1 Tuesday, 17 January 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 First of all, my apologies, not on behalf of the Chamber but on
11 my own behalf, for the late start. I apparently had not properly
12 assessed the time I needed for other things I was busy with. Apologies
13 for that.
14 Preliminaries, I've got one, but I was informed that both the
15 Prosecution and the Simatovic Defence had a matter to be raised.
16 Mr. Groome -- Ms. Marcus.
17 MS. MARCUS: Good afternoon, Your Honour. We have two brief
18 submissions I'd like to make in private session with your leave.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 16040-16051 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Dimitrijevic. Can you hear me
23 in a language you understand?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
1 make a solemn declaration, of which the text is now handed out to you.
2 May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: JOVAN DIMITRIJEVIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Dimitrijevic, first of all, our apologies that
10 you had to wait for a while. We had to deal with a few other urgent
11 matters. You'll now be examined by Mr. Bakrac. Mr. Bakrac is counsel
12 for Mr. Simatovic.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Examination by Mr. Bakrac:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Dimitrijevic. Would you be so
17 kind as to tell me your full name.
18 A. My name is Jovan Dimitrijevic.
19 Q. When and where were you born?
20 A. On the 20th of January --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the year. Could
22 the witness please repeat the year.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. What are you by profession, Mr. Dimitrijevic?
25 A. I graduated in economy.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Dimitrijevic, the interpreters could not
2 hear the -- your year of birth. Could you please repeat it.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1957.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, you said that you graduated in economy. After
6 you completed your studies in economy, did you find employment? And
7 when, if that was the case?
8 A. I found employment in 1980 in a company in Slovenia. It had a
9 branch in Belgrade. The name of the company was Krka and it was from
10 Novo Mesto.
11 Q. Where are you currently employed?
12 A. I currently work as an official in the Football Association of
13 Serbia, and I have full-time employment there.
14 Q. Up until when and where did you work in the Krka company, which
15 had its headquarters in Belgrade?
16 A. I worked there until 1991, until the beginning of 1991. First of
17 all, initially, I worked in the commercial department; and after three
18 years, I was a representative of the headquarters and -- or I was a
19 deputy director -- or, rather, an acting director and then I became the
20 director of that branch.
21 Q. Why did you stop working in the Krka company?
22 A. Given the events in Yugoslavia at the time, there was the
23 beginning of the war and the beginning -- there was the beginning of the
24 war in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and Slovenia seceded from
25 Yugoslavia; and as a result, I was not only dismissed but everyone else
1 was affected, everyone else working for that company.
2 Q. Did you at some point in time in 1991 report as a volunteer? And
3 where and when, if that was the case?
4 A. I reported as a volunteer towards the end of November in the
5 military section of the municipality, which is the Palilula municipality
6 in Belgrade. That's my municipality. But given my years, as I was told,
7 given my age, they rejected me, because I believe I was 35 years old at
8 the time. They told me and in fact they suggested that if I was willing,
9 I should choose some other unit where they accept volunteers. And the
10 person in the military section mentioned the Serbian Volunteers Guard as
11 a unit I should attempt to join.
12 Q. Did you then go to the Serbian Volunteers Guard? Did you enlist?
13 A. Yes. I went to the headquarters of the Serbian Volunteers Guard.
14 The place was well-known in Belgrade, because it was Zeljko Raznatovic,
15 Arkan's home, across from the Red Star stadium, and I'm one of the team's
16 supporters. Everybody knew about the place.
17 Q. When did you enlist as a volunteer, and what happened next?
18 A. I enlisted as a volunteer -- I can't remember the date, but I
19 remember it coincided with the fall of Vukovar. I went to the
20 headquarters. That's what the place was called at the time. A few
21 individuals waited for me there. I told them why I was there. It was
22 not really customary for anybody to walk in from the street. For the
23 first couple of days I stayed there, helping to sort out some military
24 equipment. It was in a makeshift garage. We tried to pair shoes and
25 complete uniforms. That was my first encounter with the volunteers and
1 that was my first obligation that I had with them. And after that --
2 Q. Excuse me just for a moment. Let me interrupt you. You said
3 that you sorted out some military equipment. Had you served in the
4 military? Could you recognise the military equipment that you were
5 sorting out? Can you describe it for us?
6 A. When I say "military equipment," I mean uniforms and military
7 boots, military footwear. I had served from 1976 to 1978 in Pula. That
8 was a city in Croatia. At that time I served in the JNA.
9 Q. When it comes to those uniforms and military footwear, did you
10 recognise them?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us about them.
13 A. Those were conventional olive-drab uniforms and military boots
14 that I remember from the time when I served in the JNA.
15 Q. How many days did you spend sorting out the equipment, and what
16 happened next?
17 A. I did that for a couple of days, maybe three. And during those
18 two or three days another five or six volunteers arrived. When that job
19 was completed, we were sent to Erdut. First we loaded all the equipment
20 into a van. We ourselves sat in the van and we went to Erdut, to the
21 training centre. That was the place where we were supposed to go. Erdut
22 is some 180 kilometres away from Belgrade in the direction northwards,
23 the Danube, i.e., towards Vukovar. We arrived there and then we were
24 supposed to --
25 Q. Just a moment, please. When you arrived from Serbia in the
1 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem region, where did you cross the
3 A. We did it on the so-called Bogojevo bridge. I didn't know it at
4 the time. I learned that only subsequently. On the Serbian side there
5 was the police and the military. The driver was approached by a soldier
6 and I suppose that the driver told him where we were headed. We were not
7 checked at all. We crossed without any problems. From the bridge to the
8 centre of Erdut there is about a kilometre or a kilometre and a half,
9 which means after having travelled that way we arrived at the
11 Q. When you arrived at the Erdut camp, can you tell us the name of
12 the camp, i.e. -- or rather, tell us first: Who was the first you saw
13 there, at the camp in Erdut?
14 A. When we arrived at the camp, our first task was to unload the
15 van. Upon our arrival, we changed from our civilian clothes into the
16 uniforms that we ourselves had brought. And then Zeljko Raznatovic,
17 Arkan, appeared. He came to greet us. At first he shook hands with all
18 of us individually, and then he had a chat with every one of us.
19 Q. Do you remember what you discussed with Zeljko Raznatovic? What
20 did you talk about?
21 A. We just introduced ourselves to each other. I told him who I was
22 and where I was from. And then he asked me about my professional
23 background. I told him what I'd done and what my profession was, and
24 then his comment was, "Thank God that after such a long time finally I
25 have somebody literate in our midst." I don't know how much that meant
1 to me at the time. However, as soon as that short conversation was over,
2 he told me, "You're very welcome, and you will be our clerk." When he
3 said "clerk," he used a somewhat derogatory word, denoting somebody who
4 is an administrative officer. In the military hierarchy, those who
5 served in the JNA will know what that word that he used - and that was
6 the word "cata" - means. I was not really prepared to do that. That was
7 not the reason why I had volunteered. However, that was what he had in
8 mind for me, and that's what I ended up doing.
9 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, let's now talk about the scope of your work.
10 In performing your duties, did you have a superior? And if that was the
11 case, who was it?
12 A. No, I didn't have a superior. I didn't have a supervisor. The
13 only person I had was the commander, Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan. As time
14 went on, our -- he increased my duties, so all of my communication with
15 regard the job was directly with him.
16 Q. Can you tell us something about your duties. What were your
17 tasks during that period of time?
18 A. Upon my arrival, I started recording the names of the volunteers.
19 And those records had not existed up to then. I maintained the record of
20 the numerical strength, the personal details, and everything that
21 constituted the administration of that unit. In addition to those
22 administrative tasks that I had at the very beginning, my daily duties
23 were to compose daily orders that would be read out every morning as the
24 flag was raised. Those daily orders concerned the training centre of
25 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. It was known as the
1 101st Training Centre.
2 In addition to that, during the course of a day I would have some
3 other regular duties, inter alia, looking after people who had been
4 wounded in combat. When I arrived, there was no combat ongoing, but I
5 found that a certain number of combatants who had been hospitalised
6 around Erdut or in rehabilitation centres. That was a priority, because
7 communications were hindered. When their needs were met, I also had to
8 deal with the logistical issues. The military needed weapons, food,
9 equipment, medicines, toiletries, and so on and so forth.
10 Q. Let's now move on to that part, Mr. Dimitrijevic. When you
11 arrived at the centre, did you come to learn who the centre belonged to?
12 A. To be honest, my opinion upon my arrival was completely
13 different; however, with time I realised - or at least that was my
14 impression and it proved to be correct - that we were a very serious
15 organisation that enjoyed the support of all the institutions in the
16 field. When I say that, I mean the Government of Slavonia, Baranja, and
17 Western Srem region, as well as the military structures, and I mean the
19 The centre itself was known as the 101st Centre of the
20 Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. It was in
21 Erdut. It was housed in the barracks of the former recruiting centre of
22 Osijek. It looked, and it still looks, I suppose, as a military
23 facility, and it had everything that I had remembered from the military
24 that I had served in. It had barracks, the cafeteria, the
25 training-grounds, football pitches, training areas, and things like that.
1 Q. Was training going on in that centre, and who was trained?
2 A. The very name of the centre says it all. It was a training
3 centre. Training was going on. And the subject of the training were all
4 the volunteers that had enlisted as the Serbian Volunteer Guard's
5 volunteers. They arrived from Belgrade, they were brought in the same
6 way I had been brought, and they also arrived from all over Slavonia.
7 And they reported at the gate. They were received by the reception
8 service that looked after the volunteers. And then they came to me as
9 individuals. They talked to me. They gave me their name and all the
10 other personal details that were required.
11 Q. Did the centre have a military post designation when you arrived
12 or sometime later?
13 A. Yes. It was designated as a military post. I can't remember the
14 exact number, but it did bear the military post designation. That number
16 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, I would like to call up P500 for your benefit.
17 Could you please look at the document and tell me --
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... is a
19 confidential document.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. This is
21 an exhibit under seal, so I would like the Chamber to move into private
22 session, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 16061-16063 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
6 We take a break. And we'll resume at 4.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.29 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, for your information: On the matter
10 raised by Ms. Marcus in relation to disclosure, the Chamber would like to
11 receive an oral response from you tomorrow morning, first thing in the
12 morning. As far as the other matter, that is -- is concerned, that is,
13 the disclosure of documents to be used with future witnesses, the Chamber
14 would like to receive your answer orally not later than Thursday morning
15 or, if time allows, later tomorrow, but we're sitting in the morning.
16 That's the -- these are the time-limits.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, before the break I put a question to you but
20 you didn't have time to answer. From the time that you arrived in the
21 Serbian volunteer unit and performed the duties you performed, from that
22 time onwards or during that period did you ever receive a uniform from
23 the MUP in Serbia or the security service in Serbia? Or if you
24 personally did not receive such uniforms, did you hear anything about
25 such uniforms being delivered to the Serbian voluntary guard unit?
1 A. No, never.
2 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, was there a weapons warehouse when you arrived
3 in the training centre in Erdut?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What sort of weapons were there in that warehouse and what sort
6 of weapons were issued to members of the Serbian voluntary guard unit?
7 A. The warehouse had already been set up when I arrived. And when I
8 arrived, it contained automatic rifles, M-70; semi-automatic rifles;
9 hand-grenades; Zoljas; Osas; and ammunition.
10 Q. The weapons that you found there -- well, with regard to those
11 weapons, do you know how they were obtained before you arrived there?
12 A. According to information obtained from members that I met there,
13 I know something about certain cases. And given the duties that I
14 performed, I also found out some information. The first weapons were
15 obtained, to a certain extent, from the JNA. Some of the weapons that
16 the officers had, but not all of them, the Heckler weapons, for example,
17 were treated as war booty. There was one particular event when there was
18 a dispute with the Croats and some Hecklers were found in a warehouse in
19 Zenga and some of the officers had these weapons on them. As for the
20 other weapons that I have already mentioned, they were obtained from the
22 Q. Were there any situations when in the course of action,
23 operations, or training courses ammunition was used and there was the
24 need for new weapons; and if so, how was the situation dealt with?
25 A. Yes. That's quite natural, because it was a training centre. We
1 had these areas for physical training. We also had a shooting range
2 where the troops were trained and taught how to use those weapons. So
3 ammunition was something that was constantly needed in the course of the
4 training provided. So sometimes we would also need a certain amount of
5 rifles to provide for the warehouse. The volunteers were issued with
6 rifles, and when the volunteers completed their duties they would return
7 the rifle to the warehouse. They would then leave the training centre;
8 someone else would appear and get a weapon. But there were defective
9 weapons as well and some weapons would be lost in operations, so it was
10 necessary for us to remain in constant contact with the JNA, or, rather,
11 with the Territorial Defence, in particular the TO from Western Srijem.
12 We had to remain in constant contact with them in order to provide the
13 warehouse with the relevant supplies.
14 Q. Can you tell us whom you had contact with in order to obtain
15 supplies for the warehouse, ammunition and weapons for the warehouse?
16 A. We had contact in particular with the Territorial Defence command
17 in Western Srijem. We would list our needs and I personally would take
18 that list to Dalj, which is where I would hand over the list of our needs
19 for that day. And on the following day I was provided with a response in
20 Erdut, but in some cases I directly contacted the army, that is to say
21 the JNA, and requested their assistance if it wasn't possible to obtain
22 assistance in the first place I have mentioned, if it wasn't possible for
23 them to satisfy my needs.
24 Q. We have also spoken about obtaining uniforms, and now we are
25 speaking about obtaining weapons. Could you tell us whether you paid for
1 the uniforms and how, if you did, and I have the same question for the
2 ammunition that you tried to obtain.
3 A. We didn't pay for any of these things. It wasn't possible for us
4 to pay to anyone because we were members of the Territorial Defence of
5 Slavonia and Baranja, and Western Srijem. So it was also quite logical
6 for me, too, that I shouldn't have to pay for anything. This was quite
7 customary and quite normal for me at the time, and I think that is still
8 the case today. Naturally, as far as the army is concerned, since we
9 were under their command, the Novi Sad Corps was in the field at the time
10 and there were good relationships between our units ...
11 Q. Could you conclude? Between your unit ...
12 A. Between our unit and the leadership of the corps, or, rather, the
13 JNA, because we participated in these operations together.
14 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, you mentioned providing weapons. A little
15 earlier on we spoke about uniforms. You said that you would obtain them
16 from Junk, from someone called Kamenac, a private businessman. Did you
17 pay for those uniforms?
18 A. No, I didn't. We received some donations as the
19 Serbian Volunteer Guards unit, and we used these donations to pay for
20 those uniforms or we would find sponsors who would have direct contact
21 with the producers and would deal with those obligations. So we had
22 absolutely no expenses as far as that is concerned.
23 Q. Could you tell us who the sponsors who paid for these items were,
24 do you remember?
25 A. There were a lot of companies who volunteered to be sponsors.
1 There were private businessmen, individuals who would appear with certain
2 funds that they would give, in fact, to the Serbian volunteer guards.
3 There were many private companies, too, that in this way wanted to
4 demonstrate their patriotism. They would give these funds to the Serbian
5 volunteer guards, and there were also some state companies that
6 participated in the entire process.
7 I can give you the names of some of them. The Karic brothers,
8 whatever their company was called, saxin gegoma [phoen],
9 Giovani di Stefano. So these are the individuals that appeared at the
10 time when I was in Erdut for two and a half or three months. Later there
11 were far more individuals or companies of that kind.
12 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, you started speaking about the terms you were
13 on with the Novi Sad Corps. At the time that you were in Erdut, at the
14 end of 1991 and 1992, who was the commander of the Novi Sad Corps?
15 A. General Biocevic.
16 THE INTERPRETER: If the interpreter heard the name correctly.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [No interpretation]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could we verify whether the name was correctly
19 understood by the interpreter.
20 Could you please slowly repeat the name of the commander of the
21 Novi Sad Corps.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Giorcevic.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you perhaps check on the transcript,
24 Mr. Bakrac, that the name appears --
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. You have noticed
1 correctly that the first letter in the transcript is G, but it should be
2 B. That's how the witness repeated the name.
3 JUDGE ORIE: With a B?
4 MR. BAKRAC: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then would it then be B-i-o-r-c-e-v-i-c? Would that
6 be the correct spelling? And I left the diacritics.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, you're quite
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Let's now have a look at a video extract.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's 2D980. 40 minutes
13 and 37 seconds up until 41 minutes and 21 seconds is the extract we are
14 interested in. It doesn't have a translation. It doesn't have any sound
15 either, Your Honour. I would just like the witness to have a look at the
16 individuals who appear and at the places that we can see in the
18 [Video-clip played]
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, tell us, first of all, with regard to this
21 video, did you manage to recognise the place where this event occurred?
22 A. It's the entrance to the centre, or, rather, this is where the
23 army had its line-up early in the morning. And this individual who
24 appeared and greeted the troops is General Biorcevic, who would go and
25 visit us at the centre.
1 Q. So if I have understood you correctly, this video extract is an
2 extract of your training centre in Erdut; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did General Biorcevic often go to your centre?
5 A. One could say so, and that means three or four times a month
7 Q. Did Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, go to see General Biorcevic; and if
8 so, where did he go to see him?
9 A. Yes, he did go to see him frequently. And I could also say that
10 I went to see him frequently. General Biorcevic's command was on a boat
11 on the Danube not far from the centre of Erdut, and I can no longer
12 remember the name of the boat.
13 Q. When you say that you went and that Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan,
14 went to see General Biorcevic too, can you say what the purpose of your
15 visit was?
16 A. I usually went there officially to deal with certain needs that
17 the army would help us with. They'd provide us with some rifles and
18 ammunition and so on and so forth. This relates to your previous
19 questions too. As for Zeljko Raznatovic's visits, I don't know what the
20 purpose was because I wasn't present when he met the general. Sometimes
21 I attended lunches, but these were unofficial occasions. The
22 conversation was unofficial at the time.
23 Q. Did you have any other contact with members of the army, that is
24 to say, of the Novi Sad Corps?
25 A. Yes, I did. I could mention two names, the then-Major Jovanovic
1 and Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel Enes Taso. I'm not sure what his rank
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we now see the following
4 document on the screen, D166.
5 Q. And while waiting for the document to appear on the screen,
6 Mr. Dimitrijevic, tell me, do you know what the relationship was between
7 the Serbian Volunteer Guards and the JNA in the field when it came to
8 engaging in combat and so on and so forth?
9 A. Well, I think that there wasn't a single operation at the time --
10 well, in fact, while I was in Erdut there wasn't much significant
11 activity; but given what I heard and saw and given the documents that I
12 also consulted subsequently, I would say that all the operations were
13 carried out together with the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA. There was
14 the command of the Territorial Defence and of the JNA that acted together
15 with the Serbian Volunteer Guards.
16 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, could you have a look at this certificate.
17 This is a certificate dated the 4th of December, 1991. At the time were
18 you in Erdut?
19 A. Yes, I was.
20 Q. This is a certificate on Markovic Nenad who was seriously
21 wounded. Do you know him?
22 A. Yes, I know him. His nickname was Sitsko. He lost a leg; it was
23 amputated. His left leg was amputated. He was in hospital in Sombor for
24 a long time, and part of my duties consisted of visiting him almost on a
25 daily basis and of trying to provide for his needs.
1 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, have you already seen this certificate?
2 A. I typed it out. I typed this certificate out. And this
3 certificate was typed out to deal with the cost of treating the wounded
4 soldier. There were several such certificates. The procedure was such
5 that I would type out the certificate, Arkan would sign it, it would then
6 be registered, and it would then be taken to the corps command for them
7 to certify. Having certified such a certificate, once the corps command
8 had done that, it was possible to regulate all expenses incurred as a
9 result of the treatment that was required and all expenses incurred for
10 purposes of paying pensions.
11 Q. I see a signature in the left-hand corner, Mr. Dimitrijevic. Did
12 you take this to Commander Enes Taso so that he could sign it?
13 A. Yes, I did. Enes Taso didn't sign this, though; somebody signed
14 on his behalf. But I did take it there, and part of my duties consisted
15 of also taking such documents to them to be certified.
16 Q. On the basis of this certificate we can see that on the
17 7th of August, 1991, Nenad Markovic was transferred to the military
18 hospital in Belgrade, which is where his left lower leg was amputated.
19 Could you tell me why it was taken -- why he was taken to the military
21 And later you were involved in taking care of wounded soldiers.
22 Where were these wounded soldiers from the Serbian Volunteer Guard taken
23 for treatment?
24 A. Well, if there were urgent cases in the field and it wasn't
25 possible to transfer a wounded person to that location, then the first
1 medical clinic would be used. All those who could be transported to the
2 military academy would be taken there and they would be treated there.
3 Q. Do you know why wounded soldiers from the
4 Serbian Volunteer Guards were taken to the military medical academy in
6 A. I don't know. I suppose there was an agreement to that effect at
7 a higher level. There was no way for me to know that.
8 Maybe I can add something to what I've already stated. All the
9 fallen soldiers from various front lines were also transported to the
10 military academy, where a post mortem was carried out. We would then
11 receive their death certificates. And based on those death certificates,
12 we would then proceed.
13 Q. Since you were involved in all those administrative tasks, what
14 about the pensionable years spent with the Serbian Volunteer Guards, was
15 that recorded in their military booklets?
16 A. Yes. However, certificates had to be issued and those
17 certificates would be taken to the General Staff in Nemanjina Street, and
18 the administrative clerk who was there would stamp the certificates. And
19 then the individuals in question would take those certificates to the
20 relevant institution, where those years would be recorded as pensionable
22 Q. Let's now look at P1189, Mr. Dimitrijevic. This is another
23 certificate signed, seemingly, by the centre commander,
24 Mr. Zeljko Raznatovic. And while we are waiting for the document to
25 appear on the screen, could you please tell us whether the name
1 Ranko Strbac rings a bell?
2 A. No, it does not.
3 Q. Please look at the document.
4 A. Yes, this is precisely what I was talking about. This is a
5 certificate acknowledging that a person was wounded, where the person was
6 treated, how the person was treated, for how long; and based on all that,
7 based on the certificate stamped by the JNA, that individual could claim
8 benefits later on. Some were not even fit to do that, so I would go
9 instead of them. That was also one of my tasks.
10 Q. When you say that you completed the paperwork for them, what does
11 that mean? Where would you take this certificate before it was sent to
12 the municipal secretariat for health care and social services?
13 A. I would take it to the General Staff in Nemanjina Street, the
14 administrative clerk would stamp it, then I would return it to Erdut.
15 And then if the person was from Novi Sad, for example, I would hand it
16 over to him, he would go to Novi Sad, and he would regulate the matters
17 there. If the person was either from Belgrade or elsewhere in Serbia,
18 they would regulate the matters there.
19 Q. We don't see the military command stamp. Do you remember if such
20 a certificate was issued in several copies?
21 A. Yes. One of the copies would be kept in the archives of the
22 General Staff, another one in the archives of the
23 Serbian Volunteer Guards, and the individual would receive his own copy.
24 Q. My question was a bit different. When you issued a certificate,
25 would you keep a copy with the Serbian Volunteer Guards?
1 A. Yes, yes. One copy would be filed with us, one copy would be
2 given to the individual, and a third copy would be filed at the
3 General Staff, for their records.
4 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, we discussed General Biorcevic's visits to your
5 camp. Did Radovic Stojcevic -- Radovan Stojcevic, Badza, arrive in your
6 camp; and if he did, how often and in what capacity?
7 A. Yes, I'm sure he arrived. I can't tell you how many times, but I
8 would say that he arrived at least five or six times in a month. Every
9 time when he arrived the troops would be lined up, which meant that his
10 visit was important. His visit was given importance. At that time
11 Radovan Stojcevic, Badza, was the TO commander of Slavonia, Baranja, and
12 Western Srem, and it was only normal that his visits received such a
13 level of attention.
14 Q. Do you remember if at any point in time somebody replaced him;
15 and if that was the case, who was it and when was that?
16 A. In early 1992 Zivorad Trajkovic, whose nickname was
17 Zile Trajkovic, I believe.
18 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, in your oral testimony you spoke about the
19 relationship with the Novi Sad Corps and about your joint combat
20 activities. Could you please look at a video-clip, 2D976.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I failed to tender
22 2D980, the previous clip, from 40 minutes, 37 seconds, to 41 seconds --
23 41 minutes, 22 seconds.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus.
25 MS. MARCUS: Your Honour, the video had been provided without any
1 information about it, but the witness provided a lot of confirming
2 information, therefore we don't object.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number for the previous video
4 played by Mr. Bakrac would be ...
5 THE REGISTRAR: Number for document 2D980 will be D640,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
8 Mr. Jordash, I interpreted your silence as having no objections,
9 and I will continue to do so if you are silent.
10 Then, Mr. Bakrac, the next video.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, 2D976.1. We have
12 a transcript, Your Honour. The transcript has been distributed. It
13 starts at 17.52.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "They have laid the mines. I'm sure
16 that they know where they are. They don't know that each of our men can
17 clear the minefields. We want to do that to have everything clear in the
18 morning. In this attack the troops will participate with two makeshift
19 bridges. Two makeshifts bridges will be placed there, tanks will pass
20 and proceed, and we have to carry out a blitz attack. The army promised
21 that they would fire from the tanks on the first houses here. The army
22 will not enter with the tanks. The army has nothing to do there. They
23 are prepared for anti-armoured fight. It is up to us now to do our job."
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, we now saw the video-clip.
1 THE INTERPRETER: May it be noted that the interpreters were not
2 given ample time to find the appropriate transcript.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, we saw Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, providing
5 instructions. Did you recognise the soldiers that were also depicted in
6 the video-clip?
7 A. Yes. I did recognise some of them.
8 Q. Could you please tell us whom you recognised .
9 A. Ranko Zivanovic, Holma [phoen], Nebojsa Djordjevic.
10 Q. Did they have green helmets and who did you receive the helmets
12 A. Yes, they did have green helmets on their heads, and we received
13 them from the JNA. We also received some dressings, gas masks. What I'm
14 saying is that we did not receive only ammunition, but, rather, complete
15 sets that included the helmets.
16 Q. Can we infer from the video-clip that this is one of the
17 operations that you spoke about as those that were carried out in concert
18 with the military?
19 A. Yes, you can tell that from the clip. I was never present in any
20 of such situations, but this is how things happened and this is what I
21 subsequently heard from the soldiers when they returned to the centre.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before I tender
23 [Realtime transcript read in error "turn"] the video-clip into evidence,
24 I would like to say that this is a DVD that we received from DFS-009
25 during the break. And I believe that the Case Manager provided a copy of
1 the DVD to the Prosecutor. I would like to tender the video-clip into
2 evidence. If the Prosecutor needs more time to watch the DVD again, I
3 agree that it should be marked for identification for the time being.
4 MS. MARCUS: Your Honour, we did not know the origin until we
5 were just informed just now. Indeed, there's a lot of confusion about
6 the number of videos and the way they were disclosed. So we're not
7 prepared to express our position as to right now, so we agree that it
8 should be MFI'd for the moment.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number to be assigned to the
10 video-clip would be ...
11 THE REGISTRAR: The number to be assigned to video-clip 2D976.1
12 will be D641, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Did you provide a transcript to the booth before,
14 Mr. Bakrac?
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I believe that
16 that was done.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because the booth says that they need some time
18 before you start playing it to find the relevant transcript.
19 Now, you said you received this video during the break, the last
20 break, is that correctly understood?
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. My colleague has
22 provided the booths with several transcripts. I apologise to the booths.
23 Maybe they're not in the right order.
24 JUDGE ORIE: My question is about receiving the video, because I
25 think that -- but let me check in the transcript exactly what you said
1 about that. "... we received -- " you said: "Before I turn" - I take it
2 "tender" - "the video-clip into evidence, I would like to say that this
3 is a DVD that we received from Witness DFS [sic] during the break."
4 Is that during the last break? Or when was that? Or during the
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I meant the winter
7 recess, not the last break in today's sitting. I apologise if I was not
8 clear enough. When I returned to The Hague I made copies of the DVD and
9 I provided one to the Prosecution.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And was there any reason why you didn't disclose to
11 the Prosecution where you got it from? Because that's what I would have
12 expected you to add as information to the video.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to be honest, I was
14 busy proofing the witness and I asked my assistant to disclose the DVD to
15 the Prosecutor. It is my mistake that I didn't check how that was done,
16 whether there was an accompanying letter with the DVD; I apologise. My
17 colleague just tells me that there was an accompanying letter, but let me
18 be honest and admit that I never checked that because I was busy proofing
19 this witness.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, when did you receive the video?
21 MS. MARCUS: This morning or yesterday. This morning or
22 yesterday, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, if you received the video during the
24 recess and if you provide it then only yesterday or this morning to
25 Ms. Marcus, of course that could have been done last week easily. I'm
1 not going to spend a lot of time on it, but I look at the matter also in
2 relation to the request by the Prosecution --
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I arrived last week on
4 Friday or perhaps Thursday. In any case, towards the end of last week.
5 And then I asked my assistant to make copies and then the first working
6 day after the weekend we handed that copy over. And if I was late again,
7 I can only apologise for that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let's proceed. Unless you would like to make any
9 further submissions, Ms. Marcus.
10 MS. MARCUS: Your Honour, just in order to save us all time at a
11 later housekeeping session, with respect to this video, I think the
12 information that would be missing from the line of questioning that was
13 asked is -- because Mr. Bakrac asked quite a leading question about
14 inferences that could be drawn from what we see, and the witness said
15 that he had -- was never present in such situations; therefore, although
16 he identified some of the individuals and he made a comment about what
17 they're wearing, he didn't give any information about the timing of the
18 video. And because we don't know any origin information about it,
19 it's -- that's the piece of information I would say right now that is
20 still missing. It's just to give you an opportunity while the witness is
21 here to clarify that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, there is some text in Cyrillic on the video,
23 Ms. Marcus, which may give a clue to the timing. So did --
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Did I see November?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, November 1991. The script is
2 Cyrillic and I believe that the Prosecution has done the same thing. I
3 don't know why the witness shouldn't be allowed to look at the video-clip
4 and tell us whether situations like this were talked about, why he
5 shouldn't be allowed to recognise certain individuals in the video-clip.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You misunderstood Ms. Marcus. I take it that she
7 didn't say that you're not allowed, but she invited you to seek further
8 clarification, as the timing is concerned, with the witness, if possible;
9 and otherwise, to give clues to the Prosecution as to the timing of the
10 video. Let's proceed.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 And now can we look at 2D978 from 32 minutes, 27 seconds, to
13 32 minutes, 45 seconds.
14 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continued] ... I think, as a
15 matter of fact, that I may have forgotten to ask for a number to be
16 assigned to the last video or ...
17 THE REGISTRAR: The number is assigned D641, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And that was marked for identification. Yes, I
19 think I should have -- Ms. Marcus asked for it to be marked for
20 identification and that is what it is now.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 2D978, it doesn't have
23 any sound. Could we please have a look at that video-clip. There is no
24 transcript. From 32 minutes and 27 seconds up until 32 minutes and
25 45 seconds. The video-clip is on the same DVD.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, do you know what is happening in this clip?
4 Can you recognise the situation?
5 A. I assume that you have the tanks that you can see in the clip in
6 mind. This took place around Vukovar. It concerned the fighting around
7 Vukovar. There was a unit from the Serbian Volunteer Guards that
8 captured four tanks that had been so damaged that they couldn't be used.
9 They were immobile. And two tanks were taken from those locations to the
10 centre in Erdut. After the fall of Vukovar, when I arrived in Erdut, I
11 found two tanks there as part of the weapons listed. As we had no tank
12 operators, anyone who had been trained to operate tanks, we gave
13 General Biorcevic those two tanks. I was present there. And he, in
14 return, gave us a certain quantity of weapons that we needed in the
15 warehouse at the time.
16 Q. Do you recognise one of those two tanks in this clip?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we mark this
19 document for identification too, please.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
21 THE REGISTRAR: 2D978 will receive number D642, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Microphone not activated]
23 D642 is marked for identification.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, I asked you who went to the centre, and you
1 answered my question. Now I would like to ask you whether you remember,
2 when you were in the centre, whether there were any official visits to
3 your centre from high UN representatives, from foreign UN
5 A. Yes. And that was almost on a daily basis. There were visits
6 from the Government of the TO in Baranja and Western Srem and there were
7 their guests as well that went to have conversations with the government
8 in Baranja and Eastern Srijem. The government centre was across the
9 road. I don't know what the name was. So there was just a distance of
10 5 metres between our doors. And all of the officials who went to visit
11 Western Srijem, Slavonia, and Baranja, and the field, the battle-field,
12 they would be taken by government representatives to visit the centre
13 too. Among them, there were American congressmen as well, senators.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Let's now have a look at 2D979.
15 It's another clip from the same DVD. Item 1. I do apologise. Perhaps
16 it was my mistake. 2D979, item 1, from 36 minute 00 up until 37 minutes
17 00. Could we just wait a minute. I want to see whether the booths have
18 found the relevant part in the transcript. Yes. So with your leave we
19 can have a look at the clip.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 "Arkan hopes his men will eventually form the nucleus of a
22 Serbian army. Many ordinary Serbs are angry with the federal army for
23 signing so many cease-fires, when they'd like to see the war carried
24 further forward into Croat territory. The Serbian opposition has
25 criticised the government for relying too heavily on federal troops, and
1 not forming its own army. Arkan's men could one day have a bigger
2 political role to play. Linda Duffin, Sky News."
4 "Glad to meet you.
5 "Thank you."
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic ... Mr. Dimitrijevic, do you remember these
8 visits in November/December 1991 and in January 1992?
9 A. Yes, yes. In addition to the individuals I have just seen here,
10 there were many others who visited the centre almost on a daily basis.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we also mark
12 this video-clip for identification.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus.
14 MS. MARCUS: Your Honour, our only comment is a question to
15 Mr. Bakrac whether he intends to rely on the words of the narrator.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that would also be my question.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, it's not my
18 intention to rely on that. It's just that there was that comment. But
19 to be brief: No, it is not my intention to rely on what the journalist
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just wondering, was the question to the witness
22 about what was seen in the video? Reference to "these visits," was that
23 a reference to what was seen in the video? Is that ... because I'm
24 trying to understand. We have looked at a video with some comment, then
25 the question asked by you is:
1 "Mr. Dimitrijevic, do you remember these visits ..."
2 Was that a reference to what we had seen on the video? Because
3 we saw a lot of short ...
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We saw three
5 visits of three high-ranking officials. I asked the witness whether he
6 remembered those visits, and the witness said that in addition to those
7 visits there were many other visits made by high-ranking officials to the
8 centre at the time that he was there.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's then -- I've no problem with the video,
10 but I want to know exactly what -- what it establishes.
11 Did you recognise in each of the small portions that it was a
12 visit and who visited?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you putting that question to
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't receive the interpretation
17 of your question.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, looking at the video, did you recognise all
19 these smaller portions as the visits, the type of visits you refer to?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not receiving any
22 JUDGE ORIE: Still not.
23 Could Madam Usher -- could we have a -- could we check, first of
24 all that the -- one second, yes, I'm dealing with it.
25 Could we check whether the witness is at the right channel and
1 could we check whether there's any technical problem.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's fine. Now I can hear you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
4 Now, what I -- a question was put to you by Mr. Bakrac. Let me
5 check. He asked you:
6 "... do you remember these visits in November/December 1991 and
7 January 1992 ..."
8 Was -- were these visits the ones you saw in the video-clip?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But I think I arrived after
10 this visit at the centre. This video is a video of three individuals
11 visiting the centre. First there was Owen, Newman, Moody. I think those
12 were the names. I think Owen arrived sometime before I arrived at the
13 centre, and these two gentlemen paid a visit once I had already arrived
14 at the centre.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so for some of the visits you were present
16 during the visits, whereas for other visits you were not but you just
17 conclude on the basis of what you see on your screen that this must have
18 been similar visits as you had been present at. Is that correctly
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the three here, yes, I was
21 present for the visit of two of them. But there were far more officials
22 who visited the place. This is just -- here we just have a few visitors.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 Mr. Bakrac, you will understand you had a very simple question:
25 Do you remember these visits? Although, if you put precise questions to
1 the witness, he can't remember them because he wasn't there, for some of
2 them at least. If something is shown to the witness, you should
3 carefully establish what is seen and what the witness himself can tell us
4 about it. Apparently for one of the visits he remembers that that person
5 visited the camp. Could you please be --
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I fully accept
7 your criticism. But I'm short of time and I want to get through as much
8 as possible with this witness. I apologise if I do make mistakes.
9 Q. You mentioned the fact that you weren't present when Cyrus Vance
10 visited but you were present for the other two visits. With regard to
11 all three visits, were you able to recognise the place of the visit? Was
12 it -- were these visits, visits to your centre in Erdut?
13 A. Yes, all these visits were visits to our centre in Erdut. And
14 these visits took place on a daily basis.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Madam Registrar, had we assigned already a number to this
18 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honour. Document 2D979.1 will receive
19 number D643 MFI, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is MFI'd.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Sir, Mr. Dimitrijevic, was there a press centre next to your
25 A. Yes. But I'd like to provide a somewhat detailed explanation if
1 possible. The centre in Erdut is in the actual visit of Erdut next to
2 the wine-producing shop in Erdut which was very popular before the war.
3 That wine-producing shop was taken over by the Government of Slavonia,
4 Baranja, and Western Srem -- well, taken over by them, what I mean, in
5 fact, was the building was a solid one, it was well-equipped, and they
6 had the headquarters of the government based in that shop, on those
7 premises, just across the road from the training centre in Erdut. And in
8 front of the building there was another building that was an
9 international press centre for Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. And
10 in that press centre that was connected to the Government of Slavonia,
11 Baranja, and Western Srem you could find all accredited journalists who
12 were in the area at the time, and they would go to obtain their
13 accreditation from the government. So they were directly across the
14 road. Our centre wasn't walled in, as you could see in the clips. It
15 had a gate, a guard at the gate, but everything else was quite
16 transparent 24 hours a day.
17 Q. In addition to these visits that you have spoken about, were
18 there foreign journalists who also entered your centre to report on it?
19 A. Yes, they had such freedom. But they had to announce their
20 arrival in advance. It wasn't possible for anyone to just enter the
21 centre whenever it occurred to them. Volunteers didn't have the right to
22 issue or to give statements of any kind. That was part of the discipline
23 imposed on the Serb Volunteer Guards. Only Zeljko Raznatovic could
24 provide answers to any questions that were put.
25 Q. We've now spoken about the visits of high-ranking officials. Did
1 anyone from the state security department of Serbia go to visit the
2 training centre, with you being aware of the fact that such an individual
3 was from that centre?
4 A. Not with my knowledge.
5 Q. Did you hear from any members of the SDG that they went to visit
6 the training centre while you were there?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you remember who from the Government or Ministry of Slavonia,
9 Baranja, and Western Srem went to your centre, and how frequently?
10 A. Well, as far as the government is concerned, the entire
11 government would visit the centre. Mrgud Milovanovic, for example,
12 Rade Leskovac, some other individuals whose names I have forgotten, but
13 they came on a regular basis, on a daily basis, on a number of occasions,
14 a number of times, in fact. And naturally Goran Hadzic as well, that was
15 obvious. So they would pass through the gate, leave, and this was
16 registered. But they visited the centre quite regularly, on a daily
18 Q. Did Goran Hadzic -- or was Goran Hadzic the president of the
19 government at the time?
20 A. He was the president of the government.
21 Q. Did he stay in your training centre on occasion? Would he spend
22 the night there?
23 A. Yes. For a period of time his security was also there. They had
24 some facilities, some premises in the barracks where he would sleep over
25 if he had a lot of duties to perform. I don't know where he lived, but
1 he would come and sleep over. He would eat there. So he was in the
2 training centre itself very frequently.
3 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, before I move on to a different topic, can you
4 tell me whether you know anything, and if you do what is it, about the
5 intimate relationships between Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, and the federal
6 security service and Stane Dolanc.
7 A. This is part of an urban myth. An urban myth that could be heard
8 all over the city of Belgrade. After an incident that involved Arkan and
9 some police officers and after -- I'm just speculating, you know. This
10 is not what I know first hand. I'm just sharing stories and rumours with
11 you, that he had something to do with the federal SUP of Yugoslavia, of
12 the republic and the state of Yugoslavia, as it was at the time mand that
13 federal SUP was headed by Mr. Stane Dolanc. But I have nothing to
14 corroborate that. I didn't hear this from him. And if this was to be
15 one of your following questions, I still believe that it was just a myth
16 more than anything else. I don't think that it really did happen.
17 Q. However, as far as I understood you, that was a rumour that
18 everybody was familiar with in Belgrade?
19 A. Yes, you're right. The rumour is still being spread. The story
20 is still popular among people.
21 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, at one point in time in 1992 you left Erdut and
22 the training centre. Could you tell us when you left and where you went?
23 A. I left in late February or early March 1992. Arkan gave me an
24 order to take over the headquarters of the Serbian Volunteer Guards in
25 Belgrade, in Ljubica Bogdana Street 1. My job description there did not
1 differ much from what I did in Erdut. It was a bit more encompassing.
2 And the main task that I had was to care for the families of the wounded
3 and fallen volunteers. The number two task was to be involved with the
4 procurement to allow the functioning of the guards. I was supposed to
5 obtain materiel that was required. I was also concerned with the
6 well-being of Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan's, family because the headquarters
7 of the volunteers was in his own family home. So those were the main
8 tasks that I was involved with at the headquarters. And one of those
9 tasks was also the reception of volunteers.
10 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, I moved on to that part in a bit of a haze, but
11 before that I wanted to ask you something about the period where you were
12 still at the training centre in Erdut. You said that you were in charge
13 of procuring food. How did you do that?
14 A. Given the numerical strength at any one time, we were provided
15 by -- food by the Government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. A
16 while ago you asked me about weapons; the same applied to food. I would
17 take the list to Dalj, to the government offices there. They were the
18 ones who provided us with salt, flour, sugar, oil, and such bare
20 Q. Let me stop you there. While you are talking about that I would
21 like to call up document P1187. This is a document issued in 1992 by the
22 Ministry of Defence of Vukovar. It says here:
23 "We hereby agree that the expenses of the Territorial Defence
24 centre for the training of volunteers in Erdut will be reimbursed to the
25 socially-owned enterprise Dalj," and this document was signed by
1 Mile Milanovic.
2 Was that one of the ways to obtain provisions? Does this
3 approval apply to your centre? Do you know?
4 A. Yes. This was the only way. There was no other centre. When
5 you say the centre in Erdut, that was the 101st Training Centre.
6 Mile Milanovic, who was also known as Mrgud, was a then-minister in the
7 government. He was the one who signed the procurement orders that I
8 would bring to him, and he was the one in charge of paying the invoices.
9 He was the one who made it possible for us to get bare necessities, such
10 as oil, flour, sugar, rice. We also needed toiletries, of course. We
11 needed meat and other such things.
12 I had a vehicle. I had a driver as well. I went on visits to
13 companies in Slavonia and I would present them our needs. I would travel
14 even further afield in Serbia to places such as Apatin, Odzaci, Sombor,
15 all close to Erdut. I would also visit companies there and seek
16 assistance with such provisions. This was all well regulated. People
17 were benevolent towards our requirements and requests. We usually sought
18 toiletries which were in short supply due to war. We never paid for
19 those; however, we reimbursed them by issuing thank-you notes to both
20 individuals and companies that helped us.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dimitrijevic. Let's now bring this part to an
22 end, the part which concerns your tour of duty in Erdut.
23 Can you please tell us which vehicles you had in the Erdut centre
24 while you were there.
25 A. We didn't have a huge fleet of vehicles. We had two
1 Pajero jeeps, small jeeps. We got them from the Vela auto company based
2 in Belgrade, as a gift, as a donation. We had two 5- or 6-passenger
3 vehicles of different makes and different ages. We had two vans, or
4 people-movers; one van for the transportation of goods. That was the one
5 that I most frequently used. We had three lorries, two of which we had
6 obtained from the Army of Yugoslavia. They were nothing much, but they
7 were in a workable order. And we also had a lorry that we had found at
8 the centre. We repaired it and made it workable. In addition to that,
9 the centre also had all the things that I mentioned. We also had a car
10 repair shop, a joinery shop, and we had some people who were very handy
11 and did the repairs themselves.
12 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, at the time when you arrived in late November
13 or early December 1991 until the end of February or beginning of March
14 1992, while you were there, do you know what registration plates those
15 vehicles had? Did they have registration plates at all?
16 A. Pajeros had Belgrade registration plates because they had arrived
17 from Belgrade. The others didn't have any registration plates, but they
18 were marked with big stickers on the doors and on the bonnet. On the
19 doors the sticker depicted a Serb Volunteer Guards coat of arms which was
20 large enough for everybody to see, and on the bonnet the vehicles were
21 marked by a different type of stickers depicting tigers' heads. This was
22 our moniker; we were known as Tigers.
23 Q. You mentioned two Pajeros with Belgrade registration plates.
24 Were those civilian registration plates or some other plates?
25 A. Those were civilian plates.
1 Q. The van that you most commonly used, what kind of registration
2 plates did it have?
3 A. Yes, it had registration plates. This vehicle was registered in
4 Sombor, which is 35 kilometres away from Erdut.
5 Q. And what about the other vehicles which did not have any
6 registration plates but, rather, just the stickers, did you ever cross
7 the border to Serbia driving those vehicles?
8 A. No.
9 Q. How did you move about the area?
10 A. The stickers that we had on the doors and on the bonnet were
11 enough for the area. Everybody recognised those vehicles as vehicles
12 belonging to the Serbian volunteers. Nobody else but us had those
13 labels. The van with the Sombor plates that I used, and I say that I
14 used it because that was the logistics -- vehicle for logistics, I didn't
15 have those labels, I just had Sombor registration plates.
16 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, did the vehicles in question later on receive
17 any registration plates? And if they did, what kind of registration
18 plates were those?
19 A. Yes. They received registration plates after the Vance Plan was
20 introduced. When the TO was abolished and when we became the
21 Krajina Police, then we received blue registration plates with the
22 marking M for police, without a five-pointed star that had existed before
23 on our registration plates. Instead of that, there was a three-coloured
24 flag and a four-digit number.
25 Q. Were those registration plates of the police of the Republic of
1 Serbian Krajina or the Republic of Serbia?
2 A. The police of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have the impression
4 that you suggested that we should have our next break.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We are a little bit over the time we usually
6 have, but I was a bit misled by your phrase "let's now bring this part to
7 an end." I thought you would finish that part. Let's take a break. And
8 resume at five minutes to 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
11 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Jordash.
13 MR. JORDASH: May I just alert the Court to the fact that
14 Mr. Stanisic had a nose bleed, having taken a pain relief, and may need
15 to leave on a more regular basis for the rest of the afternoon.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I -- as always, the Chamber respects whatever
17 Mr. Stanisic thinks he needs at that moment. And if this has
18 consequences for the proceedings, we expect you to address us on that
20 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And if Mr. Stanisic just wants to leave for a
22 second, then that's accepted. But if -- again, if he considers that his
23 right to be present during the proceedings would be -- not be fully
24 respected if we would continue, then of course you would tell us.
25 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Bakrac, if you're ready, you may proceed.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. Thank
3 you very much.
4 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, I would like us to look at a video-clip,
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Let me just check with the booths
7 whether the transcript has been provided.
8 Can we play the video-clip and then I'll have some questions for
9 you, sir.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "We cannot capture all of them.
12 They will all lead to" --
13 No sound.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, apparently there is no sound audible for
15 the booth. And even if they have been provided with transcripts, then
16 still they should be able to verify --
17 MR. BAKRAC: [No interpretation]
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- whether what is found in the transcript is what
19 was said by those appearing on the video. So could you perhaps please do
20 something to put up the volume and perhaps then restart.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm going to ask the
22 Case Manager.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 JUDGE ORIE: If I take the --
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- B/C/S channel, I do not hear anything.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Bakrac, apparently it's not working. So try
4 to find a solution. And perhaps meanwhile we proceed with other
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. We'll
7 try and do that.
8 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, what was the focus of your attention in 1992
9 when you returned to the headquarters in Belgrade? What did you do
11 A. The first and foremost concern of mine was to look after the
12 wounded and the families of the fallen soldiers. That was the utmost
13 priority. The second-ranking, if I can rank my duties, was the daily
14 receipt of volunteers. The third would be securing financing for Erdut.
15 And in addition to that I also looked after Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan's,
16 family. Their house was next to the headquarters. His wife was there
17 together with their four children. I looked after their safety.
18 Q. When you say that you also secured financing for Erdut, could you
19 tell us where the financing came from, from which funds? Did you fund
20 the headquarters in Belgrade as well as the Erdut requirements?
21 A. There were two or three sources of funding. The first and the
22 most important one was the Simina Mari [phoen] private company that had
23 been incepted. Before Zeljko Raznatovic was the head of the Delije fan
24 club, he had a company that sold the football paraphernalia. And the
25 third source of financing was the bakery that was his property. And
1 later on another company was incepted under the title SDG company. My
2 part of work was to co-ordinate all those companies. The fifth link in
3 that chain were the two shops that belonged to the bakery. And the
4 proceeds of their business also went into the funding of Erdut.
5 Furthermore, we collected and raised money from donors and sponsors. We
6 were heavily involved in PR in order to procure the funds that were
7 needed for certain payments or for helping the families of seriously
8 wounded and fallen soldiers.
9 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, while you were in Erdut, and later on, did
10 troops, members of the Serbian Volunteer Guards, receive regular
12 A. No. That never happened at any time. The volunteers were never
13 paid or compensated in any way for the time that they spent in the
14 Serbian Volunteer Guards unit.
15 Q. Were any warehouses in Erdut or Belgrade that you had warehouses
16 in which stolen goods from various battle-fields had been left?
17 A. There were no such warehouses. And it wasn't possible to supply
18 such warehouses from Belgrade.
19 Q. You say you gathered funds for the families of killed and wounded
20 soldiers. What sort of form did that assistance take?
21 A. Well, it was mostly financial aid. But there were other forms of
22 assistance. We'd make it easier for there to be medical treatment for
23 the children of soldiers killed. It would be easier for them to enroll
24 in school. There would be care for them. Provided -- various forms of
25 assistance were provided. Whatever they requested from us was a matter
1 of priority for us.
2 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, from March 1992 when you returned to Belgrade
3 and onwards, how often did Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, go to the
4 headquarters of the party in Belgrade?
5 A. Three or four times a month.
6 Q. Are you aware of any circumstances that relate to
7 Mr. Zeljko Raznatovic leaving the Serbian Volunteer Guards to go to the
8 battle-field in Bijeljina?
9 A. Yes, I'm aware of the reasons for that, and I know how they left.
10 At the time I was in Belgrade, and we checked the lists of the volunteers
11 in Belgrade and the situation in Erdut. We did this on a daily basis.
12 So I had to be informed a day earlier that action was being prepared.
13 Or, rather, I was informed of the number of men who were to be involved
14 in that operation, and I took this information into account.
15 The reason for his departure -- well, according to what
16 Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, said, he was a patriot, he was proud of the
17 fact that the president of -- the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 had appealed to him to help with the situation in Bijeljina at the time.
19 He was asked to help the Serbs who were under threat there at the time.
20 Q. I would just like to ask you something else. You said at the
21 request of a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the
22 name hasn't been recorded. Whose name did you mention?
23 A. Biljana Plavsic, a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and
25 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, do you know how many SDG combatants went into
1 the field --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the end of
3 counsel's question, as the microphone was off.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat your question because you switched
5 off your microphone before you had finished the question, Mr. Bakrac.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise, Your Honours.
7 I'll repeat my question.
8 Q. Witness, do you know how many SDG members went together with
9 Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, to Bijeljina?
10 A. Sixty men.
11 Q. Do you know where they left from to go to Bijeljina?
12 A. They left Erdut.
13 Q. Do you know what the capacity for accommodation was in the camp
14 in the centre in Erdut? And at the beginning of March and at the end of
15 March and beginning of April in Erdut, how many volunteers were there in
16 the centre in Erdut?
17 A. As for the accommodation capacity of the Erdut centre, the
18 maximum capacity was 260. During certain periods we had some problems.
19 We had more volunteers than we could receive. And in some cases they
20 were even on waiting lists. So there were never more than
21 260 individuals in Erdut.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please now
23 have a look at another video-clip from the collection that the
24 Prosecution disclosed to us. 2D972.1 is the number. One hour,
25 23 minutes, and 15 seconds is where it starts, up until one hour,
1 26 minutes, and 59 seconds.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "At the time of the war in the
4 Republika Srpska, you had troops?
5 "A. Yes, the Serbian Democratic Party appealed to us. We had
6 information that the Muslims had organised themselves. Some members from
7 our Serbian Volunteer Guard from here provided us with information.
8 Curkovic, who is now involved in exchanges, did that. They provided us
9 with regular information on the situation in Republika Srpska. In Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina at the time. So we found out that the Muslims had armed
11 themselves, that there were over 300 Kalashnikovs in Janja, that there
12 were over 600 Kalashnikovs in Bijeljina itself, that a Croatian unit that
13 was composed of Albanians, of Siptars, had already infiltrated Bijeljina.
14 And during the night they were to take over power in Bijeljina. There
15 was a list for prominent Serbs who were to be assassinated in the
16 following 24 hours. In the course of the night we arrived. Naturally at
17 the time, the Muslims arrived. There were more Albanians amongst those
18 Croatian combatants. They were holding check-points in Bijeljina. They
19 had snipers. It was night. We entered Bijeljina and took over the
20 centre. Naturally it was a merciless battle. We didn't spare the
21 Croatian soldiers. After the combat, Fikret Abdic and Biljana Plavsic
22 and Prascevic, the general, were present. I showed them the weapons they
23 used. They used automatic weapons with an Ustasha insignia on them. It
24 said 'made in Croatia' on them. They were green. They'd been made for
25 these Muslims from Croatia. So at the time we arrived at the last
1 minute. Four or five Serbs had already been slaughtered. We had
2 military experience. We came from -- we'd had the experience of large
3 battles, significant battles. We entered Bijeljina and took it. I also
4 have to point out that we had a lot of help from the population here.
5 They were confused initially. But after one day of combat, they took
6 weapons, what they had, hunting rifles and pistols, naturally later we
7 distributed these things. Major Gavrilovic who was the commander of the
8 2nd Semberija unit, later he took weapons from warehouses to arm the
9 population. So there's much credit to be given to him. There were about
10 1.500 armed individuals, later 3.000 individuals, and I have to point out
11 that Mauzer -- I conferred the rank of major on him later - helped a lot.
12 He was provided with military training by me, and later he became a
13 seasoned combatant and he established the Panther Guards Unit, which I
14 welcomed. The more Serbian troops you have, the better."
15 The interpreter would like to point out that he didn't have the
16 time to find the relevant transcript.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Bakrac, again there was a little problem in
18 that there was insufficient time to find the relevant transcript. I got
19 the impression, however, that even without the transcript it was
20 translated and also that the French booth also could apparently on the
21 basis perhaps of reading the screen or the transcript was able to finish
22 its translation. You may proceed.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do apologise to the
24 booths. I thought that I had been given the go-ahead from the booths. I
25 do apologise.
1 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, at the time of this battle for Bijeljina, did
2 you ever go to Bijeljina; and if so, when?
3 A. I went to Bijeljina one day after the operation itself at the
4 request of Zeljko Raznatovic to go there urgently because a soldier of
5 ours had been wounded, Gojak Kasin [phoen]. Since we didn't know how
6 long they would remain in Bijeljina, I had to go to Bijeljina to take
7 charge of the wounded man and take him to the military academy. I did
8 that. He had been wounded in the stomach. They cut out a metre and a
9 half of his intestines and treated his wound and for a certain period of
10 time he wasn't with us.
11 Q. In order to transport the wounded man, was it necessary for you
12 to obtain a certificate? And if so, from whom?
13 A. At the time, no, we had no such need. But later on we asked for
14 such certificates, especially if the conditions for transporting people
15 were difficult. In such cases we had to have certificates from the army,
16 the JNA.
17 Q. When you went to take charge of the wounded man, did you speak
18 with Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, about the operation in
19 Arkan [as interpreted]?
20 A. Very briefly, given the fact that it was a matter of urgency.
21 But while we were placing Gojak in the vehicle, I heard certain
22 information from the officer, according to which everything went smoothly
23 and efficiently. So the operation itself in Bijeljina didn't result in a
24 lot of losses for us. We had this one wounded man and everything else
25 had been done efficiently and as it should have been done. That was the
1 general impression we had of our engagement in that battle in Bijeljina.
2 What I subsequently discovered, but I wasn't present at the time,
3 was that in the Bijeljina area and in the town of Bijeljina itself after
4 the operation Biljana Plavsic arrived, escorted by Fikret Abdic, or,
5 rather, together with Fikret Abdic. General Prascevic was also present,
6 and he welcomed the entire operation. There was Gavrilovic; Zeljko
7 mentioned him in this clip. The troops didn't go out into the streets at
8 that point in time to avoid more intense conflicts. It was in town and
9 we didn't want any innocent people to come to harm. So as one would say,
10 everything went very smoothly. And the impressions one had of the entire
11 operation were extremely positive.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could this video-clip,
13 2D972.1, please be admitted into evidence.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus.
15 MS. MARCUS: Your Honour, we do not object to this. However, can
16 I suggest that there be some way to cross-reference in e-court this
17 65 ter number with the ERN of the video. I think that would help
18 everybody later on. There have been several other exhibits admitted
19 which were subsets of this video. I can -- I can give the ERN if that --
20 if that would help, but if you have the ERN -- at least the surrogate
21 sheet could possibly reference the ERN. It took quite a long time to
22 cross-reference everything in the preparations.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you have the ERN number, perhaps it would be
24 good to have it.
25 MS. MARCUS: I will give it to you in one moment, Your Honour.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be of
2 assistance: 0268, V000268.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, the Prosecution has no objection to
4 admitting this video into evidence. The Chamber will therefore admit it.
5 But what the witness testified, of course, was about Bijeljina, and the
6 one thing -- one of the few things that is also found in the video is
7 that Arkan was there. Now, I think that there's no dispute about the
8 presence of Arkan in Bijeljina, neither is there a dispute, may I take
9 it, that Biljana Plavsic went to Bijeljina. But apart from that, what
10 Arkan tells us is, apart from that it was a smooth operation, but what
11 triggered it and what they found, et cetera, of course, the witness
12 couldn't tell us anything about that. Therefore, the probative value of
13 this video is primarily that we now know what Arkan said.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honour, we
15 wanted to have this part admitted into evidence because the witness
16 confirmed the fact that he also heard that my -- Major Gavrilovic from
17 the Army of Yugoslavia helped the people to arm themselves. He heard
18 this from Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan. And we think that this is very
19 important in order to challenge the claims made by the Prosecution. In
20 the video-clip, Zeljko Raznatovic mentions Major Gavrilovic and the fact
21 that he helped the people to arm themselves. The witness said that he
22 remembered that Zeljko Raznatovic told him about this, and we believe
23 that one of the Prosecution's claims is that the accused and the Serbian
24 state security helped in some way this unit led by Zeljko Raznatovic,
25 Arkan, to arm itself and supported them.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you see Major Gavrilovic in Bijeljina?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You say there was Gavrilovic, Zeljko mentioned him
4 in this clip. Does that mean that your knowledge about the presence of
5 Gavrilovic, does that come from the clip?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: What, then, is the source of knowledge of the
8 presence and the role played by Gavrilovic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Serbian Volunteer Guards didn't
10 return to Erdut immediately. It remained in the barracks of the
11 Army of Yugoslavia in Bijeljina, and they stayed there for seven or eight
12 days after the operation until the situation in the town of Bijeljina had
13 calmed down, until it was assumed that there would no longer be any sort
14 of disruptive activity, there wouldn't be any combat. I had direct
15 contact with the Serbian Volunteer Guards in the field to see how they
16 would return to Erdut.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] One thing has not been recorded.
20 The witness mentioned something, and I'm going to repeat the question.
21 Q. Who was in charge of the JNA barracks in Bijeljina?
22 A. [No interpretation]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Could you please repeat.
1 A. Major Gavrilovic.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Now, Mr. Bakrac, what I just read to the witness is all he said
4 about Gavrilovic in his previous answer. Now I asked him what the source
5 of knowledge of the presence and the role played by Gavrilovic was, and I
6 now do understand that he says Gavrilovic was in charge of the JNA
7 barracks in Bijeljina and all the rest comes from Arkan rather than from
8 this witness. I'm just trying to fully understand what evidence you are
9 presenting at this moment. And by giving you an idea of what our initial
10 understanding of the evidence is - I'm not talking about what it finally
11 will prove or not - to give you some guidance as to what might need some
12 supplement or what really the evidence seems to be at this moment so that
13 you are not mistaken and that you consider that this witness has
14 confirmed everything that Arkan said, because that's not how I understand
15 his evidence. Although it's now clear that to the extent Mr. Gavrilovic
16 was mentioned by Arkan, that the witness tells us that he has never seen
17 Gavrilovic there but -- although not yet giving the source of his
18 knowledge, that Gavrilovic was in charge of the JNA barracks in
19 Bijeljina. That's it as matters stand now.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: And that's the understanding of the Chamber as a
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you will allow me
25 just briefly, and I will follow your guidance. I may be wrong, but it is
1 possible that this part about Bijeljina, this part of Zeljko Raznatovic,
2 Arkan's, interview could have been bar tabled. However, I wanted to be
3 helpful and help the Trial Chamber to see where Arkan's guards stayed,
4 who helped the arming of their engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 That's why I asked the witness what he knew about that. He told us. So
6 I wanted the witness to confirm what he knew and --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's appreciated that you want to be helpful,
8 and it's also very helpful if you would now proceed.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Could the booths try and locate 2D973.1 transcript.
11 Q. In the meantime, Mr. Dimitrijevic, I'm going to ask: You when
12 you were in Bijeljina, did you talk to Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, about
13 Tuzla? If that was the case, what did you say to each other?
14 A. I stayed in Bijeljina for a very short time, in view of the
15 circumstances. I asked him how long he and the troops would stay in the
16 area, and he answered that he wanted to proceed in the direction of
17 Tuzla. However, that was out of the question, that he would stay in
18 Bijeljina for a while, I don't know for how long. Tuzla was no longer on
19 the table because Biljana Plavsic, Vladika Kacavenda, and
20 General Prascevic convinced him and told him that Tuzla was safe and that
21 there was no need for the troops to go there.
22 Q. Thank you, Witness.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can we now play the
24 same ERN number. This is 2D973.1.
25 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
1 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I can't see the relevance of this --
2 of this excerpt or this matter relating to Tuzla.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can --
4 JUDGE ORIE: The question has been asked. The question has been
5 answered. In the evaluation of the evidence, it will turn out whether
6 there's any relevance or not. One second, please.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 JUDGE ORIE: One second, Mr. Bakrac.
9 No, no number has yet been assigned to the video-clip in which
10 the interview with Arkan is presented and where the Prosecution have no
11 objection against admission. The number would be, Madam Registrar ...
12 THE REGISTRAR: 2D972.1 will receive number D644, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, do you know anything about the participation of
17 Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, and the Serbian volunteers in the liberation of
19 A. Yes. I know that after Bijeljina seven or eight days later, I'm
20 not sure about any of the dates, however, the volunteers went to Zvornik,
21 following Biljana Plavsic's instructions and based on the information
22 received from the field, and they participated in fighting, in liberating
23 Zvornik. They acted in concert with the Army of Yugoslavia, i.e., the
25 Q. Before I proceed and put the following question to you ...
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could the booths now locate 2D974.1.
2 Q. How did you obtain the -- that information, the information that
3 you have just shared with us?
4 A. When I returned to Belgrade, I continued working there. And then
5 I received a call from Zeljko Raznatovic, who asked me to go urgently to
6 Zvornik, the reason being was the killing of two of our combatants,
7 Ivan Okiljevic [phoen] and Branko Zivanovic. I was supposed to take over
8 their bodies, and following the established procedure I was supposed to
9 transport the bodies to Belgrade.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to call-up
11 video-clip 2D974.1. This is the same Prosecutor's ERN number. Like the
12 previous video-clip. Can we start with one hour, 29 minutes, 34 seconds,
13 to one hour, 33 minutes, and 31 seconds.
14 [Video-clip played].
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "After that you consolidated power
16 here in Bijeljina, that is to say the Serbs consolidated power, a little
17 bit later Operation Zvornik commenced.
18 "That's right. I obtained information that the Muslims had taken
19 over Zvornik, and quite by coincidence I set off with my adjutant. We
20 set off for Mali Zvornik because they had called us urgently, could go
21 over there. And when I arrived, I went straight to a meeting. The
22 meeting was attended by the commander of the Zvornik SDA, the commander
23 of the Zvornik Crisis Staff, a Turk, and on the other side the commander
24 of the SDS Crisis Staff, and president of the Zvornik SDS. In
25 Mali Zvornik on the other side of the Drina River and when asked what
1 they were talking about, they said, You know the Muslims have taken
2 Zvornik and we are looking -- we are insisting that they let the Serbs go
3 and we will hand Karakaj over to them. That was the story. Of course I
4 asked these two Serbs, Who authorised you to discuss treason? No one has
5 a mandate to discuss treason, and obviously I caught them and beat both
6 of them up. Both one and the other they were slapped a couple of times.
7 We didn't touch the Turks. I just gave them a pencil and paper to write
8 how many weapons they had. And when they saw us beating up Serbs, they
9 wondered what we would do to them, and they wrote down the number of
10 700 armed men on pieces of paper, where their units were, how they were
11 deployed, who was leading them, and so on and so forth. Then I asked,
12 Did you come to negotiate here? They said we did. I gave them an
13 ultimatum, to surrender the town by 800 hours otherwise I would destroy
14 it. That's how it was. At 500 hours they didn't want to surrender the
15 town. I ordered artillery fire to be opened, and obviously we entered
16 Zvornik at 500 hours. Fighting lasted throughout the day. Zvornik was
17 taken. We had a lot of prisoners. There were many dead on their side
18 because they were not skilled in combat. They died in sheaves. They
19 died in sheaves. They were fanatics. There were a lot of fanatics.
20 There was fierce fighting going on and lasted a couple of hours, and we
21 came out as winners. Kula was still theirs. They resisted over there,
22 and two of my officers were killed there as a result of [indiscernible].
23 A group of Muslims was surrendering, about 40 of them, while snipers
24 waited on the other side, and when the two of them came out of the
25 shelter to accept those who were surrendering, the snipers killed them
1 from the side. And naturally we continued fighting until we captured --
2 with the help of others, we captured Kula later, and so on and so forth.
3 Later we left Zvornik after a couple of days. A government was
4 established over there which didn't function at first because a lot of
5 trash came over from Serbia who even looted and stole from the Serbs. I
6 returned once to Zvornik after spending a couple of days in Erdut, and I
7 had to impose discipline to slap the authorities around. They were
8 actually a band of rabble, and you know later special police units came
9 from Pale and disarmed all those people who were in Zvornik and arrested
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic --
13 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, in this part of the interview with
16 Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, where he talks about Zvornik, he says I ordered
17 artillery fired. Did the volunteers have artillery pieces?
18 A. No, they didn't. Never.
19 Q. Do you know who it was -- or, rather, he stated, We took Zvornik
20 with the help of others. Who were those others who helped them take
22 A. It was the JNA. And it was only normal because the artillery
23 support that you have just mentioned was provided by the JNA.
24 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, Mr. Raznatovic also mentioned that there were a
25 lot of prisoners. Do you know what happened to the prisoners? Did they
1 tell you when you arrived to pick up the bodies of the fallen soldiers?
2 A. It was common practice to hand over all the prisoners to the
4 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic --
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 2D276.
6 But while we are waiting for that to appear on the screen,
7 Your Honours, I would like to tender 2D974.1 into evidence.
8 MS. MARCUS: This is already in evidence as P1601.
9 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise.
10 JUDGE ORIE: 2D974.1 is already in evidence is what Ms. Marcus
11 tells us. You apparently agree. Then please proceed.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to call
13 up D17 ...
14 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, as you can see, this is a dispatch sent by the
15 17th Corps command of the 10th of April, 1992.
16 "We request from you to engage in air-strikes with 'fighter
17 bombers' on Kula in Zvornik on 11 April 1992 at 900 hours."
18 This was signed by Commander Major-General Savo Jankovic. Does
19 the name ring a bell?
20 A. I don't know him personally. I never met him personally. I
21 never saw him. But I communicated with him. I can explain, if you wish.
22 When I arrived in Zvornik, it was either on the 12th or the
23 13th of April after the killing of our two combatants in fighting, the
24 Serbian volunteers were billeted in Karakaj in the former hosiery
25 factory. I arrived there to pick up the two bodies of our two fallen
1 combatants. I already mentioned their names, Branko Zivanovic and
2 Ivan Okiljevic. I had received my orders from Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan,
3 and I was supposed to take the two bodies back to Belgrade. Zvornik was
4 on the front line, and that's why I needed a written permit to allow me
5 to transport those bodies. I spent almost an entire day in Zvornik, in
6 Karakaj, in the hosiery factory, where I was waiting for the paperwork
7 that I needed to transport the bodies back to Belgrade. The paperwork
8 was supposed to come from Major-General Savo Jankovic. So the same does
9 ring a bell, but I never met the person himself.
10 Q. Did you receive the paperwork?
11 A. Yes, I did. And I transported the bodies back to Belgrade during
12 the following night. I took them straight to the military medical
13 academy, according to the procedure, and I handed the body over to
14 Captain Nikolic, who was a pathologist there. He was in charge of post
15 mortems. When the post mortems were completed, I took over the bodies,
16 not literally, but I looked after the bodies, because part of my duties
17 was also to provide the fallen soldiers with a dignified farewell, a
18 dignified burial. It was my duty to inform the families of the fallen
19 soldiers, to knock on their doors and tell them that their brothers,
20 sons, husbands had died in combat. It was a rather traumatic experience.
21 However, that was part of my duties. And after that, together with the
22 family, I would bury the body following a procedure that was in place --
23 Q. Mr. Dimitrijevic, we don't need to know about the entire
24 procedure, but did the army participate in the burial; and if so, in what
1 A. Yes, the army did participate whenever there were burials. A
2 special army platoon would attend such burials, and this was to honour
3 the deceased.
4 Q. Did the MUP of the Republic of Serbia or the DB, the security
5 sector, also honour them in any way?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Let's now have a look at a document.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there's a mistake --
9 it's been corrected, I apologise.
10 D158, could we see that on the screen, please.
11 Let's first have a look at the first page.
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... is under
13 seal, Your Honours.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. Could we
15 please move into private session in that case.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] While we're waiting --
18 [Private session]
11 Page 16116 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, talking about time, we listen now to a
18 full explanation of whether there were three people killed or two and one
19 they thought would have been killed but finally was not killed. That
20 seems to be the less relevant part, whereas the question which apparently
21 bears more relevance is the question why would the army report about
22 casualties among Arkan's men. Now, if you look at the number of lines
23 taken by the first question and the second question, the first question
24 takes far more time and is by far the less relevant unless you convince
25 us that it has a specific relevance to know that where initially they
1 thought there were three, that it turned out that the last one was not
2 really dead. It is a level of detail -- and if you're asking for another
3 session tomorrow, I ask myself would you then please fill that whole
4 session with the most relevant questions and would you then consider
5 whether that could be done even in less than one session.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise in advance.
7 If that is the case, perhaps I have misunderstood something. But
8 tomorrow when we will be assessing the evidence, it will appear that
9 Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, said there were three who had been killed. One
10 report mentions three members of Arkan's group that were killed. That
11 might give rise to confusion and reduce the probative value of this
12 evidence, and that is why I thought that a witness who knows why this
13 situation occurred might be of assistance and could explain this for us.
14 But provide -- he could provide the full names of the individuals
15 concerned. I thought that might be of assistance to the Chamber. I
16 apologise if I have made a mistake. I'm acting with the best of
17 intentions, and believe me that when I say that I will use the session in
18 the morning to put relevant questions, that also relates to testimony
19 that has already been given.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, you're on your feet.
22 MS. MARCUS: I just wanted to mention, Your Honours, that the
23 document Mr. Bakrac called up before, 2D276, is in evidence already as
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that information.
1 Mr. Bakrac, according to my briefing and information, you had
2 required three hours for Mr. Dimitrijevic instead of three and a half, as
3 you said at the beginning. You have used two hours and 35 minutes until
4 now. You get another hour tomorrow. And then that would be a total of
5 three hours and 35 minutes, and that is in accordance with what you said
6 today you would need.
7 MR. JORDASH: Could I indicate --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash.
9 MR. JORDASH: -- that I think I will only take half as long as I
10 need, so if Mr. Bakrac wanted that, and it was something Your Honours
11 agreed with, then I'd be happy to do that.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think Mr. Bakrac will appreciate that you need
13 less time, but the Chamber is primarily focusing on receiving as much
14 relevant evidence in the shortest period of time, and that was the basis
15 for my ruling a minute ago. And if Mr. Bakrac tomorrow would show that
16 every question has such relevance that it would be unfair to grant him
17 the last five or ten minutes he would then still need, the Chamber
18 certainly will consider that.
19 We adjourn for the day. And we'll resume tomorrow, the
20 18th of January, 9.00 in the morning, in this same courtroom, II, but
21 not -- we'll not adjourn until I have instructed you, Mr. Dimitrijevic,
22 that you should not talk with anyone or communicate in any other way with
23 anyone about your testimony, whether it is testimony already given or
24 testimony still to be given.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: And apart from that, I would like also to instruct
2 you that you should, not only not today, but also not at any other time
3 in the near future talk about any information you have received about
4 other witnesses that -- or statements given by other persons which you
5 were informed about during the conversations you had with the
6 Simatovic Defence. So whatever they told you, you should keep
7 confidential - names, content, whatever it is. And if you would violate
8 such an instruction, that would likely be contempt of court, which is an
9 offence which can be heavily punished before this Tribunal.
10 We stand adjourned.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 18th day of
14 January, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.