1 Friday, 4 July 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, everyone in and around the
8 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
10 This is the case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
15 For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Sarah Clanton, legal
16 intern Marija Knezevic, case manager Thomas Laugel.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 Mr. Zivanovic for the Defence.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
20 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell, with
21 Negosava Smiljanic, case manager, and Jolana Makraiova, legal assistant.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
24 Mr. Zivanovic, you may proceed.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 WITNESS: GORAN HADZIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, good morning.
5 The first questions I'm going to put to you will concern your
6 yesterday's evidence. There are some things that need to be clarified.
7 Once again, I will ask you to speak slowly when answering my questions.
8 On page 9323, line 18, it says that you saw a list of the
9 population in Pacetin. That list dates back to 1990. And according to
10 that list, Pacetin had 1100 inhabitants of whom 100 were Orthodox Roma
11 and 1.000 Orthodox Serbs. Please look at the year, the year is 1990. Is
12 that year correct?
13 A. Good morning to everybody.
14 This is a big mistake. That was the 1900 or 1903 census --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, please. We have a technical
16 problem, Madam Registrar.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry about that. Please continue, Mr. Hadzic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, this is a big mistake.
20 I suppose it is due to the interpretation or perhaps I spoke too fast,
21 and the blame lies on me.
22 That census was made over 100 years ago, and at that time the
23 population was 100 per cent Orthodox, of them 11 per cent were Roma.
24 They were all killed in 1941 and there are no longer any Roma in Pacetin.
25 Maybe it will be interesting for the Trial Chamber that there are
1 currently, 650 to 700 people living in Pacetin, which means over a period
2 of 100 years, the population has been reduced by 50 per cent. A lot of
3 the people were killed in the Second World War. All of the Roma were
4 killed, and some 30 per cent of the Serbs were killed in the
5 Second World War.
6 Q. I would also like to clarify another detail which concerns a
7 question that I put to you yesterday about poetry and your attitude
8 towards poetry. This is on page 9034, line 5.
9 You said that you sometimes read poetry with a girlfriend but
10 never with a man or a male friend. You said that you also accompanied
11 your friend Branko Kovacevic to a poetry reading evening. That was
12 before the war. Did you go somewhere where poetry was read, or did you
13 go somewhere else? What was it?
14 A. I have to say when you asked me about reading or writing poetry,
15 I have to say that I never wrote poetry. When I read poetry, since I
16 graduated from grammar school and a grammar school gives a broader
17 education, I did read poetry when I attended secondary school.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Hadzic please be reminded to slow
19 down. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hadzic, please slow down when you speak. It
21 is very difficult for the interpreters to follow you.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, could you -- is it okay? Okay.
25 Thank you.
1 Please continue, Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Please continue, Mr. Hadzic.
4 A. I don't want to make an impression that I did not like poetry. I
5 did read poetry. I read well-known poets like Yesenin, Lorca, to mention
6 but a few. As a result of having been grammar school student, I also
7 read Croatian poets, Vujovic, Matos, but I never read amateur poetry, nor
8 did I ever follow any friend's work or did it with a friend as a witness
10 When it comes to attending that poetry reading evening, I went
11 with my wife at the invitation of my friend Branko Kovacevic to his book
12 presentation. I didn't go with Branko. Branko was the host who had
13 invited us. That was a few years before the war, perhaps five or
14 six years before the war. And, at that time, I still didn't sport a
16 Q. On page 9337, line 8, you said that the SDP lost the elections in
17 Croatia. Could you please tell us in a bit more detail what did you mean
18 when you say they lost? Did they win any seats in the Croatian
19 parliament at all? What did you mean when you say that they lost?
20 A. What I meant was that the HDZ won, i.e., that it got a majority
21 in the Croatian parliament. The SDP was the second-most powerful party
22 in Croatia. It had fewer MPs than the HDZ, but it did win in many
23 municipalities in Croatia, including Vukovar, where the SDP was the
24 victorious party.
25 Q. And now let us look at two more pages, 9337 and 9338. That
1 question concerned a debate in the Vukovar municipality with regard to
2 the constitution and amendments to the constitutions and things like
4 Let me ask you this: Did you have in mind the Croatian
5 constitution according to which the Serbs would no longer be a
6 constituent people or did you have another constitution in mind?
7 A. Another constitution. The constitution that portrayed Croatia as
8 an independent state. That's how we perceived it. We called it the
9 so-called separatist constitution. All of us who were on the SDP list in
10 our -- part of our platform was that we wanted Croatia to stay in
11 Yugoslavia. That is the message that we sent to the people. I don't
12 know when that happened. I know that it was in 1990. I can't even give
13 you the month. Most of the Croatian MPs, SDP members, opted for that
14 constitution, were in favour of that constitution.
15 Q. Let me just ask you this: You spoke about your contribution at a
16 meeting in the Municipal Assembly. Did that debate take place before
17 that constitution which you have just called a separate constitution was
19 A. I'm not 100 per cent sure. I know it was adopted by the
20 parliament and that all the municipal assemblies were supposed to adopt
21 it as well. Or whether it was the other way around. In any case, the
22 Municipal Assembly of Vukovar adopted that constitution but it also
23 proposed very important amendments. That was never publicised anywhere.
24 The only thing that we could read in the papers was: Well, there you go,
25 even Vukovar has adopted that new constitution. That was the message in
1 the press.
2 I can't remember whether that comprised Slavica Bajan's [phoen]
3 proposal that Serbs should be eliminated from the constitution or was it
4 an entirely new version of the constitution. I can't remember, as I sit
5 here today.
6 Q. I know that you're not a legal professional, you're not a lawyer,
7 and you cannot discuss any amendments, but you did mention amendments and
8 we know that a municipality cannot adopt a state's constitution. When it
9 comes to those amendments, did they mean that the constitutional proposal
10 could be changed with those amendments.
11 Did you understand me?
12 A. Yes, I did understand you. That was the gist of the whole thing.
13 A majority of us didn't have anything against the Croatian constitution,
14 of course.
15 MR. STRINGER: [Microphone not activated]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry, yes --
17 MR. STRINGER: [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: We can't hear Mr. Stringer.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, something --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Zivanovic switch his microphone off.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, could you --
22 MR. STRINGER: [Microphone not activated] Can you hear me now?
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, not me.
24 MR. STRINGER: My microphone is ... on.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Well, I think now it's okay.
1 MR. STRINGER: Is it okay?
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, now it's okay.
3 MR. STRINGER: Sorry. Well, the question and then the answer
4 have long since gone into the record, but, Your Honour, we will be
5 objecting to leading questions and the objection would have been that the
6 last question from my learned friend was a leading question. Because
7 they both speak the language, Mr. Hadzic answered the question before I
8 could raise the objection, but I did want to note that we are watching
9 for leading questions and will object.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I rephrase the question --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: -- Your Honours. Thank you.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Could you tell me, please, in view of your
15 previous answer, and you have partially answered my previous question,
16 what was the subject of debate at that Assembly meeting in Vukovar? What
17 was your proposal and what was the proposal of those who were in favour
18 of amendments?
19 A. As far as I can remember, a high percentage of us supported the
20 constitution of our republic, the Croatian constitution. However, I and
21 some other Serbs, not a majority of the Serbs, also supported the
22 amendment that was supposed to alter 1 per cent of the constitution, and
23 that concerned Croatia staying in Yugoslavia and not being an independent
24 state. That should have been a public proposal, and together with that
25 amendment, we voted in favour of the constitution. I was against, all
1 the other Serbs were in favour, fully confident that that amendment would
2 be adopted. But it never happened. To be honest, only one other MP
3 voted together with me against. All the other -- all the SDP and HDZ MPs
4 were in favour.
5 Q. This means in -- effectively that they were in favour of Croatia
6 seceding from Yugoslavia. Did I understand you properly?
7 A. No, you did not. Some of the HDZ MPs and the other parties were
8 in favour of what you just said, but the party that I belonged to was in
9 favour of the 90 per cent of the constitution and the amendment that
10 would change that one bit. I thought that that amendment was pointless,
11 that we should not vote in favour of that constitution, that we should
12 turn it down.
13 Q. I'm now going to read one part of the minutes because, honestly,
14 I didn't understand what exactly you said in that part of the record.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Zivanovic repeat the number of the
16 page in the transcript and the number of the line.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 9343, line 13.
18 [In English] "Also there were some messages that had to do with
19 specific things related to liquidations and we heard what was said by the
20 TO and also arming Spegelj, et cetera, but all of this was before the
22 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please shed some light on this? What
23 did you mean?
24 A. I noticed that mistake in the transcript, but it was -- it is not
25 up to me to correct that. I believe that this will be corrected when
1 they listen to the tape. Instead of TV they recorded my words as TO. I
2 meant TV, meaning television, when the news was about Spegelj and arming
3 which was a notorious fact. But instead of the abbreviation TV, the
4 abbreviation that was recorded was TO. And if that is changed, I suppose
5 that the situation will be a bit clearer, but if it's not I can explain.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness and the counsel please make
7 pauses between questions and answers.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Yes, since we're talking about that, can you please explain.
10 A. As far as these quiet liquidations are concerned, I heard about
11 it for the first time on TV. Unofficially stories circulated among the
12 Serbs that something was being planned, but that was the first time it
13 was publicly confirmed.
14 Q. Can you tell us briefly how it was confirmed on TV by
15 Mr. Spegelj?
16 A. All of us saw it. Everybody can still see it. It's the famous
17 footage where Spegelj dispenses advice on how to settle scores with
18 Yugoslav officers but also all those who support Yugoslavia, to come to a
19 house and when the owner opens the door to fire two bullets in his
20 stomach. And that story reminded me of the scenario from 1971, when the
21 nationalist movement in Croatia was raging. I was a young student by
22 now -- at that time. They also at that time distributed weapons among
23 their supporters and also gave them postmen's uniforms, and the same
24 instructions. Tudjman himself went to prison because of that.
25 Q. We'll come back to this topic later. But now I should like to
1 look at document P70.50.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 70 -- [Interpretation] 70.50.
3 Q. You have seen this text. It has been shown before during the
4 trial, and this story mentions your name, among others, in the context of
5 a peaceful protest in Vukovar. Do you remember this event?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. This text says that you read a proclamation to the leadership
8 regarding the police, asking that the police not protect you anymore.
9 My first question is: Did you indeed read such a proclamation?
10 A. I gave a speech at the time to the people gathered, and there
11 were several thousand, and I remember the atmosphere was very tense
12 because we were surrounded by the special police with crowd-control
13 equipment, with dogs, et cetera, and nobody dared come close to me
14 because the usual thing is for somebody to announce the speaker and the
15 programme, et cetera, so I had to read the agenda, the programme, myself
16 so maybe the journalists understood that as a proclamation. I can't
17 remember the details anymore. But what I said is that we don't need so
18 many policemen with rifles in Vukovar. I didn't know who they were
19 protecting and I didn't know why they had arrived. In fact they were not
20 policemen. They were later to become their new army, but at that time I
21 didn't know it. And by that time we had already been stricken out of the
22 Croatian constitution, we, the Serbs.
23 Q. This text also says that you had some comments to make on the
24 Croatian constitution. It's in the second column on the -- on this page.
25 A. Yes. That's true, that's what I said. And that was the thinking
1 shared by most Serbs.
2 Q. Can you tell us how the Vukovar board of the Serb Democratic
3 Party took place? Can you describe it.
4 A. Yes, I can. After the second round of elections in Croatia,
5 when, as I said before, the HDZ won and the SDP lost - it didn't
6 disappear, it just lost, meaning that it had to two or three deputies
7 less - I realised that nobody was protecting Serb interests anymore.
8 Both the HDZ and the other pro-Croatian parties that were in coalition
9 with the HDZ. And when I say "pro-Croat" I don't mean anything bad, it
10 was just a fact. The SDP was supposed to represent the Serbs but it was
11 too busy promoting its own interests so that nobody represented the
12 interests of the Serbian people. Then at the initiative of four or five
13 of us we went to Knin to meet with Professor Raskovic, in the month of
14 May sometime, mid-May, I think, and we asked if he would agree that we
15 establish the Serbian Democratic Party in the municipality of Vukovar
16 because both Vukovar and Knin were in Croatia.
17 He agreed and we scheduled a founding Assembly meeting for the
18 10th of June in Vukovar, in a place close to Vukovar. We did that, and
19 then followed the technical aspects that I can describe later, if you
21 Q. Can you tell us what was later done to establish this board after
22 this talk you had with Professor Raskovic?
23 A. I skipped a very important thing. Just after we returned from
24 Knin, we formed a so-called initiative board and named the chairman. He
25 was my colleague from Vupik, now late Slobodan Tripic. We were 15 on
1 that board, and we organised this founding Assembly in Vukovar for the
2 10th of April [as interpreted]. We organised security for the meeting.
3 We obtained a permit for this meeting from the police, and we had talks
4 in various local communes. We advertised it so that people would come
5 and listen to Professor Jovan Raskovic, member of the academy.
6 Q. Could you just repeat when the Assembly was to take place? I
7 don't think the date we have on the LiveNote is correct.
8 A. I believe the founding Assembly was held on the 10th of June,
10 Q. In this first contact with Professor Raskovic, what impression
11 did he make on you?
12 A. My first impression was later confirmed when I got to know him
13 better. He was one of the smartest people I've ever met. The impression
14 he left was of a very composed, reasonable man, and his work later proved
15 that he was, indeed, a calm, reasonable man promoting peace, completely
16 contrary to the Dinarian type of person in the Balkans who are mostly
18 Q. When you were in Knin, did you meet anyone else from the SDS?
19 A. I met Marko Dobrijevic who was a lawyer in Knin. He had some
20 technical job assisting Professor Raskovic and later Milan Babic, who was
21 president of the Knin municipality. But I didn't talk to him.
22 Q. Before this rally on the 10th of June, could you tell us where
23 this rally was to take place?
24 A. It was supposed to take place, and it was held, in Adica, which
25 is a picnic place in the town of Vukovar. Perhaps 300 metres from the
1 house of Mr. Boro Savic, at the end of his street.
2 Q. What was going on at that meeting, if you could tell us briefly.
3 Who attended, were there any speakers?
4 A. Well, the main -- the keynote speaker was Professor Raskovic.
5 There were other speakers from Knin, I believe, including Branko Popovic,
6 who maybe attended some later rallies, so I might be confused about him.
7 Also Slobodan Tripic addressed the people as chairman of the initiative
8 board and Mr. Milan Paroski also spoke. I don't know who invited him but
9 he introduced himself as an MP from Serbia. I don't know whether that
10 was true. And I gave a very short speech. In fact, I only thanked the
11 people for electing me as chairman of the Municipal Board.
12 Q. And how did you come to be elected president or chairman of the
13 Municipal Board?
14 A. I was nominated by the 15 people who were members of the
15 initiative board who had met perhaps five or six times before this
16 founding Assembly. In fact, they had to talk me into it because when I
17 became a member of the Serbian Democratic Party, it didn't cross my mind
18 that I could one day become a high-ranking official. Maybe I can tell
19 you a story to describe the situation.
20 When I returned home after being elected president, my father,
21 who was by that time old and much wiser than I, when everybody was
22 congratulating me, my father didn't. Instead he asked me what my salary
23 would be. I thought that he didn't know anything about these things so I
24 said: This is a honorary position. I'm just supposed to work. There's
25 no salary. And my father said: Well, that's precisely why they elected
1 you. If it were a good job, they would have taken someone else. They
2 know that you will work for free.
3 That's what I will always remember.
4 Q. Can you tell us, did Professor Raskovic ever make clear what his
5 position was concerning the Serbs in Croatia and their position, whether
6 they should stay within Yugoslavia, et cetera?
7 A. It was said so many times at many rallies: Serbs will stay in
8 Croatia to the extent that Croatia stays in Yugoslavia. That was the
9 main thing. And he always mentioned in all his speeches that from the
10 times of Ante Starcevic, Serbs had been called disruptive, a disruptive
11 factor in Croatia, which, of course, wasn't correct, and he explained why
12 it wasn't.
13 Q. Just -- if could you add something to your previous answer, when
14 you said you were elected president of the Municipal Board. Which
15 municipality was that?
16 A. The municipality of Vukovar, within the boundaries of the
17 municipality of Vukovar as per Croatian law that prevailed at the time.
18 Q. You will recall that Boro Savic was heard by this Court. Can you
19 tell -- tell us, since when have you known him?
20 A. I've -- had known him perhaps for ten or 12 years before the war,
21 which means from 1977 or 1978 or 1979.
22 Q. And how did you come to know him?
23 A. Boro was born in Sabac, Serbia. He was some sort of travelling
24 salesman. He didn't have a serious job. He was married to a teacher
25 from my village, who was a friend of mine and my then-girlfriend. And
1 that woman teacher had a small studio, and Boro, when he came to visit,
2 he stayed at her place because he didn't have an apartment. And later
3 they got married and moved to Vukovar. I mean, Boro came to Pacetin
4 almost as a homeless person.
5 Q. Could you say, I mean, well, how often did you see him? How did
6 this go, this acquaintance of yours, or socialising, if we can call it
8 A. Before all of these things happened in relation to the SDS we did
9 not really socialise. He is a considerably older than I am, and he had a
10 different circle of friends. Perhaps -- well, that's characteristic. He
11 did not make friends with people that he could not take advantage of, so
12 I was not really part of his circle. So we had these relations within
13 the party for about a year, from mid-May 1990 until 1991 mid-May, or,
14 rather, last time -- actually the last time I saw him was around the
15 1st of June, 1991.
16 Q. Ou say that the last time you saw him was around the
17 1st of June, 1991. Can you remember what the situation was when you
18 actually saw him?
19 A. I can. It was at Vukasin Soskocanin's funeral in the village.
20 And I think that after that I saw him only once before the war, during
21 those ten days or so during the month of June or perhaps not even that.
22 And then I only saw him in 1995 or 1996.
23 Q. Could you please repeat the name of the person whose funeral it
24 was when you saw -- well, actually, you don't have to, because it's been
25 corrected. I mean ...
1 Now I'd like to ask you to take a look at the statement that you
2 gave to the Prosecution. That is P50. It has to do with paragraph 7.
3 You see, in paragraph 7, it says that he made you president of
4 the board; is that correct?
5 A. Well, that's not correct. I was selected by the initiative
6 board, and I said there were about 15 members there, and everybody was in
7 favour, and Boro Savic was among those 15 who were in favour. So his
8 participation was just one-fifteenth, like the remaining 14 persons, so
9 this is a strange way of putting it.
10 Q. Further on he says that he was secretary of the SDS in Vukovar
11 and that he wanted to appoint serious people. Can you say when it was
12 that he was appointed secretary of the SDS for Vukovar, if that actually
13 did happen?
14 A. I'm not sure whether he was appointed on the 10th of June, when I
15 was selected, but I'm certain that he could not have been selected before
16 that because the SDS did not exist before that in Vukovar. So what he
17 said here is mind-boggling.
18 Q. Was he a person who made appointments at all? As he put it here,
19 he appointed these people to the board, or was it a body of the party
20 that did that?
21 A. Well, he said that he was secretary, and that office speaks in
22 itself, how powerful he was. Let me be as mild as possible and as a fair
23 as possible. He was an equal member. He was not inferior but he was not
24 dominant either. We were all on a footing of equality but I cannot
25 define it now. It was after Plitvice, after his suffering there, and I'm
1 not sure that he -- well, this is a kind of egocentrism. I did not
2 really know him to be that way before.
3 Q. Another question: He says that at the time there was this big
4 problem, namely, the Socialist Party of Serbia of Slobodan Milosevic, as
5 they considered that there should not be any other political party apart
6 from the SPS [Realtime transcript read in error "SBS"]. At the time were
7 you confronted with that problem?
8 A. Since we will be talking about his entire statement now for a
9 while, if I understand you correctly, I really feel ashamed because I
10 used to work with Boro. I have to deny all of that and say that all of
11 this is crazy. A normal person cannot be saying all of these things. It
12 is crazy. What kind of influence did the Socialist Party have in the
13 1990s at Croatia. The SPS appeared only when the Krajina was
14 established. He completely confused things here. And there's no
15 chronological logic involved.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, a clarification in the transcript.
17 At line 23 of the current page, it is said -- the acronym there
18 is said to be SBS. And in line 5 -- well, no, 23 is the previous page.
19 Line 5 of the -- of the actual page there is an acronym missing.
20 Could you clarify that with the witness, please.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Could you please repeat once again the acronym of this political
23 party. Or, rather, could you repeat what you said -- or actually I'm
24 going to repeat the question to you because it actually has to do with my
1 So my question was: It actually has to do with paragraph 7 of
2 the statement, where it says that a special problem at the time was the
3 Socialist Party of Serbia, abbreviated as SPS, the party of
4 Slobodan Milosevic. Because they believed, allegedly, that only the SPS
5 should exist there in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
6 A. Well, I've already said that was crazy. The SPS, this party of
7 Slobodan Milosevic, did not appear there in any form during 1990. It was
8 Croatia at the time. So not a single party from Serbia was there except
9 for some of these opposition MPs from Serbia who came there, that's a
10 very well-known thing, but the Serb authorities did not come at all.
11 Q. In paragraph 8, he claims that the Party for Democratic Change of
12 Ivica Racan, the SPD, won only a few seats. Can you tell us whether that
13 is correct that this party, the SDP, had only a few seats?
14 A. That's not correct either. He said that in just a silly way, a
15 stupid way. The SDP had many MPs, and in the Municipal Assembly of
16 Vukovar they had an absolute majority of assemblymen.
17 Q. When you say "many MPs," what did you mean?
18 A. In the parliament of Croatia, I mean the SDP. I'm just saying
19 that in accordance with what he said here, several, a few. You can
20 either say 50 or 70 or 30 and then everybody can conclude what is a lot
21 or many, in relation to 150.
22 Q. Could we please take a look at paragraph 11.
23 It says that a meeting was held of the Serb Democratic Party in
24 August 1990 and that he could not attend and that the party split at that
25 meeting. Is that the truth?
1 A. Well, it is not the truth. These are conclusions -- well, when I
2 read this entire paragraph 11, I see that those who support conspiracy
3 theories would be envious of these conclusions of his because this is
4 simple fantasizing, not based in reality at all.
5 Q. Why you saying that this is fantasizing, that in August 1990 the
6 SDS split or fell apart?
7 A. Well, the SDS was established on the 17th of February, 1990. So
8 from February to August, it is, what, six months, and it was only then
9 that they had gained momentum and that they started operating, so they
10 were getting stronger and stronger rather than falling apart.
11 Q. Was that manifested in some way at the time, in that period,
12 August 1990?
13 A. Well, in Vukovar we only started organising local boards and
14 rallies, and Professor Raskovic appeared at some of them, so we were in
15 full sway. He confused everything that happened there. After two or
16 three years, all of this got mixed up in his head. I mean, I assume that
17 this was needed for some other testimony so then it was just inserted by
18 way of some compilation because this is totally senseless. It makes no
19 sense whatsoever to say all of this. It never existed, these names.
20 Q. Which names?
21 A. The influence of Jovica Stanisic in 1990 over Milan Babic. That
22 is totally impossible.
23 Q. This is what I'm interested in here. Another thing that he
24 mentioned. That Raskovic -- or, rather, that Raskovic warned him that
25 the party would fall apart and that he specifically gave tasks to you and
1 Vukcevic, Vojislav Vukcevic. Can you tell us whether that happened, did
2 he give you some assignments, tasks, or to Professor Vukcevic?
3 A. Borivoje Savic was secretary of the Municipal Board and I was
4 president of that board, and he never gave me any assignments whatsoever.
5 Now the Trial Chamber can take my word for it. I'm speaking under oath.
6 But as far as Professor Vukcevic is concerned, I don't want to say now
7 whether Boro gave assignments to him, but let me say that
8 Professor Vukcevic was a doctor of law and for a while he was also the
9 dean of the law school in Osijek and also he was a judge in
10 Beli Manastir. He is at least 15 years older and at least three times
11 smarter than Boro Savic, and Boro Savic could not give him any kind of
12 assignment, ever, whatsoever.
13 Q. We can move on to paragraph 22. Here, he says that he worked
14 with his father in Vupik -- with your father in Vupik; is that correct?
15 A. My father did work in Vupik, and after that, I worked there. I'm
16 not sure whether Boro got a job in Vupik before I did. I think that I
17 got a job before he did, but that doesn't matter. We worked together in
18 Vupik, but we were not in the same basic organisation, so I did not
19 really co-operate with him through our work.
20 Q. It says that sometime in mid-May he called you and told you that
21 a board for Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem would be set up. Can you
22 see that? Did he really tell you that a board would be set up for
23 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
24 A. He didn't tell me that. He could not tell me that at the time
25 because that didn't exist at the time. Maybe this was written
1 unbeknownst to him or he is totally insane; I mean, Boro Savic. These
2 are some elementary things. It's like two plus two. There's nothing for
3 me to prove. There is nothing for me to say about some things that did
4 happen and cannot be changed, some things that are so obvious. I
6 We first established the Municipal Board of the SDS in Vukovar.
7 And then Municipal Boards were established in all the municipalities in
8 Eastern Slavonia, meaning, Osijek, Beli Manastir, and Vinkovci. When it
9 comes to Western Slavonia, Municipal Boards were set up in parallel with
10 us, in Podravska Slatina a day before Vukovar and then in other places,
11 and we did not take part in all that because the distance from us was
12 about 200 kilometres. It was only towards the end of 1990 or the
13 beginning of 1991, at the initiative of Ilija Sasic, Veljko Dzakula,
14 myself, and Boro Savic that the Regional Board for Slavonia and Baranja
15 was eventually established. And the term "Western Srem" did not appear
16 before 1991. That term did not exist.
17 I really could not talk to Boro. However, since I've known him,
18 this is not the way he was. This is just a lot of nonsense. Whatever he
19 knew, he merged together and told the story as if everything happened in
20 1991, but it didn't. Some things happened in 1992 and 1993.
21 He mentions the Executive Board here. I believe that what he had
22 in mind was the initiative board. I don't -- I can't read his mind.
23 However, what I'm reading here is not correct.
24 Q. Can you at least clarify this part because the Executive Board is
25 mentioned here as well as the Regional Board. Could you please tell us
1 which bodies or which organs did the Serbian Democratic Party have?
2 A. The Serbian Democratic Party was established in Knin on the
3 17th of February. It had its Main Board and its Executive Board,
4 independently of Goran Hadzic and Boro Savic. At the time we did not
5 even hear of the SDS. At least I didn't and I'm sure Boro didn't either.
6 It was only in May that we started setting up our Municipal Board. We
7 established the initiative board, and then on the 10th of June, the
8 Municipal Board was set up. Before that, there was nothing. From then
9 on we started setting up local boards in local communes.
10 Q. Can you please tell us, you mentioned the Main Board of the SDS
11 and the Executive Board. Which body had the supremacy, which was the
12 highest party body?
13 A. The highest party body was the Main Board and its president was
14 Jovan Raskovic. At the time I was not a party member. I don't know when
15 the Executive Board was established. There was no need for me to know
17 Q. Do you know who was it who set up the Executive Board, i.e., who
18 selected the Executive Board members?
19 A. The way things were done when I joined, it was the Main Board who
20 did that. In politics, in the executive and judiciary power, you have to
21 imagine the Main Board as the Assembly and the Executive Board as the
22 government of a state.
23 Q. Since we're talking about the Executive Board, were you elected?
24 Did you have a position in the Main Board of the Serbian Democratic
25 Party? Specifically you.
1 A. According to the party statute, every president of any
2 Municipal Board automatically becomes a member of the Main Board. And
3 later, as a member of the Main Board, I was elected as a member of the
4 Executive Board.
5 Q. And now tell me, it says here that you were the president of the
6 Regional Board in the same paragraph, 22. Were you, indeed, the
7 president of a Regional Board of the SDS?
8 A. No, never. The president of the Regional Board of the SDS for
9 Slavonia was Veljko Dzakula, for Slavonia and Baranja only because
10 Western Srem did not feature at the time. That term was coined by
11 Ilija Petrovic. I don't know why. But it was only later.
12 Q. And who were the members of that Regional Board? Were they
13 elected, or were people just appointed based on their positions and
15 A. They were presidents of Municipal Boards that -- and by virtue of
16 those positions in Slavonia and Baranja, they became members of the
17 Regional Board. And there was also Boro Savic as the secretary. This
18 means that every Municipal Board could put forth another candidate in
19 addition to their president.
20 Q. He says that he was the one who helped you become a member of the
21 Main Board of the SDS; is that correct? That's in paragraph 23.
22 A. No, that's not correct. I have to explain to this Honourable
23 Trial Chamber, that, at that time, in the Republic of Croatia where we
24 were, there were no candidates who would wholeheartedly accept any of the
25 positions that involved such activities, so nobody needed to push
1 anybody. We had a major problem to get members, to activate our
2 membership. Nobody was overly ambitious to hold a position because that
3 was all without any pay, as I just told you when I told you the story
4 about my father. We only spent money because we used our cars, we bought
5 our own petrol. Nobody actually paid us expenses. We -- as a result of
6 our positions, we were out of our pockets.
7 Q. Let's look at paragraph 28. He says that he established the
8 SDS board in Vukovar; is that correct?
9 A. It's not correct. He says that that happened on the 9th of June,
10 and that's also not correct. He is so off here. And, again, he mixes up
11 things, and he uses a wrong chronology. He mentioned Slobodan Milosevic.
12 At that time, a majority of the SDS members were against
13 Slobodan Milosevic's policies and against the Serbian policies. It was a
14 public matter. He is talking with hindsight and distorting things while
15 doing that.
16 Q. In paragraph 29, he mentions Ilija Petrovic and Ilija Koncarevic
17 as well as Milan Paroski. He says that Koncarevic and Petrovic turned up
18 as SDS activists from Vojvodina, although that party had not been set up
19 there yet. Do you know if the Serbian Democratic Party was established
20 in Serbia at that time?
21 A. Yes, it was established and registered in Serbia as the
22 Serbian Democratic Party. But it was independent from its counterpart in
23 Croatia. Boro Savic and I were even invited as guests to a founding
24 meeting in Vojvodina.
25 Q. Do you know that Ilija Koncarevic and Ilija Petrovic were members
1 of that party, the Serbian Democratic Party, in Serbia?
2 A. Both Boro and I knew that because we were [as interpreted] our
3 hosts there. They were party members, and we were their guests. That
4 meeting took place in Novi Sad, and I believe that Professor Raskovic
5 also attended. I'm not sure, though.
6 Q. Milan Paroski is also mentioned here in the same paragraph,
7 paragraph 29, together with Koncarevic and Petrovic. He says that they
8 put pressure on the SDS board in Vukovar. Are you aware of any pressure
9 that was put on you to bear by Paroski or Koncarevic and Petrovic? And
10 when I say "you," I mean your board in Vukovar.
11 A. Neither I know that nor was that possible, as a matter of fact.
12 Q. Immediately on the following page and the paragraph actually
13 continues on that page, he says that -- or, rather, only Koncarevic and
14 Petrovic said that they were representatives of the state security of
15 Serbia and that they also represented President Milosevic. Did
16 Koncarevic and Petrovic ever tell you any such thing?
17 A. No, they never said that to me. And it's not correct. Boro is
18 just making things up.
19 Q. Did they hear them say that to somebody else or did you hear from
20 somebody else --
21 A. No, I never heard that. They were members of the
22 Serbian Democratic Party for Serbia which means that could not be members
23 of any service or delegates representing a president who had his own
24 party. They were members of an entirely different party, so this just
25 doesn't make sense.
1 The Serbian Democratic Party in Serbia was an opposition party.
2 It had its goals, and one of them was to take over power from the ruling
4 Q. It was an opposition party to what party?
5 A. The SPS party, Milosevic's SPS, which was the ruling party at the
7 Q. According to what you know, what was Ilija Koncarevic's position
8 what was his profession? What did he do at the time?
9 A. Ilija Koncarevic was a pensioner. He was pensioned off as
10 captain first class in the JNA.
11 And Ilija Petrovic, when I met him, he was introduced to me as
12 the director of the postal services in Novi Sad. However, when I got to
13 know him better, I realised that he was one of the junior managers in the
14 postal service, so he was not the general manager of the whole postal
16 Q. And now let's move to paragraph 35. You will find it in the
17 middle of that paragraph. It says there that a majority of Serbs in
18 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem shared his opinion that the Serbs
19 should stay in Croatia. Can you comment upon that, if you understand
20 what he meant?
21 A. All the paragraphs that we have been discussing are just
22 nonsensical. I can't say anything about the end of the paragraph before
23 I say something about the beginning.
24 He says that Raskovic listened to Milosevic. Everybody in Serbia
25 knew that Raskovic was friends with Dobrica Cosic and that they -- their
1 views were very opposite. And when he says that Raskovic became a MP
2 because Milosevic wanted him to do that, but it's impossible.
3 This -- these are all stupidities. They have nothing whatsoever
4 to do with reality. All members of the Serb Democratic Party in
5 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem supported Professor Raskovic's
6 position and that position was Serbs will stay in Croatia to the extent
7 Croatia stays in Yugoslavia. These positions by Raskovic were positions
8 that he adopted after the peaceful reintegration. He seems to be
9 defending himself here, although he was never charged with any crimes,
10 either by this Tribunal or anywhere in Croatia. He says a majority of
11 the Serbs. We had referendums, and 99.99 per cent of the Serbs were in
12 favour of the opposite. These are elementary truths and it can be
13 mathematically proven.
14 He lives in Croatia now. He wants to curry favour with Croats
15 that's why he is saying all these things which are not just lies but pure
16 fantasies. Because when somebody has an ill-intent and lies, then he can
17 do it and it cannot be proven. And he is lying about things that are so
18 easily proven because they are notorious and everybody is aware of them.
19 Q. I think some parts of your answer are again missing from the
20 record because you are speaking much too fast.
21 When you said it was impossible that Dr. Raskovic rejected the
22 offer to be an MP in the Croatian Assembly, Croatian parliament, why was
23 it impossible that he did that?
24 A. I'm saying that it was impossible the way Boro Savic explained
25 it, that Raskovic refused to be a member of the Croatian parliament
1 because of pressure from Slobodan Milosevic. I'm not saying that he
2 didn't have his own reasons, but he certainly didn't refuse it under
3 pressure from Slobodan Milosevic.
4 Q. Was Raskovic an MP in the Croatian parliament, ever?
5 A. Well, I was trying to anticipate what Boro Savic was thinking.
6 It seems to me implausible that my own associate would talk such rubbish.
7 I suppose that he meant one of those five deputies who were elected on
8 the SDS ticket, but the way he explained it is completely implausible.
9 It's beyond understanding.
10 Q. At the end of this paragraph, he says that the chequer-board
11 emblem was also on the coat of arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.
12 Can you tell us now, because the chequer-board emblem was mentioned many
13 times as something that provoked the Serbs' discontent, could you tell us
14 why it was disturbing?
15 A. What Boro said is true but he didn't invent hot water. We all
16 know that. The chequer-board emblem existed since the Kingdom of
17 Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs, and it was also in the coat of arms of the
18 Kingdom of Yugoslavia, together with the four letters S. That's not in
19 dispute. But the Serbs would not accept the chequer-board emblem as a
20 separate symbol placed on the flag.
21 Q. Can you tell us what does the chequer-board emblem consist of?
22 A. It has 25 fields, five by five, and in our documents while we
23 were in the republic of Croatia, the first field was red, the following
24 one white. During the independent state of Croatia, the first field in
25 the left top corner was white so that a letter U could be placed in it,
1 and the U meant Ustasha. And that's why the Serbs rejected the
2 chequer-board emblem at that time.
3 As for me personally, in my position, Boro did not say anything
4 new here. I agree with it. Yes, the chequer-board symbol was on every
5 document of mine - my school diploma, my other documents - but that's a
6 completely different issue.
7 Q. Could we clear up another thing about this chequer-board. You
8 say that in your documents, in fact, the documents issued by the
9 Socialist Republic of Croatia, the first field was red, whereas in
10 World War II the first field was white. Now, when the chequer-board
11 emblem was to be reintroduced, how was it supposed to be introduced
12 again? With the first field red or white?
13 A. Well, I cannot say under oath that I'm sure, and perhaps I
14 shouldn't speculate. But I suppose this is just the technical detail.
15 The chequer-board emblem should not have caused a war. It shouldn't have
16 been such a problem to Serbs, and I also blamed myself -- I blame myself
17 now that I took it that way at the time. It's perhaps the legacy of
18 Communism that it was so unacceptable to us. That's the only thing I can
19 say I'm sure of under oath.
20 Q. I'd like to move to paragraph 69. I don't need to show you this
21 text because you probably remember this article from the newspaper.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, as this is a new paragraph you are
23 discussing now, would this be a convenient moment?
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 We'll take the break. Be back at 11.00.
2 Court adjourned.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, could we now look at paragraph 69 of
8 this statement. Would you please at paragraph 69 of the statement we've
9 been reviewing.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In this passage, Mr. Savic discussed an article published after
12 you were released from prison, both of you, following your arrest at
13 Plitvice, and he says that you were keen on accumulating, amassing
14 various positions in the SDS party. Was that true?
15 A. No, it's not. I had only one position: President of the
16 Municipal Board of the Serbian Democratic Party. And under the statute
17 of the Main Board of the party, that was a position that implied certain
18 functions, regardless of who occupied it, and I was deputy to the
19 Regional Board. What's interesting here is that Boro Savic was actually
20 a member of every body that I was a member of. That's really curious.
21 Q. He says the same journalist wrote, and Boro Savic agrees, that
22 Boro Savic was the SDS ideologist, a very knowledgeable one. Do you
23 share this opinion?
24 A. I don't. Boro Savic and I happened to be in Plitvice completely
25 by chance, and it was by chance that we became public figures.
1 Boro Savic was not the party ideologist. The main person in the party
2 was Dr. Raskovic. And we came into the public eye quite by chance after
3 Plitvice. Boro Savic was completely unknown to people. His speeches
4 were never heard in public. People couldn't know him. I don't know what
5 this journalist meant until -- unless he had parapsychological powers.
6 Maybe he could read Boro Savic's mind.
7 Q. But to the best of your knowledge, was he really a knowledgeable
8 ideologist of the SDS?
9 A. As far as I know, he was not. He was not even very well
10 educated. He said himself he had graduated from the secondary school of
11 agriculture in Sabac and some higher school in Vinkovci. He didn't have
12 the kind of education that would enable him to be an ideologist.
13 Q. Could we now look at paragraph 70 of his statement. It relates
14 to the day when both of you were released from the remand prison. And he
15 said you were allowed to make a phone call then, and you phoned
16 Ilija Koncarevic, whereas he had believed you would call your father.
17 Can you recall this?
18 A. I don't recall that it happened that way. Maybe we were allowed
19 to make a phone call, but I don't see why I would have called
20 Ilija Koncarevic. Why would I do that?
21 Q. And he says from that time on, he was no longer friends with you.
22 A. That's not true. During his testimony, I was able to read all of
23 his statement, and further on, he contradicts himself. He complains that
24 I stopped calling him. He complains that I stopped all contact with him.
25 Q. Can you remember what day it was when you were released from jail
1 in Plitvice?
2 A. I believe it was the 3rd of April, but I'm not sure.
3 Q. And now paragraph 74. He says he was thinking about replacing
4 Goran Hadzic because you were too much under the influence of
5 Slobodan Milosevic and that you had come to be under his influence after
6 these events at Plitvice.
7 Can you tell us, is it the case that after these events at
8 Plitvice you were indeed under the influence of Slobodan Milosevic, did
9 you know him, did you have any communication with him?
10 A. I was never under the direct influence of Slobodan Milosevic,
11 although I later met him and collaborated with him. This is pure
12 nonsense, a lie. I saw Slobodan Milosevic at a short meeting with the
13 delegation of members of the Serbian Democratic Party from all of
14 Croatia, and that was after the TV show about the arming of Croats, the
15 Spegelj movie. At that time, I never talked to him, nor did I exchange
16 any views with him. It was a large delegation, 30, maybe even 50 people.
17 Q. And do you remember roughly when this took place?
18 A. It could have been a month before Plitvice; perhaps a bit more
19 than that. So after that -- after that TV show about Spegelj, 1990.
20 Q. Could you just repeat the year. Tell us, is it that year?
21 A. I think it is 1991, the beginning of 1991. Because the Serbs
22 were afraid when they heard about the arming of the Croats, and they
23 called me from Knin, from the party, saying that Milosevic would receive
24 a delegation in order to make us feel calmer, in a way. Because we were
25 completely opposed idealogically to the positions taken by the
1 then-ruling party in Serbia, the SPS. I was surprised that he wanted to
2 receive us at all.
3 Q. Can you tell us briefly what these opposed positions were? On
4 the one hand, the SDS, and on the other side, Slobodan Milosevic and his
6 A. Well, speaking in very rough terms, the SDS was an anti-Communist
7 party with a pronounced democratic orientation. Although many of us
8 members were former Communists. However, I and most of my friends
9 realised what a delusion this was, this Communist delusion. And the SPS
10 remained at least at that time in 1990, along the lines of the former
11 League of Communists.
12 Q. Could we now take a look at paragraph 78.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, I might have a problem here. If I
14 understood your question well, you asked the witness what the opposed
15 positions were of, on the one hand, SDS, and on the other side,
16 Slobodan Milosevic's party. And the witness gave an answer about SDS,
17 indeed, but on the other hand, the SPS. Is that Slobodan Milosevic's
18 party? Or is it a transcript issue? On line 21 of page 32. The witness
19 said about the former Communists, this Communist delusion, and the SPS
20 remained at least at that time in 1990. Is he talking about the
21 Milosevic party there?
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I think so. He -- he spoke about the difference
23 between SDS and the SPS, but I could clarify with the witness.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: And SPS -- sorry about the fact that I'm not a
25 hundred per cent in these acronyms. The SPS is Milosevic's party?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Correct.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Then it's okay.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can we move on to paragraph 78 now.
5 In this paragraph, he says that he met up with you again after
6 what had happened in Borovo Selo on the 2nd of May. He says that he met
7 you again on the 7th or 8th of May on the Vojvodina side of the Danube.
8 Do you remember whether you met up with him after the 2nd of May on the
9 Vojvodina bank of Danube?
10 A. I don't remember 100 per cent, but there is a high probability
11 that that did happen.
12 Q. Further on, he says that you were with a man who you introduced
13 as your body-guard; is that correct?
14 A. Well, that's not correct. Because after the well-known events of
15 the 2nd of May, I was in Vukovar. That was the first time that I crossed
16 the Danube, that I saved myself. There was a group of people there that
17 I didn't know at all. They were waiting for refugees and transporting
18 them to Serbia. I had my first body-guard, I think, in the beginning of
19 September 1991 or the end of August. So this is ridiculous. And it's
20 also ridiculous when he says that I had an apartment in Novi Sad, on the
21 7th and 8th of May.
22 Q. Now, you said that you crossed the Danube then. Would you
23 explain that? What do you mean by that? Was that the occasion when you
24 say that you saw him?
25 A. Well, I think that that is that possible occasion, the only one
1 when I was at the Danube. I fled from Vukovar on the 7th or 8th of May,
2 crossed the Danube.
3 As for my wife and daughter, I sent them off as refugees so that
4 they could get that kind of accommodation, and I took a civilian car to
5 Borovo Selo, and then I wanted to get my son in Pacetin so that I could
6 give him a ride as well. My sister was in Pacetin too. It's not that I
7 had an apartment in Novi Sad then. We were in Pacetin then. Again, he
8 confused things, and he's speaking with hindsight.
9 Q. Can you say whether that was the only occasion when you came to
10 the Danube or did you come to the Danube afterwards too? I mean, after
11 you left Croatia, after that incident in Borovo Selo?
12 A. Well, I did come, I remember, perhaps seven or eight or ten days
13 later, once more.
14 Q. Because I see that you are linking this possible meeting with him
15 to that particular event. Is it possible that it was some other time
16 that you came, or is it for some other reason that you link this to that
18 A. In May, I was there, perhaps, two or three times, but I was a bit
19 perplexed by what he said, the 7th or 8th of May; whereas I fled from
20 Vukovar on the 7th or 8th of May. If it were later, then that would be
21 more logical.
22 Q. And at that time did you have someone standing next to you who
23 you introduced as your body-guard?
24 A. No, I didn't have anyone there as my body-guard. But Lazo Sarac
25 was there that second time, when Vukasin Soskocanin drowned. I crossed
1 the Danube only twice then, two or three times actually.
2 Q. I had intended to ask you about this later, but I see that now
3 you -- well, you brought this up now, didn't you? So now that you've
4 mentioned Lazo Sarac there, the second time, what were you trying to say
5 by that, that the second time you saw Boro Savic or was it this second
6 time that you were doing something else? Could you just clarify that?
7 A. I just wanted to say it honestly, the way I remember it.
8 Because, in May, I did not have many opportunities to cross the Danube,
9 and every time I crossed over, there was something important that
10 happened, and I remember that. So the first time I fled from Vukovar,
11 that was the 7th or 6th of May. I saved my life and I saved the life of
12 my daughter, who was with me. And then around the 15th of May, I was at
13 the Danube when Soskocanin drowned. So if Boro Savic was there, it was
14 one of those two times. There couldn't have been a third time.
15 I have to point out that Boro Savic was a totally unimportant
16 person in my life. I cannot remember when it was that I would see him.
17 Q. Can you tell us whether this Mr. Lazo Sarac who is mentioned
18 here, whether he was ever your body-guard?
19 A. Well, never. To put it mildly, it's ridiculous to say something
20 like that.
21 Q. We'll go back to this, to this topic, that is. This is what I'm
22 interested in now. Let us clarify this: The text continues on the next
23 page. It says here when Kertes took over the federal customs office,
24 Simo Stupar from Celarevo was in charge of Goran Hadzic's security.
25 A. I don't know Simo Stupar but I know the last name Stupar from
1 Celarevo. There's Savo. I mean, he wasn't my body-guard. Savo Stupar
2 has a doctorate in mechanical engineering. He is ten years older than I
3 am. He was never even armed. How could he be my body-guard?
4 Q. Do you know whether this Mr. Savo Stupar had some kind of a job
5 at the time? Was he employed?
6 A. He worked in Backa Palanka at a factory that manufactured
7 agricultural equipment, but he also had some position in the Assembly of
8 Vojvodina. I don't know exactly what was.
9 Q. So Mr. Savo Stupar, was he or was he not your body-guard?
10 A. As I've already said, no, he was not.
11 Q. In paragraph 79, it says that you had a specific position towards
12 Savic because he protected you. Tell me, is that correct? Did he
13 protect you; and, if so, what did he protect you from, or who did he
14 protect you from?
15 A. That's not true. I was not in jeopardy at all so that he would
16 have to protect me. Not politically, not physically. Well, physically,
17 certainly not. But, now, what was in his head, I cannot testify about
19 Q. The way I understand his statement, later on, he appointed you
20 president of the SDS Board. Well, I mean, I don't want to infer anything
21 here, but does this correspond to the truth?
22 A. Well, we've already talked about this, and I've already said that
23 that is not correct, that this is absolutely crazy.
24 Q. Paragraph 80, in that paragraph, he says that he noticed that you
25 were hiding something, and he noticed that you were trying to distance
1 yourself from him. Tell me, was there a growing distance between the two
2 of you after those events in Plitvice?
3 A. Sorry, I didn't hear the question because I was reading this.
4 Could you repeat that?
5 Q. My question is the following: He noticed that you were hiding
6 something and that you were trying to distance yourself from him. So I'm
7 asking you now whether this did, indeed, happen after those events in
9 A. That did not happen. This has nothing to do with reality.
10 Q. In the same paragraph, he speaks about some pistols, 50 pistols,
11 that you received. You were supposed to distribute them to your
12 associates in February 1991. And he learned about this from
13 Trifun Ivkovic.
14 First of all, tell me, please, is it correct that you received
15 some pistols in order to have them distributed to your associates?
16 A. That is not correct. It's not only that it's not correct, it is
17 totally insane.
18 Q. I understand you think it is not correct, but why do you think it
19 is insane?
20 A. Because, in the beginning of the war, when weapons had already
21 arrived in Slavonia and Baranja, when the army had distributed these
22 weapons, pistols were highly appreciated. People would give two rifles
23 in order to get one pistol. I heard about that from various people.
24 There weren't any pistols around. They were in very high demand. And
25 this never happened. Nobody ever distributed pistols.
1 Q. Very well. He says that he learned that from somebody called
2 Trifun Ivkovic. Do you know who that is?
3 A. Yes, I do. I know Trifun very well.
4 Q. Could you please tell us briefly what you know about him.
5 A. Trifun Ivkovic appeared in Eastern Slavonia as a member of an
6 organisation known as Solidarity. I heard about them. They carried out
7 some activities before that in Kosovo and Metohija, that same
8 organisation Solidarity. Trifun appeared either on his own -- or,
9 rather, always on his own and toured Serbian villages there. He did not
10 do anything specific. According to what I know, a bit later, not much
11 later, a bit later, he undermined our authority, the authority of us
12 Serbs in Slavonia and Baranja. I can tell you how I learnt that if that
13 would be of any interest to anybody.
14 Q. Yes, you may. Go on.
15 A. That's why this story seems like a well-known cliche.
16 Trivo Ivkovic was at a gas station in Backa Palanka, and he saw a car
17 with the registration plates of Vukovar. He asked the driver where he
18 was from. He learned that the guy was from Borovo Selo. He asked him:
19 Well, how are things in Borovo Selo then? And the guy says: Well, not
20 bad. And the guy says: Do you have money? And the other says: No, we
21 don't. And Trivo Ivkovic then tells him: How come you don't have money?
22 I gave a million German marks to Goran Hadzic a couple of days ago and he
23 was supposed to distribute that money among your people in Borovo Selo.
24 In his mind, this man cursed my mother and he thought: Well, Goran took
25 the money for himself, the money that he was supposed to distribute. In
1 that same second, he remembered to ask Trivo: Where did you get the
2 million German marks from, and here you're driving this old rackety car
3 that is worth nothing?
4 I heard that story perhaps a month after the event, by accident.
5 So this is the method that Trivo Ivkovic applied in order to create a
6 rift among the Serbian population.
7 Q. When you mention this name "Solidarity," was that an
8 organisation, a political organisation, or an association?
9 A. I believe that it was an association, but I don't know much about
10 it. I only heard that Trivo Ivkovic belonged to that organisation. I
11 did not meet any other of its members.
12 Q. And the Serbian Democratic Party did not have much contact with
13 that organisation, or did it?
14 A. No, we did not have any contact with them at all, either official
15 or unofficial. But now I see that Boro Savic had communicated with them,
16 but I didn't know about that at the time.
17 Q. Can you please look at paragraph 81. It says in this
18 paragraph that until the beginning of 1991, all the contacts of Slavonia,
19 Baranja, and Western Srem with Belgrade went through him, exclusively
20 through him, although he did not want to play that role. Is that
21 correct? Are you familiar with the fact that Savic was the exclusive
22 liaison officer with Belgrade, as it were?
23 A. I did not know that anybody had contacts with Belgrade at all,
24 let alone that it was Boro Savic. I hear it for the first time. I
25 believe that this is not correct, although I don't know.
1 Q. If he did have contacts with Belgrade, did the Vukovar SDS Board
2 know about those contacts? Was it informed about that communication?
3 A. He never mentioned that at SDS meetings. He never spoke to me
4 about that in private or in his official capacity at meetings. Thinking
5 about that, I don't understand what capacity would that have been. What
6 capacity would he have had to have in order to advocate our interests, if
7 he was not a spy. He could not have a political role to play in that.
8 Q. In paragraph 82, he says that you spoke with the political
9 leaders in Belgrade and that he noticed that. He says that he should go
10 with you, but you responded that you went to Belgrade because you were
11 fascinated by Milosevic. Did such a conversation between you and
12 yourself [as interpreted] ever happen?
13 A. That conversation could have only happened in Boro Savic's
14 imagination. We never spoke about Milosevic. Belgrade was never a topic
15 of any of our meetings at the SDS.
16 Q. And now I'm interested in paragraph 166. But before that, we
17 can -- to try tie this in with paragraph 165 which will give us a bit of
18 a context. Please read this paragraph.
19 My question is this: Although he never claimed that you attended
20 that occasion but since you knew Boro Savic and you also knew
21 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, according to how you see things, could a
22 conversation of this kind have ever happened between the two of them?
23 A. I listened to Boro Savic's testimony. He categorically claimed
24 that that was on the 15th of May because he remembered that on that day
25 Soskocanin had drowned. So this is a product of a sick mind. This is
1 simply impossible.
2 Q. Why do you think that this is simply impossible?
3 A. Because on the 15th of May, Arkan was in prison in Zagreb.
4 Physically it was impossible. Second of all, Boro Savic was not a
5 political factor in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. There was no
6 need for anybody to discuss anything with him. It's just his wishful
7 thinking about what he would have said to people if he had an
8 opportunity. So he convinced himself that that had happened. After
9 Plitvice, Boro Savic had to be admitted for treatment. He suffered from
10 ill health, mental ill health. He been beaten badly at Plitvice. Before
11 Plitvice he was a normal person, but after that, I -- I wish I could say
12 this in private session because I really feel embarrassed when I have to
13 say about somebody that he is insane, and I have been repeating this all
14 the time.
15 Q. Let me ask you something else. Perhaps my previous question was
16 not clear enough. Since you knew Boro Savic and you also knew
17 Raznjatovic and you knew how people treated him and vice versa, according
18 to what you know, did Boro Savic have enough courage to address
19 Zeljko Raznjatovic in the way he describes it here, in view of the fact
20 that he knew who Raznjatovic was?
21 A. When I was talking about the rally that was banned and when I
22 said that I was on the stage on my own, that nobody dared join me, Boro
23 was among those who didn't dare to join me. He never spoke publicly.
24 You will remember that the Prosecution showed images from a rally, the --
25 when the SDS was being founded in Borovo Naselje. I spoke, and I said
1 that the Croats have to renounce their Ustasha legacy. Boro Savic was
2 there, and he is sitting in the last row. He is hiding behind somebody's
3 back. He never spoke publicly or otherwise. Nobody knew about him. He
4 did not have that kind of courage. This could not have happened, but I
5 suppose he just got confused, and it was all in his imagination. He was
7 Q. Very well --
8 A. I apologise. I would like to say something about the
9 chequer-board flag. We spoke about that before the break.
10 Boro Savic apparently had strong views about the chequer-board.
11 Why did he not appear before 10.000 Serbs and voice his position openly?
12 It's only with hindsight that he said it 20 years after the war, not even
13 publicly but semi-publicly. All the deceptions, I -- I faced all of my
14 mistakes I made, I will share with everybody publicly. I'm not trying to
15 shun my responsibility. I'm not trying to say that I am shunning away
16 from my political responsibility. But I will share all that with you
18 Q. Let's leave Mr. Savic aside, as well as his statement.
19 I would like us to go back to the situation in the
20 Serbian Democratic Party in early 1991. Could you please tell us whether
21 there were political differences in the party when it came to the
22 implementation of the party policies in how to approach the Croatian
23 authorities and talk to them?
24 A. There were major differences. My joking comment, which was based
25 on the facts, was that the poorer the land was, the Serbs were more
1 extremist, whereas us Serbs in the fertile plain were more peaceful and
2 ready to talk. The Serbs in Knin, around Knin, were radical, whereas the
3 Serbs in Eastern Slavonia were a more peaceful and calm option.
4 I would like to single out a person that at the beginning of the
5 party's work was the most extremist of all, more extremist than Babic's
6 extremism when it was at his peak. And I'm talking about Veljko Dzakula.
7 Veljko Dzakula was the most extremist Serb that I had ever met before the
8 developments at Plitvice.
9 Q. When we're talking about political differences, could you please
10 tell us whether there were any factions, any groups within the SDS? Was
11 there any kind of polarisation? Was there an inner struggle within the
13 A. Roughly speaking, although it will not present the picture
14 clearly because there was not a clear-cut division, one wing was headed
15 by Raskovic, that was a peaceful wing, and the other was Babic's wing.
16 Those were the two different opposing streams: Babic's on the one hand,
17 and Raskovic's on the other.
18 Q. Can you please tell us, briefly, what did Raskovic's faction
19 advocate as opposed to Babic's faction?
20 A. I belonged to Raskovic's faction so I can speak on my own behalf
21 and behalf of those people who were with me. We were in favour of
22 negotiating with the Croats, in favour of living together, in favour of
23 dealing with matters peacefully. And Babic accused of us of high
24 treason. He wanted to see us hanged and arrested. They were against us.
25 That was the gist of the matter. There were nuances, of course, but they
1 are not important at the moment.
2 Q. What did Babic's faction hold against Professor Raskovic? You
3 told us that Professor Raskovic was the party president. What did Babic
4 have against him, what did he hold against him?
5 A. That conflict escalated after Raskovic's visit to Zagreb, where
6 he went to see Croatia's president, Mr. Tudjman. He was then attacked by
7 all the deputies from Knin and the environs, and they called him all
8 sorts of names. It was embarrassing to listen to that. I was at that
9 time in Knin at the meeting of the Main Board, and Boro Savic and I did
10 not interfere because it was their internal conflict. They were
11 neighbours and friends who had known each other from before.
12 It's curious from my experience that all these people who
13 attacked Raskovic - or should I say almost everybody - who advocated war
14 and fighting Croats, almost all of them, when the war broke out, just ran
15 away, somewhere to western Europe; whereas we who had advocated peace and
16 negotiations stayed in the middle of that war.
17 Q. You say Professor Raskovic had a hard time from his own people
18 because he had talked to Tudjman. How did this meeting happen? Was it
19 announced in advance or was it only reported later? How did it happen?
20 A. I can remember only vaguely because it was before the war and
21 before the events at Plitvice. The Croatian side was also not quite fair
22 in this matter. They did some wire-tapping and then they published the
23 transcripts in newspapers, and then Raskovic was attacked. If the
24 Croatian side had not done that, and Raskovic had had a chance to explain
25 this to his own people when he came back, at their own meeting, it would
1 have been different. I believe that's the gist of the problem.
2 It's the same thing they tried to do to me at the negotiations in
3 Norway, but we'll come to that later.
4 Q. You mentioned Veljko Dzakula. Can you tell us something about
5 the incident in Pakrac? Just briefly tell us what you know about it, how
6 well-informed you were.
7 A. I did not have first-hand information, but I do have information
8 that I believe is 99 per cent accurate.
9 I heard from people, including from Boro Savic, what exactly had
10 happened because he had closer relations with that board from Western
11 Slavonia. Everybody was angry with Veljko Dzakula at the time because
12 Veljko Dzakula, off his own bat, agreed with somebody in Belgrade - at
13 least that was the story which later turned out to be not true - so he
14 agreed with somebody in Belgrade that they attack the Croatian police
15 somewhere in Pakrac and as soon as the shooting begins, the army would
16 come and interpose itself between them. However, that didn't happen.
17 Serbs started shooting. The Croatian police returned fire and arrested
18 them, and the army never showed up. So Veljko Dzakula lied about that.
19 That's one of the reasons why we, the delegation of the SDS from SBWS
20 went to the president of Croatia to ask for amnesty for them, and after
21 this incident, Veljko Dzakula reversed his policy completely.
22 Q. Before these events at Pakrac, did you know that something would
23 happen there? How did you find out, if you remember?
24 A. I remember well. I don't remember the exact date, but I remember
25 we had a meeting of the Executive Board on that day in a place called
1 Dvor on the Una river. And I'm sure that not a single member of the
2 Executive Board, which included representatives from Municipal Boards,
3 knew that it would happen. Because I know that the representative of the
4 party from Podravska Slatina had prepared a brief on how to promote the
5 work of the SDS. That item was on the agenda when he was speaking. And,
6 at that moment, I heard from people who were not members of the
7 Executive Board, who were standing outside near the hotel where the
8 meeting was being held, we heard from them that the Croatian police had
9 attacked Pakrac. That came as a shock to all of us. The meeting of the
10 Executive Board was interrupted, and Boro and I returned to Slavonia
11 because we were expecting that roads would soon be blocked. We didn't
12 know what would happen.
13 Q. You answered a moment ago that it was over Pakrac that you met
14 with Croatia's president, Tudjman?
15 A. Yes, but I didn't know it was about Pakrac. I later learned that
16 it was about other things, too, but including Pakrac.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we have, please, 1D72.
18 Q. [Interpretation] This is in English, but I believe you had
19 occasion to read it before in translation.
20 If you look at the top, you will see the date, 13 March 1991.
21 Zagreb, it's also written in the text.
22 Is it possible that this report is precisely about that meeting
23 you had with Tudjman?
24 A. Yes, I believe so. I believe it was the right date.
25 Q. In the first paragraph, the people who attended this meeting were
1 listed, the members of the delegation of the Serbian Democratic Party.
2 You can see five names, including yours. Were these the people who
3 attended the meeting to the best of your recollection?
4 A. Yes. But there is a typo here. It says "Vojislav Vikcevic" and
5 it should be "Vukcevic."
6 Q. Can you tell us from which constituencies, from which Municipal
7 Boards these members of the delegation were?
8 A. Vojo Vukcevic was from Beli Manastir. I from Vukovar, as you
9 know. Veljko Dzakula was from Pakrac. I believe Ilija Sasic and
10 Dusan Ecimovic were also from Western Slavonia but I don't know exactly
11 which boards because they were not chairmen of their boards. They were
12 elected into the Regional Board based on their political work.
13 Q. I note that there is nobody from the Knin Krajina. Was there a
14 particular reason for this?
15 A. From talking to Sasic and Dzakula, as far as I was able to
16 understand, either they hadn't dared to ask anybody or everybody refused.
17 That's why the delegation is made up in this way.
18 Q. Can you now tell us to the best of your recollection what
19 happened at that meeting.
20 A. We had one meeting at Tudjman's office and we were also received
21 at the Croatian parliament where our host was Slavko Degoricija, and I
22 remember we had certain political demands. And I learned at that
23 meeting, in addition to what I've already described, that Dzakula was
24 asking that those arrested in Pakrac be amnestied and that was, indeed,
25 done. All the rest that we were promised was never done, and I can tell
1 you later, if you wish, more about our demands.
2 Q. Yes, tell us. What did you ask for?
3 A. First of all, we complained. We asked that the parliament change
4 the constitution in such a way as to make Serbs again a constituent
5 nation as we had been for 50 years before. It was a broader political
6 issue, and we were aware that this was a kind of maximum goal, that it
7 was not perhaps feasible, but we did ask for something realistic and
8 possible. And if we had received that little, the people would probably
9 not have mobilised to wage war.
10 The lower request was for cultural autonomy, a little bit of
11 autonomy, although perhaps "autonomy" is too big a word. At that time,
12 in the beginning of 1991, Serbs did not have any national iconography of
13 their own. There were no newspapers in Cyrillic. There were no
14 particular programmes on Croatian TV for Serbs. There would be perhaps a
15 30-minute TV show for Serbian people per week, or maybe a special class
16 for Serbian children once a week, an hour per week. It now exists
17 everywhere in the European Union. It was nothing special.
18 I remember one of them said that Serbs, before the war, had asked
19 for much less than we were prepared to give, but that we didn't do. We
20 didn't do -- ask for much. We asked for the constitution, the
21 chequer-board, and the lowest possible level of cultural autonomy. And I
22 must admit - it would not be fair to omit this - that we were received
23 very nicely, both by the Croatian president and the Croatian parliament.
24 That is the truth.
25 Q. Speaking of the chequer-board emblem, what did you ask for
2 A. First of all, among our people it was a deep-seated, accepted
3 opinion that the chequer-board emblem, if worn on the cap of the police,
4 for instance, is a symbol of the Ustasha state, so we asked for that
5 emblem to be either replaced or to be modified so as to avoid the white
6 field in the top left corner.
7 Q. What did Tudjman reply to that, if you remember?
8 A. I remember perfectly well. I remember almost every second of
9 that conversation. And, again, I have to be fair. Tudjman was very
10 frank with us. He said that he has the same opinion of Ustashas as we
11 do. At first, I thought he was not sincere, but later I realised he was.
12 He said: Perhaps the Ustashas killed some of your ancestors during the
13 war. They did kill my grandfather. But Tudjman says: They killed my
14 own brother. And he said it wouldn't be a problem to accommodate us, but
15 he has a problem with his own right wing in his own government. He
16 didn't name any names, and I don't want to give you my interpretation of
17 what I think he was thinking.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document into
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D111.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Hadzic, when and why were you supposed to go to Obrovac for a
25 meeting in March 1991?
1 A. When I think back about what we discussed a moment earlier, the
2 statement of Boro Savic, when he talked about the complement of the party
3 and the crisis in August 1990, I believe he was mistaken. The real
4 crisis occurred in March 1991. That was the time when open
5 confrontations broke out within the Serbian Democratic Party. In one
6 camp were Jovan Raskovic and almost the entire board of Slavonia and
7 Baranja and a small number of people from Knin, and in the other camp,
8 Babic's people from Knin and the surrounding municipalities.
9 I was quite fed up with it by that time, if not disgusted, and I
10 was quite hesitant about whether to go to that meeting at all. Perhaps I
11 should say why.
12 My appointment as president of the Municipal Board in a political
13 party, I consider that to be a democratic thing, although it was just in
14 a political party. I thought that I should do my best. I established
15 each and every local board. Every day I went to different villages,
16 sometimes to two villages per day. I had meetings with people. I told
17 them about the programme of work of the party, and I enrolled new
19 Every time I went to Knin for meetings of the Main Board and
20 later on to Pakrac when the regional committee was formed for Slavonia
21 and Baranja, before that, I would convene a meeting of the
22 Municipal Board in Vukovar, that is to say, a day earlier or sometimes
23 even two or three days earlier. We would make a plan. We would adopt
24 positions, we would vote on these positions. And I went to Knin to
25 attend the Main Board with firm positions of the Main Board. My entire
1 board was behind me. Immediately upon my return, on the next day or the
2 day after that I would convene a meeting of my Municipal Board and I
3 would bring the positions of the Main Board and we would discuss that.
4 That's how it went.
5 When I saw how this Main Board in Knin operated, I realised that
6 practically all members - except for me - they present their own views
7 only. Except for me. And they quarrelled, and it was their own personal
8 squabbles, and so on and so forth, and I got sick of all of that and
9 that's why I didn't feel like going there at all.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. President, I think it's time for the break.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
13 Court adjourned.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, please proceed.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Before the break, Mr. Hadzic, you said that you
20 did not want to go to attend this meeting of the SDS in Obrovac, and you
21 explained the reasons.
22 Can you tell us now what the reason was for you to decide to go
23 there after all?
24 A. I don't have the image here on the transcript. Can they fix
25 this? I cannot follow that cursor, you know?
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's very smart of you, Mr. Hadzic, to follow
2 the cursor to know when the interpretation is finished. Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, a day or two before that
4 meeting, I think it was two days before that meeting in Obrovac, they
5 called me. They asked me to come to the Croatian police in Vinkovci. A
6 friend of mine from before the war asked me to come there, and he worked
7 at the State Security of Croatia. Ivan Zalezak [phoen] is his name.
8 Ivan Zalezak. We hadn't seen each other in a long time because when I
9 went into politics, we stopped all contact. And he asked me whether I
10 would stop by and see him. I didn't know why he asked me to come. I
11 agreed, but I did say to some of my friends that they were asking me to
12 come and that they know where I am, so if I would not be back for a long
13 time, they should know where I was. At that time, I was president of the
14 SDS for Vukovar, so I thought that they should know, if I wouldn't show
15 up in a while.
16 Let me try to cut this short. Ivan met me in front of the
17 Vinkovci SUP, and together with his boss, who had just been appointed,
18 whom I had not known personally but I had heard of him because I was good
19 friends with most of these employees there, of the State security Service
20 in Vinkovci. His boss was Vlado Pletikosic. We went to a restaurant by
21 the Bosut river, in town. We went for a working lunch, as they called
22 it. I saw that the restaurant had been prepared, that it had been
23 emptied. There weren't any other guests there, so that's where this
24 meeting was held.
25 The first thing they asked me, as soon as we sat down, so that we
1 could go on talking, they asked me whether I was in favour of the war
2 option or the peace option. Of course, I said that was in favour of the
3 peace option. Well, they said, if you're in favour of the peace option,
4 then are you going to go to attend the SDS meeting in Obrovac? I said
5 that I hadn't planned to go for a variety of reasons, and I explained
6 that a bit. I explained what the main reasons were. Of course, I did
7 not tell them what that reason was because they really should not be
8 interested in that.
9 So then they asked that for their sake, in order to prevent a
10 possible war, that I go to Obrovac to the meeting and support
11 Professor Raskovic's stream. That was not a special problem for me
12 because I supported that stream anyway. It wasn't any different from my
13 own way of thinking, so I agreed to go to this meeting. And that's why I
14 went to Obrovac. Because I had promised them that I would go and support
15 the peace option so that war would not break out.
16 Then I called Boro Savic, I said that we would go together, and I
17 did not tell him that I had had this meeting because there was no need
18 for me to tell him.
19 Q. Can you tell us from when you knew this man called Zalezak.
20 A. Well, I knew him from, say, five or six years before the war, so
21 that would be the mid-1980s.
22 As for this state security of theirs in Vinkovci, there were
23 three employees there who were from Vukovar and their headquarters were
24 in Vinkovci. So often when they would return to Vukovar they would stop
25 by to see me in Pacetin and then we played pool there, at the local cafe.
1 At the time, we were all members of the League of Communists because
2 their boss -- I mean, before Pletikosic was Stipo Brajcic.
3 Stipo Brajcic, when I was president of the youth organisation in Pacetin,
4 he was the president of the youth organisation for the municipality of
5 Vukovar, so I knew him from these youth activities.
6 Q. You said that he was their boss before?
7 A. Vlado Pletikosic, before Vlado Pletikosic, the one that I've
8 already mentioned. Vlado Pletikosic.
9 I also knew Darko Bekic. We were very good friends. Before all
10 of them. He was the third person from Vukovar. Darko Bekic, not Bjekic,
12 Q. So you went to the meeting in Obrovac. So how did this meeting
13 go? What happened there?
14 A. I kept my own record in my notebook. Unfortunately, the police,
15 the Croatian police, took this away from me so I don't have it with me
16 now. But the meeting had a few items on the agenda. I think four or
17 five. Among other things, we were supposed to elect Dr. Vojo Vukcevic
18 president of the Executive Board because Slavonia and Baranja were not
19 adequately represented in the top echelons of the party. All the highest
20 positions were in Knin. However, there was that quarrel there, precisely
21 with regard to this option of Professor Raskovic's in favour of
22 negotiating with Croatia and then the Babic option on the other side.
23 I remember after the meeting, some policeman, some plain-clothes
24 policeman. To this day, I don't know who he is, what his name is, he
25 tried to interrogate us. A Serb policeman of the SAO Krajina. And he
1 almost threatened us because of these political views of ours. I think
2 that he talked to Boro Savic and Vojo Vukcevic. However, I managed to
3 avoid them and evade that conversation.
4 Since the meeting ended before dark, the sun was still high up,
5 since Obrovac is close to the sea and the climate is therefore almost
6 Mediterranean, Boro and I decided not spend the night in Obrovac. We
7 tried to cover as many kilometres as possible in the direction of Zagreb.
8 Q. Before you go on, can I just ask you something else. Were any
9 decisions made at that meeting? Do you remember, I mean?
10 A. I don't remember these decisions. Something had to do with
11 Professor Vukcevic, but I cannot remember now.
12 Q. You can go on now. I interrupted you. You were speaking about
13 your departure from Obrovac when you went towards Zagreb.
14 A. Since we travelled all night, we hadn't slept during the previous
15 night, and then the meeting went on all day, we realised that we had to
16 spend the night somewhere before Zagreb. We were planning on the Borje
17 motel which is just before Titova Korenica. But when we got there we
18 were taken by surprise. Although this is a big building, a big motel,
19 they did not have any rooms. They just had a restaurant. And they said
20 that the hotel in Plitvice is the closest to there. Since this is
21 already a mountainous area, although it was the end of March, there was
22 snow there. We stopped at Plitvice, had dinner there, and we went to
24 And then, in the morning, we were awakened by automatic gun-fire
25 and we heard this megaphone. We heard the Croatian police speaking
1 through a megaphone: This is the Croatian state. This is the Croatian
2 regular police. Law and order has been established. Nobody is going to
3 have any problems, and so on. That is what I personally heard from the
4 room while Boro Savic was taking a shower. This is a kind of tragic
5 anecdote what he said. He -- I asked him why he was taking a shower, and
6 he said: I want to die clean.
7 It was Easter, both Catholic and Orthodox Easter on that day. We
8 came down to the restaurant. There were a lot of tourists, especially
9 Italian tourists. There were two busloads of Italian tourists there.
10 And in the hotel there was no tell-tale signs that an incident happened.
11 Everybody behaved normally, both waiters and tourists. Everybody had
12 their breakfast.
13 Boro went to the reception and inquired about the situation.
14 When he returned, he told me that the people at the front desk told him
15 that the road to Zagreb was passable, that the Croatian authorities had
16 established order, and that a busload of Italian tourists had already
17 gone to Zagreb. I said we had better stay in the hotel and see what
18 would happen. Boro said: No, let's better leave. There's nothing for
19 us to do here.
20 As soon as we got in the car, it was cold. Boro took off his
21 jacket. He drove. It was his car. I kept my short coat on, and somehow
22 it saved me because Boro had only a shirt on, and as soon as we left in
23 the parking, the police came from behind a house. They jumped out with
24 automatic rifles. Obviously we got out of the car. We put our hands on
25 the car. They came to search us. Other people came to search us while
1 we were held at gunpoint by the first group.
2 I had a pistol for which I had a licence to carry from the
3 Croatian police. I had it at my belt. And one of the policemen said:
4 This man here, he has a pistol. I said: But also I have -- I have a
5 licence to carry it. He told me: Can I see the licence? I took out my
6 wallet to show him the licence. However, in the wallet I also had a
7 booklet, a membership booklet of the Serbian Democratic Party, and he saw
8 that as well. He no longer wanted to see my licence to carry a pistol.
9 He just shouted: Look, these are Chetniks. We have captured some
11 That was before the war. Before the war even started - I'd like
12 to emphasise that - the Serbian Democratic Party was a regular party in
13 the Croatian parliament.
14 They took us to the road. I was taken by surprise when I saw
15 police vehicles, jeeps, and police officers squatting with automatic
16 rifles, four of them, by each of the vehicles. So the action was still
17 ongoing, it was not over as we were told at the hotel reception.
18 When we appeared, they all rose. They lifted their rifles. They
19 were going to beat us with rifle-butts. I was the first, and the one who
20 was leading me told them: Don't beat them. We have to check, but it
21 seems that they are hotel guests. The one who wanted to hit me with the
22 rifle lowered his rifle. Boro came after me, and he didn't hear what was
23 said before. Boro was immediately hit a metal rifle-butt and from then
24 on, Boro was semi-conscious. He was beaten, and he no longer knew what
25 was going on.
1 I see when Boro had been hit, but it was only when we arrived at
2 the police station in Karlovac did I see that his jaw was broken. I
3 didn't realise before that -- then that he had been so heavily beaten.
4 On the road, our hands were tied behind our backs and they
5 ordered us to lay on the road covered with snow, and nobody had started
6 beating us after Boro had been hit -- had been hit once. And then the
7 man who had taken away my gun ran up to me with my pistol and he started
8 shouting: Here's the pistol, but, look, he had fired shots from this
9 pistol. He had fired shots. The pistol is still dirty. My -- my pistol
10 was never fired, but I had kept it around my belt for such a long time
11 that it got dirty from the woollen clothes. And as I was lying down, he
12 used my pistol to hit me in my head and he broke my skull in two places.
13 He hit me as hard as he could. He also kicked me in his boot shot leg
14 [as interpreted]. In karate, this kick is called yoko-geri-kekomi. He
15 hit me in the left kidney and injured it. After that, I peed blood for
16 two months.
17 And then an ambulance arrived and a vehicle with a Croatian TV
18 crew arrived. I recognised a man, he was either a doctor or a paramedic
19 from Vukovar. I was happy to see him because I thought that he would
20 explain the misunderstanding. He, however, looked at me with spite in
21 his eyes. He almost spat at me.
22 The TV crew came with a camera and then the police came with
23 the -- the key for the handcuffs. They unlocked the handcuffs, and then
24 just for the camera, they went over the whole procedure again. They told
25 us: Hands up, and they arrested us again for the TV. When the TV crew
1 recorded that, they left, and then they tied our hands behind our backs
2 again and they started beating us, but they were not hitting us with
3 rifles or any other implements. They just kicked us and beat us with
4 their hands.
5 They continued doing that for some ten minutes or so, and all
6 that time, we were shouting: People, we are hotel guests. They did not
7 pay heed to that. And then one of them - probably their boss - said:
8 Ah, you're hotel guests. We're going to return you to the hotel. That
9 was a mistake because they took us to another group, to barricades, some
10 kilometre or 2 kilometres away from that place. There were about 30 or
11 40 police officers there. And now the second group didn't know anything
12 about that being a possible mistake. They thought this we must be
13 Chetniks and must be guilty of a crime. So we were handed over by the
14 first group to the second group, and the latter group continued beating
15 us. All that time our hands were tied behind our backs.
16 And then they took us to the third barricade in a police vehicle,
17 in a Puch jeep. Boro and I were sitting in the back and there were two
18 police officers in front of us and there were two police officers on each
19 of our sides. Then one of them took my chin in his hands. He took a
20 knife and said: Now I'm going to slit his throat. And then the
21 co-driver said: Don't slit his throat now. There'll be blood all over
22 the upholstery in the car. Wait until we stop.
23 I started praying to God that we never stop because I really
24 thought that they would slit my throat. And when we stopped, I realised
25 that we stopped by a third barricade where -- manned by some 20 or 30
1 police officers, so I thought maybe they wouldn't slit my throat in front
2 of them. Then they threw us out of the car and they said to the third
3 group: Here they are. You do whatever you want with them. And the
4 third group also beat us, continued beating us. Our hands were tied all
5 that time.
6 When all that was over, the third round of beating, that is, they
7 forced us to get into a police van without any seats. There was just a
8 floor. And then two police officers entered. They did not wear
9 camouflage uniforms, but, rather, blue, regular police uniforms. They
10 had two huge batons, the kind that I'd never seen before. Boro and I
11 were still tied and there were two men, and these two men were beating us
12 for some ten minutes in that vehicle, from head to toe. They injured my
13 leg muscle so badly that I couldn't stand without cramps. I still get
14 cramps in my both legs when I stand longer. And that was the end of the
15 physical ill-treatment.
16 Then they transferred us to another vehicle, a Citroen van,
17 similar to the previous one, and they took us into a forest. They
18 undressed us. They opened the windows. We were almost naked. And they
19 told us: If there are shots we'll come and shoot you, so don't move. We
20 were there in the vehicle, and the Croatian civilians who lived there
21 came up to us and they -- they were saying: Let us gouge his eyes and I
22 will sell them and make money on that. I was afraid all the time that
23 somebody would really come and slit my throat or torture me. And then
24 they took us to the police station in Karlovac, and that's when the
25 ill-treatment finally stopped.
1 While they were beating us, at first I thought I could reason
2 with them and that I could explain. I was shouting: People, we're not
3 guilty of anything. I just went to see Tudjman as a member of a
4 delegation in Zagreb. I thought that that would help. And one of them
5 said: If Tudjman received you, he will be beaten too. So it was funny
6 and sad at the same time.
7 And I would like to say one more thing. While I was being
8 beaten, all that time I didn't feel any pain. I suppose that my
9 adrenaline was very high, and I only started feeling pain when all the
10 beating stopped. I suppose that I was afraid for my own life, and that
11 was the first time that I was ever hit or beaten.
12 Q. When you arrived Karlovac and later, did anybody tell you why
13 things were done to you? Were you interrogated? Did somebody explain to
14 you why you had been brought in?
15 A. As I've already told you, the physical ill-treatment stopped in
16 Karlovac. There were public security inspectors there who received us.
17 They offered us water. I don't drink coffee but Boro may have been
18 offered some coffee. And they told us that that was a misunderstanding,
19 a mistake. They apologised. And we thought that they really meant it.
20 Boro and I even suggested that they should take us back so that he could
21 take his car. It was a Golf car, relatively new. It was worth a lot of
22 money. At that time it was very hard to buy a Golf car like that. And
23 they said: Don't worry, we will bring the car over. And we believed
25 And then we had an interview with two State Security Service
1 inspectors. They also apologised to us and they told us that we would be
2 released. However, something happened. I don't know what. Only later
3 did I realise that a political decision had been reached, and that we
4 were to be put together with the others who had been arrested. I didn't
5 know at that time that some 15 other Serbs from Plitvice had been
6 arrested at the same time. Of us 15 or 16, only one wore a Krajina
7 police uniform. Only one of them was a participant in the events. All
8 the rest were civilians. Most of them were in slippers and it was
9 snowing, which means that all these people had been arrested in their
10 homes. They had all been badly beaten.
11 When I saw one of them, his mouth, his left side of his mouth,
12 and it was funny and sad at the same time when I saw him -- when I saw
13 him, and they kept us all in -- in a gym and later that evening we were
14 taken to Zagreb. First to the prison hospital. I was examined by a
15 doctor, actually, all of us were. I was the last one to be checked. The
16 rest left, and the duty officer who had brought us in asked the doctor:
17 How many have to stay in the hospital and how many will go to the prison
18 in Simunska Street?
19 It was only then that I realised, when I heard him say that and
20 when I heard the doctor's response, what my position was. The Dr. told
21 him: Are you normal? They are not even for the hospital, they are for a
22 morgue. And all the 15 or 16 of them have to be hospitalised and
23 assisted by doctors. That's how badly they are all beaten.
24 So we were taken to various hospital rooms. We -- we were not
25 allowed to share, any of us, the same room although I only knew Boro,
1 nobody else.
2 The following day, Degoricija came to visit us. He greeted us,
3 even kissed us as if we were the closest of kins. And he told us that
4 that was nothing more but a tragic mistake. After that, on the following
5 day, on the way to the toilet, a patient from another room who was free
6 to walk around gave me a newspaper article to read. When I was in the
7 toilet, I read the newspaper article and I believe that the newspaper was
8 Vjesnik. After having visited us, Degoricija gave a statement and said:
9 I visited Hadzic in the hospital. He was crying on my shoulder and he
10 admitted that he had opened fire on Croats and he is sorry. This was
11 even worse than any of the beating and the fear that I would be killed
12 because I realised that that was the end of the world, that there was
13 nobody I could talk to and explain things to, that there was no
14 institution that I could go to, to explain things.
15 And then the next day, Boljkovac and Degoricija came. They said
16 that Boro and I should write statements, separate statements, and they
17 would release us. We got ready. We packed. I went to the same
18 admission room where I had left my things, and I saw a newspaper on the
19 desk of the policeman on duty and a large headline said: Chetnik hordes
20 from Serbia came to Borovo Selo. And then I concluded that they were
21 releasing me not because they really wanted to but because something was
22 going on there that didn't suit them. So we went in two cars to Vukovar,
23 Boljkovac and Degoricija were in the car ahead.
24 Q. Did you know, did you get any notification in the days following
25 that meeting that there was any fighting around?
1 A. No, there was no fighting. We didn't hear about anything. If
2 there was any talk, it was in the other camp. We, in the Raskovic camp,
3 didn't know anything about it.
4 When we arrived at Plitvice after dinner, our waiter approached
5 us, saying that there was talk about the Croatian police possibly coming
6 to Plitvice, but I didn't think I had anything to be afraid of. There
7 was Croatian police in Zagreb as well. Why shouldn't they be in
8 Plitvice? I had no reason to fear them.
9 But I remember the waiter said: They're not crazy after all, you
10 know, it's Easter for them too. They would not make trouble on Easter
12 Q. What happened with that pistol that you had, the licence to carry
13 a fire-arm, all the documents that you had on you?
14 A. All my documents were stolen. When I say "stolen," they just
15 took them away from me, but it was pure theft because only the regular
16 police had to do -- only the regular police had the right to do that. So
17 they took everything I had, including some cheques that I was supposed --
18 for costs that I was hoping to get reimbursement for from -- from the
19 SDS, and I was thinking that maybe if I get to Zagreb, they would be
20 returned to me.
21 Q. Could you again enumerate all the documents that were taken away
22 from you.
23 A. My ID and my driving licence that was in my wallet and the SDS
24 membership booklet and all the documents I had in my wallet.
25 Q. You say a few days later they took you back. They took you back
1 in their own vehicle.
2 A. Yes, it was a car of the State Security of Croatia.
3 Q. Do you know if Savic got back his Volkswagen Golf?
4 A. They returned it to him later, but it was shot at. It had holes
5 from rifle bullets. That was done on purpose. But they did not pay him
6 any damages, as far as I know. Although, after this, I don't believe a
7 single word he says. But he said at the time that he never received any
9 Q. Where exactly did they take you?
10 A. They drove us to the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar. We didn't
11 even know at the time that the -- the Assembly was in permanent session
12 and they didn't want to disband until we show up. I wanted to go up, but
13 Degoricija said: No need. Go and have some rest. What he actually
14 didn't want to happen is that people should see us with the traces of
15 beating on our faces. In the hospital, we received some treatment but it
16 was still visible.
17 But then you a saw a group of my former schoolmates, Croats, who
18 were standing on the other side of the street, across from the Assembly.
19 I was just feeling happy I was alive at that moment and I waved at them
20 in greeting, but nobody responded. I learned later they had come to
21 protest against the fact that we were released. I still wonder do they
22 really think, did they really think, that we should go to prison?
23 Because at that time we were completely innocent. We had done nothing
25 Anyway, soon afterwards, I learned why they were standing there.
1 And I also learned later they were members of the HDZ, but that doesn't
3 Q. After your release from jail, can you remember, did you continue
4 with your political activity as a member of the Assembly of Vukovar, for
6 A. I continued with what I believed was normal activity at the time.
7 I was not even aware of my real physical and mental condition. Only
8 later when I saw medical reports, including the findings of a
9 psychiatrist I had spoken to, I realised I was in big trouble. But the
10 very first evening after being released, I went to Borovo Selo. We held
11 a meeting there, and I said: We don't need roadblocks anymore, now that
12 Boro and I were released. That was maybe on the following day, but I
13 believe it was the same evening. In those other villages, the roadblocks
14 or barricades were removed immediately, and in Borovo Selo on the next
15 day, perhaps.
16 Q. Can you just tell me, how did you find out about roadblocks in
17 the first place? Did you go to Borovo Selo or did you go to your own
18 home and call them?
19 A. When I arrived in that car of the MUP of Croatia, we were unable
20 to go through Brsadin village, which is a Serbian village, but people
21 recognised me. I told them to remove the barricades.
22 My village is on a side road, not the main road, and I saw the
23 barricades and the roadblocks, and I couldn't fathom why this was
24 happening. I thought it was all leading to a conflict that was
25 completely unnecessary, and I thought that neither Boro Savic nor I had
1 done anything over which people should go into a conflict, so I continued
2 with my normal work the very following day. I cannot now say with exact
3 chronology what happened when, whether it was on the first, second, or
4 third day, but at any rate, the roadblocks were removed in Borovo Selo
5 after we were released. And I believe Veljko Dzakula and Ilija Sasic
6 were there in Borovo Selo too. Although I'm not quite sure.
7 Q. When you told people in Borovo Selo that they should remove the
8 roadblocks, was it your own decision, something that you arrived at on
9 your own, or was it a demand put to you by the Croatian side?
10 A. The barricades had been set up because of me, practically. And I
11 thought that since I had come back, they were no longer needed, but that
12 was also in keeping with the agreement I made before travelling to
13 Obrovac that we should work to normalise the relations between Serbs and
14 Croats. And generally speaking, I have always been against barricades.
15 And those later barricades that were set up because of the attacks at
16 Borovo Selo in August, it was Degoricija who asked me to remove them.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Witness's correction.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not "attacks at Borovo Selo
19 in August." It is attacks in Borovo Selo with a type of mortar called
20 Armbrust, A-r-m-b-r-u-s-t. [In English] Yes.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. When you got into touch with people from Borovo Selo after you
23 were released, did they tell you what had happened while you were in
24 jail? Was there any unrest or something like that?
25 A. They told me everything, but I can't really recall it all now
1 because I was still in a state of shock after the beatings. I know
2 Vukasin Soskocanin was in negotiations with the Croatian police, with
3 Zagreb, demanding our release.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P1778.
5 Q. [Interpretation] We see in this report that the Serbian National
6 Council - I'm translating it differently than the translation we have.
7 The translation says "Serbian National Alliance" but it is the original
8 that is authoritative - called upon the Serbian people to refrain from
9 any action.
10 Look through the text, please, and then we'll discuss it.
11 [In English] In English, it is under title: "Serbs in Borovo
12 region form police force." Is on the very bottom of the left side of the
14 [Interpretation] My question is: Were you told that during your
15 absence while you were in prison about those 25 policemen who walked out
16 of their service?
17 A. I heard then that 25 policemen had left the force, but I didn't
18 know at that time that it was connected to the incident and our arrest at
20 Q. After this event -- after this event, did you go to Zagreb for
21 any purpose?
22 A. A couple of times I spoke to Mr. Degoricija on the phone. I was
23 on good terms with him. By that time, he was already chief of the
24 State Security of Croatia. In fact, assistant minister for the
25 State Security.
1 I complained that I did not have any documents, that they had
2 taken money and documents away from me, everything. And he said by way
3 of a joke: Why are you complaining? I also said that I don't have a
4 pistol either. And he said: What do you need a pistol for? If you need
5 it, we're going to give you a rifle. That's what he told me on the
6 phone, by way of a joke, of course. And I didn't find that very funny.
7 I asked him to try to find my things, and he called me about ten or 15
8 days later and told me to come to Zagreb so that they could see what
9 could be done, so that they could return this to me.
10 Since I had no documents at the time, I did not try to get new
11 ones. I thought that they would return them to me. I borrowed a car
12 from a friend from Vukovar and I asked my best friend to come along with
13 me to Zagreb. And he had documents so that if the police would stop us,
14 then -- since I did my military service in Zagreb in the JNA, I knew
15 Zagreb well. We went to the MUP directly to see Boljkovac. He received
16 me immediately, jumping the queue. Degoricija was waiting there as well,
17 and we started this comradely, friendly meeting, as if there were no
18 problems whatsoever. I said: Give me my money and my documents. And
19 they said: Oh, never mind that now. If you can, try to speak to
20 Milan Babic and see whether he would remove barricades from the railroad
21 so that we could have trains running through Knin. Although they were
22 aware of the relations within the SDS, I explained to them that Babic was
23 completely independent and that his political option was my complete
24 opposite and he would not really listen to what I had to say, but I did
25 promise to call him and tell him that.
1 They said that it's not smart for us to quarrel, that I should
2 influence Boro Savic, that Boro and I should withdraw the charges that we
3 brought against Tudjman because of the mistreatment we had suffered in
4 Plitvice on the hands of the Croatian police. I said that on my own
5 behalf I would withdraw these charges but I don't know, I cannot
6 guarantee that Boro Savic would also drop his charges. And they said:
7 All right. Now go to the centre of Zagreb, Zrinjevac, the prosecutor's
8 office. They gave me the name of some prosecutor - I've forgotten it by
9 now - and report to him and he'll give you your things back.
10 I went there and this man returned only six bullets, the ones
11 that I had in the pocket of my jacket. Nobody had searched me. These
12 were reserve bullets for my pistol, and I didn't really need that. He
13 said that the people who took away my documents and my pistol hid all of
14 that because they want to keep it as a trophy, and therefore they cannot
15 find any of it. And after that, I just went back to Pacetin. After
16 that, Degoricija continued to call me practically every day.
17 Q. Could you just tell us what kind of charges did they want you and
18 Boro Savic to drop?
19 A. Well, Boro Savic and I, a few days after our return from Zagreb,
20 went to Belgrade. I went to the American embassy. I had a meeting
21 there. But before that, I went to see a group of lawyers together with
22 him and they agreed to represent us for free in our complaint against
23 Tudjman and the Croatian state. Savo Andjelkovic and Mitar Lazovic were
24 their names. Lazovic was old even at that time. He was old even then.
25 We, or at least I at least, all the documents I had, the medical
1 findings, actually, not the documents. Medical findings. That's what I
2 handed over to the lawyers, and I don't have that now. But it doesn't
3 really matter, does it?
4 Q. So you were asked to come to Zagreb after the visit with these
5 lawyers. Or, actually, probably after charges were filed.
6 A. After the 15th of April. As soon as they found out that we had
7 filed charges, they said that that was not politically proper, what is
8 Tudjman to be blamed for. At that time, we did not know about this
9 notion of command responsibility, what I am here for now.
10 Q. You said after this contact with Boljkovac and Tudjman, there
11 were some other contacts too. I mean, well, actually, now, were there
12 any contacts, and, if so, can you tell us with who from the Croatian
14 A. Well, from Degoricija there was constant contact. So primarily
15 with Degoricija. Maybe there were others, but I cannot recall right now.
16 I continued my contacts with the Croats in the municipality of Vukovar as
17 well. In a way, well, perhaps it is inconceivable for me to say that
18 now, but I personally had good relations with the Croats in the
19 municipality of Vukovar.
20 Q. Can you tell us now in relation to these contacts with
21 Degoricija, did he ask you for something, in the sense of certain
22 activity, political activities, that should be carried out?
23 A. He didn't have to ask me for that because I supported the same
24 thing then, that barricades were not needed. There's no reason for us to
25 wage war. Officially what he asked for, and I've already said that, was
1 to have the barricades removed, the ones that were set up in Borovo Selo
2 yet again but for a different reason. I remember that. Because he was
3 in constant contact with us and the members of the Regional Board of the
4 SDS from Western Slavonia, Sasic and Dzakula.
5 Q. And do you remember perhaps in that period, in April 1991 --
6 well, you said that there were contacts with people in the
7 Municipal Assembly of Vukovar. Do you remember whether any measures were
8 taken there, in order to calm down the situation?
9 A. I cannot get this in the right chronological order now but
10 Degoricija often came to Vukovar and had meetings, both with us and joint
11 meetings. We called this co-ordination of all political parties in the
12 municipality of Vukovar. And I think at that moment both Boljkovac and
13 Degoricija were attending a meeting in the municipality of Vukovar, so
14 this could have been April. But this meeting -- well, at least -- for at
15 least while I was there, that was a meeting with the Serbs, but I think
16 that before that they had a meeting with their own party.
17 I remember that Rade Leskovac was in that meeting and I remember
18 some parallel of his, or, rather, a digression when he said -- I'm going
19 to paraphrase now. It would be strange for someone to walk around town
20 without any clothes on, but people should wonder why it is that way. It
21 wouldn't be surprising if everybody did that. It had to do with the
22 problem of the Serbs, and I remember that he wanted to draw this
23 parallel, and that's how I remember that he attended the meeting too.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, 1D2191.
25 Q. [Interpretation] This is one of the conclusions of the Presidency
1 of the municipality of Vukovar on the 10th of April, 1991.
2 Since you were a member of the Assembly of the municipality of
3 Vukovar at the time, please do read this conclusion and let us see
4 whether you remember when it was adopted, this conclusion.
5 A. Yes, I remember, and I see the date, the 10th of April. Although
6 it's a specific date.
7 Q. Can you tell us the following: It says here that this decision
8 was made by the Presidency of the municipality of Vukovar. Who made up
9 this Presidency? What did that mean, "the Presidency of the municipality
10 of Vukovar"?
11 A. Well, I'm a bit confused by this because, according to the
12 statute of the municipality, I think that that did not exist but I'm not
13 sure. It could be some political group, something like that, of members
14 of the Assembly.
15 Q. Were you present when this decision was being made, or did you
16 know about this decision at all, that it had been reached?
17 A. Well, I cannot remember now with any precision, so I don't want
18 to be involved in any kind of guess-work. I think it was when Boljkovac
19 and Degoricija were there, and, in a way, this would be acceptable,
20 invoking the peace option, if I saw all of this right.
21 Q. Paragraph 2 is characteristic, where it says:
22 "We call upon all citizens, political parties and institutions of
23 the system to refrain from any activity that might aggravate what is
24 already an extremely difficult situation."
25 A. Oh, what you read out is paragraph 3.
1 Q. In paragraph 2. Yes, I was reading out number 2 and I see that
2 there is something similar in paragraph 3.
3 A. Yes, yes, you're right.
4 Q. The essence of my question is whether you remember that the
5 municipality of Vukovar, regardless of whether it's the Assembly itself
6 or the Presidency or the president or anybody else, sent this kind of
7 appeal to anyone?
8 A. I'm not sure that in the month of April the Assembly met - the
9 full Assembly, that is - so it's the Presidency that had to decide
10 because the entire Assembly could not meet. So I think it wasn't the
12 As for this notion of the Presidency, well, I'm not sure. This
13 is basically the first time I'm coming across this. It did not exist in
14 the political work of the municipality of Vukovar.
15 Q. I see paragraph 4 of this document. I see that all citizens of
16 the municipality of Vukovar are being called upon to mark the anniversary
17 of the liberation of Vukovar on the 12th of April in a solemn way.
18 Do you remember whether any such thing did take place on that
20 A. This is in vain. It certainly didn't happen. That was the day
21 of the liberation of Vukovar from fascism. By then it was not really
22 being celebrated, in particular. It was celebrated in Tito's day.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. President, I have a new document, so -- I see
24 the clock.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thanks.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: We'll take the break. Resume on Monday at 9.00.
3 Mr. Hadzic, you know the drill, I suppose, about discussing your
4 testimony with other people, which is not allowed, and you know our
5 decision about contact with your Defence and, of course, you can't have
6 contact with OTP.
7 Court adjourned.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.58 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day of July,
10 2014, at 9.00 a.m.