1 Wednesday, 19 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning. We are starting
7 our hearing. Registrar, kindly call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar. Today we
11 are Wednesday, the 19th of March, 2008. I would like to greet all the
12 representatives of the Prosecution, Mr. Seselj, as well as all the people
13 assisting us. Amongst other people, the interpreters, who are doing a
14 very valuable job.
15 So today we need to resume with the cross-examination of the
16 witness. I shall therefore give the floor to Mr. Seselj, who will have
17 an hour and a half for his cross-examination of the witness.
18 And, Witness, of course I would also like to greet you, and I am
19 sure that your testimony will be finished today.
20 WITNESS: EMIL CAKALIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Cakalic, you have testified in three trials
24 in The Hague, Slavko Dokmanovic, Slobodan Milosevic, and the third trial
25 Mrksic Jovan; isn't that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You testified in open session, publicly under your own name and
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And what about this particular trial? Did you ask to have
6 protective measures under a pseudonym and testify in private session?
7 A. No, I never asked for that.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and pause
9 between question and answer. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So the Prosecution treated you here as a secret witness; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I think Your Honours
14 that this is a very important issue, and it's not the first time that the
15 Prosecution asked for protective measures without the witness having
16 requested it.
17 Q. Mr. Cakalic, did you think there was some danger to you in coming
18 in here to testify against me?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Any danger from me or --
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Again, we have to observe a pause between
22 questions and answers. I'm sorry, because if you do not do that then we
23 will not be able to understand anything.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I'll do my best.
25 MR. SESELJ:
1 Q. As I was saying, you consider that there's no threat to you from
2 me or from my friends or my political party; isn't that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So you're testifying in a very relaxed fashion, is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cakalic, that was important for me to hear that
7 from you personally. Now I consider that you told the truth about
8 everything that happened to you, so I can accept your statement almost
9 entirely. So as far as you're concerned I'm going to deal with some
10 issues that are secondary as far as you are concerned, but they can be
11 important for me. I hope you understand that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You said here -- rather, you were talking about how you were
14 arrested in the Vukovar Hospital and the fact that after that you were
15 taken in buses to the Vukovar barracks. Isn't that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And while you were still in the buses some people gathered
18 together whom you called Chetniks and they threatened that they would
19 kill you all. Isn't that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you saw that they were Chetniks of Montenegrin ethnicity
22 because they wore the traditional Montenegrin caps did they not?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. Fine. Now after that when these Chetniks left for a
25 time you left the bus, didn't you?
1 A. I don't remember.
2 Q. In the barracks. Now, you said in testifying at the Milosevic
3 trial that after you heard -- left the buses that military policemen
4 turned up who started to beat the people; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And among those military policemen who beat the prisoners in the
7 JNA barracks, you recognised some Muslims among them. There were several
8 Muslims; right?
9 A. I don't seem to remember that.
10 Q. Well, you say that in the Slobodan Milosevic trial and the
11 transcript of it, and it is record on page 9 or 10 of the transcript.
12 And since the transcript was provided to me from a book, not directly, it
13 wasn't directly translated from the original, I don't know what page it
14 is, but I'm sure the Prosecution were able to find the reference.
15 Anyway, Richard May was surprised to hear that and asked you to
16 explain, and you did indeed explain and confirmed that there were Muslims
17 there. Of course there were Serbs, too, but that there were several
18 Muslims who beat the prisoners, swore at them, and so on. Do you
19 remember that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I just want you to confirm that. Now, in that same trial, the
22 Slobodan Milosevic trial, you spoke about the people who beat you at
23 Ovcara, and you said that they were Vukovar Chetniks; is that right?
24 A. Yes. There were those and other people I didn't know.
25 Q. There were JNA soldiers, people you couldn't recognise and didn't
1 know, but you did recognise many as being local Vukovar inhabitants?
2 A. Yes, I did know the local Vukovar people.
3 Q. You referred to them as Chetniks, did you not?
4 A. Well, we didn't call them Chetniks, no.
5 Q. But you say here in the Slobodan Milosevic trial transcript
6 that -- you say that expressly. You say that they were Chetniks from
8 A. Well, I don't deny that.
9 Q. All right. Now tell me, how do you differentiate between
10 Chetniks and JNA soldiers? How can you distinguish between the two?
11 Well, the soldier of the Yugoslav People's Army were soldiers who had
12 taken the oath; right? Isn't that right? Did you take the oath when you
13 were in the Yugoslav People's Army?
14 A. I'm an invalid so I didn't serve in the JNA, so I don't know a
15 lot about the army. But if you took the oath when you joined up, and I
16 do believe you did, then probably you would act upon the oath you took
17 and respect it.
18 Q. In way do you mean fulfil the oath?
19 A. Well, you know that.
20 Q. Do you know what the text of the actual oath was? I'll try and
21 interpret it so you can deny it or accept it.
22 As soldiers we would take an oath and pledge that we would defend
23 the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia and the
24 constitutional order. That was the oath the soldiers took, all of them.
25 A. I remember that.
1 Q. So you can confirm that can you?
2 A. Yes, I remember that.
3 Q. So when the territorial sovereignty of the country was
4 jeopardised and the territorial integrity and sovereignty and
5 constitutional order, it was our duty to defend the state and the
6 constitutional system; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Right. We agree there on that point. Now, I'm interested in
9 this difference. You said that there were JNA soldiers and there were
10 Chetniks. Now, were you able to come to that conclusion by some outward
12 A. Well, they said they were Chetniks themselves.
13 Q. I see.
14 A. And the Yugoslav People's Army soldiers were wearing their
16 Q. Yes, but the Chetniks also very frequently had JNA uniforms on.
17 A. I assume they did.
18 Q. For example the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party, do you
19 know that they had their volunteers there too; for example, they were
20 given uniforms -- issued uniforms, in Bubanj Potok barracks in Belgrade,
21 and they all wore JNA uniforms just took the five-pointed star off?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you noticed that some soldiers had the five-pointed star
24 insignia and others didn't, and those who didn't had different insignia
25 or badges or cockades as they were called, but they weren't all the same
1 were they?
2 A. No.
3 Q. There were a lot of different badges and insignia; isn't that
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Thank you, sir. Thank you Mr. Cakalic. Now, you said on several
7 occasions that among the officers who were at Ovcara that you were there
8 when some were beating people or some issued orders for others to beat,
9 and you mentioned somebody with a whistle in his hand and when he gave
10 the signal group, the groups of people that were doing the beating
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You said you knew Colonel Mrksic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. However when the Prosecution showed you a photograph of Colonel
16 Mrksic you were not able to recognise him. Do you remember that?
17 A. Well, it's not a sin on my part. A lot of time has gone by.
18 Q. I understand you completely I'm not -- I don't think you have any
19 sins here in this regard, but I'm just asking you this first question so
20 I can follow on with another question. And the Prosecution towards the
21 end of your testimony at the very end in the Slobodan Milosevic trial
22 informed the Trial Chamber that during your proofing sessions for
23 testimony they showed you a series of photographs and you were not able
24 to recognise Mrksic on those photographs. The Prosecutor said that in
25 court. Do you remember that?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Now, you did mention afterwards, later on when you were in the
3 Sremska Mitrovica prisoner camp where part of the prison was turned into
4 a prisoner camp, you mentioned some Colonel Branko who was the main
5 investigator there; do you remember that? Colonel Branko, according to
6 your statement here, according to your testimony.
7 A. Did he have a surname?
8 Q. No. That was a pseudonym. Colonel Branko was in fact a
10 A. I don't know. I can't remember.
11 Q. You can't remember. Right. What I wanted to ask you is whether
12 you saw this Colonel Branko person at Ovcara. That's what I wanted to
13 ask you, but if you don't remember him I'm not going to insist upon the
14 point. I understand your state of health and in view of your years I'm
15 not going to force you to remember if you can't remember, (redacted)
18 Mr. Cakalic, we're going to refer now to a number of your
19 previous testimonies in the various trials. Now, you testified in a
20 Belgrade trial against persons accused for crimes committed at Ovcara;
21 isn't that right?
22 A. They were Croats. Yes, from Ovcara. They were taken from Ovcara
23 to Belgrade.
24 Q. Mr. Cakalic, listen to me carefully. In Belgrade people were
25 accused and the Prosecutor claimed that they personally committed the
1 crime at Ovcara. It's a rather large group of people.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. They were all Serbs?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The accused?
6 A. Yes and in Belgrade I testified against them.
7 Q. That's what I wanted you to confirm. Right. And over there you
8 mentioned on page 13 of the transcript of those proceedings, otherwise
9 that was on the 25th of October, 2004, on page 13, you also mentioned
10 Muslims in the barracks, Muslims who seized your valuables, chains,
11 rings, and so on, saying that they would keep it in safekeeping and then
12 return them to you one day. Do you remember saying that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Then on page 20 of the transcript from the Belgrade trial, in
15 testifying about the events in Velepromet, saying that the Vukovar Fakin
16 or guys, young guys, knew that you would arrive, and there were some ten
17 of them there all wearing JNA uniforms and helmets. And then they
18 recognised you, and they said, "Give me Berghofer. Give me Cakalic," and
19 so on, these ruffians?
20 A. Yes. They said, "So that we can kill them."
21 Q. So when you say Fakin these are hooligans or ruffians, this term
22 you used, Fakin?
23 A. Well, I don't remember using that exact term. I don't usually
24 use the word. But anyway -- perhaps I said it in some different way, I
25 don't think I used the word Fakin .
1 Q. Well, it's on page 20 from the Belgrade trial and the Trial
2 Chamber can look that up. But the point I want to make is this: They
3 recognised you by your name and they threatened you, and you confirm
4 that, do you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Fine. Now, during that trial you said, and that is
7 to be found on page 32, that at Ovcara among the people who beat you, who
8 was in this cordon, there were soldiers there, but there were also people
9 wearing civilian clothes?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You said that then and you now confirm it, do you?
12 A. Yes. Specifically Slavko Dokmanovic.
13 Q. Now, as for Slavko Dokmanovic, you said he was wearing a blue
14 army uniform. Do you remember that?
15 A. Yes, yes. Yes, I do. I remember that. But when you mentioned
16 these people, I am mentioning him first.
17 Q. But he wasn't wearing civilian clothes. He was wearing a blue
19 A. Yes, a blue uniform. Well, I can't remember exactly so don't
20 hold me to that.
21 Q. That blue uniform could have been either a police uniform or an
22 air force uniform; right? Because in the JNA it was only the air defence
23 and air force that wore blue uniforms.
24 A. Well, I didn't pay attention to these details, these minor points
25 that much, because all of us there were fighting to get out of Ovcara.
1 Everybody there sought ways and means to do that, because we felt what
2 was going to happen to us. We had a presentment of what was going to
3 happen. And at Ovcara you know more than 200 people were killed and five
4 or six of us or seven of us were saved.
5 Q. Here you stated in several places, Mr. Cakalic, that a total of
6 207 of you were brought to Ovcara and then 7 were saved. Do you
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it strange to you that precisely 200 were killed and out of
10 207 precisely 7 were saved?
11 A. Well, I thought that was a coincidence.
12 Q. Doesn't it look as if some cold-blooded criminal mind in a
13 position of power issued the order shoot 200 prisoners, and those who
14 carried out the execution drew up a list, counted off 200, and said, "We
15 will save seven because the orders were to shoot 200"? Did that cross
16 your mind?
17 A. No, I never thought about it.
18 Q. Well, now that I'm putting this idea to you?
19 A. Well, I can believe you.
20 Q. Evidently --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer.
22 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Sorry. This is a kind of speculation. The
23 witness is not able to do this. The accused should put questions and not
24 speculations to the witness. Thanks.
5 Q. Who said that?
6 A. General Vasiljevic, the chief of the military security service of the JNA.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This witness doesn't know that, but
8 this witness knows other things and I'm questioning him about other
9 things. So I think that the Prosecutor's objection is not in good order.
10 May I continue?
11 MR. SESELJ:
12 Q. Mr. Cakalic, more than once in various trials you were asked who
13 the volunteers were or as you in Croatia say latterly, Dragovoljci,
14 another word for volunteers, and you said that these were people who were
15 going to war voluntarily.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. There were volunteers on both side, were there not?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On the Croatian side too?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. There were volunteers from various places in Croatia?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At the trial in Belgrade, you said that apart from Djapic's
24 party, I think it was Praga's party at the time, though, it's the
25 Croatian Party of Rights; isn't that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And Praga was its president at the time?
3 A. Yes, I think he was.
4 Q. They had their own paramilitary formation, HOS, the Croatian
5 armed forces; isn't that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. On page 38 of the transcript from the Belgrade trial you said
8 that all the other parties sent their people to defend Vukovar.
9 A. Not parties but people from different towns, different places and
11 Q. Well, yes, you did say that, it's in the transcript, too, but
12 then on page 38, and the Trial Chamber can see that if the transcript is
13 put on the ELMO, Djapic's party, it -- and then all the other parties,
14 too, sent their people to defend Vukovar. "They were all volunteers.
15 Not a single one was forced to do this." Do you remember saying that?
16 A. Yes. Well, I was a volunteer too.
17 Q. So you were a volunteer too. Thank you, sir. Thank you,
18 Mr. Cakalic. Then there's your testimony in the Mrksic case, Mrksic,
19 Sljvancanin, and Radic, and this was on the 13th and 14th of March, 2006;
20 right? It was only two years ago.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And there you also stated, and that's on 5905, that's the page of
23 the transcript, that the Vukovar territorials beat up the prisoners in
24 Ovcara, some with batons, some with weapons, some with fists.
25 A. Yes, I did say that, and it's true.
1 Q. I don't doubt it, Mr. Cakalic. I don't think you're a person who
2 has come here to lie, we were on opposing sides of this war. We fought
3 one against the other, but I do not think you are a man who has come here
4 to lie, and I want you to know that right away.
5 You also confirmed this number of 207 prisoners in total, seven
6 of whom were saved, you, Berghofer, and some others.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. They simply selected you out of that large group of 207; right?
9 One person recognised you and he approached you and said he would save
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Another one recognised Berghofer?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So you were selected according to different criteria because they
15 felt they had to save you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You did a favour to one of them once and he remembered it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Well, maybe somebody else thought that Berghofer didn't deserve
20 to be shot and so on and so forth?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So they did use certain criteria according to which they pulled
23 you out of the group?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And there were people within that group who were simply seething
1 with hatred; right? For example, the one called Veliki Boljer, it's as
2 if everybody hated him; right? Everybody was focused on him?
3 A. He was trampled to death.
4 Q. Very well. Now, it's not very well that this happened, but I
5 agree with your reply. You mentioned this song here oh, Slobodan send
6 some salad we are about to eat. We shall slaughter Croats and there will
7 be meat. You said the group of about 15 were singing this?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you ever hear this song sung before the war?
10 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
11 Q. Were you ever a football fan?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you go to matches? Who did you root for?
14 A. Dinamo.
15 Q. Did you go to matches?
16 A. I did while I lived in Zagreb.
17 Q. Well, do you remember in 1990, not long after Tudjman won the
18 elections, there was a big fight and there were disturbances in Zagreb
19 because of a clash between the supports of Crvena Zvezda and Dinamo?
20 A. Well, this happened often.
21 Q. Yes, but that was the worst clash as far as I remember. I'm not
22 a football club supporter but I remember that.
23 A. Well, I'm not very fervent either.
24 Q. But there were many people injured in Zagreb on at that day?
25 A. Yes, I remember.
1 Q. And do you remember at that football match the support of Zvezda
2 sang this song: "Slobodan send some salad, we're about to eat. We shall
3 slaughter Croats and there will be meat." And then the supporters of
4 Dinamo retorted by singing, "Kill the Serb, kill the Serb." Have you
5 ever heard this song?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Didn't you hear about the riots in Zagreb in 1990 and the
8 clashes, the major clashes, a year before the war? You don't remember
10 A. No, I don't.
11 Q. All right. I won't insist if you don't remember.
12 You made a statement to some Canadian policeman. There was a
13 woman here, a Lieutenant Colonel Kim Carter; do you remember that?
14 A. Yes I do.
15 Q. Well the OTP evidently didn't feel it necessary --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj.
17 Please go more slowly. On line 2, page 15, we have markings here which
18 indicate that a part of the sentence has not been recorded. So please
19 try to slow down.
20 Witness, now, in the wake of the questions that have been put to
21 you, this song that was chanted Slobo, you seem to be demonstrating that
22 this chant -- that these were songs that were chanted by supporters of a
23 football team, and here an incident is quoted, a famous incident that
24 occurred in 1990 in Zagreb during a football match. Can you confirm that
25 what the people were singing in the streets of Vukovar could be the same
1 song that was sung on other occasion in stadiums?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There have always been different
3 football supporters at stadiums everywhere. One side rooted for one
4 side, another for another. It was always the matches between the Red
5 Star from Belgrade and Dinamo from Zagreb that were the most fiery, and
6 with some other clubs, but I never saw any particular evil in that
7 because there may have been people who came to blows, but that was minor.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You yourself, did you go to any
9 football matches that pitched the Dinamo of Zagreb against the Red Star
10 of Belgrade? Were you yourself in the stadium? And did you ever hear
11 this kind of song at the time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stopped going to football matches
13 very early on because I didn't like the football supporters. Some people
14 supported their teams in one way, others in another, and I simply stopped
15 attending football matches. I preferred to watch on television at home.
16 I have not been to a football match for at least 20 years, but I do watch
17 football on television.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Cakalic, that you made the statement to the
21 Canadian officers?
22 A. What statement.
23 Q. Well, you made a statement, and you confirmed this in the
24 Mrksic -- or, rather, in the Mrksic, Sljvancanin, Radic case on
25 transcript page 5939. Some Canadian officers interviewed you, and you
1 gave them that statement. Is that true?
2 A. I don't remember that.
3 Q. All right. I won't insist if you don't.
4 A. No, I don't.
5 Q. In the Milosevic trial you testified on the 16th of July, 2003;
6 is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And six day before that you lived in Kastel Luksic near Split for
9 a while. Isn't that correct?
10 A. I still live there.
11 Q. On the 10th of July, some people from the Ministry of the
12 Interior of Croatia came to see you, from the security service, some sort
13 of secret police, to discuss your testimony in the Milosevic case. Do
14 you remember that?
15 A. I did testify against Milosevic, but I don't remember any
16 policeman coming to see me or asking me to do anything.
17 Q. You said that in your testimony in the Mrksic, Sljvancanin, and
18 Radic case on page 5939 of the transcript. Can that page of the
19 transcript be shown on the screen if the registry can do that? 5939.
20 First we can see 5938 to see the last few lines of that page, and then
21 5939. Is that possible?
22 A. I don't know. I don't remember that.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You need a little time. All right.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. In that same testimony you said that the Serbian people in
1 Vukovar felt under threat just before the war broke out?
2 A. Everybody did. Everybody. Both the Serbs and the Croats and
3 everybody else who lived in Vukovar, all the other nations and
4 ethnicities. You know that Vukovar is a town which had the greatest
5 number of ethnic groups on the territory of Croatia.
6 Q. All right. We'll discuss this at greater length when we round
7 off this topic, the transcripts of the previous trials, once we see this
8 on the screen.
9 In this trial, the trial of Mrksic, Sljvancanin, and Radic, and
10 we can see this on page 6059 of the transcript, when the Prosecutor asked
11 you something about the soldiers who were at Ovcara, you said some of
12 them were in civilian clothes, some had assorted clothing on. For
13 example, the top would be military and the bottom civilian or vice versa.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. "These were the paramilitaries of Vukovar, lads I knew. One of
16 them, for example, approached me when we were already close to the
17 hangar. He asked me, 'Uncle Emil, what are you doing here?'" And so on
18 and so forth. You confirm saying that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Do you recall making a statement in the centre for
21 human rights in Zagreb?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. And what was that statement about?
24 A. I don't remember any more.
25 Q. Was it about these events in Vukovar, what you experienced?
1 A. Well, I assume so, but I can't be sure.
2 Q. Well, as we don't have that statement, we'll probably never
3 learn. Did you tell the OTP that you had made that statement?
4 A. I don't remember that either.
5 Q. Have you found this, please, these pages of the transcript? Not
6 yet? I hope you will. And I'll put this aside until you do.
7 You mentioned the fact that among these soldiers at Ovcara there
8 was a man you first said was called Milan Bulic, and then you said his
9 name was Milos Bulic, and you said that he hit you with a metal rod or
10 something like that.
11 A. Yes. I still have -- I still bear the consequences of that. One
12 of my neck vertebrae is broken.
13 Q. You mentioned a major who you said was called Milan Lukic. Is
14 that correct?
15 A. Lukic? Yes.
16 Q. And later on he was in charge of the transport from Vukovar to
17 Sremska Mitrovica. You said that he wanted to use an electric baton, to
18 beat prisoners with an electric baton. Do you remember that?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Do you remember that it happened or that you said that?
21 A. It did happen. It happened in a village called Negoslavci.
22 That's where it happened. They were taking us to Belgrade or to Sremska
23 Mitrovica. No, it was Sremska Mitrovica. And the closer we came to
24 Sremska Mitrovica, the less beating there was.
25 Q. But later on there was beating in Sremska Mitrovica?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. A lot?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it was the military police who did that there; right?
5 A. Yes. There was the military police, but there were also military
6 uniforms there.
7 Q. Yes, yes. All right. We'll have an opportunity to talk to those
8 people who were in charge of the beatings in Sremska Mitrovica. The OTP
9 will give us the pleasure of seeing them in the courtroom so we can move
10 on to other matters.
11 Can you describe this electric baton or rod? What does it look
13 A. It's a piece of metal, and it has some sort of electromagnetic
14 oscillations probably, and they were used at certain points in time at
15 the demand of the person carrying it.
16 Q. All right, Mr. Cakalic. I have a statement of yours here, your
17 most recent statement. It was made on the 16th of May, 1992. Police
18 administration, Vukovar. It was the police administration in Vukovar
19 that took your statement, but it was taken somewhere else; right? Was it
20 taken in Zagreb? Where was the Croatian police administration of
22 A. In Vukovar.
23 Q. It was in Vukovar before the war, but after Vukovar was liberated
24 it withdrew and they set up somewhere else?
25 A. Yes, but I don't know where.
1 Q. I have this document before me. It's 00200457. If we can have
2 it shown. If that is not possible, I'll continue. You say it's not
3 possible? Very well.
4 A. What's it about.
5 Q. You gave a more extensive statement about everything that took
6 place in Vukovar, and I'm just going to refer to a few details. Do you
7 remember that statement?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you remember where you gave the statement?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, this statement you
11 would have made to the police, you say it's 20457, but we need the ERN
12 number. The registrar needs the ERN number to be able to find this
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] ERN number is 0020045. The
15 Prosecution disclosed the document to me.
16 MR. MUSSEMEYER: If I may assist. It's the 65 ter number 01328.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, if you can't find it, we need
18 not waste time on that.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The document is on our screens.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
21 Q. That's the document, but we don't know where you gave this
22 statement. So the official who took the statement -- or rather the
23 official note, compiled the Official Note, was from the police
24 administration, the Croatian administration of Vukovar, but I don't know
25 where the statement was made in the first place and you can't remember?
1 A. Well, I really can't remember. I don't know. If it says that I
2 gave that statement, then I certainly did.
3 Q. On page 2 here, somewhere towards the middle of page 2 --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we have a look at page 2,
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. It says that in the barracks you recognised a man called Radivoje
8 Jakovljevic nicknamed Frizider or "Fridge."
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And he went from one man to the next, he would hit some of them
11 and threatened to kill all of them?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Then you say you recognised a man called Vlado Kosic who was
14 wearing a military uniform, a JNA officer?
15 A. Yes, and he used to work in the Vukovar municipality.
16 Q. So he's a local, is he, over there?
17 A. Yes, because I worked in the Vukovar municipality too.
18 Q. Yes. I know that from the documents.
19 A. And he would say, "Emil, Emil you didn't get into the right bus."
20 And I said "Well, which is a better bus?" And he said, "It's all the
21 same. It will be all the same."
22 Q. So all these are people that you knew from before the war; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And then here you went on to explain that Colonel Mrksic was at
25 Ovcara, but I seem to feel that you've mixed him up with another Colonel,
1 some other Colonel, but unless you confirm that, I'm not going to pursue
2 the point.
3 A. Well, that's the name he came under. That's what was said.
4 People said that's Colonel Mrksic. So as far as I was concerned he was
5 Colonel Mrksic to me.
6 Q. I see. And then you recognised another man called Bora
7 Latinovic; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. He was also wearing a military uniform, a JNA uniform; right? Or
10 at least that's what you say here?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You say he was wearing an SMB, olive green uniform?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That's the standard JNA uniform?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And he boasted and said that he'd killed 50 Ustashas himself the
17 night before?
18 A. Yes, but I didn't believe him. I don't believe that's true.
19 Q. I don't believe that either because the day before there weren't
20 any of these liquidations, but you said that he boasted and bragged
21 because he wanted to instill fear in you?
22 A. Yes, but I didn't believe him.
23 Q. So towards the end of that page you say that on the 21st of
24 November, in the early hours of the morning, an active JNA soldier
25 appeared. He was a sergeant and he introduced himself as a Macedonian.
1 A. That was in Modateks.
2 Q. Velepromet?
3 A. No, Modateks.
4 Q. I see, Modateks. So that was the following day after Ovcara, the
5 day after you were taken to Velepromet and then transferred to Modateks?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, with him there was a young woman also wearing a JNA uniform.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you recognised her as being a local Vukovar?
10 A. She is the daughter of a colleague of mine who worked together
11 with me.
12 Q. I see. And then you go on to say, and I'm going to quote you and
13 that's towards the end of page 2: "I wish to stress that the sergeant
14 was a Macedonian and that he threatened us all, and I remember this very
15 well, when he said the following to us: You'll see what will happen when
16 my Topola sets fire to your irises, because he allegedly has knowledge of
17 us being the defenders of Vukovar."
18 A. That's the truth of it. That's really what he said.
19 Q. So he introduced as -- mentioned this Topola as being one of his
21 A. Yes, as a subordinate.
22 Q. Yesterday, you described this man Topola as being somebody who
23 was about your height but of a little more slender build.
24 A. Possibly, but we didn't measure each other.
25 Q. Now, this is why I'm asking you this, because some other
1 witnesses when they described Topola say that this -- he was a heavily
2 built man, 130 kilos in weight, tall and so on?
3 A. I don't believe that.
4 Q. So you remember him as being a man shorter than you in build?
5 A. Well, similar to me.
6 Q. Now, on 22nd of November, and that's to be found on page 3 of
7 that statement of yours, in the early morning hours you say that an
8 individual appeared who introduced himself as Vojvoda Vojin Misic from
10 A. Yes. That was in the Vukovar barracks.
11 Q. I see. And that was prior to your departure for Mitrovica;
13 A. Yes, before I left for Mitrovica he said -- he introduced himself
14 and said, "I am Vojin Misic, a Serb from Negoslavci. I am going to kill
15 you all. We're going to kill you all. We're going to throw your bodies
16 into the Danube River, and you're going to disappear." That's what Vojin
17 Misic said, otherwise he was a captain.
18 Q. A JNA captain?
19 A. Yes. Well, anyway that's the kind of uniform he wore.
20 Q. How come it says here that he was a Vojvoda?
21 A. Well, I assume he said that. He probably said that.
22 Q. He said that. Do you remember him saying that or what?
23 A. Well, it's like this: Somebody else said that, actually, said
24 that he was a Vojvoda, but he was one of the best dressed and most
25 decently clad people. He had the same sort of suit that Tito wore. Now,
1 whether this was just a show or whatever, but he was from Negoslavci,
2 wasn't he.
3 Q. That's what you say?
4 A. Yes, he was from Negoslavci.
5 Q. I've never heard of him before.
6 A. I had never heard of him either.
7 Q. I had never heard of him until I read your statement.
8 A. Whether he was from Negoslavci I can't say, but he introduced
9 himself and said, "I'm Vojin Misic, a Serb from Negoslavci." That's what
10 he said.
11 Q. I have an unidentified statement by you here, perhaps you signed
12 it. The ERN number is 00187079. Can you find that, please? I was
13 disclosed that by the Prosecution, but it doesn't say when you gave that
14 statement, to what organ, institution, or whatever.
15 A. What Prosecution?
16 Q. The Hague OTP.
17 A. Ah, The Hague OTP.
18 Q. They provided me with your statement. It's their duty to
19 disclose all these documents to you.
20 A. So where's the problem?
21 Q. Well, I want to identify what statement this is and I'd like to
22 hear from the Prosecutor what statement this is, what this is all about.
23 What kind of statement is that?
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER: If you give me just a minute, I have to search
25 it on the system. I will come back to this.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You found the previous document.
2 Very well. Fine. We'll deal with that while the Prosecution is dealing
3 with the other matter.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So we're now going back to the Mrksic, Sljvancanin, and Radic
6 transcripts, and we now have the page number P938, and I assume -- or,
7 rather, 5938 and 5939. Can we see one page first and then the other?
8 Although this doesn't seem to me to be a proper translation. The
9 version, although I don't know English, but the version in Serbian seems
10 somewhat different to the English.
11 Let's have a look at 5938, first, please.
12 A. Do you remember where we met?
13 Q. No, I don't remember having met you at all.
14 A. Really? We shook hands and we talked. You were at Nikola
16 Q. Where?
17 A. Pekic Nikola.
18 Q. In Vukovar?
19 A. Yes, Vukovar.
20 Q. Before the war?
21 A. Yes, before the war, in the 1970s, and Nikola died quite
23 Q. I don't remember that.
24 A. You don't remember?
25 Q. No.
1 A. Well, we had quite a long conversation.
2 Q. What did we talk about?
3 A. Well, various things.
4 Q. I see. Various things. Well, the world is a very small place.
5 But I hope you won't deduct that from my time, Judges.
6 Now, have you found the page? Have you found it? Yes. It would
7 be a good idea if the Serbian version of the transcript could be provided
8 to the witness so Mr. Cakalic can see it. You haven't got it? Take my
10 Three lines are important on this page, and the top part I marked
11 on the second page. And I haven't got a copy. It's not just that one
12 copy exist, but I'll use the screen. So let's see, one page first -- or,
13 rather, the English and the Serbian. Well, put the English version on
14 the overhead projector so that the Judges can see for themselves first,
15 and then put the Serbian version so that Mr. Cakalic can have a look.
16 Let's have the English first.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I've seen the two pages in
18 English. Please ask your question, Mr. Seselj.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Well, I would like to have the Serbian version put on the ELMO
21 for Mr. Cakalic's benefit.
22 A. You mean Croatian.
23 Q. Ha, ha.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Here we have the page in
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Take a look on that first page now. They're asking you about
3 your testimony in -- your testimony in the Slobodan Milosevic trial, and
4 then on page 5942, which I haven't got on my screen yet, 5942, that's the
5 following page, towards the end of the page you see there mentioning your
6 testimony during the Milosevic trial.
7 Now, next page, the top of the page, please, and the man asking
8 you the question is counsel Vasic, and he says -- yes, that's Vasic
9 speaking. He says: "After that -- or I have to say before that on the
10 10th of July, 2003, you talked to members of the Ministry of the
11 Interior, the police administration." And then you add, and these are
12 your initials, EC, Emil Cakalic, you say: "Kastel Luksic." There's a
13 mistake here. It's not Lukzic, it's Luksic.
14 Then counsel says, "In Kastel, and they compiled an Official
15 Note," and you confirm that they did and say, "Yes." Do you remember
16 that now?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Well, do you remember this conversation with the Croatian police
19 before testifying in the Milosevic trial?
20 A. Well, there were many things. There was a lot of various things.
21 Q. Well, if you don't remember, I won't insist.
22 A. I can't remember.
23 Q. What is important for me is that we have ascertained that the
24 conversation took place. Now, I understand fully, Mr. Cakalic, that one
25 tends to forget many things, just as I forgot ever having met you before.
1 But I do remember every time that the police came to talk to me and when
2 they interrogated me, and this happened very often. I remember all of
4 A. Well, that's why you remembered.
5 Q. Yes. Now we're going to deal with the events in Vukovar before
6 the war broke out, and as you have helped me out here and helped me
7 identify and clarify the situation concerning the crime in Ovcara, I'd
8 like to go on and say that one comes to wonder to the question of what it
9 was that forced people who were your neighbours until all this broke out,
10 what -- and you socialised with them and so on, what instilled this
11 hatred in them that they appeared in Ovcara and beat the prisoners and
12 later on some of them took part in the liquidation?
13 A. Well, passions were let loose.
14 Q. Is it passions, is it ideology, what is it?
15 A. Well, everybody views this his own particular way, but most
16 probably it's ideology, but I would say it's passions, political passions
17 running wild.
18 Q. Well, is the reason -- does the reason lie in the fact that
19 before the war, in the beginning of the conflict with the JNA, over 150
20 Serbs were killed on the territory of Vukovar municipality; might it be
22 A. That is the first time I am hearing of that.
23 Q. The first time. I see. Did you hear about the information
24 centre of the Serbian Sabor or Assembly?
25 A. You mean in Vukovar?
1 Q. Yes, in Vukovar.
2 A. I remember that there was some sort of Assembly. Whether it was
3 the Serbian Assembly or some other, I really don't know.
4 Q. And do you know that this information centre of the Serbian
5 Assembly cooperated closely with The Hague Tribunal, with The Hague OTP?
6 A. I don't know that.
7 Q. Now, The Hague investigators conducted about 100 interviews and
8 took about 100 statements from witnesses of crimes committed against the
9 Serbs in Vukovar, and we have that on the first page of this information
10 centre. I could provide you with the title page of this report so that
11 the report by the information centre, Serbian information centre, can be
12 seen. I think you were provided with this this morning, although I sent
13 it up for translation three months ago, but may we have this report by
14 the Serbian information centre put on the overhead projector, please.
15 You can answer my questions in a very relaxed manner. I am not
16 accusing you of anything. I don't have you on the list of people who
17 committed crimes.
18 A. I understand. You want to arrive at a truth.
19 Q. Yes, and I'm using documents.
20 A. And I'm going to help with you that.
21 Q. Very well. Thank you. But if there is something you don't know,
22 I won't insist.
23 A. Very well then.
24 Q. I don't have a single piece of information incriminating you, so
25 there's no reason for us to clash. You may know things, or you may not
1 know them.
2 On the front page you can see that this is the Serb Assembly
3 Information Centre thereof, that they have documents testifying to the
4 violations of human rights, ethnical cleansing, and the crimes committed
5 by Croats against the Serbs in Croatia between 1991 and 1996. Can you
6 see that in the heading?
7 A. Yes. I have a comment if I may.
8 Q. Yes, go on.
9 A. I don't believe that the Croatian people committed crimes in
10 Vukovar or committed ill-deeds against the Serb people in Vukovar. It
11 may well be the case, but this must have been retaliation. It was not a
12 custom in Vukovar. We were all neighbours. We were all socialising. Do
13 you understand?
14 Q. Mr. Cakalic, I'm not saying that the Croatian people committed
15 crimes. The criminals are mentioned by name, Tomislav Mercep and others.
16 It doesn't say that the people committed crimes.
17 A. It was individuals.
18 Q. Yes, individuals and certain military forms. This is a file
19 number 887, and title is "Crime without punishment, crimes committed by
20 Croatian military formations against the Serb civilians in Croatia in
21 1992 -- 1 to 1996 and it was altered by S. Dabic and M. Lukic.
22 On the first page of the report can you please turn to the first
23 page. Again, this has been translated into English. The Judges must
24 have the English translation and so do my learned friends.
25 Your Honours, the Prosecutor has been in possession of this
1 document for over 10 years and they have never disclosed this document to
2 me. This is page number 1, contents, and then move on to page number 1.
3 This is page number 1, ma'am.
4 The OTP has never disclosed this to me according to Rule 68(i),
5 although they are in possession of this document and I obtained this
6 directly from the information centre of the Serbian Assembly. On page 1
7 paragraph 2 it says: We are from The Hague Tribunal to carry out an
8 unbiased investigation in order to investigate the crimes committed by
9 the Serbian people in Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem. And then there
10 is a sentence that says in the seventh line of the second paragraph, The
11 Hague Tribunal accepted our request and its investigation teams on four
12 occasions between 22nd May and 2 June from 10 to 14 July, from 26
13 September to 1 October 1996, and from 16 to 29 January 1997, interviewed
14 about a hundred witnesses in Vukovar. The investigation did not comprise
15 all the crimes because there were too many crimes committed, and it was
16 just not feasible.
17 This file which was filed during the investigation carried out by
18 The Hague Tribunal in Vukovar contains data and information only on the
19 crimes about which there is enough evidence in The Hague to issue
20 indictments against their perpetrators, members of the Croatian armed
21 formations. Do you see that Mr. Cakalic? Do you see that sentence?
22 What do you think about this? Do you know that this investigation did
23 take place in Vukovar?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you hear about The Hague investigators coming to Vukovar?
1 A. No, I didn't.
2 Q. And that they interviewed people?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Mr. Cakalic, very well then.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Trial Chamber is
6 discovering these documents with you. Apparently they had not been
7 disclosed to the accused, which is a cause for astonishment, but on the
8 basis of these documents, it would appear that prior to November or
9 October 1991, in Vukovar, there were crimes committed by Croats against
10 Serbs, and on the basis of this document there were some hundred and
11 fifty people who fell victims. So from this document, it appears that
12 this very Office of the Prosecutor investigated, and a witness apparently
13 were heard.
14 You were a resident of Vukovar. Before October and November, did
15 you have any knowledge? Did you hear that Serbs had been victims of
16 crimes that would have been committed by Croats, or did you never know of
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You -- I would answer as follows:
19 The Serbs made up stories about being persecuted in order to smear the
20 name of the Croatian people. They would flee to Vojvodina first and then
21 to Serbia and so on and so forth. That's what they did. But the fact
22 that Croats were killing Serbs, some were killed in duels. The person
23 who saved me was later on killed in a duel.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Cakalic, these people who were killed, the list is a hundred
1 and fifty names long. They did not kill each other in order to blame the
3 A. It was a war.
4 Q. This was before the war, Mr. Cakalic.
5 A. Yes, before the war.
6 Q. This was before the war whilst different gangs under the command
7 of Tomislav Mercep circled around Vukovar and even after he left Vukovar.
8 I have an original Croatian document here. You have this
9 document in a typed version because the original was not very legible.
10 Can we have the original on the ELMO, and the Judges have a
11 translation into English, and I'm going to be using the new typed version
12 of this document.
13 Mr. Cakalic, the Croatian authorities were aware of these major
14 crimes that were committed in Vukovar, and I'm going to show you a
15 document which is a confidential letter by Marin Vidic. Do you know him?
16 He is a friend, I believe.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. He was the commissioner of the Croatian government in Vukovar.
19 On the 18th of August, 1991 he wrote to the president of --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I just want to tell
21 you this: The Judges have not received the translation of the documents.
22 You told us it had been translated, but we don't have the translation in
23 front of us. So be aware that your questions cannot be enhanced by the
24 English translation of the document.
25 To help us -- for instance, we have a document in front of us. I
1 can translate, and I can see that it was written on the 18th of August,
2 1991. Tell us who it is sent who and what was the purpose just in a
3 nutshell so that we know what the document is about.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, over three months ago
5 I handed this over for translation to the registry, and it is not my
6 fault if you don't have it in English. I hope that you have at least
7 some of the things. I don't know what you have and what you don't have.
8 And this is a letter which was the commissioner of the Croatian
9 government for Vukovar. You know, in Vukovar there were local elections
10 in 1990, and after the elections the president of the municipality was
11 Slavko Dokmanovic.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Wasn't it, Mr. Cakalic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What is his nationality?
16 A. Serb.
17 Q. And how did he declare himself? He was a Yugoslav, wasn't he?
18 Are you aware of that? Before the war he always declared himself as a
20 A. You know what? We worked together in the municipality, and I
21 really wouldn't know. I don't know that. Maybe he declared himself as
22 Yugoslav somewhere else, not in the workplace.
23 Q. But it was his official position when the questionnaires had to
24 be filled out when he had to declare his nationality, he would fill out
25 as being Yugoslav.
1 A. Possibly.
2 Q. And then there was a threat that he would be arrested and he fled
3 Vukovar sometime in July?
4 A. Yes. He went to Vojvodina.
5 Q. And then the Croatian government appointed a commissioner, Marin
6 Vidic Bili?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Marin Vidic, on the 18th of August, wrote to the president of the
9 republic, the prime minister of Croatia, to the minister of defence, and
10 to the minister of the interior of Croatia, describing the political and
11 security situation in the municipality of Vukovar. He calls this a
12 report in Croatian. Can you see this document in front of you?
13 I'm going to read the first part very carefully and you can
14 follow my words. I'm going to be reading very slowly because of the
16 "By appointing Tomislav Mercep of the secretary of the municipal
17 secretariat of Vukovar, the power has been usurped, and functions have
18 been concentrated in one person, and these functions are the president of
19 the Croatian Democratic Union, Tudjman's party, and the factical
20 [as interpreted] command of the ZNG, the police, the civilian
21 authorities. He is surrounded by people of dubious moral qualities,
22 former criminals who have taken over the complete control over everything
23 in the municipality of Vukovar and they are not shying from repressive
24 and violent measures again the population of Vukovar. They burst into
25 private apartments against the law. They send in to those flats by
1 people who sought accommodation. They plunder these apartments. They
2 seize vehicles. They bring against their will people for oppression, and
3 they even execute people. This behaviour has created in the town of
4 Vukovar a general psychosis of fear among both the Croatian and the
5 Serbian population which has resulted in a mass exodus from the town, a
6 total blockade of the work of the police, of the ZNG, the organs of the
7 administration, and this has also created a general state of confusion.
8 "He has brought upon himself his dismissal from the position of
9 the secretary of the Secretariat for National Defence because it was
10 visible that this would lead to a general catastrophe. Upon the
11 intervention of Mr. Manolic, Tomislav Mercep has been withdrawn to
12 Zagreb, allegedly to be the assistant minister of the interior, which has
13 been officially published in the media."
14 Were you able to follow my reading?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Am I reading correctly?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. "When he left Vukovar, the situation became totally confused and
19 we have tried to dealt with the vacuum by establishing a Crisis Staff and
20 by appointing people to important positions and by separating the
21 authorities of the ZNG, the police, the civilian authorities, and
23 "When this started functioning, new complications arose when in
24 incompetent people were appointed by the authorities in Zagreb; for
25 example, the commander of the ZNG, Stjepan Radas who was dismissed, only
1 he was a very professional and very competent person who instilled trust
2 and who has support of the commissioner of the government of Croatia.
3 "The Crisis Staff in Vukovar and commander of the 3rd Brigade,
4 Mr. Vukovac; the chief of police for Slovenia, Pejic; and the coordinator
5 for Slovenia, Baranja, Mr. Seks. Instead of him, in Arbanas was
6 appointed and Mr. Zadro Blago, and they are people without no
7 qualifications whatsoever, without any professional knowledge in the
8 area. The appointment, the dismissal was carried out without any
9 explanation at the express order of Minister Bebic.
10 "Upon the proposal of the Crisis Staff, the acting secretary of
11 the municipal Secretariat of Defence, the commissioner for Vukovar
12 appointed Professor Danijel Rehak, for whom we believe that he might be
13 able to perform this job professionally, all of a sudden received
14 appointment on the appointment of Gazo Josip, the former Mercep's deputy.
15 He doesn't have any professional or other qualities to perform this job.
16 He has a high school degree, and he never served in the army. Because of
17 this confused situation in Vukovar we are requesting your intervention,
18 because the municipality of Vukovar is a very volatile area which
19 threatens to be struck by an armed conflict at a larger scale and the
20 town is almost encircled.
21 "The appointed people are pursuing Tomislav Mercep's policies and
22 again there is terror in town. There are armed conflicts and shooting as
23 a manner of provocation of which may result in major consequences. The
24 ZNG and the police and the authorities are again functioning. The former
25 policies have created a grave psychosis of fear among the Serb and
1 Croatian population. The complete Croatian population does not justify
2 this sort of behaviour and they considered themselves rejected and
3 compromised. They do not want to bear responsibility for these policies.
4 Since we believe that we are not in a position to deal with the situation
5 with our local forces, we are kindly asking you to send competent people
6 urgently that would help the legal institutions of authorities and
7 legal -- and normalise the matter. Since Mr. Bilic [as interpreted] is
8 your personal friend, do you recognise his signature on the document?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you doubt that this is list letter?
11 A. I believe that this is his letter.
12 Q. You have heard of Mr. Tomislav Mercep, haven't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it true that he instilled terror not only among the Serbs but
15 also among the Croats in Vukovar?
16 A. That's not the way I saw him or knew him.
17 Q. Do you know that when Tomislav Mercep left Vukovar and appointed
18 the assistant -- assistant minister of the interior in Croatia, that he
19 formed an armed formation that committed a mass crimes against the Serb
20 civilians in the Pakrac valley?
21 A. Yes, but that was during the war. That was during the war.
22 Q. But that was before the war. There was no war in the Western
23 Slavonia at the time.
24 A. No. The war had started.
25 Q. In Western Slavonia the war started some time in September 1991,
1 or maybe even October, and this had happened before. Are you aware of
2 this major crime against the Serb civilian?
3 A. No, I hear it for the first time.
4 Q. Did the Croatian media write a lot about it? There was also a
5 trial, and because of a procedural error the whole group was released.
6 Do you know that he was tried for that?
7 A. I didn't know that. I thought that he simply vanished from
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. Witness,
10 this is document from the municipal authorities in Croatia at the time,
11 so it looks like an official document, and it reports a chaotic
12 situation, people who are incompetent, criminals. It speaks of
14 Now, this is a picture that may look like an apocalyptic picture
15 and you were a resident and you knew everybody. What do you have to say
16 to this, because I seem to understand that you deny all this, and here we
17 have a very detailed document that seems to contradict what you said so
18 far. What was the real situation prior to October 1991 in Vukovar on the
19 Croatian side?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The situation was critical. There
21 were two major national groups, the Croats and the Serbs. I won't
22 mention Ruthenians and the others, the other national minorities, ethnic
24 If you know that this happened I believe you, but I did not know
25 that, and I did not see that. I can only say what I saw or possibly
1 accept someone else's ideas and thoughts.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The individual who kind the
3 document, Bilic [as interpreted], I thought you understood -- you knew
4 him. Did you know him?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do. I did.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And he didn't tell
7 you that as far as he was concerned it was a chaotic situation, that he
8 had warned Zagreb of all these problems, that he wanted competent people
9 to be appointed, that he wanted control to be taken of the situation?
10 Did he never tell you that? Did he never tell you that people were being
11 killed -- well, or executed, rather, if we go by the document.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a collaborator of Vidic. He
13 was the president of the municipality -- not that. No, it was a
14 different expression, a different title. But in any case, he did work
15 for the municipality and I assisted him in that. I went to Borovo Selo
16 and Borovo Naselje with him more than once. There were containers and
17 rubbish bins that had been destroyed, and as a sanitary inspector I
18 ordered that all this be dealt with quickly.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, let's not waste any time.
20 You told us that you worked with him, so normally you should be aware of
21 the situation that prevailed then.
22 This document states that people were killed, and this is the
23 theory of Mr. Seselj, who is based on this document but also another
24 document. And I remind you that you are under oath, and you tell us
25 under oath that as far as you know, in Vukovar there were never crimes
1 committed by Croats against Serbs. Is that so?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see that. As I said, I
3 did not see it.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That you did not see them,
5 that's one thing, but that you may have heard about them. I'm not saying
6 that you were on side when crimes were committed, but we want to know
7 whether you heard of crimes, and that's quite different.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] People did speak about that.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're making headway. So it
10 was spoken about.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] People did speak about that.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Did you know Zdenko Novak?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was his nickname Miner?
16 A. That's the first time I've heard of this.
17 Q. Did Stenko Novak had about a hundred kilogrammes of explosives
18 which he used to blow up Serbian houses in Vukovar?
19 A. That's the first time I heard of this. Zdenko Novak was in The
21 Q. I don't know about his being in The Hague and I'm not interested
22 in that. I have his name in the documents. He was a person who blew up
23 Serbian houses. A Serb family would flee from Vukovar out of fear. He
24 would turn up right away and blow-up their house, and this explosion
25 would motivate other Serbs to flee as soon as they could. That was the
1 method he used.
2 A. I'm surprised to hear that, because he was a very well-mannered
3 person, a person of good character with whom I socialised.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, here again we're
5 uncovering another problem. We've heard about this -- this is the first
6 time we're hearing about Novak. But let us imagine that a house would be
7 blown up in Vukovar. I suppose that the residents would know that house
8 has been blown up, and the municipality should also know about it.
9 Did you yourself hear that Serb houses were exploded, were blown
10 up? Prior to October 1991.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Whenever such a thing
12 happened, all of Vukovar knew about it.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were there any investigations
14 conducted by the municipal police in Vukovar? What did the municipality
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I worked in the municipality at the
17 time, but the municipality -- well, there was a commissioner for Vukovar
18 municipality. His name was Marin Vidic. I can tell you he's a wonderful
19 man, a very good man who wants to help everyone, and I don't believe he
20 did anything evil, Marin Vidic.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're now going to
22 have --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we're going to have a
2 Mr. Seselj, you've used one hour and 10 minutes so far, so that
3 after the break you'll have another 20 minutes to complete, to finish the
5 We shall reconvene in 20 minutes' time.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing.
9 Mr. Seselj, you have shown us a number of documents. I believe you are
10 going to ask for these documents to be tendered into evidence. If we do
11 not have the translation of these documents, we will mark these documents
12 for identification.
13 Let me say that a few months ago you had asked for these
14 documents to be translated, and as things stand today you do not have the
15 translated documents. As you have your schedule for the upcoming
16 witnesses, perhaps -- or you do certainly know which documents you would
17 like to show, if you send some of these documents off to be translated,
18 you might just send them a memo and say these documents need to be
19 translated as a priority given the witnesses who are going to come to
20 testify. Because if you don't mention this to the translation services
21 and if you don't prioritise your documents, well, they will continue
22 working the way they usually do, and in that case you will not have the
23 documents translated in a timely way.
24 So all you need to do is tell the translation services to
25 prioritise the translation of such and such document.
1 So let me give you the floor back so that you can resume your
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, first allow me to
4 state my position on what you have said. I don't know what the precise
5 order of witnesses is. I don't know whether there will be any witnesses
6 next week. I have been given some schedules by the OTP, but they never
7 stuck to them. I don't know anything right now. When we finish with
8 this witness, I don't know anything. I don't know whether there will be
9 any more witnesses or not. That's uncertain. That's one point.
10 The second point is as regards translation, you remember well
11 that as the Pre-Trial Judge, you ordered me to find an agency on my own
12 which is able to translate my books. I did find an agency which is
13 reliable, which offered the lowest prices, and they were willing to do
14 that by the end of January. The translation was not done, and you issued
15 a new decision obliging the registry to have these two books translated
16 by the beginning of my defence case.
17 As of today I don't know whether there will be a defence case at
18 all as you are kidnapping my witnesses, subpoena -- issuing subpoenas for
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, to shed some light
21 on this matter, the Trial Chamber had handed down a decision whereby you
22 have a credit of 10.000 pages that can be sent in for translation.
23 Unless I am mistaken, I think that was the right figure, 10.000
24 documents. So the Registrar must -- the registry must translate these
25 10.000 pages. And I stand to be corrected by my colleagues if I'm making
1 a mistake here.
2 We said that it was for you to tell the registrar what your
3 priorities were. It was for you to tell them which documents should be
4 translated first, which are a priority for you.
5 Admittedly you did give us an estimate. We did factor all this
6 in when we looked into the matter, and in the end we decided on the
7 following solution: The registry will translate 10.000 pages for you
8 overall, and then it is for you to specify which pages need to be
9 translated first, and those will be the documents which you will want to
10 tender into evidence.
11 You have written some 84 books. I believe one is going to be
12 published in the next few days, but these books are perhaps very
13 interesting and very relevant, but it's for you to tell the registry to
14 identify those pages which you will want to tender into evidence when the
15 witnesses come to testify.
16 Now, the Prosecution gave you a provisional list. Admittedly
17 some witnesses, for whatever reason, will not be able to come to testify.
18 Strinovic, the expert witness, for instance. But other witnesses are
19 mentioned, and I shall not give their names because some of them are
20 protected, are on the list. There are witness numbers. So you know who
21 these witnesses are. And as of today already, I'm sure you know which
22 documents you are going to be adducing through these witnesses. We also
23 have the chart for the entire month of April. It is possible that some
24 of the witnesses that have been scheduled are not going to come.
25 Nonetheless, you are able to prepare this adequately. Number 34, 51,
1 number 7, Witness 16. These are the witness numbers we have and which
2 should enable you to prepare for them, and you can ask the translation
3 services to have for number 34, 7, 16, and 51 to have the documents
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I cannot prepare for
6 all the witnesses at once. At present I don't know what witnesses are
7 envisaged for next week or whether there will be any witnesses, nor has
8 the Prosecutor been able to say here whether he will certainly have
9 witnesses next week. That's one point.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj.
11 Unless I'm mistaken, I believe a witness was scheduled for next week, for
13 I'm turning now to Mr. Mundis. There is a witness that's been
14 planned for Thursday, I believe.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Your Honours. What we're trying to do
16 at this very moment pursuant to the oral order of the Trial Chamber
17 yesterday is arrange for two witnesses for next week that concern
18 Zvornik. I should have some additional information before we complete
19 the court day today hopefully. The schedule will be circulated no later
20 than tomorrow for next week, but we do envisage having two Zvornik
21 witnesses for next week, assuming that we can get the authorities to act
22 consistently with the Trial Chamber's oral order of yesterday afternoon
23 in an expeditious manner.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj, so as
25 far as next week is concerned, there are two potential witnesses who are
1 going to come and talk about Zvornik. I'm sure you have documents about
2 Zvornik. You may have priority documents, important documents. So there
3 are some documents you intend to tender into evidence I'm sure, because
4 these witnesses are going to come and testify about it.
5 I know that you are representing yourself and you're working
6 alone. We're fully aware of that. But if you did send off some
7 documents to the translation services that relate to Zvornik, maybe you
8 should tell the translation services to translate one or other document,
9 because these are extremely important documents for you, as was the
10 document you showed us a while ago.
11 So these documents merit to be put on a priority list. So I'll
12 give you the floor back so that you can resume your cross-examination.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted to use the two books to
14 cross-examine your expert witness Ivo Tomic. I wasn't able to do that.
15 Then I wanted to have this set of documents about Zvornik to use for the
16 cross-examination of a great criminal that has appeared as a Prosecution
17 witness, and I've been told that the Prosecution will have three hours
18 for in chief and three hours for my cross-examination, whereas you
19 changed the decision and the witness appeared under 92 ter with all --
20 full protective measures, completely anonymously, and I refused to
21 cross-examine him. So that's what I needed this material for, for the
22 cross-examination of that witness.
23 Now I'm going to use it for the cross-examination of Mr. Cakalic
24 who has to give the answers he can to these questions of mine; although,
25 this was intended for quite a different witness and now Mr. Cakalic has
1 to do this. He has not is sullied his hand in blood, Mr. Cakalic,
2 whereas the Prosecution has put him in to this situation where I would
3 have asked these questions of a notorious criminal, somebody that was
4 accused of crimes against humanity and who was released from prison in an
5 exchange with Croatian authorities. So that's the situation I have to
6 face and I'm facing it calmly and quietly.
7 Now, with respect to this other witness, Strinovic, I spent a lot
8 of time preparing for him and now I see he's not coming at all, and
9 that's a blow, and I had to check to see whether they might have sent me
10 an expert report by him and when I went through each and every document
11 page by page, I realised that that expert report did not exist.
12 Perhaps this can -- these proceedings can function this way, but
13 I don't know for how long, because my physical capabilities are limited
14 after all.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are right on a number of
16 points. This is why I asked the Prosecution last time why a witness who
17 was on -- who was scheduled was not coming. I'm fully aware of the fact
18 that you prepare for these witnesses. You invest a lot of time and work
19 in this, and if you then discover that the witness is not coming, you
20 waste a lot of time. This is why I asked the Prosecution to tell us why
21 these changes had been made.
22 The same applies to Mr. Strinovic who was due to come. We know
23 now why he will not come.
24 So I'd like you to be aware of fact that we fully understand the
25 difficulties you come up against when it comes to preparing for these
1 witness testimonies when they don't come. Nonetheless, the Trial Chamber
2 has decided that the Prosecution should give us a chart which covers
3 eight weeks, which spans a period of eight weeks, so that we get an
4 overall understanding of which witnesses are going to come.
5 So we want to know over a period of eight weeks which are the
6 witnesses that are scheduled to come and testify.
7 Mr. Mundis, can you confirm this?
8 MR. MUNDIS: That's the first I've heard of that, Mr. President.
9 We will certainly endeavour to do that. I'm not in a position by
10 tomorrow to provide a schedule for the next eight weeks. Perhaps by the
11 end of next week I would be in a position to do that.
12 We have indicated on a few occasions in the past some of the
13 difficulties that we've had with respect to scheduling witnesses. I'm
14 not going to reiterate that now. I simply do want to repeat, however,
15 that in light of the comments made by Dr. Seselj with respect to
16 Mr. Strinovic, that was adequately addressed yesterday. We have
17 indicated that he will not be coming in April but he will be coming at a
18 subsequent date. I want to be absolutely clear that we have asked him to
19 produce a new report. That report will be disclosed and not less than 30
20 days thereafter he will be called as a witness.
21 So I want to be absolutely clear he is not dropped as a witness.
22 He will be called as a witness. It's a question of him producing a
23 revised or a better report, and then adequate time under 94 bis will be
24 allowed before we schedule that witness I want to be absolutely clear
25 about that.
1 I don't believe we can take this any further at this point in
2 time, and I would respectfully request that we move on with the
3 cross-examination of this witness.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to
5 remind you that as the Pre-Trial Judge you issued an instruction, an oral
6 instruction, to the Prosecution to have crime base witnesses appear first
7 and then the other witnesses and that these crime base witnesses should
8 be grouped according to the different localities. So I assume that it
9 would be natural that they be grouped, crime base witnesses should be
10 grouped for Vukovar. We had a few. We'll have a few again, and then
11 later on some more.
12 But that's not a rational use of time and a rational presentation
13 of evidence, let alone the problems that raises as far as I'm concerned,
14 because I heard for the first time today that next week we're going to
15 have crime base witnesses testifying about Zvornik, for instance.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Admittedly during the pre-trial
17 stage, in order to be as rational as possible, I had indicated to
18 Mrs. Dahl that it would be desirable for the Prosecution to call the
19 witnesses on a municipality basis before addressing the more crucial
20 issues, i.e., the volunteers and the individual responsibility, criminal
21 responsibility of the accused. This seemed logical from a judicial
22 standpoint. Mrs. Dahl heard what I said, and then I realised that she
23 was proceeding differently.
24 So as we have the first witnesses that are testifying, we are
25 discussing Vukovar. Unfortunately, we shall have to move on to Zvornik,
1 and then we shall get back to Vukovar again in a few months' time or a
2 few weeks' time. This makes all this rather difficult to follow.
3 I know it's difficult. I know that you have your own issues with
4 your witnesses, but believe me, Mr. Mundis, if I were in charge of the
5 trial and fully in charge, I would have called the Vukovar witnesses. I
6 would then have closed the Vukovar chapter and moved on to another
7 municipality to avoid repetitions and to avoid wasting time, to be as
8 rational as possible. But this Tribunal operates differently. The
9 witnesses come to discuss a municipality and then another municipality
10 and then come back for the first municipality. I know it's a bit
11 hotchpotch. I know that you're finding this rather difficult to call
12 your witnesses and making sure that they can come, but if I were to
13 prepare all this trial, I can assure you that if I had started first with
14 the Vukovar witnesses and I wouldn't have moved on to Zvornik before I'd
16 But as the Rules of Procedure and Evidence do not entitle the
17 Bench to control the proceedings, it is your responsibility to deal with
18 it. And we make do with all the inconveniences here. In other words,
19 we're going to be switching from one topic to another, and when we are
20 concentrated on one, everybody is working in an efficient way, and in
21 three months' time we shall get back to Vukovar again. We will have to
22 jog our memory and so on and so forth. So that is what makes our work so
23 difficult. But you're not responsible for this, and I am not either.
24 This is how things work out here.
25 Initially the people that drafted the Rules of Procedure and
1 Evidence in 1994 should have been aware of this, but this was more than
2 ten years ago, and it's not after ten years that you can correct all of
4 So please resume, Mr. Seselj. You have 20 minutes left.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Cakalic, just prior to your arrival in Vukovar did anybody of
7 the Croatian authorities, the police, or any other service talk to you?
8 A. Get one thing right. I don't live in Vukovar.
9 Q. I meant The Hague. Perhaps I made a slip of the tongue.
10 A. You said Vukovar.
11 Q. You live in Kastel Luksic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did any of the Croatian authorities talk to you prior to that?
14 A. No, nobody. Not with respect to your trial.
15 Q. You didn't manage to answer one of my questions that I asked you
16 earlier on. You said didn't know about this crime in Pakracka Poljana.
17 Did you hear about the liquidation of more than a hundred Serbs in Gospic
18 which was also committed by this Tomislav Mercep, the assistant minister
19 of police of this crime? Have you heard about Gospic and the crime
20 committed there against the Serbs?
21 A. No.
22 Q. The crime took place about a month before the Vukovar events.
23 A. You know what? I had a lot of work to do at the time. I was
24 very busy and I simply didn't have time to deal with matters like that.
25 Q. All right. Now, could Mr. Cakalic be shown page 7 of this
1 document by the information centre of the Serbian Assembly. We have the
2 nationality breakdown or ethnic breakdown of Vukovar because you say you
3 know nothing specific about the crimes that took place. I'm going to try
4 and deal with that through another witness, but as you worked in the
5 municipality I'm sure you're well aware of things like this.
6 So put it on the overhead projector, please, and let's have it
7 nice and big on our screens.
8 Have we got it now?
9 Mr. Cakalic, this is -- well, let's see the signature and what it
10 says under the graph. This is the national or ethnic structure of the
11 Vukovar municipality for 1981. Can you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And can you see that it says that in Vukovar there were
14 30.000-odd Croats, 25.000-odd Serbs, 18.000 people who declared
15 themselves as Yugoslavs, and 7.800 others, Germans and various other
16 nationalities and ethnicities?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you agree that among the Yugoslavs, the largest percentage
19 were Serbs who declared their nationality as Yugoslavs because they loved
20 Yugoslavia? They were people from mixed marriages of course as well, but
21 most of them were Serbs, right? Would you agree with that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, are you aware that at the first multi-party elections in
24 1990, the Croatian Democratic Union; that is to say, Tudjman's party in
25 Vukovar was completely defeated?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would you provide this document to
2 Mr. Cakalic, and then we can look at the text, the excerpts I underlined.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Let's have a look at the graph first, and what it says
5 underneath, the caption underneath.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj. I
7 see that when you put the question on the elections in 1990, where you
8 say that Tudjman's party was defeated, he didn't answer. There was no
9 answer on the part of the witness. So could you ask your question again
10 if you feel that this is an important question.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness nodded in the
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I asked you whether you remember that the Croatian Democratic
15 Union was defeated in Vukovar in 1990.
16 A. Well, I don't know that it was such a resounding defeat. The
17 Croatian Democratic Union lasted for as long as Professor Tudjman was
19 Q. While Senada is continuing the work. It's still alive today,
20 isn't it?
21 A. Yes, but we're talking about individuals of the day.
22 Q. Look at this graph. These are the results of the elections in
23 Vukovar municipality in 1990 according to the number of seats won in the
24 Municipal Assembly. Can you see that? Can you see these figures?
25 The League of Communists of Croatia had 64.55 per cent; right?
1 The HDZ, which is Franjo Tudjman's party, had secured 26.22 per cent of
2 the seats in the municipality; and the other parties and independent
3 candidates scored 27.23 per cent.
4 A. That's what it says.
5 Q. Is that correct? Do you doubt this? Is that the true?
6 A. Well, I would say that it isn't, that it isn't right.
7 Q. What are your figures then?
8 A. I think that the HDZ was the strongest.
9 Q. And how many deputies did it have in the Municipal Assembly?
10 A. Oh I really can't say I don't know.
11 Q. Do you think they were the strongest you say?
12 A. I think they were the strongest.
13 Q. Why did they elect Slavko Dokmanovic as president of the
14 Municipal Assembly if the HDZ was the strongest?
15 A. Well, the area of Vukovar has a mixed population. You are very
16 much aware of that yourself. There are Croats and Serbs and national
17 minorities, Ruthenians and so on and so forth.
18 Q. Yes. We saw that on the last graph. But why would the HDZ, if
19 it were indeed the strongest, elect a Serb who belongs to the League of
20 Communists, the party for Democratic Change?
21 A. You mean Dokmanovic?
22 Q. Yes he was an SDP candidate?
23 A. Yes, he was indeed an SDP candidate and was the president of the
24 municipality who didn't go home. He went across the Danube to Vojvodina.
25 Q. We're not talking about him now. But your thesis, that the HDZ
1 had the majority, whereas from this graph we see that it did not, that it
2 was in the minority in the Municipal Assembly.
3 Now look at what it says, what the text says, the Information
4 Centre of the Serbian Assembly and the document that the OTP of The Hague
5 has in its position -- possession. I'm going to read the text slowly and
6 you can give me your comments: "The Croatian Democratic Union has
7 suffered a complete defeat at the multi-party elections in Vukovar in
8 1990, principally because the Serbs and the so-called Yugoslavs who
9 together made up an absolute majority of the population in this town and
10 its surrounding parts, voted for the League of Communists of Croatia
11 party for Democratic Change candidate.
12 "In the Vukovar municipality, five deputies for the Sabor
13 Assembly of the Republic of Croatia were elected, four deputy seats were
14 taken by the Party of Democratic Change and one place by the so-called
15 independent candidate. In the Assembly of the Vukovar municipality,
16 which had 117 deputy seats, the Croatian Democratic Union won just 26
17 mandates. It only won in settlements where the -- there was an absolute
18 Croatian majority population."
19 Is that correct, Mr. Cakalic?
20 A. That's a relative question, but if this was recognised by
21 somebody from Croatia, then I do believe that that is so.
22 Q. These are official data of the Croatian authorities after the
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These are the figures for 1990.
25 There are three main groups, the SDP, the HDZ, and the independent
1 parties, and there are election results which nobody can challenge. This
2 is not a relative matter. Out of the 117 elected MPs, the HDZ has 26,
3 which from a mathematical standpoint tends to indicate that the SDP is in
4 the majority. League of Communists. So you seem to be challenging this.
5 This is -- these are the results of the elections.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As to the results, I accept them.
7 However, it was a little strange to me -- well, I didn't delve in
8 politics at all as you well know, I dealt with my profession, so I assume
9 that what it says here is correct. I do believe it is.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You worked in the municipality did you not? You were in the
12 municipality administration?
13 A. I was the sanitary inspector for the municipality of Vukovar.
14 Q. So you were a municipality official?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it true and correct, Mr. Cakalic, that in the Vukovar
17 municipality five deputies were elected to go to the Croatian Sabor
19 A. I don't know that.
20 Q. It says here that five deputies for the Sabor, the parliament,
21 were elected, and not a single one of them was from the HDZ, the Croatian
22 Democratic Union. Four were from the SDP, the Party of Democratic
23 Changes, and one seat was taken by an independent candidate?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. Do you know of an HDZ deputy from Vukovar? This wasn't a single
2 A. There was -- oh, help me. What was his name. He came from
3 Lovas, Marin Vidic.
4 Q. What party did Marin Vidic belong to?
5 A. I think he belonged to the HDZ, the Croatian Democratic Union.
6 Q. Was he a deputy in the Croatian parliament?
7 A. No, no, he wasn't.
8 Q. No. He was a municipal official because the offices in the
9 municipality were divided proportionally according to ethnic affiliation?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. But he was not a deputy in the parliament?
12 A. No, I don't think he was.
13 Q. He became the commission of the Croatian government for Vukovar
14 when Slavko Dokmanovic fled Vukovar?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would you be kind enough to look at the following text?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could there be a pause between question and
18 answer please, the interpreters kindly request.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Look what it says here: A defeat in the elections in Vukovar
21 municipality prompted the leadership of the Croatian Democratic Union --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please slow down.
23 The interpreters find it difficult to follow you at this speed.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Prompted the leadership of the Croatian Democratic Union to
1 attempt to render null and void the results of the elections in this
2 municipality by suspending the legally elected organs of the local
3 authorities and transferring their powers on to a so called commissioner
4 of the Croatian Government. How was it possible to achieve this? Only
5 under irregular conditions.
6 The government authorities of the Republic of Croatia were
7 intentionally provoking Serb-Croatian confrontations. Well, let me just
8 mention one thing. In the footnote here it says, "Report on the results
9 of the elections in Vukovar municipality," and this was published in the
10 Vukovar newspaper of the 12th of May. Can you see this footnote? Could
11 you please turn the next page please.
12 Is this the next page? I have the next page. I have the next
13 page. You were showing the previous page now.
14 There was another important reason which prompted the Croatian
15 authorities to work on a speedy, even a forcible takeover of power in
16 Vukovar municipality because most of the population of Vukovar was
17 composed of Serbs and declared Yugoslavs, Vukovar could become a serious
18 flashpoint and a serious centre of resistance to the Republic of Croatia.
19 Seen from the standpoint of the Croatian government, this danger was even
20 greater because of the geographical position of the Vukovar municipality
21 which bordered on the territory of the Republic of Serbia which at that
22 time opposed the break-up of Yugoslavia.
23 Do you agree with this assessment of the situation? Could you
24 please give me this document back, because now I miss it and there's
25 something important on it.
1 A. Yes. There were very many people who were Serbs but were not
3 Q. They declared themselves as Yugoslavs?
4 A. Yes, but there were also Croats to declared themselves as
6 Q. There were such Croats as well, especially from mixed marriages?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. But they were all in favour of the survival of Yugoslavia?
9 A. Well, I don't know who was in favour of what.
10 Q. There was some Croats who fled Vukovar because of Tomislav Mercep
11 and his gangs; is that right?
12 A. Well, I don't know that.
13 Q. Well, you don't even know about the Serbs. What can we do? I
14 can't force you to know --
15 A. No, no. I'm telling you what I know.
16 Q. Did you hear of some powerful and wealthy Mafia bosses who moved
17 to Vukovar in 1989? This was the Alco Mafia. They produced alcohol from
18 cereals and traded it in illegally.
19 A. Well, it rings a bell but I couldn't swear to it.
20 Q. Have you heard of Marin Pliso?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Vinko Zanic?
23 A. No, not him.
24 Q. Josip Dufek?
25 A. Yes, I have heard of him.
1 Q. Were they the wealthiest and most powerful bosses of the Alcohol
3 A. Whether it was the Alco Mafia, I don't know. But even today they
4 trade in wine and so on.
5 Q. And did they begin to gather around themselves workers who were
6 out after job and criminals, and did they start creating their own armed
7 groups the members of which obeyed them without question in order to
8 secure their livelihoods? It says that these groups became the mainstay
9 for the Croatian Democratic Union, a branch of which was set up in
10 Vukovar in March 1990. Are you aware of this?
11 A. Well, you know when a poor person gets a job he has to work, and
12 he has to do whatever his boss tells him to do.
13 Q. Do you remember those first armed formations of the HDZ in
15 A. No.
16 Q. Do you remember when people began procuring weapons in Vukovar?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. When was this?
19 A. At the beginning of the war.
20 Q. Was it as early as 1990?
21 A. I don't know. I couldn't tell you the year, but people started
22 obtaining weapons. Why? Well, because the army was there in Vukovar and
23 people had to keep themselves safe. Everyone who to protect himself.
24 Q. Was the army threatening anyone in Vukovar in 1990?
25 A. I beg your pardon?
1 Q. Was the army threatening anyone?
2 A. I don't believe so.
3 Q. Why then would people have to obtain weapons?
4 A. Who, the army?
5 Q. No, the civilians, the Alco Mafia, the HDZ.
6 A. I don't know that the HDZ procured weapons.
7 Q. Well, who procured weapons?
8 A. Well, the Mafia. You yourself said that.
9 Q. But we can see from this document that this Mafia was the
10 mainstay of the HDZ in Vukovar.
11 A. Well, I don't know that.
12 Q. Do you believe what this document says?
13 A. Relatively.
14 Q. Very well.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I believe you have
16 two or three minutes left.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Do you know, Mr. Cakalic, who the first victim was on the
19 territory of Vukovar municipality, the first person who was killed? Let
20 me remind you.
21 A. Please do.
22 Q. On the 1st of May, 1991, in the village of Brsadin not far from
23 Vukovar, that's Vukovar municipality, a Serb, Stevan Inic, was killed.
24 He was born in 1928 and he was killed by a pistol shot to his head. He
25 was killed by Croat Djuro Gelencir, a member of the party militia of the
1 Croatian Democratic Union. Have you heard of this murder?
2 A. I did hear there was a murder, but I don't know who committed it.
3 Q. In Brsadin?
4 A. In Brsadin. I don't know.
5 Q. And in this document it says that with his murder, which
6 resounded among the Serbs, the first step was taken into the hell of
7 inter-ethnic war.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know that prominent Serbian politicians at the time were
10 Goran Hadzic and Borivoje Savic who came from that area?
11 A. Well, they were from Borovo.
12 Q. That's also Vukovar municipality isn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And they were members of the SDS, the Serbian Democratic Party?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But they belonged to the moderate wing of the SDS as it was
18 A. I don't know then why they fled.
19 Q. Well, you know what happened to them on 31st of March 1991 in
20 Plitvice on the road to Karlovac.
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. There they were arrested by the Croatian police who beat them up
23 on the spot, who beat them up very badly, and then they transformed a
24 peacemaker into an extremist --
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, do you want us to
1 have the transcript of your cross-examination or is it something we don't
2 actually need?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, because you're speaking
4 extremely fast, and at page 65, line 5, you can see that on your screen,
5 part of the question has not been recorded. I don't know. Afterwards
6 the court reporters may be able to complete the transcript, but for the
7 time being we have no idea about the exact substance of your question.
8 The witness answered, "Yes I do," but we don't actually know what your
9 question was.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President and Ms. Lattanzi,
11 there's a specific problem here. I know that very often I speak too
12 fast. I cannot think about the interpreters and the transcript at every
13 point. It's impossible. I'm doing my best, and I will continue to do my
14 best. But independently of this, there are enormous problems in
15 interpretation which I have pointed out more than once. I think the best
16 thing to do would be for you, as the Trial Chamber, to hand down an order
17 after every session to compare every transcript with the videotape and to
18 have corrections entered on this basis.
19 I do not receive the transcript. I have nothing to do with the
20 transcript. All I get is the video, and in my view what I have is what
21 is on the video. Then my service takes this down on paper and I use it
22 as my own transcript. But I think that there should be a check of the
23 transcript after each session. I'm not sure this is done. But I will
24 slow down.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You know that Croatian television intentionally filmed their
2 arrest and beating?
3 A. Whose?
4 Q. Of Goran Hadzic and Savic on the 31st of March near Plitvice.
5 A. They hadn't fled yet.
6 Q. No, no, that's the 31st of March 1991. They were moving around
7 Croatia freely?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. They were arrested and their arrest and the brutal conduct of the
10 Croatian police towards them, as it says on page 13 of this document, was
11 intentionally filmed with a TV camera and shown that same evening on
12 Croatian state television, which was under the complete control of
13 Tudjman's party, and this caused enormous fear in all the Serbian
14 villages. They saw them brutally mistreating a couple of moderate Serbs.
15 What then would they do with the nationalists?
16 A. May I respond?
17 Q. Yes, please do.
18 A. I was in Sremska Mitrovica, and you know who beat me up? Goran
19 Hadzic and Boro Savic.
20 Q. It's possible this happened.
21 A. It's certain.
22 Q. It's quite possible, Mr. Cakalic, but this simply proves my
23 point. Some of those who beat you up in Sremska Mitrovica, of course
24 there are psychopaths on every side always who beat people up for no
25 reason, isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. But there are people who have been harassed, mistreated, or who
3 had a close relative or family member killed, and they are blinded by an
4 irrational desire for revenge. Maybe the two of them were like that in
5 Sremska Mitrovica?
6 A. Well, there were a few like that.
7 Q. Well, my point is that when someone is powerful and strong like
8 Aleksandar Vasiljevic, and he orders 200 Croatian prisoners to be shot,
9 it wasn't hard to find perpetrators among the local Serbs, people who
10 were willing to do this because their house had been blown up, a family
11 member had been killed, they had been mistreated and they longed for
12 revenge. Would you agree with me?
13 A. Yes that's how it was.
14 Q. Thank you Mr. Cakalic. I'm very pleased with your testimony.
15 You have acquitted yourself honourably as a Prosecution witness.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we move on to redirect,
17 I for one have two very short questions to put to you.
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We've just realised that
20 Mr. Goran Hadzic and Boro Savic were arrested by the Croats and
21 mistreated. A crew of the Croatian television filmed the scene, and it
22 is my understanding that Goran Hadzic and the other one, these two
23 individuals who were arrested, it is my understanding that they
24 mistreated you whilst you were being detained in Mitrovica. Can you
25 confirm that for us?
1 A. Yes, yes. Yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when they mistreated you,
3 were they avenging themselves after what had been done to them, or it was
4 for an entirely different reason?
5 A. [No interpretation]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me move on to my second
7 question, which is more important than the first one.
8 Following the questions that were put to you, we find that the
9 Vukovar municipality had a commissioner from the government who was in
10 charge of managing the municipality after the departure of Slavko
11 Dokmanovic. Mr. Dokmanovic left for Vojvodina. You told that yourself.
12 And as a result, Mr. Dokmanovic was no longer the president of the
14 You also said in answer to questions put to you by the
15 Prosecutor, you said that in Ovcara Mr. Dokmanovic was there. He was on
16 the scene. You even said that he talked to you.
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If what you say is true, I
19 would like to know the following: In what capacity was Mr. Dokmanovic on
20 the scene, because he was not the president of the municipality.
21 Apparently he was not a JNA officer either. He had left Vukovar.
22 Therefore, he apparently was not playing any part in the Territorial
23 Defence unless he had been a Chetnik or a volunteer.
24 Can you tell us from your point of view what it's all about,
25 because you said Dokmanovic was there. In what capacity was Dokmanovic
2 A. This happened at Ovcara when the Croats were captured and
3 deported to the hangar, the hangars where they sent us and where they
4 mistreated us. This Dokmanovic was at the door leading into the hangar,
5 and every prisoner who entered through that door, not each and every one,
6 but many of them were beaten up by Slavko Dokmanovic, the president of
7 Vukovar municipality. This is a disgrace.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I understand what
9 happened. You told us about it. Mr. Seselj is not challenging it. But
10 the Judges have a question in their mind. At least I have a question.
11 What was Mr. Dokmanovic doing there? Because we know you told us
12 that he had left his position in the municipality, had been replaced.
13 How come he came back? Do you have an explanation for this, or maybe
15 A. There was desire on his part to beat up as many Croats as
16 possible. He kicked them and he had shoes on. He kicked me too. And
17 many of our lads were beaten up by Dokmanovic for as long as Dokmanovic
18 had any strength left. Then he left. But whether he was in Vojvodina --
19 well, he did come there when we were taken prisoner.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, you cannot tell
21 me whether he was a member of the JNA, the TO, whether he was a Chetnik.
22 The only thing you can tell me is that he was there, but you do not know
23 why he was there and in what capacity.
24 A. I believe that he was a Chetnik. I'm sure that he was a Chetnik.
25 If he had not been a Chetnik he would not have done the things that he
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But if he was really a Chetnik,
3 was he wearing a special kind of hat? Were there any distinguishing
4 features about him or -- and this is my final question: Or according to
5 you is it so that everyone who is not a Croat is a Chetnik?
6 A. No. I deny that. But Slavko Dokmanovic came to Ovcara as a
7 Serb, as a former president of the municipality of Vukovar, and there was
8 no dignity in that, in him coming to Ovcara as the former president of
9 Vukovar and beat his own fellow citizens. He lost all credibility with
10 me, and I never bothered to say hello to him after that.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Unfortunately we
12 won't be able to put questions to him because he died. I believe that he
13 hanged himself in his cell, unless I'm mistaken.
14 A. Yes. In The Hague, yes, he hanged himself.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you raised this
16 question beyond the scope of the examination-in-chief and the cross. He
17 was mentioned, but neither the Prosecutor nor I insisted too much on
18 Dokmanovic's case, but you have to bear in mind that in one of the
19 courtrooms a video footage was shown which showed that at the relevant
20 time Dokmanovic was at a different place, that he gave a statement to a
21 TV station, and you could see that the time and the date of that
22 statement were depicted and he was in civilian clothes. So in my view it
23 was not very important for me to question this witness with this regard,
24 because Slavko Dokmanovic is no longer with us. But you have to bear
25 that in mind, and the Prosecutor's office are aware of that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. This has been recorded
2 in the transcript.
3 Before I give the floor to the Prosecution for redirect,
4 Mr. Seselj, are you requesting MFI numbers for the two documents you
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like all the documents to
7 be identified, and it is up to you. And I'm very disappointed with your
8 decision that the 180 documents that refer to the Sarajevo theatre of war
9 should not be admitted. So I'm really resigned. I'm not asking for
10 anything. You do whatever. It is up to me to offer documents, to show
11 them, and it is up to you to either adopt them or not.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Registrar, give us
13 some MFI numbers for the documents shown by Mr. Seselj to the witness.
14 I'm talking about MFI numbers.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The first document was the
16 Vukovar municipality document dated the 18th of August, 1991. That will
17 be MFI D17. And the second document is the Serbian Council Information
18 Centre document which will be MFI D18.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Seselj, to conclude,
20 you told us that you were extremely disappointed because the Trial
21 Chamber decided not to admit the 180 documents you submitted with respect
22 to Sarajevo and the Sarajevo theatre of war. You will be in a position
23 to put these documents to other witnesses. They're not lost. But please
24 produce them at the right time. That's all I had to say about this.
25 These documents will come back inevitably.
1 I'm turning now to the Prosecutor. Do you have any redirect?
2 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I have a very short redirect, but I have three
3 topics where I want to make some annotations. I think it's not the first
4 time that we got to the documents from the Accused in the morning or at
5 the moment when cross-examination starts, and I think this is unfair to
6 the Prosecution and also to you Judges. It should have been given to us
7 well in advance that we have at least have an opportunity to see what
8 these documents are about. I don't care if they are not in English. I
9 have the possibility to go through them with a language assistant to at
10 least know what they are about. This is my observation to this point.
11 I have a second observation. Mr. Seselj mentioned this video
12 about Dokmanovic. It's true. I have this -- I remember this video. We
13 have it in our possession and we will play this in due time.
14 As far as I remember, Mr. Dokmanovic is seen there in civilian
15 clothes, but this is in the afternoon and not at the evening. We will
16 see this when it's opportune to look at them.
17 Another point I want to make, Mr. Seselj, when he started
18 cross-examining Mr. Cakalic, he said at the beginning, it's at page 2,
19 lines 12 to 15, and I read from the transcript: "Your Honours, I think
20 this is an important issue, and it's not the first time that the
21 Prosecution asks for protective measures without the witness having
23 I want to make clear that we never asked for protective measures
24 for Mr. Cakalic. He has always been under his name. It's true that he
25 has a pseudonym. This was more or less for technical reasons, but we did
1 not use it, and we never asked for protective measures for him.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When Mr. Seselj said that, it
3 caught my attention, as you can imagine.
4 When you prepare your 65 ter lists with all the witnesses, why
5 are all these lists always confidential, whereas some witnesses never ask
6 for any protective measures and whereas some of these witnesses have
7 already testified in open session in other trials? So why do you file
8 these lists confidentially, and why are there pseudonyms sometimes on
9 these lists?
10 There was nothing preventing you from stating right from the
11 beginning that Cakalic was going to testify without any protective
13 MR. MUSSEMEYER: This was the decision of the former senior trial
14 attorney in this trial -- in this procedure. She decided to have all the
15 witnesses on the 65 ter list with pseudonyms. This is all I can tell you
16 about this.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Please put your
19 Oh, no. Mr. Seselj.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the first statement
21 that was provided to me that was signed by Mr. Cakalic was under a
22 pseudonym. The first statement. That was submitted to me by the
23 Prosecutor's office. That was signed by Mr. Cakalic. It was under a
24 pseudonym, and I could not see his signature. It was only subsequently
25 that they published his name. They are the ones who give pseudonyms only
1 to protected witnesses. I have a list of witnesses who are not protected
2 and who do not have any pseudonyms, and you can see that from the last
3 list that was submitted to us by the Prosecutor's office on the -- of the
4 trial, which means that for a long time Mr. Cakalic was a protected
5 witness of the OTP under seal, and I could not disclose his name in
6 public up to the moment when Mr. Cakalic appeared in the courtroom and
7 when it became apparent that he wanted to be a public statement.
8 And this is not the first time that this has happened. We had
9 other witnesses who said that they didn't -- didn't ask for any
10 protective measures, and it was only in the courtroom that they appeared
11 in public. And this is all on purpose to thwart the preparation of my
12 defence, because from the statement given by Mr. Cakalic, I didn't know
13 who the person was. I was only aware of the event and the description
14 but I did not know that it was Mr. Cakalic, so I couldn't investigate who
15 he is, what he did during the war, whether I can put his credibility in
17 Mr. Cakalic, we do that in order to test the credibility of a
19 And this was something that I was prevented from doing for years,
20 and now on the eve of the trial I had a lot of disclosed names and then I
21 got lost trying to find information about each and every one of these
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I could agree with
24 you in part regarding what you've just said, but I totally disagree as to
25 the fact that you could not know that this witness was going to be
1 Mr. Cakalic.
2 Indeed, you received the transcripts of his testimony in the
3 Milosevic case, in the Dokmanovic case, as well, in the Martic
4 [as interpreted] case. Therefore, by comparing you could imagine that
5 the witness being given a pseudonym was in fact Mr. Cakalic, because if
6 he in the Milosevic case said that he was in the Ovcara farm where he was
7 beaten up, and if he said that Mr. Dokmanovic was present there, if that
8 is repeated in the Dokmanovic case transcript, and if you discover that
9 there is a witness with a pseudonym who says that he was beaten up in the
10 presence of Dokmanovic, I mean, you don't need to have invented the wheel
11 to conclude that this was Mr. Cakalic.
12 So I may agree with you in part. However, as to your conclusion,
13 I do not quite agree with you. I mean, you are very knowledgeable about
14 this case, and it would have been easy for you to guess that this was
15 Mr. Cakalic.
16 Yes, please go on.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it was only recently
18 that I received transcripts of Mr. Cakalic's testimony in other trials,
19 and this was definitely after the beginning of my trial. I can't tell
20 you exactly when but the OTP will have those dates. But it was recently.
21 Everything from November on is actually recently. But during the five
22 years while I was preparing for my defence, I was not in a position to
23 prepare properly because they denied me the names of almost all
24 witnesses. All of their statements were under pseudonym. And I claim
25 that this was done on purpose. I fully believe that this was done on
1 purpose. They even wanted to have this witness as a 92 ter. They did
2 not want to -- to have him say anything. When they have a 92 ter, they
3 just show him photographs, ask him whether they saw this or that, as if
4 somebody denied that Ovcara was where it is or Velepromet or barracks or
5 the hospital in Vukovar. This is just nonsense, nothing else. There are
6 other things which are more important than that.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At any rate, Mr. Seselj, the
8 Trial Chamber has heard your objections regarding the 92 ter procedure.
9 You know that we have 92 ter witnesses that were scheduled as such, and
10 we have decided to hear them in court maybe in the future. I know that
11 you'll react to that negatively, but unfortunately there's no other way
12 around. There may be other 92 ter witnesses.
13 And once again I'm pointing it out to you. Even though there may
14 be some drawbacks to the 92 ter proceedings, it is of a great advantage
15 to the accused in that he is entitled to cross-examine and to submit
16 documents to the witness.
17 That's the general regime, the general economy as it were of this
18 92 ter proceeding.
19 Do you have any redirect?
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I have one, but allow me to make one remark.
21 I'm -- Mr. Seselj said that he was not able to publish the name and maybe
22 also the statement of the witness. I have serious concerns about this
23 publishing of names of witnesses and their statements before they come
24 into the courtroom and testify here in the courtroom. If it is done
25 after, then it's okay. In my system where I am from, and I'm sure that
1 it's also in the other civil law systems, this would be a crime;
2 publishing the name and the statement of a witness who didn't testify in
3 open session. This is my remark to this.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj. What did you
5 mean by that when you said publish the names? Maybe there was a problem
6 around the translation, but what did you mean exactly, because the
7 Prosecutor is somewhat concerned. The fact that you know that a witness
8 is about to testify in open session, if that is published, do you intend
9 before that witness appears to say to the press, "Mr. XYZ is going to
10 come and speak about this"? That's the concern expressed by the
11 Prosecutor. What do you have to say?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the first time I saw
13 Mr. Mussemeyer in one of the courtrooms he looked worried to me. He's
14 always worried.
15 Every document that I receive either from the Prosecutor's
16 office, from the Trial Chamber or the registry that doesn't bear the
17 confidentiality seal is a public document. I have the right to publish
18 it on my internet site. I have the right to show it to the public just
19 like the Prosecutor's office does. For example, if the first statement
20 provided by Mr. Cakalic had been given to me in the Serbian under his
21 name, it is my right to give this to my team of investigators to go to
22 the field and to inquire among the people who Mr. Cakalic is. If I only
23 have a pseudonym, I can't send my investigators to the field with that
25 I have obtained a lot of statements here owing to the TV
1 broadcast of the trial and people contacted my investigators and told
2 them this witness is lying.
3 And what about this confidentiality? If it is not a shame to
4 testify, but when they provide a false testimony which is a common
5 practice because it is the Prosecutor's office that provides them with
6 false statements that they repeat, then I have to intervene. My only
7 defence is the defence of the general public. I don't have any other
8 defence before this Trial Chamber, and the only thing that I rely on is
9 the judgement of the general public.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In making this observation you
11 raise a problem for which I or the Chamber has no solution.
12 Mr. Seselj has a web site on which he displays information
13 regarding his trial, publically so. So the issue appears to be as
14 follows: What would happen were Mr. Seselj to publish in his web site
15 things about a hearing or evidence before a witness comes to testify? I
16 have no answer to that.
17 I know that in civil law countries such as mine before a witness
18 appears Defence can say -- can say that such-and-such a person is about
19 to appear and we plan to ask such-and-such questions about him or her and
20 this is being done publicly.
21 So you express a concern which I personally cannot meet. Neither
22 can the Trial Chamber probably. So there it is. I mean, we are in a
23 world of communication. You know that the trial proceedings are
24 broadcast with a time lag of 30 minutes. It is broadcast on the
25 internet. Everybody knows what is happening. I believe that Channel 2
1 as of 10.00 p.m. in Belgrade broadcast part of the hearing. This is it.
2 This is the world of speed, of information, of media, and this of course
3 may go against the very principle of judicial proceedings, but I have no
4 solution to that. You can always file a motion before the Trial Chamber,
5 and the Trial Chamber will hand down a decision.
6 But let's move to the heart of the matter. That was your
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Exactly, but a short answer. For the witnesses
9 who are expected to come here to testify, to read already in the books
10 their whole statement and to have comments on them which are not very
11 positive is for me a kind of harassment. This is my personal opinion. I
12 don't want to continue on this but just for you to know.
13 I can put a question. I have only one question to Mr. Cakalic.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Mussemeyer:
15 Q. Mr. Cakalic, does the name Colonel Mrkusic say something to you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you please tell us what?
18 A. He was also in the Hague, Mrkusic, Sljvancanin, and Radic.
19 Q. Is it possible that they --
20 A. They were --
21 Q. Is it possible that you were --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, are we talking
23 about Mrkic, Mrkusic? It's not very clear. We have various spellings to
24 that name in the transcript.
25 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I referred to the person, to the Colonel who was
1 in the hangar blowing the whistle every time when there was a change of
2 the beating persons. The witness said this was captain Mrksic, which is
3 not correct. He may have mixed it up. I asked him if he knows Colonel
4 Mrkusic, and according to my information this colonel in the hangar who
5 was blowing the whistle was not Colonel Mrksic but his name was Colonel
6 Mrkusic, and the witness said this in his statement of 1995 on page 7.
7 This is all I want to let you know.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Cakalic, I want to thank
9 you on behalf of my colleagues. Thank you for coming to testify as a
10 Prosecution witness. You've come here several times. I hope this was
11 the last time.
12 Madam usher is going to help you get out of the room, the
13 courtroom. We'll have the 20-minute break now. And we're going to have
14 video clips.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.28 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing's resumed. Today's
19 and tomorrow's hearing are going -- hearings are going to be devoted to
20 video viewing, and we're going to do it as follows: Before a video clip
21 is shown, the Prosecutor will give us the date it was done, the origin of
22 it, and the subject of the video and possibly the length of it.
23 Everybody's going to view the footage. Thereafter, I shall give the
24 floor to Mr. Seselj, who may make some observations, telling us why he
25 opposes the video clip. Failing any opposition, the Trial Chamber will
1 give a final number.
2 Should be there a challenge, there will be an MFI number given to
3 the footage. As a result, the Prosecution will have to submit the
4 footage again at a later time through another witness.
5 Just to meet a criticism that may be raised, namely that a video
6 clip may give a snapshot taken out of the whole context of the video as
7 such and that therefore that may be given a different interpretation, of
8 course this observation is taken on board by all the Judges, but if such
9 cases were to arise, the Prosecution will always have the opportunity to
10 show us the entire video footage when a witness comes to testify and the
11 accused will also be given an opportunity to show the entire video to
12 support his case or in cross-examination of another witness.
13 I remind you that the fact that a document is admitted does not
14 mean that we thereby give a great probative value to the document. You
15 must make a distinction between the admission and the probative value of
16 a document because the probative value is assessed only at the end of the
17 trial. Therefore, any discussion on a given document may waste time,
18 because the probative value of a document is only assessed at the end of
19 the trial proceedings once the Defence has made its case as well through
20 its own documents, so that a document that may be initially of great
21 relevance may turn out at the it end to be without any relevance.
22 The other way around as well. A document that may have not
23 initially any relevance may turn out to be extremely relevant as time
24 goes by, but we only know this at the end of the process.
25 I say and say it again: If you start firing to try and destroy a
1 document, there's no point to it, because this sort of barrage fire is
2 only useful when a document is challenged as to its authenticity. If you
3 claim that it's been manipulated, that it is a fake document, if you
4 challenge the authenticity then it's okay. But apart from such cases, I
5 fail to see why a document could or should be challenged.
6 Yes, Mr. Seselj, you wanted to intervene before we see the clips?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, the Prosecutor prior to the
8 break made a potentially very important statement, and I think he would
9 be duty-bound to state his views on that -- on the matter before you. We
10 saw that this witness whose testimony has just been completed spoke about
11 Colonel Mrksic as a man who was present at Ovcara. He called him
12 Mrkusic, Mrkusic, and it's a notorious fact established in other trials
13 that Colonel Mrksic wasn't in Ovcara at all and that's something that the
14 Prosecution knows full well.
15 And then the Prosecutor said that the witness isn't in fact say
16 Mrksic but Mrkusic. We know that the witness said Mrkusic thinking of
17 Mrksic, but I demand that the Prosecutor state his position straight away
18 and tell you whether he has certain knowledge that a Colonel Mrkusic
19 exists at all who could have been at Ovcara at the relevant time. Has
20 the Prosecutor established that Colonel Mrkusic actually does exist? I
21 think this is an extremely important point, so that we know that the
22 Prosecutor isn't perhaps speaking off the top of his head. So please
23 would you ensure we hear the Prosecutor on that issue.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question put to the
25 witness, and the witness answered it, was whether there was a Colonel
1 Mrkusic who was present, if I understood properly. He was the one who
2 was blowing the whistle. Is that right? That's what I understood.
3 What is it, Mr. Prosecutor?
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I am not aware if a Colonel Mrkusic really
5 exists. I only can judge from the statements I am aware of, and I
6 realised while reading through the statements of Ovcara that there was
7 very often a mix between Mrksic and Mrkusic, and I tried to find this
8 out, and I found out from the statement of the witness Cakalic that he in
9 his statement from 1995, on page 7, used the name Mrkusic.
10 If a colonel like this really exists, I'm not aware of.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, here you have proof
12 of a fantastic manipulation. It is quite obvious that this witness is
13 confusing the name of Mrkusic and Mrksic, and that is understandable for
14 a witness of this age and physical and mental condition that he's in.
15 And I'm sure that the witness is not doing this through any ill-intent.
16 The Prosecution knows full well that his colleagues provided this
17 witness a number of photographs, a large number of photographs, to point
18 out Colonel Mrksic, and the witness was not able to do that, and it was
19 stated in the Milosevic trial by the Prosecutor. The witness was not
20 able to identify Mrksic. (redacted)
25 (redacted) don't know
1 whether Colonel Mrkusic exists. You know why they don't know? Because
2 this person does not exist as having been at Ovcara.
3 There was a colonel and we are going to establish in due course
4 who that colonel was and check out why the Prosecution is protecting that
5 colonel, but there's no doubt about the fact that Mrksic was not there.
6 That's been established quite definitely. There was a colonel and now
7 we'll go and investigate and see which colonel.
8 And I have another comment and observation to make,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. While you were
11 speaking, I was having a look at the written statement by Mr. Cakalic.
12 It was given on the 18th of June, 1995. And the investigator is Vladimir
13 Dzuro. Apparently the interview took place in a hotel. And on all pages
14 we see mention -- mention of Colonel Mrksic. The first mention is on
15 page 6. It is then repeated on several occasions. On page 7, as you
16 said, Mr. Prosecutor.
17 So Colonel Mrkusic is mentioned on several occasions. Well, the
18 witness was not able to answer those questions, but did he think of
19 Colonel Mrksic, or did he have another colonel in mind? We don't know
20 that at all, only this: The only one who might have shed some light was
21 the investigator interviewing him, Mr. Vladimir Dzuro. I guess that
22 he -- he knew the players, as it were, in Vukovar. And if the witness
23 said Colonel Mrkic or Colonel Mrkusic, the investigator must have checked
24 that, must have checked the accuracy of the name. I don't know that
25 investigator. I guess that he was a professional investigator who had a
1 basic knowledge of the facts. So when that name was mentioned by the
2 witness, he must have checked at least.
3 So that's it. At this stage, we have no knowledge. Was the
4 witness confused or not? I don't know. No conclusion can be drawn.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: To avoid further confusion, I would like to ask
6 the Prosecution if it is the Prosecution's position that Colonel Mrksic
7 was present in Ovcara at the relevant time, because if that is not the
8 case, then there's no reason to venture much further into this issue.
9 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I personally have no information if he was
10 there. I believe he wasn't there. This is what I infer also from the
11 lecture of the judgement in the Vukovar -- in the so-called Vukovar three
12 case. But as I already said, I realise that there was a confusion with
13 names, and I saw that in the statement of Mr. Cakalic it was mentioned a
14 Colonel Mrkusic who was blowing the whistle, and this is all the
15 information I have about it.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand, but if the Prosecution and the
17 Defence are in agreement that Colonel Mrksic was not present in Ovcara it
18 at that relevant time, then I think that solves one difficulty in this
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you look at page 6 of this
21 interview that gave rise to the written statement by this witness,
22 normally speaking we should be able to find a solution, because towards
23 the middle he said this: "At that juncture a colonel whose name I didn't
24 know, but I learned it later, I learned his name in the case of
25 Mitrovica," and he then gives the name of Mrkusic.
1 So at first the witness said that he didn't know the colonel's
2 name, and then he said that he learned it was Colonel Mrkusic, which he
3 connected to Mitrovica. And then the witness added: "I saw a picture of
4 the colonel. I recognised the man as being the colonel in Ovcara. And
5 underneath the picture there was a name, the name of Colonel Mrksic."
6 So he said that he saw a picture with Colonel Mrksic. That's it.
7 So upon reading this I have the impression that he was speaking
8 about this colonel, because allegedly this colonel was also in Mitrovica.
9 The Prosecutor is telling us that he can't say whether this was
10 Colonel Mrksic. I guess that the Vukovar Trial Chamber looked into this
11 matter and tried to ascertain whether Colonel Mrksic was present or not.
12 So we just have to look at the Vukovar judgement.
13 Let's move on to something else. What else did you want to say,
14 Mr. Seselj?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, just one sentence with
16 respect to what we were saying. I think that the Prosecutor is
17 duty-bound to inform the Trial Chamber, me as the accused, which colonel
18 it is or higher officer, perhaps he was a lieutenant colonel, but anyway
19 which one was in Ovcara at the relevant time. I think the investigators
20 of the OTP should know that. That's the least they should know.
21 Now, with respect to the videotapes to be shown today, pursuant
22 to your instructions the Prosecutor on the 18th of March disclosed to me
23 a review of these videotapes in Serbian. Just before I entered court
24 today, or just now after this break, after our break, I received a new
25 breakdown of the videotapes in English where the order has been changed,
1 the order in which the videos will be shown, and I don't know whether
2 some new videotape has been introduced or not.
3 Since this is in English, I demand that you issue instructions to
4 the Prosecutor now that the order has been changed, I managed to
5 establish that, that this be translated into Serbian this afternoon.
6 It's not a big job. And then we can start showing the tapes tomorrow
7 morning, because I can't follow on the basis of what I've been given.
8 I'll lose more time trying to find where the videotape is than the
9 videotape itself. If we're seeing 30 seconds, a minute, a minute and a
10 half of tape, I don't have enough time to do anything. So may I be
11 provided with this same document in the Serbian language?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm turning to the Prosecution
13 team. I now discover what Mr. Seselj has just mentioned. We had a first
14 document, a list of video clips. The first video had a 65 ter number,
15 1836, and then there was 6063. Now we have a new document with a
16 different order.
17 Look at the first video clip. It would be now 65 ter number
18 6063. That was number 2 in the previous list, and now we have 6005 as
19 number 2 in this list, and that was on page 2 in the first place.
20 Why, Mr. Mundis, did you change the whole lot?
21 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. In fact, we -- what we
22 have done is not -- certainly not added any tapes or added any material.
23 What we have done was to slightly reorganise it in terms of themes, if
24 you will, that would make it a little bit easier to follow in terms of
25 evolving themes contained in the videotapes. So what they have simply --
1 what we've simply done is put them into a slightly different order than
2 they were before, and that's what this table reflects. Nothing has been
3 added. There are no new tapes on this list compared with the list that
4 was circulated yesterday. They're simply -- they've simply been put into
5 a different order based on themes which are visible in bold at the top of
6 the description -- of the subcategories of the descriptions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Indeed. In this new list in
8 English we also have some Serb parts, some parts in Serbian. The first
9 theme is that of the volunteers in Vukovar and cooperation with JNA TO.
10 That's the first thing. And under this topic we have several video
12 The second theme, on page 5, is that of Mr. Seselj and his
13 Vojvodas. Under this heading we have several clips as well.
14 Third topic, Mr. Seselj and the Muslims.
15 Fourth topic, the JCE and the way -- and organisation of
17 The last topic being Mr. Seselj and his defence at the ICTY.
18 Are these the topics you identified?
19 MR. MUNDIS: That is precisely what I identified in terms of
20 re-organising them under themes. Those are precisely the subtopics or
21 themes, if you will, of videotapes on the list.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, with regard -- compared to
23 the first list -- there are two changes. First, you have put together
24 videos by themes, and you reshuffled the order in the videos. These are
25 the only two changes.
1 Now, Mr. Seselj, you're not going to now to claim that these
2 changes will make it impossible for you to prepare for the viewing. I
3 would find it hard to believe.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, Judge, sir,
5 regardless of the fact that you can't -- you find it hard to believe, I
6 cannot follow those videotapes because I have not received the list in
7 the order in which they're going to be shown. You have the privilege of
8 receiving it all in English. I have not received a document in the
9 proper way, so may I have this provided in Serbian. There's not a single
10 word here in Serbian here except the title -- or, rather, the names. And
11 then the tapes can be shown tomorrow morning.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, by this afternoon,
13 I know you have of an assistant who speaks Serbian, could you send this
14 list in Serbian to Mr. Seselj? He would have the whole afternoon to view
15 the video clips he has already.
16 We have time tomorrow. As I told you, we've got basically one
17 hour of viewing. There will be comments and observations. It will take
18 more time, but in theory, we should be able to finish it all tomorrow.
19 And we had basically another 45 minutes, so it wouldn't be much of a
20 problem to stop now. What do you think, Mr. Mundis?
21 MR. MUNDIS: I think, Mr. President, that that will in fact be
22 done, and I would expect it would take us no significant period of time
23 in order to simply cut and paste from the prior list and put them in the
24 right order.
25 Let me -- let me just add one other factor, because that might
1 cause the list or could cause the list to be reduced in terms of the
2 number of videos.
3 As Your Honours will note, there are a few of these video tapes
4 that appear on this list which have already been admitted into evidence,
5 and I believe these were the videotapes that were shown during
6 Dr. Seselj's testimony in the Milosevic case. The first three, in
7 effect, if you will, on the first page, have already been admitted into
9 With respect to the videos --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm -- I thought of it
11 overnight. You know, like all of you, I work during the night as well,
12 and I wondered. I said, what does that mean, "have been admitted into
13 evidence in the Milosevic case"? Did you file a written motion for the
14 videos to be admitted, to be admitted by our Chamber? Is that the way I
15 should understand things?
16 MR. MUNDIS: It's my understanding, Mr. President, that when the
17 transcripts of Mr. Seselj's testimony in the Milosevic case were admitted
18 that these videos came along with that. The exhibits and materials that
19 came along with that. In effect, it was an entire package so that the
20 prior testimony would be understandable and that's where these videotapes
21 came from.
22 I do have a question, if you will, or some -- seeking some
23 clarification or guidance from the Chamber as to the best way to proceed,
24 and that's limited -- that --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are right indeed. When we
1 admitted Mr. Seselj's testimony in the Milosevic case, the exhibits that
2 had been joined were admitted as well. And that's one more reason for
3 them to be broadcast, to be shown again so that we can see them again.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Well, that was precisely -- that was precisely the
5 guidance and clarification I was seeking, whether the Chamber wanted all
6 of these tapes shown in public in this trial or whether the fact that
7 they had already been admitted would be a reason not to show them in this
9 I also note that I believe one or two of these tapes which have
10 been admitted on the basis of the Chamber's earlier ruling have, in fact,
11 already been shown. Those tapes I could certainly remove in order to
12 save a little bit of time. But if the Chamber would prefer all of the
13 tapes to be -- all of the tapes on this list to be shown, or at least the
14 ones that haven't already been shown, we would be happy to do that. But
15 I do want to simply note that a few, not many, but a few of these tapes
16 have already been admitted into evidence, and of that subset a smaller
17 number have been played in court.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But even those that have been
19 admitted or shown, it's always useful to see them again. Depending on
20 the themes. In this way it will be easier to understand the themes more
21 easily through the various videos.
22 For instance, there was a clip that was shown yesterday in
23 which -- of course, if we are to believe the journalist, who would show
24 members of irregular units running behind a flag, and this, last night I
25 was thinking, those people who we saw running behind the flag, are those
1 the same people we had seen already in a photograph when they were
2 standing with the flag to be photographed? So they may be the same
3 people. That's why it's useful to see them.
4 Well, Seselj is saying that they're not the same people. He's
5 probably right because he knows the tapes better than we do because he
6 was able to view them. But this is the very classic example of the
7 usefulness there is to see and show the tapes again and to see them in a
8 logical structure.
9 Of course we can argue about the themes, but there's one merit to
10 them: They exist. And this is no waste of time, because everybody's
11 going to view them. Mr. Seselj, without, of course, testifying himself,
12 will be able to say, "Well, this journalist is saying this, but I
13 challenge that," and then we'll see all this later on.
14 This hearing is not devoted to the videos on the merit of them,
15 because they as clips may be submitted to other witnesses.
16 Yes, Mr. Mundis?
17 MR. MUNDIS: I understand what the Chamber's saying, and we will
18 show all of the tapes that are on this list in the order, the thematic
19 order, as indicated earlier. And I will also indicate that my case
20 manager informs me that the list as we speak is being translated into
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. My
23 brother Judge had a question, and we're going to ask this of Mr. Seselj.
24 This new document in English is going to be translated to you
25 into Serbian. Does it really have to be translated at all? That's the
1 basic question. Because now -- by now you've -- you're aware of the
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in my view this will
4 take the Prosecutor 10 to 15 minutes to have this text translated into
5 Serbian. Perhaps not even that long for somebody skilful working with a
6 computer, because they have everything typed in already into the
7 computer. All that we're discussing here is the order, and that can be
8 done quickly, whereas I need to be able to follow the order in which the
9 tapes are shown.
10 I agree that all the tapes should be shown, but I would like to
11 be able to follow everything attending those tapes, because what is
12 relevant for me is as follows: All the information given here, when the
13 tape was made, who filmed it, and everything else, and I have to be able
14 to follow with this document. If I'm not able to follow, then I won't be
15 able to state my views of whether the tapes should be admitted into
16 evidence or not. So it's important as far as I'm concerned, and it is
17 important that every document that appears in this courtroom be in
18 Serbian. That is something that I insist upon. And I think that while I
19 am the accused in this courtroom, no document can be allowed to appear
20 without a Serbian translation. That is my fundamental right as an
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So tomorrow we will start with
23 P62, then we'll have P59 and P30 and so on following this order.
24 So the Prosecution will send this document to Mr. Seselj
25 translated into Serbian so that Mr. Seselj can follow.
1 We shall reconvene tomorrow. I remind you that we will be
2 sitting at 9.00 since this courtroom is free, in Courtroom III. I think
3 we should be finished by noon, I believe. But you always have to show
4 optimism in life.
5 Have a good day. The hearing stands adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.00 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 20th day
8 of March, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.