1 Tuesday, 8 April 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
6 courtroom. Good to see all of you apparently in good health.
7 Good morning, Mr. Lukic.
8 Madam Registrar, could you call the case. Please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 Can we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. For
15 the Prosecution Douglas Stringer, Lisa Biersay, Case Manager
16 Thomas Laugel, and interns Nicolas Hoban and Marija Knezevic.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 For the Defence.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
20 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell with legal intern
21 Paul Stokes.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
23 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic on behalf
24 of the witness who should testify today. I don't know if he's protected
25 or not.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. He is not protected.
2 MR. LUKIC: So on behalf of Mr. Borislav Bogunovic.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 First of all, one administrative matter. Due to the late start
5 we will take one break at 11.45, a 30-minute break. And then there are
6 two very short oral rulings.
7 First one. On 21st of March, 2014, the Prosecution filed its
8 15th motion for leave to amend its Rule 65 ter exhibit list. On
9 31 March 2014, the Defence filed a response in which it opposed the
10 motion. On the 1st of April, 2014, the Prosecution filed a request for
11 leave to reply and a reply in which it withdrew the motion. The Chamber
12 hereby grants the request for leave to reply and notes the withdrawal of
13 the motion.
14 Second one is as follows. The Trial Chamber is seized of the
15 Prosecution motion for the substitution of Rule 65 ter admitted
16 Exhibits P1964 and P3038, filed on 14 March. The Defence did not
17 respond. The motion is hereby granted. The registry will take necessary
18 measures to implement this decision by the 22nd of April, 2014, and
19 update the Chamber and parties of its implementation.
20 Could the witness be brought in, please.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Bogunovic. Thank you for
23 coming to The Hague. Could I please ask you to state your name and date
24 of birth for the record.
25 And I first should ask you, do you hear me in a language you
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Your name and date of birth, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Borislav Bogunovic, born on the
5 25th of March, 1950.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Bogunovic, you are to make the solemn declaration by which
8 witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth. I must point out to you
9 that by doing so you expose yourself to the penalties of perjury should
10 you give false or untruthful information.
11 Can I now ask you to make the solemn declaration the usher will
12 give to you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: BORISLAV BOGUNOVIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Ms. Biersay, your witness.
20 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Examination by Lisa Biersay:
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bogunovic.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Are you comfortably seated where you are?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could I ask you just to move a little bit closer to the
2 microphone, please, if you can.
3 A. [In English] Okay.
4 Q. And are you able to see the screen in front of you?
5 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
6 Q. And I see you're reaching for your glasses; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Before we start looking at any documents, Mr. Bogunovic, could
9 you describe what positions you held in the SAO SBWS government in 1991?
10 A. In 1991, I was minister of the interior, from 1991, and then I
11 was deputy prime minister in 1992. And later on, I was vice speaker of
12 the Assembly of the Serbian Krajina.
13 Q. Is it true that you provided several statements to
14 representatives of the OTP, the Office of the Prosecutor?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You've also provided statements in local proceedings as well in
17 Belgrade; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I'd like to direct your attention to 2012. Did you provide a
20 statement to the representatives of the OTP in September of 2012?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were you able to review that statement?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In what language did you review it?
25 A. In Serbian.
1 Q. You signed that statement in September 2012; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you reviewed it again in 2013, September 2013; is that
5 A. It is.
6 Q. And again, you reviewed that statement in March of this year; is
7 that right?
8 A. Right.
9 MS. BIERSAY: If I could now turn to tab 15, if I may ask the
10 registry to display 65 ter number 5962. And may I have some assistance
11 in giving Mr. Bogunovic a hard copy of this document. I've already
12 conferred with the Defence. Thank you.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Bogunovic, you have a hard copy of it and we are trying
14 to find an electronic version so that it will come up on the screen, but
15 it thought it would be helpful for you to have it in your hands as well.
16 Now, I don't know which is better for you to see, the screen or the hard
17 copy that's in front of you. Do you have a preference?
18 A. Hard copy.
19 Q. Now directing your attention to the hard copy in front of you on
20 the first page, do you recognise this?
21 A. Yes. This is a document that I signed. It contains my details,
22 my name, surname, date and place of birth, and everything else.
23 Q. Now you said that you recognised your name -- you recognised your
24 signature on that page?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. And is this the September 2012 statement that you signed?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 MS. BIERSAY: If we could simply go to the next page.
4 Q. And just directing -- I won't go through all the pages, but
5 directing your attention to the bottom of that page, do you recognise
7 A. Do you mean the bottom of the first page?
8 Q. Of -- the page that you're looking at now, do you see your
9 initials on that page?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, upon your review, the two times, of this document, you had
12 some corrections that you wanted to be made; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Let me direct your attention to paragraph 5, which is on the page
15 you're looking at, page 2, at the very bottom. Do you see it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, in that paragraph it describes that you had been convicted
18 to 32 years of imprisonment for murder. Has that number changed?
19 A. Yes. Now, at this moment, the sentence is 20 years of
21 Q. And now I'd like to direct your attention to paragraph 16, which
22 is page 4 of the document that you're holding. And specifically, it
24 "After 2 May, the SNC held two or three meetings on the subject
25 at Ljubija Novakovic's home in Baca Palanka."
1 Is the word "home" correct?
2 A. No, no. We did that at the office, the office where
3 Ljubo Novakovic worked.
4 Q. Now directing your attention to, I think it will be page 18 for
5 the hard copy that you're holding, Mr. Bogunovic, if you could go to
6 paragraph 89. So it's on page 18.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you look at the bottom of the page that you're looking at
9 and tell me what page number it has written?
10 A. I have 18.
11 Q. Now if I could direct your attention to that last sentence right
12 before paragraph 90. And it says:
13 "We received the same blue uniforms and equipment that the MUP
14 police of Serbia wore, trousers, jackets, short-barrelled weapons, which
15 were red Zastava pistols calibre 65."
16 Is the number of the calibre correct? Sir, right above
17 paragraph 90, the last sentence.
18 A. Yes, all of this is correct except for the calibre. It should be
20 Q. And now if you could go to page 27, specifically paragraph 143
21 once you get there. Are you on page 27?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And paragraph 143. If you could look five lines down you'll see
24 the word "vojsku," and my question to you is whether or not that's the
25 correct word.
1 A. Well, it should rather say "the Ministry of Justice," to my mind,
2 instead of "vojska," "the army." So the Ministry of Justice along with
3 the Ministry of the Interior, the police that had been established at the
4 time and that could try the persons who were supposed to be tried.
5 Q. Let me --
6 A. That is to say the word "vojska," "army," should not be here.
7 Q. And if I could read the English, that sentence reads:
8 "That is what Susa was referring to when he said we had the
9 police and we had judiciary ..."
10 Is that consistent with the correction that you just made?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Bogunovic, with the corrections you just made, is the
13 information contained in your statement, is that information accurate and
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. If you were asked the same questions today about the information
17 you provided in that statement, would your answers - in substance - be
18 the same?
19 A. Yes.
20 MS. BIERSAY: At this time the Prosecution would move for the
21 admission of the statement, which is 65 ter number 5962.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P3204.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MS. BIERSAY: And, Your Honours, at this time that would conclude
1 my direct.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 Mr. Zivanovic.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bogunovic, although we have met on two
7 occasions already, for the transcript I have to introduce myself to you.
8 My name is Zoran Zivanovic and I am Defence counsel for Goran Hadzic in
9 these proceedings.
10 First of all, I would like you to clarify a few of the answers
11 that you gave to the Prosecutor now and that are contained in the
12 transcript. First of all, can you tell me when were you minister of the
13 interior and until when, in the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and
14 Western Srem, in which period?
15 A. In the period of the establishment of our ministry, our
16 government, that was sometime in August until the end of 1991.
17 Q. And in which period were you the deputy prime minister?
18 A. I was deputy prime minister when I was replaced as minister of
19 the interior, when I was transferred to the position of deputy
20 prime minister.
21 Q. Can you remember which period this was when you were deputy
22 prime minister?
23 A. Deputy prime minister? I think I started carrying out those
24 duties in 1991, as far as I can remember.
25 Q. Until when?
1 A. Well, I don't know. Say until 1992, I don't know what month.
2 Towards the end of 1992. I don't know exactly.
3 Q. And in which period were you the vice-president of the Assembly
4 of the Republic of the Serb Krajina?
5 A. I held that position from the establishment of -- actually from
6 the first multiparty elections in the Krajina.
7 Q. Do you remember when these multiparty elections were held?
8 A. Well, now was it 1993 or 1994? Sometime around then.
9 Q. You said to the Prosecutor today that you reviewed the statement
10 before you in 2012 and then 2013 and now in March 2014.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. My question is whether you read it carefully?
13 A. Well, you see, I read it. I tried to read it as it was written,
14 but I think that I did read it properly, but it's possible that -- well,
15 I don't know. As far as I could see all of this, perhaps I omitted a
16 sentence or two, but I don't know whether there is anything meaningful.
17 Q. Can you tell us roughly how much time you devoted to reading this
19 A. Well, about two or two and a half hours.
20 Q. Did you come across any inconsistencies in this statement,
21 anything that was contradictory?
22 A. Well, I could not exactly about everything. It would have taken
23 a lot longer if I went from one part to another and looked at each and
24 every sentence, trying to see what each and every sentence meant. I
25 didn't have all that time, and to tell you the truth, I didn't really pay
1 attention to each and every word. But on the whole, I think that the
2 essence is there. Now, whether there is something --
3 Q. Well, all right. But when you say that you didn't have enough
4 time, did you have other commitments at the time or, quite simply, were
5 you not concentrated? Were you preoccupied with other things?
6 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I have a big problem that I've been
7 dealing with over the past three years, and it creates major problems for
8 me, and I read something and a few minutes later I forget that. It's not
9 intentional or anything like that. Quite simply, this case of mine, this
10 thing that I'm dealing with, it brings me to that. I read something and
11 then I'm thinking of something else. So I cannot tell you exactly now
12 whether somewhere -- well, perhaps there are some things that are not
13 correct. It wouldn't be anything big, but there is that possibility.
14 Q. In response to the Prosecutor's question here, you said that you
15 were convicted to 20 years in prison. Could you just clarify this for
16 us? Does it have anything to do with something that happened during the
17 war or not?
18 A. Well, this is the way it was. The only thing that has to do with
19 the war and things like that is that is I am not as calm as I used to be.
20 I felt that the war has taken its toll, and at certain moments I'm more
21 irritable than I was before. I used to be reticent before, but now I see
22 that I get upset very easily. It's a lot easier for me to change my
23 mood, and this affects my psyche and me personally.
24 Q. I understand, but my question is: The event on account of which
25 you were convicted, is it something that happened during the war or
2 A. Afterwards.
3 Q. Mr. Bogunovic, in your statement you said -- well, it's contained
4 in one chapter. You spoke about the establishment of the SDS and the
5 work of the SDS, especially in Vukovar. Since you were a member of that
6 party and you held high office in that party, first of all, I'd like to
7 ask you why you actually became a member of that party in the first
9 A. Well, I joined that party because, before that, the HDZ party had
10 been established and it had been in power for some seven or eight months,
11 and in the elections they had won power together with the SDP. I never
12 thought of going into politics, but at certain moments I was bothered by
13 this, especially at work when people were saying, "Ah, if you were not a
14 Serb, you would have really made it in life," and so on and so forth.
15 And then it was even more insulting when they would say, "Well, let's not
16 take him along. We cannot speak openly, he's a Serb," and so on. So
17 this is something that I could not understand at first. I wondered why,
18 because until then I was on good terms with all of these people. We
19 socialised. We were friends. We even went to one another's home. At
20 our patron saint's day, there were always 70 per cent Croats and
21 30 per cent Serbs present.
22 So I asked myself: Now, what is this that is happening now? So,
23 I mean, at one moment, as everything was the way it was, I said, well, a
24 Croatian party had been established and we're going to create a Serb
25 party, and that's how I joined in the establishment of this party or,
1 rather, the beginning of the establishment of the Serb Democratic Party.
2 Q. When you say the beginning of the establishment of the
3 Serb Democratic Party, are you talking about this committee in Vukovar or
4 the party in general?
5 A. Well, the party in general, especially in Vukovar. The party was
6 established, Jovan Raskovic was the founder of that party. I was not
7 present when he founded the party, but I was in Vukovar, at Adica, where
8 there were 8- or 9.000 persons present, and Jovan Raskovic was present
9 too. And then this rally that was held there and people were selected
10 there who would represent the SDS in the future.
11 Q. You certainly know - and I will tell you that we have information
12 here - about this referendum that was held by the Serb people in Croatia,
13 in terms of whether they would stay in Yugoslavia or whether they would
14 accept Croatia's separation from Yugoslavia. Do you remember that
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. And what was the result of this referendum?
18 A. Well, the referendum in the Serb villages, or, rather, where
19 there were more Serbs living, it was almost 100 per cent. This was done
20 and it was done for the purpose of seeing how the people felt, and they
21 all wanted Yugoslavia, as it had existed until then, to continue.
22 Q. When you say that they all wanted Yugoslavia to continue, you're
23 referring to the Serb population?
24 A. The Serb population.
25 Q. Was that the position of the Serb Democratic Party as well?
1 A. Yes. We had a meeting before that and this was adopted
2 unanimously; namely, that our wish was to remain in Yugoslavia or,
3 rather, that Yugoslavia should remain as it was.
4 Q. Tell me, please, we have some information also about the
5 organisation of village guards in Serb villages at the time. Can you
6 tell us what kind of guards these were and why they were organised in the
7 first place?
8 A. Yes. At that time there were village guards along the main roads
9 along which people passed. By then, what was noticeable was that armed
10 people were passing by and that weapons were being transported in
11 automobiles. At the time we did not have any guards at all. However, at
12 the meeting a decision was taken that we should have our guards there,
13 too, as the Croats already did have, and that there should be
14 check-points at entrances and exits into towns and villages.
15 Q. The guards were organised by the inhabitants of particular
16 villages; right?
17 A. Yes, every village held meetings and they elected their
18 Crisis Staff, and the Crisis Staff was in charge. They decided who would
19 go on guard duty, who would procure the goods that were needed, so there
20 were people who appointed these guards.
21 Q. You lived in Negoslavci?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. According to the information I have, you were elected at a rally
24 of the citizens of Negoslavci as this commander of whatever it was, the
25 Crisis Staff, the Territorial Defence, whatever it was called, I don't
1 know, but this is the duty that you performed; right?
2 A. Yes. At first I was president of the Crisis Staff, and
3 afterwards this grew into a position called the president of the
4 Territorial Defence; that is to say, that I discharged those duties for
5 seven or eight months.
6 Q. According to the information I have, you performed these duties
7 until you were elected minister of the interior.
8 A. Exactly that date.
9 Q. That was in August?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I also have information to the effect that these organs at the
12 time, these guards, whatever we're going to call them, that they
13 communicated between and among themselves but they did not have superior
14 command; that is to say, that they operated at local level. Is that
16 A. Yes, that's correct. Since we were separated anyway, very often
17 a village would be separated by one Croatian village or two Croatian
18 villages, so it wasn't easy to communicate, and then each village, each
19 Crisis Staff operated on its own, whatever they deemed best or, rather,
20 what mattered the most at a particular point in time in terms of the
21 defence of that village.
22 Q. According to my information, this situation prevailed until the
23 army came in, until they took control of all these villages and placed
24 all of these villages guards and the Territorial Defence, whatever it was
25 called, all of that, these groups of people, the army placed all of these
1 groups under their command; right?
2 A. Yes. May I just say something? A bit before that, before this
3 question, may I explain how all of this happened and all the things that
4 we went through? I mean, I'm trying to say that in the meantime there
5 was this visit in Vukovar. The then-minister of interior of Croatia,
6 Mr. Boljkovac, and also the deputy prime minister of Croatia,
7 Mr. Slavko Degoricija, they came since Goran was arrested in Plitvice at
8 the time. They came and tried to do have the barricades, the roadblocks
9 removed, and also to do away with these village guards and to go back to
10 the original situation, not to have any problems, and to continue with a
11 peaceful, regular type of life that prevailed in that area.
12 I attended that meeting, too. I was invited. I came there and
13 we talked as human beings, and the explanation provided was that it would
14 not be a good things to have these barricades, these village guards and
15 all of this, that all of that should be done away with. At first I
16 accepted that, but I said that I could not decide that on my own. And I
17 said to them, "I suggest to you that we go to Borovo Selo and I have is a
18 staff there, and if that is what we agree on there, then that is what we
19 will do and that will be done." They accepted that. We went to
20 Borovo Selo and we were met there in the traditional Serb way, with bread
21 and salt. We held a meeting for about an hour and a half, and ultimately
22 we agreed that these village guards and barricades be removed.
23 However, when we went back to Vukovar, quite simply we thought
24 that this had been resolved. However, at my request, Mr. Mercep also,
25 who was on the other side, he was the responsible person there, he was
1 also invited to that meeting, and I asked whether it was possible to go
2 to his village, too, and do the same thing, and reach agreement with
3 them, too, to have this happen, so that the entire area of the
4 municipality of Vukovar would observe that. And that's where there was a
5 problem. He said that that would not be possible, that he could not
6 guarantee our security, and that he is not in a position to make it
7 possible for us to go there peacefully and safely, as they had come to
8 Borovo Selo, which caused a disruption in our relations a bit. However,
9 Mr. Degoricija persuaded us to accept this.
10 There weren't any barricades until Goran, so this was Tuesday,
11 and then on Thursday they promised us that they would bring Goran to see
12 what the situation was and that's what happened. They brought Goran and
13 there were no barricades on the Serb side. Goran returned after that.
14 They again, for some other reasons -- well, we had exact information
15 that, at the time, about ten of the most prominent Serbs in Vukovar went
16 missing, that they were simply not there. And then again this thing
17 happened; namely, there was a loss of mutual confidence.
18 And at the time, again, these same barricades were set up. And
19 after all of that, what you said happened; namely, the army came to this
20 area and that then things became different.
21 Q. Could we just clarify one point. There, in Borovo Selo, when
22 these officials of the Croatian government came and when the removal of
23 barricades was discussed, who was it that they talked to in Borovo Selo?
24 Was it Soskocanin?
25 A. Yes. This is the way it was. Borovo Selo was the biggest
1 village. It had the largest population, about 11.000. We always tried
2 to accept what the majority wanted. And of course, Vukasin Soskocanin
3 was there and Vitomir Devetak and many others who were members of the
4 Serb Democratic Party. To tell you the truth, it was accepted that these
5 barricades should be removed throughout the municipality of Vukovar.
6 Q. In your statement, you spoke about the establishment of the
7 government. We'll go back to that a bit later. As far as I understood
8 that statement of yours, soon after the government was established and
9 after you were appointed minister of the interior, you went to Sid?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. That was already in August 1991; right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. There was this man by the name of Slobodan Grahovac there
14 according to our information?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You met him?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know who he was? Why was he there?
19 A. Well, I saw him for the first time in Sid, and he told me that he
20 had come to help me with certain things that I was supposed to do, and
21 that he would be there as long as it was necessary.
22 Q. Does that mean that he was a member of some leadership, some war
23 command, or under your command?
24 A. Well, I wouldn't say he was under my command, because had it be
25 the case, I would have called him and I would have asked for him to come.
1 However, since that was not the case and he didn't come there at my
2 insistence and at my request, I understood him to be someone who was
3 responsible to someone else to whom he reported about whatever it was
4 that he did.
5 Q. Did you know, perhaps later or even at that time, what his prior
6 engagements were, what he did before?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did he have any of his own people there, some assistants, some
9 personnel of his own? Do you recall?
10 A. Well, there was another man with him, his name was
11 Dusan Filipovic, who was always with him. And this man was someone that
12 I also saw for the first time then. I hadn't seen him ever before. I
13 did have occasion to exchange a couple of words with him, but he never
14 told me who he was, what he was doing there, and so on. Simply they were
15 installed there, as it were, and I didn't really mind it, but it wasn't
16 really a pleasant thing to have people around you you didn't know much
18 Q. Do you know whether they had any contacts with the
19 Territorial Defence from Serbia, the Serbian authorities?
20 A. To be honest, I didn't really know much about what they did.
21 They didn't reveal a lot. And they would go away, but then there would
22 always be one of them who would stay behind. And then they would take
23 turns, the other would go and the first one would stay. So, in fact, it
24 was as if they were there to watch or observe our actions, that they were
25 monitoring what we were doing, to see what we were saying and whether we
1 were actually implementing what had been agreed.
2 And as for me, I consider that there was one man that deserved
3 respect and I had to obey his orders, that was our agreement, and that
4 was our president, Mr. Goran Hadzic, who told me: You will go to Sid
5 because there are Serbian villages on that side that are surrounded.
6 They cannot reach Sid. They have a lot of difficulties with procuring
7 medicines, selling the harvest that had already been completed, so do
8 see, with the military, that they help them to pass through the area and
9 get to Sid peacefully and also to return, to get back home on a convoy
10 that was there on that day.
11 Q. And you did that?
12 A. Yes. That's exactly the way I worked.
13 Q. And in fact, am I correct to conclude that you were in Sid, in
14 fact, just to take care of civilian affairs; in other words, to ensure
15 that the Serbian people who lived in Western Srem could satisfy their
16 basic needs, food and other necessities?
17 A. That's correct, that was the brunt of my work. There were also
18 problems because there were people who didn't want to wait for the convoy
19 and they would set out for Sid on their own. They would be captured and
20 disappear. And there was quite a number of people who disappeared at
21 that time. We never learned anything about their fate, where they were,
22 what they were doing, or what had happened with them. So this was one of
23 those important issues that I had to deal with, but sometimes -- and
24 sometimes we did have opportunities to react and do something about it,
25 but in most cases we didn't.
1 But in effect, I was there because there were these people who
2 were in a ghetto and they couldn't really get to Sid. It wasn't all that
3 close. They would have to get through four or five Croatian villages, so
4 getting to Sid was not an easy task.
5 Q. Well, just to wrap up, while you were in Sid, you didn't have any
6 tasks that had anything to do with military issues or with, for instance,
7 reception of volunteers or sending of military units or procurement for
8 the military of, let's say, weapons or uniforms and so on, would you
9 agree with me? Is that the correct conclusion?
10 A. Well, at the time, the army was in Sid, and all the tasks that I
11 had I would have to report to Ljubisa Petrovic [as interpreted] and
12 Subotic. They were colonels of the army. I had to discuss this with
13 them and tell them what my plans for the day were. But as far as those
14 who would come from elsewhere, I didn't have any weapons. I couldn't
15 promise that I could procure that for them. There was a large warehouse
16 in Sid where these people actually got their uniforms and were then
17 assigned to various areas. I had absolutely nothing to do with that
19 Q. When you say "I" or "we," do you mean the Ministry of the
20 Interior of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
21 A. Well, yes. The entire ministry had nothing to do with it.
22 Q. Just one final thing: I believe that in the transcript we have
23 the name of "Ljubisa Petrovic." Did you say "Petrovic" or "Petkovic"?
24 A. I said Petkovic.
25 Q. From your statement, where you talk about the arming of Serbs at
1 this time, I concluded that there were three stages in all of that, and
2 you will tell me whether I'm mistaken or not. At the beginning, these
3 village guards or village patrols only had their own personal weapons,
4 perhaps one or two persons would have it. Am I correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. After the incident in Borovo Selo on the 2nd of May, a certain
7 quantity of weapons were brought there and then it turned out that they
8 were outdated and even out of commission; is that correct?
9 A. Well, yes. I don't know, I think maybe this was given to us just
10 so that we would be appeased, that we would have some weapon in our
11 hands. But, in fact, we were cheated because we received something that
12 couldn't be used at all. So it was as if we hadn't received anything
13 because it was useless. Of what we did see, 99 per cent was not working
14 and couldn't be used.
15 Q. And the third stage was after the arrival of the Yugoslav Army,
16 when they distributed weapons according to their own criteria, they
17 distributed the weapons to people of their own choice?
18 A. Well, you see, when the army arrived, they recruited younger more
19 capable men who were willing and ready to pick up arms, and this is how
20 the weapons were distributed. However, we had nothing to do with that
21 and we had absolutely no influence over whatever they were doing, and it
22 was done the way it was done, without our assistance. And I believe that
23 no one from that same government or those staffs, I don't believe that
24 any of those people had any influence on that or that they could have
25 done anything.
1 Q. And this process of weapons distribution by the JNA began
2 sometime in June 1991; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And the weapons were in working order?
5 A. Well, as far as I could learn and as far as I could see, these
6 were almost new weapons, completely. They were in order, they worked,
7 and there were no problems with them.
8 If I can just add, this would not have happened had there not
9 been a major incident between Tovarnik village and Divaca [phoen] village
10 where the army was attacked and some five or six soldiers were killed and
11 a lot of materiel was destroyed, or, rather, a large number of vehicles
12 were disabled. And after this, the events that we've described occurred
13 and that's how it was started.
14 Q. I'll ask you one more thing: At the time when the crisis was
15 already evident, when Croatia wanted to withdraw from Yugoslavia, when
16 there were people who wanted to stay in Yugoslavia or not stay in
17 Yugoslavia, so is it correct that people in general - either in Croatia
18 or Serbia - didn't really know what the reaction of the central
19 authorities would be, for instance, the army, the presidency, the
20 presidency of the Republic of Serbia and so on, if Croatia was to take
21 that action? Or what would happen if there was an attack on Serbia; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Well, that's correct. And that's what actually frightened us,
24 because we realised, we knew that our lives and the lives of our families
25 were at stake and everything else, and we would just wait for the evening
1 news to hear the latest, whether anything else had happened and so on.
2 And at that point there were problems because many people had -- various
3 people had various perspectives, and we didn't know whom we could trust
4 and believe. It was very difficult to wait and see what our fate would
5 be, but we all felt that it won't be good.
6 There were a lot of examples, especially in Vukovar, where we
7 knew - because this had been checked - where there had been instances
8 where a person who was released from hospital, for instance, there was a
9 man, I believe his name was Sava, I can't remember his last name, he was
10 slaughtered in the street as if he was a chicken. This happened to him
11 and to a couple of other people who themselves had no idea why this
12 happened but it did. And, of course, no one was willing to go to work
13 anymore, no one felt safe walking around. And in addition, I was afraid
14 that in Serbia, too, it wasn't clear what was wanted, what the objective
15 was, and we didn't know what would happen to us.
16 Q. According to the information I have, people usually tried,
17 through various people, from the authorities, the police, the army, the
18 personal contacts they had somewhere, they tried to get some information,
19 but even then, if they got it, it wasn't reliable. Do you know about
21 A. Yes. It was very clear to us, and we had meetings amongst
22 ourselves and we received a lot of information that we couldn't believe,
23 because we thought everybody was just saying things that were convenient
24 to them personally. And they often wanted to calm us down, pacify us,
25 persuade us that we could sleep soundly, but we just knew it wasn't true.
1 Q. Do you know if Goran Hadzic was also among those who were trying
2 desperately to get some reliable information and did he have any success?
3 A. As far as I know, he tried in every possible way to get some
4 reliable information, to get the truth, and I know he had a very
5 difficult time, perhaps the hardest time of anyone, because everybody was
6 looking at him with great expectations. And we waited eagerly for every
7 meeting to hear from him what was going on and ask him if we could really
8 believe what we were hearing. I know that he had a very hard time. He
9 was in a very difficult position because I think he, himself, could not
10 believe the things he was being told and he didn't know what was going to
12 Q. In other words, the information he had was also not reliable and
13 you couldn't take it for granted?
14 A. Well, I was his deputy and we shared the good and the bad for a
15 long time, but there were often moments when I didn't believe what he was
16 saying either because I thought he had been deceived and that the things
17 that he was told and that he was conveying to us were simply not true.
18 Not because I was doubting his sincerity and honesty to us but because I
19 was doubting what he had been told to tell us.
20 Q. In other words, you were suspicious about his sources and the
21 people who provided him with that information originally?
22 A. Yes, because there was no one we could trust, no one who was able
23 to give us reliable information and guarantee that what we were fearing
24 would not happen.
25 Q. Considering that you were in Sid, you said it was very difficult
1 to travel to Erdut to attend cabinet meetings, and this entire
2 communication was very complicated until the easier road through Vukovar
3 was liberated. Tell me, how many cabinet meetings did you attend from
4 the moment when you moved to Sid in August 1991 until the 10th or the
5 20th November 1991?
6 A. It was a very long road for me to travel and not even that belt
7 towards Erdut that we took was safe. I would usually get in touch with
8 the government secretary to find out about the agenda, and I always
9 asked, "What is so important? Do I really have to be there?" There are
10 many meetings that I couldn't get to, and there were meetings where I had
11 to go because my report was important and everybody else wanted to hear
12 what was going on, what the situation was like, et cetera, because I was
13 the only representative of the government behind Vukovar in the direction
14 of Sid, in that area where the majority population was Croat but there
15 were also two or three encircled Serb villages.
16 Q. Can you remember approximately how many meetings you attended? I
17 know it was a long time ago but your answer would be valuable.
18 A. You know, I don't know anymore how many meetings were held
19 overall, and I cannot say with certainty how many meetings I attended and
20 how many I failed to attend because I could easily get it wrong. It was
21 just too long ago. And in the meantime, I had major health problems and
22 I lost some memories, like I had slept through some of these periods. So
23 I don't know how many meetings I attended, but I was active and I wanted
24 to participate in all that was going on. But I'm really sorry, I cannot
25 answer this question.
1 Q. From your answer to the previous question, I see that when you
2 were informed that a cabinet meeting was pending you inquired about the
3 agenda and depending on that you would decide whether to go or not.
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And you said that people were most anxious to know about the
6 situation in your area, in Western Srem, and you would go to the cabinet
7 meeting to inform the others.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And speaking of the situation in Western Srem, they were
10 interested in the affairs that you were sent there to handle, the
11 civilian affairs, the supplies to the population, and the safe passage to
12 and from Sid. Was that usually the topic of your briefing?
13 A. Well, since we had the minister of agriculture, he was supposed
14 to cover that area, but we had an understanding that he would cover the
15 area where he was based, Eastern Slavonia; whereas I covered Srem in all
16 aspects that I could handle and tried to provide to the people with all
17 they needed and help them do whatever they had to do because we had no
18 factories, we had no corn silos to place all the corn that we had, and
19 the wheat. We had no food processing plants. But we had to make do
20 without it. People had to receive their old age pensions and the workers
21 had to receive their wages. There were many, many problems we were
22 constantly facing. And whenever I went, of course, I would reiterate
23 these problems and present them to the session.
24 For instance, if we had a problem with that road which was our
25 connection with Serbia, that had to be dealt with because after two days
1 it turned into a major problem. Also sick people had to go see a doctor,
2 and they would have to stay in a hospital in Serbia because they couldn't
3 get back.
4 We were the government for the Slavonia and Baranja region and we
5 had to take care of all these things and report back as to what needed to
6 be done and what we were able to do. We couldn't just take part of one
7 area and give it preferences. We had to cover the entire region and I
8 believe we were successful, in a large measure, in providing to the
9 people what they needed. Also at these meetings I could hear what was
10 going on in other areas and what our plans were.
11 Q. When the Ministry of the Interior of Slavonia, Baranja, and
12 Western Srem was established, some police stations were set up as well;
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Where were these police stations? I know about Dalj and
16 Borovo -- sorry -- yes, yes, Dalj and Borovo.
17 A. Dalj and Borovo were the first stations to be set up because that
18 was the first area to be liberated. And it was very important to have
19 this police station, for the police to be active also in the villages
20 because there was always the possibility of looting and robberies. It
21 doesn't matter by whom, Serbs or Croats or Hungarians. It's the same
22 thing as in peacetime. People would take advantage of the circumstances
23 and their positions to perpetrate such things, so this had to be
24 prevented. Also people came with complaints against individuals who were
25 bent on crime, and of course the police had to get involved and do their
1 job properly. Very soon, the Ministry of Justice became operative and
2 the courts began doing their work in co-operation with the police.
3 Q. Let me ask you something else. Since you were in Sid, what kind
4 of communication did you have with, for example, the police station in
6 A. I was there for the opening of the police station in Dalj and the
7 police station in Borovo Selo. But later on when I was in Sid, I
8 received reports from the people from the ministry who were stationed in
9 Dalj or Borovo Selo, and I heard information about the latest
10 developments or incidents. I did not communicate directly with the
11 commanders of these stations, but I had my own people who worked at the
12 recently formed ministry.
13 Q. And these people you are referring to had communication with the
14 commanders of the police stations, is that what you're saying?
15 A. Yes. Their job was to visit them regularly and keep themselves
16 informed. I also had very experienced career police officers I was in
17 touch with who knew their job perfectly well.
18 Q. You know that the SUP of Vukovar was also based in Dalj?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you also have contact with the chief of SUP in Vukovar?
21 A. Not for a long time because with the fall of Vukovar it all moved
22 to Vukovar. It was no longer in Dalj. But I did have contact because a
23 large part of Vukovar was liberated precisely on my side, on the side
24 where I was based, with the majority Serb population. And there also I
25 had a couple of men who went into the field and who informed me
1 regularly, on a daily basis, about what was going on.
2 Q. I'd like to know about this SUP Vukovar that was based in Dalj
3 before Vukovar fell. I mean that part of the city that was majority
4 Serb. If I understood you correctly, your ministry received reports from
5 the police stations in Dalj and Borovo Selo; is that right?
6 A. No, I received reports from men employed in the ministry in Dalj,
7 Boro Zemunic [phoen] and Mr. Drzajic who worked in the Ministry of the
8 Interior, and if anything happened, they would call me and say, We have a
9 problem in such and such a place. Their assignment was to go on working
10 as if I were with them and to call me urgently if I was needed and then I
11 would come.
12 Q. I was interested in something else. The ministry, not you
13 personally, but the Ministry of the Interior had its men in Dalj and they
14 received regular reports from the SUP Vukovar; correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. And they also received reports from the police stations in
17 Borovo Selo in Dalj; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you had a good contact with your people from the MUP in Dalj?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In your statement you spoke quite a lot about Radovan Stojicic,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When he came did you know what position he occupied in Serbia, in
1 A. At the beginning I didn't. In fact, it was quite a while before
2 we first met because I was already in Sid. But we did meet. I believe
3 it was at a government session in Erdut which he attended to. And before
4 that, there had been a meeting where we had decided that not a single
5 member of the government would enter a cabinet session armed. There were
6 no formal introductions. I was just told: This is Badza. And when we
7 were already sitting there at the meeting, all the ministers were seated,
8 when Badza came in in armour, armed, and when the meeting was about to
9 begin, I asked: "What is this all about? I was told that nobody could
10 bring in a weapon to the meeting. I see that you are armed. You are
11 supposed to leave your weapon outside. There are men who will keep it
12 for you because you are not in danger here. You don't need a weapon."
13 To which he said, "I can come in with a weapon. I don't have to leave it
14 outside. You just don't know who I am." And I answered: "I've heard
15 who you are, but whoever you are, you have to leave your weapon outside."
16 And this exchange took a few minutes, and then the other members of the
17 government got involved. And when he realised that what he had done was
18 improper, he left and he didn't come back to this session.
19 Q. Was that your first encounter?
20 A. Yes, that was our first encounter. And after that we were
21 formally introduced, because I had been told that I had to keep in touch
22 with him because he was from the MUP of Serbia and he had come to help us
23 out with handling all that we had to handle and set up our police and
24 defence and everything. And I said okay, it's not a problem, but I had a
25 feeling right away that he and I would not be able to have a good
1 co-operation because he was not a local. He was not one of us. He
2 didn't understand the situation we were in. And the way he saw it, he
3 was a man from Belgrade, a very important person, and he thought that
4 with his move to our district he lost some of his authority and
5 importance because he was no longer just giving orders. That's not the
6 way we worked. We made decisions together as a government as to what we
7 were going to do, and he probably didn't like that.
8 We had our first talk and from that talk I came away thinking
9 that we would have a hard time working together. And indeed it was not
10 long before he asked for my resignation, and he asked it from Goran
12 Q. When he arrived, do you know if he took over the police or the
13 police stations? Did he place them under his control and command?
14 A. No, no. It couldn't have been done that way because when we
15 formed the government, every minister was given a portfolio, a clear set
16 of tasks, and a clear reporting line. We had to be all accountable to
17 Goran. We couldn't make any important moves without him. But neither I
18 nor the other ministers believed that he was able to do whatever he
20 And let me tell you, that meeting where he asked for my
21 resignation, he didn't manage because all the other ministers wanted me
22 to stay in my place. That happened at the first meeting.
23 At the second meeting, yes, I did talk to President Hadzic. He
24 said that it would be a good idea for me to take a different portfolio,
25 such as trade or something, to resolve the problem. I didn't agree. And
1 then we had many more meetings. It was very, very unpleasant. And
2 finally I said, "No problem. I'll withdraw. Let my job be taken over by
3 whoever is willing," because I was by that time very resentful. And even
4 another minister, Boro Milenkovic, left that government, saying, "I don't
5 want to work in a cabinet where others give orders and do as they
7 Q. Sorry, you said something here. You said that all members of the
8 government were responsible to Hadzic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you agree that you and all the ministers and Hadzic were
11 elected by the National Assembly?
12 A. Yes, we were all elected by the National Assembly, but
13 Goran Hadzic was the first one to be elected, the prime minister. So
14 according to this hierarchy we were supposed to report to him and he was
15 the one that we communicated with. Not everybody can complain to the
16 National Assembly. It was Goran who --
17 Q. I'm asking you this because according to my information, none of
18 the ministers reported to Goran Hadzic or submitted any kind of reports
19 to Goran Hadzic at all. That's why I'm asking you. If I understood you
20 correctly, everybody said what they had to say at government sessions but
21 they did not submit reports to Hadzic and they did not report to him for
22 their work, according to my information. Are you claiming that ministers
23 reported to him in terms of what it was that they were doing?
24 A. Well, you see, every government meeting was, of course, opened by
25 Mr. Hadzic. That is to say, he would open the meeting and also he had
1 the right to ask what was going on in my department. Also, I was
2 duty-bound to say either that everything was all right or if there was
3 something wrong to say that, too. That's the way it was for me. I
4 respected the hierarchy involved. If the National Assembly had elected
5 him as prime minister, and I know that the prime minister can replace a
6 minister or present a proposal to have him dismissed or whatever, I don't
7 understand -- I mean, well, does that mean that all the ministers would
8 just be working on their own? I mean, did they not report to him? That
9 was my understanding.
10 Q. In other words, at government meetings ministers would present
11 their problems, the problems that they had - if I understand you
12 correctly - and then that was discussed there, whether something should
13 be done or not be done, whether it was being done properly or not? Did I
14 understand you correctly?
15 A. Yes, yes. Correct.
16 Q. And in that sense you believe that this means reporting to
17 Hadzic; right?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Do you know that Radovan Stojicic, Badza, was commander of the
20 Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
21 A. Well, you see, I heard all of that sort of in passing, and people
22 said to me that Badza was in charge of the Ministry of the Interior,
23 Badza is the one who has the main say in the Ministry of Defence. I
24 wasn't surprised about the Ministry of Defence because Ilija Kojic was
25 appointed there and he was with the Vukovar police, and I mean, well -
1 how do I put this? - he had quite a bit in common with Badza. I did not.
2 But I found this strange, that a person who had come and who was
3 out there in the field, that he should be minister of defence without
4 knowing the people there, which is particularly important; that is to
5 say, the local people, the local population, irrespective of ethnicity.
6 There were people there, say, Ruthenians, who did not know who they
7 should join, so they were split up. Then there were also some other
8 people who were not in favour of what the Croatian authorities were doing
9 although they were ethnic Croats. But that was not their objective and
10 they were not in favour of that. So a man who cannot decide at a given
11 point in time whether that was good or not. So that is something that
12 bothered me quite a bit because, as I said, quite simply if I know, well,
13 not only the people there but each and every foot of the land there, I
14 grew up there, I lived there for 45 years, and you arrive there as
15 someone who is there for the first very first time, you don't know
16 anyone, you don't know anything, and you're taking over? For me that was
17 a very bad thing, but that's the way it was and that is what was done.
18 Q. In other words, you heard that he was commander --
19 A. Yes, yes, I heard about that.
20 Q. -- of the Territorial Defence? I beg your pardon.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
23 Let me ask you something: When speaking to the Office of the
24 Prosecutor - and I see that there were quite a few of these
25 conversations - did you ever say that to them, that you had heard that
1 Radovan Stojicic, Badza, was commander of the Territorial Defence of
2 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
3 A. I don't remember all the conversations that took place, but I
4 know that he was the one and that is probably something that was well
5 known, that he was the person who was in command and who actually
6 commanded the operations that were carried out in the area of Slavonia
7 and Baranja -- well, again, you see, I find this a bit strange.
8 The commander of the Territorial Defence at that time -- you see,
9 when we established that government, the army was there, as you know, and
10 on several occasions we had the opportunity of hearing that for as long
11 as the army was there, there was no civilian defence or protection and we
12 can only have those things that the army agrees to done. And now,
13 appointing a Badza commander of the defence, that is something that I
14 found sort of unclear. Do you see what I'm saying?
15 For example, the Territorials, the volunteers, everybody, they
16 were all within the JNA, except for Arkan, who was in his own place and
17 he did not answer to anyone. But everybody else, as far as I know, had
18 to be subordinated to the army; that is to say, the commander in that
20 Q. Just one question: Did you know what the relationship was
21 between Radovan Stojicic, Badza, and the JNA? Was he subordinated to the
22 JNA like others?
23 A. No.
24 Q. When you say "no," did you not know or was he not subordinated?
25 A. I'm certain that he was not subordinated to them because his
1 co-ordination and the co-ordination of the army was very poor; that is to
2 say, on this side where I was, that is to say, Western Srem, I mean, he
3 didn't even come there. He didn't know what was being done or how it was
4 being done. That is one thing.
5 Secondly, let me say this straight away, in order to have this
6 known here, the side that Radovan Stojicic was on, the population is
7 80 per cent Serb, and I believe that it wasn't really necessary at all to
8 have any kind of major war operations or something like that. However,
9 nothing had still happened in Vukovar. But where the army had arrived,
10 there were four Serb villages and some villages that had about
11 30 per cent Serb population, all the rest were Croats. So that was it.
12 The commanders in Brsadin, Bobota, Trpinja, Vera, Pacetin, Klisa, and the
13 rest, I don't know that were purely Serb. I don't know what that meant.
14 So this is really what mattered.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, just one moment. Judge Mindua has
16 a question for the witness.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Zivanovic, sorry for
18 that. I have a small question to ask to the witness before moving to
19 another topic.
20 Witness, paragraph 36, you said that Arkan didn't obey anyone.
21 What does that mean? Who did he get his orders from? What was he doing
22 there? You said that he obeyed anyone [as interpreted], what do you mean
23 by that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, this is the way it was.
25 Arkan arrived in Erdut. I know that the prime minister, Goran Hadzic,
1 and we and the ministers did not decide about him coming there, but he
2 did show up in Erdut. And let me tell you this: He was not with the
3 army. He was not with us. He was the one who operated as he wished. As
4 far as I know, he did not answer to any one of us. Also, he didn't
5 answer to anyone in Belgrade. He was a man who just worked on his own
6 and that's how he behaved.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So he did not report to Belgrade.
8 Is this what you said?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Then no one was able to stop him
11 or to do anything because he did not report to you or to Belgrade; is
12 that right?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, Arkan had his own
14 unit in Erdut consisting of about 300 men. He went into action on his
15 own, without agreeing with the army, without agreeing with us or anybody
16 else. He did it on his own. And most often, most often, these
17 operations were you carried out according to his own scenario, as he had
18 envisaged things. That's the way he did them.
19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, would this be an appropriate
21 moment for the break --
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- for you?
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. We'll be back at 12.15.
1 --- Recess taken at 11.46 a.m.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- On resuming at 12.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue, Mr. Zivanovic.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bogunovic, you've said that you know that
8 Radovan Stojicic, Badza, was not under the command of the Yugoslav
9 Peoples' Army. However, I would like to clear up one thing with you
10 because I had the impression you meant that part of the
11 Yugoslav People's Army that operated south of Vukovar, in that area where
12 you were. Am I right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You don't know if he might have had a relationship or
15 communication with the units that were north of Vukovar in that area, as
16 they called it, Operative Group North?
17 A. I don't know about that.
18 Q. Do you know that Radovan Stojicic, Badza, when he arrived in
19 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, brought a unit with him?
20 A. I knew about four or five men who arrived with him. I did not
21 know the others. I didn't know who they were, what they were, and I
22 never had occasion to meet them.
23 Q. You see my information is slightly different.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: If we can see 1D2337, please, but it should not
25 be emitted to the public and to the witness. The number is 1D2337.
1 Q. [Interpretation] According to the rules we have here, I can't
2 show you that document, but I will put to you the main points that are of
3 interest to us. Namely, from this document, paragraph 7, one unit made
4 up of 30 men arrived at Dalj on 24 September 1991. Did you know that?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And they took over police affairs in Dalj. It's written in
7 paragraph 9 of this same statement.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Biersay.
9 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour. I am standing because I
10 believe the witness said he didn't know anything about these men
11 arriving, and so the follow-up question seems to have been answered. The
12 witness says he doesn't know.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: He didn't say -- I'm asking him about the Dalj
15 police station and the overtaking of the work of this specific police
16 station in Dalj. It is in period when he was minister of interior.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's see what the answer is, yes.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. As I was saying, do you know that Radovan Stojicic, Badza, and
20 his men took over police business in Dalj?
21 A. No, I didn't know that.
22 Q. Do you know that they stayed there and organised police stations
23 in Bijelo Brdo, Erdut, Borovo Selo, as we see in paragraph 11?
24 A. I know about Borovo Selo. I was involved in the establishment of
25 that station. As for Bijelo Brdo and the others, I don't know that.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic --
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- are you continuing this line of question?
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, no, no. I --
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Then I would like to ask the witness. You said:
6 "I know about Borovo Selo." What do you know about Borovo Selo? The
7 question was: Was it taken over by - what is the name again? -
8 Stojicic's -- Badza -- Stojicic's men?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the police stations
10 in Dalj and Borovo Selo were the first ones to be set up, and they had
11 already been established when Mr. Stojicic arrived, so I don't see what
12 he would be establishing there upon his arrival.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: The question was whether you know that
14 Borovo Selo police station was taken over by Badza's men.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I didn't.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 Please continue, Mr. Zivanovic.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
19 Q. [Interpretation] In one of your statements I read - and if you
20 want me to refresh your memory, I'll find it and read it - you said that
21 the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem was a virtual
22 government. Do you remember saying that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you clear that up a little. Did you mean that it did not
25 have such authority as to be respected by those who should have respected
1 it or what did you mean?
2 A. Well, the people expected from us certain things. For them, we
3 were the people whom they knew and believed, and that's what we tried to
4 do. First of all, the army appeared in the Srem and Baranja region,
5 especially Western Srem, and they always said: We do not recognise
6 civilian authorities. As long as we are here, there will be military
7 authority. So we could not do anything without them, without their
8 approval and knowledge. We just couldn't do anything without first
9 asking their permission. So we did have a government but that government
10 was not able to decide in very important matters that concerned the
11 people and everything that happened in that region because the army was
13 Second, there was Arkan and Arkan had his own vision. There was
14 Badza, and now I hear before this honourable Tribunal that Badza changed
15 police stations, established police stations, that he was a war
16 commander, that he was involved in combat, so I believe that we were
17 squeezed out of our own jobs.
18 I went to my own village where my family lives and where
19 Mr. Sljivancanin was the commander, and every time I went there I had to
20 report to him first before going to my house because that's the rule that
21 he had introduced. So I practically didn't even have freedom of movement
22 as a native of that area, as a local resident. And that's what I meant.
23 The government that had been appointed did not, in fact, decide anything.
24 Q. I have one piece of information that is slightly different about
25 the work of that government. According to that piece of information, the
1 government was able to decide, but it couldn't put anything into
3 A. We were not able to do much and we were supposed to work in the
4 best interests of the people, but the people could not count on us for
5 that. For instance, we had a minister of agriculture, who was very
6 important, and he couldn't secure for the commodities produced in
7 Slavonia and Baranja to be exported to Serbia. We had cornmeal and sugar
8 beet, and we needed to be paid for that in order to be able to pay out
9 the wages and the old age pensions because that was a very long period,
10 and we did not have savings or money accumulated for people to go on
11 working without being paid for two years. So we were supposed to be
12 taking care of the population. They were supposed to feel that
13 somebody's taking care about them.
14 Q. I just wanted to know if my information is correct: That the
15 government was able to make decisions but it could not implement them on
16 the ground because it didn't have the agencies, the authorities who would
17 do that?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. You said, among other things, something about the context that
20 members of the government and Mr. Hadzic had in Serbia. You said they
21 discussed various matters with various people in Vojvodina, in Serbia,
22 and that you know about that. So would you tell me: What were these
23 issues that they normally discussed with people from Serbia, and what did
24 Hadzic himself discuss? What do you know about that?
25 A. Well, we would usually go to President Hadzic, because he had the
1 largest circle of contacts, asking for his help. I'll give you my
2 example: For instance, the Ministry of the Interior established two
3 police stations and then continued to set up others, and I didn't know
4 anyone in Novi Sad, so I asked him to accompany me when I was going there
5 to ask for weapons and uniforms and vehicles, everything that a police
6 force needs. So we went to Novi Sad together, we had discussions there,
7 and I received a batch of 200 uniforms that I took to Krajina to
8 distribute to the employees of the police so that they be properly
9 dressed, that they could be distinguished as policemen, and that people
10 should recognise them as the men who are responsible for law enforcement.
11 Q. When you said you were taking these uniforms to Krajina, you mean
12 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem or that later Krajina?
13 A. No, I'm talking only about the Slavonia, Baranja area.
14 Q. In addition to that, what were other major problems that made
15 your government contact the government of Serbia? What were the most
16 important problems?
17 A. We had meetings in Erdut and in Novi Sad with them. We focused
18 on contacts in Vojvodina because they were easier to reach. So the
19 ministers of finance met first, then the ministers of agriculture, then
20 the ministers of trade, those were the ministries that were important in
21 terms of our trade co-operation between the Slavonia, Baranja area and
22 Serbia. And our job was to collect payment for our exports. And we
23 needed people like the minister of energy because many villages did not
24 have electricity and people couldn't live normally, so they worked
25 together on getting the electrical supply repaired and installed in every
1 village so that people could go on with their normal life.
2 Q. If I understood you correctly, the topic of these meetings
3 between people from Vojvodina - that is to say, Serbia - and your people
4 were civilian affairs, such as energy, trade, et cetera?
5 A. Only civilian affairs.
6 Q. In your estimate - although I believe you've already said it in
7 your statement, but let us reiterate it - do you think that any one of
8 you from the government, beginning with Hadzic down, was able to give any
9 instructions or orders to Radovan Stojicic?
10 A. No. I am sure that nobody was able to give orders to him. The
11 people who were close to him, who were around him, had to obey. And I
12 mean specifically President Hadzic, who would often receive visits from
13 Stojicic who barged into his office whenever he liked, and I could see on
14 Hadzic that he didn't like what he had been told and that he wasn't
15 willing to do that, especially since it often ran counter to what we
16 wanted to do and what we had agreed to do.
17 Our life was easier, much easier, when there were no Badzas and
18 no Arkans. We were able to talk together normally, we knew very well
19 what was going in every corner of our region, and we could agree easily.
20 When they arrived, we made one decision, it's vetoed by Badza. We make
21 another decision, it's refused by Arkan or the army. And to be quite
22 honest, there were threats as well, threats of physical violence. Those
23 were not people with whom you could play games or with whom you can have
24 a normal discussion. If you failed to do as they said, your fate was
25 pretty much sealed. And to be frank, we had to worry about saving our
1 own skins because our people needed us, and that's what we did.
2 Q. Can you tell us everything, since you said that there were some
3 orders there or, rather, decisions that Badza didn't like or Arkan? What
4 kind of decisions were they? What was it that you decided that they
5 didn't like? If you cannot remember a specific decision -- of course, it
6 would be a good thing if you could remember, but if not, could you tell
7 us what they were like? In what field? Did they have to do with trade,
8 finance, I don't know, police affairs or I don't know what?
9 A. Well, you see, I'll start with the police. The police had to do
10 what Badza had thought. We knew the people who worked in the police. We
11 knew people, irrespective of faith, ethnicity, regardless of what they
12 were like or what they were not like. There were some Croats who were
13 oriented towards Yugoslavia, also there were such Hungarians and
14 Ruthenians. However, these people did not see it that way. So our
15 people were bothered by orders like that and this kind of treatment of
16 other people. So first the police could not work as they were supposed
17 to work, as we were used to. Or, for example, they'd bring in a man who
18 was certainly not guilty. This was a serious man who knew what he was
19 doing. However, we could not exercise any influence.
20 Also, as for this finance and everything else, it wasn't always
21 like why things are going here, why they are going there, why are you
22 doing this, or why are you doing that, although we tried to have contact
23 with important people in the government of Vojvodina so that they could
24 decide what suited us, but that did not always work out. Also this
25 finance and also the military -- well, there were a lot of things,
1 actually, that did not suit us and were not very convenient for us and
2 things did not go as we had planned.
3 Q. Could we please try to be a bit more succinct. I see from your
4 answer that part of it had to do with certain pre-trial proceedings or
5 some other proceedings against certain persons that were arrested by
6 Badza and his men and you thought that these people should not have been
7 arrested. Did I understand what you were trying to say?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. And then this other situation that has to do with purely
10 financial transactions. You wanted to sell goods. For instance, you
11 wanted to deal with one particular company in Serbia and they thought
12 that you should have been doing business with somebody else. Is that
14 A. Yes, correct.
15 Q. Now I'd like to hear more about this first thing that we
16 discussed, these arrests. Can you tell us, if I understood you
17 correctly, did they do that without asking any one of you, without
18 consulting any one of you? I mean, they did not ask you first whether
19 somebody should be arrested or not? Or did they not simply ask anyone in
20 the government?
21 A. Unfortunately, I have to tell you that things happened and they
22 did not suit any one of us except for the person who thought that that's
23 the way things should be done. Let me give you an example. Arkan,
24 without asking anyone, although President Hadzic was not far away from
25 there, he did not consult him at all. He did not consult anyone else.
1 He took three or four men out of the police station in Dalj, they never
2 returned, and nobody knew what happened to them. For us, that was --
3 well, we could not understand that something like that could be done.
4 And finally, you know what? What made us go on? We thought what
5 would happen if others did everything that they wanted them to do,
6 whereas we wanted to work for the benefit of all, so that things would go
7 well for us and all of those around us.
8 Q. When you're speaking about this concrete case, did that happen --
9 I mean, do you know when that happened? More specifically, what the
10 month was or something like that?
11 A. Well, you know, it's been a while. It was August or September
12 when I received a letter from a commander of a police station who had
13 been dismissed by Badza. Badza said to him, "You're wrong for that," and
14 that's it. You know, that's how it was. That's when it happened. In my
15 view, everyone who did not think along the same lines as Badza and Arkan
16 had to be dismissed, and then Badza, Arkan, and the others would appoint
17 people to these positions themselves.
18 Q. Do you remember what the name of this police station commander
20 A. Cizmic, if I remember correctly. I may be right, but please
21 don't take my word for this with 100 per cent certainty. This is what I
22 seem to remember, that that was him.
23 Q. I'd like to show you a document now.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] It is P115.111. [In English] I
25 don't know if it is confidential.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is, Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is. It should not be shown to the public.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Do you see it on the screen? This document is
4 dated the 18th of October, 1991. I would now like to ask you to read it
5 to yourself, and then once you're done, please tell us.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Zivanovic please
7 turn on his other microphone that is close to the screen? Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you remember what happened? Are you familiar with this thing
11 that happened?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you perhaps remember that right after that, I think that
14 literally on the following day the chief of SUP was replaced, the chief
15 of SUP of Vukovar with his headquarters in Dalj?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I mean, did you make this decision to have him replaced?
18 A. No, I didn't even know that he would be replaced. I didn't know
19 about this that happened. But later on I heard what had happened.
20 Q. Do you know whether anything was done there? Have you read the
21 whole document -- oh, yes, it's just one page. Yes. What happened after
23 A. Well, ultimately nothing happened.
24 Q. Sorry, there is another page so I'd like to ask you to read that
25 as well.
1 A. All right.
2 Q. Could you please read the next page as well.
3 A. Yes. All right.
4 Q. Now I'd like to ask you the following: First of all, did you see
5 from this report that some offices were demolished during this protest?
6 A. I heard about that, yes.
7 Q. And do you know, do you remember -- or, rather, do you know what
8 the reason was, why, immediately after this protest, the chief of SUP of
9 Vukovar with headquarters in Dalj was dismissed?
10 A. Well, somebody had to be dismissed after that and this man was
11 the casualty or the scapegoat, and that was it. Although he did the
12 least of all. It didn't happen in the station. It happened in the area
13 where Arkan operated and where Badza was or, rather, where -- you see
14 where these tank units were, where all this happened. And that's it.
15 Q. In your statement you spoke about a crime at a brick factory. Do
16 you remember that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is that the crime or is it something different?
19 A. I see here that it has to do with 40 men. These are people from
20 Serbia, Sonta. These are people -- these were people who were farming
21 near Beli Manastir and they were transported there, about 15 of them.
22 Among these 15 there was a man with the same surname as mine. He was
23 executed there and he also went missing there. His father kept trying to
24 find out what happened. I didn't know either, but later on I found out
25 that that is what happened.
1 Q. In other words, you spoke about the group from Beli Manastir in
2 your statement?
3 A. Yes, yes. This is the first time I hear of the other one.
4 Q. I'd like to ask you now about Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan. You've
5 already said that apparently he did not answer to anyone either in
6 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem or in Serbia. In your statement I've
7 noticed you said that technically he was under the control of the MUP,
8 under Badza's command.
9 A. He wasn't under Badza's command. As far as I was able to see,
10 they did have understandings, they did talk, but Badza couldn't do
11 anything about Arkan. Arkan was there with 3- or 400 men and at that
12 time he wasn't listening to anyone. Badza might have tried. Maybe they
13 even had an agreement at some point. But Badza's orders were not to work
14 with Arkan. That much is certain. His job was different. I'm sure it
15 was not on the orders of his superiors in Serbia. Arkan was unto
16 himself. He didn't acknowledge Badza or the government or anyone else.
17 He did exactly as he wished.
18 Q. How is something like that possible? How is it possible to have
19 3-, 400 men under your command and not be controlled by anyone, the
20 authorities in Serbia or the regional authorities, the army, or the
22 A. Arkan certainly had protection from somebody in Belgrade. That's
23 indisputable. And he did what he did as he pleased, and I wouldn't
24 accept that the police would let him do these things without consulting
25 anyone. What he did in Erdut and what he did later, he did all that at
1 his own initiative. I am quite sure that he was a freelancer. He didn't
2 accept Badza's suggestions or anybody else's advice. And I believe that
3 nobody was able to control that man at that time. He did exactly as he
5 Q. In other words, you believe that even the army was unable to rein
6 him in?
7 A. I know that. I witnessed a couple of encounters where he spoke
8 very insolently and even insulted military officers. Let me not repeat
9 the words he used here when speaking to majors, captains, colonels, but
10 he told them in so many words that he was not going to share anything
11 with them or listen to their orders.
12 Q. I don't know if we need to go back to this document that I showed
13 you a moment ago, this report about the incident in Dalj. You've seen --
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we have -- sorry, may we have P115.111. It's
15 on the screen, sorry.
16 Q. [Interpretation] You see that document in front of you, page 1?
17 As far as I can see, these about 300 members of TO Dalj, brought
18 Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, to that meeting and required various
19 explanations, and then he said what he said.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Zivanovic is speaking so far away from the
21 microphone that we really have a hard time.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I really don't understand your explanation, your explanation that
24 nobody was able to rein him in; whereas here we see that members of a
25 local territorial force persuaded him, convincingly enough, to come to
1 their meeting and make himself accountable.
2 A. I accept that he came to that meeting and told them what they
3 wanted to hear. I'm quite sure that he didn't give them any
4 explanations, but I'm also sure that the very next day he continued doing
5 exactly as before.
6 Q. I can see that he accepted their invitation, if we can put it
7 that way, and it says they ushered him out at gunpoint. That's what we
8 see in the last paragraph.
9 A. I cannot believe that because you can only carry him out feet
10 first if he didn't want to go somewhere. You could only kill him and
11 nothing else. That's the kind of man he was. And from the little I knew
12 him, that's the way he was and that's the way he stayed until the end of
13 his life.
14 He certainly didn't accept it at gunpoint, because I don't know
15 how many men were there, but if there had been any, even the smallest
16 skirmish, none of them would have gotten out of their alive. So they
17 probably came to some sort of understanding that he would go there and
18 talk to those people, but he certainly didn't promise anyone that he
19 would change his ways, and he continued doing exactly the same things.
20 If not in Dalj, then he continued doing them in other places. And that's
21 the way it was until the very end. And I'm sure that those people who
22 saw that he was building something and organising something, nobody even
23 thought of trying to stop him because that's the way he was.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated].
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Zivanovic turn on the microphone he's
1 speaking into.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Concerning this answer you've just given, it's based on your
4 assumptions and your conclusions? You actually don't know what happened?
5 A. Well, let me tell you just one thing: Our government did the
6 best it could to help those people there, but we noticed that even Badza
7 was interfering, not to mention Arkan. All of us who went there, and
8 especially those who had offices there, had to watch their every word and
9 every step and had to be very, very careful not to offend those men.
10 We had information that somebody was supposed to intercept
11 Slavko Dokmanovic when he travelled to his own village and kill him. You
12 can simply not imagine now the kinds of things we went through every day
13 in that time. We never knew if we would get back home alive.
14 Q. Let's just see if this is a mistake in the interpretation or in
15 the transcript. It was said that Goran -- you mentioned Goran, but I
16 think that was not recorded. You said that he had to watch his every
17 step. Could you just repeat that passage?
18 A. He had to watch every step he made.
19 Q. When you say "he," you mean Goran Hadzic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Well, from this I infer that he was somehow followed, watched by
22 Arkan and Badza and their men, is that what you meant?
23 A. Well, he knows these things better than I. But it's not only
24 him. All of us were aware that his every word and his every step were
25 monitored, were closely followed. There were men around him who watched
1 from up close and reported to whom they had to report.
2 Q. When you say that he and the other members of the government were
3 watched and followed, I conclude from that that these people had no trust
4 in either him or the government. Am I right?
5 A. To them we were all suspicious, and almost no one was free in
6 their actions. There were perhaps certain things that we worked on that
7 were not very interesting to them, but if they were interested in
8 something, we had to be very careful what we did.
9 Q. In your statement you also spoke about Jovica Stanisic.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. According to my information, and I saw this in your statement,
12 according to my information, Goran Hadzic and Jovica Stanisic did not
13 know each other in 1991. Am I right?
14 A. Whether they knew each other, I'm not sure, but I don't see why
15 they would have to know each other at that time. I saw Jovica Stanisic a
16 couple of times, but I know that that man never came our way, to our
17 area, and I never heard him talk about us and I didn't have the
18 impression he was interested in us. I cannot be 100 per cent sure that
19 they didn't know each other, but it's possible.
20 Q. You also spoke in your statement about Vojislav Seselj and his
21 visit to Vukovar. You remember?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I wanted to ask you: You were there when he visited once?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. At that time did you talk to him about anything?
1 A. Yes. I met him in Negoslavci, and my orders were to take him to
2 Vukovar so that he could inspect the situation there. And at that
3 moment, the people with howitzers were around Vukovar and everybody
4 around them wanted them to leave. Nothing was happening. People were
5 standing there, waiting. Morale was very low. And he had been sent
6 there to change something, to get things moving.
7 Q. If I'm not mistaken, he was sent to boost the morale of soldiers?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Had the army been given notice of his arrival?
10 A. I believe so.
11 Q. Were any officers around when he came?
12 A. At the moment when he reached those first soldiers who were
13 working on the maintenance of the howitzers, he stopped to talk to them,
14 he said, "How are things going?" They said things were bad. They said
15 they didn't know why they were there, what's going on, and he tried to
16 explain that they were needed. And he went from left to right, from the
17 first howitzer to the last, saying that things would change and that they
18 need to stay there because things were what they were but they were
19 needed. And he promised them that things would change, and he said that
20 he would come and visit at least another five times.
21 Q. Do you know whether previously, before he came to these
22 positions, whether he had been in Negoslavci where the command was?
23 A. No. That visit to Negoslavci and this arrival and then that
24 departure to Vukovar, I mean, that was at the very front line.
25 Q. In other words, on that day he was in both Negoslavci and in
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. And do you know whether in Negoslavci he saw any JNA officers?
4 Did they know that he had come at all?
5 A. They must have known. It would be impossible for him to come
6 without any of the officers knowing. Now, whether they wanted to talk to
7 him or not, that's a different matter. But I did not notice anyone
8 talking to him then, anyone well known engaging in dialogue with him.
9 Q. Do you remember whether he had come with a security detail?
10 A. No. Only two of his pals, whatever, came with him. He did not
11 have a security detail at all. He got a security detail only in
12 Negoslavci and then they accompanied him to Vukovar and back.
13 Q. These were soldiers?
14 A. These were soldiers and the TO. Actually, mostly TO, mostly TO.
15 Q. At the time the TO was under the command of the JNA?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Among other things, you said in your statement that there was
18 security provided to the government -- rather, there were persons who
19 guarded government buildings in Erdut. And then if the members of the
20 government travelled somewhere, they travelled with them as body-guards
21 of sorts. Do you remember having said that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I think that you said that Stevo Bogic was in charge of that
24 security for the government?
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 Q. According to the information that I have -- actually, Stevo Bogic
2 was the deputy prime minister. You remember that, don't you?
3 A. I think so.
4 Q. According to the information that I have, this security of the
5 government was there round-the-clock. They took turns. They worked in
6 shifts. They worked there, slept there. They worked in shifts. Can you
7 confirm that?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Also according to my information, there were about ten of them,
10 although often they would change. Some left and others came, but there
11 were about ten of them?
12 A. About ten of them.
13 Q. Tell me, Stevo Bogic was also elected deputy prime minister by
14 the Assembly; right?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. And he could have been dismissed like all of you if the Assembly
17 decided to do that?
18 A. Of course.
19 Q. Tell me, please, you spoke about the Serb National Security?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When you speak about the Serb National Security, is it precisely
22 these people who provided security for the government?
23 A. Well, I believe that primarily they were supposed to provide
24 security for the buildings and rooms where the government was and where
25 Goran was at the time, but also it wasn't really some kind of national
1 security that could not move around. The army was there and, of course,
2 the things were the way they were but they were supposed to hear about
3 things being done. They were supposed to inform the prime minister about
4 that kind of thing, at least to a certain degree. They weren't really
5 security people the way they exist nowadays. They were there for that
6 kind of thing.
7 Q. In a word, they could not carry out the work that the state
8 security would have been doing? Is that what you mean? Is that what
9 you're trying to say?
10 A. No, they certainly could not. In times like that, in a situation
11 like that, no.
12 Q. Let us try to clarify this. I understand that they were securing
13 the government premises and also providing security for government
14 members when they travelled. But this information, what did you mean
15 when they received information? What kind of information would this be,
16 of what nature? What was this supposed to be?
17 A. It was supposed to be what was happening in other parts of the
18 Slavonia, Baranja region. Whether something was happening somewhere,
19 whether something was wrong, or whether other things were happening, say,
20 things that the president was supposed to know about. That's what I
22 Q. You know why I find this unclear? These were people who would
23 work in, say, two-hour shifts, providing security for the government day
24 and night, round-the-clock. Of course they would spend certain intervals
25 sleeping as well. So they were in the Erdut all the time. How could
1 they get information about what was happening throughout the region when
2 they were not moving about, unless they had some special kind of people
3 who were sending information to them? As far as I understood your
4 answer, it wasn't that kind of service. It wasn't like state security.
5 A. Well, it wasn't, but somebody had to be told about what was going
6 on in some place where, I mean, the army was or Arkan or the police or I
7 don't know. People had to know, at least to a degree, so that the
8 prime minister would know what was going on.
9 Q. So if they received some information about Arkan's movements or
10 the army's movements, they were supposed to inform their superior? I
11 suppose Bogic, Stevo, who would convey that to Hadzic; is that what you
13 A. That's what I mean.
14 Q. Well, I can understand some of this, but why was that
15 interesting, where the army was moving at the time?
16 A. No, not the army but just what was happening out in the field.
17 You see, that was very important. For instance, what happened, say,
18 where Arkan was and other people who did something that was not supposed
19 to be done. We thought that the president should know that and that he
20 should not be the last person to hear about this. After all, he should
21 know. He should have the situation under his control.
22 Let me say that I knew this, and I stand by this to this day,
23 namely that people on the ground, when the president went somewhere, they
24 were not thrilled if they would see Arkan and others with him. That's
25 because people were enraged by things that happened where Arkan was.
1 That's why this was not right. That's why we wanted our own people to
2 escort our president, people we knew would do everything to save him and
3 to spare him from something that was not good.
4 Q. Do you know who Ljuba Mudrinic was?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you agree with me that during the war he was the body-guard of
7 Goran Hadzic?
8 A. Well, let me tell you, he was, but Goran knows best of all. To
9 tell you quite frankly, I believe that he was nearby, but that he was his
10 direct body-guard, I'm not sure. I don't know.
11 Q. Do you know who Milenko Japundic [phoen] was?
12 A. I know who Milenko Japundic is and I know that he was devoted to
13 the president and I know that he was on his security detail and that he
14 was there with him.
15 Q. Do you agree with me that Mudrinic and Milenko Japundic were not
16 in Arkan's Serb Volunteer Guard?
17 A. I agree.
18 Q. They were from the local -- I mean, from Slavonia, Baranja, and
19 Western Srem. They had not come from elsewhere?
20 A. I know that Milenko is from Osijek, but that's all the same as
21 far as we're concerned. For us what mattered was that he was not with
22 Arkan, in that unit, that kind of thing. Then things would be viewed
24 Q. Tell me, you know these two, Mudrinic, Japundic, do you agree
25 that they were not involved in any kind of criminal activity along the
1 lines of what you've been saying?
2 A. I'm sure that these are people who had to leave the places where
3 they lived, and I'm sure that they were proper, that they did not have
4 any kind of criminal record. They did what they did out of patriotism,
5 and they wanted to be there for the president whom they protected.
6 Honestly, I'm sure, and they would have done anything to protect him.
7 Q. In your statement you said, among other things, that there was
8 state security. Now I wanted us to clarify the matter. First of all,
9 what period were you referring to when you said that there was a state
11 A. Well, state security was mentioned even while I was minister.
12 But at the time, that did not start functioning because most of the
13 territory was under the Croat control, so it was impossible to do things
14 that way. After that, I believe that that was established. Couldn't be
15 done any differently. People had to know that there was a state security
16 that took care of what was going on, what people were saying, what was
17 being done, and so on and so forth. And at that moment, they certainly
18 conveyed to the president what they knew and what was heard.
19 Q. As far as I remember from some things I've seen, you were
20 dismissed from your job first as minister and then as deputy prime
21 minister of SBWS on the 21st December 1991. There seems to be a mistake.
22 It was 19 December, not 21st. And I believe around that time that
23 constitution of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was adopted and with it
24 all these three regions were united into one republic, Serbian Krajina.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When you were talking about the state security, did you mean that
2 period which began with the establishment of the Republic of
3 Serbian Krajina and the establishment of the MUP with both its sectors,
4 the public security and the state security, did you mean that period?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you remember, maybe, that the MUP was then under the minister
7 of the interior and it had these two branches: Public security and state
8 security? And practically the boss of both was the minister of the
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Do you remember who the minister of the interior was in the
12 republic Serbian Krajina?
13 A. It was Milan Martic.
14 Q. Let me ask you one more thing because you were in Sid. I have
15 information that at that time when fighting began, anyone who wanted to
16 go to the area of Vukovar, Negoslavci, et cetera, had to have a permit
17 from the authorities?
18 A. They had to have a pass.
19 Q. Who issued these passes? First let me ask you, did you do that?
20 A. They were first issued by the army and then they handed it over
21 to us.
22 Q. When did they hand it over to you, when the Vukovar operation was
23 already completed or when?
24 A. No, the operation Vukovar was not yet finished. It was handed
25 over to me before that.
1 Q. What do you mean before the Vukovar operation?
2 A. Before the operation in Vukovar.
3 Q. Could you be more precise?
4 A. Well, it was towards the end of September, early October. That's
5 when we began issuing passes.
6 Q. Early October. When you say "we," you mean --
7 A. I mean the MUP.
8 Q. And the army no longer did that?
9 A. They stopped issuing passes at that time.
10 Q. Are you sure? Because you are the only man who says that.
11 Everyone else says exactly the opposite.
12 A. Well, maybe they issued some passes to people who came directly
13 to see them, but they handed over this work to us regarding people who
14 were travelling back and forth to the Krajina.
15 Q. Maybe I was not clear enough in my question. You were talking
16 about those people who were living in villages in Western Srem, and when
17 they came to Sid you gave them these passes so they could go back home?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. So that's what you meant? That was your responsibility?
20 A. Yes. And the army issued passes to those people who went into
21 the reserve force at --
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Gentlemen, you're overlapping and putting the
23 interpreters in difficulty.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation].
25 Q. In other words, if somebody else wanted to travel to Vukovar at
1 that time, a civilian, he would have to go to the army for a pass?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Let's clear up one more thing concerning the incident at Lovas.
4 You mentioned it in your statement. I can show you that document, in
5 fact. Let me just find it.
6 You said, among other things, that you found out later about that
7 incident, and I wanted to ask you: Did you know that the army had
8 carried out an inquiry there? They sized up the situation, they sent a
9 report to the competent authorities within the military hierarchy, the
10 military prosecutor, et cetera?
11 A. That's what I heard at the briefing when he went to see
12 Colonel Petkovic and Colonel Subotic. I didn't know that thing had
13 happened in Lovas, but I heard from them that they had sent a commission
14 over there to inquire and the resulting material had been sent to the
15 proper place in Belgrade.
16 Q. I wanted to ask you, considering that you were a minister of the
17 interior, does this indicate that at that time it was the army that was
18 responsible for investigating and prosecuting that case?
19 A. I could not even come near that location at the time. Nobody
20 cared that I was minister of the interior. Without the army's
21 permission, I could not even come near.
22 Q. You said here for the record earlier today that every morning you
23 reported to this Colonel Petkovic?
24 A. Yes, yes, I did.
25 Q. Tell me, how did it look? Did you get any instructions from him
1 as to what you should do that day, or did you get any approvals or what?
2 A. Well, they would tell me whether there would be an escort to the
3 convoy from Negoslavci, Banovci, to Sid and back, and if anything else
4 needed to be done, they would give me my assignment.
5 Q. You also said that the JNA and the Territorial Defence liberated
6 certain places or occupied certain places, and as they did so, they would
7 establish military authority.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did that mean that after that the civilian authorities had no
10 longer any jurisdiction?
11 A. No, we couldn't do anything anymore, and they wouldn't even let
12 us organise a local commune or something else that would be civilian.
13 When we suggested it, they would say: No, you can't do anything there.
14 Q. In your statement you also said that you tried hard to stop
15 people from leaving those villages where the Territorial Defence and JNA
16 had taken over.
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Tell me, why did people want to leave their villages as soon as
19 the JNA and the TO arrived?
20 A. It was not enough to liberate a village and for the army and TO
21 to arrive. It was also necessary for people to enable to sell their
22 goods, to buy what they needed, to go out into the fields and do their
23 farm work, and at that moment it was not possible any longer. When they
24 would be told that they are no longer allowed to leave their houses and
25 go work on their farms, then people saw no other way out than to leave.
1 Q. And I suppose it would be the military authorities who were to
2 give them this permission?
3 A. Yes. We needed people to stay in their homes. Those were not
4 people who were any threat to the army. They simply had their farms,
5 their houses, their livestock, the land, and they needed to work. Our
6 problem was that we needed to keep those people from evacuating.
7 Q. In December 1991, as far as I'm able to see, you moved to Ilok.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That was your assignment given you by the government of Slavonia,
10 Baranja, and Western Srem?
11 A. Yes. That decision was made at a cabinet session and it was
12 suggested by President Hadzic. He said that somebody from the government
13 should be in Ilok because 60- or 70.000 people were waiting to be
14 accommodated there, and somebody from the government should take care of
15 that and assign houses to family depending on the size of the house and
16 the size of the family. And I as deputy prime minister and Vojno Susa as
17 minister of justice and Mr. Vojnovic as minister of finance were
18 designated to go to Ilok, and we stayed there for I don't know exactly
19 how long but rather a long time until we had completed all this business
20 with accommodating these people.
21 In Ilok we also had about 2.000 Slovaks and we had to keep an eye
22 on them too, to avoid any problems. Mr. Jan Kisgeci [phoen], who was
23 minister of agriculture in Slobodan Milosevic's government, was
24 particularly concerned about these people. He called every day to ask us
25 if there were any problems, what was going on, et cetera, but we managed
1 for all these Slovaks to stay put all the way until peaceful
2 reintegration which happened in late 1990s.
3 Q. When you arrived, were there any empty houses?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Those were houses abandoned by the Croats who had lived earlier
6 in Ilok?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. According to some information we have, they left on the
9 17th October or the 18th, I'm not sure?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In these talks and negotiations about the departure of Croats
12 from Ilok, did the government of SBWS play any role in these talks?
13 A. No. At that time nobody asked us anything. The negotiations
14 were led by the army and they agreed with the Croat population of Ilok.
15 The Croats from Ilok said they wanted to leave Ilok, go to Croatia using
16 the motorway that passes by Batkovici. Although it was not without
17 problems. They were told that it was not a good idea, et cetera, that
18 they should stay put. But they were adamant that they wanted to leave
19 Serbia and go live in Croatia, except those 2.000 Slovaks who remained to
20 live in Ilok along with a number of Croats and Hungarians in other
21 villages around Ilok who also stayed.
22 And we were facing another problem. By that time there were
23 already 4.000 refugees from Backa Slavonia who were temporarily
24 accommodated in the sports hall in Backa Palanka, and we were trying to
25 come to an agreement with the army to make a swap so that these people
1 could exchange their houses. And these people who were put up in the
2 sports hall had been living there without a bathroom for eight days.
3 Four thousand is a huge number of people. They were starting to smell.
4 And we stayed there for another few days, but the army was unable to make
5 a decision.
6 And then I called up our government, explained the situation, and
7 I said that we should move those people. And then a meeting was held in
8 Backa Palanka and the meeting was attended by President Hadzic and by
9 myself, and that's when I first saw Mr. Stanisic. He was also there but
10 he didn't participate. He was just taking notes. And that's how it came
11 about, that we moved those people to Ilok and then we set up a
12 headquarters that handled distribution of empty houses, according to the
13 size of the house and the size of families.
14 Q. What you've just described, that was in the end of 1991 and early
15 1992; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were you there? Did you witness the departure of those people
18 from Ilok?
19 A. No, nobody could be there except the army.
20 Q. I'll show you one letter that was sent to the army.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] It's D30. If we could see it in
23 Q. I'd kindly ask you to read this letter to yourself, and then I'm
24 going to put a few questions to you in relation to the letter. And
25 please tell us once you're done.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could we go over the page in English, please.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, we have the second page, too. In B/C/S and
3 English we have three pages, as far as I know. We have five pages in
4 English, actually. [Interpretation] Yes, there is one more page.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we have -- thank you. Next page in English,
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Can you tell us now. You've read the letter. Did it reflect
10 reality, the reality of what was going on then; that is to say, the
11 23rd of December, 1991?
12 A. Well, yes.
13 Q. At the time there was military administration in Ilok?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. As I can see, there was not a strict separation of these powers.
16 This letter actually asks for that, to see what the authority that you
17 could possibly have in that situation would be. Would you agree with
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And I see that you did not even know about the criteria on the
21 basis of which people moved into these abandoned houses and how the
22 refugees from Western Slavonia got into these houses in the first place?
23 A. Let me tell you that during the first days we didn't have access
24 to anything. We simply sat there, watched, and waited to see what
1 Q. I'm talking about the time when this letter was written?
2 A. Yes, yes, I understand you full well.
3 Q. Among other things, I see that this letter asks that the
4 Ministry of the Interior should be informed about the activity of the
5 Ilok police station. It says here, of course, if these are civilian
6 rather than military police forces; in other words, the government did
7 not know of the police station that was functioning there at all. They
8 didn't know what kind of police station it was in the first place. Am I
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I see the time, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: I didn't get a translation of what you said,
13 Mr. Zivanovic, but I can imagine what it was and I thank you for it.
14 Mr. Bogunovic, your cross-examination has not yet been completed
15 and therefore you have to come back tomorrow morning at 9.00. Now
16 because you are sworn as a witness, you cannot speak to the attorneys of
17 either party nor discuss your testimony with anybody else. Any
18 conversation you have with persons other than the attorneys cannot relate
19 to the testimony that you have given here so far. So we are taking the
20 adjournment until tomorrow. 9.00. Court adjourned.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.02 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day
24 of April, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.