1 Monday, 14 July 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
8 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
10 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. For
15 the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer; Sarah Clanton; case manager,
16 Thomas Laugel; and legal interns, Sarah Munsch and Katherine Davis.
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 Adam Harnischfeger, intern.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 Mr. Zivanovic, you probably that you're at about 20 hours of your
24 examination-in-chief. Please 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, you remember last Thursday we
5 discussed your talks with Mr. Wijnaendts on 12 October 1991 in Paris, and
6 I will now show you a document reflecting another conversation you had
7 with him.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is 1D3033. It should not be broadcast.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. Tab number 1127.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I won't read to you the whole text of this document, but I've
14 noticed that Mr. Babic took the floor at that meeting. It's not recorded
15 that you said anything yourself. Could you tell us, first of all, is
16 that correct; and, if so, for what reason?
17 A. That's correct, and the reason is simple. As I said last time,
18 at the meeting in Paris that took place at the Dutch embassy, I had talks
19 with Mr. Wijnaendts where he conveyed to me the positions of the
20 European Union and their proposals to us. And I said it was acceptable
21 to me but it needs to be discussed with Mr. Babic because I can't accept
22 in case he refuses, that that would put me into a lot of trouble, and
23 that's why I didn't say anything.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document into
25 evidence, 1D3033, under seal.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked under seal.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D136, under seal, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Hadzic, do you recall that after that conference, a press
6 conference was held and you spoke at that press conference?
7 A. I remember that, but I think it was towards the end of that
8 month. I'm not sure that it was during the conference, but I remember
9 the press conference.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see 1D602, please. It is tab -- it is
11 tab 775.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Do you recall maybe this article published in
13 the newspaper?
14 A. Yes, I do. That press conference took place just after we
15 returned, although later there was another one, so I thought you maybe
16 mean that one. But I remember it.
17 Q. Among other things, you said here: We can't join Serbia because
18 people had declared themselves in favour of staying within Yugoslavia.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You also said the most acceptable option is the one involving
21 special status. Were those your words?
22 A. Yes, those were my words, and we in Slavonia, Baranja were
23 prepared to discuss a special status, but certain preconditions had to be
24 met, and it couldn't happen overnight.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document into
1 evidence, 1D602.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D137, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see 1D144, please.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, it is tab 732. It is page 3 of the
8 English translation.
9 Q. [Interpretation] This is another statement you made after
10 negotiations with Mr. Wijnaendts, and you say, among other things: We
11 represent the will of the people and we cannot be too flexible.
12 What did you mean by that?
13 A. As I said a moment ago, these things could not happen overnight.
14 If you take into account the fact that we had had a referendum where
15 almost 100 per cent of the Serbian people declared themselves in favour
16 of staying within Yugoslavia and the fact that I had to represent the
17 will of the majority, as well as the position of my Assembly on that
18 issue, so I didn't have much room. But if things had been resolved in a
19 peaceful situation, it could have been handled.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document into
21 evidence. It is 1D144.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D138.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Hadzic, do you remember that another round of talks were
2 supposed to take place with Mr. Wijnaendts and then were cancelled for
3 some reason; and if you remember it, then tell us when did that happen.
4 A. It's true that another round of talks had been planned, but after
5 all this time I can't be 100 per cent sure, I believe it was in the
6 beginning of October, when Mr. Babic refused to go for those talks, so I
7 had no other option. But, anyway, since they were not inviting me alone
8 anymore, we had to wait for another chance. I was not invited alone, on
9 my own, anymore.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P1174. It is tab 302.
11 Q. [Interpretation] This is an allegedly intercepted conversation
12 between Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic. Only the first
13 two pages are relevant for our purposes. You probably remember the
14 contents. And you see that Milosevic is expressing his dissatisfaction
15 to Karadzic; I believe it's on page 2. We see, among other things, that
16 just at the beginning of page 2, Radovan Karadzic says: "They didn't
17 go." It says Misa Milosevic would be representing them over there.
18 Can you remember this? But, first of all, tell me, as far as can
19 you see, does this conversation relate precisely your travel to that
20 scheduled talk with Mr. Wijnaendts?
21 A. Yes, I think that's what this is about.
22 Q. [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Judging by the date, this intercept was recorded on the
1 9th of October, and your talks were scheduled for the 8th; correct?
2 A. I believe this intercept was made on the 8th and the talks were
3 scheduled for an earlier time.
4 Q. Can I ask you now what was the reason why you were supposed to go
5 to those talks with Mr. Wijnaendts in the first place? Was it on your
6 own initiative or somebody else's?
7 A. It was the idea of Mr. Wijnaendts and the people from the
8 European Community at that time. It was not our initiative. Later on,
9 talks in The Hague were scheduled, and I believe there was a conference
10 scheduled to include all the representatives of the SFRY, and we were
11 supposed to have a meeting with them separately before that conference.
12 Then a problem occurred because of Mr. Ahrens and his conference and
13 their negotiations with Ibrahim Rugova. I didn't quite understand why
14 Mr. Ahrens would be a problem or why they were talking to Rugova.
15 However, he drew some political implications from that because they were
16 talking to Albanians as a minority and then by implication we were also
17 supposed to be treated as a minority. I didn't understand any of it, but
18 that's how it happened.
19 Q. Did you express any misgivings about getting involved in those
20 negotiations in view of your lack of experience in international
21 negotiations and was anything done about it?
22 A. Of course I was aware that I couldn't just show up and negotiate
23 about such things considering that I was clueless. I must stress that
24 Mr. Babic had contacts with some people in the diaspora and one faction
25 of the opposition in Belgrade and he was receiving information that I
1 didn't have, such as that Ahrens would be talking to Rugova. But within
2 the federal state of which we were still a part, I wanted to talk to some
3 people who would instruct me as to how these international negotiations
4 work and how they are led and who could teach me a bit. That's why I
5 talked to experts from the Academy of Arts and Science who were acting in
6 a non-partisan way and who gave me some technical instructions.
7 Q. Was it some sort of preparations and how long could that have
8 lasted? How much of your time did that take up?
9 A. I would call it preparations, and it lasted throughout the month
10 of October. I had these talks with them when I first went for the
11 preparations, and when I returned I stated the conclusions, how you can
12 ask questions, how you act in a diplomatic manner, all sort of things
13 that I knew nothing about at the time.
14 Q. And where were these preparations held? In which place?
15 A. All the preparations took place in Belgrade, either at the
16 Serbian government or on the ground floor of the Presidency of Serbia.
17 Q. Who informed you or invited you to these negotiations? Did
18 international negotiators contact you directly or was it someone from the
19 then-Yugoslav or Serbian government who did that?
20 A. I think that we received that both from the secretary of
21 President Milosevic and from the federal government's protocol office,
22 I'm not sure. And it depended on the occasion. But we received
23 information from both these sources.
24 Q. Now that we dealt with intercepts, I am going to show you another
25 one in which your name is mentioned. It does not deal with international
1 negotiations but, rather, with something else.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, 2806. It is tab 1307. It is
4 Q. [Interpretation] It's a conversation which you can see on the
5 first side it was recorded on the 14th of December, 1991, a conversation
6 between Jovica Stanisic, on the one hand, and Radovan Karadzic. They
7 discuss some events in Banja Luka. Some figures are discussed, numbers.
8 I'm not sure what exactly that -- those figures concern.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] What is interesting for us is
10 page 3 of this document, both in B/C/S and in English.
11 Q. It is stated that Jovica says that it was difficult for him to
12 persuade you not to go there, and Banja Luka is mentioned. I wonder
13 whether you remember if you had intended for any reason to go to
14 Banja Luka in December?
15 A. That would be a completely crazy assumption. It never occurred
16 to me nor did I ever think about it. I did not have anything to do there
17 and I don't know who I would get in touch there in the first place. I
18 don't know what sort of game is at stake here and how come that my name
19 figures here, but you can see how Radovan Karadzic reacted. He asked
20 three times who it was, and he couldn't believe that my name had anything
21 to do with these events and what I would be doing there in the first
23 Q. Well, the alleged words are here. I cannot claim whether it
24 really was like that or not. But allegedly Jovica, let's suppose it's
25 Stanisic, says that it was difficult for him and he hardly managed to
1 convince you not to go there.
2 Did you have any contacts with him then in December 1991?
3 A. I had no contacts with Jovica Stanisic in 1991, nor am I aware of
4 the context in which this is inserted here. I had the occasion when I
5 received these materials last year to ask Mr. Karadzic about this. He
6 told me that it had nothing to do with me, and he said that he would be
7 replacing some of his SDS members in the Banja Luka region and that he
8 had no idea how this came to be there.
9 Q. If you could just tell us what is your answer to the question
10 whether at the time you talked with Jovica Stanisic at all.
11 A. I have said clearly that I did not.
12 Q. You remember from the evidence that we've had occasion to see
13 here that in the month of October, people moved out from Ilok in great
14 numbers. Those were the ethnic Croatian citizens. I'm interested in
15 this: Did you participate in the negotiations prior to the moving out of
16 Croats and other non-Serbs from Ilok and the surrounding places?
17 A. I did not participate at all. All the information I had came
18 from the media. I had expected to be invited to assist and to talk, but
19 nobody called me and nobody contacted me. But I believe that it would
20 have been logical to invite me as Ilok was part of Slavonia, Baranja, and
21 Western Srem.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P321. It is tab 234. May we
23 see page 3 in B/C/S; page 4 in English, please.
24 Q. [Interpretation] This is one of the instances of minutes of the
25 meetings held by local authorities in Ilok and in one excerpt your name
1 is mentioned. A certain F. Leko is the person who mentions your name.
2 And he says there:
3 "Does Grahovac know that Hadzic has stated that, regardless of
4 the negotiations we are conducting, that he will level Ilok."
5 I'm interested in knowing whether you ever stated something like
7 A. Of course I didn't, nor could I have levelled Ilok or shot from
8 any sort of weapons. I think that this is a mistake, but I can explain.
9 Q. Please go ahead.
10 A. Well, as the Croats often mentioned my name as Adzic without the
11 initial letter and Blagoje Adzic's name as Hadzic, I saw that often, but
12 I never heard that Blagoje Adzic stated something like this. So I think
13 that it's a clear case of misinformation.
14 Q. And did you have a chance to hear from anyone that they heard
15 about such a statement of yours?
16 A. No, no. I heard about this the first time here in the courtroom,
17 when I saw it on paper in this document. But, otherwise, no.
18 Q. Were you in Ilok or in the surrounding area when the Croats were
19 moved out of Ilok?
20 A. No, I wasn't. Either in Ilok or in the surrounding area. And I
21 did not have any information about this, any direct information, except
22 for what I learned from the media. And when they asked me about this, I
23 said what I had heard in the media. I didn't want to say that no one
24 reported anything to me. I, rather, feigned that I did know something
25 about it, even though actually I didn't know anything.
1 Q. Did you or the government enter Ilok or go to Ilok after the
2 Croats had moved out? Did you establish any organs of SBWS there at the
3 time in this territory?
4 A. No, we didn't establish any organs of power or authorities. We
5 did not have physical access at the time. We couldn't reach it. There
6 was military administration in Ilok. It was completely sealed off.
7 I know why this was so, why they wouldn't allow me to come there
8 and why the military administration was so strictly enforced. Let me
10 Ilok was at the far east of the Vukovar municipality. It was in
11 a wedge surrounded by the border with Serbia. All the shops that existed
12 there, the goods were all stored at one place so that it would be
13 distributed from Ilok to surrounding villages because transportation from
14 Ilok was expensive. And once military rule was introduced, everything
15 was closed down for civilian authorities because economy was strong in
16 Ilok. There was a winery and so on. And then all the material
17 resources, all the official vehicles, everything that was in depots, even
18 the gravel and the sand that was held there in storages, they moved
19 everything to Serbia, and only after they had done all that, several
20 months later, they agreed to hold talks with us.
21 I just heard accidentally that an official vehicle that was used
22 by the Ilok winery - it was an Opel Omega, that's what I was told - and
23 that a JNA officer took off civilian licence plates on the bridge leading
24 to Ilok, put on military licence plates and drove it off. And we were
25 shocked because it was a kind of simple theft. Worse than looting. I'm
1 not sure how I should call it.
2 Q. You have had a chance to hear Witness GH-168, and I wanted to ask
3 you a few questions about certain parts of his statement. He claimed,
4 inter alia, that there were staffs of a Territorial Defence unit in Ilok
5 which was not organised by the JNA but by the military and political
6 leadership of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is page 8337 of the transcript.
8 Q. [Interpretation] My question is: Are you aware of organs of
9 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem organising units and staffs of
10 Territorial Defence in the territory of Ilok?
11 A. I can't be aware of this because it's not true. They couldn't
12 even get there physically, let alone do anything there. So this is
13 completely fabricated.
14 Q. And did you appoint or head any body that appointed the
15 commanders of the local Territorial Defence?
16 A. Yes, that is a different matter. Neither myself nor any part of
17 the government ever appointed a single TO Staff Commander, not a single
18 one, including the one in Ilok. There was no physical access to Ilok,
19 and even had there been physical access, no appointments would have been
20 made by us. It was all done by the JNA.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P378. It is tab 1258.
22 Q. [Interpretation] This is a report issued by the military command
23 of the town of Ilok drafted on 9 December 1991. In item 1, it is stated
24 that in Ilok and the villages of Sarengrad, Mohovo, Opatovac, Lovas, and
25 Bapska, thus far, no civilian authorities had been formed. Does this
1 reflect the real situation in that area? Do you know if there were any
2 civilian organs in these settlements?
3 A. I'm not aware of any. I don't think there were any. Although I
4 wasn't present there at the time. We did not establish any. I don't
6 Q. In item 2, we can see the following: In the territory of the
7 command of the town, there are no TO Staffs. Does that reflect the
8 situation on the ground?
9 A. It does.
10 Q. Item 3, it is stated that there is a police station that was
11 established in Ilok, and one of its squads -- or, actually, a detachment
12 was sent to Lovas. And it is now under the authority of the SAO Baranja,
13 Slavonia, and Western Srem. In carrying out its tasks, the police
14 station is subordinated to the command of the town of Ilok. It is stated
15 therein that a Serbian MUP established a police station but that it was
16 the -- under the authority of the SAO Baranja, Slavonia, and Western
17 Srem, yet carrying out the orders of the Ilok Town Command and
18 subordinated to it.
19 Can you explain this to us?
20 A. There's a triple degree of lack of logic, so to speak. I didn't
21 even know who established that police station and under whose command it
22 was. It had nothing to do with the government. Perhaps they were trying
23 to say that they were on some payment list in the SAO of Baranja. But
24 when they say that were under somebody's authority, it doesn't mean much
25 to me.
1 Q. Do you think he is trying to say that you were supposed to pay
2 those people working in the station?
3 A. Yes, it reminds me of that, that someone else commands them and
4 yet that we or another body were supposed to pay them.
5 Q. To your knowledge, did the SBWS government pay the people working
6 in that police station, if you knew, or did it pay out salaries to the
7 people working in any other police stations in the area?
8 A. To the best of my recollection, our budget was still in its
9 infancy and we couldn't have afforded to pay anyone, let alone these
10 people. They were established by the Serbian MUP, as far as I could
11 learn later, they were all employed by the Serbian MUP and that's where
12 probably they received their salaries. This is something I learned much
13 later, as did most of the people present in this courtroom. I didn't
14 know it at the time.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move into private session, please.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
17 [Private session]
11 Page 9731 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Hadzic, were you in Lovas when the incident involving a
25 minefield took place, as described in the indictment?
1 A. No, I was not. In 1991, I did not go to Lovas, not once. I
2 didn't know about the incident at the time. I only heard of it much,
3 much later.
4 Q. Do you know Ljuban Devetak; and, if so, how long?
5 A. I know Ljuban Devetak. I've known him since late 1991 or early
6 1992, because I remember that he came to Erdut once, although I don't
7 remember when any longer. I know him from the period before I became
8 president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. So after 1991.
9 Q. Did the government of the SBWS appoint him as town commander in
11 A. No. I explained how it worked. Town commanders were appointed
12 by the inhabitants and TO commanders by the army. I didn't even hear of
13 Ljuban Devetak being the town commander, and the government never
14 discussed it. When I discussed village guards, perhaps those people who
15 were in charge of their shifts could have been called town commanders,
16 but that was in July and August 1991.
17 Q. [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. We will need a more precise answer, I'm afraid, because the term
21 "town commander" is a rather specific one. I think you referred to
22 defence commander before, so I wanted to check with you whether you make
23 a distinction between the two terms, town commander and defence
24 commander, and were you now talking about town commander in that sense,
25 or did you have in mind defence commander?
1 A. I made a mistake. It is very similar in my language. I had in
2 mind the defence commanders in villages as formed in mid-1991, the
3 village guards. As for town commanders and TO commanders, they had to do
4 with these documents I saw at some later stage who were appointed by the
5 JNA. I apologise for having made the mistake.
6 Q. According to your knowledge, the crime in Lovas which is part of
7 the indictment, was it investigated by anyone from SBWS or perhaps from
8 another body like the JNA or the Serbian police?
9 A. The crime took place within the area of responsibility of the
10 JNA. At the time it was there. I didn't know about it at the time, and
11 I don't know if someone investigated it. I wasn't even aware of it.
12 Later on, I learned that it was investigated by security organs from the
13 JNA. I also learned that proceedings were instituted against the direct
14 perpetrators in Serbia.
15 Q. Did you know that on 9 November 1991, TO members and policemen of
16 the SBWS, as well as members of Arkan's unit, arrested and took
17 Hungarians and Croats from Erdut, Dalj Planina, and Erdut Planina and
18 took them to the training centre in Erdut, killing 12 of them in the
19 process. That is contained in paragraph 27 of the indictment.
20 A. I'm not aware of that.
21 Q. Do you know that a few days later members of the Serb national
22 security, together with Arkan, killed seven Hungarians? That's in
23 paragraph 28 of the indictment.
24 A. No, I didn't know that.
25 Q. You have seen from the annex to the indictment that reference is
1 made to several members of the Bence family, Pap family, and Senasi. Did
2 you know any of them personally?
3 A. Yes, I was even friends with the entire Pap family. They were
4 very good friends of mine. And I also knew the brother of one of the
5 witnesses who appeared here, but I knew him under the nickname Sobonja
6 [phoen]. He owned a restaurant at Dalj Planina, Dalj mountain, and I
7 often went there.
8 Q. As far as the Pap family is concerned, who were friends of yours,
9 when did you find out that something had happened to them, they were no
10 longer there, that they might have come to a bad end?
11 A. I learned about that in 1992. I can't say exactly where, but it
12 was warm, so it could have been spring or summer 1992. Together with my
13 friends, I was on my way to Dalj Planina to go to that restaurant. It
14 turned out to be closed, and I asked passers-by what had come of them.
15 And by the way, I didn't know them under their family name, Pap. I knew
16 them under their nicknames. And that restaurant was called Saran.
17 I was told that the father of the family and one of the sons got
18 killed in the war, whereas the mother and another son were refugees in
19 Osijek. I was shocked, and I said: Which son is alive and which is
20 dead? And I was told that Ferika, the taller one, was killed and Nisi,
21 the younger one, was still alive. And then I was shocked and very
22 saddened when I heard from the witness here in court that all of them are
23 actually dead.
24 Q. We see in the record that you were on your way to the restaurant
25 with some friends of yours. Is that exactly what you said? I seem to
1 have heard something different.
2 A. No, I said with my escorts. The other one that I thought was
3 alive, his -- his nickname was Misi, not Nisi, and his name was Misika.
4 Q. Do you know if anybody investigated those incidents from back
5 then or did you maybe learn later?
6 A. Since it was in the area of responsibility of the JNA, I know
7 that the JNA conducted an investigation or was supposed to conduct it.
8 But obviously they didn't do it very well because the perpetrators were
9 never found.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move into private session, please.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
12 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In paragraph 59 of the indictment, reference is made to the crime
10 in Klisa on 11 November 1991. Do you know anything about the arrests of
11 these people from Klisa? Do you know anything about the incident? What
12 can you tell us?
13 A. I'll tell you all I know about that incident, but it was only a
14 ten years later that I really learned what had happened, and I heard the
15 details only here in The Hague during witness evidence.
16 Towards the end of 1991, on the 11th November 1991, I came from
17 Novi Sad to Erdut sometime in the morning, at least I think it was before
18 noon, and when I repacked and got out of the car, the driver told me
19 three men who were standing to the side were looking for me, along with a
20 fourth man who was not from Klisa, unlike the first three. And among
21 them was a man whom they knew. He worked as a car mechanic in Erdut.
22 Those three men, I knew them. I knew they were from Klisa. I had played
23 football with them earlier. They asked me if I was able to assist them
24 because they had a report that some people who had been in the fields
25 doing their farm work - as I thought then - had been arrested. Later I
1 learned that they were actually arrested somewhere near their workplace.
2 And these men also said that this could have been done by Arkan's Men,
3 and I said -- I thought, in fact, that they were not able to go there
4 where Arkan's Men were based.
5 From the place where we were talking, there was only 100 yards to
6 the gate of their base, and I said: Wait for me. I'll go there. I
7 literally ran to that gate along with my escort, and when I came to the
8 gate, I saw Arkan in the yard, and there were two guards standing at the
9 gate. And as soon as I came in, I asked him if he knew anything about
10 any arrests in Klisa, if he had any information at all. He seemed very
11 nervous and upset, which I couldn't understand at the time. He said:
12 Why does everyone blame me for everything? I'm not the police. I have
13 nothing to do with arrests. I said: I didn't say you arrested them.
14 I'm just asking if you have any information. And he said: Why are you
15 asking me? Look. The holding cells are right here. That's where I put
16 my soldiers when they get drunk and rowdy. The door is open. Why don't
17 you look for yourself. And I said: Why would I look? I'm just asking
18 you if you know anything or not. And he answered: I have to deal with
19 such cases when somebody is holding themselves out to be Arkan's Men
20 falsely. I'm fed up with this. I'll screw somebody's mother because of
21 these false accusations. Half of my men are busy on the ground just
22 arresting those people who are misrepresenting themselves. And then he
23 asked: Who told you this? But I realised those men would be in trouble
24 if I told him who they were, so I just left it there. I said: Okay. If
25 you don't know anything.
1 And I left. I went back to those three men and told them those
2 people were not in Arkan's base. One of them was called Ormaz [phoen]
3 and another was called Rajko.
4 Just before this trial, my wife went to Klisa to find these men
5 and to ask them if they would be willing to appear as witnesses and tell
6 this story. Because we have some friends who had been in contact with
7 them. This Rajko and Ormaz said they were not there but Mile Coralic
8 [phoen] was certainly there. And they also think Mile Pavlovic and some
9 man called Uzelac was also there. However, both Pavlovic and Uzelac live
10 in Serbia. They had left Croatia. Of course, my wife got in touch with
11 them too and they say, yes, Mile Coralic and Rajko and Ormaz were in that
12 group, not them. So I found myself in a vicious circle. I was not able
13 to bring witnesses to talk about this. Those who live in Serbia say they
14 were not there, and the men who are still in Croatia also deny, and I
15 don't understand why they are denying that they were there.
16 Anyway, I told those men what I had found out and went towards
17 that place where the government seat was, and then I saw Djordje Cukovic,
18 who was a friend of mine also from Klisa. And I said in passing, those
19 people are not held by Arkan.
20 I forgot one more thing. Arkan said to me: Why you are looking
21 for them? They are Ustashas. They must have defected to the Croatian
22 side, walking across the fields. Which seemed very improbable to me.
23 And I told Cukovic that those people were not held by Arkan
24 because I knew he was from Klisa. I then went into my office where some
25 people were waiting to have a meeting with me. When out from the canteen
1 came Mica Panisic, who was the manager of an enterprise called Dalj. I
2 was not on very good terms with them. In fact, we were not on speaking
3 terms at all. He was talking and making a racket. I didn't hear what he
4 was saying, and I wasn't going to stop to listen. I didn't even know
5 that he was the manager of those people because I didn't make the
6 connection. Dalj and Klisa are not so close to each other. I didn't
7 realise there was any connection between him and them.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 9741-9742 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session now, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 Could you do that after the break, Mr. Zivanovic?
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: If necessary, I -- I do my best to do it during
6 the break.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Is this -- is this a convenient moment for
8 the first break?
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 Court adjourned.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, do you have a response to
15 Mr. Stringer's question?
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Mr. President. I'll give this response,
17 although that I think that it is not appropriate moment for such kind of
18 inquiry during the direct examination of the witness. Because it could
19 be the subject of the separate submission, what was the subject of my
20 cross-examination of some of the Prosecution witnesses.
21 But now I'll give the reference. It is page 1457, line 13, to
22 1458, line 16.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
24 MR. STRINGER: Simply to say, Mr. President, I don't know that
25 that in fact does -- what was put at those pages of the transcript in our
1 view does not satisfy Rule 90(H). But on that point, I think I would
2 agree with counsel, that it's probably left to -- unless the Chamber
3 wishes to inquire further into it, it may be that we'll be directing the
4 Chamber to what we view are other situations already where parts of
5 witness statements have now been disputed with versions that were not put
6 to the witnesses, and we are likely to make some form of a submission to
7 identify all of those for the Chamber.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue, Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, were you present in Borovo Komerc on
13 the 19th of November, 1991, when the Croatian forces surrounded --
14 surrendered themselves?
15 A. No, I wasn't there.
16 Q. And did you come to the school in Borovo Selo that evening?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you know a man called Ivan Baranjek?
19 A. I didn't know him, and I never heard that last name in my life.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move to the private session, please.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
22 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. There was another witness here who talked about a man called
5 Dragutin Susto?
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is P2990, paragraph 57, page 70.
7 Unfortunately, I have no tab for it.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: And, for the record, Mr. Zivanovic, the document
9 number you cited --
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: P2990.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: P2990. Thank you. And you have no tab number?
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Tab 669.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab 669. Thank you.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. One Dragutin Susto is mentioned here as your boss. Please tell
16 me whether you knew this person and whether he was, indeed, your boss.
17 A. I didn't know him, and he was not my boss. This is a generally
18 known fact.
19 Q. [Microphone not activated]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. When did you hear of Vukovar's fall?
23 A. I think on the 18th of November, when it actually fell, when it
24 was broadcast in the media.
25 Q. Did you undertake any measures after that as the prime minister
1 of the SBWS government and did the government do anything?
2 A. Personally I didn't have any contact with the events in Vukovar,
3 and that goes for the government as well. We had no contact with the
4 so-called Operations Group South. However, since we presented ourselves
5 as the SBWS government, it was necessary for us to show up in Vukovar.
6 Q. Did you go to Vukovar before it fell while there was combat?
7 A. As I have described already, since I had fled Vukovar in early
8 May, when I crossed the Danube with my daughter, and until the
9 20th of November, I did not return to Vukovar once. Not only Vukovar but
10 the entire area that was covered by the Operations Group South.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P165.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated] Sorry, it is tab 124.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is tab 124.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thanks.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. It is a press conference or a statement by you given to
19 journalists. Apparently you said that during the mopping up of terrain
20 in Vukovar, it was reported that not a single house was left undamaged in
21 Vukovar and that life was not possible there at that time.
22 Can you tell us how you knew that?
23 A. I knew about it through -- from the media and through some
24 conversations with the ministers who had some information, like I did.
25 Q. Do you recall a government session held after the fall of
2 A. You mean in Vukovar?
3 Q. No, in general. Wherever sessions were held before that.
4 A. I think there was a government session in Erdut on the 19th.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, L38.
6 Q. [Interpretation] You have had occasion to see these minutes. You
7 recall it?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Let me ask you this: If you look at the heading and the first
10 sentence, I can see that the meeting was held in Erdut and, in brackets,
11 we can see Dalj. Can you explain to us, since I saw that in some other
12 documents as well, why we can find Dalj there, whereas the session was
13 actually held in Erdut?
14 A. You see that it says: Dalj, the 20th of November. Whereas the
15 session was actually in Erdut on the 19th. It means that the minutes
16 were drafted in Dalj given the fact that the government secretary had his
17 office in Dalj as there were no adequate premises in Erdut. He actually
18 transcribed the minutes there.
19 Q. We see the names of those present. It is also stated that
20 Ilija Kojic was not present at the session. Do you know why he was
22 A. Ilija had been seriously wounded in early October and did not
23 participate in any further sessions of the SBWS government. He was
24 physically unable to, as he was in hospital.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's look at item 2, please. It
1 is at the bottom of the original and on page 3 in the English
3 Q. We can see that you briefed those present about the current
4 situation at international level and the talks held with the
5 representatives of the Republic of Serbia and the JNA.
6 Can you recall a bit more specifically what was the topic of your
8 A. As far as I recall, I always briefed the government following any
9 of my meetings. I think a day or two before that I had consultations
10 with a JNA general - I think his name is Slavko Jovic - who acquainted me
11 with the Blue Helmets and the UN, in a manner of speaking, and then I
12 conveyed that to the government and any potential Serbian representatives
13 I met, such as the people I met with regard to my participation
14 in international negotiations. I call them experts.
15 Q. [Microphone not activated]
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Since you mentioned General Jovic, can you tell us who it was?
19 A. I'm not sure. I think by the time he had retired although I'm
20 not certain. He was a head of mission of -- a UN mission, I think in
21 Egypt. He had some diplomatic experience which is rather different from
22 most officers, and he talked to us about that. I think Milan Babic was
23 with me as well, although I'm not sure. He explained some things
24 regarding the UN to us.
25 Q. Why were you interested in the subject of the UN at the time?
1 A. By that time, there was already mention of Blue Helmets who were
2 to -- supposed to come and maintain peace.
3 Q. [Microphone not activated]
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we go to the next page in the
6 original and the last page in the English.
7 Q. Item 5. We see there one of the conclusions reached by the
8 government, which is that the JNA units were to be subordinated to the
9 government in its territory. Can you tell us why that conclusion was
10 made. What was the government trying to achieve by doing so?
11 A. The situation in the field was the other way around. The JNA did
12 not ask us anything, did not recognise us, and we could exert no
13 influence over the JNA. There was a proposal that we reach that
14 decision, but it was wishful thinking. We couldn't have implemented it.
15 Q. The last sentence of item 3, you are cited as telling government
16 members that due to the situation in Vukovar, it was necessary for the
17 members of the government to be present there on the 20th of November and
18 that the next government session would be convened on the
19 22nd November in Beli Manastir.
20 Can you tell us why did you recommend to the members of
21 government to come to Vukovar on the 20th of November, since the
22 government session was to follow only a couple of days later, on the
24 A. We had to show up in Vukovar at any cost, so to say. In a way,
25 we were being obstructed by the inhabitants and fighters of Vukovar who
1 did not recognise the government with the support of some their war-time
2 comrades from the JNA who said that the government did nothing to
3 liberate Vukovar. In a way, they were telling us that we weren't welcome
4 there. That is why I invited members of the government, those who wished
5 to do so, to appear there, and we were all to go there at our own risk.
6 That is why a session of the government had been planned to take place on
7 the 22nd of November, even before Vukovar fell. It was the -- the plan
8 was to show up in Vukovar. That was the only reason to make an
10 Q. [Microphone not activated]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. A Prosecution expert, Theunens, said something on pages 4616 and
14 4617 of the transcript. He stated that as of the 20th of November, the
15 government was the main body establishing civilian authority over the
16 District of SBWS while the JNA played a side role, or, as he put it, a
17 supporting role.
18 I was -- I would be interesting in finding out if that is correct
19 and what role did the government have in establishing civilian
21 A. That is incorrect. We only began establishing civilian
22 authorities as of that date, but on that date, nothing had been
23 established. There was military rule for a month, two, or even three
24 months, in the most easterly part of the district following that date.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, D19. It is tab 1335.
1 Q. [Interpretation] The expert relied on this document, in
2 particular, to state that. We see that the date is the 20th of November,
3 1991. Please have a look at paragraph 2, or item 2. I'm interested in
4 one part of that paragraph, which is rather sizeable.
5 It is stated that town commands were supposed to work on
6 establishing civilian authorities in municipalities, in brackets:
7 "(According to the decision of the Assembly of the Serbian
8 District of Baranja, Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem. The
9 municipalities are Beli Manastir, Vukovar, Dalj, Vinkovci with its seat
10 in Mirkovci, and Osijek with its seat in Tenja)."
11 Do you remember when that decision was reached establishing these
13 A. Considering that I'm in a very delicate situation here and I have
14 to stand by every single word I say, I believe, although I'm not sure
15 100 per cent, this decision was made only later. At this time, I didn't
16 know myself that the territorial division would be this way.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, L42.
18 Q. [Interpretation] In the first paragraph of this decision, you can
19 see the date when this regulation was enacted.
20 A. Yes, it was enacted on 21 November 1991.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see next page, both in B/C/S and English,
23 Q. [Interpretation] Look at Article 11, please.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] The next page in English.
25 Q. Can you see that Article 11, which straddles the next page, lists
1 all populated areas that make part of certain municipalities?
2 A. Yes, it's five municipalities.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we go back to D19. It is 1335, tab 1335.
4 [Interpretation] We can move to the last page in B/C/S and in English.
5 Sorry, page 2 in B/C/S and page 2 of the translation.
6 Q. You see in item 6, the last line in B/C/S and the last-but-one in
7 the English translation, this government commissioner for Vukovar is
8 named. It is Srbobran Bibic. Can you tell us, did the government have a
9 commissioner for Vukovar at the time, and if so, was he called Bibic?
10 A. To the best of my recollection, the government did not have a
11 commissioner for Vukovar.
12 Q. Did the government appoint Mr. Bibic to any other position, and
13 if so, when?
14 A. It was only on the 20th November when I came to Vukovar that I
15 began consultations concerning Mr. Bibic and the possibility that he
16 become president of the Executive Council of Vukovar. So if the
17 consultations started on the 20th, I don't know if it was done towards
18 the end of November or later.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see please L43. It is tab 1209.
20 Q. [Interpretation] We see in this text that on 28 November, the
21 government of the Serbian district passed the decision to appoint
22 Srbobran Bibic as president of the Executive Council of Vukovar
23 municipality. Is this the decision?
24 A. Yes, it is. So it was passed on the 28th of November. We only
25 confirmed what was already a fact, where Boro Zivanovic was in Baranja
1 and they were working independently of the government.
2 Q. Can you explain how the JNA was able to foresee some of your
3 decisions that hadn't been adopted yet; namely, this decision that the
4 government made only on the 20th of November?
5 A. The only thing I can think of is that it was back-dated. They
6 couldn't have known it at that time. This document was written later.
7 Although that document contains a lot of inaccuracies. They call our
8 government the government of SAO Krajina and -- based in Erdut,
9 et cetera.
10 Q. According to all the information we have, on the
11 20th of November, you did go to Vukovar. So I'd like to ask you: How
12 did you reach Vukovar?
13 A. I travelled to Vukovar via Backa Palanka and via Ilok, I think,
14 or perhaps Sid; I cannot remember exactly. The roads go in parallel for
15 a certain length and then they join at Sotin. But I came to Vukovar from
16 the side of Sotin because it was impossible to go there from the side of
17 Borovo Naselje, which I realised only later. There was still fighting in
18 Borovo Naselje. I remember I reached Vukovar from that side, from
19 Mitnica, and we were shocked. It was the first time I entered the town
20 after three months. There were three beautiful houses just at the
21 entrance. I knew the owner of one of them. We were in the karate club
22 together. All the three houses had been torched. We knew that there had
23 been fighting in Vukovar, but only then did we realise on what scale the
24 destruction was.
25 Q. Do you remember who was with you when you travelled to Vukovar?
1 A. Milenko Japundzic was the driver. I was in the front passenger
2 seat, and in the back seat were Ljubomir Mudrinic and Dr. Savo Stupar.
3 Q. Do you remember what time it was approximately when you arrived
4 at Vukovar? Specifically Velepromet.
5 A. If I remember well, it was between 1.00 and 2.00 p.m., in the
6 early afternoon.
7 Q. Can you remember any other members of your government who came to
8 Vukovar then?
9 A. I remember Vitomir Devetak, Dr. Mladen Hadzic, Vojin Susa, the
10 President of the Assembly, Ilija Koncarevic, and Ilija Petrovic must have
11 been there, although I can't remember him, because they always went
12 together. And there were certainly others, but I can't remember them
14 Q. Do you remember anyone else who was there, apart from members of
15 your cabinet?
16 A. Milos Vojnovic, president of the court; Minister for Agriculture,
17 Slavko Dokmanovic; Assistant Minister for Information, Rade Leskovac.
18 Q. Did anyone meet you at Velepromet? Did you talk to anyone? Were
19 there any military authorities there?
20 A. If I remember well, nobody met us. The courtyard was full of
21 civilians who were milling about. We didn't run into any problems of the
22 kind we had feared, and it was only later that a lieutenant-colonel
23 showed up.
24 Q. You said you feared some specific problems. What kind of
1 A. At that session of the cabinet that was held the day before, I
2 heard some threats were issued from Vukovar, and we were supposed to
3 travel on the 19th but then we decided to postpone it. But I said I
4 would go on the next day anyway, and the rest of the people could decide
5 for themselves. There were even threats that they would physically
6 liquidate us if we come, because they had a grudge against us because we
7 had disappointed their expectations that we would help, although there
8 was no way we could do anything to help.
9 Q. What happened when that lieutenant-colonel appeared?
10 A. We filed together into a room that could be used, although it was
11 inadequate. It was a small room with school desks and very small chairs
12 for junior school.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we move into private session, please.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 9757-9761 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I greeted him, I kissed him,
19 because we hadn't seen each other for a couple of months, and if this is
20 interesting, he is the young man in the image which was showed in the
21 beginning, where I have the moustache and we're at a wedding party. We
22 were good friends, and I think that this photograph is now part of the
23 evidence and perhaps it's not so important, but anyway.
24 So perhaps after 1500 hours, 1530, I left Velepromet and I went
25 in the direction of Sid, that is to say, Serbia.
1 There were five of us in the car on the way back.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Did you return with the same persons you had come with, plus one
4 more person, or was it different now?
5 A. Yes, yes, the same persons with the addition of Darko Mirkovic.
6 Q. Mr. Hadzic, you will remember that you testified as a witness in
7 the Slavko Dokmanovic case.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see 1D3565, please. It is -- it is
9 tab 1407.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Do you remember that you testified as a witness
11 before this Tribunal in the Slavko Dokmanovic case?
12 A. Yes, I remember. I testified via videolink.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we go to the page 13.
14 Q. [Interpretation] In your testimony, you said that the meeting was
15 chaired by a lieutenant-colonel who introduced himself as the town
16 commander. Today you shared his name with us. Why did you not mention
17 his name back then? Was there a reason?
18 A. At the time, I wasn't 100 per cent certain. Once he showed up in
19 the courtroom, I realised that was the person. Even in Novi Sad when I
20 saw him in the cafe, had he not introduced himself, I would not have
21 recognised him, and that was later.
22 Q. We see in the transcript that it was later. When later?
23 A. After I testified in the Dokmanovic case.
24 Q. At page 25 of the same transcript, you testified that there was
25 discussion at the meeting about the prisoners but that you were not
1 competent to deal with it.
2 Can you clarify, what were you trying to say when you said that
3 you had no authority or no competence to deal with it?
4 A. It's been 15 years since that testimony so I no longer remember
5 precisely. However, the lieutenant-colonel told us that he was not
6 authorised to discuss it. If your question goes to our authority, we
7 simply had no resources for such a large number of prisoners. But as for
8 the ten to 15 people I referred to, we had proof that they had committed
9 crimes and wanted to have them tried.
10 Q. On page 26, you said that neither you nor the government had no
11 military role to play in the SBWS. In what sense? What did you mean
12 when you said that you had no military role?
13 A. I can repeat what I said back then. We couldn't order anything
14 to the JNA or even to agree with them on -- on any issue. It was all
15 under their competence.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I see the clock, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. We'll take the second
19 Court adjourned.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: You may continue, Mr. Zivanovic.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, when the meeting was finished and
25 when you left Vukovar, you provided an interview for TV Belgrade in Sid;
1 do you remember that?
2 A. I do.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P1731, tab 390. We just need
4 transcripts. Sorry, 1731. P1731.
5 Q. [Interpretation] This is the transcript of the interview. I
6 would kindly ask you to answer a few questions that have to do with what
7 was stated therein.
8 First of all, you said that a government session had been held in
9 Vukovar. In today's testimony, you said it was not a session. First of
10 all, did you, indeed, say that in the interview - in other words, is the
11 text of the interview correct - and, secondly, is that correct in terms
12 of whether it was a government session or it wasn't?
13 A. It is true that I said that there had been a government session
14 but it is incorrect that it, indeed, took place. However, I did say so.
15 Q. Before we move on, you have had occasion to read the -- through
16 the text of the interview and even see the footage. Is what is
17 transcribed here accurate? Does it reflect what you said back then so
18 that I don't need to go through each and every sentence with you?
19 A. Yes, it actually reflects my words at the time.
20 Q. Next, you said that the government concluded that those with
21 blood in their -- on their hands cannot leave the territory of the SBWS
22 and that they can only be tried by the people. Was that a conclusion
23 made by the government?
24 A. No, it was not a government conclusion. And the government was
25 not quorate to discuss it. That was not even discussed at the meeting,
2 Q. Next we find that you apparently reached an agreement with the
3 military authorities to leave the Ustasha in "our camps in the
4 environment of" -- "in the environs of Vukovar." Was this correct, you
5 referring to the agreement with the military authorities?
6 A. We had no agreement with the military authorities and what I said
7 is incorrect. The only agreement there was, was to have a bread truck
8 sent the next day because the remaining population had -- did not have
9 bread. That was the only agreement. There was no other.
10 Q. Did you have any camps in the environs of Vukovar at all?
11 A. No. The government was unaware of the existence of any camps in
12 the environs of Vukovar. What I heard about later referred to JNA camps,
13 and I learned of it subsequently, several years later.
14 Q. What do you mean specifically?
15 A. The event at Ovcara as well as the camps in Serbia that I heard
16 about later, save for Sremska Mitrovica, I didn't know of any other
17 camps, such as Stajicevo, Begejci, and Nis.
18 Q. We can only -- we can also find that you stated that the people
19 who were taken to Mitrovica were to be returned by you, that you took
20 upon yourself to have them returned, if they could be called people in
21 the first place. Can you explain that sentence?
22 A. Yes. It concerned 15 to 20 people of whom we knew had committed
23 serious war crimes. Even back then, as now, I was unable to call them
24 people, no matter what ethnic group they belonged to. A day or two prior
25 to the interview, I saw an interview taken by a TV journalist whose name
1 is Milena Gabanelli who said she saw slaughtered Serb children in a
2 kindergarten in Borovo Naselje whose fingers had been cut off and that
3 some Croatian soldiers made necklaces with those fingers. Later on it
4 proved to be false information and I don't know who launched it and why.
5 I had in mind those specific people when I said that they should be tried
6 and that they could not be referred to as people, although they were
7 members of the homo sapiens species.
8 But there was information going around, there was a story, which
9 I managed to prove untrue, that in the village of Mirkovci, a basket of
10 eyes was found who had been gouged out by Croats from Serbs in the house
11 owned by the person called Ivan Odor [phoen]. At first when I heard that
12 I was upset, but then I said: People, I went to school with him, and
13 when we played football in Marinci as guests, I had dinner in his family
14 house and I met his parents. I told them that it couldn't be true, that
15 somebody lied. So I was quite cautious in terms of accepting
16 misinformation. I did think that the Italian journalist Milena Gabanelli
17 would be neutral.
18 In any case, I had about five or six names at the time out of a
19 total of 15 to 20 who should have been tried by our court.
20 I don't know how visible it is in my statement but I did say that
21 these people should be tried and I did cite two types of court we had,
22 the municipal and district one.
23 Q. [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Further in the text, you say that 3.000 members of Croatian
2 forces surrendered. Tell us how you came up with that number and whether
3 it was accurate?
4 A. Maybe that number is the most telling about how serious it all
5 was. The government did not have its own intelligence service, and in
6 our contacts with military authorities in Vukovar, we were unable to get
7 that information. Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic said nothing about it, and
8 I believe he didn't know anything. I was just saying nonsense. There
9 couldn't have been even a third of that number of active-duty troops in
10 Vukovar at the time.
11 Q. You said at one point that you were much more optimistic before
12 you got to Vukovar. What did you mean?
13 A. It's true that I said that and that's what I was thinking. I had
14 imagined that at least something in Vukovar was intact. At that time, I
15 could not imagine - and probably you can't imagine it now - that not a
16 single thing in Vukovar was left standing.
17 Q. You mentioned you were in contact with people from Petrova Gora
18 who carried this battle through, and you mentioned in your previous
19 testimony Mr. Jaksic, and you said you went, yourself, to Petrova Gora.
20 Did you see Miroljub Vujovic there?
21 A. No, I didn't see him there. At that time, I didn't know the man.
22 I had never met him.
23 Q. What about Stanko Vujanovic?
24 A. No.
25 Q. What about Milan Lancuzanin?
1 A. No.
2 Q. At the end of this interview, you said it had been agreed not to
3 impose military rule for a long time, just for a few days. Is that true?
4 Did you, indeed, have such an understanding?
5 A. No, we did not have such an understanding.
6 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic said he wasn't even willing to discuss it
7 with us.
8 Q. Mr. Hadzic, my inference from your evidence today is that this
9 entire interview, everything you said in it, is untrue. Can you tell us
10 what was the reason why you were saying all these untrue things?
11 A. Let me tell you, I believe it's called the Machiavellian
12 approach, from the Italian Niccolo Machiavelli. I thought that telling
13 the truth would then result in a complete collapse of the system. Now I
14 can tell you what the truth was.
15 The army wasn't willing to talk to us at all about anything. The
16 people from the Territorial Defence were threatening that they were going
17 to destroy the government and that another SAO Vukovar would be formed,
18 and it was very possible at that moment that another civilian authority
19 would be established independent of our government.
20 From talking to those people who were in the yard at the time,
21 some of whom I knew, some not, I heard about various war crimes, and I
22 was just saying those things to show them that the government cares and
23 that we would pursue it and the perpetrators would be tried. I just
24 wanted to diffuse tensions and prevent things from getting worse in terms
25 of the relations between our Serb and Croat neighbours, to fend off any
1 possible incidents. The real truth is that this interview has absolutely
2 nothing in common with the situation on the ground.
3 Could we now go briefly into private session.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 9771 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
21 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President, could I make a proposal
22 because it was -- it's --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
24 MR. STRINGER: -- even before the break, we -- I think everyone
25 forgot and we remained in private session during another phase of the
1 evidence, and the Prosecution was going to propose lifting the private
2 session or releasing that part. Perhaps the Prosecution and the Defence
3 as well, the parties could suggest so the Chamber what parts of this
4 recent statement could or should be released to the public, and then the
5 Chamber could decide.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: I had the same idea, Mr. Stringer. Thank you.
7 And when could you let us know?
8 MR. STRINGER: Well, shortly after today's proceedings.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thanks.
10 Have you finished, Mr. --
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I noticed one transcript error. It is on
12 page 55, line 16. I -- line -- line 19, the word "league." As far as I
13 know, he -- it should be replaced with the word "legal."
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: You're right, Mr. Zivanovic.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Hadzic, you have said that this interview you gave was
17 misused. Can you tell me, to the best of your knowledge, who misused it,
18 for what purpose, et cetera?
1 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Belgrade, a Commission for
5 Co-ordination of the Co-operation with The Hague Tribunal was
6 established, and this commission invited witnesses to be and told them
7 what to say, for instance, to use the word "tractor" instead of "military
8 vehicle," to say "civilian residents of Vukovar" instead of "the JNA,"
9 and I believe this abuse was perpetrated by the military security service
10 and its chief, Aleksandar Vasiljevic. I think my interview was abused in
11 the same way. I think you know by now yourselves that the military
12 courts and military services coached the witnesses to lay the blame on
13 the civilian authorities, which didn't even exist at the time, and
14 deflect blame from the military and the JNA.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, we can go back to the open session.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Open session, please.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Now we will change the subject a bit, Mr. Hadzic.
21 Among other things during the trial, we have heard a lot about
22 refugees from Western Slavonia who were accommodated for a time in
23 Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. Could you tell us, as we
24 have the information that you, among others, invited people to find
25 temporary accommodation there and that the accommodation for them was
1 insured. Could you tell us how the need arose for these people to be
2 possibly accommodated in SBWS and how their accommodation was organised?
3 Who organised it, and what was the situation like in certain parts of the
5 A. From the testimony of Witness Veljko Dzakula, we all heard about
6 the tribulations of the people in Western Slavonia, how they suffered.
7 These people came via Bosnia-Herzegovina to Serbia. Some of them stayed
8 in Serbia, and perhaps one-third managed to reach SBWS. And it was
9 spontaneous, rather than organised.
10 Q. Could you tell us where these refugees who arrived to SBWS were
12 A. They were accommodated in abandoned houses. Most of the
13 abandoned houses were those that belonged to the Croats who had left the
14 area, who had left -- or, rather, withdrawn together with the Croatian
15 army, but there were also quite a number of empty Serbian houses where
16 there were no Serbs. For example, in my village, there were several
17 abandoned houses where they also found accommodation. So whichever house
18 was empty and had some minimum conditions, that is to say, was not
20 Q. You say that some people came to your village. Did they come to
21 live in abandoned houses that used to belong to Serbs or Croats?
22 A. There were no abandoned Croatian houses in my village. All the
23 Croats who had lived there before the war remained there, no one had any
24 problems. But there were a number of abandoned Serb houses. There are
25 some to this day. So that some who had been refugees returned and they
1 still live in the village, but those who came, came from Vozuca in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where they suffered a lot from the Muslims rather
3 than from the Croats. There were those from Western Slavonia as well,
4 but I don't actually know because I haven't been living there for
5 15 years now. I think that there is one family from Western Slavonia
6 living there now.
7 Q. Could you tell us whether the houses were given over to the
8 refugees so that they became the owners or were they allowed to use them
9 for some specific time?
10 A. Well, this specific issue was not directly within my purview, but
11 I know that it was temporary, and the decisions that we took were about
12 putting up these people there temporarily.
13 Q. [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do you remember whether any records were kept about allowing
17 refugees to move into those houses?
18 A. I know that commissions were formed at the level of local
19 communes from the information I had at that time, and I know that it was
20 done in the most serious manner that it was possible at that time, but I
21 don't remember much -- that in much greater detail.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see P110, please. It is tab 84.
23 Q. [Interpretation] This is an approval issued by the local commune
24 or, rather, the Executive Council of the Dalj local commune on the
25 19th of November, 1991. It reads that a person is granted temporary
1 occupancy of a house and it's described where the house is located.
2 Can you tell us whether these were typical permissions or
3 approvals that were issued at that time? If you know.
4 A. Well, I see it now here, but I didn't come across that at the
5 time. But I believe that this would be the appropriate thing.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P275.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please?
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Oh, sorry. It is tab 221 [Microphone not
10 Q. [Interpretation] This is a decision from Erdut issued in early
11 1992 about granting something for occupancy. Can you tell us whether
12 this was also the typical decision issued at the time?
13 A. Yes, that's how it was. I see the signature, and one witness
14 here said that her husband was the chairman of the commission, and I am
15 familiar with the last name that we can see here.
16 Q. [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Do you remember that, likewise, land was granted to some of the
20 refugees who arrived in the area at the time?
21 A. I have seen that in documents here now, but I wasn't familiar
22 with that then.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, 1D197.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, it is 734.
1 [Interpretation] Can we please move on to the next page.
2 [In English] Sorry ... [Interpretation] And one more, please.
3 Page 3.
4 Q. This is quite an extensive document with lots of pages. But can
5 you see here that we have a register of persons who were granted land,
6 and the land itself, where it is located, and everything else? Can you
7 see that?
8 A. Yes. I also see that under number 3 is the husband of one of the
9 witnesses who was a Croatian.
10 Q. So he was granted land or ...
11 A. Yes, yes, I see that land was granted to him. I didn't know it
12 at the time.
13 Q. Do you know whether a ministry within the government dealt with
14 this issue granting land for temporary use and the records of that?
15 A. I wasn't familiar with this, so I don't really know. This, under
16 number 3, could have been the husband's brother, but, in any case, they
17 were Croats. This is what I do know.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at P1818.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry?
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. It is tab 410. Thank you.
23 Q. [Interpretation] I would ask you to look at the first
24 paragraph of this report. It is relevant, in a way, for what we are
25 discussing right now.
1 Please tell me whether this description of events with regard to
2 the refugees from Western Slavonia corresponded with the information you
3 had at the time about those events?
4 A. I think it corresponded. I'm not certain now. I know that chaos
5 reigned there and that the Croats had expelled the Serbs there from the
6 Serbian villages, and that threatened by force, they had left the
7 villages. But I have to note that that was in Western Slavonia, and I
8 was not present in that area at all.
9 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, counsel. It may be that this is a
10 confidential exhibit and that we'd need to use a redacted version in
11 public session.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Not to be broadcasted, Madam Registrar. Would
13 that be the solution?
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Let's use the redacted version.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is not marked as confidential. Sorry.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is marked confidential, Mr. Zivanovic,
19 Madam Registrar tells me. So out of an abundance of caution let's
20 broadcast the redacted version.
21 Yes, Mr. Stringer.
22 MR. STRINGER: I think it was a 54 bis exhibit. And the redacted
23 version is 1818.1.
24 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's already on the screen. Thank you.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, I wanted to ask you about your visit
3 to Sremska Mitrovica which took place after the fall of Vukovar. You
4 have heard various testimonies about that here, and I would ask you to
5 tell us whether you went to visit the prison in Sremska Mitrovica; and if
6 so, when, and what the purpose of your visit was?
7 A. I went there perhaps ten or 15 days after these events, or later.
8 After a couple of days, I requested from the secretary of the government
9 to try and schedule my visit but it couldn't take place any earlier, so I
10 went there in early December, if I remember properly. I don't know the
11 exact date. I know that a visit of the delegation of the SBWS government
12 was scheduled and also a delegation of the prosecutor's offices and
13 court, together with the government. I came alone with drivers. And in
14 front of the prison, I was met by Minister Susa and another minister and
15 I think that one of the judges from Vukovar was with him there, and we
16 then entered. We went to visit.
17 Q. Did you talk to anyone from the prison, a military or civilian
18 person who was in charge of the prison? The prison warden or one of his
19 assistants? Did you have a chance to do that on that occasion?
20 A. As far as I remember, I know that it was a civilian prison, but a
21 section of it was occupied by the army and it was like a military prison.
22 There was a colonel there whom I didn't know at the time. I later saw
23 that here. I think that his last name was Maksimovic. So he was the
24 host in a way. And the civilian warden or his deputy were also in the
25 delegation but no one asked them anything. They just welcomed me there.
1 There were some other military policemen or non-commissioned officers
2 there. I don't know exactly.
3 Q. Did you talk to the people who welcomed you, in particular, that
4 colonel and possibly the other military personnel? Was there any
5 discussion and what was it about? What was it like, if you can remember?
6 A. I don't remember that there was any discussion. I don't think
7 so. But I believe that my visit, the visit of our delegation, would be
8 the first step and that later on, after that, co-operation would be
9 continued. So I saw it as a sort of step that was to break the ice or
11 Q. When you say "co-operation" after that, in what sense do you mean
12 this? What kind of co-operation?
13 A. Well, we were ready to provide them with the information that we
14 had in connection with the investigations and possibly the trials. As it
15 was no longer possible for them to hand anyone over to us so that these
16 people could be put on trial in SBWS, or at least that was how I then
17 understood it.
18 Q. Was it made possible to enter the prison itself, to see the
19 people detained there?
20 A. Yes. Following this regular procedure, it was made possible for
21 us. We had to hand over all our weapons and then we were allowed to
22 enter, as we would have been in any other prison.
23 Q. Who were the members of the group that entered the prison?
24 A. In addition to the two people who escorted me, Vojin Susa, the
25 justice minister, and Boro Bogunovic, the police minister, I think, and
1 there was somebody from the court in Vukovar and the prosecutor's office,
2 but I don't know who. There were also representatives of the military
3 authorities in the prison, the colonel I mentioned and the deputy
4 civilian warden. I think there were up to some ten of us in total.
5 Q. Which parts of the prison did you visit and what were you able to
6 see once you were inside?
7 A. It is difficult for me to recall. As the president of the
8 republic, I did go back once or twice in 1993 because some of our inmates
9 from the Republic of Serbian Krajina were detained there, serving their
10 sentences. In any case, I remember that we only went into one building
11 and went up to the first floor. I think the building has two floors in
12 total. They took us to a room to see. I remember it was a large one
13 with perhaps around 100 people in it, maybe slightly less.
14 Q. Did you enter the room? Did you talk to the people who were
15 accommodated in there, the inmates?
16 A. Yes, I did. I went in a few steps only. I greeted them but did
17 not comment any further. I did recognise some of my friends and
18 acquaintances, and I wasn't feeling very well. It wasn't pleasant.
19 Those I knew, I believe they had no place to be there, and I also
20 supposed that the rest, the people I didn't know, were not supposed to be
21 there, given the fact that none of the people who were on our list was
22 there -- were there.
23 Q. Did you offer any comment on that occasion? Did you say
24 something to the people who were escorting you, if you recall?
25 A. I remember, I think I told those people: Okay. Everything will
1 be fine, and as far as I know there will be no problems. It was a humane
2 way to address them. I asked the colonel, I think, why these people were
3 being held in the first place. So it was a humane comment to make, but
4 it was very brief.
5 Q. When you visited the area with the inmates, did you go to any
6 other areas where there were other inmates?
7 A. No. As I was going up the stairs, I did see some detainees
8 turned with their backs to me, facing the wall. I don't know why they
9 were made to stand that way. There was a military policeman next to each
10 one of them with their white belts. The people who were detained had
11 their hands behind their back, and it was very unpleasant. I had
12 experienced much the same situation back when I was arrested at Plitvice.
13 We climbed up and went to a classroom or, actually, I think they
14 called it library, or reading room. I asked there whether any Serbs were
15 detained. I was interested in knowing that. They said there was a Serb
16 who had been a policeman and who, by sheer circumstance, remained on the
17 Croatian side. I asked if I could see him. It seems that he was quite
18 near on the stairs and approached me. We shook hands and sat at the
19 table. I asked him a normal thing that was at the time as would be for
20 any people on the other side. I asked him whether this or that person
21 was alive, whether they were in Zagreb, whether they were engaged in the
22 war, et cetera. I didn't ask specifically, but I think I mentioned
23 Darko Bekic, a friend of mine, inquiring if he knew of his fate. I also
24 asked him about his well-being at the time. I don't even remember his
25 name any longer. I just remember that he was a Serb.
1 Q. Did you know Emil Cakalic?
2 A. No, not in person. But I did know of his first and last name.
3 He was a municipal inspector in charge of sanitation and hygiene
4 measures. I didn't even know he was a Croat. I always took him for a
5 Serb. I didn't recognise his last name as a Croatian one, and I didn't
6 even know he was there.
7 Q. [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] Microphone, please.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Did you know Ljubomir Pribudic?
12 A. No, I did not. I saw him here in the courtroom for the first
14 Q. Did you interrogate any detainees while you were visiting the
15 jail -- the prison?
16 A. No, I did not interrogate anyone. And I was together with the
17 rest of the delegation all the time. I did not separate. Even when I
18 spoke to the Serb from the police force we were seated at the table, but
19 the rest of the delegation was around us and everyone could hear what we
20 talked about.
21 Q. You could read what Cakalic said to the effect that you beat him
22 at the time when you visited Sremska Mitrovica. Can you comment upon
24 A. I think he said that Boro Savic and I beat him. That is
25 incorrect. I didn't even see him, and I didn't know that he was in
2 Q. Was Boro Savic in Mitrovica?
3 A. No. That is why I found it strange when he said that Boro Savic
4 and I beat him. I have no idea where that came from.
5 Q. You could also hear Pribudic's testimony who also claimed that
6 you beat him in Sremska Mitrovica. Can you comment upon that testimony?
7 A. That is untrue, of course. I don't know where it came from. I
8 feel very unpleasant. He is an elderly, sick man. I don't know why he
9 said it. He must have been mistake.
10 I feel the urge to say something to the Court in full
11 responsibility being aware of possible consequences. Since this is
12 publicly broadcast and somebody is watching in Serbia and Croatia,
13 Your Honour, I don't know whether it heard it from anyone else before but
14 never in my life did I hit anyone. It may sound unlikely but I never
15 even slapped anybody or struck anyone with a fist. Even in sports
16 match -- matches, I always had the opportunity to stop myself from
17 hitting anyone. If someone having listened to me now showed up and said
18 that I ever hit him, I would be willing to face them and address that. I
19 never hit anyone. Unless we go all the way back before I was even
20 10 years old. But in the last 45 years I never had an argument with
21 anyone, let alone a fight.
22 Q. You've had occasion to see a letter sent by Colonel Maksimovic to
23 Colonel Gligorevic; P3200.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. We see here that you were there on a visit on the
1 10th of December, 1991. Does that tally?
2 A. Yes, it does. It is possible that it was on that date.
3 Q. Without quoting the entire letter now, since you have had an
4 opportunity to see it as it is in evidence, but were you or any member of
5 your delegation coming into conflict with the officers of the JNA who
6 were there, including Colonel Maksimovic?
7 A. No. While I was there, communication was very decent. There
8 were no arguments.
9 Q. Is it true that Vojin Susa said, on that occasion, that he would
10 bring his own armed crew which was to take part in the work alongside the
12 A. He didn't say that in my presence; and, as far as I know, he did
13 not have any such armed crew, nor could anyone enter the premises armed.
14 Q. [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did you or anyone from your entourage threaten
18 Aleksandar Vasiljevic at the time, or did anyone tell those present that
19 they could easily be left without their general?
20 A. I didn't hear any -- anything of the sort and I'm not aware of it
21 being said.
22 Q. While you were there with the delegation, was there any exchange
23 of words with Colonel Maksimovic, an argument, to the effect that you
24 wanted something that he did not want to provide for you? Was there a
25 confrontation with him or any other representatives of the military?
1 A. No. When we began discussing this topic, I did mention that it
2 was supposed to have been an ice-breaking meeting, and we ended the
3 meeting on that note. There was no confrontation.
4 Q. How long did your visit last?
5 A. Not long. Perhaps half an hour or maybe up to 45 minutes.
6 That's what I remember.
7 Q. Did you all leave together, or did you stay behind? Did anyone
8 else stay behind? How did you say your goodbyes?
9 A. We all left the enclosed part of the prison together, and we went
10 to the civilian area with free access. Then we went out onto the street,
11 we said goodbye, and I left with my drivers. I don't know where the
12 others went to. Perhaps we went for a lunch. I don't remember.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, would this be an appropriate time?
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 Mr. Hadzic, we'll adjourn for the day. You won't forget you're
17 still a witness and under oath. Thank you.
18 Court adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of July,
21 2014, at 9.00 a.m.