1 Tuesday, 19 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning.
6 Mr. Whiting, I believe you have something to raise.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. Just very briefly.
8 It's in respect of the Defence submission of yesterday regarding
9 the revised estimate of time for the witnesses, which raises some concerns
10 -- a number of concerns for the Prosecution which I think can be solved
11 very simply, if the Defence just files a motion seeking permission from
12 the Court to lead its witnesses 89(F) or 92 bis.
13 I would note that the Defence has now proposed, and I understand
14 that this is at the urging of the Court, and it's entirely, in many ways,
15 entirely appropriate, but they've now proposed that 18 witnesses be
16 introduced by 89(F) - maybe now it's Rule 92 ter which applies - and five
17 witnesses by 92 bis. That's a total of 23 witnesses, which is nearly half
18 the Defence case going in by this method.
19 The concerns that the Prosecution have are that -- well, number 1,
20 that we receive notice; in other words, that the Defence file a motion
21 with all the statements of all of these 23 witnesses that it proposes
22 should go in 89(F) and 92 bis, and that the Prosecution and the Court can
23 then -- well, the Prosecution can then take a position on it and the Court
24 can rule on it.
25 This would address a number of concerns that we have. Number 1,
1 we're going to obviously need some advance notice -- we're going to have
2 to have these statements in hand ahead of time in order to be able to
3 prepare to cross-examine the witnesses. And by "ahead of time," not just
4 a day ahead of time, I mean a week at least.
5 Secondly, and this is the most important thing, we think that
6 there may be some issues in the statements that should be led viva voce.
7 The new rule 92 ter, which is essentially an expression of Rule 89(F) -
8 it's kind of, you might say, a codification of Rule 89(F) - does allow
9 for, in the discretion of the Court, for evidence about acts and conduct
10 of the accused to be led via Rule 89(F).
11 However, we would anticipate, and I can't be certain without
12 seeing the statements themselves, that we may very well take the position,
13 from the Prosecution side, that any critical -- any evidence about
14 critical acts on conduct of the accused or evidence that goes to the
15 central issues in this case should be led viva voce.
16 It would be very odd, in our view, after having many witnesses who
17 have testified for long periods of times without even mentioning Mr.
18 Martic's name on direct examination one time, it would be very odd to then
19 have critical evidence about the acts and conduct of the accused or about
20 events that are central to this case go in on paper, which is essentially
21 -- in a way, it's equivalent to the Defence just leading the witness
22 through the examination-in-chief, because it's obviously -- on paper, the
23 witness just says, Yes, I agree with that, and there is no real testimony.
24 So we would anticipate making that distinction and identifying parts of
25 the testimony that are critical that should be led viva voce.
1 All of this to say that, in order to do that, in order to see if
2 89(F) is appropriate or how it is appropriate or 92 bis is appropriate
3 there has got to be a motion with all of these 23 witnesses addressed and
4 all of their statements provided to the Prosecution and the Court, and it
5 has to be done in a timely fashion.
6 Our last concern is the time that has been allotted by the Defence
7 for cross-examination of these witnesses is obviously inadequate. For the
8 18 89(F) statements, we've been allotted an average of less than three
9 hours per witness, according to the Defence schedule. Now, sometimes that
10 may be appropriate with a narrow witness, a focused witness. But
11 obviously if the statement that it goes in 89(F) covers a whole host of
12 issues and a broad range of issues, we're going to need more than three
13 hours to cross-examine the witness. And so that's another concern. But,
14 of course, that can only be determined once we have the statements.
15 So all of this to say that we would ask the Court to set a date
16 with the Defence by which they will file a motion to address all of these
17 23 witnesses, so it can be done in an orderly way, the Rules can be
18 applied appropriately, and we can come to a fair determination.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting. The Chamber was planning
20 to raise some of the issues that you have raised with the Defence.
21 However, the underlying result of what I hear you saying seems to
22 be to say, no, no, no, don't go 89(F) and don't go 92 bis because now
23 we're going to want to cross-examine -- because we are going to want these
24 people to testify viva voce on critical issues, when we have been trying
25 to get the Defence to come under 92 bis.
1 Obviously, I anticipate, and I think the Bench also anticipates,
2 that some of those witnesses will come in for cross-examination. We do
3 have a decision that we have passed in the past to say that witnesses
4 coming through 92 bis must just come in and go straight into
5 cross-examination without being fed or led, because of the confusion that
6 was caused by the introductory leading, and then the cross-examiner
7 wanting to go all over it, saying that this was mentioned in the
9 So the hours that are allocated to 92 bis was simply entirely for
10 cross-examination and some re-examination, if any, and questions from the
11 Bench. But certainly no leading time.
12 MR. WHITING: That is certainly my understanding, and that's the
13 same for Rule 89(F). With respect to Rule 89(F), the witness is required
14 to come in for cross-examination by the terms of the Rule.
15 Just to be clear, Your Honour, I'm not discouraging, in any way,
16 use of Rule 89(F) or 92 bis. I think it is appropriate. And it may --
17 what I am anticipating is that the most of the evidence, you know 90 per
18 cent of the evidence, the background, the general things can come in 89(F)
19 or 92 bis, but that the witness be led on critical issues, on the narrow
20 part -- if there are any, in the witness's testimony. So there could be a
21 combination of part of his evidence coming in 92 bis or 89(F) and part
22 being led viva voce in court, which has been done in many cases before.
23 But I am certainly not discouraging. I concur with the use of
24 89(F) and 92 bis, as long as it is done appropriately and according to the
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: But given the new 92 ter, the witness can come
2 entirely on paper and just be cross-examined.
3 MR. WHITING: That's correct. The Rule allows for even acts and
4 conduct of the accused to come in on paper. However, we would anticipate
5 urging a distinction between -- I mean, there are different kinds of acts
6 and conduct of the accused. There can be acts and conduct of the accused
7 which are cumulative or which are not that important or which are really
8 agreed on. For example, the positions of the accused, if the witness is
9 going to testify on that, they can come in on paper. But if they are
10 critical issues, I think our view will probably be that those critical
11 issues should be led live; otherwise, it is just leading the witness
12 through the critical issues, which we've objected to up to now and it
13 seems odd to go a different way.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, does it still seem odd after the new 92 ter?
15 MR. WHITING: Well, I'm not saying it can't be done under the
16 Rules. I agree it can be done, but the Rules simply say, it may -- it
17 allows -- it's in the discretion of the Court that acts and conduct of the
18 accused can be led -- put through paper.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: But all I'm saying if the Court then so decides,
20 the new 92 ter would be the reason for the odd appearance but also the
21 explanation why it is odd.
22 MR. WHITING: Yes, that's right. But it is true the Rules allow
23 for that. It just -- the fact is that evidence -- the reason we're not
24 allowed on direct examination to lead a witness is because that goes to
25 the weight of the evidence. That draws some questions about whether the
1 evidence is really coming from the witness.
2 Now, if that's about matters which are not critical to the case,
3 it's fine. It doesn't really matter. There is no dispute about it. But
4 with respect to disputed matters, we think those should be led live, viva
5 voce, even given the new Rule 92 ter which allows the Court discretion
6 about whether acts and conduct of the accused or what types of act and
7 conduct of the accused should be led on paper or should be led viva voce.
8 I'm not sure I'm making myself clear.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are coming loud and clear. Actually not only
10 clear but also loud. Thank you very much.
11 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, I'm not suggesting your voice is loud. I'm
13 using the expression.
14 MR. WHITING: I see. Okay.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
16 Mr. Milovancevic?
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] You see, Your Honour, with the
18 decision of the Trial Chamber we were placed in a position where we had to
19 act as told. Now the Prosecutor is expressing his concern over the fact
20 that we are acting in accordance with the decision of the Trial Chamber,
21 applying 92 bis and 89(F), without which we couldn't possibly comply.
22 I think the Prosecutor should wait to see our submission and
23 proposal and then see whether there is reason for concern, in the first
25 However, I have a concern also, I mean we on the Defence team have
1 a concern; namely, we are hearing live witnesses, we have complied with
2 the obligation imposed on us by the Trial Chamber in their decision, and
3 now we are in a position where we can't lead witnesses live at all, except
4 in redirect.
5 The main principle for us in every proceedings, including this
6 one, is the principle of directness, live testimony. And this principle
7 is in question if, in relation to half of the witnesses, only the
8 Prosecutor can cross-examine and we can only do redirect.
9 However, we suggest that time will show how we are going to cope
10 with our obligation while applying 92 bis and 89(F).
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, thank you so much. Regarding
12 your first point, what you call the Prosecutor's concern, now, do
13 understand that the Prosecutor needs to prepare his cross-examination of
14 those witnesses, and I think his major concern so far as you are concerned
15 is the expeditious delivery by the Defence of the motion and the attendant
16 92 bis and 89(F) summaries, so that they are able to do the
17 cross-examination -- is it a summary or a full statement? Full statement,
18 actually. So that they are able to prepare for their cross-examination.
19 To that extent, I think you can disabuse your mind of any other
20 concerns that the Prosecutor might have expressed, other than that one. I
21 think that one is -- for your purposes, that's the main important
22 concern. The other concerns, I think, are really addressed to the
23 Chamber, and the Chamber will use its discretion as to which witness comes
24 live and which witness comes viva voce on which issues. The Chamber will
25 look at that.
1 Your second concern, that the principle as you know it in every
2 proceedings is that people testify live, indeed, I can't agree more with
3 you, Mr. Milovancevic. That's the principle as I know it myself. Unless
4 you are dealing with what, in my judicial culture, is called motion
5 proceedings where you just do things on paper. Usually it's this way
6 where no disputes of fact are anticipated. And if they do arise, then
7 people come and testify.
8 However, having said that, we both find ourselves in this
9 international milieu, which has nothing to do -- which is different from
10 our national jurisdictions, and we have got to adapt. Here we are now
11 called upon to use 92 bis, to use 89(F), now there is the new 92 ter.
12 We've got to use them. To the best of our abilities, we will make sure
13 that -- and I think the concern you are expressing is the same concern
14 that is expressed by Mr. Whiting. Where the witness comes to speak on
15 very critical issues that go to the acts and conduct of the accused which
16 are not necessarily cumulative or agreed or what have you, the Chamber may
17 exercise their discretion, if so requested, to allow the witness to
18 testify viva voce so that the Defence can lead him the best way they want
19 to lead him and, of course, the witness's memory can be observed under in
20 the witness box.
21 I hope that answers your concerns and, to some extent, the
23 MR. WHITING: Yes. Your Honour, I just wonder if we could set a
24 date by which the Defence files its motion.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. I was going to ask. Thank you very
1 much, Mr. Whiting, for reminding me.
2 Mr. Milovancevic, are you able to offer a date, without the
3 Chamber imposing a time line on you? But also you remember that this
4 needs to be done as soon as possible, because the Prosecution needs to
5 prepare. Are you able to give a date by when you can do this? The most
6 important thing is that the statements must be there for them to prepare.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. I
8 would appreciate it if you would let me do that today, by the end of the
9 day, but after the first session at least, so that I can consult my
10 colleagues during the break, because we wish to give you a realistic
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
13 Is that all, Mr. Whiting? Thank you.
14 May I just raise something also from the Bench. The Chamber would
15 like to request a 40-minute break -- the Chamber would like to ask for a
16 40-minute break at the end of this session. I don't see how we can recoup
17 those minutes. We could break for 20 minutes in the next session, but the
18 technicians need a full 30 minutes for the delayed relay. So it will just
19 be ten minutes lost. Thank you very much.
20 I'm sorry for eating into so much of your time, Mr. Perovic.
21 May the witness come, please.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 WITNESS: MILAN DRAGISIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, Mr. Dragisic. May I take this
1 opportunity just to remind you that yesterday, when you started
2 testifying, you made the declaration to tell the truth, the whole truth,
3 and nothing else but the truth. You are still bound by that declaration.
4 Thank you very much.
5 Yes, Mr. Perovic.
6 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Examination by Mr. Perovic: [Continued]
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Dragisic.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. Yesterday, if you recall, we dealt with the period between 1986
11 and 1990 when you were Chief of Staff of the Territorial Defence of Knin.
12 Do you remember that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you recall us discussing it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. As regards the relationship between the staff of the Territorial
17 Defence of Knin with the staff of the TO of the union of municipalities of
18 Split, what is typically characteristic of this period, 1990?
19 A. In 1990 we had a perfectly normal relationship. Like before, they
20 were our superior staff, and consistent with that we had a work plan for
21 1990, which we implemented by regularly sending reports and receiving
22 orders from the Community of Municipalities of Split staff. Once a week,
23 or sometimes more often, I travelled to Split to report.
24 Q. Thank you. And that lasted until which moment?
25 A. Until January 1991, which was the last time I went to Split. But
1 we still had regular communications by telephone until the end of March,
2 1991, and on several occasions commanding officers from the Community of
3 Municipalities staff came to Knin.
4 Q. You mentioned that the commander of the union of municipalities
5 staff was Ante Marinov. Do you remember what happened to him in 1990? He
6 was Colonel Ante Marinov.
7 A. He was still in that position, but in 1990, since he too received
8 orders from the same superiors as I, he was replaced. But I don't know by
10 Q. What was the main reason for his replacement?
11 A. The main reason was that Ante Marinov executed the orders of the
12 General Staff, and he was committed to obeying the law on All People's
14 Q. You mentioned yesterday that he was a Croat by ethnicity.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you remember when the first multi-party elections took place in
18 A. If I remember well, it was in the spring of 1990.
19 Q. After the multi-party elections, did there occur any changes in
20 the composition of the General Staff or maybe the Territorial Defence of
22 A. No. All the staff and all the commanding officers continued in
23 their earlier positions.
24 Q. While we are at the multi-party elections in Croatia, the first
25 ones, tell me, what do you remember most vividly about this electoral
1 campaign preceding the elections?
2 A. On the eve of the elections, they started glorifying the
3 independent state of Croatia, the one from 1941 to 1945. In the press and
4 on television, you could hear threats addressed to Serbs, namely threats
5 that 1941 would happen again, more precisely that a genocide would be
6 committed again against Serbs, a massacre.
7 Q. Did certain state symbols change or were there any proposals to
8 change them?
9 A. Just after the multi-party elections were over, when the HDZ, the
10 Croatian Democratic Union, won in Croatia, the symbols changed. The
11 five-pointed star was rejected and the Croatian symbol of the
12 chequer-board was introduced and the Croatian coat of arms was
13 introduced. All of those who wore uniforms received new black uniforms,
14 not unlike those worn by Ustasha staff in 1941 to 1945.
15 Q. What stance did the TO staff take vis-a-vis those new symbols?
16 A. We in the staff and the entire Serb population was against these
17 changes because, in their minds, they were associated with the independent
18 state of Croatia.
19 Q. While we are talking about the elections and the parties that took
20 part, do you know if Milan Martic was a member of one of those parties?
21 A. I know for a fact that he was not a member of any party.
22 Q. Was he a member of the Serb Democratic Party?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Relative to the change of symbols, state symbols, and iconography,
25 did Mr. Martic have any problems in his work?
1 A. He did because he, like most of the policemen working in Knin, did
2 not wish to take off the five-pointed star and receive the new symbol of
3 the chequer-board, nor did they want to change the colour of the uniform
4 into black.
5 Q. Did they take any steps? Did they do anything about it?
6 A. They wrote an open letter to the Federal Secretary for Internal
7 Affairs in Belgrade, Mr. Petar Gracanin, and that letter was published in
8 the daily Politika.
9 Q. You said "they." Who are "they"?
10 A. Policemen from Knin. Over 50 of them signed that letter.
11 Q. And what became of them?
12 A. Their superior, the secretary of the SUP of the Sibenik, suspended
13 four policemen from Knin that he designated as leaders: Milan Martic, Mr.
14 Zelenbaba, Mr. Amanovic, and Mr. Cenic.
15 Q. We have come to July 1990. As I say, that brings us to July
16 1990. Does the date 17 August 1990 ring any bells in your mind? Just a
17 second. Speaking of that date, I want you to tell us only what you
18 personally saw with your own eyes and what you remember.
19 A. Before that, around the 25th of July, there was an Assembly in Srb
20 which decided that the Serb people in Croatia would demand cultural
21 autonomy. The referendum was scheduled for the 17th of -- for the 19th of
22 August, 1990.
23 On the 17th of August, that is two days before the referendum,
24 Croatian authorities from Zagreb decided to stop the referendum from
25 taking place and to stop it by force, and to do so by sending armed
1 special units to take control of important features in Knin and stop the
3 Q. Thank you. Did you attend any meetings related to that in the
4 Municipal Assembly of Knin? And what was discussed?
5 A. Around 11.00 that day, I was invited by Mr. Milan Babic, through
6 his secretary, to come to the Municipal Assembly building and meet with
7 Mr. Babic.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: 11.00 of which day? And is this 11.00 in the
9 morning or at night?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the morning, on the 17th of
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So it was at 11.00 in the morning on the 17th of August, 1990?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You attended that meeting?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. And what was the meeting about?
19 A. The chairman, Milan Babic, acquainted me very briefly with the
20 situation and asked me to mobilize the Territorial Defence of Knin
22 Q. What was your reaction to that?
23 A. I replied to him that it was impossible to do, because he was not
24 empowered to conduct a Territorial Defence mobilisation under the law, but
25 the Territorial Defence staff of the Community of Municipalities, so
1 Split, was.
2 Q. Thank you. Did he ask you anything else at that meeting?
3 A. Yes, he did. He asked me whether I could take out weapons from
4 the depots, of course referring to the weapons of the Territorial Defence.
5 Q. What was your reaction to that?
6 A. I said that that was impossible, too, because, according to the
7 orders of the Presidency of the SFRY, the armaments were in the JNA depot
8 at Krka.
9 Q. Thank you. So this possibility -- you rejected this possibility
10 offered to you by Babic?
11 A. Yes, because he didn't have the powers, the competence to issue
12 such orders.
13 Q. At that time, so we are in August 1990, as I can see from your CV,
14 you became the commander of the staff of the Territorial Defence of Knin.
15 Who appointed you to that post?
16 A. The Municipal Assembly of Knin, with approval from the staff of
17 the Community of Municipalities of Split. The Community of Municipalities
18 namely approved, endorsed my appointment, and the actual appointment was
19 made by the Municipal Assembly of Knin.
20 Q. Having become commander of the TO staff of Knin municipality, did
21 you then talk, in connection with that, with Dr. Milan Babic?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. What did he propose to you? What did he advocate in that talk
24 with you?
25 A. He proposed to me and demanded from me that we worked on the
1 creation of a Serb army, an army that would not be commanded from Split or
2 Zagreb or by the JNA, namely an army that he would be commander of.
3 Q. And what was your reaction to that?
4 A. I refused. I didn't accept. I comported myself in accordance
5 with the laws in force, the SFRY laws in force, and the valid laws of the
6 Socialist Republic of Croatia.
7 Q. Thank you. So let us just accentuate this. This is a period in
8 which the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia still existed, as did
9 the JNA as its regular armed force; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. Mr. Dragisic, on that day, on the 17th of August, 1990, do you
12 know what was happening in Knin in the afternoon, to the best of your
14 A. What I know is that there was -- a story was bandied about that,
15 from Zagreb, Split and other quarters, Croatian special units had set out,
16 as well as helicopters from Zagreb, in the direction of Knin. And the
17 people were very upset and frightened. They asked for arms. And they
18 turned out in force in the streets, especially around the police station
19 in Knin.
20 Q. Do you know what was happening right there in front, outside or
21 inside the police station, the public security station at that time?
22 A. No, I don't, because I was summoned to the command of the 9th
23 Corps, the JNA command in Knin, before a commission consisting of a
24 general and two colonels. They asked me to give them a detailed report as
25 to where the Territorial Defence weapons were, and they wanted to check
1 whether anything had been taken out of the JNA depots.
2 Q. So you don't know anything more specific about what was going on
3 outside the public security station in Knin?
4 A. No.
5 Q. In connection with the date that we referred to, do you know
6 whether the barricades were put up on that date? And how were they and
7 why were they erected?
8 A. That evening barricades were put up primarily by -- in this way.
9 Every year we, the Territorial Defence, the civil defence, would --
10 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Dragisic. Tell me very briefly who initiated, who
11 actually proposed the setting up of the barricades, and in what way?
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Can the witness continue the first sentence?
13 "Every year," he said.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, sir. In the territories of all
15 the municipalities, including the territory of Knin municipalities,
16 exercises would be carried out. It was an action which was called
17 "Nothing May Surprise Us," or "We Cannot Be Taken By Surprise," in which
18 the entire population participated. And that was an exercise, combat
19 actually, against saboteurs and the protection, security, of facilities,
20 so that all the citizens knew what facilities were to be secured, where
21 the barriers on the road were to be -- obstacles on the road were to be
22 placed, and where saboteurs, if any, were to be followed.
23 According to that scenario -- it was according to that scenario,
24 more or less, that the blockade of the roads leading to Knin was actually
25 carried out.
1 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Who actually was the initiator of the setting up of barricades; do
3 you know that?
4 A. Yes, I do know that. Those were primarily the Serbian Democratic
5 Party, which had won the elections in Knin municipality, in the local
6 communes, and their activists were the ones who organised the erection of
7 the barricades.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we get some clarity here, Mr. Perovic.
9 Witness, you said: "Every year the territories of all
10 municipalities, including the territory of Knin, would have these
12 Now, who would initiate these exercises every year?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Earlier they would be initiated by
14 the Socialist Alliance, which was the widest party that existed. It was
15 in charge of that and it also participated. The army, to a lesser extent
16 and the Territorial Defence and the civil defence and work organisations,
17 enterprises, also participated in such exercises. So we can say the
18 committee and the Socialist Alliance, as it was called at the time, namely
19 the then existing socio-political organisations.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: So in this year, did the army and the Territorial
21 Defence and the civil defence also participate in the initiation of this,
22 like every year?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This year, after the multi-party
24 elections, there were no more exercises.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. But when you were asked about the barricades,
1 you told us about what happens every year, linking the two. So there was
2 an exercise in the form of barricades.
3 Now I'm asking you: Did the army and the TO and the civil defence
4 also participate?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the erection of barricades
6 participated only the citizens. The people organised by the Serbian
7 Democratic Party, the army, the Territorial Defence and the civil defence
8 did not participate, and that is in 1990.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why did they not participate? This is their annual
10 activity. Why don't they participate?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no longer any such
12 preparations. It was not anymore an exercise, nor was there anyone asking
13 for that exercise to be carried out, because when exercises were
14 undertaken, they would be organised from Zagreb and the directions would
15 come from Zagreb. And that was no longer the case.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Perovic.
17 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. So, if I understood you correctly, the staff of the Territorial
19 Defence in Knin had nothing whatsoever to do with the barricades. I'm
20 referring to the initiative for and the organisation of the barricades.
21 A. No, they didn't.
22 Q. Tell me, Mr. Dragisic, on that day, the 17th of August, 1990, did
23 Milan Babic declare a state of war?
24 A. Yes, he did, and he did it via Radio Knin.
25 Q. And you, as the Territorial Defence Staff, reacted to that how, to
1 that proclamation of his?
2 A. I immediately informed the staff of the Community of
3 Municipalities and the command of the 9th Corps of the JNA, and the staff
4 undertook no steps in that connection at all. Only from the Community of
5 Municipalities staff, they asked us to organise constant round-the-clock
7 Q. Did you put on uniforms at the invitation of Milan Babic, i.e.,
9 A. No, we didn't.
10 Q. Why not?
11 A. Because that was not according to the law, and he was not
12 empowered to issue such orders.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: All right. Just one moment. Were the people
15 who put up the barricades empowered to put up barricades?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were people from the Serbian
17 Democratic Party who organised that, and the people organised themselves
18 because of a threatening danger that the armed special unit members in
19 armoured personnel carriers, aboard helicopters and with weaponry, would
20 occupy the area.
21 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: You gave a very long answer, but up to now you
22 have not gone to the substance of my question. I asked you whether they
23 had the power to put up the barricades. You have been mentioning the fact
24 that Mr. Babic didn't have the power to do a number of things. Could you
25 answer the question, please? Did they, by law, have the power to put up
1 the barricades? Was it their duty?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No --
3 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- it wasn't.
5 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Dragisic, have you heard of a body called the Council of
7 People's Resistance? What was this body and how did it come into being?
8 A. At the multi-party elections in Knin, the Serbian Democratic Party
9 won, and Milan Babic was elected the president of the Municipal Assembly.
10 Up to that time there had existed a body called the Committee for All
11 People's Defence and Social Self-Protection. The very designation
12 "committee" was reminiscent of communism.
13 Babic did not want and organ called a committee, but redubbed,
14 renamed this committee, this organ, this body, into the Council of
15 National Defence.
16 Q. Mr. Dragisic, who decided on the membership of that body?
17 A. That decision was made by Milan Babic.
18 Q. What was the task of that body?
19 A. As far as I know, he would issue some communiques on Radio Knin
20 which were principally of a political content.
21 Q. Until when was this Council of National Resistance operational?
22 A. It issued its communiques until the establishment of the SAO
23 Krajina on the 19th of December.
24 Q. What year was that?
25 A. 1990.
1 Q. Which is when the Council of National Resistance practically
2 ceased to exist?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So you said it was on the 19th of December, 1990, that the SAO
5 Krajina was proclaimed?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. From that moment, what was the attitude towards the Territorial
8 Defence Staff in Croatia, in Zagreb namely?
9 A. We - and I personally, as the commander - continued to maintain
10 correct relations, and my superior command was the Community of
11 Municipalities staff. And, as I already said, in January I travelled to
12 Split. I submitted a report there. And nothing changed.
13 Q. Then, at that time, did Dr. Babic give you any proposals related
14 to the Territorial Defence of the municipality of Knin?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What did he insist on?
17 A. He insisted on the establishment of a Serb army and the setting up
18 of detachments and regiments, Chetnik regiments and detachments.
19 Q. What was your position vis-a-vis that proposal?
20 A. My position and the position of my staff was that we wouldn't,
21 couldn't accept that, because there existed the JNA, i.e., the armed
22 forces of the SFRY, and we were a part of those forces and we did not want
23 to be outside that particular framework.
24 Q. Let me move away from this topic a bit and ask you this: Have you
25 ever heard of Captain Dragan?
1 A. Yes, I have.
2 Q. When did that man appear in Knin?
3 A. Sometime in the second half of April, 1991.
4 MR. BLACK: Objection, Your Honour. I apologise for the
5 interruption. This is not the first time that we've gone beyond the 65
6 ter summary, but there's -- as far as I can see, there is just nothing
7 that -- no mention of Captain Dragan or anything that would even arguably
8 bring this within the purview of the summary. So I would object to this
9 evidence being led.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Perovic.
11 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] I acknowledge the objection and I
12 accept it. It's just that I was misinformed by my associates regarding
13 the contents of the summary. The objection is completely justified.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Perovic. Are you then
15 going to withdraw the question, Mr. Perovic?
16 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Perovic. You may proceed.
18 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Dragisic, we are now in April 1991. At that time, did there
20 occur a deterioration of the security situation; and if it did, why?
21 A. Yes, it did, because on Easter day, on the 31st of March, special
22 units of Croatia attacked the special units of Krajina at Plitvice,
23 resulting in the first casualties and the capture of 13 or maybe 16
24 members of the Krajina police.
25 Q. When did the tensions between the sides grow particularly high?
1 Due to which incident?
2 A. After these men were captured.
3 Q. You mean that incident at Plitvice that you described? I'm asking
4 you about another incident that maybe complicated the situation even
6 A. On the 2nd of May, in Borovo Selo, there was a skirmish between
7 Croatian police and the Krajina police in Borovo Selo.
8 Q. What about the area immediately around you? Did something happen
9 that disturbed the residents?
10 A. Yes. On that 2nd of May, Vaso Pecar was killed, a person from
11 Polaca, he was killed by the residents of Kijevo. That really caused
12 great unrest, both in Polaca itself and the broader area of Knin.
13 Q. When was the first government of SAO Krajina established? Do you
15 A. On the 29th of May, 1991.
16 Q. Who became head of that government?
17 A. The first head of government and Minister of Defence became Milan
19 Q. Then, as the newly appointed Minister of Defence, what did he
20 advocate in his contacts with you?
21 A. He kept insisting on the establishment of the Serbian Army of
22 Krajina, but once the government of Krajina was established, along with
23 the Assembly of Krajina, he had the authority to do that.
24 Q. What was your opinion on the matter?
25 A. I continued to impose it because in the framework of the SFRY --
1 Q. Thank you. But what was the position of Milan Martic on this?
2 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, but ...
3 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You said you were against those initiatives of Mr. Babic. What
5 about Mr. Martic?
6 A. I think Mr. Martic was also in favour of cooperating with the
7 JNA. He was against the rejection of the five-pointed star and against
8 the changes of emblems.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Perovic, so as not to break your train, I
11 have elected to ask the question at the end of the day, if necessary.
12 Please proceed. Thank you.
13 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. We are now in the summer of 1991. What is typical of this period,
15 June, July, and later in 1991?
16 A. The month of June saw a deterioration of general relations.
17 Slovenia and Croatia, sometime around the 25th of June, unilaterally and
18 unlawfully proclaimed their independence.
19 Q. Thank you. What about the territory of Croatia? What happened
20 there in the summer of 1991?
21 A. That summer, the Croatian Democratic Union, i.e., the Croatian
22 authorities with their paramilitary army that they named Home Guard Corps,
23 including policemen without proper training, imposed blockades on JNA
24 barracks throughout Croatia, cutting off their electricity, water supply,
25 and the rest.
1 Q. What was the response of the JNA?
2 A. The JNA General Staff adopted the decision to partially mobilise
3 JNA units in afflicted areas.
4 Q. How was that order on partial mobilisation reflected on the
5 defence of Knin?
6 A. It was ordered that younger men, that is conscripts below the age
7 of 55, would have their military files turned over to the JNA with a view
8 to including them in reinforcements.
9 Q. So conscripts younger than 55 were mobilised into the JNA, the
10 Yugoslav People's Army, if I understood you correctly.
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. What was the position of Milan Babic regarding this order to
14 A. Well, I think he accepted it because there was nothing he could
16 Q. So, for all practical purposes, who remained in the TO units, in
17 the units of the Territorial Defence, after this mobilisation into the
19 A. Only unfit people, people not fit for combat.
20 Q. So how were the Territorial Defence units organised after June
21 1991 and after that decision to mobilise?
22 A. Later, the territorial principle prevailed. Units were organised
23 in local communes, but since most men, including commanding officers, were
24 mobilised into the JNA, the resulting TO units did not have good
25 commanding staff, and those who were in command were not qualified to
1 train and to lead units.
2 Q. Were they fit for combat, these units?
3 A. No.
4 Q. In August 1991, in your area, did the army undertake any
6 A. Yes. The action to lift the blockade off Kijevo, Kijevo being a
7 local commune behind which there were more villages belonging to the
8 municipality of Knin, populated by Serbs, whereas Kijevo was a
9 predominantly Croat place.
10 Q. What I want to know, really: Were Territorial Defence units
11 involved in any way?
12 A. No. I believe there was one platoon from Lapac or somewhere, but
13 the Territorial Defence did not take part from in this.
14 Q. What happened to you personally in September 1991?
15 A. Since those units, less than ready as they were, had to hold
16 positions on the periphery, on the outskirts of the municipality, I
17 inspected those units and showed them how to create shelters, how to make
18 cover, because a mortar can wound or kill a fighter by wounding him even
19 in the back, if he is not covered.
20 Q. So what happened then?
21 A. I ended up wounded in the area of Velika Glava.
22 Q. How?
23 A. An 82-millimetre mortar.
24 Q. Where did the projectile come from?
25 A. From the positions of Croatian paramilitary forces, from the
1 territory of Sibenik municipality.
2 Q. After you were wounded, what happened next?
3 A. I was hospitalized in the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade for
4 about three months, which was followed by rehabilitation until May next
6 Q. The VMA, the Military Medical Academy is in Belgrade, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When did you go back to Knin, and to what position?
9 A. Around the new year. And starting with 1st June 1992, I was on
10 the teaching staff in the military training centre in Golubic.
11 Q. What about the training centre in Golubic, who were the trainees
12 and what were they trained for?
13 A. The trainees were citizens of Krajina and citizens of Croatia, up
14 to 27 years, who had no criminal record, and they were trained to become
15 beat policemen.
16 Q. So policemen. So those young men who completed this course in
17 Golubic could become beat policemen, if I understood you correctly.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And if they wanted to advance in that profession, what did they
20 have to do?
21 A. In that case, with the assistance of senior policemen in police
22 stations, they had to prepare themselves to apply for enrollment in the
23 higher school of internal affairs.
24 Q. Let me ask this once again: After completing the course in
25 Golubic, they could only become policemen.
1 A. Yes, after a trial period of one month. Each one of them had a
2 mentor who trained him after completing the course.
3 Q. The young men who were trained during that course, were they ever
4 used in combat?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Mr. Dragisic, I do not have any further questions to ask you
8 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Perovic.
11 Mr. Black, do you think you can start now, or do you think we can
12 come back later?
13 MR. BLACK: I'm happy with taking a break now, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's take a break now. We will come back at five
15 to 11.00.
16 Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black.
20 MR. BLACK: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Black:
22 Q. Mr. Dragisic, my name is Mr. Black. I'm a member of the
23 Prosecution team, and I am going to be asking you questions for a while
25 First of all, you said that you are married; correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. If you don't mind me asking, what is your wife's name?
3 A. Nedjelka.
4 Q. Does she have any family relationship with the accused, Milan
6 A. Yes, she's his sister.
7 Q. So you are, in fact, the accused's brother-in-law; is that right?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. Yesterday you testified that whereever possible TO weapons were
10 stored in JNA weapons depots in order that the weapons be secured. Do you
11 remember telling us that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What time frame were you talking about there?
14 A. Until the end of June, 1991.
15 Q. And what about -- when were you saying that that started? When
16 were the TO weapons first held in a JNA weapons' depots, according to you?
17 A. They were there since the very inception of the Territorial
18 Defence, so I suppose sometime from 1970 onwards. And the depot was in
19 the JNA depot.
20 Q. Isn't it actually the case that it was only in May of 1990 that
21 the JNA took control of TO weapons and put them in JNA depots? That only
22 happened in May of 1990.
23 A. No, it is not correct. Wherever it was possible, with a view to
24 security measures, the TO weapons were in JNA depots. Some
25 municipalities, which were far away from garrisons, had a part of the --
1 held themselves a part of the weaponry. But that was not the case with
2 Knin municipality, however.
3 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at a document. It's Exhibit 409 in
4 evidence in this case, and it will come up on the screen in front of you
5 in just a moment, sir.
6 Sir, look with me at this document. You'll see that this is a
7 document from the Main Staff of the SFRY. It's dated the 14th of May,
8 1990. Do you see that?
9 A. Yes, I do. But I should like to tell you how this was solved in
10 Knin municipality. Actually I told you how this question was dealt with
11 in Knin municipality, and that is definitely correct, namely Knin
12 municipality never had another depot because of the practical
13 considerations, namely it should have had security guards and they should
14 be paid, and if it was with the JNA, that was unnecessary. I'm familiar
15 with this order but ...
16 Q. Okay. So you're familiar with this order. So you're saying that
17 in Knin, the TO weapons were in the JNA weapons depot even before this
18 order. But you accept, don't you, that elsewhere in Croatia, TO weapons
19 would have been stored separately from the JNA weapons.
20 A. This happened in very few municipalities. For instance, Obravac,
21 in Benkovac -- kept their weapons in the Benkovac garrison; Gracac in the
22 Sveti Rok garrison; Sinj in the Sinj garrison; and Split in the Split
23 garrison. Only municipalities which were quite far away from the
24 garrisons kept a part of the weapons separately.
25 Q. The places that you've mentioned are mostly in Krajina or there in
1 Dalmatia. What about the rest of Croatia? The other places in Croatia,
2 the TO weapons may have been stored separately or would have been stored
3 separately from the JNA weapons; right?
4 A. No. Wherever it was possible, the weapons were kept in JNA
5 garrisons. So that, for instance, the TO of Knin --
6 Q. Let's look at this, at paragraph 1 of this order. You can follow
7 along with me. It says -- it talks about the military district, et
8 cetera, and it says:
9 "They shall organise the takeover, storage and safekeeping of the
10 complete stock of the TO weapons and ammunition in the JNA supply dumps
11 and depots."
12 That's what it says; right?
13 A. Yes, but --
14 Q. Let me just ask you a question before you go on. It doesn't make
15 any sense to issue an order like this if the TO weapons are already in the
16 JNA depots, does it?
17 A. A very small quantity. For instance, if the Territorial Defence
18 Staff has 2.000 barrels, pieces of barrels, which was retained -- 20 or 30
19 barrels would be retained for the anti-sabotage unit, and that would be
20 stored in the TO depot, because they could be quickly taken out and issued
21 from the depot.
22 Q. If what you say is true, why would the SFRY General Staff issue an
23 order like this, if the effect of it really only touched on a very, very
24 small percentage of TO weapons? It doesn't make any sense, does it?
25 A. I shall answer that in this way: At that time, when this order
1 was passed, abusing the right to retain a small number of pieces of
2 weaponry, for instance, two or three crates, boxes, certain staffs, whose
3 commanders had been replaced and where HDZ had appointed the commanders,
4 actually retained more weaponry, which they had removed from the JNA
5 depots. Do you understand?
6 Q. So you're saying that some TOs, which already in May 1990 were
7 controlled by the HDZ, you say that those were the depots -- or those were
8 the TO staffs that were keeping their weapons separate from the JNA
9 depots; right? That's what you're saying?
10 A. No. What I'm saying is that they had to keep their weapons in the
11 JNA depots, but they wrote orders to the effect that they were conducting
12 exercises and they drew from these supplies, from the depot, weapons which
13 they wouldn't return.
14 Q. And you say this happened in TOs which were controlled by the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Are you aware that Borislav Jovic, who was at that time was the
18 chairman of the SFRY Presidency, he's described this order as the
19 disarming of the TOs, and said that it happened over the objection in
20 Croatia of Slovenia? Are you aware of that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. It wouldn't make any sense for him to view this order as disarming
23 the TOs if only a small percentage of TO weapons were outside of JNA
24 depots, even before the order; right? That wouldn't make any sense.
25 A. I know this subject matter well, and I assert that the situation
1 is definitely as I described it and it is very viable, by whatever means
2 you have at your disposal.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, the question was, it doesn't make sense,
4 does it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I adhere to what I have said, and I
6 know for a fact that it was so.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question was: It doesn't make sense, does it?
8 Does it make sense?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it doesn't make sense, but if
10 you accept my explanation - and I adhere by it - that is the way it was.
11 MR. BLACK:
12 Q. So, according to you, this order that we see before us, that
13 didn't have the effect of disarming the TOs; in fact, it had only a
14 negligible effect because such a small percentage of TO weapons were held
15 outside of JNA depots before May of 1990; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you say that if Borislav Jovic described it differently, then
18 he was simply wrong, despite the position that he had at the time.
19 A. I don't know what Borislav Jovic said, but I know what the
20 situation was in all the 22 municipalities in Dalmatia, and I think that
21 they all stored -- kept their weapons in JNA depots.
22 Q. Well, why don't we just briefly look at what Borislav Jovic said.
23 MR. BLACK: And it is Exhibit 476, please. Thank you. In
24 English, the page I'm looking for has 03022947 at the top, and in B/C/S
25 it's 01157807. And in just a moment I hope I can tell you exactly which
1 that is, because as we've seen before with this document, it's just
2 excerpts there.
3 THE USHER: 7807, the last four --
4 MR. BLACK: I think it is 7807. It's the entry for the 17th of
5 May, 1990.
6 THE USHER: In English?
7 MR. BLACK: In B/C/S. In English it is 032022947, and it says
8 "page 131" at the bottom. I apologise, I should have been more prepared
9 with the exact page number. It's page 11 in the e-court number in B/C/S.
10 That's the correct page in B/C/S. I'm not sure if you're able to find the
11 English page okay. Okay, great, we're ready to go. Sorry for the delay.
12 Q. Mr. Dragisic, look there at the entry for the 17th of May, and
13 this is actually from the published diary of Borislav Jovic. He says
15 "17 May 1990. We take measures to ensure that weapons are taken
16 from civilian Territorial Defence depots in Slovenia and Croatia and
17 transferred to military depots. We will not permit Territorial Defence
18 weapons to be misused in any conflicts or for forcible secession.
19 Practically speaking, we have disarmed them."
20 Now, what Mr. Jovic, the chairman of SFRY Presidency, says here,
21 that they were disarming the TOs, that doesn't make any sense if the TO
22 weapons were already in JNA depots, does it?
23 A. Yes, it doesn't. But I claimed that all the weapons in all the 22
24 Dalmatia municipalities were in JNA depots. And if you ask me to comment
25 on this, the Presidency of the SFRY is the supreme commander under the law
1 and it was within their powers to issue an order of that kind.
2 Q. So you're saying that you know better than the chairman of the
3 SFRY Presidency --
4 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Excuse me.
5 MR. BLACK:
6 Q. -- what the actual situation was.
7 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Mr. Black.
8 MR. BLACK: Of course, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I would think that this issue has been covered
10 enough, because the witness, didn't he say that there were certain abuses
11 in the Croatian, majority Croatian areas of Croatia, and that -- and on
12 the other side, you yourself said that this diary note of Mr. Jovic
13 addressed the issue of secession of Slovenia and Croatia. So it wouldn't
14 especially --
15 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I had understood the witness to suggest
16 that only a very small percentage of TO weapons were held outside the JNA
18 JUDGE HOEPFEL: No. He said, actually, on page 33, line 5, he
19 told us, he informed us, about the so-called exercises when orders were
20 issued to take out the weapons and then they were retained by, sort of,
21 tricks, and that was quite plausible, I would even say. So I don't really
22 understand insisting --
23 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I'm happy to move on.
24 Q. Mr. Dragisic, I'm going to change topics now. When discussing the
25 1990 elections, you said that there were threats of genocide against the
1 Serbs. Do you remember telling us that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you name any person who threatened genocide against the Serbs,
4 who used that word, "genocide," in the campaign for the 1990 elections?
5 A. No, no.
6 Q. Okay. Let me ask you another question. That was really just the
7 interpretation of Serb leaders and Serb media of what was happening
8 throughout Croatia in the election campaign; right? That was the Serb
9 interpretation of events. It wasn't any explicit threat, by anyone on the
10 Croatian side, of genocide.
11 A. No, but in the town, downtown in the cafes, Ustasha songs would be
12 sung. There would be graffiti on the walls that Serbs should hang on
13 willows, and similar stuff.
14 Q. But no Croatian leaders used the word "genocide" or threatened a
15 genocide against the Serbs in 1990, in that election campaign; right?
16 A. No, they didn't utter such threats. But immediately upon their
17 victory, they invited the Ustasha criminals, who had been indicted for war
18 crimes in the Second World War, for instance, Ivo Rojnica and Sakic, and
19 they immediately returned to Croatia to attend the HDZ congress in the
20 Lisinski conference hall. So these were all Ustasha criminals, indictees,
21 indicted for war crimes. At that time they came from the Argentine and
22 other countries. They all came to Zagreb.
23 Q. You answered my question when you said, "No, they didn't utter
24 such threats." So unless I ask you for more information, you don't need
25 to go on further.
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: In fact, that was the issue, these announcements
2 before the election. I would like to refer to your statement which didn't
3 expressly speak of official statements, but you said at page 11, line 22:
4 "On the eve of the elections," you remember you said, "they started,"
5 they, whoever, "started glorifying the independent state of Croatia, the
6 one from 1941 to 1945, in the press and on television." And then you
7 spoke of threats. But I would like to ask you in this context, what do
8 you mean by glorifications of the one or two times in the press and on
9 television? What press and what television are you referring to? And who
10 was that, then, in these media, official persons or journalists or party
11 members, or whatever?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For instance, Dr. Tudjman --
13 JUDGE HOEPFEL: We are speaking of glorifying the independent
14 state of Croatia, the one from 1941 to 1945, okay?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. On television, they would
16 organise talk shows, inviting as guests people who would talk about what
17 the borders of Croatia used to be, all the achievements of that period;
18 that it was the 1.000-year aspiration, wish of the Croatian people.
19 So these were people who would become deputies later, and they
20 spoke in this way in the electoral campaign, and they also referred to the
21 programme they would be implementing once they were elected, once they
22 were in power.
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: So this is what you mean by "glorification of the
24 state from 1941 to 1945"?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
2 You may continue, please.
3 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Dragisic, in that same testimony that His Honour just asked
5 you about, you continued, actually, and you said, and I will quote you:
6 "You could hear threats addressed to Serbs, namely threats that
7 1941 would happen again, more precisely, that a genocide would be
8 committed again against Serbs."
9 My question is: You didn't actually hear that. No one threatened
10 that a genocide would be committed again against the Serbs, did they?
11 A. I did hear that. For instance, after my arrival in Split, when I
12 went to the community or municipality staff to submit my report, five or
13 six lads --.
14 Q. Are you talking about the --
15 A. Yes, I am.
16 Q. I apologise for the interruption.
17 A. So five or six young men were walking down the street singing
18 songs. I cannot recall the exact songs, but in the songs they sang about
19 the Ustashas. And on the walls, also, there were all sorts of slogans
20 written threatening the Serbs, for instance, the one that I mentioned,
21 hang up the Serbs on willow trees and the like.
22 This also was the case in Zagreb and in other cities which I
23 visited. And, of course, I cannot say -- talk about the other ones which
24 I didn't visit.
25 Q. Just so we're clear, you didn't hear this from Croatian leaders;
1 right? You're saying you could hear songs in different towns; people
2 using graffiti, it sounds like. But this wasn't statements of Croatian
3 leaders, was it?
4 A. We are talking about the time before the elections -- I am talking
5 about the time before the elections, and heading the Croatian government
6 at that time were people from the Socialist Republic of Croatia who did
7 not utter such statements. So that the Serbs living in towns voted en
8 masse for the Socialist Party that had been in power until that point in
10 Q. Okay. We didn't hear these kinds -- no one from the HDZ, not
11 Croatian government authorities but Croatian leaders in the HDZ in the
12 election campaign, no one from the HDZ threatened to commit genocide
13 against the Serbs, did they?
14 A. Well, neither in 1941 did they utter such threats, but ...
15 Q. I'm asking you about the election campaign in 1990, because you
16 told us, at page 11 of the transcript, that threats were addressed to
17 Serbs, precisely that a genocide would be committed again against Serbs.
18 My question to you is: No HDZ leaders said that, did they?
19 A. No, but the following happened --
20 Q. But before you go on --
21 A. -- on the apartments of Serbs.
22 Q. Sir, we're talking about statements. Threats, because that's what
23 you talked about, right, no HDZ leader made such threats of committing
24 genocide against the Serbs, did they?
25 A. What I said was that that was the Croatian state, that the Croats
1 would take over control in the state. They did not say that they would be
2 killing people, but it was understood from what I'm saying --
3 Q. Right. But there is a big difference, isn't there, between
4 wanting independence for Croatia and committing genocide against the
5 Serbs. Those are two totally different things, aren't they?
6 A. No, they are not, because we simply did not dare -- I didn't dare
7 go to Split, to Rijeka, to Zagreb any more, because the atmosphere was
8 such and people -- and, of course, you know that the Serbs speak a bit
9 differently. And we had problems going to such places. And I was
10 afraid. Not only I. All of the Serbs who travelled to these places were
11 very much afraid of what might happen to them.
12 Q. Afraid of Croatian independence, not afraid because Croatian
13 leaders were threatening a genocide against the Serbs; right?
14 A. No, we were not afraid of independence. I was afraid that I might
15 be killed, because already then such things started happening. People
16 were going missing.
17 Q. You see, just a moment ago you told us that what the Croatian
18 leaders -- that they didn't say anything about killing people, but they
19 talked about -- that it was going to be a Croatian state.
20 What I don't understand is how talking about having a Croatian
21 state led you to fear a genocide. It wasn't anything stated by the
22 Croatian leaders. That was kind of your interpretation and the
23 interpretation of the Serb leadership and media; correct?
24 A. That's not true. At that time I was working at the Municipal
25 Assembly of Knin. Until then, whenever we would come to work, we would
1 drink coffee together, Serbs and Croats together, and we worked closely
2 together. Then, all of a sudden, the Croat employees, our co-workers,
3 stopped talking to us except when they had to officially.
4 Q. Let me try to just wrap this topic up in one question, sir. When
5 you told us at page 11 of the transcript that you could hear threats
6 precisely that a genocide would be committed against the Serbs, that's not
7 true; right? You were exaggerating or you were giving an interpretation.
8 But you didn't hear threats of genocide against the Serbs, did you?
9 A. I certainly didn't exaggerate. It's the same thing as being able
10 to feel cold or warmth, you know. Just like you feel you're cold or
11 you're warm, I felt that I was in danger.
12 Q. Okay. You felt that you were in danger, but you do agree with me
13 - and I think you said this but it's so confusing because you're kind of
14 going back and forth - you do agree that although you felt this danger, it
15 wasn't because leaders of the Croatian government or leaders of the HDZ
16 were actually threatening genocide; right? This was just something that
17 you felt, you and other Serbs, I think.
18 A. Can I give you another example?
19 Q. Well, first answer my question, and then if it is necessary to
20 give another example, you can.
21 A. It was not said explicitly. But I'm telling you, if suddenly you
22 find writing on the wall that was clean the day before, "Kill the Serb,"
23 or you go to a football match and you see this murderous crowd, you cannot
24 feel fine any more. You don't feel it is all right any more. It's not
25 that a politician publicly uttered it, but at football matches, in
1 everyday conversations, it was a distinct feeling that you had.
2 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Sorry. So what would people at football matches
3 say? Presumably they would be Croats. My microphone isn't ...
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I went to see a football match
5 between Hajduk and Zvezda, the last one that was held in Split. I went
6 with my children. And when they started chanting "Look at them gypsies,
7 kill them," I had to leave there, the stadium. I had to leave with my
8 children. I feared for my own safety and the safety of my children.
9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: So who would be "gypsies"?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's a derogatory term the
11 Croats used for Serbs.
12 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
13 Mr. Black.
14 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Dragisic, I'm going to move you to a different topic now. I
16 would like to focus your attention on the 17th of August, 1990. You
17 testified about barricades being erected on that day, and I think I
18 understood you to say that facilities were secured in Knin at the same
19 time that the barricades were erected. Did I understand that right?
20 A. No, you did not, because in Knin there was no need to secure any
22 Q. Okay. Because earlier today, and it was at page 17 of the
23 transcript, you talked about the exercises from before and you said that:
24 "It dealt with protection and security of facilities so that all
25 the citizens knew what facilities were to be secured, where the barriers
1 were to be, obstacles on the road, et cetera."
2 And then you said:
3 "It was according to that scenario, more or less, that the
4 blockade of the roads leading to Knin was actually carried out."
5 So that is why I asked it. But in that context, were any
6 facilities secured in Knin on the 17th of August, 1990?
7 A. No, no.
8 Q. Okay.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: For my education, what is meant by "facilities"?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, facilities are understood to
11 be, for instance, hospitals, the building of the Municipal Assembly, the
12 water reservoir, sources of water, a bridge across the river, similar
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Dragisic, in response to a question from Her Honour Judge
17 Nosworthy, you said that the barricades were not authorised; correct?
18 A. At that time, when panic spread among the Serb population in Knin
19 because they were afraid that special units were coming, armed with
20 weapons, tear gas and armoured vehicles, it was the initiative of the
21 citizenry themselves to put up roadblocks to stop vehicles that might come
22 from that direction.
23 Q. Well, you explained before how this was organised and whose
24 initiative it was. My question to you is: They were not authorised;
25 right? The erection of the barricades was illegal, basically.
1 A. That happened on that 17th of August when roadblocks were put up
2 through the SDS and Dr. Babic had proclaimed the state of war over the
4 Q. Right. You have explained that. Let me go back to what you said
5 before. Judge Nosworthy asked you a very specific question. She said:
6 "Did they," referring to the people who erected the barricades, "did
7 they, by law, have the power to put up the barricades? Was it their
8 duty?" And you said: "No".
9 A. No.
10 Q. Okay. So just to -- so I understand that right, that these were
11 unauthorized barricades, they were not lawfully established barricades.
13 A. Yes, and they were erected unlawfully by people who were acting
14 out of fear --
15 Q. Sir, let me just stop --
16 A. -- driven by fear.
17 Q. I didn't ask you about the motivations. I just asked you if they
18 were lawfully established or not, and you responded to that right away.
19 Did the police or the authorities in Knin take any action to
20 remove these illegal barricades?
21 A. The next day the police authorities demanded that the barricades
22 be removed. However, from the other side, Croat policemen from outside
23 the municipality put up their check-points. And the men who worked in
24 Sibenik and that general area would have to produce their IDs, were taken
25 to the police station --
1 Q. Let me interrupt you.
2 A. -- and were stopped from entering the area.
3 Q. I'm not asking you about barricades set up by Croats, wherever you
4 say that happened. I'm asking you about the barricades that you talked
5 about, the ones that you testified about, set up by Serbs, okay?
6 Are you saying that the Serb police authorities demanded, on the
7 18th of August, that the barricades be removed?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who demanded that?
10 A. I don't know who it was in the police force who demanded it, but
11 the demand was made for barricades to be removed and for civilians to
12 return their weapons. Dr. Raskovic demanded that the police enforce
14 Q. On the 18th of August, Milan Martic was in charge of the
15 barricades, wasn't he?
16 A. I don't know. I had my own job to do. I was not a member of the
17 council. Well, Milan Babic was the boss and he was in charge of
18 everything, except the Territorial Defence.
19 Q. This is your brother-in-law we're talking about, right, the one
20 you say that you don't know what he was doing on the 18th of August, 1990?
21 A. No. You mean the brother-in-law? I don't know what he was doing,
22 because I had my own job to do, as I said. I had to make sure that my
23 entire equipment and everything else was in place. I submitted my
24 reports. And I did not meet with Martic on that day or the next few days.
25 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Excuse me, may I ask: Was the accused, Milan
1 Martic, already at that time your brother-in-law? May I ask in this
2 context, when did you marry?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1974, but as --
4 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I get the picture. Thank you. That's fine. You
5 may continue, please.
6 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Dragisic, surely you learned then after that, that in the
8 coming days and the days after the 17th of August, 1990, that Milan Martic
9 was in charge of the barricades; right? Whether you knew that on the 18th
10 or not, you learned that later; right?
11 A. I think that the SDS was in charge of the barricades, not Milan
12 Martic. It was not the police who had control over the barricades. It
13 was local communes, together with the SDS, that had control, because there
14 was not enough police to man them. Every local commune controlled the
15 barricades in their own territory.
16 Q. You do agree with me, though, that police participated in the
17 manning of the barricades; right?
18 A. I know there was a policeman Knezevic who was in charge of the
19 barricade near Vrlika, but I don't know about the other barricades. You
20 will agree with me that I had my hands full with the Territorial Defence
21 and had nothing to do with the barricades.
22 Q. You said that in your view, on the 17th of August when there were
23 these rumours of Croatian APCs and helicopters coming to Knin, that that
24 was intended to prevent the referendum; right? That's what you had told
25 us earlier.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. No helicopters or APCs ever arrived in Knin, did they, on the 17th
3 of August, 1990?
4 A. Right. But the next day we heard news that JNA aircraft had
5 turned back aeroplanes that were already flying towards Knin, JNA aircraft
6 made them turn back towards Zagreb.
7 Q. But, in fact, that didn't happen either. Those aircraft, if there
8 were aircraft, turned back for other reasons. They were never intercepted
9 by JNA aircraft, were they?
10 A. They were intercepted and forced to turn back. It was in the
11 newspapers, and we also received the same information from the 9th Corps
12 of the JNA. We received information that planes had taken off from the
13 military airport in Lucko and JNA aircraft made them turn back. It was
14 reliable information.
15 Q. The other operation or operations on that day - and I'm thinking
16 about Benkovac in particular, where the Croatian authorities actually did
17 seize weapons from the reserve police forces - those operations were not
18 about the referendum; they were about ensuring control of reserve police
19 weapons so that they wouldn't be used by policemen who were actually
20 hostile to the Croatian authorities; right? That was the real purpose of
21 that operation in Benkovac and the failed operation in Obravac on the same
23 A. Serbs were being disarmed.
24 Q. That's right. And it didn't have anything to do with the
25 referendum; it was about ensuring control of the reserve police weapons in
1 those towns, Benkovac and they tried in Obravac; right? That's what it
2 was really about.
3 A. Police were being disarmed in places populated by Serbs. And you
4 must know that there was a film shown on TV in which General Spegelj
5 advises Croat --
6 Q. I'm going to interrupt you.
7 A. -- activists how to kill officers.
8 Q. We had other evidence about this film so I am going to interrupt
9 you there. You know, you said Serbs were being disarmed, but they weren't
10 disarming Serbs. What they were doing was taking control of police
11 weapons that belonged to the Croatian MUP. Right? The Croatian MUP was
12 taking control of its own weapons; that's what was happening.
13 A. Serbs were also part of the Croatian MUP. However, their weapons
14 were seized. Serbs in Benkovac and Knin also belonged to the Croatian
15 MUP, but they no longer had the right to hold weapons; Zadar and Split
16 seized it from them. And there was a request to approve the removal of
17 weapons from reserve police, and that permission was granted. And about
18 500 weapons were removed from the Subicevac depot by MUP Sibenik.
19 Q. Let's take this one step at a time. One, you agree with me that
20 these weapons, these reserve police weapons were the property of the
21 Croatian MUP; correct?
22 A. It was in the ownership of the police --
23 Q. But the --
24 A. -- and it was distributed across all the public security
25 stations. And depending on the number of reserve policemen in a
1 particular station, they had an appropriate number of weapons.
2 Q. It was in the ownership of the Croatian MUP, wasn't it?
3 A. It was owned by the entire police force, but each police had their
4 own weapons. And now --
5 Q. Sir, let me stop you.
6 A. -- wherever there was Serb population --
7 Q. When you say it was owned by the entire police force, that's the
8 Croatian MUP; right? That's the police force we're talking about. Just
9 please answer that question.
10 A. Yes, but Serbs also belonged to the Croatian MUP.
11 Q. Sir, please answer my question. I'm not disputing who, whether it
12 was Croats or Serbs that belonged to the Croatian MUP. I'm talking about
13 weapons. They were the property of the Croatian MUP. Correct or
15 A. It's correct that there were --
16 Q. Thank you. It's correct. That's all we need to do. Now I can
17 move on to the second part of my question.
18 Serb policemen were not disarmed. No one removed their right to
19 carry arms, the right to hold weapons, as you said. It's simply that the
20 reserve police weapons in Benkovac were seized by their owners, the
21 Croatian MUP; right? That's what happened. Not disarming of Serb police.
22 A. Yes, but it happened this way: In civilian uniforms, carrying
23 rifles, they came by night and removed those weapons. Do you call that
24 lawful disarming? It was more like a raid.
25 Q. Sir, I ask the questions here, not you, okay?
1 A. I understand, Mr. Black.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, what do you mean, "civilian uniforms"?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The way I'm dressed now, or in
4 jeans. People came on trucks, carrying rifles.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's not a uniform. Is that a uniform?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. In civilian clothes,
7 because it was summertime and some were wearing jeans.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 Thank you, Mr. Black.
10 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. And one more thing about the referendum and the barricades. The
12 referendum was actually held as scheduled, wasn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You've told us who you say initiated the barricades, the SDS.
15 But, in fact, the coordination and the organisation of the barricades was
16 done by the staff of the defence of Knin which was later renamed the
17 Council for National Resistance; right?
18 A. Probably from the moment when I left that council at 11.00, I no
19 longer took part in that.
20 Q. So after --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why "probably"? You should be able to tell us
22 definitively whether, when you left at 11.00, you never took part. Why is
23 it probable that you never took part?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not take part. But to the
25 question asked by the gentleman as to who was in charge of that, I suppose
1 it was the Council for National Resistance, headed by Babic. And Lazar
2 Macura was a member, and I don't know who the other members were.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh, this is supposed two sentences. There should
4 be a full stop after the word "probably," I suppose.
5 Okay, you may proceed.
6 MR. BLACK:
7 Q. Are you saying, sir, that after 11 in the morning on the 17th
8 of August, 1990, you don't know who coordinated the barricades?
9 A. No, I don't know, because I was summoned to come before a JNA
10 commission at the corps command and that commission was trying to
11 establish whether the weaponry was distributed to the Territorial Defence
12 or not. And after that I reported to the staff of the Community of
13 Municipalities and I stayed at the Municipal Assembly building.
14 But I heard from my co-workers that there was a large crowd
15 outside the police station, and I later found out that, at the
16 mobilisation assembly point in the Golubici settlement, arms were being
18 Q. Those arms were being distributed by Milan Martic; right?
19 A. I did not see that and I cannot testify to that.
20 Q. Well, you said you heard about it, and you also heard that Milan
21 Martic was one of the people distributing the weapons; right?
22 A. I heard that the police was distributing weapons. I did not hear
23 that Milan Martic specifically did that.
24 Q. Okay. Well, let me focus back again on the Council for National
25 Resistance. You told us about where you were on the day of the 17th of
1 August, 1990, but after that day and going on into September, you were a
2 member of the Council for National Resistance, weren't you?
3 A. No, no.
4 Q. Do you know anything about the working of the Council for National
5 Resistance at that time?
6 A. I know only what I heard from Radio Knin. There were occasionally
7 communiques from the Council for National Resistance. But I did not take
8 part in its work and I know only what I heard on the radio. I think Milan
9 Babic led that council.
10 Q. Well, on the one hand, you say you don't know, and then now you
11 say you think Milan Babic led the council. Do you know who led the
13 A. Milan Babic led everything, not only the council. He was supreme
14 commander. He was president of the municipality, president of the
15 Assembly. He held all of the positions. Whatever was going on, he wanted
16 to be in charge.
17 Q. Sir, in what capacity was Milan Babic a supreme commander in
18 August of 1990?
19 A. In August 1990, he could not have been a commander. If you
20 listened to me, I explained that the Territorial Defence was subordinated
21 to the staff of the Community of Municipalities, and the other thing was
22 subordinated to the supreme -- to the General Staff --
23 Q. Well, sir --
24 A. -- to the republican staff, sorry. So at that time he was only
25 president of the Assembly.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you.
2 JUDGE HOEPFEL: This seems to have been a matter for a clear
3 expression that he was supreme commander, sort of ...
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, perhaps.
5 MR. BLACK:
6 Q. So when you said that -- when you used the word "supreme
7 commander" among the terms "president of the municipality," "president of
8 the Assembly," were you talking about supreme commander in a technical
9 sense, as in a job title, or you were just kind of talking about it
10 metaphorically, as Judge Hoepfel is suggesting?
11 A. He could have been one only, metaphorically speaking, because I
12 already explained that he was not in command and it was evident that he
13 was not commanding the Territorial Defence.
14 JUDGE HOEPFEL: In fact, Mr. Black, the witness didn't use this
15 word "supreme commander" among the terms "president of the municipality,"
16 "president of the Assembly," and so on, but before he mentioned these
18 MR. BLACK: I appreciate that, Your Honour. It was subsequent
19 sentences. That's why I said that.
20 JUDGE HOEPFEL: So it is possible that first it was more like a
21 general idea than he went into specific offices.
22 MR. BLACK: I will move on, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
24 MR. BLACK:
25 Q. In fact, Mr. Dragisic, Milan Martic led the Council for National
1 Resistance, didn't he? He was given the position of staff commander by
2 Milan Babic and then he led the council.
3 A. No, no, definitely not, because Milan Babic did not entrust anyone
4 with the task. He would not entrust anyone with any task that he would
5 not assume upon himself. And not even by his position could he be that,
6 because, as I said before, the National Resistance Council was made from
7 the committee for All People's Defence and Socialist Protection. And the
8 president of that committee was the president of the Assembly, and that
9 particular office was held by Milan Babic.
10 Q. Sir, I'm a bit confused, because, on the one hand, you tell me you
11 don't know anything about the work of the Council for National Resistance,
12 but you can tell me definitely that Milan Babic was in charge and not
13 Milan Martic. How is that? Do you know about the work of the council or
14 do you not know about the work of the council?
15 A. I don't know about the work of the council, but I know how it
16 functioned. The president of the Assembly; simultaneously the president
17 of the council. You cannot have a policeman a president -- the president
18 of the council or commander or what have you. It is the president of the
19 Assembly who is at the same time the president of the council. And that
20 was regulated thus under the law.
21 Q. Okay. So you're talking about how it should have been formally.
22 But you don't know, in reality, how the council worked; is that what
23 you're saying to me?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right.
1 MR. BLACK: I think it's a convenient time for the break.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We will take a break and come
3 back at half past 12.00.
4 Court adjourned.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black.
8 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Dragisic, during the last session, you told us that Milan
10 Martic was not in charge of the barricades. I would like you to look with
11 me at a document. It's Exhibit 496 in evidence.
12 MR. BLACK: I'm interested in page 6, I think, both in B/C/S and
13 in English. In English it has the ERN 02195509 at the top, and it is page
14 6 on the B/C/S translation.
15 On my monitor I see the English version, whereas the witness will
16 need to see the B/C/S version. Perfect. Thank you. If we could
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can we zoom it in, please.
19 MR. BLACK: Yes, exactly. Let's zoom in on the bottom half.
20 Oops, we just lost the B/C/S.
21 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Is it one page you're showing?
22 MR. BLACK: Yes. Just one paragraph, in fact, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have the English version.
25 MR. BLACK: They're trying to get the B/C/S version on for you.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: And I have the B/C/S version.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I have the English version.
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: While we're jumping from one to the other, may I
4 ask you if the English or the B/C/S version is the original?
5 MR. BLACK: It's the English version, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
7 MR. BLACK: This is a transcript we received from the British
8 Broadcasting Corp., the BBC in any event.
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
10 MR. BLACK: Now we have the B/C/S on our screens.
11 Q. Mr. Dragisic, this is the transcript of an interview with Milan
12 Martic on the 14th of October, 1994.
13 MR. BLACK: And if we could zoom in on the bottom half of this
14 page in B/C/S, please. That's fine. Scroll down ever so slightly.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it at all possible for us to get the English
16 version? I've tried. Thanks. Thank you, Judge.
17 MR. BLACK: The English just came up on my screen, Your Honour.
18 Do you have it now as well?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have it now, thanks to Judge Hoepfel.
20 MR. BLACK: Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Dragisic, focus with me on the first paragraph you see on your
22 screen and just read along with me. It says:
23 "On the 17th of August, two days before our referendum, we got an
24 info that Croatia with its police had started to disarm the police
25 stations in Serbian opstinas. In Knin, we allowed them to disarm us. In
1 agreement with Raskovic and Babic, we decided to take all the weapons from
2 the storages of the reserve militia and we made a false attempt as if the
3 citizens broke into the storage. We took the arms, and from that moment I
4 personally assumed command over the roadblocks. That was the first time
5 we raised the barricades, but they were not meant to attack anyone, but to
6 defend ourselves."
7 Now, having seen that, these words of Milan Martic, do you now
8 accept that Mr. Martic was in charge of the barricades?
9 A. I was not a member of that council, and whether Milan Babic and
10 Milan Martic agreed on anything and what that was, I have no idea.
11 Q. So, do you accept Milan Martic was in charge of the barricades, or
12 do you disagree? Or is it simply the case that you do not know one way or
13 the other?
14 A. I don't know whether he was or was not.
15 Q. Okay. You do know that he was a member of the Council for
16 National Resistance, though; right? You said earlier that you don't
17 accept that he was the leader of that council, but you do accept that he
18 was a member; correct?
19 A. I was not a member of that council, and I cannot decidedly claim
20 that he was. But by virtue of his office, heading the council had to be
21 Milan Babic.
22 Q. I guess the same kind of question as last time: Do you accept
23 that Milan Martic was a member of the Council for National Resistance, do
24 you deny it, or is it the case that you simply don't know whether or not
25 he was a member?
1 A. I do not know whether he was or was not a member, because, as I
2 say, the council met and issued communiques. I myself was not a member of
3 the council and I cannot assert who members of the council were.
4 Q. Okay. It's true, isn't it, that the council existed outside of
5 the ordinary political structures in Knin. For example, some of the
6 members of the council didn't hold any political office at all. That's
7 correct, isn't it? If you know. If you don't know, you can say that you
8 don't know.
9 A. I replied a while ago that I wasn't a member and I don't know who
10 the members of the council were.
11 Q. At the time, in fact, you were the commander of the Knin TO. That
12 was your position at this time; right?
13 A. Yes, it was.
14 Q. And you said how you were meeting with JNA officials. And my
15 question is: Mustn't you have known what was going on with the
16 barricades, who was organising them, who was coordinating them, what the
17 status was, by virtue of your position as TO commander?
18 A. I knew that they were being organised by the SDS and that they
19 were being put up and that the activists and members of the SDS were
20 manning the barricades -- manned the barricades.
21 Q. Okay. So you say you knew that, but you didn't know or don't know
22 today that the Council for National Resistance was coordinating and
23 organising the barricades. Do I understand you correctly?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You know, you've told us several times about positions of Milan
1 Babic, and it seems like you know quite a bit about Milan Babic although
2 very little about Milan Martic. And my question to you is: What you're
3 really doing is trying to minimise anything that would implicate your
4 brother-in-law by saying that Milan Babic was actually in control of
5 everything. That's what's happening here today; right?
6 A. No. That was the realistic situation where there was not a single
7 duty that he could have assumed that he didn't actually take upon himself.
8 Q. Well, in --
9 A. And he was the man in charge.
10 Q. Well, in fact, Milan Babic was a popular politician at the time
11 and he held political power in Knin. But as to operational matters, that
12 was the province of Milan Martic, right, from August 1990 onward?
13 A. No. He held all power in Knin, the political one, the operational
14 one, and the real power was in his hands.
15 Q. I'm correct, aren't I, that Milan Martic was named Secretary of
16 the Interior in January of 1991?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the reason he was named to that position was because of his
19 role in the summer and fall of 1990; right?
20 A. I don't know that, but Babic appointed him and he was -- he had
21 been an associate of Babic's from earlier times, and it was quite logical
22 that he should be appointed to the post of secretary.
23 Q. An associate of Babic's, you say, from earlier times, but you mean
24 the summer and fall of 1990; right? That's when Milan Martic and Milan
25 Babic were working together.
1 A. Yes, that's what I mean. Yes.
2 Q. I just want to explore a couple of more topics with you about the
3 Council for National Resistance. You said that you weren't familiar with
4 its work, so if I ask you about something that you don't know about, you
5 can just tell me that. But let me just see what you do know.
6 Do you know that at some time in September, Milan Babic and a few
7 other members of the council distanced themselves from the work of the
8 Council for National Resistance?
9 A. I'm not aware of that.
10 Q. Did you know that on the 10th of September, 1990, Milan Babic
11 signed an agreement with Croatian authorities, including Minister of the
12 Interior Bojkovac, to peacefully resolve the situation, including the
13 returning the weapons that had been taken from the police stations? Did
14 you know about that on the 10th of September?
15 A. I don't recall the exact date, but I do know that Milan Babic had
16 negotiated with Bojkovac and Vukas and other people.
17 Q. And that agreement that Babic reached with those people, that was
18 rejected by the Council for National Resistance. Milan Babic was even
19 branded a traitor for negotiating that agreement; isn't that right?
20 A. I don't know that.
21 Q. A couple of questions about the activities of the council. You
22 have told us that the Council for National Resistance issued public
23 communiques; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And those communiques commented on -- for instance, maybe they
1 condemned the actions of Croatian authorities. They also gave
2 instructions to the citizens about how to prepare for defence, those types
3 of issues. Correct?
4 A. I believe that you are right. It was a long time ago. I don't
5 remember exactly, but that was it.
6 Q. I'm correct, aren't I, that one of the main goals of this council
7 was to create a situation or the circumstances which would bring about
8 intervention of the JNA, a military intervention in Knin and the Krajina.
9 That was one of their goals; right? If you know.
10 A. No, I don't know. What I do know is that the JNA sought to
11 prevent any kind of conflict and to act in conformity with the law. The
12 JNA also strove to prevent any types of conflicts and barricades, but the
13 conflicts mounted anyway.
14 Q. Okay. Let me stop you there. As part of its goal to bring about
15 a military intervention, did you know that the council actually organised
16 incidents such as blocking of rail traffic, blowing up of kiosks, and
17 damage to private shops owned by Croats, in an attempt to justify a
18 military intervention?
19 A. What period are you referring to?
20 Q. Between August and, let's say, December of 1990.
21 A. I don't know that any such actions were carried out in the area of
22 Knin municipality in that period. Such actions only occurred in May 1991
23 and later.
24 Q. Okay. And, as far as you know, did the Council for National
25 Resistance have anything to do with those incidents in May 1991 and later?
1 A. I don't know that the council had anything to do with it, but I
2 know that Serbian weekend cottages were already being blown up in Zadar,
3 Sibenik, and Split, and that Serbian shops in Croatian towns were being
4 demolished, so that I believe that that was a reaction to such incidents.
5 I do not think that it was coming from the national council.
6 Q. You said in your testimony that Milan Babic became the head of
7 government and Minister of Defence, I think you said, on the 29th of May,
8 1991; correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. In fact, Milan Martic was elected Minister of Defence on that day,
11 on the 29th of May, 1991; correct?
12 A. No. He was elected Minister of the Interior, the police minister.
13 Q. In fact, what happened - and correct me if I'm wrong about this -
14 but Milan Martic was elected Minister of Defence but he did not assume
15 that position. He remained, essentially, Minister of the Interior. He
16 had been Secretary of the Interior before. And that's why the
17 responsibilities of the Ministry of Defence fell on Milan Babic. Correct?
18 A. Milan Babic, as the prime minister designate, had the right to
19 appoint ministers, and he kept the portfolio of Minister of Defence for
20 himself. And Martic was reappointed from secretary to the Minister of
22 Q. Well, let me show you a document.
23 MR. BLACK: It is actually one I hadn't intended to use. I
24 apologise. It wasn't on my list. It is Exhibit 35 in evidence. Can we
25 please see that on the e-court system.
1 Q. Mr. Dragisic, if you see this document on the screen in front of
2 you now, this document, which is dated -- well, it says:
3 "On the 29th of May, 1991, Milan Martic was elected Minister of
4 Defence," correct, "for the SAO Krajina"?
5 A. I see this document, but I know for a fact that Martic never,
6 never was the Minister of Defence, and that this was not actually put into
7 practice. But Martic was the Minister of the Interior. This never went
8 into effect. I can claim that. It was not implemented in practice.
9 Q. Okay. So I think we're in agreement on this. You're saying
10 despite this document showing that he was elected Minister of Defence, in
11 fact he maintained his portfolio of Secretary of the Interior and then
12 later Minister of the Interior.
13 A. That's right. That's right.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. BLACK: We're done with that document. We can take it off the
16 screen, please.
17 Q. Mr. Dragisic, turning now to the subject of -- more specifically,
18 the subject of the TO. From early 1991, I think you explained that -- and
19 actually from around March of 1991, the Knin TO stopped having much
20 contact with the Croatian TO. Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And around that time, it was really more affiliated with the SAO
23 Krajina authorities rather than the Croatian authorities.
24 A. At that time it was primarily affiliated with the 9th Corps
25 command, up until the installing -- the establishment of this government
1 on the 29th of May.
2 Q. Okay. Just so it's clear, even -- well, at this time, the TO
3 continued to be subordinated to the JNA if there were any need for combat
4 operations, correct, the same as it had been before?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Am I correct that, up until around the summer of 1991, there only
7 existed municipal TOs in the Krajina. There was no larger TO body.
8 A. You are right. You are correct.
9 Q. And I think you explained how the TO in Krajina wasn't
10 particularly well-developed in large part because most of the best men and
11 weapons and equipment went to the JNA or the police. Am I right about
13 A. Not to the police. And I said what the exact date was. It was
14 the 24th or the 25th of June, where the partial mobilisation of the JNA
15 was conducted. And I was asked then to have the able-bodied and
16 militarily-capable people, to have them transferred to the --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the number.
18 A. -- Motorised Brigade of the JNA.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Can you repeat the number of the motorised brigade
20 of the JNA. It wasn't understood by the translator.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 221st.
22 MR. BLACK:
23 Q. Sir, it's nevertheless correct that at the time a lot of able
24 young men were joining the police ranks as well as the JNA; correct?
25 A. Well, it is possible. But as regards to the Territorial Defence
1 members, I know that they were all transferred to the 221st Motorised
3 Q. You say "all" referring to, I take it, the Knin TO. That's what
4 you're just talking about there?
5 A. Yes, yes, of course. I have no information about the other ones.
6 Q. And in this situation, the difficulty in recruiting men and the
7 other difficulties faced by the TO, that was fairly widely known, at least
8 among the JNA. Mr. Martic and other people knew about that situation;
10 A. Well, probably they did. Because at this meeting when the units
11 were being transferred, that meeting was also attended by Milan Babic and
12 the Secretary for National Defence in charge of mobilisation affairs, Sava
14 Q. At the beginning of your testimony, it was said that you were
15 appointed Acting Chief of Staff of the SAO Krajina TO in the summer of
16 1991. Could you give us the actual date, or at least a better
17 approximation of when you were appointed acting Chief of Staff?
18 A. There never was a written order. This was an oral order issued by
19 the then president, i.e., Minister Milan Babic. So there never was an
20 order in writing to that effect.
21 Q. Did you retain command over the Knin TO once you assumed this
22 position of Acting Chief of Staff of the SAO Krajina TO?
23 A. Yes, because as chief of the TO staff of Krajina, there actually
24 was no command to speak of. That was more of a formal duty, because Babic
25 was preparing to establish the staff of the SAO Krajina.
1 Q. Okay. And actually, I'm not sure whether you answered me about
2 the date or the approximate date in which you were appointed Acting Chief
3 of Staff. Do you remember the date?
4 A. That was sometime in mid August, 1991.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. And, in fact, it was on the 1st of August,
6 1991, that the SAO Krajina TO was formally established as one component of
7 the SAO Krajina armed forces, correct, the other component being the
9 A. No. I don't know that the police was a component of the armed
10 forces of the Krajina in my time, that is to say up until September 1991.
11 Q. Well, let me look quickly at a document. It is Exhibit 31 in
13 Sir, first, before we scroll down, you can see that that makes
14 reference to an Assembly session held on the 1st of August, 1991; correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. If you scroll down to Article 5, you will see it says there:
17 "It is established that Territorial Defence and Special Purpose
18 Units of Krajina Ministry of the Interior will make up the armed forces of
19 the Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina."
20 A. That is correct. But not the police. Just units for special
21 purposes. So within the ranks of the police, which numbered, let's say,
22 100, there were 50 men -- sorry, 10 men who formed a unit for special
23 purposes. So it was not the entire police force, just one part of it.
24 Q. Okay. That was my mistake on terminology. I was -- but these
25 special units, they also pertained to the Ministry of the Interior;
2 A. Yes. It was the same way before and at that time.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. And even after this decision of the 1st of
4 August, 1991, the SAO Krajina TO units and also the MUP special purpose
5 units, they were subordinated to JNA units and commanders for combat
6 operation purposes; correct?
7 A. Yes. It was envisaged that way in the law.
8 Q. Okay. In practice, did it happen that way? Or did it also happen
9 in a different way?
10 A. It happened that way.
11 Q. In fact, sometimes, at least, for the special purpose units, they
12 were actually under a separate command but they coordinated with the JNA;
13 is that correct? If you know. If you don't know about it, you can also
14 say so.
15 A. Correct. That's correct. That's the way it was supposed to
17 Q. On the 2nd of August, 1991, Milan Babic, as Prime Minister,
18 proclaimed himself the Supreme Commander of the SAO Krajina TO; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. That was an attempt at, what you've described in your testimony,
21 Milan Babic trying to take control of the TO and create a Serb army that
22 he would be in command of; right?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And I believe you testified that you opposed that, or you -- you
25 preferred to coordinate with the JNA, and you opposed Babic's attempt to
1 establish a separate Serb army; right?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And I think you said also, just so that I'm clear, Milan Martic
4 also opposed Babic's attempt to create a Serb army under Babic's control;
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Milan Martic, like you, advocated cooperation with the JNA. Am I
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Am I also right that Milan Babic's attempts during 1991 to
11 establish a Serb army under his control or to establish an effective SAO
12 Krajina TO specifically under his control, was ultimately -- that was
13 unsuccessful, wasn't it?
14 A. In August and until the time the 12th of September, no. However,
15 in the meantime, Milan Babic appointed General Djuic a retired JNA
16 general, to be the commander of the TO Krajina. But at that time I had
17 already been wounded and I was away for treatment.
18 Q. Yes. I'm curious about that. What was the date that you received
19 your injuries and you had to go to be treated in Belgrade?
20 A. 12th of September, 1991.
21 Q. In fact, notwithstanding the appointment of Mr. Djuic, Milan
22 Martic remained de facto the commander of both the police and -- the
23 special purpose units and the TO throughout 1991, didn't he?
24 A. No. Police units, yes, but Milan Martic was certainly not
25 commander of the TO units.
1 Q. Do you deny that Milan Martic had any command position over the TO
3 A. Until the 12th of September, he had no command over TO units.
4 Q. Let me show you Exhibit 37 on the screen, please. Mr. Dragisic,
5 you will see that this is -- this is an order appointing Milan Martic the
6 Deputy Commander of the Territorial Defence of the SAO Krajina on the 8th
7 of August, 1991; correct?
8 A. Well, that's an order issued by Babic, but that was never enforced
9 on the ground. I'm talking about the period when I was there. At that
10 time Milan Martic was not, definitely not, commander of the Territorial
11 Defence, nor did he issue them any orders or anything. You will not find
12 a single order signed by Milan Martic, because I never received any such
13 order, not even this one.
14 Q. Let's have a look at some documents on this subject. In fact,
15 even before the 8th of August, Milan Martic received reports and he issued
16 orders to the Territorial Defence, didn't he?
17 A. I don't recall receiving any orders signed by Milan Martic.
18 MR. BLACK: Can we please see Exhibit 39 on the e-court. You will
19 see that this is -- actually, if we could scroll up to the top again, of
20 the document, please. Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Dragisic, you will see that this is a report from the SAO
22 Krajina staff dated the 19th of July, 1991. And I'm correct, aren't I,
23 that one of the addressees is the secretary of the SUP for SAO Krajina,
24 which is Milan Martic. Correct?
25 A. I can see that.
1 Q. And you can also see that this is a report dealing with the
2 situation on the ground from the TO staff. You're a man with military
3 experience. Reports such as this one ordinarily only go to people who are
4 involved in decision-making; isn't that right?
5 A. Can you scroll it up?
6 Q. Yes. If you can scroll down there. Perfect. Maybe all the way.
8 A. All right.
9 Q. My question was: A report like this ordinarily is only addressed
10 to those people who may be involved in the decision-making on the issues
11 in the report; correct?
12 A. They were also sent for information to people who needed to know.
13 Milan Martic probably received this because he had under his control
14 special police units.
15 Q. Well, let's look at another document. It is Exhibit 38 in
16 evidence. And if we could -- that's perfect right there.
17 Before we go on to the content, Mr. Dragisic, you see that this is
18 a report from the SAO Krajina TO staff dated the 6th of August, 1991. And
19 if you look at the first paragraph of the order -- excuse me, of the
20 report, it says:
21 "Milan Martic has issued an order for a cease-fire, except in the
22 event of a direct attack."
23 So that refers to an order issued by Milan Martic, doesn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the reason why Milan Martic could issue such an order, a
1 general cease-fire order, was because de facto he was the person in charge
2 of not just the police but also the TO, which is the body from which this
3 document originates; right?
4 A. I'm telling you, I have no comment on this. But I know that he
5 was not my commander, nor did he issue any orders to me.
6 Q. But he could issue an order for a cease-fire which you were
7 obligated to respect; right?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Let me look at another document. This one is 65 ter number 2052,
10 if we could see that on the e-court, please.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me just get clarity. You just said that: "I'm
12 telling you, I have no comment on this. But I know that he was not my
13 commander, nor did he issue any orders to me."
14 Now you have accepted that he could issue an order for a
15 cease-fire which you were obligated to respect. He was your commander,
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot accept that he was the
18 commander, because the truth is the Supreme Commander was Milan Babic. As
19 for Martic, in that period --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, no, no --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because, you see, this refers to an
22 area outside of Knin.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- this document is addressed to the supreme
24 commander, amongst other people. Yes, we understand who the supreme
25 commander is. All I'm saying is, he was your commander because you were
1 obligated to respect an order he issued. Am I right?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 MR. BLACK: And now if we could see 65 ter number 2052, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, e-court froze. I am just reloading
9 it right now. Sorry.
10 MR. BLACK: Oh, yes, there we see it. There we have the B/C/S up.
11 Q. Mr. Dragisic, this document now, this is another report by the SAO
12 Krajina TO staff and it's dated the 2nd of September, 1991.
13 I see that it's -- there are several addressees, the Supreme
14 Commander of the SAO Krajina TO, the Commander of the SAO Krajina TO, the
15 Chief of the SAO Krajina TO, and then the State Security Section. Are you
16 one of those addressees? Do one of these titles apply to you at the time,
17 on the 2nd of September, 1991?
18 A. Chief of TO of SAOK, that's me.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. If we can -- it's just at the very bottom of
20 your screen right now. You will see a paragraph that says:
21 "After the Secretary Milan Martic requested the reports from the
22 field, the reports arrived in the following order."
23 And then you see reference to reports from Kistanje, Plasko, Donji
24 Lapac, Benkovac, and some other places. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes. But it says that Milan Martic is the secretary, not
2 Q. Right, right. And it says that he requested reports from the
3 field, and then the reports arrived in the following order; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. BLACK: Could we exhibit this, admit this document into
6 evidence, Your Honour, please, and give it an exhibit number?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 957.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 MR. BLACK: Thank you. If we could now see Exhibit 40 in
12 evidence, please.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Dragisic, this is another report from the SAO Krajina TO
14 staff, although it is dated the 17th of September, 1991, which is after
15 you said you were out of the area. I just want you to be aware of that
16 date. But I am going to ask you to look at part of the document.
17 You can see, just a couple of paragraphs down, it says:
18 "At 1750 hours, Secretary Milan Martic issued the following
19 order," and then it shows four numbered things there; the first one
20 says: "For the Benkovac staff." The fourth one, "For the Kistanje staff."
21 This document shows Milan Martic giving orders to TO staffs,
22 doesn't it?
23 A. As I said, Milan Martic was the Secretary of the Interior, that is
24 Minister of the Interior, and he had police affairs in his jurisdiction.
25 Now, from this report, we see that JNA units were under blockade
1 in their barracks, and an attempt to lift that blockade was made. So
2 Milan Martic's orders referred to police units.
3 Q. But it says quite clearly right here, doesn't it, "issued order
4 for the Benkovac staff." This is a SAO Krajina TO document. That's a
5 reference to the Benkovac TO staff, not to the police; right?
6 A. I don't know which men are meant. But as far as TO Benkovac staff
7 is concerned, the commander of that staff was Zoran, and I don't remember
8 his last name. He was the commander of TO Benkovac.
9 Q. And this document refers to an order to him or, in any event, to
10 the Benkovac staff. I mean, that has to be a reference to the TO staff,
11 not to police; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the same, I guess, is true for when it refers to the Kistanje
14 staff, at number 4 there. It's a little hard to see, but ...
15 A. But you see that Milan Martic is referred to as the secretary, and
16 in the TO there were no secretaries.
17 Q. Right. I think we're in agreement that at the time of this, in
18 September of 1991, Milan Martic was the Secretary or the Minister of the
19 Interior; right?
20 A. Minister, yes.
21 Q. Right. But nevertheless, as I think we just agreed, this appears
22 to refer to orders to TO staffs in Benkovac and Kistanje. Correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. That's all for that document.
25 JUDGE HOEPFEL: You were just thinking of the name of this
1 commander of the TO Benkovac. So was it maybe ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zoran Lakic.
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Not Tatic, Lakic.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Lakic.
5 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you very much. Please go on.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Lakic, right.
7 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Dragisic, I'm going to shift topics slightly and turn your
9 attention to the attack on Kijevo on the 26th of August, 1991. You made
10 reference to operations in Kijevo, I believe, on that date.
11 You said that the JNA conducted operations in Kijevo. In fact,
12 the police, or at least the special purpose units of the Ministry of the
13 Interior, also participated in that operation in Kijevo; correct?
14 A. Probably, yes. Because the operation was led by the commander of
15 the 222nd brigade, Colonel Djukic, with his units.
16 Q. And police units also participated; correct?
17 A. Yes. And they were resubordinated and Colonel Djukic commanded
18 over them, too.
19 Q. Did you participate in the operation in Kijevo at the end of
21 A. No.
22 Q. Did you hear about the destruction in the village; that the church
23 was destroyed, that a lot of houses were burned, that other civilian
24 buildings were damaged or destroyed?
25 A. In the course of the operation, the artillery was probably engaged
1 as well as the air force. And if they were involved, there were probably
2 buildings destroyed.
3 Q. Okay. And you say "there were probably buildings destroyed." Did
4 you hear about such destruction, or you didn't hear anything about it?
5 A. What I heard was that there were buildings destroyed, since the
6 air force was engaged, but I wasn't in that area at all.
7 Q. You also testified a little bit about blockades of JNA
8 facilities. Those blockades began around September 1991, maybe the end of
9 August; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Actually, going back a little bit in 1991. You testified a little
12 bit about Plitvice and the clash there, and I think you mentioned that
13 some Krajina policemen or special purpose members were taken prisoner by
14 the Croatian police forces; is that right? Did I understand that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. At that time, the SAO Krajina police was also taking Croatian
18 policemen prisoner; is that right? At that same time of 1991.
19 A. Not then but later. At the negotiations that Babic held with the
20 president of the municipality of Sinj, Vukas, Mr. Vukas, Croatia did not
21 release the policeman who had been captured. And from that time on, some
22 Croatian policemen were taken prisoner, first and foremost, to be later
24 Q. And what's the date that you say that that first started
25 happening, that Croatian policemen were taken prisoner?
1 A. I think around end of May 1991.
2 MR. BLACK: Can we see Exhibit 204 on the e-court, please. And I
3 apologise, this is another document that I did not intend to use and so it
4 was not on my list. But we will just look at it briefly, given the
5 witness's answers.
6 Q. Mr. Dragisic, I apologise, this is a document that is only in
7 English, but I'm just going to refer to it as quickly as I can. It's a
8 newspaper article from the 2nd of April, 1991, from the Yugoslav News
10 Oops. Now, actually we have a translation, so you can probably
11 read along better than I can, because my e-court has stopped working.
12 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, if I could have two minutes to be able
13 to see the English on this, I just need to restart my e-court.
14 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Are you sure it's Exhibit 204? This is a BBC
16 MR. BLACK: I believe it says the source is Tanjug, but, Your
17 Honour, I can't read the English right now so I'm a little bit disabled.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: We can read the English to you. It says:
19 "World Broadcast, 1991, the British Broadcasting Corporation/BBC,
20 4th of April," not 2nd, "4th of April, 1991, Thursday."
21 MR. BLACK: Right. And a little further down, if I can rely on
22 the B/C/S version which I see on my screen, because it's a summary of a
23 world broadcast, the actual source of this information is from Tanjug on
24 the 2nd of April, if I am not mistaken.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I beg your pardon. Do you want me to repeat that?
3 MR. BLACK: I have it in English now, Your Honour, thank you. I
4 apologise for the delay here.
5 Q. I apologise for the delay, Mr. Dragisic. If you look at the first
6 paragraph there, there's a reference to Milan Martic, Secretary of the SUP
7 of Krajina, and it says:
8 "According to him, the Krajina police have arrested six Croatian
9 constables. Four were arrested on the 31st of March, near Plasko, and two
10 on the 1st and 2nd of April, near Civljane."
11 Having seen that statement attributed to Mr. Martic, do you accept
12 the possibility that even earlier than May, 1991, the SAO Krajina police
13 was taking some Croatian policemen prisoner?
14 A. Well, I accept that they did arrest them, and I explained what the
15 reason for that was; that in Plitvice, 13 or 16, I don't remember exactly,
16 member of the special police units of the Krajina, the Krajina militia,
17 were taken prisoner. And as they would not release them, we were looking
18 for every possibility of how to obtain such a release. So they arrested
19 Croatian policemen in order to exchange them for the former.
20 Q. If you will look with me, just one details, it does say that six
21 people were actually arrested on the 31st of March, which is the same day
22 that Plitvice happened; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In any event, in Plitvice, what ended the armed clash there was
25 that the JNA stepped in as a sort of buffer; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And the same thing happened at the beginning of May in the clash
3 that you referred to in Borovo Selo. There was fighting between Serb and
4 Croatian police and the JNA stepped in as a buffer; correct?
5 A. Yes. And that was in fact the legal obligation of the JNA,
6 because that was at the time when the SFRY still existed and when those
7 laws were still in force. Had it not acted in that way, it would have
8 been in breach of the law.
9 Q. Was Milan Martic president -- president, excuse me -- present in
10 Borovo Selo on the 1st or 2nd of May, 1991?
11 A. I cannot say that with certainty. I don't know what his movements
12 were at the time. I don't think he was, but I cannot recall where he
13 was. I know for a fact that I, myself, was not outside my own area. I
14 cannot say where he was at the time.
15 Q. Okay. As we saw a little earlier, in August, 1991, the JNA
16 participated along with the police in an attack on Kijevo at the end of
17 August; correct?
18 A. In Kijevo, Croatia had established a police station, and it
19 prevented all citizens from the area of Cetina and Civan [phoen] from
20 passing through. And they were under this blockade for over a month. It
21 only let JNA APCs through.
22 Q. Sorry. We don't need to go into much more detail. Since you
23 mentioned the police station, those were the only Croatian forces in
24 Kijevo, right, the Croatian police station? There wasn't any other kind
25 of armed force in Kijevo, in August of 1991?
1 A. No, there wasn't. But around there, there were at least 300 armed
2 men, including some Albanians who had come to join in the war. There were
3 not only police units there. There were also paramilitary forces of the
4 Croatian Zengas, the National Guards Corps of Croatia. Because, under the
5 law at the time, the only forces were the JNA and the TO, whereas the
6 National Peoples Guard Corps was there, which was, in effect, a
7 paramilitary unit.
8 Q. Okay. So when you refer to 300 armed men, you're referring to the
9 Zengas, the ZNG; right? Do I understand you correctly?
10 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
11 Q. Did you say they were actually in Kijevo?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the numbers included Albanians, at least some Albanians, you
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Just a few minutes ago you referred to the duty of the JNA to act
17 as a buffer. But it's clear by the events of Kijevo that, in fact, the
18 JNA at that time was abandoning any sort of neutral role and it was
19 actively taking the side of the Krajina Serbs in their conflict with
20 Croatia. Isn't that right?
21 A. The JNA, i.e., the 9th Corps, i.e., the 221st Brigade had their
22 zone of responsibility which included Kijevo. But they were not able to
23 pass through Kijevo. So there was no police station before the war in
24 Kijevo. This one that was there then was actually established illegally.
25 Q. Well, I'm not going to get into the legality of the Croatian MUP
1 establishing a police station in its own territory. But it's clear in
2 Kijevo that the SAO Krajina forces and the JNA forces acted in
3 coordination and cooperation with one another; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Which takes me back to the issue of the blockades. Is it fair to
6 say that by blockading JNA facilities in -- starting in around September
7 1991, Croatia was really trying to reestablish control over the TO weapons
8 that had been seized and neutralize the JNA in Croatia, because it was
9 seeing the JNA as taking the Serb side in the emerging conflict? Is that
10 a fair, I guess, explanation of what Croatia thought it was doing in
11 blockading the JNA facilities?
12 A. The Croatian side, and I repeat, blockaded illegally - illegally -
13 the only legitimate armed force in their barracks, and the instructions to
14 each combat unit were that, in case they were attacked, they should
15 respond, strike back.
16 Q. The instructions to which combat units? I'm just not 100 per cent
17 clear. Croatian combat units or the JNA combat units?
18 A. The JNA units had instructions. Every unit of the JNA, according
19 to the laws on All National Defence of the SFRY and of the Republic of
20 Croatia which were then in force, had that obligation.
21 Q. Okay. We just have a few minutes left but let me try to get
22 through one more topic with you, Mr. Dragisic.
23 You were an instructor at the School for Internal Affairs in
24 Golubic beginning in June of 1992; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were there any other police training facilities at Golubic besides
2 the one that you taught at?
3 A. No, there weren't.
4 Q. And you testified that those who completed training there, they
5 were eligible to be patrolmen but they didn't participate in any combat
6 operations; correct? That's what you testified to?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. First of all, you would agree with me that the training at Golubic
9 in 1991 did include combat aspects; right?
10 A. But that has nothing to do with the training which was delivered
11 in 1992.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. The training in 1992 --
14 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, but you agree that in 1991 it was
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. And even in 1992, there were some combat elements of the training
18 that went on at Golubic, wasn't there?
19 A. We only had shooting from infantry weapons. Otherwise the
20 training was, as for peacetime training, according to the plan of training
21 for patrolmen. There was no other training apart from that.
22 MR. BLACK: If I could have just a moment of your indulgence.
23 Q. Mr. Dragisic, I appreciate your patience with my questions. I
24 don't have any further questions for you at this time.
25 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, thank you, and I imagine it's time to end
1 for the day.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Black.
3 MR. WHITING: For Mr. Black that ends our session, or invites the
4 ending. We had left an issue for the end of the day, and I wonder if we
5 could just quickly address it, which was the date to be set for the
6 Defence motion to be filed with respect to the statements. I think that
7 Defence indicated that they could address that at the end of the day.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic?
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we had brief
10 consultations and the situation is as follows: It will be possible for
11 some of the first witnesses, after this short break that we will be
12 having, will be witnesses according to 87(F) or 92 bis. We have to
13 process them first as witnesses, that is our first task, and we are
14 working very actively on it.
15 It is quite difficult for us to tell you exactly within what time
16 we can do that. These statements have to be translated into English;
17 submitted to the Prosecution and the Trial Chamber. We shall do that as
18 fast as -- as quickly and efficiently as we can, bearing in mind also the
19 need for the Prosecution team to prepare themselves and that they need
20 more than a day or two prior to the testimony of the witness. But I
21 cannot tell you exactly we can fulfil our obligation for all witnesses on
22 that particular day, because they are quite a few.
23 Now, depending on what witnesses come, perhaps the sequence might
24 be changed and the urgencies may be reversed. That is also what I wish to
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I understood Mr. Whiting earlier today, he
2 indicated that they would need at least a week, not a day or two. But
3 that's something that you can sort out between the two of you.
4 Can you give us a date, at least, by when the witnesses that you
5 are going to be calling in the first week when we come back can be given?
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you will allow
7 me to give you that piece of information tomorrow. I will have the list
8 after this break and we will have definite information tomorrow.
9 It is also associated, as far as we are concerned, with travel
10 documents which have to be issued for the witnesses and some safety
11 considerations. But, by your leave, I can give you precise information in
12 the morning, rather than give you unverified verified facts right now.
13 At any rate, we shall certainly do our best for the Prosecution to
14 have these statements with at least a week's notice prior to the actual
15 appearance of the witness in question.
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, just two points.
17 First, we've already been told what witnesses are going to be
18 appearing after the break, at least three of them. So if there is some
19 change to that, we certainly would appreciate knowing that as soon as
21 The second thing is: The point I was trying to make is not simply
22 that we need them a week ahead of time. That we do. But I think a motion
23 needs to be filed even in the advance of that so that it can be determined
24 whether these can be -- come in and how and under what Rule.
25 So it cannot be that we receive these one week ahead of time.
1 This has to be done long before that. And if it's done in batches, that,
2 I completely understand. Maybe it cannot be done for all 23 at once, but
3 certainly it can be done for a chunk with sufficient time for the -- for
4 us to respond, the Court to consider it, and a decision to be made.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you hear that, Mr. Milovancevic? The motion is
6 to come in before, and then you still have to do that afterwards.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I do hear you. Thank
8 you. Thank you, Your Honour. We shall do so as promptly as possible.
9 Tomorrow morning we will be able to tell you when we can do that, the
10 actual statements for the first witnesses, when those can be had.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that okay? Thank you very much, Mr.
13 While we are at it, Mr. Milovancevic, there is something that has
14 been going on in my mind. Sometime last week there were two statements
15 that you tendered which were in B/C/S and we thought they needed to be
16 translated. We then found out that the one was translated and then the
17 other we took to have been translated. I don't know if you still
18 remember. Having such a poor memory like I do, I'm not able to tell you
19 what document that was. But I just know that there is a document that
20 needs to be -- it's about a page or so.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Two documents, Your Honour.
22 The title pages of the book that I showed. Thank you for the reminder. I
23 don't know the exact mark of the page right now, because I mislaid it.
24 But thank you, Your Honour. I shall certainly bear that in mind.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 Court is adjourned for the day. We will reconvene tomorrow at
2 9.00 in the morning.
3 Court adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 20th day of
6 September, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.