1 Tuesday, 27 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Now, we had thought this morning at
6 the outset to hear submissions on the two matters that I mentioned last
7 evening, so that we can clear those out of the way. It should only be a
8 very brief interlude.
9 You, I believe, Mr. Petrovic, wanted to advance briefly some oral
10 submissions concerning the timetable for the availability of the
11 statements of expert witnesses.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes,
13 that is correct. You surely know that at the Pre-Trial Conference which
14 was held on the 15th of December, the Pre-Trial Judge ordered the OTP to
15 provide, by the 31st of December last year, or rather, to disclose all the
16 statements made by expert witnesses. There are total four of them. So
17 that was the order given on the 15th of September [as interpreted].
18 Just about at the end of last year, the OTP this to be postponed,
19 stating certain reasons that I would like briefly to review.
20 The OTP evoked a conversation that was conducted in September last
21 year in the office of Professor Harhoff, where it was discussed the
22 procedure for disclosure of expert reports. In that discussion, a
23 principle -- an agreement in principle was reached for the expert witness
24 of Dr. Allcock, who already appeared in this Court, to be disclosed within
25 three weeks, whereas for the other statements by expert witnesses to be
1 disclosed within four weeks, each before their making testimony. That was
2 an informal conversation in the offices of Mr. Harhoff, and that is the
3 first important circumstance.
4 And the second important circumstance is that this was not a
5 Status Conference in compliance with Rule 65 ter. So the second important
6 circumstance is that on the 25th of July last year, all of a sudden a
7 trial was set within six weeks, and it was supposed to commence on the --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down a bit.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Could you slow down, Mr. Petrovic. The interpreter
10 is not able to keep up with your very fluid delivery.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to you, Your Honour,
12 and to the interpreters.
13 So this conference was conducted under the circumstances when it
14 was anticipated that within a very short time, that is, six or seven
15 weeks, for the trial to begin. Mrs. Somers and her team, as well as we,
16 were surprised with such short notice for the trial to begin. We both had
17 problems. The case was only halfway through. The expert witnesses were
18 practically not identified at the time. Our problems also existed, and
19 they were very big, but I will not go into that now.
20 So under such circumstances, as a token of understanding and
21 compromise, we accepted the date, and that is the 9th of October, and to
22 reduce these deadlines, as has been stated in the OTP submission in
23 December last year.
24 That was our concession under such circumstances, which was very
25 difficult, both for Mrs. Somers and for us, and she will probably confirm
1 that. However, since then, four months have elapsed, and the OTP had
2 enough time and they were very much involved in the preparations, so the
3 situation became different. The trial, which was set for the 9th of
4 October, was postponed for the 10th of December, and that is a full three
5 months to work. So everything that we had agreed earlier simply lost any
6 meaning or reasons, because the trial had been postponed and enough time
7 was given for all these things to be settled in a manner that is
8 prescribed by the Rules.
9 Therefore, at the time, we thought that the trial would begin on
10 the 9th of October, that it was going to last for about 10 or 12 weeks,
11 and under such circumstances, naturally, no deadline before the end of the
12 last year was meaningless. The situation with the rest of Vladimir
13 Kovacevic changed the situation entirely. Therefore, whatever we agreed
14 at the time cannot be something that we can rely upon any further.
15 The deadline put forward by the Pre-Trial Judge on the 15th of
16 December was quite reasonable. The 31st of December was the date, which
17 made it possible, primarily for the Defence, to provide, in time and in a
18 proper manner, its own views and analyses of the expert findings.
19 We again made a concession and reached a compromise, at the
20 request and the telephone question by our colleague, Nick Kaufman which he
21 conducted on the 23rd or 24th December last year, and at his request,
22 whether we agreed to make a concession and extend the deadline for a few
23 days, we again were cooperative and we said that the 12th of January was
24 the date when the session was going to begin, so let us shift this date of
25 31st of December to the 12th of January.
1 Since then, more than two weeks have elapsed and we still have not
2 received the expert findings. There was no decision made on that matter.
3 Therefore, our view, and since today is the 27th of January, and that is
4 27 days after the deadline, which is still valid, and made by the
5 Pre-Trial Judge, we kindly request that there was no further postponement
6 allowed by you, and that we treat this date or this deadline as expired
7 and that everything that relates to the expert findings be given to the
9 Why do we think so? You certainly know how the Defence team is
10 composed. My learned colleague Rodic and I constitute the team defence,
11 plus one investigator and one case manager. So we are here, we don't have
12 any logistics support here, we don't have people with whom we can consult,
13 we don't have any reference material here with which we can adequately
14 contest what is probably going to be contained in the expert statements.
15 Every day is of crucial importance for us, in order to enable us to be
16 effective in providing responses, in doing cross-examination of expert
17 witnesses who are going to appear here. So every day is of crucial
18 importance. Therefore, I kindly ask, and I do appreciate the problems of
19 the OTP, but please believe me that we are also facing much bigger
20 problems, particularly in regard with the lack of the logistic.
21 Mrs. Somers has a very well-trained team of lawyers and she has available
22 all other means. Whenever she needs an expert from any given area, this
23 expert appears in this Court and contributes to the effective work of the
24 OTP. We are alone, however.
25 So in this situation, this would at least be some alleviation of
1 the problems that we are facing if we could get these materials as soon as
3 In this regard, there's another important matter, and that is the
4 question of the translation of expert statements. In many Trial Chambers
5 of this Tribunal, the moment when the expert statement is considered valid
6 and in force, is once it is submitted in the language which it has been
7 made, plus in the translation into B/C/S. Why do I say that? In many
8 Chambers, this has been upheld because the characteristics of an expert
9 statement are in many aspects coinciding with the statement given by the
10 witness under Rule 66, and it is considered to be valid and disclosed to
11 the other side only once it has been translated into the language that the
12 accused understands. We may interpret and analyse an expert witness's
13 statement; however, we believe that our client and the defendant is also
14 entitled to learn what is contained in those reports. However, he's
15 unable to do that unless these documents are translated into B/C/S. So
16 there's another additional problem that we are facing.
17 Let me just remind you that the last report made by Mr. Pringle,
18 and that is the person who should appear before this Court, I believe, on
19 Thursday and Friday, on the 22nd of December, it was submitted in an
20 English version. We worked on it. Unfortunately, only on the 16th of
21 January this statement was submitted in B/C/S. Only then was the accused
22 in a position to see what is contained in that material, without us
23 interpreting or retelling to him what stands in the report.
24 Another important thing that we should mention and which sheds
25 additional light to what I have just said is the following fact: In most
1 cases, at least in our experience, the issue of the disclosure of expert
2 statement is something that takes place in a pre-trial stage, in the early
3 stages of the pre-trial stage. Expert statements waiting to reach the
4 trial have already been disclosed. Rule 94 bis provides 30 days for
5 giving a response to the expert witness statement, which is something of a
6 formal nature. Substantially, these statements have already been in the
7 hands of the Defence for months in a row.
8 So we are very much into this trial, whereas the key reports
9 concerning command and control, concerning the use of artillery units, et
10 cetera, we only know the names of the people who are going to appear here
11 as expert witnesses. Nothing other than that. Can you imagine just a
12 witness -- expert witness statements concerning artillery issue, how
13 important and serious this is going to be? So here in The Hague, while
14 the trial is in progress, we have to analyse and file proper responses.
15 So I kindly ask this Chamber to order all expert statements to be
16 disclosed as soon as possible, in order to make it possible for us to
17 prepare the defence of Mr. Pavle Strugar in a proper manner.
18 Furthermore, there is another issue that I wish to bring up, which
19 is not directly related to what I've discussed up to now, but may as well
20 affect it in one way or another. What we want to know, Your Honours, and
21 this is something we have not heard from you so far, is about the pace at
22 which this case will proceed, how evidence will continue before the
23 Chamber, and whether the OTP may be planning any breaks in its case, long
24 breaks, or brief ones, what the deadline will be for 98 bis -- for the 98
25 bis evidence, how much time there will be between the end of the
1 Prosecutor's case and the 98 bis, and before the Defence case begins. All
2 these things would be very useful to know for the Defence in planning its
3 case, as well as its response to the Prosecutor's case.
4 Thank you very much, Your Honours. I'm sorry if I've taken up a
5 little more time than you originally planned for me.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
7 Ms. Somers.
8 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour. First of all, I
9 would want the Chamber to understand -- to know something about the
10 meeting to which Mr. Petrovic was referring, and it goes right to the
11 heart of the relationship between and among the Chamber, the legal
12 officer, and the parties. The only types of meetings that legal officers
13 are authorised to hold are in connection with 65 ter. There's no such
14 thing in this sense as an informal meeting. There was a recorded 65 ter
15 conference on the 19th of September with Mr. Petrovic and members of the
16 Office of the Prosecutor, as well as Registry officials and the legal
17 officers, from both teams -- I'm sorry. From -- it was a team, 1
18 Pre-Trial Conference at that point.
19 At that time -- and I don't have the transcript in front of me,
20 but Mr. Harhoff, the legal officer, requested that before Mr. Petrovic
21 return to Belgrade we meet again in his office as a follow-up to discuss
22 any new items and I -- if it -- was not aware that there was going to be a
23 need for a transcript. But we in fact did meet at -- I believe it was
24 9.00 in the morning on 24 September and my notes reflect 65 ter, and I
25 have the individuals present. And it was in every sense a follow-up to
1 discuss issues that were outstanding, among them the issue of experts.
2 And it was made clear at that time that the deadlines that we were looking
3 at to some degree varied with what were in the current state of the Rules.
4 But my notes very clearly reflect and I believe I may have
5 overestimated my response that was filed on 24 December, I was on the
6 phone with Mr. Kaufmann, who was on the phone with Belgrade, I was in the
7 US and it was a three-way call in that sense, where my notes reflect for
8 Dr. Allcock two weeks would have been sufficient in any language, two
9 weeks, and then for the military experts three weeks. But the date was
10 always to be set by us with an understanding that it had to be within time
12 The reason that's an important factor, beside the fact that this
13 is what was -- what we left that office with and what we communicated to
14 our people to communicate to the persons who were working on the reports
15 is that we have to make the same assumption that when we speak to legal
16 officers, that they have -- they are speaking on behalf of their Chambers.
17 And we have at all times had that understanding. I believe that when at
18 the Pre-Trial Conference on the 15th of December, this was the first time
19 there was ever a discussion or an order concerning end of the year. I
20 mean, this simply had not been part of it. We in no way contest what the
21 current Rule grants to the Chamber or the pre-trial Chamber on deadlines.
22 No one is arguing that. We're just saying we rely on what we're told and
23 what's agreed to. And a change like that is a sea change, where literally
24 on the eve of holidays and on the threshold of trial, trial commencing the
25 16th, deadlines, which are very important deadlines and which we have to
1 honour, unless we can indicate that they should be amended, are changed.
2 I mean, it's the question of -- on whose word do we rely, and we believe
3 there may have been some miscommunication, because certainly the end of
4 the year issue was the first -- was first raised on the 15th of December.
5 Our request, under all circumstances, to return to the original
6 agreement which was made with full input of Defence counsel, and we'd ask
7 the Chamber to endorse it, understanding the pressures on both sides. And
8 Mr. Petrovic speaks very much the truth about that, that not only were
9 there changes in trial schedules, but dramatic changes in the thrust of
10 inquiry by experts, given -- and some aspects, not in entirety - be given
11 the reduction of 15 counts to a very generalised Dubrovnik area, to
12 specifically Old Town, which had its own unique aspects.
13 But we also found ourselves having to scramble very quickly to get
14 witnesses in earlier than the original dates that were contemplated, which
15 my transcripts from a conference concerning Mr. Kovacevic indicate we were
16 talking 8th or 9th of February as a starting date. Whereas this is not
17 something that this Chamber has any responsibility for, I think it only
18 fair that it know the very convoluted history of setting, resetting, joint
19 trial, severed trial, and what it does to persons unrelated at the
20 Tribunal working on behalf of a request by the Office of the Prosecution
21 and perhaps by the Defence.
22 So there has been at no time any taking lightly of deadlines or
23 considerations. We try to operate under what is reasonable and we have to
24 assume that when we have been instructed, and it's in -- not just in
25 consultation with, but in reduction of time. The Defence had its own
1 specific views and it agreed to certain things, that we have to be able to
2 rely on it. If there is a change in this we'd ask that we are at least
3 able to produce to the Chamber, within a reasonable time, and I can
4 indicate now that the -- we're in the completion phase, but
5 understandably, we want to make sure that you get the product that will be
6 of assistance to you.
7 Again, my concern really goes more toward the timing of certain
8 orders. I set that forth in my response, in my request for a stay. This
9 is -- we ask not that this be taken as any form of criticism, but simply
10 that all parties have to be singing from the same hymn sheet. And I'm
11 afraid in this instance, given a number of factors, all which are true, I
12 think Mr. Petrovic speaks correctly, except that this is not a David
13 versus Goliath. The Prosecution doesn't have anything unlimited including
14 attorneys or access to experts. What is very interesting as I recall the
15 other day a comment was made about the honour and privilege it is to
16 serve -- or to testify before the Tribunal.
17 Perhaps the one time where that is not necessarily the case is in
18 getting experts. It is very difficult to find people who can line up
19 precisely with issues, people do not actually wait to be asked. I have to
20 take a little issue about enthusiasm level. And we are always very
21 gratified when we are able to retain persons who we think are the very
22 best suited, under all circumstances, but they are going to be the persons
23 who are also busy with their own schedules. Because we communicated other
24 deadlines, I would not want to see the experts punished or the OTP, or in
25 fact if the Defence runs into a problem. We can understand how that would
1 work. Just so that it was -- that I can make it clear to the Chamber that
2 there was a very different set of marching orders when we left that
3 conference on the 24th of September.
4 JUDGE PARKER: What about when you left the hearing before the
5 Pre-Trial Judge in mid-December?
6 MS. SOMERS: Yes. I recall that very well. We also indicated
7 that the suggestion that was made by the Defence that years in advance.
8 That is simply not part of this -- the procedure of the Tribunal. And I
9 wanted to call to the Chamber's attention the -- how it has -- in the
10 interests, I presume, of time, or perhaps other factors, how the Rules
11 change. It had always been under the old 94 bis and I'll simply take a
12 moment to read from the 19 -- sorry, the 2001 draft, which although no
13 longer governs, gives an idea that the representation about reports being
14 made years, light years in advance, is simply not the case. It has never
15 been the case, and I think I can think of one case in the Tribunal where
16 in the abstract a court can be filed which it is not tailored to the
17 Defence's, or the defence of the Defence, as usually is set forth for the
18 first time in the pre-trial brief.
19 But the old 94 bis, which is only recently amended, put a time
20 limit of, "full statement of any expert witness called by a party shall be
21 disclosed to the party as soon as possible and shall be filed not less
22 than 21 days prior to the date on which the expert is expected to testify,
23 then for the 14 day limit." The point being that it was, of course, the
24 party calling that decided the order of the witness and within a given
25 period of time would provide the report. It has no -- but today's Rule
1 puts it squarely in the hands of the Trial Chamber or the Pre-Trial Judge.
2 Again, the Pre-Trial Judge's order came only on the 15th of December,
3 whereas the Pre-Trial Judge's legal officers hand an order to us had come
4 on the 19th - sorry - the 24th of September.
5 Even putting that aside, looking at the reality of what is at
6 issue in terms of translations, that is not correct. The translation of
7 an expert statement is not addressed in 94 bis. I would take issue with
8 Mr. Petrovic's assertion that this is an institutional practice. Where
9 possible, it's done. But there are reasons why Defence teams have to have
10 an English-speaking member of the team. And in fact this goes for
11 anything, other than 66(A) -- the 66 Rule has a requirement that
12 statements filed be in the language of the accused, or a language the
13 accused understands. That is not found in any of the 94 provisions.
14 Having said that, it will probably be simpler because the
15 particular individuals whose statements are outstanding and are being
16 completed are from the former Yugoslavia and it should be less cumbersome
17 certainly to provide more quickly. But the date of filing is the date is
18 goes in in a language that's acceptable to the Tribunal, which is either
19 French or English. Documents can only be filed in one of those two
20 languages. And filing is the trigger.
21 JUDGE PARKER: That didn't deal with the issue that was in my
22 mind. No doubt I failed to make it clear. You have stressed that you
23 have planned things from September on the basis of understandings then in
24 place. They were well known to the Judge on the 15th of December, and he
25 required the delivery of all statements by the end of the month,
1 effectively. And it is now a further month, and they have not been
3 MS. SOMERS: If the -- if Your Honour is referring to -- the
4 Chamber to legal officers' comment --
5 JUDGE PARKER: I'm referring to the order of the Judge.
6 MS. SOMERS: Yes, I understand that. But that -- I would have to
7 link that order to everything that was said before, because we operated --
8 JUDGE PARKER: No. Why? You've had that in place, and then the
9 Judge made an order, giving a date.
10 MS. SOMERS: Because we had indicated to the persons who were
11 writing the earlier, and it was not possible to make the change at the
12 time. It was already 15 December. The team -- it was one week of trial
13 expedited. No one contemplated this case starting before the end of the
14 year. And the case --
15 JUDGE PARKER: That doesn't help me, I'm afraid.
16 MS. SOMERS: What I'm trying to give you is the absolute truth of
17 how we rely on what is said. Excuse me. We'd have to file a motion
18 explaining the reasons. And that is what I did. I tried to make it clear
19 that there was no wilful noncompliance but that based on factors which we
20 thought were reasonable and good cause, we had had a timetable that
21 varied, and it was our understanding, it was our understanding, that it
22 would be a 30-day time limit, from what I believe the Senior Legal Officer
23 from Chamber 2 mentioned, but that we would set the date and 30 days from
24 the date would be when we'd have to have -- 30 days in advance of the
25 date. Which is a reasonable interpretation.
1 When the Chamber ordered on the 15, we were effectively caught
2 short. We were simply unable at that time, given the history of it, to
3 produce on that timetable. It was simply a different one. Again, if we
4 could live life over again and have a firm, you must have it by
5 such-and-such, then we can plan it that way. It simply did not work out.
6 There was not any conscious effort to avoid that. But again, we had no
7 reason to believe that we would be asked to provide it at that point in
8 time, given our understanding of 30 days, but at the 65 ter conference in
9 December, again, no actual deadline set, just 30 days. There's a world of
10 difference between 30 days before and then a fixed deadline. And if the
11 two are to be linked, then in the same way I would not ask my colleagues
12 for something that would be -- that would completely derail their trial
13 preparation, I would expect not to have that also put on us.
14 And if in fact there was a failure at the December conference on
15 any party's part, perhaps we both could have said, Okay, if you're saying
16 30 days, what do you mean? But a definite time would need to be arranged
17 sufficiently in advance. And again, I think that it may have been a bit
18 of a lesson for all that things that are left too vague end up in motions
19 like this. But --
20 JUDGE PARKER: I don't see any vagueness about the obligation that
21 was placed on the Prosecution, nor do I see any vagueness about the fact
22 that the Prosecution is now effectively a month out of time. Can you tell
23 me what it is that you now propose in terms of our timetable?
24 MS. SOMERS: Yes. I would ask Your Honour, because the issue --
25 because the documents are so substantially close to completion, but
1 because they are -- there are language issues, that we be given -- well, I
2 had anticipated calling these individuals at the end of the trial, toward
3 the very end of the trial, and I don't know how we identify the end of the
4 trial right now, but if it is more mid-March, then I would ask for
5 approximately ten more days to make sure that at least linguistically
6 everything is okay and that our particular military analysis person is
7 able to be satisfied that the inquiries on our part have been answered.
8 JUDGE PARKER: How many reports have we?
9 MS. SOMERS: Two.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Considering?
11 MS. SOMERS: Two.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Just two.
13 MS. SOMERS: Correct. The and the Chamber has already the other
14 two they've been in. And they are -- we've already heard Dr. Allcock, he
15 came up second witness, and then General Pringle is scheduled for Thursday
16 and Friday.
17 JUDGE PARKER: And are these two reports at an equal stage of
18 preparation or is one further ahead than the other?
19 MS. SOMERS: Equal. I would say they're equal.
20 JUDGE PARKER: You want ten further days?
21 MS. SOMERS: I would ask that.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Now, can we, for a moment, the submissions of
23 Mr. Petrovic and your own just then have opened the horizons on future
24 timetable. Can you indicate to the Chamber the anticipation you have for
25 the end of the Prosecution case?
1 MS. SOMERS: I was trying to estimate from my reading of the
2 transcript in the Pre-Trial Conference that if the Defence got 60 per cent
3 of the Prosecution time - am I correct on that approximation?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Don't work on that.
5 MS. SOMERS: Well, that's how we planned it. It is clear that
6 that is not going to work, and on those calculations, if I recall
7 correctly, I think His Honour Judge Orie thought maybe 5th of March. I
8 don't think that was ever realistic. And that also factored in issues
9 with the accused's health and the inability to sit, let's say, full days
10 all week. It looks to me that we're looking at the middle to the end of
11 March, if Defence continues -- if we cannot take two witnesses a day, and
12 in some instances three witnesses a day, and after the 65 -- the decisions
13 on both video and 92 bis, we're going to -- it's going to be pretty much a
14 live presentation, literally. I think the only 92 bis ones were the
15 decedents, if I'm not wrong. So that is going to take perhaps a bit more
16 time, and I would --
17 JUDGE PARKER: I would suggest that there is a difference between
18 some of the witnesses we've been dealing with and some of those that are
19 to come.
20 MS. SOMERS: You're right, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: There has been reason why the Chamber has been
22 prepared to allow considerable liberty of time to the Defence with some of
23 the witnesses that we've been dealing with. But many of those to come are
24 not of that significance and relevance, not of the same importance.
25 MS. SOMERS: You're right, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: And for that reason, we would expect that the
2 course of cross-examination for them will be proportionately much shorter
3 than has been for some of the witnesses until now.
4 MS. SOMERS: But having said that -- and I agree with Your Honour,
5 because many are crime base. But some are fact witnesses who are also
6 from ECMM. The former accused will also be testifying. And that is --
7 those are lengthy, and I expect cross-examination to be very lengthy and
8 relatively document-heavy. So I really could not in all honesty foresee
9 much -- I would estimate between the middle and the end of March as an
10 optimistic finish, if we stay with reasonable cross-examination. I mean,
11 just having practiced --
12 JUDGE PARKER: Are you anticipating the need for any breaks in the
13 course of your case?
14 MS. SOMERS: You mean before we finish, Your Honour? I have never
15 had a break in my case before we finished. If the Chamber is proposing
16 something --
17 JUDGE PARKER: It was raised not by me. It was raised by
18 Mr. Petrovic. And I thought maybe you knew something I didn't know.
19 MS. SOMERS: No, but I mean, clearly, all of us suffer this from
20 the same pace. No one has it any easier, and we appreciate the Chamber
21 and all of our colleagues are under it. I'm encouraged by all my
22 colleagues who say yes. In honesty, did we anticipate anything? We did
23 not. We anticipated going forward. What we're finding is because of
24 having to re-call witnesses whose testimony is left perhaps in midstream
25 during cross-examination, our schedule which we present to the Defence
1 changes more often than we want. It's hard on them. It's hard on us.
2 VWU finds itself, for example, today I was asked about a witness who is
3 scheduled to testify this week, who's here, and it is very unlikely that
4 we will be able to get to this person's testimony.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Especially given the time we're talking this
7 MS. SOMERS: I know but I think the issue is terribly important to
8 resolve because there's the theory and there's the reality, and the
9 reality is we deal with issues that arise like this and also during
10 cross-examination things have been coming up. And admittedly on one point
11 we had to take more time in direct than was anticipated. I think that is
12 very much the exception. But I would have to estimate realistically, end
13 of March, and no, I don't see any breaks, unless the Chamber is inclined
14 to --
15 JUDGE PARKER: It's not our desire to have a break.
16 MS. SOMERS: That was my understanding.
17 JUDGE PARKER: But I feared from what was said by Mr. Petrovic
18 that there had been some discussion between you about a break for some
20 MS. SOMERS: I just want to also --
21 JUDGE PARKER: But we can leave that aside.
22 MS. SOMERS: Yes. I wish we could. I regret we can't. But as to
23 a level playing field, we all operate under the same disabilities. Very
24 few extra abilities. And in consequence, I would ask that my application
25 for extension be granted. I think that given all circumstances, again if
1 perhaps clarity had been more -- or if there had been no room for raising
2 these issues, then it might have been easier, but I want to assure the
3 Chamber of our good faith and I'm sure the Defence, who has today
4 indicated and acknowledged that there was a different line of discussion,
5 I'm grateful for that. We are trying to move things along as fast as we
6 can and present the very best and most brief picture we can to this
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, was there any important matter that
11 you needed to respond with? You were half to your feet at one point
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I merely wish to say,
14 although the best part of what my learned friend spoke about was not
15 entirely clear to me, I knew what she was saying, but I didn't know where
16 she was getting at, I don't think the essence of our complaint has been
17 addressed. The trial was due to commence on the 9th of October initially.
18 And secondly, another thing which we would like you to bear in mind, the
19 trial was scheduled initially for the 25th of July last year. It has been
20 six months since, a full six months, and we still don't have these
22 The Pre-Trial Judge is someone who is supposed to make a decision
23 as to when disclosure would occur. There is no 30-day limit. It's only a
24 formal limit, pursuant to Rule 94 bis (B). Rule 94 bis (A) is entirely
25 clear, the situation from October and the situation from December are two
1 entirely different situations. We were hoping to receive these reports by
2 the 31st of December, so that in the remaining few days before January's
3 hearing we could work on those and work to achieve whatever we could.
4 However, we can only do this work in Belgrade or Podgorica.
5 Bearing in mind the fact that today is the 27th of January, the
6 problem we are facing now is when will this happen? Will there be a
7 deadline again, a five- ten- or 15-day deadline? That's one thing.
8 And the other is, and this is something we've talked about
9 already, even for the sake of basic information, even if we had the
10 statement in the language in which it was provided, even if was Slovene,
11 none of us speak Slovene, but maybe just to inform ourselves to see how
12 subjects are broached -- approached, to see what the attachments are, to
13 see how the issues are treated in these reports. We've talked about this
14 many times. We understand your problems, but please let us have the
15 statements in a language which may not be the official language of the
16 Tribunal and may not be the language of the accused. But we've never even
17 received that. The only conclusion we can draw from that is that we are
18 now compelled to ask you for a break in the proceedings that would enable
19 us to analyse these reports, to consult our own experts, and to prepare
20 our cross-examinations. This could be one of the consequences of what has
21 been going on here, and I would not like to now take up any more of your
22 time, Your Honours. Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
24 We are of the view that any further statements of experts upon
25 which the Prosecution wishes to rely, and we understand that there are two
1 in issue, should be filed by Tuesday of next week, which is seven days,
2 not ten; and if not filed by then, the prospect that that evidence would
3 not be able to be admitted is one that must be faced.
4 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. I will convey this to the
5 MAT immediately.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, your concern that you may then find
7 that you are without adequate time for preparation is something that I
8 think neither you nor the Chamber can assess at the present time. It's
9 too early yet. But if you can receive the statements, and from what has
10 been said, you'll receive them in both English and B/C/S by next Tuesday,
11 the question can then be considered. If you find that you are in real
12 difficulty, we'll have to assess the situation.
13 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, may I --
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
15 MS. SOMERS: May I address.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
17 MS. SOMERS: I cannot guarantee the B/C/S on both by next Tuesday.
18 The English, absolutely, the filed copy, yes, and we'll endeavour to ask
19 CLSS if they can expedite, but that will again -- I cannot guarantee that.
20 I'll certainly have the English file copy.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, again we are facing a
22 situation where your decision, which in itself represents quite a
23 concession to the OTP, is being challenged. We all know how these cases
24 are treated at this Tribunal, and we all know that this should be
25 resolved. So please do not allow any further challenges to be made to
1 your decision which you have made. We appeal to this Trial Chamber to
2 make sure that this decision is implemented in the way as decided by the
3 Trial Chamber.
4 JUDGE PARKER: I had understood that part of the reason for this
5 delay was to complete translation. I may have misunderstood what
6 Ms. Somers was saying. We cannot specifically order that a statement be
7 provided in B/S/C. We can order that a statement be filed. That we do,
8 and that must be done by next Tuesday. I would expect that every effort
9 be made by the Prosecution to provide to you the same statement translated
10 into B/S/C at the same time. If that is not the case, and there is any
11 further delay, that will certainly be a factor which this Chamber must
12 take into account if you are obliged to come later and ask for some
13 further time to enable you to prepare in response to the statement. And
14 we hope that can be avoided by the availability of the translation, as
15 well as the English or French-language version, by next Tuesday.
16 Now, I think that is the end of that matter. There remains the
17 other matter, the question of the relevance and admissibility of some of
18 the evidence of the expert contemplated for the end of this week,
19 General Pringle.
20 I see we have now received a written response, Ms. Somers.
21 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour. It was filed yesterday.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid you saw the Chamber receive it just
23 then. We were not aware of it until just now.
24 MS. SOMERS: My apologies. I don't know the distribution process,
25 but what we'll do in the future is try to get a courtesy copy. Apparently
1 it is an issue with distribution. I'm terribly sorry.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Is there anything that you would add, briefly, to
3 these written submissions?
4 MS. SOMERS: I think these submissions, Your Honour, stand very
5 much on their own. This clearly goes to very much the heart of command
6 and control issues, 7(3) and 7(1) in this instance, where 7(3) has led to
7 7(1), and I think the Chamber will find that the fact that this is a
8 British general is irrelevant, that what is important is the principles
9 that are espoused in modern armies and in modern forces and will find this
10 evidence both relevant and exceptionally helpful.
11 JUDGE PARKER: You will appreciate, Ms. Somers, that it will be a
12 matter of evidence whether any principles that are the subject of evidence
13 of this nature are principles that had a place in the army of the accused
14 man at the relevant time. There is no just general principle, that what
15 is a good principle for the management of armies is a principle that was
16 in place in the JNA.
17 MS. SOMERS: Completely, Your Honour, and that is addressed in the
18 submission of General Pringle, who is familiar with the particular forces,
19 or at least the rules and regulations of the forces. I believe that the
20 issues are not appropriately addressed by the Defence in exclusion. I
21 mean, these are matters that would go to weight.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, is there anything that you need to
23 add to your written submission on this matter?
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have much to
25 add. The essence of our objection is, as for the first part, related to
1 the person, personality of the expert witness, which you will rule upon;
2 as for the other matter, it is something to do with evidence.
3 The question of relevance is the previous question that needs to
4 be discussed. The first question that needs to be discussed. Why?
5 Because here we are dealing with norms and principles that were simply not
6 in place in the JNA at the relevant time. This is completely extraneous
7 to the JNA. Principles applied in the British army and the principles
8 applied in the JNA are two completely heterogeneous principles. These two
9 armies were the result of two completely different societies. You have
10 the communist system and recruits, on the one hand, and a professional
11 British army on the other. There are no similarities whatsoever.
12 Mr. Pringle uses two documents, a mere two documents, for his analysis,
13 which I assume he obtained from the OTP. And basing his conclusions on
14 these two documents, he's trying to establish purported similarities
15 between the British army and the JNA, whereas in reality, these two
16 couldn't be further apart. These are two distant sides of the same coin,
17 at best.
18 It is up to you to decide whether you want to hear this evidence
19 on Thursday and Friday, but how, I wonder, can one compare the JNA to the
20 British Army. I think, frankly, he's facing an impossible task. However,
21 if the OTP believe that this will be a useful testimony, useful evidence
22 for their case, even with all the resources that are being expended here,
23 we have no other choice but to accept their idea. However, we believe it
24 would be a very time-saving move to avoid this evidence being provided
25 live in Court, as proposed in our motion.
1 Thank you very much, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. We having just received
3 the written response, we will need to give some consideration to it before
4 giving a decision.
5 Now, Ms. Somers.
6 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the Prosecution will -- if the Chamber
7 permits us to move at this point, Mr. Weiner will be leading the evidence
8 of the next Prosecution witness, Mr. Ivo Grbic.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Which name is that?
10 MS. SOMERS: Grbic, G-r-b-i-c, Ivo.
11 May I ask the Chamber's indulgence to allow me to leave for a few
12 moments, and I'll return. I will return.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, indeed.
14 MS. SOMERS: I just wanted to follow up on some of what was
15 discussed. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: You're leaving us in the hands of Mr. Weiner.
17 MS. SOMERS: You are in good hands and I wanted to introduce you
18 to another member of the OTP, Ms. Prashanthi Mahindaratne, who is a trial
19 lawyer as well.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Mr. Weiner. Could the witness be
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 JUDGE PARKER: We are informed that there is a temporary
24 difficulty with the witness coming into Court. What we would propose,
25 then, is to have the first morning break now, earlier than usual, but it
1 will give an opportunity for the witness to be ready to return. And our
2 break will be for half an hour.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.07 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.44 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE PARKER: If you would take the affirmation, Mr. Grbic.
7 Thank you.
8 WITNESS: IVO GRBIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
13 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Examined by Mr. Weiner:
15 Q. Would you state your name, please, sir.
16 A. My name is Ivo Grbic.
17 Q. Could you tell us where you live?
18 A. I now live in Dubrovnik.
19 Q. How old are you, and could you tell us your date of birth?
20 A. I was born on the 25th October, 1931.
21 Q. That makes you 72 years old?
22 A. That's correct. I just turned 72.
23 Q. How are you employed?
24 A. I am a retired painter.
25 Q. And when you say "painter," you mean an artist?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in addition to being an artist, did you also teach or serve as
3 a professor in art school?
4 A. Not any more. But for many years, I taught at the school of
5 applied arts in Zagreb.
6 Q. And just to be brief, sir: Your art works have been exhibited in
7 Europe, Asia, and South America?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, sir, where do you live in Dubrovnik? Where exactly in the
10 Old Town of Dubrovnik? What's the address?
11 A. Almost at the geometrical centre of town, and the address is Od
12 Puca number 16.
13 Q. When did you move to Od Puca 16?
14 A. When I got separated in Zagreb, I went to live with my parents in
16 Q. In what year?
17 A. I came to Dubrovnik in 1983.
18 Q. And how long had your parents been living there, in that
19 particular home?
20 A. My parents had been living there since 1970.
21 Q. Now, could you please describe that building for the Court, Od
22 Puca 16.
23 A. This palace was built after a tremendous earthquake in 1667. It
24 bore all the characteristics of a Baroque palace, particularly specific
25 features were three balconies, with the railings of wrought iron, made in
1 the shapes of flowers, and that's a unique feature in Dubrovnik.
2 Q. Now, where did you live? Where did your family live within the
4 A. We lived on the second floor, but we also used the entire loft.
5 Q. That's the attic? When you say "loft," you mean an attic, sir?
6 A. Well, that was not a residential space. There were installations
7 there, and a very old Baroque kitchen was housed there.
8 Q. All right. Who else lived in the building?
9 A. Another family lived on the first floor. The mother of the
10 daughter was named Goja, who married Mr. Lucic, and they are the only two
11 tenants there now, the family Lucic.
12 Q. Now, let us move to October 1991, October 1st. Were you living
13 there on October 1st?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And did something happen around 7.00 a.m. on October 1st, 1991?
16 A. Something very important happened, and that is that two aircraft
17 targeted the TV tower on the top of the Srdj hill.
18 Q. And after that, what happened to the TV tower after it was
20 A. It was pierced and rendered unusable; besides, something else
21 happened, which was for us completely new. There was no electric power or
22 water supply in the town.
23 Q. Were you aware of any type of blockade at that time?
24 A. Certainly. We were blockaded, particularly from the side of the
1 Q. Now, during this situation where you were blockaded and there was
2 a loss of power and water, what did you do to obtain water?
3 A. We used water tanks, the biggest ones were in the Franciscan and
4 Dominican monasteries, and some private houses had their own water
5 cisterns on the ground floor. And we shared the water among ourselves in
6 a very careful and rational manner.
7 Q. Was there any means of water collection that your family and some
8 of the other families used, any other means than going to wells?
9 A. Only on or around the 1st of November, the rain fell, and only
10 then we started using some auxiliary instruments in order to collect this
11 rainwater. For example, I cut off the top of a plastic bottle and tied it
12 to the drain pipe from the roof, and installed a pipe into the house,
13 where we collected in water in a larger vessel.
14 Q. Now, sir, let's continue in October of 1991. Was the Old Town
15 shelled during that month?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Approximately when in the month was it shelled?
18 A. In late October, sometime around 23rd or the 24th.
19 Q. Now, please tell the Judges: What were you doing when this
20 happened, when the shelling happened?
21 A. I was in my street, which is called Od Puca. We were strolling --
22 my sister and I were strolling on the street. At the end of the street,
23 to the west, there was a shoe store. My sister, as women do more often
24 than men, stopped to look at the shop window, and I was standing by her
1 Q. Did something happen?
2 A. Then something that nobody had expected took place. Behind our
3 backs, from the south, we felt a very strong explosion. Pieces of roof
4 tiles, stones, and also shrapnel, poured over the entire block of the
6 Q. What did you do?
7 A. We then ran back to our house. That was about -- the distance was
8 about 70 metres. My sister went into the house, and very close to our
9 house, in Djordjiceva Street, I saw a flaring object, and that was a
10 shrapnel, or a piece of a shell. And I took it in my hand while it was
11 still warm. At that point, it seemed to be like a wonderful souvenir to
13 Q. Did you -- you went to the house?
14 A. I immediately went to the house, but no one believed that
15 something terrible would happen later.
16 Q. What did you do while in the house?
17 A. I went to the window facing west in our flat, and I saw a hole in
18 the roof of the Rupe Museum, because I have a very good view of this roof
19 from my window. That is to the south of our house.
20 Q. Now, did you remain at that window in your home?
21 A. I stayed there for a short while, because I was stunned that
22 somebody would dare to shell this gorgeous, wonderful town, which was
23 under the UNESCO protection.
24 Q. Did something happen while you stayed at the window?
25 A. Then I went to the east side of our house, to the window facing
1 east. Then I heard an unusual sound, as if a bird was flying, making a
2 noise, hrrr [phoen]. I ran back to the room and lay down on the floor,
3 and at that moment, I heard another powerful explosion nearby.
4 Q. Did you return to the window and see what had happened?
5 A. I saw smoke from on the same side of the Od Puca Street, no more
6 than 20 metres from the window. I saw smoke. Then later, when we went
7 outside, we noticed that the loft of the house owned by Mr. Pecar was --
8 had been hit.
9 Q. Could you describe the damage to the Pecar home?
10 A. There were two skylight windows on the roof of the house.
11 Underneath there was a kitchen. The shell blew up all that. Luckily, the
12 family was not in the kitchen at the time but in the floor below. So they
13 were spared.
14 Q. What is the distance of the Pecar home from your home?
15 A. From the corner of my house, there is about 19 or 20 metres from
16 the Pecar house. They are very close to one another.
17 Q. Now, the damage to the Pecar house and the damage to the Rupe
18 Museum, did that exist prior to your hearing the shelling?
19 A. No. Those were the first shells that were registered to land
20 within the walls of Dubrovnik.
21 Q. Now, on the following day, sir, did you have a chance to walk
22 around the town, the Old Town?
23 A. We were all shocked, and all citizens walked around the town in
24 order to see whether there was any other damage caused. We reached the
25 Boskovica Street, which was named after one of the greatest minds of this
1 world, Rudjer Boskovic. Another shell landed on this street as well.
2 Q. And did that shell cause any damage that you observed?
3 A. It caused substantial damage on the both sides of the street. On
4 the right-hand side of the street, there was, and there still is, the
5 third oldest synagogue in Europe.
6 Q. And what damage was caused to the synagogue?
7 A. All the windows were broken, the window frames, the cornerstones,
8 because a shell can cause damage on anything that it hits.
9 Q. Did you see any other buildings that were damaged?
10 A. This took place in October, what I have just been describing, and
11 I eyewitnessed all these things.
12 Q. No. I understand that. But in October, did you see any other
13 buildings that were damaged in the vicinity of the synagogue?
14 A. Oh, yes. As I said, when a shell lands, it causes damage to the
15 nearby houses. In this case, it was a synagogue. However, I don't know
16 who the owners of those houses were in order to give you their names.
17 Q. All right. Did you see any other damage caused by the shelling in
19 A. I can't remember.
20 Q. Were any boats, vehicles, any sort of moving objects damaged?
21 A. Oh, yes.
22 Q. Please tell the Judges.
23 A. I apologise. I thought you were referring just to buildings. Yes,
24 certainly. To the north, behind the city walls, there is a sort of
25 parking lot, and from my house I could see that very thick and black smoke
1 was coming up from that area. Why? Because many cars had been hit, and
2 they were burnt as a result.
3 Q. Now, you said behind the city walls. Where do you mean? Is this
4 within the Old Town or outside?
5 A. No, no. Outside the Old Town, to the north.
6 Q. And how far is this parking area from the walls of the Old Town,
7 the northern walls?
8 A. It was adjacent to the walls. That used to be a football
9 playground, but after that, they coated it with asphalt and turned it into
10 a parking area.
11 Q. Now, sir, on that date, while you were walking with your sister,
12 or any other date in October, did you see any artillery or mortars within
13 the Old Town?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you ever see any Croatian troops within the Old Town in
16 October of 1991?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you ever see any troops, soldiers, or anyone else firing from
19 the walls of the Old Town?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And finally, did you ever see any outgoing fire of any kind in
22 October of 1991 from the Old Town?
23 A. No. That was impossible.
24 Q. Well, let me ask you this: We just talked about artillery and
25 mortars. Are you somewhat familiar with artillery and mortars?
1 A. Well, I knew a couple of things.
2 Q. Sir, had you ever served in the Yugoslav People's Army?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. When did you serve?
5 A. In 1958, after I had graduated, until 1959, so one year in total.
6 Q. And in what type of unit were you assigned in the Yugoslav
7 People's Army?
8 A. I spent three months in an artillery unit in the town of Cuprija.
9 Q. Now, since that training in 1958 and 1959 and your service during
10 that year, had you received any subsequent training, or had you done any
11 subsequent service in the JNA?
12 A. Not any more, ever.
13 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to November of 1991. Were you still
14 living on Od Puca Street?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And could you tell the Chamber: Was the Old Town shelled during
17 the month of November?
18 A. I know that on Sunday, the 10th, Monday, the 11th, and Tuesday,
19 the 12th, there were three consecutive days of shelling. Shells were
20 whirring past and over the town. We never left our homes. We were afraid
21 of going on. On Tuesday, the 12th, it was particularly horrifying, and my
22 sister almost broke down. I told her to fill her ears with cotton so she
23 would hear less of the explosions.
24 On that particular Tuesday, the firing went on for ten straight
1 Q. Now, did you observe any damage that had occurred as a result of
2 that shelling?
3 A. It was only after we were able to leave our homes, because on
4 Wednesday, the 13th, there was some kind of a lull, a ceasefire.
5 Q. And when you left your home, did you observe any damage?
6 A. I went out with my sister, and I lived with my old mother, who was
7 87 years old. So I used to go strolling with my sister. We went outside
8 the city walls, to an area west of the town, which is known as Pile. There
9 was some kind of a clearing there, an open area, from which you could
10 survey damage to the Bokar tower, which is part of the town walls.
11 Q. And is that in the western section of the Old Town walls, the
12 Bokar tower?
13 A. That's correct. This is the most prominent, the most protruding
14 part of the town wall in the west.
15 Q. Now, did you notice any other damage after that shelling?
16 A. We noticed more similar damage to the stones supporting the
17 Lovrinac Fort.
18 Q. What about, sir, within the Old Town, did you notice any damage to
19 the -- anything that's movable: Trucks, vehicles, vessels, or boats?
20 A. We know that when Dubrovnik was under siege, not the smallest
21 vessel was allowed to leave the harbour. There were no trucks in the
23 Q. What about -- was there any damage to any of those vehicles or
24 boats or vessels after the November shelling?
25 A. There was severe damage to boats, private boats, big and small.
1 This damage occurred in the town harbour.
2 Q. Now, sir, was there any sniping, shots by rifles, into the Old
3 Town during the month of November? Please tell the Judges.
4 A. Unfortunately, yes, this was the case. I personally witnessed
5 individual instances of sniping by soldiers who were within our eyesight.
6 They were standing on top of Svijetlje [phoen] Rocks, which is between
7 Srdj and Zarkovica. We could see them silhouetted against the white
9 Q. And could you tell us about the incidents of sniping into the Old
10 Town, or rifle fire into the Old Town?
11 A. Again, I was out strolling with my sister, because mentally it was
12 very difficult to endure being without electricity and water back at home,
13 so we would just go out strolling to relieve this pressure. When we
14 reached Kneza Damjana and Jude Street, which is to the east of town, a
15 street leading to what today is known as the aquarium, to the left, or
16 rather, to the north, there's a high, a very high portion of the town
17 wall. To the right, the bishop's palace, which is also quite tall.
18 At one point, a bullet whizzed past and hit the wall of the palace
19 and ricochetted down on the floor near where we were standing. This was
20 an opportunity for me to find a gleaming piece of the bullet in the gutter
21 just underneath the wall.
22 After that, we continued strolling towards the cathedral - that's
23 to the west. Outside what is the parish office today, there was a
24 scaffolding that had been set up to carry out reparations to the facade.
25 At that time, the metal post that had been hit by bullets rang out. I
1 told my sister: Don't tell me we came here to die. So we just went back
2 home in a hurry. That's how our stroll ended.
3 Q. Now, sir, do you know anyone who was shot by a sniper in November
4 of 1991 in the Old Town?
5 A. Mr. Tonci Kalcic, whose flat had also burnt to the ground. In my
6 neighbourhood - his flat is only ten metres from mine. Later on, he told
7 me that he was hit by a bullet just below the knee. When he came out to
8 walk along a pier, or quay, that we call Porporela, which is at the far
9 end of town, just outside the harbour.
10 Q. Was that within the Old Town?
11 A. That's part of the Old Town, but he went strolling along the edge,
12 where obviously he was very much exposed, and those who were standing
13 along the top of the rocks over there could see him.
14 Q. And were you aware of anyone else being shot, or were you present
15 when anyone else was shot by a sniper within the Old Town?
16 A. There was a group of us, five of us, who probably just chanced to
17 all come together during a stroll, because we could no longer stay at
18 home. We were standing near the aquarium. There a small gate in the wall
19 that leads to the harbour. We were pointing our finger at the silhouettes
20 up there between the peak of Srdj and Zarkovica.
21 Suddenly, one of the men cried because he had been hit in the palm
22 of his hand.
23 Q. When you say silhouette, silhouettes of what, sir?
24 A. Human silhouettes.
25 Q. And this man was injured or shot in the hand. Or when you say he
1 was hit in the hand, was he shot in the hand, or what happened?
2 A. Well, obviously, they could not have thrown a knife from that far.
3 Q. Was this man within the Old Town when he was shot in the palm of
4 his hand?
5 A. As I said, we were just outside that small gate, the gate in the
6 town wall, near the aquarium, where the pavement of the harbour begins.
7 Q. After that shooting incident, or sniping incident, did you and
8 your sister continue to walk around the Old Town in November?
9 A. November. This was in the absence of my sister. The first
10 encounter that I told you about a while ago was with my sister, but this
11 group of people, when these five people were together, this was on a
12 different day, and my sister was not around.
13 Q. But after this incident, did you continue to walk through the Old
14 Town? Did your sister continue to walk through the Old Town after this
15 third shooting incident?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You mentioned that you walked to relieve stress earlier. How did
18 you feel, without power and water and -- limited amount of water? How did
19 you feel? How did you and the others in the Old Town feel?
20 A. It felt like we were prisoners.
21 Q. Now, in November, as you walked through the Old Town, did you ever
22 see any Croatian troops in the Old Town?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you ever see any mortars, artillery, machine-guns within the
25 Old Town?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you ever see any trenches or bunkers in the Old Town for
4 A. It would not have been possible to dig any trenches or bunkers
5 within the town itself, because the floor is made of stone.
6 Q. And did you ever see any soldiers firing out of the Old Town
7 during the month of November 1991?
8 A. Never.
9 Q. Let us move to December. Were you still living in the Old Town of
10 Dubrovnik in December 1991?
11 A. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. In that same home on Od Puca Street?
13 A. That's correct. Od Puca number 16.
14 Q. Sir, let us move to December 6th, 1991. And could you tell us
15 where you were in the early morning hours, about 5.30 a.m.?
16 A. In bed. My mother, too, in her room, was in bed, on the second
17 floor of the house. My sister and I slept in the same room, because my
18 sister had moved to my room because she was too afraid to stay in her own.
19 Q. Did something happen after 5.30 in the morning?
20 A. Regrettably, yes. Something really terrible happened, which later
21 proved to be not only terrible but also tragic.
22 Q. Please tell the Judges what happened.
23 A. At about 10 to 6.00 in the morning, we were still in bed, and we
24 heard a series of distant explosions. The sound was getting louder, so we
25 assumed that the explosions were getting nearer. We told each other,
1 however, probably it's the same thing as we heard back in November. But
2 the explosions continued.
3 Q. So what did you do?
4 A. More and more powerful explosions, at which point I told my
5 sister: This is becoming serious. Let's get up and go.
6 I slipped some sort of a bathrobe over my pyjamas and ran over to
7 my mother's room to take her away. When I reached the room, I realised
8 that my mother was no longer in the room. Next I went to a small shelter,
9 some sort of a pantry between my mother's room and the kitchen. We coated
10 the walls of this room with sponge, with quilts and duvets, so that we
11 could have a place to hide comfortably should the need arise.
12 Q. So you were using this room as a type of shelter in your home?
13 A. This room shares a very thick wall with the adjacent -- with the
14 contiguous house.
15 Q. Is it in the interior of the house?
16 A. The inside of the house, the second floor, and just above us there
17 was a thick floor of an old Dubrovnik kitchen, made of yellow baked tiles.
18 Q. Now, who was in this shelter or this -- this shelter that you
20 A. And then, my sister, who had managed to put her clothes on in the
21 meantime, arrived.
22 Q. Where was your mother?
23 A. I found her inside the shelter, and I thought to myself: My God,
24 how is this possible? We were a great deal younger than she was, but she
25 instinctively sensed danger.
1 Q. Now, did you remain in the shelter?
2 A. Yes, we remained in the shelter until the sounds of these
3 explosions started growing more and more powerful.
4 Q. What did you do?
5 A. As I said, being the restless man that I am, I had to go out and
6 have a look to see what was going on.
7 Q. When you say "out," did you leave the house or did you stay within
8 the house?
9 A. No. In the house. In the house.
10 Q. So where did you go to see what was happening?
11 A. I went over to the kitchen window facing west, from which you had
12 a very clear view of the hilltop cross on Srdj.
13 Q. And what did you observe?
14 A. I observed constant explosions and thick smoke rising.
15 Q. What did you do?
16 A. There was a strong easterly wind on that day, and I waited for the
17 wind to disperse, the smokescreen. Once the smoke had lifted, I realised
18 that our cross was gone. The only thing that remained was the vertical
19 bar, but the horizontal arms of the cross had been broken off.
20 Q. What did you do?
21 A. I quickly shut the window and shouted over to my sister and
22 mother, who were taking shelter: Our cross is gone. That's the bad sign.
23 Q. Did you look out the window again?
24 A. I went back to the window. It had the wooden shutters. We call
25 them Persijane. I looked outside, looked in the same direction, towards
1 Srdj, and at a distance of about 80 metres, a shell crashed down, and I
2 quickly closed the window again. I ran over to my mother and sister, and
3 I said: It must be our turn now.
4 Q. Now, when you saw the shell explode at a distance of about 80
5 metres, what was the area of the city that it exploded in, or what
6 buildings were in that area that the shell exploded?
7 A. This was near the festival headquarters for Dubrovnik Summer
8 Festival, which had burned down, which we later realised.
9 Q. Now, you're back in the shelter area with your mother and sister.
10 What happens? Please tell the Judges.
11 A. Another shell exploded overhead. So what I had prophesied had
12 come true. It was our turn, indeed.
13 Q. When you say "exploded overhead", you mean it exploded into your
14 building or it hit your building?
15 A. Yes, precisely. This was exactly where we had a lavatory in the
16 attic. It was at 10 past 7.00.
17 Q. Does anything happen after that?
18 A. Just after that, several minutes later, another shell landed on
19 our house from the west, near the chimney of the house just next to ours.
20 Q. Did anything happen after these shells hit your house that made
21 you realise a shell was hitting your house?
22 A. You realise that there is a great deal of pressure above your
23 head. I said at that time: It's all right. It's all right. Thank God
24 it's not an incendiary shell
25 Q. Now, when you say it hit overhead, was there any debris or
1 anything that fell when those first two shells hit your house?
2 A. Mostly the roof caves in, the tiles, and the wooden beams
3 supporting the tiles. You may find this interesting, however. I said: My
4 God, just let it not be an incendiary shell, and my sister said: Shut up,
5 you witch. We didn't have to wait long. At 20 past 7.00, there was
6 another explosion, and you could see a different kind of light, a bluish,
7 strong light. Now, how were we able to see this? Because in the old
8 houses in Dubrovnik, there's not a single window or a single door that
9 shuts tight. Those were no new windows and doors. So through the doors,
10 through the windows, and through the locks, you could see this bluish
12 Q. Now, what happened after this shell exploded? You see a blue
13 light. What else do you hear or notice?
14 A. At that moment, we crouched, we squatted, to keep our body volume
15 down, and we remained silent. We waited to see if -- and this was a
16 little further to the south than the first shells that fell. We waited to
17 see if anything would move, if we would feel anything.
18 Q. What did you hear or feel?
19 A. And we didn't have to wait for long. We felt that there were
20 things falling up above, that something was rolling down, that something
21 was creaking, that something was breaking. Something was alive up there.
22 My patience ran out, and I said, like a true macho man: You women, you
23 stay put. You stay where you are. I'm going out to see what's going on.
24 When I reached the top of the staircase, first I had to go through
25 the kitchen, then the corridor and the living room, up a flight of stairs,
1 and then I reached the attic.
2 Q. What did you observe?
3 A. What did I observe? I realised that at the time, where the door
4 meets the door frame, there were tongues of flame coming out.
5 Q. What did you do?
6 A. I knew that the room behind the door was on fire. However, having
7 learnt from my earlier experiences when my flat was on fire in Zagreb, I
8 did not open the door, because then oxygen comes into the room and the
9 fire flares up.
10 Q. So tell the Court what you did.
11 A. Then I went to the bathroom. We had just built a new bathroom
12 during the Dubrovnik Republic there were no bathrooms, as is generally
13 well known. The bathtub was full of water from the November rains. I
14 took a bucket and tried to douse the flames by throwing water. I was very
15 happy at first. I thought to myself: Hmm, I'm doing fine.
16 When I came out to get another bucket of water, I saw that the
17 flame was growing. I used up seven bucketfuls of water, but I failed to
18 put out the fire.
19 Q. So what did you do next?
20 A. Next I went back down to the living room, down the flight of
21 stairs. We had two buckets full of water there, which we kept just in
22 case. I took those two buckets back up the stairs. Having reached the
23 top of the stairs, I was surprised to see what I saw. The flame had
24 already devoured one-third of the door, and the door didn't just burn
25 regularly; the flames had eaten the door away, leaving a jagged line, a
1 jagged contour. These jags looked like the devil's teeth. This was in a
2 way magnificent but also a horrifying thing to see.
3 Q. Was this smoke and fumes?
4 A. You know the saying: Where there's smoke, there's a fire. And
5 vice versa. I still have this horrifying image in my mind. Maybe I'll
6 make a painting out of it one day.
7 Q. What did you do?
8 A. Then I poured these two bucketfuls of water on to the door, but to
9 no avail. The fire was getting stronger and stronger. I began
10 suffocating from smoke.
11 Q. So what happened? Did you go back downstairs or ...
12 A. I quickly ran downstairs, to this little room where my mother and
13 sister were, and I told them: We must leave the house.
14 Q. Did you get anyone out of the house, you yourself? Did you help
15 anyone out of the house?
16 A. First I told them: Let's -- everyone go to their respective rooms
17 to take two blankets each. That was an order that had to be complied,
18 without fail. And also, I told them to take all the bare necessities. My
19 mother is a short woman. I took her under her armpits and I had to run
20 down with her, down some 40 stairs to the ground floor.
21 Q. And where did you bring her?
22 A. First I shouted through a small window to my neighbours, asking
23 them: Mrs. Jasna, can you please take care of my mother. And I helped
24 her. I opened the door to the house. I had to go straight, then to the
25 right, then to the left, to our next-door neighbour, Mrs. Obad.
1 Q. Now, after you left your mother at the Obad house, did you return
2 to your home?
3 A. I ran like crazy, and I slammed the door behind me, and I found my
4 sister, and one of the JNA shells exploded to the west of the door, so we
5 were spared the effects of shrapnel. It was a matter of seconds.
6 Q. Let me get this straight. You just got back into your house when
7 a shell exploded, or ...
8 A. I didn't have time to lock the door to the house. I just slammed
9 the door. I reached my sister, and then the shell exploded, an incendiary
10 shell exploded at the corner of the house.
11 Q. Now, where did your sister go?
12 A. My sister was waiting for me. As soon as I took my mother to our
13 neighbour's, I found my sister downstairs. But in addition to the two
14 blankets that I said we must all take, she had a third one, plus a bag,
15 over her shoulder.
16 Q. And what was in the bag?
17 A. I asked her: Why do you have that with you? And she replied: My
18 personal papers. And then I responded: But I don't have anything on me.
19 I took our mother's away and I have nothing on me. So I quickly rushed up
20 to these 40 stairs, to my room.
21 Q. Now, did you get your documents?
22 A. I first peeped through the keyhole to see if there was fire in the
23 room. I quickly opened the door, and then I thought to myself: Where are
24 all my school certificates, my birth certificate, my diplomas? Was I
25 keeping them in the first drawer or in the fourth drawer? And it happened
1 that they were in the third drawer. I took all those folders, stashed
2 them into a bag, and then I took to my mother's room, which was next to
3 mine, and in a cupboard there, she had her small bag where she kept money.
4 Q. All right. So you got your money and documents. Did you go back
6 A. I ran downstairs, and then my sister told me: What about my
7 shoes? And she added: And what about gas cylinder? It's a brand new
8 cylinder full of gas, and it's going to blow up the whole house.
9 Q. So did you run back upstairs to get the slippers and the gas
10 bottle, or cylinder?
11 A. I somehow collected my strength. I said to myself: Ivo, you must
12 run upstairs to fetch both your sister's shoes and the gas cylinder. I
13 took those items, and also a small fire extinguisher which works with
14 powder. So I carried all these items downstairs, and when I reached the
15 ground floor, I heard the upper staircase caving in.
16 Q. All right. Now --
17 A. These were matters of seconds, or tenths of seconds, by which I
18 avoided being crumbled under this debris. Thankfully, God saved me.
19 Q. Now, did you and your sister leave the house and go to the Obad's
21 A. My sister was supposed to come out. I told her to put both
22 blankets over her head. Why? Because pieces of roof tiles, hot pieces of
23 planks that supported the tiles were falling down. You can eventually see
24 that on the photographs that I made. My sister went out, but since she
25 was covered with those blankets and carried a bag, she immediately
1 stumbled and fell in front of the door. I shouted at her: Get up on your
3 And then she went to the Obad's, and I was left there alone.
4 Q. Now, did you find something to put on your head before you left,
5 to protect yourself?
6 A. There's a copper water vessel that was made a long time ago, which
7 we use in Dubrovnik as a reminder of the good old times.
8 Q. And did you put this copper vessel or copper pot on your head as
9 kind of like a helmet?
10 A. Yes. It was on the top of a cupboard in my small ground-floor
11 gallery, in which I kept some dry flowers. I threw the flowers outside
12 and I tried to put it on my head, and it fitted perfectly. I also put two
13 blankets over my head and body, and I knelt down on the lower staircase.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. And I said - and I think this is important for me to say now:
16 God, it is up to you whether I'm going to count to 4, 15, or 19 before I
17 can leave the house, because shells were exploding all over the place
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. At one moment in time, I made a decision and went to the Obad's
22 Q. Now, just very quickly: While you were at the Obad's house, did
23 you try to do anything to put the fire out?
24 A. The reason we went to their house was because they had the old
25 gustirna as we call it in Dubrovnik, which is a water tank dating back
1 from the time of the old Republic of Dubrovnik. We used that as a source
2 of drinking water. Many people came before this event with a small
3 vessel, and that's how we supplied all the -- the entire neighbourhood
4 with water.
5 Q. Okay. Just briefly: What did you do to try and put the fire out
6 from the Obad house?
7 A. In retrospect, it seems to me like some crazy game. We took one
8 litre or two-litre bottles, filled them with water, and we threw them at
9 this huge flame devouring my flat. We had hoped that this could be
10 helpful in any way.
11 Q. Was it helpful?
12 A. No. There was no effect. But we simply had to do something and
13 try to save what could be saved.
14 Q. Were you able to save any of your paintings?
15 A. Yes. I didn't have any more strength, because, as I told you, my
16 beautiful art gallery used to be on the ground floor, and it's perished
18 Q. But were you able to save any paintings on that day?
19 A. Then Mr. Obad told me: We must take this out and bring it to my
21 Q. So what did you do?
22 A. Another two young gentlemen joined us, and quite incidentally,
23 they're all three called Toni, Tonci, and Antun, which is basically the
24 same name.
25 Q. And were these men able to save some of your paintings?
1 A. About 20 paintings were carried over from my gallery to Mr. Obad's
3 Q. Now, did you remain in the Obad house for a while?
4 A. We spent the night there and we ate there.
5 Q. Did you leave the Obad house at any time during the day?
6 A. Yes, we did. I put this copper vessel again on my head, and I
7 wrapped these two blankets around me, and I went out of the house to see
8 what was happening and what were the outcome of this terrible shelling. I
9 took a photocamera and I shot the facade of the buildings. I saw a flame
10 coming out from out of the window on the south facade, and that was the
11 window to the room of my sister.
12 Q. Okay. You took a picture. Did you have anyone take a picture of
13 you by the building?
14 A. As soon as I took this first photograph, I turned around and I saw
15 a gentleman approaching me quite quickly from the western side. I
16 addressed him. I said: Please, can you make a photo again. And I made
17 this gesture, and this is the picture that was reprinted all around the
19 Q. Did something happen right after that photo was taken?
20 A. At that moment, while the second picture was being taken, in the
21 background of the picture, it could be seen that a shell exploded
22 approximately in front of the Greek Orthodox Church, some 70 metres away
23 from the place where I was. Because on the first picture, you don't see
24 this smoke, whereas in the other picture you can see this white smoke.
25 Q. Just very briefly: Did you go somewhere after the shell exploded?
1 A. We threw ourselves to the street on the right-hand store. We had
2 been some 70 centimetres from the wall. We tried to avoid being hit by
3 any shrapnel. This gentleman was shouting "Keti, Keti," because he had
4 been living at Mrs. Keti's house, and he called to her to open the door.
5 Q. If we could be just brief on a lot of these issues, so we can just
6 finish up very quickly. So do you go into this Keti's house and stay for
7 a while?
8 A. We both went inside, and shells had been falling all around in the
10 Q. Now, did the firemen eventually arrive during that day, December
12 A. I took this photo exactly at 20 past 3.00 p.m., and the fire
13 brigade arrived at 20 past 4.00 p.m.
14 Q. All right. I'd like you to look at this photograph. Is that you
15 in the picture, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is that the pot you were using as a helmet for protection?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Where is your house in that picture? Is that your house with the
20 balcony, to the left of where you're standing?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And that was taken, you said, at 3.20 p.m. on December 6th?
23 A. Yes, at 3.20 p.m.
24 Q. And at the building to your left, there's flames at the top. Whose
25 room is that, if you know? You can see the flames coming out of one of
1 the windows.
2 A. Yes, I can see it. And as I just said, that was my sister's room.
3 And the flame was coming from inside, which means that the entire room had
4 been burned down, because the window was closed, as you can see.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, sir --
6 MR. WEINER: The Prosecution would move to introduce that
7 photograph at this time.
8 JUDGE PARKER: The photograph will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit P34.
10 MR. WEINER: May I continue, or ... Thank you, sir.
11 Q. Sir, just briefly: On December 6th, 1991, did you see any
12 Croatian troops in the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
13 A. No, I didn't.
14 Q. Did you see any mortars, artillery, or even any outgoing fire from
15 the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
16 A. Not inside the Old Town.
17 Q. Now, on the following day, December 7th, did you go back and visit
18 what was the -- your apartment and the building?
19 A. We all went out into the streets, because on the 7th of December,
20 a sort of truce was signed and the shelling ceased.
21 Q. Did you return to your apartment on that date?
22 A. I had no place to go back. The house was burnt to the ground. But
23 I went around the town and looked at other buildings.
24 Q. Were there any other buildings on your street that were destroyed,
25 other than yours?
1 A. This is a well-known fact. Six houses were burnt to the ground,
2 and another three were burnt -- their upper sections were burnt.
3 Q. All right. Let's start off with your house. I'd like to show you
4 a photograph with an ERN number 03491268. Do you recognise that
5 photograph, sir? It should be on your screen.
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And what is that?
8 A. That's the eastern side of the house. And here you can see the
9 balcony. There were two balconies, in fact, on the eastern side. This is
10 the one facing the north-easterly side. And the shell fell beneath the
11 balcony, on the street, and the detonation demolished the stone floor of
12 the balcony.
13 Q. Now, sir, could you -- could you put the picture on that machine
14 to your right. Now, sir, could you please show the floor of the balcony
15 that was damaged, what you were just referring to. Could you point to
16 that, sir.
17 A. The floor was here. This is the front side, upon which this
18 wrought iron fence leaned, and it stretched up to the house wall. And all
19 this part that is missing used to be a stone balcony.
20 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may the record reflect that the witness
21 has just pointed to the floor or the standing area of the balcony, and
22 there's a very large hole. It's just no longer there. And it was,
23 according to his testimony, it was made out of stone. Thank you.
24 Q. Sir, I'd like you to look at the next photograph, 03491269. Sir,
25 what is that a photograph of?
1 A. This is the western part of the house. This wall on the right is
2 in fact the middle wall of the house, the middle supporting wall of the
3 house, because there is an identical area like this on the eastern side as
4 well. There was. The house was 10 by 13 metres.
5 Q. Sir, this interior portion, there's a line, almost like a
6 triangle, a line along the -- a horizontal line. Is that where the floor
7 was? Higher than that. Yes, right there, the one you just pointed to.
8 What was that?
9 A. Yes, that was the floor of the old kitchen in the attic.
10 Q. And was there another floor that was there, one storey below?
11 A. That's one floor below, and this used to be the floor of our flat.
12 Q. Now, sir, did all this damage, two floors of a house gone, did
13 this all occur on December 6th?
14 A. Yes. It all happened in one day. The house was demolished to the
15 ground. The only thing left are these bare walls that you can see. The
16 western wall, the northern wall, and the middle wall divide --
17 partitioning the house into two identical portions.
18 Q. And that's in 1991?
19 A. Yes, on the 6th of December.
20 Q. Now, sir, could we look at the next photograph, photograph with an
21 ERN number 03491270. Sir, could you tell us what that is.
22 A. In this photograph, you can see the entrance door to the palace.
23 Q. And the palace -- and that's your home at 16 Od Puca Street?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And is that the only piece of the door remaining, that piece to
1 the left?
2 A. Yes. This piece, I still have this piece. I've kept it. It
3 didn't burn.
4 Q. And what's inside the door or behind the doorway? What's all that
6 A. Here you can see, if you look at this wall above the door, there's
7 a circular shape. This was a large fresco that I painted, a ring dance, a
8 folklore ring dance from the surroundings of Dubrovnik. They call it
9 the jig. So a bit further inside, on the adjacent walls, there were
10 murals, or rather, paintings, hung on these walls that those three
11 gentlemen that I spoke about earlier had taken away and saved.
12 If I may just add: On the door jamb, you see a small white tile.
13 This was a ceramic tile, or a plaque, on which I painted a small coat of
14 arms and wrote down the name Kamber, because that was the name of my
15 sister's family.
16 Q. Okay. And would you look at the last picture, 03491271. Now,
17 could you tell us what that photograph depicts?
18 A. First of all, I took this photograph personally, three months
19 later. This is the wall of the house facing west. The photograph was
20 taken from inside the house.
21 Q. What are those two objects, from the middle of the photograph up,
22 those square objects? One is the shape of a U and the one to the left of
23 it's a square.
24 A. This sloping section here was where the roof was, and this window
25 was at the top of the staircase. To the left, you see the zigzag line.
1 That's where the staircase was, and that's the staircase I took to reach
2 the attic and to try to put out the fire. It was from here precisely that
3 I saw, facing east, that the door was burning, that the door that I've
4 talked about was on fire. This window here is where the bathroom was, the
5 lavatory. It was this wide, and that's where we had a small bathroom,
6 with a bathtub to the right, from which I got the seven bucketfuls of
7 water, following which I failed, eventually, to put the fire out.
8 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may the record reflect that there are
9 two squares at the top of this photograph. The one to the left, or below
10 the one to the left, the witness just indicated, was a stairway, and the
11 one to the right was the one relating to the bathroom, where he got the
12 buckets of water.
13 Q. Sir, are these four photographs fair and accurate representations
14 of the way your house looked after it had been shelled and the way it
15 looked on December 7th, 1991?
16 A. Yes. These photographs speak volumes about the atrocity of the
17 attack. This is the state in which the house remained until as late as
18 1996, when reconstruction began.
19 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I would like to offer these four
20 photographs at this time.
21 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received in evidence.
22 THE REGISTRAR: The photo with -- bearing ERN number 03491268 is
23 Exhibit P35. The photo bearing ERN number 03491269 is Exhibit P36. The
24 photo bearing ERN number 03491270 is Exhibit P37. And photo bearing ERN
25 number 03491271 is Exhibit P38.
1 MR. WEINER:
2 Q. Now, sir --
3 JUDGE PARKER: I wondered whether that would be a convenient time,
4 Mr. Weiner, or are you very near the end?
5 MR. WEINER: I'm near the end, but I think it would be a
6 convenient time to take a short break.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Mr. Grbic, we're going to have a break now
8 and then resume in 20 minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
12 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Good afternoon again, Mr. Grbic. Now, we just looked at the
14 pictures of the damage to your house. I'd like to ask you, just very
15 briefly: You indicated that the festival headquarters had been struck, or
16 the area above the festival headquarters, and you said you later found out
17 that it had been damaged or destroyed. Is that also referred to as the
18 Festival Palace?
19 A. This palace is in Od Sigurate Street, and to the right of it
20 there's another, bigger palace, which had burned to the ground. To the
21 left is the Festival Palace, of which the attic in the second floor had
22 burned, with the entire archive. People managed to salvage some furniture
23 from the first floor. This you can see on the video footage.
24 Q. That's from the news footage. All right. On your street - you
25 were living at Od Puca 16 - do you know whether something happened to the
1 house or the building at Od Puca 11?
2 A. On the same street, three more palaces were burned. The nearest
3 to my house is the south-east front of the Maineri Palace, where the
4 Krasovac and Kalcic families lived. This burned to the ground. The next
5 house, next to St. Joseph's church, this was the oldest building of all
6 from the renaissance. It also burned to the ground. Next to the Orthodox
7 Church, there was a very tall building, a three-storey building. The
8 attic and the entire house burned down. South-east of that building, the
9 elementary school building, there was another privately owned palace, a
10 renaissance palace had burned to the ground. On the Stradun, next to the
11 Festival building, that's -- the other side of the little brethren, as I
12 said the attic had burned down and the second floor. The building next to
13 it, the flame had gutted the entire house, leaving only the bare walls.
14 Q. Now, Od Puca number 11, was that one of the houses that had burned
15 on your street, to the ground, that burned to the ground?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Now, in addition to the damage to your home, did you lose any
18 artwork and any of your collections?
19 A. As I said, I am an artist, a painter. In addition to my teaching
20 work, I taught in Zagreb for 22 years. I taught art at the applied arts
21 school. In addition to my work as a teacher, I painted. I did paint
22 work, enamel. I did applied arts too, etchings, posters. In that same
23 year, on the 25th of October, I celebrated my 60th birthday, because I had
24 just turned 60. Naturally, if by the age of 60, one failed to establish
25 oneself as a talent, then past the age of 60 then certainly your prospects
1 were not particularly rosy.
2 In addition to my work as a painter, I had a valuable collection
3 of books, more than 2.000 books. I'm not talking about popular
4 literature. This is something I borrowed from other people. This was
5 serious literature from my field of work, from art history, from the
6 history of theatre, metal work, that sort of thing. Everything that came
7 from the field of the visual arts.
8 I collected objects. I had a collection of curios. I owned a
9 model of an old Dubrovnik ship. I also had a private ethnographic
10 collection of old clothes that were used in the surroundings of Dubrovnik
11 ages ago. The Konavle area, Zupa Dubrovacka, the Dubrovnik coastal area
12 to the west and from the island of Mljet. These were very old costumes.
13 I also owned a collection of old instruments, musical instruments.
14 Q. How many paintings did you lose?
15 A. I believe about 170, 175. I can't say with any degree of
16 precision, but a large number of paintings that were kept in the flat.
17 Many of my etchings were burned. In the attic, I kept three huge
18 wardrobes, 100 by 70 centimetres. The format is usually referred to as
19 B-1. And those wardrobes were filled with my etchings.
20 Q. Now -- okay. Now, let me just ask you this, just to clarify the
21 record, and then we'll go into the last section, last few minutes. All
22 those palaces that you indicated were burned to the ground, did all of
23 those burn as a result of the shelling on December 6th, 1991?
24 A. All of them. As a result of the shelling that took place on the
25 6th of December, 1991.
1 Q. Now, sir, after the shelling on that date and the destruction of
2 your home, did your sister ever return to Od Puca 16 to live, to live
4 A. She only returned once the house had been repaired. But even the
5 heirs who inherited the house failed to complete the reconstruction
6 because unfortunately she died.
7 Q. Your mother, did she ever return to that home that she lived in
8 since 1970? Did she ever return to Od Puca 16 to live there again?
9 A. No. I regret to say, she died in the following year, 1992, prior
10 to which she had been living in an old people's home. So it was from
11 sorrow and from old age that she died, in August 1992.
12 Q. Did you -- you indicated you returned to the home a few years ago.
13 Where did you live for those ten years? Just -- what types of housing you
14 live in over the ten years that you weren't in your home at Od Puca
16 A. Most of the refugees lived in hotel facilities. I lived in five
17 different hotels myself, but those were not the hotels that you imagine,
18 that you tend to imagine, luxurious hotels. There was no running water,
19 no electricity, initially. Later, when we did have electricity, it was
20 rationed out, so that there was enough to go around. We washed once a
21 week, and the food was miserable. I stayed in five different hotels,
22 which I can enumerate for you.
23 The first one was the Lapad Hotel. The next one was Imperijal.
24 The third one was the Palace Hotel, in Lapad. The fourth one was the
25 Plakir Hotel, and the last one, finally, was Vis-2.
1 Q. Thank you very much, sir. Thank you very much. No further
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrovic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Grbic, good afternoon. My name is Vladimir
7 Petrovic. I'm an attorney at law from Belgrade and I represent
8 General Strugar before this Tribunal. I will ask you several questions in
9 connection with your testimony before this Court today.
10 First of all, can you please tell me whether at any point in time
11 you gave a statement to the investigators of this Tribunal.
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Can you remember specifically when and under what circumstances?
14 A. In September 2000.
15 Q. My learned friend is drawing my attention to the fact that since
16 we speak the same language, we should pause between question and answer,
17 because the proceedings are being interpreted.
18 When did you give this statement, and to whom? Briefly, please.
19 A. In Dubrovnik, in Lapad, at the Kompas Hotel. I spoke to
20 Mr. Mohammad Arshad, I think that's what his name was.
21 Q. Did you answer his questions on that issue?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. Did you tell Mr. Arshad what happened in October, November, and
24 December 1991 to the best of your knowledge and recollection at the time?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. He wrote this down. Did you read it before you signed it?
2 A. It was written in English. You know that I don't understand
3 English, so the interpreter just read the statement back to me.
4 Q. What the interpreter read back to you, did that accurately reflect
5 your words to Mr. Arshad, to the best of your recollection?
6 A. Yes, for the most part.
7 Q. You say yes, for the most part. Did you perhaps point out certain
8 discrepancies or inaccuracies to Mr. Arshad at the time, imprecisions in
9 the statement, once it was read back to you by the interpreter?
10 A. I could only ascertain this now, when I saw it in writing, the
12 Q. But if I understand you correctly, back in 2000, on that occasion
13 when you were interviewed, your statement was read back to you and there
14 were no objections on your part.
15 A. It was very difficult to make any objections to an oral statement.
16 As you know, the speech flows. If I had had a written statement before
17 me, I would have been in a better place to go through it and analyse the
18 text itself.
19 Q. So was it read back to you or not?
20 A. Yes, it was read back to me, but in a leisurely way. I could not
21 obtain a copy of the statement in writing. Purportedly, that's at least
22 what I was told, this was not the usual practice at the Tribunal. We
23 signed it, and it was only now that I had occasion to see certain
24 inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the written statement, which at the
25 time I could not correct, because that was oral communication, so speech
1 tends to flow and you can't interrupt people all the time. Had I had a
2 written copy of the statement back then, I would have had the chance to go
3 back to certain things and mistakes. Because as you are no doubt well
4 aware, even a single comma can change the meaning of an entire sentence.
5 Q. This means that you signed the statement, although even at the
6 time you realised that there were inaccuracies in the statement?
7 A. I didn't see anything at the time.
8 Q. Or rather, you heard.
9 A. It was read back to me so fast that I didn't have a chance to
10 realise that there were shortcomings in the statement.
11 Q. At the end of the statement, was a caution read out to you, to the
12 witness, saying that the statement is to the best of your knowledge and
13 recollection, on the one hand; and on the other, that the statement can be
14 used in proceedings before the International Criminal Tribunal for persons
15 accused of committing crimes in the former Yugoslavia, which means that
16 this has potentially far-reaching legal consequences?
17 A. That's precisely why the investigation was carried out. That was
18 the aim, the original objective of the investigation. But all of us who
19 provided statements expected that if we signed anything, that we would
20 eventually be given a copy of the document we signed, as is the
21 established practice with most law courts. My lawyer would have been
22 entitled to claim a copy of the statement. Unfortunately, none of my
23 friends and fellow victims in Dubrovnik were ever given copies.
24 Q. When did you set eyes on the statement for the first time?
25 A. Recently, when I arrived in The Hague. In writing.
1 Q. What was it like? Were there several people who were giving
2 statements being interviewed at the same time? How were you summoned
3 there? How was the whole thing organised, technically?
4 A. It was always individual, individual interviews were conducted
5 with the investigator present and an interpreter.
6 Q. Who had summoned you to the Kompas Hotel where you gave the
8 A. That's not what I was staying at the time. I was staying at the
9 Vis-2 Hotel and that's where Mr. Arshad interviewed other refugees too. So
10 one day he left a message for me saying that he would wait for me, he'd be
11 waiting at the Kompas, and the distance between the two hotel, the one
12 where I was staying and where I was interviewed was perhaps 500 metres,
13 not more.
14 Q. So you asked Mr. Arshad for a copy of the statement, but he failed
15 to produce one?
16 A. He said that this was not usual.
17 Q. Very well. Thank you. I would like to move on to something
18 different now, another issue that you raise in your statement. Wherever
19 possible, please try to keep your answers brief, obviously. If you can't,
20 your answers will be lengthy. But if you can keep them short, please do
22 In your statement, page 1, in fact, of your statement, in the last
23 passage, you say the following: "The history of this region from the 19th
24 century onwards shows that the Serbs had the tendency to dominate other
25 ethnic groups."
1 What exactly did you mean by that? How was this reflected? How
2 was this apparent? Why was it important to include that in your
4 A. Because history teaches us. History is a teacher. We are able to
5 draw many conclusions from the course of history. This was something that
6 we were aware of. But I think even now in schools in Serbia, children are
7 taught that the Renaissance and Baroque literature of Dubrovnik is Serbian
8 literature, which is a blatant untruth. Even if you just look at that
9 example of arbitrariness, this clearly reflects a desire to dominate.
10 Q. You're talking about the nineteenth century. What is the
11 importance of pointing out the Serb desire to dominate back in the
12 nineteenth century? How does that affect something that happened at the
13 end of the twentieth century?
14 A. Because it was the same thing earlier. I'm just trying to point
15 out that this in fact never stopped, that this desire to dominate never
17 Q. How did you recognise this desire to dominate at the time relevant
18 to our conversation?
19 A. I used the nineteenth century.
20 Q. We are talking about both the 19th and the twentieth century?
21 A. Back in the nineteenth century, the population of Dubrovnik was
22 predominantly Catholic. There wasn't a single church in Dubrovnik that
23 wasn't a Catholic church.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
25 MR. WEINER: Sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. Your Honour, within
1 the statement, there are -- let me count. One, two, three, possibly four
2 paragraphs, some of them long, concerning a whole history of the Dubrovnik
3 area, going back to the nineteenth century. They take it from the
4 nineteenth century, into the twentieth century, to post World War II, on
5 to the current situation. I didn't introduce any of that during the
6 Prosecution's examination-in-chief because we had a historian come and
7 testify. This man discussed it, but he is not a historian. He's not
8 qualified as a historian, although he's a noted artist. And we didn't
9 bring that up. As a result, I'd argue that it's not relevant to this
10 proceeding, unless they can come up with some way to tie the nineteenth
11 century history --
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I have two things to point out.
15 I'll just dwell on this very briefly, on this issue of history. Secondly,
16 if you read the statement of this witness, the source, the roots of the
17 1991 conflict, in the opinion of this witness, are to be found in
18 something that dates far back in history. I'll dwell on this very
19 briefly, because we're talking about an armed conflict. But this witness
20 is trying to point out the roots, the sources of this conflict. I'm not
21 spending too much time on this, but I believe that some light should be
22 shed on this issue, because in many ways this has been raised by the OTP
23 during the pre-trial stage and even now, and also, this was something we
24 heard from another witness. So obviously, this is something that keeps
25 cropping up in the positions put forward by the OTP. So therefore I
1 believe it is necessary to discuss this in Court.
2 JUDGE PARKER: You realise, Mr. Petrovic, that while it was in a
3 statement that you have, it was not led in evidence, so this witness
4 hasn't given any evidence about the matter and the Chamber has not heard
5 anything from this witness about the history. It's not immediately
6 apparent to me what will be relevant about that history. If you can point
7 out where it will be directly relevant to your case, it will be different.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, I'd
9 just like to add two questions, and if by then this is not clarified, we
10 can move on to something else.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Fine. Yes, do that.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 Q. Going back to your statement, what does the following statement
14 mean: "Serbian nationalistic poets swamped Dubrovnik"?
15 A. This was a misinterpretation, so now we've got that corrected.
16 Q. So how should it be now, this sentence? How should it read?
17 A. It should read as follows: Some poets from Dubrovnik, such as the
18 Pucic brothers and Nikola Ban [phoen], who were pro-Serbian, wrote certain
19 poems which could again be heard in 1991. You can see that on the video
20 footage of the man playing the Gusle, a traditional instrument, singing:
21 On the top of Srdj, the fairy is singing. Long live Serbian Dubrovnik.
22 These lines were actually written by Nikola Ban in mid-19th century.
23 That's precisely how it was, yes.
24 Q. You say that on the land belonging to the Gundulic family, an
25 Orthodox church was built around which political activity of the local
1 Serbs centred. Why do you have a problem with an Orthodox church in a
2 cosmopolitan tradition, a cosmopolitan town? Why is a Serb poet something
3 to be surprised at?
4 A. I'm saying a pro-Serbian poet.
5 Q. Pro-Serbian or Serbian?
6 A. Well, that's not the same thing to me.
7 Q. What's your problem with that?
8 A. I'll tell you how it was. Back in the nineteenth century, the
9 Dubrovnik nobility became poor and rich merchants from the hinterland came
10 over and bought their houses off the Dubrovnik nobility on a massive
11 scale, which is recounted by Vojnovic in his Dubrovnik trilogy. Vaso
12 turned the Tunisici [phoen] house into a warehouse where salt was kept.
13 The old nobility was obviously just short of dying from heart break. So
14 this was the general trajectory, the general course the events took. So
15 the church was only built in the second half of the nineteenth century,
16 plumb in the middle of town.
17 Q. Do you mind a Serbian church being there in Dubrovnik?
18 A. No, I don't mind. As a matter of principle, I don't mind any
19 place of worship, as a matter of principle. But it was requested
20 explicitly that the church be built at the very centre of town, at the
21 geometrical centre point, so this is usurping space inside the town, I
22 would say.
23 Q. Do you think this is a blemish on the town's face?
24 A. It was not exactly built according to the rules set out by earlier
25 buildings in Dubrovnik.
1 Q. My last question concerning this: Who rules Dubrovnik at the time
2 the Serbian church was built? Was it a Serbian ruler? Was it Yugoslavia?
3 Who was in charge? Who were the rulers at the time?
4 A. I said the nobility had become poor and then the rich merchants
5 came in.
6 Q. Just to keep this brief: What was the estate at the time?
7 A. Austro-Hungary.
8 Q. Thank you very much. If we look at your statement, another fact
9 that I find very interesting is something that relates to the most recent
10 events. You say: "Following the death of President Tito, the ethnic
11 factor predominated, became predominant again and Serbs were now
12 controlling all the key posts in non-Serb areas." What does that mean?
13 A. Well, this means, and that is the truth itself, is that in the
14 Yugoslav army, most of the leading officers in the army were Serbs. I
15 think that's no secret. Or is it? It's clear, if you look at this last
16 war and the attack on Dubrovnik, what songs were sung.
17 Q. Please, let's not start talking about songs. Just try to keep to
18 my questions. If you can, please answer my questions. If not, please
19 make that clear and say you can't.
20 You say that all the most important positions in the army and in
21 the financial sector were in the hands of Serbs.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
23 MR. WEINER: Sorry to object again, but once again we're delving
24 into areas not covered in direct examination. Now, I know
25 cross-examination can delve into issues that are not covered in direct
1 examination or examination-in-chief. However --
2 JUDGE PARKER: With leave of the Tribunal.
3 MR. WEINER: With leave of the Tribunal. However, in this
4 situation again, number one, they are questioning this witness as a
5 historical expert. We did not -- we did not question this witness in
6 those areas because he is not a historical witness. And if this Court
7 would like to take judicial notice, if you want to look at the Talic
8 decision and other decisions of this Tribunal, it is clear that what this
9 witness had just said was stated in the Talic decision about the changes
10 that occurred in the JNA, where it did in fact become a Serbian army. But
11 that's beside the point. That information came from military people and
12 experts that testified. This person is not a historical expert, and as a
13 result, this area is irrelevant. That's number one.
14 Number two, even, even if the Court wanted to hear such testimony,
15 this person's opinion as to the causes of the war and the events that led
16 up to the war, once again, are not admissible. Thank you.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Weiner.
18 Now, Mr. Petrovic.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it goes without saying
20 that the Chamber will not base its final opinion on what this witness
21 says. However, what this witness has to say in relation to these specific
22 issues has a bearing on his entire view of how events unfolded, and this
23 has a bearing on this indictment. If someone puts forward certain
24 positions, certain kinds of prejudice, if someone's memory is partial, at
25 best, now, this must be heard, and that's what I'm trying to draw
1 everyone's attention to. I don't mean to use this to ascertain what
2 happened after Tito died but I want to know why, in the statement of this
3 witness, with great vehemence there is great focus on a problem which
4 purportedly exist in Dubrovnik and has to do with Serbs. What I want to
5 get at is why all things Serbian seem to be a problem for this witness,
6 which comes across with great clarity, if you look at his statement.
7 Because this is a key issue for his later interpretation of what happened.
8 I am not trying to verify historical facts through the testimony of
9 Mr. Grbic. I will just dwell on this very briefly, but I think it
10 matters. I think it's material to the testimony of this particular
11 witness. This has nothing to do with the overall historical
12 interpretation of certain events.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, you realise that again I suspect you
14 are concentrating on matters which are not in evidence. You seem to be
15 looking at the statement, which the members of the Chamber don't have and
16 which are not in evidence, and you are saying: Well, there are things in
17 that that concern you and you want to examine on. What we have heard from
18 Mr. Grbic is very largely a factual description of damage and loss in the
19 Old Town of Dubrovnik. That's the evidence which we have from the
20 witness. It would normally be unusual for you to broaden his evidence in
21 cross-examination. There would need to be some good reason why that
22 should be allowed to occur.
23 Now, the most I can make from what you've put against that
24 background is that you think that this cross-examination will go to the
25 credit, the credibility of aspects of the evidence that has been given by
1 Mr. Grbic. Is that correct?
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the first thing you
3 said, yes, in addition to other reasons which I have tried to point out,
4 because the problem we are facing now is the following, if I may be
5 allowed to use these several minutes to clarify this. We have in front of
6 us a person who witnessed these events that are material to the
7 indictment. However, what we see happening now is that this witness gave
8 a statement, and Mr. Weiner took him through his testimony, omitting
9 certain key aspects of our case. But key aspects of our case have been
10 referred to in this witness's statement. However, during the
11 examination-in-chief, they have simply been omitted. And I'm not talking
12 about the historical part now, because that I fully accept. But
13 everything else is key to our case.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic --
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] And very soon --
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, if I could invite you to indicate
17 what it is that is important to your case that you want to explore with
18 Mr. Grbic.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll try. First of
20 all, unfortunately, I see that we are having this conversation in the
21 presence of Mr. Grbic, which may affect further course of his testimony.
22 First of all, we have the genesis of armed conflict and
23 participants in this armed conflict, not from a historical point of view,
24 but rather, those who were directly or indirectly involved in this armed
1 Secondly, how damage occurred and what the circumstances were. The
2 question of armed conflict that was there in the area where only a partial
3 view, at best, is being offered of it. If we only talk about the
4 examination-in-chief and leave everything else aside for the time being,
5 events are being shown from one side, from one of their aspect only, and
6 it seems to be the case that nothing else exists, whereas this witness
7 does make reference to other things in his statement, clearly. Yet my
8 learned friend and colleague never deigns to ask him, What is it that's
9 happening on Srdj but rather they talk about silhouettes and the shelling
10 of the Old Town. But what is the general framework in which all these
11 individual things happen? Maybe the witness knows. Maybe he has no
12 familiarity with this, but it's up to me, it's my duty to ask, to find out
13 whether he knows or not. Mr. Weiner seems to be conveniently skipping
14 over these details in his own examination, but for us there is no reason
15 to avoid these issues.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Well, let me indicate, Mr. Petrovic, that I have a
17 fairly clear appreciation of why Mr. Weiner is omitting these matters.
18 That is because he is confining and limiting the Prosecution case, and
19 it's not apparent to me that he's doing so to avoid bringing out matters
20 that are to the advantage of your case. That's why I asked you to
21 indicate what it was that you saw was being omitted that was part of your
22 case. To me, what Mr. Weiner is doing is merely limiting out, omitting
23 irrelevant material, none of which will be part of the Prosecution case
24 against your client. If there is in the material that's omitted something
25 that is important to your case, well, then obviously it should be dealt
1 with, and you're free to do that. But at the moment, I haven't grasped
2 exactly what it is, except that you clearly indicated you wanted to
3 explore with Mr. Grbic the question of the damage. Quite clearly, you
4 should be free to do that. What isn't clear to me, for example, is what
5 is the relevance of the history that you were briefly exploring, that goes
6 back perhaps a century or more.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the statement and the
8 attitudes of the witness are biased. What I wish to achieve through my
9 questioning is to point out to this narrow-mindedness and partiality. That
10 was my objective. And speaking about distant history, I fully agree with
11 you that this is irrelevant, and I'm going to omit this now and in the
12 future, because you think that this is something inappropriate.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Because, Mr. Petrovic, it's not been shown to me
14 how it is relevant, and that's why I've made those comments. But I
15 applaud what you're proposing to do, and if you want to deal with the
16 question of the credibility of the witness, you may ask questions that are
17 relevant to that as well.
18 Now, I see you still on your feet, Mr. Weiner.
19 MR. WEINER: I was just going to comment that jus in bello is not
20 jus ad bellum that what happened that he's a witness to is one thing. The
21 basis and the historical reasons for it is another.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We've dealt with that, and it's out of the scene.
23 And I hope I've understood what you have been doing correctly.
24 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Petrovic, if you'd like to carry on with
1 your examination, omitting the history that doesn't seem to have any
2 direct relevance, and dealing with the other matters, I think that's where
3 we can go from now.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. In your statement, you mentioned, when you referred to the year
6 1991, that you started to feel tensions and uncertainty and that you
7 realised that something was wrong. When was exactly that you started
8 feeling like that in Dubrovnik?
9 A. We started feeling like that already when the so-called log
10 revolution was launched in the Krajina in Croatia. That means that the
11 Serbs in Croatia started obstructing roads and other communications.
12 Q. What was the reason for them doing that?
13 A. Because on the referendum, they declared a part of Croatia as the
14 Serbian Krajina, not to mention that what we heard later on about what was
15 happening in Vukovar and around it.
16 Q. Tell me: When did you find out that something was going on in the
17 area of Konavle?
18 A. As soon as the first refugees arrived from there.
19 Q. Give me the time framework.
20 A. In early October 1991.
21 Q. Is it true what you say in your statement, at the end of September
22 1991, the JNA started operations in Konavle?
23 A. They imposed a sea blockade --
24 Q. Please be brief. Tell me: Is it correct that in September 1991
25 the JNA start what you dubbed operations in Primorje and Konavle?
1 A. I didn't say in Primorje and Konavle. I said that there was a sea
2 blockade. We could see ships on the horizon and we could not go anywhere.
3 Q. Let me remind you and read what is written in the B/C/S
4 translation, fourth paragraph: "In September 1991, we came to know that
5 the JNA had started its operation in Konavle and Primorje area, which are
6 areas on the south and north-east of Dubrovnik respectively."
7 A. We know that it all happened in early October.
8 Q. Do you know, were there any members of the Croatian army in
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Do you know was there any conflict in Konavle in September and
12 October 1991?
13 A. That's far away from the town of Dubrovnik, so the only
14 information we had was from the media. Otherwise, I don't know.
15 Q. Did you want to know why those refugees were pouring in and what
16 was going on?
17 A. Unfortunately, the hotels were packed with refugees.
18 Q. Please concentrate on my question. My question was: Did you want
19 to find out, did you ask yourself why those people were coming in?
20 A. Because their houses were burnt. All -- the whole villages
21 were -- in Konavle were burnt.
22 Q. Let me rephrase my question. Were there two sides there shooting
23 at each other, or you don't know, or it wasn't like that?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. You mentioned Lokrum. Can you tell this Chamber how far is Lokrum
1 from the old city, from the Old Town? Several hundred metres? How many?
2 A. At the closest part of the island, it's 700 metres from the city
4 Q. You said that somebody stopped you on your way to Lokrum. Who
5 stopped you?
6 A. The members of the civilian protection.
7 Q. When was that?
8 A. In late September.
9 Q. Why did they stop you?
10 A. They told us that we had to go back home because the sea was under
11 the blockade.
12 Q. So where were those members of the civilian protection?
13 A. They were in the harbour.
14 Q. So you boarded a boat, you arrived at Lokrum, and you were
15 immediately sent back?
16 A. Yes, we were immediately sent back.
17 Q. How come that you managed to reach Lokrum if the sea was under the
19 A. Because nobody told us what the situation was at the town harbour.
20 We learned about that only after we had arrived, and due to that, we were
21 even more surprised.
22 Q. That means that the city harbour was not under the blockade?
23 A. The army ships were far away from the shore.
24 Q. But nobody prevented you from sailing outside the town harbour and
25 arriving at the Lokrum harbour?
1 A. Yeah. No. At that moment, no, but apparently, in the meantime,
2 they were instructed to return any boat or small boat from the sea.
3 Q. You sailed across the sea and went to the Lokrum -- went to
5 A. We had to go back.
6 Q. Once you arrived at Lokrum, what was the reason for them
7 preventing you to disembark?
8 A. In that case, we would become prisoners on the island of Lokrum,
9 if we had been prevented from returning back.
10 Q. That means that the civilian protection stopped you from setting
11 foot on Lokrum at all?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Whose civilian protection was that?
14 A. Those were citizens, members of local communes, civilians.
15 Q. Did you see that they had any weapons?
16 A. No.
17 Q. How did you know, then, that they were civilian protection?
18 A. They were all dressed in civilian clothes, just like I was.
19 Q. Does that mean that anyone dressed in civilian clothes was a
20 member of the civilian protection?
21 A. Yeah. In a certain manner -- way of speaking, you could say that
22 all citizens protected their town from anyone.
23 Q. So if they had no weapons, no uniforms, nor any insignia that will
24 differentiate them from you, why did you obey them?
25 A. Because we knew those people.
1 Q. You knew who members of the Dubrovnik civilian protection were?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you know who the Dubrovnik policemen were?
4 A. There was not a single policeman on Lokrum.
5 Q. Please answer my question. Were you familiar with the policemen
6 of Dubrovnik?
7 A. Not personally.
8 Q. Did you perhaps hear that the Croatian army held positions on
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did it perhaps occur to you that you were not allowed to disembark
12 on Lokrum particularly for that reason, that there were military
13 installations there?
14 A. No. We just accepted their answers that there were ships on the
15 horizon, the siege was proclaimed, and they told us that we must go back.
16 Q. You described in detail that events -- excuse me.
17 [Defence counsel confer]
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Would these civilians -- would have prevented you if you still
20 insisted on remaining on the island?
21 A. We didn't have any -- there was no need for us to provoke any
22 conflicts with them. We had to obey them.
23 Q. Were they authorised to prevent you?
24 A. We are a peaceful people, and there was no need to have any clash
25 with them. We realised what the situation was. We saw those ships
1 off-shore and we returned.
2 Q. When did the Croatian defenders take hold of Srdj?
3 A. I can't say precisely.
4 Q. Were they on Srdj on the 1st of October?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Were they there on the 15th of October?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Do you know how many of them there were?
9 A. I don't.
10 Q. Why, then, you say in your statement: "The Croatian defenders
11 who, as far as I know, numbered nine, and they tried to defend Dubrovnik
12 from Srdj"?
13 A. That's what I learned only later, after all the atrocities.
14 Q. Do you understand my questions or am I not being accurate enough?
15 My question was: What can you tell us about this today, to this Chamber?
16 I asked you how many men were on Srdj. You answered that you didn't know.
17 A. You asked me how many of them were in October and November, and I
18 said I didn't know. And what I stated in my statement was the information
19 that I acquired only later, after the war, in general.
20 Q. So speaking today, how many of those men were in Srdj at the time?
21 A. At the time, I didn't know how many of them were.
22 Q. You don't understand me. What can you tell us today about how
23 many Croatian soldiers were on Srdj in October and November 1991?
24 A. Just what I heard, that there had been nine of them.
25 Q. What else did you hear about those nine men?
1 A. I don't know all these nine men.
2 Q. I'm not asking you that. I just asked you: What did you hear
3 about those men, if anything?
4 A. I heard that they were very brave and courageous.
5 Q. What did you hear about their bravery?
6 A. That they were just a few of them and that they created an
7 impression that there were much more men there.
8 Q. Did you hear how they managed to create such an impression?
9 A. Apparently they prevented the capture of this most important
10 feature, and that is the Srdj peak.
11 Q. My question was: Did you hear how they managed to create such an
12 impression that their numbers were much larger?
13 A. Only the enemy knows that.
14 Q. I will repeat my question again. Have you heard how they managed
15 to create an impression that there were much more of them there?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. Did you hear any stories about their bravery?
18 A. These stories are still being told up to this date, but in general
20 Q. What are the stories being told nowadays?
21 A. That they should be highly commended for their bravery.
22 Q. Why did you say in your statement as follows: "Volunteers from
23 the town took them food and brought back the wounded and told stories
24 about their bravery"? Does that mean that you heard about none of these?
25 A. I heard only later that down this slope, they carried the wounded
1 downwards, and I really think this is highly commendable.
2 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you about that. I'm asking you about the
3 stories about their bravery. Tell me what these stories were, or tell me
4 that you don't know.
5 A. That the Serbian forces failed to reach the peak of Srdj.
6 Q. Do you know how those people were armed?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Do you know, had they any weapons at all?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Were they perhaps unarmed but brave?
11 A. I don't know. I'm a civilian. I was not a member of any military
13 Q. Did you yourself see these Croatian defenders from your window?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could you see from your window the Imperial Fortress on the Srdj
16 mountain, or hill?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Had you ever noticed any individuals in the Imperial Fortress at
19 the time?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you notice that there were any firing or shooting coming from
22 the Imperial Fortress in November and December?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, I wonder where you're positioned now.
25 Are you near the end of your cross-examination?
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, unfortunately, I'm
3 JUDGE PARKER: Well, then we will need to adjourn for the day,
4 then, Mr. Petrovic.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Mr. Grbic. We must ask you to return
7 again tomorrow to finish.
8 The Chamber would indicate for counsel that we've had a chance to
9 consider the submissions concerning the witness General Pringle. The
10 Chamber is of the view that his evidence is relevant and should be
11 received. Many of the matters that were raised in the Defence submissions
12 appear to have some force, but they are relevant to the weight and the
13 force of the evidence rather than the question of its admissibility, is
14 the way we see it.
15 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, before the Chamber adjourns and perhaps
16 rather than keep the witness if I could ask for two minutes of
17 housekeeping time. Something has been raised by the witness unit which I
18 wanted the Chamber to be aware of.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Grbic, thank you very much for today. If we
20 could ask you to leave now and we will see you again tomorrow morning at
22 [The witness stands down]
23 MS. SOMERS: Is it possible to have a private session, or is it
24 necessary to stay in public for a moment? Just simply because of ...
25 JUDGE PARKER: I see -- I don't appreciate why there is a need
1 to --
2 MS. SOMERS: Only because I wanted to relay -- I have not had a
3 chance to meet yet, but I have been given a heads up about some concerns
4 and I -- rather than commit to a position, I just wanted to let the
5 Chamber know that there is a discussion that will be had this afternoon
6 concerning, as I understand it, the number of witnesses coming and having
7 to go back because of various matters. And it is of course a concern for
8 the unit. I'm fine with remaining in open, but I think it's something
9 that is --
10 JUDGE PARKER: I think we'll remain in open.
11 MS. SOMERS: That's fine. I have not yet had an opportunity to
12 have contact -- you know, direct contact yet with the director of the
13 unit, but I believe that one of the issues, from what I've been told by
14 our liaison person is the numbers of people we have to schedule in order
15 to accommodate the proposed finish date and then the reality, of course,
16 being that some of these people have to be here for more than three days,
17 which is not according to rules without taking the stand. In order to
18 accommodate the requirement for an advance schedule for notice, we have to
19 do one thing, and then the reality of course becomes another. I will
20 inform the Chamber if I may through the legal officer of what discussions
21 come up, but I think it's something that will probably not be a one-time
22 concern. And I can only leave it at that, since I've not yet had the
23 meeting but I'm concerned enough to let you know it now.
24 JUDGE PARKER: We will await developments, Ms. Somers.
25 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
1 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber will adjourn now.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
3 To be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day of
4 January, 2004 at 9.00.