Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 23686

1 Thursday, 3 July 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration. If you

7 would stand up, please.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

10 JUDGE MAY: If you'd care to take a seat.


12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

14 MR. WHITING: Good morning, Your Honours. Alex Whiting for the

15 Prosecution.

16 Examined by Mr. Whiting.

17 Q. Sir, could you please state your name.

18 A. Vlado Vukovic.

19 Q. Mr. Vukovic, on June 18th of this year, did you have occasion to

20 go over your witness statement in the presence of an officer of the court

21 and attest to its accuracy, and did you sign a declaration attesting to

22 its accuracy?

23 A. Yes, I did.

24 MR. WHITING: Your Honours, I would offer the statement of

25 Mr. Vukovic into evidence pursuant to 92 bis.

Page 23687


2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Prosecution Exhibit 479.

3 JUDGE MAY: Have we got a copy of that package?

4 JUDGE KWON: We received it yesterday.

5 MR. WHITING: Your Honours, I would read a copy of the statement.

6 I would first draw the Court's attention to page 19 of the atlas, in

7 particular the lower section grid reference D-E 2 and 3, and the villages

8 that the witness will be speaking about are located in that part of page

9 19.

10 The witness is a Croat who was 29 years old at the time of the

11 events. He joined the police force in December of 1990 and was first

12 assigned to Ogulin. He was transferred to Saborsko on the 1st of April,

13 1991.

14 In the month of April, 1991, in the neighbouring Serb village of

15 Plaski, there was a protest in which the inhabitants demanded an

16 ethnically pure Serb police.

17 In June of 1991, the Serb police officers changed the patches on

18 their uniforms to militia Krajina patches. In the same time period,

19 Martic's Police appeared in the area. Civilians could only travel in the

20 area by buses which were routinely stopped and searched by Martic's

21 militia. The police in Saborsko were not allowed to travel outside of the

22 village at this time.

23 On August 5th of 1991, the shelling of Saborsko began from the

24 direction of Licka Jesenica, a Serb area. That evening, some police

25 officers from Duga Rese who had come before the attack to help the local

Page 23688

1 police left Saborsko with a number of elderly women and children. From

2 that day on, Serb forces shelled Saborsko nearly every day, sometimes

3 using cluster bombs and destroying many houses.

4 The witness and two other police officers were captured on

5 September 29th, 1991, by members of Martic's police. They were taken

6 first to the gaol in Plaski where the witness was kept for 12 days and

7 beaten several times by Martic's Police. Then he was transferred to the

8 prison in Korenica where he was also severely beaten. His teeth were

9 knocked out and he was locked in solitary confinement. After

10 approximately 12 days, he and other prisoners were taken by the JNA to

11 Zeljava airport near Bihac where he was held for more than five days.

12 There he was beaten by JNA military police. He was told that the men

13 beating him were former Serb police colleagues from Zagreb.

14 The witness was taken to Manjaca camp near Banja Luka and on

15 November 9, 1991, he was exchanged with about 200 other prisoners for Serb

16 JNA officers and soldiers.

17 On about August 7, 1995, shortly after Operation Storm, he

18 returned to Saborsko. He could not recognise his village as everything

19 was overgrown and abandoned. In that month of August, the witness

20 attended two exhumations in Saborsko. In addition, ten skeletons of

21 elderly people were found in their homes. They had either been killed and

22 burnt with their homes or killed when their homes were burned. In all, 29

23 to 30 bodies were found and seven villagers are still missing.

24 Q. Sir, I just have a few additional questions related to tab 2 of

25 Exhibit 479.

Page 23689

1 MR. WHITING: If that could be shown to the witness.

2 JUDGE KWON: This is, rather, an annex of the indictment.

3 MR. WHITING: That's correct, Your Honour.

4 Q. Mr. Vukovic, could you look at the names on that list that has

5 been set before you. Do you recognise those names?

6 A. Yes, 90 per cent of them. Yes.

7 Q. Are those former residents of Saborsko?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. To your knowledge, were the people on those -- on that list

10 combatants or civilians?

11 A. All of them were civilians except Mate Spehar who was a Croatian

12 policeman, on the list.

13 Q. In your statement you refer to an exhumation where the body of a

14 policeman was found in a grave. Is that the body of this individual?

15 A. Yes. It was a mass gravesite, Popov Samac.

16 Q. Sir, my last question is: Do you know anything about the ages of

17 the people on this list in general?

18 A. They were all people who were roughly about 60 to 70 years of age,

19 women too, and men, and there was one person who was older, Mate Matovina.

20 He was born in 18-something. It says 95 here. He was one of the oldest.

21 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further

22 questions.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

24 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vukovic, you said that your previous

Page 23690

1 profession was policeman; right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. However, in paragraph 2 of your statement, it says that from the

4 moment you did your military service in the JNA up to 1989, you worked on

5 the construction of prefabricated houses throughout Yugoslavia; is that

6 right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And is it true that from November 1989 to the 15th of December

9 1990 you were unemployed, in fact?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Tell me, please, did you attend a training course for policemen or

12 did you join the MUP without having had any previous training, the MUP of

13 the Republic of Croatia, that is.

14 A. I did attend a course for policemen once I passed my medical

15 examinations.

16 Q. And when was that?

17 A. That was in 1990. When I enrolled, I went. After I had enrolled,

18 I went to attend this education course.

19 Q. All right. And in paragraph 2 of your statement, you say that you

20 and four other colleagues of yours at Plitvice Jezera, the lakes of

21 Plitvice, tendered in your resignation because the Serbs were in the

22 majority there; is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And is it also true and correct that in that same paragraph you

25 said that the Serbs were in the majority in this area and even though

Page 23691

1 there was nothing happening in particular, nothing concrete happened, we

2 just felt uneasy and decided to leave and find work elsewhere?

3 A. Mr. Milosevic, if you feel uneasy somewhere and undesirable, where

4 Serb songs are being sung, where people joke and -- don't joke but say

5 quite seriously some things, why would you be in company of that kind?

6 It's better to leave and then not have any problems. I wasn't the only

7 one who left; a number of us left. And actually, that's what happened

8 later on. The Croats left the Plitvice Lakes area en masse who had had

9 jobs there. Those of them who stayed on suffered the fate that happened

10 to them in 1991.

11 Q. All right. But you left because you didn't like the presence of

12 Serbs. You said that nothing actually happened.

13 A. No, it didn't. Now, why, if I have an option? I worked in the

14 forestry department for a time, so that was another option.

15 Q. In paragraph 3, you say that you could feel things were changing,

16 however, there was nothing particular going on in Saborsko. That's what

17 you say.

18 JUDGE MAY: Has the witness a copy of his statement? He does.

19 Yes.

20 Repeat the question, if you would, Mr. Milosevic.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Well, in paragraph 3, you say that you could feel things were

23 changing, however, there was nothing particular happening in Saborsko.

24 And that's what you say. I have your statement in front of me. It reads

25 as follows: "We could feel things were changing. However, there was

Page 23692

1 nothing particularly happening in Saborsko. We could all still move

2 around freely, and the Serbs still came to our village."

3 JUDGE MAY: What is the question?

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Well, the question is: How was the situation changing if nothing

6 was actually happening in Saborsko?

7 A. Mr. Milosevic, I was referring to 1990, because in 1990 you could

8 still travel.

9 Q. Very well, Mr. Vukovic. Now, is it true that in 1990, of the 800

10 inhabitants of Saborsko, there were only 15 Serbs, in fact?

11 A. Yes, that is correct.

12 Q. Well, that's why I wanted you to explain to me how you felt that

13 the situation was changing in Saborsko in which the Serbs represented just

14 a little over 1 per cent of the population? Or more exactly, if there

15 were 15 Serbs of 855 inhabitants, that's 1.8 per cent.

16 A. Mr. Milosevic, I'm not quite clear on what you're asking me.

17 JUDGE MAY: The question that he's asking is this: We're dealing

18 with 1990, in the village, and you say, "We could feel things were

19 changing," but you say nothing particular was happening in the village.

20 Now, the question that he's asking is in what way could you feel things

21 were changing?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, things were changing in other

23 parts of Croatia, but at that time in Saborsko, nothing had happened yet.

24 That's all I can say.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 23693

1 Q. In the next paragraph, paragraph 4, you say that with the Serbs in

2 Saborsko, there was never -- there were never any problems. There were no

3 problems. You say: "There were no problems with the Serbs in Saborsko."

4 That's how you put it in paragraph 4.

5 A. Mr. Milosevic, the three or four houses that were in Saborsko,

6 those people were with us up to the fall of Saborsko itself. They were

7 together with us. And we didn't have any problems with them, neither did

8 they have any problems with us. We were together during the war, and they

9 were my neighbours. I knew them.

10 Q. So you were together during the war.

11 A. Yes, until the fall of Saborsko on the 12th of November. They

12 lived in Saborsko. They lived together with all the rest of the

13 inhabitants of Saborsko.

14 Q. Well, that's why I'm not quite clear about your explanations as to

15 why you left your job, because you say the situation was changing, and the

16 situation changing in Saborsko, whereas in the place itself there were

17 just 15 Serbs living there who didn't make any problems for you.

18 A. Mr. Milosevic, you are mixing up Saborsko and Plitvice. They are

19 two different concepts. Saborsko is one place; Plitvice is another. What

20 are we talking about?

21 Q. All right. And when you spoke about the Plitvice Lakes, you said

22 that nothing specific happened there. So was it prejudice on your side

23 and a negative attitude towards the Serbs that prompted you or something

24 else? Because at Plitvice you said nothing specific happened, and in

25 Saborsko you lived together and, once again, there were no problems.

Page 23694

1 A. Mr. Milosevic, I don't wish to answer questions of that type from

2 you.

3 JUDGE MAY: No. You must -- look, I know he's asking the

4 questions, but you're giving evidence to the Court, so could you remember

5 that and don't be provoked by him. Just try and answer as best you can

6 any questions he asks.

7 Yes. I think you said earlier that there was -- that there was an

8 unpleasant atmosphere, that sort of thing, is that right, which made you

9 leave your job?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That was at Plitvice Lakes and

11 not in Saborsko.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I hope that neither of my

13 questions can be described as being provocative. I'm just trying to

14 establish what it was.

15 JUDGE MAY: If they had been, you would have been stopped, but it

16 may be the witness felt provoked. Yes. Let's go on.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Well, Mr. Vukovic, also in paragraph 4 you say that the Serbs

19 stopped coming to Saborsko after the May referendum in 1990; is that

20 right?

21 A. Just a moment, please, Mr. Milosevic. Where did you read that

22 from?

23 JUDGE KWON: Paragraph 4, in the middle.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. The sentence reads: "We noticed that a number of the Serbs from

Page 23695

1 other villages did not come to Saborsko any longer after the referendum in

2 May 1990."

3 A. Yes, that is correct. Some Serbs, a certain number of Serbs, not

4 all of them. Yes, that is right.

5 Q. And is it true that the question of the referendum was the

6 independence of Croatia, wasn't it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And the referendum had been organised by the HDZ; is that right?

9 A. I think so, yes. There was the HDZ at that time.

10 Q. And do you remember, as you were a policeman and you knew,

11 therefore -- you were familiar with the basic elements of the system, is

12 it also true that the programme of the HDZ, according to its

13 constitutional provisions, envisaged Croatia as a state of the Croats,

14 depriving the Serbs of constituent rights?

15 A. Mr. Milosevic, that is not true.

16 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to enter into a political debate now.

17 We can address that elsewhere.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Is it strange, then, that the Serbs didn't wish to come to

21 Saborsko any longer?

22 A. The Serbs did come to Saborsko, Mr. Milosevic. Don't put all the

23 Serbs in one group.

24 Q. I'm not. I'm just referring to what you say.

25 A. I was saying that some Serbs didn't come.

Page 23696

1 Q. Very well, Mr. Vukovic. I was just quoting from your statement,

2 but I don't wish to insist on that point any further.

3 In paragraph 6 in your statement, you say that on the 1st of

4 April, 1991, you were moved from the Ogulin SUP to Saborsko; is that

5 right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. I assume that you were transferred by the MUP of Croatia that you

8 were employed in. Is that right?

9 A. Yes, it is.

10 Q. You also go on to say that some policemen from Plasko that same

11 month moved from Saborsko as well. Is that what you said?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Were they also Croats?

14 A. In the MUP of Croatia, both Croats and Serbs were employed,

15 Mr. Milosevic. In the Plaski police station, there were Croats and Serbs

16 working.

17 Q. I'm asking you about those who were transferred to Saborsko.

18 A. Yes, they were Croats, because they were no longer welcome over

19 there. As you yourself know, the revolts had already started.

20 Q. The Croats from Plasko were transferred to Saborsko, the

21 policemen.

22 A. Yes, they were transferred there.

23 Q. Did they make such a request to be transferred to this other place

24 or was this a decision taken by superior bodies?

25 A. No. Some Serbs in Plasko did not consider them to be welcome.

Page 23697

1 Q. Was this the same kind of situation as you had concluded that you

2 were not welcome at Plitvice?

3 A. No. A rally, protests were being held. The Republic of Serbian

4 Krajina was already slowly coming into being.

5 Q. Were there any Serb policemen in Saborsko?

6 A. Yes. We collaborated in Saborsko and in Plaski with policemen of

7 the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia.

8 Q. Tell me, what happened to the Serb policemen who, like you, no

9 longer wanted to work with Croat policemen?

10 A. Serb policemen did work with Croat policemen.

11 Q. I'm not asking you about those who did work. I'm asking you about

12 those who did not wish to work with Croat policemen. Did the Croatian MUP

13 transfer them to predominantly Serb villages or were they fired?

14 A. No.

15 Q. So no one transferred them?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Do you know that the Serbs from Croatia, copying the example of

18 the Croats, also held a referendum at which they declared themselves in

19 favour of remaining in Yugoslavia?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Do you know that before the new constitution the Serbs were a

22 constituent nation, and being that, they were entitled to a referendum?

23 A. No. Of course the Serbs are a constituent people in the Republic

24 of Croatia.

25 Q. But that right was abolished with the new constitution.

Page 23698












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13 English transcripts.













Page 23699

1 A. That is not true.

2 Q. Very well. But tell me, please, in paragraph 7 of your statement,

3 you say that in Saborsko, up until the 4th of August, 1991, nothing

4 happened. But you knew that people were getting killed in other villages

5 in Croatia. That's what you said.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Who were the conflicting parties?

8 A. The rebellious Serbs that did not wish to recognise the Republic

9 of Croatia and that wanted to form the Republic of Serbian Krajina and

10 which they were already forming.

11 Q. So you mean among them only or between them and somebody else?

12 A. Mr. Milosevic --

13 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to debate these political issues, not

14 with this witness.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I asked the witness, Mr. May, in

16 view of what he said in his statement in paragraph 7, that he knew that

17 people were getting killed in other villages. So I asked him, since he

18 speaks about that, who was fighting who, what kind of conflicts were going

19 on, whether he knew anything about that, because that's what he mentions

20 in his statement.

21 JUDGE MAY: He mentioned that he heard about people being killed.

22 Now, let's move on.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Had you heard of cases of killed Serbs?

25 A. No.

Page 23700

1 Q. Very well. In that same paragraph, you say that at 6:00 a.m. on

2 the 5th of August 1991, the first mortar rounds were fired at Saborsko,

3 and this attack lasted until 10.00. Is that right?

4 A. Yes. I was there at the time.

5 Q. And already in the next sentence you say that prior to this attack

6 another 20 police officers had come to Saborsko from Duga Rese as some

7 sort of reinforcement. Is that right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Tell me, what came first, the attack on Saborsko or the arrival of

10 these additional policemen?

11 A. Mr. Milosevic, the attack had been envisaged. We received

12 anonymous information by phone to take care because we were surrounded

13 because our roads were blocked.

14 Q. Is Saborsko on a road between Knin and Slunj? Is it one of the

15 major communication routes in that area?

16 A. It is not between Knin and Slunj.

17 Q. Well, where is it, then?

18 A. It is between Plasko, Plitvice, and Korenica. Slunj is on the

19 other side.

20 Q. Very well. So is Saborsko on this main road, as you say?

21 A. Saborsko is on the road between Plitvice and Plasko.

22 Q. So traffic had been interrupted there?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Tell me, please, as I asked you a question about these police

25 reinforcements, had they come before that attack on Saborsko?

Page 23701

1 A. Mr. Milosevic, even before, there had been provocations, before

2 the shells started falling.

3 Q. Does that mean that they arrived before the attack?

4 A. Yes, they did.

5 Q. And the shelling on the 5th of August went on for all of four

6 hours. That's what you stated, isn't it?

7 A. Yes, in the morning.

8 Q. However, there were no casualties, nor was a single house damaged.

9 Is that what you've said?

10 A. Mr. Milosevic, 80 shells fell on Saborsko of 82 millimetre

11 calibre.

12 Q. Yes. But did you say that no damage was caused to buildings?

13 A. Up until 10.00, no.

14 Q. What were the attackers on Saborsko targeting then?

15 A. I don't know. Ask them. I suppose they didn't have a proper

16 orientation. But they did in the evening.

17 Q. A moment ago you said that 80 shells fell.

18 A. Yes, that's right.

19 Q. In Saborsko, on the 5th of August, 1991, were there any conflicts,

20 an exchange of fire, or did the Serbs simply shell the place with mortar

21 fire?

22 A. Without any cause, they simply shelled the village, and the locals

23 of Licka Jesenica protested against this. We have evidence of that now.

24 Q. Since the people of Licka Jesenica protested, I'm asking you

25 whether there was an exchange of fire between your forces and the Serbs

Page 23702

1 that were shelling Saborsko.

2 A. No. Only occasionally they would use sniper fire, but people were

3 working in the fields, and they would use snipers. But on the 5th of

4 August, there was an open attack.

5 Q. I'm asking you about that attack. So when that conflict broke

6 out, was there an exchange of fire between both sides?

7 A. What did we have to respond with, rifles? We didn't have any

8 mortars.

9 Q. So you didn't fire.

10 A. What with?

11 Q. But you were armed. There were even reinforcements that had

12 arrived, as we have established.

13 A. Mr. Milosevic, a policeman doesn't have a mortar, a cannon, a

14 tank. A policeman has his personal weapons; a rifle and a pistol. They

15 didn't come to wage war up there, they came to preserve public law and

16 order and the state of security. Who knew that there would be an open

17 attack on the 5th of August?

18 JUDGE MAY: Is the short answer, though, that there was no fire

19 back from the village?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there wasn't.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Did the Serbs take control of Saborsko then?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Why didn't they?

25 A. I don't know. They were shelling from a distance of 2 or 3

Page 23703

1 kilometres. They didn't come with the infantry.

2 Q. Very well. Is it true, Mr. Vukovic, that in the immediate

3 vicinity of Saborsko, in Licka Jesenica, there was a large ammunition

4 depot holding also fuel of the JNA? I assume, as a policeman, you must

5 have known that.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Is it true that Croatian armed units were trying for several

8 months to take control of this depot and take over large quantities of

9 ammunition, explosives, and fuel?

10 A. And what could they do that with?

11 Q. I'm just asking you whether that is true, that Croatian armed

12 formations had for several months been trying to take control of this

13 warehouse. Is that true or not?

14 A. It is not true.

15 Q. Very well. And is it true that units of the JNA had tried to

16 approach the warehouse from the direction of Saborsko and the soldiers in

17 it, in the warehouse, and thereby to deblock that warehouse, because there

18 were very few soldiers there guarding the warehouse, virtually just a

19 group of soldiers, guards guarding the warehouse.

20 A. And who had blocked the warehouse?

21 Q. According to information that I have, Mr. Vukovic, the warehouse

22 had been blocked by armed Croatian forces, and they were trying to deblock

23 this small group of soldiers.

24 My question to you is whether you know that and whether that is

25 true. You can just say yes or no. If you feel it's not true, say so and

Page 23704

1 we can move on, because there's information about that.

2 A. Mr. Milosevic, that has nothing to do with reality, what you're

3 saying, Mr. Milosevic.

4 Q. So it's not true.

5 JUDGE MAY: That's what he said.

6 But you said the JNA had this depot. Were the JNA guarding it?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We don't know about that. That was

8 under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Srpska Krajina already. We had

9 no idea about that. It was not under our control. It was held by the

10 Martic men and the JNA. It was not under our control at all.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Is it true that on the 23rd of September, 1991, a hundred or so

13 men from Saborsko and the environs returned wearing uniforms of the

14 National Guards Corps so as to prevent attempts by the JNA to deblock the

15 warehouse?

16 A. Mr. Milosevic, I don't know what you're talking about.

17 Q. Mr. Vukovic, I understand.

18 A. Your question has -- has nothing to do with anything.

19 Q. All right. I asked you whether it was true that about a hundred

20 men returned. As you say this has nothing to do with anything, have a

21 look at paragraph 9, if you would, and it says: "On the 23rd of

22 September, a group of 100 men who had lived in Saborsko, natives of

23 Saborsko, came back to the village to help defend it. These men wore the

24 uniforms of a reserve police officer. Later on, this group of men was

25 called the Independent Company of Saborsko. This was much needed help as

Page 23705

1 the police were worn out. Once they arrived, they were divided into

2 groups," and so on and so forth.

3 So is it true that this particular unit, the one that came - and

4 according to you, I know nothing about anything - I'm quoting from your

5 statement where it says that that unit was later on called the Independent

6 Company of Saborsko. That's what you wrote yourself in your statement.

7 A. Mr. Milosevic, as of the 5th of August to the 23rd of September,

8 these policemen from Duga Rese that you mentioned left the same day,

9 because you can't fight, you couldn't find up there. And we stayed alone.

10 And in Saborsko, there was daily 100 to 200 shells being thrown on it up

11 until the 23rd of September. And we asked for aid and assistance because

12 we were left on our own, and they kept shelling. The 122-millimetre

13 shells were used, as far as I know. And later on, God knows what else was

14 used. That's where the problem lies, Mr. Milosevic.

15 Q. Yes. But you didn't explain this to me. You said they came and

16 left and then you later on said that that particular group was -- came to

17 be known as the Independent Company of Saborsko. Later on. That means

18 later on it was proclaimed to be the Independent Company of Saborsko.

19 A. That group arrived. From the reserve police force of Zagreb.

20 They were locals, local people who had come back to defend the village of

21 Saborsko, because there were so many shells falling on it from one day to

22 the next, from one night to the next; that's where the problem lay.

23 Q. Mr. Vukovic, I'm just trying to establish the facts on the basis

24 of what you yourself say in your statement.

25 JUDGE MAY: You've got the statement. Now, let's move on.

Page 23706

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Very well. Mr. Vukovic, is it true that among the ranks of the

3 Croatian forces there were a number of mercenaries fighting together with

4 them in this attempt at the depot at Licka Jesenica?

5 A. I really don't know what you're talking about. Who jeopardised

6 those reserves? It was the JNA and the Martic men who were together, and

7 until the 5th of August it passed through Saborsko's buffer zone. And

8 what's the buffer zone? We know now what they did; they collaborated.

9 There was no difference between the so-called Martic men and the JNA. Had

10 there not been the JNA, there wouldn't have been any shelling of Saborsko

11 either. Where would they have shelled it from? You mean the Martic men

12 made grenades and shells overnight and the tanks and the armoured APC

13 things they had?

14 Q. Well, as far as I know, there was a large depot of the JNA in

15 Licka Jesenica, no Martic police as you refer to it.

16 JUDGE MAY: He's given -- just a moment. He's just given his

17 evidence, and there's no use arguing with him about it, so let's move on.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. All right, Mr. Vukovic. In paragraph 10, you claim that on the

20 29th of September, 1991, you and two other colleagues of yours were

21 captured by members of -- these people that you've referred to as Martic's

22 Police or Martic's militia.

23 A. Right. Yes.

24 Q. That was in fact the police force of Krajina; right?

25 A. It wasn't the police, it was the militia. Milicija. The police

Page 23707

1 was what existed before the Republika Srpska Krajina, as it was called,

2 was established.

3 Q. So there was a police in Croatia and a police in the Republic of

4 Srpska Krajina. It was no police force of Martic's. Not his personal

5 police force, it was the police force of the Republika Srpska Krajina.

6 Isn't that right, Mr. Vukovic?

7 A. I had a chance to see them when I was captured. I saw them

8 myself.

9 Q. All right, Mr. Vukovic. Now, tell me why you were captured. What

10 was the reason?

11 A. I could ask you that, why I was captured, why I was arrested. I

12 don't know.

13 Q. Well, at the time you were arrested, were you wearing a uniform

14 and the others who were with you too and arrested with you? You say that

15 two other colleagues of yours were also taken captive on that occasion.

16 Were you wearing uniforms or civilian clothing?

17 A. We were wearing uniforms of the Croatian police.

18 Q. And what weapons did you have on you?

19 A. We had short-barrelled weapons and long-barrelled weapons.

20 Q. So you were armed and in uniform.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. All right. Fine. And what did you have in your car as you

23 weren't driving an official vehicle?

24 A. At that time, we didn't -- we couldn't drive an official vehicle.

25 Why? Because the policemen used -- in official cars were targets of

Page 23708

1 attacks. So we avoided using the official cars. I went to fetch food,

2 and we avoided using official vehicles at all because there was shooting

3 coming at us from all sides when people saw a police vehicle. We were in

4 an encirclement.

5 Q. All right. And was anybody killed when there was this shooting

6 from all sides, as you say?

7 A. Who wasn't killed is more to the point.

8 Q. Well, give me a name. Did you see anybody killed when you were

9 shot at from all sides?

10 A. Well, I wasn't shot at. I didn't offer any resistance when they

11 were capturing me.

12 Q. Well, in the car, apart from the fact that you say that you had

13 short and long-barrelled weapons, did you have any explosive devices at

14 all?

15 A. What are you talking about, Mr. Milosevic?

16 Q. I'm just asking you. I'm asking you a short and clear question,

17 nothing more than that.

18 A. We only had personal weapons on us.

19 Q. Automatic weapons and pistols?

20 A. An automatic rifle and a pistol, that's all, because we were

21 moving towards the military training ground, and we were on -- in an

22 encirclement. It was the Tobolic JNA training ground that was in the

23 vicinity.

24 Q. Well, I'm asking you whether anybody ever arrested you from the

25 JNA.

Page 23709

1 A. Well, the JNA and the Martic men, it's the same thing. The ones

2 that captured me were wearing JNA soldiers. But whether they were

3 JNA/Martic, it's all the same to me.

4 Q. Well, the fact that it's all the same to you, let's leave that to

5 one side. But you were arrested by the police of Krajina, not the JNA?

6 A. The six or seven of them were wearing JNA uniforms. Now, who they

7 were, was he a JNA person or a Martic man, I don't know. In Plaski, I saw

8 that that was all the same in Plaski when they arrested me. There was no

9 difference. They were sleeping together, drinking together, walking

10 around together. We all knew that. I know the people from Plaski by

11 sight. One of them would wear a JNA uniform, the other would wear a

12 camouflage uniform. Where's the difference? I don't see it. Both of

13 them are camouflage uniforms and I'm a Martic man and he's a JNA man.

14 What does that mean? Explain it to me. They were there together.

15 Q. Well, I understood from your statement that you were arrested by

16 the police of Krajina.

17 A. That's how they introduced themselves, but it was the JNA uniform

18 that they were wearing. This man was wearing a JNA uniform.

19 Q. All right. A JNA uniform was something that practically all the

20 territorials wore and had, not only in Croatia but throughout Yugoslavia;

21 isn't that right, Mr. Vukovic?

22 A. I don't know about that.

23 Q. All right. Now, in paragraph 11, you say that when you were

24 exchanged for JNA soldiers and officers, that you learnt that 10 of your

25 colleagues had been killed in Saborsko, that ten of your policemen were

Page 23710












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13 English transcripts.













Page 23711

1 killed in Saborsko. Is that right?

2 A. I got to know about that after I had been captured and released.

3 Q. And were they killed in conflicts with members of the JNA who held

4 the blockade or were they killed in a clash with the police of Krajina?

5 How were they killed?

6 A. I don't know between which parties the clash took place. Now, who

7 hit Saborsko, planes, mortars, the JNA, I keep repeating the same thing:

8 The JNA and Martic's men, it's the same thing. Who armed the Serbs in

9 Plaski? And people talk about this quite openly now. So what is it that

10 you're talking about? And time has denied what you're saying. Had

11 there not been the JNA, there wouldn't have been the Republika Srpska

12 Krajina. People talk about that quite openly.

13 Q. All right, Mr. Vukovic.

14 A. Today, people who live in the area refute what you say.

15 Q. I'm just asking you. I'm asking you questions normally.

16 A. You're asking illogical questions. Well, times now have shown you

17 to be wrong. The people are there. They were tricked. They recognise

18 this themselves.

19 Q. I'm asking you questions exclusively on the basis of what you say

20 in your statement.

21 JUDGE MAY: I think we've had sufficient of this argument. Now,

22 have you got anything more you want to ask him about the statement, in

23 particular the last paragraph about the exhumations? If you challenge any

24 of that, you should ask questions about it.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do understand that, Mr. May, and

Page 23712

1 that is precisely what I'm doing. And my questions -- it's not my

2 questions that are making the witness nervous, it's something else,

3 obviously.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Now, I can see in paragraph 12 of your statement that you took an

6 active part in Operation Storm; is that right?

7 A. Actively. What do you mean? We were the police force with the

8 others. It was the Croatian army that came first. They were the

9 forefront of the forces in the operation. We came second. The police was

10 the force there to see to law and order and ensure that people were safe

11 and secure.

12 Q. All right. And you returned to Saborsko after that, where your

13 task, as you yourself say, was to prevent retaliation and revenge actions,

14 as you put it in your statement.

15 A. Yes, and we managed to do that. After the evil and tragedy, this

16 was not followed by another tragedy, and that is a good thing. And that

17 is why people can live in the area now.

18 Q. And tell me how many Serbs of those 15 have stayed on in

19 Saborsko.

20 A. Well, the Serbs stayed in Saborsko, and they're still living there

21 today. They returned, and they stayed on after 1991. They just went to

22 Licka Jesenica because they didn't want to continue living without us

23 Croats, those three households, Serb households.

24 Q. All right. When you say that you did not wish to allow any

25 actions of retaliation and revenge to take place, do you have in mind when

Page 23713

1 you say that just the situation in Saborsko where there were no Serbs or

2 do you mean the attacks on the columns of Serb refugees during the exodus

3 that took place?

4 JUDGE MAY: Now, wait a moment. The witness can give evidence

5 about what he saw and did, and he's told you. Now, are you suggesting

6 that he attacked the column of refugees? If so, you must put it.

7 Otherwise, it's not a proper question for him to answer.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I'll ask Mr. Vukovic.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Did you take part in the attacks on the columns of Serb refugees

11 during that exodus from Krajina?

12 A. No. And in actual fact, there were no attacks of that kind. I

13 don't know about them. In the area where I was and where we worked, there

14 were no such attacks. As to other attacks, I don't know about them. I

15 can't talk about things I don't know.

16 Q. All right, Mr. Vukovic, fine. In the last paragraph of your

17 statement, you speak about the exhumations that were carried out in the

18 Saborsko area; right? Now, tell me, how many bodies were uncovered and

19 exhumed later on?

20 A. On the 18th of October, 1995, the exhumation process began, and at

21 the time, 35 bodies were found after several days of exhumation. 20

22 something and then individual bodies, not all together. Some of them were

23 in the mass gravesites, others had been burnt in houses, others were in

24 front of houses, depending on where they met their end and where the

25 people were buried from 1991.

Page 23714

1 Q. All right. You claim that in the houses you found the skeletons

2 of ten persons; right?

3 A. Yes, roughly, in the houses that had been burnt down, in the

4 hamlet of Brdjine and Saborsko and so on. They were the bodily remains of

5 the humans.

6 Q. And that was about four years after the events that you testified

7 about, right?

8 A. Yes, that's right.

9 Q. Do you know anything at all about the circumstances under which

10 these people lost their lives? Were they caught in their houses? Did

11 they -- were they killed by the shells that were falling all around, in

12 the fighting that took place in Saborsko at the time? Do you know

13 anything about the circumstances of their deaths?

14 A. I don't know what I didn't see, because I was still in captivity.

15 I had been captured. Now, how the people lost their lives is quite

16 evident; they were killed in their houses and set fire to. That can be

17 seen on the thresholds and the hearths. Now, how they were killed I can't

18 say, but yes, there are a hundred witnesses to say how these people were

19 killed. I don't know. Well, they were killed by the JNA and Martic's

20 men, planes, tanks, mortars, the fact that their villages were set fire

21 to, sick, they were ill. That's what I know about.

22 Q. That's what I'm asking you about, what you know. So you don't

23 actually know how those people lost their lives. You are enumerating and

24 giving us multiple options, the variations; the tanks, the mortars,

25 artillery fire, you've listed all that, attacks and so on.

Page 23715

1 JUDGE MAY: The witness has said he doesn't know, so no point

2 going on about it.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. All right. Now, have you an answer at all to the question of who

5 killed those people, the bodies of which you found in the villages?

6 A. There are hundreds of witnesses, Mr. Milosevic, to tell you how

7 those people lost their lives. I don't want to talk about it because I

8 wasn't there. But what was talked about later on, that's what we heard

9 about so that's what I heard about but don't ask me about things I didn't

10 actually witness, it's just what I learnt later on.

11 Q. All right. So you, Mr. Vukovic, personally did not see a single

12 person killed, any one of these people, it was just what you learnt of --

13 JUDGE MAY: He has never said that he saw anybody killed. He's

14 made the point that he doesn't know himself how they were killed, although

15 he heard. Now, there's no point going on further about that.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't think there's any

17 point going on further about that either, Mr. May, so I wasn't ask any

18 more questions about that. Thank you. No more questions at all.

19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I

20 should like to ask Your Honours to pay attention to paragraph 7, the last

21 few sentences of that paragraph, because I would like to ask the witness

22 to clarify a few points regarding those few sentences.

23 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:

24 Q. [Interpretation] In your statement, you said that the attack on

25 Saborsko took place on the 5th of August, 1991. Is that right?

Page 23716

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But here at the end of that second paragraph of your statement, in

3 the B/C/S version, you said as follows: "In the evening of the 5th of

4 August, policemen from Duga Rese left Saborsko, and with them old people,

5 women, and children." Is that right, that the village was left by the

6 elderly women and children that evening of the 5th?

7 A. Yes, that is true, but not all of them.

8 Q. You didn't say that they were not all of them, but never mind.

9 Then you said: "After that, the village was shelled. It would start in

10 the morning and then start again in the evening." Is that right? And

11 this went on for many days, virtually every day.

12 A. Yes, that's right.

13 Q. And finally, you said more houses were damaged, but up until then,

14 no one had been killed or wounded. Is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Is it true that after the daily shelling in which there were no

17 casualties, as you've said, on the 29th of September, 1991, you were

18 arrested.

19 A. Correct.

20 Q. And you know nothing about what happened in Saborsko after that?

21 A. I don't know, only there was a great deal of damage; the church

22 and everything else.

23 Q. I'm asking you about the period up until you were there, that is

24 the 29th of September. So you don't know that anyone was killed by the

25 shelling in the village?

Page 23717

1 A. No, I don't know anything about that.

2 MR. WHITING: Just a few questions, Your Honour.

3 Re-examined by Mr. Whiting:

4 Q. Mr. Vukovic, you were asked some questions about JNA weapons and

5 fuel depot. Can you tell us where, to your knowledge, that was located?

6 A. This depot is located at the railway station of Licka Jesenica.

7 Q. Is that a Serb area -- or, I'm sorry, was it a Serb area at the

8 time you were there in 1991?

9 A. Yes. It was an area that was in those days under the control of

10 the so-called Republic of Srpska Krajina.

11 Q. Just to clarify: In 1991 when you were in Saborsko, was that

12 depot under attack by the Croats?

13 A. No. They didn't have anything to attack with.

14 Q. Was it blocked by Croatian forces so that the Serbs had no access?

15 A. That is not true at all.

16 Q. It was not blocked?

17 A. No.

18 Q. You were asked several questions about certain political events

19 that were occurring in Croatia. Did you interest yourself in those events

20 at the time?

21 A. Not the events. I was just informed about them, but I didn't have

22 much interest in them.

23 Q. You were asked some questions about the attack on Saborsko that

24 began on August 5th of 1991. Preceding that attack, were any ultimatums

25 or demands made by the Serb forces?

Page 23718

1 A. No. There weren't any demands or ultimatums. They just blocked

2 the road in Plasko, the road between Licka Jesenica and Plaski.

3 Q. At the time of your arrest on September 29th of 1991, are you

4 aware of any demands or ultimatums that were made?

5 A. There weren't any demands or ultimatums made. They were closing

6 themselves in, and they were forming the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Even

7 if somebody wanted to communicate with them, they didn't want to

8 communicate.

9 Q. Sir, on the 5th of August of 1991, how many men were defending

10 Saborsko, approximately?

11 A. Well, about 50 or 60. All in all, about 50 policemen. About 50

12 policemen on the 5th of August; those from Duga Rese and those of us from

13 Saborsko. Fifty or 60 policemen, I don't remember exactly.

14 Q. And on the 6th of August you said that the policemen from Duga

15 Rese left.

16 A. That's right, in the evening.

17 Q. When the hundred men came on September 23rd of 1991, did these men

18 offer an effective defence for Saborsko?

19 A. No. I believe they didn't, because it was not possible, in view

20 of the force used against them. This could be seen by the final

21 occupation of Saborsko.

22 Q. Mr. Vukovic, when you were arrested on September 29th, can you

23 tell the court exactly what you were doing at the time you were arrested.

24 A. I don't understand the question. What I was doing just then or

25 later on while I was captured?

Page 23719

1 Q. Let me try to clarify. You said that you were driving in a car

2 with two other men. Where were you going or where were you coming from?

3 A. We were going to the petrol station for fuel in my own personal

4 vehicle, myself and two other colleagues of mine, through a forested area.

5 Q. And were you travelling from Rakovica to Saborsko?

6 A. That's right, Rakovica-Saborsko. We were using the road through

7 the woods.

8 Q. When you were arrested, did you offer any resistance?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Mr. Vukovic, have Serbs returned to your area?

11 A. Most of them, yes.

12 Q. Do you have any trouble getting along with those Serbs?

13 A. After all the evil that happened, we are satisfied. We do very

14 well. We communicate, we talk amongst ourselves, we have coffee together,

15 and we are leading our normal lives.

16 MR. WHITING: No further questions, Your Honour.

17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Vukovic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you

18 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are now free to

19 go.

20 JUDGE KWON: And if I may add this to the witness, whether -- I'm

21 not sure whether this has any significance to the witness. Mr. Vukovic,

22 you are the 200th witness since this trial began.

23 [The witness withdrew]

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, while the witness is being

25 taken away and the next witness being brought, I would like to tender now

Page 23720

1 four more fully 92 bis witness statements, and we have prepared the

2 packages. The first --

3 JUDGE MAY: The registry are going to have to deal with the next

4 protected witness, so we'll wait a moment while that's done.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Maybe -- I have another, different

6 administrative matter that I would like to address.


8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And that relates to the testimony of the

9 witness B-130, who is scheduled for next week. We just want to announce

10 that the estimate of time used for this witness for the

11 examination-in-chief is now reduced to half an hour. It would only be

12 half an hour examination-in-chief. And we have prepared a summary of the

13 points that will be raised with this witness, so that everybody is

14 informed.

15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Now, who is the next witness?

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Next -- this relates to a witness next week.

17 JUDGE MAY: I know. I'm sorry, I've moved on from there. The

18 next witness, please.


20 JUDGE MAY: 1230, yes. We now have the package.

21 JUDGE KWON: And B-130, does he appear on the witness list we were

22 given?

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I assume so, yes.

24 JUDGE KWON: Apparently no.

25 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you'd like to look at that. It doesn't appear

Page 23721

1 on the list which we have. There's a 150, but there is no 130. It may be

2 that that's a matter you can check out.

3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. I just got this note to announce that,

4 so Ms. Dicklich will have to check that.

5 JUDGE MAY: I think that's right. I think it's either a mistake

6 or it's 150. We'll get that checked out. If the witness is ready, we'll

7 have the witness. We'll deal with the 92 bis witnesses after this one.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, if this is not a protected

9 witness, could I know who B-130 is? I don't have the list.

10 JUDGE MAY: I know. We're trying to find that out. There's

11 clearly been some mistake. We'll get it clarified by the end of the day.

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I can already clarify the

13 matter. It's -- this witness is listed with his name on the list and not

14 with his number. It's the witness Edhem Pasic, and the number is actually

15 B-130. It's Edhem Pasic.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we have that on the list, on second page.


18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a question, please. This

19 witness, is he 1230? Is he a protected witness?

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, he is.

21 MR. WHITING: Your Honours, if I could just clarify with one

22 aspect of the protection here. This witness, as we've said in our

23 statement, is not concerned about his information being known by his

24 story, so we do not need to go into closed session for portions of it.

25 It's just his name and face.

Page 23722












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13 English transcripts.













Page 23723

1 [The witness entered court]

2 JUDGE MAY: If would you take the -- if you would take the

3 declaration.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

6 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.


9 [Witness answered through interpreter]

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Whiting.

11 Examined by Mr. Whiting:

12 Q. Sir, you've been granted certain protective measures in this case

13 for these proceedings, so you will be referred to by your number C-1230.

14 I'd like to ask that the pseudonym sheet be placed in front of the

15 witness.

16 Sir, could you look at the name that is on that sheet and please

17 answer yes or no whether that is your name on the document.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Sir, on June 18th of this year, did you have occasion to go over

20 the accuracy of your witness statement in the presence of an officer of

21 the court and attest to its accuracy and did you sign a declaration

22 attesting to its accuracy?

23 A. Yes.

24 MR. WHITING: Your Honours, I would offer the statement of C-1230

25 into evidence under seal pursuant to Rule 92 bis. The Prosecution has

Page 23724

1 redacted a copy which would be available for the public.


3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecution Exhibit 480.

4 MR. WHITING: I would like to just read a brief summary of the

5 statement. Again, I would refer the Court, for purposes of this witness,

6 to page 19 of the atlas, the same area as with the previous witness, the

7 lower right-hand corner, the grid is D-E 2-3.

8 The witness is a Croat who was 16 years old at the time of the

9 events. He lived in Poljanak in 1991. In August of 1991, three Croats

10 from the area travelling to Saborsko were ambushed and killed. The

11 villagers then decided to form a village guard, which was composed of 25

12 to 30 men, some armed with hunting rifles.

13 In September of 1991 at an intersection on the road from Vukovici

14 to Poljanak, another two persons were killed. Also in September of 1991,

15 the witness's mother and his sister were captured near Plitvice. His

16 sister spent a month in detention.

17 On the 8th of October, 1991, Vukovici, which is located right next

18 to Poljanak, was shelled by the JNA. The soldiers burned the family house

19 of the witness and when the witness returned, he found that Toma Vukovic

20 had been killed in front of his house and that Kata Matovina was wounded

21 in the upper part of her leg. She had tried to run from the village but

22 was shot. She was 80 to 90 years old, and she later died from her

23 injuries.

24 On the 22nd of October, 1991, Serb soldiers from Plitvice came to

25 Poljanak and arrested three or four civilians and hanged Milan and Ivica

Page 23725

1 Loncar because somebody had taken down a Serbian flag. The sporadic

2 shelling of Poljanak continued.

3 On November 6th of 1991, the witness was with eight other

4 villagers, including his father and some relatives, in a house in

5 Vukovici. He saw somebody running under the window and he went outside

6 and found a group of Serb soldiers standing in the yard, pointing their

7 rifles at him. They yelled at everyone inside the house and ordered them

8 to come out. Everyone obeyed except for one man who was too sick to come

9 out. The Serb soldiers beat and interrogated the men and then lined them

10 up in front of an adjacent house, shot and killed all of them - six men

11 and two women - except for the witness.

12 When the shooting started, the witness jumped over a cellar and

13 mingled amongst the soldiers. One of the soldiers who was called Rambo

14 and who was responsible for killing the men and women said, "No Ustasha

15 should stay alive." However, two other soldiers convinced this Rambo not

16 to kill the witness. Rambo then went to the house and emptied his weapon

17 into the body of the man who had stayed inside the house.

18 When the massacre occurred, 90 to 100 soldiers were in the hamlet.

19 They wore green camouflage uniforms and the commanders had JNA caps with

20 the Red Star. Some of the soldiers wore darker green uniforms than the

21 other soldiers and told the witness that they were part of a JNA special

22 unit from Nis and that they were professional soldiers. They burned

23 everything in the village.

24 The Serb soldiers then went to Poljanak. On the way, they made

25 the witness walk some 20 to 30 metres ahead of the group, apparently

Page 23726

1 because they thought the road might be mined.

2 When they arrived in Poljanak, soldiers forced people who were in

3 the houses to come out, and they separated out the men from the women,

4 lined them up, and killed them.

5 When the witness's mother asked why the Serb soldiers had killed

6 her husband and other men, the soldiers said it was because they were

7 Ustasha. Then the witness and the women remaining in the village were

8 told to leave the village in five seconds or they would be killed.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

10 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

11 Q. [Interpretation] Witness 1230, your statement about the events of

12 the 7th of November, 1991, you gave to the investigators on the 27th and

13 the 28th of February, 2001. So the statement that we have officially in

14 front of us that you gave to the investigators was given ten years after

15 the events; is that right? I didn't hear your answer.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Thank you. However, prior to that statement, you gave several

18 statements about the same event to different institutions. Is that right,

19 Mr. 1230?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Do you recollect that one of those statements was given by you at

22 the Medical Centre for Human Rights in Zagreb on the 16th of April, 1993,

23 that is, less than three years after the events. You don't remember that?

24 A. No.

25 Q. I should like to place that statement in front of you.

Page 23727

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I received it from --

2 JUDGE MAY: Have you got a copy of this for the witness? If

3 you've got copies for us, so much the better, but let the witness have it

4 first.

5 Just have a look at that, if you would.

6 You've had a chance of seeing that, Witness C-1230. Now you've

7 seen it, do you recollect making the statement or not?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in Karlovac.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Perhaps we can have a copy of it after the

10 adjournment.

11 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Gentlemen, I would suggest to you,

13 if you have time during the break, in order for us to save time, for you

14 to familiarise yourselves with this statement which was not taken in

15 Karlovac but in Zagreb, as is written here. But then also there's another

16 statement given to the police administration in Karlovac and the police

17 station in Slunj on the 21st of June, 1995, and there is another that says

18 that it was given on the 15th of September, 1995.

19 The second one I am referring to has your number 01528009, and the

20 third one 01528011.

21 As for the first statement, it is given in two variants that are

22 quite identical, with some very minor differences of a formal nature. In

23 one variant -- I'm talking about the first one given to the Medical Centre

24 for Human Rights in Zagreb. It was given under number 00104163, your ERN

25 number, 00104163. And all it says, in English is Medical Centre for Human

Page 23728

1 Rights Zagreb. The rest of the statement is in Serbo-Croatian. And an

2 identical one, instead of the heading Medical Centre for Human Rights has

3 the stamp of the Medical Centre for Human Rights Zagreb and a torch with

4 the Red Cross sign, and the difference in these two variants of the same

5 statement is that the one with the stamp also bears the name of the person

6 who took the statement. The date is the same, the contents quite

7 identical.

8 The first one which I say has the stamp, and the number is --

9 comes later judging by the number, it has a preamble before the statement

10 giving the name, the first and last name of the witness, his place of

11 birth, Poljanak, et cetera, his father's name and the rest, and then he's

12 giving the following statement, whereas in the other one there's just the

13 statement, but the text itself does not differ. But I believe it would be

14 useful for you to see both variants of this first statement and these two

15 other statements, because some questions will relate to these documents,

16 and I received all of them from the side opposite.

17 JUDGE MAY: Well, we're going to adjourn now. But the sensible

18 course may be this: That the witness should have a chance of reading

19 these statements during the adjournment if copies can be provided to him.

20 We don't have copies at the moment, Mr. Milosevic. They will be

21 found for us during the adjournment. I see nodding on that side.

22 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honours. We can provide copies to the

23 witness to be read during the adjournment.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, and if you could provide copies for us too --

25 MR. WHITING: Certainly, Your Honours.

Page 23729

1 JUDGE MAY: -- for after the adjournment.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was simply in the interests of

3 saving time that I have told you all these facts about the documents

4 before the break for you to be able to have them.

5 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will obtain them.

6 Witness C-1230, we're going to break now for 20 minutes. You will

7 be handed some statements which it's said that you made. Perhaps you

8 would like to read them during the adjournment, if you would, and then

9 there may be some questions about it afterwards.

10 Could you remember, apart from that, not to speak to anybody about

11 your evidence during the adjournment.

12 We will adjourn. Twenty minutes.

13 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.

14 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.

15 JUDGE MAY: We've now got, Mr. Milosevic, a package here of

16 statements which we will get into order. The first statement I think you

17 referred to was one which was given to the -- given to the Human Rights

18 Centre in the -- the Medical Centre for Human Rights in Zagreb, and then

19 there's also -- in fact, at the bottom it says, "Karlovac, 16th of April,

20 1993." Is that the first in point of time? It would appear that it is.

21 The next one we have is the Medical Centre for Human Rights. This

22 is the similar statement as it made the same day, two statements you

23 referred to earlier, but in roughly identical form. We have those two.

24 Then we have statements September -- no. I'm sorry. June 1995

25 and September 1995, both made to the police stations, or made to the

Page 23730

1 police, one in Karlovac, one in Slunj, I think.

2 Right. We have those. Witness C-1230, have you had a chance to

3 read those statements?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

5 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Now, we made our observations with respect to the first statement

9 given to the Medical Centre for Human Rights Zagreb, the 16th of April,

10 1993. So that's a little under two and a half years after the events

11 you're testifying about. I'm sure you'll remember that you also gave a

12 statement pertaining to this same event to the Ministry of the Interior of

13 the Republic of Croatia in the Karlovac police administration on the 21st

14 of June, 1995. And we have the number here for that document.

15 You say that you did have a chance to read through it, so that is

16 also your statement, is it? Is that right? It's the one with the

17 following number, their number, 5110550/4995.

18 JUDGE MAY: It may be that he won't have the same numbers. It's

19 the statement -- just a moment.

20 It's the statement to the police, 21st of June, 1995. Do you have

21 that one?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Fine. And finally, do you remember that with respect to that same

Page 23731

1 event, in this same institution, that is to say the police administration

2 of Karlovac, this time on the 15th of September, 1995, you gave another

3 statement, and the number is 51105103600/95. Take a look at that

4 statement as well and tell me if it is yours too.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. All right, Mr. 1230. Now, during the events that you're

7 testifying about -- that you testify about, in fact, in all your

8 statements, you were a minor. You were just 16 years of age; is that

9 right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. I can see from the information I received that on the 18th of

12 June, 2003, in fact, you had a chance of reading through your statement

13 again, the one you now gave, the most recent one, the official statement

14 given to the investigators; right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So the contents of your statement are very well known to you;

17 right? Because you read through it again, so you are completely informed

18 about it and we can see that from the text; right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now, would you please take a look at paragraph 17 of your

21 statement, the one you gave to the investigators, and would you please

22 read it, and then I'll ask you some questions about it.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. I asked the witness to read through paragraph 17. If not, I can

Page 23732

1 read it and he can follow it.

2 JUDGE MAY: He's had a chance to read it. What is it you want to

3 ask?

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. All right. Is it true that you claim here that in the hamlet

6 during the event that you describe, that there were between 90 and 100

7 soldiers present?

8 A. Yes, roughly.

9 Q. Is it also true that you said that those soldiers had green

10 camouflage uniforms on them?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is it also true that you said that those in command who issued

13 orders had the Tito Red Star caps?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Is it also true that among the soldiers you recognised a certain

16 man called Milos Cvijeticanin from Rastovaca?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is it also true and correct that you said that on the occasion you

19 recognised two commanders, one whose name was Simon and another one whose

20 name you don't know, but you did know that he was from Korenica?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now take a look at paragraph 12 of your statement, please, the one

23 you gave to the investigators. Is it true and correct that you said in it

24 - and I'm quoting - "All of a sudden, the soldiers started shooting from

25 all directions. I was on the far left side of the line of men and my

Page 23733

1 father was on the far right side. Those on the right side started falling

2 first, and I think that there was one person who was responsible for

3 shooting us." Is that what you say, and so on?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And is it also true and correct that in paragraph 13 of your

6 statement, you say as follows: "I was in shock when the man who killed my

7 family moved up to me and said, 'No Ustasha should be allowed to stay

8 alive.' Two soldiers from another group stopped this man from killing me

9 too. The first soldier, who they called Rambo, told them to move," et

10 cetera, et cetera.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is it also true and correct, according to your statement, that on

13 that occasion, in shooting from an automatic weapon, the people were

14 killed by just one man, this man called Rambo; is that right?

15 A. I think so, yes.

16 Q. Is it correct that Milos Cvijeticanin and the two other commanders

17 whom you said you recognised, one named Simon and the other as being from

18 Korenica and this man Rambo, that they were local inhabitants nearer or

19 further from your village but in the vicinity of your village?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now take a look at your statement, the one you gave on the 16th of

22 April, 1993, the one I mentioned first. You gave the statement to a

23 certain person called Gordana Predovic, an employee of the Medical Centre

24 for Human Rights in Zagreb. Is it true that two years after the events

25 you're testifying about you gave that statement to her? Would that be

Page 23734












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Page 23735

1 about right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Is it true that in paragraph 3 of that particular statement you

4 said the following: "I was closest to the door and I went out to see what

5 was happening. When I came out, there were about ten Chetniks in

6 camouflage uniforms in front of the house." That is paragraph 3.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Have I quoted it correctly?

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we can see that's what it says.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Fine, Mr. May.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Now, is it true that in paragraph 4 of that same statement of

13 yours, you go on to say the following: "I recognised one of then as Milos

14 Cvijeticanin from Rastovaca while the others I only knew by sight but I

15 don't know anybody's name." Is that right, Mr. C-1230?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And is it also true that in paragraph 9 of that statement,

18 referring to a man who had killed some people, the people you're talking

19 about, you say: "That man previously worked in the police station in

20 Korenica. He was a largely-built man, not very tall, about 50 years of

21 age, dark." Is that right, Mr. 1230?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Was that the Rambo that you mention in the statement given to the

24 investigators?

25 A. No.

Page 23736

1 Q. So that means that isn't the same man who you refer to as having

2 killed these people in the statement you gave eight years later, following

3 the event. Yes or no.

4 A. You mean for Rambo? You mean Rambo.

5 Q. Yes. A moment ago, directly asked by me, you said that was the

6 man who committed those killings. Is that right?

7 A. Yes, Rambo.

8 Q. Now take a look at your statement given on the 21st of June, 1995,

9 to the MUP of the Republic of Croatia, the Slunj police station. Is it

10 true that this statement was given six years before the one you gave to

11 the investigators?

12 JUDGE MAY: We can work that out, yes. Yes.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. And is it true that on that occasion when you describe what you

15 yourself had seen when you left the house, on page 2, paragraph 2, you

16 said that: "On the occasion, I saw about 20 men wearing camouflage

17 uniforms and they ordered all of us to come outside in front of the house,

18 and then I saw another 40 or so people," and in brackets it says,

19 "Serbo-Chetniks on the other side of the house." Is that right? It's on

20 page 2.

21 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness find it.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. So is it true that on that occasion you said that you saw a total

25 of 60 people? That's right, isn't it?

Page 23737

1 A. Yes.

2 JUDGE MAY: Sixty -- to be fair to the witness, 60 or so, because

3 he says 40 or so people were at the back.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Mr. May. I have the original of

5 the statement and I'm reading from the original, where it says: "On the

6 occasion, I saw about 20 people wearing camouflage uniforms and they

7 ordered all of us to go outside in front of the house, and over there I

8 saw another 40 people, Serbo-Chetniks on the other side of the house."

9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. So you said then that you had seen 60 people.

12 A. About 60.

13 Q. All right, about 60 people, then.

14 Now take a look at paragraph 4 on page 2 of that same statement,

15 line 8, and did you say there: "On the occasion, most of the people," and

16 in brackets it says, "Serbo-Chetniks, I don't know them by name, but most

17 were from the area of Titova Korenica, and I think that were I to see them

18 again, I would recognise them." Is that right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now look at the statement you gave on the 15th of September, 1995,

21 the one you gave also to the MUP of Croatia at the police station in

22 Karlovac this time. That is your statement too, isn't it? We're not

23 disputing that, are we? That's right, isn't it, Mr. 1230?

24 A. Yes, without my signature.

25 Q. Yes. But are you challenging that that is your statement at all?

Page 23738

1 A. No, I'm not.

2 Q. And is it correct that you gave this statement also six years

3 before the one you gave to the investigators subsequently?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, is it correct that on page 1, paragraph 3 of that statement,

6 the one I've just drawn your attention to, that you said the following:

7 "On that day when I was captured together with the other occupants of the

8 house, since I was inside the house, I saw through the window that

9 something was happening in front of the house. To be precise, I saw some

10 people move in front of the house, and I went outside to see who was out

11 there, and I was captured then by Serb soldiers/Chetniks."

12 And then there's another sentence after that which reads as

13 follows: "They were all local men from the surrounding areas."

14 Isn't that what it says?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Very well, Mr. 1230. Let us go back now to your statement given

17 to the investigators on the 27th and 28th of February, 2001. Please look

18 at paragraph 17 of that statement, line 7. Tell me, is it true that it

19 says there that, ten years after the event you describe, you said: "The

20 soldiers told me that they were a special JNA unit from Nis and that they

21 were professional soldiers. I felt that they were professional soldiers

22 by the military terms they used. This special unit was wearing a

23 camouflage uniform in a darker green colour than the uniforms worn by the

24 other soldiers in the village."

25 Is that what it says in your statement?

Page 23739

1 A. Yes, in paragraph 17.

2 Q. At the time you were giving this statement to the investigators,

3 therefore, I had already been abducted and brought to The Hague. You

4 certainly know that. That is, on the 28th of February, 2001.

5 My question is the following: When did you learn that you would

6 appear as a witness in the case against me before this Tribunal?

7 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, we didn't hear the answer.

8 JUDGE MAY: Could you just answer that again, please, so the

9 interpreters can hear.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A week or two ago. I don't remember

11 exactly.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Tell me, please, in which of the three previously given statements

14 - one given eight, the other six years before this one - given to the

15 investigators, you mention professional soldiers of the JNA, that is, a

16 special unit from Nis. Please look at all those statements and answer my

17 question.

18 JUDGE MAY: We'll take it that there is no reference in these

19 statements, but you put to the witness that when he made the statement to

20 the investigators in February 2001 that you had already been brought to

21 The Hague. That wasn't so, because you didn't arrive until July, if my

22 recollection is right.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I meant -- I meant that the

24 indictment had already been issued long since, prior to that date. Maybe

25 I misspoke. You're quite right as far as the date is concerned.

Page 23740

1 JUDGE MAY: You're right about this particular indictment. The

2 Kosovo indictment, of course, had been issued but not, as I recollect, the

3 Croatia one.

4 But in any event, yes, what do you want to put to the witness

5 next? There's no mention of the Nis special unit.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Is it beyond dispute, Mr. 1230, that in all three previously given

8 statements you explicitly claimed that all the soldiers who were present

9 at the event you're testifying about were local people and that you would

10 be able to recognise most of them? Is that beyond dispute?

11 A. I assumed so, but I didn't know them by name, and I could

12 recognise them by their faces, but not all of them.

13 Q. I'm drawing your attention once again to this sentence in

14 statement which we can call number 3. It is the 15th of September, 1995,

15 in which you say they were all local people from the surroundings. That

16 is what you said in all these three previous statements, the one given to

17 the Centre for Human Rights and two to the police.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Whiting.

19 MR. WHITING: Your Honours, I think that mischaracterises what's

20 in the statements. It does say that in that statement, but I don't

21 believe it says they're all locals in the other statements. It says most

22 of them are locals but it's different in all different statements.

23 JUDGE MAY: You can no doubt re-examine about them.

24 I suppose the point is this, Witness 1230: You did not mention

25 the special unit from Nis in the earlier statements. Now, I'll be

Page 23741

1 corrected if I'm wrong, but that seems to be the position. Why did you

2 not mention that unit in the earlier statements?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only mentioned the things they

4 spoke about amongst themselves later. No one ever asked me what they were

5 talking about amongst themselves.


7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Ah, I see. I can continue.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Since I hope this is unambiguous, the fact that you said that they

10 were all locals from the surroundings, you made a statement about

11 everything you knew at the time, and you say what you know in a time

12 period that was closer to the events than the later ones.

13 Now, tell me, looking at these three statements and comparing them

14 with what you say in the statement given to the investigators, is it

15 beyond dispute that the number of soldiers present at the event you are

16 testifying about kept increasing, kept growing as time went by?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now look, please, in your statement number 1 that I referred to

19 first. You said in paragraph 3 there were ten or so Chetniks in

20 camouflage uniforms in front of the house. So about ten. Then in the

21 second one, you said 20 plus 40. So it's more than doubled; quadrupled,

22 in fact. And then in the statement to the investigators ten years later,

23 in paragraph 17 you say 90 -- between 90 and 100.

24 So from the time of your first statement when you say you saw

25 about ten, and then in all three statements you say they were locals that

Page 23742

1 you knew, then you reach the figure of as many as 100, and only in this

2 last statement do you say that they were JNA soldiers, and you even go on

3 to specify that they came from a Nis garrison; is that right?

4 A. There were ten of them around the house when I went out, but I

5 couldn't count them. I didn't know the exact number.

6 Q. But you say when you went out you saw about ten. And then in your

7 second statement, you say 20 who entered and ordered you to go out of the

8 house and then you saw another 40 outside. And in the first you say that

9 you went out -- when you went out, you saw about ten; and in the second,

10 that 20 of them came in and told you to come out, and when you went out

11 you saw another 40. Are you disputing that or not, Mr. 1230?

12 A. I saw the others when I came out, that's all.

13 Q. But in your first statement, that's what you say; when you went

14 out, you saw about ten Chetniks.

15 Very well, Mr. 1230. I sincerely regret all the things that

16 happened to your family and the fact that you were so young at the time

17 and witnessed all this.

18 Please explain, how did these rather large changes occur in your

19 statements with respect to the description of the men there, their number,

20 and the description of the event itself?

21 JUDGE MAY: He has explained about the unit. I think he's

22 answered, really, about the numbers.

23 Is there anything you want to add to your previous answer in

24 relation to the numbers?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In those days -- at the time, I was

Page 23743

1 unable to count.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Very well. You could not count when you gave the first statement

4 or the second or the third. It appears that you were able to assume the

5 number when you were giving your statement to the investigators. Is that

6 right, Mr. 1230?

7 A. The number is unspecified. It's a rough estimate.

8 Q. Is it true to say that in -- not in any of the previous three

9 statements that you gave to various bodies, that nowhere is mention made

10 of soldiers of the JNA, especially not from Nis as the perpetrators of the

11 crime you're testifying about?

12 JUDGE MAY: I think he's dealt with that. He's explained how the

13 Nis unit came to be referred to.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I didn't understand the explanation,

15 Mr. May.

16 JUDGE MAY: He said he wasn't asked about what they were talking

17 about. Now, he's given his explanation. We shall have to consider it.

18 We can't go on going over the same point.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Is it true that as members of that unit, in your statements you

21 describe those members as being local inhabitants?

22 JUDGE MAY: You've made your point. We see the discrepancy. He

23 has given his explanation. We will have to consider it. We cannot go on

24 going over the same point.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I didn't convey what I

Page 23744

1 wanted. I just referred to what he said, and he literally said that they

2 were all local people from the surroundings. It's not a matter of what I

3 want; I just read the statements that I was given by the side opposite.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Tell me, Mr. 1230, is it undisputed that in several places you

6 identify as the only direct perpetrator a certain Rambo who was also a

7 local inhabitant?

8 A. That was just the nickname of that person. Now, whether he was a

9 local, I don't know.

10 Q. But from the descriptions you gave, I gathered that you were able

11 to identify that person.

12 A. Yes, by his nickname.

13 Q. Very well. Finally, in paragraph 2 of your statement, you say

14 that after Easter in 1991, the JNA occupied the Plitvice Lakes. Isn't

15 that so, Mr. 1230?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Tell me, please, where did you get this information from that the

18 JNA had occupied Plitvice?

19 A. I lived at Plitvice.

20 Q. So I can gather that you are claiming that you saw with your own

21 eyes that the JNA had occupied Plitvice.

22 A. I saw their tanks and troops on our roads.

23 Q. Will you please answer the following question: Did anyone advise

24 you to include in your fourth statement, the one given to the

25 investigators, to mention this special unit from Nis?

Page 23745

1 A. No.

2 Q. Did anyone make any suggestions to you in connection with this

3 alleged occupation by the JNA of the Plitvice Lakes?

4 A. No.

5 Q. And do you have any explanation for such considerable

6 discrepancies between these four statements of yours, the previous three

7 and this fourth one that you gave to the investigators?

8 A. This was a more detailed one and more questions were asked about

9 it.

10 Q. Very well, Mr. 1230. I have no further questions.

11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I would

12 like to ask the witness to explain to us a few more points

13 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:

14 Q. [Interpretation] Although I know this must be for you very hard in

15 view of everything you lived through, but I would like to ask you if you

16 could explain to Their Honours, in view of these several statements that

17 you gave, in the first one in sequence following the event, you were

18 explicit in saying that the person who killed those people on the spot

19 where you were was someone who used to work at the station in Korenica,

20 and you did not mention the name Rambo at all. How do you explain that?

21 A. He was the commander, the one who was working in Korenica, and

22 Rambo was the soldiers.

23 Q. But in your statement to the investigators, you said that the

24 person shooting was Rambo.

25 A. Yes.

Page 23746

1 Q. But in your first statement you said it was a large man who used

2 to work in the police station in Korenica and that he executed those

3 people. This is the first statement that you gave in the centre in

4 Zagreb. It is on page 1, towards the end of the page. Please look.

5 A. There was chaos because one started shooting, but it doesn't say

6 that the commander was shooting.

7 Q. But it says here, "The one who killed all of them noticed me and

8 came to kill me too." That's what you stated then.

9 A. Yes, but it doesn't say that it was the commander.

10 Q. The commander. But you didn't mention Rambo at all. You

11 mentioned this heavy man who killed everyone.

12 A. No. He was the commander.

13 Q. And why didn't you say then that it was Rambo who was the

14 perpetrator?

15 A. Obviously no one asked me about that on that occasion.

16 Q. Well, look at the other statements, the one of the 21st of June

17 and the other one of the 15th of September 1995.

18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't want to

19 tire you. You will be able to read them.

20 Q. But, Witness, you use the plural. You say that all those who were

21 in front of the house started shooting at you. Look at the second page of

22 the statement of the 21st of June, paragraph 3. "Then they started

23 shooting at us." You don't mention Rambo again anywhere.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Tapuskovic, we have the point. He mentions

25 Rambo first on the -- in the statement of the 15th of September.

Page 23747












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Page 23748

1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. He doesn't mention Rambo,

2 Your Honours, in the statement of the 15th of September either. So will

3 you please take note of the fact that each time the execution is described

4 in a completely different manner. You have all the statements, I don't

5 need to dwell on it, I'm just asking you to take note of that when the

6 time comes.

7 JUDGE MAY: He refers to Rambo on the 15th of September statement.

8 "I heard them refer to each other by nicknames such as Rambo. Rambo was

9 their ringleader."

10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] To be quite precise and for me to

11 make myself quite clear, in the statement of the 15th of September, he

12 mentions Rambo but only as a man who bragged having killed many Croats.

13 And you'll find that in the statement. In that third statement, he

14 mentions him as bragging of having killed many Croats but he doesn't say

15 that he was the perpetrator of the execution.

16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you. Yes, Mr. Whiting.

17 Re-examined by Mr. Whiting:

18 Q. Witness, you've been asked many questions about prior interviews

19 that you gave, and just to be clear, from the documents it appears there

20 were three prior interviews; one dated 16 April 1993, 21 June 1995, and 15

21 September 1995.

22 Can you tell the Court, just in brief terms, the circumstances of

23 these interviews, how long they lasted, for example. You can take them

24 one at a time, if you wish. For example, the one on 16 April 1993, do you

25 recall how long that interview was?

Page 23749

1 A. I don't remember exactly how long it could have been.

2 Q. Approximately?

3 A. Well, it depended. Sometimes half an hour, sometimes an hour.

4 Q. Did any of these interviews, the three that have been referred to,

5 last for more than an hour?

6 A. I wouldn't say so.

7 Q. And can you say anything about what the focus of the interviews

8 was? Was it focused on perpetrators who were in the area or what was the

9 focus of the interviews?

10 A. Mostly about the people killed.

11 Q. And were you asked in detail about all of the soldiers who were

12 present at the event?

13 A. No.

14 Q. You state in your statement that was given to the ICTY that you

15 saw that the three commanders had JNA caps in their belts. Do you

16 recollect that? That's in paragraph 17.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And can you tell the Court in your own words how it is that you

19 came to learn that there was a Nis special unit present. What was it that

20 allowed you to learn that?

21 A. After the execution, when they'd shot everybody and when the bomb

22 was thrown, we were taken a little further away from the house and the

23 soldiers talked amongst themselves there.

24 Q. And what did you hear that allowed you to learn that they were

25 from Nis, that they were a special unit from Nis?

Page 23750

1 A. They spoke about weapons. They spoke about the place where they

2 had been before that. They spoke about the attack, they spoke about --

3 talked amongst themselves and mentioned Nis.

4 Q. And were you -- in your prior interviews, were you asked questions

5 about this, about conversations that were held among the soldiers?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to -- well, let me ask you

8 this: When you and the others were brought out of the house, were -- were

9 -- you say in your statement that soldiers were shouting and were beating

10 the men as they came out of the house. Do you remember that in your

11 statement?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Was it -- was it just one soldier doing that or more than one

14 soldier?

15 A. There were more.

16 Q. You say in paragraph 12 that soldiers - and it's in the plural -

17 started shooting, but you also say that you think that one soldier is

18 responsible for the killing. Do you see that in paragraph 12?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Was there just one soldier shooting or was there more than one

21 soldier shooting?

22 A. More than one.

23 Q. So what made you think that one -- if there was more than one

24 soldier shooting, what made you think that one soldier was responsible for

25 the killing?

Page 23751

1 A. Because many were shooting around the houses, around the house.

2 Q. So from what you could observe, it appeared to you that one

3 soldier was actually hitting the people but others were shooting. Is that

4 your testimony?

5 A. Yes, that they were shooting towards me.

6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Could you repeat the answer, please. You're

8 asked by the interpreters.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But I wasn't in a situation to

10 be able to see that, as I've already said.

11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Whiting, I would ask you to have the clock in

12 mind. We need to get through another witness today.

13 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honours. I have just one or two more

14 questions.

15 Q. You were asked lots of questions about how many soldiers were

16 present, and in the first statement it says in the statement, the April

17 16, 1993, statement, that you saw ten soldiers in front of the house.

18 Were those the only soldiers who were present in the village or were there

19 others also present in the village?

20 A. There were more.

21 Q. And as you sit here today, what's your best recollection of how

22 many soldiers were present not just around the house but in the entire

23 village?

24 A. Around the house, about -- I can't say exactly, but 20 or 30,

25 perhaps more. There was a larger group. But I was also in a situation in

Page 23752

1 which they were questioning me, so I couldn't really look around. And

2 then there was another group in the village that was setting fire to the

3 houses.

4 Q. So all in all, taking all the soldiers in the village, can you

5 give us an estimate today of what your best recollection is?

6 A. It can just be an assumption, an opinion. I couldn't see them

7 all; guess.

8 MR. WHITING: I have no further questions, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE MAY: Witness C-1230, thank you for coming to the Tribunal.

10 That concludes your evidence. You are now free to go. Just wait for the

11 blinds.

12 We'll give the statements that were produced by the accused the

13 next Defence number.

14 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, those obviously have to be under seal

15 because they have the witness's name.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course.

17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Defence Exhibit 156, Your Honour,

18 under seal.

19 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

20 [The witness withdrew]

21 JUDGE MAY: Now, while that witness is leaving, before we have the

22 next witness, we will deal with the matters concerning the Rule 92 bis

23 statements.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. The first

25 witness is the Witness C-1162, Jasna Mihajlovic, and she deals with

Page 23753

1 Eastern Slavonia, Erdut, the killing in Erdut.

2 JUDGE MAY: Well, if you'd like to -- I was going to say you could

3 produce that. We don't seem to have an usher. If someone would assist,

4 please.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And maybe one additional remark as to this

6 witness; the witness has meanwhile a different name, and it can be seen

7 from the first page. She has now a different last name, that is.

8 JUDGE MAY: We'll take an exhibit number for this one.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 481, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The next witness is C-1089, Stjepan Dasovic,

12 and he relates also to Eastern Slavonia, to Klisa.

13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecution Exhibit 482.

14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The next one is Mario Curic. He has the

15 number C-1088, and it relates to Dubrovnik, and here in particular the

16 town of Cavtat.

17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecution Exhibit 483.

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And the last one, finally, C-1127, Djelo

19 Jusic. He is again a Dubrovnik witness dealing with the festival hall and

20 the attacks on hotels. And that would be it for the time being.

21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecution Exhibit 484.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll call the next witness.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As far as -- may I ask what happened

24 to the 92 bis witness? I didn't quite understand. They're not in -- on

25 the schedule here. Have we got their statements for the first time now?

Page 23754

1 JUDGE MAY: They've been admitted without cross-examination.

2 [The witness entered court]

3 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take the declaration, please.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

6 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.


9 [Witness answered through interpreter]

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ah, excuse me.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. McKeon.

12 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour.

13 Examined by Mr. McKeon:

14 Q. Ma'am, you've been granted certain protective measures by the

15 Trial Chamber, so during your testimony we will refer to you by your

16 pseudonym, C-1126.

17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, can we just break for two minutes,

18 please, just to check the voice distortion. I apologise.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

20 THE INTERPRETER: We hear you.

21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we may proceed.

22 MR. McKEON: Thank you.

23 Q. I'm going to ask if a piece of paper could be put in front of you

24 and ask you to take a look at that and tell me just by your answer yes or

25 no whether that's your name on the first line of that document.

Page 23755

1 A. It is there, yes.

2 Q. Now, to further protect your identity, you will see at the bottom

3 of this sheet a list of names of people and places, and with the Chamber's

4 permission, we will ask you to refer to those names during your testimony.

5 So if at any time you need to refer to any of these names or to the place

6 listed at the bottom, if you could just use the substitute on this list,

7 the Trial Chamber will know what name you're referring to. Can you do

8 that?

9 A. Yes, fine.

10 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, on this sheet we've listed the village

11 that the witness comes from simply as "the village," which is how she will

12 be referring to it during her testimony. You will find this village in

13 the atlas Exhibit 336 on page 23, and the coordinates for the village are

14 E-2.

15 Q. Now, ma'am, in recent days did you have a chance to go over your

16 witness statement in the presence of an officer of the court and attest to

17 its accuracy, subject to corrections which were noted, and then did you

18 sign that documentation showing that you had attested your statement?

19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. McKeon, my understanding --

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.

21 JUDGE KWON: -- is that you have to turn off your microphone while

22 the witness is answering with the voice distortion.

23 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour.

24 Your Honour, we would just like to make a moment to correct one

25 error in the statement. If I could ask that a copy of the witness's

Page 23756

1 statement in her own language could be put in front of her.

2 Q. And ask you please to turn to paragraph 7 of the statement.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. In reviewing your statement after it was signed, did you become

5 aware that there was an error in one of the dates in the paragraph in the

6 version of the statement in your own language that you signed?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And what was that error and what should the correct date be?

9 A. The correct date should read the 2nd of May, 1991.

10 Q. And what date is listed in the B/C/S version of the statement that

11 you signed?

12 A. In the statement, it says the 2nd of May, 1992.

13 Q. Thank you.

14 MR. McKEON: Your Honours, I just want to point out to the Court

15 that this is apparently a translation error from the English version of

16 the statement to the B/C/S. The date is correct as 1991 in the version of

17 the statement that was read to the witness and which she signed in 1996

18 but was incorrect in the B/C/S version of the statement that she signed

19 earlier this month. And subject to this correction, I would like to offer

20 the statement of C-1126 into evidence under Rule 92 bis, under seal as a

21 protected witness. We have also prepared a redacted version of this

22 statement which can be made publicly available.

23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecution Exhibit 485.

24 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, I can make the following summary of the

25 witness's statement: This witness is a Croat woman who was 31 at the time

Page 23757

1 of the events in question. She lived in Vukovar until the 22nd of August,

2 1991, and on that date she and her husband went to visit her mother in a

3 village just south of Vukovar. She couldn't get back to Vukovar because

4 it was completely surrounded by the JNA and so the witness lived in this

5 village until 20 January, 1992.

6 After the ZNG members left this village in September, the

7 residents were very scared because of what was going on in the villages

8 around them and because of the stories that they heard from the refugees

9 who passed through the village.

10 On 13 October, 1991, there were negotiations with the JNA about

11 the surrender of the village and the JNA issued an ultimatum. People in

12 the town were very afraid since Tovarnik and Lovas had already been taken,

13 and the witness heard from people coming from those towns that Croatians

14 there had been slaughtered and their houses had been burned. The JNA

15 entered the town the following morning. After homes were searched, people

16 had to put a piece of white textile on the gate of the fence of the house.

17 Croatian residents were also ordered to wear white ribbons on their left

18 arm. No one could leave the village since it was surrounded and there

19 were checkpoints with guards at each exit.

20 During the search after the village was taken over, they found

21 rifles at the homes of some of the Croats, and the Croats who had the

22 rifles were almost killed for that. In contrast, Serbs who had weapons

23 were simply asked to present the weapon for listing it down and then got

24 it back. A kind of census was arranged in the local community building.

25 After the census, about 30 non-Serbs from the village were arrested. Many

Page 23758

1 of them were beaten, and approximately ten were expelled from the village

2 with their families.

3 On one day, the witness was ordered to tidy up the village guest

4 house, and there she heard from a soldier that other soldiers were

5 fighting each other about who was going to be given the job and the

6 privilege of slaughtering the priest from Tovarnik.

7 The witness will testify that her husband was taken for

8 questioning in November. The witness herself was ordered to come for

9 questioning at 9.00 that morning. She was questioned by two guards and

10 told to go home and come back at 5.00 p.m. that afternoon.

11 The witness was questioned again the next day with her husband.

12 She was taken into a room in which was a Hungarian person already, and

13 that person she saw beaten and hit on his face. The witness was

14 threatened and grabbed by the throat. After that, the witness and her

15 husband had to report each morning to the local community building, and

16 both had to go for forced labour, as well as other Croatians. For

17 example, the witness on one occasion had to load corn into storage outside

18 at 10 below zero.

19 Later on, another group of the army replaced the previous one in

20 the village. The witness and her husband were helped by the military

21 police to flee the village. They learned that they were on a list to be

22 taken to Vukovar, and they were told that if they had gone to Vukovar,

23 they were supposed to be killed.

24 Your Honours, I would note also that there are two additional

25 sections of her statement mentioned in paragraphs 7 and 9 of the proofing

Page 23759












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Page 23760

1 summary that I have not read out, and I would ask that if the subjects of

2 those paragraphs are discussed during her testimony, that they could be

3 covered in private session.

4 And I have two just additional matters that came up during her

5 proofing session, listed in the proofing summary as paragraphs 14 and 15,

6 and I would ask if we could go into private session for just a moment so

7 that I could cover those questions.

8 [Private session]

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 23761

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 [Open session]

8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] With the two points mentioned by

10 Mr. McKeon, 14 and 15, as to be discussed in private session, I see

11 nothing in paragraphs 14 and 15 that is linked to this. Perhaps they were

12 some other numbers, other paragraphs.

13 JUDGE MAY: Paragraphs 14 and 15 of the summary. You should have

14 a copy of it attached to the bundle you were given.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I see. I was looking at the

16 paragraphs in the statement. That explains it.

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll have cross-examination after the

18 adjournment. We will adjourn now for twenty minutes.

19 Witness C-1126, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes. During

20 the adjournment, please don't speak to anybody about your evidence until

21 it's over.

22 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'll do that.

24 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.

25 --- On resuming at 12.38 p.m.

Page 23762

1 JUDGE MAY: Witness C-1126, if there are any matters which you

2 would prefer to answer in private session when you're asked questions,

3 just say so and we can go into private session to answer the questions.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

6 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

7 Q. Madam 1126, I am not going to ask you any questions linked to the

8 violence you were exposed to because I do not wish to hurt you by asking

9 any unpleasant questions, but I do wish to establish certain circumstances

10 and particularly the identity of the persons referred to. So my questions

11 will be limited to that alone.

12 In paragraphs 19 and 20, you described the circumstances under

13 which these things happened to you, this abuse that you are referring to,

14 by a person that you describe as a short man who was wearing a dirty

15 uniform, with a broken nose. Is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. In order to establish his identity, if possible, will you please

18 tell me, what did his uniform look like, the one he was wearing?

19 A. He was wearing an olive-grey uniform, SMB uniform.

20 Q. Now, tell me, please, this SMB colour, that's the regular military

21 uniform, isn't it?

22 A. Of the Yugoslav People's Army, yes.

23 Q. As in paragraph 16, towards the end, let me just quote you: "I

24 saw how the Serbs from the village, those who did not join the others in

25 the beginning, were given JNA uniforms and put them on."

Page 23763

1 So those were the same uniforms.

2 A. Yes, of the JNA.

3 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, did you notice whether there were any

4 insignia on the uniform so that one might, on the basis of those insignia,

5 possibly establish the formation that person belonged to?

6 A. On the cap there was a five-cornered star.

7 Q. So it was a regular uniform.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Did this man say anything about himself?

10 A. He did.

11 Q. Tell me, were you able to assume by his speech where that person

12 came from?

13 A. He said himself.

14 Q. What?

15 A. I think that he said he was from the surroundings of Kragujevac.

16 Q. Do you perhaps have any information as to who his superior was, if

17 he had any?

18 A. I have no information about that.

19 Q. You know nothing about that?

20 A. No, I don't know anything about that.

21 Q. In view of the fact that he was wearing that uniform, and also as

22 we see that the uniform was distributed to everyone, did you have the

23 impression that that person was a JNA member or perhaps someone from some

24 other unit that was using those uniforms?

25 A. They came in groups. This soldier came with them.

Page 23764

1 Q. Very well. But I assume you know that in those days, virtually

2 every household in the then-Yugoslavia that had a military conscript had a

3 JNA uniform.

4 A. I have no knowledge about that.

5 Q. For the reserve, for the reserve forces. So you know nothing

6 about that.

7 A. No, I don't know anything about that.

8 Q. Very well, then I won't ask you anything more about it.

9 In paragraphs 23 and onwards, you mention a certain person whose

10 name is also protected here. On the list of protected names he is

11 mentioned as Person E,

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Of whom you say that he was from Sid; is that right? And who,

14 according to what can be read from your statement, behaved bestially and

15 engaged in abuse, didn't he?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Tell me, did he say he was from Sid or did you hear it from

18 someone or, rather, how did you know that he came from Sid?

19 A. I heard that from Person D, that he used to live in the environs

20 of Sid.

21 Q. From Person D?

22 A. I heard from Person D that Person E lived in the environs of Sid.

23 Q. Now, tell me, please, do you know whether he belonged to any

24 paramilitary unit or something that might have been called a volunteer

25 unit or something like that?

Page 23765

1 A. I am unable to answer that. I only know that he wore a uniform

2 with the cap worn by generals or something like that. He appeared to be

3 something like a policeman.

4 Q. A kind of general's cap, you say?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. What does that cap look like?

7 A. Like the police, but it wasn't the police.

8 Q. What colour was the cap?

9 A. I think it was also the same colour as the uniform, SMB.

10 Q. And did he have any insignias?

11 A. On his shoulders he did have some insignias, but I was unable to

12 recognise them.

13 Q. Now tell me, please, in paragraph 31, you say that a group of

14 those men among whom were these two who abused you was replaced by another

15 group of soldiers, reservists, and members of the military police; is that

16 right?

17 A. The military police, yes. Now, whether they were reservists, I

18 can't say, I don't know for sure.

19 Q. But am I mistaken if I say that these were members, judging by

20 what one can conclude from this, were reserve forces of the JNA and the

21 military police of the JNA? Is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now tell me, please, Madam C-1126, it is also true that these

24 people, this group that came after this first group, were attentive in

25 relation to you and your family? They protected you from any kind of

Page 23766

1 mistreatment, that a certain local Serb tried to inflict upon you, a

2 person who is marked on the list of names as Person A?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And is it true that both the man in the dirty uniform and this

5 second one that we mentioned after that as Person E who were in the

6 previous group, they differed from this second group. So were they

7 members of some paramilitary formation?

8 A. Person A remained in the village until the end. However, Person

9 B, that was first to abuse me, had already left in the direction of

10 Vukovar. After Person B, Person E arrived, who also abused me, and I told

11 him that Person B had harassed me and mistreated me.

12 Q. But when this group of reservists of the JNA and the military

13 police came, they protected you, and after that, no one could abuse you

14 any longer.

15 A. These three persons that I mentioned were not there at the same

16 time. They were not in the village at the same time. They came in

17 different time periods. And after all of them, this group of people

18 arrived who helped me in a sense.

19 Q. Yes, but as far as I'm able to gather, Person A was present in the

20 village while these persons were there, and they protected you from this

21 person.

22 A. They only protected me from Person A, whereas Persons B and E had

23 already left the village.

24 Q. So they'd left the village. There was no need to protect you from

25 them.

Page 23767

1 A. In those days, no one knew whether they would come back or not.

2 Q. Just a few points regarding some more general matters. First of

3 all, tell me, please, until August you lived with your husband in Vukovar?

4 A. Yes, until August.

5 Q. And in paragraph 5, you say that already in August there was

6 shooting and shelling due to which you actually left Vukovar; is that

7 right?

8 A. No. That was not the reason that we left Vukovar, but my mother

9 was sick, and we went to see her in the village to help her in her work.

10 However, we didn't know that there was so many checkpoints everywhere, and

11 it was very difficult to move around. So we were unable to go back to

12 Vukovar.

13 Q. So it follows that Vukovar, when you left it, was already

14 surrounded; is that right?

15 A. It was surrounded but not totally. It was still possible to move

16 around, but movement was restricted.

17 Q. So you passed through certain checkpoints.

18 A. Yes. Both I and my husband, we left to help my mother for a day,

19 to do a certain job, and after that we simply couldn't get back, because

20 within the space of 24 hours, everything was blocked.

21 Q. Is it true to say that you and your husband left Vukovar without

22 any difficulty and no one prevented you from doing that?

23 A. They did question us, asking us where we were going and why we

24 were going.

25 Q. Did anyone mistreat you?

Page 23768

1 A. No, not on that occasion.

2 Q. And in Vukovar when you were leaving it, were there any members of

3 the National Guards Corps, and how many of them at the time?

4 A. I'm unable to answer that question for you.

5 Q. Had some fighting already started in Vukovar?

6 A. One could hear shots in the streets, shooting from a distance and

7 shells going off. There were tanks going from Vukovar towards Borovo Selo

8 and back on a daily basis.

9 Q. Did you have any knowledge as to who was fighting who over there?

10 A. I didn't see who was fighting who, but I did see freight vehicles

11 and tanks going towards Borovo Selo and coming back. Barrels were pointed

12 at the houses.

13 Q. In those days before you left Vukovar, did you have any knowledge

14 to the effect that many others, both Serbs and Croats and members of other

15 ethnicities, were also leaving Vukovar or fleeing Vukovar?

16 A. I have no knowledge that they were fleeing. Some people went to

17 visit people, but no one was fleeing. No one felt that anything bad was

18 about to happen.

19 Q. So in those days, as far as you knew, at least on the basis of

20 your own knowledge, there were no killings over there, no crimes due to

21 which people were leaving Vukovar and seeking shelter in Serbia,

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so on?

23 A. No. I have no knowledge about that.

24 Q. Tell me, please, how far is your home or apartment or house you

25 lived in, how far is it from the Vukovar barracks?

Page 23769

1 A. I'm unable to give you the exact number of kilometres, but it is

2 about halfway between the barracks and Borovo Selo. Halfway, midway

3 between those two.

4 Q. Roughly how far is that? I've never been there.

5 A. Well, about six kilometres. Five kilometres. I'm not sure.

6 Q. Did you ever hear or learn anything about fire being opened from

7 the city centre against the barracks in Vukovar and vice versa?

8 A. I know nothing about that.

9 Q. I see. You know nothing. But did you have any knowledge of

10 water, electricity shortages, and the blockade of the barracks in Vukovar

11 and the blockade of the people who were inside? Did you hear anything

12 about that while you were still able to obtain information?

13 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand the question.

14 Q. Did you learn anything about the blockade of the barracks in

15 Vukovar, the fact that water, electricity supplies were cut off, food

16 deliveries were not permitted, et cetera?

17 A. No. I know nothing about that.

18 Q. Very well. In paragraph 6 of your statement, you say that the

19 village -- Mr. McKeon, I think he said when mentioning the village that we

20 should use the word "village" for it -- that this was a village with about

21 600 inhabitants of different ethnicities; is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And in paragraph 7, already in the first sentence you say that

24 when you arrived to the village, Serb women with children as well as young

25 Serb men had already left the village.

Page 23770

1 A. Yes. They were not in the village.

2 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, we can't hear.

3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, the interpreters didn't hear the

4 question. Perhaps you could repeat it.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I asked the witness whether she knew

6 anything about the reasons that had prompted Serb women, young men, and

7 children to leave the village, and the answer I was given is that the

8 witness knows nothing about that.

9 Is everything all right now?

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. And is it true that in the village at that time there was a

13 formation of the Croatian National Guards Corps; is that right?

14 A. Yes. That was in September 1991.

15 Q. That means that to all intents and purposes, the village had been

16 taken over by the Croatian National Guards Corps.

17 A. No. It wasn't taken over because the guard was in Ilok at the

18 time.

19 Q. I drew that conclusion, so I would like to check it out. Could

20 you explain that to me? Because in paragraph 8 of your statement, you say

21 that: "At the time we arrived in the village, there were already members

22 of the National Guards Unit there. Some 30 of them were staying in the

23 village cultural centre," and so on. I don't want to read any further.

24 So how many of them in total were there in the village when you

25 arrived?

Page 23771












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Page 23772

1 A. Well, I think there must have been about 20 or 30 of them.

2 Q. Let's just establish the situation in the village when you

3 arrived. In view of the quotation I read out a moment ago and what we

4 took note of a moment ago. Serbs, women with children, and Serb young

5 men, they were not in the village. And in the village, who was present

6 were the members of the Croatian National Guards Corps.

7 A. Yes. But there were also Serbs who remained in the village.

8 However, nobody touched them.

9 Q. All right. Fine. I understand that. I'm just trying to

10 establish whether there was a cause-and-effect relationship, which seems

11 to me to be obvious, between the fact that the National Guards Corps was

12 there and that these people left the village.

13 You then go on to say here that they would be replaced every two

14 weeks, and I'm quoting what you say. I think you said two weeks or

15 something like that. And then you say they were only armed with infantry

16 weapons, and in September they withdrew to Ilok. How come you know they

17 only had infantry weapons on them; and in general terms, how are you able

18 to conclude and specify as to the type of weapons they actually had?

19 A. They actually only had rifles.

20 Q. That's what you saw.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, tell me this: How many shifts did you notice? Because you

23 said that they -- one group would replace another group several times.

24 A. I think there was a mistake here when it said that they were

25 changed every two weeks. Perhaps there was an error in the translation.

Page 23773

1 There was actually just one group, and they stayed there for a couple of

2 days or a week and then they withdrew to Ilok, so that there was no

3 replacement or changing over every two weeks.

4 Q. So you say it's an error in the translation?

5 A. Yes. That's a mistake. The other armies that came in, the JNA

6 and the Territorial Defence units, they would rotate every two weeks.

7 Q. All right. As far as I was able to understand you, you say that

8 your husband was involved militarily in these village watches, village

9 guards.

10 A. Yes. He only stood guard.

11 Q. And what was he? What did he have?

12 A. Well, he had a rifle that was not working. He didn't have any

13 ammunition or anything like that.

14 Q. All right. Now, as in paragraph 12 you say that JNA planes

15 rocketed the village and hit some sort of borders or barriers and the

16 cultural centre but that nothing else was damaged.

17 A. Well, when the ZNGs withdrew, the ZNG members withdrew before the

18 army entered the village, the village was left on its own, unprotected,

19 and I assume that the people were afraid. I don't know why they set up

20 those things there, but as soon as they put the sandbags up, an hour later

21 the planes turned up and rocketed the defences, these sandbags.

22 Q. I see.

23 A. But nobody was killed.

24 Q. Nobody was killed and nothing was destroyed?

25 A. There wasn't any major material damage, no.

Page 23774

1 Q. And the ZNG members were no longer there. They had already left

2 the area; right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. So before that, they used these sandbags?

5 A. Well, the villagers, the people who stayed on in the village,

6 placed these sandbags at their own initiative. And just as they had set

7 them up, an hour later the planes turned up and started targeting them.

8 Q. Right. I understand. Now, in paragraph 13, you say that the JNA

9 quickly, after the agreement reached with the leaders of the village,

10 entered the village and they searched the houses because they were looking

11 for weapons; is that right?

12 A. Yes, that's right. They entered every house.

13 Q. And then already in paragraph 14, you say that you know that they

14 did not mistreat anybody. Is that what you said? That nobody was

15 mistreated.

16 A. Well, after they had made a list of all the inhabitants, then they

17 shut them up, that same day in the afternoon when the army entered the

18 village.

19 Q. This is the point I wish to clarify: In paragraph 14, it says:

20 "The following morning, the JNA was on time..." because prior to that, you

21 say who was there, the negotiations, how the negotiations evolved, and

22 things like that, and you said that the result was that the JNA would

23 enter the village without a fight and that all weapons were to be

24 surrendered to the soldiers straight away and that searches would be

25 conducted of all the houses. That was what was agreed upon.

Page 23775

1 A. Yes, that is correct.

2 Q. And then in paragraph 14, you say: "The following morning, the

3 JNA was punctual and at 0900 hours it entered the village. The infantry

4 entered first, followed by the tanks."

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. The Serbs who had left the village before and whose names I had

7 mentioned earlier on, and so on and so forth, that's not important. Let

8 me just find the sentence I wish to highlight. It's the next sentence, in

9 fact, and it says the following: "The soldiers entered the houses and

10 searched them all, and then the next sentence is: "As far as I know, they

11 did not maltreat anybody then." Is that right?

12 A. Yes, just while they were searching the houses.

13 Q. However, in paragraph 10, the last sentence there, you said that

14 the Croatian mothers with their children left the village before the JNA

15 entered it and that there was some young men who had weapons in their

16 possession too; is that right?

17 A. Yes, that's right.

18 Q. However, in paragraph 8, you said that the village guards or

19 village watch was equipped exclusively with hunting weapons; is that

20 right?

21 A. Yes, that's right.

22 Q. Well, I don't follow. I don't understand this. Why did these

23 young Croats leave the village when you say that there was no weaponry in

24 it?

25 A. Well, I can't answer that.

Page 23776

1 Q. You said that these ZNGs had left.

2 A. I don't know. I can't answer that question.

3 Q. All right. And was there any other purpose for the JNA's entry

4 and for them searching the houses except for the fact that they were

5 looking for weapons? And you said that they didn't mistreat anyone while

6 they were doing so.

7 A. While they were searching the houses, they didn't touch anybody,

8 no, while this search process was going on.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Now, you say in paragraph 16 that after the searches had been

12 conducted, the men fared worse, that is to say the men in whose houses

13 they did find rifles; is that right?

14 A. Yes, that's right.

15 Q. And what happened to those men? Mr. McKeon used the term -- I

16 think he said they almost killed them. I don't know that this -- I can't

17 explain that expression "almost killed them," so could you explain it to

18 me?

19 A. Once the houses had been searched, all of us who happened to be in

20 the village had to go to the local commune with our ID cards for them to

21 make a list of the population and inhabitants who were in the village at

22 the time. After that, those people who were -- whom the JNA found -- whom

23 the JNA found reason to detain in that same cultural centre - I don't know

24 why - they were detained there for a few days, maybe as much as eight

25 days, whereas others were taken off with their families from the village,

Page 23777

1 and we knew nothing about those.

2 Q. Well, was anybody killed at all at that -- on that occasion in the

3 village?

4 A. Yes, they were.

5 Q. Who was killed?

6 A. A gentleman was killed who was a policeman.

7 Q. And how did he meet his end?

8 A. As far as I know, they took him away towards the road leading to

9 Vukovar, and his hands were tied with a wire, and they shot him in the

10 back. And they wanted to make it appear as if he was trying to run, to

11 escape.

12 Q. Did you hear that from someone?

13 A. Yes, I did hear that from someone, but they put the body on a

14 tractor trailer, and he was left lying there for a day until they finally

15 buried him.

16 Q. So who drove the tractor with the trailer?

17 A. I don't know.

18 Q. Was it one of the villagers who found him there?

19 A. None of the locals found him. It was the people who killed him,

20 they brought him back. And they said that he was trying to escape. He

21 was captured and that they had to shoot him in his attempt to escape.

22 Q. I see. So that's the explanation they gave; they said they were

23 forced to shoot because he tried to escape.

24 Now, tell me this, then, please -- and you said that the men in

25 whose houses rifles were found fared worst. What kind of rifles were

Page 23778

1 they?

2 A. As far as I know, they were ordinary hunting rifles, because there

3 were a lot of hunters in the village, lots of people who liked hunting.

4 Q. So do you then claim that there were no automatic weapons or any

5 military equipment that was found?

6 A. I don't know. I can't say. All I do know is that the people who

7 were found in possession of weapons had licenses to carry those hunting

8 rifles.

9 Q. I see. There are a lot of hunters. Now, does the name Tomislav

10 Mercep ring a bell?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And do you know that this man precisely at the time that was a

13 forerunner to these events that you're testifying about, he distributed

14 weapons, first of all automatic rifles, to the surrounding villages,

15 including this particular village, the one you're testifying about?

16 A. I have no personal knowledge about that.

17 Q. Well, do you have any knowledge at all as to the activities of the

18 Tomislav Mercep formations and similar units in the area, anything that

19 might have reached your ears, any piece of information?

20 A. No, I don't know about that.

21 Q. So all you know about those formations was what you knew through

22 the members, several tens of members of the National Guards Corps that

23 left the village before the JNA entered, that was the only formation you

24 saw and that you know about at all; is that right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 23779

1 Q. And as far as I understood your testimony, they did not commit any

2 violence in the village.

3 A. You mean the Croatian National Guards Corps? No, they didn't

4 mistreat anybody.

5 Q. They didn't take anybody away with them?

6 A. No.

7 Q. All right. Fine. Thank you.

8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further

9 questions.

10 MR. McKEON: Just very few follow-up questions, Your Honour.

11 Re-Examined by Mr. McKeon:

12 Q. Ma'am, there was some questioning about the uniform of one

13 particular man. Could you tell us, just in general terms, what sort of

14 uniforms were worn by the people that were in your village, and if you

15 could tell from those uniforms whether they were regular JNA members,

16 reservists, Territorial Defence, paramilitary, or perhaps something

17 entirely different.

18 A. Well, I recognised the uniforms of the Yugoslav People's Army, and

19 some of the soldiers who were there were wearing camouflage uniforms.

20 They were very untidy looking, had long beards. They were all dusty.

21 They even smelled.

22 Q. And the soldiers that were in your village, did it appear to you

23 that they were all working together at a single purpose or were they doing

24 something else and each going off and doing their own thing?

25 A. Yes, of course. I had the feeling that they were all working for

Page 23780

1 a single purpose.

2 Q. All right. And again you were asked some questions about this man

3 in the regular military uniform and the patches on his uniform, so on and

4 so forth. Did you learn from him what he was doing with the military

5 after he left your village? In other words, where he was going.

6 A. No. No.

7 Q. You were asked some questions about Person E. Did you learn at

8 some point what his official duty was in your village?

9 A. According to my knowledge, he was the chief of some kind of police

10 of theirs, and he had a group of men he issued orders to.

11 Q. Did he have any responsibilities in the area of interrogating and

12 questioning residents of the village?

13 A. Yes, he did.

14 Q. And you said he appeared to be some sort of a policeman. Would

15 that have been, from the uniform, in your view --

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. -- a military police or a civilian policeman?

18 A. Well, he had the cap on like a general's cap or a police cap, and

19 he had an olive-green uniform on.

20 Q. Was that the same uniform that was worn by the JNA that was in the

21 village?

22 A. Well, similar except for the cap. All the rest was similar.

23 Q. You were asked some questions about Person A, and I think in the

24 midst of one of the questions he was referred to in the question as a

25 local Serb. Was Person A from your village?

Page 23781

1 A. No, Person A was another village also in the surrounding area of

2 Vukovar.

3 Q. You were asked some questions about the weaponry of the guards,

4 and you gave the answer that your husband had a rifle that was not working

5 and had no ammunition.

6 Let me ask you first of all, were you also involved in these local

7 guards as well as your husband?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Do you have any jobs or responsibilities with the local guards?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And what were your responsibilities?

12 A. Well, as a woman, I was told to come to their assistance if

13 anybody happened to be wounded or anything bad happened.

14 Q. Okay. Now, you said that your husband had a rifle that was not

15 working and had no ammunition. Was this unusual that the members of the

16 guards had non-working weapons or not?

17 A. It was usual.

18 Q. And in your dealings with the local guards, did you ever see any

19 automatic weapons?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Finally, you were asked some questions about the people in the

22 village who were found, Croats who were found with rifles. I think in

23 your statement you said that you heard that they fared worst amongst the

24 people that were beaten. Could you tell us what you heard happened to

25 those people who were found with rifles or weapons.

Page 23782












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Page 23783

1 A. Well, as far as I know, they were interrogated and they were

2 beaten a lot. And afterwards, they were escorted further on, taken away.

3 As far as I know, they were taken to Serbia, to some prisons there while

4 their families were put into a truck and driven off.

5 Q. In your statement, you referred to ten people and their families

6 who were forced to leave the village. Would that be amongst those people

7 who were found with weapons?

8 A. Yes, that's right, they were.

9 MR. McKEON: That's all I have, Your Honour. Thank you.

10 JUDGE MAY: Witness C-1126, that concludes your evidence. Thank

11 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it, and you are now free to go. If

12 you would just wait while the blinds are brought down.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

14 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn until next Tuesday morning.

15 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, if I could, I wanted to inform the court

16 that a witness order list will be distributed by the Prosecution to all

17 parties sometime tomorrow, for next week.

18 JUDGE MAY: If there are any changes, the earlier it's

19 distributed, the better.

20 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour. We'll do that.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The legal officer, please.

22 We will adjourn now.

23 [The witness withdrew]

24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.23 p.m.,

25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 8th day of July,

Page 23784

1 2003, at 9.00 a.m.