1 Thursday, 24 November 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.28 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. It is regretted that for the
7 second day we are late starting because the previous case ran late.
8 May I remind you, sir, of the affirmation you made at the
9 beginning much your evidence which still applies.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS P-016 [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma?
13 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour. Yesterday I tendered into
14 evidence a photograph and that is bearing the Exhibit number 113 and 114.
15 And I request that that exhibit will be admitted under seal. And that
16 photograph could probably reveal --
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. That will be under seal.
18 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: You otherwise had concluded, have you?
20 MS. TUMA: I have concluded my examination in chief. Thank you,
21 Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic?
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good
24 afternoon to everyone.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Vasic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon to the witness. Sir, first of all
2 I wish to introduce myself. My name is Miroslav Vasic. Since we both
3 speak the same language, please pause after my question so that the
4 interpreters can do their job properly and also in order to give me time
5 to switch my microphone off to prevent your voice from leaving this
6 courtroom, in view of the protective measures that have been granted.
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to start
8 with a set of questions concerning the witness's identity, so I think it
9 might be a good idea to go into private session briefly.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes, private.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 2217-2222 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honour.
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You told us yesterday that you were rather disgruntled for having
23 been dismissed, as you yourself say, without any fault of your own?
24 A. Yes, that's true.
25 Q. You also told us that you were grieved because you weren't allowed
1 to do the kind of job that you were good at doing and that we -- that the
2 job you did professionally and in an expert manner.
3 A. Yes. My job was my greatest love in life.
4 Q. Yes. I came to that conclusion yesterday because you said you
5 took pride in your work and that that was the best part of your life, a
6 ten-year period of your life, actually.
7 A. When I think about it now, I'm sorry because I missed my child's
8 growing up, and many other things, family moments, because I devoted
9 myself to my job.
10 Q. So what you loved best you actually set aside for your career and
11 your job?
12 A. I'm not sure I'm following you. Could you repeat what you just
14 Q. You said that you were curtailed in being with your family. So I
15 was just saying that you had to give up what was nearest and dearest to
16 you, you had to subjugate that to the job you loved and the career you
17 were bent on making?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. You told us yesterday that it was extremely painful for you when
20 you saw that some people became colonels and generals, which were not as
21 deserving as you were, and you were not even given the little things that
22 you wanted to do, that is to say you weren't allowed to pursue your
23 profession and job.
24 A. Well, I think it's human to think along those lines because when
25 you see all the people who stayed on and who managed to make a career
1 there, then you have to think along those lines.
2 Q. Yes, certainly from your point of view you considered that to be
3 an injustice and you felt powerless to redress that injustice. You tried
4 to do so through legal means but that didn't succeed?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. And that injustice shattered your confidence, self confidence; is
7 that right?
8 A. No, I'm a strong personality. I have never been sick much. And I
9 never cried over my fate or complained of my fate. I struggled as best I
10 could and I did the kind of work that I never, ever thought I would do
11 before. But I came to realise that family is the only thing in life that
12 is worth fighting for, one's family.
13 Q. At that time, I'm sure you felt rejected and powerless because
14 those who had inflicted this injustice upon you could not be punished.
15 A. No. I am not somebody who likes to take revenge. Luckily I'm not
16 of that mental makeup. My mental makeup is that I don't hate anybody. I
17 can have an affinity towards someone and like someone or not like them,
18 and I divide people into good people and bad people. I am wise enough and
19 well-educated enough to be able to differentiate and I knew where the evil
20 was coming from.
21 Q. And can you tell us where was the evil coming from? Where did it
22 come from?
23 A. The Slobodan Milosevic regime itself was a national socialist
24 regime, a totalitarian regime.
25 Q. I just said where -- I asked you where it came from. I didn't ask
1 you to characterise it.
2 A. It came from the top echelons of state structure.
3 Q. You said that you didn't -- you weren't somebody who likes to take
4 revenge. You weren't vindictive. But I'm sure that you didn't like
5 seeing people advance in their careers who were no better than you.
6 A. No. I don't have that feeling of -- well, maybe that's not normal
7 but I never thought along those lines. I knew who had done evil against
8 me and I had nothing against individuals.
9 Q. But you told us today that you didn't think it right that others
10 advanced, whereas you, with all your capabilities, were not in a position
11 to further your career.
12 A. Well, perhaps you didn't quite understand me. When I talked about
13 that, I meant about the people I had been working with, and I know very
14 well how individuals tried to avoid dealing with, if I can call them, hot
15 subjects, topics, and hot spots. When I left and when some others left,
16 they would have to go to the hot spots but they went one or two months
17 later, and they visited these localities as they would tourist
18 destinations, that's what I had in mind first an and foremost, people who
19 didn't like to work, idlers, and people whose morals were suspect.
20 Q. Later when we go into private session I'm going to ask you about
21 the names of those people but let's move on now.
22 You were especially upset because your family's livelihood was in
23 jeopardy when you ceased working and you weren't able to do anything to
24 change the decision about your disposal?
25 A. Yes. Because my wife at that time was left without a job due to
1 the general economic circumstances that prevailed, but I meant that in a
2 more literal sense, or rather figurative sense, than in a realistic sense.
3 Q. You told us yesterday that after these unfortunate events for you
4 personally, you did your best to push back that realm of your work that
5 was linked to your profession because you found it easier that way, to
6 suppress it in your mind?
7 A. Yes, and that was the advice I was given by a neuropsychiatrist
8 who told me that the events that I had experienced, lived through, that I
9 shouldn't talk about them and that it would all be stored in some sort of
10 box in my mind, compartment. So, for me, this testimony here, or, rather,
11 the time spent here is painful because Pandora's box has been opened
12 through it and all the ugly things and images have come back to me, and
13 I'm not a happy man because of it.
14 Q. Yes. I understand. Because of everything that happened to you,
15 at one point you saw that you weren't able to solve your material
16 situation, and then you offered your services and knowledge to the OTP.
17 Isn't that right, because you weren't able to solve the problems of your
19 A. Yes, that's true but let me tell you what made me change my mind
20 and what tipped the scales. You know when on the Pink television channel,
21 every fortnight or so, you watch and see these -- you see Zeljko
22 Raznjatovic, Arkan, filing past with his family, for instance, and that
23 the public applauded him as he passed. Well, then, you have this revolt
24 that boils up in you, and I said to myself, "That's their truth. But you
25 know very well that that's not how it was. You were there," I said to
1 myself. "You saw it all happen and it is your duty to tell the truth,
2 that truth." And I think that that is the most humane thing that a man
3 can do.
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we go into private
5 session for a moment now? Because I think we are entering an area where
6 the witness's identity could be jeopardised.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 2229-2239 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I'm not going to ask you about the paper now.
8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps this would be a
9 good time for the break, not to have to go into private session.
10 Well, I have to ask some more specific questions, more specific
11 than I've been asking just now.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will have a break now. Because of
13 that redaction, it will be that we resume at 10 minutes past four.
14 Could I point out, Mr. Vasic, that it's taken quite a long time so
15 far and I think that the cross-examination could be quite a bit more
16 pointed and speedy. We try in this Chamber to give counsel full
17 opportunity and free hand about time but with that comes a responsibility
18 to try and move quickly so that we can be confident that without giving
19 you time limitations, you are not wasting time. And if you look over the
20 session so far this afternoon, there has been quite a lot of questioning
21 that does little towards the real point of this case. Credit, important;
22 motivation for the witness, important. But it didn't take -- it didn't
23 need to take as long as it has done by a long way.
24 So I would hope that all counsel will bear that in mind and that
25 we can see the speed of the way in which the questioning and the
1 cross-examination of a witness proceeds much more quickly.
2 With those few words of encouragement, we will now adjourn and
3 resume at ten minutes past four.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Before I continue with my examination of the witness, I would like
9 to say something. That is to say I'd like to ask my learned colleagues
10 from the OTP to provide the Defence with the photograph we discussed
11 today, as we heard that it was in their possession, because the Defence
12 has received certain information linked to that photograph which are
13 relevant for the Defence case, and for the defence of our client.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma, I don't expect that you would have this
15 information to hand at the moment. You do?
16 MS. TUMA: No.
17 JUDGE PARKER: No. If you would please make inquiries and advise
18 Mr. Vasic in due course? Thank you.
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Sir, may we continue the tempo of questions and answers? The
21 interpreters say they are satisfied with the way we are getting through
22 them so can we continue in that same way?
23 Let's return to the 18th of November and your journey to Vukovar.
24 Tell me, please, did you drive a vehicle?
25 A. Can I ask a question? Are we in private session or open session?
1 Q. We are in open session.
2 Well, don't tell me who did the driving, if you did not, but I
3 asked you whether you drove.
4 A. No. I was sitting next to the driver.
5 Q. Thank you. I would like to show you a map of Vukovar and Borovo
6 Naselje, and if you could, to draw in the route you took on the 18th of
7 November and on the 19th of November.
8 A. I'll do my best, if you show me the map.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] May we have Exhibit 59 shown, please?
11 It's map number 6 from the atlas of maps, Your Honour. May we have
12 Exhibit 59, please? I think that what we see is the map of the region on
13 our screens now. We need Vukovar and Borovo Naselje. Thank you. It is
14 6622, page.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Maps take longer for the computer to produce them.
16 They have to go through and detail the whole --
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you. I
18 think we have it now on our screens. Could the usher please help us out
19 or help the witness? I don't think the witness has received the map or is
20 seeing the map.
21 Q. Have you got the map on your screen now?
22 A. No.
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps the screen is not adjusted to
24 computer evidence, the witness's screen, because we all have maps on our
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only have Vukovar on my screen.
2 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's precisely what we need.
3 Q. Do -- you have the map of Vukovar, right?
4 Could you just, please, trace the route that you took from
5 Negoslavci to Vukovar and where you stopped the car in Vukovar? At the
6 end of the route please draw an arrow and place a number 1 just next to
7 it, and circle the number, please.
8 A. I testified yesterday that this was my first time in the area, and
9 I wasn't really focused on the route itself. This was what the driver was
10 doing. I spent a lot of time talking to the passenger who was in the back
11 seat but as I showed yesterday -- believe me, this was the very first time
12 I was in the area and I don't think I can give an accurate answer.
13 Q. Thank you. That's quite sufficient. If you can't, you can't.
14 What about the 19th of November and Borovo Naselje? Could you be
15 more specific or accurate about that? Could you trace the route?
16 A. My apologies, but this is a very peculiar map. The one that we
17 used yesterday offers a better overview and would be easier for me to use
18 in order to sketch both routes, the one to Vukovar and the one that we
19 took to get to Borovo Naselje. This map is not very helpful from my point
20 of view and I don't think I could use it to any great defect.
21 Q. If I may give you a hand on this one, I think that in the upper
22 left corner, just next to the river, the River Danube, it reads "Naselje,"
23 that's just in case you can't locate Borovo Naselje on the map?
24 A. No, it's not about Borovo Naselje but the route itself from Sid,
25 both the trip there and the return trip, would be very difficult to trace
1 on this particular map.
2 Q. But I'm not asking you about your trip to Sid. I'm asking about
3 how you got to Borovo Naselje, how you got there, where you stopped, how
4 you moved about Borovo Naselje, and how you then proceeded on to Vukovar,
5 and which point inside Vukovar you eventually reached. I'm not asking
6 about anything before there time.
7 A. I believe you'll have to take it one step at a time and clarify
8 the question. It's slightly unclear.
9 Q. Did you not testify yesterday that you took the Trpinja road to
10 get to Borovo Naselje?
11 A. I must repeat that this was the very first time I took that road.
12 One section seemed sort of familiar, but it was the driver who had to pay
13 attention to that sort of thing. I had no reason to be considering all
14 these things at the time. I had no reason to be considering what the
15 shortest route would be to get to Borovo Naselje.
16 Q. Do I understand you correctly when you say that you can't trace on
17 this map the route that you took from Borovo Naselje to Vukovar? If so,
18 please state so in no uncertain terms so we can drop the map.
19 A. What I'm saying is that I find this map not very helpful and it is
20 not clear enough for me able to trace the route. Again I must say this is
21 something that the driver had to do. That was his job, to mind the road,
22 not mine.
23 JUDGE PARKER: I think you can take it, Mr. Vasic, that the answer
24 is no.
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Quite
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma?
3 MS. TUMA: Yes, thank you. Just in order to be of some kind of
4 assistance, it could be that the witness, he is referring to the --
5 yesterday's map, and that is map number, in your compilation number 4.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I've looked at that map, Mrs. Tuma. I don't think
7 that's going to help either.
8 MS. TUMA: That depends. Okay.
9 JUDGE PARKER: If it's something you feel you want to pursue in
10 re-examination, you may.
11 MS. TUMA: Okay. Thanks a lot.
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You mentioned a while ago that you reached Borovo Naselje through
14 Sid. Do you know which villages you had to cross in order to get from Sid
15 to Borovo Naselje?
16 A. I'll repeat this for the umpteenth time now. I would need to be
17 using a different map, the one showed by the OTP yesterday, in order to be
18 able to get my bearings properly. But believe me, it was the driver who
19 was paying attention to the route that we were taking and I was talking to
20 another passenger in the car. I wasn't paying attention. It's as simple
21 as that. I probably would be able to pin down a number of locations but
22 not using this map.
23 Q. Thank you very much. I think I won't be asking you any further
24 questions about this.
25 Let me ask you this: Once you got to Borovo Naselje, did you see
1 if there was any fighting going on there, by the time you got there?
2 A. The morning I reached Borovo Naselje, I did not notice any signs
3 of fighting, combat, with the exception of fires. There was no shooting.
4 Everything was perfectly calm and silent. You couldn't even hear the
5 birds chirping, although I may have been the only person to actually
6 notice this.
7 Q. Did you go to Borovo Komerc while you were there?
8 A. No. We didn't go there. We had limited time at our disposal, so
9 we went and saw a couple of places and that was quite sufficient for our
10 purposes. The colleague who was with me had other things to do, and he
11 was in a way in charge of this whole journey.
12 Q. Did you see any civilians on the streets of Borovo Naselje leaving
13 their basements?
14 A. With the exception of those who were burying the dead and, with
15 the exception of the soldiers, I didn't see any civilians around.
16 Q. Do you remember if on that occasion you went to Nikola Demonja
17 street in Borovo Naselje?
18 A. No. We didn't go to that one. I went around, I looked around, a
19 section of Vinogradska street, to the extent that time allowed, and I was
20 looking at the skyline, as it were, of those tall buildings that were
21 ablaze, and that was about all I did there.
22 Q. Can you tell us where this Vinogradska street ends, if you
24 A. With all due respect, I was in that town, village, whatever you
25 like to call it, for the very first time, and I wasn't able to get my
1 bearings properly. All you can read is street names but where it starts
2 and where it ends is not something that I am familiar with.
3 Q. Were there railway tracks near that street? Did you notice that?
4 A. There may have been. I have a very fuzzy recollection of that but
5 I can't say that I'm certain about it. I had other things in my mind,
6 things that I saw in the area. This wasn't something that I focused on.
7 There were a lot of things to be seen all around, and it is natural for
8 one to focus on what one believes is crucial, what one believes is
9 essential. Details are of little consequence in situations like these.
10 Q. What time was it when you left Borovo Naselje?
11 A. I believe I testified yesterday that time tends to be a relative
12 concept in situations like these. You don't really look at your watch all
13 that often, as perhaps you would in peacetime time. You can take my word
14 for it, I hardly ever caught myself looking at my watch in these
15 situations. It was the person who was in charge of the entire trip who
16 set the pace. We didn't linger in the area for too long, though, and we
17 took the same road back to Vukovar. To be perfectly clear, we had
18 collected sufficient material, even too much, I should say, compared to
19 the original purpose of our visit.
20 Q. How long did it take for you to get from Borovo Naselje to
22 A. Again, time and numbers were not essential. The main thing was to
23 reach our destination two or three hours before nightfall so that we could
24 get the job done. So these other things were not essential for us at the
1 Q. I didn't ask you to be that specific down to the minute. But if
2 you're driving in a vehicle, then probably you have some idea how long it
3 takes you to get from point A to point B, for example. If you don't know,
4 just say so, please.
5 A. With all due respect, I am doing my best to answer this question
6 and all of your questions. But if you bear in mind the sort of situation
7 that we were in, we were just driving along that road, there are other
8 passengers in the car that you are conversing with, and time can be very
9 difficult to define.
10 Q. Very well. Let's now move on and talk about your arrival in
11 Vukovar, the place where you arrived, which you told us about yesterday.
12 Is this place near the neighbourhood known as Mitnica? Do you know where
13 Mitnica is?
14 A. I must say again that this was my first time ever in that town. I
15 had never visited the town while it was still intact. I'm vaguely
16 familiar with the name, the name has been dropped several times. It rings
17 a bell. But in the situation that we were in, such information did not
18 strike me as particularly relevant. What we could see right there in
19 front of us was the only thing that mattered.
20 Q. Did you see any ships in Vukovar? If so, how many? What kind?
21 Did they have any weapons mounted?
22 A. In the vicinity of Vukovar, on the Danube, there was a unit of the
23 river flotilla, war flotilla. I'm not sure if you're interested in a more
24 specific description.
25 Q. Yes. Tell me how many ships you saw.
1 A. These ships belonging to the war flotilla are the rather small
2 ships, their armour is not exactly impregnable. They are rather
3 vulnerable and the guns and machine-guns mounted on these ships are not
4 heavy. Based on the information that I had at the time these would have
5 been very vulnerable in combat.
6 Q. How many specifically did you see?
7 A. To the best of my recollection and also taking into account the
8 peculiar nature of the situation and the conditions that prevailed, I
9 think I saw four, which doesn't necessarily mean that they were all in the
10 same place.
11 Q. You told us yesterday about the conversation that took place. I'm
12 not going back to the specific subject matter now, but having been told
13 what you were told, did you pursue that story or did you go and inform
14 anyone else about it?
15 A. No. That would have amounted to premeditated suicide, to be quite
17 Q. Why premeditated suicide?
18 A. Well, if you listened to me carefully yesterday, then I suppose
19 that ought to be clear to you. It's clear to me. I don't know whether
20 it's clear to you.
21 Q. Could you explain, please? Would you do that for us?
22 A. Well, I'm concentrating my efforts on the question. It's an open
23 session. Are we in open or private session? I have to ask because of
24 myself, for me.
25 Q. We are in open session, I believe.
1 A. Ah, right. Open session. Well, I asked because of the name
2 that's mentioned, or rather because of all the events that are linked to
3 that particular name, and the status of that name at that point in time,
4 so that when you link all this up together, then it becomes clear why I
5 said "premeditated suicide."
6 Q. We are not talking about an event. I didn't mention of an event.
7 I just asked whether you had investigated anything. I assume, if -- that
8 if the name is a problem, although I don't see why it should be, because
9 there were many people, I assume, in Vukovar at the time. I don't think
10 that this could endanger identity disclosure, but if you insist on going
11 into private session for your answer, then I'll ask the Trial Chamber to
12 do that.
13 A. Well, the mere mention of the name makes me feel upset and
14 uncomfortable. Now, if you -- if I could be allowed to explain in private
16 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
17 [Private session]
11 Page 2252 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. As I was saying, you, (redacted), did nothing, undertook
10 nothing, with respect to that matter, did you?
11 A. Of course I didn't.
12 Q. If I tell you, I put it to you, that the person you mentioned a
13 moment ago, and because of whom we went into private, never, between the
14 11th of November 1991 [as interpreted], could have been in Vukovar at all,
15 especially not two kilometres downstream because the operations that they
16 took part in were in a completely different direction and between two --
17 you couldn't pass through the two operative groups until the date that I
18 specified, what do you have to say to that?
19 A. That is your information and data. I told you what I saw with my
20 very own eyes. And it is up to the Court to determine whose answer is
21 more valid.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Page 39, line 20, a correction to the
24 transcript. I said at least until the 19th of November. It says 11th in
25 the transcript. 19th. Thank you.
1 Q. Can you tell us exactly where you met the man you talked about
2 yesterday when you left, in what part of town? Can you tell us? Just
3 wait for me to switch my microphone off so it doesn't pick up your voice.
4 A. Yes, I can tell you. As far as I remember, it was towards the
5 railway station, in that part.
6 Q. Towards the railway station in Vukovar; is that right?
7 A. Yes, in Vukovar.
8 Q. Do you happen to remember what time of day it was, although you
9 said that you weren't too good on time?
10 A. Well, it was somewhere in the afternoon.
11 Q. Yesterday, you told us the name of the man. In your statement,
12 the one you gave to the OTP, did you tell them that you couldn't remember
13 the name of this friend of yours?
14 A. I did say that, but I remembered the name subsequently, having
15 given it intensive thought and winding back the film in my mind.
16 Q. In the meantime, you seem to have forgotten the name of that other
17 friend of yours whom you met in November 1992.
18 A. I'm trying to recall his name and surname, but it eludes me.
19 Q. Is it true and correct that you told the investigators of the OTP,
20 when giving your statement, that you know the name of that friend of
21 yours, the one you met in November 1992, but that you didn't wish to tell
22 them his name? Isn't that what you said?
23 A. I knew that at that time, at least I knew the surname of the man.
24 I did not wish to uncover his identity because I did not know where he
25 was. I don't know where he is until this -- to this day. So I wanted to
1 protect him. I have my code of conduct, you know, professional, you know
2 what I'm talking about, and, of course, human too, but I did know at the
3 time but I really have forgotten, and as I just said, I've been trying
4 over these past few days to remember it. I'm very exhausted
5 psychologically and I can say that I'm keeping up very well, taken all the
6 intensive thought that I have had to do and think about all the events
7 that I have talked about.
8 Q. Let's go back to that first friend, the one you met in Vukovar.
9 You said that he took you to a command headquarters of some kind?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you tell the OTP investigators that that was the command of
12 the unit to which that friend of yours belonged?
13 A. When I read the text after so many years, I noticed that there
14 were some things in it that were not quite logical, weren't set out in a
15 logical order. He took me to the command of a unit but I don't think it
16 was his unit.
17 Q. If I've understood you correctly, you now say that what you stated
18 in the statement as recorded by the OTP was not logical, and that when you
19 said that you were in the command of his unit, that that was not correct?
20 A. Perhaps I wasn't precise enough. I talked about -- or rather I
21 talked to guys from his unit. But we went to the command where I -- I
22 don't think it was the command of his particular unit.
23 Q. Can you tell us where the command headquarters that you went to
24 was located?
25 A. You know, or rather I don't know if you know, but I know the
1 layout of Vukovar, the geography of the place. So as far as location is
2 concerned, as far as I was concerned, I asked what I wanted to know. I
3 said, "What is this? What is that?" So I can't help you in the matter,
4 although I said it was toward Mitnica, but that's relative too.
5 Q. Did you tell the OTP investigators that the officer you met there
6 was the commander of the unit?
7 A. That is what I said. However, when you make statements, you don't
8 necessarily have to be very precise, although I think he was the Chief of
9 Staff now or something like that in the unit.
10 Q. (redacted) You know the difference between
11 commander and Chief of Staff, do you not?
12 A. Yes, I do, sir. But in the given circumstances, in situations of
13 that kind, those are details of lesser importance. What is important is
14 the event, is the narrative itself. I don't know how far you're able to
15 understand that but that's it. You know what is important, the main
16 event, and the narrative and the main story. Other things are less
17 relevant because faced in a situation like that, you can't always disclose
18 the identity of a person and you can't use the event either. So things
19 like that are not important and you don't attach any great importance to
20 the details.
21 Q. I'm not sure I'm following you. Why can't you disclose the
22 identity of that person?
23 A. Well, because of the event itself.
24 Q. Once again, for the reasons you gave a moment ago; is that right?
25 A. Yes. For those same reasons. Because that's something that
1 cannot be used. It remains in your memory, but, as you know, in my line
2 of work, you experience a lot, see a lot, but there is not a lot of it
3 that you talk about.
8 You told us what your profession is. For you to be a
9 professional, and to tell the truth, are you not duty-bound to investigate
10 any knowledge that you have or information that you receive?
11 A. You're quite right. That's what it says in the textbooks. But
12 you can only do that in peacetime time. In the kind of situations that I
13 was in, you use whatever you can. But you also have, shall I say, your
14 own auto-censorship, and you know what you can and cannot do, and that's a
15 golden rule that we follow.
16 Q. Well, tell me, when you entered the command, did the commander or
17 Chief of Staff introduce himself? Did he say who he was and what he was?
18 A. Well, there lies the rub. People told you a whole lot of things
19 and very often you didn't even get to learn who you were talking to. You
20 must understand that that was something irrational, not normal. You had
21 no idea of the position and situations that the individuals were in at any
22 given moment. So you had to be a psychologist and a psychiatrist at the
23 same time, and you had to know the human soul intimately for you to be
24 able to know how to approach people.
25 Q. Do you claim that you discussed things like that without knowing
1 who you were talking to and he did not know who you were? Is that what
2 you're telling us?
3 A. Unfortunately, in destinations of the kind that I travelled to,
4 that too happened frequently.
5 Q. Can you describe what this officer looked like, his physical
6 appearance, when you met him?
7 A. In situations where the person acts the way this person acted, you
8 have no time to ponder their physical appearance. I'm afraid I can't be
9 of much help there.
10 Q. You can't be of any help at all, quite obviously. But in relation
11 to that same question, you testified yesterday what this officer told you,
12 and about his alleged episodes with the vehicles. What you said about
13 what this officer told you yesterday on the one hand and on the other your
14 statement to the OTP. In fact you reported this as having been conveyed
15 to you by a colleague who you claim to have met in 1992 and no longer
17 A. I'm not sure I understand your question, sir. Can you please take
18 one thing at a time and try to explain what the essence of the question
20 Q. I'll do my best. You told us yesterday that this officer that we
21 are talking about now told you about an incident involving an armoured
22 vehicle. Isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes. This officer told me about an incident involving APCs.
24 Q. In your statement to the OTP, did you not assert that this event
25 had actually been recounted to you by the friend you met in November 1992,
1 whose name you can now no longer remember?
2 A. I never even read the statement that I gave back in 1996. I can
3 assume that it was quite general, but I'm no longer familiar with the
5 Q. I mean the written statement that you sent to the OTP when you
6 first got in touch. Is this something you included in that written
7 statement? That's my question.
8 A. Again, I didn't go back to that statement and read it since. I
9 just know that it's there, but I -- I didn't go back to that statement in
10 order to read it again. I have no idea what it states.
11 Q. With the usher's assistance I would like to show you this
12 statement. But this is a statement that you wrote up for the benefit of
13 the OTP. I'm not asking about the statement they took from you. I'm
14 asking about the original letter that you sent to them. I think that
15 can't be challenged, can it?
16 A. I understand your question fully and I'm saying I have not read
17 this statement since. I know that this statement exists.
18 Q. Were I to read a portion of the statement to you, there is a
19 sentence that reads, "This officer complained about the humiliating
20 status," and so on and so forth, and then right toward the end you
21 said, "Can you believe this? General Biorcevic referred some self-styled
22 marauders, looters, two regular JNA officers."
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mrs. Tuma?
24 MS. TUMA: Yes, Your Honour. The Defence is referring to a
25 written letter by the witness here. And in order for the witness to
1 clearly be able to answer the question, it could be -- because it will be
2 better for the witness in order for him to see the statement itself.
3 JUDGE PARKER: That could be a good idea, Mr. Vasic, and one that
4 would help the witness and also speed up answers.
5 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. The section that's been underlined, I'm talking about the last
8 sentence there. The page is 3, page 3.
9 A. Yes. I've seen it.
10 Q. Did you not suggest that this was stated by the officer we are
11 talking about, whereas in the written statement you say that this is
12 something that your friend told you? So which one is it?
13 A. You see what this is about. In this one statement, the Chief of
14 Staff, as I called him, was the one who told me this. But you must
15 understand something about the nature of human memory. It's limited. I
16 have heard assertions and statements like these many, many times, and
17 that's why we see this reiteration here. It wasn't the first time I was
18 told something like this. It wasn't the first time an assertion like this
19 was made to me. Essentially, the substance was the same in all of them,
20 which I heard from different people. This was no news to me. I had heard
21 this before, and I was to hear it later on.
22 Q. What would you say if I suggested that, bearing in mind the place
23 where you met the officer, the place where you found your friend's unit -
24 you said he was a member of that unit - if I suggested that throughout the
25 war operations, they were all over the area, General Biorcevic and his
1 units, that they had no mutual communication at all? What would you say
2 about that?
3 A. I know very well where General Biorcevic's command post was
4 located. I went there later on. However, I talked to people, I talked to
5 this one person in particular. As for the location and deployment of the
6 units, this is not something that was ever relevant. I never found that
7 relevant, and especially not at the point in time we are now discussing.
8 Q. Can you then explain if we have an officer who is at the front
9 line, south of Vukovar, how could this officer give armoured vehicles to
10 this other person who you say was a paramilitary, if this other person is
11 north of Vukovar and there is no contact between these two front lines,
12 nor was there any communication between the two lines until the very end
13 of the Vukovar operation? Can you explain how that would have been
15 A. I stand by what I said. I stand by what I was told. I've no
16 further comment to make.
19 In your work, did you need to know about the respective areas of
20 responsibility of various operations units?
21 A. That was entirely immaterial [Realtime transcript read in error
22 "material"] to my work.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, entirely immaterial to my
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You spoke about the friend whose name you can't remember. Can you
2 tell us where it was that you met him and how long your conversation
4 A. Can you be more specific? Can you specify who you mean, the one I
5 met in town? Is that the one you mean?
6 Q. During your testimony you gave us the name of the person you met
7 in town but you said you could no longer remember the name of the one from
8 November 1992. I thought you at least knew whose name you could no longer
9 remember, could you?
10 A. You must understand it's difficult to keep up the same focus all
11 the time with all this information being exchanged. I now know who you
12 are referring to. The conversation took about half an hour.
13 Q. Where did the conversation take place?
14 A. In Belgrade.
15 Q. I understand that, but where specifically?
16 A. In the park across the way from Slavija, where the sun-dial used
17 to be.
18 Q. What was your friend wearing at the time? How was he dressed? Do
19 you remember that?
20 A. That's a bit of a tall order, even for my photographic memory. I
21 can't even remember what I was wearing at the time.
22 Q. What time of day was it? Can you at least remember that?
23 A. Afternoon.
24 Q. After this conversation, did you pursue this topic that he shared
25 with you?
1 A. Sir, counsel, I met him perhaps two or three days after a
2 month-long stay at a different destination at which I had had a tough job
3 to do. I requested some days off in order to rest. Strictly between us,
4 I had a lot on my plate that I had to deal with once back from that
5 one-month-long destination. The atmosphere that I returned to from this
6 journey was quite unsettling. I took the information that was shared at
7 face value, but I thought to myself that I would have been much better off
8 not having heard it.
9 Q. You will agree that in your line of work, information is useless
10 unless pursued anyway. That would seem to apply generally?
11 A. You reminds me of one of my university professors, you know.
12 However, what you say is generally true but it applies to more normal
14 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not that far from
15 concluding my cross-examination, but I'm afraid we'll need to go back into
16 private session for the next question so no redactions will have to be
17 made additionally.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 2264-2266 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid he won't want to answer if
13 it's open session.
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. From the contents of what you told us and what was written in the
17 statement that you gave to the OTP, it is claimed that at the
18 hydro-electric power station certain people were killed. Now, I put it to
19 you -- and if I tell you that that is not something contained in the
20 indictment related to this region, and that was -- that was not confirmed
21 by witnesses who were heard here in the Vasiljevic trial, can you tell me,
22 then, whether you checked it out?
23 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... please. I was
24 waiting to hear the end of your question, Mr. Vasic, before turning to
25 Mrs. Tuma. So is there much more to it?
1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Just two questions, not more.
2 JUDGE PARKER: No. You were -- seemed to be in the middle of a
3 very long preface to a question. I was waiting to hear what the question
5 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] The question was whether it was true,
6 whether what was written in the statement given to the OTP was true,
7 bearing in mind the fact that these events and this event was not
8 incorporated -- are not incorporated in the indictment of this Prosecution
9 relating to the region, the material region.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mrs. Tuma?
11 MS. TUMA: Thank you. I just want to make clear that this case is
12 about Vukovar. So I strongly object that the Defence counsel is expanding
13 on questions not relating to the case of Vukovar.
14 JUDGE PARKER: He's dealing directly, Mrs. Tuma, with matters of
15 credit, but I think your objection can be sustained on a different
16 footing, and that is this, Mr. Vasic: How can this witness comment on
17 what the Prosecutor decides to include in the indictment or not? There
18 are a very large number of factors that determine that. This witness is
19 merely one of no doubt many it would were interviewed, who have given
20 statements, and the Prosecutor, as you would well appreciate, on that, has
21 decided which matters to include in an indictment. This witness will have
22 no control over that whatever. So I don't know that he can make any
23 useful comment.
24 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I asked the witness
25 whether he checked out the facts, because that is how we test his
1 credibility and his credit. That's why I asked him did he check it out
2 and is it the truth? Now, I mentioned the indictment. I brought the
3 indictment up just as one of the facts or rather that the event isn't
4 included therein so I asked the witness whether it was true and whether he
5 investigated it.
6 JUDGE PARKER: So your question is, in addition to matters
7 relevant to this case, in the original statement, other matters were dealt
8 with; has the witness checked out those other matters or did he do that
9 before making the statement.
10 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly, because with this
11 statement the witness is offering his services as a Prosecution witness.
12 So this is important for his credit.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to assist us with an answer to that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll do my best.
15 However, Defence counsel is really asking for something that -- or,
16 rather, he doesn't incorporate it into the time frame and all the other
17 factors linked to the event. So little was known of the event. I
18 received information and I offered that information, and that information
19 was passed through and luckily, as I said, it was 99 per cent correct.
20 I cannot go into the details now, but that's how it happened.
21 In peacetime time, of course, you can check out all the
22 information you receive, but in the situations that faced us at the time,
23 you have to take the shortcut.
24 JUDGE PARKER: I would understand, Mr. Vasic, the answer to be no.
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Yes, that's how I understood it, too, and I'd like to thank the
2 witness on that note and inform the Trial Chamber that I have no
3 additional questions. I have completed my examination.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
5 Mr. Borovic, this is obviously -- you get favoured treatment, it
6 seems. We always give you a break before you start. But it just happens
7 that you get to this point. I think it must be Mr. Vasic's fault. He
8 stops just before a break. But we will have to have a break now. There
9 have been redactions so it will be just after 6.00 that we resume.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.33 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.04 p.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Borovic.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Borovic:
15 Q. My name is Borivoje Borovic. I am Defence counsel for Mr. Radic.
16 And my first question is this: Would you please tell the Court which
17 citizenship do you have? You are a citizen of which country?
18 A. I am a citizen of Serbia-Montenegro.
19 Q. When you were employed, which republican citizenship did you hold?
20 A. Well, I don't know whether such a thing existed but I was born on
21 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. I didn't hear the answer. Whose republican citizenship did you
23 hold? (redacted)
24 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in 1992 and 1993, or rather 1992, a
1 law was passed according to which people belonging to the Yugoslav
2 People's Army who did not hold Serbian or Montenegrin citizenship could
3 not be members of the army of Yugoslavia, yes or not?
4 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
9 Q. Well, what is true, then? What is true and correct? If you told
10 me that pursuant to the law you were not able to, then what isn't correct
12 A. Well, first of all, there was absolutely no chance of getting
13 citizenship at that time, and you know that full well and I can go on
14 talking about that topic for another hour to explain, to the Trial Chamber
15 and the Prosecution how things stood.
16 Q. That will suffice. Thank you. The next question is this: What
17 is your mother tongue?
18 A. At present, I speak Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.
19 Q. I apologise but I have never heard of that particular language.
20 So what is your language called?
21 A. Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.
22 Q. Thank you. Can I take it that you don't speak the Bosniak tongue?
23 A. Well, you can say Bosniak/Croatian/Serbian, if you like.
24 Q. Thank you. Well, we've learned something new today, that there is
25 a new language in the world.
1 At the time when you were employed, what language did you speak
3 A. Serbo-Croatian.
4 Q. Thank you. You said during yesterday's proceedings that the
5 Croatian army was a term which you used and that you didn't wish to use
6 other terms to describe paramilitary formations in Croatia; is that right?
7 A. I used the term Croatian army and the ZNG, the Croatian National
8 Guards Corps.
9 Q. And what did you imply when you said the ZNG? Did you consider
10 that to be a para army, paramilitary? What did you use that term -- in
11 what sense did you use the term?
12 A. At the beginning of the conflict in Croatia, that was the
13 customary term.
14 Q. Who used that customary term? Who considered it to be that?
15 A. Well, the institution I worked in.
16 Q. Thank you. You also said that you refused to use the term
17 Ustasha. Am I right?
18 A. Yes. You're right. But that does not mean that in my texts you
19 won't come across the term.
20 Q. Thank you. You say that today. Otherwise yesterday you said that
21 you refused to use the term for an army which, in times past, was called
22 like that -- called that?
23 A. You're only partially right.
24 Q. Thank you. That will be enough of an answer as well.
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Before we place something on the
1 overhead projector I'd like to go into private session, please?
2 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 2274-2282 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. So, in late 1992, you said you met a Muslim person from an
24 anti-terrorist and anti-sabotage unit. My question is: Why in 1996 did
25 you decide not to mention his name?
1 A. I've explained that to your learned friend. I didn't want to
2 mention that person's name because my intention was to protect that
3 person. I had no idea of his whereabouts at the time. It's as simple as
5 Q. Thank you. Why is it that he shared this with you? Why did he
6 decide to confide in you?
7 A. I can't really explain that but it might have had to do with the
8 fact that we were acquaintances and we both hailed from Bosnia.
9 Q. And where was he born?
10 A. I don't know those details.
11 Q. Can you explain to the Court, please, why he would have confided
12 in you, the commander of -- or rather the commander of the second
13 anti-terrorist unit or rather the same anti-terrorist unit in which both
14 the soldiers were in, both this one and the one from Vukovar? Why did
15 this other one confide in you?
16 A. If you mean the one on the motor, we knew each other well.
17 Q. But why did he -- his commander choose to confide in you when he
18 described to you what was going on, that Mr. Vasic asked you about when he
19 said that he might not have been the commander but perhaps the chief? Why
20 can't you -- why can't you tell the Court his name and you can't tell the
21 Court his name but yet he confided in you?
22 A. Because they had a need to talk. They felt the need to talk.
23 Q. And what about the frigate captain or commander? Why did he
24 confide in you, the frigate captain?
25 A. Because he was an honest, decent man. And because all decent
1 officers of the Yugoslav People's Army didn't like the presence of
2 paramilitaries and other party -- or other units that were active on that
4 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber while somebody whose surname
5 you don't know, we called him Zoran, chose you to confide in?
6 A. Well, I suppose that's clear, isn't it? Because we went to the
7 same school for four years.
8 Q. And yet you don't know his surname or anything about him, any
14 JUDGE PARKER: The redaction will occur, Mr. Borovic. Thank you.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. At the end of these questions, this block of questions, can he
17 explain how we are not going to be able to identify any of these people
18 who confided in you? What's the reason for that?
19 A. Well, let me tell you this, something that's true. During the
20 two-day stay in Vukovar, Borovo Naselje, I did not talk to a single -- I
21 didn't have the need to talk to a single soldier or JNA officer or anybody
22 else from any other unit.
23 Q. Thank you. Why, then, did you talk to one of the indictees here,
24 if you had no need to do so?
25 A. Well, I purely wanted to get some initial information.
1 Q. About what?
2 A. Well, about what we were discussing.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you know or do you know Aleksandar Vasiljevic?
4 A. I do know the gentleman in question.
5 Q. When did you meet him and how do you happen to know him?
6 A. Well, I met him -- I knew him by sight but I got to know him in
7 1992, when the Marshal Tito barracks were Sarajevo were supposed to be
8 deblocked, evacuated.
9 Q. What about -- what do you have to do with Aleksandar Vasiljevic or
10 what does he have to do with that particular case and where did you meet?
11 A. Well, we met in a building B, if this is A building we met in
12 building B, and we were supposed to go -- or, rather, a group was
13 designated -- well, if you want me to explain this to you we'll have to go
14 into private session.
15 Q. There is no reason to go into private session. Just you tell us
16 how you came to meet him, simply, in simple Serb Serbian, just simply how
17 did you meet?
18 A. Well, I don't know what you are alluding to but it wasn't
19 Vasiljevic then when we evacuated the people from the barracks.
20 Q. Well, when did you meet, then?
21 A. Ah, you've got me confused. I have nothing to do with Vasiljevic.
22 Q. Well, what's your comment, then? I asked you the name and surname
23 nicely and now you've changed your answer. Where is the secret there?
24 A. Well, I'm beginning to lose concentration. I was thinking of
25 somebody else and quite a different event.
1 Q. Thank you. Who were you thinking of?
2 A. I was thinking of Mr. Nedjo Boskovic. That's who I had in mind.
3 Q. Thank you. Judging by the statement to the OTP, you mention that
4 as an important personage, you went to attend the negotiations in
5 Visegrad; is that right?
6 A. I didn't say I went to the negotiations. I said I went to bring
7 back material for the needs of the company I worked in.
8 Q. Who did you go with?
9 A. I went with Major General Dragoljub Ojdanic, in his car, his
10 official car.
11 Q. Thank you. That's what it says in the statement. Now, I put it
12 to you that at the time, he flew there by helicopter, that he didn't go in
13 a car at all. What would your comment be?
14 A. As to what you've just said, I have a lot of witnesses.
15 Q. Thank you. What rank did he hold at the time?
16 A. He held the rank of Major General.
17 Q. Thank you. If I tell you that he was a colonel at the time, what
18 would you say to that?
19 A. That's not correct, counsel. He was a major general. He was in
20 the front seat and I was sitting between his two escorts. They were very
21 big men, and I said that he should find smaller escorts and he said,
22 "Well, how could they protect me if they are not as big as I am?" And
23 you can check that out. It's quite valid.
24 Q. Thank you. We've already checked it out. That's why we asked
25 you. And that's not how it was.
1 A. That is how it was. Please, please. Just a moment, please. I'd
2 like to ask the Trial Chamber -- he can't do it this way. I claim and
3 state that that's how it was.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma?
5 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour. The witness is clearly saying
6 here his recollection what happened, his knowledge about it, about the
7 specific event here. So if there has been any other kind of
8 transportation, the witness is talking about explicitly how he remembers
9 it at the time.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 Carry on, Mr. Borovic.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. May we go into private
13 session, briefly, please? I'm sorry to ask for that but we do have to.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 2289-2292 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. When you talked about that first person who was a member of the
9 anti-terrorist or anti-sabotage brigade, you said you asked that person
10 what was being said about the heroes of Vukovar, Radic and Sljivancanin.
11 My question for you now is: Where did you get the idea from to ask an
12 acquaintance about something like that, what people were saying about
13 Radic? And how did you know that early that he was one of Vukovar's
15 A. I'm not sure where you're getting this from. First I hear of it.
16 Q. We do have the transcript to show you; something you testified
17 yesterday. And in order to be entirely fair to you, you stated that, in
18 that portion where you talked about asking him the question, and then he
19 said, "Yes, yes, I know. They call him Little Sljiva, don't they?"
20 A. I remember the bit about little Sljiva but not the preceding
21 portion. It's a misinterpretation. I'm sure we can go back to the
22 transcript for that.
23 Q. Page 69, line 6, yesterday's transcript. That's where this is
24 stated. Can you please answer the following question: Why this reference
25 to Little Sljiva? In your previous statements to the OTP or The Hague
1 Tribunal you made no mention of that. How is it that it suddenly occurs
2 to you 11 years later?
3 A. When I remembered this person's name, I remembered a handful of
4 other details that I didn't mention at the time because I didn't believe
5 that they were important. What I'm saying is that I'm now trying to focus
6 as hard as possible and it will require some time to go back to where I
7 used to be.
8 Q. Well, my position, sir, is that you're making up facts. I'll give
9 you an example. When the Defence asked you yesterday about that other
10 acquaintance of yours, who was also an ethnic Muslim, also a member of the
11 anti-terrorist, anti-sabotage units in your previous statements and I can
12 quote the relevant section it is you so request -- you said that some
13 people had been killed in that waste land that you referred to, and that
14 the order had come from the guards bragged. The Defence submits that this
15 is something that is entirely invented, as well as your statement that
16 those people had been selected by Sljivancanin and Radic. In your
17 previous statements to the Prosecution, you claimed that it was just a
18 waste land but you didn't know it was Ovcara specifically, and until
19 yesterday you had made no reference whatsoever to these two men.
20 How come all these dramatic, drastic discrepancies keep cropping
21 up in your testimony?
22 A. It's no discrepancy. There is what I was told by that
23 acquaintance of mine.
24 Q. So how come you never mentioned it before? It's quite relevant
25 and it's in reference to two specific persons, whereas on the other hand,
1 when you talk about Knin you mention a soldier - totally irrelevant -
2 carrying a rifle.
3 A. That is by no means irrelevant. If you look at the entire
4 context. For us, that was an important occurrence and, of course, it's
5 something that sticks in my mind. This was written and said when the time
6 was right to say it.
13 A. Yes, but that was back in 1991.
14 Q. But I'm telling you what you stated to the OTP. Doesn't matter
15 what you said back at the time. I can show it to you. I can quote the
16 relevant portion.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
18 please? Just a minute, please. Page 3, passage -- page 5, passage 3,
19 line 5.
21 (redacted). There is an error here. Not now. It should read "then."
22 Whoever wrote this didn't write it properly. Not now, it should
23 read, "Back then." I think that is in fact so logical that I have nothing
24 else to say about it.
25 Q. Sir, I can show you the English version of the statement. This is
1 a statement that you signed after it was read back to you, which is the
2 usual procedure that was followed. Or at least so I hope. It says quite
3 clearly and now in 1996, which means when you were giving your statement,
4 he worked for Nikon.
5 A. The difference is just a single letter. What are you expecting me
6 to do? You think I'm an extraterrestrial? I'm not sure how I should
7 explain this. What else can I say?
8 Q. I was about to wrap this up and you signed this statement and it's
9 not about a single letter. It's about the entire context, the overall
10 meaning, now as opposed to back then. Back then is in the past. Now is
11 in the present. (redacted)
12 A. Counsel, I don't think I need you to teach me these basics. It's
13 an error on the part of whoever wrote the text. I couldn't go back to
14 every single letter that was written and check it out.
15 Q. Thank you. But did you read the statement before you signed it?
16 A. Well, you know how it is, you read the statement but you can't
17 notice every single thing. You look for the general meaning and here we
18 see a difference that is made up of a single letter which then alters the
19 overall meaning of the passage.
20 Q. Thank you. My next question: In that same statement, did you not
21 state that you had been taken through - taken through, I emphasise - in
22 order to facilitate your passage through JNA checkpoints? Did you say
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I think there is an error here in the transcript, Your Honours,
1 which says that he took them through. Or rather it's vice versa. It says
2 that they took him through and my question was -- well, he can answer the
3 question himself. There is no need to further confuse the witness.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma?
5 MS. TUMA: There is also a redaction here that needs to be done,
6 it was page 81, line 19. I suppose so? Yeah.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Your question, Mr. Borovic?
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I'll just repeat this: Did they take you along so that you could
10 avoid JNA checkpoints, or did you take them along to accompany you on that
12 A. They took me along in order to be able to pass through the
13 checkpoints more easily.
14 Q. Does that mean that you, (redacted)
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, are you at the end or have you got
19 more to go?
20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Precisely my point, Your Honour.
21 What I'm about to ask him has to do with this fact and then I'll just wrap
22 it up for the day. I have two small questions to go.
23 JUDGE PARKER: We are over time, you see. When you say "wrap it
24 up for the day," do you mean that's the end of your cross-examination?
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I'm really sorry. Far from it. I
1 attempt to be rather disciplined in my work as counsel, and we can
2 therefore leave it at that. Thank you.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
4 We will adjourn now to resume at 2.15 tomorrow.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m., to
6 be reconvened on Friday, the 25th day of November,
7 2005, at 2.15 p.m.