1 Wednesday, 7 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.35 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 Today, we are Wednesday, the 7th of May, 2008. I'd like to
12 welcome the representatives of the Prosecution, the witness, Mr. Seselj,
13 as well as all the people assisting us in the courtroom.
14 We need to resume the examination-in-chief conducted by the
15 Prosecution of the witness. We are in open session.
16 I would like to tell the Prosecution that it has 45 minutes left,
17 approximately, to complete its examination-in-chief, but we can check
18 with the Registrar and look at the countdown.
19 You have the floor for the end of the examination-in-chief.
20 MR. DUTERTRE: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 WITNESS: WITNESS VS-002 [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Dutertre: [Continued]
24 Q. Witness 002, you mentioned yesterday that Capalo was one of
25 Stanko Vujanovic's men. Could you give us Capalo's first and last name,
2 A. Vojnovic [Realtime transcript read in error "Vujanovic"] is his
3 last name, and his name is Mirko, I think. I'm not sure.
4 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, we mentioned the possible connections
5 between --
6 A. [Microphone not activated]
7 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I was just checking to see whether
8 the witness's microphone was on. Could you repeat your answer, please,
9 or the comment you just made, Witness 002, as regards the first and last
10 name of Capalo?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the witness is speaking
12 English, so there is no interpretation into English.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last name is Vojnovic. I think
14 his name is Mirko. So it's not Vujanovic, as it said in the transcript.
15 MR. DUTERTRE:
16 Q. Very well. Yesterday, when we discussed the possible connections
17 between Stanko Vujanovic and the Serbian Radical Party, on page T6514,
18 line 6 to 9 of the transcript, you mentioned that you didn't know what
19 connections there were between Stanko Vujanovic and the SDS before the
20 war. If you like, I'd like to remind you of something you stated
21 previously, and I'm referring here to the recorded interview which took
22 place last Sunday, on the 4th of May, 2008. On page 12 of the
23 transcript, on the third tape, page 12 in B/C/S, the recording bears
24 number T001-1596. There is a B/C/S version that has been uploaded into
25 e-court. The 65 ter of this is 7221. 7221 is the 65 ter number of the
1 version that has been uploaded on e-court, 7221, page 74.
2 We don't have the transcript of this in English, but I have the
3 corresponding excerpt in front of me, and I suggest I read it. So let me
4 start off:
5 [In English] "Let's target the period between 1990 and 1991. I
6 mean from September to November 1991 to 1992. How did you see Seselj at
7 the time period; if you have any recollection?"
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I ask the Prosecutor to identify
9 the page for me in Serbian. Page 12, there is no such thing.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] This is on page 12 of the third
11 tape, which is in document 65 ter number 7221, page 74 in B/C/S.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think the best would be --
13 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I thought Mr. Seselj had a hard
14 copy version of this, but if he doesn't, maybe we could display it on the
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have the
17 document in your language before you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that there's
19 something wrong with the methodology. I found this page 12 now, but I'm
20 not quite sure that I've found the passage that is quoted by counsel for
21 the Prosecution. But as for the methodology that the Prosecutor is
22 using, there is something wrong. He should be putting questions to the
23 witness, so then if the witness doesn't know what to say, in terms of
24 what the Prosecutor is expecting him to say, then the Prosecutor can jog
25 his memory, not to offer an answer in advance. I don't think this is
2 If you've read the transcript, there are a lot of leading
3 questions. It's called running the gauntlet in our country, that is to
4 say, running the gauntlet, being beaten from all sides. It seems to me
5 that this witness ran through a gauntlet during the interview on Sunday,
6 beaten from all sides. So since he does not dare put leading questions
7 here in the courtroom, then he is showing this piece of paper, where
8 there were so many leading questions. I think that the Prosecutor should
9 put questions to the witness properly.
10 I don't mind having his memory jogged, but I'm saying this as a
11 matter of principle. I don't see anything troublesome for me, in my own
12 position, in this transcript anywhere.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, I don't have the
14 original question in front of me, but if I understood correctly, your
15 approach, following a question that was put, the witness answered in a
16 certain way, and you realised that his answer did not square with
17 something which you were made aware of in the past, namely, last Sunday.
18 And therefore you would like to jog his memory by reminding him that last
19 Sunday, when asked the same question on the same topic, you put the
20 question to him and he gave such-and-such an answer.
21 Have I understood you correctly?
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, sir, absolutely. The
23 question has not been phrased exactly the same way, but that's it.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the answer he gave
25 previously does not coincide with the answer we have on the screen.
1 Therefore, you wish to jog his memory. So, basically, you are refreshing
2 his memory; is that right?
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So please proceed.
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let me resume. Let me
6 start from the beginning again.
7 Question --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which line of the text are you
9 talking about, in B/C/S?
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] In B/C/S, this is on line -- I
11 shall give it to you straight away, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have numbers here, and the
13 numbers run from 1 to 32.
14 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I shall tell you very soon. 19, I
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 19. Thank you.
17 Mr. Seselj, please turn to line 19.
18 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I shall start reading this
20 [In English] "Let's target the period between 1991. I mean from
21 September to November from 1991 to 1992."
22 "How did you see Seselj at the time period, if you have any
24 "At the moment when this happened in 1991, I saw him as a great
1 "Do you remember whether you were the only one who saw him as a
2 great leader among the volunteers, fighting on the Serbian side, whether
3 others saw him as you did or --"
4 "I believe that the complete Territorial Defence was delighted
5 because he came."
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, this was
7 not referred to at all. Now the -- why would the Prosecutor remind the
8 witness of something that he hadn't questioned him about at all on the
9 previous day? Yesterday, he asked about Stanko Vujanovic, and the
10 witness said that Stanko Vujanovic, after the war, joined the
11 Serb Radical Party. That is an undeniable fact. Stanko Vujanovic was a
12 candidate of this party in the elections in Republika Srpska Krajina in
13 1993 and became an MP. That is an undeniable fact. However, now he is
14 reminding him how to describe my arrival and the impression I left on the
15 soldiers, volunteers, et cetera. Why doesn't he put a direct question to
16 him? Perhaps that's exactly what the witness is going to say. Perhaps
17 he's going to put it in even nicer terms. This has not been contested at
18 all so far.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the questions put relate
20 to the way in which the volunteers saw Mr. Seselj, so we have questions
21 and answers. Then Mr. Seselj says this is all very well, but this topic
22 could have been addressed without refreshing the memory of the witness
23 directly. So why are you addressing this issue now, Mr. Dutertre?
24 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] These are a few lines put in
25 context which will enable us to better understand the period in question.
1 We are better able to put the witness's answer into perspective as
2 regards the question, namely, the connection between Stanko Vujanovic and
3 the SRS. This is to put it in context and understand the answer of the
4 witness in chronological terms.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly,
6 you wish to refresh the witness's memory because -- just a minute,
7 Mr. Seselj. I will give you the floor, but I'm trying to summarise all
8 of this.
9 I think the issue raised as is follows: A previous question was
10 put to Mr. Stankovic [as interpreted] on the possible connection between
11 Stanko Vujanovic and the SRS. The Prosecution has a problem with the
12 date and the period, and this is what the Prosecution would like to
13 highlight. And the Prosecution acknowledges that the answers of the
14 witness do not enable it to properly understand the time frame.
15 Therefore, Mr. Dutertre is jogging his memory to raise issues which
16 were -- questions which were put to the witness last Sunday relating to
17 Mr. Seselj, and in this manner the Prosecution will be able to put this
18 in the right time period in order to establish the possible connections
19 between Mr. Stanko Vujanovic and the SRS.
20 Maybe I got this wrong, but this is how I have understood all of
22 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this has to do with
24 the witness's description of my arrival in Vukovar and going to the
25 frontline, to the absolute line of fire. He testifies here on a great
1 many pages how I impressed everyone. I was moving in the middle of the
2 street, whereas my escorts were by the houses. I thrilled these people.
3 Then there is a leading question:
4 "Can one conclude on the basis of that that you admired him,
5 adored him?"
6 At the end of page 12. What does "adore" mean? We Serbs don't
7 do that kind of thing. Living persons are not adored.
8 I think that the witness should answer questions here. The
9 Prosecutor wants to ask him about my visit and the impression I left, and
10 then perhaps once he describes this, then the Prosecutor can ask
11 additional questions, but now he's reminding him of something that hadn't
12 been referred to at all.
13 Stanko Vujanovic was an episode yesterday. There was a leading
14 question about his contacts with the Serb Radical Party. I intervened
15 and I said that that question was not put in the right way, you have to
16 ask whether such a thing happened and from when. And then the witness
17 said that Stanko Vujanovic joined the Serb Radical Party after the war.
18 That was the only reference to Stanko Vujanovic. There was nothing else.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, could the speakers please be
20 asked to speak slower.
21 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] The answer now mentioned comes
22 straight after this excerpt I've just been reading.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, just let's see and wait
24 until the end of the questions, and, Mr. Seselj, you can protest again,
25 but you're protesting when we don't even have all the information. This
1 makes it difficult.
2 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I shall
3 resume the reading of this document:
4 [In English] "And what could one conclude from that? It is just
5 a question. That because you have this kind of adoration for him, that
6 he would have moral influence over you and the members of the Territorial
8 "It had influence on the leaders of the Territorial Defence.
9 Stanko Vujanovic joined the Radical Party after that. For them, it was
10 such a big propaganda."
11 "When you said 'them,' what did you mean?"
12 "The Radicals."
13 "What do you mean by this? The visit of Seselj to Vukovar or
14 after that?"
15 "I think his visit to Vukovar."
16 [Interpretation] This is the end of the excerpt I wanted to read,
17 and I was going to put my question to the witness. I wanted to ask him
18 whether he remembers having stated this during the interview we had with
19 him last Sunday.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I protest again, because I think
21 this is highly inappropriate and impermissible. There is yet another
22 sentence where the witness says:
23 "I think that by virtue of the fact that he visited Vukovar, this
24 was a major advantage. And in the following months, had there been a
25 vote in Vukovar, he would have won about 95 per cent of the vote for
2 I am not trying to side-step anything the witness said on Sunday.
3 It has to do with my role. But that was not referred to in the
5 The Prosecutor should first put a question and then let the
6 witness answer, and then ask additional questions. Now he's reading out
7 to him what it was that he said on Sunday and then putting questions.
8 That is impermissible, Judges.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This exchange of views, this is
10 the conclusion I draw: Mr. Stanko Vujanovic was not a member of the
11 Serbian Radical Party before the arrival of Mr. Seselj, and according to
12 the witness, it seems he joined afterwards. I think this is an
13 interesting piece of information. Maybe this is not what the Prosecution
14 is aiming at, but it's nonetheless an interesting piece of information.
15 You may resume your question.
16 So, Witness 002, this is what you stated last Sunday?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up question to
20 put to you, Witness.
21 It seems that in light of this exchange of views, that one of the
22 fighters from Vukovar, who seemingly was part of a unit, a so-called
23 volunteers unit, was not a member of the SRS before the arrival of
24 Mr. Seselj. Therefore, among all your comrades who were volunteers, as
25 far as you know, were there volunteers predominantly affiliated to the
1 SRS or were they in a minority, or is it something you don't know,
2 because last Sunday, 15 years after the events, you say, "Well, this
3 person joined afterwards."
4 So maybe you have a clear understanding of political issues, and
5 you if you have this particular knowledge, I would tend to ask you this
6 question: Those people that were with you, those people who were by the
7 car -- we could see this picture again. When I saw this picture, this is
8 a question that came to mind. All these people on the photograph, were
9 they all members of the SRS or weren't they, or were some of them
10 members, or were they all members, or were they predominantly SRS
11 members? What can you tell us about this?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for these people by the car, as
13 far as I know, at that point none of them were members of the
14 Serb Radical Party. They told me about some liberals, whatever,
15 something meaningless.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please don't quote any names,
17 because we are in open session. You have just told us something which is
18 important, and on reading the transcript in English, you say, "None of
19 them were members of the Serbian Radical Party." Do you confirm this?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say what my opinion is. I
21 cannot give any guarantees. I think they were not. None of them had
22 told me that they were members of the Serb Radical Party.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that I
24 really have to intervene. The witness told you that they were talking
25 about liberals. This has to do with Montenegrins. This liberal party is
1 from Montenegro. I had to intervene. I think that you should register
2 the witness's entire answer.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj was addressing
4 another issue. Now, who are these liberals, as far as you're concerned?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, I was an apolitical person
6 before the war. I was just interested in Serb nationalism. I wasn't
7 interested in politics, as such. I didn't want to be a member of any
8 party, because I had my own views on Serbdom. So I am not familiar with
9 these liberals. I know that there are some liberals, but what this is
10 all about, I have no idea.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question for
12 you, relating to this matter.
13 We have heard a number of testimonies in this courtroom, and from
14 these I had understood that some volunteers had been recruited by the
15 Serbian Radical Party, which -- and these people were not members of the
16 SRS. Since the question relates to the issue of recruiting these
17 volunteers, I would like you to clarify this for us, please.
18 Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, look. As far as I know, I
20 mean, this recruitment of volunteers in Serbia was carried out by the
21 Serb Radical Party, by Vuk Draskovic's party and Jovic's party, too. I
22 forget his first name now. They all send their volunteers either to
23 Croatia or to Bosnia.
24 Since the Judge strictly asked me about the persons by the car,
25 they came of their own free will. No one had recruited them. So I
1 really do not know whether they were members of a party. They talked to
2 me about some liberals, but since I was not a political person, I wasn't
3 interested in that at all. I was interested in fighting. I was not
4 interested at all in whether this fight for Serbdom fit into some
5 political plan or not.
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] But to your knowledge, were
7 volunteers recruited by the SRS in a position not to be members of the
8 SRS; was it possible?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so, I think it was. It was
10 like this: The unit that arrived and that was under the command of
11 Kameni, as far as I know, they had all been mobilised by the
12 Serbian Radical Party, to the best of my knowledge. So that unit was
13 formed in Sid, and unless I'm very much mistaken, that was around the
14 16th of October somewhere. And from Sid, it was sent, under Kameni's
15 command, to Vukovar. But that unit had nothing to do with what the Judge
16 asked about the territorials. They're not the same people.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we're talking about
19 Stankovic [as interpreted] again here. You stated he became a member of
20 the Serbian Radical Party after Mr. Seselj's visits. In your
21 recollection, did he join the SRS the day after Mr. Seselj's visit or did
22 he join the SRS during the war that followed? What clarification can you
23 give us about this? Did it happen the following day, later on, during
24 the war or after the war?
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm sorry to interrupt.
1 There might be a mistake in the translation. Page 13, line 9, I see the
2 name of "Stankovic." I don't know if we are really talking about the
3 same person, because I thought I understood something else in French.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I'm talking about
5 Stanko Vujanovic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have another objection,
7 Mr. President. I'm not challenging that you have the right to leading
8 questions, as a Judge, but I have to remind you that yesterday the
9 witness said quite precisely, and this must be in the transcript, that
10 Stanko Vujanovic became a member of the Serbian Radical Party after the
11 war, after the war. That's what the witness stated yesterday.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely, we need to know
13 whether it happened after the war, because after the war, when Vukovar
14 fell, we can say that the war was over in Vukovar. That's why I'm asking
15 the question again, because this needs to be clarified. And my question
16 was not a leading question, that's all; it was an open question. He had
17 the choice to answer whichever way he liked. It's not a leading
18 question, because you answer by "yes" or "no" to a leading question,
19 whereas he had three choices to answer my question. So I refute what you
20 have just said.
21 Sir, the question is the following: This Stanko Vujanovic, to
22 your knowledge, when exactly did he join the SRS? Apparently he was not
23 a member of the SRS before Mr. Seselj's visit. Now, when exactly did he
24 join? Well, you know it or you don't know it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, let me say that I
1 don't know exactly when he became a member.
2 Secondly, I have certain assumptions. As far as I know
3 Stanko Vujanovic, I can make assumptions. I was disillusioned,
4 personally, with the radical party when I heard that Stanko Vujanovic had
5 become a radical, and that was sometime in 1992 already, because I
6 considered that he was not the right person, a person valuable enough to
7 be a member of any political party, and that he was just toppling the
8 authority of the party by joining it. So I don't really know. I think
9 that that is something that can be proved through the Court. Mr. Seselj
10 can show a membership card for Stanko Vujanovic, and then you can see
11 when exactly he did become a member.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm sure that Mr. Seselj will
13 have no problem to establish this. But through the question put to you
14 by my fellow Judge, a new problem has arisen, and I'm going to try and
15 clarify this with you.
16 My fellow Judge mentioned the issue of volunteers recruitment,
17 and you stated that politicians, including Mr. Seselj, but he was not the
18 only one, you stated that politicians were recruiting volunteers. These
19 volunteers were then sent on to various front lines or other places.
20 Listening to your answer, the following question came to my mind.
21 I was wondering if the politicians at the time were calling people --
22 calling on people to join the armed forces, to fight, but without
23 necessarily saying, "Join my party." They were just saying, maybe,
24 "Please join the fight for our country, for our values," but without
25 necessarily telling the people, "You should join the SRS," or any other
2 Talking about this recruitment process, and you are an educated
3 man, you went to university, I'm sure you understand the meaning of my
4 question, was this political kind of recruitment to call people to join a
5 political party and then to send them to fight, or are we talking about
6 recruitment in the larger meaning of the word, for these people to go and
8 Do you understand the difference between the two?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see a nuance there, or,
10 rather, I can give you my own personal opinion about that. What I
11 consider is this --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm interested in your own
13 personal opinion.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally feel that not only
15 Mr. Seselj but the other two, Vuk Draskovic and Jovic, that in fact they
16 were scoring political points, because at the time Serb nationalism was
17 expanding in Serbia, and also because they collected up volunteers for
18 the war in Croatia and Bosnia, and by doing so they scored major
19 political points in Serbia, specifically. That's my own opinion. It was
20 a political promotion, rather than the fact of sending volunteers as
21 being a military factor of any kind. I personally think that the Army of
22 Yugoslavia could have done without the assistance of the Serb volunteers,
23 done what it did without them. That's my personal opinion.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've just added something,
25 and it's quite significant. You're telling us that the JNA could have
1 conducted that recruitment.
2 We've heard several witnesses tell us that the JNA was conducting
3 operations that may have not have been in line with the wishes of the
4 population, because apparently from what we heard, the JNA was connected
5 to the former communist regime and the population, the citizens, some of
6 them did not want -- by joining the JNA, did not want to give the
7 impression that they wanted to support the old system. Therefore, they
8 preferred to join as volunteers to distance themselves from the JNA.
9 That's what we heard. I don't know if it's true or not, but what do you
10 think about this, yourself? And I'm putting that question to you because
11 you raised that issue, saying that the JNA could have done that work.
12 Considering what you've just said, I'm just sharing with you what other
13 witnesses told us and who explained why the JNA was not in a position --
14 could not do that.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's like this: First of all, the
16 Guards Brigade, when it arrived in Vukovar, it could have taken the town
17 in a single day. That's an indisputable fact. People can say what they
18 like, but they could have done that.
19 Now, as far as the recruitment goes, it was like this: The
20 Croatian forces at the time might have had some 100.000 soldiers - I
21 don't believe they had that much, but let's put that as a maximum number.
22 In Serbia, in 1991, there were 130.000 officers, professional soldiers,
23 well trained, so they didn't have to recruit anybody else. They had
24 enough men for all officers armed, to go to Croatia, and win the war
25 without a single soldier. That's what I meant, and that's what I thought
1 when I said that the Yugoslav People's Army didn't need volunteers, and
2 as far as the recruitment is concerned.
3 Now, the problem of recruitment was what it was because every
4 person who had done its military service had in their military booklet
5 its recruitment location, that should a mobilisation break out, they
6 would know where to go, but the problem is with the following, and I can
7 quote my own example.
8 At the time, I officially lived in Vukovar, but as I was studying
9 I was actually in Novi Sad. And in military booklet my recruitment post
10 was Vinkovci, which was at the time under Croatian authority, and in case
11 of a mobilisation, I would have to report to the Croats, for example, at
12 this mobilisation post. So directly report to the enemy, in fact, for
13 mobilisation. So this was totally absurd and you couldn't apply the law,
14 by the same token, and you have to understand that there was complete
15 disarray in our country at the time. Quite simply, the law could not
16 have been applied strictly, and you had to deviate from the law
17 constantly. So that was a problem. I was not able to report and join up
18 with the army. When I went to the barracks, they told me to report to my
19 mobilisation post, which was absolutely absurd.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. With respect to the
21 military booklet, and that's a matter we dealt at length with a number of
22 witnesses, when you were sent to the Guards Brigade, did you give them
23 your military booklet and did they stamp that military booklet with a
24 stamp from the Guards Brigade? You are telling us that normally you
25 should have gone to Croatia, but because of chaos, that was not possible.
1 So when you joined the Guards Brigade, did you give them your military
2 booklet for them to stamp it and to acknowledge that you were indeed a
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think I gave them my
5 military booklet. First of all, I didn't have it with me, my military
6 booklet with me, and that was one of the problems. And, secondly, I
7 don't think anybody asked me for my military booklet. I had a
8 certificate -- or, rather, I had a bus ticket which confirmed that I had
9 arrived in Sid as a volunteer, and -- I really can't remember what
10 happened with the booklet.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. This allows
12 clarification on some other issues related to the military booklet.
13 Mr. Dutertre, sorry for this interruption, but we needed to
14 clarify these points. Please proceed.
15 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I believe
16 that I have about 40 minutes left.
17 Q. Witness 002, you mentioned the SRS detachment set up in Sid,
18 under the leadership of Kameni. What was the first -- what were the
19 first and last name of Kameni?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that this is a classical
21 example of where the Prosecutor does have the right to remind the witness
22 and jog his memory.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't remember.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yeah, Mr. Seselj is coming to
25 your help. Tell him the name. Is it Milan Lancuzanin?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
2 MR. DUTERTRE:
3 Q. When the SRS detachment, with Kameni at its head, arrived in
4 Vukovar, how were these men dressed? What type of uniforms did they
6 A. They had camouflage uniforms. As far as I know, new ones. And
7 we were a little jealous of them, because we had some old uniforms which
8 were in pretty bad shape.
9 Q. Do you know who had given them these uniforms?
10 A. I don't know. I assume that since they had arrived as a
11 detachment of the Serbian Radical Party, I assumed that it was the
12 Serbian Radical Party which provided the uniforms.
13 Q. Did you have the opportunity to fight side by side with them when
14 you were in Vukovar until November 1991?
15 A. Well, we did have parallel actions, not directly joint actions
16 but parallel actions. We would be in one street, they would be in the
17 street next-door. Or, rather, at one point we did have an action in the
18 same street when Mr. Seselj arrived. We went on the left-hand side, and
19 the members of the Radical Party or that detachment were on the opposite
20 side of the street.
21 Q. Thank you. You remember the names of some of the members of this
22 SRS detachment with whom you may have conducted parallel if not joint
24 A. Well, I remember the nicknames of a few of them.
25 Q. Could you give them to us, please?
1 A. Kina, Belgija, Ceca. That's it.
2 Q. Who is the individual nicknamed "Mali Joe"?
3 A. Yes, there were two more guys. One was Mali Joe, and the other
4 one was Veliki Joe. Little Joe and Big Joe. One was very short, 1 metre
5 55, 56; and the other one, Big Joe, was almost 2 metres tall.
6 Q. Fine. Which unit did Mali Joe belong to?
7 A. I think that he was also in the detachment of the Serbian Radical
9 Q. What was the reputation, as far as you know? What was the
10 reputation as fighters of Kina, Belgija, Mali Joe; what was their
11 reputations as fighters?
12 A. As fighters, it was good. The only thing is that I assumed that
13 they engaged in criminal activity before the war.
14 Q. And with respect to Ceca [Realtime transcript read in error
15 "Cica"], what do you know about his reputation as a fighter? Ceca.
16 A. Yes. I have absolutely no idea.
17 Q. My question was related to Ceca, spelled C-e-c-a and not C-i-c-a
18 as can be read at page 21, line 3 of the transcript.
19 Who is the individual nicknamed "Topola"? Maybe it's his first
21 A. He was some sort of Serb volunteer. I -- I'm not quite sure
22 whether I can tell you in open session.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move into private
25 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Back in open session, Your Honour.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Witness 002, who is the individual nicknamed Tap?
25 A. Tap? During the war, he was about 14 years old, 13 or 14. He
1 was a member, I assume, of the Territorial Defence. He was killed two or
2 three years after the liberation in Vukovar.
3 Q. Do you know if there was a connection between him and Kameni?
4 A. Well, he constantly -- he was with Kameni all the time after the
5 war. He would be seen around with him all the time.
6 Q. Very well. Do you know who is the individual nicknamed Cedo?
7 A. Well, there were a lot of people. I really don't know. I'd have
8 to see his photograph to be able to tell you for sure.
9 Q. You're saying that it could be a lot of people, but do you have
10 anybody in mind? Could you tell us about these people?
11 A. Well, it's like this: The Croats would say "Cede," "Cedo," when
12 referring to Chetnik, as a term of endearment, but you can also have a
13 man's name, it can also be a male name. So until I see the photograph, I
14 can't really know who it is.
15 Q. Fine. Let me move on to a completely different topic.
16 After having had a look at the structure of the SRS unit and of
17 the TO, let me now move on to Ovcara and the 20th of November.
18 You stated that you were there. My question is the following:
19 With whom did you go to Ovcara, with which one of your fellow fighters?
20 A. Is this private session?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, we're in open session. Do
22 you want to answer in private session?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's go into private session.
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 6541-6542 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
23 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You mentioned a gauntlet and you said that the prisoners walked
10 through this gauntlet. After that, where were they asked to go?
11 A. They would enter the hangar directly after running through the
12 gauntlet, so the gauntlet was actually connecting the bus and the hangar.
13 Q. How many prisoners were there in the hangar?
14 A. I didn't count them. It was between 200 to 400. I heard from
15 someone that there were 372, but I really don't know the exact number.
16 Q. In what physical condition were they?
17 A. They were in a bad state, because they had -- they were beaten
18 before they actually entered the hangar.
19 Q. Which members of the TO or volunteers did you see in the hangar?
20 A. I saw Djankovic in the hangar. Later, I saw Jovica Peric. At
21 one point at the end, I saw Tap and little Zoric. I really cannot recall
22 anyone else right now. I think it's all there in my statement, so ...
23 Q. Yes, but the Bench would like to hear what you have to say
24 orally. This is why I'm putting this question to you, so that you can
25 shed some light on this. Miroljub Vujovic, was he in the hangar? Did
1 you see him?
2 A. Yes. He came to the hangar because of a situation there. It was
3 forbidden to shoot in the hangar, in order not to frighten the prisoners
4 who were in the hangar, and Djani at one time fired in order to frighten
5 a prisoner next to him, and Miroljub came to tell him that he mustn't do
7 Q. Did you recognise anyone you knew in the hangar? I mean amongst
8 the victims, not the prisoners.
9 A. I recognised about 50 of them.
10 Q. Would you be able to - I know this happened a long time ago - to
11 give us any names?
12 A. I really cannot remember right now, but when the investigator
13 showed me photographs, I showed him exactly who were the people that I
14 saw in the hangar. So there is a list of names there.
15 Q. Did you see Berghofer and Perkan in the hangar?
16 A. Are we in closed or private session?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can go into private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 6547-6551 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are now in open session.
21 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You mentioned having received a cockade from Mr. Seselj. When
23 did this happen?
24 A. When he came to visit Vukovar. I don't remember the exact date.
25 I think this was in November, the 11th, the 12th, or the 13th. I don't
1 remember exactly which date.
2 Q. Which months, which year was this in?
3 A. November 1991.
4 Q. And where were you when you received this cockade?
5 A. I think -- I'm not exactly sure, because the houses are right
6 next to each other, but I think this was in the house of Kameni, in the
7 yard of that house.
8 Q. Had you seen him elsewhere on that day in Vukovar, before and
10 A. Yes, I did see him. There was a mopping-up action of the
11 Tri Ruze Street, and Mr. Seselj came with an escort to see his fighters
12 in action, because the fighters from the Radical Party Detachment were
13 working the right side of that street, I think.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you've just said, and this
15 is something you mentioned yesterday, you said that the streets needed to
16 be cleaned up. I don't know what the term is exactly in your language,
17 but in French, cleaning up, mopping up, has a very precise meaning. Can
18 you tell me what you mean when you are given the order to mop up? In
19 military terms, what does this stand for?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the military sense, we were
21 supposed to go down the street, to check all the houses, and to take out
22 all the civilians, everything that we had found in the house, and pass
23 them on. Or if we found enemies, we were supposed to push them back or
24 destroy them, depending on the situation. This was a term that we used,
25 and we were not ordered in any way to do anything that would be contrary
1 to the Geneva Conventions. Perhaps a more precise term would be to
2 liberate the street, but we actually used the term "to mop up the
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You said "to
5 contain the enemy." Now, in the following case, let's assume that the
6 enemy surrenders, raises his arms, has no arms anymore, and hands over
7 his arms. What kind of instructions did you have?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, no one had given me
9 any kind of instructions. While I was in the Guards Brigade, the order
10 was that there should be no shooting of those who surrender or those who
11 are unarmed. In the Territorial Defence, no one had said anything to me,
12 so the assumption was that it was the same. I'm speaking on the basis of
13 my personal experience now.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the TO Defence hadn't told
15 you anything.
16 Now, when you, together with your comrades, you mopped up the
17 streets, did you take anybody prisoner or were there no prisoners?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, for the most part it
19 was Ustashas that were running away, so they did not stay behind to
20 surrender. As for the civilians that we got out of the cellars, we
21 considered them to be civilians, so we did not engage in a procedure of
22 capture. We sent them further on to Velepromet. In fact, my unit did
23 not have a single procedure of capture. Quite simply, no one had
24 surrendered to us during the course of two months.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to break now.
10 Mr. Dutertre, I believe you have a few seconds left, unless you've
11 completed your examination-in-chief. Did you have any other questions?
12 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I would be grateful if I could
13 have an additional five minutes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, if you are given an
15 additional five minutes, that will apply to Mr. Seselj as well. The best
16 is probably to have the break now and to give you five minutes when we
17 resume. Mr. Seselj will have an additional five minutes as well.
18 Let's take a 20-minute break.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.05 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.23 a.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Witness 002, with respect to the SRS detachment, you gave us a
24 number of names, and you stated that you conducted a number of operations
25 alongside them. How would you rate your knowledge of this SRS detachment
1 during the war in Vukovar? In other words, did you know them well or was
2 your knowledge limited? How would you describe your knowledge you had of
3 this detachment?
4 A. Well, I didn't really socialise with them. I don't know. My
5 assumption was that in the past, they had been criminals, something like
6 that, so I had no ambition to socialise with them. As fighters, they
7 were good. I don't remember now exactly that we were in some particular
8 operations together, except for that particular one when Mr. Seselj came.
9 Q. What was the impact of Mr. Seselj's visit on the TO soldiers and
10 on the volunteers?
11 A. Well, you see, Mr. Seselj was the only politician who came to see
12 us, so we were all thrilled that someone had come to see us. I
13 personally started appreciating Mr. Seselj a lot more after that, because
14 I saw that he cared about his army.
15 Q. At that time, starting with this visit, what sort of influence
16 did you find that he had on the TO soldiers and on the volunteers?
17 A. Well, look, I can only talk about what I think as a private
18 person. What the others thought, I don't know, but I can assume. I,
19 personally, was pleased by the borders advocated by Mr. Seselj, because
20 my house was close to those borders. It was logical that I should think
21 that this territory should be Serbia. I assume that other Krajina people
22 were of the same view.
23 Q. According to you, what was the extent of his influence on TO
24 members and on volunteers?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Questions cannot be put
1 this way, because this witness is not an expert. He can talk about his
2 impressions, about effects. And the Prosecutor is asking him to assess
3 the extent of one's influence. That can only be done by an expert, and
4 not even an expert. This is a fact witness, and questions have to be
5 tailored to that.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, please rephrase
7 your question.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Did you have the impression, looking at your fellow fighters,
10 that Mr. Seselj was someone people listened to?
11 A. Well, look, if Mr. Seselj had expressed a wish when he came then,
12 we would have certainly played along. If he had asked us to win another
13 three streets, we would have taken those three streets. He was a
14 vojvoda. We would not have refused his order.
15 Q. Fine. If you can answer the following question, because you're
16 not a political expert, but you stated that you're interested in
17 political matters, how would you describe Mr. Seselj's position on the
18 political scene? Was his position important or not? Before the
19 beginning of the war, how would you describe his situation on the
20 political scene?
21 A. I personally think that before the war, Mr. Seselj did not have a
22 chance in any election, since as a nationalist, he was brought to the
23 forefront, politically speaking, if I can put it that way, only when
24 there was a need for nationalism; that is to say, when Serbia was
25 threatened from a national point of view. So I believe that if there
1 were a fair democratic election in 1992, Mr. Seselj would have won it.
2 That's my opinion. Now, I really don't know. Had you had a vote in
3 Vukovar after Seselj came there, he would have won by a landslide.
4 Q. You stated that you were given a cockade by Mr. Seselj. Could
5 you describe it for us, that cockade? We saw a rather unclear picture of
6 it on your hat, but could you give us a detailed description of that
7 cockade, please?
8 A. The cockade is a double-headed eagle with a skull and crossed
9 bones. It's a real cockade.
10 Q. What group, specifically, did wear that sort of cockade?
11 A. Well, look, I am convinced that it's a Chetnik cockade. Now,
12 what the exact formation was in the Second World War that wore it, what
13 Chetnik formation, I really don't know. With this cockade, I considered
14 myself to be a true Chetnik.
15 Q. One last question. By the end of the fighting in Vukovar, were
16 you made aware of incidents that took place at Velepromet?
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. I don't have any other
7 question for the witness.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, with respect to what
10 we've just discussed, but I want you to tell us about the facts you
11 witnessed yourself and nothing else, after Mr. Seselj's visits did you
12 see any changes in the way the SRS volunteers were behaving? Did you see
13 any change in their behaviour during fighting or various operations? Did
14 you notice any change? Did you find that their commitment was stronger?
15 Did you notice that they were more violent or less violent? And I don't
16 want your impressions. I want facts.
17 A. Quite simply, I cannot answer your question, because no one had
18 ever asked me that until now, and I never thought about it. Now I'm
19 supposed to remember what the situation was 17 years ago. I really don't
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Not even if you tried to
22 remember something that could have happened after that visit? If we gave
23 you a bit more time?
24 A. In closed session, I can tell you about a private detail, and I
25 believe that that is why I cannot remember. That will explain to you the
1 reason why it is that I cannot remember.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Then we'll move into private
3 session to find out about this private detail.
4 Mr. Registrar.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 6561 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are now in open session, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With my questions, I want to
13 address the visits of Mr. Seselj to Vukovar.
14 You stated that you received a cockade after requesting it. We
15 know that you were not a member of the Leva Supoderica unit. You were
16 given a cockade. At the time, you were not a member of the SRS, were
18 A. I was never a member of the Serb Radical Party.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You told us that you
20 received the cockade. That's what I understood, and if I'm mistaken,
21 please tell me so. Well, you told us that you received it because it was
22 the symbol of belonging to the Chetnik movement; is that what you stated?
23 We've heard other witnesses, and some of them told us that they joined
24 the SRS, or that they were volunteers, or that they were Chetniks, and
25 some of them told us that they did so also because they were royalists
1 and that they joined the Chetnik movement for that particular reason.
2 You were in Vukovar. You met other fighters. Did you talk to
3 these soldiers, and did you have the feeling that amongst them, there
4 were royalists who joined the army, who volunteered, because they were
5 maybe fighting for the restoration of the monarchy or with reference to
6 the past?
7 A. Well, as for the group that was with me, they were some kind of
8 liberals, whatever. We did not discuss politics very much, because I
9 personally, if I can put it this way, am an advocate of the monarchy, and
10 I believe that had a monarchy been introduced in Serbia, many negative
11 things would not have happened, had we had a king. I was not really
12 involved in political discussions during the war.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is an interesting piece of
15 Now, with respect to the cockade?
16 A. As for cockades, I personally wanted to have a cockade for
17 reasons of tradition, because I believe that my family hails from
18 Herzegovina. It would have meant a great deal to me had I returned there
19 with a cockade and with a decoration, if possible. So these are my
20 personal reasons. I would have been very proud of that, and my family
21 would have been very proud of me.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the fighters at the time,
23 receiving a cockade, if I understand you explanations, could have not a
24 political meaning, meaning that they belonged to a specific political
25 party, but it could be based on personal considerations. And they might
1 want a cockade also because it might refer to the past, to specific
2 ideas, that's an assumption I'm making, or it might refer, that cockade,
3 or it might represent some sort of recognition for having taken part in
4 military operations? This is a question I would like you to answer.
5 A. Well, look, at that time, in my view, the cockade meant that the
6 person wearing a cockade does not want to have anything to do with
8 In the former Yugoslavia, for no reason, Serbia was labelled as
9 the communist side, as opposed to Croatia that was labelled as
10 non-communist or pro-Western. I did not see a special reason for that.
11 However, the cockade, if I can put it this way, meant that we were
12 opposed to communism, meant that we were not communists. It represented
13 something different.
14 Secondly, many Serbs, in their tradition, in their families,
15 before the Second World War, well, there were many families whose men
16 were among the Chetniks, who were always opposed to communism. So my
17 grandmother told me that whenever I talked about Tito, that she talked to
18 me about the king, and she told me that what we were learning at school
19 was not true, that they lived very nicely during the time of the king,
20 and that she was not opposed to the king at all. She did not dare say
21 that she liked him. She got killed during the course of this war, but I
22 really wanted to show up in front of her with this cockade to show that I
23 was also a proponent of something different, compared to what it was that
24 I talked about when I was a little boy.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We saw a number of video clips,
1 and the Prosecutor could have shown it as well, with soldiers in Vukovar,
2 and they are wearing JNA helmets, and we also see soldiers with hats and
3 cockades. What you've just said reminds me of these videos we saw.
4 There were two groups there. There were men wearing JNA helmets
5 and others wearing hats with cockades, and the fact that these two groups
6 were there, side by side, did it not highlight the fact that amongst
7 these fighters, there were differences with respect to what they thought
8 about the communist regime of the past, and didn't it show that some of
9 them preferred to volunteer and to wear a hat with a cockade, rather than
10 wearing a JNA camouflage uniform? Would we be mistaken in thinking that
11 this might have been the reason for this difference we see in the way
12 these fighters are dressed?
13 A. That is true up to a point, but we can't say that there were just
14 two types or three types of fighters.
15 First of all, all of us, as far as the Territorial Defence is
16 concerned, and that's what I'm talking about, we were all issued helmets
17 and uniforms. I, too, had a helmet, but didn't use it. I wasn't
18 duty-bound to use it, so I didn't have it on my head because I wasn't
19 able to put the cockade on the helmet. That's why I wore the cap, the
21 And the other point is this: On the footage, on the photographs,
22 unfortunately, you can see people dressed in different ways, all
23 different kinds of clothing, because there wasn't any discipline or
24 military law to introduce law and order. Had that existed at the time,
25 then probably you wouldn't be harbouring under this confusion and I
1 wouldn't have any trouble in explaining to you who belonged to what unit.
2 The volunteers, at the time in 1991, who went to Vukovar were
3 issued the olive-green uniform in Sid, and weapons too, and then they
4 arrived in Vukovar. They would go to Vukovar, whether in large or
5 smaller groups I'm not sure. But, anyway, it was like this: If they
6 would find a leather jacket somewhere, they'd put it on and throw away
7 the other parts of the uniform. So they dressed whichever way pleased
8 them. They wore whatever they liked, so that they weren't in uniform, as
9 such, they weren't dressed in uniform fashion, and it wasn't easy to
10 distinguish between them, precisely because there was a shortage of
11 uniforms during our operations.
12 We had bands on our shoulders to be able to distinguish ourselves
13 from others. Sometimes we would have these red bands or white bands.
14 When we went into an operation, we would decide, prior to an operation,
15 what we were going to wear, because the Croats noticed we had some bands,
16 so we assumed they might put bands on their shoulders to appear
17 dressed -- to appear as being one of us.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's go back to Mr. Seselj and
19 to the time when he went to Vukovar. You gave us a number of details
20 about this, but we heard evidence that Mr. Seselj spoke there.
21 You were there. You met Mr. Seselj. You, yourself, did you hear
22 Mr. Seselj's words, comments? Do you remember or not, or you heard
24 A. Well, it's like this: I did not come to Mr. Seselj in --
25 following a regular road; that is to say, Mr. Seselj wasn't ready to
1 deliver a political speech to me. I just happened to be there and asked
2 to be given a cockade. Mr. Seselj said he was sorry, that he hadn't any
3 more cockades on him. And I didn't want to ask a vojvoda to take off his
4 own cockade from his hat, so he ordered one of the security details who
5 was with him to find a cockade, and that's what happened, and he gave it
6 to me. So there was no political discussion.
7 And the second point is I had absolutely no interest in politics
8 at the time. I wasn't interested in listening to talk of that kind.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to check with you
10 something which happened, which has been mentioned by some of the
12 According to some of the witnesses, and this is the Prosecution's
13 case also, it seems that Mr. Seselj, with the help of a loudspeaker,
14 would have asked the Croats or the Ustasha - this question remains
15 unanswered - to surrender. Was this something you were aware of or does
16 this not ring a bell at all?
17 A. When Mr. Seselj was over there, I have no knowledge of that. I
18 read about it afterwards in some papers. Unless I'm very much mistaken,
19 I think it was the "Arena" newspaper that published something like that
20 after the liberation. I can't be more specific. I think that
21 Mr. Seselj, on the cover page, was shown walking around in his uniform,
22 something like that, but I really don't know anything about that myself.
23 I read something about it subsequently.
11 Pages 6568-6570 redacted.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 6572 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in open session, I'll ask
24 the same question, but phrase it differently.
25 On the next day following the events, this is my question, did
1 you refer to your superiors and did you inform them about this?
2 My colleague is calling my attention to this. You don't need to
3 answer this question, because this could potentially incriminate you.
4 Do you wish to answer or do you not wish to answer in public?
5 A. If I have the option not to answer, then it's better for me not
6 to give an answer.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll discuss the matter with my
8 colleagues to see whether you should answer this or not.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
11 will move on to another question.
12 As regards the other fighters, you were a member of the
13 Guards Brigade, and the other fighters were members of the TO. When you
14 were on the ground, when you were mopping up the streets, you explained
15 to us what this meant from a military standpoint. Did you have the
16 feeling that you were acting as if this were a military operation that
17 was being conducted by a high-ranking leader?
18 A. Well, while I was in the Territorial Defence, it was explained to
19 me that we were members of the left flank under the command of the
20 Guards Brigade, which means that the main person in command was Colonel
21 Mrksic. And he didn't issue direct orders to my unit, but he did have
22 generalised orders and plans for that particular day, and then the
23 lower-ranking officers would develop that based on the situation on the
24 ground. So I considered that we were constantly under the command of the
25 Guards Brigade. I am actually convinced of that being the case.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you answered one of the
2 questions put to you by the Prosecutor, you drew my attention to
3 something else. You said that Vukovar could have been taken in one day.
4 These are your own words. And as far as you were concerned, this was --
5 came to you as a surprise, that the "siege," quote/unquote, of Vukovar
6 lasted quite a long time.
7 And then you added -- when you answered another question you said
8 that the fighters that were Croatian had ran away.
9 So if I put all of these answers together, I ask myself the
10 following question: Were there a lot of Croatian fighters in Vukovar?
11 You were there. What can you tell us about this?
12 A. Before the Guards Brigade arrived in Vukovar, or, rather, to
13 Negoslavci, as far as I know, before the Guards Brigade, it replaced the
14 Mitrovica Corps, who had the assignment of deblocking the barracks. That
15 was the prior assignment. So the Territorial Defence then or a unit of
16 farmers from Negoslavci launched an operation to deblock the barracks,
17 and they routed all the Croats and reached almost down to the centre.
18 And had the Mitrovica Corps at the time followed that unit of the
19 Negoslavci, whether members of the Territorial Defence or whatever they
20 were, the battle for Vukovar would have been over there and then. But
21 quite simply, the army didn't want to follow them. They arrived at the
22 barracks, stopped there, and didn't go any further, they didn't advance
23 further. So I had the impression that quite simply the army, for some
24 reasons of their own, didn't actually wish to take control of Vukovar at
25 that point in time.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 A. I can also add that at that time, unless I'm mistaken, it was the
3 1st Zagreb Battalion that defended Vukovar at that time, so actually they
4 were routed and they had no army to speak of after that.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In November, when these events
6 unfold, you were an educated man, you had some understanding of what was
7 going on. You were acting as a fighter in order to maintain the former
8 Yugoslavia and protect its borders that were the 1945 borders, because at
9 that time Croatia had not been declared independent yet by the European
10 community, or you were a fighter, like your fellow fighters, because you
11 wanted to defend the Republic of Serbia in Vukovar? What was your
12 personal assessment of the situation at the time? Why had you decided to
13 get involved in the conflict?
14 A. Well, I think I've already said that. I came for a number -- to
15 Vukovar for a number of reasons. The main reason was that I felt
16 duty-bound towards the oath I had taken. That's the first reason. So
17 the reason was that at the time, it was still the SFRY, Yugoslavia by
19 The second reason was my nationalist motive as a Serb, because I
20 considered that if my people were fighting somewhere, I had to fight too,
21 with them.
22 There were a number of other reasons as well. My parents were
23 over there. But the first two reasons were the decisive ones which led
24 me to take the decision to go. I didn't decide to do that overnight. I
25 fought a psychological battle with myself for about a fortnight, whether
1 to go to war or not.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did your superiors share the
3 same views or were their motivations different?
4 A. I don't know if my answer could have disclosed my identity.
5 Perhaps we should go into private session.
6 [Private session]
11 Page 6578 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are in open session, and we
25 are now breaking for 20 minutes. After the break, Judge Harhoff will put
1 a number of questions to the witness. Then it will be up to Mr. Seselj
2 to begin his cross-examination.
3 --- Recess taken at 11.34 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.56 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. We'll
6 stop at quarter past 1.00.
7 Judge Harhoff has a number of questions.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, I have a small question first
9 regarding Ovcara, and then I have a more -- a question of principle about
10 the command and control that applied to the military operations in
11 Vukovar. But let me just first put my small question relating to Ovcara.
12 My question is that I'm not sure I understood what you told us
13 about the reasons why the detainees were not simply shot. If the plan
14 was to kill them anyway, why were they not just executed by way of
16 I'm not sure about the answer that you gave us to this question,
17 so I would like you to explain to us, if you know, why the prisoners in
18 the hangar were not just simply shot dead.
19 A. First of all, I really don't know. I can just tell you what
20 I think. It's an assumption. I really don't know. Would you like me to
21 tell you my assumption?
22 My assumption is that up until the last minute, they didn't know
23 what they would do with the prisoners, and I personally think that they
24 were waiting for a decision from higher up. I don't know if this was
25 from the Krajina government or anything like that. And then when they
1 received a decision in some way, when they received some kind of
2 indication, then they were told what to do.
3 As far as I know, they were waiting for an hour or two before
4 they started with the executions. This is my opinion.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Just to be sure, the executions were committed by
6 way of beating and shooting; is that correct?
7 A. Not all passed through the gauntlet, from what I know. They were
8 not all beaten. Some were beaten, some were not. And later, they were
9 taken away and killed.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: I think you told us, but I'm not sure. I think
11 you told us that most of the killing, most of the killing of the
12 detainees or the prisoners, took place inside the hangar.
13 A. No, no, I don't think that anyone was killed in the hangar. I
14 didn't see any dead bodies in the hangar.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right, thank you very much. Let me then move to
16 the more important question that I had regarding the coordination of the
17 operations in Vukovar.
18 And my question is if you were able to form an opinion about how
19 the operation to clean the streets in Vukovar was organised. I think you
20 told us that Colonel Mrksic was in command of the Guards Brigade and
21 maybe also of the operations of the Territorial Defence; I'm not sure.
22 So my question is: How was the operation to take Vukovar organised, in
23 terms of military organisation? And in particular, of course, who
24 controlled the actions carried out by the SRS? Can you give us a picture
25 about how the fall of Vukovar -- how the taking of Vukovar was organised,
1 from a military point of view?
2 A. The way the command was executed was from the Negoslavci
3 headquarters, because Mrksic was there, commanding the Guards Brigade.
4 So that started from his staff, and orders were conveyed via Captain
5 Radic, who was in charge, I think, of coordinating with the Territorial
6 Defence, which was holding the left flank along the action -- axis of the
7 brigade, which means that they were under the command of the
8 Guards Brigade.
9 As for conveying the orders by Captain Radic, there was section
10 and company meetings of the TO at the house of Stanko Vujanovic, where
11 the orders that were received from Negoslavci were reviewed and the plans
12 were drafted for the actions of smaller units on the basis of the orders
13 that were issued from Negoslavci. I doubt that Colonel Mrksic personally
14 issued orders about what each squad should do. He probably issued a
15 general order relating to the left flank and then later plans were made
16 about how the plan would be further implemented.
17 I wasn't present at the meetings, and I heard later from Cetina
18 what they used to do at the meetings.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, "from Cetinje."
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: How did the SRS volunteers become involved, and
21 who organised their movements?
22 A. I already said that. They came on the 16th of October. The unit
23 was organised in Sid and sent to Vukovar, and they were assigned to be
24 under the command of the Territorial Defence. So that means that they
25 were weren't directly under the command of the Guards Brigade. As far as
1 I understood, anyone who was not under military command could not be
2 there. They were not considered a military person. Everybody in the
3 zone of operations had to be under the command of the Guards Brigade. As
4 to how they were under the command, I really couldn't say. I'm not going
5 to talk about individuals who were walking about with weapons. There was
6 no organised group numbering more than a few men that was not under the
7 command of the Guards Brigade. This is how I saw matters.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: So what you're telling us, if I understand
9 correctly, is that JNA troops, as well as Territorial Defence soldiers
10 and also volunteers, including the volunteers of the SRS, were somehow
11 subordinated to the JNA Command in the headquarters of the
12 Guards Brigade?
13 A. Correct.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, sir. I have no further
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you now have the
17 floor, and you have three hours and five minutes.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Witness 002, at the beginning I have to say that
20 I am grateful to you, because yesterday you clarified some matters that
21 were not clear to me and the names of some people that I didn't know
22 about. And in my reactions yesterday, I already said that the Prosecutor
23 showed that footage earlier, with the intention of showing that those
24 people were volunteers and members of the Radical Party.
25 In my cross-examination, I'm going to put questions to you, but
1 I'm will take care that we don't have any reason to move into private
2 session. I'm going to avoid names that could reveal your identity to the
4 At the beginning, I would like you to say if there were any
5 reasons pertaining to me or the Serbian Radical Party due to which you
6 requested protective measures.
7 A. There are no such reasons. I asked for protective measures in
8 1997, or actually 1998.
9 Q. And you had no idea then that one day you would appear as a
10 witness in the proceedings against me; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. A number of times, you told us that you were apolitical, that you
13 were not interested in politics, but that at one point you were thrilled
14 by the radical idea and the borders of Serbia, Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica
15 that the Radical Party was propagating?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. But as an apolitical person, of course you could not avoid the
18 media, radio, television, newspapers, where this idea was elaborated
19 upon, so probably you probably became aware of the fact somewhere that
20 the Serbian Radical Party, already in its programme, stated that it was
21 in favour of a united state that would include all Serbian countries, and
22 we mentioned them -- besides Serbia, we mentioned Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 Montenegro, Macedonia, Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Slavonia, Baranja; were you
24 aware of that?
25 A. You are thinking of 1991.
1 Q. 1990, 1991, before the war broke out.
2 A. Yes, I was aware before the war broke out of that. Yes, it did
3 seem ridiculous to me then, but later I took it more seriously.
4 Q. Did you know about our programme, that we were propagating
5 brotherhood and unity of Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Serbs, Protestant
6 Serbs, atheist Serbs, Muslim Serbs which would live fraternally within
7 the borders of one state; did you hear about that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. At any point, did it occur to you that our efforts for a
10 Greater Serbia implied that all Catholics and all Muslims would be driven
11 out beyond the borders of that state?
12 A. I don't recall hearing anything like that.
13 Q. Did you think that this concealed our idea, our intention, to
14 drive away all Catholics and all Muslims? Could you perhaps perceive any
15 such intention from any behaviour of mine in 1990 or 1991?
16 A. Well, look, until you came to Vukovar, I didn't analyse you or
17 wasn't interested in you all that much, since I was personally of the
18 belief that the only form that is good for Yugoslavia, for Yugoslavia to
19 survive as such, would be in the form of a monarchy. So the changing of
20 borders, unless it was in a monarchy, I believed would only lead to some
21 new war in the future. So after 1991, I believed that you, let's put it
22 that way, were the only solution that provided us people from Krajina a
23 chance of having our own life within Serbia.
24 Q. Did you ever hear me propagating a monarchy, justifying it, or
25 voice any values of a monarchy?
1 A. Well, I never heard you talking about against a monarchy, but I
2 really never followed politics much or thought about it, so I cannot
3 really say anything about that.
4 Q. But you must have known that I ridiculed the Crown Prince
5 Aleksandar in the Assembly?
6 A. Yes, I know you did that.
7 Q. Well, Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic is not important here, is
9 A. Well, that is one of the negative things that I noticed about
11 Q. Well, maybe you thought that was silly, but you cannot deny that
12 I persistently kept doing that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you also deny that I actually tried to cure
15 monarchist-leaning persons of that idea by ridiculing Prince Aleksandar,
16 Crown Prince Aleksandar, and in that way I would combat these feelings of
17 monarchism in those people and would awaken ideas, Republican ideas in
19 A. It's very hard for me to answer that. I really didn't follow
20 politics. I did follow your speeches in the Assembly because they were
21 interesting because of your vocabulary and your approach, and you always
22 had a victim, and we always laughed and made jokes about that later. But
23 I was not interested in the political programme.
24 Q. Very well. But you liked to watch the showbiz effects of my
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Which actually was calculated to draw in apolitical persons such
3 as you; would you agree with that?
4 A. Look, I -- you didn't manage to draw me in. I have a lot of
5 sympathy towards you, but only because you are a great nationalist. But
6 I personally think that you have also some negative qualities, especially
7 because you are not a monarchist, but this is another thing.
8 Q. All right, sir. 002, nobody's perfect. I hope that is clear to
9 you, and I have always been in favour of a republic since I was born. I
10 never had any monarchist aspirations, although at the time the
11 Serbian Radical Party was first formed, you will remember that there were
12 some individuals with us who really were monarchists; is that correct?
13 A. I personally believed when the Serbian Radical Party was formed,
14 that it would be a monarchist party, because I believed that it should
15 carry on and inherit the traditions from the time of the kingdom of
16 Yugoslavia or the kingdom of Serbia, when that was part of the monarchy.
17 Q. And do you remember that for the purposes of ridiculing the idea
18 of a monarchy, at one point in January 1992, I travelled to Spain to get
19 in touch with a certain Prince Alex D'Anjou in order to discuss these
20 monarchist ideas? That was when Vukovar was already liberated, and this
21 was reported in the media.
22 A. I don't remember that.
23 Q. Well, it doesn't matter. We are going to go back to the gist of
24 your testimony.
25 You explained to us here that in the beginning, you were in the
1 Guards Brigade and you were probably aware of the enormous firepower of
2 the Guards Brigade and the most modern equipment that it had in the JNA
3 at the time?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Well, can you imagine that instead of this Guards Brigade getting
6 stuck in Vukovar, if it had been sent to an assault, would the Croats
7 have had any forces to stop it before it reached Slavonska Pozega?
8 A. Well, I believe that Zagreb would have fallen in a few days. I'm
9 convinced of that.
10 Q. Well, Zagreb had a lot of -- a large population, so the soldiers
11 would have gotten lost among those people. But would you agree that the
12 Croats did not have the force to stop such a unit?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And why would, then, such a brigade be sent to get stuck in
15 Vukovar and in order to take part in street fighting, when that
16 street-to-street fighting --
17 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is going
18 extremely fast. We don't even have time to raise objections when the
19 witness is being asked to speculate. It would be good if a break could
20 be made between question and answers, because then I would have time to
21 object to these questions which have thus been asked and that were
22 calling the witness to speculate.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj, please try to
24 slow down. Both the witness and yourself are speaking the same language.
25 Our interpreters are doing an outstanding job, but please try to pause
1 between question and answers.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to respond to
3 the Prosecutor's objection.
4 First of all, both the Prosecutor and the Trial Chamber asked
5 this witness several times to present his views and his assumptions. I
6 hope that I have the same right.
7 Secondly, the Prosecutor has a problem with himself. You know,
8 in all proceedings before any court of law, what is expected is that the
9 counsel for prosecution thinks faster than the accused and to be
10 intellectually superior to the accused. What can I do about it if the
11 Prosecutor is a slow thinker? I put questions very slowly. I paused. I
12 switched off my microphone every time when I would finish. Let them find
13 someone faster, who thinks faster in the Prosecution. What can I do
14 about it? I can't resolve their problems.
15 Q. Mr. VS-002 --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, what we are interested in
17 is the substance of the case, so please go to the essentials, like you
18 started off, and everybody will listen to you carefully.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Since you belonged to the Guards Brigade, you should know.
21 Soldiers from the Guards Brigade talked about that, especially members of
22 the military police, that at one point in time before coming to Vukovar,
23 Colonel Mile Mrksic tried to carry out a coup d'etat in the JNA. At one
24 point, he even arrested Army General Veljko Kadijevic, the Minister of
25 Defence, trying to make him resign and hand over to
1 General Blagoje Adzic. Do you know anything about that?
2 A. When I was in Sid, I was sent from the staff of the
3 Territorial Defence, as soon as the Guards Brigade arrived there, for a
4 brief training. During the second day of this training, the units of the
5 military police left that area and went to Belgrade. They returned on
6 the following afternoon, something like that.
7 The young soldiers, when I asked them where they were and what
8 happened, they said that that evening they arrested generals and they
9 arrested about 50 generals, that was probably it, and they were supposed
10 to carry out a coup d'etat.
11 Q. Well, 50 generals is an exaggerated number, but Kadijevic was
12 arrested and a group of his co-workers, but it wasn't 50 of them, because
13 I am a bit better informed about this. However, since that was hushed up
14 in the military and the public never found out about this event, wasn't
15 it obvious that somebody wanted to remove both the Guards Brigade and
16 Mile Mrksic from Belgrade, and they sent them to Vukovar, therefore?
17 A. Well, the only thing I know is that they had reached some kind of
18 agreement, that they agreed on something. Now, why the Guards Brigade
19 was removed from Belgrade, I really don't know about that.
20 Q. Since I was rather informed about the evolving of the Vukovar
21 operation and I have direct knowledge from my conversations with
22 different people, I assume that you should be aware of that and that you
23 should remember that the territorials and the volunteers and politicians
24 from Eastern Slavonia, Western Baranja and Srem, often in their talks,
25 put the question why the JNA was firing with artillery at Vukovar. Do
1 you remember such discussions in the couloirs?
2 A. I can tell you what my conclusion was after the war, and of my
3 friends, too; that Vukovar was totally being destroyed, and on the basis
4 of that, what was being awaited was that the Croats would get recognised
5 by the international public, and that that was the reason why Ovcara
6 happened. As a matter of fact, I have some more assumptions.
7 Now, I just don't know how smart it is for me to say that --
8 Q. Well, so far you've been asked to present your views, so I kindly
9 ask you that when I'm cross-examining you, to act the same way, present
10 your opinion, because you're an inhabitant of Vukovar and a direct
11 participant in the fighting. And to tell you quite honestly, I think
12 that you acted fairly here while giving testimony. I personally have no
13 objections, irrespective of the fact that you mentioned some names that I
14 don't know and some events that I'm not aware of, you know. However, as
15 far as my position here is, I think that your testimony has been fair.
16 A. Well, look, as far as I managed to find out from talking to
17 others, a certain intelligence group, some kind of Gepard [phoen] or
18 something in Zagreb, I have no idea, was arrested the day after the fall
19 of Vukovar. And the Guards Brigade at that time in the hospital took
20 Njavro, Mrs. Vesna Bosanac, Matos, and a few other doctors and took them
21 to Belgrade, allegedly for interrogations, and they immediately exchanged
22 them for this group of our operatives. Most probably this group of
23 operatives fell precisely in order for this exchange to take place, with
24 mutual agreement.
25 Another thing. An enormous amount of money was left in Vukovar
1 of the SDK, in the safe of the SDK, and it was impossible to open it
2 before an army unit came that knew where the key was, and Dr. Stanovic's
3 wife had the key. They went to see her. They took the key and they
4 opened the safe. The money was collected, and my assumption is, on the
5 basis of some information that I concluded from talking to others, that
6 this money was given to Mr. Jezda to buy marks in Bosnia. So all of this
7 was some kind of a very, very strange game, but I don't know how much
8 this has to do with all of this.
9 Q. Did you hear that personally General Aleksandar Vasiljevic, the
10 head of the Security Service of the JNA, was in Vukovar on the 20th of
12 A. I don't know whether he was personally in Vukovar, but my
13 personal view is that he is to be blamed for Ovcara. However, I haven't
14 got any evidence. I don't know how smart it is for me to say any such
16 Q. We are going to get to Ovcara, but let me ask you another thing
17 now, from a military point of view.
18 Artillery fire by JNA units, and there were three artillery units
19 of the JNA that were firing at Vukovar, did this have any positive
20 effects, from a military point of view, apart from destroying buildings,
21 that is?
22 A. Well, from a military point of view, if I look at it from the
23 point of view of us, the Territorial Defence, they only impeded us,
24 because if we went out to attack, we had no coordination with them. So
25 we had the most -- were most successful when there were ceasefires, when
1 there was no artillery.
2 Q. Were mortars sufficient to liberate Vukovar, without any kind of
3 artillery, mortars being infantry weapons?
4 A. Well, look, I assume that even mortars were not needed, because
5 when the barracks were deblocked, the Negoslav Detachment completely
6 destroyed the 1st Zagreb Unit, and practically Vukovar was taken in that
7 way, had only the army wanted to follow them.
8 Q. Why am I asking you about mortars? A mortar shell, when it
9 explodes, it kills personnel, but it does not destroy buildings, whereas
10 a cannonball destroys buildings.
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And Vukovar is full of these basements and cellars and firmly
13 built at that, and I think there was supposed to be an atomic shelter
14 under the hospital, so the artillery couldn't really harm these shelters
15 or basements, right?
16 A. Well, probably artillery couldn't do anything to them, and I
17 don't think that they used artillery for those shelters.
18 Q. Do you agree with me that the top echelons of the JNA used the
19 artillery on purpose in order to destroy Vukovar so that the Croats would
20 have a powerful propaganda weapon against the Serb people and the JNA?
21 Do you agree with me on that?
22 A. I agree, but not fully.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] The witness is being asked to
24 speculate, and I object to this question.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question is a relevant one.
1 Please put your question again, Mr. Seselj.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. VS-002, do you agree with me that someone from the top
4 echelons of the JNA ordered on purpose to use artillery to destroy
5 Vukovar so that the Croats would gain a powerful propaganda weapon in the
6 international public against the JNA and the Serb people?
7 A. I agree.
8 Q. Was this the general view of the inhabitants of Vukovar after
9 November 1991?
10 A. Well, I assume that that is the case.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you slow down, please.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Does the witness agree with me that en masse, the population of
14 Vukovar, I cannot say all of them, but 90 per cent of the population of
15 Vukovar believed and made comments, in their own conversations, that
16 Vukovar was destroyed on purpose, precisely for that reason, to help the
17 Croats attain independence?
18 A. Well, look, I can tell you about 50 per cent, because only
19 50 per cent of the population were Serbs.
20 Q. All Serbs in Vukovar thought that?
21 A. Most of them, 95 per cent of the Serbs for sure.
22 Q. However, any sensible person on the ground knew that this
23 artillery was of no use in fighting and that it was causing damage,
24 irreparable damage. Any person with any common sense understood that;
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Well, if this is a statement, is
2 it Mr. Seselj adducing his own evidence?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To avoid any objections, please
4 put the question in a form of a question. Otherwise, the Prosecutor will
5 say that you are testifying.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my question was very
7 clear, concise. On the basis of my own knowledge, I am putting a
8 question to this witness. It is of a bit of a leading nature, but I'm
9 entitled to that. The witness is testifying to facts. I'm asking him
10 whether it's a fact that that is what people in Vukovar thought during
11 operations and after the liberation of Vukovar, and he keeps giving me
12 answers in the affirmative.
13 You can bring in a thousand people from Vukovar who are going to
14 confirm the same thing to you. That is the public opinion of Vukovar.
15 That is why this is fact evidence. That was the public opinion in
16 Vukovar at the time.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, a follow-up question to
18 what has just been asked.
19 Yesterday, I addressed the same issue and I asked you, because
20 you were the one who told us that both the Croats and the Serbs were in
21 the same cellars, and this was quite surprising, since the Serbian
22 artillery was firing. And you responded by saying, yes, the people were
23 down in the cellars together, the Serbs and the Croats. And Mr. Seselj,
24 I believe, is in line with this. I assume that the people who were down
25 in the cellars must have talked to one another, must have wondered why
1 this shooting was taking place, and you yourself said that as far as you
2 were concerned, you found it difficult to understand that situation,
3 since the JNA was in a position to take the town at any time. Therefore,
4 a curious mind might want to understand what lay behind the shooting of
5 Vukovar. There was perhaps a hidden agenda. The idea might have been to
6 draw the attention of the international community on the situation
7 arising in Vukovar. Perhaps this might have a boomerang effect on
8 Croatia and its independence.
9 So you have been to university. I think you are someone that is
10 able to reflect on a number of matters. I don't want you to speculate,
11 but as an academic I would like you to assess the Prosecution's case.
12 What do you think this might be?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, all the intellectuals
14 in Vukovar were convinced, in 1991, just before everything happened, that
15 once the army came, everything would be over within a day or two, because
16 they did not see what force could stop the army from entering Vukovar and
17 changing the system, or, rather, bringing back the government organs of
18 the SFRY. So people were wondering. Of course they were wondering,
19 after the liberation of Vukovar, why everything had been destroyed, why
20 the artillery had to be used for shelling the city for two months.
21 However, no one had an answer. Do you realise that? It is so absurd.
22 Quite simply, people could not see an answer.
23 You cannot ask a normal, ordinary person to draw conclusions that
24 were made by some politicians in Belgrade.
25 Mr. Mrksic is a war criminal against the Serbs, as far as I am
1 concerned, personally, because he destroyed -- I mean, in actual fact,
2 Croatia should erect a monument to him and thank him for independence,
3 because had he not ordered the destruction of Vukovar, I don't know what
4 would have happened. Well, perhaps Croatia would have won independence
5 irrespective of that. However, Mr. Mrksic had many other possibilities.
6 What he did was a catastrophe for Serbs, Serbdom and Serbia and the
7 former Yugoslavia, and any form that could have suited the Serbs in any
9 I think that I have responded to Mr. Seselj as well, to his
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I think that your answer is too categorical. I have to put a
13 question to you. To what extent was Mrksic in charge of commanding the
14 artillery? You must bear in mind that there were three artillery units
15 firing at Vukovar, and not a single one of them was within the
16 Guards Brigade; right? The Guards Brigade was a mechanised brigade. It
17 had two battalions of the military police, it had personnel, it had
18 equipment. It didn't have artillery. The artillery was from the
19 Novi Sad Corps, and I'm not sure, I think there was some from the
20 Kragujevac Brigade, and there was one artillery unit on the other side of
21 the Danube.
22 Do you agree with me that the question has to be put at a higher
23 level; the commander of the 1st Army District, the chief of General
24 Staff, the minister of defence, the chief of the military security
25 service? Don't be so harsh on Colonel Mrksic. He didn't have that power
1 then. Somebody above him had that power; do you agree?
2 A. Well, look, I don't have much information --
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] As this question was being put,
4 Mr. Seselj adduces evidence and says who is part of the artillery. For
5 the time being I think --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, the problem is
7 that Mr. Seselj is putting his questions in the form of a question,
8 because if you look at page 79 and page 90, there are question marks at
9 the end of each sentence, and he says: "Do you agree?" So the witness
10 can say, "I don't know, I disagree, you're making a mistake." In that
11 case, it's a compounded question and a multiple question.
12 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I don't know how the witness can
13 answer all of these questions all at once.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please avoid
15 putting many-fold questions. You tend to put complex questions to the
16 witness. When someone is able to take all that in, that's fine, but
17 please try and put shorter questions so that we get shorter answers. But
18 I think he's perfectly capable of answering, so let him answer.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If Mr. Mrksic is indeed a Serb, and
20 if he feels himself to be a Serb, then in my opinion he should have had
21 the officer's honour and duty to do something at the time when he saw
22 what the artillery was doing and he must have known what was happening.
23 He could have handed in his recognition, he could have committed suicide,
24 he could have acted like an honourable Serb officer and arrested all
25 those shits.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. VS-002, let's try and take this in a calmer fashion. Let's
3 try and be calm here. I understand that you are revolted by the events
4 in Vukovar because you are a citizen of Vukovar. I'm just trying to look
5 at various levels of responsibility and determine them. I could have
6 committed suicide when I saw what was happening and that the town was
7 being destroyed without any reason. I didn't commit suicide, so perhaps
8 you'll hold that against me.
9 A. Well, you weren't the TO commander.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, he wasn't the immediate
11 artillery commander, but somebody made the decision at the level of the
12 General Staff and 1st Military District and the Ministry of Defence. It
13 was somebody else who made those decisions so that's what I wanted to put
14 to you. But that's not what I'm interested in especially here.
15 I have to let the Judges know that the Prosecutor yesterday
16 received an answer or a response from this same witness, saying that
17 there was a political reason for which the town was totally destroyed, so
18 I'm following on from what was said in the examination-in-chief.
19 And now the Prosecutor's jumping to his feet and making
20 objections. I'm just following on from this.
21 Do you remember, Judges, that was the answer given yesterday,
22 that there was a political reason for which Vukovar was to be totally
23 destroyed? So that's what I want to resolve now, because this is the
24 first, best-placed witness who, if nothing else, can deal with this in a
25 reasonable fashion and reason about it, and he was a citizen of Vukovar,
1 took part in the fighting, and has nothing to do with me and the
2 Serbian Radical Party, except that we met by chance once. And I forgot
3 about that meeting a long time ago, and he's just reminded me of it.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. As we were saying, let's come to the Ovcara question, although
7 we'll go back to what we were talking about earlier.
8 You said you saw two higher-ranking JNA officers there. You said
9 that one was a colonel, and as far as the other, that he had a lower
10 rank. Now, as you were at a certain distance, might you have not been
11 mistaken, because as far as I know, both of them were colonels? Is it
12 possible that I'm right on that score?
13 A. Yes, it is possible. As I said, I didn't hear the ranks -- see
14 the ranks. I just heard someone address one of them as colonel in the
15 singular so I didn't know what the other one was, but I thought that if
16 he was with a colonel, he might have been a subordinate officer and
17 therefore had a lower rank.
18 Q. Did you happen to realise that nobody had seen those two colonels
19 in Vukovar before; did you realise that?
20 A. I didn't give it any thought. It seems to me amazing that as far
21 as I was able to follow on the internet, the trials conducted about
22 Ovcara and Belgrade, that nobody in the JNA knows anything about it.
23 That seemed to me quite surprising.
24 Q. Well, that is the problem, because it is a partially-staged trial
25 in Belgrade and then nobody knows anything, whereas I do know about it.
1 I want to receive questions to my specific answers, whereas in my head it
2 is all clear to me. Have no doubts about that. All I want to ask you is
3 whether you ever saw those two colonels in Vukovar before.
4 A. No, I did not.
5 Q. I'm going to tell you what I know about that, and then I'll ask
6 you whether you agree with that or not.
7 The military head of security, General Aleksandar Vasiljevic was
8 reactivated after having retired, or, rather, he reactivated four
9 security officers led by Colonel Bogdan Vujic and sent them to Vukovar to
10 do the dirty work there at Ovcara. Is that possible? Is that how it
11 really happened? Would you say that was possible?
12 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection. The
13 witness is being asked to speculate. He didn't even know what the rank
14 of the second person who was there was.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, the case relating
16 to Vukovar, well, this Trial Chamber has been seized of this case. When
17 we hand down a judgement, we will have to determine, (a), what happened,
18 (b), who are the people who were responsible. We have learned, since the
19 Prosecution did not tell us, that there is a court case in Belgrade on a
20 particular event, and some people are involved in this case. The accused
21 is telling us that this trial is a staged trial in Belgrade, and is
22 partial. He would like to highlight the fact that these two colonels
23 were sent by a general to go and handle Vukovar.
24 The witness has seen a colonel and a captain, but he's not so
25 sure now, and the accused has evidence about the names of these colonels
1 and he's presenting his case. I don't see why the Prosecution is
2 standing in the way.
3 The Bench cannot only see one side of the story, that of the
4 Prosecution. We also need to hear the case of the Defence and draw our
5 own conclusions. For once, we have a witness who was there at the time,
6 who has seen a certain number of things with his own eyes, so we have to
7 make the most of it. We shall look into the facts, those facts that can
8 be established, and make a difference with what relates to speculation.
9 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I can only agree with you as far
10 as unravelling the truth is concerned, and I'm just a civil law lawyer.
11 There's no question of just seeing one side of the story, of course.
12 Now, the issue of the trial in Belgrade, I believe that a number
13 of witnesses have already told us that they testified in Belgrade before
14 a court of law. As far as this particular question is concerned, I
15 wonder whether this witness, who has just said that he didn't exactly
16 know what the rank of the second person was, is he the person whom one
17 should put this question to? The question Mr. Seselj is asking is
18 perhaps a relevant question, but I don't know whether this is the right
19 witness. It's not -- on the content of the question, it relates to the
20 witness himself.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. VS-002, you took part in the fighting in Vukovar sufficiently
24 for you to be able to get to know all the colonels which the
25 Guards Brigade had. Could there have been a colonel hidden away
1 somewhere in the Guards Brigade which you -- whom you hadn't seen before
2 the fall of Vukovar? Would that have been possible at all?
3 A. In my case, probably not, because for some reason I knew quite a
4 lot of the officers from before the war.
5 Q. Well, did you serve the army in that unit? Many did. It's not
6 going to disclose your identity in any way if you answer.
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. So we know who, in the Guards Brigade, had the rank of colonel.
9 Colonel Mile Mrksic was one, Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic. Was there other?
10 The others were lieutenant-colonels, majors, captains, corporals, or
11 whatever; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The chief of the Guards Brigade was Lieutenant-Colonel
14 Miodrag Panic, was he not?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. Well, I remember, because he presented me with -- you know why I
17 remember? When I visited Vukovar, General Mrksic made a dinner for me at
18 his headquarters in Negoslavci, and we had army beans and sausages.
19 Because everybody joked about the small size of my helmet or my head,
20 Colonel Miodrag Panic gave me his helmet, and then they were laughing
21 because it was the same. And they said it was not the helmet that was
22 too small, it was my head that was too big.
23 So do you remember that I had a helmet on my head when I came to
25 A. It's like this: I remember your photograph from the papers, and
1 you did indeed have a helmet on your head in that photograph, I think.
2 I'm not quite sure about that helmet, to be --
3 Q. Well, you don't have to remember those details, but I remember
4 them because I was a direct participant, of course. But is one fact
5 indisputable, that these colonels -- at least one colonel, and I say that
6 the other man was a colonel, too, whom you saw at Ovcara, you'd never
7 seen before in Vukovar; is that right?
8 A. I had never seen them, period; not only in Vukovar, but I had
9 never seen them at all anywhere.
10 Q. Now look at this. We had some victim witnesses here who by
11 chance managed to get away with their lives --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this question is of
13 importance. I had no idea what questions Mr. Seselj was going to put to
14 you, but a few hours ago I asked questions about this colonel. If you
15 look at the transcript, you will find that I found it surprising that you
16 mentioned a captain and a colonel without giving their names, and I asked
17 you why you did not give us their names. I thought you were going to
18 answer it was Colonel Mrksic, but you did not say that, so then I
19 wondered who that colonel was. And now it comes out of the
20 cross-examination that there was another colonel who had nothing to do
21 with the organisation in place, someone who would have come from outside.
22 Are you absolutely sure that someone said, "Colonel, Colonel,"
23 are you absolutely sure about that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm quite certain of that,
25 100 per cent, because they addressed one of them as colonel, they said,
1 "Colonel." As far as the other one is concerned, well, I thought he was
2 a captain, but I'm no longer sure, myself, and of course the possibility
3 does exist that he might have been a colonel too.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Well, possibly you are uncertain because a captain and a colonel
6 has three stars, whereas a colonel has two gold circles round the stars,
7 whereas a captain doesn't. But at a distance of 50 or 100 metres, you
8 can perhaps see the gold stars but not the circles round them.
9 A. Well, I really can't remember. It wasn't that essential, as far
10 as I was concerned. I wasn't focusing on that point. I wasn't thinking
11 about ranks. All I seem to remember is that one was a colonel, so I
12 thought the other one was a captain. Now, why I thought the other one
13 was a captain, I really can't say.
14 Q. I have to tell you that we heard testimony here from some Croats
15 who were incarcerated in Ovcara. They appeared as victim witnesses, and
16 I think that they were fair in their testimony, by and large - I have to
17 say that too - and they saw that these two colonels were drawing up lists
18 of the prisoners in the hangar. Did you happen to notice anything
19 similar, anything like that?
20 A. No.
21 Q. According to their testimony, it was obvious that they came to
22 establish the number of people there and to issue orders about what was
23 to be done subsequently with the prisoners. Was that obvious to you,
25 A. No. I had quite the opposite impression, that they were made to
1 go away from there, sent away from there. But as I say, I wasn't there
2 all the time. I was absent on two occasions for an hour or two, so I
3 don't know what actually went on there all the time.
4 Q. But I remember one thing, and I seem to have made a note of it.
5 When you were asked by Judge Harhoff, you said, in response, that until
6 the very last moment, you didn't know what was to be done with the
7 prisoners; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That means that none of those present, the territorials, the
10 volunteers, the soldiers, nobody had any idea of what was going to happen
11 ultimately to the prisoners; is that correct?
12 A. That is correct. Perhaps Miroljub might have known, as the
13 commander, but the rest of us didn't, no.
14 Q. All right. Since we're dealing with people being tried in
15 Belgrade, I'm not going to mention their names at all. Let them prove
16 whether they are guilty, or innocent, or whatever. I'm not going to
17 involve myself in that, meddle in that, but I am interested in certain
18 things to deal with Kameni. We probably won't have enough time to get
19 through that today, so we'll do that tomorrow.
20 But the essential point here, and you can confirm that now,
21 confirm my opinion, my viewpoint, my knowledge and information, that the
22 people who were at Ovcara and took part in beatings -- in the beatings,
23 they wouldn't have done that had they known that the prisoners would be
24 executed subsequently? Do you agree with me there?
25 A. I really didn't give it any thought previously.
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you want me to continue?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I didn't hear the Prosecutor say
4 anything. He sprang up, he was on his feet, but I didn't hear what he
5 had to say, whether he had any objections. Perhaps his chair is giving
6 him some trouble and he's jumping up and down. Perhaps he should be
7 offered another chair.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I believe that because of
9 the answer, the objection lost all its value.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So you then agree that somebody organised all this at Ovcara in
12 order to have a political effect; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you said that yesterday during the examination-in-chief, you
15 said something similar to that; isn't that right?
16 A. Yes. I thought I said that. That's my opinion. I don't
17 remember whether I actually expressed it or not.
18 Q. All right, very well. Now, in a few words, we're going to deal
19 with another issue -- or, rather, the question of my visit to Vukovar.
20 You've already said that throughout the time, there was shooting
21 from Croatian artillery and that they seemed to be looking for the
22 location I was in, so that means that we were subject to danger; I was,
23 myself, and all the people around me. Is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you remember that there was shooting from rifles, automatic
1 weapons, snipers, while I was touring the frontline?
2 A. I wasn't in front at the time, really. I can't remember why, but
3 I went back because of something, so that -- well, I do know because they
4 told me. People told me, the people from my unit, that you were warned
5 not to expose yourself very much because the Ustashas were there and that
6 they might shoot at you, but that you didn't want to listen.
7 Now, I personally don't know anything about snipers.
8 Q. Yes, but we were exposed to risk and we could have been killed at
9 any moment; is that right?
10 A. Right.
11 Q. Now, under such conditions and circumstances, was it possible for
12 me to rally around me 50, 100, or more volunteers, territorials, soldiers
13 of the JNA and to deliver a speech to them? Was that possible, even if I
14 had wanted to?
15 A. No, not at that point in time, no.
16 Q. Was there any period during my visit to Vukovar where I could
17 have held a rally like that to gather people around me and to hold forth
18 to deliver a speech? Was that at all possible at any time during the
20 A. Well, I don't know if you could have done that, I can't say. I
21 didn't hear of anything like that happening. Now, what the possibilities
22 were, the feasibility of it, I don't know.
23 Q. But you probably would have heard if something like that had
24 happened. They would have talked about it, they would have said, "That
25 madman is holding a rally with the snipers firing round about." That
1 would have been the reaction of ordinary people?
2 A. I assume that most probably I would have heard about it and that
3 I would have attended, because I would have been very interested in
4 hearing what there was to hear, what there was to say.
5 Q. Perhaps my question is surprising to you, but we have heard
6 testimony from several false witnesses who claim that I delivered some
7 sort of speech over there. That's why I'm asking you, so that you
8 shouldn't be surprised.
9 A. I know nothing about that.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that the
11 term "false witnesses" should not be used, and it may influence the
12 answers of the witness. I strongly object to that type of wording being
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Seselj, you've
15 mentioned "false witnesses" a number of times. The Chamber has no idea
16 about what the situation is. We'll need to decide about that in due
17 course. Please try to avoid calling people false witnesses. You may be
18 right, but you may be wrong as well, and there's no need to use that sort
19 of language in front of a witness, who may think that he can be regarded
20 as a potential false witness.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I insist on my right
22 to use those terms. This is a cross-examination, and my freedom is much
23 greater than the Prosecutor's freedom during the examination-in-chief.
24 And, secondly, I have already expressed my position that I
25 believe that the testimony of this witness is very fair, at least in
1 terms of the indictment against me. It is my right to claim that the
2 indictment is false, however, and the Prosecution here is bringing
3 forward false witnesses. I will never give that right up.
4 What you are stating, as Judges, that you have not affirmed
5 yourself of that yet, that is up to you, and it will then depend on the
6 judgement. I, however, don't have anything like that here. I was not
7 afraid in Vukovar, I was not afraid of the bullets, and I'm not afraid of
8 the judgement. So I am actually not going to give up my right to
9 describe them how I wish, but I have not been revealing any particulars
10 about their identity or anything like that, or have not put them in any
11 danger at all. So would you please allow me to continue with my
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you will be allowed to
14 continue with your cross-examination. Of course, I can't prevent you
15 from using such-and-such term. I can't prevent you from doing so. The
16 only thing I can do is to tell you that you should not use these words.
17 You've explained at length why you believe that the indictment is a false
18 indictment. You've repeatedly said that some witnesses are false
19 witnesses. We've heard you. We'll have to decide eventually what
20 conclusions should be drawn. But if you keep repeating the same thing,
21 the representatives of the OTP will stand up systematically to object,
22 and we are wasting time.
23 You're dealing with interesting points, and I find that more
24 interesting than a discussion about false witnesses. You have the
25 opportunity to highlight significant points for your case. Please take
1 advantage of that. Get to the point. Highlight your arguments without
2 talking about false witnesses, because if tomorrow you use the same words
3 again, the Prosecutor, this one or another one, will stand up to object,
4 and I again will have to repeat what I'm saying just now.
5 We've been discussing this topic ten times already. You are an
6 intelligent man. You have demonstrated it on many occasions. Please get
7 to the point. That's what we find interesting here.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, I should add something and
9 tell Mr. Seselj that the Trial Chamber is in a position and can tell him
10 not to use that sort of language. The next time Mr. Seselj uses that
11 sort of language, I'm going to ask the Trial Chamber to make a ruling on
12 that point.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You can take away my right to my
14 defence, too. That would not be the first time that happens to me.
15 Please keep in mind that nothing can surprise me and I'm prepared for
16 everything, but you may wish -- you may do whatever you wish. However, I
17 did not use anything in my cross-examination that was not permissible
18 according to the Anglo-Saxon system.
19 Let us remember what the cross-examination was like in the famous
20 case of Oscar Wilde. Okay, I'm perhaps not at that level, but perhaps
21 even 100 points higher.
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] This is a mixed jurisdiction and
23 not a common-law jurisdiction.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Precisely. The mixed elements are
25 to my prejudice, I must note.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj. I
2 can't say anything with respect to the common-law system. Of course, I'm
3 going to look into this matter, but in my own country no accused, no
4 lawyer, can be prevented from saying that a witness is a false witness,
5 but of course he has to prove what he's saying.
6 Now, when it comes to the common-law system, as part of the
7 cross-examination, can one be allowed to say that someone is a false
8 witness? I don't know, I have no idea. My fellow Judge is quite right
9 in saying that we are working here in a mixed system, and we need to look
10 into this matter in the perspective -- from the perspective of the
11 common-law system, from the perspective of the mixed system. If my
12 fellow Judge wants us to look into the matter, we can do so, but
13 Mr. Mundis, who is from a common-law jurisdiction, may be able to shed
14 some light on this for us.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Of course, the Prosecution, if it would be helpful, would be
17 prepared to brief this issue fully for the benefit of the Trial Chamber.
18 The gist of this type of objection or this type of problem, from
19 what might be considered more of a common-law perspective, is simply that
20 it's argumentative, and in that sense I think the procedural framework in
21 which we operate does borrow a bit from the common law. We save
22 arguments for the end of the case, when all of the evidence is in. It's
23 premature at this stage to be considering any witness's testimony to be
24 false, because the Trial Chamber hasn't heard all of the evidence, and so
25 in that respect we save, in the common law, the argument for the end of
1 the trial when all the evidence is in. Similarly, the Prosecution
2 doesn't stand up and bolster for the credibility of the witness at the
3 end of their testimony. We don't make comments along the way that this
4 witness is truthful or this witness is not. These are matters to be
5 addressed at the end of the case, when the Trial Chamber has heard all of
6 the evidence.
7 Again, we can fully brief this issue if the Trial Chamber would
8 be interested in that, but the gist of it is that in the proceedings
9 here, we save argument until the end of the trial. We don't have a
10 string of ongoing argumentation concerning the evidence that's led on a
11 daily basis.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. What Mr. Mundis is
13 saying is in line with what I said, myself. I said that ultimately,
14 eventually, we would decide whether some of the witnesses had been false
15 witnesses or not.
16 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor. We have eight minutes left for
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Seselj, please.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just need to remind you that the
20 previous witness, when he testified, you brought him a standby lawyer
21 because the Prosecution established that the witness was lying, but still
22 they did not -- still they brought him forward to testify. But never
23 mind, I still have a couple of questions to finish a topic for today, and
24 then tomorrow we'll discuss some other things.
25 Q. Judge Antonetti here asked you whether you heard over the sound
1 system if I was calling Ustashas or Croat soldiers, I don't remember
2 which term I used, was calling them to surrender. You said that you
3 didn't hear anything like that. Do you know if, in late September or
4 early October, this was done by the Serb Radio Vukovar, perhaps?
5 A. There was a radio and some journalist. I think his last name was
6 Stankovic. He was giving reports. I don't know if this was on
7 Radio Vukovar or not. I really can't remember.
8 Q. I'm asking you this because I seem to remember that a journalist
9 from Vukovar came to Belgrade for an interview with me. Did you maybe
10 hear this interview with me broadcast on Radio Vukovar at the time when I
11 was not there?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Unfortunately, I did not keep the audiotape of that interview
14 because of the circumstances under which it was broadcast, but I do seem
15 to recall that at that time, I did issue an appeal that the Croatian
16 paramilitaries and the Ustashas should surrender in order to avoid
17 further sacrifices and destruction. This was in late September or early
18 October. But there are witnesses here who have testified and said that
19 they have heard my voice over some sort of loudspeaker, but I don't know
20 if there was a system like that at all. Was there any kind of
21 loudspeaker system set up on the truck that moved through Vukovar?
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the witness very
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, sorry, the interpreters are unable
25 to catch what you're saying when you have your hand in front of your
1 mouth, so please speak directly into the microphone. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I know, representatives
3 of the Guards Brigade, officers, a couple of times did call the Ustashas
4 to surrender over the loudspeaker. I cannot be sure, but I even think
5 that Major Sljivancanin called them to surrender, also using the
6 loudspeaker. I know that they tried to get in touch with Jastreb. They
7 also called him to surrender. But I didn't hear you calling anyone to
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Did any of the officers who addressed the people over the
11 loudspeaker pronounce the letter "R" in this French way in which I am
12 pronouncing it? Do you seem to recall anything like that, perhaps?
13 A. No, I don't recall that at all.
14 Q. All right. These are just details, but they did draw my
15 attention to me that there was an officer who pronounced the sound "R" in
16 a similar way, so perhaps this is where the confusion comes from.
17 Anyway, you said after the war, Stanko Vujanovic became a member
18 of the Serbian Radical Party; after the war, is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Do you remember when the Serbian Radical Party in Vukovar was
21 founded? According to my information, this was sometime in the spring of
23 A. I don't know. I know that he did become a member, and later he
24 was given the title of "vojvoda," but I don't know when exactly this was.
25 Q. Do you recall that the president of the Serbian Radical Party in
1 Republika Srpska Krajina was Rade Leskovac?
2 A. Yes, that's true.
3 Q. He's from Vukovar?
4 A. No, he's somewhere from the outskirts of Osijek.
5 Q. Actually, you're right. He's from Osijek, and then during the
6 war he fled to liberated territory.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know that during the war, he was a member of the
9 Serbian Democratic Party and he was the deputy minister for information
10 in the government of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem and that
11 he appeared on television in that capacity?
12 A. Yes, but I have a very bad opinion of that man because he
13 changed -- switched parties like underwear.
14 Q. I'm not asking you what sort of a man he was. I'm talking to you
15 about facts. You cannot dispute the fact that he was the president of
16 the Serbian Radical Party for the entire Serbian Krajina; is that
18 A. That is correct. May I answer? Look, he was a member of some
19 party before the war, during the war. After the war, he became a
20 radical. I don't know how long he was a radical for. He probably
21 switched parties again, and he probably founded his own party as well.
22 He probably again has a party of his, but I really don't know. I wasn't
23 that interested in him.
24 Q. The only thing that is important to me is that you recall that
25 for a while he was the president of the Serbian Radical Party for the
1 Republic of Serbian Krajina; you do not dispute that. Do you agree with
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Do you know that Stanko Vujanovic in 1993 was a candidate for an
5 assemblyman representing the Serbian Radical Party?
6 A. Yes, I know that he was an assemblyman candidate. I think that
7 this was in 1993. You probably have the correct information.
8 Q. The first democratic elections in the Republic of Serbian Krajina
9 took part in December of 1993?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you know he was elected by a large majority as an
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I'm not asking you what you think about him, what you think about
15 Rade Leskovac, and I'm not voicing my own opinion about them, either.
16 I'm just going over facts here. During the war in Vukovar, did you even
17 hear of anyone enrolling people into the Serbian Radical Party, bringing
18 in application forms and enrolling civilians, soldiers, JNA members,
19 volunteers? Did you ever hear of anything like that?
20 A. No.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, the answer is, "No."
22 We need to adjourn now. We'll resume tomorrow morning at 8.30.
23 Mr. Seselj, you will have two hours and 20 minutes to complete
24 your cross-examination.
25 We'll resume tomorrow morning at 8.30.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.15 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 8th day of
3 May, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.