1 Wednesday, 18 December 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: When Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff concluded last week, she just
8 reached Tab 39. May that, please, go on the overhead projector.
9 JUDGE MAY: While that's being done, I will say that we will
10 conclude the witness today. There will be cross-examination. We will,
11 then, deal with the conduct of the proceedings. The Trial Chamber has
12 something to say on that topic which we will do at the end of the day. We
13 have to finish fairly promptly, because we've got another hearing this
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I quite understand that. There's one or
16 two things that I want to add to the report that I provided you. We were
17 going to deal with the financial report. We've received extensive series
18 of projections. We can deal with them, of course, today in general, but
19 it may be that we will run out of time.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll see what the time is. First we need to
21 conclude the witness.
22 MR. NICE: Yes.
23 WITNESS: PETAR POLJANIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examined by Mr. Nice:
1 Q. If that has gone on the overhead projector, this occasion then,
2 Mr. Poljanic, you're looking at the original of a document, the English
3 translation of which is on the overhead projector, and it is a document
4 coming from Vice-Admiral Jokic requesting of the operative group command
5 for Dubrovnik region that there be a deblockade of Grujic military
6 building on the Island of Mljet, buildings be handed over on the Peljesac
7 Peninsula, return of military equipment, disarming of civil persons in the
8 Dubrovnik region, extra diction of JNA officers who have not regulated
9 their service within the exchange of prisoners, handing over and disarming
10 of all paramilitary formations as indicated, unconditional surrender of
11 the Dubrovnik Crisis Staff, and handing over of complete documentation of
12 Dubrovnik National Defence Council.
13 Were you aware of that document at the time of its production?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When did you receive it or see it?
16 A. I received it on the 12th of October, 1991, in a location called
17 Mocici in Konavle in front of the airport runway, near the beginning or
18 the end, it depends which way you look at it, on the western part of the
19 runway, from Captain Milan Zec, Captain of a naval vessel, Captain Milan
21 Q. And a few more words from the pleas about the meeting where you
22 received this document, you told us about the location Mocici. What was
23 the atmosphere of the meeting, who else present?
24 A. The day before, we had a meeting on the Kotor destroyer, that I
25 mentioned in my testimony days ago. And at that meeting, the opposing
1 side insisted that at the next meeting, and that's the one we're talking
2 about today, on the 12th of October, that we also bring a representative
3 of the Croatian army.
4 The next day, that is, on the 12th, we arrived to attend, let us
5 call them negotiations. They were to have been held in Cavtat, however
6 when we got to Cavtat, they told us that the talks would take place in
7 Mocici. We went in a jeep. With me was the president of the executive
8 council of Dubrovnik municipality, Mr. Sikic; a representative of the
9 Croatian army, Dr. Antun Karaman; a member of the negotiating team,
10 Mr. Hrvoje Macan, responsible for communal affairs; and Mr. Miso
11 Mihocevic, who was an interpreter.
12 Q. Remember, Mr. Poljanic we are very pressed for time today and so
13 we must deal with things in summary. On the other side, who was speaking
14 and what was the atmosphere like very briefly?
15 A. Very well. On the other side, there was Captain Zec, someone who
16 I think was frigate captain, Mr. Sofronije Jeremic. Then I think he was
17 also a frigate captain, today he is an Admiral Zdravkovic. And I don't
18 remember that there was anyone else representing the military.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... due to the other on the side
20 during this meeting where this ultimatum was handed over?
21 A. They welcomed us in an unbelievable manner for me with at least
22 100 reservists present, with rifles on the ready. We had the feeling that
23 we would be killed. I don't know what the reasons were, but that is how
24 they welcomed us. However, in the meantime, again I don't know how this
25 came about because this hadn't been agreed, European observers came by and
1 the negotiations which were not real negotiations were conducted. Captain
2 Zec gave me this, which I considered to be an ultimatum. I just looked at
3 it fleetingly, and I said literally: "Captain, this sounds like an
4 ultimatum to me. And I think that we can't accept --"
5 Q. Was something said about an incident in Ravno?
6 A. Yes, in response to this statement of mine, Captain Zec said: "I
7 don't know anything. Yesterday, in the village of Ravno, you killed three
8 of our men, and we are going to act. Literally." My response was:
9 "Captain, the village of Ravno is not in Dubrovnik municipality, nor is
10 it in the Republic of Croatia, nor do I have any idea that there were any
11 conflicts there, nor that anyone was killed on either side. He said: "I
12 don't know anything about that, we are going to act. And the next
13 morning, they entered.
14 MR. NICE: [Previous interpretation continues] ... just lay that
15 on the overhead projector, please.
16 Q. Is Ravno shown on this copy our Exhibit 326, the place indicated
17 on the yellow sticker we can just see on there. Is that the Ravno you're
18 speaking of?
19 A. Ravno, there it is, yes. Right here. You can see the word
20 written there.
21 Q. So he made this reference to Ravno. What else was said at this
22 meeting where the ultimatum was handed over by Captain Zec of importance,
23 if you can remember?
24 A. He said after that: "We are going to act." And as I said a
25 moment ago, after that, they entered Cavtat. Immediately we left the
1 negotiations, and they entered Cavtat, and occupied they occupied Cavtat.
2 Q. We asked if your negotiators, your side, being to reject the
3 ultimatum, for what reasons. Just give the two or three reasons if you
4 can, please.
5 A. This was absolutely unacceptable. It would mean surrendering the
6 whole area which hadn't been occupied yet. The town. And to hand over
7 something that didn't exist, you see. They insisted on the handing over
8 of paramilitary formations which really we did not have. How could we
9 hand over something that we did not have.
10 Q. Your fears for the population in the event of surrender were what?
11 A. Yes. We were resolute to defend ourselves despite the fact that,
12 in the military sense, we were very weak.
13 Q. What was Admiral Jokic expressed or known political position?
14 A. Admiral Jokic was a part of that army which had already occupied
15 the whole area of Konavle, the western part of Dubrovnik municipality. So
16 there you are; he was a part of that project.
17 Q. Did he express any political views or was he known to have any
18 particular political views? If so, what?
19 A. On every occasion, he expressed such political views. And you
20 will have occasion, if you already haven't received the tapes from those
21 days, and then you will hear from him personally what he was saying.
22 Q. And his political views, in a nutshell or in a sentence, were
24 A. He was part of the project for the creation of a Greater Serbia.
25 Q. I move on to what happened after the 12th of October meeting. Did
1 you focus on your duties as mayor, and did you have a negotiating team
2 available to deal with future negotiations?
3 A. After that day, that is, after the 12th of October, 1991, those of
4 us who had been in the negotiating team decided, because of our duties in
5 the town itself, we decided to set up a high-quality team which will
6 continue to negotiate with the enemy side. And we did set up such a team.
7 If you wish, I will name them. In any event, that was the last day when I
8 personally took part in the negotiations with the opposing party; the 12th
9 of October.
10 Q. Just give us the names, please, of those in the negotiating team.
11 A. Mr. Niksa Obuljen, who was my deputy also, deputy town mayor.
12 There was Mr. Djuro Kolic, Mr. Miso Mihocevic, Mr. Hrvoje Macan, and Mr.
13 Ivo Simunovic; five of them.
14 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]... were complaints made about
15 the shelling of civilian targets and about the living conditions of those
16 in Dubrovnik?
17 A. Complaints were made after each and every shelling, so there were
18 very many complaints due to the very fact that there was a lot of
19 shelling. The opposing party paid no attention but simply, in accordance
20 with their plan, they continued shelling when they felt it to be
22 Q. To what extent must the JNA have been aware of the situation in
23 the town and of the number of people defending it?
24 A. The JNA was aware of each and every detail happening in town.
25 First of all, because they had visual contact with the town; they were
1 only a couple of hundred metres away. Secondly, they were informed.
2 Thirdly, we had a radio station that provided accurate information about
3 everything that was going on, and they certainly listened to it. And
4 furthermore, each time there were negotiations, our side would say what
5 had happened, what they had done. So they were aware of each detail of
6 our tragedy.
7 Q. How many defenders were there in the first place within Belgrade?
8 A. At first, I think I said that at the beginning when General
9 Marinovic, who was then colonel and took over the defence of Dubrovnik, I
10 think there were 59 or 69, something like 60 soldiers. Later on, the
11 number increased, but it never reached the figure of 3 or 7.000 as was
12 mentioned earlier on.
13 MR. NICE: Can we look next at tab 40, and perhaps please place
14 the original briefly on the overhead projector so those viewing can see
15 what the document is. Then hand the original please to the witness and
16 lay the English on the overhead projector.
17 Q. Is this a document, Mr. Poljanic, dated the 26th of October coming
18 from Lieutenant-General Strugar, headed "Supplement to the Message that is
19 Broadcast on Dubrovnik Radio," addressed to Dubrovnik citizens of all
20 nationalities who wish to be evacuated in the directions of Split, Rijeka,
21 Herceg Novi, and Trebinje. And the proposals for the normalisation of
22 life in Dubrovnik and for ensuring the safety in the city of Dubrovnik are
23 listed: Weapons found to be handed over. JNA and European Community
24 Monitor Mission to control the hand-over. ZNG and Dubrovnik MUP members
25 who didn't regulate their residence status to leave the area. Foreign
1 mercenaries to be handed over to the diplomatic mission. Internal affairs
2 to be restored to their earlier state. Party symbols to be removed from
3 public places. It being said that the JNA should guarantee that its
4 members will respect the complete cease-fire and safety of citizens. JNA
5 armed formations not to enter Dubrovnik. JNA to organise the control of
6 entrances and exits to and from Dubrovnik. And the JNA to enable the
7 appropriate work organisations to provide utilities. And a reply was
9 Were you aware of that document at the time?
10 A. Yes. I was aware of it.
11 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]... response to it yourself and
12 the negotiating team in Dubrovnik?
13 A. Clearly, this is something we couldn't accept because it would
14 mean surrendering the city, surrendering the men, surrendering the area.
15 Then if we had agreed to this, it would have been over for us. This was
16 just a more detailed ultimatum.
17 Q. Thank you. Next, then, please, the negotiations of the 5th of
18 December. Were there such negotiations? How many people from Croatia
19 conducted them?
20 A. Yes, the negotiations on the 5th of December were held. On the
21 Croatian side was the then minister Dr. Davorin Rudolf; a second minister,
22 Pero Kriste; Mr. Cifric; and other negotiators. The talks were held.
23 There was a discussion about public utilities so that at least minimum
24 conditions for life could be restored.
25 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]... although my normal practice
1 is to display the original, it's probably better if we hand the original
2 straight to the witness, place the first page of the English version on
3 the overhead projector. I'm not going to go through it; it's available to
4 be read. We'll just see what it is.
5 Mr. Poljanic, is this the agreement that was forged in December of
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You can deal with the specific terms of it, if asked.
9 Notwithstanding this cease-fire agreement, was Dubrovnik shelled
10 thereafter and into the autumn and summer of 1992?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How long did the JNA remain in the Dubrovnik region
13 notwithstanding this agreement?
14 A. The western part of Dubrovnik municipality was left by the JNA on
15 the 27th or the 29th of May. And as for the eastern part, they left on
16 the 22nd of October, 1992.
17 Q. Briefly, then, can you turn to some public appeals that were
18 recorded about the plight of Dubrovnik. Tab 41, original to the witness,
19 English version on the overhead projector.
20 I'm sorry, this is in English in all forms. This goes from --
21 A. Yes, it's fine.
22 Q. -- the Republic of Croatia, Dubrovnik opstina to heads of state,
23 governments and foreign ministers of the European community. And it there
24 sets out, as of that date, its occupation, its lack of utilities, the
25 failure of the army to withdraw and sets out a protest to the
1 international community, with a request for immediate action. Correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Tab 42, please.
4 This one, the 28th of November. Perhaps we can place one on the
5 overhead projector so that people can take this one and I'll read it from
6 the projector. Place it there rapidly, thank you.
7 This is a document where it sets out UNESCO observers sent to
8 Yugoslavia to Dubrovnik. Canadian. Then we go down three paragraphs.
9 "Mr. Mayor has made strong appeals to all parties in the conflict to
10 respect the principals enshrined in the conventions for the protection of
11 cultural property." Next paragraph, please move it up a bit. "Mr. Mayor
12 in contact with Mr. Poljanic on a daily basis concerning the situation,
13 although observers will monitor the state of cultural heritage, UNESCO has
14 emphasised that its primary concern is for human suffering, preparing an
15 international campaign."
16 Thank you very much. Does that accord with your recollection of
17 events, Mr. Poljanic?
18 A. It does, only there is an error. It wasn't the town mayor who
19 contacted Mr. Poljanic, but Mr. Mayor was a High Representative of UNESCO.
20 So it's not mayor as town mayor, but Mr. Mayor, Federico Mayor, and he
21 contacted me, and everything that is stated is true. I did indeed have
22 many contacts with him.
23 Q. We will place the next one on the overhead projector, tab 40 --
24 thank you. Place that on the overhead projector, tab 43.
25 And Tab 43 is in the original, but the English translation is at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the foot of the page if you can just move the page a little bit for me.
2 This is a protest against the absolutely unprovoked strong artillery fire
3 today at 5.50 from the region of wherever it is in Dubrava. Do you
4 remember this complaint being made? It's the 6th of December, 1991, from
5 the Dubrovnik Crisis Staff.
6 A. Yes. I do remember. It was made relatively early in the morning.
7 I think it was about half past 7.00 or 8.00 while the town was still in a
8 situation when it was possible to write such complaints. But after the
9 6th of December, the destruction was so vast that it was not possible to
10 write up any such documents.
11 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. May I have that back, please.
12 Did the Serbs ever acknowledge culpability for the shelling? Did they
13 ever blame any of parts of their forces at any particular grade for any
14 mistakes that they said had occurred?
15 A. I don't know. I don't know that they had ever acknowledged that.
16 But I do know that one of the leading people in the region, three months
17 previously in a newspaper, in a weekly, said that he was very sorry for
18 any of the shells that had missed Dubrovnik as the target. He did that,
19 in fact, three months ago.
20 Q. One other exhibit I better just turn back to very briefly, if I
21 can lay it on the overhead projector, it's Exhibit 338, tab 4, coming up.
22 This is a document dated the 5th of October of 1991 from the government of
23 Serbia in Belgrade. Refers to its session of -- the Republic of Serbia's
24 session held on the 4th of October acquainted with the danger to the
25 civilian population in the city of Dubrovnik. Represents a part of
1 Serbian and Croatian history as well as a monument to the world cultural
2 heritage. And then it says this: "Your decision to install paramilitary
3 units, black legions, and numerous foreign mercenaries in a city of
4 invaluable historical and cultural value and to launch an armed attack on
5 settlements in Herzegovina and Boka Kotorska from this position represents
6 a totally uncivilised, inhumane, and undignified act."
7 Any truth in that paragraph, please, Mr. Poljanic? Was there any
8 truth in that allegation made by the government of Serbia?
9 A. Not a single detail is truthful.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 A. Except for the fact that this was written. The contents are not
13 Q. Thank you. If we move on, then, and I'm very nearly at the
14 conclusion. Mr. Poljanic, did you on the 22nd of December of 1991 go to
15 Washington where you met US Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger to
16 whom photographs of the attack on Dubrovnik was shown. And were you aware
17 that Mr. Eagleburger showed the same photographs later to Borisav Jovic?
18 A. Yes. But I can't quite confirm that that was actually on the 22nd
19 of December. I thought about, it and it might have been the 19th of
20 December, but I don't think that is the essential point now.
21 Q. Did you hear, and if so, through what channels, what Jovic's
22 response was to the photograph shown to him?
23 A. Mr. Jovic, and this is what he writes about in his book, he
24 talks -- actually, it was said to be an autobiography, it wasn't an
25 autobiography, it was a book about the events. He recognised in that book
1 and said that not even dust fell upon Dubrovnik and he says that those
2 photographs are a montage, that it is all nonsense, that Dubrovnik is
3 completely intact and not even specks of dust fell upon it.
4 Q. The last exhibit, tab 45, please, it's an English exhibit so place
5 it straight on the overhead projector and I'll read it from there. This
6 Is a document -- just start at the top, please. This is a document from
7 the Crisis Committee of Dubrovnik, and it comes from Admiral Jokic:
8 "... regret for the difficult and unfortunate situation that has been
9 created. This was not our order, neither was it close to my sanity to act
10 like this. General Kadijevic has sent a message to you and the ECMM in
11 Dubrovnik on undertaking an energetic investigation on our responsibility
12 and the guilty ones for this event. At the same time, we expect to find
13 out responsibilities on your side for the sake of a thorough clarification
14 of all circumstances in regard with the events from last night and this
15 morning. General Kadijevic has invited me to Belgrade at 1400, so today I
16 will not be able to continue the negotiations... I suggest the
17 following:" Talks to continue, accept an agreement that fire be ceased,
18 put a boat shuttle between Cavtat and Dubrovnik, control of ships, and so
20 What do you say about this document? Do you have any comment on
21 this document? It suggests a breakdown in chain of command and
22 communication I think by the attacking forces, if we look on. Was there
23 any such breakdown?
24 A. The document is a true one, but I don't believe the words in it
25 for the simple reason that on the 6th of December, in the afternoon, I
1 talked to the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia, Dr. Zvonimir
2 Separovic over the phone, and I told him what the situation was like in
3 town. And quite literally that this would perhaps be our last
4 conversation because we expected that -- to die, all of us thought we
5 would die in the town. The whole town was in flames. I think it was
6 around 3.30 in the afternoon. And Dr. Separovic answered, "Stick it out a
7 little longer. I have just been on the line with Mr. Federico Mayor in
8 Paris." That was the number one man in UNESCO there who told me that he
9 had been given guarantees from the very top echelons of leadership in
10 Belgrade, that everything would be over by 4.00 p.m., that everything
11 would be quiet by 4.00 p.m., and that's what happened. Not a single
12 grenade fell after 4.00 p.m. on that particular day which just shows that
13 it was impossible that Belgrade did not know about it, and not only that
14 but that it could put an end to what was going on, and quite obviously did
15 do so in fact.
16 Q. And did Mr. Mayor explain that he was in contact with Belgrade?
17 A. He didn't explain it to me directly because he wasn't able to
18 reach me, but he explained this to Dr. Zvonimir Separovic, the then
19 Foreign Minister of Croatia, and Mr. Separovic relayed that information to
20 me, because he was able to reach me by telephone.
21 MR. NICE: Thank you, Mr. Poljanic. You'll be asked some further
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How much time do I have, Mr. May?
1 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider it precisely over the adjournment, but
2 I would think something in the region of two and a half hours.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
5 Q. Mr. Poljanic, you started your testimony by elections when you
6 were elected as mayor of Dubrovnik, did you not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you recall they were not only local elections, but they were
9 republican elections as well for the Sabor or parliament of Croatia? Do
10 you remember that in that year of 1990, when those elections were held,
11 most of the Serbs or can I say all of Banija, Kordun, Nis and Slavonia and
12 so on and so forth voted in favour of the former League of Communists of
13 Croatia, or rather, Racan's party, and that 21 of them were elected as
14 deputies to the assembly on the ticket of the former League of Communists
15 of Croatia, and the Racan party; that is to say, that most of them voted
16 for the former League of Communists of Croatia. Is that correct? Is that
18 A. Yes, it is, that's the truth.
19 Q. All right. Now, if that is true, how can you claim in your
20 statement, although I have not been given the statement in Serbian, if
21 truth be told, but what I have received in English, you say that after the
22 fall of the Berlin wall, the Serbs saw their chance, the chance of
23 realising some kind of idea about a Greater Serbia. How can you claim
24 that when we have just taken note of the fact, when we have just taken
25 note of what we said a moment ago?
1 A. Well, you know full well that this idea to great a Greater Serbia
2 was not born then and there, although we are not dealing with history
3 here, this isn't history, but I can respond to that. That's not when the
4 idea and concept was born. It was born far, far earlier. And with the
5 toppling of socialism or rather communism, as a sort of world system at
6 the time, on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, quite obviously, some
7 people created conditions for the implementation of precisely this
8 particular irrational project, I would say.
9 Q. Well, it was -- the project never existed, as you know very well
10 yourself, and the thesis and concept of a Greater Serbia at the beginning
11 of the last century already, or rather after the Berlin congress and the
12 occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina was launched by Austria as a danger that
13 loomed from the Serbs in the Balkans?
14 A. This idea was launched before that, and you know that very well
15 yourself, but I don't think we need go into a debate on that point.
16 Q. Yes, we don't have to go into a debate on that point.
17 A. You know that full well, perfectly well.
18 Q. Yes, I do know that perfectly, whose idea it was and how it was
19 used, et cetera, and so do they, those whose idea it was. Now, you showed
20 us a document here, about the formation -- the idea to form a Dubrovnik
21 republic, the movement to form a Dubrovnik republic. Tell me now, did
22 anybody from Serbia take part in that that you know about? It doesn't
23 matter -- I don't want you to say something that you assume, just what you
24 know, on the basis of what you yourself know, did anybody from Serbia take
25 part in that?
1 A. I don't know about any direct contacts between anybody in Serbia
2 with somebody from that - what shall we call it? - movement or council to
3 restore the Dubrovnik republic. But there was some sort of logic in it
4 all. Of course, we cannot judge on the basis of assumptions.
5 Q. Mr. Poljanic, I'm just reading what it says here, and here it says
6 movement for whatever it says. That's why I used the word "movement."
7 Otherwise, it does say here: Demilitarised -- that's what it says in the
8 Croatian version, of course, the Serbo-Croatian or Croatian Serbian
9 version, or what is now the Croatian language, that's what it says: A
10 new, modern, demilitarised and democratised democratic republic under the
11 protection of neighbouring republics and the United Nations. So that
12 means under the protection of the United Nations and neighbouring
13 republics. And as you know, Serbia is not a neighbouring republic when we
14 are talking about Dubrovnik. And as you know, it is quite a long way from
15 Dubrovnik anyway. And do you really see any links between Serbia with the
16 events that took place in Dubrovnik, Mr. Poljanic?
17 A. As you know, no, but it would have been, and you know that very
18 well yourself.
19 Q. All right, Mr. Poljanic. We'll get to that. We'll get to the
20 facts that you have testified about in due course. But what we're saying
21 is that, according to your knowledge, nobody in Serbia did.
22 Now, did you have any meetings with respect to all these events
23 that took place in Dubrovnik with any representative of Serbia at all?
24 A. No, although high-ranking officials from Serbia did stroll around
25 Dubrovnik at the time I was mayor or president of the municipality, and
1 during your -- during the testimony of the president of the Republic of
2 Croatia, Mr. Mesic, you yourself said when he noted that many came to Knin
3 and the surrounding parts, and you said at the time, well, it was enough
4 that they called upon local municipal representatives. Well, those
5 representatives did not call on me. And you were amongst them, you were
6 one of them in my day.
7 Q. As you know - and if you don't know - for more than ten years, I
8 spent my holidays in those parts, and when I was vacationing with my
9 family without having any other business to attend to, I really didn't
10 feel duty bound to report to the municipal authorities.
11 A. Well, I didn't want to have a meeting with you. It was just
12 proper to do so because I do know, by the way, that you met with other
13 people who suited you. But let's not waste time on that.
14 Q. All right. Very well, Mr. Poljanic, I did like having my holidays
15 in Dubrovnik, as you know. And this is common knowledge. During the
16 events when the first news of them reached me, I was in The Hague at the
17 time. Tudjman was there, Lord Carrington was there too, and I condemned
18 any violence -- any and all violence in the area of Dubrovnik.
19 Now, then, Serbia, the leadership of Serbia, and I personally --
20 or rather, do you have any knowledge at all about any links that we had to
21 any of those events in Dubrovnik? Do you know about any of that?
22 A. I think that enough has been said on the subject and talked about
24 Q. All right. Fine. Now, you say, you talk about the fact that the
25 JNA attacked Dubrovnik, and then you say that the JNA occupied the
1 territories and so on and so forth. I don't want to repeat what you said,
2 not to waste time, but all the events that you talk about date back to
3 1991, don't they? Isn't that so?
4 A. Not all of them. I talk about some in 1992, and a few days ago,
5 up to 1995. The last shell from Trebinje fell in 1995 and killed three
6 innocent people on the beach, young people on the beach.
7 Q. I'm talking about the events that are the main object and subject
8 of your testimony. Now, whether somebody shot a grenade, a shell from
9 somewhere in 1995 from Trebinje or wherever, I don't want to delve into
10 that, but are you conscious of the fact that at that time - and we're
11 talking about 1991 - the SFRY was still in existence and that the Yugoslav
12 People's Army was deployed in the territory of Yugoslavia, that is to say,
13 on its own territory, at the time when all these events that you describe
14 were going on; in September and in October, November, December 1991? So
15 all these dramatic events and all the drama that you have described, this
16 took place on its own territory.
17 A. And are you aware of the fact that on the 21st of June, Croatia
18 proclaimed its independence, and this was not contrary to the constitution
19 that you yourself are referring to?
20 Q. Well, Mr. Poljanic, if you're asking me that question - although
21 it is my role to ask the questions here and not you --
22 A. But I did answer your question.
23 JUDGE MAY: We're going to put some order into this.
24 Mr. Poljanic, could you concentrate, please, on just answering the
25 questions. And both of you, could you remember that what you say has to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 be interpreted. So would you --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me answer. On the 25th of June,
3 Croatia proclaimed its independence, and according to our concepts and
4 pursuant to the constitution of that state, of the country you're talking
5 about - Yugoslavia - we were free.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And did you happen to read, because you say that everything was
8 done in a constitutional way, this violent secession on the part of
9 Croatia, that it was done in a constitutional way, have you perhaps read
10 the book or what was written about it by the former president of this
11 illegal Tribunal, Mr. Cassese, where it says that you did not have any
12 legal grounds for secession, for breaking away, and that you did that
13 through force of violence. Do you happen to have read that?
14 A. No.
15 JUDGE MAY: We have been through this with the previous witness.
16 We have ruled that it is irrelevant as far as the witness is concerned.
17 He is merely giving his evidence of what happened, and what he says is
18 that Croatia was independent. Now, if a point turns on it, a legal point,
19 in due course we will determine where the truth lies and where the law
20 was. But let us move on.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. As you explained, that it was sometime around the 1st of October
23 that everything started, that the shooting started --
24 A. Before that. Somewhere around the 15th of September, in fact. On
25 the town itself, it was the 1st of October, but otherwise, before. In
1 Konavle, in the Konavle region, it started earlier.
2 Q. Well, I wrote down your words, what you said, so that's what I'm
3 referring to. I'm not investigating the exact details. But Mr. Poljanic,
4 what I want to ask you is this: I have here before me observations and
5 conclusions by the Assembly of the Republic of Montenegro. And let me
6 look at the date. It was the 8th of October, 1991. It was an Assembly
7 session. Now, are you aware of the fact that on the 1st of October, there
8 was a commemorative meeting for the entire leadership over there because
9 of the death and killing of a young man who was stationed at the border
10 between Montenegro and Croatia, and who was killed precisely by the forces
11 that were located in the Dubrovnik region?
12 A. You say on the border, on the frontier?
13 Q. Yes, at the border, under fire from your side. And they were
14 killed by the forces who were located precisely in your area.
15 A. I guarantee and can sign that that is not true. I guarantee and I
16 sign what I guarantee that not a single Serb or anybody else on the
17 territory of Montenegro on the 1st of October was killed from the Croatian
18 side. Not a single one. I guarantee that.
19 Q. The 1st of October was when the commemorative session was held.
20 A. That means they were killed previously, and what you're saying is
21 a lie, a sheer lie.
22 Q. From the documents that are presented here, they testify to the
23 facts otherwise, but we'll come to you, to what you say. And they go on
24 to say - is this a lie too? - "The war being waged on the border belt
25 between the Republic of Montenegro with the Republic of Croatia has been
1 imposed on the Yugoslav People's Army by the Republic of Croatia. The war
2 is proof and evidence that the threats made by the Croatian leadership and
3 territorial pretensions that they have towards the Bay of Kotor and other
4 areas in the Republic of Montenegro were not empty threats. The border of
5 the Republic of Montenegro with the Republic of Croatia has been
6 jeopardised and is under threat by the aggression of Ustasha formations on
7 the part of the Croatian Republic." Is that incorrect too?
8 A. It is so incorrect that I didn't expect you to present such
9 incorrect information.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Poljanic, would you remember this is not a matter
11 for debate. You are in a Court. Just answer the questions. They may
12 seem provocative, but just answer them.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What you have read out is not true.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Poljanic, I am reading the conclusions of the Assembly of
17 JUDGE MAY: The witness says they are not true. They may be the
18 conclusions, as described. He says they are not true. Let's move on.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Since this is not true regarding territorial pretensions, you know
21 nothing about territorial pretensions in those days that were discussed,
22 of Croatia towards Boka Kotorska, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so on? Nothing?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Do you know of the Lipan charter, the June charter, have you heard
25 of it?
1 A. Yes, I have.
2 Q. What does it say in it? The Croatian territory includes the
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Bay of Kotor, et cetera.
4 A. I allow that there may have been some exaggerations, but real
5 pretensions never existed nor are there any now.
6 Q. So you do allow that there may have been some pretensions?
7 A. I didn't say pretensions; I said inaccuracies.
8 Q. Very well, then. Is this true, at least: Montenegro does not
9 have an army of its own? I assume you will agree with that. But military
10 conscripts of this republic, on the basis of federal regulations which
11 Montenegro continues to observe, which is an expression of its
12 pro-Yugoslav orientation and determination to defend Yugoslav institutions
13 is taking part in combat operations of the JNA against Ustasha military
14 forces whereby the dilemma as to whether Montenegro is at war or not is
15 nonsense. Montenegro sees Yugoslavia as a state community and any changes
16 in this country have to be made by peaceful means, et cetera, et cetera.
17 A. In the territory of Dubrovnik municipality, there were absolutely
18 no Ustasha forces. As to what was going on in Montenegro, that's their
20 Q. I'm only saying --
21 A. I'm only saying.
22 Q. Will you please confirm the fact that there were many accusations
23 against Montenegrins that they did something, and they are saying that
24 they don't have their own army, and that their reservists took part in the
25 JNA as they respect Yugoslavia and Yugoslav institutions. I assume you're
1 aware of that. And that they, of course, advocate a peaceful solution and
2 not violence.
3 Since you say that there were certain clumsiness, there was some
4 clumsiness in expression, on the other hand, Mr. Poljanic, did Serbia or
5 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia later on ever express territorial
6 pretensions towards any part outside its own territory? Are you aware of
8 A. I am absolutely aware of that because -- let us talk about the
9 south of Croatia. Because the war in the south of Croatia was waged
10 exclusively because of territorial pretensions towards Croatia. And
11 participating in that war were the Serbian and Montenegrin army. Now,
12 whether you're going to call it a Yugoslav army, that depends on an
13 agreement. These were Serbian and Montenegrin soldiers, and I saw them
14 with my own eyes. They had their guns pointed at me, a hundred of them or
15 so, at those let us call them negotiations.
16 Q. Since they were armed and in uniform, if you knew that they were
17 Serbs and Montenegrins, how could you tell? There may have been a
18 Macedonian, a Bulgarian, a Croat, a Hungarian, Romanian, Ruthenian, a
19 Muslim, and there were many of them, of all nationalities, in the Yugoslav
20 People's Army.
21 A. And with all kinds of insignia.
22 Q. So you had the JNA or some other army there?
23 A. I said they were wearing all kinds of insignia. They were wearing
24 JNA uniforms with various insignias. There were five-cornered stars and
1 Q. JNA uniforms had no cockades.
2 A. Yes, they did. I saw them.
3 Q. Very well, Mr. Poljanic. I cannot put to you what you saw.
4 A. I can, though.
5 Q. But I am claiming that they didn't have.
6 You explained here that the pretension was to occupy Dubrovnik,
7 then you mentioned Split, Sibenik, Zadar, et cetera.
8 A. I did.
9 Q. But Mr. Poljanic, after all, our memories are still fresh, and
10 there are documents to confirm this; wasn't the situation quite the
11 opposite? Wasn't it true that in cities all over Croatia, barracks of the
12 JNA were blocked, electricity was cut off, water, and supplies, and fire
13 opened at JNA barracks? Do you remember, for example, we heard here a
14 telephone conversation between the then federal Secretary of National
15 Defence, Veljko Kadijevic, and the late president of Croatia, Franjo
16 Tudjman, in which Kadijevic requests that the agreement signed with Lord
17 Carrington in Igalo be observed, and placed particular emphasis on the
18 fact that on that day there were very exceptionally strong attacks on the
19 barracks in Sibenik, that this should be stopped, that the army be allowed
20 to withdraw from there. Do you remember these attacks on barracks?
21 Wasn't that true? It wasn't the army attacking Sibenik or Zadar but on
22 the contrary; the barracks were blocked and attacks launched against the
23 barracks and members of the JNA not only in Sibenik and Zadar, but all
24 over Croatia?
25 A. What you are saying is not true, or partially true. There were
1 blockades. But the question is what preceded that. You know very well
2 that the weapons of the Territorial Defence had been pulled out by you
3 from Croatia; and when Croatia was attacked, we had to find a way of
4 getting hold of some weapons. As a result, there were some blockades.
5 But we didn't attack Sibenik, you attacked it, not because of the
6 blockade. We didn't attack Split, you attacked it, and again, not because
7 of the blockade. We didn't attack Zadar but you did, and not because of
8 the blockade. You attacked it exclusively because you needed that
9 territory. And there was no other reason. At the head of that project
10 were you.
11 Q. Very well, Mr. Poljanic. Your comments are your affair. But you
12 know that this was a conflict between your paramilitary forces and the
13 legal Yugoslav army and its units and its garrisons all over Croatia. So
14 you consider that not to be true?
15 A. That wasn't a conflict between our paramilitary forces and your
16 units. It was not a civil war. It was a pure aggression against the
17 Republic of Croatia.
18 Q. How could the JNA commit aggression on territory where it had been
19 present for the past 50 years?
20 A. Shall we go back to the 25th of June again?
21 Q. Mr. Poljanic, as far as I understand it, you're a diplomat, are
22 you not? You have served in a number of countries, and I assume that you
23 are familiar with some elementary norms. You know when Croatia was
24 recognised by the United Nations.
25 A. I do.
1 Q. Was that middle of 1992?
2 A. It was partially recognised already on the 15th of January, 1992,
3 and then it went on from there.
4 Q. Yes, we know how things developed. You remember that Germany's
5 recognition was described by Lord Carrington as the death toll for the
7 A. Who made what judgement I don't know, but what is important is
8 that Croatia started to be recognised then. And it wasn't just 12
9 countries but more that recognised it.
10 Q. And Croatia committed an armed secession from Yugoslavia?
11 A. What are you talking about, an armed secession?
12 Q. We'll come back to those blockades of JNA barracks. You don't
13 know that this happened. You're not aware of that, all over Croatia, of
14 killings and attacks on JNA garrisons? All this is a pure fabrication?
15 A. I know also about the month of May in Plitvice, May 1991. I know
16 about Borovo Selo, too. I know about Vukovar, too.
17 Q. Other people have testified about those things, so we don't have
18 time now to delve into that.
19 A. Yes, but you're talking about the period after that, and I'm
20 talking about the period prior to that, about the causes and the effects.
21 Q. Very well, Mr. Poljanic. I saw here that you issued a
22 proclamation to citizens. Units of the JNA are in your town for 20 days
23 already, a proclamation to the citizens of Cavtat in which it is said:
24 "We were taught --" "You have been taught from a long period that we are
25 occupiers, and we are not occupiers." The appeal for cooperation, for
1 refraining from attacks against the army, et cetera. Does this -- is this
2 evidence of goodwill and good faith?
3 A. No, it is evidence of perfidiousness.
4 Q. Very well. Very well. You mentioned when speaking about these
5 attacks, their strength and so on, you said that the Yugoslav People's
6 Army was one of the most powerful armies in Europe. I don't know which in
7 order, but you pointed this out, this aspect of the matter.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. On the other hand, you had no defences.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is it sensible, then, to say if such a power had intended to
12 capture Dubrovnik, why didn't it?
13 A. This is a debatable question to this day. There are many answers
14 to it, to the question why. One of them is that, after all, it would have
15 lost so many men that it couldn't probably justify it, shall we say, in
16 this case, before Montenegro. Secondly, it is a fact that you needed
17 Dubrovnik empty or relatively empty. You know very well that Dubrovnik
18 and Konavle are ethnically almost entirely pure. Why would you need
19 Dubrovnik with an 88 per cent population of Croats?
20 Q. Surely you're not --
21 A. Why did you chase out 35.000 Croats?
22 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish.
23 Yes, go on. No, Mr. Milosevic, come on. Let him finish.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who chased out 35.000 Croats from
25 Dubrovnik? Did I do that or somebody from the leadership of Dubrovnik?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: The witness must be allowed to finish. Now, just
2 pause a moment for the interpreters.
3 Now, you were answering the question when you were interrupted.
4 Now, if there's anything else you want to add to the question, which was
5 why didn't they take Dubrovnik, if you want to add anything to what you've
6 said already, do.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I've answered that question.
8 I can go on, but I think I've said what is important.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Poljanic, when you say because of our or my shells, Serbia is
11 too far away. Perhaps you saw an army that came specially outside the JNA
12 from Serbia to attack Dubrovnik.
13 A. Yes, I did. There are many documents showing that.
14 Q. That people same from Serbia?
15 A. Yes, I saw them three days ago and I also saw them those days in
16 Dubrovnik when the Yugo army, as you called it, left the area. Those
17 documents are filed here in Court. I saw them last week when I was here.
18 Q. I'm not calling it the Yugo army, but the Yugoslav People's Army.
19 A. Whatever you liked to call it in 1991. They, they even signed
20 their names, many of them, and they said which units they came from and
21 where they were born.
22 Q. I see. You mean members of the Yugoslav People's Army.
23 A. Yes, yes, yes, from the territory of Serbia, but they came from
24 all over Yugoslavia, but you just asked me --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could there be a pause between question and
1 answer, please.
2 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you both to point out what the
3 interpreters are raising, quite fairly. They are saying could you kindly
4 pause between question and answer. So, Mr. Poljanic, I know the
5 temptation -- you speak the same language, therefore the temptation is to
6 respond immediately to the question. But would you pause. Mr. Milosevic,
7 the same to you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But to be quite truthful, we're
9 speaking two languages. Mr. Poljanic speaks Croatian and I speak Serbian
10 and by some wonder we understand one another. We understand one another
11 because we lived together for too long.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So did it occur to you that since the JNA was such a major power,
14 that it didn't capture Dubrovnik, that it had no intention of capturing
15 it. Did such a possibility occur to you? It had no intention of taking
17 A. I think I have answered that question.
18 Q. You were just shown a document of the command of the operative
19 groups signed by Miodrag Jokic. And you called it an ultimatum whereas it
20 says here "to hand over and disarm all paramilitary formations, the
21 so-called National Guards Corps and MUP units to be reduced to the level
22 of the -- of what it was in January 1991." And it is emphasised the first
23 agreement when the Republic of Croatia - that is, Tudjman - had signed
24 that it would do that. Didn't they ask you to do what Tudjman had agreed
25 on and signed in January 1991, to disband the National Guards Corps and to
1 reduce the police to peacetime strength?
2 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have the relevant document, which is
3 tab 40 of the exhibit.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, he's just looked at it, and
5 what it says isn't being challenged. It says the disarming of civilians
6 in the Dubrovnik region, handing over the former officers of the JNA with
7 whom relations have not been regulated --
8 JUDGE MAY: My mistake, it's 39, in fact, is the relevant
9 document. The witness should have it in front of him before he's asked
10 the question.
11 Now what -- the witness has the document. What is the question,
12 Mr. Milosevic, about it? What is the point?
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Do you consider it to be a criminal act of some kind the fact that
15 the army is asking for these facilities - I'm going to skip over this -
16 that those facilities should be left - that is such a notorious fact - and
17 then the return of equipment to recruits who had received them, and the
18 disarmament of civilians, which means the disarmament of paramilitary
19 units and formations which were a jeopardy to security in the area. And
20 the disarmament of paramilitary units pursuant to an agreement that
21 Tudjman signed. He said he would put it into effect on the 21st of
22 January, 1991. What is there that the army is calling for and which it
23 did not have complete legal rights to ask of you, and what kind of
24 criminal act did it perpetrate by doing so?
25 A. I think I've already answered that question, but let me repeat.
1 This -- in Dubrovnik, there were no paramilitary formations whatsoever.
2 What did exist was the legal army, and your army even recognised that army
3 because a day before this document, it asked us to bring in the
4 representatives of the Croatian army to negotiations of this date. And we
5 legally sent a representative of the Croatian army to the negotiations on
6 the next day, which was the 12th of October. And he was Antun Karaman,
7 that was his name.
8 Q. So they didn't know that it was a legal army?
9 A. Yes, they did.
10 Q. Well, that's why they wrote this and then called the legal army to
12 A. No, they wrote this as an alibi for further attacks. They knew
13 that we had no paramilitary formations.
14 Q. We'll come to that, to what you had and what you didn't have. You
15 said how you were received at the negotiations with Jokic. Isn't that
17 A. No, this was with Zec.
18 Q. All right, with Zec.
19 A. It was with Jokic one day prior to that.
20 Q. I have jotted down that you said with Jokic on the 11th of
22 A. That is correct, yes.
23 Q. And you go on to enumerate, among other things, that there was an
24 interpreter there too; is that right?
25 A. Yes, but not because of our two languages, but because of the blue
1 helmet observers.
2 Q. Right, that's what I wanted to establish. So what you were saying
3 a moment ago, that the observers fell from the sky suddenly appearing
4 there, otherwise you would have been killed, well, those observers I
5 assume, Mr. Poljanic, and I hope you're not going to challenge, that they
6 were there with the authorisation of the Yugoslav authorities and the
7 Yugoslav People's Army, and they were moving around in this zone, in a
8 zone of which the army had control. Is that something you're disputing?
9 A. I'm allowing for that possibility, too, but I'm claiming that we
10 didn't know that they would arrive. They suddenly appeared there, how I
11 don't know. I said that a moment ago, and I am saying that here today, I
12 have been saying it three times now. And it's a good thing that they did
13 turn up. Let's make that understood.
14 Q. And they had a ready interpreter because they did not expect the
15 observers to turn up?
16 A. They came much later, but let's leave that to one side for now.
17 We've been through that several times. We can go through it again if you
18 have time.
19 Q. No, I have been allotted very little time to put my questions to
20 you, so I'm going to try and focus on as much -- and cover as much ground
21 as possible.
22 You said that the people in Dubrovnik were very happy to see the
23 changes that had taken place from a communist country into a free country.
24 That change.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you consider that Yugoslavia before that was a country that was
2 not free?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Very well. As you say, that a certain number of Serbs took part
5 in the formation of a branch of the Serb Democratic Party, which advocated
6 a very nationalistic programme and line, how do you bring this into
7 connection with what you said and what we observed before, that most of
8 the Serbs voted in favour of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia?
9 A. Well, because we were a truly a democratic authority. We had even
10 forgotten that fact, although at the meeting, you know this very well,
11 there were some very malicious comments and even more malicious songs
12 about the one about Sloban the Salor [phoen], to the verses of that song.
13 Q. You don't know that song?
14 A. Yes, it goes: "Come on Slobo, send us some salad. We're going to
15 have some meat, so we'll need the salad for the meat. We're going to
16 slaughter the Croats."
17 Q. I don't know about that song?
18 A. Well, it was a song that was widely sung.
19 JUDGE MAY: Just remember the interpreters.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were so democratically disposed
21 that the president of the SDS, we took for a time to go to the
22 negotiations with us with the opposite side, to take part in the
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Why not?
1 A. Well, I'm asking myself why not, that's what we did do. Later on
2 for well-known reasons all that fell through. And I consider I have been
3 extensive enough on that point.
4 Q. Now, do you consider that the HDZ programme of 1989 and then 1990
5 was not a nationalistic one?
6 A. In my assessment, it was sufficiently national, and I would say
7 that it was an okay programme.
8 Q. All right. Fine. Now, as you at the time were either already
9 elected or, at any rate, you delved in politics prior to the elections --
10 A. No, I spent quite a lot of time in hospital.
11 Q. But were slogans written out around Dubrovnik that "the Serbs and
12 dogs have no place here, we'll throw you into the pits again," and slogans
13 similar to those?
14 A. I don't know about that.
15 Q. Did the Serbs start to leave Dubrovnik during that period?
16 A. No.
17 Q. And do you know this: According to a report by Amnesty
18 International, I have it here, relating to Veljko Zecevic, and yourself
19 mentioned Veljko Zecevic as well as Aco Apolonije and Milenko Reljic, they
20 were all people from Dubrovnik. Right?
21 A. Yes. Right.
22 Q. Are they Serbs or are the Croats?
23 A. Veljko Zecevic is a neighbour of mine. Our houses are 20 metres
24 apart. He was an intellectual. For a long time he was president of the
25 Court. He is an elderly man today. We have had proper relations at a
1 point in time. It is true he was -- a lawsuit was brought against him for
2 something, but he was not found not guilty [as interpreted].
3 Q. Well, this is a report by Amnesty International which states, and
4 this was during your time, that he was arrested because of accusations
5 that he had founded an independent Yugoslav Democratic Party. A Yugoslav
6 party I emphasise?
7 A. As far as I remember, during my time, he was not arrested. I
8 don't want to claim this with great certainty. I know that he was
9 arrested in Zagreb. Exactly when I don't know. But let me say he was --
10 the charges were lifted against him.
11 Q. And 12 other people from Dubrovnik of Serb or Montenegrin, as it
12 says, Serbian or Montenegrin ethnic origin from Dubrovnik. You've also
13 heard about Jovan Pejovic and Milenko Reljic?
14 A. I know them all.
15 Q. This one is a little older because when this was written --
16 A. Reljic is older, and he has been a well-known lawyer, Dubrovnik
17 lawyer for many years. Where he is now, I don't know. But I know him
18 very well.
19 Q. Do you know in the same Amnesty International report, Milenko
20 Reljic was accused by the Croatian authorities with Veljko Zecevic and
21 another lawyer, Jovan Pejovic who was even arrested by the Croatian
22 authorities, so that they were accused?
23 A. As for Pejovic, I don't know. I know that Reljic very well. Now,
24 what Amnesty International says I can't day, but I do know actually Reljic
25 was not arrested. He was never taken into custody.
1 Q. Tell me this: It says here actually that 12 of them were
3 A. I don't know that Reljic was ever in prison.
4 Q. It says the accused Pejovic, Milenko Reljic, and so on. But let's
5 not go into that now. Was there any reason? Were they militant Serbs or
6 anything like that, this Reljic, this Pejovic and this Zecevic man? The
7 ones you know, I'm not asking you about the others whom you don't know.
8 But the people you know, was there any reason for them to be arrested?
9 A. Let me repeat once again, I don't know and I could even state that
10 he was never arrested, Reljic, but I couldn't actually sign my name to
12 Q. What about Zecevic?
13 A. Zecevic, that's true, he was arrested but he was set free. And
14 I've already said that for the third or fourth time. As for this man
15 Pejovic, I don't know who he was. I have no idea who this man Pejovic
17 Q. Never mind, it's not important. But what you're saying is you
18 don't consider that there was any reason for those people to have been
20 A. That's right. I don't consider that there was reason. And if you
21 want, I can each add that I had heard that Mr. Zecevic had not very nice
22 things to say about the authorities that were in power then from 1990
24 Q. Yes. He had a lovely time in prison, I'm sure.
25 A. I think that all this took place later on.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Oh, I see.
2 A. Yes. That's what I think.
3 Q. Well, he was arrested in December 1992.
4 A. No, actually it says here in December 1992, he was accused. I
5 think he was arrested later on, but never mind.
6 Q. That's what it says here in this Amnesty International report.
7 A. I think that took place quite a while later.
8 Q. Paragraph 2, it says: "On 12 December 1992 Velimir Zecevic was
9 indicted together with 12 other men of Serbian or Montenegrin ethnic
10 origin from Dubrovnik. [In English] Two of his co-defendants, Jovan
11 Pejovic (age 37) and Milenko Reljic (age 70) are lawyers." And then it
12 goes on to say, The defendant currently under arrest and will almost
13 certainly be the only defendant to be present at the trial.
14 [Interpretation] And the rest had allegedly escaped. So that man
15 was in prison at that time, and he was accused on the 12th of December, so
16 he had been in prison from before that time.
17 A. I think that there's an error there. I think that that happened
18 -- he ended up in prison much later.
19 Q. I'm asking you now within this entire context or complex of
20 questions, what measures, in your opinion, when the HDZ came into power
21 and began the persecution of Serbs --
22 A. The HDZ did not begin to persecute the Serbs in Dubrovnik. That
23 is quite certain.
24 Q. I did not say it began in Dubrovnik; it began in other places in
1 A. I didn't hear about that.
2 Q. All right, then. But were the Serbs discriminated against in
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were they dismissed from the police force, for example?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Why? Isn't that aggressive behaviour towards them?
8 A. No, that is not discrimination. Everybody was retained, just
9 those who did not want to put on Croatian uniforms were dismissed.
10 Q. Fine. So they were dismissed, but you just say for that
11 particular reason. Is that what you're saying?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, tell me, please, how many houses, Serb houses in Dubrovnik,
14 were demolished?
15 A. I think we've already discussed that. We discussed it last week.
16 You accused me - not you, but your authorities and the papers wrote about
17 - it accused me of having personally - I think the Politika newspaper
18 wrote about it on its title page or on page 2 - that Poljanic had
19 destroyed 400 Serb house in Dubrovnik. That is just one of the lies that
20 were bandied about.
21 Those houses, 400 were not demolished. They were not all
22 residences. When we arrived in 1990, we inherited 7.000 facilities and
23 buildings that were built without authorisation. There were pigeon coops
24 and different kinds of buildings, but there were residential buildings
25 among them, too. I think some 60 facilities, ranging from chicken coops
1 to residential buildings, that were destroyed and demolished, those which
2 could not be incorporated and legalised on the basis of any criteria.
3 When we had used up all the legal means at our disposal to protect them,
4 those were the ones that were demolished. But they were not Serb houses;
5 they were both Croatian and Muslim and Serb homes and houses. That is for
7 Q. All right, Mr. Poljanic.
8 A. Yes, that's how it was. There you have it.
9 Q. All I asked you was whether the houses were destroyed, and you're
10 claiming that they were not destroyed.
11 A. What I have been told you is the truth. They were, but in the
12 manner in which I have described.
13 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you. What the witness has said is
14 that houses were destroyed, but it was not for any discriminatory reason
15 but because they were built against the regulations. That's what he said.
16 He's said that before, and he's repeated it today. Now, if you've got
17 some evidence to the contrary, you can call it, Mr. Milosevic, but there's
18 no point arguing about it.
19 Mr. Poljanic, help us with this, if you would: An Amnesty report
20 has been put to you in which it appears to say that 12 Serbs or
21 Montenegrins from Dubrovnik were arrested by the authorities in December
22 1992. And I think you agree that they shouldn't have been, but you only
23 in fact knew about the details of one of them. That is as I understood
24 your evidence and what was put to you. But can you help us about this:
25 What do you know about this case generally?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can almost claim that 12 of them
2 were not arrested. I know that several -- well, actually, now I know just
3 about Mr. Velimir Zecevic. And let me say again that he was my neighbour
4 and for a long period of time president of the Court. He really was
5 arrested, and he was acquitted, the accusations were withdrawn. Some of
6 them were accused but not arrested, some of them were tried in absentia.
7 But generally speaking about that case, all I can say is, and what I know
8 about it is -- and I don't think it was in 1992. I think it was later. I
9 don't remember the exact date, so let's leave it at that.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You have before you the Amnesty International report.
12 A. Yes, I can see that. But they were people who at that time were
13 accused of having collaborated with the other side. Now, how far they
14 were guilty, I can't say. In the case of Mr. Zecevic, quite obviously
15 there was no guilt because he was acquitted. The charges were withdrawn.
16 So that's the only one I can speak about. I don't even know some of the
17 others. For example, I don't know who this man Jovo Popovic is. Milenko
18 Reljic I do know. I know that he's not in Dubrovnik. I don't know
19 the others.
20 Q. All right, let's not waste time and let's move on, if possible.
21 You state in your statement that the JNA shot around --
22 A. Could you repeat your question, please. I took my earphones off.
23 Q. I have here, under inverted commas, that you saw that the JNA shot
24 its own villages in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Herzegovina, and other villages.
25 A. That's true.
1 Q. What do you mean targeted its own villages? What does that mean
2 "its own villages"? What do you mean by saying its own villages, the
3 JNA? What villages did the JNA have?
4 A. If I understood your question correctly, then this is what it is
5 all about: Before the beginning of the war, that is to say, at the start
6 of July -- September, the army that you're talking about, the JNA, if
7 we're going to agree that that's what its name was, de facto shot at
8 Montenegrin villages, it shot also at the villages in the Konavle region,
9 but then it put out information in the public that it didn't do any
10 shooting. Now, we didn't have anybody to do any shooting there. And they
11 said loud and clear over the radio, in the papers that the Croatian
12 mercenaries, Kurds, Ustashas, and all the terms you used to refer to us
13 were shooting with the intent of taking control of the Bay of Boka. And
14 in that way, you managed to recruit a lot of people in Montenegro who
15 later on marched on Dubrovnik. And I state once again, and I claim, and I
16 can sign my name to that, that not a single bullet was shot from Konavle
17 into Montenegro. Quite literally not a single bullet from a revolver, let
18 alone a mortar, a gun cannon or whatever they're called, these military
20 Q. So, Mr. Poljanic --
21 JUDGE MAY: We are at the time we should adjourn. But before we
22 do, Mr. Milosevic, do you want that Amnesty report exhibited?
23 THE ACCUSED: [In English] Yes, you can take it.
24 JUDGE MAY: Let us have the report, please.
25 Yes, Mr. Nice.
1 MR. NICE: Not in relation to this, only when you're about to
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll exhibit that. We'll have a number for it,
5 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 71, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: Nothing to do with the evidence of this witness. It's
8 clear that we won't reach discussions about procedural matters until the
9 third session of the morning. There are some additional documents that I
10 hope will be of considerable value to the Chamber that I would be
11 distributing then. As you're going to have two short breaks between now
12 and then, I propose to distribute two of them now. They are documents you
13 have seen before in an earlier form. We call them fill-box documents.
14 They are documents that record the evidence in a systematic way. There's
15 one for Kosovo which is in a file, one for Croatia thus far which is in a
16 clip like this. If I can distribute them now, they may be of value
17 because you'll have a chance, however brief, to review them.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Poljanic, as far as I understand it, you're claiming something
25 rather unbelievable, and that is that the JNA was opening fire and killing
1 in the territory of Montenegro. So those eight men killed at the border
2 crossing for whom a commemoration was given on the 1st of October in
3 Montenegro were not killed by your forces, but by the JNA.
4 A. That is not what I said. If there were men killed, then I claim
5 that they were killed on the territory of Croatia by the army of Serbia or
6 Montenegro. So it wasn't a case of our men opening fire and killing them
7 on the Montenegrin side. I never said that. What I was saying was that
8 our people never fired a single bullet across the border to Montenegro.
9 As for those killed, you say there were eight of them, I believe
10 you, if they were killed, then they were surely killed in fighting on the
11 Croatian side and certainly not in the border area, but deep within
12 Croatian territory.
13 Q. And those killed in Ravno, again, were not killed by your forces
14 because you say that's not in the territory of Dubrovnik municipality?
15 A. For the dead in Ravno, in those days, I know nothing about. I've
16 said that several times. I said that in the statement, and I'm saying
17 that now. I'm not aware of any kind of fighting there at the time. I do
18 know that after that, Ravno was razed to the ground, literally razed to
19 the ground. Not a single house was left standing.
20 Q. Tell me, Mr. Poljanic, during the events that you're testifying
21 about, did Dubrovnik have any information device to inform the citizens of
22 Dubrovnik as to what was happening?
23 A. Yes, Radio Dubrovnik.
24 Q. Did you have any newspapers?
25 A. Novina? Newspapers? The Dubrovnik Herald was not published at
1 the time, but something organised by Lang. Now what was its name? I
2 can't recollect now what the name was.
3 Q. Very well.
4 A. You know, we didn't have a printing press. Your army took it
6 Q. I don't know about that.
7 A. But I know. Yes, they took everything they could get hold of.
8 Q. Did you have a kind of wartime issue of the Dubrovnik Herald?
9 A. Yes, there was a kind of.
10 Q. Very well. Then since you were the town mayor at the time, you
11 were, I assume, interested in providing the public in Dubrovnik timely and
12 correct information. That was your intention.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I assume you did that among others via this wartime issue of
15 the Dubrovacki Vjesnik. Were they reliable information?
16 A. All the information that we published was certainly reliable.
17 Q. Since in your statement to the investigators and testifying here
18 the other day, you said that the JNA attacked the region that was without
19 any defence, the region of Dubrovnik, the unarmed people. I have here
20 what you just mentioned that you provided accurate information. Here is
21 the Dubrovacki Vjesnik, wartime issue, dated the 5th of October, 1991, to
22 the 4th of January, 1992. And then let me quote from it. This is -- let
23 me just check.
24 The 1st to the 5th of October, 1991.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. That's what it says here.
2 A. Yes, Dubrovacki Vjesnik.
3 Q. On page 1, it says: "The losses of the enemy, 450 enemy soldiers
4 were killed, and we learned from reliable sources that there are more than
5 a thousand wounded. Two enemy airplanes have been destroyed, three tanks,
6 two APCs, more than ten trucks, and other vehicles, a large number of
7 soldiers have been captured or have surrendered as well as reservists, and
8 large quantities of military equipment, et cetera."
9 And then, it goes on to say: "Our losses, killed 6, wounded 75,
10 et cetera." This is this brief passage I wanted to quote from. You said
11 that 450 enemy soldiers were killed and more than a thousand wounded. Two
12 airplanes destroyed, three tanks, two armoured personnel carriers, and
13 more than ten trucks. Tell me please, how was it possible that the
14 empty-handed, unarmed people of Dubrovnik managed to kill 450 heavily
15 armed soldiers, downed two planes, destroyed trucks, et cetera, which is
16 stated here?
17 JUDGE MAY: That depends on the source of the information and what
18 it is written. Just a minute. Do you have a copy of the paper there?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is a copy of the Dubrovacki
20 Vjesnik or Dubrovnik Gazette, which was published at the time, and it says
21 here: "Dubrovacki Vjesnik, wartime issue, 1st to the 5th October, 1991.
22 JUDGE MAY: Before he answers, let the witness see what it is you
23 are quoting from. Because it's only fair that he should have the
24 opportunity to put it into context. We simply don't know what it is.
25 Mr. Poljanic --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've highlighted the passage in red.
2 JUDGE MAY: -- have a look at the report and then you can give us
3 your answer.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've marked it in red.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. But you can read whatever you wish from that.
7 A. What I am now holding in my hand, I do so for the first time in my
8 life. Where this comes from, I have no idea. I don't even know who
9 printed this. It is a fact that up until the 5th of October, we certainly
10 hadn't downed two planes and certainly hadn't killed 450 men. You know
11 that, too. And all I can do is repeat that this is the first time I'm
12 holding this in my hand. I've never seen it before, and I have no idea
13 how it came about.
14 Q. Tell me, Mr. Poljanic, didn't you say a moment ago that you had
15 such a newspaper, Dubrovacki Vjesnik, and that everything carried in it
16 was accurate, correct?
17 A. Yes, I told you that. But I'm also telling you that what I'm
18 holding now I see for the first time in my life. How it came about, I
19 don't know. The facts are quite the opposite.
20 Q. So I assume that, too, is a fact.
21 A. I don't know to what extent this is a fact. These are your
22 newspapers. I don't know whether they are our newspapers.
23 Q. Now, look at this, please, and I'll let you have a look at it.
24 Again, Dubrovacki Vjesnik, wartime issue, number 2, 6th of October, 1991.
25 Listopada is the month of October, is it not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So it says, "In the area of Konavle the enemy has managed with
3 tanks to reach Radovci, but it is suffering great losses in manpower and
4 equipment. Among the many dead, according to Belgrade Radio, is captain
5 of the battle Krsto Djurovic, the commander of LPS Boka, and
6 Lieutenant-Colonel-General Jevrem Cokic has been seriously wounded who is
7 guilty for the destruction of Dubrovacka Zupa. The brave defenders have
8 downed their helicopter while it was flying above the airport."
9 So please, look at this that I have just quoted from now. Do you
10 see this, too, for the first time, this Dubrovacki Vjesnik of yours?
11 A. The same applies, only it is true, but I think the correct date is
12 the 4th of October that Admiral Djurovic was killed. Under which
13 circumstance we discussed the other day, so there's no point in repeating
14 that. As for the other facts, I have no idea.
15 But it also says something that you didn't read out, that last
16 night, on the 5th of October at 1800, from a gunship, Ploce was attacked.
17 And in this attack, the writer Milan Milisic was killed in his own
18 apartment, several cars were damaged and some ten vehicles. The writer,
19 Milan Milisic, he's about my age, a year younger, was a wonderful man. He
20 was a Serb by ethnicity. He was killed by your shell, and all the
21 newspapers, your newspapers, wrote that we had killed him. And then his
22 wife, who also comes from Belgrade, went up there to tell you they didn't
23 kill him, you killed him. And again, the newspapers reported that we had
24 killed a Serb writer.
25 I can't say that I saw this before either, but some of the things
1 are right. So those that are not in your interest are incorrect, and
2 those that are not are correct.
3 Q. But Mr. Poljanic, only the other day you were explaining here that
4 the JNA was -- opened fire on its helicopter, and that that was how
5 Djurovic was killed. So in a helicopter, you have a
6 Lieutenant-Colonel-General, the name is over there. I've given you the
7 paper so I don't have it in front of me. The commander of that army in
8 that area, a captain of a battleship which corresponds to the rank of
9 Colonel, Djurovic, and you claimed here the other day that actually the
10 JNA had killed him because he, as you put it, did not want to attack
11 Dubrovnik, so they themselves killed him.
12 A. I didn't claim that the JNA or anyone else opened fire at the
13 helicopter. I didn't speak about that at all. I just claimed that no one
14 on our -- no member of our army had killed admiral Djurovic, I continue to
15 claim that and that is quite certainly true. And according to data of our
16 intelligence services, and not just them, what I said the other day, I
18 Q. So that was based on intelligence reports?
19 A. I said not only on their reports
20 Q. That they had opened fire on their own commander?
21 A. No, I didn't say that anyone fired at the helicopter. Nor did I
22 say that he was killed by fire opened at the helicopter, but it is fact
23 that he's dead.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, do you want to ask any more questions
25 about those excerpts from the paper? Otherwise, they should probably be
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, they can be exhibited. But let
3 me just ask another question.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. The 7th of October, please. You say: The losses of the enemy in
6 the last 24 hours: More than 60 dead, 110 wounded, two captured, one
7 gunship, one tank destroyed. It's not legible how many armoured vehicles,
8 three or five. One helicopter, and ten trucks. So this was the 7th of
9 October. Is that also data --
10 A. If all that were true, then I don't know who would be alive on the
11 other side. You know that, according to official data from Montenegro,
12 there were 150 men killed from Montenegro.
13 Q. Yes, from Montenegro. But the JNA did not consist exclusively of
14 soldiers from Montenegro.
15 A. That's true, too.
16 Q. Please, have a look at this one.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And then you can exhibit it,
18 Mr. May.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same applies.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Tell me, then, please, did you ever hear from someone from the JNA
22 speaking of the idea of some sort of Dubrovnik republic or a Greater
24 A. I personally did not, because I had very few contacts with people
25 from the JNA. My contacts were limited to the negotiations we had, and
1 the negotiations, at least, when I took part in them, occurred three or
2 four times only. We were never alone. I and someone else, because there
3 were several people on our side and several on the other side, so to be
4 quite frank, at those negotiations, I did not hear from anyone insisting
5 on that idea. But I do know that in Cavtat, when Cavtat was occupied
6 already, certain military officers, soldiers, from the Yugo army, did
7 speak about it. Actually --
8 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt for a moment. If we've
9 finished with these excerpts from the paper, the usher should be able to
10 sit down. And they can be exhibited together, three excerpts.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the three excerpts will be Defence
12 Exhibit 72.
13 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Poljanic, do you know who Bruno Karnincic and
16 Dragan Gajic are?
17 A. Bruno Karnincic is a judge in Dubrovnik, in the District Court.
18 Gajic is also a judge in the District Court. Now it's called the
19 Djubanija [phoen] Court. In those days, it was the District Court.
20 Q. I see. So both of them are judges of what used to be the District
21 Court, now it is the County Court.
22 A. Whether Karnincic was in the municipal court, I don't know. I
23 think Gajic was already then a judge in the District Court in those days,
24 now the County Court.
25 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, please, do you know that these
1 investigating judges of the Dubrovnik District Court, in the course of the
2 summer 1991, carried out several dozen investigations on the basis of
3 reports that the property of local Serbs was being destroyed in attacks
4 with explosive devices and the like?
5 A. No, I don't know that.
6 Q. And do you know - I assume you must have known, as you were the
7 town mayor - that according to their reports and on-the-spot reports which
8 they were duty bound to compile, more than 50 houses, mostly located in
9 Zupa, Cavtat, and its environs and other localities in the Dubrovnik
10 region, belonging to local Serbs, were destroyed in various bomb attacks
11 when various explosive devices were used?
12 A. In what period of time?
13 Q. Right then, in the course of the summer of 1991, these Serb houses
14 being blown up.
15 A. No, that is not true. In the course of summer 1991, there were no
16 bomb attacks in Serb houses in Dubrovnik municipality. I don't know of
18 Q. Very well. Very well, Mr. Poljanic. Let me just draw your
19 attention to what I have here, a statement given to the opposing side,
20 Gajic Dragan, a judge, in which it says -- he gave the statement on the
21 10th to the 15th of November, 2000. Page 5, first paragraph of the
22 English version, and I was only given the English version, so I'll read
23 it. [In English]: "The incidents I refer to were the blowing up or
24 torching of Serbian houses, mostly in Zupa, and a few in Cavtat.
25 Sometimes a hand grenade would be thrown through a window, in most cases
1 no one was at home; however, there were two or three cases where people
2 were at home, and were wounded at the time. More than 50 houses belonging
3 to Serbian people were damaged in this way from the summer of 1991 to the
4 summer of 1992."
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Poljanic, were you able to follow?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the summer of 1991 until the
7 summer of 1992, as it's stated there, those areas were occupied by the
8 Yugo army. Therefore, one must wonder how he could have known, how he
9 could have got there. I claim he wasn't there, nor could he have got
10 there. So, excuse me, therefore it could only be damage inflicted as a
11 result of shells fired by the Yugo army and not our shells. Who could
12 have got there? There was no one there. There was an occupied area. Do
13 you believe that the Yugo army would let someone enter and throw a bomb at
14 someone's house? Of course it wouldn't. But how, then, could those
15 people have got there?
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Poljanic, wait a minute.
18 A. I am waiting.
19 Q. That is precisely what I'm asking you, because these are two
20 judges of the District Court in Dubrovnik, who carried out many
21 inspections as official investigators. Is that credible or not?
22 A. In my view, it is incredible, because I must ask again, how could
23 those two judges, while the area was occupied, how could they get there?
24 How? Who let them in? I'm not clear on that point.
25 Q. Well, we quoted --
1 A. Well, you're making your conclusions and so is the Court. But my
2 question is how could they go there in the first place, Gajic or this
3 other man Karnincic? It was the occupied area.
4 Q. The report that you gave, the proclamation "Respected Citizens,"
5 and when the army addresses the citizens of Cavtat, the date of that
6 document is the 7th of November, 1991. Therefore, this was the summer of
7 1991 and what you're claiming happened could not have happened in the
8 summer, that the army held under control that area.
9 A. Not in 1991, but from the 1st of October onwards.
10 Q. What are we going to do with the summer and their investigations
11 and the bombing affairs?
12 A. There were no bombing affairs from July up to October at all, and
13 not a single bomb from the Croatian side was thrown into any territory or
14 house, Serbian or Croatian. Perhaps this refers to what we were talking
15 about at the very beginning, about the houses that were built without the
16 legal documents allowing them to be built. That's quite another matter
18 Q. Mr. Poljanic, I don't believe that you as mayor, town mayor, would
19 use bombs to destroy houses that had been illegally built.
20 A. No, of course not. But the inspection service would do this with
21 dynamite, the classical method used to demolish houses of that kind, but
22 no bombs at all. And I claim that nobody threw any bombs at anybody's
23 houses at that time.
24 Q. All right. I'm sure you know the rules of procedure and that,
25 after events of this kind, investigations were carried out, on-site
1 investigations by the investigating judges that went out to the scene of
2 the crime. So they sent photographic documentation and all the other
3 reports to the competent court authorities, which were in Dubrovnik, to
4 launch proceedings against the perpetrators of those crimes. Isn't that
6 A. That's how it should have been, yes, but I also claim that nobody
7 threw a bomb on anybody's house. I claim that.
8 Q. So you don't know whether any of the perpetrators were taken into
9 custody and punished.
10 A. They couldn't have been because there was nobody who at that time
11 threw any bombs of any kind. I state once again, perhaps this refers to
12 the houses which were demolished, the facilities and houses that we spoke
13 about a moment ago.
14 Q. But look at what it says here. Your judge here in his report and
15 statement given to the opposite side. That is to say, this particular
16 institution, that's what I mean. He says: "I suspect that sometimes the
17 police did know who was responsible for some of these offences involving
18 people in military uniform ... [In English]: but they would not report
19 this to the Investigating judge. Often it was widely known around town
20 that a particular person was responsible for one of these offences but it
21 was never properly investigated. No one was ever prosecuted for these
22 nationalistic crimes committed in 1991."
23 A. Which judge wrote that, please?
24 Q. [Interpretation] This is a statement by a judge. His name is
25 Dragan Gajic, and you yourself said that he was indeed a judge of the
1 District Court in Dubrovnik.
2 A. Yes, that's right, he was. And that was quite certainly written,
3 because you read it out. But let me repeat once again and state again
4 that there were never any bomb attacks on any single houses in that period
5 from the Croatian side. Now, if you happen to notice, he says at one
6 point that he suspects, he doesn't claim.
7 Q. Yes, an investigating judge always indicates things in this way,
8 that even if it is known who the perpetrators are, that nobody was
9 prosecuted or arrested.
10 A. Nobody could have been arrested because nobody at that time
11 committed any such act.
12 Q. All right. Tell me this, then: Did you keep quiet about this, or
13 didn't you know the fact that local criminals in October 1991, following
14 directives from the local authorities and Marinko Peric, president of the
15 District Court, were released from detention which was in the top floor of
16 the District Court building itself, so why were they released?
17 A. Who were these local criminals? Who are you talking about?
18 Q. Well, let me make things clearer: Is it true that these same
19 individuals, having been set free, became involved and included into the
20 Croatian armed units and groups which, according to your own newspapers,
21 had killed so many soldiers?
22 A. I really know nothing about that. I don't know -- but listen,
23 it's a big municipality; 73.000 inhabitants. Probably someone was in
24 prison, I'm sure, following on the logics of having so many people living
25 there. There's always somebody in prison. But as to criminals, criminals
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 who were in prison and who were released to join some units, I really
2 don't know anything about that. I really don't.
3 Q. I have another statement here.
4 A. That Gajic's statement again?
5 Q. Yes. I'm quoting from the report I received from the opposite
6 side pursuant to Rule 68 of the Rules of Procedure. "... I was directed
7 to release a number of criminals who had been held [in English] on remand
8 at the top floor of the court building. They were released on the orders
9 of the President of the District Court, Marinko Peric, as there was a
10 rumour going around that JNA was about to enter Dubrovnik and we didn't
11 know how they would treat detainees had they found them there. I later
12 heard that some of these men continued to commit crimes whilst serving
13 with the Croatian forces."
14 A. I repeat once again: I do not know how many people there were
15 imprisoned. I don't know of any large number of criminals being there at
16 that time. And I know even less that the former -- or already deceased
17 Marinko Gajic or Marinko Peric, the then president of the District Court
18 would have done that. I really don't know. I don't believe that that
19 information and those facts are correct. Now, who was in prison, why
20 don't you enumerate the names of the people?
21 Q. Well, you'd have to ask him that. But this is a statement that he
22 didn't give to me.
23 A. Well, I'll ask him when I meet him.
24 Q. Tell me this, then, please: Why are you keeping quiet about the
25 fact that at the beginning of the conflict between the then Croatian
1 undoubtedly paramilitary forces and the JNA, and not the JNA aggression as
2 you call it, a number of civilians were killed and that the largest number
3 of those killed were wearing Croatian military uniforms?
4 A. When did this happen?
5 Q. In the conflicts that you're testifying about.
6 A. And which civilians were killed, you say, and where?
7 Q. The largest number -- the point is this: We're talking about the
8 persons killed that you talked about, on the Croatian side.
9 A. Right, yes, I'm following you.
10 Q. So why would these people that were killed wearing Croatian
11 military uniforms?
12 A. That's not true. The list that was shown to me of the men killed,
13 not a single person was wearing a uniform. There was just a dilemma over
14 someone's surname. And that was because the surname was Martinovic and
15 there were two men with that surname. So there was just that query, and
16 that was cleared up. So not even that man was in uniform. None of the
17 people killed were wearing uniform.
18 Q. I remember that, because Mr. Kwon mentioned that this man was born
19 in 1914 and then you realised that it was somebody else.
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you. It's quite impossible for
22 anyone to make anything of it if you both talk at once.
23 Now, what are you quoting, Mr. Milosevic, for this assertion that
24 you make that the majority were killed in Croatian uniform? Where does
25 that come from?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] According to the information that I
2 have, Mr. May, about 150 postmortems were conducted over persons who were
3 wearing Croatian military uniforms.
4 Q. Is that correct or not, Mr. Poljanic?
5 A. I don't know what postmortem examinations you're talking about, or
6 people either. The truth that is a large number of Croatian soldiers were
7 killed. But I'm talking about the list that the Court showed me here, and
8 on that list, there is not a single Croatian soldier. As to the
9 postmortems that you're talking about on the bodies of the Croatian
10 soldiers who were killed in the environs of Dubrovnik, I don't believe
11 that your side carried out those postmortems. And you'll see on the tapes
12 that the Court has received - and if hasn't, it will do so - you will be
13 able to see these people just before you handed them over to us. And I
14 saw some of them dead and recognised them on the tapes. So I don't know
15 that any postmortem was carried out, but it is quite true, the fact is,
16 that there were Croatian soldiers who, unfortunately, were killed, to
17 their great and our great misfortune.
18 Q. Yes, unfortunately so, especially the 250.000 people.
19 I assumed you knew about this because, according to my
20 documentation, the person carrying out the postmortem was a doctor by the
21 name of Dr. Ciganovic. I assume you know him.
22 A. I know him very well.
23 Q. What did you say?
24 A. I do know him, yes.
25 Q. And that Damira Poljanic, a relative of yours, attended the
2 A. A distant relative.
3 Q. All right, a distant relative, but it was a distant relative.
4 They were your postmortem people.
5 A. Then it was a misunderstanding. Our people did carry out the
6 postmortems and there were about 150 soldiers who were killed, but not
7 anybody from the list, because the list that I was shown listed civilians
9 Q. Now, in this statement by the investigating judge which I quoted
10 from, he says the autopsies were conducted by the pathologist, Dr.
11 Ciganovic, and, in brackets, a Serb from the Dubrovnik hospital in the
12 presence of a police representative, [in English]: usually Damira
13 Poljanic, the police photographer, and the investigative judge."
14 [Interpretation] And then it goes on to state [in English]: "October 1991
15 to January 1992, there were about 150 people, civilians and soldiers,
16 killed. I attended about 40 of these autopsies."
17 [Interpretation] And then it goes on to say that they respect
18 Dr. Ciganovic's professionalism, and so on and so forth.
19 A. Well, those facts are not challenged, are not being challenged.
20 Q. Fine. Then we can move on. Tell me this, then, please: How come
21 you say that you had a handful of defenders when so many soldiers had been
22 killed in fighting in these operations underway at that time?
23 A. Well, about 150 or 160 soldiers were killed in one year. Had even
24 a single one been killed, that would have been too much. But that's it.
25 Q. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about your assertion,
1 your claim, that you had only about a hundred defenders of Dubrovnik.
2 A. Even less than that. I said at the beginning, but I also said
3 that the number grew as time went by. Especially after April 1992.
4 Q. All right. Now, what about the facts and figures as to the number
5 of people killed on the JNA side? And you published those figures
6 yourself in your own newspaper, in your own gazette, the wartime issue of
7 your gazette.
8 A. I didn't say that we printed that, that it was us who printed it.
9 I said I don't know how it came about.
10 Q. All right. But you yourself stated that 158 were killed in
12 A. I said that the figure was around 150.
13 Q. Well, does that indicate without a doubt the fact that the members
14 of the JNA were exposed to constant attack?
15 A. Not constant attack, but at one period in time, yes, they were
16 under attack. That's certain, too.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
18 MR. NICE: Before we move on and lose the point, the quotation by
19 the accused of a part of the report or statement of the investigating
20 judge he's identified refers to 150 people. I'm not sure whether he's
21 suggesting that those particular people have a particular origin or
22 whether he's accepting that those people were people killed in the
23 shelling of Dubrovnik and possibly in other places. It would be quite
24 wrong, in my reading of the statement of that particular judge, for any
25 suggestion to be made other than those were bodies generally dealt with,
1 including those killed in the shelling.
2 JUDGE MAY: We don't normally, of course, allow the exhibiting of
3 statements. That has been our practice, and quite rightly, too. I wonder
4 if this is an exception.
5 MR. NICE: Well, it might be. It's a very full statement, and it
6 contains material of one kind and another. It deals with the history of
7 what happened in Dubrovnik.
8 JUDGE MAY: Does he rely on reports, for instance, which he made
9 at the time?
10 MR. NICE: I'm not sure at the moment whether he had the reports
11 in front of him when he produced his statement, but he certainly refers
12 back to documents that were prepared on a scientific basis, yes. For
13 example, on the topic of autopsies, he says from the outset of the
14 conflict, with his brother judge, he had been going to most of the
15 autopsies of the people killed in the shelling of Dubrovnik and
16 war-related actions in the outlying areas. In the beginning, it was
17 mainly civilians that were killed, but later, most of the people that were
18 killed were in Croatian military uniforms. So he's quite detailed. We
19 would take the pathology reports and start a Court file. Then he says
20 this: I remember that once through the exchange of bodies with the other
21 side, we got bodies of civilians from Zupa and Konavle who had been killed
22 two or three months earlier. The JNA was advancing.
23 He then deals with the conduct of the autopsies and then turns to
24 the passage: From October 1991 to January 1992, there were about 150
25 people, civilians and soldiers, killed. I tended about 40 of those
1 autopsies. That's the passage that the accused read out.
2 It's quite a long statement. It's ten pages. And of course, if
3 it were to be admitted -- I take no position on it. I'm entirely in the
4 Court's hands. If it were to be admitted as an exception to the rule, its
5 evidential status would have to be given some consideration.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we propose to exhibit that document
7 that you've referred to, that statement, as an exception to the usual
8 rule. The judge refers in it to various documents which were reports
9 which were made at the time. It's therefore got more substance than most
10 of these statements which we, of course, exclude.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is quite all right and proper.
12 I do think that it should be included into the evidence.
13 JUDGE MAY: Before we go on, let's have an exhibit number for it.
14 We'll make it the next Defence exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Defence Exhibit 73, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Perhaps we could have copies of it, if the
17 Prosecution could let us, when they are ready.
18 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right, Mr. Poljanic, in view of the large number of JNA
21 members killed from Montenegro alone, you yourself said 158 was the
23 A. I didn't say 158, I said approximately 150 from the facts that are
24 not official facts.
25 Q. Well, I have a list here with their names. But never mind. How
1 is it possible that such a large number of JNA members were killed, if you
2 claim that there were no members of Croatian paramilitary forces in the
3 area, or members of the Croatian armed forces at all, or any kinds of
4 groups and units in the area but just a handful of, as you say, or what
5 you call them, a handful of citizens, defenders, that kind of thing?
6 A. What I said, and I stand by it, is the truth, and I wish to add to
7 that truth by saying this: The fact is that not a single one of those
8 soldiers who were killed, you said that you have a list of 158 of them,
9 but who were killed were not killed either on the territory of Serbia or
10 the territory of Montenegro, but they were killed on the territory of
11 Croatia as a part of the aggressor army.
12 Q. All right. You claim that in 1991, the JNA on the territory of
13 the SFRY was the aggressor army. Is that what you're saying?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. As you call them the Serbo-Montenegrin army, and
16 you're referring to the JNA by saying that, do you know that it is
17 precisely in that area, in the clashes with the paramilitary forces, the
18 JNA, that not only Serbs and Montenegrins died, were killed, but also
19 Croats and Muslims and members of other different Yugoslav nations and
20 ethnic groups and minorities who were in the ranks of the Yugoslav
21 People's Army because it was a Yugoslav People's Army, as the title says
22 which was quite a legal army its own territory?
23 A. But not on the territory of Croatia. I do know that in
24 Montenegro, there are Croats. In the Bay of Kotor and around the Bay of
25 Kotor, there are approximately 15.000 ethnic Croats. I also know that
1 they, too, had been mobilised, and I do know that some of them were
2 killed, too. How many exactly, I don't know. But some of them were
3 killed, I know that.
4 Q. All right, Mr. Poljanic. Do you happen to know that the command
5 of the JNA via Radio Herceg Novi, which is very close to Dubrovnik and
6 which can be very well heard, reception is good of that radio station in
7 Dubrovnik, that it appealed to you and, when I say you, I don't mean you
8 personally, I mean the leadership or the forces that were there, not to
9 open fire on members of the JNA and that if they do not -- and that if
10 they don't open fire, the JNA will not open fire. Do you know that they
11 sent out messages to that effect? "Don't shoot at the JNA. We're not
12 going to shoot at anyone. Only if we are attacked shall we respond. So
13 don't shoot at the JNA." Were those the messages sent out all the time?
14 Did you hear those messages?
15 A. I didn't hear those messages, but I heard of their existence.
16 However, I claim that we never shot first. We never opened fire first
17 ever. At the beginning, nobody on our side shot at all, especially not at
18 the territory of Montenegro. But I also know this: As you mentioned that
19 radio station, that particular radio station did very frequently broadcast
20 news to the effect that 30.000, this was every day, several times,
21 broadcast that 30.000 Ustashas had started marching on the Bay of Kotor.
22 That's what I know. And I also know, and I can also tell you the name of
23 the man who spoke out, who uttered these things. I don't think there's
24 any point in me doing so, but if you insist, I will. He would say, "Dear
25 listeners, while I am saying this, Ustasha shells are falling on Igalo,"
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and in Igalo, there was absolute peace, and the chirping of birds. I know
2 that full well. So the whole of Igalo all the inhabitants of Igalo are
3 witnesses to that and you can check it out.
4 Q. Well, I had nothing to check out because my question to you was:
5 Were you aware -- do you know that the command of the army sent out
6 warnings not to -- to people not to shoot at the JNA and that nobody would
7 shoot a single bullet at anybody if they weren't shot it?
8 A. Well, my answer to you is: I am aware of that, and it is also my
9 answer that we did not do that and that the other side was the one doing
10 the shooting and it shot every day and moved forward taking control of
11 territory more and more each day.
12 Q. Why are you keeping quiet about the fact, or rather saying that
13 there were no armed forces in Dubrovnik itself when your people themselves
14 say that in a secondary school, Nikica Franic, halfway between Gruz and
15 Stari Grad, at the Lovrijenac, at the Saint Lawrence fortress, Gospina
16 Polje, Sveto Lorens within the old town, there were armed forces.
17 This isn't a statement of a citizen of Dubrovnik, a statement I
18 have here of Slobodan Simunovic who says that those were the positions.
19 Let me tell you, it is on page 4. Unfortunately, again, I only have the
20 English version. He speaks of mortar positions, for instance, and says:
21 "I" saw one located at the grammar school Nikica Franic [In English] in
22 Ilina Glavica halfway between Gruz and the old town. I also saw one at
23 the park Gradac near the fortress of St. Lawrence, Lovrijenac. I also saw
24 one at the Madonna's field, Gospino Polje. One was positioned in Poljane,
25 Mrtvo Zvono within the old town. I didn't see it with my own eyes, but
1 even Croats were talking about it. I do not know anyone who saw these
2 mortar themselves."
3 [Interpretation] He's referring to this position at Mrtvo Zvono.
4 But I am reading literally each and every letter that is written here. So
5 even mortar positions, according to the statement of this witness, whom I
6 don't know, of course, I was given this from the opposite side.
7 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer that. It's alleged there were
8 mortar positions.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're saying that I'm not
10 mentioning the fact that in old town, there were armed formations, I
11 didn't keep quiet about it. I told the truth. Among all the things that
12 you have listed, not one of those locations is in old town except Mrtvo
13 Zvono, of which this witness, your witness or the witness of the Tribunal,
14 says they didn't see with his own eyes. So not a single of those
15 positions is in the old town. And I myself said that I knew that there
16 was one mortar in Gradac. This was last Wednesday, when I was sitting in
17 this same chair. So I don't know what you're implying.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. All I wanted to do was quote a witness who, as you noted know very
20 well, is not my witness.
21 A. Fine, he's a witness. He's a witness of the opposing side. But
22 he didn't say it was the old town. All of the locations he as mentioned
23 are outside the old town.
24 Q. Let me quote some more parts of his statement. [Previous
25 interpretation continues]... [In English]: for scouts and young people
1 that was used by a special unit of the Croatian police. They would rest
2 there, but take up position around the town from time to time. They had
3 Land Rover type vehicles. I think they were white, and they also had some
4 green Yugoslav transporters. They wore camouflage uniforms, and they were
5 armed with German rifles."
6 [Interpretation] So you're saying that they were poorly equipped.
7 Where did they get those German rifles from?
8 A. I don't know where they got them from, nor do I know that they
9 were German rifles. But again, that is not the old town. You know that
10 cars don't enter the old town. And I did not deny the fact that there
11 were several soldiers. There's no dispute about that.
12 Q. Very well, the next paragraph says, "Martial law was also declared
13 during this period [In English] also beatings were done. Men with masks
14 were breaking into houses owned by Serbs and were beating some people,
15 stealing things, and one older lady in Gruz was raped. One Serbian man
16 named Drasko Ljubibrtic was one of those who was badly beaten and even his
17 personal records, such university records, were taken."
18 [Interpretation] Do you remember those incidents?
19 A. No, I know Drasko Ljubibrtic very well. He went to school. He
20 was one year younger than me. You know him, too. He was a water polo
21 judge. In those days, he had an operation. He had four or five bypasses,
22 so whether that really happened, I can't say. I never heard about it.
23 The first time I meet him, I'll ask him.
24 JUDGE MAY: It's also alleged in that statement, and you should
25 have the chance to deal with it, that a woman was raped.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hear of that for the first time.
2 It sounds absolutely unbelievable that such a thing could happen in
3 Dubrovnik. In this war, unfortunately, there were many rapes. But that
4 somebody in Dubrovnik did that is something quite unbelievable to me, and
5 I hear it for the first time.
6 Anyway, who was this woman that was raped? I have no idea. Who
7 was the person who did the rape? It doesn't say that in the statement.
8 That's out of the question.
9 Q. I'm just quoting from a statement, so I'm not claiming anything
10 other than that this is what is written in a statement given to me by the
11 opposite side, so you can have it in front of you. You can see for
13 Are you saying that fire was not opened at JNA members from
14 positions within the old town?
15 A. Yes, I'm claiming that no such fire was opened.
16 Q. And do you know, for instance, that on the 6th of December, 1991,
17 that morning, around 6.00, there were several dozen shells fired from the
18 town of Dubrovnik itself, again JNA positions on Zarkovica, and it was
19 after that only that these positions were shelled, the positions from
20 which fire was opened at the JNA?
21 A. I've lived to hear that, too. I'm claiming that that is not too,
22 that it is a lie, that it was stated and written simply in order to
23 somehow try and justify the horror that occurred on that day. That day,
24 and that night, and that morning, I was in town, in the middle of town.
25 And at a quarter to 6.00, shells started falling on the town like rain.
1 And not a single pistol bullet was fired from the town, let alone a shell.
2 So what you have read now, I don't know who wrote it, but it's a shameless
3 lie. These are such tragic events that I hate thinking back to those days
4 and who hasn't experienced that cannot understand what it was like. And
5 now, I'm being told that on the 6th of December, the greatest tragedy in
6 the 2.000-year-long history of Dubrovnik that somebody had opened fire on
7 the Yugo Army, that's shameful.
8 Q. Please, don't get so excited.
9 A. I have to.
10 Q. But I'm just quoting a statement of their witness, not my witness.
11 Let me just read out the first sentence.
12 A. Is this another Gajic?
13 Q. No, no.
14 A. So someone rather like him.
15 Q. No, this one is Simunovic.
16 A. Oh, I was saying someone like him.
17 JUDGE MAY: One at a time.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. These are witnesses of the same institution of which you are a
20 witness, too. So the what the similarity amongst you is, it's up to you
21 to judge. So just the first sentence of the one but last paragraph, "On
22 the 6th of December, 1991, [In English] I was at home with my wife,
23 children, and mother. About 6.00 a.m., 6.00 a.m., I heard the sound of a
24 very intense shelling hitting Zarkovica."
25 So that is not true, is that what you're saying?
1 A. I've answered the question.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. What is the full sentence, Mr. Nice? Perhaps if
3 you would read it out.
4 MR. NICE: To assist the witness and to put matters in context,
5 the statement goes on to say: "My family and I then sheltered inside the
6 strongest part of my house. A short while later, a few shells started
7 landing in the city of Dubrovnik. After about 8.00 a.m., the shelling of
8 the city became very intense." So I have yet to locate the original
9 quotation ascribed to this statement by the accused when he was saying
10 that it said "in turn shelling coming from Dubrovnik." That's a matter
11 for him to sort out.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So there is no dispute, according to what this witness is
14 claiming, that Dubrovnik was shelled. But judging by what this witness
15 says, who is a citizen of Dubrovnik and who condemns the shelling of
16 Dubrovnik, he is claiming that what first happened was shelling of the
17 positions of the army at Zarkovica coming from Dubrovnik?
18 A. It did not.
19 Q. So, several dozen shells were not fired from the town of Dubrovnik
20 itself to JNA positions on Zarkovica?
21 A. On that day, not a single one. And from the old town, never.
22 Q. And is it true, Mr. Poljanic, that before any conflicts in the
23 whole area of Dubrovnik occurred, the local authorities had organised
24 armed platoons, and that they were acting against JNA positions together
25 with members of the police and the National Guards Corps?
1 A. What positions? When there were no troops in the territory of
3 Q. On the edges where there were army members on the border with
5 A. I've already said that not a single shot, not even a revolver
7 Q. Very well. I just wanted your answer, nothing more.
8 A. You have it.
9 Q. Is it true that already on the 30th of September, you set up a
10 so-called defence line which went from Brgat to St. Barbara Hill, and that
11 from those positions, joint action was taken by members of the National
12 Guards Corps, the police, and armed civilians organised to form these
13 platoons against the army positions?
14 A. There were no lines on Brgat on the 30th of September, but a
15 couple of days prior to the 30th of September, from the positions from the
16 Yugo Army, as you call it, from Ivanica which is in the immediate vicinity
17 of Brgat, a shell was fired, a maljutka - the one which leaves a trace,
18 some kind of a tracer. It has a 3 kilometre range - at a house of a naval
19 officer at Brgat. That was the first shell fired in Dubrovnik, in the
20 Dubrovnik area, already in September at the house of a naval officer who
21 had been for years sailing abroad to build this house, to earn enough
22 money to build this house. And it was hit. That is the truth. And what
23 you have read is not the truth.
24 Q. Very well. Nothing is true. But, Mr. Poljanic, I don't wish to
25 enter into any kind of polemics with you. I'm just asking you questions
1 based on a statement of a witness like you. For instance, the statement
2 of Stipan Jelavic, who also testifies for the Prosecution, of course, this
3 false Prosecution. He says on page 3 of his statement: [In English] "On
4 the 30th of September, we received orders to form a defence line from
5 Brgat to St. Barbara's Hill which was approximately 700 metres long. This
6 defence line consisted of between 100 and 110 men being stationed at
7 various strategic locations. These men were from three platoons with each
8 platoon having about 32 to 34 men. There were three old World War II
9 bunkers along this defence line. We only used two of them. The third one
10 was near a villager's home, but instead of using it, we dug a trench in
11 the area. There were machine-gun nests placed at these particular sites.
12 Another machine-gun nest was placed at the St. Anne Church,"
13 [Interpretation] and you are claiming that no fire was opened from
14 St. Anne Church. And this witness of yours, Stipan Jelavic says that
15 there was a machine-gun nest on the St. Anne Church.
16 [In English] "We also placed a TV mine at this spot."
17 [Interpretation] I don't know what a TV mine is. And there is a rather
18 rough sketch here showing what he says machine-gun nests in Brgat and the
19 other localities in the village. And he gave this to the investigator --
20 I don't know how you read this, his name. He appears to be Dutch,
21 Hooijkaas. And he attached this statement of his, too.
22 A. May I answer?
23 Q. Yes, of course. That's why I'm putting questions to you.
24 A. A moment ago, I said that in the course of September already, a
25 shell from Ivanica, which is in the immediate vicinity of Brgat - I think
1 the distance may be about 2 kilometres, maybe less - was fired at Brgat.
2 At Ivanica, there was a rather strong concentration of the military. I
3 saw that when I went to Trebinje a couple of days prior to that, and I do
4 allow for the possibility that there were some of our troops at Brgat, not
5 many. How many, I don't know. Well, God knows, we had to defend
6 ourselves. But I do not allow for the possibility that on the St. Anne
7 Church there was any machine-gun nest, and especially not on the belfry.
8 The St. Anne Church doesn't have a belfry. It didn't exist then, and it
9 doesn't exist now. So I physically don't understand how one could
10 position a machine-gun nest in the roof, which is covered, or inside a
11 church. So that is definitely wrong.
12 And this question keeps cropping up. The St. Anne Church was
13 simply very badly damaged by your army.
14 Q. Very well.
15 A. As well as the cemetery around the St. Anne Church. That too was
16 rather badly damaged.
17 Q. But he speaks about these operations from that line at the JNA
18 forces, and that is Stipan Jelavic, and he even includes two World War II
19 bunkers in this.
20 A. Well, there's several bunkers in that area. And your army held
21 them under its control, occupied them, and then held them from World War
23 Q. Well, it is precisely in this report by Stipan Jelavic, the
24 statement given to the Prosecution, the investigators on the 4th and 5th
25 of June, 2001, in which he suddenly speaks of a commander of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 paramilitary -- Croatian paramilitary forces from the Dubrovnik area on
2 page 3, paragraph 3, and you make no mention of that. He says, "I record
3 the military commander Cengija," and in brackets it says, "(ex-JNA) coming
4 to the area, [In English] inspecting the defence line and telling who
5 would or who would not be killed."
6 A. Cengija, was in the command of our defence. Cengija is an
7 honourable man, and quite certainly he did not say who was to be killed
8 and who was not to be killed. He quite certainly did not. And at any
9 rate, who was killed except somebody in our own army, and that was later
10 on as far as I know. Not then and there.
11 Q. All right.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, before you continue, let me just
13 say that the statements that you have brought to our attention and which,
14 as I understand it, tend to show in your submission that the JNA were
15 under attack in Dubrovnik, are really central to your case. And
16 therefore, if and when you come to present your case, it would be
17 absolutely essential, in my view, that you call the witnesses to give the
18 relevant evidence.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Robinson. But this is not
20 a central issue, nor can it be a central issue, because neither Serbia nor
21 the Serbian leadership has anything to do with the events in Dubrovnik.
22 But what I'm talking about, I am saying this because of the others who
23 were accused on the side of the JNA for committing what they did not
24 commit. And who endeavoured to solve things peacefully at all events and
25 who came under attack. So that's what it's about.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Now, do you know, Mr. Poljanic, that that same man, Stipan
3 Jelavic, in his statement, the statement of the Prosecution, it's a
4 Prosecution document, not a Defence document, but he writes, among other
5 things, some things that are contradictory to what you yourself are saying
6 here, quite obviously. And he says and talks about the fact that the JNA
7 was attacked from anti-aircraft guns in the Dubrovnik area as well.
8 A. Last Wednesday, I spoke about, I think it was one particular
9 20-millimetre, although I am not a military expert, a 20-millimetre gun.
10 It is between a machine-gun and a cannon gun, which we received, which
11 didn't have a clip or whatever, and our experts had to add this device to
12 it. We found it hard to come by this. But it was placed on a small truck
13 and would stroll around town or move around town, not the old town, of
14 course, but round about the surrounding areas. And it is true that it was
15 an anti-aircraft, tiny little gun, and it was moved around to give people
16 the impression that we had far more weapons than we did in fact have, and
17 it was our only weapon. That was all we had. And that it was used to
18 shoot, it was. It was shot from, but isn't it normal for us to defend
19 ourselves? We did not attack anybody with it. We just defended with it.
20 Q. Mr. Poljanic.
21 A. Yes, please, go ahead.
22 Q. You know that as of 1997, because of the importance and value of
23 the cultural monuments and heritage of Dubrovnik itself, that there were
24 no JNA forces in the area at all as far back as 1970. The nearest
25 garrison was in Trebinje, which is in fact in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. So it was a completely demilitarised zone already at that time,
3 precisely to avoid damaging and burdening this very valuable cultural
4 heritage site by any installations or JNA garrisons?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. So it was you who militarised Dubrovnik in 1991 and entered into
7 the conflict, first of all at the Montenegrin border, and then later on
8 towards the JNA and against the JNA on both sides. Isn't that so?
9 A. No, and it will now turn out that we ourselves destroyed it, and
10 it was destroyed.
11 Q. How far it was destroyed we'll see in just a moment, we'll come to
13 MR. NICE: Again, before we lose sight of a passage being put by
14 the accused, if the reference to the anti-aircraft gun he's referring to
15 first fresh paragraph and the first half of the next paragraph on page 4,
16 I think the whole passage could be read out for context because otherwise
17 a very misleading --
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you could summarise it for us.
19 MR. NICE: May I just read it, if this is the passage the accused
20 had in mind. What the person preparing this statement says is that he
21 observed the JNA taking out their cannons on Ivanica and then starting to
22 shell the area on the 21st of October. "We were being shelled with
23 missiles from the sea from the area of Zupa. The missiles the JNA were
24 firing from Zupa were ones I had never seen before." And it's in that
25 setting he goes on to say, if this is the passage the accused was
1 referring to, "At approximately 5.00 a.m. on the 22nd of October, I became
2 aware of an anti-aircraft gun coming to Brgat. I believe it was delivered
3 on the back of a truck. Once they arrived, they opened fire on Ivanica
4 and quickly departed. The JNA retreated to some extent as a result of
5 this show of fire power."
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. The statement is no
7 secret for you here. I don't have time to go into in its entirety. I'm
8 just choosing excerpts which allow me to ask the witness some questions.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I'm just going to read another portion of that statement, that
11 same witness. His name is Stipan Jelavic, and he says the following:
12 "During my tour of duty within Dubrovnik, I became aware of the number of
13 Croat defence positions. [In English] The investigator -"
14 [Interpretation] I don't know how his name is pronounced - [in English]
15 "has supplied me with a map of Dubrovnik, and I have noted this on the
16 map, which is attached. Number 1, Hotel Neptun, there were a number of
17 ZNG staying there, but he had no fire power. At number 2, Medarevo, there
18 was an anti-aircraft cannon. At number 3 --"
19 JUDGE MAY: I think the witness must be given the chance to answer
20 these various points if you're going to make them specifically. The Hotel
21 Neptun, it's said that the ZNG were there but had no fire power.
22 Just a moment. Let the witness answer that. Is that right or
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that there was any
25 army, any solders in the Hotel Neptun. I allow for the possibility that
1 someone might have spent the night there and the witness says there were
2 some without any fire power there. I wasn't in a position to know that
3 there was anybody there. For your information, the Neptun Hotel is at the
4 most westerly point of the Lapad peninsula in Dubrovnik, of course, but
5 the furthest possible point away from the old town of Dubrovnik itself, so
6 that's it.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. All right, point 2, Medarevo, was an anti-aircraft gun. At point
9 3, Lapadska Glavica, he heard that a gun was positioned there. Point 4
10 was Gorica, and this is about 50 metres to the west of the metereological
11 station and 500 metres from the Libertas Hotel, and he also heard that an
12 anti-aircraft gun had been set up there. He doesn't say what kind. Point
13 5 was Gradac, another gun there. At point 6, Ploce, another gun --
14 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't take all this in if you read it out
15 so quickly. No; a moment. Let the witness answer. He has got to be able
16 to answer.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All these locations that have been
18 mentioned refer to the area of the peninsula of Lapad, the Lapad
19 peninsula. At one of those positions, as Gorica was mentioned, and 500
20 metres from the Libertas Hotel, or rather, 50 metres from the
21 meteorological station is where I live. I lived there, some 50 metres
22 away from there. And I would be astonished not to have ever heard any
23 shooting from the gun. I never saw a gun of that kind. I was not, of
24 course, at the headquarters of the Dubrovnik Defence, I wasn't a military
25 man myself, but I can allow for the possibility that on the Lapad
1 peninsula, and I said in my statement eight days ago, that there were
2 defence positions in Lapad. I accept that. But I don't know about them.
3 And in concrete terms specifically, I don't know even if what was said was
4 50 metres from my own home. From my flat.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Well, I'm going to ask you to take a look at the map that he
7 sketched and the positions he included in the map. But let me ask you in
8 the meantime, do you know of a report put out by the Ministry of National
9 Defence of the 4th of October, 1991, which states that the Ustasha forces,
10 with weapons, have taken control of Dubrovnik, and they took the whole
11 town as hostage along with its inhabitants. And from that vantage point,
12 they are opening fire on the JNA and even at cultural and historical
13 monuments, and that the JNA has saved the monuments at cost -- on pain of
14 its own life and that the Ustasha formation, together with foreign
15 mercenaries, are preparing a scenario by which to destroy the town of
16 Dubrovnik and to have the JNA accused of that act of vandalism. That is a
17 report that I am quoting from. Do you know about that?
18 A. Yes, and I don't even like to listen to it. I find it painful to
19 listen to. I claim that apart from the town itself, the name of
20 Dubrovnik, every single letter on that page, piece of paper, is false.
21 That's what I claim. There's no other expression I can use than that it
22 is a lie. It is false.
23 Q. All right. May we have two brief tapes played for us to hear your
24 own comments. So I should like to ask the technical booth to play the
25 tape, please.
1 JUDGE MAY: We will take the break now, and we will sit again in
2 20 minutes and the tapes can be played then.
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, do you want these statements to be
4 exhibited, Mr. Jelavic?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, Mr. Kwon, I do. And as
6 I've already told Mr. Poljanic, I would like to show him something from
7 that report, these sketches, these diagrams by Stipan Jelavic, so he can
8 take a look at them, too, if he's interested.
9 JUDGE MAY: We'll deal with that after the break.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And this is the one with the
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we'll hear your submissions on the
13 statement, the exhibiting of it. It would be contrary to our earlier
14 practice. You've referred to it. It's a question whether the best way of
15 getting the evidence in front of us is to put the statement in or whether
16 the witness should be called, as Judge Robinson suggests, by the accused
17 or by the Trial Chamber.
18 MR. NICE: I can answer it straight away in case you want to
19 deliberate about it over the very short adjournment. The general policy,
20 of course, is that statements aren't put in and I have only been enlarging
21 passages that have been put to the witness so that they can be given a
22 fair context, rather be too selective. We made one exception this morning
23 because so much of the statement had been put and appeared to come from a
24 person who may have been referring to matters of detail -- for matters of
25 detail to documents. But I would invite caution before we expand on our
1 practices in relation to this type of document. It's a matter for the
2 Chamber, but I would caution before allowing too many of these statements
3 in because their evidential position will be hard for us to evaluate.
4 JUDGE KWON: If it's the statement given to OTP peoples, there's
5 some limit to that, or safeguard.
6 MR. NICE: As Your Honour knows, in other settings, I'm only too
7 happy for witness statements to go in, but the Chamber has ruled against
8 us on that. Generally speaking, I'm entirely happy for statements to be
9 seen. But my concern is the uncertainty that may come about the
10 evidential status of these documents. That's all. But I'm not going to
11 resist documents going in unless we have particular reasons to believe
12 that a particular witness may be untruthful.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I was saying that you do seem to have
14 almost joined issue on these statements. I mean, you say that you have
15 only sought to put in context the references that the accused has made to
16 the statements, but it seems to me that you have practically made the
17 statements very important.
18 MR. NICE: I'm not sure about that. I mean, this particular
19 witness, for example, we have absolutely no objection to you having it,
20 reading it, and considering it. And as far as I know, we have no reason
21 particularly to doubt it. But, no, I haven't been putting it in issue.
22 What is very important for a witness is not to have a selective passage
23 put to him that may excite from him a reaction which would be unfortunate
24 and unfair for him. And therefore, all I have been doing, on three or
25 four occasions, is to make sure that the context of what's put to the
1 witness is accurate. But so far as these witness statements are
2 concerned, saving on occasions if and when we believe the witness to be
3 untruthful, we're entirely happy for the Chamber to have the material.
4 And I simply repeat my invitation to the Court before breaking your own
5 rules and bringing about difficulties in how we deal with the value of
6 such material.
7 JUDGE MAY: The danger is the principle. If we say that this
8 statement can go in because it is a Prosecution statement, are we then not
9 finding ourselves in the position in which you invite us to take all your
10 statements, because they were made to OTP investigators, and put them in?
11 And it seems to me that there's a matter of principle which we must
12 consider carefully before we do admit this statement. We admitted one
13 today. It was by a judge, it was referring to his professional work.
14 There are, therefore, signs of reliability in it, referring to reports
15 which were made at the time which it might be right for us to accept -- I
16 mean was right for us to accept. It was a different category.
17 Mr. Kay, perhaps you could help us. I don't know if you want to
18 do it now. We should be breaking.
19 MR. KAY: Shall we help you after the break, if the Trial Chamber
20 has any more --
21 JUDGE MAY: Maybe at the end of the cross-examination would be the
22 right time so we don't take up any more time. We'll adjourn now.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we were going to play the tape. If that could be
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 played now.
2 [Videotape played]
3 "SPEAKER: ... separatist agenda. This was particularly evident in
4 the reporting of the war around the resort town of Dubrovnik, a favourite
5 vacation spot for German tourists. Working through its Washington PR
6 firm, the Croatian government managed to convince much of the world that
7 Dubrovnik was being destroyed by the Serbs in unprovoked attacks which
8 lasted for months during the fall of 1991.
9 SPEAKER: The public has been led to believe that the federal army
10 attack on Dubrovnik was not precipitated by anything but sheer malice.
11 However, on August 25th of 1991, Croatian forces attacked a base in the
12 Bay of Kotor, around the Bay of Kotor, and they were repulsed with heavy
14 SPEAKER: Yugoslav troops based in Montenegro then fought their
15 way up the coast, confronting Croatian forces near Dubrovnik.
16 SPEAKER: Targets outside the old city were hit, consisting mostly
17 of hotels which had been taken over as barracks and spotter points by
18 Croatian forces who also put refugees in the lower stories of their own
19 barracks and spotter facilities.
20 SPEAKER: It was obvious that the Croats were using the old town
21 as a defensive wall. They were firing from behind hospitals and mortar
22 position next to our hotel. The final straw for me when was there was
23 this incredible bombardment in our hotel basement. Bang, bang, bang,
24 bang, bang. The worst we had ever heard. And I was furious. And
25 everyone else was panicking. And I said to the manager who was down there
1 with us, I wish you would tell that chap with the heavy machine-gun on the
2 floor above to stop firing at the Serbs because they're going to fire
4 SPEAKER: Contrary to news reports, there was little damage to the
5 historic old city.
6 SPEAKER: Yes, it has been reported some 15.000 shells rained on
7 the old city of Dubrovnik. I counted 15 mortar hits on the main street.
8 The Yugoslav federal army could have destroyed the old city of Dubrovnik
9 in two hours. It is not destroyed.
10 SPEAKER: Washington Post reporter Peter Maass, who visited the
11 old city several months after the fighting stopped, found Dubrovnik in
12 what he described as 'nearly pristine condition.'
13 SPEAKER: There are many people who go to these scenes of mayhem
14 and adventure who don't know where they are, who don't know the languages,
15 cannot really communicate with the people, and take press handouts from
16 the local authorities. So there is certainly an orchestrated effort on
17 the part of the Croatian and Slovenian, Austrian and German media to
18 portray the Serbs as a bunch of howling, Byzantine, uncivilised
20 SPEAKER: These impressions help strengthen Germany's resolve to
21 lead a reluctant --"
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's all from this tape, please.
23 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, what have we been watching? Who
24 made the tape, what's its -- where does it come from, before we ask any
25 questions about it?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was made abroad. I'll tell you
2 later. I don't have the exact information. But you saw the people
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It might have been a pure piece of propaganda,
5 for all we know. We need to know more about it in order so we can decide
6 whether it should be given any weight at all.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I will give you the
8 precise data about it, which I don't have on me just now, but I assume
9 that a reporter of the London Independent, nor the representative of the
10 counter-intelligence US service surely are not exponents of Belgrade
11 propaganda, and you saw them and heard them.
12 JUDGE MAY: We don't know that. Now let the witness answer. He
13 should have the opportunity, since it has been played, of answering what's
14 on the tape.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All that I have seen is very
16 familiar to me. I know the exact date when this was filmed. I personally
17 received these people in Dubrovnik, and I will tell you how this video
18 came into being.
19 After the 1st of October, 1991, when Dubrovnik was bombarded from
20 all sides, we did, as far as we were able to, made a lot of noise and
21 hullabaloo seeking to inform the world about what was going on. Dubrovnik
22 was in truth heavily bombed by then, thousands and thousands of shells had
23 fallen on Dubrovnik by then. But before the 23rd of October, not a single
24 one fell on the old city. In response to our assistance that the world be
25 made aware what was happening in Dubrovnik, the arrival of reporters to
1 Dubrovnik was organised, and I repeat once again, I received them. They
2 came by sea. They were not allowed to pass through Konavle, which by then
3 had been totally destroyed. They came by sea. They disembarked in the
4 harbour of the old city. I welcomed them and received them. They let
5 them film only the old city that you see so well here. There's not a
6 single photograph outside the old city. They let them view the old city,
7 film it, and they sent reports to the world that this was all nonsense,
8 that Dubrovnik hadn't been bombed at all.
9 So that is the truth. After that, the heavy bombing of the old
10 city as well started. On the 23rd of October, the first two shells fell.
11 One on the museum and a second in the Boskovic Street, a couple of metres
12 from Stradun, the main street in Dubrovnik. That is the truth.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would now like to ask the
14 technical booth to show us another tape taken by John Peter Maher,
15 Professor of Illinois University on the 25th of March, 1992. So it is
16 after all these events. You'll see the tape. After that, I only have a
17 couple more questions so that I will be within the time limit you have set
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is no sound here. These are
21 just views of the old city, details of the old city, and the whole tape is
22 a couple of minutes long only.
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, while we're watching it, it also might be
24 helpful to know if the same professor from Illinois also attached the
25 subtitles to the film. I don't know if the accused could help us.
1 [Videotape played]
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In my understanding, it's his film.
3 An amateur video. He's a professor, not a cameraman. And it's a bit
4 detailed and too long, but I didn't have time to abbreviate it. So I
5 chose just a part of it.
6 [Videotape played]
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that's sufficient. So this
8 was filmed on the 25th of March, 1992.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. As you can see, the whole of the old city is in one piece, and I
11 know that it was your members of the National Guard which set fire to the
12 library of the Serbian orthodox church which, as you see, was the only
13 seriously damaged facility in the old town. Isn't that right?
14 A. No, that's not right. That is not at all the building of the
15 library of the Serbian orthodox church. This is the building of Ivo Grbic
16 a Dubrovnik painter, the house he lived in all his life, and from which he
17 carried out his old mother on his hands who was 90 years old. And this
18 inscription, icons --
19 Q. Icons, that's fine there was a shop of icons, but it is written in
21 A. Yes, in Cyrillic. Why not?
22 Q. Doesn't that indicate the origin?
23 A. But you see nobody destroyed those inscriptions indicating where
24 the icons were. But this building is not the building of the Serbian
25 library, but rather the building owned by Ivo Grbic that I went to
1 hundreds of times and which was razed to the ground. That's one point.
2 This may be the best photograph of all that I have seen. I think
3 that quality is very bad and very little can be seen, probably, for
4 technical reasons. So I don't see how anyone could see anything. One
5 could just see a little piece of what was destroyed on the fence of the
6 St. Vlaho Church, the patron saint of Dubrovnik. By then the town had
7 been cleaned up. It was a notorious fact that 1.500 shells fell on the
8 town. That on the main street, Stradun, 56 shells fell. It is also a
9 notorious fact that the Franciscan monastery received 53 hits. It is also
10 a notorious fact that the Dominican monastery, which was also shown here,
11 was hit by 23 shells. It is also a fact that the St. Vlaho, who was shown
12 here, also received five shells. And this Tribunal will receive the
13 documents about this when the next witness comes, who is an architect and
14 director of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments and who is an
15 expert in the field.
16 JUDGE MAY: Witness, help us with this: The accused has suggested
17 that the orthodox library was burned down by members of the ZNG. Can you
18 help us with that, first of all, whether the library was burned down, and
19 secondly whether -- if it was, whether it was done by members of the ZNG.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I guarantee, with everyone that it
21 is possible to provide guarantees with, that there were no, no attacks by
22 members of Zengas, which is in fact the National Guards Corps, were
23 carried out against the library of the orthodox church. Everything that
24 was damaged in Dubrovnik, including that library, if it was damaged - to
25 tell you the truth, I don't know that it was, but if it was, I accept it -
1 was the result of the shelling of this army that we have well agreed to
2 call it the Serbian/Montenegrin, or Yugoslav. Whichever you like. I
3 guarantee it was by them. Not a single other shell was not fired at
4 Dubrovnik by anyone else.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Now you have listed a number of the buildings. How come they
7 didn't fall down after these numerous shells that you have listed?
8 A. You know very well how Dubrovnik was built. You know perfectly
9 well that buildings which lean on one another, it is very difficult to
10 demolish, even with shells. But almost each was hit, almost each, not
11 each and every one, with one or more shells. All the roofs were
12 destroyed, so when you approach Dubrovnik from the highway, from the hill,
13 you no longer see the roofs with patina who developed this patinated
14 colour of the centuries. You see new red-tiled roofs because each and
15 every roof had to be changed.
16 Q. Mr. Poljanic, commenting on the first tape, you said it was taken
17 before. But that on the 23rd and the 24th of October, the old city was
19 A. I said two shells.
20 Q. And that after that, there was more shelling, even though the old
21 city was demilitarised, as you say, and there was no action from it. How,
22 then, do you explain that on the 30th of October, 1991, a week later, a
23 week after the date you mention as the shelling -- date of the shelling of
24 the city, so it is the last day in the month of October, the 30th of
25 October, foreign diplomats, including the ambassadors of Great Britain,
1 the Netherlands, Italy, and Greece, and the deputy ambassador of the
2 United States of America, toured the city and establish that the old city
3 had not been damaged except for a few buildings on the edges which were
4 insignificantly damaged without any proof as to who had provoked the
5 damage, and that these stories of about 15.000 shells or however many you
6 mentioned have absolutely no foundation. An official announcement was
7 issued that all of us were able to hear in the media on the 30th of
8 October, 1991.
9 A. Nevertheless, I have told the truth. If I am mistaken, then I may
10 be mistaken by saying a small number. The truth is that on the 12th of
11 October, I said that at least 15.000 shells fell on Dubrovnik. If I
12 erred, I erred by reducing the number, not by increasingly. Not only did
13 the diplomats come, but the Libertas convoy arrived.
14 Q. Yes, but these people came and we all heard their announcement.
15 A. In the same way that those other 30 or so -- I beg your pardon.
16 In the same way that the 30 journalists that I received and who, after the
17 surroundings of Dubrovnik had been bombed, except the old city, they came
18 to the old city, filmed it, saw that it wasn't damaged, and that
19 information was sent to the world. But not the surroundings of the old
20 town. They were not allowed to see that.
21 Q. Mr. Poljanic, you just said that they saw that the old city was
22 not damaged. And you said that 15.000 shells fell on the old city?
23 A. No. God forbid, I never said on the old city. I said 1.056 on
24 the old city. But on Dubrovnik as a whole, more than 15.000.
25 Q. So 1.056 shells fell, and it wasn't damaged --
1 A. Yes, but they fell afterwards. Up to that date, that is, the 23rd
2 of October, there were only two shells. One on Boskovic Street, the one
3 going up hill to towards Buzi, as you know well, and the other, the roof
4 of the Rupe museum. If somebody doesn't want to see it. They need not
5 see it.
6 Q. Will you please look at this map or sketch marked by witness
7 Stipan Jelavic where you can see the positions from which fire was opened
8 at the JNA. Is it then at least clear that the JNA was only responding to
9 fire coming from these positions firing at it?
10 A. That is not clear, nor can it be clear. The JNA was attacking
11 Dubrovnik and it was under no circumstances responding to fire coming from
12 Dubrovnik as there was no such fire. The positions that he marked here,
13 all of them, with the exception of -- in fact, there's not a single
14 position in the old town. On this sketch, I don't see a single position
15 in the old city. I don't see it. Not a single one. Not even on this
16 sketch that you have shown me, and with the word "Jelavic" on it. I don't
17 see a single position in the old city which is fully in accord with what
18 I've just said.
19 Q. So you are claiming that the army invaded, attacked, its own
20 territory, because after all Yugoslavia still existed in those days, and
21 the army was responding to fire --
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have put point this frequently, and
23 the witness has dealt with it. Now, unless you have something new, we
24 must bring this to a close.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. Fine.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. KAY: Yes, if the Court will grant us time, I realise we're in
2 a difficult position today, it being the end of the term so to speak, but
3 there is five minutes that I would like to use.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, five minutes.
5 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
6 Q. Witness, in relation to the first of the videos that Mr. Milosevic
7 showed you this morning, it was clear, from what you said, that a number
8 of journalists had been invited to Dubrovnik. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. At that time, who was in effective control of Dubrovnik?
11 A. The town of Dubrovnik was controlled by us.
12 Q. When you say "us," you mean a Crisis Staff. Is that right?
13 A. No, I mean the municipal authorities.
14 Q. Who ran the police?
15 A. The chief of the police administration.
16 Q. And the defence of Dubrovnik, who was running that?
17 A. If you're talking about the end of September onwards, then
18 Lieutenant-Colonel at the time, or rather, Colonel and today General Nojko
20 Q. Yes, my questions are only directed from the 1st of October until
21 the end of December.
22 A. General Marinovic, then.
23 Q. In inviting those journalists on that occasion, did you invite
24 other journalists and film crews on other occasions to Dubrovnik?
25 A. We didn't invite those journalists. Let's clear that point up.
1 Those journalists arrived, they turned up. To be quite frank, I don't
2 know how they came there, got to be there. We didn't invite them. And
3 after that, we did invite a lot but it was so difficult to reach Dubrovnik
4 that many of them didn't come. But those who did arrive, I must say, sent
5 out very proper reporting, proper reports out to the world. But there
6 were those who filmed this kind of stuff as well.
7 Q. What one of those journalists appeared to be saying was that there
8 was provocation taking place by people within Dubrovnik firing at the
9 Serbs, expecting a retaliation. Is that right?
10 A. If somebody said that, they were telling lies.
11 Q. What I want to put to you is this: Was what you were undertaking
12 during the period of October until the end of December a publicity
13 campaign within Dubrovnik in an attempt to turn world opinion against the
15 A. No. If you mean -- I don't know what you're referring to when you
16 say what we did. Could you be a little clearer, please. "What you were
17 undertaking," you said. Now what did that refer to? Do you mean the
18 information that we sent out to the world?
19 Q. First of all, were tyres being burned in the streets to give an
20 impression of bombs having been, or shells having been fired, and that the
21 city was on fire? Were tyres lit in the streets to give an impression of
23 A. That is a heinous lie. I swear that they were not. The tyres
24 were burning from the burnt cars which the Yugo army set fire to on the
25 parking lot. So the cars burnt down and so did the tyres, and anything
1 else that could be put alight. But no Croatian or Croatian soldier set
2 fire to a single tyre to create smoke and send out information to the
3 world that Dubrovnik was alight. Now, we must agree upon this; Dubrovnik
4 was alight, it had suffered worse than ever in its history and that so
5 many shells were thrown on Dubrovnik that were thrown. Let's accept that
6 truth and agree to that because it is the truth which has been documented.
7 Q. Were gun positions put on the top of buildings so that shots could
8 be fired at the JNA to enable a retaliation that you knew would occur?
9 A. Well, that question isn't clear to me. There were no nests or
10 guns on any roofs. I'm not -- I don't understand your question. Would
11 you repeat it, please. Which roofs do you mean? The tops of which
12 buildings? What tops?
13 Q. You heard the journalists describe a man on top of the hotel
14 firing with a machine-gun, and the journalist saying what was going to be
15 expected was that there was going to be firing back. Was that
16 deliberately being done to provoke a reaction?
17 A. No. What reaction? Why would we do that? To provoke somebody to
18 shell us back? Where's the logic there?
19 Q. Again, as a policy to get a condemnation of the Serbs, using
20 Dubrovnik as a well-known place.
21 A. Everything we did, all the information we sent into the world, we
22 did exclusively in order to protect the town and the area around
23 Dubrovnik, or rather, the Dubrovnik municipality, which was as it was
24 then. And for no other reason whatsoever. Just in order and exclusively
25 to have the world learn about the truth. We knew that Dubrovnik was a
1 very important town. It was a world cultural heritage site. And the
2 information that we sent out into the world we sent exclusively for the
3 purpose of protecting ourselves. There were no other reasons at all; for
4 the world to protect us.
5 MR. KAY: That's all I have.
6 MR. NICE: A few matters arising.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
8 Q. It has been suggested to you or at least inquired of you whether
9 you were drawing fire down onto yourself and onto your ancient city. Any
10 truth in that, and has that ever been suggested to you before?
11 A. Well, this was put forward all the time. At that time, nobody --
12 let me tell you the people of Dubrovnik loved their town too much to allow
13 themselves to fire a single shot at their own town. This is really beyond
14 all belief. So nobody, none of the inhabitants of Dubrovnik, no -- or
15 people living in the surrounding parts ever fired a single shot at
16 Dubrovnik. Not only in this war, but either previously or afterwards.
17 And for the men of Dubrovnik, the town of Dubrovnik is sacred. And it is
18 the only town which is written when it is says city, the word "city" is
19 written in capital letters, or "town."
20 Q. The suggestion that Serbs were persecuted in some way for this
21 war, any suggestion that the Serbs of Dubrovnik were subject to reduction
22 of privilege or in any other way persecuted?
23 A. No rights were taken away from them, nor were they persecuted in
24 any way. Let me say, we have been here for such a long time and this was
25 not mentioned at all: There were Serbs from Dubrovnik even who, very
1 honourably, joined the ranks of the Croatian army and together, with all
2 the rest, defended Dubrovnik. And there are some of them from the area
3 who are in the Croatian army to this very day.
4 Q. The accused asked you a question in slightly different terms about
5 any links that there may have been between the attack on Dubrovnik and
6 Serbia itself. And you said that enough had been said about those links
7 to Serbia. Tell us, please, but only by title or topic, what events, what
8 features of this history link these events, not just to the JNA but to
9 Serbia itself?
10 A. If I have understood you correctly, there is exclusively one link
11 for everything that has happened. One link. And that is the attempt to
12 form a Greater Serbia. Nothing else than that.
13 Q. It was suggested, I think, that the JNA was composed of all
14 ethnicities. What do you say about that at the time with which we are
15 concerned in Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik area?
16 A. From the JNA at that time, the Slovenes had left, and so had the
17 Croats and the Macedonians. They had all left the JNA by that time, and
18 largely even the Albanians. They had already left. And as for the claim
19 that several Croats had also been killed in the Dubrovnik area on the
20 Yugoslav army side, that is true. They were the Croats who, from
21 Montenegro, they were citizens of Montenegro and they were in the army, in
22 the Yugo army. And of course, quite obviously and naturally, they were
23 among the occupying forces and I'm sure that in some of the fighting, some
24 of them had probably been killed too.
25 Q. Staying with Montenegro and returning to the topic of arguable
1 links to Serbia, are you yourself of any apology that has been made
2 publicly by the president of Montenegro, now the Prime Minister, Mr.
3 Djukanovic, for events that happened in your city?
4 A. Yes, I am. President Djukanovic did apologise to the Croatian
5 people for what had happened in South Croatia in which the citizens of
6 Montenegro had taken part. I must also state one more thing here, with
7 respect to that topic: In the course of the war, at Cetinje - and Cetinje
8 is a Montenegrin town, very old and ancient, at one time the capital of
9 Montenegro - the liberals organised a rally, a meeting, at which at that
10 time there were a lot of people, 200.000 people, in fact. It was no easy
11 matter to gather together such a large number of people. And they sang
12 from Mount Lovcen that the fairy is saying forgive us Dubrovnik, the
13 verses of the song to that effect.
14 Q. Are you aware - just yes or no, and if you can't remember, don't
15 say so - but are you aware of whether in his apology, Mr. Djukanovic made
16 any reference to Serbia? If you're not aware and can't remember it, we'll
17 probably be able to play the tape of the apology in due course, but can
18 you remember?
19 A. I don't recall that particular detail, but you can play the tape
20 and I'll be able to tell you after I've seen it.
21 Q. Not now, another time, I think, for want of time. Are you aware
22 also of Serbs in Serbia itself demonstrating in favour of Dubrovnik?
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it's Exhibit 328, Tab 8. We don't have
24 time to look at it.
25 Q. Yes or no.
1 A. Dubrovnik, no.
2 Q. The Serbs in Serbia protesting in favour of the suffering in
3 Dubrovnik, a rally held in Belgrade on the 30th of October.
4 A. I don't know about that. I did hear that there were individual
5 sorts of protests, but not a mass rally of that kind. I don't know about
7 Q. Finally, a matter of detail about one of those two films. The
8 film that showed, you said, Ivo Grbic's house razed to the ground, how was
9 it razed to the ground?
10 A. It was not razed to the ground. The walls remained standing
11 because the walls are linked to the neighbouring houses, adjacent houses.
12 But it burned down to the ground. And this happened exclusively as the
13 result of the shelling. It received several shell shots, and of course,
14 quite normally, one of them set fire to the wooden construction, whether
15 between the storeys or the roof construction, but it did burn down to the
16 ground, and the walls remained standing. It has been reconstructed today.
17 MR. NICE: Nothing else. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Poljanic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
20 for coming to the International Tribunal to give you. You are free to go.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE MAY: We are proposing, in fact, to adjourn at half past,
24 because we have another hearing in an hour's time. It may be helpful if
25 we could briefly hear from the amicus on the Jelavic statement.
1 MR. KAY: Yes. I've given some thought to this, Your Honours,
2 because it seems essential that there needs to be some sort of control and
3 a test of relevancy rather than increasing documentation unnecessarily.
4 If the accused produces a statement in cross-examination and a witness
5 adopts the passage that is being put, then quite clearly, that passage is
6 able to be put into evidence and the document should be marked in some way
7 to denote the relevant passage and that it is entered into the proceedings
8 through that way. If the Prosecution then go on to cross-examine in
9 relation to the same document, and the witness adopts further passages,
10 then that further material should also be likewise identified to show what
11 has been brought into evidence.
12 The practice of putting the whole document in, in my submission,
13 produces more extraneous and irrelevant material that shouldn't really be
14 before the Trial Chamber because it has not been dealt with explicitly.
15 If a passage is also put into cross-examination from a statement
16 produced by the accused, and the accused agrees that the Trial Chamber,
17 for sake of convenience should have a copy of the document so that they
18 can see what is being put and understand it perhaps more clearly, then
19 such a document becomes an aid, and that should only be marked for
20 identification purposes. And then at a later stage, in our submission,
21 the Trial Chamber or the accused himself may call the witness and have the
22 document produced, if need be, through direct evidence.
23 It seems that that's, in our submission, the fairest way of
24 dealing with material because we can have a problem of if one side wants
25 statements produced, the other side wants statements produced, that we're
1 not really going to be sure what we're dealing with in terms of evidence
2 in the trial from the statements.
3 JUDGE MAY: That is yet another suggestion, if I may say so, which
4 we'll have to consider.
5 MR. KAY: Yes.
6 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we can resolve this at the moment.
7 JUDGE KWON: If the witness adopts the passage, and if the
8 Prosecution doesn't oppose to admit the witness statement, is there any
9 obstacle to admit such a document, especially if it is a statement given
10 to an OTP investigator?
11 MR. KAY: That's a fifth category Your Honour has pointed out, and
12 I would agree that if a waiver has taken place, and obviously if it's an
13 OTP document, they will have considered the matter themselves from their
14 own perspective, and be prepared to waive an objection in those
15 circumstances. But it's an issue whether there is objection to the
16 content or not.
17 JUDGE MAY: The other issue is the sheer amount of material which
18 we may be accumulating.
19 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I would caution against any practice that
20 starts admitting little bits and pieces of statements. I think your
21 general rule has been out-of-court statements can form the subject matter
22 of questions if the question is acknowledged. Then the answer of the
23 witness is evidence in the case, and you don't need the trigger question
24 to identify what it is he's saying to be produced as an exhibit. And my
25 only concern this morning was, as it has been on several occasions, to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 ensure that questions are asked in a fair context. Making an exception
2 for a particular statement was an exception, and keen though I am to have
3 a much larger documentary base in the form of witness statements,
4 generally another argument possibly for another day, possibly never to be
5 raised again, I respectfully suggest that it's better to stick to your
6 normal policy and to make this an exception.
7 JUDGE MAY: Would you accept in this particular case the Jelavic
8 statement it should go in?
9 MR. NICE: I'm quite happy for it to go in, yes.
10 JUDGE MAY: But in the light of the absence of objection, the
11 Jelavic statement will be admitted. This is not to be seen as any
12 precedent for future rulings.
13 Now, Mr. Nice, we have literally a minute left. There's a matter
14 I want to deal with myself about the future conduct, briefly. It' really
15 by way of stating what our current conclusions are. If there's anything
16 urgent you'd like to raise, of course you --
17 MR. NICE: Well, I've supplied you with a confidential document
18 which might have merited or benefitted from a short, and indeed
19 confidential, discussion because the purpose of its being confidential is
20 set out in its last or second to last paragraph. I was hoping just to
21 amplify the purpose and to explain a couple of rather, I hope, helpful
22 things, encouraging things, but I would rather do it confidentially.
23 JUDGE MAY: Given the time, I wonder if you could do it in
25 MR. NICE: Yes, I can.
1 JUDGE MAY: Because I don't think it will affect what we're going
2 to say. Time is against us.
3 MR. NICE: Very well. If by chance, it might affect what you're
4 going to say I must, of course, ask for liberty to come back on it. But I
5 hope that you'll accept, and this is really fundamental to the submissions
6 that we have made to you in writing, I hope you'll accept that our
7 intention is to achieve exactly the general result that we know the
8 Chamber wants in terms of brevity and to do it in a way that meets
9 everybody's requirements.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we will -- I have been passed a note about the
11 exhibits. The statement will be Exhibit D74. We'll consider whether to
12 admit the two videotapes, which would be 75 and 76. But we will leave
13 that decision. It may be that the one without sound could be admitted,
14 since it's a factual one apart from the various comments on it. The other
15 one is in a more controversial position and I would have thought probably
16 should be excluded.
17 MR. NICE: Very well, then Your Honours. Perhaps one thing I can
18 say publicly is that the two documents I provided you with this morning,
19 the one about Kosovo and the one about Croatia, are documents I have
20 forecast right from the beginning of this trial I would be providing, and
21 the one about Croatia and the one about Bosnia, that is also in a state of
22 preparation, are documents that I will be preparing in any event. But if
23 they serve a useful purpose, and I think they can serve a very useful
24 purpose in control of the trial, I will do my best, by allocating
25 resources, to have them prepared on a regular basis so that you will never
1 be very far out of date with the use that this document can make for you
2 and indeed for all of us.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MAY: We'll resolve the question about the videos by simply
5 marking both for identification, 75 and 76.
6 We've received a number of reports recently, including a medical
7 report on the accused. We've received submissions from the parties. So
8 it's right that the parties should know what the proposal, the thinking of
9 the Trial Chamber is as to the conduct, the future conduct of the
10 proceedings, since it affects them.
11 And in summary form, our conclusions are these: One, the trial
12 will proceed according to timetable, due allowance being made for illness
13 and such rest days as appropriate. There will be no other extension of
14 time for the Prosecution case. Two, Defence counsel will not be imposed
15 upon the accused against his wishes in the present circumstances. It is
16 not normally appropriate in adversarial proceedings such as these. The
17 Trial Chamber will keep the position under review. Three, as we have
18 previously ruled, the accused will not be provisionally released, as he
19 has asked, during the course of these proceedings.
20 The case is now adjourned until the 9th of January. We'll rise.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.34 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of
23 January, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.