1 Wednesday, 1 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 WITNESS: NADA PUPOVAC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, Ms. Pupovac. Let me take this
9 opportunity once again to remind you that at the beginning of your
10 testimony, you undertook to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
11 else but the truth. You are still bound by that declaration, okay?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good. And I think we were at the stage where I'm
14 supposed to ask you questions, if I can just sort of find my questions.
15 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ma'am, yesterday, you said that the Croats shelled
17 their own village. You remember that?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: What was the extent of the destruction of the
20 buildings as a result of that shelling?
21 A. For instance, when a shell hits a wall, it makes a hole and since
22 the buildings are made of stone or brick, depending on which place is hit,
23 this determines the level of damage, because Dalmatian stone is very hard
24 and damage may be lower.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Maybe if we can call for that exhibit that
1 shows the damaged buildings so that you can have a look at them and tell
2 us whether they were in that condition on that day. What exhibit is that,
3 Mr. Black? 272? If we can have Exhibit 272 on the screen, please.
4 I'll try and find the page right now, unless Mr. Black can help me
5 on the page, the relevant pages that you --
6 MR. BLACK: Your Honour [Microphone not activated]
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
8 Can you look at page -- it's page 2, it's 7799. Do you have that
9 on your screen, ma'am?
10 A. Yes, I believe I do have it.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see it's just rubble there. Is that what
12 happened on that day? Was that the extent of the destruction on that day?
13 A. No, no. This didn't look like that when the army passed through.
14 That place, I never saw such cases. This is just a heap of --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of rubble.
16 Go to the next page 7800. Did the houses look like that after the
17 destruction or the shelling?
18 A. No.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were they worse than that?
20 A. No, sir. Didn't see such cases. This is enormous destruction but
21 there were no such damage inflicted when the army passed through there on
22 the 18th and the 19th, when I was there as well. No.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were you there on the 19th as well?
24 A. On the 18th and the 19th, the 19th was continuation of the
25 operation towards Nadin so the Territorial Defence was there on the 19th
1 as well.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Would I then take it that what appears on
3 the next page, 7801, is -- was also not the case? If you can look at the
4 next page.
5 A. No.
6 JUDGE HOEPFEL: May I ask, did I understand it correctly, you
7 were there in Skabrnja on the 18th -- you were there in Skabrnja on the
8 18th and the 19th of November? Or only on the 18th in Skabrnja?
9 A. We arrived to the centre of the village of Skabrnja on the 18th.
10 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I mean --
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: How long have you personally, you, Witness, been
13 there in Skabrnja?
14 A. I was there in Skabrnja on the 18th and the 19th of November.
15 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Are you able to describe in words the extent
17 of the damage that you observed on the 18th and the 19th of November 1991?
18 A. There were holes, if I can describe it, a hole -- I must describe
19 this with my hands. A hole made by a shell hitting the wall leaving the
20 rest of the building intact but this is wholesale destruction. This
21 wasn't like this when I was there.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much.
23 Now, you also testified that the bell tower of the church was
24 targeted. You remember that?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: What kind of weapon was used to fire at the bell
3 A. Fire was opened at the bell tower because there was a light
4 machine-gun in the belfry, and fire was opened from the side of the
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Hear my question. My question is, what type of
7 weapon was used by the JNA to fire at the bell tower? You have told us
8 what was at the bell tower but just what type was used to fire at it?
9 A. There was a tank and an APC, and infantry weapons. I don't know
10 what was used to hit it.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: So it should have been either of those three?
12 Either a tank or an APC or an infantry weapon?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. You also testified, ma'am, about pulling a
15 young man, a wounded young man, out, a man named Ivica, remember?
16 A. Yes, Ivica was wounded on the road.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know his last name?
18 A. No, I don't know it.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know how he was injured?
20 A. He was wounded in the leg. I can't remember after so many years
21 which leg. I dressed his wounds. He was then transported to the medical
22 centre in Benkovac, first to Smiljcic, to be provided medical assistance
23 by a physician and then later on to Benkovac.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know what happened to other people who were
25 with him when he was injured?
1 A. I don't know.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
3 A. I don't know where he was wounded, at which place he was wounded.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, you also testified that civilians were
5 intermingled with combatants. You remember that?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: And you said the reason you knew this was that you
8 saw ten civilians coming out of a cellar from which shots were fired, and
9 that those civilians were then directed by the JNA towards another
10 location where they would be safe. You remember that?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know whether anyone remained in that
13 particular cellar?
14 A. I don't know whether any civilians. I know that fire was open
15 from that cellar. I don't know whether somebody stayed behind or whether
16 they left.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: How, then, was it determined that these people
18 leaving the cellar were civilians?
19 A. They wore civilian clothes, without any weapons.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: How was it determined who was doing the shooting
21 from the cellar?
22 A. You can hear shots.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: No.
24 A. I was fired at while I was directing people away.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, ma'am. Hearing shots will help you determine
1 that shots are being fired. My question is: How was it determined who,
2 between the combatants and the civilians in the cellar, was doing the
4 A. I don't know. Whoever holds a rifle is a combatant. In my
5 opinion, whether wearing a uniform or civilian clothes, if they kill a
6 man, they are a combatant. They are not a civilian as long as they shoot
7 at others.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you see people who were having weapons who were
9 in civilian clothes?
10 A. No, I did not see. I did not enter the cellars.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 Now, you also testified about a man called Tomislav Curkovic at
13 whose wedding, shots - AK 47 - were fired. You remember that?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: What ethnic classification is he?
16 A. This is an honest Croatian family. The father of the family did
17 not like what he saw happening at the wedding reception.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not quite sure I understand that last sentence.
19 What do you mean the father of the family did not like what he saw
20 happening at the wedding reception, the father of Curkovic family.
21 A. Yes. Tomislav's father always shied from conflicts, had very good
22 relations with his Serb neighbours. That is located between our Serb
23 hamlet and the Croatian houses and Croats inhabited all houses until my
24 home. He, father of the family, did not like seeing shots being fired at
25 the wedding reception. He wanted a proper wedding for his son. He lived
1 a long time abroad.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know why these AK 47s were being fired at
3 his home, at this wedding?
4 A. I don't know why they opened fire, but the same one - group - 30
5 minutes afterwards blockaded the road towards Benkovac. I personally,
6 with three relatives, could not pass that point because I was held at gun
7 point by the young men who were at the wedding.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: And did I get it right that you said that the
9 people who were firing these AK 47s were members of the HDZ?
10 A. Yes. I know all of them. We were a large village and everybody
11 knows everybody else. I can list you households by their family name even
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Later on, you told us about another Curkovic was
14 with a certain Siva [phoen] and they said they were "redarstvenici,"
15 members of the MUP. I would imagine then that second Curkovic is also a
17 A. Curkovic, Ivica is a Croat and he was among the redarstvenici or
18 MUP policemen, and the other person, also a member of the MUP, is Sisgora
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sisgora. Now, if I may just go back to the
21 wedding, you wouldn't characterise that shooting that took place there as
22 an interethnic shooting, would you?
23 A. It could have been [as interpreted] interethnic because there was
24 only one Serb, the best man of Sime Curkovic, attending that wedding
25 reception, no others.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: But no aim was taken at that best man, was there?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Son-in-law, not best
4 A. No. The pretext was that they barricaded the road. They've
5 demonstrated that they were armed. And this is when we saw that they were
6 armed, when, after 30 minutes from the beginning of the reception, they
7 blockaded the road, the young men attending the wedding ceremony.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, but the shooting was done by Croats. The
9 wedding was a Croat wedding. It couldn't have been interethnic, could
11 A. They did not shoot at Serbs then. They wanted to prove their
12 power, their might, that they were armed. I did not say that they were
13 aiming at anybody, but when the barricade was set on the road, they held
14 me at gun point. The round was in the barrel because later on they shot
15 it in the air. I just had to go back from where I had come and I wasn't
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's just clarify an answer you gave a little
18 earlier. Did you say it could have been interethnic or did you say it
19 could not have been interethnic?
20 A. Couldn't have been on that wedding reception.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then -- thank you so much. I
22 understood you better.
23 A. The barricade on the road was for interethnic purposes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Prosecutor asked you a question at some stage
25 and asked you whether you were a member of the JNA at the time, and I
1 think the time was around 1991. Do you remember that question? You
2 don't? Okay.
3 A. No, I don't recall.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me remind you how you answered it. You
5 said, "No, not at the time." That's how you answered it. That was at
6 page 70, line 11, on the first day of your testimony. Now, I'm not able
7 to tell exactly what the page would have been -- would be today now that
8 it has changed.
9 A. But I was never sent -- I was never -- never received from the JNA
10 call-up papers. I was called up by the Territorial Defence of Benkovac
11 and I was under their command.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's really what I wanted to establish. You
13 never became a member of the JNA, to this day?
14 A. No, not of the JNA but the TO of the municipality of Benkovac.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand TO. I want to be clear that you never
16 became a member of the JNA or you were one -- you at some stage became a
17 member. The reason I'm asking you this question is because your answer
18 said, "No, not at the time." So you never became a member of the JNA?
19 A. Of course, normally.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: To this day?
21 A. No. I was under the command of theirs when I was in Skabrnja.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: This is 10339, line 24, just for the transcript.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Judge.
25 On the 18th -- and you may have been asked this question by the
1 Prosecutor but I just want to be sure that it is asked in case it was not.
2 On the 18th of November 1991, did the JNA suffer any casualties apart from
3 Lieutenant Stefanovic and the soldier on the APC?
4 A. In the area of Skabrnja, there were two killed, and a number of
5 wounded. I cannot specify the number. I don't know it.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The people killed were two only? Lieutenant
7 Stefanovic and the soldier on the APC?
8 A. Stefanovic and a Muslim soldier.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: You said also on that point that the JNA soldiers
10 took cover behind some walls. You remember that?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: What walls were these that they took behind
13 cover -- behind which they took cover.
14 A. In Dalmatia we have stone dry walls while I lived there. Along
15 the road, each house, each garden, was walled in and it was the safest
16 place to take cover, behind such a wall, not to get hit.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I understand you to say that members of the JNA
18 took cover behind garden walls, to homes?
19 A. Behind walls but alongside the road, and people who are in APCs,
20 they remained there, or in a tank, and in Skabrnja there was one tank, one
21 APC, and they were hit by rocket-propelled grenades. These walls run next
22 to the road.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. I understand that. And I want to understand
24 clearly what your testimony is. Is it your testimony, then, that the JNA
25 soldiers, those who got off the APCs and the tanks, went and hid behind
1 the walls of the gardens of the homes? Is that it?
2 A. Not all of them were courtyard walls. Some are -- some were
3 gardens, Dalmatian villages are not as densely populated as some others.
4 There were gardens or open space between houses, but that region was not
5 that densely populated. There were not many houses there.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand. I understand. I understand that.
7 What I do want to know is, these walls that you referred to are garden
8 walls along the road?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: And these soldiers were taking cover from fire that
11 was coming out of the homes, the very homes, of these gardens?
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And are you able to tell us what kind of protection
14 the garden walls provided for these JNA soldiers? In other words, did
15 they not fall when they were hit by rocket propellers -- rocket-propelled
17 A. Fortunately, it did not hit them, it hit the tank. The tank was
18 hit. APC was not. There were wounded people in Skabrnja, on both sides.
19 I'm not saying that there were only wounded on the side of the Yugoslav
20 People's Army. There were wounded people on the Croatian side as well.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question is mainly focused on the walls at this
22 point in time. Do I understand you to be saying that there was no firing
23 directed at the soldiers who were taking cover behind the walls?
24 A. There was fire. There was gunfire.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what became of the walls?
1 A. Since fire was being opened out of cellars, from infantry weapons,
2 we took cover behind walls.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question is, as these walls were being fired at,
4 what became of them?
5 A. Bullets ricocheted off the wall, and that's what happened when the
6 bullets impacted on the other side of the wall, because the walls were
7 made out of hard rock.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: So the walls didn't come down; that's the short
10 A. No. They couldn't have come down if only hit by infantry
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Do you have an imagination, could we go to that
13 photo document, page 7 and page 8? I just browsed through the whole
14 booklet and these two and actually also on the last one, page 18, I can
15 see some walls. Can we maybe compare with what you mean? Let us start
16 with page 18. This is 0468-7815. There are four photos and the photo in
17 the upright corner shows some of these walls. Would those be walls like
18 you mean, then, as you mean them? Or are they less typical ones?
19 A. I don't know if this is indeed Skabrnja. I can only tell that
20 it's a Croat village or settlement because I see the flag there, but I
21 don't -- no, I'm not familiar with any of the homes in Skabrnja, to be
22 able to tell you that this is indeed what we are talking about. If this
23 is a photograph taken during wartime at all, there is a multitude of
24 people here.
25 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Yes. This is taken later probably. But maybe you
1 didn't -- I didn't express myself clearly. I wanted to ask if it's this
2 kind of wall you are speaking of, and maybe we can go to page 8, which is
3 then with the last digits 7805. There is also -- there is one of these
4 walls which look a little more sturdy and actually also taller, higher.
5 Is this the kind of walls you are speaking of?
6 A. Sir, this is the foundation of the house here. As far as I can
7 see, this is the foundation of the house, the cellar, and the house is
8 made of brickwork.
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Okay.
10 A. Breeze blocks.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's go back to 7815. Now, if you look at that
12 photograph of the home where there is a flag flying, now, we understand
13 that you don't know the village of Skabrnja, you didn't live there, you
14 can't say whether this is Skabrnja or not. However, we have heard
15 evidence through which these photographs were tendered and we were told
16 that this is Skabrnja. Now, listen to the question. The question doesn't
17 ask you whether you know this to be Skabrnja. The question is: The type
18 of wall that you see on the perimeter of the home shown on the photograph
19 with the flag, is that the type of wall that you remember seeing JNA
20 soldiers taking cover behind?
21 A. No, no.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. What kind of wall, then, if not this type,
23 would that have been? Would there have been any other types of walls
24 apart from fence walls like these on the perimeter of the yard?
25 A. There are other types of walls, and they existed at the time. I
1 don't know what Skabrnja looks like now. I know that those were stone
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You testified also, ma'am,
4 that people were in cellars with combatants, and that every able-bodied
5 man was armed. My question to you is: Is it your evidence that the
6 people were killed because they were fighting the JNA?
7 A. There was fighting. There was a war on. These were clashes
8 between the JNA, the official army of a country that existed, and the
9 paramilitary formations of Croatia.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. So they were not killed in cross-fire,
11 as you also testified, they were killed because they were fighting. Is
12 that your testimony? You told us two versions.
13 A. I didn't give you two versions. Of course, people get killed when
14 there is fighting. People don't shoot at each other with bread.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I know that. Let me remind you -- let me remind
16 you of your testimony. You did say that people were in cellars with
17 combatants and every able-bodied man was armed and you were suggesting
18 then that because they were armed that they were in civilian clothes
19 didn't matter, they were combatants, therefore they had to be shot at.
20 But at some other stage you also said people were killed in cross-fire.
21 Now, when you say people were killed in cross-fire, I understand you, and
22 tell me if I'm wrong in my understanding, I understand you to say that
23 they are killed by mistake, they are not combatants, but they just
24 happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, hence they get shot
25 when they shouldn't have been. Is that -- is that understanding a correct
1 interpretation of what you meant by being shot in cross-fire?
2 A. I was referring to the civilians I saw on the road, and I'm sorry
3 that those lives were lost. They happened to find themselves in
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not the people in the cellars. Thank you.
6 A. I didn't go down into the cellars. I don't know what was there.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you for that clarification.
8 That ends my questions.
9 Any questions arising from the Bench's questions,
10 Mr. Milovancevic?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence
12 doesn't have any more questions, thank you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. Mr. Black?
14 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. Just, I hope, one brief
16 Further cross-examination by Mr. Black:
17 Q. Ma'am, you were asked yesterday by His Honour Judge Hoepfel about
18 who was in command of the JNA forces for the Skabrnja operation on the
19 18th and 19th of November 1991. Is it correct that the -- you mentioned
20 Lieutenant Stefanovic, but do you know if it's correct that
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Momcilo Bogunovic was actually higher than that, he was
22 the person in overall command of the operation? Do you know anything
23 about that?
24 A. I don't know whether he was the commander. I know Bogunovic and
25 his family. He was killed, may he rest in peace. I don't know whether he
1 was in command at the time or, in fact, who Stefanovic was subordinated
2 to. I don't know.
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 MR. BLACK: No further questions, urges.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Black. Ma'am, this brings us to the
6 end of your testimony. We want to thank you very much on behalf of the
7 Trial Chamber for coming and taking time from your busy schedule to come
8 and testify. Thank you very much. You are now excused. You may stand
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for allowing me to tell
11 the truth here before the International Tribunal.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, ma'am.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, before we call the next witness, there is just
15 one or two housekeeping matters that the Chamber would like to raise. The
16 first one is once again about time and about the expeditiousness of the
17 proceedings. And in the interests of that, the Trial Chamber would like
18 to give some kind of warning to the parties by way of addressing itself to
19 the Defence with a reminder.
20 The Trial Chamber has previously decided that the Defence case
21 shall conclude on the 20th of November 2006. The Trial Chamber wants to
22 remind the Defence that this is three weeks from today and the Trial
23 Chamber advises the Defence to spend the remaining time wisely and to
24 focus on areas which are relevant under the Statute and the Rules to the
25 charges raised against the accused in the indictment.
1 In general, the Trial Chamber considers that sufficient evidence
2 has been led on the following topics for it to be able to come to a
3 finding. And the Trial Chamber notes also that the Defence has led
4 evidence through several witnesses regarding events which have taken place
5 before 1991 and how these events influenced the Serb population in the
6 1990s. The Trial Chamber advises the Defence to refrain from leading
7 evidence on topics concerning the time period before 1991 and other
8 matters which are not a defence against the charges raised. In
9 particular, such pre-indictment period topics are: World War II and the
10 Ustashas, the lead-up to and the dissolution of Yugoslavia, HDZ actions
11 and rallies and the chequer-board symbols, Croatian inflammatory media,
12 referenda, multi-party elections, and the formation of the SDS, dismissal
13 of Serbs from jobs, illegal arming of Croats, the ZNG and General Spegelj,
14 barricades and the meeting at Srb.
15 There were many others, other items will be items and I'm sure the
16 parties are aware of this, the agreed facts, we have a filing here of the
17 agreed facts. I think it is not necessary to canvass any evidence on
18 those agreed facts because they are agreed. And some other evidence of a
19 cumulative nature must also be avoided. Furthermore, the Defence should
20 seriously consider the evidence already on the record so as not to lead
21 any further cumulative evidence, as I've indicated, and in this vein the
22 Defence is remind not to lead evidence on matters which are covered, as
23 I've said, by the agreed facts.
24 Lastly, the Trial Chamber reminds the Defence of the guidelines on
25 the presentation of evidence and the conduct of counsel in court, wherein
1 the Trial Chamber stressed that this Tribunal does not recognise tu quoque
2 as a valid defence. As a consequence, the Defence must be mindful of the
3 evidence it leads concerning the topics on Croatia -- Croat behaviour and
4 atrocities committed against Serbs, the Vance Plan and breaches thereof by
5 the Croats, such as Maslenica and the Medak and Operation Storm as well as
6 both the Z-4 process and the Z-4 plan, except where they relate directly
7 to the views, actions, or conduct of the accused on these issues.
8 I hope that's taken. That brings me to the end of the two
9 housekeeping matters.
10 I don't know -- I beg your pardon. That was the one. I've got to
11 come to the next one. I beg your pardon.
12 For the next one, if we could move into private session, please?
13 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Whiting?
11 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I just wanted to raise one query, I
12 suppose with respect to the first housekeeping matter that was raised, and
13 that is that the next witness is testifying via 92 ter, and the statement
14 contains a number of paragraphs which address issues which Your Honours
15 have just said need not be addressed, and specifically, for example,
16 paragraphs 1 through 12, right off the bat I can see that those address
17 issues. Now, I had intended in my cross-examination to address those
18 issues because the rules kind of require us to do that, to put our case to
19 the witness and so forth. I'm happy not to do that. I'm happy to just
20 cross that part off my cross-examination so long as it's agreed that we
21 will not be, in this case, penalised by that rule and that it will be
22 understood that by doing that we are not accepting what the witness says
23 in those paragraphs but that we have put our case to this Trial Chamber
24 and to witnesses previously with respect to those issues, that is
25 understood and there is no need to do so again with this witness.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, any response to that?
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
3 The guidelines you gave us, in my view, apply to the upcoming
4 witnesses. The witness who is about to be called has his 92 ter statement
5 and I believe that the Prosecutor is entitled to put questions to the
6 witness on all the points contained in the statement, even if they refer
7 to the topics contained in your warning, because at the time we were
8 drafting the statement we didn't have your warning before us and we
9 proceeded according to our best judgement.
10 I believe that my learned friend should be entitled to put
11 questions on these matters. Otherwise, the Defence might be prejudiced in
12 a way. I believe that under the rules, we cannot proceed other than by
13 allowing the Prosecution to put questions on those matters and as for the
14 witnesses coming after the next one, we will, of course, adhere to the
15 Bench's guidelines.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, thank you for the point you are
17 making. I think the Bench is aware of all the issues that the Prosecution
18 has disputed, that coming from the Defence side, in relation to the
19 matters that were mentioned in the guidelines. And I want to believe that
20 on the basis of the guidelines that the Bench has just given, if the
21 Prosecution does not cross-examine on those issues, and the Prosecution
22 has also placed it on record as they have just done, that their omission
23 to do so does not amount to an admission of those issues. I would imagine
24 that that's sufficient to cover that point. They don't need to
25 cross-examine on them. They can go ahead and cross-examine on the acts
1 and conduct of the accused and the Bench will treat their silence in the
2 same way as it will treat how it has thus far dealt with the issues
3 referred to. So I do not think that the Defence will be prejudiced in any
4 form. The Chamber understands that that is the stand of the Defence, in
5 so far as those first 12 paragraphs are concerned, and we also know the
6 stand of the Prosecution that they dispute that.
7 I don't think it will be necessary for any cross-examination on
9 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic? And let us not belabour this point.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I shall not, Your Honour. I am
11 quite mindful of the time constraints.
12 I do -- I'm afraid that we will come across the following point of
13 law. What sort of weight should be given to the 12 paragraphs of the
14 statement if the Prosecutor was not able to cross-examine the witness on
15 these points? In addition to that, this is a very important Defence
16 witness. We would probably have prepared his statement and examination in
17 quite a different way. We would have perhaps sought leave to put certain
18 questions to him in examination-in-chief. My submission is that we should
19 deal with this witness as we have done so far and for the future
20 witnesses, the Defence will observe the Bench's guidelines.
21 The questions arising from the 12 paragraphs of the statement of
22 this witness will be not dealt with, and the Trial Chamber will not be
23 able to evaluate the witness's statement with regard to these facts, and
24 these facts are contained in his statement.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I think the Trial Chamber is
1 fully aware of that. The Trial Chamber has -- as it has indicated, it has
2 heard sufficient information from the Defence about those topics and the
3 Trial Chamber is appraised -- rather, apprised, of the Defence's
4 standpoint on those topics. It's also aware of the Prosecution's
5 standpoint on those topics. And there is nothing difficult --
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, for
7 interrupting you. I accept your position. I accept the Bench's position.
8 My apologies.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I did not wish to belabour the
11 point any further. And that -- hence my interruption.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. I guess the next
13 witness we are going to need more time to get him in, so it will probably
14 be advisable to take our break now and come back at the normal time,
15 because the technicians are going to need more time to get him organised.
16 Court adjourned. Come back at 4.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.13 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 3.59 p.m.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, sir. May the witness please make
20 the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: WITNESS MM-105
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. You may be seated, sir.
1 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
4 Q. Witness, good afternoon.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. First I'd like to inform you with the fact that the Chamber has
7 attributed to you a pseudonym for your protection. Your image and voice
8 are distorted which means that during the proceedings your first and
9 family name are not going to be mentioned. What we also will not mention
10 are your function, your position, your business affairs, that may divulge
11 your identity, and to this end, I'm going to present to you a document.
12 Please read it silently, don't read it out loud, and please tell us
13 whether this document contains your particulars, whether they are
14 accurate, and this document also contains the pseudonym that you're going
15 to be referred to with. Thank you.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I move that this
17 document be led into evidence under seal as Defence Exhibit.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence under seal.
19 May it please be given an exhibit number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number 996,
21 under seal.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to ask
24 the usher to distribute this statement to the Chamber, the OTP, and the
25 interpreters, and the witness. We've prepared sufficient copies for the
1 interpreters as well, three copies. Here you are. I think that one copy
2 should be given to the witness so that he may confirm its veracity.
3 Q. Witness, please take a look at this statement in front of you, and
4 please tell us whether this statement is that which you gave to the -- to
5 Mr. Nikolic, investigator of the Defence, and please testify that you've
6 read it and signed it.
7 A. Yes. I've read it and gave that statement and I signed it.
8 Q. Please, could you tell us whether you would give such a statement
9 if you were to be examined and testify viva voce regarding these facts?
10 A. Yes. I would.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I move that this statement be
13 admitted into evidence pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The statement is admitted into evidence pursuant to
15 Rule 92 ter. May it please be given an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number 997.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I've
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
21 Mr. Whiting?
22 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. I think that exhibit should
23 be placed under seal, the last one.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I do think you are right, Mr. Whiting. May the
25 exhibit please be placed under seal.
1 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: [Microphone not activated] One moment, please.
2 All right. Before that is done, I wonder whether we could get the date
3 when the statement was given from the witness. I don't believe that is on
4 the record.
5 MR. WHITING: I can inquire, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.
7 MR. WHITING: May I proceed.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
9 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Whiting:
11 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Alex Whiting. I'm one of the
12 prosecutors in this case. Do you understand?
13 A. I understand.
14 Q. I will have to -- because of your protective measures I will refer
15 to you either as Witness, sir, or sometimes maybe even as Witness MM-105.
16 If we talk about any matters which could disclosure you're identity I'll
17 ask that we go into private session but if we are in public session and
18 you want to give an answer that you think would disclose your identity,
19 please just tell us and we can move into private session. Do you
20 understand? I think you nodded your head but that's not recorded in the
21 transcript so if you could answer verbally that would be appreciated.
22 A. I understand. I understand.
23 Q. Thank you, sir.
24 Now, could -- the statement that you have in front of you, could
25 you tell us when you gave this statement to the Defence investigator, if
1 you can recall?
2 A. I think that I gave this statement some 15 days ago but nothing
3 material has changed in the meantime. I fully confirm the -- what I said
4 in this statement.
5 Q. So you gave the statement 15 days ago, and it appears from the
6 first page of it that you actually only signed it today. Is that correct?
7 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I think on every page this is the case.
8 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. I had only looked at the
9 first page.
10 Q. But is it true that the indication is on every page that you
11 signed the statement today? Is that correct?
12 A. That is correct. And it's on every page, together with my
13 signature and the date.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. Now I'm not -- for reasons that the Trial Chamber
15 and the Defence counsel understand, I will not ask you about every
16 paragraph of this statement. I'm only going to ask you about certain
17 specific paragraphs. But before I do that, I just want to ask you a
18 couple of questions to kind of situate your testimony. It's true, isn't
19 it, that your statement is primarily about Okucani, which is situated in
20 an area known as Western Slavonia, correct?
21 A. It is not correct. It refers to Okucani as the local
22 municipality, but that affects through the whole territory of RSK,
23 Croatia, and the whole Yugoslavia. You had to consider the whole context
24 to go from the general to the particular, from the general to the local.
25 Q. Okay. But you agree with me that Okucani is in Western Slavonia,
2 A. Absolutely.
3 Q. And just so we are clear, the Serbian Autonomous District of
4 Western Slavonia, which is sometimes referred to as the SAO Western
5 Slavonia, was established on the 12th of August 1991, correct?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. And the president of that entity, when it was established, was
8 Veljko Dzakula, correct?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. And during 1991, during the remainder of 1991, from that date,
11 August 12th, 1991, until actually until February of 1992, the SAO Western
12 Slavonia was a separate entity from the SAO Krajina, correct? It was
13 completely a separate entity?
14 A. That is correct. It was separated and it encompassed the area of
15 Western Slavonia in the Serbian historical and ethnical boundaries but the
16 programme [indiscernible] our agenda was complementary with the areas of
17 Krajina, Banija, Kordun, Lika, et cetera, with the capital in Knin. Of
18 course, we had the same problems facing us and we could not have different
19 opinions about this.
20 Q. But just so we are clear, the individuals who were in power in
21 the SAO Krajina had no authority in the SAO Western Slavonia during 1991;
22 is that correct?
23 A. In part, because the municipality of Pakrac, which was joined by
24 Okucani and other municipalities wishing to do so, and in Daruvar, parts
25 of Daruvar municipality, those municipalities accepted the entry into the
1 Serbian Krajina, not all of them. Pakrac and Daruvar, they did.
2 Q. They did that earlier in 1991 but when the SAO Western Slavonia
3 was created in August of 1991, they joined the SAO Western Slavonia; isn't
4 that correct?
5 A. That is correct, yes.
6 Q. And just so we are clear, it was not actually until the 26th of
7 February 1992 that the SAO Western Slavonia joined together with the SAO
8 Krajina and also the SAO Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem to form what
9 then became the RSK or the Republika Srpska Krajina; is that correct?
10 A. Correct in part, because Okucani and Pakrac took part on the
11 constituent assembly on the 19th of December 1991, when the Republic of
12 Serbian Krajina was established in Knin. They sent their delegates and
13 this is how they took part.
14 Q. But other than that little clarification, what I said is correct
15 about the date when the SAO Western Slavonia joined together with the SAO
16 Krajina, correct?
17 A. Yes. The 26th of February 1992.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you.
19 MR. WHITING: Now, could we go into private session, please.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session?
21 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Whiting?
1 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Now, I want to -- in paragraph 13 of your statement, and you'll
3 see I've skipped a number of paragraphs but moving to paragraph 13 of your
4 statement, you say that Croatia pushed the Serbs into separatism. But
5 isn't it true, sir, that in 1991, the Croatian side offered forms of
6 autonomy to the Serb side in Croatia?
7 A. Sincerely, nothing was offered apart from the establishment of a
8 body which was supposed to prepare the background materials to define some
9 sort of an autonomy but I do believe that this was just a foil to improve
10 the image towards the international community, but there was nothing
11 material in it.
12 MR. WHITING: Could we go into private session, please,
13 Your Honour? I'm sorry to keep doing this.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine. May the Chamber please move into
15 private session?
16 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are back in open session.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Whiting?
24 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Sir, we are talking about now about a meeting that occurred around
1 the 12th of March 1991, between Tudjman and some Serb leaders in Croatia.
2 Isn't it a fact that Tudjman promised autonomy in education, culture and
3 information to the Serbs?
4 A. There was talk about that, on certain modalities of autonomy, but
5 both sides discussed that.
6 Q. Well, I'm going to press this a little bit. Isn't it true that
7 actually he promised autonomy in those areas? Not that it was just
8 discussed but that he promised it.
20 Q. Right. It really will be helpful if you could listen to my
21 question and only answer my question. Okay? Because here in your last
22 answer you've really strayed quite far from what my question was.
23 MR. WHITING: Now, with the assistance of the usher I'd like to
24 put before the witness a document and I have copies for everybody,
25 including the interpreters.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you proceed, Mr. Milovancevic, are we in
2 private or open session? We are in open session. Can we move into
3 private session, please?
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 10488-10492 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Whiting?
16 MR. WHITING: Right but just to be clear, paragraph 16 of the
17 statement for here, not the OTP statement.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
19 MR. WHITING:
20 Q. Now, would you agree with me that Serbs took control in areas
21 where they were the majority as early as August of 1990 and after that in
22 through 1991, correct? You'd agree with me about that point?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. They did, because --
1 Q. No, that's fine. Then in -- also in 1990 and into 1991, the Serbs
2 in the majority Serb areas started to create political structures, in June
3 of 1990, for example, the association of Northern Dalmatia and Lika was
4 created. And then in December of 1990, the SAO Krajina was established.
5 So they started to create political structures in those Serb areas,
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. And you say in your statement here in paragraph 16 that they
9 had -- or that they tried to link up the territories where they were the
10 majority. Now, in other words, they had to link up Serb territories that
11 were separated by areas where Croats were the majority, correct?
12 A. Yes. To link up those Serb territories that can be smoothly
13 linked up.
14 Q. And the goal was to create a contiguous state of Serb territories?
15 A. I don't think I ever mentioned the word "state." We are speaking
16 of territories.
17 Q. Well, the goal, what I'm putting to you is that the goal of
18 linking up these territories was to create a contiguous territory where
19 Serbs were the majority and where they would have their political
20 structures and where they would have ultimately their own state, correct?
21 A. There was no mention of the state. This was a reaction to the
22 Croatian policies which excommunicated the Serbs from the Croatian
24 Q. Let's put aside the concept of a state for a moment and let's put
25 aside the reason that this may have been done. All I'm trying to
1 establish with you is that you would agree with me that the goal was to
2 connect together these Serb territories into a contiguous territory
3 where -- where they could have their political structures as they were
4 being formed in 1990 and 1991, correct?
5 A. This was a rational solution. Any other solution would have ended
6 up in anarchy and absence of rule of law.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Should that be taken as a yes?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is -- well, had these
9 territories not been linked up, how would key have been able to have vital
10 institutions? Because Croatia had discontinued the payment of salaries to
11 public agencies, the payment of pensions to the pensioners, Serbs found
12 themselves in a ghetto where they had to interconnect themselves to
13 function at the local level.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: We understand all that. If we go on like this we
15 may not finish. My question was very simple. Shall we accept that first
16 answer as a yes to the question that was put to you? The question that
17 was put to you required either a yes or a no, and you said --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. But these
19 are not exact sciences and where my answer would be yes or no. It can't
20 be given a yes or no answer.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that some questions may not be given a
22 yes or no answer but there is one of those few that can. The question was
23 simply that you would agree with the Prosecutor that the goal was to
24 connect together these Serb territories into a contiguous territory where
25 they were -- where they could have their political structures as they were
1 being formed in 1990 and 1991. Now, either that is correct or it is not
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. To be linked up with a view to
4 meeting the needs of the population inhabiting the areas.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The purpose is something else, but -- why these had
6 to be put together, these territories, is something else, but before they
7 could be put -- before you could accept that, you could achieve that
8 purpose, these territories had to be put together, like indeed you finally
9 got the SAO Krajina, the SAO Western Slavonia, and the others, into the
10 RSK. That was the natural progression. Is that correct? And I think
11 it's not difficult to say whether it was or was not correct. Whether it
12 is correct.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's correct, as I said in
14 order to organise life in the area that was the precondition for it.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like to talk about the reason that it was done
18 because you have insisted in your answers again and again and you say to
19 be fair in your statement that it was a defensive action by the Serbs,
20 but, sir, are you aware that in May of 1991, Milan Babic told the assembly
21 in the SAO Krajina -- and maybe you won't be aware of this because it was
22 in the Krajina -- that the Krajina belonged ethnically and historically
23 with Serbia?
24 MR. WHITING: This is a reference to Exhibit 955, Your Honours.
25 Q. Are you aware that he told the assembly that?
1 A. I'm not aware of that, and it is not my intention to be the censor
2 of his statements.
3 Q. Are you aware that Milan Babic, as the president of the SAO
4 Krajina, held that view, that joining together the Krajina with its
5 majority-Serb area with Serbia was a historically determined act?
6 A. I do know that this was his idea, and in some ways an intention on
7 his part, which dictated some of his moves. However, I cannot comment on
8 his thoughts. The Serbian people found it hard to get reconciled with the
9 break-up of Yugoslavia, and that was why certain steps were taken because
10 the Serbian people did not live in one state. They were scattered
11 throughout the country.
12 Q. Okay. Let's look -- go to paragraph 21 of your statement here,
13 that's been admitted into evidence here, and do you have that in front of
14 you? And I just want to make sure you're looking at the correct
15 statement. It's the one that you signed --
16 A. This latest statement? Not the one given to the OTP?
17 Q. That's right, the latest one, the one signed today.
18 And you say in that statement, and I'm going to read it out
19 because I want to compare it to something you said earlier, you say
20 that, "On the 14th or 15th of August, the Croatian police entered Okucani
21 with personnel carriers and a large number of vehicles. Via megaphone,
22 they asked the people to surrender their weapons, called on them to be
23 loyal to the Croatian state and authorities, and as far as I remember,
24 there was shooting near the house of Nikola Metijevic [phoen] who was bed
25 ridden. The provocation and demonstration of force caused the reaction on
1 the Serbian side and the Serbs fired on a personnel carrier from a rocket
2 launcher but the shell missed its target and hit a Serbian house."
3 Now, if you wouldn't mind, could we look, please, at how you
4 described this same incident in your statement to the OTP? And it's
5 paragraph 18 of that statement, and if we could start from the fourth
6 sentence, which starts, "The very first conflict happened on the 15th of
7 August because on the 14th of August, the Croats came to Okucani in the
8 APCs, vehicles, the Croatian police went in the house of Milenko Miljevic,
9 who was an electrician, and searched the house for weapons. At that time
10 Croatia was not internationally recognised and for the Serbs these
11 operations were considered illegal and abuses. The Croatian police were
12 supposed to operate in accordance with the legislation in the Socialist
13 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. From the legal point of view, the
14 Croatian police were abusing and harassing the Serbian population."
15 Now, these two versions, I put to you, of what happened on August
16 14th, the one that is in your statement is in evidence here today and the
17 one that you gave to the OTP are quite different. Can you tell us which
18 one is true?
19 A. I wouldn't agree with you that the accounts are different. It is
20 only that Milenko Miljevic was mentioned here. I mentioned the APC. The
21 megaphone over which persons were called upon to surrender weapons. Well,
22 did you really expect the Serbs to oppose the Croatian paramilitary forces
23 which had been illegally arming themselves with slings?
24 Q. Well, sir, let's try to be a little precise about the differences
25 between these two statements. In your statement you give here today, it's
1 very broadly put that the Croatian police came in and via megaphone asked
2 everybody to surrender their weapons, and called on them to be loyal, and
3 there was shooting and that this was a provocation and demonstration of
4 force but in the OTP statement, what you say is that the Croatian police
5 came in for a very specific purpose, to search a house for weapons and
6 that this was considered offensive because the Croatia was not
7 internationally recognised. And that this was -- this search for weapons
8 was considered abusive. So those are really two very different things.
9 Now, can you tell us which account, what really happened? Was it the
10 account, this broad account that you have given in your statement to the
11 Court or was it this more specific event that you gave in your OTP
13 A. These are not two different things. I wouldn't agree with you.
14 We were maintaining peace in the area of Okucani in agreement with the
15 Nova Gradiska authorities. Our verbal agreement meant that they should
16 not be sending members of the Croatian police who had new insignia to
17 Okucani because this caused revolt on the part of the Serbs. However,
18 there came this order from Zagreb that they should enter the area and this
19 provoked the conflict. I believe that this was a move on the part of the
20 Croatian authorities which was rash because that was the area where at one
21 time 90 per cent Serbs lived.
22 Q. But, sir, can you tell me where in the OTP account you say that
23 they -- the Croat authorities via megaphone asked the people to surrender
24 their weapons? Can you show me where that is said in the OTP statement?
25 A. It doesn't say that. However, regardless of that, it's a point of
1 fact, and it doesn't matter in it's contained here or there.
2 Q. Well, it's kind of an important fact, isn't it? Why is that left
3 out of your account that you gave to the OTP? Isn't that in fact --
4 wouldn't that be the most important fact about this event?
5 A. I don't think so. The important thing is that there was a show of
6 force, which expressed itself in the form of APCs, calls upon the
7 surrendering of weapons, whether a megaphone is mentioned or not is not
8 something that would determine the fate of Western Slavonia.
9 Q. But, sir, did that really happen? Was there really a call for
10 surrender of weapons or was it, as you describe in your OTP statement,
11 simply an operation to do a specific search for weapons at a particular
13 A. Well, no. There wasn't a specific house, but the person involved
14 had hunting rifles. He was a hunter. That's why. This was just a show
15 of force.
16 Q. What you describe as a show of force was that the Croatian
17 authorities went to this house of Milenko Miljevic, who was an
18 electrician, and searched his house for weapons. That's what was a show
19 of force, correct?
20 A. Yes. But this did not involve only one house. His father,
21 Nikola, lay in bed. He was bed ridden and the person wasn't at home.
22 Miroslav Zupancic an HDZ MP, who was a sculptor, I think, he was on the
23 APC and together with another person he called on the local population to
24 be loyal to the Croatian authorities. I was there and I saw that. It was
25 just a show of force.
1 Q. But that last little part that you've provided to us, was that --
2 that's not in your OTP statement, is it? You don't talk about that in
3 your OTP statement, do you, sir?
4 A. Mr. Prosecutor, if I were to detail everything, I would end up
5 writing a novel longer -- a novel that would be longer than "War and
6 Peace" by Tolstoy.
7 Q. I appreciate the sense of humour as much as anybody but the truth
8 is that your statement that's in evidence in this court is only nine
9 pages, far short of War and Peace, isn't that true, sir? And you found
10 room in this statement to talk about the megaphone and the surrendering of
11 weapons and so forth.
12 A. Yes. Nine pages. (redacted)
14 Q. Okay. Now, is it true, what you say in paragraph 19 of your OTP
15 statement, that on the 15th of August 1991, 50 young Serbs tried to
16 liberate Okucani, and there was an exchange of fire with the ZNG and the
17 Croatian police? Is that true, sir?
18 A. Yes, that's true.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt? Are we in private session?
20 MR. WHITING: No.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we move into private session, please?
22 [Private session]
11 Page 10502 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Whiting, you may
8 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry for the interruption.
10 MR. WHITING: Thank you.
11 Q. Now, could we look at -- well, after this event occurred in
12 Okucani and the clash occurred there in the middle of August of 1991, the
13 Presidency of the SFRY intervened; is that correct, sir?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And if we could look at paragraph 23 of your -- what I'll call
16 your trial statement, we'll call the statement you signed today your trial
17 statement and your other statement your OTP statement, just so we can keep
18 them straight and if you could look at paragraph 23 of your trial
19 statement, you say that the Presidency delegation took the view that blame
20 was to be equally apportioned to two sides but that you objected because
21 the Croats had come to a purely Serb area and flexed their muscles. So is
22 it your view, sir, that where Serbs were in the majority, Serbs should
23 have been left alone and the Croat authorities should have stayed away?
24 Is that your view of what -- how things should have been done in August of
1 A. It is. This is what I think. Croatian forces should not have
2 come to the area of Okucani because it was calm. There was no reason for
3 the arrival of Croatian police forces. Nothing had happened.
4 Q. Well wait a minute. That's a different statement than what's why
5 in your trial statement of paragraph 23. You say we objected because
6 Croats had come to a purely Serbian area and flexed their muscles.
7 And that's what you objected to, correct?
8 A. That is correct because there was no need for them to come into
9 Okucani. It was tantamount to intimidation, harassment of the population,
10 spreading fear, doubt. Had anything in the form of an incident happened,
11 then we would have invited them. We had agreement with Nova Gradiska, an
12 oral agreement, for Serb policemen to be sent into Okucani because some
13 Serb policemen still worked in Nova Gradiska police station.
14 Q. Well, sir, let's explore that a little bit. You say there was no
15 reason but from your own account about there event of why the Croatian
16 authorities came to Okucani, it was in order to search for weapons. That
17 is a legitimate reason for the police authorities to act, correct? So
18 they in fact did have a reason to come, didn't they?
19 A. No. They did not have any reason to come in that way, because it
20 was a public secret that at the same time both sides had already been
21 armed. But it could -- could have transpired that a balance of fear could
22 have been created to avoid the use of weapons. The arrival of the
23 Croatian police there was with the sole aim of provoking a conflict and
24 that would lead to what which really happened later on.
25 Q. So -- let me just see if I understand you. Really, aren't you
1 saying that the Croat authorities should have just left the Serbs alone,
2 even if they had weapons, they should have just left them alone, in the
3 Serb-majority areas? Isn't that really what you're saying?
4 A. Yes. They should have -- should not have -- they should have left
5 them alone and when preconditions had been created for negotiations, some
6 compromise could have been reached and it's better to negotiate for 100
7 days rather than to fight a war for a single day, but Croatian Democratic
8 Union had promised Croatia, Croatia to Croatians. Serbs were no longer
9 constituent people and they lost Croatia as soon as they no longer were a
10 constituent nation.
11 Q. Sir, again, please just focus on my questions. You fully answered
12 that question when you said the word "yes." Okay? And all of the rest of
13 it really was not necessary.
14 Now, did you have the same view of Serb authorities going into
15 majority-Croat areas? Did you think that the Serb authorities should have
16 stayed out of the Croat areas and just left them alone in the same way?
17 A. I always had a clear and unambiguous position. I do not apply
18 double standards. Only one standard, one principle, and it applies to
19 both Croatians, Serbs, Czechs, Slovakians, Hungarians, this is what I
20 required [as interpreted] through my education and my democratic outlook
21 on the world.
22 Q. So the answer to my question is yes, you had the same view of Serb
23 authorities going into majority-Croat areas?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 23, you explain -- of your trial
1 statement, you explain that a buffer zone was created by the JNA,
3 A. That is correct, yes.
4 Q. And then you say, in paragraph 24, that General Raseta flew by
5 helicopter from Zagreb to Okucani and that his helicopter was shot at; is
6 that correct?
7 A. Yes, but this is not the same event. General Raseta came with
8 Henri Wijnaendts from the European Community. He came in his company to
9 negotiate. Those two events do not have anything in common.
10 Q. No, but what I was focused at is that you say his helicopter was
11 shot at and you say further that it was shot at by members of the ZNG.
12 A. This is correct, from Gornji Bogicevci at that time Croatian
13 police, and the National Guards Corps held the Croatian village of Gornji
14 Bogicevci near Okucani and this is from where the helicopter was fired at.
15 Q. And then you say, as a result of this, there was an offensive
16 launched by the Okucani Territorial Defence and part of the Banja Luka
17 Corps of the JNA, correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. So let me just get clear on this. The helicopter is fired at and
20 this then results in an offensive by the Territorial Defence and the JNA,
21 which resulted in the Croat forces withdrawing?
22 A. You draw an incorrect conclusion from incorrect premises. We are
23 talking about the Territorial Defence of Okucani, who set out to liberate
24 Okucani from Croatian police forces.
25 Q. Well, I'm not sure what was the incorrect premise and what was the
1 incorrect conclusion. I was just tracking what you say in your statement.
2 Isn't it -- didn't you just agree with me that the helicopter was fired at
3 and, as a result of that, an offensive was launched by the Territorial
4 Defence and the JNA? And that as a result of that offensive, the Croatian
5 forces withdrew? Isn't that right?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think the witness --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, by no means.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness just said the TO in his answer at line
9 16 -- wait a minute. At line 12. Wait a minute. What am I looking at?
10 Yes, line 19. We are talking about the Territorial Defence of Okucani who
11 set out to liberate Okucani from Croatian police. He seems to exclude the
12 JNA. And your question --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no JNA, no.
14 MR. WHITING:
15 Q. Okay. Let me explore that. Thank you, Your Honour. I
16 appreciates that?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would like to know what the Banja Luka Corps --
18 MR. WHITING: That's going to be my next question, too.
19 Q. Can you -- let's look at paragraph 25 of your trial statement.
20 You say -- before we do, let me just get clear on one thing. The reason
21 the offensive occurred, we will talk about who participated in the
22 offensive but the reason the offensive occurred was because the helicopter
23 was fired at; is that correct?
24 A. It has no connection with that, this helicopter. You are adamant
25 in not understanding what I'm saying to you. Why would an attack ensue
1 from firing at the helicopter carrying General Raseta and Henri
2 Wijnaendts? No. There was a group of young TO from Okucani in the area
3 of the Psunj mountain and they exercised their right to liberate their own
4 hometowns and attacked them.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: But let me just --
6 MR. WHITING: Well, no, Your Honour, if you -- if I may.
7 Q. First, I'm sorry if I misunderstood you, sir, but you had agreed
8 with me earlier that the attack occurred as a result of the attack on the
9 helicopter, but now you've clarified your answer and if we could just be
10 clear now, the -- you say that the attack was by the --
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, I apologise. An
12 objection, Your Honour. I don't know whether it was translated verbatim
13 but I understand the witness's language. This was what he said: The
14 offensive at Okucani had nothing to do with the helicopter.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It has nothing to do with the
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's true, but that's not what Mr. Whiting was
18 talking about. Mr. Whiting was talking about the shooting at the
19 helicopter being a cause for the offensive, a reason for the offensive.
20 MR. WHITING: And, Your Honour, if I may, what I was referring to
21 is at page 52, line 12, where I said, my question was, "and then you say
22 as a result of this there was an offensive launched by the Okucani
23 Territorial Defence and part of the Banja Luka Corps of the JNA, correct?"
24 The answer was: "That's correct."
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which line?
1 MR. WHITING: It's line 12 of page 52. So I -- but I appreciate
2 that he now says that that it was not the cause for the attack or what's
3 that I --
4 Q. Let me just see if I can press --
5 A. These are two incompatible events.
6 Q. Okay. So let's -- what was the reason for the attack by the TO of
7 Okucani on the Croatian police? What was the reason for that?
8 A. The reason was a patriotic one and a heroic one because parents,
9 sisters, brothers, of the TO of Okucani who had withdrawn and retreated to
10 Psunj area, they were under lock and key of the Croatian force, they
11 thought it their democratic right to liberate their own home town; in my
12 opinion, that's a basic right.
13 Q. Okay. But what about the JNA buffer zone?
14 A. The JNA had not arrived. This was conflict of the ones and the
15 others. Then Varazdin Corps of the JNA, a tank unit, arrived to create a
16 buffer zone before the -- between the two sides. What you are referring
17 to occurred after the arrival of a delegation of the assembly of
18 Yugoslavia, Presidency of Yugoslavia, and the General Staff of Yugoslavia.
19 And as a consequence of that conflict, they were sent to come here.
20 Q. Sir, please, we are going to have to take a break in a moment but
21 let me just see if I can get the sequence of events right. Didn't the
22 buffer zone -- wasn't the -- didn't the JNA establish the buffer zone and
23 then after that, the -- there was the shooting of the helicopter and then
24 after that, there was the attack, the offensive, by the Okucani
25 Territorial Defence? Just the sequence of events occurred in that order,
2 A. No, no. This is the sequence: First, show of force on the part
3 of the Croatian police. Second, attack by the Territorial Defence of
4 Okucani on the Croatian police to push them away from Okucani and villages
5 around Okucani. They withdrew two days after, well, after first
6 skirmishes, really. Then, third, delegations of the assembly Presidency
7 and General Staff of Yugoslavia coming here and 15, 20 days ago, later,
8 helicopter carrying General Raseta and Henri Wijnaendts was fired at, and
9 they came here to discuss modalities of organising the life in the areas
10 of Serbs in Croatia.
11 MR. WHITING: Well we are going to have to look a little more
12 carefully at your statement then. If we could take the break, Your
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. The Court is going to take a
15 short break. We'll come back at quarter to 6.00. Court adjourned.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting. We are reaching the halfway mark in
19 15 minutes' time.
20 MR. WHITING: The halfway mark of what, Your Honour?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of the witness's time.
22 MR. WHITING: Well, Your Honour, that was a time that was set not
23 by us or not by any -- that was just a time that was arbitrarily set by
24 the Defence and I'm going to need a lot more time and I'm also advised,
25 and I don't think Mr. Milovancevic will mind if I say this, that I don't
1 think the next witness is available until Friday and so I think there will
2 be plenty of time to cross-examine the witness. But we never agreed to
3 that time limit and I don't think the time limit was the -- I don't think
4 the time limit was appropriate for this witness.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: But are you saying you're not bound by it now
6 because you never agreed to it.
7 MR. WHITING: Well, what I'm saying -- I'm not sure --
8 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: It seems to be more a joint application. You're
9 trying to turn it into a joint application.
10 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour, for rescuing me.
11 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: No, I'm not.
12 MR. WHITING: Well, Your Honour, all I mean is -- all I mean is
13 that I don't think that we, in this scenario, with a 92 ter witness, where
14 the statement comes into evidence, that we can just automatically be bound
15 by what the Defence says should be our amount of time for
16 cross-examination. And what I'm suggesting is that we are going to need
17 more time to cross-examine.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's not your time for cross examination only.
19 It's your time for cross-examine, for them to re-examine, for the Bench to
20 ask questions, and for the questions arising. You may proceed,
21 Mr. Whiting.
22 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Witness, I just want to see if I can establish the sequence --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your learned friend is on his feet.
25 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence's position is, as
2 always, the Defence has agreed for the Prosecutor to use the time as much
3 as he needs. It is in our best interests to make matters clear. But the
4 statement that we arbitrarily set the time is, to say the least, that it
5 lacks precision. We have moved within certain limits, certain boundaries,
6 and I believe that my learned colleague is going to accept that.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would agree with you, Mr. Milovancevic. Thank
8 you very much.
9 Mr. Whiting, you may proceed.
10 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Witness, let me see if we can -- if I can quickly try to establish
12 the sequence here and I'm going to do with it reference to your trial
13 statement and if you could look at it, in paragraph 21 -- do you have it
14 in front of you? The trial statement. Paragraph 21, you talk about the
15 events that occur on the 14th or 15th of August 1991, the Croatian police
16 entering, and in the last sentence you say, "The TO was alerted and
17 after -- after they appeared, the Croatian police withdrew." Then in
18 paragraph 22, you say, "The Presidency of the SFRY intervened in the
19 conflict." Do you see that, sir?
20 A. Yes, I can see that.
21 Q. Then, in paragraph 23, you talk a little bit more about the
22 Presidency delegation and about two-thirds of the way into the paragraph,
23 you say, "That a tank unit or platoon led by Lieutenant Celeketic was sent
24 from the Varazdin Corps and the Biljaver [phoen] barracks and created a
25 buffer zone." Do you see that, sir? You're nodding your head yes?
1 A. I can see that, yes.
2 Q. And then in paragraph 24 you say, "After that, General Raseta came
3 by helicopter and the helicopter was fired at." Do you see that, sir?
4 A. I can see that.
5 Q. And then in paragraph 25, and this is what I was trying to talk
6 about, you say, "These events were followed by an offensive of the Okucani
7 TO and part of the Banja Luka Corps." Do you see that, sir?
8 A. I can see that as well.
9 Q. Okay. And is that the sequence of events as they occurred?
10 A. This was the sequence of events.
11 Q. Okay. Now, if we could focus just for a moment on the offensive
12 of the Okucani TO and part of the Banja Luka Corps, first of all, the
13 Banja Luka Corps is a corps of the JNA, correct?
14 A. That is correct, yes.
15 Q. And what was the reason for this offensive?
16 A. Let me tell you another distinction to distinguish these things.
17 In the first instance, the TO of Okucani drives the Croatian police from
18 the territory of Okucani --
19 Q. Sir, as you've probably gathered, we have a limited time here,
20 okay? So, please, please, just focus on my question and answer my
21 question. My question is: The offensive that you refer to in paragraph
22 25, the offensive of the Okucani TO and part of the Banja Luka Corps, what
23 was the reason for that offensive?
24 A. To drive the Croatian police and the ZNG from the area of Serbian
25 villages that were part of the Okucani municipality. They were driven out
1 of Okucani proper after two days.
2 Q. And this offensive occurred despite the fact that the JNA had come
3 there to act as a buffer, correct?
4 A. They were not buffer zone from the very beginning because the
5 Croatian side opened fire at the JNA, at the people maintaining the buffer
6 zone. The Croats fired at them because they did not accept them as
7 somebody to maintain a buffer zone but they saw them as an enemy, and that
8 is the truth.
9 Q. Well, sir, the only firing that you describe in your statement is
10 this firing that occurred on the helicopter of General Raseta, and you
11 described that in paragraph 24. You don't describe any other firing
12 except for that. Is that the firing that you're referring to that led to
13 the offensive that you describe in paragraph 25?
14 A. But, Mr. Prosecutor, I do not see any reason for the TO to launch
15 an offensive because -- just because somebody fired at a helicopter
16 carrying General Raseta and Wijnaendts. They set out to liberate the
17 villages, Serb villages, from the ZNG and Croatian police. They were
18 there to liberate their own home villages, their homes, their houses.
19 Q. Okay. Now, after that offensive occurred, is it fair to say that
20 the TO and the Banja Luka Corps took control of the area of Donji Caglic,
21 which is north of Okucani?
22 A. Donji Caglic.
23 Q. Thank you for the help on the pronunciation, but the answer to the
24 question is yes, they took control of that area, correct, the TO and the
25 Banja Luka Corps?
1 A. No Banja Luka Corps. They did not reach that far.
2 Q. So it was just the TO that reached that far?
3 A. Yes. This is a Serbian village. Territorial Defence controlled
4 their own village. And that is part of the Pakrac, not the Okucani,
6 Q. And after that occurred, in -- after August -- mid-August of
7 1991, up until, say, October of 1991, there were Croat civilians who were
8 killed in Donja Caglic?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Caglic, if I may assist.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not known to me. I know that
11 Gornje and Donji Caglic in one village there was some Croats. The other
12 was a purely ethnic Serb village. This was not known to me. This was the
13 zone of responsibility of the Territorial Defence of Pakrac.
14 MR. WHITING:
15 Q. Is it known to -- all these questions are going to be about the
16 time period between the middle of August 1991 until, say, the end of
17 October 1991. Is it known to you that in the Cetekovac area, which is
18 near Nova Bukovica and Slatina, that crimes were committed against Croats
19 by the local commander and by the TO? Is that known to you?
20 A. I heard that, I don't know the details. That's 70 -- 60, 70
21 kilometres away from Okucani.
22 Q. And did you also hear or know that in the villages of Korlog
23 [phoen] and Cetekovac, which I just asked you about, and at Belinci that
24 killings of Croat civilians occurred at the beginning of October of 1991?
25 Did you hear about that, sir?
1 A. No, I did not. No. I read it later in the press, but it was
2 unknown to me.
3 Q. When did you read it in the press and which press?
4 A. I read it from Croatian newspapers. I read Croatian newspapers
5 over the internet and this is when I read that. I heard stories about
6 some crimes but I don't know if it would be material for me to talk about
7 that because I wasn't a participant. It was far away from me.
8 Q. Just focus on my questions. You told us that you read it in the
9 Croatian newspapers. When did you read it in the Croatian newspapers?
10 A. I read that after war ended, some articles about the war
11 operations, and this is where I read that.
12 Q. You've answered the question. Thank you. Did you know at the
13 time or later that during this same time period in 1991, there was a
14 prison in the Bucje area which is just north of Pakrac, where -- and it's
15 spelled B-u-c-j-e -- where Croat civilians were held?
16 A. Bucje.
17 Q. Thank you, Bucje, where Croat civilians were held and were killed?
18 A. No. I never went to Bucje. I know that the headquarters of the
19 Western Slavonia Territorial Defence was there but since the Territorial
20 Defence did not accept to be within the single Territorial Defence of
21 Western Slavonia, I never went there. I heard talk about Dr. Sreter from
22 Pakrac. I heard that Dr. Sreter was killed. (redacted)
6 Q. Sir, please, let's stay on the point, please. This Dr. Sreter is
7 he a Croat or a Serb?
8 A. He's a Croat. He was the president of the HDZ in Pakrac.
9 Q. And your testimony is that he was killed and was that while he was
10 being detained?
11 A. I suppose so. I don't know. I can't claim something I'm not
12 privy to. I wasn't there.
13 Q. Okay. But you know that he was killed?
14 A. Yes. I know that for a fact.
15 Q. And you know that he was a prisoner of the Serb forces?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Okay.
18 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think it might be prudent to have a
19 redaction at lines 21, that sentence that starts, "At that time." I think
20 perhaps would be prudent to redact.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting. May that
22 sentence at line 21 starting with "at that time," up to probably -- up to
23 where, Mr. Whiting? Up to page 63, line 4.
24 MR. WHITING: That would be fine, yes.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will redact that part. Let me just get
1 clarification anyway. You say, sir, that Dr. Sreter was killed and you
2 wanted an exchange of doctors with Dr. Spiro Kostic. How do you exchange
3 a living doctor for a corpse?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you. May we also redact the line that
8 the witness has just mentioned?
9 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Now, are you also -- were you also aware at the time that there
11 was a -- and this is again in 1991 -- there it was a detention facility in
12 Stara Gradiska which is just south of Okucani which was operated by the
13 Banja Luka Corps and where Croat civilians were held and killed? Were you
14 aware of that?
15 A. No. I'm not aware of that. The Croatian prisoners were situated
16 in the police station building in Okucani initially.
17 Q. Okay. You're certainly aware, sir, aren't you, that in areas that
18 were controlled by Serb forces at the time, in Western Slavonia, Catholic
19 churches were destroyed and Croat civilians were expelled from those
20 areas, right? You know that?
21 A. I know that churches were destroyed. I condemned such acts. But
22 those were quite hairy situations at the time, to condemn such acts, and I
23 was warned from different quarters to not give such statements because
24 they had also been destroying our churches.
25 Q. Okay. And when you say that the Catholic churches were destroyed,
1 just so we are clear, they were destroyed by Serb forces, correct?
2 A. This was no planned policy of any sort. We should not try and
3 idealise the situation.
4 Q. Sir, you're answering a different question than the one I put to
5 you. All I asked you -- I didn't ask you if it was planned or anything.
6 All I asked you was that they were destroyed by Serb forces, correct? You
7 certainly agree with me about that?
8 A. Individuals and groups that were out of anybody's control were
9 behind these acts. This was no policy pursued by official authorities,
10 and I mean the destruction of churches.
11 Q. Well, these individuals and groups were within the armed forces,
12 within the JNA or the Territorial Defence, correct? Whether they were
13 under someone's control or not, they were certainly armed forces within
14 the TO or the JNA, right?
15 A. Yes. They had uniforms and rifles.
16 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, in the second part of September of
17 1991, volunteers from Vojislav Seselj's Serbian Radical Party came through
18 Okucani on their way to Pakrac and you heard that they were going to the
19 Podravska Slatina area, right?
20 A. Yes. That's what I heard.
21 Q. And these volunteers came in two buses and they were more like a
22 gang than soldiers, right?
23 A. That was my personal assessment. That was the first impression I
25 Q. And it was also your assessment, was it not, that these volunteers
1 came from Serbia, right? You observed that they had -- your best memory
2 is that the licence plates on the buses were from Serbia and that they
3 spoke with a particular Serbian dialect or accent?
4 A. Ekavian. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Thank you. I'm not sure I understood the first part of the
6 interpreter's answer. Ekavian?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Dialect.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dialect, Ekavian dialect.
9 MR. WHITING: All right, now I understand, thank you very much.
10 Q. Now, the Seselj's volunteers did not stay in Okucani in September
11 but they did come to Okucani in November of 1991, right?
12 A. Yes. A smaller group arrived in Okucani.
13 Q. And they stayed in the elementary school in Okucani and they
14 destroyed the equipment there and the infrastructure and they stole
15 things, isn't that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And they went to the front line at Masicka Sargovina which is near
18 Nova Gradiska, right?
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour?
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I have an objection.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm under the impression that
24 my learned friend, Mr. Whiting, came totally out of the scope of the
25 statement of this witness, completely out of the scope of the statement.
1 Seselj is not the accused in this case, and none of these events are
2 alleged in the indictment. I don't see where the Prosecutor is going. I
3 don't know.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting?
5 MR. WHITING: Well, Your Honour, it's a little odd to make that
6 objection since the witness's statement is about Western Slavonia, which
7 is also in 1991, which is also not a subject of the indictment, and so --
8 and yet the witness has himself said that it was some of the same things
9 were going on and it seems to me that the assistance which may have been
10 coming from Serbia is relevant. But certainly if that's not relevant, I'm
11 not sure what is with respect to this witness, but I'm nearly done with
12 this section. I just have a -- I actually just have -- I have two more
13 questions about it and that's all.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic?
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the
16 term "volunteers" rules out any possibility of them being a group coming
17 in aid of anyone. The gist of my objection is that my learned friend is
18 entitled to double check all the parts of the statement and, of course,
19 when he comes to a topic arising from the statement, then this is -- it's
20 quite possible for him to proceed. However, if he touches upon topics
21 that are not contained in the statement at all, now, this is improper.
22 Secondly, if my learned friend is going to be referring to
23 volunteers, then these volunteers cannot be linked with any given state.
24 They are not volunteers coming from Serbia. They are volunteers. Now,
25 why they left, under what circumstances, is something that the learned
1 friend should explore with the witness. But he is not entitled to say
2 himself that these were volunteers coming from Serbia. This is tantamount
3 to testimony.
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I know you don't want back and forth
5 but now the objection has changed.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's my concern. And I was ready to rule. Now
7 the change makes it difficult for me to rule.
8 MR. WHITING: I am -- I put to the witness that the volunteers had
9 come from Serbia and the witness agreed with me so that's now the
10 witness's testimony. And I would submit that it's the -- it's Defence
11 counsel who is now starting to once again suggest answers to the witness
12 about these volunteers. And as far as it going outside the scope of the
13 statement, I don't believe we've ever been limited to the scope of direct
14 examination. We have an obligation, in fact, to put our case and put
15 relevant facts to the witness. I submit that these are relevant and as I
16 said I'm almost done with them.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The objection is sustained.
18 MR. WHITING: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Sir, in paragraph 27 of your trial statement, you state that the
20 Geneva Conventions were copied and distributed to the military and the
21 police on your side. Do you see that, sir? Who did that? Who copied
22 and distributed them?
23 A. I did because I studied the -- I had interest in international law
24 and I knew of the Geneva Conventions so I copied them and distributed
1 Q. And do you know if that was done in other areas, for example, in
2 the SAO Krajina, at the same time in 1991?
3 A. I don't know. Because this was an initiative on my part.
4 MR. WHITING: Could we go into private session, please?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
6 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours we are back in open session.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. In paragraph 43 of your trial statement, you state that in the
22 beginning of the summer of 1992, all the routes between Serbia and the RSK
23 were cut off in Bosnia-Herzegovina so the RSK government decided to
24 intervene and lift the blockade. Do you see that, sir? You're nodding
25 your head but again that's not recorded?
1 A. Yes, I see that.
2 Q. You know, don't you, sir, that it was a long-standing goal,
3 certainly from 1991, of the Serb leaders in the SAO Krajina, and in Serb
4 areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to link together territorially Serbia,
5 the Serb areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the areas of the RSK, including
6 the SAO Krajina, right?
7 A. This was an action aimed at lifting the siege in order to enable
8 the wounded --
9 Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you because that's not answering my
10 question. My question is you know that back from 1991, it was a goal of
11 the Serb leaders in the SAO Krajina, and in the Serb areas in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to link together territorially Serbia, the Serb areas
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the SAO Krajina.
14 A. That wasn't the goal. The goal of the then Serbian leaderships
15 was to preserve Yugoslavia and that this would be done with those who so
17 Q. And so you're denying that it was a goal to link together
18 territorially those areas, those Serb areas? You're denying that that was
19 a goal in 1991 of Serb leaders?
20 A. The goal was to preserve the Serb people within the borders of
21 Yugoslavia, to prevent it from being dispersed.
22 Q. Okay. I appreciate that but that's not really a response to my
23 question. Are you denying that it was also a goal in 1991 of the Serb
24 leaders to link together territorially the SAO Krajina, the Serb areas of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia?
1 A. To establish a functioning link, in order to enable the essential
2 services to operate.
3 Q. That was a goal, correct?
4 A. Yes, to establish a functioning link, as I said, in order for
5 students to be able to go to Belgrade to study there, in order for the
6 wounded and sick to be able to have treatments. Why shouldn't this be
7 legitimate to have a link?
8 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Mr. Whiting, didn't the witness make a very
9 important remark to make it more precise, in page 70, line 15 to 17, when
10 he said that wasn't the goal, the goal of the then Serbian leaderships was
11 to preserve Yugoslavia and that this would be done with those who so wish?
12 Can you maybe use this as a foundation for the -- for one of your next
13 questions? Or do you not regard it relevant?
14 MR. WHITING: Maybe I'm too focused on my question to -- but I'm
15 happy for Your Honour to pursue it because I'm not sure how to take it
16 further but I'm -- but I may be missing it.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe just pursue your questions. Maybe Your
18 Honour may deal with it later.
19 MR. WHITING: Okay.
20 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Okay.
21 MR. WHITING: Thank you.
22 Q. And when you say, sir, a functioning link, let's just be clear,
23 you're talking about a territorial link, correct?
24 A. To be able to safely move from Okucani Oknin [phoen] to Belgrade.
25 Q. So the answer is yes, you're talking about a territorial link?
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, of course.
2 MR. WHITING: Thank you.
3 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Witness, I know that these matters are dear
4 to your heart but you must try to get not so excited when you answer.
5 Just cool down a little bit, and simmer down, and field the learned
6 prosecutor's questions calmly, not quite so effusive.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm sure the interpreters
8 and the Court reporter will be most grateful for the intervention. Thank
10 Q. Now, sir you state in paragraph 45 of your trial statement that
11 when Milan Martic returned from the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992,
12 he did not say anything about crimes or ethnic cleansing being committed
13 in the corridor. Did that surprise you, that he wouldn't talk about that?
14 A. No. Why?
15 Q. Okay. That's fine.
16 MR. WHITING: Could we go into private session, please?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 10527-10544 redacted. Private session.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
15 November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.