1 Monday, 23 January 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Welcome again to you all for 2006.
6 Mr. Moore.
7 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much. May I just deal with one or two
8 administrative matters to assist the Court? On the last occasion, just
9 before Christmas, Your Honour asked us about disclosure and discovery.
10 Can I just say that we did a second check on matters to be disclosed under
11 Rule 68 and Rule 66 because clearly we had to rely on others before that
12 date. We did find additional material which we have served on the
13 Defence. It is both Rule 66 and Rule 68. It contains witnesses or
14 statements of witnesses, some of whom have given evidence in the last
15 term. It may be that it will require recalling of some of those witnesses
16 but only in very shortened form and I know in conversation with my learned
17 friends they would ask the Court until next Monday to clarify the extent
18 of which they require any additional material.
19 Secondly, in relation to the witness who gave evidence and is part
20 heard, we have found another witness whose name I do not wish to mention
21 in open court. My learned friends know. We would be seeking to call that
22 witness, but that could only be done after the part-heard witness gives
23 the evidence.
24 And I see no difficulty in relation to that vis-a-vis the time
1 And then finally you asked about agreed facts. The facts have
2 been agreed. Might I just indicate in relation to what I will call the
3 Tomas Mercep evidence with the Defence -- are being -- asking questions of
4 general nature about what was happening in May and June. Again, I've
5 mentioned to my learned friends in a meeting with them that we do have
6 confidential material about Mercep. We would not wish to disclose it. We
7 have indicated the reasons in general terms why not and have said to them
8 that if they wish to draft any agreed facts themselves or any facts they
9 we propose we can agree I will look at them and try to do so. It will
10 have the benefit of not creating difficulties administratively and may
11 well move the Court through at a greater speed.
12 So in relation to all matters administrative matters, I think are
13 in hand, and that my learned friends will make applications as they deem
15 Finally, on a personal note, I wonder if I could make application
16 for reasons that I have given and do not wish to rehearse in open court,
17 whether in actual fact the court could not sit, or would not mind sitting
18 on Friday.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that, Mr. Moore. I take it you have
20 discussed the motion about Friday with Defence counsel.
21 MR. MOORE: Yes, I have.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 MR. MOORE: They are privy to all the matters.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any objection to the Chamber not sitting
25 on Friday to accommodate Mr. Moore's situation?
1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] None, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic [sic].
3 The Chamber indicates that it will not sit on Friday of this week.
4 MR. MOORE: My learned friend --
5 JUDGE PARKER: I see Mr. Lukic to his feet.
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I just wanted
7 to say something about what my colleague has just raised before the
8 Chamber. I'm talking about the multitude of documents that were served on
9 the Defence teams by the OTP between mid-December and today. We have made
10 a promise to the Trial Chamber. We have lived up to this promise. We
11 have used the recess period to good effect and we have managed to deal
12 with all the outstanding issues that we were not able to deal with due to
13 late disclosure at the beginning of this trial. The Defence has been
14 successful in this task. Then we found ourselves facing this situation in
15 which the OTP served on us about 4.500 pages of documents pursuant to both
16 66(A)(ii) and Rule 68. What causes particular concern to the Defence is
17 that out of the 14 witnesses heard, we received statements in relation to
18 eight of those pursuant to Rule 66(A)(ii).
19 The Defence finds this sort of practice to be of concern. Over
20 the long term this might affect the preparation of our Defence and our
21 strategy of cross-examination. The Defence remains adamant that the
22 witnesses called by the OTP -- that their appearance be accompanied by the
23 relevant statements. On the one hand, bearing in mind the interests of
24 our clients and the duties and obligations of the Defence under the
25 Statute, and on the other hand in order to expedite proceedings, which is
1 a process that the Defence should actively be contributing to, the Defence
2 teams would like to have until Monday to announce our position on which
3 witnesses we believe should be recalled, and on which particular aspects
4 of their testimony the witnesses will be re-examined by the Defence.
5 The Defence wishes to use this time in order to examine all the
6 circumstances involved. We want to give our clients what they are due on
7 the one hand, and not further burden the proceedings. However, it seems
8 that this manner of disclosing documents is something that we can expect
9 to continue in the future. Our colleagues have informed us that this is
10 due so certain problems that the OTP have encountered in their work at an
11 earlier date.
12 However, the Defence believes that regardless of what the causes
13 may be for this situation to have come about, this practice in general is
14 prejudicial to the Defence. Therefore I would like to ask if my colleague
15 could inform the Defence teams since when the OTP have been in possession
16 of these documents pursuant to Rule 66(A)(ii), in relation to the
17 witnesses that have already been heard or part heard so as to avoid this
18 practice from being applied in the future.
19 As for these concerns relating to the documents that we have
20 received, my colleague will probably speak more about that and I will not
21 go any further into the matter now.
22 I do wish to raise two other matters before the Chamber
23 nonetheless. One, in relation to the witness who was part heard, and who
24 still needs to be cross-examined by Mr. Sljivancanin's Defence. In view
25 of the fact that we received a new statement in relation to this witness,
1 would it be possible for the other Defence teams to be given a chance to
2 re-examine the witness? We believe this would be a just and equitable
3 course of action.
4 Secondly, as one of the results of our work throughout this period
5 of time, the Defence has been able to do what we have promised to the
6 Trial Chamber. We tracked down Mr. Raseta and asked him about the
7 challenged signature on MFI 40, the document that was marked for
8 identification. I'm now able to say that he has confirmed the
9 authenticity of that particular signature. We no longer challenge the
10 fact that he indeed signed that document and we may deal with this matter
11 in due course if necessary.
12 Thank you very much, Your Honours. That's all I have to say for
13 the time being.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I'm grateful, Mr. Vasic, and I apologise that I
15 looked at the wrong end of the bar table.
16 To the extent that you propose to -- or ask whether you might have
17 leave to further cross-examine, if the additional statement or statements
18 that have been made available to you open up some new area or introduce
19 some new element you certainly may. So don't worry about that, and I
20 would no doubt expect that both you and Mr. Moore would be able to reach
21 agreement as to whether there was justification in what has now been
22 served to -- for you to have a further opportunity to cross-examine. Are
23 you wanting now, Mr. Lukic, to have your say? Yes?
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have made this clear enough. My
25 greetings to you, Your Honours and to all the participants in these
1 proceedings. I will try not to repeat myself but I do wish to say a
2 couple of words about this issue which I believe is crucial to the
3 Defence's position on those witnesses who have already testified.
4 On cross-examination, we were greatly gladdened by the Chamber's
5 approach on cross-examination in general. You've always given us an
6 opportunity to organise ourselves without taking unnecessary breaks. This
7 has been very effective practice so far. The fact that we have now been
8 given new statements in relation to witnesses who have already testified
9 does cause us a great deal of prejudice and we wish to place this on the
10 transcript. The fact that these witnesses may appear again, the fact that
11 we may be given a chance to cross-examine them on certain portions of
12 their testimony, which proved inconsistent, and that is what seems to be
13 the case here, as far as we can tell, is prejudicial to what we have so
14 far been able to establish through our cross-examination of these
15 witnesses. This is what causes the Defence concern. If a certain amount
16 of damage has already been done, and there is nothing can be done about
17 that, may the Trial Chamber please try to exert influence on the OTP that
18 such practice is not repeated and does not continue in the future.
19 You know that when you go back to an old subject, your
20 cross-examination is no longer as effective as it may have been
22 JUDGE PARKER: Sometimes.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] One thing I have to underline,
24 though --
25 JUDGE PARKER: Sometimes it's been my experience that that is
1 correct. Sometimes you get a new opening. There is no universal
2 experience about that.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm sure you have much
4 more experience in this matter than we do. I'm just considering our
5 position, the position that we were in at the time, when these witnesses
6 were being heard; I do agree with you that there is no general rule about
7 this, however. What we have been talking about is not in relation to this
8 particular OTP team but to the OTP in general. This is the third time
9 that the Defence has been prejudiced to some extent in its work. You will
10 remember that we were granted extra time in preparation to this trial
11 precisely because of the multitude of documents that we have been given.
12 You will also remember that sometimes we were given addenda to witness's
13 testimonies 20 minutes [as interpreted] before they actually entered the
14 courtroom. This has improved and addenda have been arriving in a more
15 timely manner. Notes were taken at the 65 ter Conference in February
16 2004, you might as well wish to go back to those notes. We asked that the
17 OTP give us all the documents they had at the time and their reaction was
18 they did not wish to cover us in documents. That was at the pre-trial
19 stage which would have been a suitable moment for us to start these
20 preparations. I do not wish to complain but I do wish to have these
21 concerns recorded on the transcript.
22 There is an error in the transcript. I said 24 hours on page 7,
23 line 12.
24 In order to make a joint effort to expedite these proceedings, in
25 order to keep the trial running, as it were, and in order not to cause any
1 impediments to the smooth running of this trial, by next Monday we will be
2 informing the Chamber about our position, that is whether we wish to have
3 any of the witnesses recalled. The final decision will be down to you,
4 Your Honours, needless to say. Thank you.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
6 Mr. Moore, the position has been put that a very large number of
7 documents have been discovered for the first time over the break. Could
8 you assist the Chamber with the situation.
9 MR. MOORE: Yes. The situation is that this case, as the Court
10 knows, was earmarked, there was an application for it to go 11 bis to
11 another jurisdiction. There was material in OTP existing at that time,
12 that's material that's now been served. A decision was taken not by this
13 team that as it was going to go as they thought by way of 11 bis to
14 another jurisdiction, that that material would then not be served.
15 And when the Court reminded us -- indeed, we have been doing it
16 any way we have been double checking as much as we possibly can, this
17 case, because of its nature, goes into many areas and we located on a
18 second search in December a block of material that should have been
19 disclosed and had not been disclosed. And I have apologised to my learned
20 friends on behalf of the OTP. It does not assist to say -- well
21 thankfully we did find it. But it had been discovered and it should have
22 been disclosed actually probably in April or May of last year because it
23 was available then. But a decision was taken to not withhold it in any
24 malicious way but as it were to forward it to the jurisdiction and let the
25 counsel who was involved then deal with the problem. That seems to be the
1 rationale and I've spoken to the senior trial attorney and indeed the case
2 manager or had the case manager spoken to, to find out why it was this
3 material was not to the forefront of disclosure as early as possible, and
4 I'm not going to try and excuse something that clearly should have been
6 JUDGE PARKER: When was this served, this material?
7 MR. MOORE: We discovered it in -- I believe it was discovered in
8 December, early part of December and it was served before Christmas and
9 after Christmas. It's not a basically a tranche of material. One thing
10 has led to another and we have, as it were, followed routes and served it
11 as soon as we have found it, but material -- I was in Belgrade up until
12 the 22nd, 23rd and I was in contact with Mr. Lukic then to inform him that
13 there was material that clearly should have been disclosed and had not
14 been disclosed by an earlier team.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You mean that to be December or January.
16 MR. MOORE: Yes, December.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
18 MR. MOORE: I was certainly in correspondence and speaking to
19 Mr. Lukic then. May I just clarify?
20 Would Your Honour forgive me for a moment?
21 No, the dates that I've said are correct. So certainly notice was
22 given and some material was given, a large amount of it, was given before
23 what I would call our Christmas.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Now, is it the case that you have now discovered
25 and disclosed -- sorry, have you now disclosed all the material of which
1 you're aware?
2 MR. MOORE: Yes. I don't believe there is any other material
3 apart from what I will call the Mercep material and there clearly is
4 material on Mercep. I don't want to go into any discussions in open court
5 in relation to it. What I've said to my learned friends is rather than
6 have perhaps what I will call full blown legal arguments about the
7 admissibility or otherwise of it, if in actual fact the Defence wish to
8 place before the Prosecution a series of what I will call prospective
9 admissions or agreed facts, I will see whether in actual fact I am able to
10 agree those facts, and if I can agree the facts, then it does not require
11 cross-examination by them. There is nothing there that I can see in the
12 material that I have that necessarily would be exculpatory or indeed I
13 would even question the relevance of the material but the topic has been
14 raised and therefore I've got to deal with it. But one of ways in my
15 jurisdiction of dealing with a problem that may be contentious is to say
16 to the Defence, or the Prosecution, if you give me a set of propositions I
17 may be able to agree that and that will satisfy all parties. So I'm
18 certainly willing to consider that option. If that is not available, then
19 clearly we will have to come before the Court in an ex parte application
20 and I give the Defence notice it will be an application, ex parte, but not
21 on the topic as such although it's obvious what it is.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that. Leaving aside the Mercep
23 component, you are able now to indicate that there has been disclosure of
24 all known, relevant material.
25 MR. MOORE: To this stage we have disclosed all known, relevant
1 material but I say quite honestly because of this situation, we have
2 decided to look at everything again from other teams and before.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Thank you for that, Mr. Moore. I think
4 in the situation, nothing more is called for by way of decision or order
5 on the part of the Chamber at this moment. Clearly, we will allow the
6 Defence until Monday, as they have indicated, to indicate whether
7 witnesses are needed to be recalled. If there is any difficulty about
8 those, that will be dealt with when those indications are given. At the
9 moment, there is no backlog, as it were, of material to be discovered
10 that is known to Mr. Moore so I think we can leave all that situation
11 as it is.
12 So, Mr. Moore, are we ready to move on?
13 MR. MOORE: My learned friend Ms. Tuma will deal with the next
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mrs. Tuma.
16 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
19 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please take the affirmation card and read
21 aloud the affirmation.
22 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
23 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: AERNAUT VAN LYNDEN
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
1 Mrs. Tuma.
2 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Examined by Ms. Tuma:
4 Q. I would like the witness to state your full name, please?
5 A. Aernaut van Lynden.
6 Q. And what are your profession today?
7 A. I am currently employed as a Professor at the American university
8 in Bulgaria.
9 Q. And I would like the witness, Mr. Van Lynden, to give us an
10 outline of your professional background?
11 A. I began as a journalist at the beginning of 1979 working for a
12 Dutch newspaper, the Haagsche Courant, the newspaper of The Hague,
13 covering the Middle East and southern Europe. In September 1980 I was in
14 Baghdad when Saddam Hussein launched the war on Iran. I covered that
15 conflict from both sides in 1980. At the beginning of 1981 I became a
16 freelance journalist working under contract for BBC radio, the Washington
17 Post newspaper, and the Observer newspaper in Britain, and with my base as
18 buy route, covered the wars, the various wars in Lebanon, the Iran-Iraq
19 conflict and the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan.
20 In 1986 I left Beirut and moved to London. There I worked for a
21 year for Granada television, and then in 1988 joined Sky Television,
22 helped set up Sky News, a 24-hour news channel, and worked for Sky News
23 until 2001, covering basically the various crises in Eastern Europe in
24 1989, including the Romanian revolution in December 1989, the Gulf War of
25 1990 and 1991, from 1991 in the summer, June 1991 onwards, I covered the
1 various conflicts of Yugoslavia's disintegration.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Van Lynden. And when you were working as a
3 journalist and covering as I understand it different wars, in what kind of
4 capacity, what kind of specialty did you have as a journalist?
5 A. I was, I suppose, always a political-military journalist and I
6 would be classed, I suppose, as a war correspondent.
7 Q. And may I ask you when did you actually start to work and to cover
8 different wars as a war correspondent?
9 A. The first war I covered was the war in Lebanon and I first went to
10 Lebanon in 1979. So right at the beginning of my journalistic career I
11 began covering armed conflicts.
12 Q. Can you please tell us what kind of conflicts that you had been
13 able to observe and to report --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please slow down, thank you.
15 MS. TUMA:
16 Q. -- during your profession as a war correspondent?
17 A. I covered a variety of conflicts, both conflicts between nations
18 so between armies, for instance the war between Iran and Iraq, and
19 conflicts within one society, for instance the conflict in Lebanon where
20 there were different militias, often very many different militias, for
21 instance the Palestinians were divided in all sorts of groupings within
22 Lebanon, as were the Christian forces, as were the Muslim forces. There
23 were armies operating there as well, the Israeli army, the Syrian army,
24 but it was a quite different conflict than that in which two nation states
25 are embroiled in a war between each other as the Iran Iraq war or as the
1 war that took place for the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 when you had the
2 organised armed forces of a country fighting each other. For us as
3 journalists, it's generally more easy to operate within the sort of
4 anarchy that exists within a civil conflict as, for instance in Lebanon.
5 When one is dealing with the armed forces, the organised armed forces of a
6 single nation-state, then usually those armed forces are better organised
7 and will also try to keep tighter control of journalists like myself.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Van Lynden.
9 When you were reporting, as you tell us now, from different kinds
10 of wars, what is your experience from that period of time? Were you out
11 in the war itself and observed it? So you were in the middle of it? Or
12 did you observe it from a distance?
13 A. As a war correspondent one does different things. One is not
14 always on the front lines but one of the things that one absolutely tries
15 to do is to observe it firsthand how the military forces of any side are
16 behaving. Now obviously in a war between two countries, for instance the
17 Iran Iraq war, it is not possible to cross lines. You are either with the
18 forces of one side or the other. Nor was it possible for instance in 1991
19 during the war in Croatia for me to cross lines. That was possible during
20 the subsequent war in Bosnia in 1992 to 1995. But you go to the front
21 lines you look at what kind of armaments are used, you look at what type
22 of organisation the various units have, how good the command and control
23 is, how good the tactical and strategic behaviour the armed forces that
24 you are with, you look at various aspects. But it is not limited to that.
25 You also, of course, look at wider things as the effects on a society,
1 propaganda, what the governments are doing, what negotiations are taking
2 place. It's a variety of things that is included but certainly, one of
3 the chief things is for us to go to the front lines or as close as we can
4 get to observe the soldiers and the officers in the war that is taking
6 Q. Thank you. May I ask you if you do have any kind of military
7 background and if so, what?
8 A. I as a Dutch man had to do military service which still existed in
9 the 1970s in the Netherlands and I served in the Royal Netherlands Marine
10 Corps, a small and on the whole professional unit, but they did take small
11 groups once a year of reservists for reserve officer training. It's a
12 one-year training to become a second Lieutenant and then one had to serve
13 for at the minimum of at least another year as a second Lieutenant, and I
14 served for about two and a half years with the marine corps before I
15 became a journalist.
16 Q. When was this in time?
17 A. From the summer of 1976 until the end of 1978.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Van Lynden, you just mentioned that you covered
19 the war in former Yugoslavia. And can you give us an outline and describe
20 for us where you did, if and you did have an office, from which you
21 operated from and how that office was set up?
22 A. I was first sent to Yugoslavia in June 1991 when I was sent to
23 Slovenia, to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on the day the Slovenes
24 declared their independence from the rest of the Yugoslav federation.
25 After being in Slovenia for around two weeks, I was withdrawn from there
1 and sent to Belgrade to cover the further events that took place from
2 Belgrade and really from mid-July or the second half of July 1999 -- 1991
3 onwards, I was based in Belgrade and covered the entire conflict between
4 the Serbs and the Croats from the Serb side, with my base being in
5 Belgrade. In Belgrade, Sky News had contact with a man then working for
6 Belgrade television, Jaksa Cekic [phoen], and he helped to set up an
7 initial office within Belgrade television. He found a freelance Yugoslav,
8 not a Serb, but a Yugoslav, to work with me as my field producer and
9 interpreter. Initially, when working, we -- in July 1991, we worked with
10 the crews of Belgrade television that happened to be in the field. From
11 the beginning of August 1991 onwards Sky News sent a -- camera crews and
12 editor so that's a three-man team a camera man a sound recordist and a
13 pick fur editor from London and we continued to work like that. The
14 freelance field producer that had been found by Jaksa in July 1991
15 continued to work with me throughout the conflict in Yugoslavia until
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. When you were out on mission in the former
18 Yugoslavia and you did have your office based in Belgrade and then I
19 understand that you were a team that worked and were out in the field to
20 cover events that occurred. You mentioned three people in that team but
21 was it so normally or could that change?
22 A. No the basic team for a television news reporting team that goes
23 into the field consists of a correspondent, a field producer, a cameraman,
24 and a sound recordist. So four people.
25 Q. Okay. In addition to the Belgrade office, did you have any other
1 office set up in the neighbourhood or --
2 A. Sky News deployed a separate team in Zagreb to cover the conflict
3 from the Croatian side in 1991. Later during the war in Bosnia we had
4 various teams located in various places depending on what was happening.
5 Q. When it comes to your mission, if I may say so, in Croatia, it was
6 the base in Belgrade that you worked from?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. With your team?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you. And when did you now arrive in Croatia for the
11 first time?
12 A. In July -- shortly -- in fact almost immediately after I arriving
13 in Belgrade we set off the day after my arrival in Belgrade, I set off
14 with the field producer. We drove to a town in Bosnia called Bihac and
15 initially based ourselves there, and then we went into Banija, the Banija
16 region, a town called Dvor Na Uni, and there encountered Serb militia, a
17 man called Captain Dragan, who took us with him on the day that he took
18 the town of Glina. We remained in that area for several days, finally
19 drove down to Knin in the Krajina, a separate area within Croatia, stayed
20 there for several days, met again with Captain Dragan and also with a man
21 who appeared to be in control there called Milan Martic. At a certain
22 moment we were withdrawn back to Belgrade because the troika of the
23 European Union, which I think at that time still was called the European
24 Community, arrived for negotiations with the leadership in Belgrade and we
25 returned to Belgrade to cover those talks and it was at that moment that a
1 crew and an editor were sent out to help me from London, and that we no
2 longer worked with Serbian cameramen.
3 Q. Okay so from that point of view from that time you were working
4 only with your own cameraman; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. And when did you enter the Eastern Slavonia part the first
8 A. As far as I can recollect, the first time we went in was in
9 September 1991. Possibly late August.
10 Q. And why did you?
11 A. The conflict was spreading. The conflict had initially started
12 in Knin, in the Krajina, but by that stage fighting had also broken out
13 in Eastern Slavonia, and so we went there to see to look at that conflict
14 and see what we could find. Initially, we crossed into Eastern Slavonia
15 at the bridge at Erdut and were taken to a variety of locations, including
16 at a certain moment to Brsadin which is -- lies west, this is the northern
17 front, north of Vukovar and Borovo Naselje, but Brsadin lies to the west
18 of the town and this was a significant place because the Serbs had taken a
19 grain silo there which in a countryside that is as flat as Eastern
20 Slavonia therefore provides the high ground, so to speak, high ground
21 specifically for military observers. And we were taken into the silo. We
22 saw the observers at work, and it gave us a higher view as well as to the
23 war happening on the ground.
24 Q. You're saying here that you were taken into. You were taken. Who
25 did take you? Was there any kind of -- did -- could you go on your own
1 initiative or was it any body who did give you permission or can you tell
2 us more about that? What do you mean by you were taken into your
3 different locations?
4 A. Firstly it's a one of the basics of being a war correspondent that
5 while one takes risks, one calculates the risks. If one is as one almost
6 invariably is in someone else's country, one has to take care and simply
7 driving in without knowing what the precise situation on the ground is is
8 foolhardy to say the least. But apart from that, one needed permissions
9 to cross either -- cross the bridge at Erdut into Eastern Slavonia, or
10 along the road from Sid to Tovarnik, and that leads on to Oriolik,
11 Negoslavci, and Vukovar, and the permissions we needed were from the
12 federal Ministry of the Defence in Belgrade. We would need to get a piece
13 of paper and a permission from them to be able to cross through the
14 checkpoints into Eastern Slavonia.
15 Q. May I ask you, did you receive a general permission or was it
16 separate permissions? Can you tell us more about how it was done
18 A. As I remember it, we needed permission for every single day. This
19 entailed that right at the beginning I went with my field producer Zoran
20 Kusavac [phoen] to the ministry to their spokesman's office or their press
21 office, I can't remember precisely what they called it, and we had
22 meetings there explaining what we wanted to do. It was then explained to
23 us that we would need these permissions and that they would did have to be
24 given basically on a daily basis. After that it meant that Mr. Kusavac
25 would usually go to the ministry in the late afternoon or evening to get a
1 permission for the next day. When we started going in via Sid and
2 Tovarnik, this was the main road where you do not cross the Danube, this
3 is the highway from Serbia to Croatia, the army had opened a separate
4 press office in the town of Sid. That's still on the Serb side of the
5 border. And we would have to go to that office as well to get a
6 subsequent permission to be able to drive on into Eastern Slavonia proper.
7 Q. These permissions, were there any conditions attached to those
9 A. Not that I remember but we didn't always get them. So we were
10 given them on some days but not on other days.
11 Q. Was there any reason given for that?
12 A. No.
13 Q. When you didn't get the permissions?
14 A. Not that I recall.
15 Q. Was it always the Ministry of Defence that you approached in order
16 to have the permission?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And were you guaranteed to have access to the routes even with the
20 A. Sorry. Access to the ...?
21 Q. For the different locations that you were visiting, when you
22 did -- when you did have a permission, was that a guarantee for you to be
23 able to enter whatever location you were aiming at?
24 A. No. We would -- it depended on the units that one encountered
25 once one got there. We'd be given permission to cross over. For
1 instance, I remember at a certain moment, I think this is in October 1991,
2 that we crossed from Sid to Tovarnik, drove up the road to Oriolik and
3 there were checkpoints on the way, military checkpoints on the way. They
4 let us through. At Oriolik one would have to basically turn right towards
5 the village of Negoslavci. We had had an interview that day with a
6 general from the JNA who had said we would be allowed to enter Vukovar
7 itself. In Negoslavci we were stopped and there, as I recall, a, what I
8 think we would refer to as a political commissar, stopped us and said that
9 we would not be allowed to go any further.
10 Q. M'hm. I would like you, Mr. Van Lynden, to look at a map and for
11 the Court officer, it is Exhibit 103.
12 It will soon appear on the screen on your left side.
13 In the compilation, the map is also available for the Court.
14 Okay. Mr. Van Lynden, do you have the map on?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. Okay. Yeah. You recognise the area here I guess, of course --
17 A. I do.
18 Q. -- having been there a lot.
19 Can you please on this map show us what route you were normally --
20 okay. We'll see. You normally did take when you were travelling in this
21 area? You mentioned that you had your office based in Belgrade and that
22 you -- for every separate journey you have to have a permission in order
23 to enter the territory of, let us say, Croatia, at the time, and please
24 show us on this map what route you did normally take on those commissions?
25 A. The main road that I was referring to that it's -- the highway is
1 what I'm drawing now. It leads past Sid and this is a motor way until
2 Sid, and there, if this is the road that we took most often, this would
3 then lead to Tovarnik and from Tovarnik on to Oriolik and then at Oriolik
4 we could go up to Negoslavci, and then from Negoslavci we were towards the
5 end of the conflict for -- the end of the battle of Vukovar allowed to
6 go -- continue to go on into Vukovar itself. The other road is north of
7 there, the crossing is at Erdut. This is a bridge across the River
8 Danube. And there, the road, how we precisely got there, I -- I cannot
9 remember. As far as I'm aware we crossed at Erdut two or three times and
10 many more times at the south but the road to Erdut is a different road
11 than the road to Sid.
12 Q. When you did go to via Erdut, so to say, did -- then you went or
13 came also from Belgrade?
14 A. Yes, it was always from Belgrade so it was always, well, from the
15 right-hand side of the map.
16 Q. Yeah, okay. And can you just briefly tell us, in general terms,
17 under -- during what period in time you were taking those routes?
18 Normally you took the route, as you said here, Tovarnik-Oriolik up to
20 A. M'hm.
21 Q. Was it -- which kind of period did you travel?
22 A. This is September and October. I then left for a period. I was
23 sent home for a break, and I returned in November and the first trip I
24 made back there was on the 12th of November and that's when we were able
25 to enter Vukovar directly, and in fact spend a night in Vukovar. The
1 initial trip that I took up this road from Sid to Tovarnik we only got as
2 far as the village of Ilaca, which is before Oriolik. Yes you see it on
3 the map here, Ilaca just the name is just above Tovarnik. There the
4 houses in the village were still burning when we were taken up there and
5 the last part of that journey we did not do in our own soft skin cars but
6 we were put in a -- into an armoured personnel carrier of the JNA.
7 Q. Thank you. I would like you to describe during those occasions
8 when you were travelling this route, as you just mentioned, what kind of
9 observations did you do in terms of destructions of villages, for
10 instance. Tell us what you saw during -- when you were driving through
11 that route.
12 A. The first time that we entered Tovarnik, I believe Tovarnik had
13 actually fallen to the JNA a week beforehand. There was significant
14 destruction there. In Tovarnik there was both a Catholic and an Orthodox
15 church. Both of them were severely damaged.
16 Q. Please talk a bit slower, please. Thank you.
17 A. And there was significant damage to the houses in the village.
18 There were some civilians there but these were only Serbs. There were no
19 longer any Croat civilians, we were told in the village. It was on that
20 occasion that we were then taken on further to the village of Ilaca. And
21 there, as I already said, houses were still actually burning.
22 Q. Mr. Van Lynden, when you're talking about significant damage,
23 would you more describe that, make a picture for us, what do you mean by
25 A. That would mean that there was not -- the houses in this part of
1 Eastern Slavonia, in the villages, don't have a normal front door in the
2 sense that we have them in the streets of The Hague, for instance. The
3 doors are usually within courtyards. There are windows along the street
4 but rather sort of gates to a courtyard before one enters the house and
5 what you would see is that every single house was pockmarked by bullets.
6 Some houses had also been hit by heavier weaponry, whether tanks or
7 antitank rockets, something of that nature. Certain houses were almost
8 completely destroyed. In Tovarnik, I don't remember buildings still
9 burning but some, there was still smoke rising from them. For instance
10 the Catholic church there. In Ilaca there were house that is were
11 completely destroyed and still on fire. And so there was -- I don't
12 remember seeing any house that had not been touched by gunfire of one
13 short sort or another. Some had been hit much harder than others and some
14 were completely destroyed.
15 Q. Okay. And you were travelling in this area for quite some time,
16 as you told us now. Can you tell us if there was an escalation in the
17 damage or if it was the same the whole time of the villages?
18 A. I don't remember there being worse damage to Tovarnik or Ilaca
19 after these had fallen into the hands of the JNA but as I said the
20 destruction was pretty pronounced in -- and certainly in Ilaca, as I said,
21 whole houses were burning. The same is true after we -- when we first
22 Oriolik, Negoslavci. There was some damage. It did not seem to become
23 worse after they had fallen into the hands of the JNA, no. But there was
24 significant damage done in capturing these villages.
25 Q. When you were travelling in -- I'm referring to that route that we
1 have been talking about, were there any checkpoints on the way?
2 A. Yes, there were checkpoints. There was a checkpoint on what would
3 have been the official border between Serbia and Croatia, and there were
4 checkpoints in villages where you could be stopped and your papers
5 checked. In between the villages, there were no checkpoints, and the road
6 between Tovarnik and Oriolik became -- was always a dangerous road to take
7 because there are corn fields along the side and throughout the conflict
8 in Vukovar, these were not cleared by the JNA and they were at times used
9 by Croatian snipers who would take a small ladder with them, set that up
10 in the corn field, which provided very good cover, take one shot at a
11 passing car, and then disappear again. We were shot at on a number of
12 occasions and the Yugoslav army soldiers that we encountered also
13 complained that this happened to them throughout those months of the
14 fighting around Vukovar.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Before I move on here I would like to -- the
16 court officers to tender the map, the marked map, into evidence, please.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
18 MS. TUMA: Thank you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Exhibit number 134, Your Honours.
20 MS. TUMA:
21 Q. When you were travelling in this area, that is before you
22 entering, as you said earlier, Vukovar on the 12th November, what
23 observations did you do in terms of army around in this area? What army
24 it was, what kind of equipment this army had at the time, and if there was
25 more than one army, for instance, paramilitary units, so please describe
1 that for us and that -- in this area that you were describing earlier.
2 A. Between Tovarnik, Oriolik, Negoslavci and then in Vukovar, what we
3 encountered was full units of the Yugoslav army, territorials, and later
4 on, but this is only later on, in this -- on this side, that we
5 encountered units of men who would describe themselves either as what they
6 themselves called, they said that they were Chetniks, a word that we were
7 loathe to use because of its connotation back to the Second World War or
8 more usually they would describe themselves as being militiamen of
9 Mr. Seselj. On the northern side, from Erdut, at Erdut, we encountered a
10 quite separate militia led by a man called Zeljko Raznjatovic, otherwise
11 known as Arkan, whom I met on various occasions, and who on two occasions
12 took us to his barracks, training ground, which was close to Erdut, and
13 there we saw his men and talked to him. I never saw him or his men in
14 action, but we did see them there. But that was a quite separate unit.
15 At that time, as I recall, they did not call themselves the Tigers, as
16 they did later during the war in Bosnia, and they were allied to a man who
17 described himself as the political leader of the Serbs in Eastern
18 Slavonia, a man called Goran Hadzic, whom we also met.
19 Q. Okay. Will you describe the equipment?
20 A. The equipment that we saw was of a variety, I mean the soldiers
21 had their infantry weapon, basically the Kalashnikov rifle. We -- Arkan's
22 men were -- had different weaponry, usually western, often Heckler and
23 Koch submachine-guns, some with silencers on.
24 Q. M'hm.
25 A. We saw armoured personnel carriers, nearly all mounted with heavy
1 machine-guns. We saw a variety of tanks, both old and new, and with the
2 old even going as far back as the T-33 which is of second year -- Second
3 World War vintage but also the more modern one created in Yugoslavia, the
4 M-84. We saw heavy artillery of various calibres, multiple
5 rocket-launchers, mostly of 128 millimetre. We saw heavy mortars,
6 120-millimetre mortars, and I saw the light mortar, the 60-millimetre
7 mortar. The full range of weaponry of a fall army.
8 The artillery was always deployed in batteries and we were taken
9 to them on several occasions and allowed to film them, also when they were
10 firing. Mortar units of 120-millimetre, again, deployed as standard
11 mortar units, and I was myself trained as a mortarist in the Dutch marine
12 corps so I have direct knowledge of that.
13 And then yes, well all the -- all the weaponry including
14 anti-aircraft guns which I never saw fired there on the ground in the
15 sense that they were used as simply machine-guns. But I was told that
16 they had been used in that way, that they were for instance during the war
17 in Bosnia.
18 Q. Did you see anything from the Croatian side, in terms of
20 A. The only time I directly saw the Croatian fighters was either
21 those that had been killed already in combat or those that surrendered on
22 the 18th of November, who came out of Mitnica, the Mitnica district of
23 Vukovar, who handed who literally laid their guns on the ground. These
24 were Kalashnikovs, pistols, revolvers, all light weaponry. I didn't see
25 any heavy weaponry. I suspect the Croats must have had mortars, they will
1 have had some anti-tank rockets. We could certainly tell that they had
2 antitank mines and lighter mines, but as far as I'm aware, they did not
3 have tanks or heavy artillery or armoured personnel carriers at their
4 disposal apart from possibly one or two police armoured vehicles that they
5 may have had. But I never saw any of those.
6 Q. Also referring back to when you were travelling in this area and
7 you give description of what kind of weaponry was used, what -- how was
8 the shelling? Was it a two-way shelling or can you describe anything
9 about that when you were travelling in this area more or less every day?
10 A. I only saw outgoing fire. I never experienced incoming fire on to
11 the JNA lines from the Croatian side. I only saw fire of various calibres
12 as I've described going out from JNA positions. Both heavy artillery fire
13 and tank fire and heavy mortar fire and light mortar fire. While I'm
14 aware that at certain moments we did come under fire ourselves being with
15 the JNA this only came from rifle fire. Never from heavy weaponry.
16 Q. You were, Mr. Van Lynden, you were in the area and can you also
17 describe in the way of how intensive this single way of shelling was?
18 A. Well, it depended on what day you went there. This was a period
19 of a -- large numbers of cease-fires which were declared in Belgrade by
20 the various mediators that were brought in to try and mediate a peaceful
21 end to this conflict. And we would go there on days expecting that there
22 be no fire and then yet suddenly there was.
23 I remember one particular day in October 1991, that again we met
24 this general, who I think was a Major General in the Yugoslav army and a
25 convoy was meant to enter Vukovar to bring food, medicine, into Vukovar
1 and take out the wounded from Vukovar. He assured us that this was
2 happening and that there was a complete cease-fire and that we would get
3 access to the route that this convoy would take. We then drove up to
4 Negoslavci. There we were stopped. There a lower-ranking officer, I
5 think a Major or a Lieutenant Colonel, said to us that this convoy was not
6 going to be entering, that there was no cease-fire. We then saw
7 ambulances ferrying wounded from Vukovar to Negoslavci from where they
8 were taken out by helicopters to the hospitals in Belgrade and heavy fire
9 from the artillery batteries around Negoslavci. We were not allowed to
10 enter Vukovar that day but there was clearly no cease-fire. There was
11 heavy fighting going on. Who started that fire, of course, I cannot say.
12 As far as I recall, both sides accused the other of breaking the
13 cease-fire agreement.
14 Q. This was in October and --
15 A. October 1991.
16 Q. Okay. Also, during that observation time that you did have from
17 September until November 1991 in this area, you described the army and the
18 sort of differences between the JNA and the Croats. You have described
19 destructions. How about civilians? Did you see any civilians in this
20 area? Did you see any column of civilians, refugees?
21 A. I don't remember seeing refugees. I do remember that there were,
22 when we first entered Tovarnik, for instance, that there were civilians
23 there. As I recall, the Orthodox bishop actually was visiting Tovarnik
24 and we spoke to him. But he did not live in Tovarnik. But he was having
25 a look at the destruction and he in fact explained to us that in his
1 opinion it was impossible for Croats and Serbs to live together, which we
2 found a slightly strange statement for a man of the cloth to make. But
3 there were certainly civilians still in Tovarnik. I do not remember
4 seeing any civilians in Ilaca why where the destruction was heavier even
5 than Tovarnik and where as I have earlier said the houses were still
6 burning. It was only later on in Vukovar itself that we did encounter
7 civilians. This is on the morning of the 13th of November.
8 Q. We will arrive to that later, please?
9 A. Okay.
10 Q. Thank you. Also during this time frame from September to November
11 1991 when you were travelling in this area, were you able to film, to
12 do -- to make films during the -- of your observations?
13 A. Yes, we were able to film but we were not always able to get to
14 the places where we wanted to get to film. Filming was often difficult.
15 We -- the usually -- the rule became within the team when we went out
16 there that we would be lucky to film anything before 1.00 in the
17 afternoon. We would leave Belgrade usually at 4 or 4.30 in the morning.
18 By the time we had received the second permission in Sid and then
19 continued on and had got through all the roadblocks, it could often be the
20 afternoon before we had come anywhere close to the front lines. And there
21 were days that we weren't allowed for reasons that were unspecified to go
22 any further and therefore there were days of frustration for us that we
23 weren't really able to film what was happening.
24 I remember one day that it was raining, there was shooting going
25 on, we were able to film multiple rocket launcher site that was firing but
1 we were not allowed to go further. It was not explained to us why. So we
2 could film with the unit that we had reached but we were not allowed to go
3 any further and film the actual front line fighting.
4 Q. You said that you were not allowed to go any further. Who did not
5 allow you that?
6 A. It was usually at a checkpoint that would be stopped, and there
7 would be some officer standing there. And there were occasions as I said
8 that even when we had had permission from a Major general that further
9 down the road you can encounter a lower officer of the rank of major or
10 Lieutenant Colonel, at times I think people it would acted as political
11 commissars, who would not allow us to go further. I think I need to add
12 one thing here, that the Yugoslav professional officers had been
13 indoctrinated to believe that all Westerners were suspect but that all
14 western journalists were almost by definition spies. And so they
15 distrusted our presence and often made it very difficult for us to do our
17 Q. Were there any kind of censorship when it comes to -- for your
18 ability to film?
19 A. There was no censorship in the direct sort that anyone from the
20 Yugoslav authorities would check our tapes or check my script before it
21 was sent to London. The censorship happened in a different means in that
22 they wouldn't always allow us to go through to the front lines and film
23 everything that we would have wanted to on any specific day. There wasn't
24 free access in that sense. But I was never censored as I, for instance,
25 was under the censorship laws in 1991 with the American forces in the Gulf
1 War, where an officer would check both what we had filmed and the script
2 that I had written. This did not occur. The censorship occurred in a
3 different sense.
4 Q. Thank you. So you were making observations. And how did you then
5 report it? You have just described for us that you were travelling in
6 this area under specific time frame and you have your location base in
7 Belgrade. How was it done when you -- how did you report back out to the
8 world that you were the Sky News in London?
9 A. There was still the technological difficulties that existed at
10 that time and no mobile phones yet, no immediate satellite telephones
11 available that are available today. And therefore what we needed to do on
12 each occasion if we wanted to file a report we would have to go back to
13 Belgrade, edit the story there, and send it by satellite from Belgrade
14 television. That was our basic way of reporting the war. If I wanted and
15 felt that it was important to try to send any kind of report by telephone,
16 I would again have to leave Eastern Slavonia, get back into Serbia, then
17 try to find a telephone and get a connection to London, which was not that
18 simple. But basically what we did is leave Belgrade early in the morning
19 and return in the late afternoon to then file a report and send it to
20 London and then go the next morning again.
21 Q. Were there any deadlines in the afternoon or late afternoon or in
22 the evening for you to file a report back to London?
23 A. Well, I worked for Sky News which is a 24-hour news channel and
24 has a deadline every single hour. One of the problems of modern
25 journalism, I would contend. There was always a hope from the offers that
1 we would certainly get reports back for the six or 7.00 bulletin in
2 London. With a time difference that meant we had one hour more in
3 Belgrade. But a story to edit takes nearly -- at least an hour to do so
4 we would always try to be back by five, six, 7.00 at the very latest.
5 Q. Okay. Mr. Van Lynden, you mentioned here that you were in a
6 specific training camp, at least on one occasion.
7 A. At Erdut yes, near to Erdut.
8 Q. Can you describe for us what you observed in that training camp
9 and who were there who were active, what it looked like, how many people
10 were in that camp? Can you please describe that for us?
11 A. This is the training camp run by Mr. Raznjatovic whom I mentioned
12 earlier. Better known under the name Arkan. There were a number of huts,
13 as far as I can recall. He had an office there, spoke to us there,
14 introduced us to a number of other commanders under him, and we met around
15 50 or 60 of his men. They were not dressed in Yugoslav uniforms. They
16 were generally wearing western combat camouflage gear, different kinds of
17 boots, and western boots rather than those of the Yugoslav army. And I
18 recall there weaponry was quite different. We are dealing here with
19 western weaponry. Some heavy, I mean heavy machine-guns and antitank
20 rocket propellants, or weapons like the Heckler and Koch submachine-gun
21 which is German made, the Yugoslav army, as far as I'm aware did not have.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. We will move on to -- I would like to move on
23 to Vukovar. When was the first time when you entered Vukovar with your
25 A. I cannot remember the precise date but we were told by the army
1 that they had secured the JNA barracks on the southern side of Vukovar, on
2 the southern edge of Vukovar, and we were taken to those barracks in an
3 armoured personnel carrier of the Yugoslav army. There were still
4 fighting going on. We could hear the fighting. The fighting that we
5 heard was of rifle fire and we were taken in, and we ran out of the
6 armoured personnel carrier into a command and control room a wireless
7 office within the JNA barracks, and as far as I remember, this was in
8 October 1991 but I do not recall the precise date. We didn't stay there
9 very long, for half an hour maybe. And we were then driven out in the
10 same way that we came in, in the armoured personnel carrier back. As far
11 as I can recall we left our own cars at Negoslavci and were driven the
12 last part in the armoured personnel carriers of the army.
13 Q. Can you describe the JNA barracks at that time? It was October
14 1991, if I recall it -- you correctly.
15 A. Can I -- my recollection, we were sitting inside the armoured
16 personnel carrier and then were rushed inside in, into a room, so I
17 haven't got a very precise picture in my head of what the entire JNA
18 barracks looked like. But as far as I recall, the roofs were still
19 standing, they were not burned down. The various barracks there were --
20 still seemed to be in good condition, and the office is -- that we
21 entered, this command and control and where the wirelesses were, seemed to
22 be in good condition. Not as if anything had happened to them or that
23 they had been trashed by anyone. So that the -- basically the condition
24 of the barracks seemed as far as I could see from within the armoured
25 personnel carrier and while I was there, in good condition.
1 Q. Okay. And the next -- next occasion when you entered into
2 Vukovar, when was that?
3 A. That was on the 12th of November 1991.
4 Q. By what means, do you remember that date, the 12th of November?
5 How can you say it was the 12th November?
6 A. I remember it very clearly because it was a day unlike other days
7 that I had in 1991 in Yugoslavia, because on that date, we actually drove
8 ourselves into Vukovar and I had been away for 10 days or two weeks, and
9 this was my first day working back in -- in the country and there we
10 were -- we met up with an officer whom my field producer had met earlier
11 in that month, and who allowed us, gave us contact with to a good army
12 unit, a guard unit, and we actually stayed with that unit for more than 24
13 hours, stayed the night with them on front lines, and only returned to
14 Belgrade the following day. And this was a quite separate experience to
15 the other experiences and that's why it sticks very clearly in my mind.
16 Q. Okay. You say that you did have -- get access you stayed with a
17 guard unit. Of which army was that guard unit?
18 A. This was of the Yugoslav army, a guard unit, a professional unit
19 of the Yugoslav army, dressed in a different manner than the normal
20 Yugoslav soldiers, different clothes, different helmets, absolute
21 professional unit, different bearing, both of the soldiers of the
22 non-commissioned officers and of the officers, a unit of professional
23 soldiers who had been clearly well trained.
24 Q. Were you allowed to be with your team together with that guard
25 unit for 24 hour?
1 A. Yes, we were.
2 Q. Okay. And so they did follow you or were they taking you to
3 different locations or can you describe what you were doing?
4 A. No. As I recall, we drove into -- it may have been into the JNA
5 barracks on the south of town, where my field producer said that he had
6 met a more senior officer within the guards of the JNA. This was a man
7 who's present here, Mr. Sljivancanin, whom my field producer had already
8 met. He introduced me. He told me then that he had had contact with
9 another British journalist from channel 4 news, and we asked for his
10 permission and for him if he could organise to put us in touch with a unit
11 that fell under him, and we were taken to a, as I recall, a Lieutenant -
12 I'm not sure whether he was is an a second or a first Lieutenant - of a
13 platoon commander and we stayed then with that platoon for the next 24
15 Q. Mr. Van Lynden, you mentioned here his permission, who is
16 permission are you --
17 A. Sljivancanin's permission.
18 Q. When you met Mr. Sljivancanin, how did he act in that you did have
19 some -- you did have a conversation with him?
20 A. As I recall, a man who was in command. We had a perfectly proper
21 conversation. We asked him, we explained what we wanted to do, that we
22 wanted to be with the front line unit. He was in agreement that that
23 should be possible. I also made clear that I wished very much to be with
24 a professional unit. Again this comes back to the same reasoning that I
25 told the Court earlier, that in a war zone you take risks, but you try to
1 calculate the risks and I feel happier being with what I consider to be a
2 professional unit rather than being with a militia unit or with a unit of
3 the reserves and these were professional men. He accepted that and said
4 that he would arrange it, and arrange it he did. He himself appeared as a
5 professional officer and as a man who was in command and used to giving
7 Q. When you were did spent time with this unit were you able to talk
8 to the soldiers in the unit?
9 A. Yes, we were, both during the day and then, of course, in the
10 evening and during the night. I don't recall us sleeping a lot. We were
11 told that we were sleeping about 50 or 60 metres from the Croat lines so
12 it was very much a front-line position in a house, just in a normal
13 civilian house that had been taken over by the soldiers.
14 Yes, we were able to speak both to the Lieutenant and to his
15 commander, a man with the rank of Captain, whom I recall being called
16 Mladen Maric to the sergeants and to the men. And we had various
17 conversations. I do have to say to the court though that those
18 conversations went via my field producer. I do not speak Serbo-Croat and
19 therefore the field producer was translating the conversations that we
21 Q. And what kind of information did you get? What was the content of
22 those conversations? Can you give us an example of that?
23 A. Different. I mean firstly we asked about the nature of the war
24 that they were fighting and they explained that it was a war for house to
25 house, street to street, almost that every house, every street, was a
1 separate battle. They also explained to us that it was extremely
2 dangerous and that one of their men had been wounded that day either by
3 stepping on a mine or through a booby trap, I don't recall which. They
4 also -- once they got more used to us and we had a longer conversation in
5 the evening about the conduct of the entire Vukovar operation, they then
6 expressed their anger with the manner in which this whole operation had
7 been carried out by the command of the JNA and by the Defence Ministry.
8 We were then told that they themselves had gone to -- back to Belgrade to
9 complain about how the war was being run and specifically how the whole
10 attack on the town of Vukovar had been run. In a later conversation with
11 three or four of these men after the fall of Vukovar during an evening
12 that we had together in Belgrade, they again mentioned this, and that they
13 were still angry. These were not men particular -- who at the end of
14 Vukovar were proud of what had happened. They didn't see this as some
15 great victory and they were also aware that the whole of Vukovar had been
16 completely destroyed during this operation. And they themselves said that
17 this should have been unnecessary, that a professional army should have
18 been able to take a relatively small baroque on the Danube in a matter of
19 days rather than taking two months and destroying it completely.
20 Q. Did they tell you during this conversation if there was a specific
21 person that they saw in order to complain, in order to try to have
23 A. They told us that they had gone to General Kadijevic who was at
24 the time the federal Minister of Defence of Yugoslavia.
25 Q. Did you get any feedback if there were actually any changes into
1 this effect?
2 A. They told us that there had been some small changes but that no
3 major changes had been made. We had heard rumours in Belgrade that
4 certain professional officers in the army had gone to Kadijevic to come,
5 but this was the first time that we heard it actually corroborated that
6 this had taken place. We did not hear that any major changes were made,
8 Q. You said here that Vukovar -- that they themselves mentioned that
9 Vukovar was completely destroyed. I would like to you ask you because you
10 were out in this field, this area that we saw on the map before, as a
11 professional war correspondent, and as you also had been saying told us
12 that you have a great deal of experience to covering different wars. Can
13 you tell us and for the Court how you would describe the destruction
14 yourself in terms of your own experience, destruction of Vukovar in the --
15 and also in the neighbouring areas compared to other areas in the former
16 Yugoslavia and externally?
17 A. Well, during the Yugoslav war - certainly in Bosnia - one
18 encountered villages that were completely destroyed and where all the
19 houses had been burned specifically in eastern Bosnia the only town that
20 was totally and utterly destroyed that I saw was the town of Vukovar.
21 When on the 19th of November, we were first able to walk the streets of
22 Vukovar in relatively -- relative safety, when the shooting had stopped,
23 one of the things we did to get a real view of the entire town was go to
24 the water tower and climb up the water tower and then look over the entire
25 town. And what we saw and what we filmed was the destruction practically
1 of every single house. No building was unscathed. Most buildings had
2 lost their roofs. It was a town that was totally destroyed. When we went
3 there to the water tower, we went there with the captain and with the
4 Lieutenant. They came up the tower with us, and they also said "What have
5 we taken? We have taken rubble."
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma, is that a convenient time?
7 MR. MOORE:
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma, is that a convenient time?
9 MS. TUMA: Yeah, that could be Your Honour, yeah. That's right.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will have the first afternoon break
11 now and resume at 10 minutes past four.
12 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma.
16 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Van Lynden, when you spent time with the specific guard unit
18 that you were talking about earlier and you had possibilities and have
19 talked with the soldiers, did at any time the soldiers talk to you about
20 the purposes of the attacks?
21 A. Yes, they did. But there was clearly not one point of view. As
22 there was not, I think, within the whole of Yugoslavia. I think there was
23 a good deal of confusion at that time as to precisely what was happening.
24 If one spoke to various officers of the Yugoslav army one would also get
25 different versions. Many of those who were professional officers in the
1 Yugoslav army really saw the army as being Yugoslavia and their function,
2 and their whole function in life was to preserve Yugoslavia. And
3 therefore they felt that they had to take action against anyone who was
4 threatening the preservation of the Yugoslav federal state. There were
5 others who believed that, given the actions of the Slovene and Croatian
6 governments, because move of the officers within the JNA are Serbs, they
7 believed that their function was to preserve the Serb areas within Croatia
8 for Serbia, to in a sense create a Greater Serbia. So there were
9 different visions as to what was happening.
10 Then there were those who believed that really their sole function
11 was at that time to see to it that the JNA barracks within Croatia that
12 had been surrounded by Croat forces, that the sieges were lifted and that
13 the soldiers and officers inside were allowed to safely come out of those
14 barracks. So one had different versions as to what was happening.
15 Amongst the lower ranks, there was even more confusion. Again,
16 there were some who believed that it was then the task for any Serb to
17 stand up and fight to see to it that the Serb minority in Croatia was
18 brought within Serbia proper and there were others who were confused
19 completely. Indeed, in September 1991 I had an interview with
20 General Kadijevic, the federal Defence Minister, in which I asked him
21 about desertions from the army and he admitted to me that this was a
22 serious problem and the soldiers who were deserting were deserting because
23 they did not see why they were being put into harm's way, why they had to
24 fight. We also met within Belgrade many young Serbs who refused to be
25 called up and who went into hiding or tried to go abroad. So I think
1 there was confusion. The soldiers of the guards unit that we spoke to, I
2 think many were confused as well. Some felt that it was their task as
3 Serbs to fight for a Greater Serbia but most did not. The Lieutenant was
4 not a Serb but as I recall a Bosnian Muslim. He was a Yugoslav. But he
5 himself was confused as to the aims that -- of the war that he was
6 fighting in.
7 Q. Were there any specific reasons mentioned during your talks with
8 the soldiers in the guards unit concerning the siege of Vukovar?
9 A. I think most felt that, because there was a significant Serb
10 minority within Eastern Slavonia, that this region of Croatia should be
11 wrested from Croatian control but not all agreed about this. And earlier,
12 in speaking to various JNA officers, they said the reason for the attack
13 was to, quote unquote, "liberate" the JNA barracks in Vukovar. But that
14 was done in October 1991 and that could not have then have been a reason
15 for continuing the battle until the middle of November 1991.
16 Q. You said that the JNA barracks were - in Vukovar - liberated in
17 October 1991. By what means do you have knowledge about that?
18 A. Well, as I indicated to an earlier question of yours, we were
19 actually taken to those barracks in an armoured personnel carrier of the
20 JNA. So we saw it ourselves.
21 Q. Thank you. Referring back to the time between the 12th and the
22 13th November when you spent time with the guard unit, could you make any
23 observations or conclusions, observations mostly, concerning the
24 discipline of that unit that you did spend time with?
25 A. It was in my estimation, also in comparison to other units that I
1 had seen, a professional, well-trained army unit with a clear line of
2 command, professional in how they dealt with their weaponry, careful in
3 how they dealt with their weaponry, and careful in how they went about
4 their operations. They told us when we first met them on the 12th of
5 November that they would go on an operation to take one Croat stronghold,
6 as I recall it a house that dominated a crossroads. We asked them whether
7 we could accompany them and the Lieutenant said no because we would get in
8 the way. We would be a danger to his men apart from the danger we would
9 face. As having been an officer myself, having also been trained for that
10 kind of operation, it is the answer I would have given if I had been in
11 his shoes. I understand his -- from his perspective we would have got in
12 the way. As a journalist, of course, I have to ask for permission to be
13 able to film. No, they were a professional army unit, more disciplined
14 and better trained than other army units that we had encountered. In
15 fact, that I ever encountered on the Serb side either during the war in
16 1991 or afterwards in Bosnia.
17 Q. Thank you. You mentioned here that there was a clear line of
18 command and control. Can you expand that, explain what you mean by that?
19 A. What I mean is that within the platoon, the platoon sergeants
20 followed the orders of the platoon Lieutenant. The platoon Lieutenant
21 followed the orders of his company commander, and his company commander
22 seemed to follow the orders of those above him. There was a clear line of
23 command and people did what they were told. There was no discussion. An
24 order was an order and the orders were carried out.
25 Q. Did you experience this?
1 A. Well, we saw people being ordered to do things and then they --
2 for instance to take up various positions and than they went. We were
3 not, as I said, always able to follow this attack that took place on the
4 13th of November of this Croat strong hold. We were taken to one part of
5 the unit. This was a 60-millimetre mortarist who had set up fairly close
6 to the target, I mean I can't -- it's a rough judgement, 70, 80 metres
7 away. And typical use of a 60-millimetre mortar. He knew what he was
8 doing. It was concentrated mortar fire, and other units had taken up
9 other positions. They had been ordered to do so and they did so in the
10 way of a well-trained military force.
11 Q. During those two days on the 12th and 13th November, what did you
12 observe other -- not in terms of how the composition of the unit were and
13 the soldiers, what they were talking about, which places did you see,
14 what -- what could you observe?
15 A. Well, we were close to the centre of Vukovar so we were in a
16 built-up area. The fighting was from house to house, to street to
17 street. Crossing any street had to be done at speed. There was a lot of
18 small arms fire taking place. Every single building had been hit, most
19 buildings had lost their roofs, had the beams sticking out, and in some
20 places holes had been made inside the building so that you could get from
21 one house to the other without having to venture on to the streets.
22 Classic street-to-street fighting, inner city street fighting. The one
23 strange aspect for me which I had not encountered before was that during
24 the night, music was played by, I don't know, not by the unit I was with,
25 but by certain -- by units of either the JNA or of the Serb militias
1 within Vukovar, and I was told that this music was typical Serb music
2 played to taunt the Croat defenders within the town. This for me was
3 something quite different, different than I had ever witnessed before in a
4 war zone, and within the spooky atmosphere of a night in a town where
5 shooting is going on, flares are going off, to have this music was almost
6 like a scene from the film Apocalypse Now. It was very strange and very
7 spooky indeed.
8 Q. In those 24 hours between the 12th and 13th November, did you
9 encounter any Croat defenders at that time, in Vukovar city?
10 A. No, I did not. The only Croats I saw were civilians who appeared
11 on the morning of the 13th of November precisely in the area we were.
12 These were only women, a group of about 10 or 12 women. They were led
13 through the fighting soldiers to the rear where we were told they would be
14 safe but where we imagined they would be questioned by the soldiers. But
15 we did not get further access to them but -- armed resistors or any Croat
16 men, we did not encounter during those days, no.
17 Q. During those days, were there any shelling going around in the
19 A. Yes, there was. There was shelling but by that stage, because
20 only a relatively small part of Vukovar was still in Croat hands, I do not
21 recall any heavy artillery being used. But there was certainly mortar
22 fire, heavy machine-gun fire, and explosions that I expect that they --
23 the soldiers were carrying a weapon which we in the west call a law, it's
24 a light antitank weapon. It's about -- it's just under a metre long, you
25 pull it out, you can fire it once. It has a small antitank rocket in it.
1 The Yugoslavs had their own version of this. I was aware of this because
2 we had had this in the Dutch marine corps, and the soldiers were carrying
3 these and these were clearly used not against tanks which the Croats
4 didn't have but against any strongholds and you could hear those weapons
5 being used. I didn't actually see one being fired but you could hear them
6 being fired.
7 Q. Thank you. You mentioned earlier here during your testimony the
8 use of multiple rocket launcher. Did you see kind of use of that kind of
9 weaponry during those two days on the 12th or 13th of November or
10 otherwise when you were in and around Vukovar?
11 A. We had certainly seen them being used before the 12th and 13th.
12 We had filmed them being used. These are, as far as I'm aware,
13 128-millimetre multiple-rocket launchers. We had seen them being used on
14 various occasions but I do not recall either seeing or hearing them being
15 used on the 12th and 13th of November.
16 Q. If I understood you right you thought or heard it before the 12th
17 or 13th November; is that correct?
18 A. During October, yes.
19 Q. In what area?
20 A. South of Vukovar, around the village of Negoslavci.
21 Q. Okay. When you observed as I guess the shelling at the time both
22 prior to those two days, 12th and 13th November, and also during those two
23 days, 12th and 13th November, can you tell us anything about the
24 proportionality of the use of force in the area done by the JNA?
25 A. Proportionality? Well, as I have said before to the Court, I did
1 not at any time see fire from the other side of heavy weaponry on to the
2 JNA lines. Nor did I ever hear from any JNA officer or soldier that the
3 Croats had artillery so this was very much one-way traffic, if you wish,
4 of heavy artillery being used systematically against Vukovar, all the way
5 through the war, but my impression was, and our impression was, and what
6 we were actually told by the unit that we were with on the 12th and 13th
7 of November, was that the battle was practically over. It was the last
8 remnant that was still holding on and that the town was about to fall
9 completely into the hands of the JNA. But certainly before that, we had
10 repeatedly seen different artillery units deployed as typical artillery
11 batteries firing at Vukovar and firing sustained artillery fire, sustained
12 multiple rocket launcher fire and it was all going in one direction. It
13 wasn't as if they were being fired on themselves.
14 Q. Thank you. Next occasion when you and your team entered Vukovar,
15 when was that?
16 A. The 18th of November.
17 Q. Why didn't you go to that area of Vukovar between the 12th
18 November and the 18th November?
19 A. Between the 13th.
20 Q. Between the 13th, I'm sorry, that's correct.
21 A. We tried. We were given permission by the Ministry of Defence in
22 Belgrade, but we were stopped on the roads and we did not manage to reach
23 into Vukovar as we had done on the 12th, on any of the other days. Until
24 the 18th, when we didn't actually enter Vukovar but, I think we were
25 stopped in Negoslavci. We were told there that there were negotiations
1 going to take place for the surrender. There we again encountered Mr.
2 Sljivancanin and a delegate from the International Committee of the Red
3 Cross, and we then were told to follow to the negotiations and those
4 negotiations led to the surrender of at least part of the Croat fighters
5 and the civilians within Vukovar which we then filmed. It was really only
6 on the 19th of November that we entered the city itself.
7 Q. Okay. Take one step, step by step, thank you. So on the 13th --
8 you were trying to get access if I understood you right, between the 13th
9 and the 18th November and first on the 18th of November you had
10 possibilities to have access to Vukovar. Were you?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. -- ever stopped in that period of time between the 13th and 18th
13 of November? Were you then given a reason for why you couldn't enter the
15 A. No, we were not.
16 Q. Did you ask for it?
17 A. Absolutely. And we in fact -- we argued quite strongly. The
18 field producer and myself without actually talking about it developed a
19 good cop-bad cop routine whereby he would try because he spoke Serbo-Croat
20 to speak pleasantly and I would now and again lose my temper if we were
21 not given access and he would then try to explain that if I didn't get
22 access and didn't get a story that day, that my job would be under threat.
23 That worked on some occasions. It did not always work. And on those days
24 we simply encountered checkpoints who said that we were not allowed
25 through, that they had been given orders not to allow us through without
1 any further explanation.
2 Q. And then on the 19 you got access to Vukovar. Was it also the
3 same procedure that as you told before, that you left Belgrade early in
4 the morning? And what route did you then take on the 18 when you are
5 entering Vukovar?
6 A. Yes. On the 19th.
7 Q. On the 18th?
8 A. Sorry, on the 18th, the road, again we had got permission from the
9 Ministry of Defence the nights before. We drove to Sid to get the second
10 permission. And then we took the roads from Sid through Tovarnik,
11 Oriolik, to Negoslavci, and as I recall, in Negoslavci we were stopped and
12 told that these negotiations for the surrender of at least part of the
13 Croat force and of part of the Croat civilians still in the town was then
14 taking place and that we should go to those negotiations and we did.
15 Q. Where was those negotiations taking place? Do you remember that?
16 A. We drove in a convoy with JNA vehicles, a number of JNA vehicles,
17 and the vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross, for a
18 while, I can't recall precisely how long, a route that we had not taken
19 before and finally stopped at what appeared to be a deserted farm house,
20 as I recall a small white house. To that house a delegation of, I think,
21 three Croats was brought on foot and negotiations then took place. As I
22 recall, I was not personally allowed into the house, but my cameraman was,
23 to film the beginning of those negotiations and, after that, the cameraman
24 was told to leave and we waited outside --
25 Q. M'hm.
1 A. -- until those negotiations had been concluded.
2 Q. When you were waiting outside, what happened next? You were
3 standing there outside and waiting and what happened next? What did you
4 observe? Did you meet any specific person or what happened?
5 A. There were various officers of the JNA there and there was the
6 ICRC delegate there. As I recall, the three Croats who had come to
7 negotiate were brought back into town, obviously to talk to their people,
8 and we were told that the negotiations had been successful, the ICRC
9 delegate, as I recall, told us that, and that a surrender would take place
10 that afternoon and we were then taken to another place where the surrender
11 took place. And this was a road, as I recall, fairly close to the Danube,
12 and at a certain moment during the afternoon, quite late in the afternoon,
13 as far as the sun is concerned, but this is November so I can't remember
14 the precise time, we then saw the people who came down the road. The army
15 had deployed various armoured personnel carriers, and a quite large number
16 of soldiers alongside the road, beside the road, not on it, and they had
17 also set up one point where those who laid down their arms would be
18 frisked. We were allowed to film all this and then both the men who --
19 the soldiers or the Croat fighters and the civilians who walked out of the
20 town, we were told that it was about 4.000 civilians and several hundred
21 fighters. They were led further on to buses and driven on. We asked
22 whether we could go to where they were taken and permission was denied,
23 nor were we told to where these buses were headed.
24 And once surrender had taken place, we again took the normal -- we
25 were driven back and then drove to Belgrade to edit our story and send it
1 to our office in London.
2 Q. Thank you. Just go back a bit here. You mentioned that you were
3 waiting outside, as you said, as a white building a small white house and
4 you saw also ICRC there as well, and also you said here that you saw JNA
5 officers. Are there any -- is there any man that you can recognise that
6 were present there as a JNA officer of at this point of time?
7 A. There was a -- I think he was a Colonel. I cannot precisely
8 remember his name. I think it was something like Pavlovic but I'm not
9 certain of this. A man who we were to encounter again. Mr. Sljivancanin
10 we had met in Negoslavci, talking to the ICRC delegate which is the first
11 moment that we met the ICRC delegate and were made aware of his presence
12 in the area and that there were going to be surrender negotiations that
13 day, something that we hadn't known before we left Belgrade. But I do not
14 remember Mr. Sljivancanin being present at the actual negotiations. He
15 may have been but I do not recall if he was there or not.
16 Q. You mention here that Mr. Sljivancanin were present in Negoslavci.
17 Can you tell us what happened then, when you observed, concerning
18 Mr. Sljivancanin at that time?
19 A. He was in conversation with the ICRC delegate through an
20 interpreter. I imagine an interpreter brought by the ICRC. I imagine
21 that they were talking about where the negotiations for the surrender were
22 going to take place and possibly also about who would be present. We were
23 kept slightly apart when that conversation was taking place. But later we
24 were able to, because we knew Mr. Sljivancanin already, and then we
25 introduced ourselves to the ICRC delegate and explained who we were. We
1 were not the only journalists there I should maybe mention at this point.
2 It was not that a large crowd of journalists were there, it was a
3 relatively small one. But as I recall, somewhat to my own dismay I have
4 to say, it was my direct competitors from BBC television and independent
5 television news from Britain who were there. None of the American
6 networks were there, as far as I recall, and Serb journalists. It was a
7 relatively small group that had been allowed to be there and who was there
8 subsequently when the surrender took place.
9 Q. How many could it be about, when you said a small --
10 A. I don't remember it being much more than around a dozen people.
11 Q. And when were they present, this -- the BBC and INT and yourself?
12 When were they present under what kind of -- which procedure, under which
13 procedure were they present?
14 A. I'm not sure that we can talk about a procedure. They, like us,
15 had managed to get to Negoslavci. There, like us, they had heard there
16 were going to be negotiations for a surrender and this they like us were
17 told that we could follow in this convoy to this deserted farm house where
18 the negotiations finally took place. And then they, like us, were told
19 that we could go to the place where the surrender took place and that they
20 were able to film that. So they got there separately from us to
21 Negoslavci. After that we were all together.
22 Q. How was this surrender organised? Can you have any view of that?
23 A. Not precisely. I mean, I think a time must clearly have been said
24 to the Croats that there would be a certain moment that they could cross
25 the lines as they were doing, that they should come at this specific road,
1 and that they should walk down the roads. I imagine that they were also
2 told that any person coming could only take light belongings with him. We
3 saw a number of civilians who were carrying small bags but it wasn't as if
4 anybody was bringing a horse and cart and lots of furniture. Only things
5 like belongings that they could carry themselves. It was clearly also, I
6 imagine, although this wasn't told to us, that the -- throws who had been
7 fighters in the Croat amongst the Croats, should bring their personal
8 weaponry with them. As I said earlier, these are only light weapons that
9 they brought, Kalashnikovs, pistols, revolvers, and ammunition. At a
10 certain point they were told that there they had to lie down and literally
11 lay down their arms on the ground, this is what they did, and they were
12 then frisked and taken along with the civilians to the waiting buses.
13 Clearly a time had been worked out, a road had been said where this
14 surrender should takes place, but for the rest, if anything else, was
15 discussed between during the negotiations I'm not aware of it.
16 Q. When you observed the men laying down their weapons were those men
17 in uniform or was it a mixture, can you tell us anything about how they
18 were dressed, the men who would lay down their weapons at the surrender
20 A. It was immediately noticeable to us that not one of the Croats was
21 wearing uniform. They were all in civilian clothes.
22 Q. Did you see what happened with the -- you mentioned here about
23 4.000 civilians. Did you see anything what happened to those civilians?
24 A. Civilians walked as the soldiers did -- I mean, the Croat fighters
25 did, all down the same road. They came together. It wasn't as if there
1 were separate groups. It was a mix group. There were men, women, and
2 children of various ages. There was no taunting from any of the soldiers
3 there, which was something of a surprise to us. Many were crying and many
4 were clearly fearful. But they were led to buses and taken away. That's
5 what we saw, and as I said earlier, while we did request permission to
6 film them on the buses and to see where they were being taken here, for --
7 this permission was denied.
8 Q. And what happened then you went back to Belgrade, I assume, after
9 that, as you told us earlier that that was your normal procedure so to say
10 in order to report. What happened next day? When did you leave Belgrade
11 next day on the 19th November?
12 A. As usual we left in the early morning at around 4.30. And drove
13 to Sid and then took the same road from Sid through Tovarnik, Oriolik,
14 Negoslavci. There were checkpoints. We were let through. And we drove
15 on into Vukovar and we had -- we were told there that the fighting had
16 stopped. We found once again the same guards unit that we had been with
17 before, and the lieutenant with whom we had been before then dispatched
18 some of his men to go with us around the town. Most of this we did on
19 foot. At some moments we also drove in our own cars but we were then told
20 that it was relatively safe to walk around but that we had to be with
21 military because there were a lot of mines and booby traps and
22 therefore it was considered safer for us by the lieutenant for some of
23 his men to accompany us.
24 Q. How long did you stay in Vukovar that day?
25 A. I cannot give a precise time but we stayed there it throughout the
1 morning and into the afternoon. I imagine that we left at around 4.00 in
2 the afternoon but I don't have a precise time.
3 Q. You said that you found the guard unit that you have encountered
4 earlier, earlier occasions when you arrived into Vukovar. Where did you
5 go? You said that you were also allowed to walk around quite freely.
6 Where did you go in the Vukovar city and what did you observe?
7 A. We were taken by, as I recall, two soldiers, right into the heart
8 of the town. There, we witnessed a large mass of civilians for the
9 second day in succession coming out from where they had been hiding
10 clearly and being led by soldiers of the JNA from the centre to the
11 outskirts. And we filmed -- we filmed that. We encountered an
12 incongruous scene in the centre of town where early in the morning a group
13 of people had described themselves as being with Mr. Seselj and some who
14 described themselves as being Chetniks, Serb -- extreme Serb nationalists
15 were already drinking. They had even set up a music installation and were
16 partying amidst the ruins of the town. We walked through various streets
17 there, big and small. We saw that there were people -- still corpses
18 lying on the ground, some people who had clearly died some time before but
19 we also saw in the city centre a number of people who had been killed very
20 recently. There were soldiers shooting at various points in the air, I
21 should say, but it was clear that some of these soldiers had drunk quite a
22 lot of alcohol and we were careful in our behaviour.
23 But one of our reasons for being there was that we were aware of
24 the fears that some kind of massacre might take place once Vukovar fell
25 and one of the things that you do as a war correspondent is that you try
1 as best you can by being a witness there to stop such things from taking
2 place. I remember a discussion with Martin Bell, the correspondent from
3 the BBC, about precisely this matter and an agreement that we wouldn't
4 film in the same places, that we would move around separately as much as
5 possible, and I know of at least one occasion, I remember at least one
6 occasion that we warned the men that we were with that we saw a Croat male
7 being taken away by some of Seselj's people and they then intervened and
8 saw to it that this man was further taken away by JNA soldiers rather than
9 by these militiamen.
10 We ended up at the hospital, Vukovar Hospital.
11 Q. Excuse me, do you remember the time about when you ended up at
12 Vukovar Hospital?
13 A. It would be in the afternoon but a precise time, no, I don't. I
14 imagine we got there 2 or 2.30, something like that.
15 Q. And why did you end up at the Vukovar Hospital?
16 A. Well, if -- in fact, you can see it on the map here, if one has
17 gone through the centre of Vukovar and one is going on foot --
18 Q. I'm sorry, I have to interrupt the witness now. Which map is that
19 that you're looking at? Is it the --
20 A. I don't know what number it would have for the Court.
21 Q. The earlier map that --
22 A. No, it's a more detailed map --
23 Q. Detailed map?
24 A. -- which shows the JNA barracks the hospital.
25 Q. Okay?
1 A. The Nova Ulica and the Velepromet.
2 Q. Okay. So that is Exhibit number 59. Yeah, okay. We have that.
3 I refer back to my former question: Why did you end up at the
4 Vukovar Hospital?
5 A. Well, if one takes this map, I think there is a pen that I can --
6 Q. Yeah.
7 A. -- maybe use but I'm not sure where it is.
8 Q. The usher will help you there.
9 A. Sorry. We had entered along the road from Negoslavci. I cannot
10 remember precisely where we parked our cars but we would then have walked.
11 We were taken to the water tower, this still by the platoon commander.
12 And then later on we walked through the town and we ended up at the
14 Q. Before going into the hospital, you mentioned here the water
15 tower. Were you up in the water tower?
16 A. Yes, we were. We went there both with the platoon commander and
17 with a company commander and both of them came up into the water tower,
18 which itself had been very badly hit themselves, and there we could see
19 the whole of Vukovar and Borovo Naselje below us.
20 Q. And how did it look like? What did you see when you were standing
21 up there in the water tower and looking on Vukovar?
22 A. There was a major fire in Borovo and what we saw below us was a
23 town that had been completely destroyed. House after house had been hit.
24 Roofs that had gone, only the beams that were left. A city that had
25 practically been completely destroyed.
1 Q. Okay. Then you ended up at Vukovar Hospital?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And once again, what time do you think it was when you ended up at
4 the Vukovar Hospital?
5 A. I think somewhere in the afternoon. It was certainly the last
6 thing we filmed that day. One reason for remembering that is that I had
7 to do my piece to camera, that is to say where a correspondent talks
8 directly to the camera, otherwise known as a stand-up-er, and I did that
9 at the hospital and it's the last thing that we did before going back,
10 returning to our cars and then returning to Belgrade to edit and file our
11 piece. So it was certainly in the afternoon but a precise time, I
12 can't -- I can't give you.
13 Q. And before continuing here I would like to have the marking of the
14 map done by the witness tendered as evidence, please.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 135, Your Honour.
17 MS. TUMA:
18 Q. When you went to the hospital, what did you then observed
19 regarding the hospital itself, the building or the buildings?
20 A. The hospital had clearly suffered severe damage. A number of
21 direct hits, from a variety of weaponry and here we are talking heavy
22 calibres but I cannot say precisely what calibre shells had hit it but it
23 had certainly been very severely hit. All floors showed damage. It was
24 clearly that -- in a very poor state indeed. And when we were inside, we
25 were told that all the upper floors had been evacuated and that all the
1 wounded were congregated in the basement and that's where we found it and
2 it was packed with wounded. We were told that there were several hundred
3 people in there and it was certainly packed with people, men, women, and
5 Q. You said here that you entered the hospital and you were inside
6 the hospital in the afternoon of the 19th of November; is that correct?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. How long did you stay in the hospital, inside the hospital, and
9 making observations?
10 A. I suspect we stayed there around an hour but I cannot recall
11 precisely how long we stayed there. We tried to find and we did find one
12 doctor who spoke English. We interviewed her, both about -- she was
13 from -- originally from, born and bred from Vukovar. She told us about
14 the town and she had a family, and about her feelings of now having to
15 leave this town. She was aware that she was going to have to leave and
16 possibly never to return. She also told us of the medical conditions, the
17 fact that they lacked water, electricity, medicine, plasma, told us of the
18 fact that within these confines, these very, very full basements, there
19 had been absolutely no privacy. I remember her telling us that women had
20 had to give birth in full rooms or in corridors and that a number of
21 babies had been born there, amidst the devastation. I imagine we were
22 there for about an hour. She was the one person that we were able to
23 interview. We asked to speak to the director of the hospital but --
24 who -- I think it was a woman, but we were not able to meet her, and then
25 as I said we went outside. I did my piece to camera and then we had to
1 leave in order to get back to Belgrade to file a report to London.
2 Q. When were you in the hospital and you said here that you were
3 mostly in the basement, were you able to move around in the basement when
4 you were in the hospital, in the afternoon of the 19th of November?
5 A. As far as I remember, yes, we were able to move around in the
6 basement, in the corridors, in the various rooms, but I cannot say that I
7 went into every single room in the basement or every single corridor, no.
8 We went into a number of rooms, into a number of corridors, but I cannot
9 recall if I -- no, I don't think I would have gone into every single room.
10 It was -- it was quite a big building. But we certainly tried to see as
11 much and film as much as we could down there.
12 Q. Did you during the -- when you were observing, when you were in,
13 inside the hospital, did you recognise or see any weaponry around, any
14 weapons around in the hospital itself?
15 A. No, we did not. We clearly saw some people who had been wounded,
16 who it seemed to us it was probable that they had been Croat fighters but
17 we did not see any weaponry, nor did we see any uniformed men.
18 Q. Were there -- what kind of feelings did you yourself had when you
19 were inside the hospital?
20 A. What kind of feelings does any human being have when they come
21 into a place where the smell is horrific and where the agony of many was
22 clearly horrific as well? Even with those who were not physically
23 wounded, you could see that there were very deep mental scars because of
24 the experience that they had gone through. One felt enormous pity for the
25 people that we saw. It was not a pleasant experience.
1 Q. You mention here there was a smell. What kind of smell was that?
2 A. Well, all hospitals have a certain smell of antiseptic. Here it
3 was not so much antiseptic but of a hospital that was not -- had not been
4 able to be properly cleaned, where there was a lack of antiseptic. You
5 smelt death, that sweet smell of death, and the smells of excrement, of --
6 that it was not a clean place. It was a pretty foul smell.
7 Q. Did you hear anything of -- any kind of evacuation mentioned
8 during the time when you were in the hospital?
9 A. In talking to the doctor, she made the clear point that the
10 wounded in this hospital were not being -- because the hospital simply
11 couldn't, were not being given proper treatment, and that evacuation of
12 the wounded was an absolute necessity as quickly as it could be possibly
13 arranged. And we imagined that this would be a high priority. When we
14 left, as I recall, we encountered the ICRC delegate outside the hospital,
15 and as I recall again talking to Mr. Sljivancanin, and while they were not
16 willing to talk to us at any length, the ICRC delegate, as I recall, did
17 indeed confirm that he was there to organise the evacuation of those in
18 the hospital and that clearly had to be a priority given the terrible
19 state that many of those wounded were in.
20 Q. You mentioned here that the ICRC was outside the hospital and was
21 it correct of me to understood it that also Mr. Sljivancanin was there at
22 the same time?
23 A. That's as I recall it, yes.
24 Q. Were you present at the time?
25 A. Well, I mean we encountered them as we left, as we came out of the
1 hospital, before leaving, that we met them there.
2 Q. Did you hear any kind what they were talking about, if they were
3 talking to each other and what --
4 A. The only thing that the ICRC delegate told us was that he was
5 negotiating the evacuation of the wounded, and that's all we heard and we
6 left them to it because we had to get back to Belgrade.
7 Q. Okay. Did you go back to Vukovar after the 19th November?
8 A. Yes we did. We went back on the 20th of November, the following
10 Q. And when did you start in the morning? Was it the same route as
11 you have described earlier from Belgrade?
12 A. It's the same routine. The early morning routine of leaving
13 Belgrade at 4 or 4.30 in the morning, driving to Sid and then from Sid
14 through Tovarnik, Oriolik, Negoslavci, into the town. The only difference
15 on this occasion was that we headed by car all the way through Vukovar to
16 the hospital because we were aware that by that stage, all the civilians
17 that were -- have been evacuated or at least taken to the edge of town,
18 but the story then for us the story in news terms was what was going to
19 happen at the hospital as far as the evacuation of the wounded within the
20 hospital was concerned.
21 Q. Did you go directly to the hospital in the morning when you
22 entered Vukovar or did you pass any other area so to say before you came
23 to the hospital itself?
24 A. Well, we would have driven through the town, and you needn't have
25 to have to have driven through the town centre to get to the hospital.
1 Whether we stopped on the way to check again with the guards unit that we
2 had been with before and with whom we had been the previous day as well,
3 that I can't remember. We may have done. It may well have been that we
4 first stopped with the guards unit before driving on. I certainly
5 remember seeing the lieutenant from the guards unit that we had been with
6 previously at the hospital and it is quite possible that he came with us.
7 What I remember is that for him it was the first time that he was at the
8 hospital that day.
9 Q. I do understand that it's difficult with time and it's quite a
10 long time since this happened so to say but can you say an approximate
11 time when you arrived at the hospital?
12 A. At sometime in the morning. It was certainly in the morning but I
13 cannot give you a precise time now, no.
14 Q. Is it possible to give you an in between time? How long did it
15 take normally to go by from Belgrade to Vukovar.
16 A. Give a precise time, as to when we ended up at the hospital is,
17 after all these years, very difficult. I mean I would -- it was in the
18 morning certainly. I remember then waiting outside the hospital for quite
19 sometime. I imagine we were there at maybe nine or ten in the morning but
20 I do not have a precise time myself.
21 Q. Okay. So you arriving at the hospital. What did you observe at
22 the moment when you arriving at the hospital?
23 A. Well, firstly that there were JNA troops there, and that we were
24 not allowed to enter into the hospital proper. We were allowed on to the
25 compound, on to the grounds of the hospital but we were not allowed into
1 the basement of the hospital.
2 Q. Who said that, that you were not allowed to enter into the
3 hospital itself? You were there the day before.
4 A. The day before, there had not been soldiers on the doors. Now
5 there were. And we were not allowed to enter. The soldiers told us.
6 What we did find was where the smell of death came from and we found this
7 walled-in small compound where a lot of the dead soldiers and civilians
8 were lying outside, unburied, not in coffins, clearly they had been put
9 there by the hospital staff who had not had the time or the possibilities
10 given the conditions of the siege to bury these dead.
11 Q. You mentioned here that you saw JNA troops when you arrived at the
12 hospital. And when you are saying JNA troops can you describe the amount
13 of soldiers, military vehicles? Can you paint a picture for us in this
15 A. Not in great detail. There were soldiers. This is normal in a
16 war zone so nothing to greatly surprise us that they were there. It
17 didn't also surprise us because it was clear that in any evacuation, that
18 the soldiers would play a part, the JNA would play a part in organising
19 the transport of the wounded and the staff of the hospital from Vukovar.
20 I don't remember any great concentration, I don't remember tanks, for
21 instance, or anything of that nature. So it was just, I don't know, I
22 cannot give you a precise number but there were soldiers there and it was
23 the soldiers who, and this I do remember, that we were not given access,
24 we couldn't go inside.
25 Q. Did you try to get access into the hospital?
1 A. Yes, we wanted to enter. But we were told that we could not.
2 Q. Did you talk to anyone specific about that?
3 A. To the soldiers there, who were there. I don't remember any
4 immediately at the beginning talking to anyone specifically. Later on, we
5 did talk to Mr. Sljivancanin about this because we encountered him, and,
6 but again, I don't have a precise recollection of the time frame that this
7 happened but that he was there again with the ICRC delegate. There was an
8 argument going on between them which we filmed from a distance, and then
9 we spoke to both of them, and when we spoke to them about the reasons for
10 their argument, the ICRC delegate did something which ICRC delegates
11 usually don't do, and that is to make a statement in front of the cameras.
12 The International Committee of the Red Cross has a policy basically of not
13 talking to journalists and this was unusual for him to do so. The only
14 thing he told us was that his work and that of the ICRC had been made
15 completely impossible by the JNA. Off the record, i.e., not in front of
16 the cameras, he told us that they had broken the agreement that they had
17 earlier agreed to between the JNA and the ICRC and that they had entered
18 the hospital. That's the only thing he told us.
19 Q. And when was that? You said they entered the hospital. Did you
20 say --
21 A. Well, he said that they had -- sorry for the translation. He had
22 said that -- he said to us then that they had entered the previous
23 evening, the 19th of November. We also spoke to Mr. Sljivancanin about
24 the reasons for his argument with the ICRC delegate and he told us that
25 the ICRC delegate was naive and that he didn't seem to realise that this
1 was a war zone with a war going on, and, as I recall, he also accused the
2 ICRC of not being impartial in the conflict but that is all that we were
3 told at that time and I do not recall being given an explanation as to why
4 access inside the hospital was denied to us on the 20th of November.
5 Q. This discussion or argument between Mr. Sljivancanin and the ICRC
6 representative, where did that take place?
7 A. The one that we filmed was right in front -- I mean, at the
8 doors. Just outside the hospital, at the doors of the hospital.
9 Q. And when you're saying at the doors of the hospital, do you today
10 remember which side of the hospital or which kind of building it was
11 because we know that there are different, the hospital contains of
12 different kinds of buildings?
13 A. This is at the main building of the hospital and I imagine at the
14 main door but I cannot remember on what side it is. I saw the hospital on
15 two days of my life, on the 19th and 20th of November. It was certainly
16 the main big building. I imagine at the main door. But more precise, I
17 cannot be.
18 Q. Did you or did your team approach the ICRC representative in
19 course of this argument?
20 A. Not while the argument was taking place. When they had stopped
21 arguing, they really came, as I recall it, the ICRC delegate came to us
22 and then said, "I want to make an a statement." And as I have explained
23 to the Court, this is very unusual in my own experience of dealing with
24 the ICRC in various parts of the world, in Yugoslavia, in the Middle East,
25 and elsewhere. I am not used to the ICRC wanting to make on-camera
1 statements. But he was clearly very angry and wanted to protest via us to
2 the international community.
3 Q. And Mr. Sljivancanin, did he -- did you approach him or did he
4 approach you, do you remember that?
5 A. I don't know whether he came to us or whether we came to them but
6 we clearly wanted to speak to him to get his view of what was happening
7 and why there was a row. It was not clear to us at all at that stage why
8 there should be a row between the JNA and the ICRC, so whether he came to
9 us or we went to him, I -- I don't recall but he clearly had his response
10 that I mentioned earlier.
11 Q. And did you -- at this time did you observe were there any people
12 around in the compound or was it empty? Can you explain for us what you
13 saw around in this -- in the compound of the hospital?
14 A. As far as I can remember, there were a number of ambulances there,
15 ambulances of the JNA. Precisely what time the buses arrived, I cannot
16 recall, but I don't think that they were there when we arrived. But there
17 were a number of military vehicles and there were a number of ambulances.
18 I recall a number of military green ambulances, different to civilian
19 ambulances that had clearly already come there to take away the more
20 heavily wounded. I remember one older, wounded person was loaded into one
21 of these ambulances and, as I think, with -- it was I think it was a
22 woman, with her grandson, a boy of eight or nine years of age, something
23 of that nature. But the -- most of the people including the doctor that
24 we had interviewed the day before, we did not see until they were loaded
25 on to the buses, as I recall during that afternoon.
1 Q. You mentioned here people loaded on to the buses. Did you see
2 that and where? And what -- and how many buses was it?
3 A. Yes. We did see, and film, the people coming out of the hospital.
4 The walking wounded, civilians, men, women and children, and the medical
5 staff, walking from the hospital on to the buses that were parked on the
6 hospital or by the hospital grounds. I can't give you a precise number of
7 buses. As I recall, four or five buses. There were a number of military
8 vehicles there. There were ambulances as well and at a certain moment the
9 buses left. We followed them, we filmed them for part of their way. But
10 not the complete way. At a certain moment we were stopped because we were
11 told that these buses were driving basically towards the front line and
12 were then going to cross the front line into Croatian-held territory and
13 therefore that it would no longer be safe for us to follow them. Later,
14 however, that did not succeed and we encountered them again, this time
15 with three -- now the ICRC was no longer there as I recall but the ECM
16 were, this is European Community monitors who were known as the ice cream
17 salesmen for their white clothes. They had blue arm bands with the 12
18 gold stars on it of the European Union. And there again we encountered
19 the officer, the JNA officer, whom we had also seen at the farm house
20 during the negotiations on the 18th. I think as I said earlier I think he
21 was called Pavlovic but I may be wrong there. And there we were told that
22 the buses had tried to drive into Croatia proper but that they had come
23 under fire from the Croatian side and therefore had to turn back. And
24 then we finally we were told that these buses were going to be driven to
25 Sremska Mitrovica and that the non-wounded would be put up at I think a
1 sports hall there and the wounded would be taken to hospitals in Serbia.
2 Q. Thank you. Back to the hospital. And when you observed people
3 were loaded on to the buses. Can you describe what kind of people it was,
4 gender, et cetera?
5 A. As I think I've already mentioned, men, women and children of
6 various ages. Some of them were wounded, some of them were not. Many
7 again were in tears, just as we had seen on the 18th of November. The
8 buses were full and some of them were overcrowded with people having to
9 stand, but men, women and children, so -- of varying ages, old and young.
10 Q. Were you able to talk to any one of those people?
11 A. As I remember, we didn't. And so I imagine that we were stopped.
12 But I'm not sure about why at this moment.
13 Q. M'hm. Did you see any other kind of buses than those buses that
14 you just mentioned?
15 A. These were civilian buses.
16 Q. Did you see any other buses than those civilian buses?
17 A. Not that I can recall, no. The only other vehicles in this convoy
18 were ambulances that I mentioned earlier and there were some military
19 vehicles, I imagine, as -- as -- at the front and the back of this convoy.
20 But the buses were of a military -- of a civilian nature.
21 Q. Okay. Once again I do understand that it's difficult with time
22 but I do have to ask. You mentioned, described here how you left the
23 hospital area and followed after the buses. Can you remember
24 approximately what time it could have been when you left the hospital
1 A. Again, I'm afraid I find it very difficult, so many years on, to
2 give you a precise time. I imagine in the early afternoon but I cannot be
3 certain. We did film the buses later on. It was still light when we
4 filmed them later on when they were heading for Sremska Mitrovica so I
5 imagine it was at the beginning of the afternoon. But I cannot give you a
6 precise time, no.
7 Q. Can you estimate how long time you were at the hospital compound
8 area in the area that were you standing and waiting, et cetera, before you
9 left the area of the hospital? One hour, two hours, et cetera?
10 A. I would estimate that we were there for several hours. I remember
11 hanging around. It's part of life for any correspondent in a war zone,
12 that you hurry up and wait, and that's what happens with the military, if
13 you're working with the military. And it's something that we get
14 accustomed to, that we are told to hurry up and get somewhere and then
15 that we sit around and wait. And there was some hanging about and waiting
16 there yes, certainly, but I cannot give you a precise time. Several
17 hours, I would say.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Van Lynden.
19 There are two videos that will be asked by the Prosecution to be
20 tendered into evidence and that I would like to show the witness. And
21 also the Judges, of course, and the Defence team.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Are these very long, Mrs. Tuma?
23 MS. TUMA: No. But we can take it after the break. The first
24 video is about six minutes and the next video clip is about two minutes.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, we'll see those now.
1 MS. TUMA: I also would like the witness to make comments
2 concerning the -- regarding those videos.
3 Q. In -- the first video, is from the 65 ter list, it's number 341
4 and it bears the ERN number B0004593 and that is an extract over a longer
5 video and it starts with -- from the beginning and the extract will end at
6 000638 about. And I will ask the witness to look at this video and the
7 rest of us, of course. And then afterwards, I will ask the witness to
8 give comments?
9 JUDGE PARKER: I would suggest that it had better then be replayed
10 and start from the beginning if you want comments.
11 MS. TUMA: Yes, absolutely, it must be from the beginning, yeah.
12 [Videotape played]
13 "The last of a hundred thousand shells, a hundred thousand
14 [unintelligible] millions of bullets. For the Croats on Monday, the three
15 month old battle of Vukovar is lost but not quite over. Die-hard Croat
16 guards holding out even as hundreds of their comrades and thousands of
17 civilians surrender to the federal army. A long, weary column shuffling
18 out of their own town forever. Many are in tears. Many are in shock, or
19 simply in despair. A scene of defeat which silences the victors looking
20 on. Perhaps because of the quiet nobility with which the Croat fighters
21 lay down their arms. Only for a few is the humiliation too great to bear.
22 But most eyes retain a defiant pride in having held out for so long. The
23 following day, the battle over, more neighbours emerge out of the ruins of
24 Vukovar's town centre. They have survived and leave. Dragging their only
25 possessions after them, the slow march to a new existence, the bleak one
1 of refugee. Like almost every other structure the town's main hospital
2 has been maimed, probably beyond repair, and yet it hadn't closed, the
3 confines of its basement offering sanctuary to over 500 wounded. Here
4 they had coped with no electricity, no water, few medicines. Here there
5 had been no privacy but over 30 births, and here they tried to save even
6 the smallest of lives.
7 "She is six months old and she is very badly wounded here in her
8 leg. And she has one little part of the shrapnel of the bomb in her
9 stomach and she needs really -- how to say it?"
10 "Better hospital?"
11 "An operation, operation to save her life. We are doing our best
12 but I think without transport, her in somebody's centre and better
13 conditions, it is so she will die, I think."
14 "Around the hospital there is an all encompassing stench of death
15 and the soldiers soon discover why. An open morgue of those hospital
16 staff did not have time to bury. And with its fall Vukovar reveals the
17 dark secrets of its war, its roads, the dead who never reached the
18 hospital, or who, the blood still fresh, were clearly murdered.
19 "If the ruins of Vukovar symbolise anything at all it must be the
20 hatred that still exists between the Serbs and Croats that lay dormant
21 during 45 years of peace that has now expressed itself in a mutual
22 commitment to war, a commitment which does not appear to have been
23 satisfied even after three months of fighting here.
24 "And amongst the horror, there is the surreal incongruity of
25 celebration, extremist Serb militiamen, and women, posing triumphantly for
1 an end-of-battle photograph before returning to a morning feast of music
2 and laughter fueled by alcohol.
3 "The motto on their flag is freedom or death and they vow they will
4 fight on.
5 "No it's not finished
6 "What for you do the Serbs need to take before the war is over?"
7 "War will be over when we have our limits, Karlobag, Karlovac
8 Ogulin, Virovitica. All places where Serbian people live must be free,
9 you know. We must clean up with the Croatians
10 "In the town centre other militiamen display an uncontrolled
11 rejoicing and a similar frame of mind. But the army's engineers are
12 certainly not celebrating. Instead, clearing unexploded ordnance. Or
13 searching for the anti-personnel mines and booby traps the defenders left
14 behind. To find them is a delicate task, to clear them less so.
15 "And it takes another day before the wounded of Vukovar can be
16 evacuated, a painful, chaotic exercise. It takes hours before the
17 ambulances have been loaded up. The walking wounded reached the
18 overcrowded buses and dusk is approaching when the convoy finally departs
19 taking its occupants on a last sight-seeing tour of destruction before
20 leaving behind a once beautiful town on the River Danube, rendered silent
21 by the victors and the vanquished, lost to its inhabitants, an obliterated
22 memorial to hate."
23 MS. TUMA: Thank you.
24 Q. So, Mr. Van Lynden, do you -- what's happening here? Do you
25 recognise this video?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. By what means, then?
3 A. This is a compilation that I made after the end of the battle of
4 Vukovar, so a day on the 21st or on the 22nd of November. I can't
5 remember the precise date. Usually, the pieces for the news would be
6 shorter than that. This is a much longer piece. And it was an overview
7 of the last days of the battle for Vukovar.
8 Q. Would you please comment on this video, what we can see on it?
9 A. The first shots on the video are not those taken by a Sky News
10 cameraman and these were pictures taken, I believe, by Reuters television,
11 of the last fighting in the town, and the pictures after that are all
12 taken by Sky News cameramen apart from, I think, there is one shot or two
13 shots in there of a number of dead bodies in the centre of Vukovar. Again
14 those pictures came from Reuters television. The rest is all ours and
15 what they show us is what happened on the 18th, 19th, 20th, as far as we
16 were able to record it. So the last shooting in the town, then the
17 surrender on the 18th, then the other civilians in the city centre coming
18 out of their shelters on the 19th, and finally the evacuation of the
19 hospital on the 20th of November.
20 Q. Also there was a sequence of celebrations so to say, at least I
21 saw men drinking?
22 A. Yes. These were I think I've referred already in my earlier
23 testimony to the Court about this. These were people who described
24 themselves either as Chetniks or as militiamen of Mr. Seselj, and who were
25 on the morning of the 19th of November we found them in the city centre.
1 They had set up music there, they had alcohol with them, and they were
2 celebrating which, given where they were, and given their surroundings, we
3 found incongruous, to say the least.
4 Q. And I recall a man on this video having a ribbon around his
5 forehead and, if I remember it right now, he said, "Clean up the Croats."
6 A. This --
7 Q. Did you encounter this man?
8 A. Yes, we did. He was in this group of celebrating Serb
9 militiamen - these were not members of the JNA - and he was the one who
10 spoke some English and so you in fact actually hear me asking the question
11 on the tape as to how long I ask him this war has to continue? And he
12 then says that the war has to continue until the Serbs have reached their
13 limits, I think is what he calls it and he names four towns in Croatia. I
14 was later told by my field producer that he had not named the towns in the
15 right order, which was a signal to my producer that this man didn't really
16 even know what he was talking about, but what he was saying was that they
17 had to do all the way wherever Serbs lived, that these areas had to be
18 freed. And this was certainly what the other militia men were saying but
19 this was the only one who was speaking English and so this is the only one
20 with whom I could have a conversation.
21 Q. Is there any other comments you would like to say concerning this
23 A. No, the only thing I just noticed is that I hear myself saying
24 that it's only at dusk on the 20th that the buss could leave from the
25 hospital so in answer to your earlier questions that must have been the
1 case. But as I wrote that on the 21st or 22nd of November 1991, that's --
2 obviously I remembered then rather more clearly than I do now.
3 Q. Thank you. I would like to move over to the next video clip. And
4 that is not in our 65 ter list. It bears the ERN number V0006475 and it's
5 a short extract. This video has been disclosed to the Defence last week.
6 [Videotape played]
7 "They are pawns in a game of ethnic politics. The Croat wounded
8 of Vukovar are awaiting to be evacuated from the town's devastated
9 hospital and handed over to the Croatian authorities."
10 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber has no view.
11 [Videotape played]
12 "But even as the walking wounded slowly made their way --"
13 MS. TUMA: Take it from the beginning.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Could we play it again from the beginning?
15 [Videotape played]
16 "But even as the walking wounded slowly made their way towards the
17 waiting buses, politics intervened. First between the delegates of the
18 International Committee of the Red Cross and the Yugoslav army, the JNA,
19 the ICRC accusing the army on having reneged on two agreements. For
20 instance, allowing its soldiers into the hospital compound. It's not
21 their usual way but on this occasion the ICRC made its wrath all too
23 "The International Committee of the Red Cross is completely unable
24 to perform the task that was entrusted to it by the parties.
25 "For their part senior army officers responded by accusing the ICRC
1 of bias and of a naive lack of understanding that Vukovar was in a war
2 zone. A war zone with a hospital at its heart. The area reeks of death
3 and the soldiers soon discover why.
4 "Precise casualty figures are not available but hundreds fell and
5 tens still lie --"
6 MS. TUMA:
7 Q. Mr. Van Lynden could you please comment on this on this --
8 regarding there video?
9 A. This is the story, the report that I did on what happened on 20th
10 of November 1991 from Vukovar. The -- which led to the eventual
11 evacuation of the wounded and the civilians from the hospital complex out
12 of Vukovar. And it shows also the argument between the ICRC delegate and
13 Mr. Sljivancanin taking place at the entrance to the hospital and it shows
14 the statement that I had said the ICRC delegate had made, very unusual for
15 an ICRC delegate to make, a statement of this nature, and then the riposte
16 from Mr. Sljivancanin as we had filmed it. That's basically what this
17 tape shows.
18 A. Thank you.
19 MS. TUMA: I would like to tender both videos into evidence,
21 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
22 MS. TUMA: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma, I'm asked about the transcripts of the
25 videos. Are you wanting those tendered?
1 MS. TUMA: Yes.
2 JUDGE PARKER: All -- then each video and separately and each
3 corresponding transcript will be received.
4 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 136 for video number
6 1, Exhibit number 137 for the transcripts of video number 1, Exhibit
7 number 138 for video number 2, and Exhibit number 139 for the transcript
8 of video 2.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 Now, Mrs. Tuma, that clearly is an appropriate time for the second
11 break. We will resume at 6.00.
12 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour, and I'm done in
13 examination-in-chief by this. So it's perfectly good timing.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 6.04 p.m.
17 JUDGE PARKER: As Mrs. Tuma has now finished her questioning, it
18 is time now for Defence counsel, if they have questions.
19 Mr. Vasic?
20 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
21 JUDGE PARKER: Oh, I could not see Mr. Domazet who was hidden
22 behind the pillar. I beg your pardon.
23 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Domazet:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Van Lynden, I am Vladomir Domazet and I
1 represent Mr. Mrksic. Good evening. I'm going to be asking questions as
2 co-Defence counsel for Mr. Mrksic.
3 First of all, Mr. Van Lynden, several questions about your
4 extensive CV. If my understanding is correct, you started working as a
5 journalist as early as 25 years of age, all over the world, in fact.
6 Would that seem to be a fair assessment? Would I be right in claiming
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. You also said that you served in the Dutch military in a variety
10 of units, that you became a reserve officer, and that the whole training
11 took about two and a half years. This is probably before you started
12 working as a journalist. This roughly speaking would be your professional
13 background, isn't that the case?
14 A. Before I went into the military, I completed a Bachelor of Arts
15 degree in sociology and politics at Durham University in the United
16 Kingdom. I didn't serve in a variety of units. I served only in the
17 Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. The training period was one year for a
18 reserve officer. After that I served as a second lieutenant, as a platoon
19 commander, and as a commander of a mortar platoon. And yes, that was
20 prior to becoming a journalist.
21 Q. Thank you. Just another question in relation to your present
22 career. You mentioned that you now teach at the American university in
23 Bulgaria. My only question would be which is the subject you teach there?
24 A. I'm the chair of the department of journalism and mass
25 communication and I teach journalism.
1 Q. Thank you. I would now like to go back and dwell on sometime on
2 Vukovar. Although in your capacity as a correspondent you've been to most
3 parts of the former Yugoslavia, most of those affected by war anyway, I
4 will dwell on Vukovar alone. What I want to know is whether you had prior
5 knowledge of Vukovar before you reached Vukovar in your capacity as a
6 correspondent. Above all, I wish to know whether you were aware of the
7 ethnic makeup of the town before the war.
8 A. No. I had not been to Vukovar before the war. I had been to
9 Yugoslavia before the war but not to Vukovar, and I was only told about
10 the ethnic breakdown of Vukovar once I came to Belgrade in the summer of
12 Q. In the summer of 1991, before the events in November that you
13 described, did you go to Vukovar in the summer of 1991?
14 A. No, I did not.
15 Q. It would be fair to say that the first time you arrived in Vukovar
16 was in November, then, if I'm not mistaken, it's the period between the
17 12th and the 20th of November, with several days' break when you did not
18 travel from Belgrade to Vukovar.
19 A. No. The first time I remember entering Vukovar was, as I've
20 already stated in my testimony, when I was put into an armoured personnel
21 carrier and driven to the JNA barracks in Vukovar, and, as I recall, that
22 was in October 1991. I did go to the outskirts, I mean to Negoslavci,
23 places of that nature, between the 13th and the 18th but we were then
24 stopped from going into the city proper, not by staying in Belgrade but by
25 not being let through the checkpoints.
1 Q. During your visit, did you find out or were you told what had been
2 going on prior to your first arrival there? More specifically, the
3 relations between the Croats and the Serbs in Vukovar and its
4 surroundings? As you know, it was a multi-ethnic town.
5 A. I had been told that it was indeed a town with a mixed population,
6 and I was aware and had been told that there had been fighting in or
7 problems in various parts in Eastern Slavonia.
8 Q. Did you find out how it was that the first clashes broke out in
9 Vukovar prior to the period that we are now discussing and before you ever
10 arrived there? Specifically, did you hear anything about barricades being
11 erected separating individual neighbourhoods or villages in the Vukovar
13 A. I cannot recall getting any precise information as to what had
14 happened in Vukovar itself, but I had heard of other barricades or roads
15 being blocked off in other places, yes.
16 Q. You mentioned that you first went to the barracks which at the
17 time was not blocked. Did you at any point in time hear that the JNA
18 barracks had been laid siege to?
19 A. Yes. That is what we had been told.
20 Q. When you spoke about those who were fighting in Vukovar, one of my
21 colleague's friends [as interpreted] was whether those surrendering their
22 weapons were wearing uniforms. As far as I recollect, you said they were
23 not. Do you have any idea at all what sort of uniform they could have
24 been wearing? Did Croatia have a regular army with proper uniforms at the
1 A. Sorry, are you saying that the people who surrendered on the 18th
2 of November were wearing uniforms? Is that what you are saying?
3 Q. No, no. That's not what I'm saying. But this is precisely my
4 question: Do you know if Croatia had an army of its own at the time? I'm
5 talking about November 1991.
6 A. Firstly, I had seen dead Croat fighters with a uniform of sorts,
7 not as I recall around Vukovar, but in other parts of Croatia. And as far
8 as I'm aware, Croatia did not have a proper standing army when the
9 conflict broke out, after their declaration of independence in June 1991,
10 but they then started forming one as happened in Bosnia a year later. And
11 there were units that were uniformed, but I suspect it was a mix of
12 uniforms as well. But I didn't operate on the Croatian side during the
13 war. I operated on the Serb side, and those were the people that I was
14 observing directly.
15 Q. Thank you. I know that there were units in Croatia wearing all
16 sorts of uniforms, but what I'm really interested in is what you observed
17 in Vukovar.
18 My next question is in relation to your first visits. You
19 mentioned that at the outset, you had been working with a cameraman who
20 was local, a Serb, I assume, who travelled with you from Belgrade. That
21 being the case, do you remember this person's name by any chance?
22 A. No, he did not travel with us from Belgrade. He was already there
23 with a reporter from Belgrade television. And we simply linked up with
24 him and were able to get a copy of the pictures that he took and to be
25 able to do a piece to camera. This was right at the beginning in Banija,
1 in 1991, and only at that stage. I don't recall the name either of the
2 cameraman or of the reporter.
3 Q. Thank you. You said that in order to reach the area, there were
4 two paths. One was through Sid and Tovarnik and the other through Erdut.
5 If travelling through Erdut, that means approaching the area from the
6 north. Would I be right in saying that you would not have been able to
7 reach Vukovar or, rather, the southern sector of town where the military
8 units also were? What about the roads in the northern area, Erdut, and
9 the ones in the more southerly area that you passed on the way, as you
11 A. As I recall, there were basically two fronts, the northern front
12 and the southern front. If I wanted to go to the units of the JNA on the
13 northern front I would have to cross the bridge at Erdut. If I wanted to
14 reach the units on the southern front, I would have to go through Sid and
15 Tovarnik. On the whole, we did it on the southern route but on several
16 occasions we did it on the northern route as well.
17 Q. Thank you. When you were at the northern front line, in order to
18 reach the southern one you would have needed to return to Serbia and
19 travel for quite a while in order to reach the other area. Wouldn't that
20 seem to be the case?
21 A. Certainly at the beginning. As far as I could observe what was
22 happening is basically an operation, a pincer operation, to make it a
23 noose around Vukovar. One operation from the north, the other from the
24 south and on the eastern side Vukovar had, of course, the River Danube,
25 and, indeed, certainly at the times that I recall going in October, on the
1 northern front I would not have been able to drive apart from at enormous
2 personal risk to go from the northern one directly to the southern front
3 and I would have had to go all the way round.
4 Q. Today, you testified about damage in such places as Tovarnik and
5 Ilaca. In Ilaca you saw a house in flames. In Tovarnik you saw damage to
6 both churches. What I would like to know is if you can provide a little
7 more detail. Where were these towns at the time? Which country did these
8 towns belong to? Based on the information you had at the time, what was
9 the predominant population of those towns? I'm referring obviously to
10 their ethnic breakdown.
11 A. Tovarnik was in Croatia, which depending on your point of view was
12 either an independent country or one of the republics within the Yugoslav
13 federation. So was Ilaca. I do not -- they were not towns, they were
14 villages, and I do not know their precise ethnic breakdown. What I am
15 aware of was that in Tovarnik there was both a Catholic, Roman Catholic
16 church and a Serb Orthodox Church, therefore giving me the impression that
17 this was a mixed village. One other point. I did not see one house
18 burning in Ilaca but several.
19 Q. Thank you. I did say "houses." It may have been a
20 misinterpretation. We do have an understanding on that issue.
21 When you spoke about this, you mentioned something you referred to
22 as the official border between Croatia and Serbia. At the time, there was
23 no such thing as an official border separating the two countries. I would
24 like to hear an explanation on what precisely you had in mind when you
25 used this term.
1 A. Well, there is a precise border. There was even when Croatia was
2 a part of the Yugoslav federation. There was a precise demarcation line.
3 That's -- I'm not referring to customs or passports controls because they
4 did not exist, indeed, but there was a precise line of a borders of all
5 the republics that made up the Yugoslav federation.
6 Q. Yes, yes. That is certainly the case. There were borders, no
7 doubt. However, up to that point, there had been no official border
8 crossings. There was nothing to show that you were actually crossing a
9 republican border, that is until the war. That is what my question was
10 about. You spoke about tanks and said that to your knowledge only the JNA
11 had tanks. Did you ever see at the northern front line or at the southern
12 front line any of those tanks destroyed?
13 A. I do not recall seeing any tanks of the JNA destroyed, no. If we
14 had, we would have filmed them. I have absolutely no recollection of ever
15 doing so, no.
16 Q. Talking about Vukovar, did you perhaps ever hear that prior to the
17 time when you first arrived, right at the very outset, one or two military
18 planes belonging to the JNA had been shot down over Vukovar by the
19 Croatian forces? Is this something that you heard?
20 A. I cannot remember hearing that, no. I may have done but I cannot
21 remember it.
22 Q. About your travels from Belgrade to Vukovar and the other way
23 around, you said today that you needed to obtain a permit in Belgrade but
24 that despite this sometimes you were not allowed into the Vukovar area.
25 Can you perhaps remember who was it specifically that denied you access on
1 particular occasions and did you ever have an opportunity to bring this up
2 with superior levels of the army, if the army was the body in question?
3 A. It was at army checkpoints that we were stopped, and without them
4 giving us precise reasons told that we could not go further. I remember
5 one occasion that, and this would have been in September or early
6 October -- no, September, definitely in September, that we managed then to
7 get access to a general whose name I'm afraid I don't remember precisely,
8 something beginning with an "A," Aligevacir. I don't know the precise
9 name. And he then saw to it that we were allowed to enter as far as
10 Ilaca. On another occasion when we had seen the general again, and this
11 is a story that I told in my earlier testimony to the Court, about a
12 convoy that was to go into Vukovar that day with medical supplies and to
13 take out the wounded, that the general had told me that the convoy would
14 take place and that we were stopped in Negoslavci and that a lower officer
15 of the JNA told us that the convoy would not take place and that we could
16 not go any further on that day.
17 If we were stopped on other days, it was generally at checkpoints
18 and generally not by officers but by possibly a sergeant in the army and
19 we were simply told that we could not go any further despite the fact that
20 we had been given a permission, both at the Ministry of Defence and at the
21 forward office of the Ministry of Defence in Sid.
22 Q. Did you encounter the same problem with the members of the guards
23 unit that you spoke about?
24 A. No. We -- the members of the guards unit that we were sent to, we
25 were sent to only after we met Mr. Sljivancanin and he said that we could
1 go to them and he arranged that we went there and we were then taken to
2 this platoon commander, a lieutenant, and that was -- that was the case on
3 the 12th of November. But we only encountered it -- him inside Vukovar.
4 As I recall, at the JNA barracks or somewhere at that -- on the southern
5 edge of Vukovar, not on the road beforehand, at Oriolik or Negoslavci.
6 And those were the places where we were usually stopped and not allowed to
7 go further, and specifically Negoslavci.
8 Q. You mentioned today the fact that you talked a number of times
9 with members of that unit, with some officers, that sometimes you spent an
10 entire night with them and you spoke about the unit. What I want to know
11 is what you learned at the time or any observations that you may have had
12 about that unit. You talked about a professional relationship. I'm not
13 going into further into that but do you perhaps know that this was a unit
14 it would had many more officers in its ranks than ordinary soldiers, as it
15 were, and that this was a special anti-terrorist unit by nature?
16 A. It was immediately clear to me that I was dealing with
17 professional and well-trained soldiers. Their uniforms and their
18 equipment was different. They had for instance bullet-proof jackets, that
19 either units certainly did not have. They had different helmets. Also
20 for communication. I cannot be -- recall that they told us that they were
21 an anti-terrorist unit, no. The Dutch marine corps also serves as the
22 anti-terrorist unit within the Dutch armed forces. Therefore, I have some
23 experience as far as that is concerned. They were a professional unit,
24 better equipped and better armed and clearly better trained than other
25 units that I encountered, but I can't recall that they told
1 me that they were an anti-terrorist unit.
2 As far as your question related to officers and men is concerned,
3 I met a platoon lieutenant and his platoon was not populated with other
4 officers but with lower ranks. I cannot say whether it was -- that we met
5 all 30 men of what would have been a standard platoon size but I certainly
6 met a number of men who were serving the lieutenant and they were of lower
7 rank, either non-commissioned officers or soldiers.
8 Q. If I understood you correctly, you were following that unit
9 through the town, also in the situation when they were going from house to
10 house or street to street, at least that was what we were able to see on
11 the footage we received from the Prosecution, and even you yourself ran
12 across the street with them, if I'm not wrong about what I saw on the
13 footage, and then went with them to their next position. Is that correct?
14 A. If I can just first clarify that we were only with this unit
15 during the actual fighting on the 12th and 13th of November. Those are
16 the only two days we were with them during the actual fighting of -- in
17 the battle of Vukovar. We encountered them again on the 19th and on the
18 20th by which time the fighting had ended.
19 To say that we followed them, we went where they took us and where
20 they allowed us to go and as I think I've already explained in my
21 testimony, the orders for the lieutenant were to take a certain house, as
22 I recall a Croat strong point on a cross roads, and he would not let us
23 come on that operation directly. We were allowed to film and he took us
24 to where a mortarist with a 60-millimetre mortar was shooting at that or
25 firing mortar bombs at that position but he didn't take us with him when
1 he actually attacked that strong point for the reasons that are also I
2 have already given and which I personally understand, that he felt that a
3 television crew would endanger his men and the operation and that it was
4 too dangerous for him therefore to allow us to come along. But we did
5 cross a number of streets, when they took us. It depended on them, not on
7 Q. During the time that you spent with that unit, you said which
8 period that was, did you notice anything in the conduct of the soldiers or
9 the officers that would deviate from regular conduct during war operations
10 or anything that would deviate from rules of war?
11 A. No, I did not. I did not get an impression that their conduct was
12 anything other than as professional soldiers. What for me I observed is
13 that they were quite different to the other units of the JNA that I had
14 encountered and the various militias, specifically Mr. Seselj's people,
15 that had also been allowed into the front lines of Vukovar by the JNA.
16 Q. Thank you. When you talked about weapons, especially the weapons
17 of those who were in Vukovar and who were surrendering their weapons
18 because you were present at that time, you said that they were mostly
19 light weapons. Later, did you and your crew find weapons that were
20 discarded? I'm specifically talking about Zoljas or some anti-aircraft
21 weapons that were perhaps abandoned in town by throws who were using them.
22 Do you recall anything like that, in view of the fact that there is
23 footage of that. Of course, I'm not sure whether that's your footage
24 although we did get that footage as being the footage of Sky News.
25 A. Okay. If I may first just clear up footage of Sky News, there is
1 footage directly taken by Sky News cameramen and there is footage that
2 will have been broadcast by Sky News that has come to them from other
3 sources. One major source of footage during 1991 was Belgrade Television.
4 The other one was Reuters TV. I do not personally recall ever filming any
5 heavy Croat armaments in Vukovar. The soldiers that we saw
6 surrendering -- or the soldiers that Croatian forces that we saw
7 surrendering on the 18th of November only had Kalashnikovs and handguns.
8 I didn't see any other kind of weaponry being surrendered.
9 Q. Did they perhaps take you personally to any of the bases that
10 remained after the fall of Vukovar? Did they take you maybe to some
11 stronghold or some storehouse? Do you recall anything like that?
12 A. What I recall for the 19th of November is that when we had made
13 contact with the platoon with whom we had spent the night on the 12th,
14 13th of November, that they took us, they had found an underground tunnels
15 that they showed us that they said had been used by those defending
16 Vukovar. No arms were there. There was bread waiting to be baked and
17 there were dishes that had been washed up and they showed us that.
18 They -- we also saw engineering units, as I think you saw in the piece
19 that was broadcast earlier by the Prosecution, of the engineers blowing up
20 ammunition that had been left behind. And we were taken to these
21 minefields that had been planted and that besides the roads and that were
22 got rid of in a, for me, novel manner, of the soldiers simply shooting at
23 the mines and blowing them up. But we were never taken on the 19th to a
24 base, what had been a Croatian army or forces whatever you want to call
25 them, base, during Vukovar. Possibly, because they had not yet been
1 discovered or at least not with the knowing that the unit that we were
2 with was not aware of them. And so we were not taken there, no.
3 Q. Thank you. When you talked about arriving at the hospital the
4 first time, you said that that was sometime in the early afternoon. You
5 said we arrived at the hospital. What I would like to know is who did you
6 mean when you say, "We arrived"? Who came with you and entered the
8 A. Throughout those days, when I say "we," I'm referring to the
9 four-man team, that is myself, the field producer, the cameraman and a
10 sound recordist, so four people from Sky News.
11 Q. You said today that you were looking for and that you did manage
12 to find a doctor who spoke English and you took her statement or you
13 interviewed her. Is that the lady we saw in the footage, the doctor
14 speaking, or is that somebody else?
15 A. No. That's the doctor speaking on the footage that you were
17 Q. You mentioned that -- you mentioned that you knew that the
18 director of the hospital was a woman and you mentioned that you didn't see
19 her. Do you know why you were not able to see her?
20 A. I didn't know beforehand that the director of the hospital was a
21 woman. We were told inside the hospital, as I recall, and no, I do not
22 recall why we could not see her but we did not.
23 Q. While you were going around seeing the patients in the rooms, you
24 went not everywhere, of course, but were you accompanied by any soldier or
25 were you thwarted in any way as you were touring the hospital and as you
1 were going to see whatever it was that you wanted to see in the hospital?
2 A. As I recall, when we arrived at the hospital, there were no
3 soldiers, and when you mentioned soldiers, I imagine you mean soldiers of
4 the JNA. I do not recall seeing any soldiers of the JNA there when we
5 arrived, nor do I recall seeing any soldiers of the JNA inside the
6 hospital while we were there, nor do I recall seeing any Croat in any kind
7 of uniform while we were there. No, we went in, we weren't really led
8 around. We filmed. Nobody stopped us filming. We asked to meet the
9 director of the hospital, as I've already mentioned. And we found the one
10 lady doctor who spoke English. The field producer talked to other people
11 but we did not as far as I recall do any further interviews. When we left
12 the hospital, it is my recollection that then for the first time, I did
13 see a JNA soldier and that this was Mr. Sljivancanin and that this was --
14 and that the ICRC delegate whom we had met the day before was also there.
15 Q. When you talked about the convoy's departure from the hospital the
16 following day, you said that you had information that it was going in the
17 direction of Croatia and that it had been turned back and that later it
18 went to Sremska Mitrovica. Do you remember that that was what you also
19 told the cameraman in one shot as the buses were passing by you, as you
20 were saying that?
21 A. I did. I think it was a closing piece to camera with the buses
22 coming by me, saying that they -- that the Croats of Vukovar were going to
23 end up in Sremska Mitrovica, indeed, yes. Where we indeed also found them
24 the next day because on the 21st of November, that's where we went to
25 Sremska Mitrovica to see what had happened to them.
1 Q. So the footage related to this second attempt by the convoy to
2 leave Vukovar, when you already knew that they were going to Sremska
3 Mitrovica; is that correct?
4 A. When I was speaking in front of the camera with the buses going
5 behind me, yes, the buses were heading for Sremska Mitrovica, that's
7 Q. When you said that, and I think it was today also on the footage,
8 you said that over 500 wounded were at the hospital. Do you remember
9 perhaps where you got this piece of information from? Do you remember who
10 told you this information?
11 A. No, I don't. I imagine that I must have got that information from
12 the doctor that we spoke to inside the hospital, but I don't remember
13 precisely at this moment who we got that information from, no.
14 Q. Mr. Van Lynden, you said a little bit earlier when I was asking
15 you about the convoy, that the next day you went to Sremska Mitrovica and
16 you saw that those people had gone there. I hear that it was not recorded
17 in the transcript exactly in that way so I'm asking you again. The
18 following day you went to Sremska Mitrovica to make sure that the convoy
19 had actually gone there; is that correct?
20 A. On the 21st, I remember going to -- I think it was a sports hall
21 in Sremska Mitrovica and finding that the people who were evacuated from
22 the hospital, who were not wounded, had been taken there. We stayed there
23 until they were again loaded on to buses and this time driven from Sremska
24 Mitrovica into Bosnia. And that's the last we saw of them. After they
25 went into Bosnia they were able to enter Croatian territory.
1 We had also asked to find other busloads that -- for instance, of
2 those that surrendered on the 18th but that was -- permission was denied
3 and we were not told where they had gone to.
4 Q. I'm talking about the convoy that you saw off and that you then
5 followed. So you know that this convoy did reach Sremska Mitrovica?
6 A. Yes, but the only thing being that those who had been wounded were
7 taken off and I imagine were taken to hospital but I don't know where.
8 But I imagine also in Sremska Mitrovica but we don't know that.
9 Q. Mr. Van Lynden, do you remember in your statement, and let me ask
10 you first, of course, you remember giving statements to the investigators
11 before your testimony here today; is that correct?
12 A. I remember giving statements to the investigators, yes, I do.
13 Q. Do you recall saying at the time that what you saw, from what you
14 saw, the JNA was protecting both the civilians and those who were
15 surrendering their weapons from the paramilitary units that were in
17 A. That is indeed what I said and what I saw in Vukovar. I saw -- on
18 the morning of the 13th of November, I saw civilians, a small group of
19 civilians, coming past the mortarist from the guards unit we were with and
20 they were led by soldiers to the rear; that I said in my statement and
21 that is what I said in my report at the time. On the 19th, when we were
22 in the centre of town and a large group of civilians were leaving the
23 town, again I saw soldiers of the JNA accompanying them out of the centre
24 of Vukovar to the outskirts of the town, yes.
25 Q. Thank you. When we were talking about this convoy earlier that
1 returned from its attempt to reach Croatia, did you find out how the
2 convoy was prevented from getting to Croatia? Did somebody stop it, or
3 was it fired upon?
4 A. We didn't ourselves see why it was stopped. We were told by JNA
5 officers that it had been fired upon by Croat forces, and this was off the
6 record, so not in front of the camera. This was confirmed to us by the
7 monitors from the European Community, and that is what I reported leading
8 to a number of direct statements and attacks from the Croatian government
9 on me personally for making that statement.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Van Lynden.
11 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I have no further questions. Thank
12 you very much.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Domazet.
14 Mrs. Tapuskovic, is it practical, do you think, for you to
15 commence now? There seem to be four minutes to go.
16 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would suggest
17 that we finish for today because I am unable to complete the
18 cross-examination of this witness in four minutes. We only have four
19 minutes left and that is not enough time.
20 JUDGE PARKER: That seems a practical position, Mrs. Tapuskovic.
21 As indicated, we've reached the end of our sitting day, short now
22 of three and a half minutes. We resume tomorrow in the afternoon, at
24 And we would be grateful if you were back here to continue. We
25 are progressing well with your evidence.
1 THE WITNESS: I will be here tomorrow afternoon, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
3 We will adjourn now to resume tomorrow.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day of
6 November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.