1 Tuesday, 8 July 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
9 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 This is the case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 Could we have the appearances, please, starting with the
15 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
16 For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Sarah Clanton,
17 case manager Thomas Laugel, league intern Max Dalton.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
21 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell, with
22 Negosava Smiljanic, case manager, and Paul Stokes, intern. Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 Mr. Zivanovic, there is still a translation issue pending. You
25 are told us that you -- that translations would be ready by yesterday.
1 Is there any news?
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, the translation of the video material was
3 completed, and we provided the translation booths with the transcript of
4 the video, and we're going to play it now.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think we are talking about different things.
6 It's the translations of -- translation of documents on your -- on your
7 document list that were still behind.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry for misunderstanding. There is several
9 documents still -- four, exactly four documents, are not translated yet.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. And do you have any idea when that will be
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We're expecting it to be completed today.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: You may proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 WITNESS: GORAN HADZIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, yesterday we wanted to show a
21 video-clip featuring General Spegelj. You testified about it, and you
22 said that it caused fear among the Serbs in Slavonia, Baranja, and
23 Western Srem, including yourself. I'd like to show you that video-clip
24 again because all the conditions have now been put in place for its
25 showing. We're going to see just some excerpts because the video is
1 rather long. I believe that you have to put on your headphones.
2 This starts at the 41st second and finishes at 1 minute,
3 20 seconds.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] ... two or three men to get rid of
6 the most dangerous ones.
8 "To get rid of them physically. Somebody goes to the flat. A
9 courier. He appears at the door ... bang, bang, and goes down the
11 "And then they can call the police and ask them who did it ...
12 "Then down the stairs, goes to another one, and then kills him,
13 that is, at the same time. The most dangerous ones can be killed at the
14 doorstep. Never mind about women and children, none of that."
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Hadzic, you saw the first excerpt from the video-clip. Is
17 this the video-clip that you mentioned in your testimony? Can you
18 recognise the video?
19 A. Yes, that's the video that I spoke about.
20 Q. Could you please tell us what did the general public learn about
21 the video, who recorded it, how came that it was shown publicly. What
22 was the general public told?
23 A. At that time, I didn't have any special information about that.
24 My information was the same as all the other citizens had. We heard that
25 it was recorded secretly by the military counter-intelligence. Rumour
1 had it at the time - I don't know whether that is true - that it was
2 Vasiljevic's men who did it. I knew that Zvonko Ostojic participated in
3 the organisation of that recording, he was my colleague from school.
4 Zvonko died tragically.
5 Further on, you can actually see Zvonko's back when he was
6 interviewing Spegelj, or talking to Spegelj. After that, when he was
7 recognised in Vukovar, he was killed or assassinated.
8 Q. [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] And now I would like to start
12 watching at 11:04.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] ... minister of defence of the
15 Republic of Croatia."
16 The interpreter apologises. We cannot find the beginning of the
17 transcript for this part of the video-clip.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's -- let's stop it then. Please stop.
19 THE INTERPRETER: It would help the interpreters if we were given
20 the page reference instead of the time reference.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, could you do that.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, we --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: You don't have the transcript.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. We provided -- we provided the
25 interpreters' booths with B/C/S transcripts of the [overlapping
1 speakers] --
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah, I understand that. But they can't find the
3 start of this -- this part of the video-clip in -- in the transcript.
4 You gave a time reference, and they ask whether you could give them a
5 page reference. Could do you that?
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Oh. It is -- it is -- sorry. It is page 5 to 6
7 of the English transcript.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Page 5 to 6 of the English transcript.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we start now? Can we start again?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Yes.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thanks. Okay.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] There are 9.000 officers in the
15 5th Military District at this moment.
16 "That includes servicemen, musicians, et cetera. That's 9.000.
17 And 18.000 soldiers, in Slovenia and Croatia and part of Bosnia. That
18 means 9.000 plus 18.000 for the entire 5th Military District. And we
19 have 80.000 men armed with Kalashnikovs. Let's say there are 10.000 of
20 them with weapons ...
21 "So why the hell did you go to Hungary? Couldn't you find the
22 weapons here?
23 "I guess have you no idea what's going on. We are at war with
25 "With whom?
1 "With the army."
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Does this video-clip depict Ostojic, does it feature Ostojic of
4 whom you spoke?
5 A. Yes. He is the closest to us. He has darker hair than the
6 other. The one who asked the other, "Who are you at war with?"
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] And now 12:21 to 13:30, also
8 page 6.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] ... the commander of the newly
11 established chauvinist forces.
12 "Only like this. If a truck goes through Podravina and if the
13 army would be alerted, then the president of the Executive Council of
14 Virovitica should be immediately informed. And how are you going to do
15 that, it's up to you to figure out, even if a child would have to take
16 the message. So, if something happens, if a truck is stopped,
17 immediately inform the president of the Municipal Executive Council.
18 "One of these days?
19 "Yes, one of these days. If that happens, it's better for us to
20 know than not to know. It's not important where it comes from or
22 "Okay, that's not important.
23 "And we have mainly solved the problem.
24 "Well, I've been having doubts about this ... fuck it.
25 "Slatina is full of arms owned by Croats.
1 "We know that."
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Hadzic, can you tell us if view of the date, 19 October 1990,
4 did the Serbs know at the time that the arming process was under way
5 among Croats?
6 A. No, we didn't know it then. I didn't have any kind of
7 information to that effect or at least people whom I spoke to never told
8 me that.
9 Q. And after this video became public, what kind of fear did the
10 information about the arming that was under way cause and the arming had
11 been ongoing for several months? What happened between the moment when
12 the video-clip was shown and a few months later?
13 A. It was aired on the state television and caused panic among --
14 among the people. It had a dual effect on me. On the one side, there
15 was panic, and the other side disappointment because I didn't understand
16 why they decided to take up arms and against whom. That was the most
17 awful thing for me. Those were the people with whom I communicated
18 nearly every day.
19 Q. So how did you perceive the situation? Who were the arms to be
20 used against?
21 A. We heard on the video that they would be used against the JNA.
22 However, since we were all military conscripts of the JNA, we realised
23 that it was us, and because, under the constitution, we were all
24 duty-bound to defend the constitutional order. The wounds from the
25 Second World War were -- were all still open, and when you take into
1 account, the situation was more than awful.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Can we now look at 22:10 to 22:39, page 13 in the
3 transcript. 22:10 to 22:39.
4 Sorry, I didn't hear some remarks from the translation booth.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Could you hear anything? Did you hear anything? Could you hear
8 the -- what was said on the video-clip?
9 A. Can you repeat? Because the interpreter was speaking at the same
10 time so I couldn't follow the video-clip.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] We are going to use all means, we
13 are going to use weapons, and the Serbs in Croatia will never be what
14 they've been so far, as long as we're here. Their supremacy is history.
15 Their Knin is not going to be Knin anymore. We'll take over Knin. Knin
16 is going to disappear. All Croats should mind this, and we will
17 establish a state, no matter what the price is going to be ..."
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Could you recognise the voice that you just heard?
20 A. Unfortunately, I could. It's the voice of Josip Boljkovac.
21 Q. At that time, in 1991, you communicated with him, did you not?
22 Tell me, please, what was the option that he advocated? Did he ever say
23 anything like that in your presence or the presence of any other
24 representatives of the Serbs from Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
25 A. If I had not heard this now, I would never believe that this was
1 Boljkovac's option because he seemed like a reasonable man to us. His
2 policies sounded reasonable.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] And now can we hear the part
4 between 26:25 to 30:56. It's page 16 to 19 --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Can the interpreters be given a moment to find
6 the transcript page.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry, this doesn't work. We'll have to start
9 over again.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters just need a minute to listen
11 to the tape and to be able to find the exact transcript page. You have
12 to bear with us, I'm sorry.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry. You want to hear --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, please.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
16 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, please.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we have the beginning again, please.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: This was not on page 16, I'm sorry.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, is it -- is it page 16?
21 THE INTERPRETER: It's page 15.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
24 THE INTERPRETER: I've got it now so we can start again.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Let's start again.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 THE INTERPRETER, Sorry, I'm still --
3 [Video-clip played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Yes, yes, when he throws him ... so
5 they alarm Romic, he alarms the sabotage platoon ...
6 "It all goes through the HDZ, indeed, and through its chosen
7 people. The most loyal members of the ruling party are directly engaged
8 in the actions of 'silent killing.'
9 "So that's the group for silent killing?
10 "Yes, exactly. The names of those who are in possession of
11 automatic rifles are highlighted. Seven or eight men out of 17 are in
12 possession of both automatic rifles and pistols.
13 "Who's the commander of that group?
14 "Glavas Branimir gives the instructions ...
15 "On what's to be done?
16 "Like I said last time, they received instructions on that from
17 the bearded fellow from Zagreb, from Seks.
18 "So he's actually giving instructions?
19 "Well, look, I would say that is he an extremist - the worst one.
20 Seks is an extremist and Vekic, if you ask me, is -- he is there only
21 because of money. And Branimir is just a tool that they will get rid of
22 one day. No one will even notice.
23 "HDZ has made a plan on defying an order on disbanding and
24 disarming of illegal formations. This plan has been made on all levels.
25 The faulty imported weapons should be returned to the police station and
1 not the JNA garrisons.
2 "All those who are not Croats are suspicious. It's a normal
3 thing. It's normal that those who are members of the Communist union are
4 rejected automatically, that they can't be trusted. That goes for
5 Bernardines, as they say.
6 "What is the group for silent killing comprised of?
7 "They will get instructions on when and whom ... from
8 Branimir Glavas.
9 "Where are those lists?
10 "With Glavas.
11 "How is the list made?
12 "Well, listen, I've just told you how it's done in the police. I
13 guess it's the same in the military.
14 "There's nothing for the army there. It will be defeated badly.
15 I'm thinking how to protect the two of you at this moment. Not from the
16 army, but from the others.
17 "Oh, fuck it ...
18 "Every officer is covered with five men in Virovitica and they
19 are all going to be executed while still at their homes.
20 "We'll give you this list now, and you'll get the other ones
22 "I must act quickly and tell those guys in Virovitica whom they
23 should separate ..."
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this part of the footage was also shown on TV at that
1 time; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What I would like to ask you, you've heard these words from
4 Martin Spegelj and the whole conversation. Can you tell us, were these
5 methods of liquidation really applied? Have you heard about that?
6 A. Well, I haven't heard that they actually succeeded in doing this
7 because this was broadcast before they were able to. However, as far as
8 Vukovar is concerned, in Vukovar, the liquidations of Serbs began before
9 the war. I'm not sure if it was exactly by this method. I was never
10 able to find out whether they actually came to the people's door and shot
11 them twice in the stomach, but I know there were liquidations.
12 Q. Were the perpetrators identified?
13 A. Well, people said that they were identified, but the authorities
14 did not arrest them. The Serbs said among them that they knew who the
15 perpetrators were but they couldn't prove it.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we see the last excerpt.
17 That's from 33 minutes, 40 seconds until 33 minutes [as interpreted],
18 33 seconds. Pages 20 and 22.
19 Just one correction. Until 34 minutes, 33 seconds.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] ... possibilities.
22 "This Ljuban ... village?
23 "Yes ...
24 "He is not defined ...
25 "Yes, he is not defined.
1 "And this one?
2 "This -- this one definitely.
3 "Highlight his name on the list, underline it.
4 "Yes, underline his name three times.
5 "Let them block him, don't let them kill him, fuck ...
6 "Okay about that, but ...
7 "Him as well?
8 "Yes, yes.
9 "He is not defined ... let's not say undefined, but rather
11 "Should we do it to all of them? I can do it to all of them
12 tomorrow. I can make ...
13 "Everything, everything.
15 "And listen, a sergeant, a crazy sergeant that you don't take
16 seriously could go to the barracks, prepare the forces and start
19 "That's why they all should be ..."
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Having seen this part of the footage, what is it about?
22 A. I understood --
23 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me. Mr. President, if counsel would put on
24 his headphones, he would hear that the interpretation is continuing. So
25 we've really now got overlap between what's coming from the booth and
1 counsel's question. I don't know that he said the video should stop.
2 But I think it's really getting frustrating for everyone.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry about that.
4 Considering that this excerpt is 59 seconds, I would like it repeated.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] They're going to be killed even
7 before they ...
8 "And this one, Ljuban ... village?
9 "Yes. It's ...
10 "He is not defined ...
11 "Yes, he is not defined ...
12 "And this one?
13 "That one definitely. He is the main one.
14 "Highlight the last name on that list.
15 "Yes, underline his name three times.
16 "Underline his name.
17 "Let them just block him, don't let them kill him, fuck ...
18 "Okay about that, but ...
19 "Him as well?
20 "Yes, yes.
21 "He is not defined ... let's not say undefined, but rather
23 "Should we do it for all of them? I can do it for all of them
24 tomorrow. I can't do it for all -- I can do it for all of them tomorrow.
25 I can make ...
1 "Everything, everything ... and listen, a sergeant, a crazy
2 sergeant that you don't take seriously could go to the barracks, prepare
3 the forces and start shooting.
4 "Fuck ...
5 "That's why they all should be ..."
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Hadzic, could you tell us again, how did you understand this
8 part of the footage?
9 A. My understanding is that these are direct orders for liquidation.
10 They are making a list, who to kill definitely, and who -- about whom
11 they need to think some more and run checks.
12 Q. Thank you. We talked about this yesterday; namely, the
13 proclamation of the Serbian District of Slavonia, Baranja, and
14 Western Srem on 25th of June, 1991. I would like to know when was this
15 Serbian district established; do you remember?
16 A. If I remember well, it could have been ten to 15 days after that
17 Great National Assembly because there were some more sessions after that
18 that adopted this decision. This was just an initiative meeting. The
19 Serbian National Council was the body that was supposed to put this into
20 practice. It was the body that put forward the initiative.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, 1D604. I would kindly ask
22 usher to -- to bring the documents to Mr. Hadzic. May we see, please,
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please?
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 604. It's tab number -- just a moment, sorry.
1 Tab number 776.
2 Q. [Interpretation] This text says that the constitution of the
3 Great National Assembly took place on the 16th of July, 1991. Can you
4 confirm that?
5 A. Yes. I said about 15 days, and here we see that it was actually
6 20 days after.
7 Q. Was it then that the staff of the Territorial Defence was set up,
8 as we see written here?
9 A. Formally, yes, although we didn't have any control outside of
10 Borovo Selo. Ilija Kojic was appointed. It was mainly an appointment
11 within Borovo Selo.
12 Q. Can you tell us what was this staff supposed to do in future?
13 A. It was supposed to co-ordinate, if possible, with other local
14 staffs. But at that time we didn't have either the technical or the
15 physical capacities to do that.
16 Q. What do you imply by that term, "local staffs"?
17 A. In the villages, there were no TO Staffs. There were local
18 defence staffs in villages. So this staff was supposed to link up with
20 Q. Who elected people into these staffs?
21 A. They were called village commanders. In -- there were different
22 ways of electing them but it was mostly at popular assemblies, citizens'
23 assemblies. However, in my village, it happened differently. They were
24 elected at local commune councils. If was different from village to
25 village. It was self-organisation within villages; nothing from outside.
1 Q. From what you know, was Mr. Kojic able to somehow integrate them,
2 to integrate all these local staffs or headquarters, as you say?
3 A. As far as I know, he was not able. I can't say that he didn't
4 try, but he wasn't able to do anything. Because the villages had no
5 communication between them, there were no telephone connections. All the
6 roads where you do drive a car were not passable, so he was practically
7 commander only in our own village. And, as far as I know, he wasn't able
8 to do much during his tenure.
9 Q. I see that on that occasion Janko Milakovic was appointed
10 secretary of the Secretariat of Internal Affairs of the Autonomous
11 District. What was this Secretariat of the Interior supposed to do?
12 What were its duties supposed to be?
13 A. Janko Milakovic was elected at the proposal of Ilija Kojic
14 because he was a policeman before the war, just as I was. The way I
15 understand it, when I look back, there were two reasons why this
16 appointment was necessary. One reason was that there were quite a few
17 active-duty Serb policemen who had left the service and were still
18 unorganised in this territory, in the Serbian villages, and they were
19 getting restless and starting to make trouble, so formally somebody
20 should have been placed above them. But the real reason was to integrate
21 and restore law and order in the territory controlled by the Serb police.
22 Q. And here in the last paragraph, we see that you were elected
23 again by the Grand National Assembly as president of the Serbian National
25 Can you explain to us why this was done, if you remember?
1 A. I remember. That was the first time my position was officially
2 confirmed so that I was able to start talks about organising a
3 government. I don't remember, although Ilija Kojic says so in his book,
4 that I was elected president before. Initially I didn't want to accept
5 that position. And at this Assembly session on 25th June, the Assembly
6 elected them and they were acting as a steering committee, but this was
7 somehow more official.
8 Q. While we're talking about this Territorial Defence Staff, did you
9 have any actual function or control over these Territorial Defence
10 Staffs, over this one especially headed by Ilija Kojic?
11 A. When you say "you," you mean me personally or me and the
13 Q. Well, I meant you, first of all. But you can also explain as far
14 as the government is concerned.
15 A. I had absolutely no jurisdiction over it, and the government
16 didn't either, except for one short period when Ilija Kojic was also a
17 member of the government, and that lasted until the two branches were
18 separated and the position of commander of the TO and the position of the
19 minister of defence became separate.
20 Q. In the statement of Boro Savic that we've had occasion to see and
21 in his testimony, he mentioned his encounter with General Radojica
22 Nenezic. Could you tell us if you knew General Nenezic, and then I'll
23 ask you follow-up questions.
24 A. I knew him. If you can call that knowing, he was a very
25 well-known personality in our parts. I saw him when I was 13 years old,
1 before the war. That was the first time and the last time I saw him.
2 Q. When you say he was a well-known personality, how was he known?
3 A. He was a national hero from World War II, and he was a commander
4 of the Slavonia Brigade and later Slavonia Division, one of the greatest
5 fighters and heros. And people said that although he was a commander,
6 the commander of the division, he never told his men: "Charge." He
7 always said: "Follow me."
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Hadzic repeat the part of the answer
9 after this.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. If you could just pick up where you left off after explaining how
12 he acted in the World War II. And, please, a little more slowly.
13 A. He always went into attack first. He always led his men, and his
14 command was: "Follow me." So he was ahead of everybody which never
15 normally happened. All commanders stayed in the rear.
16 I heard these stories as a boy in my village from my neighbours
17 who had fought with him, and I also heard that he was physically the
18 strongest man in the entire division, that early in the morning, during
19 the morning inspection of all the troops, he would stand in front of his
20 men and challenge his troops to wrestle him, and he said that if somebody
21 managed to bring him to the ground, he would stop being the commander.
22 He was an unusually strong man.
23 Q. Tell me, you say that you first saw him when you were 13 years
24 old in 1971. Can you tell us when it was that you saw him the next time,
25 after that, and what were the circumstances involved?
1 A. He invited me to come to his villa in Belgrade. That was the
2 summer of 1991. And I was shocked when I saw him. Literally he was half
3 of the man that I used to know. He had had a stroke. One arm was
4 hanging, limp. Also, saliva was dribbling from his mouth when he spoke.
5 He looked very old and very sick. I remember well that somehow his eyes
6 were hollow. His look was that of a person who did not completely have
7 his wits about him.
8 Q. When you say that that was in the summer of 1991, was that after
9 you had been appointed prime minister designate of the government of
10 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem? Prime minister designate. To form
11 the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
12 A. Yes, that was a couple of weeks after that appointment, perhaps a
13 month later. It was in that period.
14 Q. Can you tell us how this conversation went between you on that
16 A. I can. His grandson was with him then. Maybe he was still a
17 teenager. I'm not sure that he was over 20. In the living-room, on his
18 table, he had a military map of Slavonia and Baranja and -- although I
19 have to emphasise once again that this was in Belgrade, so 150 kilometres
20 away from the war, and he talked as if he were in the war himself. Quite
21 unrealistically, totally divorced from reality.
22 From the conversation, I understood that he was expecting to go
23 to Borovo Selo with me and to take over the command over all the Serb
24 forces, and I don't know which other forces too. He talked about the
25 establishment of divisions, units, Ustashas. I remember the bit about
1 military security still obeying him but who were against him. This was
2 an amazing conspiracy theory that he was totally immersed in. He even
3 mentioned some security generals who were active in his day, this secret
4 service of the JNA, who had been dead, and he said that they were still
5 listening to him. I remember Brk Miskovic, Jevto Sasic, those were the
6 names, I said they are either retired or dead. And he said: No, no,
7 Brk Miskovic and Jevto Sasic, you don't know, they're never dead, they're
8 always operating. They are dangerous. They are now listening to what we
9 are saying. So I saw that he was living in a completely unreal world,
10 and I regretted the fact that I had come to see him in the first place
11 because that is not the image that I wished to remember. I tried to
12 explain to him that I have no possibility of influencing the things that
13 he wished and I am in no position to make that come true. All of a
14 sudden, he started shouting, he got angry, and so on.
15 Q. Let's just explain this a bit, if we can. You said that he
16 called you and that he wanted to be commander of some Serb units. What
17 did you mean? What were the units that he meant?
18 A. Well, now, from this angle - at that time I didn't know about
19 that - he wanted to be the commander of the Serb TO, as he had put it.
20 Because he heard that Kojic was selected for that. It was probably after
21 this piece of news in the papers. He then used an expression. He said
22 how can this truncheon guy be in charge of that? It should be an
23 experienced general, like he was. He said that he would bring his
24 grandson along, too, so that people would see that he was not afraid that
25 he might lose his life. So I found all of that to be absolutely insane.
1 Q. When you said that you could not exercise any influence there,
2 can you tell us what it was supposed to mean?
3 A. Well, it meant that I could not make those things come true, the
4 things that he wanted, and that I did not want that. I mean, I found all
5 of this very embarrassing. I suggested to him that if he wanted to, he
6 could come and see people, speak about his own experience. He jumped up
7 and got angry again. He said: That I should explain to a policeman,
8 Ilija Kojic, he wouldn't understand. And, well, after that, I didn't
9 want to make any suggestions like that. And his positions were 50 years
10 old, if you will, as if he never lived in reality.
11 Q. In what sense do you think that his positions were divorced from
13 A. It seemed that he did not understand that it was a new war. I
14 had the impression that he kept thinking that this was a continuation of
15 the Second World War, completely. So these were these Communist views.
16 And the party that I belonged to was against that. So it was quite
17 different. His thinking was different from the thinking of the people in
18 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. Nobody would have accepted his
20 Q. Can you tell us briefly what all of that boils down to?
21 A. Well, these well-known pro-Communist views, leftist views. But
22 of the extreme left, if I can call it that, that was totally remote, far
23 away from the positions that I supported, the democratic centre.
24 Q. If you remember, and perhaps you can illustrate this for us a
25 bit, these positions of his, if you remember?
1 A. Well, when I saw the state that he was in, I couldn't do anything
2 serious. I just tried not to offend him in any way and to be polite.
3 Because he was saying that he was faithful to the Supreme Commander, that
4 his Supreme Commander, Slobodan Milosevic -- because he thought that I
5 was in contact with Milosevic. Obviously that's what he thought. And he
6 said: Well, there you go. If you talk to the president, tell him that
7 I'm prepared at any time, day or night, to come and see him, wherever he
8 asks me to come, so that I could convey to him my experience, not to
9 Ilija Kojic, and if necessary, I can go to Pozarevac for a weekend.
10 Pozarevac is the place where Slobodan Milosevic used to live.
11 I said that I was not in contact with Milosevic and that I had no
12 communication there. And then he was an a bit disappointed. And he
13 said: Oh, how is that? And then he sort of calmed down a bit.
14 Q. I see that some words seem to be omitted in the transcript. So
15 where was that he wanted to go? Who did he want to see?
16 A. He wanted to see Milosevic. Because he kept talking about the
17 wife of Mr. Milosevic, and he supported her ideas. Mira Markovic.
18 Q. Do you know which party this was, the party that advocated these
19 ideas that he shared with Mira Markovic?
20 A. Of course, I know. That is the party that created the greatest
21 problems for me in my life. That is the League of Communists, the
22 Movement for Yugoslavia. That was the so-called party of generals, the
23 party of JNA generals.
24 Q. After this meeting, tell me, did you see General Nenezic again?
25 A. I saw him two more times. Ilija Kojic came once to see me, and
1 he said that he had to go to Belgrade to see Nenezic because was Nenezic
2 was creating some problems through some connections of his, and I wasn't
3 aware of what that was then. And he said that he was supposed to talk to
4 him and he said it would be a good thing if I went with him because I
5 knew him.
6 I went with Ilija. Then Ilija and Nenezic quarreled, and it was
7 quite a quarrel. Nenezic wasn't attacking me anymore. He was attacking
8 Ilija, and I was sort of a conciliator between the two of them.
9 Q. Can you tell us what it was that Ilija Kojic and General Nenezic
10 quarreled about?
11 A. The reason was that Nenezic wanted to go to Slavonia and Baranja
12 himself and he wanted to be in command there; whereas we were explaining
13 that that did not depend on us, and we were saying that it was not
14 possible for him to come.
15 Q. So what did you say? Who did this depend on? I mean, if he were
16 to go there.
17 A. We said that we were not able to do that at all. We did not have
18 the possibility of doing any such thing, no way, these large-scale units
19 that he talked about. He also talked about some bridge-head in
20 Borovo Selo. That was the first time I heard the word. I didn't even
21 know what it meant. And he said that if he came -- if he were to come
22 there, he would command it as he did in 1941. He would charge. He would
23 attack. I found all of that to be totally insane.
24 Q. After this conflict, did you have another encounter with
25 General Nenezic?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Would you describe that for us, that other encounter too.
3 A. I was asked to come to Karadjordjevo to attend a meeting. And
4 Karadjordjevo was a military institution. I didn't know what kind of
5 military institution but in a way I was pleased because I thought:
6 Finally, somebody is inviting me somewhere and I will finally have the
7 opportunity of seeing someone.
8 When I arrived there --
9 Q. Could you just explain this a bit, what this means, to see
10 someone. What was it that you meant by this specifically?
11 A. Well, I meant someone official from the military. Somebody who
12 held office. Until then, I hadn't had such an opportunity.
13 When I arrived there, Radojica Nenezic was waiting for me at the
14 restaurant there and another person whom I did not know. This was some
15 man from Western Slavonia. We had lunch there. After lunch, we moved
16 into a smaller room, sort of an office, and since there were only three
17 of us, I found that strange because Radojica Nenezic said: I hereby
18 declare this meeting open and I suggest the following agenda.
19 I said: What kind of a meeting is this? What kind of agenda?
20 I'm not aware of anything. And then this gentleman from Western Slavonia
21 jumped to his feet and said: You cannot talk to the general that way.
22 He's a national hero, and all of Gornja Pistana is with him. That's the
23 name of a village, Gornja Pistana.
24 Later I checked. That is a village in Western Slavonia with some
25 100 houses all together, somewhere in the vicinity of Podravska Slatina.
1 So I said: What has that village got to do with anything? If they are
2 with him, why doesn't he go there, to be in command there? And then he
3 said: Don't be fresh with us. Don't you know that that village has been
4 occupied by the Croats? How can he go there?
5 I didn't know that the village was occupied by Croats. I did not
6 mean anything.
7 Q. I apologise for interrupting you. Who said that? Who said that
8 the village had been occupied by Croats?
9 A. That man from -- from that village. I don't know what his name
10 is. I left and I never saw him after that. I heard that he had died. I
11 did not hear it in time to go to his funeral. I would have gone if I had
12 known that he had died. I heard it only after the funeral.
13 Q. Do you know that General Nenezic arrived in Slavonia, Baranja,
14 and Western Srem after that conversation with you?
15 A. Yes, he did, twice, as far as I know. Once in a private
16 capacity, he arrived in Borovo Selo, and together with another retired
17 general, Jovo Kokot, they had drinks in the village tavern. He was one
18 of the activists of that party, the Party for Yugoslavia.
19 Q. Just a moment. Could you please repeat the name of the party?
20 A. The League of Communists, the Movement for Yugoslavia.
21 Q. I apologise. Please continue.
22 A. And the second time he came, he was in Bobota village in a
23 semi-official capacity together with a delegation from Belgrade, a
24 delegation belonging to that same party, which included Boro Savic as
25 well and Nikola Kaloper from Osijek. The latter headed that movement for
2 Q. When you say that Nikola Kaloper headed that movement, what
3 movement do have you in mind precisely?
4 A. The Communist movement. The League of Communists, the Movement
5 for Yugoslavia.
6 Q. Do you know what happened in Borovo Selo while General Nenezic
7 and Jovo Kokot were there visiting the village? Did they communicate
8 with anybody in the village or not? If they did, what kind of
9 communication was that?
10 A. They were in the tavern and they spoke to the locals who were in
11 the tavern at the same time. Well, only drunks were in the tavern, but
12 most of the people from the village were in the tavern and they spoke to
13 them. And that meeting in Bobota --
14 Q. Just a moment. Could you please clarify? It seems that it has
15 been interpreted that the majority of the people were in the tavern. Is
16 that what you said?
17 A. No, no. There were very few people in the tavern, but a majority
18 of those who were there were prone to drinking. That's what I said.
19 Q. Did you hear anything? Do you know what the topic of those
20 conversations were?
21 A. No. No, no. I heard that from my friends. I didn't have a
22 service that could report back to me on things like that.
23 Q. And what about a meeting in Bobota? How did that go?
24 A. I heard that from Ilija Kojic. They continued arguing. They
25 almost pulled their guns at each other, and at the end, the meeting
1 failed completely and it didn't amount to anything.
2 Q. Could you tell us why they argued? What was the cause of the
3 argument, to the point that guns were almost pulled out? Who quarrelled
4 with whom; do you know?
5 A. According to what I know, people at the meeting were mostly the
6 Serb policemen who had left Vukovar. I don't want to insult those
7 people, however, they had been accustomed to having a safe and secure
8 job. Somebody found it interesting that an officer came from Belgrade.
9 They believed his words and his promises. Half them were on the side of
10 Kojic, and the other half were on the side of Nenezic; hence, the
11 argument. However, a majority were on the side of Kojic and that's why
12 the whole thing fell through completely.
13 Q. Did you have any other meetings with General Nenezic?
14 A. No, I never saw him again. May I be allowed to say something
15 about that?
16 At that time I didn't even think about that. I only started
17 thinking about that when I arrived in The Hague. However, when
18 General Aleksandar Vasiljevic testified - I don't think that he was a
19 protected witness - he said something that I heard as a lie, I thought he
20 was lying. And then, on the second thought, I thought maybe he wasn't
21 lying. He said that I turned down their attempts to place trained
22 officers at the head of the TO. Nobody ever asked me about that. I did
23 not make any decisions about that. And then I remembered that the only
24 conversation about that was with Nenezic and all the problems that arose
25 from that, and then it occurred to me that that was that.
1 Q. The conversations you had with Nenezic and the fact that you were
2 of varied political views, did that have any impact on the attitude of
3 those people who were in the general's party towards you and Slavonia,
4 Baranja, and Western Srem in general terms?
5 A. Well, that was the gist of the whole matter. Nenezic told me: I
6 know that you have a membership and people, and he meant the SDS. But he
7 said: But you're powerless because all the power is in our hands. He
8 wanted to contribute power and he wanted me to contribute manpower or
9 people. But that was not a realistic prospect because I was not in
10 charge of those people. I -- I did not command them. So all those who
11 were close to those political relations and the Movement for Yugoslavia
12 enjoyed a much better status than others in -- in view of Belgrade
13 because at that time all the generals or nearly all the generals were
14 members of that party.
15 Q. And now I would like to us go back to the situation that
16 persisted in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem during the summer months
17 and primarily during the month of July 1991. Could you please tell me
18 something about armed conflicts and attacks launched by either of the two
20 A. The Serbs were in their villages and in their settlements, and
21 they guarded their houses there. There were individual -- individuals
22 who opened fire on Serb villages from light weapons, and the army
23 responded to the fire. There was also fire from mortars, to which the
24 army responded. So the situation, I would call it, was a stalemate.
25 There were individual activities and killings of some Serbs. For
1 example, in late June, Simo Ponjevic [phoen] was killed in Brsadin. He
2 was a civilian. It was unprovoked. There were several such incidents at
3 the time.
4 Q. According to what you know, do you remember if the
5 then-Presidency of the SFRY introduced some measures aimed at dealing
6 with the conflicts that existed?
7 A. Yes. I can't remember the titles and definitions of those
8 measures, but those were decisions on disarming. The president of the
9 Presidency, Mesic, signed a decision to that effect. Later on, all those
10 who replaced him in that position did as well.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would tender previous document.
12 It is 1D604.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D117, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see 1D762 - it is tab 783 - please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Can you remember if this is the decision that
18 you just mentioned, the decision on disarming of irregular armed
19 formations and on disbanding of irregular military formations?
20 A. Yes, this is the decision. And this is also about lifting the
21 blockade of the barracks because, at that time, the Croats had already
22 started blocking the barracks.
23 Q. What about the barracks in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem
24 and all the other military facilities there? What was the situation like
25 with that regard?
1 A. I remember what I could hear and what I could read and see on TV.
2 I did not have any personal knowledge about that. I know that in Osijek
3 there were two large barracks. I had studied in Osijek previously,
4 that's how I know. The military had to abandon those barracks and move
5 to the Sector B or C. The Vukovar barracks was also under blockade and
6 the blockade was stepped up gradually. Finally, the electricity was cut
7 off as well as water supply. And in the media, I could see that that was
8 the case all over Croatia in all of the barracks, even those where there
9 were no Serbs. I thought that it was because of us, because we were
10 Serbs, so that would prevent them from helping us. However, in Varazdin,
11 Bjelovar, and Zagreb there were no Serbs there so no such problems could
12 be expected, and still the policy was the same across the board.
13 Q. Could you please repeat the names of the cities that you have
14 just mentioned.
15 A. It was just by way of example. I mentioned Varazdin and
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. President, I think it is appropriate time for
18 a break.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Zivanovic.
20 Court adjourned.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue, Mr. Zivanovic.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Before I continue, Your Honours, I would just
25 inform the Chamber that translations are completed and have been
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Hadzic, we were looking at that document, 1D762. Can you
5 tell us whether anything from this decision of the Presidency was
6 actually implemented at the time?
7 A. Not as far as I know.
8 Q. Can you tell us if later, after you got the mandate to make a
9 government and after the Autonomous District of Slavonia, Baranja, and
10 Srem was established and proclaimed, where were you based as the prime
11 minister designate? Did you have your offices somewhere?
12 A. No, I did not. I didn't have an office or a car or anything.
13 Q. Where did you spend your time? Did you live in Slavonia,
14 Baranja, and Western Srem at that time, or did you live in Serbia, like
15 in May 1991?
16 A. My family were refugees in Serbia, and I usually returned in the
17 evenings and spent the night with them. During the day, I spent most of
18 my time in Borovo Selo, and if I was able to find a car, I would go
19 sometimes to Pacetin, but that happened very rarely because it was not
20 possible to travel. Whenever it rained, the road would turn to mud, and
21 when the ground would dry, it was still not possible to drive there in a
22 normal car. You needed a jeep or a four-wheel drive or a tractor.
23 When I was in Borovo Selo, I was mainly in the centre, in the
24 local commune, or in the tavern.
25 Q. Do you remember, did journalists and reporters visit Borovo Selo,
1 both foreign and domestic press, in those days of July 1991?
2 A. Yes, they did.
3 Q. Did you have occasion to meet with them?
4 A. Sometimes.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see the document 1D800, tab 793, please.
6 Q. [Interpretation] This is a story that was published in the daily
7 "Politika" on the 13th of July, describing Borovo Selo as a men-only
8 place. Is this a faithful description of Borovo Selo at the time?
9 A. Yes, it is because the women and children had gone away. They
10 were refugees.
11 Q. I see that foreign reporters talked to various people they met
12 there, including some members of the JNA, but I see that you also held a
13 press conference.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is on the page 2 of English translation.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: What -- what did you say, Mr. Zivanovic?
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, yes, yes, I'll repeat. It is page 2 of
17 English translation.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thanks.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. It says that, among other things, you stated:
21 "We are in favour of a peaceful and democratic solution for this
22 crisis, but it takes two to tango."
23 Can you tell us what you understood by this? First of all, did
24 you really say that; and, second, what did you mean?
25 A. Yes, I did say that. And I meant that the other side also had to
1 work for peace. It was not enough that one side wanted it. Since
2 Croatia had proclaimed unilateral secession, there was very little room
3 left for further negotiations. And we were in our villages expecting
4 Croatian attacks. That is at least what I felt at the time.
5 Q. In this newspaper article, we read, among other things - it's in
6 one of the subheadings - that there had been a truce in Borovo Selo for a
7 few days at that time and the author explains it by the impending arrival
8 of UN -- sorry, European observers. Were they there at the time?
9 A. Yes, they were, but I wasn't in that area, on that territory,
10 every day.
11 Q. One more thing: What would your comment be on this
12 paragraph that mentions your name and says that Goran Hadzic is the
13 "president of the so-called Serbian government of Slavonia, Baranja, and
14 Western Srem"?
15 A. Well, I'll give you my comment, although I think this is
16 self-evident. The newspaper "Politika" was the loudspeaker for the
17 official policies of Serbia, and that was the opinion of the federal
18 state and the Republic of Serbia about our government.
19 Q. I see that just below -- I mean, after you, in the press
20 conference, Ilija Kojic spoke, and he says that if the terror against the
21 Serbian population in the area surrounding Osijek doesn't stop, it could
22 be expected that people would mount a general insurgency. Apart from
23 those few days of truce during the stay of European observers, had there
24 been any armed attacks on Serb villages in the previous days, as we can
25 understand from this statement?
1 A. Yes. There were sporadic attacks all the time, but there were
2 two important ones in this period. That was the Croatian attack against
3 Tenja village, and they had been completely encircled for at least two
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would be very grateful if the
6 other microphone could be switched off during witness's answers.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In addition to Tenja village --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Continues the witness --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- there was also the attack
10 against Mirkovci village. Mirkovci village was also -- was surrounded
11 for two months, not Tenja. Perhaps even more than two months; I don't
12 remember anymore.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would tender this document into evidence,
14 Your Honour.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D118, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Considering that your family were refugees too and had to go
20 away, do you have any idea about the number of refugees in that period?
21 How many refugees from Croatia were there in Serbia and in the district
22 of Vojvodina -- the province of Vojvodina?
23 A. When you mention that period, I have to say that in the early
24 days when the refugees started to flee, it was after this Spegelj movie
25 was broadcast on TV. That was the first wave of refugees going to
1 Vojvodina. The numbers were not large, but, still, there were quite a
2 few of them. The major fleeing started after the events in Borovo Selo
3 of the 2nd of May. Initially it was 10.000, and later, it increased to
4 about 100.000 even.
5 Q. Did you maybe have occasion to hear about the problems
6 encountered by those refugees and how difficult it was for the state to
7 find accommodation for all of them, to provide for them?
8 A. It's not that I just heard. I could see for myself because my
9 family were refugees too. The problems were quite obvious but huge.
10 Initially, everybody was prepared to receive refugees, but as time went
11 on, and since it involved costs of food and accommodation, it became more
12 and more of a problem. My family, for instance, had to move three times.
13 First, they were in Kljajicevo, then in Backa Palanka, and then in
14 Novi Sad.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, 1D790.
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. This is also an article published in the daily "Politika "on the
19 14th of July, 1991, and it says that in Serbia, 11.867 refugees were
20 registered from Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. In fact, they were
21 in Vojvodina.
22 Is this consistent with the information you just provided?
23 A. Yes. But you should add, perhaps, 10 per cent to this number
24 because not all of them were registered.
25 Q. Can you explain why they were not registered?
1 A. Most of them had family in Serbia so initially it was treated
2 like visiting family. Only later did it become a problem.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D119.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we have 1D823, please. It is tab -- it is
8 tab 800.
9 Q. [Interpretation] In this text, the figure of 40.000 refugees is
10 being referred to. Truth to tell, for all of Serbia, not just Vojvodina.
11 Can you tell us whether, according to the information you had
12 then, this did, indeed, correspond to this number of refugees from
14 A. Yes, yes. You've pointed this out very well.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the end of
16 the sentence.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So it was not just from Slavonia,
18 Baranja, and Western Srem but all of Croatia.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Can you say from which regions or which areas these refugees came
21 from? Apart from Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
22 A. At that time, we used to say the urban parts of Croatia. That is
23 to say, Croatian towns. That was at the very beginning of the war or,
24 rather, just before the war started. There was a lot of pressure in the
25 towns, these silent liquidations, so people moved out.
1 Q. Do you remember which towns were exposed to such pressures the
2 most and which towns had the most people leaving as refugees?
3 A. Well, practically all towns except for Istria and Kvarner,
4 Rijeka, Pula, the area where the situation was ethnically more tolerant.
5 So primarily Zagreb, Osijek, Karlovac, Vinkovci. Especially Vinkovci,
6 all the Serbs from Vinkovci left. And, of course, the Serbs from
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would tender this document, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D120, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you tell me how this situation evolved? I mean, this
16 situation -- this military situation. What happened, to the best of your
17 recollection, during the month of July in this territory? You mentioned
18 the situation in Tenja and Mirkovci. Do you remember any other locations
19 where there was fighting and where there were attacks?
20 A. Well, I remember all of it, but I cannot really place all of that
21 in the month of July. I remember the incident in Palaca [phoen], in
22 Srvas [phoen], where there were liquidations of Serbs. Almost everywhere
23 there were these individual incidents.
24 The situation was -- well, as far as the front line is concerned,
25 it was always the same. Everybody was at their starting positions. I
1 mean both sides were. When I said "front line," I used it symbolically,
2 because at that time there wasn't a real front line established yet.
3 Q. When you mentioned Vukovar in your previous answer, do you
4 remember what the situation was like in Vukovar? Did you have any
5 information, either personally or through the media?
6 A. Well, I remember, from several sources, the Serbs left Vukovar,
7 most of them, and especially -- especially the infirm, Serb women and
8 children. Croatian children went to the seaside in the month of
9 August in an organised fashion. Their party that was in power organised
10 that, the HDZ.
11 I remember something that could be indicative and interesting for
12 this case today, the one that we're discussing. When these children were
13 supposed to return to Vukovar, the war was already starting, and there
14 were proposals for them to remain at the seaside, outside the war
16 As far as I was informed then, and later on I checked that,
17 20 years later, a direct order came from Tudjman that the children were
18 supposed to be returned to Vukovar, and children were not allowed to
19 leave Vukovar. This was written in Marija Krizmanic's book. These's a
20 Croatian author. I read that book. I think she was a member of
21 parliament at the time or she held some other office. In this book, she
22 said that was absurd, and she asks what that was needed for. I also
23 don't know what it was needed for. I can make an assumption, but I don't
24 wish to make any assumptions here.
25 Q. According to your information, at that time, could people enter
1 Vukovar freely? Could any civilian just go there?
2 A. Well, on the Serb side, it was impossible to enter Vukovar
3 freely. There were barricades of the Serb -- of the Croatian police or,
4 rather, this parapolice, the National Guards Corps. And Croats could
5 enter freely through the Croatian territory that was under their control.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see 1D802, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to ask you now to take a look at
8 this text: "Vukovar cut off from the world." It's short, and I think
9 that you've had an opportunity to see it before today.
10 At the time -- I mean, is this information correct, what we can
11 see here, that, at that time, there were no telephone and telex
12 communications with Vukovar?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. Do you know what the reasons were? I mean, why there were no
15 telephone and telex communications? Was that the result of some combat
16 operations or was this something that one of the parties to the conflict
18 A. When I look at this date, the 21st of July, I see that that could
19 not have been the result of any combat operations. It was probably just
20 simply a one-sided move on the part of the Croatian authorities.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would tender this document too.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D121, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see now 1D763, please. It is tab 1446.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know that there were some conflicts at
2 the time between the JNA, on one side, and the Croatian armed formations
3 on the other?
4 A. Well, I know from the media. And, of course, where I was present
5 in this territory. I was in Borovo Selo then, or in Pacetin.
6 Q. In this document, in this text, this newspaper article, there is
7 a reference to the clash between the JNA and the Croatian forces by the
8 Ilok bridge. Do you know anything about that?
9 A. Yes, I do. My family was in Backa Palanka at the time, and I
10 could hear the shooting and the comments on the following day.
11 Q. And can you tell us whether you knew, whether you heard about
12 this conflict, why it happened?
13 A. What I can say is that I heard that it was the Croatian side that
14 was doing the provoking, but I don't know about any details.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would tender this document, Your Honours.
16 MR. STRINGER: We object to that one, Mr. President.
17 I don't think the witness has given a foundation for a number of
18 the assertions that are made in this "Politika" article. Looking at the
19 bold at the top, the aim of the attack is to draw the JNA into a
20 conflict. Mr. Hadzic doesn't appear to be in a position to provide any
21 information as to that.
22 So if he wants to talk about a military operation or an event
23 that happened down there, that's fine. But to offer the article as
24 something that is truthful or is a truthful and full account of -- of
25 what actually happened down there, I think in this instance certainly is
1 not appropriate.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: As far as I recall, although I cannot give the
4 examples right now but the similar matters were used by the Prosecution
5 when they tendered their own documents.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
7 MR. STRINGER: Just to say, Mr. President, that any time we've
8 tendered a document the Defence is free to object to it or any part of
9 it. We're objecting to the part here that says that the aim of the
10 attack is to draw the JNA into the conflict. This witness hasn't said
11 anything about that. It's an assertion made in a periodical or in a
12 newspaper, and we object to its being admitted for the truth of that
13 assertion without there being some greater foundation.
14 So we object to that part of it.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is my submission that this is on the
17 Trial Chamber to assess the credibility of any evidence, including this
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: The truth of what is said in this document is
21 something we will assess at the end of the day. The objection is
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will become
24 Exhibit D122.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Hadzic, do you remember if any of the highly positioned state
3 officials from -- visited Borovo Selo from the SFRY in July 1991?
4 A. I remember there were several visits. I was not always there.
5 In the month of July specifically, the vice-president of the government
6 of the SFRY, Branko Kostic, was there.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P241. It is tab 190.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: I don't think this is it, Mr. Zivanovic. Tab 119
9 seems to be a video-clip.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is tab 190.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see P241, please, on the screen, just to
13 see what is it. That's it.
14 Q. [Interpretation] This is a transcript of the video that we
15 already saw in this courtroom earlier today. You had an opportunity to
16 watch it and to listen to it. Can you please tell us whether this is
17 what was shown on TV after Branko Kostic's visit to Borovo Selo?
18 A. Yes. Yes, that's that.
19 Q. Do you know when that happened?
20 A. In late July.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
22 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I don't know if it would assist my
23 learned colleague, but I believe that we can access the clip pretty
24 quickly if they actually want to play the video. I don't know that we've
25 seen it today which was what was indicated in the transcript.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: I don't think we've seen it -- well, not in my
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I -- I thought that we have seen it
4 earlier. We saw it this video-clip in Prosecution case, not today.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Or during the Defence case. It was shown here
7 before it was admitted into evidence as far as --
8 MR. STRINGER: Just to say that we can -- if the Defence would
9 like, we can -- we can put it up or if counsel just wishes the
10 transcript. It's obviously in his hands.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, it could be played.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Would it assist?
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
15 MR. STRINGER: I'm being told we may need two or three minutes,
16 Mr. President. I thought it was faster than that.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Meanwhile, I could put some questions to the --
18 to Mr. Hadzic.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Hadzic, could you please tell us, were you there during that
22 visit when Mr. Kostic visited?
23 A. Yes, I was there.
24 Q. Did you have an occasion to speak to him personally, either you
25 or somebody else from the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and
1 Western Srem?
2 A. Yes. I believe that Ilija Kojic was there and somebody else, and
3 I was there, and we spoke to him. We will see in the video-clip who was
5 Q. Can you tell us briefly what you discussed. As far as you can
6 remember, what did Mr. Kostic say?
7 A. It was a courtesy visit, during which he said that he had arrived
8 to see us, to show us that we were not alone, that we were the citizens
9 of Yugoslavia, and he was the country's vice-president. He told us not
10 to be afraid. That was the basic message of that visit.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It seems that the video is ready.
12 [Video-clip played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters have not been provided with a
14 transcript of this video. Therefore, the video cannot be interpreted.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: How long is this clip?
16 MR. STRINGER: I believe it's -- it's six minutes. It's actually
17 perhaps quite a bit shorter for the part that counsel wants, or what I
18 believe he wants, Mr. President. We could perhaps -- the hard copy
19 and -- or the transcript is in e-court obviously. It was up on the
20 screens, but it's true that, obviously, the interpreters don't have it on
21 paper with them.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: I was a little bit surprised by the interpreters'
23 reaction because, of course, if you have transcript, you don't interpret
24 it anymore, you read the transcript, I would say. But perhaps I'm wrong.
25 But six minutes indeed is long -- is quite long to do this on the spot.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We could skip to -- to play this video because it
2 is already in evidence and so is not so necessary.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. And you have nothing else to ask
4 Mr. Hadzic about this video?
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No. No, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Then let's skip it. Sorry about that for
7 the booth.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Hadzic, can you remember whether the Serbian National Council
10 approached the Presidency of Yugoslavia with regard to the crisis
11 situation in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem? Did anybody from the
12 council do that?
13 A. Yes, Ilija Petrovic spoke on behalf of the Serbian National
14 Council and addressed them with this issue. I believe that there were
15 several such attempts to talk to them.
16 I remember that he would sometimes consult with me by phone, but
17 most of the times he acted independently when he addressed the
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we have, please, P192.140. May we move to
20 the second page, please, both of -- in original and translation.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, when it comes to this part
22 right below the title depicting the situation in Slavonia, Baranja, and
23 Western Srem, does this description reflect the actual situation?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. On the following page in the original text and on the same page
1 of the translation, it says that the police stations have confidential
2 lists of the Serbs who had to be either be killed or arrested. Were you
3 privy to that kind of information?
4 A. Yes, we knew that. We had that information.
5 Q. Is it also correct that a judge of the municipal court in Vukovar
6 was arrested although he enjoyed immunity as a judge?
7 A. According to what I know, not only was he arrested but also
8 beaten, if we are both referring to Slavoljub Sremac. But there were
9 several such cases, his was not isolated.
10 Q. Can you please tell me about the month of August. You will
11 remember that the attack on Dalj was mentioned here on several occasions.
12 First of all, did you know anything about the preparations for that
13 attack before the attack even took place?
14 A. I didn't know anything, nor did anybody mention anything to that
15 effect in front of me.
16 Q. On that day, the 1st of August, were you in Borovo Selo or in the
17 territory of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem at all?
18 A. No. I was on my way to Borovo Selo. However, when I reached the
19 border crossing on the Danube river, I could hear shots. I realised that
20 there were more people than usually. I stayed there for a while. I
21 didn't want to cross the river, the border, because nobody knew what was
22 going on. And then wounded people started arriving. And then I returned
23 with them to the regional hospital in Novi Sad to see if I could help
24 them with being admitted in the hospital.
25 Q. On that day, did you arrive in Slavonia at all, primarily in Dalj
1 and in -- in the rest of the territory of Slavonia, Baranja, and
2 Western Srem?
3 A. As I've just told you, I came as far as the Danube but I didn't
4 cross the river. I didn't set foot on the territory of Slavonia,
5 Baranja, and Western Srem on that day. I did not arrive in Dalj for at
6 least seven days after the attack.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move into private session, please.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 9551-9572 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Hadzic, do you recall that the Prosecutor showed you an
2 interview you gave on 24 July 1991, where you said that Serbs were
3 currently on the defensive but will move into an offensive very soon,
4 much sooner than people think. Do you recall that?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see P2987, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] At the beginning of this text it says that the
8 inhabitants of Borovo Selo had spent another long, difficult day and that
9 the shooting between Borovo Selo, where the Croatian armed forces were,
10 and Borovo Naselje had been going for weeks and that tensions have
11 peaked. Do you recall these events in Borovo Selo?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. It also says here that the postal services have seized to
14 operate, as well as the railways, passenger traffic, and there are
15 frequent blackouts. Was that indeed so at that time?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. It further says that the guardists have hit Crepulje, a border
18 area between Borovo Selo and Borovo Naselje, with mortars and that fire
19 had been opened at JNA members. Do you recall that?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. And it says that that evening in Borovo Selo -- in fact the
22 previous evening, on the 23rd of July, the national council met. And on
23 that occasion you said that the armed Serbs were still on the defensive
24 but they will soon launch a decisive attack.
25 When you gave this statement, what specifically did you mean?
1 Did you mean a specific operation?
2 A. No. I made a general statement because great fear reigned
3 because of that situation which had been going on for a long time. I
4 made a political statement. I said it's true that we were on the
5 defensive, but we were definitely going to respond. And I meant the
6 situation around Borovo Naselje because Crepulje is between Borovo Selo
7 and Borovo Naselje.
8 Q. Could you just repeat the name of that area between Borovo Selo
9 and Borovo Naselje. It's not right on the record.
10 A. The part between Borovo Selo and across the railways up to
11 Borovo Naselje is called Crepulje, C-r-e-p-u-l-j-e. There were constant
12 provocations there from the Croatian police and the Croatian army.
13 Q. Was this a harbinger of some specific military operation to be
14 launched by the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army, especially after the
15 attack on Dalj village?
16 A. Of course not. Perhaps my logic is wrong, but if I had known
17 anything about that, I wouldn't have talked about it. Because it was a
18 secret to me. I didn't know about it. If anybody did, apart from the
19 army. I mean on that day, when I made that statement on the
20 24th of July.
21 Q. Mr. Hadzic, in August 1991, were there any news about the
22 situation in Vukovar? In fact, how did the authorities treat the local
23 Serbs there?
24 A. I had almost daily information considering that I was on both
25 banks of the Danube every day, both on Borovo Selo and on the side of
1 Serbia, where the refugees were coming in, so everybody was talking about
2 the victimisation of Serbs in Vukovar and the killings, assassinations.
3 At first, people would say that somebody had gone missing, but very soon
4 it became clear that those were murders.
5 Q. Do you remember that in that time somebody from the Croatian
6 authorities reacted to that wave of violence against the Serbs?
7 A. Certainly. I remember that a friend of mine, Marin Vidic, wrote
8 a letter to the so-called Croatian top leadership. Marin Vidic and I
9 were members together of the Vukovar Assembly.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, 1D275.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Before you answer that question, can you tell us
12 if the news about that found its way into the media; do you remember?
13 A. I don't know. I can't say with 100 per cent certainty that it
14 was reported in the media immediately. I know about that letter myself,
15 but I don't know if I learned about it immediately in August or later.
16 Q. Could you look at this letter that I believe you've read before
17 and tell us if this is the letter on the screen now?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Direct accusations are made against Tomislav Mercep, who at that
20 time was the secretary of the municipal secretariat in Vukovar, and his
21 conduct. Does this letter faithfully reflect the information that was
22 circulating at that time about raids on private apartments, et cetera?
23 A. Yes, very faithfully and very sincerely. It was a nice surprise
24 to me in the sense that somebody found the strength to say these things,
25 to talk about it, even on the Croatian side.
1 Q. Did you hear that, as a result of this conduct, Mercep was
2 dismissed from his job as secretary of the municipal secretariat?
3 A. Yes. Mercep was very unpopular among the Serbs in
4 Western Slavonia, and I heard that he went to Zagreb to take up the
5 position of deputy minister for police. At that time, we didn't
6 understand quite clearly if it was a dismissal or a promotion.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. President, we can stop here, if you like.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: We continue with this letter tomorrow?
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
11 Mr. Hadzic, I remind you that you continue to be under oath.
12 Court adjourned for the day.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.58 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of July,
16 2014, at 9.00 a.m.