1 Monday, 14 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.11 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Two points about the witness list: The parties have
7 been informed that Ante Marinovic will not now be called. He was on your
8 list as the next witness but one, I think.
9 JUDGE MAY: Is he postponed or is he out of the list?
10 MR. NICE: Out of the list.
11 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
12 MR. NICE: The remainder of witnesses for this short week are 92
13 bis witnesses plus two witnesses who are more substantial. If the Chamber
14 will accept this as a practice, we would prefer to take the witness
15 Stjepan Kljuc as near as maybe at the beginning of tomorrow morning
16 however 92 bis witnesses we've got through, in order to make sure that
17 he's disposed of this week; and similarly, we'd start to start B-127 as
18 near as may be to the beginning of Wednesday so that those substantial
19 witnesses can be got through and the 92 bis witnesses can be used to wrap
20 around them or fill in as appropriate. If that seems an acceptable
21 course, we'll plan on that basis.
22 JUDGE MAY: We'll obviously consider that and do what is
23 convenient to all.
24 MR. NICE: Of course, yes.
25 JUDGE MAY: Let me raise something. Mr. Groome last week asked us
1 to deal with a number of Bosnia 92 bis witnesses who it was proposed to be
2 called in the last two weeks, and he mentioned a list of nine priority
4 I have looked, over the weekend, at these statements, and I would
5 propose that we deal with them tomorrow for oral argument. However, there
6 are two missing statements in my binder, and I'll give you the numbers,
7 and if the Prosecution want the statements dealt with, I would like those
8 today. And the numbers are B-1704 and B-1010. As I say, I don't have
9 those, and if you would supply them, please.
10 MR. NICE: I'm very sorry that that happened.
11 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
12 MR. NICE: Mr. Saxon will be taking the next witness.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 MR. SAXON: Good morning, Your Honours. The Prosecution calls
15 Witness C-1149.
16 Your Honours, while we're waiting for the witness to enter, part
17 of this witness's testimony will be about an agriculture centre found in
18 the municipality of Zrenjanin in the Republic of Serbia. Zrenjanin can be
19 seen on Exhibit 326, tab 27.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
25 WITNESS: WITNESS C-1149
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examined by Mr. Saxon:
3 Q. Witness C-1149, you have been granted certain protective measures
4 by the Trial Chamber, and today I will refer to you by your pseudonym
5 C-1149. Would you be kind enough, please, to take a look at a piece of
6 paper that's being shown to you now and just tell us, please, by answering
7 yes or no, is that your name on the first line of that document?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Sir, recently did you review your witness statement in the
10 presence of an officer of this court and attest to its accuracy?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And did you then sign the documentation, showing that you had
13 attested your statement?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. SAXON: I have the following short summary of the witness's
16 statement, Your Honours.
17 In 1991, Witness C-1149 resided near Vukovar, Croatia. On the
18 19th of November, 1991, he and approximately 1.700 other mostly Croat men
19 and boys were forcibly transported on buses from the Vukovar area to a
20 camp in the Vojvodina region of the Republic of Serbia. Most of the
21 prisoners were Croats, but about 10 per cent of them were Serbs or members
22 of other nationalities.
23 Witness C-1149's written statement describes how these men were
24 forced at gunpoint by members of the JNA and paramilitaries to board buses
25 near Vukovar, how they were beaten and verbally abused, and then
1 transported to a camp outside the town of Zrenjanin in the Republic of
2 Serbia at a farm known as Stajicevo. Witness C-1149 describes how the
3 prisoners were brutally beaten upon their arrival at the camp and on a
4 daily basis thereafter. Prisoners were held in a cattle shed with no
5 access to toilet facilities nor water for bathing and were not given
6 sufficient food or medical care.
7 Your Honours, if I may, I have several questions for this witness.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let's identify the exhibit and give it a number for
9 the 92 bis statement.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P500, under seal.
11 MR. SAXON: Thank you.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. SAXON:
14 Q. Witness C-1149, in your written statement you describe how on 19
15 November 1991, Serb forces near Vukovar forced you and hundreds of other
16 men and boys onto buses at gunpoint. Do you know what units or forces
17 these Serbs belonged to?
18 A. They were the JNA, the Yugoslav army.
19 Q. And were there any local paramilitary forces present as well?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. While you and the other detainees were being placed on the buses,
22 did these soldiers and paramilitaries abuse the detainees verbally and
24 A. They beat us. They threatened us, to kill us, some of us. They
25 used the most dreadful verbal abuse and threats.
1 Q. When you and the other detainees boarded the buses, who was inside
2 the buses?
3 A. Paramilitaries. Paramilitary men.
4 Q. You say "paramilitaries." Do you know the specific unit that
5 these men belonged to?
6 A. No. They didn't have insignia.
7 Q. Did you know many of the people boarding these buses?
8 A. I had lived with them and worked with them.
9 Q. What was the ethnicity or nationality of the people who you knew?
10 A. Croats.
11 Q. Were any Serbs on those buses?
12 A. There were Serbs.
13 Q. Without mentioning your profession or the village where you lived,
14 can you explain why there were Serb men placed onto the buses as well as
16 A. Because they captured us. They didn't ask anyone their names or
17 their ethnicity, they just rounded us up.
18 Q. After the buses left the Vukovar area and crossed the Danube River
19 into Vojvodina in the Republic of Serbia, did you hear anything on the
20 bus's radio?
21 A. Yes. The radio was on in the buses, and we heard over the radio
22 that our convoy was passing through Vojvodina and the people were calling
23 for a lynch, and they threw stones at us as we passed through towns.
24 Q. How did the radio broadcaster describe the people who were on that
1 A. That they were killers, that 1.200 Ustashas who had killed Serb
3 Q. You describe in your written statement how prisoners were beaten
4 upon their arrival at the camp in Stajicevo. Were Serb detainees beaten
5 upon their arrival at the camp as well? Just yes or no.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Why were the Serb detainees beaten as well?
8 A. Because for them, they were traitors.
9 Q. How were the Serb detainees described as traitors, or why?
10 A. Because they had stayed behind in their apartments and houses, and
11 they had been with the Croats for three months.
12 Q. In your written statement, you explain that the commander of the
13 camp was Lieutenant Colonel Zivanovic from the military police. Was
14 Lieutenant Colonel Zivanovic present when detainees were being beaten in
15 the camp?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did Lieutenant Colonel Zivanovic take any measures to stop these
19 A. He didn't.
20 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, may we move very briefly into private
21 session, please.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 [Private session]
13 Page 24270 – redacted – private session
13 Page 24271 – redacted – private session
3 [Open session]
4 MR. SAXON:
5 Q. In your written statement, you mention seven severely wounded
6 detainees who were sent to the hospital in Zrenjanin, refused treatment,
7 and then returned to the camp. Do you know the nationality of these seven
9 A. Croats.
10 Q. Were you told why they were refused treatment in the hospital in
12 A. That Serbia would not provide medicine to Ustashas and would not
13 treat them medically.
14 MR. SAXON: Thank you. I have nothing further.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. C-1149, how long have you lived in the
18 territory of the former Yugoslavia?
19 A. Since 1964.
20 Q. When you came to study; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you got citizenship only in 1993, as far as I managed to see
23 from your details.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Of the Republic of Croatia; is that right?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. You lived in Vukovar from 1982?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you practised your profession?
5 A. Yes.
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. SAXON: Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 MR. SAXON: Can we move into private session?
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you've got any more questions along this
16 line, in private session. Perhaps we'd better go into private session to
17 deal with them.
18 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. 1149, I assume that you were not a member of any political
4 party at that time in the former Yugoslavia, and you're not a member even
5 now, or perhaps I'm mistaken.
6 A. I've never been a member.
7 Q. Tell me, during your stay, you maintained friendly ties and
8 relations with many people in Vukovar.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Irrespective of their ethnic background; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. You said awhile ago that the people you worked with, socialised
13 with were Croats, but from your statement I saw that some of them were
14 Serbs too.
17 Q. So you had professional, correct relations, friendly relations
18 with all, irrespective of ethnicity.
19 A. Irrespective of ethnicity.
20 Q. Tell me, in view of the fact that at the time you were a foreigner
21 in a country where there were ethnic conflicts, how did you view these
22 ethnic conflicts? What did you infer from that? What was actually going
24 A. Well, what was going on. We lived in peace and then the attack on
25 Vukovar started and the siege of Vukovar.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. When did this attack on Vukovar and the surrounding area start?
2 A. At first there were a lot of skirmishes, and on the 26th of
3 August, [redacted]
5 Q. On the 24th [as interpreted] of August, 1991?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know anything, as an inhabitant of Vukovar, about any kind
8 of pressures, violence - not to enumerate all these things - directed
9 against the Serbs towards the end of 1990 and throughout 1991 when the
10 attack was launched? Do you know anything about this? You lived in the
11 area; you had many ties and relationships.
12 A. I know that after the 2nd of May, there was a barricade. I know
13 that from Borovo Selo, Trpinja they prohibited workers from coming to work
14 in Borovo factory. These were barricades set up by the Serb
16 Unfortunately, my colleagues who were ethnic Serbs left their jobs
17 and did not return to the workplace after that.
18 Q. And why did your colleagues not return to their workplace, those
19 who were ethnic Serbs?
20 A. Well, that seemed to be the policy then.
21 Q. Tell me, please, do you know anything about the violence that was
22 directed against the Serbs in Vukovar at that time, that is to say in
23 1991, before the conflict broke out?
24 A. No.
25 Q. You personally don't know anything about this?
1 JUDGE MAY: You were asked about this violence. Was there any --
2 As far as you knew, was there any violence directed at the Serbs? What is
3 the truth of that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer was no, and I said where I
5 was. And in the shelter where I lived for three months, there were about
6 15 Serb families with their children, everything.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. All right. During 1991, especially from the end of July, when you
9 returned from Zagreb to Vukovar, did you notice that Serbs were leaving
11 A. A large number of them had already left.
12 Q. Why do you think they were leaving it?
13 A. Well, probably it didn't suit them, the victory of the HDZ, that
14 is, and the separation of Croatia from Yugoslavia.
15 Q. Apart from these opinions, you're saying that there weren't --
16 that there wasn't any violence directed at the Serbs?
17 A. I don't think so.
18 Q. So did you hear about any of these things?
19 A. Only over the Serb radio.
20 Q. Only over the Serb radio? You didn't hear anything from your
21 friends - Croats, Serbs - who lived in Vukovar --
22 A. No.
23 Q. -- about the situation in Vukovar?
24 A. No.
25 Q. [redacted]
2 JUDGE MAY: Private session.
3 [Private session]
13 Pages 24279-24288 – redacted – private session
13 [Open session]
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Very well. Mr. 1149, you say that all men, together with members
16 of the National Guards Corps, were boarded onto buses and that there were
17 about 1.700 of you. Is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Tell me, please, on the basis of your experience and in your
20 opinion, how many ZNGs were there in civilian clothes?
21 A. About 7 to 8 per cent.
22 Q. And those in uniform, they were about 300, is that right, in all?
23 That's what you said a moment ago, about 300.
24 A. Yes, something like that.
25 Q. Could you assist me in finding out how you could distinguish
1 between those who were in civilian clothing and those in uniform except
2 that they all had weapons? What was the other distinguishing trait?
3 A. Some were in uniform whereas the others were in civilian clothes.
4 That was the main difference.
5 Q. When you were boarded onto the buses, no one could establish who
6 amongst you were members of the National Guards Corps and who were
7 civilians; right?
8 A. They separated the men -- men from 14 to 100 years of age. All
9 men were boarded onto the bus.
10 Q. Was there someone of a hundred?
11 A. Yes, there was, a patient who was in the camp and who was 90.
12 Q. So they took him too?
13 A. Yes, they did.
14 Q. And they took Serbs and Croats?
15 A. When they separated us, they didn't ask us what nationality we
17 Q. That's precisely what I want to establish. They knew that there
18 were members of different ethnicities living there, and they didn't ask
19 you what ethnicity you were.
20 A. They thought they were Croats.
21 Q. How do you know that?
22 A. Well, if they insulted all of us, saying that we were Ustashas and
23 killers and that we would be liquidated --
24 Q. Why did they call you killers if those 300 of them, as you say,
25 didn't kill anyone?
1 A. They may have killed somebody in defence. They didn't attack
2 anyone. They were in Borovo Naselje, and they were defending it.
3 Q. So you don't know anything at all about whether those units had
4 killed anyone, committed any crimes, or anything like that due to which
5 those people were furious?
6 A. I lived through the war. There was shooting. In war there is
7 shooting, and there are victims, too, and casualties.
8 Q. That is beyond dispute. But those citizens who were around you
9 when you were being boarded onto the bus, were they furious? Were they
10 cursing at you?
11 A. They were not citizens. They were the military police, the JNA,
12 the army, and paramilitaries.
13 Q. And how did they treat you?
14 A. They separated women and children to one side, men from 14 to old
15 age to the other. They boarded the men onto buses, the women and children
16 onto trucks.
17 Q. And what -- okay. The women and children, I suppose nothing
18 happened to them, but what happened to you who were transported to
19 Stajicevo? You say you went to Stajicevo.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. How long did you stay there? From what I heard you say, it was
22 for 12 days; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And throughout that period, you performed your work; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In Stajicevo, did the army have jurisdiction over that centre or
3 the military police only, only they?
4 A. Yes, the army and the military police.
5 Q. Were you able to see any representative of the authorities, even
6 municipal authorities?
7 A. Only the MUP of Serbia.
8 Q. And where did you see members of the MUP?
9 A. In the camp. They beat us. And they welcomed us there. They
10 were waiting for us when the buses arrived.
11 Q. How long did the others stay in Stajicevo?
12 A. I think until the 15th of December.
13 Q. And what happened to them?
14 A. I don't know. I would like to ask you what happened to them.
15 They were scattered across prisons in Serbia. Stajicevo as a place was
16 destroyed as evidence. That agricultural estate no longer exists.
17 Q. But it's an agricultural estate. What is there to exist, to
18 destroy there?
19 A. It used to be an agricultural estate, but it hadn't been in use
20 for 15 years. There was no electricity, no water, no sewage, no glass.
21 It hadn't been used at all.
22 Q. Any of those people, were they killed? Were they victimised?
23 A. Yes, we were all victimised, but only one was killed.
24 Q. How was he killed?
25 A. He was shot at.
1 Q. Where was he shot at and who shot at him?
2 A. If we are in a camp, then I don't know who could possibly shoot at
3 us except the guards.
4 Q. And why did they shoot at that particular individual?
5 A. I don't know. They told me personally that he wanted to escape
6 and that's why they shot him.
7 Q. So out of 1.700 of you, one was killed, allegedly when trying to
8 escape. Is that what you're saying?
9 A. Only one was killed, but we all suffered beatings. I have
10 injuries on my spine in the neck area from the beatings I got.
11 Q. Fine.
12 A. You say "Fine." It's not fine.
13 Q. I'm not saying that the fact that they beat you is fine,
14 Mr. C-1149, I'm just saying fine in the context of your answers.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Lieutenant -- the lieutenant
16 colonel, I think, was not mentioned in private session but in public
17 session, wasn't he?
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, he was.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In open session; right?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. From what you are saying, I see that with Lieutenant Colonel
23 Zivanovic, whom you mention as being the responsible person for that
24 centre, that you had -- that you were on good terms with him. You
25 communicated well with him.
1 A. Yes, I was on good terms with him after I was mistreated all
3 Q. Will you please describe that for me. It's not quite clear to me.
4 Was there when you arrived there somebody mistreated you and then the next
5 day, in the morning, you established good relations with him?
6 A. I think it right -- what is said in my statement is quite clear.
7 The mistreatment started on the bus, and when we were getting off the bus
8 there was two lines of policemen, soldiers, were beating us until we
9 entered the stables. Then they continued beating us until the morning.
10 And we doctors that were there, we had special treatment. We were given
11 special treatment.
12 Q. And in the morning, you met the commander, Lieutenant Colonel
14 [redacted] He
15 spoke to the lieutenant colonel and told him that I had treated both and
16 that I had helped everyone and that I was a foreigner. He didn't know
17 that until then.
18 Q. Very well. Please, you explained that those people who had
19 captured you beat you regardless of whether people were Serbs, Croats, or
20 foreigners, regardless of ethnicity.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Does that mean that they considered you some kind of prisoners of
24 A. I think a prisoner of war shouldn't be beaten and mistreated.
25 Q. I also think that no one must beat or mistreat prisoners of war,
1 but I'm just asking you, did they consider you prisoners of war?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. But still they mistreated you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. He, the lieutenant colonel, that same day permitted medical
6 treatment to be given to all sick or wounded prisoners regardless of
7 whether they were members of the National Guards Corps or other units,
8 that everyone be treated without exception; is that right?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's go into private session and deal with
16 [Private session]
13 Pages 24296-24309 – redacted – private session
6 [Open session]
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Witness, since you lived for many years in the Socialist Federal
9 Republic of Yugoslavia, you had occasion to see in other towns of the
10 former Yugoslavia barracks, because they existed in the centres of many
11 towns; isn't that so?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In those barracks were tanks and cannon within the compound, that
14 didn't come out into the street?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'm not asking you about this time when the conflict broke out,
17 I'm talking about peacetime.
18 A. In peacetime certainly they were not in the streets.
19 Q. That's what I was asking. Also, when soldiers walked the streets,
20 they were not armed during their free time, were they?
21 A. No, they were not.
22 Q. A moment ago, you said that guns and tanks in the Vinkovci
23 barracks were within the barracks compound, weren't they, when they were
25 A. Let me correct you first. I didn't mention Vinkovci. I didn't
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 live --
2 Q. I'm sorry, Vukovar, I meant Vukovar.
3 A. From the 2nd of May, when the massacre occurred in Borovo Selo,
4 JNA tanks were in the towns. They patrolled Vukovar.
5 Q. I'm afraid there's a misunderstanding. I'm talking about the
6 months of July and August, before the conflict occurred. The cannon and
7 the tanks were within the barracks.
8 A. Yes, of course. They never came out. There was no reason; there
9 wasn't any military parade or anything.
10 Q. So when the conflict broke out, when they were surrounded, they
11 responded by opening fire from the barracks with cannon and tanks.
12 A. Listen, now: You're telling your own story. You say surrounded.
13 On the 2nd of May, not a single barracks was surrounded, in Vukovar or in
14 Vinkovci. And what happened happened in Borovo Selo. From then on, the
15 army patrolled the town and APCs in tanks. In tanks and APCs.
16 Q. I'm trying to make things clear. When the conflict occurred, you
17 say that JNA soldiers opened fire from tanks and cannon from the barracks,
18 whereas the barracks were surrounded by members of the ZNG. Is that right
19 or not?
20 A. You're talking about ZNG members. There was the reserve police
21 force. There were also volunteers who were defending their homes.
22 Q. You're talking about Croats.
23 A. Yes, Croats. Then how can somebody with an automatic rifle attack
24 a barracks that has 300 tanks, or threaten it? You keep saying that the
25 army was not attacking but it was only defending itself. That's not true.
1 It can't be true.
2 Q. I didn't say anything. I just asked you to explain things. I'm
3 not claiming anything. I want to know whether you know if, among the
4 soldiers within the barracks, there were any killed.
5 A. I wasn't there.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Saxon, if you can finish this witness before the
8 adjournment, so much the better. We started a bit late, so we can sit on
9 a bit late.
10 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. I will do my best.
11 Re-examined by Mr. Saxon:
12 Q. Just to clarify one confusion, Witness C-1149. At one point in
13 the transcript it appears that you say that you arrived in the camp on the
14 19th of December. Did you arrive in the camp on the 19th of December or
15 the 19th of November?
16 A. The 19th of November.
17 Q. Can you tell us what unit or institution Lieutenant Colonel
18 Zivanovic belonged to?
19 A. The military police of the JNA. The JNA military police.
20 Q. Did Lieutenant Colonel Zivanovic have any subordinates working at
21 the Stajicevo camp?
22 A. I met two majors apart from others of lower rank. And at the
23 interrogations there was also a major who interrogated me. As for the
24 others, I don't know how many there were.
25 Q. Were these majors also members of the military police?
1 A. The major who was the most active one, he was not from the
2 military police.
3 Q. After the first night in -- do you know which unit or institution
4 that major belonged to?
5 A. No.
6 Q. After the first night in the camp, did Serb detainees continue to
7 suffer beatings?
8 A. After the first night, they were beaten less because they formed a
9 separate group. But when they went for interrogation, they were also
11 Q. After the first night in the camp, did non-Serb detainees continue
12 to suffer beatings?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Did you at any time feel safe when you were in the camp in
16 A. No.
17 MR. SAXON: May we go into private session for one moment.
18 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE MAY: Witness C-1149, that concludes your evidence. Thank
18 you for coming to the International Tribunal. You are free to go, but
19 just wait a moment while the blinds are lowered.
20 And we will begin the next session with the next witness in court.
21 Yes. We will adjourn now for 20 minutes.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.44 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.12 a.m.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
4 WITNESS: MARKO MILJANIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MS. BAUER: Your Honour, Sabine Bauer for the Prosecution.
8 Examined by Ms. Bauer:
9 Q. Witness, could you please state your name for the record.
10 A. Marko Miljanic.
11 Q. Mr. Miljanic, did you have the occasion on 19 June 2003 to review
12 your witness statement in the presence of a court officer?
13 A. I didn't have time to review that statement because that was when
14 the shelling of Zadar started.
15 Q. I think -- I'm sorry. You misunderstand me. Did you, a month ago
16 in Zadar, have an opportunity to review your witness statement?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And signed a declaration attesting to its accuracy?
19 A. Yes, that's true. A month or two ago, I don't remember, I did
20 sign a statement. I read it in front of a representative of the
22 MS. BAUER: Your Honours, I would like to tender the statement.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll give it an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: P501.
25 MS. BAUER: Thank you. Your Honours, pursuant to a court order on
1 the 11th of April, 2003, the portions relating to paragraphs 13 and 14 and
2 paragraphs 25 and 26 of the statement will be heard viva voce. However, I
3 commence with the summary first.
4 The witness is a Croat by ethnicity and was 40 years of age at the
5 time of the events. Until May 1991, he was a JNA marine officer.
6 Subsequently, he worked for the Croatian police in Zadar as a mine and
7 explosive expert in charge of deactivating mines.
8 In September 1991, the witness was sent by the Zadar MUP and
9 Crisis Committee to organise the civilian protection in and around
11 For Your Honours' orientation, you will find Zadar and Skabrnja in
12 the Croatian atlas at pages 24 and 25, grid references 2-C going over to
14 Skabrnja was inhabited by around 2.000 Croats. The village had
15 neither military facilities nor any defence structures. Upon arrival in
16 Skabrnja, the witness divided the 240 male villagers of Skabrnja into
17 squads. The villagers of Skabrnja did not have any heavy weaponry nor
18 were there any JNA officers located there.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down, please.
20 MS. BAUER: I apologise.
21 The witness instructed the villagers to build trenches and erect
22 barricades. However, traffic was not interrupted or blocked. The witness
23 concluded, based on his military experience, that around 3.000 soldiers
24 with good military training and equipment were required to successfully
25 defend the village against an attack.
1 At the end of September, the village of Skabrnja was shelled for
2 the first time by the JNA. They used incendiary bombs and set the
3 surrounding forest on fire. When people attempted to extinguish these
4 fires, they were shot at.
5 On 1st October the witness evacuated the civilian population from
6 Skabrnja. Around 245 men, including medical personnel, stayed behind.
7 The following day, the JNA attacked Nadin and Zemunik Gornji using
8 infantry and tanks. When people from Nadin fled through Skabrnja, the air
9 force attacked Skabrnja using cluster and incendiary bombs, killing two
10 people in Nadin.
11 Q. Mr. Miljanic, in October of 1991, did your men capture two JNA
13 A. That is true. They captured two JNA officers who had come to the
14 village in the afternoon, and they were Dejan Brener and Captain
15 Jovanovic. I do not recall his first name.
16 Q. Did you know any of them before that day?
17 A. I didn't know them. I'd never seen them before.
18 Q. And Officer Brener, did he introduce himself to you by his name?
19 A. Officer Brener gave an entirely different first and last name that
20 day. He introduced himself as Esad Catic from Bihac. He said that he was
21 chief of the military restaurant in Benkovac.
22 Q. When did you for the first time learn the real identity of Officer
24 A. Five days later, I learnt from the police that he was not Esad
25 Catic but a JNA Lieutenant Dejan Brener. And Jovanovic was a captain. As
1 I say, I don't remember his first name.
2 Q. On that occasion, did you have a conversation with the person that
3 gave you a wrong name?
4 A. Yes, I did have a conversation of about two hours, and he gave me
5 these data that I have mentioned.
6 Q. Could you please repeat for the Court's attention, what exactly
7 did this person tell you on that occasion?
8 A. Mr. Brener told me then, "I am surprised. Why are you working
9 there? What are you waiting for? Mladic will certainly attack you. He
10 will burn you down and destroy you, because simply you don't stand a
11 chance." And then I said to him, "What do you mean?" And he said, "I
12 know that for certain, because he will not allow you to stay there,
13 because just look around: Above you in the neighbouring villages you have
14 Serb populated areas." There were tanks, troops, and so on. I told him
15 not to worry, that no one would attack us.
16 Q. Did you know Ratko Mladic at that time personally?
17 A. Yes, I did, because before joining the Croatian police, I was a
18 JNA member, and my command was in Knin, so that I did know Ratko Mladic by
19 sight. I knew his voice. I never had any personal communication with him
20 because he was a very high-ranking officer and I was not and there was a
21 very explicit hierarchy in the former JNA so that I never had a chance to
22 talk to him actually in person.
23 Q. How many times would you estimate you have seen Ratko Mladic at
24 the time before you retired from the JNA service?
25 A. Maybe five, five to seven times perhaps, perhaps.
1 Q. Did you come across Officer Brener later again?
2 A. I did. As I said, I met him again in the police in Zadar, and I
3 heard then that his name was not Esad Catic but Dejan Brener, that he was
4 an intelligence officer of the 9th Knin Corps, and I saw him wearing the
5 uniform of the National Guards Corps, and he addressed me with the words,
6 "You see, Marko, I too now am a member of the ZNGs."
7 Q. Did you hear or learn later what happened to Officer Brener?
8 A. Yes, I did. I know that he trained members of the ZNG in manning
9 tanks, because the ZNGs had two tanks then that were part of the newly
10 formed 112th Brigade, and Mr. Brener trained them. And then I heard in
11 the police that Ratko Mladic had a very keen interest in him and that he
12 was demanding that he be returned, so that later on there were
13 negotiations in the Kolovare Hotel over Brener's return. He brought his
14 mother, and Brener's wife and children were under Ratko Mladic's control,
15 so that after a month or a month and a half, he was exchanged and he went
16 back to Knin. As for his fate after that, I don't know. I never heard of
17 him nor do I know what happened.
18 MS. BAUER: I'll continue with the summary.
19 In November 1991, the inhabitants of Skabrnja returned to the
20 village after a cease-fire agreement. The witness was under strict
21 instructions from the Zadar crisis committee to uphold the cease-fire and
22 not to respond to any provocations. Life in Skabrnja returned to normal.
23 No JNA attacks occurred until the 18th of November. The JNA neither
24 negotiated nor posed an ultimatum. They moved freely in the area
25 including through the village of Skabrnja.
1 On 18th November, 1991, the JNA attacked the village by shelling
2 in the early morning hours. Civilians were directed to hide in their
3 basements. The witness estimated, based on his military experience and
4 information, that the village was attacked by at least 1.000 soldiers.
5 There were 28 tanks coming from different directions followed by JNA
6 trucks full of infantry soldiers.
7 The witness went to his headquarters which was set up in a
8 civilian house where he had a radio communications link with the Zadar
9 Crisis Committee. Around midday of 18th November, the witness heard a
10 loud explosion and observed from the highest point of Skabrnja a cloud of
11 smoke. He concluded that a JNA truck with ammunition had exploded. After
12 the explosion, the witness returned to the communications centre.
13 Q. Mr. Miljanic, on that occasion did you have an opportunity to
14 overhear a JNA radio communication on the network?
15 A. Throughout the day I listened to communications because it was an
16 open line. It's an ordinary police radio station that worked on batteries
17 - we didn't have electricity in the village - and I was simply listening
18 to various interceptions and conversations and so I heard a conversation,
19 among others, between then-Colonel Ratko Mladic and Lieutenant Colonel
20 Tripko Cecovic who was commander of the 62nd Motorised Brigade from
21 Benkovac, and I knew him personally.
22 Q. How did they address each other?
23 A. It was not coded. They spoke openly. And at the request of
24 Mr. Tripko Cecovic, who said that his ammunition reserves had exploded and
25 that he couldn't go on, Mr. Ratko Mladic said - I knew his voice, as I was
1 saying - ordered him quite openly, using his name. He said,"Cecovic,
2 continue the attack. You will get ammunition reserves. If you retreat, I
3 will execute it -- you." Those were the words he used. In the basement
4 there were another 60 civilians with me, women and old men, and they heard
5 that conversation. It was nothing that couldn't be heard. It was heard
6 loud and clear.
7 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Cecovic, did you know him from before?
8 A. Yes, I did. He was in Benkovac. And as I worked closely with the
9 engineers, building, construction, et cetera, I often went to Benkovac to
10 work on the maintenance of buildings, so that I would come across Tripko
11 Cecovic very frequently in Benkovac. That is, before I left the JNA.
12 MS. BAUER: I'll continue with the summary: After the
13 conversation with Ratko Mladic, the witness observed through his
14 binoculars several helicopters landing in the surrounding areas of
15 Skabrnja. Some JNA soldiers were unloading goods but due to distance, the
16 witness couldn't tell what exactly. Further, he saw young soldiers
17 dressed in dark uniforms getting out of some of the helicopters and taking
18 up combat positions around the village of Skabrnja. The witness took them
19 for JNA special forces based on their appearance.
20 Q. Mr. Miljanic, what kind of special forces did you think they were
21 at that time?
22 A. I didn't actually see their faces, whether they were young or
23 older people, but I could only judge by their uniforms. They wore dark
24 blue uniforms and berets, and they were getting out of helicopters. Three
25 or four helicopters landed two or three times, and soldiers got off.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 In my judgement, as I was more or less familiar with the structure
2 of the former JNA, in my personal opinion, I think they were special
3 forces or elite units judging by their uniform, their appearance, and
4 their subsequent activities. I think they were special units, probably --
5 probably a special unit, maybe a parachute unit from Nis or something like
6 that. I don't know.
7 MS. BAUER: I'll continue with the summary:
8 The attack resumed and Skabrnja was soon divided in two parts.
9 The JNA tanks and infantry soldiers in SMB, dark blue, or camouflage
10 uniforms took the western part of the village.
11 The witness was informed by some of the villagers that JNA
12 soldiers dragged civilians out of the basements, killed some of them on
13 the spot and used others, including women and children, as human shields.
14 The witness could recognise several people taken as human shields through
15 his binoculars.
16 In the late afternoon there was another air attack and the witness
17 lost all his means of communication.
18 During the evening and night, all civilians from the unoccupied
19 part of the village fled to Zadar. The witness withdrew with his men in
20 the early morning hours of the next day.
21 The witness lists in his statement 42 villagers of Skabrnja who
22 lost their lives during the attack. He also reviewed photographs of dead
23 persons, some of which are --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please read slower. Thank
1 MS. BAUER: Apologies.
2 He also reviewed photographs of dead persons, some of which are
3 attached to his statement.
4 Upon returning to Skabrnja in 1995, the witness saw about 80 per
5 cent of the 500 Croat houses were totally destroyed. The witness observed
6 that there were some destruction before and during the shelling attack on
7 Skabrnja, but most of the houses were still inhabitable until the 18th of
9 Q. Now, Mr. Miljanic, you mentioned that before. Did you give a
10 statement to a Croatian investigative Judge in 1992 about the events in
12 A. Yes. I'm a bit hard of hearing, so at first I thought of that
13 statement. This was in 1992, in the autumn of 1992. I gave a statement
14 to Mr. Mikolcevic, investigating judge. He invited me to give a statement
15 in relation to this massacre, this crime in Skabrnja. So that's the way
16 it was. And I did that. I did that in his presence and in the presence
17 of his secretary.
18 Q. Mr. Miljanic, please just yes or no to the next two questions.
19 Did you have an opportunity over the weekend to go over this statement?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And are you able to explain, if asked by the Judges or
22 Mr. Milosevic, what if everything -- what the reasons were why the
23 statement might appear on some occasions different from the ICTY
25 A. You have to know that a lot of time has gone by. Many things
1 happened after that too.
2 Q. Mr. Miljanic, I just ask you to say yes or no, whether you are
3 able to give the reasons for the differences.
4 A. I can. Well, yes, I gave that statement approximately over, say,
5 an hour and a half.
6 Q. Thank you. That will be enough.
7 MS. BAUER: No further questions. Your Honour, we have the
8 statement for distribution, if need arises.
9 JUDGE MAY: It may be as well if we have it.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Until the end of May 1991, you were a JNA officer
14 or, rather, a first class warrant officer; is that right?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. At the moment when you left the JNA, you were in Zadar within the
17 Marine Corps; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you left because you did not want to fight against your own
20 people; is that right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Is it correct, though, that as a former officer of the JNA, I
23 assume that you knew that already from the month of May 1991, JNA barracks
24 in Zadar - and not only in Zadar but also in Split and Sinj and Sibenik -
25 were blockaded by the Croatian army, the ZNG, the MUP and the HVO?
1 A. That's not right, because quite simply how could they otherwise
2 get food, water, electricity, and everything else? Nobody impeded them in
3 any way.
4 Q. So they were not under blockade?
5 A. No, they were not.
6 Q. The barracks in Split, Zadar, Sinj and Sibenik?
7 A. Zadar. I'm talking about Zadar. I know about Zadar, I don't know
8 about the rest.
9 Q. So that barracks were not under blockade?
10 A. No, they were not.
11 Q. When did the blockade start, to the best of your knowledge?
12 A. To the best of my knowledge, when the first shells started falling
13 on Zadar. This was sometime in August, the month of August. That's when
14 the blockade of the barracks started. But soldiers were leaving the
15 barracks en masse, and these same barracks were receiving food, that is to
16 say, from town, because in Zadar, there was not a military bakery. So
17 food, electricity, water, medical assistance, that's what all the barracks
19 Q. All right. Tell me, when did this stop, what you refer to, food,
20 electricity, water, and when was gunfire opened at barracks and garrisons
21 of the JNA?
22 A. When the Serb paramilitary units cut off the electricity supply
23 and the water supply of the town of Zadar and everything else. That's
24 when it started.
25 Q. When was this?
1 A. This started sometime in August. I think it was the month of
3 Q. Is it correct, since you should certainly know about that, that
4 General Spegelj, in his order issued as far as back as the 5th of
5 December, 1990, he ordered complete surveillance of all JNA activity in
6 the territory of Croatia?
7 A. I am not aware of that because at that time I was still a member
8 of the Yugoslav People's Army.
9 Q. Are you aware of the Defence Ministry of Croatia sending a
10 telegram to the MUPs in 17 Croatian municipalities, and this telegram
11 said, "Be prepared and ready to operate vis-a-vis barracks and garrisons
12 according to assignments issued"?
13 A. I never saw this order nor did I ever receive it.
14 Q. All right. And later, as an officer of the JNA, did you know or
15 as an officer of the Guards Corps did you know that only in the year 1991
16 there were 268 attacks at JNA officers throughout Croatia?
17 A. First of all, I was not an officer of the National Guards Corps,
18 because had I been an officer of the ZNG, I would have had at least the
19 rank I had in the JNA. I am a man who does not even have the rank of
20 corporal in the Croatian army. I was a member of the regular force of the
21 MUP, and I dealt with mines and explosives since I -- this was my line of
22 work and that's why I worked there.
23 Q. So do you know as a member of the regular MUP forces that only in
24 1991 there were 268 attacks at JNA officers throughout Croatia?
25 A. I'm not aware of that.
1 Q. Do you know that 100 -- that there were 107 cases of JNA officers
2 being brought into custody, arrested at the MUP and that they had their
3 weapons taken away from them?
4 A. I'm not aware of that. I repeat once again, I did not have a
5 high-ranking position. I was an ordinary policeman, and later on I became
6 an inspector. So I did not know.
7 Q. Are you aware of many cases when JNA officers' apartments were
8 broken into and when they were looted, when their valuables were taken and
9 their families attacked?
10 A. I don't know, because I myself live in that kind of neighbourhood
11 in Zadar where there were only military apartments. Only military
12 apartments. And as for these officers with whom I worked and with whom I
13 lived, I invariably had good, correct relations with them. And all the
14 people -- all these people left when the JNA was moving out of the town of
15 Zadar. Until the very last moment, I lived with them together in the same
16 apartment building, right next door. Major Obradovic, a JNA pilot, lived
17 right next to me, in the apartment right next to me.
18 Q. Thank you for such an extensive answer. And do you know who was
19 the Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps in Sibenik?
20 A. I don't know. I don't know.
21 Q. Do you know the name of Lieutenant Colonel Srecko Lakic?
22 A. Yes, because he and I served together in Losinj. In addition to
23 that, he comes from the area that I come from.
24 Q. Do you know that his wife, who was a Croat, was killed in front of
25 the barracks in Sibenik?
1 A. It's not true. She was not killed. His children still live in
2 Losinj and their mother, his wife, died. And the doctor offered
3 Mr. Lakic to go to see his wife, and she was seriously ill
4 psychologically. Mrs. Milena Lakic. And it's not true. Nobody killed
5 her. Mr. Togilja [phoen] from the Crisis Staff went, together with the
6 doctor, and the doctor was supposed to stay by way of a guarantee at the
7 barracks in Sibenik, and he was going to see his wife with the doctor and
8 with Mr. Togilja, and his two children, the two children. Mr. Srecko
9 Lakic went along too and they asked him, "Father, go and see Mother."
10 That is the truth, Mr. Milosevic. She was not killed.
11 Q. Is it correct that the families were brought in front of the
12 barracks, brought by the representatives of the Croat authorities and that
13 they asked Lieutenant Colonel Lakic to hand over the barracks?
14 A. No, no.
15 Q. All right. You're saying no, so we can go on.
16 A. Yes, we can.
17 Q. Soon after you left the JNA you were sent to Skabrnja?
18 A. No. No. I spent four months or perhaps even more than that in
19 Zadar before I went to Skabrnja, because Skabrnja is my native village.
20 Q. So after four months you went to Skabrnja to organise the civilian
21 defence there; is that right?
22 A. Yes. And not to allow my provocations, in accordance with the
23 orders of the chief of police, Mr. Brzoje.
24 Q. And before that, before you went to Skabrnja, was there a blockade
25 of the barracks in Zadar?
1 A. No, no. There was no blockade of the barracks.
2 Q. All right. Tell me, were there any attacks at Skabrnja before
3 September 1991?
4 A. Yes, there were. Forests were torched and livestock was taken
5 away. The harvest was destroyed. Every day there were fires. There was
6 arson. All sorts of terrible things were done around that village.
7 Q. And who took away the cattle and burned the harvest and forests?
8 A. Who? I don't know. I really cannot answer that, because I really
9 don't know. I didn't see anyone myself.
10 Q. And the units of the JNA, did they want to have the barracks in
11 Zadar, Sibenik, Split, and Sinj blocked?
12 A. Mr. Milosevic, as for Sibenik, Sinj, Split, I really don't know
13 about that. As for Zadar is concerned, they did not opt for a
14 deblockade. I know that quite simply because many soldiers, among who I
15 was -- or, rather, I was their commander, they were fleeing from the
16 barracks and they came to us. They came to me. They came to their former
17 superior officers, and they came with weapons and they threw their weapons
18 away and said that they were leaving. And also they took them in to the
19 police and civilian defence, wherever, and then they gave them clothing
20 and then they left. About 150 or 200 soldiers would sometimes leave the
21 barracks in one day only.
22 Q. I'm asking you something else. Was this the route that was taken
23 through Skabrnja through which these forces were supposed to get close to
24 the barracks in Sibenik, Split, and Sinj from the Split Corps?
25 A. No, no. There were special communication from Sinj to Sibenik --
1 I mean from Knin to Sibenik, and there is special communication for
2 Sibenik and Split and Zadar is independent, because Benkovac is between
3 Zadar and Knin.
4 Q. So it was not necessary to go via this route in Skabrnja?
5 A. No. No. There's this other road from Smiljetici [phoen] going
6 via Zemunik, Smokovici to the airport, and then to Zadar ultimately.
7 Q. But that was one of the routes, wasn't it?
8 A. Yes, it was one of the routes. And this communication was open
9 throughout this time. Well, throughout this time, because Mr. Mladic
10 precisely took this route when he went to negotiation in Zadar. That is
11 to say that this had to do with Mr. Brener and the hotel Kolovare. I saw
12 him myself as he passed by.
13 Q. All right. Do you know that on the 15th of August, 1991, the
14 General Staff of the JNA issued an order to deblock all JNA barracks in
15 territories that were not in jeopardy?
16 A. I'm not aware of that.
17 Q. But it is correct that Skabrnja was one of these points when the
18 JNA moved towards Zadar and Sibenik?
19 A. Well, yes, but inside there weren't any --
20 Q. Well, that's the only thing I'm asking you.
21 A. No. No.
22 JUDGE MAY: One at a time, and bear in mind the interpreters.
23 Would you do the same, please, Mr. Miljanic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In this room, a transcript appeared of an intercept of a telephone
2 conversation between General Veljko Kadijevic and Croatian President
3 Tudjman. Do you know anything about that?
4 A. I don't.
5 Q. Have you ever heard this, that Kadijevic asked Tudjman to stop
6 attacks in barracks in Sibenik --
7 JUDGE MAY: No. The witness doesn't know anything about this. He
8 said so.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. All right. In relation to these blockades of barracks, do you
11 know that even the bodies of killed JNA soldiers and officers could not be
12 buried, that they were put away and they were buried only later because
13 barracks were under pressure, under blockade?
14 A. I'm not aware of that.
15 Q. All right. If you don't know about any of this, let's move on to
16 those things that you must be aware of. You say that in Skabrnja you
17 organised a civilian defence. Two hundred forty locals; is that right?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Separated into two groups.
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. What kind of weapons did you have?
22 A. As for weapons, we had -- about 40 per cent were hunting weapons,
23 sports weapons, and trophies from the Second World War. Also, about 10
24 per cent of military weapons. That is to say, semi-automatic and
25 automatic rifles. As for heavy infantry weapons, two hand-held launchers
1 with four mines respectively, and two 82-millimetre launchers that were in
2 Karlovac. So they had about 20 mines each. That's the weapons we had.
3 Q. So that was everything that you had at that particular point on
4 the route leading to Zadar and Sibenik?
5 A. Well, not directly at that particular point because this was about
6 7 kilometres away. It was about 7 kilometres away, because Skabrnja is
7 about eight and a half kilometres. Yes, it's about 7 kilometres.
8 Q. All right. So it was scattered throughout this area.
9 A. Towards Zadar and Knin.
10 Q. Tell me, please, is it correct that in addition to the locals that
11 you've been referring to organised in the so-called Skabrnja Battalion,
12 there were also 600 members of the ZNG from Zadar?
13 A. No, that's not true, because first of all, it was not a battalion.
14 I mean, it was a battalion, but the word "Bojna" was not used. At that
15 time, we were using the terminology that was used in the former JNA. So
16 the word used was "battalion." We didn't use the word "Bojna" yet. And
17 in the -- as for the ZNG, no one was ever in Skabrnja.
18 Q. All right. You know who Rudolf Davorin is, you've heard of that
19 name, haven't you?
20 A. Rudolf Davorin from Zagreb. Well, he was -- I don't know, he was
21 deputy Prime Minister or something. Or an ambassador some kind of
23 Q. Is it true that on the 22nd of September, 1991, on behalf of the
24 Croatia, in Zipnic [phoen], he signed an agreement that had to do with the
25 deblockade of JNA barracks and garrisons?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I'm not aware of that because I did not hold that kind of
2 position. I could not know about such things.
3 Q. All right. But as you come from Zadar yourself, after this
4 agreement was signed, were the barracks in Zadar under a blockade and shot
5 at by the ZNG and MUP?
6 A. I have already told you this. I said that I arrived in Skabrnja
7 and was there the whole time, and from time to time I would go down to
8 Zadar to take what I needed; ammunition, bandages, and things of that
9 sort. I went to ask them to give us those supplies. That was my
10 assignment and task.
11 Q. All right. Very well, Mr. Miljanic. Let me just remind you of
12 this: As the main points in the agreement were to stop the blockade of
13 the barracks; second, to allow medical assistance to the wounded JNA
14 members; third, to deal with all the consequences of the blockade; and
15 fourth, to pull out the units peacefully --
16 JUDGE MAY: There's no point asking him this. He knows nothing
17 about the agreement. He was in Skabrnja. That's what he said.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, he would go to Zadar, and
19 that's close by.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Now, who was in command of the garrison of the JNA in Zadar at the
23 A. Well, as far as I remember, I think it was Mr. -- He was a
24 colonel, at any rate. Momcilo Perisic. I think it was Momcilo Perisic.
25 He was a colonel.
1 Q. And do you happen to recall that during those attacks 11 soldiers
2 belonging to the JNA were killed within the frameworks of that barracks in
4 A. No, I don't know about that.
5 Q. All right. Now, to go back to Skabrnja for a moment, in paragraph
6 8 of your statement you claim that before the attack there was no shooting
7 from your side or any sort of provocations; is that right?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. And tell me this: Why, then, did the JNA members open fire?
10 A. I don't know. I really can't say why they went into action.
11 Q. Is it true that it was from the forests around Skabrnja that fire
12 was opened targeting the JNA units?
13 A. No, never. And I can say that with full responsibility. There
14 was never any shooting, because quite simply we didn't dare provoke them
15 because we didn't have the force to back us up to do so.
16 Q. Well, do you know that Skabrnja was what you in the army call a
17 collection point where the JNA was supposed to collect and this was a
18 target from the surrounding forests, as a standby?
19 A. It wasn't -- Skabrnja was never an important strategic point.
20 Even when I was a member of the JNA, it wasn't a strategic area of any
21 kind. It was just referred to as cleric and nationalist and an Ustasha
22 village, that's all.
23 Q. I don't want to enter into qualifications of that kind, but a
24 moment ago we ascertained it was a point on the road towards Zadar and
1 A. Well, yes, there was a main road going past there.
2 Q. Well, that's what I'm talking about. It was a main road passing
3 that way. Now you stand by what you said, that you had 240 fighters in
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. And that you had nobody else, no other ZNG members from Zadar or
7 anybody else except those 240 fighters of yours, combatants.
8 A. I'm referring to Skabrnja when I say that. Now, the other
9 villages remain, the seven largest villages in the Zadar municipality,
10 because the territory which I controlled as a policeman made up a third of
11 the Zadar municipality. So within that composition, within that third,
12 there were seven large villages. So in Skabrnja there were 250 men, and
13 up to the 700-odd people in all the other villages around Zadar.
14 Q. All right. Tell me this: Now, what is the radius of that area,
15 the diameter? You say that there were 240 of you in Skabrnja and 800 in
16 the other villages.
17 A. 240, as I said, and then another 400 and something in the other
18 villages around, and the diameter, I would say, was about 30-odd
19 kilometres. Usually for the most part it was an imaginary line, and that
20 covered about 38 kilometres.
21 Q. All right. Now, do you know that within those efforts for the
22 units to break through to the Zadar road, that Zoran Stevanovic from Brdsa
23 [phoen], a lieutenant, was killed and that another ten were seriously
25 A. Where did you say?
1 Q. In that area, the area of the JNA units when their barracks were
2 under blockade tried to break through?
3 A. Well, maybe on that day when there was fighting, but not before
4 that. Nobody ever got killed in Skabrnja before that except for three
5 locals who died from a shell.
6 Q. So you don't know of the death of Lieutenant Stefanovic.
7 JUDGE MAY: No. Let's not waste time. He's said that.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Now, did the JNA units manage to break through towards Zemunik and
11 Borik immediately after that?
12 A. What time do you have in mind, what period of time?
13 Q. Immediately after those conflicts and clashes on the Skabrnja
15 A. Well, I don't know. I don't know where the JNA went to after
16 that. I just know that before Skabrnja fell, the JNA units were in Crno
17 at the crossing towards the town of Zadar. As for the rest, I don't know.
18 They didn't need to break through anywhere because they were already at
19 Smokovici and Zemunik, so where would they have to break through, which
21 Q. Let me just ask you this then: Is it true that the first combat
22 operations took part in Skabrnja itself?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Well, where did the fighting take place first?
25 A. In Kijevo, Krusevo.
1 Q. All right. Thank you.
2 A. Polaca, Kijevo, Krusevo; lots of other place.
3 Q. Now, do you know that during that period of time the person in
4 command was Vlado Vukovic who at the time was the commander of the 9th
5 Knin Corps, and not General Mladic? General Mladic was Chief of Staff.
6 A. He was a colonel. Mladic wasn't a general at the time and Vukovic
7 did arrive for negotiations in Zadar before Mladic, and so did Hasovic.
8 Hasovic came in for negotiations too.
9 Q. Vukovic was commander of the 9th Corps and Mladic was Chief of
10 Staff; is that right?
11 A. Yes, and he was Colonel Mladic.
12 Q. Now, you say this and repeat it in paragraph 15 of your report,
13 that three locals of Skabrnja lost their lives during the shelling of
14 Skabrnja by the JNA; is that right?
15 A. Yes, it is. Before the 18th.
16 Q. All right. But in paragraph 10 you said that on the 1st of
17 October, 1991, you organised the evacuation of women, children, and
18 elderly persons; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. That means that what was left in Skabrnja were the combatants.
21 A. Yes, just the men.
22 Q. Just the combatants, the fighters under your command; is that it?
23 A. Well, it was something between combatants and Civil Defence
24 because people of 55 or 60, men of 55 or 60 can't really be called
25 combatants, but if you like to call them that, then all right.
1 Q. So the civilian population was evacuated before the conflict, and
2 in Skabrnja during the conflict the only people who stayed on were the
3 military men; is that right?
4 A. Yes, you can put it that way if you like.
5 Q. All right. Fine. So these three locals were in fact combatants
6 who were killed in the fighting against members of the JNA?
7 A. No, they weren't combatants. No. The shells hit them and two of
8 them died of mortar shells, one from a cannon shell.
9 JUDGE MAY: It's put that the people left in the village after the
10 evacuation were combatants. That's the word that the accused continually
11 uses. Now, you should have the opportunity to answer that and clarify, if
12 you would, who it was who left. Would you describe them as combatants?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, they were members of
14 the Civil Defence forces, that is to say Civil Defence. Now, how we're
15 going to treat them now and refer to them, I simply don't know. What they
16 were was members of the Civil Defence.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the witness has already
18 given that answer and specified that there were 240 of them and that it
19 was a unit which went into operation in the area.
20 JUDGE MAY: Was anybody else left besides the members of the Civil
21 Defence? Were there any other men at all or were they all members of that
22 Civil Defence and the unit as the accused describes it?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't actually a unit of any
24 kind. And I said at the beginning that we created the structure on the
25 basis of the Civil Defence that existed in the former Yugoslavia, and
1 Civil Defence had the task of preventing fires, elemental disasters, wars,
2 to defend the population, find shelter if there was a natural disaster.
3 So that was the task and aim of what -- what we're now calling and
4 referring to as a unit.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. All right. So that unit was armed, wasn't it?
7 A. Partially armed.
8 Q. And all the civilians before that, as it says here in paragraph 10
9 of your statement, on the 1st of October, were evacuated.
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. All right. Fine. Now, let's look at paragraph 17, where you say
12 that the JNA passed through the village every day, that you did not
13 provoke them because those were the orders you received. Is that right?
14 A. Quite true, yes.
15 Q. Is it also, however, true that your fighters opened fire almost
16 every day at the members of the JNA and that in that firing six JNA
17 members were killed?
18 A. That's not true. Not a single soldier was killed by my people in
19 the Civil Defence, not a single one.
20 Q. Do you mean to say that your people, the people under your
21 command, didn't kill anybody?
22 A. No, they did not kill anybody up until the 18th, and that was
23 during the fighting, and I allow for that possibility, that during the
24 fighting that might have happened.
25 Q. All right. In paragraph 19 you say on the 18th of November that
1 around 0725 hours in the morning an attack on Skabrnja started and at the
2 beginning there were only two women. However, in paragraph 22, you go on
3 to say that the first civilians were killed at around 1130 hours.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Well, what about these women, were they civilians?
6 A. Yes, they were civilians, elderly women.
7 Q. Well, how come, when you said you evacuated everybody before that?
8 A. Well, I said that on the 5th, The Hague truce was signed and I was
9 given orders to return all civilians back to the village. And then
10 Skabrnja was attacked during this truce, during the cease-fire,
11 Mr. Milosevic. And I was given orders from the chief of police and from
12 the Crisis Staff that an agreement had been signed in The Hague about a
13 cease-fire and that everybody should go back to Skabrnja. And they were
14 indeed returned from the island of Ugljan, and they were boarded up onto
15 buses, five buses, and they all returned to Skabrnja.
16 Q. All right. Fine. Now tell me this then, please. Let's clarify
17 one point: How do you know when these two women were killed? Did you see
18 them being killed?
19 A. No, I did not. I was informed by a nurse, and her name was Danka
20 Drazen. She was in the cellar together with doctor Boris Celalija.
21 Q. And how were they killed, by shells?
22 A. Yes, by shells, both of them. One of them died in the hospital at
23 Zadar whereas Mrs. Brkic died on the spot. She was killed on the spot.
24 And Zilic, the other woman, died in the Zadar hospital and both her legs
25 were blown away by the shell.
1 Q. So that was before the attack, was it?
2 A. No. It was during the attack, at about 11:00 or 12.00.
3 Q. You said that it began at 7.25.
4 A. Yes, the attack on Skabrnja began at 7.25 in the morning.
5 Q. And the first casualties were at around 11.30, were they?
6 A. To the best of my knowledge, those were the first casualties.
7 Whether anybody was killed before that, I don't know. Nobody informed me
8 nor did I know about that.
9 Q. Now, tell me this: In paragraph 22, you say that your father, as
10 well as Krsta Segaric, Stana Vickovic, and Luka Segaric --
11 A. Luca is his name.
12 Q. Luca, I see. She's a woman.
13 A. Yes, she's a woman.
14 Q. Luca Segaric, she was pulled out of the basement by JNA soldiers
15 and then these people were all killed.
16 A. Yes, because my mother was an eyewitness when they killed my
17 father. That's why.
18 Q. All right. I understood it that a boy by the name of Segaric, who
19 was 13 years old, told you about it.
20 A. Well, he told me first but my mother told me about it afterwards.
21 I never plucked up the courage to ask her myself. But she told me how it
22 was, how he was tied with some wire, he had to lean down, she was in
23 another cellar and they took her to the detention centre in Benkovac but
24 they killed him on the spot, him and the others, the rest of them. That's
25 how it happened.
1 Q. Well, is that what you describe in your statement, the one you
2 gave in 1992?
3 A. I don't know whether I described it that way in my statement. I
4 can't remember any more.
5 Q. Well, Ms. Bauer asked you whether you could explain the difference
6 between what you said in your statement then and the statement given to
7 the investigators. So I'd like to ask you to explain that to me now,
9 A. Let me explain, yes. I gave the statement under some very strange
10 circumstances. When we started the statement, the Judge Vlado Mikolcevic
11 and his secretary and myself, after an hour or a little more -- actually,
12 the town of Zadar was shelled, and the secretary, Vlado Mikolcevic's
13 secretary, the lady said, "I can't stay here any longer. We're going to
14 get killed. I have to leave." And Vlado said, "Marko, we have nothing
15 more to do here. Just sign your statement and we've finished our
16 interview," and that's how it was.
17 Now, when this second statement was given, I had two days at my
18 disposal, two days' time, two hours a day, or two or three hours per day,
19 so I had time to talk to the people and remember how everything happened.
20 Q. All right. With the explanation that you've given, I don't want
21 to bother you with the differences. Shells were falling all over the
22 place, and in fact you weren't able to finish and conclude your interview.
23 But when you gave your second statement, there were no shells.
24 A. It was peacetime.
25 Q. All right. Yes. All right. Mr. Miljanic, I accept that
1 explanation that you've just given us, but tell me this, please,
2 Mr. Miljanic, as this relates to your -- paragraph 22 of your statement,
3 where you say how these people were killed, including your father, that
4 they pulled them out of the basement, are you quite sure that they were
5 JNA soldiers or perhaps it was a paramilitary formation that was
7 A. I can't give you an answer to that question. I didn't see it with
8 my own eyes. Quite simply, I don't know who the perpetrators were. But
9 according to what my mother told me and all the others who were there,
10 they say that they were all wearing masks and they had black paint on
11 their faces. So I really can't say. I don't know whether they were JNA
12 soldiers or paramilitary units.
13 Q. Now, all right. As you yourself were a JNA officer, does it seem
14 to you to be logical that it was the -- that JNA soldiers should have been
15 masked and painted, had -- with black paint on their faces like that?
16 A. Well, when you went into operation, you would do all sorts of
17 things, and we know of an attack that when an attack takes place on a town
18 or a village you assess the tactical situation, you make an evaluation,
19 you size the up the situation, and then you issue orders for an
20 assignment. Now, what they decided to do, how they decided to go into
21 action, I don't know. I can't say.
22 Q. Mr. Miljanic, if -- Mr. Miljanic, this is a very important point.
23 You can't say for certain who those people were.
24 A. No, I can't.
25 Q. But let's try and do this indirectly. Is it true, in a round
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 about way, Mr. Miljanic, at the point that these killings happened the JNA
2 units had already passed through Skabrnja and continued along the road to
3 Zadar for the deblockade? Isn't that right? Hadn't the JNA just passed
4 through? This happened once they had already passed through; right? They
5 had already gone.
6 A. No. The units there were together, the JNA units. Actually, the
7 composition was mixed, and there were no problems with respect to the
8 deblockade, because the Serbs, our neighbours, could pass through Skabrnja
9 quite freely to the last, very last day. So I don't know why they would
10 have to do away with some blockades. There were two checkpoints in the
12 Q. I am not talking about the blockade. I'm talking about the
13 blockade that was to come. What I want to say is that they passed through
14 Skabrnja and when the killings took place, according to my information,
15 the JNA units had already passed through Skabrnja and left and that the
16 killings were perpetrated by some members of paramilitary formations from
17 the region, not JNA soldiers. That's what I want to say.
18 A. I can't tell you one way or another. I can't say who did the
19 killing you. I don't know. Because I didn't see it with my very own
20 eyes. Had I seen who had done it, I wouldn't be here today.
21 Q. All right, Mr. Miljanic. As I can see from paragraph 24 of your
22 statement, when these killings took place, that is to say around 11.30,
23 you were up on a hill called Razovljeva Glavica; is that right?
24 A. Yes -- No. Actually, no. I was on the hill, Razovljeva Glavica
25 hill in the morning when the attack started, in actual fact. And then I
1 went down into the village when the attack started and was in the basement
2 of Tonko Skara's house, where the radio station was in that basement.
3 Q. So where were you at 11.30 when the killing took place?
4 A. I was in the basement.
5 Q. At 11.30 you mean?
6 A. Yes, at 11.30 I was in the basement of the Mr. Skara's house, Mr.
7 Skara's basement.
8 Q. When did you hear that terrible explosion when the truck blew up,
9 the JNA truck that you described during your live testimony?
10 A. That was around 12.00. Between 11:00 and 12.00. I can't remember
11 exactly. I went outside, and now as that part of village is slightly
12 raised, it's on a small hill, I went up front and heard this resounding
14 Q. And tell me where the truck was exactly. Had it already passed
15 through Skabrnja or was it in front of Skabrnja? Had it already passed
16 Skabrnja or was it at the entrance to Skabrnja?
17 A. The Benkovac-Zadar road goes from one end of Skabrnja to the
18 other, so it was somewhere towards Gornji Zemunik, in that area, and most
19 probably our forces weren't there. There were none of our men there,
20 because at that time, the explosion took place between 11:00 and 12.00, I
21 can't remember now.
22 Q. So the truck had already passed Skabrnja.
23 A. No, it was still in Skabrnja.
24 Q. It was still in Skabrnja?
25 A. Yes, it was.
1 Q. Is it possible that it could have been destroyed by a hand grenade
2 thrown by one of your combatants?
3 A. Well, there is that possibility, yes.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, after that you said you went back to your office
5 in order to maintain radio links with Zadar; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. So, Mr. Miljanic, according to your statement, there was an
8 all-out attack going on on Skabrnja.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then you say that around 1.000 soldiers attacked the village,
11 that the civilians were killed, and you yourself at your command post
12 where you had these links, radio links with Zadar.
13 A. In the basement. It's got nothing to do with the command post.
14 Q. Yes. But all the time you were in the basement.
15 A. Yes, along with 65 civilians. Between 60 and 70 civilians, in
16 actual fact. We were in the basement.
17 Q. And then you go on to say that over the radio you heard a
18 conversation between Mladic and Cecovic; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. So that came after the explosion, after 12.00.
21 A. Around 12.00. Just after that. Perhaps, as far as I can
22 remember, it might have been some 15 minutes to half an hour after the
24 Q. All right. So after 12.00. Does that mean that the conversation
25 took place after the JNA forces had passed Skabrnja and left it?
1 A. No, because during that first day, the JNA reached the centre of
2 the village and there was the other half of the village that wasn't
3 occupied that day by 8.00 at night. So they had taken control of half the
4 village but other half remained. They had parked their tanks and all the
5 rest of it.
6 Q. Well, did Mladic insist upon them going on further towards Zadar
7 and Sibenik?
8 A. No, they weren't going towards Zadar. It's the other way, the
9 opposite direction. They were going towards Nadin, because Nadin was
10 closer to Benkovac. Nadin, that's where they were going, Nadin and
11 Benkovac, that's the direction.
12 Q. And what was the situation like in Benkovac?
13 A. I don't know. I wasn't in Benkovac since June or July 1991. I
14 haven't been to Benkovac since then. We didn't dare pass by that way.
15 Q. All right. From what you're saying as they were -- the -- they
16 were conversing and they referred to each other by their surnames, and
17 Mladic insisted upon going forward, further on.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So that was your official radio station, the usual kind that the
20 police station had?
21 A. Yes. And we had a generator. We had a car battery, otherwise
22 there was no electricity because the paramilitaries cut off electricity
23 and all other supplies to Skabrnja. There was nothing, so that's what we
24 had to use.
25 JUDGE MAY: It's past the time for the adjournment so we'll
1 adjourn now.
2 Mr. Miljanic, could I ask you to remember not to speak to anybody
3 about your evidence until it's over. We'll adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Miljanic, tell me, please, what kind of radio station did you
9 have on you when you overheard this conversation, and on which frequency?
10 A. I had a police radio station from a police vehicle that I had
11 brought from the police administration. It is an ordinary police radio
12 station, and Motorolas, but I didn't have a single Motorola. So it was an
13 open frequency. I think it was 64 -- I was 64, and I had a direct
14 connection with the information centre in Zadar. Yes, a direct line with
15 the information centre in Zadar.
16 Q. So on the same frequency that you had a connection with the
17 information line was being used by General Mladic?
18 A. Everything could be heard every day, not just that day. There
19 were interceptions. It was possible. It was not a protected, encrypted
21 Q. Well, since you caught that conversation, did you have occasion to
22 hear any other conversation that Mladic may have had with other officers?
23 A. No. I never heard any other conversation, only that one. I heard
24 from other -- I heard talks by other JNA members, Petar Radmanovic, and
25 others who called me.
1 Q. Mr. Miljanic, since you served in the marines, can you tell us in
2 a couple of words what the uniform of the marines looked like, in two
4 A. It was a regular SMB uniform and a beret. The beret was black,
5 and there were two rifles and an anchor. I can't remember whether it was
6 the right or left sleeve.
7 Q. So the marines did not wear blue uniforms?
8 A. While I was there, no, because I have to tell you that as I was
9 later on a commander of the construction company in Zadar, and at Losinj,
10 together with Lakic, I was in the marine assault infantry. So it didn't
11 have blue uniforms at the time, no, only SMB uniforms.
12 Q. And when did it have blue uniforms?
13 A. I don't know. I think it was after I left the marines.
14 Q. Since you mentioned the Parachute Brigade from Nis, do you know
15 that it couldn't have had blue uniforms? You say that people were coming
16 out of helicopters wearing blue uniforms.
17 A. Yes, I know that they did have an SMB uniform before, but during
18 the changes that occurred, I don't know, but I assume, because the
19 helicopters, three at a time, landed three or four times, and infantry
20 came out of them. So I don't know. I am not claiming explicitly that
21 they were special forces.
22 Q. Very well, that's sufficient.
23 In paragraph 27, you say that JNA soldiers, those that came out of
24 helicopter, surrounded you and formed some kind of combat formation. How
25 did you manage to get away?
1 A. I had a corridor - I don't have a map here - that led towards a
2 place called Prkos, a narrow corridor. And that night I managed to pull
3 out all the surviving civilians along that corridor, as well as all the
4 members of the Civil Defence. The entire personnel that night were pulled
5 out of that part of the village via Vlacine, a former Italian airport
6 during the Second World War.
7 Q. In paragraph 28, you say that the JNA in 16.30 managed to divide
8 Skabrnja into two parts. No, at 12.30.
9 A. True.
10 Q. You say after all that fighting, 1.000 troops, helicopters,
11 special forces, a great deal of weapons, the JNA did not manage to
12 overcome the resistance of 240 locals, as you say, who were 40 per cent
13 armed with hunting weapons.
14 Q. Yes, that is true. They reached halfway into the village. The
15 tank climbed to the so-called Razovljeva Glavica, and then all operations
16 ceased. I don't know why that happened but it happened. Perhaps maybe
17 somebody ordered a cease-fire, because you say that that was a time of
19 A. Yes, but the truce was before, when I brought the civilians back
20 to Skabrnja. That is when the truce was signed. That is what I was told
21 by the head of the police administration in writing. He gave me that
22 order, "A truce has been signed in The Hague, so bring back the
24 Q. You say in 29 that your connection with Zadar was interrupted
25 after an air attack.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What happened before it was cut off?
3 A. The aerial was on an oak, it was about six metres high, and a
4 plane came, shelled and cut off this tree and the aerial fell down.
5 Q. In paragraph 32, you say that you personally left at 5.30 the next
7 A. Yes, that is true. And during the night, I went to seek
9 Q. Does that mean that fighting went on continuously for 22 hours?
10 A. No. During the night there was no resistance, no shooting.
11 Q. And is it true, Mr. Miljanic, that Skabrnja would not have been
12 attacked at all if you were not supposed, following orders from Zadar, to
13 prevent the Knin Corps from reaching Zadar?
14 A. Mr. Milosevic, JNA units were behind our backs. Skabrnja is 18
15 kilometres from Zadar and Crno and Smokovici were five kilometres away.
16 Q. I see. I understand the explanation. And is it true that you
17 didn't see a single killing of any civilian from Skabrnja committed
18 allegedly by any JNA member?
19 A. No, I didn't see any killing. I only saw photographs and heard
20 stories afterwards.
21 Q. Very well, and in paragraph 34 you yourself say that many
22 civilians were killed during the attack and after it. Who could have
23 killed those civilians after the attack?
24 A. I don't know, but a group of civilians were killed two months
25 later in February 1992, the people that had stayed behind in Skabrnja. I
1 don't know who killed them. I can't say when I don't know.
2 Q. And is it true, Mr. Miljanic, that you as a witness in connection
3 with events in Skabrnja have already appeared before the District Court in
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it true that those proceedings in which you testified were
7 renewed? The number was K2594, then it acquired a new number, K6701.
8 A. I don't know. I really don't know that. When I'm called or when
9 I'm summoned -- the last trial I was summoned to was Mrs. Zorana Banic.
10 She was on trial.
11 Q. Tell me, who are the accused in those proceedings? Do you know
12 their names?
13 A. Mr. Milosevic, I don't know. I really don't know.
14 Q. Have you also testified about these events in the trial of Zorana
15 Banic also before the Croatian court in Zadar?
16 A. Yes. I just said that I did testify in those proceedings.
17 Q. Are those proceedings being conducted under the supervision of
18 this opposite side here that you were examined by just now?
19 A. Under their supervision, yes. There are gentlemen, I don't know
20 them, but probably they come from this institution. I don't know who they
21 belong to. They were always there whenever I testified in Zadar. I don't
22 know whether they were there on other days.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume, Mr. May, that there are
24 statements of witnesses from those trials as they are being conducted
25 under the supervision of the side opposite. So I would just like to
1 object to the fact that I have not been served with those statements, and
2 in view of this testimony, I should have them.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I would now like to ask you, Mr. Miljanic --
5 JUDGE MAY: Just before we go any further, if they are relevant
6 for disclosure, they will be disclosed. It's a matter for the
7 Prosecution, but they have a duty to disclose anything which may be
8 exculpatory, anything, that is, which might help your defence.
9 Now, you've got about five minutes left, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll do my best to complete my
11 questions on the basis of the limited information that my associates were
12 able to collect.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I have here Neue Zuricher Zeitung of December 22nd, 2001. Since
15 you haven't seen that, I won't bother you with the document itself, but as
16 you're testifying in that case, my question is do you know whether the
17 following is true as it has to do with Mrs. Banic, who is an accused in
18 those proceedings. And it says in a paragraph: "Read statement of
19 eyewitnesses to the massacre appeared in the Croatian media claiming [In
20 English] to have seen the nurse participating in the killing. Croatian
21 human rights circles say the woman is real guilty. She's presently being
22 held in the Zadar prison where she has, among other things, the right to
23 visits from International Red Cross delegates. In the Banic case, it may
24 be expected that the same eyewitnesses will testify in a new trial. They
25 claim to have seen the nurse stabbing an elderly man with a knife and then
1 participating in the running armoured vehicle over the fresh corpses."
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, what has this to do with the witness? Is there
3 any reference to him?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just finish this last
5 sentence? [In English] "took part in the massacres." [Interpretation]
6 Strbac who was also there, all armed and in camouflage uniforms."
7 Q. So do you know, Mr. Miljanic, that it was absolutely not possible
8 for any women to be in the JNA in those days wearing camouflage uniforms?
9 JUDGE MAY: No. This has absolutely nothing to do with the
10 witness at all.
11 Yes. Is there anything else you've got to ask him?
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Do you know that the commander of the 9th Corps, General Vukovic,
14 after those events, called Milan Babic, asking him to react to the
15 killings committed by members of paramilitary units, local units and not
16 the JNA under any circumstances.
17 A. I don't know. As I say, I hear this for the first time today.
18 Q. And did you ever hear of the participation of any women in the
19 participation of killings?
20 A. Yes, I did. I've already told you that I personally didn't see
21 anything, but my mother and other women and men who were captured on that
22 day and taken to Benkovac told me about those things.
23 Q. So what did they tell you? Did they see some women committing
25 JUDGE MAY: This is all second or third-hand, and what this other
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 case has to do with this case is not at all clear. You haven't made it
2 clear. You can ask him about something else, and you've got about two
3 minutes left.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Has it got something to do with this in view of the fact that
6 women are appearing in the role of killers, which shows clearly that they
7 couldn't have been members of the JNA?
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Did you see any -- yourself see any women
9 involved at Skabrnja?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see any.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Yes, but you didn't see anyone, any of the perpetrators.
13 A. No, I didn't, men or women. I didn't see any.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Miljanic. I have no more questions.
15 A. You're welcome.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Miljanic, let me first ask you a few
19 questions linked to the statement that you gave to the investigators on
20 the 24th and 25th of July, I think in 1995. And then I would like to show
21 you a few things in connection with those same facts as you described them
22 in your statement of the 5th of October, 2002.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, the accused has accepted the account
24 which the witness has given as to why there are discrepancies between the
25 two, and I'm not sure that, in that sort of position, that it's helpful to
1 have you then cross-examining about it.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, after the
3 cross-examination by Mr. Milosevic, as this statement was referred to, I'm
4 quite sure that no one noticed this, and the things stated in this
5 statement, you as the Trial Chamber should be aware of. For instance, in
6 his statement he said that following his command -- under his command
7 there were 800 persons, and things like that. So I think that that
8 statement should be something you should look into, because they have
9 substantive matters raised. He said in that statement, for instance --
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll exhibit that statement, and we can
11 have a look at it ourselves. We'll get a Defence number for it.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness explain to us,
13 was it 240 men or 800 men?
14 JUDGE MAY: It's explained. He's explained he didn't have enough
15 time to go through it. But he can answer the question. He can answer the
16 question specifically.
17 Was it 200 or 800?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the very beginning, I said that
19 in Skabrnja itself, there were 240, but in all the other villages around
20 me over which I had competence as a policeman, I had a total of 750 men.
21 So Skabrnja plus Prkos, Galovac, Gorica, Nadin, Donji and Gornji Zemunik.
22 So one-third of Zadar municipality.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Very well, thank you. Also in your statement you explained
25 clearly that you learned the first and last names of the persons who had
1 killed your father. You even gave the name, and you said that you had to
2 give some money to learn about it, and you said that they were locals.
3 A. In those days, I received information which later proved to be
4 incorrect and unfounded, and without any grounds I had accused a gentleman
5 called Mr. Draca. My accusations were unfounded because I had listened to
6 people who had misinformed me. Hearing my mother and the other locals, I
7 came to the conclusion that I had accused the wrong person.
8 Q. You even say that your father was armed and had taken part in the
9 defence of the town. My father was a huntsman, and he had a Bokerica
10 hunting rifle.
11 Q. You said he defended the town.
12 A. Well, he had a rifle. Now, whether I said that, I don't know.
13 Q. You also said that we had asserted the command line from Nadin to
14 Gornji Zemunik that no one could pass because we had dug out trenches and
15 bunkers under the ground and minefields with more than 1.000 anti-tank and
16 anti-personnel mines, and that you were in command of the placing of those
18 A. That's a mistake. There were a hundred, because even the JNA
19 didn't have a thousand in those days. I said that we simply did make
20 dugouts and divided the men up so as to cover the areas from which
21 stealing occurred of the harvest, livestock, et cetera.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you will read
23 through this.
24 Q. But my last question would be that members of the National Guards
25 Corps were not there at all.
1 A. Not in Skabrnja.
2 Q. But you said that they were there before the 2nd of October,
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And the day that tank was hit that exploded, you said that you
6 sent those who came with anti-tank weapons, you sent them to a place from
7 which they could hit the place where the tank was.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will explain, if I may. May I
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Skabrnja there were never any
12 National Guards Corps members. They arrived in Nadin before I came there.
13 There were some from the 112th brigade, a platoon in Nadin and not in
14 Skabrnja who, after that, withdrew and never came. As for rockets, yes.
15 That day some people came with I don't know how many rockets, and I gave
16 them the assignment to hit tanks and they said they couldn't, it was too
17 close, but my opinion is that they were afraid and they ran away. They
18 didn't fire a single rocket.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you have the rest
20 in the statement so I won't fatigue you any further. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. I think it should be given a C number
22 since the accused himself didn't put it in.
23 Yes, Ms. Bauer.
24 Re-examined by Ms. Bauer:
25 Q. Mr. Miljanic, in response to a question by Mr. Milosevic, you
1 mentioned that on the 18th your radio communication lines had some
2 interference and that the JNA officer called Petar Radmanovic called you.
3 What was that, approximately, and what, in very, very brief terms, did he
4 tell you?
5 A. That's correct. This Petar Radmanovic worked with me, together
6 with me in the former army. He was a warrant officer of the JNA, just
7 like I was. And on that day, at a given point in time, he called me over
8 the radio transmitter. And when I asked Zadar for help through the
9 information centre, he answered with the following words: "There is no
10 help for you. It's better for you to hang yourself. That's better,
11 because we are going to hang you, skin you, and to fry your liver on a
12 grill." Though those are the exact words that Mr. Radmanovic addressed to
13 me, my former colleague.
14 Q. Did anyone else threaten you via these radio communication links
15 on that day?
16 A. Well, various threats were heard, but quite simply I did not have
17 time to listen to all of this, but yes, there were, yes, because I already
18 mentioned that it was not a protected communication line, so, yes.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Miljanic.
20 MS. BAUER: That would conclude my questions.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Miljanic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
22 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 THE REGISTRAR: C12.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. The next witness is
2 C-1168, and I assume when she comes in also Mr. McKeon will come in
3 because he's the one to lead the witness. He's definitely waiting
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. McKeon, how long do you anticipate you will be
6 with this witness in chief?
7 MR. McKEON: Less than ten minutes, Your Honour. Somewhere
8 between five and ten minutes. Not very long.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll have to consider what's an appropriate
10 time to adjourn, because we won't be able to conclude her evidence today.
11 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour. One administrative matter.
12 Although this witness is not testifying with any protective measures,
13 there is one section of the proofing summary, which is the last paragraph,
14 paragraph 8 of the proofing summary, and we're going to ask if we could
15 have that dealt with in private session because it discusses another
16 protected witness and the exhibit that I want to ask her about may make
17 reference to it.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to sit down.
24 WITNESS: BARBARA NADJ
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examined by Mr. McKeon:
2 Q. Ma'am, is your full name Barbara Nadj?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. And in recent days, did you have an opportunity to go over your
5 witness statement in the presence of an officer of the court and attest to
6 its accuracy subject to corrections which you noted, and then did you sign
7 the documentation showing that you had attested this statement?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, I offer the statement of Barbara Nadj
10 into evidence under Rule 92 bis.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll get a number for it.
12 THE REGISTRAR: P502.
13 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, I have the following summary of the
14 witness's statement. I am going to jump ahead, though, to the end to
15 cover a couple of matters that came up to proofing when it comes up in the
17 This witness, Your Honour, is a Hungarian woman who was 49 years
18 old at the time of the events in question, and at the time she was a
19 resident of the village of Brestovac in the Baranja region of Croatia.
20 She is the wife of victim Steven Nadj.
21 The witness's husband was first arrested on 4 December 1991. He
22 was taken to the building of the community centre in Grabovac, and when he
23 finally returned home the next day, he was badly bruised over his entire
24 body. After that, her husband had to report twice a day. He told her
25 that most of the time he reported to a JNA captain.
1 Moving to paragraph 6 of the proofing summary, Your Honours.
2 Q. Ma'am, could you tell us what sort of work it was that your
3 husband did for a living and where he worked.
4 A. He worked in Brestovac as a metalworker at the farm in Bilje.
5 Q. At some point was your husband told that he could no longer work
6 at that farm in Bilje; and if so, when did this occur?
7 A. This happened in 1991, in December, on the 4th. He was no longer
8 at work. He didn't have the right to go there. Nobody dared come to see
9 us, and we didn't -- and we were not supposed to have any contacts with
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. McKEON: Returning to the summary, Your Honour, paragraph 3.
13 On the 4th of May, 1992, a white-coloured minivan pulled in front
14 of the witness's house. Three men came into the courtyard. One older man
15 was dressed in a camouflage uniform, and two younger men were dressed in
16 civilian clothes. They were armed with what seemed to the witness to be
17 full metal automatic rifles. These men took the witness's husband away.
18 She heard her husband ask where they were taking him, and they said, "For
19 the interrogation." The older man asked her husband if he had been
20 beaten, and when the answer was positive, the Serb told him that he had
21 nothing to fear and that nobody would beat him now.
22 Moving, Your Honour, to paragraph 7.
23 Q. Ma'am, when your husband's body was actually found, did it show
24 evidence that he had in fact been beaten?
25 A. Yes. His ribs had been broken, and it was obvious that his skull
1 had been broken and that he had also sustained gunshot wounds.
2 I'm supposed to speak louder, but I can't.
3 JUDGE MAY: Don't upset yourself, and don't worry about speaking
4 loudly. We'll deal with this as rapidly as we can.
5 Yes, Mr. McKeon.
6 MR. McKEON: In the summary, Your Honour, paragraph 4.
7 In the following days, the witness tried to find out what happened
8 to her husband and went to several places, but nobody knew anything.
9 Several days later, she was told that he had been in the Beli Manastir
10 prison. This was in the basement of a building used by the militia of the
11 SAO Krajina. Upon her arrival there, she was told by the policeman that
12 her husband was not there. The body was only found six years later at the
13 Catholic cemetery in Beli Manastir.
14 The witness heard on the day following the abduction that four
15 other people had been taken away that night, and their bodies were exhumed
16 together with the body of her husband.
17 Your Honour, moving to paragraph 7 of the proofing summary.
18 Q. Ma'am, did you learn from the Croatian authorities that your
19 husband and the four people that were buried with him were actually buried
20 somewhere else before the Catholic cemetery and then reburied in that
21 cemetery; and if so, where were they buried first?
22 A. Yes. They were all together in one grave. They were thrown in in
23 bags at Beli Manastir, at the Catholic cemetery. And then there was a
24 post-mortem, and then they saw which body was which one. Kopacki Rit and
25 Tikves were the localities where they were found. That's where they were
1 found because they were only in a shallow grave, and then they picked them
2 up from there and they took them to the Catholic cemetery in Beli
4 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour. And if we could go into
5 private session for the last paragraph, 8, please.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, it's for you to cross-examine. It may
22 be that you can do so in order that this witness can finish this afternoon
23 rather than having to come back tomorrow.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll try, Mr. May. Obviously, the
25 witness is under stress, and I do not wish to hurt her in any way. Just a
1 few questions.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] This does not reveal the identity that Mr. McKeon
4 wishes to protect, but a short while ago, you were asked some questions in
5 closed session with regard to some persons whose names I'm not going to
6 mention. You explained that these people who you mentioned came to put
7 questions to you in order to ascertain who it was who took your husband
8 away. Did I understand you properly?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. These men who came to put these questions to you and to establish
11 who it was that had taken your husband away were Serbs; is that right?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. They were representatives of the Krajina police; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Nadj. That's what I wish to clarify first of all.
16 So representatives of the Krajina police came in order to try to establish
17 the facts, namely who had taken your husband away.
18 Now, please tell me, Mrs. Nadj, in your statement you say that
19 there were problems in Baranja and that they started sometime in July
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You say that then Serb women and children surreptitiously left
23 their houses. Is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know the reasons why women and children of Serb ethnicity
1 left Baranja?
2 A. Unfortunately, they did not tell us why they were leaving Baranja
3 and we knew that they were all armed and they knew why they were leaving
5 Q. Do you know that it was precisely the month of August, 1991 in
6 Baranja a series of killings occurred, killings of Serb -- persons of Serb
8 A. I don't know that.
9 Q. Do you know that on the 2nd of August of 1991, in Darda, Milivoje
10 Stojakovic was killed in his own backyard?
11 A. I just know what happened in Grabovac. I don't know about the
12 other villages, sir.
13 Q. Baranja is not that big. Do you remember perhaps that on the 15th
14 of August, 1991 -- I made a slip of the tongue. I'm sorry. The actual
15 date is the 15th of August, 1991. In Beli Manastir, Ilija Djurkovic was
16 assassinated and Neda Tomic from Karanac. Djurkovic died a few days
17 later. This is something that all of Baranja knew about. Do you remember
19 A. I don't remember that. As for Karanac and Beli Manastir, I don't
20 know anybody there.
21 Q. Do you know that on the 17th of August, a Serb had been killed?
22 His last name was Zivanovic, and the murderers took his body to Osijek,
23 and this was something that was well-known in Baranja at the time as well.
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do you know that on the 19th of August, Ljubisa Kovacevic was
1 killed? He was a driver, an ambulance driver from the medical centre in
3 A. No.
4 Q. Do you know that on the 21st of August at the cattle feed factory
5 Zeljko Negovanovic, a worker, a Serb, was killed? Did you hear of that
7 A. I really don't know anyone, and I would not remember the name of
8 someone who was killed from a neighbouring village.
9 Q. I'm just giving you a few examples and asking you about that.
10 Were those perhaps the reasons why Serb women and children were leaving
11 Baranja, this series of killings that was taking place precisely in the
12 month of August 1991?
13 A. I know that most of our people left in August, and who killed who,
14 I don't know. I just know what happened in my village of Grabovac and how
15 many people were killed there. As for foreign villages, I don't remember
16 names from there, and I wasn't informed.
17 Q. All right. In paragraph 4, you say that Serbs in the second half
18 of August of 1991 took over Baranja and held it under their control.
19 A. Yes. It was like SAO Krajina.
20 Q. And is it correct that on the 19th of August there was an attack
21 by Croat forces precisely at the TO headquarters at Beli Manastir and that
22 there was an armed conflict then?
23 A. I don't know the exact dates. I cannot tell you that. I just
24 know that it was very dangerous.
25 Q. At any rate, your husband was not a member of the National Guards
1 Corps or a politically active person; is that right, Mrs. Nadj?
2 A. He was not. My husband was not.
3 Q. Is it correct, because these events you're testifying about
4 pertain to December --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- that on the 30th of November, 1991, between Bajansko Selo
7 [phoen] and Torjanci, a terrorist group of Croatian forces was infiltrated
8 and --
9 JUDGE MAY: No. The witness can't help you about that. She can
10 help about her own village, she says. No point going on about these other
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You say that your husband was first arrested on the 4th of
15 December, 1991, at 8.00 in the morning; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You say that he was taken then to the local commune building in
18 Grabovac and that he returned from there the following day, if I
19 understood correctly.
20 A. Correct. Not only my husband but also many of them from the
21 village were taken there and beaten up there.
22 Q. Did your husband tell you then - I assume he did - who it was who
23 arrested him and beat him then?
24 A. I said that there was this captain who kept putting questions to
25 him all the time. "You're a Hungarian. What do you have to do with
1 Croatia?" But he did not introduce himself to my husband, and my husband
2 did not have the right to ask, "Who are you?" He just knew it was some
3 kind of captain.
4 Q. But in Grabovac was there a JNA unit, any JNA unit, any JNA
5 barracks, a JNA facility, something?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What was it?
8 A. Well, they moved into empty houses and that's where they were, and
9 then in the fields they had buried their tanks and that's where the army
11 Q. Tell me, did your husband tell you the name of this captain?
12 A. No, no. He did not introduce himself to my husband. He just --
13 he just kept saying, "You're a Hungarian. What have you got to do with
14 the Croats?"
15 Q. Very well, Mrs. Nadj. Do you know that Baranja as a whole was
16 under the control of the Territorial Defence which consisted of the local
17 population of Serb ethnicity?
18 A. Well, probably, because it had been occupied, and the Yugoslav
19 army came, and the local Serbs were all in uniform and now how you mean
20 this was -- I mean, I don't really understand this. I can't follow it.
21 Our people were no longer in the village. Very few had stayed behind.
22 Very few of us had stayed behind. All the others had left.
23 Q. Very well. Your husband was arrested again on the 4th of May,
25 A. Correct. And five others with him.
1 Q. Do you know that in April, that is to say a month before this
2 event happened, that in the Baranja region another terrorist group was
4 A. No.
5 Q. And do you know that a breakthrough at Torjanci was attempted in
6 which 2.500 members of the Croatian National Guards Corps took part?
7 A. I am aware of that, yes.
8 Q. And they were commanded by Djuro Decak.
9 A. I don't know who was in command. All I know is that the Kotor
10 people wanted to pass through and cross over but they didn't succeed.
11 Q. And do you know that on that occasion quite a number of people
12 were killed?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Tell me now, please, as in paragraph 6, you describe the people
15 who arrested your husband for the second time and say that one was wearing
16 some sort of camouflage, masked uniform, and the other one was wearing
17 civilian clothing; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, what would you say? Who could that man wearing the uniform
20 have been, a Serb or perhaps a member of the forces who stormed Baranja
21 during that time from the territory under Croatian control?
22 A. I assume it must have been a Serb, because had it been anybody
23 else, our people wouldn't have been taken off, old women and the others
24 who never did any harm to anybody.
25 Q. You say that already in August you would see the local Serbs
1 walking around with weapons and in uniforms going through your village and
2 the surrounding parts; is that right?
3 A. Yes, we did see that.
4 Q. Well, was it quite clear then that this man on the 4th of May need
5 not have been a member of the JNA, but he might perhaps have been a member
6 of some other formation, the one that came by with two civilians?
7 A. Well, I can't say one way or another whether he was a Serb or from
8 SAO Krajina, the Serbs who stayed at home, but he was a Serb quite
9 certainly, because had he not been a Serb, my husband would not have been
10 killed and not killed in the way he was killed.
11 Q. All right. Then I won't ask you any more questions about that,
12 although I have a lot of information about the killings committed by the
13 forces which stormed Baranja.
14 Now, you say that they came to fetch your husband in a white
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you see any markings on the van?
18 A. Well, it was quite dark, and I was far too scared, because my
19 husband had already been beaten a great deal in 1991, and I thought they
20 were taking him off to be interrogated and that they would bring him back.
21 And it was dark when the van turned up, so I wasn't really conscious of
22 what was going on. I couldn't see the licence plates or anything else.
23 Q. Yes, but it was quite clear that it wasn't a military vehicle; is
24 that right?
25 A. No, it was not a military vehicle. It was not an army vehicle.
1 Q. In paragraph 7, you say that several days later, somebody told you
2 that your husband was in a prison in Beli Manastir.
3 A. Yes, that's the rumour that went round, that he was in a prison.
4 Q. Who told you that?
5 A. Well, people, the women told me that I should go to the prison
6 because he was probably in prison. So I went to Beli Manastir to the
7 prison there to take him a change of clothing and they said he wasn't
8 there. And then I never heard anything else about him until I found him
10 Q. But that was six years later.
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. Now, is it true that the prison was in the basement of the police
13 station used by the police of Krajina?
14 A. Well, it was over there away out of Beli Manastir. It was a
15 building - I don't know what kind of building it was - I was there for the
16 first time. This was a large building and I came into the building and
17 said who I was looking for, and the man said that my husband wasn't there.
18 Q. All right. Now, I don't want to mention the man because I don't
19 know whether he's protected or not, but is it true that a man, a
20 son-in-law of a friend of yours who was a JNA officer, tried to learn your
21 husband's whereabouts; is that right?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. And from what you say, he as a JNA officer was not able to find
24 out the whereabouts of your husband either?
25 A. Yes. He looked for my husband and the five other men, but he
1 couldn't find out.
2 Q. And he was a JNA officer?
3 A. Yes. And he was looking for his mother-in-law, but he didn't
4 learn anything, and then allegedly he went back to Belgrade and came back
5 in a uniform. And then he went again and didn't learn anything.
6 Q. So he wasn't able to learn anything despite the fact that he was a
7 JNA officer.
8 Now, do you know who killed your husband at all?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And what the circumstances of his death were?
11 A. I really don't know. I can't tell you who killed my husband. All
12 I do know is that our Baranja was occupied at the time and there were
13 soldiers there and nobody else could have hit upon them than the Serbs.
14 They are the only ones who could have.
15 Q. Did anybody talk to the nice couple whom you say were your
16 neighbours and who had to have known who took your husband away?
17 A. Yes. They went to the headquarters. We were very good -- on very
18 good terms until the war broke out. When the war did break out, then we
19 -- they thought of us as Ustashas, and to this day we're not on speaking
20 terms. So I assume that he and this man Puskovic would have to know who
21 took my husband off, because he was at the entrance and he had to -- he
22 was the one letting vehicles enter and leave.
23 Q. Yes, I understand that. But just tell me this: The people from
24 the police, the local police, later on who came, what Mr. McKeon asked you
25 in closed session, when they came to ask you who took your husband away,
1 did you tell them about your neighbours and say that your neighbours
2 probably knew something about it?
3 A. No, I didn't send them on to my neighbours because I was afraid of
4 this man Sosa. I was very much afraid, because wherever Sosa was, people
5 were beaten up. And when we heard of Sosa, if you heard of Sosa being
6 around, the best thing you could do was to hide and keep quiet. So we
7 didn't dare ask anything or give any answers.
8 Q. Thank you very much, Mrs. Nadj. I'm not going to ask any more
9 questions, no more questions.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no questions
11 for Mrs. Nadj.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. McKeon.
13 MR. McKEON: No redirect, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mrs. Nadj, that concludes your evidence, and you are
15 now free to go. Just take the time to compose yourself. Thank you for
16 coming to the Tribunal to give your evidence.
17 Unless there is any matter. It may be convenient to adjourn now.
18 MR. NICE: There is a short administrative matter I want to raise.
19 Nothing to do with this witness. To save time tomorrow.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mrs. Nadj, would you like to go now? Thank you for
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 MR. NICE: With the Court's leave, we will be calling Stjepan
24 Kljuc first thing tomorrow morning. He's a witness Your Honour certainly
25 may be familiar with from an earlier case, a member of the Bosnian
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Presidency for various periods. And I'm concerned to take his evidence
2 concisely, and I'm concerned to save the accused's time in preparation.
3 Out of an abundance of caution, before Mr. Kljuc arrived here, we
4 served or, rather, re-served all the exhibits that -- we re-served all the
5 exhibits that we thought he might relate to. That was a large quantity, I
6 think it was re-served electronically, but nevertheless it was a large
7 quantity. And so the first thing I'd like to do is to save the accused
8 time by identifying a very much reduced list of exhibits that it's
9 forecast at most the witness will deal with tomorrow. So that's one
10 document I can make available to him and to Mr. Tapuskovic straight away
11 in order to save time. A similar document is available for the Court.
12 The witness will also be able to identify several intercepts.
13 Now, I know handling intercepts is something that can be done very
14 economically so far as time is concerned or it can take a large amount of
15 time. What we've done, and we hope this is helpful, is to reflect the
16 practice that you permitted when Dr. Williams produced a number of
17 documentary exhibits, and we produce two charts, one relating to
18 intercepts generally and one relating to Sarajevo-connected intercepts,
19 which identify the voices that have been listened to, the relevant exhibit
20 numbers, and commentary by Mr. Kljuc in rather the same way as
21 Mr. Williams' chart produced commentary.
22 I'm afraid I'm not a position at the moment to provide the
23 transcripts of the intercepts themselves - they're all in the last stages
24 of copying, translation, and so on - but we are at the moment able to
25 provide, in case it should help, draft versions in English of the two
1 charts dealing with intercepts and of the exhibit list. And if
2 arrangements can be made to collect the other material later this
3 afternoon so far as the accused is concerned, that should be available for
4 him not too late, a couple of hours or so.
5 I hope that that will make better use of our time tomorrow.
6 JUDGE MAY: This is a witness you want to finish within the day;
7 is that right?
8 MR. NICE: Certainly, yes.
9 JUDGE MAY: That will, of course, partly depend on the length of
10 the examination-in-chief which will then no doubt be reflected in the
11 length of the cross-examination.
12 MR. NICE: I have every intention to be rapid.
13 JUDGE MAY: We must deal too tomorrow, possibly in the last
14 session, with the fairly large number of witness statements who you've
15 described as a priority that Mr. Groome has. We ought to deal with them,
16 so time must be allowed, at least quarter of an hour or 20 minutes for
18 MR. NICE: We will do our best.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now. Tomorrow morning,
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of July,
23 2003, at 9.00 a.m.