1 Friday, 10 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness enters court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
6 WITNESS: PATRICK BARRIOT [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, Mr. Barriot. I must remind you
9 that you took an oath at the beginning or made a declaration at the
10 beginning of your testimony yesterday to tell the truth, the whole truth,
11 but nothing else but the truth. You are still bound by that declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, Mr. President.
14 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 Now we were still talking yesterday, you and I, when we knocked
17 off and I was trying to understand from you that you are a man of honour,
18 you sacrificed your profession as a soldier for the sake of the truth, and
19 then you wrote this article which, according to your testimony,
20 misrepresents the role played by Mr. Martic in the shelling of Zagreb.
21 You are aware of this -- what are you going to do about it? What have you
22 done to correct this misinformation to the public?
23 A. Mr. President, I believe that there has been some confusion in
24 what we said. I do not believe it is a problem of interpretation because
25 the interpretation is excellent, so maybe I misspoke. So allow me to go
1 back on my explanations.
2 In May 1995, when the Orkan rockets were launched on Zagreb the
3 official version was that Mr. Milan Martic had ordered the firing. That
4 was the official version, the one I received initially. But very soon
5 thereafter, as I told you, I heard that the Orkan rockets were targeting
6 objects, structures, as I said yesterday.
7 I also said that if President Milan Martic had made that decision
8 it was because he did not want a subordinate to be held responsible for
9 the firing. As a president he wanted to take that responsibility and that
10 decision. This is something I learned later. At any rate, I never
11 changed what I had written. I maintain what I have written because that
12 was the official version. That was the one President Martic had agreed
13 to. Later on, I realised that he wasn't the one who had made the order.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt you, sir? I understand all what
15 you are telling me. What I'm asking you is what have you done since you
16 became aware of the correct version to correct the impression that you
17 gave to the world?
18 A. Well, I'm doing it today here before this Tribunal, because you
19 put the question to me, and I respond. I reply faithful to my conscious
20 and to my belief and to what I know.
21 Now, if Mr. Milan Martic is asking me -- or were to ask me to
22 change statement, I would do so, but I convey to you what was really --
23 what my soul and conscience was telling me. I lost everything to tell the
24 truth. I broke my career, broke my relationship. I have no interest in
25 saying anything that would be the opposite of the truth.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: This is -- yes, but I hear that you're saying you
2 are correcting your mistake here in court, but your mistake here in court
3 is only going to be heard by those who read the case -- the record of the
4 case. Those who read your article will not come to know of your
5 correction, and usually when we do make corrections of things that we put
6 in the media, the idea is to make that correction in the same medium that
7 we used when we first made the mistake.
8 A. Mr. President, I'm willing to do so, but I do not believe it is
9 that relevant. I believe what --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are very right, it is not that relevant. My
11 question actually is not in the future. I'm not asking you what you are
12 going to do. I was asking what you had done to correct because of your
13 conscience, as a man of truth.
14 Now, obviously to date you have done nothing except what you have
15 said in court. Am I right?
16 A. But I believe this is the most important thing, to tell the truth
17 on my honour in court and in front of you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: May I just ask, what the contents of what you said
20 today really mean when you said you later learned that the official
21 version was not the right one. So first, what do you mean?
22 You said the official version was Milan Martic, the accused in
23 this case, ordered that shelling. That can mean two things; that she
24 ordered -- that he ordered to hit the targets which were hit at the end of
25 the day or to indiscriminately shell Zagreb; or it can mean that somebody
1 else gave the order, because what you said was ambiguous, wasn't it?
2 A. I'm sorry if I was not clear in my statement because it is clear
3 in my mind. I learned later on in the entourage of Mr. Martic and through
4 discussion that he wasn't the one who had ordered the shelling but he had
5 taken responsibility for it because the decision had been made by a
6 subordinate, and as a president he did not want a subordinate to be held
7 responsible for a decision that he as a president had not taken.
8 JUDGE HOEPFEL: So who was it who had taken the decision,
9 according to what you had learned later?
10 A. I do not know, sir. I'm not familiar enough with the chain of
11 command in the RSK.
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I asked you what you learned later. You said you
13 learned that it was not the accused Milan Martic who gave the order. So
14 was that also part of what you learned, who else gave the order? I don't
15 mean you have to know enough about the chain of command, but just --
16 A. No, no. I do not know the name, but I know he was a subordinate.
17 JUDGE HOEPFEL: And the function and the direct subordinate or
18 whatever, you know nothing again? Again, I'm asking you once more.
19 A. No, I'm very sorry, I do not know.
20 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you. Please.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just on this last point that Mr. Milan Martic took
22 the responsibility as the president. You'd agree that in fact
23 responsibility would go to him as the president in fact and in law. Isn't
24 it so? By virtue of being the president.
25 A. In law, and also in honour, because it was a matter of defending a
1 civilian population against an aggression, and it was self-defence. It
2 was only logical and honourable to take on that responsibility.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 Any questions, Mr. Perovic?
5 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a very brief one, yes.
6 Further examination by Mr. Perovic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Barriot, yesterday in responding to the Trial
8 Chamber's questions, and I believe also during the cross-examination you
9 referred to Muslim refugees from, as you put it, the so-called Bihac
10 pocket. You refer to it a number of 40.000 such refugees?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... Bench,
12 Mr. Perovic. I don't seem to remember any of the Judges asking about the
13 Muslims, but you can remind me.
14 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Moloto, it seems
15 to me that you asked about Muslim refugees in the RSK and their position
16 in the RSK. And as far as I can remember, you asked why hadn't they gone
17 to Croatia, and my question is actually in connection with that part of
18 your question.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: My apologies.
20 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Q. Mr. Barriot, so if I understood you well, these are Muslim
22 refugees from a neighbouring country, Bosnia; is that correct?
23 A. Correct. They came from the Bihac pocket, from the area of
24 Velika Kladusa.
25 Q. In other words, these are not people who lived in the RSK before
2 A. No. They can be regarded as refugees in RSK.
3 Q. And if I got it right, as refugees they found refuge in the RSK,
5 A. Yes, indeed. They came to seek refuge in the Betanija and Turan
6 camps, and I can tell you I was there on those occasions. I visited those
7 camps. I saw the refugees with -- especially with Mr. Bertrand
8 Dupasquier, who was responsible for the UNHCR. We did see all these
10 Q. His Honour Judge Moloto asked you why had not those people gone to
11 Croatia from Bosnia. In that connection, I will ask you this question:
12 Do you know what the position was of the Croatian authorities towards a
13 possible transfer of those refugees from the Bihac pocket to Croatia?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think, Mr. Perovic, the question was why don't
15 they go to other parts of former Yugoslavia where -- whether the economic
16 situation was better than in the Krajina.
17 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Did you understand this, Mr. Barriot, the clarification of this
20 question by His Honour? So yesterday the question actually was why had
21 they gone to the RSK. Why had not they gone to Serbia, Croatia or any
22 other part of the former Yugoslavia? Can you tell us why didn't they?
23 A. Yes, for a very simple reason. It was the closest region where
24 they could be accepted, and also it was not okay for the Croatian
25 authorities to welcome Muslim refugees.
2 Q. You said where they could be accepted, right? Thank you. Thank
3 you. You have answered my question in advance, as a matter of fact.
4 I have no further questions for you, Mr. Barriot. I thank you.
5 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that concludes my
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Perovic.
8 Mr. Black.
9 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. I switched seats today. I
11 I just have a couple of quick questions, Mr. Barriot.
12 MR. BLACK: I'll try. It's kind of uncomfortable with a short
14 Further cross-examination by Mr. Black:
15 Q. Mr. Barriot, isn't true that Muslims fleeing from Serb areas of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina went to Croatia? So not talking about the Bihac pocket
17 but other places in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were Muslims who fled to
18 Croatia; correct? Or do you not know anything about that?
19 A. No, no. I know the situation perfectly well. You seem to forget
20 one thing. At the time, Mr. Fikret Abdic, since September 1993, had
21 proclaimed the autonomous province of Western Bosnia, so these were people
22 faithful, Muslims faithful to Fikret Abdic. So the government of
23 Izetbegovic and the 5th Corps wanted to eliminate them. So from where
24 they were in the Bihac pocket they could not go anywhere else in Bosnia
25 because they would have been killed --
1 Q. Sorry to interrupt you. My question was about places other than
2 the Bihac pocket, and actually I haven't forgotten anything you said. But
3 can you answer my question about whether Muslims fleeing other parts of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina in fact went to Croatia. Do you know anything about
6 A. To my knowledge, no, or else they were in very few numbers.
7 Q. Let me ask you about something else which His Honour Judge Moloto
8 asked you about today and it was about whether you made any corrections to
9 the statement about Mr. Martic ordering the shelling of Zagreb. In fact,
10 not only did you not correct that, but you repeated it by publishing the
11 article in September of 1997 and again in this book in 2003 Our
12 Testimonies about Serbia; correct?
13 A. But there was no reason for changing what had been written, none
14 at all. These writings, I'm not testifying before a Tribunal, in court,
15 but I'm doing that today here.
16 Q. Isn't the real explanation is there was no reason for changing it
17 because it was true and correct, and the only reason you're now changing
18 your story today is that you're just afraid that you'll do some damage to
19 Mr. Martic's defence case?
20 A. No, no. That's absolutely wrong. You are putting words in my
21 mouth that don't belong to me. I described the responsibility taken on by
22 President Martic. Today I'm being asked of what I know and what my
23 conscience tells me. These are two different things. I never had some
24 kind of dual standards in my speeches and statements.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. BLACK: No further questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Black.
3 Mr. Barriot, this brings us to the end of your testimony. Thank
4 you very much for taking the time off to come and testify in this
5 Tribunal. You are now excused. You may stand down. Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Defence would like to call the next witness, Nikola Dobrijevic. Nikola
12 Dobrijevic will also testify viva voce, just like Mr. Barriot. The
13 reasons for proceeding this way are the same as in the case of
14 Mr. Barriot.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I hope this won't count as
17 a housekeeping matter because that would mean I've broken my pledge, but I
18 don't think it is. I have a -- just two small matters to raise with
19 respect to this witness. The first is very easily resolved, I think, and
20 the second one may be more difficult.
21 We received a detailed 65 ter summary for this witness
22 approximately an hour and 15 minutes before court started today.
23 Previously we had received a very extremely short and extremely vague
24 65 ter summary, and it was only, as I said, an hour and 15 minutes before
25 court started that we received this two-page detailed 65 ter summary. I
1 have copies of it if Your Honours -- I know that it was --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would appreciate it because mine is in my office.
3 MR. WHITING: Okay. With the assistance of the usher, I have a
4 number of copies.
5 And there are kind of two matters related to this. The first is
6 quite obviously the timing, and then the second matter is the substance of
7 some of the matters that are in the -- in the 65 ter summary.
8 With respect to timing, obviously receiving it an hour ago, or an
9 hour and 15 minutes ago is not really enough time for us. If I'm
10 permitted to start my cross-examination on Monday, it's fine, I can
11 prepare and that will be no problem. So that issue is eliminated as long
12 as I don't have to start crossing until Monday. And I don't believe,
13 actually, that's going to be a problem because I think the next witness is
14 not scheduled to start until Tuesday at the earliest. So that's the
15 one -- that's easy to resolve, if Your Honours agree, and if Defence
16 counsel does not object.
17 The other one that may be more difficult is, I do note on the
18 65 ter summary there are a number of topics which -- which we would submit
19 are covered by Your Honours' ruling of I believe last week of matters that
20 Your Honours do not want to hear more evidence about, and there are other
21 matters which are frankly, in our view, irrelevant, go to tu quoque or are
22 just really outside the scope -- or not relevant to the charges in the
24 I don't know if Your Honours would like to go through briefly the
25 summary and indicate beforehand which matters maybe should not be explored
1 to make things easier so we don't have to sort of jump up and fight about
2 it or -- that's just a suggestion.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: When you say there are issues that are irrelevant,
4 you mean in this latest statement?
5 MR. WHITING: That's correct.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which I didn't have time to look at it before we
7 came into court anyway.
8 MR. WHITING: Right. And I think it's the -- I think the latest
9 statement is really the one that governs. I think it's -- yeah. I don't
10 even know if there are matters on the earlier one that are going to be
11 addressed that are not contained in the latest statement. I think all the
12 matters are in the latest 65 ter summary.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, do you have any response to the
14 two issues?
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, very briefly, Your Honour.
16 Everything that my learned colleague said on the time when they
17 received this summary is correct, and the Defence is in agreement if the
18 Chamber wishes so that Prosecution cross-examines the witness on Monday.
19 This was done, this late submission of the 65 ter summary, because of the
20 rescheduling of some other witnesses, and this is what will explain, and
21 we apologise for that to our learned colleague from the Prosecution.
22 With reference to the tu quoque defence, the defence is -- this
23 should not be used, this prohibition, to preclude Defence from defending
24 the accused. Everything in this statement which refers to the witness's
25 statement, everything refers to the status of affairs on Banija, the area
1 of the RSK about which we haven't heard anything so far, no testimony,
2 apart from what happened in one, two, or three villages, and what happened
3 on a certain date.
4 This witness is going to explain what happened in the area which
5 is covered by the indictment in a chronological order. He doesn't deal
6 principally -- in a principal manner with the elections, formation of the
7 Zengas, the Z-4 plan, none of the matters that we were instructed about,
8 not to dwell again on that.
9 And the very end of this summary, pointed out by the Prosecution,
10 concerns issues that have not been covered so far, and this is going to be
11 an original statement of the witness on what he knows, and I believe that
12 these are very important issues for the Bench and for the -- for these
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
15 Any response?
16 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, before Mr. Black responds -- sorry,
17 Mr. Whiting, my apologies.
18 Mr. Milovancevic, I have not understood your response clearly in
19 respect to the issue of tu quoque. Could I get it with somewhat more
20 clarity? I'm not able to see whether you're accepting what Mr. Whiting
21 says. You're saying you would be able to lead such a defence and raise
22 such a defence and establish it, seek to establish it?
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I'm very
24 sorry if I lacked precision.
25 What I wanted to say is that we believe that objection to
1 tu quoque defence is not a valid one. We are not doing that, this is our
2 opinion, and that use of such an objection could be used or misused to
3 preclude the proper functioning of the defence.
4 Have I been more precise or more clear this time round?
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: But to preclude the proper functioning of the
6 defence in relation to which specific issues and which specific evidence
7 from the defence? Because you seem to be saying it should not be used as
8 that specific defence but that the evidence that would form the foundation
9 for it could be used in a different context in relation to the whole of
10 the defence case, and that's what I want to be clear on, because there is
11 some ambivalence there.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank
13 you for this question.
14 Well, Defence's stance is that it has not tried to use tu quoque
15 on any occasion so far. And when I said this a couple of minutes ago, I
16 wanted to say is that what we are trying to paint a realistic picture in
17 the area and in the relevant time period of the indictment and not to view
18 facts outside their context, isolated from their context. We want to
19 consider things within the context so that we can -- may draw conclusions
20 what both sides wanted. And this is why I said what I said. Thank you.
21 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. I
22 appreciate it. It's much clearer to me now.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Black -- Mr. Whiting.
24 MR. WHITING: I'm flattered by the confusion. But I'm flattered
25 because it's young and old.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Black.
2 MR. WHITING: I would just note that there are a number of
3 paragraphs which could, and I really leave it up to Your Honours, fall
4 under the ruling of the Chamber last week. For example, just after the
5 four sort of short introductory paragraphs, there is a sentence about the
6 referendum in the summer of 1990. Then the next paragraph is about the
7 MUP of Croatia allegedly raiding Petrinja in September of 1990. Then --
8 then there's another paragraph and then there's a paragraph about the 26th
9 of June, 1991, Croatia proclaims independence and Croatian forces in
10 Kostajnica. Then the next paragraph is about Croatian troops. Then the
11 next paragraph is about alleged crimes against Serbs in Sisak.
12 Then there are a number -- on the second page there are a number
13 of paragraphs which do go to issues in the indictment. But then the last
14 three paragraphs, the --the first of the last three paragraphs is
15 about -- is about Stipe Mesic and Croatia proclaiming independence, and
16 then the last two paragraphs are about Operation Storm and events
17 occurring after Operation Storm and just shortly before Operation Storm.
18 Now, it seems to me that some if not all of those paragraphs that
19 I have identified fall under the Court's ruling, but again I just -- I
20 leave it up to the Court.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting. I think we must
22 get on to the witness now, and I must make a ruling.
23 On the first point that you raised, before I rule on that one, can
24 we get an assurance that if the Prosecution is going to start cross on
25 Monday that we will finish with that witness on Monday?
1 MR. WHITING: Yeah --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Completely finish. Judges' questions, questions
3 arising from Judges' questions, everything.
4 MR. WHITING: Yes. Assuming that the witness finishes his direct
5 examination today, I would think, judging on what I've seen, that I could
6 do the cross-examination in two sessions, leaving a third -- a full entire
7 third session for re-examination and Judges' questions.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you. Then that being the case, then
9 the Prosecution will be given the opportunity to start its
10 cross-examination on Monday.
11 On the second issue, precisely because the Chamber has not had
12 sufficient time to read this, and I know it's not a very long statement
13 but it's not been possible to read it in between I had time to listen to
14 the arguments, I would think -- would like to leave it to counsel to jump
15 up when irrelevant issues are being raised or issues that have been
16 mentioned in the order of a couple of days ago are mentioned. Just jump
17 up in the normal course. Okay? Thank you very much.
18 Mr. Milovancevic. You may call the witness, Mr. Milovancevic.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: None of the booths have the
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: None of them?
23 THE INTERPRETER: None of the interpreters' booths have the
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I didn't know that the interpreters get the summary
2 JUDGE HOEPFEL: It's not necessary for the interpreters. It will
3 not be necessary.
4 [The witness enters court]
5 WITNESS: NIKOLA DOBRIJEVIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, sir. May you please make the
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare to speak the
10 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
12 Mr. Milovancevic.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Dobrijevic.
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. You know my name. My name is Predrag Milovancevic, Defence
18 counsel for Mr. Milan Martic, and on behalf of the Defence team I'm going
19 to examine you today.
20 Before I start asking questions, I'm going to ask you to be
21 mindful, and I will be mindful as well, to leave a gap between questions
22 and answers so that the interpreters may have the time to interpret what
23 we are saying. We have to assist them in that. Thank you very much in
24 advance. And I'm trying to put to you shorter questions and you try to
25 give me short answers.
1 A. Okay.
2 Q. Could you give us your full name and where you were born.
3 A. I'm Nikola Dobrijevic. I was born on the 7th of September, 1950,
4 in the village of Bestrma. I'm a jurist. I fathered two grown-up
5 children and currently I'm living in Belgrade.
6 Q. You say that you're a jurist. Am I right when I conclude that you
7 graduated from law school?
8 A. Yes, I did graduate from law school. I was the best in class.
9 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us your -- something about your career,
10 positions you held before 1990.
11 A. I worked in the steelworks in Sisak as a metalworker. Later on I
12 graduated from machine-work school, and as a scholar of Tito's fund I
13 graduated from law school. Later on I was a trainee judge at the court in
14 Sisak, and then as a manager in Autopromet Sisak, and then later on I came
15 back to the steelworks of Sisak in the legal department.
16 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Excuse me, may I ask which law school you
17 graduated from?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The school in Banja Luka.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you, sir.
20 Sorry for interrupting. Please, Mr. Milovancevic.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] It is quite okay. Thank you,
22 Your Honour.
23 Q. As we are now talking about your curriculum vitae, perhaps it
24 would be good for you to tell us what offices you held or what duties you
25 discharged from 1990 to 1995 in the area of the SAO Krajina and then the
1 republic of the Serbian Krajina.
2 A. In 1990, I joined the Territorial Defence, and I was on the
3 Territorial Defence Staff in Gradiska.
4 Q. Thank you. That will suffice. When I put to you this question a
5 while ago, I was referring to political offices. Did you hold any
6 political posts? Were you a deputy, a director, a minister anywhere?
7 A. Before the outbreak of the war I was one of the organisers of the
8 Socialist Party of Croatia, a pro-Yugoslav party, a party of Yugoslav
9 orientation, which was established in Petrinja between two election cycles
10 in Croatia.
11 Q. Thank you. Were you ever a deputy? I should like to ask you that
13 A. I was a deputy to the Assembly of the republic of the Serbian
14 Krajina from the beginning up to the 1990 elections -- 1993 elections.
15 Q. Krajina Suma, does that ring any bells?
16 A. After my function ceased in the Ministry of the Interior of
17 Krajina, I was an assistant director of the enterprise Krajina Suma until
18 the Storm operation, and also I was a minister in the cabinet of the late
19 Prime Minister Milan Babic.
20 Q. Thank you. You said a while ago after my function in the MUP
21 ceased I became assistant director of the director of Krajina Suma. So
22 what did you do in the MUP of the Krajina?
23 A. For a short while, towards the end of 1992 and in early 1993, I
24 was the MUP coordinator for Banija in the Ministry of the Interior of the
25 Krajina. So that in a certain way I was an assistant to Mr. Milan Martic.
1 Q. Thank you. We shall try to follow a chronology of events which
2 could be of interest.
3 You mentioned the Socialist Party of Croatia, a party of a
4 Yugoslav orientation. Can you tell us when was this party established and
5 by whom?
6 A. That party was established in 1990 between two election cycles in
7 Croatia. In view of the fact that Ivica Racan practically was the
8 greatest delusion for the Krajina Serbs, in particular the Banija Serbs,
9 he won the elections in the first round primarily thanks to the votes of
10 the Banija Serbs, and in the second round he completely changed the
11 platform of his party and, among other things, emphasised that Croatian
12 sovereignty was indivisible, which meant that the Serbs would be struck
13 out from the constitution of Croatia and --
14 Q. Thank you. That will do. Am I wrong to conclude that at the time
15 of the first multi-party elections in Croatia you were one of the founders
16 of the Socialist Party of Croatia?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. Perhaps I should stress that there were a large number of Croats
20 there as well, and the secretary of the party was Goran Babic, a Croatian
21 writer from the island Vis. And there were another -- a number of
22 renowned persons, figures from the socio-political life of Croatia,
23 including from Croatian television.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know anything about the conducting of
25 a referendum on the sovereignty of the Serbian people in the Krajina and
1 in Croatia? Do you remember anything about it?
2 A. Yes, I do. I remember that referendum.
3 Q. Thank you. Thank you. I'm just interested in one thing in
4 connection with the referendum, who had the right to participate in the
5 referendum. It was a referendum on the autonomy and sovereignty of the
6 Serbian people in Croatia. Who had the right to take part in it? Do you
7 know that?
8 A. Yes. Where I come from where the population is more or less
9 mixed, it is Serb or Croat, or Croat or Serb, as you like it. All the
10 people who lived there had the right to take part in the referendum.
11 So to be quite clear, I'm speaking of the area of Banija mostly,
12 the centre of which is Sisak, and the municipalities are Petrinja, Glina,
13 Kostajnica, Dvor Na Uni, and Novska was also a part of it for a while.
14 Q. Thank you. I apologise for this short pause, Your Honours. For
15 your easy reference, it is on page 21 in squares C3 and D3 in the atlas
16 that we are using that you can see the towns that will be referred to by
17 this witness. So it is page 21 in the atlas that we are using.
18 Mr. Dobrijevic, I shall now ask you this question: What larger
19 towns are there in Banija? What are the key towns in the area?
20 A. I'm just enumerated them. Sisak, Petrinja, Kostajnica, Glina,
21 Dvor Na Uni.
22 Q. Do you know how many inhabitants this area had in 1990 and what
23 its ethnic mix was?
24 A. Around 200.000 inhabitants, of which about 48 per cent were
25 Croats, 36 per cent Serbs, 12 Yugoslavs, and the rest were others.
1 However, as established in a later census, the Yugoslavs were mainly
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. But if the Bench shall allow me, I am talking also about the city
5 of Sisak, which stretches all the way up to Velika Gorica, to Zagreb, and
6 this is exclusively Croatian population. But in Banija where the republic
7 of the Serbian Krajina was was a majority Serbian area, but Sisak belonged
8 to Croatia and not to Krajina. I just wanted to clarify that.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you saying the city of Sisak stretches all the
10 way to Velika Gorica, or are you talking about the municipal area moving
11 up in that direction?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Sisak stretches all the way up
13 to Velika Gorica. It borders on Velika Gorica.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
15 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Q. When we speak about all these places in Banija, do you know what
18 party won at the first multi-party elections in 1990 in Kostajnica?
19 MR. WHITING: I'm going to object on the ground that I indicated
20 earlier, that this is, it seems to me, on the list of topics that the
21 Chamber doesn't need to hear more information on. It specifically
22 included multi-party elections -- sorry, the multi-party election.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at this point I'm
25 not dealing with the multi-party elections in the political sense or as a
1 matter of principle. I'm just talking about the election results in a
2 specific town. And the result and the figures that will be obtained for
3 the municipality of Kostajnica will be very interesting. This is
4 something which the Chamber should know. And that is the sole question
5 that I shall be putting in connection with the elections. Just because of
6 this figure, this fact which has not been referred to so far in the
7 proceedings, and we do have a count in the indictment which relates to
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting.
10 MR. WHITING: Well, if -- if -- if this specific question Defence
11 counsel thinks is so important, then I guess fine, let it go.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: One question, Mr. Milovancevic.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Q. You heard my question, Mr. Dobrijevic. So who won in Kostajnica
15 at the first multi-party elections, and who was the president of the
17 A. That is a very interesting question, because in Kostajnica Racan's
18 SDP won, and out of the 56 seats only six were Croats. All the others
19 were Serbs. And a Croat, Slavko Miocevic was elected president of the
20 municipality in Kostajnica. Thank you.
21 Q. Can you tell us what were the international -- nationality,
22 inter-ethnic and inter-personal relations like in Banija, in Kostajnica in
24 A. There was already some tension in their relations in 1990 because
25 the first arming had already started by the Croatian paramilitaries. But
1 as regards ordinary people, their inter-personal relations were like
2 before. There was nothing -- there were no particular tensions among the
3 ordinary folk, but one could observe because of the very emergence of the
4 HDZ on the political scene of Croatia there could be observed some
5 tensions also in the area of Banija.
6 Q. Thank you. When -- as one of the larger places in Banija in
7 autumn, at the end of September 1990, Petrinja is mentioned. Can you tell
8 us what associations you have in that respect?
9 A. Yes. Petrinja was very interesting because of the Gavrilovic meat
10 packing industry, one of the largest meat industries in Croatia, and it
11 was the spearhead of economic development generally speaking in the area.
12 Apart from that, the Croatian party, Socialist Party, the
13 Yugoslav-oriented party, had its seat in Petrinja.
14 At the end of 1990, I believe it was in September, I cannot recall
15 the exact date, this point was launched, the well-known operation by the
16 Croatian police, the Croatian redarstvenici, namely to pick up all the
17 reserve force police weapons from the police stations in places where the
18 majority population were Serbs. This was, I believe, in September 1990,
19 and this is when the first serious tensions in Banija emerged with 400
20 people fleeing to barracks after which 300 armed ZNG members whom we
21 called the MUP members at the time arrived in Petrinja, and the arrests
22 started. A hundred people were arrested on that occasion.
23 Q. Thank you. So we are talking about late September 1990. You have
24 given me a lengthy answer about those events. In your assessment, why did
25 the Croatian MUP intervene in Petrinja? What was the direct cause to the
1 best of your knowledge?
2 A. Well, the direct cause was the disarming of these police stations
3 in Banija in places where there was a Serb majority population, and in
4 view of the fact that the people had learned that the weaponry, the
5 armaments, were to be taken to Sisak by night. And before that, Ljubo
6 Loncarovic, who was a Serb and was the chief of police in Petrinja, he had
7 been taken already in the morning of that day to Sisak in order not to be
8 present when this was taking place, and they attempted to take the weapons
9 to Sisak by night.
10 Q. Thank you. First of all, tell us to whom did those armaments in
11 the police station in Petrinja belong?
12 A. To the reserve police force.
13 Q. How was that -- the arms to be transferred to Sisak?
14 A. It was a van with Zagreb licence plates, which was intercepted at
15 the exit from Petrinja.
16 Q. You have already answered my question, but I will ask you. Who
17 intercepted that vehicle and why?
18 A. It was intercepted by activists of the Serbian Democratic Party
19 because they were the only ones who had that information - I don't know
20 from where - that the weapons in question would be dislocated, i.e.,
21 transferred to Sisak.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what happened with the weapons after
23 that. Was it taken to Sisak or not?
24 A. No. The armaments were returned, and after that, as I said, 300
25 policemen came from Zagreb, and using, so to speak, their Ustasha methods
1 they tried -- they started searching houses, stabbing through pillows,
2 arrested people before the eyes of children. They arrested some 300
3 people, and the individuals even spent time in prison.
4 Q. Okay. That will do. Mr. Dobrijevic, you said a while ago that
5 special members -- unit members came and arrested people according to
6 Ustasha methods. Why did you use that kind of a term?
7 A. I said that they were such methods, but they were completely
8 uncivilised at any rate. They had bayonets on their rifles. They barged
9 into houses. They pierced pillows. They looked through haystacks. They
10 went to the attics of houses and so on and so forth. And they arrested
11 the parents and took them away in front of their minor children. So I
12 don't know how else to actually describe it.
13 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Were there any reactions to the arrest of
14 so many people and such an action on the part of the Croatian police?
15 A. Yes. We immediately, as the Socialist Party, the socialist Croat
16 party, a party of Yugoslav orientation, we immediately informed the
17 federal leadership, the Presidency, the army, and I believe that Petar
18 Gracanin was the chief of the federal police at that time. He was being
19 treated at the VMA hospital, and we informed him about what had happened
20 in Petrinja.
21 Q. Thank you. What was it that you wanted to achieve by sending that
22 information? You as a party informed the state leadership about the
23 problem. What were you looking for?
24 A. We were looking for assistance, for help from the federal organs.
25 We understood that this policy in Croatia was so wayward that we could not
1 expect help from anyone there, and we expected the federal organs to take
2 steps to prevent this illegal behaviour from what were already some
3 paramilitary units of Croatia.
4 Q. Was there any reaction from the federal authorities?
5 A. I know that three days later Vasil Tupurkovski, a Presidency
6 member, came. But he had met Stipo Mesic at the Pleso airport before
7 coming to us and collected information from Mesic and then arrived to
8 Petrinja. I wasn't at that meeting because in the meantime we had
9 organised a rally in the village of Banski Grabovac. There were tens of
10 thousands of people there. So I could not attend the meeting. But we did
11 not receive any particular guarantees against further harassment from
12 Mr. Tupurkovski.
13 Q. Thank you. After these events at Petrinja -- let me rephrase this
14 question and ask you one question before that.
15 So was there any media coverage of the events in Petrinja, both in
16 Croatian media or in other areas? Do you know anything about that?
17 A. I know that. Yes, yes. Thank you. I know that television
18 stations broadcast that terrible picture at Petrinja, because people,
19 civilians tried to enter the barracks. Hundreds of people tried to enter
20 the barracks, afraid of -- and some military personnel wanted to
21 accommodate these people in the barracks.
22 Q. Whose barracks?
23 A. The JNA barracks at Petrinja.
24 Q. What was the name of the barracks?
25 A. Vasil Gasica [phoen].
1 Q. No. What was the name of the army? Please let us not overlap.
2 Make a pause between answering.
3 When you said the civilians were trying to find refuge in a
4 barracks, you meant JNA barracks; is that right?
5 A. Yes. I will make sure that I do make a pause.
6 Q. What was going on at Petrinja? Was it reflected in the everyday
7 life of the ordinary people at Banija? What was the reaction of the
8 people there?
9 A. Unfortunately it had major ramifications. From that day on,
10 village guards started to be set up. Some people tried to sell their
11 livestock to buy any kind of rifle. Village guards, village sentries
12 started to be set up in all Serb-inhabited villages close to Petrinja and
13 Sisak, Dvor Na Uni, Kostajnica, et cetera.
14 Q. Thank you. You said that there were attempts on the part of the
15 Serbian population to acquire weapons. They would sell a cow to buy a
16 rifle. Is it known to you what was the situation on the Croatian side?
17 Let us -- let us call it that way, and I apologise for using that term.
18 When it comes to arming, do you know anything about that?
19 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, this is also a topic specifically on the
20 list. Illegal arming of Croats; it's on the list.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot
23 understand how can such objection be raised. I'm not discussing an
24 abstract topic. I'm talking about specific places, specific people, and
25 about the witness, whether he knows anything about that or not.
1 We are not dealing with politics. We are trying to establish
2 facts. Facts in Kostajnica and around Kostajnica, and very briefly.
3 These questions are very brief.
4 Witness knows the names of villages, the names of people, knows
5 the relevant period, and it would be very useful for all parties, the
6 Bench and the two sides, parties, to know more about that and hear it from
7 the witness.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting.
9 MR. WHITING: Well, Your Honour, I had not understood Your Honours
10 to limit the subjects that it did not want to hear more evidence about to
11 vague evidence about it. I'm happy to hear specific evidence that is
12 going to "establish facts." I thought that the topic was the topic and
13 Your Honours had heard enough about that topic, whether it's specific
14 evidence or vague evidence or general evidence or what kind of evidence.
15 So --
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what do you submit now?
17 MR. WHITING: I would submit that it's on the list and therefore
18 it should be -- we shouldn't go into it anymore. Unless Your Honours want
19 to modify your order.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Are you done? Thank you.
21 Objection upheld.
22 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my respected
24 friend from the Prosecution never objected when the witness was explaining
25 how Serbs attempted to arm themselves. Now we are in an absurd situation.
1 Is there any sense in leading evidence in these proceedings?
2 Your instruction, the Bench's instruction, was referring to an
3 attempt to streamline the proceedings and not to preclude examination of
4 evidence. Your intention was to preclude evidence on general topics, but
5 now we are dealing with a location of which we know nothing. We don't
6 know who, when, what, at Dubica, at Cerovljani, et cetera. Although we
7 did make reference to it one day when there were victims.
8 The Prosecution alleges that there is a state of armed conflict
9 throughout the relevant period in this area of RSK.
10 So should we towards the end of the proceedings say that something
11 has been sufficiently established? This would be pre-judging facts, Your
13 I will, of course, strictly observe the guidelines of the Bench.
14 I'm not repeating for the tenth time something, but we are dealing with
15 specific events. This witness from Kostajnica is not testifying as to
16 facts from Zagreb or Zadar. He is testifying as to the facts and events
17 happening in his town, his village, and this is why he was summoned here.
18 And this is what I'm trying to explain to the Chamber. I'm not trying to
19 breach Your Honours' guidelines, and I'm not seeking exceptions that would
20 favour the Defence or put us in a more favourable position than the
21 Prosecution, but I'm using Your Honours' -- and how can I and whether I
22 can perform my duties at all, if so constrained.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, the Bench has ruled on this
24 matter. Extract facts, as you say, from the witness about Kostajnica, but
25 refrain from illegal arming of the parties. Either side, whether the
1 Croats or the Serbs.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank
4 Your Honour, I believe that we've reached the time for our break.
5 So may I resume after the break?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are very right, Mr. Milovancevic.
7 We are going to take a break and come back at 4.00.
8 Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Dobrijevic, at the very beginning I omitted to ask you
14 something that seems very logical. In the period 1990, 1991, 1992, where
15 did you reside? Which place?
16 A. I lived and worked in Sisak. I was a manager at Autopromet Sisak
17 company. After that, war found me in the position in a personnel service
18 of the steelworks of Sisak. I was manager of the legal department.
19 Q. Thank you. Up to which point were you residing in Sisak? You
20 said war found you in Sisak. Did you stay there? What happened?
21 A. Well, this would be a lengthy story. I don't know whether the
22 Bench will have the need to hear it out.
23 Q. Excuse me. Could you tell us if you left Sisak, where did you
24 leave to? If need be, I will ask you additional questions.
25 A. I left Sisak on the day when my children completed the first grade
1 of elementary school. It was on the 15th of June, 1991. We left for
2 Belgrade. Later I returned to Banija because my home village is 15
3 kilometres away from Sisak in the so-called Serbian part of Banija.
4 Q. Thank you. When you mentioned that you left Sisak on the 15th of
5 June, 1991, why did you do so? Was there a reason for that?
6 A. Given that I was a member of the SK movement for Yugoslavia, this
7 was a political party which was populated by many military officers, and
8 the -- may I say that the Socialist Party of Croatia, a Yugoslav-oriented
9 party, the one I mentioned before, went into the SK because this was the
10 last attempt to save and preserve Yugoslav -- Yugoslavdom and Yugoslavia.
11 We were far more threatened in Croatia, we who advocated any form of
12 Yugoslav or pro-Yugoslav orientation, far more in danger than others who
13 favoured other options which unfortunately won the day.
14 If you allow me to say one fact. The first explosive device was
15 planted in the -- on the premises of the SK movement for Yugoslavia, a
16 party headed by Ms. Jakolic who was a Croat and that party had its head in
18 Q. To avoid interpreting your answers, could you explain what was
19 your reason for leaving Sisak?
20 A. I was afraid I'd be liquidated, assassinated. Mr. Silvije Degen
21 defended me before a Sisak court because I had been accused for organising
22 meetings and rallies of the SK League of Communists-Movement for
23 Yugoslavia. This is a known fact. It can be searched for in the
25 Q. Thank you. We are going to broach another subject, Witness,
1 Mr. Dobrijevic.
2 MR. WHITING: I'm very sorry to interrupt. I'm just wondering
3 if -- just to assist in being able to follow the evidence, if Defence
4 counsel wouldn't mind just asking when he returned from Belgrade to
5 Banija, just a date, so that we can sort of follow what the -- how the
6 evidence goes. If that wouldn't be a problem.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, that's a request to you.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] It is only logical, Your
9 Honour, yes.
10 Q. You said, Mr. Dobrijevic, that you up to the end of term you took
11 your children to Belgrade. When and where to did you return?
12 A. I returned to Samarica on the 1st of August. I returned to
13 Samarica, and there I tried to organise Territorial Defence of the Serbian
14 villages that were left out of the municipality of Sisak and were annexed
15 to the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
16 Q. Which year was that?
17 A. 1991.
18 Q. Thank you. When we're talking about Kostajnica in 1991, could you
19 tell us which events would be, in your opinion, the most important ones in
21 A. Kostajnica is a very interesting location geographically speaking
22 for Banija, because neither of these municipalities had any access to
23 Bosnia for supplies, Bosnia and Yugoslavia further, except for Kostajnica
24 and Dvor Na Uni. However, Kostajnica is very close to the municipalities
25 that I'm referring, and Dvor Na Uni is 100 kilometres long. It winds
1 through a wooded area that we call Samarica. And upon -- on 26th of June,
2 1991, when Croatian paramilitaries made an incursion, the overall
3 territory was cut off from any supplies or any other possibility to bring
4 in any supplies to the population inhabiting that part of Banija.
5 Q. Thank you. When you say, "We were cut off," could you specify
6 which area was cut off, which municipalities and villages?
7 A. I believe that it will be useful for the Bench to know that the
8 demarcation line followed the courses of the Sava and Kupa rivers.
9 Everything was -- on the right bank of the Kupa River belong to these.
10 But Kostajnica is on the bank of the Una River, and there were no other
11 communications across the rivers apart from Kostajnica and Dvor Na Uni,
12 and there was no possibilities to bring in supplies for the population
13 from Bosnia and Yugoslavia other than those two places.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I specify to the Bench a page
16 in the atlas for easier reference. I opened the atlas on page 21, Your
18 Q. So you said when referring to Kostajnica that it borders Bosnia.
19 Did I understand you correctly?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The largest municipality, the largest settlement in that area is
22 Sisak. Am I right?
23 A. Yes. Sisak was the centre of the region.
24 Q. On this map in the vicinity of Sisak there is south to it the
25 municipality of Petrinja. One road goes from Sisak to Petrinja, and
1 another goes towards Dubica.
2 When you say that towns and villages were cut off, could you
3 specify the area where these people were cut off upon the incursion of
4 Croatian paramilitaries in the Banija region?
5 A. Apart from the settlements across the Sava River Sunja was one of
6 the places controlled by Croatian forces and we could not reach Dubica on
7 the road Sisak-Sunja-Dubica. That road was disrupted.
8 So what I'm trying to say is that the only communication from
9 Banija to gain access to Bosna and Yugoslavia took the Kostajnica
10 direction or Dvor, but I said Dvor was 100 kilometres away and the road
11 took the area of Samarica, very wooded area, so Kostajnica was the most
12 logical and the closest means of communication. This is why Croatian
13 paramilitaries made incursion into Kostajnica and President Tudjman had
14 visited Kostajnica three days before the incursion to make sure that
15 Serbia -- Serbs in Banija would be cut off from supplies.
16 Q. Thank you. You mentioned the entry of Croatian paramilitary
17 forces into Kostajnica on the 26th of June, 1991. How did that occur?
18 A. Proof that Croatian forces could pass through such large territory
19 controlled by the Serbs without any problems only that is proof, actually,
20 that the Serbs neither wanted nor were ready to wage war, because forces
21 from Zagreb passed through the Sisak-Sunja-Kostajnica area, that route,
22 and the Petrinja-Kostajnica road, and from these two routes they entered
23 Kostajnica under the slogan or the pretext that they were to attend the
24 funeral of a man who had died in Zagreb. However, that was a pretty
25 suspicious column, because the vehicles had different licence plates from
1 all over Croatia so that people who were following this in a way realised
2 that was in fact an occupation of Kostajnica which actually did happen
3 overnight, because during the nights the reinforcements came in uniform -
4 shall I say paramilitary forces from Zagreb - and already the next morning
5 a raid in Kostajnica started.
6 Check-points were set up throughout the town and on the exit and
7 entry points so that no one could pass through Kostajnica without the
8 vehicles passing through Kostajnica being searched and stopped for a
9 thousand -- for umpteenth times, and that is when the Serbs started
10 leaving Kostajnica.
11 Q. Thank you. So this refers to the 26th of June, 1991, what you
12 have just told us. Do you know what was the total of the forces that came
13 in Kostajnica in the described way?
14 A. The answer -- the estimate was that at that time about 300
15 policemen arrived of the then still the Croatian para-army, but after
16 three months when Kostajnica was liberated there were about 600 Croatian
17 troops there, but they had another entry to Kostajnica which they used,
18 that is from Novska through the Sukri Kamen [phoen], from Jasenovac along
19 the Una River, and this is also the route which they took to withdraw
20 from -- towards Novska and further on to Zagreb after Kostajnica had been
22 Q. And how did events then evolve further in Kostajnica? You say 300
23 people, armed people, came. What happened in July? Did anything happen
24 in July?
25 A. Yes, there were raids, and I should seek to restrict this answer
1 to the maximum. These forces remained in Kostajnica for three months.
2 The Serbs set up a Territorial Defence. The staff -- in charge of the
3 staff was Branko Mitrovic who was also the president of the municipality
4 after Mr. Miocevic had been replaced, and its seat was in the village of
5 Komogovina, some 10 kilometres away. That is on Banija at the very exit
6 from Kostajnica. So these forces stayed in Kostajnica for three months.
7 Q. Thank you. That will suffice. Does the names of Glinska Greda,
8 Trnjani, Cakale, Bestrma, do these village names ring any bells?
9 A. Well, we had to defend Kostajnica, and it was liberated but this
10 is a question that I wish to elaborate a bit on.
11 Q. Just a minute. Excuse me. We shall come to the issue of the
12 deliberation of Kostajnica, but now we are just following a chronological
13 order. That is what I'm looking for, a chronology of events.
14 So I'm asking you about the 21st, 22nd of August, 1991, and please
15 be brief, as brief as you can be. Why is this date important?
16 A. Thank you. I cannot be very briefer in responding to this, but to
17 use the time that this does require because this has -- concerns a bloody
18 crime on Banija. Namely, between the 21st and the 22nd of August there
19 was a bloody orgy in the area of these villages. My village Bestrma
20 where I said I was born and a number of neighbouring villages.
21 I did not mention this before because the learned Prosecutor did
22 not allow me to speak about arming, but I will say that on the 10th of
23 April, 1991, there arrived in Sisak 120 volunteers, primarily from the
24 Argentine who are descendants of the former Ustashas who fled to Latin
25 American countries via the rap channels, the rap canals.
1 At that time in the yard of the police administration in Sisak
2 which is -- abuts with the yard of the court in Sisak where I used to
3 work, so in that yard there were a number of motor vehicles which they
4 used to make armoured vehicles with which to attack these villages, and I
5 believe that it is important --
6 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Please talk about this particular date in
7 brief. What happened on the 21st and on the 22nd? Who arrived where and
8 what happened?
9 A. In the early morning hours from the village of Komarevo, that
10 area, and that is the neighbouring village adjacent to my own village
11 Bestrma, which was a stronghold of the Ustashas in the Second World War,
12 and Tudjman actually said that Komarevo was not defending Sisak or Zagreb
13 but Komarevo was defending Europe in this war. So it was from that
14 village that a column dressed in the uniforms of the Yugoslav army came,
15 and they descended upon the first village of Madzari where two roads
16 cross, one leads to the village of Glinska Greda and on to my own village
17 of Bestrma and then the village of Kinjacka and Brdjani. So that is one
19 The second column, convoy from the village of Trnjani -- rather,
20 from the village of Madzari goes to the village of Trnjani, the village of
21 Cakale, Velika Kinjacka, and this is where the two columns meet. Each of
22 these columns in passing through these villages performed a bloody orgy.
23 When they entered Glinska Greda, they called the population. So
24 they were in uniforms of the Yugoslav army. They called the population to
25 come out of their houses, and when the people started exiting their houses
1 they mowed them down by bursts of fire killing Misa Vucinic, Ratko Djekic,
2 who was a pensioner, Kragulj, whose first name I cannot remember. This
3 guy was the only armed one because he was an armed sentry the village
4 sentry. He was the only person with a weapon, and I cannot remember the
5 name of the fourth person that was killed.
6 However, I have brought for this august Tribunal a list of
7 people -- of 611 people killed in Sisak, and I hope that you will allow me
8 to speak about this later, because it is quite verifiable by whom and when
9 all these people were liquidated.
10 So this column then goes on to and enters my village Bestrma,
11 liquidates in his own yard Dragan Biskupovic, a well-known musician who
12 was otherwise a driver in the ironworks in Sisak. I am pointing this out
13 because the criminals who killed him also castrated him because they
14 recognised him. He was an exceptionally good man, if one can say that of
15 a man. Later his wife was also killed in this war, and I wanted his son
16 to come here and take the witness stand before the Tribunal at The Hague.
17 Nedeljko Cajic, the father of two minor children was then killed,
18 and this column is by now already descending to the Blinksi [phoen] road
19 and towards the village of Mala Kinjacka.
20 The second part of the column enters the village of Trnjani and
21 kills Dragan, I think, Tatisic, and they kill a young girl -- well, I
22 cannot remember her name either. You see how it is. But this was a
23 18-year-old girl. Her name was Zeljka. I cannot remember the surname.
24 Q. Is it maybe Zeljka Vojinovic?
25 A. Yes, it is Zeljka Vojinovic. She was on the window of her house,
1 and she was killed by a neighbour from the village of Madzari who was in
2 that column.
3 In the village of Cakale, they killed Lazar Stanic, also a well
4 known assemblyman of the Assembly -- Municipal Assembly of Sisak and the
5 president of the local commune who, as the president of the village,
6 sought to meet -- and this column, thinking that it was the Yugoslav army.
7 So in the village of Kinjacka, Velika Kinjacka, Dragan Bekic, Pero
8 Crljenica were killed on the road. Leposava Pajic was wounded, and
9 Dragica Trlenica [phoen] too. And at the end of the Kinjacka village they
10 killed Ranko Martinovic who was the only one who was armed, and he was
11 under -- with a hunting rifle because he was standing guard. It was
12 already daybreak by that time, and having met, combined these two columns
13 go on towards Sunja to village of Brdjani.
14 As day broke and it became light, the local sentries assembled and
15 set up a barricade at the entrance to the village of Brdjani, and there
16 there was a skirmish between the paramilitary of the Croatian side and the
17 village guards, and four to five Croatians were killed, and now there is a
18 monument which is -- was erected to these paramilitary, para-army members
19 who actually committed this bloody orgy on the 21st and the 22nd. And I
20 take this 21st to be the overt beginning of the war, at least in Banija,
21 because after that event nothing was the same in Banija anymore.
22 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Milovancevic, allow me to say that the
23 witness needs to slow his pace somewhat and he needs to come up for air
24 sometimes and just do it so we can keep pace with him.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you. Thank
1 you, Your Honours. The witness was obviously and manifestly excited when
2 he was speaking. That is why I didn't interrupt him. But I let him go on
3 at such length because of his assessment that that was what led to the
4 outbreak of war in Banija and that is when the war started.
5 Q. So this was on the 21st and 22nd of August in 1991. Did I
6 remember the date correctly?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Why -- when and why was there an attempt to liberate Kostajnica?
9 You said that Kostajnica is -- was liberated. First of all, tell me, why
10 do you say it is the liberation of Kostajnica and when was it?
11 A. I've already said that the paramilitary forces of Croatia stayed
12 some three months in Kostajnica. In the meantime, a number of incidents
13 occurred because those units from Kostajnica attacked our territorial
14 guards. So that a young lad, for instance Bogdan Sarengaca, from the
15 village of Velasnja [phoen] was killed and he was the only son in his
16 family, the only child. And there was another guy who was killed, another
17 lad. I cannot remember his name at -- right now. He was from a
18 neighbouring village, I believe. I -- and perhaps his surname was Rokvic,
19 but be that as it may, the two of them were killed. And the very
20 difficult situation ensued, and the decision was taken that Kostajnica had
21 to be liberated.
22 Q. Excuse me. Just a minute. Who, who decided that Kostajnica is to
23 be liberated? What forces were to be employed for that? You are talking
24 about the liberation of Kostajnica from whom?
25 A. Then at that time, except for the Territorial Defence -- so except
1 for the Territorial Defence which comprised the domestic population, both
2 urban and rural, armed and organised, so that the most renowned person was
3 practically the commander of the village. So this is what we had in
5 When Kostajnica is concerned, we had Branko Mitrovic who was the
6 municipality president, and he was also the commander of the Territorial
7 Defence. My unit in which I was one of the assistants in the staff was in
8 this area towards Sisak, and the Sas, Zivaja, Kostajnica, Bacin, Banija
9 triangle, plus the other villages, they were in this area starting from
10 Novska. But the principal decision was adopted at the -- by the
11 Territorial Defence Staff of Kostajnica.
12 Kostajnica was liberated exclusively by its own citizens, its own
13 people, without any policemen or territorial member from without, apart
14 from the fact that there were some 20-odd lads from my unit who helped
15 them, and one of these combatants from the Territorial Defence belonging
16 to the Sisak municipality was killed.
17 Q. Thank you. You said that Territorial Defence unit was headed by
18 the president of the municipality Ranko Mitrovic. In -- with regards to
19 that, I'm going to ask you this: Didn't you answer my question in the
20 previous session that after the first multi-party elections the president
21 of the municipality was a Croat in Kostajnica?
22 A. Yes. Mr. Miocevic was president of the municipality up to the
23 moment when he proposed for a part of the municipal budget of Kostajnica
24 be earmarked for the arming of Croatian paramilitary forces. Then
25 Mr. Miocevic was dismissed.
1 Q. Just a second.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Apologise, Your Honours. I did
3 not interrupt my witness in time while you were conferring.
4 Q. So, Mr. Dobrijevic, I'm going to ask you once again. You said
5 that counsel are in the Municipal Assembly. Mr. Miocevic who was also the
6 municipal president. When was he replaced? You mentioned the
7 circumstances of that event. When and why?
8 A. I don't remember the specific date, but he was replaced
9 exclusively because he had proposed that a part of the municipal budget of
10 Kostajnica be earmarked for -- and transferred to the military budget of
11 the Republic of Croatia.
12 Q. Does this mean that other councillors in the Assembly did not
13 accept that or was there another reason?
14 A. Yes. They did not accept that. And given that Racan's party was
15 victorious in the elections and that Racan performed a salto mortale and
16 joined the policy of Franjo Tudjman, which can be corroborated by a slew
17 of documents, Racan was, among other things, vice-Prime Minister.
18 At that time, Municipal Assembly members started defecting into
19 the SDS, Serbian Democratic Party, and councillors on the SDP ticket
20 started going into the SDS.
21 Q. Will I be mistaken if I conclude on the basis of what you said
22 that on -- for these reasons president of the municipality in 1991 was
23 Branko Mitrovic during the skirmishes that you explained?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. This is what you said?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Could you tell us when did the Territorial Defence units of
3 Kostajnica enter Kostajnica? Was there any combat, and could you refresh
4 our memory as to the number of Croatian paramilitaries in Kostajnica?
5 A. There was some 600 members of Croatian paramilitary units in
6 Kostajnica at the time, but Kostajnica was very difficult to defend, you
7 know, because it is surrounded by Serbian population from all sides, and
8 the main line was the river of Una and there was a bridge for Bosanska
9 Kostajnica. Maybe 26th of September combat started and then finished
10 within one day.
11 On the Serbian side there were six or seven killed, as far as I
12 know. Somewhat less on the Croatian side because Croatian forces
13 surrendered. The most -- majority of Croatian forces surrendered in
14 Bosanska Kostajnica to the army of Yugoslavia, and 60 to 80 members of
15 Croatian paramilitaries surrendered to the Territorial Defence unit on the
16 hill that we call Djed above Kostajnica.
17 Some of the forestry school deans from Zagreb was there. There
18 was some people from Television Zagreb or Zagreb television station among
19 these. I have video footage of the treatment of these captured members of
20 the Croatian paramilitary, and I can tell you, as far as I know, there
21 were not hurt after being captured. Not a hair on their head was
22 dishevelled. You can see on that footage them, you know, lounging about,
24 Q. Thank you. You said that Kostajnica was liberated by Territorial
25 Defence units in the way that you described, and they were under the
1 command of Branko Mitrovic, municipal president. What was the ethnic
2 composition of the Territorial Defence of Kostajnica?
3 A. Thank you for this question. 111 fighters of the Territorial
4 Defence were Croats. So 111 fighters on the side of the Territorial
5 Defence that was liberating Kostajnica were Croats.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. Maybe if you permit me, may I continue?
8 On the 1993 elections, first multi-party elections in the Republic
9 of Serbian Krajina, 1.200 Croats in Kostajnica voted, which means that
10 they must have been more than 2.000 of them staying there if we take into
11 account those minors who had no vote at the time, which is proof that
12 Croats were not expelled from Kostajnica. To the contrary. Most of the
13 Croatian population of Kostajnica remained living there.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm getting a little confused. I thought we were
15 dealing with the ethnic composition of the Territorial Defence of
16 Kostajnica. Was it composed of only 111 Croat fighters? Is that -- is
17 that the entire constitution? I see now you're talking about voting. The
18 next question deals with voting now. Let's exhaust one topic at a time.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. If it
20 pleases the Bench, I will try to elicit an answer to this question.
21 Q. Is it known to you, what was the number of Territorial Defence
22 units of Kostajnica?
23 A. Approximately 500, 600 members. I don't believe there were more
24 in Kostajnica.
25 Q. Thank you. When you made reference to 111 members of the TO of
1 Kostajnica and you referred to them as being Croats, does it mean that out
2 of 500 or 600 that 111 were Croats? What you meant to say?
3 A. Exactly what you stated. In the Territorial Defence units of
4 Kostajnica that were liberating Kostajnica, there were 111 fighters of
5 Croat ethnicity. Inhabitants of Kostajnica and the surrounding villages
6 who were the fighters of Territorial Defence of Kostajnica.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: What ethnic group --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me. To what ethnic group did the remainder
11 belong? The question was what was the ethnic composition of the
12 Territorial Defence. We still don't know to what group the remainder
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you answer that? Sir, you heard the question.
16 A. Yes, Your Honour. The remainder were mostly Serbs. There were a
17 few percentage points of others, Muslims or those who did not -- made any
18 declarations as to their ethnicity. Most of them were of course Serbs,
19 because Kostajnica used to be a Serb-dominated town in terms of
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. You put the conflict in Kostajnica somewhere towards end of
24 September 1991. You said, "As far as I can remember." Would mention of
25 12th or 13th of September, 1991, ring any bells or help you to connect
1 that date with the battles around Kostajnica? May I ask you a direct
2 question, because we have information about battles that took place on the
3 12th or 13th so that we do not have an impression that they were fighting
4 over Kostajnica twice.
5 A. I apologise to Your Honours. So much time has elapsed and there
6 are so many dates that I may be mistaken as to the correct date, and
7 please tolerate this.
8 Q. Thank you. You stated that you captured a number of Croatian
9 troops in Kostajnica. Were all of them captured or were there any who
10 left Kostajnica?
11 A. Some of them left Kostajnica, as I said, in the direction of
12 Novska --
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. -- through Bacin, and some of them surrendered in Bosnia, Republic
15 of Bosnia, because a regular Yugoslav army was stationed there.
16 Q. Thank you. At the time of that conflict and immediately after it,
17 what happened to the population of Kostajnica?
18 A. Population of Kostajnica would go back to Kostajnica, which was
19 only normal. A number of Croats, Croat inhabitants, left Kostajnica
20 together with Croatian paramilitaries, but the largest part of the
21 population stayed in Kostajnica. I'll corroborate that with the fact that
22 at the subsequent elections in Republic of Serbian Krajina more than 1.200
23 Croats with the right to vote did take part in the elections.
24 Q. Thank you. You say fighting around Kostajnica took one day. What
25 happened to villages of Bacin, Dubica, and Cerovljani at the time? Do you
2 A. These are villages on the axis between Kostajnica and Novska,
3 along the Una River in the so-called Banija triangle.
4 As far as I know, there were some groups of Croatian
5 paramilitaries there, and two or three days after the liberation of
6 Kostajnica, an operation to liberate the rest of the villages along this
7 axis was taken, the axis towards Novska, the aforementioned villages of
8 Bacin and the others.
9 Q. Thank you. Is it known to you personally that two or three days
10 after the liberation of Kostajnica there were any skirmishes or there was
11 now combat in those villages?
12 A. Of course there was some combat in those villages because there
13 were strong groups stationed there, groups of Croatian paramilitaries.
14 Q. Thank you. After TO forces entered Kostajnica at Bacin, Dubica
15 and Cerovljani, what happened to these villages next? Or did the troops,
16 Territorial Defence troops, do they stay in these villages? Do they make
17 further progress? This is the gist of my question.
18 A. The separation line between Republic of Serbian Krajina and
19 Croatia is a very long one and a very unnatural one, so to speak, because
20 it is meandering and that line had to be secured. The fighters who
21 liberated the Kostajnica and the other villages, practically they manned
22 the separation line to prevent Croatian paramilitaries from returning and
23 retaking that area.
24 Q. Could you tell us briefly, what area did this separation line go
1 A. I cannot be very specific. I should have a map in front of me.
2 Q. Apologise. We mentioned some major settlements in that area,
3 Sisak, south of it Petrinja, then Kostajnica. You mentioned Sunja. With
4 respect to these settlements, could you explain where the separation line
5 went? We mentioned Dubica as well.
6 A. From Sunja to Dubica and further towards Novska, that was the line
7 of separation manned by the Kostajnica Territorial Defence in the area of
8 separation between RSK and the Republic of Croatia.
9 Q. Thank you. From Sunja to Dubica and further to Novska this is how
10 you described this line of separation.
11 What does this term "line of separation" mean? What kind of a
12 line is it? What it separates; who from whom?
13 A. Which means that we dug trenches, put in sentries. Sentries
14 worked in shifts, and population was being secured from any incursions by
15 any units from the other side. The Croats manned such a line towards us,
16 and we had such a line towards them.
17 It was fine when we had a natural boundary; for instance, the
18 course of the River Sava or the River Una. But at places where no natural
19 boundaries could be found, this line of separation went through fields,
20 through forests and woods, and it was very difficult to man this line.
21 Q. If on the basis of your answer I were to conclude this was a front
22 line, would I be much mistaken?
23 A. You wouldn't, no. You wouldn't be mistaken. You wouldn't be
25 Q. Thank you. Since I do have a map, page 21, before me, how much
1 kilometres are there between Sunja and Dubica approximately?
2 A. 30, 35 kilometres.
3 Q. And so this line coincided with the front line?
4 A. The front line was far longer, as I already explained. It wasn't
5 a straight line. It was a line which coincided with some roads or natural
6 features or barriers at -- in the -- on the ground.
7 Q. Thank you. You said that TO forces of Kostajnica, after entering
8 Kostajnica, Dubica, Bacin, Cerovljani, manned this front line. Is it
9 known to you that after these events, around mid-September 1991, there
10 were any conflicts on that front line?
11 A. There were everyday conflicts of differing intensity.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. WHITING: Excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm just wondering if we
14 could maybe establish briefly a basis for this line of questioning now,
15 where the witness was at this time and how he knows these things. I don't
16 think that's been established. It's not clear to me where exactly he was,
17 except I think near Sisak, but it's not absolutely clear.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm grateful to my learned
20 colleague Whiting for this remark.
21 Q. Please, Witness, you told us about many details regarding these
22 name places. How do you know all this? Where were you at the time?
23 A. Distinguished Mr. Prosecutor, it will be easy for you to
24 understand, I believe. The villages of Sas up all the way to Zivaja,
25 Crkveni Bok, Livanjski Bok, Strmen, these are all villages we're referring
1 to, and these villages before the war used to be part of the Sisak
2 municipality, and we bordered the municipality of Kostajnica, and in the
3 village of Mala Gradusa we established a new municipality comprised of the
4 remaining Serbian villages, 23 villages from the former municipality of
5 Sisak which were left on this side of the border of RSK. I was one of the
6 founders of that municipality, that's one thing; and the second thing I
7 was deputy commander of the Territorial Defence in that area and we were
8 adjacent to Kostajnica, our territory, that is, and we had joint actions
9 and we made arrangements, and this was the only town that was in the
10 radius of 15 kilometres from my headquarters.
11 Another thing, commander of the Territorial Defence in that town
12 was a young man from Kostajnica. I told you that 21 or 22 fighters from
13 my unit took part in the liberation of Kostajnica. So I was in the
14 immediate vicinity in all these actions and operations that were
16 Q. Thank you. Thank you. What happened in Kostajnica after the
17 Territorial Defence units of Kostajnica entered the town? What happened
18 in terms of functioning of the organs of authority and with the people in
19 the area?
20 A. Perhaps this is not the right term to use when I say liberation of
21 Kostajnica, because actually the same authorities that we had prior to the
22 occupation of Kostajnica returned; namely, the president of the
23 municipality with all his administration that was there, had been there
24 before the occupation of Kostajnica.
25 So in Kostajnica and in that portion of the Banija triangle there
1 was not a single police station so that we attempted to establish organs
2 of authority because government could not function immediately. There
3 were houses that had been blown up and demolished. And of course, Your
4 Honours, you know what it means when one enters a certain area, even
5 though the authorities have been elected, but given the situation some
6 time is required in order for such authorities to indeed start to properly
7 and normally function.
8 Q. Thank you. Regarding the attitude of the authorities towards the
9 domestic population, what was that like?
10 A. The very fact that such a large number of Croats remained in
11 Kostajnica attests to the fact that the authorities were, shall I say,
12 very acceptable. But then there were some other disruptive factors in --
13 at work, at work, and certain groups emerged. We could not even all them
14 paramilitary units. These were some self-styled hooligans in different,
15 all manner of uniforms, and they tried to establish their own government
16 or authority, police or any other authority in different places. But I
17 explicitly wish to stress that such occurrences had nothing whatsoever to
18 do with the legal authorities in that part of Banija.
19 And that was not only the case with Kostajnica. This was
20 something which was the case with -- in the entire Krajina, but of course
21 I'm testifying here only about the situation in the Banija area.
22 Q. You referred to the emergence of certain groups that attempted to
23 organise themselves and to operate there, and you said that they were not
24 the authorities. What did they do? How did they try to operate? Who
25 were these people? Can you explain?
1 A. This was violent behaviour on the part of individuals. There were
2 certain groups -- there was one group, for instance, which was led by a
3 person called Japan; I think he was killed. And another one was led by
4 certain Stevo Borojevic, who I also believe was killed.
5 There were different other smaller or larger groups who would
6 terrorise the population at night. Not only Croats but also Serbs, but
7 primarily the Croats, the Croat population. Until the police station was
8 established in 1992, in the beginning of 1992, in January, we had lots of
9 problems in Kostajnica with such self-styled groups.
10 Q. When you talk about these problems, tell me how do you know about
11 that. How do you know about these occurrences?
12 A. Well, I do know about it because I personally came to meet them.
13 I knew them from the field there. And apart from that, I had very close
14 communication with the president of the municipality, with the leadership,
15 so that these were not unknown facts to me. And not only to me but to
16 anyone there who was active in the field.
17 Q. Thank you. You mentioned a person Borojevic and a certain person
18 by the name of Japan. Can you tell me, how were those people dressed?
19 What did they represent? How did they introduce themselves? How did they
20 act? You say they terrorised the population. Give me the specific fact.
21 A. A very important fact is that these were frustrated people,
22 frustrated chaps. There were a number of small groups and different
23 groups. There was one judge in among them, and unfortunately some of them
24 actually invoked Milan Martic's name saying that they practically
25 constituted some sort of his police or army; whereas, in actual fact, they
1 had never seen Milan Martic, or at least Milan Martic could not have even
2 heard of them by that time.
3 So that these were people who tried to project themselves as some
4 sort of authority by invoking the name of the then most renowned person in
5 the Krajina.
6 Q. Thank you. Do you know what the authorities, what the Territorial
7 Defence or, rather, whether they undertook any steps in order to prevent
8 the operation of such groups?
9 A. Well, lots of steps were taken. I know of a case and with the
10 leave of the -- Their Honours I will describe it. Namely, immediately
11 after the liberation of Kostajnica, the Croatian population in that area
12 was in jeopardy, precisely at the hands of these groups. And I know that
13 some noted people from this area of the Banija triangle, Mr. Glavas,
14 Mr. Misljenovic and a couple others, actually went to Knin and asked Milan
15 Martic for help, for something, anything, to be done in order to prevent
16 these and such developments that we had in the field.
17 In order not to be asked by the distinguished Prosecutor again how
18 I know that, let me say that it was very interesting that Milan Martic
19 should appear in that portion of the Banija triangle at that time. I
20 don't know whether he had been there any time before that. So he came by
21 helicopter and held a meeting. He came two days later, and at that time
22 there was a -- a unit of the Yugoslav army there which was under the
23 command of the Banja Luka Corps at that time.
24 I am underlining this because the Territorial Defence of Banija,
25 its troops had nothing to do whatsoever vis-a-vis that unit, in terms of
1 orders or anything else.
2 Q. Excuse me. I just want to ask you something in this connection.
3 You mentioned a number of noted people who went to see Mr. Martic who then
4 arrived two days later by helicopter. Why did they go to see precisely
6 A. Because they thought him to be the man wielding the most authority
7 in the Krajina then. And that was the reason which was also relayed to me
8 later when I talked to those people who had been to Knin. They expected
9 that Milan Martic would be able to take some steps, and they said, in
10 regard of Mr. Borojevic -- and the commander of that brigade was commander
11 Borojevic, Slobodan Borojevic, and the commander of this group was Stevo
12 Borojevic. So we are talking about Slobodan Borojevic.
13 I believe that at that time Mr. Martic simply issued an order and
14 joined upon the commander Slobodan Borojevic to dismantle -- to remove
15 from the bridge this group of self-styled camouflage people from the
16 bridge towards Dubica and to have that manned by the military police,
17 because I stress again we had no civilian police at that time in that
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just -- I just want to get a little more clarity
20 on this. Mr. Martic wielded the most authority in the Krajina at that
21 time. What kind of authority was this? Was he a minister or what kind of
22 authority did he wield at this point in time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Milan Martic at the time was the
24 minister of the interior of the Krajina.
25 However, in order to understand this genesis that I am developing
1 here, at that time in that area there were no units of the Ministry of the
2 Interior because the police had not been formed there yet, so that Milan
3 Martic could not have had an information as to what was happening in the
4 terrain, in the field there, because there were no police there. That is
5 why Territorial Defence members and these other people who were Assembly
6 men in the Municipal Assembly of Kostajnica actually went to seek
7 assistance from Mr. Milan Martic.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Ministry of the Interior --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, microphone, please.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it correct that the Ministry of the Interior
11 supervises the police, or does it supervise something else?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, you say at the time he was the Minister of the
14 Interior but there were no police formed yet, but you say he had
15 authority. Over what did he have authority? Or over whom did he have
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milan Martic's authority was built
18 very quickly, so to speak, because he was one of the people who aligned
19 himself with the imperiled Krajina people, and irrespective of his
20 function, he really had a charisma which was seen as charismatic in the
22 But Kostajnica had only been liberated a couple of days before
23 this, and there had been no time for a police administration or a police
24 station to be established there.
25 Immediately after Milan Martic left, a month or so after that, a
1 police station was set up in Kostajnica. Pero Vuruna was assigned its
2 chief, and after that, probably on orders from Martic, he also established
3 a police unit in the village of Sas, and that is because the situation
4 there was volatile and there was the danger that the Croats could suffer.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. Thank you for that answer, but you have not
6 really been able to tell me over what or over whom he had authority. I
7 take your point that you say he was a man of charisma, he had a lot of
8 authority. Do I understand you by that to say - as you said,
9 notwithstanding his functions - he had real power on anything? If he
10 wanted things to happen, he could make them happen whether they were
11 within his area of functioning or beyond. He was a man with effective and
12 real power in the Krajina. Is that what you said?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. You have
14 understood me well. He did have authority in that area, too, but only
15 subsequently when the police was established there. In this moment of
16 anarchy, no one could have had authority there, actual authority. He
17 wanted to establish his authority to protect the population, but the
18 actual establishment was later.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: The actual establishment was later, but at this
20 stage already before it was established he was exercising authority, real
21 authority, let alone authority that comes from the law?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We are not talking about the
23 authority in the sense of legal authorities. We are talking about his
24 personal authority, authority as a person. So such a personal authority
25 was required to change the situation in the field rather than just observe
1 it and register it.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe you didn't hear my question very well. That
3 was exactly what I was saying. That personally as a human being he just
4 had this authority, this charisma that you're talking about, and even
5 before he was established he was able to exercise his authority.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: And he could get things done. And you say that he
8 managed to get this police station established in these two villages.
9 Thank you very much.
10 I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Milovancevic. Thank you. You may
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Q. You referred to another Borojevic, the commander of the unit and
14 his conduct in connection with these developments. Why did you mention
16 A. I referred to Slobodan Borojevic. He was the commander of the
17 brigade which was comprised within the command of the Banja Luka Corps,
18 was under the command of the Banja Luka Corps. Precisely owing to such
19 relations in the field and the emergence of these different self-styled
20 groups and because of the jeopardy they posed to the population, that man
21 tried to leave or, rather, he threatened that he would leave the area with
22 his unit unless something changed there. And in my book or -- not
23 according to me but according to claims made by these people who went to
24 seek assistance from Milan Martic, that was one of the principal reasons;
25 namely, to prevent Slobodan Borojevic and his regular unit from leaving
1 the area.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you know what the position of Mr. Martic had been
3 towards the action of such groups and individuals?
4 A. Both then and later when I spent a short while as a more close
5 associate of Mr. Martic's, I know that he absolutely condemned such
6 conduct, and not in a single occasion did he tolerate any self-styled
7 groups or any kind of conduct which would be in contravention of
8 discipline and similar.
9 Q. Thank you. Can we now take a look at -- on our monitors. Exhibit
10 marked 602, which is a 65 ter Prosecution list document, and it is an
11 order by Mr. Martic referring to the municipality of Kostajnica of the
12 26th of November, 1991.
13 You see a document in front of you. In the top left-hand corner
14 it says the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina, the Ministry of the
15 Interior, Knin, the 26th of November, 1991. Do you see that,
16 Mr. Dobrijevic?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Can we scroll up so as to be able to see items 1 to 4 of this
19 text. Thank you.
20 I shall read for you items 1 and 4 of this. 1 says: "In
21 accordance with the written and oral agreement with the commander of the
22 Banja Luka Corps, Lieutenant General Nikola Uzelac, for civilian authority
23 affairs in war conditions, in the area of Dubica of the Municipal Assembly
24 of Kostajnica, up until the establishment of a regular police station of
25 public security in Dubica, all work and duties of public security in the
1 local commune of Dubica shall be discharged by the Kostajnica public
2 security station with assistance from the military police from the
3 Banja Luka Corps, i.e., the 3rd Detachment (with commander Captain First
4 Class Slobodan Borojevic)."
5 Item 4 reads: "All persons wearing camouflage uniforms but not
6 members of the SAO Krajina Police, not holding appropriate authorised IDs
7 or have not been legally assigned according to a decision of the Ministry
8 of the Interior of the Krajina shall return their markings, police
9 patches, and report to the military department of Kostajnica in order to
10 be assigned to the war units of the Yugoslav People's Army."
11 Did you see this, Mr. Dobrijevic? The signature in the bottom
12 right-hand corner is Milan Martic. Actually, it is typed out. And there
13 is a seal. Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You described in situation in Kostajnica and the surrounding area.
16 Does this order correspond to your knowledge about what was going on in
17 the field at that time?
18 A. This order confirms what I was telling you about.
19 Q. Thank you. Another question before we take the break. In item 4
20 of this order, there is reference to persons wearing camouflage uniforms
21 but who do not have any official IDs, any documents authorising them to do
22 so, and nor are they members of Krajina police. Is it known to you that
23 there were such people out in the field who were purported to be policemen
24 or -- or representatives of authorities at that time?
25 A. This is exactly what I said. There were various groups
1 self-styled roaming the area before official police authority and
2 hierarchy was established. Some were imprisoned, some perished in
3 intergroup recriminations and fightings, and some had to be -- had to
4 enter the legal formations of Krajina.
5 Q. When was SAO Krajina Police established, and this time in terms of
6 its being fully fledged?
7 A. At the beginning of 1992, Kostajnica in January, then Gradusa,
8 Petrinja, Glina. This is the period when Krajina police started
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe this
11 would be the right time to take the break.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. Thank you very much. We'll take the break
13 and come back at a quarter to 6.00.
14 Court adjourned.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Recess taken at 5.14 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 5.43 p.m.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just one small housekeeping lest it slips through
19 the cracks.
20 The Trial Chamber has an oral decision to render on a number of
21 motions and submissions that have been placed before the Chamber, and I'll
22 go on to read the decision. You will be given copies of this, so you
23 don't need to write.
24 The Trial Chamber is seized of several motions and submissions in
25 relation to the military expert report of Milisav Sekulic. The Trial
1 Chamber has considered all of the arguments of the parties and in the
2 interests of justice and of a fair and expeditious trial will render an
3 oral decision today. A written decision addressing all the issues raised
4 and elaborating the reasoning of the Trial Chamber will be rendered on
5 Monday, the 13th of November, 2006.
6 Having requested the curriculum vitae of Milisav Sekulic which was
7 provided to it today, the Trial Chamber has found that Milisav Sekulic
8 meets the requirements for being considered a military expert relating to
9 the issues in dispute in this case. However, before addressing Milisav
10 Sekulic's report under Rule 94 bis, the Trial Chamber notes the Defence's
11 request for an extension of time to comply with the Trial Chamber's order
12 of the 7th November 2006 and the Prosecution's objections thereto.
13 The Trial Chamber further notes that this is not the first time
14 that the Defence, in failing to meet a set deadline, requests a
15 last-minute enlargement of time which should appropriately have been
16 requested at a much earlier stage.
17 The Trial Chamber finds that such behaviour is far below the
18 requirement professional standard of counsel before this Tribunal.
19 The Defence's request for extension is denied. However, it should
20 be said that the Defence, in failing to meet the deadline set, has
21 forfeited the opportunity granted to it by the Trial Chamber to provide
22 adequate references for this report.
23 Turning now to the report itself. The Trial Chamber has assessed
24 the report in light of the Rules and the jurisprudence of the Tribunal.
25 As a result of this evaluation, the Trial Chamber has found that in order
1 to be able to admit the report as an expert report it is necessary to
2 redact it. The Trial Chamber also grants the Prosecution request for
4 The Trial Chamber has redacted the report and admits it into
6 May the registrar please give this an exhibit number.
7 The redacted version will now be distributed to the parties, and
8 this redacted version will be appended to the written decision.
9 Thank you very much. The witness may come in.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the Exhibit number will be 1012.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 [The witness enters court]
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Dobrijevic. There was a little matter
14 that needed to be attended to. Thank you very much.
15 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic, you may proceed.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I utter a
17 single sentence by your leave?
18 We've heard your oral decision. The opinion of the Chamber with
19 regard to our attitude to deadlines fell very heavily on us, so we had to
20 do the expert witness's job to reconcile hundreds of footnotes, and we are
21 nearing the end of these proceedings. So we never intended or we never
22 acted in bad faith or disregarded Chambers's orders. Objective
23 circumstances were at play. Justified or not justified, this will be for
24 you to judge, but let it be noted that our attitude toward your orders is
25 as responsible as possible under the circumstances surrounding this
1 Defence team.
2 This is the only thing I wanted to say with regard to that. And
3 if you allow me, I would like to continue examining the witness.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. I hope you understand
5 that the Chamber also said that with a very heavy heart.
6 Okay. You may proceed.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Q. Mr. Dobrijevic, before the recess the last thing that we dwelled
9 upon was the period when in the area of Banija there was established and
10 started functioning the SUP. Do you recall that period?
11 A. Yes, I did say --
12 Q. Thank you. Thank you. You remember discussing that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Thank you. At the very beginning of your statement you said that
15 you were for a while a coordinator for the SUP for Banija. When was that?
16 Who appointed you, and what were your duties and tasks? As brief as
17 possible, please.
18 A. I think that my role or my post was not that important. However,
19 Mr. Milan Martic, as the then minister of police of Krajina, simply judged
20 that a person of my qualities ought to help him at least in terms of
21 information when it came to relations obtaining in the area of Banija.
22 This was for a brief period, three, three and a half months. I do have in
23 my personal archives the decision on my dismissal. I was appointed in
24 December 1992, and in mid-April 1993 I was removed from that position, and
25 I was ordered at the same time to try to set up a military court with the
1 help of the Minister of Defence. I cannot recall his name. I will. It
2 will come back to me.
3 Q. Thank you. This will suffice. With regard to this situation and
4 the circumstances obtaining in the area of municipalities of Kostajnica
5 and the town of Kostajnica and the towns of Dubica, Bacin, Cerovljani,
6 Zivaja and Sas, and we are dealing with the September, October, and
7 November, 1991.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Which state existed as an internationally recognised entity? Do
10 you know that?
11 A. Exclusively the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.
12 Q. Thank you. Who was the then minister of interior of the federal
13 state. Do you recall?
14 A. It was General Petar Gracanin.
15 Q. Out on the ground in any of the republics of the Socialist
16 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, who was responsible for organising the
17 Ministry of Interior? Who was in charge of the federal level, and who was
18 in charge of republican level?
19 A. First of all, the federal secretary, federal police, and then
20 republican police authorities as subordinated level.
21 Q. Thank you. Another question pertaining to Kostajnica and the
22 surrounding settlements. In whose military zone of responsibilities these
23 settlements were in? Is it known to you?
24 A. Yes. I've reiterated that. That was within the area of
25 responsibility of the Banja Luka Corps.
1 Q. Thank you. In your CV that we referred -- made reference to at
2 the very beginning, you said that you were a minister in the government of
3 Mr. Babic in mid-1995. Could you tell us when was that government
4 premiered by Mr. Babic, when was it elected, at least a month, and which
5 portfolio did you hold?
6 A. That government as is known was elected in Topusko. I believe it
7 was on the 27th or 28th of July, 1995. That was the government with the
8 shortest term of all governments because it was established seven days
9 prior to Operation Storm. I was a minister without portfolio in that
11 Q. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you give us a date when it ceased being a
13 government of Babic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is very difficult to tell when it
15 ceased to be Babic's government, given that that government still
16 today --
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. You mentioned that Mr. Milan Babic, as Prime Minister of the
19 Republic of Serbian Krajina, was elected toward the end of July 1995 and
20 that you were a minister in that cabinet. Is it known to you anything
21 about the departure of Mr. Babic to Belgrade on the 2nd of August, 1995?
22 A. I would like to seek leave from the Chamber to elaborate upon -
23 very briefly - on the handful of days of the existence of this government
24 before the police action Operation Storm.
25 Upon the election of the government, we had received intelligence
1 by the -- Mile Mrksic, the then chief commander of the RSK that Krajina
2 had been attacked, and the whole of the government set off from Topusko to
3 Knin to attend a government session, and in Knin this government issued
4 certain conclusions because attacks against the Krajina had already
5 started in the peripheral areas.
6 Among other decisions, another decision was taken that five
7 ministers and Prime Minister Babic should depart for Belgrade because the
8 late Prime Minister Milan Babic had an appointment with the US ambassador
9 Peter Galbraith in Zagreb, and the other ministers were there to help
10 organise the affairs that -- and performance of the functions that we had
11 as members of the government.
12 Q. I apologise for this interruption. Who was the president of the
13 Republic of Serbian Krajina at the time?
14 A. Mr. Milan Martic.
15 Q. Thank you. Pursuant to this decision of the Knin session of the
16 government, did you go to Belgrade? What happened then?
17 A. We set out to -- for Belgrade early in the morning. In Belgrade
18 there was quite a lot of activity. We made great efforts to inform not
19 only the Yugoslav and Serbian leaderships but also ambassadors of other
20 countries. I remember I drew a letter to Kofi Annan. I don't know who
21 else was in charge of drafting letters addressed to important
22 international factors to prevent an imminent attack against the Krajina.
23 Mr. Babic, on the 2nd of August, went for talks with Peter
25 Q. I apologise for doing this to you. On the 2nd of August of which
1 year did Mr. Babic go to meet Mr. Galbraith?
2 A. The 2nd of August, 1995, three days before Operation Storm.
3 Q. Please state it for the record. 2nd of August, 1995?
4 A. Yes, I believe this chronology is clear. I'd like to reiterate
5 it. I was one of the ministers who was tasked with attending that
6 meeting, but at the last moment Prime Minister Milan Babic decided to hold
7 talks with Peter Galbraith on his own, and as far as I know that meeting
8 lasted from at least 8.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. And Mr. Babic returned from
9 that conversation. He was quite excited, and he reported the ministers
10 present there; Svetozar Vincic [phoen], Minister of Finance, and Mile
11 Bosnjic, Minister of Trade. I was there, and other people who worked in
12 the government's representative office at Terazije in Belgrade.
13 And Milan Babic reported back to us the following: Peter
14 Galbraith put it this way, President Tudjman has 1.000 troops on the
15 border, 100.000 in reserve, and he definitely is going to attack the
16 Krajina. Therefore, the only chance to save or to stave off an attack
17 against Krajina is for the delegation that was then in Geneva, meaning
18 Lazar Macura, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mile Vojinovic, assistant to
19 Mr. Martic at that time Mr. Prijic, and former commander of the army
20 General Mile Novakovic, and that was the delegation in Geneva at the
21 time. We were requested to deploy all possible means and to prevail upon
22 through our authority of this delegation to accept whatever may be
23 requested of it in order to prevent war. Failing that, and I'm quoting
24 verbatim the records of the late Prime Minister Babic as follows: Peter
25 Galbraith had said that if this is not going to be accepted, there will be
1 nobody we could seek help from. Yugoslavia was prevented from helping us,
2 apart from issuing appeals to the international community. And even if
3 Yugoslavia were to be engaged in war, it had fuel just for 15 days of
4 operations. And I'm talking about fuel to conduct a war. These words
5 were uttered by Mr. Milan Babic when relating the talks he had with Peter
6 Galbraith that night.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, Mr. Milovancevic. I'm sorry,
9 Mr. Dobrijevic. You may have mentioned this. I may have missed this.
10 What ministry were you a minister of at this time?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Minister without portfolio.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. We
15 failed to register that.
16 Q. You said that you sought to establish contact with the
17 Republika Srpska delegation in Geneva. Did you indeed get in touch with
18 them and what was achieved?
19 A. Yes, we communicated with that delegation throughout that night,
20 and I have to admit that not even the delegation was united initially in
21 the sense that everything should be accepted, but of course these details
22 are not crucial for this august Tribunal, but we agreed that whatever our
23 delegation was requested should be accepted, and as far as I know, it was
24 agreed that the negotiations would continue on the next Thursday at the
25 Pleso airport in Zagreb at a high level, meaning the Prime Minister and
1 the ministers, that the railway would be unblocked, and that we were to
2 deal with and resolve economic and military issues.
3 Q. Thank you. Was -- did the delegation of the Republic of Serbian
4 Krajina in Geneva accept that, and what happened thereafter?
5 A. Yes, absolutely the delegation fully accepted this, and in fact in
6 a way we tried to have a modest celebration of that on the premises.
7 However, unfortunately nevertheless the republic of the Serbian Krajina
8 was attacked, and that morning I set off and went to Banja Luka because
9 the present ministers had proposed me to be the coordinator of the refugee
11 However, we expected that this would only -- that would only be
12 the wounded, the elderly, and the children. However, the Storm operation
13 had been so vehement that it actually marked the end of the Republic of
14 the Serbian Krajina.
15 Q. Can you tell us whether the Republic of the Serbian Krajina could
16 have defended itself on its own militarily from the attack by Croatian
18 A. With your permission, Your Honours, I should like to explain this.
19 After the Flash operation, after the collapse of Western Slavonia,
20 I had a conversation with the late President Slobodan Milosevic. Two days
21 after the fall of Western Slovenia, these are the words which I addressed
22 to Slobodan Milosevic. I said to him, "Mr. President, the way that
23 Western Slovenia has fared, that is how the entire Krajina shall fare
24 should we be attacked by Croatia and that, for a basic reason, the reason
25 being that there are not 50 or 60.000 combatants in the Krajina as some
1 would have us believe. This is an army that has not been lined up for
2 years. These are exhausted people, people exhausted from manning the
3 demarcation lines and the front lines. There is not the slimmest of
4 chances that they will be able to withstand an onslaught by the Croatian
5 army, Croatian army which have 36 planes at the end of the war."
6 Q. What did Mr. Milosevic say to you?
7 A. Mr. Milosevic literally said this to me, and since many
8 conversations have been intercepted I would like to quote. He said
9 verbatim: "Mr. Dobrijevic, you are under United Nations protection. If
10 the United Nations do not save and protect you and you yourself are unable
11 to fight and defend yourselves, what I can promise you is only that I will
12 be building you houses in Serbia."
13 And that was the end of the conversation between me and the late
14 President Slobodan Milosevic.
15 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'd like to pose a question, Mr. Milovancevic.
16 Who had told you that there were 50 to 60.000 combatants in the
17 Krajina? You said, "as some would have you believe." Who led you to that
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never believed that, because I
20 knew what the actual situation was. That was the number of combatants
21 that we did have in the Krajina, but these were not people who were combat
22 able. They were elderly people. There were elderly people with hunting
23 rifles among them. And over the four years of the existence of the
24 republic of the Serbian Krajina, many of those people had gone elsewhere
25 to foreign countries in search of bread because of economic
1 considerations. So that there could be no talk about any serious combat
2 units that would be able to actually take on the Croatian army. We could
3 not count on any such units.
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much, Mr. Dobrijevic.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. I didn't think Mr. Dobrijevic answered the
6 question. The question was: Who made you believe in any case, whether
7 you believed it or not? Who had said that you had 50 to 60.000 combatants
8 in the Krajina?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is the figure
10 that was being bandied about in view of the fact that the population of
11 the Krajina at that time numbered some 230.000. So it was a ratio.
12 According to that population number, the number of able-bodied people
13 capable of going to war would be about 50 to 60.000 people.
14 But of course you know the Krajina stretches from Beli Manastir to
15 Drnis. This is so long a border that, quite simply, even if we had such
16 numbers in units prepared adequately for combat, they would have been
17 unable to defend themselves from Croatia. But in my personal estimate,
18 25 to 30.000 soldiers were in fact actually capable of fighting at that
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much.
21 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. You said that the Serbian delegation in Geneva accepted the
24 agreement and then Croatia attacked on the following day. Do you know
25 what President Milosevic mentioned to you happened; namely, did the United
1 Nations defend Krajina then as it was under their protection, its
3 A. Your Honours, this is a notorious fact. Had the United Nations
4 indeed protected the Krajina, the Krajina would have survived. We were a
5 UN protected zone, but at least in my view Croatia did not attack the
6 Republic of the Serbian Krajina. Croatia attack the United Nations. And
7 I believe that this is a fact that neither this Tribunal, this august
8 Tribunal, or anyone in the world could -- can overlook.
9 Q. Thank you. In connection with a personal particular that you
10 referred to, namely that at a certain point in time you had left Sisak,
11 and in responding to a question of mine you said, "I left in order not to
12 be killed." Do you remember that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you explain to us what you meant by those words? What period
15 does that refer to, and who would have killed you, Mr. Dobrijevic?
16 A. I really, really implore the -- Their Honours to allow me a couple
17 of sentences relevant to -- related to the crimes in Sisak.
18 In Sisak, 611 people were liquidated. I have that list. I have
19 brought it with me, and I insist and I beg that that list be admitted as
20 an exhibit into the case file before this Tribunal.
21 611 people were killed in Sisak, from which number 99 per cent
22 were civilians. The liquidations in Sisak and -- were such -- Sisak is
23 virtually what Jasenovac was in Croatia. Everything which happened around
24 Osijek and Gospic was nothing compared to what was happening in Sisak.
25 And allow me -- I just said this by way of introduction, as an
1 initial premise.
2 Q. Excuse me. I asked you a very specific question and you are
3 answering at some length. Who killed whom and why? Tell us in two
5 A. It was towards the end of 1990 and the beginning of 1991 that the
6 liquidations in Sisak started. The list which I have contains the names,
7 the last names, the time of liquidation, and in respect of certain
8 individuals and persons also the place where the liquidations took place.
9 One of the first liquidations was the murder of Mr. Damjan Zilic
10 who was taken from his workplace in the refinery and his wife Mrs. Zilic
11 Gligorincic [phoen] was a Croat and the president of the Petrinja
12 municipality prior to the war.
13 Many policemen were also killed, policemen who did not accept the
14 new Croatian emblems, the so-called chequer-boards.
15 In addition to that, the most liquidations in Sisak were of
16 pensioners in the area of Zeleni Breg.
17 Q. Excuse me. Of what ethnicity were the killed people?
18 A. I'm talking solely about killed Serbs. Perhaps five or six people
19 of Croat ethnicity are on this list and they were also liquidated. But
20 the majority, not to say almost all of them, practically were Serbs.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, we must finish. You must finish
22 with this witness today for your examination-in-chief. We've taken too
23 long to get your answers -- your questions answered.
24 The question that you asked the witness specifically, and he can
25 say that in one or two words, who was going to kill him. That was the
1 question. And now he's telling us about the death of Mr. Damjan Zilic.
2 That's all very interesting, but it doesn't answer your question.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Just
4 a brief remark. I will be concluding in a very short time, perhaps five
5 minutes, my examination-in-chief.
6 Q. Mr. Dobrijevic, I asked you who were you threatened by? Why did
7 you want to, why did you have to leave Sisak?
8 A. By your leave, Your Honours, let me just explain that Djuro
9 Brodarac, two years before the establishment of the Croatian state who had
10 been a famous Croatian nationalist and a commander of Croatian youth
11 brigades during the Croatian maspok movement --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just who was threatening to kill you. I think it's
13 a very simple question. We understand that historical background, but
14 just answer directly the question of the lawyer.
15 Mr. Milovancevic.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I will do my best to lead
17 the witness. Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Dobrijevic, we have to abide by procedure here which is
19 applicable before this Tribunal. I asked you a specific question. You
20 described the situation, but please tell us who threatened you? Where
21 does this danger threatening you - as you say mortal danger - come from?
22 A. Primarily from the MUP of Sisak. If that is sufficient, and I
23 believe it is not.
24 Q. It is sufficient. Thank you. Can we now take a look at a Defence
25 document on the monitor, 1D0134.
1 Mr. Dobrijevic, there you have a human rights document, Human
2 Rights Watch document before you from September 2006. I will read the
3 second paragraph. It reads: "Between 1991 and 1992, more than 100
4 Croatian Serbs reportedly 'disappeared' or were killed in and around the
5 town of Sisak, located about 50 kilometres south-east of Zagreb. They
6 were victims of a campaign of killings and disappearances as well as of
7 assaults and threats. In several cases, the suspected perpetrators were
8 members of the Croatian army or police forces."
9 Do these -- does this information by Human Rights Watch correspond
10 to what you know from 1990 and 1991?
11 A. Absolutely.
12 Q. Thank you. It will suffice. We have to bear in mind the time.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I propose that
14 this document be admitted into the case file.
15 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I have no objection, though it's not
16 Human Rights Watch. It's Amnesty International. But I have no objection.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
18 You do admit that?
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. The document is admitted into
21 evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this becomes Exhibit number 1013.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
24 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic. Sorry.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we see another
1 document, which is Defence document 133. This is an Amnesty International
2 document. It is page 13 that we're interested in. That's the English
3 text version, page 13. And this document is dated 13 December 2004.
4 I think that we have page 12 on the monitor. And this is the
5 page, page 13 that we want to see. Can we have the entire page shown,
7 Q. I'm going to read a part of the text, Mr. Dobrijevic, from this
8 page. "Information on crimes against the Croatian Serb population in and
9 around Sisak, a town in central Croatia, situated approximately 50
10 kilometres south-east of Zagreb, became available in the early phase of
11 the armed conflict. In several cases, the suspected perpetrators were
12 members of the Croatian army or police forces. Between 1991 and 1992
13 Croatian Serbs in Sisak and in the surrounding areas became victims of a
14 campaign of killings, abductions, 'disappearances,' assaults and threats.
15 In November 1991, Amnesty International reported that up to 21 Serbian
16 villagers are said to have been killed on 22nd August 1991 in the villages
17 of Kinjacka, Cakale and Trnjani near Sisak when Croatian forces undertook
18 a house-to-house search for Serbian paramilitaries who had fired mortars
19 at the town of Sisak."
20 And this was in quotation marks. "In a report published in March
21 1992, Amnesty International provided information on the killing of 12
22 Croatian Serbs in Sisak, some of whom had been employed in the INA oil
24 And just a part of the next paragraph. "The crimes committed in
25 Sisak relatively little known outside of Croatia were chosen as
1 illustrative examples of a widespread pattern of violations committed
2 against the civilian population allegedly by members of the Croatian army
3 and police forces. To Amnesty International's knowledge, in no cases have
4 these crimes been -- sorry. The crime of intimidation against Croatian
5 Serbs and in general those suspected of not supporting Croatian
6 independence which was prevailing in Sisak already at the start of the
7 conflict is illustrated by the publication on 29 June 1991 in the Croatian
8 magazine Slobodni Tjednik of a list of 14 Sisak residents. The list
9 included the names and, in some cases, the addresses and telephone numbers
10 of alleged enemy collaborators and members of the Yugoslav military
11 intelligence, the KOS."
12 This information produced by Amnesty International in 2004, does
13 this correspond to the situation you attempted to describe and indeed
14 described before this Tribunal today?
15 A. Yes, but this is just minor information, and I should like to ask
16 Their Honours to allow me at least a couple of minutes to elaborate on
18 Q. Mr. Dobrijevic, thank you. It is sufficient. We have to abide by
20 The next question I'd like to put to you --
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
22 document as Defence Exhibit, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
24 please be given an exhibit number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number 1014.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You mentioned that at a certain point you were a member of a
4 political party whose headquarters was blown up. Do you remember that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What was the title of the party?
7 A. League of Communists-Movement for Yugoslavia.
8 Q. What was the attitude of the Croatian authorities of the ruling
9 party towards that political party at that time in 1991?
10 A. What was irritating Croatian authorities most at the time was any
11 political party of Yugoslav provenance, of Yugoslav orientation. At the
12 time, Croatian authorities wanted to turn the SDS into an extremist
13 political party so as to be a counterweight of the then ruling Croatian
14 extremist parties to provide justification for the then secessionists'
15 endeavours of the Croatian leadership.
16 I was part of the left, and whoever on the left tried to preserve
17 Yugoslavia we were targeted, as such, by Croatian politics and Croatian
18 forces of coercion.
19 Q. With regard to that, one question. How do you explain your thesis
20 that Croatian authorities in Croatian politics were against a political
21 party which favoured Yugoslav orientation in a situation where Croatia
22 insisted that its representative be president of Yugoslavia in 1991? And
23 I'm referring to President Mesic.
24 A. Stipe Mesic practically used his position to finish off
25 Yugoslavia, and this is -- there is a well-known statement of his. "I've
1 done my job. Yugoslavia is no more." I've brought this footage with me,
2 if necessary.
3 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Dobrijevic. This is
5 And now the last exhibit, last document before I finish.
6 Exhibit 1D0181.
7 Before the document appears on the screen, I would like to explain
8 that this is the minutes of the meeting of the Supreme State Council on
9 the 12th of November, 1991. You can see before you a page of that --
10 those minutes. It states here, beginning at 12.15, chaired by president
11 Dr. Franjo Tudjman, president of the Republic of Croatia.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, Mr. Milovancevic. Do we have an English
13 version, or maybe did I get the wrong thing?
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we had this
15 translated a long time ago. There should be an English version in the
16 system. I have a hard copy with me.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: It has come up. Thank you so much.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the first page in
19 the B/C/S version to be scrolled down so that we can see the entire text.
20 Thank you.
21 Q. So, this would be a transcript of a meeting of the 36th Session of
22 the Supreme State Council, 12th of November, 1991, chaired by President
24 On the first page, below the word "president," it states that the
25 president has introduced the agenda, and there is references to the
1 attitude towards the Presidency of federal Yugoslavia.
2 Do you see that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Let us take a look the page 114 in the B/C/S version of these
5 minutes. In the English version that will be page 2. This text begins
6 towards the bottom of the page, the one that I'm going to highlight for
7 you. And I'm highlighting the words of Mr. Mesic.
8 Mr. Mesic, at this meeting of the Croatian leadership, says the
9 following: "Can I say something, because I have some other informations
10 that will certainly be of interest to you."
11 This is what he says at the beginning of the first paragraph, and
12 I'm going to skip some text to speed up the proceedings.
13 And somewhere else he says: "Through a contact from Korcula, I
14 obtained a possibility to meet with Andreotti. That wasn't a firm
15 commitment in my opinion, and being afraid of being compromised, I took
16 the decision, whatever may happen. Not because this was a contact from
17 Korcula but --"
18 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, I'm going to object, and I waited for a
19 moment because I wasn't exactly sure.
20 I received notice that this document was going to be used just
21 minutes before the session today, so I really have not had a chance to
22 fully read it. But from the little I've read and from where things are
23 going now, I object on grounds of relevance. That's the first objection.
24 I don't see -- this I think is about -- going to be about the dissolution
25 of Yugoslavia, one of the topics that Your Honour said you don't need more
1 evidence about, about the Carrington negotiations, the Vance Plan
2 negotiations and so forth. I think that's what this is about.
3 Secondly, I would object on the grounds of -- of foundation. I'm
4 not sure how this witness has any basis to talk about these -- this
5 meeting and this transcript and so forth.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this topic is not
7 dissolution of Yugoslavia. I -- we disagree with the learned friend. It
8 didn't go for dissolution but the break-up of Yugoslavia, and this
9 document testifies to the attitude of the then president of the
10 Presidency, the Croat representative Stipe Mesic, as the president of the
11 Presidency of SFRY.
12 We had occasion to see a video footage of his famous sentence, and
13 we had to ascertain what he said, whether he said it, and what he meant,
14 and to understand that video footage it is necessary to take a look at
15 this transcript of the minutes from that meeting, and many things will
16 become clear once we've had a chance to see this part of the text.
17 And the witness provided grounds for this exhibit to be led. The
18 witness said Stipe Mesic came from Croatia to Yugoslav Presidency to break
19 up that country, and he quoted Stipe Mesic as saying, "I've done my job.
20 Yugoslavia is no more."
21 So both grounds for this objection are not founded.
22 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would just note, I'm sorry, the date
23 of this document is the 12th of November, 1991, and I don't believe that
24 Mr. Mesic is the president of the Presidency on that date. I think he --
25 so I think it's inaccurate to say that this is when he's the president of
1 the Presidency. And in any event, I think it's still an irrelevant topic.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: While you're on your feet, Mr. Milovancevic, and
3 answering the point that has been raised, can you answer the other ground
4 of objection that was raised earlier; namely, relevance. Or, rather,
5 exclusion by the Court.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours. Your Honours, I
7 believe that this issue has not been excluded by the Bench, and this is
8 why I think it has not: We saw video footage recorded on the 5th of
9 December when President Mesic speaks to the parliament in Zagreb, and he
10 says, "I think that I've done my job. Yugoslavia is no more," followed by
11 an applause. This was one month after this event, and this document is
12 closely connected to the decisions of the Badinter Commission, and the
13 Prosecution has led the conclusions of that commission on the borders of
14 the then republics and the status of these republics. He's led it and
15 drew some conclusions on the basis of that. And by leading this document
16 we are connecting it with the Badinter Commission, and we give the Bench
17 an opportunity to see what the Badinter Commission was doing. This
18 document precedes the conclusions of the Badinter Commission and it
19 contains very interesting facts.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I agree 100 per cent with you, Mr. Milovancevic,
21 that we saw footage here of a video showing Mr. Stipe Mesic say those
22 words. However, that was before the oral order of the Chamber, say,
23 excluding certain topics.
24 Now, as I sit here, I have no clear recollection that this topic
25 was excluded or not excluded. Mr. Whiting says it was. You say it
1 wasn't, but you justify that by saying the Prosecution led evidence on
2 this. Obviously the things that were excluded, lots of evidence had been
3 led on them. The reason they are excluded is because the Bench says it
4 has heard enough, and I am saying, yes, when this video footage was played
5 it was before that order, and since that footage the order has come out to
6 say the Bench has heard enough. So you're going to have to establish
7 by -- by reference to the order that this has not been excluded, not
8 because it was led. We don't dispute that evidence was led on the topic.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Defence will
10 accept the stance of our learned colleagues that this would be superfluous
11 if he were to accept that our thesis that Croatia was performing a violent
12 secession from Yugoslavia. And this is issue number one, top issue in
13 this trial, in this case. If the Prosecution were to utter that, then
14 there's no job for us.
15 And as to the question whether enough evidence has been led
16 concerning this issue is an issue requiring consideration, very deep
17 consideration. We've led examination through cross-examination of
18 witnesses and some other documents, but now we have documents coming and
19 originating from Croatian leadership itself.
20 So this goes for a document where Croatian representative in
21 Yugoslavia leadership precisely states what he'd been doing and what
22 others had been doing very briefly and succinctly, and our learned
23 colleague, during witnesses sitting here, pleads in the indictment
24 something completely else, and we have no other evidence, no other
25 exhibits, and no documents, and no other questions except for that one,
1 Your Honours, for this witness.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any reply?
3 MR. WHITING: No, Your Honour. I press my objection on both
4 grounds, but I don't have any further argument about it.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: May I ask a question. Maybe Mr. Milovancevic
6 can answer, but Mr. Whiting, maybe you could answer equally.
7 Is this the first time that the Defence would be leading evidence
8 of this nature on this area, or has there been other evidence coming from
9 the Defence in respect of the subject matter in issue?
10 MR. WHITING: Well, I would -- I would -- I think those are two
11 different questions, and the answer to the first question, evidence of
12 this nature it's probably the first time. I don't think we have any other
13 transcripts of conversations from Croatian leaders, to my recollection.
14 So I think evidence of this nature probably the first time.
15 Is it the first time they've led evidence on this issue?
16 Certainly not. This issue has been revisited again and again and again
17 and again that Croatia was violently seceding from -- and not only has
18 there been enormous amounts of evidence about that, but I really am not
19 sure I see the relevance of even that claim to the charges in the
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, if I may just -- perhaps just help Judge
22 Nosworthy also remember, that at some stage during the Defence case there
23 was a dispute as to what the words of Mr. Mesic were actually, and the
24 Defence played us footage - what do you call it, a clip - where his words
25 were -- we heard him speak. So, yes, this topic has been visited before.
1 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much, Judge.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, apologise. It is
3 very difficult for me to agree with this statement.
4 We haven't dealt with this issue in this manner. My learned
5 friend from the Prosecution said something that really surprised me. Why
6 would this be relevant? Protocol II to the 1949 Geneva Conventions in
7 Article 1, paragraph 2, states that armed insurgency as opposed to civil
8 war is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the state where this
9 insurgence takes place and that state may suppress this insurgence by all
11 And this is an issue that this Bench will have to take into
12 careful consideration. This is an international law provision. Article 3
13 to Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, and that protocol was adopted in
14 1977. Additional Protocol II Geneva Conventions. Article 3 says that
15 civil war in a country in no way -- I'm paraphrasing Article 3 of
16 Protocol II. Civil war in no way can be used for illegal actions against
17 a high-contracting party, a sovereign state, and this referred to
18 Yugoslavia. On the 12th of November, 1991, is a moment when Yugoslavia
19 existed, Your Honours, and when its president Stjepan Mesic was doing
20 something which ought to be of interest for this Bench, and we haven't led
21 any evidence on this. What some politician briefly stated to the press,
22 that's something which is in a newspaper article, but you're not going to
23 base your decisions on newspaper articles. But this is a transcript of a
24 meeting of the Croatian leadership which concerns the topic discussed by
25 Article 3 of Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions.
1 I'm very flabbergasted, Your Honours, why the Prosecution says
2 that whether this is relevant or not. What have we been doing for the
3 past 10 months? This indictment alleges an armed conflict within a
4 republic in Yugoslavia. The fact that the ICTY refers to Yugoslavia means
5 that it refers to a state, and now the Prosecution will preclude me from
6 leading evidence on grounds that the Bench has ruled excluded some issues.
7 But it cannot rule so. I -- my thesis is that this topic has only been
8 superciliously, superfluously touched upon, and it's going to be the
9 subject matter of a much deeper and comprehensive analysis of our expert
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, thank you for the long thesis and
12 the scholarly address.
13 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry. Just one minute, Judge, before you
15 At the penultimate line of what you had said, did you mean
16 superfluously or superficially, because it's relevant to what ...
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for the
18 question. I said superficially, very little, in a very modest measure.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Having thanked you for all that long
20 scholarly address, can I just find out something? You jumped after I'd
21 spoken. Am I wrong to say the Defence played a clip of Mr. Mesic speaking
22 in a -- to clear the point on what his actual words were? I'm wrong to
23 say so? Because you said -- you started off by saying you cannot agree
24 with what I was saying, and all I said was we have to remind Judge
25 Nosworthy we had a clip here played in which -- which was produced by the
1 Defence in which Mr. Mesic spoke, and you played that clip because there
2 was a dispute as to what his actual words were.
3 Now, and if playing that clip and the evidence that was led around
4 that point was not dealing with this topic, I'm quite prepared to say --
5 to apologise if you say I'm wrong, sir. Was I wrong to say so? Is that
6 why you disagree with me?
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Perhaps I
8 spoke ahead of my own self. You did refer to that film, to that footage,
9 to that clip. It was played, and we actually verified what was said in
10 the footage.
11 What I wanted to say is something else, that by seeing that video
12 footage we did not actually deal with this topic comprehensively. I
13 thought that your explanation had to do with the Prosecutor's objection,
14 but I went farther than that. I was dealing with the nature of the
15 objection, not with what you had said.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mine had to do with reminding Judge Nosworthy
17 further that the topic had been dealt with, that's all. Whether it was in
18 detail or not --
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I read you. That is the
20 way I understood, Your Honour. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think the Bench would like to rule on the
22 objection, and I think simply because this is the first time that we're
23 getting this kind of testimony I am going to allow Mr. Milovancevic to
24 proceed, this kind of minute from the Croatian authorities.
25 You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Dobrijevic, I have read -- I have started to read for you the
3 text marked in the B/C/S, 114, in which Mr. Mesic said that via a private
4 Korcula link he had gone to Italy to visit Andreotti. And then he
5 says: "I think it was good that I was there. Andreotti asked for some
6 information which are now surprising for him."
7 And I am skipping over. I'm going to the next paragraph, and I'm
8 reading the continuation of the text. That ought to be on, for Your
9 Honours -- let me just see what page it is. Page 16 of the translation.
10 So Mr. Mesic says he had visited Andreotti, and he goes on to
11 say: "But what is the most important for us?" This is what he says.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ...
13 JUDGE HOEPFEL: The translation has only --
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Page 16 in English, Your
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The English only has up to 12 pages.
17 MR. WHITING: I think what he means is it's -- it's page 16 on the
18 bottom of the page, that the -- these are -- the English translation is --
19 it skips pages. It's excerpts. It's not a complete translation, so ...
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We are with you now.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone Your Honour, please.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: We -- I'm sorry.
23 We are with you now, Mr. Milovancevic.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank
25 you, Your Honour.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note the English booth has the
2 B/C/S text, so we are translating from the booth.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Stjepan Mesic continues, says in his meeting with
5 Mr. Tudjman: "What is the most important for us?" That is what he
6 says. "That had the Croatian diplomacy been good -- that it was good that
7 they used all possibilities to portray Croatia in the most democratic of
8 lights and now that is our advantage. And this is what he told me. He
9 told me that because of that this is something that I can only relay to
10 the president of the republic counting that it won't be -- it won't be
11 related further."
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. In the next paragraph he says -- so Mr. Mesic is quoting the words
14 of Mr. Andreotti; namely, Austria, Germany, and Italy would opt for a
15 separate recognition of Croatia if that is not accepted by the European
16 Community. "And I have already agreed when I was staying with him to meet
17 with Genscher and I would do that probably tomorrow or the day after
19 And yet a further part of this text that I'm interested in. Just
20 a minute. Excuse me.
21 Mr. Mesic then goes on to say -- that is page 116 of the B/C/S
22 version: "But I came there ostensibly from Yugoslavia. Therefore,
23 whatever my function may be, no matter whether it functions or not, it is
24 from that position, nevertheless, that I stated that the only solution was
25 to recognise reality."
1 And then he goes on to say: "He says that we have obstacles being
2 put in our way by Lord Carrington. He told me this in confidence. He
3 said," he being Lord Carrington, also to Andreotti himself, "that he had
4 heard from Milosevic that 27 Serbian villages had been razed to the
5 ground, destroyed by the Croatian army which also expelled the Serbs, and
6 that Milosevic had also said that he was not asking for an inch of land in
7 the sense that it should be some sort of a Greater Serbia, that he was
8 only interested in the rights of the Serbs in Croatia."
9 Do you see that Mr. Dobrijevic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At the time while you were in the territory of Banija and
12 throughout the subsequent period of time, do you think that these facts
13 that Mr. Mesic is imparting to Mr. Tudjman were something which really
15 A. Yes, absolutely. I, in fact, think that this corroborates my
16 testimony in its entirety, including the thesis which I have not managed
17 to adduce.
18 Q. Do you -- do you know when the Badinter Commission gave its
20 A. I cannot remember the date right now but I know of that
22 Q. What is your opinion as a jurist and as a witness of the time?
23 What is your opinion about the work of the Badinter Commission in the
24 light of what Mr. Mesic says? Namely: "Andreotti promised to me that
25 Italy, Austria, and Germany will recognise Croatia if the European
1 Community does not"?
2 A. I should like to reply to this question in more or less the same
3 way as things unfolded -- namely, in the same way as things unfolded in
4 1941, they evolved in 1991. The same sponsors of the war and those who
5 waged war in Yugoslavia then and now featured in Croatia again.
6 So it is indisputable that the Catholic church, Germany, Austria,
7 Italy, who were on -- that they were on the side of Croatia, and that is
8 why Croatia decided to get rid of the Serbs, commit genocide against the
9 Serbs, and make itself a state upon a genocide of the Serbs, because it is
10 well known that after these events half a million of Serbs left Croatia.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
13 questions for this witness. May I ask that this document be admitted into
14 the case file. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
16 please be given an exhibit number.
17 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would note that we read two
18 paragraphs of what is in fact a 100-page document. There are 12 pages
19 translated in English. I'm not sure if the Defence intends to put in the
20 entire document. I certainly would like to have a -- I certainly have not
21 read the 12 pages, let alone the hundred pages. Perhaps this could be
22 deferred until Monday, the admission of the document. I'd have an
23 opportunity then to review it.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a -- you have the 200 pages [sic] in English?
1 MR. WHITING: Yes, the translation actually comes from us. We did
2 the translation.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not disagree
5 with learned friend's proposal that you rule on Monday, and if he hasn't
6 had an opportunity to see the document, there's no reason for him not to
7 do so by Monday.
8 I must just note that we received this document from the
9 Prosecutor under Rule 68 a couple of years ago as potentially exculpatory
10 evidence. We received it from them and we translated only those parts
11 that we deemed relevant.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine. He does say he's got a translation,
13 sir, and he does acknowledge that you got that document from them.
14 In that event, then, the admission of the document will be kept in
15 abeyance until Monday when we will hear from the Prosecution.
16 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Witness, maybe as I am from Austria, I am of
17 course a little irritated by what you said about Austria being -- having
18 been one of the sponsors of the World War II. Do you mean that, or was
19 this a mistake?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, when it comes to World War II,
21 I can be more tolerant when it comes to Austria. But with regard to this
22 year, absolutely not. You know that 23 MiG aircraft --
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I didn't ask you to be tolerant but to be exact.
24 Do you call Austria one of the sponsors of World War II? Yes or no?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot answer with a yes or no.
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Okay. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: The witness cannot answer the question with yes or
4 no. Thank you. That's enough.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
6 Mr. Milovancevic, did you say this brings you to the end of your
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 I've concluded my examination-in-chief. I have no further questions.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then -- yes?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Apologise. Your Honour, Your
12 Honour Moloto, with regard to what witness said and what His Honour Judge
13 Hoepfel referred to, the Defence knows in 1938 there was the Anslauss of
14 Austria. These are historical facts which fall outside the remit of
15 this -- of these proceedings, and for that reason we did not insist on
16 these questions any further.
17 JUDGE HOEPFEL: It was myself --
18 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Judge Hoepfel, I don't think we should take it
19 any further. I think we should bring the chapter to an end.
20 JUDGE HOEPFEL: -- history and knowledge, and I said I had enough.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 Thank you very much. The matter then stands adjourned until
24 Monday, the 13th of November, at quarter past 2.00 in Courtroom II.
25 Court adjourned.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 13th day
3 of November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.