1 Monday, 14 November 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, doctor. May I remind you of the
7 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence which still
9 WITNESS: JURAJ NJAVRO [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
12 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much, indeed.
13 Examined by Mr. Moore: [Continued]
14 Q. Doctor, on Friday, you told us that you were taken to
15 Sremska Mitrovica. Do you remember that, giving that evidence?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I haven't very many questions for you but let's just deal with one
18 or two aspects. I think it's also correct to say, is it not, that you
19 were taken to a -- what is called a higher military court; is that
21 A. That's correct. I was taken before an institution called the
22 higher military court in Belgrade.
23 Q. And if I deal with it in general terms, you were charged with
24 organising an armed rebellion; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct, Mr. Prosecutor.
1 Q. Also accused of carrying out organ transplant and selling human
2 organs to Germany and France; is that correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. I did ask you about two doctors last Friday; one was called
5 Ivankovic. Did Ivankovic come to give evidence against you at that court
7 A. At that court hearing, which was never completed, Dr. Ivankovic
8 did not turn up, nor did the other doctor we spoke about last time.
9 Q. And did you ask the Serbian authorities or the authorities in
10 charge of that court hearing to produce those witnesses?
11 A. Yes. At that court, I asked that witnesses be brought in, and
12 that we face each other, and that then they tell me how it was possible to
13 sell organs when there have to be specially trained teams to do that. I
14 believe that in most clinics throughout Europe not every surgical team
15 knows how to take organs from corpses or those who have just died.
16 Q. And if we deal with it this way, is it correct that nothing was
17 ever proved against you and you were eventually, I believe, exchanged?
18 A. Yes. That's correct. It's impossible to prove something that
19 never happened.
20 MR. MOORE: I have no further questions for you. Thank you very
21 much, indeed.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic?
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I believe
24 that at this point in time it would be wise for Mr. Domazet to
25 cross-examine the witness.
1 Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE PARKER: We would be delighted, yes, Mr. Vasic.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Domazet:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good day to everybody
5 and good day to the witness, Dr. Njavro. Let me introduce myself. My
6 name is Vladomir Domazet. I am co-counsel for Mr. Mrksic.
7 Doctor, I would just like to go through some information from your
8 curriculum. You've already said something about this. And as I gather
9 from your responses to my learned friend you were not born in Vukovar.
10 You came to Vukovar after completing your medical studies. Is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And your education took place in your native area, which is quite
14 a different part of the country. You were educated up to your military
15 service in Herzegovina?
16 A. No, that's not correct. I completed primary school in
17 Herzegovina, in my native village, high school for the most part in
18 Dubrovnik. After that, I passed the exam after eight -- after secondary
19 school and then I went to the faculty of medicine in Zagreb.
20 Q. Thank you. You served your military service in Capljina where you
21 were registered. That's why I thought you had been living there.
22 A. According to the then regulations of the military authorities, you
23 had to report for military service from your place of birth and from your
24 place of origin. I was completing my studies at the faculty of medicine,
25 and therefore I could not be officially registered as working and living
1 somewhere else.
2 Q. Can you tell me where and when you did your military service in
3 the then JNA?
4 A. I did my military service in the then JNA in Novi Sad. First, in
5 the Miletic Barracks, in 1966 and 1967. After that, in the outpatients'
6 clinic at the garrison at Petrovaradin.
7 Q. Was your military service in the medical corps or in an armed
9 A. The first two or three months, I went through the standard
10 military training, after which I was in the medical corps, as I said, in
11 the outpatients' clinic, in the barracks, in the garrison.
12 Q. After completing your military service, and after graduating from
13 the faculty of medicine in Zagreb, your first job, as I understand it, was
14 in Vukovar?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. With respect to this job, I would like to dwell for a moment on
17 the period after your specialist residence, when you were already a
18 surgeon, a specialist in surgery. Can you tell me, in the relevant time
19 period, that is in 1991, how many surgeons were there in total in the
20 Vukovar Hospital?
21 A. In the Vukovar Hospital -- just a moment, please.
22 Four. In 1991 and throughout the aggression against Croatia and
23 the town of Vukovar.
24 Q. Four surgeons, including yourself; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Can you tell me their names of the other three, that is?
2 A. Dr. Mladen Ivankovic, Dr. Mirko Stanojevic, and Dr. Lazo
3 Manojlovic, and Dr. Juraj Njavro.
4 Q. Dr. Njavro, in Friday -- on Friday, I think, when answering my
5 learned friend's questions, I think you mentioned that you were the only
6 surgeon who was of Croat ethnicity. Is this correct? Were the other
7 three of other ethnicities?
8 A. Yes. The only one among those four who was a Croat was myself.
9 The other three were Serbs.
10 Q. And your chief or the chief of the surgical ward at the time was
11 Dr. Ivankovic, as far as I can understand?
12 A. That's correct. Dr. Ivankovic was the chief of surgery
13 throughout, but I was the chief of the wartime medical service for the
14 Vukovar Hospital and the Vukovar municipality, according to the decision
15 of the main medical staff in Zagreb.
16 Q. Will you tell me when this decision was issued and from when you
17 were in charge of the war hospital?
18 A. Sometime from, I think, the end of July or towards the end of July
20 Q. Did I understand you correctly, that you were appointed head or
21 chief of the war hospital? Does that mean that Dr. Ivankovic stopped
22 being the chief of the surgical ward?
23 A. No. No one deprived him of that part of his responsibility. He
24 was still in charge of the surgical ward.
25 Q. Now that we are discussing this topic, doctor, can you tell me
1 what your role specifically was in this war hospital that was different
2 from your previous regular duties and obligations?
3 A. What has to be done in wartime, that's to say, providing for
4 sufficient quantities of sanitary materiel and medicine so that the town,
5 which had 45.000 inhabitants before the war, would not be threatened as
6 regards medical care for lack of medicines and other material. During the
7 fierce aggression in August, the supplies proved to be insufficient which
8 ultimately led to large numbers of wounded and also patients who were
9 simply ill could not be provided with adequate medical assistance, not
10 because the medical team was not sufficiently well-trained, but because it
11 was impossible to bring in medicines and sanitary and medical material and
12 equipment necessary for proper and professional treatment. This was due
13 to the blockade of Vukovar, the siege, and that is why, at least we
14 doctors think that some wounded or sick patients came to a tragic end, for
15 the simple reason that, as I said, it was impossible to bring in medical
16 supplies and medicines. Also blood infusions, blood substitutes,
17 infusions, equipment needed for reanimation.
18 I can give you some tragic examples where, in spite of the
19 greatest care, due to lack of medicines and because the hospital was so
20 badly damaged and also because of the numbers of wounded whom it was
21 impossible to evacuate, there were people who ended up tragically, in
22 spite of the treatment. The shelling and destruction contributed to this.
23 It came from all sides, from the air, from the water, from the ground, and
24 you could only live underground. Underground it's easier for infections
25 to spread because, as I said, due to the shelling, it was impossible to
1 bring in water, food, medicines, and what little we had in the hospital
2 had to be distributed very rationally.
3 At one point, precisely because it was impossible to maintain the
4 required hygiene, diseases turned up which are sometimes characteristic of
5 war, where it was impossible to help people because, I repeat, because of
6 the blockade and the daily destruction of the hospital, we couldn't get
7 the necessary serums to prevent certain diseases.
8 Q. Mr. Njavro, I apologise, I have to interrupt you. I have a
9 request for you. We will get to the topics that you have mentioned just
10 now later on. During examination-in-chief you had opportunity to touch
11 upon some of those topics. I would now like to ask you to answer in
12 specific terms to my questions, and you will be given an opportunity to
13 expand on your answers later on.
14 My question pertained to your role as chief of the war hospital,
15 which existed at the time. You said you were appointed to that post in
16 late July and then you went on to discuss some other matters. I would now
17 like to ask you to explain something else to us. In addition to ensuring
18 that there were sufficient supplies of medication and so on, were any
19 other preparations conducted in terms of personnel, organisation and so
21 A. No. No other preparations were made except that we received aid
22 in the form of several ambulances. In addition to that, the main medical
23 staff in Zagreb sent several times a team of doctors and nurses.
24 Q. Thank you. We will return to the issue of the hospital surgery
25 and these other topics that you have touched upon. But prior to that, I
1 would like to turn to something else. I believe that you are
2 well-informed or will be able to tell me about something that took place
3 prior to 1991. This has to do with the first multi-party elections which
4 were held in all republics of the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia.
5 They were held in 1990; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. In Croatia, at the level of the Republic of Croatia, it was the
8 Croatian Democratic Union that won; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you agree or perhaps do you hold another opinion about the
11 Croatian Democratic Union being the political party with a nationalistic
13 A. I'm not a politician. I can't discuss politics, and I cannot
14 evaluate political platforms of various political parties. At the time, I
15 was not a member of any party.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you remember those elections? Do you remember
17 whether in the elections the Serbs in Croatia had their own national
19 A. If I remember correctly -- but once again I have to qualify this
20 by saying that I was not politically active in any way, because up until
21 nineteen-ninety something I never belonged to any party. Therefore, I
22 couldn't tell you exactly how many political parties participated, who was
23 on the ballots, and so on. And I think that I can say with certainty that
24 I was not sufficiently active in that regard, nor did I participate in any
25 preparations. My role was that of an ordinary, loyal citizen who went to
1 vote in elections. And I voted in accordance with my conscience.
2 Q. Mr. Njavro, if I understood you well, you cannot remember, or
3 perhaps you never knew, whether, in those first multi-party elections in
4 Croatia, the Serbs had their own national party?
5 A. I believe that they did, that the Serbs did have their national
6 party, because if, as you said, the Croats had their national party, which
7 was the HDZ, then it follows that the Serbs also had their own political
8 party. When one passed through Vukovar, I was able to see various
9 advertisements and so on, and all of them appealed to their voters,
10 including the Serbian party, which was called the SDS.
11 Q. Does that mean that in those days in 1990, when the first
12 multi-party elections were held, you believe that the SDS took part in the
14 A. I believe that that's right. We have already said that there were
15 a number of political parties in the elections, from which it follows that
16 the SDS also took part, alongside other legally recognised political
17 parties which were eligible to take part in the elections. SDS had to be
18 among them.
19 Q. At the time, you'd been living in Vukovar for quite a long time,
20 and as you told us, you voted in the elections in Vukovar. Do you
21 remember which party won the local elections in Vukovar then?
22 A. No, I don't remember. Perhaps I knew it at the time, but as I've
23 already told you, back in 1990, that wasn't something that I paid a lot of
24 attention to, nor tried to remember those facts.
25 Q. If I were to remind you and tell you that it was the party of
1 democratic changes led by Mr. Ivica Racan, its chairman, would you agree
2 with me or you don't remember?
3 A. I wouldn't be able to confirm what you're saying.
4 Q. Do you remember who was elected president of the municipal
5 assembly of Vukovar in those local elections that I asked you about?
6 A. I remember that there were a lot of negotiations on that issue,
7 yes. It was very important who would be elected president of
8 municipality, and I believe that it was Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic who was
9 elected president of the Vukovar municipal assembly.
10 Q. Yes, yes. That's right. Mr. Dokmanovic was elected. Do you
11 remember perhaps now or do you know to what party he belonged and what
12 party he represented in the elections?
13 A. No. As I've told you, I think that that was a very contentious
14 issue and that it took consensus to reach an agreement. I don't remember
15 what political party he belonged to. I know he was a Serb, but as for the
16 political party, I don't remember.
17 Q. Thank you. Do you remember perhaps, Mr. Njavro, who was
18 vice-president of the municipal assembly of Vukovar after those elections?
19 A. No, I don't remember that.
20 Q. Is the name Marin Vidic, known as Bili, familiar to you?
21 A. Yes. Marin Vidic, Bili, later on was the government
22 commissioner. But I don't remember him being vice-president of the
23 Vukovar municipal assembly.
24 Q. Thank you. Even though you told me that at the time you were not
25 active in politics and were not interested in politics by your own
1 account, do you remember that after those elections in late 1990 the
2 constitution of the Republic of Croatia was amended?
3 A. Yes, I know that.
4 Q. Do you know that there was a lot of debate about those amendments
5 and that finally what the amendments set forth was that the Serbs as a
6 nation were no longer a constituent nation of the Republic of Croatia but
7 that, rather, that status was awarded solely to Croats?
8 A. Yes. I remember that in the assembly of Croatia, it was adopted
9 that the sovereign nation in the Republic of Croatia was the Croat nation
10 and that everybody else constituted national minorities.
11 Q. Do you remember perhaps, Mr. Njavro, or do you know how many Serbs
12 resided in Croatia as citizens of Croatia and also in Vukovar at around
13 that time when those amendments were passed?
14 A. I don't know the figures for Croatia but I know them for Vukovar.
15 In Vukovar, or rather in the municipality of Vukovar, there were 44
16 per cent of Croats residing there, 37 per cent of Serbs, or perhaps 38
17 per cent of Serbs, 37 at least and perhaps a percentage or two more.
18 Q. Mr. Njavro, after that constitution was adopted, do you remember
19 that certain tensions arose and that inter-ethnic relations in Croatia as
20 a whole deteriorated and in Vukovar as well?
21 A. I don't remember that. I couldn't claim that as regards Vukovar.
22 As for Croatia, to tell you the truth, at the time, I lived in Vukovar, I
23 was preoccupied with Vukovar problems, so I know only what pertains to
24 Vukovar. As for the broader picture, I don't remember.
25 Q. So if I understood you well, you believed that this did not cause
1 any deterioration in inter-ethnic relations in Vukovar or any tensions?
2 A. No. There were no particular or remarkable tensions. I don't
3 remember there being any at the time.
4 Q. When I asked you about Mr. Marin Vidic, you said that you didn't
5 remember him being vice-president of the municipal assembly, but that you
6 did remember him being appointed government commissioner. Do you remember
7 how it came about that, instead of legitimate and legally elected
8 authorities, a government commissioner was appointed to administer the
10 A. As I've told you, I am not aware of those events. I was not
11 interested in politics. I devoted myself to medicine, medical problems,
12 and I didn't know these things.
13 If what you say is true, if Marin Vidic was indeed removed from
14 the position of vice-president of the municipal assembly and appointed
15 government commissioner, I would have no reason to know those things,
16 because, as I've told you, at the time, politics was not my occupation.
17 Q. You told us, and it is true, that Mr. Marin Vidovic was appointed
18 person in charge of the municipality. This is something that you told us.
19 Now I'm asking you whether you know how this came about and when.
20 A. Well, I lived in Vukovar. Therefore, I had to know who was the
21 person in charge, and whom one had to go and see about certain problems.
22 Therefore, I knew that Marin Vidic, Bili, was appointed government
23 commissioner, but how this came about, I really don't know that.
24 Q. Do you know what political party he belonged to?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You didn't know it at the time nor later?
2 A. I don't know to this day what political party he belongs to, if
4 Q. As you have said to us that you were not involved in politics at
5 the time, were not a member of any political party, I will still try to
6 press on and ask you whether you remember that in your contacts - and you
7 must have had a lot because you were a doctor and you met a lot of people
8 every day - you learned what were the activities of certain political
9 parties, and here I have in mind mostly the HDZ, in respect of fund
10 raising and creating various units and groups and so on in villages and in
12 A. I didn't know anything about that. I was a doctor, and my main
13 focus was to deal with the patients, people who came to me with various
14 problems. I had to diagnose them, so I dealt with that. I did not engage
15 in finding out what kind of rumours circulated the town. God knows
16 whether those stories were true or just hearsay.
17 Q. If these were just stories or hearsay that you paid no attention
18 to, did you perhaps register that roadblocks were coming up around various
19 roads and villages and that obstacles were created to normal travel and
20 free movement? Did you know about this?
21 A. Yes. I knew about this because I had personal experience; namely,
22 on the 2nd of May 1991, in the morning, early, I set out to go to Osijek.
23 I was to take a patient to be examined there, to have a head scan,
24 CAT-scan. On my way back, my wife and I were stopped at the roadblock in
25 Trpinja. At that roadblock, I saw for the first time paramilitary men
1 dressed in Chetnik uniforms, who let us through the village, and we were
2 the only ones to be allowed to pass because I had operated on one of the
3 relatives of the -- of one of the men manning the roadblock. He told us
4 to go to the other part of the village to report to another roadblock
5 where we were to report to somebody who would then ensure our passage
7 Ilija Mirkic, a resident of Trpinja, ensured that we could pass
8 through. He was the man, manning the roadblock at this other point in the
9 village where we were also met with armed individuals wearing cockades and
10 typical Chetnik insignia. This is how I managed to reach the hospital in
11 Vukovar. The wounded policemen from Borovo Selo had already been brought
13 Q. Trpinja, the village you mentioned, does that mean, based on what
14 you just told us, that that was a village predominantly populated by Serbs
15 or exclusively populated by Serbs?
16 A. One could say that it was exclusively populated by Serbs. I don't
17 know whether there were any Croats, if any. In the village I saw armed
18 people in front of the houses. In one of the houses I even saw a group of
19 people. Those were armed paramilitary members dressed in Chetnik
20 uniforms. They were gathered in a room in a house in the middle of a
22 Q. Mr. Njavro, when you say Chetniks and you used -- you have used
23 that term quite frequently throughout your testimony, perhaps it would be
24 a good idea to explain to the Trial Chamber and everybody else who
25 Chetniks were and how were you yourself able to recognise them as
2 A. I was able to recognise them because Seselj, when frequently
3 touring Baranja and Borovo Selo, was shown on television wearing Chetnik
4 uniforms, Chetnik insignia, and advocating Chetnik policy which was aimed
5 against all non-Serbs.
6 Q. All right. You said that you saw men in Trpinja who looked like
7 Chetniks. How were you able to identify them as Chetniks?
8 A. Chetniks have their insignia and threats. One of the Chetniks
9 approached us with a sniper rifle and said, "I am a Chetnik." My wife,
10 who drove the car and who didn't halt immediately upon hearing his order
11 was told by him, "I as a Chetnik could have killed you. This time I saved
12 your life. Do not return here and do not pass through Trpinja again." If
13 he said this, I had no reason to doubt that he was not a Chetnik and that
14 others dressed alike and wearing the same insignia were not Chetniks
16 Q. Do you know or did you hear at the time why was the roadblock set
17 up in Trpinja and what led to this village being isolated? How did this
18 come about, if there indeed were no tensions prior to that, no
19 deterioration in interethnic relations, as you've told us?
20 A. I saw no reasons for this either, and this is why I was so
21 surprised. That morning I went to Osijek, which is 35 kilometres away.
22 Trpinja is the first village when one travels from Vukovar to Osijek, and
23 following it are Klisa and another village.
24 In the morning I passed, there were no obstacles and on my way
25 back, at around 11.00 or so, I came to Trpinja -- or rather, I came to
1 Klisa, which is also a predominantly Serb village, and there was nothing
2 there. And it wasn't until I reached Trpinja that I saw roadblocks there.
3 Q. Do you know that similar roadblocks were erected in villages
4 populated predominantly by Croats?
5 A. I cannot confirm that because neither then nor later did I go and
6 visit any Croat or Serb villages. Therefore, I couldn't know for a fact
7 whether roadblocks were erected in Croat villages as well, not just in
8 Serb villages. I spent almost 24 hours a day in the hospital on a daily
10 Q. Thank you. You said it was -- precisely on that day that there
11 was a fierce clash in Borovo Selo where more than one policeman was killed
12 and that on your return to the hospital you were involved in this as a
13 surgeon. Does this event, that is, the roadblocks in Trpinja which were
14 not there on your way to Osijek but only on the way back, does it strike
15 you as a response to the event in Borovo Selo? Do you think that these
16 people were afraid that a large number of policemen might come to their
17 village as they had come to Borovo Selo and there might be another clash?
18 A. No. I don't believe that was the reason, because to get to
19 Borovo Selo you have to pass through Borovo, which is part of Vukovar,
20 whereas Trpinja, Klisa, Bobota, Vera, the whole area to the north of
21 Vukovar municipality, were villages with a majority or perhaps entirely
22 Serb population.
23 Q. Do you know what the distance is, approximately, between Trpinja
24 and Borovo Selo?
25 A. If you will allow me a minute to consider. Maybe five, six or
1 more kilometres, but I don't think it's more than ten, or thereabouts.
2 Maybe a little less. I never really paid attention to that, but as I see
3 it, because I know both places, that's the approximate distance.
4 Q. In any case, these places are very close to each other and it's
5 very easy to reach one from the other.
6 However, the chief event of the day was what happened in
7 Borovo Selo, and you mentioned this while being examined by Mr. Moore as
8 well as now. So at the same time as the events you describe in Trpinja,
9 there was a fierce armed clash in Borovo Selo in which there were killed
10 and wounded on both sides; is that correct?
11 A. As far as I know, there were people killed on the Croatian side.
12 I'm referring to policemen. And 12 were brought to the area in front of
13 the hospital and the MUP building, or, rather, that's the police station
14 in Vukovar. And there was a group of wounded, if I recall rightly,
15 because that was the beginning. That's why it's easier to remember the
16 numbers. I think there were some 20-odd wounded, and this included both
17 policemen and members of paramilitary units from Borovo Selo.
18 Q. Mr. Njavro, if I understood you correctly, you are saying that
19 those 12 policemen who had been killed were even brought to the Vukovar
20 Hospital, that the corpses of the policemen were brought there at the same
21 time as the wounded?
22 A. At that point in time, I was not in the hospital. I was on my way
23 back through the roadblock in Trpinja, as I described. When I arrived at
24 the hospital, the dead had already been brought there. I was told that
25 some of them had been brought to the hospital but then they were taken
1 away to the cemetery at Mitnica. Some of the other dead were in front of
2 the police station and from there, in order for a post mortem to be
3 carried out, they were taken to the new cemetery at Mitnica.
4 The wounded were in the hospital and were being examined.
5 Therefore, I joined in the work on examining them. We hospitalised them.
6 I think there were 21 or 22 wounded from Borovo Selo.
7 Q. If I understand correctly, all the dead were brought to Vukovar on
8 that day.
9 When you speak of the wounded, I think you said that some of the
10 wounded were from the side of the Croatian police and the rest were
11 citizens of Borovo Selo. Did I understand you correctly to say that these
12 wounded too were brought to your hospital?
13 A. Yes, that's correct. Some of them.
14 Q. Some of all the wounded or ...
15 A. Those who were wounded and who needed intensive care, whose life
16 was in danger, after being taken care of surgically and after reanimation,
17 were put in the intensive care unit. They said that they had been taken
18 care of, but they weren't sure whether there were other members of the
19 paramilitary who may have been wounded and that they didn't know where
20 these were. But the ones who came, I think there were seven or eight of
21 them, were given the best professional care, and they were hospitalised.
22 Q. To the best of your recollection, seven or eight of the Serbs from
23 Borovo Selo were treated as wounded in your hospital?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Were you present when they were brought in or did you get involved
1 in their treatment later on?
2 A. I was not present when they were brought in. But on my arrival,
3 because they had not all been dealt with immediately, after my return from
4 the Osijek hospital and through the roadblock where I was held up, and I
5 won't tell you all the threats they uttered against me, on my return I
6 started assisting the wounded and looking after them.
7 Q. You are saying that because you had to go through Trpinja on your
8 way back from Osijek you came late, when the wounded were already in
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you remember or did you check whether the wounded we are
12 discussing now, those seven or eight, were registered in the hospital
14 A. Yes. They were all registered with all the diagnoses and records
15 of their treatment and therapy.
16 If one wants to find this information, it has to be sought from
17 the JNA, because when the JNA entered Vukovar Hospital, it removed all the
18 hospital documents.
19 Q. Tell me this: The wounded men, were they guarded by the police,
20 or were they without any kind of guard? Did they have the status of
21 detainees; in other words, had they been arrested or not?
22 A. No. They did not have the status of detainees specially, at least
23 to the best of my recollection. There was no special guard.
24 Q. Were there any armed policemen -- I'm not referring to those who
25 were brought in as wounded; I'm referring to policemen guarding the
1 hospital, policemen in the hospital, at the time, that is the 2nd of May
3 A. No. There was no police presence, either in or around the
4 hospital, on the 2nd of May 1991.
5 Q. And what about the following days? Does the same apply, in May
7 A. I don't remember exactly, and I cannot tell you whether a
8 policeman came to the hospital to inquire about someone who was wounded,
9 and who came to visit someone.
10 Q. To visit or to question? Did you have situations where the police
11 came to question your patients?
12 A. No, no. When I said that they were in intensive care, and that's
13 where they were put, no visitors were allowed, as far as civilians are
14 concerned, either before or after the event you are asking about.
15 Q. Certainly no one is allowed to visit an intensive care unit.
16 However, once they were taken out of the intensive care unit, would
17 policemen then come and question people?
18 A. No. As far as I know, at least no one asked me for permission to
19 go and question somebody. I assume it would have been proper for either
20 myself or Dr. Ivankovic, who was partly responsible for the surgical ward,
21 to be asked permission for that.
22 Q. Do you recall what happened later on with these wounded? Was
23 their treatment successful? Were they discharged? Do you remember what
24 happened to them afterwards?
25 A. As far as I can recall, they all recovered well. They regained
1 their health. Some were almost completely cured, because wounds from
2 various military weapons, whether explosives or bullets, sometimes take
3 much longer to treat than other kinds of wounds. So I cannot say they
4 were completely cured, but as far as I can recall, they were exchanged for
5 some, as I heard, captured Croatian policemen.
6 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Njavro, that they did have the status of
7 detainees after all, not just your patients?
8 A. I wouldn't put it like that, because the policemen in their own
9 country, if they have not committed a crime, cannot be considered to be
10 detainees, if there is no court order and no proper decision issued by the
12 Q. Yes, of course, I understand that. But it's a fact, isn't it, as
13 you said yourself, that they were exchanged. Therefore, that means that
14 their status was not that of citizens who were completely free and able to
15 go wherever they wanted.
16 A. Perhaps one of the reasons was that this was -- and I'm only
17 putting this forward as a possibility because, as I say, I am not really
18 competent to comment on this, but I couldn't accept it.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. After that day and that event, can you
20 tell me whether there was a sudden departure of Serbs from their jobs from
21 the town of Vukovar? Did they fail to show up for work and abandon their
22 jobs? Do you remember the situation in the Vukovar Hospital in this
24 A. I can say that both Serbs and non-Serbs left the hospital. Serbs,
25 Croats and people of other ethnicities. It wasn't just Serbs who did
1 that. And if someone was afraid, it wasn't just members of a single
2 ethnic group. Fear was not characteristic of only one of the ethnic
4 Q. Can you tell me or give me an example of any Croat stopping coming
5 to work or resigning from their jobs in the hospital Vukovar? Were they
6 feeling threatened or did this apply only to Serbs, perhaps?
7 A. I don't think that anybody had reason to feel threatened. The
8 best indicator of that is that all of those Serbs who remained in the
9 hospital were not harmed in any way, and any suffering they had to endure
10 was shared by all of us. Everybody had the same treatment. Everybody was
11 threatened in the same way, threatened by shelling, destruction. We all
12 suffered equally all the misery of war, they and us Croats who worked at
13 the hospital.
14 Q. Yes. I understand your answer. It is clear that all of those who
15 remained at work shared the same destiny. But my question is this: The
16 fear and the inability to reach their workplaces due to roadblocks, did it
17 perhaps influence Serbs and make them leave the area and their jobs?
18 A. I wouldn't say so.
19 I can give you an example from Borovo Selo. A woman was married
20 to the son of priest Zarko from one of the surrounding villages, and she
21 would come to work without any problems every day. In addition to that,
22 there were people who would come from Brsadin and other surrounding areas
23 and had no trouble reaching their work.
24 On the other hand, Croats who lived in Brsadin and Borovo Selo and
25 in that area were unable to move about freely, whereas the Serbs living
1 there and employed at the medical centre and Vukovar Hospital had freedom
2 of movement.
3 There was no reason for that fear. It's quite another matter if
4 somebody left on their own, of their own free will. Yes, there was some
5 Croat doctors who left the Vukovar Hospital as well as nurses. And there
6 were Serbs who did the same thing. Therefore, national background can be
7 no justification for feeling threatened.
8 Q. All right. That is your conclusion that these two things were not
9 related. It is solely your opinion.
10 Now that we've touched upon these roadblocks, tell me this,
11 please: Borovo Naselje is close by. It is between Borovo Selo and
12 Vukovar. Can we agree that it was predominantly populated by Croats?
13 A. Borovo Naselje, yes.
14 Q. Were there any roadblocks erected there that somebody who wanted
15 to go from Borovo Selo to Vukovar had to pass through, like that example
16 of the woman you gave us?
17 A. Once they started erecting roadblocks on the other side, these
18 roadblocks on the Croat side did not hinder passage from Borovo Selo to
19 work or even to the Borovo factory while it still operated, but in the
20 reverse direction it was impossible to pass.
21 Q. Can you tell us how you learned this? How come you know this?
22 A. I know this from the nurse who worked there. She was the nurse in
23 charge of surgical instruments. She was my assistant during surgeries,
24 and she told me this.
25 Q. But if she for any reason was able to pass through, as a woman, do
1 you think that men from Borovo Selo were allowed through as well,
2 especially if they were believed to be Chetniks, as you told us? Do you
3 think they were able to pass through Borovo Naselje and the roadblocks
4 erected there?
5 A. I don't think that anybody in Vukovar believed all Serbs from
6 Borovo Selo or anywhere else to be Chetniks. Therefore, I can't say that
7 for that reason passage was hindered to everybody going through the
8 roadblocks. I'm just telling you what I know, what I was told. I never
9 spent any time at that roadblock in order to monitor who was allowed
10 through, who wasn't.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you remember at the time, during the period before
12 the 2nd of May, 1991, and especially later, were there any frequent
13 explosions? Were houses blown up, kiosks? Did this happen in Vukovar and
14 the hinterland?
15 A. I heard that. I lived in Vukovar near the downtown area and the
16 hospital, because the hospital is very close to the downtown area. I
17 heard those stories. There were explosions. However, it was said and
18 believed that it had been done by certain individuals leaving Vukovar for
19 reasons known only to them. They didn't want the houses to go in anybody
20 else's hands. Or perhaps they wanted to collect money from insurance,
21 because the house had been insured prior to that. This is what I heard
22 from the insurance company which are still in operation.
23 Q. Mr. Njavro, is that consistent with what you told us about
24 tensions? You said that tensions were not palpable, and how come these
25 houses were blown up, even if somebody was indeed leaving Vukovar, why
1 would they blow their own house up? Is that an indicator of the disrupted
2 inter-ethnic relations?
3 A. No, quite the opposite. It means that the extreme elements, who
4 always caused trouble, did this in order to provoke hatred and lack of
5 tolerance. As you know, they didn't succeed in this aim because once
6 Vukovar was occupied, a large number of Serbs found themselves under
7 siege. These Serbs did not want to leave because they felt they hadn't
8 done anything bad and there was no reason for them to leave, and they
9 suffered the same misery everybody else did. They lived in basements,
10 underground, like moles. They lived just like everybody else did and
11 suffered identically.
12 Q. My question doesn't pertain to that. I asked you about these
13 explosions and cases of buildings blown up. Do you know that the Borba
14 kiosk, which sold Borba newspaper printed in Belgrade, was blown up?
15 A. I'm not aware of any specific facility that was blown up. I
16 didn't pay attention to that. I as a doctor, as a human being, had to
17 calm down the tensions. As I've told you, I spent practically 24 hours a
18 day in the hospital. Those who came to me, who needed medical attention,
19 would, in passing, tell me these stories, that people were blowing up
20 their own houses for those two reasons that I just gave you. They didn't
21 come to me to tell me these stories. They came because they needed
22 medical attention and in passing told me this. I, for my part, didn't go
23 around to verify this because I had other things to do.
24 Q. You said that you heard this. Did you hear complaints that this
25 was a type of pressure applied and that as a result of this pressure,
1 people were leaving those settlements which had a mixed population?
2 A. It was precisely the settlements populated predominantly by Croats
3 that lost most of their residents. It didn't happen in town because
4 otherwise everybody would have left Vukovar, and it is incredible that
5 those Serbs who lived there didn't leave the town despite the terrible
6 damage that Vukovar suffered when the JNA and paramilitary Chetnik
7 formations inflicted pain and suffering on the entire city every day.
8 Q. Mr. Njavro, I'm now referring to the time period before the
9 shelling, immediately before and after the 2nd of May, 1991. Let us
10 please focus on that period of time, and we will reach other topics that
11 you mentioned later on.
12 Before the break, let's turn to several other issues from this
13 period of time. Were you able to see another kind of pressure exerted
14 upon Serbs in Vukovar, namely were the Vukovar Serbs removed in large
15 number from offices that they held in various enterprises, institutions
16 and even your hospital?
17 A. I can tell you about the situation in the hospital. As for the
18 other institutions, it was up to political parties to appoint people to
19 offices. This is the system that was in place after multi-party
20 elections, when the new democratic methods were applied, those accepted
21 else where in the world. As for the Vukovar Hospital, I can tell you
22 something about these replacements. They were not replacements. They
23 were cases of people resigning.
24 Q. These resignations, were they forced? Were they required to
1 A. I wouldn't describe it that way. I think that this kind of change
2 was needed even prior to that. Why? Once the Borovo Selo event happened,
3 once the Croatian policemen were killed in Borovo Selo, the then director
4 of the Vukovar medical centre refused to send ambulances with appropriate
5 medical teams to provide assistance there. Medically speaking, I will try
6 to use moderate terms here, but this could be termed as medical
8 Later on, certain Croats and certain Serbs left on their own
9 without seeking legally available options, meaning they did not use their
10 annual leaves or sick leaves and so on, but, rather, left their jobs upon
11 receiving authorisation from the then director, which was not legal.
12 You as a lawyer know that there used to be the law on labour,
13 which set forth the cases in which somebody had to be fired when they
14 failed to show up for work without justification. Since there were many
15 such cases, there were requests to apply the law. Once this was made
16 known, I believe that it was quite natural for the then director to suffer
17 consequences of his illegal work, and as a result of that, the director
19 Q. Yes. I agree with you that failure to show up at work was one of
20 the reasons for firing somebody, both in Croatia and in the former
21 Yugoslavia. Do you believe that under those emergency circumstances, he
22 perhaps wanted to help these people to preserve something as valuable as a
23 job, hoping that better times would come?
24 A. Yes. That would be correct if it weren't for the others who
25 remained there precisely in order to protect their jobs. Those who left
1 left because they didn't want to suffer. They wanted to avoid the misery
2 that came with working under emergency circumstances, and they, as medical
3 professionals, should not be allowed to do that. They violated their
4 professional roles, and I believe it was quite normal for them to suffer
5 legal consequences as was normal for the director to resign.
6 Q. The resignation, based on everything you said, was not a voluntary
7 one but, rather, the director was forced to resign. However, not because
8 he was a Serb but, rather, for all these other reasons that you
10 If that is indeed the case, tell us this: Do you know that the
11 Serbs were removed from all other leading top offices except for the
12 public audit agency? For example, the factory in Borovo, MUP and so on.
13 A. First of all, the direct -- the then director of the medical
14 centre was not a Serb but, rather, a Montenegrin. That's the first thing
15 I wanted to say.
16 Second, in 1972 and earlier, a lot of Croats were removed from
17 offices and nobody made any trouble on that account. Whoever comes to an
18 office should be valued based on their contribution, regardless of what
19 ethnic community they belong to.
20 You said that these people were replaced because they were Serbs,
21 but what is interesting, that it was precisely the Serbs who occupied
22 these prestigious offices. And there was this policy of ethnic quotas
23 that was applied in Vukovar, and it's a bit strange, bearing in mind
24 everything else that happened prior to that.
25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that this is
1 a convenient time for the break, if you agree.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
3 We will resume sitting at quarter past 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, somehow or other you must be there.
7 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Please carry on.
9 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Njavro, one day before the event we have
11 discussed at length, of the 2nd of May, that is, on the 1st of May 1991,
12 do you remember admitting as an urgent case, Stefan Inic [phoen] from
13 Brsadin who had been wounded with a bullet?
14 A. No. But I do remember receiving Ljubica Nemcic also shot in
15 Brsadin. She and her husband had been on their way to Vinkovci to collect
16 their son. She was brought to hospital with a serious injury to her lower
18 Q. Did you know Mrs. Danica Grojic, a teacher?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Have you heard that on the 31st of May, 1991, while she was at the
21 window, shots were fired at her house?
22 A. No. And I would probably have heard about it because she lived
23 close to my mother-in-law, almost in the same street.
24 Q. Were shots often heard in Vukovar by day and by night in that
1 A. As I said, I spent most of my time in the hospital. I was always
2 either at the ward with patients or in the outpatients' clinic examining
3 patients who had appointments, and this took place both in the morning and
4 afternoon and in the evening. So I could neither know nor hear, when I
5 was in the basement, whether any shots could be heard in town.
6 Q. One more question about this. I may already have asked you about
7 explosions in houses, but I haven't mentioned restaurants and cafes, so I
8 will read out a few names of restaurants and cafes owned by Serbs which
9 were blown up in April or May. Tell me whether you know any of them or
10 have heard of any of them. Krajisnik in April 1991?
11 A. No, I don't even know where it was.
12 Q. Sarajka?
13 A. Sarajka was a cafe near the market in Vukovar. Its owner was --
14 at least that's what I heard, because people who came to the hospital
15 later, when there were already operations going on, people told me that he
16 had been an extreme nationalist and chauvinist and that allegedly he
17 himself blew up his cafe.
18 Q. He was a Serb?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. We are discussing Sarajka. I think it doesn't say that in the
22 On the 3rd of May, only a day after what happened in Borovo Selo,
23 on the same day, the cafe called Tufo; do you know about that?
24 A. No, I don't know where it was or if it existed. I don't doubt
25 that it existed because you say so.
1 Q. The cafe Brdo on the 6th of May, the Serb holiday of Djurdjevdan?
2 A. Yes, I know about that because I would often go to visit friends
3 on the 6th. My name is Juraj, and they would invite me to a celebration.
4 Q. But you don't know about this cafe?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Mali Raj cafe, blown up on Vidovdan, the 28th of June, St. Vitus
8 A. I have to tell you, sir, that I was not a man who frequented
9 cafes, so I wouldn't know what kind of people went to what cafes, and I
10 couldn't really say anything about any cafes, apart from Sarajka, which I
11 know because my mother-in-law used to go to the market. That's why I know
12 where it is. But for the others, hardly.
13 Q. Thank you. I won't go on then. There are nine on my list that
14 were blown up in a month and a half but I'll put that aside and move on.
15 You certainly know that in Vukovar there was a barracks of the
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know that at that time, in May and June and later, there
19 were efforts to hinder the work of the barracks, to block the barracks, to
20 cut off water and electricity and to make it impossible for the barracks
21 to operate?
22 A. I don't know about that, but I do know that in front of the
23 hospital, I saw APCs passing by with rotating weapons, and individual
24 soldiers would raise three fingers and this could have been seen as a
25 provocation by some, especially Croats. Sometimes you would hear them
1 singing songs which were not typical folk songs but, on the contrary, were
3 During one such APC ride, or a ride in a vehicle, some
4 soldiers were injured and were brought to the hospital where they were
5 given assistance. I think their commander was Captain Curcin or Curcic.
6 He thanked me for the treatment of those soldiers. A day or two later,
7 they were moved to the military medical academy in Belgrade. The soldiers
8 themselves told me they had been transporting weapons. I didn't ask them
9 about it because I wasn't interested at the time to Borovo Selo.
10 Q. I'm not interested in it either, so please try to focus on my
11 question. My question was about the barracks in Vukovar. Do you know
12 that it was obstructed in the ways I have described and finally blocked?
13 A. No, not until sometime in August, when I learned that - and that
14 was towards the end of August - that the barracks were being blocked and
15 that water and electricity had been cut off because the town was being
16 destroyed from the barracks.
17 Q. You are speaking of the end of August?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But more than one witness said that this started on the 24th or
20 the 25th of August. Is that correct?
21 A. Vukovar was shelled even prior to that. My flat, which is close
22 to the hospital, was damaged on the 6th of August, 1991. Everybody told
23 me that the shell came from the barracks, the barracks was at Sajmiste. I
24 am not familiar with different types of military weapons used to launch
1 Q. Thank you. In answer to a question put by my learned friend
2 Mr. Moore about the 6th of August, you said this. I was asking you about
3 the 25th. Is that the real date when the shelling of Vukovar started or
4 no? Between the 6th and the 25th, were there any such events?
5 A. Yes. Vukovar was shelled prior to that. In Borovo Naselje - I
6 said Borovo Selo; I meant to say Borovo Naselje - there was destruction
7 there. After the 6th, there was a shell that landed on the 13th of
8 August. Shells landed not only close to the hospital. One landed close
9 to the hospital on the 6th of August, and the operating theatre at the
10 surgical ward was badly damaged. And then on that same day, a shell
11 landed in the crown of a tree in front of the window of my flat, and
12 fortunately the tree prevented the shell from entering the apartment.
13 The town was also shelled on the 13th. Among other places, a
14 shell landed in the park where there was a building where JNA officers
15 resided. That building was hit. After that, there was heavy shelling, as
16 you said, sir, starting on the 24th onward. It then became relentless and
17 on a daily basis.
18 Q. Do you know that after the 24th of August a JNA plane was shot
19 down above Vukovar?
20 A. Yes. Because even before that, JNA planes had bombed the villages
21 around Vukovar and Vukovar itself.
22 Q. So your answer is yes, you know of this?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know who shot the plane down?
25 A. A member of the National Guard Corps shot down the plane, but with
1 what? I'm really not familiar with weapons, as I said.
2 Q. Now that we mention the National Guard Corps, Mr. Njavro, you said
3 more than once that you kept records in the hospital as to whether a
4 patient was a member of the Croatian police or of the ZNG. This was
5 specially registered. My question is: What is the National Guard Corps?
6 A. I am no military expert and I was not a minister of the police. I
7 was not the one who organised either the police or the National Guard
8 Corps. So that I cannot give you a precise definition. I do know that it
9 was an integral part of the police forces and that it was under the
10 competence of the Ministry of the Interior, that is, the police.
11 Q. Was it a military formation placed under the Ministry of the
12 Interior because Croatia did not have an army? If you agree with me, the
13 only army was the JNA at the time because the state of Yugoslavia still
15 A. No. I think it was a guard attached to the police of the kind
16 that exist in other countries. It was a police formation known as the
17 National Guard Corps of Croatia.
18 Q. Wasn't it a paramilitary formation, in view of the way it was
19 established and its composition?
20 A. No. If it went through all the regular legal procedures needed in
21 such cases, it was passed through parliament and approved by the
22 government, as is usually done in all democratic countries which have this
23 form, this combination of police and guards.
24 Q. Was it possible, regardless of whose decision it was, in view of
25 the existence of the federal state and the army and the way the state
1 functioned at the time, and let me remind you that at that time the
2 Republic of Croatia had not been separated from Yugoslavia or at least did
3 not have that kind of recognition?
4 A. Certainly, it was or, rather, certainly it existed because there
5 was a Presidency of sorts. There was the government of Ante Markovic.
6 But Croatia as an independent Socialist Republic of the then federal state
7 legally, at least to the best of my knowledge, because law is not my
8 field, did have the possibility legally to have a National Guard Corps,
9 not a paramilitary formation but regular police forces.
10 Q. What uniforms did they wear? The military camouflage uniforms or
11 the blue police uniforms?
12 A. They wore for the most part, at the outset, as far as I can
13 recall, of course, both uniforms. In such operations, this is probably
14 worn because wherever I see special police forces, I see them wearing
15 camouflage uniforms, so I wouldn't be surprised by the fact that the guard
16 had those uniforms.
17 Q. Yes. But the colours of the camouflage uniforms are different.
18 You mentioned Mr. Ante Markovic as the then Prime Minister of the
19 federal government. He was a Croat, was he not?
20 A. I didn't ask him for his nationality. I don't know. I suppose
22 Q. I didn't ask him either, but I think it's a well-known fact.
23 A. Most likely. He was a member of Croatian nation.
24 Q. Do you remember who at that time, time period relevant for
25 Vukovar, was the president of Yugoslavia, of the Socialist Federative
1 Republic of Yugoslavia?
2 A. I'm not sure I know which period of time you're referring to, sir.
3 Q. From July onwards.
4 A. From July onwards, no. I know, though, that there was a lot of
5 tension regarding that. It was the turn of Croatia to appoint its member
6 to be president of the Presidency, and it was supposed to be Mr. Stipe
8 Q. Did Mr. Stipe Mesic become president of the Presidency?
9 A. Yes. But I think that it was the sunset of that system. I think
10 that the authorities of Stipe Mesic were more of a formal protocol kind of
11 nature and that he was unable to influence in any real way the events
12 unfolding in the then Yugoslavia.
13 Q. If I were to tell you that Mr. Stipe Mesic became president of the
14 Presidency on the 1st of July, 1991, would you agree with me?
15 A. I would. I would. You must know this better than I do, being a
17 Q. Another issue concerning his nationality, I hope that we will
18 agree that he was and still is a Croat and is the current president of the
19 Republic of Croatia.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now I would like to turn to another issue concerning the hospital.
22 We spoke about the surgery ward before these events occurred, or rather
23 before you were appointed head of the war medical services. Who was the
24 head nurse of the surgical ward?
25 A. I think it was Mrs. Binazija Kolesar, licensed nurse.
1 Q. Did she remain there in the hospital to the end in that role as
2 head nurse?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You most probably knew her well because you had worked together.
5 Can you tell us whether she is a person you could trust, somebody who did
6 their job well?
7 A. I think that she was a conscientious worker, selfless and
8 performed her job of head nurse of the surgical ward in the most humane
9 and professional manner.
10 Q. Do you believe that she is the kind of person who would have no
11 reason to utter anything that wasn't true about the events that unfolded
12 during that period of time at the Vukovar Hospital?
13 A. Sir, since you asked me about inter-ethnic relations elsewhere and
14 in the hospital, please allow me to say that as far as I know, although I
15 do not -- I never asked Mrs. Kolesar this, but I think that she was
16 married to a Ruthenian and that she herself is a Bosniak or something to
17 that effect. She is not a Croat. Therefore, she did not let her national
18 feelings come through in her work. She performed her work
19 conscientiously, professionally, and I believe that her attitude during
20 her testimony here had to be identical.
21 Q. When you spoke about the records kept in the hospital, register
22 books, diagnoses and all other particulars that were entered in those
23 books, you said that especially after May 1991, in addition to general
24 information, the affiliation of a patient was also recorded, whether he
25 was a member of MUP, ZNG or a civilian. But was the nationality of a
1 patient also recorded?
2 A. No, not in a single case. I can assure you of this. It did not
3 even occur to anybody to record the nationality of patients.
4 Q. All right. My next question, then, is this: Based on what were
5 you able to know the nationality of patients? Very often we heard
6 percentages discussed here, percentages of patients of this nationality or
7 that nationality. Therefore, based on what were you able to establish
8 that, if this was not recorded?
9 A. I would like to ask you to give me some specific examples because
10 I never uttered such things. When the patients arrived in the hospital,
11 those who were from Vukovar and whom I knew - sometimes I knew entire
12 families - then yes, I would know the nationality of those patients
13 because I would attend various family or religious holidays and
14 celebrations in their houses. I knew what customs they followed.
15 Therefore, it was not difficult at all to know their nationality.
16 However, that never affected -- we never allowed that to affect
17 our attitude. This applied to the entire medical staff.
18 It was quite another matter when members of the JNA came in as
19 patients, who were wounded or perhaps members of paramilitary formations.
20 In those cases, they would say themselves, even though we never required
21 that, that they were Serbs, for example, and that they didn't join the
22 army or the formation of their own will but were, rather, mobilised, and
23 this is how we knew about the nationality of the patients.
24 Q. Thank you. Do you believe -- you told us that some of them said
25 that they had been mobilised, forced to join the military and so on. Do
1 you believe that they expected some problems to arise in the hospital and
2 this is why they felt it necessary to declare this to you?
3 A. Later on, after they received treatment, after they relaxed and
4 saw how we treated them, then they would say this to us, because prior to
5 arriving in the hospital they had been terrified. They had been told all
6 kinds of stories, that they would be killed, mutilated and so on, upon
7 arriving in the hospital. Therefore, it was quite natural for them, quite
8 human of them, to declare voluntarily how they did not join the army of
9 their own free will.
10 Q. We mentioned some soldiers who were patients in the hospital. You
11 mentioned this in examination-in-chief, specifically Sasa Jovic. I would
12 like to ask you whether you remember Ivan Zivkovic?
13 A. I believe that Ivan Zivkovic was also seriously wounded, that he
14 recovered, and I wouldn't be able to say but I believe that he joined the
15 National Guards Corps. However, I'm not positive about this.
16 Q. He was a Serb?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Did you know Tomo Jakovljevic?
19 A. Tomo Jakovljevic used to work as a plaster technician. He was a
20 very good one. He did his job well, although he wasn't properly trained.
21 Rather, during his military service, he served as a male nurse, and this
22 is where he learned how to work with plaster. He was quite skillful.
23 He lived in Leva Supoderica. He said that he had been injured by
24 the JNA shell. I think that either his left or right leg was injured.
25 Unfortunately, he was left unassisted for some two or three days, and then
1 the members of the ZNG found him all alone in a semi-destroyed house, and
2 they brought him to the hospital where he received treatment and where
3 unfortunately we had to amputate his leg before -- below the knee.
4 One day he was almost, once again, injured by a shell which fell
5 above him and injured him slightly. Since the hospital was full of
6 seriously injured persons, he and some other wounded were transferred to
7 Borovo Komerc where there was a safer shelter and perhaps even more
8 comfort, better living circumstances. I know that he was transferred
9 there. What happened to Tomo Jakovljevic afterwards, I don't know,
10 because those of us who remained in the Vukovar Hospital were overworked.
11 We had sent orthopaedists and other specialists to Borovo Komerc to ensure
12 that those who were half recovered, those who no longer needed surgical
13 assistance but still needed some medical attention were receiving medical
14 care. Those who did not have life-threatening wounds.
15 Q. Thank you. So you don't know what happened to them afterwards?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you remember a soldier Nedeljko Turukalo?
18 A. No, no.
19 Q. Do you remember soldier Slavomir Bestin?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Milan Biber?
22 A. No. But I know that various soldiers who had been abandoned by
23 their own forces, soldiers of the JNA and paramilitary members, Chetniks,
24 were also brought to the hospital, and under the existing circumstances,
25 we gave them our best.
1 Q. Mr. Njavro, you said this many times before. Please give the
2 shortest possible answers to my questions.
3 Do you remember soldier Stankovic, Branko?
4 A. No. We treated a lot of soldiers and other members of
5 paramilitary formations as well as JNA soldiers.
6 Q. Did anybody guard the soldiers during their hospitalisations, any
7 member of the ZNG?
8 A. In view of potential emotional outbursts, as we had a lot of
9 wounded policemen and ZNG members, in order to prevent any incidents, in
10 order to ensure that nobody wanted to physically settle accounts with the
11 wounded or do something worse to them, we attempted to keep them secluded
12 and thus protected from the MUP members. We wanted to ensure that they
13 had protection, that they received appropriate medical care and that this
14 was provided by only a limited number of nurses. So that we prevented any
15 potential situation, even though it wasn't likely, for any nurse to do
16 something to them. Therefore, certain nurses took care of them, and they
17 were protected by police members. Naturally, I myself visited them
18 regularly. I made hospital rounds. And whatever medication we had, food
19 and all other supplies, we shared with them.
20 Q. Yes. Thank you. You described that at length.
21 My question was: What happened to the people once they recovered?
22 Who took them over?
23 A. Once people recovered, or rather all people who were gravely
24 wounded, especially in cases of serious, grave injuries, where people had
25 extensive haemorrhage, infections, amputations of extremities where huge
1 amounts of blood supplies were used so that we had none --
2 Q. I only asked you about the people who recovered.
3 A. Please allow me to complete my thought. I'm telling you how we
5 All of these people need a long-term and multi-month medical
6 attention, so that once the occupational forces and paramilitary
7 formations entered the area, those --
8 Q. Please restrict yourself to just answering my questions, if
10 Do you know somebody called Damir Samardzic, known as Veliki
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was he one of those who guarded the soldiers in the hospital?
14 A. Yes, sometimes. But he wasn't the only one.
15 Q. Did those persons carry weapons while in hospital?
16 A. Those persons did not carry weapons while they were in the
17 hospital. Whenever anyone entered the hospital, they had to lay aside
18 their weapons. Only the seriously wounded who were taken by the police to
19 the police station, but there were sometimes armed guards in front of the
20 room where these wounded soldiers were being treated for their own
21 protection, for their own safety. The weapons were pistols or
22 Kalashnikovs. I think that's what they were called.
23 Q. Are you aware of an incident that took place on the occasion of a
24 visit to a room where a wounded Croatian policeman was lying, and he
25 pulled out a pistol and pointed it at Dr. Ivankovic because of a word he
1 used to describe him, saying he was a real hero?
2 A. I don't remember that. I'm not aware of it. I do, however,
3 remember a previous incident because, in front of his house, two members
4 of the ZNG were killed. They thought --
5 Q. I'm asking you about this incident in the hospital, if you know
6 about it. Thank you.
7 A. No.
8 Q. You mentioned that three soldiers, Sasa Jovic and two others, I
9 think, were handed over to the army. What about the other soldiers who
10 were treated before that and I assume cured in your hospital?
11 A. As I said, one group was handed over to the military medical
12 academy. Captain Djurdjevic came, as I said, and thanked us for our
13 timely medical assistance to these men, and they were taken, as far as I
14 know, to the military medical academy. Those three that I mentioned and
15 that you are asking me about, Sasa Jovic, Pavle Teofanovic, and Srdjan
16 Miljkovic, were also partially cured, not completely, and handed over to
17 units of the JNA.
18 As for others, I really don't recall either when or at what time
19 they were wounded or when they turned up in the hospital.
20 Q. You mentioned July; I think it's not in the transcript. That's
21 why I'm taking you back to that, at the beginning of your reply.
22 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand you. Could you please repeat your
24 Q. When you were speaking of Curcin or Curcic, what month was that?
25 A. I think it was in July.
1 Q. You said that but it didn't enter the transcript. That's why I'm
2 asking you this.
3 Now I'd like to ask you something about the evacuation of
4 seriously wounded people organised in October by the Medecins Sans
5 Frontieres. Who selected the patients, or rather who drew up a list of
6 the patients to be evacuated?
7 A. It was doctors who did that. There were urologists there as well.
8 You mentioned only surgeons, but there was an orthopaedist, a urologist.
9 There were wounded who had urological injuries, and they also needed to be
10 transported for further treatment or in order to save their lives. Also
11 an orthopaedic specialist, because of their limbs. There were cases where
12 urgent interventions were need.
13 Q. Very well. In surgical cases, was it you who selected the
14 patients from your ward who were to be evacuated?
15 A. Yes, certainly. I knew who were the most serious patients,
16 threatened with serious infections, whose injuries were life-threatening,
17 and who could receive better assistance in better -- better equipped
19 Q. But my question was, was it you who drew up the list of those in
20 the surgical ward to be evacuated?
21 A. All the wounded were in the surgical ward, but the surgery was not
22 just general surgery. There was also urology, orthopaedics, gynaecology,
23 and other various types of injuries, and all of this was under one
24 umbrella, that of surgery.
25 Q. Did you ask for the agreement of those patients? Were they told
1 they were to be evacuated and did they accept it?
2 A. Certainly. They could hardly wait because of the shelling of the
3 hospital. The shells were falling down like rain. One couldn't go out.
4 If you went out, you might never come back. They were clutching at
5 straws. And they all agreed to be evacuated for further treatment.
6 Q. You will recall I asked you about Private Ivan Zivkovic. You said
7 you thought that he had been discharged and joined the ZNG. If I were to
8 tell you that he was among those included in the transport organised by
9 the Medecins Sans Frontieres, would you agree with me?
10 A. It's possible. But if he was, it was his wish to go with the
11 others because this was offered to him. It only shows that all those who
12 were seriously wounded and given assistance, regardless of what side they
13 belonged to in these horrors of war, were given professional assistance,
14 and they themselves could decide whether they wanted to go or not. He
15 decided he did want to go, and I believe that he did, as you said.
16 Q. If I told you that, yes, he was in this transport, that's correct,
17 I can hardly accept that he agreed to that and that he was very happy
18 about it, because he managed somehow to attract attention when they were
19 passing by a JNA unit, and he managed to get pulled out because he didn't
20 want to go to Zagreb. The transport was going to Zagreb. Did you hear
21 anything about that?
22 A. No. Everybody knows --
23 Q. Very well. If you haven't heard about it, there is no need --
24 A. I'm sure that it was his choice to go.
25 MR. MOORE: May I just ask to seek clarification in relation to
1 one matter on that topic?
2 If my learned friend is going to be suggesting as part of the
3 Defence case that this particular soldier indicated to this doctor or
4 other doctors that he did not wish to be evacuated, then I would submit
5 that he should put that clearly on the record because what is happening at
6 the moment is the doctor is saying, "I am not aware of that." Then the
7 question is being formulated in a way, well, later on, he protested or
8 that this soldier protested. It is beholden upon the Defence, and indeed
9 the Prosecution when they are putting their case, that they should put
10 specifics to enable a witness and indeed the other side to know exactly
11 what the case is.
12 So if it's being said that this soldier had said specifically to a
13 doctor at the hospital, "I do not wish to be evacuated" and was coerced
14 into so doing, I submit that that should be done at this stage or perhaps
15 before the conclusion of the cross-examination.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, you have heard the point. It's a
17 valid one. If it is the Defence case that this patient was protesting
18 against being moved to Zagreb, you should put that to the witness in the
19 course of the cross-examination rather than hedging around the matter,
20 which is the way the questions have been to the present time.
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 I really hope that Ivan Zivkovic will appear before this Court as
23 a Defence witness and will be able to testify about this, because we will
24 not have other witnesses to events taking place in the hospital. We will
25 have witnesses who will testify to the manner in which he managed to leave
1 the convoy evacuating the patients to Zagreb. However, Mr. Njavro said
2 that Ivan Zivkovic joined the ZNG and was discharged. He didn't mention
3 that he was in this convoy, which is why I was paying a little more
4 attention to this point.
5 JUDGE PARKER: If that is your case, Mr. Domazet, you, I believe,
6 should be putting to the witness whether this patient protested about
7 being moved to Zagreb, to this witness.
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
9 I will formulate my question in this manner, although the witness
10 did reply that he wasn't on the list and now he said he was. But I will
12 Q. Witness, do you remember that Ivan Zivkovic did not wish to be
13 sent to Zagreb and opposed this?
14 A. I assert categorically before this Honourable Tribunal that not a
15 single wounded person who was taken by the Medecins Sans Frontieres in the
16 convoy from the Vukovar Hospital on the 19th of September left the
17 hospital against his will. Each one was asked whether he wished to go.
18 It was well known where they would be going: For further medical
19 treatment in Croatia. After they agreed, they were taken outside and put
20 in the ambulances and then they could proceed on their way.
21 As for what I said, that he joined the guards, it's true that
22 there was an Ivan Zivkovic who did join the ZNG. I may have been confused
23 about which Ivan Zivkovic it was. He came from the JNA. Maybe it was
24 another Ivan Zivkovic and not this one, but I assert categorically that he
25 was asked in the hospital, "Do you want the Medecins Sans Frontieres to
1 take you in a convoy to the free part of Croatia for further medical
2 treatment?" Each and every patient, after he agreed to this, could
3 continue his road to further treatment by the convoy.
4 Q. Mr. Njavro, when speaking about Private Ivan Zivkovic, a Serb
5 soldier, you said that he had been almost cured, and you felt that he --
6 you thought that he had joined the ZNG. But you said just a while ago
7 here that only the most seriously wounded patients were included in this
8 convoy. Was he really as seriously wounded or was he about to be
9 discharged? Why was he sent to Zagreb?
10 A. Sir, I described how the triage was carried out. I did not
11 conduct the triage for each patient personally, so I cannot answer with
12 respect to each and every individual. Even had I done so, it would be
13 impossible to remember 112 names - I think it was 112 - of patients who
14 were taken from the Vukovar Hospital by the Medecins Sans Frontieres.
15 Maybe not you personally but I believe that everybody knows the hardships
16 suffered by these patients on their way to Zagreb to undergo further
17 medical treatment, and wounded people died en route.
18 Q. You said that, yes. During the examination-in-chief, you did say
19 that the trip took a long time, that they travelled across fields, didn't
20 use the normal roads. How did you come by this information? Because the
21 convoy was supposed to take a safe route.
22 A. We received information because every hour or two we asked about
23 this. We called Zagreb and asked, because Luzac, Bogdanovci, Marinci,
24 Zidine, Nustar, Vinkovci, the route that was supposed to be used, even if
25 you drove very slowly, because these people were wounded, it wouldn't take
1 more than two hours. However, when we called, because we had a telephone
2 communication with Zagreb, when we asked whether the wounded people had
3 arrived and what the situation was, the answer was no, which gave rise to
4 concern and even panic. We thought it might have been better to keep them
5 in hospital than --
6 Q. You said that, Mr. Njavro, but I'm asking you whether you had
7 information even if there was a detour, on whose initiative did it happen?
8 Was it those who were in charge of the convoy that caused the detour?
9 A. The information I received, because I didn't know then why that
10 convoy had taken so long to arrive, but there was a member of the
11 intelligence services, Mr. Zvonko Markovic or Mihajlovic, whom General
12 Raseta sent to escort the convoy, told the whole story, the whole course
13 of events, and what was done to hold back the convoy, even when it fell
14 into mud in a field, they had to pull it out. They wanted to hold it up
15 for as long as possible, and my impression was that this was done in order
16 to make the situation of the wounded patients worse.
17 Q. That is a very serious allegation. That's why I'm asking you on
18 whose initiative the convoy left the road and took a route through the
20 A. The initiative came from members of the JNA because after the
21 convoy passed through Luzac, they met it and told it to take the field
23 Q. Iffy to tell you that there was no JNA at Luzac and that this was
24 Croatian territory and that the JNA forces were much further away waiting
25 for the convoy which before that had left the road, would you agree with
1 me or do you have other information?
2 A. No, sir. I wouldn't agree with you. I do not wish to contradict
3 you but I certainly know this area better than you do. I crossed it many
4 times. Therefore, Luzac is not only the settlement itself but before --
5 once you cross the bridge, and get to the road for Bogdanovci, then it is
6 the area after that, through the fields, where what I have just described
7 to you took place.
8 Q. All right. I will not dwell on this topic any longer. Let us
9 turn back to the hospital.
10 It is well known -- and you also told us -- that the hospital did
11 not have electrical supply after a certain period of time and that it was
12 forced to use generators. What did the generators supply? Just one area
13 of the hospital or the entire hospital?
14 A. We had to go down in the basement in early August, on the 6th of
15 August to be precise, when the operating room was destroyed. There was a
16 risk that the shelling would continue, so in order to ensure safety for
17 the patients, we took them down to the basement for several days and then
18 took them up again, and then after that brought them in the basement
20 As for the electrical outage, it certainly started happening in
21 September, and in October we had no more electrical supply whatsoever, not
22 only in the hospital but in town as well. We had generators. They
23 supplied only the vital section. We needed to procure fuel for
24 generators - we didn't have a lot of fuel - and had access only to
25 whatever was left at gas stations. We used that for a time to cover only
1 the vital operations in the hospital, surgeries, bandages, sterilisation
2 of equipment and instruments that were necessary to perform surgical
3 interventions, labours and so on. We also had to have sterile material
4 for bandages and so on. We had no water either.
5 Q. That was not my question. And you have answered my question.
6 If I understood you well, you said that the generators were used
7 only for the vital work at the hospital, surgeries, sterilisation of
8 equipment and so on.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Does that mean that generators were not used to supply electricity
11 for lights, for offices of doctors and so on?
12 A. I think that we used candles in the offices because one could
13 still find candles in town.
14 As for the exact description of precisely which lights were
15 supplied by the generator and which weren't, I don't remember. However, I
16 do remember that in the last several days, on the 17th and 18th of
17 November, I performed a surgery on a three-year-old girl --
18 Q. No, you told us about that in examination-in-chief. Let us now
19 please focus on the questions that I have.
20 What was the situation like in relation to telephone lines of the
22 A. The only telephone connection out of the hospital was the
23 telephone in the office of Dr. Bosanac. One could regularly talk to
24 Zagreb and the area around. I think it was also possible to talk to other
1 Q. Until which time?
2 A. The last time we were able to use the phone, if I remember well,
3 was on the 17th in the evening. Or perhaps the 18th in the morning. I'm
4 not sure. But one of those two days was the last day.
5 Q. 17th or 18th of what?
6 A. Of November.
7 Q. That means until the very end, while you were still at the
9 A. Yes. It was just on the last day that we had no telephone
10 connection, the 19th or the 20th.
11 Q. Based on what you said, it seems that you frequently went to the
12 office of your director, Mrs. Bosanac; is that right?
13 A. Not just I, but anybody who needed went into the office of
14 Dr. Bosanac. If they needed to ask for something. Otherwise,
15 unfortunately I spent most of my time in the operating room, or in one of
16 the improvised operating rooms.
17 Q. Thank you. Let me just correct something that is missing in the
18 transcript. You said that there was no telephone connections starting on
19 the 18th in the afternoon and then on the 19th and 20th. The 18th in the
20 afternoon is not mentioned in the transcript. Is that your testimony?
21 A. Yes. It was either on the 17th or the 18th that we used the phone
22 for the last time, but I don't remember that. You need to ask Dr. Bosanac
23 that because she was the one who used the phone line.
24 Q. All right. Since you entered that office, do you remember what
25 items were in that office of Dr. Bosanac?
1 A. The usual. The documentation, medical histories. Nothing
2 remarkable. I don't remember seeing anything unusual there.
3 Oh, yes, the salaries. The salaries were there, in a sack, as far
4 as I can remember.
5 Q. You didn't see anything else?
6 A. Yes. The cigarettes, while we still had them. I don't remember
7 anything else.
8 Q. All right. Thank you.
9 Now, in relation to this time period that you just mentioned,
10 which is the period immediately preceding the arrival of the JNA in the
11 hospital, was there an increase in the number of those coming to the
12 hospital, including those who had no injuries whatsoever, or were not
14 A. Given that on the 16th, the shelling ceased, the shelling and the
15 destruction, the 17th was a Sunday, and on that day people started leaving
16 basements and the whole town of Vukovar and came to the hospital. Prior
17 to that, they spent 70 to 80 days in the basements. They came to the
18 hospital hoping to find salvation there, hoping to find safety there.
19 I have to say that in the building where I lived, below my flat
20 was a basement, where almost all remaining residents stayed, and all of
21 them, they came to the hospital on the 17th in the afternoon, including my
22 wife, my mother-in-law, and they came there to wait, because they had
23 heard, they had been warned, that the paramilitary Chetnik formations, and
24 even the JNA, were conducting cleansing of the buildings. They were
25 throwing bombs into the basements and inquiring whether anybody survived
1 and so on.
2 Q. All right. Please concentrate on my question. So your answer was
3 yes, civilians came to the hospital too. My question was whether the
4 members of the ZNG came seeking shelter, or seeking a way to leave Vukovar
5 via the hospital?
6 A. Your Honours, I'm trying to explain how it came about that the
7 hospital was so full. I said that the hospital was so full that it could
8 not admit another person.
9 As for the members of the ZNG, I do not believe that they were
10 there. Because on the 18th some of them surrendered at Mitnica. And the
11 others, with the then commander of the Vukovar defence, Mladi Jastreb,
12 went to attempt a breakthrough. Now, whether it's possible that some of
13 the members of the ZNG entered the hospital as civilians, perhaps there
14 were some such individual cases, but it wasn't anything on such a scale as
15 to be noticed.
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know whether
17 this is an appropriate time for a break or should I carry on?
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, I think that would be an ideal time
19 for a break. We will resume at five minutes to 6.00.
20 MR. MOORE: Would Your Honour hear me just on one small matter?
21 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Moore.
22 MR. MOORE: It's to do with the next witness, Ambassador Okun.
23 He has testified in the Milosevic case. He relied on his original
24 document, his diary. He wishes to use that document again for his
25 evidence, which I hope will be tomorrow. We have moved heaven and earth
1 but not the Registry to obtain the original document. And the ambassador
2 is justifiably concerned that the morning of trial he still hasn't got
3 access to the original document.
4 We even filed a motion on, I think, Friday, to obtain this
5 document. I don't know if the Court would be able, of its own motion, to
6 be able to assist the Prosecution. But the last thing we need is a delay
7 to try and obtain a document that is being held by the Registry and a
8 document in the Milosevic case as an original but a document that clearly
9 needs to be used in this case.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Is any reason being offered for the problem?
11 MR. MOORE: There is no reason being given, and there is no reply
12 being given.
13 [Trial chamber confers]
14 JUDGE PARKER: We will make inquiries, Mr. Moore.
15 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.34 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, the matter you raised before the break,
19 the information the Chamber has received indicates a timetable and a
20 progress of e-mails a little different from your understanding, and the
21 most recent was a specific request to be able to view the diary tomorrow
22 morning and that has been implemented by the Registry. Their general
23 problem is that the document is in their custody by order of another Trial
24 Chamber so that any viewing of it needs to be in their presence. So it
25 would appear that it will be available to you and the witness tomorrow
1 morning at the time requested by one of your people.
2 MR. MOORE: I think my timetable was correct. We have made
3 requests for access to the original document because Ambassador Okun would
4 like to see his document. He is 82 years of age, and he would like to see
5 his document in preparation of giving evidence. I accept that there has
6 been an arrangement made for tomorrow morning but that has been what I
7 will call a fallback position because we have not been able to have access
8 to the original.
9 JUDGE PARKER: The answer to that, as I anticipate where it's
10 leading, would have been to seek an order from the Trial Chamber.
11 MR. MOORE: Well, we've done that.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Have you got the order from the Trial Chamber?
13 MR. MOORE: I believe that -- may I just check, because I know
14 that there was a motion -- a motion laid before the Court from the
15 Milosevic team, if I may use that phrase, for the document, for the
16 release of the document.
17 May I just clarify one matter?
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. MOORE: Yes. I certainly sought on my e-mail, I think either
20 Friday or this morning, on Friday, and if it can be turned upped but my
21 case manager.
22 JUDGE PARKER: There is no point in approaching this Trial
24 MR. MOORE: Well --
25 JUDGE PARKER: Your problem is an order of another Trial Chamber.
1 MR. MOORE: Yes.
2 JUDGE PARKER: If that is in your way, you need to get that order
3 varied by that Trial Chamber, and by what you say, you have commenced
4 steps in that direction.
5 MR. MOORE: Yes.
6 JUDGE PARKER: But from what you say you have not yet got that
8 MR. MOORE: No. We made an application in written form in the
9 proper procedure and we have received no reply. But the problem I have is
10 really just a sensible realistic problem of a witness wanting to see his
11 original document when he's giving evidence. It's not an unreasonable
12 stance to take.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I well understand that, and I would expect the
14 other Trial Chamber would see it as well.
15 MR. MOORE: Well, we'll see tomorrow morning anyway.
16 JUDGE PARKER: When they come to be formally approached in the
18 MR. MOORE: Yes.
19 JUDGE PARKER: But you understand we can't presume to vary their
20 order. All we can do consistently with their order is to ensure that the
21 witness can see the document in the custody of a court -- or in the
22 presence of a court officer.
23 MR. MOORE: I understand that fully. But sometimes witnesses
24 don't feel, with the utmost courtesy to the members of the Registry
25 present, do not always feel confident or comfortable with a member sitting
1 beside them.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, I'm not questioning that, but that's as
3 far as we can go.
4 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We have done that. It's up to you, with the other
6 Trial Chamber, if you want to go further.
7 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.
9 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Njavro, in examination-in-chief, as well as
11 today, you said that proceedings had been instituted against you before
12 the military court in Belgrade but that you were exchanged. Is it true
13 that you were exchanged prior to commencement of any trial in that
14 military court?
15 A. No. The trial did commence in the high military court in
16 Belgrade. After the hearing was held, I was exchanged. It involved a
17 group of spies called Labrador from Zagreb.
18 Q. In order to be fully certain, this is not your area of expertise
19 but rather mine. So were you referring to the investigation? Was it then
20 that you gave your statement? Or was an indictment issued and did the
21 trial actually commence, or were you perhaps just referring to the
23 A. No. I was referring to the trial held in the Belgrade high
24 military court.
25 Q. If that is the case, there is no reason we should not believe you
1 that the trial did commence. However, the trial was not concluded, and
2 before it concluded, you were exchanged?
3 A. I think that the trial was concluded, but I never received a
4 judgement because after the trial was concluded, I was exchanged, as I
5 have told you, for a spy group from Zagreb called Labrador.
6 Q. If I remember well, that was the spy group arrested in Zagreb and
7 exchanged for the group in which you were, and if I'm not mistaken, you
8 travelled on a plane from Belgrade to Zagreb?
9 A. Yes. There were 40 or so of us on the plane, us who were -- who
10 had been arrested and kept in prison or camp. There were also some JNA
11 officers travelling with us.
12 When we arrived in Zagreb, when we landed at Pleso airport, we
13 were exchanged there for this Labrador spy group. They entered the plane
14 that we disembarked from, that we had arrived in from Belgrade, from
16 Q. You've just said that with you in this group that was exchanged,
17 there were several JNA officers. Do you remember whether General
18 Aleksander Vasiljevic was among them?
19 A. There was a general and the colonel and the wife of, if I recall
20 this correctly, of one of the colonels, commanders at the Pleso airport.
21 Whether this was General Vasiljevic or not, I could not confirm, but there
22 was a general, that's for sure.
23 Q. And, of course, he returned with this Labrador group; correct?
24 A. I couldn't say that. We got on a bus and we were taken towards
25 the part of the Pleso airport where the civilian traffic went on.
1 Q. In this group that was with you, was Dr. or Mrs. Vesna Bosanac as
2 well in the group?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The reason I'm asking is that she mentioned that General
5 Vasiljevic was on the plane, and I thought that perhaps you knew something
6 about this as well.
7 A. I do know that there was a general. I know that -- I remember the
8 rank, but whether this was actually General Vasiljevic or not, I could not
9 categorically confirm.
10 Q. Would you agree with the views of some that it was Dr. Vesna
11 Bosanac who was a symbol of Vukovar in the public opinion, especially in
12 the Croatian -- in the eye of the Croatian public opinion, especially
13 because of the events in that area?
14 A. Dr. Vesna Bosanac was a symbol because she was the one who issued
15 warnings to everyone and warned everyone about what was happening there.
16 She spoke with General Raseta and she pleaded for the destruction of
17 Vukovar to cease and so on.
18 Q. Well, my question was -- please answer my question yes or no.
19 A. Well, if you could call it that, because of the appeals that she
20 voiced, especially because she was from Vukovar, then no wonder that she
21 was more in the public eye than others.
22 Q. More than you yourself?
23 A. Yes, of course.
24 Q. I think I am not -- I'm not mistaken but you will tell me if
25 that's so. You said today at the beginning that you were not politically
1 active, that you were never a member of any political party, and that you
2 wouldn't even know what party your mayor belonged to. A few months
3 following this exchange, in other words in the summer of 1992, you became
4 the minister of health in Mr. Sarinic's government, and as far as I know,
5 that was a HDZ government; is that correct?
6 A. I do not know, sir, why you would make a link between my
7 engagement in this later on, because it was normal for people in the
8 medical profession to be ministers of health or to be in the health
10 Q. Certainly. But you yourself said when you mentioned some
11 appointments to high offices, when I asked you about the names, you said
12 that the political party which would come to power would bring their own
13 people, this was normal, and if I recall correctly, you mentioned that
14 this is how the most responsible people from Vukovar were removed.
15 A. Sir, I did not say that. I said it was normal procedure, but I
16 didn't say it was a rule. If it was common, or usual, that's how it was.
17 But then again I have to say that in 1991 I was not a member of any party.
18 Q. Yeah. But we are talking about 1992, not long after that. Am I
19 correct in saying that sometime after that, up to 1994, you were in this
20 position and then you remained minister at large and were involved with
21 the issues of immigrants and victims of the patriotic war? Am I correct?
22 Is this information correct?
23 A. Well, in 1992, the war was still raging, and there were still
24 atrocities being committed, and it is normal that someone who had
25 experienced and lived through the hell of war and who was also in a camp
1 and was a doctor as well and well acquainted with the health issues, it
2 was normal that such a person would be appointed to an area which he was
3 familiar with and where he had some expertise. And this is why I became
4 minister of health in August of 1992.
5 Q. Thank you. In other words, you were appointed to this position
6 even without being a member of any political party. But could that be
7 true for being -- in other words, were you a member of parliament in three
9 A. I was elected in 1992, and 1995, and in 2000. In other words, I
10 served during three sessions of parliament, and for a while I was minister
11 of health, after which I was minister at large, but because there were so
12 many immigrants after the aggression against Croatia and then the
13 aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was a neighbouring country,
14 by the JNA, I was in charge of taking care of the immigrants and refugees
15 from the -- that neighbouring country.
16 Q. Is that to say that you were elected as member of parliament in
17 three sessions and that you were not a member of any party?
18 A. I'm sorry, but I became a member of the -- in nineteen-ninety --
19 in the spring of 1992.
20 Q. Yes. I understand now, because I understand that you can be
21 appointed to a ministerial post without being a member of a party but you
22 cannot be a member of parliament; is that right?
23 A. No, that's not correct. You can also be an independent. In other
24 words, you can be elected as an independent candidate. You do not
25 necessarily have to belong to a political party.
1 Q. Could you please repeat that, what you said earlier, that in 1992
2 you became a member of the HDZ because this is something that was omitted
3 in the transcript. So could you please confirm that for the transcript?
4 In other words, there are independent candidates, that's correct, but you
5 were not independent, you were a member of the HDZ?
6 A. That's correct. I was on the list of candidates of the HDZ, as I
7 said, when I joined the party, which is when I joined the party, and
8 was -- and became its member.
9 Q. Yes. And this was a very quick career, political career, and if I
10 am not mistaken, you are still a member of the Association of Croatian
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Do I recall correctly that you mentioned Jastreb and that you were
14 then -- subsequent to that that you were arrested when the Croatian
15 authorities arrested Jastreb Dedakovic?
16 A. I do not recall that, but he was the commander of the Vukovar
18 Q. May I just remind you of the two doctors you mentioned earlier,
19 Serb doctors, Dr. Ivankovic and Dr. Djurinac [phoen]. For the first you
20 said that he was as a member of the League of Communists, the one-time
21 League of Communists, that that's how he was actually appointed and had a
22 privileged position that he also was able to procure a piece of land; and
23 for the other man you said that he was an alcoholic. You never mentioned
24 another colleague. Was there any other colleague that you can recall who
25 was a Serb of whom you would have a positive opinion?
1 A. As for colleagues, Djurinac, I do not know any such man. I do
2 know Dr. Djuranac. He's in Zagreb, and he's a Croat, unless he changed
3 his nationality in the meantime. And I did not say that he was an
4 alcoholic. I just said that he liked to take a drink or two from time to
6 As for other colleagues, I never stated of any of them, nor did I
7 have any reason to, anything that was not true. This would be against my
9 Q. Thank you. I would just like to go back to my question having to
10 do with Jastreb Dedakovic, and I believe that the transcript does not
11 exactly reflect what you have said. So could you please repeat whether
12 you know that they were arrested and if you know why, tell us why.
13 A. I know that, I know that they were arrested, but why, I wouldn't
14 know that.
15 Q. Thank you. This is not -- this was not reflected in the
16 transcript. But thank you any way, Mr. Njavro. I have no further
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Domazet.
20 Yes, Mr. Borovic.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Good evening, Your Honours. My name
22 is Borivoj Borovic, and I am the Defence counsel for Miroslav Radic. This
23 is for the witness.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Borovic:
25 Q. To clarify completely the question related to the military court
1 in Belgrade, the first question: How many statements did you make before
2 this Court?
3 A. I cannot tell you exactly at this point. I know I was taken --
4 Q. Excuse me. We are wasting a lot of time on lengthy questions and
5 lengthy answers, so could you please just answer briefly.
6 Do you know how many statements you made? One or more?
7 A. I cannot give you a full answer to that question. Please allow me
8 to tell you how it was.
9 Q. I will not allow you. I'm just asking: One or more statements.
10 A. I don't -- I can't answer that question. I can't remember.
11 Q. When you were before the military court in Belgrade, my colleague
12 asked you in detail about the exchange. But before you were exchanged,
13 did the court actually pass a decision whereby they were relieving you of
14 all responsibility?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Do you know what the -- what the sentence was, prescribed sentence
17 for armed rebellion?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know today?
20 A. No.
21 Q. The next question: You answered today when my colleague asked
22 you, put that question, you said that at the beginning of August some
23 buildings were shelled, among them a building housing officers of the JNA.
24 A. Not the building itself but the area in front or outside the
25 building because this was right next to the hospital building.
1 Q. Can you give us the answer now?
2 A. Well, my answer is, in August, in 1992, on August 13th --
3 Q. What happened with the -- with the building housing JNA officers?
4 A. The building housing JNA officers, a shell landed outside the
5 building and this was almost in the hospital -- on the hospital perimeter,
6 and I don't know exactly what happened. I think a car was demolished.
7 Q. All right. Okay. Now, tell us, were officers only housed in that
8 building or were there other people?
9 A. There were also civilians.
10 Q. Were these those officers who shelled the building from the
12 A. I wouldn't know who actually shelled this building from the
13 barracks, but I know that's where it came from.
14 Q. Do you think it is logical for officers from the barracks to fire
15 at the building where their families and wives and children lived? What
16 would you say to that?
17 A. Well, all I can say now is that it was possible because they had
18 already removed their families and put them in barracks so there was no
19 reason for them not to fire these.
20 Q. So would you then agree with the proposition that -- or would you
21 agree, would you state that everyone who was firing from the barracks was
22 at that time in the barracks?
23 A. I wouldn't know. I don't know exactly where they were. I really
24 couldn't tell you that.
25 Q. Well, sir, how could you tell us -- how can you claim, then, that
1 they had all disappeared from the building, since politics was not
2 something that you were interested in, you were really involved with the
3 hospital and this -- how did you learn of this fact?
4 A. Because my own flat is across the road from that building and my
5 family lives across the road from that building, and the hospital is also
6 across from there, and, of course, we could see if there were people
7 inside or not.
8 Q. Thank you. To my friend's question, you said that the ZNG was
9 under the command of the MUP of Vukovar. Is that correct?
10 A. I know that they were under the command of the Ministry of the
11 Interior, and there was a Vukovar branch so that was where their command
13 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that Stipo Pole as the commander in
14 Vukovar could give orders to the people who belonged to the ZNG?
15 A. I assume yes.
16 Q. Does that mean that he was also the superior of Ivica Arbanas?
17 I'm sorry, I first have to ask you do you know who Ivica Arbanas is?
18 A. Yes, I do, because he would come in the hospital bringing in
20 Q. What wounded?
21 A. The wounded -- wounded who were members of the ZNG. But also I
22 think he brought on his back a member of the Serbian Chetnik formation
23 known as Pavlo Teofanovic. That's his name.
24 Q. Was he the chief commander of the paramilitary known as the ZNG in
1 A. I really don't know who the commander was. Later on I know when
2 Jastreb arrived, it was said that he had taken over the command pursuant
3 to orders from Zagreb over the ZNG.
4 Q. Thank you. At that point in time, was there a Vukovar Territorial
5 Defence or not, yes or no?
6 A. I don't know that, really.
7 Q. Thank you. Are you aware that the Territorial Defence had
8 previously consisted of both Croats and Serbs, before these events?
9 A. The Territorial Defence, I don't know. It was within the
10 competence, as far as I can recall, of the then Secretariat for National
11 Defence in the municipality.
12 Q. That's correct, thank you.
13 My next question: We said, after Mr. Domazet put a question to
14 you, that when this was happening in Vukovar a member of the Supreme
15 Command of the JNA was Stipe Mesic, who is a Croat, and under whose
16 command, together with the other members of the collective organ of the
17 JNA was. Do you agree with this again?
18 A. No. You have to ask Stipe Mesic what circumstances he was
19 operating in and whether he was just a figure-head or not. I'm not
20 competent to answer that.
21 Q. I think you have. I think you said a while ago that he was there
22 formerly as president of the Presidency which was the Supreme Command of
23 the JNA; is that correct?
24 A. I told you before that he was in fact -- maybe the best expression
25 is a figure-head, not formally but figuratively.
1 Q. That's sufficient. So the answer is the jury.
2 The next question is: Did you take an oath when you served in the
4 A. Yes. But I also took the oath of Hippocrates.
5 Q. We will come back to that.
6 But my question is: In the text of this oath, does it say that
7 you undertake to, if necessary, protect with your life the territorial
8 integrity of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, yes or no?
9 A. While it was that, while there was some kind of equality, yes.
10 The moment that Yugoslavia dissolved, the moment that, as you know well,
11 Yugoslavia disappeared as such, in my deep conviction that oath lost its
12 meaning after that.
13 Q. But was the text what I told you?
14 A. I don't remember the text of the oath. You probably read it when
15 preparing for this cross-examination. But it's been 30 and more years
16 since I saw the text, so I don't remember what it said exactly.
17 Q. But do you confirm that there was a solemn oath taken when
18 entering the JNA?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The JNA of which the Supreme Commander at that point in time was
21 Stipe Mesic, did it set out toward Vukovar to protect the territorial
22 integrity of the country or do you treat it as a paramilitary formation?
23 This is rather a broad question, but you say that you broke that oath
24 when, in your view, the country ceased to exist. Is it your own view that
25 matters or are there precise standards in the army?
1 A. I took the JNA oath while I was a member of that army. I think
2 that after that it was no longer binding upon me.
3 As for Stipe Mesic and the command of the JNA, I'm not competent
4 to answer that. You should ask him that. He knows what he was
5 responsible for. I can be responsible only for my own actions.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you. Who was the secretary for National Defence
7 during these events in Vukovar; do you know?
8 A. I don't know what time period you mean. Could you please be more
9 precise in your question?
10 Q. I'll be very precise. From the point when the secretary of
11 National Defence, who was a Serb, was replaced, Mercep was appointed in
12 his place. Do you know when that was?
13 A. I don't know precisely when, but I think it was in June, maybe
14 May. I'm not sure. I cannot tell you even an approximate date. I really
15 don't remember.
16 Q. Thank you. Are you still a member of the HDZ?
17 A. Yes, I am.
18 Q. While you were a minister in the HDZ government, can you tell me
19 what Serbs were ministers and for what at that point in time?
20 A. I don't remember exactly, but Pavlovic, Juzbasic. There were
21 others later on. But if you were to ask me what the composition of the
22 government was from 1992 onwards, it would be very hard for me to
23 enumerate names.
24 Q. I meant ministers of Serb ethnicity.
25 A. Yes, yes. That's what I meant.
1 Q. Were you in favour of the secession of Croatia and the creation of
2 an independent Croatian state which is part of the HDZ platform?
3 A. I don't know about the HDZ platform from before. I can only speak
4 of the platform of 1992, after it was quite clear what had happened.
5 Q. Were you in favour of that project regardless of the HDZ platform?
6 A. I'm telling you about the HDZ platform that you want to impute to
7 me. I'm telling you only what I know. I accepted that platform at a time
8 when Croatia was already internationally recognised as an independent,
9 sovereign and democratic state.
10 Q. Thank you. But while you were in the Vukovar Hospital, when
11 you're testifying about the events in Vukovar Hospital, was Croatia
12 internationally recognised then, yes or no?
13 A. Some countries had already recognised Croatia.
14 Q. Do you know what international recognition means? You're an
15 educated man. Was it formally internationally recognised at the time of
16 the events in Vukovar?
17 A. No. I don't know. I don't recall.
18 Q. Do you allow for the possibility that it wasn't?
19 A. But I also allow for the possibility that it was.
20 Q. Very well. It will be easy to prove that it wasn't.
21 Do you know, and have you heard of, the Guards Brigade? What does
22 that title mean?
23 A. By that I understand the ZNG. If the ZNG is a guards brigade,
24 then that's what it is, but I'm no military expert, and I'm not familiar
25 with military vocabulary. For that reason, I cannot give you a precise
1 answer to that question.
2 Q. Thank you. It's quite the opposite. A guards brigade is part of
3 the regular JNA, while the ZNG, as we heard today, was part of the
4 Ministry of the Interior of Croatia. It was therefore a paramilitary
5 formation. I'm asking you about the guards brigade of the JNA. Did you
6 hear about it during the events in Vukovar?
7 A. The ZNG is not a paramilitary formation. It's a regular military
8 formation, as you know well. You're trying to put words in my mouth.
9 Q. Thank you. We heard that it's a military -- a regular military
11 A. Regular police formation.
12 Q. Just a minute. As you said that it was a regular military
13 formation, now when I say military, you say police. Is it military or
14 police? Be precise.
15 A. I'm giving you the same answer I gave to Mr. Domazet when we were
16 clarifying this. I said, in answer to his question, that that is a
17 military -- that is the ZNG, the National Guard Corps, is part of the MUP,
18 the Ministry of the Interior, which means that they are members of the
19 police, and I assume it's a kind of special police unit, not military.
20 Later on, it became part of the military.
21 Q. At the point in time I'm asking you about now, we hear that there
22 is the MUP, Ministry of the Interior, and as you say, the ZNG, which was
23 part of the MUP. Did Croatia have its own military force or not?
24 A. Croatia at the time had only members of the police and as part of
25 the police forces the National Guard Corps. But excuse me, let me
1 complete my thought. I am not competent to clarify what police forces
2 consist of or how the police is organised or how military units are
4 Q. Thank you. But as you have given yourself the role of someone who
5 is conversant with these issues and gave us an explanation of what the ZNG
6 was, and I asked you whether Croatia had a military force at the time, you
7 gave me this answer. Let's move on.
8 Did you publish a book about these events?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. What is the title?
11 A. "Head Down, Hands Behind Your Back."
12 Q. Would you tell me how many copies were issued?
13 A. I didn't ask the publisher, nor have I ever been paid.
14 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you described how the JNA came to the
15 hospital for the first time. You described an officer who came for the
16 first time as you said yesterday. Would you tell the Court how tall this
17 officer was?
18 A. You're asking me what he looked like?
19 Q. Does it mean you wouldn't be able to recognise him?
20 A. I think I would be able to recognise the face. It's the face we
21 mostly remember.
22 Q. Would you see -- recognise him easily because you saw his face in
23 the Croatian media? Would that be why you could recognise his face?
24 A. No, no. When we thought we would all be exchanged, and finally --
25 Q. Excuse me, I don't want to interrupt you often but we do want to
1 focus. If we have long answers to issues I haven't asked about, this will
2 take a very long time. I will be very precise in my question.
3 Did you see in the media from 1991 onwards to today photographs of
4 Mrksic, Radic and Sljivancanin?
5 A. I didn't need -- let me finish.
6 Your Honours, please, when I am answering, may I be allowed to
7 clarify? May I be allowed to say and respond in the way I feel I should?
8 Briefly, of course.
9 Q. Of course I will not prevent the witness from explaining, but I
10 think I do have the right, when the witness is trying to avoid giving a
11 direct answer and is speaking at great length, I feel I have the right to
12 interrupt him.
13 What I'm asking you is in this past 15 years --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Doctor, the process in this courtroom is assisted
15 if you listen to questions that are put to you and answer those questions.
16 I have noticed it is quite often the case that you will deal with one, two
17 or three other matters and then answer the question that is put to you.
18 It would be of assistance if you were able to focus your answers more,
19 specifically on the question. When you do answer the question, you
20 certainly will be allowed to answer it as fully as you feel is relevant,
21 and you will notice that I don't believe any counsel has in the end
22 stopped you from doing that so far. So --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, kindly, Your Honours.
24 Thank you.
25 This is my answer: I saw Mr. Sljivancanin and Mr. Radic, and I
1 could see them hundred times more later on the television, and still never
2 forget their faces. As for Mr. Mrksic, I saw him for the first time on
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that the witness saw them in the last
6 15 years in the media?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Next question: Can the witness describe the uniform worn at the
9 time by Captain Radic?
10 A. Captain Radic came in the uniform of a JNA captain. It was an
11 olive drab-type uniform.
12 Q. What did he have on his head?
13 A. On his head, I really can't recall, just like I can't recall what
14 other people wore on their heads.
15 Q. What about his ranks?
16 A. It was on his shoulder, on his epaulettes.
17 Q. All right. Since you served in the army, how many stars were
19 A. Four.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you see a weapon he had?
21 A. No. I didn't pay attention.
22 Q. All right. You said that he came in military vehicles. You
23 described the barrels. My question is: This military vehicle, did it
24 have a caterpillar-type wheels or regular wheels?
25 A. Regular wheels.
1 Q. What about barrels?
2 A. Large barrels pointed at the hospital.
3 Q. Large calibre or small?
4 A. You are asking me too much. It was a larger calibre than what I
5 had seen prior to that, say, on a machine-gun.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. All right. Yesterday and today, you said
7 that the JNA had taken away the documentation in the barracks.
8 A. I'm sorry, what barracks do you have in mind?
9 Q. I apologise. Not barracks, the hospital.
10 A. Yes. The hospital documentation was put in a sack by a soldier
11 and taken away. Everything that I've mentioned. All register books, case
12 histories and so on.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you burn some documents upon the arrival of the
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you take any papers with you when you left for the
17 investigative prison?
18 A. No. Had I taken it with me, it would have been taken away from me
19 because in Mitrovica they strip-searched us and took everything away from
20 us. They seized it.
21 Q. Everything that is stated in your book, is it true and do you
22 stand by it?
23 A. I stand by the portion written by me, but there are also parts
24 written by other people.
25 Q. Thank you. If I were to tell you that I read your book and if it
1 says in your book, and you can confirm this or I can put it to you, that
2 you burned all of the documentation except for the decision appointing you
3 head of the war staff, what would you say about that? Is it true or not?
4 A. You are mixing up things. Confusing things, sir. I had an ID
5 indicating that I was appointed a reserve member of the MUP and commander
6 of medical services. I was appointed that by the main medical staff.
7 Therefore, I kept only the portion appointing me commander of medical
8 services during wartime. The other bit I gave to my wife who burned it.
9 Q. When were you able to give it to your wife to burn it if the JNA
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore?
12 MR. MOORE: The question that is posed is at 76, I think it's
13 18:44:25. "Thank you. If I were to tell you that I had read your book, I
14 say it's your book and you confirm this, I put it to you that you burnt
15 all of the documentation except the decision appointing you head of the
16 war staff." Is my learned friend saying all of the documentation
17 vis-a-vis the documentation that the doctor said was put in a sack or is
18 he referring to documentation that relates to his personal identification?
19 We have not heard any reference to it, and there has to be more precision
20 in relation to the question itself. What documentation is he supposed to
21 have burnt? No use my learned friend saying I've read it and this is the
22 way it is. He's got to give the witness a chance to deal with the
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, I think things moved on rapidly there,
25 but Mr. Moore has brought us back to what was your opening question and it
1 is an appropriate observation he makes, that the question you put at the
2 beginning of this portion was very vague and needs to be clarified.
3 Thank you.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, not only you are right
5 but also my learned friend, Mr. Moore. It is true we covered this quickly
6 because I believe the witness to stand by his previous statements. But as
7 I'm not putting anything from the book to him yet --
8 Q. Let me ask you this: Did you state in this book that you wanted
9 to burn documentation - I'm not specifying which one - in order to prevent
10 it from falling into the enemy's hands?
11 A. No. And I stand firmly behind this. I burnt my personal
12 documentation, not official medical records. So personal documentation
13 was burned except for this document which probably still exists in
14 Mitrovica, document appointing me head of wartime medical services.
15 Q. Thank you. When you were assigned to the MUP of Croatia, you said
16 that you had a wartime assignment in the MUP of Croatia. When was that?
17 A. Somebody had to treat the wounded MUP members, so in order to show
18 their gratitude for my treating the MUP members, they gave me an ID
19 indicating - this was probably sometime in August or September --
20 Q. Which year?
21 A. 1991.
22 Q. Who gave you this ID showing that you were a member of the MUP of
24 A. Not a member, but a member of reserve forces. If I remember well,
25 I was given this by the then commander, Stipe Pole.
1 Q. Thank you. Would you be so kind as to tell us, as a reserve
2 member of the MUP of Croatia, did you have a rank?
3 A. No, nothing.
4 Q. All right. Do you know what the abbreviation KOS means?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you please tell the Court?
7 A. Intelligence service.
8 Q. When did you hear this for the first time?
9 A. All of us who served in the JNA knew about KOS,
10 counter-intelligence service. Its task, at least I assume so, was to
11 protect the state, the state elite, and institutions. Of course, this is
12 not a precise definition. I don't know much about the work of this
14 Q. All right. Have you ever met a member of KOS,
15 counter-intelligence service?
16 A. Yes. While I served in the garrison clinic.
17 Q. Where?
18 A. In Petrovaradin, which is a section of Novi Sad.
19 Q. Was that the last time you ever met a member of KOS?
20 A. I don't know. Maybe I did later, but I don't remember.
21 Q. What do you mean later? Recently? In recent years?
22 A. I simply don't remember.
23 Q. Did you ever have an official conversation with any member of KOS
24 or not?
25 A. Yes. In Sremska Mitrovica upon my capture.
1 Q. What was the name of that member of KOS?
2 A. He introduced himself as lieutenant colonel and said his name was
4 Q. Did you say perhaps that there was a man called Gojko with the
5 same function?
6 A. Well, there was a Gojko, I think a major, a specialist in
7 pulmonology who told me that he was commander of war medical services in
8 Sremska Mitrovica.
9 Q. All right. Did you, on that occasion, give a statement, an
10 official statement, to the members of KOS or not?
11 A. Yes, I gave a statement at their request and upon being examined
12 to Colonel Stanko.
13 Q. All right. You're using these names freely. Gojko, Stanko. And
14 you remembered last names of the people with whom you had dealings prior
15 to that. So do you remember their last names?
16 A. No. But I think this can be easily verified in the records in
17 Sremska Mitrovica. I'm sure that there weren't too many colonels with the
18 first name Stanko.
19 Q. Thank you. Who brought you to Sremska Mitrovica? Was it a member
20 of KOS?
21 A. I don't know. They sat in front.
22 Q. All I'm asking is, was it a member of KOS?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Do you know who Dr. Radomir Dejanovic is?
25 A. Yes, Radomir Dejanovic is a young colleague, who, upon completing
1 his internship showed interest in surgery. I recommended him to my boss,
2 said that he should be admitted -- or rather, employed and allowed to
3 begin his surgical residency.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you know where he studied?
5 A. In Belgrade.
6 Q. My next question pertains to the 18th of November, 1991, the date
7 that you gave testimony about in the last two days.
8 My first question is: Did you hear about Major Tesic?
9 A. No.
10 Q. The second question: You stated that a captain had come out. Was
11 he accompanied by a major?
12 A. I don't remember any majors.
13 Q. Was there or wasn't there?
14 A. I said I didn't remember that there was a major present or
15 accompanying captain.
16 Q. Can you tell us whether the captain introduced himself?
17 A. No. Not right then.
18 Q. Who else accompanied him?
19 A. A soldier.
20 Q. Just one soldier?
21 A. Right then, when we were expecting the representatives of the
22 International Red Cross as well, we were naturally surprised.
23 Q. No. All I'm asking is whether there was somebody else apart from
24 the soldier?
25 A. I remember a soldier. Whether there were other people there as
1 well, I don't remember.
2 Q. All right. Thank you.
3 Next question: How many soldiers provided security to the
4 hospital, as you have already told us that they had to cover all openings,
5 as you picturesquely described it to you. So since they had to cover all
6 openings, please tell us roughly how many soldiers were assigned to the
7 security of the hospital at the time when the JNA entered the hospital for
8 the first time?
9 A. When they entered the hospital, we went into the basement. After
10 that, the soldiers came, and I can enumerate these openings, large ones.
11 Q. Well, just tell us roughly.
12 A. One, two, three, four, five, six, about a dozen openings. Larger
13 and smaller ones. There was not a single window pane left intact.
14 Q. All right. But were there any other JNA soldiers providing
15 external security for the hospital?
16 A. We didn't see that because we were indoor, so we didn't know
17 whether there were or weren't. We only saw the ones standing at the
18 openings. Those that were visible.
19 Q. All right. In addition to you, who else was there when the JNA
21 A. In addition to me, Dr. Bosanac and Martin Vidic, Bili.
22 Q. You mean Marin?
23 A. Yes, I apologise. Yes, I mean Marin Vidic, Bili.
24 Q. If I were to tell you that at that point in time they were
25 elsewhere, what would be your comment?
1 A. No. But after that, they went away. Right then they were with
3 Q. Well, how come, when all of you went into the basement --
4 A. I said that I went into the basement. I didn't say anything about
5 the others, because, the others, as far as I know, probably started
6 negotiating about vacating the hospital on the 19th.
7 Q. I apologise, but just several sentences ago, and we can see this
8 in the transcript, you stated we went into the basement.
9 A. I apologise. That was a slip of tongue. I went into the
10 basement. I don't know what they did. All I know is that as far as I can
11 remember on the 18th in the evening, they were not at the hospital.
12 Q. All right. Thank you.
13 How many people were there, then, in your estimate?
14 A. It's hard to pinpoint the exact number. There were a lot of
15 wounded, more than 450, and there were also a lot of those who had arrived
16 from the basements in town and so on.
17 Q. All right. All right. I'm not going to torture you any longer
18 with this.
19 Did you send faxes and did you make phone calls to Vinkovci and
20 other national associations, organisations?
21 A. No.
22 Q. If I were to tell you that Dr. Bosanac, while giving testimony
23 here, on the 27th of October, in transcript on page 4, line 9, said she
24 wasn't the only one who sent faxes and appeals, "many of us did that,
25 Dr. Njavro and Marin Vidic," would that affect your testimony?
1 A. It is possible that at one point in time, I sent a fax. However,
2 the documentation which is most likely together with other documentation
3 one could check this.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. Can you please tell us who might you have
5 sent this fax to?
6 A. If I did send a fax, all of us sent it to the same address more or
7 less, the international observers in the Hotel I in Zagreb.
8 Q. You said all of us. Does that mean Vesna Bosanac and who else?
9 A. Well, I meant the inner circle.
10 Q. Which would be who?
11 A. Vesna, Bili and I. Although there were other colleagues as well
12 who were there.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Borovic? If you're
14 chasing a particular point, we can go a minute or two but no longer.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I will comply with your suggestion,
16 Your Honour. Let us take a break now. Thank you.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
18 We resume tomorrow at 2.15.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of
21 November, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.