1 Wednesday, 21 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
6 MS. SOMERS: Good afternoon, Your Honours. I have endeavoured to
7 notify legal officer but didn't realise she was not in this afternoon. It
8 is with sadness and concern that I inform the Chamber that the witness
9 after Witness B has taken ill and has been ordered to his accommodation by
10 the UN physician who was called in this morning, or earlier this
11 afternoon. We hope that it is a passing event but that he has been -- it
12 has been indicated he has been advised not at this point to appear this
13 afternoon because of his condition.
14 I have provided to a member of Your Honour's staff a copy of the
15 name of the physician who is, again, part of the system, and as we are
16 updated on anything, we will inform the Chamber. Defence counsel has also
17 been advised.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Does that mean that it remains a possibility that
19 the witness will be able to attend tomorrow.
20 MS. SOMERS: We are optimistic that is the case. The -- my
21 understanding from my colleague was that he was advised not to do it
23 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Well, it appears, then, that the
24 hearing will not be able to continue today when the present witness has
25 concluded evidence.
1 We should have the witness in now, please.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Could I --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Could I remind you of the affirmation you made at
6 the commencement of your evidence, which still applies.
7 WITNESS: WITNESS B [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic. Can I indicate --
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: -- because of circumstances, Mr. Petrovic, I'll be
12 a little slow to start the clock running, so you can expect that you may
13 have a little more time than we indicated yesterday.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrovic: [Continued]
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. B. We shall continue our cross-examination
17 now, the cross-examination that we began yesterday.
18 First of all, please tell me, is it true that you arrived at
19 Zarkovica on the 19th of November, 1991, you and your unit?
20 A. I don't know the exact date. I think it was in mid-November,
21 roughly speaking.
22 Q. If you're not sure about the exact date, then why in your
23 statement dated the 15th of June, 2002, on page 5, did you state decidedly
24 as follows: "We arrived at Zarkovica in the evening of the 19th of
25 November, 1991?
1 A. I don't think I ever actually said that. Whenever I gave a
2 statement, I always spoke in terms of mid-November. That's what I
3 remembered, that it was the 17th or possibly the 18th, because I remember
4 that. The day we arrived at Zarkovica the reservists were listening to
5 the radio, and the news was that Vukovar had fallen, so that's what I
6 remember and why I remember it, but I can't give you the exact date.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
8 MR. WEINER: I want to say that, once again, I think this is a bit
9 out of context because it's two paragraphs. In the first paragraph he
10 says: "I'm not sure about the date, but I think it was the 18th or 19th
11 of November." And in another paragraph he says: "We reached it on the
12 same evening of the 19th of November," but he gives an equivocal statement
13 on the date. It's not clear.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned friends, it
15 is with a great deal of surprise that I must observe that my learned
16 friend has quoted this sentence inaccurately and only by halves. The
17 witness actually said on the 18th or the 19th of November they arrived at
18 Ivanica. There is no dispute about the fact at least in terms of the
19 witness's statement in relation to Zarkovica. If you could please look at
20 page 5 of the Serbian text, dear friend, I'm not -- he says, "I'm not sure
21 about the date," but this is being said in relation to Ivanica.
22 MR. WEINER: Correct. I'm corrected. Sorry.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So, Mr. B, at any rate, you didn't say what is reflected in the
25 statement, did you?
1 A. May I please be allowed to have a look?
2 Q. Of course.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. On page 5 of the B/C/S text, can you please look at paragraph 3
6 from the bottom up. Page 5, paragraph 3, from the bottom up, the last
8 A. Yes, yes. May I just have a minute, please. If you ask me, this
9 has been entered incorrectly.
10 Q. Fair enough. Let's move on. Was it on the same day that Vukovar
12 A. I don't know if it was that same day that Vukovar fell. The day
13 we arrived at Zarkovica, they were talking about the fall of Vukovar.
14 Q. If you could go down one paragraph and look at that. The second
15 sentence: "I remember that Vukovar fell on that day."
16 A. Yes. We heard that over the radio. But as far as I know, on the
17 radio they kept talking about the fall of Vukovar for at least a week.
18 Q. Mr. B, the noun you used here in the statement is day in the
19 singular, on that day Vukovar fell. Let's move on, however. I think the
20 statement speaks for itself.
21 Is it true that the first time you saw Captain Kovacevic was then,
22 on the 19th of November?
23 A. I'm not sure. I think I had seen him before at Duzi when we were
24 on leave, but I can't be sure about that.
25 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I believe -- did counsel give the Court
1 a copy of the statement?
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
3 MR. WEINER: There have been corrections made to the statement,
4 and they were notified about corrections. So some of the dates are wrong.
5 This witness corrected a week ago some of the dates.
6 JUDGE PARKER: We don't appear to have any corrections in this.
7 MR. WEINER: Well, is it --
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
9 MR. WEINER: [Previous translation continues] ... provided for is
10 that a prior inconsistent statement, are they introducing the statement,
11 is it to refresh the witness's recollection. I don't understand why the
12 statement is being offered. I have no objection, but that with the
13 corrections, with the --
14 JUDGE PARKER: We're going to find out, I'm sure.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Weiner, I'm showing this
16 statement to the witness because the witness has five different
17 statements, and in each of them he says a different thing. I think that
18 in itself justifies the showing of the statement and why I'm asking
19 questions about it.
20 MR. WEINER: You can show the statement to the witness to refresh
21 his recollection --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, if each counsel would address the
23 Chamber and not each other, we will proceed with better decorum.
24 MR. WEINER: I apologise. If they want to show it to the witness
25 to refresh his recollection, that's one thing. If they want to offer it,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 then there's a way to offer it. Right now are they using it to impeach
2 him? Then it doesn't go to the Court until it's being used for
3 impeachment value, in that situation. If it is going to go in, I think we
4 have the right to at least include the corrections.
5 JUDGE PARKER: You are technically perfectly correct, Mr. Weiner.
6 Does that mean that from now on that will be observed by the Prosecution
7 as well as the Defence?
8 MR. WEINER: I raised the same issue in the Stringer matter on the
9 first day of testimony when they -- they introduced the exhibit before --
10 they just gave it out to the Court prior to --
11 JUDGE PARKER: I believe on one basis or another the statement
12 will come to be admissible, and I'm prepared to act in faith at the moment
13 that that will be the case. I'm sure Mr. Petrovic has heard what you had
14 to say.
15 Carry on, please, Mr. Petrovic.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. But this
17 sort of intervention on the part of my learned friend and colleague cuts
18 my time even shorter in a manner of speaking, and I'm not particularly
19 well off in terms of time. Therefore, I think he, too, should limit his
20 objections to what is absolutely essential. I think the way I have
21 proceeded with this cross-examination has been perfectly clear and fair so
22 far. Let us move on.
23 Q. On page 6 of your statement, Mr. B, as opposed to what you told
24 the Chamber awhile ago, we see the following in the third paragraph from
25 the bottom up: "The first time I saw him, Captain Vladimir Kovacevic, was
1 on the 19th of November." Is that wrong too?
2 A. As I said awhile ago, I am sure that I saw him for the first time
3 on that day when we arrived at Zarkovica. I did say, however, that I may
4 have seen him at Duzi as well but I wasn't sure about it. I am, however,
5 sure about this time.
6 Q. Therefore, when you say the first time I saw Vladimir Kovacevic
7 was on the 19th of November, you don't actually mean it, do you?
8 A. I'm sure, again, that I saw him on the 18th or 19th, whatever the
9 day was that we arrived in Zarkovica. I'm sure I saw him then, but I'm
10 not sure that I had previously seen him at Duzi. I may have, but I can't
11 be sure about it.
12 Q. Let's move on, please. Further, Mr. B, is it true that you said
13 to Mr. Weiner during the interview that you had with him that on the 5th
14 of December nothing unusual happened at Zarkovica?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In your statement dated the 15th of June, 2002, you talked about
17 that day, the 6th of December, and that there was only a minimum of firing
18 from the town of Dubrovnik. Is that what you said in that statement?
19 A. When I was speaking about that, I was speaking in relation to the
20 general Dubrovnik area.
21 Q. Would you please be so kind, then, as to tell us about this:
22 You're sitting at Zarkovica. What can you tell about the general
23 Dubrovnik area?
24 A. Until perhaps when I got back home from the army, I had never been
25 able to distinguish between the Old Town and the remaining parts. All I
1 knew about was Dubrovnik, and that is why I kept using the name Dubrovnik
2 as I was giving my statement.
3 Q. So back when you were at Zarkovica, you were not able to
4 distinguish between the Old Town and the New Town, were you?
5 A. Yes, at that time I was able, but whenever I referred to it later
6 on, I would just say Dubrovnik meaning the general area.
7 Q. So when was it that you understood what the distinction was
8 between the Old Town and the New Town?
9 A. At Zarkovica. But whenever I talked about it later, I always used
10 the name Dubrovnik. I never introduced this distinction for the sake of
11 conversation. Be it in private when I was talking to my family. I never
12 drew the distinction between the Old Town and the New Town.
13 Q. So when was it that you first began to distinguish between the Old
14 Town and the New Town in Dubrovnik when talking to your family?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. Was it perhaps about the year 2000, give or take a year or two?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Were you able to distinguish between the Old and New Town when the
19 investigators came to see you, the OTP investigators?
20 A. Will you please repeat the question?
21 Q. Were you able to distinguish between the Old Town and the other
22 parts of Dubrovnik when the investigators came to see you and talk to you
23 about these events, the OTP investigators?
24 A. No. I knew what the whole thing was about when they came, but I
25 kept referring to the whole thing as Dubrovnik.
1 Q. Did they perhaps ask you something about the Old Town
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And when they asked you about the Old Town, what you were actually
5 talking about was Dubrovnik as a whole, weren't you?
6 A. Well, that depended on the way the question was posed.
7 Q. If you're not able to distinguish between the Old and New Town,
8 whichever way the question is posed should be all the same to you,
9 shouldn't it?
10 A. There are several kinds of questions, you know. There are general
11 questions being asked about the general Dubrovnik area, and there are
12 specific questions being asked in relation to the Old Town as such.
13 Q. Again I fail to understand you. You're not able to distinguish
14 between the Old and New Town, so what does that have to do with it, what
15 sort of question you're being asked, if it's just all the same to you?
16 A. I really can't answer that question. I'm doing my best. I'm
17 trying to answer, but I don't know how you expect me to answer that
19 Q. Did you tell my learned friend and colleague Weiner too that you
20 were not able to distinguish between the Old and New Town?
21 A. I said that I was able to, but whenever I was writing this, I
22 always wrote Dubrovnik.
23 Q. My question was: Did you tell Mr. Weiner that you were not able
24 to distinguish between the Old Town and the other parts of Dubrovnik?
25 A. I said that I was.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please, Your Honour.
2 My apologies.
3 Q. Mr. Weiner, when he wrote down on the last page of his own notes
4 in relation to your conversation, I think, was wrong in that case, because
5 the following is stated there: [In English] "The Old Town was a separate
6 entity from Dubrovnik and referred to the whole area as Dubrovnik."
7 MR. WEINER: Objection. If he's going to read it, why doesn't he
8 read it in context? He's not reading that statement in context.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Weiner, could you please give
10 me a hand? What else would you define as context in relation to this
11 sentence? I would be very grateful for that clarification.
12 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may I see the statement? I just sent
13 the trial manager out to make copies for the Court, and I don't have mine
14 in front of me but I know what I wrote, and I know the context of what it
15 is. I can tell you what the context of what it was.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll just move on in
17 that case.
18 MR. WEINER: I have it. I have it.
19 JUDGE PARKER: We're ready now.
20 MR. WEINER: Could you tell me the page, please?
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Last page, second last sentence.
22 MR. WEINER: The witness was called to give statements to the
23 Croatian authorities in 1992 concerning the JNA attack on Dubrovnik from
24 Zarkovica on 6 December 1991. He was also called to testify in a case
25 against Zeljko Soldo for his participation in the attack on that date. In
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 his testimony, he indicated did he not seen Soldo on that date. He also
2 mentions that he was not familiar with that area. For example, he did not
3 know that the Old Town was a separate entity from Dubrovnik and referred
4 to the whole area as Dubrovnik. In fact, he was not familiar with the
5 other locations in the Old Town such as Bogisica park or certain other
6 locations in the area of the municipality.
7 This paragraph concerns his testimony in 1992, his statements in
8 1992. That's what the context was, not in 2004 in relation to his
9 familiarity with the area.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll move on if that's
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, I return to that question, the first question we asked,
16 Mr. B. In your statement, you say as follows: "Firing...", that's the
17 15th of June 2002, the statement, you say: "Firing from the direction of
18 the town of Dubrovnik was at a minimum."
19 Would you please be so kind as to tell us specifically where this
20 firing was coming from that was at a minimum?
21 A. I can't say exactly which place it was in the surroundings of
23 Q. Was there any firing coming from the town of Dubrovnik itself?
24 A. I have the following date when I spoke to the reservists.
25 Q. I believe I must interrupt you, Mr. B. My question was: Was
1 there any firing from the town of Dubrovnik itself? It's a very simple
3 A. I said I did not know exactly where the firing was coming from,
4 from which part of the surroundings of Dubrovnik those three or four
5 shells came.
6 Q. What, then, do you define as the surroundings of Dubrovnik and
7 what as the town itself?
8 A. When I say the town of Dubrovnik, I mean the entire town of
9 Dubrovnik. When I say the surroundings, I mean the islet to the left or
10 those settlements lower down from Zarkovica.
11 Q. For you the town of Dubrovnik is what you could see from
12 Zarkovica, isn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. From the direction of that populated area or settlement or area
15 that you could see from Zarkovica, was there any firing coming from there
16 on the 6th of December, 1991?
17 A. I'm not sure which area it was coming from.
18 Q. Did you see any fire coming from the Croatian forces on that day?
19 A. No. I just heard those three or four shells which we felt on
20 Zarkovica, that they fell in the area surrounding Zarkovica.
21 Q. What about Srdj?
22 A. Would you repeat your question?
23 Q. Was there any Croatian fire aimed at Srdj, hitting Srdj?
24 A. I don't understand this question. What does this mean, Croatians
25 forces at Srdj? What?
1 Q. Were Croatian forces shooting at the area between Srdj and
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Were Croatian forces shooting at the area between Srdj and
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Were Croatian forces shooting at the area between Srdj and
9 A. I don't know what this Strincjera is exactly.
10 Q. Were Croatian forces shooting at the fort of Srdj itself?
11 A. You mean the Old Town or what? I didn't understand this question
12 at all, actually.
13 Q. Do you distinguish between the fort of Srdj and the Old Town?
14 A. Yes. The -- Srdj is that turret up there.
15 Q. What do you mean turret?
16 A. The -- on the right hand -- the one on the right-hand side where
17 JNA units were attacking.
18 Q. Were Croatian forces firing at that turret that you call Srdj?
19 A. I don't know whether -- whether they were, but JNA forces were.
20 Q. What about these three or four shells around Zarkovica? Is that
21 the only firing that came?
22 A. I only know of these three or four shells near Zarkovica. I don't
23 know about other areas.
24 Q. Did you hear anything about that perhaps, Mr. B?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. B, can Srdj be seen from Zarkovica?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And on that day you didn't notice anything? You didn't notice any
4 Croatian fire?
5 A. I couldn't see anything. I only saw the Yugoslav forces
6 withdrawing from Srdj. When they moved toward Srdj and when they were
7 moving back from Srdj.
8 Q. Were there any armed Croatian soldiers in the town of Dubrovnik?
9 A. I don't know about that. I was not in Dubrovnik, and from
10 Zarkovica I couldn't see anything.
11 Q. Was there any resistance coming from the Croatian forces from the
12 town of Dubrovnik aimed at the JNA?
13 A. I said that three or four shells fell there from the area
14 surrounding Dubrovnik, but which place exactly I don't know.
15 Q. Were there any armed Croatian soldiers in the town of Dubrovnik
16 and in the surrounding area?
17 A. I didn't see any.
18 Q. Were these shells perhaps fired by someone else? Perhaps they
19 weren't fired by the Croatian forces.
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Tell me, please, very close to the place where you were, there was
22 a communications platoon, a signals platoon; is that right?
23 A. Yes. There was this signalsman at Zarkovica.
24 Q. Is it correct that on the 6th of December the signalsman on duty
25 was Captain Nesic's signalsman?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it correct that this signalsman of Captain Nesic had a military
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is it correct that this signalsman, during the course of that day,
6 the 6th of December, maintained communication with other JNA units in that
8 A. I don't know who he maintained communication with. I know that a
9 few times he ran towards Kovacevic with that device, and who they were in
10 communication with is something I don't know.
11 Q. Did Kovacevic use that telephone?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you see him a few times during the course of that day using
14 that telephone?
15 A. Yes. I saw him about twice, approximately.
16 Q. Did you see a cable that went from that place where Captain
17 Nesic's headquarters were?
18 A. Which area do you mean? The cable went in which direction?
19 Q. I'm asking you whether you saw a cable.
20 A. I saw -- I remember a cable that went from that communications
21 centre towards Brgat.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I would ask that the witness please
23 be shown the following statement. Your Honours, unfortunately, this
24 witness statement was not translated into English because it was disclosed
25 by the Prosecution to the Defence without an English translation only a
1 few days ago, that is to say, the statement is dated the 21st of April,
2 1992, and we're going to do our best to have it translated.
3 Also, could the statement dated the 1st of December, 1992, be
4 distributed as well so that we don't waste too much time. Fortunately,
5 that statement does have an English translation.
6 MR. WEINER: Once again, we'd object to any statements until
7 there's a legal basis for introducing them.
8 JUDGE PARKER: We did not resolve the position of the statement
9 that you first put to the witness, that of the 13th, the 15th of June,
10 2002, Mr. Petrovic. Are you proposing to tender that?
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in order to save time,
12 I wanted to deal with all three statements at the same time in order to
13 save time. If you allow me to do so, that's what I'm going to do. If
14 not, then I will ask to tender the first statement and then I'll repeat
15 that for the next statements, too, and I can give the reasons why I'm
16 asking for that, if that is absolutely indispensable and if my colleague
17 Mr. Weiner objects to having it tendered into evidence.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Is it your basis of tendering that you suggest that
19 each of these are inconsistent in some respect with the evidence given by
20 the witness?
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, all three statements
22 are totally inconsistent with what the witness said during the
23 examination-in-chief, and basically the objective, why I'm asking for this
24 is --
25 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying they're inconsistent in all respects
1 or that there is at least one matter in which there is inconsistency?
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is an enormous
3 number of inconsistencies. However, guided by the restrictions imposed on
4 the Defence in terms of cross-examination, I cannot indicate all of them,
5 but there is a great many of them. I can start from the very beginning
6 and point out each and every discrepancy, but that would not be in line
7 with your decision that was rendered to us yesterday.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, do you persist with your objection?
9 MR. WEINER: If the Court is interested in accepting those, and I
10 don't agree that it's fully inconsistent, there are some inconsistencies,
11 I'd ask we have the corrections and the supplement also introduced.
12 Generally in this Tribunal prior inconsistent statements aren't, but I
13 would ask that the supplement also be provided.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I think that would be the better course to take in
15 the circumstances. We propose to receive these statements, Mr. Petrovic,
16 when you come to tender them, but we would also want to see the
17 corrections that were made available before the evidence was given.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour -- Your Honour, thank
19 you for the first part of your conclusion. But as for the second part, I
20 have to note that there are no statements or corrections made by the
21 witness himself. There is only the notes made by Mr. Weiner, but that is
22 not the witness's statement. We saw one example yesterday. The witness
23 did not mention at all the things that are contained in Mr. Weiner's
24 proofing report that was not signed. So I believe that legally the two
25 cannot be treated the same way.
1 JUDGE PARKER: We are not following strict and normal procedure as
2 a convenience to you, Mr. Petrovic, and because of time. If you are
3 putting these to the Chamber with a view to inviting us to form the view
4 that the witness is unreliable because of differences in former
5 statements, without taking the witness to each of the material
6 differences, not all the minor discrepancies but the things that matter,
7 then it is only fair both to the Chamber and to the witness that we are
8 informed of changes of which you were notified before he gave his
10 So the position is if you are tendering these three statements, we
11 wish to receive, whether from you or from the Prosecution, those changes
12 that were notified, accepting that you were notified merely in the form of
13 notes made by Mr. Weiner rather than in the form of a further formal
15 Now, do you have those corrections available or shall we get them
16 in due course from Mr. Weiner?
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I believe we will get them from my
18 colleague Mr. Weiner. Could I please ask to have this document
19 distributed, too, please.
20 Thank you, Your Honour. Could the next statement be distributed
21 as well, please. That's the one that I was referring to.
22 Q. Mr. B, these two statements that are in front of you, are they the
23 statements that you made, one to the police in Bjelovar on the 21st of
24 April, 1992, and the second one to the district court in Bjelovar on the
25 1st of December, 1992?
1 A. If my signature is there, then probably they are my statements.
2 Q. Would you please be so kind as to look at both statements.
3 A. Yes. They're all signed.
4 Q. Is it correct, Mr. B, that in your statement dated the 21st of
5 April, 1992, you do not mention anywhere any operations in November 1991?
6 A. Could you please repeat your question.
7 Q. Is it correct that in your statement of the 21st of April, 1992,
8 you do not mention any operations anywhere, any operations that took place
9 in November 1991?
10 A. November. Is that the 11th month in the year?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. From what I see, this is not written properly.
13 Q. That will do. Thank you. Is it correct that in your statement
14 dated the 21st of April, 1992, you do not mention the attack of the 6th of
15 December anywhere? Just briefly, please, yes or no.
16 A. Yes, but could you just repeat your question, please.
17 Q. Do you have problems hearing me, understanding me?
18 A. No, no, no. You ask me and then I start reading, and then I
19 forget what you asked me.
20 Q. Is it correct that in your statement dated the 21st of April,
21 1992, you do not mention the attack of the 6th of December, 1991,
23 A. I cannot read anything.
24 Q. So you do not mention it anywhere?
25 A. Probably not. I gave answers in respect of what they asked me in
1 that statement.
2 Q. Is it correct that in your statement dated the 21st of April and
3 the 1st of December, 1992, you do not mention any line-up of your unit by
4 Captain Kovacevic?
5 A. Yes, because nobody asked me about that.
6 Q. Is it correct that in your statement dated the 1st of December,
7 1992, you do not mention any operations in the month of November 1991?
8 A. Yes, because nobody asked me about that. They asked me about the
9 6th of December.
10 Q. Is it correct that in your statements of the 21st of April and the
11 1st of December, 1992, you do not mention any kind of competition or game
12 played by the reservists in Zarkovica in 1991?
13 A. I perhaps do not need to read it again. I will just give you the
14 same answer yet again. If nobody asks me about it, then I do not mention
15 it. There were different questions. Every time they put different
16 questions to me.
17 Q. Oh, so somebody put questions to you whether there were any games
18 played at Zarkovica? Later somebody asked you about that?
19 A. No. I'll give you an example.
20 Q. Just give me a yes or no answer. Did anybody ask you later on
21 whether there were any games played at Zarkovica?
22 A. Nobody put that kind of question to me, whether there were any
23 games at Zarkovica.
24 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that in your statements of the 21st of
25 April and the 1st of December, 1992, you do not mention anywhere that the
1 Old Town was targeted?
2 A. Yes, that's true. Again, I must point out that I was talking
3 about Dubrovnik at -- in a very general way, not the Old Town
4 specifically. But that's what I had in mind, just the word I was using
5 was Dubrovnik.
6 Q. Is it true that on two different occasions yesterday, on pages 17
7 and 33 of the transcript, you told us that the first time you heard about
8 the Old Town was when Captain Delic told you when he came to see you? You
9 said, "I was angry. That was the first time I heard about the Old Town."
10 A. Yes, heard but not seen.
11 Q. Why, then, in your statement dated the 15th of June to the OTP
12 investigators, on page 5 of your statement, you said that you had heard
13 from Vukalovic that Delic had been saying something to the soldiers about
14 the Old Town?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which page was it?
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Third passage. The page is 5.
19 A. May I explain, please?
20 Q. Please go ahead why you told us two different things.
21 A. I heard from both Vukalovic and Delic I hear the same thing. From
22 Vukalovic I heard it at Ivanica and from Delic at Trebinje. It's just
23 that I can't remember specifically which was the first occasion. I
24 chanced on -- across Captain Delic in Trebinje just out in the street and
25 he had been wounded in his leg.
1 MR. WEINER: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
3 MR. WEINER: That is not an inconsistent statement. If you look
4 in the initially translation there is no inconsistency. There may be in
5 the B/C/S version, which counsel is reading, but there is no inconsistency
6 in the English statement. There are two clauses in that statement there.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 MR. WEINER: With an "and" in the middle.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] The text speaks for itself.
10 Therefore, I'll move on.
11 Q. Tell me, these police inspectors, the police inspectors who
12 questioned you and the investigating judge who questioned you on the 21st
13 of April and the 1st of December, 1992, were they able to distinguish
14 between the Old Town and the rest of Dubrovnik?
15 MR. WEINER: I'd object. He can't answer for the police
17 JUDGE PARKER: That's sound enough, Mr. Petrovic.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour.
19 Q. Is it your submission, Mr. B, that neither the investigating judge
20 nor the police officer asked you about the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. In none of these three statements do you ever refer to a man named
23 Vucurevic. How come you suddenly remember that man now?
24 A. You mean how he occurred to me? Well, there was a question --
25 just a minute, please. I was watching a recording, and I saw Vucurevic in
1 that recording.
2 Q. Let's move on, please.
3 A. It said Vucurevic. His name was on the screen.
4 Q. Fair enough. On the 6th of December, in the morning, do you
5 know --
6 A. Will you please repeat the date?
7 Q. The 6th of December, 1991. What was happening at JNA positions at
8 Bosanka, for example?
9 A. I don't know. As far as I knew, the infantry was stationed there,
10 but I know nothing special about that because I'd never been to Bosanka
12 Q. Do you know what was perhaps happening at JNA positions at
13 Strincjera that same morning?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Is it true what you told us yesterday on page 29 of yesterday's
16 transcript? You said that you left the room in which you were staying two
17 or three times, five or ten minutes each.
18 A. Yes. It was two or three times. I stayed outside five or ten
19 minutes each time. I went to the position itself to see the operator,
20 because I was transporting the rockets, the missiles. I spent the
21 remaining part of the time taking the rockets from one place to another.
22 Q. That morning on that day --
23 JUDGE PARKER: You've had double the time we had in mind,
24 Mr. Petrovic. Could I say that you should finish in the next five
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Is it your submission that from the command of the Trebinje
3 Brigade with which you did your military service until 1992 and which was
4 active in the Dubrovnik operation -- zone of operations, the district
5 which informs the recruitment office at Krizevci as to when you were
6 discharged from the JNA, what your reward days were and which unit you
7 belonged to?
8 A. That's what they told me. I can't say that it's true or that it's
9 not true. I can only go as far as to say what I was told.
10 Q. Is it true that on page 8 of your statement dated the 15th of
11 June, 1992, you said as follows: "I'm sure that not a single soldier from
12 my artillery battalion was promoted or rewarded in any way." Is that what
13 you said?
14 A. Where exactly is that stated? Which paragraph is that? Will you
15 tell me, please?
16 Q. It's on page 8 of your statement dated the 15th of June, 1992.
17 A. Yes, that's what it says. However, reward time off was given to
18 soldiers years after the war.
19 Q. After the war; right?
20 A. Yes. When I said after the war, I meant after the 6th of
21 December. Because after the 6th of December, there was no --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Witness interrupted by counsel.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Did you see Kovacevic talk to the Maljutka operators on that day?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you heard nothing of what he told them?
2 A. I only heard when he ordered them to shoot. What they talked
3 about themselves, it was something that I was not able to hear.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Your Honour, I now see myself compelled to bring my
6 cross-examination to an end, although I do have some questions left. In
7 addition to moving these statements into evidence, I would also like to
8 ask to move into evidence the following document which by your leave I
9 shall now distribute, and the document is -- my apologies. I had a
10 problem with my headset.
11 This is the judgement of the district court in Dubrovnik in
12 relation to what I talked about yesterday, and the judgement precisely
13 reflects what I showed the witness, namely that his statement was read out
14 before the Court, that he was not there himself. I would like to move
15 that statement into evidence because the best part of my cross-examination
16 rests on that statement.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may --
18 THE INTERPRETER: May the speakers please kindly try not to
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, you were saying?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. That's something
22 I wanted to say at the beginning but I was not allowed because the Defence
23 kept saying something. There is -- there is an answer I would like to
24 provide in relation to the Dubrovnik trial.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I then?
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first time I was summoned to
4 testify in Dubrovnik in the Zeljko Soldo trial, I can't remember which
5 date that was, but I failed to respond to that summons. I had my own
6 reasons. But the second time I was summoned, I responded, and that was
7 about two weeks later. Zeljko Soldo was sentenced to 15 years in prison
8 at that trial. That's what I heard later. However, a year or two later,
9 I was summoned again to testify in a retrial of Zeljko Soldo. However,
10 again I failed to respond to the first summons because a member of my
11 family had just died. Of the course the second time around I responded to
12 the summons. I was willing to respond to the summons but I was never
13 summoned again, nor did I receive any further information. That's the
14 clarification that I wish to provide in relation to this trial.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, regardless of what the
17 witness has just stated, may we have this document distributed, please,
18 and may it be moved into evidence.
19 MR. WEINER: Can we have a moment? There's a lot of facts
20 concerning the whole operation there, so I want to consult with counsel.
21 JUDGE PARKER: While that is happening, we'll deal with the
22 statements. They will be received.
23 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, could I have the break to look at that;
24 it's a 21-page document. I have a draft English translation of it. I'd
25 like to look at it at the break and then answer when we return.
1 JUDGE PARKER: You're contemplating we will need to adjourn during
2 your re-examination, are you, Mr. Weiner?
3 MR. WEINER: I can go right ahead and re-examine. It won't be a
4 long re-examination.
5 JUDGE PARKER: That's what we anticipated. I suggest that
6 consideration be given to the matter as you're re-examining by those about
8 MR. WEINER: We can try.
9 JUDGE PARKER: See how it goes.
10 MR. WEINER: I don't know if we have an English translation of the
11 judgement -- of the verdict, I'm sorry.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
13 MR. WEINER: Do you have an English --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Just a minute. Is there an English translation
15 there in that large document?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Could the usher give one to Mr. Weiner. While that
18 is happening, if the court officer would receive the three statements.
19 MR. WEINER: And we'd like to file the supplement. I'm sorry.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The first document, which is ERN number 00229067,
21 will be marked as Defence Exhibit D67. The next document which bears the
22 number, at the bottom, 00229046 will be marked as D68. The last document
23 which is the witness information is marked D69. Under seal? Under seal.
24 JUDGE PARKER: All three will be under seal. And now the
25 corrections in the form they were notified.
1 THE REGISTRAR: The corrections -- the corrections will be
2 marked D70.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. I think it is correct they be given a Defence
4 number in view of the condition upon which we've received the three
5 preceding documents, and this, too, will be under seal.
6 I think now we're ready for you, Mr. Weiner.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may make a
8 remark. The verdict that I would like to have moved into evidence was
9 obtained from the OTP. The translation was also made by the OTP. In that
10 translation, there are certain insufficiencies about which we will be
11 informing you in writing. There are whole passages that are missing in
12 that translation, but in order to avoid taking up any more of your time,
13 we shall file a written motion about that.
14 Thank you very much, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: Just for -- just to add to that, Your Honour, if we
17 do agree, I think we should put in the B/C/S version and have an official
18 English translation done, because I tried to work with the draft
19 translation today, and I agree it was filled with incorrect statements.
20 So -- but we'll get back to you soon on that.
21 JUDGE PARKER: That will be convenient.
22 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
23 Re-examined by Mr. Weiner:
24 Q. Witness B -- Witness B, you were asked a few minutes ago the
25 following question about did you state the following: "I don't think any
1 of the soldiers was rewarded or decorated as a result of the Dubrovnik
2 campaign. I, however, cannot say anything about the senior officers. I
3 am certain that no soldier from my division was promoted or rewarded."
4 The remainder of the sentence from your statement in the year 2002
5 states: "However, reward time off was given to soldiers after the war.
6 Some got 30 days off; others got 15 to 20 days off. I was not given any
7 time off initially, but when I complained, I was given five reward days."
8 Do you still agree with that statement that you previously made,
10 A. Yes. That statement, yes.
11 Q. Sir, is that why you were allowed to leave the military on
12 January 23rd as opposed -- 1992, as opposed to February 1st?
13 A. Yes. That was the reason that I got the days off.
14 Q. Now, sir, you were asked about your various statements that you
15 gave. Let's begin with the one in April 1992. Did you tell the police
16 about the JNA attack from Zarkovica in early December 1991? Did you make
17 that statement on 21st of April, 1992?
18 A. Will you please repeat that? I didn't understand.
19 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown D67, 68, and 69, please.
20 Q. Could you look at the April 21st statement, please. And on the
21 first page of that, sir, or the first -- the second page, do you talk
22 about the JNA firing from Zarkovica in early December 1991?
23 A. Yes. That is what is written here, that there was firing from
25 Q. And then you later state in that statement: "They did not have a
1 concrete, specific objective for firing at Dubrovnik itself, but they
2 fired at hotels and tenement houses as well as the Old Town walls." Do
3 you agree with that statement, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you go to the next statement, D68, the one dated December 1,
6 1992. If you look at the first, second, third, fourth, fifth -- the sixth
7 paragraph, the last paragraph on the first page -- or page 2. It
8 begins: "On December 6th." It says: "On December 6th, 1991, the 3rd
9 Battalion launched an attack on Dubrovnik and the surrounding area. I
10 know that the battalion commander Vladimir Kovacevic issued the order to
11 attack my company." Do you agree with that statement, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And now could you look at the last statement, your statement to
14 the investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor. Do you talk about
15 the JNA attack launched on December 6, 1991, in that statement, sir?
16 A. What page number?
17 Q. It's -- try page 6. The bottom of 6, into page 7.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you indicated on that date that Kovacevic ordered you to fall
20 in, spoke to you, and then ordered the attack; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, you were asked also yesterday if you knew an officer named
23 Zec. In your statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in 2002, you
24 said: "I saw -- I also saw a number of other high-ranking JNA officers
25 whose names I don't know visiting Zarkovica on 6 December. But I think
1 they were -- I think they came in the afternoon when the operation was
2 almost over. I think I saw Milan Zec once or twice during the whole
3 operation. I am not sure whether I saw him on 6 December or some other
4 day. Some days ago, I saw him on the TV, and I thought that I had seen
5 him on Zarkovica at least once, but I don't remember the date when I saw
6 him during the Dubrovnik operation. I never saw Miodrag Jokic throughout
7 the operation."
8 Do you still agree with that statement that you made to the Office
9 of the Prosecutor in 19 -- sorry, in 2002?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you testified that you saw the officers from a distance.
12 Were you and the other Croatian soldiers ever given any orders about how
13 you should act in the presence of JNA officers?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Tell the Court what you were told.
16 A. Whenever somebody with a higher rank came to Zarkovica, I and the
17 other Croat were ordered to withdraw into our own rooms, into any
18 dormitory. Not only when officers came but also when journalists came.
19 Q. Had you ever gotten close to Commander Kovacevic while you served
20 on Zarkovica? When I say "close," distance-wise.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How often?
23 A. Two or three times approximately.
24 Q. Did you ever speak with Commander Kovacevic?
25 A. I never spoke to him personally.
1 Q. Were you allowed to approach Commander Kovacevic?
2 A. With regard to anything that we had, any complaint or whatever, it
3 went through Vukalovic or Nesic. I never even tried to get to Kovacevic
4 because I knew it was impossible, and I didn't dare to either.
5 Q. You were questioned about your military booklet. Who offered --
6 I'm sorry. Who gave you that military booklet, the JNA or someone else?
7 A. The new one, you mean, or the old one?
8 Q. Your new military booklet, the one -- the copy of which was
9 presented into evidence?
10 A. I got that at the place where I live and where such military
11 documents are issued. That's the military office.
12 Q. Now, sir, did you attempt to get some information from Trebinje in
14 A. Only at the military office where the -- my booklet was issued. I
15 went there a few times to have corrections made.
16 Q. And were you successful in 1992 or later receiving any information
17 from Trebinje?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Was the military office successful in receiving information from
21 A. I think that they never asked for anything from Trebinje. They
22 told me when I got out of the army that they got information from Trebinje
23 and that was it. It's not that they would ask for anything or that I
24 could ask for anything in particular.
25 Q. Well, Trebinje is located in which state, sir?
1 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. And in the years 1992 to 1995, was Bosnia-Herzegovina involved in
3 a war?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And during that period, were you ever able to receive any
6 assistance from Trebinje?
7 A. I think the answer is no.
8 Q. Now, sir, in your statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in
9 early April, at the end of March and early April, you talked about the
10 four mortar shells -- two to four mortar shells that were fired into the
11 area of Zarkovica. You stated you did not see the exact location where
12 the mortar rounds came from, nor did anyone mention a location. Do you
13 agree with that statement?
14 A. No one mentioned exactly where the shells had come from. The
15 reservists later talked about why they were shooting at the Old Town if
16 not a single shell was fired from the Old Town at Zarkovica. But where
17 these shells came from is something I don't know.
18 Q. You also stated that you and some of the Maljutka operators and
19 suppliers hid in the dorms for safety - that's after those shells came
20 into the area - and that the fire from the Croatian side did not last very
21 long and no more shells were fired into the area of Zarkovica. Do you
22 agree with that statement, sir?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, sir, you were asked today whether you knew where the Croatian
25 troops were located in the Dubrovnik municipality. Were you ever briefed
1 by any of the officers in relation to the locations of the Croatian
3 A. No. No one ever told me their exact position, where they were. I
4 did not see anyone either. I did not see any Croatian soldiers. I didn't
5 see any from Zarkovica.
6 Q. Finally, sir, there was some differences in dates in the
7 documents, in the statements that had been provided. When you went from
8 your farm into the military and to Zarkovica, did you maintain a diary?
9 Did you keep a diary with you as to the daily events?
10 A. No. Even if I had kept one, I would not have been able to keep
11 it, like I haven't been able to keep any of the pictures that we had taken
12 at Zarkovica.
13 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just ask that
15 the verdict be admitted into evidence and assigned a number as a Defence
16 exhibit, if you so permit.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Weiner, have you been able to cope with
18 that difficult task?
19 MR. WEINER: Yes. We have no objection. However, the translation
20 is very poor. It should go to CLSS for a proper translation.
21 JUDGE PARKER: I think that would be a very good idea. We will
22 receive the document now as a Defence exhibit.
23 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be D71.
24 JUDGE PARKER: I think that needs to be under seal as well, does
1 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Under seal.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Because we have taken an unusual course with
4 exhibits today, I think it useful to the record to record what we have
5 done and why. We have received into evidence some previous statements of
6 the witness. They are received at the instance of the Defence because it
7 is their contention that those statements will reveal such inconsistencies
8 that we should not accept the credit of the witness.
9 Normally under the procedures of the Tribunal specific passages
10 from previous statements would be put to the witness. Otherwise, the
11 statements themselves would not be admitted. We had put Defence counsel
12 under tight time constraints in cross-examination, and there were three
13 statements, at least one of which was quite lengthy. We therefore
14 followed the unusual course of receiving those statements. We received
15 them solely for the purpose of assessing whether or not we should rely on
16 the credibility of the witness in respect of the actual evidence given by
17 the witness. The three statements and the correction in respect of them
18 are not in themselves evidence of the actual facts of this case, except to
19 the extent that any particular passages have been specifically put to the
20 witness and accepted or rejected by that witness.
21 I felt it important that that be made clear so that it is not
22 suggested later to us or elsewhere that the whole contents of the
23 statements are admitted as evidence of the actual facts of the case.
24 Now, there is an uncertainty as to whether the witness who was to
25 follow this witness will be available tomorrow. We have met this
1 situation before. We will adjourn now in the expectation that the witness
2 is well enough to give evidence tomorrow, and in that event, we will
3 resume at the normal time tomorrow afternoon to hear that evidence.
4 Should it be the case that the witness's ill health continues and
5 there is no other witness available, if that could be communicated by the
6 Prosecution to Ms. Musser, then in that event it will be possible for us
7 not to sit tomorrow. Of course, that would need to be done in time to
8 make arrangements to avoid the need for the accused to be brought into the
9 Court tomorrow. And if that should occur, we will, of course, then resume
10 again in the ordinary time at the next sitting day, which would be Friday.
11 So we adjourn now in the expectation that we will be able to
12 continue tomorrow, but that is subject to contingency.
13 May I thank you for your attendance, Witness, and for the
14 assistance that you have given. Once we have adjourned, you will be free
15 to leave and to return to your home.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.52 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day of April,
19 2004, at 2.15 p.m.