1 Wednesday, 21 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 3.40 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. We understand, Ms. Somers, there's
6 been a difficulty with the witness, who is part heard.
7 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Mr. President. That's correct. We were
8 informed by the witness unit this afternoon that Mr. Samardzic is unwell
9 and will not be able to attend today's session. As a result, we mobilised
10 quickly to get the other -- the next witness on the list available. The
11 Defence has been very cooperative. We appreciate the understanding of a
12 situation beyond all our control. And I believe, if the Chamber so
13 approves, the Prosecution, along with Defence's agreement, would be to
14 present the live - I'm sorry - the direct examination,
15 examination-in-chief, of Mr. Grubisic, who would be the next one, and then
16 defer until tomorrow. Perhaps the later start also doesn't necessarily
17 make it a big problem, but we regret that this happened, and there's
18 simply nothing we could accommodate with.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Could I indicate that it is possible that we
20 may have to finish a little earlier tomorrow. I mention that now because
21 of what is a growing complexity in your planning of witnesses. We seem to
22 be getting an increasing number of part-heard witnesses. And if it should
23 become relevant, don't feel that you have to have available a witness who
24 can commence in the last hour or hour and a half of tomorrow, if that will
25 help you in your planning. It's a little indefinite yet what the position
1 will be, but the likelihood is that we will need to finish earlier than
2 the normal 7.00 tomorrow.
3 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, can I also just ask: If -- well, VWU
4 should probably contact us fairly early, but because the situation can
5 remain somewhat volatile between the first report of okay, if it's the
6 case, and a later time, we will try to stay in the loop amongst this
7 triangle. And if there's any change, we'll make sure that you know as
8 soon as we know, or vice versa, if you learn first.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Yes.
10 Now, Mr. Petrovic, it's proposed now to interrupt the evidence of
11 the ill witness and to lead the evidence in chief of Mr. Grubisic. Is
12 that a matter that you're in a position to cope with at this stage?
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We are aware of
14 the problem, and we appreciate it, and we are prepared, whenever
15 Your Honour so orders, to begin our cross-examination of
16 Witness Samardzic, of course, after Ms. Somers completes her
18 With regard to the witness Grubisic, bearing in mind the
19 expeditiousness of the trial, we are prepared for this witness to be
20 examined in direct examination today and to cross-examine this witness
21 tomorrow. It would be very useful for us to know whether this is the plan
22 or whether there is any possibility of Mr. Samardzic coming back tomorrow.
23 Am I asking something that is hard to establish at the present time? If
24 it isn't, then -- or if it is, I would like to know when we will find out
25 whether Mr. Samardzic is able to testify tomorrow or not, and for how
1 long, in view of his health and the number of questions that the
2 cross-examination will have to cover of Mr. Samardzic. And also, bearing
3 in mind what Your Honour has said, that tomorrow the session might end
5 We would like to establish some sort of mechanism as to when we
6 will learn what is to follow. This is our only request. And we will be
7 as cooperative as possible in this whole matter.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much for your indications,
9 Mr. Petrovic. As I understand the position from Ms. Somers, the
10 availability of Mr. Samardzic will depend upon his health. It is not yet
11 known whether he will be well enough to attend tomorrow. It is our
12 expectation that as soon as he is well enough, he will be here for his
13 cross-examination. So if you can remain in a state of preparation for his
15 With the witness Mr. Grubisic, I understand from you now that you
16 are not today ready to cross-examine him, but if you could be prepared by
17 tomorrow to cross-examine him. It is not yet clear, and it can't be clear
18 today, whether it will be Mr. Samardzic or Mr. Grubisic, or perhaps even
19 both, who will be available tomorrow. But if we could ask you to be ready
20 to deal with one or other of them, or both of them, tomorrow.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as our
22 preparedness is concerned, we will be prepared, but I'm not sure we will
23 have sufficient time to do both in the course of tomorrow. However, we
24 will be prepared to do this tomorrow.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Yes, we fully appreciate that
1 to deal with both may be expecting too much, especially as the Chamber may
2 well need to finish early, as I have indicated. But your need to be
3 prepared should be to be prepared to cross-examine either or both
4 Mr. Samardzic or Mr. Grubisic, because we can't be sure today whether or
5 not Mr. Samardzic will be well enough tomorrow to attend Court.
6 Well, thank you for that. Now, if you could proceed with the next
7 witness, Ms. Somers.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE PARKER: If Mr. Grubisic could take the affirmation.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: SLAVKO GRUBISIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE PARKER: Please be seated, Mr. Grubisic.
15 Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 May I proceed, Your Honour?
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
19 Examined by Mr. Weiner:
20 Q. Good afternoon, sir, could you state your name, please.
21 A. Slavko Grubisic.
22 Q. Could you tell us where you live.
23 A. In Dubrovnik, Celestin Medovica Street number 4, and for four
24 years now I have occasionally been going to the island of Sipan over the
25 weekend, Saturday, Sunday, and Mondays.
1 Q. Sir, could you tell us how old you are and your date of birth.
2 A. 65, the 22nd of May, 1938.
3 Q. And could you tell us: How are you employed, sir?
4 A. I am a priest.
5 Q. Of what religion, sir?
6 A. Roman Catholic.
7 Q. And could you tell us how you're currently serving as a Roman
8 Catholic priest.
9 A. On the island of Sipan as I have already said, I spend three days
10 there, and the rest of the time I'm in Dubrovnik.
11 Q. How long have you been a priest, sir?
12 A. Forty years. Last summer I celebrated my 40th anniversary,
13 because I was ordained in 1963.
14 Q. Could you tell us what your first assignment was in 1963?
15 A. My first assignment was as a catechist in Dubrovnik.
16 Q. And what is a catechist?
17 A. A teacher of religion, of religious education. I taught religious
18 education. At that time it was not taught in schools but only in the
20 Q. Did you also serve as a rector at that time?
21 A. I was not a parish priest, but I was appointed rector of four
22 churches in the Old Town in Dubrovnik, St. Joseph, St. Rocco, St. Domino,
23 and the church of St. Nicholas.
24 Q. Sir, let's talk about those churches, just briefly. Let's start
25 off with St. Joseph's. Could you tell us where that's located in the Old
2 A. In the Od Puca Street, but there is no number, because churches do
3 not have house numbers.
4 Q. Right. Could you tell us when the church was built,
6 A. On the spot where the church of St. Joseph stands today, there was
7 appear church previously. I think it was St. James. But in 1667, it was
8 destroyed in an earthquake, and after that, the present-day church of
9 St. Joseph was built. Therefore, it dates back to the seventeenth
11 Q. Could you tell us how the church of St. Joseph has been used since
13 A. It was used when there was a larger number of priests, to
14 celebrate mass once a week. Now it is used only occasionally, because
15 there are fewer priests available, so that usually funeral services are
16 held there. Sometimes once a week or several times a week, and sometimes
17 weeks will go by without any mass being celebrated there.
18 Q. All right. Let us move on to St. Rocco church. Could you tell us
19 what street that's on in the Old Town?
20 A. It's in the street that is named after St. Rocco. It's called Za
22 Q. And could you tell us when that church was built?
23 A. It was also built -- well, it was built in the sixteenth century,
24 a little earlier than the other one.
25 Q. And how was that used at this time, or how has it been used since
2 A. In 1979, there was an earthquake in Dubrovnik, and this church was
3 damaged in the earthquake. After this, because the cathedral had also
4 been damaged, many objects from the cathedral were removed to this church.
5 So that since 1979, it has not been used as a church, to celebrate mass or
6 religious services, but as a storage area for the remains of the old altar
7 from the cathedral and other church furniture.
8 Q. Let us move to Church Domino. Could you tell us where that's
9 located in the Old Town?
10 A. It is in the Od Domina Street at the top of Siroka Street.
11 Q. And where was that first built?
12 A. This church was mentioned as early as the twelfth century, but
13 later on it was demolished and rebuilt, but it actually dates back to the
14 twelfth century.
15 Q. And since 1991, how has that church been used?
16 A. It is used only at Christmas, because Christmas masses are
17 celebrated there, at Christmastime, over a 15-day period. Local tambure
18 musicians play there and sing traditional Christmas carols and I can tell
19 you that at Christmastime this is the most frequently visited church in
20 Dubrovnik, although it's not large. During the rest of the year it's used
21 to hold religious education classes or various meetings.
22 Q. Now let's move to the final of the four churches that you served
23 as a rector beginning in 1963. The church of St. Nikola, could you tell
24 us where that's located in the Old Town?
25 A. The church of St. Nicholas is in Prijeko Street.
1 Q. And when that was constructed or built?
2 A. This is one of the oldest churches. The first church was
3 mentioned in the eleventh century, and after the earthquake in 1979, it
4 was restored and excavated, and a church was found, which is now
5 underneath the floor, which dates back to the eleventh century. This
6 church was rebuilt several times, I think three times.
7 Q. And how was that church used, and how has it been used since 1991,
9 A. The church is used for mass or liturgy only on the holiday of
10 St. Nicholas on the 6th of December. During the rest of the year it's
11 used for choir practice by the cathedral choir.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, in October of 1991, were you living at
13 Celestina Medovica Street number 4?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who else was living in that building?
16 A. Besides myself, on the floor below, because this building has two
17 floors, a basement and an attic, the first two floors were used by the
18 late Don Ante Dracevac and I lived on the second floor.
19 Q. And when you say Ante Dracevac, is that Father Dracevac?
20 A. [No interpretation]
21 Q. And who was living with you on the second floor, I believe?
22 A. He was a priest like me. I didn't understand your question well.
23 Q. That was my question, whether or not he was a priest. Sorry about
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 Q. Sir, who else was living with you in the apartment in October of
3 A. On the 1st of October, or rather, the day before, I received a
4 phone call from a friend and colleague of mine, the late Don Milan Majic,
5 who was a parish priest in Brgat and Postranje. He told me that his
6 village was being shelled, and asked if he could come and stay with me.
7 My niece, Marija Lemo who lived in Mlini also asked if she could come and
8 stay with me, because she couldn't sleep because of the shelling. I told
9 them to come.
10 Don Milan arrived, so did my niece, her husband Ante, and their
11 three daughters. She also brought two other families with them, a Serbian
12 family, Dusko Tomovic, his wife Slavka and their two sons, and also the
13 Mioc family. The wife's name was Angela. She was a Serb. And her
14 husband was called Vinko. And their two children. There were 15 of us
15 all together.
16 Q. Why weren't these people living in their own homes, sir?
17 A. Because shelling had started, and they came to stay with me,
18 hoping to go back to their homes. But unfortunately, they were no longer
19 able to return home, and so they stayed with me, all of them, for over a
20 month. And only later, when the siege of Dubrovnik was lifted, did the
21 women and children leave the town and leave in the direction of Split.
22 The men stayed in the house, together with Slavka Tomovic, the Serb lady,
23 and her husband Dusko, while their sons, in the meantime, had joined the
24 HVO. The women and children left for Split.
25 Q. Now, could you tell us what the HVO is, sir?
1 A. The Croatian army, I suppose.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. The Croatian Defence Council, or something like that.
4 Q. Now, in addition to yourself, were there other residents in the
5 Old Town who took in refugees that were friends or relatives?
6 A. Yes. There were some people like that, but not so many in the Old
7 Town, because the houses were not large enough. People received their
8 families and friends, but most of the refugees from Mlini, Mandaljina,
9 Brgat, and Postranje, came to the hotels.
10 Q. Now, let's talk about October and the happenings to the Old Town.
11 Could you talk about what happened to the power in October?
12 A. On the 1st of October, in the morning, we heard shelling and
13 gunfire. On that day, there was a power failure because the transformer
14 station in Komolac had been hit. There was also no water, because the
15 water depends on the electricity. The relay on Srdj was also hit, so that
16 we no longer had communications.
17 Q. You also mentioned a siege. Was Dubrovnik under siege during the
18 month of October?
19 A. Yes. Both from the land and the sea and the air. We were
20 besieged on all sides. Our bishop, in the letters he sent out in those
21 days, referred to Dubrovnik as the largest concentration camp in the world
22 because it had about 60.000 inhabitants at the time.
23 Q. And when you say Dubrovnik, you're referring to the full
24 municipality, not just the Old Town, the 60.000 inhabitants?
25 A. The Old Town, Lapad, Gruz, and Dubrovnik proper. The entire
1 municipality has about -- well, I'm talking to the -- about the diocese,
2 actually. The diocese has about 70.000 people, believers. But I think
3 Dubrovnik has 35.000, but very many refugees had gathered in the town.
4 Q. Now, sir, can you tell the Court: Was the Old Town of Dubrovnik
5 shelled in October of 1991?
6 A. Excuse me. Could you please repeat your question.
7 Q. Sure. Was the Old Town of Dubrovnik shelled in 1991, October?
8 A. Yes. Yes, it was. This happened on the 5th of October.
9 Don Milan Majic and I went to the Lero hotel, where refugees were
10 accommodated, mostly from his parish. On our way back, the shelling
11 began, and we took shelter, as far as we were able to. There was an air
12 raid warning being sounded. And when we came to the entrance to the town,
13 for the first time I saw that the Spile [as interpreted] Gate leading to
14 the town was closed. In the 40 years I had lived in Dubrovnik, that gate
15 had never been closed. We went in through a small opening in the gate,
16 and we noticed that shrapnel was falling.
17 When we took shelter in the cellar, after the shelling, we saw
18 that the Rupe museum had been hit and a building in Rudjer Boskova Street.
19 No. I apologise. Yes, yes, it was Rudjer Boskova Street, because there
20 is also a Rudjer Boskovic square, so that was the reason for my confusion.
21 But it was in Rudjer Boskovic Street in Prijeko. We refer to it locally
22 as the Od Bruze [phoen] Street because there's an exit from the town
23 leading from there. There are only three exits from the town.
24 Q. Sir, let's take them one building at a time. First the Rupe
25 museum. Where was it hit?
1 A. The roof was hit.
2 Q. And the building on Rudjer Boskovica Street, where was that hit?
3 A. That building was hit sideways, just above the windows.
4 Q. Okay. Now, on the transcript, it says "the Spile gate". Is that
5 "Pile," Pile gate?
6 A. Yes, Pile.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, you had been outside when the shelling began,
8 sir. Did you see any Croatian troops in the Old Town while the shelling
9 was occurring in October?
10 A. I'm sorry. I didn't understand the first question. Was I where?
11 Q. You were outdoors when the shelling began, coming back from the
12 hotel Lero?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you observe any Croatian troops in the Old Town when the
15 shelling was occurring?
16 A. Not only did I observe no troops, I never saw any troops inside
17 the Old Town, or outside the walls, for that matter. There were no
18 Croatian soldiers around at the time. It was only later that some
19 soldiers came over. But at that time there were no soldiers around.
20 Q. Did you see any artillery pieces or mortars in the Old Town in
21 October of 1991?
22 A. Not only did I not see any at that time, but never. I've been in
23 Dubrovnik for 40 years, and I had been to school for five years before
24 that. I never saw any weapons inside the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
25 Q. And finally, did you see anyone firing any type of weapon or
1 object from the Old Town, firing out from the Old Town in October of 1991?
2 A. Never.
3 Q. Let us move to November of 1991. Was there any shelling of the
4 Old Town in the month of November?
5 A. Yes. There were four days of general alert. I believe it was on
6 the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th of November. Not many shells fell on the
7 Old Town, though, in those four days, although the general alert was on
8 and life was difficult because we had to spend those four days in our
9 cellars, and we lacked the basic means of subsistence in those days.
10 Q. Now, during that time period, I'm again going to ask you if you
11 saw any troops or artillery or mortars in the Old Town in November of
13 A. No, never.
14 Q. Did you ever see any police officers in the Old Town?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And how were they armed?
17 A. They were armed, as policemen usually are. They were carrying
18 pistols. It was only once, though, that I saw, at Porporela, two police
19 officers who were sort of standing guard there, and they had automatic
21 Q. Let's go back to the first officers that you saw. How often did
22 you see officers, police officers, in the Old Town?
23 A. Well, the usual thing, the sort of thing that police do in any
24 other town. They just go about their regular duties.
25 Q. Were there many police officers in the Old Town?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Now, on that one occasion you saw two police officers with rifles,
3 were those local officers? Did you know them?
4 A. Yes, I did. Those were the same ones who were there before.
5 Q. And were they firing those rifles?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And you said you saw them at Porporela. Is that the pensioners'
8 building out in the harbour?
9 A. You have the town harbour, and there are two piers. The big pier
10 is used for ships to dock, and probably those two were standing guard
11 there to prevent any ships from docking, one of the ships that were
12 blocking us. There was not much they could do there. They were just
13 there for some sort of basic security, nothing else, I assume.
14 Q. All right. Let us move to December of 1991. You're still living
15 at the Old Town, in that same home?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, on or about -- or actually, let me step back. How did you
18 receive your daily information in the Old Town?
19 A. As I've said, there was no electricity, no power, but we did have
20 radio sets, and we listened to Radio Dubrovnik, to news on Radio
22 Q. Now, did you hear any announcements on or about the 5th of
23 December, 1991? Tell the Chamber, please.
24 A. Yes. The news said that our negotiators had left for Cavtat to
25 negotiate with the JNA. It was said that an agreement had been reached
1 about a ceasefire, and we were very glad and pleasantly surprised to hear
3 Q. Did they say whether or not it had been signed, this agreement?
4 A. They said it had not been signed yet but that it would be signed.
5 Q. Did they say why the agreement hadn't been signed?
6 A. Truth to tell, I can't quite remember now why. I don't think I
7 can answer this question with any degree of precision whatsoever. I don't
9 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, let's move to the next day, December
10 6th. Does that have any significance to you for any religious purpose?
11 A. Of course it does. That's St. Nikola's Day. As I said before
12 when we spoke about the church of St. Nicholas, we have mass in that
13 church on that day. This is the only day in the entire year when mass is
14 celebrated in that church. I happened to be the rector of that church.
15 There was supposed to be mass celebrated at 7, 8, 9, 10.00, 11.00, 12.00,
16 and at 5.00 in the afternoon.
17 Q. Is that a festive day? Do a lot of people attend mass on that
19 A. It's not a mandatory holiday, not a holiday of obligation. This
20 has to do with sailors, St. Nicholas being the patron saint of sailors.
21 St. Nicholas Day is especially important for children. It is their day,
22 when children receive presents.
23 Q. You said that masses were scheduled for -- several masses for
24 scheduled for that date. Was there any announcement?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Where was it announced that masses would be scheduled on that
3 A. This was announced. We usually announce this while celebrating
4 mass, with a week's notice. But as this is a holiday for all, I made -- I
5 asked the radio station to announce this with a week's notice, that mass
6 would be celebrated. So Radio Dubrovnik announced what would take place.
7 Q. Now, let's move to December 6th. Can you tell us where you were
8 in the early morning hours, about 5.00, 6.00 a.m.
9 A. I was in bed.
10 Q. And did something happen?
11 A. About half past 5.00 - I can't be certain about the exact time. I
12 think it was about half past 5.00 - heavy firing began. My friend and I,
13 and all the other people who were in my house, we got up, and as you can
14 see the Imperial hotel and the Pile gate from my window, the one we
15 referred to, we saw shells falling on the hotel and on the Dubrovnik cafe.
16 We sprang to our feet immediately, threw some clothes on, and ran down to
17 the cellar.
18 Q. Now, sir, you said the Imperial hotel was shelled.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is the Imperial hotel located within the Old Town?
21 A. No.
22 Q. How far is the Imperial hotel from the walls of the Old Town?
23 A. Well, less than a hundred metres, I think.
24 Q. And what about the Dubrovka [sic] Cafe by the gate?
25 A. The Dubrovnik cafe. Ten metres, perhaps. Ten to fifteen.
1 Q. Now, you said you ran down to the cellar. How long did you stay
2 in the cellar?
3 A. We stayed while the shelling continued. It stopped at about 3.00
4 in the afternoon.
5 Q. Did you go outside prior to 3.00, while the shelling was
7 A. You couldn't even keep your eyes open, let alone leave the cellar.
8 Let me just illustrate this. There was a shell that hit the monastery of
9 the friars, or Little Brethren, and there is an old chemists' which was
10 about ten metres from ours. We had a candle that provided light for us in
11 the cellars. The explosion was so strong that it blew the flame out.
12 Therefore, it was entirely impossible for us to even ponder the
13 possibility of leaving the cellar and coming out.
14 Q. Could you hear the explosions as you remained in the cellar
15 between 6.00 and 3.00 p.m.
16 A. Even a deaf man would have heard.
17 Q. Now, about 3.00 p.m., the shelling stops. What do you do?
18 A. Well, the first thing we did was come out to see what was going
19 on, to have a look.
20 Q. What did you observe?
21 A. We observed that there was smoke in the whole town. The town was
22 shrouded in smoke. The nearby building where the headquarters of the
23 Dubrovnik festival were - this is at the bottom of my street, just that
24 you approach it from a different street, from the Zigurate street - we saw
25 that this building was on fire.
1 Q. Is that building known as the Festival Palace?
2 A. I believe so. The Festival Palace, yes.
3 Q. What did you do?
4 A. The men started out. We had a ladder. We shattered the window
5 and entered the building. The attic was on fire inside the building, we
6 realised. Two men got into the building through the window, and they were
7 passing things from the building through the window, for us to take them
8 away, mostly technical appliances or paintings, pieces of furniture. We
9 were able to salvage a number of different things from inside the house.
10 They were grateful to us later for having done what we did.
11 Q. What did you do with this property that you removed from the
12 Festival Palace?
13 A. We put them away in my cellar.
14 Q. Were you able to remove all the property from that building and
15 save it?
16 A. No, not all.
17 Q. Why is that?
18 A. Just some. We couldn't, for the simple reason that shelling
19 resumed soon after. There was a lull, which lasted between 3.00 and 5.00,
20 and then shelling resumed and we ran back to the cellar.
21 Q. Now, you returned to the cellar, and do you remain there for a
23 A. Yes. We remained until as late as 8.00, when the shelling
25 Q. What did do you after that?
1 A. In the meantime, I forgot to say, my house had been hit also. The
2 roof was hit by a shell. The diameter of the hole was about four metres,
3 the hole in the roof. The roof had caved in. After that, at about
4 8.00 p.m., we came out, reached the bottom of the street, where, as I said
5 a while ago, the Festival building is. It was still on fire. On the
6 ground floor of that building, there is a cafe, a coffee house, called
7 Manon. Some other people from the building had arrived in the meantime
8 and started to take things out from the cafe, and they started leaving
9 these things outside on the main street, on Stradun to keep these things
10 from burning down.
11 Q. And did you help these people with removing the property?
12 A. Yes. I helped. Mr. Djelo Jusic, who is a local composer, was
13 also around, and he helped too. There were quite a number of us there
14 giving a hand. I think some even recorded the scene with their cameras.
15 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that a shell had fallen through your roof
16 and left a four-metre-diameter hole.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How do you know it was a shell that went through the roof, or a
19 projectile of some type?
20 A. I know because we found -- I'm not sure what you call that. I
21 think you call it the tail of the shell. It was a low-calibre shell.
22 That's what I was told. I preserved it. It was an 82-millimetre shell.
23 Because you have that bigger kind of shell too, with greater destructive
24 power, which I believe is 120 millimetres. This was a lower-calibre
25 shell. Otherwise it would have gone straight down to the cellar. And
1 this way, it only damaged the roof.
2 Q. Now, I just want to make it clear for the record: Your house and
3 the Festival Palace, those are both within the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, while you were outside on those two occasions on December
6 6th, did you see any Croatian soldiers or artillery or mortars firing out
7 of the Old Town?
8 A. Never. As I said before, not only did I not see anyone on that
9 day, but not ever, not once.
10 Q. Did you ever see anyone firing from the walls or firing out of the
11 Old Town?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Sir, let us move on to December 7th. Did you walk through the
14 Old Town on December 7th?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What time did you begin your tour of the Old Town on the 7th of
18 A. At about 8.00.
19 Q. And where did you go?
20 A. I went through almost the entire town.
21 Q. And what did you observe as you started to walk?
22 A. I must say that this was one of the most difficult moments in my
23 life. I cried like a child once I had surveyed everything. First when I
24 reached Stradun, I saw debris lying around, roof tiles, shattered glass,
25 rubble. There was hardly space for you to walk amid the rubble. The
1 whole street was littered, the main street, Stradun. The situation was
2 more or less the same throughout the town.
3 Q. Did you visit the churches that you served as rector in, those
4 four churches?
5 A. Yes. I visited the four churches and everything else: The
6 cathedral, St. Blaze's church, and all the other churches, all of them.
7 Not only the churches. I saw a lot of things.
8 Q. Let's start on your tour of Dubrovnik on that morning. Which
9 church did you visit first?
10 A. When I first left Stradun I took Siroka Ulica, Siroka Street. The
11 first thing I saw was terrifying. There was a palace where Ivo Grbic, a
12 painter, lives, and this palace had been gutted and totally burned down.
13 Then you have the All Saints church, a bit further on down the street. I
14 looked at the church, and it was a terrifying sight, a dreadful sight. A
15 shell had fallen just outside the church, destroying the steps in front of
16 the church. Two of the side windows had been broken through and shattered
17 completely. The rose window above the portal, the round window above the
18 portal, the diameter must be between 150 and 180 centimetres, so the rose
19 window had been totally demolished. The door to the church was still in
20 place, but, as I said, a shell had destroyed the steps, and the door was
21 pimpled with shrapnel.
22 Once I went inside the church, I saw that a shell had hit the
23 roof. I couldn't see a hole in the roof, but I saw the results down on
24 the floor. The shell had penetrated through the roof and hit the floor
25 and damaged the floor.
1 Q. Now, sir, were there any windows on that building, other than the
2 round window over the door?
3 A. As I said before, there were two windows, and both window had been
4 shattered completely, thrown off the hinges and completely useless.
5 Q. Now, you indicated that it was the All Saints church. Is that
6 also the Domino church? Is that also called the Domino church?
7 A. The name of the church is actually Domino, which is short for Deo
8 et omnibus sanctis, All Saints. So Domino is just short for Deo et
9 omnibus sanctis, God and All Saints. We all refer to it as the Domino
11 Q. Now, what about the walls to the building? Was there any shrapnel
12 damage or shell damage to the walls of the Domino church?
13 A. Yes. The portal of the church, because the steps had been
14 demolished, and you can still see traces. I was never asked the question,
15 but later, later on - it was in late May or early June - the church was
16 hit from the side. So that four or five metres inside the church, there
17 was shattered stone which fell from the window. But this was not the case
18 with St. Nikola's church this time around. This happened later.
19 Q. All right. Let us stick with December 1991 right now. After you
20 finished looking at the Domino church, or the All Saints church, where did
21 you go next?
22 A. I went to Puce Street and went towards St. Joseph church.
23 Q. And what did you observe then?
24 A. The first thing I saw when looking at St. Joseph's church, on the
25 front of the church you have St. Joseph's statue. It wasn't completely
1 destroyed, but it had been decapitated. The right arm was missing, and
2 some of the cloak had been damaged by shrapnel, although the church did
3 not at that time receive a direct hit, but rather a shell fell just across
4 the way, hit a terrace across the way, damaging the statue and the windows
5 which had been shot, obviously, and, as a consequence, shattered.
6 Q. Were you able to find the head, the arm, and part of the cloak of
7 St. Joseph, of the statue of St. Joseph?
8 A. I was not able to find them. I found only fragments, which I put
9 in a box. We put those fragments away. And later, the statue of
10 St. Joseph was restored. An artist put those fragments together as best
11 he could, but where there were bits missing, because we hadn't found the
12 pieces, he filled that in with gypsum and he fashioned a new head, which
13 we put into the church, with an inscription saying that it had been
14 damaged during the attack on Dubrovnik on the 6th of December.
15 Q. Could you tell us when the statue was repaired?
16 A. I can't remember exactly, but an American gave me $5,000 to have
17 the statue repaired. And a sculptor named Ivankovic repaired it. I think
18 this was five or six years after the event. I have this information among
19 my documents, but I couldn't tell you off the top of my head.
20 Q. Were any other buildings damaged in the vicinity of St. Joseph's
22 A. After this happened in the church, I once said that St. Joseph had
23 sacrificed his head but preserved the church, because the palaces on
24 either side of the church were burnt to the ground. They had been hit
25 with incendiary projectiles and they burnt to the ground, both of them.
1 And a third palace opposite the Orthodox church, they were all next to
2 each other, they were all adjacent, and they all burnt down to the ground.
3 Q. Speaking of the Orthodox church, do you know if that suffered any
5 A. Yes, but only on the roof: I was not able to see that on that
6 day. From outside you couldn't see any damage. But when I returned home
7 later, I could see that it had been -- that it had been hit by two shells.
8 Q. Now, sir, where did you go from there?
9 A. After this, I continued down Od Puca Street, over Gundulic Plain,
10 and came to the rector's palace, and then continued on towards the
12 Q. And what did you observe as you walked?
13 A. As I have already said, there was rubble everywhere, debris. The
14 whole town was littered with this. At the rector's palace, as far as I
15 was able to see from the outside, because a shell had landed between the
16 cathedral and the rector's palace, from the north, or rather, the south
17 side, from the cathedral, on those beautiful stones, there are still marks
18 made by shrapnel. It's pock-marked by shrapnel still.
19 Another shell landed next to the cathedral and hit a palace, where
20 a priest had resided. His name was Don Marko Herendija. And there were
21 other people who lived in that building. That shell had hit the corner of
22 the building, right next to the window. And there were a lot of holes, a
23 lot of pockmarks on the cathedral from the shrapnel from that shell, which
24 are still there, because it's only three metres away. On the dome of the
25 cathedral, between the windows, a shell had hit the ornaments on the
1 facade, and the stones had fallen down. But fortunately, the cathedral
2 was covered in lead and there are wooden boards underneath. These pieces
3 of stone had hit the lead and fallen down onto the terrace, where we
4 collected them later.
5 Q. After you completed your observations of the cathedral, where else
6 did you go?
7 A. Let me just add: I went into the cathedral to see what had
8 happened inside. There was no damage inside the cathedral, but pieces of
9 shrapnel had entered above the door. Then I went to St. Blaze's church
10 and saw something dreadful. The balustrade in front of the church, a
11 beautiful balustrade, on the side facing the rector's palace was totally
12 demolished. At the sides of the entrance gate, to the left and the right,
13 there were two coats of arms. About a metre and a half by one metre in
14 size. One shell had shattered the left-hand side coat of arms. It has
15 now been restored, I think by the French, who provided the funds and
16 restored it, to match the coat of arms on the other side.
17 Q. Now, you said St. Blaze's church. Does that go under other names
19 A. Not in our area. This is Sanctus Blazius, and on the coats of
20 arms of the Dubrovnik Republic, it always says Sanctus Blazius, St. Blaze.
21 In Dubrovnik, he's locally referred to as Vlaho. In Zagreb, if you
22 mentioned St. Vlaho, people would find it funny. If in Dubrovnik, if were
23 you to say St. Blaze, people would laugh. Locally he's referred to as
24 St. Vlaho but this is St. Blazius who lived in Armenia and became the
25 patron saint of Dubrovnik in the tenth century and since then has been
1 venerated as the patron saint of Dubrovnik. And his feast day is
2 celebrated with great solemnity. It was a very sumptuous celebration on
3 the 3rd of February every year.
4 Q. Now, the other two churches you serve as rector, St. Nicholas and
5 St. Rocco, could you tell us what, if any, damage those churches suffered?
6 A. A bit of damage. They were not hit directly, but they suffered
7 damage from shrapnel, or bits of stone falling from other buildings. On
8 St. Nikola's Day, the worst damage was done to the part called Prijeko.
9 That's where the most shells fell. They landed all over the town. I
10 don't know exactly, but people say that over a thousand shells landed on
11 the town that day. And the part that was least affected was called
12 Karmen, where St. John's fortress is and the aquarium. That's where the
13 least shells landed. However, these two churches were not hit directly.
14 Q. Now, sir, are you familiar with a small church on Od Zigurate
16 A. Of course I am. It's right next to where I live. It's one of the
17 older churches of Dubrovnik. It's well known that Dubrovnik is a UNESCO
18 protected site. The whole town is a cultural monument. But this church
19 was especially well known. And on St. Nikola's Day, it was hit by one of
20 the larger-calibre shells, because we found its tail, as I just described
21 a while ago, so that we could see it was a larger calibre. Thanks to many
22 good people, the church has by now been restored.
23 Q. Could you please describe the damage as best you can, sir.
24 A. It's a small church. When a large-calibre projectile hit its
25 roof, it had a little dome, and this was just blown apart.
1 Q. Now, not far from there is the Franciscan monastery.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And could you tell us what, if any, damage, the Franciscan
4 monastery suffered.
5 A. I don't know whether on that day alone, but over 50 shells hit
6 this monastery all together. That day, it suffered a lot of damage. The
7 church was hit several times. I could see that from my window, from the
8 window of my flat. The cloister of the brethren, where the oldest
9 pharmacy in Europe is located, was also damaged, the bell tower was
10 damaged. I forgot to tell you that the bell tower, the town bell tower,
11 at the entrance towards Porporela, is looks like a church bell tower, but
12 it isn't. Anyone who has visited Dubrovnik would know what it looks like.
13 That too was hit in the cupola, in the dome.
14 In front of the Church of the Friar's Minor, there was a well. We
15 call it Onofrio's fountain. It's something very special in Dubrovnik. It
16 is covered by a dome. And this dome was hit in two places. The dome was
17 made of old tiles, and later, when it was restored, I was fortunate enough
18 to be able to help, because in my attic, the floor was made of old bricks
19 which were used to protect the house from fire. And I took out several
20 square metres of these old bricks and replaced them with concrete, and
21 then I donated them for the restoration of the fountain.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, I just want to cover two other subjects, then
23 show you a map. Do you know a man -- or did you know a man by the name of
24 Pavo Urban, a young man?
25 A. Pavo Urban. Yes, I did know him. He was a photographer, a young
1 man. He was killed on that day. Just below the town bell tower. But I
2 have to say, I didn't see his body. I know that he was killed on that
4 Q. And was he killed within the Old Town?
5 A. Yes, within the Old Town, just under the bell tower and the Sponza
7 Q. Now, when you say he was killed on that day, are you referring to
8 December 6th, when the Old Town was shelled?
9 A. Yes. Yes. The 6th of December. I apologise. Yes. Because we
10 were already talking about the 7th. He was killed on the 6th, yes. On
11 the 7th I was able to go out, because there was already a lull.
12 Q. Now, did he belong to your church or to another church?
13 A. He was a parishioner of St. Peter's at Boninovo, where our
14 cemetery is, Don Pero Vuletic is the parish priest of his parish.
15 Q. Did you perform the burial service or the burial mass for
16 Mr. Urban, or did someone from the other church perform it?
17 A. No. It wasn't I who did that. I don't know who did.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to ask you about an officer in the
19 Yugoslavian navy, a Captain Jeremic. Did you ever meet with this
21 A. Yes. I met him in the city harbour. I don't know what date it
22 was exactly. But it was certainly before the attack on the Old Town.
23 About a month after the first shelling we experienced. But I don't recall
24 the exact date.
25 Q. Now, sir, could you tell us about that meeting?
1 A. I heard that he was coming to the city harbour. He arrived in
2 Ivica Herendija's boat and I went with a lady called Vesna. I don't know
3 her last name. She is a tourist guide. She is a Serb. And Mario Bonic,
4 who was then a coach of the Dubrovnik football club, soccer club. And we
5 came to see him. I said to him: "I'm a Catholic priest. Are you
6 Sofronije Jeremic?" He said: "Yes, I am." I said: "For a month now --
7 well, up to a month ago, we lived in peace and harmony and love. Since
8 your arrival, since you encircled our town, we have been living under
9 impossible conditions, without water, without power, without staple
10 foodstuffs or basic necessities." I said: "What kind of opinion can we
11 have of you when we hear on our transistor radios that Sofronije Jeremic
12 ordered the food that was to arrive by these ships to be thrown away?"
13 And he replied: "I'm only carrying out orders. I have to do this."
14 I don't remember the entire conversation, but Mato Jerinic, a
15 journalist from Dubrovnik, wrote about it in the newspaper, and I think
16 that there is a record of this.
17 And then that Serb lady told him -- the Serb lady said to him: "I
18 am a Serb. If you ask me whether I am in any danger, I will say yes, but
19 I was not in danger before you encircled us. I have been in danger since
20 you encircled us."
21 Q. Now, sir, what position did Captain Jeremic tell you he held?
22 A. I didn't ask him that, but I read that he was, I think, a liaison
23 captain or -- he was a liaison officer between the Crisis Staff and the
24 negotiators of the international community. I think his title was liaison
1 Q. Now, sir, you said you cannot recall the date in which you spoke
2 with Captain Jeremic, the liaison officer for the JNA. If I showed you
3 your statement and you were able to look at that, do you think you would
4 be able to refresh your recollection as to the date?
5 A. Yes, of course.
6 MR. WEINER: Could the usher please show the statement of
7 Father Grubisic. And I invite your attention to page 3 in the B/C/S
8 version, paragraph 13, or it's the highlighted paragraph.
9 Q. Just read it to yourself, please, sir. Would you look at the
10 highlighted portion first, the yellow section.
11 A. Excuse me. I was looking at the wrong part.
12 Q. No problem.
13 A. Yes, I've seen it. I've read it.
14 Q. Having read that, does that refresh your recollection as to the
15 date that you had this meeting or conversation with the liaison officer,
16 Captain Jeremic?
17 A. On the 29th of October, 1991. But I wish to add something in
18 connection with this. I promised at the beginning to speak the truth, the
19 whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The only reserve I have is that I
20 may be unable to remember precise dates. However, everything else is what
21 I have experienced and seen with my own eyes, and that is absolutely the
22 way it was.
23 Q. Thank you, sir.
24 MR. WEINER: Could the witness please be shown a copy of Exhibit
25 13, which we'd like to have this witness mark and then tender as 13 --
1 either A or however the registrar would like it numbered.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Could I mention, Mr. Weiner, that when the time
4 comes, it seems preferable to give it a completely new exhibit number
5 rather than a branch of Exhibit 13.
6 MR. WEINER: That's fine. That's fine. Thank you.
7 Q. Sir, do you recognise the area depicted in that map?
8 A. The Old Town of Dubrovnik.
9 Q. Could you please find your home on that map, the location of your
11 A. Celestina Medovica, the first entrance next to the Prijeko Street.
12 Q. Could you put a "1" next to the area where your home is, right on
13 the area.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Could you please find the area where the St. Joseph's Church is
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. And could you put a "2" next to that dot, where you indicated the
19 St. Joseph's Church is located.
20 A. Just a moment, please.
21 Q. Thank you. Could you find the area where St. Rocco's Church is
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. And could you please place a "3" next to St. Rocco's Church.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Could you find the area where the Domino or All Saints Church is
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. And could you place a "4" next to that
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Could you find the area where the St. Nicholas Church is located.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. And could you place a "5" next to the St. Nicholas Church.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Could you find the Rupe museum.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Could you place a "6" next to that, please.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Could you please find the Orthodox Church.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. And could you place a "7" next to the Orthodox Church.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. Could you please find the cathedral.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. And could you place an "8" next to the cathedral.
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. Could you find the small church at Od Zigurate Street that was
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. And could you place a "9" next to that dot.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Could you find the monastery, the Franciscan monastery, which you
3 saw from your house had been damaged.
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Could you place a "10" next to that.
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Could you find the bell clock tower, either the clock tower or the
8 bell tower, that had a shell hit its cupola.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. And could you place an "11" next to that, please.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Thank you. Could you find the building on Rudjer Boskovic Street.
13 You said the walls were damaged at the shelling in October.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. And could you place a "12" next to that.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Could you show us St. Blaze's, or if you want to call it, Vlaho or
18 Basil's [sic] Church, the church of the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. And could you place a "13" next to that.
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. And finally, could you find or show the area where the domed
23 fountain is, just outside of the Franciscan monastery.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. And could you place a "14" next to that.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
3 MR. WEINER: That completes the examination-in-chief of this
4 witness. I would like to offer this map, with the various locations
5 identified, as the Prosecution's next exhibit.
6 JUDGE PARKER: That will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P30.
8 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, just one housekeeping matter before --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. WEINER: I'm sorry. Just one housekeeping matter.
11 Mr. Grubisic has to say mass this weekend on that island, and
12 if -- regardless of the situation with Mr. Samardzic -- or let's assume
13 Mr. Samardzic is here tomorrow and is well and is testifying, could this
14 witness please complete his testimony first so we can get him off and back
15 to Dubrovnik so he can say mass this weekend?
16 JUDGE PARKER: There seems to be no difficulty with that,
17 Mr. Weiner, so Don Grubisic ought to be able to get away tomorrow.
18 We will, then, in accordance with the discussion earlier today,
19 adjourn now for the day and resume tomorrow at 2.15, we hope.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.13 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
22 January 2004, at 2.15 p.m.