1 Thursday, 30 March 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 WITNESS: MARKO MILJANIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just warn the witness that you are still
9 bound by the declaration you made yesterday to tell the truth, the whole
10 truth, nothing else but the truth. Thank you very much.
11 Mr. Perovic?
12 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Perovic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday we started the cross-examination.
15 Today we are going to finish it, Mr. Miljanic. Yesterday you stated that
16 in September 1991, you were appointed commander of the defence in Skabrnja
17 and that under your command in Skabrnja itself there were 242 people,
18 either reserve policemen or volunteers; is that right?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. You mentioned the moment when on the 2nd of October 1991, women,
21 children and the elderly, in agreement with the Crisis Staff of the
22 municipality, were evacuated by buses temporarily from Skabrnja; is that
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. And you said that these 242 men stayed behind in the village with
1 the task of protecting the village; is that right?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. You also said that at that time you were 42 years of age and that
4 you were the oldest person there, or among the oldest people there among
5 the people who remained to protect the village; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Let's just clarify one thing: Who mobilised these 242 men who
8 stayed behind in the village? How did that happen? How come they came to
9 be under your command?
10 A. That was not real mobilisation. I as a soldier know what
11 mobilisation is and what mobilisation call-up is. Quite simply, at that
12 time the chief of the police administration, Mr. Ivan Brzoja, sent reserve
13 policemen who were from Skabrnja. He sent them to go to Skabrnja in order
14 to secure peace and protection for the village. The others were
15 exclusively volunteers, not mobilised people, volunteers only, who made
16 themselves available, who said that they would be in the village and
17 protect the village.
18 Q. Thank you. You said that on the average, they were between the
19 age of 30 and 35. I'm referring to the reservists; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Were they the only ones who were armed in Skabrnja?
22 A. Well, perhaps. There were perhaps a few civilians there who came
23 from Zadar to see how their cattle were doing, feed them, et cetera, to
24 see their property. These were hunters and others. Well, I mean others
25 who were not hunters did not have weapons.
1 Q. I'm asking you this because in your statement to the district
2 court in Zadar on page 8, you said that some elderly people also had
4 A. I did say that, that is true.
5 Q. You mean the hunters who came?
6 A. Well, yes, the hunters. Well, every day people came from Zadar
7 because they had horses, cows, sheep, their cattle, their property, and
8 they had feed their animals. They were hunters. In Skabrnja there were
9 about 25 to 30 hunters, most of them older people.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Miljanic, may I remind you please to wait a
11 moment after the question by the counsel so that you don't overlap. Thank
12 you very much.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Miljanic, as a military expert, how would you characterise
16 this group of 243 men?
17 A. I would characterise them in the following way: Before the war,
18 in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, there was a Territorial
19 Defence. I consider them to be the members of the Territorial Defence
20 because at that time we did not have a military establishment, so that is
21 why they had names from the Yugoslav People's Army. So we had squads,
22 platoons, companies. So it was only based on the Territorial Defence
24 Q. That group of 240 men could be considered a battalion, right?
25 A. Well, yes, with the others attached, along with the villages that
1 I mentioned yesterday, in my answers yesterday.
2 Q. In those seven villages you had 730 to 740 men; is that right?
3 A. Yes. Well, give or take ten men up and down. People went and
4 came back, but roughly that was the number, that's true, yes.
5 Q. We should just pause between questions and answers so that all of
6 this gets interpreted.
7 In your statement to the OTP, you said that in Skabrnja you made
8 two barricades, you put up two barricades, one at the entrance to the
9 village and the other one in the middle of Skabrnja on the road to
10 Biljane; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. At one of these barricades, your men took two JNA officers
13 prisoner. One was Dean Brener and the other one was a certain Jovanovic.
14 A. That is not correct. Not at the barricade, not at the roadblock,
15 but above the village in the forest, above the houses, in the forest.
16 They did not take the road when they were coming, they came through the
18 Q. But it is correct that these were their names?
19 A. Yes, and among them Petar Sveljo, a policeman, a third person.
20 Q. Your men brought these officers to you for questioning, right?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. How did you treat them?
23 A. Very fairly and properly. I repeat: Very fairly and properly.
24 Q. How much time did they spend there with you?
25 A. About two and a half hours.
1 Q. And then?
2 A. They were taken to Zadar.
3 Q. Who were they handed over to there?
4 A. Members of the police came and took them -- well, I don't know
5 what happened later in Zadar.
6 Q. Was that the military police of the ZNG, the National Guards
8 A. I cannot be sure. I cannot be sure. But I think -- well, quite
9 simply I'm not sure whether they were active policemen or members of the
10 ZNG. I can no longer remember.
11 Q. In that period of time, did the members of your battalion take
12 other prisoners, some members of the JNA, officers of the JNA?
13 A. Yes, above the village itself, two or three soldiers, I can no
14 longer remember. I know that one was from Varazdin. Two or three. And
15 the other 80 soldiers came on their own to us. They came armed, they
16 handed over their weapons, and they said that they fled from the JNA.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very fairly.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we slow down? The interpreter did not hear the
20 question. I know that when we get heated with the questions, we want to
21 go faster, but can we give it our time, please. Thank you, Mr. Perovic.
22 Thank you, Mr. Miljanic.
23 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] I'm repeating the question.
24 Q. How were these soldiers treated, the ones that you talked about
25 just now?
1 A. Very fairly, very properly. And they were all sent to Zadar. All
2 of them were sent to Zadar.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] ... 80 that came
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it wasn't in one day.
6 It happened throughout those ten or 15 days. People kept coming.
7 Sometimes it would be five people, sometimes seven, ten, whatever. But at
8 any rate, it was a total of 80 something soldiers. I don't know the exact
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: And it is those 80 that you are talking about?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Sorry, Mr. Perovic.
13 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. In your statement to the district court in Zadar, you stated at
15 the time that your men captured over 50 enemy officers and soldiers; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Well, that's what I said then, that -- there is evidence they came
18 on their own, but I don't know, I wrote it that way because of some court
19 or something, I don't know.
20 Q. On the same occasion, before the district court in Zadar, you
21 mentioned a special purpose unit under the command of a certain Djuro
22 Zupan that arrived in Skabrnja. Whose unit was that?
23 A. It was a special unit, a platoon of a special unit of the Zadar
24 MUP. The commander was Djuro Zupan. That unit came on the 15th or the
25 16th, and until the 17th in the morning it was there. On the morning of
1 the 17th it left Skabrnja.
2 Q. Just a moment, please. The Prosecutor seems to have an objection.
3 MS. VALABHJI: Actually, it's not an objection, I was merely
4 hoping to have a reference, when the statement to the district court in
5 Zadar is mentioned, the date and so on, which statement. Thank you.
6 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] I'll provide one straight away. It
7 was given on the 16th of November -- sorry, the 5th of October 1992. And
8 the subjects we were discussing are on page 3. May I proceed?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are we able to get a copy, Mr. Perovic?
10 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, of course.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. You don't have English translations?
12 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] I think that there is a copy of the
13 English translation attached to the document.
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that yet again they have
15 not received the documents from the Defence.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you have any copies for the interpreters?
17 MS. VALABHJI: Your Honour, I have some copies. These could be
18 passed to the interpreters, if it assists.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: We appreciate your help. Thank you so much.
20 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is page 3,
21 paragraph 5, in the English translation.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Perovic. We have seen the
24 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] May I proceed?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
1 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Miljanic, your battalion from Skabrnja, did it have some joint
3 plan with the unit that was commanded by Djuro Zupan?
4 A. No. It did not have any plan. We just had an attempt to reach an
5 agreement orally.
6 Q. In respect of what?
7 A. That it would be necessary to carry out reconnaissance and to
8 attack tanks that were above me, about a kilometre or two into Veljane.
9 Q. This tank group, did it belong to the Yugoslav People's Army?
10 A. Yes, the Yugoslav People's Army. I have already said that
11 Mr. Brener had informed me about that.
12 Q. However, you have not carried out that task -- you did not carry
13 out that task because the unit returned to Zadar the next day.
14 A. That's correct, yes.
15 Q. In your statement to the district court in Zadar, you say that
16 your battalion, around Skabrnja, placed two minefields; one on the
17 north-east where bunkers were dug, and trenches, and where anti-personnel
18 and anti-tank mines were laid. How many mines were involved, do you
19 remember, Mr. Miljanic?
20 A. Your Honour, we have to clarify this matter. I was improvising.
21 I was making mines by using explosives. There were over a hundred where I
22 put explosives and rocks on the explosives, because I was an expert for
23 explosives. So this was done with the intention of preventing any entry
24 into Skabrnja. Because I knew what the Yugoslav People's Army had. So
25 perhaps I had only about ten real anti-tank mines. The rest were these
1 makeshift, improvised minefields made of explosives used for commercial
2 purposes Vitezit, Kamenic [phoen], et cetera, but I did not have any
3 military explosives and I could not put anything else there. That is what
4 I had to say in respect of mines.
5 Q. As regards the number, were there over 100? I thought that that's
6 what you said.
7 A. I think so, yes. I think so, because I put about a kilogram of
8 explosive into every one. A kilogram of explosive, and then I would put
9 rocks all over it.
10 Q. As a military expert, do you think that this is a large quantity
11 of mines?
12 A. I don't think so, no. I don't think it's a large quantity. I
13 know what minefields are. I myself was wounded by a mine later, and in
14 the former Yugoslav People's Army I dealt with this. This was more of a
15 moral support to my men who had no idea as to what warfare was.
16 Q. During your testimony in the Milosevic case, you mentioned that
17 1.000 -- that not even the JNA had 1.000 mines.
18 A. The JNA had millions of mines. So there you go; millions of
20 Q. Is that what you said in the Milosevic case, the JNA did not even
21 have a thousand?
22 A. I don't recall. I don't think I stated that, but perhaps it is
23 possible. Maybe I did say that.
24 Q. You also stated that that line of defence could not have been
25 crossed by anyone; is that right?
1 A. That's what I stated in my reports in order to give moral support
2 - I repeat that - to my 240 men so that they would remain in the village,
3 so that they would not leave the village, but that's not true.
4 Q. According to your statement, Mr. Miljanic, the second minefield
5 was near Gradina in Zemunik Donji.
6 A. True.
7 Q. Towards the airfield.
8 A. No, not towards the airfield but above the mental hospital. Not
9 towards the airfield, that's a different direction.
10 Q. There was an airfield in Zemunik?
11 A. Between Zadar and Zemunik. This, however, this minefield was
12 between Skabrnja and Zemunik, the one you're referring to.
13 Q. Mr. Miljanic, do you know anything about the blockade of the
14 barracks of the JNA in Croatia in that year?
15 A. No. I don't know anything about that because I left those
16 barracks on my own in a peaceful and dignified way. I said good-bye to
17 everybody and I simply did not run away. I only said I wouldn't stay
18 there, and I left. I don't know anything about what you're asking me.
19 Q. You don't know anything about the barracks in Zadar and Split?
20 A. No, no. As I said, in the police I was just an ordinary
22 Q. Mr. Miljanic, do you know about the many cases of attacks on JNA
23 officers and arrests by the Croatian police and the confiscating of
24 weapons from JNA officers?
25 A. Your Honours, I lived in a building that only military personnel
1 resided in. I chatted to them every day, and in my neighbourhood, nobody
2 underwent such an experience. So I don't think it's true.
3 Q. Do you know that on the 15th of August 1991, the General Staff of
4 the JNA issued an order that all JNA barracks should have the siege lifted
5 -- just let me finish my question -- by units on territories that were
6 not under threat?
7 A. I repeat: I am not aware of this because I was not a prominent
8 member either of the command of the police in Zadar or the Crisis Staff.
9 I repeat that I was only a pyrotechnician in the Zadar police
10 administration. My position was pyrotechnic inspector.
11 Q. Was Skabrnja one of the points on the route one had to pass to get
12 to the barracks in Zadar and Sibenik?
13 A. It was one of the routes, yes, but there is another route leading
14 to Skabrnja, a road that runs from Benkovac through Smiljcic, Gornji
15 Zemunik, the airfield, all the way to Babin Dub, or Crni, and the army was
16 able to move freely along that road. It didn't have to pass through
17 Skabrnja. Nobody passed through Skabrnja anyway because it wasn't
19 Q. But Skabrnja was one of the routes?
20 A. Yes, it was on one of the routes. There was a road, yes. As I
21 said yesterday, Mr. Ratko Mladic used to pass through there. He passed
22 there ten times or more in his vehicle without any escort or anything.
23 Q. Mr. Miljanic, yesterday and in some of your previous statements,
24 you stated that from the military standpoint, Skabrnja had no
1 A. That's true. It had no military significance whatsoever. There
2 were no major facilities there, no military targets, no military
3 fortifications, no strategic importance. It was chosen, in my personal
4 opinion, as a political target.
5 Q. I'm asking you as a military expert whether, in order to achieve a
6 political goal, it's necessary to raise a force of a thousand infantry
7 men, 28 tanks, with artillery preparation and aviation as well as landing
8 by helicopters, and you spoke of this.
9 A. Well, first of all, I'm no expert. I was just a junior JNA
10 officer, so I was not an important military expert, but I was one of the
11 lower-ranking commanders of the JNA carrying out his duties, a komandir
12 rather than a komandant. Secondly, Your Honours, propaganda played a
13 major role here. That's why such a large force was raised of army,
14 police, or paramilitary units to attack a village; simply to demonstrate
15 force and to show that that was the fate awaiting many. That's my opinion
16 as a former junior officer, because I see no other reason for an attack
17 with such a large force on a village inhabited by only 2.000 people.
18 In Skabrnja, there was no one who was not a native of Skabrnja,
19 either the ZNG or the special police or the Black Shirts, as we were
20 constantly called provocatively over the radio. There were no kind of
21 Ustasha units there. It was only local people from Skabrnja. I myself am
22 a native of Skabrnja and I live there today still.
23 Q. You said that the road was passable for the JNA because Colonel
24 Mladic used it, as you said.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And where was Colonel Mladic going, with what purpose?
2 A. Well, I didn't know then what his purpose was, but I learned later
3 in the police that Mr. Ratko Mladic was going to negotiate in Hotel
4 Kolovare because of Dean Brener, whom he exchanged for certain Croatian
5 people. I don't know whether they were soldiers or civilians or
6 policemen. That's what I know.
7 Q. And did the European Community mediate in those negotiations?
8 A. I'm not aware of that. I don't know. I wasn't in Zadar at the
10 Q. Was that the reason why, at that time, Colonel Mladic was able to
11 travel down that road?
12 A. No. He was able to travel normally. In that period from Zemunik
13 airport fuel was taken every day in the direction of Benkovac. Tank
14 trucks passed through quite normally, without any hindrance. There was no
15 hindrance to the traffic.
16 Q. Do you know that on the 22nd of September, 1991, an agreement was
17 reached that all JNA garrisons and barracks should have the siege lifted?
18 A. Well, I'm not aware of that. Nobody informed me of those things,
19 and there were no barracks in Skabrnja.
20 Q. Not in Skabrnja, but there was a big barracks in Zadar.
21 A. There were 14 barracks. Not one; 14.
22 Q. Yes, I know that, because that's where I did my military service,
23 in Sepurine.
24 A. Yes, and I worked near the hospital.
25 Q. Now, tell me, are you aware that, in spite of this agreement, the
1 JNA barracks in Zadar were exposed to fire by members of the Croatian
2 armed forces?
3 A. I'm not aware of that. I wasn't down there. I do have a flat on
4 the boulevard near the railway station, but I didn't go there. I would
5 only come home to change.
6 Q. So you're not aware of that?
7 A. No, I'm not aware of that at all.
8 Q. So you don't know about the 11 JNA members who were killed in
9 those attacks?
10 A. No. I really don't know about that because I wasn't in Zadar. I
11 was in Skabrnja.
12 Q. Mr. Miljanic, you said that the attack on Skabrnja began on the
13 18th of November, 1991, at around 7.30 in the morning.
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And you stated that until 11.30, you were able to hold your ground
16 and that then the line was broken through that was held by the 1st Platoon
17 of the 1st Company.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Miljanic, whether on that day, at around 1100
20 hours, a unit of about 20 members of the ZNG arrived in your
21 headquarters? They were armed with anti-tank rockets and you sent them to
22 Razovljeva Glavica to shoot at tanks at close range; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. At around 1300 hours, you were informed that the defence line from
25 the direction of -- had been broken through from the direction of
2 A. Well, I have to add a correction to what you said previously. 20
3 members of the ZNG did arrive with six or seven rockets, but they were
4 unable to carry out their task, or they didn't have the courage to do it,
5 and they came back with the job not done, and they left. So there was no
6 attack on tanks, actually.
7 Q. But was there an order to attack the tanks?
8 A. Yes. I issued that order.
9 Q. You also said that on that day, a JNA truck with ammunition
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At the time of the explosion, was this truck in Skabrnja?
13 A. No, no. It was overlooking Skabrnja on the Zemunik-Biljane road,
14 the road leading to Benkovac. It was on the road, just above the house
15 where I was born.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you know what caused the explosion of this truck?
17 A. I don't know whether it was hit or by whom. It was enough for a
18 single rifle bullet to hit a truck full of ammunition to have it explode.
19 Either it was a JNA shell that misfired or I don't know what happened.
20 Q. Was it possible that a member of your battalion hit it?
21 A. It's possible, because if it was sufficient to hit it with a rifle
22 bullet or a machine-gun to cause an explosion, then yes, of course, it's
24 Q. Mr. Miljanic, yesterday you mentioned, in connection with the
25 conversation you heard concerning that truck with ammunition, that you
1 recognised the voice of Colonel Ratko Mladic because you used to meet him
2 in Knin while you were still in the JNA; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, but I met Ratko Mladic - probably they told me that's who he
4 was - but he wasn't my commander. But of course I recognised him because
5 he was often on television. That was probably another reason.
6 Q. So you were able to recognise his voice?
7 A. Yes. I was able to recognise his voice. I know it well.
8 Q. We heard from you that in May 1991, you left the JNA; is that
10 A. I submitted a request in May 1991. I waited for the decision for
11 a month, and in June I left the JNA. For a month, I waited for the
12 document to come through because I had applied formally to leave the JNA.
13 Q. Are you aware that in July 1991, Ratko Mladic was transferred to
14 Knin from Macedonia?
15 A. I'm not aware of that.
16 Q. So that was a whole two months after you left the JNA.
17 A. Two months? Maybe, probably. I don't know, because as I said, I
18 applied to leave in May -- for permission to leave the JNA, and I left a
19 month later and I went to the Senjak barracks in Knin for the takeover of
21 Q. Well, the question arises: Did you ever actually meet Mr. Mladic?
22 A. Well, I think I did.
23 Q. You think you did?
24 A. I think I did.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Perovic, did the witness not say yesterday that
1 he knew Mr. Mladic's voice because he used to hear him on television,
2 speaking. It's the other guy that he said knew very well, Konkovic or
3 something like that. But he --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Tripko Cecovic.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. That's my recollection of the evidence
7 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm simply trying to
8 remove a dilemma. If in May the witness left his army service and Mladic
9 was transferred to Knin from Macedonia in July of the same year, the
10 question arises whether the witness was able to meet him or come across
11 him at all, as he said he had. The witness answered that he thought he
12 had met Mladic. May I proceed?
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may.
14 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. On the 18th of November, in the evening, you went to Zadar to ask
16 for help; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And on the same evening, you returned to Skabrnja, to the reserve
19 command post?
20 A. No, not in the evening but in the morning of the 19th. The 19th,
21 in the morning.
22 Q. Very well. You said that you spent the night between the 18th and
23 the 19th of November, 1991, and that you were holding practically half of
25 A. Yes. Night had fallen and because the tanks were old tanks, they
1 were not able to fire at night. They all parked in the centre of the
2 village and all combat activity ceased by the JNA.
3 Q. When did you withdraw from the village?
4 A. On the 19th November, in the morning - it was around 5.00 - those
5 who had survived.
6 Q. Yesterday you stated that it was truly an unequal situation
7 between you and the JNA.
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. So could you please give me an explanation, or rather, give the
10 Trial Chamber an explanation, and to me as well: How did you manage in
11 that kind of situation, it's 24 hours practically, to hold half of
12 Skabrnja in your own hands?
13 A. Because every man who defends his own home, his own hearth and
14 sees that his mother was killed, his father was killed, his sister, his
15 wife, 85-year-old grandmother, will do his very best and he is not going
16 to surrender just like that. And he is not going to fall into the hands
17 of, not the JNA but the members of those paramilitary units, to be
18 massacred. I have all of it here and I can show you later all the things
19 that happened. But when a man is defending his own home -- my people from
20 Skabrnja did not attack a Serb village or Serb positions. They were
21 defending their homes, and they were being killed at their own doorsteps.
22 So we have to bear that in mind. When you defend your very own, you do
23 your very best, and I did my very best to put a stop to all of that.
24 Q. In relation to that, Mr. Miljanic, you said that those who were
25 reached by the JNA were lucky. On the basis of that, I conclude that the
1 army was not committing crimes; am I right?
2 A. Your Honours, these are traumatic situations. I talked about this
3 to everybody. Talked to my mother, and also my close relatives who
4 survived, and they said to me -- I did not see this, I cannot tell you,
5 Your Honours, that I myself saw this. Had I seen this, I would not be
6 here today. Those who were taken prisoner by the army were taken to
7 trucks and thus saved. But behind the Yugoslav People's Army were the
8 paramilitary units, and they liquidated everyone they came across. That
9 is what I learned from conversations. This is my village. This is where
10 my nearest and dearest are. So I don't know: I'm repeating to the
11 Honourable Trial Chamber, I did not see any of this myself. I was trying
12 to organise things to organise the defence to repel the attack, so I
13 didn't manage to do that.
14 Q. Mr. Miljanic, I don't want to put questions to you in relation to
15 the crime in Skabrnja itself because, as you say, you were not witness to
16 that crime. However, I want to ask you something. You mentioned a few
17 times the names of certain -- rather the names of Radmanovic, Goran
18 Opacic, nicknamed Klempo, then Mirko Draca, Zorana Banic and her husband
19 Bozo. In relation to that, I would like to ask you the following: Did
20 these persons know each other or were they related in any way, or are
21 these people who did not even know each other?
22 A. I cannot say. I don't know. Specifically, I knew Zorana Banic
23 very well. I knew her because she was a nurse and she treated my mother.
24 Her husband, I did not know.
25 Then this Radmanovic I knew, because he worked with me in the JNA,
1 Pero Radmanovic. He visited my home many times.
2 Goran Opacic, nicknamed Klempo, I knew from Zadar, but by sight
4 So I knew some people, and I didn't know others. So --
5 Q. My question, as I put it, was aimed at clarifying matters, namely
6 whether these people we mentioned were related in any way. Did they
7 constitute an organised group or was every one of them operating on their
9 A. Your Honours, the question of formations and mutual relations
10 among these people is something that I don't know about. I repeat: I was
11 not friends with these people before because we had different jobs and I
12 was not in touch with them. And after I left the JNA, I did not know what
13 the actual situation was or the formation, the establishment; I don't know
14 who was where. I did not have time, and frankly, I didn't really feel
15 like thinking about things like that.
16 Q. Just one more question, Mr. Miljanic. Practically to this day,
17 you do not know with full certainty who killed your father.
18 A. I had some indications, collecting information from very different
19 people, and I even received telephone calls as to who it was that had
20 killed my father, so I cannot say even on this day to the Honourable Trial
21 Chamber who it was that killed my -- or massacred my father. My mother
22 said one thing, the wife of my late brother said other things, friends
23 were telling me yet a third thing, the children who were taken prisoner
24 were saying a fourth thing. So it is not with certainty that I can say
25 this to the Honourable Trial Chamber.
1 Q. Mr. Miljanic. I have no further questions for you. I thank you
2 for the answers that you have provided.
3 A. You're welcome.
4 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my
5 cross-examination, and I thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Perovic. Ms. Valabhji?
7 MS. VALABHJI: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Re-examination by Ms. Valabhji:
9 Q. Mr. Miljanic, yesterday during cross-examination you mentioned
10 that you were appointed commander for the defence of seven villages and
11 that there were some 700 and something men under your command. Can you
12 give us an idea of the diameter of that area? That is to say the area
13 encompassed by these seven villages.
14 A. When I mentioned these seven villages, that is approximately
15 one-third of the municipality of Zadar, in the heart of Ravni Kotari. 34
16 kilometres of a line. That is what it was, about 34 kilometres of a line.
17 And that is where these 730 to 740 men were deployed. That was it.
18 Volunteers only. That is to say people who were not members of the
19 Croatian army, or rather, the National Guards Corps but only the reserve
20 police force and volunteers, local villagers. I repeat: It was the
21 territorial principle that was involved. Every village had its own
22 protection. That is what I have to say.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, the Defence also asked you about weapons at the
24 disposal of you and your men in Skabrnja, and I want to ask you this: Did
25 you have any aircraft at your disposal in Skabrnja?
1 A. Your Honour, we had nothing. I as a soldier, when I was sent up
2 there for three days, as I mentioned yesterday, and then it was extended
3 because nobody wanted to come up there to organise things and to be with
4 these people, it was only me, and I accepted that, we had nothing.
5 Nothing. What do you mean aircraft? What do you mean cannons? Tanks?
6 We had nothing. We were unarmed people. My former JNA -- I was a member
7 of the JNA. Your Honours, I did my service and I served in the JNA. It
8 had disarmed the Territorial Defence of the Republic of Croatia
9 beforehand. And they took the weapons of the Territorial Defence, because
10 before the war, a strong Territorial Defence had been set up in
11 Yugoslavia, and every republic had its own Territorial Defence. Every
12 town had its own brigades, and these weapons were kept by the civilian
13 sector in individual towns. At that time, the JNA, in the beginning of
14 1991, took away all the weapons of the Territorial Defence, put them in
15 their warehouses, and left the Territorial Defence totally unorganised in
16 Croatia. When I realised what was going on, I left this same JNA. That
17 was the reason. I repeat: I was in the JNA for 22 years. I went to the
18 Ministry of the Interior to do my job, the job that I had been trained
19 for. I note once again to this Honourable Court: I did not provoke in
20 any way this rage that was unleashed on Skabrnja. I did not do it. My
21 people did not do it. Who caused it, I don't know, but what the objective
22 was, I understand up to a point. That is what I have to say.
23 MS. VALABHJI: Thank you, Mr. Miljanic. I have nothing further.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Ms. Valabhji.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: In the record of your interview on the 5th of
2 October 1992, which you signed, you -- do you agree that you said: "I was
3 sent to organise the defence of Skabrnja and Zemunik Gornji, but since
4 most of this village was populated by Serbs, this effectively boiled down
5 to organising the defence in the hamlet of Istok, populated solely by
6 Croats"? Do you agree that you said that and signed to having said that
7 in your statement of the 5th of October 1992?
8 A. Yes, yes. That is true. Yes.
9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: The defence of Skabrnja that you're speaking
10 about here when you're giving evidence, does it relate solely to the
11 hamlet of Istok or generally to Skabrnja? Could you relate it to the
12 evidence that you've given today, this statement about it boiling down
13 effectively to organising the defence in the hamlet of Istok.
14 A. The hamlet of Istok is part of Gornji Zemunik. It is a village
15 that is Skabrnja's neighbouring village. It is adjacent to Skabrnja. The
16 western part of Gornji Zemunik, exactly where the main road passes between
17 Smiljcic, the air base, and Zadar is populated by Serbs. And the eastern
18 part, by Croats only. Before the war, they had a common school, and other
19 institutions, shops, the school, et cetera. And all of this, everything I
20 said, pertains only to Skabrnja. And in this eastern part of Gornji
21 Zemunik, there were two platoons, also members -- or rather, people from
22 Gornji Zemunik that were within those 730, 740 people that I had. So it's
23 all of them. At first, I came just to resolve this Skabrnja and Gornji
24 Zemunik, to put things in order. That is what I have to say.
25 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Now, you mentioned sending 80 men who had left
1 the JNA to Zadar. What was in Zadar and where were you sending them?
2 A. I shall explain straight away. In Zadar there was a centre, a
3 reception centre, at the Kolovare Hotel, where all people who had defected
4 from the former JNA came to. Some were armed, others did not have
5 weapons. The situation was one of chaos. And then, down there, they
6 would get civilian clothing through the Red Cross, and they were given
7 money for travel tickets, either to Macedonia or Slovenia, Serbia, Kosovo
8 or Croatia, anywhere, anywhere in the territory of the former Yugoslavia,
9 and they left. Somebody would get a -- would bring a rifle, somebody
10 would bring a small pack of bullets, other people came without anything.
11 Quite simply, they were fleeing. All ethnicities, everybody who was in
12 the army. There are records of that in the Zadar Red Cross, complete
14 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Can you say who murdered the police officers at
15 Berevo [phoen]? Was it Serbs or Croats? And the circumstances.
16 A. I don't understand the question.
17 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: You had given evidence that there were police
18 officers murdered at Berevo, as I understood it.
19 A. Borovo, Borovo. I understand now, yes.
20 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Well, I'm asking you if you're aware of who
21 murdered them and the circumstances.
22 A. Your Honour, Borovo is near Vukovar. That's about 400 kilometres
23 away. I don't know who it was and what happened. It was just on
24 television, on television. I can still see the picture clearly in my mind
25 even today. The policemen near Borovo, the JNA was there, around them.
1 Who did what, I don't know. I cannot say anything about this. I just saw
2 this on television.
3 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: When you heard that people in the hamlet were
4 being killed and you were told that they were being taken out one by one,
5 what did you understand that to mean?
6 A. Your Honour, at that time, I didn't know what to do. I felt like
7 committing suicide. I really wanted to kill myself. I felt like killing
8 myself when I saw all of that, experienced all of that, when people who
9 had come to see me five minutes before that, got killed, I felt like
10 taking a pistol and killing myself, and then people said, "Marko, don't.
11 All of this will blow over, perhaps it will be stopped," but that's the
12 way I felt, because, Your Honour, to this day -- well, nobody is blaming
13 me, my local villagers, no one. I worked honestly. I didn't do anything
14 to provoke anybody. But still, I feel this to be part of my own
15 conscience. My parents, my brother, my relatives, everybody, and that
16 97-year-old lady who was massacred here although she had had a stroke, and
17 all of these people who were killed in my Skabrnja, who were run over by
18 tanks. What came to the pathology department were kilograms and kilograms
19 of meat. After this trial, I will not be able to come to for a month,
20 Your Honour. These are such horrible things. It is very, very hard for
21 me to speak about this, although I'm an old soldier. I have been through
22 all sorts of things but I never thought that I would experience something
23 like that, Your Honour. I'm not accusing anyone. I'm not here to accuse
24 anyone. I am just presenting the facts, the facts that I know. Who is
25 guilty, I don't know.
1 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Very well. You mentioned that the army went
2 through and then the vultures passed. Now, I understand you mean by the
3 vultures the paramilitary; is that correct?
4 A. You're right. I don't know what the composition was.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Were you advised how these people were dressed?
6 A. I don't know. I don't know. I didn't see anyone.
7 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you. Now, you mentioned that at 4.00 --
8 sorry, 14 hours, there were civilians around the tanks that prevented you
9 from shooting. Do you know how they got to be around the tanks?
10 A. I personally did not see. Well except for these tanks and these
11 civilians, but when I talked to all of these people of mine, they said
12 that they were getting them out of basements and they were afraid that
13 somebody could shoot at the tanks so they used them as a human shield in
14 front of the tanks. Now, who it was that did that - the JNA or the
15 paramilitaries - I don't know that to this day and I cannot say. But when
16 they came into the centre of the village around 1400 hours, I really had
17 the intention to destroy at least one tank with a hand-held rocket
18 launcher, but when I saw these civilians, I withdrew and I did not want to
19 shoot. I had put a shell there and I wanted to shoot but I was afraid
20 that they would all be killed. Fortunately, all of these people survived,
21 and most of them still live in Skabrnja, those people who were there when
22 I did not shoot. Now, who it was that saved them, and what happened, I
23 don't know.
24 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Now, you said that 15 or 16 people were killed -
25 of that group of 242, I understood that to mean - that 14 were taken
1 prisoner. What became of the rest?
2 A. On that day, and the following two or three days, I did not know
3 at all how many people had been killed. I did not know. I did not know
4 whether my father had really gotten killed or whether he was taken
5 somewhere, whether he was taken prisoner. I didn't know about my brother,
6 whether he was killed and whether he was captured or whatever. My mother,
7 who is 85 today, was looking for her son. She saw her husband and she
8 said, yes, son, they killed him, but I only saw her a few days later. She
9 said to me, They killed your father, and things like that. But as for the
10 others, I didn't know. I didn't know. Amongst all the fire and
11 everything, I didn't know. I only knew about the people who got killed
12 right next to me.
13 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you. Now you mentioned Petar Radmanovic.
14 What ethnic group was he?
15 A. Serb.
16 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: And you mentioned - please excuse my
17 pronunciation - Mr. Miljus, who conducted the on-site investigation. What
18 position did he hold in the police administration in Benkovac and what
19 ethnic group did he belong to?
20 A. I knew Mr. Miljus only superficially while in Zadar. I did not
21 know him personally. I'm not claiming that he was the one who carried out
22 the on-site investigation, but in the documents that were captured during
23 Operation Storm, where there were pictures of all these massacres, there
24 was a stamp of the police station in Benkovac, and underneath the
25 signature was Dragan Miljus. I think he was a Serb, I don't know, I don't
1 know at all what the man's ethnic background was. I heard from people
2 that he was a crime technician in the police. I don't know.
3 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Next -- just -- this is the final question now.
4 What municipality is Sabrinska [phoen] in?
5 A. I've never been to Saborsko. It is somewhere in Gorski Kotar.
6 Saborsko is in Gorski Kotar. I don't know. I was never there. I don't
8 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, I should have said Skabrnja. My
10 A. Oh, Skabrnja. Skabrnja belonged to the municipality of Zadar.
11 Skabrnja is the municipality of Zadar, part of the municipality of Zadar.
12 Today, it is an independent municipality, the municipality of Skabrnja,
13 but before the war it was the municipality of Zadar.
14 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much, Mr. Miljanic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Judge.
17 Mr. Miljanic, you mentioned that on the 2nd of October, 1991,
18 after the attack, some people were evacuated from the village of Skabrnja.
19 Do you remember that?
20 A. Yes, yes, that's true.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who evacuated these people?
22 A. The Red Cross, the Zadar Red Cross.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where were they evacuated to, do you know?
24 A. To Dugi Otok, an island, and an island called Ugljan, which is
25 about 15 miles down from Zadar. It's in the Adriatic Sea, facing Italy.
1 So Zadar, then there is the islands in the Adriatic Sea. So they were
2 taken there by ferry and they were put up in hotels on these islands.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: How long were they there for?
4 A. All the way up to the 5th of November, when the cease-fire in The
5 Hague was signed. And when I was told about this, because I had not known
6 about it, by Mr. Ivan Brzoja, chief of the Zadar police administration,
7 these were his words: Everybody is coming back, a cease-fire was signed
8 in The Hague between the JNA and -- I don't know, the JNA -- I don't know
9 who it was that signed this cease-fire at all, but it was signed in The
10 Hague and I received these orders in writing, and that all my civilians
11 should return to the village. And that's the way it was.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: When these people returned on the 5th of November,
13 they returned back to Skabrnja?
14 A. Yes. To their village, to their homes.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I understand you to be saying when the attack
16 started again on the 18th of November, these people were back in the
18 A. On the 18th of November, the 18th. It was from the 5th, when The
19 Hague cease-fire was signed, until the 18th, there was peace.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Right. On the 18th, there was violence?
21 A. An attack, yes.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question was simply: These people who had been
23 evacuated to the island were back in the village when the attack started
24 again on the 18th of November. Am I right in saying so?
25 A. Yes, yes. They were sent back on the 5th.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: When, in your evidence, you made a reference to
2 people being killed one by one in your hamlet, were you referring to
4 A. Yes, Skabrnja. Fortunately, I didn't go to other places, but
5 unfortunately, I was in Skabrnja.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have testified, both in your evidence-in-chief
7 and during cross-examination, about the paramilitary that you say were
8 killing people everywhere. This morning, actually, under
9 cross-examination, you said that it was not the JNA but the members of
10 those paramilitary units who massacred the people. What was the name of
11 this paramilitary unit?
12 A. Your Honour, I cannot define it simply. Was it the Territorial
13 Defence? Was it the milicija, the SAO Krajina Police? I don't know who
14 it was. But those who saw them, according to what they say, they were all
15 masked, but there were even 12- or 13-year-old children. My mother told
16 me, that a 13-year-old boy beat her with a rifle butt. Who he belonged
17 to, I really don't know, because -- let me just say the following: Even
18 in wartime, there are telephone lines. While I was serving, I was called
19 all kinds of names. I was told that I was an Ustasha, and I repeat to
20 this Honourable Court that I don't know who the Ustasha were. I was not
21 alive at the time. My father did not participate in World War II. He was
22 a 14-year-old boy at the time. I know nothing about that. I repeat to
23 this Honourable Chamber that I tried to avoid this evil, but I was not
24 successful in that. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Miljanic, we, the Bench, the Chamber,
1 sympathises and feels with you in the experiences that you went through
2 but, unfortunately we have to ask these questions, and if you will just
3 bear with us a little while longer. Do you know if that paramilitary unit
4 was wearing a specific uniform?
5 A. To the best of my knowledge, they wore military -- the old
6 military uniforms belonging to the JNA. In their activities, some wore
7 camouflage uniforms and others wore solid colour uniforms, but I don't
8 know who was who. In that chaos, it was impossible to know. I cannot
9 confirm something I did not see. But according to what the soldiers who
10 fled from the JNA, who left the JNA, say, they all told me to watch out
11 because there were lots of Chetniks - that was the term they used - who
12 had come to take their places in the JNA and who would not forgive us. I
13 don't know what there was not to be forgiven, what we had done, but they
14 told us, watch out, they are going to -- they are going to erase you off
15 the face of the earth. But I didn't believe that. I thought it was just
16 stories to frighten children.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Miljanic. We have to take
18 a short break and we'll carry on when we come back at quarter to 11.
19 Court adjourned.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Miljanic, just before we went for the
23 break, you said that these paramilitaries were referred to as Chetniks.
24 What did you understand the word "Chetniks" to mean?
25 A. As far as I have read about this - because I have never seen a
1 Chetnik - but I heard that in World War II they were subordinate units
2 composed of Serbs who had their own ideology, probably they had their own
3 chain of command. It was a kind of party army, as had probably existed in
4 Croatia also, and these were called Ustasha. I have never seen them
5 either, but I heard that those were units waging war on behalf of a
6 certain nation. I don't know.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Now, you said that some of these
8 paramilitaries wore camouflage uniform and others wore a one-colour
9 uniform. Did the one-colour uniform they wore differ from the one worn by
10 the JNA?
11 A. No. The one-colour, olive-grey uniforms were uniforms worn by
12 soldiers of the JNA, which I also served in, as I have already said.
13 These other uniforms, especially these camouflage uniforms, belonged to
14 certain elite units, special purpose units, at least while I was serving
15 in the former JNA. As the Yugoslav People's Army also had a Territorial
16 Defence, these JNA uniforms were probably kept by certain people who put
17 them on at a certain point in time.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: You also testified yesterday that all the people
19 who were taken prisoner were killed, and you said these were civilians.
20 Do you have an idea of the number?
21 A. I repeat: I don't know when someone was killed and on what day.
22 About 25, 26 or 27 civilians stayed behind in Skabrnja after it was
23 occupied. They were alive until February 1992, when they were all killed;
24 and later on, they were exhumed from a mass grave in the centre of the
25 village. Who killed them, and who buried them, is something I don't know.
1 But in 1995, the mass grave was opened up and 27 corpses were found. One
2 was a soldier and the others were all civilians, 25 or 26 civilians.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: On the 18th of November, 1991, when the attack took
4 place, do you have an idea how many people were killed on that day, how
5 many civilians were killed on that day?
6 A. All I know for certain - and I didn't see it myself but I heard it
7 from my mother and the people who were there - is when my father was
8 killed, and certain other people. I know that in that hamlet at the
9 entrance to Skabrnja, about 20 civilians were killed. I don't know the
10 precise number, but about 20. Among them, the oldest person who was
11 killed on that day was 96 years old. Her name was Grgica Segaric. She
12 was my next door neighbour. She had had a stroke and she was bedridden.
13 They came and they killed her. She was brought to the forensic institute.
14 My mother described how she saw them kill my father and other people, but
15 I was not there myself.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: I notice you raise a paper there with you. And
17 this is not the first time you are raising it up this morning. Is it a
18 paper that you want the Court to see?
19 A. Your Honour, this was brought from the pathology unit. It was
20 done by the Medecins Sans Frontieres after the massacres in Skabrnja and
21 Nadin. And my colleagues from the police dealt with this so they kept a
22 copy for me. I gave it to the lady from the Office of the Prosecutor, and
23 if you are interested in it, I can let Your Honours see it. These are
24 terrible pictures. Among them is a picture of my father and all the
25 others. And here you will also see members of the OSCE observing all this
1 in front of the mortuary. I can let you see it, if you wish, Your
3 MS. VALABHJI: Your Honour, perhaps if I may, I do have a copy of
4 this. The witness kindly provided it to us. I had thought, actually,
5 that it might be discussed through another witness, who will also be
6 testifying later on regarding exhumations and the pathology work.
7 However, I'm happy to, at this time, provide to the Bench this copy.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you have a copy to provide to your opposite
10 MS. VALABHJI: This is a colour copy, Your Honour, and actually,
11 the Defence has a copy of this document. It was disclosed to them.
12 Perhaps they don't have it at the present time. Now, I have a black and
13 white copy as well. This is a black and white copy.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Perovic, do you have any objection to the Bench
15 having a look at this document?
16 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] I have no objection to the Bench
17 looking at the document in this way.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Perovic.
19 May it be admitted into evidence? Or shall it wait its turn, as
20 Mrs. Valabhji says?
21 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that would be
22 the best solution, at the proposal of the Office of the Prosecutor.
23 MS. VALABHJI: Your Honour, it would be absolutely fine to have it
24 admitted into evidence at the present time, and should it warrant further
25 discussion through another witness later on, that can also be done and the
1 admitted exhibit at that time can be referred to.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: The only reason I'm following it up is because
3 Mr. Miljanic is raising it a second time and I thought that it was
4 something he wants us to see in this document.
5 Would you like to say anything about this paper, Mr. Miljanic? Or
6 are you happy that it be discussed through another witness later?
7 A. Your Honour, I am very satisfied with your proposal that an expert
8 say something about this document. I'm only a lay person. I only have
9 photographs, nothing else. So it ...
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: In that event, then, if the Prosecutor decides to
11 hand it in through another witness, the Chamber will look at it at that
12 stage. Is that okay? Thank you very much.
13 Do you know why Petar Radmanovic provoked you in the manner in
14 which he did, as you explained yesterday?
15 A. I see no reason for it. I don't. We had been good friends. He
16 had been to my home a dozen times and more. He was a neighbour from a
17 neighbouring village, Gornje Biljane. I saw no reason for him to be so
18 bitter towards me, so angry, and why he said all those things to me.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yesterday you described Mr. Opacic -- I hope I'm
20 pronouncing it correctly, O-p-a-c-i-c -- as an SAO Krajina Police. You
21 remember that?
22 A. I heard about this from others. I knew him from before the war,
23 from Zadar, but not well. I had met Mr. Opacic. We all knew each other
24 more or less in Zadar, to some extent, and all I know about him is that he
25 left the Zadar police, and I don't know when that was. Where he was and
1 what duties he performed, I don't know, but according to some information
2 I have, he was probably one of the commanders of a platoon or a company or
3 something like that, but I don't really know what his role was. When
4 Mr. Radmanovic called me on the radio, those civilians were there who knew
5 him better than I did said, "That's Klempo." I don't know whether he was
6 Klempo or not. And I really don't know what his role in all this was. I
7 cannot say things that I only heard by hearsay.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: What I wanted to ask you from arising out of your
9 description of Mr. Opacic is whether, to your knowledge, SAO Krajina
10 police participated with the JNA in this operation.
11 A. That is true. I repeat, Your Honours: From my experience as a
12 policeman and a soldier, I know that they participated. Because these
13 were all neighbours of ours, people who would visit Skabrnja in their
14 official capacity. They had been in the old police. Later it changed its
15 name, both in Croatia and everywhere else. It was no longer called the
16 Milicija but the Policija, and the inhabitants of Skabrnja knew these
17 people because it all belonged to the Zadar police station, and these
18 people had been employees in that police station. I didn't see any of
19 them personally. Had I seen them I would not be alive here today.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask my question
21 again because I'm not getting -- I don't think I understood you clearly.
22 Is your answer yes, there were SAO Krajina Police?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, there was an investigation that you say was
2 conducted by Mr. Miljus on behalf of the police administration. Which
3 police administration is this on whose behalf he conducted the
5 A. On the stamp in this study, because a study is always compiled, it
6 said, "Milicijska Stanica Benkovac," which means "Benkovac Police
7 Station," Benkovac. And that shows for what police Mr. Miljus was
8 working. Whether they had conducted an investigation or not, I don't
9 know, but this study or report always had a stamp under the picture, and
10 it said, "Benkovac Police Station." At that time, that was part of the
11 SAO Krajina. Benkovac was part of the SAO Krajina all the time.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. What is a pyrotechnician? What does a
13 pyrotechnician do in the police?
14 A. Every police has its pyrotechnicians. They are the people who
15 search us when we enter this Tribunal to see whether we are carrying an
16 explosive device. At the airport, all packages and letters are examined
17 by pyrotechnicians, and I was the chief of the department of this kind in
18 the Zadar police administration. I had six pyrotechnicians who did that
19 every day. The other thing we did, because at that time the Croatian army
20 did not have its pyrotechnicians, so every shell that was fired but did
21 not explode in the town, I had to go with my men and I had to remove it
22 and destroy it. I was an expert for explosives and anti-sabotage
23 protection, which means protection against terrorism. This is done by
24 every country and police in the world. That's what I did.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. A question I'm going to ask you may be
1 a little difficult to answer but to the best of your ability, please do
2 try, if you can.
3 Are you able to give an idea of the extent of destruction of the
4 village of Skabrnja? Was the whole village destroyed? Only part of it?
5 Or are you able to give numbers?
6 A. While we were in Skabrnja, up until the 19th of November, a
7 certain number of houses in Skabrnja had been destroyed, buildings
8 including the school and the church, because the planes of the Yugoslav
9 People's Army dropped cassette bombs, cluster bombs, on Skabrnja, and
10 these cluster bombs are banned by the Geneva Convention. They left little
11 bombs behind. At that time, 30 or 40 per cent of the houses were
13 Later on, I personally entered Skabrnja with the UNPROFOR in 1994.
14 I was permitted by UNPROFOR to accompany them. They were members of the
15 Canadian Battalion. They took me along and at that time, 90 or maybe even
16 95 per cent of Skabrnja had been destroyed. In the investigation I gave
17 the names of the houses and what category of damage they had suffered;
18 first, second, third or fourth. This classification was carried out after
19 the liberation so that those houses that had been destroyed in the war
20 could be rebuilt. Most of the houses fell into the fifth category of
21 destruction, which means they had been razed to the ground. This had not
22 been done by projectiles and shells but by the planting of explosives and
23 blowing the houses up.
24 The church was destroyed down to the foundations. We have now
25 built a new one. All the important facilities in Skabrnja had been
1 destroyed. There had been three churches in Skabrnja; the main one was
2 completely destroyed, the other two were badly damaged. Everything else
3 was damaged or destroyed. There was a very small number of buildings that
4 fell into the first category of damage, which meant they could be repaired
5 and lived in. That was the situation in Skabrnja. Who destroyed those
6 houses or why, I wouldn't know.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: You mentioned cluster bombs being used. Do I
8 understand by "cluster bombs" that you mean that this whole cluster of
9 them that are thrown without aiming them at a specific target?
10 I see you nod your head. Would you like to say in a voice what
11 you mean by nodding your head, because unfortunately, if you nod your
12 head, the transcript doesn't record the nodding.
13 A. It's true. Cluster bombs, I saw them for the first time in 1991,
14 when they were activated. They were carried by planes, and they consist
15 of 240 smaller bombs in a casing, and 40 per cent explode right away, as
16 soon as they touch the ground, whereas 60 per cent remain inactivated or
17 on a patch about 200 by 50 metres and these are used then to destroy
18 living creatures; human beings, animals and so on. These are terrorist
19 weapons. Such bombs were thrown on Skabrnja from planes. This was
20 mentioned in the newspapers and on television, and European observers came
21 to photograph this, in 1991, before Skabrnja fell. That's what I can say.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: When did Skabrnja fall, exactly? Do you remember?
23 A. On the 19th of November.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Miljanic. Any questions,
25 Ms. Valabhji, arising from the questions from the Bench?
1 MS. VALABHJI: Just one point, Your Honour. I was wondering if it
2 might be possible to show the witness admitted Exhibit 270, arising out of
3 the questioning concerning the investigation in Benkovac, to see if he
4 recognises that document.
5 Further examination by Ms. Valabhji:
6 Q. Is it displayed now? If we could go to page 3. Witness, are you
7 able to view page 3 of this document on your screen? Can we also then
8 turn to page 4.
9 A. Yes, I see it. I see it says documentation of on-site inspection.
10 That is the document found in Benkovac.
11 Q. Do you recognise this document?
12 A. Yes. This is the document of the inspection -- the investigation,
13 and this stamp was there, underneath every photograph. This is the kind
14 of photographic documentation compiled by a police station.
15 MS. VALABHJI: Thank you, nothing further.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mrs. Valabhji. Mr. Perovic?
17 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, only a few questions.
18 Further cross-examination by Mr. Perovic:
19 Q. Mr. Miljanic, today when asked by Her Honour, you explained that
20 the paramilitaries that followed the JNA and committed crimes were
21 composed of people whom you didn't know who they were or how they were
22 dressed because you didn't see any of them. Let me just finish my
23 question. A little later, when asked by His Honour Judge Moloto, you said
24 that some of the eye witnesses told you that these people were masked and
25 that, according to what you know, they wore old military uniforms which
1 had previously belonged to the former JNA, but that you couldn't confirm
2 this because you didn't see them personally. And finally, in your
3 statement given to the district court in Zadar, on page 6, in the third
4 paragraph, you say that, I quote: "I was unable to recognise any of those
5 Chetniks because they all had black paint on their faces and some had
6 stockings or socks over their heads and some had white ribbons on their
8 A. I didn't say that.
9 Q. That is your statement to the Zadar district court, and it's on
10 page 6, paragraph 3. Let me finish my question. It seems to me that
11 between these three replies, your reply to Her Honour Judge Nosworthy,
12 your reply to His Honour Judge Moloto, and your statement given to the
13 district court in Zadar, there are certain discrepancies. Can you explain
15 A. I said, and I abide by this, that I did not see anybody. But if
16 my mother tells me that she recognised Mr. Desimir Ivanez, a member of the
17 then police, Milicija of SAO Krajina, I have to believe her. Another man
18 called him by his name, and he responded, saying, "If you use my name once
19 again, I'll kill you like a dog." I didn't see it myself but my mother
20 told me this. I knew Desimir Ivanez personally.
21 As for the white ribbons, I saw those because they had them when
22 they were coming to the school. Who was wearing white ribbons, I don't
23 know, but when I had to carry out the task of destroying that tank, I did
24 see white ribbons on their left shoulder. But I did not know any of them,
25 so I cannot confirm to Their Honours about any particular person, that he
1 was there.
2 Q. May I then conclude that you are unable to identify the men you
3 describe as paramilitaries?
4 A. I cannot confirm this because I did not see it myself. I can
5 believe my mother and my relatives, but then I don't have to believe them.
6 I can only say what I know.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 One more question: You said that in Skabrnja it was peaceful in
9 the period between the 5th and the 18th of November; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In relation to that I have a question. Why, then, on the 16th of
12 November, on the 16th of November, were you planning an action with a unit
13 for special purposes of the MUP of Croatia under the command of a certain
14 Djuro Zupan? So why were you planning with them to destroy the tank group
15 of the JNA in Veljun --
16 A. Veljane.
17 Q. -- Veljane, if the situation was peaceful at the time, as you
19 A. First and foremost, I did not plan that. Because Djuro Zupan came
20 to Skabrnja without my knowledge, but I had agreed with him verbally for a
21 simple reason, the most important one, a single reason, because, I repeat:
22 Soldiers were fleeing from the JNA. And they told me that all tank crews
23 - because they fled from tanks - all tank crews consisted of volunteers
24 from Serbia and local people, and that they would attack me. And I wanted
25 to do this by way of prevention. I didn't succeed in doing so.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further additional
3 questions, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Perovic.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 Further questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Are you able to tell the Trial Chamber what was
8 the significance of the white ribbons?
9 A. Yes. That is done during the war so that you would not kill your
10 own soldier in smoke, when visibility is limited. So in smoke, fire, when
11 you cannot hear a voice, and then some use white ribbons in order to have
12 a mark of distinction, and some use other colours, depending on the units.
13 But that is how they recognise each other so that they would not harm each
14 other, because that is very likely.
15 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: My next question, then, is who would wear the
16 white ribbon, who in particular? Are you able to say?
17 A. Well, of course, this action probably, in my personal opinion, was
18 planned jointly by the JNA with the staff of the Territorial Defence of
19 the SAO Krajina, or I don't know who, but probably, because they went
20 together, so this coordination probably existed. And all units that
21 attack a particular place at a given time -- it's not only what the
22 then-JNA did. That is being done to this day in wars. There has to be
23 some mark of distinction so that people do not kill each other. That is
24 how they recognise each other. We didn't have that because we didn't have
25 uniforms anyway. We wore civilian clothes. I'm the only one who had a
1 complete police uniform. And a few other men.
2 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry about that unusual procedure. Any
4 questions arising from those questions by Judge Nosworthy, Ms. Valabhji?
5 MS. VALABHJI: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Perovic?
7 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 Mr. Miljanic, thank you so much. We thank you for coming to
10 testify. We -- everybody has asked what we wanted to ask of you. You are
11 now excused and you may stand down. Thank you very much once again.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you, and it was
13 a pleasure for me to tell this Honourable Court the truth.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Valabhji?
17 MS. VALABHJI: Your Honour, the next witness will be handled by my
18 colleague Ms. Richterova.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Richterova.
20 MS. VALABHJI: And may I have the Court's permission in
21 withdrawing at this time, Your Honour?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you withdrawing from the case or are you
23 withdrawing from the court building?
24 MS. VALABHJI: From the courtroom.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: From the courtroom.
1 MS. VALABHJI: Yes.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are allowed to withdraw from the courtroom.
3 MS. VALABHJI: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 Before you call the next witness, can we deal with a little
6 housekeeping matter?
7 Apparently Registry has a little problem tomorrow in terms of
8 staff, and as a result, we are being asked to make some slight changes to
9 our sitting tomorrow. We have been asked to sit from nine to 20 past 10
10 instead of quarter past 10 -- let me preface this. At some stage, the
11 Court officer is going to be required to do some work elsewhere and there
12 is nobody to replace him in this Court, and the only way we can
13 accommodate that is if we would be in a position to sit from 9 to 20 past
14 10, and then reconvene at 10 to 11 and then break at 10 past 12 instead of
15 12.00, because at 10 past 12 he's got to be somewhere else. And then we
16 can break from 10 past until 20 to 1 and, having come at 20 to 1, then we
17 could go up to quarter to 2 as usual. Would that be okay with everybody?
18 Let's find out from the Prosecution.
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: There is no problem on our side.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: On your side, Mr. Milovancevic?
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We agree, Your Honour, thank
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I caught the Judges also by surprise. I'm sure it
24 would be -- thank you very much. And everybody else, I'm sure? Okay.
25 Thank you so much, then we will sit according to those times tomorrow,
1 then. Ms. Richterova.
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, the Prosecution calls Mr. Hamdija
4 [The witness entered court]
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, this witness was formerly granted
6 protective measures but yesterday he informed the OTP that he will testify
7 in open session without any protective measures.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Ms. Richterova.
9 May the witness please make the declaration.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: HAMDIJA KRUPIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Witness. You may sit down,
15 Mr. Krupic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Ms. Richterova.
18 Examination by Ms. Richterova:
19 Q. Good morning, Witness. Can you follow the proceedings in a
20 language you can understand?
21 A. Good morning. I can.
22 Q. Can you please tell your full name.
23 A. Hamdija Krupic.
24 Q. Mr. Krupic, did you provide a witness statement, or better say two
25 witness statements; one on 22 August 1999 and the second one on the 19
1 July 2000?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Regarding the first statement of 22nd of August, 1999, on 10 of
4 November, 2001, did you have occasion to review this statement in the
5 presence of the officer of the Court and did you sign a declaration,
6 declaration attesting to its accuracy?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Referring to the statement of 19 July 2000, on 29 March 2006,
9 which is yesterday, did you go through the same procedure that -- in front
10 of an officer of the Court; you reviewed your statement and then signed
11 declaration attesting that statement?
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honours, Mr. Krupic's witness statements
14 were admitted into evidence by Trial Chamber's decision dated 16 of
15 January 2006, under Rule 92 bis, and we, as indicated at the decision, we
16 made redactions. We already gave hard copies of these statements to the
17 Defence counsel, and I have -- I brought hard copies for Your Honours,
18 just in case you want to follow.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: I would like to tender these two statements into
21 evidence, and I would like to get an exhibit number.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Have they not already been admitted?
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: They haven't been admitted officially.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Officially, okay.
25 May the statements be admitted into evidence and be given exhibit
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 279, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: There are two statements. It will have to be 279
4 maybe for the statement of the 22nd of August, 1999, and 280 for the
5 statement of the 19th of July 2000.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be -- Exhibit number 280, Your Honours,
7 for the second statement.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, according to usual procedure for
10 Rule 92 bis statements, I will read the summary of the statement and
11 afterwards I would have a -- have some follow-up questions before I hand
12 over the witness for cross-examination.
13 Before I begin my summary, I would like to direct the Trial
14 Chamber to the map, to atlas, Exhibit 23, to page 21, and you will see
15 Bosanski Novi, which is the town about which the witness will testify, in
16 grid C3. And on the same map, you will also -- on the same grid, you will
17 also see other places which are mentioned in his statement.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Bosanski Novi?
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: Bosanski Novi, yes.
20 I will now begin the summary.
21 The witness is a Bosnian Muslim who lived in Bosanski Novi and he
22 worked as a policeman. According to census, there was a slight majority
23 of Serbs living in the municipality of Bosanski Novi. There was a JNA
24 barracks in Bosanski Novi before the war in Croatia, however, the unit
25 moved out before the start of the war and they moved to Croatia and the
1 unit of Territorial Defence and JNA reservists moved in. Kosta Djukic was
2 their commander.
3 The SDS won the elections in the municipality of Bosanski Novi.
4 Witness stated that he attended at least one of the SDS rallies where the
5 mayor of Bosanski Novi, a Serb, Radomir Pasic, spoke. Mr. Pasic used
6 sharp words, stating that Serbs were in jeopardy from Ustashas and that
7 they, Serbs, had to defend themselves.
8 After the elections, a Serb, Djuro Umicevic, became or, better
9 say, continued to be the chief of police. In witness's words, he was a
10 fair man, supporting united police forces.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, can I interrupt you? You said after the
12 elections, a Serb --
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm sorry? I said that a Serb, a Serb person
14 named Djuro Umicevic became the chief of police.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's all right. Umicevic? You may proceed.
16 MS. RICHTEROVA: Umicevic was killed during a conflict among Serbs
17 in a bar sometimes in February or March 1992. After the elections, the
18 cooperation between SDS and SDA, which was the Muslim party, was good.
19 However, once the war started in Croatia and Muslims refused to be
20 mobilised to fight in Croatia, the ethnic tensions became higher. Also,
21 the police force reserve was mobilised. The witness says that at the
22 beginning of the war in Croatia, there was lots of propaganda which heated
23 up the tension between Serbs and Muslims.
24 Railways had to be secured as explosives were being planted. The
25 blowing up of railways started with the log revolution in Knin, and the
1 same things then were happening in the municipality of Bosanski Novi.
2 At the end of 1991 or beginning of 1992, Muslim-owned houses and
3 businesses started to be targeted with explosives. Serbs in the
4 municipality were receiving openly weapons. The witness says that the
5 separation of police forces started in Bosanska Krupa and Hrvatska
6 Kostajnica. After Hrvatska Kostajnica fell into the hands of Serbs, the
7 witness was present when members Croat MUP were crossing the bridge.
8 These policemen were disarmed, weapons were put on pile, and the local
9 Bosnian Serbs would take these weapons away. The witness says that
10 members of special police from Knin were present during this disarmament.
11 Sometime at the end of 1991 or at the beginning of 1992, a special unit
12 from Banja Luka called Red Berets arrived to Bosanski Novi. They wore
13 green camouflage uniforms and wore red berets. They said that their task
14 would be to disarm extremists of all nationalities but they were disarming
15 only Bosniaks. The witness says that some people were arrested, referring
16 to Muslims, and taken to Gradiska and Cerkezovac, which is in Croatia.
17 After the death of Umicevic, the chief of the police, another
18 Serb, Dejan Samara, arrived from Banja Luka. His task was either to
19 separate police along the ethnic lines or force everyone to wear Serb
20 insignia. At the time, Serbs took over all the power and authority in the
21 municipality of Bosanski Novi.
22 On 15 of April 1992, all policemen were invited and asked to sign
23 a loyalty to Serb authorities. The witness refused. The Serbs were
24 issued new camouflage uniforms with Serb flag on the shoulders. These
25 were same uniforms as the special police in Belgrade wore.
1 The witness left the municipality in May 1992. He returned only
2 after the end of the war. The places which he visited after the war were
3 destroyed; all the mosques at these places were destroyed, and he says
4 that none of the Muslim-owned businesses or houses survived.
5 This completes the summary. Now I would have just a few follow-up
7 Q. Mr. Krupic, can you assist the Judges and tell them how far is
8 Bosanski Novi to -- how far it is from Bosanski Novi to Croatia.
9 A. Bosanski Novi is separated from Croatia only by the Una River.
10 Dvor Na Uni is only four kilometres away.
11 Q. And how these two places are connected?
12 A. These two places are connected with a bridge over the Una River.
13 Q. Can you tell us how the war in Croatia affected the life in
14 Bosanski Novi.
15 A. In fact, when war broke out in Croatia, it started in Bosanski
16 Novi too because members of the Serb forces wore -- carried rifles in
17 Bosanski Novi and every night there was shooting in town as if it were the
18 front line. The participants in the war were the Serbs from Bosanska
19 Krajina. All of them in the TO units.
20 Q. To your knowledge, were there also present some armed groups which
21 would come from the Croatian Krajina?
22 A. Well, from the Croatian Krajina, they came every day. They
23 crossed the bridge and they came to the town of Bosanski Novi where they
24 got drunk and there was shooting in town. And the late chief was killed
25 during such a shooting.
1 Q. Were you able to identify what kinds of armed groups came from
2 Croatian Krajina?
3 A. There were members of the TO, from the so-called Serb Krajina,
4 Martic's Police, and active army personnel while they were in the
5 territory of Cerkezovac.
6 Q. You mentioned that there were also Martic's Police. How did you
7 know that they were Martic's Police?
8 A. Well, they were called Martic's Police after Martic. This was a
9 secret that everybody knew. They were supposed to be public security but
10 they were trained only for carrying out terrorist attacks and intimidating
11 the non-Serb population.
12 Q. Do you know where they were trained?
13 A. As far as I know, in Knin.
14 Q. You mentioned that you saw them often in Bosanski Novi. What did
15 they wear?
16 A. Camouflage uniforms with white belts for the most part, and they
17 were often seen. As a matter of fact, they took part in looting when the
18 members of the MUP in Bosanska Kostajnica surrendered.
19 Q. Apart from looting, what -- how -- what else did you know they did
20 in -- on the territory of Bosanski Novi?
21 A. As far as I know, they threw an explosive device at the house of
22 journalist Safic because three men were seen in camouflage uniforms and
23 white belts, and that belonged to Martic's Police. The explosive device
24 was thrown at that house because Safic was an independent journalist who
25 reported impartially from the front line, from SAO Krajina. And another
1 explosive device was thrown at the flower shop of Gazic Zejneba.
2 Q. Was anybody identified or was anybody charged ever with planting
3 of explosive on these two houses?
4 A. No one could have been identified because at that time there was a
5 vacuum, in fact. There was a lack of power and authority. The active
6 police that I was a member of could not do their job because they would be
7 killed if they did.
8 Q. You mentioned on what kind of uniforms they wore. Are you able to
9 tell the Judges what kinds of weapons the members of this group had in
10 their possession?
11 A. Well, they mostly had automatic rifles and pistols, not taking
12 into account the unit that was called the Red Berets. They were armed
13 with MK small calibre weapons.
14 Q. You mentioned that they were called Martic's Police because of
15 Martic. Did you know Milan Martic in 1991?
16 A. Not personally. Perhaps I saw him towards the end of 1991 and in
17 1992 when he passed through Bosanski Novi, and I know that he stopped at
18 the Libertas restaurant in Bosanski Novi. And I saw him when he was
19 released from Otoka, when he was brought to the police station in Bosanski
21 Q. You said that when he was released from Otoka. Can you tell us
22 when it was, approximately?
23 A. I cannot say exactly but I think it was the end of 1991, beginning
24 of 1992, because I know that the late chief, Umicevic, was still alive
25 then. Martic was detained in Bosanska Otoka and, at the intervention of
1 the Deputy Minister of the Interior Abdo Habib, he was released from Otoka
2 and brought to the police station in Bosanski Novi in an official vehicle
3 and he was in the late Chief Umicevic's office, and then the owner
4 of this restaurant Libertas, Mile Grbic, came. And from there, Mr. Martic
5 was transferred to the small soccer playing field near the school and then
6 was taken by helicopter in a direction unknown to me.
7 Q. You also mentioned that you saw Milan Martic stop at the Libertas
8 restaurant. Did he visit this restaurant on one or more occasions?
9 A. I think that Milan Martic visited that restaurant more than once.
10 He was the only civilian. When Martic was brought from Otoka the only
11 civilian from the area who came to see him was the owner of that
13 Q. Talking again about this restaurant, did you know who he met in
14 that restaurant?
15 A. I can't give you the names, but I do know, because I was the
16 leader of the patrol sector for Bosanski Novi, and I know that that
17 restaurant was often locked at night and was full of guests, members of
18 the former JNA, the command from the former -- from the SAO Krajina, and
19 that they were members of the SDS there and people from Knin.
20 Q. You mentioned that there were people from the command of SAO
21 Krajina. Can you name someone?
22 A. No. The only person I knew personally was Kosta Djukic, who was
23 the commander of the garrison at Cerkezovac, he was an active duty
24 soldier, because his son Sasa worked with me. He was a communications
1 Q. Was anyone from the Serb leadership from Bosanski Novi present at
2 that restaurant?
3 A. Every evening, there was a gathering of the extreme part of the
4 SDS from Bosanski Novi there. In the evenings, when I was on duty, I
5 would write down the licence plates of the cars parked there because the
6 door was locked and we couldn't get inside, and at that time already there
7 was separation going on in the police.
8 Q. And from these licence plates, were you able to identify who was
10 A. Well, it was known. And later it turned out, for example, the
11 late Stole Skundric, who was a tradesman, a neighbour of mine, just an
12 ordinary man, but he was appointed commander of the defence of the town,
13 later on. And he would always go there, to that restaurant, after it was
14 officially closed, when they had their talks inside.
15 Q. You said that at least on one occasion you saw Milan Martic. Did
16 you see or are you aware about the presence of someone else from the
17 leadership from Croatian Krajina?
18 A. The late Milan Babic would come there. He even walked around the
19 town in Bosanski Novi.
20 Q. Do you know anything about the relationship between the Serb
21 leadership of Bosanska Krajina and Croatian Krajina?
22 A. At that time, I think it was one and the same Krajina, indicating
23 that the Serb population in the Territorial Defence from both sides were
24 in the war together. Politically and materially and morally they were
25 interconnected. For that purpose, in the municipalities of the Bosnian
1 Krajina, on the agendas of the meetings was the founding of so-called Serb
2 municipalities, which were to be joined up to the ones in the SAO Krajina
3 to form a single territory. There was no difference between the Krajina
4 in Bosnia and the SAO Krajina. Practically, there was no border between
6 Q. In your statement, you said that you saw policemen from MUP in
7 Hrvatska Kostajnica walking across the bridge. When was it that Hrvatska
8 Kostajnica fled -- fell?
9 A. I wouldn't know the exact date but I think it was late 1991 or
10 early 1992. The representatives of the independent trade union of the
11 republican MUP of the time were in Bosanska Krupa, where the police was
12 divided, and on their way back from Bosanska Krupa they dropped by to see
13 me in Bosanski Novi because I was a member of the republican trade union,
14 and we heard that on that day the MUP men from Hrvatska Kostajnica were in
15 Bosanska Kostajnica. I was in the delegation that went to see what this
16 looked like. But when we arrived in Bosanska Kostajnica there was a sight
17 to behold: Night had already fallen and the members of the Croatian MUP
18 were crossing the bridge one by one, and to the right of the bridge they
19 threw down their long weapons and their pistols, and there they were
20 received by Martic's Policemen. I recognised Ivanovic or Popovic. His
21 first name was Goran, I'm not sure whether he was Ivanovic or Popovic, and
22 they took him to a place that was either a cinema or some kind of
23 community centre nearby, where they took their gold jewellery and watches
24 and such things, and then on the next day, they were put on buses and
25 taken to the camp in Manjaca.
1 Q. You said that Martic's men were present. What was their role?
2 A. Their role was to take over these members of the MUP of the
3 Republic of Croatia and to search them. The civilian police of Bosanski
4 Novi was also there and I saw some colleagues of mine --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the names.
6 A. -- and the former chief was there but they were there only for
7 show. They weren't actually doing anything. All the actual work was
8 being done by Martic's Police, and they were the ones who robbed those
10 And what's very important to mention: About 300 men surrendered,
11 and as they threw their weapons down on the pile, the local Serbs took the
12 weapons, slung them over their backs, and left. So that only about 10
13 barrels were brought to the TO staff.
14 MS. RICHTEROVA:
15 Q. Mr. Krupic, the interpreter missed one name. You mentioned that a
16 colleague of yours from the police of Bosanski Novi was present, and you
17 stated his name, but we didn't catch the name.
18 A. Ljubomir Predojevic, Zoran Baskot, and the late chief, Umicevic.
19 There were also other members of the civilian police from Bosanski Novi
20 but right now I cannot recall their names. I was in the civilian section.
21 Q. When you stated that they were taken, the Croat policemen, were
22 taken on buses and put on buses and taken to Manjaca, was still Martic's
23 Police present when they were put on the buses?
24 A. I don't know. That night, I went home together with the
25 colleagues from the republican MUP, but on the following day, at around 10
1 or 11, I saw the buses going from the direction of Kostajnica towards
2 Prijedor. They were passing through Bosanski Novi, and I saw those people
3 on the buses.
4 Q. And I assume -- you didn't answer my question. In fact, what
5 exactly was the Martic's role in this operation? I'm sorry, Martic's
6 Police's role?
7 A. The role of Martic's Police was to take over and search the
8 policemen who -- from the MUP of Croatia who had surrendered.
9 Q. Did you see how they treated these Croatian policemen?
10 A. It was night. I personally didn't see it. But on the next day I
11 heard from my colleague Predojevic, who was telling everyone that they
12 took everything from them, they robbed them of every valuable they had.
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Mr. Krupic. I concluded my
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Ms. Richterova.
16 Mr. Krupic, it's time to take a break. We will come back at half
17 past 12. Please come back.
18 Court adjourned.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic. Before you start,
22 Mr. Milovancevic, let me remind you that in terms of the 92 bis ruling,
23 this witness is supposed to be cross-examined only on the matter relating
24 to the Red Berets. You may proceed.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
1 Q. Witness, I am Defence counsel for Milan Martic. My name is
2 Predrag Milovancevic. Now is the stage of your testimony that is called
3 cross-examination. I will put questions to you which in our view are of
4 importance for the Defence. I ask you to make a pause between my question
5 and your answer so that the interpreters can do their job.
6 Today, you confirmed that you made two statements to the Office of
7 the Prosecutor and today you answered a series of questions by the
8 Prosecutor. Are these matters that you spoke about to the Office of the
9 Prosecutor during your interview and when you made your statements?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence is
12 faced with a problem of which we wish to inform the Chamber. About 80 to
13 90 per cent of the responses the witness gave today are absent in his
14 written statements. The Defence has heard them for the first time today.
15 The accused has the right to be informed of what he's being charged with
16 and what the testimony will contain.
17 We now have a real problem here. Almost all the questions to
18 which the witness responded during his examination-in-chief contained
19 facts which are not mentioned in the written statements. The Defence
20 considers this to be a serious issue.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your learned friend wants to say something.
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes. I agree with Mr. Milovancevic. The witness
23 mentioned certain issues yesterday during the proofing. I prepared
24 additional information sheet. I sent it to the Defence. And I'm of the
25 opinion that they should be allowed to cross-examine the witness based on
1 this new information I sent them yesterday.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, you're obviously entitled to
3 cross-examine the witness on those issues that were raised today during
4 questions, in addition to cross-examining him on the Red Berets.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Before I do, Your Honour, I
6 wish to inform the Chamber that as of the 29th of March 2006, we received
7 a submission by the Prosecutor where three brief sentences are provided as
8 an addition to the witness's statement. However, today, the witness
9 brought up a number of new facts which the Defence has heard for the first
10 time today. In this situation, I ask the Chamber to have the
11 possibility of questioning the witness about these in order to avoid
12 misunderstandings. I do not wish to be criticised for contravening Your
13 Honour's decision on the matters to be brought up in cross-examination.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic. As the Chamber has just
15 indicated, you may cross-examine the witness on the questions that were
16 raised this morning by the Prosecution in addition to the questions that
17 you're entitled to ask relating to the Red Berets.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness, today the Prosecutor read out a summary of your two
22 statements, and stated a fact, inter alia, that I would like to ask you
23 about, that is whether it originates from you, and that is the composition
24 of the population in Bosanski Novi. The Prosecutor said that there was a
25 slight Serb majority. Did you say that?
1 A. Probably in my statement I said there were more Serbs, however,
2 according to the census of 1990 or 1991, there were 37 per cent Bosniaks,
3 0.05 per cent Croats, and 0.05 per cent others, I think, and the remainder
4 of the population was Serb. I'm referring to the municipality.
5 Q. You told us now that there were 37 per cent Bosniaks, whereas in
6 your written statement it says 34 per cent. Which is correct; 34 or 37
7 per cent?
8 A. It depends on how we look at it, because those who declared
9 themselves as Yugoslavs included a number of Muslims. Whether it's 34 or
10 37 per cent, in my view, it doesn't really matter.
11 Q. Am I correct in saying that in relation to the percentage of
12 Muslims and Croats and Yugoslavs, there were 60 per cent Serbs in Bosanski
14 A. Yes, I think so.
15 Q. Thank you. In your statement, it says that in Bosanski Novi,
16 multi-party elections were held and that there were two main parties; the
17 SDA, the Party of Democratic Action, led by Alija Izetbegovic, and SDS,
18 the Serb Democratic Party. Am I correct?
19 A. Yes. The SDA was not only Alija Izetbegovic's party; it was the
20 party of the Muslim people.
21 Q. Thank you. In your statement, it says that according to a
22 previous agreement, there was a situation in which these two parties
23 appointed the leading people in the municipality; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, based on the results of the elections.
25 Q. In your statement, it says that the chief of the SUP of Bosanski
1 Novi, at the initiative of the SDA, the person who was appointed was
2 Umicevic, who was a Serb.
3 A. Yes, Umicevic. By Their Honours' leave, I think I should clarify
4 this a little.
5 Q. Well, you seem to have described this detail in your written
7 A. Yes, I have.
8 Q. Is it correct that Azemir Ceric was the police commander and that
9 his name was put forward by the SDA?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The SDA is the Party of Democratic Action, the party you say that
12 was the party of the Muslim people.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I would like to repeat: Please make a pause between question and
15 answer, to avoid overlapping.
16 In your statement, it says that the SDS initially did everything
17 in agreement with the SDA. Therefore, the Serb Democratic Party did
18 everything in agreement with the Party of Democratic Action in Bosanski
19 Novi; is this correct?
20 A. In the beginning, it was, yes.
21 Q. Answering the Prosecutor's question, you said that when the war
22 broke out in Croatia, the situation deteriorated and, in your statement,
23 it says that the Muslims refused to be mobilised for the war in Croatia
24 and that then inter-ethnic tensions mounted. Are you referring only to
25 the Muslim population in Bosanski Novi or in all of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
1 where did the tensions mount?
2 A. Well, I think in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina but especially in
3 Bosanski Novi. When the Muslims refused to go to fight in Croatia, under
4 instructions --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of the
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could the witness please repeat the end of that
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think the tensions mounted all
10 over Bosnia and Herzegovina, and especially in Bosanski Novi. I know this
11 because the Muslims refused to be mobilised as reservists of the former
12 JNA or to go to the war front in Croatia.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. When you answered my question for the first time, did you say that
15 the Muslim population in Bosnia and Herzegovina did that following
16 instructions from Sarajevo?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Could you tell us who you are referring to when you say that
19 instructions came from Sarajevo that they should not respond to the
21 A. It was the then-president of the Presidency of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, who spoke on the media.
23 Q. He spoke on the media, he was the president of the Presidency of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and what did he say?
25 A. He said that the Muslims were not duty-bound to be mobilised as
1 reservists and that this was not a Muslim war.
2 Q. I'm putting these questions to you because they have to do with
3 your description of the situation in Bosanski Novi. You say that that led
4 to a deterioration of the situation. Do you know who it was that declared
5 mobilisation then? And what period of time is this? Can you tell us the
6 month, at least, or the time of year?
7 A. I don't know who it was that declared mobilisation. I think the
8 mobilisation started in 1990, 1991. In 1990 or 1991. And the Muslims,
9 nowadays called Bosniaks, responded to the call-up until the president of
10 the state, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, stated his views on this. And later,
11 the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised as an independent state, so
12 they were no longer duty-bound to carry out anybody's instructions.
13 Q. Since your entire testimony has to do with the beginning of the
14 war in Croatia in this year in 1991, and since in your written statement
15 you say, when the war started in Croatia, the Muslims refused to mobilise
16 for the war in Croatia, could you please tell us: Did the mobilisation
17 call apply to all able-bodied males in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 irrespective of ethnic background, and could this have been only an order
19 by the federal authorities?
20 A. Yes. People got these call-up papers, but when they came to the
21 localities that were noted in the call-up papers, practically all the
22 Bosniaks were sent back home.
23 Q. You say that the Muslims refused to be mobilised for the war in
24 Croatia and then the inter-ethnic tensions grew. In what sense were there
25 these tensions in Bosanski Novi, and between whom?
1 A. There were inter-ethnic tensions because Serbs looked down on the
2 Muslims, they had contempt for Muslims, because they did not take part in
3 the war with them. Also in the territory of the entire municipality, the
4 situation was catastrophic. The members of these forces drank excessively
5 and they used their firearms. They would even shoot at places of worship,
6 and even during Muslim funeral services. Quite simply, life in town was
8 Q. You're describing now the situation after mobilisation. Are you
9 talking about that or are you talking about the situation when the Muslim
10 population, in response to Alija Izetbegovic's call, refused to mobilise
11 whereas the Serb population responded to the call-up but the war was being
12 waged in the neighbouring Republic of Croatia? Is that the situation
13 you're talking about?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In your statement, you said that at that time, during
16 mobilisation, at check-points there were military reservists and one or
17 two regular policemen. Is that the way it was?
18 A. Yes, I was there too.
19 Q. Can you tell us, what kind of check-points were they, who
20 established them, and when?
21 A. These were joint check-points between the members of the armed
22 forces - was it the TO? - and the active police. They were established
23 already in 1991. As a matter of fact, even individuals from SAO Krajina
24 came to the check-points in Bosanski Novi. And who established them, I
25 don't know. It's probably agreement reached between police and military
2 Q. In order to understand what period of time this is about, you
3 described the period as the beginning of the war in Croatia, and you say
4 that that is when these check-points existed. Can you at least give us
5 the time of year when this happened in 1991?
6 A. 1991, when the Zagreb-Sarajevo railroad was blown up. Reserve and
7 active policemen came from neighbouring municipalities and we guarded the
8 railroads together and we called them joint check-points of civilian and
9 military structures.
10 Q. Did I understand you properly, that these check-points that you're
11 talking about existed in the territory of the municipality of Bosanski
12 Novi and that they were check-points at which there was duty service on
13 the basis of an agreement reached between civilian and military
15 A. Yes. That is the way it was precisely.
16 Q. Did the JNA represent these military authorities; do you know
18 A. I don't know about that.
19 Q. In your statement, when talking about the police, you said that at
20 that time, the entire reserve force of the police was mobilised and that
21 every village had a police station. Is that the way it was?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Since you talked about this problem with mobilisation, the Muslim
24 population refused to mobilise during the call-up and the Serbs did
25 respond to the call-up. Once again I'm asking you to tell us where
1 Bosanski Novi is, in what republic?
2 A. In the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the current Republika
4 Q. Where was it in 1991? Was Bosnia and Herzegovina one of the
5 Yugoslav federal units at that time?
6 A. In 1991?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. At that time, in 1991, did Croatia, like all other republics,
10 constitute one of the Yugoslav federal units?
11 A. Yes, until it declared its independence.
12 Q. On the occasion of this declaration of independence, did that
13 bring about the war in Croatia?
14 A. Probably so.
15 Q. You said that Bosanski Novi was a town on the very border between
16 the two Yugoslav republics, that is to say Bosnia and Croatia; is that
17 correct, and that the two republics were separated by the bridge?
18 A. The two former republics of Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and
20 Q. I beg your pardon. I was referring to 1991. Yes.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When you're talking about mobilisation and about the mobilisation
23 of the entire reserve force of the police in Bosanski Novi, and in Bosnia
24 at that time, in 1991, you say in your statement, and you confirmed that
25 today, that there were radio broadcasts and that propaganda was
1 disseminated which only gave rise to an escalation of tensions. Because
2 the question that was put in those broadcasts was, What do you think about
3 Tudjman? And, What do you think about the Ustashas? Did you state that?
4 A. Yes. That was a morning show called "Instead of Coffee," which
5 was hosted by a journalist from Radio Bosanski Novi --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the name.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Do you know what happened at that time in the territory of the
9 neighbouring Republic of Croatia?
10 A. Yes. I know. There was an armed conflict between the members of
11 the TO of the SAO Krajina, the police, the active JNA, and part of the TO
12 of Bosnia-Herzegovina against the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia.
13 Q. You said a few moments ago that Croatia was a Yugoslav federal
14 unit, that Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time was a Yugoslav federal unit.
15 This border between Bosnia and Croatia, was there a border crossing there?
16 Was there a police check-point, a border post?
17 A. It was just an administrative border at the time.
18 Q. You talked about the mounting of tensions in the beginning of the
19 war in Croatia and these problems related to mobilisation, and you
20 described it as follows: That there were reservists in Bosanski Novi
21 every evening, that they were shooting, firing guns into the air, and it
22 was hard to keep them under control. Is that what you said?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. These reservists that responded to mobilisation, were they
25 soldiers of the JNA?
1 A. These reservists were subordinated according to the chain that
2 existed then to the then-command of the JNA but they were members of the
4 Q. At that time when these reservists appeared, is that when the
5 check-points were put up, the ones that you talked about, those that were
6 manned by the army and the police?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. These joint check-points, could they carry out their task -- or,
9 first, tell us, what was their task?
10 A. Their task was to search vehicles and to check personal
11 identification documents at these check-points and to establish war and
12 peace, but really at that time it was quite impossible. I was at these
13 check-points and I was present when a column of reservists from Loznica
14 was going by. And they fired millions of bullets. They were firing at
15 places of worship; everywhere. It was a state of chaos.
16 Q. Are you trying to say that these mixed police and military
17 check-points could not keep under their control this complicated
19 A. No, they couldn't.
20 Q. You said a few moments ago that the bridge between Dvor Na Uni,
21 which is on one side of the Una, that is in Croatia, in the then-Yugoslav
22 Republic of Croatia, and Bosanski Novi. Now, that bridge is between these
23 two neighbouring republics, and you said that armed groups were crossing
24 this bridge and you said that these were people who were firing rounds of
25 celebratory gun-fire, but you said that they were members of the TO,
1 Martic's Police, and active-duty personnel. Is that what you said?
2 A. Yes. That's what I said. And one of these policemen killed the
3 late chief.
4 Q. When you talk about the killing of the late chief, do you mean
5 Mr. Umicevic?
6 A. Yes, I mean him.
7 Q. Was the killer of your then-chief caught?
8 A. He was caught the same day and taken to Banja Luka. It was Nikola
10 Q. In your statement -- in your second statement, the second
11 statement you gave to the Prosecutor, you said that you had left work on
12 that day, that you were called up by the duty officer, that you went to
13 the site, and that in that coffee bar you established that the then-Chief
14 Umicevic had been sitting there, that there was shooting and that Nikola
15 Krneta, a military policeman, killed him and that he was then arrested.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What happened to him after that?
18 A. Yes. I did state that. The chief had heard that there was a
19 breakdown in law and order in that coffee bar, and since he lived in the
20 neighbourhood, he was on his way home and he went to see what was going
21 on. He found the owner of the coffee bar there and he sat at a table and
22 talked to him and the Krneta -- the man called Krneta came and he fired a
23 round into the chief's head, and then he -- this man was taken to Banja
24 Luka and I don't know happened. And also the owner of the cafe was
25 arrested too, but the following day I saw that he was released from
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters ask the witness to please speak
3 slower, thank you.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Am I right when I state that Chief Umicevic was a Serb who was
6 chief of police in Bosanski Novi and that in this gun-fire, he was killed
7 by this Krneta who was a military policeman, also a Serb?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. When you talked about that chaos that the police could
10 not keep under control on that day, you talked about armed people who were
11 crossing that bridge, who were coming from the war zones in the
12 neighbouring Croatia. You mentioned Martic's Police. What did this
13 Martic's Police wear, these people that you call the Martic police?
14 A. In Bosanski Novi, people knew who members of Martic's Police were.
15 They had camouflage uniforms, white belts. In that police, there were men
16 who had broken the law previously.
17 Q. How do you know that these people in camouflage uniforms were
18 Martic's Police?
19 A. Well, it didn't say on their foreheads that they were Martic's
20 Police, but people knew. Everybody in the police station knew who
21 belonged to Martic's Police.
22 Q. Can you explain this to us, who it was that belonged to this
23 police of Martic's. Who were these people, I'm sorry?
24 A. In the context of the police, I am not involving the active-duty
25 civilian policemen. They were very fair. These are people who either in
1 1990 or 1991, I cannot say exactly, as far as I know, they were trained.
2 They were given special training in Knin. They were trained and educated
3 only to carry out special tasks. Since I know who the members were from
4 the territory of Bosanski Novi, before, they had an inclination towards
5 perpetrating crimes.
6 Q. Witness, you say that these persons who were being trained were
7 persons from the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Novi. Can you
8 tell us who it was that sent them down there for this training in Knin
9 where you claim this happened?
10 A. They were not only from the territory of Bosanski Novi. They came
11 from the territory of all the municipalities of Bosanska Krajina. Most
12 probably these problem -- these people were rallied together through the
13 SDS, because when the SDS came to power, they tried to change the
14 structure of the reserve police force in Bosanski Novi where the people
15 who were not eligible, under quotation marks, were removed and they wanted
16 to have admitted into the police only people who suited them.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down, both, thank
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, excuse me, the interpreters are complaining,
20 both of you are talking very fast. Can you please speak slowly and give
21 each other an opportunity to answer. In other words, when counsel asks a
22 question, will you please stop a little bit and -- for the interpreters to
23 interpret, before you answer. Similarly, you, Mr. Milovancevic, after
24 you've received the answer, stop a little bit for the interpreters to
25 interpret before you ask the next question.
1 You may proceed.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Did I understand you correctly, these people who you called
4 members of Martic's Police, they were people from Bosnian municipalities,
5 they were the population of these Bosnian municipalities, who lived there,
6 generally speaking?
7 A. They among others. I don't know if there were any from the SAO
8 Krajina, but they were from the municipalities of Bosanska Krajina.
9 Q. You say they had camouflage uniforms and it didn't say on their
10 foreheads that they were Martic's Policemen. You say that people said
11 they were Martic's Policemen. Is it only on the basis of these rumours
12 that you say that they were Martic's Police?
13 A. We knew these people personally. I knew a lot of them. I
14 remember, for example, Goran Ivanovic or Popovic. I'm 100 per cent
15 certain that he was a member Martic's Police.
16 Q. How do you mean; that he went there for training and had the
17 uniform you described?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. When answering the questions of the Prosecutor about
20 Martic's men who crossed the bridge, Martic's Police, you said they wore
21 camouflage uniforms with white belts and took part in robberies; is that
23 A. I said they participated in the robbery of the policemen of the
24 Republic of Croatia who surrendered.
25 Q. We'll come to that topic. My next question is, in answer to the
1 Prosecutor's questions, you said that apart from robbery and looting, they
2 threw an explosive device onto the home of a journalist and then into the
3 home of a florist, and that both of these victims, so to say, were
5 A. I said that they threw explosive device, not into the home but the
6 florist's shop, of a lady, and that -- and also the home of the
7 journalist, and that they also looted a fruit and vegetable warehouse
8 belonging to Ibrahim Dautovic.
9 Q. When in your second statement you described these events with the
10 bombings, the throwing of the explosive devices, you said that -- that's
11 on page 3 of your second statement, dated the 19th of July -- that -- it's
12 the second paragraph from the top in B/C/S: "A hand grenade was thrown
13 onto Zarif Safic's house. I was on duty at the time. I went there and
14 saw parts of the device. Three Chetniks in uniform were seen throwing the
15 hand grenade. I don't remember the names of the eye witnesses. This
16 crime was never solved."
17 That's what you said to the OTP. And yet today, answering the
18 questions of the OTP, you say Martic's Policemen through an explosive
19 device onto this house. Which of these is true?
20 A. Well, the word "Chetniks" may have been a slip. They were driving
21 a vehicle by the house and they threw the hand grenade from the vehicle.
22 Q. Witness, you are now testifying under oath. Now you say these
23 were military policemen, that they were seen in a moving vehicle. And
24 answering the question of the Prosecutor, you said they were Martic's
25 Policemen. Do you draw a distinction?
1 A. Martic's unit was a special purpose unit. It was subordinated to
2 the command of the army. They carried out --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of the
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you please repeat the end of that question --
6 that answer, rather. You said "they carried out --" Can you finish that
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was Martic's Police, with
9 the description we got on the spot of the vehicle and the persons who had
10 passed by in the vehicle and had thrown that hand grenade. It's very
11 hard. It was very hard at that time to distinguish which police belonged
12 to whom, because they were all then under the command of the then-JNA.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You say they were military policemen, that you think they were
15 Martic's Police, that it was very difficult to distinguish men from one
16 another, that you don't remember the eye witnesses, that the crime was
17 never solved, and yet, in answer to the Prosecutor's question, you say
18 these were Martic's Policemen.
19 A. According to the information I received on the spot, there is no
20 doubt that they were members of Martic's Police. However, quite a lot of
21 time has elapsed, so I cannot remember every detail.
22 Q. You described Martic's Policemen as men who wore camouflage
23 uniforms and white belts. In the second statement you gave to the Office
24 of the Prosecutor, on page 3, in paragraph 5 from the top, you say,
25 correcting your previous statement: "In the 7th paragraph on page 5, I
1 mentioned that special military forces arrived from Banja Luka to disarm
2 these extremists. This special group were the Red Berets from Banja Luka.
3 Zupljanin said it was an elite group and that in cooperation with us they
4 can solve all the problems in the town. However, this unit did nothing.
5 It only made the situation worse." Is that what you stated?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Are you aware that in the then-JNA, members of the military police
8 wore white belts?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And shoulder straps?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In your statement, responding to the Prosecutor's questions, you
13 said there was an attempt to establish a commune of Serb municipalities,
14 which would join up with the Krajina in Croatia, and that this was
15 prevented in Bosanski Novi; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You said that in the beginning, authority in Bosanski Novi was
18 exercised in such a way that the SDA and the SDS agreed on everything and
19 the problems emerged later on; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In connection with the throwing of the two explosive devices into
22 the home and the shop of two Muslims, and you mentioned this was in late
23 1991 or early 1992, you said in your statement to the Prosecutor that the
24 official town authorities publicly opposed these bombings. Is that what
25 you said?
1 A. I probably did. Officially, the authorities were very perfidious
2 and got out of this.
3 Q. When you say that the authorities publicly opposed the bombings,
4 can you tell us what this means? Did they issue a public communique
5 condemning such acts?
6 A. I don't know whether they issued such a communique and publicly
7 denounced such acts.
8 Q. Can you explain, then, what this means, when you say that they
9 officially opposed the bombings? What does that mean?
10 A. Officially, the authorities never declared themselves in favour of
11 bombings or destruction of property, but the background is well known;
12 that the SDS was behind it all.
13 Q. What you say now, is it the same as what it says in your statement
14 to the Prosecutor, the first one of 1999, that the SDS Crisis Staff
15 organised these bombings?
16 A. Yes. I think so.
17 Q. However, in the corrections to your statement, you also explained
18 that what you said was only an assumption on your part. Is that correct?
19 A. It's possible I said that.
20 Q. In the last paragraph of your second statement of the 19th of July
21 2000, which you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor, you correct yourself
22 and you say: "In paragraph 6 on page 4 I mentioned that the Suha Rebra
23 paramilitary group did a job for the Crisis Staff." You say: "I said
24 that because they all had camouflage uniforms and rifles with long barrels
25 and I assumed that they were working for the Crisis Staff, because when
1 the leader of the group was taken off to prison for a crime, he would be
2 released immediately afterwards." Did you say that?
3 A. Yes.
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, I apologise but when the Defence
5 counsel refers to the previous statement, maybe the witness should have
6 the statement in front of him so he can confirm that he really said it.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: If he could also refer to the page on the statement
8 and be given a copy.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. The last question I put to you, Witness, referred to the end of
11 the second page and the beginning of the third page of your statement of
12 the 19th of July, 2000. That's the second statement you gave to the OTP,
13 where a paramilitary group called Suha Rebra is mentioned.
14 In this part of your statement, did you say: "I assumed they were
15 working for the Crisis Staff, based on what I've just explained. Of
16 course, I don't know what kind of orders they received, but it was evident
17 that the SDS was behind them." Did you make that statement?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At the end of this passage mentioning the Suha Rebra, and that's
20 the statement of the 19th of July, 2000, you say: "I also mentioned that
21 the Serbs killed the commander of this group, Petic, because he was a
22 renegade. He was beyond control. I heard this from someone but I don't
23 remember from whom. He was killed sometime in 1994." Did you say that?
24 A. Yes, I did; and yes, he was killed.
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm sorry, Your Honour, he was killed sometimes
1 in 1994, I don't know, is it what you mentioned?
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. My learned friend is asking you whether it says in your statement
4 that he was killed in 1994.
5 A. Yes, in the summer of 1994.
6 Q. In your statement given to the Prosecutor in 1999, you mention
7 this paramilitary unit, Suha Rebra, as a group of criminals working for
8 the needs of the SDS, that they wore first civilian clothes and, later on,
9 olive-grey uniforms, and that when the SDS lost control over Petic, he was
10 killed by Serb policemen. Is that what you said to the Prosecutor?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In your addendum to your statement you said that these people wore
13 camouflage uniforms, but in your first statement to the OTP, you say they
14 wore olive-grey uniforms, and in the end you said that the people you say
15 were criminals were killed by the Serb police. Then you explained that
16 you assume they were working for the SDS. Is all of this based only on
17 your conclusions and assumptions?
18 A. No. Not on assumptions. This group of criminals, the so-called
19 Suha Rebra, whose leader was Miroslav Petic, also known as Titin,
20 initially, like all the other members of the TO for Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 wore a grey -- olive-grey uniforms, and went as volunteers to the war
22 front in Croatia, where they looted and brought back cattle and other
23 things from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They also got drunk and
24 behaved in a rowdy manner and fired shots in town. During the war, there
25 is information that several hundred civilians in the Bosanski Novi
1 municipality were killed by them. Husein Hotic, an inspector of the MUP
2 in Bosanski Novi, was among those who was killed.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the date of his
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you know under what circumstances the Serb police killed that
7 man in 1994? Were you there?
8 A. No. I wasn't there. I only heard that he was killed, and even
9 now, on the bridge, there is a memorial plaque to him, on the bridge over
10 the Una in Bosanski Novi. I was then in Travnik, in Central Bosnia.
11 Q. But you know for certain that he was killed by the Serbian police?
12 A. Well, whether it was the active or the Serb police, but he was
13 certainly killed on the bridge in Bosanski Novi.
14 Q. Thank you. In your statement, you mentioned the arrival of
15 Mr. Martic in Bosanski Novi, and you mentioned that this was after what
16 happened in Otoka; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When you mentioned this Otoka, is that the case when Mr. Martic
19 was kept at some check-point in Otoka and arrested and afterwards
21 A. Yes. That's Bosanska Otoka.
22 Q. You said that Abdo Habib worked on Mr. Martic's release, what was
23 he in Bosnia-Herzegovina then?
24 A. I think he was either the assistant minister or the deputy
25 minister of the interior.
1 Q. You said that he, Mr. Martic, on that occasion when he was
2 released, was brought by car from Otoka to Bosanski Novi. Did you see
3 that or hear that?
4 A. I heard that he was brought there and, while he was in the late
5 chief's office, I saw him.
6 Q. Can you tell us whether Mr. Martic had been harmed in any way?
7 A. I'm not aware of any injuries.
8 Q. In these proceedings, we heard some statements to the effect that
9 Mr. Martic was brought in a helicopter from Otoka to Bosanski Novi. Are
10 you sure that he came by car from Otoka to Bosanski Novi?
11 A. I know that he was taken from the small soccer field in front of
12 the school by helicopter. Now, as far as his coming was concerned, I
13 think that he came by car.
14 Q. You mentioned some restaurant in Bosanski Novi where people who
15 belonged to the leadership of the SDS used to come. You said that the
16 restaurant was owned by a man who came to see Martic when he was released
17 and when he was brought to Bosanski Novi; is that right?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Did you ever see Mr. Martic after that in that restaurant?
20 A. Not after that.
21 Q. You said that Mr. Babic, who was Prime Minister of SAO Krajina,
22 came to Bosanski Novi too, that he even walked around there; is that
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. You said that this was 1991 and that the border between the then
1 Republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- the Yugoslav Republics of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia was an administrative border and that there
3 was free passage.
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Do you believe that it is strange or unnatural if someone crosses
6 a bridge one way or the other?
7 A. I think that's only natural, but this happened when the war in
8 Croatia started, but Croatia was already an independent state.
9 Q. When did you say the war started in Croatia?
10 A. 1991. I don't know the exact date.
11 Q. Did you hear when Croatia was recognised as an independent state?
12 A. I heard when it was recognised.
13 Q. But when was it?
14 A. I don't know the exact date. It was 1990 or 1991.
15 Q. As a policeman, you say that Croatia is independent and that it's
16 no longer part of Yugoslavia. On the basis of what knowledge do you state
18 A. Well, it proclaimed independence and was recognised by the United
19 Nations. It became, therefore, an independent state, like
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina did.
21 Q. Do you know that it was admitted into the United Nations in May
23 A. I don't know about that but I know that the parliament of the
24 Republic of Croatia declared independence before that.
25 Q. Do you know who Ante Markovic was at that time in 1991?
1 A. I know very well.
2 Q. Can you tell the Honourable Judges who the man was?
3 A. The Prime Minister of the former Yugoslavia.
4 Q. Do you know that at the request of the Federal Executive Council,
5 that is to say the government of Yugoslavia that was headed by this Ante
6 Markovic, the constitutional court of Yugoslavia on the 16th of August,
7 1991, passed a decision on annulling as anti-constitutional all the
8 decisions of Slovenia and Croatia on secession? Are you aware of that?
9 A. No, I'm not.
10 Q. When you describe this situation concerning the restaurant, you
11 say that you often came to that restaurant, that you were in front of it,
12 rather, and that you saw that the door was locked and then you wrote down
13 the registration plate numbers of the cars. Is that what you stated?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. You also stated that you saw that some JNA officer came to that
16 restaurant who was commander of the garrison in Cerkezovac and that he
17 would stay until the end of the opening hours of the restaurant; is that
19 A. Yes, that's right. There were several officers and politicians,
20 but I personally knew Kosta Djukic.
21 Q. Can you tell us whether the parties in Bosanski Novi had their own
22 headquarters, did the SDS have its own headquarters, did the SDA have its
23 own headquarters and these other parties?
24 A. They had their offices, but politicians would meet in that
25 restaurant, and when politicians and military officers met in that
1 restaurant, then the door would be locked and other people did not have
3 Q. Were you a member of the SDS?
4 A. Never.
5 Q. So can you know the reason why the restaurant was locked when
6 somebody was sitting in it?
7 A. Well, I don't know what the reason would be for it to be locked.
8 A restaurant is a public place where anybody has access. However, in
9 those times, when members of the former JNA would meet, officers, and the
10 top people of the SDS, the door would be locked so they were obviously
11 having some meetings there.
12 Q. You say that the restaurant was locked and probably they had some
13 meetings there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you ever enter after somebody had unlocked the door for you,
16 and did you see any of these meetings?
17 A. I could not enter, nor could anyone else who had not been invited.
18 Q. As a policeman, did you perhaps have the premises bugged and did
19 you perhaps hear what was going on there?
20 A. How can you bug a restaurant? We were not in a position to do
21 that. We could not have done that, because it is very well known what
22 kind of policy was waged by the centre of public security in Banja Luka,
23 headed by Zupljanin and all the rest.
24 Q. We'll get to that, Witness. You told us just now that you did not
25 see who it was that was at the restaurant, that you did not hear what
1 people were saying. You said that you saw that when the restaurant would
2 close, people would leave the restaurant. Can you tell us, what is this
3 end of opening hours?
4 A. The end of opening hours is the time when a restaurant is closed.
5 However, at that time not everyone had access to the restaurant. A
6 restaurant should be a public place, that everybody has access to.
7 However, if a certain group of people are sitting there, locked up in
8 there, the question is: What are they doing there?
9 Q. Am I right when I say that you are describing alleged meetings of
10 the leadership of the SDS and the top military people in that restaurant
11 without knowing who it was that attended them, without knowing what they
12 talked about, and because the door was locked in a restaurant that is
13 privately owned and that the owner can lock and close any time, you are
14 inferring that it's some kind of conspiracy; is that right, Witness?
15 A. Well, an owner cannot lock the door to his restaurant and say
16 somebody can come in and somebody cannot come in, and thus choose his
17 guests. However, when the restaurant is closed without the presence of
18 other citizens, there is absolutely grounds for suspicion.
19 Q. You said that you are a citizen of Muslim faith; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were you following the leadership of the Muslim party, the SDA,
22 then? Did you see where they were meeting, whether they were locking
23 doors, and were you a member of the SDA?
24 A. I was not a member of the SDA, and we equally followed both.
25 Q. You said to us a moment ago that you heard that Alija Izetbegovic,
1 as leader of the SDA, called on -- upon the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 not to respond to call-up, to mobilisation; is that right?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Do you know whether, parallel to the war in Croatia, anything
5 happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina in terms of arming the population on ethnic
7 A. I know what I could see, and what I saw on television. In
8 Bosanski Novi, I know how a certain number of individuals of Muslim
9 ethnicity were armed. They bought weapons from members of the former JNA
10 or reservists who sold these weapons to them. When the special unit of
11 the Red Berets came, they went from house to house, and judging by the
12 already-recorded registration numbers of these weapons, they asked for
13 these weapons to be handed back in.
14 Q. Are you trying to say that some bought weapons in a premeditated
15 fashion and others then collected it back in premeditated fashion?
16 A. Some got them free of charge and others bought weapons, but what
17 they bought they had to return.
18 Q. Do you know about the report of the Ministry of the Interior of
19 the Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina from mid-June 1991? It's a
20 daily security bulletin, dated the 26th of June 1991, which speaks about
21 great anxiety among people in Bosanski Novi, Bosanska Dubica, Bosanska
22 Krupa, and Velika Kladusa because of the concentration of big forces of
23 the Croatian MUP in the area. Do you know of this information? Was this
24 kind of information sent to you?
25 A. No, I haven't heard of it and I'm not aware of it.
1 Q. Do you know that this daily security bulletin of the MUP of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina from the end of June 1991 says that this exceptional
3 anxiety among citizens in Bosanski Novi leads to the self-organisation of
4 citizens, to the setting up of night guards and the blockade of roads and
5 that it leads to requests made by citizens of all ethnic backgrounds to
6 receive weapons. Have you heard of such a report?
7 A. No. I have not.
8 Q. Did you hear that citizens in Dvor Na Uni, at the bridge between
9 Dvor Na Uni and Bosanski Novi, that is to say on the bridge at the
10 outskirts of your own town, put up a blockade on the bridge, that the
11 citizens themselves did that in June 1991?
12 A. I know that there were some problems there and in Matijevici also.
13 That is a village when you get out of Bosanski Novi. They were putting
14 flags there and different emblems, but what actually happened there, I
15 don't know.
16 Q. You said that armed people who came from the territory of the
17 neighbouring Republic of Croatia where there was a war, regardless of
18 whether they were soldiers of the JNA or reservists or, as you call them,
19 Martic's men, that they came to Bosanski Novi. But do you know anything
20 about transporting women and children from Hrvatska Dubica and Hrvatska
21 Kostajnica to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. No, I don't know about that.
23 Q. Do you know anything about the transport of Serb people from
24 Croatia to Bosanski Novi?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were these women and children?
2 A. Oh, there were women and children there and also men who were
3 employed. They simply left their employment, from the territory of the
4 entire Republic of Croatia, and then they went to Bosanski Novi, of
5 course, if they originated from Bosanski Novi.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that my
7 colleague has something to say.
8 MS. RICHTEROVA: I just wanted to know the period of time you are
9 referring to about these women and children coming to Bosanski Novi.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness, my last two questions had to do with June 1991. As for
12 my last question, I asked you whether you heard, and you said yes, that
13 women and children from Croatia crossed over to the territory of Bosanski
14 Novi. Can you tell us what their ethnic background was of these people
15 who came to Bosanski Novi?
16 A. Serbs for the most part.
17 Q. Can you describe to us how they came; on foot, by car, on
18 tractors, buses, in an organised or unorganised way?
19 A. I am not aware of any organised convoys. People came as they
20 could. Mostly on different vehicles. At that time, there were still
21 trains that were operating, so some people came on train too, and on
23 Q. Can you tell us how many people this involved?
24 A. I cannot say exactly but I know that there was a mass of people
25 who were born in Bosanski Novi and who had relatives there and who worked
1 in Sisak, Zagreb, and so on and so forth, and they came to see their
3 Q. You said that these were masses of people. And you told us that
4 these were not people from the other side of the Una River, which was
5 between Dvor Na Uni and Bosanski Novi, but that these were ethnic Serbs
6 from Zagreb, Sisak, faraway towns in Croatia. Did I understand you
8 A. Yes, from all over Croatia.
9 Q. So why was it that they came to your town; do you know that?
10 A. Well, probably to avoid a war, just like I left Bosanski Novi
12 Q. What kind of things did these people bring along? Did you check
13 that at the check-point?
14 A. I don't know what they were bringing along. I was at the
15 check-point only once or twice. I was the head of sector for the entire
16 town of Bosanski Novi.
17 Q. Since you were head of sector, and since you worked in the police
18 at the time, can you tell us what that word means, that there were many
19 people, ethnic Serbs, who came from Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina. What
20 can you say, how many of them were there?
21 A. I cannot say exactly, but since I went to the neighbouring areas
22 that gravitated towards the municipality of Bosanski Novi, and to the
23 villages too, I came across people who I knew earlier on, and they told me
24 that they had left their apartments, their houses, et cetera, and that
25 they had come to stay with relatives and others. I cannot exactly.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please slow down. I can hear that the interpreter
2 is struggling to keep pace.
3 You may proceed.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. When you say that there were many people and you don't know the
6 exact number, was it tens or hundreds or thousands? Can you tell us what
7 the order of magnitude was?
8 A. Hundreds, I think.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have just
10 completed a particular topic so perhaps it would be right to take the
11 break now, to adjourn for the day.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. We are adjourned until tomorrow at 9.00 in
13 the morning. If you can please be back here, Mr. Krupic.
14 Court adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Friday, the 31st day of March
17 2006, at 9.00 a.m.