1 Wednesday, 18 January 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see Mr. Van de Vliet is on the witness stand.
6 Do you have some answers for us, Mr. Van de Vliet?
7 MR. VAN DE VLIET: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Let me just say to you,
9 Mr. Van de Vliet, that the memo that you wrote, I hope everybody has got a
10 copy of it. We have read and we understand what you explained there.
11 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm sorry but we are not in possession
12 of this memo.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're not in possession of the memo? In that
14 event, then you better go through it. You might as well go through it,
15 Mr. Van de Vliet.
16 MR. VAN DE VLIET: Yes, Your Honour, maybe it's just wise if I
17 just lead you through it. Maybe I shouldn't focus on every single detail
18 but just present the overall picture. As I promised I would go back to my
19 staff and find out the details of the planning of the resource arrangement
20 for this Defence team. We have to go through a little procedure before we
21 finally make the decision and that involves obtaining an official
22 submission by the Defence team on the complexity level, a consultation
23 process with the Chamber on both the complexity level presented by the
24 Defence and the duration of the trial, and then we make a determination.
25 The final submission by the Defence was made on the 11th of
1 December. We have had the consultation with Chamber representatives on
2 the 13th; on the 14th the decision was made, 14th of December 2005, on the
3 allocation of resources for trial.
4 We insisted then as we always do and we need for our finance
5 department to follow-up on an invoice in which the lead counsel will
6 present how the resources have to be allocated over the team, the Defence
7 team, and we have not obtained such an invoice before the 5th of January,
8 and after the 5th of January we have processed that invoice in accordance
9 with our usual regulations. And after yesterday's -- maybe it is good to
10 reassure you that after yesterday's hearing I have verified with the
11 finance department that the payment will be made this week.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: What's meant by this week? Can a date not be
14 MR. VAN DE VLIET: I guess that means by the end of this week it
15 will be made. Before the end of this week.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think the Chamber is completely unsatisfied by
17 this arrangement, Mr. Van de Vliet. In your memo you said that on the
18 14th of December a letter from OLAD to the Defence team regarding the
19 complexity level and allocation of resources was requested, was -- and
20 including a request for a pro forma. Today you're telling us that on that
21 date, the 14th of December, a determination was made, a decision was made
22 on the allocation of resources for trial. Now, if a decision was made on
23 the 14th of December on the allocation of resources, I cannot understand
24 why, at this stage, that payment has not yet been made. And then we've
25 been told that payment will be made sometime this week.
1 MR. VAN DE VLIET: Your Honour, we cannot make a payment without
2 an invoice. There is the way the system works. And the invoice was not
3 submitted to us before the 5th of January so after the 5th of January, we
4 received the invoice, we have processed it in accordance with our usual
5 procedures and then it goes to the finance department.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: How long does it take to process an invoice?
7 MR. VAN DE VLIET: For my office, we service 17 Defence teams.
8 For your information, it will take two weeks. And then it will go to the
9 finance department, which will use -- we -- on average for the Tribunal,
10 to process an invoice of the Defence we will take a month. Two weeks my
11 office, two weeks the other departments that are involved.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Van de Vliet, what steps are in place for
14 expedition in circumstances such as this one. And what steps have you
15 taken to implement them?
16 MR. VAN DE VLIET: Could you be more specific, Your Honour? I'm
17 just wondering whether you're referring to the procedure, the
18 determination procedure on the complexity level and the duration of a case
19 for processing an invoice.
20 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I mean what steps exist for expediting the fact
21 of the payment itself and the delivery of the 10 per cent to the Defence,
22 both as a general rule and what steps have you taken in this particular
23 case for expedition.
24 MR. VAN DE VLIET: Yes. Generally, the invoices of Defence teams,
25 and there are quite a number of them in this Tribunal, go through a number
1 of different offices within the Registry and the UN administration. First
2 office where it comes is my office, the office of legal aid and detention
3 matters. Within this office we look at the invoice, we check the amounts
4 and we sign off on it. Then it will go to the administration and it will
5 see, I think, two or three offices within that building as well. And then
6 it will be paid.
7 In this case, like I said we received the invoice on the 5th of
8 January. In spite of having made the decision on the 14th of December, as
9 of the 5th of January we have processed the invoice. It has reached the
10 finance department. I have verified yesterday and asked whether the
11 invoice had been processed. It had not been but it was in their
12 possession, and I have asked for them to expedite this invoice ASAP and
13 they assured me it would be done before the end of this week.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Van de Vliet.
15 Mr. Milovancevic, I hope you now hear the explanation given.
16 Mr. Van de Vliet says that the pro forma invoice, without which no payment
17 can be made, was only delivered to them by yourselves on the 5th of
18 January. It takes two weeks for his office to process the document. It
19 takes another two weeks for the finance department to process the
20 document. It's a whole month so that at the earliest you would expect to
21 get payment by the 4th of February. However, he has tried to expedite the
22 payment and the promise is that the Defence team will be given some -- the
23 payment by the end of this week. Unless you dispute having submitted the
24 document -- the pro forma account on the 5th of January, it doesn't seem
25 as if much can be done about this matter to expedite the payment any
1 faster than we are now being told. Do you have any comments to make?
2 Please be brief.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. It's correct
4 that the pro forma arrived on that date. Just a brief bit of info in
5 addition. We were also asked to address the question of the assessment of
6 the complexity level of the entire trial. Therefore, what we sent was not
7 a mere pro forma. There was a serious job to be done, in a manner of
8 speaking. Therefore we sent a letter on the 5th of January asking for the
9 Registry's understanding. The trial was due to begin on the 16th and we
10 were running out of time. That's all we asked for and that's all I have
11 to say. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. But I hope you do
13 understand, then, that with that pro forma invoice having been submitted
14 on the 5th of January only, it doesn't look like the Defence is without
15 blame on the matter. I don't want to take the matter much further than
16 that. I would imagine that, as Mr. Van de Vliet promises us, payment will
17 be made this week sometime, and that the Defence will be put in a position
18 to prepare for their case.
19 Mr. Van de Vliet, thank you very much. You may be excused from
21 MR. VAN DE VLIET: You're welcome.
22 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I just had one small housekeeping
23 matter to take care of and I thought I could do it before the witness is
24 brought in.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You please do so. We also have some housekeeping
1 matters. You go first.
2 MR. WHITING: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour. This is with regard
3 to the translation of the map, Exhibit, which I believe is Exhibit 3.
4 Yeah, I'm getting a nod from the Registry so it's Exhibit 3, and we have a
5 translation which I'll hand up now. I propose, if it's possible, to just
6 add the translation and the way the translation is referenced to the
7 exhibit, if that's possible. Or maybe it will have to be given a separate
8 exhibit. With the assistance of the usher if we could hand it to the
9 Chamber and to the parties. I just want to take one quick, brief moment
10 to explain it. It's pretty self-evident but it's a little odd because
11 it's a map and there is text all over the map, I just want to make sure
12 that it's clear how we've indicated the translation.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe then we should ask that it be given an
14 exhibit number. Can we give it an exhibit number that ties it to the
15 original map? Thank you very much.
16 Can I suggest, Mr. Whiting, that actually this has to do -- unlike
17 housekeeping, it's more to do with the trial itself, the evidence itself.
18 Can we do it last?
19 MR. WHITING: Of course.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's deal with -- first with the actual
21 housekeeping that the Bench has to raise.
22 There has been an approach by the Registry to say that on Friday,
23 the 20th, I suppose, we are supposed to be sitting in Courtroom II on that
24 day from quarter past two. Due to the refurbishments that are taking
25 place and other little logistical problems that have arisen, a request is
1 being made that our session, the session of this Chamber on that day
2 starts at 8.00 in the morning and ends an hour earlier than the normal
3 session. That would be because we will not have started at 9, we will
4 have started at 8. We would then end at quarter to one or quarter past
5 one -- quarter to one instead of quarter to two.
6 The Bench has conditionally agreed, pending whether this is
7 convenient for all the parties, to share the matter at 8.00 on that day,
8 and can -- if the parties are in a position to give an indication now
9 whether they would be able to sit at that time, the Bench would appreciate
10 that, but if not, maybe tomorrow you can give an indication. Let's start
11 with the Prosecution.
12 MR. WHITING: We are available, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're available. Thank you very much,
14 Mr. Whiting.
15 Mr. Milovancevic?
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We are available too,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much and the Bench is most obliged
19 to both parties for being available at such short notice.
20 Very well, then. Then in case the -- in case tomorrow it is not
21 mentioned specifically that we are adjourning to Courtroom II at 8.00, we
22 will make a note of that, that it is Courtroom II at 8.00 on Friday
24 The other issue that arose -- and this really came up as a
25 consideration for all the parties that are involved in the case, in
1 particular the interpreters, thus far, or let me take a step back and say,
2 the Bench had been advised that the tapes go for one and a half hours,
3 that there is a need for a 30-minute break after every one and a half
4 hours for corrections to be made and for the delayed broadcast, and we've
5 been trying to stick to that since we began. A suggestion has been put to
6 the Bench that one and a half hours might perhaps be a little too long,
7 particularly for the interpreters, who I'm told need greater concentration
8 than anyone of us in doing their work, and that maybe if we made one hour
9 15 minute sessions, that would be to their benefit. If we do it that way,
10 it looks to me like we would then have three equal sessions of one hour 15
11 minutes. As things stand now we've been having two, one and a half hour
12 sessions and a 45 minute session at the end. There are pros and cons on
13 both sides. The pro what we have been doing is that the last session
14 before we knock off and everybody else is tired is that it's shorter; it's
15 45 minutes. The con for that is that the interpreters are being kept for
16 one and a half hours and this is tiring on them. The other one, all hours
17 will be one hour -- all sessions will be one hour 15 minutes, so the last
18 session is equal to all the other sessions, no shorter thing. That's the
19 con. The pro is that all of them are shorter for the interpreters.
20 What is convenient for the parties? Prosecution?
21 MR. WHITING: I think we would have a slight preference for the
22 alternative suggestion, that is the equal segments during the day but we
23 are in the hands of the Chamber. We will do whatever the Chamber deems
24 best. But I do think for the benefit of the interpreters, and also the
25 witness because the witness is also often under a lot of strain and needs
1 breaks, I think the one hour 15 minutes could be beneficial. And let me
2 just add that, of course, we always try to keep track of the time and when
3 the Court desires to break but if we miss that, the Court, of course, will
4 let us know if it's the -- the time has come to.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure, sure.
6 Mr. Milovancevic, which segment do you prefer?
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we believe that
8 the solution you're talking about, with one hour 15 minute sessions with
9 half hour breaks is perfectly all right. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 Now, obviously, we have made this change, I'm talking about
12 interpreters whose input we haven't heard. Maybe in fairness, let's just
13 hear. Mr. Interpreter, would you perhaps make any input?
14 THE INTERPRETER: We are entirely in your hands, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The arrangement is being made in consideration of
16 your -- of you. We would appreciate it if you can indicate your
18 THE INTERPRETER: This would require a consultation with the
19 remaining two booths and perhaps I can give you some feedback during the
20 next break if that's okay. Thank you, Your Honours. I'm not in a
21 position to do so now.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 Pending your input, we will go on three equal sessions pending the
24 input from the interpreters later. Okay? So today we will go one hour 15
25 minutes at a time. Thank you very much.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Those were the housekeeping issues that I wanted to
3 raise at this time. The Bench wanted to raise at this time.
4 Mr. Whiting, you wanted to explain the map before Mr. Milovancevic
5 continues with his cross-examination.
6 MR. WHITING: Just briefly because I think it is pretty self
7 explanatory, but the way the document was translated it was somehow
8 translated by different pages so the references is to page -- first page,
9 second page, because the translation unit obviously got it in a different
10 form than the map as we see it. However, what I have done is -- with the
11 assistance of an interpreter is to match up the passages with the
12 assistance of an interpreter is to match up the passages with the places
13 on the map with the numbering system and that's it. So it's clear what is
14 -- what refers to what.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
16 Mr. Milovancevic, before we call you, may the witness please come
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: While we are waiting for the witness, may the Court
19 officers please give us an exhibit number to the map and the
20 interpretation? To this map, which is now numbered, and the
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, that would be Exhibits 15 and
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Now which is 15, the map
25 itself? And the interpretation 16?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Exhibit number 15 is the map
2 and Exhibit number 16 is the interpretation.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 Good afternoon, Mr. Dzakula.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Dzakula, you are reminded once again that you
8 are still bound by the declaration you took at the beginning of your
9 testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
10 truth. Thank you.
11 WITNESS: VELIJKO DZAKULA [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness is yours, Mr. Milovancevic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Milovancevic: [Continued]
17 Q. Mr. Dzakula, yesterday when we broke off, we were discussing the
18 meeting that the Serbian delegation had in Belgrade in November of 1990,
19 the meeting with Mr. Jovic and Mr. Milosevic. Can you tell us,
20 Mr. Ante Markovic, the then Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, was he present
21 at the meeting?
22 A. No, he was not.
23 Q. Did you receive any explanation for his absence?
24 A. We were told that he was not going to see us.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula. This was in late 1990 and let us go back
1 to mid-1990. Mr. Dzakula you mentioned the first multi-party elections.
2 You said that you voted for the party of democratic changes led by
3 Mr. Racan. What happened following the first multi-party elections, both
4 in terms of what happened to you and to the Serbs?
5 A. The new authorities were set up, the new government came to power,
6 led by Croatian Democratic Union, and they started restructuring the state
7 adopted new laws, regulations, new names, coats of arms, emblems, flags,
8 and so on. Therefore everything started changing, changing considerably
9 in relation to how things were. These changes came as a surprise to the
10 Serbs. They did not expect things to take this course especially these
11 changes related to new symbols, coat of arms, flag, name and so on. Later
12 on, they started preparing and then adopted a new constitution that had a
13 number of new provisions.
14 All of this caused concern among the Serbs. They expected other
15 changes to occur, not these changes, which were surprising to them. Steps
16 were made to prepare secession from Yugoslavia. On a daily basis, there
17 was more and more talk against Yugoslavia. It was said that there were
18 way too many Serbs in the judiciary, police, military, and so on, and that
19 it ought to be changed. And in that sense, people were being dismissed
20 from the television station, big companies, the judiciary and so on. The
21 policemen were sent into early retirement. That option was offered to
22 them in order to employ new officers.
23 As I have told you the symbols were changed as well. Instead of a
24 five-pointed star, a new symbol was adopted, chequerboard flag. The first
25 proposal was to have this chequerboard designed with red and white, and
1 later on, they opted for red colour because that was the symbol used, the
2 independent state of Croatia.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula. Was that the reason why the Serbs, who
4 were members of Mr. Racan's party, including you, moved from that party to
5 the Serbian Democratic Party?
6 A. Yes. It was one of the important reasons. The party, SDP, party
7 of democratic changes, for which we voted, did not do anything about the
8 changes. They simply kept observing it and it was one of the reasons why
9 the Serbs decided to opt for another political party in order to better be
10 able to articulate and protect their interests.
11 Q. In June of 1990, was there an association created, an association
12 of municipalities in northern Dalmatia and Lika?
13 A. Yes, I believe so. I believe that several municipalities got
14 together and established an association of municipalities of northern
15 Dalmatia and Lika.
16 Q. You told us that on the 25th of July 1990, a large assembly of
17 Serbs from Croatia was held, attended by many people; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On that occasion, was a declaration on autonomy passed proclaiming
20 or declaring autonomy of the Serb people?
21 A. Yes. That's correct.
22 Q. Was the Serb National Council established at that time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was a decision adopted to schedule a referendum on the Serb
1 A. The decision was adopted to organise the referendum for
2 determining cultural autonomy.
3 Q. Can you tell us when was this referendum held, if you remember?
4 A. As far as I can remember, I think that referendum for cultural
5 autonomy was held immediately following that. It was held solely in the
6 territory of this association of municipalities. Later on, I think in
7 1991, the second referendum was held where people had to vote for
8 remaining within Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Am I right in saying that the first referendum was scheduled for
10 the 19th of August 1990? Does that ring a bell?
11 A. Yes, I think that it was held on that day.
12 Q. So it was held on that day?
13 A. It was supposed to be held on that day.
14 Q. Can you tell us what was the reaction of Croatian authorities to
15 the decision taken at the referendum?
16 A. The then leaders of Croatia said that they would prevent this
17 referendum from being held, that it was unacceptable for them, and they
18 said that they would use their services and institutions to prevent it
19 from taking place.
20 Q. Do you know whether certain steps were taken in relation to police
21 stations employing Serbs in the territory of Krajina?
22 A. I think that they wanted to change the personnel makeup and that
23 they wanted to introduce new symbols, new emblems.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document, Exhibit
25 P5, be placed on the ELMO? The text of that exhibit.
1 Q. You have before you, Mr. Dzakula, the words uttered by the
2 Accused, Mr. Martic, to a journalist of Croatian television; is that
3 correct? Do you recognise the text?
4 A. It's in English. I do not understand it.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I read out
6 this text to the witness?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may, Mr. Milovancevic.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Dzakula, this is a text which noted down the words of
10 Mr. Martic from the videotape. Mr. Martic is recorded as saying, "Say in
11 your report that this is the people's police, that this police is
12 protecting the people, and is against the Croatian government which
13 threatens it."
14 Do you remember this statement of Mr. Martic? It was put to you
16 A. Yes, I remember it.
17 Q. Did you have occasion to hear the previous words uttered on that
18 tape, where the journalist of the Croatian television explains why he had
19 come to Knin and why he was addressing the Serb policemen?
20 A. Would you please remind me of that text?
21 Q. The Defence received from the Prosecution the transcript of that
22 tape, and, above the words of Mr. Martic, there is the text that I'm going
23 to read to you. "We came here to hear either confirmation or denial of
24 the meeting held near Knin, in Cetina where it was requested that
25 Yugoslavia and Serbia, as the mother states protect Serbian people from
1 Croatian police." These are the words uttered by the reporter of the
2 Croatian television.
3 The warning was also sent out to the Sibenik police, to the
4 Secretariat of the interior, as well as to the police stations in Drnis
5 and Cin [phoen], saying that they would be fired upon without warning if
6 they failed to stop vehicles travelling to Knin. The Sibenik police knows
7 nothing about this information. However, they confirmed that there were
8 barricades erected on the roads leading to Strmica and Badjani [phoen].
9 In yesterday's statement, President of the Knin municipality called the
10 events in Petrinja and the confiscation of weapons belonging to reserve
11 police --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Milovancevic, are you still quoting or
13 are you now speaking from the bar?
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm quoting the entire time,
15 Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Because according to the record, the quotation was
17 closed after "Croatian police." "We came here to here either confirmation
18 or denial of the meeting held near Knin in Cetina where it was requested
19 that Yugoslavia and Serbia as the mother states protect Serbian people
20 from Croatian police." Closed quotation. From then on, the quotation
21 is -- there is no quotation. And then are you saying, when you continue
22 to say, these are the words uttered by the reporter of the Croatian
23 television, that's still part of the quotation?
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I never once
25 said that the quotation ended. I apologise, if I was imprecise. This
1 whole time I've been reading out the words uttered by the journalists
2 which precede Mr. Martic's statement. So this entire time I've been
3 quoting the words uttered by the reporter. As --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] -- delivered to us by the
6 Prosecution and their transcript.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: In which case then, you say the closed quotation
8 mark after Croatian police must be deleted and what you have been saying
9 up until I interrupted you is still part of the quotation?
10 And I think can those who type for us please take note of that?
12 You may proceed with your quotation, Mr. Milovancevic, and may the
13 typists please note that that is a quotation of what we are going to be
15 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, with respect, I believe it's still
16 not accurate. On reading the transcript I believe the quotation should
17 open at the warning. There is one sentence in between where Mr. --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
19 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm going to repeat it again.
20 On my reading of the transcript, there is one sentence where
21 counsel for the Defence is explaining that this is part of the transcript.
22 Rather, this is part of what was uttered by the reporter. It should pick
23 up again and open the quotation at the warning, which is a continuation of
24 what was said. That would record it correctly, I believe. Is that so,
25 counsel? Thank you.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] You're absolutely right,
2 Your Honour. Indeed, at one point in time I inserted my comment. I just
3 wanted to re-emphasise that I was reading the words of the journalist and
4 following that, quotation picks up.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Let me conclude the text. I
7 apologise for the text being so lengthy. So we broke off at the last
8 sentence, I'm quoting: "In yesterday's statement, President of Knin
9 municipality called the events in Petrinja and the confiscation of weapons
10 belonging to reserve police force a continued state terror against the
11 Serb people in Croatia, and called the people to defend their autonomy and
12 freedom." End of quotation.
13 Q. Mr. Dzakula, immediately following this text, Mr. Martic gave a
14 statement to the journalist, the one that was shown to you, where he
15 says, "Tell the people that this is the people's police, that its job is
16 to defend the people against Croatian government." My question is: Is
17 there a link between the events, namely the one when Croatian police
18 confiscated the weapons of the reserve police on one hand, and on the
19 other hand, the attitude, the behaviour of Mr. Martic?
20 A. If you -- what you have in mind is the events in Petrinja and the
21 situation that they wanted to prevent in Knin, then, yes, this is probably
22 what Mr. Martic had in mind.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula. Can you tell us how did the Serbs in
24 Croatia vote at the referendum for autonomy in 1990, the first referendum
25 that was held?
1 A. I think that that referendum was organised only partially. First
2 the one for cultural autonomy which was organised in northern Dalmatia and
3 Lika. I heard that a lot of people turned up to vote. However, I don't
4 have much information about it. Especially not official information. I
5 don't know whether there were any official lists or simply people showed
6 up to vote, to express their opinion. I can given you more information
7 about the second referendum held on the 12th of May.
8 Q. We will get to that one as well. Is it true that in late December
9 1990, Croatia adopted a new condition where the Serbs were no longer a
10 nation but became a national minority, an ethnic minority. Is that true?
11 A. Yes. Croatia adopted a new constitution. The Serbs ceased to be
12 a constituent people and became an ethnic minority.
13 Q. Is it true that one day previously, there had been an answer to
14 the amendments to the Croatian constitution whereby the SAO Krajina was
15 proclaimed with a new statute?
16 A. Yes, that seems to be correct.
17 Q. Is this late in 1990 and more specifically the 21st of December
19 A. Yes. It was late in 1990. I can say that much.
20 Q. What was the status of the SAO Krajina according to this document
21 dated late 1990? Did this imply autonomy within the boundaries of
23 A. Yes, that's as far as I remember at least. That's the way it was
24 termed, an autonomous district, a region.
25 Q. Concerning the Spegelj film and Croatia arming itself, what was
1 going on in early 1991? Was Croatia beginning to arm itself? Did you
2 have any information on that?
3 A. We heard from a variety of people that they were arming
4 themselves, but we didn't see this for ourselves. Therefore I can't tell
5 you how this was done but there were lots of stories in circulation.
6 Q. Did you hear anything about an increase in the number of Croatian
7 police officers? Was this the case?
8 A. Yes, the general numbers of police presence were increased, in
9 order to change the ethnic makeup of the police force. This was suggested
10 at the time. I think roughly 40 new police officers were sent to Pakrac
11 as part of this initiative because there needed to be an act compensation.
12 The belief was that there were too few Croats and too many Serbs in Pakrac
13 working for the police. That's what the Ministry of Internal Affairs of
14 Croatia believed and this is how they decided to compensate town by town.
15 Q. Alongside with the police force were the numbers increased also in
16 the National Guards Corps?
17 A. Yes. The -- their units were reviewed soon after.
18 Q. Could you say that this was a new Croatian army?
19 A. Yes. This is usually believed to be its beginning.
20 Q. Did you know that in late February 1991, Croatia adopted a
21 decision that the federal laws would no longer apply in its territory,
22 assuming upon itself all the competencies of the -- and powers of the
23 federal authorities?
24 A. Yes, I remember. It was on the 21st of February 1991.
25 Q. Can you tell us what the reaction was of Croatia's Serbs when this
1 decision became known?
2 A. They were quite stunned and certainly not pleased. The Serbs
3 believed Yugoslavia to be a state of all its citizens and everybody had a
4 fine life in Yugoslavia. This was something entirely new to them and
5 something they by no means expected.
6 Q. What about the 28th of February 1991? Did the SAO Krajina adopt a
7 decision to separate from Croatia for this very reason?
8 A. I don't remember the exact date but I know that this decision was
9 taken in late February or early March, sometime around then.
10 Q. You've already referred to what happened in Pakrac on the 1st of
11 March 1991.
12 A. Indeed.
13 Q. Is it true that the Croatian government sent its police officers
14 into Pakrac and that they brought back automatic rifles to take home? Can
15 you please explain what happened?
16 A. Sometime in late February, when reinforcements arrived made up of
17 about 40 new police officers with new insignia on their caps. In Pakrac
18 there were two police stations at the time. One bore the old insignia and
19 one bore the new, changed insignia. Based on information received from
20 the then chief of police, Jovo Vezmar suggesting that the new police
21 officers who had arrived were taking weapons from the police station and
22 taking weapons home, there was a proposal by the president of the
23 municipal assembly of Pakrac, Milan Bozic, and his colleague, president of
24 the executive board, and they ordered the chief of police to disarm those
25 new police officers who came in bearing the new sets of insignia and to
1 dismiss them. They also said that he should summon all the reserve police
2 officers from previous lists and enlist their assistance, get them
3 involved, which is exactly the course of action that he took, which
4 provided a motive for the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of
5 Croatia to send in their Special Forces to Pakrac in order to free the
6 police officers who had been disarmed and to re-establish control over the
7 Pakrac police station.
8 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Dzakula.
9 Can you tell us how exactly they re-established full control?
10 A. They had announced their arrival, as far as I remember. They
11 drove in APCs and looked prepared for some serious operations. They came
12 from several directions, a number of reserve police officers had been
13 summoned. Many of the local Serb males from the area also got involved,
14 some armed and some unarmed. Roadblocks were established along the road
15 to Pakrac because they wanted to prevent the measures being taken by the
16 Croatian police. During the night a JNA unit arrived in Pakrac and
17 entered the police station, asking the police to have the barricades and
18 roadblocks removed and saying that they would be offering protection from
19 clashes. Once the police had followed suit, the JNA allowed the APCs
20 carrying Croatian Special Forces to enter Pakrac in the early morning
21 hours. Soon after, there was a shootout between the new Croatian police
22 officers and the active and reserve police officers belonging to Pakrac
23 municipality. The shootout lasted for about one or one and a half hours,
24 there was a lull then, and the former Pakrac police or the Serb police, if
25 I can call it that way, was moved out of town or expelled from town while
1 the new police forces were installed, those that had arrived from Zagreb.
2 Some people were arrested in the aftermath and released several days
3 later, which is when the army came in as well as representatives of the
4 Zagreb-based authorities.
5 Q. This was a very detailed description, Mr. Dzakula, but when you
6 talk about APCs are you talking about APCs that the Croatian police
7 officers were firing from?
8 A. They were arriving in police APCs. Some of them were APCs, yes.
9 Were they firing from them? Well, probably from them too, not that I can
10 say myself. I didn't see this but I heard that they were firing.
11 Q. Can you tell us if on that occasion the JNA was fired on as well?
12 A. That was the next day or perhaps that evening. The JNA APC came
13 under fire by the Croatian police, but no fire was returned.
14 Q. Following these events in Pakrac, did anything happen, as far as
15 the work of Yugoslavia's Presidency was concerned? Was there a request to
16 declare a state of emergency?
17 A. Yes, attempts were made.
18 Q. Thank you. Thank you. That's fine. I apologise. Was a state of
19 emergency eventually declared?
20 A. No, not as far as I remember.
21 Q. We have been speaking so far about what happened in Pakrac on the
22 1st of March 1991. The first thing of note that happened after there was
23 the Plitvice incident on the 31st of March and 1st of April 1991. You
24 explained that on the 31st of March there was an SDS meeting at Plitvice,
25 didn't you or rather Obrovac?
1 A. Yes. On the 31st of March there was a meeting of the main and
2 executive boards of the SDS in Obrovac.
3 Q. Was it not agreed at this meeting to adopt a strategy to negotiate
4 and to conciliate with the Croatian authorities?
5 A. Yes. There was a long session and a decision was taken to try to
6 negotiate with the Croatian authorities and to adopt a conciliatory
7 approach. A groundwork was laid, if you like, for that.
8 Q. Were there any contacts with the Croatian authorities in order to
9 achieve this?
10 A. I had announced this meeting that was to be held on the 31st of
11 March, and I had also announced what the nature of the meeting would be
12 and what the decision to be taken was. This had been announced,
13 therefore. I don't know exactly when the session ended but I know that
14 the party president, Jovan Raskovic announced this new decision. I'm not
15 sure if it was sent to the media or if it reached anyone at the time.
16 There is no way I can know that.
17 Q. Thank you. What about the next day, the 1st of April 1991? Did
18 the Croatian authorities dispatch two busloads of police officers to
19 Plitvice to take over the Serb police station? Was this perhaps on the
20 31st? I may be wrong about the dates.
21 A. That was in the morning hours of the 1st of April.
22 Q. Was this a holiday, a bank holiday of some kind?
23 A. Yes. It was the Orthodox Easter, as far as I remember, a Sunday.
24 Q. Do you think we could call this an attack by the Croatian police
25 against the Serb police officers on Serbian Easter of all days?
1 A. If somebody takes up weapons, then perhaps you could speak of an
2 attack, yes.
3 Q. Thank you. You said that Mr. Hadzic also attended the meeting at
4 Obrovac, that he also was in favour of this peaceful position,
5 conciliatory position but that he was arrested by the Croatian police
6 during this mission; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you not also explain that Mr. Hadzic, for as long as he was
9 being held by the Croatian police, was beaten black and blue?
10 A. Yes, he was physically beaten.
11 Q. Is it true that regarding the situation in Borovo Selo on the 2nd
12 of May 1992, so far we have been talking about the 1st of April and now we
13 are talking about the 2nd of May 1992. Is it true that there had been
14 negotiations with the Croatian side?
15 A. Yes, that's true.
16 Q. Is it true that you helped with the negotiations surrounding the
17 release of Mr. Hadzic?
18 A. Yes. I was involved, and I went to meet him when he was
19 eventually released.
20 Q. Were there any barricades in Borovo Selo?
21 A. Yes, there were.
22 Q. Is it true that after your negotiations with the Croatian
23 authorities, you brought your influence to bear on the local Serbs to have
24 the barricades removed?
25 A. Yes. I did go to speak to the locals and I told them to get the
1 barricades off the streets.
2 Q. Did they listen to you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was -- what was the reaction of the Croatian side on the 2nd of
5 May 1991?
6 A. I think it was in the morning hours, or sometime during that day,
7 I think a busload of police officers drove into Borovo Selo. Fire was
8 opened and there was a clash between the locals of Borovo Selo on the one
9 hand and the Croatian police forces on the other.
10 Q. Was anyone killed?
11 A. Yes. The media reported that a number of police officers were
12 killed, but that some of the Serbs, too, were killed.
13 Q. I don't think we understand each other. When you say "police
14 officers," whose police officers do you mean?
15 A. Those who were on the bus which arrived in Borovo Selo but also
16 some Serbs, both police officers and civilians were killed.
17 Q. Did the JNA step in to do something about this, to keep the
18 clashes from spreading?
19 A. Yes. The JNA appeared on the scene to keep the conflict from
21 Q. We talked about what happened on the 2nd of May. Was a referendum
22 scheduled in Croatia for May 1991?
23 A. Yes. The Croatian government scheduled a referendum on secession
24 from Yugoslavia. There was another one scheduled by the SAO Krajina, a
25 referendum on staying within Yugoslavia. Therefore, two parallel
1 referenda were held within a week, you might say.
2 Q. Thank you. We are still in May 1992. Were there any changes in
3 Yugoslavia's Presidency, more specifically was Stjepan Mesic not appointed
4 or elected president of the Yugoslav Presidency?
5 A. Yes. There was a bit of a tug of war and, after some time,
6 Stjepan Mesic became --
7 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry to interrupt but just for clarity on the
8 record, I think all of these questions have been about 1991 but
9 occasionally, there is reference to 1992 and it just has happened again.
10 So just to clarify that all these -- if it could be clarified that all
11 these events we have been talking about are in fact in 1991, including
12 this last event.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that so, Mr. Milovancevic? Is it a mistake to
14 refer to 1992 here? Should it be 1991?
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] If 1992 was mentioned, then
16 it's definitely a mistake. We have been referring continuously to the
17 events from March, April, and May, 1991.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. If you look at page 27 of the transcript,
19 the question by you says, Thank you. "We are still in May 1992. Were
20 there any changes in Yugoslav's Presidency, more specifically was Stjepan
21 Mesic not appointed or elected president of the Yugoslav Presidency," so
22 you're referring to 1992 there. Should it be 1991?
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] A slip of tongue. Yes,
24 Your Honours, it should have been 1991.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. And thank you to you,
1 Mr. Whiting.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
3 Q. In order to understand the election of Mr. Mesic to that post,
4 please tell us, Mr. Dzakula, the Presidency was a collective organ?
5 A. Yes, a collective organ of six republics.
6 Q. Does that mean that each republic nominated its president when
7 their turn came?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. So we are now referring to May 1991, when it was turn for Croatia
10 to nominate its representative and have him elected as president of the
11 Presidency, this collective organ; is that correct, Mr. Dzakula?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. You said that Mr. Mesic was not elected or appointed when his turn
14 came, that there were certain problems concerning that.
15 A. Yes, because his nomination was challenged.
16 Q. Was there pressure exerted by the European Community and the
17 United States following which Stjepan Mesic was appointed president of the
18 Presidency of the SFRY?
19 A. Yes. That's correct. Following the pressure exerted by them,
20 Mr. Stjepan Mesic was appointed president of the Presidency of the SFRY.
21 Q. Does this mean that a representative of the Republic of Croatia
22 was appointed head of state, the same Croatia that earlier, several months
23 before that, declared that none of the federal laws would hence forth
24 apply in its territory and that in May declared that it was seceding from
25 the federal state, it was declared after a referendum?
1 A. Yes. That's correct. But under the pressure exerted by the
2 European Community, the results of that referendum were supposed to enter
3 into force only several months later.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. We will get to that later.
5 Can you tell us how long did Stjepan Mesic remain president of the
6 Presidency of Yugoslavia?
7 A. I could be wrong, but I think it was sometime until the fall,
8 until October of 1991. I don't know the exact date. I don't remember.
9 Q. Do you remember a sentence uttered by Stjepan Mesic upon his
10 return to Zagreb, to the capital of Croatia? He stated this in the
11 Croatian assembly after he stopped being president of the Presidency of
13 A. As far as I can remember, the sentence was, "I have accomplished
14 my task. I have destroyed Yugoslavia." Something to that effect.
15 Q. If I were to correct you and say that his words were, "I have
16 accomplished my task. Yugoslavia ceased to exist. It is no more."
17 A. Yes, I think that your words are more precise.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in view of our
20 new schedule is this a good time for a break, if we are going to adhere to
21 this one hour 15 minute session?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: If it's convenient for the Defence, we shall take
23 the break at this stage. Thank you very much. Court will adjourn and
24 reconvene on the hour.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we continue with the cross-examination of
3 the witness, let me just mention that the Chamber has got feedback from
4 the interpreters that, one, they are thankful for the Chamber considering
5 their concerns and that they really haven't got any preference for the one
6 or the other time schedule. We therefore stick to the time schedule that
7 we've agreed on, one hour 15 minutes at a time. They are, however,
8 particularly grateful for the 30-minute break that we are being given
9 because it affords them sufficient time to rest and we are grateful to
10 them for their input. Thank you very much.
11 You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Let us go back, Mr. Dzakula, to the 2nd of May 1991. We spoke
14 about the events in Borovo Selo. Do you know what happened in Zadar on
15 the 2nd of May 1991? Did you hear anything about that?
16 A. I don't know if you are referring to the personnel carrier.
17 Q. No, no.
18 A. In that case, I don't know.
19 Q. Did you hear about the setting of fire and demolition of some
20 premises in Zadar on the 2nd of May 1991? If not, just tell us so.
21 A. I don't remember that.
22 Q. Are you familiar with the speech given by General Tudjman in
23 Trogir on the 5th of May 1991, in which he called upon the Croatian people
24 to stage a rebellion against the JNA, following which the events in Split
1 A. I remember that.
2 Q. Do you remember, did you watch on television, the events which
3 took place in Split on the second day after that speech given by
4 Mr. Tudjman?
5 A. What I remember is that a group of citizens attacked a military
6 personnel carrier. I think that they tore off and broke weapons, that
7 they grabbed a soldier and pulled him by his head and his neck, and I
8 think that there were even some casualties on that occasion.
9 Q. When I say to you that on that occasion the TV cameras recorded
10 how they strangled a soldier called Sasko Gesovski, who died then, would
11 that be true?
12 A. Yes. That's true.
13 Q. Now, we are still dealing with May of 1991. Following all of
14 these events, could the entire situation in Croatia be described as a
15 situation in which the Serbs were harassed, their houses set on fire, they
16 themselves were taken in for interviews in police stations?
17 A. Yes. They were taken into custody, they were provoked, they were
18 attacked, but right now I wouldn't be able to say that that was a mass
19 occurrence that took place on a large scale, as you have put it.
20 Q. Can you please tell us where that happened, where did they arrest
21 people, take them into custody? Were there any cases of people
23 A. Well, not only in May. It was just before summertime, sometime in
24 June, before the events in Vukovar. I heard that people went missing, I
25 heard that there were provocations, that people were called on telephone
1 and threatened. There were such cases in Pozega. I know for a fact that
2 this did take place and, as for the rest, I only heard about it.
3 Q. Thank you. Is it true that Croatia and Slovenia unilaterally
4 declared their independence, seceded from Yugoslavia on the 25th of June
6 A. I don't know the exact date. I wouldn't be able to confirm or
7 deny the date that you mention but I know, however, that they did adopt a
8 decision to secede from Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Do you remember what happened in Slovenia after Slovenia, together
10 with Croatia, simultaneously with Croatia, decided to secede and become
12 A. As far as I can remember, the TO of Slovenia wanted to take over a
13 customs offices on the border, following which a conflict erupted between
14 the JNA and Slovenian Territorial Defence. This conflict lasted for
15 several days.
16 Q. Following these clashes, did the JNA, the federal army, withdraw
17 from Slovenia following the orders issued by the leadership of the
18 country, in order to avoid further escalation of the conflict?
19 A. Yes. That's true. The JNA withdrew from Slovenia in accordance
20 with the order of the president of the Presidency of the SFRY.
21 MR. WHITING: Excuse me, I'm sorry. Your Honour, I'm wondering
22 with respect to these questions which are getting quite far afield, if we
23 could have a basis for the knowledge. Is -- are these things he knows
24 about because he heard about them or witnessed them or -- I don't know.
25 Just wondering if we could have a basis.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you have any response to that, Mr. Milovancevic?
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I am putting these questions to
3 the witness, and I can be more specific if necessary, but so far, I've
4 been putting questions about events which were reported on by all the
5 media at the time, radio, television, press. This was the topic of the
6 day, something that was discussed by the general public, by every citizen,
7 so I'm just asking the witness about the events and whether he remembers
8 them. We are not going into the analysis of the events, legal analysis,
9 no. We are just trying to establish these events, the fact that they took
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I do understand, Mr. Milovancevic. Can I just
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed with your cross-examination,
15 Mr. Milovancevic. If you can -- if it's possible to narrow your questions
16 it will be appreciated, but we understand that the witness also was a bit
17 at large during examination-in-chief, and he was telling us about
18 incidents that he read about, that he heard from other people, that he
19 heard from the media, and that to some extent you are also entitled to
20 canvass in those issues.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. When we touched upon the events which took place in March and
23 April, you mentioned that there was a decision which was suspended, a
24 decision on independence. So we will now revert so that. You told us
25 that Croatia and Slovenia in June of 1991 adopted a decision to secede
1 from Yugoslavia. Would the term "the Brioni moratorium" mean anything to
2 you, it was in place from the 8th of July 1991 for three months onwards?
3 A. Yes. I remember that document. I think the document prescribed
4 that the result of the referendum would be postponed by three months,
5 would be postponed from implementation.
6 Q. Is it correct that this moratorium pertained to the decision taken
7 by Slovenia and Croatia on secession and that this was arranged between
8 the European Community, Croatia, Slovenia, and the Yugoslav state?
9 A. Yes, that's correct. That's how it was arranged.
10 Q. Mr. Dzakula, do you know something about the events which took
11 place in late August in the vicinity of Cavtat and Gradus? Did you hear
12 about any action taken by the ZNG in that area?
13 A. I truly don't remember that.
14 Q. Reichl-Kir, does that name ring a bell? And if so, would you tell
15 us anything you know about that.
16 A. Yes. That name is quite well known in Croatia. Reichl-Kir was
17 the chief of police in Osijek. He led negotiations with the Serbs in
18 Vukovar and the suburbs of Osijek. He tried to alleviate the fears that
19 existed among the Serbs there, and he was killed in an ambush set up by
20 Croatian extremists. It was set up for him.
21 Q. Did you hear about what happened with the Serbs in the summer and
22 fall of 1991 in Sisak? Do you have any information concerning that?
23 A. I heard about that. And later on, through the years, that
24 information was confirmed, namely that the Serbs went missing, some of
25 them were found later in the Sava River, some were found in their homes,
1 some of them had been beaten.
2 Q. Can you tell us briefly where Osijek is located, in which part of
3 Croatia -- I apologise, I meant Sisak, not Osijek.
4 A. Sisak is located in the centre of Croatia, in the area of Banija
5 and Kordun. Sisak is surrounded by municipalities in which the Serbs were
6 the majority. Vojnic, Vrgin Most, Glina.
7 Q. During that period of time, when, as you say, Serbs went missing,
8 were killed, were beaten, were there any armed conflicts in Sisak or not?
9 A. There were no armed conflicts in Sisak. These people went missing
10 as civilians.
11 Q. Do you know anything about Pakracka Poljana, Marino Selo, the
12 events which took place in October and November of 1991?
13 A. Yes. At that time, we heard that there were prisons or camps in
14 Pakraca Poljana and Marino Selo. This is in the territory of Pakrac
15 municipality, towards Kutina. These were the locations to which the Serbs
16 were taken and killed throughout the war. We still do not know the number
17 of the people that perished there. Serbs from Zagreb and other places in
18 Croatia were taken to Pakracka Poljana.
19 Q. Can you tell us what happened with the Serbs there?
20 A. Some were beaten and killed. Some, who had been taken there, were
21 never found again. All we flow is that they were taken there and now they
22 are listed as missing. Some were released after a large amount was paid
23 in bail. And then there were some who were released after their friends
24 intervened. They were released and were free after that.
25 Q. Were these Serbs arrested with no relevant order from the Courts?
1 Do you have any information on that, with no arrest warrants?
2 A. Yes. Serbs from these towns were arrested and taken away with no
3 arrest warrants whatsoever. They would simply go missing and never
5 Q. A while ago we referred to the Brioni memorandum about suspending
6 the independence decision for three months. Did you hear anything about
7 the 21st of September 1991? This was in Karlovac, at the Korana bridge.
8 Does this ring a bell, the Korana bridge and Karlovac?
9 A. This is something that is quite well known, in fact. It was at
10 the Korana bridge that a clash occurred between, I think, the JNA soldiers
11 on the one hand and the Croatian ZNG soldiers on the other. A number of
12 soldiers were surrendered and subsequently killed at the bridge itself.
13 Q. What about this description? They were forced to lie down, face
14 down. They were shot at, their throats were slit, some jumped and the
15 perpetrators were eventually tried. Does this description fit what you
16 knew about these events at the time?
17 A. Yes. This is consistent with what I heard and read about in the
19 Q. Do you know if the trial ever reached an end, the trial of these
21 A. The case was retried because there had been apparently miscarriage
22 of justice and there was a great amount of dissatisfaction with the
23 sentence that was first reached. This is still ongoing, as far as I know.
24 Q. We were talking about September 1991. Today, in 2006, this trial
25 is still continuing?
1 A. Yes. As far as I know, it has not been concluded yet. It is an
2 ongoing trial.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us anything about the way the Croatian
4 authorities, the police, and the paramilitary ZNG and the National Guards
5 Corps viewed and treated the JNA. Just in order to please speed things up
6 a little, please answer this and then I'll ask some other questions, too.
7 A. The JNA was called upon to leave Croatia and to hand over their
9 Q. Did you hear anything about barracks being laid siege to,
10 electricity supplies and water supplies being cut off, barracks being
11 surrounded, soldiers being killed? Did you hear anything about these
12 things or incidents?
13 A. Yes, I did hear about these things happening.
14 Q. Do you know anything about the fate of some major barracks of the
15 JNA in Slavonia, in areas such as Virovitica, Varazdin, and other places?
16 A. Yes. Those barracks too were laid siege to. There were
17 negotiations to surrender. Varazdin surrendered alongside with a very
18 strong tank unit. In Bjelovar clashes wrote out. There was a major by
19 rank, I think, who blew up himself and that part of the barracks, the part
20 of the barracks he was positioned in. In Julica [phoen] the barracks were
21 surrendered in Oljani [phoen]. The barracks was surrendered too, as was
22 the warehouse.
23 Q. In there way, did the Croatian authorities and their armed units
24 acquire large number of weapons and ordnance, artillery, large amounts of
25 ammunition and military trucks and vehicles?
1 A. Yes. When the barracks were handed over they acquired a
2 significant amount of equipment, weapons and ammunition. I'm not familiar
3 with specific numbers but I know that people talked about a lot of tanks
4 and a lot of weapons that were in the barracks at the time. The whole
5 thing was just taken over.
6 Q. Did you hear anything about attacks occurring against military
7 columns retreating from Slovenia. The state leadership had taken a
8 decision for the JNA to withdraw from Croatia, they had to pass -- to
9 withdraw from Slovenia they had to pass through Croatia on their way
10 back. Were there any attacks? Did you hear anything about that?
11 A. As far as I know one military column was stopped in Croatia.
12 Q. What happened to their weapons?
13 A. I think it stayed in Croatia, the weapons did.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you can slow down, Mr. Milovancevic.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do you remember a conversation with Mr. Karadzic - this was in
17 late October 1991 - concerning the situation in Western Slavonia?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. We are talking about October 1991. Did you mention at the time
20 that Western Slavonia was encircled?
21 A. Yes, I did mention the fact that Western Slavonia was encircled or
23 Q. In this conversation, did you mention the fact that
24 General Uzelac, alongside with the 5th Corps of the JNA had attempted to
25 break through the siege in order to rescue the women and children who were
1 trapped inside?
2 A. I don't remember the details. I may have said that. If this
3 statement exists in any form I would like to go through it again. I know
4 that there had been a break through and that Western Slavonia was annexed
5 by the Republic of Serbia or rather Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time, and
6 that there was a convoy carrying women and children on their way out of
7 Western Slavonia.
8 Q. Mr. Dzakula, which state was this being encircled in Western
10 A. I'll have to provide a rather comprehensive answer. When the
11 clashes first broke out on the 19th of August, and this had begun on the
12 14th in Okucani, the TO of Pakrac, Daruvar, Grubisno Polje, Slatina,
13 Daruvar, and some other places held positions around the towns which I
14 mentioned, where Serb villages predominated, with a number of Croatian
15 villages dotted between them. The Okucani Territorial Defence was in
16 charge of the area between Gradiska and Novska. For about 50 days the TO
17 held these positions with no JNA assistance because the JNA only arrived
18 later on. There was no contact with Bosnia-Herzegovina or with the
19 remaining parts of Croatia. Fighting was going on between the TO on the
20 one hand and the Croatian police units on the other. Throughout, there
21 were wounded who were dying because no doctors were at hand to help them.
22 Nobody came. Not even the military helicopters arrived in the area at the
23 time, in order to evacuate the wounded. We had Croatian police forces
24 around us throughout, the ZNG or the army. I'm not sure if they were
25 called the army at the time or just ZNG.
1 Q. When you say that the JNA stepped in in order to break through the
2 encirclement and rescue the women and children, does this mean that the
3 JNA went in, in a manner of speaking, to help the surrounded Serbs?
4 A. It had been expected that the JNA would arrive in order to put an
5 end to the clashes, in order to establish a confrontation line between the
6 then Serb TO and the Croatian police. The JNA only got as far as Okucani
7 and Bijela Stijena in order to open a corridor to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 Throughout the war in Western Slavonia the farthest point they reached was
9 Pakrac. They never went anywhere further than that. A line had been
10 established near Novska and Nova Gradiska, and that's where the fighting
11 occurred between the army and the Serb TO on the one hand, and the
12 Croatian police and the ZNG on the other. The territory beyond Pakrac and
13 as far as Slatina Daruvar and Grubisno Polje was covered by the local TO
14 members from those municipalities and those areas.
15 Q. If we could please display on the ELMO Defence Exhibit 1D00-0001?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that an exhibit number or an ERN number,
17 Mr. Milovancevic?
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We received here in court a
19 number for this exhibit. The lower number may be 00307122. And our
20 exhibit is marked 1D00-0001.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We'll
23 bear this in mind.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Do you see the document there, sir?
2 A. Yes. It's in English.
3 Q. This is the English document, or a document in English, produced
4 by the command of the 5th military district, the JNA military district.
5 It's in reference to a genocide against the Serbs, and this was sent to
6 the leaders of the ECMM for the former Yugoslavia. I will quote you a
7 portion of this document. "Starting from 1st of November 1991, the armed
8 forces of the Republic of Croatia have carried out an all-out assault on
9 the territories of Western Slavonia and Moslavina."
10 MR. WHITING: Excuse me, Your Honour, I just wonder if there could
11 first be some establishment whether the witness has any knowledge about
12 this document generally or information about it or can authenticate it or
13 anything before the document is just read out.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was this document not handed over by the
15 Prosecution, as Mr. Milovancevic said?
16 MR. WHITING: No. Of course, it was handed over by the
17 Prosecution but in -- along with thousands of other documents, and I'm --
18 all I'm suggest something that I'm not sure that the witness has any
19 knowledge about this particular document.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic? Would you like to establish
21 whether the witness does have any knowledge of the document before you ask
22 him about it?
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Dzakula, at the time in question, mid-1991, were you aware of
25 numerous communiques produced by the JNA regarding the situation
1 prevailing in the country?
2 A. Yes. I heard of a number of reports.
3 Q. In these announcements and reports, was the situation throughout
4 the country addressed, as well as the situation in Croatia?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I'm asking about what you heard in the media as well?
7 A. Yes, I did hear about those things.
8 Q. I'll be showing you a document now which is in relation to that
9 period in time. What I want to know is whether the substance of this
10 document reflects the situation as we were aware of it.
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] With the Chamber's leave, of
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. So, what we see here is the command of the 5th military district
16 of the JNA informing the European Community. Here we see Andrija Raseta,
17 the deputy commander, Lieutenant General Andrija Raseta. He
18 says, "Starting from the 1st of November 1991, the armed forcers of the
19 Republic of Croatia have carried out an all-out assault against the
20 territories of Western Slavonia and Moslavina. The target of this assault
21 are the inhabitants of Serbian ethnicity who make up a majority of the
22 inhabitants in the general region of Grubisno Polje. It has been
23 established beyond dispute that the following villages have been
24 demolished or burned. Velika and Mala Peratovica, Mio Kovicevo, Veliki
25 and Mali Grdjevac, Velika Dapcevica, Sibenik, and Gakovo."
1 A. Sibenik.
2 Q. According to claims made by the refugees, the same fate befell the
3 following villages as well: Velika and Mala Barna, Topolovica, Kovacica,
4 Donja Rasenica, as well as six others. In the area of Djakovo" --
5 A. Gakovo.
6 Q. Gakovo. "The Croatian armed forces have set fire to a forest, the
7 total area of which is 630 acres, in which there were over a thousand
8 refugees. It is assumed that these people died in the fire. Irrespective
9 of the -- or, rather, apart from the refugees in the general area of Banja
10 Luka, some 4.000 persons, there are around 10.000 or more Serb refugees
11 around the mountains in the Psunj and Papuk areas. For the most part,
12 these are the sick, elderly, women, and children. Due to the lack of food
13 and medicines as well as the extremely cold weather, these people are
14 facing an extremely critical situation. Those inhabitants who have not
15 escaped by this time were killed."
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, end of quote.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. The information contained in this department, is this consistent
19 with something that you as someone who hails from the area were aware of?
20 A. I happened to be in the area when this exodus from Grubisno Polje
21 occurred. This started on the 15th of October. This was because of the
22 fighting that had erupted involving the TO, who left the Grubisno Polje
23 area along with their families and fled. The villages they left behind
24 were burnt down, as well as any remaining civilians. But what you said
25 about 1.000 people dying in that fire, I don't think that was the case. I
1 don't think there were as many people in the woods to begin with. They
2 had been evacuated. There were individual persons left who stayed behind,
3 such as the elderly or handicapped people, and I don't think those people
4 made it.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I tender this exhibit, this
7 report, into evidence, Your Honours, as an exhibit of the Defence.
8 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm not sure -- I would object to its
9 admission. The witness has said that the document is not accurate, and to
10 the extent there is information in the document, that he has confirmed
11 portions of it, he's testified about that and I don't see why the document
12 that's written by somebody else that -- and it has not been established
13 that he has any knowledge about this document or bout the author of the
14 document, I'm not sure what it adds. But most importantly he states that
15 it's not accurate.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: But is this a document that was provided by the
18 MR. WHITING: It was, but not in context of this witness. The
19 Prosecution provides thousands of documents in -- that have some
20 relationship to the case. That doesn't -- the -- and the Prosecution
21 obtains documents from all kinds of sources. The fact that we provided it
22 isn't any vouching for its accuracy or its authenticity or anything.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: What would be the purpose of providing it,
24 Mr. Whiting, if the Prosecution doesn't want it used? I mean, obviously
25 this document does not originate from any source within the control of the
1 Defence. It originates from a source within the control of the
2 Prosecution, and if the Defence has it, are they not entitled to ask any
3 witness that the Prosecution calls about it? They don't know in respect
4 of which witness the Prosecution intends using this document. They have a
5 witness before them, and they want to establish if he knows anything about
6 the contents of it, and if he agrees with some parts of it and disagrees
7 with other parts, does that make the document not admissible?
8 MR. WHITING: Well, I would suggest that the Court has put two
9 different questions out on the table. The first is the most important one
10 in some sense because it touches on all the documents that may come in in
11 this trial. The Prosecution under the Rules of disclose has provided
12 documents on its exhibit list which it intends to move into evidence but
13 it has also provided thousands of pages of documents under its other
14 disclosure obligations, most predominantly including Rule 68. Those,
15 under the Rules and under the jurisprudence of the Tribunal, the
16 Prosecution's obligated to provide those documents regardless of whether
17 it has any information about their authenticity and the Prosecution
18 obtains documents from all kinds of sources and if, on its face, it has
19 information that might be relevant to the Defence or might be arguably
20 Rule 68, it gets sent over to the Defence. That is no -- the fact that it
21 is in the possession of the Prosecution is not a -- is no vouching for its
22 authenticity or its reliability or anything. The Prosecution has plenty
23 of documents in its collection which, I can state, are not reliable. Now,
24 so the mere fact that it has been provided by the Prosecution, we would
25 submit, is not a basis for admission under the Rules into evidence in this
2 The second point, however, Your Honour has raised, that the
3 witness, of course, has confirmed certain portions of the document and on
4 that basis, I defer to the Court on whether the Court will allow admission
5 simply on that basis. I will take that argument no further.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: On the first point, Mr. Whiting, the only problem
7 that the Chamber has is that you are arguing that the fact that it is
8 provided by the Prosecution doesn't mean that the Prosecution vouches for
9 its authenticity. Now, if the Prosecution, as the producer of the
10 document, cannot vouch for its authenticity, the question from the Bench
11 becomes, how much more difficult is it for the Defence to vouch for its
12 authenticity? This is a document that they have received, and according
13 to the Defence, this is a document that the Prosecution intends using at
14 some stage or another. And they've got a witness of the Prosecution
15 before them and they want to check what it is that that witness knows
16 about this document. How can the Defence vouch for its authenticity, if
17 the producer of the document himself is not able to vouch for its
19 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm not at this moment able to confirm
20 whether this document is a document that we intend to use. I haven't
21 checked to see if it's in fact on our exhibit list. But the point I was
22 making is that we have provided a large number of documents that are not
23 on our exhibit list and the mere fact this we have provided it, maybe
24 nobody can authenticate it. Maybe it's not authentic. But it is
25 certainly not the jurisprudence of the Tribunal that because we have
1 produced a document, that it is then -- the Defence -- it is -- then that
2 is a basis for admission into evidence in the trial. That's -- I fail
3 to -- I don't see the connection between the two things. The evidence for
4 admission into the trial requires relevance -- requires a showing of
5 relevance and some degree of authenticity or something, and perhaps that's
6 been shown here but I'm not sure.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Two points. Let's take a step back. You say that
8 you -- the Prosecution produced a lot of documents and disclosed because
9 of its obligation to disclose. What is the purpose of that disclosure?
10 Number 1. Number 2, on the question of relevance, does the fact that the
11 witness does confirm some of the contents of the document not relate to
12 its relevance to the extent that the Defence conducts its case and wants
13 to show how it relates to their case?
14 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, with respect to the first point, the
15 Prosecution, under the jurisprudence of the Tribunal, is required, under
16 the Rules, to turn over any document or any evidence which, on its face,
17 is potentially exculpatory. And moreover, under the new system of
18 disclosure, the electronic disclosure suite, what in fact the Prosecution
19 does is simply makes available to the Defence all of its documents that is
20 within its collection, without necessarily an individual review or an
21 individual determination of its relevance to this case. So the fact is
22 the Defence has available to it through the electronic disclosure suite an
23 enormous number of documents, many of which have nothing to do with this
24 case. Nothing to do with this case. It is made available to the Defence
25 so -- because we cannot know exactly what their defence is and so the
1 whole -- the way that disclosure is done is the whole collection is made
2 available to them and then they are able to search through to find
3 documents which they believe will be relevant for their defence. And it's
4 just necessarily part of the process that an enormous number of documents
5 get turned over, both because of this requirement that even if it's on its
6 face arguably exculpatory, it gets turned over, and because we, out of --
7 the process is to turn over just the whole collection to let them search
8 through it, it then follows that the Defence is -- has available to it
9 documents which don't necessarily relate to this case or have nothing to
10 do with this case or cannot be authenticated for purposes of this case,
11 which is why I'm pressing the point that there is no connection whatsoever
12 between the fact that the document has an ERN number on it and comes from
13 the Prosecution, and its relevance or authenticity for purposes of there
14 case. So that's the first point.
15 On the second point, I think -- I concede that an argument can be
16 made that if the witness can confirm certain portions of the document,
17 that perhaps on that basis it can be relevant, and there I would defer to
18 the court on that basis.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: On the first point, Mr. Whiting, can you please
20 guide this Chamber on the jurisprudence of this Tribunal on the purpose
21 for disclosing documents and turning them over to the Defence in terms of
22 Rule 68? When the Defence find any document that they want to use
23 under -- from those documents that were turned over in terms of Rule 68
24 how are they supposed to proceed to tender that document into evidence? A
25 document that does not originate from them, does not originate from their
1 witness, and they get from the Prosecution, how are they -- in terms of
2 the jurisprudence of this Court, how are though supposed to tender that
4 MR. WHITING: Let me address both parts the question. The first
5 part of the question, as I understand it, is what is the purpose for
6 disclosing documents and turning them over to the Defence in terms of Rule
7 68? There are -- there are essentially two parts of Rule 68 as it has
8 been amended in the last, I believe, year or 18 months. There is
9 documents that in the actual knowledge of the Prosecution are -- arguably
10 contain exculpatory evidence, must be turned over. And there, the
11 Prosecution is -- even if, for example, if we got a document that said
12 that Milan Martic was living on the moon during 1991 and 1992, we would
13 have to turn that over. We are not allowed to determine, well, that's
14 false or that's obviously not true. The Rules -- the jurisprudence of the
15 Tribunal says, even if it's on its face, no matter how crazy it might seem
16 or obviously untrue, we -- it's our obligation to turn that over and
17 that's all we do. That's the first part of Rule 68. The second part of
18 Rule 68 is -- contains a provision which refers to the electronic
19 disclosure suite in which -- and what we do as a way of making this
20 process of disclosure more complete and more expeditious is that we just
21 put on an electronic collection an entire -- all the documents that have
22 been obtained by the Prosecution, from all kinds of sources. Witnesses
23 who are reliable, collections, all kinds of places these documents come
24 in, millions of them, and the Defence has access to those and can search
25 them and use them as it wishes. The second -- so that's how documents get
1 disclosed and there is no purpose. It's just they get disclosed.
2 Especially in the second category, they are just disclosed. They are made
3 available with no purpose. It's to them to decide if there is anything
4 beneficial in there.
5 With respect to the second point, well, what is the Defence
6 supposed to did a with a document that it obtains from the Prosecution.
7 The Defence is under an obligation just like the Prosecution to have a
8 witness or -- I'm getting a signal to slow down -- to have a witness or
9 some other means of bringing the evidence that the document into the
10 courtroom and getting it admitted into evidence. The threshold for that,
11 of course, is lower than in many of our home jurisdictions, in terms of
12 authenticity. Documents come in much more easily in this Tribunal. The
13 threshold is quite low. However, there is nonetheless a showing that must
14 be made and it's the same showing for the Prosecution and for the Defence.
15 They have to have a witness or some other means to say this document is
16 either authentic or reliable. It cannot be the case that it simply comes
17 in because we have -- we have given them access to it. I hope I've been
18 thorough or clear in my answer.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: You've confused me further. You are saying to me,
20 Rule 68 is purposeless and I cannot understand that. There must be a
21 purpose for every Rule that's in the rule book. Otherwise, why is the
22 Rule in the rule book? That's the first confusion that the Chamber has.
23 The next is when you say that the threshold is lower in this
24 Tribunal than it is in national jurisdictions, I find you in fact setting
25 the threshold higher because -- of course, we come from different national
1 jurisdictions. Where I come from, if a document came from the one party,
2 obviously the other party -- it's disclosed. The other party has the
3 right to use it without having to authenticate it. Now, you want them to
4 authenticate it so you're putting -- from my experience you're putting the
5 threshold higher, and I'm finding it logically and physically impossible
6 for a party who received a document from another party to authenticate it,
7 when in fact the originating party is unable to authenticate it. And I
8 don't know how it is expected of the Defence to authenticate this
9 document, because all they know is that it comes from the Prosecution.
10 They are putting the document to a Prosecution witness, and if this
11 witness happens to be the witness who provided this document, he will then
12 answer the questions on it. If he's not the one, he will say I know
13 nothing about this document and I'm not able to comment on anything that
14 is contained in that document. Up until the witness who may have provided
15 it comes up and he can then say, yes, I know that document and hopefully
16 it can be authenticated that way. If it has to be authenticated at all.
17 But how the Defence is supposed to know which Prosecution witness they
18 must use to authenticate a document that comes from the Prosecution, from
19 the way you explained the jurisprudence, I find it very difficult and
20 impossible to accomplish, and I would like you to help me cross that
21 little bridge.
22 MR. WHITING: I'll do my best, Your Honour.
23 I certainly did not -- with respect to the first point, I
24 certainly did not mean to suggest in any way that Rule 68 is purposeless.
25 All that I was trying to say is that when we disclose a document or we
1 make available, is a more accurate way to say it, a document or a
2 collection of documents to the Defence, there is no suggestion in that act
3 of making it available that we vouch for the document, that we think it's
4 authentic or anything. And that is the sense in which I said it has no
5 purpose. We don't -- we are not saying that it is -- if we make them
6 allow them access to the document we are not saying it's relevant to there
7 trial or that we think -- we have received it and we are making it
8 available to them.
9 So the Rule obviously has a purpose. The Rule obviously has a
10 purpose, and that is to give the Defence access to all the documents that
11 we have in our collection, and then in particular, any documents that come
12 to our attention that are in our actual knowledge, contain Rule 68
13 information or potentially exculpatory information.
14 With respect to the threshold showing, Your Honour is correct that
15 we -- our national jurisdictions have different rules. In my
16 jurisdiction, if the Prosecution provides a document, unless the
17 Prosecution says this is an exhibit in the case that the Prosecution is
18 going to use, or somehow in some other way ties it to the case, the fact
19 that the Prosecution provides it to the Defence does not in my
20 jurisdiction, to whatever extent this is relevant, that would not
21 automatically allow for its admission in the trial. The Prosecution is
22 not saying that it cannot authenticate this exhibit, this document, it's
23 just saying it has not done so, or not to my knowledge, we have not done
24 so, not our burden to authenticate the exhibit. If they want to use the
25 exhibit, it's their burden to authenticate it through the witness. And
1 they do it -- the Court has asked how do they do it? They do it the same
2 way we do it. Through witnesses.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me venture what I -- in my understanding the
4 purpose of Rule 68 is. In my understanding the purpose of Rule 68 is that
5 whatever is disclosed is put at the disposal of the Defence to use in
6 court, in prosecuting their case to the best of their ability in the
7 defence of their client. In other words, where the Prosecution has
8 exculpatory documents within their possession, they are obliged by the
9 Rules to turn that information over to the Defence so that the Defence may
10 use it in court. Not necessarily to authenticate it, because it is
11 impossible for them to authenticate it, unless, of course, the Prosecution
12 would say to them -- I see you shaking your head. I'm giving you what
13 I -- my understanding of Rule 68 is and it may very well be wrong. I
14 understand that. All I'm saying is that, to me, seems to be the logical
15 and reasonable purpose, because where -- even in national jurisdictions
16 this is the case, where the Prosecution has information that's
17 exculpatory, they are obliged to turn that over to the Defence and not
18 hide -- not hide it from them. And, of course, the Defence -- what would
19 be the reason for turning it over if not to be used? Obviously, the
20 Defence is supposed to use it to say, well, here is a document that we get
21 from the Prosecution and this does say, in fact, we are not as guilty as
22 you allege. It exculpates pats us. Otherwise there would be no purpose.
23 To say the purpose is to turn it over, I'm saying what is the purpose of
24 turning over? And the purpose of turning over is that that document be
1 MR. WHITING: The purpose is, assuming, as I think the question
2 does, that the document that's turned over is in fact an exculpatory
3 document, and just to be clear, that we've turned over many documents that
4 in our view may not be exculpatory. But let's assume for a moment that
5 the document turned over is in fact exculpatory on its face. It is --
6 nonetheless remains -- the Defence is able to use it but only if it can
7 somehow bring it into evidence in the trial. Otherwise, I would suggest
8 that the Defence could just bring a binders and binders of documents and
9 just introduce them into evidence and say, well, recognition these are the
10 exculpatory -- these are the documents that were provided to us by the
11 Prosecution and here it comes into evidence.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think -- yeah, I think we are going into the
13 realm of theory and speculation here.
14 Mr. Whiting, I don't think that a document that says that, for
15 example, and I'm being ridiculous here --
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: A document that says Tony Blair is the Prime
18 Minister of Britain, you wouldn't turn it over. It has nothing whatsoever
19 to do with this case. The documents that have been turned over are
20 documents that have, in the view of the Prosecution, have some relevance
21 to this case. That is why the Prosecution turned them over. You don't
22 turn over all documents that you come across since all your life.
23 MR. WHITING: That's, Your Honour, I'm sorry, but that's just not
24 correct. The Prosecution through the electronic disclosure suite makes
25 available to the Defence all of the documents in its collection, and that
1 includes documents which are relevant to this case, documents which are
2 not relevant to this case. So my only point is that the mere fact that
3 they have gotten the document from the EDS system, if that's where it's
4 been obtained from, or -- and that it has an ERN number, does not say that
5 the Prosecution has made a determination that it is relevant to the case.
6 Moreover, even where -- even with respect to documents where the
7 Prosecution has turned it over under the more specific provision of Rule
8 68, where the Prosecution -- the phrasing is -- actual, actual knowledge
9 that the document or the information may be exculpatory, even when
10 documents are turned over under that provision, where one might think,
11 well, there the Prosecution has made a determination that it has relevance
12 to the case, the Prosecution takes a very, very wide approach out of an
13 abundance of caution, even in applying that Rule so that documents which
14 have very tendentious relationships to this case or are only in a very
15 convoluted way possibly exculpatory, out of an abundance of caution get
16 turned over to the Defence. So again even under that Rule -- of course,
17 there are some documents under that Rule that get turned over that we
18 would concede are exculpatory and that have relevance to this case, and
19 I'm not about to start fighting about those documents. But there are many
20 documents even under that Rule that get turned over that we would suggest
21 don't -- don't warrant admission into the trial particularly where you
22 have a -- where you don't have -- where it's not authenticated.
23 So I appreciate that in our -- one thing that I do think is in
24 common in our jurisdictions, no doubt, is that when Rule 68 or whatever
25 it's called in our jurisdictions gets turned over, there it probably does
1 have something to do with the case and the argument there is quite
2 different because it has -- it does have a connection to the case. But
3 that's just not how it's done here, and so the Defence, if they produce a
4 document that they -- that has an ERN number from the Prosecution, that
5 doesn't mean that we've decided it has something to do with the case.
6 I'm sorry, just one thing that has been provided to you -- to me
7 that my colleague has confirmed that this document is in fact not on our
8 exhibit list. We have not put it on our exhibit list as a document that
9 we intend to introduce into the trial.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: But is it a document that you disclosed?
11 MR. WHITING: I can't confirm that it's a document that we
12 disclosed affirmatively under the first part of Rule 68 or that they had
13 available to them under the electronic disclosure suite which is just a
14 key to the library.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that but all I'm saying is this is a
16 document that was disclosed by the Prosecution, by one or other means.
17 MR. WHITING: Absolutely. That's absolutely correct, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's correct, okay.
19 Mr. Milovancevic, do you have any comments to make on the
20 objection that is raised?
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'll be brief, Your Honour.
22 This is a document that was given to the Defence by the OTP. This is not
23 a private document produced by a random individual. This comes from the
24 highest possible military body, addressed to the head of the European
25 Commission Monitoring Mission for the former Yugoslavia. There is
1 reference leer to at least 16 or 17 villages. The authenticity of this
2 information and the relevant time line was confirmed by the witness.
3 There is nothing to compromise the substance of this report. It
4 says here that a forest was set fire to in which there were refugees.
5 There is an assumption being made that the people died in the fire. The
6 witness is telling us that some did and some didn't. What we want to get
7 from this document is the -- is general background and how civilians were
8 treated, and this document paints the picture in no flattering terms.
9 There is why the document is relevant to us. It is relevant to what the
10 OTP themselves elicited from this witness. This is about events that the
11 witness testified in chief about. I think the witness is well-placed to
12 look at this document and its up to the Chamber to judge its probative
13 value, and that is the reason we are using the document. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you like to tender the document through this
15 witness or what do you want to do? And if so, I would invite you to
16 proceed to do so.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, our position is
18 that this is certainly a document that we obtained from the OTP. The fact
19 that it does not appear on the OTP exhibit list means nothing at this time
20 because it speaks against the allegations made by the OTP. On the other
21 hand the witness has confirmed the substance of this document for which
22 reason I would now like to tender this document into evidence. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
24 This is an issue about which the Chamber would like to reflect,
25 and maybe it is opportune at this stage to take our next break five
1 minutes earlier and we will come back five minutes earlier so that we rule
2 on the objection.
3 Court adjourns.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.10 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 5.40 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Chamber has reflected on the jurisprudence of
7 the Tribunal in matters of this nature, and has come to the decision,
8 which is that the document will be admitted, and its probative value will
9 be determined at a later stage.
10 Thank you very much.
11 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, on a completely separate issue, I
12 just -- I've had discussions with counsel, Defence counsel, about the
13 schedule, and I think we both think it would be helpful if we had a
14 discussion at the end, if we could just finish five minutes early and have
15 a discussion about the schedule for this week in terms of the next
16 witness, I think that would be productive for both parties and for the
17 Chamber, and I think that Mr. Milovancevic would concur in that.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: And you say that discussion will take five minutes?
19 If we stop at five to seven?
20 MR. WHITING: I guess since we are all lawyers, five -- can't do
21 anything in five minutes so probably ten minutes would be more prudent,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You confirm, Mr. Milovancevic? Do you confirm,
24 Mr. Milovancevic, ten minutes would be enough?
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the only question
1 is when will the Defence be able to complete our cross-examination? We
2 have spent a lot of time discussing the exhibit and its introduction. If
3 you could please take that into account too. I believe it is only once we
4 have concluded our cross-examination that we can start considering other
5 issues, with the Chamber's permission. That's all I'm saying. I'm not
6 sure that we can tack that will tonight. That's all I'm saying.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: You say you're not sure if we can tackle what, the
8 discussion that Mr. Whiting is talking about?
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if your
10 understanding is that we should talk about it right now, there is no
11 problem with that but what Mr. Whiting said was, conditionally, at the end
12 of today's hearing. It's only that part of his sentence I'm talking
13 about. I'm not sure I will be able to complete my cross-examination
14 during today's session on account of all the time that we have lost
15 discussing other issues. That's all I'm talking about. Other than that,
16 I agree with my friend's proposal that we should perhaps take five or ten
17 minutes to consider these other issues.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: So that we don't delay further, I think the Chamber
19 will then rule that that discussion will take place at the end of the
20 cross-examination of this witness, before the re-examination, whenever
21 that cross-examination ends, because in any case, the scheduling of
22 following witnesses can only be determined after the final disposition
23 with this witness.
24 You may proceed with your cross-examination now, Mr. Milovancevic.
25 Before you continue, can we give the exhibit the exhibit number?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit number 17.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
3 WITNESS: VELIJKO DZAKULA [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Milovancevic: [Continued]
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please display the
7 following document, Defence Exhibit 1D00-0041, and within that document,
8 we have a highlighted portion. This is document 1D00-0043, and 44. This
9 is on the B/C/S channel.
10 Q. Mr. Dzakula, can you see the order on your screen in a language
11 you understand?
12 A. Yes. It's right here and I've read it.
13 Q. Are you familiar with this order?
14 A. Yes. I am. I was familiar with this at the time when all of this
15 was happening in Western Slavonia.
16 Q. Can you tell us what this order is in reference to, what its
17 substance is about?
18 A. I can see an English translation now but I will try to sum it up.
19 An order was given --
20 Q. If you will please excuse me --
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour what I asked for is
22 I'm not sure if it's possible but I asked for this document to be shown to
23 the witness in his native tongue, 0043 is in English and 0044 is in B/C/S.
24 There are two versions or copies, so that the witness may be able to read
25 the document since he has no command of English whatsoever, if that can
1 please be shown to the witness.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will the witness please be given the document in
3 his language, 0044, please. Now it's given to me in 44, in English.
4 Is it possible for the LiveNote to give it in English? I've got
5 it. Thank you.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. My apologies. Can you please tell us who issued this order?
8 A. This order was issued by the Defence Staff of Slavonska Pozega
9 municipality, the Crisis Staff of Slavonska Pozega municipality.
10 Q. Could you please read this portion, item 1, of the order?
11 A. "Carry out an evacuation of all citizens, their private property,
12 clothes, shoes, bed linen, personal hygiene items, cutlery, basic
13 lighting, jewels and money as well as livestock from the following areas,
14 Oblakovac, Vucjak, Cecavacki, Jeminovac, Snjegavic" --
15 Q. Can you please slow down a little bit?
16 A. "Rasna, Pasikovci, Kujnik, Orljavac, Crljenci, Slobostina,
17 Milivojevci, Podsrece, Vranic, Njezic, Pozeski Markovac, Klisa, Ozdakovci,
18 Poljanska, Kantrovci, Gornji Vrhovci, Lucinci, and Oljasi, within 48 hours
19 from the time this order takes effect.
20 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Dzakula. Can you please also read item 2
21 of this order?
22 A. "The population will move to other villages in Slavonska Pozega
23 municipality according to their own free choice. Those who have nowhere
24 to go must speak to reception teams of the civil protection team for the
25 evacuation in the areas of reception at the following locations: Ivandol,
1 Dezevci, Perenci, Toranj and Buskupvci."
2 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Dzakula. Can you please be so kind and
3 read item 3 of the order?
4 A. "This order enters into force on the 29th of October 1991 at 1200
5 hours. The time period during which this order shall be implemented shall
6 depend on the circumstances in the stated area."
7 Q. In item 4, are they banning any movement of the population upon
8 the expiration of this deadline?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you please read to us the introductory part of this order? It
11 gives reasons for its existence.
12 A. "Lately, Chetnik terrorist forces and units of Yugoslav army have
13 been threatening more and more with their combat activity the civilian
14 population in the western portion of municipality of Slavonska Pozega. In
15 order to protect the lives of residents and enable successful defence in
16 that area, the Crisis Staff of Slavonska Pozega municipality hereby issues
17 this order."
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula. Can you tell us to what portion of the
19 population, namely population of what ethnicity, does this order pertain?
20 A. All villages in that area had Serb residents and residents left
21 their villages.
22 Q. What happened with their villages? And where did the population
24 A. The vast majority withdrew towards Pakrac and then continued on to
25 Bosnia. Those who remained were mostly elderly and handicapped and they
1 were killed. The houses were looted and set on fire.
2 Q. As for the earlier events in that area and in other areas of
3 Croatia, do you believe that these residents had any other choice but
5 A. They had no other choice. They had to leave.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I tender this
8 document into evidence as a Defence Exhibit.
9 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I have no objection to the -- that one
10 page going into evidence. I'd note that it's part of a -- there are 64
11 pages that are in that that are there that are -- that have been -- it's
12 part of a 64-page document and my -- I assume he's just moving in that one
13 page and that I have no objection to.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. That document, as displayed on the
15 screen, will be admitted into evidence as an exhibit. May it please be
16 given an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that will be Exhibit number 18.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you already spoke how the JNA barracks were attacked.
21 Did these attacks take place only in Slavonia or throughout Croatia? You
22 probably heard about this on the -- from the media.
23 A. That took place throughout Croatia, wherever there were barracks.
24 Q. Do you know anything about 14 cease-fires or truces concluded
25 between the JNA and Croatian leadership, attempting to reach a peaceful
2 A. Yes. I remember that. We hailed each and every one of those
4 Q. Now I'm going to refer to the October events of 1991. Does the
5 last name Zec ring a bell, a family from Zagreb?
6 A. Yes, I heard about them.
7 Q. Can you tell us what you know about the family and its fate?
8 A. The family was taken away by Croatian extremists employed in the
9 police. They were taken to Sljeme mount. That's a mountain outside of
10 Zagreb. The husband and the wife were killed, and the daughter was either
11 raped and killed or just killed.
12 Q. Do you remember how old the girl was?
13 A. I think she was 12.
14 Q. You didn't tell us about the ethnicity of this family.
15 A. They were Serbs.
16 Q. Were there any combat activities in Zagreb at that time?
17 A. No, there were none.
18 Q. Were the perpetrators ever identified?
19 A. Yes. It was done and they were investigated.
20 Q. Do you know that they were not convicted and that they were
21 members of Mr. Tudjman's security detail?
22 A. Yes. That's correct.
23 Q. Mr. Dzakula, now we are going to turn to events having to do with
24 the arrival of international forces. You gave evidence and said that on
25 the 2nd of January 1992, the Vance Plan was signed. Is that correct? Did
1 I quote your words correctly?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Am I right in saying that on the 2nd of January in Sarajevo, a
4 cease-fire was signed between the JNA and representatives of the Croatian
5 army in order to implement the Vance Plan?
6 A. Yes. That's correct.
7 Q. You said that the troops of the United Nations arrived in March of
8 1992. What is your basis for claiming that they arrived precisely in
10 A. That's my recollection. I can't be certain about it but I know
11 that there were first preparations for their arrival and then they
13 Q. Am I right in saying that the Vance Plan envisioned that the UN
14 troops would be deployed to the Serb areas in Croatia where the Serb
15 population constituted either a majority or a significant minority, and
16 areas in which ethnic disagreements led to a conflict? Are you aware of
17 this provision in the Vance Plan?
18 A. I think that that's correct.
19 Q. You say that the UN forces arrived in the first half of 1992.
20 That's your recollection. Did you hear about a report of the former 5th
21 Corps of the JNA stating that the Western Slavonia zone was handed over to
22 the UN in June of 1992?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you hear about an operation which took place on the Miljevac
25 plateau? Did this take place on the 21st of June 1992?
1 A. I heard about the operation on the Miljevac plateau but I can
2 remember the exact date. I know that there was an operation there,
4 Q. Was the Miljevac plateau in the area that was declared to be the
5 UN safe area?
6 A. Yes. That's correct.
7 Q. Did the armed forces of Croatia attack this area under the UN
8 protection and did they kill a large number of members of the Serbian TO?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Did you hear that the UN Security Council condemned this operation
11 and ordered Croatia to withdraw from the occupied area?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you hear of the following fact, namely that on that occasion
14 the Croatian forces killed about 40-odd members of the Serbian TO and
15 threw them into a pit?
16 A. Yes. For a long time, there were demands to unearth and locate
17 these bodies.
18 Q. Do you know anything about the state in which the bodies of the
19 victims were returned?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you hear of the operation called Maslenica operation in
22 January of 1993?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was the Maslenica area under the UN protection?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. On the 21st of January 1993, did the Croatian army, together with
2 the Special Forces, attack that area?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell us what happened to the Serb villages in that area?
5 A. I don't remember that. I don't remember the Maslenica events.
6 Q. Do you remember in general whether there were any victims or not?
7 A. I know that there was combat around Maslenica. I know there were
8 victims but I don't know in exactly which settlements.
9 Q. Did any Serb residents perish in the operation, if you remember
10 that generally?
11 A. As I've told you, I heard that there had been combat, that there
12 had been victims, people who were killed, and houses destroyed.
13 Q. Did you hear that the Security Council in relation to this
14 operation of Croatian armed forces against the UN protected area, adopted
15 a resolution condemning this and demanding the withdrawal of Croatian
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. We mentioned the Maslenica operation which took place in January
19 of 1993 onwards. The combat went on for quite a while, is it correct,
20 Mr. Dzakula?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You already gave evidence about the Daruvar agreement. Do you
23 remember when it was concluded?
24 A. It was signed on the 18th of February 1993.
25 Q. You explained to us how you signed that agreement hoping to
1 resolve the daily problems people were encountering; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it true that in negotiations with the Croatian side, in
4 addition to you, members of the UNHCR or UNPROFOR took part as well?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you tell us briefly what was the substance of the Daruvar
8 A. First of all, it was an expression of goodwill to create an
9 atmosphere of tolerance, an atmosphere where problems with utilities would
10 be resolved, electricity and water supply, because that had been cut off.
11 That locations would be determined where friends and family members who
12 had been separated during the war would be able to meet again.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula. At the time when the Daruvar agreement
14 was concluded, did you hold any post in the government of Serbian Krajina?
15 A. I was vice-Prime Minister of Serbian Krajina.
16 Q. You told us that in order to reach agreement, you went covertly to
17 that meeting without informing the assembly and the cabinet; is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did the Daruvar agreement contain a provision specifying under
21 which terms the agreement would be made public?
22 A. The agreement was not to announce the text of the agreement on the
23 media until it was confirmed by the Serb -- by the assembly of the Serbian
24 region of Western Slavonia. Once they ratified it, then both sides were
25 supposed to make the agreement public.
1 Q. Did you comply with that provision of the Daruvar agreement?
2 A. Yes. We did comply.
3 Q. What did the Croatian side do?
4 A. The Croatian side announced on the same day that Daruvar agreement
5 had been signed and gave a wrong interpretation of it. They said that we
6 had signed an agreement accepting the new constitutional and legal order
7 of the Republic of Croatia.
8 Q. Did you indeed accept the new constitutional legal order of
9 Croatia via that agreement as the Croatian side reported?
10 A. No. There was no such provision in the Daruvar agreement.
11 Q. And by doing so, did Croatia, in fact, undermine the agreement and
12 did it expose you to public condemnation?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You said that following that, there were consequences as far as
15 you were concerned, that you were removed from office.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. After you were removed and after this step by the Croatian
18 authorities, did you continue to attempt to reach any agreement with the
19 Croatian side?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In what period of time, following the Daruvar agreement?
22 A. That was once I became president of Pakrac municipality, in late
23 May of 1993. I advocated that the checkpoints should continue to exist,
24 that people should continue to meet and to communicate. I believed that
25 to be very important in order to normalise the relations.
1 Q. You already spoke about that, Mr. Dzakula.
2 Did you inform the government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
3 of your steps and actions or did you inform any other organ?
4 A. There was no need to inform them because these were not contacts,
5 direct contacts, with the Croatian side. Rather, we talked with the
6 representatives of the UN who were there in order to provide protection,
7 and create the circumstances needed in order to have the refugees return
8 and the situation become normalised.
9 Q. In addition to contacts with the UN representatives, did you have
10 any contacts with Croatian authorities concerning that issue, and with
11 those intentions?
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. You said you were arrested and you spent a number of days in
14 prison, I think you said 73 days; is that right, Mr. Dzakula?
15 A. The first time around it was 73 days, yes.
16 Q. You said that you were arrested by the police of the Serbian
17 Krajina, is that true?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You said the investigation was led by an investigating magistrate
20 of a Tribunal dealing with your case, is that true?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You were shown a document to extend your detention. I think you
23 saw the document two days ago.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You must remember that document quite well. This document was
1 extending your detention pursuant to an order of the investigating
2 magistrate; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Dzakula.
5 Just to jog our memory about something that happened in September
6 1993, everything that we have said about the Daruvar agreement and the
7 events that followed, this occurred between the beginning of 1993 and now
8 we are coming to September. In September 1993, something occurred that is
9 usually referred to as the "Medak Pocket." Do you know anything about
10 that, Mr. Dzakula?
11 A. No, the Medak pocket is the area around Medak. This is in Lika
12 just off the Velebit. This was an operation by the Croatian army and
13 police. In the course of this operation, a significant number of
14 civilians were killed and a considerable number of Serb villages that were
15 under UN protection were burned. These at the time were part of territory
16 known as the Republic of Serb -- Serbian Krajina.
17 Q. Am I stating the names correctly when I name the following
18 villages, Citluk, Sitovo [phoen], and Pocetelj were entirely destroyed on
19 that occasion?
20 A. Yes, you're correct.
21 Q. Did you hear about a statement made by Jean Cot an UNPROFOR
22 general who visited the area in September, the area of the Medak
23 operation? He said, "I went to the area and I found no traces of life,
24 human life or animal life. The destruction was systematic, deliberate and
25 thorough." Have you heard of this statement General Cot was reputed to
1 have made this statement. Do you remember this statement?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Do you know that on the 29th of March 1993, the Zagreb agreement
4 was signed? If I may be of assistance, an agreement on the cessation of
5 hostilities signed by the Serbian side too?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did the international community in fact broker the signing of this
8 agreement? Do you know anything about that?
9 A. I know they mediated, yes.
10 Q. Are you familiar with a provision of this agreement saying that
11 all the hostilities should cease and that the warring parties should be
12 separated by moving the artillery 20 kilometres off the front line, the
13 tanks ten kilometres, and infantry weapons one kilometre?
14 A. I did hear about this but my memory is not very clear right now.
15 Q. Do you know if the Serb side complied with that agreement?
16 A. I know nothing about that.
17 Q. You spoke about Operation Flash, which occurred in May 1995. Can
18 you tell us again about that operation, please? What was the nature of
19 this operation?
20 A. This was an operation involving the military and the police. This
21 occurred after the Zagreb-Belgrade road across Western Slavonia was closed
22 off, in the morning hours of the 1st of May, there were breakthroughs
23 being plead by the Croatian forces in at least two or three different
24 places. We were cut off and entirely surrounded. We just heard that down
25 south the area around Okucani and the surrounding villages had been
1 evacuated. There was a lot of fighting. Many people were killed along
2 the road to Bosanska Gradiska.
3 Q. Mr. Dzakula, I'm sorry for interrupting you. Who were the people
4 killed along the road to Bosanska Gradiska, were those soldiers or
6 A. Both, because civilians were retreating in their cars or whatever
7 else they had. They were fleeing across Okucani and to Bosanska Gradiska.
8 They were being pounded by artillery weapons, the column of civilians,
9 too, pounded by artillery and other kinds of weapons.
10 Q. Could one perhaps say that there were numerous casualties among
11 the civilians who made up the column?
12 A. Yes. I heard some accounts from people who were part of the
13 column and they said that there were a lot of civilians who were killed.
14 Q. Can you perhaps share an interesting detail with us? You heard
15 firsthand accounts from eyewitnesses; is that right?
16 A. Yes. They said they were being killed from Rasnik, that they were
17 being pounded by the air force. They said that after the massacre, the
18 road was washed in order to conceal all the blood and any evidence of the
19 killing that took place.
20 Q. You said that there was mediation by the UN and that you tried to
21 have a cease-fire implemented. Is that correct, Mr. Dzakula?
22 A. Yes. My colleagues and I managed to get in touch with the UN and
23 we asked for negotiations. We asked for a cease-fire.
24 Q. How long did the negotiations go on before you were arrested by
25 the Croatian authorities this time around?
1 A. It went on for two and a half days, nearly three days, two days.
2 Please go ahead.
3 Q. We have to wait up for the interpreter. If the operation
4 commenced on the 1st of May, I suppose you're talking about the 3rd of
5 May, then.
6 A. There was shelling throughout the day on the 1st of May. It was
7 in the afternoon hours that I got in touch with the UN, the negotiations
8 occurred on the 2nd and 3rd and, on the 4th, once the negotiations had
9 been entering their final stage, they were postponed and the final round
10 of shelling began at about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and the surrender came
11 at 4.00.
12 Q. If I can please briefly take you back to the suffering of the
13 columns of people who were pounded by the air force, by airplanes, did
14 they mention the infantry fire, too, and artillery fire?
15 A. Yes, there is the forest of Prasina [phoen] which straddles the
16 road to Bosanska Gradiska. They said they were -- there was gun fire from
17 machine-guns pounding this column of civilians that was moving along the
19 Q. Does the name Lieutenant Colonel Harambasic ring a bell?
20 A. Yes. He was the commander of a brigade in Pakrac. He was part of
21 the negotiating team, both with the UN and with the Croatian side on our
23 Q. Were you negotiating on behalf of his unit too?
24 A. This was a joint agreement that we had to hand over our weapons to
25 UNPROFOR, which was eventually done, but then later a request came for all
1 of us to surrender who were in the area. The civilians as well as any
2 soldiers who had been disarmed.
3 Q. You say an agreement. Was this an agreement that was reached
4 between UNPROFOR and the Serb side or were the Croats involved too?
5 A. All three sides were involved, the Croats, UNPROFOR and the Serb
6 side, that is ourselves.
7 Q. Am I right in saying that it was agreed on the occasion that the
8 Serbs should hand over their weapons to representatives of the UN and that
9 they should be allowed to leave?
10 A. Yes. That's what was agreed, that the weapons should be handed
11 over and that those who so wished would be escorted out of the area.
12 Q. Can you tell us about the numbers of soldiers involved and those
13 of the civilians involved?
14 A. There were about 1.500 men of military age, and a total of about
15 4.000 civilians.
16 Q. Did you not say a while ago that after the Serbs had handed over
17 their weapons and complied with the agreement, despite the terms of the
18 agreement, the Croats arrested them and imprisoned them?
19 A. Before they were arrested, the shelling had begun. This was
20 entirely unexpected. We requested a cease-fire. Representatives of
21 UNPROFOR and European monitors were with us. The other side said that
22 they would stop firing only if there was unconditional surrender. They
23 requested our unconditional surrender immediately. And I said that I
24 myself or anybody else should not be making a decision on behalf of all
25 the other people. I just asked for the shelling to stop because everybody
1 was afraid that they would be killed and that's when the surrender took
3 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you said there was shelling. What about these
4 people, the civilians or Serb soldiers? Where were they and who shelled
6 A. The Serbs were withdrawing from the villages in the fringe areas
7 that were torn by conflict. They were in Brusnik, Kraguj, Gavanica
8 [phoen], Seonica, Japaga, and these were also the villages that were being
9 shelled. The entire area was being pounded by artillery.
10 Q. What about the period preceding this? Did the Serbs do anything
11 to provoke this, since you've already said that they had handed over their
13 A. The Serbs had already handed over their weapons and they certainly
14 did nothing to provoke an action like this.
15 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Milovancevic, the witness has not actually
16 answered your question as to who was doing the shelling as yet.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
18 Your Honour.
19 Q. You have heard the judge's question. Can you please answer,
21 A. It was the Croatian army.
22 Q. Do you know how many people were arrested or taken prisoner on the
24 A. According to the early information that we received, over 500
25 people aged between 18 and 80.
1 Q. Do you have any information as to how many Serb civilians left the
2 area of western Slavonia that was affected by Operation Flash?
3 A. About 20.000. That was our assessment at the time.
4 Q. The UN indicated that immediately after this, a mere 800 civilians
5 remained in the area. Would this seem to be correct?
6 A. According to a list that we drew up immediately after Operation
7 Flash in order to be familiar with the numbers of people still in the
8 area, because we were afraid that some of them might be killed or might
9 disappear, the figure that we arrived at was 1.250.
10 Q. So there were about 20.000 to begin with and all those that
11 remained the figure would be about 1.250, to understand you correctly?
12 A. Yes, you do.
13 Q. Since you drew up the list, do you know anything about what
14 happened to the property of the people there? Do you know anything about
15 casualties among the women and children?
16 A. Yes. There were casualties in the Pakrac area. We somehow kept
17 an eye on them but as for Okucani this was outside our reach in a manner
18 of speaking. You couldn't go there. It wasn't safe. We heard stories
19 about what had been going on there but we never had reliable information
20 on how many had been killed or how many had gone missing. The reports
21 still keep arriving. The houses in the Okucani area had been looted and a
22 rather small number of them had been burned.
23 Q. You said something about hearing about the Croatian army washing
24 the road, to wash away the blood, in order to conceal any evidence of
25 their crimes. Did I understand that correctly?
1 A. Yes. This was a story that was being passed on after the war
2 throughout Western Slavonia.
3 Q. Do you know anything about the number of casualties? It's been
4 ten years since. More, 11.
5 A. No reliable information. The first figure published in the media
6 following Operation Flash, Minister Susak said about 400 people had been
7 killed. This was never confirmed or denied, as far as I know. The figure
8 being bandied did about now is about 100 but there is no official
9 information. Reports on missing persons keep turning up and the number
10 seems to be growing but I haven't been keeping track lately because there
11 are organisations on the ground who are doing just that.
12 Q. So the attack against this UN protected zone in Western Slavonia
13 was over. This was on the 1st of May and onwards. Do you know what
14 occurred on the 4th of August 1995?
15 A. On the 4th of August 1995, Operation Storm took place. It also
16 lasted four days.
17 Q. Which area came under attack and was this area also a UN-protected
19 A. Yes. This area was also under UN protection. It was the area
20 that formerly belonged to the SAO Krajina or the Republic of Serbian
21 Krajina, later, from Zadar and its hinterland, and then all the way up
22 north to Slavonia.
23 Q. Who attacked the area and what forces were involved, if you know?
24 A. This was a police and military operation. I know that there were
25 large forces involved but I'm not familiar with the exact numbers.
1 Q. Was this area under UN protection and were blue helmets, UN blue
2 helmets in the area, if you know?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were artillery, the air force, tanks, and the most up-to-date
5 weapons used during the operation?
6 A. Based on what I heard in the media, the answer seems to be yes.
7 Q. What seems to have happened to the population of the -- of sector
8 south, as you call it, of Serbian Krajina?
9 A. Most of the population fled the area. Those who remained were
10 subjected to mistreatment. People were killed and their property was
11 torched or looted.
12 Q. In the indictment against the Generals, Marko Cermak and Gotovina,
13 that exist before this Tribunal, there is talk of 22.000 houses that were
14 burned in sector south. Are you familiar with that figure?
15 A. Yes. I heard of that too.
16 Q. Do you know how many Serb civilians had to leave the area?
17 A. At the time, they discussed the figure of 200.000 people.
18 Q. Did you ever establish and is it known how many Serbs remained and
19 what fate befell them?
20 A. It was impossible to establish because the area is quite large.
21 At the time, it was impossible to tour the area because it was blocked by
22 Croatian -- it was cut off by Croatian police forces, which were present
23 there, so we were unable to determine how many people had remained and how
24 many had been killed. They are still looking for people and the number of
25 the missing persons is growing, as the refugees are returning. This is
1 the kind of information you would need to request from Croatia.
2 Q. Do you know about the figures of the dead and missing persons?
3 A. The total number of the Serbs who were killed is 1500 -- no, I
4 apologise. This is the number of the missing. As for the number of
5 people who were killed, I don't know that figure.
6 Q. All right. So you are talking about those who were killed and
7 went missing in the Operation Storm on the 4th of August 1995?
8 A. When I'm referring to the missing persons, I'm referring to the
9 entire territory of Croatia. As for the victims, I don't know the total
10 number of those who were killed. People are using such figures as 200 or
11 400 and I do not like to speculate when it comes to these numbers. I
12 think it's disrespectful to the victims.
13 Q. Have you ever heard of Veritas, Mr. Dzakula?
14 A. Yes, I heard about that organisation.
15 Q. Can you tell us what is its field of activity?
16 A. This organisation mostly investigates the number of those who were
17 killed and went missing in the war with Croatia.
18 Q. Did you hear about the facts given by Veritas, saying that 791 [as
19 interpreted] Serbs were killed or went missing in the Operation Storm? We
20 are now referring to civilians. 996 civilians out of which 444 women and
21 11 children.
22 A. I heard of these figures but as I told you, that figure is not
23 constant. It keeps changing. Both when it comes to the dead and the
24 missing. The numbers keep changing.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the transcript
1 reads 791, whereas I said 1.791. Could this be corrected, please?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Line 17.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Line 17.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Line 18. Line 18?
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, line 17 and 18.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: That line 17 Says, "Did you hear about the facts
8 given by Veritas saying that 791 Serbs were killed or went missing in
9 Operation Storm." And now it seems to me you said 791. You didn't say
10 1.791. And you're saying it must be corrected to 791?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I told the
12 witness that there were 1.791 victims. However, the number recorded in
13 the transcript is wrong.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see. 791 is wrong. It should be 1.791? Is that
15 all you're saying?
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: All right.
18 May the record, then, show the correction. Thank you.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Dzakula, we mentioned the figure of 22.000 destroyed homes.
21 Does this refer only to the houses or all facilities and outbuildings?
22 A. Yes, entire properties were destroyed, both residential houses and
23 all other buildings.
24 Q. You mentioned that a lot of people went missing. It's been ten
25 years since the war ended and these people are still listed as missing?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula.
3 The troops of the United Nations which arrived in this area
4 mid-1992, to the UN safe areas, in order to protect all of the population,
5 including the Serb population. Did they accomplish their mission?
6 A. I must say that the expectations were not met. The protection was
7 not implemented. Military operations were carried out which led to exodus
8 and to a large number of persons who were killed.
9 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you touched upon the crimes. You mentioned that
10 there were some in 1991, 1992, 3, 4, and so on. So from 1991 onwards,
11 were you ever an eyewitness of any crime? Did you talk directly to any of
12 the victims of such crimes?
13 A. I was not an eyewitness of any murder. However, I spoke to people
14 whose close ones were killed.
15 Q. You said several times that you heard on the Croatian media
16 reports of these crimes.
17 A. Yes. That's what I said.
18 Q. You also mentioned 1991, Skabrnja, Kruska, Kostajnica, and other
19 locations; is that correct?
20 A. Yes. I mentioned these locations.
21 Q. Is that the period of time when there were renewed and intense
22 attacks of the Croatian forces against barracks, soldiers, and the
23 population, that was in 1991?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, just an objection to that last question.
1 That question, I would suggest, is several different questions rolled into
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
4 Mr. Milovancevic, I think you've got quite a number of questions
5 there. I think you can break them up. It's not clear what the yes refers
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] All right. I understood
8 Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you spoke today about how the barracks were
10 surrounded and seized throughout Croatia. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes. I spoke about that.
12 Q. Is it true that the barracks of the federal armed forces were not
13 only attacked by means of weapons, surrounded, seized, but that they were
14 also subjected to severe, hostile propaganda of Croatian media?
15 A. There was propaganda.
16 Q. Were the federal armed forces referred to as Serb Chetnik
17 occupation army or forces?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did the JNA forces step out of their state territory by an inch?
20 A. No, they didn't.
21 Q. You mentioned how the JNA forces and members of the Territorial
22 Defence were killed mercilessly. You mentioned one location, the bridge
23 in -- on the Korana river; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you say to the Prosecutor that you heard on the Croatian media
1 that Yugoslav communist, Serb, Chetnik army was attacking Croatian
2 villages and seizing them?
3 A. Yes, or rather occupying them [as interpreted].
4 Q. Did you ever hear or read in the press that there were any
5 Croatian forces of the formation of company and higher deployed there?
6 A. I didn't have such direct information.
7 Q. I asked you whether you heard about this from the press.
8 A. I did.
9 Q. Did the press report that there were regular clashes --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt? I here you, Mr. Milovancevic,
11 talking simultaneously with the interpreter. She's desperately trying to
12 keep pace with you. Could you please slow down. Otherwise you're talking
13 both at the same time and I doubt that she is managing to keep pace with
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a favour
16 to ask. If I'm going too fast, the interpreters should warn me.
17 Sometimes I simply neglect the fact or I lose myself in the questions that
18 I'm putting and I don't do this wishing to create problems. On the
20 MR. WHITING: Can I -- Your Honour, if I could just make a
21 suggestion. From my experience with the interpreters, not only do they
22 like us to slow down but also in this circumstance where they are speaking
23 the same language they actually ask that each party, the lawyer and the
24 witness, insert a pause at the end of the question, so that when the
25 question is finished, the witness should pause for a moment before
1 answering and the same when the answer is finished, there should be a
2 pause. The interpreters are very aided if those pauses are inserted, in
3 addition to slowing down.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
5 Mr. Milovancevic, I'm afraid we are not supposed to be losing
6 ourselves during the trial. We can lose ourselves anywhere else but here.
7 So I will ask you to please remember that you are not just having a
8 communication with the witness out anywhere else. You are in court.
9 You've got to be recorded. You've got to be interpreted. Everybody must
10 keep pace with you, even the stenographers must keep pace with you. I've
11 heard the request that there must be a pause. When you hear yourself
12 speaking at the same time as the interpreter, that should be a warning to
13 you that you're talking too fast.
14 Please slow down. You may proceed.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I understood, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. You said that you heard from the Croatian media about the attacks
19 against Croatian villages carried out by the federal forces, the JNA
20 together with the Territorial Defence, and that Croatian civilians were
21 killed in those operations. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's what I said.
23 Q. Is it true that the Croatian media reported on these cases
24 depicting them as clashes that their forces had with the federal forces?
25 A. Yes, that's what they reported on.
1 Q. When speaking about the situation on the ground, did you ever say
2 that radio and telephone lines in Croatia, especially in Slavonia, were
3 disrupted and that there were electricity blackouts, particularly from
4 August 1992 onwards?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it true that you said that due to the electricity shortages, it
7 was impossible to watch television, to listen to the other media outlets,
8 and that only those who had radio stations such as police and members of
9 the TO could follow the media and that there were very few such cases?
10 A. Yes. Only people who had battery-operated radios could follow
11 these reports.
12 Q. Am I quoting your words correctly when I say that in the beginning
13 of your evidence, you said that the Croatian media reported on the events
14 in one way and that the remaining media, the Serbian media, reported on
15 the events in a different way?
16 A. Yes, that's what I said.
17 Q. At that time, did Croatia wage an enormous propaganda war against
18 its own state, Yugoslavia?
19 A. Yes, it did.
20 Q. Do you have any information indicating that the Croatian side
21 exaggerated on the number of the victims and on the events themselves?
22 A. Yes. There were such cases.
23 Q. Mr. Dzakula, you said that for a long time, you've been working in
24 the Serbian Democratic Forum; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it's been 11 years now.
1 Q. Did you say that the Serbian Democratic Forum was founded in June
2 of 1991?
3 A. Yes, that's correct. That's what I said.
4 Q. Is it true that the Prosecution put a letter to you signed by
5 Mrs. Ljubisa Solaja, president of the Serbian democratic party of the
6 Krajina, pertaining to your activities?
7 A. Yes. But not to my activities. Rather, to the founding of the
8 Serbian Democratic Forum.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] If we could please show the
10 following Prosecution exhibit on the screen, that is Prosecution Exhibit
11 number 1.
12 Your Honours, if this letter is not in the system, then perhaps we
13 could have it placed on the ELMO.
14 Q. Can you see it now?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you please read the title to us?
17 A. "An announcement of the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina."
18 Q. Can you please read the very first sentence below that title or
20 A. "Regarding the announced inaugural assembly of the Serbian
21 Democratic Forum in Vojnic, the Serbian Democratic party of Krajina
22 informs the public of the following."
23 Q. Thank you, sir. Would I be wrong, sir, if I said that when this
24 document is considered, it should be classified as a public announcement
25 made by a political party, not a personal letter?
1 A. Announcement. That's what it says.
2 Q. Is it true that this is a public announcement being made by the
3 Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina, in a bid to address the entire
4 public, the public as a whole, on a given question, in this case the
5 founding of the Serbian Democratic Forum?
6 A. Yes, at the outset that's what it says. But the assembly was
7 later banned, and this is being explained to the public because it wasn't
8 possible at the time to address the Serbian Democratic Forum which had not
9 yet been established. Therefore a public announcement was made that the
10 inaugural assembly could not in fact be held in Vojnic.
11 Q. Can you point out any portion of this announcement which shows
12 that this ban you're speaking about was imposed?
13 A. "Given the basic intention of the Serbian Democratic Forum to
14 nullify the current battle of the Serbs in Krajina for indefinite
15 demarcation and liberation from the various Croatia. The Serbian
16 Democratic Party of Krajina states for reasons of principle not democracy
17 to hold a gathering outside Krajina in Kumrovec. For example, it will be
18 decided by the will of the Serbs in Krajina that such rallies are
19 necessary in the territory of SAO Krajina ..."
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Again can I again interrupt, even when you are
21 reading, sir, Mr. Dzakula, please read a bit slowly. You should -- if you
22 hear how fast the interpreter is trying to keep pace with you.
23 Thank you, you may proceed, Mr. Dzakula.
24 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go slow. Please slow down.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 "In SAO Krajina territory, such rallies are unnecessary and can
3 only create confusion."
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dzakula. Would I therefore be right in saying that
6 this announcement was not addressed to any given individual but, rather,
7 to the public as a whole, the general public?
8 A. Yes. The objective being to inform the general public that this
9 assembly could not be held but it couldn't be sent to anyone in particular
10 because it had not yet been established as an organisation.
11 Q. Based on there position of the democratic party of Krajina, did
12 you eventually give up on the idea of holding this inaugural meeting?
13 A. I heard this from people in Zagreb, from that area. I heard it
14 personally from Mr. Pupovac. He said that after the announcement became
15 public, pressure was put on the people there not to have the meeting. I
16 myself faced pressure in Western Slavonia, far from the SDS of the SAO
17 Krajina, so I find it lard to believe that these people who wanted to have
18 this meeting in the Krajina area were facing similar pressure in a bid to
19 stop them from having a meeting like this.
20 Q. Thank you, sir. While testifying in chief, did you not say that
21 both Belgrade and Zagreb knew about this initiative, and they said nothing
22 in the media about the event itself, they totally ignored what was going
24 A. Yes, I did say that.
25 Q. Therefore, the Croatian media also glossed over this event?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you not say that this letter was sent sometime in June 1990?
3 A. I think it was in June 1990. I can't be certain but it was before
4 the foundation.
5 Q. What about the Croatian side? You were trying to establish some
6 sort of peaceful communication with them, weren't you? Did they know that
7 this was your intention and -- I withdraw the question before my colleague
8 even rises. I will try to reword my question in order to avoid further
9 complications, if that's all right?
10 MR. WHITING: Well, I actually got a free one for that because I
11 was rising for a different reason.
12 I think that the -- I just -- I think there may have been another
13 mistake with respect to the date on the Serb Democratic Forum and I
14 just -- the date that had been discussed previously was 1991 and then it
15 slipped into 1990 and I think it -- I'm just suggesting that maybe there
16 is an error there.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. --
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. At the outset I
19 was talking about 1991, whereas I threw in 1990 in this last bit. I'm
20 sorry because that's my fault. I was not being specific enough and I
21 thank my colleague for pointing this out.
22 Q. So my question is, was this in June 1991?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What about this initiative for establishing this forum, the
25 Serbian Democratic Forum? Did this take place after the referendum in
1 Croatia at which the population in its majority had voted in favour of
2 seceding from Yugoslavia?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you know about the prevailing feeling among the Serbian
5 population of Krajina? What did they want to do in case Croatia opted out
6 of Yugoslavia?
7 A. Yes. I was aware of what they felt. They wanted to stay in.
8 Q. Throughout this five-year period we are talking about, thanks to
9 your great commitment and efforts, were you ever successful in actually
10 reaching an agreement with the Croatian side that was complied with by the
11 Croatian side?
12 A. No, I don't think I was ever successful in that respect.
13 Q. What about your acts of good faith such as the one in Borovo Selo
14 in 1991 where you used your influence to remove the barricades, to have
15 the roadblocks removed? Were those acts of good faith on your part not in
16 fact abused and misused by the Croatian side?
17 A. Yes, they were.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, how much longer are you likely to
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps 15 or 20 minutes,
21 Your Honours. If we could perhaps continue tomorrow, I believe we are
22 quite tired as we are.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would this be a convenient moment for you to --
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Very, very convenient.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 Then the matter will stand adjourned to tomorrow, back in
2 Courtroom III at quarter past two in the afternoon. Court will adjourn.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day of
5 January, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.