1 Tuesday, 20 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, everybody. If I could remind you,
7 Mr. Brolund, that you are still subject to the affirmation you took
9 Mr. Rodic.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: LARS JENSEN BROLUND [Resumed]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Brolund, good afternoon.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. In connection with the meeting at Meljine on the 28th of October,
16 1991, can you tell me if you had any role to play, or a task at that
17 meeting? Did you speak at that meeting?
18 A. It seems to me that I did not speak at that meeting at all.
19 Q. The document containing the proposals for normalisation of life in
20 Dubrovnik is dated the 25th of October, 1991, and you came to the meeting
21 on the 28th of October, 1991. Did you see this document at all? Was it
22 presented at the meeting that day?
23 A. I don't remember, actually.
24 Q. At the meeting in Meljine, were the single items of these -- of
25 this document individually discussed?
1 A. I'm not able to recall to what extent there was a detailed
2 discussion about the single points.
3 Q. Did you know the detailed answers, in view of the fact that only
4 three days had gone by, and were you familiar with the proposals of the
5 Croatian side concerning this document?
6 A. No, I was not.
7 Q. Is it correct that the purpose of your mission, going to Meljine
8 with Ambassador Bondioli, was for him to meet General Strugar, for the
9 sake of courtesy?
10 A. Yes, it was.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Following the meeting, did you ever ask or
12 did you get to know how many other times the Croatian side and the JNA had
13 met, and what, if any, agreements they had reached?
14 A. No. I haven't any knowledge about that.
15 Q. In the room where the meeting was held, did General Strugar strike
16 you as the oldest representative of the JNA being there, the most senior
18 A. Yes, so he did.
19 Q. Can you describe to us today what Admiral Jokic looks like?
20 A. Well, I don't remember at all Admiral Jokic from that meeting. I
21 know only that he was present there due to my notes. But I remember him
22 very clearly from later on, or relatively clearly.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you remember, who spoke more at the meeting,
24 General Strugar or Admiral Jokic?
25 A. Well, it was a long meeting, and I'm not able to establish, it
1 seems to me, who did speak most. Both General Strugar and Admiral Jokic
2 did talk much.
3 Q. Excuse me. Admiral Jokic, was he introduced at the meeting as the
4 commander of the navy, based in Boka?
5 A. I don't know that. I have nothing about that in my notes, and, as
6 I said before, I can't recall that he was present.
7 Q. We're talking about the meeting on the 28th of October.
8 A. Yes. Yes, certainly. Yes.
9 Q. Was Admiral Jokic present?
10 A. As I have said a couple of times, I can't recall in my memory that
11 he was present. I know that he was present only due to my notes.
12 Q. As for the period of time you spent in Dubrovnik when you took
13 part in these various meetings, do you have any idea what Admiral Jokic's
14 position was or which branch of the army he belonged to?
15 A. Well, I could see also on his uniform that he did belong to the
16 navy, but exactly which position he had, that is not clear to me.
17 Q. Was there any difference between Admiral Jokic and Jeremic, who
18 also attended the meeting wearing a navy-blue uniform, representing the
20 A. Well, the only difference I noticed was the difference in rank.
21 Q. On the 6th of December, 1991, on that day, where were you exactly,
22 between morning and evening?
23 A. Our team, all members of our team, including myself, we were in
24 the Hotel Argentina on the 6th of December.
25 Q. Where were you specifically staying at the hotel on that day?
1 Which section of the hotel? The cellar, perhaps? Any other room, your
2 own room? Tell us more about this, please.
3 A. Yes. When the shelling began, so about 6.00 in the morning, I was
4 in my room, and after having heard that something was going on, I went
5 down to the operations room, which was in the lowest floor, you can say,
6 in the cellar of the building, towards the sea. And there we stayed most
7 of the day. We could go out on the veranda outside. This room towards
8 the sea, and from there we could watch, more or less, the Old Town, and we
9 could also, for example, see our own boats. So in this room we were most
10 of the time, but a couple of times I also, for example, went up to my own
12 Q. Very well. In the course of that day, the 6th of December, were
13 there any operations being carried out by the Croatian forces out of
14 Dubrovnik? And I'm referring to the general area of Dubrovnik.
15 A. I was not able to establish anything about that.
16 Q. Did any information reach you in relation to that?
17 A. I don't remember that.
18 Q. You stated that on the 8th of December there were two officers who
19 came to visit the Old Town, to carry out an inspection of the damage that
20 had occurred on the 6th of December; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. How were you in a position to know that those were two JNA
23 officers? Based on what?
24 A. We got that information from the Croatian officials.
25 Q. Did you get any more specific information as for the description
1 of the people, the JNA people who came to Dubrovnik?
2 A. I don't remember anything about that.
3 Q. Will you please open your own notes.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I think we're talking about the last page, and the date is the 8th
6 of December, 1991.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you please read to us from your own handwriting what exactly
9 it reads, just underneath the date saying the 8th of December.
10 A. Yes. "Before noon, we escorted JNA photographers and
11 'intelligence agents' who did inspect the damages in Dubrovnik."
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Therefore, a JNA photograph and an intelligence officer. Can you
15 please clarify this? How did you get this information? You said that the
16 Croatian side had informed you that only two JNA officers would be coming.
17 A. Yes, that's right. As I told yesterday, yesterday and also today,
18 I'm not able to establish, to recall how many persons there were all
19 together. When I made my statement two years ago, I said that there were
20 two officers, and I'm sure that at that time I could recall that. But
21 today I'm not able to establish how many persons there were all together
22 and what their functions were. And I want to draw your attention to the
23 fact that the word "intelligence agents" is in inverted commas, so with
24 this word, I just indicate that it was not completely clear to me how some
25 representatives of the JNA could come into the town like this and which
1 function they had.
2 Q. I assume it should be clear to you that they had reached the town,
3 pursuant to an agreement with the monitoring mission itself and the
4 Croatian side.
5 A. I don't remember how much the mission took part in that.
6 Q. Had you ever seen any JNA officers walking around Dubrovnik
7 before, or had you ever had any information to that effect?
8 A. No, I don't think so.
9 Q. As far as I remember, during your testimony yesterday you also
10 said that you had given a statement to the Tribunal investigators using
11 your notes, because you were not able to remember all those developments
12 without consulting your notes. Am I right?
13 A. Yes, I had these notes, yes.
14 Q. Did you give your statement mostly based on your notes?
15 A. Well, concerning a lot of details, yes, because I was not able to
16 remember many details after such a long time. Yes.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask the usher to please give the
18 witness statement to all the parties.
19 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, may I ask the purpose of it? Witness
20 statements are neither documentary evidence, nor evidence of any kind.
21 What is the purpose of the examination, or of the presentation of the
22 document? However would it help?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in order to finish my
25 cross-examination as soon as possible, I want to have this statement
1 distributed to everyone so everyone can follow, in order to better
2 understand the questions that I'm asking. And I'm sure that I will
3 eventually tender this statement into evidence.
4 JUDGE PARKER: You're going to cross-examine on the statement, are
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I will allow that, Ms. Somers.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Is this the statement you gave the investigators of the Tribunal
10 2002? And the signature on the statement, is it your signature?
11 A. Yes, this is my statement and my signature.
12 Q. I will ask you to please go to page 4 of your statement, second
13 passage, halfway down the passage. I will read it out, and you, please,
14 if you can, follow. "About 3.00 p.m., we got information from Jokic.
15 This was an excuse to do with the shelling." Is this what you wrote? Is
16 that part of your statement?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Will you please now open your own notes as they relate to the 6th
19 of December.
20 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. May I just ask indulgence to
21 request that it be read completely correctly from the statement in
22 English, which is not what is on the screen. I note that what is on the
23 screen is: "I noted that approximately 1500, we received word from Jokic
24 with an excuse about the shelling." That differs from what is on the
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. I think you're quite right there,
2 Ms. Somers. It's with "an excuse about the shelling" rather than as it
3 was read to the transcript, when the words used were "with an excuse to do
4 with the shelling." I think the transcript will record the difference
5 now. Thank you.
6 If you'd carry on, Mr. Rodic.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] My apologies. My apologies, Your
8 Honour. My mistake.
9 Q. Can you please look at your notes now, your notes of the 6th of
10 December. It's towards the bottom of the page. There is a statement made
11 at 3.00 p.m. The two lines, the one which begins "3.00 p.m." And the next
12 line, which begins with the word "Jokic." Can you please read out exactly
13 what you wrote.
14 A. Yes, I'll do that. "1500 hours, shelling still going on, though
15 Admiral Jokic sent excuse."
16 Q. Thank you. Further on page 4, fourth passage, can you please have
17 a look. It's about the meeting that was held on the 7th of December. Can
18 you please find the sentence which says that during the meeting, a strong
19 objection was made by Mr. Hvalkof. Can you please find that sentence, in
20 passage 4.
21 A. Yes, I have found that.
22 Q. Can you please read that sentence and the three sentences
23 following that sentence.
24 A. "During or after the meeting, I interpreted a strong protest from
25 Hvalkof concerning the December 6th shelling. I don't recall the exact
1 responses Jokic made relating to the protest. I got the impression he
2 appeared sorry about what had happened but did not actually make any
3 apology. I don't remember him making any excuses for any of the JNA
4 units. We subsequently returned to Dubrovnik."
5 Q. Was this what happened?
6 A. Yes, so it seems to me.
7 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me -- you can leave your statement
8 now. At the moment, in The Hague, do you have with you the original copy
9 of your notes and the photographs that we were shown yesterday in Court?
10 A. Not of the photographs, but I have of the notes, yes.
11 Q. The notes you have in front of you now, is this the original copy?
12 A. I think most of it is here, yes.
13 Q. Let's try to be specific about this. The notes you have read from
14 yesterday and today in Court, are these notes the original copy of your
15 notes, or are they the original copy of the notes, with no exceptions? I
16 think the question is quite clear.
17 A. I have the originals here, or perhaps one part of it in my
18 luggage. I'm not quite sure.
19 Q. So what we have here in the courtroom are copies of your original
21 A. I'm not sure that I have all originals here in the courtroom, yes.
22 Q. I want to make sure you understand me correctly. The sheets of
23 paper there you have in front of you now, these notes, is this the
24 original or is this merely a copy?
25 A. This is a copy, yes.
1 Q. These photographs, these four photographs that have been tendered
2 into evidence, P24, were these taken between the 4th and the 8th of
3 December, 1991?
4 A. Pardon? Could I have a look at the photos? The first photo from
5 Cavtat is taken on the 5th of December, and --
6 Q. Let me ask you right away: The text below the photograph, whose
7 handwriting is that?
8 A. It's my handwriting.
9 Q. Can you please tell me about the next photograph? Was it also
10 taken during the same period as the first one and the remaining two?
11 A. No. It is not -- this photo with the armoured vehicle is not from
12 the same period. It is obviously from my first stay at Dubrovnik, so
13 between the 5th and the 10th of October. Because my colleague,
14 Leif Maersk, is also on the photo. And I was -- when the investigators
15 visited me --
16 Q. Fair enough. Continue, please.
17 A. I was not even completely sure about the origin of that photo, if
18 it is from Dubrovnik or from another place, but it seems to me that it is
19 from Dubrovnik.
20 Q. Fair enough. What can we see in this second photograph?
21 A. Well, it seems to me that it's quite a sort of homemade, in
22 inverted commas, armoured vehicle, with the Croatian signs on it. So it
23 seems to be belonging to the Croatian armed forces.
24 Q. Was this vehicle armed? On the turret, one can see weapons.
25 A. Well, the photo is not so good, but probably there is
1 some -- perhaps a machine-gun or something on the top of it. I'm not able
2 to establish that very well.
3 Q. I have to conclude, however, that when responding to my questions,
4 you said that in early October, when these photographs were taken, on the
5 occasion of your first visit to Dubrovnik, you did not see any members of
6 the Croatian army or anything to do with the military, the Croatian
7 military. Thank you.
8 When preparing for your testimony of yesterday, did you use your
10 A. Yes, I have used these notes, yes.
11 Q. When did you arrive in The Hague in order to testify?
12 A. On the 18th, Sunday, in fact.
13 Q. The day before your testimony?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Did you talk to anyone from the Office of the Prosecutor in
16 connection with your testimony of yesterday?
17 A. Pardon? Could I have the question once more?
18 Q. Did you talk to any representative of the Office of the
19 Prosecutor, an investigator or a Prosecution counsel, when preparing for
20 your testimony of yesterday?
21 A. Yes, certainly. Already on the 18th, in the evening, I had a
22 so-called proofing with the counsellor, with the Prosecutor, and that
23 continued on Monday.
24 Q. Thank you. Tell me -- I do apologise. On that occasion, did the
25 representatives of the OTP give you the copy of the notes that you have in
1 front of you, the copy of your notes? Because you don't have the original
2 with you in the courtroom. I see that you have the same copies I have.
3 Did they give you these copies?
4 A. Yes, they did.
5 Q. Will you tell me now: Who highlighted parts of the text in these
6 notes for you with a highlighter?
7 A. I did that myself.
8 Q. When?
9 A. Well, on the day before yesterday, in the evening.
10 Q. Is there anything in these notes relating to the period of your
11 work in Dubrovnik that would represent an important event in that period
12 but is not highlighted or mentions a person you met - I'm referring to
13 representatives of the JNA - which is not highlighted?
14 A. Well, now I'm not able to establish or remember what I have been
15 highlighting and what not. I just highlighted some important parts of the
16 text so it would be easier for me to orientate myself in it.
17 Q. Was what you were going to be asked about highlighted by the
18 Office of the Prosecutor? Is that what you highlighted?
19 A. Well, I could not know what I would be asked. I highlighted this
20 myself on Sunday evening, and on Monday morning, just for my own purposes,
21 in order to -- when I read it through, in order to -- so I could easily
22 orientate myself in it.
23 Q. Can we agree that the answer to most of the questions I put to you
24 yesterday and today was "I don't remember"?
25 A. I had to say so at many occasions, and again, I would like to say
1 that this is a long time ago.
2 Q. I put it to you that when testifying about these events, when
3 speaking off the top of your head, you cannot remember most of what you
4 testified about before this Tribunal unless you consult your notes. Would
5 you agree with me?
6 A. Well, not totally. I think that I can remember very much also
7 without using my notes.
8 Q. Well, that was evidently not the case yesterday, because when I
9 told you not to use your notes, most of your replies were to the effect
10 that you didn't remember. Is that correct?
11 A. Well, often I had to give that answer, because I really don't
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lars.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my
15 cross-examination. I wish to move the witness statement of witness
16 Lars Brolund, dated -- to be entered into evidence. I also move to have
17 the notes the witness used tendered into evidence. And I have an
18 objection. I wish to draw the Chamber's attention to this issue,
19 Exhibit P23, the protest note of General Strugar sent on that day. I draw
20 the Trial Chamber's attention to the fact that the original in B/C/S does
21 not correspond to the translation into English. Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We'll take those in order, Mr. Rodic.
23 But may I call on you, Ms. Somers, with respect to the desire
24 firstly to tender the statement of the witness.
25 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, most of the -- many of the Chambers of
1 the Tribunal have taken the view that the sole use of a witness statement,
2 except for a witness statement of the accused, pursuant to Rule 63, would
3 be only for the purpose of impeachment at trial and not submitted as
4 evidence. A skilled examiner would use the statement to ask questions
5 from -- for purposes of cross-examination, but the statement itself should
6 not normally, at least in this Tribunal, go into evidence. If there is
7 another practice, and I'm aware that apparently during Mr. Stringer's
8 testimony, there was -- the statement was moved in, but it is unusual,
9 except, again, either as a Rule 63 or if it's a Rule 92 bis or under
10 the -- I think it's 87, the new use of a statement, in lieu of complete
11 direct. But I see no real reason, under the Rules or in the examination in
12 this case, to so admit. I think that there has been an ample opportunity
13 to make reference to both notes and statement, and I'm simply concerned
14 about a practice that may develop a life of its own which has not been the
15 practice here and in most -- I cannot speak to all jurisdictions, but
16 certainly here.
17 JUDGE PARKER: As I understand it, the desire of Mr. Rodic is to
18 be able to refer to the original statement, to be able to contrast it with
19 the evidence that was actually given, in particular, the number of matters
20 to which the witness now was unable to personally recollect, and I think I
21 would anticipate that Mr. Rodic would want to point out the extent of the
22 statement, which is now not in the personal recollection of Mr. Brolund.
23 I would anticipate, in support of submissions that the Tribunal -- the
24 Chamber should attach less weight to the evidence of Mr. Brolund and
25 should approach his evidence with care, because of the extent to which he
1 is now unable to remember details from 12 or 13 years ago. And as I would
2 understand it, it's for that reason that Mr. Rodic desires to have the
3 actual statement before us, so that we can appreciate the extent of the
4 divergence between what may have been the recollection of the witness some
5 time ago and what is now the actual recollection.
6 Approached on that basis, it certainly is, in my experience, a
7 proper evidentiary process to tender the past statement. It's not that
8 the statement becomes evidence of matters which have not now been
9 confirmed by Mr. Brolund as being matters which he can confirm and speak
10 about of his own recollection, because he has expressly indicated as to
11 much of it that he cannot now recollect that aspect.
12 That being so, it doesn't seem to me that it can disadvantage your
13 position if the statement goes in, but it may be able to be put to the
14 source of use that I've anticipated Mr. Rodic would want to put it to at
15 some future time.
16 Is it your submission, Ms. Somers, that there is something in the
17 Rules against that or that there is an established practice against that?
18 MS. SOMERS: The Rules, I believe, Your Honour, do not address it.
19 The only actual, specific indication in the Rules, other than Rule 92
20 bis - and I might miss some other similar exceptional practices - would be
21 the caution in a Rule 63, where it says what you say may be used in
22 evidence, period. So that type of statement, it is anticipated that the
23 statement of an accused, or potentially the statement of a witness under
24 Rule 42, might also be contemplated directly. But generally speaking,
25 example would have been the use of statements in the case of Kvocka. They
1 were used exclusively for impeachment purposes, with a requirement that
2 the cross-examination be dealt with point by point from the statement,
3 entered into the record.
4 It becomes more helpful, I think, for us to know what the practice
5 will be in the absence of any truly addressed Rule, but I think if one
6 were to comb through the jurisprudence or just to look at the practice,
7 because it may not reflect itself in true jurisprudence; it would just be
8 Court records - it is the exception -- there have been instances, I'm
9 aware, where by agreement of the parties there have been statements
10 admitted, and perhaps serving as direct before the institution of the
11 recent Rule change.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Can I make the point that what is being asked here
13 is that the statement of a Prosecution witness be tendered, not the
14 statement of a witness called by the Defence. So it's not an attempt to
15 use the statement for self-serving purposes. And it is being put in
16 merely as the foundation for submissions going to credit of the witness.
17 MS. SOMERS: I understand, Your Honour. It has -- in the cases in
18 which I have cited you, for example, Kvocka, when there was perhaps a wish
19 by the Prosecution to put a Defence statement in, it appeared that it was
20 again viewed as not the proper subject of a -- of admission. In this
21 instance, I think the witness has been very clear about, and honest, about
22 the need to rely on notes. The witness has indicated that what was said
23 in his statement two years ago was his own, not coached in any way. And
24 the fact that he has indicated that much of it is related to time is not
25 unusual. Police officers who have hundreds of reports from 20 years ago
1 will have no independent recollection of a particular incident,
2 irrespective of how important it may be to the Court, to the witness, to
3 the victim, or to the victim. So if there's -- I wanted to make sure that
4 the Chamber understood that this is how the Prosecution has been
5 effectively told it was in the course of the years, and if there is a
6 reason that the Chamber sees my position as meriting overruling, I
7 certainly wanted to make the record on that.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Well, thank you for that. There is generally
9 reason for reluctance about the tendering of the statements of witnesses
10 unless there is good reason for it, and in this case, frankly, I'm
11 inclined to agree with you that it's borderline, that even for the
12 purposes of credibility, that it is necessary to tender it, because
13 Mr. Rodic has been so careful in going through the passages that he now --
14 that the witness has now made clear he does not presently remember. But
15 it would seem to me, for the reasons that I've indicated, and because the
16 witness's notes made at the time are there, and therefore, there is value
17 for the purposes of assessing credibility in comparing his notes at the
18 time with the written statement that he made to your offices of the
19 Prosecution some two years ago.
20 I think on this occasion there is justification for receiving into
21 evidence the statement of the witness, so that it will be received, and in
22 a moment we'll be given a number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number D12.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 Now, Mr. Rodic, already in evidence as P21 are the notes, or at
1 least a copy of the notes made by the witness, with translation. I think
2 that's sufficient for your purposes, isn't it?
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. Let me just
4 add briefly to what Your Honour has said. I fully agree with everything
5 Your Honour has stated. I only wish to add that admitting statements into
6 evidence is nothing new before the Tribunal, apart from the case of
7 Kvocka, which was raised by my learned friend. I worked on that case, and
8 I know that statements were admitted in the same manner. The same goes
9 for the Keraterm case and I'm sure for many other cases that were heard
10 before this Tribunal, where witness statements were tendered with the same
11 purpose. Of course, they are used to check the witness's credibility.
12 With respect to this particular witness, although Your Honour
13 states that we received a copy of his notes, marked as Exhibit P21, we
14 also feel that the copy, where parts have been highlighted, which the
15 witness has before him, should be moved into evidence, because there is
16 evidently a great difference in the replies of the witness during the
17 examination-in-chief and the cross-examination. Both examinations refer
18 to the time period covered by the indictment, and also during the
19 examination-in-chief, the witness made his replies consulting his notes
20 and reading from his notes. Most of the replies he gave were read out
21 from the highlighted part of his notes.
22 I assert that important matters in these notes have been skipped
23 over, that he has not responded to important questions relating to these
24 notes, which were put in cross-examination, and that there is a great
25 difference between P21 and the statement made in 2002, which should also
1 be based on these notes, and what the witness said before the Tribunal
2 yesterday and today, consulting the highlighted notes he has before him.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic. I hadn't appreciated that
5 what you were referring to was the set of notes actually in the hands of
6 the witness at the present time. But I'm inclined to suggest, without
7 even calling on Ms. Somers, that you have answered your own proposition,
8 as you have pointed out you will want to submit that there are differences
9 between the three different versions. We don't need the highlighted notes
10 to know what the witness gave in evidence here. We have the transcript.
11 So the highlighted notes really are not going to help us one way or the
12 other. What will be important, if you persist in this submission when the
13 time comes, will be for us to compare what the witness's original notes at
14 the time were, what his statement was, and what his evidence in Court has
15 been. So really, I can suggest to you that I think there would be no
16 value at all in receiving into evidence the copy which the witness marked
17 up as he was preparing to give his evidence. You've got all that you need
18 there in the present material.
19 Now --
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: I see Ms. Somers on her feet. Are you wanting to
22 submit something more about that, Ms. Somers?
23 MS. SOMERS: Thank you. No, Your Honour. You saved me a lot of
24 energy there.
25 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry if I'm jumping in, but when I see
1 something to be clear I'm going ahead with it. Now the third matter to be
2 raised was the question of some difference between the original version
3 and the English language version, and I was going to ask Mr. Rodic to
4 indicate what he sees to be the difference.
5 MS. SOMERS: Can I first explain something to the Court?
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
7 MS. SOMERS: That the translation attached is the document
8 received by the Croatians. This is not a translation done by this
10 JUDGE PARKER: We have that in evidence already.
11 MS. SOMERS: They came in together.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
13 MS. SOMERS: So if it's a question of simply requiring an
14 additional official translation that is certainly not difficult to do, but
15 this is what actually came in to the parties who received it, so it's
17 JUDGE PARKER: It seems to have been translated from the evidence.
18 It was translated on the day when it was received by somebody. Yes.
19 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Rodic, is that the issue you're concerned
21 with or was there some other problem with the translation?
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I'm aware that the page in English was
23 not done at the Tribunal, that is, that the English text is not a result
24 of an official Tribunal translation. I simply wanted to draw the
25 Chamber's attention to the fact that there is something that was not
1 translated, that is in the original document and that is important. The
2 Defence will refer to this later on. I believe that there must be a more
3 legible copy of the document than the one we have in B/C/S. You can see
4 the Dubrovnik fax numbers at the top of the page, showing that the fax was
5 operational at the time. Thank you.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Members of the Chamber had noted the fax heading,
7 showing the 1st of December, 1991, and a name, Centar, as well as the
8 numbers. Is that the matter that you felt had not been translated?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Apart from this, you will see that in
11 the English translation, it says "from JNA Boka," whereas in the original
12 it doesn't say "JNA Boka." It says "orgram" [phoen]. It could be a
13 telegram or a radiogram, from VPS Boka, the JNA Boka and the VPS Boka are
14 two different things. Furthermore, it says that it is addressed to the
15 Dubrovnik Crisis Staff. This is missing in the English version. It says
16 for the minister, Davorin Rudolf. That's what it says in the Serbian
17 version. This document, as can be seen from the copy, also has a
18 reference at the bottom of the page which is not clear in the B/C/S
19 version, but I assume that there are indications here where and when this
20 was sent, by whom, who received it, at what time, and so on. So that an
21 official translation by CLSS of this B/C/S document would be useful, in
22 addition to the English translation that is already appended to the
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Jokic. I think, as Ms. Somers --
25 Mr. Rodic. I beg your pardon. As Ms. Somers has already indicated, she
1 will be happy to arrange for a translation of the document, as far as it
2 is legible. There would appear, however, to be some question about the
3 legibility of some three lines or four lines, if they're part of the
4 document, toward the foot of the document. And perhaps that can be looked
5 into in due course, Ms. Somers.
6 MS. SOMERS: It certainly can, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much for that. Well, that having
8 been accomplished, we now turn to your re-examination, Ms. Somers.
9 MS. SOMERS: Just a couple of points, if I may, please.
10 Re-examined by Ms. Somers:
11 Q. Mr. Brolund, you used the initials JRM in the course of your
12 testimony. Do you recall that, JRM?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Could you please explain what those initials stand for?
15 A. Those initials are standing for Jugoslovenska Ratna Mornarica.
16 Q. Which means?
17 A. The Yugoslavian navy.
18 Q. Naval force. Thank you.
19 A. Naval forces.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Just from everything that's been said over
21 the past day and such, is it -- does it appear that most of the context
22 that you, as a monitor, had with the Croatian side were with the crisis
23 staff or with the civilian side? Would that be -- does that seem to be a
24 fair assessment from notes and from everything that was said in Court?
25 A. So in this case, it's probably so concerning Dubrovnik.
1 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you. Nothing further, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
5 Well, Mr. Brolund, I'm happy to be able to tell you that that
6 concludes the evidence that you are asked to give before the Tribunal.
7 May we thank you for your attendance and assistance, and you're now free
8 to leave.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
12 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour. We have to find out if the next
13 witness has actually been brought over yet. He was on standby.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Might it be convenient for us to break a little
15 earlier than usual to allow you time to do that.
16 MS. SOMERS: I'd be grateful, thank you.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Would 20 minutes be long enough or would you like a
18 little longer?
19 MS. SOMERS: I think at this time if we could start with 20
20 minutes and if it appears at any time there's an unforeseen delay -- is
21 that -- let us stay with 20 minutes, and if that's okay with you, and
22 we'll notify you of any difficulty. There should be none.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] In view of what we talked about
1 yesterday, and our client has made complaints about being tired, so we
2 could just add another ten minutes to the break, to have a full half hour,
3 so that Mr. Strugar too can get some rest.
4 JUDGE PARKER: I think there may be some justification for that,
5 Ms. Somers, and it will enable you to be sure of your position. So we'll
6 adjourn for half an hour now.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.22 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Somers.
11 MS. SOMERS: The Prosecution's next witness, Your Honour, is
12 Mr. Nikola Samardzic.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, if I may take a moment to introduce to
15 the Chamber Mr. Michael Hehn, a member of our staff from the leadership
16 research team.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Could I ask you to make the
20 affirmation, if the card could be handed to you. Remain seated, if you
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: NIKOLA SAMARDZIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
3 Ms. Somers.
4 Examined by Ms. Somers:
5 Q. Would you state, please, your complete name.
6 A. My name is Nikola Samardzic.
7 Q. And Mr. Samardzic, your date of birth, please?
8 A. I was born on the 24th of October, 1935.
9 Q. Where were you born, sir?
10 A. In Ledenice, Kotor municipality in Montenegro.
11 Q. And your nationality?
12 A. I am Montenegrin.
13 Q. Mr. Samardzic, I note you mentioned the-- I believe you said the
14 Kotor area of Montenegro. Is that an area that is also known as, for
15 example, Boka Kotorska, or the area containing Boka Kotorska?
16 A. Yes. Kotor is the main town in Boka Kotorska.
17 Q. And is that town, or that area, near to Dubrovnik, in Croatia?
18 A. Yes. Boka Kotorska is an area that borders on Dubrovnik
19 territory. The distance between the centre of Dubrovnik and Kotor itself
20 is perhaps 70 kilometres.
21 Q. Mr. Samardzic, your occupation during the time period February
22 1991 through the end of 1991, please.
23 A. In 1991, my official position was general director of the
24 Jugooceanija shipping company. At the same time, as of February of the
25 same year, I was minister of foreign affairs for Montenegro.
1 Q. For how long did you continue to be minister of foreign affairs
2 for Montenegro?
3 A. I stayed in that position for exactly a year and a half.
4 Officially, for practical purposes, I worked a little less. I left my
5 position. I assumed my position on the 16th of February, 1991, and stayed
6 in the position until the 13th of July, 1992.
7 Q. In the interests of time, if I can just ask you if I have
8 correctly stated the following: You have a law degree from Ljubljana
9 University; is that correct, specialising in business law?
10 A. Yes, that's correct. I obtained my degree at the law faculty in
11 Ljubljana, via correspondence.
12 Q. And you --
13 A. It was the department for economics.
14 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you. And further, you have a degree
15 from the marine superior school in Rijeka, Croatia, with a certification
16 as sea master. Is that also correct?
17 A. Yes. That superior marine school, it's a higher school, higher
18 maritime school, in Rijeka. In addition to finishing that school, I took
19 an exam to become a sea master.
20 Q. In 1961, where did you have employment?
21 A. In 1961, I was employed by the Jugolinija shipping company, based
22 in Rijeka. In the same year, I obtained my degree at the higher maritime
23 school. It was in the same year that I took an exam to become sea master.
24 Q. In 1964, you returned to your native region of Boka - I'm
25 sorry - of Kotor in Montenegro, and what did you do there?
1 A. In 1964, I was promoted and became sea captain. I had been second
2 mate for Jugolinija up to that point, and from then on I was the commander
3 of the ship. For Jugooceanija, until 1971.
4 Q. In 1970, you went to Geneva to attend a United Nations conference,
5 an organisation abbreviated as UNCDAT. Would you please tell us what the
6 conference was about and what that particular organisation is.
7 A. This was a specialisation course for maritime management and
8 economy, organised by the United Nations, United Nations Conference on
9 Development and Trade. I attended and took part in this specialisation
10 course, which lasted six months, following which I attended practical
11 courses in Oslo, in Norway, with the Leif Hoegh company. I had been
12 admitted there based on an admission exam that I had passed in Belgrade.
13 I was selected and I spent nine months there working with the UN.
14 Q. In 1971, you were promoted within the ranks of Jugooceanija, in
15 Kotor. To what position were you promoted, or what position did you then
17 A. After completing my specialisation courses in Geneva and Oslo, I
18 started working in Kotor at Jugooceanija's head office. I was an
19 administrator at first and then I became port captain, which means that I
20 monitored our ships around the ports of the world, Jugooceanija's ships,
21 and I became nautical inspector following that.
22 Q. Were you at the time a member of the League of Communists, or the
23 Communist Party of the former Yugoslavia?
24 A. Yes, I was a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
25 Q. In 1974, did you enter into the Yugoslav parliament as a member?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 If so, can you describe where that parliament met.
2 A. The system was self-management. The party system was no longer in
3 place in Yugoslavia, and I had been elected to the assembly of Yugoslavia.
4 The first deputy assembly. I was not gainfully employed there. I would
5 go there two or three times a month to attend sessions in Belgrade,
6 depending on what sort of sessions they were, plenary or just some of the
8 Q. In 1978, you were appointed president of the Association for
9 Self-management for Foreign Trade in Montenegro, a post which you held
10 until 1982. What were your principal duties there?
11 A. In this position, I had to distribute foreign currency, that is,
12 hard currency, to companies in Montenegro. At that time, the duty was
13 also to cooperate in terms of the exchange of hard and foreign currency
14 with other companies throughout Yugoslavia. This was a time of incipient
15 crisis and hard currency was running out. So that's why self-managing
16 interest communities for relations with foreign countries were set up for
17 the first time. This was a difficult position, because we did not have
18 enough hard currency and foreign currency, and yet, at the same time, we
19 had to secure imports, raw materials, and everything that Montenegro's
20 industry needed to survive.
21 Q. In 1983, you became the representative of the Yugoslav chamber of
22 commerce in Sydney, Australia. How long did you remain in that position,
23 and were you still at the time in some way affiliated with your company
25 A. According to the system that was in place in Yugoslavia at the
1 time, my employment with Jugooceanija was dormant for the period. I
2 became an employee of Yugoslavia's chamber of commerce, and I became their
3 representative based in Sydney for Australia and New Zealand. Following
4 the completion of my term there, a five-year term, because I had spent a
5 year in Brisbane as the director of Yugoslavia's pavilion at the World
6 Expo, after that I returned to Jugooceanija.
7 Q. Did you, when you returned to Jugooceanija, do you mean that you
8 returned to Montenegro?
9 A. Yes. I returned on New Year's Eve, 1989, following the completion
10 of my duties in Brisbane, once the Expo 88 had finished.
11 Q. I think if it were five years, perhaps you can correct me, New
12 Year's Eve of 1988, is that correct, December 31st of 1988?
13 A. Yes. Yes. I apologise. I may have made a mistake. New Year's
14 Eve, I mean the end of 1988. That's when I left Australia and returned to
15 Montenegro with my family. That was the beginning of 1989, the time when
16 I returned to my country. I had spent a full five years in Australia.
17 Q. Upon your return to Montenegro, what changes, if any, had you
18 observed in the government taking place shortly after that return?
19 A. On the 10th of January, 1989, there occurred the so-called
20 anti-bureaucratic revolution in Montenegro. Young people came to power
21 and the old leaders had been removed following large rallies and unrest
22 from the people of Montenegro. People came out into the streets to show
23 their discontent, especially so in Titograd, which was the capital at the
25 Q. And which -- if you can name some of the young leaders to whom you
1 referred, it would be of assistance.
2 A. There were several. The leaders were Momir Bulatovic, and
3 Milo Djukanovic, who were, to all practical intents, the leaders of the
4 revolution. I will use the term "revolution" even if this was not a
5 proper revolution. However, they were the leaders of the movement which
6 led to change in Montenegro at the time.
7 Q. You mentioned Momir Bulatovic. Did Mr. Bulatovic hold a role in
8 the government of Montenegro?
9 A. Not up to that point. He did not have any official position. He
10 was a teaching assistant at a university, and suddenly he entered politics
11 and became a leader in Montenegro. Then there were the elections, and he
12 has been an active politician and official ever since, that is, up to two
13 years ago, when his term of office with Yugoslavia's government ended.
14 Q. What role did he hold? What position did he hold as an active
16 A. In the early days, he had been elected president of the presidency
17 of the Republic of Montenegro. This was pursuant to the old system that
18 was in place, where you had four other members of the presidency, and he
19 was the chairman, the president.
20 Q. In October of 1991, what position -- what political position did
21 Mr. Momir Bulatovic hold?
22 A. In October of 1991, he was the president of the presidency of the
23 Republic of Montenegro.
24 Q. You mentioned also an individual named Djukanovic. Did there come
25 a point where Mr. Djukanovic became a political figure in Montenegro, and
1 if so, what position did he hold?
2 A. He also came along and reached the top, following the
3 anti-bureaucratic revolution, of course, he was not elected vice-president
4 of the government the same day, but rather, after the elections in
5 Montenegro, he was appointed to the first government that followed the
6 change. As far as I remember, the government was set up on the 16th of
7 February, 1991.
8 Q. In October of 1991, can you tell us, please, what position
9 Mr. Djukanovic held.
10 A. He was the president of Montenegro's government, or rather, prime
11 minister. We refer to the position as the president of the government of
13 Q. Going back for just a moment to your other work. In November of
14 1989, you were elected to be a member of the Montenegrin parliament. Where
15 did the Montenegrin parliament convene?
16 A. The Montenegrin parliament convened in Titograd, the capital. The
17 name is now Podgorica, but back then it was still Titograd, since 1948,
18 and was renamed Podgorica. So the parliament, or rather, the sessions of
19 the Montenegrin parliament were always in Podgorica.
20 Q. In 1990, in July, you were elected as a representative of
21 Montenegro to the federal Chamber of Republics. What type of duties did
22 you have, and where did you carry out any meetings or duties?
23 A. This was a vestige of the deputy system in the assemblies, and
24 Montenegro, as all other republics, was supposed to appoint 20 deputies to
25 the council of the republics, which was part of the Yugoslav assembly.
1 The elections were held at the Montenegrin assembly, because it was up to
2 the assembly to appoint its candidates. There was a secret vote and I was
3 elected. Although I had not been previously nominated by the authorities.
4 It was the deputies who put forward my name, and following the vote, I
5 became one of the 20 deputies. That's how I became a deputy to the
6 Yugoslav Assembly, in addition to my role in the Montenegrin Assembly.
7 Q. You indicated that you held formerly the position of foreign
8 minister of Montenegro. How did you become the foreign minister of
9 Montenegro? Were you appointed?
10 A. No. Milo Djukanovic, who held the new -- who led the new
11 government, asked me to accept to become foreign minister, which I
12 resisted for a while, because I could not do both things at the same time.
13 It was quite a burden to bear, because I was also still manager of
14 Oceanija, Jugooceanija. After lengthy negotiations, I accepted to
15 become -- to remain the manager of Jugooceanija and to become foreign
16 minister. I was still officially employed by Jugooceanija. They paid my
17 salary. Sometimes I would travel to Titograd, or rather, Podgorica, to
18 discharge my duties as foreign minister.
19 Q. How old was Mr. Djukanovic when he requested you to become prime
21 A. He was 28.
22 Q. Did you play an active role in the affairs of Montenegro as its
23 foreign minister?
24 A. I tried to play a role that was as active as possible at the time,
25 because the situation kept changing in Montenegro on a daily basis. I
1 tried to contribute as much as I could. Of course, I was in a position to
2 influence certain things. I was in a position to cooperate, to the extent
3 possible, with both Mr. Bulatovic and also Mr. Djukanovic, who was the
4 prime minister.
5 Q. You indicated earlier that the changes in government that you
6 found upon your return from Australia to Montenegro involved a younger
7 generation. How would you describe the level of experience of some of the
8 other members of the government? When I say "government," I'm referring
9 to the ministers.
10 A. I was the most senior member there. It was quite obvious to me
11 that most of them had not had any hands-on experience. Milo Djukanovic,
12 prime minister, that was the first place he ever worked, the first
13 employment, that is. There were a number of ministers, other ministers,
14 that had had precious little experience. Most of them, that is, all of
15 them -- none of them spoke any foreign languages.
16 Q. And did you speak foreign languages, Mr. Samardzic? If so, which
18 A. Montenegrin, of course, is my mother tongue, in addition to which
19 I also speak English, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.
20 Q. Were these skills valued skills, as a member of the government of
22 A. Certainly. It proved very useful, because I was in a position to
23 communicate. It was much easier for me when it came to international
24 contacts than for other members of the government, especially whenever we
25 travelled abroad, also whenever we were meeting foreign diplomats, it was
1 much easier for me to establish communication. Often times, an ambassador
2 would come and visit from an area that was not English-speaking and it was
3 possible for me to communicate in Italian or in Spanish, which means that
4 communication was much easier for me than for the remaining members of
5 Montenegrin government.
6 Q. I'd like to just ask you if you could identify, briefly, the
7 following personalities from the former Yugoslavia: Branko Kostic. Just
8 who the person was and the role. Putting it in a time frame of the autumn
9 of 1991.
10 A. Branko Kostic, I must say, he comes from a very good Montenegrin
11 family. His father and his entire family had taken part in the liberation
12 war. He, unfortunately, became a fervent nationalist and had earned the
13 trust of Slobodan Milosevic in Montenegro. He was elected to the Yugoslav
14 presidency. He had replaced Nenad Bucin, when Nenad Bucin was forced to
15 resign, and Kostic replaced him.
16 Q. Borisav Jovic?
17 A. Borisav Jovic was also an ultra nationalist who followed the
18 policies of Slobodan Milosevic and who was also a member of the Yugoslav
19 presidency on behalf of the Republic of Serbia.
20 Q. Blagoje Adzic?
21 A. Blagoje Adzic is a general. He was the chief of Yugoslav army's
22 Main Staff, also a toady to Milosevic, obviously, who also played a very
23 negative role in the break-up of Yugoslavia.
24 Q. Veljko Kadijevic?
25 A. Veljko Kadijevic was the federal secretary, or rather, the federal
1 minister for National Defence. He was also an important player during the
2 break-up of Yugoslavia. In my estimate, he played a negative role,
3 contributing to conflict and to the eventual disintegration of Yugoslavia.
4 Q. When you indicate the federal Ministry of Defence, is that also
5 known as the SSNO? And what does that stand for, please?
6 A. That stands for Federal Secretariat for National Defence. The
7 abbreviation is used for the former Yugoslavia's defence ministry.
8 Q. You indicated, Mr. Samardzic, the proximity of your home region to
9 Dubrovnik. Had you yourself been to Dubrovnik?
10 A. Yes, many times.
11 Q. Was, in your estimation, there, let us say, up to the autumn, or
12 perhaps a bit earlier, in 1991, a generally positive attitude between the
13 people of Montenegro and those of Croatia, and specifically, the area of
15 A. The relations between population of Montenegro, especially in
16 Boka Kotorska and the population of Dubrovnik, had been brotherly, at
17 least before the war, in terms of the economy, in terms of culture, social
18 and private life. There was no difference to be seen anywhere. No line
19 of separation. We lived together and we worked together, which was
20 especially important in terms of maritime affairs, which is the branch of
21 economy that I belonged to. You had tourism and maritime affairs, which
22 were the two most important branches of the local economy, and these were
23 very much dependent on Dubrovnik's own economy.
24 Q. Did there come a time when you noticed a change in the
25 relationship between at least some of the population, and perhaps official
1 population of Montenegro, to Dubrovnik and other parts of Croatia?
2 A. Yes. Everything was new for me when I returned from Australia.
3 The situation deteriorated from day to day. Let me give you just one
4 example. When, because of the new policy that the Montenegrin leadership
5 was implementing in relation to Croatia, and this was before October 1991,
6 before the outbreak of the war, the Croatian INA company stopped shipments
7 of oil to Jugopetrol, which was the main Montenegrin supplier, and there
8 was misunderstanding and the worsening of relations. I was given the task
9 of going to Zagreb with another minister in order to ask the Croatian
10 government to again allow supplies of petroleum to be sent to Montenegro.
11 And contrary to the wishes of the then-director of INA, several Croatian
12 ministers did their best to re-establish the supplies to Montenegro. This
13 was just before the events of October 1991. It was in the summer, I
14 believe it was in August 1991, when there was already discord, but we
15 endeavoured to resolve this in the best possible manner.
16 Q. Did you begin to notice any other indications of hostility towards
17 Croatia, perhaps in the form of propaganda or hate language, hate
18 speeches, even coming out of such bodies as the parliament?
19 A. At the time, Montenegro organised its multiparty assembly for the
20 first time. Some of these parliamentary parties were ultranationalist,
21 others were in favour of an independent Montenegro. There was a great
22 deal of tension mounting, not only between particular political parties in
23 Montenegro, but also in relation to Croatia. It was thought that Croatia
24 and Slovenia were separatists, that they wanted the collapse of
25 Yugoslavia, that they were preparing to attack Montenegro, or to secede.
1 So that from day to day, the propaganda grew and it didn't bring any good.
2 Montenegrin television broadcast their own ideas. The Montenegrin papers
3 and the Belgrade papers aired their views, and the tensions mounted. This
4 was on the eve of the military conflict that broke out later.
5 Q. Does the day 25 June --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MS. SOMERS: I'm so sorry.
8 Q. Does the date 25 June have any significance in your mind? 1991,
9 of course.
10 A. This was the day when the Croatian parliament, as far as I can
11 remember, declared that Croatia was to secede and become an independent
12 state. I think that was the date.
13 Q. And what about Slovenia?
14 A. Yes, yes. Slovenia did the same, at the same time. In our part
15 of the world, we paid more attention to Croatia, because it was a
16 neighbouring country. But Slovenia did declare independence at the same
17 time as Croatia.
18 Q. Are you familiar with the term, and I mean no offence when I say
19 it, "Ustasha"? If you are familiar, what does the term normally mean, and
20 is it meant in a complimentary fashion or a derogatory fashion?
21 A. It has an extremely derogatory meaning, a negative connotation,
22 and this name was used to denote the independent military formations of
23 the independent state of Croatia in World War I [as interpreted]. They
24 committed terrible atrocities over Serbs and Croats. The word "Ustasha"
25 meant something evil. I have to say, however, that the word, the root of
1 the word, actually comes from an ancient word meaning "rebel," and it
2 didn't always have the same meaning. In the 19th, there were rebels in
3 Montenegro who referred to themselves as Ustashe, and the same goes for
4 Herzegovina. However, during World War II, this word became compromised.
5 It acquired a negative meaning. So that in 1991, using this word was the
6 worst word you could possibly use, and the Montenegrin politicians used
7 this word to refer to the entire Croatian people.
8 Q. Mr. Samardzic, I note from the context of your response, you
9 indicated World War II was the point that the word took on a negative
10 meaning. I note that on page 37, line 25, you talked about the
11 independent state of Croatia and you said World War I. Did you mean World
12 War II?
13 A. That was an error maybe. It was in the Second World War that the
14 independent state of Croatia existed. There was no independent state of
15 Croatia in world war 1. It was part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy
17 Q. Are you familiar, Mr. Samardzic, with formations, principally
18 Montenegrin formations, called the 3rd Volunteers Brigade of the Titograd
19 Corps and the 5th Proletariat or Proletarian Montenegrin Brigade? Have
20 you heard of such formations?
21 A. Yes. Yes. I am aware that such formations existed. The 5th
22 Montenegrin Brigade bore the name of a celebrated brigade from World War I
23 [as interpreted], commanded by Savo Kovacevic, and it was based in
24 Titograd. It was one of the most famous units in the fight against
25 fascism in World War II. And this unit was meant to carry on these
1 illustrious traditions. However, in 1991, they failed to do so.
2 The Volunteers Corps was a paramilitary formation. The very word
3 "volunteers" testified to this. I know less about this unit. I know
4 that it did exist, and in 1991, when the war broke out, there were several
5 such volunteers units. Some were more voluntary and others less, but they
6 cannot be compared to the 5th Montenegrin Brigade. The 5th Brigade was an
7 elite unit of the national liberation struggle of Yugoslavia. This was
8 the tradition they were supposed to maintain, but unfortunately they
10 Q. Before I continue --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry.
13 Q. Before I continue, I note again from the context of your complete
14 response, you were referring to World War II with the Savo Kovacevic
15 Brigade, and on page 38, line 25, your response was taken down as the 5th
16 Montenegrin Brigade bore the name of a celebrated brigade from World War
17 I, commanded by Savo Kovacevic. Was that to have read, from the context,
18 World War II?
19 A. Yes, yes. Savo Kovacevic was in World War II. I don't know how
20 World War I crept in. But it was one of the most celebrated brigades of
21 the national liberation struggle of Yugoslavia, the 4th and 5th
22 Montenegrin Brigade and the 1st and 2nd Dalmatian Brigades were very
23 famous brigades, illustrious brigades, mutually connected. The 5th
24 Montenegrin and 2nd Dalmatian Brigades, under the command of
25 Savo Kovacevic, were part of the 3rd Division, and the activities of this
1 famous unit commanded by Savo Kovacevic are something that is unique in
2 the history of warfare, in view of their sacrifices and the weapons they
4 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the usher to please distribute two
5 documents. They appear to be hefty, but in fact there are only several
6 pages that I wish to make reference to. I just did not separate them.
7 Because of the weight of it and the bulk of it, Your Honours, we will not
8 use Sanction. I think it's more helpful just to have the hard copies.
9 In front of everyone are documents, one bearing ERN 01899218,
10 which is a bulletin from the 5th Proletarian or Proletariat Montenegrin
11 Brigade, dated December 1991; and the second document, ERN 01077597, is an
12 information bulletin from the 3rd Volunteer Brigade of the Titograd Corps,
13 dated 27 January 1992.
14 Q. Mr. Samardzic, these are corps, these are formations that you have
15 indicated you are familiar -- the existence of which you are familiar
17 A. Yes. These, I see, are their internal bulletins from the war
18 front, where the 5th Proletariat Brigade was. But this is far from the
19 traditions of the 5th Montenegrin Brigade. Evidently --
20 Q. If I can just ask for a moment, please: If you could turn again
21 to just selected pages, as the point I wish to make is perhaps indicated
22 throughout, I will refer only to the English translation part. But if you
23 would look, for example, in the bulletin of the 3rd Volunteers Brigade,
24 which would be 01077597, that particular document. And look on the page
25 which bears, at the top, the number L, as in Leo, 0096686. Looking in the
1 first complete paragraph, and I'm just drawing your attention to a phrase.
2 It says: "Our goal and our will to battle against the Ustashas were
3 obvious." And then it goes on to say: "A cannon had been deployed at the
4 crossroads. The barrels of guns had been pointed at Dubrovnik, which is
5 right next to us." A little below: "In fact, there were traces of the
6 former inhabitants of these dwellings, the Ustasha hordes."
7 I next ask you to turn your attention to the page bearing
8 L0096704. In the middle -- underneath the caption, the first paragraph,
9 it says: "The 5th has fun on the beaches at Vrtovi Sunca." But the
10 particular language I'm looking at is: "It was not easy to advance
11 over" -- I'm sorry. I'll wait until you have found it. Right. "It was
12 not easy to advance -- it was not easy to advance over soil that had been
13 trodden by the fascist boot, poisoned by the arrows of the HDZ, Croatian
14 Democratic Union, and inundated with hatred for the JNA and everything
16 If you turn the page to L0096705, looking at the first complete
17 paragraph, it says: "The 5th Company also looked after refugees." Then it
18 indicates something illegible "terrified by the Ustashas." If you would
19 then turn the page to L0096706, the first complete paragraph under "police
20 officers always ready for action." Roughly in the middle, it says: "Yet
21 at one time when, the entire brigade was in a maelstrom of battle with the
22 Croatian Ustashas..."
23 If you would then go on to L0096709, first complete paragraph.
24 "On arriving at Orasac, this unit immediately established good relations
25 with the inhabitants. To tell the truth, it was not easy to crack the icy
1 terror which the Croatian Ustashas had managed to instil in the
3 I'd ask you to then look at the second document, which is another
4 separate bulletin for the 5th Proletarian Montenegrin Brigade. And if
5 you'd look, please, briefly, at -- at the top it says ET, E as in Edward,
6 T as in Tom, 0189 through - this may not be terribly helpful - 9218. I'm
7 trying to find the best identifier for you. It's a bit difficult for us,
8 but through 01899251. And at the bottom, it says: "3 of 29." I don't
9 know if you can see it. I think these are -- it says "3 of 29." Has it
10 been found where it has a line dividing it where it says "Dubrovnik fell a
11 long time ago," and above it there's text?
12 MS. SOMERS: Mr. Usher, is that visible? All that I'm referring
13 to, it's in English. But it would say at the bottom "3 of 29." Perhaps I
14 can assist you. I think you don't have an English -- yeah, there we go.
15 Q. At the top of -- toward the top of the page, the full paragraph,
16 quotation: "In my estimate, the 5th Proletarian Brigade's units, carrying
17 out war tasks, have performed them impeccably and have given the greatest
18 contribution to dispersing Ustasha formations along the Debeli Brijeg,
19 Dubrovnik stretch."
20 I would ask you to turn to a page which says "12 of 29" at the
21 bottom, 12 of 29. It says: "The curse of number 11." Is that there,
22 Mr. Usher? The first paragraph under there where it talks about Osojnik.
23 "A real vulture's nest. Ustashas reigned there until recently."
24 I will stop with the examples, but, Mr. Samardzic, this type of
25 language, the repeated references to the Croatians as Ustashas, was this
1 something that gained momentum during the time period of 1991?
2 A. This was a time when, in Montenegro, and certainly in Serbia, the
3 propaganda contained a lot of hysteria against the Ustashas and against
4 the Croatian people especially during the time of the Dubrovnik operation.
5 Everything that happened in Croatia was declared to be done by the
6 Ustasha. As far as I know, at least in the area bordering on Montenegro,
7 there were no Ustasha there, except perhaps for some self-organised
8 smaller Croatian units who were trying to defend themselves, as far as
9 they were able to.
10 And on the stretch between Debeli Brijeg and Dubrovnik or Cavtat,
11 there was no large-scale fighting. The largest-scale fighting took part
12 west of Dubrovnik, where there was more resistance by the Croatian forces,
13 but there were no Ustasha there either. What you want to know is: Yes,
14 the propaganda in Montenegro at that time was very hysterical and it was
15 aimed at the Croatian people. What it says here in these bulletins is no
16 different from what was said on television or written in newspapers. It
17 was the same vocabulary, referring to the war operations, but also beyond
18 that. Everything that was written in those days was aimed at compromising
19 everything that was going on in Croatia, including the defence of
21 Q. I would ask -- I would like to move these into evidence, or tender
22 them. If I could ask, please, for numbers, I'd be grateful.
23 JUDGE PARKER: The two bulletins will be received into evidence.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit numbers P25 and P26.
25 MS. SOMERS: Could you distinguish which is P25, please.
1 THE REGISTRAR: P25 bears the ERN 01899218, and P26 bears the ERN
2 number 01077597.
3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much.
4 Q. Looking more specifically now at the events in the Dubrovnik
5 region: Did you attend any official meetings in Montenegro on the 1st of
6 October, 1991? When I say "official," I mean attended by officials. I
7 don't necessarily mean officially set.
8 A. On the 1st of October, I attended a meeting, but only half a
9 meeting, because I had other business that I had to do. And this was a
10 meeting held at the government of Montenegro. It was a meeting of the
11 presidency, the cabinet, and the generals of Montenegro. There were
12 several generals who participated in the meeting. I arrived halfway
13 through the meeting and attended the second half, because Momir Bulatovic
14 had sent me to Cetinje, to see off Mr. Wejnaendts. This was a Dutch
15 diplomat, who was Lord Carrington's deputy, and who, on that day, had
16 visited Montenegro to try to prevent the start of war operations. It was
17 evening by the time I got back, and I was extremely surprised when I
18 discovered that generals were present at a cabinet meeting in war
19 uniforms. These were not, as far as I was able to see, camouflage
20 uniforms, but they were the uniforms worn by generals when they are to go
21 into action.
22 I arrived halfway through the meeting and stayed until the end.
23 Q. Mr. Samardzic, you described the meeting as a meeting of the
24 presidency, the cabinet, and generals of Montenegro. It appears from the
25 level of participants, you might have had advance notice of it. In this
1 case, had you had advance notice of such a meeting, given that you were a
2 member of the cabinet, a minister?
3 A. No. I did not receive any official invitation. I was stopped by
4 the police at the bridge on Moraca, on my way back from the airport, where
5 I had seen off Mr. Wejnaendts, and I was driving out of Titograd, because
6 I lived in Kotor. I was stopped by the police, and they said, "You have
7 to go to a cabinet meeting." I went back and I found the ministers and
8 the presidency and the generals already conducting the meeting. And this
9 was after I had seen off Mr. Wejnaendts at the airport, because I had
10 spent the entire afternoon with him in Cetinje.
11 Q. Were you surprised about this type of meeting and the way you came
12 to learn of it?
13 A. Yes. I was shocked, because I had assured Mr. Wejnaendts there
14 would be no war. I have to say that he had come to Titograd to see
15 whether there was going to be a war and to try to prevent one, if there
16 was a war in the offing. And he tried to learn from Momir Bulatovic and
17 me whether war operations were about to start. He had been informed that
18 on that day, the war from Dubrovnik was to begin. I was deeply convinced
19 that the JNA would not attack Dubrovnik, and I had done my utmost to
20 convince him that it was impossible for an attack to be launched from
21 Montenegro on Croatia. And it was in this conviction that I had arrived
22 at the cabinet meeting, not expecting anything like that to happen. It
23 was already late, about 8.00 or 9.00 p.m., when I arrived, and then I saw
24 that things were really serious.
25 Q. You indicated that when you got to this meeting, you recognised or
1 you saw some generals. Can you indicate who among the military you
2 observed to be there?
3 A. I did not know those generals personally, but I knew who they
4 were, from photographs and from the way they were addressed at the
5 meeting. General Strugar was there, General Jeremic, Damjanovic, Babic,
6 who was Montenegro's defence minister, and several other officers, who
7 were seated around a table where ministers were usually seated, around the
8 main table, plus a number of other people who had not earlier attended
9 meetings of the cabinet as deputies or assistant ministers, from different
10 ministries, especially from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as
11 members of the cabinet, in addition to Momir Bulatovic.
12 Q. Excuse me. I'm terribly sorry. You indicated -- you said
13 General Strugar. Are you referring to General Pavle Strugar?
14 A. Yes. He's the one I'm referring to.
15 Q. And when you indicated Minister Babic, was that Bozidar Babic?
16 A. Precisely, Bozidar Babic.
17 Q. I note, Mr. Samardzic, that your statement had the name of
18 Admiral Jokic there, and you have indicated to the Office of the
19 Prosecutor that that was in error. Is it correct now that Admiral Jokic
20 was not at that meeting?
21 A. There was an error. Admiral Jokic was not present at that
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MS. SOMERS: I would also indicate that any other corrections to
25 your statement have also been provided to the Defence, as indicated to the
1 Office of the Prosecutor.
2 Q. Now, looking at the subject under discussion at that meeting, what
3 was being discussed? What was it that would have brought a general like
4 Strugar to a meeting like that?
5 A. General Strugar, while I was there, he spoke, and he said that we
6 had been attacked and that we had to defend ourselves. 30.000 Ustasha
7 were about to attack Boka Kotorska and Montenegro had to defend itself.
8 That's what he said. Later he also said that we would no doubt be
9 successful in defending ourselves and that we would manage to defend with
10 minimum losses and that the army would do everything to keep the losses
12 Q. In your statement, I want to ask you about the wording, as it -- I
13 believe it to be significant. You said Strugar said that he was happy
14 that the Montenegro --
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I believe the answer is -- the
18 question is not correct. My learned friend and colleague, I am sure, can
19 ask Mr. Samardzic what General Strugar said. But certainly not by quoting
20 what the statement says, and thus reminding him of what he wishes to say.
21 Mr. Samardzic is perfectly capable of telling us what he remembers.
22 There's no problem there. It was only the phrasing of the question which
23 I think is inappropriate in this case.
24 MS. SOMERS: I'm happy to rephrase, Your Honour. I'm happy to
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. I think in an area so critical you should
2 avoid --
3 MS. SOMERS: I'm happy to rephrase.
4 Q. What was General Strugar's attitude about the Montenegrins
6 A. General Strugar said that we had been attacked, that 30.000
7 Ustashas were about to attack Boka, or Montenegro, that we would defend
8 ourselves and thereby defend Yugoslavia. He said that the losses would be
9 kept down to an absolute minimum and that we should take all measures to
10 defend our country. It wasn't only General Strugar who spoke along these
11 lines, but rather also Momir Bulatovic, and they enjoyed the support of
12 all the other members of the cabinet, that is, the ministers.
13 Everyone spoke. Even I spoke at the meeting, saying: If we have
14 been attacked, we shall defend ourselves." General Strugar's reputation
15 was great, and I was convinced that he had a point there, that we had
16 indeed been attacked. All my colleagues were unanimous in their desire to
17 defend the country.
18 Q. Do you recall whether or not General Strugar referred to the
19 Croatians as Croatians, or by some other term?
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, again, the phrasing
21 of the question is inappropriate. My apologies. The question can be:
22 How General Strugar referred to the Croats, but not suggest anything in
23 the phrasing of the question itself.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said before, he called the
25 Croatian units Ustashas. He said 30.000 Ustashas were about to attack
1 Boka Kotorska. That's what he said.
2 MS. SOMERS:
3 Q. Had you been aware of any impending attack? Had you heard any
4 such thing actually happening before coming to this meeting?
5 A. Yes. I had heard this from Hrvoje Kacic, first and foremost, who
6 was a Croatian official and a friend from my youth. In The Hague, when we
7 met 15 days earlier, he told me that the army was preparing an attack on
8 Croatia. I did my best to convince him that there would be no such attack
9 by the JNA. That's what I can tell you.
10 Q. Mr. Samardzic, perhaps -- I'm sorry to interrupt you. Perhaps my
11 question was less than clear. I was referring to: Had you heard of any
12 attack on Boka or on Montenegro by the Croatian forces occurring before
13 you walked into that meeting, or any credible threat of an attack?
14 A. That evening, a document was distributed to everyone that I think
15 was drafted by Jovanovic, who was the security chief in Herceg-Novi, to
16 the effect that Croats were causing incidents near the border. However,
17 in my opinion, nothing really important was said on that evening. There
18 must have been some sort of misunderstanding, or rather, there was a
19 report, but the report did not indicate any threat of war. There was
20 nothing for me to see on the Croatian part, an attack on Montenegro in the
21 offing, or anything like that, or, for that matter, what General Strugar
22 was talking about, that all of a sudden 30.000 Ustashas would be about to
23 launch an attack on Crno Gora, Montenegro.
24 Q. Was that the first you had heard of these 30.000 Ustasha
25 suggestion? Was that the first time you had heard of it?
1 A. The first time I heard about that, from Momir Bulatovic also,
2 because he also spoke that same evening and spoke about the 30.000 Ustasha
3 and how we were supposed to defend our country. He said this two or three
5 Q. At that time, do you know what role General Strugar held in
6 Montenegro? Are you aware of it?
7 A. I did know, although I did not keep track of General Strugar's
8 exact position at the time. He was the commander of the Territorial
9 Defence of Montenegro, and the commander of the 2nd Operations Group of
10 the JNA. That's what it was called then, which covered not only
11 Montenegro but also a section of Herzegovina and perhaps even of Serbian
12 territory. I'm not sure what exactly it covered, the 2nd Operations
13 Group. But certainly, General Strugar was one of the top military
15 Q. At the time, had you ever heard of a person named Ruzinovski?
16 A. Yes. Ruzinovski, Luzinovski... I did hear that there was a
17 general of that name, a Macedonian, who was the commander of the
18 2nd Operations Group for General Strugar.
19 Q. Did you have any sense of whether or not, from anything that was
20 said or done at that meeting, whether or not General Strugar would occupy
21 any type of role in what came to be known as the Dubrovnik campaign?
22 A. By all means, General Strugar was the commander of the forces that
23 attacked Dubrovnik. Later that evening, it was clear. I had been
24 surprised at first, but then the meeting was over and it became perfectly
25 clear that there would be a campaign to conquer Dubrovnik and its
2 Q. You said a few moments ago that General Strugar, when he spoke,
3 spoke about, I believe the term you used was liberating Dubrovnik at a
4 minimum cost. Now, was that representation by the general who was
5 commander of the Territorial Defence, as you say, was that made in the
6 presence --
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection. Can my
8 learned friend and colleague please indicate where, in which line of the
9 statement exactly, he stated this. She is trying to insinuate bits and
10 pieces from the statement, which, with your permission, we have succeeded
11 in preventing. And again, she is insinuating and suggesting certain kinds
12 of wording to the witness. Where exactly did Mr. Samardzic state this
13 throughout his testimony? What you're referring to now, where exactly has
14 this been stated?
15 MS. SOMERS: I cannot refer to page and line, but my recollection
16 was minimum cost, and I believe I recollect hearing that phrase. If
17 there's any doubt about the use of the phrase, I will simply, with
18 Your Honours' permission, rephrase the question to that of which I am
19 absolutely certain, which is the term "Dubrovnik" and "minimum cost."
20 Q. Is that familiar to you? Is that what you had said earlier,
21 Mr. Samardzic?
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
23 JUDGE PARKER: Before you speak, Mr. Petrovic, I may have missed
24 it, but I was not aware of that phrase having been used by the witness in
25 the evidence.
1 MS. SOMERS: I thought -- I'm sorry, Your Honour. I thought I
2 heard it. I recall "minimum cost" and I thought that it was said. If it
3 was not, then I request that that be stricken and I refer to the term
4 "minimum cost," which I know I did hear from the record.
5 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
6 JUDGE PARKER: We're checking back in the transcript.
7 MS. SOMERS: I'm informed it may be losses, Your Honour, not cost.
8 Perhaps the word "losses." Page 23, line 23. 23, 23. If I am incorrect
9 in my phrasing, I would ask to simply withdraw it and correct.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It appears there, in a passage that you spoke,
11 rather than the witness, it was in a question.
12 MS. SOMERS: Sorry. The reference was above. I have to search
13 the record for it. But I can simply avoid that by coming back with a more
14 direct question.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Well, perhaps I should hear Mr. Petrovic, who has
16 been waiting patiently.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the first problem we
18 have is Mr. Samardzic is listening to our discussion, and this in itself
19 may affect his further testimony. Secondly, my learned friend and
20 colleague, Ms. Somers, due to a lack of caution, deliberately or not, used
21 precisely the terms to which we had just objected, whereby we effectively
22 prevented her from using those terms. They are not in the document which
23 in front of her. In this way, Ms. Somers is trying to directly influence
24 the testimony of Mr. Samardzic by suggesting to him potential wordings,
25 while Mr. Samardzic needs no assistance from anyone. He's perfectly able
1 to testify without anyone's assistance. The way in which Ms. Somers is
2 conducting this examination-in-chief may affect our client's interests.
3 Therefore, may the Chamber please caution Ms. Somers about the wording of
4 her questions to Mr. Samardzic.
5 MS. SOMERS: May I let the Chamber know that the passage to which
6 I was referring is found on page 23, lines 18 through 24, and I assure the
7 Chamber that the Prosecution is not trying to direct. I agree with
8 Mr. Petrovic; this witness is more than able to answer everything for
9 himself. And if I may read back the answer, I will then proceed on the
10 next question.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Just pause a moment while we find the passage. Did
12 you say page 23, line 18?
13 MS. SOMERS: Yes. My colleague, Ms. McCreath, has shown me on the
14 laptop it shows 23, line 18, starting with the phrase "General Strugar."
15 JUDGE PARKER: We haven't found it yet, I'm sorry to say.
16 MS. SOMERS: Unless there's different pagination. It would be
17 roughly, Your Honours, after Mr. Samardzic indicating that Admiral Jokic
18 was not present at that meeting, several lines after that, if that would
20 JUDGE PARKER: Do you have a time reference?
21 MS. SOMERS: Yes. 16:59, if the laptop is correct.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps I can be of
25 assistance to you.
1 JUDGE PARKER: We have found a reference at page -- bottom of page
2 46 and over on to page 47. "General Strugar spoke. He said that we had
3 been attacked and we had to defend ourselves. 30.000 Ustasha were about
4 to attack Boka Kotorska and Montenegro had to defend itself. Later he
5 said that: We would no doubt be successful in defending ourselves and we
6 would manage to defend with minimum losses and that the army would do
7 everything to keep the losses down."
8 That would appear to be the passage to which you were referring,
9 Ms. Somers. It contains no reference to the town Dubrovnik.
10 MS. SOMERS: My error, Your Honour. I thought that it had been
11 there. And since it is now read back, I will withdraw the last question,
12 as it answers the previous two questions.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
14 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, and I appreciate --
15 JUDGE PARKER: Now, I think there is some substance in the concern
16 of Mr. Petrovic. In two or three matters now of some critical concern, in
17 your eagerness to move on quickly, you have been leading on matters that
18 are material, and I think it would be appropriate for you to be much more
19 cautious about that, if you would.
20 MS. SOMERS: I certainly will. I am mindful of the time, and I am
21 moving a little perhaps too fast.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Well, on matters as important as this, I think
23 you'll appreciate that Mr. Petrovic is well and properly concerned.
24 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
25 If I can just take a look at the last question.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. At this particular meeting on the 1st of October, Mr. Samardzic,
2 was a commitment, in your opinion, made by General Strugar as to the
3 course of the campaign?
4 A. Of course, he expressed his commitment that the campaign should
5 take place, that the country should be defended and, and that the Croatian
6 attack should be stopped, or rather, the Ustasha attack, as he called
7 them, their attack on Boka Kotorska and on Montenegro.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] -- with your permission. Again in
11 this question we have an implication, an insinuation, something that
12 Mr. Samardzic is not saying. He's talking about a campaign, and
13 Mr. Samardzic says yes, he expressed his commitment, commitment to defence
14 from this attack. He's not referring to any campaign. You can check the
15 time reference, 17:15, page 54. There is no reference whatsoever to any
16 campaign, Ms. Somers. It's you who keeps referring to a campaign, not
17 Mr. Samardzic.
18 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, does the term, military term, and we are
19 now talking military action. It is a term which I would use in the normal
20 course of speech. If there is a problem with the term, I'd be grateful.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It is a term capable of both an aggressive and
22 defensive connotation. Mr. Petrovic is hearing it as an aggressive. You
23 seem to be viewing it as a defensive.
24 MS. SOMERS: It is in the context of the allegation of 30.000
25 troops, and this is the context in which I am addressing "campaign."
1 JUDGE PARKER: And we're now found on page 50, the last answer on
2 the page of the witness, that he mentioned that "the meeting was over and
3 it became perfectly clear that there would be a campaign to conquer
4 Dubrovnik and its territory," which is an aggressive reference, as I would
5 read it. So that it is that that you were taking up on this occasion.
6 MS. SOMERS: In fact, Your Honours, it is both, because of the
7 nature of the discussion and of what has just been discussed as about
8 to -- Mr. Samardzic indicated, about to be undertaken.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Have we disrupted events enough for me to suggest
10 that this might be a convenient time for a break? And you can collect
11 your thoughts, then, Ms. Somers, and with some luck, it will not be
12 necessary for Mr. Petrovic or ourselves to interrupt you when we resume.
13 MS. SOMERS: I think that will be a great idea. Thank you.
14 JUDGE PARKER: We'll break, then, for 20 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.26 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
18 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. Excuse me. I just want to
19 check. Thank you very much. I'm sorry. I had to check a reference.
20 Q. Mr. Samardzic, after this meeting that you've
21 described -- actually, excuse me. I'll return to the meeting for a
22 moment. Can you approximate the number of persons who were attending the
23 meeting, the number of attendees? Are you not --
24 A. [In English] Oh, sorry.
25 Q. Can you approximate the number of persons attending the meeting?
1 A. [Interpretation] I didn't count them. I wasn't able to. But I'm
2 sure that there were more than 25 all together, if not 30. The room was
3 full. There's a long table there, and during normal sessions, when the
4 generals and the members of the presidency were not there, during normal
5 cabinet meetings, there were always empty seats around that table, and on
6 that occasion, the room was absolutely full.
7 Q. Did you happen to observe anyone either recording or taking any
8 notes, if you observed it?
9 A. Yes. Minutes were kept, and the meeting was recorded. Cabinet
10 sessions were recorded regularly, and minutes were kept.
11 Q. At any meetings subsequent to this meeting, was there ever any
12 further discussion about 30.000 Ustashe?
13 A. No. It was obvious on the next day that no Ustasha had attacked
14 Montenegro or Boka, but that rather our units had penetrated the territory
15 of Croatia, of Dubrovnik. This was clear that same evening, on
16 television, and on the following day it was completely clear. You could
17 see from the images on television that this was all happening in the
18 Dubrovnik area and not the area of Boka Kotorska.
19 Q. Was there any discussion at this meeting about -- well, excuse me.
20 Let me back up. You have said, if I understood correctly, that it became
21 clear that it was all happening in the Dubrovnik area and not in the area
22 of Boka Kotorska. What and when happened? What happened, and when did it
24 A. The television reports on the same evening made it clear that, as
25 far as the border was concerned, if any fighting was taking place, it was
1 on Croatian territory. As I have already said, the real fighting was more
2 to the west of Dubrovnik, and there was far less resistance on the border
3 towards Montenegro, that is, Debeli Brijeg and Konavle.
4 Q. At that particular meeting, do you recall any discussion about
5 events taking place in Croatia that day?
6 A. No, not on that day. That evening, if you're referring to that
7 evening, there was no discussion of operations in Croatia, but rather how
8 we should defend ourselves and how we should break up the Croatian army,
9 or the Ustasha army, as Momir Bulatovic and the generals were claiming,
10 that the Ustashe were attacking us. Certainly, the situation was clearer
11 on the following days, and the days that followed, but on that evening,
12 that was when the war operation began, during this session of the cabinet
13 and the presidency.
14 Q. When you say "war operations," can you be specific? What are you
15 referring to?
16 A. When I say "war operation," I mean an infantry attack, a tank and
17 artillery attack, and everything that goes with this. Obviously, this
18 started from Montenegro against Croatia. On that evening, we saw on
19 television that a real war had broken out. We could only see this on
20 television, of course. So there was a war, and that's what was said that
21 evening, that war had started.
22 Q. Are you aware of any commitments as to resources that were
23 made -- or were any commitments to resources made by any of the ministers
24 present at the meeting?
25 A. That evening, what was said was that the government of Montenegro,
1 the Ministry of the Interior, and so on, should have special police units,
2 special organs, which would be active on the border towards Croatia and
3 that mobilisation should be carried out. Mobilisation was to be carried
4 out by the JNA and the government supported it, of course. The Ministry
5 of the Interior would put the Territorial Defence and the special police
6 units at the disposal of the army, to help them in their operations on the
7 border with Croatia. This was discussed that evening.
8 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the usher to distribute two documents,
10 Q. Mr. Samardzic, before you are two documents. One should be
11 appearing on your screen, if it is set on "computer evidence." The two
12 documents bear ERNs B/C/S 01088616 and 01062686. I will ask you about
13 each document, but first: Looking at the one that ends in 8616, bearing a
14 date of 1 October -- do you see the one with 8616 at the top, the last
15 four digits, 8616?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is this document familiar to you?
18 A. I saw it when I testified against Slobodan Milosevic last time,
19 and also I saw it in our papers, the paper Monitor published it on several
20 occasions. I didn't see it that night on the 1st of October. It must
21 have been drawn up after the end of the session. But it's evidently a
22 result of the conclusions reached at that session of the 1st of October,
24 Q. The content of the document, is the content, the material
25 described in it, familiar to you, where the document is Presidency of the
1 Republic of Montenegro, dated 1 October 1991, order, it has four points,
2 and it bears the endorsement of Momir Bulatovic, president of the
3 presidency, the first point being -- I'm sorry. Are you familiar with the
4 content of the document in front of you? Is it familiar to you?
5 A. Yes. Yes. I'm fully familiar with its content. That night,
6 these points were discussed, and the conclusions stated here were reached.
7 This was obviously signed by the president of the presidency,
8 Momir Bulatovic, after the end of the meeting.
9 Q. This particular document, which is labelled "order," has as its
10 first point, on 2 October 1991, between 1500 and 1700 hours, referring in
11 the head paragraph about a decision on the use of police for combat tasks
12 of the armed forces and the use of Territorial Defence units for keeping
13 public order and carrying out other tasks of social protection, "I
14 hereby," indicating Bulatovic, "order, on 2 October," and I continue
15 reading: "Carry out a mobilisation of a special police unit, the strength
16 of a reinforced infantry company, tasked with carrying out combat
17 operations of the armed forces in the conflict of war on the border of the
18 Republic of Montenegro and the Republic of Croatia."
19 2: "Together with units of the Yugoslav People's Army and the
20 Territorial Defence, the unit will perform specific military and police
21 tasks in accordance with the mission plan, to be devised by the operative
22 command on the Dubrovnik front."
23 3: "Senior police officer appointed by the minister of the
24 interior will have the direct command of the unit."
25 4: "Ministry of the Interior will equip the unit with the
1 necessary weapons, medical and quartermaster's provisions, other material
2 and technical equipment, and will transport the units from the
3 mobilisation location to the place needed."
4 Is the content matter, in its entirety, familiar?
5 A. Yes. Yes. It's fully familiar to me. This was decided on that
6 night, and it was later put on this piece of paper, which was signed by
7 Momir Bulatovic.
8 Q. May I ask you to turn your attention to the second document, the
9 last numbers of which are 2686, dated also 1 October 1991, bearing an
10 endorsement by Minister Pavle Bulatovic, reciting: "Pursuant to Article 3
11 of the order by the president of the presidency of the Republic of
12 Montenegro and reciting a number of 01-14 of 1 October 1991, I hereby
14 1: Between 1500 and 1700 hours on 2 October 1991, mobilise a
15 reinforced infantry detachment, strong police unit, whose task it will be
16 to carry out combat of the armed forces in the war on the border of the
17 Republic of Montenegro and Croatia.
18 2: Reinforce the unit by members of the special platoon of the
19 special unit, and by policemen of the Titograd security centre, Niksic
20 security centre, and Bar security centre.
21 3: The unit shall be under the immediate command of the assistant
22 minister for the public security service and ministry officers appointed
23 by him.
24 4: After its establishment, supply the unit with the necessary
25 infantry weapons, and with quartermaster medical, technical, supplies and
1 other materiel, reinforce it with two M-86 police combat vehicles and 82
2 millimetre mortar squad and organise the unit's transport from the
3 mobilisation assembly point to the place of its employment.
4 4 -- 5: The unit shall carry out military police type combat
5 assignments according to the employment plan, to be issued by the
6 operative command of the Dubrovnik theatre of war."
7 Again bearing endorsement of Pavle Bulatovic.
8 Are you familiar with the content of this document?
9 A. Yes, I am. I didn't see that document then. I only saw it later
10 on. It was signed by Pavle Bulatovic, the late Pavle Bulatovic. He's now
11 deceased. He was then the minister of the interior of Montenegro.
12 Q. The order -- the first one you looked at of Momir Bulatovic
13 bears -- can you indicate what number is at the top, the very first order,
14 where it says "strictly confidential, number..." The very top, on the left
15 upper corner.
16 A. Left, 0114, strictly confidential. Titograd, the 1st of October,
18 Q. And the second document, which refers -- the second document of
19 Pavle Bulatovic, which refers to a number --
20 A. Strictly confidential, number 0114/2, Titograd, the 1st of
21 October, 1991.
22 Q. And in the centre of it, where it says "pursuant to Article 3 of
23 the order of the president," it cites a number, strictly confidential
24 number, in the middle of the -- above the word "order," what number is
1 A. In the first document?
2 Q. In the order of Pavle Bulatovic, in the second one.
3 A. Oh, yes. "Pursuant to Article 3 of the order by the president of
4 the presidency of the Republic of Montenegro, strictly confidential,
5 number 0114, 1st of October, 1991. I hereby order ...." So he's
6 repeating the number from the previous document.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 MS. SOMERS: I would ask to tender these into evidence, please.
9 JUDGE PARKER: They will be admitted into evidence.
10 THE REGISTRAR: P27, document bearing ERN number 01088616; and
11 P28, document bearing ERN number 01062686.
12 MS. SOMERS:
13 Q. Mr. Samardzic, there is mention of weaponry in these orders. Do
14 you know, from any of your meetings or contacts during this time period,
15 what, if any, weaponry may have been used in the action in Dubrovnik? If
16 you know.
17 A. I can't see this from this document. It doesn't say that. But in
18 that period, what was used were both light and heavy weapons. You could
19 see that from the television reports and from the soldiers moving about
20 Boka Kotorska. Tanks, artillery, all of that was moving in the direction
21 of Dubrovnik. Practically all the kinds of weapons that are used in war.
22 Q. Do you have any recollection about the time frame, or if a time
23 frame was mentioned by General Strugar when he spoke about -- when he
24 spoke at the meeting?
25 A. He didn't say exactly how many days this would last, but he did
1 say that we would break them up very quickly. There was quite a lot of
2 discussion about how all this would end, because, to refer back to what we
3 discussed a while ago, they were not talking about defence only but about
4 liberation, liberation of the territory. That was the expression used by
5 General Strugar. And the other participants in the discussion said that
6 the borders would be expanded; others spoke of liberation. However, there
7 was no specific mention as to how far they would go, but they did say that
8 the Ustashe would be broken up very quickly.
9 Q. You've mentioned the term "liberation." What was your
10 understanding of that term?
11 A. I understood that they would occupy that territory. They spoke of
12 liberation of the territory. They said that the Ustasha were going in the
13 direction of Boka but that we would very soon rout them. This was a
14 discussion late at night. There were different tones that were used by
15 the various participants in the discussion.
16 Q. Do you know if the forces that fought in Dubrovnik for the
17 Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA, incurred any losses, casualties?
18 A. Yes. There were casualties right away, not on the border at
19 Debeli Brijeg, as was expected initially, but more on the west side of
20 Dubrovnik. There were significant losses. At least, that's what they
21 said on television. A hundred and fifty-seven men from Montenegro were
22 killed in operations around Dubrovnik, as far as I know. Many think that
23 the number is higher, but the official information is that 157 of them
24 fell in the attack on Dubrovnik. I am talking of losses by the JNA. So
25 they were not only from Montenegro, but also from Herzegovina and others
1 who were conscripts in the JNA.
2 Q. What was the reaction in Montenegro to these losses, if you know?
3 A. Well, it was very difficult. The people did not expect there to
4 be any losses, because promises were made that the entire operation would
5 be completed with minimum losses. So that when the names of those who had
6 been killed were read out on television, people were extremely upset, and
7 resistance emerged among the people. Protest meetings were held,
8 especially in the area of Cetinje. People sang a song, "Salovce navila
9 klice prostinam Dubrovnice," [phoen] asking Dubrovnik to forgive them.
10 People were indignant, in spite of the hysterical propaganda which tried
11 to prove that we had to fight in order to conquer the Ustasha. As the
12 days passed, it became quite evident that the campaign was leading to no
14 Q. Did you learn of any actions taken against the Old Town of
15 Dubrovnik by JNA force? Did those -- did any actions come to your
17 A. Yes. Very soon, shelling on Dubrovnik started, and there were
18 reports about this on television. But claims were made that the Croats
19 were setting car tyres alight in Dubrovnik, and that is where the smoke
20 came from. They were saying that the army was not shelling Dubrovnik, but
21 it was clear to everyone that Dubrovnik was being shelled and that
22 buildings were being targeted which were in the Old Town, the historical
23 part of Dubrovnik. And this was very upsetting for people in
24 Boka Kotorska and Primorje and that part of Montenegro.
25 Q. Were you aware, Mr. Samardzic, of any special status that may have
1 been afforded to the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
2 A. In the 14 centuries of the existence of the Croatian and
3 pan-Slavic town of Dubrovnik, no armed force had attacked it, or waged a
4 campaign against the old walls of Dubrovnik. Powerful armies, starting
5 from the Byzantine empire, the British empire, the Russian empire, the
6 Venetian republic, not even Hitler's Germany or fascist Germany [as
7 interpreted], ever tried to conduct war operations in Dubrovnik.
8 Unfortunately, it was only Montenegro who had this honour, and I am deeply
9 ashamed of this, as a Montenegrin.
10 MS. SOMERS: I would like to request the usher to distribute a
12 THE WITNESS: Let me just add: When the French occupied the
13 Dubrovnik Republic, they did so without any military operations, because
14 they didn't want to deface the Old Town.
15 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, I have just been reminded by my
16 colleague that there may have been an error in the transcript on page 65,
17 line 19, where it is believed that the reference was not even Hitler's
18 Germany or fascist Italy, I believe it was taken down as Germany, and if
19 that -- if I am correct by checking, I would ask for a redaction in the
21 Q. Mr. Samardzic, in front of you is a document bearing the date of 5
22 October 1991 and an endorsement by an individual named Dragutin Zelenovic.
23 Can you tell us, if you know, who is Dragutin Zelenovic, or was?
24 A. Dragutin Zelenovic was the prime minister of Serbia at the time.
25 Q. And the document, which is addressed to the government of the
1 Republic of Croatia, Zagreb, indicates that the government of the Republic
2 of Serbia, on its session held on 4 October 1991, has been acquainted with
3 the danger to the civilian population in the city of Dubrovnik that
4 represent a part of the Serbian and Croatian history, as well as a
5 magnificent monument of the world cultural heritage. I think there's a
6 typo in the word "world" in English.
7 "Your decision to install paramilitary units, black legions and
8 numerous foreign mercenaries in a city of invaluable historical and
9 cultural value and to launch an armed attack on settlements in Herzegovina
10 and Boka Kotorska from this position represents a totally uncivilised,
11 inhuman, and undignified act. We hope that you yourself are aware of this
12 and that you will use all the force at your disposal to stop destruction
13 of Dubrovnik, in order for it not to be destroyed as other cities.
14 Addressing you with this letter to stop the destruction of Dubrovnik, the
15 government of the Republic of Serbia expresses its firm conviction that
16 all the members of the Yugoslavian army and troops of the Territorial
17 Defence will put all the efforts to protect this historical town."
18 There is -- first of all, are you familiar with the content of
19 this letter?
20 A. Yes, I am. I saw this letter a long time ago. Croatia published
21 it very soon, and it shows the enormous cynicism of the Serbian prime
22 minister, a cynicism equal to that of Goebbels's. He says that the JNA,
23 that is, the prime minister of Serbia says, that the JNA and the
24 Territorial Defence - he's referring to the TO of Montenegro - will save
25 Dubrovnik from the Croats. And at the same time, as is evident here, he
1 says that they will prevent attacks on Herzegovina and Boka Kotorska.
2 But it was evident that no such attacks were taking place. This
3 in fact is an attempt to justify the aggression on Dubrovnik, and this
4 justification is being put forward by no less a person than the prime
5 minister of Serbia, trying to blame Montenegro and the JNA for everything.
6 He was one of Slobodan Milosevic's men, and were it not tragic, it would
7 be ridiculous.
8 Q. Do you know if at the time there were persons from the Republic of
9 Serbia in the JNA?
10 A. Yes, certainly, there were people who had been mobilised in the
11 units. I don't think too many, though. The units were mostly composed of
12 Montenegrins and people from Herzegovina who took part in the operations
13 around Dubrovnik. I assume there were people from Serbia too. I can't
14 say how many. The army must have mobilised them, but to the best of my
15 knowledge, most of those who fought there were from Montenegro and
17 Q. The references to the city of invaluable historical and cultural
18 value that are in this particular document, do you know or do you recall
19 whether or not there was any discussion at the meeting you attended on
20 October 1st as to the invaluable historical and cultural value of the city
21 of Dubrovnik? Did that factor into that meeting?
22 A. You mean the meeting that was held on the 1st of October?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Well, this was said at the meeting, and I think General Strugar
25 did say that everything would be done to avoid destruction, to avoid
1 destruction to the extent possible. He did not specify anything about the
2 historic monuments or anything, but he referred to general destruction,
3 and he said that they would try to end the campaign as soon as possible.
4 But not in the sense that Zelenovic is talking about here.
5 MS. SOMERS: I would ask to tender this document into evidence.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be admitted.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P29.
8 MS. SOMERS:
9 Q. What was your -- what were your views on any conflict that may
10 have been between the JNA forces and the Croatian forces, in particular,
11 in the Dubrovnik area? Actually, let us restrict it to the Dubrovnik
12 area. What was your view?
13 A. After the meeting on the 1st of October, the same evening when I
14 came back home, it was clear to me that this was no defence matter, that
15 there would be an attack on Dubrovnik, probably the next day. I knew this
16 was an act of aggression, and I was deeply disappointed. I was
17 disappointed that we were the ones to attack Dubrovnik. When we had lived
18 for so long in brotherhood and friendship, an unjust war was being waged.
19 And I stated this quite clearly in my activities, until I was removed from
20 my position as foreign minister for Montenegro.
21 The first evening, I was perplexed. My statement was that we
22 should indeed defend ourselves if we had been attacked. I believe
23 General Strugar, believing that his words would not be untrue. However,
24 the same evening, or the next day, it was clear to me that this was an
25 unjust act of aggression or war against a people that had not harmed us in
1 any way.
2 Q. Were your views generally known among your colleagues in the
3 government and in the parliament?
4 A. I made my position very clear. I made my position public.
5 Especially I pointed out in public, on the 17th of October, in the
6 evening, on earlier occasions too, but the 17th of October is particularly
7 important because I spoke during a session of the Montenegrin assembly,
8 when Lord Carrington's plan was on the discussion. That was probably the
9 last chance to stop the war. Lord Carrington's plan envisaged a complete
10 ceasefire and a large degree of autonomy for the Serbs in Croatia.
11 According to what Lord Carrington said himself at the conference, there
12 was fear that Croatia would not play along with this.
13 However, Slobodan Milosevic's policies at the time were to refuse
14 Lord Carrington's plan, to turn it down, so the war was waged on with even
15 greater ferocity. Now that I've referred to the 17th of October, I must
16 point out that even back then it was clear to everyone that the operations
17 around Dubrovnik would not go as smoothly as has been promised initially.
18 Q. Taking you back for a moment: Did you know an individual named
19 Kristo Djurovic?
20 A. Yes. I knew Captain Kristo Djurovic. It's a naval rank
21 equivalent to colonel. He was the commander of the military naval
22 district of Boka Kotorska. Now that we've mentioned him, 10 or 15 days
23 before the hostilities, the 1st of October, he came to see me at my office
24 at Jugooceanija, in Kotor, and he was extremely worried. He told me that
25 a war would be launched against Croatia, of which he -- in which he did
1 not wish to take part. I refused to believe him, although there were
2 people who were telling me before the war that there would be a war very
3 soon, Hrvoje Kacic, Djurovic, Henri Wejnaendts. I refused to believe any
4 of these people that what eventually happened would happen.
5 Kristo Djurovic was killed. No light was shed on the exact circumstances
6 of his death. He died in fighting. I knew him to be an honest man and
7 that he refused to take part in fighting against Croatia.
8 Q. What was his nationality, if you know?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. He did not die in
11 A. Yes, I do know his nationality. He was Montenegrin.
12 MS. SOMERS:
13 Q. But against the -- against fighting?
14 A. He was a Montenegrin, but very much in favour of brotherhood with
15 the Croatian people, the Serbian people, and all the peoples of the former
16 Yugoslavia, and that was the spirit that he had been raised in. That was
17 the only way he was taught to think. We have two cases in Montenegro that
18 I was aware of. Admiral Barovic committed suicide in order to avoid
19 taking part in the war in Croatia. He killed himself. Kristo Djurovic
20 was killed, under circumstances of which we know nothing.
21 Q. You indicated he was killed. Who was he succeeded by? Who was
22 his successor?
23 A. Admiral Jokic was appointed as his successor, who had up to that
24 point been the defence minister of Serbia.
25 Q. Did you have any reason to speak to General Strugar during the
1 course of the campaign?
2 A. Yes. It so happened that once during the campaign - I think it
3 was in early November. I can't remember the exact date - three British
4 persons came to see me who had been sent by the authorities to go and see
5 me, and asked me to put them in touch with General Strugar. There was no
6 way for me to do that, nor did I know his whereabouts. I spoke to
7 Pavle Bulatovic, to see if he could put me in touch with General Strugar,
8 or rather, to act as some kind of liaison for the British officers, who
9 requested to meet General Strugar.
10 Pavle did everything within his power, and he established a link
11 between my office and the front line. Admiral Jokic was the one who
12 answered the phone. I didn't personally speak to General Strugar, but
13 Jokic told me the following: Standing next to me is General Strugar. And
14 he said that General Strugar could not see the British officers on the
15 front line but that he would be glad to see them once he was back in
17 That was the conversation we had over the phone, the conversation
18 with Admiral Jokic.
19 Q. Did you have any difficulty with the telephone communication? Was
20 it a clear communication?
21 A. It was quite clear. Admiral Jokic went on to speak about
22 something else immediately. He wasn't really interested in what those
23 British officers were after. Obviously, things were not going the way
24 they wanted them to go on the front line, and Admiral Jokic started asking
25 me about my opinion. This is what he said, exactly: Captain - because
1 that was the way he addressed me. I had the rank of captain, the naval
2 rank - "Captain, General Strugar and I want your opinion on this. Can we
3 organise a Dubrovnik republic?" And I said: "No, General. Under no
4 circumstances. Leave this well alone. No one in the wide world will
5 stand by and watch you establish any kind of Dubrovnik Republic, not as
6 part of Serbia, not as an independent state. Under no circumstances
7 whatsoever. You are completely deluded."
8 That's what I told him. That's what I told the admiral, and I
9 suppose he conveyed my message to General Strugar in this conversation.
10 Just by way of clarification: At this time, all the media, all
11 the printed media and the television - we're talking about the
12 establishment of the Dubrovnik Republic - the members of the national
13 party of Montenegro had been given the job of helping of authorities to
14 establish a Dubrovnik Republic.
15 Q. Did you have any additional conversations with General Strugar
16 while there was fighting going on in Dubrovnik?
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, please. Please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] The question is: Did you have any
21 additional conversations with General Strugar. Another conversation.
22 Which was the first conversation? There was no first conversation.
23 Please. The witness said who exactly he talked to, so how can we now have
24 a question like this?
25 MS. SOMERS:
1 Q. Mr. Samardzic --
2 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, perhaps I can rephrase it so that it's
3 indicated that General Strugar was the object of the conversation through
4 the intermediary, Jokic.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We have a conversation with Admiral Jokic in which
6 the witness made some assumption about the presence of General Strugar, is
7 the way I understand the evidence.
8 MS. SOMERS: I believe --
9 JUDGE PARKER: And I think it goes higher than that at the
11 MS. SOMERS:
12 Q. Did you make any other attempts to reach General Strugar during
13 the fighting?
14 A. No. No, I didn't. That was the first and only time I talked to
15 Jokic, and I'll repeat. He said, standing next to me is General Strugar.
16 We both want your opinion. These were the exact words he used: We want
17 your opinion on the possibility of organising a Dubrovnik Republic.
18 My answer was: Under no circumstances.
19 Q. When you say the first and only time you talked to Admiral Jokic,
20 do you mean in connection with being near a front?
21 A. Yes. Yes, near a front. I didn't make any phone calls to the
22 front, to anyone, not to General Strugar and not to Admiral Jokic. The
23 things took their course, natural course, and I had no further contact
24 with them. The war situation was worsening. Suddenly it was the 6th of
25 December, and I had other business given to me by the government, but I
1 had no further conversations with Admiral Jokic since. I knew Admiral
2 Jokic from before. We did meet a number of times, not too many times, but
3 we did meet several times. Prior to becoming defence minister of Serbia,
4 he had served in Boka Kotorska, and that was where we met. But I never
5 met General Strugar. I knew of him. I respected him. But I had no
6 personal contact with him.
7 Q. What was your understanding of how the conflict in Dubrovnik was
8 going? Was it perceived as successful?
9 A. That's what the propaganda said. However, it was a huge defeat
10 for the JNA. It was a huge defeat for Slobodan Milosevic's policy. It
11 was perfectly clear that perhaps Dubrovnik could have been taken by
12 military means but that the international community and Dubrovnik's
13 defence were strong enough, I mean the influence of the international
14 community and the town's defence were strong enough to repel any attacks.
15 One way or another, Dubrovnik would have been defended, and successfully
16 defended, in the end. This was a -- this spelled a defeat for
17 Slobodan Milosevic's policy and the course of action pursued by the JNA.
18 Q. Do you know anything about the morale of the Croatian side, the
19 mood, the morale?
20 A. The morale. I was not in contact with the Croatian military, but
21 what was clear, what you could see, is that the Croats were fighting.
22 They were defending themselves from aggression. Of course, the morale was
23 quite high on the Croatian side, especially in the area around Dubrovnik.
24 They were defending the town. There is nothing else to say about this.
25 Hrvoje Kacic was a Croatian official. He could have spirited his son away
1 so that his son would not have to take part in the fighting, and yet he
2 sent him to the front, to defend Dubrovnik from this aggression and from
3 this war. But there were other such examples, numerous.
4 Q. Are you able to tell us anything about the morale of the soldiers
5 from Montenegro, and perhaps if you know anything about other JNA force
7 A. I don't think the morale of the soldiers from Montenegro was much,
8 especially in view of the fact that a large number of soldiers were
9 allowed to loot, to torch. You can hardly speak of morale in situations
10 like that. What was being done -- what was being done in Konavle was a
11 great shame for the JNA, it's an ignominy for Montenegro. The morale was
12 certainly low.
13 I do not hereby wish to say that all the soldiers who were on the
14 Dubrovnik front were like that, that all of them were looting and
15 committing crimes. However, the best part of them did commit these acts,
16 and this shame, this blemish, will stay on the face of Montenegro forever.
17 Acts of looting were carried out. First the local population had fled to
18 the town of Dubrovnik itself from the area, and then the soldiers would
19 come and loot the houses. In order to cover their tracks, they would just
20 burn -- they would just set fire to the houses and torch the houses. If
21 you look at the photographs of Konavle after the houses had been torched,
22 the area looks frightening, terrifying. There were bands, groups of
23 soldiers, marauding the area, taking things away from houses and taking
24 them back to Montenegro. So there were individual crimes being committed,
25 but it was also organised.
1 Q. Thank you for that. May I ask you, though: Let's return to
2 Dubrovnik. Do you know if -- or the nature of the weaponry that was
3 available to forces under the JNA? In other words, do you know what type
4 of weapons?
5 A. They had all the weapons that the JNA had. The JNA was a
6 well-equipped army. It was, in terms of its strength, probably the third
7 strongest or the fourth strongest army in Europe. They had tanks. They
8 had modern weapons, helicopters, cannon, and all of this was used in the
9 Dubrovnik theatre of war. They were certainly not short of ammunition or
10 weapons, and this was used against Dubrovnik.
11 Q. Do you know how close the weapons came to the city of Dubrovnik?
12 That's part one. And then, if you're able to tell us, how close, if you
13 know, weapons may have come to the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
14 A. I can only judge on the basis of reports and TV coverage. It was
15 very close. What was shown on TV, it was within a stone's throw of the
16 Old Town. There were artillery weapons being used to target Dubrovnik,
17 and at the same time, Dubrovnik was being targeted from the sea, from
18 ships. It was all around the town. However, the JNA never entered the
19 town itself. Rijeka Dubrovacka, for example, which is a suburb of
20 Dubrovnik, the JNA held Rijeka Dubrovacka at one point and were about to
21 enter Gruz. So that Dubrovnik was completely surrounded from all sides.
22 Q. Returning for one moment to the question of morale. Are you
23 aware -- were there ever any desertions brought to your attention,
24 desertions brought by forces under the JNA control?
25 A. Of course, yes. I can testify about the following two cases which
1 occurred. I can personally testify about this. A group of 15 or 20
2 soldiers came to see me at my office in Podgorica who had deserted from
3 the front. They had fled the front. And they asked my assistance in
4 helping them to get away from the military police. They knew about my
5 political convictions and they asked me to help them. I was in no
6 position to save their hides, obviously, but what I advised them to do was
7 to go back home and lie low until the whole thing blew over.
8 Another case of desertion, another group of between 15 to 20
9 soldiers had come from the front straight to my office at Jugooceanija,
10 telling me that they refused to fight against Croatia and to fight against
11 Dubrovnik, because those people had never harmed them in any way. They
12 told me about the situation on the front, how they had spent the whole
13 night in the rain with no tents to use.
14 So there were a number of these things happening. On the other
15 hand, you did have large numbers of people who were willing to fight, who
16 were eager to fight, because they believed Yugoslavia was in danger. They
17 had been misled by propaganda. They sincerely believed that the Ustasha
18 would attack us and that we should defend ourselves. So the overwhelming
19 majority of those soldiers obeyed order from their command. They were
20 there on the front, after all.
21 And yet there was a lot of discontent felt by soldiers on the
22 front. There was no way to disguise this fact. I know that
23 Momir Bulatovic reviewed troops and spoke to the troops and he said
24 whoever wishes to leave may do so now. And a number of soldiers did
25 leave, who at that time refused to fight. There were case of resistance
1 in Montenegro. Therefore, you can't say that all the Montenegrins
2 attacked Dubrovnik. There were many, many Montenegrins who were against
3 the war, who were against attacking Dubrovnik.
4 Q. Did there come a point in time where it may have appeared that the
5 goals of the campaign could not be achieved?
6 A. Yes. As far as I remember, there were some negotiations. There
7 were ceasefires, cessation of hostilities, on a temporary basis, and it
8 became obvious that Dubrovnik could not be taken just like that, without
9 great damage done to the international reputation of the former
10 Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia, as such, no longer existed at the time. But I'm
11 talking about potential damage to the people who were then in power. It
12 became clear that it wasn't possible to avoid massive destruction of the
13 town of Dubrovnik itself, unless hostilities ceased. So as far as I
14 remember, hostilities did cease for a while, and were then, after a period
15 of time, resumed.
16 Q. Do you know what the attitude of military leadership was toward
17 ceasing hostilities in Dubrovnik?
18 A. For me to say specifically what their attitude was, I don't think
19 I can. I believe that for a while they complied with the ceasefire, but
20 then resumed military operations after a certain time. What exactly their
21 considerations were, I can't say, but there was a cessation of hostilities
22 for a while, not for too long, I believe. At that time, Hrvoje Kacic flew
23 over to Titograd for negotiations but was not successful, because no
24 generals and no representatives of the Montenegrin authorities were
25 willing to receive him, to see him. Therefore, I can't say anything
1 specific about the attitudes of the military leaders. I can only tell you
2 about what happened.
3 Q. Do you know, perhaps, or was it brought to your attention, the
4 attitude of Minister of Defence, Bozidar Babic, about cessation of
5 hostilities, if you know?
6 A. Bozidar Babic is a general. I think he became a general then. He
7 was very nationalistic and he said that one should fight to the end. I
8 don't think, however, that he was particularly influential in the army. I
9 was not really privy to military circles; therefore, I was in no position
10 to know. His rhetoric was very nationalistic, and he expressed great
11 hate, hatred, for the Ustasha. He was one of the hawks, one of the people
12 who incited others to keep on fighting to final victory. However, when it
13 became clear that defeat was imminent, he calmed down a little bit.
14 Q. Do you know of a person named Bozidar Vucurevic?
15 A. Yes, I do know the person. I only met him once, when he came to
17 Q. Who was he? Who was he?
18 A. He was a lorry driver, a driver, who came to the forefront during
19 the operation around Dubrovnik, and later he became mayor of the town of
20 Trebinje. He is a hard-liner, a hawk.
21 Q. Where is Trebinje? Where is Trebinje?
22 A. Trebinje is a town north/north-east of Dubrovnik. The distance is
23 24 kilometres. There's a local road that takes you from Dubrovnik to
25 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, is this a convenient time, or is there
1 something you'd like to finish?
2 MS. SOMERS: If I could just finish on the subject of
3 Mr. Vucurevic, then I would be -- I would ask to break. Thank you.
4 Q. Are you aware of any particular attitude that Mr. Vucurevic held
5 toward Dubrovnik, and particularly during the time of this conflict?
6 A. Regrettably, he was familiar with the fact that there would be an
7 attack, and he was making jokes about it, that he would be in Dubrovnik to
8 have coffee on the 1st of October, on the main street. The mayor of
9 Dubrovnik, Petar Poljanic, can confirm this. He said he was the tourism
10 person and would run tourism the way he saw fit and when he saw fit. It
11 was in this sense that he developed his own political activity as a
12 half-literate peasant who was suddenly was given an opportunity to attack
13 Dubrovnik and to demolish it.
14 Q. When you mentioned he would run tourism, what would be his
15 relationship to tourism? Why did you mention that?
16 A. To target the hotels whenever he saw fit. That's probably what he
17 had in mind, to destroy Dubrovnik. He displayed obvious hatred of
18 Dubrovnik. He was one of those who, on many an occasion, displayed hatred
19 for Dubrovnik, and he used every possible opportunity to show that his
20 time had now come. He was an advocate of Chetnik ideology of the Greater
21 Serbia. He said that the Ustasha should be punished, and that's what he
22 based his activity around Dubrovnik on.
23 Q. When you say - and I will finish with this particular theme - when
24 you say that he -- let me just make sure. I'll read it back. You
25 mentioned hotels, to target the hotels whenever he saw fit. Can you
1 explain that? What did you mean by that, and what would be the impact of
2 doing something like that? Why would you have made that comment?
3 A. He simply hated Dubrovnik. He couldn't bear the fact that people
4 from Dubrovnik had a personal income of $15,000 per capita, which in his
5 case was as little as 500 or 300 dollars. So this was the reason he hated
6 Dubrovnik, with all his might, which he showed very clearly. He said he
7 would build an even older Dubrovnik, a new one but even older. Those were
8 the words he used. This was the well-known old Chetnik nationalistic
9 propaganda. He was deeply convinced that his time had come, that the time
10 had come for him and the likes of him, and he acted accordingly. It was
11 well known how he baptised Muslims.
12 Q. Mr. Samardzic, do you know how far or what the distance is between
13 Trebinje and Dubrovnik?
14 A. Yes, I do. 24 kilometres. A local road, not a bad one, had been
15 built in the former Yugoslavia, and people from Trebinje went to the beach
16 in Dubrovnik. It was a day-trip for them. It was just a short hop. It
17 was quite usual for people from Trebinje to have coffee in Dubrovnik on
18 the main street, and the two towns were well-connected. People from
19 Trebinje felt that Dubrovnik was also theirs, in a way. Many of them
20 worked in Dubrovnik and drove back home the same day. Now there's nothing
21 like that going on any more.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Somers. We will have to ask you to
23 come back tomorrow, Mr. Samardzic. We will be adjourning now for the
25 Was there any matter that needed to be raised, Mr. Petrovic?
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes. Our expert was
2 working today, and the way in which this work was organised is such that
3 she has succeeded and completed most of her tasks. There are still things
4 that remain to be done tomorrow; however, that would only require 45
5 minutes more than you said the other day when we discussed this.
6 Therefore, we would request, if possible, that the hearing tomorrow
7 commence at 1500 hours and not at a quarter past 2.00. These 45 minutes
8 would suffice for us to complete all the necessary procedures concerning
9 the medical examination of our client. This is our request. We don't
10 think it's a particularly ambitious request, and we do not believe that
11 this would jeopardise the course of our work here in Court. That's all I
12 have to say.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Can you give an indication of how long your
14 cross-examination of the present witness is likely to be?
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Your Honour, if I
17 [Defence counsel confer]
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it will certainly not
19 be longer than the examination-in-chief by the OTP. It may well prove
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that.
22 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, would it help you to know how much more
23 we have to go?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it would.
25 MS. SOMERS: There are I think another three to four exhibits, one
1 of which is a video, lasting -- I'll be conservative, two to three, plus a
2 video. The video runs approximately -- we won't have it run its whole
3 time. I'm afraid Ms. McCreath said 30 minutes. I don't think so.
4 But -- and then a bit more of examination to accompany it, but I don't
5 anticipate, other than whatever time it needs to present the exhibits, I
6 do not anticipate a lot of additional material to be brought up. Redirect
7 would, of course, just simply depend.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I think it would seem unlikely, then, that we could
9 be confident of finishing the witness tomorrow. That's my concern.
10 Whatever time we started, given the time that has gone already.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE PARKER: In view of the unusual situation, we are prepared
13 to accept your request, Mr. Petrovic, that there should be a delayed start
14 tomorrow, commencing at 3.00 rather than 2.15. May we encourage you to
15 try, in view of that - you or Mr. Rodic, whichever it will be - to
16 conclude the cross-examination in the course of tomorrow.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for your
18 understanding, Your Honour. We'll do our best to do as you have just
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, then. We will adjourn until 3.00
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of
24 January 2004, at 3.00 p.m.