was he? Who was he serving with?
4 A. The Yugoslav People's Army, the Ruma Artillery Battalion.
5 Q. This is the unit that's led by Mr. Vaskovic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What was his job?
8 A. For a while, my father was driver to Lieutenant-Colonel Vaskovic,
9 and the rest of the time, until the 10th of October, he was a gunner. He
10 was a gunner because that was his military evidentiary specialty in the
12 MR. GOSNELL: Just two more questions, Mr. President. I know I'm
13 probably over time.
14 Q. The first question, sir, is: Did your father ever drive
15 Mr. Sljukic? You've identified him as the man that you've driven for.
16 Did your father ever drive him?
17 A. Yes. My father drove Mr. Sljukic just as I sometimes drove
18 Lieutenant-Colonel Vaskovic, as required.
19 Q. And you never, in all of your statements, testimony, proofing
20 notes, supplement information sheets, deemed it germane to mention this?
21 A. I didn't think it was necessary because my father left on the
22 10th of October and went home.
23 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D437, please.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one clarification, Mr. Gosnell.
25 Mr. Kovacevic, the 10th of October of what year?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1991.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, so could we please have 1D437. And if we
4 could turn to page 2, please.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Kovacevic, again, this is the document that was given to
6 us by the Office of the Prosecutor based on their interviews with you.
7 Apparently two interviews. Or at least interviews at two different
9 And I draw your attention to paragraph 11. And the language used
10 there is this:
11 "The witness said that the notes that he previously had kept
12 concerning events set out in his testimony have now been destroyed."
13 You'll see it doesn't say "lost." It says "destroyed."
14 Did you tell the Prosecutors that those documents had been lost
15 or that they had been destroyed?
16 A. As far as I remember, I told the Prosecution the documents were
17 lost. They were missing.
18 Q. Thank you very much --
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Kovacevic.
21 Mr. President those are my questions. I do have a number of
22 documents to tender at this point. In particular, I would like to tender
23 the three sets of documents. One is the testimony from the Stanisic
24 case. The other is the August supplementary information sheet which was
25 signed by the witness. That was prior to his testimony in the Stanisic
1 case. And I would also like to tender the proofing note in this case.
2 Now I -- we, of course, have been here before. Sometimes
3 Your Honours have been willing to admit previous statements and sometimes
4 you haven't. I would suggest, Mr. President, that this is an occasion
5 when, in particular, the Stanisic testimony, should be admitted. And the
6 reason why I would suggest that arises from the objection or at least the
7 intervention that you heard from the Prosecution on Monday when they
8 disputed, for example, that a reference to documents was in fact a
9 reference to his notes.
10 Now the only way to -- and Your Honour quite rightly said at the
11 time, Well, we'll have a look at this and determine whether or not that's
12 clear based on the entire context of what is written there. And
13 Your Honours won't really be able to make a final determination about
14 that unless you have those pages of transcript, and I'd suggest that
15 that's a -- that's a recurring conundrum for Your Honours. There were
16 many things that were put to the witness which, if you take one word out
17 of place, you could say, Well, that's not impeachment material. But then
18 when you look at two or three pages you will see that indeed the meaning
19 is clear. At least that is our submission and the Prosecution will
20 undoubtedly offer different submissions. But the only way for those
21 submissions to make any sense for Your Honours is if you actually have
22 the material.
23 So our submission is that those materials should be admitted for
24 the purpose of impeachment only.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett.
1 MR. GILLETT: Yeah. First up, I'm not sure if we should address
2 this now or should I finish re-examination. I only had two clarifying
3 questions. And then get into the legal questions. I'm in your hands,
4 either way.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's -- that's a good suggestion, Mr. Gillett.
6 Then after your re-direct and eventually the Judges' question we can
7 excuse the witness and discuss this matter further eventually.
8 So your questions in re-direct.
9 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
10 Re-examination by Mr. Gillett:
11 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, just two questions in re-direct.
12 Firstly, during cross-examination, at transcript page 5453, you
13 were describing the chain of command, and you referred to the field
14 mission in Western Srem and Baranja.
15 Did you mean to restrict your answer to just Western Srem and
16 Baranja or does it also include other areas?
17 A. That was -- that concerned only Western Srem and Baranja.
18 Q. Do you understand those areas to cover also the area in which the
19 towns of Dalj and Erdut are located, for example?
20 A. Western Srem and Baranja cover the area from the Hungarian border
21 via Beli Manastir, Bijelo Brdo, Kopacki Rit, Erdut, village Vera,
22 Pacetin, Principovac farm, Bobota, Bogdanovci, Marinovci, Brsadin,
23 Vukovar, and up to Tovarnik.
24 Q. Okay. I think that clearly answers the question.
25 At that same portion of transcript, you continued on to explain -
1 and this was this relation to the chain of command - you said:
2 "The situation was rather messy because, in addition to the
3 Yugoslav People's Army, there was the Serbian Volunteer Guard of
4 Mr. Zeljko Raznjatovic."
5 However, you were then cut off in your explanation by the
6 Defence. Can you recall what you were going to explain in relation to
7 that question?
8 A. Well, in response to that question, I was going to add the fact
9 that under the constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of
10 Yugoslavia and under the laws, only the Territorial Defence and the
11 Yugoslav People's Army were officially supposed to act without any
12 paramilitaries. The Serbian Volunteers Guard was not a regular army from
13 the SFRY, it was a paramilitary unit.
14 Q. And that was the situation as it was supposed to occur under the
15 rules and the constitution, according to your previous answer. But when
16 you said "the situation was rather messy," does that mean that it was
17 different from what was supposed to occur in theory or not?
18 A. Well, things occurred differently than they were supposed. There
19 were cases when the Serbian Volunteer Guard took over certain operations
20 and did so on their own initiative.
21 MR. GILLETT: No further questions on re-exam. Thank you,
22 Your Honours.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovacevic, this brings an end to your
1 testimony. We thank you for coming to The Hague. You're now released as
2 a witness, and we wish you a safe journey home.
3 The court usher will escort you out of court.
4 Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good-bye, and thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
8 MR. GILLETT: Now, I -- I said I would respond to the legal
9 submissions just previously made, so I'm prepared to go through with that
10 right now, if it pleases Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
12 MR. GILLETT: So perhaps if we start with the Stanisic/Simatovic
13 transcripts which my learned colleague described, we did not object to
14 the extension of time for cross-examination of this witness and it is
15 extended to, I believe, four hours of cross-examination. We say that
16 it's unnecessary for those transcripts in Stanisic and Simatovic to be
17 tendered into evidence in this case because the key points have all been
18 addressed during cross-examination and the key bits of transcript have
19 been read into the record.
20 Specifically in relation to the point where I challenged a
21 certain issue during cross-examination, I have reviewed the transcripts,
22 and, in fact, the question from the Stanisic and Simatovic transcript
23 that I was concerned about was read into the record albeit in a prior
24 question, and that's at transcript page 5466, lines 14 to 18.
25 The witness was then able to answer the question. And that's at
1 the same transcript page, lines 20 to 23.
2 So that adequately deals with my objection. It's on the record
3 in this case and we say it would be duplicative to then admit the
4 transcripts again that have already been incorporated where relevant.
5 Now, Your Honours in a previous decision have indicated that you
6 prefer not to be overburdened with extraneous materials, prior testimony.
7 In this case of Stanisic and Simatovic we're talking about four days of
8 testimony and cross-examination, most of which goes to issues not
9 involving the accused Goran Hadzic. I believe there's only one reference
10 that I could see to Hadzic which has been read into the record and
11 covered by questions, and this is covered at transcript pages 6708 to
12 6709 of the Stanisic and Simatovic transcript. And that -- that portion,
13 if you look at our transcript, was read into the record. It concerned
14 the dates of the meeting in Dalj and the presence of Milorad Ulemek,
16 So on this basis, we would say that it's unnecessary to admit the
17 Stanisic and Simatovic transcripts.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: We will discuss this and come back to you
21 probably tomorrow, and, if not, it will be a little bit later.
22 Would you like to --
23 MR. GOSNELL: Just one -- one small comment on the submissions
24 that were made by my learned friend.
25 Certainly not all the issues that are relevant to this witness's
1 credibility were gone into. I used my four hours as efficiently as I
2 could, but there simply were other issues concerning credibility that I
3 did not go into and I couldn't gone into exhaustively without spending
4 another three hours or four hours with the witness. I don't think that
5 would have benefitted the Chamber very much.
6 But nevertheless, I -- it should be clearly reflected there were
7 issues I did not go into that are highly relevant to credibility, and
8 those transcripts are not tendered in any way because they're relevant to
9 Mr. Hadzic. It has nothing do with that. It has to do with the
10 witness's credibility.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 Mr. Gillett, about the -- your request for an extension of time
13 for the 92 quater witnesses, you told us that you have a document now
14 concerning 079. Is that -- is that the one?
15 MR. GILLETT: I believe so, yeah.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: And are you -- is -- is that -- is that document
17 in -- in Court's hands? Is it filed?
18 MR. GILLETT: I can explain.
19 We just received it this morning by fax. We have an investigator
20 in the field who faxed that through, and so we are intending to file that
21 with the Chamber along with the medical documentation for GH-083 as
22 indicated in the motion for extension.
23 So it would just leave, I think, it's GH-142 who we are still
24 awaiting the Croatian authorities to provide the relevant document for
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: But then my conclusion would be that your request
2 for extension of time is still valid for both; right?
3 MR. GILLETT: I thought the deadline was 11 June for the
4 submission of these materials.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: And when -- when is that? That's tomorrow, isn't
6 it? Or today. Isn't it today? Yeah, it's today; right?
7 Yes, Mr. Stringer.
8 MR. STRINGER: Sorry, Mr. President. We've been -- this has been
9 moving back and forth during the course of the proceedings.
10 Documentation did come in from the field just today, and it's going to be
11 submitted today to the Chamber, and this is in respect of GH-083 and
12 GH-079 and we just are in the process of drafting a -- a document we're
13 calling a supplement documentation for those.
14 So with respect to GH-083 and 079, we are actually meeting the
15 Chamber's deadline, which is today, June 11th, and so the motion for the
16 extension of time would, in our submission, be then moot in respect of
17 those two witnesses. And then the third witness is GH-142, and on that
18 one we had been hoping to obtain a death certificate which has not yet
20 And on that, our intention has been to file by way of a reply to
21 the Defence response the Request for Assistance that was sent out to the
22 Croatian authorities requesting the documentation because the Defence
23 indicated that they felt that the initial motion didn't provide enough
24 information about the efforts undertaken to obtain the documentation in a
25 timely way.
1 So we're going to be submitting the Request for Assistance so the
2 Chamber and the Defence can see when that documentation was requested.
3 However, we still have not obtained that documentation back in response
4 to the Request for Assistance.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
6 Court adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.56 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 12th day of
9 June, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.