1 Friday, 21 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice. You were continuing where you left off
6 yesterday afternoon.
7 MR. NICE: I think I'd pretty nearly concluded what I need to say.
8 I'd explained how both these witnesses required either full protection or
9 confidentiality until the moment they came to court, how we -- the orders
10 had been obtained reflecting their concerns and positions to obtain
11 protection until court, how in the case of General Vasiljevic we had at
12 one stage asked for closed-session testimony and that had been declined,
13 so that in the run-up to the trial they still had the benefit of
14 pseudonyms and delayed disclosure for the reasons stated, how it was clear
15 that there came a time when General Vasiljevic was going to be prepared to
16 give evidence in open session but that he wanted protection until he got
17 here for reasons of security risks which were all too real, and how in any
18 event, not least because of the developing experience of threats to
19 witnesses associated with this trial, it's necessary to be cautious about
20 abandoning protection until the witnesses are quite sure that's what they
21 want to do.
22 In our motion of the 31st of May of 2002, paragraph 15, we said
23 this, that these witnesses will also require certain protective measures
24 relating to their testimony before the Trial Chamber. This was sensitive
25 source witnesses generally. The Prosecution will be in a better position
1 to assess the extent of the protective measures required in relation to
2 those particular witnesses closer to the time at which they will testify,
3 enabling the minimum necessary protective measures to be applied. The
4 Prosecution therefore requests that it be permitted to file an application
5 for the trial-related protective for sensitive source witnesses at a time
6 closer to the date of their testimony. And the Prosecution submits that
7 it will be appropriate to file such applications on the same date that the
8 sensitive source witnesses's statements are to be disclosed to the amici,
9 that is, 30 days before the witness is expected to testify.
10 Well, that position didn't reflect the possibility of there being
11 no requirement at that time for protective measures at trial, and it may
12 be that counsel of perfection would have had us, at the 30-day period for
13 a witness who was not going to require protection, to serve a notice upon
14 the accused and Chamber at that stage. And that's clearly what we should
15 do for the future for any witnesses who have protection of the kind
16 identified by the Rule and for whom it is known 30 days before trial that
17 no court protection will be required.
18 A couple of matters of detail. I said that I would tell you a
19 little more about this witness and his requirements for confidentiality.
20 It will be interesting to see what he says about this if he's asked about
21 it by anyone in evidence, but the reason that he was given cash or money
22 to buy his own airline tickets is because right up and until the moment
23 that he came to court, he did not wish to be associated with the OTP, and
24 of course if VWU pays for travel, as it does in most cases, then the local
25 airline, the local Yugoslav airline, knows and is able to communicate to
1 others that the travel has been paid for by this office. And it was
2 specifically to avoid that risk and as a mark of his requirement for
3 confidentiality that the witness required to be given the money in order
4 to buy his own airline ticket and pay for his own accommodation so little
5 did he want to be associated with us in any public way.
6 You will remember that following the disclosure of his name to the
7 associates 24 hours later, he claimed to have received a threat, and his
8 coming to give evidence was the subject of press reporting, which
9 concerned us and the Chamber. Before he left, he then gave a press
10 conference to say he was coming, entirely out of the blue and unknown to
11 us in advance. These are all matters that may be explored with him. But
12 as it was understood by us, right up and until the moment when he stepped
13 on the aeroplane, he was somebody who wanted his dealings with us dealt
14 with on a basis of strict and practical confidentiality.
15 One other point about one of these witnesses, C-039, General
16 Vasiljevic, the accused's complaint about inability to prepare hardly
17 applies in the case of this witness when his material was disclosed in
18 full to the accused on the 3rd of July of last year.
19 Before I sit down --
20 JUDGE MAY: Let's go back to one matter which is --
21 MR. NICE: Yes.
22 JUDGE MAY: Having heard your explanation about these two
23 witnesses, what I think the Chamber will be concerned with is to ensure
24 that, as far as possible, this kind of miscommunication or
25 misunderstanding is avoided in the future. And you -- what you're
1 suggesting is that the Prosecution in future would file an application on
2 30-days notice. I'm not sure if I follow what you propose.
3 MR. NICE: Let me make it clear. My error. It had been -- had
4 been our intention and has been our practice where seeking protective
5 measures at court for sensitive source witnesses, to file an application
6 30 days ahead of hearing or usually longer, i.e., at the same time that we
7 provide the material to the amici.
8 JUDGE MAY: So you would -- you would -- what you propose is to
9 file your notice at least 30 days --
10 MR. NICE: Yes.
11 JUDGE MAY: -- in advance, at which stage you would be contacting
12 the witness to see what the position was.
13 MR. NICE: Indeed. And if at that stage we knew that no
14 application had to be made, then although no application has to be made,
15 we should then communicate by filing a notice in court or by other
16 informal means that are properly recorded, we should be notifying the
17 parties that our understanding is that the witness will give evidence
19 JUDGE MAY: The amici suggested you get an affidavit.
20 MR. NICE: I was going to come to that.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 MR. NICE: That's unrealistic in real terms. These witnesses may
23 be still elsewhere, and it simply won't be possible to do that.
24 JUDGE MAY: Is there any reason why you shouldn't get a signed, if
25 not an affidavit, some signed declaration from them that they want this
2 MR. NICE: When they come to Court?
3 JUDGE MAY: Not when they come to court, 30 days before.
4 MR. NICE: You mean sending an investigator on a special mission
5 to some part of the world? It could be America. It could be Australia.
6 JUDGE MAY: Send a letter. Why not send a letter with an enclosed
7 document saying, "If you want protection, sign this."
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: The advantage of that, it seems to me, Mr. Nice,
9 is that it is then clear that the decision is activated by their request,
10 by their desire. Sometimes when the OTP makes a decision on its own, it
11 is clear now that it is done in circumstances that are ambiguous.
12 MR. NICE: Well, with respect, there may be ambiguity in the way
13 it's presented at the moment, but as Your Honour said yesterday, seeking
14 protection proprio motu is both envisaged by the Rules, and nobody
15 suggests that's other than proper, and of course, for sensitive source
16 witnesses, something that is almost inevitably proper to apply for in the
17 particular and potentially dangerous circumstances of this trial.
18 As to getting signed documents from witnesses 30 days before, if I
19 may say so, it sounds comparatively easy in theory. I suspect it will
20 prove to be extremely difficult in practice, and I would respectfully
21 suggest that providing we make our position clear one way or another 30
22 days before, or more, so that nobody's left in any ambiguity, this would
23 be preferable really for the following reason: What often happens is that
24 witnesses come here with protection - or not often, frequently happens -
25 and we are able to satisfy or have been able to satisfy them that it's
1 better to give evidence in open session, which is the way the Court
2 prefers. Occasionally it's gone the other way and they've come open and
3 sought protection.
4 Getting them, by writing 30 days before, to express an opinion is
5 likely to lead to a solidification of views that it might be better was,
6 frankly, more flexible and more responsive to the immediate circumstances
7 in which they find themselves. And there will be, in reality, no
8 conceivable prejudice if it's known 30 days before, by communication with
9 the witness, that the witness seeks pseudonym, for example.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. NICE: Can I just add a couple of things? I'm reminded, of
13 course, that a further problem is that witnesses frequently have a false
14 and an excessive view of what may be available to them by way of
15 protection and general assistance. They may hold that view despite having
16 been perfectly, properly spoken to by investigators when they make
17 statements. They develop false ideas of what's available and on offer.
18 Well, nothing's on offer, but what's potentially available. If we write
19 to them or fax them, whoever has faxes and whatever else, we may find
20 ourselves in the troublesome position of having statements from them that
21 have to be corrected or reinterpreted and so on. It's very difficult.
22 It's far better and accords with our experience, if I may respectfully say
23 so, to establish at least 30 days before a witness comes whether he or she
24 will want protection, and at that stage then the explanation must be given
25 with sufficient clarity that the witness will only be seeking through us a
1 level of protection that is one that may be afforded by the Court and
2 which one which we are prepared to support.
3 At the same time, if we forecast that the witness will be giving
4 evidence without protection, we can tell the Court and the accused and the
5 amici that. If when the witness comes to court and when the final
6 position is established, as it can only be established really by
7 face-to-face discussions for many witnesses, any changes will be
8 communicated immediately.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: You mentioned 30 days it seems to me because you
10 have a notion that 30 days would be a sufficient period for the accused.
11 MR. NICE: No. Because for protected witnesses, those for whom
12 delayed disclosure has been granted, the Court's order is that 30 days is
13 the time when documents go to the amici. So that given that the danger
14 justifies delayed disclosure, or the risks justify delayed disclosure
15 until for one of the involved participants 30 days, then it should be 30
16 days or more.
17 JUDGE MAY: Really, the issue is if this procedure is set afoot,
18 which way should we, the Court, and the Prosecution, be satisfied that
19 everything possible has been done to avoid situations in which there is
20 protection but at the very last minute it's removed?
21 I understand, of course, some witnesses are persuaded, it may be,
22 to remove protection, which of course is in the interests of justice, but
23 it's really the sensitive witnesses on the delayed disclosure that is the
24 crucial element.
25 MR. NICE: Yes. See --
1 JUDGE MAY: It might be you could tell us how many more you have
2 in mind to call. I don't expect an answer now, of course, but it can be
3 worked out.
4 MR. NICE: Several. Probably a dozen.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well --
6 MR. NICE: In this case, nothing was done that was either wrong or
7 improper or contrary to the Rules. The only thing that happened was that
8 as opposed -- where we weren't making a positive application at the 30-day
9 period for protective measures at Court, it didn't occur to us that at
10 that stage we should have said to the parties in fact this witness will
11 give evidence openly although he will remain fully protected from public
12 scrutiny until the date of his arrival, because both General Vasiljevic
13 and this witness, subject to what he says, required secrecy or
14 confidentiality until they got here. There is no other explanation for
15 the present witness's insistence on masking his cooperation with us by
16 having cash for his ticket.
17 So that's what we'd ask you to approve of, and we would adjust our
18 practices to ensure that not only parties know at the earliest
19 opportunity, maybe earlier than 30 days but that at least 30 days we
20 indicate one way or another there's going to be an application for
21 protection or not at trial.
22 JUDGE MAY: Another alternative would be a statement from the
23 investigator who spoke to the witness to say -- to describe the
24 conversation which he had.
25 MR. NICE: Yes. The 30-day period notification could come in that
1 form, and of course, if it was an application for protection, you'd have
2 to have that affidavit or that document from the investigator in any event
3 in support of the application.
4 Your Honours, may I --
5 JUDGE MAY: At least in that way we -- everybody would know what
6 the attitude of the witness was to protection at that stage.
7 MR. NICE: Certainly.
8 JUDGE MAY: And that would clear up that particular problem.
9 MR. NICE: Yes, I think so.
10 JUDGE MAY: We ought -- we've got a witness, and the sooner we get
11 on with it, the better.
12 MR. NICE: Just two other points then. C-039 was disclosed in
13 July in B/C/S and September in English last year.
14 And just while you're seized of this particular problem, there's a
15 new category of a sort of difficulty, but I'll just tell you what it is.
16 There are two witnesses coming up, C-031 and C-032. C-031's approach is
17 that he will be prepared to go public, but he's only going to make that
18 decision if and when he gets a satisfactory waiver of liability for
19 revealing state secrets from the government. So this is a new sort of
20 complicating factor. C-032 has now apparently indicated firmly that he
21 doesn't seek protection at trial.
22 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let me just see about C-032. He
23 doesn't seek protection.
24 MR. NICE: At trial, and likewise C-035. C-035 will not seek
25 protection at trial, either. C-031 won't seek protection provided he gets
1 a waiver.
2 JUDGE MAY: But dealing with -- dealing with 32 and 35, then, for
3 the moment, there will be no protective measures sought then. But they're
4 not subject to the delayed disclosure.
5 MR. NICE: I don't think -- I'll check that.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Could you. Could you do that.
7 MR. NICE: No. It's already disclosed, a long time ago,
8 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff tells me, and her knowledge is usually encyclopedic.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we have to be careful about C-031. If
10 he would only make up his mind when he gets the waiver, then we could end
11 up in the same situation where at the very last minute he decides to go
12 public and the accused would not have had -- would only have had ten days
13 to do his investigations.
14 MR. NICE: Can Your Honour --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff shaking her head.
16 MR. NICE: I think I understand it.
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. NICE: Your Honours, further details of that, I'm grateful to
19 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff: C-031 has already been disclosed in any event. The
20 only question is whether he's going to go public. So far as we know, the
21 waiver has been already granted, he hasn't yet received it. Once he
22 receives it, there will be no further problem.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay.
24 MR. KAY: I don't know how long the Court wants to spend on this
25 at this stage, but there are some observations that we have that relate to
1 the whole disclosure issue as well, because it can be seen by the Court
2 that it's a very great burden to get through this material for big
3 witnesses in such a short period of time for an accused. We have
4 disclosure of their statements and the dates have been given by the
5 Prosecutor, but we have the supporting material, but we have no idea that
6 General Vasiljevic is going to refer to these particular documents at all
7 amongst the 300.000 or so served. So to get a picture of his evidence and
8 how it's actually going to unfold in court doesn't really materialise
9 until you get the summary. Likewise with Captain Dragan. Of course we
10 get his statement and we don't know what's going to be produced through
11 him, what particular document that's been found in Brcko or elsewhere to
12 prove a particular point, if he can recognise it. And likewise with the
13 10.000 pages on the CD-ROMs.
14 So we're all having to work under very great pressure here to try
15 and get an idea of what the evidence is going to be. There's a basic
16 disclosure, but understanding what the nature of the case is going to be
17 through the witness is an entirely different matter, and that's something
18 that we would like to make clear, which is a factor which is added to when
19 one is dealing with late disclosure as a result of anonymity. It is a
20 great burden on the Defence side of the court.
21 There are threats and threats as well. There's a threat like to
22 the English cricket team in Zimbabwe, which is hardly earth shattering,
23 and one does wonder whether some of this is at a scale of heightened
24 hysteria that is simply inappropriate. I know the Tribunal has a duty
25 under the Statute, and the Rules indeed, to pay regard to victims, and
1 protective measures, but one can't help thinking, associated with this
2 case and other cases, that everything is taken at far greater height of
3 hysteria than is really necessary. Sometimes when these matters are
4 investigated, they come to absolutely nothing.
5 I don't know how far the Court wants to go into the matter at this
6 stage, but it may be that this whole issue of disclosure to the accused
7 would certainly be worth a half an hour of the Court's time at some stage.
8 JUDGE MAY: We probably need to reflect on it, and we need to make
9 sure that there is, for the rest of the Prosecution case, a system that is
10 fair to all. I'm not sure I agree with what you say about protection. It
11 has proved in this Tribunal to be a real problem, and we've had in this
12 case evidence of that.
13 MR. KAY: Some of these witnesses with protective measures, I am
14 told - I'm not an expert on the history and politics and all associated
15 matters - is it's blindingly obvious who they are. When they give their
16 evidence, everyone can work out who a person is from the perspective of
17 their evidence. And sometimes fault is laid, I am told, at the Defence
18 door. Allegations are made by the Prosecution that it can only be the
19 Defence, and I am told by those who observe this trial that it's
20 blindingly obvious to some journalists who a particular witness is.
21 JUDGE MAY: The problem has been not necessarily the revelation of
22 who the witness is but, of course, another totally unrelated -- not
23 totally unrelated problem but another problem is the disclosure of
24 statements - that's been the problem - which are protected.
25 But we will need to think about this, I think.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. KAY: Yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, and we will revert to it.
3 Mr. Milosevic, is there anything you want to say at this stage?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I certainly do. What you said at
5 the end is very true, that the issue of disclosure of documents is an
6 essential issue that has to do with time. We heard a moment ago Mr. Nice
7 citing the example of Vasiljevic, saying that his statement was disclosed
8 in July. So in his words, it was no problem to review it. But I suppose
9 it is easy to make a distinction between possibilities concerning a secret
10 witness and a public witness.
11 In the case of a secret witness, only my two associates know who
12 it is and can gather facts. When we are talking about a public witness, I
13 can engage a larger number of people for gathering information. So my
14 manoeuvring space for gathering information is essentially different,
15 depending on whether a witness is treated as a secret one or a public one.
16 That is one thing I wanted to say, a very substantial one.
17 Secondly, Mr. Nice is putting things upside down. He's making us
18 believe that it should be the rule that all witnesses should be secret and
19 then announcing, just before testifying, that they no longer want to be
20 secret. This witness should be an exception to the rule, and I understand
21 it was your intention too.
22 I can't understand why one should be worrying more about the
23 witness being a greater Catholic than the Pope if the witness himself is
24 not asking for protective measures. Why should they be invented and
25 insisted on by the opposite side if the witness doesn't want them? I can
1 only understand it as obstruction of my future cross-examination not of
2 protection of the witness.
3 In the first contact of the witness with the Prosecution, he can
4 state clearly whether he needs protective measures and whether he wants to
5 be a secret or a public witness. Why should this be a mystery that is
6 revealed only 30 days before the witnesses testify?
7 It turned out here that none of the witnesses who spoke in secret
8 proceedings of some sort was in any danger except in verbal explanations
9 given here. If this is an exception indeed, then you should treat it as
10 an exception, and it should be clarified in due time. This is not the
11 first time that a witness is proclaimed to be a public one only when he
12 appears in the courtroom whereas he was treated as secret during the
13 entire period of preparation.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I'm developing an interpretation of
16 Rule 69, which I think obviously has to be construed in the light of the
17 provision in the Statute which says that trials are to be public, which in
18 any event is a very basic and customary Rule. And in order to make that
19 Rule consistent with that requirement, it seems reasonable to me that it
20 must be construed that the right which it gives the Prosecution to apply
21 for protective measures should only be exercised on the basis of a clear
22 request from the particular witness concerned. Otherwise, we come very
23 close to a position that is just identified by Mr. Milosevic, which is
24 that there is a routinisation in the application for protective measures
25 in respect of witnesses whom the Prosecution sees as being sensitive when
1 in fact it has to be an exception to the position stated in the Statute.
2 So I would want to urge the position that that Rule must be
3 construed in a manner that makes it consistent with the basic requirement
4 under the Statute for public trials, and that what it means then is that
5 the Prosecutor should only apply for the protective measures on the basis
6 of a clear and explicit request from the particular witness for
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I see this is a developing interpretation,
9 and I think that to reply now without further consideration, especially in
10 terms of -- in light of the precise terms of the Rule, might have rather
11 serious institutional consequences. But there are also practical problems
12 or practical consequences. I think - I may be wrong and I need to discuss
13 this more with some of the investigators - but I rather suspect that to
14 make too much of a point of saying to witnesses it's now or never, yes or
15 no, and they'll all ask for protection. And an objective assessment of
16 risk is actually very important, because -- an objective assessment along
17 with the views of the witnesses themselves. Mr. Kay's point is, quite
18 respectfully, completely wrong. It's a very dangerous place out there for
19 these people. Those of us who visit the territory know that. Those of us
20 who read summaries of what's in the local press know that. It's a very
21 dangerous place.
22 An objective assessment linked to expressed desires at an early
23 stage is probably going to keep to a minimum the number of applications
24 that are made for delayed disclosure and will certainly keep to a minimum
25 the number applications made at trial. Put in the vernacular, the last
1 thing we seek to do for witnesses whom we judge it unlikely to be
2 appropriate is to encourage them to think about protective measures,
3 because by and large, if you do that, people will say, yes, please. Not
4 all, but some or many.
5 So I can understand how, superficially, it's attractive to think
6 that we could reinterpret the Rule in the way Your Honour proposes, but I
7 think it would have or may have serious practical consequences and
8 certainly would have institutional consequences and I think I can say we
9 would like a little more -- should that be advanced in any way a final
10 decision, we'd like a little more time to bring to you the experience of
11 our investigators.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I wasn't expressing a final decision. It's
13 a developing construction that I have, and it is a matter that we'll have
14 to think about.
15 MR. NICE: It's always helpful to have Your Honour's views on
16 these matters, and we'll bear them in mind and I'll find out a little bit
17 more what our inspector -- investigators can advise me.
18 JUDGE MAY: We'll return to this.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just have one specific question.
20 JUDGE MAY: I missed that, Mr. Milosevic. What was it?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a very specific question to
22 what Mr. Robinson just said. I understood him as saying that protective
23 measures may be introduced if the witness is asking for them. A moment
24 ago, Mr. Nice said that C-032 and C-035 are not asking for protective
25 measures. Why are they on the list of protected witnesses at all if
1 they're not asking for them?
2 JUDGE MAY: We have taken the matter as far as we can today. No
3 doubt we can return to it when these particular witnesses come to give
4 evidence. But let us now have the witness back and continue with the
5 evidence which we have to do today and allow him to get away.
6 Let me deal with one thing while -- the witness is here. Just one
7 matter so everyone has notice of it. Dr. Ranta has been contacted and
8 would be available to give evidence on the 12th of March, and we have in
9 mind to call her then.
10 MR. NICE: We will mark our calendars appropriately. I can't
11 remember whether there's anybody who's absolutely committed to that date.
12 I'll come back to you if there is.
13 JUDGE MAY: Would you let us know just as soon as possible,
15 MR. NICE: Yes.
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we'll be calling that witness on the
17 12th of March. So you've got notice of it.
18 We will have the witness now.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry you've been kept waiting. We had some other
21 matters to deal with. If you'd like to take a seat.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 WITNESS: DRAGAN VASILJKOVIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
2 Q. [Interpretation] Captain, before I continue with my questions
3 relating to the substance of your testimony, I would like us to discuss
4 something first. We had started cross-examination with my question as to
5 whether you had asked for protective measures, whether you had asked to be
6 a protected witness. Do you remember that? That was yesterday. Your
7 answer was that you had asked for no protective measures, no protection,
8 and you never expressed the desire to testify in secret at any time before
9 you came to testify here. Did I understand you correctly?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You remember, I suppose - just tell me yes or no - that Judge May
12 asked Mr. Nice to explain, because I was right. Do you remember that?
13 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nodded.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Well, regarding that explanation, I want to ask you a question.
16 Mr. Nice is claiming that you had asked that all your contacts with that
17 so-called Prosecution be entirely confidential. My question now is: Did
18 you ask that your contacts with this so-called Prosecution be entirely
20 A. My explanation will have to be a little longer; I can't say just
21 yes or no.
22 Q. All right.
23 A. I've been cooperating with The Hague Tribunal for a number of
24 months, since the Agreement on Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal has
25 been adopted, since the law has been adopted.
1 Since I am a public figure, to protect me from journalists and
2 from the need to give explanations, I didn't want my contacts with the
3 Prosecution to be discussed in public. But at no point in time -- we even
4 discussed this, Mr. Milosevic, when they asked me whether I wanted to be
5 protected. I told them it was nonsense, because it was obvious from the
6 text that it can only be me. From all I said, it's clear that it can be
7 no one else.
8 So at no point in time could I have imagined that you or your side
9 had been deprived of the information that I would be testifying in this
10 court. But to be quite frank, I believe that it was their assessment and
11 they provided this protection to protect me from problems I might have in
12 my own country, from journalists, et cetera. So it is not --
13 Q. All right. Let's not waste any more time. I understand your
15 A moment ago, Mr. Nice said that you were also the subject of
16 certain threats. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But those threats would not have been the reason for you to ask to
19 testify in secret?
20 A. Yes, certainly not. I reported these threats to our competent
21 authorities in Yugoslavia. That has nothing to do with you.
22 This issue has been verified, and it has been established that
23 these threats can have nothing to do with you and could in no way endanger
25 Q. We've cleared that up now. Very well. I have before me a special
1 report of European observers dated 29 March 1994, which reports a
2 conversation with you. I will quote only a portion of your statements and
3 ask you to comment on them.
4 A. Yes, please do.
5 Q. It talks about you, and it says: "Personally, he favoured -- [In
6 English] but in reality, the most important thing was to stop the war."
7 [Interpretation] So was it the prevailing climate that everybody
8 wanted to stop the war as soon as possible?
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. Was it the feeling that you expressed too? Because you were then
11 in Krajina. You were appointed there.
12 A. Certainly. Especially the people who waged the war felt like
13 that, because they know best all the horrors of war.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: The sentence was:
15 "Personally he favoured an independent Krajina."
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Please comment on this as well: [In English] "Catholic, Muslim,
18 and German lobby was very strong and greatly influenced the world's
19 opinion on Serbs. Also because of geography, those journalists who did
20 come to cover Krajina came to Zagreb where they were unduly influenced by
21 a very smooth Croatian PR effort."
22 [Interpretation] What did you know about this entire media war,
23 the demonisation of Serbs, and the efforts to represent them as the bad
24 guys in the circumstances in Krajina where they were fighting for their
1 A. I believe that anyone who even superficially followed the media
2 war - and as we know, the media war is a very important aspect of the war
3 in general - it was clear that on the one hand there was the German lobby,
4 there was a Catholic lobby, there was the Muslim lobby, and on the other
5 hand there was the Orthodox lobby which was, as we all know, because of
6 the dubious support of Russia due to your policy, but that is your
8 But I felt through my personal experience that if a journalist
9 comes to Belgrade and comes to see me first, I don't waste time making a
10 friend out of him, and throughout the war, that journalist would report in
11 favour of the Serbs. Since most journalists arrived through Zagreb -- and
12 I have to say that Croats had a much better attitude - I know this from my
13 own sources - Croats invested a lot of effort and money in receiving these
14 journalists, whereas our side felt the journalists were enemies and
15 received them accordingly. So it is our own fault that we lost this media
17 But let me confirm what you are saying. There were many, many
18 lies, and as we all know, in war the first victim is the truth.
19 Q. Please comment on this. It says: "Captain Dragan stated that
20 this current war [In English] stated that this current war was an
21 extension of World War II in which Germany was still battling Serbs
22 through Croatia."
23 [Interpretation] Do you mean that even the present borders in the
24 territory of the former Yugoslavia are very much like those established by
25 Hitler and Mussolini in World War II?
1 A. My ex-wife is German, so I felt on my own skin the changes in
2 German attitude towards me, because they realised I was not an Australian,
3 I was a Serb, because until then, they thought I was an Australian. After
4 German unification, it is my own conviction that I'm speaking of now based
5 my feelings rather than information, that Croatia is again turning into
6 the Independent State of Croatia that existed in the times of the Second
7 World War.
8 Q. In the circles in which you moved among Serbs, it was a feeling
9 that was not only a matter of emotion, it was something they felt on their
10 own skins?
11 A. Absolutely.
12 Q. It says here that you are proud, but let me quote: "[Previous
13 translation continues] [In English] ... that during his operations in
14 Croatian territory, not one Croatian civilian had been killed or injured.
15 Captain Dragan felt that the presence of his soldiers in the area saved
16 many Croat lives."
17 [Interpretation] Can it be inferred on the basis of this that this
18 defence over there was only defence, true defence, resorting to the right
19 to self-defence? It's not that crimes were committed. At least where the
20 organised forces of defence could keep matters under their control to the
21 best of their ability.
22 A. I agree with you. But if you give a me a minute, perhaps it would
23 be useful for the Tribunal if I would paint a picture for you what the
24 feeling at the front line is like which you in these warm and clean
25 offices will never feel.
1 No matter how well educated you are and what age you are, all of
2 you here, you will never be able to imagine the fear in the eyes of
3 unarmed civilians, prisoners, women and children, when an armed soldier
4 with a rifle walks up to them. When that soldier abuses all his supremacy
5 over such persons, that is certainly a great sin.
6 I experienced that. I was that enemy soldier who had that rifle
7 in his hands, and believe me, I tried at every moment to select targets
8 where -- that were military targets only, and I severely punished even the
9 thought that soldiers might have to strike at anyone else. And that is
10 what the Tribunal knew about me even before I came here.
11 Q. All right, Captain. Generally speaking now with regard to this
12 particular question of the Red Berets, I asked you yesterday about this,
13 that these were the Red Berets of Krajina. They mentioned the Red Berets
14 of Brcko, Teslic, Skelani, et cetera. All of that was linked up to some
15 secret service of Serbia, whatever, but we clarified that.
16 There's a report here that corroborates this also in general
17 terms. [In English] "Vosaka [phoen] Training Camp. Training camp of
18 Captain Dragan, 22 September 1993."
19 [Interpretation] Again, this is in the materials that I got from
20 the other side, and it says here concerning your courses, that is: "[In
21 English] The camp appeared well maintained but very spartan. The courses
22 taught at the camp include a 21-day basic level military skills course
23 for," [interpretation] 14 days, et cetera, et cetera, and then, finally,
24 this is what I want to read: [In English] "On completion of the
25 specialist course, graduates are given the red beret and the qualification
2 [Interpretation] So persons who were enrolled in your courses,
3 persons who were involved in the defence of Krajina, when they would
4 complete a course, then they would get a red beret.
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. Then it says here, as regards your own feelings, that there are
7 many undisciplined persons - "mob" is the word that you used - with very
8 little leadership at lower levels and at medium level and that that is the
9 reason why there is so much violence and so many acts of destruction on
10 both sides.
11 Is that the assessment that can be made regarding what was going
12 on on both sides?
13 A. Of course.
14 Q. In the report, which is again a special report -- 7 September 1993
15 is its date, and it refers to discussions with you. These are teams,
16 Sibenik, Gospic, Split, centre Zadar, visit to the Krajina. It says:
17 "There are many armed civilians in Krajina." And then they say: "From
18 the political and military discussion they had with you, after having said
19 that there were many armed civilians, amateurs, as you had put it, [In
20 English] "the European Community led by Germany is responsible for the
21 current situation as a result of recognition of Croatia and embargo put
22 against Serbia."
23 [Interpretation] Do you know that many European and world
24 politicians believe that the premature recognition of Croatia, which was
25 first carried out by Germany --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: We're now getting far from the witness's evidence.
2 It's not for the witness to talk about the world politicians.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, this happens to coincide with
4 what he's been saying, so I wanted to -- it to be obvious what the
5 impression was in Krajina, because nobody believed this. Nobody thought
6 that administrative borders could be recognised and that the right of a
7 people who had their constitutional status according to the constitution
8 would be denied altogether.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Is that what people felt in Krajina?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Just one brief question. We're going to move on to the other ones
13 as well. Do you know that there were trials in Krajina that had to do
14 with crimes committed against Croats?
15 A. Don't ask me about the details, because really, I was so busy with
16 my very own line of work that I was really not interested in police work
17 and court proceedings. But I was informed, though, that there were
18 proceedings. I know that some people were arrested. And I, as a matter
19 of fact, participated in the arrest of individuals who had violated some
20 codes of military conduct.
21 So there were proceedings. I'm convinced of that. I heard
22 discussions to that effect too, but please don't ask me about the names or
23 the dates, because there are other people who can speak about this far
24 more competently here than I can.
25 Q. Can we conclude, since you were not sent by the service or invited
1 by the service, that the only representative of the service who spoke to
2 you privately before you left was Franko Simatovic? It's not only that he
3 did not encourage you to go. According to your very own testimony, he
4 said to you, "You are trying to kill yourself." Is that the way he put?
5 A. That's right. Those were his exact words.
6 Q. And you said then, "If I were afraid of that, I wouldn't go in the
7 first place." But at any rate, is it clear, because this was an informal
8 conversation, it's not only that the service was not sending you but this
9 one man you knew was trying to talk you out of going there precisely by
10 using those words, "You're trying to kill yourself."
11 A. That's right. And ultimately, this contributed to my return.
12 Certainly they were not pushing me to go there against somebody's will or
14 Q. But he himself said to you, according to your testimony here,
15 although his tasks were exclusively devoted to intelligence, he said that
16 everything was secret and that if his bosses knew that he was going there,
17 that he would be arrested or dismissed from the service altogether.
18 A. This was mentioned several times.
19 Q. Now I would like to clarify another matter which has to do with
20 suggestions that you received. You mentioned Filipovic and Radonjic,
21 namely that you should leave Yugoslavia and so on and so forth. Did they
22 threaten you?
23 A. Yes, yes. Now, after so many years and after having known Frenki
24 for several years, perhaps I could give a better explanation.
25 Q. Please go ahead.
1 A. Yes. This came all of a sudden, beyond anybody's expectations,
2 beyond my own expectations. There was so much fuss around me, and I
3 clashed with Seselj, and I started giving statements that would have
4 sounded different in a peaceful country like Australia, for example, but
5 in that country, perhaps they were a bit unrestrained. I had the feeling
6 that somebody in the service passed a decision to the effect that I was a
7 potential problem, and they tried to resolve the question of me, and they
8 thought that I would get frightened and that I'd pack up and leave.
9 However, they made a mistake. They apologised. Jovica apologised
10 himself, and he said, "Let's bury the hatchet," and we did bury the
11 hatchet. But for about two years the relationship was very cool. We had
12 no contacts whatsoever. But then slowly things started getting into the
13 right place.
14 I'm not sure, I'm not convinced that it was --
15 Q. Tell me, you don't think that it could have come from a higher
17 A. I was told that this came from the very top. But people do that
18 often. I mean, it's quite clear to me.
19 Q. I'm going to ask you quite openly. You don't even have to answer
20 this at all if you don't think this way. Don't even give me an allusion
21 by way of an answer.
22 In Krajina, did you come across the following: That various
23 politicians were invoking my name and hiding behind my name when they
24 tried to win political points for their own benefit? Did you come across
25 things like that?
1 A. I think that the Tribunal is going to find this very hard to
2 understand, because this is so characteristic of our very own people,
3 because this is the characteristic of our own people. Because you know,
4 if somebody in Australia was to tell me, "I'm Mr. Howard's man," you know
5 what I would think about that? But do you know what happened to me in
6 Belgrade? I saw people being arrested in Belgrade because they said that
7 they were captains, men that they had to do with the fund, et cetera. And
8 in Krajina, as far as you're concerned, I think that one out of every
9 three people said that he was your best friend, that he was your best man
10 or whatever, or Senta's friend, and so on and so forth. So I had a lot of
11 experience in this field. And if they had photographs taken with you,
12 then this was taken to be major proof.
13 Q. So it's quite clear that there were so many manipulations. You
14 know about that both in Serbia and Krajina.
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. I would like to use this not for the purposes for which you said
17 this, but I would like to challenge what a previous witness said, the
18 previous witness.
19 You explained that a journalist advised you to go and see Nedeljko
21 A. He took me personally.
22 Q. That could have been only in the second half of 1992, because it
23 is only then that he became chief. Is that right?
24 A. What was he then?
25 Q. Vasiljevic was in office until May, I think, as far as I can
1 remember. I'm sure that we have it in the transcript.
2 Now, when Vasiljevic left office, then Boskovic came in. But
3 let's leave that aside.
4 Vasiljevic has claimed something that I wish to question, but let
5 me ask another question before that. Nedeljko Boskovic advised you to
6 record everything so that he could use that against the service.
7 A. Let's just put it the other way: In order to protect me.
8 Q. But this had to do with relations with the state security service?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, Vasiljevic claimed here that Nedeljko Boskovic was appointed
11 to this particular position in the army by the State Security Service of
12 Serbia. This is an incredible claim, but that's the way he put it. And
13 that Nedeljko Boskovic came to head the service because he was sent there
14 by the State Security Service of Serbia. Is that your impression? Did
15 you have the feeling that it was the State Security Service of Serbia that
16 stood behind Nedeljko Boskovic?
17 A. This is the first time I hear about this, I give you my word. But
18 after 12 years of socialising with the high official from the state
19 security service and having known Jovica Stanisic, because we were friends
20 after that, there was this fantastic animosity between the service and
21 Boskovic and the service and the army. I don't think that there could
22 have been anything. I mean, I'm really convinced of this. I don't know.
23 This was open animosity.
24 Q. All right. But as regards your concrete relationship with him and
25 the proposals he made to you, could anyone draw the conclusion that he was
1 a man of the State Security Service of Serbia?
2 A. No way.
3 Q. You believe that the opposite is true?
4 A. I could never record this material and have it until the present
5 day. It is illogical.
6 Q. All right. You were asked here about the documents of the Captain
7 Dragan Fund, and you said that it has over 60.000 proteges or, rather,
8 persons it had helped, and there are files on each and every one of these
10 You were asked about a few persons, but there are over 60.000 of
11 them, so I assume that there are reasons for each and every one of them,
12 verified reasons.
13 Now, is it always the case that somebody was a victim of the war
14 and that someone was a casualty in conflict or was a family member of such
15 a person?
16 A. You went too far. It is sufficient for any person to have been a
17 war victim, period.
18 Q. All right. You were shown some papers that were signed by Zeljko
19 Raznjatovic, and it says there how a particular person was wounded, where,
20 et cetera, that these were members of the Serb volunteer guard. And then
21 the question was put to you whether social welfare had to do with these
22 volunteers as well. And now I'm asking you, why would this not pertain to
23 volunteers? Can you find any reason why this social welfare would not
24 pertain to volunteers?
25 A. I've already said it. War victim, period, irrespective of
1 ethnicity, irrespective of the units where they served. We even have
2 cases of Muslims and Croats who received assistance. Very few because I
3 did not have much information about that, but it wasn't sure who they were
4 wounded by.
5 Q. Well, of course, you know that already at the beginning of the war
6 in Bosnia or, rather, in Serbia we had over 70.000 Muslim refugees in
7 Serbia from Bosnia.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you remember that they were treated equally to others, with
10 full equality, and that they were protected, that nobody discriminated
11 against them in any way and that nobody attacked them in any way? I do
12 not know of a single case of this kind. Do you know of any cases?
13 A. No, I don't, but I know about cases when these people were helped,
14 these people who were in trouble. There were at least two Muslims that I
15 got out of some prisons, although I had nothing to do with Bosnia. And I
16 had never heard of these persons before that. And I did not get anything
17 for that or did I ask for anything for that.
18 Q. The representative for the other side asked you, because he showed
19 you here the law on basic rules pertaining to military invalids, this
20 Yugoslav law about the basic rights of military invalids, did it pertain
21 to Arkan's men? That was the question that was put to you. And I'm
22 asking you now why would it not pertain to those persons who had become
23 military invalids? Do you see any reason why it should not pertain to
24 then as well?
25 A. Of course I don't. They too are war victims.
1 Q. In connection with the Red Berets, since it seems that during the
2 examination-in-chief the person you were most asked about was a man called
3 Zika, Crnogorac, I wish to ask you something about him.
4 You were shown a file from the Captain Dragan Fund where he signed
5 a receipt, a certificate, saying that a certain Jovan Vejnovic joined your
6 camp and your unit in Knin, and this was popularly referred to as the
7 Knindza unit. And I have seen here that on the 8th of August, he joined.
8 Later on, he was wounded.
9 Tell me something about this Zika, Crnogorac. You said that he
10 was your favourite cadet because he was the first one you arrested.
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Since there's a certificate saying that on the 8th of August,
13 1992, he joined, he had to have been a commander of your Knindzas in the
14 Krajina at that time; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. In 1992, yes. But there's something -- could I -- could I
16 please have a copy of the certificate?
17 Q. I don't have a copy. It was shown to you yesterday.
18 A. There's something about the dates.
19 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let the witness have a copy.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I only saw it on the monitor. I
21 don't have it.
22 JUDGE MAY: He should have a copy.
23 JUDGE KWON: It's tab 4 of 391, if I'm right.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, it's on the monitor once again.
25 THE WITNESS: Could I get a hard copy, please? Thank you.
1 [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. Everything is clear to me now. This is a
2 certificate saying that this man --
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. It says on the 8th of August, 1992, he joined the unit in Knin,
5 the Knindza.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. At that time, the JNA was already holding this, and the Knindza
8 formally disappeared on the day I left the Krajina. I was not in Knin at
9 that time, but in order to explain to someone in the fund that these
10 people were from Knin, they were all referred to as the Knindza. I didn't
11 care about that. It wasn't important to me. What was important to me was
12 that it should be evident from this that he was really -- that he had
13 really been wounded, that he was not simply pretending.
14 Q. This was the Krajina.
15 A. Wasn't it the JNA?
16 Q. Well, it couldn't have been the JNA at that time.
17 A. Well, then it was the Serbian army of the Krajina.
18 Q. Since my question relates to Zika --
19 A. Zika.
20 Q. Zika, Crnogorac. Where was in 1992? Was he in the Krajina in
22 A. I didn't follow their movements really, but Zika left the Krajina
23 soon after I did, and he went to Fruska Gora.
24 Q. That's the brief period when some 15 of your men were on Fruska
25 Gora, and after that, they went back individually?
1 A. Yes. They all went their own way.
2 Q. Was he a member of this special operations unit of the state
3 security service, and if so, from what time?
4 A. I really can't tell you this because I really didn't keep tabs on
5 individuals who were all over the place. Zika did go over. Maybe he was
6 even employed for a while, because some of these young men from the
7 Krajina were employed. But I really don't have this information.
8 Q. Very well. In any case, your information is from the time he was
9 in the Serbian army of the Krajina regardless of where he moved.
10 A. I cannot tell you where Zika, Crnogorac, was on the 27th of June,
12 Q. Very well. Let's move on.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly request that the
14 speakers pause between question and answer.
15 JUDGE MAY: You hear that request, both of you. Pause, please,
16 between question and answer. The interpreters need to be able to
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I wish to ask you about the connections between your unit and this
21 unit for special operations of the Serbian state security service. Is it
22 true that one might say that the only connection between your Knindza and
23 the special operations unit was that several of your fighters, after you
24 left the Krajina, went with you, and then later on some of them were
25 received into the special operations unit of the Serbian DB?
1 A. Well, it was more than ten men and certainly less than 20, and not
2 all at the same time but in twos and threes.
3 Q. At various time periods and during the special procedure all
4 proceed into that unit?
5 A. Yes, and some of them are still there.
6 Q. I get various newspapers from Serbia here, and recently I saw in a
7 magazine a photograph, and it was actually an announcement, an
8 advertisement for recruits. This was very well done. It's the best unit
9 the police has. Is this correct?
10 A. Mr. Milosevic, it might be very useful for the Tribunal, because
11 this unit has been mentioned very often and will continue to be mentioned
12 during these proceedings: I professionally, with some ten others
13 monitors, observed this unit over a ten-day period, and there is a
14 document -- over a 21-day period, and there is a document which should be
15 read in order to dispel the erroneous image that this unit has created in
16 the minds of people. I have a lot of things in my head, but it would take
17 me only five minutes to explain about this unit. It might be useful for
18 all of us.
19 Q. Yes, it might be useful if you explain, because the worst crimes
20 have been ascribed to this unit with no foundation, and I want to dispel
21 these false ideas here. So please explain.
22 A. Very well. Soon after your visit, I and ten other highly-educated
23 people from the service and from the police were asked to put together a
24 team that would observe this unit in a very intensive exercise. This unit
25 was of the size of an independent company. It never reached the level of
1 a battalion. This was absolutely the best unit that we have in the armed
2 forces of Yugoslavia, without any doubt. But according to some
3 international standards, this is far below the level of an ordinary
4 infantry unit in Iraq today, for example.
5 If I had to choose, if I were to have at my disposal this unit,
6 this company, or a squad of -- an ordinary Australian infantry squad, I
7 would have to choose the latter, because although by far the best in the
8 country, it's far below the level expected of a company in a modern army,
9 equipped with modern weapons and with the support that such a unit would
10 have in any other country.
11 What you saw, Mr. Milosevic, that's all. There is nothing else,
12 because when the president arrived, they took out everything, everything
13 that was in good order, everything that was not in good order. Even the
14 cooks put on uniforms in order to make the unit look more impressive. And
15 this is quite understandable. There is a 50-page report, and if you read
16 it in order -- we wanted to show all the weaknesses and the failings of
17 that unit, with the best of intentions, of course. This unit was at the
18 level of a company, but its efficiency was that -- was equivalent to the
19 efficiency of a squad in a Western army, and this was very little for a
20 state, for a country at war, such as Serbia.
21 Q. Do you have any knowledge of this unit committing any crimes?
22 A. Mr. Milosevic, I know a lot of these men. I've read a lot of bad
23 things about them. But I've already read a lot of bad things about
24 myself, about Frenki, and so on. All these men know me. I may know not
25 each and every one of them, but they all know me, and they know what my
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 standpoint was, the standpoint of the Knindza. Traditionally, they feel
2 that they are the successors of the Knindza. If there were any individual
3 cases of crimes, I would love this to be revealed and these people to be
4 tried so that the Knindza can once again be the pride of our nation.
5 Q. This unit is said to have committed a crime in Teslic where they
6 cut up the stomachs of some 20 people, ripped them open. And it is even
7 well-known who committed this crime and that this unit has nothing to do
8 with it. Do you know anything about this?
9 A. No, Mr. Milosevic. I know nothing about it. And I apologise if
10 I'm breaking the rules, but I do wish to say something of importance for
11 the Tribunal and for you. I can explain in great detail what the system
12 of defence of the Krajina was, and I think the same system was used in
13 other war theatres later on, and this will explain how things functioned.
14 Q. Go ahead.
15 A. Thank you. In the first part of the war, the entire theatre was
16 under the control of police stations. Each police station had its area of
17 responsibility, and later on they were joined by the Territorial Defence
18 which then shared this responsibility. All this was put under the single
19 command of the JNA when it was left without any Serbs, Croats, and so on,
20 when only Serbs were left in it and when the JNA joined the war.
21 When the JNA joined the war, the entire war theatre was divided
22 into areas of responsibility. Each area of responsibility had its own
23 commander. And to illustrate how important this is, I'll give you an
24 example that everyone in the Krajina knows about. Martic's deputy, the
25 second most important man for the defence of the Krajina, once came to my
1 area of responsibility, and he dropped a cigarette butt onto the floor,
2 onto the ground, and I forced him to pick it up because this was my area
3 of responsibility, and I felt totally responsible for everything that was
4 happening in my area of responsibility. So that wherever a crime
5 happened, there is someone in whose area of responsibility this happened,
6 and there is documentation to show this.
7 Q. Well, that's what I think. This will be easy to establish.
8 So please tell me now, when you were training these men and when
9 with ten other experts you observed an exercise and evaluated it, you were
10 not a member of the state security of the republic of Serbia, and you were
11 never its member; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, precisely so. I never had an identity paper of the state
13 security service, and I never ever received any remuneration from them
14 apart from these 2.200 dinars that I've already mentioned.
15 Q. Would you now comment on the film that we saw. There is no doubt
16 that there was a review of this unit and that I was present at a
17 celebration in May 1997.
18 A. Yes, it was on the 4th or 5th of May.
19 Q. Yes, I know because I was on vacation in Karadjordjevo nearby and
20 I went to visit them on the occasion of that celebration.
21 So let's comment on a few things now. Do you know that this unit
22 was established only in 1995 or 1996?
23 A. I really don't know. I wasn't interested in that. I should know
24 because I have a lot of friends there, but I don't.
25 Q. Very well. But there is no doubt that this unit was established
1 after the war and that this unit wanted, among other things, to use the
2 symbol of the Red Berets in order to carry on the tradition of the
3 Knindzas. And you yourself said that in that unit, later on, there were
4 perhaps only some ten or a dozen men who were previously in your unit, in
5 the armed units of the Krajina.
6 A. Yes, that's how it is. I don't think there were any more.
7 Q. But in order not to be too generous towards you and what you were
8 doing, it is my impression that this unit wanted, in a way, to affirm the
9 tradition of other courageous fighters who throughout the Krajina and the
10 Republika Srpska fought in the defence from the key words or, rather,
11 according to the key words in Frenki Simatovic's speech.
12 A. Yes. I can say that Frenki started the drive to collect as many
13 war souvenirs as possible so that we could set up a museum, and you saw
15 And as concerns the establishment of the unit, of course since
16 Frenki was engaged in intelligence work on the ground, he was always
17 surrounded by a group of people, and at certain moments Zika was probably
18 part of that group, or at least I assume he was. And I just want to
19 explain this document which says the MUP of the Krajina. I don't know
20 what kind of stamp this is.
21 Q. Well, it says here the MUP of the Krajina.
22 JUDGE MAY: We are coming to a conclusion, so if you would just --
23 Mr. Vasiljkovic, if you would just finish what you were saying and then
24 we'll adjourn.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But Frenki wanted to put all this
1 together with a single goal. He said that armed forces have to have a
2 tradition, and he appropriated this, and he felt that this was a very
3 serious piece of work, and he did it well. I understand that.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Yes, but in order to ascribe alleged crimes to this unit --
6 JUDGE MAY: Let us take the adjournment now. We can come back to
7 this matter in 20 minutes. Twenty minutes, please.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So, Captain, it is not disputed that it was the wish of this unit
13 to promote the tradition of the struggle for the defence of the Serb
14 people in the territory of Krajina, of Republika Srpska, or anywhere
15 elsewhere where they were defending themselves, regardless of the fact
16 that this unit did not participate in each of these battles for defence?
17 A. Absolutely. We introduced some confusion with these documents
18 before this Tribunal. If it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter, but it is
19 my impression that there is some confusion.
20 Q. What kind of confusion?
21 A. Well, I think that we might have created the impression -- a wrong
22 impression regarding this Zika, Crnogorac.
23 Q. Well, I wanted precisely to establish that when he was issuing
24 these certificates he couldn't have been elsewhere. He was in -- a member
25 of the Serbian police in the army of the Serbian Krajina. He was not a
1 member of the service.
2 A. He was not of Frenki's age, and I never looked at his papers, his
3 ID, but I don't see what's wrong with it. He's one of the men who could
4 have been both a member of the Serbian service at some other time.
5 Q. That's the keyword, at some other time, in some later period.
6 A. After I left.
7 Q. It could have only been after you left. It could not have been at
8 the same time when you were in Krajina. It could have been only later.
9 A. We've cleared this up now.
10 Q. Did we? So while he was with you, he was not a member of that
11 unit. He could only have joined the unit later.
12 A. Of course.
13 Q. Is that so?
14 A. Of course.
15 Q. Let us go back again to that video footage. I'm not asking it to
16 be played again, but in that speech made by Franko Simatovic at the time,
17 those critical words he uttered, I'll remind you, were: "The struggle
18 against war crimes, genocide, and terror," is that so?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. That's what he was trying to promote, struggle against war crimes,
21 genocide, and terror.
22 A. That's what we all believed.
23 Q. And all of the people who participated in that struggle against
24 war crimes, genocide, and terror should be proud. I still believe they
25 should be proud of themselves for fighting genocide, war crimes, and
1 terror. Was that so, Captain?
2 A. Precisely.
3 Q. Now, since it is indisputable, even from that footage where we see
4 that it is not a unit large enough to make up even an infantry company --
5 A. I'm absolutely sure that it was never larger than at the time when
6 you attended that celebration.
7 Q. I believe the unit was set up in 1995 or 1996, but it doesn't
8 matter. We'll establish that on the basis of other documents.
9 Do you remember from that footage that a group of officers was
10 introduced to me, and they were referred to as veterans, and I shook hands
11 with them, you remember. They were lined up in front of me. Do you
12 remember that from the film?
13 A. I remember that very well.
14 Q. Perfect. Did you notice that about ten of them - I wasn't really
15 counting, I saw this film here for the first time, and it reminded me -
16 that about ten of them were colonels; right? Then there were several
17 majors, and so on and so forth. So the highest ranking officers under the
18 rank of general; is that correct? Is it clear, then, since the unit was
19 never larger than an infantry company, that they could not have been
20 members of that unit in the sense of a combat detachment? Those were
21 people from all areas who could have been there later as advisors,
22 instructors, in other positions, because what would ten colonels be doing
23 in one company? Is my assumption correct? Can you confirm this?
24 A. It's good that you remarked on this. We have to be realistic. A
25 good part of these colonels were semi-literate. In this way, Frenki was
1 trying to pay his respect to these young men who have, in one way or
2 another, been useful to the service. Only those men who received that
3 knife, which you received too and so did I, not even all of them received
4 it. One part of them are the original men who came from Krajina in that
5 period. Don't forget that I received from the alliance of special units
6 of the Greek army a similar decoration. The opposite side saw this. This
7 certainly doesn't mean an engagement or affiliation. It was a form of
8 recognition, praise, a token that somebody thought of them. Certainly
9 such a number of colonels could not technically be within the composition
10 of one company. It was done symbolically. It was even offered to me, and
11 I refused. I said you would be demoting me, in a way. It was just a
12 token of respect.
13 It was for the president that we made this show and put together
14 such a number of colonels. It was a nice theatrical show, using people of
15 the highest rank, the largest number we could possibly find.
16 Q. All right. But tell me this, since Simatkovic --
17 A. His name is Simatovic.
18 Q. All right. Simatovic. In his speech, he refers to these
19 veterans. Is it clear then that these veterans were subsequent potential
20 members of that unit who fought in various places in the Republic of
21 Serbian Krajina or Republika Srpska but not within that unit? They could
22 have fought as members of various units of the army of Republika Srpska or
23 the army of Serbian Krajina.
24 A. I don't think it was ever in dispute.
25 Q. Well, it was here.
1 A. Oh, so I see.
2 Q. Then it must be perfectly clear that the unit we are talking
3 about, the unit we saw on that film, as such was never or could never have
4 been in all those locations in the Republic of Serbian Krajina. It is
5 rather the case that its members later fought elsewhere in various battles
6 after being members of the army of Serbian Krajina.
7 A. Well, a typical example is Benkovac. I never heard of a battle
8 for Benkovac. Everybody knows what happened in Krajina. With all those
9 reports of the UNPROFOR, have you ever heard any such thing? I talked to
10 those people and I received some intelligence from them. It's not good to
11 name them because they're still serving. But nothing could have happened
12 there without any of us seeing it.
13 Q. Well, but one thing is clear: You were present at that
15 A. Of course.
16 Q. But not in the capacity as a member of that unit.
17 A. No. I was an honourary guest, just as you were.
18 Q. You also saw on that film that the president of the General Staff
19 of the army of Yugoslavia was there too.
20 A. Yes, and so were secretaries, assistants, porters, et cetera.
21 Q. There were also many civilian figures. It was a celebration where
22 you were just a guest, and you remarked quite correctly I was a guest too,
23 and many other people appeared there as guests, invited to the
24 celebration. They were not there as members of that unit, regardless of
25 whether they were wearing uniforms or not. Is that correct?
1 A. I must even tell you that I received a uniform that I didn't want
2 to wear that day. So that many other people wore uniforms just because
3 they were given them to look better, and even some people who received
4 those knives were not members of the unit.
5 Q. Then we can agree that it is absolutely clear, absolutely correct
6 that there is no continuity between your unit and that unit. We are
7 talking only about a small number of members of your unit which were later
8 received into your unit, into the JSO, and participated in various
10 A. Absolutely correct.
11 Q. You remember well that in that speech where he praised the
12 members, he also mentioned the establishment of the Captain Dragan Fund.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. As far as I know, you established that fund.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So the unit certainly has nothing to do with it?
17 A. Oh, yes it does, and I'll tell you now what it has to do with it.
18 You know very well how much help, how much aid was collected and how many
19 people were involved. You could have seen that from the media. The fund
20 enjoyed great support.
21 Q. Stop here for a second. You had the support of various state
22 organs as well.
23 A. That's true.
24 Q. So it's undisputed that you, as a humanitarian fund, were
25 supported from all sides, because it was for the benefit of war victims.
1 A. The only support I got from the service, you can link that to
2 whoever you want. I don't know whether it was through Frenki, but he was
3 the mediator who helped me get 20 computers for the purpose of retraining
4 the wounded, from the service. At that time, computers were in short
5 supply, and the service supplied them. The entire figure was not higher
6 than 25.000 euros. Believe me, there are pensioned -- pensioners, women,
7 who contributed more to the fund. I don't even know whether it came from
8 the unit, but it was Frenki, at any rate, who brought me those 20
10 Q. What I want to establish here is that this was an effort that was
11 humane in nature, an effort to support and promote all the combatants who
12 defended the people during combat operations.
13 Q. It was also for the purpose of promoting me and giving me a better
14 reputation in your eyes, because it mattered at the time, I think. Well,
15 among the things the unit was responsible for was the liberation of
16 hostages in Bosnia.
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Do you remember that this liberation of the hostages was achieved
19 primarily through political negotiations with the leadership of Republika
20 Srpska, through great media pressure exerted for the hostages to be freed,
21 and I appointed Jovica Stanisic at the time as my special envoy to go
22 there and bring back those hostages, but he was not accompanied by any
23 unit, nor did they free the hostages in combat.
24 JUDGE MAY: There is an objection.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And Frenki appropriated this and
1 took credit for it.
2 MR. GROOME: [Previous translation continues] ... question come up
3 here and believe these are just statements by Mr. Milosevic. If there's a
4 question that he believes the witness can answer, I --
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We start with this comment: "It was also for
6 the purpose of promoting me and giving me a better reputation in your
7 eyes, because it mattered at the time."
8 Can you deal with that, Mr. Vasiljkovic? It's suggested it was, I
9 think, for the purposes of promoting the accused. Is there any such
10 notion as that?
11 THE WITNESS: Yes. I believed that mention my foundation in
12 Frenki's speech was -- I'm sorry. I'll speak in Serbian.
13 [Interpretation] Frenki wanted to mention me in that speech in
14 order to reinstate me in a way, because I didn't think I was in their good
15 books, in the good books of the president. And he wanted to promote me,
16 my fund, so that the fund would get more support from the state than it
17 was getting at that period.
18 That's what I wanted to say.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, the next -- no, wait a moment,
20 Mr. Milosevic. We'll go through this. The next point that's made, among
21 the things the unit was for, I suppose, was support for the liberation of
22 hostages. Is that true or not?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know nothing about it except for
24 what I saw on television, and I was shocked to see Jovica Stanisic before
25 the cameras. I always thought of him as chief of the secret service, so I
1 was confused. But I know nothing more about it.
2 JUDGE MAY: Do you know if the unit had anything to do with
3 liberating hostages or not?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't. I don't know. I don't
5 think so. I never heard such information. But I was in good contacts
6 with individuals, and I think I would learn about it had it happened.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Do you know that Jovica Stanisic went there with only a couple of
9 people from his own security detail, and he was in touch with his
10 intelligence contacts because he had to find out where all these people
11 were located, he had to gather them in one place and ensure that they are
12 safely transferred to the territory of Yugoslavia. There were no combat
13 operations involved. Their liberation was achieved through political
15 A. That was obvious from the media reporting.
16 Q. Generally speaking, this speech where he talks about the history
17 of the unit - I don't think this issue relates to me, it relates to all
18 the people who were present there - had I known -- if I had known all
19 that, there would be no need for him to explain it.
20 JUDGE MAY: The witness -- you can give evidence in due course, if
21 you want, Mr. Milosevic. It's nothing to do with the witness.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One thing that is important to add:
23 Apart from you, there were a lot of important people there. Frenki's
24 objective was to present them in the best possible light and to make an
25 impression. So it was show that was so exaggerated that it couldn't
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 possibly have been more pumped up.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Let us conclude this. Simatovic's speech was aimed at giving the
4 greatest possible importance to the unit, quoting its history, to raise
5 morale, to create a tradition that, as you described, he tried to create
6 by collecting all sorts of artefacts and data, but as far as I understood
7 you, the speech is loaded with exaggerations and the unit was given credit
8 for things that were actually accomplished by individual members of the
9 unit while they were members of different formations.
10 A. Yes. Even some members which had nothing to do with the unit,
11 even things that were accomplished by the fund.
12 Q. You saw, and it can also be seen on the film, that this centre had
13 just been established there. We see, for example, that the furniture is
14 new, that all of it had just been completed in the sense of organisation,
15 accommodation, et cetera, everything that had to do with the unit. And
16 this is a celebration that was taking place in 1997; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's it. It was in that period that the unit was the
18 strongest, the strongest I had ever seen it. I mean, that is when it
19 really started looking like a unit.
20 Q. And did you notice that in these archives, if I can put it this
21 way, that have to do with the conflict in the territory of the former
22 Yugoslavia, that the film about Spegelj was shown and various other clips
23 from other different sources that have nothing to do with the unit
24 itself. That was quite clear, wasn't it? This was a history of the
25 conflict in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. Spegelj is an example of that. What do they have to do with that?
3 Even the state security sector had nothing to do with it. This was done
4 by the military security and Vasiljevic, who testified here before you.
5 JUDGE MAY: What's the question?
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. So is it clear that in this entire speech and all these
8 explanations, it is not only the unit that is in question but the speech
9 was devoted to a broader subject, the conflict in the territory of the
10 former Yugoslavia, also all the information they have in their archives,
11 including things like the Spegelj film and things like that?
12 A. I think that I defined that very nicely when I said that this was
13 a theatrical thing blown out of proportion and that it was all
14 orchestrated for the president and all the dignitaries who came to pay a
16 Q. Can you explain this date of the alleged establishment of the
17 unit? Because the unit was not established then. It was only in 1995 or
18 1996. Is this date then linked to the time when its later individual
19 members started taking part in battle? Can you explain the date? How
20 come this particular date?
21 A. I really cannot link that date to anything. Perhaps I can assume
22 that it was some kind of an internal order at their level to establish
23 some kind of a combat unit of the service. This is just my assumption,
24 because I really cannot link that date to anything.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. That is quite sufficient.
1 And do you remember that Simatovic said on that occasion that the
2 corps of that unit consisted at the time of its establishment of some
3 members of the police of the Republic of Krajina and volunteers?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. When did these individual members of the police and Krajina join
6 the corps of that unit? Only later, after the operations that you talked
7 about. Is that right or is that not right?
8 A. Yes. Only after the beginning of August 1991.
9 Q. Since this is very important for all those falsehoods that are
10 being presented here, I saw on this film when he says 26 training camps,
11 et cetera. Actually, he is referring to this in the same way in which he
12 refers to the Spegelj film and everything else, because he talks about
13 various kinds of activities that were taking place and that could have
14 nothing to do with that unit or the service itself. Is that right or is
15 that not right?
16 A. Had there been 26 training camps, it would have been a wonderful
17 thing and we could not have had so many victims during the war. And also,
18 the archives would not have been mishandled so badly and unprofessionally.
19 I don't think that this existed. Nothing that I would call a training
20 camp existed. Everybody knows what a training camp consists of.
21 Q. You mentioned something in connection with another thing that was
22 blown out of proportion here, and that was a helicopter unit or something,
23 whatever. Do you know that these helicopters he refers to were obtained
24 only in 1993, and I think you yourself confirmed it in your other
25 statement that these were not attack helicopters. They were - how should
1 I put this? - small transport helicopters, two or three of them. That's
2 what they had. Is that right or is that not right?
3 A. Since I'm a pilot, I was really interested in this. Two Gazelles,
4 one Bell from the Vietnam war, and later on, a Sikorski was bought, but I
5 think that was bought later. I don't know exactly when it was bought.
6 But this was for important occasions, for show, so I think that's why they
7 bought it. But that is the only helicopter squadron. Believe me, I have
8 a friend in America who has more aircraft than that. And you must admit
9 it sounded impressive. Although you saw all of them there, even the one
10 that was decommissioned, that couldn't work, that did not have a motor,
11 that only had propellers.
12 Q. We saw everything that the unit had there, including the medical
13 equipment and the communications equipment and the combat equipment.
14 Everything was there, lined up at that review; isn't that right?
15 A. Absolutely everything.
16 Q. Very well, Captain. Do you remember that at the luncheon that was
17 held after that celebration that I said myself that I was surprised by the
18 level of organisation of the unit and its history and its readiness to
19 combat terrorism? Doesn't it seem to you that this speech of mine was
20 unequivocal proof of the fact that that is when I first learned about
21 this, in 1997?
22 A. No. I refused to attend the luncheon.
23 Q. Oh, you weren't at lunch. It was my understanding that you were
24 at the luncheon.
25 A. I had been invited but I refused.
1 Q. Why did you refuse to attend?
2 A. Some political beliefs I had at the time which were opposed to
4 Q. Oh, it was on my account that you refused to attend the luncheon?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Then I have a few more questions.
7 During the NATO aggression, were you at Kosovo and Metohija?
8 A. I read about this. The only time that I was in Kosovo and
9 Metohija was in 1992, one single afternoon. That was the only time.
10 Never before that, never after that.
11 Q. Well, you're mentioned here too, so I just wanted to establish
13 A. Thank you.
14 Q. Because according to the information that I have, you were never
15 in Kosovo and Metohija during these operations because, even in 1992, how
16 long were you there? What did you do there?
17 A. It had to do with some of the activities pertaining to the fund.
18 And during the NATO aggression, I waged a campaign through the Internet so
19 that the public would be informed about the bombing of my town and my
21 Q. Correct me if I'm wrong -- I don't know whether this was CNN or
22 perhaps BBC or somebody else. I think it was CNN, though. It was
23 mentioned somewhere that some kind of hacker war was being waged against
24 America from the offices of your fund, and it only had to do with a group
25 of young men who were sending information through the Internet about
1 crimes that the NATO Air Force was committing primarily in the territory
2 of Belgrade, because you did not really have information beyond that, for
3 the entire territory of Serbia; is that right?
4 A. After the "heroic" NATO attack against our television and after so
5 many civilians were killed -- of course all of this is under quotation
6 marks. "Heroic," heaven forbid that it be interpreted otherwise --
7 JUDGE MAY: Let's stick to the evidence rather than comment.
8 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. I feel very strongly about it. I've
9 been talking about war crimes and I just thought that that might be --
10 I'm sorry. Okay. I respect that, sir.
11 JUDGE MAY: You're being asked about any hacking activities from
12 the office of your fund.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, I lived through that. I saw
14 these dead persons, so I feel very strongly about this.
15 Let me have just a bit of water.
16 Well, I decided to establish a network with those few
17 computer-literate persons we had during the sanctions and during those
18 days of poverty and misery and who had just learned to use computers.
19 This was the only way to send the truth out about what was going on in my
20 country and in my town, and this was being inflicted upon them by people
21 who I had considered to be my allies until then.
22 Q. So it was not hacking. It was only related to --
23 A. Well, we have to have understanding for them, Mr. Milosevic. They
24 needed a much mightier enemy in order to justify the crimes they committed
25 against us. So then they blew them out of proportion, these young men and
1 the army and whatever. Until the present day, they have not admitted that
2 21 men took Glina. They say it was the JNA that did it with their forces.
3 Those are Croatian explanations. "What do you mean Captain Dragan this
4 and that?"
5 JUDGE MAY: Would you bear in mind, please, that you're giving
6 evidence, not making speeches. We have enough speeches in this trial.
7 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Any more questions for this witness? You've
8 got about half an hour left.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you'll be so pleased to
10 hear that I will not use all of that half hour. I just have a few more
11 questions, so it will be less than that.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We talked about officers that you encountered throughout the
14 Republic of Serb Krajina. As far as I can remember, we established that
15 they were all from Krajina; is that right?
16 A. That was my understanding, yes.
17 Q. That was your knowledge about that.
18 A. Yes, my knowledge.
19 Q. We established that most of them were volunteers and that a number
20 of them came at the invitation of the authorities of the government of
21 Krajina because that was their native area, and they responded to that
22 call, also voluntarily.
23 A. I did not hear of any other version.
24 Q. Did you hear of anyone who had been ordered to go there?
25 A. Quite frankly, I have no knowledge to that effect.
1 Q. And do you know that if this had to do with active-duty officers
2 of the army of Yugoslavia who hailed from Krajina and who responded to
3 that call, that during that time their status in the army of Yugoslavia
4 was frozen, and they did not have any functions in the army of Yugoslavia
5 when they went as volunteers to Krajina, or, rather, that the army of
6 Yugoslavia had no order issuing authority vis-a-vis them although they, as
7 members of the Yugoslavia army, volunteered to go there? Do you know
8 about that?
9 A. I know that from my very own experience, because my best man is an
10 active officer in the army of Yugoslavia. His status was frozen, and he
11 was there for a while and then he returned to service yet again.
12 Q. So from a command point of view?
13 A. No.
14 Q. None whatsoever?
15 A. No.
16 Q. But they continued to receive their salaries because Krajina did
17 not have enough resources to pay their salaries. So this is only material
18 support to the extent to which this went above the budget of the Republic
19 of the Serb Krajina, which was very poor. Even Babic had to admit over
20 here that they would not have survived without our assistance.
21 A. I know about that, and I know that that salary came late, because
22 I know that this friend of mine complained that his family had nothing to
23 eat at home.
24 Q. But at any rate, this was only financial assistance.
25 A. Well, yes. I was his superior, and he was an officer of the army
1 of Yugoslavia. So you can imagine how this functioned. So he could not
2 receive any orders from Yugoslavia. He could only receive orders from me,
3 because he volunteered and came to me.
4 Q. And you did not receive any orders from the army of Yugoslavia, I
6 A. No. It was General Novakovic who was my Supreme Commander then.
7 Q. General Novakovic was appointed by the leadership of the Krajina,
8 that is the authorities of the Krajina or, rather, to be more precise, the
9 people's Assembly of the Krajina, to be the commander of the staff of the
10 Serbian army of Krajina. Is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And he was the highest-ranking officer there?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. Just one more question. In view of the fact that in 1991 and 1993
15 and 1994 and 1995 all your activity was focused on defence at a time when
16 our people were exposed to enormous crimes and genocide, do you yourself
17 feel proud of what you have done for the defence of your people? Do you
18 feel remorse for anything that you've done?
19 A. I'm absolutely proud of everything I have done. I regret nothing.
20 And if I had it all to do over again, I would do exactly the same.
21 Q. Does this apply to the people you know and that you have personal
22 knowledge of also, the same feeling?
23 A. In principle, these are the only kind of people I associated with
24 and worked with.
25 Q. Thank you, Captain. I have no further questions.
1 A. Thank you.
2 MR. KAY: Some questions from the amici, Your Honours.
3 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
4 Q. Witness Vasiljkovic, can we just look at the photographs again
5 that were produced in the exhibit bundle tab 5 of 390.
6 A. [In English] Uh-huh. Thank you.
7 Q. And do you see the third photograph on the first page of tab 5?
8 And you'll remember being asked a question by His Honour Judge Kwon about
9 General Vasiljevic. Do you remember that?
10 A. I think it would be better if I used this. [Interpretation] Yes,
11 I do.
12 Q. And you identified that photograph and possibly another as being
13 examples of General Vasiljevic. If we look to the third page of this
14 section, looking at the photograph at 15:41 where man number 3 has been
15 identified by you as being General Vasiljevic. How certain are you about
16 that identification, or could you be wrong about it?
17 A. It's possible. I wasn't close to Vasiljevic. I only saw him a
18 few times. So this is to the best of my knowledge. This is what I
19 thought. But it is possible that I was mistaken. Later on, I did learn
20 that in one place I did make a mistake, but I did the best I could.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I help you, Mr. May? Do you
22 wish me to assist?
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is a picture of General
25 Dimitrijevic. So the witness was only half wrong, because General
1 Dimitrijevic, at that time, was the head of the administration for
2 security of the army of Yugoslavia, which is what Vasiljevic later became.
3 But this is Dimitrijevic. I assume that the witness made this mistake
4 because he heard that this was the head of security of the army of
5 Yugoslavia, so that may be the reason for the confusion. Because I can
6 see in the picture that this is General Dimitrijevic.
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well. That clarifies that.
8 MR. KAY:
9 Q. It clarifies that. I think you'll probably accept that, won't
10 you, as being more right than your answer?
11 A. Perhaps, yes. Perhaps this shows, at any rate, that I was trying
12 to assist.
13 Q. Yes. I want to go on to other matters now. You've described your
14 unit as principally being a training unit, but you've also told the Court
15 that you entered into combat operations; is that right?
16 A. That's correct, yes.
17 Q. I want to ask you some questions now about the combat operations,
18 and it concerns the kind of forces that you were against when you were
19 conducting those operations. You've referred to Glina, first of all. How
20 well-armed were the Croats in Glina?
21 A. Well, we were facing a brigade which had armoured vehicles. I
22 mean armoured personnel carriers which had anti-tank weapons that they
23 probably bought somewhere in the West, and they were far better equipped
24 than we were. On our side, we had rudimentary long police weapons. We
25 had a 60-millimetre mortar. That's an infantry-type weapon that you carry
1 along with you.
2 Q. Let's move now to another place where you undertook combat
3 operations. Perhaps you could select the next place that you went to, the
4 next combat operation you went on with troops yourself.
5 A. Skabrnja, Ljubovo, and Glina. These were the largest ones that I
6 directly commanded and participated in. I mean, of the major operations.
7 And there were about 257 missions deep behind the enemy lines, 40 to 60
8 metres deep behind the enemy lines. This was destruction of artillery,
9 weapons, the capture of Croatian officers for interrogation and exchange,
10 and collecting intelligence information.
11 Q. Skabrnja, how well-armed were the Croats that you were fighting
13 A. In this period, they already had professional brigades. They were
14 equipped with all the technical equipment that they have today. They had
15 good uniforms. It was only then that I got the Croatian uniforms and
16 equipment which I used when working behind the enemy lines in Croatia.
17 But they had modern equipment.
18 Q. Ljubovo. How well-armed were the Croats that you faced there?
19 A. They were armed the way they were in Glina. They had armoured
20 personnel carriers, anti-tank weapons, and 82-millimetre mortars.
21 Q. Were they better or worse armed than you with your squad?
22 A. In every clash we had with the Croats, they were better armed
23 except when we were working behind their lines, when we had good equipment
24 such as night surveillance equipment, mufflers, GPA equipment, and modern
25 communications systems.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. In your operations, was there any air fire or air warfare that
2 took place while you were in a combat situation?
3 A. No. I did not command, nor was I able to use air forces.
4 Q. In your experience, was there any that was used against you by the
6 A. I personally didn't have this experience.
7 MR. KAY: Thank you. That's all the questions I ask.
8 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:
9 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, when you began your testimony last Wednesday, you
10 told us your reasons for coming. You described your scepticism about the
11 Tribunal and your hope that you could tell the full truth. Your precise
12 words were, "I hope I will be given a chance by the Prosecution, the Trial
13 Chamber, and the accused to convey the full truth."
14 Both myself, Mr. Milosevic, and Mr. Kay now have asked you
15 questions. Do you feel you have had an adequate opportunity to tell the
16 full truth?
17 A. Yes, and I'm grateful for this.
18 Q. So if I ask you no more questions today and you leave here right
19 now, you are fully satisfied that you have told everything that you have
20 of relevance to the Trial Chamber; is that correct?
21 A. That is correct, and I think it would not be fair if I didn't say
22 that I am far less sceptical today than I was when I first arrived here.
23 Q. And everything you've said here has been the truth. You're
24 willing to stand behind your words here as being the truth?
25 A. [In English] To the best of my knowledge. [Interpretation] It
1 was the whole truth, and I am prepared to be held liable for any untruths.
2 Q. I want to ask you a number of questions now to clear up some
3 matters, and I actually have quite a number of questions. I know that you
4 have business plans next Monday. I would ask you, if possible, to keep
5 your answers brief so we do have an opportunity to finish your testimony
7 The first question I have for you is regarding the video. You
8 said on Wednesday, and I'll quote from the record, in a question I put to
9 you: "Mr. Vasiljkovic, the video that we have just watched, did it fairly
10 and accurately depict the events as you remember them at the ceremony you
11 attended on that day?" And you said, "Yes, absolutely so."
12 My question to you is the following: It's not a question whether
13 Frenki Simatovic said those things. What you're putting issue in now is
14 whether he really meant those things; is that correct?
15 A. Your Honours, I have known Frenki Simatovic for 12 years. I
16 discussed this film with him. I don't think anyone knows him better than
17 I do because we are very close. So everything I have said about Franko
18 Simatovic is true, and I'm sure that he himself will confirm it. We are
19 not talking about a third party but about someone I know very well.
20 Q. But you're not taking issue that the words that we heard on that
21 video, they were the words that came from Frenki Simatovic's mouth.
22 That's not in issue; correct?
23 A. Of course not.
24 Q. Now, your interpretation, or what you've testified here is that
25 this whole ceremony was a piece of fictitious theatre engaged in by you
1 and the other participants there in order to impress an audience. Is that
2 essentially what you're saying about this video?
3 A. I didn't take part in a show. I was in the audience. They were
4 trying to impress me just as they impressed the president and other people
5 they had invited to this show.
6 Q. You're a public figure. Has there ever been another occasion in
7 which you participated or attended another piece of theatre intended to
8 impress an audience, or is this the only occasion?
9 A. Are you speaking of the same unit?
10 Q. I'm speaking at any time. Any time in the former Yugoslavia in
11 connection with this unit or any other public ceremony that you attended
12 with Mr. Milosevic, was there ever another occasion when what was
13 participated in was simply an act of theatre intended to impress an
15 A. Well, two years before this, in Kula, something similar was done,
16 but the guest then was the minister of the police. There were invitees,
17 and of course the unit then was much smaller, less well equipped, but a
18 ceremony was carried out, a speech was read out, and I was given a watch.
19 So this became a sort of tradition concerning that unit. But believe me,
20 I have attended very, very many ceremonies. I receive invitations every
21 day to receptions from the highest-ranking officials and even royalty. So
22 that's something quite normal for me.
23 Q. At that earlier ceremony, was a fictitious history of the Red
24 Berets read out to the audience?
25 A. I believe that this document is in existence somewhere, but you
1 will see that this history differs dramatically from the history that was
2 issued in the following year and that the purpose for this was simply to
3 impress the audience, yes.
4 Q. Mr. Milosevic has just told us that this unit was established
5 after the war, in 1995. Mr. Frenki Simatovic says it was established on
6 the 4th of May, 1991. One of them is not correct. Which is the date that
7 this unit was established?
8 A. My experience was that the service always had people around them
9 to help them in their work, in their intelligence work, in everything that
10 a secret service does. So in my experience, Frenki always had some people
11 around him. But that this became a military unit which started to
12 resemble an army at the company level, when this happened, I don't know.
13 I don't know the date.
14 Q. Is Mr. Frenki Simatovic correct that it was founded in 1991, or is
15 Mr. Milosevic correct that it was founded in 1995? Please just tell us
16 which one.
17 A. I think that once I mentioned this when I was talking to
18 Simatovic, and I think he said that it was some sort of internal decree
19 authorising him to have armed men under his command. I think that was it,
20 and I think it can be found out, and after my testimony, I'm willing to
21 research this and to try to assist and to submit this information later
23 Q. Well, let me put to you a public statement made by Mr. Milosevic
24 around this time and see if it helps refresh your recollection as to which
25 one of these dates is perhaps the more accurate one.
1 MR. GROOME: I now tender an article dated the 12th of April,
2 1991. I'd ask that it be distributed. It's a copy of an interview with
3 Mr. Milosevic, the 12th of April, 1991, being less than three weeks before
4 the date that Frenki Simatovic says was the founding date of this unit.
5 And here is a direct quote from Mr. Milosevic --
6 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let's all have this.
7 MR. GROOME: It's page 2 of the English translation that I'll be
8 referring to.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the date?
10 The 12th of April?
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. The 12th of April, 1991, and I'll read you a passage and see
13 whether it helps you decide which is the correct date of the founding of
14 this unit. Mr. Milosevic says: "I ordered a mobilisation of the reserve
15 police forces yesterday. Further engagement and formation of new police
16 forces is to follow and the government was tasked with preparing
17 appropriate formations to guarantee our security and make us capable of
18 defending the interest of our republic and also the interest of the
19 Serbian people outside Serbia."
20 Does that statement of Mr. Milosevic, indicating an order that he
21 gave for the creation of new special forces, help you decide whether the
22 date given by Frenki Simatovic, the 4th of May, 1991, is in fact the
23 correct date of the founding of these forces?
24 A. Sir, on the 4th of April, I arrived in Knin. On the 12th of
25 April, I was so busy that I didn't care what the president was talking
1 about or to read his paper or anyone's paper. So I have nothing to do
2 with all this.
3 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, recognising that you may not have read this
4 newspaper at the time --
5 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Groome, you're re-examining.
6 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: And the extent to which you can cross-examine your own
8 witness is limited.
9 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you could help us with where this interview
11 was published, please.
12 MR. GROOME: I will have a copy sent to the booth, Your Honour,
13 and have them read the caption. I don't believe it's on the translation.
14 I believe the booth has a copy, so if the translators could assist
15 us and tell us the --
16 MR. KAY: Are we giving statements or asking questions? That's
17 really what I ask about this exercise.
18 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with this. Can somebody help us, please,
19 as to the publication in which this article appears?
20 THE INTERPRETER: The English booth says that this is a weekly
21 magazine published in Belgrade, called Nin.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. Yes. Wait a minute. One at a
23 time. Everybody wants to speak. Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can explain. Nin,
25 I think then and now, is the best-known weekly in Yugoslavia, both the
1 former Yugoslavia and the present-day Serbia and Montenegro. It is the
2 best-known weekly in the Yugoslavia of the time.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. But I think, Mr. Groome, you've taken this as
4 far as you can with the witness.
5 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, around this period of time you've told us about a
7 number of contacts you've had with both the Krajina DB and the Serbian DB.
8 Are you aware of any other special units that were formed during this time
10 A. Your Honours, I have to repeat again: Can you even imagine how
11 much work there was for an Australian, how difficult it was to come into a
12 very primitive environment and to create, within three months, those
13 Knindzas? I had very little time to be interested in what was going on
14 outside our camp. There was no television, there were no media; I was
15 completely cut off from all the events for at least three months. Only
16 when I arrived in Belgrade in August that year I started reading
18 So to ask me what was going on in Belgrade at the time is
19 completely misplaced. Or at any other place, for that matter.
20 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, again I'd ask you, are there -- were there any
21 units associated with the police of Serbia or the Krajina, the creation of
22 new units, that you are aware of in the spring, summer of 1991?
23 A. Sir, I have to tell you for the third time, I was so indifferent
24 to all of that, with all the work, with all the obligations I had at the
25 time. I was 27 kilos lighter at the time. The last thing I wanted to
1 know then was who was doing what in Belgrade, or in any other place that
2 had nothing to do with Krajina, which was the area of my responsibility.
3 And there, I was trying to establish my own control and responsibility.
4 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic --
5 A. It is -- it would be wrong for me to indulge in guesswork.
6 Q. Can I take, then, that you've given an explanation, but you are
7 not aware of any other units that you can tell us here today.
8 A. No. No.
9 Q. Now, one statement in this speech having to do with time,
10 Mr. Simatovic mentions three places in Bosnia; Bratunac, Sokolac, and
11 Rogatica and says others, and this is a quote from his speech: "In
12 mid-spring of last year, it retreated from these parts with complete
13 equipment, machinery, helicopters, and aircraft."
14 Can we take it from Mr. Simatovic's statement here in May of 1997
15 that this would indicate that at least until the spring of 1996,
16 Mr. Simatovic is saying these units were in Bosnia?
17 A. You are forcing me to guess. I don't even know where Bratunac is.
18 I wasn't interested in anything that was going on in Bosnia. I was up to
19 my ears in all the things that I had to learn in order to survive in the
20 chaos that was reigning then. And on top of all of that, I even had to
21 learn the language.
22 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, on Wednesday you testified that the first time
23 you saw this video was after you came to The Hague.
24 A. In this form and shape, yes. I had seen certain things in Kula,
25 some details, but I saw the entire film only here for the first time, and
1 I was really impressed.
2 Q. Had you been asked about portions of the speech of Mr. Simatovic
3 prior to seeing the video, do you think you would have had an independent
4 recollection of what he said?
5 A. Absolutely not. As I already said, I can't tell you what went on
6 in Kosovo and in Bosnia, but I was very well-informed about what was going
7 in Krajina, and I stand behind everything I said about that part. Nothing
8 could have happened there without me knowing it.
9 Q. You've mentioned a man by the name of Dusan Orlovic, and you've
10 told us that he was the head of the Krajina DB. Can you tell us, if you
11 know, who was his superior? Would it have been Milan Martic?
12 A. From what I know, they were under the Ministry of the Interior,
13 Milan Martic. Later, certain changes occurred wherein security was
14 shifted to Milan Babic, and Milan Martic later moved out of Krajina, but I
15 don't think those changes took place while I was there.
16 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, over the last several days, there are some of the
17 -- some of the answers you have given would seem to create some confusion
18 over what it is exactly you are testifying to. I want to ask you to try
19 to clear up some of these, and to assist you, I'm going to ask that the
20 following document be placed on the overhead projector. It's just
21 portions of the transcript that I'd ask you to take a look at. I would
22 like to ask you a couple of questions regarding them. So that we can
23 eliminate the possibility that the translation has been the problem, can I
24 ask you to testify to this portion of my examination of you in English.
25 A. [In English] Can you get a focus on this, please, or am I getting
2 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that the directors --
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it should be
4 explained why we are shifting to the English language now. Until now, the
5 witness has been answering in the Serbian language except for a few
6 spontaneous remarks.
7 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... about this. If he
8 can deal with it in English, it makes it much easier to deal with this
9 part of the evidence.
10 MR. GROOME:
11 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, on Wednesday --
12 A. I'm sorry, I can't read this. Can I have a hard copy?
13 Q. Why don't -- if you can just turn your head a bit and read from
14 the -- that will assist you.
15 MR. GROOME: I'd ask the director to zoom in on the left-hand
17 Q. On Wednesday in response to a question, the question being, "Did
18 you question Mr. Stanisic regarding who was requesting or who was
19 forbidding you from going back to the Krajina?" you stated that it was
20 your understanding that it was coming from the very top. It must have
21 been either the Minister of Interior or the president, Milosevic.
22 Do you recall making that statement on Wednesday?
23 MR. GROOME: Can the director or the usher please just slide that
24 over a little bit to the right. A little bit more. Okay.
25 Q. That's an accurate account of your testimony from Wednesday, is it
2 A. [Interpretation] I don't remember whether it was this way, but you
3 remember too that I mentioned in this interview that he also said that I
4 had entered some political waters which are not good for me, and it wasn't
5 a good idea for me to go there again. I just mentioned that it was an
6 opinion from the --
7 Q. Greater assistance --
8 A. -- political summit.
9 Q. Now, the next day, Mr. Milosevic asked you a question: "Is it
10 true that it was really Milan Babic who expelled from you the Krajina?"
11 and you made the statement: "My feeling was that Milan Babic was superior
12 to you, that he had more authority, because you had authority over
13 him ..." and you go on.
14 Are you now -- is it your testimony now that it was really -- you
15 believe that Milan Babic was in fact more powerful than Mr. Milosevic and
16 that it was him that had orchestrated Jovica Stanisic telling you that you
17 were not to go back to the Krajina? Is that your testimony now?
18 A. Yes, but I don't see what is in dispute here. It was precisely
19 that way, and I stand by what I'm saying. In that period, Babic had much
20 more authority over Milosevic than the other way round, and certainly
21 Babic had the last word. He was powerful enough to expel me, Frenki, and
22 even Dusan Orlovic from Krajina whenever he wanted to.
23 Q. I'm going to ask that the witness be shown an original copy of his
24 statement. I'll be asking you a number of questions about your statement,
25 which is now Prosecution 329.
1 JUDGE MAY: It sounds to me as though we're going to have
2 cross-examination on the witness's statement. This is re-examination.
3 You can't cross-examine the witness. Hand that back, would you,
4 Mr. Vasiljkovic.
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, given --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, you can rehabilitate your witness,
7 but you're not doing that. You're really cross-examining the witness.
8 That's not the purpose of re-examination.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I believe there are situations in which
10 a witness has demonstrated such a sufficient departure from their original
11 testimony that I would be permitted to put to him prior consistent
12 statements --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you asking that he be treated as hostile?
14 MR. GROOME: It may come to that, Your Honour, if he is reluctant
15 to acknowledge his earlier statement.
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's consider that. What's the page that you
17 wanted to put to him, Mr. Groome?
18 MR. GROOME: It's the last paragraph on page 8. I'd like to ask a
19 few foundational questions just about the -- that statement.
20 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic --
21 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. We'll consider whether it's right that
22 you should be able to do this.
23 Now, I know that it's certainly a common law rule that witnesses
24 can be treated as hostile and cross-examined on their statements. It's an
25 unusual course, in my experience, but it is one that's followed, of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 course. Whether it's part of international practice, I don't know. We'll
2 have to consider that.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MAY: Of course we're not bound by common law rules here,
5 and it may be right to clarify matters.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may I ask you to consider one other
7 point? Under the rules of evidence here - I'm trying to find the -- I am
8 required to put the case to a witness. I believe to leave this witness at
9 this stage with having said inconsistent things within his testimony and
10 not having resolved it, I would not be able to later argue that it really
11 was Mr. Milosevic who he's referring to, or Mr. Babic. So I believe in
12 fairness to the witness and, in fact, in fairness to the proceedings
13 themselves, I should be permitted to at least ask the witness what is his
14 testimony precisely.
15 JUDGE MAY: So you're saying it's nothing to do with hostility but
16 to do with clarification of what the witness has said.
17 MR. GROOME: Of apparently --
18 JUDGE MAY: Contradictory evidence. Yes. Mr. Kay and then Mr.
20 MR. KAY: Well, you call witnesses at your own risk. You call
21 witnesses to give evidence before a court, and if you don't like what they
22 say, that is your problem if you're a party that's called that witness.
23 You don't put a case to a witness if you're calling your own witness
24 because there's nothing for you to put to him. You're bound by his
25 evidence that you have called. When you're putting a case, you're
1 cross-examining, and that's exactly the sort of thing that shouldn't
2 happen. There shouldn't be any gain line in the Prosecution position in
3 relation to this witness. They're just calling evidence before the
4 Tribunal. They're not trying to win points, one would hope. They're
5 trying to call evidence that goes to the truth of the matter. If they
6 disagree with what a witness has said, then they must consider that. They
7 can't start cross-examining and say, "We don't agree with your evidence."
8 That's not the purpose of having a Prosecution calling evidence in a
9 criminal trial, and it's a departure from that duty which can cause great
10 problems into the positions of witnesses before the Trial Chamber.
11 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would respectfully disagree with
12 Mr. Kay in that -- sorry.
13 JUDGE MAY: Let Mr. Milosevic say something and then you can
14 reply, Mr. Groome.
15 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this contradiction on which
17 the opposite side is insisting is only fictitious and can impress only a
18 person who is ignorant of the real relationships in Yugoslavia at the
19 time. The opposite side, accidentally or on purpose, forgot, while asking
20 questions, to add the words "in Krajina" rather than speaking in general
21 terms. In fact, there is no contradiction, because it is indubitable that
22 in Krajina, Milan Babic had the last word, not I, because I was President
23 of Serbia, and I could influence them only politically and indirectly,
24 which I did, among other things, through that letter where I reproached
25 him for not accepting the Vance Plan, because I was President of Serbia.
1 So it is indisputable that if you add the words "in Krajina," Babic was --
2 JUDGE MAY: We have the point. No need -- no need to give
3 evidence upon you. We were listening to argument. Yes Mr. Groome.
4 MR. GROOME: Just two points, Your Honour. I think this is
5 different than the situation Mr. Kay is describing in that it is not the
6 Prosecution's intent to impeach the evidence given by the witness in his
7 examination-in-chief, it is simply to explore contradictions that have
8 arisen after cross-examination.
9 I'd also point out that ordinarily, in a common law system,
10 cross-examination would be limited quite strictly to the scope of the
11 evidence led on examination. In this particular case, Mr. Milosevic has
12 been given great latitude and has explored new areas, including the role
13 of Milan Babic in the removal of Mr. Vasiljkovic from the Krajina. I
14 believe it is only proper that I now be entitled to explore this apparent
15 contradiction with the witness.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MAY: We will consider this over the adjournment. It's time
18 for the adjournment.
19 Mr. Groome, one matter. We have to deal with some administrative
20 matters, so if you would tailor your re-examination to finish by 1.20 or
21 so, in order to get the witness away.
22 MR. GROOME: I'll do my best, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We will adjourn. Twenty minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
1 JUDGE MAY: The issue arises whether the Prosecution may examine
2 the witness upon the statement which he made concerning the witness's
3 removal from Krajina and as to where the order came from.
4 The first point I make is that it does not seem to the Trial
5 Chamber that the cross-examination which secured a contradictory answer,
6 or what may be thought to be a contradictory answer, was outside the scope
7 of the original examination. It was to the point. But the issue which
8 arises is whether the Prosecution should be entitled to put the statement
9 to the witness to point out a contradiction, or a possible contradiction.
10 The common law prevents the -- prevents such an examination and
11 does so on the ground that a party cannot cross-examine its own witness
12 and, as Mr. Kay points out, the party calling the witness must take the
13 witness as it finds it and is bound by the evidence.
14 There is an exception, as Mr. Groome has pointed out, in the case
15 of a hostile witness, a particular procedure which involves a finding by
16 the Court that the witness is hostile and then the party may cross-examine
17 the witness upon his statement in order to contradict him.
18 But we are not bound by the rules of the common law, and it does
19 not seem appropriate to go down that particular path or try and follow
20 that particular procedure, and indeed, Mr. Groome, in the end, has not
21 sought to do so, and we do not think it would be right.
22 However, we note, first of all, that the statement has been
23 exhibited. So it is before us. Exhibit 392. So in any event, we are
24 going to have to determine whether what is said in the statement is true
25 or not or what conclusion we come upon -- we come to upon the examination
1 and the cross-examination. We therefore think it right to allow the
2 Prosecution to ask questions limited to clarifying the witness's evidence
3 upon the point and clarifying the statement. That, we believe, would be
4 important in the Tribunal's duty to determine the truth and to find the
5 truth and in its overall procedures. We shall, therefore, allow the
6 examination but limited to clarification, as we've said.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, just to --
9 JUDGE MAY: Has the witness got the statement?
10 MR. GROOME:
11 Q. Before you look at your statement, Mr. Vasiljkovic, and again I'd
12 ask you to do this part of your examination in English so there can be no
13 chance of misinterpretation. Would it be fair to say that for the greater
14 part of your life you've spoken the English language?
15 A. [In English] That's correct.
16 Q. And all of your interaction with investigators from the Office of
17 the Prosecutor has been in English; is that correct?
18 A. [Interpretation] That's correct.
19 Q. And the statement that you have before you -- and the statement
20 that you have before you is not a translation of your statement but in
21 fact the actual physical statement that you read; is that correct?
22 A. [In English] That's correct.
23 Q. And how do you know that that's the actual statement that you
25 A. Because it has my initials at the bottom.
1 Q. Is there any question --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between question
3 and answer. It is impossible to continue at this pace. Thank you.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. Is there any question in your mind that the document you read and
6 initialed is the document that's before you now?
7 A. No, there is not.
8 Q. I'd ask you to look at the last paragraph on page 8, and I'd ask
9 that a copy of that be placed on the overhead projector.
10 Can you please read the last paragraph of page 8 of your
12 A. "On the 4th of August, 1991, I was called to Belgrade by Stanisic
13 Jovica. I actually thought I was going to receive a medal, but I was
14 there to be relieved of my command. He told me that he was following the
15 orders of the boss, meaning President Milosevic."
16 Q. Now, you're a public figure in Serbia. Do you give interviews
17 from time to time?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Did you give an interview to a reporter from Vreme magazine in
20 October of 2001?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. And during the course of that interview, did you also say that it
23 was Mr. Milosevic who caused your removal from the Krajina?
24 A. This is what I believed, yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, the next document that I'd ask you to take a look
1 at, it has to do with what happened at Fruska Gora.
2 MR. GROOME: I'd ask that be placed on the overhead projector.
3 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to page 4 of your statement.
4 Again, is that the original that you read and initialed when you made this
5 statement in August of 2001?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I'd ask you to read the third paragraph that begins with the
8 sentence, "Later..."
9 A. Can you tell me where to start, actually? Third -- "Later that
10 summer..." is that --
11 Q. Yes, please. Please read that.
12 A. Okay. "Later that summer, after I left Krajina as a part of this
13 unit was recruited by DB to train at Fruska Gora in Serbia with the Serb
14 DB and then evolved into --" I'm sorry, I don't accept this statement. I
15 want to -- listen, this is where it caused the problems.
16 JUDGE MAY: No need to wave it. Just put it down.
17 THE WITNESS: Can I explain?
18 JUDGE MAY: Is there anything more before we go on to
19 clarification? Is there anything more you want read out?
20 MR. GROOME: Just one other portion of the statement.
21 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you would read it, Mr. Groome.
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. A portion of the statement, of this statement is -- that I'm
24 interested in asking your comment on is: "Later that summer, after I
25 left the Krajina, a part of this unit was recruited by DB to train at
1 Fruska Gora in Serbia with the Serb DB and then evolved into the Grey
2 Wolves." Is that statement true?
3 A. No. No.
4 Q. Did you read and initial that page at the time you made your
6 A. We had some discussions. I was told that this statement -- first
7 of all, this is not my wording, this is your wording that you have taken
8 out of a recorded conversation. This is the first time that we had a
9 discussion, where I had a very bad memory of exact -- of exact happenings,
10 when I didn't have a chance to investigate some of those things, and we
11 have agreed that this statement is not going to be used because a lot of
12 this is incorrect, it is untruthful, it has been twisted around, and it
13 has been presented by Prosecution in their own views, not mine. And that
14 was agreement. This is why we got all this confusion. I do not accept
15 this statement. The statement that I accepted was the statement that we
16 have corrected the mistakes with Mr. Sexton.
17 Q. Can I ask you to look at the last page of the documents. Can I
18 ask you to read the paragraph that appears just above your signature.
19 A. Okay. "This statement has been read over by me in the English
20 language and is true to the best of my knowledge and recollection as I
21 have signed this statement voluntarily and I am aware that it might be
22 used in the legal proceedings in the International Tribunal for the
23 Prosecution of the persons responsible --"
24 JUDGE MAY: No need to read all that.
25 THE WITNESS: Okay.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. Did you read that before you signed just underneath that
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. The last portion of your statement that I would like to ask you
6 about is with respect to this issue of the state security service and its
7 control over participants that may have been in Croatia and Bosnia.
8 Yesterday, in response to a question by Mr. Milosevic, he asked you the
9 following and you gave the following answer: "When you say 'the service,'
10 you mean the state security of Krajina. When you say 'the army,' you mean
11 the army of Krajina. And when you say 'the police,' you mean the police
12 of Krajina, and you do not imply under any of these organisations the
13 police or State Security Service of Serbia; is that correct?"
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And you said, "That's right," yesterday, and you affirm that
16 answer now.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And do you recall, a little bit later in his examination of you,
19 he put the same question to you regarding Bosnia, and once again, you
20 said, "Yes, precisely so." Do you want me to read the entire --
21 A. Yes, please.
22 Q. "I asked you this question in connection with Krajina but I will
23 repeat the same question linked to your knowledge regarding Bosnia. This
24 is on page 11, second paragraph. You said that you didn't believe that a
25 single unit or so-called paramilitary unit could have acted in Krajina
1 without the permission of the army, the police, and the state security.
2 Is it clear that in the case you are referring to, the army, police, and
3 the state security of the Serbian Krajina and the Republika Srpska and not
4 to the state security of Republic of Serbia?" And you said, "Yes,
5 precisely so. I never referred to the police, state security, or army of
6 Republika Srpska." Do you recall that?
7 A. I think it was a misprint. It was Republic of Serbia. Like I
8 said, I do not accept this statement. I'm not even sure that this is the
9 -- there are so many things. We went over that many times. I have made
10 another statement. I pointed out the mistakes. A lot of them were
11 genuine mistakes. A lot of this was taken out of the context, and I
12 honestly don't accept that this is what I have signed, and I never really
13 -- in the way it is down now, I honestly contest this. You can accept
14 that or not, but this is trick. I'm sorry.
15 Q. The other statement that you're referring to, that's the statement
16 that you signed last week?
17 A. Yes, correct.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would tender that statement so the
19 Chamber has both statements before it in its consideration of this matter.
20 Q. Is it is your statement now that the original statement before you
21 - and I've asked that you be provided with the exact paper, not a copy -
22 that this is a forged document? Is that what you're saying now?
23 A. I think it is absolutely misinterpreted, yes. I don't believe --
24 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Now, cross-examination can be taken
25 too far on this matter. We think you've gone far enough.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. In the Vreme article which we've just spoken about, which you
3 acknowledge, and I'm reading a quote from that article, the very precise
4 question that we're dealing with now was put to you, and I'll put the
5 question and the answer. The question was: "Were you linked to the state
6 security of Krajina or Serbia?" To which you answered: "We are talking
7 about the state security of Serbia."
8 Do you recall being asked that question and giving that answer?
9 A. No, absolutely not.
10 Q. I'm going to show you a copy of the article so perhaps you can
11 refresh your recollection.
12 MR. KAY: Well, it's been put to him and he's said that's not what
13 he said. So I don't see how putting the article is going to change the
15 JUDGE MAY: I agree. Don't put the article to him. Mr. Groome,
16 you have got to consider where you are in this.
17 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MAY: Because all it does is destroy the credibility of the
19 witness. Now, whether you want to do that is a matter you may wish to
20 consider. We will take both these statements, because they were made to
21 the Tribunal. We will exhibit them. But I think you've probably taken
22 the matter as far as you can, unless there's some separate area you want
23 to ask the witness about.
24 MR. GROOME: Yes, there is, Your Honour.
25 Q. I want to take you back to the time after you've left the Krajina.
1 You've testified that you went to Bor in Serbia. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Who would have known or who knew that you were in Bor, Serbia?
4 A. I think Jovica Stanisic knew. Nikola Sainovic knew because he
5 lives there, and some of my friends, and a detail that went in with my
6 security guards to Belgrade.
7 Q. Other than those people, did anyone else know that you were there?
8 A. I was about the most popular figure in the country, a lot more
9 popular than Milosevic at that time, so a lot of people heard, told.
10 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Milosevic asked you whether at your invitation a
11 unit of Arkan's Tigers came to your assistance, and you referred to a unit
12 commanded by Legija coming to your assistance. At that time, was Legija a
13 member of Arkan's unit?
14 A. That's in 1993 in Krajina. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And is that the same Legija that we've seen in the video that was
16 played here on Wednesday?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Can you tell us, where is Korenica?
19 A. Can you repeat that?
20 Q. Korenica?
21 A. Korenica.
22 Q. Yes. Korenica.
23 A. Korenica, yes. That's to the north of Knin, north-west of Knin.
24 JUDGE MAY: Can the usher be relieved?
25 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry. Yes, Your Honour.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Do you recall testifying here in the last couple of days that
4 Major Filipovic -- well, what DB, what state security service was he a
5 member of?
6 A. Serbian DB.
7 Q. Do you recall in your statement, page 8, where you say -- I'll
8 just read the following so you can recall it: "Major Filipovic, Fico, of
9 the DB, I don't know if he was from the Belgrade or Krajina --" at the
10 time you made the statement -- "was in charge of the Korenica region at
11 that time."
12 A. When I said "in charge," I meant that he was gathering information
13 from that region. This is what we -- you know, like Frenki was in charge
14 of the Knin area and Fico was in charge of the, you know -- I think that
15 was just in the speech, where they were operating and getting the
16 information on the situation, what it was there. That was in the open, in
17 our discussion. But I think you have put it there in your own words as
18 "in charge." I think there is a tape recording of that. I think there
19 should be.
20 Q. Now, you testified Wednesday that you received threats from the DB
21 after you went against Seselj to try to resolve a student protest at the
22 law faculty.
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Did it occur to you as odd -- well, at the time did you believe
25 that you were the subject of legitimate, reliable death threats?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did it occur to you as odd that the DB appeared willing to kill
3 you over a confrontation with Seselj?
4 A. It did appear to me that they wanted me out of the country, and
5 threats with the kill wasn't just a threat that if I don't go I might end
6 up that way.
7 MR. GROOME: I ask that the witness be shown page 10 of his
9 Q. Do you recall when you were interviewed and you discussed this
10 particular event, and I'll draw your attention, if you would, to the first
11 paragraph, to the sentence beginning with, "They..." and I'll read it to
12 you. "They basically told me that the time had come for me to go away
13 from the Balkans. It was suggested to me that my life was in danger and
14 that they wanted to know how much it would cost for me to disappear. They
15 told me that this order had come from the top. By this I knew that they
16 were talking about President Milosevic."
17 Do you stand behind those words today?
18 A. Yes, to some extent. I believe that that was coming from them.
19 Q. So at that point in time, you believe that Mr. Milosevic had given
20 an order to the security DB to get you out of the country, and if you did
21 not go, to have you killed?
22 A. Yes. This is what I constructed in my mind, yeah, with my
23 knowledge that I had at the time.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Milosevic has asked you a number of questions about
25 protections you may or may not have sought. I just want to ask you a few
2 Before you came to testify here, did you notify an investigator of
3 the Office of the Prosecutor of two events which caused you concern; one a
4 journalist had somehow learned that you were going to testify, and second,
5 a text message that you received on your phone?
6 A. Yes, I did, but that was not specifically -- I did not contact or
7 notify them specifically, but that was part of the context of the other
8 communications I had with the investigator. Yes, I did inform him.
9 Q. Do you recall what the text message was?
10 A. Yes, that I have received a message which mentions Legija, but I
11 don't honestly don't -- I don't believe that it has anything to do with
12 him. I have made inquiries, and I found out -- and I told him that has
13 nothing to do with him, yes.
14 Q. When you said you made inquiries, you actually checked out the
15 number from where this came.
16 A. I used some connections and friends that I had in the secret
17 service, in the police, even in the army, and we tracked down where these
18 numbers come from and who were the people that made it, and we did not
19 connect it to Legija, Milosevic, or the Tribunal, and I have informed
21 Q. How many numbers were registered to the exact same person?
22 A. Fifty-eight numbers.
23 Q. And did that make you believe that that was not the phone of a
24 private individual but of somebody in some secret service?
25 A. No, no secret service. I thought it was the part of an
1 organisation. I thought it was some sort of a political -- I suspected
2 Seselj, actually, at the time, but it turned out to be something else.
3 Q. Just a few other matters on your security. You said that you did
4 not begin cooperating with the Office the Prosecutor until after the law
5 on cooperation. You said that earlier today. Is that correct?
6 A. Well, I think -- I felt -- I don't know. I don't know. I think
7 we had some meetings, but I think that I come -- that I come to -- that we
8 sat down and done some -- start doing some work after that.
9 Q. I'm going to show you the Gazette where the law on cooperation was
10 passed, simply for the purpose of helping you remember the date that the
11 law on cooperation was passed. Can you tell us the date of the Gazette.
12 A. April 2002.
13 Q. And what is the date of the statement that you signed?
14 A. 28th of 8th, 1991 -- 2001. I'm sorry.
15 Q. So that's a year and some months before the law on cooperation.
16 A. Yeah. I honestly didn't consider this, what we talked, that that
17 was the -- that that was the -- that was just what I remembered, quickly;
18 a lot of suggestions, a lot of suggested things that I didn't think was
19 important, and I said yes. Like I said, I was called by Stanisic. I just
20 didn't think was important to go into all those details, signed that I
21 told Frenki to go and visit Stanisic, and gave me the number. It was
22 enough to say that I was called by Stanisic and that would be correct.
23 But if you want to grab like that -- so I don't think anything is a lie
24 here, but were they Grey Wolves or Wolves, or were they -- you know, you
25 can get me on that: "Did you say Grey Wolves?" Might have, because I
1 didn't think that the "grey" was important. Important that they're
2 Wolves. So I think that this is a very inaccurate statement, and I think
3 would be fair, if you wanted to question me on this statement, then you
4 have started from -- when we had the time, to go right through it and
5 clarify that. I think we cleaned this statement, by your investigator, we
6 corrected all those things that I felt was maybe incorrect. Like
7 Vasiljevic, for example. I was sure that that was Vasiljevic. I believed
8 that was Vasiljevic. I even put it. I made another mistake but that was
9 just because I believed it.
10 Q. Mr. Vasiljkovic, the Chamber has both statements now and I'm sure
11 will review them carefully.
12 A. But I just feel I been tricked in that and you been dishonest
13 about it, I'm sorry. And I very regret that this is how it ended. I
14 don't think that was necessary.
15 Q. You've told us before that you were a personal friend of Frenki
17 A. Very personal friend, yes.
18 Q. Did you seem him just prior to coming up to --
19 A. Yes. I went to see him 15 minutes before I arrived over here. I
20 thought you should do that with a friend.
21 Q. And did you discuss with him the fact that you were coming here to
23 A. Yes, I told him.
24 Q. After arriving here, have you had any communication whatsoever,
25 either by phone or e-mail or any form of communication with Mr. Simatovic
1 or anybody connected with the Serbian state security service?
2 A. Yes. I called Simatovic on his private phone just to say hello,
3 that I'm okay, and we did not -- and I just told him, How did you like
4 what you heard? And he says, Well, you just said what had happened. And
5 I said, Yes, but it wasn't very easy to come here and say all this.
6 That's exactly what I said.
7 Q. How much time did you spend discussing your testimony with Frenki
9 A. I think all about 20 seconds. And after that was -- after that
10 was a discussion such as we're going to have dinner when we come back, and
11 we're going to -- like I said, he's my friend for 12 years.
12 Q. When was the last time you spoke with Frenki Simatovic while you
13 were in The Hague?
14 A. Only once that I spoke to him.
15 Q. And when was that?
16 A. I think yesterday. Last night, or afternoon, something like that.
17 Q. This morning, when you said as part of your testimony that you had
18 discussed the film with Frenki Simatovic --
19 A. No, I did not discuss the film. I'm sorry, sir. I mean this
20 morning, yesterday, fifteen seconds just to tell him I'm alive, I'm here.
21 You know, are you watching? And that's it. There was no discussion on
22 any parts of whatever is, and he says I think you just said how it was.
23 And you probably recording my conversation and it would be nice to show it
25 Q. Nobody was recording your conversation, sir. You have testified
1 that you did not see the film until you arrived here, and you testified
2 earlier today --
3 A. No, I didn't say that. I said that I've seen some parts of that
4 film, but I've seen it in this form only here.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Would you please make pause between question and
7 MR. GROOME: Actually, I have no further questions. Thank you,
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Vasiljkovic, that concludes your evidence. Thank
10 you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE MAY: We ought to deal with the two exhibits, in fact, which
15 we haven't. There was the Nin magazine article. There was then a
16 statement and the statement of the witness of the 10th of February this
18 So -- sorry.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The registrar will deal with the numbers.
21 MR. KAY: Should the Nin article in fact go in? Because nothing
22 materialised from it through this witness, as the Court will recall.
23 JUDGE MAY: We allow articles in.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the Nin article will be Prosecutor's
25 Exhibit 393. And the statement dated the 10th to the 17th February will
1 be Prosecutor's Exhibit 392.1.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: Before we part from the most recent discussion and just
4 by way of reminding you of something and putting something in context,
5 you'll probably recall that well before Rade Markovic gave evidence, I was
6 forecasting that we would be calling witnesses whom we would only be
7 advancing in part for the truth of their evidence. And that you will
8 recall, in Markovic's case, we produced evidence, called evidence to prove
9 the truth of a statement that he had made and from which he departed in
10 evidence. We, of course, take a witness statement from the investigator
11 who took the last witness's statement and we'll consider applying for
12 leave to call him.
13 There is another witness available. He's actually come over
14 especially from England for today. He won't be finished today, and he's
15 obviously got to come back. There are also some administrative matters
16 that Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff will be dealing with, although I think they may be
17 taken more shortly because there's been a written filing to assist you.
18 JUDGE MAY: Do you want to start the witness?
19 MR. NICE: I'm happy to start him. He's a witness who's 92 --
20 semi-bis'd, so --
21 JUDGE MAY: Let's see how we get on with the administrative
23 MR. NICE: Or alternatively, we could do the administrative
24 material now so that we know exactly how far we've got with him.
25 JUDGE MAY: It may be more convenient to deal with the statements
2 MR. NICE: Yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with them, if that's what you're
5 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, we've got your latest filing. B-1732, I don't
6 know if we need keep these numbers, whether we can't refer to him by his
7 name. Any reason why we need to keep the number?
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No.
9 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Doyle.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
11 JUDGE MAY: For the moment, you want to reconsider the position.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, we actually -- we will file something
13 later similar to what we had filed for General Mangan and Mr. Davies,
14 something at a later stage when some evidence of Bosnia has been heard.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. So we won't pursue that one. We've had --
16 we've had an additional witness, Edgar Rousseau. It may be convenient, if
17 we can, to deal with him next week too. And indeed perhaps you would have
18 a look to see if there are any other Vukovar witnesses or witnesses from
19 that area who it might be convenient to deal with together.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Actually, Your Honours, we intended to
21 file in -- a motion related to witnesses we would like to tender in the
22 mode of 92 bis (D), and these are actually the witnesses who had testified
23 in the Dokmanovic case, and we hadn't done that so far because we actually
24 had expected you to make a decision on a similar filing from the Bosnia
1 JUDGE MAY: We're not -- I can tell you we're not ruling on Bosnia
2 for the moment. We're going to stay with Croatia. But I was going to
3 raise with you, anyway, that question about the Dokmanovic witnesses being
4 dealt with perhaps in the same way as Dr. Bosanac. One of them gives
5 fairly important evidence, I would have thought. But in any event, could
6 you file that as soon as possible, please.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, we'll do that.
8 JUDGE MAY: If there are any other Vukovar witnesses who it might
9 be convenient to deal with at the same time as we -- those that I've
10 mentioned, perhaps you could let us know.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. We will file that.
12 JUDGE MAY: We will take them location by location.
13 Now, that leaves us -- we'll deal with Rousseau next week, and
14 that leaves us with the two, 1201 and 1231, and there really is a simple
15 issue here, that they made their statements -- they made their statements.
16 1201, the events -- he was aged 11 the events he described. He made his
17 statement nine years later. 1231, he was aged 9, and he made his
18 statement about nine and a half or so years later.
19 The amici raise the question of whether they're not so unreliable
20 in those circumstances that we ought not to admit the statement, and your
21 current suggestion is that we admit the statement for the purposes of 92
22 bis, but we allow cross-examination in order that they can be tested.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. And let me add something,
24 why we put them on our witness list at all. These are actually two
25 witnesses who give the names of the victims that are in the schedules, and
1 the victims are actually their relatives. The fact that they were killed
2 in this incident is actually proven by them, and I don't think that we
3 will rely on all the details, how the event happened, because they were so
4 young, but their relatives were killed and that they were killed in the
5 incident where they themselves also were present. I mean, this is -- this
6 can be reliably -- can be led from them reliably.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Kay, you hear the argument.
8 MR. KAY: Yes. We don't really have anything further to add to
9 what we put in our written motion. We've pointed out the problems here
10 with the age of these two witnesses.
11 The second one, as I recollect it, said "as best as I can remember
12 now" is one of the phrases that he uses. I think that is 1231, the
14 JUDGE MAY: I suppose, just thinking aloud, Mr. Kay, about this,
15 these were terrible events which people are unlikely to forget. However
16 young they may have been at the time, it was bound to be impressed upon
17 them in a way which perhaps in the normal course of events one would say,
18 well, you're not going to recollect what happened ten years ago, but these
19 sort of events ...
20 MR. KAY: That can always be said, but the difficulty is in actual
21 comprehension at the time to have provided an accurate eyewitness account.
22 One of the problems being of such tender years as 9 is that the picture
23 can be coloured by subsequent events and family history to make the
24 account of events very different from what it was before. It has to be
25 recognised that the memories of children in relation to such events are
1 probably not as good and reliable as those who are of older years, adults,
2 who have more context in which to put events into, caused by human
3 experience. And that goes for Witness 1201, the 11-year-old, as well.
4 These are very, very young ages.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Anything you want to add in
6 relation to these two?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Mr. May.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE MAY: The question of reliability is a matter we have to
10 consider in whether we should admit the statements, but here, given the
11 events which these witnesses have described, which they are not likely to
12 have forgotten, given their terrible nature, over the years, and given
13 that their detail is a matter, the detail of the statements is a matter
14 which can be tested by cross-examination, we think it right to admit the
15 statements but subject to cross-examination of the witnesses.
16 Yes. Yes. We can call the next witness.
17 MR. NICE: Yes. Can we start the next witness? Thank you.
18 Your Honour, the witness will obviously be part heard. The
19 question whether he should be part heard to Tuesday or Wednesday. Tuesday
20 we have a fairly full-looking day, I think. Financial argument, human
21 rights matter, and the general discussion about procedure. I'm entirely
22 in your hands, and of course we want to use every available minute of time
23 for evidence when we can, but he's been here once to go through the 92 bis
24 process, and he's coming today and he'll go back and come again. It may
25 be thought kind of him to say Wednesday morning first thing.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll see what his convenience is to some
3 MR. NICE: Again, while we're waiting for him -- I know he's in
4 the distant room, a more distant room --
5 JUDGE MAY: Judge Kwon has a point.
6 JUDGE KWON: If we have some time, Mr. Blewitt will be available.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour sees the wonderful service you get. The
8 podium is brought for you.
9 The witness Helena Ranta is coming on the 10th -- the 12th. Very
10 well. I'm not sure whether the 10th is being earmarked now for --
11 JUDGE MAY: There is a problem with the videolink on the 10th, I
12 think, but it may be.
13 MR. NICE: Certainly he's available on the 10th, but we'll keep
14 telephoning him.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
18 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
21 WITNESS: PAUL DAVIES
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, for the better understanding of those
23 viewing, the witness made a statement on the 19th of January of the year
24 2001, which is in 46 paragraphs, originally without numbers but numbered
25 for the purposes of this exercise. He's gone through the process of 92
1 bis with an official of the Tribunal in respect of that statement which he
2 has corrected by a short additional statement of the 5th of February,
3 2003. And the Chamber has allowed that his evidence may be limited in
4 this way that can, I suppose, be summarised in respect of all bar a
5 limited number of paragraphs of the original statement which have been
6 taken from him in the conventional way.
7 There are a couple of exhibits to be produced as well, and with
8 Your Honour's leave, I will simply run very quickly through the proofing
9 summary, which is a summary of his evidence overall and runs to some 18
10 paragraphs, stopping at the appropriate places for exhibits and/or for
11 live testimony.
12 Q. Is your name Paul Davies?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice just mentioned an
17 additional statement dated the 5th of February. You announced this
18 witness yesterday and I have all the material I received in connection
19 with him and I have never received a statement dated the 5th of February.
20 JUDGE MAY: I think that is an addendum which was referred to.
21 Mr. Nice, is that right?
22 MR. NICE: Correct. It's part of the 92 bis package, as we've
23 described them, and it can be found at the fifth page of that, although
24 the page number is page 11, starting at the back.
25 JUDGE MAY: If you look at the documents you were given today,
1 under the attestation, you will see the additional statement which is --
2 or addendum, rather, which is in the form of one or two changes. You will
3 have a chance to read it before you cross-examine.
4 Yes, Mr. Nice.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Mr. Davies, are you an ITN reporter, having been an international
7 reporter since 1983, you have extensive experience of the wars in the
9 A. Yes, that's true.
10 Q. You were in Dubrovnik with your crew, or with first a larger crew
11 and then a reduced crew between the 31st of October to the 21st of
12 November, 1991?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Your evidence, summarised in the proofing summary, is that there
15 were only a limited number of Croatian defenders of Dubrovnik, nightclub
16 owners, waiters, tour guides, and so on, that the weapons of the Croats
17 were in no way comparable to the JNA weapons which you describe as mighty,
18 the JNA having completely surrounded the town from high ground of
19 Zarkovica, Ivanica, having gunboats facing the town, using military planes
20 to attack Srdj and the Cross next to it.
21 You saw a mortar position in the city's woodland but that was a
22 distance from the town, and we'll come to this maybe in a little more
23 detail later.
24 You observed a small number of heavy weapons, being no more than
25 two pieces of mortars or small artillery at any given place and time. You
1 observed that hundreds of shells were fired on Dubrovnik by the JNA for
2 each shell that was fired by Croatian defenders.
3 You were aware of one mobile artillery weapon on a flatbed truck
4 used by Croatian defenders, and you thought that there was also a truck
5 converted to transport personnel and supplies, probably both military and
6 humanitarian, that was in use.
7 And following your arrival in Dubrovnik, you noticed a large
8 number of civilians who had fled villages taken over by the JNA, looking
9 for safety in Dubrovnik old town, well known as a UNESCO world heritage
11 A. That's all correct. In summary, a very one-sided affair.
12 Q. By one-sided affair, you mean the fighting --
13 A. The fighting was extremely one-sided.
14 Q. May we now see, please, the exhibit which is about, I think, a few
15 minutes of an ITN report of this witness.
16 [Videotape played]
17 "Until now, the federal forces have concentrated their attack on
18 areas outside the old city, but now their mortars are falling inside the
19 ancient walls."
20 "One exploded through the roof of a house built four centuries
21 ago. In all, four mortars fell inside the city walls that day, shrapnel
22 exploding into the convent. The tranquility of the 14th century
23 Franciscan monastery, home of the Europe's oldest apothecary, was also
24 shattered. As Friar Josef Sopta [phoen] tried to tell us about the damage
25 to the monastery, his words were drowned by another attack."
2 "As the federal troops closed in, the few residents left on the
3 streets took what cover they could. This woman had risked her life to
4 rescue her dog from its kennel in the old harbour.
5 "A day that started with prayer ended with pitched battles in the
6 hilltops. Monday and the famous Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street,
7 deserted in preparation for the inevitable resumption of this one-sided
9 "Residential areas devastated, with shells falling closer and
10 closer to the old city, for the first time, striking its medieval walls.
11 Down the centuries, Dubrovnik citizens have defied would be invaders. Now
12 their old ramparts face 20th century war machines. But at least the walls
13 offered some protection. Outside, there was no escape.
14 "The Grand Hotel, probably Dubrovnik's finest, ablaze. But this
15 was just a foretaste of the destruction that was to follow as the federal
16 forces closed in.
17 "Tuesday morning, and the attack everyone had feared but most
18 secretly believed could never happen. A deliberate and sustained assault
19 on the old city. This was not a case of shells going astray, it was a
20 calculated decision to irreparably damage a city that is in its entirety a
21 protected monument. Some shells appeared to bounce off the 100 foot high
22 walls but others crashed into the city. The federal army was now using
23 Soviet made wire-guided missiles against walls first built to keep out
24 arrows and spears.
25 "Missiles landing in the old port set boats and building ablaze.
1 Among the witnesses to the attack was Britain's consul to Dubrovnik, Sarah
2 Maraika [phoen], whose husband is Croatian."
3 "I never thought that the old city would be damaged. It's the
4 same way that one thinks of Venice or Paris or Canterbury. I think it was
5 thought that the old city was inviolable and it's been proven that that
6 isn't either. This was built as a siege town."
7 "That's five shells. Five shells as we've been talking."
8 "As we've been talking, and that's quite minimal, isn't it,
9 compared to what we've gone through earlier today."
10 "From the terrace of the Hotel Argentina, the European Community
11 observers also watched the destruction, powerless to intervene."
12 "They're shooting for the tower in the old city. They just missed
14 "But they were forced to run for shelter when mortars fell around
15 their hotel.
16 "The observers spent hours pinned down by mortars exploding
17 outside. Plans to evacuate their team by sea had to be postponed because
18 of the raging battle.
19 "In the hotel bar, scenes reminiscent of London's east end during
20 the blitz. Locals singing traditional songs to --"
21 JUDGE MAY: That's enough now. Just remind us, if you would, of
22 the dates.
23 MR. NICE: 10th to the 14th of November, I think, for this.
24 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Davies?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And before we move on to the testimony I'll take from you in the
2 conventional way, may the witness produce two maps that will be, I hope,
3 of use. One to become Exhibit 326, tab 24. It shows the larger area and
4 has hotels identified on it by the witness. And we can see there, for
5 those not familiar with the area of Dubrovnik, the old town just above the
6 word "Hotel" of Grand Hotel Imperial, and then the harbour up -- or the
7 Luka harbour, Gruz, up on the left there.
8 The old harbour of the town, Mr. Davies, where we can really see
9 it here, is to the right of the old town, to the left of the letter H of
10 Hotel Excelsior; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. And then although it doesn't show it on this map, the river, the
13 Rijeka, is on the left of the plan, running up in a north-easterly
14 direction; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The other --
17 JUDGE KWON: This is tab 23, isn't it?
18 MR. NICE: Tab 24. 326, tab 24, I think, with leave of the Court.
19 This one is marked, of course. I'm not sure, as the only one is -- maybe
20 Your Honour is right.
21 JUDGE MAY: Judging by the index we've been given, that is right.
22 23 and 24, they should be.
23 MR. NICE: 23 and 24, in which case I stand corrected and
24 apologise for that.
25 May we put the other map on the overhead projector, then, tab 24.
1 Q. This shows clearly the harbour to the right which we saw in that
2 footage, and we see the walled town or city.
3 The road, or the route that you were describing or showing indeed
4 on your film, empty of people walking it, is that the large street running
5 left to right towards the top of the plan?
6 A. That's correct. The Stradun.
7 Q. It's not called Stradun here, is it? All we've got is the word
8 Platca here. Is that it, though?
9 A. Yes, that's it.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'll now go to what is the 32nd paragraph
12 in the --
13 JUDGE MAY: Before we do, we ought to get the exhibits into order.
14 The 92 bis statement and addendum should be the next exhibit number, and
15 then the video.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It's Prosecutor's Exhibit 394 for the statement,
18 Your Honour. The video is Prosecutor's Exhibit 395.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. Mr. Davies, you actually stayed on longer than all other
21 non-residents, I think, and were there on your own for a time; is that
23 A. With a cameraman.
24 Q. With one cameraman.
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. After everybody else had left. Help us, please, with your
2 experience generally of the shelling; how it was targeted, where it
3 appeared to be targeted, and so on.
4 A. It was -- there was a mixture, really. The majority of it didn't
5 seem to have an obvious target, certainly not to us. After a period of
6 shelling, sometimes during a period of shelling, we would attempt to get
7 close to what was being targeted, and quite often this was just housing,
8 no specific military purpose that we could see. And also during that
9 time, we would be watching very closely for any signs of outgoing fire,
10 any reason that might attract the shelling, and very often there simply
11 was none.
12 Q. The road, the main road for Dubrovnik, which we can see on the
13 larger map, did that appear to be targeted at all?
14 A. It was targeted, yes, and also the housing that's very close to it
15 was targeted over a period of some time.
16 Q. Staying with the larger map, if the usher would be good -- not the
17 larger map, the map showing the larger area, tab 23. The island of Lokrum
18 is seen to the right of the map. What was the position about Lokrum? Who
19 possessed it? Was it being shelled?
20 A. It was still possessed by the Croatians, and it was a regular
21 target to the extent that I believe it's a national park, or large areas
22 of it are. So, wooded. And it was often on fire. The hotel where we
23 were based and where the monitors were based, the Hotel Argentina, is
24 directly opposite the island of Lokrum and there were many nights when the
25 fires on the island continued through the night.
1 Q. Attacks on residential areas, how severe? Were houses just
2 damaged or were they destroyed?
3 A. Damaged. Mostly damaged. It wasn't a case of streets being
4 levelled or that type of damage, but severe damage. I mean, damage,
5 shells dropping through floors and causing extreme damage to the
6 individual buildings.
7 Q. Staying with tab 23 which shows, of course, the old town to which
8 we may turn in detail later, but also the wider urban area of Dubrovnik,
9 can you point to any areas you can recall now having visited when there
10 had been targeting or apparent targeting of residential areas? You can
11 see it on the overhead projector, and you will be given a pointer if
13 A. Yes. All right. The area leading to the port seemed to take a
14 lot of incoming shells. It was difficult to understand, because that was
15 only housing. The areas around the coast were targeted, and we visited
16 them during the time that they were being targeted.
17 There's a very large hotel here called the Libertas. We went
18 there, I believe, one night as there was shelling, and it was on fire and
19 there were many refugees in the cellars of the building, taking what
20 shelter they could. Other areas that we saw targeted regularly were the
21 -- these hotels here along this stretch by the Hotel Argentina. This
22 hotel here, the Hotel Belvedere, was very, very badly damaged, set on fire
23 and caused a great deal of damage to that.
24 This hotel, the Excelsior, was also very, very badly damaged.
25 Q. The plan doesn't have a scale. Maybe I can find one for next week
1 when I'm afraid you will have to return, but give us an idea, how long
2 does it take to drive from the old town - let's use that as a focal point
3 - to something like Hotel Libertas if the roads are uncrowded?
4 A. It would take ten minutes. Not much more than ten minutes. And
5 the roads during this period of time were deserted. So it was quite easy
6 and there was no particular reason to comply with one-way regulations or
7 anything, so it would take ten minutes at the most to get from the old
8 town to, say, Hotel Libertas. Ten, 12 minutes.
9 JUDGE MAY: I think we've come to the time to adjourn, Mr. Nice.
10 Is that a convenient moment?
11 MR. NICE: Certainly. Convenient moment for me. The return date
12 for the witness may be a matter which should reflect his convenience.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Davies, I'm sorry you've been inconvenienced by
14 having to come here twice already. We can't finish your evidence today,
15 so we must ask you to come back next week. We're not sitting on Monday.
16 On Tuesday we have some administrative things to deal with, so we could
17 deal with your evidence on Wednesday, but if it was more convenient, we
18 could find time on Tuesday to deal with it. I don't know if you have any
19 particular views on that matter.
20 THE WITNESS: Tuesday would be easier, if that's possible.
21 JUDGE MAY: I think we should try and accommodate that. We have a
22 discussion about witnesses first, don't we?
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we have one matter that involves other
24 parties coming especially and obviously that must be taken care of on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
2 MR. NICE: We have a discrete argument about the financial report.
3 JUDGE MAY: That can go into Wednesday.
4 MR. NICE: That can go into Wednesday, as can the discussion about
5 procedure matters that I must, on this occasion, cover in some detail
6 because I want to bring you absolutely up-to-date with where we are in the
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, if we can hear the matter involving the other
9 parties Tuesday in the first session and continue with the witness after
10 the first break, which would be half past ten --
11 MR. NICE: That will probably allow him to make a Tuesday morning
12 flight, if he wants to, that would get him here in time for that, yes.
13 JUDGE MAY: If that's convenient to you, Mr. Davies, could we ask
14 you to be back on Tuesday at half past ten, and we will hear your evidence
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
17 JUDGE MAY: Now, I must formally tell you not to speak to anybody
18 about your evidence until it's over, and that does include the members of
19 the Prosecution team. But if you want to talk to them about your
20 arrangements or anything of that sort, of course you're free to do so.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now until 9.00 Tuesday morning.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of
25 February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.