1 Wednesday, 25 January 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir. If I could remind you of the
7 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence which still
9 Mr. Moore.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS P-031 [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. Moore: [Continued]
13 Q. Thank you very much indeed.
14 Witness, can we just deal please with the end of your evidence
15 last night. You'd said that you'd been in, I believe, the X-ray room,
16 that you had been separated, male and female, and that you had gone on a
17 bus, and mentioned two individuals that you remembered. I would like,
18 however, to return to the evening of the 19th when you arrived at the
19 Vukovar Hospital that day with your wife.
20 Now, can we deal with the evening of the 19th? When you arrived
21 at the Vukovar Hospital, did you see any persons in uniform there?
22 A. If I may correct you. I arrived in the hospital on the 19th in
23 the morning. Once I arrived there, I didn't see any JNA soldiers.
24 Q. When was the first time you saw JNA soldiers on the -- at the
1 A. The first time I saw JNA soldiers in the hospital was on the 19th
2 in the evening.
3 Q. It's difficult to assess time. You say evening. Are you able to
4 say whether it's early evening or late evening? Can you give us some
6 A. In the evening at around 9.00 p.m.
7 Q. And who was it that you saw?
8 A. At the time, I was in the X-ray room of the Vukovar Hospital, the
9 radiology department. Mr. Kuzmic entered the room where we were together
10 with soldiers. He was accompanied by two soldiers. His name was Bogdan
12 Q. And how did you know him?
13 A. I knew him for many years because he used to work as the
14 receptionist or doorman at the Vukovar Hospital.
15 Q. And what way was he dressed that evening?
16 A. Bogdan Kuzmic wore the old JNA uniform, a plain winter JNA
18 Q. And what were they doing when you saw them?
19 A. The soldiers were looking for Mr. Milicko Vukovic, and through him
20 they wanted to find Mr. -- a gentleman who used to work in Nama, a
21 department store.
22 Q. Can you remember the name of that person?
23 A. I'm thinking about it right now, but it keeps escaping me.
24 Q. All right. In any event, did they find Vukovic?
25 A. They found Mr. Vukovic, and they left the room, the X-ray room,
1 and took him somewhere else. Mr. Vukovic came back to the room where we
2 were some 15 minutes later.
3 Q. The other person whose name you cannot remember, are you able to
4 say whether they found that person or not?
5 A. They didn't find person, because they received information that at
6 that particular time that person was not in the hospital.
7 If I may add, I just remembered his name. That gentleman's name
8 is Zeljko Batarelo.
9 Q. How long was Bogdan Kuzmic and the two soldiers, how long were
10 they in the hospital that you could see?
11 A. I saw them only while they were in the X-ray room, not later.
12 Q. The uniform that Bogdan Kuzmic was wearing, did it have any rank
13 as far as you could see?
14 A. I didn't see it well, but he said that he had a rank of
16 Q. How long did you stay in the X-ray room that evening, the evening
17 of the 19th and perhaps morning of the 20th?
18 A. On the 19th of November, 1991, I stayed there the entire night
19 until the morning. I mean, the X-ray room.
20 Q. And can you give the Court an indication of when it was when you
21 left the X-ray room on the 20th, please?
22 A. We left the X-ray room in the morning on the 20th of November,
23 1991, between 7.30 and 8.00.
24 Q. And what was the reason for you leaving the X-ray room?
25 A. We were told, all of us who were present, to go and assemble in
1 the hospital yard.
2 Q. And did you go and assemble in the hospital yard as requested?
3 A. All of us went out together with their family members. As we were
4 leaving the basement area of the Vukovar Hospital where the radiology
5 department is, we had to go through the entrance which is opposite from
6 the main entrance. There were soldiers awaiting us there who separated
7 men to one side and women and children to another side. We were lined up
8 there at that entrance to the hospital; that is to say, we were lined up
9 opposite from the main entrance of the hospital.
10 Q. You have told us that you were separated. Did that apply to your
11 wife and yourself? Where you both separated?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. And the line that you went into, was it only men or women? Can
14 you tell us, please?
15 A. No. Solely men as far as I could see.
16 Q. Are you able to estimate in general terms how many men were in
17 that queue or -- well, queue perhaps is the best way of describing it.
18 A. It would be hard for me to estimate a final number or even an
19 approximate number. At any rate, all of the men who were in the hospital
20 at that time. This is the entrance going towards Gunduliceva Street, and
21 we were lined up one next to each other all the way up to the entrance.
22 Q. I will show you a diagram in a minute, but before we do that, when
23 you were about to go into the line or at the line, did the JNA soldiers or
24 any other parties do anything do you?
25 A. Yes. The soldiers were given orders to search us, those of us who
1 were lined up there. First they verbally demanded that we surrender all
2 sharp objects, items, anything that could be used to hurt somebody; that
3 is to say, knives, weapons, or any other sharp items. Following that,
4 they searched our hand-luggage. All of us had some bags with us carrying
5 our personal belongings, and the soldiers searched these bags.
6 Q. Do you know the name of the person or the soldier who searched
8 A. I took out everything out of my bag. I mostly had clothes.
9 However, my socks remained at the bottom of the bag. I had five pairs of
10 male socks, and they were rolled up in a ball. He saw that there was
11 something in the bag and he stepped on it. I asked him not to step on my
12 bag, telling him that I would take out all of its contents. He got
13 offended. He moved a step away from me. He cursed me using an offensive
14 word and then said, "All of you would be two metres below the ground if it
15 weren't for a large number of our people captured by your people."
16 Later on, as we were travelling from the barracks to Sremska
17 Mitrovica, I noticed that this same soldier was accompanying us, and in
18 the conversation that he had with the other soldier, I learned that his
19 name was Pero. That's how this other soldier addressed him. I also
20 learned that he hailed from Banja Luka.
21 Q. When you were in the line, can you remember the names of people
22 whom you recognised?
23 A. The only person whose name I know is Mr. Emil Cakalic, and
24 Mr. Tomislav Pap. These two persons. There were other familiar persons
25 there but I don't know their first and last names.
1 Q. While you were in the hospital courtyard, were you able to assess
2 who was in charge apparently of the JNA soldiers and operation at that
4 A. Yes. At that time, a major of the JNA was in charge of the entire
5 operation. Everything transpired under his control and on his orders.
6 Q. And did you subsequently find out the name of that officer?
7 A. At the time, I didn't know the name of that officer. However,
8 later on when I came to the holding centre in Sremska Mitrovica, from
9 other soldiers I learned that that major's name was Veselin Sljivancanin.
10 I don't know how other people learned his name.
11 When I left the camp and arrived back in Zagreb in Croatia, then
12 on a TV report -- in a TV report I saw that same major and recognised him
13 as the JNA major, Veselin Sljivancanin.
14 Q. And can you describe to the Court his attitude or air at that
16 A. That major issued orders to his soldiers. He was moving about
17 around the hospital, and he seemed to be a very arrogant officer.
18 Q. Did you see --
19 A. He seemed insolent and arrogant.
20 Q. Did you see any other officer in JNA uniform at that time?
21 A. At the time, I didn't see any other JNA officers. However, later
22 on from the prisoners who were with me at the camp, I learned that there
23 was another officer in the hospital compound. He was a lieutenant, and
24 that he was involved in the search conducted by the soldiers and also
25 escorted people to the buses.
1 Q. I would like now, please, to show you a document. It is page
2 number 320191. It is known as, I hope, Annex A.
3 Witness 31, have you got the document Annex A showing on your
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. This is a document that you have seen before. Isn't that right?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. This is a document I believe you helped create in 1995 with
9 Mr. Djuro. 1996. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Can we just deal, please, with it in a general way. You're in the
12 fortunate position of having an electronic pen which I've tried to help
13 you in working out. Would you be kind enough with that electronic pen to
14 show us where the actual main hospital building is located on this map?
15 A. The main entrance is to my right as I'm seeing this on the screen.
16 It is shown by the broken line in front of the hospital building.
17 Q. Would you be kind enough, please, to put your electronic pen on
18 the screen, and we then have hopefully a red mark to show what you're
19 talking about. So can you put a red mark, an X, showing where the main
20 hospital building is on this diagram?
21 A. All right.
22 Q. Shall we just mark that also with an A. Could you put a capital A
23 and circle it, please?
24 A. I didn't quite understand. Where exactly?
25 Q. You can put the A wherever you wish, just so long as it's beside
1 the X and we know to what it refers. So perhaps if you put the X and then
2 the A above with a circle. And then a circle around it, please.
3 A. All right.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Now, can you show us where the line of
5 people was or men were prior to being bused away. Are you able to do that
6 by drawing the red line around?
7 A. All right.
8 Q. There seems to be a line right round the square building. To what
9 does that relate?
10 A. This line shows the path and the road.
11 Q. Path and road of what?
12 A. This is an asphalt road -- or, rather, asphalt path more similar
13 to a pedestrian path than one used by vehicles. However, opposite from
14 the main entrance was the emergency room, and ambulances would normally go
15 to that building and then travel back going around the hospital.
16 Q. If we look at the diagram itself, at the very bottom we have in
17 English, I presume, the word "buses." Can you see that? At 6.00, as is
18 sometimes described. The very bottom of the drawing.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. To what do those buses relate?
21 A. When we came out of the hospital building and as we were lined up
22 facing Gunduliceva Street, I saw that there were five buses parked in
23 Gunduliceva Street, and this depicts these buses.
24 Q. Just to assist us, can you just draw a line where the Danube River
25 would be in relation to this diagram?
1 A. Opposite from Gunduliceva Street is Ivo Lola Ribar Street, which
2 is a one-way street travelling from the east to the west. Then behind
3 that road is a block of private houses, and then immediately behind them
4 is the Danube. So Gunduliceva Street we can say is opposite from the
5 Danube River.
6 Q. Can you just put a wiggly line, please, to show you where the
7 Danube is? Can you use your magic pen to put it on the electronic
8 score-board, please?
9 A. All right.
10 Q. Thank you very much. And then finally, with B can you show us
11 where it was that you went onto the buses? So if you do an X and a B,
13 A. Just a minute, please. Where I came out or the buses, which do
14 you mean? When I got onto the bus or this continuation of the straight
15 line with two perpendicular lines, because that's where you reach the --
16 where you leave the hospital yard and reach Gunduliceva Street.
17 Q. If you could just put your pen on the score-board and mark for us
18 the route that you took, please, before getting onto the buses. So can
19 you do that and we'll be able to see it.
20 A. Sure.
21 Q. And would you be kind enough, as I say, to put a B and a cross
22 where it was you got on the buses.
23 A. [Marks].
24 Q. And then for completeness sake, in which direction did you then
1 A. These buses were right there facing west, facing the direction of
2 Zagreb, generally speaking. Once all the detainees had been put on the
3 buses, the buses backed about 20 or 30 metres into another road next to
4 the hospital. They backed onto that road and drove down Bozidara Adzija
5 Street in the direction of Belgrade.
6 Q. Would you be kind enough, please, just put your pen on the screen
7 and mark out the route that you took, and there we will leave it.
8 A. [Marks].
9 Q. Thank you very much.
10 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, may I tender that amended document as an
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit 142.
14 MR. MOORE:
15 Q. Are you able to say what happened to the wounded people from the
16 hospital that morning?
17 A. All those found there, the wounded, the ill and the civilians who
18 were in the building of the Vukovar Hospital were taken to the buses that
19 were lined up there. Based on my information, the wounded were the first
20 to be taken away and put on the first three buses. The civilians were the
21 next to be taken away and then the sick people and the remaining staff,
22 and we were put on the last two buses.
23 Q. Were you -- are you able to remember any of the names of wounded
24 people who were put onto those buses?
25 A. No. All I remember is the name of a civilian I knew. He was
1 standing outside next to my bus, standing between the road and the
2 pedestrian path to the hospital. He was lying there on a stretcher.
3 Q. And what was the name of that person, please?
4 A. Martin Dosen.
5 Q. Can I deal with Martin Dosen, please. Who was Martin Dosen?
6 A. I used to know Martin Dosen as a boxer, a pugilist, from the
7 Borovo boxing club. We go back a long way. He had some assignment or
8 other in the Croatian army. He had been wounded somewhere or other, I'm
9 not sure, and that was how he had ended up in the hospital.
10 Q. Do you know what happened to Martin Dosen that day?
11 A. As far as I know, his daughter was standing next to his stretcher.
12 Her name was Tanja, Tanja Dosen. She was standing next to him, but he was
13 not brought onto any of our buses, and I have no idea how he eventually
14 reached the place where he came to grief.
15 Q. When say "came to grief," firstly, where did he come to grief as
16 far as you're aware?
17 A. He came to grief at Ovcara. His body was later identified along
18 with all the other people who were executed there.
19 Q. When you saw Martin Dosen, you said, I believe, that he was lying
20 on a stretcher. Is that correct or not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you able to say if he was receiving any medical treatment at
23 that time or medical care?
24 A. Probably. I had seen him several days earlier, probably also on
25 the 19th when I reached the hospital. It was on the hospital ground
1 floor. He was lying on one of the hospital beds, or perhaps it was a
2 stretcher. It was between urology and the orthopaedic ward.
3 Q. But I'm really referring to you that when you actually see him on
4 a stretcher beside the buses on the 20th, was he receiving any medical
5 care at that time? If you can't remember, just say so.
6 A. No. No. There were no medical staff there to assist him. Only
7 his daughter was there, and she was not a medical worker. She was
8 standing next to him, but she was the only one there.
9 Q. I want to deal with the actual bus that you got onto. How many
10 people were actually on the bus approximately?
11 A. The bus was full. All the seats were filled. Based on my
12 experience of riding on a bus, a bus would normally have between 45 and 50
14 Q. Can you remember the names of people who were on the same bus as
16 A. It was at the back of the bus, the last two rows of seats.
17 There's a door there. Mr. Emil Cakalic was sitting next to me, and in
18 front of us there was Djuro Knezic, Stjepan Sarik. On the same bus I saw
19 Mr. Zlatko Jurisic, and some other people I knew whose names escape me
20 right now.
21 Q. Whilst you were on the bus were any checks done to see either the
22 numbers or the personnel who were inside?
23 A. I didn't have a chance to see anyone counting people or checking
24 anything. There was the driver plus two JNA soldiers, but they did not
25 interfere with the far end of the bus.
1 If I may just add something. It is just now that I have
2 remembered having seen Tihomir Perkovic on that same bus.
3 Q. Did anyone get off that bus before it left the hospital area?
4 A. Yes. There was a call being shouted. I just heard this. Just
5 outside the bus I saw Mr. Sljivancanin. I thought the order had been from
6 him, but the people who had been called out to get off the bus told me
7 that this was not in fact the case but that, rather, this had been ordered
8 by the person who was in charge of the buses. He came in through the
9 front door, and he asked us if there was anyone on that bus with a
10 hospital ID allowing them to go to the hospital and to leave the hospital.
11 Once this question had been asked, five persons left the bus.
12 Q. At that time, were you holding a hospital identification card?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Just something for the transcript. We
17 don't see the word "lieutenant" on the transcript. That's lines 9 to 13.
18 I see that the word is missing.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Do you want to pin that down, Mr. Moore?
20 MR. MOORE: No. I agree entirely that it was lieutenant that was
21 said and that Sljivancanin was outside. Certainly that is the way I've
22 understood it.
23 JUDGE PARKER: The lieutenant associated with Mr. Sljivancanin or
24 the man in charge of the buses?
25 MR. MOORE: Well, I will certainly clarify, if I may, in relation
1 to that.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
3 MR. MOORE: Sorry, I didn't quite understand.
4 Q. When you have mentioned the gentleman or the officer who came onto
5 the bus, you have used the word, I believe, "lieutenant." Who was that
6 lieutenant? Had you seen him before?
7 A. I don't know who the man was, and there was no way I could see
8 him. He was standing at the front door of the bus, but this was the
9 officer who was in charge of the line-up, the search, and the physical
10 process of actually taking the detainees to the buses.
11 Q. Can I just try and clarify the situation so there is absolutely no
12 misunderstanding? You have told us that you have found major -- as you
13 then found out to be Major Sljivancanin and a lieutenant at the hospital
14 earlier on, and here you're referring to a lieutenant on the bus. What
15 everyone would like to know is if the lieutenant that you saw on the bus
16 was the same lieutenant that you had sign in the hospital. Can you help
17 us with that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Well --
20 A. It was the same one.
21 Q. The same one. Thank you. I think I asked you whether you had a
22 hospital identification card?
23 A. Yes, I did confirm that. I left the bus afterwards. I got off
24 the bus, and I addressed Major Veselin Sljivancanin. I didn't know his
25 name at the time. I just knew that he was a JNA major. He had looked at
1 the IDs of those other five detainees. He said their passes or IDs were
2 all right, and he said they should go back to the hospital. He looked at
3 my ID, but I seemed to have lost the photograph that was attached to it.
4 So I produced my regular ID. I told the major that I was that same person
5 and that he can check -- he could check with the other people if he so
6 wished. He carefully looked at the ID. He returned it to me and he told
7 me to go back onto the bus, which is what I did.
8 Q. When you got back onto the bus, were there any other persons on
9 the bus apart from the detainees?
10 A. No. Apart from two soldiers and the driver in the front part of
11 the bus.
12 Q. The two soldiers at the front of the bus, how do you know that
13 they were soldiers?
14 A. I confirmed that that when the buses reached the JNA barracks in
15 Vukovar. It was when that I saw this lieutenant get off the bus and order
16 the soldiers that they weren't to release anyone or allow anyone to go in
17 or out. The soldiers rose somewhat from their seats and this was when I
18 was able to see them.
19 Q. I would like to deal with those soldiers for a moment. Were the
20 soldiers armed at that time when you were on the bus?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you remember the sort of weapons that they had?
23 A. They had automatic rifles.
24 Q. Are you able to -- or were you able to assess of what unit they
25 belonged to or the nature of their military attachment?
1 A. I was not able to see any of their insignia from close up to be
2 able to tell which unit they belonged to, but I heard from the other
3 victims on the bus that those were military policemen.
4 Q. How long did you wait outside the hospital before you left on the
6 A. Quite long, actually. Between one and two hours, I would say.
7 Q. Did you know where you were going to at that time?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did anyone give any order for the buses to move?
10 A. Yes. An order came for the buses to drive on to the barracks.
11 This order had been issued by Major Veselin Sljivancanin.
12 Q. As far as you could see, did the buses leave together or
14 A. They left one by one.
15 Q. Perhaps I asked the question and deserved the answer. But when
16 you say "one by one," did they move in convoy or not?
17 A. Yes, in convoy, one behind the other.
18 Q. We know that you came from Vukovar or lived in Vukovar at that
19 time. Had you been to the JNA barracks before?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Can you describe in very general terms which part of the barracks
22 that you were driven to?
23 A. The JNA barracks is on a street known as Sajmiste. This is when
24 you leave Vukovar and head for the village of Negoslavci. To the left of
25 the road is the JNA barracks. We -- it was towards the last stretch of
1 the road near Negoslavci that we were taken. There were no residential
2 buildings there. There was some sort of a yard with some sort of a porch
3 to leave vehicles there, something like that.
4 Q. Do you know or did you know at that time a place called
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How far away were you from the buildings at Velepromet when you
8 parked the bus -- or the bus parked?
9 A. In my estimate, the distance wasn't too great. 500 metres at
10 most. That's before reaching Velepromet.
11 Q. When you went to the barracks, are you able to see or were you
12 able to see if they were guarded by any persons?
13 A. I wasn't able to see that. We took that entrance, a gate, and we
14 were approaching those buildings that were inside the barracks compound.
15 I did not actually see if it was guarded or not.
16 Q. When the bus stopped, did you see any other persons outside the
17 bus or buses?
18 A. No, not when the bus stopped, but they arrived shortly.
19 Q. Who are they?
20 A. When the buses entered the barracks compound and stopped, a group
21 of men started running in our direction from the road down which we had
22 arrived. I concluded that these people were Serb paramilitaries behaving
23 in an extremely aggressive way, acting dangerous. They approached the bus
24 with wooden poles and sticks which they used to bang on the bus. They
25 were trying to look inside to see if they could recognise any of us. They
1 were quite curious, I should say, and exceptionally aggressive.
2 To the right of the bus, the bus that was parked there and the
3 building there, I'm not sure if it was a garage or whatever its use
4 happened to be, a group of soldiers arrived or, rather, persons wearing
5 JNA uniforms, winter-time uniforms. These were no regular soldiers or
6 conscripts. These people were slightly older.
7 Q. I'd like to deal then, please, with that account in more detail.
8 You or the interpreters have used the word "group." Are you able to give
9 the Court an estimate of numbers who approach the bus?
10 A. The aggressive ones who approached, the paramilitaries, there
11 might have been between 15 and 20 of them. As for those others who were
12 difficult to identify, I wasn't sure if they were from the Vukovar TO or
13 reservists of the JNA. There may have been between ten and a dozen of
15 Q. How did you come to the conclusion that a group were -- they were
16 paramilitaries? How did you come to that conclusion?
17 A. Well, firstly -- firstly, as I say, those soldiers, in as far as
18 they were soldiers at all, were in a drunken state, inebriated. They were
19 dressed in a quite slovenly way, and their uniforms were quite disorderly.
20 Some of them wore white bands or shoulder-straps around their shoulders,
21 and some wore some sort of a sign that said "SAO Krajina Police force."
22 Q. Are you able to recognise any of the persons in that group? When
23 I say "recognise," I don't mean that you knew their name but that you had
24 seen them before.
25 A. No.
1 Q. You told us, then, I think, about the other group that came,
2 somewhere between 10 and 12. Can you be now -- would you be kind enough
3 to tell us how you came to the conclusion that -- I think that they were
5 A. I said that I didn't know what the actual difference was, but
6 there were such military formations in Vukovar. These people wore winter
7 JNA uniforms. And as I have already said to you, they were somewhat older
8 than typical conscripts serving their military service in the JNA.
9 Q. Are you able to say if any of them came from the Vukovar area?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were you able or do you know any of their names?
12 A. I do know. I knew well the persons there from previous times, and
13 I was able to recognise them there. I will list their names. Milan
14 Bulic, Jezdimir Stankovic, Radivoje Jakovljevic, Sreto Nedeljkovic, and
15 Ilinka Stankovic. We called her Inka, but I'm not sure what her formal
16 first name is. Veselinka. That's her first name. Veselinka Stankovic.
17 Q. And how were they behaving at that time?
18 A. They acted normally. They were only interested in determining
19 which prisoners on the bus they knew. They even talked to some of them.
20 Q. You have told us about the windows or the buses being beaten with
21 various wooden implements, and you suggested about trying to get you to
22 turn round. Can you tell the Court, please, how that occurred?
23 A. Now, as to whether they wanted to turn the bus upside down or not,
24 I'm not sure, but they banged on the windows of the bus with these poles
25 and sticks. They insulted us, cursed us. They threatened us, demanding
1 that we turn around to face them so that they could perhaps recognise us.
2 They called us Ustashas and murderers.
3 Q. Whether you use the word "threatened us," can you give, please, a
4 general indication of the sort of threats that were being uttered against
5 you so the Court can understand?
6 A. They cursed us. They cursed our descendants. They cursed our
7 families, insulted them with various curses. They cursed our mothers,
8 fathers, children. They also banged on the bus with the sticks, and we
9 took that to be a sufficient threat. They were quite aggressive.
10 Q. A threat of what?
11 A. They threatened us with wooden sticks, poles.
12 Q. Did they ever suggest what they would do to you?
13 A. No. No. As an order was issued to the soldiers that nobody was
14 allowed in or out of the bus, they probably were unable to board the bus.
15 They didn't try to do it either.
16 Q. You use the phrase "exceptionally aggressive." What do you mean
17 by that?
18 A. Well, it is clear what an aggressive person is. Somebody who
19 threatens other people, threatens to beat them, curses them, and so on.
20 Somebody who is prepared at any time to harm somebody.
21 Q. When this was occurring, how long did this last? Are you able to
23 A. I couldn't tell you that specifically. However, we sat on the
24 buses for quite a long time in the barracks. In addition to the five
25 buses which arrived from the hospital to the barracks, the sixth bus
1 arrived later on as well. It was some 30 metres away from our buses. It
2 arrived about half an hour later. The same group of people, upon seeing
3 the sixth bus, left our buses and directed themselves to the sixth bus.
4 When they abandoned sixth bus, I don't know.
5 Q. Well, here you were in the JNA barracks. Did at any time you see
6 any officer or soldier interfere and stop this attack upon your bus or
8 A. No.
9 MR. MOORE: Your Honour might remember that this witness has a
10 particular condition. I wonder if it might be an appropriate moment to
11 adjourn for a short period.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Moore, we might have the first break
13 now and resume at a quarter to 4.00.
14 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, might I just deal with two other matters
15 administratively? Perhaps I should deal with it now.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
17 MR. MOORE: The first was yesterday when I went through the
18 statements and gave the page number, I referred to 0131. It's -- the page
19 numbers are rather opaque sometimes, and it really should be 0181 I think
20 for statement 1.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 MR. MOORE: And the second matter is there is a personal
23 difficulty that Your Honour is aware of for me on Friday. Unfortunately,
24 that will also have to take up Monday, and I wonder if I could make an
25 application, I know I've mentioned it to my learned friends who are privy
1 to the content of my application, whether I could ask the Court's
2 indulgence not to sit on Monday.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. That means we will not sit on Friday of
4 this week or Monday of next week. Thank you, Mr. Moore.
5 We will now adjourn and resume -- oh, Mr. Vasic.
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] No thank you, Your Honour. I thought
7 that we were ready for our break. I thought we've adjourned.
8 JUDGE PARKER: You're training for the Olympics or something,
9 Mr. Vasic.
10 Very well. A quarter to 4.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.25 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 3.49 p.m.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Moore.
14 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
15 Q. Witness 31, you have -- it's been interpreted as sticks or poles,
16 the word, I think, "palica." Do you know the word "palica"?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I think that it can mean many things. Can you tell us the size of
19 the sticks or poles that the people had outside the bus? Can you be more
21 A. As far as I can remember, there was some that were shorter and
22 some that were longer, going from 60 centimetres in length to one metre
23 and 10 centimetres.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Did you see anyone leaving the buses while
25 you were at the barracks?
1 A. Yes. The soldiers who probably had their instructions were
2 looking for certain persons on buses. From my bus, they called out
3 Mihajlo Kolesar and Mr. Bartol. I am not sure whether this is his first
4 name or his last name. We used to call him Bartola. The two of them went
5 the bus [as interpreted] and didn't return ever again. They left
6 accompanied by soldiers in the direction of the barracks.
7 Q. I think it's right to say, is it, that you were aware that Kolesar
8 and Bartola were taken back to the hospital. Is that correct or not?
9 A. Yes. But I learned that once I arrived in Zagreb from
10 Sremska Mitrovica.
11 Q. Can you remember if the soldiers were looking for individuals
12 whom you never saw again?
13 A. No, I can't remember that. The people that they were looking for,
14 I think that all of them survived, at least the ones who were in that
16 If I may add, Mr. Kolesar is not alive any longer. He died of
17 natural causes some four or five years ago.
18 Q. Can you remember when you left the barracks?
19 A. We left the JNA barracks in Vukovar at around 1430.
20 Q. Obviously time is difficult to estimate. Why do you give that
22 A. I had a watch on me.
23 Q. When you left the JNA barracks, did you know where you were going
25 A. No.
1 Q. Where did the buses next stop?
2 A. The first time the buses stopped after that was in Vupik, which is
3 a farm near Vukovar, and they stopped in front of a hangar which was used
4 as a warehouse for agricultural machinery.
5 Q. Had you been there before?
6 A. No.
7 Q. When you got there, how many buses arrived?
8 A. Five buses arrived. The five that left the barracks arrived in
9 Ovcara in front of that hangar one by one.
10 Q. I would like you to look, please, at a diagram called Annex B.
11 The page number is 00320193.
12 MR. MOORE: Could that be shown to the witness on the electronic
13 display unit, please.
14 Now, before we refer to this document, I would like to play a very
15 short video clip. It's -- the 65 ter number is 326. Has everybody got
16 the -- can we play it now, please.
17 [Videotape played]
18 MR. MOORE: To assist the Court, this is a short video approaching
19 the hangar on the right-hand side.
20 I'd like to make that exhibit if I may, please.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Is it going to be identified as to date, et cetera,
22 at any time, Mr. Moore?
23 MR. MOORE: It will be identified. The process that I was hoping
24 to --
25 JUDGE PARKER: As long as you have that in mind, no need to
1 explain it now.
2 MR. MOORE: It is obviously done much later on. It's to assist
3 everyone, so exactly they have locations and distances. Yes, it will be
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit 143, Your Honours.
8 MR. MOORE: Now can we return to Annex B.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No objections, it's just that I would
11 like to ask the Prosecutor not to tell us what is on which side on the
12 approach to what. I would prefer it if he left it to witnesses to comment
13 on that. It's true that all of us in the courtroom know what is where,
14 but still.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. MOORE: Well, unless the barracks becomes a tree, we may be in
17 some difficulty. It's to assist all parties and the witness.
18 Q. Witness, would you be kind enough, please, to look at Annex B, the
19 diagram. Have you got it there in front of you?
20 A. Yes, I can see it.
21 Q. Can we then adopt the same procedure, please, that we adopted with
22 Annex A? Now, this document you have seen before; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. This was compiled on the same day as Annex B; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you just mark, as far as you remember, where it was the buses
3 A. The arrow indicates the road leading from Vukovar to the farm in
4 front of the hangar. The direction of the arrows indicates the direction
5 from which the buses arrived towards this short concrete road which
6 connects the road to the hangar.
7 Q. Can we just then look, please, at what appears to be, and this is
8 the only way I can do it, a path running towards the hangar. Do you see
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you mark out for us, please, just with a small X where the
12 path is. Please put your pen on the screen and mark it out.
13 A. Just to clarify, the road, I mean the main road or you mean this
14 driveway which connects the main road and the hangar?
15 Q. Can you mark out the driveway.
16 A. [Marks].
17 Q. And can you tell us, then, please, what this diagram represents?
18 And do this slowly, please.
19 A. This sketch shows the main road and the driveway between the main
20 road and the hangar. We can also see the contours of the hangar. It is
21 not on scale. It doesn't show the actual dimensions of the hangar. And
22 then the drawings inside the hangar depict the location where the
23 prisoners were. These lines on each side of the driveway depict a group
24 of paramilitaries who stood on both sides of the driveway creating a
25 gauntlet through which all of the prisoners had to run and were beaten as
1 they ran through it.
2 Q. Now, can we deal with the markings where you say you had to run
3 the gauntlet. Can you please mark in red with your electronic pen where
4 say the gauntlet was?
5 A. With the electronic pen or in some other way?
6 Q. No, always with the electronic pen, please.
7 A. Yes, but what kind of a mark do you want me to put?
8 Q. Can you just put an X where you say the gauntlet was, where the
9 soldiers were located. It doesn't have to be an X or it can be a line.
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. Now, what does that mark show us, please?
12 A. This mark depicts both sides of the driveway, the left side and
13 the right side of the driveway, where the paramilitaries were who beat the
15 Q. Can you mark, please, with a line where the paramilitaries were
16 who beat the prisoners? Can you do a bold red line, please, or lines?
17 A. On the outside or on the inside? Where do you want me to place
19 Q. Can you show us where the gauntlet was, please?
20 A. Right here on the driveway, on both sides of it, going all the way
21 up to the entrance of the hangar.
22 Q. Yes, but what I want you to do, please, is to mark with your pen,
23 to actually mark with your pen, where the paramilitary soldiers were who
24 were beating prisoners as they were arriving.
25 A. Want kind of a mark do you want me to place?
1 Q. A bold mark, please.
2 A. [Marks].
3 Q. Thank you. Now, can I deal, please, with the people who were
4 located at this particular place? Firstly, who were they?
5 A. These people shown here with these lines are the people who had
6 been brought in from the Vukovar Hospital and the barracks in Vukovar.
7 Q. And who were they? Are you able to assist the Court about that?
8 A. There were wounded persons there, the ill persons, civilians who
9 used to work in the hospital, and some medical staff or, rather, some
10 hospital staff in charge of the hospital security. They were Croatian
12 Q. And what was happening to them as they arrived?
13 A. The buses arrived one by one from the direction of Vukovar, and as
14 they arrived, they stopped in front of the driveway, and then the
15 prisoners went out through the front door. In front of the driveway,
16 there were two or three soldiers standing there. Later, they made --
17 created this gauntlet. But initially as the prisoners came out of the
18 buses, they robbed them of all of their belongings, took away their bags,
19 gold and jewellery, necklaces, rings, and any other kind of other
20 valuables that prisoners had on them.
21 Q. But you've used the word "gauntlet" on several occasions. What do
22 you mean by that? Can you please not look at the diagram anymore and just
23 focus on the question. What do you mean by the word "gauntlet"?
24 A. The soldiers, some of them I'd seen in the barracks, and they
25 arrived in Ovcara prior to us. They probably knew that the prisoners
1 would be coming out of the buses and then would be taken to the hangar, so
2 they lined themselves up in front of it in order to do what I have already
3 described to you.
4 Q. I'd like you to describe again, please, what happened when the
5 prisoners arrived off the bus.
6 A. The prisoners were getting off the buses one by one. First, they
7 were stopped by those two or three soldiers who robbed them. After that,
8 they would proceed towards the hangar, passing the gauntlet on the way
9 there, and they were beaten as they walked along.
10 Q. And who beat them?
11 A. The paramilitary soldiers. Serb paramilitaries. Those were no
12 regular soldiers.
13 Q. And how severely were they beaten?
14 A. That depends on who was where exactly and the angle that people
15 were being beaten. They used wooden poles, and they used crutches, too,
16 to hit people. It depends on who came from where and the exact timing of
17 a person passing this gauntlet. Each individual was hit at least once,
18 and most of them were hit many times.
19 Q. After they had run the gauntlet, or went through the gauntlet,
20 what happened to those prisoners? Where did they go?
21 Please don't look at the diagram. Just tell the Court what it is
22 that happened.
23 MR. MOORE: Can we switch the diagram off, please, and put it into
24 evidence? I make an application for this diagram to become evidence as an
25 exhibit in the case.
1 JUDGE PARKER: The diagram you tender will be received, Mr. Moore.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this diagram will be received as
3 Exhibit 144.
4 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
5 Q. So I've asked you what happened after the prisoners went through
6 the gauntlet. Can you tell the Court, please, where they went?
7 A. As each one approached the end of the gauntlet, the soldiers were
8 sending them to the right and lining them along the wall of the hangar,
9 one by one along the wall, facing the wall, hands above their heads facing
10 the wall. To the right, then to the right, and then again to the right.
11 I'm sorry. To the right and then to the left, and then to the left. Once
12 to the right and twice to the left. That's how it was.
13 Q. And can you remember where you were located when you went into the
14 actual hangar itself?
15 A. I reached the far end of these markings, the opposite side facing
16 the entrance. I was followed by a number of soldiers that have not been
17 marked here. Prisoners. I meant prisoners, not soldiers. My apologies.
18 Q. And how many people were actually inside the hangar?
19 A. All the people from the five buses that arrived from the Vukovar
20 Hospital and from the barracks.
21 Q. And when you went into the hangar area, did you see what was
22 happening inside the hangar initially?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Why was that?
25 A. I wasn't able to see. This was not in my view. It was around the
1 door and then to the right and then along the wall. I wasn't actually
2 able to see what was going on inside the hangar until I entered myself.
3 Q. But when you entered, what did you say?
4 A. Once inside, I saw the prisoners, how they were lined up against
5 the hangar wall, to the right, then to the left, and then to the left
7 Q. And what way were the prisoners facing? In towards the centre of
8 the hangar or towards the wall?
9 A. No. As they were coming in and as they were being lined up,
10 everyone was made to face the wall, hands above their heads facing the
11 wall. Hands on the wall, facing the wall.
12 Q. And why did everyone do that?
13 A. I don't know. Maybe that was a part of their strategy on the part
14 of those who had arrested us. As long as you keep a person with their
15 hands in the air above their heads, that person poses no danger to anyone
16 passing them, I suppose.
17 Q. Did you see any persons with uniforms inside the hangar?
18 A. Yes. When I reached the end of the gauntlet, I came across an
19 officer who grabbed me by the shoulder, pushed me and told me to get into
20 the hangar, meaning for me to go in and look for a place where I could
21 join the line of prisoners there.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We must ask the witness if you would please move
23 your chair a little closer to the table and to the microphone. The
24 interpreters are having difficulty catching all that you are saying.
25 Thank you.
1 MR. MOORE:
2 Q. I'll ask the question again. Sorry, I see Mr. --
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I appreciate very much my colleague
5 interrupting this.
6 I just have something to say about the transcript. What has not
7 been recorded is the actual words that the officer told the witness. He
8 said, "Go there," and this has not been recorded. This is page 31,
9 lines 23 through 25.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps my colleague could re-ask the
12 question, just in order to clarify this.
13 MR. MOORE:
14 Q. I'll ask the question again.
15 Did you see any persons with uniforms inside the hangar?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell the Court, please, what you saw?
18 A. When I reached the entrance, I came across a JNA officer who
19 grabbed me by the shoulder and pushed me inside the hangar, telling me to
20 go there.
21 Q. And where was there?
22 A. What I took this to mean was for me to go and join the line of
23 prisoners inside, to find a spot, to join the line.
24 Q. And did you go there as he had indicated?
25 A. Yes. But according to some rule or other written by I don't know
1 whom, you would go to the right from the entrance and then to the left and
2 again to the left, the prisoners lining up. That seemed too far away for
3 me to walk, so I wanted to cut across the hangar and head straight for
4 that free spot over there, in this line of prisoners.
5 Q. So when you did that, what happened?
6 A. Not counting on the possibility of trouble, there were two
7 soldiers standing at the entrance to the hangar, the two paramilitaries.
8 One of them kicked me in my knee, my right knee, and the other hit me on
9 my cheek just near the mouth with a crutch.
10 Q. Did you eventually get to the wall and put your hands up as
12 A. Yes. After this incident, I caught the right moment, as it were,
13 to run across, go all the way to the wall and take my place there.
14 Q. And so what happened after that, then, please?
15 A. Maybe I forgot to say something. When this area was full of
16 prisoners, the area in which I was, at the other end of the hangar there
17 was a stack of hay, and all those who came after me were sent there, and
18 those who were standing on that hay were watching the middle of the
19 hangar, watching the prisoners, unlike those of us who had arrived earlier
20 who had been forced to fix our eyes on the wall, to face the wall.
21 Q. Are you able to assess how long it took to disembark all the
22 prisoners from the buses and bring them into the hangar?
23 A. Yes. Based on what I could figure out and based on what I
24 remember, the entire operation from the time we got off the buses until
25 the time the last prisoner entered the hangar took about one hour. It was
1 at about 1600 hours that everyone had been led into the hangar and inside.
2 Q. I want to deal with timing in a slightly different way. If we use
3 light, afternoon, early evening, and night-time, when you went from the
4 house into the hangar, can you remember what the lighting was like at that
5 time? The natural lighting, of course.
6 A. I'll put it this way: Was the day bright, was it overcast, was it
7 sort of semi-overcast? This is not something I could remember, but
8 visibility was still very good, both inside the hangar and particularly
9 outside in the open.
10 Q. When the buses had completely disembarked all the passengers, how
11 many team approximately were in that hangar? Was it in tens or hundreds?
12 A. Hundreds. Based on information obtained later on, 200 prisoners,
13 civilians, wounded, and medical staff from the Vukovar Hospital were
15 Q. And who was guarding the people inside the hangar?
16 A. They were being guarded by regular JNA soldiers, the young ones,
17 those who had escorted us on the buses. My impression was there were more
18 of them there than on the buses. If there had been two on each bus, there
19 must have been more there because the -- they totaled more than ten
21 Q. Do you have any dealings with any soldiers while you were against
22 the wall?
23 A. Yes. These young soldiers were walking behind our backs, across
24 the hangar, so a group of three young soldiers came up. One of them
25 placed his automatic rifle on my back, saying, "If you have any money on
1 you and if you don't give it to me, I'll kill you." He also
2 said, "Somebody else is likely to take it from you anyway. You won't be
3 needing it any longer. You are surrounded by cold-blooded murderers and
4 you will all be killed tonight."
5 I had my entire monthly salary in my pocket in an envelope. I put
6 my hand inside my pocket. I pulled out the envelope and gave it to the
7 soldier who had his rifle against my back. After I had given this to
8 them, they moved away and did not touch me again.
9 Q. You've told us about being against the wall. Did you know the
10 persons who were either side of you?
11 A. I knew one young man. I knew his parents' last name. Not him
12 personally, probably not. He was aged about 17, and his name was Tomislav
14 Q. And what was happening to Tomislav Baumgertner?
15 A. He looked very young and rather small, puny. So these young
16 soldiers started abusing him verbally, taunting him, asking if he'd been
17 to front, if he'd served in the army, if he'd done anything against anyone
18 else, something along these things, if he'd killed any of the soldiers of
19 the opposite side.
20 Q. And did he reply?
21 A. Yes, he did. He said he had done nothing, that he was only 17
22 years old - he said this a couple of times, actually - that he had been
23 with his mother in the hospital. His mother worked in the hospital, she
24 was a nurse, and this was true.
25 Q. Did Tomislav Baumgertner indicate whether he knew any other
1 persons in the hospital?
2 A. No.
3 Q. What happened to Tomas Baumgertner? Can you remember?
4 A. I can. He was standing right next to me. We were in the same
5 position. Whether those soldiers were satisfied with his answer or not, I
6 don't know, but then he was asked whether he knew Dr. Mladen Ivankovic's
7 sons. He answered that he knew the youngest son very well because they
8 were schoolmates. Then the soldiers took him away from that group of
9 people facing the wall, and I have no idea where they took him to. I was
10 not able to see that. However, on my way out of the hangar, I saw him
11 sitting on the ground in a separate group comprising about 10 or 12
12 victims or prisoners on the left side of the wall on the way into the
13 hangar. They were all seated there, their backs to the wall.
14 Q. I would like to return, please, to a clean copy of diagram 20193,
15 please, the same diagram showing the warehouse, as it's described. Can
16 that be shown, please?
17 This is the diagram that you've seen before. Can I ask you,
18 please, to look at the diagram. And I'm going to hold up to assist the
19 Court and the witness to point out various parts of the diagram that I
20 want him to direct his attention to.
21 The first part of the diagram that I'd like the witness to
22 observe, may I point to it, please, which is at the bottom of the diagram.
23 Can the witness, look, please, where I'm pointing.
24 A. In front of the hay, the two circles or dots, whatever you said.
25 Q. I don't want to deal with the two dots at the moment. You've
1 referred to the hay. Can you show us where the hay is on your diagram,
2 please? Just put a circle around it, a big circle.
3 A. [Marks].
4 Q. Now, were any of the prisoners located on the hay?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And why were they there; do you know?
7 A. Yes. Because the way we were lined up, there was no free room
8 there anymore.
9 Q. Now, you've mentioned the two dots in front of the hay. Can you
10 see them all right?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Before we -- before we deal with those dots, can you mark with
13 an X, please, where you were standing against the wall.
14 A. [Marks].
15 Q. Where you were standing against the wall you've put an X. Can you
16 put S there, please, the letter S.
17 Now, can we deal with the two dots, please. I'm going to
18 subdivide them into A and B. The dot that was nearest to you, what does
19 that represent?
20 A. This dot that is nearest to me represents a prisoner, represents
21 the exact spot where a prisoner was standing.
22 Q. And what was the name of that prisoner, please?
23 A. The name of that prisoner standing nearest to me at this dot, his
24 name was Kemal Saiti.
25 Q. And can you tell us, please, what was happening to Kemal Saiti
1 inside the hangar?
2 A. The following was happening to him: By this time, the
3 paramilitary units had already begun to enter the hangar. They walked up
4 to this hay and attacked this prisoner Kemal. I'm not sure what they were
5 telling him. At any rate, they started to beat him. There were three,
6 maybe four of them. He fell down on the concrete floor. They kicked him,
7 jumped all over his stomach. Due to all the pain he probably turn around,
8 so they jumped all over his back, kicked him until one of them grabbed him
9 by the hair and banged his head several times against the concrete floor.
10 Q. And who did this to him?
11 A. Those people who were very much like the people who had made up
12 the gauntlet outside. Not regular soldiers.
13 Q. Did anyone attempt to stop the attack on Kemal Saiti?
14 A. To the extent that I was able to see or hear, no one attempted to
15 stop the attack.
16 Q. Would you -- would you be kind enough, please, to put a K, the
17 letter K, beside the dot that represents the attack on Kemal Saiti.
18 A. [Marks].
19 Q. Thank you. Now, can we deal with the second dot that is marked on
20 this diagram. What does that represent?
21 A. The second dot on this diagram represents the spot where another
22 prisoner was standing.
23 Q. And who was that prisoner, please?
24 A. The other prisoner was standing some distance from me, and I
25 wasn't able to see anything. I only heard that some sort of a beating was
1 taking place, and I think he suffered the same fate as the previous
2 prisoner. However, on the hay itself, those prisoners who were watching
3 the middle of the hangar, they were standing at a distance of perhaps one
4 or two metres, they were watching, they told me the other prisoner was
5 Damjan Samardzic and that he had suffered the same fate as Kemal before
7 Q. As far as you're aware, either from your direct knowledge or
8 knowledge from others given to you, was there any attempt to stop the
9 beating of him?
10 A. As far as I know, no.
11 Q. How long did you remain standing against the wall?
12 A. We stood against the wall for about 45 minutes facing the wall.
13 Q. And when did your position change?
14 A. The same soldiers who monitored us ordered us to turn around, face
15 the middle of the hangar, sit on the floor, and lean with our backs
16 against the wall.
17 Q. Did anything occur to you while you were sitting in this position?
18 A. Yes. As I sat there, I don't know how long after we'd been
19 ordered to sit down, the paramilitaries started walking in front of us. A
20 group of about three or four of them stopped in front of me. They asked
21 me how many of their soldiers I'd killed. I told them I hadn't killed
22 anyone. I said that the last time I had occasion to shoot was when I did
23 my military service.
24 Q. And when you said that to them, did they reply?
25 A. Yes. One of them -- and they were always in a group, they never
1 went around individually. I guess one was always a leader and others were
2 followers. So one of them offered me his rifle, I guess intending for me
3 to show him whether I knew how to shoot or not. However, I didn't accept
4 that, because I realised that ones who were with him were ready to turn
5 their guns against me, if needed.
6 Q. So what then happened, then, please?
7 A. At that moment, some commotion arose so that both the soldiers and
8 the paramilitaries started saying to each other, "Officers." I guess that
9 indicated that their job was over. And automatically they stepped aside
10 and dispersed within the hangar.
11 MR. MOORE: Before we proceed with the next piece of evidence,
12 could I ask, please, for this marked diagram to be made an exhibit.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this exhibit will be assigned the
15 reference 145.
16 MR. MOORE: And I wonder, please, if that could be removed now
17 from the screen of the witness. Thank you very much.
18 Q. You have told us about the word "officers," suggesting that
19 officers were arriving. Did you see any officers arrive at the Ovcara
21 A. No. I wasn't able to see that because the people provoking me or
22 taunting me stood in front of me. Once they stepped aside and went
23 elsewhere, I don't know where, I didn't see any officers then either
24 entering or leaving the hangar.
25 Q. Did you at any time when you were in the hangar come face-to-face
1 or see a person that you believed to be an officer?
2 A. No. Except for this. Once I left the hangar, if that's what you
4 Q. Well, unfortunately I can't give evidence. Can I just deal,
5 please, with inside the hangar, first of all, and then we'll deal with
6 outside the hangar. But how was it that you came then to leave the
8 A. Thank you kindly for the warning.
9 Once these soldiers taunting me stepped aside, moved away from me,
10 then an acquaintance of mine came by. We used to live in the same
11 neighbourhood before. He knew me very well. He was a good friend of my
12 son's. When he saw me there, he asked me what I was doing there. I
13 explained the situation to him, told him I was arrested at the hospital
14 and then brought there. He told me to come with him. I followed him
15 across the hangar. We came to the entrance. This is where we came across
16 an officer to whom he attempted to explain who I was, saying that he knew
17 me and saying that he believed me to be innocent. The officer told
18 him, "Take this man outside." However, he kept talking to him. I don't
19 know what he was saying to him, because I stood a bit further away. Then
20 the officer sort of gently pushed me out. My acquaintance was there, and
21 together we went out of the hangar.
22 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I'd like to go into closed session, if I
23 may, in relation to names to be given.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Closed session.
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 3276-3279 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 MR. MOORE:
10 Q. Witness, you've been telling us about various matters, and you're
11 about to tell us about your trip back to Vukovar. But looking back at
12 your evidence, can you remember if you were able to recognise anyone at
13 Ovcara whom you had seen at the JNA barracks that day?
14 A. No, except for Milos Bulic. I saw him both in the barracks and in
15 Ovcara. I didn't know the others.
16 Q. Can you just in very general terms tell us how you know this man
17 called Milan Bulic? Where does he come from?
18 A. I apologise, not Milos but Milan. I have always known him as
19 Milan, although some people called him Milos, but he corrected that. I
20 know him because he was a butcher, and he used to work in the
21 Vukovar Hospital, in the kitchens there as a butcher.
22 Q. And do you know to which unit he was attached while at the JNA
24 A. I don't know that, because I was not privy to such information.
25 As I've told you, in the barracks he was in the group of the soldiers who
1 behaved themselves more decently, the older ones who seemed to be either
2 TO members or the JNA reserve soldiers.
3 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I was going to move on to the trip back
4 to Vukovar and then deal with really not a large part of evidence. I
5 would anticipate probably no more than about 20 minutes. I know it's a
6 little early, but I also know that the witness has certain difficulties.
7 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at half past 5.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.06 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.34 p.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
11 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
12 Q. May we deal then, please, with your trip to Vukovar? How many
13 people were in the vehicle that went back towards Vukovar?
14 THE REGISTRAR: Could OTP turn off the microphone, please. Thank
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were seven of us who were
17 returned to Vukovar, seven prisoners, two soldiers escorting us in the
18 cab. One soldier and Mr. Cakalic were with the driver on the front seat.
19 MR. MOORE:
20 Q. The soldiers themselves, are you able to say again to which unit
21 they belonged?
22 A. No. It was quite dark, and it was difficult to see anything
23 inside the jeep where we were. It was impossible to see anything at all.
24 It would be mere speculation on my part if I tried to describe those
25 soldiers, but those were probably the same young soldiers who had brought
1 us there in the first place.
2 Q. You use the word "jeep." The vehicle that you travelled in, are
3 you able to say if it was a military vehicle or a private vehicle?
4 A. It was a military vehicle. It had no proper seat be side. Along
5 the whole length of the car it had some sort of a tin bench on either
6 side, a one-piece long seat, as it were, along the side of the car.
7 Q. Did you know any of the soldiers or the names of the soldiers who
8 were accompanying you in the jeep?
9 A. I did not know any of them, but I heard from others, Mr. Cakalic
10 specifically, that he knew the driver, Mile Bakic. And there was another
11 soldier who was sitting at the back with us, apparently his name was Guja,
12 Goran Vuja. I can't remember exactly. But personally, personally I did
13 not know any of them. Nobody mentioned the third soldier who was with us
14 or knew him.
15 Q. Were the soldiers armed or not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where did the jeep go to, please?
18 A. The jeep returned us to Vukovar as they'd probably been ordered to
19 do, to drive us back to Velepromet. However, once we reached the gate of
20 Velepromet, there was a uniformed person waiting for us there who was
21 probably in charge of letting people in and out through the main gate
22 where the administration building is. This person told the driver that
23 there was no room for us inside and that he should take us to a private
24 company called Modateks about two or three kilometres from Velepromet if
25 you drive back down the main road, if you drive south.
1 Q. I want to deal with the people who were inside that vehicle. You
2 gave us the name of individuals who were in a group outside the Ovcara
3 hangar. Did any of these people travel in that vehicle to Vukovar?
4 A. Yes, all of them.
5 Q. Let us then deal, please, with when you arrived at Velepromet.
6 What occurred?
7 A. Nothing. We remained seated inside the vehicles. The soldier
8 came up to the driver and told him what I've just told you, that he should
9 take us to Modateks, the private company.
10 Q. And did you go to Modateks?
11 A. Yes, we did. We were received there by an elderly gentleman with
12 a white beard who was wearing a uniform. They called him grand-dad. He
13 was probably in charge in one way or another of what was going on inside
14 this hall of this company. He took us aside and sat us down at a long
15 table about one metre across and two metres long. We were some sort of a
16 separate group at that table.
17 Inside this hall belonging to this company when we came we found a
18 large number of civilians there. Nearly 100 per cent women and children.
19 We were separated from those, and we were at this table, and this is also
20 where we spent the night. We were guarded by young armed soldiers.
21 We stayed there until about 1400 hours the next day when this
22 gentleman came along. His last name was Kusic [phoen], the one they
23 called grand-dad, and he told us they would have to drive us back to
24 Velepromet. At this point he, Jezdimir Stankovic and a third person I did
25 not know, all armed, walked us back to Velepromet. Once we arrived in
1 Velepromet, we crossed the entire yard and reached a room they refer to as
2 the joiner's room.
3 Q. I just want to deal with one of the names that you have mentioned,
4 and that is a gentleman called Stankovic. Had you seen Stankovic before?
5 A. Yes. This is the same Jezdimir Stankovic --
6 Q. And where did you --
7 A. -- that I had seen at the barracks.
8 Q. Thank you. When you were taken to Velepromet, where were you
10 A. We were placed in this room that they called the joiner's room or
11 the carpenter's room.
12 Q. Were you aware of a name or nickname that it was given
14 A. Later on, I realised that this room had been nicknamed the death
16 Q. When you were taken to this room, how many soldiers escorted you?
17 A. The three soldiers who were escorting us on our way from Modateks,
18 until they handed us over once we had reached that room.
19 Q. Did anything happen to you prior to going into the room itself?
20 A. Yes. Outside the room there is a broad corridor. We were
21 received there by two soldiers. One of them was sitting on some sort of a
22 chair and the other soldier searched us. This soldier took the last of my
23 money, the little money that I still had on me. He told me to take off my
24 watch, too. I was made to stand outside the door with my hands against
25 the wall. He realised that I was wearing a wrist-watch. He told me to
1 take it off, which I did, but as he was talking to the other soldier, I
2 closed my watch with my fist in toward conceal it so he probably didn't
3 remember to ask for it again. I kept the watch throughout, and I still
4 had it when I returned to Croatia eventually.
5 Q. I want to deal with the room itself. When you went into the room,
6 were there any other people inside the room?
7 A. There were people there. The place was full. People were
8 standing or lying on -- on dirty blankets, muddy blankets. There might
9 have been between 25 and 30 people altogether in that room.
10 Q. And what were the conditions like inside the room itself?
11 A. People were crest-fallen. There was hardly anybody who was
12 talking to anybody else. Those who were talking kept their voices very
13 low. Those were probably people who were close, who knew each other. But
14 there was no proper conversation taking place, and nobody was really
15 moving much at all, those prisoners, if I may call them that.
16 Q. You have told us about the group of people who were held outside
17 the Ovcara hangar, that that group of people had been taken to Modateks.
18 When you came to the Velepromet facility, how many of that group remained
19 together and were placed inside the room?
20 A. If we're talking about that group, the people who were arrested at
21 the hospital and brought over to Ovcara from the barracks and the hospital
22 and then driven back to Modateks, there was six of us there.
23 Q. What about the young boy Tomas Baumgertner. Was he taken to the
24 Velepromet facility?
25 A. No. When I was leaving, he was still sitting on the ground to the
1 left of the hangar entrance.
2 Q. I am sorry, we better just clarify, because I thought I had asked
3 you whether that group had travelled into Vukovar. Perhaps the best way
4 of dealing with it is of the people who were in the group outside the
5 hangar, who remained outside the hangar and who went to Vukovar? Can you
6 help us with that? Who was left and who went to Vukovar with you?
7 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I must object to this. I think this
10 is a leading question, because when the witness first spoke about this he
11 described a group of seven people. He gave us all their names one by one
12 and said that they were in the van. Now the Prosecutor is trying to lead
13 the witness on who stayed behind and who was off. I believe this is a
14 leading question on the part of the OTP.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I understand what is happening quite differently
16 from you, Mr. Lukic. I think there is a -- some lack of certainty or
17 clarity about whether the group of soldiers by the hangar door at Ovcara
18 to which the young 17-year-old joined is the same group that was moved
19 later into Velepromet and so forth in the jeep. And I think you have one
20 quite clear understanding, Mr. Moore has perhaps another, and I am
21 confused in the middle, and there may be others in a similar position. So
22 I think a little time by Mr. Moore in a non-leading way, as he is doing,
23 will help clarify it.
24 MR. MOORE:
25 Q. Witness, can you just try and help us? I know it's difficult.
1 When you left the group of people by the Ovcara hangar, how many people
2 were left and how many people went in the vehicle to Vukovar? Are you
3 able to tell us?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Your question assumes something, Mr. Moore, which
5 may not be valid, as to who the group is.
6 MR. MOORE: The witness gave the name of the group of people.
7 JUDGE PARKER: That was a group outside.
8 MR. MOORE: Yes.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think it was a group that included the lad
11 MR. MOORE: My recollection is it did include Baumgertner.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Maybe that's where the confusion is, and you're
13 assuming by your question there is but one group.
14 MR. MOORE: I will -- I will try and clarify again. I have no
15 problems about that.
16 Q. Witness, the group who were outside the Ovcara hangar, do you
17 remember the group that you joined? And you told us their names. How
18 many of that group went to Vukovar?
19 A. Seven persons.
20 Q. And are you able to tell us the names of the people who travelled
21 in the jeep to Vukovar?
22 A. Yes. Emil Cakalic, Dragutin Berghofer, Tihomir Perkovic, Vladimir
23 Dudas, Zarko Kojic, and a soldier I didn't know and I did not know his
24 name at the time. Six plus one equals seven.
25 Q. And of that group how many eventually went to the Velepromet room?
1 A. Six persons from that group went to Velepromet while we were at
2 Modateks, some soldiers came to get Zarko Kojic. They took him away to
3 his grandmother's place. That's where they told him they would be taking
4 him. So he was taken away from Modateks to a private home in Vukovar.
5 The rest of us six persons altogether were taken back to Velepromet and
6 left in what they refer to as the joiner's room.
7 Q. How long did you stay in that room? Are you able to estimate?
8 A. Yes. We arrived there between 2.00 and 3.00 p.m. We walked there
9 slowly, and we stayed in the room for the whole evening and until late at
10 night, between 11.00 and 11.30 p.m.
11 Q. When you were in the room at Velepromet, the people who were in
12 there, did they remain in there or were any removed?
13 A. The room was locked. The soldier who was there when we arrived
14 and who searched us and took us into the room would sporadically allow
15 certain paramilitaries into the room. These paramilitaries who came into
16 the room would pick prisoners for themselves and take them away. That was
17 how Karlo Crk was removed. That was how Krunoslav Golac was removed. And
18 that was how a third person was removed, Tihomir Perkovic. These three
19 persons did not return to that room for as long as we were there.
20 Q. Have you seen --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
22 MR. MOORE:
23 Q. Have you seen Perkovic since that day?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Have you seen Karlo Crk since that day?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And what about the third person, Golac?
3 A. No. No. Never again. They're gone.
4 Q. Can we deal then, please, with the leaving of Velepromet itself?
5 When did you leave Velepromet approximately?
6 A. Sometime at night, between 11.00 and 11.30 p.m. A JNA captain
7 walked into the room who said that we should all get ready and that he
8 would take us over to the barracks because there was a danger that we
9 might all die in that room over the night. We obeyed, and we all left.
10 We were being escorted by JNA soldiers. They took us to an area inside
11 the -- in the yard, and we were boarded onto buses in the presence of this
12 captain and the soldiers escorting us. We were driven to the Vukovar
14 Q. I want to just clarify the arrival of the JNA captain taking you
15 to the JNA barracks. Did you have a conversation with him at that time or
16 did he say anything to you?
17 A. I did not have a conversation with him. There was no chance.
18 Some of the soldiers perhaps did. He probably gave them some sort of a
19 reason, but the reason I knew and I was told is there was a risk that we
20 would come in harm's way during the night, and he said this was the reason
21 he was taking us to the barracks. That's what I know.
22 Q. You go to the barracks and approximately how long do you stay
24 A. We stay there for one night or half a night, until the next
25 morning, 8.00. At 8.00 the next morning, one of the soldiers came. He
1 put our names down on a list. He called out our names. There were 38 of
2 us. We were put onto a bus and driven to Sremska Mitrovica.
3 Q. I want to deal with the 38 people you say approximately were in
4 that JNA barracks. Do you know where those 38 persons had come from?
5 A. They all came from the death room, or the joiner's room, and yet
6 another room that was a little further off from the joiner's room.
7 Q. Can I deal, then, with the removal of most people from the
8 joiner's room? When those people were removed from that room, were there
9 any people left in the joiner's room? Do you understand?
10 A. I don't know that. I left, and I don't know whether somebody
11 stayed back. All I know is that those of us who came in two buses, I
12 don't know how many there were there, but I know that some of those
13 remained in the barracks, in the room where we were, whereas 38 of us, our
14 names were put down on a list and then we were taken to the prison in
15 Sremska Mitrovica.
16 Q. I just want to clarify one piece of your evidence. You've told us
17 you were taken to a room at the JNA barracks and there were a number of
18 people there. You then have mentioned the figure 38 that were listed and
19 subsequently removed. Were any people left after the 38 were removed?
20 A. Yes. Some remained, some of those who were in the same room in
21 the barracks. I don't know how many remained. 38 of us were boarded on
22 the buses, those that had come from Velepromet. I don't know how many
23 remain. There was a woman among them.
24 Q. Of the people that remain, you've said that there was a woman
25 amongst them. I'm not trying to lead, if there is any objection to the
1 way I put the question. I will put it then in the following way: Does
2 that suggest that the rest were male who were left or not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And the males plus the one woman who were left, did you know any
5 of them?
6 A. I did. After five days, a group was brought in, some of my
7 acquaintances who had been brought in from Velepromet to the barracks, and
8 they were later brought to Sremska Mitrovica. In the room where I was in
9 Sremska Mitrovica, five of such persons arrived there. I never asked
10 whether everybody from the barracks had been brought in and then placed in
11 separate rooms or perhaps only some of them were brought to
12 Sremska Mitrovica.
13 MR. MOORE: Would Your Honour give me one moment. I wish to
14 clarify one matter.
15 I have no further questions. Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
17 Mr. Vasic.
18 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Vasic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening to everybody in the courtroom. Good
21 evening, Witness. First of all I'd like to introduce myself. I'm
22 Miroslav Vasic, attorney-at-law, one of the Defence counsel of Mr. Mrksic.
23 Before I start with my cross-examination, I would like to ask you
24 something. Since both of us speak the same language, would you please
25 make a pause before answering my questions so that the interpreters have
1 enough time to correctly interpret everything that we're saying.
2 There is also another reason for this, so that your voice doesn't
3 leak, so to speak, through my microphone and so that your identity remains
4 fully protected.
5 First of all, I would like to clarify some technical details
6 concerning the statements that you gave and that my learned friend from
7 the Prosecution covered with you yesterday.
8 You said that at one point in time on the 27th of July, you gave a
9 statement in Zagreb, and I would like to know to whom. I suppose you know
10 which statement I'm referring to.
11 A. Yes, I said that. And I also said that I simply didn't know to
12 whom I gave this statement. I simply don't remember that, and I don't
13 know how this Tribunal obtained that statement.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you give any statements in 1992 to the organs of
15 the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia or to any other state
17 A. I didn't give any written statements. However, there were certain
18 interviews. I would receive a notice from certain organs to appear for an
19 interview, yes.
20 Q. What about the statement from July of 1992? Did it ensue as a
21 result of such interviews?
22 A. I told you that I simply didn't remember. I can't connect the
23 two. I know that this is what is stated on that statement, but I can't
24 remember. And I myself would like to know this if possible.
25 Q. Thank you kindly for your answer. In this statement that gave in
1 1995, the one that you didn't sign, the one that you gave to the
2 Prosecutor, you said that this interview took place in Budapest. Could
3 you please tell us who you talked with there, and did you give any
4 statements there?
5 A. The two of us who were Ovcara survivors travelled there. We went
6 there as witnesses to give our statement at a meeting organised by a
7 commission of the government of Croatia, commission for missing persons.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, were there any representatives of the
9 Yugoslav army at that meeting?
10 A. Yes. And I omitted to mention this, namely I did not give any
11 written statements there. There was just an interview held. Now, as to
12 whether somebody compiled the statement based on the interview, I don't
13 know about that.
14 The representatives of the Yugoslav army were there. I think that
15 there was a colonel there. His last name was Starcevic, and then there
16 was Dr. Stankovic, a pathologist there, and then another gentleman was
17 there. I don't know whether he was a military person or not. He wore
18 civilian clothes, and his last name was Korac. He was a representative of
19 the Red Cross of the then Republic of Serbia.
20 Q. Thank you for this exhaustive answer. Tell me, please, do you
21 remember whether this meeting was held in July of 1992?
22 A. Yes, it was. If I'm not mistaken, it was on the 29th of July in
23 1992 or perhaps 1993. I don't remember that.
24 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you once again to make a pause
25 before answering my questions. I want to make sure that your voice is not
1 heard through my microphone.
2 When asked by my learned friend, you said that you had two
3 meetings with the OTP, once in 1995, once in 1996. After your first
4 interview, you did not sign your statement, but you signed it after the
5 second interview. I would like to know whether you gave both of this --
6 of these statements to the best of your recollection at the time.
7 A. The first statement is something that I wouldn't assign much value
8 to. I gave it at the request of an investigator of this Tribunal. When I
9 said that I wasn't prepared to give a statement that I would later sign
10 and that I wasn't prepared to come and testify here, he asked me to at
11 least come and meet and talk to him so that he would gain a picture, an
12 information about what had happened in the Vukovar Hospital.
13 This is how this statement was compiled, based on this discussion
14 that we had. It was a bit more loose, and I don't know if it can be
15 treated as a proper statement, because of course I did not give my
16 consent. And it wasn't until just a few months ago that I learned that
17 the statement had been compiled and sent to the Tribunal.
18 Q. Thank you, sir. Can you please clarify for us why did you refuse
19 at that time to give a statement that you would sign and to come and
20 testify here before this Court?
21 A. First of all, I had very serious health problems at the time,
22 which came as a result of the three months of living in Vukovar under war
23 conditions and then three months spent in the camp in Sremska
24 Mitrovica. If you add then experiences at the Vukovar Hospital, the
25 barracks, and the Ovcara, then you get the idea. And I didn't want to
1 subject myself to further trouble and strain. Therefore, I didn't want to
2 give a statement that I would sign, and I didn't want to come and testify
3 here, precisely because of these reasons.
4 Q. When you explained your position to the investigator, did you tell
5 him that you were not satisfied in the way that European Commission was
6 investigating the events in Ovcara and that that was one of the reasons
7 why you refused to give a statement?
8 A. Yes, I said so. In those days, we saw on television and we read
9 in the papers about a statement given by the UN representative who was
10 investigating war crimes. This person gave a statement expressing doubts
11 and expressing reservation about our views and our statements, even though
12 we did our best to be sincere and as clear as possible when giving
13 statements. I thought that he, as a representative of a very prominent
14 international organisation, had a -- an inaccurate picture of our of our
15 plight and suffering. This hurt me, and this is why I said that I wasn't
16 ready to testify and give a statement.
17 Q. Thank you. After this, in 1996, you consented to meet with the
18 investigator to give a statement and to come here to testify. However,
19 when they contacted you in 1998, once again you refused to come and
20 testify. You wrote an addendum with an investigator to your statement
21 that you signed. It was done at that time; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What was the reason you gave to the investigator for refusing to
24 come to the Tribunal and testify in the proceedings against Slavko
1 A. One of the reasons was the one I gave you in my previous answer,
2 namely my health. The second reason I refused to testify against the late
3 Slavko Dokmanovic was that I persistently claimed in all of my statements,
4 later on I had to correct it because there were some things that were not
5 clear, is that I did not see, did not recognise Mr. Dokmanovic at Ovcara.
6 Other people told me that he was there, and when talked to the
7 investigator I mentioned his name saying that he was also there. I heard
8 this from two witnesses who confirmed in writing seeing him there. They
9 signed their statements. But I thought that it wasn't ethical of me. It
10 wasn't proper of me to testify against him when I learned of his presence
11 there from other people. Mr. Dokmanovic was accused of serious crimes,
12 and this is why I refused to testify against him.
13 Q. You told us that you had to correct some of your statements. Can
14 you please tell us how this came about that you had to make amendments and
16 A. This pertained to this third statement that I signed. My
17 statement mentioned that Mr. Dokmanovic was seen at Ovcara, and I had to
18 add to that that this is something that I had learned from others who had
19 seen him there.
20 Q. Do you remember now when you gave this third statement? Do you
21 remember what year and what month?
22 A. 1996. The 25th and 26th of April.
23 Q. If I understand this correctly, this is your second statement, the
24 one you gave after 1995, not your third statement.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Nevertheless, after your second statement, you wrote an addendum
2 explaining your reasons for refusing to testify in that case. You said
3 that you signed this. Would you agree with me that nowhere in that
4 particular amendment or addendum did you indicate this reason, the reason
5 being that you were no eye-witness to this, no first-hand witness. The
6 only reasons you gave at the time were your health and your personal
7 safety. Would that seem to be accurate?
8 A. That's accurate. That's precisely what it says. I wrote that
9 and, as I have already said, I did not realise at the time that a
10 statement had been drawn up or its substance. I did not know that the
11 investigator had not in fact listed this as one of my reasons. I didn't
12 know at the time. I don't know it now.
13 MR. MOORE: With the utmost respect, my learned friend
14 unintentionally may be misleading the Court and the witness, because if I
15 just draw his attention to the statements of the 25th and 26th of April of
16 1996, at page 00280, there is reference to something that the witness
17 specifically wanted to mention. May I just -- just locate it? It
18 starts: "As regards Dokmanovic, there is something to say."
19 With the utmost respect, in fairness to the witness, the totality
20 must go in because he's now being asked the reason why he didn't say
21 something, but in actual fact in the statement it does say that he
22 specifically wanted to exclude the matter in relation to Dokmanovic. It's
23 not a case of merely saying Dokmanovic did this or Dokmanovic did that.
24 He is categorically saying and excluding Dokmanovic from the issue.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I tend not to agree with
2 my learned friend. I think this statement mentioned here dated the 25th
3 and 26th of April is not exclusive.
4 However, I'm not talking about that statement. I'm talking about
5 the addendum made following the 1998 statement explaining one thing and
6 one thing alone, why he refuses to appear before this Court as a witness.
7 JUDGE PARKER: The one thing. There are two things, health and
8 personal safety.
9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour. Thank you
10 very much. I just wanted to try to clarify this with the witness, which
11 would hopefully provide a complete answer to a question asked by my
12 colleague yesterday receiving merely a partial answer in relation to
13 reasons having to do with the witness's possible presence and any
14 observations that he may have made about Slavko Dokmanovic.
15 Thank you very much.
16 I would like to move into private session, if possible, please. I
17 have some --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 3299-3302 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Do you know that after the 2nd of May, 1991, a Crisis Staff was
2 established in the Vukovar Medical Centre at the order of the government
3 of the Republic of Croatia, rather, the Ministry of Health?
4 A. I know that there was an organ which, how shall I put it, was in
5 charge of the hospital and its operation. Now, who appointed this organ
6 and precisely what was its task, I wouldn't know because I was not a
7 member of this organ.
8 Q. The work obligation regime, did it also entail after the 2nd of
9 May putting the hospital on the alert of second degree in order to prepare
10 it to take in the wounded?
11 A. I don't know that. (redacted)
14 Q. After the events of the 2nd of May, 1991, do you know whether the
15 doctors and other medical personnel of Serb ethnicity stopped coming to
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was there also a decrease in the number of Serb patients coming to
19 seek assistance at the medical centre?
20 A. I doesn't know. This is a question for a medical staff member.
21 Q. Were you present in the hospital building on the 2nd of May, 1991?
22 A. I wouldn't be able to say now. I simply don't know. It's been a
23 long time. You're asking me about a specific date. No, I wouldn't be
24 able to answer that.
25 Q. I'm asking you this because on that day the casualties from
1 Borovo Selo were brought in, the wounded and those who were killed.
2 Therefore, I'm asking you whether you saw them arriving in the hospital,
3 and I'm also asking you whether you heard that after this they were
4 guarded by the armed members of the Croatian MUP.
5 A. Sir, once again I have to tell you that (redacted)
11 Q. Thank you. (redacted)
14 A. Both. Those who were medical personnel, by virtue of their
15 profession and the oath that they took, had to work even longer hours, if
17 Q. (redacted)
8 Q. Did you at some pointed after May of 1991, together with the other
9 residents of your building, organise some kind of a watch shift or some
10 kind of a defence?
11 A. No. There was no need for that.
12 Q. Can you tell us when was this organised?
13 A. There was an internal arrangement among some individuals who
14 received their instructions from I don't know whom to see if a group of
15 tenants could be organised in apartment buildings, there were 18 or 19
16 buildings in that neighbourhood, in order to assist the elderly and the
17 infirm to find food, to ensure that they had all the supplies, enough
18 water and medical assistance, if needed. This is how we organised
19 ourselves within our building. I, who was employed at the time, could
20 only do this outside of work.
21 Q. You didn't tell us when was this arrangement put in place.
22 A. Later on, in October or so. It did not exist during the summer.
23 Q. Did you hear that in certain streets in Vukovar after May of 1991,
24 residents organised defence groups to defend themselves from the local
25 Serb residents and that this was organised by the Croatian Democratic
2 A. First of all, this allegation of yours is quite harsh and aimed
3 against one ethnicity. I did not hear anything of this nature. I never
4 heard that such groups were organised in any part of Vukovar.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in spring of 1991 the management
6 level personnel of Serb ethnicity was removed from office in a lot of
7 companies in Vukovar and that in the medical centre where you were
8 employed this happened a bit later? Do you know about this?
9 A. No. I wasn't interested in that. I don't know reasons for this,
10 nor do I know persons who were removed from offices at the time. I was
11 not a prominent leader or a politician, and there was no way I could learn
12 about this.
13 Q. In your statement, you said that you knew Mr. Dokmanovic. Do you
14 know that after the first multi-party elections he was elected president
15 of the Vukovar Municipal Assembly?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us how long was he able to perform his duties, and
18 also, if you know, when was the Assembly of Vukovar municipality disbanded
19 pursuant to the government orders, and when was government's commissioner
21 A. I don't know that, and I hesitate to speak of Mr. Dokmanovic. He
22 is dead, and as you know, it is not proper to speak ill of the dead. I
23 know that he was president of the Vukovar Municipal Assembly, and then he
24 was removed from office and the commissioner was appointed.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I didn't know that. I could
2 not learn of this. I was unable to obtain such information.
3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you know that in June and July 1991 explosives were placed in
5 certain houses in Vukovar and also in Borba newsstand in Vukovar?
6 A. I heard this either from the press or from my friends and
7 acquaintances. Based on what I heard, this happened on both sides. The
8 Borba newsstand that you asked about, I don't know for a fact that it was
9 blown up. I don't know that.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, we have run well over the time that we
11 were allowing for a session with the present witness, and I think it might
12 be in the interests of us all if we wound up for the day now and to resume
13 tomorrow morning at 9.00.
14 We will be adjourning now for the evening, and your evidence will
15 continue tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning.
16 Thank you very much.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.53 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of
19 January, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.