1 Monday, 20 March 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, good
7 afternoon to all.
8 Before we get on with the trial, there is a clarification that I
9 still owe you all, something I said on Friday. Mr. Smith said something
10 about the two of us getting together after the hearing on Friday. I made
11 a mistake during my cross-examination, and I would like to point this out,
12 so that everybody is aware of it. The error will be perfectly clear once
13 the witness is here, the person we mentioned as D during our
14 cross-examination, so during my cross-examination. I asked the witness
15 whether it was true that he had beaten D. And then D gave two statements
16 where he said that last week's person had beaten somebody else, but not
17 him, merely claiming that the witness had participated in the beating.
18 That was an error on my part, an error that I had made during my
19 preparation for cross-examination. It was never in my interests to claim
20 that this witness was beating that man, but what is certain is that the
21 person we referred to as D said what he said. I think soon enough we
22 shall have a chance to confront other witnesses with these allegations.
23 That's all I wanted to say. Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
25 We will have the witness in then.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the
5 card that is given to you now.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
7 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
9 WITNESS: VILIM KARLOVIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith will now have some questions for you.
13 Mr. Smith.
14 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honours. Good afternoon.
15 Examination by Mr. Smith:
16 Q. Witness, can you please state your name and your age, please?
17 A. My name is Vilim Karlovic. I am 35 years old.
18 Q. And where were you born and raised?
19 A. In Zagreb, Croatia.
20 Q. And what's your ethnicity?
21 A. I'm an ethnic Croat.
22 Q. And you did your schooling in Zagreb; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. Secondary school.
24 Q. And did you ever serve in the JNA?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you ever serve in the Croatian army?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And when did you join up with the Croatian army?
4 A. In early August 1991.
5 Q. And how old were you when you joined?
6 A. Just about to turn 21.
7 Q. And why did you join the army?
8 A. Because my home country was under attack. I wanted to contribute
9 to my home country's defence.
10 Q. And when you say your home country, you're referring to Croatia;
11 is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And who was attacking it?
14 A. The JNA.
15 Q. And when you joined up, where were they attacking in Croatia?
16 A. The most difficult situation was in Eastern Slavonia, as far as I
17 remember, also the area known as Lika, and the Croatian south. As well as
19 Q. And what about Vukovar?
20 A. I did say that. I included that in the category that I described
21 as Eastern Slavonia. Eastern Croatia, if you like.
22 Q. And after you joined up in early August, did you undertake any
24 A. Yes. We were trained for two weeks.
25 Q. And were you deployed anywhere after the training?
1 A. Yes. We were first sent to the surroundings of Petrinja.
2 Q. And where is Petrinja?
3 A. It's a town about 50 kilometres south of Zagreb in an area known
4 as Banja.
5 Q. And how long were you in Petrinja for, and what did you do there?
6 A. Between 50 [as interpreted] and 20 days. We held positions there
7 in a village called Petski.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith, I notice the transcript at the very end
9 may have misrecorded 15 for 50, in the number of days.
10 MR. SMITH: I think you're right, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 MR. SMITH: I'll clarify that.
13 Q. Witness, it was between 15 and 20 days, not 50 and 20; is that
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. And after Petrinja, where did you go from there?
17 A. We returned to Zagreb, and stayed just outside Zagreb on a hill
18 called Medvednice. We were securing some sort of a warehouse there.
19 Q. And at some point in that year did you go to Vukovar?
20 A. Yes. It was right after that we went to Vukovar; more
21 specifically, on the 30th of September that same year, 1991.
22 Q. And how long did you stay in Vukovar for? For about what period
23 of time?
24 A. I stayed there up until the fall of Vukovar. More specifically,
25 until the 22nd of November.
1 Q. And after the 22nd of November, where did you go?
2 A. I was taken to Sremska Mitrovica as a prisoner. I was taken to
3 Sremska Mitrovica's prison.
4 Q. And who took you as a prisoner?
5 A. The JNA.
6 Q. And how long were you in the prison the Sremska Mitrovica for?
7 A. Exactly six months.
8 Q. And after you left Sremska Mitrovica prison, where did you go from
10 A. Back to Croatia, Zagreb.
11 Q. And did you continue to serve in the Croatian army?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were you involved in any further combat operations after 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And were you involved in combat operations in Dubrovnik and in
16 1993 and 1994 at Zadar and in 1995 in Western Slavonia in Operation Storm
17 and Flash?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when did you leave the army?
20 A. Early in 2002.
21 Q. And is it correct that your occupation now is a builder?
22 A. I actually own a construction company.
23 Q. And you have a large family to support now; is that correct?
24 A. Well, yes. I guess you could put it that way.
25 Q. I would like to go back now to the 30th of September, 1991 when
1 you were deployed in Vukovar. How many of you were deployed in Vukovar?
2 A. The group with which I arrived comprised 21 men.
3 Q. And can you give the Court an indication of the brigade and the
4 company and the battalion that you belonged to at that time?
5 A. I belonged to the 1st Brigade, 4th Battalion, 3rd Company.
6 Q. And this group which you belonged to, who was the commander of
7 that group?
8 A. The commander was Tihomir Perkovic.
9 Q. And were there any deputy commanders in that unit?
10 A. Yes. The deputy was Josip Nemec.
11 Q. Did you also play a command role in that unit?
12 A. Yes. I had 10 people under my command.
13 Q. And at the time that you were deployed to Vukovar, what
14 information did you have as to what was occurring in Vukovar before you
15 got there?
16 A. Well, we knew that Vukovar was surrounded and was being attacked
17 by strong forces of the JNA.
18 Q. At that stage were you only aware of the JNA surrounding Vukovar?
19 Or were you aware of any other types of units?
20 A. We knew that in addition to the JNA there were the Serbian TO, the
21 volunteers, the reservists, and we also knew about a number of Chetnik
22 volunteers' units fighting alongside with the JNA.
23 Q. And what were your unit's instructions when you were deployed
24 there? What were you told to do?
25 A. We were first sent to the silo in Vukovar. We guarded the banks
1 of the Danube in a bid to prevent a possible crossing by the Serb forces
2 on the other side. Later we were reassigned to other positions.
3 Q. You said that when you were deployed that you believed or you had
4 information that Vukovar was surrounded by the JNA and other groups. When
5 you got to Vukovar, what was the case? Was it surrounded or was that
7 A. Yes, it was. It was.
8 Q. The silos in Vukovar, about how far away from the Danube river are
10 A. Well, we can say it's right at the Danube. The distance may be
11 between 100 and 200 metres.
12 Q. How did you get to the silos?
13 A. On foot. We walked from Bogdanovci. We walked through the
14 cornfields and reached Luzac. It was from Luzac that we eventually
15 reached the silo in Vukovar.
16 Q. When you got to Vukovar, what was happening in the town?
17 A. One could tell immediately that the town had suffered severe
18 shelling. There was no one to be seen anywhere. Everyone was in their
19 cellars. You could tell that this was war for real.
20 Q. How long were you at the silos before you moved to another
22 A. For about 20 days.
23 Q. Whilst you were at the silos, did you see or were you involved in
24 any combat?
25 A. I wasn't involved myself, aside from the fighting from the silo,
1 the positions there. As for the silo itself, it was just shelled.
2 Q. The silo was shelled on one occasion or more than one occasion?
3 A. Every day. Several shells every day.
4 Q. Are you able to say who was doing the shelling and where it was
5 coming from?
6 A. We knew that some of the shells were coming from across the
7 Danube, from Serbia. More specifically, from Vojvodina. This was
8 something that we were sure about, aside from that, the shells could
9 potentially have come from just about anywhere. But our conclusion was
10 that it was the JNA shelling us.
11 Q. And when your unit arrived in Vukovar, did it report to anyone
12 else higher up?
13 A. What I know is that my own commander and his deputy reported to
14 the town's commander. It was Mr. Dedakovic at the time.
15 Q. And the weaponry that your unit had, what was that?
16 A. We had small arms and some light rocket launchers, disposable
17 ones. The sort you could only use once. On top of that we had a number
18 of hand-grenades.
19 Q. And why were you moved from the silos to another location in
21 A. There was no hand-to-hand combat around the silo. And the general
22 belief was that we would be more useful at other positions where the town
23 was under threat.
24 Q. Whilst you were at the silos, did there appear to be any military
25 reason as to why the silos were being shelled?
1 A. Probably. The silo straddled an elevation and it was actually
2 quite tall. It could be used as a very good observation post. It also
3 had storage rooms dug in the ground where one could store ammunition.
4 Q. Was ammunition stored in those silos, to your knowledge?
5 A. Yes. That was the case.
6 Q. The other locations that you were deployed to in Vukovar, where
7 were they?
8 A. We were deployed to Prvomajska Street.
9 Q. And where is Prvomajska Street? Where is that in relation to,
10 say, the Vuka River?
11 A. It's north of Prvomajska Street, the River Vuka. In relation to
12 the barracks, Prvomajska Street was north of the barracks and the
13 River Vuka to the south.
14 Q. And when you refer to the barracks, you're referring to the JNA
15 barracks; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. When you got to this new position, what was happening there
19 A. There was a true hand-to-hand war going on there. We were
20 attacked every day by the enemy.
21 Q. And were you able to see the enemy and identify what groups they
22 belonged to?
23 A. Yes, I could see them.
24 Q. And who was it? Who was the enemy?
25 A. The JNA. The JNA was the enemy.
1 Q. And what type of hand-to-hand war was it? Was it along a front
2 line, or was it not so discernible?
3 A. When we got there, there still was some for several days, but then
4 very shortly after that they cut us off in many positions. So that it
5 could be said that from the beginning of November there was no proper
6 defence line any longer.
7 Q. How long did you stay in that position?
8 A. At the positions in Prvomajska Street, actually we moved from
9 there. I don't know how long we remained in Prvomajska Street. And then
10 after the 1st of November we were in retreat and then onwards. When I'm
11 referring to retreat, I mean that we kept moving closer and closer to the
12 centre of the town.
13 Q. And what was the situation by the middle of November 1991?
14 A. Frankly speaking, it was quite chaotic. In essence, it was clear
15 to us that it was a matter of days when we would have to surrender.
16 Q. Did you finally surrender?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. About what date was that, and how did that happen?
19 A. As for myself, I can say that I surrendered on the 20th of
20 November, which is when the JNA captured me in the hospital.
21 Q. When did you arrive at the hospital?
22 A. On the 17th of November.
23 Q. And what about other members of your unit. Did they arrive with
24 you on that day, or had they been there before?
25 A. Well, there were several soldiers of mine who had been wounded
1 earlier. They were in the hospital. And some didn't even go to the
2 hospital with me.
3 Q. What happened to the ones that didn't got to the hospital? Where
4 did they go?
5 A. I don't know where they went, because when my group was deployed
6 to Prvomajska Street, we did not remain all together.
7 Q. About how many members of your unit had been wounded and were at
8 the hospital by the time you got there on the 17th of November?
9 A. As for the hospital, I remember some six or seven people who had
10 been wounded and then hospitalised, were staying in the hospital. I know
11 that two of them had been transferred from the hospital to Borovo Komerc
12 prior to that, because some of the wounded were treated there as well. So
13 that I was aware of some, let's say, eight people.
14 Q. And why did you go to the hospital on the 17th?
15 A. For the simple reason that that was the only place where I could
16 expect some degree of safety.
17 Q. Why did you not surrender from your combat positions?
18 A. First of all, because we did not have any combat positions any
19 longer. Second, I felt that if I surrendered with a large group, I would
20 fare better. I was afraid to surrender on my own.
21 Q. When you went to the hospital, were you wearing your uniform, and
22 did you still have your weapon?
23 A. I did not have my weapon any longer. We were not allowed to go to
24 the hospital with our weapons. Therefore, I had left it in a house in the
25 vicinity of the hospital. As for my uniform, I think that I took it off
1 at the police station, or in the vicinity of the police station in a
2 building there, because the police station had already been destroyed.
3 When I reached the hospital, I wore civilian clothes.
4 Q. Did you see other men seeking refuge in the hospital with their
5 weapons whilst you were there?
6 A. I didn't see anybody entering the hospital seeking shelter there
7 with weapons. At least I didn't see them.
8 Q. You mentioned earlier that you believe that the JNA had surrounded
9 the town before you got to Vukovar, and also that the Serbian TOs,
10 volunteers, reservists, and Chetniks were fighting with the JNA. When
11 were you able -- or were you able to see what types of uniforms or not
12 these people were wearing, these different groups you referred to?
13 A. I can give you the following description: The JNA mostly wore
14 olive-green uniforms. On their helmets and caps they had a five-pointed
15 star. When I say the JNA, I'm referring both to the regular troops and
16 reservists. Members of the Territorial Defence wore similar attire to the
17 JNA, but they also had the Serbian flag symbols on their clothing.
18 The Chetniks stood out the most. They did not have a standard
19 uniform. They wore both military uniforms and civilian clothes. And they
20 mostly wore the head-wear that I will describe as fur hats, and also folk
21 caps with a cockade on them.
22 Q. And are you able to compare the way that, say, the regular JNA and
23 the reserve JNA were dressed to, say, the Chetniks in terms of their
25 A. It is clear that the JNA troops respected the order, looked
1 orderly. The Chetniks looked unkempt; they had long hair, were unshaven,
2 had long beards, and this is how they differed from the JNA soldiers.
3 Q. Was there any which that you could determine the difference
4 between a regular JNA soldier and a reservist? Is there any
5 characteristic difference that you could draw between the two? Because
6 you said the uniforms were similar or the same.
7 A. I have to be frank and say that it was quite difficult to discern
8 them. All I can say is that the reservists, as a rule, were older than
9 conscripts or regular troops.
10 Q. You said that the regular JNA and reservists would wear
11 olive-green uniforms. Did they ever wear camouflage uniforms, are you
13 A. Yes, yes, they also wore camouflage uniforms.
14 Q. And what colour camouflage uniforms?
15 A. That was a uniform in various shades of green, from light green to
16 dark green.
17 Q. And you mentioned to me before we testified that you have a slight
18 eye condition where it's difficult for you to determine differing shades
19 of certain colours; is that right?
20 A. Yes. It's not that I have a problems with my eyesight, it's just
21 that I can't tell some colour shades.
22 MR. SMITH: I would ask that -- Your Honours, that we play
23 Exhibit 219. It's a video clip of some soldiers.
24 Q. Witness, I would like you to have a look at this.
25 MR. SMITH: This video clip is in Sanction, Your Honours.
1 Q. Witness, I would like you to have a look at this video clip, it's
2 quite short. It shows some soldiers in differing and varying uniforms.
3 And after the clip is played, we will show you some still shots, and I
4 would like you to describe what groups you believe these people belonged
5 to, from your experience.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. SMITH: I would ask that we go to the clip, a still at five
8 seconds, please.
9 Q. Now, Witness, you have seen that video clip before; is that
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. SMITH: Yes, thank you.
14 Q. This is at the five-second mark of this exhibit.
15 Witness, looking at those men you see in the photograph, say the
16 person on the right-hand side, from your experience in Vukovar, what group
17 do you believe he belongs to?
18 A. I would categorise them as a Chetnik group.
19 Q. And if we look at the man on the left-hand side, with the helmet,
20 what group would he belong to?
21 A. In my view, he could have been a reservist.
22 Q. And if we can go to the still at 10 seconds, please.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. SMITH:
25 Q. If we look at the man on the left-hand side in the camouflage
1 uniform, are you able to say what group he would belong to?
2 A. I would consider him to be a member of the Serbian TO.
3 Q. And why would you say that?
4 A. I can see that he wears no insignia, so it's hard to place him in
5 any group, but it is obvious that he has somewhat longer hair and a
6 nondescript uniform, so he could have been a member of the TO.
7 Q. And do you recognise anyone in that still by name?
8 A. No, no. I don't recognise anyone.
9 MR. SMITH: If I can tender that, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE PARKER: What do you mean by "that"?
11 MR. SMITH: The still.
12 JUDGE PARKER: This particular still. It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be exhibit number 289.
14 MR. SMITH: And if we can move to the 12-second mark, please.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You didn't tender the five second. Did you want
17 MR. SMITH: Yes, please, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It also will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 290, Your Honours.
20 MR. SMITH: If we could move to the 12-second mark.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. SMITH:
23 Q. Witness, looking at that photograph with the man on the left-hand
24 side wearing the beret, are you able to say what group he would belong to?
25 A. I would categorise him as a member of the TO.
1 Q. And do you recognise anyone in that photograph?
2 A. No. No one.
3 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that still, Your Honour, at the
4 12-second mark.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 291, Your Honours.
7 MR. SMITH: And if we can go to the 13-second mark.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. SMITH: I think we can leave it at that. I've finished with
10 the exhibit now. Thank you.
11 If we can show Exhibit 156 on the screen, please. And if we can
12 enlarge it one further level, thank you. If we can move it to the left.
13 A little bit further to the right. If we stop there, thank you. And if
14 we can move it up the screen a little, please. Sorry down the screen.
15 Further. Thank you. If we stop there, thanks.
16 Q. Witness, looking at this map on the screen, do you recognise it?
17 A. I do. I can see that this is Vukovar.
18 Q. Do you see the Vukovar river running through the centre of the
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And do you also see the location of the silos, or the general area
22 where your position was when you first arrived in Vukovar?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. With the usher's assistance, I would ask that the location where
25 the silos were, or are, can you mark that with an A, please?
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. And with a B could you mark the general location of the second
3 location you went to, Prvomajska Street -- I've probably mispronounced
4 that. I believe it's the 1st of May Street in English.
5 A. [Marks].
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This will be exhibit number 292, Your Honours.
10 MR. SMITH:
11 Q. Witness, if we can go back to the hospital now, when you arrived
12 there on the 17th of November what was the atmosphere like in the
13 hospital, and what did you see there? If you can give us an overall
14 impression, please.
15 A. First of all, there were many people, because people had arrived
16 to the hospital from shelters and other places. So there was a lot of
17 commotion there, and in everybody's face you could see fear. Fear of what
18 was ahead.
19 Q. And did you stay in one part of the hospital?
20 A. Yes. In a basement in a part of the hospital. Rather, it was a
22 Q. And you said that you believed you surrendered on the 20th of
23 November. Does that mean that you were in the hospital for at least a
24 couple of days before you left the Vukovar Hospital?
25 A. As far as I can remember, towards the evening on the 17th I
1 arrived in the hospital. So I believe that I stayed there for three
3 Q. And what did you do for those three days -- or three nights and
4 two days?
5 A. I didn't do anything. I stayed in the basement, in the corridor,
6 the entire time.
7 Q. And who was in the corridor with you?
8 A. There were some civilians, some wounded persons, also women,
10 Q. Were there many other soldiers like yourself that had left their
11 weapons outside and come into the hospital, into the basement with you?
12 A. I didn't see anybody where I was.
13 Q. And before you arrived at the hospital were you told, or did you
14 know, what was going to happen at the hospital?
15 A. I knew that somebody from the hospital was negotiating the
16 surrender. I also knew that the hospital, together with everybody staying
17 in there, was supposed to surrender to the JNA.
18 Q. And the night before you left the hospital, or the day before, the
19 19th of November, did anything significant happen that day?
20 A. On the 19th, in the evening, I saw the JNA members for the first
21 time enter the hospital.
22 Q. About how many entered the hospital?
23 A. I don't know how many entered the hospital, but in the area that I
24 was able to see, some seven to eight men passed through the corridor.
25 Q. Did you see them do anything else, apart from passing through the
2 A. They didn't do anything. In fact, they seemed to be quite calm or
4 Q. The following day, the following morning, on the 20th, can you
5 tell the Court what happened at the hospital?
6 A. Sometime at around 9.00 or 10.00, we were issued an order to leave
7 the hospital and go to the opposite side. The order applied to everyone
8 who was lightly wounded and could walk. And that's what happened. We
9 left through the back door and went behind the hospital where we lined up.
10 Q. And who issued that order?
11 A. What I was able to see, the people who issued orders to us were
12 the JNA soldiers.
13 Q. And when you were lined up, what happened?
14 A. Once we were lined up, they started frisking us. They searched
15 everyone who was in the line.
16 Q. Who was doing the searching and about how many were doing it?
17 A. The JNA soldiers. There were about 10 to 15 soldiers searching
18 the entire group.
19 Q. Was there anyone in charge of these soldiers at that stage? Did
20 you see anyone in charge of them, or that appeared to be in charge?
21 A. Well, I remember two men there who were in charge of this whole
22 operation, frisking people and separating people off. And there were some
23 ordinary soldiers there doing everything that these other two men were
24 telling them to do. The important thing is, they all belonged to the JNA.
25 Q. What about other groups that you have referred to, like Chetniks
1 and Territorial Defence? Were they at the hospital as well or not?
2 A. I did not see any Chetniks inside the hospital. I saw several TO
3 men inside. As for what was going on outside in the courtyard, the
4 Chetniks were nearby. So were the TO. But they were banned from taking
5 part in the frisking and separating off of our group, the group that had
6 just been brought outside the hospital.
7 Q. And the two men that you said were in charge of the whole
8 operation of frisking people and separating people, do you know who they
9 were? Do you know either of their names?
10 A. I have no idea.
11 Q. After you were frisked and searched, where did you go from there?
12 A. We were taken to the buses and told to get on the buses. We
13 started driving on these buses through the town.
14 Q. How many buses were there?
15 A. Five buses.
16 Q. And on the bus you got on, how many others got on with you?
17 A. The buses were full. A bus can hold between 50 and 55 people, so
18 that would be your number, in relation to any one single bus.
19 Q. And the people that were placed on the buses, were they men or
20 women, or were they a mix?
21 A. I remember there were men only on my bus.
22 Q. And these men, do you know whether they were soldiers or civilians
23 or patients? Are you able to say who they were?
24 A. For the most part they were wounded from the hospital. That group
25 included both soldiers and civilians.
1 Q. Was there anyone guarding the bus that you were on?
2 A. There were two soldiers in my bus.
3 Q. Can you say what type of soldiers they were?
4 A. I know for a fact that one of them was a regular JNA soldier. I'm
5 not sure about the other. That is, I'm not sure whether he was a regular
6 soldier or a reservist. He struck me as slightly older than the other
7 one, the one of whom I was sure was a JNA regular soldier.
8 Q. Where were these two soldiers sitting on your bus, or standing?
9 A. They were standing at the front of the bus, facing us.
10 Q. And were you sitting -- well, where were you sitting on the bus?
11 A. I was sitting towards the front, just behind the driver on the
12 left-hand side.
13 Q. And these two soldiers, were they in front of you or behind you?
14 A. In front of me, facing me. Facing us all.
15 Q. Are you able to say how long it took from leaving the hospital to
16 being separated, searched and placed on the bus, and then the buses
17 leaving, about how long that -- that whole process took?
18 A. Probably took about an hour or so. Perhaps even longer. It's
19 been so many years, but if I had to put money on it, I would say about one
21 Q. You said that there was two people that appeared to be in charge
22 of this frisking and searching process. Was there anyone else in
23 authority there other than these two people?
24 A. I don't know if anybody in particular was in charge, but I did see
25 one particular man turn up at one point. He was yelling at a sergeant
1 there. I heard him yelling at this other man, telling him to get on with
2 it and not just stand there and waste time. It was this yelling that drew
3 my attention to that person being there. It was later on that I found out
4 who that person was. I didn't know at all at the time.
5 Q. And perhaps if you can describe this particular man, what he was
6 wearing and his build, generally?
7 A. To be quite honest, I only caught a very short glimpse of this
8 man. I remember that he was taller than me. He was wearing camouflage
9 uniform, and what struck me in particular about him was the moustache.
10 Q. You said --
11 A. I can't remember if he had a cap on or not. I just know that it
12 was no helmet, that much is certain.
13 Q. You said you later found out who this person was. Who was it?
14 Who did you believe it to be?
15 A. This was Mr. Sljivancanin.
16 Q. And how did you find that out later?
17 A. Every year footage covering the fall of Vukovar would be shown on
18 Croatian television. Mr. Sljivancanin was shown quite a lot on these
20 Q. Did you know the names of any of the people that were placed on
21 your bus?
22 A. I know about one man who was in my brigade, Ivan Gruber. I'm not
23 from Vukovar myself, and for this reason it was very hard, if impossible,
24 to know anybody else's names.
25 Q. Could you say this person's name again, the surname, please?
1 A. Ivan Gruber.
2 Q. And was he injured or not?
3 A. Yes. In his stomach, in his arm -- or, rather, in his shoulder,
4 and his fist.
5 Q. Of the 50 or so who were on your bus, could you say about how many
6 of them were wounded?
7 A. Now that I think back, I think all of them were wounded. How many
8 exactly, that would be really hard to say. I can't say, but I guess over
9 90 per cent of all the people there.
10 I was wounded myself, but it was negligible. It was just a very
11 slight injury, if compared to some others there who had to use crutches
12 and had their heads bandaged all over. I even saw a man on the bus there
13 who was missing a leg.
14 Q. When you got on the bus, were you told by the guards, those two
15 soldiers you referred to, where you were going, or by anyone else?
16 A. No, nobody told us anything.
17 Q. And where did the buses go?
18 A. They drove us through the town first. Eventually we reached the
19 Vukovar barracks.
20 Q. And what happened when you got to the barracks?
21 A. The buses were parked in a semicircle of sorts. They kept us
22 waiting there between one and a half and two hours.
23 Q. And when the buses arrived at the barracks, were there any people
24 in the barracks when you first got there?
25 A. Yes, there were people there.
1 Q. And can you describe how many were there, and what they were
2 wearing, and who you thought they were?
3 A. When I say "people," what I mean is the enemy, the soldiers who
4 happened to be in the barracks when our buses arrived. There were JNA
5 soldiers there, there were TO men there, as well as Chetniks.
6 Q. What about the number of them? Can you give us an impression as
7 to whether there was a few or a lot? And can you try and provide some
8 sort of figure, if you can?
9 A. I will try to express this numerically. There must have been
10 between 60 and 70 in that courtyard. The important thing, however, is
11 there was a lot of coming and going. The turnover of their men in that
12 courtyard was quite significant.
13 Q. When the buses were parked, what were these -- what were these
14 soldiers doing, this group of people doing?
15 A. The TO men and the Chetniks spent most of their time insulting
16 people and swearing. They would get on the buses and wanted to take some
17 people off.
18 As for the JNA soldiers, they were guarding us, they were guarding
19 our buses. After some time, however, people started to be taken off the
20 buses, and this was -- this procedure was based on some lists that they
22 Q. Was anyone taken off your bus?
23 A. I can't remember whether anyone was actually taken off my bus.
24 Q. And can you explain how this procedure that was based on lists
25 worked? In relation to your bus.
1 A. Two soldiers got on the bus. One of them had a list, which he
2 used to call out people's names. I can't remember whether anybody from my
3 bus was taken off. We did notice, however, that people were taken off the
4 other buses.
5 Q. These two soldiers, can you describe what group you would place
6 them in?
7 A. JNA.
8 Q. And what about the two JNA soldiers that were on the bus that came
9 with you from the hospital, what were they doing during this time that you
10 were at the JNA barracks?
11 A. They were guarding us, in actual fact. The Chetniks and the TO
12 men were kept from entering the buses. We even felt safe at that time.
13 Q. You said that your bus had two JNA soldiers that came with you
14 from the Vukovar Hospital. Can you say whether the other buses had JNA
15 soldiers guarding them from the Vukovar Hospital as well, or are you
16 unable to say?
17 A. I can't even remember that. I can only conclude that there were,
18 based on the fact that there was some on my bus. That should, I assume,
19 lead me to conclude that there were some on the other buses too.
20 Q. Did you see people being taken off other buses?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. About how many people did you see being taken off?
23 A. About 15 people, at least.
24 Q. Did you see what happened to these people once they were taken
1 A. First they were beaten as they were being taken from the buses to
2 another place. They were being beaten, for the most part, by the
3 Chetniks and the TO men. They moved these people to a sixth bus that was
4 there. It was an olive-drab bus and it was parked beside our buses to the
5 right of where our buses were parked.
6 Q. At the barracks did there appear to be anyone in charge of these
7 JNA, TOs, Chetniks you saw there, or not?
8 A. Outside in the courtyard I noticed that there was a group of
9 people who were consulted. I saw soldiers approach them, and I realised
10 that these were people who obviously enjoyed some degree of authority, but
11 I didn't really notice their ranks.
12 Q. Do you know what type of soldiers they were?
13 A. JNA.
14 Q. Whilst these people were threatening the others on the buses, can
15 you tell the Court what atmosphere existed in the bus? How were you
16 feeling and what was the mood in the bus?
17 A. Well, in one word, fear. Fear, uncertainty. As simple as that.
18 We could feel an enormous sense of hatred directed at us which, in a way,
19 I could understand.
20 Q. And why is it that could you understand that?
21 A. We had been locked in a war against each other, that's why.
22 Q. You said that you were at the JNA barracks for about an hour to an
23 hour and a half; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. More, perhaps, if anything. But what you have just
25 suggested sounds about right. We were certainly there for at least that
2 Q. And where did you go from the JNA barracks?
3 A. We first took a road and eventually we reached this farm called
5 Q. What about the other buses, where were they?
6 A. All five buses went to the same place, it's just I can't remember
7 what happened to that sixth bus, or where they ended up.
8 Q. Did any other vehicles go with the buses to Ovcara?
9 A. I remember a military vehicle ahead of us, ahead of the first bus.
10 I remember there was a military vehicle there, and I seem to remember that
11 it was a Pinzgauer.
12 Q. Were you able to see who was in that vehicle?
13 A. JNA soldiers.
14 Q. And what about behind the buses, were there any vehicles
15 travelling behind?
16 A. I can't remember. I don't remember.
17 Q. The two JNA soldiers that left with you from the Vukovar Hospital,
18 where were they when you were heading to Ovcara?
19 A. They were with us on the bus.
20 Q. Had you ever been to Ovcara before?
21 A. No, never.
22 Q. How did you find out that you were taken to Ovcara?
23 A. I learned a little later. When I was rescued, I heard where it
24 was that they had taken us to.
25 Q. When you got to Ovcara, can you tell the Court what you saw?
1 A. People were being taken off the buses and led towards this big
2 hangar. At the hangar entrance, there were soldiers. They were stripping
3 people of any valuables, even some of the clothes, and hitting them. This
4 was what they called a gauntlet. After that, people were led into the
5 hangar where they were beaten again. The buses were searched one by one.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the buses were emptied
7 one by one.
8 A. And then in a column people walked into the hangar.
9 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I think that might be a good place to
10 break. It's coming up to 1545.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you then.
12 We will resume by five past 4.00. We will have a break now.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith.
16 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Witness, before we had the break you told the Court what you saw
18 when you first arrived at Ovcara hangar. You talked about the buses
19 parking, the people coming off the buses, and being beaten in a gauntlet
20 and then being beaten inside the hangar. You said that the people were
21 taken off the buses one by one. Where was your bus parked in relation to
22 the others?
23 A. As I was in the penultimate bus, which is to say in the fourth
24 bus, I was a bit further away from the entrance into the hangar in the
25 column behind other buses near the path leading to the hangar.
1 Q. Did you see people being taken off the first bus, or was it only
2 as people were taken off the first and the second bus that you were able
3 to see these beatings in the gauntlet?
4 A. Yes, one could see that. I could see that. Everybody could see
6 Q. And about how many people were doing the beating in this gauntlet
7 before the men were placed into the hangar?
8 A. There must have been at least 30 people participating in the
10 Q. And can you describe whether any of these people doing the
11 beatings appeared to have belonged to any particular military unit or
13 A. Yes. One could see that the Chetniks and TO men particularly took
14 part in it, but also the JNA.
15 Q. Before you got to the gauntlet, can you -- are you able to say
16 whether you saw anyone in particular being beaten? Could you identify
17 anyone in particular?
18 A. I remember Zeljko Major. I saw him pass through the gauntlet and
19 being beaten.
20 Q. Who was he?
21 A. He was a man from my unit who had arrived together with me in
22 Vukovar and who was wounded in his shoulder and arm.
23 Q. You said the people were being beaten as they got off the buses.
24 Was everyone being beaten, or was it select -- just a select few from the
25 people coming off the buses?
1 A. Everybody was beaten, whoever got off the bus, because the
2 gauntlet was positioned in such a way as to ensure that everybody had to
3 pass through the gauntlet and be beaten.
4 Q. About how long were individuals beaten for before they were placed
5 in the hangar, and can you tell the Court how they were beaten?
6 A. People would get off the bus and go on the road, and then the JNA
7 soldiers would release several people at a time and direct them towards
8 the hangar. They would go in groups of five to six. In the gauntlet they
9 had to take out all of their personal documents, money, jewellery. And
10 then they would be beaten, beaten before they started doing that, and they
11 would continue doing that while being beaten, and they would throw their
12 belongings on the ground. And then the beating would continue after that.
13 Following that they would enter the hangar. And then a new group of five
14 to six persons would arrive, and they would be subjected to the same
16 As for the beatings and the way that they beat us in the gauntlet,
17 they used rifle-butt, wooden sticks or poles. I even saw one man use a
18 chain. They would also use their hands, feet, practically anything they
19 could get their hands on.
20 Q. Are you able to say about how long it took to unload one of the
21 buses, or each of the buses, from the time that they left the bus, to all
22 of them being placed in the hangar for each bus?
23 A. In my view, it took 15 to 20 minutes for the procedure to be
24 completed in relation to each bus.
25 Q. Whilst the people were being beaten from the buses in front of
1 you, what were the two JNA soldiers from Vukovar Hospital, the ones that
2 were guarding you on the bus, what were they doing?
3 A. Nothing. They were simply with us on the bus. I don't even think
4 that they left the bus.
5 Q. And what happened to you? After you saw these other buses being
6 unloaded, what happened to you?
7 A. It was my bus's turn. Our turn came, we were unloaded off the bus
8 in the same way. We moved closer to the hangar, and then we were taken
9 off the bus, and then one by one we would walk in the column towards the
10 entrance of the hangar.
11 Q. And when you got near the entrance, what happened?
12 A. Before I even reached the entrance I had established contact. I
13 started talking to a soldier there. Then it was my turn to go through the
14 same procedure. I had a rosary around my neck. They pulled it off. I
15 had a wallet with the photographs of my wife and my first child. I had to
16 throw it on the ground. I also had some money, I had to take it out. And
17 I was beaten just like everybody else was in the column. And following
18 that, I entered the hangar.
19 Q. You said you made contact with a soldier. Can you explain what
20 that contact was?
21 A. Once we got off the bus, there were other soldiers there who took
22 us over and they questioned people. Maybe not everybody, but every second
23 or third person they questioned. They wanted to know everything, what we
24 were doing in Vukovar and so on. This is how the soldier came to ask me
25 where I was from, and this is how we established communication.
1 Q. And can you explain what the nature of that discussion was, just
3 A. He asked me, "Where are you from?" I told him I was from Zagreb.
4 Then he asked me, "What are you doing here? What made you come here?" I
5 just shrugged my shoulders. And he responded to me, "I just have few more
6 days left to serve in the army, and then I go back to regular life. I go
7 back to Ruma."
8 Once he mentioned that he was from Ruma, I told him that before
9 the war I used to go to Ruma often, and that I had a friend there. Then
10 he asked me about the friend, and I told him that his nickname was Kemo.
11 He asked me about where he lived, and I told him that I thought it was a
12 street called Partizanskih Odreda or something similar, to which he
13 replied that he knew the person.
14 I was getting closer to the gauntlet, and the moment when I would
15 be beaten was approaching. And I remember saying to him, "Can you please
16 get me out, can you rescue me?" He replied something to this effect: "No
17 chance." Then I entered the gauntlet, went through the procedure that
18 I've already described, and went inside the hangar.
19 Q. Can you describe what this soldier looked like, his age, say the
20 colour of his hair, and what he was wearing?
21 A. I told him that he was approximately -- I remember that he was
22 approximately my age. I know for a fact that he was a regular JNA
23 soldier. He told me himself that he had just a few more days to serve and
24 then he would be going back to Ruma.
25 He was my height. I remember that he had brown hair, a short cut.
1 And he was also clean-shaven. I can't remember whether he was actually
2 clean-shaven or he didn't yet have a proper beard. I also know that he
3 had an oval-shaped face.
4 Q. And you were 20 years old, is that right, at that time?
5 A. At the time I was 21, because my birthday is in October.
6 Q. And your height is approximately, in centimetres?
7 A. 175 centimetres exactly.
8 Q. And what was this soldier wearing, what type of pants and jacket,
9 the colour?
10 A. I remember that he had a coat. I will use the term that we use
11 for that jacket in Croatia, spitfire jacket. It was a short,
12 green-coloured jacket. I can't remember what kind of trousers he wore. I
13 know that he had a so-called pump-action gun.
14 Q. Was it a military jacket or a civilian jacket; do you know?
15 A. It was a civilian jacket. I never saw such a jacket before as
16 part of a military uniform. In my view, it was a civilian jacket.
17 Q. And the jacket, was it above the belt line, or below it, or on the
18 belt line?
19 A. It was above the belt line. It was a bomber-type jacket, the one
20 that pilots wear. And it was of a similar military-type green colour.
21 Q. And at some time later, whilst you were at Ovcara, did this person
22 tell you his name?
23 A. This was afterwards. When they started beating me in the hangar,
24 this person returned to the hangar with some superior officer whom he
25 addressed as Captain. They had just started beating me when he approached
1 me with the captain. He took my shoulder, and I remember him
2 saying, "Captain, let's save this man."
3 The captain said to him, "Take him out, open the door" --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, "Take him out next to
5 the door."
6 A. "And protect him from Chetniks so that they don't kill him."
7 Q. And did he take you outside of the hangar?
8 A. Yes, he took me out of the hangar. As we were leaving the hangar
9 at the very entrance, this is not great distance, he hugged me and asked
10 me, "What's your name? What's your name so that I will know, so I will
11 say that we know each other from before." Something to that effect.
12 I told him my name and then I asked him about his name. He said
13 that his name was Stuka, or rather that this is how he was called. That
14 was his nickname. And then I asked him about his proper name. And he
15 said Ilija. That was a brief response. Then he stood with me in front of
16 the hangar the entire time.
17 Q. Thank you for that. Perhaps if we can just go back a little bit
18 now to the time that you went through the gauntlet. You said you were
19 beaten. Can you explain what type of beating you received on the way into
20 the hangar?
21 A. I was beaten just like everyone else. The beating did not take
22 long. They kicked me, hit me with their hands, they also hit me with some
23 firm object on my head and on my back, and after that I entered the
24 hangar. They also spat on us.
25 Q. Apart from the people, the soldiers involved in the beating in the
1 gauntlet, which -- of which you said there were about 30, were there any
2 other soldiers outside of the hangar as you went in?
3 A. The JNA soldiers were the most numerous ones, at least I
4 identified them as the JNA soldiers. They stood around the hangar
5 securing the area.
6 Q. And about how many did you see at the time that you were going
7 into the hangar before you were beaten? How many of these JNA soldiers?
8 A. I could see some 15 to 20 soldiers standing on the other side of
9 the road and securing the area. That's what I could see. To tell you the
10 truth, I was not able to observe the situation for a long time, because I
11 also, at the same time, talked to Stuka.
12 Q. Once you arrived inside the hangar, you said that you were beaten
13 again. About how long after you went inside the hangar were you beaten?
14 A. In the hangar I wasn't beaten badly. It lasted just a couple of
15 minutes, three to four minutes, because Stuka came into the hangar quite
16 shortly after me. He came in together with his superior officer.
17 Q. And you referred to this superior officer a moment ago as a
18 captain. Can you explain how you knew that it was a superior officer?
19 A. I didn't know that, but he enabled Stuka to take me out, based on
20 which I concluded that he was his superior officer. I also heard him
21 address the man as Captain.
22 Q. And what was this captain wearing?
23 A. I remember that he had a camouflage uniform top, and a dark beret,
24 dark blue beret, with a five-pointed star. He also had a moustache.
25 Q. And which group would you place him in? You referred to Chetniks,
1 reservists, TOs, regular JNA, or would you place him in another group?
2 Which group would you place that person in?
3 A. I would describe him as a JNA officer.
4 Q. You were in the hangar only for a short time; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And when you were inside the hangar, could you tell the Court what
7 you saw?
8 A. I saw people standing next to the wall. Some of them were lying
9 on the floor. I also saw people beating these people.
10 Q. About how many people did you see in the hangar when you went in
11 on the first occasion?
12 A. Altogether, some 200 people, 200 of us and about 40 or so people
13 beating us. I know that there were fewer of them than those who were
15 Q. And can you describe the 40 or so that were beating people inside
16 the hangar? Which groups do you think they belonged to, from what you
18 A. Based on what I saw, and based on my thoughts about what group
19 they could have belonged to, I can tell you that in the hangar it was a
20 mixed group that did the beating.
21 Q. And that mixed group comprised of who?
22 A. Chetniks, TO men, and the JNA soldiers.
23 Q. And before you left the hangar about how many other people did you
24 see being beaten, obviously other than yourself?
25 A. I saw several people lying on the floor. It would be difficult to
1 put a figure, but it was definitely more than five people that I saw lying
2 on the floor.
3 Q. Did you see other people actually being beaten whilst you were in
4 the hangar or not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And about how many people?
7 A. Once you entered the hangar all of the people on the enemy side
8 who had captured us were, for the most part, beating the prisoners who
9 were in the hangar, and this was an all-out fight.
10 Q. Were the people being beaten, were they resisting?
11 A. No. Nobody resisted. No resistance whatsoever.
12 Q. You said you were in the hangar for a short time, and then you
13 were taken outside by this person called Stuka. When you got outside what
14 did you see, and who were you with?
15 A. Once I went outside some of the people who were driven away
16 together with me were already outside. They had already been rescued,
17 just like I was. Therefore, I saw them, I saw the soldiers who continued
18 standing in front of the hangar with their weapons securing the area.
19 They were the JNA soldiers.
20 Q. About how many people were rescued like yourself? How many were
21 in that group?
22 A. There were seven of us who were rescued from the hangar.
23 MR. SMITH: And, Your Honour, I would ask that we go into private
24 session, please.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
1 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in public session, Your Honour.
15 MR. SMITH:
16 Q. About how long were you outside of the hangar before something
17 else happened of significance?
18 A. We must have been outside the hangar for at least an hour.
19 Q. And during that hour, what was happening outside of the hangar?
20 What were you doing, you and your group?
21 A. We weren't doing anything. We were just standing there, waiting
22 for something to happen.
23 Q. And this soldier called Stuka, what was he doing? Was he there
24 for the whole time?
25 A. He was guarding us throughout. He wasn't alone. There were other
1 soldiers with him.
2 Q. During this hour, about how many other soldiers were outside of
3 the hangar, approximately?
4 A. There were three other men guarding us with Stuka. And there were
5 at least about 15 other men, JNA soldiers carrying weapons, securing the
6 entrance to the hangar.
7 Q. Outside did there appear to be anyone in command of these soldiers
8 or not?
9 A. There were certainly people there who were commanders, who had
10 command over those people. A little later, while I was still outside, a
11 group of officers arrived.
12 Q. And how did they arrive, how did they get to Ovcara?
13 A. They arrived in a vehicle. The vehicle drove past Ovcara and
14 parked a little further off.
15 Q. Can you describe the type of vehicle it was?
16 A. It was what is usually referred to as a Pinzgauer. It's a rather
17 small all-terrain vehicle.
18 Q. Do you remember the colour?
19 A. Standard JNA; olive-drab.
20 Q. And when you say a group of officers arrived, about how many, and
21 can you say which military grouping they belonged to?
22 A. There were three or four. They were wearing JNA uniforms with
23 long coats. There was something that happened afterwards that led me to
24 conclude that one of them was a colonel.
25 Q. Can you explain what that was?
1 A. Soon after the officers arrived outside the hangar, a lady
2 appeared from somewhere. She was sobbing and begging this man, who I
3 later learned to be a colonel, to save her son and take him away from the
4 hangar. I remember she was telling him that his [sic] son was a
5 handicapped person and that he was suffering from some sort of congenital
7 He went into the hangar with her and brought the boy out of the
8 hangar. I remember that he told her, "There, leave this place and
9 remember one thing. Your son's life was saved by Colonel," and now I
10 can't remember the last name. Ivankovic, Ivanovic, possibly Jovanovic. I
11 can't remember exactly what the last name was.
12 Q. Did you believe that he was referring to himself?
13 A. That was my understanding, yes.
14 Q. Do you know what happened to that lady and that boy?
15 A. I have no idea.
16 Q. And those officers that arrived, how long did they stay there for?
17 A. They were there throughout, even after I'd left.
18 Q. What happened to the buses? Did they stay at Ovcara or did they
19 leave at some stage? And if they did, when did they leave?
20 A. In order to leave the people there, the buses would drive by, wait
21 for the people to get off, turn around and probably drive straight back to
22 Vukovar. They didn't linger in the area. They left very soon.
23 Q. You mentioned this military vehicle arriving. Were there any
24 other vehicles, either civilian or military, outside of the hangar whilst
25 you were waiting outside?
1 A. There were. I remember one armoured combat vehicle and another
2 light one, a light armoured combat vehicle. One has wheels and the other
3 has a Caterpillar.
4 Q. And do you know which group -- groups those vehicles may have
5 belonged to?
6 A. Those were JNA vehicles.
7 Q. And what did those officers do whilst you were there, the ones
8 that arrived?
9 A. For the most part they were inside the hangar, just standing
11 I remember one thing: When a truck drove up to collect our
12 clothing that we had laid down on the ground in a pile, the Chetniks ran
13 to grab as many of the clothes as was possible. One of these officers
14 came out of the hangar and yelled at them, "Why are you touching these?
15 These are Ustashas' things and they are cursed. They should be
16 incinerated and left well alone."
17 Q. Did they continue to grab the belongings or did they leave them
18 after that?
19 A. They left them there.
20 Q. Did those officers go inside the hangar or did they stay outside,
21 apart from the colonel who you said went inside?
22 A. For the most part they stayed inside. A colonel came out once and
23 another man came out at one point to yell at the Chetniks, who were trying
24 to take as many clothes as they could.
25 Q. Whilst you were staying outside of the hangar for the hour or so,
1 was the hangar door open or shut, generally?
2 A. As far as I remember, the door wasn't open wide like earlier on.
3 It was ajar, but not entirely shut.
4 Q. And could you see or hear what was happening inside the hangar
5 whilst you were outside?
6 A. I couldn't see anything, but I could hear what was happening. I
7 was able to hear what was going on.
8 Q. And what could you hear?
9 A. I heard people being beaten throughout. People moaning, people
10 crying for help, people screaming, people sobbing.
11 Q. Whilst you were outside the hangar, this soldier that introduced
12 himself as Ilija with his nickname Stuka, did he communicate with you?
13 Did you talk?
14 A. Yes, we did.
15 Q. And what was the subject of the conversation? What did he say and
16 what did you say?
17 A. I remember I asked him at one point, "What will become of us, what
18 will become of all these people?" And he said, "They will kill you all."
19 He told me again that he only had several days to go before his
20 military term was over. And again we talked about that friend of mine. I
21 explained yet again who he was. I told him I was married and had a son,
22 and that my wife was now carrying another man's child.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, my wife was now
24 pregnant again.
25 A. That is all I remember, but we did talk quite a bit. I was
1 wearing those Canadian-style yellow boots. He told me to take them off
2 because they might cost me my life. I did as he told me to do, and he
3 went to the pile of clothes lying on the ground and found a different pair
4 of shoes for me that were not the same as the yellow Canadian boots, which
5 were popularly referred to as the ZNG boots. He went back to that pile of
6 clothing on the ground and pulled out some sort of a leather jacket which
7 he gave me to wear.
8 I remember him telling me to take off my wedding ring, too, which
9 I had forgot to lay down on the ground previously. He told me the
10 Chetniks might even go as far as cut my finger off just because of that
11 ring. I took it off and I asked him to have it. At first he refused to
12 take my wedding ring. I pleaded with him, saying, "It's better off on you
13 than with me discarding it. Who knows, for all we know, some day you
14 might have a chance to give it back to me."
15 He then took my ring and placed it on one of his fingers. I'm not
16 sure whether it was on the right hand or the left hand, but I know his
17 fingers were thicker than mine, and he placed my wedding ring on his small
18 finger. That's as much as I can remember right now concerning the
19 conversation between Stuka and myself.
20 Q. Thank you. And after that hour or so, did you go back into the
21 hangar or did you leave from there?
22 A. We returned to the hangar once more. They were beginning to
23 compile a list of people in the hangar. There were seven of us who
24 entered briefly. They took our personal details, first name, last name,
25 father's name, after which we were again taken out, and several minutes
1 later were driven away from Ovcara.
2 Q. And who was taking the details? Can you describe the people, the
3 person that was taking the details?
4 A. I know they were from the JNA, but I can't describe the particular
5 person. I don't remember at all what this person looked like who took our
6 names down. And in addition to that, there were several people standing
7 around that desk. There were those officers present too who had arrived
8 earlier on.
9 Q. What were they writing the names into? Was it on a scrap of paper
10 or a book, or can you describe what they were writing in?
11 A. I don't remember what sort of paper, scrapbook or notebook they
12 were using. I don't remember anything at all.
13 Q. Were they just taking your group's details, or did they appear to
14 be taking the details of others inside the hangar?
15 A. They were taking everybody's details. When we entered the hangar
16 there was a group of about seven, eight, or possibly nine people lined up
17 already, people from the hangar and they were taking their details, and we
18 were next.
19 Q. Did they tell you why they were taking the details?
20 A. Nobody told us. Nobody told us anything at all.
21 Q. And when you returned into the hangar after this hour or so, what
22 did you see inside the hangar? You said earlier that people were being
23 beaten the first time. What did you see on this occasion?
24 A. There were no longer any people being beaten, but I did see a
25 number of people lying on the floor. Some were sitting up and some were
1 just prone. There were some who were standing.
2 Q. And what was your overall impression as to what was happening at
3 the hangar for the time that you were there? Was it chaos, was it
4 orderly? Can you explain the type of situation that you thought was
6 A. There were 250 people inside the hangar, and if you consider the
7 way we had been brought there and the treatment that we had suffered and
8 the way the situation inside the hangar had been organised, my impression
9 at least was that the order of all these actions, the sequence, was clear
10 enough to them. I think in that sense there was order, yes. The only
11 chaos there were the beatings themselves. It took at least an hour, but
12 possibly more. There was at least an hour of continuous beating.
13 Q. Can you briefly describe the physical characteristics of the
14 colonel, the colonel that you saw that helped the woman with her boy?
15 What colour was his hair, was he tall or short? How old was he?
16 A. He was taller than me. Which is not a particular feat. He must
17 have been at least 185 centimetres tall. He was at least 10 centimetres
18 taller than I was. Hair greying; on the side at least I think the hair
19 was grey. His face, quite clean, orderly, clean-shaven. I remember he
20 wore the coat draped around his shoulders. As for his hair, there were
21 dark patches and grey patches, that's one thing I remember. Quite
22 vociferous too; his voice struck me as quite loud. He was wearing a JNA
24 Q. About how old was he?
25 A. I think he may have been between 40 and 45 years old.
1 Q. Can you describe how you left Ovcara?
2 A. Stuka and another three soldiers escorted a group of seven of us
3 to a white van. They drove us back to Vukovar.
4 Q. These three soldiers, do you know which group they belonged to
5 from the groups you've described already?
6 A. They were all regular JNA soldiers. I know that one of them even
7 said he was from Belgrade.
8 Q. Did any of them or anyone else tell you where they were taking you
9 and why you were being taken?
10 A. Stuka and this friend of his - he did tell me his nickname, which
11 I've forgot - told us that they were taking us to a place where we'd be
12 safe. They also said that we would soon be exchanged. I remember that
13 Stuka and his friend even gave me a bit of money to have on my way back to
14 Croatia. They didn't tell me exactly the name of the place that they were
15 taking us to.
16 Q. Where were you first taken when you were taken back to Vukovar?
17 A. First they took us to Velepromet. We stayed briefly, several
18 minutes perhaps. We were then driven on to Modateks.
19 Q. Was that the first time that you had been to Velepromet?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who told you that that was, in fact, Velepromet, where you were
22 taken first?
23 A. I think Cakalic or Berghofer, because one of them knew what it
25 Q. Did you go inside of Velepromet or not? Was the vehicle parked
2 A. As far as I remember, we drove straight into Velepromet's
4 Q. And were you told why you were taken from Velepromet to Modateks,
5 the reason why you left there?
6 A. I wasn't told exactly why, but I imagined what the reason was for
7 us being taken to Modateks.
8 Q. What did you believe the reason to be?
9 A. Stuka and his friend had previously told me that they would take
10 us somewhere from where we could be sent back to Croatia immediately. At
11 Modateks there were elderly people, women and children, and in actual fact
12 those were the groups that were being sent back to Croatia. So that was
13 probably the reason. Stuka and his friends probably intended to help me
14 all the way, help me as much as they could. However, not even he knew
15 what the odds were or the entire situation that prevailed.
16 Q. When you left Ovcara, can you tell the Court whether it was light
17 or dark or getting dark, or do you know the time?
18 A. I know that it was getting dark. It was just before nightfall.
19 Q. Did you stay the night at Modateks?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was anyone guarding these elderly people, women and children, in
22 that place?
23 A. Yes. There were soldiers of the JNA there. There was a rather
24 senior man commanding them, whom they were calling Deda, or grand-dad.
25 Q. Did anything happen during the night whilst you were there?
1 A. That night a group of Chetniks arrived. They toured the entire
2 Modateks compound, which is where we were being kept. They reached our
3 group, the seven of us. They called this man called Deda over to explain
4 to them what we were doing there. When he explained the matter, they said
5 there was not a cat's chance us being sent on that bus to that exchange.
6 Just before daybreak, it was still dark, all the civilians, the women, the
7 elderly, the children, left on buses, I believe that between 70 and 100
8 people were taken away. The seven of us remained inside this factory
10 Early the next morning Deda told us to clean the place up. I must
11 say that both Deda and the other soldiers there were quite fair or
12 respectful. They allowed us to eat some canned food and they gave us
13 water to drink.
14 Actually, that morning, as we were still cleaning that hall, this
15 group of Chetniks returned to check if we were still there. Deda told
16 them that he needed us to clean the place up. When the Chetniks left and
17 we finished our job, Deda and several other soldiers led our group, the
18 seven of us, to Velepromet. We walked to Velepromet. I remember Deda
19 saying that we should be taken away as soon as possible before the
20 Chetniks were back.
21 Q. What happened to the three soldiers and this Stuka, what happened
22 to them? Did they --
23 A. They went back to Ovcara.
24 Q. That was after taking you to Modateks; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, yes. That was the night they left us at Modateks.
1 Q. Have you ever seen that Stuka again since that day?
2 A. No, never.
3 Q. What happened to you when you got to Velepromet?
4 A. We came to the yard of Velepromet, and Deda handed us over to a
5 military police officer, commander. We were searched once again there in
6 Velepromet, and then we were sent to a room in a building.
7 Q. And who were they, the military -- who was this military police
8 officer from, what group?
9 A. JNA.
10 Q. And how did you know he was a military police officer?
11 A. He had white belt; that's what they normally wear. I know that
12 they also had white batons.
13 Q. And how many people did the searching of you and your group?
14 A. Seven or eight, because there was a total of perhaps 10 of them,
15 the military policemen.
16 Q. When you first arrived at Velepromet, other than the military
17 police you saw there, were there any other soldiers or civilians?
18 A. Yes, in the yard there were JNA soldiers, TO men. I think that
19 there were even two or three Chetniks. There weren't too many soldiers
21 Q. About what time did you arrive at Velepromet that day? And I
22 think it's the 21st of November.
23 A. Yes, that was the 21st of November. I could have arrived in
24 Velepromet at around 11.00 or 12.00.
25 Q. You said that you were sent to a room in a building. Can you
1 describe the type of building and how you got into that particular room?
2 A. Well, that was a one-storey building. It just had the ground
3 floor. Once you enter the Velepromet complex, you face that room
4 immediately. I learned later that it was known as the carpentry workshop,
5 and this room -- or, rather, there were several rooms, one was on the left
6 and one was on the right. I went to the one on the left. In that central
7 room there was a table, and this commander was in this room.
8 Q. You said the commander was in this room. Was there anyone else in
9 that room, in that central room when you walked into the room you were
10 placed in?
11 A. There were several soldiers, military policemen of the JNA.
12 Q. You said there was seven of you in the group. Did you all go to
13 the same room, or did you go to different rooms?
14 A. We didn't all go to the same room. We were assigned to separate
16 Q. What did you see when you went into your room?
17 A. I saw at least 20 to 25 people there in the room sitting with
18 concerned expressions on their faces, mostly men, some of them were
19 senior. And I remember that there was a young boy there in that room.
20 Q. What type of clothing were they wearing?
21 A. All of them had civilian clothes.
22 Q. From being in that room with them, were you able to find out what
23 their ethnicity was?
24 A. Croat.
25 Q. How long were you in that room before you left it?
1 A. Several hours. Five or six hours, definitely.
2 Q. What happened during that five or six hours?
3 A. For a while, nothing happened. Then they started entering our
4 room, the Chetniks, and selecting people and taking them out.
5 Q. About how many people were taken out of your room before you were
6 taken out?
7 A. What I remember is that three persons were taken out before me.
8 Q. And who were they? Can you describe them?
9 A. I remember a man who was older than me. He was around 40. He was
10 taken out the first. And then I remember that Perkovic, who had arrived
11 with me from Ovcara, was taken out. And then this youngish boy was taken
12 out, also before me. He could have been 14.
13 Q. You have said that Chetniks took these people out. Did they take
14 them out separately or together?
15 A. Separately. Individually.
16 Q. And how many Chetniks were coming in and taking out these three
18 A. There were two groups of Chetniks. One group came in once, and
19 the second group twice. They would come in in twos, once the military
20 policemen let them in.
21 Q. Can you explain what happened when the young boy was taken out,
22 the circumstances that were occurring in the room?
23 A. The Chetniks entered the room. First they selected his brother,
24 who was with him in the room and who was older than him. He was around my
25 age, the brother. The Chetnik whom I remember had some kind of a knife or
1 a dagger in his hand and he pointed with it to the brother, after which
2 the younger brother started crying and pleading, "Not my brother, please,
3 not my brother." Then the Chetnik said to the older brother that he could
4 sit down, he didn't need to leave. And then he pointed to the younger
5 brother, indicating that he should go out with him.
6 Once they left the room we heard him say to the boy to take his
7 clothes off. After several minutes we could hear this sound coming from
8 behind us. We heard crying, yelling, pleading, screaming. Unnatural
9 sounds uttered by the boy. That lasted some 15 minutes or so, 20 minutes.
10 I remember that he begged them not to do that to him, that it hurt him a
11 lot. After 15 to 20 minutes, shots were heard. And then the sounds
12 coming from the boy ceased.
13 Q. Was there a window in your room to the outside?
14 A. Yes, there was a window. Which was somewhat higher, we couldn't
15 see through it. There was a window, yes.
16 Q. And what about the circumstances surrounding the 40-year-old and
17 this Perkovic that was taken out? With either of them did you hear
18 anything after they were taken out of your room or not?
19 A. It progressed in a similar way. I know that Perkovic explained to
20 the Chetnik who took him out that he had been saved by the son of
21 Dr. Ivankovic. I know that he also told him, "Please don't do this. What
22 are you doing to me?" Or rather, "Why are you doing this to me?"
23 However, they went further away from the room so that we couldn't hear the
24 entire conversation or exchange. But I also heard him moaning.
25 The three men taken out before me were treated in a similar way,
1 the way they were taken out, and treated afterwards.
2 Q. You said that when the young boy was taken out you heard crying
3 and pleading, and then shortly after that you heard gunshots. Did you
4 hear that in relation to these men, or is that something you didn't hear?
5 A. In all three cases everything would end with shots. Whether all
6 of them were killed by shots, whether they died, I don't know. The fact
7 is that no further sounds were heard.
8 Q. What about people in the other room?
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith, I think we might break now.
10 MR. SMITH: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: If that's convenient. The witness has been in the
12 box for a long session, and we need to change the tapes.
13 We will resume at five minutes to 6.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.34 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Smith.
18 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Witness, before we had a break you explained how two men and a boy
20 were taken out of the room that you were in and before you were taken out
21 yourself. And you said that one of those men had the name of Perkovic.
22 In a statement that you gave to the Prosecution on the 16th of January,
23 2006 you stated that Perkovic was, in fact, in the other room, not in the
24 room that were you in. Can you explain why you think today that Perkovic
25 was in the room that you were in?
1 A. Well, quite simply, I remember when that Chetnik came to get him,
2 he knew him and he called out his last name, Perkovic. Recently at the
3 Belgrade trial I believe I also stated that Perkovic was in the same room
4 as I.
5 Q. Thank you. You said that you were taken out of the room at
6 Velepromet. Who took you out and where were you taken?
7 A. I was taken out by a group of Chetniks who had previously not been
8 around, or they hadn't taken anyone out before they took me out, this
9 third group. They took me out of that room, and I remember that I was
10 sitting there when one of the Chetniks entered the room and addressed
11 me, "You, good-looking lad over there with black hair, come over." I was
12 in the process of rising from the floor and I had a jacket draped over my
13 shoulders. The jacket fell down to the ground. I wanted to put it back
14 on, and then he told me, "You won't be needing that one anymore. Just
15 leave it be."
16 After this I left the room and they took me through the rear part
17 of this small building. We left the building, we crossed some sort of a
18 courtyard, and this man told me that we were going to see some sort of a
19 major for some questioning. It was from the courtyard that we reached a
20 narrow road, and I remember that there were rail tracks nearby. We walked
21 on for about 100 or 200 metres down that road. We reached a crossing when
22 a vehicle appeared.
23 Q. When you were taken out of the room, did you see any military
24 police on the way out or not?
25 A. Military police were there throughout. They were opening and
1 closing the door to that room.
2 Q. How many Chetniks took you to this road?
3 A. Two.
4 Q. And when the car appeared, what happened?
5 A. I was put into that vehicle and driven to a house. We drove for a
6 very short time, perhaps two or three minutes.
7 MR. SMITH: Before we talk briefly about what happened at that
8 house, if I could ask the usher to place Exhibit 262 on the screen,
10 Q. Witness, do you see the buildings on the screen in front of you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what do you recognise those buildings as?
13 A. Velepromet.
14 Q. You mentioned that you were taken into a carpentry workshop. Do
15 you see that on the -- within the Velepromet compound there?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. With the usher's assistance, would you be able to circle the
18 carpentry workshop, please?
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that photograph, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 293, Your Honours.
24 MR. SMITH: And if I could call for the next exhibit, 156, please.
25 And if I could ask that the Velepromet photograph be enlarged, please, as
1 much as you can. Thank you.
2 Q. Witness, looking at this photograph here, do you recognise the
3 building within that photograph?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And what is that -- what is that a -- what's the name of that
7 A. This is the so-called carpentry workshop.
8 Q. With the pen, if you could circle the entrance you went through to
9 get to your room, please.
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. And if you can mark that with an A. Thank you.
12 A. [Marks].
13 Q. The room that you went into, can you see that in the photograph,
14 or at least the outside wall of it?
15 A. Certainly.
16 Q. Can you circle the area where that room is, please?
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. If you can mark that with a B.
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. And the other room where the other people were placed into, could
21 you circle that, or at least the outside wall of that room, and mark that
22 with a C, please?
23 A. [Marks].
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that photograph, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be exhibit number 294.
3 MR. SMITH: And I would just call for the last exhibit on this
4 point, Exhibit 256, photograph 16, please. And if the bottom left-hand
5 corner, if that could be enlarged, please. Thank you. That's fine.
6 Thank you.
7 Q. Witness, do you see the photograph on the screen in front of you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And do you recognise that photograph?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Are you able to see the carpentry workshop in that photograph that
12 you were placed in?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If you can circle that and mark it with an A, please.
15 A. [Marks].
16 Q. Whilst you have the pen in your hand, could you show, with a line,
17 please, the route that you took when you were taken by the Chetniks and
18 placed in the car near the -- near the railway line?
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be exhibit number 295.
24 MR. SMITH: We have finished with this exhibit. Thank you.
25 Q. Witness, you said you were taken to a house by these Chetniks, and
1 when you got to the house, can you tell the Court what happened there,
2 just briefly? Thank you.
3 A. When I came to that house there were about 20 Chetniks there. At
4 first everybody seemed happy that I was brought to the house. I know that
5 the man who brought me there, whose nickname was Belgija, spat in my face
6 and cursed me in our usual Balkan way. He was telling me that I would now
7 see for myself what Chetniks could do. They sat me down in the middle of
8 a table. To my left there was Belgija, and to my right there was a man
9 seated there who was quite a bit older, wearing a Chetnik uniform with all
10 the Chetnik insignia. Behind me there was a man nicknamed Cedo standing,
11 pointing a rifle at the small of my neck.
12 They started questioning me and beating me. They stripped the
13 clothes that I had on top. And then Belgija tried to use a lighter to set
14 my hair on fire. However, it was a very humid day, a very humid evening,
15 and my hair was wet and wouldn't catch fire. Belgija then tried to burn
16 my left arm with this lighter. He didn't seem to be doing too well with
17 that lighter, so he picked up a candle from the table and pressed it
18 against my left ear. I couldn't take the pain, and I had not been
19 restrained. So I instinctively warded off the candle with my hand, which
20 was reason enough for both Belgija and this man to start hitting me.
21 Across the way at the table there was a woman wearing a "sajkaca,"
22 Chetnik cap. She asked the Chetniks to rape me, saying that she would
23 then slice my genitals off.
24 Meanwhile, there was another man in the room, actually I mentioned
25 this man, this older man who was seated to my right. At one point Belgija
1 again grabbed the candle and started burning my left nipple with the
2 candle. I couldn't take this pain for very long, so again I flailed my
3 arm, throwing the candle to the floor. This older Chetnik who was there
4 picked a bottle off the table and cracked me over the head with this
5 bottle, smashing the bottle in the process and using the remaining part of
6 the bottle that he was still holding to cut me across my arms and back.
7 After this, both Belgija and Cedo hit me again. I fell off the
8 chair and fell on the floor. So they kicked me some more. I remember
9 that this woman who was with them kept pressing them to rape me.
10 Q. Were you raped?
11 A. No. At this point what happened was the reason that I testified
12 in Belgrade recently. Two men came into the room. I can say now, because
13 I know, what their names were. Kinez and Mare. A huge quarrel erupted
14 between them and the Chetniks, especially this Chetnik called Belgija.
15 I remember Kinez telling the Chetniks as follows: "Belgija, did
16 you capture this man? What makes you think you have the right to treat
17 POWs like this?" He asked him several times, "Did you capture this man at
18 the front line?" I was across the table at this point in time, so Kinez
19 walked all the way around. He grabbed my right arm in a bid to drag me
20 out of the room and away from those people. This is what the situation
22 Kinez, as far as I remember, was carrying an automatic rifle, and
23 Mare had a handgun, a pistol, while the Chetniks were all armed. So they
24 held each other at gunpoint, and Kinez eventually dragged me out of the
25 house and into the yard. He stood in front of me. I had both Mare and
1 Kinez standing in front of me, shielding me as it were, at this point.
2 Q. Thank you for that. The full name of Kinez and Mare, do you know
3 their full names?
4 A. Kinez's name is Predrag Milojevic. Milojevic, Milojevic not
6 Q. And Mare's full name?
7 A. Mare is Marko Ljuboja.
8 Q. And is it the case that Mare's defence lawyer contacted you to
9 give evidence in the trial at Belgrade that both of those were standing as
10 accused in?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. And both of those two were charged with the killings at Ovcara, is
13 that correct, in the Belgrade trial.
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And what was the outcome of that trial for both of those two?
16 Were they found guilty or innocent?
17 A. Luckily Marko Ljuboja was acquitted on all counts for Ovcara.
18 Q. And Kinez?
19 A. And Predrag Milojevic, a.k.a. Kinez, was unfortunately convicted
20 and got the maximum penalty; 20 years.
21 Q. Now, these two men that saved you, they took you to another house;
22 is that correct?
23 A. We first came to another house and entered the garden in front of
24 that house. There was a JNA officer standing in that garden as well as a
25 lady. They gave me some water to drink and gave me an apple to eat. They
1 also gave me some sort of a JNA shirt to put on, since I was naked from
2 the waist up. At this point in time Belgija came after us again. He came
3 into that garden and wanted to speak to Kinez. He told Kinez to give me
4 back to them, explaining that I would be the last man that he would be
5 taking care of. Kinez refused flat out and told him in a very sharp voice
6 to leave this place and go away.
7 I never entered the house but was taken from the garden to a
8 different house. I realised that there were military policemen staying at
9 the house.
10 Q. And how long did you stay at this place, and where were you taken
11 after that?
12 A. I could have stayed there for some 15 minutes while they got
13 organised. There was an officer with them, a captain. That was his rank.
14 I didn't see any military police insignia on him. This officer and some
15 three to four military policemen, Kinez and Mare, went into an APC
16 together with me, an armoured combat vehicle, and went back to Ovcara.
17 No, I apologise, went back to Velepromet, I apologise. To the same place,
18 the carpentry workshop.
19 Q. And these four military policemen which group did they belong to,
20 of the ones you've described, or do you not know?
21 A. JNA.
22 Q. And when they took you to Velepromet, what happened there, just
24 A. A great argument broke out there between the military policemen
25 who, under quotation mark, looked after the people there at Velepromet on
1 one hand, and Kinez and Mare, particularly Mare, on the other hand. What
2 happened was that they pulled out weapons at each other. And then the
3 officer intervened, the captain, who calmed the situation down.
4 Q. And why were the weapons pulled out between Kinez and Mare and
5 this military policeman from Velepromet, just briefly?
6 A. Well, Mare started cursing immediately at this military policeman,
7 and I guess he was offended by it, so this is why they pulled out weapons
8 at each other. I know that Mare was wounded in his left arm, and I know
9 that he said to the man, "I don't need any weapons. Come out outside and
10 I will fight you with one arm."
11 As for Kinez, and even Mare, they kept saying the entire time that
12 that was no way to treat POWs and how they believed that they had right to
13 do something like that.
14 Q. How long did you stay at Velepromet before you were taken
15 somewhere else?
16 A. For another hour and a half to two hours perhaps.
17 Q. Did you go back to the same room that you originally were in
18 before you were taken out?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And were there people still in that room or not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Whilst you were at Velepromet, were you taken to the doctor for
23 injuries you received?
24 A. After some time, since I was exhausted, I was lying in that room.
25 And then I heard the door open again and I heard a deep voice of a man who
1 asked, "Where is this man who was cut or cut up?"
2 Q. Okay, thank you. If I can just cut you short just a little bit.
3 Did you receive some treatment at Velepromet from someone there?
4 A. Immediately after that, once I got up, I introduced myself as the
5 person he was looking for. This is why I told you this whole
6 introduction. This man and another soldier, who was a part of his
7 security detail, took me out of the room and then he said to the soldier
8 to take me to the doctor. After that I received medical treatment.
9 Q. And then did a bus arrive at Velepromet and were you and others
10 taken somewhere?
11 A. A bus arrived at Velepromet. All of the people from those two
12 rooms entered the bus. I remember that I and the soldier who was part of
13 the security detail, as well as the man in charge, the man of authority
14 for whom I later learned that he was the commander of the barracks, got
15 into his personal car, which was an Opel Omega. I also remember that when
16 I entered the car I saw a watch in front -- or, rather, a clock. And I
17 remember what time it was. And this car took us further on to the same
18 place where the bus went.
19 Q. And where was that? Where were you taken?
20 A. We were taken to the Vukovar barracks.
21 Q. Now, when you arrived at Velepromet, when you returned after being
22 beaten up and you went back to your room, was Perkovic there, was that
23 young boy there, and was that 40-year-old man, were they still in the
24 room? Did they return to the room or not after they had been taken out?
25 A. No, they didn't come back. Nobody returned. I didn't see anyone.
1 Q. Was -- when you got to the barracks, did you stay there that
3 A. Yes. We stayed the night at the barracks.
4 Q. And at the barracks were you guarded at all?
5 A. We were guarded by the troops, the JNA.
6 Q. About how many people got into the bus and went to the JNA
7 barracks from Velepromet? I know you went in a separate vehicle, but can
8 you say?
9 A. Yes, I can. Some 60 people. I know this on the basis of the fact
10 that the bus was full, and some people also stood on the bus. We drove in
11 parallel to the barracks. Once we arrived to that room in the barracks,
12 we found some 15 people there who had nothing to do with Velepromet.
13 There were even some women there.
14 Q. Did you discuss with any of these other people that were detained
15 at Velepromet with you, either in your room or the other room, as to what
16 happened to people at Velepromet that day on the 21st of November?
17 A. That night in the barracks we were able to talk to each other.
18 Because we were in that room and were free to talk. Based on those
19 conversations, I learned that we were in the Vukovar barracks and that a
20 total of some 15 men had been taken out on that day and that I was the
21 only one to return alive to the room.
22 Q. 15 men had been taken out of where?
23 A. From Velepromet.
24 Q. The next day did you leave the JNA barracks and go to
25 Sremska Mitrovica? This is on the 22nd of November.
1 A. Yes, precisely so.
2 Q. And who took you to Sremska Mitrovica?
3 A. The Yugoslav People's Army.
4 Q. How did you get there, how did the 60 of you get there?
5 A. In a bus. We called that articulated bus, and there were some
6 75 to 80 people there.
7 Q. So is that like two buses joined together?
8 A. It looks as a bus and a half, so to speak.
9 Q. Was that bus guarded?
10 A. Yes, yes. There were soldiers on the bus.
11 Q. How long did you stay at Sremska Mitrovica, and where were you
13 A. I spent six months in Sremska Mitrovica, and then following that I
14 was exchanged.
15 Q. And you were taken to a civilian prison there; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, correct.
17 Q. Were you ever charged with anything, with any offence whilst in
18 Sremska Mitrovica?
19 A. I wasn't.
20 Q. Whilst you were at that prison, were you ever interviewed about
21 your involvement in Vukovar?
22 A. Yes, I was. I was interviewed.
23 Q. About how many times were you interviewed over that six-month
25 A. Eight to 10 times.
1 Q. And who was conducting the interviews?
2 A. The JNA. I don't know the names of the people who interviewed me.
3 For the most part, they were all different people.
4 Q. And when you say the JNA, was it the military police in the JNA,
5 or do you not know?
6 A. The military police of the JNA guarded us. We were interviewed by
7 the JNA officers. They didn't have military police insignia, and there
8 was nothing on the basis of which I could have concluded that they were
9 members of the military police.
10 Q. And briefly, what was the focus of the interviews? What types of
11 questions were they?
12 A. The questions mostly required me to explain what we did, how we
13 did it. Mostly those kinds of things.
14 Q. And during these interviews, how were you treated?
15 A. On two or three occasions I was treated well. As for the other
16 five or six cases, I was beaten. On another two occasions I was beaten,
17 and that had nothing do with the questioning.
18 Q. Now, you have said that you were released on the 22nd of May,
19 1992. Was that a part of a prisoner exchange?
20 A. Yes. Yes, that was part of exchange.
21 Q. Now, I briefly would like to discuss, run through a couple of
22 points in relation to statements that you've given, either the Tribunal,
23 the OTP or testimonies at the Tribunal, and if you can just confirm
24 whether this is correct or not. In 1995 you gave a statement to Tribunal
25 investigators. Is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in March 1996 you testified in a hearing at the Tribunal?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And then in 1998 you testified in the Dokmanovic case; is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And last year, in 2005, you testified at the Belgrade trial for
8 accused involved in the events at Ovcara?
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 Q. And then you gave a statement to ICTY investigators in January
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Just my last topic. Before you testified at the hearing in 1996
14 at the Tribunal, did you contact the military security services in the
15 army in Zagreb about that testimony?
16 A. Yes, because that was my duty. And as a soldier I, of course, had
17 to get in touch with my security services.
18 Q. And when you got in touch with them, what transpired?
19 A. Nothing came out of it. I simply told my story, I told them about
20 what had happened, because prior to that I had never discussed it with
21 anybody in Croatia. As a soldier, I am unable to seek protection from
22 civilian police. This is why there exists security service, and they take
23 care of security of the soldiers. You have to realise that I felt unsafe
24 when the people from other country contacted me about retelling these
25 events to them.
1 Q. And is it correct that you spoke to someone from the security
2 services over a two-day period for about three hours a day?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And you told them about the events in Vukovar and Ovcara; is that
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Did they ask you any questions about what you told them?
8 A. They did when they wanted to clarify some things. It is hard to
9 understand my story unless you hear it for several times or unless you
10 experienced it personally.
11 Q. Did they tell you what you should say or how you should give your
12 testimony at the Tribunal in that case in 1996?
13 A. No.
14 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Smith.
16 Mr. Vasic. Mr. Domazet.
17 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, it's me.
18 [Interpretation] Your Honours, I see that we have eight minutes
19 left. If you think that I should begin, I will. But I would rather leave
20 it for tomorrow.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We will take you in good faith, Mr. Domazet, in the
22 expectation borne out of experience, that tomorrow will be quicker if you
23 are able to collect your thoughts. We would hope that the evidence of the
24 witness might be concluded tomorrow. So if you would sharpen your
1 MR. DOMAZET: I hope so, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Allowing plenty of room for your colleagues to
3 follow, plenty of time.
4 We will adjourn now for the evening and continue tomorrow at 2.15
5 in the afternoon.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.54 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of March,
8 2006, at 2.15 p.m.