1 Tuesday, 6 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused Simatovic entered court]
4 [The accused Stanisic is not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before we begin to hear the evidence, I observe
7 that the accused Stanisic is not in court. May I ask the court deputy
8 whether she has any information relating to the absence of the accused
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Mr. Stanisic indicated that he is
11 unwell to attend the trial today and he is currently having his medical
12 examination at the detention unit. As soon as we are informed, we will
13 share the information on the reasons why he is absent.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: As you are aware, the Trial Chamber has put in
15 place a video conference link which the accused Stanisic may follow, may
16 watch. Is the court deputy in a position to say whether the accused
17 Stanisic is following the proceedings by watching that video conference
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the accused is not present in the
20 video conference room either for the same reason.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
22 Now, I am to say that the Trial Chamber intends to issue today a
23 particular set of procedures to be followed in relation to the accused
24 Stanisic and his attendance or non-attendance both in court and in
25 relation to the video conference link. We are grateful for the
1 submissions made by the Prosecution in this respect, and we intend to
2 issue this set of procedures today.
3 Let the witness be brought in.
4 Mr. Groome.
5 MR. GROOME: Just one matter that I believe is rather important.
6 Last evening, Your Honour, around 5.00 we received a report from
7 Dr. Falke dated the 2nd of May and it was accompanied by a memo from the
8 deputy commander of the UNDU advising John Hocking, the deputy registrar,
9 that Dr. Falke was on a business trip outside the Netherlands this past
10 Friday and yesterday. The last paragraph of the letter begins, "Next
11 week, the nurses have been instructed to check on him regularly and
12 especially during the videolink," and this suggests that Dr. Falke's
13 expectation is that Mr. Stanisic would be able this week to at least use
14 the videolink.
15 More troubling in the report is the second paragraph which reads,
16 "On 29 of April 2008, Mr. Stanisic was not able to attend the videolink
17 due to the ongoing depressive state he is in and due to a flare-up of his
18 bowel problems. The nurses do check on him regularly."
19 Your Honour, during Dr. Falke's evidence on Monday, he stated
20 that there were -- he stated several things. One, his agreement that the
21 videolink could go on and, two, that on Monday, there were no observable
22 symptoms which would have prevented Mr. Stanisic from using that
24 This particular paragraph concerns me greatly as it is clear --
25 as is clear from the caution with which the Chamber has been proceeding
1 in this matter, I am sure that had the Chamber been made aware of
2 Mr. Stanisic's inability to use the videolink on Tuesday, the Chamber
3 would have made inquiries to confirm this fact and upon establishing that
4 it was indeed the fact that Mr. Stanisic was unable to use the videolink,
5 the Chamber would have adjourned the proceedings.
6 It is unfortunate that the medical staff of the UNDU waited six
7 days to inform the Chamber of the fact that Mr. Stanisic was unable to
8 use the facility last Tuesday.
9 This has now cast a shadow under the proceedings that were held
10 last Tuesday, the completion of the opening, and the beginning of B-299's
12 I have some suggestions with respect to how we might remedy this
13 if the Court is willing to entertain such.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, we take the view that the -- this
16 late notification of Mr. Stanisic's inability to attend the videolink
17 last week does not in any way cast a shadow on those proceedings. It
18 certainly doesn't invalidate the proceedings in my view, and in the
19 protocol which we will issue today, we intend to make it clear that
20 the -- if Mr. Stanisic does not attend either court or if he doesn't
21 watch the videolink due to illness, then the doctors must have examined
22 him and declared that he is unwell to do either. It is not clear to me
23 whether that is the situation that is reflected here. We can recall that
24 when Dr. Falke gave evidence, one of the matters that he clarified was
25 that the conclusion about the accused's unwellness was largely the result
1 of the accused himself declaring himself -- declaring that he was unwell,
2 and we want to make it very clear in the procedure that we will establish
3 today that if that is the case, then it must be the result of an
4 examination carried out by the doctors at the UNDU and not merely the
5 result of the subjective determination by the accused of his illness.
6 So we thank you very much for bringing this matter to our
7 attention but we don't believe we should delay the proceedings by taking
8 any particular action in relation to it.
9 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Just one final matter, then. In light of the Chamber's intended
11 order today and information that's been provided that Mr. Stanisic is
12 about to have a medical exam, would it be prudent to await the results of
13 that medical exam, seeing that he's not in court nor is he in the
14 videolink conference so we do not proceed today and find out sometime
15 later today that he was physically unable to attend either?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you suggesting, then, that we should adjourn
17 until we get the result of the -- of this examination?
18 MR. GROOME: The information seemed to be that the examination
19 was imminent. If it's possible to direct that it be done as soon as
20 possible and that the findings of that examination be orally communicated
21 to the Chamber, it would be my hope that it would be a minimal
22 adjournment of maybe 15, 20 minutes but it seems in light of the
23 Chamber's order which the Prosecution would support the logic and
24 rationale behind it that it would seem to be safer grounds to proceed
25 once we know from the doctors whether or not Mr. Stanisic is able to
1 participate in today's proceedings.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I ask the court deputy whether she's in a
3 position to say whether the accused has already had that medical
4 examination; if not, when the examination will be carried out. The
5 Chamber, of course, is particularly keen to have information about the
6 medical examination as soon as possible.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, at this moment, we cannot give any
8 definite information. We are being informed that the examination will --
9 the results of the examination will come in the course of the morning.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber would ask the registrar through the
11 court deputy to transmit to the UNDU its instructions that the
12 examination be carried out as quickly as possible and that the Chamber be
13 informed of the results of the examination as soon as they are available.
14 We'll proceed. Let the witness be brought in.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty.
17 MR. DOCHERTY: I was just waiting for the blinds, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS B-299 [Resumed]
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Docherty [Continued]
22 MR. DOCHERTY:
23 Q. Good morning, Witness. I just have a few more questions for you.
24 In August and September of 1991, did you go to the towns of Osijek
25 Beli Malastir in Croatia
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Microphone for the witness. Is it on?
3 MR. DOCHERTY:
4 Q. I'll ask that again because I'm not sure that it was heard. In
5 August and September of 1991, you went to the towns of Osijek and Beli
6 Manastir in Croatia
7 A. My apologies. My apologies, can I have the Serbo-Croatian
8 interpretation or Serbian interpretation. I really don't find the
9 question quite clear.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can we have that done in Serbo-Croatian?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, yes.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please ask the question again.
13 MR. DOCHERTY: Yes, Your Honour.
14 Q. Witness, in August and September of 1991, did you go to the towns
15 of Osijek
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. I want to ask you some questions about what you observed while
18 you were there. First of all, were there paramilitary groups operating
19 in the areas of those towns?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you name for us, please, if you know, the commanders of some
22 of those paramilitary groups?
23 A. I apologise, but my answer must be a bit longer than that. We
24 were strictly ordered in Belgrade
25 should not make contact with paramilitary units in the field in order to
1 avoid creating an ever-larger rift between ethnic groups.
2 As for contacts with the regular forces of the Croatian side and
3 the Serb side, and for contacts with citizens in the areas where I
4 served, we learned that the -- that the paramilitary units were active
5 there. There were the Arkan's men, the White Eagles, the Badza's units.
6 Frenki's men were also mentioned at the time. I may have omitted
7 someone. Perhaps you can put a more specific question to supplement
9 Q. That's all right. Thank you. I want to go through the four
10 groups that you have mentioned and ask you whether you have any
11 information concerning links between that group and any intelligence
12 security service.
13 So first of all, you mentioned Arkan's men. Do you have any
14 information that at the time you were observing them in Osijek, Beli
15 Manastir, that there were links between Arkan's men and any security or
16 intelligence service?
17 MR. KNOOPS: I think it is a leading question, Your Honour.
18 There is no foundation that the witness is aware about any security or
19 intelligence services at all.
20 MR. DOCHERTY: With respect, Your Honour --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was thinking the same thing. I listened to
22 the question very, very carefully and I believe there is some merit in
23 the objection, Mr. Docherty.
24 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, my understanding of the objection was
25 that there is no information about such links and my question to the
1 witness was whether he possesses any such information. If the answer to
2 that foundational question is yes, we would then proceed to ask what the
3 information was.
4 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, the question implies already a
5 potential existence of a link. If the question would be phrased as --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 MR. KNOOPS: -- was the witness aware about a link at all with --
8 between the paramilitary units and any other organisation in general,
9 that would be a more fair question, I believe.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I agree it's leading, Mr. Docherty, because this
11 is a crucial issue. This is not a tangential issue. The question of
12 linkage is very vital and I believe you must get to it in some other way.
13 MR. DOCHERTY:
14 Q. Witness, when you mentioned the name Arkan, what is the proper
15 name of Arkan?
16 A. I think it was Dragan Raznjatovic, Arkan.
17 Q. And you indicated also that one of the groups you mentioned was
18 Badza's men? Who is Badza?
1 Q. Does the MUP contain within it as one of its components the DB?
2 A. Well, this again calls for a more extensive answer. I was
3 referring to the Ministry of the Interior which comprised services of
4 public security and services of state security, SJB or SDB for short.
5 Q. And SDB, is that state security?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is state security the intelligence service of the Republic of
9 A. Apologies. State security is a service which included
10 sub-segments, intelligence, counter-intelligence. According to an
11 earlier structure, there was the enemy within, extremism, terrorism, and
12 these were dealt with by the State Security Service.
13 Q. When you say that Badza was in school with you for four years --
14 first of all, Mr. President, could we please go into private session for
15 this question?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
17 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
15 MR. DOCHERTY:
16 Q. Do you know which part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Badza
17 worked for?
18 A. Badza worked for the Public Security Service.
19 Q. While in Osijek
20 observations about these different paramilitary groups, specifically, did
21 they work together or did they work separately, as far as you could tell?
22 A. All the paramilitary units were from the Republic of Serbia
23 view of that, they must have had a common goal, though they acted
24 separately, whether this was for personal interests or simply due to the
25 fact that individual leaders belonged to different political groups or
1 political parties. The fact of the matter remains, and that is that they
2 had a specific goal of capturing territory, as could be seen out on the
3 ground where they wanted to expel segments of population. I was able to
4 observe from my stay out in the field that certain villages and
5 properties were looted. I was able to see that for myself.
6 Q. You indicate that they had a common goal but acted separately.
7 May I ask you specifically as far as Badza is concerned, did his group of
8 paramilitary men, even though you've said separate acting, was that true
9 of Badza? Was there any group with which he coordinated?
10 A. Well, one could not say for Badza's group that they were
11 paramilitary because he was an official member of the Ministry of the
12 Interior of the Republic of Serbia
13 appointed Assistant Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia
14 I believe he performed that duty until his death.
15 Q. You indicate also that the specific goal of these groups was
16 capturing territory and that you could see this because they "wanted to
17 expel segments of population." Could you please be more specific and
18 tell us which segments of population these groups were seeking to expel?
19 A. The village of Zmajevo close to Beli Manastir, for instance,
20 where there were Croat and Hungarian ethnic minorities quite a few of
21 them were expelled. Then there were smaller villages, too, in the
22 surrounding area that I visited. I could see that the houses previously
23 occupied by the Croats were abandoned and had been plundered.
24 In most cases, they were members of the Croat population or the
25 Hungarian minority.
1 In these villages, from conversations with mostly elderly people
2 who stayed behind, I learned that they had been occupied by mostly Croats
3 and Hungarians. When I came to Beli Manastir, I didn't find many Croats
4 there save for the elderly and the infirm who were either unable to leave
5 the area or did not want to.
6 Q. You also indicated that one of these groups was "Frenki's men."
7 Do you know who the Frenki was of Frenki's men?
8 A. I came to know that in the conversations with the locals, with
9 the villagers of the area who told me that there was some Frenki's men
10 who appeared there armed and engaged in almost the same activities as
11 some other units. I spoke to elderly people who were the ones who stayed
12 behind in these areas. Their very name must have come from the leader of
13 that group, Frenki Simatovic.
14 Q. And then last question on this topic. You said that these
15 paramilitary groups operated as you -- in -- your observation was they
16 operated with a common goal. Over and above a common goal, did you make
17 any other observations regarding linkages between these groups or
18 linkages between these groups and other organisations?
19 A. Well, on the ground, there were cases when -- with the security
20 officer in Beli Manastir, I discussed this, I discussed it with Pero
21 Lazukic the fact that some of these groups were active out in the field,
22 but they don't have the same goal. In fact, they had the same goal but
23 they controlled different areas.
24 On one occasion in the barracks in Beli Manastir when one group
25 of Seselj's men was passing through, Pero and I were talking and we were
1 even thinking of going outside. However, Pero said that he as the
2 official representative of the army and I as the official representative
3 of the ministry should not go out there because we should not be seen as
4 welcoming or meeting those unofficial paramilitary units.
5 Independently of that, there was a case in Belgrade when I was
6 present when Vuk Draskovic was seeing off his men who were going out into
7 the field and they were escorted by a vehicle of the MUP of the Republic
8 of Serbia
9 the MUP of Serbia
10 really say. I can tell you what I know from the media, from various
11 reports, but all that is unofficial.
12 MR. DOCHERTY: Last topic, sir. And Mr. President if we could
13 poof move briefly to private session.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
15 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
22 MR. DOCHERTY:
23 Q. And Witness, I think the last question I have for you is: You
24 have mentioned these -- or listed some of the paramilitary groups that
25 were operating in the areas of Osijek
1 what you have given testimony of already, were any of the units that you
2 mentioned affiliated with any governmental organisation?
3 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, I object. I believe the question is
4 already asked by the Prosecutor and answered by the witness, and the word
5 "governmental" also is leading.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'll allow the question. I believe there is a
7 sufficient foundation.
8 Answer the question.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just explained a moment ago that
10 Badza was not a paramilitary. In fact, Badza's group was not a
11 paramilitary unit, he -- because he was the representative of the
12 Ministry. The other groups were all paramilitaries except Frenki's men
13 because Frenki Simatovic was also a representative of the Ministry of the
14 Interior of the Republic of Serbia
15 Out in the field where I had contacts with locals, with citizens,
16 inhabitants of various villages, I found out that some final actions,
17 there were contacts between Arkan's men and Badza's group. It was mostly
18 these two groups that had contact out there in the field.
19 As for other groups, I did not have much knowledge. I did not
20 find out much about them during my mission in the field. But bearing in
21 mind, and I'm now going to share with you some information that I got
22 upon my return to the Ministry from my discussions with colleagues and
23 friends who had been out in the field as well, and they learned that
24 there was some sort of coordination between various groups on the ground.
25 I'm just telling you what I found out from contacts with my colleagues.
1 Q. Two quick follow-up questions. When you say "there were contacts
2 between Arkan's men and Badza's group," what kind of contacts were there?
3 A. It's not that I think it. I found out during my field mission.
4 Some local residents said that during those final operations and after
5 the operations, there were meetings between members of the Arkan group
6 and members of Badza's group. I was told that by the residents of that
8 I always went into villages after operations because I was always
9 told that I should not have any contact with paramilitaries and I always
10 tried in my work to diffuse tensions and calm the situation as far as I
11 was able to.
12 Q. Were the villagers able to tell you anything about what kind
13 of -- what had been said in these meetings?
14 A. Those were not official meetings. Those were some sort of
15 celebration parties after the victory where people engaged in
16 merry-making and shot into the air for celebration or perhaps they wanted
17 to intimidate others, but they met and they greeted each other and they
18 congratulated each other on their victory.
19 Q. And then last question, different topic. You've testified today
20 and Tuesday about a group called Frenki's men. Did you, in the years
21 after your time in Osijek
22 Frenki's group again?
23 A. Well, I did not have occasion to meet them, but I believe they
24 were members of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia
25 However, at that time, our real function in the federal sector was
1 expiring. We did not have much authority or work and we had no
2 opportunity to have any official contact with them within the federal
4 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, could we please go into private
5 session for two questions?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
24 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, thank you. May I address the Court
25 with two preliminary issues on this matter.
1 First of all, the Prosecution raised this morning the absence of
2 the accused. Although we do not supported submissions of the Prosecutor,
3 we do support the submissions of this morning to the Court and we would
4 suggest that before cross-examination starts, the Court should maybe
5 first inquire whether we have the medical report of the medical staff of
6 the UNDU.
7 Secondly, I can of course conduct the cross-examination and I'm
8 prepared to do so but I would like the record to reflect that the Defence
9 is cross-examining the witness without instructions of the accused.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: As to the first matter, the court deputy has
12 passed to the Bench the customary absence from court due to illness form.
13 It's not signed by the accused, and on the second page there is a
14 confirmation by the nurse who signed that he or she examined the
15 detainee, confirmation that he has observable symptoms which indicate
16 that he may feel too unwell to attend court, and in the column "other
17 comments," that he has frequent stool every 30 minutes.
18 I should also say in the column to be signed by the principal
19 officer, there is an indication that the detainee refuses to sign and in
20 the column "other comments," that he can't go to the video room also.
21 As I indicated, we intend to issue later today a set of
22 procedures to be followed in relation to the attendance or non-attendance
23 of the accused, but in any event, I recall that we had given instructions
24 before that where there is confirmation that the accused has observable
25 symptoms, that those symptoms should be indicated and also that where
1 it's a question of the detainee not being able to attend the video
2 conference link, that that should be specified.
3 But since I intend to issue a set of procedures later today, I
4 will not spend more time on that matter.
5 Please proceed with your cross-examination, Mr. Knoops.
6 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Knoops:
8 Q. Mr. Witness, good morning.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. Mr. Witness, is it correct that you, yourself, offered yourself
11 as a witness to the Office of the Prosecution in 2004?
12 A. No. It's that my lawyer is representing my interests.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is there a problem? The accused has a note for
14 his lawyer. Yes.
15 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, if I could ask counsel. I note that
16 his microphone is remaining on while the witness is answering, and when
17 the witness has the voice distortion, his undistorted voice can go out
18 through an open microphone and I'd ask counsel to please switch the
19 microphone off after asking the question. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Thanks.
21 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Witness, is it correct that you, yourself, offered yourself
23 as a witness to the Office of the Prosecution in 2004?
24 A. My lawyer suggested it and he made contact with the Office of the
1 Q. Did you ask your lawyer to make that contact; is that correct?
2 A. I shared with him some information about my past and my past work
3 in Yugoslavia
4 agreed. He said we can try to make contact with the Prosecution and they
5 will decide whether you are a good witness or not.
6 Q. Mr. Witness, is it correct that at that time, you had no direct
7 knowledge on the functioning of any of the paramilitary units?
8 A. What time are you talking about?
9 Q. In 2004, before you gave your statement.
10 A. We are talking about information from 1991 onwards. We are not
11 talking about 2004. I discussed paramilitary units from 1991 onwards.
12 Q. Mr. Witness, you just testified that some of the information you
13 gathered came to you through other modalities such as the media and
14 various reports. Is it fair to say that the evidence you gave today in
15 court was based on what you heard through the media or through other
16 reports apart from your own observations?
17 A. Maybe a small percentage of my knowledge comes from reports,
18 although I wouldn't call it knowledge. It just reminded me of those
19 times. Otherwise, everything that I said is based on my direct knowledge
20 and my direct observations from my field missions.
21 Q. Mr. Witness, is it fair to say that when you, through your
22 lawyer, approached the Office of the Prosecution, you were never
23 contacted before by the Prosecution to give a statement?
24 A. Could you say that again?
25 Q. Before you requested your lawyer to contact the Office of the
1 Prosecution to provide them with information, were you contacted by the
2 Prosecution to give a statement?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Knoops, did he say that he requested his
4 lawyer to contact the Prosecutor's office or did he not say that the
5 suggestion came from his lawyer that the contact be made?
6 MR. KNOOPS: You're right, Your Honour. Apologies.
7 Q. Mr. Witness, before the suggestion was made by your lawyer to
8 contact the Office of the Prosecution, were you, before that moment,
9 approached to give a statement by the Prosecution in any of the cases
10 before the Yugoslav Tribunal?
11 A. I talked to my lawyer. Do you want me to answer how I could have
12 already had contact with the Prosecution when my lawyer just suggested
13 it? I don't really understand. You cannot link these two things. The
14 lawyer first suggested it and then I contacted the investigators. I
15 couldn't have contacted them before the lawyer suggested it.
16 Why would I have discussed it with my lawyer at all if I had
17 already been in contact with the Prosecution? Why would I have to agree
18 to that suggestion from him if I had already been in contact with the
20 Q. So the answer to this question is simply that you were not
21 contacted by the Prosecution in any way before your lawyer suggested to
22 make contact with them; yes or no?
23 A. The lawyer first suggested it and then the investigators of the
24 OTP came and conducted an interview with me.
25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Witness, I put to you that you did not have any
1 information at all relevant to any of the cases here pending before the
2 Court simply because otherwise, you would have been contacted by the
3 Prosecution or the investigators themselves. What do you say to that?
4 A. Well, I learned that the Martic proceedings were well underway
5 when I first made contact with the OTP and I learned about the Stanisic
6 proceedings much later as well.
7 Q. Actually, Mr. Witness, it was your desire to become a member of
8 the Serbian MUP and while you were not accepted, it made you angry and
9 frustrated and that was the reason that you -- that your lawyer, with
10 you, spoke about giving a statement. What do you say to that?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's two questions. I'm going to break them
13 First, witness, it's being put to you that you desired, you
14 wanted to become a member of the Serbian MUP and you were not accepted.
15 What do you say to that?
6 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, since these questions may identify
7 the witness could these be in private session.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
9 MR. DOCHERTY: And could we also redact on page 22 lines 12 to
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let that be done.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 1128-1131 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
17 MR. KNOOPS:
18 Q. Mr. Witness, were you aware that Mr. Stanisic was not the head of
19 the DB in 1991?
20 A. I said that he was acting head, acting chief.
21 Q. How did you know that?
22 A. We knew that because, according to the hierarchy we had, we went
23 to meet the newly-appointed person and then in addition to that, we were
24 housed in the building opposite that building where they were and we were
25 kept abreast of the events.
1 Q. Mr. Witness, I just read out a portion of your statement given to
2 the Prosecution, paragraph 45, and again it mentions, "I personally did
3 not see the head of the DB of Serbia, Jovica Stanisic, in Knin."
4 Mr. Stanisic was not the head of the DB in 1991, wasn't he?
5 A. Well, but there was that information out there, acting chief
6 meant that he was performing the function. It's just that he was not
7 formally appointed to it. It is true that I stated this, but later on, I
8 analysed some of the events in Knin and particularly the fact that Branko
9 Polusta was the first one to tell me that out in the field in Knin,
10 Stanisic could be found. I'm telling you this that it was later on that
11 I ...
12 Q. Mr. Witness, I respectfully ask you to confine yourself to the
14 Would you agree with me that this statement you gave to the
15 Prosecution is not accurate, that Mr. Stanisic was not the head of the DB
16 of Serbia
17 A. Can you please repeat your question and the time period it refers
19 Q. Would you agree that your statement given to the Prosecution in
20 2004 was not accurate in that you stated that you did not see the head of
21 the Serbian DB, Mr. Stanisic, while he was not at that time the head of
22 the DB?
23 A. At the time I was giving the statement, that's true. But now I
24 stand by what I'm saying right now.
25 Q. Why did you, when it was in that time not true, give that
1 statement then?
2 A. Because a great deal of time passed and I could not recall all
3 the details and the focus was on Martic at that time.
4 Q. Mr. Witness, I put it to you that you never saw Mr. Stanisic in
5 Knin in 1991, that you were not aware about his functioning there, and
6 that you had no knowledge about the functioning of the DB.
7 These are indeed three questions, Your Honour, I know.
8 Do you agree with that?
9 A. I don't. I have eyewitnesses who were with me when I met ...
10 Q. Mr. Witness, speaking about the time frame, you speak in your
11 statement about barricades in May 1991. I put it to you that in May
12 1991, there were no barricades in Knin. Those barricades were in 1990.
13 I put it to you that therefore, on other locations in your statement gave
14 accurate information -- inaccurate information to the Office of the
15 Prosecution. What do you say to that?
16 A. That's not true. Some barricades were in place earlier on and
17 others at the time when the so-called Serbian Republic of Krajina was
18 being proclaimed, they were being erected at that time, particularly
19 between the villages with Croat inhabitants and the villages populated by
21 Q. Mr. Witness, I put it to you that the barricades you spoke about
22 in your statement to the Office of the Prosecution were not barricades.
23 These were checkpoints set up by the JNA and the SUP of Krajina;
24 therefore, your whole time frame you gave in your statement is not
25 correct. What do you say to that?
1 A. I will give you a specific case. Between the village of
2 Bratiskovci facing Skradin, barricades were being erected. Every day, we
3 went there to dismantle the barricades and then over the night, both the
4 Serb and the Croat sides would re-erect them again and then during the
5 day we would go to talk to both of these sides to appeal to them to stop
6 erecting barricades. Barricades were being erected.
7 Part of our mission was, among other things, to dismantle the
8 barricades dividing the Serb and Croatian population.
9 Q. Mr. Witness, back to your statement you gave to the Office of the
10 Prosecution, may I briefly ask your attention for paragraph 28 of your
11 statement which is, by the way, also reiterated in your evidence today.
12 It says: "They also outlined problems in and around Gospic as
13 another place of potential conflict between Croats and Serbs. However,
14 the main issues were focused on Knin. We were asked to use our influence
15 over paramilitaries in Krajina, for example, volunteers trained by
16 Captain Dragan."
17 Is it correct that the federal DB was asked to exert influence
18 over the paramilitaries in Knin?
19 A. At the time, the groups of Martic's police were considered
20 paramilitary and we were told that we were strictly to avoid any contacts
21 with the paramilitaries out in the field, and so the Martic's group was a
22 controversial one. However, the idea was since Martic was already there,
23 we had to be in touch with him because he was representing the interests
24 of the -- of one people and he considered himself to be the chief of
1 Q. Mr. Witness, are you saying that your statement to the
2 investigators in paragraph 28 is not correct in that it's inaccurate what
3 saying, "We were asked to use our influence over paramilitaries in
4 Krajina, for example, volunteers trained by Captain Dragan." Are you
5 saying that this statement is not correct?
6 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, I object to that question. I -- I
7 do not see any way that the answer the witness just gave can possibly be
8 read in the way that counsel is trying to read it in this follow-up
9 question so I object as a misstatement of the witness's evidence.
10 MR. KNOOPS: Mr. President, the witness, when confronted first by
11 this quotation nodded his head and said not correct so I'm -- I want to
12 clarify whether indeed I was interpreting his answer correctly, namely,
13 that this paragraph 28 is a not correct reflection of his statement.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: The paragraph 28 reads, "We were asked to use
15 our influence over paramilitaries in Krajina, for example, volunteers
16 trained by Captain Dragan." Is that a correct statement or not?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not. We were told not to be
18 in contact with paramilitaries, to strictly avoid any contact with
19 paramilitaries. I don't know how this was taken out of context. We did
20 not ever make contact with Captain Dragan or his paramilitaries, nor were
21 we asked to do that. I don't know out of which context this was taken.
22 We were told only to contact with the official bodies of Croatia out in
23 the field and was later supplemented by Martic as well, and the military
24 organs including ordinary citizens in the field.
25 MR. KNOOPS:
1 Q. So Mr. Witness, that indeed implies that this paragraph in your
2 statement was not correct. Can you explain why this paragraph was put in
3 your statement which was, by the way, on every page signed by you? Can
4 you give us an explanation why you gave this false statement?
5 MR. DOCHERTY: Objection, Your Honour. That is a complete
6 mischaracterisation of the evidence and ...
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, yes. Perhaps going a little too far.
8 What counsel is saying to you, Witness, is that that is the
9 statement which you gave and you signed it as being correct. And he's
10 asking if there is any explanation for that.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no explanation.
12 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you.
13 Q. Can you then, please, give us an explanation about the following:
14 In the Martic case, you gave a statement under oath and it's, for Your
15 Honours, page 3128 and I quote, it's reading from line 15 until 21. It's
16 your statement under oath, Mr. Witness, in the Martic case.
17 "You know, in every conflict, you have regular troops and those
18 paramilitary units that I think were the cause of this war. Had it not
19 been for the presence of paramilitaries on the ground, it would not have
20 turned into such a war because the Republic of Croatia
21 and the federal authorities on the other side would have been able to
22 establish their control. However, the paramilitaries were out of
23 anybody's control."
24 Can you recall giving this statement under oath in the Martic
25 case, Mr. Witness? Is this a correct reflection?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. So you would agree with me that the paramilitaries who you refer
3 to in your evidence today and last week were out of anybody's control.
4 Do you agree with that?
5 A. Perhaps they were out on the ground. Still, judging by the way
6 they went out into the field, I gave the specific example of Vuk
7 Draskovic, they were escorted there by the regular units of the MUP of
9 Q. Mr. Witness, is it correct to say that the reason why you were
10 ordered not to have contact with the paramilitary units who you referred
11 to when you went on mission was exactly the reason that those units were
12 out of anybody's control; is that correct?
13 A. A moment ago, I stated what the true reason was and I'll repeat
14 it again. In order that we may not arouse insecurity among citizens who
15 regarded us as the neutral party.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: One more question before the break, Mr. Knoops.
17 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Witness, is it fair to say that as a result of your evidence
19 just a few seconds ago, you never spoke to any one of the paramilitary
20 units yourself?
21 A. Out in the field, no.
22 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll take a break now, 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Knoops.
2 MR. KNOOPS:
3 Q. Mr. Witness, before the break, we were still speaking about the
4 paramilitary units. So Mr. Witness, you actually only heard from the
5 existence of the paramilitary units you mentioned in your evidence.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is it correct that you never spoke directly to Captain Dragan?
8 MR. DOCHERTY: Microphone, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MR. KNOOPS:
11 Q. Is it correct that you never spoke with Arkan?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Is it correct that you never saw them in the field, yourself?
14 A. I did see some individuals on the ground, but not close up. I
15 saw them from afar.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Knoops, I'm looking at the question that you
17 asked. "You actually only heard from the" -- I imagine that should be
18 "of the existence of the paramilitary units you mentioned in your
19 evidence." And the answer was yes. But it's not clear to me what the
20 question means.
21 Mr. Knoops, are you saying that he only heard of the existence of
22 the paramilitary units in his evidence or what evidence?
23 MR. KNOOPS: The witness spoke about paramilitary units and my
24 question is whether he heard from other sources about the existence of
25 those units or whether he saw the movement or operation of the units
1 themselves in person.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Okay. Very well.
3 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour want me to repeat the question in
4 this ...
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, proceed.
6 MR. KNOOPS:
7 Q. Mr. Witness, my previous question was whether you spoke -- sorry,
8 whether you saw Arkan or Captain Dragan yourself.
9 A. I did not see them.
10 Q. In your evidence, you told the Court that at a certain moment in
11 1991, you flew with an admiral in a helicopter above a fortress of Knin.
12 Were you ever in that fortress?
13 A. I did not. I did not go to the fortress.
14 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Witness, that your stay in Knin lasted only
15 for 20 days?
16 A. I did not stay in Knin, I just came there occasionally for one
17 day. We were stationed in Sibenik. I did not stay in Knin. I just went
18 there as required.
19 Q. Can I be accurate, Mr. Witness, that this going to Knin and going
20 back to Sibenik lasted for only 20 days?
21 A. Well, it's hard to say. Maybe it was less because I didn't go
22 there every day. Perhaps I was there 10 to 15 times. I really can't
23 remember exactly.
24 Q. So you're not in a position to tell the Court what happened in
25 that fortress in Knin based on your own observations?
1 A. I can't say. The only thing I was told was that Captain Dragan
2 with his units, that he was preparing -- were up there, those Knindzas he
3 was training, as they were called, we couldn't hear from the noise of the
4 helicopter and there was a strong wind, anyway, we couldn't stay up there
5 very long up there in the chopper.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why was it in private session? Does it disclose
2 anything? Or are you making the point that since it was in private
3 session in that trial, we should follow the same procedure here?
4 MR. DOCHERTY: I make that point. I also, at the risk of
5 speculating, would assume that the number of people in this helicopter
6 was quite limited and that therefore, tends to be identifying
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Private session and those lines will be
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 1143-1147 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. First of all I'd like to ask you about something that you raised
12 yourself in chief --
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
14 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Q. My first question concerns something that you raised in the
16 Martic case. You said then that you still have no waiver from the
17 official secrets act?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Tell me, why did you voice that reservation? Why did you say
21 A. Well, after all, as a member of the Federal State Security
22 Service, when I joined the service I took an oath and I signed a paper
23 undertaking a moral obligation to keep official secrets that I am privy
24 to my work.
25 Q. And that obligation applies and continues even after the
1 termination of your employment?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you practically violate that obligation by testifying in
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Are you violating it now?
7 A. Yes, I am.
8 Q. I'm sorry. The fact that this obligation continues, does it
9 affect the way you formulate your answers and your ability to answer
11 A. No.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Private session, then.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 1150-1164 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
18 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You said that units in that area acted within the same framework
20 and with the same goal. Can we conclude that their activities were
22 A. Well, judging by the result that the entire population from
23 Baranja was driven out and those paramilitary units had been there, you
24 can conclude it was synchronized.
25 Q. Do you know who did the synchronisation, who coordinated various
1 police and army and paramilitary formations so that they would pursue the
2 same goal, as you say?
3 A. I really don't know because on the ground where I had contacts,
4 not on the front line but with regular citizens and in the barracks where
5 I was staying, there was the commander, Mato Trnovic before he withdrew,
6 too. We played chess in the barracks and they even didn't have control
7 over the entire situation on the ground.
8 Q. Were there any Serb refugees there?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you talked to them?
11 A. Two individuals, yes, on an individual basis, not to whole
12 groups. There were some from Sibenik, from Osijek, from the area around
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could speakers please observe a pause between
15 question and answer and speak more slowly.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, please. The interpreter is
17 asking for a pause between question and answer. You both speak the same
18 language so you tend to overlap.
19 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Do you remember somebody --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The speakers are overlapping again. We can't
24 work this way.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: The interpreter just said you are overlapping
1 again. I don't know whose fault that was but you must wait until the
2 question has been asked and the answer has been given.
3 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you repeat your answer?
5 A. Individuals told us of cases that they had been mistreated, that
6 they were forced to leave their homes, that they had been attacked by
7 night by Croats. They used the name Zengas, ZNGs, referring to Croats.
8 Q. Is that the paramilitary unit we just mentioned?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When you returned to Belgrade
11 Interior was gradually ceasing to operate in the way it did before?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Tell me, in that process of disintegration of the federal
14 ministry, which republics started by abandoning these institutions
15 altogether or by gradually decreasing their level of cooperation with
17 A. Without any doubt, the first was Slovenia followed by Croatia
18 and then as the former Yugoslavia
20 up some sort of contact and ask them to coordinate our work, and with
22 Q. So republic authorities of the interior and the state security
23 practically took over all the powers and competencies that once belonged
24 to the federal ministry?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And as you told us, you got an offer to work for the republican
2 SUP of Serbia
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Would I be right in saying that your name and faith were not a
5 problem for employment in the republican SUP of Serbia?
6 A. Well, several factors were in play. Not only Serbia
7 republics as well treated us as traitors.
8 Q. But the Serbian State Security Service did offer you a job?
9 A. Well, you are now trying to pin me down to what I said. I did
10 have an interview with them perhaps a year later and I was very badly
11 received by those people, and they even addressed me some very ugly
12 words, so I left the interview.
13 Q. But in any case, you were offered a job in the state security of
15 want to know if you ever got a job offer.
16 A. Yes, I did, but they said we need personnel from Horgos to
17 Dragas, come to an interview and we'll decide about that.
18 Q. At the meeting that you mentioned that was attended by your
19 colleagues from the federal SUP, that is the Federal State Security
20 Service and about whom you inferred that they had transferred to the
21 republican SUP of Serbia
22 A. Well, I saw them wearing the insignia of the republic SUP of
24 Q. When you say the insignia, does that mean uniform as well?
25 A. No. We always worked in civilian clothes. We never wore a
1 uniform, but they had the insignia saying Republic of Serbia Ministry of
2 the Interior. It was a metal badge, that sort of thing.
3 Q. So on this metal badge that was worn on civilian clothing, it
4 read Republic of Serbia Ministry of the Interior state security sector
5 and then the name?
6 A. No, that's not what I said. I said -- I only said that it read
7 Republic of Serbia
8 Q. What was the shape of the badge?
9 A. A rectangular shape, some five or six by three centimetres.
10 Q. And that was the first time you saw it?
11 A. The first and the last time. I never saw it again.
12 Q. You never saw it again?
13 A. No, because I didn't have occasion to go there.
14 Q. Tell me, you said at one point that due to an administrative
15 mix-up, you were receiving both your retirement benefits and your wages
16 for a while?
17 A. I think it was for a month or two until Mikanovic took up his
18 post and then the matter was sorted out. It may have lasted a month or
19 two. You see initially, we met to report to work, first once weekly and
20 then once fortnightly and then once monthly and then we'd have a cup of
22 Q. And then you'd go to collect your wages but you'd also receive
23 your retirement benefits?
24 A. Yes, that's true. First we were just employed and receiving our
25 wages and then at one point an individual came up to us and said, okay, I
1 think you have to go to the personnel department and you will be retired.
2 Q. Did you tell anyone of the fact that you both received your
3 retirement benefits and wages? Did you tell -- did you report this to
5 A. No.
6 Q. So you kept both the wages and retirement benefits you received?
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note the speakers are
8 overlapping and speaking fast again.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not report this to anyone.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: The same complaint from the interpreters,
11 overlapping. Be patient. Observe the pause.
12 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. To conclude this, you kept both your salary and the retirement
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Tell me, when you went to work in Belgrade -- or perhaps we could
17 move into private session for this question.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 1171-1177 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
24 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Sir, when you spoke of Slavonia
1 there, you mentioned Vuk Draskovic's men too, did you not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What was the role of Vuk Draskovic at the time?
4 A. I really can't remember. I do know that his paramilitary units,
5 the White Eagles, were active as formations led by Vuk Draskovic.
6 Q. Did he have a political party? Was he a leader of a political
7 party at the time?
8 A. I can't remember exactly. I remember that initially Vuk
9 Draskovic, Seselj and Jovic were together. Later on, they went their
10 separate ways and Vuk Draskovic established his party, the Serbian
11 Renewal Movement. Now, whether this was also the case at the time, I
12 really can't say.
13 Q. You said that the unit or Vuk Draskovic's men, when they set out
14 for the area where there were armed conflicts, that they were escorted by
15 the police; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you see that happen?
18 A. Yes. Yes.
19 Q. Can you tell me how and when?
20 A. That was back in 1992 in the proximity of St. Sava's temple.
21 There was a restaurant which still there is, in fact, a restaurant on the
22 corner and I invited a friend to join me for lunch or for a meal
23 together. This was between 9.00 and 10.00 a.m. We were sitting in the
24 corner of the restaurant when, I don't know their numbers, but between 50
25 and 100 men in uniforms with peaked caps with insignia and cockades, they
1 entered the cafe and had drinks. Ten minutes later, Vuk Draskovic
2 appeared and addressed them there, telling them they were supposed to go
3 there and engage in a war. This must have lasted some ten minutes.
4 A friend of mine who was there with me, he was a dentist, a
5 Muslim, he was afraid and wanted us to leave and then I told him, Please,
6 don't. Let's stay here. Suddenly, a column of buses appeared outside
7 the restaurant. The column of buses had a police vehicle at the front
8 and at the back of the column.
9 After this speech addressed to them by Vuk Karadzic [as
10 interpreted] they boarded the buses and there were also one or two trucks
11 with tarpaulin and they departed under police escort.
12 Q. So you're saying that 50 and possibly even 100 individuals
13 entered the cafe you were in?
14 A. Well, when you put it that way, they must have entered one by
15 one. They went in one by one ordering drinks, some of them even took
16 entire bottles with them. The friend who was there with me was quite
17 frightened. They lingered there for some 10 or 15 minutes and left.
18 Afterwards, as I went out, I realised that behind the corner
19 there, there was the head office of the SPO, the Serbian Renewal
21 Q. Were you under the impression that the police was escorting them
22 through the town or --
23 A. I noticed that there was one police vehicle at the head of the
24 column and one at the end of the column. They were headed in the
25 direction of Slavija.
1 Q. Do you remember what Vuk Draskovic said in that speech?
2 A. Yes. Right.
3 Q. What did he say?
4 A. After greeting the audience with may help you God, Serb brothers
5 and they shouted back greetings to the count, and then he said, We have
6 to vindicate our honour to cleanse the Turks. The Turks should no longer
7 be in our territories in Bosnia
8 as well and you are going there to avenge the honour of the Serbian
9 people. That's what he said.
10 Q. Do you remember the vehicles that was an escort. You said there
11 were two of them. Was it traffic police?
12 A. The men did not leave the vehicles, but the licence plate was
13 600, which means Serbia
14 watching the events outside. There were also two or three buses, a
15 little truck, and then the vehicle was behind them. The men did not go
16 out of the vehicle.
17 Q. But it was a blue/white police car with the lettering "police" on
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. Let me go back to the events you mentioned in Knin, in response
21 to my question regarding that restaurant where you saw Mr. Stanisic.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You said it was in Knin?
24 A. It's probably at the source -- at the -- of the Krka River
25 were drinking beer there. I remember overlooking the water. I remember
1 that clearly.
2 Q. So you say that the Krka River
3 A. I don't know whether it's the source or not, but the restaurant
4 overlooks water on the periphery of Knin.
5 Q. And it is the Krka River
6 A. I really don't know. There's water below the restaurant.
7 Q. But let me remind you that you told us several times it's the
8 Krka River
9 A. Well, let it stand, then, if I said so.
10 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Docherty.
13 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, before we begin, may I inquire, I'm
14 afraid I've lost track, are we in public or private session?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Court deputy, are we in public or private
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: If we could please go to private session for the
19 first few questions, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 1183-1195 redacted. Private session.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th of May,
14 2008, at 9.00 a.m.