1 Thursday, 6 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.31 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court].
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
8 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Today is Thursday, the 6th of March, 2008. Good afternoon to the
11 Prosecution, to Mr. Seselj, and to everyone assisting us in this case.
12 Today we'll proceed with the cross-examination of the witness. I believe
13 that Mr. Seselj has one hour and three minutes left. I'm going to give
14 the floor to Mr. Seselj, and of course I'd like to greet the witness as
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 WITNESS: MLADEN KULIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj: [Continued]
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kulic, today we'll go through your statement
21 which you made to The Hague investigators on the 14th of November, 2007.
22 Why did you say that General Dusan Pekic in 1991 was the Minister of the
23 Interior and commanded the police forces in Federal Yugoslavia?
24 A. Because that was the information I had.
25 Q. Well, it was common knowledge in the then-Yugoslavia that the
1 federal minister for the police was General Petar Gracanin at that time.
2 Dusan Pekic retired much earlier as a general and national hero, and he
3 was a high-ranking official of the veterans association. From whom did
4 you get this erroneous information?
5 A. Your Honours, I received this information from people who went to
6 Belgrade, had contacts, quoted authorities most probably regarding
7 information from the association of Serbs in Belgrade. But I can't be
8 sure what the names are of the persons who misinformed me in this way.
9 But it was certainly someone who was linked to the events in my area.
10 Q. So you were misled in this respect. Were you also misled when you
11 were given the information that Ilija Sasic was, as you say, a significant
12 figure and as such participated in negotiations with Franjo Tudjman
13 concerning the release of some men who were arrested, that is, Zeljko
14 Rozantovic, Arkan, and another one.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Were you misled there?
18 A. It wasn't Ilija Sacic but Ilija Sasic. And when it comes to him
19 it's well known that at the time he was the president of the regional
20 organisation of the SDS, at least that's what his colleagues from the SDS
21 told me.
22 Q. And why did you link Goran Hadzic and Zeljko Razantovic at the
23 time when they were not arrested at the same place at the same time.
24 A. Your Honours, in the media at the time in Croatia I had occasion
25 both to see and to hear subsequently that Mr. Sasic participated in the
1 search for a solution as to the release of those men because they had been
2 arrested by the Croatian police.
3 Q. Ilijas Sasic only negotiated about the release of Goran Hadzicic.
4 He had nothing to do with the arrest of Zeljko Rozantovic, Arkan, nor did
5 Arkan have anything to do with Western Slavonia. You never saw one of
6 Arkan's men in Western Slavonia. Am I right?
7 A. Your Honours, Mr. Seselj is right when he says this, but as
8 regards the arrests and negotiations I had information for which I could
9 not verify the source, but they came from the media concerning the arrest
10 of both men.
11 Q. And how can you now comment on my assertion that not in a single
12 medium was it ever broadcast or published that Sasic had anything to do
13 with negotiations concerning Arkan's release?
14 A. I allow that Mr. Seselj may be right. I assume he's more familiar
15 with the facts of this case than I am. But I simply gave the information
16 I gleaned from the media. I didn't have any sources I can document.
17 Q. You mentioned Jovan Kulic during your examination-in-chief. Are
18 you related to Jovan Kulic?
19 A. Your Honours, I am not related to Jovan Kulic, and the first time
20 I saw him was in Western Slavonia.
21 Q. And whose volunteer was he in?
22 A. Your Honours, to the best of my knowledge he was a volunteer who
23 came from the Republic of Serbia, somewhere around Novi Sad. And whose
24 volunteer he was. I'm not certain, but I thought he belonged to the same
25 group of volunteers who had arrived just before Kulic.
1 Q. Did you link him to the Serbian Radical Party?
2 A. I assumed he belonged to it, but he didn't necessarily have to
3 belong to it. I did not obtain information concerning his political
5 Q. So this was just an assumption on your part, right?
6 A. Well, I spoke of the volunteers as a single group and I felt that
7 they were consistent and unified group, and I still think that.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would you please give the witness
9 document number 1 and put it on the ELMO. I hope that the members of the
10 Trial Chamber and the Prosecutor have got this document. It's document
11 number 1 and it consists of two pages.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Kulic, would you be so kind as to read this document. It's a
14 new statement by Colonel Jovan Trbojevic. I received it today. Please be
15 kind enough, just without the preamble, just "I state the following ..."
16 If you can.
17 A. "I state the following: From 1986 onwards I served in Novi Sad as
18 an officer, a colonel of the JNA, commander of the Territorial Defence
19 Staff of the town of Novi Sad. On the 1st of November, 1991, I was
20 summoned to the General Staff of the JNA in Belgrade where I was told that
21 I had been transferred from Novi Sad to the garrison in Pakrac in Western
22 Slavonia. I assumed my new duty on the 5th of November, 1991. As the
23 commander of the Territorial Defence Staff of Novi Sad, Jovan Kulic
24 approached me, asking me to help him finance per diem payments for his
1 He introduced himself to me as a captain and the commander of a
2 group of fighters from Novi Sad. He told me he had a unit of 40 men. I
3 remember this was in early September 1991. As of the 5th of November,
4 1991, I lost contact with Jovan Kulic. After the liberation of Vukovar,
5 Jovan Kulic arrived in Novi Sad and went to the regional staff of the
6 Territorial Defence of Vojvodina and approached Colonel Milutin Lazetic
7 who was an operative of the regional staff of the Territorial Defence of
8 Vojvodina, asking him to get him a pass so that he could go to Western
9 Slavonia via Banja Luka and Okucani with his volunteers on the territory
10 where I was the commander.
11 If I remember correctly Jovan Kulic and his unit arrived in
12 Western Slavonia on the 25 of November, 1991. I deployed him in the
13 village of Mijokovicevo. This is a village and a mountain pass on the
14 Daruvar-Vidovica road. I disbanded the Territorial Defence in Western
15 Slavonia on the 24th of December, 1991, and went to Banja Luka. Lower
16 ranking units were transferred into JNA units so that the staffs and units
17 of the Territorial Defence were dissolved. I know for certain that Jovan
18 Kulic and his unit remained in that area for several months, but what he
19 was doing there and under whose orders I do not know. To clarify, Jovan
20 Kulic left Mijokovicevo on my orders on the 12th of December, 1991, and
21 went with his unit to the village of Kusonje near Pakrac.
22 When leaving the village of Mijokovicevo, Jovan Kulic was wounded
23 in the shoulder. I wish to mention that Jovan Kulic and his unit was sent
24 to area of Western Slavonia by the regional staff of the Territorial
25 Defence Vojvodina. After the wartime events Jovan Kulic applied to me
1 asking me to give him a certificate stating that he had been a fighter in
2 Western Slavonia and to issue a certificate of wounding so that he could
3 claim his entitlements. Jovan Kulic now lives in the village of Ratkovo
4 in the municipality of Odzaci. Previously he lived in Novi Sad and he was
5 a house painter. I know that he was born in Ruma and he comes from Lika
6 originally. I'm giving this statement of my own free will. I assert
7 under full liability that everything I have stated is correct and --"
8 THE INTERPRETER: I cannot finish reading because it's too fast.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And you see that this is certified by the court in Novi Sad?
11 A. Yes, I can see that.
12 Q. Do you have any reason to doubt this statement by Colonel
14 A. No, I don't doubt it for a moment, Your Honours.
15 Q. So now you're convinced that this is a true statement?
16 A. Yes, I am.
17 Q. And that Jovan Kulic had nothing to do with volunteers of the
18 Serbian Radical Party but that rather he arrived as a volunteer of the
19 Territorial Defence of Novi Sad?
20 A. Your Honours, I've just realised what Jovan Kulic's role really
21 was in Western Slavonia.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think, Your Honours, that you will
23 find this information useful concerning the group in Novi Sad mentioned by
24 Witness Teunens which was tried before the court in Banja Luka, so please
25 bear this in mind.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You stated to The Hague investigators that the paramilitary
3 formations were financed from three sources: enterprises or companies,
4 political parties, and the church; is that correct?
5 A. Well, I can't remember everything I said in my statement, but I
6 assume that's what I said because I still believe this, Your Honours.
7 This is the information that reached me from the people I was in contact
8 with in Western Slavonia.
9 Q. You stated that Seselj's Radical Party, the Serbian Radical Party
10 and the Serbian Renewal Movement received donations from abroad.
11 A. Probably, yes. I don't see the statement in front of me so I
12 can't confirm I said that. But this is right, it's correct. I had this
13 information and it's still the information I have.
14 Q. Do you have any information that the Serbian Radical Party in
15 1991, which was when it was established and registered, or in 1992 or 1993
16 received a single donation of any kind from abroad? Do you have any data
17 on this?
18 A. No, I don't. I can't support this with data.
19 Q. So you said that off the top of your head. Well, where did you
20 get the information that the church financed paramilitary units?
21 A. Financing of the formations participating in the war at the time
22 is something I learned about only in the staff of Western Slavonia. There
23 were people there who went to Banja Luka or to Belgrade. So it's
24 second-hand information. I don't have any specific information to show
25 this; otherwise, I would have adduced it with my statement.
1 Q. Well, how can you accuse the church without any specific
2 information? The church sent humanitarian aid to people who needed it and
3 to people who were wounded, and this was food, clothes, and so on. Never
4 did the church give a single dinar to buy weapons or to finance the
5 military, am I right?
6 A. Well, Your Honours, I believe Mr. Seselj, but my experience in the
7 area where I was and relations with the church authorities was somewhat
8 different. I wish to distance myself from that part of the statement
9 where Mr. Seselj's party's mentioned.
10 Q. I'm surprised by one thing. In the statement from 2002 you said,
11 "I'm not sure whether Vuk Draskovic was the leader of the White Eagles."
12 That's on page 11. "I think the White Eagles belonged to Seselj. In
13 fact, my wife, who at that time was employed in the Vocin medical centre,
14 told me that the volunteers belonged to the paramilitary formation called
15 White Eagles."
16 And then in your statement of 2007 you leave this out. "I think
17 the White Eagles belong to Seselj." So what is left is - and that's
18 paragraph 41 - "I'm not sure whether Vuk Draskovic was the leader of the
19 Beli Orlovi, or the White Eagles. It is in fact my wife who worked at the
20 medical centre in Vocin at the time who told me that the volunteers belong
21 to Beli Orlovi paramilitary organisation.
22 So how did it come about that in 2002 you say that you think the
23 volunteers, the White Eagles, belonged to me?
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: You have to slow down. The interpreters can't
25 follow you, and so we get nothing out of your questions, and less even out
1 of the answers from the witness.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. How is it possible, then, that in 2002 you ascribe the White
4 Eagles to me and in the statement from 2007 you leave this out and you no
5 longer ascribe the White Eagles to me?
6 A. Your Honours, the concept of White Eagles really existed, but it
7 belonged to a certain group of volunteers. And I didn't have any special
8 formal contacts in my work with them, but names of political leaders were
9 bandied about who were behind this recruitment of volunteer units. I
10 cannot assert decidedly that they belonged to anyone because I don't have
11 any first-hand evidence, but it's evident that they were there in the
12 Vocin area. And any unintentional statement concerning anyone, including
13 Mr. Seselj, well, I apologise, I really didn't intend because I wasn't
14 sure. So I left your name out because I wasn't absolutely certain who was
15 the person who might be said to have participated in recruiting these
17 Q. Yesterday you mentioned that the killing of the Croatian civilians
18 in Vocin, that in that killing a man called Simic from Vocin took part,
19 but before that you said that in addition to Simic there was a man called
20 Ivanovic from Popovci. Is that right?
21 A. No, it's not, Your Honour.
22 Q. Well, why did you mention these Ivanovici people from Popovci?
23 A. I didn't mention a single name yesterday, Your Honour, Mr. Seselj.
24 Q. What about your testimony in the Milosevic trial? You mentioned
25 Simic and you mentioned the Jovanovics.
1 A. Your Honour, that's correct.
2 Q. Then why have you forgotten them now, if you speak about the
3 Simics, Vocin, and the Jovanovics from Popovaci as participating in the
4 killing of Croatian civilians in Vocin, why have you left them out now?
5 A. Your Honour, let me explain this. Of the two young men in the
6 group who had contacts with the villagers that recognised them, they
7 mentioned a young boy from Simici - and I'll quote -- try and quote what
8 the people said - and a small -- and a small boy from Ivanovici. Now,
9 when they tried to establish this it turned out that one of the brothers,
10 or they were the children of a family named Simic, and another son from
11 the other Ivanovici family.
12 Q. You spoke about Rajko Bojicic yesterday and accused him of killing
13 one of the four young Croats. Rajko Bojicic contacted me and - might be
14 witness Mr. Kulic be provided with document number 2 - he contacted me and
15 I received a statement that was certified at the fourth municipal court in
16 Belgrade. It is from Rajko Bojicic. Now, would you read that statement
17 out, please. Out loud, please.
18 A. "Last night I looked at the footing from the legal proceedings
19 against Dr. Seselj in The Hague, and provoked by the lies told by Mladen
20 Kulic I was prompted to tell you the truth about the events that were
21 discussed. At the time I was the assistant commander for operations and
22 training in the Territorial Defence of the municipality of Podravska
23 Slatina --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly be asked to slow down,
25 to read more slowly. It is impossible to follow at this rate.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Kulic, again you're reading out too quickly
2 and the result is that the interpretation is impossible. So I would
3 kindly ask you to read it again.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 "Last night I looked at the footage from the trial of Dr. Vojislav
6 Seselj at the Hague Tribunal, and provoked by the lies that witness Mladen
7 Kulic told, I wish to tell the truth about the events that were discussed.
8 At that time I was an assistant to the commander for operative and
9 training affairs in the staff of the Territorial Defence of Podravska
10 Slatina municipality. I state with full responsibility that Mladen Kulic,
11 when he arrived in the territory of the Territorial Defence staff of
12 Podravska Slatina, performed organisational and mobilisational work. He
13 took in and deployed the first volunteers that arrived and sent them to
14 units and formations of the Territorial Defence.
15 After that, in the aim of ensuring combat operations, he conducted
16 reconnaissance work, reconnoitring, communications with the village of
17 Ceralije, village of Lipovac, village of Ivanbreg, and the roads to
18 Podravska Slatina and Ceralije village and Podravska Slatina and Ivanbreg
19 village. On the basis of that reconnaissance work pursuant to his orders
20 an ambush was organised along the Slatina-Ivanbreg road, and in this
21 combat operation Zvonimir Cubelic was killed, while Branko Sikic was
23 Witness Mladen Kulic after that boasted and said how capable he
24 was and tried to raise the respect he never had, because everybody knew
25 that he was -- there was a criminal report against him, (redacted)
1 (redacted), and that he was very aggressive and prone to
2 various incidents, which is why he was not appointed to a post that would
3 otherwise correspond to his rank."
4 Your Honours, I cannot accept reading this pamphlet anymore.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We'll redact this part of
7 the transcript.
8 (redacted), but
9 please proceed with your cross-examination.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, I asked the witness to
11 read out the whole of the statement. He refused to read it out. So I
12 have to read it out, Judge, if you agree, or we're going to force the
13 witness to do so. I would prefer it if you would force the witness to do
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He does not want to so we're not
16 going to force him to read it out.
17 Mr. Mussemeyer.
18 MR. MUSSEMEYER: A short remark. In the transcript Mr. Seselj
19 said: "You spoke about Rajko Bojicic yesterday and accused him of killing
20 one of the four young Croats." As far as I remember, and I checked the
21 transcript, the witness never said that Rajko Bojicic was involved in the
22 killing; he only said that he would take him responsible if the fate of
23 these young Croats would not be found out.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 Mr. Seselj, let's try not to waste any time. You have got the
1 statement in your own language, this statement given by Rajko Bojicic, and
2 you can put questions to the witness on the basis of this statement,
3 saying, for example, He said this and this in the statement and what do
4 you have to say. Because if we read the entire statement, it's going to
5 take a lot of time, whereas you only want to point out two or three items
6 in this statement.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, I said that this
8 witness accused Rajko Bojicic of being responsible for the death of the
9 four Croatian young men. Now, what it says in the transcript, I don't
10 know. What the interpreter said, I don't know. You have my recording in
11 Serbian and you can check that out, but that's what I said.
12 Secondly, earlier on in some situations I highlighted certain
13 portions of the statement, but this particular statement is very important
14 because there was a lot of talk about Rajko Bojicic here and his role, so
15 I'd like to read the statement in its entirety. It's just a page and a
16 half so it will last four minutes, 23 seconds.
17 "While I was watching the broadcast of the trial last night, it
18 was interesting for me to note that Mladen Kulic, according to his own
19 words, was in all the places where some crimes happened to have been
20 committed, or as he says he heard about them, which logically leads us to
21 conclude that he must have participated in that. Specifically, when he
22 spoke about the house of the Matanci house which was attacked and torched
23 as soon as night fell, he confirmed that he was present because otherwise
24 those three young men who committed that act would not have been able to
25 set aside that house as the object of their attack because they don't know
1 the area. They could especially not know which house belonged to a Serb
2 family and which to a Croatian unless Mladen Kulic pointed that out to
3 them. Otherwise at that time everybody talk about the fact that Mladen
4 Kulic was present during the event as the initiator of the torching of the
5 Matanci house.
6 Furthermore, when he spoke about the four young men who were
7 killed, he did not say that they were members of the Territorial Defence
8 and that they were performing duties to secure the rear, or rather that we
9 did not send them up to the front line precisely to avoid somebody killing
10 them because they were Croats. Otherwise, in the Territorial Defence you
11 did not have exclusively Serbs. In the command part there were Croats,
12 too. For example, Lieutenant Darbos, there were some Muslims too. An
13 example is Captain Fadil. I cannot remember his surname. He was their
15 "Mladen Kulic also said that he, when this killing took place, was
16 on leave because he was visiting his family in Belgrade. It is true that
17 he left the area of the Territorial Defence staff of Podravska Slatina,
18 but it seems amazing when we heard his explanation that from Banja Luka he
19 returned to Vocin allegedly to link up some things for the children of his
20 friends. And how come when he returned he happened to come across mothers
21 who were crying in front of a clinic? It is logical that somebody must
22 have pointed those young men out to him. And through yesterday's
23 testimony Mladen Kulic confirmed the suspicions of the time, which are
24 that he took part in the organisation of all those and other crimes, and
25 he didn't -- his conduct did not follow the instructions of the security
1 organs because as a security officer he must have interrupted his visit
2 and taken part in the investigations and establishing the circumstances
3 and the facts under which these killings took place, because it was the
4 area -- his area of responsibility, whereas immediately after that he
5 returned probably to Banja Luka or Belgrade straight away.
6 "As the commander I took all the necessary measures and sent a
7 security officer and an intelligence organ, an assistant commander for
8 morale and political guidance, to establish" --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
10 Mr. Mussemeyer.
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I would like to remind that cross-examination,
12 the purpose of cross-examination is putting questions and not reading out
13 long submissions. I think we should stop this.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mussemeyer, Mr. Seselj
15 needs to put a question. But if you put a question, you need to get some
16 understanding of the document which is unfortunately in Serbian and it has
17 not been translated. So somebody has to read it. You could have read it,
18 the witness could have read it, but the witness does not wish to. I could
19 have read it but I don't speak the language. So the only person who can
20 read it is the accused, so that's what he's doing. Please proceed,
21 Mr. Seselj.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Well, I have to present this document and then ask my questions.
24 The document arrived today. You can see from the fax number at the top of
25 the page, when the document arrived.
1 "A unit was sent from the police station in Vocin with their
2 commander so that they could help in the investigation of the act
3 mentioned and that they should urgently inform what the Territorial
4 Defence of Podravska Slatina -- they should report urgently on what they
5 were doing. It is not true that the command of the staff of Western
6 Slavonia was not informed, the Banja Luka Corps and the relevant
7 authorities in the government of the Republic of Serbia.
8 "On the 3rd of December I went in Podravska Slatina to Belgrade
9 and personally informed them there about the event. This terrible act had
10 a shocking affect on the fighters and their morale and introduced fear and
11 uncertainty amongst all the members of the Territorial Defence, because it
12 was obvious to them that nobody was protected.
13 "By his testimony last night Kulic attempted in actual fact to
14 justify himself, claiming that everything that he spoke about was
15 something that he heard from somebody else and on the basis of those
16 stories drew his own conclusions, whereas the essence of the matter is
17 that he participated in all those events, which was common knowledge in
18 this territory and which he himself confirmed, just as he confirmed his
19 status in Croatia in which he lives quite normally and where he was not
20 held responsible for a single act as opposed to others who were and who
21 were tried even in absentia for the mere fact that they had taken part in
22 an armed support against paramilitary forces of Croatia.
23 "I personally met Radovan Novacic and a group of volunteers of
24 the Serbian Radical Party who were in the village of Lager Sekulinci where
25 they joined up the units of the Territorial Defence straight away under
1 the command of the command staff of the TO and the command of the
2 detachment of the TO whose tasks they carried high in disciplined fashion
3 and set an example to all other men.
4 "I give this statement of my own accord and agree that
5 Dr. Vojislav Seselj can use it before the International Tribunal in The
6 Hague, in Belgrade the 6th of March 2008, Rajko Bojicic.
7 Mr. Kulic, is this assertion made Rajko Bojicic true and correct,
8 that in the Territorial Defence, in addition to Serbs there were also
9 Croats and even Muslims? Is that right?
10 A. It is correct, Your Honour, in the part in which it says that
11 Mr. Fadil was in the command. Now, as to the other members it's not true.
12 Q. Have you heard of a Lieutenant Darbos, a Croat?
13 A. Well, Darbos was not a Croat but that's another matter.
14 Q. Well, what is he ethnically speaking?
15 A. Darbos was from a mixed family and he joined the Serbs.
16 Q. As far as I remember these four young men who were killed, they
17 were from mixed marriages too, at least some of them. Isn't that right?
18 A. Your Honour, I don't think that is true. I don't think that holds
19 true for any of those young men. And apropos of that the statement that
20 was read out a moment ago by Dr. Seselj, he is mixing up some dates in
21 flagrant fashion. The 3rd of December was five days before the two young
22 men disappeared, for your information. So it is quite obvious that
23 there's something wrong with that statement.
24 Q. Well, when did those men young men disappear?
25 A. On the 8th of December.
1 Q. Exactly the day when you fled from Western Slavonia.
2 A. Your Honour, I did not flee from Western Slavonia and I reject
3 that insinuation with indignation.
4 Q. Who did you go to Belgrade with on the 8th of December, Mr. Kulic,
6 A. I went on my own, Your Honour.
7 Q. In one car?
8 A. In my own car.
9 Q. And who was in the other car that was with you? Who was in that
10 second car?
11 A. Well, among others, Your Honours, that day there was Mr. Rajko
12 Bojicic with his driver and we met up in Banja Luka.
13 Q. Did Savo Radosevic go with his wife Jelena in this second car?
14 A. They went on that day, too, that's the truth, but they didn't go
15 with me.
16 Q. You moved in a column.
17 A. No, Your Honour. It was a coincidence.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber's legal officer has
9 just told me that there are people in the public gallery so the damage
10 might have been done already. Let's please move into private session for
11 this part of the testimony, please.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 4583 redacted. Private session
6 [Open session]
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let me just say at that my intention
8 here is to catch the witness lying as often as I can.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's my defence case and
10 I have proof. You can get rid of all the evidence afterwards, but I'm
11 going to do it.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Kulic, do you know who Pajo Baljak is?
14 A. Your Honour, I knew who Pajo Baljak was.
15 Q. What do you mean you knew? You don't know now?
16 A. Your Honours, in view of the lapse of time, I don't know if I
17 could even recognise him. I haven't seen him since 1991.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would you be so kind as to give the
19 witness document number 3, it's a very short document.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
21 Q. You probably won't have problems reading this because Pajo Baljak
22 speaks highly of you in this statement which was certified in the
23 municipal court in Ruma this morning.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can it be placed on the ELMO,
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before addressing this
2 statement, I don't know what it contains. I would like to get back to the
3 murder of the four boys in Vocin. According to the written testimony
4 which the Prosecution received from Mr. Vasic this morning, it seems that
5 according to this statement you took part in this murder because you were
6 present. Do you dispute this? Do you accept this? What is your
7 position? We have not your reaction on this point.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll repeat that part
9 of my statement. On the 8th of December, when preparing to travel to
10 visit my family, quite by chance I ran into a group of women who were
11 crying, who were weeping. I asked them why they were crying. They said
12 that their children were missing. I did not know there was a group that
13 was working. But to help those women get information I took them to the
14 staff and I asked the man who wrote this statement, if he wrote it, Rajko
15 Bojicic, because he was the staff commander, I asked him to explain to
16 these women where their children were, to tell them where they were.
17 In this statement Mr. Bojicic mentions some flagrantly inaccurate
18 pieces of information, but he says that he was responsible at the time and
19 that he did take some action. I don't know whether he did or not, but I
20 know that he left Vocin on the 8th of December and never came back again.
21 He was not present at the exodus. That's for Mr. Seselj's information.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, like everyone else, I
23 listened to the statement. There's a point of detail which he mentioned.
24 He said that you were a security officer at the time and as such you
25 should have begun an investigation and that was part of your
1 responsibility. That's what he said. And as far as he is concerned he
2 said he forwarded the information to Banja Luka. Was this true, that you
3 were in charge of security matters at the time and you had the power or
4 the authority to conduct an investigation? If that was the case, why
5 didn't you do it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was never the
7 security organ, either of that Territorial Defence staff or of lower
8 units. It's -- lower level units. It's partly true that I worked on
9 organisation because I had to receive new people and find them
10 accommodation, so that's partly true. But that I was in charge of
11 reconnaissance and security affairs, that is not correct. There were
12 other people in charge of that.
13 And let me tell you in passing I would ask Your Honours to obtain
14 the indictment in Croatia concerning Mr. Bojicic's activities, where
15 regardless of Mr. Seselj's insinuation, I never participated, nor will I
16 ever participate, not just in the case of Mr. Bojicic but in case of
17 anyone of those members, but I will always speak the truth as I
18 experienced it.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We don't know
20 Mr. Bojicic. We just heard about him right now. Has there been an
21 indictment issued against him?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was he charged with, to
24 your knowledge?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was accused of command
1 responsibility and some individual crimes, but as a commander he is
2 responsible for events -- well, the events we have spoken about.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What happened in the end? Was
4 he convicted? Was he acquitted?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for the proceedings of the
6 district court I'm not familiar with them. But it's now available to the
7 public, both in Serbia and in Croatia, to see who has been indicted in
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Would you be so kind, Mr. Kulic, as to read Tomo Baljak's
12 statement. You can start from the second paragraph because the first one
13 contains his personal details.
14 A. "After the beginning of the war clashes in Croatia in 1991, I was
15 in the Territorial Defence of Podravska Slatina."
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be asked to read more slowly,
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Again, Mr. Witness.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "When the war broke out in Croatia
20 in 1991 I was in the Territorial Defence of Podravska Slatina. First I
21 was in the village of Sekulinci and then I moved to the village of
22 Ceralije. I am a hunter. I was employed in the forestry service for 23
23 years so that for more than two months in the course of September and
24 October 1991, as a member of the Territorial Defence of Podravska Slatina,
25 I carried my hunting rifle which fired shot. I am certain that the
1 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party in the autumn of 1991, in October
2 or early November, arrived in Sekulinci. Their leader was Radovan
3 Novacic. The SRS volunteers were extremely disciplined. Correct. And
4 they were polite to the local population. They helped the local people in
5 harvesting corn and doing other farm work. Drinking alcohol was strictly
6 prohibited to them. On one occasion I offered the volunteers some brandy
7 as refreshment. Radovan Novacic told me not to do that anymore;
8 otherwise, he would send the men back to Serbia if he learns that the
9 volunteers drank alcohol.
10 I also saw personally the volunteers doing gymnastics in the
11 morning, according to all the rules of soldiering. I assert with full
12 liability that the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party did not
13 participate in the commission of any crimes but exclusively in combat
14 activities as ordered by the competent command of the JNA. I know Mladen
15 Kulic personally from the time when we lived in Podravska Slatina. I know
16 that before the war he was the director of the Univerzal company. After
17 the persecution of the Serbs in Croatia began, Kulic came from Podravska
18 Slatina to Vocin where he was accommodated in the home of Nikola
19 Radosevic, the brother of Savo Radosevic. (redacted)
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall redact this. Please
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, allow me to make an
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Pajo Baljak only signed this
2 statement. Unlike Dr. Seselj I know Pajo Baljak. His vocabulary and his
3 linguistic skills would not permit him to write in this way. This was
4 produced in the offices of the Serbian Radical Party to help this man.
5 That's what I think, Dr. Seselj, and if I may address him directly, Your
6 Honours. But I assume this also is part of the rights of the accused, to
7 mistreat like this --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will draw its
9 conclusions, but you are saying that her intellect was such that she could
10 not express herself so well. I think we've understood this. So please
11 finish the reading of this document.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] No, I don't agree with this. I
16 don't think we should continue reading this statement because there are
17 constant personal references made and we are not in private session. So I
18 disagree here. I would also like to mention that these people -- well,
19 Mr. Seselj can call these people to come and testify, because if they
20 testify, their testimony will undoubtedly be relevant and important for
21 the Bench. But as far as I'm concerned these statements have no probative
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, what do you have to
24 respond, what do you have to say to that?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am presenting these statements as
1 documents in my cross-examination so that I can base questions to the
2 witness on them and so that the witness can give his opinion on the facts
3 mentioned in the statements. They do not have any probative value in
4 themselves, and neither do the 92 ter statements that will be presented to
5 you. It's all one and the same thing. This statement may have been drawn
6 up by my legal advisors based on their conversation with Pajo Baljak, just
7 as the OTP does in the case of their witnesses.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj. I'm
9 interrupting you but I am very careful -- listening very carefully to what
10 you say, every word, every comma. But you have just mentioned false
11 witnesses. There are no false witnesses. What you can say is Prosecution
12 witnesses who don't seem to be true witnesses. But when you talk about
13 false witnesses you seem to be indicating that the Trial Chamber accepts
14 the testimony of false witnesses, which is something I am dead against. I
15 think it's important to mention this. Just say that the Prosecution is
16 calling witnesses, who according to you are false witnesses, but you
17 cannot say that false witnesses come and testify before this Bench.
18 Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President, but I hesitate to get up
20 and deal with a witness my colleague has been dealing with. But really,
21 for the benefit of the record, this practice must, in our respectful
22 submission, stop. There is simply no basis for statements of third
23 witnesses to be read into the record by other witnesses as a basis for
24 cross-examination. Certainly if the Prosecution asked Witness A to read
25 the statements of Witness B into the record, that would not be tolerated.
1 There are ways of using these statements to cross-examine this witness but
2 that does not necessarily entail asking the witness to read someone else's
3 statement into the record.
4 What's happening here, in effect, is a process by which Dr. Seselj
5 is attempting to get the statements or testimony of other witnesses before
6 the Trial Chamber without allowing the Prosecution the benefit of
7 cross-examine these witnesses, without allowing the Trial Chamber to
8 determine whether these witnesses gave these statements freely,
9 voluntarily. These are simply documents that purport to be the truth
10 which he's then asking this witness to read into the record with no
11 indication at all for the purpose to which this information is being used.
12 Simply a statement that it goes to the cross-examination.
13 Well, he can -- Dr. Seselj, with all due respect, can take
14 anything contained in that statement and put it to this witness in the
15 form of a simple question. He doesn't need to have the witness read into
16 the record a lengthy statement that may or may not be written by the
17 purported author and for which we can't cross-examine, the Chamber can't
18 question the purported author of the document. We have no idea where this
19 information is coming from.
20 And with all due respect, the Prosecution asserts that this
21 process, this procedure, must stop and it must stop right now.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Two things, Mr. Mundis. We do
23 not know whether this statement comes from the purported witness. That's
24 what you say. But there is a signature on this statement, there is a
25 stamp, and the statement has been authenticated according to the relevant
1 procedure by the relevant administrative authority. You have a stamp, you
2 have a signature on this statement. We, therefore, can presume or assume
3 that there are indicia of reliability here.
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sorry for interrupting. I might
5 be mistaken, but I'd like to give my opinion on this point. What is
6 certified here is only the signature of the witness, not the statement as
7 such. We only know that this is the certified signature of the person who
8 signed the document.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Everybody agrees on that.
10 That's what I talked about, indicia of reliability.
11 Now, as far as the substance of the statement is concerned, we
12 have no idea whether the witness is telling the truth or not. However,
13 Mr. Mundis is absolutely right on the second point. Mr. Seselj needs to
14 ask his questions in the following manner: I am putting to you a document
15 drafted by Mr. X on such and such dates. This is a certified document.
16 In this document in the Serbian language the following is stated at
17 paragraph 2. And then, Mr. Seselj, you ask your question. You could have
18 asked, for example, the following: In this document, Mr. X states that
19 you were the one who organised the offensive that led to the death of
20 these four young men. Do you agree or not? And then the witness would
21 have said, No, I do not agree.
22 Mr. Seselj, that's the way you should proceed. You submit the
23 document for everybody to see it and then you say, Such and such a thing
24 is being said in this paragraph of the document. You summarize what is
25 being said - we don't want to spend hours reading other documents - you
1 ask the question and the witness can tell you whether he agrees or not.
2 Please proceed and then the registrar will tell me how much time
3 you have got left.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it has been the
5 practice of this Court thus far to proceed in the way I did, that is to
6 say, that in the cross-examination the document is presented to the
7 witness, that they're asked to read out the document and then to answer
8 questions. And I have my own personal experience. That is what Geoffrey
9 Nice did to me in the Slobodan Milosevic trial, the Prosecutor. He put
10 documents before me, documents I had never seen before. He asked me to
11 read them out, and then he asked questions about that. Now if you're
12 changing case law and court practice, then that's another thing. You're
13 the power here. I am just an unprotected accused so I have to follow what
14 you say, and I'm here between the "scylla" and "charybdis."
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj. You're
16 neither a victim nor anything else and the Tribunal is not the power
17 you're describing. But there's a point where you're right. I've had the
18 opportunity to check this. When you testified in the Milosevic case,
19 Mr. Nice asked you to read out portions of some documents. That's true.
20 Mr. Mundis, what do you have to respond to this?
21 MR. MUNDIS: Two points, Mr. President.
22 I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but Mr. Nice would have
23 shown the accused, Mr. Seselj, documents not signed statements written by
24 other witnesses, number 1.
25 And number 2, if I recall correctly, the Trial Chamber in this
1 case has issued guidelines that cover the cross-examination of witnesses,
2 and paragraph 26 of those guidelines indicates that a party
3 cross-examining a witness may show the witness the information obtained
4 from a previous witness on the condition that the source of the
5 information is not identified. Now, obviously these people, these
6 statements that Dr. Seselj is showing are not previous witnesses, which in
7 and of itself leads to a different problem: The fact that the Prosecution
8 does not have the opportunity to check out this information, to check the
9 validity of this information, to cross-examine these witnesses. We are
10 simply being presented ambush-style with a series of faxed statements
11 coming from Belgrade without the opportunity to review them, to check
12 them, to see if they're accurate. We can't cross-examine them. We can't
13 challenge what the witnesses purport to say in these written statements.
14 It is simply an unfair procedure.
15 And I submit that if the Prosecution were to do the same thing,
16 the Trial Chamber would not allow us to do that. If we were to be putting
17 signed witness statements to Defence witnesses as a means of
18 cross-examining them, I feel relatively confident that this Trial Chamber
19 would not allow us to do that. There are procedures for getting written
20 statements before the Trial Chamber. Those procedures are not followed in
21 this instance where a witness is simply presented with the written
22 statement of someone else and asked to read it into the record.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- I would once again like to rely
1 on case law here and practice at this Tribunal. When Slobodan Milosevic
2 called a defence witness - it was a judge from pristine, the investigating
3 judge, Danica Marinkovic, and among others she investigated the Racak
4 affair and many others - she presented a certain number of documents in
5 the courtroom and presented the facts. In the meantime, during the break,
6 over the weekend, Geoffrey Nice found Albanians, individuals of Albanian
7 ethnicity that Danica Mariknovic had mentioned who had given her
8 statements previously and they gave him, Geoffrey Nice, new statements in
9 which they denied what she had said. And he operated with that, Geoffrey
10 Nice, and he operated with, Geoffrey Nice operated with that quite freely
11 in the courtroom. So there's a fact for you.
12 Now, you can change case law here using my case, I don't mind, but
13 it is my aim -- I'm not offering this into evidence. These people are
14 going to come in court to testify and I'm going to have far more defence
15 witnesses, and they'll be testifying 15 minutes, 20 minutes, half an hour
16 with respect to certain facts and circumstances. I'm not going to lose
17 time on negligible issues like the Prosecution is doing. But I would --
18 in challenging a Prosecution witness, I do have the right to present facts
19 from these statements.
20 Now, when these witnesses come into court then the Prosecution
21 will be able to cross-examine them, because it doesn't matter what it says
22 in the statement here, what is important is what this witness says based
23 on the facts read out from the statement. That's the essence, that's the
24 crux of the matter. And I think I have been able to tackle
25 cross-examination and Anglo-Saxon law very well by now. I'm an amateur.
1 Mr. Mundis should know about that; it's his profession. But I think that
2 I have become quite good at it now.
3 So this is a statement by these witnesses, and when they come into
4 court you'll hear them and hear their testimony.
5 Secondly --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. The Chamber needs
7 to make a decision on the procedure because my point of view might not be
8 the same as that of my fellow Judges.
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] One remark about what Mr. Seselj
10 said. Please do not quote the case law of the Milosevic trial. It's not
11 part of the case law because the trial was not completed. There was no
12 control afterwards of the transcript. No judgement was rendered by the
13 Judges who would have ruled on the probative value of various documents.
14 Therefore, I would like to ask Mr. Seselj to rely on different case law
15 and not to constantly rely on the case law of the Milosevic case. It's a
16 non-trial, on the non-trial of Mr. Milosevic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madam Lattanzi, I have to say
18 something before you make a final ruling. I hope I will die innocent like
19 Mr. Milosevic. However, here in this Tribunal we are using documents,
20 transcripts, and other papers that are not complete. At the Slavko
21 Dokmanovic trial, there's a lot of material there, and I've been disclosed
22 a lot of those documents, although a judgement wasn't made in that case
23 either. So these proceedings can't have its own case law independently of
24 other Trial Chambers.
25 And let me take your example to prove my point. You refused to --
1 you rejected what I said when I said that a witness under 92 ter cannot be
2 partially examined in chief here. Mr. Antonetti said that that was the
3 practice of this Tribunal because that happened in other trials, although
4 you have no grounds to do that in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
5 The rules say it's either viva voce or it's 92 bis, ter, quater. There's
6 not both. You can't do both. In some other trials, because the counsel
7 are quite incapable of doing their job, they have allowed that and now
8 you're going to follow suit here. Now, you can do what you like, but
9 that's my position.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. We need to
11 deliberate to decide whether an accused who is representing himself and
12 who submits a document that is not available in one of the languages of
13 the Tribunal may read out the document or have the witness read out that
14 document and then ask questions to the witness about this document.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. After considering
17 the matter, the Trial Chamber believes that the accused may not --
18 believes by majority, because I don't share that view, and I'll explain
19 why later.
20 The Trial Chamber believes by majority that the accused may not
21 use a statement taken by the accused in uncertain circumstances that are
22 not similar to that that pertain to a 92 bis statement or by an
23 investigation conducted by an authority, and because this statement lacks
24 a number of items allowing the Chamber to conclude that it's a probative
25 document, this statement may not be read out or used. That's the decision
1 of the Chamber by the majority.
2 I do not share that view for the following reason: I believe that
3 if you have a document drafted by someone who certifies that what he's
4 saying is the truth, if that document has been registered by an authority
5 that is able to certify the authenticity of the signature - I'm not
6 talking about the substance, of course - but under those circumstances I
7 believe that this document, if relevant, may have certain probative value.
8 All the more so since it happens here in this Tribunal that Trial Chambers
9 admit documents without a signature, without an identified author, just
10 because these documents are relevant to the indictment and because these
11 documents have other indicia of reliability.
12 This is, therefore, a decision by the Chamber, by a majority,
13 according to which the accused is not allowed to use that type of
15 Secondly, and here I agree with my fellow Judges, when such
16 documents may cast doubt about the witness, the statements should not be
17 read out by the witness himself. Under those circumstances the accused
18 should read out the document and not ask the witness to read out the
19 document. And this is a unanimous decision.
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I just want to correct the
21 transcript. The Presiding Judge said what he wanted to say, but it was
22 not translated properly. He did not talk only about probative value but
23 also of reliability. Let me add that I do not believe in prima facie
24 reliability. I believe that reliability is the proper translation for
25 "fiabilite" in French. The matter of probative value is something
1 different. Here we are more talking about prima facie, reliability.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The time has come to have a
3 20-minute break. I believe that Mr. Seselj has used 1 hour and 40
4 minutes. He'll have 20 minutes after the break.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
8 resumed. You have 20 minutes left, Mr. Seselj.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I continue with my
10 cross-examination, I have to raise a brief objection, Judges. Previously
11 you objected that I did not mention the sources of my information when I
12 put questions in the course of cross-examination. That was the case with
13 previous witnesses. Now that I've started to show you the sources of my
14 information, you stopped me. But I hope that in future you will not tell
15 me in my cross-examination that I'm failing to report the sources of my
16 information, that you will simply assume that I'm basing my questions on
17 statements made by certain people, and so on and so forth.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Now, Mr. Kulic, when you were on trial in Bjelovar in 1995 there
20 were five accused. And your name, what number was it in the indictment?
21 A. I don't remember, Your Honours. I think I was the second or the
22 third indicted, but I'm not sure.
23 Q. And when you gave a statement before the court and in our courts,
24 both in Serbia and in Croatia, it's always been like this, when there's
25 more than one accused they appear in the courtroom one by one and make
1 statements, and the first one who makes a statement sits down, then
2 another one goes in and makes a statements, and so on and so forth, and
3 then the third one comes in and sits down. So the fifth one did not hear
4 what the four before him said, but the first one in heard what the other
5 four said.
6 So, Mr. Kulic, when you made your statement, why did you ask that
7 the accused who have made statements before you leave the courtroom?
8 A. Your Honours, I don't remember that. I don't remember this fact.
9 It may have happened but I don't remember.
10 Q. Slobodan Bosanac remembers. He was convicted first to 12 years
11 and then another number of years, 20 years, but I'm not allowed to use the
12 statement. However, I will collect these statements and publish them in
13 my books, and I will give you a gift of a set of books at the end so that
14 you can have a memento of what you prevented from being said in the
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're saying that
17 Slobodan Bosanac made a statement. Without using that statement, without
18 having it read out, you can say, I have information according to which,
19 and so on and so forth, and then you put a question to the witness. Then
20 later on, as my fellow Judges told you, you can calling Slobodan Bosanac
21 as your witness and he will be able to confirm all of this. Today you can
22 tell the witness that you have information allowing you to state that when
23 he testified he asked for four witnesses to leave the courtroom, and then
24 after that you ask him the question.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness has just said he doesn't
1 remember so why should I put further questions, Your Honours, about this.
2 He doesn't remember, he doesn't remember. Slobodan Bosanac does remember;
3 you're not interested in that, so let's move on.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Kulic, you were a member of a delegation, you called it a
6 delegation, which signed the Daruvar Agreement in 1993; is that correct?
7 A. I was one of the signatories of the Daruvar Agreement in 1993,
8 Your Honours. That is correct.
9 Q. Who authorised you to sign the Daruvar Agreement?
10 A. Well, at the time as a civilian I was representing Serbs from the
11 municipality of Podravska Slatina. I was a representative of the Serbs in
12 the municipality of Podravska Slatina.
13 Q. What does it mean, you were representatives of the Serbs?
14 A. Well, I was a member of parliament. I was a deputy. I was
15 elected by those who lived there, Your Honours, on the territory of
16 Western Slavonia, and that is how I had contacts with the international
17 community. And when there was a proposal that the Daruvar Agreement
18 should be signed, that's the role I played.
19 Q. Mr. Kulic, does every member of parliament have the right to enter
20 into these behind-the-scenes activities and say that he is representing
21 the people, that he's a representative, and that he has a right to make
22 such agreements?
23 A. Your Honours, no of course not. But it was not the kind of
24 activity Dr. Seselj is alluding to.
25 Q. What kind of activity was it, then?
1 A. The international community was there through UNPROFOR and its
2 organs and in cooperation with a group of us who were then the beginnings
3 of the civilian government that was being established, a proposal emerged
4 that we should move in that direction.
5 Q. Why did you not inform anyone from the Republic of Serbian Krajina
6 that you were going to those negotiations?
7 A. Your Honours, the Daruvar Agreement, at the Assembly of the SAO
8 Western Slavonia was adopted as a document and there were no secrets.
9 That same document was sent to the government of the Republic of Serbian
10 Krajina. A government session, a cabinet session was held, and although
11 opinions were divided, the cabinet did not support the agreement.
12 Q. Mr. Kulic, I'm asking you what happened before that. How come you
13 crossed over onto Croatian territory illegally, participated in
14 negotiations with representatives of the Croatian authorities, and the
15 government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina had no knowledge of it and
16 yet you were a member of parliament of all of Serbian Krajina? So how is
17 this possible?
18 A. Your Honours, in my working team there were two members of the
19 cabinet and I'm convinced that in the cabinet - I'm still convinced from
20 some information I have, and it's been confirmed to me by some other
21 members of the cabinet - but two members of the government were with me
22 and they signed that agreement together with me.
23 Q. What two members of the government?
24 A. The then Deputy Prime Minister, engineer, Zeljko Dzakula and the
25 Minister of Information, Dusan Acimovic.
1 Q. And you were arrested for that reason, all of you together?
2 A. Your Honours, I was arrested on the 21st of September, 1993, and
3 the agreement was signed I think sometime in March 1993.
4 Q. When were you arrested?
5 A. The 21st of September, 1993.
6 Q. You were arrested because of several criminal offences under the
7 Criminal Code of the SFRY, Article 116, paragraph 1, imperilling
8 territorial integrity; Article 118, preventing the struggle against the
9 enemy; and Article 121, paragraph 1, espionage. Was that in your
11 A. Your Honours, there was no indictment in my case.
12 Q. Well, what was there, then, in your case?
13 A. In my case there was just an investigation - that's what they
14 said - and the investigating judge who was in charge, he was the only one
15 I knew of and he's still living there.
16 Q. And you were released at the intervention of the occupiers; is
17 that right?
18 A. Your Honours, I did not think, and I still do not think, that the
19 international community is an occupier because it was accepted by the
20 legal organs of Yugoslavia that it should be there. And this way of
21 communicating that Mr. Seselj is using is something I fail to understand
22 and that I don't accept.
23 Q. Well, it's not up to you to reject or accept anything. You're
24 duty-bound to answer my questions. Did it say in the indictment that you
25 had committed those crimes or not?
1 A. Your Honours, the suspicions about the circumstances Mr. Seselj is
2 putting forward are what he said.
3 Q. All right, Mr. Kulic. And this was linked to Article 139,
4 paragraph 3 of the Criminal Code of the SFRY, which says that for these
5 crimes, in a state of war, a death sentence may be handed down. Is that
7 A. I was not familiar with the law, Your Honours, so I can neither
8 confirm nor deny this. I suppose that's correct. I don't know.
9 Q. And when in 1995 you were arrested and tried in Bjelovar, you lied
10 and said that the UN had provided you with defence counsel. It was the
11 American embassy in Zagreb that provided you with defence counsel; is that
13 A. No.
14 Q. Yes, it is.
15 A. Your Honours, the UN office in Vienna got me my defence lawyer,
16 Dr. Mihajlo Placar. He arrived in person.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the accused is
18 addressing a topic that had not escaped my attention. In your written
19 statement of the 11th of May, 2002, you state that you were detained from
20 the 4th to the 8th of May, 1995, and in the second half of the month of
21 May you were assigned counsel and you say that with the assistance -- that
22 it was with the assistance of Mr. Hamilton from the American embassy.
23 Reading this I wondered what the American embassy had to do with your
24 detention. Why did you state that? What does it mean?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll try to clarify.
1 When I was arrested in 1995, on the 4th of May in Pakrac, there was a
2 danger. A group of us Serbs there felt that our lives might be under
3 threat. Mr. Peter Galbraith paid special attention to this because he had
4 received some information from the UN about this, and I assume because
5 that's what the representative of the American embassy said - I think his
6 name was Hamilton but I'm no longer sure - he wanted to know how we were
7 being treated and what our accommodation was like, because I had been in a
8 camp for three days and on the fourth day was transferred to the prison.
9 So the only thing this was about was that my friends who were in Pakrac at
10 the time, Mr. Dzakula specifically, insisted with the American embassy
11 that they should check what my situation was, whether I was still alive
12 and what conditions I was in. That was the only reason for this.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why the American embassy? Why
14 not the embassy of Italy, Zimbabwe, Pakistan? Why the American embassy?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Later on I heard this from some
16 friends of mine, the American embassy had a special attitude towards the
17 Serbian community from before. It contacted mainly through certain
18 individuals. I'm referring primarily to my friend Dzakula, but they had
19 no special interest except to come and check, at Mr. Dzakula's request, to
20 come and see what was happening to me. That's the explanation I got. I
21 had never seen those people before.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Dzakula took care of
23 everything, then.
24 Mr. Seselj.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Kulic, what role did Hamilton play in the American embassy?
2 A. I don't know, Your Honours. I think he was a secretary or
3 something like that. He was an employee in the American embassy.
4 Q. For intelligence, right?
5 A. Well, I don't know. He didn't say that. He didn't introduce
6 himself to me, nor did I ask him about that. I don't think I was of any
7 interest to such people.
8 Q. Mr. Kulic, why did you deny my statement that it was the American
9 embassy that intervened for you and got you your defence counsel when I
10 put that question to you before the Presiding Judge let you see your
11 statement from 2002, which I didn't have time to do?
12 A. Your Honours, I never received any assistance from the American
13 embassy except for this personal visit when they wanted to find out how I
14 was and convey a message from my friends, and that's all. No more, no
16 Q. Why didn't you in that statement of 2002 say that it was the
17 United Nations that provided you with defence counsel? Why did you say
18 that only in 2007?
19 A. Your Honours, I think I did say it then. Maybe it's not in the
20 statement. Maybe nobody asked me about it. But there was no reason
21 either then or now for me to keep this secret. I paid partially for my
22 defence. A part was paid by the United Nations, but one part was paid by
24 Q. And you were employed, you had a good income, and you were able to
25 pay, right?
1 A. No, Your Honours. I have already explained. I worked mostly on
2 humanitarian law with humanitarian organisations, NGOs. But then when I
3 was arrested and later on in Pakrac I was working for the UN office from
4 Vienna regarding the repair of damaged houses.
5 Q. After signing the Daruvar Agreement you travelled to Zagreb
6 secretly; is that right? After the signing.
7 A. Your Honours, I don't know when I was in Zagreb, whether it was
8 afterwards. It's possible I was there afterwards, but I was in Zagreb. I
9 have no reason to hide that.
10 Q. You met with Slavko Degoricija there; is that right?
11 A. We met with a group of negotiators, Your Honours, in Zagreb. I
12 think that this group was led by a man called Slavko Degoricija. I don't
13 know him so ...
14 Q. Well, he was a high-ranking official in the Croatian government;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In the Ministry of the Interior. Was he the minister's deputy?
18 A. I don't think he had to do with the interior, Your Honours. There
19 was somebody else there who turned up when the agreement was being signed,
20 a deputy minister. I think his name was Moric or something like that.
21 Q. Well, that was the assistant minister, wasn't he?
22 A. Well, maybe, but Slavko Degoricija was a politician, not a
23 policeman. He didn't have anything to do with the police.
24 Q. But the services you rendered, the American intelligence service
25 and the Croatian authorities made it possible for you to go unpunished
1 through the Bjelovar trial; is that correct?
2 A. No, Your Honours, and I would like to say again that there are
3 documents, there are records of the trial and the proceedings, and this
4 kind of speculation by Mr. Seselj is completely unnecessary. There's no
5 need to even take it into consideration before this Tribunal because there
6 are official documents which I referred to. I didn't sit there for seven
7 months for no reason.
8 Q. Well, you committed terrible crimes. That's why you sat there.
9 But because of the services you rendered you were released from prison and
10 you were not convicted; is that right?
11 A. Your Honours, I think that the accused and others did things in
12 the Republic of Serbian Krajina which are causing my people to suffer
13 still today.
14 Q. Well, I see you think a lot. Mr. Kulic, in paragraph 51 you said
15 that as of the 1st of June, 1991, up to the 30th of April 1993 you were
16 the deputy president of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Western Slavonia.
17 Is this correct?
18 A. From the 1st of June, 1992, Your Honours, that's correct, until
19 the 30th of May, 1993.
20 Q. In paragraph 51 it says from the 1st of June, 1991 to the 30th of
21 April, 1993. You signed every page of this statement.
22 A. Your Honours, I believe I signed it, but I'm telling you the
23 correct dates and this is incorrect, at least that's not correct, what was
24 quoted by Dr. Seselj.
25 Q. But you misrepresented yourself here saying that you were the
1 deputy president of the Serbian Autonomous District and that that post
2 never existed.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You mentioned paragraph 51 and
4 you give a date. In paragraph 51 we have no date.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is a date in the second half
6 of that paragraph. It says: "Since between the 1st of June, 1991 to the
7 30th of April, 1993 I was the vice-premier or vice-president of the SAO,"
8 paragraph 51.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you talking about the
10 statement of the 14th of November 2007?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The statement from 202 has no
12 paragraphs, it's just a text from start to finish; whereas, in the 207
13 statement it's been divided into paragraphs.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you referring to 2002 or
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 2007, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The English version in 2007, in
18 paragraph 51, we have no date, and in addition it is said that he was not
19 deputy president or vice-president but vice-minister, vice-prime minister.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you look at the Serbian
21 version of paragraph 51. It is 06147723. May we have that version put on
22 the overhead projector, please.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can put both versions, B/C/S
24 and English, so that we can see it properly. No, it's not possible? On
25 the ELMO, please, paragraph 51. The registrar does not have the
2 As Mr. Seselj does understand English to some extent, he can see
3 that the month of June is not mentioned in this paragraph.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know English at all,
5 Mr. President. I have the version in Serbian --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I said you had some
7 understanding. I didn't say that you were fully conversant. I said that
8 you had some understanding.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would you show that, please.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Whatever the case may be, the
11 witness does have some understanding of English, and he can see that in
12 the English version the month of June is not mentioned. Is that right,
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I haven't been shown that yet.
16 I can't see it.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed because this is
18 not of any vital importance.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is of
20 fundamental importance, as far as I'm concerned. If there's that much
21 difference between the English and Serbian versions, then this has
22 incapacitated my defence. All I'm getting is the Serbian version and the
23 difference here is so great that it really is of vital importance. Now
24 the interpreters can translate that for you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. True to fact we can see
1 that in the B/C/S version there is a date, whereas in the English version
2 no mention is made of June.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Kulic, did you sign this statement of yours in Serbian or in
6 A. Your Honour, I think that I signed in both languages but I'm not
7 quite sure. But I can understand English sufficiently to see that in many
8 details it does not correspond to the Serbian version, neither does it
9 correspond to the actual state of affairs as they stood.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't see how you think that
11 I can continue my cross-examination like this. Perhaps you think I can,
12 but then explain to me how I'm to go about it.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that this is
14 important to you. I haven't understood in what way the months of June
15 would be important, so put the question to him and then we will all know
16 what it's about.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] I already asked the question: Why
18 did Mr. Kulic falsely represent himself as being the president of the
19 Serbian Autonomous Region when that post did exist. I'm explaining this
20 to the Judge now, not repeating the question for you now, Mr. Kulic, so
22 Now, I have been given a Serbian version signed and I am preparing
23 to cross-examine this witness. Then somebody in the Prosecution remembers
24 that a mistake was made here or that this is untenable and then he
25 corrects the English version, but he didn't have time to put the Serbian
1 version right and so I am led astray here. Well, I'm not actually led
2 astray. What is important for me is the English version. What you have
3 received in English has been redacted because somebody had enough brains
4 in the Prosecution to conclude that Mr. Kulic could not occupy a post that
5 didn't exist, and then he says vice premier, whereas here it says that he
6 was vice-president of the SAO which is a post that never existed, neither
7 president nor vice-president of the SAO. That did not exist.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you will be able to
9 shed some light on this. Did this position exist? What can you say about
10 it? Because you were able to compare the two versions, the B/C/S and the
11 English one. What do you have to say about that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Serbian Autonomous Region of
13 Western Slavonia, Your Honour, had an assembly and it had an executive
14 organ that was called a council. Now, in that council, the assembly had a
15 president and the council had a president. I was the vice-president of
16 the council. Now, why that does not -- was not specifically stated, the
17 vice-president of the council of SAO Slavonia, I really don't know, but
18 that's no reason for us not to establish that now.
19 On the 1st of June, 1991 -- well, it's impossible because this is
20 all happening in 1992. On the 1st of June I was in the municipal assembly
21 working there. There was no war at the time. There was no SAO Western
22 Slavonia, and so on and so forth. So if that is sufficient explanation,
23 Your Honour ...
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were vice-president.
25 What was the date of that exactly?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the period between the 1st of
2 June to the 30th of April -- the 1st of June, 1992, to the 30th of April,
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in 1991 you were neither
5 vice-president nor vice-premier. You were nothing at all.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please proceed.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you consider that I can continue
9 under these circumstances, I will comply. However, there are so many
10 defects here that you ought to draw a different conclusion from all this.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Now, Mr. Kulic, this statement of yours is replete with phrases
13 with which you express your own uncertainty, doubts, lack of knowledge,
14 and the like, subsequent thinking, and so on. And I'll give you a few
15 examples and a few details.
16 In paragraph 30, for instance, you say: "I don't know how the
17 shipment was conducted," and we're talking about weapons. In that same
18 paragraph you say that: "A tank T-55 which might have had JNA insignia
19 but I'm not sure about that ..."
20 In paragraph 32, you go on to say, "if I remember correctly," -
21 and here is the point, "if I remember correctly," I'd like that
22 underlined - "that the Radical Party of Serbia led by Vojislav Seselj had
23 recruited them via their Belgrade office."
24 And then in paragraph 33 you go on to say, "I believe," you use
25 the word "believe," that's what I want to emphasise "that there were four
1 reasons which compelled many volunteers to join the reservist units."
2 Then in paragraph 34, you say "As far as I remember in November
3 1991 the volunteer units and the White Eagles came under direct control
4 ..." Et cetera.
5 Then in paragraph 34 again: "I don't remember exactly what the
6 symbols and insignia were, but we called them Chetnik insignia." And then
7 in that same paragraph you say: "I heard that the White Eagles were put
8 up in Vocin."
9 Then in paragraph 35, again: "I heard at the Western Slavonia TO
10 command that the volunteers from Serbia were financed from three sources."
11 Then again in paragraph 37, you say: "I know that Seselj took
12 part in the meeting for which I assume was held in order to discuss the
13 deployment of volunteers from Serbia."
14 Now, from this we see you're doing guesswork, speculating all the
15 time about things you're not certain about, don't know for sure. You
16 feel, you heard, and then you don't know who you heard what you heard
17 from. Is that correct?
18 A. Your Honours, what he -- Mr. Seselj says so decidedly is correct,
19 but his illusions, additional illusions I reject.
20 Q. Then you say: "I'm not quite sure whether Vuk Draskovic was the
21 leader of the White Eagles," in paragraph 41, for instance. Mr. Kulic,
22 while this combat was going on in Western Slavonia when you were in Vocin,
23 where was your family?
24 A. Your Honour, I don't know what my family's got to do with any of
25 this, but I will answer. My family was in Serbia.
1 Q. In Belgrade?
2 A. Yes, in Belgrade.
3 Q. Your wife and your daughter were there, right?
4 A. Your Honours, I have no reason to keep secret my personal details,
5 but I don't want to present this to the European public and public all
6 over the world.
7 Q. Well, it's no shame to have a wife and daughter. I assume you're
8 proud of your daughter. What is it that I'm asking you that you think is
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The family was in Belgrade. Get
11 to another topic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You are making it impossible for me
13 to conduct my cross-examination.
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
15 Q. In paragraph 41 --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I'm not preventing you from
17 putting the question. The witness confirmed that his family was in
18 Belgrade, so --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And can he say that his wife and
20 daughter were in Belgrade? Where's the shame there? Where does that
21 touch upon his personal integrity? What is bad in that question of mine?
22 I assume that his wife and daughter are honourable people and that
23 he has no reason to confirm that they were there -- or not to confirm that
24 they were there. As far as I know he has one child. It would make me
25 happy to hear that he had more children, but he has this adult daughter,
1 so why would that be a problem?
2 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I ask --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer.
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I ask, where is the relevance to this question --
5 for this question?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is relevant about the fact
7 that his daughter, son, or niece are in Belgrade? What is the purpose of
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, let me conduct my
10 cross-examination as it should be conducted. You want me to disclose my
11 intentions in advance, which is impermissible when it comes to the Trial
12 Chamber. And now I am going to say that you've destroyed my question
13 completely. In paragraph 41 it says: "In fact, my wife, who worked at
14 the medical centre in Vocin at the time, told me that the volunteers
15 belonged to the White Eagles, or Beli Orlovi, paramilitary organisation,"
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because the person who was
22 working in the medical centre, did this person mention the volunteers who
23 belonged to the paramilitary organisation called Beli Orlovi? Is that
24 true or not?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this woman told you that
2 volunteers belonged to that organisation.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that she met such people there.
4 That's the information I got.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] When did this person tell you
6 that? In what year was it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it all refers to 1991.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you add in paragraph 41, and
10 I'm a little bit surprised by this given that you were a captain first
11 class and a reservist in the JNA, you add this: "I am not able to
12 establish a distinction between a paramilitary organisation and another
13 organisation." What did this mean?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said in my statement
15 that there were several groups that replaced each other. They came and
16 went. Because of the post I held I wasn't able to observe all that and
17 say precisely in such and such a location there was such and such a group
18 which differed in such and such a way from the other group. So I couldn't
19 say that explicitly.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 I think, Mr. Seselj, that your time is up. The registrar will
22 confirm this for me. You've had your time. Mr. Seselj, you have two
23 minutes left. In two minutes one can ask a lot of questions.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there are many
25 questions I can put. I can put 1.867 questions here, but there's a
1 problem and I'll make use of my two minutes to put just one.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. In paragraph 42 you say: "I don't know whether Veljko Dzakula had
4 contacts with Seselj, but I believe there was some tension between them."
5 And then in paragraph 44 you go on to say that you heard only after 1992
6 about a certain individual in connection with Bosnia. And in the same
7 paragraph you say: "I believe that Jovic," this is Mirko Jovic, "was a
8 member of a political party advocating monarchy and its name was something
9 like The Patriotic Movement." And in paragraph 47 you say: "I saw a
10 group of volunteers there, and I'm convinced that they set fire to the
11 house." And in the same paragraph as regards the massacre, "I heard that
12 young local Serbs participated in it whose parents were from Bosnia and
13 volunteers who came from other places."
14 In paragraph 47: "Later on I heard that the volunteers had killed
15 those young men outside Vocin."
16 In paragraph 48: "I assume that the attack was not a planned
17 action. As far as I heard from the villagers, the massacres were carried
18 out by two masked groups of paramilitary soldiers, and that's what I heard
19 from the local people." And in the same paragraph: "I don't have
20 first-hand information." And in paragraph 48 also: "That woman says that
21 on that occasion some Chetniks came to ask whether there were houses in
22 the village where Croats lived, and that's a certain Jovan Kadragojevic
23 [phoen]" who's a relative of your wife Jelena Radosevic. And then you
24 say: "My knowledge is based on what I was told by the local people,
25 Croats and Serbs from Vocin," same paragraph, paragraph 49.
1 According to these local people, two members of the Territorial
2 Defence whose last name was Simic committed some of those murders while
3 they were withdrawing. In my opinion they shot and killed Croat civilians
4 because they were angry that they were being forced to leave and things
5 got out of control.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please stop. You're going too
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I only two minutes. I don't
9 have time.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Then you say in another paragraph when the local people of
12 Lisicine left, that's paragraph 50, the pull-out of Serbian population in
13 Lisicine, and then in paragraph 61 you say: "I have no first-hand
14 information," and then you go on to say "I didn't like --" you're talking
15 about Goran Hadzic. "I didn't really like him," and so on and so forth.
16 Is this, Mr. Kulic, testimony or is it your speculation based on
17 hearsay? Are you testifying to anything here at all?
18 A. I'm testifying to what I experienced, what I underwent, what I
19 have information about, Your Honours. I cannot testify to what you did or
20 said, but I did meet you there, not through my own will.
21 Q. Mr. Kulic, you are here in the capacity of a testus. You are here
22 putting forward your testimony. Your testimony is based on I heard, I
23 believe, someone told me, I heard from someone over there, some people
24 said, I don't have first-hand information. Can a real testus behave in
25 such a way? You're a false testus in this proceedings; isn't that
1 correct, Mr. Kulic?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This question is not admissible.
3 I'm turning to the Prosecution. Do you have any redirect?
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes, Your Honour, only one issue I want to touch,
5 and I would like to ask the Registry to show us again 65 ter number 608.
6 It is a document which has already been admitted into evidence under P223
7 and which is under seal. I want to show this to the witness on the
8 monitor and ask him if he recognises this document. Again, this document
9 is under seal. I think we have to go into private session.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. No. You can address the
11 document, put questions about the document, but the document will not be
12 shown outside of this courtroom. Nobody outside of this courtroom will
13 see the document.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection, Mr. President.
15 During the examination-in-chief this witness has already said that he had
16 never seen this document before, and in the summary it says -- in the
17 summary delivered to us by the OTP, it says that he recognised the
18 document during his proofing and now the Prosecutor wants to correct the
19 witness subsequently and that is impermissible. I did not deal with this
20 document in the cross-examination. It was not a subject of
21 cross-examination at all.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You did not use this document as
23 part of your cross-examination, but during your cross-examination you
24 dealt with the SRS volunteers and this document is related to SRS
25 volunteers. And we have no idea what the Prosecutor wants to do with this
1 document. The best solution is probably to listen to Mr. Mussemeyer.
2 Please ask your question.
3 Re-examination by Mr. Mussemeyer:
4 Q. Mr. Witness, do you see this document on your monitor?
5 A. Yes, I do, Your Honours.
6 Q. Do you recognise this document?
7 A. Yes. You have already shown it to me.
8 Q. Can you comment on this document again?
9 A. It follows from this quite clearly that Mr. Radovan Novacic, who
10 arrived with the first group of volunteers and whom I met, is put at the
11 disposal of the Territorial Defence staff in order to coordinate these.
12 That's what was said. The volunteer units, and this is stated here
13 explicitly, you can see it, they are SRS volunteer units on the territory
14 of the staff of Western Slavonia, and Mr. Novacic is to coordinate the
16 Q. Mr. Witness, yesterday you said that you met the person who signed
17 this document. Can you confirm this?
18 A. Not Mr. Zoran Rankic. I was speaking about Mr. Zoran Petkovic [as
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you're allowing all
21 this. You're not allowing me to put a single serious question in my
22 cross-examination and you're allowing these evident tricks by the OTP. I
23 had the patience to listen to this, to hear the witness' reaction, and it
24 was the witness who corrected, it wasn't Zoran Rankic but Ljubisa Petkovic
25 whom the witness met.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, the witness
2 never said that he had met Zoran Rankic, unless I'm mistaken of course.
3 You told him: "You have met this man."
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, with all due respect, I refer to
5 the transcript of yesterday, and it is 4943, lines 20 to 21, and the
6 witness said, if I may read this with your permission.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: "I do claim, Your Honours, that I met Ljubisa
9 Petkovic if it's the same person who signed the documents on sending the
10 first group of volunteers to Ceralije." And again the witness yesterday
11 said on transcript 4470, lines 5 to 9, to the question if he ever met
12 Ljubisa Petkovic, he said: "That's the only individual whom I met
13 officially. I remember the name of that individual because of the
14 document that Mr. Novacic had with him in the team, the first group of
15 volunteers to Western Slavonia, or more specifically to the village of
16 Ceralije, which is where I was."
17 What I want to show is that the witness heard of the name of the
18 person whom he met, and he was referring to this document, saying "The
19 person who signed this document is the person whom I met." And I want to
20 ask the witness if this is possible or not possible.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible, Your Honours. After
22 a lapse of 17 years I can't really be sure about the connection between
23 first and last names and faces. But I'm sure that I met a certain person
24 in connection with these events, but it would be difficult for people with
25 better memories to remember all this, let alone me.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you're still allowing
2 this. Let me remind you that the witness stated yesterday that he never
3 went to the headquarters of the Serbian Radical Party. Then the
4 Prosecutor started correcting him. Then the witness stated that in 1992
5 he went to the War Staff of the Serbian Radical Party quite by chance and
6 in the statement he made in writing it says that in December 1991 he was
7 in the headquarters of the Serbian Radical Party. You can see what sort
8 of galimatias this is. What is the Prosecutor doing here now? Something
9 that was not rounded off --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm completely lost.
11 Everyone is completely lost. We have a document before us dated 24th of
12 October 1991. We see a stamp. We saw all this indicating that this
13 document is probably a true document. We see the signature of Zoran
14 Rankic. Apparently he's the individual who signed the document on the
15 24th of October. This document is an authorisation signed by Zoran
16 Rankic. Do you know Zoran Rankic, yes or no?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I don't know the
18 gentleman but I may have met him.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm trying to understand the
20 following: Where was this document drafted, in your locality or in
21 Belgrade? Because when you look at the top left corner we see
22 "Territorial Defence Staff, Podravska Slatina."
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it says the
24 headquarters of the staff of the Territorial Defence of Podravska Slatina
25 too, so it's -- and it says that the document was compiled in Belgrade on
1 the 24th of October, 1991.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Apparently the document was
3 drafted in Belgrade. You went to the HQ in February 1992. That's what
4 you told us. In other words, you couldn't have met Mr. Rankic in October
5 because you didn't go there in October. Is that correct?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't say that. By
7 your leave, I was in the office of Western Slavonia, the bureau of Western
8 Slavonia in Belgrade and in that War Staff, so those are two locations in
9 question here. I was in the bureau of Western Slavonia in December 1991,
10 and in the War Staff I went there by chance because I was going with a
11 friend and I was probably in that office. But from my memory I cannot
12 recall now how I can make it sound more convincing here. I can't remember
13 the details.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, what are you
15 trying to establish? I don't quite understand what you're trying to
16 establish with this document.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I want to -- the witness was referring to this
18 document, saying: "If Ljubisa Petkovic --" he said: "Your Honours, I met
19 Ljubisa Petkovic if it is the same person who signed the document on
20 sending the first group of volunteers to Ceralije." My aim is to show
21 that the witness erred here, he thought Ljubisa Petkovic who signed this
22 document, it was Zoran Rankic who signed this document, and the witness,
23 instead of meeting Ljubisa Petkovic, he met Zoran Rankic. That is what I
24 want to clarify.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
1 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Just to add, the description of the person the
2 witness gave yesterday does not fit with Ljubisa Petkovic but it fits with
3 Zoran Rankic.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you agree, Witness, that
5 according to this document you did not meet Mr. Petkovic but Mr. Zoran
6 Rankic? Would you agree with that.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the description yesterday
8 presented here by Mr. Seselj, quite obviously that's not the person. But
9 I claim once again: I did certainly meet a number of people close to him
10 or close to that because I was interested in it in the bureau of Western
11 Slavonia, the offices. People went there. I went there rarely. So as I
12 said yesterday, there might have been a misunderstanding, but it was not
13 intentional or ill-intended, and I wanted to clarify that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. No further
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, could you have met Zoran
17 Rankic, is that possible, or do you rule it out totally.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I certainly met with the responsible
19 person for recruiting and mobilising volunteers from the Radical Party.
20 Now, whether that was Mr. Rankic or Mr. Ljubisa Petkovic, quite obviously
21 Mr. Ljubisa Petkovic wasn't the person but I do not exclude having met
22 him, because quite simply I went to places and came into contact and
23 discussed the topics that only those people knew about. So with all the
24 will in the world from the passage of time, I cannot be precise on that
25 point. But later on I didn't have occasion to meet these people for me to
1 confirm the identity, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would the OTP have a photograph
3 of Mr. Zoran Rankic by any chance?
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes, certainly. Just a minute, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Then the best would probably be
6 to show that photograph to the witness.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I must excuse. It's of a very poor quality, but
8 it's the best we have.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Here we go.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really cannot confirm whether that
11 is the individual I was with, but I don't exclude the possibility either.
12 If I can see this properly, it's a photograph taken in 2003 apparently,
13 judging by what I see here. And that means as far as the period of time
14 is concerned -- or rather, people change as time goes by so I can't really
15 say one way or the other.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can't say anything. Very
18 Mr. Mussemeyer, do you have any further questions?
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER: No, this is my last question. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
21 Witness, on behalf of myself and of my colleagues, I would like
22 to thank you for having come to The Hague.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can note with satisfaction,
24 although I didn't expect this, that this witness showed at least a little
25 bit of decency and did not agree to confirm this trick on the part of the
1 Prosecutor. So I thank him for that. Despite everything in the
2 cross-examination, he showed that he was an honourable man and did not
3 wish to take part in the Prosecution's plot.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj interrupted me whilst
5 I was thanking you for having testified for the Prosecution here in The
6 Hague on a number of events you experienced in your country. Thank you
7 very much. The usher will escort you out of the courtroom. And I would
8 also like to ask her to bring in the following witness who will have
9 protective measures.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm being told by the Chamber's
12 legal officer that we need a 15-minute break to set up everything. We'll
13 have a 15-minute break to make the necessary arrangements. We'll resume
14 in 15 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.19 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.34 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, we need to go
18 into private session for a few minutes.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 4630-4632 redacted. Private session
9 [Open session]
10 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, if I may, I believe that I can ask the
11 witness some short questions that will essentially give the summary of the
12 anticipated evidence in his statement.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis probably explained
14 how I want things to happen and how things are done in other Chambers.
15 The Prosecution gives a brief summary, saying the witness is coming to
16 testify about such and such events. You have two or three minutes to give
17 this summary. And then, only then, can you ask questions.
18 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour. Would the Court like me to do
19 that before discussing the written statement with the witness?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
21 MS. BIERSAY: On either 18 or 19 November 1991, the witness went
22 with his parents to the Vukovar Hospital because he believed there was
23 going to be an evacuation convoy from the hospital. The same morning that
24 he and his family arrived a mixed group of JNA regulars and Territorial
25 Defence members arrived and sealed off the hospital exits and entrances.
1 The morning after this group arrived the witness, along with other men,
2 were ordered out of the hospital and onto buses. There were two to three
3 buses waiting. The buses were guarded by armed JNA soldiers. The buses
4 took the detainees to the JNA military barracks where there were an
5 additional two to three buses.
6 At the barracks there was also a mixed group of soldiers. They
7 insulted and threatened the detainees, one saying "Prepare yourself" or
8 "Get ready, Chetniks." The detainees stayed on the buses for one to two
9 hours and then the buses left the barracks.
10 The detainees were then driven to Ovcara farm. There the witness
11 saw the mixed group of soldiers. The men, the detainees, were directed
12 off the buses. They were then stripped of their belongings, which were
13 thrown into a nearby pile. The detainees were forced to enter a hangar.
14 Inside the witness saw that a mixed group of soldiers had formed a double
15 line, a gauntlet. They carried weapons, such as rifles, iron bars, large
16 pieces of wood. They used these weapons to beat the detainees from the
18 There were approximately 200 to 300 detainees in the hangar at
19 Ovcara. A regular-looking JNA soldier took down the names of these men.
20 Inside of the hangar was a man the witness thought or believes was a JNA
21 officer and he had a whistle and directed the beatings. After the names
22 of the detainees were taken, a group of men came into the building and
23 started beating selected detainees. A person nicknamed "Kemo" was so
24 severely beaten that the witness believes he died from his injuries there
25 in that hangar.
1 The witness saw a group of partially uniformed men kicking him,
2 beating him with weapons, and stamping on his head and body. They made
3 him sing Chetnik songs. Another man, Vladimir Djukic, was brutally beaten
4 with his very own crutches. The JNA officer who had the whistle was
5 present all the time the beatings lasted.
6 Later detainees were taken out in groups of 10 to 20. The men
7 were put on a military truck with a canvas-covered rear. The witness
8 jumped from the rear of this truck and escaped. As he did so he heard
9 gunfire coming from the same direction as the truck.
10 The witness was eventually captured, despite his initial escape.
11 He was detained in Vojvodina and then transferred to Belgrade. He was
12 exchanged in August 1992.
13 And that would conclude the summary, Your Honours.
14 Q. Mr. Witness, also in your binder is 65 ter number 7178, and if you
15 could turn to the blue partition in your binder.
16 Before we discuss this exhibit, Mr. Witness, did you meet with
17 representatives of the OTP on March 2nd and 3rd of 2008?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Did you provide a statement to those representatives about what
20 happened to you and others in 1991 in Vukovar and elsewhere?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review your written statement in
23 your own language?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And is your language the Croatian language?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did the interpreter also interpret for you an English version into
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, if you could look at what is marked in your binder as 65 ter
6 number 7178, looking at the first page, does the first page bear your
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And if you could flip through those other pages, do those other
10 pages at the bottom bear your initials?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And does that document reflect the date on which you signed --
13 signed it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And when was it dated, please?
16 A. The 4th of March, 2008.
17 Q. And does that statement accurately reflect your recollection of
18 the events described in it?
19 A. Yes, to the best of my recollection.
20 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, we'd move for the admission under seal
21 of this document, 65 ter number 7178.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P268, under seal.
23 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if we could look at 65 ter number
24 2830, please.
25 Q. Mr. Witness, directing your attention to 65 ter number 2830, do
1 you recognise that photograph?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you tell the Court what that is?
4 A. It's the hospital building and the compound of the hospital.
5 Q. Now, there's an "A" and two double lines as well as an "X." Could
6 you describe to the Court what those represent.
7 A. "A" marks the place where we went out of the hospital building and
8 the double lines mark the place where we were searched before we were
9 taken to the buses which took us away. "X" marks the place where we went
10 out into the street where these buses were waiting to take us away.
11 Q. How many buses were there waiting for -- waiting to take you away?
12 A. To the best of my recollection there were three.
13 MS. BIERSAY: We'd move for the admission of 65 number -- 65 ter
14 number 2830, please.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could we have an
16 exhibit number for the photograph, please.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. P269.
18 MS. BIERSAY: And now, Mr. Registrar, if we could go to the
19 collection in 65 ter number 2521A, page 1.
20 Q. Mr. Witness, there is an "A" as well as an arrow. Could you
21 describe for the Court what those represent.
22 A. The letter "A" represents the exit to the hospital, the auxiliary
23 exit where we were taken out to be taken to the buses. The arrow shows
24 the direction the buses took towards their destination.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Biersay?
1 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Who put those markings on the photos?
3 MS. BIERSAY: I can clarify with the witness, Your Honour. The --
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, because I would have difficulty in accepting
5 premarked photos in evidence.
6 MS. BIERSAY:
7 Q. Mr. Witness, the previous photograph that we looked at with the
8 "A" and the double lines and the "X", who made those markings?
9 A. I made those markings.
10 Q. And with respect to 65 ter number 2521A, for the "A" and the
11 directional arrow, who made those markings?
12 A. I made those markings and drew in those things.
13 Q. Now, on this specific photograph there's also the word "centre."
14 Did you put the word "centre" in or did someone else?
15 A. I did not write that.
16 Q. The word "centre," is that -- what does that represent to you?
17 A. That represents the direction or rather the position of the centre
18 of town.
19 Q. Is that in fact the direction of the centre of town?
20 A. That's right.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Biersay, when were these markings put? And we
22 still don't know who put the word "centre." I must say I find this a bit
24 MS. BIERSAY:
25 Q. Mr. Witness, during the meeting you had with OTP representatives
1 on March 2nd and 3rd of 2008, did you have an opportunity to review photos
2 and make markings on the photos?
3 A. Yes, I did have an opportunity to make markings on the photos
4 shown me.
5 MS. BIERSAY: And I can represent to the Court that "centre" is my
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: But please understand the difficulties that the
8 Chamber will have in accepting --
9 MS. BIERSAY: I understand.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: -- premarked photos. This really isn't going to
11 work. I would suggest you put to him clean photos and ask him to make
12 those markings if this is important for your case.
13 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, may I -- if I could lay the foundation
14 that the witness in fact did mark these photos on March 2nd and 3rd, would
15 that be sufficient for the Court's purposes?
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: That's okay with me, but I'll need to check with
17 my colleagues.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if we could now move to page 2 of 65
21 ter number 2521A.
22 Q. Mr. Witness, did you make the markings that appear on that
23 photograph depicted on page 2 of 65 ter number 2521A?
24 A. Yes, I made those markings.
25 Q. And what do those markings represent?
1 A. Those markings represent the direction which the bus moved that
2 drove us in the direction of the fairground in this part of Vukovar.
3 MS. BIERSAY: And if we could please move to page 3 of 65 ter
4 number 2521A.
5 Q. And looking at this photograph, Mr. Witness, did you make those
6 markings on March 2nd and 3rd of 2008?
7 A. Yes, I did make those markings, the ones you can see on the
9 Q. And what do they represent?
10 A. They represent the continuation of the route, the direction that
11 the vehicles moved, moving to the barracks, the buses I mentioned.
12 Q. And where is this in Vukovar?
13 A. It's the actual centre of town.
14 MS. BIERSAY: And if we could now move to page 4, the same 65 ter
15 number suite.
16 Q. On this page are there markings that you made on March 2nd and 3rd
17 of 2008?
18 A. Yes. You see the markings of the direction taken.
19 Q. Taken by the buses?
20 A. Yes. The buses took that direction towards the Sajmiste
21 fairgrounds or barracks.
22 MS. BIERSAY: And now moving, Mr. Registrar, to page 5 of that
24 Q. Mr. Witness, did you make the markings that we see on this
25 photograph on March 2nd and 3rd of 2008?
1 A. Yes, I made those, that information which represent the
2 continuation of the route towards the barracks.
3 Q. How long did it take you to go from the Vukovar Hospital to the
5 A. Ten to 15 minutes, not longer.
6 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if we could move to the next page,
8 Q. Mr. Witness, on this page did you make the markings that appear on
9 this photograph on March 2nd and 3rd of 2008?
10 A. Yes, I made those markings.
11 Q. Could you please describe for the Court what this is a photograph
13 A. On this photograph, on this picture, we can see how the convoy of
14 vehicles, of buses, arrived and the place where they were positioned while
15 we were waiting to continue our journey.
16 Q. Could you describe for the Court the significance of the "X" and
17 the directional arrow that's next to it.
18 A. The "X" denotes the spot where there was a large group of people
19 that the people that stayed in that part of town came across. The
20 semi-circular arrow is the position of the buses that we were brought in.
21 Q. How many buses were there in this semi-circle that you just
23 A. While we were arriving there were as many as there had been in
24 front of the hospital, so the three buses mentioned. Now, later on two to
25 three buses joined them from the direction of the fairground.
1 Q. Could you briefly describe for the Court what the people who were
2 denoted by the "X," what -- how were they dressed? And were they armed?
3 A. Yes, they were both armed and dressed differently. They had all
4 sorts of clothes on, military, and non-military. Different clothing.
5 Q. What did they do, if anything, while you were there in the buses?
6 A. Well, everybody did something. Some people were standing; others
7 were waiting; others were walking around the bus. Some people were
8 threatening people; some people were singing. Everybody was doing
9 something different, what they thought was best.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, you've had 25
11 minutes, so speed things up, please.
12 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Mr. Registrar, if we could move to page 9 of that same exhibit.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MS. BIERSAY:
16 Q. Mr. Witness, could you describe for the Chamber what that
18 A. You can see the hangar I assume at Ovcara, and it shows the
19 entrance or the door where you went in and went out and the position of us
20 detainees and how we had to go through that door, how we entered.
21 Q. And did you make those markings on page 9 of that exhibit?
22 A. Yes, I made those markings.
23 MS. BIERSAY: And finally, Mr. Registrar, if we could move to 65
24 ter number 4008A.
25 Q. Mr. Witness, did you review this 65 ter number 4008A and did you
1 make notations of -- next to the people that you recognised during your
3 A. Yes, I made those notations.
4 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if we could just flip through the
5 following pages, please.
6 Q. These notations that you made, Mr. Witness, in 65 ter number
7 4008A, they're next to people that you knew; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Have you seen any of those people since you last saw them on -- in
10 November at Ovcara or the hospital or in any of the vehicles that you were
12 A. Could you be a bit clearer in your question, please?
13 Q. On this exhibit you put the places where you last saw these
14 people; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Have you ever seen any of these people since?
17 A. No. No, I never saw any of them again.
18 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, at this time the Prosecution would
19 move for the admission of the attached 65 ter number 2521A, which is
20 attached to the statement, as well as 65 ter number 4008A, which is also
21 attached to the statement.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Before we do that, Ms. Biersay, I would like you
23 to ask the witness if -- or I can ask the witness myself that question.
24 That probably would be more regular.
25 Mr. Witness, did you in any of these photographs or documents that
1 were shown to you see markings that you had not put yourself? And if you
2 wish to see them again, we can just see them again.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no need. It's only that
4 "center," the center of town that remains, but I don't think that's that
5 significant because it's common knowledge where the centre of town is.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: That may well be so, but you will also understand
7 the Chamber's deep suspicion about any premarked documents that are
8 brought before us as evidence. Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, the number?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, 65 ter number 2521A will be
12 Exhibit number P270, and 65 ter number 4008A will be Exhibit number P271.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, this is my last
14 attempt: Do you wish to cross-examine the witness or do you stand by your
15 previous position? Mr. Seselj, can't you hear? I'm asking you whether
16 you wish to cross-examine this witness or whether you don't wish to
17 cross-examine this witness as you told us yesterday.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was listening to the French. It's
19 a nice melodious language. But I don't understand anything, but it was
20 the most pleasant thing for me to listen to it. I've already presented my
21 views and position, Mr. President. I'm not going to repeat it. I'm not
22 going to cross-examine any witness under 92 ter, bis, or quater. I would
23 like to examine someone on 92 quater, but it's a question of legal
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a number of
2 brief questions to ask you based on your written statement.
3 From your written statement I understand that you took part in the
4 defence of Vukovar. Can you confirm that for me, please?
5 A. Yes, I took part in the defence of Vukovar.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, you had military
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were captured, you were
10 captured as a military man?
11 A. Well, we could put it that way.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you fled from the bus, did
13 no one open fire on you?
14 A. I didn't jump from the bus. It was a military vehicle. But
15 nobody shot at me.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And who recaptured you?
17 A. I was captured by the army in the village of Cerici.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How far is that village from
20 A. About 15 kilometres, as the crow flies.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were at the farm we saw
22 on the pictures, mistreatment happened, abuse happened. Who were the ones
23 beating up detainees? Were they military personnel from the JNA? Were
24 they members of the Vukovar TO? Were they civilians dressed in military
25 clothing? According to you, who were the men who mistreated the
2 A. From what I saw there was not a single civilian. All those who
3 were there were some sort of military or paramilitary groups. It's
4 difficult to say, but at any rate they were in some sort of military
5 organ -- they belonged to some sort of military organised unit.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How can you tell them apart?
7 How can you say who was a military man and who was a member of a
8 paramilitary organisation?
9 A. Well, the greatest difference we could say, since we're dealing
10 with recognising people when you see them, was by their clothing and how
11 they acted and held themselves. But mostly the different clothing they
12 were wearing.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I saw that you studied at
14 university. You are an educated man. You were even a reserve officer.
15 And on that basis I'd like to ask you the following question: Those who
16 committed these mistreatment, this abuse - and you said there were both
17 paramilitary and military people - do you have the feeling that there was
18 someone in charge there, there was a command there, or was it just total
19 chaos and were people doing whatever they liked? I'm asking you this
20 question because you were there on the spot. How did you assess the
21 situation, analyse the situation there?
22 A. My impression was that it was under some sort of subordination. I
23 think that they knew who was in charge. But there were individual acts
24 which took place without the knowledge of the official structures.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was there someone who was in
1 command of all these people? Was there a commander there?
2 A. In my view it was a strongly built man with the whistle who
3 influenced the events there in the hangar.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you never found out what his
5 name was, did you?
6 A. No, never.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You saw the man with the
8 whistle. Was he dressed in a camouflage uniform? Did he have an
9 insignia, a weapon? Apart from this whistle, what were his distinguishing
11 A. He didn't have a camouflage uniform. He had a JNA windjammer. He
12 did not have any rank insignia or anything like that so you could
13 recognise what rank he held.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You yourself were trained in the
15 reserve officers school of the JNA. If that man had been a JNA officer,
16 would you have seen it immediately, just looking at him.
17 A. Well, certainly, if he had ranks, epaulets denoting rank.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But irrespective of his
19 clothing, I'm thinking about his natural authority, his behaviour, the way
20 he gave orders. Did he look like someone from the JNA? Did he look like
21 a JNA officer or someone who just happened to be in command on that
22 particular day.
23 A. That's rather a complex approach, but anyway this man did have
24 certain responsibilities. Now, what kind of responsibilities or the level
25 of responsibility I can't say. But certainly he was the most important
1 person, he played the most important role there.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We are not going to go on
3 further about that. We'll have other witnesses to deal with this matter.
4 But there is a question I feel I need to ask you. You were
5 transferred to Vojvodina and then to Belgrade. How come you were
6 transferred so far away? Do you have any explanation for this?
7 A. Well, I don't know how far I can explain that. They managed our
8 fate so I didn't have -- I didn't wield any influence on that. They
9 decided our fate.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thought I understood the
11 following. As part of this transfer at some point you went to Sid, there
12 you were questioned by civilian police. Is that correct?
13 A. I was in Stari Mijankovci [phoen] and then to Sid where the
14 civilian structures, or rather an individual from the civilian structure
15 and from the MUP questioned me.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were transferred to Belgrade
17 and you were detained at the Belgrade prison because there was an
18 investigation going on about you. You apparently were charged with
19 rebellion and crimes against humanity. Is that correct or not?
20 A. Yes, I was first of all taken to Sid, escorted to Sid, and then
21 Sremska Mitrovica, and that's when the proceedings started, if I can use
22 the word, as described. And then I was transferred to Belgrade to the
23 military investigative prison there.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm going to ask the
25 other members of the Bench if they have questions.
1 Yes, my colleague has a question.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, you told us that you
3 were captured at Cerici by the JNA, by the army.
4 A. Yes. The village is called Ceric and it was the reserve force of
5 the JNA.
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, the reserve force of the
7 JNA. At paragraph 24 of your statement you talk about soldiers who could
8 be identified as local people and who had uniforms and other clothing.
9 Can you confirm that these were local people and that these were not
10 people coming from other regions of the former Yugoslavia?
11 A. Some people whom I knew were locals of the town of Vukovar.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Were there also people from other
13 regions of the former Yugoslavia?
14 A. Probably, yes.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] My last question: Amongst the
16 detainees, were there also civilians?
17 A. You mean in the hospital, or where?
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm talking about those who were
19 captured - we saw the list of all these people - and you recognised a
20 number of them. Were there civilians amongst them also?
21 A. I think they were all militarily organised, that they weren't
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] We are talking about the victims,
25 A. Yes, yes, we are talking about the victims.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Everyone has asked you
3 questions. This concludes your evidence. Witness, thank you very much
4 for coming to The Hague to provide your assistance to the Court. We are
5 going to draw the blinds now.
6 I'll give the floor to Mr. Mundis for him to talk to us about next
7 week's schedule. The usher will escort the witness out of the courtroom.
8 I suppose you want us to move into private session, Mr. Mundis?
9 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, please.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 4651-4657 redacted. Private session
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.47 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
24 March, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.