1 Friday, 24 March 2006
2 [Closed session]
11 Pages 2559-2565 redacted. Closed session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
21 You may proceed, Ms. Richterova.
22 WITNESS: MARKO VUKOVIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examination by Ms. Richterova:
25 Q. Witness, are you able to follow me in the language you understand?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Can you please state your full name.
3 A. Marko Vukovic.
4 Q. I'm going to go through your background information and just ask
5 you if you could confirm it. You were born on 20th December, 1959, in
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You are of Croatian ethnicity?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You grew up in Saborsko?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In 1979 you moved to Zagreb and worked there as a carpenter until
13 January 1991 when you were hired as a regular police officer?
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, just for your benefit I would like
16 to refer the Court to atlas, which is Exhibit 23, and specifically to page
17 20 of the atlas, and at A4 you can see where village of Saborsko is
18 located. It is at the bottom -- left bottom of that page.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA:
21 Q. Mr. Vukovic, can you tell the Judges, about how many households
22 were there in Saborsko? And I am referring to the year 1990, beginning of
24 A. There were 300 house numbers. As for the population, well, about
25 600, 700.
1 Q. Saborsko, was it a Croat village or a Serb village or did it have
2 a mixed population?
3 A. Well, most were Croat and there were six or seven houses that were
4 Serb since time immemorial. So they were ethnic Serbs and they lived
5 there, and then there were those that came from Sisak, Petrinja.
6 Q. Can you tell us in the vicinity or nearby of Saborsko, were there
7 any other purely Croat villages or predominantly inhabited villages by
9 A. That was on the other side, towards Lake Plitvice; Poljanak and
10 some other villages, Seci Poljana, the neighbouring village, first, and
11 then Poljanak was second.
12 Q. And what about Serb villages? Can you tell us what Serb villages
13 were nearby Saborsko?
14 A. On the other side, towards Ogulin, was Licka Jasenica first, then
15 Blato, Plavca Draga, Haski, and Latin Vojnivac [phoen]. Those were Serb
17 Q. And how would you describe the atmosphere, the situation, in
18 Saborsko? How did you -- how did people get along? And again I'm
19 referring to 1990 -- 1990, beginning of 1991.
20 A. Well, we got along. People from Jasenica went to our school in
21 fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade because they had school only
22 through the fourth grade. So we agreed -- we got along very well, and we
23 would even spend the night at each other's house. For example, one of my
24 classmates spent nights at my house and I spent nights at his house.
25 Q. Without going into any more details, was there a time when this
1 atmosphere changed, this good relationship?
2 A. Well, it's not that it changed that much that we were quarrelling
3 or fighting or something like that. Quite simply, it was cut off and you
4 couldn't pass through Jasenica and Ogulin.
5 Q. You said it was cut off. Do you know who cut it off?
6 A. That was in 1992 -- no, 1991, when the war started raging in
7 Pakrac, Petrinja, wherever, I wasn't really following this all this much.
8 So we couldn't pass through from Saborsko to Ogulin. It's on the other
9 side. The bus didn't go there.
10 Q. I only wanted to know whether you know who cut it off, whether
11 there were any soldiers, paramilitary, police, whether it was -- who cut
12 it off? If you do not know, just say you don't know.
13 A. I don't know. Quite simply, the regular bus to Ogulin went at ten
14 past 5.00 in the morning and it came back from Jasenica. That was it. I
15 don't know who returned it, and then it never came back. It went via
16 Slunj to Ogulin and it never came back. This bus line no longer existed.
17 Q. Let's go back to the time you became a policeman. You -- do you
18 remember when you were hired exactly?
19 A. 14th or the 15th of January. I'm not sure. I think it's the
21 Q. After you were hired, did you take any training?
22 A. Well, I went to Simunska, to some course in Zagreb.
23 Q. And after you took part in this training, what was your
24 assignment? Where did you go?
25 A. From Ogulin I was sent to Plaski. There was some station there,
1 or rather, an outpost in Plasko, and then I worked there.
2 Q. Do you know who was your commander? Do you remember his name?
3 A. In Ogulin, Ante Vujovic, he was the main commander; and in Plasko,
4 Dusan Latas, the commander of that outpost.
5 Q. How long did you stay in Plasko?
6 A. I think about 20 days. I'm not sure exactly when I came there to
7 Plaski. I'm not sure of the date, but I worked there until --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the date.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1991.
10 MS. RICHTEROVA:
11 Q. The interpreters didn't understand the date. Can you please
12 repeat it, approximately until when.
13 A. Until the 26th of February. I think that's the way it was. That
14 was the last day that I worked there.
15 Q. What happened? What made you -- what made you to leave this
17 A. I worked in the patrol. I don't know. The battery of the
18 Motorola, of the hand-held radio, was in the functioning properly, and
19 then we went back to the station to get a new battery, I and Ilija Celina,
20 a policeman from Blato, we were together. And at that moment Olga Solaja,
21 I think, came, a lady dentist from Plitvica. Now, was it -- or rather,
22 Dusan Latas said that we should come there, that the -- that Olga Solaja
23 and Martic's men came and were asking us to sign documents saying that we
24 would work for the Krajina Police.
25 Q. Did you sign this piece of paper?
1 A. No. Dusan, the commander, called us -- there were a lot of them
2 in a small room, and then we were standing at the door and I said that I
3 couldn't sign it, that I had just signed something for the Croatian
4 police. And he said: All right. There is no place for you here, then.
5 And he said to Ilija, and Ilija also didn't want to sign. So then we left
6 -- or rather, they told us to go to Ogulin.
7 Q. This Krajina Police, what did you know about this Krajina Police?
8 Who did it belong to?
9 A. As far as I heard - I don't know - I didn't see anyone -- or
10 rather, I hadn't seen anyone until then. They had some kind of training
11 somewhere near Knin, but nothing else.
12 Q. You didn't know what Krajina Police was, who did it belong to?
13 A. They were saying it was Martic's police, nothing else. Now, who
14 was there and how -- well, I don't know.
15 Q. Where did you go from Plaski?
16 A. To Ogulin, to work.
17 Q. And how long did you stay in Ogulin?
18 A. I don't know what the date was exactly. Until Easter, until that
19 policeman got killed in Plitvice. And that day we left and we did not
20 return. We couldn't get through any longer to Saborski.
21 Q. Did you say that you couldn't get any longer to Saborsko?
22 A. No, I meant from Saborski back. That day we got through in the
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please be
25 asked to speak clearly into the microphone. Thank you.
1 MS. RICHTEROVA:
2 Q. The interpreters just ask if you could speak a little bit more
3 clear -- clearer to the microphones. They have a hard time to understand
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Probably louder, too.
6 MS. RICHTEROVA:
7 Q. And a little bit louder. In Saborsko, what did you do in
9 A. Well, the telephones were working and we called Ogulin and they
10 told us to remain in Saborsko. We, the policemen who were living in
11 Saborsko, should remain in Saborsko. So we did stay there.
12 Q. Did you -- did you establish a police station?
13 A. Yes. Then they came through Slunj and established a sort of
14 police station there.
15 Q. Approximately how many policemen were there in Saborsko at the
17 A. Well, about 27 or 8 active policemen, and about four or five
18 reserve policemen. I think that the total was 32.
19 Q. What kind of weapons did you have?
20 A. Automatic rifles, of course, and pistol.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just get clarity somewhere?
22 You said earlier: "Then they came through Slunj and established a
23 sort of police station there." Who are the "they"?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not from Slunj but via Slunj.
25 From Ogulin. There was a number of members of special units and the
1 commander there, and they came along this road without any asphalt. So
2 Ante Vujovic and these men came to Saborsko.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, who are "they," these people who came through
4 Slunj? That's my question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander from Ogulin.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The commander of what?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Police.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah. Krajina Police or Croatian police?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. The Croatian police.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's what I'm asking. Thank you very much.
11 MS. RICHTEROVA:
12 Q. And to clarify, so there were regular police, these 28 regular
13 policemen, including you, plus this special police unit. Is it correct?
14 A. The special one came with the commander and then they stayed for
15 eight or ten days, I don't know, and then they went back, too.
16 Q. They went back to Ogulin?
17 A. To Ogulin, yes, yes.
18 Q. And after they left, you stayed there alone, I mean these 28
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. What were your tasks as a policeman in Saborsko at the time?
22 A. Nothing. They held -- we held these check-points in case of an
23 attack - during the day two policemen, and during the night three - at the
24 village and at the end of Saborsko towards Licka Jasenica.
25 Q. Tell us, were there any military facilities in that area? And I
1 am referring to JNA --
2 A. In Saborsko, no, but in Licka Jasenica and up there where the
3 railroad went, where the train went, that's where there was a barracks of
4 the JNA. And the training grounds were on the other side of Saborsko, the
5 military training grounds of the JNA.
6 Q. Did JNA soldiers or JNA vehicles, did they pass through Saborsko
7 at any time?
8 A. They did. They would pass with two armoured vehicles, APCs, from
9 Plitvica and Licka Jasenica. They said it was some kind of patrol.
10 Q. How often did they pass through Saborsko?
11 A. They would start out from Plitvica at about 10 a.m. to Licka
12 Jasenica, and I don't know whether they went to Plaski or where they went
13 but they went in that direction, downhill, and then in the afternoon they
14 would come back.
15 Q. My question was: How often? It means was it every day, every
16 week, or just once a month?
17 A. Every day they went through, and when the shelling started, then
18 the elderly women and the men went out onto the road and wouldn't let them
19 through, and they said: Don't shoot. And then an old woman had a part of
20 a hand-grenade of an 82-millimetre hand-grenade, and she showed it to the
21 JNA, and she said: This is yours.
22 Q. And when you say after the shelling started, which date are you
23 referring to?
24 A. It's very hard to say what the date was. When that happened on
25 the 5th of August, the shelling, I mean, after that people didn't pass
1 through -- they didn't pass through every day but every fifth or sixth day
2 after those people stopped them there. But nobody touched them.
3 Q. So before 5th of August, they were able to pass through your
4 village. Is it correct?
5 A. Yes, they used to pass through every day. But later on it wasn't
6 so often; it was every five or six days, not every day.
7 Q. I want to draw your attention to this event on 5th of August.
8 When the shelling started, what time of the day?
9 A. I think it was about 9.00 in the morning, or 8.30. I can't be
10 precise about the time, but thereabouts.
11 Q. Where were you at the time of that attack?
12 A. At the check-point towards Licka Jasenica.
13 Q. Preceding the attack on Saborsko, were any ultimatums or demands
14 made by Serb forces?
15 A. No, no, no.
16 Q. Was there anything which would indicate that the shelling would
17 start on that day?
18 A. No, there was nothing to foreshadow the shelling.
19 Q. How long did the shellings last that day, the 5th of August?
20 A. It wasn't one shell after the other. They would launch a few
21 shells and then there would be an interval, and then they would launch a
22 few more. And then this went on for a long time, until the afternoon.
23 There would be a 15-minute lull, maybe, and then it would resume again.
24 Q. Did you manage to count how many shells fell on Saborsko that day?
25 A. About 150, maybe more. We wrote that down. The commander, Slavko
1 Ceranic, wrote it down, and I did, too, but it all remained there, it's
2 all been burnt, so I can't remember everything precisely. But there were
3 a lot. I'm sure there were at least 150, maybe more.
4 Q. At the time the shelling started or during the time of shelling,
5 did you put up any defence? Did you try to fight back?
6 A. We didn't have anything to fire with except our rifles and
7 pistols. We didn't have mortars or anything.
8 Q. At that time the shelling started on the 5th of August, was there
9 any other unit, apart from your regular police unit? Were there any
10 special units, Croatian special units?
11 A. There was this special unit from Duga Resa. They were stationed
12 in the school in case there was some kind of attack, in order for them to
13 help and to have some kind of defence line established.
14 Q. Did they establish a defence line?
15 A. They did, but then they fled towards Slunj by night. At around
16 10.00 or 11.00 in the evening they abandoned everything and only we were
17 left behind, the police, in Saborsko.
18 Q. During the 5th of August -- during the shelling, did you see
19 whether any houses were damaged?
20 A. One or two houses were hit, and the other shells landed next to
21 the houses. Quite a lot of them fell on the cemetery and around the
22 cemetery. I don't know what they were aiming at.
23 Q. Did you try to communicate with Serbs about what was happening?
24 A. We couldn't. We didn't have electricity or anything; we couldn't.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I have an objection. The
3 question was: Did you try to communicate with the Serbs? I think this is
4 very generalised. Perhaps the term "the attackers" could be used. I
5 think that the way this term was used is not correct. If somebody is
6 attacking, it's a unit. It can be comprised of members of the Serbian
7 ethnicity or another ethnicity, but they are not Serbs, they are
8 attackers. We can get an explanation as to whether they were Territorial
9 Defence or a military unit of volunteers, the JNA, or somebody else.
10 In order to make myself clear, a few days ago the Israeli army
11 attacked a prison in Palestine, but nobody says "the Jews attacked the
12 prison," they say "the Israeli army." If somebody said "the Jews
13 attacked," it would cause a scandal. I don't want such language to be
14 used here.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I suggest that when Mr. Milovancevic stands up
16 to object, you take your seat. Okay. And then when he finishes, you can
17 stand up.
18 Do you have any answer to him?
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes. I will try to now clarify who attacked the
20 Saborsko village. And I know that I was not specific enough when
21 establishing who were the attackers when using the expression "Serbs." So
22 if I may, I will clarify this point.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may continue then.
24 MS. RICHTEROVA:
25 Q. Mr. Vukovic, at the time of the attack or any time later, did you
1 learn who attacked you?
2 A. Well, we could only imagine who it was, whether it was a
3 paramilitary unit or the JNA. But we knew by the mortar it was the JNA,
4 but who was using it on the other side we couldn't know for sure.
5 Q. And now I will repeat the question: Did you try to communicate
6 with anybody or did you try to find out who -- with whom you could
7 communicate to stop the shelling?
8 A. No, we couldn't. How could we? We had no electricity, no
9 telephone lines, everything had to go through Ogulin and by way of Plasko,
10 but it was all cut off.
11 Q. Because you mentioned during your testimony that at one point
12 during the shelling you stopped a senior soldier, a JNA soldier, and a
13 woman from your village showed him shrapnel or part of some -- some
14 hand-grenade. Do you remember this testimony?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What was the reaction of this person when you showed him -- or
17 this woman showed him the remains of the -- of a weapon?
18 A. Well, nothing. He stood there and looked at it and she showed it
19 to him and she said: It says JNA here. Are you the JNA? And he said:
20 Yes. And nothing happened.
21 Q. What happened to the civilians on 5th of August? Did they stay in
22 the village or did they leave?
23 A. They went through Rakovica, through the forest. Some of them went
24 by tractor, or I don't know how they went, and they went to Grabovac, and
25 the Red Cross came there with two or three buses. And then the children
1 and the elderly women were taken away to Crikvenica at the seaside. I
2 don't know who escorted them there. And as for the others, some came back
3 on the first day and the others came back on the second day, from Grabovac
4 to Saborsko.
5 Q. After 5th of August, or after some of them returned, can you tell
6 -- estimate approximately how many civilians stayed in that village after
7 6th, 7th, 8th of August?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not quite sure -- after they returned from
10 MS. RICHTEROVA: The witness said that, "As for the others, some
11 came back on the first day and some came back on the second day, from
12 Grabovac to Saborsko."
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 MS. RICHTEROVA:
15 Q. So after they returned -- some returned, you said, so
16 approximately how many civilians still stayed in Saborsko?
17 A. I don't know, but I think about 400 came back. I don't know how
18 many got onto those two or three buses.
19 Q. You also mentioned that this special unit from Duga Resa left the
20 same night, the same night of 5th of August. Did you try -- did you try
21 to get some other assistance, some other help from somewhere else?
22 A. Yes. In the morning I went to Slunj, and I asked Commander Panic
23 to let a few policemen go, 15 or 20, to come and help us so that there
24 would be more of us if we were attacked.
25 Q. Do you know, these people from Slunj, what kind of weapon did they
1 bring with them?
2 A. Rifles and pistols like ours. And they were each issued with 60
3 pieces of ammunition. I don't know exactly how much ammunition they had,
5 Q. How long did this unit stay in Saborsko?
6 A. 10, 12, 15 days. It was at least 10, I'm sure of that.
7 Q. At any time in September, did you receive any significant help?
8 And I'm relating to manpower or ammunition.
9 A. From Zagreb a convoy arrived through Lipice, Glibodol, and then by
10 the forest road through Javornik and then on to Saborsko. It was an
11 unasphalted road going through the woods.
12 Q. Do you know how many people formed this convoy?
13 A. About a hundred or 110, something like that.
14 Q. Who were these people? Were they policemen or civilian? Who were
16 A. These were all people from Saborsko who had been working in
17 Rijeka, Zagreb, or Split. They gathered together in Zagreb - I don't know
18 who called them together - and then they came to Saborsko to help. They
19 brought food, cigarettes.
20 Q. Did they bring any weapons?
21 A. Yes, they did. They brought sub-machine-guns and -- the old ones,
22 and two mortars - I think there were two mortars - and an anti-aircraft
23 gun of some kind. I'm not sure what it's called technically.
24 Q. On the way from -- on the way you describe from Saborsko, did
25 anything happen?
1 A. Well, they were holding the line, and I don't know whether they
2 were paramilitaries or someone else in Glibodol, they captured eight or
3 nine of those people who were coming from Zagreb. Some were younger and
4 some were older. There was an elderly man. I think his name was Milan
6 Q. You said that they -- that they captured people who were coming
7 from Zagreb. Is it correct or misinterpretation?
8 A. No. Those people who are going from Zagreb captured somebody.
9 There was a check-point above Licka Jasenica-Glibodol, and then the road
10 goes on to Dabar. There was a kind of check-point there. I don't know
11 what kind of unit was manning it and who they belonged to. They belonged
12 to the other side, from Licka Jasenica, but I don't know whether it was a
13 company or what kind of company or who it belonged to.
14 Q. Who were these people who were captured; what ethnicity?
15 A. Serb ethnicity.
16 Q. Did you know any of them?
17 A. I knew two of them; Dusko Jovicic and Damir Vorkapic. They used
18 to work with us in the police. Jovicic was in the police before and Damir
19 Vorkapic, from Plasko, signed up the same day I did in the policija, which
20 is the Croatian police, on the 15th of January, 1991.
21 Q. These captured people, were they brought to Saborsko?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you see them?
24 A. Well, I saw them. They were sitting there in a room at the police
25 station. This commander who came from Zagreb to be the commander in
1 Saborsko, he was the one who was talking to them.
2 Q. These captured people, did you notice whether they wore any
3 patches on their clothes?
4 A. They were all wearing civilian clothes, but they just had weapons
5 when they were taken prisoner. Damir Vorkapic -- well, they had -- they
6 -- Damir and Dusko Jovicic had jeans and also they wore these camouflage
7 uniforms on top of the jeans with this patch of the Krajina.
8 Q. What do you mean a patch of Krajina? Can you be a little bit more
9 specific. How -- how did it look like?
10 A. Well, he was sitting there but I didn't go into the room because
11 the commander was talking to them. So you could see this one thing - now,
12 how should I put this? - a two-headed eagle. I don't know. I don't
13 understand what you're saying.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know to what unit, what unit they belonged
15 to, these patches?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Vorkapic and Jovicic worked in
17 the police. They signed up for Krajina, that they would work for them.
18 So they stayed in Plaski. So I think they were the milicija, the police
19 of the SAO Krajina.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA:
21 Q. How long did these captured people stay in Saborsko?
22 A. Well, I could not say exactly how long, but there was an exchange
23 because there were three from Drezni Grad who were taken prisoner
24 somewhere near Slunj. And they were taken to Plaski, and then the nine
25 were exchanged for those three. The commander of the war unit coordinated
1 all of that, sent this young man who had been taken prisoner to go to
2 Jasenica, and he sent some letter. And then the young man came back, and
3 then in the evening at 5.00 there was an exchange, the same day or the
4 following day. I'm not sure. I don't know exactly. I wasn't there.
5 Q. So these nine Serbs were exchanged for three, and these three,
6 which ethnicity did they belong to?
7 A. Croat ethnicity.
8 Q. After or during that exchange, was -- were there any arrests?
9 A. Yes, yes. I think it was the same time, 5.00 or 6.00 in the
10 evening. Because when you go from Saborsko to Rakovica along the forest
11 path, Vlado Vukovic, Ivica Vukovic, or Ivan - I don't know what his real
12 name is - were taken prisoner -- it's Ivan or Ivica. And then a Bosnian
13 who wanted to go to Kladusa. He was from Kladusa but he came from Zagreb
14 with those who were from Saborsko. He wanted to go to Kladusa to see his
15 wife and children. So the three of them were taken prisoner. That's what
16 I heard. We didn't know where they had been. That's what we heard later.
17 Q. Did you -- I understand you weren't there when they were arrested.
18 Did you hear or did you learn from -- from somebody else who arrested
20 A. No, no. I don't know exactly who was there and what happened
21 and --
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, I think it is the time for the
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is indeed. If it is convenient to you, then we
25 will take a break, come back at 4.00. Court adjourned.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.04 p.m.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Ms. Richterova.
4 MS. RICHTEROVA:
5 Q. Mr. Vukovic, before the break we were talking about the
6 circumstances of arrival of this convoy of people from Zagreb and Rijeka
7 to Saborsko. Do you know who was the commander of these people?
8 A. Marko Krizmanic.
9 Q. These 100 people, plus-minus, did they form any unit?
10 A. War Unit Saborsko, something like that. I think that's what they
11 called themselves. I think that's what it was.
12 Q. To your knowledge, did they put up any effective resistance?
13 A. Well, they took up positions around Saborsko, as the commander had
14 ordered. That's what they did, and that's the way it was for a while.
15 Q. For a while. For how long?
16 A. Until Saborsko fell. When was that? That was the 12th of
17 November, I think.
18 Q. We will talk about events of 12th of November. I would like to
19 return now to these shellings. The shellings started on 5th of August.
20 Did the shelling continue also in September?
21 A. Well, of course, until the attack, until Saborsko fell. Not every
22 day, but every other day or one day a bit and then the next day there
23 would be more shells, more shelling, and they would attack from Poljanak,
24 from the direction of Plitvica. There was this one attack, I don't
25 remember the exact date.
1 Q. What do you mean one attack from Poljanak? What do you refer to?
2 A. From the side of Poljanak, from Plitvica, there was some shooting
3 from there. And then those who were up there -- I was not up there, but I
4 just know that there were attacks in order to get through to take Kuselj.
5 Kuselj is a hamlet that also belongs to Saborsko.
6 Q. And what happened in Kuselj? Was it attacked?
7 A. It was not attacked because that line was there, at the end of
8 Kuselj. And then they repelled the attack but there were wounded and
9 killed persons on our part, among us from Saborsko.
10 Q. Do you know whether during September/October some other Croat
11 villages or hamlets were attacked? And to be more specific, of course I
12 am talking about the region or the area surrounding Saborsko.
13 A. Well, Saborsko was not attacked that way, I mean not from the side
14 of Plitvica. It was mortar shells, things like that. Only this one
15 attack was direct, the end of September/beginning of October.
16 Q. Was there any -- or were there any air attacks, either on Saborsko
17 or any other village in that region?
18 A. Once there was an attack: One aircraft was firing rockets at the
19 area around the cemetery, and then it left. And then later, in the
20 beginning of November, I think, again there was a rocket attack on Kuselj,
21 and then some young men got killed, too.
22 Q. You also stated that when the shelling started there were no --
23 there was no significant damage done to the buildings in Saborsko. What
24 about later, where you said the shelling continued until the 12th of
25 November? Did any damage was done at the later stage?
1 A. Afterwards, yes, especially when this convoy from Zagreb came.
2 Now, was it on the 23rd or the 25th of September? That's when the church
3 and the school were hit and some houses. When shells fell nearby, then
4 windows were broken and facades were damaged, things like that.
5 Q. In October, did you receive any further assistance; manpower,
7 A. Yes, one convoy came, but it wasn't manpower, it was food; flour,
8 cigarettes, fruit juice, things like that, whatever they brought. I know
9 about cigarettes, though; we did get cigarettes and flour.
10 Q. And now I would like to talk about 12th of November. What
11 happened on 12th of November?
12 A. On the 12th of November I wasn't there -- now -- well, I don't
13 know what to say.
14 Q. Where were you on 12th of November?
15 A. Do you mean the 12th of December, though?
16 Q. No.
17 A. Ah, yes, the 12th of November. Yes, yes, yes. In Ogulin. I left
18 Saborsko. On the 9th of November I went to Ogulin.
19 Q. Why did you go to Ogulin?
20 A. On the 9th of November I didn't come back. Saborsko fell on the
21 12th of November.
22 Q. Why did you go to Ogulin on 9th of November?
23 A. The commander of this wartime unit, Marko Krizmanic, sent me and
24 some other men. And there were these two men, one from Lipice and one
25 from Slunj, went to Zagreb, wherever -- or actually, he went to Zagreb
1 from Ogulin. And he said that there were these men from Slunj who were
2 supposed to pass through Glibodol, that we should go there to help them go
3 via Glibodol and that they would go to Slunj on their own.
4 Q. And who were these men? Were they soldiers? Were they civilians?
5 A. People from Slunj who lived in Zagreb, Karlovac, Rijeka, who also
6 wanted to go to Slunj to help, because until then there had been no
7 fighting in Slunj so they wanted to sort of help.
8 Q. And you stated on 12th of November Saborsko fell. How did you
9 learn it?
10 A. Well, then we were supposed to go back from Ogulin with this
11 convoy from Slunj, the one that was from Slunj. We were supposed to go
12 towards Lipice and towards Glibodol, and I don't know, some soldiers, some
13 officer, whoever -- well, anyway, a military man got out and stood there
14 by the traffic light. He got out from the barracks, and he said that no
15 one could pass through because Saborsko was falling.
16 Q. This war unit, was it still in Saborsko at the time, on 12th of
18 A. They stayed there when I left, and then they went through Bosnia,
19 wherever. As people were fleeing, they left, too.
20 Q. To your knowledge, this war unit, did they launch any attacks or
21 did they defend the area?
22 A. Saborsko? In Saborsko they were defending.
23 Q. And somewhere else? Did they launch any attacks?
24 A. No. The war unit and the police, we were just in Saborsko, within
25 the perimeter of Saborsko. We didn't go anywhere.
1 Q. And just to really make it sure that we all understood: This war
2 unit, who were the people who were in war unit? Were they professional
3 soldiers? Professional policemen?
4 A. There were people who had worked in the police before, too, 10 or
5 15 years or something like that. And then they joined the police in 1990,
6 and then there were civilians who were doing some kind of civilian work.
7 It was sort of the reserve force of the MUP. They all belonged to the
8 reserve force of the MUP, I mean the other ones did. The reserve, the
10 Q. You said that you learned that Saborsko fell. So after you
11 learned that Saborsko fell, where did you go?
12 A. Well, they said that there were civilians in Lipice near Brinje,
13 that's a hamlet out there. And then I and this man -- well, I don't know.
14 And then this man from Ogulin, and he said: Let's go and see who's there.
15 And then when we got there, there were these women and the elderly from
16 Saborsko. And my mother was there, too.
17 Q. What did your mother tell you what happened in Saborsko?
18 A. Nothing. I saw that my father wasn't there, and I said: Where is
19 dad? And he -- and she said: They killed him.
20 Q. Did she tell you who killed him, how he was killed?
21 A. No. They were in a cellar, men and women, and then they stood
22 outside in front of a house. The women were put on one side and the men
23 on another side, and then the women were let go, they could go into the
24 forest there towards Glibodol, and as for the men, they shot them, killed
1 Q. Did your mother mention who did it? Were -- who killed your
2 father; were they soldiers or civilians?
3 A. They were in uniforms, she said, olive-green-grey, like the JNA.
4 When I did my military service in the JNA, that kind of uniform, and
5 camouflage, multi-coloured. I don't know, mixed.
6 Q. At that time, did you learn, did you receive any information that
7 there were more people killed, apart from your father?
8 A. Yes, seven of them altogether. There were seven in that place and
9 all seven were killed.
10 Q. Do you know their age, how old were they? Were they civilians?
11 A. They were civilians. My father was born in 1931. He was 60. The
12 others were perhaps a year older or a year younger than him, but they had
13 all been born around 1930 or 1931.
14 Q. From Lipice, where did you go?
15 A. Back to Ogulin.
16 Q. Was there a time when you come back to Saborsko?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. In 1995, did -- did you come back to Saborsko?
19 A. Yes, I did, after Operation Storm. Then the army went first and
20 the police came as far as Plasko, following the army. And then we, the
21 police, took the police station in Plasko and we were given assignments as
22 to which buildings to guard. Every policeman was given an assignment.
23 And after that, on the second day, we got as far as Licka Jasenica and we
24 stationed ourselves there, and the commander organised guard duty.
25 Everything had to be guarded, but there was always a policeman near the
1 church and near the school and such important buildings.
2 Q. Was there any Orthodox church in Licka Jasenica?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was there a Catholic church in Licka Jasenica?
5 A. No.
6 Q. In which state did you find the Orthodox church in Licka Jasenica?
7 Was it damaged?
8 A. No, it wasn't damaged. It looked just as it had looked before the
9 war when I visited Jasenica. We used to go there from Saborsko when there
10 was some kind of event there.
11 Q. And at some point did you come back to Saborsko?
12 A. No, we couldn't until we got approval. And then we went back to
13 Saborsko and there was nothing to see there.
14 Q. What do you mean? How did the village look like when you -- when
15 you went -- when you returned there?
16 A. Most of the houses had been made of wood and they had been set on
17 fire. The houses that were made of brick, as well as the school and the
18 church, had all been destroyed, and only the ruins were still standing.
19 Q. During the time you were in Saborsko - and I am referring to the
20 time in 1995 after you returned - apart from destroyed houses and church,
21 did you also find something else?
22 A. Afterwards, when we were looking for the people who had been
23 killed, we searched for their graves. Some people who remained in
24 Jasenica, elderly people, told us what they knew of the burial sites, and
25 then we went to search for them. In some places the graves were marked
1 and in others they weren't.
2 Q. So what -- what did you find? Did you remain -- did you find some
3 remains, some corpses?
4 A. That was afterwards. General Grujic from Zagreb - I don't really
5 know whether he's a general - there was an exhumation and he used to come
6 with his team and he would do the exhumation and we would just guard the
8 Q. You were present during the exhumation. Did you yourself manage
9 to identify any bodies?
10 A. Well, you couldn't -- you would know more or less where people had
11 been when they were killed, but an elderly man from Licka Jasenica told us
12 that the civilians had all been thrown into a pit, and that's how we knew.
13 And those who had been killed at certain positions were buried right
14 there, where they fell in the sand.
15 Q. Do you know approximately how many bodies were found in Saborsko?
16 A. I couldn't tell you the exact number. I never even thought about
17 it. I can only guess: Three in one place, five in another, seven in yet
18 another place. Maybe I could add them up, but I didn't attend the last
19 two or three exhumations, so I couldn't be sure.
20 Q. During this exhumation, was the body of your father found?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: I don't have any further questions.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Ms. Richterova.
25 Mr. Milovancevic.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
3 Q. Witness, I am Defence counsel for Milan Martic. This is the stage
4 of your testimony where the Defence will put questions to you. This is
5 the so-called cross-examination. Therefore, I will ask you some
7 As we both understand each other and the interpreters have to
8 interpret both my question and your reply, please make a pause between my
9 question and your answer, and I will try to do the same. Thank you.
10 You stated today that you finished primary school and two grades
11 of secondary school. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You say that in the late 1970s you went to Zagreb and worked until
14 1991 as a carpenter. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You stated that on the 15th of January, 1991, you got a job as a
17 policeman in the Croatian Ministry of the Interior.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Until the 15th of January, 1991, were you employed?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You said that you had done your regular military service. Where
22 were you assigned as a reservist? What were you as a reservist?
23 A. What do you mean "as a reservist"?
24 Q. In the JNA.
25 A. I was assigned to Vostarije, to the infantry.
1 Q. So your specialty was infantry?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How did it come about that on the 15th of January you changed jobs
4 and you stopped being a carpenter and became a policeman?
5 A. I thought I would have an easier time - it's all in the Ministry
6 of the Interior in Zagreb, my application to become a policeman - because
7 I thought I would be at home. When I was working as a carpenter, I had to
8 go on building sites all over Croatia. I had to be out on the ground.
9 Q. So you applied because you saw the job advertised? How was it?
10 A. Well, it -- in 1990 they were receiving policemen and then in
11 early 1991 or late 1990 I applied. And I went for a medical examination
12 and I was received into the police.
13 Q. When you were received into the police, had you completed some
14 kind of police school before the 15th of January, 1991?
15 A. No. I was sent for a course after I was employed as a policeman,
16 a 15-day course in Zagreb.
17 Q. Was this before you were received as a policeman or afterwards?
18 A. It was when I was received into the police that I was sent to the
19 training course, and then in 1991 -- in 1990, when Saborsko fell, I went
20 for another training course. And then I took exams.
21 Q. In order to avoid confusion in the transcript, Saborsko, according
22 to what we've heard from you just now, fell in 1991. Are you referring to
23 that time, the year 1991?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. At that time when you applied to join the Croatian police, what
1 was the official title of the Croatian police; was it "policija" or
3 A. It was still called the milicija, that's what it said, as before,
4 the way it used to be, milicija. That's what it still said. And there
5 was a star and everything when I applied to join the police force.
6 Q. If you say that there was still a star, were there any changes
7 after that; and what kind of changes?
8 A. Well, then - I don't know what month - there was the Croatian coat
9 of arms, and the name was changed to policija. That was, I think,
10 sometime in March.
11 Q. If I understood you correctly, the name was changed from milicija
12 to policija or to redarstvo?
13 A. It said policija.
14 Q. And when you -- please make a pause. When you mentioned the coat
15 of arms, was it the chequer-board coat of arms?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. You say in your statement that when you were received
18 into the police after the 15th of January, 1991, you went to the police
19 training school in Zagreb. Was this the school in Sveto Simunska Street
20 in Zagreb?
21 A. Yes. It was a course. It wasn't training. It was a course.
22 Q. When you say "a course," are you referring to that 15-day course
23 that you just mentioned a while ago?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us at that time how many people were attending that
2 A. Well, I wouldn't know. I wouldn't know.
3 Q. Among those attending the school, were there those who had not
4 been born in Croatia?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know that among those attending the first course there were
7 450 Croats from Western Herzegovina, from neighbouring Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 Do you know about that?
9 A. No, I didn't know that, I didn't.
10 Q. Do you know whether the HDZ played any role in selecting those who
11 would attend that course; that's the Croatian Democratic Union?
12 A. I know what the HDZ is, but I don't know. I wrote out the
13 application form in Ogulin to join the police, and from them I was -- I
14 received a note saying that I should go to Zagreb for my medical
16 Q. I will quote to you a statement by Perica Juric, who was the
17 then-deputy minister of interior affairs, and it's a quotation from the
18 book "The First Croatian Policeman" by Davor Runtic, and it reads as
19 follows: "We worked at great speed and within a few days we managed to
20 gather those people together. We worked in a way that was not the usual
21 way. Word would be sent through the most prominent members of the HDZ and
22 everything would proceed without problems. The jobs were open for
23 everyone who wanted to apply. Sveto Simunska was open for anyone who
24 arrived. Everybody was accepted. An offer was made to everyone to
25 undergo training and to undergo the check that happened through the
1 training. I wanted to say that the HDZ was the predominant party,
2 although not the only one, that provided information to people."
3 Do you know anything about this?
4 A. No. I was never engaged in politics and I don't follow politics
5 to this day. I have nothing to say about this. I didn't read this book,
6 I didn't even know this book existed.
7 Q. I wasn't asking you whether you had read the book but whether what
8 you saw happening in that centre where you went for your 15-day training
9 course, whether this corresponds to what the then-minister -- deputy
10 minister of the interior says, that everyone who applied was received.
11 A. Well, I know some people who applied and were not received from
12 Saborsko. They wanted to apply, they went there, but they were not
13 received. That's how it was. It's not true that anyone who wanted could
14 become a policeman. I can tell you the names of these people, their first
15 and last names.
16 Q. Do you know whether among those attending the school were those
17 who had a criminal record?
18 A. No, I don't know that. It's possible. How would I know? Perhaps
19 they had had a traffic misdemeanour or something and served their
21 Q. I will quote something else that Perica Juric says in this book
22 "The First Croatian Policeman." I quote: "There were objections made to
23 me personally because I initiated and carried out this whole programme. I
24 was told there were those who had criminal records among them. I have to
25 state a few facts here. The young Croatian authorities were not aware of
1 the fact that a broad amnesty was needed. Every man needs to be given a
2 second chance. That's how this group of first Croatian policemen came to
3 include a small group of men who had to be given such a chance."
4 Does this correspond to what you were able to see and hear and
6 A. Well, we were taught criminology at the training course and we
7 were taught how to behave on the road and so on, out on the beat, how to
8 act, but -- you know, how -- what to do if there was a theft or a robbery.
9 That's what the course was about.
10 Q. The minister of the interior of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Josip
11 Boljkovac, says in his book "The First Croatian Policeman" that:
12 "The course had been planned, that a curriculum had been elaborated that
13 had to be dealt with, so in Sveto Simunska Street we are going to train
14 five police battalions and no one noticed that we were actually creating
15 an army there within the police."
16 You mentioned that in Saborsko there was a war unit of Saborsko.
17 Can this statement pertain to Saborsko as well?
18 A. What do you mean the situation in Saborsko? They came from
19 Zagreb, that's what they were called, the war unit. I don't know who sent
20 them and whatever happened. I don't understand this. I don't see what
21 you're getting at.
22 Q. You said that a group of about 100 to about 120 men had arrived
23 from Zagreb and that originally they had come from Saborsko. All of them
24 were reserve policemen. They were commanded by a man from Zagreb, and
25 when they came to Saborsko they established a war unit of Saborsko.
1 A. But they were established in Zagreb as a war unit, not in
2 Saborsko, and that's how they came.
3 Q. Yes, yes, precisely. That's what I asked you.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please speak one at a time,
5 interpreter's note.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not know about other things. I
7 told you about what I saw and what I know. What do I know about books and
8 things like that? What are you trying to say?
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Thank you. You say that on Easter 1991 you were deployed as a
11 policeman in Saborsko.
12 A. We went from Saborsko to Ogulin. I was working on that -- or
13 rather, from Ogulin I went to Saborsko and there were three or four of us.
14 And then Ilija Celina from Blato, he's an ethnic Serb, he also came to
15 Blato. And we went on and the bus went the next morning. I don't know
16 who stopped it, whatever, but it was from Licka Jasenica. So that was it,
17 as far as Ogulin was concerned.
18 Q. Thank you. You mentioned this period of time as the period when
19 Easter took place in 1991. Do you link Easter 1991 to what happened in
20 Plitvica 1991? You said that there was a policeman killed in Plitvica
22 A. That's the only thing I said, that's when that happened. I came
23 from Ogulin and the next day you could not take a bus back to Ogulin at
24 5.10 in the morning, which is when the bus usually went.
25 Q. In your statement that you gave not to the Office of the
1 Prosecutor but to the police, to the police station in Ogulin in 1994, and
2 its number is 01510895 and the date is the 18th of April, 1994, in that
3 record your statement is included and you signed it at the end. So in
4 that statement you say --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you say, can you give him a copy and give
6 the rest of the people in the court a copy, Mr. Milovancevic, please?
7 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, I have the copy.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We don't.
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they do not have
10 copies of any documents.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. -- So do you --
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] May I?
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you have copies for the interpreters? They said
14 they don't have copies.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] At this moment we don't have
16 that, Your Honour. I think that our colleague from the OTP said that she
17 had a copy, but we just prepared copies for the Trial Chamber.
18 I'm just going to put a brief question. I just wanted to say
19 something so this contains the statement given to the OTP in 2001 and
20 behind it is the second part of the text, behind the English translation,
21 the statement given to the police in Ogulin.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we just -- just a second, Mr. -- let's not
23 hurry. I notice that you have given the Chamber a B/C/S and an English
24 version. Maybe if we share with the translators and give them the B/C/S,
25 because we don't understand the B/C/S, it might just help, and we can keep
1 the English version. Would that help?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Perhaps it can be placed on the ELMO for the benefit of all booths. Thank
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is suggested that maybe if you put it on the
6 ELMO, then everybody will see it who can read B/C/S. While we are at it,
7 Mr. Milovancevic, and also the Prosecution, may I suggest that when we
8 prepare copies, we think of the interpreters as well, copies for the
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, I shall
11 bear that in mind.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we go on now?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] So on the monitor -- thank you.
16 On the monitor, could you please show this statement, this record of
17 taking a statement. That is document 01510895, the first page, please.
18 Q. Witness -- [No interpretation].
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, there's -- just a second,
20 Mr. Milovancevic --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the interpretation now?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 Mr. Milovancevic, if you can refer us in the English version what
24 page we must look at. The -- okay. I think I'm with you -- no, it's not
25 in the English version.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the witness to
4 look only at the first page of this statement. We are not going to deal
5 with the statements themselves because they're basically identical, the
6 one given to the OTP and the one given to the Ogulin police station. I'm
7 just interested in this first page of the statement given on the 18th of
8 April, 1994. Yes, now on the monitor we see the record. So could you
9 please put it up a bit so we see the end of that page.
10 Q. Witness, this is a statement that was given to the Karlovac police
11 administration, the police station of Ogulin, and the date is the 18th of
12 April, 1994, and it says that you gave this statement, and at the end of
13 the first page -- do you recognise this statement? Have you seen this
15 A. Well, I haven't read the first page exactly when I read the --
16 when I made the statement, but when he wrote it all out, he gave it to me
17 to sign, but I didn't read the first page.
18 Q. We'll also show you the last page, where your signature is.
19 A. Well, I know that I signed it, yes.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the
21 top left-land hand side of this page number 1 so that we see where the
22 document comes from.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The third police station Ogulin.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Do you know this document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. At the end of this first page, it says: "On the 15th
3 of January the same year, I joined the police. After becoming a member of
4 the police, I worked at -- in the police station in Plaski until the 26th
5 of February. And after that I worked in Saborsko -- or rather, until it
6 was -- before Saborsko was established, and then I worked in Ogulin."
7 Did you train?
8 A. Well, maybe he meant something different, when I joined the police
9 as such.
10 Q. I'm interested in this last sentence. "At the beginning of the
11 fourth month, April, an outpost in Saborsko was established when I was
12 transferred to work there."
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please speak one at a time.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. So until the month of April, there was no police outpost in
17 Saborsko; that's my question.
18 A. There wasn't.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] This material will no longer
21 be needed on the monitor. Thank you.
22 Q. You explained that at the newly established police outpost in
23 Saborsko there were 32 policemen, four or five in the reserve force.
24 A. Well, I don't know the exact number now, but I think it was around
25 that -- well, there were about 30, 32, something like that. I think it
1 was 32.
2 Q. You stated also that you, like all other members of the police
3 outpost in Saborsko, were armed with pistols, which I assume are personal
4 weapons, and active policemen had automatic rifles as well; is that right?
5 A. Well, I was an active policeman and I had a rifle and a pistol,
6 whatever you were issued with when you joined the police. What else were
7 you issued but that?
8 Q. This answer of yours, does that mean that 32 policemen were at the
9 police station in Saborsko and that they all had automatic rifles in
10 addition to pistols?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Thank you. In your statement you said that you heard rumours that
13 Martic's police was stopping people at check-points and that some were
14 beaten up, too. Did you see this yourself?
15 A. No, I didn't say that I saw it. I said that I heard it, sort of
16 -- well, whatever you say, hearsay. But I didn't see anyone beating
18 Q. Thank you. And this -- that it was done by Martic's police, as is
19 stated here, so this information was based on what, presented on the basis
20 of what? Did these people at the barricades say that that is what they
21 were or did they have some kind of insignia? Can you tell us, generally
22 speaking, on the basis of what it was claimed that it was Martic's police?
23 A. Well, I don't know. I told you, I didn't see them. It was
24 hearsay, as people call it, but that's what was being said. I don't know.
25 I didn't see.
1 Q. Thank you. You stated that during the summer of 1991 officers of
2 the JNA came to Saborsko and assured you that there would be no problems
3 between the JNA and the population of Saborsko. Do you remember that
4 statement and that happening?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You also explained that they came after the shelling and that they
7 gave you such assurances but that you didn't exactly trust them.
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. When a question was put to you by the Prosecutor in relation to
10 the reinforcements brought in by the JNA and in relation to the
11 reinforcements provided to the Serb units around Saborsko, you stated that
12 it seemed to you that the JNA was bringing in reinforcements and that
13 members of Martic's police were in the area of Licka Jasenica. You said
14 that that is what it seemed like to you. Did you have any more specific
15 knowledge about this?
16 A. No. No, not specifically.
17 Q. You said that from Saborsko you could see only part of JNA
18 training grounds and a few tanks that were there. Was that JNA training
19 grounds in the territory of Saborsko or was it some other training
21 A. Before, it was the territory -- I mean the people were from
22 Saborsko, and they moved out because -- I don't know when, in 1964 or
23 whatever year it was, they were moved out of there. And of course
24 appropriate payments were made and then the military grounds were
1 Q. In addition to these training grounds that you mentioned just now,
2 do you know the existence of large military training grounds in Slunj?
3 A. Well, that's it, from Slunj to Saborsko, military training
5 Q. When you mentioned that from Saborsko you could see part of the
6 military training grounds and a few JNA tanks, you were actually referring
7 to the big JNA training grounds near Slunj, which included the reserve
8 command post of the 5th Army; right?
9 A. Yes. Well, I don't know who it was and what command, whatever,
10 but I know that that is where military training grounds were and that that
11 is where military training took place beforehand. Now, what was going on
12 then, I don't know.
13 Q. Do you know whether near Saborsko -- or rather, in Licka Jasenica
14 there was JNA barracks and a big fuel depot?
15 A. It's not Licka Jasenica, it's in the forest where the railroad is,
16 where the train goes to Split, and that is where the JNA barracks were, up
17 there, with the reservoirs of fuel.
18 Q. You described the position of these barracks. Was it a big
20 A. No, no. That is where there were guards before, but then I don't
21 know for what purposes it was used later.
22 Q. You explained that there, near Licka Jasenica, there was a JNA
23 barracks and also a big fuel depot.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And a railroad went to that place, so that is probably why it was
1 there, for transportation purposes, and that there was a JNA unit there.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know anything about attacks against that unit during the
4 course of 1991 and these barracks, conditionally speaking, in Licka
5 Jasenica and where the depot of fuel was?
6 A. Well, they were -- when they were firing at Saborsko, then these
7 people with mortars, this war unit that was there -- well, I don't know
8 who was there exactly at the hill, and that is where the shells were.
9 Q. Thank you. We'll come back to this detail a little later. Now,
10 I'll remind you of part of your statement that had to do with the shelling
11 of the 5th of August, 1991, the shelling of Saborsko. On the 5th of
12 August, 1991, you explained that in Saborsko, apart from this regular
13 police station where there were 32 of you policemen, there was also a unit
14 of the special police from Duga Resa. Was this a unit of the Croatian
15 special police?
16 A. Yes, I was referring to the Croatian police, but they were not
17 close to the police station. They were in a school about a kilometre and
18 a half away from the police building. They were in the school.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, if you remember, what the make-up of
20 this unit was and how they were armed?
21 A. I saw them standing there in front of the school and standing
22 guard with automatic rifles. I don't know what they had inside or whether
23 they had anything, but they probably didn't have anything because in the
24 evening they fled.
25 Q. You didn't answer to -- you didn't answer as to how many of them
1 there were.
2 A. About 30, I think.
3 Q. About 30. You explained that on the 5th of August the shelling
4 started and that during the night, together with that unit of the Croatian
5 special police from Duga Resa, the women and children left Saborsko. Were
6 there also elderly people who left the village?
7 A. They went to Grabovac. That's what I said. They went to
8 Grabovac, and from Grabovac the elderly women and children went to
9 Korenica in the buses.
10 Q. Can you tell us approximately how many women, children, and
11 elderly on that evening of the 5th of August, 1991, left Saborsko?
12 A. They all went -- everybody went to Grabovac, and then in Grabovac
13 as many people as could get onto three buses left; 150, 200, I don't know
14 the exact number. I don't know the number.
15 Q. Thank you. Am I right in saying that women, children, elderly
16 women left Saborsko after this attack and went to Grabovac, and then you
17 described what happened later on?
18 A. Yes. Those who hadn't left returned to Saborsko on the following
20 Q. Do you know whether anybody told these people to evacuate?
21 A. I don't know if it was the Red Cross or someone or anyone. I
22 don't know because I wasn't in Grabovac. I remained in Saborsko.
23 Q. I don't think you understood me -- or rather, my question was not
24 precise enough. When those women and children set out from Saborsko, did
25 someone from Saborsko elsewhere tell them to go and be evacuated or did
1 they set out on their own initiative?
2 A. I think they did so on their own initiative because from Licka
3 Jasenica there was mortar fire from the direction of the barracks and also
4 from the direction of Licka Jasenica. The people were afraid. They
5 thought the attack would escalate and they left.
6 Q. Thank you. You said that these policemen from the special police
7 units of Croatia, from Duga Resa, who, as you say, fled that evening, that
8 they were accommodated in the school, and you explained that the school
9 was about a kilometre away from the police station in Saborsko. What
10 other buildings were there near the school? Where was the municipal
11 building? Where was the church?
12 A. Well, there was no municipal building. There was what was called
13 the local commune. That was close to the police station. And there was a
14 shop and an inn there, and there was a school in the middle of Saborsko,
15 there was a post office, and the church was lower down in the direction of
17 Q. Was there an industrial zone in Saborsko?
18 A. No, no.
19 Q. You explained that on the next day, on the 6th of August, 1991,
20 when these special-purpose policemen from the Ministry of the Interior of
21 Croatia left Saborsko, the specials from Duga Resa, you went to Slunj and
22 that a unit of the special police arrived from Slunj which stayed for
23 about ten days. How many of those men were there?
24 A. I can't recall the exact number. I don't know, but there weren't
25 many. Maybe 15 or 20, but I don't know.
1 Q. Thank you. And when they arrived, where were they quartered?
2 A. They -- some of them remained in Kuselj, near Plitvica, because
3 there were some of them up there, and then six or seven went in another
4 direction, and then some went towards Licka Jasenica. So this position
5 was actually spread out in order to be strengthened if there was a major
7 Q. Some 10 or 12 days later, as you said, police from Drezni Grad
8 arrived. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How many of them were there and where were they accommodated?
11 A. They were all in a house, in a house, to be there if they were
12 needed. And that's the same police administration, Karlovac. They came
13 to help.
14 Q. The Chamber was shown a map more than once during this trial where
15 Saborsko can be seen. If you look at that map, you can see Poljanak,
16 Kuselj, Saborsko, then Plaski --
17 A. Licka Jasenica, Blato, Poljcegrad [phoen], Blaga, Plavska Glava,
19 Q. Thank you for your assistance, you have helped me, but I wanted to
20 ask you the following: Could one say that Saborsko is a village that
21 stretches a few kilometres along the road?
22 A. Seven kilometres.
23 Q. Does Saborsko have any hamlets? Are there any parts of the
24 village, like Borik, Funtana, Panjici, Kuselj, Tuk, Brdine? Is all this
25 part of Saborsko?
1 A. Yes, from Kuselj to Borik.
2 Q. And Alan Height, does it belong to Saborsko?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And Mali Sivnik?
5 A. Yes, that's in the middle of Saborsko, towards the military
6 training ground.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You said that Saborsko stretches lengthwise some 7 kilometres. If
10 one can speak of the breadth of the village, how wide is it,
11 approximately? Can you estimate that?
12 A. The road runs through Saborsko and some hamlets have a street. So
13 that's maybe half a kilometre more, but all the other houses are lined up
14 along the road, but there are some hamlets to the side.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vukovic. You explained about this police force,
16 the special police from Slunj and then the one from Drezni Grad, that they
17 were -- that their disposition was along some lines. Were there men in
18 all of these places, Borik, Funtana --
19 A. Well, not in Funtana because it's 2 or 3 kilometres from Kuselj.
20 Q. Funtana?
21 A. Funtana, yes. There's some water there and that's what it's been
22 called since time immemorial.
23 Q. Were there any in Tuk?
24 A. Yes. That's towards the military training ground, and Borik is to
25 the left.
1 Q. In the hamlet of Brdine?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were these specials and your forces deployed in Alan and Mali
4 Sivnik? Those are two different elevations.
5 A. Yes, but just four or five men. Four or five in Sivnik and four
6 or five in the other place, and in Kuselj there were more because there
7 was a wood there. And where the military training ground was, there was
8 just some who would tell the others if anything happened.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you please slow down, gentlemen.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You said that you became the chief of police in Saborsko on the
12 20th of August, 1991.
13 A. No, not the chief, maybe that's an error. Slavko Ceranic was the
14 commander there, and for some family reasons he had to go to Ogulin
15 because he came from Josip -- well, from Ogulin in fact. And then he said
16 to me: You stay here, and he left me the car and the communication
17 equipment and told me to stay there until either he or somebody else came
19 Q. To repeat your words, you became the commander of that police
20 outpost. Can you say that?
21 A. Well, I can't say I was the commander. I was a policeman, but
22 Slavko left me there and told me to look after the communications and to
23 go to get ammunition in Slunj if need be, and so on.
24 Q. If we describe your position, would I be wrong in saying that as
25 Slavko left, you were his deputy at that post while this was going on?
1 A. Well, I was standing in for him until somebody else arrived. They
2 would have to go through Glibodol and through the forest and come back
3 instead of Slavko, because I wasn't really up to that kind of work then.
4 Q. Thank you. When you were describing the attack of the 3rd of
5 September, 1991, you said that reserve policemen were wounded, Milan
6 Matovina and Martin Grbic. Where were they at the time of the attack?
7 A. Between Strkovi and Borik. Those are two hamlets. They were
8 right in between.
9 Q. You stated that on the 6th of September, 1991, on the
10 Saborsko-Plitvica road, Ivica Matovina and Marko Sebalj, members of the
11 ZNG, were killed. Stipe Matovina, a reserve Croatian policeman, and
12 another policeman was wounded.
13 A. Yes. Milan Conjar.
14 Q. You say they were on the road. Where were they going?
15 A. They were in the ZNG, Marko Sebalj and the others, and they were
16 going from Grabovac. I don't know. And they came home and then they
17 couldn't go back to Zagreb through Crnjak, and they were members of the
18 ZNG. I don't know where, whether in Zagreb or in Duga Resa where the
19 headquarters was. And they came in a van and they were unable to go back.
20 They could only go as far as Slunj but they couldn't go on to Karlovac.
21 Q. Just another short question: The ZNG, or the National Guards
22 Corps, what was it at the time?
23 A. Well, it was like an army. What would I know? Like an army. It
24 wasn't the police. It was an army.
25 Q. Whose army?
1 A. Well, it was a Croatian army.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think now is a
3 convenient time.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. We will
5 take a short break and come back at quarter to 6.00. Court adjourned.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Witness, those six people who were killed on the 6th of September,
11 1991, on the way to Saborsko and Plitvica, we have mentioned their names.
12 You said that they were all in uniform, and in your written statement to
13 the OTP it says they were in olive-grey uniforms, whereas later on you
14 corrected this and said they were actually in camouflage uniforms. Is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you know whether these men were armed?
18 A. Yes, they had automatic and semi-automatic rifles. I don't know
19 which kind -- you mean those four who were in the van? There were four of
20 them in the van, not six.
21 Q. And those four in the van, when were they killed?
22 A. When they were going from Plitvica, that is from Grabovac on the
23 6th of September.
24 Q. Ivica Matovina, Marko Sebalj, Stipe Matovina, and another one.
25 A. Yes, Mile Conjar; there were four of them.
1 Q. Thank you, Witness, my mistake. So it was four men, not six.
2 Thank you for the correction.
3 A. You're welcome.
4 Q. We saw that these men were armed and in uniform. Before that,
5 were civilians killed in a similar manner? Did things like this happen to
7 A. I don't remember that, no. No, I don't remember.
8 Q. Thank you. We mentioned the villages of Glibodol -- Glibodol,
9 Saborsko, Ogulin, Dreznik. Were there any Croatian police forces in those
10 villages and were there any members of the ZNG there?
11 A. I know there was a police station in Drezni Grad. The station was
12 in Slunj, there was an outpost in Drezni Grad. As for Glibodol, I don't
13 know what there was on that side towards Brinje.
14 Q. Thank you. You said that on the 25th of September, 1991, a convoy
15 of over a hundred men arrived in Saborsko, and these were men who
16 originated in Saborsko. You explained that they were reserve policemen
17 and that they were led by Marko Krizmanic, who was the commander of the
18 Saborsko war unit after that. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes. Not after that. He brought them there and he was their
21 Q. You also said that that first convoy, which arrived with over a
22 hundred armed men, brought even mortars and a -- an anti-aircraft weapon.
23 Was that a Browning by any chance?
24 A. Well, it could have been a Browning, yes.
25 Q. When we say "a Browning," would I be right in saying that this is
1 an anti-aircraft machine-gun with a calibre of 12.7 millimetres, of
2 American make?
3 A. Well, I didn't actually see it. People just talked about it being
4 there, and I don't know what its calibre was.
5 Q. This convoy of over a hundred armed men, what kind of vehicles did
6 it arrive in from Zagreb?
7 A. Trucks. I don't know how many trucks there were. And the
8 food-stuffs, the flour and the cigarettes were loaded onto the trucks.
9 Q. You said that this convoy of armed men with arms and weapons went
10 around the barracks in Licka Jasenica. Why?
11 A. Well, they couldn't pass through Licka Jasenica, but there's a
12 forest road above the barracks passing through Javornik and then coming
13 down again. It's a forest road.
14 Q. Thank you. And you explained that they couldn't pass through
15 Licka Jasenica, this convoy with armed men. Is that because there was a
16 JNA barracks there, to avoid a conflict with the JNA?
17 A. Well, we from Saborsko couldn't go through Licka Jasenica. How
18 could they go through? They would have gone that way had they believed
19 they could get through, but Saborsko was surrounded on all sides, so they
20 couldn't, and they had to take a shortcut through the forest.
21 Q. You explained that this convoy of the 21st of September, 1991,
22 brought with it nine captured men. One was elderly, the others were
23 younger, and that you recognised two of them as former policemen. And you
24 said they were in camouflage uniforms. Is that correct?
25 A. Well, they had jeans, but the top part of their clothing was
2 Q. I was just about to ask you that. What do you mean when you say
3 "jeans"? Can you describe what these trousers looked like?
4 A. Like this.
5 Q. Were the jeans camouflaged or were they normal, civilian jeans?
6 A. Normal jeans, just jeans; denim.
7 Q. So these men who were wearing ordinary trousers had multi-coloured
9 A. Yes, two of them.
10 Q. In the statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor in
11 January 2001, it says that they wore camouflage uniforms. Now we see that
12 these were not uniforms. Am I right? They were wearing civilian trousers
13 and multi-coloured jackets. Is that correct?
14 A. I don't know. When did I make that statement that they were in
15 camouflage uniform?
16 Q. Witness, this is a statement that you gave to the Office of the
17 Prosecutor in January 2001. Its number is 03047121, and in English it's
18 01098817. And on page 3 of that statement -- on page 3, it says, in the
19 last paragraph: "I recognised some of the prisoners, Dusko Jovicic and
20 Damir Vorkapic, policemen from Ogulin." And then it goes on to say:
21 "They were wearing camouflage uniforms," and what I'm asking you is
22 whether what you say today is correct or whether it's what is said in the
24 A. Well, it may be an error but they did have camouflage jackets.
25 The upper part was camouflage.
1 Q. Were they wearing caps?
2 A. I don't know what they had on when they were captured, but this
3 war unit of Saborsko brought them to the police station outpost in
4 Saborsko like that.
5 Q. When answering the Prosecutor's questions today as to whether
6 anything was written on this upper part, multi-coloured top, you said that
7 there was a two-headed eagle, an eagle.
8 A. On one side, and I couldn't go into the room because Marko
9 Krizmanic was talking to them and I don't know who else. And then nobody
10 else was supposed to enter the room -- or rather, the office.
11 Q. In the statement that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor, it
12 doesn't only say that they were in camouflage uniforms, it also says that
13 you said that they had insignia that said "SAO Krajina." Is that correct
14 or not?
15 A. Well, I saw the insignia and I think that's what it said -- well,
16 it's not that I saw it exactly, but I thought that was that. I mean, what
17 other kind of insignia could they have? It couldn't be the Croatian
19 Q. So you said that there was a coat of arms on the sleeve. Did you
20 see or assume that it said "SAO Krajina"?
21 A. No, if I stood over there and if I'm here, of course you can see
22 that one side but you cannot see the other side, you see. I was standing
23 at the door, like there.
24 Q. Am I right, then, if I say that you can confirm that you saw only
25 the eagle?
1 A. Yes, part of it.
2 Q. Just part of it. And what about the text "SAO Krajina," did you
3 see it or not?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. You're welcome.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Microphone not activated]
8 Q. You said that on that day, the 25th of September, 1991, with this
9 over 100 armed men, Marko Krizmanic came as commander of the war unit of
10 Saborsko and that he was questioning these nine men who were prisoners and
11 that with him was Luka Hodak, president of the Crisis Staff, as well as
12 the deputy commander of the war unit, Josip Sabljak. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Luka Hodak, who you mentioned here, was president of what Crisis
16 A. Well, I don't go into that. It all came from Zagreb, I mean what
17 they did and how this went. I don't know.
18 Q. This convoy that we've been talking about all along headed by
19 Commander Marko Krizmanic as commander of the war unit Saborsko, when it
20 arrived in Saborsko, where were these armed men sent to, deployed?
21 A. Well, all around, as you mentioned: Sivnik, Alan, Kuselj. Part
22 of them went to Borik and Strk. He deployed them.
23 Q. Did I understand you correctly? Did the commander of that war
24 unit, Marko Krizmanic, work out this deployment?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You stated that a few days later these ethnic Serbs were exchanged
2 for three persons from Slunj of Croatian ethnicity?
3 A. Well, Drezni Grad. It belongs to the municipality of Slunj, but
4 it was Drezni Grad. Perhaps it was written wrong.
5 Q. Maybe I made a mistake in my question. Sorry. Today is -- well,
6 that is what you said today. Anyway, on that day members of Martic's
7 police caught a Croatian policeman and two members of the war unit that
8 were exchanged in December 1991. However, in your statement to the OTP
9 you say that they -- that it was members of Martic's police that captured
10 them. And today when answering questions, you said you didn't know who
11 captured them.
12 A. Well, that's what was being said, that it was either Martic's
13 people or somebody else, but who actually captured them is something I
14 don't know exactly -- well, not even now. I never asked even later. I
15 still don't know.
16 Q. In your statement given to the OTP you also say that at the
17 beginning of October 1991, in a conflict between a group of Chetniks and a
18 reconnaissance group of the Saborsko war unit, six members of that
19 Saborsko war unit were wounded. What do you mean by "Chetniks"?
20 A. Well, I don't know, that's what people were saying, that the
21 village was attacked and then this waiter from Plitvica -- well, anyway,
22 that is what people were saying, "Now Cedo is going to show you what he
23 knows." Now, I don't know how it all turned out.
24 Q. You say that there was an armed clash and that in the area of
25 Sertic Poljana there was a clash between these Chetniks, as you called
1 them, with the reconnaissance group of the Saborsko war unit and that
2 several persons were wounded that time. And all of them were members of
3 the war unit. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When you say that in the clash between the reconnaissance group of
6 the Saborsko war unit in the area of Sertic Poljana with a group of
7 Chetniks, several members of the reconnaissance group were wounded, does
8 that mean that these people who you called Chetniks were armed and that
9 this was an armed conflict?
10 A. They attacked towards Kuselj and then the reconnaissance men were
11 there and then they called -- well, I don't know, I wasn't there at
12 Kuselj. I just know what they said. When these men were wounded, they
13 were brought to the centre in Saborsko and again people went through the
14 forest to Slunj with the wounded men.
15 Q. Thank you. When you mentioned this convoy that arrived on the
16 25th of September, 1991, from Zagreb, you said that they were reserve
17 policemen of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior, that they were all
18 armed, that they brought mortars along, anti-aircraft machine-guns, and
19 that they took up combat positions in Saborsko and around Saborsko.
20 A. Around Saborsko.
21 Q. Thank you for this correction. Do you know who armed these 120
22 reserve policemen? Who gave them mortars? Who gave them these
23 anti-aircraft machine-guns?
24 A. Well, I don't know. I don't know how this went. They came from
25 Zagreb. I have no idea. I don't know.
1 Q. Since you said that they were members of the reserve force of the
2 Croatian Ministry of the Interior, would it be logical to conclude that
3 they were armed by the Croatian authorities, not by the Yugoslav People's
5 A. Well, of course. When we say "the other side," what do we mean by
6 the other side? Who armed the other side?
7 Q. You said that in October 1991 another convoy with ammunition and
8 equipment arrived in Saborsko. You said that manpower had not arrived
9 then, if I understood you correctly.
10 A. Well, of course. It's not that 150 men came, but the drivers came
11 driving the trucks and, I don't know, a few security people, I don't know
12 how many there were, who were providing security for the convoy.
13 Q. This convoy of trucks, how many trucks did it involve? How big
14 was it?
15 A. I don't know; six or seven, but that's what it was called, the
16 convoy's coming. Now whether it was six or seven, I don't know.
17 Q. You said that this convoy was escorted by armed security, about 20
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who were they; members of the Croatian police or the ZNG?
21 A. Well, the reserve police. They had uniforms.
22 Q. What did this work uniform look like?
23 A. It was sort of this colour, this colour.
24 Q. Can that be called a greyish-bluish colour?
25 A. Yes, greyish-blue.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't see blue. I see grey only on that jersey.
2 You call that grey-blue, Mr. Milovancevic?
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I asked the witness to describe
4 this colour for us. When he says "like this," I cannot describe it. But
5 then since he insists on this descriptive answer, I've been trying to
6 interpret it. But that is my question to the witness:
7 Q. Can you describe this colour? Did I make a mistake when I said
8 what I said?
9 A. Well, it's sort of grey. Greyish-bluish, that's what it is, yes,
10 something like that.
11 Q. Thank you. Is it one colour or can it be said that it was a
12 camouflage uniform?
13 A. No, no, one colour, the trousers and the top part.
14 Q. The escort of this convoy of 20 men, Croatian reserve policemen,
15 were they armed? And if so, what kind of weapons did they have?
16 A. Rifles. Some had automatic, some had semi-automatic rifles.
17 Q. Did this escort leave with the convoy -- or rather, did the convoy
18 stay in the village or did they leave?
19 A. They stayed in the village.
20 Q. These armed men, where did they go to?
21 A. They stayed there, as far as I can remember. I don't know
23 Q. In one of your answers to one of my questions you said in relation
24 to the gun-fire opened at JNA barracks on Licka Jasenica that this was a
25 response to their attack. Did I understand you correctly?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us when this happened?
3 A. I do not recall the date.
4 Q. Can we say that this was before Saborsko was taken or before it
5 fell, as you say, on the 12th of November, 1991? Was it before that?
6 A. Yes, before that.
7 Q. Can we say that this was in the period between summer and that
8 date when Saborsko fell?
9 A. Well, summer and this period. I mean, how can you --
10 Q. Sorry, sorry. Let us not speak at the same time. I'm asking you
11 whether this was between the period of July/August up to November, because
12 I would like to put this within a time-frame, if possible, if you
14 A. Well, it was later, when these people came from Zagreb. Now,
15 when, what date, I don't know. It's after the 25th of September. After
16 the 25th of September. Now, what date it was, I don't know.
17 Q. Do you know that at a crossroads called Glibodolski Kriz, near
18 Saborsko, three members of the Territorial Defence at Plaski were killed.
19 Do you know of something like that happening in 1991?
20 A. No, this is the first I hear of this.
21 Q. At this intersection they were killed and they were thrown into a
22 pit and it was Susnjar Vasic Stevo, also Susnjar Djure Milan, and Petrovic
23 Milan Bogdan, and a horse's corpse was thrown at their corpses into the
24 pit. Do you know these people?
25 A. I don't know. On the other side, near Brinje, that's where the
1 line was. I don't know, I don't know. Glibodol is far away from
2 Saborsko. You have to walk through the forest. We have no business there
3 except in passing.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I think the witness had said to
5 you: I don't know, I'm hearing this for the first time today. When you
6 persist with questions along the same topic, how do you expect him to know
7 anything or give any answer on that? He doesn't know.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have finished my
9 questions. I just wanted to jog the witness's memory, to see whether this
10 would help him remember, but I have no further questions. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: He doesn't say he forgot, he says he does not know,
12 he's hearing of it for the first time today. There's no memory to jog
13 here, Mr. Milovancevic.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You mentioned that after these reinforcements came, this first
16 convoy with about 120 armed policemen from Zagreb, there was this attack
17 on the Licka Jasenica barracks. There are documents in which the then-JNA
18 recorded what happened and when. Then it is recorded that on the 5th of
19 November and the 7th of November fire was opened from the area of Alan,
20 Veliki Sivnik, at the barracks in Jasenica, and that 26 artillery shells
21 were fired in response. And, for example, a mortar and Browning opened
22 fire at the barracks in Licka Jasenica -- sorry, I misspoke. From the
23 Saborsko side, from Bozin Vrh [phoen]. Then it says that on the 7th of
24 November there was a very strong attack from Saborsko and Glibodol at this
25 barracks from 2.50 in the morning, and it was repelled only at 2000 hours
1 in the evening.
2 Do you know anything about these events?
3 A. Well, this did happen, but when the mortars were shooting -- well,
4 they cannot shoot from Sivnik, really. From Alan, yes, but not from
5 Sivnik, but that's the other side. But I know about Alan, yes, I know
6 that that was heard.
7 Q. Do I understand what you're saying, that you heard mortars from
8 Alan firing at the Licka Jasenica barracks?
9 A. Yes, but before that, from Licka Jasenica they were firing, and
10 from the railroad. From the barracks, that is, they were firing at
12 Q. Since you were not there when Saborsko fell on the 12th of
13 November, 1991, you were not in Saborsko, did you hear that there was an
14 order issued by the commander of the 5th Army District, Colonel-General
15 Zivota Avramovic, giving an assignment to Tactical Group 2 of the Yugoslav
16 People's Army, which was commanded by Colonel Cedomir Bulat, that on that
17 day, the 12th of November, it should carry out combat operations in the
18 region of Saborsko with the objective of defeating armed enemy groups in
19 that area. Do you know of this order? Have you heard of it?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you know that in that attack at the region of Saborsko against
22 these fortified positions, there was -- there were air strikes, there was
23 artillery and tanks involved, and that this was fierce fighting that ended
24 only in the afternoon. Have you heard anything about this?
25 A. Well, I don't want to go into all of this hearsay. I was not
1 there and I don't know anything.
2 Q. In 1991 you entered the new Croatian police. You said that you
3 were asked to sign a statement of loyalty to Martic's police. Do you know
4 whether the Croatian police, established by the new Croatian authorities,
5 asked for policemen of Serb ethnicity to sign such a statement of loyalty
6 to the Croatian police? Have you heard about this?
7 A. I don't know. Those who had worked in the police before in
8 Ogulin, some stayed and others went to Plaski or Vojnica or wherever they
9 were from, but quite a few of them remained, and now they're retired.
10 Q. You said that in early 1991 the Croatian leadership issued a
11 decision that members of the Ministry of the Interior should be called
12 "policija" and that they carried the chequer-board insignia. Do you know
13 when the ZNG was established?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Did you notice when we were discussing these events that in many
16 places the Saborsko war unit was deployed and that this was a unit armed
17 and equipped by either the police or the military leadership of the
18 Republic of Croatia and that they were sent to the Saborsko area, which is
19 between the largest military training ground of the former JNA, which was
20 in Slunj, the largest on the territory of Yugoslavia, and Licka Jasenica,
21 where there was a huge fuel depot. Did you notice any connection? Any
22 cause and effect?
23 A. What do you mean? I didn't understand your question. Excuse me.
24 Q. Did you ask yourself how come the Saborsko war unit, in September
25 1991 on the territory of the European state of Yugoslavia, between -- was
1 deployed between two very important facilities of the federal armed force?
2 Did you think about that?
3 A. I didn't think about that. Somebody sent them from Zagreb. I
4 don't know.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I have just one more questions,
6 Your Honours.
7 Q. According to the information at the disposal of the Defence - and
8 these are written materials obtained from the Prosecution - during the
9 operation near Saborsko which was carried out at the order of authorised
10 military commanders with the aim of defeating enemy armed forces, the air
11 force artillery tanks of the JNA clashed with armed forces in Saborsko.
12 Do you know how intense the fighting in Saborsko was at the time? Did you
13 hear anything about this later, as you were not there?
14 A. Well, I heard that there was infantry as well, nothing else.
15 Tanks, planes, artillery, and so on.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed
17 my cross-examination.
18 Q. Thank you, Witness, for your replies.
19 A. You're welcome.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
21 Ms. Richterova, any re-direct?
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: I have only few questions.
23 Re-examination by Ms. Richterova:
24 Q. During the cross-examination, you testified that you heard rumours
25 that Martic's police would stop people at the check-points and beat them.
1 You emphasised that you only heard about this.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you --
4 A. I only heard about it.
5 Q. Can you tell us, when was it you heard about this beating of
6 people at the check-points?
7 A. In Ogulin, when I was working there in March. But that's hearsay,
8 I cannot confirm it.
9 Q. And from whom did you hear it?
10 A. From citizens. People were talking about it, but it was just
11 rumours, hearsay.
12 Q. In cross-examination you also were asked questions about ZNG.
13 Were any members of ZNG present and fighting in Saborsko?
14 A. No, only those two who arrived. I don't know where they had been.
15 When they came home to Saborsko - one of them was from Drezni Grad, his
16 name was Sebalj, he was from somewhere around Plitvica - they came home
17 and couldn't go back in the van. They got as far as Slunj and they
18 couldn't go on. They had to come back. They had only come home for a
19 visit for two or three days, however they were unable to go, to leave
21 Q. You also mentioned that there were, in your opinion, some were
22 from Duga Resa or from Zagreb. Can you assist the Judges and tell us
23 where Duga Resa is.
24 A. Near Karlovac. I don't know how far; 6 or 7 kilometres, perhaps.
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: Just to assist the Judges, on the page 20, in the
1 middle of that page you will see Karlovac, and just one centimetre below
2 is Duga Resa.
3 Q. You also testified during the cross-examination that those people
4 who left Saborsko at night on 1st -- on 5th of August, that most of them
5 left Saborsko and went towards Rakovica and further and that they left
6 from Rakovica on three buses, those who fit in these buses. Is it
8 A. Yes, and that's how it was. I wasn't there myself, but that's
9 what I know about it, yes.
10 Q. What did happen to people who didn't fit to the buses? You
11 testified before that many of them returned, so are you referring to the
12 same people?
13 A. Those who returned were those who didn't want to go, who were in
14 good health. Those who left were the elderly, the sick, the children,
15 women, and so on.
16 Q. Who left -- who returned to Saborsko? Were there -- those who
17 returned to Saborsko, were there among them, were there women, children,
18 elderly people, or did they all left?
19 A. Well, some elderly people came back from Grabovac. My parents,
20 for example, and some others as well.
21 MS. RICHTEROVA: I have no further questions.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Ms. Richterova.
24 JUDGE HOEPFEL: No questions. Thank you.
25 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: No questions.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Vukovic, right at the beginning of your
3 evidence you were asked about relations between Croats and Serbs in the
4 areas that you were testifying about, and you said in response to the
5 question: What changed the relationships? You said: There was no
6 change, it was just a cut off. My question to you is: Are you able to
7 tell what precipitated the cut off?
8 A. I don't know. That's a political matter, perhaps. I don't know
9 who they had there or what they had, and they wouldn't let us use the road
10 and pass through on the bus, and then we couldn't travel. We always got
11 on well in Licka Jasenica, and Saborsko as well.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who wouldn't let you use the road?
13 A. I don't know. At ten past 5.00 in the morning, the bus set out
14 for Ogulin, it was the regular line, and it came back. Who it was, I
15 don't know. The bus driver then took the bus through Slunj towards
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: From your own observation, what happened to people
18 from your own village who were not travelling by bus but were -- but were
19 using other means of transport? Were they also blocked on the road?
20 A. We didn't go towards Ogulin through Jasenica. We didn't go
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, you don't know why the bus returned. Why did
23 you not go anywhere now on your own?
24 A. No one went because the bus was sent back. They -- it couldn't go
25 through. I don't know who stopped it from going, but it came back.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm --
2 A. I can't say I know when I don't know.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand. Are you aware -- let me ask you
4 differently. Are you aware of people who used some other transport to try
5 and go to Ogulin who were stopped?
6 A. I don't remember.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't know this area that we have been testifying
8 about. There's quite a number of villages that you referred to that you
9 said were attacked. Let me start with your own village where you were
10 born, Saborsko. It was attacked at some stage, isn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: How many times?
13 A. I don't know how many exactly. The police commander wrote it all
14 down, how many attacks there were, everything, but it all remained behind
15 and it's all been burnt. And now I don't remember anymore.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: But was it more than once?
17 A. It was being attacked all the time.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: When all the attacks had taken place, what was the
19 condition of the village?
20 A. Those houses that were made of wood were all burnt down. Those
21 that were made of brick or stone were destroyed, and only shells of walls
22 remained. The school, the church, the community club, the post office;
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The entire village had been destroyed?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of the people who were in the village at the time
2 of attack, do you know if any one of them were killed?
3 A. The civilians, you mean?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
5 A. The last attack, I don't know the number but I can say
6 approximately: Three in one place, seven in another, five in yet another
7 place. That's how they were buried when we came in 1995.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: In your evidence I think you referred -- I don't
9 know whether this is with respect to Saborsko, but you referred to some
10 people who were allegedly thrown into a pit. Am I right?
11 A. Saborsko, yes. My father is there, too.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know how many people were thrown in this
14 A. I know there was seven on one side and I don't know how many on
15 the other side; 13 perhaps, or 12, I can't be sure. They were all thrown
16 in together.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you like some water?
18 A. No. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 Are you okay? Can I carry on asking questions or would you like
21 to take a rest?
22 A. I can go on, I can.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. I appreciate it. In other villages --
24 or let me ask this question: Which -- apart from Saborsko, which are the
25 other villages that you are aware of that were attacked?
1 A. Poljanak, Sertic Poljana, Drezni Grad, Sebise, Grabovac. I don't
2 know what order it happened in after Saborsko.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Do you know the extent of damage that was --
4 that took place at Poljanak?
5 A. I don't know, I don't know.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You don't even know the extent of deaths that took
7 place there?
8 A. I don't know. I don't know about Poljanak. I can't say I know if
9 I don't.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: And Sertic Poljana?
11 A. That fell before Saborsko. There were about 10 or 12 houses there
12 - I don't know exactly how many - and I think that a woman was burned
13 alive in her house, an elderly woman. She was over 70.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: When you say there were about 10 or 12 houses, that
15 was before the attack?
16 A. Yes, yes, before the attack.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Have you seen this village since the attack?
18 A. Yes, in 1995.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: And you saw it in 1995. Were all the houses still
21 A. No, there were no houses there.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: None at all?
23 A. Not a single one.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: In Drezni Grad, do you know anything --
25 A. I don't know about Drezni Grad. I didn't go there.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You didn't go there. Sebise?
2 A. No, no.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: What do you mean "no"?
4 A. I didn't go there. I didn't go to look. There was no need for me
5 to go there.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: What about Grabovac?
7 A. I did go to Grabovac, to the petrol station there.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: What was the condition when you got there, after
9 the attack on Grabovac?
10 A. Some houses had been torched, burnt, the motel as well. Some had
11 been destroyed, but there was still some houses standing. Some were
12 intact and some had burnt down.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you say the majority were still intact or
14 would you say the minority were still intact?
15 A. I just went to the petrol station and there weren't so many houses
16 around there, just a motel, and the petrol pump and a restaurant and a few
17 houses along the road. And I looked at those, and some had been burnt
18 down and some not.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, do you know whether at -- when each one of
20 these villages was being attacked, whether the inhabitants had been
21 aggressive toward the attacker before the attack took place?
22 A. Well, I don't know what happened in those places. I don't know.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: In Saborsko, do you know whether the inhabitants of
24 Saborsko became aggressive and caused the attacker to attack Saborsko?
25 A. I don't know how. I didn't hear anybody say anything provocative.
1 I didn't hear that ever.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much.
3 A. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were you at any stage injured in any of these
5 things, activities that took place, you personally?
6 A. No, not -- I was not wounded in Saborsko, no.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not anywhere else either?
8 A. In Ogulin, I stepped on a land-mine. That was in 1991, after
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were you injured as a result?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where?
13 A. In my left leg.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you able to show us? Do you mind showing us?
15 A. No, I don't.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: May we please see? It looks like the lawyers this
17 side would like to see. Would you like to come this side also to let them
18 see, to show those lawyers.
19 A. Excuse me.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Vukovic.
21 A. You're welcome. You're welcome.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Vukovic. We are grateful
24 to you for coming to testify in the court. You -- we're finished -- I beg
25 your pardon. I beg your pardon. We are not done with you yet.
1 Ms. Richterova, do you have any questions arising?
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: No. I apologise, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you -- no, it's my mistake. Thank you.
4 Mr. Milovancevic?
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one question,
6 very briefly, in connection with the wounding in Ogulin.
7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
8 Q. Can the witness explain to us when in 1991 this happened and what
9 kind of mine it was and who held Ogulin at the time.
10 A. It was the Croatian army that was holding it and I was -- I
11 actually stepped on a Croatian land-mine.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
15 Thank you very much, Mr. Vukovic. Thank you very much. You are
16 excused. You may stand down.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Richterova.
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: We do not have any witness ready for now, it's
20 only 15 minutes before the break, but we will call another witness on
21 Monday. That will be Vlado Vukovic.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Ms. Richterova. Very well.
23 Then court will adjourn -- sorry, do you have something to say?
24 MR. WHITING: No, I was just getting up to adjourn. I was just
25 too quick.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
2 We will adjourn to Monday at 9.00, in the morning. Just to remind
3 you, the whole of next week is 9.00 in the morning. Court adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.42 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 27th day of
6 March, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.