1 Tuesday, 4 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 8.32 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, kindly call
6 the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
8 everyone in the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Vojislav Seselj.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Registrar.
12 Today is Tuesday, the 4th of November, 2008. Good morning to the
13 OTP representatives, to Mr. Mundis and Mr. Dutertre, good morning to
14 their team, and good morning to Mr. Seselj. Good morning to all the
15 people helping us.
16 I can tell you straight away that we will stop today at five to
17 1.00, because at 1.00 the President of this Tribunal is going to be
18 elected. This is the reason why we shall stop today at five to 1.00.
19 I also wanted to ask this of the Prosecution, and later on I'll
20 put the question to Mr. Seselj: We seek a clarification regarding Davor
21 Strinovic. Regarding his testimony, the Trial Chamber has been seized of
22 two motions: One of the 13th of July, 2006; the other dated 18th of
23 September, 2008. "Mr. Seselj," I was going to say.
24 Mr. Mundis, you're on your feet.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Just in anticipation of whatever question or
1 clarification Your Honour was going to put to me.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So just wait before you answer,
3 because this is going to be a long question.
4 We have two motions: One of the 13th of July, 2006; the other
5 being of the 18th of September, 2008. There are several attachments or
6 schedules to these motions with basically the same documents, seeking for
7 them to be tendered. These exhibits were tendered and admitted in the
8 Milosevic and Mrksic cases, but their legal foundation is not the same,
9 either it's the former 92 bis (D), a basis of foundation that was changed
10 to 92 ter by the Prosecution, or is it a 94(B).
11 The question before the Trial Chamber is as follows: Does the
12 Prosecution request admission on the sole foundation of 94(B) or is the
13 Prosecution's motion based on both Rules on an alternative base?
14 If it's too complicated right now, you can give an answer later
15 on, another day, but this is the question I wanted to put to you.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Good morning, Your Honours, to the accused, and to everyone in
18 and around the courtroom.
19 We would be proceeding on the basis of an alternative
20 formulation, so 94(B) or, in the alternative, 92 bis (D).
21 Let me also, while I'm on my feet, with respect to this witness
22 indicate and flag up, we're in the final stages of trying to add a few
23 witnesses for the next few weeks, in order to make sure that the schedule
24 proceeds as smoothly as possible. Professor Strinovic has agreed to
25 travel to The Hague on the 9th of November and to testify on the 11th of
1 November, which is one week from today. I will be confirming all of that
2 and putting it in writing to the Trial Chamber and to Dr. Seselj, but it
3 is our intention at this stage to bring Professor Strinovic next week,
4 barring any unforeseen circumstances.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this gives me an
6 opportunity to ask this of Dr. Seselj: Mr. Seselj, on the 2nd of
7 October, 2008, you received the translation into B/C/S, into your
8 language, of the motion of the 18th of September, 2008. Do you plan to
9 file a response to that motion of the 18th of September, 2008, whilst the
10 deadline, the time limit of 14 days, has already past?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have several
12 things which I should like to tell you.
13 First of all, I have no intention of responding in writing to
14 that motion, because all communication with my legal advisers has been
16 Secondly, I cannot, in fact, recall in essence the content of
17 that motion because it was submitted to me a month or so ago.
18 Thirdly, I do not believe that there is anything of the essence
19 in there on account of which I would have to state my view in order to
20 facilitate your situation.
21 Fourthly, I should just like to point to the action of the OTP.
22 Dr. Strinovic was announced for the 25th of November, and now he's being
23 announced for the next week. This is unfair. I have nothing against it.
24 I am prepared for Davor Strinovic for the next week, but I have to say
25 that this is an unfair proceeding.
1 And, fifthly, and most importantly, if we are talking about
2 documents that have been tendered in other cases, then it didn't cost the
3 OTP anything to adapt those documents to this particular case, to
4 designate them numbers within this case, and to find them as such --
5 tender them as such, rather than have me investigating other cases. If
6 we are talking about hearings in other cases and the transcripts being
7 admitted, then I'm adamantly against that, because no Defence in any
8 other case can coincide with the thesis of my own Defence, aside the fact
9 that I consider many he Defences in this Tribunal to be incompetent, that
10 they actually operated to the detriment of the accused, and that they
11 work with some instructions or factors which cannot be clearly and
12 precisely identified but certainly do exist.
13 So as the expert report of Davor Strinovic actually no way
14 collaborates the OTP's thesis against me, as it deals with autopsies of
15 victims of crimes, which are, of course, indubitable, it can be useful
16 for certain thesis of the Defence.
17 You will see, although there have been some witnesses who have
18 falsely claimed here that some victims have been killed with cold steel,
19 that some weapons that have not been used have been used, the expert can
20 tell us whether there really had been victims that died of cold steel,
21 whether a 357 magnum revolver ammunition had been used, et cetera. Of
22 course, that can be useful, but it has to be viva voce testimony, because
23 evidence tendered in other cases has to be adapted to this case and be
24 tendered as an addition under 65 ter, while it is out of the question for
25 transcripts of the hearings of these witnesses in other cases to be
1 admitted or to be accepted.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding this last point,
3 Mr. Seselj, admittedly this expert witness was scheduled for the 25th of
4 November, but you know that we have run into scheduling problems which
5 are connected with the fact that some witnesses that were scheduled are
6 not going to appear or have disappeared. We have to adjust to the
7 circumstances, and this is the reason why Mr. Strinovic has been put
8 forward and is going to testify on the 11th of November.
9 This being said, regarding the issue of exhibits, I listened to
10 you with great care. At first blush, as far as I'm concerned, at least,
11 I agree with you. The fact that exhibits were admitted in other cases
12 does not automatically mean that they have to be admitted here. We have
13 Rule 94(B) that says clearly that ex officio, or upon the request of
14 parties and after hearing the parties, the Trial Chamber may decide to
15 take judicial notice of facts or documentary evidence admitted in other
16 cases brought before the Tribunal connected to the instant case. It so
17 happens that the Milosevic case was not completed. This is a very
18 special case, and the Mrksic case at appeal stage.
19 Therefore, we're going to have the expert witness. No doubt the
20 Prosecutor is going to submit documents probably coming from the
21 Milosevic and Mrksic cases. You are going to cross-examine the witness.
22 There's going to be questions by the Judges. So we will rule on the
23 admission of exhibits in the final stage, after all the other procedural
24 steps. So this is what I wanted to convey to you.
25 Dr. Seselj, I think you had something else to say.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, but beforehand, I need to
2 ask this of the accused: Could you be more specific when you refer to
3 the issue of disclosure? You say that privileged disclosure was
4 interrupted, not disclosure or communication in a general way.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, did you have other
6 housekeeping matters?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have two other
8 administrative issues to raise.
9 Upon returning from the court on the 29th of October, in the
10 evening, I received a new letter from the Registrar, informing me that
11 the severance of communication with my legal advisers has been extended
12 by another month. Communication with the legal advisers, Judge Lattanzi,
13 can be privileged or it can be nonexistent. There is not a civilised
14 state in this world where anyone can, in fact, listen in on the
15 conversations of an accused with members of his Defence team, at least I
16 know of no such state. But I've been here for quite a long time, six
17 years. Perhaps things have changed. The world has changed
18 substantially. This globalism as the new totalitarianism has made
19 headway in many countries.
20 Here, the Registrar first invokes the information that he had
21 available, which is exclusively statements of Tomislav Nikolic given to
22 the Serbian media, to the effect that I had used this privileged
23 communication line with my legal advisers to conduct political talks with
24 my collaborators and to give them political instructions. That is
25 repeated in this second paragraph of the Registrar's decision.
1 And the Registrar also finds fault with me because I am using
2 that telephone for things which are not connected with the preparation of
3 my Defence; that is to say, the Registrar takes Tomislav Nikolic's word
4 for it. So Tomislav Nikolic has become, of late, the pit of America,
5 et cetera --
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please. If I'm not
7 mistaken, you yourself said during a hearing, and please correct me if
8 I'm wrong, you said that through this privileged line, you spoke to
9 associates that were other associates than those who enjoy a privileged
10 status. Am I wrong?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, you are not wrong. I was given
12 just one single telephone number to use it in privileged communication.
13 That is the telephone number of the office of my legal adviser/lawyer
14 Slavko Jerkovic. I was never able to call my other legal advisers using
15 that telephone, but I sit here in the courtroom. Whenever I was to make
16 a call, I would inform them in advance that I would be making that call,
17 so that the other legal advisers would be there and the other members of
18 my Defence team as well; my investigators, in other words, as well as
19 other legal advisers who have not been registered here.
20 However, on several occasions, by a special submission, I
21 informed the Registrar who the team members for my Defence were; and in
22 each of my submissions to the Trial Chamber, I listed names on the cover
23 page. So no one can actually deny me the right to be -- keep in touch
24 with them and to give them tasks in terms of what they are to do in the
25 field in order to obtain certain facts, information, or documents which
1 are of the essence for my Defence.
2 I should like to remind you, Madam Lattanzi, that my predecessor
3 in the exercise of this right to defend himself, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic,
4 had available a separate office for his use, which I do not have. I do
5 not have one. He had a special telephone line which only he used. I
6 don't have one. Thirdly, Mr. Milosevic - and I'm an eyewitness to that
7 because I saw him three or four times when my testimony was being
8 prepared - could call literally whomever he pleased using that telephone
9 line. So the restrictions placed on me are much, much harsher.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I have a question in
11 this respect.
12 Did you file a request with the Registry for leave to use a
13 privileged line with those of your associates who did not enjoy a
14 privileged status? Have you made the request for leave to use another
15 line with those people? Have you done anything to be able to extend the
16 use of that line? I don't know, maybe it would have been possible to get
17 something else, something extra. But have you made the request; and if
18 you did ask, we need to know that.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madam Lattanzi, I've done so
20 repeatedly on several occasions throughout 2007. The President of the
21 Trial Chamber, Judge Antonetti, was the Pre-Trial Judge. He even asked
22 that a telephone line and a fax be installed in my cell so that I could
23 receive fax messages during the night as well, and the Registry responded
24 that it was impossible because other convicts in Scheveningen could use
25 the telephone in my cell. That was the response I received.
1 So these are questions which have been thrashed out innumerable
2 times at innumerable Status Conferences throughout 2007. In the end, it
3 all boiled down to this: I am able to just dial one telephone line,
4 telephone number, and that the privileged telephone set is in the
5 corridor. So when I make a call, all the convicts which are in that part
6 of the unit can hear my conversation.
7 I have a quite loud voice, I'm not used to whispering, and the
8 cells are right there, and I'm making the calls right outside their
9 cells. I have reconciled myself to that situation. I used that
10 particular line, but now I am left even without that.
11 Why am I insisting on this so much? I have my reasons. The
12 basic argumentation of my Defence in my concluding remarks will be that
13 this is an irregular trial because of this, this, and that. One of the
14 reasons will be this that we are talking about. It is for me to warn you
15 of this. It is up to you to see to the fairness of the trial. It is not
16 for me to see to the fairness of the trial. In fact, it is in my
17 interest for this trial to be objectively unfair for every neutral
18 observer. It is not enough for justice to be done. It has to be seen
19 that justice is being done. That is the essence.
20 The second argument which has to do with this decision of the
21 Registrar, if you will allow me. Can I continue?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Registrar also said that he is
24 to consider the serious claims of harassment or intimidation which are
25 contained in a number of submissions to be considered to be discussed by
1 the Trial Chamber. In fact, what the Registrar is doing, he's using the
2 OTP submissions, which have not been ruled on yet, in order to
3 substantiate his decision to sever my communication because ostensibly I
4 have intimidated people.
5 The Registrar has also objections to the fact that my advisers,
6 my collaborators, are my long hand. So what? That is only normal. I
7 was not in a single location during the actual commission of the crimes.
8 I, as a rule, do not know these concrete perpetrators. How can I defend
9 myself if I do not talk have my investigators and if do not communicate
10 with my investigators? Although I demanded in writing to be able to be
11 visited by investigators, this has never been granted me. I actually
12 only gained the right to legal advisers visits in 2006, after five years
13 of staying here.
14 Towards the end of the first page, the Registrar utters this
15 threat. He says: "If proceedings for contempt of court or disciplinary
16 proceedings are instituted against my legal advisers, he can decide to
17 actually revoke their appointments." These are just empty threats.
18 These are threats, but these are empty threats. But if he revokes them,
19 I will not do that, because they will remain my legal advisers until I
20 lose confidence in them and I revoke them. I will not have the Registrar
21 revoking them. They're used to this in other cases, and the basic
22 problem of this Tribunal is the that Tribunal is paying for the lawyers,
23 and the lawyers are not working in the interests of the accused but in
24 the interests of the Registry, the OTP, et cetera. That is why many
25 defences are non-starters here.
1 This is the first time the Registrar is coming across a serious
2 defence, and I consider myself a serious defence and superior in respect
3 of all other lawyers who work here, because in contrast to them, I know
4 how much -- how to defend myself and I do not shirk from really saying
5 what I think at every moment, and they do. Their mouths can be shut by a
6 threat of the Presiding Judge or by a frown on the face of the acting OTP
7 representative. There have been numerous examples in this Tribunal of
8 that, and I can quote them from the practice of Toma Fila and on. That
9 is as far as the Registrar's decision is concerned.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we know all this.
11 I shall answer to part of what you said, but could you please
12 finish and formulate your request?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is the first question. I have
14 another question to raise.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, as to the first question
16 regarding communication, last time you put this issue to the Trial
17 Chamber following the decision made by the Registrar. He extended, by
18 another 30 days, his decision based, so it seems, but I haven't read the
19 decision yet, based on the fact that allegedly Mr. Nikolic said that you
20 used the line for other purposes than your defence and, secondly, also on
21 the basis of other proceedings.
22 Last time I told you that this Trial Chamber would hand down a
23 decision following your oral request. I shall speak about it with my
24 colleagues for that to be done very quickly. Indeed, as a Judge, when I
25 hear you say that this is an unfair trial, that's like an electroshock to
1 me. So this decision will say very quickly, as a Trial Chamber or as an
2 individual opinion, will say exactly the problem that is raised by
3 communication between an accused and his advisers or associates.
4 So we have taken due note of what you said. Of course, the Trial
5 Chamber will have to give you an answer, but you know this as well as I
6 do. You can also challenge this with the President of the Tribunal. You
7 can challenge the decision made by the Registrar. That's the first
9 Now, what was the second thing you wanted to say?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is something that is just now
11 being prepared in the Registry against me, but I have reliable
12 information about it; and in my eyes, it is a much greater danger than
13 what is happening currently. Under the instructions of the US and
14 British intelligence services, Aleksandar Vucic and Tomislav Nikolic have
15 been, for quite a while, campaigning in Belgrade against me, stating that
16 I had ordered their liquidation or that I had instructed the activists of
17 my Serbian Radical Party to cause bloodshed at their rallies. The Yellow
18 Press in Belgrade has been writing about it for days, as well as certain
19 media under the influence of Serbian tycoons. You're probably familiar
20 with this because you are following the reporting concerning this trial.
21 What is the point? The point is to create in the public the
22 impression that I'm really endangering someone's life.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sorry, my mic was not on. What
25 does the Registrar have to do with all this, with this press campaign
1 that you're now mentioning?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They have something to do with it,
3 because the Registrar is getting ready to use this campaign, led by
4 Aleksandar Vucic and Tomislav Nikolic, to write a new decision
5 prohibiting all further family or other visits to me. For seven months
6 in end 2003 and early 2004, the Registrar had already done this; and
7 again for two months on a later occasion, they prohibited all telephone
8 communications and family visits to me under the pretext that I'm
9 intimidating or endangering the life of some people. Then they used it
10 to prepare a submission, a motion to impose counsel on me, and I am not
11 able to effectively represent myself unless I have the cooperation of my
12 advisers. That is the point of the conspiracy. I'm no paranoid. I'm
13 just a person with enormous political experience who is perfectly able to
14 draw conclusions from the moves made against me.
15 And as for the campaign, I'm sure you're aware of it. He ordered
16 bloodshed to be caused, he ordered a contract killing, et cetera,
17 et cetera. All those who have so far accused me of jeopardising anyone's
18 life had no evidence whatsoever. They said I endangered the life of some
19 witnesses. Who? Albanians killed some witnesses off and nobody made a
20 move, nobody lifted a finger in this Tribunal. There were a couple of
21 witnesses here who only claimed somebody was harassing them by phone, and
22 that was so transparent, it was ridiculous. What would be my interest in
23 harassing a witness or intimidating them, when I'm so superior to all of
25 I want to triumph in this trial, and I will. Whatever the
1 judgement, the triumph will be mine, I assure you. But I draw your
2 attention to what is going on, because this trial is being supervised by
3 the US and British intelligence services very closely because of their
4 strategic interests in the Balkans. I have been here for six years now.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I read in the
6 newspapers articles related to Mr. Vucic and Mr. Nikolic. I believe that
7 a rally was supposed to take place and that it was cancelled at the very
8 last minute. From what I read in the paper, investigations are underway,
9 but it's up to local authorities to try to shed some light on this
11 Now, with respect to the impact of what took place there on your
12 visits, now that's a different kettle of fish altogether. I do not know
13 exactly what the Registrar will do about this. If the Registrar makes an
14 administrative decision, you can challenge it with the President of the
15 Tribunal, if you believe that it endangers your defence. You can also
16 refer the matter to the Trial Chamber. I've always repeated that
17 presumption of innocence is the rule, the absolute rule. And as far as
18 I'm concerned, I do not see why you should be forbidden from meeting with
19 your wife.
20 So what you should do now is to see what will happen, and we're
21 going to have the witness brought in now. But before doing so, let me
22 turn to the OTP.
23 We learned that on the 3rd of November, you sent a letter to
24 Mr. Seselj, telling him that you were disclosing a number of documents
25 under Rule 68(I). These are exculpatory documents. You explained that
1 you found these documents at the last minute and that because of that,
2 you could not provide a translation. Is it really what happened
3 yesterday, Mr. Dutertre?
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes. Good morning, Your Honours.
5 Good morning, Mr. Seselj.
6 Last night, in a letter copied to the Chamber, we explained to
7 Mr. Seselj that a number of 68 documents related to Dr. Bosanac have not
8 been translated into B/C/S. As a result, so far, these documents have
9 not been disclosed to Mr. Seselj. We have attached the list of the
10 relevant documents to the letter, and everyone can have an idea about the
11 nature of these documents and about the number of documents we are
12 talking about.
13 Because of scheduling problems you referred to yourself,
14 Your Honour, we decided nonetheless to have Dr. Bosanac testify today.
15 Of course, the OTP has no qualms about Dr. Bosanac being called back to
16 testify again, once the documents have been disclosed to Mr. Seselj, and
17 if he believes he has questions to put to her on the basis of these
18 documents. We believe that the rights of Mr. Seselj are protected here.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you tell us, document by
20 document, Mr. Dutertre, which documents could be relevant? That way,
21 things will be much clearer.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] With respect to exculpatory
23 documents, the OTP has a very broad understanding of this decision -- of
24 this definition. We disclose everything that could be used by the
25 Defence. So, in that list, you will find a large variety of documents.
1 Sometimes it's not very clear whether the document is exculpatory or not,
2 but if there is a doubt in that matter, then we classify it under
3 Rule 68.
4 From memory, it would be a bit tricky for me to tell you, for
5 each document, whether it is more relevant or not. What happens is that
6 over these past few weeks, Mr. Seselj has received a number of documents
7 under Rule 66, 66(B), and 68, and the information contained in the
8 documents that have not been disclosed are already to be found in the
9 disclosed documents. In other words, Mr. Seselj already has at his
10 disposal most of the exculpatory data related to Ms. Bosanac, but we
11 always want to be as comprehensive as possible. That's why we want to
12 disclose all relevant documents, but because of translation delays, we
13 have not been able to do so yet.
14 It's only on the 23rd of October that we received a revised
15 translation of these -- of some of these documents, and then we had to
16 deal with all documents related to VS-034. That complicated matters in
17 terms of disclosure of all these documents.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Whilst listening to you, I was
19 adding up all these documents. We have 38 documents in total. Some
20 documents are books, press articles. We have something coming from the
21 BBC. That's one type of document. I can see that we have documents
22 coming from the Red Cross. We have a document that was exhibited in the
23 Mrksic case, Exhibit 867. So, yes, indeed, we are talking about a large
24 variety of documents.
25 Mr. Seselj, you will study that list. I am unable to tell you
1 what the content of the documents is. The OTP adopted a very broad
2 approach when disclosing these documents to you. They believe that they
3 might be of some relevance for your Defence. I can see that the document
4 number 2 comes from the 49th Session of the Human Rights Commission.
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] We always indicate the number of
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. These documents could be
8 relevant for your Defence. When it comes to the witness we're going to
9 hear just now, one or two documents may be relevant.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, why are these
11 documents being disclosed so late?
12 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Dr. Bosanac is
13 extremely well known. Everybody knows her. She stayed in the Vukovar
14 Hospital until the very end. She's mentioned in a huge number of
15 documents. You have hundreds of documents classified in various
16 collections, and it took quite a while to process all these documents.
17 All these documents are documents where her name is mentioned once or
18 twice, and it took a very long time to process all these documents. And
19 once we've identified which documents are exculpatory or not, they need
20 to be sent to the Translation Unit, and this makes the matter even more
21 cumbersome. A number of articles were written about this witness. She
22 was mentioned in various testimonies.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, would you have a
24 brief comment about all this?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I think the Trial Chamber
1 should not tolerate such actions of the Prosecution. I'm surprised that
2 one of the untranslated documents is the book of Mate Granic. As far as
3 I know, the book of Mate Granic was originally published in Serbian; not
4 a very good Serbian, of course, the somewhat artificial Serbian nowadays
5 published in Croatia. But there's no need to translate it, anyway.
6 Now, look at the fifth or sixth line from the bottom, that's it.
7 What is more important, Vesna Bosanac, because of her essential role in
8 the war events in Vukovar, is one of the key witnesses in this trial.
9 That is why my rights to due process are considerably prejudiced by
10 introducing Vesna Bosanac as a 92 ter witness. Since you granted her
11 that status, despite my objection, you know in advance that I'm not going
12 to cross-examine her, so this discussion is completely out of place. I
13 will never agree that any witness here can appear as 92 ter, because that
14 Rule was introduced after February 2003 and it cannot be applied
15 retroactively. I don't understand why you decided to apply it that way.
16 I am completely not interested in the testimony of Vesna Bosanac or any
17 other 92 ter witness.
18 Obviously, we have nothing to do tomorrow and the day after
19 tomorrow. I will address the Prosecution with a motion that all this
20 time be deducted from their time.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber
22 has read the statement taken on the 23rd of September from this witness,
23 and we looked through the statement very carefully to see if there's
24 anything that could incriminate you, directly or indirectly, in the
25 statement. If that had been the case, then we would have decided that
1 the witness had to be cross-examined.
2 The written statement is organised in the following manner:
3 There's the first part of the testimony dedicated to the personal
4 background of the witness, the studies, and the fact that she was
5 appointed director; then we have a second part dedicated to the Vukovar
6 population, to the blockade, to the situation in town; and then we have
7 something dedicated to the bombing of the town. Apparently, you were not
8 the one who ordered this shelling, unless you tell us that it was you, of
10 Then we move on to the 17th of November, 1991, to the 18th of
11 November, 1991, to the 19th of November, 1991. After that, we have a
12 portion dedicated to the 20th of November. We have two sections
13 dedicated to her detention because she was arrested. Then we have a
14 section on the lists of victims, and then we have a section related to
15 documents, to new documents. The only very remote link with you,
16 possibly, is the fact that at some point, she mentions Chetniks. At no
17 point does she mention volunteers from the Serb Radical Party in her
19 Furthermore, and we'll see it when I ask questions later on, this
20 witness has testified in a number of cases here at the Tribunal. She
21 testified in the Mrksic case for six days. So this statement seems to be
22 a sort of summary of all the things she said previously or she stated
23 previously in various trials.
24 You decided not to cross-examine her. That's your choice. I am
25 personally going to put questions to her, because there's a great deal of
1 things that I find rather unclear; in other words, everything that
2 happened before the town was put under blockade by the JNA. I have a
3 great deal of questions to put to her about this specific period, and I
4 have questions to put to her about the way events unfolded.
5 We are going to have the witness brought in and ask her to take
6 the solemn declaration.
7 Mr. Dutertre.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I don't know if you want us to do
9 this -- or to deal with this before the document comes into the
10 courtroom. I have an application to make to add five documents to the
11 65 ter list.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
13 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] On the 3rd of October, the
14 Prosecution filed a motion for the admission of the 92 ter statement from
15 Dr. Bosanac. At that time, we stated that we had received, on the 23rd
16 of September, 2008, three documents from Ms. Bosanac, three documents in
17 B/C/S, and the translation of these documents was underway. Of course,
18 these documents were disclosed to the accused. Since then, we have
19 received the English translation of these documents, and the OTP is now
20 requesting for these documents to be added to the 65 ter list.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please identify the
22 numbers of these documents and their titles?
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] The first document is a document
24 that bears a provisional 65 ter number: ERN number 0641-9452 -
25 0641-9456, provisional 65 ter number 7340. The title is -- well,
1 actually, it's a list of 193 identified persons from the grave, from the
2 grave at Ovcara or the mass grave at Ovcara. This is the last updated
3 list that Ms. Bosanac received from the Croatian authorities by a fax
4 that was sent to her in August 2008, if memory serves me right.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The second document.
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] The second document is a document
7 that has the ERN number 0641-9449 - 0641-9451, provisional 65 ter
8 number 7341. This is a list of 97 individuals found in the Ovcara grave,
9 and the witness has established that these people were also at the
11 The third document, documents given to us by Dr. Bosanac,
12 ERN number 0641-9457 - 0641-9549, provisional 65 ter number 7342. These
13 are death certificates, several death certificates. These documents were
14 disclosed to the accused on the 2nd of October, 2008.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fourth document.
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] We have two documents left,
17 Your Honour.
18 We have one document which is a fax dated 3rd of November, 1991,
19 ERN number 0117-2530, provisional 65 ter number 7338, disclosed to the
20 accused on the 9th of July, 2008.
21 The last document, it's the Zagreb evacuation agreement signed on
22 the 18th of November, 1991, ERN number 0007-2600, provisional 65 ter
23 number 7339, and this document was also disclosed to the accused on the
24 9th of July, 2008.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about this last document,
1 this Zagreb evacuation agreement, wasn't it exhibited in the Mrksic case?
2 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely, Your Honour, but
3 let me check this. Yes, I believe you're right, and we overlooked this
4 document when we requested an amendment of the list of exhibits on the
5 4th of April, 2008.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, what do you have to
7 say about these five documents added to the 65 ter list?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have absolutely no interest
9 whatsoever in these documents and the issue itself, but let me draw your
10 attention to the fact that Vesna Bosanac testified for six days in the
11 Mrksic case, and that tells you how important she is as a witness. She
12 is just going to go -- come in and out into this courtroom, and that will
13 be the end of it.
14 She does not incriminate me, personally, but she and the next
15 witness are so important for discovering the truth and the background of
16 the crime in Ovcara that it is absolutely incomprehensible to me how
17 these witnesses can be simply introduced as 92 ter. I don't see which
18 witnesses could possibly be more important than Vesna Bosanac and the
19 next one who is protected, so I'm not going to mention his name. I don't
20 see any other witnesses testifying about Ovcara here. These are the two
21 most important ones, but that's your decision, and what can I do about
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's have the
24 witness brought in.
25 Mr. Usher, can you go and fetch the witness.
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, should I understand
2 that these documents have been admitted with the 65 ter numbers suggested
3 by the OTP?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has decided
5 that these documents should be added to the 65 ter list.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, madam. Could you
8 please state your first name, last name, and date of birth.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. My name is
10 Vesna Bosanac. I was born on the 9th of March, 1949, in Subotica.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a physician. Right now, I am
14 the administrator of the general hospital in Vukovar.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you ever testified before
16 this Tribunal or before a national court; and if that's the case, can you
17 please identify the cases in which you've testified?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I testified before this Tribunal in
19 the trial against Dokmanovic, against Slobodan Milosevic, against
20 Sljivancanin, Mrksic, and Radic.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the first case you've just
22 mentioned, in the Dokmanovic case, for how many days did you testify?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Two days, I believe. I'm not sure.
24 It was quite a long time ago.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what about the Milosevic
1 case, how long did your testimony last?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Two days, but I did come twice.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in the Mrksic case, how
4 long did you testify in that case?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I testified for five days.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And if I were to tell you that
7 you testified during six days in that case?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember that I spent six days
9 here, but I'm not sure that I really testified for six days.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Did you testify
11 before national courts?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please tell me before
14 which court you testified and in what case?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I gave a statement
16 before an investigating judge in Osijek, and that was back in 1992 and
17 1993; and last year, I testified about Vukovar in Vukovar, in the trial
18 against Bogdan Kuzmic.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Please read the solemn
20 declaration, Madam.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: VESNA BOSANAC
24 [The witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You may be seated.
1 Let me give you some information about the way we are going to
2 proceed in this case.
3 The Trial Chamber, after receiving a relevant application from
4 the OTP, decided to hear your testimony under Rule 92 ter. In other
5 words, contrary to what happened in your testimonies in the Milosevic and
6 Dokmanovic case, you won't be a viva voce testimony in this case, but the
7 Prosecutor will put questions to you based on a written statement taken
8 on the 23rd of September, 2008, a written statement signed by yourself.
9 The Prosecution will also submit a number of documents to you.
10 After that, the Judges will put questions to you, and I believe
11 that I will put a large number of questions to you with respect to the
12 contents of your written statement and also what's not to be found in
13 your written statement and should have been there, in my opinion.
14 The accused in this case, Mr. Seselj, has stated that he does not
15 wish to cross-examine you, not because it's you, but because, as a matter
16 of principle, he's opposed to the 92 ter procedure. That's the reason
17 why he has decided not to cross-examine you. But we have to specify here
18 that in his view, you are a very relevant witness.
19 You're scheduled to testify over two days. We might be done
20 today, but that would surprise me. Normally, we should continue with
21 your testimony tomorrow.
22 You are a witness who's about to testify to the events in
23 Vukovar. Everybody is aware of this. You lost two members of your
24 family, including your own father, in the events. This must be kept in
25 everybody's mind.
1 We break every 90 minutes. We started this hearing at 8.30, so
2 we'll stop for our first break at 10.00 this morning, and we shall finish
3 the proceedings today at five to 1.00 because the Judges have a meeting
4 at 1.00. The President of this Tribunal is going to be elected. This is
5 the reason why we stop earlier than usual. We'll have a break at 10.00.
6 We shall resume at 10.20 to continue for another 90 minutes.
7 If at any time you would like to have a break for any reason
8 whatsoever, just say so and I will, of course, make sure we have a break
9 for you to have a rest if you need -- if you feel you need one.
10 This is what I wanted to tell you, Madam.
11 This is a 92 ter witness, so you'll read out your usual summary,
12 and then you'll carry on with the proceedings.
13 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Actually, in order to save time
14 and in view of the number of exhibits to submit to this witness, I'm not
15 going to read out a summary. I'll go straight to the questions.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but do tell us, in a few
17 words, what the witness is going to testify to so that the people who
18 follow us outside this courtroom know what the object of this testimony
19 will be.
20 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I will proceed.
21 This witness was appointed director of the Vukovar Hospital in
22 July 1991. This witness organised the hospital services in Vukovar
23 during the conflict, right up to the 20th of November, 1991, when she was
24 detained by the Serbian authorities. This witness, therefore, has
25 information as to the situation in Vukovar throughout the conflict. She
1 can give you information as to the situation in the hospital during the
2 conflict, the material conditions in the hospital for the patients, and
3 the way people could do their work. The witness is going to provide
4 information regarding the very last days before the fall of the town on
5 the 17th, the 18th, 19th and 20th of November, 1991. She can speak to
6 the influx of population to the hospital. The people sought shelter
7 because there was an appeal to evacuation. The population was aware of
9 This is the reason why the OTP wanted to add this witness to the
10 witness list in April, because Dr. Bosanac mainly can make the link
11 between the list of people present in the hospital and some individuals
12 that were found in the Ovcara grave. This is the main point of her
13 testimony for us.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we've prepared two
17 binders with exhibits, and we shall ask the witness to have a look at
18 them in the binders, rather than using the e-court, in order to save some
19 time. We can spare some seconds every time, but of course I'll give you
20 the 65 ter numbers.
21 Everybody's received the binders, including the accused. There
22 may be a document, a coloured document, that we haven't put in the
23 binders, but we'll give it at the right time.
24 Let's first have the 92 ter statement of Dr. Bosanac. We gave it
25 the number 7343.
1 Examination by Mr. Dutertre:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Bosanac, you have on the desk the two
3 binders I just mentioned. There may be some loose sheets. They show the
4 statement you gave in September. Maybe you could have the help of the
5 usher for you to find the right document. I'm speaking about your
6 interview of the 23rd of September, 2008. That should be found in the
7 first binder.
8 Do you have the document, Doctor?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Dr. Bosanac, is this the statement you signed on the 23rd of
11 September, 2008?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is this written statement a true reflection of what you said?
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 Q. Third question, Dr. Bosanac: If you were to answer the same
16 questions, would you say the same thing?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I seek to tender
19 65 ter number 7343, and then we can move on to the other exhibits that I
20 will also seek to tender.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can we have a
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit
24 number P587.
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Now, right at the beginning of the binder, you have a chart
2 showing the exhibits, the ERN numbers, a description, and the paragraph
3 in English, the relevant paragraphs. I shall be very brief when
4 reviewing each document, in order to save time.
5 Q. Dr. Bosanac, let me look at the first document to be found under
6 tab 1 in the binder. That's tab 1. Please take this document mentioned
7 in paragraph 10 of your statement.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] It's 65 ter number 7286, 65 ter
9 number 7286.
10 Q. We have the version in English and in B/C/S, and you have it in
12 Can you confirm the date, that is, 21st of October, 1991?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who signed this document?
15 A. Just a minute. I have the English version before me here.
16 Q. Please just go to the previous page and you should have the B/C/S
17 version of the document, so just before the green sheet.
18 A. Yes, I've found it. You asked me who wrote this document. I
19 dictated it. It was written by Administrator Verica Graf, and I signed
21 Q. Thank you for this answer. Just say, in a few words, what the
22 contents of the document is.
23 A. This is a letter which I wrote to the European Mission, the
24 Croatian office in Zagreb, in which I described what the situation in the
25 hospital was like. That was immediately after the Medicins Sans
1 Frontieres convey had left the hospital, which had helped us, because it
2 had taken a number of gravely wounded out from the hospital. But the
3 situation remained difficult.
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Dr. Bosanac.
5 I seek to tender this document.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. I have a question.
7 Madam, this is a letter that was faxed. I see that it is said
8 that this document was sent at 12.35 on the 21st. It says "21/10."
9 Normally, yes, that's 21/10/91; that's the date. But I'm looking at the
10 fax number, or there's a phone number; and underneath, handwritten, we
11 have a fax number. Whose fax number is this? Is that the ECMM's fax
12 office or is it the fax number of the liaison office, the Croatian
13 liaison office?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the number of the fax which
15 was the Inn Hotel in Zagreb where the seat was of the European Mission,
16 and the Croatian liaison office was there, and that is their number, the
17 one which is handwritten, in Zagreb at the Inn Hotel.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to give
19 it a number.
20 Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P588, Your Honours.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. Dr. Bosanac, can we move on to tab 2.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters request: Can all microphones be
25 switched off, please. We cannot hear the witness.
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation][Previous translation continues]...
2 statement. It is 65 ter number 7296.
3 I'm going to repeat the number. So the document to be found in
4 tab 2, mentioned in paragraph 21 of 65 ter document 7296. It's a very
5 short document.
6 Q. Can you confirm that it has to do with the events of the 31st of
7 October, 1991?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who authored the document?
10 A. I am, I am the author. Actually, I told it over the phone. I
11 called on a daily basis the European Mission, the postal centre in
12 Vukovar, which then referred my appeals to other institutions that were
14 Q. Thank you. What is this document about? What do you say in this
16 A. I'm describing the situation on that day, the 31st of October,
17 1991, at 1345. The plane again threw two plane bombs on the hospital, on
18 the wounded, on the newborn infants, on the women and the patients, and
19 I'm asking for urgent cessation of attacks on the hospital.
20 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. I seek to tender this
21 document, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have several questions,
24 In your language, we have the description of what happened on the
25 31st of October. You say that a plane dropped two bombs. It is
1 typewritten. This typewritten passage is part, isn't it -- or is it part
2 of a personal notebook, of just loose sheets? How did you go about
3 typewriting this? Did you ask your secretary to type the contents of the
4 phone conversation? Could you give us further details on this?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave this information over the
6 telephone to the Croatian office attached to the European Mission, via
7 our post office in Vukovar, and through the office to liaising with their
8 post office in Osijek. This is very brief information which I imparted
9 over the phone and then appealed for the firing to stop.
10 At that moment on the 31st of October, I did not give
11 instructions for that to be written down. It was just an oral appeal on
12 my part which I made in this way. And later, when I arrived in Zagreb,
13 in the Croatian -- I found these notes in the Croatian office attached to
14 the European Mission, which then I collected and had published in a book
15 which is called "The Appeals of Dr. Vesna Bosanac."
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can see that a lot of
17 things become clear when a Judge puts questions.
18 You wrote a book entitled "The Appeals of Dr. Vesna Bosanac." If
19 I understand you properly, you had made a phone call in order to describe
20 the event, and then when you went to the offices of the European Mission
21 in Zagreb, you saw some traces of this telephone call you had made, and
22 this became the text that we now can see. In other words, the
23 typewritten text was typewritten well after the event. When was it done;
24 two, three, ten years later? When was it typewritten?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this was typewritten when it
1 happened, but it was only later that I got hold of that text, after
2 arriving in Zagreb, in fact.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it was -- was it typewritten
4 by your secretary when you made the call?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was typed by the person on duty
6 who received this call, who was in the Croatian office attached to the
7 European Mission in Zagreb.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now we've got it. So it was
9 the person on duty who mentioned in this document what you had said to
10 her. At least that is clear now.
11 When you called the European Mission, who did you speak to, who
12 talked to you? Did you speak to a secretary? Did you speak to the
13 person in charge? Who was at the other end of the line?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I spoke to a lady who was in charge
15 of and on duty to receive telephone calls.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was this person female, the
17 person on duty?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So she wrote down what you
20 said; is that right?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's now clear.
23 We're going to give an IC number.
24 An IC number for this document, Madam Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: IC 77, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That can't be right. Madam
2 Registrar, we should have a "P" number, and it should be somewhere
3 around -- well, it should be the one following the previous document. It
4 should be 589.
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, it is 589, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor.
7 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I'd like to point out that the
8 book written by Dr. Bosanac was disclosed to the accused under disclosure
9 receipt 464.
10 Let me move on to the third document under tab 3, mentioned in
11 paragraph 22, with a 65 ter number 7299.
12 Q. Can you confirm the date of this document, is it 2nd of November,
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who signed this document?
16 A. At the end of the document, it is written: "Message received by
17 liaison officer Alen Kosovic."
18 Q. What do you know of Alen Kosovic?
19 A. I do not know him personally, but at that time, he was the
20 liaison officer at the Croatian office attached to the European Mission.
21 Q. Do you remember speaking to Mr. Kosovic on the phone about issues
22 mentioned in this document?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. President, I seek
25 to tender this document.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to give a number,
2 but before we do so: So you phoned Mr. Kosovic and you told him that the
3 hospital was under artillery fire, you described the situation as of that
4 day, you said that there were babies born on that day, and so on and so
5 forth. Then you said that on behalf of the 2.500 children of Vukovar,
6 you were asking for an immediate ceasefire.
7 What did Mr. Kosovic reply? Did he say he was going to forward
8 your request? What did he say, exactly?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He told me that he would convey my
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who was he going to forward it
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I called the Croatian office, I
14 repeat, attached to the European Mission in Zagreb at the Inn Hotel where
15 their seat, their headquarters, was.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but I suppose that there
17 was a head in the European Mission in Zagreb. There's always a head to
18 any service or administration. Obviously, he was not the head, was he?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know exactly what his
20 post was. I could see that he was the officer in charge of contacts. In
21 fact, the man at the head of the European Mission was Georges-Marie
22 Chenu, who was in charge of conducting negotiations and who signed the
23 document on the evacuation of the Vukovar Hospital. He was a -- he's a
24 Frenchman; and for a while, he was the French ambassador to Croatia in
25 Zagreb, and I believe that he wrote a book about this entire situation at
1 that time and that I also met him later.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he, too, wrote a book?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you called at 12.30 on
5 that day, on the 2nd of November, 1991, when you made that call, it seems
6 that the situation was rather serious. Why did you not ask to speak
7 personally to this Frenchman whose first name is Georges, but the surname
8 is not in the transcript? Just why didn't you ask to talk to him to
9 forward your request? Why did you not demand from Mr. Kosovic that you
10 could speak to him personally, because it was 12.30. He probably wasn't
11 asleep then. He must have been somewhere.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I tried every day, in really very
13 difficult conditions with shells landing on the hospital incessantly.
14 Almost a thousand shells landed on the hospital every day as well as on
15 the entire town. So I tried on a daily basis to get in touch with anyone
16 relevant enough to help us. Regrettably, sometimes I managed to get in
17 touch with some persons in charge; sometimes I didn't. It wasn't --
18 simply, it wasn't easy to do under the circumstances.
19 Many people in Vukovar at that time, as well as my associates and
20 colleagues, thought that the job that I was doing was totally pointless,
21 so that we were doomed anyway to destruction and that it was to no avail.
22 I did my very best.
23 Sometimes, I could get in touch with some relevant persons, at
24 least I thought so at that time - I mean, that they were relevant - and,
25 sometimes, I didn't manage to get in touch with anyone.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, on that day you spoke
2 to Mr. Kosovic, did the Frenchman call you back later to tell you that he
3 was going to go further up to speak to relevant people? If he wasn't
4 relevant in the matter, did he say he was going to try to speak to the
5 JNA? Did he call you back, or did he fail to do anything?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally did not get any call.
7 At that time, whether he had tried to do anything, I don't know. I met
8 Mr. Chenu later, several years after the war, and I really don't know
9 what he did at that particular point in time. The only persons who
10 called and tried to do something were the Medecins Sans Frontieres, who
11 tried to help us and who came to Vukovar.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll get to that later. So he
13 did not call you back. Very well.
14 Let us have a number for the document, Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P590, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's now 10.00. We're going to
17 have a 20-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.00 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.22 a.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
21 Mr. Dutertre.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Let's now move on to the fourth document at tab 4, mentioned at
24 paragraph 37, and bearing the following number, 65 ter number 7284, 7284.
25 Thank you.
1 Q. Witness, who authored this document, who signed this document?
2 A. I personally signed it.
3 Q. What is the date of this document?
4 A. 20th October 1991.
5 Q. And why did you send this document to Medecins Sans Frontieres?
6 What was the purpose of this document?
7 A. I wanted to thank them, because they had tried to help us in the
8 hospital. I wanted to express my regret over their nurses who had been
9 wounded in that incident as they were returning. I wanted to invite them
10 to try to help again, because the representative of Medecins Sans
11 Frontieres called me on the phone to say that the nurses had been wounded
12 and that he was afraid he would no longer be able to continue with the
13 process of evacuation, because they had said earlier they would come
14 every other day and evacuate the wounded from the hospital.
15 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
16 I seek to tender this document.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A very brief question, Witness.
18 This letter was sent to Christopher Besse from MSF, but how did
19 he physically receive that letter? How was the letter supposed to reach
20 him, personally?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether the letter
22 reached him. I had sent it the same way as I sent everything else, by
23 fax, that I used when sending communications to the Ministry of Health
24 and the Office for Communication of the European Mission in Zagreb.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. On the document, in
1 your own language, I don't see anything related to when the fax was sent
2 or I don't see any fax number, but you're telling us that this document
3 was sent by fax.
4 We'll have a number for this document now.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P591, Your Honours.
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 The fifth document, tab 5, the document mentioned at paragraph 40
8 of the 92 ter statement, 65 ter number 7287.
9 Q. Can you confirm, Witness, that this document is dated 22nd of
10 October, 1991, and that it bears your signature?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is it a document where we have a detailed report about the number
13 of -- about the deaths for that particular period of time, from August
14 25th to October 21st, 1991?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Same question as with the previous document, was this document
17 sent by fax?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 I seek to tender this document.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have the same question for
22 you as before, Witness. We have a document here that describes a rather
23 serious situation, a terrible situation. You're talking about dead
24 people, you're talking about wounded people. Did the European Mission
25 call you back to tell them that they would take the necessary steps or is
1 it so that no one called you back?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, nobody called.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. No one called you.
4 I see in this document something that I find rather interesting.
5 You're saying that three JNA soldiers were wounded, and you give their
6 names: Sergeant Sasa Jovic, who apparently is a member of VP 4795, a
7 unit from Belgrade. So, unless I'm mistaken, in your hospital, members
8 of the JNA who had been wounded received treatment as well.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you also provided medical
11 treatment to injured personnel from the Croatian Army. Fine. We'll come
12 back to that issue later.
13 We need a number for this document now, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] P592, Your Honours.
15 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Let me move on to the sixth
16 document, Witness, at tab 6, mentioned at paragraph 41; 65 ter
17 number 7294.
18 Q. Witness, is this a document dated 27th of October, 1991, and
19 signed by yourself?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This is a document related to admissions at the hospital on that
22 particular day and to the number of injured at the hospital? Was this
23 document sent by fax?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 I seek to tender this document, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document relates to the
3 situation on the 27th of October, 1991. It is addressed to the
4 EC Mission. Did they call you back or did nothing happen?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: You confirm that you got no response to this fax;
8 is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you know if any other action was taken by the
11 European Commission's Monitoring Mission vis a vis the Serb forces who
12 were surrounding Vukovar?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I had daily contacts
14 with the Minister of Health, Professor Hebrang, who told me there were
15 negotiations going on in the European Mission, that they were to go their
16 best to bring about a cessation of bombing of the hospital, but nobody
17 called me from the European Mission and I don't know what their
18 activities were.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Did Professor Hebrang tell you or inform you
20 otherwise that the information that you had provided through these faxes
21 was effectively communicated to the European Commission's Monitoring
22 Mission and discussed and taken into account? Did you know, in other
23 words, if your messages were ever received by the ECMM?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He told me they were doing
25 everything to help the Vukovar Hospital, but I have no confirmation
1 myself as to what anyone from the ECMM had done about my faxes. I
2 suppose - in fact, I'm sure - they were well informed, and I learned,
3 indeed after the war, that they had sufficient information. Apart from
4 that, through that liaison office of the ECMM in Croatia, I sent faxes
5 not only to the mission itself but to the politicians who were then the
6 big players in Europe and the world.
7 Later, in the documents, you'll probably see whom exactly I had
8 called and informed, and I got all these fax numbers from the liaison
9 office of the ECMM. So apart from informing the ECMM, I also sent faxes
10 directly to those telephone and fax numbers.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand that. My question was, however, if
12 you are certain that the information that you provided to the Mission and
13 to the politicians was ever received by the recipients. Did this
14 information get through to them, and was it taken into account when they
15 negotiated? Do you know that? If you don't know, then just say so.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it did, this information
17 reached them. At the time when I was sending the faxes, I did not get
18 any confirmation. But later after the war, in contacts with some of
19 those people, specifically with Mr. Chenu, who was the president of the
20 European Mission at the time, I learned that they certainly had that
21 information and that it had helped them to do something about it.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: That's exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you
23 very much, Madam.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can we have a
1 THE REGISTRAR: P593, Your Honours.
2 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Let me now move to the seventh document, to be found at tab 7,
4 the document mentioned at paragraph 42 of the 92 ter statement, and the
5 65 ter number of the document is 7302.
6 Q. Witness, could you confirm that this document is dated 2nd of
7 November, 1991, and that this document bears your signature?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Could you briefly tell us what this document is
11 A. Well, I tried, like in all those days, to describe what happened
12 that day. The hospital was targeted by heavy artillery and air bombs
13 every day. On that particular day, one of our employees who went to the
14 door of the boiler room got killed; Ivan Ragus was his name. There were
15 several incidents that day. One reservist, Markovic, Aleksandar, had
16 been brought that day wounded. He was brought by Croatian soldiers, and
17 he was admitted.
18 At any rate, I tried to inform not only the ECMM but all the
19 relevant factors about what happened that day, to give them an update.
20 Q. Thank you. Could you confirm that this document was sent by fax
21 or not?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 I seek to tender this document.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If we look at the addressees,
1 we see Admiral Brovet, President Tudjman, Minister Hebrang, General Tus,
2 and the EC Mission, but who did you fax this document to?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, the ECMM and the Ministry of
4 Health. Those are the numbers to which I sent these faxes, because I
5 sent them myself. I expected that they would forward my faxes to the
6 other addresses if they possibly can.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who is Admiral Brovet?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the information I had
9 then, he was the commander of the armed forces in the territory of the
10 former Yugoslavia.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But how did you send this
12 letter to Admiral Brovet, through whom?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I sent it to the ECMM,
14 hoping that they would forward it to all the others, because I was
15 repeating myself. In this information, I also said that members of the
16 Yugoslav Army were involved.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The problem, Witness, is that
18 the EC Mission might have believed that you had sent the same document to
19 Brovet, Tudjman, Hebrang, and Tus, because we see at the end of the
20 document: "Send to." So they could have thought that you had sent the
21 document to these people yourself. They might not have understood that
22 they needed to forward this letter to these high-ranking officials.
23 That's the way we read the letter, because in your own language, you
24 wrote: "Dostaviti," and I suppose it means "Addressees."
25 Very well. We're going to give a number to this document.
1 THE REGISTRAR: P594, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Dutertre.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Let me now move to the eighth document at tab 8, a document
5 mentioned at paragraph 43, 65 ter number 7338; paragraph 43, 65 ter
6 number 7338.
7 Q. Is this document dated the 3rd of November, 1991, and signed by
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is this document related to admissions at the hospital on the 2nd
11 of November, 1991, on the preceding day?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Once again, same question: Was this document sent by fax?
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, here we have a
17 document that is addressed to no one. We don't see any addressee
18 mentioned on this document. Could you please tell us what was the
19 purpose of this document?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was sent again to the liaison
21 office of the ECMM, and the situation I described was really, really
22 hard. I did not have time, every time, to repeat everything. My purpose
23 was to write this information as quickly as possible and to have it
24 circulated as widely as possible. The people were completely besieged,
25 and my purpose was to inform everyone of what was going on in Vukovar,
1 and this information is dated November 1991.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
3 A number, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P595, Your Honours.
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, let me now move to the ninth document at tab 9, the
7 document mentioned at paragraph 44 of the 92 ter statement, 65 ter
8 number 7309.
9 Is this document dated 9th of November, 1991, and does it bear
10 your signature?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What is this document about? What do you say in this document?
13 A. Well, the first thing I want to say is there is a mistake. It
14 says "9th October"; it was, in fact, November.
15 I was explaining, again, what was going on at the hospital, which
16 was constantly being shelled and targeted by various other devastating
17 projectiles. One of our employees had a premature delivery that day.
18 I wanted, in fact, clearly to show what the situation was like;
19 that we had no water, that incendiary grenades were being thrown at us,
20 that the yard of the hospital was on fire, the roof of the hospital as
21 well, and things were harder and harder with every day. The Yugoslav
22 Army and all those following it had decided to completely destroy the
23 town and everything in it. I wanted to show in this way what exactly was
24 going on at the hospital and around it.
25 Q. Can you confirm that this document was sent by fax to the liaison
1 office of the European Mission, as mentioned at paragraph 44 of your
2 92 ter statement?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in this document, you
7 mention the delivery of a premature child weighing 800 grams. Did this
8 child survive?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. No, he didn't.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. A number, please,
11 for this document.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P596, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Madam, who was this letter addressed to?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The liaison office of the ECMM in
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
17 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Witness, let me now move to the 10th document to be found at
19 tab 10, mentioned at paragraph 58 of your 92 ter statement, and bearing
20 65 ter number 7339.
21 Witness, what is the date of this document?
22 A. This copy, which is in the English language, one can assume that
23 it is the 18th of November.
24 Q. Thank you, Witness. Who signed the document, if you know?
25 A. Professor Andrija Hebrang, signed on behalf of the Republic of
1 Croatia; and in the right-hand side of this document, as far as I can
2 see, that is Andrija Raseta and Georges-Marie Chenu; although that is not
3 clearly written here. I had not seen this document while I was in
4 Vukovar, but only after having exited it. And according to the
5 information I have, those persons -- it is the signatures of those
6 persons that are on this document.
7 Q. This was the question I was about to ask you. You saw this
8 document only later, and you said, "... after I left." What do you mean?
9 Can you tell us, leaving, what departure you're mentioning?
10 A. On the 20th of November, I was arrested and taken to prison,
11 first in Sremska Mitrovica and then also to the Military Investigation
12 Prison in Belgrade, and I was exchanged as a prisoner of war. So it was
13 only after my arrival in Zagreb that I started to investigate what had
14 happened during all those days, during the evacuation period, given the
15 fact that a very large number of staff, medical staff, wounded, and
16 civilians from the hospital from Vukovar never appeared in Croatia and
17 they were all registered as missing persons.
18 At that time, we did not know exactly where people were. In
19 prison, I could see that there were many people from Vukovar and that
20 there were also wounded persons in the prison. I didn't know who they
21 were. I hoped that they were from the hospital. But later, when I
22 collected the testimonies of all those who had arrived in Croatia, we
23 actually established that only a number of the wounded had been evacuated
24 on the convoy, 174 of them, into the free part of Croatia, and that some
25 250 wounded were missing.
1 On the basis of all these testimonies, we later investigated
2 where they could be, and there is a document already on that particular
3 subject in this Tribunal.
4 Q. So this was after you were liberated; only then could you see
5 this document. What is this document about, Witness? What is the
6 purpose of it?
7 A. As far as I could gather later, when I studied it, its purpose
8 was -- were to be rules as to how the hospital was to be evacuated, that
9 it would be neutralised, and that taking a certain path, all the wounded,
10 all the medical staff, and all the people from the Vukovar Hospital would
11 be evacuated.
12 The signatures of these persons who at that time were relevant
13 persons actually say that this was a document of international
14 significance because it was addressed to the European Mission in the
15 presence of the International Red Cross, which was to be also present
16 alongside the European Monitors during the evacuation of the hospital.
17 We hoped until the last day that that would, indeed, happen like
18 that, but as is well known, it did not, and this agreement was not fully
19 applied in practice.
20 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
21 I seek to tender this document.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you appraised yourself
23 of this document after you had been detained, yourself, and this
24 document, in my view, raises a host of problems. I'd like to know what
25 you think about them.
1 You have just said that this document was signed in the very
2 premises of the ECMM; but in this document, I fail to see any mention
3 anywhere of the ECMM. So how could the ECMM sponsor this or be a player
4 in drafting this agreement whilst it's not even mentioned in the text?
5 Because as I've looked at Article 1, I can see the people or the ones
6 that represented, Croatia, JNA, Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and
7 the Maltese Red Cross, but I can't see ECMM. So how do you account for
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not think that I'm able to
10 explain that, in fact. We would have to ask the people who were in
11 charge of the ECMM at that time.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A second observation: This
13 document was signed by the Republic of Croatia, so I suppose it was
14 signed by Minister Hebrang, as you indicated, and by a representative of
15 the JNA. It must have been General Raseta. Above that, we see a
16 signature but we don't know whose it is. Is that the signature of
17 somebody representing MSF or the ICRC? We don't know.
18 Who signed above the two signatures?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the information I
20 have, it was Georges-Marie Chenu, the president of the ECMM, but this is
21 what I heard. I cannot claim that with certainty. He was the organiser
22 of that meeting, and he is a signatory, in view of the fact that the ICRC
23 was to evacuate the -- to organise the evacuation, but I'm not sure
24 because I did not attend that meeting myself. It was in Zagreb, and I
25 was in Vukovar.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you think that it was this
2 Frenchman, who headed the European Mission, who signed; although, we
3 can't see any mention of the ECMM. So we see something, but we don't
4 even know whose signature it is. It may be his. However, we can see
5 several other participants, at least the Red Cross, the ICRC, Medecins
6 Sans Frontieres, and we can't see any signature representing them.
7 Can you shed some light on this or don't you know?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the only thing I know is what
9 Professor Hebrang had told me; that they were all anxious to help the
10 evacuation of the hospital and that they were working to figure out a way
11 how to come to Vukovar from two sides: One would be by the land route
12 and the second by a tunnel from Hungary, with this also owned by the
13 Maltese order. They wanted to help evacuate the hospital via the Danube.
14 I did not believe that to be possible, and I thought that at that
15 moment it was, in fact, inadequate because all the wounded were in a very
16 grave condition and needed to be evacuated as quickly as possible in
17 ambulances to the first, normal, safe hospitals which had the conditions
18 for their further treatment, rather than being aboard a boat and travel
19 the Danube, and so on and so forth. But they tried to help us in every
20 possible way and to help bring about the cessation of the devastation of
21 Vukovar and of the hospital. So I believe that that was one of the ways
22 in which they were trying to do that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you know, can
24 Professor Hebrang speak English?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about General Raseta?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P597, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Dutertre. The next document.
7 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, number 11. We're now moving
8 on to the issue of identification of lists of victims. That is a
9 concern. It's mentioned at paragraph 0123; its 65 ter number 7280. We
10 have coloured copies. I'm about to have them distributed, because you
11 had black-and-white copies, unfortunately, in the binders that you
13 Mr. Usher, can you help. We'd like the accused and the Trial
14 Chamber to receive copies with colours, but it can be up-loaded in
15 e-court whilst I'm speaking, in colours.
16 Q. Witness, under tab 10, we have a document. What is its source?
17 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness has
18 said that she wished documents containing medical information to be held
19 confidentially, so maybe we should move into private session.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let us move to private
21 session for questions of medical files.
22 Madam Registrar, please.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 11355-11360 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Madam Registrar, the previous document is to be admitted under
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, it will be under seal.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Document number 12, mentioned at
24 paragraph 124. It is 65 ter document 7281, to be found at tab 12. Let's
25 look at the first page. The ERN number is 0469-3283.
1 Q. What is this document about? What is this list?
2 A. This is a list of people who, according to the evidence of other
3 people who had made statements, had been, on the 20th November, in
4 Vukovar Hospital; but after that date, they had not been heard from or
5 found. At that time, they were still not identified or found anywhere as
6 killed. They were on record as missing.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask all microphones to be
8 switched off, all other microphones.
9 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Fine.
10 Let's turn to the following page, 0469-3284, 3285, and 3286; 3284
11 to 3286.
12 Q. What is this list about?
13 A. This is a list of people who were in the Vukovar Hospital on the
14 20th November and whose remains were later identified at Ovcara. Those
15 were wounded people who had been killed and later identified as killed at
17 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I believe that we'll find out how
18 the identification was conducted with Witness Strinovic.
19 Q. Witness, did you take part in compiling these two lists?
20 A. I did, because the last time I appeared here as a witness, when I
21 was coming here as a witness, I wanted to establish the identities of the
22 wounded people as distinguished from the employees of the hospital and
23 other civilians exhumed at Ovcara. These other civilians that had been
24 taken away from the Vukovar Hospital for some other reasons; that is to
25 say, there were some people who were seen at the Vukovar Hospital on the
1 20th November, but their remains were not found in the mass grave at
2 Ovcara, and we still don't know where they are.
3 Q. Could you tell us who else contributed to compiling these two
4 lists, apart from you?
5 A. My team at the Vukovar Hospital, which among other things deals
6 with the investigation of events of 1991, in the projects we are involved
7 in, gathered information from various associations, such as the Mothers
8 of Vukovar who published a book about the captured and missing, sons and
9 husband; then there is also the Association of Former Inmates of
10 Concentration Camps and another association in the health department.
11 Our purpose was to describe every person who had been identified at
12 Ovcara with a larger number of parameters than just name and surname.
13 Q. Fine. When you talk about the database of the health ministry,
14 you're talking about the database we mentioned earlier on.
15 The following documents are forms with photographs. Can you tell
16 us what these documents are about? What are these documents?
17 A. Those are forms that we filled in and sent to the information
18 staff of the health ministry. It contains name and surname, father's
19 name, date of birth, diagnosis, location of wounding, and whether the
20 person was sent on to another hospital or not. There is a questionnaire
21 to be filled in for every patient, and it is included in this database.
22 Additionally, we included a short CV and a photograph that we
23 found in the documents collected by governmental organisations in order
24 to present to this Court exactly who these people were, because it is
25 different from the test documents we normally have with just name and
1 surname. You can see how many people, including the elderly, the very
2 young, civilians, who are killed at Ovcara.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Fine. I seek to tender this
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a number of questions to
6 put to you with respect to that document, Witness.
7 Please turn to the list of missing persons, 45 in total. So if I
8 understand correctly, to this day, these persons are still missing.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. At that time when this list
10 was made, they were not yet found. Whether they have been found in the
11 meantime, I would have to inquire. This is information available on the
12 date of the compilation of this document. I know some people personally
13 from this list, and I know they have not been found.
14 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] If I may assist the Chamber,
15 Witness Bilic will deal with the matter of people still missing today.
16 This information will be provided to you, updated information. Speaking
17 from memory, I believe we are talking about 53 individuals.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a look at number 2
19 on the list, Bozak, Ivan. He was a member of the War Hospital. That's
20 what we read here.
21 Your hospital, was it a civilian hospital or a war hospital?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Our hospital was a civilian
23 hospital before the war. However, when the war began and the aggression
24 in Vukovar started, we treated both civilians and people who were wounded
25 in the war like all other hospitals in Croatia, especially those who were
1 close to the frontline. At that time, all of them were war hospitals.
2 This man, Ivan Bozak, under number 2, he was actually a receptionist; and
3 on the 20th November, he was alive when the army came in - I mean the
4 Yugoslav Army and all the other paramilitary troops - but he was not
5 heard from or seen again. His remains were not found or identified.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You'll probably help me
7 to understand the following: Number 3, Baketa, Goran; number 22, Drago
8 Krizan; number 31, Josip Mikletic; number 35, Perkovic, Tihomir; and
9 number 38, Samardzic, Damjan. Next to their names, we the word
10 "Security." Did you have guards at the hospital, guards from the MUP,
11 because for number 3, we see "MUP, Hospital Security."
12 So did you have people there in charge of providing security for
13 the hospital?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were people who were
15 designated by the commander of the defence to provide security to the
16 hospital. They were from the police, and they are indicated as "MUP,"
17 and somewhere from the town defence staff. I thought personally there
18 was not much point in that, because the hospital was completely encircled
19 and shelled and bombed every day, and they certainly could not provide
20 any security against that. But it's sure that these people were
22 This Goran Baketa was taken away. He was never seen again, live
23 or dead. Then, again, Branko Lukenda, his job, he was assigned by the
24 police to make a record of the wounded and to collect weapons from the
25 wounded who were brought to the hospital and take these weapons to the
1 police. This Damjan Samardzic was assigned to the hospital apparently to
2 secure the wounded JNA soldiers. It was said of him that he was so badly
3 beaten at Ovcara by the paramilitaries that he died, but he is on this
4 list because he has not been identified in the mass grave. There are
5 witnesses, however, claiming that he was beaten up.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me interrupt you, Witness.
7 The person is identified as belonging to a security. I suppose
8 they had weapons. They provided security to the hospital, and to do so
9 they had weapons, or not?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They did not have any weapons in
11 the hospital. They had a small room where they put their weapons in
12 storage; but inside the building, they were all unarmed.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me turn to the second list,
14 including 97 persons exhumed from the mass grave. They had been admitted
15 into the hospital or they were in the hospital; and later on, their
16 bodies were exhumed. Can you confirm that there were 97 of them?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
19 And in the rest of the document, we have certificates where
20 various injuries are described. For example, for Drazen Babic, we know
21 that he was a guard; and when looking at these certificates, it's
22 something I did earlier on, we find that the majority of these people
23 were soldiers. To your knowledge, Witness, how many civilian staff
24 members of the hospital were killed or disappeared? How many? Can you
25 give us a figure, please?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Eighteen.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Eighteen. And amongst these 18
3 individuals, none of them were ever found?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Two.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. Two were never found,
6 two are missing. The impression I have, and I may be mistaken, and if
7 I'm mistaken, tell me so, when I look at these certificates relating to
8 these 97 persons, I have a feeling that the majority of them were
9 military personnel. But for some of them, we see that they are
10 identified as being civilians; for example, Franjo Barisic, adult
11 civilian. That's what we read.
12 To your knowledge, how many civilians died after having been
13 arrested and taken to the Ovcara farm? To your knowledge or according to
14 you, how many civilians were killed?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, it's hard to say,
16 because many are still recorded as missing, but --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you give us a ballpark
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But, roughly speaking, about
20 50 per cent were civilians, because if you look at this list of the
21 wounded, you see, for instance, some of our employees, such as Dragan
22 Gavric, driver, and Sinisa Glavlasevic, who was a journalist, are there.
23 So many are actually civilians, certainly half of them were civilians.
24 There were some women, some children. There were three minor children.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, Witness, let's not confuse
1 matters. What I'm interested in right now is the persons who were killed
2 at Ovcara and whose bodies were found. That's the only thing I'm
3 interested in.
4 Some of these people disappeared, we don't know where they are,
5 so I'm currently reviewing very closely this particular group of
6 individuals. Roughly speaking, because I haven't counted each and every
7 one of them, but the impression I get is that the majority of these
8 people were soldiers, military men, but with just a few civilians, and
9 that's what I wanted you to tell me. In that particular group, how many
10 civilians do we find?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm telling you, you have 97
12 wounded persons on this list, wounded, and that includes military
13 personnel and civilians who are identified. In total, 200 bodies were
14 exhumed in Ovcara. Out of these 200, 193 were identified, and you will
15 see that later in other documents.
16 So, in further proceedings, you can see exactly how many
17 civilians there were among them, according to more precise data. But
18 regardless of whether there were civilians or Croatian soldiers, the
19 wounded should have been protected under Geneva Conventions. We did not
20 inquire exactly whether a person was a policeman, or a member of the
21 Guard Corps, or a soldier, but these were just wounded people to us,
22 wounded people who were taken away and killed at Ovcara.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm going to deal now
24 with a matter that is probably very painful for you, but I have to raise
25 that matter.
1 Your father is to be found amongst the victims. Can you tell us
2 about the circumstances in which he was arrested, and can you give us
3 some additional information about all this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In fact, I wanted to correct you
5 earlier. It's not my father, it's my father-in-law; that is, my
6 husband's father.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it should be marked
8 somewhere, "father-in-law."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My father-in-law and my
10 mother-in-law, that's his wife.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. It's your
12 father-in-law. He has the name of your husband, Bosanac?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Bosanac.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your father-in-law, who was the
15 father of your husband, why was he there, in what capacity? Was he a
16 civilian? Was he a military man?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was a civilian. He was an old
18 and sick man. He was born in 1919. The day before, he was brought to
19 the hospital with his wife in order to be evacuated. At my request to
20 place them closer to me, and my mother was also at the hospital at the
21 time, they were, indeed, placed close to me. But that morning, he went
22 outside because it was very difficult for him to sit for a long time, he
23 had problems with his legs, and he just went out to stretch his legs.
24 But as soon as he got outside, he was put on the bus to Ovcara, and
25 nobody ever saw him again. I heard from some survivors of Ovcara that he
1 had been seen there, and he was identified along with all the others in
2 1996. He was killed there, and he was an old civilian.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We're going to have a
4 break, but just before that, one question.
5 We have another Bosanac on that list. Who is that person?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Tomislav Bosanac. It's my
7 husband's nephew. That's a relative. The father of this Tomislav and my
8 father-in-law were brothers, and Tomislav's wife was a nurse who was very
9 seriously wounded, and he was with her. I personally asked Sljivancanin
10 if this relative of mine, Tomislav, could stay with his wife during the
11 evacuation, but he was still taken out that morning, taken to Ovcara, and
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was Tomislav Bosanac a civilian
14 or a military man?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Civilian.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He was a civilian. All right.
17 We are now going to have a break until 12.00 noon. We'll resume
18 at 12.00 and stop at five to 1.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 11.43 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.01 p.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The court is back
22 in session.
23 Mr. Prosecutor, you're seeking to tender document 7281?
24 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please give us a number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P599, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Very briefly, three issues. We
4 have the 92 ter statement. The last sentence of paragraph 1, names of
5 relatives of the witness are mentioned there. I don't think that needs
6 to be made public. Is it possible to redact the last sentence of
7 paragraph 1?
8 Equally, at paragraph 123 that deals with the document exhibited
9 under seal, it should be redacted, in my view; and at the earliest
10 convenience, the OTP will provide you with a redacted version of the
11 92 ter statement.
12 The second point, very briefly. On page 60, line 19, I'd asked
13 Dr. Bosanac whether the database she had mentioned was the one that had
14 been previously used. She said, "Yes," but that had not been recorded in
15 the transcript, so I wanted to mention that.
16 Let me move to the next documents. I will soon be over.
17 Q. Witness, you said that 200 bodies had been exhumed at Ovcara and
18 that 193 bodies had been identified.
19 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Let us move to tab 14, mentioned
20 at paragraph 126, 65 ter number 7340.
21 Q. My question is as follows: Witness, is this the updated list of
22 individuals identified in the Ovcara mass grave?
23 A. What list are you asking me about now? It is not arranged in
24 that order here in the binder. Are you talking about list 97?
25 Q. Sorry. Look at the smaller binder, please. It is behind tab 14.
1 It should be on your right-hand side. Tab 14.
2 A. Yes, that is that list.
3 Q. Where does this list come from? Who provided it to you?
4 A. When you got in touch with me, telling me of your intention for
5 me to testify in this case, like last time, I again asked the government
6 of the Republic of Croatia, namely, the Ministry of War Veterans, Family
7 Affairs, and Inter-Generational Solidarity, the Administration for
8 Detainees, for a new updated list of identified persons. So it was on
9 the 28th of August, 2008, that I received a telefax message, and this
10 contained this latest list with 193 persons.
11 Q. Would you mind repeating the number? I heard something else in
12 French. I heard "192." Is it 192 or is it 193 identified individuals?
13 A. 193. 192 was the last time when I was here as a witness. That
14 was, I believe, in 2005. The number then was 192. In the meantime,
15 another person has been identified.
16 Q. Very well. This list of 97 names that we discussed earlier on,
17 is it the list of these people mentioned in this list of 193 individuals
18 about which you say that they'd been wounded and had been admitted into
19 the hospital?
20 A. Yes, these are the same persons.
21 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 I seek to tender this document, 7340 -- sorry, I'm just checking
23 the number: 7280.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I had a thorough look
25 at the names, at the 193 names, and I noted that there were some who were
1 under age; in other words, men aged 16 or 17. An example, we have
2 number 82, Igor Kacic, born on the 23rd of August, 1975.
3 What had these people, young people, doing in the hospital? Had
4 he been wounded, was be sick, had he been admitted, brought to hospital?
5 How do you account for his presence there; could you tell me?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can do that because I know this
7 young man personally. His father, Petar Kacic, went to school with me,
8 and he was a defender of Vukovar, a member of the Croatian Army. He was
9 killed, and his minor son, Igor, was with his mother in the cellar of the
10 building. On one occasion when there was shelling, a wall crumbled and
11 collapsed on him. He was wounded, so he was at the hospital with his
12 mother, waiting for evacuation. However, he was taken away and killed at
13 Ovcara, even though he was a minor.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think that in this list of
15 193 people, he was the youngest of them all, wasn't he? Can you confirm
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I think that he was, but
18 I believe, actually, that there were some who were even younger, born in
19 1975, I believe. A minor was killed who was also the son of a woman who
20 worked in our laundry, and his name is Balog, Dragutin Balog. He was
21 born on the 19th of August, 1974, he was the son of a woman working in
22 our laundry room, and he was together with his father who had throat
23 cancer. They were with his mother, who was working at the hospital, and
24 they were all waiting for the evacuation. Both of them, the husband,
25 i.e., the father of this minor son, so the father and son were both taken
1 to Ovcara and killed there.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have a
3 number for this list, Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P600, Your Honours.
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Let us move to document 15 mentioned at paragraph 126.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You skipped 13?
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes. It had some historic value
9 in terms of chronology, but I wanted to save time. That's the 1992 list
10 that has not yet been updated. I didn't think it was necessary to have
11 it in the file. I should have said so.
12 So document 15, mentioned at paragraph 126, 65 ter number 7341.
13 Q. Witness, can you please confirm that this has been initialled and
14 that this document bears the date of the 23rd of September, 2008?
15 A. Just a moment.
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] It's tab 15.
17 Could the usher help the witness with tab 15.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
20 Q. So we have again the list of 97 individuals, but, as it were,
21 updated, based on the update of the people identified at Ovcara, that
22 list of 193 names; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So this is the latest update, even though there were no changes?
25 A. Yes.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak into
2 the microphone.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 I seek to tender this document.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a technical question for
6 you, Witness.
7 With regard to this list of 97 names, I'm looking at the column
8 of "Diagnosis." For each name, we have a specification. Is this the
9 postmortem diagnosis or was this the diagnosis at the time of admission?
10 Can you please tell us?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These diagnoses were made during
12 the hospitalisation of the people.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is not a diagnosis
14 arising from the autopsies, following exhumation. This is the reason why
15 these individuals were admitted into hospital. For instance, we have an
16 example, number 14, this person had been wounded by explosion; is that
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 Mr. Prosecutor, you wanted a number. Let's have one.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P601, Your Honours.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Let's move to document 16, and I'm not going to deal with
24 document 17. Document 16 is to be found under tab 16, it is mentioned at
25 paragraph 127, 65 ter number 7319.
1 Q. Witness, would you mind reading out, so that it can be
2 translated, the heading of this document, starting with the word
3 "Prilog." I'll spare you the rest. I really have an appalling accept in
5 A. Yes, it says: "Victims from the farm of Ovcara from the Vukovar
7 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] For your information, Your
8 Honours, this is an exhibit admitted in the Mrksic case, based on the
9 list of victims as mentioned in the Mrksic case.
10 Q. Witness, could you tell us who wrote the handwritten mentions
11 that we have in front of each and every name of this list?
12 A. In agreement with the Prosecutor, Mr. Moore, I put that in. He
13 wanted me to describe from memory, not only me but other witnesses as
14 well, in relation to these names, what we knew about them; whether they
15 were Croatian soldiers, political enemies, workers at the hospital. Then
16 using these signs, we tried to write, all of us, everything that we knew
17 about. For instance, for me, this asterisk here means that he worked at
18 a hospital. For instance, Ilija Asadjanin, he has been marked as a
19 member of the hospital staff. So I marked -- I put a mark by the name
20 and put what I knew about them.
21 But the interpretation was done by someone from the OTP. It is
22 not mine, those interventions; namely, they explain what these markings
23 and the letters meant.
24 Q. Well, you are ahead of me. You've already answered my next
25 question. Thank you for that.
1 More specifically, could you tell us what all these signs mean?
2 I'll be more specific. When you write a "C" in front of a name, what
3 does that letter "C" mean?
4 A. "C" means "Civilian." It is indicated there in the legend, in
5 the explanation given with the list. "W" means "Political animal" [as
6 interpreted] which is for those that I knew were perhaps political
7 enemies of the then-Yugoslav option. It was Mr. Moore's idea to try and
8 pinpoint the reason why precisely those people had been taken away to
9 Ovcara and killed there; although, I personally feel that it is
10 pointless -- and felt it was pointless to analyse matters in that
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there's a mistake in the
13 transcript on page 74, line 5. "W" stands for "Political enemies" and
14 not "animal."
15 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Quite so, thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, I have an objection.
17 Mr. Presiding Judge, it is not a mistake in the transcript,
18 because the witness did say "political animal," which means "political
19 animal." She's trying to speech English, and she doesn't have a clue in
20 English. She should have said "Political enemy," but she did say
21 "animal." I heard it very well, and I laughed to myself when I heard it.
22 She said "animal."
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Dr. Bosanac, did you say that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said quite clearly "political
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Anyway, we've got the
2 soundtrack. We can check. So you said "political enemy," but how do you
3 know that these were political opponents?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew in respect of some. In
5 respect of many, I didn't know, and I said so in respect of those people,
6 that I knew that was the case.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me take an example, that of
8 Ivan Bainrauh. You wrote that he was -- well, who was he? Was he an
9 opponent or not? This is number 8 in the list.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I know. I can see that. I
11 can't be sure. I wrote it because I thought that he was a political
12 opponent, but I wasn't sure. I marked him anyway because I thought that
13 he was, but I really thought that not relevant as a method of analysis.
14 I just tried to mark the people that I -- whom I knew with the signs
15 given me.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So political opponents to whom,
17 to what?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that they belonged to
19 this option which actually led to the aggression on Vukovar. That is at
20 least how I understood the Prosecutor Moore. Perhaps it would be better
21 if you asked him what he had meant precisely when he asked us to mark
22 these things.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he asked you to indicate
24 whether, among the victims, there were opponents, people opposed to the
25 aggression on Vukovar. So Prosecutor Moore concluded that that person
1 was a political opponent, and you continued by indicating "W," but
2 apparently you regret that move now?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't regret it, but I just think
4 that it wasn't of the essence, that it wasn't relevant. I put all these
5 question marks because I was not sure what mark to put. I thought even
6 then it pointless to actually mark and divide the victims in that way,
7 but Prosecutor Moore asked me to do it in that way, so I did the best I
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the mere fact that the
10 Prosecutor is asking you something does not mean that you have to do what
11 he tells you to or asks you to. You are absolutely independence,
12 regardless of whether the Judges, the accused, or the Prosecution ask you
13 to do something.
14 So it was the Prosecutor, you say, who'd asked you to write this
15 down. Let me take another example on page 2, Ivan Bozak. That's the
16 first name on page 2. Did you know him?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I knew him. He was our
18 doorman, and "WH" is placed by his name, meaning "Work hospital," meaning
19 that he was on the hospital staff.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he was a civilian employee
21 in the hospital.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. So when you marked the letter "S," which is "V" in B/C/S, what
25 does that mean when you write that in front of an "M"?
1 A. "S," according to the legend here, means "Soldier," so he was a
2 soldier, and I put that mark by the name so those whom I knew to be
4 Q. Fine. When we see a star or a "WH," can you remind us what
5 category of people that represents?
6 A. That refers to the hospital staff, the workers of the hospital.
7 Q. I see. Then when we see a cross and then "HWH"?
8 A. These are auxiliary staff at the hospital, those who are not
9 professional medical staff but were auxiliary staff. For instance, the
10 husbands of the nurses who worked there came there to work as assistants
11 in different ways.
12 Q. Thank you. And when you don't know, you just put a question
13 mark; is that so?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. After you did all this, did you have enough time to check it all?
16 What I mean to say is that this matches your memory, well, to the best of
17 your knowledge. What is the degree of certainty we can attribute to this
19 A. It is a quite high degree of certainty, but I should like to say
20 that these markings reflect my view of those people, what I knew about
21 them. I cannot say that it was something certain. The Prosecutor asked
22 me to indicate my view of persons at the hospital. I suppose that he
23 also asked the other witnesses to do the same. Now, whether it really is
24 precise, I can't say. I believe that a much more precise piece of
25 information is the one which is contained in the database of the
1 information staff of the health ministry, where the data indicates
2 whether someone was a Croatian soldier, a police member, or a civilian.
3 In this list, it is only there that we can obtain more details.
4 In this list, we can only see whether someone came to assist at
5 the hospital, to work in the kitchen, or perhaps, as I said, they were
6 the husbands of nurses already working at the hospital who came to help.
7 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 I seek to tender this document, and I have no further questions
9 for this witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we have a number for this
11 document, please.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P602, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
14 Witness, I told you earlier that I have a number of questions to
15 put to you. I'm going to try to proceed in a logical fashion. But
16 before doing so, let me put this technical question to you.
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You told us, and the documents
19 have shown it, you've told us that in this hospital, you would provide
20 treatment to wounded people, whether they were Serbs or Croatians. To
21 the best of your recollection, at some point in time did you have, in
22 your hospital, a Serb fighter who was not a member of the JNA but who was
23 either a volunteer or a reservist? Did you have to deal with such a
24 situation, having to treat a patient, a Serb, who was not a member of the
25 JNA? Can you provide some specifics? Can you provide us with a specific
2 A. I remember that day there was a reservist who came as a
3 volunteer. He was wounded and brought to our hospital, but I can't
4 remember his name. All I know is that happened a few times.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you, yourself, did you talk
6 to these, quote/unquote, "volunteers"? Did you speak with these people?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you ask them what they were
9 doing there? Why they were there? What did they tell you?
10 A. I did not ask them that because they were seriously wounded, and
11 they were people not capable of answering such questions at that time. I
12 did not try to talk to them about that. I only spoke to those people
13 whom I described in my appeals, and they were people who had been
14 re-convalescing for a long time. Their ward was hit by a shell, and I
15 just asked them to put their signature to my fax to confirm that all of
16 it is true.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is something that I find
18 rather confusing, a topic I find rather confusing. It's the topic of the
19 JNA wounded.
20 We can very well picture in our minds the situation in Vukovar,
21 Vukovar under siege, wounded people on the streets, and so on and so
22 forth. But what about JNA personnel who were wounded, who would bring
23 them to the hospital? How would it happen, practically speaking?
24 A. Those who were brought to the hospital were brought by Croatian
25 troops who were on the frontline, and they brought those wounded to the
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, during
3 fighting, wounded Serbs who had been captured by Croatian soldiers would
4 be taken to the hospital by Croatian soldiers. You say that with
5 certainty. From memory, are we talking about a lot of people, a lot of
6 such cases during that period? Are we talking about one or two
7 individuals, several dozens? How many wounded Serb soldiers received
8 treatment at the hospital?
9 A. I remember, in August, four of them were brought. That was at
10 the beginning; and then later another three, then another two, then
11 another two. I'd have to think back to answer this question, to remember
12 all these details.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. So there was a number of
14 them. I suppose that all necessary steps had been taken at the hospital
15 for these wounded Serb soldiers, who were also prisoners, for them to be
16 under guard and not to be mistreated?
17 A. I told you before that this man, Samardzic, had been sent by the
18 defence commander to guard these soldiers. While there were three of
19 them, they were in a separate room.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters cannot hear anything from the
21 extra microphones on.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] However, their ward was hit by a
23 shell, and, fortunately, nobody was hurt that time. But after that
24 shell, they were placed together with the other wounded Croatian soldiers
25 and civilians.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to address the period
2 before the attack of Vukovar by the JNA. With your help, I'd like us to
3 go back in time.
4 At paragraph 8 of your written statement, you say that there were
5 45.000 inhabitants in Vukovar, there were different ethnic groups,
6 Croats, Serbs, and so on and so forth. Before these events in Vukovar,
7 was there a quiet atmosphere amongst all the ethnic groups or were there
8 clear tensions between these groups?
9 A. Well, everybody has a different perception of that, I suppose. I
10 personally spent my entire life in Vukovar and had worked for 17 years as
11 a physician. Before the war in Vukovar, I was never involved in
12 politics. But the fact is tensions began in Yugoslavia even just after
13 the -- after Tito's death, and things got worse with various movements in
14 Vojvodina, in Croatia. What happened in Croatia happened on the 18th of
15 August, 1991, when roadblocks were put up, and the Croatian Assembly
16 announced the decision to declare Croatia's independence after a
18 To the best of my knowledge, there had been negotiations about
19 transforming Yugoslavia into something like a confederation; and
20 according to that idea, the republics should have become confederal
21 units. But at that time, this idea didn't pass because the policy of
22 Greater Serbia, pursued by Slobodan Milosevic, put an end to these
23 negotiations, and the Yugoslav Army was the extended arm of that Greater
24 Serbia policy.
25 I'm telling you I wasn't involved in politics, I was an outside
1 observer, and it's a fact that in those border areas of Croatia, we felt
2 that something was wrong and that it is not guaranteed that peace would
3 be preserved. However, when the Log Revolution, as it was called,
4 started in Pakrac, in that part of Vojvodina, we did not suspect that
5 things would end that way, because we had always been a multi-ethnic
6 community. People lived together and had respect for each other, and we
7 simply couldn't believe it.
8 However, it is a fact that paramilitary units arrived in Serbian
9 villages in 1990, the villages around Vukovar. They armed the Serbian
10 population of these villages, they were present at various rallies, and
11 they kept inciting the Serbian people against Croatia. Still, we kept
12 hoping for a political solution, until the 2nd of May, when Croatian
13 policemen were killed in a Serbian village. And after the shelling of
14 Vukovar started, we realised that there would be no peaceful end to this,
15 and I tried to open people's eyes to this through all my communications,
16 all my appeals, to let the world know what this policy is doing to us.
17 These policy-makers were using the Yugoslav Army as a tool to
18 implement the idea of Greater Serbia, it was inconceivable how they could
19 treat people the way they did, but that was the truth; and no one at that
20 time, not even the International Community, the Europe, or the UN, wanted
21 to look the problem in the face.
22 After I was released from the camp, I travelled a lot, and I
23 faced a lot of those politicians who at that time had had the power to do
24 something, and I realised that they had not had enough political will.
25 They wanted to keep Yugoslavia as it was. They let themselves be
1 manipulated by Slobodan Milosevic and the followers of this Great Serbian
3 If you look at -- but when Vukovar happened and when so many
4 civilians got killed, they couldn't turn a blind eye to this anymore.
5 Then things started happening in Bosnia, including Srebrenica; and
6 regardless of all that happened, whether anyone can understand it or not,
7 we, the survivors, know what it was all about.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like us to review the
9 situation from the perspective of your hospital.
10 When the independence of Croatia was proclaimed, did this have an
11 impact on the municipality of Vukovar and on your hospital, or did it
12 have no impact whatsoever?
13 A. Well, depends from person to person. In spring 1991, we had
14 local elections, and that was the first multi-party election that
15 produced a local government. So the first local elections were in the
16 spring of 1991, and it was a multi-party political system in play for the
17 first time. I believe there were six or seven political parties taking
18 part, and they elected to a multi-party government, a multi-party local
19 assembly, and local government. For instance, Slavko Dokmanovic was
20 elected, although the Serbian Party was not even registered by then. It
21 was registered only after the elections led by Jovan Raskovic.
22 But at those elections, Slavko Dokmanovic was on the ticket of
23 the Communist Party or some other party; whereas, another man, Mr. Soldo,
24 was elected head of the local government. And at the local level, these
25 political parties tried to agree about the distribution of power.
1 However, later, when these proponents of the Greater Serbian
2 idea, the Radical Party and the Chetniks and the paramilitaries, it all
3 changed. Slavko Dokmanovic stopped going to work, Marin Vidic was no
4 longer the civilian commissioner for Vukovar, there were blockades of
5 Vukovar and surrounding villages, and political solutions were no longer
6 possible. We were heading for war, and we who were encircled tried to do
7 our best to defend ourselves and survive.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let me cut you off.
9 Here I'm relying on your written statement. In your written
10 statement, you mention the Chetniks. I would like you to tell us, from
11 your own point of view, not from the point of view of Mr. Seselj or the
12 OTP, but in your eyes, what is a Chetnik?
13 A. I heard what "Chetnik" meant. Before the war, my ideas about
14 Chetniks came from books and movies, and these volunteers organised by
15 various organisations were called "Chetniks." When I use the word
16 "Chetnik," I use it to denote members of Serbian paramilitary units whom
17 I came across during the war and during the occupation of Vukovar.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have stated that you met
19 with Serbian paramilitary units. What units are you talking about, and
20 in what way are they different from the JNA? This may seem obvious for
21 you, but the Judges were not on the spot at the time, so they need that
23 A. I can only tell you my own opinion, but you can also find out
24 from photos, and there is plenty of photo documentation from that period.
25 I thought of those people as Chetniks. They were disheveled, with long
1 beards, wearing fur hats with cockades on them, aggressive, filled with
2 hate. Those are the people whom I thought of as Chetniks, and you can
3 take photos from that period and you will see that these people answer my
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you see these people move
6 around Vukovar with your own eyes? Did you see some of them walk around
7 the town?
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you saw them, did you have
10 the feeling that they were under control or that they were out of
12 A. I think they were under the control of their commanders, because
13 they did have their own commanders.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To your knowledge, what about
15 their commander, who was it under the control of?
16 A. I think the chief commander was the accused in this case. I
17 heard that personally when I listened to the Serbian radio while still
18 living in Vukovar, and I read it in literature, which made it obvious
19 that he was one of the highest-ranking commanders of these units. He
20 actually united them all.
21 I remember, when I was giving a statement in the prison in
22 Mitrovica, when a colonel was interrogating me about the burial of the
23 dead while we were still in Vukovar, he asked me to draw a sketch of who
24 was buried where, to the best of my recollection. I told him the best
25 thing to do is to go back to Vukovar and I could show him on the spot,
1 rather than try to remember in prison. He said it was not a good idea at
2 all because the Yugoslav Army had no jurisdiction over that territory
3 anymore, and it was a big question how to get into Vukovar and then get
5 That's when I first realised that the Yugoslav Army had no
6 control over these people whatsoever. In fact, the part of the Yugoslav
7 Army that implemented this policy probably had some control. They acted
8 in unison, and it's obvious from many newspaper articles at the time; but
9 at that time, I still didn't know that. I still thought the Yugoslav
10 authority -- the Yugoslav Army had more authority. But it's obvious they
11 were acting together, acting in unison. The link was not completely
12 broken; otherwise, it wouldn't have been possible for the Yugoslav Army
13 to be completely neutral.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After the multi-party
15 elections, a new municipal authority was introduced, and you said that at
16 that time paramilitary units and Chetniks arrived in town. At that
17 specific point in time, at a time when the JNA had done nothing yet,
18 there had been no attack at that time, during that period of time, would
19 you listen to Serbian radio, is that what you're saying, and you heard in
20 the news that these Chetniks, these paramilitary units, were coming under
21 the control of Mr. Seselj or X, Y, Z? Did you hear that even before the
22 JNA started shelling the town?
23 But which radio? I suppose there were several radio stations.
24 Which one would you listen to?
25 A. I listened to Novi Sad, Belgrade, Radio Sabac. Those were all
1 stations that we received in our area.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we've had several
3 witnesses here, but -- let me interrupt myself because I'm looking at the
4 clock. We have to adjourn. I'll proceed with my questions tomorrow, but
5 rest assured that we'll complete your testimony tomorrow.
6 Tomorrow, we'll start working at a quarter past 2.00. We were
7 supposed to work in the morning initially, but the Appeals Chamber is
8 sitting in the Krajisnik case in the morning, and we were asked if we
9 could sit in the afternoon; whereas, we were scheduled to be working in
10 the morning. The outcome of all this is that we'll meet again tomorrow
11 at 2.15. Please make the necessary arrangements.
12 You've taken the solemn declaration. You are here to testify in
13 the interests of justice. As such, you're not supposed to have any
14 contacts with the OTP, but I'm sure you know that. I will also instruct
15 you not to have any contacts, any dealings, with representatives of the
16 press to talk about your testimony. I hope you understand that.
17 So if you want to call your family, no problem, but do not have
18 any contacts with the media, because you are here to testify for the
19 interests of justice and you're not supposed to have any contacts with
20 anyone about your testimony.
21 We'll adjourn and meet again tomorrow afternoon.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.56 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 5th day of
24 November, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.