Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 11485

1 Monday, 4 September 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Sir, would you be kind enough to

7 take the card and read aloud the affirmation.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

9 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


11 [Witness answered through interpreter]

12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down. While he makes

13 himself comfortable, may we acknowledge your return, Mr. Vasic, and we are

14 delighted you've been able to rejoin us. You're looking so trim and fit.

15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Thank you

16 for the concern that you and my learned friends from the Prosecution and

17 the Defence expressed during my stay at the hospital. I am here now and

18 Mr. Domazet and I will do our best to conclude as efficiently and as

19 speedily as possible our part of the proceedings. We have already

20 considered some questions, witness list and other issues, and I can inform

21 you that we will reduce both the amount of hours and the number of

22 witnesses. This witness will be taken by Mr. Domazet.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, that's good news but we will leave it

24 for a few days, toward the end of this week, just to give you time to

25 settle in and to have some discussions with your fellow Defence counsel

Page 11486

1 before we go to that seriously but I'm sure that both your client and Mr.

2 Domazet rejoice with us at your return.

3 Mr. Weiner?

4 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE PARKER: It was my mistake, Mr. Weiner, born out of

6 confusion and habit. We saw so much of the Prosecution I can't believe

7 they've finished.

8 Mr. Domazet, my apologies.

9 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honours.

10 Examination by Mr. Domazet:

11 Q. Good afternoon to all in the courtroom. Good afternoon, Mr.

12 Reljic. I will be leading the examination in chief on behalf of the

13 Defence team of Mr. Mrksic. And right at the outset I would like to ask

14 you to always pause before answering my questions. You can, if you wish,

15 follow on the screen and as soon as you see that the interpreters have

16 completed interpreting the question, you can proceed with your answer.

17 Would you please at the beginning give us your personal details,

18 dates of birth, place of birth, where you lived and so on.

19 A. I was born on the 17th of August 1948 in Drenova, Prijepolje

20 municipality, Republic of Serbia. I completed secondary military school

21 in Rijeka, and Titograd or Podgorica, as it is now known. Initially, I

22 was a sergeant and as such, I was assigned to the Belgrade garrison in

23 1966. In 1976, after completing certain training, which was called course

24 for officers and non-commissioned officers in driving automobiles and

25 motorcycles, I was assigned to the Guards Brigade, to the special auto

Page 11487

1 company of the Guards Brigade. Its main task was to provide security and

2 to escort the president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

3 Josip Broz Tito. We were assigned to take care of all the driving needs

4 of the president. I remained there throughout my service.

5 Q. Very well. So you were in the unit which provided security and

6 escort to the then president of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito. I assume

7 that after his death, you remained in that unit, correct?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. Did your unit have the same tasks following Tito's death when new

10 presidents came to power?

11 A. Yes. The unit continued implementing the same tasks, but in this

12 case, we were assigned to the president of the Presidency of the SFRY. We

13 also implemented these tasks when various guests arrived. Perhaps I

14 omitted to mention in my previous answer that during Tito's life, we also

15 escorted, accompanied and secured various guests, heads of state that came

16 to visit Tito in Yugoslavia. So after Tito's death we continued

17 performing the same type of tasks.

18 Q. All right. You performed these tasks over a number of years. I'm

19 now interested specifically in 1991. That year, just before the events in

20 Vukovar, which unit were you assigned to and what was your unit doing at

21 the time?

22 A. Just before the Vukovar events, my unit existed and worked under

23 normal circumstances. We performed the tasks that I have already

24 described. It is generally known that as the events in the then

25 Yugoslavia unfolded, the job that we performed was reduced in scope

Page 11488

1 because the number of foreign statesmen visiting Yugoslavia decreased.

2 Q. Yes. I understood that fully. However, you remained in that unit

3 and in 1991 you were serving in that unit, correct?

4 A. Yes, correct.

5 Q. Do you remember when the Guards Motorised Brigade or one of its

6 parts went to the Vukovar area?

7 A. Yes. I remember that when the Guards Brigade went to the Vukovar

8 area. Perhaps I don't have the exact date because it was quite a long

9 time ago. However, I remember well when they went.

10 Q. Were you personally deployed then with the Guards Brigade or did

11 you have some other tasks, perhaps?

12 A. I, or rather, my unit did not go to the Vukovar area. Rather, we

13 remained in the barracks. My entire unit was on active duty in the

14 barracks under the so-called barracks conditions. That means that all of

15 us were in the barracks available at all times to the command, 24 hours a

16 day.

17 Q. Mr. Reljic, when you say that you were available 24 hours a day,

18 does this mean that all of you, including yourself personally, stayed in

19 the barracks day and night, 24 hours a day, actively serving?

20 A. Yes, that's correct. We were there day and night. Those who were

21 not on duty were able to rest during the night. All of this means that we

22 slept in the barracks.

23 Q. Thank you. Who was your commander at the time, or rather the

24 commander of the entire Guards Brigade?

25 A. At that time, my commander, the commander of the entire Guards

Page 11489

1 Brigade, was Colonel Mile Mrksic.

2 Q. Based on your recollections, did he go to the Vukovar area with

3 the Guards Brigade when it was deployed?

4 A. Yes. As far as I can remember, that's how it was, and it is

5 generally specified by the military rules that once the unit sets off

6 somewhere, the commander goes with it.

7 Q. During the events in Vukovar, did your commander, Colonel Mrksic,

8 come to Belgrade? Do you remember anything about it?

9 A. Yes, I remember that. When he came to Belgrade, during his stay

10 there, I was his driver. That is to say, I would pick him up and drive

11 him around Belgrade.

12 Q. I'm going to ask you that first. Do you remember the reasons for

13 his trips to Belgrade? Why did Colonel Mrksic come to Belgrade in those

14 days?

15 A. I can suppose why Colonel Mrksic used to come. It's not that I'm

16 assuming this. I can claim this with full certainty. Because on the

17 following day, Colonel Mrksic and other commanders attended a meeting at

18 the then Federal Secretariat for National Defence, headed by the federal

19 secretary for Defence.

20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Reljic. You said that it was on the following day

21 that they were received. What does this mean?

22 A. Well, it means this: I told you that I picked up Colonel Mrksic

23 and that I drove him, but that's not exactly how it was. I actually drove

24 him on the following day, if I can put it that way. However, on the

25 previous day, I completed a driving assignment for Colonel Mrksic.

Page 11490

1 Q. You mean the day before the reception at the office of the federal

2 secretary, correct?

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. You can now give us more details. How did this come about? What

5 exactly did you do and who told you to do that?

6 A. This is how it was. The day before the reception held by the

7 federal secretary, in the evening hours, the phone rang, and I answered.

8 This was in the premises or, rather, in our duty room. Colonel Mrksic

9 told me, "Nele, would you please go with a car to JNA boulevard?" I don't

10 remember the number of the house. The JNA boulevard is the longest street

11 in Belgrade. He gave me the house number. And he asked me to go look for

12 his sister Nada, who was staying at that address, and to drive her back to

13 his apartment. As far as I can remember, that was in the evening hours.

14 During those days, all of us, Serbs and Yugoslavs, regardless of

15 whether we were involved in politics or not, invariably watched the main

16 news programme on television and closely followed all events, including

17 war events in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. That was typical

18 for that period of time, and I remember this well. The main TV news

19 programme called Dnevnik would normally last half an hour but sometimes,

20 and rather frequently, it would last much longer, an hour to two hours, in

21 view of numerous news reports.

22 Q. So based on what you remember, sometime on that day, as you were

23 watching the news programme, you received this order to go to this

24 address. Do you remember what this place was called where you went to

25 fetch the sister?

Page 11491

1 A. Since this is a very long street, JNA boulevard, which still is

2 known under that name even near Avalski Put, a hill near Belgrade, I tried

3 to determine where that house number is located, and this is how I learned

4 that this house is right across a well-known restaurant at the time called

5 Zupa, and near a post office. So I got into the car and went there.

6 Q. Did you locate the sister of Colonel Mrksic at that address?

7 A. Yes, I did. I found her there. I remember that evening. It was

8 already dark. I told you that that street is very long, and the road is

9 quite dangerous, has many curves. As I was driving I saw the house number

10 and it was right in the middle of a curve, curving right. As I told you,

11 that road is very dangerous and it doesn't have a shoulder where one can

12 park. It has a very narrow area right next to the road. I was being

13 extremely careful and I parked my car on the right side, on this basically

14 non-existing shoulder, doing my best not to cause a traffic accident.

15 Q. And how did you find the sister?

16 A. Once I found the house with the right number, I parked the car,

17 and as I was leaving the car, a woman emerged from a bungalow-type house.

18 If I may say so, I was surprised by the appearance of that woman. In my

19 view, she was very distressed. She was almost crying and screaming, and

20 she dashed towards me saying, "Mile, Mile." I realised that she thought

21 that I was Mile or perhaps she thought that Mile had come with me. So I

22 told her, "Madam, please settle down. I will take you now to your brother

23 Mile."

24 Q. Did she have any belongings to take with her? And did you set out

25 towards the Mrksic residence?

Page 11492

1 A. Yes. She had two bags with her, full of things, and as I came

2 closer to her, intending to help her carry the bags, I realised that she

3 had obviously suffered a lot and that she was under severe stress. She

4 was, if I may say so, quite disheveled in her appearance, and her

5 clothing, which made me think that she had experienced some very unusual

6 circumstances.

7 Q. As you were driving towards the Mrksic residence, did you talk to

8 her about anything or not?

9 A. I mostly didn't talk to her so as not to irritate her. When she

10 kept asking me, "Where is Mile, where is Mile?" I would simply tell

11 her, "Madam, please calm down, we are on our way to your brother's and we

12 will get there in about ten minutes or so."

13 Q. And what happened then?

14 A. Of course, since I knew where Colonel Mrksic lived, I went there,

15 parked the car and took the bags from the lady, and asked her to come with

16 me. And this is what she did.

17 Q. Did you take her things and accompany her to the Mrksic apartment

18 and then can you please describe what happened?

19 A. Of course. I took her things and already in the corridor

20 upstairs, you could hear, because Mile knew she was coming, he opened the

21 door and I brought in the things to the apartment and Madam Nada also

22 entered Colonel Mrksic's apartment.

23 Q. And did you stay in this apartment or not for sometime?

24 A. Yes. I stayed in the apartment for a short amount of time with

25 Colonel Mrksic.

Page 11493

1 Q. And can you describe how this happened, any initiative and what

2 you did, what you discussed?

3 A. Well, it was like this: My unit, let me say, was always a highly

4 professional unit, which, amongst other tasks, also carried out driving

5 assignments. So whenever we had that kind of situation, we would do the

6 assignment, of course, then we would say hello or good-bye and then return

7 to the unit. Then, of course, Colonel Mrksic, Mile, insisted on such

8 occasion, and he said, "Nele, please sit down. And he said, "Nele, please

9 sit down. Would you like to have a drink or something to refresh

10 yourself?" And I sat down and I think that I had a couple of sips of wine

11 or a glass -- a couple of sips, I think, as I was sitting.

12 Q. You described earlier your first meeting with Mile Mrksic's sister

13 and what your impression was. You probably saw their encounter and can

14 you please tell us how that was?

15 A. The encounter in those circumstances was not very emotional, I can

16 say, and as a person, I was bothered. I wanted to find out what it was

17 that happened to Madam Nada, what was going on, because already when I met

18 her she had gone to the bathroom with Mile's wife, and I asked, "What is

19 it with Nada? What's the matter with her? What was it that happened to

20 her?" Colonel Mrksic told me that -- I mean, what can I do when she went

21 over to the other side? It was all clear to me, and I didn't ask anything

22 else. But still I was curious why that person was in that state, which is

23 why I asked Mile about it.

24 Q. When you say, "In that state," you mean the first time you saw --

25 you saw her when she reacted nervously, that she behaved the same way when

Page 11494

1 she entered the Mrksic's household. Could you please clarify that a

2 little bit more for us?

3 A. Well, it was a state of, let me say it was a particular kind of

4 state of mind, with a sort of negative emotional charge. That's the state

5 Madam Nada was in, in relation to Mile.

6 Q. When you say "negative emotional charge," what do you mean? Was

7 that some kind of hysterical episode or something like that? Could you

8 please try to explain your impressions a little more of how it was at the

9 time?

10 A. Just the fact that when I met her for the first time, she was

11 shouting and screaming, "Where is Mile? Why didn't he come to get me?"

12 And this again actually happened or transpired when they met, and it was

13 evident that the sister was in some way dissatisfied with her brother

14 Mile.

15 Q. That is what your opinion was based on her general behaviour, is

16 that how we can understand that?

17 A. Yes, that is correct.

18 Q. And you didn't talk with her any more or see her any more during

19 that brief time you spent sitting with Mrksic? Did I understand you

20 correctly?

21 A. Yes. That is correct because she went to the bathroom, and

22 probably she needed to do that because of the state she was in.

23 Q. Very well. You said that you didn't stay there for a long time.

24 Can you please tell us how long you actually stayed there and then what

25 you did after that?

Page 11495

1 A. From what I can recall, I stayed there maybe for ten or 15 minutes

2 at the most. That's how long I stayed in Colonel Mrksic's apartment.

3 Q. And where did you go from there?

4 A. Before I left, before we said good-bye, Mile Mrksic told me that,

5 he told me the following: "Nele, come to see me tomorrow at such and such

6 a time, and you're going to drive me." For me, the most important thing

7 was to know the time that I was to pick him up. I remembered that and I

8 wrote it down. We said our good-byes and I went to the unit.

9 Q. And the next day, did you come as agreed the day before? Did you

10 come to collect him?

11 A. Yes, I came the next day to pick him up at the agreed-upon time,

12 and I took Mile to the Guards Brigade command.

13 Q. When you say, "At the time agreed the day before," you mean the

14 time that he set or do you remember when that was?

15 A. The time that he said I should get there and I'm sure that that's

16 how it was. I really couldn't be specific and tell you what time it

17 actually was but it was definitely the time that he set. It was sometime

18 in the morning.

19 Q. When you say, "Morning," it could be early morning, late morning.

20 Can you be more specific whether it was early in the morning or --

21 A. Well, I could be almost sure that it was between 9.00 and 10.00 in

22 the morning.

23 Q. And after that, do you remember, after you dropped him off at the

24 barracks, what did you do after that?

25 A. Once again, according to an order by Colonel Mrksic, I took the

Page 11496

1 car to Heliodrom to wait for a helicopter.

2 Q. And who were you supposed to pick up?

3 A. I was supposed to pick up Major Tesic.

4 Q. And did you pick him up?

5 A. Yes. I went there and I waited for the helicopter. Major Tesic

6 came out of the helicopter, and I also brought him to the command. I was

7 closeby and waited because I knew that I would be taking Colonel Mrksic to

8 other places too.

9 Q. And did you take him anywhere else, and where did you take him?

10 A. After I brought Major Tesic there, and after some time, perhaps

11 some 20 minutes or so, Colonel Mrksic and Major Tesic came out and they

12 went and sat in the car and Colonel Mrksic said, "Nele, take us to the

13 Federal Secretariat for National Defence," which is what I did.

14 Q. And did you wait for Colonel Mrksic in your car or did you leave?

15 A. I waited for him because that was his order, to wait for him. So

16 I waited in the car at the building.

17 Q. And which building was that, do you remember?

18 A. I remember very well. It's the A building of the Federal

19 Secretariat for National Defence. The car was parked at the parking,

20 which is between building 1 of the General Staff and building A. That's

21 where the car was, while I waited in a room close to the reception desk of

22 building A.

23 Q. Were there any other drivers there, other senior officers, or were

24 you there by yourself?

25 A. I remember well that there, in that room, there was also General

Page 11497

1 Biorcevic's driver with me and we were waiting there together.

2 Q. And do you remember what happened then?

3 A. After a certain amount of time, Colonel Mrksic came out with Major

4 Tesic and in accordance with their orders, I took them to the Guards hall

5 which is at Topcider. Actually I took them to the restaurant in the

6 Guards hall.

7 Q. Even though it might be clear from your answer, but still I would

8 like to ask you whether this was a military restaurant, whether it

9 belonged to the army?

10 A. Yes. That is correct. It was run by the Dedinje military

11 institution. Actually, that institution was in charge of all the military

12 restaurants and mess halls.

13 Q. Thank you, and it was in the area of Belgrade called Topcider?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And what happened then? Did you stay there also to wait for

16 Colonel Mrksic or did you do something else?

17 A. Yes. I stayed there in the restaurant. The restaurant has a

18 number of sections, number of rooms, so I was in a different room, and at

19 one point, Colonel Mrksic came out and told me that I should take Major

20 Tesic to his apartment. He lived in New Belgrade.

21 Q. So, before this thing that Colonel Mrksic was there for, Major

22 Tesic left that gathering; is that correct?

23 A. Yes, that is correct. Major Tesic was at that gathering for a

24 very short period of time and I assume that he wanted to go and see his

25 family. I drove him to his address in New Belgrade.

Page 11498

1 Q. Do you remember taking him right to his house and do you recall

2 that it was his house or his apartment that you took him to?

3 A. No. I took him close to his apartment, and I have to tell this:

4 There was an incident when the father saw his son at the children's

5 playground where the child was playing, and when he saw that his father

6 was coming, the child ran and hugged him, and, of course, they both hugged

7 each other.

8 Q. If I understood you correctly, so when you said you didn't take

9 Major Tesic to his house, you actually left him at the place where he saw

10 his son or you went all the way to his apartment?

11 A. The drive was finished, as far as Major Tesic was concerned, and,

12 of course, I had to return to the Guards hall in order to wait for Colonel

13 Mrksic, which is what I did. I went back to the Guards hall.

14 Q. Very well. And does that mean that that day, you needed to be

15 wherever Colonel Mrksic needed to be?

16 A. Yes. That day, I was practically inseparable from Colonel Mrksic,

17 because I was driving him around.

18 Q. And do you remember how late you finished with your duties that

19 day?

20 A. Yes, I do. I remember that there was a formal lunch, and the way

21 it was, it was a formal lunch and a formal dinner, and since it's in my

22 nature, I'm like that, I was there, then I went outside, I walked around

23 and waited in the car or near the car, but Colonel Mrksic came after me

24 and he said, "Nele, did you eat anything?" And I said, "Colonel." And he

25 said, "Nele, you have to go inside." And then he took me by the arm and

Page 11499

1 took me inside and he told the staff there to give this man lunch, meaning

2 me. So I had lunch there and then I continued to wait for the colonel.

3 Q. After all of these duties that Colonel Mrksic had, do you remember

4 where and when you took him after it was all over at the end of that day?

5 A. After all those activities there, I took Colonel Mrksic and

6 another officer further, and I remember that very well because there is a

7 large parking lot in front of the Guards Brigade and there is also a

8 street that is quite steep that goes from there, so when I left in the

9 car, it was already evening. From the other direction, from the top down,

10 down from the hill, a vehicle passed by at quite great speed. It wasn't

11 anything critical but there was a kind of brief encounter there. So I

12 remember it because of that. And in any case, we took some shortcuts from

13 the Guards hall through the barracks and we took a shortcut and came to

14 the brigade command.

15 Q. Very well. And then did you finally take Colonel Mrksic home that

16 evening or did someone else do that?

17 A. When we came to the brigade headquarters, there was a car waiting

18 somewhere close with an officer who entered the Guards hall together with

19 Colonel Mrksic and that officer then came out of the car. I took Colonel

20 Mrksic to his house. I took him to his apartment.

21 Q. And can you tell us what time of day it was or approximately what

22 time it was when you did this?

23 A. I remember it was dark already, it was evening, it was already

24 evening.

25 Q. Very well. And when you left Colonel Mrksic, did he give you any

Page 11500

1 instructions what to do further? Did he ask you to do anything else?

2 A. When I left Colonel Mrksic, he told me, "Nele, be at my place

3 tomorrow morning." And he set the time. And I remember that this was

4 somewhat earlier, so it was perhaps approximately at 7.00, something like

5 that, in the morning.

6 Q. When you say 7.00, do you mean that that was the time he told you

7 to be there at his place?

8 A. Yes, yes. Absolutely. That is the time he asked me to come the

9 following day, in front of his apartment, to be in front of his apartment

10 at 7.00 the following day.

11 Q. And were you there the next morning in front of his apartment?

12 A. Yes, of course. I did come. In any case, when we are doing

13 something like that, we like to make sure and leave some extra time so we

14 are always there earlier than we are supposed to be there.

15 Q. So you believe that you were there shortly before 7.00 and was

16 that when Colonel Mrksic came to the car?

17 A. I waited. The time came. However, Colonel Mrksic did not come

18 out. Naturally, I continued to wait. 15 minutes or 20 minutes passed and

19 I saw that something wasn't quite right, simply that the colonel wasn't

20 there so I was thinking what to do.

21 Q. And what happened then?

22 A. Then a girl, a young girl, came out of the entrance to Colonel

23 Mrksic's building. She came to the car and she asked, "Are you waiting

24 for Colonel Mrksic?" I said, "Yes." And she said, "You can go. You can

25 go ahead and go to the barracks. Colonel Mrksic has gone to headquarters

Page 11501

1 with his own car." And then she went somewhere. I got into the car and I

2 went and I seem to recall that I stopped and -- because I didn't know this

3 young girl, I asked her, "Where are you going?" She said, "I'm going to

4 school." And I said, "Why don't you come in the car and I will take you

5 to school." She was reluctant and I said, "No, you can come. I'll drop

6 you off. I'm going in that direction any way." So she got in the car and

7 I took her to town, to her school.

8 Q. Do you remember where you took her?

9 A. Yes. I remember that very well. That was the area around Kalinic

10 market.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner?

12 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, the last two pages of testimony concern

13 this witness's visit to the defendant Mrksic on the 22nd. It is in direct

14 contrast or direct conflict with the notes that were provided to us

15 pursuant to 65 ter. The notes which were provided to us on August 10th,

16 on August 25th, August 29th and September 1st. I just want an objection

17 on the record. We haven't received any proofing notes and there is a

18 direct conflict because in the notes here, it says, on the 22nd November

19 1991, he drove Colonel Mrksic to the military airport where from Colonel

20 Mrksic left with Major Tesic to Negoslavci. There is nothing about this

21 situation at the house.

22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

23 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the note, the summary,

24 reflects that on the 22nd, in the morning, the driver was there. Colonel

25 Mrksic left Belgrade on that day in a helicopter. He travelled to

Page 11502

1 Negoslavci. However, the witness stated today and also yesterday or

2 rather the day before yesterday, when I saw him for the first time, this

3 witness told me that it was the way he described it to us today, namely

4 that he didn't drive Colonel Mrksic on that day because Colonel Mrksic had

5 already gone out earlier on his own. So unfortunately, we didn't know

6 this when we wrote the summary on this specific issue. This is precisely

7 why I put this question to the witness so that we could clarify it while

8 he's still here. So can I ask him again.

9 Q. On the 22nd, did you drive Colonel Mrksic? So this is the day

10 after the events in the Guards hall in Belgrade? Did you take him

11 anywhere, and if so, where?

12 A. No, on the last day I didn't drive Colonel Mrksic anywhere. I

13 just drove his daughter to her school, as I've explained to you.

14 Q. But you were supposed to drive him, you were scheduled to drive

15 him?

16 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, in every case in this Tribunal, if there

17 is different evidence coming, proofing notes are supplied, and I think for

18 this case as well as all the other cases in the Tribunal, proofing notes

19 should be supplied from this day on. If there is new information, if

20 there are new facts, if they are in conflict with the summary, counsel

21 must provide proofing notes.

22 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sure Defence counsel will take notice of that,

23 and Mr. Domazet and Mr. Vasic in particular, during their case.

24 Carry on, please, Mr. Domazet.

25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 11503

1 Q. So on the 22nd, in the morning, you didn't see Colonel Mrksic?

2 The last time you saw him was the previous night, correct?

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. So from that day until the Guards Brigade returned to Belgrade,

5 did Colonel Mrksic come to Belgrade again?

6 A. As far as I know, Colonel Mrksic didn't come until the Guards

7 Brigade returned to Belgrade.

8 Q. Do you remember how long it was before the entire brigade returned

9 to Belgrade?

10 A. A brief period of time, several days.

11 Q. Another question: When you described the events of that day, when

12 you drove Colonel Mrksic first to the Federal Secretariat and then to

13 Topcider, you described to us what happened that day. Do you remember

14 which day it was?

15 A. The day when I drove Colonel Mrksic is the day I remember quite

16 well. I know very well which date it was. Shall I explain?

17 Q. Yes, please. Tell us what date it was and how come you remember

18 it so well.

19 A. There was the reception at the Federal Secretariat for National

20 Defence. All Yugoslav radio stations, Serbian radio stations announced

21 and even some international radio stations made an announcement.

22 In addition to this, I have another recollection. Serbs, as a

23 rule, celebrate their patron saint days. A friend of mine, on that day,

24 celebrated his patron saint day, which is St. Archangel. And it happened

25 to be on that day. As to how I remember this, I remember it because I was

Page 11504

1 supposed to go to my friend's house on the account of him celebrating his

2 patron saint day and I was supposed to go even though we were on 24-hour

3 duty in the barracks, and I wasn't really supposed to leave the barracks.

4 It was against the rules. But I thought that I could still go to my

5 friend's house but upon obtaining consent from my superiors. However,

6 after I started driving on that day, it did not even occur to me to go and

7 ask for approval to go to my friend's house. In the end, my friend was

8 quite angry at me for not coming on that day, even though for decades

9 prior to that, I invariably went to his house on his patron saint day.

10 Naturally, I couldn't explain to him the reasons why I didn't come that

11 year, but I remember that he was quite offended and it almost cost me his

12 friendship.

13 Q. Thank you. So you are sure that the reception at the federal

14 secretary of Defence and everything else that happened that day was on the

15 day of St. Archangel, the Orthodox holiday, correct?

16 A. Yes, correct, that's precisely why I remember. That's the main

17 reason I remember that day.

18 Q. This is one of Orthodox Serbian holidays. Is it a holiday

19 celebrated by many people or by few people?

20 A. I think that St. Archangel Michael, is the second-most-celebrated

21 Serbian orthodox holiday, if we look at the number of families celebrating

22 that day. I think that the most celebrated patron saint day is St.

23 Nicholas day.

24 Q. Do you remember what date it is, the St. Archangel Michael day?

25 A. Yes. Certainly. I know that. That's the 21st of November.

Page 11505

1 That's the date.

2 Q. Thank you. So when you testified about the reception at the

3 federal secretary of Defence and all the other tasks you had that day with

4 Colonel Mrksic was on that date. As for the events surrounding the sister

5 of Colonel Mrksic, what date was that?

6 A. Given that we know the date of St. Archangel Michael day, it is

7 easy to conclude which date it was when I drove the sister of Colonel

8 Mrksic. It was on the previous day and it's also easy to conclude which

9 date it was when I was supposed to drive Colonel Mrksic again, on the

10 following day, the day following St. Archangel Michael day.

11 Q. Thank you, sir.

12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my

13 examination of this witness.

14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Domazet.

15 Mr. Borovic?

16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. No

17 questions.

18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic?

19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No questions for this witness, Your

20 Honour.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

22 Mr. Weiner?

23 Cross-examination by Mr. Weiner:

24 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Phillip Weiner. I'm going to ask

25 you some questions on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor, okay? Now,

Page 11506

1 sir, I just want to start by asking you that you were first contacted

2 about this matter about three weeks ago, four weeks ago, sir?

3 A. [No interpretation]

4 Q. I haven't received an answer?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Thank you. And you were contacted by Defence counsel?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And you were asked about your activities over a period of three or

9 four days, a period of three or four days in November of 1991; isn't that

10 correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And, sir, you've never testified previously about any of these

13 facts, isn't that true?

14 A. I have never testified previously.

15 Q. Thank you. And you've never been interviewed previously about any

16 of these facts; isn't that correct, other than most recently, three weeks

17 ago?

18 A. No. But the first contact with the Defence, that is to say with

19 the lawyer, specifically Mr. Vasic, was several years ago, if I can put it

20 that way. The first contact wasn't just two or three weeks ago. Our

21 contact of a few weeks ago wasn't the first one. The first contact was

22 two or three years ago, around that time.

23 Q. Okay. And prior to that, no one had ever questioned you

24 previously about these facts, prior to let's say three years ago, prior to

25 2003?

Page 11507

1 A. Nobody ever.

2 Q. And throughout the 1990s, no one ever asked you to write a report,

3 interviewed you or interrogated you about these facts?

4 A. Nobody ever asked me to write anything or sign anything.

5 Q. Now, since we are dealing with facts which occurred over a

6 three-day period almost 15 years ago, did you keep a diary indicating what

7 you did on each of these days?

8 A. I personally never kept a diary about those days or any other days

9 during my service.

10 Q. And in addition to a diary, you don't have a calendar or an agenda

11 listing what you did on each of those days in November 1991?

12 A. No. I don't have a calendar. I never kept anything.

13 Q. So basically -- well, let's add: There are no logs or any

14 writings as to who you drove during that time period of November 1991;

15 isn't that correct too?

16 A. If those records exist, they are not available to me. I actually

17 think that no such records exist.

18 Q. So basically we are relying on your memory alone as to what

19 occurred 15 years ago, since there are no writings?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, you served as a driver, you said from 1976 to what year? To

22 what date were you a driver in the Guards motorised brigade? You didn't

23 indicate your date of retirement.

24 A. I retired, I went into retirement, in 1998 to 1999. My service

25 was terminated that year on new years day, between 1998 and 1999, that is

Page 11508

1 to say on the 31st of December, 1998.

2 Q. And in all those years, you've never maintained a list of the

3 persons that you drove and the specific dates and times?

4 A. That's another matter. As I said to you, in accordance with the

5 rules that existed at the time, and regulations in the army, all our

6 sorties with a vehicle had to be recorded in the records of the fleet, the

7 fleet of vehicles.

8 Q. But you don't have this list, do you?

9 A. I don't have that list, and I'm not authorised to have it. I'm

10 just a driver. I simply don't have it.

11 Q. And having been a driver so many years you really couldn't say how

12 many people or how many trips you had made over the years, how many people

13 you have driven or how many trips you've made? You've made hundreds, if

14 not thousands.

15 A. One could say so, yes.

16 Q. And you probably couldn't state how many trips you made in

17 November 1991 in total, not having any records.

18 A. I could state, based on my recollections, that in November of

19 1991, I had such and such number of assignments, roughly.

20 Q. But could you state an exact number?

21 A. Not with accuracy, because it's been many years, and it's hard to

22 remember everything.

23 Q. That's correct. And being hard to remember everything, you

24 couldn't state who you drove that month at which times. You couldn't say

25 at each date I drove these particular people and at exactly these times

Page 11509

1 because it's almost 15 years ago.

2 A. That's true.

3 Q. By the way, you referred to St. -- was it St. Michael's day? The

4 Archangel's day being on the 21st of November. Do you know what day that

5 was, what day of the week? If you recall.

6 A. I can't recall that.

7 Q. Okay. Thank you. It was on a Thursday.

8 Now, you knew who Colonel Mrksic was as your commander?

9 A. Yes. I knew him well.

10 Q. Okay. And you said you knew him well, in fact, he didn't call you

11 sergeant, he called you Nele instead of your first name Nenad; isn't that

12 correct? Your nickname, he addressed you by?

13 A. That's a mistake. My name is Nele.

14 Q. On the documents provided to the Court and to the Prosecution, it

15 has your name as Nenad. That's incorrect? Nenad, N-E-N-A-D, Reljic.

16 That's not your name, sir?

17 A. No. My name is Nele Reljic.

18 Q. Now, you said you knew Colonel Mrksic well. Had you ever driven

19 him previously or prior to November 1991?

20 A. I most likely drove him sometimes, not frequently but sometimes.

21 Q. And you knew where his home was. You drove right to his home.

22 Had you been to his home previously? Or after November 1991, have you

23 been to his home?

24 A. No, no. Never prior to the days I described, or rather, prior to

25 the evening I described when I took the sister. I never went to his

Page 11510

1 apartment prior to that.

2 Q. Now, did you ever drive or were you ever assigned to drive from

3 Belgrade to Vukovar or from Vukovar back to Belgrade?

4 A. There were driving assignments but what do you mean, specifically

5 what do you mean?

6 Q. I was interested in the time. It's 155 kilometres, approximately

7 155 kilometres from Vukovar to Belgrade. What's the approximate time to

8 drive that distance? Being a driver for many years.

9 A. Depending on the vehicle you are using. If you're travelling in a

10 passenger vehicle, then naturally you would arrive earlier. If you're

11 driving in an all-terrain vehicle or in a truck or in a bus, that will

12 change the driving time. But let's say that you're travelling in a

13 passenger car. It would take about two hours of normal driving.

14 Q. If we go to November of 1991, where we know there were

15 check-points along the road way, you would have to stop. We are dealing

16 with a two to two plus hour trip, aren't we?

17 A. One could say so, yes.

18 Q. Because with the checkpoints and we are not dealing with highways,

19 it's not a quick trip of let's say an hour and a half. It's a longer

20 trip.

21 A. The major part of that road is on the highway, and then the rest

22 are just national roads and other categories of roads.

23 Q. But as I said in November 1991, where there were check-points set

24 up along the way we would be dealing with a two to two-plus hour trip in a

25 passenger car, especially with check-points, where you would be stopped.

Page 11511

1 A. [No interpretation]

2 Q. Could you repeat your answer, please? It wasn't picked up on the

3 screen.

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Thank you.

6 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I have one more issue to address. Would

7 you like me to do that after the break?

8 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at 5 minutes past 4.00.

9 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.

10 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.

12 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.

13 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Now, you testified that you did not drive

14 Colonel Mrksic on November 22nd 1991. You testified to that earlier

15 today. Do you recall testifying to that about 40 minutes ago?

16 A. [No interpretation]

17 Q. Now, you had previously met with Defence counsel you said around

18 2003, so you said two to three years ago, so 2003, 2004. Did you tell

19 them at that time about the events of those days in November of 1991? Did

20 you provide your knowledge to them back then, some years ago?

21 A. Well, I can't remember exactly. Most likely we did talk about it

22 but I can't tell you that for sure right now.

23 Q. Now, on the 10th of August 2006, the Defence filed a summary of

24 your testimony, and on the bottom line it says, on 22 November 1991, he,

25 meaning you, drove Colonel Mrksic to the military airport, and that's on

Page 11512

1 page 13 of the 65 ter(G) submission. Now, did you provide that

2 information to the Defence, that on the 22nd of November, you drove

3 Colonel Mrksic to the military airport?

4 A. No, absolutely not.

5 Q. In fact, I'll read the whole thing. "On the 22nd November 1991,

6 he drove Colonel Mrksic to the military airport in Batajnica where from

7 Colonel Mrksic left with Major Tesic to Negoslavci." Did you provide that

8 information which is listed under your name as a summary of your

9 testimony? Did you provide that information to the Defence?

10 A. I don't believe that I did because this is not materially true,

11 that I drove Colonel Mrksic on the 22nd. I remember when I did drive him.

12 Q. Well, you said today that you just notified Defence counsel three

13 days or so ago that you didn't drive Colonel Mrksic on November 22nd. So

14 if you didn't tell them about that back then, who would have told them?

15 A. I don't know. I really don't know who could have said that on my

16 behalf. I don't know.

17 Q. Do you believe counsel is just making that up and putting that

18 under your name?

19 JUDGE PARKER: That's going too far, Mr. Weiner.

20 MR. WEINER: Withdrawn, sorry, Your Honour.

21 Q. Now, you indicated that you said for the first time three days ago

22 that you didn't drive Colonel Mrksic on the 22nd. Was there any reason

23 that you told Defence three days ago?

24 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, this is a careful point where there is

Page 11513

1 a danger that in giving voice to what I suspect may be your objection, you

2 will in fact unwittingly no doubt be assisting the witness. So I would

3 ask you to wait for the moment until the questions are answered. Then you

4 can make whatever point it is you have in mind.

5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, thank you, Your Honour.


7 Q. Sir, is there any reason that you notified counsel only recently,

8 only three days ago, that you did not drive Colonel Mrksic on November

9 22nd 1991?

10 A. There is absolutely no reason why I should not tell them that I

11 did not drive him because I did not drive him on that day. I drove him on

12 the 21st. I was supposed to drive him on the 22nd but I did not.

13 Q. And did you just suddenly realise this fact a few days ago? And

14 today, to notify the Court?

15 A. I have no reason, and I did not have any reason to realise that

16 fact, because it was always the fact that I drove Colonel Mrksic on the

17 21st, the whole day, and that I was supposed to drive him on the 22nd but

18 I did not do so and I described why I did not drive him. That is that he

19 used his own transport to go, to reach the headquarters or the barracks.

20 Q. And he used his own transport after notifying you to be present at

21 7.00 in the morning on that date?

22 A. I assume that he used his own transport. Sometimes he had the

23 habit of just getting into his car and driving himself.

24 Q. And he didn't then notify you first thing in the morning not to

25 appear, so he wouldn't be wasting your time?

Page 11514

1 A. No.

2 Q. Sir, are you aware that Mrs. Mrksic testified a few days ago?

3 A. No, I'm not aware of that.

4 Q. And you're not aware that she testified a few days ago, on August

5 30th, I'm sorry, yes, August 30th, that you did not drive Colonel Mrksic

6 to the airport on that morning? Are you aware that she testified to that?

7 A. No. I'm not aware of that. I did not have the opportunity to

8 meet Mrs. Mrksic, not even when I was in their apartment. We did not --

9 we were introduced to each other, as would be the proper formal thing to

10 do. Even when I was at the apartment when I brought Colonel Mrksic's

11 sister we were not introduced.

12 Q. And you realise that her testimony on August 30th is in conflict

13 with the factual summary that you were going to say that you did drive

14 Colonel Mrksic to the airport, that there is a direct conflict between

15 that factual summary and her testimony?

16 A. I really don't know when Mrs. Mrksic testified and what her

17 testimony was. I really don't know that. I didn't even have the occasion

18 to formally be introduced to her.

19 Q. So, sir, it's nothing more than a coincidence that she testifies a

20 few days ago that you didn't not drive her husband to the airport, and

21 instead, you offered to take her daughter to school, and today, you

22 testify in conflict with the 65 ter summary and say the same thing? Is

23 that just a coincidence, sir?

24 A. There is no coincidence there. I know, when I would go on a

25 driving assignment, when I complete the assignment and when I -- I know

Page 11515

1 when I would complete an assignment and I know when it could not be

2 completed because Colonel Mrksic had already left with his own car. I

3 assume that he used his own car.

4 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you were doing nothing more today than

5 tailoring your testimony to help your friend, Colonel Mrksic, tailoring

6 your testimony to Mrs. Mrksic's testimony?

7 A. There is absolutely no tailoring. What I have already said, and

8 explained, is absolutely true. It's absolutely true.

9 MR. WEINER: One moment, Your Honour.

10 [Prosecution counsel confer]

11 MR. WEINER: No further questions, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Domazet, do you have any submission or do

13 you just want to go into re-examination?

14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted to

15 explain why I made the objection. I wanted to object because the witness

16 did not say. I said that the witness told me.

17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, if you are going to put questions to

18 the witness about this matter, can I suggest you should do that first

19 rather than you give some version of what happened yourself. And you can

20 put your submission later. You understand the point. There is a point

21 being made of credibility. It's better to test it through the witness

22 first.

23 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I actually

24 understood that I should explain my objection first. I was waiting for

25 the end of the cross-examination. But of course I'm going to put my

Page 11516

1 questions first.

2 Re-examination by Mr. Domazet:

3 Q. Sir, Mr. Weiner asked you about your contacts with the Defence and

4 he meant that in the plural, contacts with Defence attorneys. You were

5 talking about Mr. Vasic actually?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. My direct question is: I, as a Defence attorney, did you know me

8 before now?

9 A. I never met you before and the first time we met was some two days

10 ago, here in The Hague. Before that, I had never seen you or been

11 introduced to you.

12 Q. We spoke here in The Hague. Did I ask you to tell me how

13 everything was and then you told me about the events as you recalled them?

14 A. I absolutely told you about the events based on how I remember

15 them, and because the things that happened were specific, and since I did

16 drive the commander for those thee days, or, rather, I did drive him, so I

17 remember everything. It's all crystal clear to me.

18 Q. And what you told me, is that what you've also told us here in

19 your testimony before this Trial Chamber today?

20 A. Yes. That's exactly it.

21 Q. Including what you said that on the 22nd you did not drive Colonel

22 Mrksic?

23 A. Yes. The situation is quite clear. I was told, and I was

24 supposed to drive Colonel Mrksic on the 22nd, but in view of the fact that

25 he had already left, I didn't drive him. I assumed that was the only

Page 11517

1 reason.

2 Q. Thank you.

3 Mr. Weiner asked you about how long it takes to drive from Vukovar

4 to Belgrade, and he said that there were also check-points there and that

5 sometime was lost if you stopped at the check-points. So what I wanted to

6 ask you is: What is the distance from Belgrade to Sid?

7 A. The distance between Belgrade and Sid is approximately 100

8 kilometres.

9 Q. Is that the highway or just a regular road?

10 A. This is a modern highway.

11 Q. When I say the highway, or the motorway, what I mean is that are

12 there at least two lanes for traffic for each direction?

13 A. Yes, that is correct.

14 Q. Do you know what is the distance between Sid and Negoslavci?

15 A. If the distance to Sid is approximately 100 kilometres, then there

16 is about 50 or 60 more kilometres to Negoslavci.

17 Q. Well, so is Negoslavci before Vukovar, because you said it's 150

18 kilometres from Belgrade to Vukovar?

19 A. Yes. I didn't understand the gentleman actually who was asking

20 this question. I was driving to Negoslavci. I would usually go to

21 Negoslavci. So I never went to Vukovar. So I'm not sure about the

22 distance. Perhaps if you just deduct or -- the difference from the

23 distance that I've already given.

24 Q. Because of the check-points from Belgrade to Vukovar, the distance

25 can be covered in two to two and a half hours, and if the highway to --

Page 11518

1 from Belgrade to Sid is used, and then from Belgrade to Sid, it's about

2 100 kilometres, then how long does it take to cover this distance from Sid

3 to Belgrade without stopping for any other reason other than to stop at

4 the check-points?

5 A. The road -- the highway from Sid to Belgrade, when there is no

6 traffic, when it's not crowded, it's something that can be covered pretty

7 quickly.

8 Q. When you say that there is no traffic, what you're trying to say

9 is that at the time it was very light traffic?

10 A. There was practically no traffic on that highway in that section

11 at that time.

12 Q. And can you please tell me what is the maximum speed permitted on

13 that road?

14 A. The maximum speed permitted is something that I assume is in most

15 highways in the world, and that is 120 kilometres an hour.

16 Q. So a vehicle, passenger vehicle, going from Sid to Belgrade, how

17 long would it need going at that speed?

18 A. A more powerful passenger vehicle could cover that distance

19 comfortably in an hour, I would say.

20 Q. Thank you. I'm not going to ask you about Sid and this because

21 the distance is not quite reliable, but it's easy to establish that and I

22 don't see any particular point in doing that.

23 When you responded to Mr. Weiner's question about records, you

24 said that you did not keep any records or a diary or any notes. Does that

25 refer throughout -- for the whole period of your military career or just

Page 11519

1 to the period that we discussed here today?

2 A. I, as a person, absolutely never kept any personal records about

3 my work. I never did anything like that.

4 Q. When you talked about the apartment house where Colonel Mrksic's

5 apartment is, you said that you knew from before where it was but you

6 explained that this time when you were taking his sister there, you

7 actually entered the apartment for the first time. Did you ever before

8 that or after that go inside the Mrksic apartment or was that the only

9 time?

10 A. I never entered Colonel Mrksic's apartment before that evening,

11 when I helped his sister to go in, when I was helping her to take her

12 bags. She is a woman so I wanted to help her. And in view of the state

13 that she was in, that's what I did. I brought her things in and that was

14 the first time that I entered Colonel Mrksic's apartment.

15 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Reljic.

16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further

17 questions for this witness and if you permit me I just wanted in one

18 sentence to explain what we talked about earlier, what was the essence of

19 my objection.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Domazet.

21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. Weiner's question

22 was, you said earlier, that three days ago, you told the Defence that you

23 did not drive Mrksic. The witness did not say that in this trial. I said

24 that when I said that I got this information from the witness when I

25 talked to the witness yesterday and the day before. Before his testimony.

Page 11520

1 The witness came to The Hague on Saturday, not even three days ago but

2 actually two days ago, and yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with

3 him and this is exactly what he said so I said that and not the witness.

4 So that was the gist of my objection, that the witness did not say that at

5 all, three days ago, but that I said it. Again, I want to say that it is

6 absolutely correct and true that in the summary I mistakenly said that

7 he -- instead of he was supposed to drive him, that I said he did drive

8 him. So I made the summary here in The Hague. It was supposed to be

9 submitted by the 10th of August. So I received the information from Mr.

10 Vasic and it was all done very quickly. I never spoke to this witness

11 actually or to any other Defence witnesses so this is how this mistake

12 came about.

13 And finally, I'd like to apologise for this to the Prosecution.

14 It is widely known that such mistakes took place before. The Prosecution

15 itself made several similar mistakes, and the witness said to me what he

16 basically repeated today in court. Thank you.

17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.

18 You'll be pleased to know, Mr. Reljic, that your evidence is at an

19 end and you are now free to leave and to return at a convenient time to

20 your home. The Chamber would thank you for your assistance in coming here

21 and for the evidence that you've given. You're now free to go. Thank

22 you.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24 [The witness withdrew]

25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic?

Page 11521

1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

2 This is the first day in the courtroom for me, and my co-counsel

3 explained to you the situation last week. The Defence has nine witnesses,

4 each of whom has a passport ready. And we planned on submitting their

5 passports to the Dutch embassy last week on Wednesday. However, we were

6 told that it was impossible to submit passports directly. Rather, it

7 needs to be done through fields officer who came last week on Friday, and

8 took over passports. He needed prior approval of the Dutch Ministry of

9 Foreign Affairs in order to do that, before he travelled to Belgrade. So

10 last week, on Thursday, we did not have the field officer in Belgrade and

11 that's the information I received from our staff awaiting the contact with

12 the field officer in Belgrade. The field officer is scheduled to arrive

13 in Belgrade today and I hope that that will resolve the status of all nine

14 witnesses. If that were indeed to take place as planned, that means that

15 the next witness could travel to-- to arrive in The Hague tomorrow

16 afternoon and come to the courtroom on Wednesday. The only problem that I

17 believe we are unable to resolve in the technical sense is that we need a

18 field officer present for each contact with the Dutch embassy, and the

19 field officer is not available and in Belgrade every day so I think that

20 this is the only way that is available for us in order to obtain visas for

21 our witnesses, namely that the field officer take over all pass ports at

22 the same time.

23 We also need to take into account that it's not easy to get a

24 place on a plane. The planes are full currently. And sometimes we will

25 need to put witnesses on different airliners in order to ensure their

Page 11522

1 presence here so that everything can proceed as planned.

2 As I said, had we had direct access to the Dutch embassy, then all

3 of the passports would have been at the Dutch embassy last week and

4 everything would have been resolved by now.

5 I'm afraid that due to these technical problems, we currently do

6 not have a witness available, and if things proceed as planned, and as we

7 were informed by the field officer and the registry, the first witness

8 could arrive on Tuesday afternoon and be available in the courtroom on

9 Wednesday.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, you mentioned nine passports. Does that

11 complete the number of passports that will be necessary for the witnesses

12 you intend to call?

13 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that represents 80 per

14 cent of the witnesses that we intend to call. As for the remaining two or

15 three witnesses, I had to meet with some of them several times prior to

16 coming here in The Hague because they had not given their final consent to

17 come here and testify, and they had not obtained passports. So as it

18 stands now, I foresee that in addition to this group of nine witnesses,

19 there will be two or three more at the most and I think that that will be

20 the case of Mr. Mrksic. So the majority of our witnesses are the nine who

21 are currently awaiting their visas, as I've explained to you.

22 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to give us the names of the nine?

23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I will do that right away, Your

24 Honours. Just a second, please.

25 [Defence counsel confer]

Page 11523

1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] We have passports for the following

2 witnesses: Andrija Milojevic, or Milevic. Razvigor Virijevic, Velimir

3 Coric.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Could you just pause? I'm trying to pick up these

5 people on your 65 ter list. That's numbers 2, 15 and 16, if I'm correct.

6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, correct, Your Honours. I will

7 give you the numbers in addition to the names so it will be easier for you

8 to follow. 17, Dusan Jaksic, 19, Ivan Minic, 21 -- I apologise, 22, Nenad

9 Milicevic. 31, Zoran Basic. 34, Milan Babic. I'm just verifying to see

10 whether I omitted any names.

11 JUDGE PARKER: You've got 8 so far.

12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes. And Dusan Milosevic, number 21.

13 We were supposed to get his passport yesterday and I think that it came

14 in. Plus our expert witness, Mile Stojkovic. That would be nine. And

15 with the witness who was supposed to hand over his passport yesterday,

16 that would be ten.

17 JUDGE PARKER: So for all of those, you're dependent on visas,

18 they each having passports at the present time?

19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. They have their

20 passports plus they need to provide a photograph for visa. The form for

21 visa application is filled by somebody else and I think that visas for two

22 witnesses are ready, Razvigor Virijevic, who is supposed to be our first

23 witness here, and witness Coric and Basic according to the information we

24 have also have guarantees for their visa. As for other witnesses, we will

25 need assistance to ensure that they get their visas on time and in the

Page 11524

1 meantime we'll try to do our best to ensure that their evidence doesn't

2 take too long.

3 [Trial Chamber confers]

4 JUDGE PARKER: And there may be two or three, you said,

5 additional, if they obtain passports?

6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Two or three witnesses who are

7 currently awaiting their passports. They applied for passports to be

8 issued. That would represent about 80 per cent of our witnesses. I

9 wanted to tell you today that based on what --

10 JUDGE PARKER: Ground has moved there. The 80 per cent were those

11 that had passports, as I understood it. And then there were two or three

12 more that were seeking passports if they gave their consent to give

13 evidence. Is that correct?

14 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, out of 35 witnesses,

15 which we initially put on the list, we intend to call between 15 and 17.

16 The number of 15 to 17 witnesses can also be reduced because we are

17 currently considering whether to call here some witnesses or not. Some

18 witnesses have still not given us their consent to come here and testify.

19 So the number that we have right now is 15 to 17 out of initial 35. The

20 nine who have their passports and the three that we have already examined

21 here is 12 altogether, nine plus three is 12, and then in addition to

22 these 12, we would call additional three to five witnesses who still do

23 not have their passports and who are potential witnesses. As I said to

24 you, it could be that we will reduce this number further, the number of

25 witnesses, but we might also reduce the number of hours scheduled for

Page 11525

1 their testimony. In addition to these witnesses, we have one more expert

2 witness who is a military expert. So the number of 15 to 17 witnesses

3 includes the protected witness who is going to come here under subpoena,

4 and we are not concerned with his passport naturally.

5 JUDGE PARKER: It will merely delay matters and may not be helpful

6 at the moment for the Chamber to express its full views about the

7 situation, Mr. Vasic. Clearly, what is needed is for the difficulty of

8 the Defence's own making, that there are no visas and that all witnesses

9 do not have passports, needs to be remedied as quickly as possible.

10 The next thing that needs to be remedied is that the Prosecution

11 needs to be given a correct order in which to expect witnesses, because

12 the present information is clearly not now correct.

13 The next thing is that you need to consider again the time

14 estimates, because it is evident from the first three witnesses that you

15 have considerably overestimated the time that will be necessary.

16 Those things having been dealt with, you need to liaise carefully

17 with your other lead Defence counsel so that they can plan reliably the

18 dates upon which they need to have their witnesses here, because the

19 information you are now providing will alter the position they anticipate

20 considerably.

21 The only course the Chamber can take at the moment, it appears, is

22 to adjourn until Wednesday morning, in the hope that by then there will be

23 witnesses here with the necessary visas, and clearly you need to give the

24 Prosecution and the other counsel notification of who will be called and

25 in what order, preferably today, so that they've got some chance of being

Page 11526

1 ready.

2 In view of these changes, it will clearly be at the end of this

3 week before we can expect realistically to look at the overall programme

4 for the Defence. It is unfortunate that there is this uncertainty and

5 that it involves the lost time that is presently being encountered.

6 Apart from that, the Chamber will not make any comment at the

7 present time.

8 For the reasons indicated, we must adjourn now until Wednesday.

9 Should it be the case on Wednesday that your problems have not by then

10 resolved, we will expect from you, Mr. Vasic, a very clear indication of

11 what will be the future course of your evidence.

12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE PARKER: With good fortune, they will be resolved by

14 Wednesday and we will have witnesses, and let us hope then that other

15 counsel are in a position to adjust to the changed plans.

16 We will adjourn now until Wednesday morning at 9.00.

17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.50 p.m., to

18 be reconvened on Wednesday, the 6th day of

19 September, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.