1 Monday, 27th April 1998
2 (8.30 a.m.)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. I ask the
4 Registrar to call out the case number, please.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-13a-T,
6 Prosecutor versus Slavko Dokmanovic.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, your Honours. My
8 name is Niemann. I appear with my colleagues,
9 Mr. Williamson, Mr. Waespi and Mr. Vos for the
11 MR. FILA: My name is Mr. Toma Fila, I appear
12 with Ms. Lopicic and Mr. Petrovic for Mr. Dokmanovic.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Dokmanovic, can you hear
15 Before we proceed with our first witness, let
16 me tell you that, on Friday, we had a meeting with the
17 President of this Tribunal and all the presiding
18 judges. We eventually agreed upon the final courtroom
19 schedule for May, June, July and August. As a result
20 of the agreement reached in that meeting, it is now
21 clear that we have two weeks -- we can sit on this case
22 for two weeks in May, the week from 18 to 22 May --
23 however, I am afraid only from 8.30 to 12.30 in the
24 morning, every morning, for four hours, including the
25 breaks of course, and then the fourth week of May,
1 namely, from 25 to 29 May, we will sit on this case in
2 the morning and in the afternoon.
3 Then we will have to skip two weeks, because
4 we have other cases, and then we can resume our
5 hearings on 15 June until 18 June -- four working days.
6 We very much hope that, in that week in June,
7 we may wind up our case. Probably there will be
8 rebuttal witnesses and I hope we could also have in
9 that week the closing statements of both parties. Do
10 you think we can make it -- four days, morning and
11 afternoon? I know it is very tight, but we should make
12 an effort. Otherwise, we cannot finish in June and in
13 July there are other cases to be heard by this Trial
14 Chamber, so I wonder whether we could really make an
15 effort and finish by 18 June.
16 We very much rely upon the cooperation of
17 both parties. I wonder whether there are any questions
18 relating to this particular point?
19 MR. FILA: Is it standard procedure, because
20 in my country it is, that the final summing up is given
21 in writing and then is submitted orally, briefly, which
22 makes matters more succinct -- the final argument, is
23 it given in writing first? That is the Yugoslavian
24 system, but it does not mean it is a good one and valid
1 JUDGE CASSESE: It could be quite good.
2 I think this would be a way of saving time, to have the
3 closing statements first in writing and then very
4 briefly summed up orally.
5 Mr. Niemann, would you accept this procedure?
6 MR. NIEMANN: We will produce something in
7 writing in the nature of a summary, particularly a
8 directory to the evidence, so that when we say that
9 this element is proved and this is the evidence that
10 proves it, we will be doing something along those
11 lines. We still want to make a closing address,
12 though. It is important I think for this to be orally
13 presented so it can be argued. It also provides an
14 opportunity if there are any questions that occur to
15 your Honours about the Prosecution case or the Defence
16 case, often oral presentation prompts that sort of
17 issue and then your Honours can deal with it.
18 Otherwise, there is this sort of going back
19 and forth on issues which often happens with written
21 We will be producing something in writing.
22 It will be in the nature of a summary, but we also wish
23 to address you orally on the matter.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, but I understand this
25 is also what Mr. Fila was proposing -- his idea was,
1 however, that the oral presentation should be fairly
2 short and then followed by questions and the bulk of
3 the argument should be found in the written statement.
4 So, therefore, we could try to have closing statements
5 and oral presentations -- it very much depends on how
6 much time you need for the rebuttal witnesses. We may
7 have only four working days in June.
8 MR. NIEMANN: I am not in a position to
9 comment on that.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: But assuming you were to
11 need only, say, two days for the rebuttal witnesses,
12 then we could have two days for closing statements.
13 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. That would be ample
14 time. I do not imagine I would take anything like a
15 whole day, but I would imagine that I would take three
16 hours for a closing address, and probably --
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Niemann, what is the rule
18 about rebuttal evidence? Is it evidence which you were
19 not in a position to call in your evidence-in-chief --
20 that is certainly the rule that I am familiar with. Is
21 that the rule here?
22 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I go on my
23 experience in Tadic, which is all I can do, and I think
24 perhaps that the system that your Honour is used to and
25 the one that I am used to is different to that which
1 prevailed in the Tadic case.
2 My understanding of the practice that
3 operates, for example, in one jurisdiction in the
4 United States is that it seems to be broader than
5 certainly I was accustomed to in terms of the
6 presentation of rebuttal evidence. It strictly follows
7 the traditional approach -- it is only those matters
8 which are raised during the course of the Defence case,
9 but it is different in this sense, that in my
10 jurisdiction at least the Prosecution has a
11 responsibility to, in large measure, anticipate
12 defences in the course of its case and to present its
13 evidence dealing with and addressing those questions in
14 the course of the Prosecution case, and that is not the
15 practice that was followed in the Tadic case.
16 What occurred there was that issues that were
17 raised in the Defence case were dealt with by rebuttal
18 evidence. That is why I raised the matter earlier.
19 I know your Honour comes from a jurisdiction that dealt
20 with the matter differently to the way I am accustomed
21 to. There is this obligation on the Prosecution that
22 exists in the jurisdiction I come from -- it did not
23 exist in the Tadic case. Nevertheless, it is fairly
24 expeditiously dealt with, and it is not a drawn-out
25 process at all.
1 JUDGE MAY: If I may interrupt, the
2 difficulty is this: given the tightness of the
3 timetable, and the reason it is tight is because, as
4 you know, Mr. Niemann, there are a large number of other
5 cases waiting to be tried and, therefore, we must try
6 this one expeditiously, and speaking for myself,
7 I would regard rebuttal evidence to be in a fairly
8 narrow compass and no doubt that is the way the
9 Prosecution will approach it -- to deal with purely
10 relevant matters and matters which have not been dealt
11 with or possibly have not been dealt with in the
12 Prosecution case in chief.
13 But it may be this is to anticipate matters.
14 However, I think I should, speaking for myself, say
15 that I would be looking at the matter fairly narrowly
16 and trying to keep it in a short compass.
17 MR. NIEMANN: I specifically and
18 deliberately raised it during the case in chief so that
19 if your Honours had any concern about that, we could
20 discuss it then, because I certainly was concerned
21 about it in the Tadic case when it arose and a more
22 broader view was taken of the issue there. That is one
23 of the reasons I raised it.
24 JUDGE MAY: Would it be more sensible to
25 discuss it towards the end of the Defence case when you
1 will know roughly what areas you want to cover? It
2 might be sensible, before you start getting the
3 evidence, to discuss what seems to be relevant and what
4 does not?
5 MR. NIEMANN: Certainly, I think that would
6 be helpful. At this stage it is hard for us to
8 JUDGE MUMBA: I just wanted to point out
9 that I hope it is not a question of giving the
10 Prosecution a second bite at the cherry.
11 MR. NIEMANN: No, it is not that.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Very well. We may now
14 MR. FILA: According to Rule 85, your
15 Honours, of the rights of the Defence to give a reply
16 to the evidence submitted by the Prosecution, and that
17 the Trial Chamber present the evidence asked for --
18 I do not know that I will have evidence of this kind,
19 but for me to know whether I have them or not, I would
20 like the Prosecution, on time, to tell me which
21 evidence it will be submitting so that, in those four
22 days of May, if I have anything as a rejoinder --
23 Defence evidence in rejoinder that I prepare it -- four
24 days of June, I am sorry, for the Defence evidence in
1 In order to speed up matters, I have nothing
2 against, as I said at the beginning, having, in the
3 course of May, when I have my Defence turn, every
4 proposal that the Prosecution considers would be useful
5 to propose and present during its Defence time --
6 during the Defence time and that is not contrary to the
7 Rules along with my agreement. Thank you, your
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I think by and
10 large we should take up the wise suggestion made by
11 Judge May that, in May, before you conclude your case,
12 we can probably discuss with the Prosecutor the
13 question of rebuttal evidence and see the type of
14 evidence the Prosecutor is prepared to present.
15 We should now move on to our next witness;
16 Dr. Bulajic.
17 MR. PETROVIC: I apologise, there has been a
18 turn about in our agenda -- Dr. Bulajic will be second
19 and the first witness is Mr. Dragutin Antic -- he was to
20 have been second but is the first witness this
21 morning. We informed the Prosecution of this on
22 Friday, of this alteration.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Antic, could you please
24 make the solemn declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
1 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
2 the truth.
3 DRAGUTIN ANTIC
4 Examined by MR. PETROVIC
5 Q. Mr. Antic, did you, on 14 January 1998, have
6 talks with the investigator for the Defence, Miroslav
7 Vasic, and on that occasion did you sign a statement
8 that I am going to show you now.
9 Would you please show the statement to the
10 witness? It is in Serbian and has been translated into
11 English. (Handed).
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document D34 and the
13 translation is D34A.
14 MR. PETROVIC: Is that the document and did
15 you sign it?
16 A. Yes, it is the document, my statement signed
17 by me on 14 January 1998.
18 MR. PETROVIC: If there are no objections,
19 I should like to propose that documents D34 and D34A be
20 accepted in evidence.
21 MR. NIEMANN: No objection.
22 MR. PETROVIC: Did you graduate from the
23 Faculty of Machine Engineering in Zagreb in 1973?
24 A. Yes, on 12 April 1973, I graduated from the
25 Faculty of Machine Engineering and Shipbuilding in
2 Q. Would you just answer "Yes" or "No" to my
3 questions, please -- the answer to that one was "Yes".
4 Where were you employed in the course of your
5 professional career?
6 A. Until 1991, when I left Borovo Naselje,
7 I worked in the Borovo plant.
8 Q. A little slower, please.
9 A. From 1973, until the war broke out, in the
10 region of Vukovar, I worked in the Borovo Cooperative.
11 Q. Where did you live?
12 A. I lived in Borovo Naselje.
13 Q. Can you tell us what the cooperative of
14 Borovo means for Vukovar and the Vukovar environment?
15 A. Well, it is the footwear-producing factory
16 company and, for the municipality of Vukovar, it was
17 the basic protagonist of the municipality's development
18 and economy. At the time, it had some 23,000 employees
19 and, of that number, 17,000 workers were from Borovo
20 Naselje, Vukovar and the immediate environs. As I have
21 already said, it was the basic protagonist of the
22 region's development and the economy of the
23 municipality of Vukovar as a whole.
24 Q. How many people worked in the company?
25 A. They were from Vukovar, Borovo Naselje and
1 the villages 10 to 15 kilometres away and there were
2 17,000 employees from this region.
3 Q. What functions did you perform in the Borovo
5 A. Well, practically all of them. I, first of
6 all, was in the projects department, then I was the
7 deputy manager of the cooperative, and in a word I went
8 through all the phases, from an engineer to the
9 managerial posts and, happily for me, I also performed
10 another function, by virtue of executive power and
11 authority vested in me in the Borovo company.
12 Q. When and why were you replaced as the second
13 man in charge of Borovo?
14 A. I was replaced at the end of June 1991, and
15 the basis for my replacement -- on the basis of the
16 executive board which was nominated by the agency for
17 restructuring of the Republic of Croatia, when the
18 complete management organ of the Borovo company were
19 replaced along with the director-general, Mr. Zdravko
20 Egic and in my assessment, let me say for national
21 reasons and for ethnic reasons, because I was an ethnic
23 Q. Who replaced you in your post?
24 A. The director-general and deputy were members
25 of the Croatian ethnic group and a new executive board
1 was set up by the agency for restructuring, as I said a
2 moment ago.
3 Q. Were there any other replacements in the
4 Borovo company?
5 A. At that particular time, there were no more
6 replacements in Borovo, but it was just the intention
7 that the new leadership perform to hand out all the
8 directors of the work organisation's papers, which
9 stated that they would be performing the duties as
10 deputy directors and so on, but, as I left Borovo in
11 August, I do not know whether this was actually done.
12 Q. What was the criterion for distributing
13 individuals at the highest posts? Was it according to
14 their working ability, or some other criterion?
15 A. Well, actually, when I was replaced and when
16 the general manager was replaced, it was not by virtue
17 of their professional ability, but national
19 Q. Were any of the employees of Borovo company
21 A. Yes, there were arrests in concrete terms at
22 the end, that is to say on 31 May, the director of
23 production for car tyres, Mr. Milan Miljevic, was
24 arrested. He was physically tortured. On 1 June he
25 was released and there were barricades set up at the
1 time between Borovo Selo and Borovo Naselje and he was
2 maltreated along with his driver, and on 2 July, they
3 intended to arrest the director of the leather footwear
4 factory, Mr. Mirko Vujanovi, who, thanks to me, was
5 taken out of Borovo Naselje and taken by train from
6 Vinkovci to Novi Sad.
7 Q. Were there cases when the buildings were
8 mined -- buildings belonging to the Serb population,
9 were they blown up?
10 A. Yes, this did happen.
11 Q. If you can give us some concrete examples?
12 A. I know that a cafe bar was blown up, that is
13 to say, a restaurant across the road from the bus
14 station in Vukovar, and I also know that a kiosk where
15 the paper "Politika" was sold was also blown up.
16 Q. Can you explain what "Politika" is?
17 A. It is a daily newspaper issued by the
18 Politika Newspaper Publishing House and this kiosk sold
19 newspapers coming from Belgrade -- the newspaper
20 Politika. I also know that a restaurant was blown up
21 -- it was a restaurant for the preparation of cold
22 food and snacks, where once again the proprietor was of
23 Serb nationality.
24 Q. Were there similar instances; were there
25 instances of killing of Serbs in Vukovar?
1 A. Yes, there was.
2 Q. Can you give us an example?
3 A. At the beginning of July, I do not know
4 whether it was on 1 or 2 July, a man was killed, that
5 is to say, a worker of an enterprise called Nama, it
6 was a chain of department stores in Vukovar and he
7 worked in the weapons department and he was killed on
8 the threshold of his house on 1 or 2 July --
9 Mr. Jakovljevic, nicknamed "Drakica". I know that
10 because his child went to school with my own child and
11 that is why I know of that particular case.
12 Q. Do you know whether there was talk of who had
13 killed him?
14 A. Well, it was said that the killing, the
15 murder, was performed by the members of the HDZ, but
16 who actually did the killing and in what way I do not
17 really know.
18 Q. Could you tell us something about the
19 atmosphere in Borovo Naselje where you lived at the
20 time, that is to say, the summer of 1991?
21 A. I can tell you that the atmosphere from --
22 Q. A little slower, please.
23 A. From April onwards, the atmosphere was fairly
24 frustrating -- it was tense, because, in the evening
25 hours, at dusk, the extremist members of the HDZ, or in
1 fact -- shot -- there was rifle fire in Borovo
2 Naselje. This led to fear and, of course, people, not
3 only the Serbs but the Croats as well, were afraid of
4 this general state of affairs and this was done by the
5 extremists -- ultra extremists, because this did not
6 suit anybody's purposes, nor did it --
7 Q. Were there attempts to solve conflicts
9 A. Yes, there were attempts of this kind in
10 February and March. For example, a joint meeting was
11 held at the initiative of the Secretary for National
12 Defence at the time, Mr. Zivko Sekulic, to make a
13 proclamation by which these inter-nationality
14 relationships should be calmed down so as to avoid
15 adverse effects. One of the participants at this
16 meeting was myself and 25 or 30 of us signed this
17 document and this was published in the local Vukovar
19 Q. Why did you have to leave Borovo Naselje?
20 A. I left Borovo Naselje because I felt afraid
21 -- when the situation with the directors and managers
22 of the Borovo company happened, I was afraid, and in
23 actual practice, on 7 August, I used a business trip to
24 Belgrade to leave and I stayed in Serbia -- I remained
25 in Serbia and did not return to Borovo Naselje.
1 Q. How long have you known Slavko Dokmanovic?
2 A. I have known Slavko Dokmanovic from 1990,
3 after the multi-Party elections took place in Croatia
4 -- he was nominated President of the assembly of the
5 municipality of Vukovar.
6 Q. When did you start closer cooperation?
7 A. Well, I began to cooperate closely with
8 Mr. Dokmanovic in 1991, when inter-nationality
9 relationships began to come to a head and barricades
10 were set up and it was difficult for people to come to
11 work because of the barricades and we tried, via the
12 municipality organs, to suggest to the existing
13 Government of the Republic of Croatia to try and calm
14 tensions and to try and establish normal inter-human
15 and inter-ethnic relationships and to ensure production
16 to function normally in Borovo. So my contacts with
17 Mr. Dokmanovic were exclusively of an economic nature
18 from the aspects of business and the normal running of
19 production in the Borovo company. We had no other
21 Q. How long did you continue contact with
22 Mr. Dokmanovic?
23 A. Well, my relations with Dokmanovic went on up
24 to some time in May, after the ignominious events of
25 2 May in Borovo Selo. After that, I did not have
1 occasion to meet Mr. Dokmanovic, so somewhere from mid
2 May I went to the Municipal Assembly -- and I
3 contacted --
4 Q. Who did you contact?
5 A. I had contacts with his Vice-President,
6 Mr. Vidic -- his nickname was Bili -- and I discussed
7 the problems that were of the same nature as the ones
8 that I had been discussing with Mr. Dokmanovic. So, in
9 practical terms, I talked to Vidic until I was
10 replaced, that is to say, until the end of June 1991.
11 Q. When were you mobilised and in what unit?
12 A. I was mobilised on 15 September 1991. I was
13 taken to the Vukovar barracks and, from there, I was
14 taken to a unit, a detachment, the Petrova Gora
15 detachment. Let me just say that as I was previously
16 included in the frameworks of the Vukovar detachment,
17 that is to say, Vukovar's Territorial Defence, in
18 previous years, as a reservist captain, then according
19 to the same initiative I was sent, probably, to that
20 particular detachment.
21 Q. Where was the detachment located and what
22 were your functions?
23 A. The detachment was located in Petrova Gora --
24 the street's name was Petrova Gora and that is where
25 the detachment takes its name from. My duties were
1 logistics. I was a technician -- my duty was to supply
2 the detachment with food, clothing, fuel, lubricants
3 and so on and so forth. Later on, of course, I did
4 distribute the humanitarian aid that came in.
5 Q. Who was the commander of the unit?
6 A. Under the guard brigades when I came, that
7 is, 1 October, and up to that date, I do not know what
8 the command actually was.
9 Q. The Guard Brigade belongs to the Yugoslav
10 People's Army?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you see Slavko Dokmanovic during your
13 stay in Vukovar as a fighter of that particular unit?
14 A. I did not see Mr. Dokmanovic in Vukovar at
15 all. I saw Mr. Dokmanovic on one or two occasions in
16 Erdut, where the Government was stationed of the then
17 Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, and I met
18 him in passing, because I would be on my way to a
19 Ministry to ask for diesel fuel and petrol for the
21 Q. In going about amassing your supplies, did
22 you visit the farming cooperatives around the area of
24 A. Yes, well, we used supplies from local
25 sources -- those local sources as far as food is
1 concerned is what we found in Vukovar proper, and the
2 surrounding villages, and of course the farms that were
3 nearby. It was the Ovcara pig-rearing farm and the
4 Jakobovac farm and on these farming cooperatives, so
5 I went there to try and get the necessary meat, whether
6 pork or beef.
7 Q. At these cooperative farms, did you see any
8 military units stationed there?
9 A. Yes, there were military units, but how they
10 were deployed, I do not really know, but they were
11 stationed in the environs, because this whole area
12 behind Vukovar -- there were units there.
13 Q. Was there any farming mechanisation on the
14 cooperatives that you visited?
15 A. Well, I did not, to tell you the truth, pay
16 attention to this, but there was the usual farming
17 mechanisation that I saw in peacetime before war broke
18 out, which means tractors and all the other machines,
19 combine harvesters and so on -- other agricultural
20 machines that are used. I did not notice anything
21 different, more or less, that had existed in peacetime.
22 Q. Was there water and electricity in the
23 villages around Vukovar?
24 A. Let us make a distinction here. Water and
25 electricity, as it once existed in urban terms, that is
1 to say, from the waterworks of Vukovar, taking water to
2 the surrounding villages, the distribution network for
3 electricity, this was not possible at that time for the
4 simple reason that individual power stations and cable
5 units were severed, due to the war activities, and so
6 there was no electricity and, as there was no
7 electricity, the pumps at the waterworks were not
9 The electricity that we had in Vukovar and
10 the water that we had was from the wells, that is to
11 say, water would be pumped by a hand pump from the
13 As far as electricity that existed, there
14 were power generators at certain locations run on the
15 basis of petrol and so individual buildings had a bit
16 of electricity, but in fact there was no water or
17 electricity. I left Vukovar at the end of January
18 1992, and I believe that, until April, they had no
19 water or electricity.
20 Q. Thank you. Just speak a little more slowly,
22 A. I am sorry, I seem to lose myself.
23 Q. Who was in charge of the town after the war
24 operations, do you know?
25 A. Throughout the war --
1 Q. During the war operations and later on?
2 A. There was military rule, particularly
3 afterwards, when the war operations had ended and when
4 the Guard Brigade had withdrawn, then the military
5 authority was taken over by the Kragujevac Brigade.
6 The commander was Colonel Vujanovic.
7 Q. Do you know when he came --
8 A. That is alright, yes, he came after the war
10 Q. When the Guard Brigade had withdrawn?
11 A. Yes, somewhere between 24 and 26 November.
12 I do not know the exact date.
13 Q. Were there any civilian organs of power and
14 authority in the Vukovar region after the war
16 A. After the war operations -- that is to say,
17 during the war operations, there was no civilian
18 authority. Civilian authority began to be set up at
19 the beginning of December 1991 and the military
20 government had as its task to enable the creation of
21 normal living conditions, and to prepare new organs of
22 civilian government and to enable those who had fled
23 Vukovar and Borovo Naselje and the surrounding villages
24 to return. All I know is that some time at the
25 beginning of December --
1 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask you to slow down,
2 otherwise the interpreters cannot interpret what you
3 say. Thank you. Please go on.
4 THE WITNESS: President, I have to
5 apologise. I simply seem to lose myself. Let me just
6 finish what I set out to say. So the civilian
7 authorities were non-existent, the military rule was
8 supposed to solve this problem and then, in early
9 December, the Executive Council of the Municipal
10 Assembly was formed. It had five members and
11 I remember that the President was Mr. Rade Bibic -- he
12 was appointed the President. I cannot tell you
13 anything more about that because I did not participate
14 in that and I did not know what happened.
15 MR. PETROVIC: What happened to your property
16 and the property of other people who left Vukovar and
17 the Vukovar area?
18 A. As far as my property is concerned, two
19 things happened. On the one hand, in July, when the
20 first onslaught was happening, the National Guard
21 Corps, the Croatian ZNG, entered my house, because they
22 thought I had weapons and they destroyed all my
23 furniture, so that I could not use it any more that was
24 one of the reasons that I had fled.
25 The second thing that happened in the course
1 of the combat operations, due to bombardment and
2 shelling, a part of my property was destroyed, so I
3 lost about half of my property through looting and just
4 the other half I lost through bombardment, and the
5 other inhabitants of Borovo Naselje and Vukovar shared
6 my fate and of the surrounding villages, so those
7 people who were affected by the war operations and,
8 those who did not, did not suffer that fate.
9 MR. PETROVIC: This concludes my examination
10 of Mr. Antic.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Niemann.
12 Cross-examined by MR. NIEMANN
13 Q. You say that the Government was in Erdut --
14 you said that a moment ago; is that right?
15 A. Yes, the Government -- I mean the appropriate
16 Ministries and the Government, they sometimes met in
17 Erdut and, from time to time, I went there in October
18 1991. To be more specific, I was there once or twice
19 at the most -- I cannot give you an exact number of
20 times -- and the reason why I went there was to ask for
21 assistance to be given -- I do not know from which
22 sources -- some diesel fuel, because we needed it for
23 the vehicles we had, most of all for the medical
25 Q. And the supplies that you were seeking were
1 provided by the Government, were they?
2 A. No, no, the Government never provided any
3 supplies, but I applied to the appropriate Ministries
4 in the Government to get me in touch with somebody --
5 some humanitarian organisation -- which would then
6 provide the resources that I needed, that I sought.
7 For instance, if we are talking about -- if
8 there was a company which was under their jurisdiction,
9 or if it was a company in the Republic of Serbia, then
10 I tried to solve the problem in this way. They put me
11 in touch with those people, I talked to these people,
12 and I asked them to donate those resources for free,
13 because we did not have the funds to buy those things,
14 and this is the way I proceeded, so I only went there a
15 couple of times -- this is not something that we should
16 be talking about, because we are not talking about huge
18 I mostly tried to solve those problems from
19 local resources, because there were some local
20 resources left, but there were times, for instance, in
21 late October, when the local resources were
22 insufficient, because we had already used them up.
23 Q. You saw Mr. Dokmanovic when you were seeking
24 these supplies -- seeking to obtain these supplies?
25 A. I met Mr. Dokmanovic at that time there,
1 because Mr. Dokmanovic was the Minister of Agriculture,
2 so I did not have anything in common with him -- we
3 just met in passing, shook hands and said "hello" as
4 people who had known each other. I did not have any
5 other activities or contacts with Mr. Dokmanovic. This
6 is all that I had with him, maybe a second or two
7 -- "Good afternoon, how are you? What are you doing"
8 -- nothing special.
9 Q. As Minister for Agriculture, he was one of
10 the Ministers who was able to put you in touch with
11 people with supplies such as diesel and so forth?
12 A. Well, he probably could, but I did not ask
13 him to do so, nor was that my intention when I went
14 there. I never discussed those things with
15 Mr. Dokmanovic. I really did not.
16 Q. You said you discussed these things with the
17 Government and Mr. Dokmanovic was in the Government.
18 Tell me who it is that you had your discussions with --
19 which Ministry?
20 A. Alright. That was not your question. I will
21 now give you an answer. At that time, I talked to
22 Mr. Devetak, Vitomir Devetak. I discussed the
23 possibility of obtaining such assistance from him. He
24 was in the Ministry of Industry or something like that,
25 and I discussed those things with him, so I was there
1 where he was and I discussed those things with his
2 associates. I pursued those avenues of obtaining
3 assistance, so, please, at that time, I only said
4 "hello" to Mr. Dokmanovic as a friend -- by a "friend"
5 I mean we knew each other from Vukovar. I had not
6 known Mr. Dokmanovic until the time when he was
7 appointed the President of the municipality.
8 Q. You also said in your evidence that towards
9 the middle to late 1991, there was an increase in
10 tension in the "inter-nationality relationships". Can
11 you just tell me what it is you mean by that?
12 A. No, not until mid 1991 -- until the end of
13 1991, this resulted in armed hostilities, but the
14 tensions began in 1990. They began to crop up at the
15 time when multi-Party elections were being prepared in
16 Yugoslavia. There were parties which had a nationalist
17 programme and this has caused increased inter-ethnic
18 tensions. I do not know what the previous witnesses
19 have said -- I do not know how familiar you are with
20 the situation, but in May 1990 the elections took place
21 and, as far as our municipality is concerned, there
22 were two basic parties -- two main parties, the
23 Croatian Democratic Union and the former Party of
24 Democratic Changes, that is Racan's Party and in the
25 municipality of Vukovar we had only two options --
1 either to vote for HDZ or for the Party of Democratic
3 I have to tell you that most of the Serbian
4 population voted for the Party of Democratic Changes
5 because there was no alternative and also some of the
6 people who in that people were, so to speak, of
7 Yugoslav orientation, they also voted for that Party.
8 The reason for that was simply that some of the people
9 who were involved in the Croatian Democratic Union
10 Party overly stressed this national motive and by
11 stressing that motive, they implied something else --
12 the other side -- and the result was a contradiction to
13 those people who stressed something else, because we in
14 Borovo Naselje, we all lived side by side for years, we
15 were neighbours, people of all nations and religions
16 until that time when that happened and until that time
17 nobody asked other people what their nationality was.
18 That is what I meant.
19 Q. Okay. I think your point is that the HDZ
20 represented people of Croat nationality?
21 A. No, no, that is not what I said. I just
22 wanted to say that, to me, it was not clear why, within
23 the HDZ Party, there were some extremists who created
24 this tension among us, and that was the reason why, in
25 February and March, we had this joint meeting where
1 intellectuals tried to calm down those nationalist
2 passions, in a way, because, as soon as one side
3 started to express their nationalist feeling, the other
4 side also responded. I cannot give you a better
6 Q. But there were people of extreme nationalist
7 views on either side, were there not?
8 A. Yes, yes, of course -- on the Serbian side
9 I have to say that, but normal human beings could not
10 accept such nationalist motives.
11 Q. The brigade that was at Petrova Gora, was
12 that Territorial Defence, or was that JNA?
13 A. Well, at that time, it was not a brigade; it
14 was a detachment -- we called it the Petrova Gora
15 detachment. At the time when it was formed,
16 established, it had about 400 people. It was under the
17 command of the JNA, and I cannot treat it as being part
18 of the Territorial Defence, so, according to the
19 conception -- I have now to give you an explanation --
20 according to the conception of All People's Defence,
21 the Territorial Defence was part of the normal armed
22 forces. It was a constituent part, so both the Regular
23 Army and the Territorial Defence were treated -- if
24 there was an attack, it had to defend the country.
25 That was the doctrine and, before the war, I was the
1 chief of the technical service in the Vukovar Brigade,
2 so it was a territorial unit. What that means is that
3 according to some military aspects, it had to be
4 stationed in Vukovar, and it does not mean that it was
5 a paramilitary unit.
6 Q. I did not suggest for one minute --
7 A. I do not know if I was clear enough.
8 Q. I did not suggest it was a paramilitary
9 unit. The command of the Petrova Gora detachment or
10 what ultimately it became was -- the ultimate command
11 was the same command as the command of the Guards'
12 Brigade; that is right, is it not?
13 A. No. The command of the Guards' Brigade was
14 located in Negoslavci -- that is where the headquarters
15 were located, and the commands of the detachment -- the
16 command did not exist in Vukovar, in practical terms.
17 You knew who was the commander of a company. I was in
18 charge of providing supplies, fuel, lubricants, food,
19 footwear, for the soldiers -- I had to prepare places
20 where those soldiers could have baths and where they
21 could be fed, but the command was not there -- the
22 command was in Negoslavci.
23 Q. I was not ask you where the command was,
24 I was asking you what the ultimate command was. There
25 is a confusion. I did not suggest they were at Petrova
1 Gora. I am just saying your ultimate command came
2 under the command of the Guards' Brigade -- that is
3 what you said in your evidence?
4 A. Yes, that is right -- the Petrova Gora
5 detachment had a command. Our command was in Vukovar,
6 but we were under the command of the Guards' Brigade.
7 The command of my detachment had to be stationed
8 somewhere -- their headquarters was in the Petrova Gora
9 street. I do not know, Mr. Prosecutor, maybe I do not
10 understand what you are saying.
11 Q. I think you do not understand what I am
12 saying. I am not asking you about locations; I am
13 asking you about command and you have answered my
14 question, so we can move on.
15 The commander of the Guards' Brigade was
16 commanded by Colonel Mrksic and Major Sljivancanin, was
17 it not?
18 A. Oh, so that is what you are asking. There
19 has been a misunderstanding. The commander of the
20 Guards' Brigade was Colonel Mrksic, that is right and
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Sljivancanin, I do not know what he
22 was, because I was not in touch with them. I think he
23 was in charge of security, because we did not get into
24 contact. I just know that he was my commander in chief
25 -- my superior officer. If that is what you wanted to
1 ask me, that is the truth.
2 Q. And did you know other commanders who were
3 operational at the time, and, firstly, commander --
4 Captain Miroljub Vujovic?
5 A. Miroljub Vujovic, yes, I knew him.
6 Q. Did you have much contact with him?
7 A. Well, I did have some contact with him,
8 because I supplied his unit with food, and clothes,
10 Q. And was he on a parallel level of rank with
12 A. Well, at that time, he was a commanding
13 officer of a unit -- I do not know whether he was at
14 the parallel level with me -- I do not know. We
15 probably were, because I was in charge of logistics and
16 he was in charge of a combat unit, so we probably were
17 at the same level, in a manner of speaking.
18 Q. And, like you, he was also subordinate to the
19 Guards' Brigade?
20 A. Yes -- well, all the units that operated in
21 Vukovar were subordinated to the Guards' Brigade
22 command -- whether we are talking about the Petrova
23 Gora detachment, the 2nd, 4th, 5th detachment, it does
24 not matter, all of them were subordinate to that
1 Q. Stanko Vujanovic, did you know him?
2 A. Yes, I knew him, he was a commander of a
3 unit, a combat unit.
4 Q. Similar to the situation that Miroljub
5 Vujovic --
6 A. Yes, Miroljub -- yes, that is right.
7 Q. And Stanko Vujanovic was also subordinate to
8 the Guards' Brigade?
9 A. Yes, all of them were subordinate to that
11 Q. Did you ever have any discussions with either
12 Stanko Vujanovic or Miroljub Vujovic on or after 20
13 November 1991?
14 A. Well, virtually after the end of the war
15 operations in Vukovar, I was not in touch with them any
16 longer, because, after that, pursuant to a decision of
17 the military administration, I was assigned to go back
18 to the Borovo company and to take over, so, in fact, in
19 that period, when a commission was formed to clean up
20 the entire area after the war operations, I worked with
21 that commission and I also prepared the Borovo company
22 for the clean-up and for renewal of the production, so
23 I was no longer in Vukovar after 24th -- on 25 November
24 -- I was only in Borovo company and in Borovo Naselje
25 and I stayed in that region until mid January 1992,
1 when I left the region and I never came back.
2 Q. Who was it -- you said that it was pursuant
3 to a decision of the military administration that
4 caused you to go back to the Borovo company. Can you
5 be more precise and tell me who it was that gave you
6 that order -- who was responsible --
7 A. Well, the order was issued by the commander
8 of the Vukovar town, Mr. Milorad -- I think he was a
9 colonel by rank -- Milorad Vujnovic. He came there as
10 part of the Kragujevac Brigade and it was probably
11 according to the military formation he was put in
12 charge of the town and he gave me this order.
13 Q. You said that Rade Bibic was appointed
14 President of the Executive Council of the municipality
15 of Vukovar. Was Miroljub Vujovic that we spoke of a
16 moment ago also appointed to the Executive Council?
17 A. It was the Executive Council -- yes -- it was
18 some kind of initial council which was supposed to set
19 up all those civilian authorities -- I know about
20 Mr. Bibic, I know there were five members but I do not
21 know who were the other members aside from him, because
22 I was not there at the time, and I did not take part in
23 all that. I do not know whether Miroljub was a member
24 or not.
25 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Petrovic, any questions?
2 MR. PETROVIC: No, thank you.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: I have a few questions.
4 First of all, I would like to point out that
5 in the English translation of your written statement,
6 which has been admitted into evidence, there is a
7 printing mistake on the penultimate line -- it should
8 read "January 1992", and not "1991".
9 My first question relates to what you said a
10 few minutes ago. You said that you saw military units
11 stationed around Vukovar after you were mobilised for
12 the JNA, and my question is as follows: what sort of
13 military units were these ones -- are you referring to
14 JNA units, or, also, paramilitary units?
15 A. No, in my opinion, these were the units of
16 the JNA, but I really did not check -- I did not check
17 which units they were. My role was to provide supplies
18 and, as far as Ovcara was concerned, there was a
19 pig-breeding farm there and I went there to see whether
20 I can obtain some pork, whether they can kill a pig or
21 two so I can provide food for the people I was supposed
22 to supply, and I know that there were some units there,
23 I suppose it was the JNA, because there was also some
24 artillery station there. It was not possible for some
25 other units to be there -- it was only the JNA, because
1 nobody else had that kind of weapons. That is my
2 assumption, my opinion. It does not mean that it was
3 in fact true, but, in my opinion, it cannot be any
4 other way.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: So, in the three months when
6 you were there you never came across military units
7 dressed in a different way from the normal uniform of
8 JNA units -- namely, paramilitary units, people who
9 were a bit different from the JNA regular members --
10 you never saw such paramilitary units?
11 A. Well, not in essence, because everybody was
12 dressed in the kind of uniforms that the JNA had, so
13 there were not people dressed in any other way. If
14 somebody was mobilised, then they were not given the
15 uniform at that very moment when he was mobilised but
16 only when he came to Vukovar, then he got his uniform
17 in Vukovar. I gave him the uniform there, out of our
19 JUDGE CASSESE: When you speak of being
20 "mobilised", are you also referring to members of the
21 so-called Territorial Defence?
22 A. I mean all those who received their call-ups
23 and members of Territorial Defence and those who were
24 in regular military units -- those who were drafted in
25 the army at that time -- that is what I mean.
1 According to the doctrine at that time, it was one and
2 the same -- there was no difference -- Territorial
3 Defence and regular armed forces, it was one and the
4 same. There was no difference. The name "Territorial
5 Defence" was applied, because that unit was supposed to
6 stay in its territory.
7 If we are talking about the Vukovar Brigade,
8 for instance, and if there are combat operations, the
9 Vukovar Territorial Defence has to remain in the
10 Vukovar municipality. It cannot be deployed in other
11 areas -- Vinkovci, Nasice, Zupanja -- whatever. In
12 those areas, there were brigades which belonged to that
13 territory. According to the doctrines that were valid
14 at that time, they were all armed forces units and the
15 question is only when they were mobilised. They all
16 received their call-ups.
17 Q. A different question. You said that you went
18 a couple of times to Erdut in October 1991 to meet
19 members of the Ministry of Industry and you also saw
20 Mr. Dokmanovic. You spoke of "Ministries". Could you
21 explain what Ministries these were -- did each Ministry
22 have a building with staff, with people -- a sort of
23 administrative chain of command, so that the Minister
24 would issue orders to his staff and so on?
25 A. Perhaps I am not going to be able to explain
1 some things as well as I should like -- not because
2 I do not want to, but because I was not acquainted with
3 the set-up. But, at the time, there was a Government of
4 Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem which,
5 within its frameworks, had the corresponding
6 Ministries. What competencies the Ministries had
7 compared to the Yugoslav People's Army and whether it
8 had any competencies at all, I do not know -- I do not
9 think it had any competencies, any authority, because,
10 in fact, when they wanted Ministers in the Government
11 to undertake an action with the military organs, they
12 were just dead letter on paper, nobody recognised them
13 at all and this is what happened in Vukovar --
14 everything that happened and everything that was done
15 was exclusively under the direct jurisdiction of the
16 Guard Brigade. It was the Brigade which, in practical
17 terms, did all the commanding for the war operations as
18 well and it received orders from above -- whether it
19 did or did not I do not know, because I was too far
20 down on the ladder to know things of this kind and to
21 be told of things like this.
22 In the Ministries that I went to, that is,
23 that particular Ministry, it was the Ministry of
24 Industry, I went to that Ministry to ask for aid and
25 assistance and to ask for their suggestions as to who
1 would be able to give me the material I needed, but
2 I just happened to meet Mr. Dokmanovic in passing.
3 I did not ask him what his functions were,
4 but I was told that he was Minister of Agriculture at
5 the time, so, by virtue of my post and functions in
6 Vukovar, I had no common points with Mr. Dokmanovic --
7 we just met as good friends, we shook hands, asked each
8 other how we were, and that was all. So, if I was in
9 Erdut for two or three times, of that two or three
10 times, I probably met Mr. Dokmanovic once or perhaps
11 twice. I cannot really answer you, because six or
12 seven years have gone by.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. One final
14 question: when you met Mr. Dokmanovic in Erdut, how was
15 he dressed -- was he wearing a suit, like the one you
16 are now wearing, or what sort of clothes was he
18 A. I do not know, I just cannot remember.
19 I think he was wearing the clothes that everybody else
20 was wearing -- whether he had a military or a civilian
21 uniform, I do not really know -- I just cannot remember
22 that detail. I cannot give you an answer to that
23 question -- I do not know.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Talking about uniforms, when
25 you yourself were in charge of supplies, as you say,
1 what uniform were you wearing during your duties?
2 A. A military uniform, the uniform of the
3 Yugoslav People's Army, and all the insignia belonging
4 -- the rank of captain, as I had in peacetime, because
5 I am a reserve captain, according to military
6 hierarchy, so to speak.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: To go back to a question
9 I put about the clothes Mr. Dokmanovic was wearing,
10 would you say that, if he was wearing a military
11 uniform, this would have struck you, because, as a
12 civilian, a member of a Government, Minister of
13 Agriculture, he was probably not expected to wear a
14 military uniform, so in a way, although you said you
15 cannot remember, probably is it a fair assumption to
16 say that, had he worn a military uniform, this would
17 have struck you as something a bit odd -- a member of a
18 civilian Government wearing a military uniform?
19 A. Your Honour, I really cannot give you an
20 answer to that question, but, at that particular time
21 of the war operations, most people were wearing
22 military uniforms. Now, whether Mr. Dokmanovic, on that
23 particular occasion, was wearing a uniform or civilian
24 clothing, I just cannot say. There are details that
25 you do not focus on at times like that. I could not
1 expect a question like that, because I never thought
2 about it. If you were to ask me what somebody who was
3 with me in Vukovar was wearing, I probably would not be
4 able to give you an answer there -- they are details
5 you just do not focus on at the time. I am sorry, but
6 I really do not know.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any further
8 questions? I assume there is no objection to the
9 witness being released? Mr. Antic, thank you so much
10 for coming here to give evidence. You may now be
12 (The witness withdrew)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Are you calling Mr. Bulajic?
14 While we are waiting for him, let me again stress that,
15 since he is not a fact witness but an expert witness
16 and we have already been provided with a written
17 statement on the historical and psychological reasons
18 for the political behaviour of Serbs in Croatia,
19 I think we should not spend too much time on this
20 particular testimony, because, judging from what he put
21 on paper, this is material which we have already heard
22 many times -- these are things which we have heard.
23 I hope that he will give concise answers. I will ask
24 him to be very short in his answers.
25 MR. FILA: I am responsible for my own
1 questions and they will be short and precise.
2 (The witness entered court)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask you to stand up
4 and make the solemn declaration, please?
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
6 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
7 the truth.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Dr. Bulajic, before we start,
9 may I ask you to be so kind as to be short, to give
10 short answers to the questions of the Defence counsel
11 and afterwards of the Prosecutor -- very short answers,
12 thank you. Mr. Fila?
13 DR MILAN BULAJIC
14 Examined by MR. FILA
15 Q. Mr. Bulajic -- sit down, please -- you can
16 switch to channel 6. Are you sitting comfortably, may
17 we begin? Good morning. Did you graduate from the
18 faculty of law in the Higher School of Journalism?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you write a doctoral thesis under the
21 title of, "The Rights of People to Self-Determination"?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were you in the diplomatic service of the
24 SFRY from 1949 to 1987?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were you the main legal adviser to the
2 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the SFRY?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Where did your functions outside Yugoslavia
5 within the diplomatic service take you?
6 A. First, I went to Washington in the United
7 States of America. I was the Secretary of the Embassy
8 and legal adviser. I was then posted to Indonesia, a
9 Minister-Counsellor was my position there. Thirdly,
10 I was the Consul-General in New York.
11 Q. As a recognised legal man, were you a member
12 of the Federal Council for Legislation?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. As well as the president of the Yugoslav
15 Association for the Protection of Intellectual
17 A. Yes -- and I am so today.
18 Q. A member of the Executive Board of the
19 International Association for the Protection of
20 Industrial Property?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you a member of the Executive Committee
23 of the World Association for International Law?
24 A. I was.
25 Q. Were you the main rapporteur of the
1 International Committee for the Legal Aspects of the
2 New International Economic Order?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were you the second vice-president of the
5 Organisation of World Peace through Law?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Were you the deputy president of the
8 Committee of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences
9 for collecting information on the genocide against the
10 Serbian people and other nations of Yugoslavia in the
11 20th century?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were you Secretary of the State Commission
14 for War Crimes and Crimes of Genocide?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you now hold the post of Director of the
17 Museum of the Victims of Genocide?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you are President of the Fund for
20 Research into Genocide?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were you the amicus curiae of the Yugoslav
23 Government at the trial of Eichmann in Jerusalem in
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were you an observer of the Yugoslav
2 Government at the trials of Ustashi for attacks on the
3 Yugoslav military mission in West Berlin in 1970?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And, also, at the trial of the Ustashi
6 killers of the Yugoslav Ambassador, Mr. Rolovic, in
7 Stockholm in 1971?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you take part at the trial, as an
10 observer, of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences
11 and the Yugoslav Government for the Andrija Artukovic
12 case, one of the men in Zagreb, and on behalf of the
13 Yugoslav Government did you take part in discussions on
14 the extradition of Artukovic in America before the
15 court in South California of the United States of
16 America in 1958?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Among others, did you publish the following
19 scientific works: "Ustashi Crimes of Genocide and the
20 Trial of Andrija Artukovic in 1986"; "The Jasenovac
21 Myth of Franjo Tudjman"?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. "Jasenovac: What Happened"?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. "The Genocide Against the Orthodox Serbs and
1 Other Nations in the Second World War"?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. "The System of Untruths in the System of
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. "The Destruction of the Yugoslav State, Crime
7 against Humanity and International Peace"?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. "The Mission of the Vatican to the
10 Independent State of Croatia", "The Crime against
11 Peace: The Case of the Former Yugoslavia", "The Right
12 to Self-Determination and the United Nations"?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is this your curriculum vitae and your
16 A. Basically, yes -- among others, of course.
17 MR. FILA: (Handed). Would you take a look at
18 the document.
19 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D35.
20 MR. FILA: Is this your expert report, the
21 one that you submitted in English and, on the back, in
22 Serbian? (Handed).
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D36 and
24 the translation D36A.
25 MR. FILA: If there are no objections,
1 I should like to ask the Tribunal to accept this as
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection?
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: No.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
6 MR. FILA: Mr. Bulajic, we have studied your
7 expert report, both the judges, the Defence and the
8 Prosecution and myself, so we will dwell on it
9 briefly. Will you tell us, in brief, by one
10 definition, what the system of Ustashi Jasenovac death
11 camps in fact is -- in a sentence?
12 A. I will try. The system of Croatian Ustashi
13 death camps, in which Jasenovac is just one example,
14 one of the death camps, about 210 to 240 square
15 kilometres of mass graves, in which, in the most brutal
16 manner possible, a genocide was performed by the same
17 perpetrators, on three occasions, which is a world
18 phenomenon, over Orthodox Serbs, Jews, gypsies or
19 Romanies and is the most serious war crime over
21 MR. FILA: Thank you. I should like to ask
22 the Chamber to show a film now -- the intent of the
23 Defence is that everything you saw in the introduction
24 -- you heard in the introduction, should be seen on
25 the screen so that it would have the value and weight
1 of evidence, if you agree. May we see the film about
3 (Videotape played)
4 MR. FILA: I would like this film to be a
5 Defence exhibit -- it will be shown in May in extenso
6 and it will be lasting for about 40 minutes. We are
7 just now showing this particular segment.
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: I am not sure of the
9 relevance of this to this particular case. If Mr. Fila
10 could explain how it is relevant to the issues before
11 this court, we may not have any objection, but we do
12 have concerns; number 1, about the commentary which is
13 offered in connection with it and, number 2, just
14 primarily as to its relevance to the matter before the
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila, I also
17 had the same misgivings or doubts. Could you explain
18 to us why this film would be relevant to our trial?
19 This is part of history -- what happened in Jasenovac
20 was part of history. I do not know whether and to what
21 extent it is material to our trial.
22 MR. FILA: Your Honours, first, I listened to
23 expert Dr. Mark Wheeler, who explained the settlement of
24 the Serbs in the 17th century, and this, according to
25 the Prosecutor, was very important for this case. The
1 Prosecutor provided you with ethnic maps -- Croatian
2 ones -- dating back to the 17th century. There were
3 also population migrations, the relationship between
4 the number of Serbs and number of Croats in this
5 century and this was submitted as evidence.
6 In the written expert report of this witness,
7 the reason is explained for the existence of this
8 particular material as a basis for the Serbs' fear in
9 1991, and from the questions that I shall be asking
10 subsequently, you will see how important this is for
11 the insecurity that the Serbs felt in the region in
12 1991 and their reasons to rebel against the Croatian
13 forces; because they were afraid that what happened in
14 1941 would be repeated.
15 From my next question, you will see how many
16 people from Vukovar left their lives there and we are
17 discussing Vukovar in the 20th century. So, the
18 question is highly relevant, if you wish to learn why
19 the Serbs rose up in 1991. Mr. Wheeler also told you
20 that the fact -- and let me remind you of his
21 statement, a catharsis of the Croatian people did not
22 come about and nobody was punished for those crimes,
23 creating a feeling of additional insecurity in the Serb
24 population and please, I should like to draw attention
25 to the Wheeler expert report, which is the
1 Prosecution's evidence and that is why I am bringing
2 this up -- Jasenovac has been brought up and it was
3 contained in Dr. Wheeler's statement as well as the
4 constitution and so on and so forth, so we must explain
5 and know why the Serbs felt so insecure in 1991. That
6 is the reason.
7 MR. WILLIAMSON: If I might address a couple
8 of points, briefly. First of all, the Prosecution did
9 not tender any maps anywhere near the 17th century.
10 I am looking at the list of Prosecution exhibits. We
11 tendered a map of the territorial distribution of Serbs
12 in Croatia in 1981, and a "Times" map of the Balkans,
13 which is a current map. The questions that were put to
14 Mr. Wheeler, at the request of your Honours to keep it
15 concise, started with the end of World War II and the
16 formation of Yugoslavia. It was only on
17 cross-examination that Mr. Fila then went back to the
18 14th century and introduced these whole subjects.
19 It was designed only to give a brief
20 historical perspective as to how Yugoslavia was formed,
21 thus to put it in the context of the break-up, but the
22 Prosecution did not enter into any questions or try to
23 elicit information from this far back in history.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Williamson.
25 My own position, but I will consult with my fellow
1 judges, is that of course it is useful to the court to
2 have a very general picture of the historical
3 background, yes, but very general. The question we are
4 now in a way discussing is the amount of evidence you
5 intend to produce on the historical and political
6 background. This has very little relevance to our
7 particular case, which is a case where we deal with the
8 facts and legal issues, so therefore you must be aware
9 of the degree to which we can go -- the extent to which
10 we can go in accepting evidence.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Although we very much doubt
13 the relevance of discussions or films on a period which
14 is far away from the date we are concerned with,
15 namely, 20 November 1991, we do allow you to admit this
16 film into evidence, but with a strong appeal that you
17 should try, as much as possible, to confine yourself to
18 dealing with matters which are material to our case.
19 Thank you.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The video will be marked
22 MR. FILA: Thank you, your Honours. I did
23 not consider the Defence represents this as an
24 illustration of what had happened in the sense that you
25 asked for.
1 I am just going to show you some books from
2 that particular area, once again in the sense of
3 illustration, for the purposes of illustration along
4 with the film.
5 As the director of the museum, you wrote a
6 book about how many children lost their lives there,
7 with the names and surnames -- is that the book?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 MR. FILA: I would like to tender this -- the
10 book just contains the names and surnames of the
11 children who were killed -- of all three nations,
12 Serbs, Jews and gypsies. This is an illustration along
13 with the films -- a supplementary illustration to back
14 up the film.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: The Prosecution would have
16 the same objection to these materials as well. Unless
17 this is being offered to show -- as a justification for
18 killings in 1991, then perhaps we would have no
19 objection, but if this is just being provided as
20 historical perspective, again we lodge the same
22 MR. FILA: I am not here to justify killings;
23 I do not like murders of anyone, your Honours.
24 I cannot justify the murdering of Indians, just as much
25 as I cannot justify the killings of Jews and Serbs. No
1 murder is a good thing and it cannot be justified, so
2 I never want to tender into evidence anything that
3 would serve as a justification for murder. This is
4 just an illustration of something that left its trace
5 in the Serbian people and in this spirit it is
6 tendered, to make you understand better the events in
7 1990 and 1991, the fear that was there.
8 The last thing that I want to tender as
9 supporting material is again a finding of the Academy
10 of Sciences with the list of everything that happened
12 Is this a book published by the Serbian
13 Academy of Arts and Sciences?
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: Again, I apologise for
15 adding on one more time -- in relation to our
16 objection, also it goes to the fact that if this
17 material is admitted, it certainly broadens the area
18 which we have to cross-examine on. If this is going
19 into evidence, then I think we are going to feel
20 obligated to have to try to counter it to some extent.
21 MR. FILA: Your Honours, if I may just
22 add --
24 JUDGE CASSESE: In light of the objections
25 made by the Prosecutor and, also, because the court
1 strongly feels that all this material is hardly
2 relevant to the case, we cannot allow your admission
3 into evidence of this list of names and so on. So, it
4 will not be admitted into evidence.
5 I wonder whether you could -- we could have a
6 break now, because we -- and resume in 20 minutes. We
7 stand adjourned.
8 (10.10 a.m.)
9 (A short break)
10 (10.35 a.m.)
11 JUDGE CASSESE: You may proceed, Mr. Fila.
12 MR. FILA: Mr. Bulajic, you will answer very
13 briefly to my questions, please. Were there victims
14 from Vukovar in Jasenovac, because we are interested in
15 the Vukovar area -- briefly, how many, what happened,
16 et cetera?
17 A. If I may, the distinguished Prosecutor raised
18 the question as to the documents and how far this was
19 justified in light of the latter-day victims.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you please answer the
22 MR. FILA: What you have in mind is a more
23 lengthy answer, but it is connected to Vukovar; were
24 there victims from Vukovar, and how many?
25 A. Yes, there were and that is a very important
1 factor. The first composition was made out of five
2 wagon loads of women and children and there were wagon
3 loads of males on 26 August 1941 from Vukovar. It set
4 out for Jasenovac on 27 August 1941, a train
5 composition of 21 wagon loads, two days and two nights
6 travel to Jasenovac, and was liquidated at Gradina.
7 There is a document which I have personally seen, 141
8 individuals, amongst which were 24 children.
9 There are facts and figures which state that
10 gypsies -- Romanies from the Vukovar area were sent to
11 Jasenovac -- 1,120 adults and 500 children. The first
12 great arrests of the Jews in the Vukovar region took
13 place on 7 November 1941; lists exist with 61 Jews in
14 Jasenovac and the last group of Jews were sent to
15 Jasenovac from the Vukovar area on 26 July 1942.
16 Q. What were the total number of Jews liquidated
17 in Jasenovac?
18 A. According to data that I received from Jad
19 Vashem, a photocopy of the highest leadership sent to
20 President Tudjman himself, they remind him that, in
21 Jasenovac, in the most brutal possible way, 25,000 Jews
22 were killed.
23 Q. Thank you. These criminals from Jasenovac,
24 were they punished after World War II in Communist
1 A. In fact, the basic problem as I see it and
2 the cause of the present tragedy of the Yugoslavia
3 peoples, lies in the fact that the Ustashi genocidal
4 State, the independent State of Croatia, did not
5 perform de-Nazification, as was carried out in
6 Germany. The Ustashi terrorist organisation, as was
7 the case with the Nazi Party in Germany, was not
8 proclaimed a criminal Party and that is at the root or
9 heart of matters. The leader of the Ustashi
10 independent State of Croatia fled by rat channels and
11 he was never brought to trial. I was the official
12 observer of the Academy of Sciences at the Andrija
13 Artukovic case, which was to have been a belated
14 Yugoslav Nuremberg trial and I was to have written four
15 books in 3,500 pages to prove that this was a case in
16 pre-war Yugoslavia which was completely staged.
17 The Museum of the Victims of Genocide, whose
18 director I am, along with cooperation by the Wiesental
19 Centre -- Mr. Simon Wiesental -- discovered a live
20 commander of Jasenovac, Dinko Sakic. He is still
21 alive, living in Argentina. He has been living there
22 since 1947 and there is numerous evidence against him.
23 I would like to especially state that, luckily, if
24 I can use that word, there are living witnesses --
25 people who saw this particular commander of Jasenovac,
1 living in Argentina today, kill the victims personally.
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: I must object. We are
3 getting into discussions of individual cases of
4 perpetrators from Jasenovac and I hardly see how that
5 is relevant to our proceedings.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, the objection is
8 MR. FILA: I shall be concluding with that.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder whether the witness
10 could confine himself to specific cases -- not to
11 trials, but general matters we are discussing.
12 MR. FILA: Very well.
13 In the course of the post-war period in
14 Yugoslavia, was there somebody who went to apologise to
15 the Serbian victims -- was there a Willy Brandt of that
17 A. No, unfortunately not. I must say, first of
18 all, that neither the President of Yugoslavia, Josip
19 Broz Tito, himself never visited Jasenovac and that the
20 present President of the Republic of Croatia, historian
21 Dr. Franjo Tudjman, apologised on several occasions to
22 the Jews, but he never offered his apologies to the
23 mass of Serb victims, and he never, which is more
24 important, ever mentioned the gypsies, Romanies, who
25 were killed in the most brutal way possible in the
1 Jasenovac camp.
2 Q. Did this destruction of the Serbs in
3 Jasenovac and the fact that this went unpunished, did
4 it affect the Serbs' behaviour in 1991?
5 A. Yes, that is the sense of the whole thing.
6 We must look at the roots of the present ills. We said
7 that no de-Nazification had taken place. However, what
8 began to happen before the break-up of the Yugoslav
9 State was that Serbian houses began to be set alight on
10 Croatian territory and what is essential here is that
11 those houses were set aflame in areas where there were
12 no armed conflicts. Therefore, there was a clear
13 orientation towards the cleansing -- towards finishing
14 what had been started in World War II, where the area
15 of Croatia was to have been ethnically cleansed and
16 become a cleansed State.
17 People were being recalled in the militia and
18 the police, people were relocated, towns in Croatia
19 from Zagreb to Rijeka were cleansed of the Serb
20 population and so on.
21 Q. Before this, we come to 1990 and 1991, which
22 are the years you speak about, there was a period in
23 the history of our State which was called the Maspok,
24 or the Croatian Spring of 1968-71. Does this period or
25 movement -- did it have an effect on the Serbs?
1 A. That is a good question. At that particular
2 time, I was present at the trial of the killers of the
3 Yugoslav Ambassador in Stockholm and I was personally
4 acquainted with the fact that at that time links had
5 been established between the Ustashi terrorist
6 organisations and this new movement, which rose up in
7 Croatia, because it reflected a certain continuity in
8 the fact that pure Croatian States should be
10 Q. In the course of 1990 and 1991, what was
11 Croatian policy like towards Serbia -- towards the
12 Serbs? I am going to show you several films now, which
13 I used in my introduction, and for which the President
14 has asked me where I came by those films, so you can
15 take a look and tell me who gave me the films. They
16 are films used in the Defence's introduction -- opening
17 statement. It spans 1990 and 1991 and I hope that this
18 refers to this particular case.
19 (Videotape played)
20 THE INTERPRETER: Remember Vukovar. Death to
21 the Serbs.
22 (Videotape stopped)
23 MR. FILA: This is part of the film. What is
24 this about?
25 A. They are the crimes that were ascertained in
1 1990 and 1991 as Secretary of the State Commission for
2 War Crimes and Genocide and later, as the director of
3 the Museum of Genocide, we created a video film centre
4 -- documents -- on the genocide and war crimes if
5 future generations might need documents of this kind,
6 or this esteemed court.
7 Q. So, this is a segment of that tape and you
8 gave me the tape; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. FILA: Thank you. May this be tendered
11 into evidence, the tape that we just saw?
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection?
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
14 THE REGISTRAR: D40 is the number of the
16 MR. FILA: May we have the next tape? It is
17 one tape with the different segments. They all refer
18 to the same period -- 1990 and 1991 -- short, brief
20 (Videotape played)
21 THE INTERPRETER: Please stand up in line,
22 commanders. Line up, please. Cipa, are you there?
23 Line up, please, all of you. Where's Maric?
24 Maric is at the end here.
25 I have already handed all mine over.
1 May I have a little silence, please?
2 According -- by orders of the President of the Republic
3 of Croatia, we must set up -- come on, line up,
4 please. A little silence. By order of the President
5 of the Republic of Croatia, we are forming unarmed
6 detachments. You must know what we are dealing with
7 here. We have received orders to collect the best
8 people who we are going to put forward for the Ministry
9 of Internal Affairs. You know the procedure for that.
10 Who is on the list will go with us, but we must form
11 broader detachments. Next time, we are going to set up
12 the medical corps attached to our detachments.
13 We have 30 per cent of the people here who
14 are possibles. That means that we must now inform them
15 of the command that is going to be up at Graz and
16 Bogdanovci. We are going to inform them all why we
17 have gathered here and anybody who is suspect, anybody
18 of shady character should be made a note of. I think
19 we should wait for five minutes to check all this.
20 No, nothing, listen, just jot down their
21 names and surnames, they are going with us, there are
22 no problems. Nothing is a secret any more. There are
23 no secrets any more, so we are setting up unarmed
24 detachments, we are organising, which means there is no
25 need to keep a secret any more, but anybody suspect,
1 any shady character, we should make a list of, because
2 we have been told there are people who are suspect in
3 the environs.
4 Let me tell you one thing, as far as weapons
5 are concerned, we have enough weapons. There are no
6 problems on that score and we are now going to have to
7 resort to training, so that people who come here are
8 ready, you know. Now, how can we proceed further?
9 What we are going to do, how are we going to do it? We
10 have set up our detachments. We are going to set up a
11 medical corps and strengthen our detachments in that
12 way and we are going to have to have training courses.
13 Of course, we will do this with the cooperation of
15 You are going to go down to your departments
16 now, take a look at the people and make a list of their
17 names. Anybody who does not belong there -- we all
18 know who does not belong there, but if they should be
19 there, just make a note of this and I will tell them
20 what the President said. Do not tell the people about
21 arms. You will be able to tell them. We are forming
22 unarmed detachments for such and such region and then
23 you can line up -- we are going to line up and see the
24 command posts in Bogdanovci up to Lustar and the bunker
25 at Lustar which means this part, the Serbian part from
1 here to Osijek, it is up to us to settle that situation
2 -- other part will be settled by Osijek, and nobody is
3 allowed to pass through here, so we cover all this area
4 and we must link up the road from Bogdanovci to
5 Lustar. We can do that, there are no problems there.
6 Should everybody go or just the commanders?
7 No, everybody."
8 MR. FILA: One question, please. Was that
9 the time of the Croatian attack on the SFRY? May
10 I have the following tapes? Was Croatia part of the
11 SFRY at that time?
12 THE INTERPRETER: That was the question.
13 MR. FILA: We are hearing about the formation
14 of unarmed detachments and detachments with arms, as
15 far as I was able to see.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, what is your answer?
17 Mr. Fila asked you a question, whether --
18 THE WITNESS: My answer was in the
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
21 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I want to
22 object, also, to the commentary offered by Mr. Fila just
23 a moment ago. I did not catch it. I see it on the
24 transcript. He said, "We are hearing about the
25 formation of unarmed detachments and detachments with
1 arms, as far as I can see." I think that is
2 inappropriate to make that kind of comment. It is up
3 to the court to assess the evidence and to determine
4 what is there and for him to offer suggestions as to
5 what the film shows, I think should be saved for
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Fila, I think the
8 Prosecutor is right.
9 MR. FILA: Okay. I just wanted to say that
10 it can be heard on the tape, the man saying that arms
11 had been supplied, but I accept that.
12 (Videotape played)
13 THE INTERPRETER: If you need this at the
14 decisive moment, organise two or three men for the
16 Yes, the physical liquidation. Yes. Dumb,
17 dumb, dumb, our police does not dare.
18 Does not dare?
19 Yes, we go to somebody else and then somebody
20 else at the same time.
21 Those who are most dangerous can be killed at
22 their door step, on their thresholds, no question
23 asked, whether women, children, nothing is asked.
24 MR. FILA: Who is the gentleman that we can
25 see on the screen?
1 A. Martin Spegelj, a former general of the
2 Yugoslav army.
3 Q. Who is he to kill at the threshold?
4 A. All those who would be opposed to the break-up
5 (INAUDIBLE), that is the officers of the Yugoslav
7 Q. In order to create which State?
8 A. The independent State of Croatia.
9 Q. At that period, was Croatia indisputably
10 within the SFRY?
11 A. Yes, according to international law, it was,
12 undeniably, part of Yugoslavia.
13 (Videotape played)
14 MR. FILA: When did this take place,
16 A. In May 1991.
17 Q. Was Croatia undeniably a part of Yugoslavia
18 at the time?
19 A. Yes, it was.
20 Q. In your diplomatic practice, did you ever
21 hear or see that people can attack their official army,
22 to take arms, to strangle soldiers?
23 A. Never. I was in America, where, had this
24 occurred, everybody would have been arrested, if
25 anybody were to attack a tank.
1 Q. This was the regular SFRY army?
2 A. Yes, it was Yugoslavia's regular army.
3 Q. Who was it attacked by?
4 A. It was attached by individuals of the
5 Croatian nationality.
6 MR. FILA: May I see the next video clip?
7 (Videotape played)
8 THE INTERPRETER: This is Bjelovar and the
9 massacre of the members of the JNA. The JNA barracks
10 in Bjelovar.
11 MR. FILA: Will you tell us who the dead are,
12 whose barracks they are, and who are the live ones?
13 A. They are the barracks of the Yugoslav
14 People's Army, their legal barracks. The killed
15 individuals are killed officers of the Yugoslav
16 People's Army, the legitimate army of Yugoslavia, and
17 the perpetrators are the rebels, the Croatian
18 paramilitary formations.
19 Q. At that time, was Croatia a part of
21 A. In September 1991, according to Croatian
22 rule, Croatia was completely within the formation of
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, I am sorry to
25 interrupt you, but this is evidence we have already
1 seen -- the films, we saw and the witness was not a
2 witness to those particular facts -- he did not see
3 them, so therefore I do not see the point of showing
4 all those films which the court, as I say, has already
5 seen and asking the witness about the facts, at which
6 he was not present. I wonder whether you could
7 expedite your cross-examination.
8 MR. FILA: Yes, we are going to understand
9 each other in just a moment. You asked me the question
10 of where I got those tapes from when I made my initial
11 statement. I got them from the gentleman and they are
12 part of the archives of the Museum of Genocide. That
13 is why I am asking him what is on the films, to explain
14 what I am showing and where I got the films from. As
15 you know he was and is the director of the genocide in
16 whose archives the films are contained. Therefore he
17 can bear out the authenticity of the material presented
18 -- it is not myself who made them or whatever. I am
19 asking him in that sense. Do you understand me?
20 May we see the next film and then we shall be
21 completing this part of the evidence.
22 Perhaps this is a good point for me to ask
23 whether, at that period, other barracks -- JNA barracks
24 were attacked -- I am asking for the period before 8
25 October 1991?
1 A. Yes, throughout Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia army
2 barracks were attacked in the areas of Croatia. There
3 were numerous cases of this kind.
4 Q. Was there killing?
5 A. Yes, there was killing.
6 Q. Was somebody blown up?
7 A. Yes, there was a well-known case when a whole
8 depot was blown up -- an arms depot.
9 Q. Thank you. Shall we take a look at the film
10 now? This film is dated 1991 and it is a film of
11 Vukovar -- what the JNA found when it entered Vukovar;
12 is that correct, Sir? Professor, would you --
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 (Videotape played).
15 THE INTERPRETER: "..... In two streets
16 alone, we counted several dozen massacred civilians.
17 Was it good luck that saved Petar and Zuka Loncar, for
18 they spent almost five months in their cellars. We
19 can't go on living together; we have to separate from
20 them. It's just not possible to live with them --
21 there is just no way. The guards, they killed us Serbs
22 -- they massacred them when they saw that they were
23 losing the war. You see the way they took their
24 revenge. They are so furious. They don't know what to
25 do, they fire at anything they see moving. They spared
1 no-one. You can see them, they dug out people's eyes,
2 cut off their ears, the most atrocious things. As you
3 can see, this man was massacred with a bayonet. This
4 happened perhaps three days ago. The man turned over
5 on his stomach is Ilija Vukovic, that one used to be
6 his house, that one that is in ruins. This other man,
7 also on his stomach, he is the owner of this other
8 house, he is also a Serb -- this woman that you see on
9 top of the old woman is Ilija Vukovic's wife."
10 MR. FILA: Thank you very much. That would
11 conclude our presentation of videotapes. This is all.
12 I tender this into evidence -- the source is the Museum
13 for Genocide, this is where I got the tapes from, and
14 that would conclude what the Defence has to say
15 regarding Vukovar in 1991, but let me just ask --
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: In relation to the tendering
17 of the evidence, I realise that Mr. Fila's source was
18 the Museum of Genocide, but I am wondering what the
19 source was for the Museum of Genocide. With
20 clarification of that, we would have no objection.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: That is a good question.
22 MR. FILA: Well, that is the question. We
23 will ask that question. You want to ask that question,
24 is that what you want to say?
25 A. As I already said, we gathered in our
1 video film centre in order to preserve the documents --
2 we gathered it from various sources, from various
3 correspondents who were on site. We also received
4 material from certain specialised services of the
5 Yugoslav army which took footage on site from all the
6 sources available to us.
7 I travelled to Vukovar once myself to see
8 this with my own eyes, because all those things that
9 I have seen on film, and which you have seen here, it
10 is impossible to imagine that such crimes happened. We
11 realise that some things were correct, some things were
12 incorrect, as happened for instance with the children
13 -- this is something that was fascinating. An Italian
14 journalist offered evidence, but without films, that 40
15 children were found all wrapped up, so to speak. I
16 checked that one out and realised that it was not
17 correct, so the credibility of those documents was --
18 they wanted to bring everything into question and the
19 BBC refused to receive any documents from that area,
20 from that time on.
21 A mass of material here -- you cannot really
22 check, but everything needs to be preserved.
23 MR. FILA: The Defence has some false
24 testimony here -- if you want to have a look at that,
25 you can.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: That is -- let me ask the
2 Prosecutor whether he is prepared to accept --
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: The film, we have no
4 objection. We would have an objection to something
5 which has already been characterised as false testimony
6 coming in.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: So it is tendered in
8 evidence and admitted into evidence.
9 MR. FILA: We will be concluding shortly,
10 your Honour.
11 THE REGISTRAR: The video will be marked
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila?
14 MR. FILA: When I submitted your expert
15 report, the Tribunal asked from you in Belgrade to
16 submit some books of yours. I do not know whether it
17 was the Tribunal itself or the Office of the Prosecutor
18 who requested that, but at any rate you submitted in
19 book, did you not? Please have a look at it.
21 No, no, alright. I have only one copy, so
22 I cannot tender this copy.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you tell us about this
24 book, Mr. Fila?
25 MR. FILA: Yes. I just wanted to ask the
1 expert witness to read out the title, because this is
2 one of the books mentioned in the bibliography?
3 A. Let me answer -- the Office of the Observers
4 of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
5 Yugoslavia asked me to submit a number of books and
6 articles of mine and of course I complied forthwith so
7 that they can see what it was that I studied. This
8 book is called, "The Break-up of the Yugoslav State
9 1991-1992, The Crime Against Peace -- The
10 Responsibility of Vatican and Germany."
11 Q. Thank you very much. Unfortunately, I cannot
12 tender this book, because this is an only copy. But
13 the expert witness gave us a disk which contains the
14 English translation of the book, so if it is necessary,
15 the Defence is willing to provide you with this,
16 because I do not need that. I would now like to ask
17 our expert witness to have a look at those documents
18 and to indicate where these are located in the book?
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is marked Exhibit
21 MR. FILA: You speak both English and
22 Serbian, so it will be easy for you to determine.
24 Will you please tell us at what location in
25 this book are these excerpts from and what do they deal
2 A. This is a chapter from the book in the
3 Serbian version, it is page 286 and this is a
4 translation of that chapter entitled, "Genscher and the
5 Warning against Lord Carrington and the
6 Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar: Genscher Rejects
7 the Warning".
8 Q. What is this document about -- when was it
9 written and what is this about, in two sentences or so?
10 A. In early December 1991, when I was carrying
11 out my research in the United Nations, the tragedy of
12 my people, since I have also served in New York as the
13 Consul General of Yugoslavia, I came across some
14 documents in which Lord Carrington, who was at the time
15 the president or the chairman of the Conference on
16 Yugoslavia, and the Secretary-General of the United
17 Nations, Peres de Cuellar, wrote a letter to the
18 Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany in
19 which they warned him that an early recognition of the
20 break-up of the Yugoslav State might have, as a
21 consequence, a horrible tragedy of all the peoples in
23 Genscher, who is one of the main architects
24 of the break-up of the Yugoslav State, rejected in
25 categorical terms the warnings by Lord Carrington and
1 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In my
2 opinion, that warning, and also from the historical
3 distance that we have now, is extremely important,
4 because, from that time on, all the statesmen
5 recognised that.
6 Unfortunately, it was too late for the
7 peoples in Yugoslavia, that the early recognition of
8 the break-up of Yugoslavia, before all the conditions
9 were met to enable all the peoples there to have their
10 rights recognised, that it was done in early December
11 by Genscher -- after all the events in Vukovar, he
12 rejected that warning.
13 Q. You said "refusal to recognise" -- the early
14 recognition of what?
15 A. The early recognition of Croatia and
17 MR. FILA: So, I tender this into evidence as
18 a Defence exhibit.
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
20 THE REGISTRAR: D41.
21 MR. FILA: I would like the witness to look
22 at the next document. I apologise to the Prosecutor
23 and to you, your Honours. Our witness is an expert in
24 international law. He was the chief adviser in the
25 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that is why I am using
1 him for this purpose, as a source of information.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D42.
3 MR. FILA: Will you please tell us what this
4 is about and at what location is this in your book?
5 A. This is on page 188 in my book -- this is
6 about the role played by the European Community Troika,
7 played by intervening in the internal affairs of the
8 Yugoslav State by exerting pressure and insisting that
9 the representative of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic, who at
10 one stage openly said that he would break up the
11 Yugoslav State and that this was his main purpose --
12 and that was of course the reason, as in any other
13 State, that a man who wants to destroy a State cannot
14 be at its head.
15 However, the Troika of the European Community
16 at that time, according to the transcripts which I had
17 an opportunity to see, they guaranteed, including
18 Mr. De Michaelis of Italy, that they would prefer the
19 integrity of the Yugoslav State and they would force
20 the secessionist States of Croatia and Slovenia not to
21 secede by force, if certain constitutional procedures
22 whereby they could secede from Yugoslavia and which the
23 constitution envisaged, if they would be prepared to
24 accept that, because any resorting to violence would
25 result in serious consequences for the Yugoslav
2 This is the essence of this and it is clear
3 today that all those guarantees provided by the
4 European Union were not respected.
5 MR. FILA: Thank you. Will you please look
6 at the following excerpt from your book. I would also
7 like to tender this as evidence -- that is Defence
8 Exhibit 43 and this is the next one.
9 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit D42 and this
10 one will be marked D43. (Handed).
11 THE WITNESS: This is a chapter in my
12 book. I have to note here --
13 MR. FILA: Hold on a second.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection from the
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, we have no
17 objection to this coming in.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
19 MR. FILA: Go ahead, please, what is this
21 A. This is about the responsibility of Germany,
22 Austria and Hungary for the break-up of the Yugoslav
23 State. This is located in my book which we have been
24 discussing at page 134 and elsewhere. However, my
25 edition, prepared for the world in the English
1 language, differs in the presentation of the case, but
2 the essence of the case is as follows: I would really
3 like this to be understood, because this is a result of
4 a study of the historical genesis of all this. All
5 that happened inside Yugoslavia, you will admit,
6 happens in all countries over the world. It happens in
7 Italy, it happens in France, in many other States, and
8 the tragedy of the Yugoslav peoples would not have
9 occurred had it not been for the outside intervention.
10 As you know, the UN Charter forbids this -- this is a
11 crime against peace.
12 Of course, there are some attempts at
13 revisionism and I have the evidence for this -- the
14 proof. I have always attempted in my research, as a
15 combination of a legal expert and an historian, to
16 establish facts. In this case, it is clear that there
17 were some points in Germany where Croatian paramilitary
18 forces were trained. We have concrete evidence that
19 tens of thousands of Kalashnikovs were illegally
20 imported from Hungary in contravention of the
21 regulations for the purposes of paramilitary forces and
22 in contravention of the JNA. The English edition would
23 have been even broader than the Serbian edition.
24 Had it not been for the intervention of the
25 foreign forces, this tragedy of Yugoslav peoples would
1 not have happened, there would have been negotiations
2 and so forth but not a tragedy such as the one that
4 This is the purpose, to show the background
5 of what happened in 1991 and 1992, where the roots lie,
6 because all the crimes that we have been discussing
7 today, these are the consequences. The fact is the
8 basis that in 1941 the Yugoslav State was broken up,
9 crimes of genocide occurred; in 1991 the second
10 Yugoslav State was broken up and everything happened
12 In the second Yugoslav State, you had the
13 Greater Serbia, Greater Croatia, all the Muslims, they
14 all lived together, but somebody did not like it and
15 this had to be broken up.
16 Q. Thank you. In your research, did you come up
17 with the fact that there were mercenaries in the
18 Croatian armed forces, or in some other forces?
19 A. Thank you for the question. In 1995 I had
20 the honour of visiting this esteemed Tribunal. I had a
21 discussion with the deputy chief Prosecutor,
22 Mr. Blewitt. I gave him a list of 13 mercenaries from
23 this country, from The Netherlands, and I referred to
24 the Convention on Mercenaries and I told him, according
25 to my views of international law, these are the most
1 harmful criminals who do not get any kind of
2 international protection and I proposed that they be
3 prosecuted and punished. This is where I saw the real
4 purpose of the International Criminal Tribunal for the
5 former Yugoslavia, and that list of 13 Dutch
6 mercenaries was also submitted to the Ministry of
7 Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands pointing out to the
8 Convention, signed by the Kingdom of The Netherlands
9 and the Kingdom of Serbia, in 1895, and I proposed that
10 certain measures be taken against those mercenaries.
11 There are also mercenaries from Austria,
12 Germany, from the United States, but, as far as I know,
13 nothing was done -- they were not prosecuted, and what
14 I as an expert in international law, and a person of
15 international outlook, what I cannot see is how so many
16 civilised countries, including the United States and
17 The Netherlands, once those criminals are identified or
18 gotten by them through an exchange, how they can fail
19 to do anything.
20 Q. Thank you. My last question, because the
21 court might be interested in that, is the English
22 version of the text here on this disk?
23 A. Well, this is the latest version dated 1996.
24 I still continue my studies, I gather new documents and
25 I have obtained some really significant documents.
1 I have conducted my research in the Italian Foreign
2 Ministry, in the general staff of the Italian army, in
3 Kew Gardens archive in London, in the archives of the
4 United States and France and of course all the archives
5 in the former Yugoslavia which were accessible to me.
6 MR. FILA: I would like to tender to this
7 court on a disk. This contains the English version of
8 the 400 pages of this book, so if somebody wants to
9 have a look at it -- of course, if the Prosecution has
10 no objection, I would like to tender this as evidence
11 and, if not, as supporting material.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
14 THE REGISTRAR: It is D44.
15 MR. FILA: Finally, I would like the last two
16 documents to be admitted -- they have been admitted --
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: This does bring up one issue
18 just now. Mr. Fila has mentioned something as
19 supporting material -- if it is not tendered as
20 evidence he would like to submit it as supporting
21 material. We have not objected to this, it is finite
22 would go in as to evidence. However, we want to make
23 sure there is a clear understanding that anything that
24 is submitted as supporting material is not being used
25 as evidence for the decision of the court and just make
1 sure there is no misunderstanding as to that.
2 MR. FILA: Yes, yes. This was just -- had
3 you objected -- since you have no objections,
4 everything is alright. The Defence has asked in the
5 course of the trial and obtained from Belgrade a set of
6 documents signed by the SFRY as international documents
7 in the period from May 1991 until the end of 1991.
8 Since our expert witness was a legal adviser to the
9 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like these
10 documents to be shown to him -- some are in French,
11 some are in English, and some are in Serbian and if he
12 can identify those documents for us, I think it would
13 be useful in conjunction with the other documents.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D45.
16 MR. FILA: I would like you to have a look at
17 those documents separately and to tell us what are
18 those documents -- what kind of documents are these?
19 A. The first document is the Third Protocol on
20 Financial Cooperation between the Socialist Federal
21 Republic of Yugoslavia and European Economic Community.
22 Q. Dated?
23 A. In Brussels, 24 June 1990 -- 1991.
24 Q. Please go on.
25 A. The second document, the coversheet for the
1 World Bank, Japanese grant agreement dated 1991 between
2 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the
3 International Bank for Restructuring and Development.
4 Q. The date?
5 A. 1991.
6 Q. Is there not a more exact date?
7 JUDGE CASSESE: I would say 4 October 1991.
8 A. October, yes.
9 MR. FILA: Let us go on.
10 A. Protocol between the Socialist Executive
11 Council of the SFRY and the Romanian Government on the
12 Exchange of Goods and Services in 1991, signed
13 27 November 1991. The next one is a letter --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises,
15 it is impossible to understand.
16 THE WITNESS: This was sent to Ambassador
17 Mihiljica Jobrejnon, head of the Mission of the
18 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with the
19 European Community in Brussels dated 18 September
20 1991. The next is a letter, cooperation -- it is
21 probably a French title -- this letter was sent to the
22 Yugoslav Ambassador Mihiljica Jobrejnon, and the last
23 document is a verbal note from the US Embassy sent to
24 the Federal Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of the SFRY,
25 dated 25 June 1991, so that means immediately after the
1 visit of the Secretary of State James Baker to
3 Q. Can it be said, since you are an expert in
4 this area, that these documents refer to the sovereign
5 State of SFRY?
6 A. These are the most formal documents, because
7 they are agreements signed by States and exchange of
8 notes, so this is the most official kind of
9 communication between a State and international organs
10 and other States.
11 Q. Does it mean the SFRY existed as a State?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: Objection. That calls for a
14 legal conclusion from this witness.
15 MR. FILA: This witness is the chief legal
16 adviser of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and he is
17 making legal conclusions. I would like to tender this
18 in to evidence as an exhibit and the Defence has no
19 further questions.
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: We would have no objection
21 to it coming in.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: So we can move on to the
24 Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
25 Q. Dr. Bulajic, there were some other books as
1 well that you have written that were not mentioned
2 during the course of examination-in-chief. One of them
3 is a book in which you have been rather critical of
4 this institution, which is called "the alternative
5 Yugoslavia Tribunal", which, on its cover, has a
6 picture of a sword in the hand of the lady of justice
7 here and it says "for Serbs" written on the sword. Is
8 this the book that you published?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in this book you said that the Security
11 Council cannot establish an international court of law,
12 and it is your conclusion that this is not really a
13 court of law. Is that still your view?
14 A. Yes, it is. I can explain if you like.
15 Q. Please do.
16 A. My entire life I have been dealing with
17 international law, especially United Nations law.
18 I have cooperated with the International Court of
19 Justice. My analyses on the setting up of the
20 International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia were
21 different than my express advocating of setting up an
22 international criminal court of general jurisdiction
23 for which I consider that the present-day mankind has
24 need of.
25 The setting up of individual courts for
1 individual States, I do not see any reason absolutely
2 for this and I should like to remind you that that is
3 not only my own opinion, but it is the opinion of my
4 distinguished colleague, whom I knew before he was the
5 Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Boutros
6 Boutros-Ghali. His explanations at the very outset
7 when this court was formed, but not to go into great
8 length, you have had opportunities to see my book,
9 I should like to give you my opinion. Every man is
10 entitled to his own opinion, I think, with full respect
11 for this Tribunal -- that is why I am here today,
12 because I respect the Tribunal.
13 If the Security Council is to create an
14 international court on the basis of one legal premise,
15 the right to create a subsidiary organ, according to my
16 criteria, this cannot be how I envisage -- let me have
17 my opinion -- how an International Tribunal should look
18 like. I analysed and studied why the initiative of the
19 United States was severed to set up an ad hoc court for
20 Iraq, for Saddam Hussein, why did they give that idea
21 up. Why was the Tribunal set up only for Yugoslavia
22 and later on for Rwanda, which is a completely
23 different case.
24 Therefore, I would just like to state, and it
25 is my own free opinion as a jurist, as somebody dealing
1 in the law throughout my lifetime, I support the
2 formation of an international criminal court, which
3 will try all cases without limitation and that is why
4 I should like also to express my deep respect of this
5 Tribunal. I should like to remind you that, on one
6 occasion, I put myself forward as amicus curiae to
7 appear before this court and I discussed the matter
8 with your officers and the gentleman in that
9 representative officer, Mr. Mihov, so I would like to
10 separate these two views, my opinion as a lawyer, as a
11 jurist, as a legal man and why we are here today in the
12 efforts of establishing the truth.
13 Q. You take issue in this book with the idea
14 that individual responsibility should be the basis for
15 prosecution of crimes at this time, saying rather that
16 the forces responsible for the break-up of Yugoslavia is
17 where you will find the roots of all the individual
18 crimes and crimes of genocide. In the writings in at
19 least the two books I have read you hold a number of
20 people responsible for the break-up of Yugoslavia;
21 Germany, the Vatican, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia,
22 Slovenia. I have not found anywhere in any of your
23 books that you felt that Serbia had anything to do with
24 the break-up of Yugoslavia; is that your view?
25 MR. FILA: Objection. This is as interesting
1 as Jasenovac is. I do not see the connection between
2 his views on Germany and France and the reading of his
3 books when I explained a moment ago that some 150,000
4 Serbs were killed in Jasenovac and the Germans do seem
5 to have something to do with the trial here, so I do
6 not think we should adhere to the theoretical opinions
7 of what the gentleman wrote.
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, this man is
9 being put forward as an expert and the whole reason
10 that experts are required to submit a list of their
11 publications is so that they can be challenged on these
12 to determine their credibility and perhaps their
13 motivation for testifying. This man has made a lot of
14 statements which relate directly to war crimes.
15 I think they are relevant in determining his veracity.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: But still I wonder to what
17 extent your question is relevant -- whether or not --
18 I wonder whether you could move on to another
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: Very well, your Honour, if
21 you will note our objection.
22 In this book, you include a number of
23 articles that were written by other persons, as well,
24 which seem to support your position and the views that
25 you express; is that correct?
1 A. First of all, let me tell you --
2 MR. FILA: What book are you discussing --
3 the same book?
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: The same book, "Alternative
5 Yugoslavia Tribunal".
6 MR. FILA: Once again, an objection. I do
7 not see what we are talking about here.
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour --
9 JUDGE CASSESE: This is the book you just
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is correct. There are
12 some other writings in here which I think certainly are
13 relevant. This man is putting forth the view that
14 there is no such thing as a war crime in this book.
15 This is clearly relevant as to this man's credibility,
16 when he is coming here and testifying about war
17 crimes. If he is expressing a view first of all that
18 this Tribunal does not exist, which he says is not a
19 legal institution, is not really a valid court of law,
20 all of this has to do with how much reliability should
21 be placed on this gentleman's statements.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: On the particular issue of
23 his views -- the witness's views about the legality or
24 credibility of our Tribunal, I think this -- he is
25 entitled to hold any view about it, as a legal scholar,
1 so I wondered to what extent it is relevant to us. If
2 you want to pursue this matter on whether or not he
3 speaks of war crimes, whether or not he believes that
4 war crimes were committed, you may go on.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: Very well, your Honour.
6 In particular, there is an article written by
7 a woman named Joan Phillips which is included in your
8 book, which is entitled, "War Crimes: Myth and
9 Reality". Do you agree with the conclusions that are
10 reached in this article?
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Would you please tell us
12 what sort of conclusions are reached in that article?
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: I was going to quote this
14 directly. If he disagrees with it I did not see any
15 reason to go into detail of what is in the article.
16 MR. FILA: Objection.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Let us allow the Prosecutor
18 to move on. Yes.
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: Do you agree with the
20 conclusions reached in this article?
21 A. I do not agree with that conclusion. My
22 attitude is very clear and principled. War crimes,
23 crimes of genocide, regardless of the perpetrators,
24 must be brought to a court of law for trial, regardless
25 of whether we are dealing with Serbs, Croats, or
1 Slovenes. That you have said there are other opinions
2 in the book -- allow me to say that if we are going to
3 constantly re-examine one's conclusions, we must listen
4 to other people's views. On 13 April 1993, I initiated
5 at my particular faculty, department, at my university,
6 outside my official capacity, a round table meeting at
7 which we asked the question of the setting up of an
8 International Criminal Tribunal ad hoc for Yugoslavia.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Do not go into this matter.
10 Let us move on with other questions. This is not an
11 issue here.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: Dr. Bulajic, you commented on
13 this film that was shown to you about these armed
14 detachments which were being formed, or in the case of
15 Mr. Mercep, where he is talking about unarmed
16 detachments and then, in the case of General Spegelj,
17 the importation of arms. You said that this was not in
18 accordance with SFRY law; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. Was the formation of Serbian autonomous
21 regions in accordance with SFRY law, or Croatian law?
22 A. You probably saw in my biography my doctoral
23 thesis was, "The Rights of Peoples to
24 Self-Determination". Later on it was confirmed in the
25 UN that this is one of the basic principles of
1 international modern law. If Croatia at that time
2 forcibly separated, contrary to the rights and
3 regulations of the Yugoslav constitution and
4 constitutional law in general, the same right was
5 enjoyed by the Serbian people from the aspects of the
6 rights of self-determination, because it was contrary
7 to the so-called Austro-Hungarian theory of State law.
8 Let me remind you of a precedent of West
9 Virginia during the secessionist war in the US when the
10 State of Virginia had joined the Confederation and West
11 Virginia opted for the union and today in the
12 constitution of the US there are two States, you have
13 Virginia and you have West Virginia. Therefore, when
14 we are breaking up Yugoslavia and when the constitution
15 of Yugoslavia is not being respected, if one peoples
16 refer to the right to self-determination, then the same
17 right applies to another peoples, especially as,
18 according to the Croatian constitution, the Serbian
19 people are a constituent peoples who fought in the
20 course of the Second World War for its right in that
21 country and was recognised at the time of Hungary and
22 so on and so forth, not to go back to history too far.
23 Q. You did not really answer my question. You
24 said because Croatia did it, then the Serbs should do
25 it, but my question was specifically, was this in
1 violation of the SFRY law? It is a very simple
2 question -- "Yes" or "No", was it a violation and then,
3 if you need to explain, please do so?
4 A. It was not in violation of the Yugoslav
6 Q. The film that was shown about the attack on
7 the barracks in Bjelovar, which was entitled, "The
8 Massacre of the JNA Soldiers at Bjelovar", this
9 occurred at the end of September, did it not --
10 I believe it was 29 September 1991?
11 A. I cannot say exactly what the date was, but
12 at that time, certainly.
13 Q. And this was already well after the JNA
14 forces were engaged in battle with Croatian forces in
15 Vukovar, for example, which had started at least a
16 month earlier?
17 A. I do not understand what you have in mind --
18 the Yugoslav army -- it was the legal army of
19 Yugoslavia performing its constitutional duties.
20 Q. I think the question was rather simple. This
21 was a month after the Yugoslav army had begun engaging
22 in battle with Croatian forces in the town of Vukovar,
23 is it not?
24 A. I do not know exactly the time that the
25 Yugoslav army was engaged. I do not know that, but
1 I can say that it was within the frameworks of the
2 legal functions of the Yugoslav army.
3 Q. And this was at least during a state of armed
4 conflict between the forces of the Yugoslav army and
5 the Croatian authorities; correct -- Croatian military
7 A. They were not Croatian military authorities;
8 they were insurgent authorities.
9 Q. Can you at least agree that there was a state
10 of armed conflict between the JNA and somebody from the
11 Croatian side?
12 A. Of course -- the armed conflict unfortunately
13 did exist.
14 Q. And is it not a fact that there were a number
15 of JNA barracks spread throughout Croatia?
16 A. There was not a great number or a small
17 number -- it was as it was prescribed by Yugoslav army
18 formations. There were no special barracks or new
19 barracks. They were the barracks that had existed for
20 many years -- for decades, in fact.
21 Q. The JNA soldiers that were in the vast
22 majority of these barracks left Croatia peacefully
23 without harm; is that not correct, in organised convoys
24 into Bosnia?
25 A. I do not know whether they left as peacefully
1 as you say -- where conditions existed for this, they
2 probably did, but the fact was there was a rebellion
3 going on and there were separate plans elaborated of
4 cutting off water and electricity, creating blockades
5 and special military facilities to stop the legal army
6 from functioning on the territory of its own State.
7 Q. In fact, in Bjelovar, the JNA commander had
8 resisted requests for him to abandon the garrison and
9 to leave and had begun firing on the town of Bjelovar,
10 had he not, and there was a return of fire and in fact
11 there was a battle over the barracks in Bjelovar?
12 A. What would any other honourable officer do in
13 any army in the world but react in that way -- what
14 would you have him do?
15 MR. FILA: I apologise, your Honours. I did
16 not understand properly. At whose demand was the
17 commander of the Bjelovar -- when did he refuse to do
18 this? At whose demand, at whose request -- at the
19 request of which State -- the representative of what
20 State? What demand -- what are you talking about
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: I think it has been very
23 clear, that the Croats asked the soldiers to leave,
24 asked the officers to abandon the garrison, that in
25 this situation the JNA forces fought, a battle ensued,
1 and this is where the deaths occurred, during the
2 course of this battle.
3 MR. FILA: Once again, I apologise, your
4 Honours, what Croats -- Croats are a nation, there are
5 children, the elderly, women, physicians, engineers --
6 which Croats -- Croats as a nation cannot pose requests
7 of this kind, so who tabled this request for the legal
8 SFR army to leave Yugoslav territory.
9 MR. WILLIAMSON: The Croatian Government, but
10 I believe he has already answered the question.
11 You mentioned this fact about an Italian
12 journalist offered evidence about 40 children killed
13 and that this was not true. Is it not a fact that she
14 was given this information by the JNA -- she reported
15 it, Reuters ran it all over the world and then, when
16 she insisted on seeing the bodies, the JNA finally
17 admitted that this was a false report?
18 A. I personally researched this case -- in all
19 my researches and the book that we offer on the
20 children of the victims of genocide -- the crime of
21 genocide is the greatest crime, crimes against children
22 are the worst of these crimes and when I heard about
23 this news item, that 40 children had been killed, that
24 they were in a group and that they were packed like
25 rubbish in small plastic bags, truly, as a father, as a
1 man, I could not believe this, because anybody who had
2 perpetrated such a crime I do not think we should go
3 into research of this kind. I checked with the
4 Yugoslav People's Army, with the most competent
5 authorities, the head of the legal department who was
6 my colleague, who was on the spot, on the location, and
7 confirmed what I learned. I went to Vukovar
8 personally, I was brought a "witness" -- a alleged
9 witness -- an alleged eye witness. I asked for a
10 meeting with him, I met him. "Let me have some proof",
11 I said. But nobody brought any proof, although this
12 was a source from the Yugoslav People's Army and a
13 source in favour of the Serbs. I said, "No, that is
14 not true, and any untruths should be condemned."
15 Therefore, there was no different opinion in the
16 Yugoslav People's Army and otherwise.
17 Q. I do not think there is any dispute that the
18 information was false. We all agree with that. My
19 question to you, though, was that this Italian
20 journalist did not just originate this story on her
21 own. She received the story from the JNA, did she not,
22 in the first place -- "Yes" or "No", and then explain
23 as needed?
24 A. "Yes" or "No" in what sense, tell me -- no,
25 because she did not get it from the JNA -- that is my
1 answer -- my answer is "No" in that sense. How she
2 arrived at that particular piece of information -- her.
3 MR. FILA: Your Honours, if I may, I have the
4 tape. If you want to know where false information
5 comes from, we can show the tape and the Prosecutor
6 will no doubt be satisfied.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: I do not think we need to
8 see this tape. Does the Prosecution want to see the
10 MR. WILLIAMSON: No, your Honour.
11 You have indicated there were mercenaries in
12 the Croatian army. Is it your position that there were
13 none in the Serb forces?
14 A. That is not my position -- probably there was
15 among the Serbs, too, but my attitude is clear-cut --
16 mercenaries are the most terrible crime according to
17 international law -- anybody who is paid to kill
18 anybody, that is the worst possible crime, according to
19 international law.
20 Q. You talk about Serb homes being burned in
21 areas of Croatia, and Serbs being forced out. Is it
22 not true that Croats were forced out from Serb areas?
23 A. I cannot tell you exactly -- probably there
24 were cases of that kind, too. Unfortunately, action
25 leads to reaction. One hostile action leads to another
1 hostile action and I do not say that any type of
2 cleansing is alright. What I was particularly affected
3 by was where war conflicts break out one can understand
4 a lot of things, but in areas where there were no armed
5 conflicts, for example, the Croatian region of Goske
6 Kotar, houses were burned, people killed. People were
7 loyal citizens there -- there were no barricades,
8 nothing of that kind in the area, for example.
9 Q. You have also written another book about the
10 role of the Vatican in the break-up of the Yugoslav
11 State and you seem to hold the Pope responsible for
12 much of what happened in Yugoslavia -- is that a
13 correct statement?
14 A. With full respect for his Honour, the Pope,
15 I do hold him responsible, yes.
16 Q. And you talk about -- you refer to the
17 Tudjman Government as an Ustashi Government; correct?
18 A. I am not sure that I used the word "Ustashi",
19 but pro Ustashi quite definitely, because it was a
20 continuation of the policy -- that is evident. The
21 historian himself, the actual President of the Republic
22 of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, publicly and expressly
23 stated that the Ustashi independent State of Croatia
24 was an expression of the age-old historical traditions
25 and aspirations of the Croatian people, and the
1 commander of the Jasenovac camp in Buenos Aires was
2 visited by Dr. Tudjman. He expressed his recognition
3 and Vinko Vinkovic, one of the SABOR members, was a
4 member of the Ustashi genocide, he was included into
5 the SABOR Croatian Parliament, not to mention other
6 cases of continuity. He took away the Serbs' right as
7 a constituent people. He does not allow Serbs to
8 return to Croatia today. He organised the Muslim
9 supreme commander of the Storm drive, and the other
10 drive where hundreds of thousands of people were made
11 to flee, so the Serbian people no longer represent a
12 constituent people but neither are they are a minority
13 and this means that the plan to genocidally exterminate
14 the Serbs, which was started by Pavelic has succeeded.
15 If you read anti-Semitism in the Pathless Roads and
16 other works, I think the whole situation will become
17 clear to you.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Dr. Tudjman's book, he was
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: You state in your book
21 "Alternative Yugoslavia Tribunal" that the right of
22 one people must not overrule the rights of other
23 peoples. You would maintain, I assume, that the Serbs
24 have followed this principle?
25 A. You are first raising a principled question,
1 a question of principle, and that is quite right, but
2 I do not say that in the name of the Serbian people but
3 as an internationalist for every nation in the world
4 and for all the Yugoslav nations.
5 Q. But, again, my question is, do you believe
6 that the Serbs have followed that policy in Yugoslavia,
7 that they have respected the rights of others?
8 A. I do not know who you have in mind when you
9 say "the Serbs" -- the Serbs like myself, the Serbian
10 Government, the Yugoslav Government did follow that
11 principle, yes.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no further questions.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila.
14 MR. FILA: No questions. I shall try and
15 read the book by Dr. Tudjman myself.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: I assume there is no
17 objection to the witness being released?
18 Dr. Bulajic, thank you for coming here to give
19 evidence. You may be released. We stand adjourned for
20 15 minutes.
21 (11.55 a.m.)
22 (A short break)
23 (12.13 p.m.)
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we start, may
25 I discuss a matter with both parties? There is a
1 matter about the organisation of our future work.
2 I understand from the Registrar that it will be more
3 convenient and technically possible to establish the
4 video link on 25 May instead of 18 May -- it will be
5 much better. I wonder whether you are going to call a
6 sufficient number of witnesses for the previous week,
7 the 18th to the 22nd?
8 MR. FILA: As it is half a day.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, we have half a day. Do
10 you have, right now, a rough idea how many witnesses
11 you will call in May? We know that 12 are to be heard
12 via video link, but I understand you have reduced the
14 MR. FILA: Yes, there will be fewer people.
15 Your Honours, I will try and get some new witnesses to
16 clarify some military matters over the army, but 23 or
17 24 witnesses, but they will all be very quick, because
18 they will be on the link, they are individuals on tape
19 for the most part, and as I said at the beginning, we
20 are first going to get through the expert witnesses,
21 the general situation in Vukovar in 1990 and 1991 and
22 then to the others.
23 I am beginning this with this particular
24 witness. I think it will be fairly quick and I hope
25 that you do not have any objections and criticisms of
1 my speed today, except for the way I talk.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Again, how many witnesses
3 are you going to call through video links?
4 MR. FILA: About 20 -- a video conference,
5 about eight -- the video link, about eight witnesses --
6 there seems to be the need for -- we receive new data
7 every day, so we do not have to have two or three
8 witnesses, we can reduce the number, the number is
9 being reduced. But, as I said earlier on, I shall be
10 completing this in May, that is for certain.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
12 The next witness is Mr. Novakovic.
13 (The witness entered court)
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
15 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
16 the truth.
17 LJUBOMIR NOVAKOVIC
18 Examined by MR. FILA
19 Q. Mr. Novakovic, did you conduct a talk with
20 inspector Vasic?
21 A. Yes, on two occasions he took down a
22 statement and a supplementary statement.
23 MR. FILA: Will you take a look at this
24 statement and say if it was the one that you made?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D46,
1 English translation 46A.
2 MR. FILA: It exists in Serbian and English.
4 Will you have a look at this document and
5 tell us whether it is your supplementary statement.
7 A. This is my statement, yes. The statement
8 I made to Mr. Vasic.
9 Q. Would you now take a look at the statement?
10 A. I have not received the supplement yet.
11 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
13 THE WITNESS: This is a statement in
15 MR. FILA: The translation is here in
16 Serbian. That is the statement in Serbian, a
17 supplementary statement in Serbian.
18 THE REGISTRAR: This will be D47 and the
19 English translation is D47A.
20 THE WITNESS: That is my statement in
22 MR. FILA: If there are no objections, may
23 this be tendered as D46 and D47?
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection, your Honour.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
1 MR. FILA: Mr. Novakovic, were you the
2 President of the Municipal Assembly of Backa Palanka
3 from 1989 to 1997?
4 A. Yes, I was from the end of 1989 to the end of
6 Q. Where is Backa Palanka located in relation to
8 A. Backa Palanka is on the left-hand side of the
9 Danube and Ilok is on the right bank.
10 Q. What are the links between Backa Palanka and
12 A. The communications between Backa Palanka and
13 Ilok were great, cultural sports and cultural
15 Q. Physically was there a bridge?
16 A. Yes, a bridge which was built up in 1974
17 during Tito's reign.
18 Q. During the war events of 1991, the second
19 half of 1991, how did you traverse the bridge; could
20 you cross the bridge freely, or did you need a permit?
21 A. On both sides, the military authorities
22 issued permits, both the Republic of Serbia and the
23 Croatian side.
24 Q. What military authorities?
25 A. The military authorities that existed in
1 Yugoslavia, whereas the other side had their own
2 authorities, which gave permission for the community of
3 Ilok to be able to go to Backa Palanka to work -- they
4 were employed in Backa Palanka.
5 Q. At that time, did people leave Ilok towards
6 Backa Palanka and why?
7 A. Yes, there were a fair number of mixed
8 marriages -- there were Slovaks and Croats and they
9 wanted to move to Yugoslavia and we allowed this
10 relocation to take place.
11 Q. Do you know that the population of Ilok went
12 over on -- that is, 17 October 1991?
13 A. Yes, these people, in keeping with the
14 referendum in Ilok, those who wanted to stay in Ilok
15 and those who wanted to move out -- in conformity with
16 the military authorities, and civilian authorities,
17 that took part in the negotiations, by referendum, most
18 people said that they wanted to move towards the
19 interior of Croatia.
20 MR. FILA: Will you show the witness now
21 Prosecutor's exhibit number 5, it is the agreement on
22 Ilok between -- while we are looking for that, you know
23 that there was mediation?
24 A. Yes, the European Community and the United
25 Nations and the people of Ilok and on the other side
1 Colonel Grahovac and the army.
2 Q. When you say "army", because there are
3 several armies would you please use the term "the
4 Yugoslav People's Army" or "the Croatian army"?
5 A. This was the Yugoslav People's Army, which
7 Q. Would you take a look at the introductory
8 part and who this was signed by (Handed). Would you
9 read it out aloud?
10 A. "On the basis of a request by the inhabitants
11 of Ilok and the referendum, all citizens are enabled
12 from these settlements, as refugees, who commanded be
13 allowed to leave this locality with members of their
15 Number 2."
16 Q. Who is the signatory of the document?
17 A. Mate Brletic on the one side and colonel of
18 the Yugoslav People's Army, Petar Grahovac on the
20 Q. Would you look at page number 1 and the
21 introduction at the top -- could you read it clearly so
22 that we can understand you?
23 A. "The military commander of the units of the
24 JNA in Sid, represented by Major General Dragolub
25 Arsenijevic, or Arandelovic" -- I cannot quite see --
1 "and the representative of Ilok and Sarengrad, Mrsic
2 Ivan as the mayor and Brletic Mate, as head of the
3 police station in Ilok, Kraljevic Stipan, the President
4 of the negotiating committee, and present were
5 representatives of the European mission --"
6 This is in English, "Hugo and Peter":
7 "-- on 14 October in Sid."
8 Will you tell us what that agreement
9 represents -- what was the referendum, who requested
10 permission to move out?
11 A. They did not have to move out, but the local
12 authorities of Ilok wanted to sound the opinion of the
14 Q. On what question?
15 A. On the peaceful relocation of people towards
16 the interior of Croatia.
17 Q. Were they coerced into this, were they made
18 to do so?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you in any way take part in these
21 negotiations -- were you present?
22 A. As they were all my friends from Ilok and
23 remain my friends and as they believed in me as a
24 pacifist and as somebody who did a lot for Ilok's
25 development, they asked me to attend these talks with
1 their leadership where the agreement was in fact
3 Q. During those talks, did some -- did anybody
4 insist the population of Ilok should leave Ilok?
5 A. No.
6 Q. What was the referendum, what were the
7 questions asked at the referendum?
8 A. The question was, "Who wishes to remain in
9 Ilok and who wishes to move to Croatia?"
10 Q. And the people wishing to remain, what would
11 they have to do?
12 A. Nothing -- to live normally like all the
13 other citizens in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
14 Q. And to surrender their arms, of course,
15 I hope?
16 A. Yes, to avoid armed conflict.
17 Q. Did Slavko Dokmanovic take part in those
18 negotiations in any way?
19 A. No.
20 Q. The SFRJ, that is what we are talking about,
21 would you please refer to it as the SFRJ?
22 A. You know that Mr. Mesic and others left the
23 SFRY in August of that year.
24 Q. It says SRJ and the correct title is SFRJ for
25 the records, please, thank you. Since when have you
1 known Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic?
2 A. I have known him from 1990. As he was the
3 President of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar, I was
4 the mayor of Backa Palanka, and as they are two
5 neighbouring towns and as we were all as cooperating
6 economically culturally and in the sports field, we
7 knew each other.
8 Q. How far did you -- until when did you
9 cooperate with him as the President of the Municipal
11 A. Until the end of May.
12 Q. What year was that?
13 A. 1990, after the Croatian extremists forbid
14 coming to Vukovar, the Croatian Government took a
15 decision to dissolve their assembly, and Marin Vidic --
16 Bili -- was appointed as some sort of executive
18 Q. Were you sure that was in 1990 and not 1991?
19 A. No, it was in 1990 -- 1991.
20 Q. Do you know anything about the attempts of
21 Slavko Dokmanovic to solve conflicts peaceably? Was he
22 in favour of having issues between Croats and Serbs
23 settled peaceably in the Vukovar area?
24 A. Yes. Honourable court, I can say this, and
25 this can be attested by both the television cameras of
1 Zagreb and Belgrade, that Slavko was a pacifist and
2 humanitarian and always sought to resolve problems
3 peaceably, to retain Yugoslavia, Backa Palanka and
5 Q. Did he have any problems with this, with
6 certain extremist Serbs, for example?
7 A. Well, he was precisely condemned by the Serb
8 extremists, because he always opted for a peaceful
9 option and wanted to have everybody stay in his own
10 region and to live in a common State. He encountered
11 most of his problems with the Serbs, because they even
12 asked for his physical liquidation.
13 Q. In the autumn of 1991, what functions did he
15 A. He was Minister of Agriculture -- as he was a
16 great expert in agriculture, he was the most
17 distinguished and highly regarded expert for the crop
18 of rape, and he was there to organise production, to
19 sow and harvest the crops properly.
20 Q. Did you have any cooperation in that period?
21 A. Well, yes, he came for combine harvesters and
22 fuel, to be able to deal with the harvest on time;
23 particularly as that was a very rainy year, we had to
24 work efficiently and quickly.
25 Q. Did you see him on 16 and 17 October in Ilok,
1 in Backa Palanka -- that was when Ilok was --
2 A. Zdenko Vodicka, who on the 16th in the
3 morning, came to me and asked me to call Slavko,
4 because on the 17th he did not want to resettle or move
5 to Croatia -- I informed him, he came to me on the 16th
6 and he thought that it was on the 16th that he was to
7 help Zdenko and I said no, this was tomorrow, the
8 moving was to take place tomorrow, and on the 17th,
9 Slavko came with Rade Leskovac, we went in the
10 afternoon hours to the bridge on the Ilok side and from
11 that column we took over Zdenko Vodicka, who crossed by
12 car and we came to Backa Palanka and they went off
13 towards Trpinja and his wife remained in Vukovar.
14 Q. Was that the only reason why Slavko
15 Dokmanovic came to Ilok, to help Zlatko?
16 A. Yes, because they were great friends and have
17 remained great friends.
18 Q. On 20 November 1991, did some individuals
19 come to your office and who were these individuals?
20 A. On 20 November, the President of the
21 Municipal Assembly of Kladovo came to me and he also
22 came for economic cooperation among certain companies
23 and firms. He came to my office and afterwards Jovo
24 Cvetkovic, the President of the Jagodina Municipality
25 and of Ursac, Dragoslav Aleksic came as well, and
1 Slavko came to my office as well, and of course there
2 was the journalist from Kladovo, who filmed all this --
3 filmed the meeting.
4 Q. Was this an official meeting or an informal
5 more or less friendly meeting?
6 A. A friendly meeting in my office, so that we
7 could meet, and they then left for Vukovar, and they
8 were given permits to be able to cross the bridge.
9 Q. Could they cross the bridge otherwise?
10 A. No, permits were needed.
11 Q. Did Slavko Dokmanovic have an official post?
12 A. No, he was just in the sphere of agriculture,
13 within the Ministry.
14 Q. It will be interesting to know how you recall
15 that this was exactly on 20 November?
16 A. Because -- from my agenda, where I made a
17 note of all my meetings, and when Slavko was arrested,
18 I had a look to see what happened -- the events as they
19 happened, and, once I retire, I wanted to do some
20 writing, and I saw that he had visited me precisely on
21 the 20th.
22 MR. FILA: Before I show you the tape, your
23 Honours, I am going to go on to identify what Slavko
24 Dokmanovic was wearing, according to our civil law
25 system, and the witness can explain this -- describe
1 it. Will you -- can you recall 20 November 1991? What
2 was Slavko Dokmanovic wearing on that day? I know that
3 a lot of time has gone by -- many years have gone by?
4 A. Yes, they did not have water and electricity,
5 so he was wearing a hunting uniform, which did not have
6 to be washed like other clothing, as often as other
8 Q. And did you have any electricity and water in
9 Backa Palanka?
10 A. Yes, we did.
11 Q. Was the situation the same as Vukovar, are
12 they two States?
13 A. They are two States now, but not then.
14 Q. Can I conclude that, if there is water in
15 Backa Palanka and electricity, the same does not apply
16 to Trpinja and Vukovar?
17 A. There could not have been any water supply or
18 electricity, because the electrical system had been
20 MR. FILA: May I now have a look at the tape?
21 Before we look at the tape, I should like to show the
22 witness the clothing worn by Slavko Dokmanovic and ask
23 whether that is the particular clothing that he saw him
24 wearing. This would be a Defence exhibit. It is
25 composed of three parts -- a shirt and the rest. Would
1 you please show it to the witness?
2 THE REGISTRAR: That is marked as D48.
3 MR. FILA: Will you take the items out one by
4 one, please.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the witness says
6 anything, I just want to be sure, are you saying, as
7 the Defence, that those are the clothes he wore, or
8 that those clothes are similar to what Dokmanovic was
9 wearing on the 20th?
10 MR. FILA: Your Honours, we maintain that
11 that is exactly the clothing -- that particular
12 clothing is what he was wearing on that particular day
13 -- not similar but that clothing precisely -- original
15 A. You can see that it is hunting clothing, this
16 is where the bullets go, hunter's keep their bullets,
17 and it was good protection for health reasons. This
18 was the shirt worn underneath -- this came on top, and
19 then followed by this vest, and the trousers -- you can
20 look at the size and everything else -- it is hunting
22 Q. You were there for a long time and you had
23 contacts with the army. Does a uniform of the Yugoslav
24 People's Army of this kind exist?
25 A. Not like this.
1 Q. Can we then conclude this is what?
2 A. It is a hunting suit.
3 MR. FILA: I should like to tender this as
4 Defence Exhibit 48.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
6 MR. FILA: I should now like to ask us to
7 play the tape for the witness.
8 Your Honours, he is at the very start of the
9 tape, because he did not go to Vukovar later, so it is
10 a very brief tape -- I do not want to tire you with too
11 many videotapes today, and would the witness say that
12 he recognises his own appearance when he appears --
13 could he tell us that it is himself appearing.
14 (Videotape played)
15 MR. FILA: That was on 20 November at 8.37.
16 Q. Where is this?
17 A. This is Backa Palanka, the Municipal
19 (Videotape played)
20 THE INTERPRETER: They have the town -- this
21 costs 50 kilos of bullets, 2,000 marks. I have two
22 certificates for the first four years of primary
23 school. That is Backa Palanka."
24 A. I am not on the tape yet.
25 Q. But you will show us when you appear on the
1 tape, please.
2 (Videotape played)
3 THE INTERPRETER: The date of birth, the
4 place of birth, I love freedom -- that is the first
5 inscription. The second is 'I love Marija' -- 'I love
6 you Marija'. Pezerovic Zeljko, Celarevo with the
7 telephone number, that is the address."
8 A. That is me, I am smoking a cigarette.
9 MR. FILA: I would now like to show the
10 witness some photographs -- that is the photograph of
11 the witness on the tape, and we can carry on with the
12 tape, so that you can see when this photograph occurs
13 on the tape -- this image. This is a still of the
15 THE REGISTRAR: D49.
16 MR. FILA: When that still turns up, would
17 you please tell us?
18 (Videotape played)
19 A. Here we are, that is it -- that is the still,
20 the one I showed you, yes.
21 Q. Could your voice be heard on the tape
22 previous to this?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Will you tell us some of the individuals,
25 their names, who appear?
1 A. I saw Nebojsa Lazarevic, I saw Jova Cvetkovic
2 and the one that took the videotape.
3 Q. I should like to ask you something else. Did
4 you see Slavko Dokmanovic wearing this uniform earlier
5 on, on some other occasion, in the course of these
6 months -- did he wear anything else -- anything
8 A. I saw him wearing this uniform, this hunting
9 suit, during the harvest and sometimes he wore jeans,
10 when it was warmer -- when the weather was warmer.
11 MR. FILA: Your Honours, this concludes my
12 examination of the witness, thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Williamson?
14 Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: Mr. Novakovic, what was
16 Nebojsa Lazarevic wearing on 20 November 1991?
17 A. Well, it was a long time ago -- sometimes he
18 was dressed in a sports manner and sometimes he wore a
19 tie -- he was a rather elegant man, so he would wear a
21 Q. What about Mr. Cvetkovic, what was he wearing
22 on 20 November?
23 A. As he was a deputy with me, he was always
24 nicely dressed.
25 Q. Could you be a little more specific? What
1 colour clothing was he wearing on that day, can you
2 describe it in the same detail that you have described
3 Mr. Dokmanovic's clothes?
4 A. Well, you must understand that seven or eight
5 years have elapsed since that time -- Slavko was always
6 characteristically dressed -- because there was no
7 water and electricity, he usually wore the hunting suit
8 that we saw -- but my recollections, my memory -- I do
9 not know if I saw it on tape, because a lot of time has
10 gone by -- I am not quite sure.
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: The noise is not a problem
12 for the court or for the court reporters or anything?
13 THE REGISTRAR: It seems to be a problem
14 with the interpreters.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Why do we not move on in the
16 hope that they will have stopped?
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: Mr. Novakovic, how often did
18 you see Slavko Dokmanovic during the course of the
19 battle in Vukovar, during the autumn of 1991?
20 A. I do not want to talk about the battle --
21 I want to talk about the matters that I dealt with,
22 with Slavko, concerning the harvest, and tractors, fuel
23 -- combine harvesters -- that sort of thing.
24 Q. I am asking you -- I mention the battle as a
25 time frame, the autumn of 1991, how often did you see
2 A. Whenever he had me to come, he came.
3 Q. How often was that?
4 A. Well, I would have to look at my personal
5 papers that I keep -- I said that at the beginning --
6 I would have to look at my agenda.
7 Q. Can you say is this once, twice, five times,
8 20 times -- I mean, you should have some idea how often
9 you saw him?
10 A. Quite a few times.
11 Q. Do you recall meeting with an investigator
12 from the Office of the Prosecutor, a Mr. Kevin Curtis,
13 on 20 February this year?
14 A. I remember that they visited me, but they had
15 not announced themselves and they were very fair and
16 I wish that this Tribunal would remain as fair as they
17 were with me, until the very end.
18 Q. And do you recall telling Mr. Curtis that you
19 saw Slavko Dokmanovic on a regular basis, pretty much
20 every other day?
21 A. I had said that he saw me as often as he
22 needed, which was quite a few times, so I would have to
23 go through my agenda to count all those times.
24 Q. Do you have your agenda in court here today?
25 A. No, I had not brought my agenda, because
1 nobody had told me it would be necessary, but I can
2 bring it, whenever you want me to.
3 Q. Why was there such frequent contact between
4 you and Mr. Dokmanovic?
5 A. Well, first of all, you have to be aware of
6 the fact that we had become good friends when he was
7 the president of the municipality and also he
8 constantly needed assistance for agriculture, because,
9 after the summer harvest, there was the work that
10 needed to be done in the fields during the autumn, and
11 for that you also needed all the machinery.
12 Q. And, as president of the municipality, were
13 you commonly referred to as the mayor of Backa Palanka?
14 A. First of all, I am not the mayor; I am the
15 president of the Municipal Assembly.
16 Q. And were you ever commonly referred to as the
18 A. No. Since according to our statute on the
19 local self-government, it says the president of the
20 Municipal Assembly and together with the 41 assembly
21 men, he has equal rights as all of them and he only
22 authorises the Executive Council. That is the only
23 role that he has -- the only specific role that he has.
24 Q. I assume the same would be true for
25 Mr. Dokmanovic?
1 A. Well, at that time period that you are asking
2 me about, he was not the president of the Municipal
3 Assembly -- he was the Minister of Agriculture.
4 Q. But, previously, when he had been the
5 president of the municipality, the same would be true
7 A. Well, I suppose that in Croatia they had the
8 same law on self-government -- every Republic had its
9 own specific rules regarding the local self-government.
10 Q. Throughout your discussions with Mr. Curtis,
11 you do not recall referring to Mr. Dokmanovic as the
12 mayor of Vukovar throughout that entire talk, and also
13 referring to yourself as the mayor?
14 A. No, I was not a mayor -- you can check our
15 law on self-government and local administration in
16 Serbia and Yugoslavia.
17 Q. Now, you have indicated that you had water
18 and electricity in Backa Palanka -- this was throughout
19 the course of the autumn of 1991?
20 A. Backa Palanka always had water and
21 electricity supply.
22 Q. And you said that -- you were seeing
23 Mr. Dokmanovic on a regular basis. Did you notice any
24 particular odour associated with him?
25 A. Well, you could feel the smell of sweat, the
1 hunting uniform did give off -- I do not know how to
2 explain this -- but it was the smell of sweat.
3 Q. You were a good friend of Mr. Dokmanovic's,
4 would you not say?
5 A. I am still his friend.
6 Q. And, during this entire two- or three-month
7 period, on all of his visits to Backa Palanka, he never
8 asked you if he could take a bath or perhaps wash some
9 clothes, or do something like that in Backa Palanka?
10 A. I did offer that to him, but he refused.
11 Q. You said that you had electricity and water
12 in Backa Palanka. Was it not true that Backa Palanka
13 also provided water and electricity to Ilok?
14 A. Ilok and several villages around Ilok, they
15 did receive electricity from us.
16 Q. Were you responsible for the blackout of
17 electricity for five days to Ilok in September, to put
18 pressure on the people there to move?
19 A. No, because it was not in my jurisdiction --
20 this was up to the power supply company.
21 Q. Why was electric power maintained in Backa
22 Palanka but was cut off to Ilok -- who made that
24 A. That decision was not made by anyone. You
25 have to be aware of the fact that electricity can be
1 cut off when there is a severe thunderstorm.
2 Q. But if you have electricity in Ilok -- sorry,
3 in Backa Palanka, but you do not have it in Ilok for
4 five days and you have the same source of electricity,
5 where did the problem come from?
6 A. I do not know about that fact that Ilok's
7 electricity supply was cut off -- I cannot accept that
9 Q. Do you know anything about the supply of
10 yeast being cut off to Ilok, thus making it impossible
11 for them to make bread?
12 A. No, I did not know that they did not have
14 Q. Could you explain perhaps why several
15 thousand people would just decide out of the clear blue
16 to abandon their homes and move to some other place if
17 there was no pressure put on them?
18 A. There was no pressure and the referendum
19 proves that.
20 Q. So you think this was a free vote, that
21 several thousand people would just decide to leave
22 their homes that they had built or owned and just move
23 away with their belongings that they can take in a car?
24 A. You can check that with the European
1 Q. But I am asking you, why would several
2 thousand people do this, out of the clear blue, if
3 there was no pressure put on them?
4 A. I am asking you -- why did many Serbs and
5 Slovaks and others, as well as honest Croats, why did
6 they move out voluntarily?
7 Q. Would you answer my question? Why did
8 several thousand people leave Ilok if there was no
9 pressure put on them -- it is a very simple question.
10 I understand there was a referendum, but why did they
11 choose to leave?
12 A. Because they wanted to be closer to their
13 matrix country.
14 Q. They were in their matrix country, were they
16 A. Well, the referendum tells you everything.
17 They were afraid of the war, just as we were in Backa
18 Palanka -- we were in the same position.
19 Q. Now, what happened to the people in Lovas,
20 Babska, Trvarjni, Sarengrad, Movo and Sotinj -- all
21 those Croatian villages, all those people who had come
22 to Ilok, you do not think that in any way affected
23 their decision to move?
24 A. I do not know about that -- you will have to
25 ask that from the people in Ilok.
1 Q. What about an ultimatum that was given to the
2 people of Babska which came about as part of the same
3 negotiations over Ilok in which the JNA threatened to
4 flatten the town?
5 A. First of all, I do not know anything about
6 that fact and it is outside of my competence.
7 Q. So, just to conclude this, it is your
8 contention that the people in Ilok left there totally
9 voluntarily, gave up their homes and moved just because
10 they wanted to be somewhere else. There was no
11 pressure exerted on them whatsoever, by the JNA or by
13 A. When they left, many still went to work to
14 Backa Palanka and many still do, until this date.
15 Q. Now, you have indicated that the reason for
16 Mr. Dokmanovic being on the bridge on 17 October was
17 that he had come there because of his friend, Zlatko
19 A. That is right.
20 Q. That is contrary to what you had told
21 Mr. Curtis, is it not?
22 A. No, what I am saying now is the truth, and it
23 can be verified.
24 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I fail to understand
25 as regards what this witness was saying to Mr. Curtis --
1 has this been tendered into evidence? Can I see that,
2 or is this again some story containing assertions?
3 I have insisted several times. For instance, I asked
4 Dr. Bosanac, why did Serbs come out of Vukovar, she told
5 me to ask the Serbs. Now I have asked the Serbs and
6 you have heard what they have said but I was not
7 talking about what was said to somebody else. Who is
8 this man Curtis, what were they talking about and what
9 is the basis for the Prosecutor claiming that this
10 witness had said something else before? I have not
11 seen this statement.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: This is entirely appropriate
13 cross-examination. This man has given a statement to
14 the Prosecutor. I have notes based on that and I am
15 questioning him on it. He has the opportunity either
16 to confirm it or deny it and then, during the course of
17 our rebuttal case, if he has denied this, we will be
18 happy to put on Mr. Curtis to testify under oath as to
19 exactly what was said.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask you what you have
21 got from Mr. Curtis -- notes or a statement signed by
22 the witness?
23 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have notes, not a signed
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Notes by Mr. Curtis?
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is correct.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Williamson, I think you
4 can go on asking questions to the witness about what he
5 said to Mr. Curtis, provided that afterwards you can
6 produce him as a rebuttal witness to contradict --
7 MR. WILLIAMSON: Absolutely. Mr. Fila would
8 have ample opportunity to cross-examine him, to
9 question him on anything that he says.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: You may go on.
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: Do you remember telling
12 Mr. Curtis that the reason that Slavko Dokmanovic was on
13 the bridge at Ilok on 17 October was that you and he
14 were both there to ensure that everything went
15 smoothly, and that you had been authorised to be there
16 by your assembly, and that Slavko had been authorised,
17 because he was the Minister of Agriculture, and he
18 still felt as if he were the mayor of his municipality?
19 A. Regarding this investigation you are talking
20 about, I only speak my native language -- I do not know
21 what has been written down, because I have not signed
22 anything. It would be fair of you to let me read this
23 and sign it. I told you why Slavko was there -- to get
24 Mr. Vojdicka out, because Mr. Vojdicka wanted to go to
25 Trpinja because his wife stayed behind in Vukovar.
1 I think I was quite clear.
2 Q. Was there an interpreter present when
3 Mr. Curtis was speaking with you?
4 A. There was a girl, a woman -- I do not know.
5 Q. Was there a recruiting office for the
6 Territorial Defences in Backa Palanka?
7 A. No, it was within the jurisdiction of the
8 Serbian Territorial Defence -- it is not in the
9 jurisdiction of the municipality.
10 Q. But I am asking was there a recruiting office
11 for the Territorial Defence geographically located in
12 Backa Palanka?
13 A. The recruiting centre for our district was in
14 Novi Sad. They only have two -- an office with two
15 officials in our town.
16 Q. Now, you said that Mr. Dokmanovic was very
17 moderate -- a pacifist, a great humanitarian who sought
18 to retain Yugoslavia. Were you aware of his activities
19 with the Serbian National Council as early as January
21 A. I am not aware of the fact and I still
22 maintain that Slavko still thinks that it would have
23 been best if Yugoslavia had remained whole and he is a
24 pacifist -- proof of that is the fact that his own
25 people wanted to liquidate him, because he was such a
1 great Yugoslav.
2 Q. Were you familiar with this group, "the Serb
3 National Council"?
4 A. Well, not really -- only what I learned from
5 the papers.
6 Q. Do you recall telling Mr. Curtis that you felt
7 that since you still considered Slavko Dokmanovic the
8 president of the municipality, you thought it was
9 important to keep him informed about what was going on
10 in Ilok?
11 A. No, in May, he left that post -- actually, he
12 was removed forcibly, but since he was still the
13 Minister of Agriculture, since this was his native
14 region and his municipality, he liked to hear what was
15 going on, and many from the Ilok leadership met with
16 Slavko, because they thought him to be a great man, and
17 the man who was the most popular person in that region
18 in the times of Yugoslavia.
19 Q. You told Mr. Curtis, I believe, that
20 Mr. Dokmanovic was very upset about the destruction in
21 Vukovar and even broke down in tears -- is that
23 A. That is correct. When we talked in private,
24 he cried many times, because he could not believe that
25 Vukovar could look what it looks like, because the
1 provocations came first from the Ustashi and you know
2 what happened in the end.
3 Q. And you also said that he felt great rage
4 against Mercep, Seks and Glavas as the persons
5 responsible for what happened in Vukovar; right?
6 A. I assume that this Tribunal has the
7 information and this can be verified through the
8 European Community.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Can you answer this question
10 -- this is whether you remember saying all that, that
11 you felt great rage against Mercep -- this is the
12 question put by the Prosecutor.
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: I am sorry, it was not that
14 he felt great rage, that Mr. Dokmanovic.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, I apologise.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Do you remember?
17 A. I remember that we did mention those three
18 names -- because everybody knew what their nationalist
19 views were.
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: And do you recall if he
21 expressed rage at them as being the persons responsible
22 for what had happened in Vukovar?
23 A. Well, the Serbian people know this best, and
24 the local Croats and Slovaks.
25 Q. You still have not answered my question,
1 Mr. Novakovic. This is the third time I have put it to
2 you: do you recall if Mr. Dokmanovic expressed rage at
3 these people as the ones responsible for the
4 destruction of Vukovar -- "Yes" or "No", and then
6 A. Well, of course, he felt it and I still feel
7 that they are the most responsible, by doing what they
8 did in May -- those three persons -- and they were at
9 the forefront during the war.
10 Q. If they were the ones responsible and this
11 was just a response from the Serbs, why was it
12 necessary for all the Croatian people to leave that
14 A. First of all, it is not true that all the
15 Croats had left. You can verify that through the
16 European Community -- they have the exact number of
17 people who had left.
18 Q. Mr. Novakovic, are you telling this court that
19 the vast majority of Croatian people did not leave the
20 region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem in
22 A. Well, a part of them did leave the area.
23 Q. A part?
24 A. Just as a part of Serbs did leave Slavonia
25 and Baranja and came to Backa Palanka, Sombor, Odzak,
1 Novi Sad.
2 MR. FILA: Objection. He insists on the
3 witness giving him the answer he wants. He said "a
4 part of Croats" and that should be enough. The
5 Prosecutor is arguing with the witness.
6 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no further questions
7 of this witness.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila.
9 Re-examined by MR. FILA
10 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I would like those
11 notes. If you see that somebody is using something
12 before this court, and as far as I know, in the
13 Anglo-Saxon law, those notes should be shown and
14 translated in order for them to be used, because they
15 are being used before this court and they are
16 non-existent. What if Mr. Curtis fails to testify
17 tomorrow? As far as I know, that is the came Mr. Curtis
18 who lied to Mr. Dokmanovic that he would be able to go
19 back safely, so that is the man who lied once before.
20 He guaranteed Dokmanovic safety and lured him into
21 Croatia, and he stated before this Tribunal that he had
22 used deception to get close to Dokmanovic and to have
23 him arrested, if that is the same gentleman, and
24 I would have to see those notes in order to verify
25 their existence, if they are indeed being used before
1 this Tribunal. I am just asking a legal question.
2 What if Mr. Curtis failed to testify? Then
3 what is the basis for the questioning of this witness?
4 I want to see those notes.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Niemann?
6 MR. NIEMANN: A question of failure to
7 testify is a matter which we would deal with
8 appropriately at the time. These notes are notes which
9 were taken down and given to the Prosecutor for the
10 purposes of examining witnesses who were going to be
11 called by the Defence. At the end of the day it is
12 incumbent on the Prosecution to call the witness and to
13 have the witness attest to these matters. There is no
14 obligation under the Rules to produce notes -- notes
15 are a matter of work product. They are not matters
16 which are discoverable under the Rules and, your
17 Honours, at the end of the day, if there are any notes
18 made by the witness, which he would rely upon for the
19 purpose of his testimony, the appropriate time is then
20 for Mr. Fila to call for them and say, "I want to
21 inspect those notes," and then they can be made
22 available at that stage. It is inappropriate at the
23 moment to be asking for them.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Mr. Fila, have you got
25 any questions in re-examination of your witness?
1 MR. FILA: No, I would just like the witness
2 to have a look at the notes and to tell us what those
3 notes are. I keep saying that these notes do not
4 exist. I do not know who those notes belong to --
5 until I have seen them. I got my name according --
6 I was named after Saint Thomas and he did not believe
7 until he saw.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, we have just heard
9 from the Prosecutor that the notes do exist but the
10 Prosecutor has no duty to produce them in court. You
11 do not have any questions for re-examination?
12 JUDGE MAY: Can you help us with this -- the
13 meeting on 20 November, we saw the video of it. What
14 was the meeting about?
15 A. Since the guests arrived and since they had
16 probably arranged that with Slavko, they had their own
17 agenda or programme, where they went, they went across
18 with the permit of the military authorities, we had
19 coffee at my place, we discussed what the situation
20 was, what was going to happen later, and whether any
21 assistance was needed to repair things -- since there
22 was a lot of destruction in the agricultural field.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: I have a question. Is it
24 correct to say that Ilok was under the jurisdiction of
25 the regional government for the District of Slavonia,
1 Baranja and Western Srem?
2 A. I cannot remember that, whether it was under
3 their jurisdiction, but I assume that, at that time,
4 the Croatian authorities held that part of Ilok,
5 Sarengrad and Babska.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: You met Mr. Dokmanovic on 17
7 October 1991. Was he wearing the hunting suit, or a
8 normal civilian suit?
9 A. No, he was wearing the hunting clothes.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I assume there
11 is no objection to the witness being released, so thank
12 you for coming here to give evidence. You may be
14 We stand adjourned until tomorrow.
15 A. I would like to thank you, too.
16 (The witness withdrew)
17 (At 1.15 p.m. the matter adjourned until
18 Tuesday, 28 April 1998, at 8.30am)