Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2203

 1                           Friday, 7 December 2012

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused not present]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.

 5             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Good morning to everyone in and around the

 6     courtroom.

 7             Ms. Registrar, could you call the case, please.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  This is case number

 9     IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you very much.

11             May we have the appearances, please.

12             MR. STRINGER:  Good morning, Your Honours.  For the Prosecution,

13     Douglas Stringer, Matthew Olmsted, Case Manager Thomas Laugel.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

15             For the Defence.

16             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Good morning, Your Honours, for the Defence of

17     Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell.  Thank you.

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

19             Can we go into closed session now, please.

20                           [Closed session]

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

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10                           [Open session]

11             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

13             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, while we're waiting for the next

14     witness can to come, can the record reflect that Muireann Dennehy is now

15     present in the courtroom.  She will be leading the next witness, and we

16     also have our intern, Mr. Uros Zigic present as well.

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

18             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Mr. President, we're ready.

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

20             Good morning, Mr. Witness.  Can you hear me in a language you

21     understand?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you for coming to Zagreb to assist the

24     Tribunal, Mr. Witness.  Can you give us your name and date of birth,

25     please.


Page 2247

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Zeljko Sandor.  I was

 2     born 19 March 1966.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  What is your ethnicity, please?

 4             Did you hear me, Mr. Witness?  I asked you what your ethnicity

 5     was.  Could you tell us?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I heard you.  Your Honour, I

 7     am Croat by ethnicity.

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

 9             Mr. Sandor, you are about to make the solemn declaration by which

10     witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth.  I need to point out to

11     you that by making that declaration you expose yourself to the penalties

12     of perjury should you give false or untruthful information to the

13     Tribunal.  Could you now read the solemn declaration, please.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

15     speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

16                           WITNESS:  ZELJKO SANDOR

17                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

18                           [Witness appeared via videolink]

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you very much.

20             Ms. Dennehy, your witness.

21             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you, Your Honour.

22                           Examination by Ms. Dennehy:

23        Q.   Mr. Sandor, are you able to hear me?

24             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear the answer.

25             MS. DENNEHY:


Page 2248

 1        Q.   Mr. Sandor, can you repeat your answer, please?

 2        A.   Yes, I can hear you.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Sandor, do you recall giving a statement to the

 4     investigators of the Tribunal in 2000?

 5        A.   Yes, I recall that.

 6             MS. DENNEHY:  And turning to tab 1 of the Court's bundle could I

 7     please ask that the English version of 65 ter 2417.1 be shown to the

 8     witness.

 9        Q.   Mr. Sandor, do you recognise the document before you to be the

10     statement that you gave?

11        A.   Yes, this is the statement that I gave.

12        Q.   And looking at the first page of that document, can you please

13     look at the signatures at the bottom of the first page and tell me

14     whether you recognise any of those signatures.

15        A.   Yes, I do recognise my signature.

16        Q.   And before testifying today, did you have an opportunity to

17     review a translation of the statement in your own language?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   And when you reviewed the statement, I believe you had a number

20     of corrections to make.  Is that correct?

21        A.   Yes, that is correct.

22        Q.   Now if I can refer you to paragraph 29 of your statement, and at

23     that paragraph you said ... at paragraph 29 your statement said:

24             "Six or seven men were selected from the buses ..."

25             Is there anything that you would like to correct in relation to

Page 2249

 1     that paragraph?

 2        A.   Yes, there is something I would like to correct here.

 3        Q.   Can you please tell me what that is.

 4        A.   Those people were not separated from our bus.  They had already

 5     been separated from the other buses or from the column.

 6        Q.   And were those men taken from the bus that you were on?

 7        A.   No.

 8        Q.   Now turning to paragraph 33, your statement notes that the convoy

 9     was stopped at a cattle farm in either one of those towns, referring to

10     the previous paragraph where you referred to Aljmas and Erdut.  And you

11     say "I can't remember which one."  Is there anything you would like to

12     correct in relation to this paragraph, that's paragraph number 33?

13        A.   Yes, there is something I would like to correct.

14        Q.   Please explain to me what you would like to correct.

15        A.   This was the cattle farm in Bogojevo and not in either Aljmas or

16     Erdut.

17        Q.   Now, Mr. Sandor, if you were asked the same questions today about

18     the material in your statement, would you give the same answers in

19     substance?

20        A.   Yes, my answers would be the same.

21        Q.   And now that you have taken the solemn declaration, do you affirm

22     the truthfulness and accuracy of this statement?

23        A.   Yes, my statement is accurate and truthful.

24             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, the Prosecution tenders this

25     statement as 65 ter number 2417.1 and asks that it be entered into

Page 2250

 1     evidence.

 2             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yes, Mr. Gosnell.

 3             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, we have a document from 2003, I

 4     believe, which is a series of corrections that were made when the witness

 5     attested to his statement which is the same one that is now being

 6     tendered before Your Honours and this Chamber.  And these corrections

 7     have not been gone over with the witness and some of them are material

 8     changes, I would suggest.  I don't know how important they are, but they

 9     are material changes, they run to more than a page.  So I'm not sure how

10     the Prosecution wishes to handle this.  The witness has answered as he

11     has answered, but then he did also make this attestation in 2003.

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy.

13             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, the Prosecution has reviewed this

14     document and it is of the view that these are clarifications rather than

15     corrections to the witness's statement.  The witness has reviewed this

16     document and any clarifications that need to be made to the statement

17     will be done so now during the witness's further testimony.

18                           [Trial Chamber confers]

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Does that mean that you're not tendering that

20     document, Ms. Dennehy?

21             MS. DENNEHY:  That is correct.  The Prosecution's understanding

22     is that we were only allowed to tender one statement and that is the

23     underlying statement that I have referred to.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  And what you're saying is that these

25     clarifications will transpire to -- through the testimony today?

Page 2251

 1             MS. DENNEHY:  That is correct, yes.

 2             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell.

 3             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, Mr. President, I don't think that complies

 4     with the requirements of 92 ter, but we will not object.

 5                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 6             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy, the Bench considers that document

 7     with clarification as being part of the original statement, so you should

 8     tender it.

 9             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you, Your Honours.  I can certainly do so now

10     if Your Honours will allow me to do so.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  But it's a different 65 ter number; right?

12             MS. DENNEHY:  It is indeed, yes.

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  So let's admit and mark both documents.

14             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, the statement under 65 ter 02417.1

15     will be Exhibit P347.  And if Your Honours -- if counsel for the

16     Prosecution can provide the 65 ter number for the document.

17             MS. DENNEHY:  The 65 ter number is 02512.

18             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 02512 will then become

19     Exhibit P348.

20             MS. DENNEHY:  May I proceed?

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yes, Ms. Dennehy.  I suppose that will save some

22     time in your direct examination because you don't have to ask those

23     questions anymore?

24             MS. DENNEHY:  That's correct, yes.  Thank you.

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Please proceed.

Page 2252

 1             MS. DENNEHY:

 2        Q.   Mr. Sandor, are you currently employed?

 3        A.   No, I'm not.

 4        Q.   And why are you not currently employed?

 5        A.   I'm retired due to disability.

 6        Q.   And what disabilities do you suffer from that caused you to

 7     retire?

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy, you mean disabilities with regard to

 9     the case?

10             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, indeed, Your Honour.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  I think you should say so to the witness.

12             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you.

13        Q.   Mr. Sandor, do the abilities [sic] from which you suffer and the

14     reason for your retirement, do those relate to the events of your

15     statement?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Mr. Sandor, at paragraph 12 of your statement you refer to

18     negotiations that were taking place in relation to the evacuation of

19     civilians from the Borovo factory complex.  Where did these negotiations

20     take place?

21        A.   The first round of negotiations with regard to the evacuations of

22     civilians took place in the village of Dalj.

23        Q.   And what were the parties that participated in those negotiations

24     in Dalj?

25        A.   As far as I know, there were members of the ZNG and the police on

Page 2253

 1     the one side and members of the JNA on the other.

 2        Q.   And what happened at those negotiations?

 3        A.   According to what I know, the negotiations were interrupted by

 4     Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan.  He had his say in the final outcome of the

 5     negotiations.  He interrupted the negotiations and he did not want to

 6     proceed negotiating with the Croatian side.

 7        Q.   And what was the outcome of the negotiations?

 8        A.   Simply, the negotiations fell through.  Our representatives who

 9     went to Dalj to negotiate returned to Vukovar, and as far as I know,

10     before they returned Arkan's men had beaten them.

11        Q.   Who did Arkan's men beat?

12        A.   Ivica Banusic, Marko Filkovic and three other lads that were

13     there.  Those people attended the negotiations as representatives of the

14     Croatian side.

15        Q.   Mr. Sandor, you were injured by shrapnel at the Borovo shoe

16     factory on the 18th of November, 1991.  I would now like to show you a

17     map.

18             MS. DENNEHY:  Would the court officer please display 65 ter 3038

19     and that's at tab 3 of the witness's bundle.

20        Q.   Mr. Sandor, do you recognise the map in front of you?

21             Can I please ask you to repeat your answer, Mr. Sandor.  I'm

22     afraid I didn't hear you.

23        A.   Yes, I recognise the map.

24        Q.   And what is this a map of?

25        A.   This is a map of the general area of Vukovar and the city of

Page 2254

 1     Vukovar itself.

 2        Q.   And can you please circle for me the position of the Borovo

 3     factory complex on the map in front of you.

 4        A.   [Marks]

 5             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, the witness has now indicated where

 6     the Borovo factory complex is on the map.  I can indicate for you if you

 7     would like or I'm not quite sure how we proceed from here.

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  It depends on what you want to do, Ms. Dennehy.

 9             MS. DENNEHY:  I would now ask that 65 ter 3038 be admitted into

10     evidence.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  The one marked by the witness?

12             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, correct.

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Is there a way for us to be able to see the

14     markings?

15                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Perhaps the Registrar could try to show it to us.

17             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] It's in this area.

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  That's more or less Vukovar.

19             [Microphone not activated].

20             I'm sorry.  You tender it, no objection, admitted and marked.

21             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, the map as marked by the witness

22     will be Exhibit P349.

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

24             MS. DENNEHY:

25        Q.   Mr. Sandor, I would now like to take you forward to paragraph 33

Page 2255

 1     of your statement where you describe your journey from Vukovar on the

 2     buses and where you said earlier that the convoy stopped at Bogojevo.

 3     What happened to you at Bogojevo?

 4        A.   JNA troops entered Bogojevo and they started pulling out

 5     detainees one by one from the bus.  We were beaten up there and we were

 6     tied.  They threw us down a slope by a long white building.  They threw

 7     us against that wall, tied up, and they told us to go to a place called

 8     Gornje Bare, that a group would come and they will take us to Gornje

 9     Bare.  And they did come later on, that group did appear later on.

10        Q.   And what injuries did you suffer as a result of these beatings at

11     Bogojevo?

12        A.   A soldier of the JNA came and told me to crawl out of the bus.

13     When I reached the front door, two other guys pulled me out of the bus

14     and handed me over to the other two.  There were four of them around me

15     and they brutally started beating me up with all sorts of things.  They

16     kicked me.  They hit me with rifle-butts.  I was beaten up black and

17     blue.

18        Q.   At paragraph 41 you say that you were taken to a prison at

19     Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia.

20             MS. DENNEHY:  Can I please ask that the court officer display

21     65 ter 2964.  That's at tab 6 of the Court bundle.

22        Q.   Mr. Sandor, do you recognise the map in front of you?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   What is this a map of?

25        A.   This is a map which depicts one part of Croatia and one part of

Page 2256

 1     Serbia and the border between the two.

 2        Q.   Can you please indicate on the map the place where you were

 3     detained in Serbia in 1991 and 1992?

 4        A.   [Marks]

 5             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, can I please ask that 65 ter 2964 be

 6     admitted into evidence?

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, the map as marked by the witness

 9     will be Exhibit P350.

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

11             MS. DENNEHY:

12        Q.   Mr. Sandor, at paragraph 43 of your statement you said that when

13     you arrived at Sremska Mitrovica, you were forced to run through a

14     gauntlet of prison guards who beat you.  What did they beat you with?

15        A.   They were beaten by rubber police batons, by fists.  We were

16     kicked.  We were hit with rifle-butts, with sticks.  They used all sorts

17     of things to beat us up.  Mostly police batons and some wooden sticks,

18     like broomsticks of sorts.

19             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, if I can please ask that the record

20     be amended at page 54, that's at line 2.  It currently says:  "They were

21     beaten ..."  Can I ask that the witness clarify who was beaten.  I

22     understand this to be interpretation point.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter misspoke.  The witness said:

24     We were beaten.

25             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you.

Page 2257

 1        Q.   Mr. Sandor, at Sremska Mitrovica you were taken to a cell.  How

 2     many men were in the cell with you?

 3        A.   Anything between 120 and 130 people.

 4        Q.   And how would you describe the cell and the conditions in the

 5     cell?

 6        A.   Its footprint was about 60 square metres.  There were no beds.

 7     There was a wooden floor and we were like sardines in a tin.  There was

 8     no room to walk around, to turn around, to go to the loo.  Let me put it

 9     simply.  You had to keep your original position for hours because there

10     was no room to manoeuvre.  We were compressed in that room.  We could not

11     turn around.

12        Q.   What happened when the guards entered the cell?

13        A.   Whenever the door was opened, whenever we heard a key being

14     turned in the lock, we had to stand up, face the wall.  We had to bow our

15     heads and put our hands behind our back.  So whenever we were about to

16     get in contact with a guard, that's how we had to stand.

17        Q.   And where did you wash?

18        A.   We had a bathroom in the basement, but we did not wash ourselves

19     very often.  For example, for the first month or so we never washed.

20        Q.   And why did you not wash for the first month?

21        A.   They didn't allow us.

22        Q.   Mr. Sandor, I'd now like to ask you about Damir Kiralj.  How did

23     Damir look when you saw him in the cell?

24        A.   Damir Kiralj was one of the four persons who had been brought to

25     the cell before us.  He was already there when we were brought in and he

Page 2258

 1     was seriously wounded.

 2        Q.   And how did he look, given that he was seriously wounded?

 3        A.   He was covered with blood.  He was exhausted.  He had open wounds

 4     on the chest and on the back.  He had dark hair, he had a beard.  He was

 5     visibly exhausted and he kept on asking us for water.  He could still

 6     speak when we arrived in the cell.  He was still half conscious and he

 7     kept on asking us to give him water to drink.

 8        Q.   And did Damir survive?

 9        A.   No.

10        Q.   How were you treated by the JNA soldiers when they took you for

11     interrogations at Sremska Mitrovica?

12        A.   Every time when I was taken for interrogation, and not just I but

13     everybody, we were beaten up by the guards who were members of the JNA.

14        Q.   And can you describe for the Court those beatings?

15        A.   Look here, one guard would come to the door and would call my

16     name.  I would leave the cell.  I would be taken to an officer to be

17     interrogated.  And on the way, one or two or more of them were there.

18     They daunted me.  They shoved me.  They started kicking me ever so

19     lightly at first and then more heavily with sticks and they shoved me to

20     and fro.  And if I were to fall down, then they would kick me and then

21     they would start daunting me, saying, "Look at Ustasha, he's weak, he

22     cannot stand."  And if I would remain standing, then they would continue

23     beating me on the shoulders, in the neck, on the back, all over the body.

24        Q.   And where did the guards bring you for those interrogations?

25        A.   They took us to JNA officers.  Those who were probably one of

Page 2259

 1     them investigating judge, the other in charge of the prison.  In any

 2     case, they were JNA officers and they were sitting in separate rooms that

 3     looked like offices.

 4        Q.   And when you were brought to those offices, did you enter them

 5     immediately?

 6        A.   Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

 7        Q.   And what would happen when you didn't enter immediately?

 8        A.   Sometimes I would be standing by the door for hours with my head

 9     bowed and hands behind the back.  I was not allowed to move or look

10     sideways.  I was not allowed to address anybody.  They did not give me

11     water to drink.  And then when I entered, sometimes the officer would

12     say, "No, no, I didn't want to talk to this guy, I wanted to see somebody

13     else."  And then without a word of explanation, they would just take me

14     back to my cell.

15        Q.   And you mentioned that you used to have to stand with your head

16     bent and your hands behind your back.  What would happen if you raised

17     your head?

18        A.   One of the guards was always there observing us.  If we lifted

19     our heads, he would come and punish us by beating us.  We would suffer

20     corporal punishment for moving slightly or for disobeying those orders

21     that the guards had previously given us.

22        Q.   And at paragraph 65 of your statement, you say that you had to

23     carry out work and one of those jobs was to scrub a stair step for hours.

24     Can you please describe that incident.

25        A.   Yes.  One day I was taken out from my cell and they took me up

Page 2260

 1     the stairs made of stone that a guard had spilled water on and he told me

 2     to sweep and wipe the stairs, and I did so for an hour with my own bare

 3     hands.  I spent an hour rubbing the steps.

 4        Q.   Were the beatings of prisoners ever recorded at Sremska

 5     Mitrovica?

 6        A.   You mean by the JNA?

 7        Q.   Yes, if they were recorded by the JNA.

 8        A.   No.

 9        Q.   What special treatment did deserters of the JNA receive while at

10     Sremska Mitrovica?

11        A.   Those people were rounded up and taken to isolation cells where

12     they were mistreated every day in various ways, from beatings to singing

13     Chetnik songs.  They called these people out every day and mistreated

14     them mentally and physically.

15             THE INTERPRETER:  The witness also said something about a light

16     bulb that the interpreter did not understand.  Could he repeat maybe.

17             MS. DENNEHY:

18        Q.   Mr. Sandor, I'm afraid we didn't capture everything that you

19     said.  Could you please repeat the part where you mentioned a light bulb.

20        A.   I said those people were isolated, in isolation cells, only one

21     person per cell, and they were exposed to physical and mental torture by

22     the guards on a daily basis, the military guards.  Apart from beatings,

23     they had to sing Chetnik songs.  They had to bark like dogs at light

24     bulbs and say things like, "Long live Serbia."  And they were at the

25     mercy of the military guards, or rather, the military policemen who

Page 2261

 1     guarded them every day.

 2        Q.   And can you please describe what happened to Mr. Musa.

 3        A.   Mr. Musa is a defector from the Yugoslav People's Army who joined

 4     the Croatian defence forces.  He was in an isolation cell and he was one

 5     of the people who were mistreated in those ways I described.

 6        Q.   At paragraph --

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy, it's that time.

 8             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, Your Honours.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  So we will -- Mr. Witness, the Court will take

10     its second break, come back at 12.45, and we will continue with your

11     testimony at that time.  Thank you.

12             Court adjourned.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

14                           --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.

15                           --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yes, Ms. Dennehy, please proceed.

17             MS. DENNEHY:

18        Q.   Mr. Sandor, can you please explain what happened to

19     Nikola Cibaric?

20        A.   Nikola Cibaric was captured, taken to the basement of that

21     building which was a school.  He was beaten up and his genitals were cut.

22        Q.   At paragraph 89 of your statement you describe how you were

23     interrogated by Mr. Salic, a member of the KOS.  What, if anything, did

24     he make you eat during your interrogation?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 2262

 1        Q.   I'll repeat the question again, Mr. Sandor.  What, if anything,

 2     did he make you eat during your interrogation?

 3        A.   He made me eat salt and pepper.

 4        Q.   And how much salt and pepper did he make you eat?

 5        A.   A couple of tablespoons, not full but four or five tablespoons of

 6     salt and pepper.  There were two dishes.  I had to take some salt from

 7     one and some pepper from the other and put it in my mouth.

 8        Q.   And what did you do after eating the salt and pepper?

 9        A.   I was choking.  It was very difficult to swallow.  I returned to

10     my cell, had some water, and I threw up.  I threw it all up and, of

11     course, I had pain in my stomach, a burning feeling in my mouth.  The

12     inside of my mouth was bloody and cracked.

13        Q.   Mr. Sandor, can you describe for the Trial Chamber what injuries

14     you had while at Sremska Mitrovica?

15        A.   My lungs were damaged.  It was something like a concussion of the

16     lungs.  My chest is deformed.  My ribs were broken.  There's damage to my

17     spine and my hearing and vision are also damaged.  I had problems with

18     headaches and I had a concussion of the brain.

19        Q.   And what caused all of these injuries that you describe?

20        A.   It was caused by the physical torture inflicted by the guards, by

21     the military police at the camp, the beatings.

22        Q.   Mr. Sandor, what happened on the 14th of August, 1992?

23        A.   We were exchanged.

24        Q.   And where were you exchanged?

25        A.   In Nemetin, near Osijek.


Page 2263

 1        Q.   And how did you feel on that day when you were exchanged?

 2        A.   That day was the longest day in my life.  It was longer than all

 3     the days I'd spent in the camp, and you can imagine that a day in the

 4     camp is an eternity.

 5        Q.   And how has the detention at Sremska Mitrovica affected you and

 6     your family's lives?

 7        A.   I still have problems nowadays.  While I was single I was

 8     withdrawn, I was trying to run away from myself, something was always

 9     chasing me.  I still feel somehow poisoned, damaged.  I am often dizzy,

10     very depressed.  Contacts with various officials are very difficult for

11     me.  I'm nervous.  I shake.  I sleep 10, 15 minutes a night and then

12     don't sleep for hours.  For years I didn't allow my bedroom door to be

13     closed.

14        Q.   Thank you.

15             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, that concludes my questions for now.

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

17             Cross-examination.

18             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you, Mr. President.

19                           Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:

20        Q.   Good day, Mr. Sandor.  Can you see and hear me?

21        A.   I can see you and I can hear you.

22        Q.   My name is Christopher Gosnell.  I appear on behalf of Mr. Hadzic

23     and I will be asking you a few questions.  If anything is unclear, please

24     feel free to ask for further clarification or details and I'll do my

25     best.  Do you understand that?

Page 2264

 1        A.   I do.

 2        Q.   Now, sir, you were describing during your questions to the --

 3     your answers to the questions by the Prosecutor that you came across some

 4     deserters in the prison at Sremska Mitrovica.  Do I understand that they

 5     on occasion were detained along with you in the same cell or were they

 6     always separated?

 7        A.   They were with me in the cell for a while.  That's how I know

 8     they were deserters and I know they were taken to isolation cells.  And

 9     some of them were brought back from the solitary cell back to ours, so I

10     know what they had gone through while in isolation.

11        Q.   And approximately how many of these deserters did you meet?

12        A.   [Microphone not activated] ... is one.  And there was an

13     active-duty NCO of the JNA, his name was Ivica, I don't know his last

14     name, he was with me in the room number 8.  They took him to the

15     isolation cell and then he appeared before the court in Belgrade.  He was

16     an NCO of the JNA and he defected to the Croatian army.

17        Q.   The beginning of your answer was cut off, but would it be correct

18     to say that you met three deserters or did you meet more than three

19     deserters or less?

20        A.   Two, two.  I mentioned Musa and that active-duty sergeant of the

21     Yugoslav People's Army.  Ivica was his name and I don't remember his

22     surname.

23        Q.   Did they inform you whether desertions were widespread in the JNA

24     at the end of 1991?

25        A.   No.

Page 2265

 1        Q.   Sir, I just want to confirm that the previous occasions on which

 2     you have given statements, and I understand that you, of course, have

 3     given one statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in the year 2000 and

 4     then you corrected or made some amendments to that statement in 2003.

 5     And in 2004 -- excuse me, in 1994 you spoke to someone who was apparently

 6     from something called the Commission of Experts.  It was a woman named

 7     Nancy Paterson.  Do you remember having given that statement in 1994?

 8        A.   Yes, I remember that statement.

 9        Q.   So other than the statements I've just mentioned, have you ever

10     given any other statements to anyone about the -- about your experiences?

11        A.   I gave those statements to the Croatian justice authorities,

12     their investigation authorities.

13        Q.   When did you give that statement and to whom?

14        A.   I don't remember exactly.  I think it was in 1993 or 1994 at the

15     Ministry of Justice of Croatia.  The person was Ivica Crnkovic, and it

16     was an occasion when ten of us former camp inmates gave statements.  And

17     I believe I also gave some statement last year to the Croatian

18     investigating authorities regarding events in Vukovar.

19        Q.   Did you ever see your -- the content of your interview put into a

20     note or put into a statement form which you then reviewed?  Or was it,

21     rather, that you were interviewed and then you never saw a statement or a

22     note to review?

23        A.   Which statement do you mean?

24        Q.   I'm referring to the now two interviews that you've described as

25     having had with the Croatian authorities, one that you recall having

Page 2266

 1     occurred in 1993 or 1994 and the second having occurred last year.

 2        A.   Yes, I had the opportunity to see, to review, that last

 3     statement.

 4        Q.   That's the one from last year?

 5             Not sure if my question came through, sir.  You say that you

 6     reviewed one statement, the second.  And I just want to confirm, the

 7     statement that you reviewed was the statement that you say you gave

 8     during an interview last year with the Croatian authorities; is that

 9     right?

10             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter doesn't hear anything.

11             MR. GOSNELL:

12        Q.   Sir, could you just try one more time.  The audio seems to be a

13     little bit off.  I didn't hear your answer.

14        A.   I said that's correct.  I saw that statement given to the

15     Croatian authorities last year.

16        Q.   And you never saw a statement that was produced after your

17     interview in 1993 or 1994; is that correct?

18        A.   No, I don't think I saw that one -- at least I don't remember

19     seeing it.  I saw that statement that you just mentioned.  Can you help

20     me?  I don't know whether it was somebody from The Hague Tribunal, but

21     it's the one you just mentioned.

22        Q.   That's fine.

23        A.   I was about to say the statement I gave to Ivica Crnkovic at the

24     Ministry of Justice, that one I never saw, but it was a summary of my

25     statement on one or two pages but I never saw it.

Page 2267

 1        Q.   Sorry, sir, could you just repeat the last name of the person to

 2     whom you gave the statement.

 3        A.   It was the minister of justice of the Republic of Croatia,

 4     Ivica Crnkovic, C-r-n-k-o-v-i-c.  I think he was the minister of justice

 5     at the time in the Republic of Croatia.

 6        Q.   And have you ever been interviewed for a television documentary

 7     about events during the battle of Vukovar, in particular in

 8     Borovo Naselje?

 9        A.   For a documentary, I don't think so.  But I was once invited to a

10     programme dedicated to the anniversary of the fall of Vukovar, to a

11     radio/television show.  And I gave one interview to something that is

12     called Index, and I'm not sure whether it's a news agency or something

13     else.

14        Q.   And the programme that was dedicated to the anniversary of the

15     fall of Vukovar, do you recall what radio or television station that was?

16        A.   Croatian Radio Television, channel 1.  It was the headlines of

17     the news programme at noon.

18        Q.   And have you yourself seen documentaries on television about the

19     battle of Vukovar, in particular the events in Borovo Naselje?

20        A.   Yes, I did.

21        Q.   And your comrades in arms have been interviewed extensively as

22     part of those documentaries; is that correct?

23        A.   If you allow me to say this, you probably mean the series called:

24     "Heros of Vukovar."

25        Q.   Yes.

Page 2268

 1        A.   Some of my comrades in arms did give interviews for that series.

 2     I, myself, didn't want to be a part of it.

 3        Q.   Sir, I'd like to direct you to paragraph 3 of your statement, the

 4     second-last sentence, it should be page 2 --

 5             MR. GOSNELL:  May I just ask whether the witness has an

 6     enumerated B/C/S version of his statement there?  I'm not sure whether I

 7     should be asking the Registrar there or whether I should be asking the

 8     Prosecutor here.

 9             MS. DENNEHY:  I believe the witness has a numbered copy, but I

10     would like the Registrar to confirm just in case.

11             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I can confirm that the witness --

12             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, ought I to direct that through you

13     or should I simply ask the Registrar whether --

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  The Registrar just confirmed, Mr. Gosnell.

15             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.

16        Q.   Sir, do you see the second-last sentence of paragraph 3 of your

17     statement?

18        A.   Yes, I do.

19        Q.   What it says is, in English, and I'll read it:

20             "At this time my Serb neighbours were being mobilised into the

21     military.  None of the Croats were being mobilised.  In the beginning,

22     there was no defensive organisation among the Croat civilians."

23             Now, I just want to understand the first sentence there:

24             "At this time my Serb neighbours were being mobilised into the

25     military."

Page 2269

 1             Are you saying that your Serb neighbours were starting to take up

 2     arms in preparation for a civil war?

 3        A.   Yes, that's right.

 4        Q.   Okay.  And then you say:

 5             "None of the Croats were being mobilised.  In the beginning there

 6     was no defensive organisation among the Croat civilians."

 7             So do I understand your statement to be saying that at this time,

 8     in May 1991, Serbs were arming themselves and preparing for civil war but

 9     Croats were not?

10        A.   At that time not so much.  Only the Croatian police were arming

11     themselves.  Civilians had no access to weapons, at least not in the area

12     about which I testified.

13        Q.   If we can just go up two sentences from the sentence that I've

14     just been looking at, you described some men coming to look for you and

15     you say:

16             "I was known to be very friendly with Zadro Blago, who was one of

17     the main leaders and organisers of the Croatian defence."

18             What was the Croatian defence?

19        A.   Blago Zadro was at that time a member of the Croatian police.

20     The Croatian Democratic Union was in the process of being established,

21     but I was no part of it.  If you let me clarify, I was friends with

22     Blago Zadro along completely different lines, nothing to do with the

23     party or the military or the police.  We were just friends.  At that

24     time, the whole of 1991 and 1992, I was not a member of any political

25     party --

Page 2270

 1        Q.   Sir, sir --

 2        A.   -- my relationship with late Blago Zadro has not --

 3        Q.   Let me just cut you off there.  I will be asking you a series of

 4     questions and you will be able to answer these questions, I assure you.

 5     But my first question, just to keep the focus is:  What was the Croatian

 6     defence?

 7        A.   That was the Croatian police.

 8        Q.   Then why didn't you say "Croatian police," instead of the

 9     "Croatian defence"?

10        A.   I have my own viewpoint.  I think this sentence is taken out of

11     context.  When I say "our men," I mean the Croatian police and the ZNG,

12     the Home Guards Corps.  You can make your own conclusions from that

13     sentence.  At that time, the Croatian police was the only armed

14     formation, if we are talking about March, April, and May 1991.

15        Q.   Well, here we're talking -- you, not we, you are talking in your

16     statement about May 1991.  You've used this term "Croatian defence."  I

17     think I now hear you clarifying that you consider the Croatian defence to

18     be the police and the ZNG.  Is that right?  Or did the Croatian -- when

19     you use the term "Croatian defence," does it encompass anything else?

20        A.   The Croatian defence includes only the Croatian police and later

21     the Home Guards Corps, once it was established.  If you let me clarify,

22     beginning with the events in Borovo Selo on the 2nd of May, the Croats

23     had night guards organised by the Croatian Democratic Union, but they

24     were not armed apart from those people who were licensed by the Croatian

25     police to carry a weapon.  So at that time it was only the Croatian

Page 2271

 1     police.

 2        Q.   And how many people were licensed to carry weapons by the

 3     Croatian police, according to you?

 4        A.   I could not tell you that.  I've already told you that I was not

 5     a member of any political party or any other organisation at the time.

 6     When I joined the Croatian side it was spontaneously and it was after the

 7     armed operations by Serbs against Croatian police in Borovo Selo.  That

 8     was already the beginning of the armed conflict.  Before that, Croats

 9     were not armed.

10        Q.   Well, is it correct to say - and I believe this is -- this

11     follows from your previous statement - you say that members of the night

12     guards were organised by the Croatian Democratic Union and that then

13     members of these night guards were licensed by the Croatian police to

14     carry weapons.  Is that the situation in May 1991?

15        A.   I think there must be a misunderstanding.  In May, only the

16     Croatian police carried weapons.  Civilians at that time did not have

17     weapons.  More precisely, in early May, let's say, that was the

18     situation, perhaps later.  Civilians stood guard but not armed.

19        Q.   So you're saying that these night guards that were organised by

20     the HDZ were walking around unarmed, with no weapons?

21        A.   That's correct.

22        Q.   What was the purpose of the night guards walking around with no

23     weapons?

24        A.   I was just going to explain.  There was always a police officer

25     with them and police officers were licensed to carry weapons.

Page 2272

 1        Q.   At what stage did the police start to licence other members of

 2     the night guard to carry weapons?

 3        A.   I can speak about myself.  In the month of June I joined the ZNG

 4     and I was issued with a weapon.  So the answer would be as of the

 5     beginning of June onwards.

 6        Q.   I understand that about yourself.  Do you know of others who were

 7     licensed to carry weapons who participated in these night guards?  I

 8     don't want names.  The question is simply:  Do you know whether others

 9     were licensed to carry weapons at part of these night guards?

10        A.   There was always a police officer licensed to carry weapons who

11     accompanied those night guards.  At that time, civilians were not

12     licensed to carry weapons.  Perhaps somebody had a weapon or, for

13     example, a rifle hidden in the house, but I wouldn't know that.  At that

14     time, civilians did not carry weapons legally.  They acted as an extended

15     arm or an extended ear or eye, as it were, for those police officers who

16     were licensed to carry weapons.

17        Q.   And was Mr. Zadro part of the police or was he a part of the

18     night guard?  What was his function and role in May 1991?

19        A.   Mr. Zadro was a member of the Croatian police.  He was a member

20     of the Vinkovci police station.

21        Q.   Was he a career police officer or had he joined shortly before

22     May 1991?

23        A.   I don't know that, so I can't answer your question.

24        Q.   Weren't you friends with him in May 1991?

25        A.   If you listened to me carefully, we were friends before the war.

Page 2273

 1     In the war I saw him very seldom in passing.  I did not have many

 2     occasions to talk to him once the war started.

 3        Q.   Well, before the war when you were friends with him, what

 4     occupation did he have, if you know?

 5        A.   He was an employee of the Borovo factory.

 6        Q.   And do you have any knowledge as to when he left that employment

 7     and became a policeman?

 8        A.   No, I wouldn't know that.

 9        Q.   Now, at paragraph 10 of your statement, you say that you wore the

10     green camouflage uniform that the Croat army now wears.

11             "I had been issued with a rifle and uniform by the crises

12     council."

13             Am I right to say that you've just testified you received your

14     rifle in June 1991; is that right?

15        A.   I apologise.  Can you repeat the name of the month.  You referred

16     to the sixth month of the year, yes, June.  June 1991, yes.

17        Q.   Is that also when you received your uniform?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   And those were both from the -- what you describe in your

20     statement as the crises council?

21        A.   I would like to correct that.  I was issued with weapons in the

22     office of the chief of the defence council of the city of Vukovar.  At

23     that time it was also known as the crisis council.

24        Q.   Would you ever use the term "Krizni Stab" to refer to that, of

25     Vukovar?

Page 2274

 1        A.   Yes, that office for defence was reappointed as the Crisis Staff

 2     once the war started or once the war became imminent.

 3        Q.   And who was a part of that council or -- yeah, who was a part of

 4     that council?  Who were the members?

 5        A.   The chief of the Crisis Staff was Tomislav Mercep.

 6        Q.   Was anyone else a part of the council?

 7        A.   There were other people there, but I didn't know them.  There was

 8     a whole structure of men belonging to the Crisis Staff, but I did not

 9     know any of them.

10        Q.   When did that structure come into existence?

11        A.   I'm not sure.  I know that I was issued with a weapon in the

12     month of June.  I don't know when they became operational.  I suppose

13     that that coincided with the democratic changes that were happening in

14     the course of 1990 and 1991, but I'm not sure of the time.

15        Q.   And when you received your weapon, did you receive it from a

16     depot in which there were other weapons?  Did somebody bring it to you?

17     How did you actually get your rifle?  What were the circumstances?

18        A.   I reported to the Crisis Staff and the person who organised

19     defence at the time took me to the Crisis Staff.  On the order of the

20     chief of the Crisis Staff, Tomislav Mercep, I was issued with a weapon.

21     There was a depot and a person -- the person in charge of the depot

22     issued me with an automatic rifle and 150 rounds for it and that uniform.

23        Q.   So did I understand that you reported to the Crisis Staff on the

24     order of the chief of the Crisis Staff, Tomislav Mercep?

25        A.   A slight correction, sir, if I may.

Page 2275

 1        Q.   Please go ahead.

 2        A.   I did not report to the Crisis Staff on the order of the chief of

 3     the Crisis Staff.  The person who organised those night guards in

 4     Nove Banijske took me to the chief of the Crisis Staff and I was issued

 5     with a weapon on his order.  Once I already reported to the Crisis Staff,

 6     it was the chief of the Crisis Staff who said that I should be issued

 7     with a weapon.  That was his instruction.

 8        Q.   What I'm interested in knowing is whether you voluntarily went to

 9     the Crisis Staff or whether you were conscripted or ordered.  Whoever may

10     have given the order, were you conscripted or did you volunteer?

11        A.   I volunteered.

12        Q.   Now, we have a note from the Prosecution of their conversation

13     with you, I believe it was yesterday, and you indicate that the attack on

14     Vukovar started on the 4th of July, 1991.  And you specify that that was

15     an attack of combined artillery and infantry.  Now, I'll get right to the

16     point without beating around the bush.  Isn't it true that the first

17     combined infantry and artillery attack on Vukovar occurred -- started on

18     the 24th of August, 1991?

19        A.   Yes, that was a JNA attack.  On the 4th of July paramilitary Serb

20     units attacked Borovo Naselje.  I'm talking about the formations that

21     were established between March and July 1991.  Those Serbs were mobilised

22     and joined those paramilitary units.  Those were Serb paramilitary units.

23     I don't know how else to call them.  Those were local Serbs who acted in

24     concert with those who had come from Serbia.  So that was not a JNA

25     attack on Croatians; it was an attack of the local Serbs against the

Page 2276

 1     local Croatians, and that took place on the 4th of July, 1991.

 2        Q.   And artillery was not involved in that, was it?

 3        A.   What do you mean when you say "artillery"?  It was a mortar

 4     attack.  It was a combined infantry and mortar attack.  Those mortars

 5     were of smaller calibre.  I don't know how else I am supposed to explain

 6     that to you.

 7        Q.   Do you remember that there was a much larger-scale attack that

 8     occurred on the 21st of August, 1991?

 9        A.   No.

10        Q.   When do you, as best you can recall, believe that the first major

11     attack occurred on Vukovar -- if I could add to that, involving the JNA?

12        A.   I believe that it was on the 14th or 15th of September when JNA

13     sent its tanks to Trpinska road and their attack ensued from there.

14        Q.   And Croat forces managed to destroy many of those tanks; isn't

15     that correct?

16        A.   Correct.

17        Q.   And, in fact, you succeeded in repelling the attack as a whole,

18     did you not?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   And you did that despite being massively outgunned and

21     outnumbered; right?

22        A.   Correct.

23        Q.   And you were able to disable the tanks using 64-millimetre Zolja

24     rocket-launchers; right?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 2277

 1        Q.   Did you also have 90-millimetre Osa rockets?

 2        A.   Yes, there were Osa rockets as well.

 3        Q.   And isn't it correct that the Serb forces at this stage sent

 4     their column straight down the middle of the road and thought they could

 5     just steamroll over you; right?

 6        A.   Yes, that's correct.  It seems that they overestimated their own

 7     force.

 8        Q.   And do I understand correctly that your tactic, the tactic of the

 9     Croat forces, was to line the roads on either side of where the tanks

10     were proceeding and would shoot using infantry from one side as a decoy

11     and would then launch rocket attacks from the other side; is that

12     correct?

13        A.   Yes, but we did not launch rockets.  We launched RPGs and Zoljas.

14        Q.   And wasn't the idea that you would attempt -- given that you had

15     a limited number of rockets, you would attempt to disable the front, the

16     lead vehicle, and the rear vehicle of the convoys, thus pinning in the

17     remaining vehicles?

18        A.   Yes, that was the tactic.

19        Q.   And concealment was, for you, essential to be able to make this

20     tactic work; correct?

21        A.   Correct.

22        Q.   And you hid in basements and in houses, behind windows and doors

23     behind which you had -- you were fortified with sandbags; correct?

24        A.   Well, we used houses as shelters.  We were not overly fortified.

25     There were no bunkers.  We used houses and ruins.  Because a lot of the

Page 2278

 1     houses had been destroyed by tanks previously and those ruins, those

 2     remains, of the former houses were used as shelters.

 3        Q.   And you were so successful at destroying tanks and armoured

 4     vehicles that the road on which this attack occurred, Trpinja road became

 5     known as "tank cemetery" amongst Croat forces; is that right?

 6        A.   Correct.

 7        Q.   And is it right to say that generally these convoys would consist

 8     of a tank up front leading armoured personnel carriers with soldiers?

 9        A.   Well, one could put it that way although they were not travelling

10     in convoys.  They move forward in a combat formation rather than a

11     convoy.

12        Q.   And your aim was to immobilise the combat formation by disabling

13     the front and the lead vehicles; correct?

14        A.   Correct.

15        Q.   Now, once you would immobilise the column, were there ever

16     occasions in which Serb soldiers tried to exit the APCs in the middle of

17     the convoy and surrender?

18        A.   I don't know that.  If you will allow me, Trpinjska road is wide

19     enough so the convoy could manoeuvre.  We did not pin it down if we

20     destroyed the tank at the front and the tank at the rear.  They could

21     still manoeuvre.  They could pull themselves out.  And if you're asking

22     me whether soldiers got killed, they did.

23        Q.   Well, you did succeed in immobilising APCs as well as tanks;

24     correct?

25        A.   Correct.

Page 2279

 1        Q.   And on those occasions, did it ever occur, did you ever see or

 2     did you ever hear, that Serb soldiers attempted to exit the APCs or any

 3     other armoured vehicle and tried to surrender?

 4        A.   I don't know that.  There were cases when those lads were

 5     captured and taken to the Vukovar Hospital.  I myself was not an

 6     eye-witness.  I just heard stories to that effect.  At that time, I never

 7     got in close contact with a live soldier.  Most of the soldiers managed

 8     to return to Trpinja unscathed once they got out from those destroyed

 9     vehicles.

10             We never used the situation in order to try and kill them when

11     you were withdrawing.  They always had an opportunity to withdraw from a

12     vehicle.  I myself never captured anybody, but I also never saw a

13     situation when withdrawing soldiers, retreating soldiers, were shot at.

14        Q.   You say they always had an opportunity to withdraw.  Did they

15     ever have an opportunity to surrender?

16        A.   As I've told you, I was not in a situation to see a soldier

17     surrendering to us.  I was not in a situation where I could receive a

18     surrendering soldier.  There must have been some who surrendered.  I

19     myself was never in such a situation.

20        Q.   Well, where were you stationed during the battle of Vukovar

21     mainly, if there was one location?

22        A.   In the Crepulje sector, in the direction of Borovo Selo.

23        Q.   But you weren't on the front line?

24        A.   Please repeat your question.

25        Q.   But you weren't on the front line, do I understand that

Page 2280

 1     correctly?

 2        A.   It was the front line.  It was the front line in the Borovo Selo

 3     sector, in Crepulje to be more specific.

 4        Q.   And did you ever see any prisoners, Serb prisoners, being brought

 5     back from Trpinjska road or elsewhere to the hospital or to any detention

 6     facility?

 7        A.   No.

 8        Q.   And do you have any idea how many Serb soldiers died in the

 9     battle of Vukovar approximately?

10        A.   I don't know.  There are speculations about that number and the

11     number of those casualties is exaggerated.  Some say 15.000, some say

12     20.000.  It doesn't seem real.  It's far-fetched, much exaggerated, I

13     would say.

14        Q.   And after the -- this engagement that you've described as

15     occurring in September along the Trpinska road when many armoured JNA

16     vehicles were immobilised, did the JNA start to change its tactics as to

17     how it sought to invade Vukovar?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   How did that change?

20        A.   Open frontal attacks stopped and were replaced by large-scale

21     shellings.

22        Q.   And in order to avoid being attacked on either side of the roads,

23     didn't they start to destroy houses on those either sides of the roads

24     and move through the neighbourhoods?  Wasn't that how they responded to

25     the success of Croat forces against their columns?

Page 2281

 1        A.   No.

 2        Q.   I should have broken up my question.  What is "no" answering to?

 3     What do you mean "no"?

 4        A.   What I'm trying to say is from the point of view of a Croatian

 5     defender.  If you start moving in a convoy of some ten vehicles and if

 6     you start opening fire from your starting point to provide support to the

 7     APC and your manpower, that's an open attack.  That's your intention, to

 8     attack.  You -- and the other side has the impression that it is being

 9     attacked.  You open fire.  It is not your intention to negotiate

10     peacefully.  If you set out from Trpinja and if you start opening fire,

11     your intention was to destroy.  None of our artillery assets could reach

12     as far as Trpinja.  We couldn't do that.

13        Q.   Sir, all I'm asking is:  Isn't it true that the JNA was moving

14     through these houses because you had devastated their armour as they

15     moved down the roads?

16        A.   I apologise.  I don't understand.  Are you referring to armoured

17     vehicles or manpower?

18        Q.   Well, I'm referring to tanks.  Instead of moving their tanks down

19     the roads on which they were --

20        A.   I've told you already.  I've told you.

21        Q.   At paragraph 7 of your statement --

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell, could you lay some foundation about

23     "these houses."  I'm a little bit lost.  What is happening here?  I mean

24     on the ground.  Obviously you seem to say that something different

25     happened after the Trpinjska road incident or battle or whatever you call

Page 2282

 1     it, but what did happen?

 2             MR. GOSNELL:  Yes, Mr. President, I haven't laid the foundation I

 3     was hoping to at the beginning of page 78.  Let me just go back.  I

 4     thought I received a different answer than I actually did receive.

 5        Q.   Sir, let me go back and ask you, after the Trpinjska road battle

 6     in which many tanks were immobilised, is it correct that the JNA started

 7     to attempt to move along the neighbourhoods through houses on either

 8     sides of the road?  Is that -- did they change their tactic along those

 9     lines?

10        A.   I'm afraid I don't understand your question.  Tanks could not go

11     through those houses.  The foundations are very solid, very firm.  A tank

12     cannot go through a house like that.  It just can't pass, so I don't

13     understand what you're asking.  A tank cannot pass through.  It can

14     destroy a house with a shell, but it cannot go through.

15        Q.   And didn't they seek to destroy these houses with shells to clear

16     a path for the tanks?  Isn't that precisely what occurred?

17        A.   No.

18        Q.   So you don't know --

19        A.   I don't see why.

20        Q.   Well, I won't take the matter further, sir.  I'd like to direct

21     your attention to paragraph 7 of your statement and you say that:

22             "The JNA were positioned between Borovo Selo and Borovo Naselje.

23     They could supervise the Serb civilians leaving the area and the

24     paramilitaries entering the area."

25             Can you tell me what period you're referring to in that

Page 2283

 1     paragraph?  Is it throughout the battle of Vukovar or starting as of what

 2     date?

 3        A.   It started with the events in Borovo Selo on the 2nd of May until

 4     the 4th of July, so it's those two months.

 5        Q.   And your understanding was that the JNA was controlling whether

 6     or not to allow paramilitaries into the area; is that right?

 7             I'm not sure if we got the answer.

 8        A.   Yes.  The JNA was controlling entries of paramilitaries from

 9     Borovo Selo to Borovo Naselje and exits of paramilitaries from

10     Borovo Selo to Borovo Naselje.

11        Q.   Now, sir, at paragraph 19 you describe being lined up in front of

12     the commerce building on the 19th of November.  And then you describe, in

13     the following paragraphs, being transported and eventually ending up as

14     you've described earlier today at Bogojevo.  And what I'd like to ask you

15     is first a general question.  From the time that you were lined up at the

16     commerce building until you arrive in Bogojevo, was it your understanding

17     that throughout that entire time you were in the custody of one or

18     another unit of the JNA?

19        A.   If you mean the active personnel of the JNA, no.  As for the JNA,

20     there was only one officer, that major I mentioned, who was an

21     active-duty officer and the rest were all reservists and paramilitaries.

22        Q.   Well, by "JNA," I meant active-duty, regular JNA, or reserve.

23        A.   Yes, there was active-duty personnel, for instance, that officer,

24     and there were people dressed in JNA uniform with the JNA insignia,

25     including the five-point star.

Page 2284

 1        Q.   And the one part of your description that leaves it unclear as to

 2     who is escorting you is your description of moving from the Komerc

 3     building to where you were picked up by buses.  You say that you were

 4     picked up by three buses.

 5             Now, my question for you is:  Between the Komerc building and the

 6     time when you were picked up by three buses, which you describe at

 7     paragraph 27 of your statement, who was it who actually escorted you

 8     there?

 9        A.   We were escorted by paramilitaries.  When I say "paramilitary," I

10     mean men who had different insignia from the JNA.

11        Q.   And was this Gojkovic with them?

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   And did the major go along or did he not go along?

14        A.   I don't know whether the major went the whole way but he was

15     there when people were getting off the bus.

16             MR. GOSNELL:  Could tab 1 of the Defence list be shown to the

17     witness, please.

18        Q.   Now, earlier we were discussing -- the document is 03256.

19             Now, earlier we were discussing the 4th of July and it's fair to

20     say that this is a date that sticks out in your memory; is that right?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   Now, first of all, I should ask you to make it clear for the

23     record and not have any confusion, this is a statement that you say was

24     extracted from you with physical abuse; is that correct?

25        A.   Sorry.  This is ...

Page 2285

 1             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I believe there is an error with

 2     the hardcopy document -- was contained --

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Could you ...

 4             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The document contained -- is

 5     obviously not the one related to this witness.

 6             MR. GOSNELL:  I'm sorry, I didn't hear what the -- I didn't hear

 7     what the Registrar said, if anything.

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Registrar, could you repeat, please.

 9             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The document contained in the

10     Defence binder is not -- that it's -- this witness --

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Is not the document about this witness -- I seem

12     to remember that we have seen exactly the same --

13             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Definitely not the one under the

14     title at the --

15             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Registrar, you're -- there is a sound problem

16     there because we can't -- we hear the beginning of your sentence and then

17     the end of it, but not the substance.

18             MR. GOSNELL:  Could I add a bit of information that possibly

19     could get around this problem?  The document as well as being on our list

20     was also at -- was also at tab 7 of the Prosecution's original list.  And

21     I don't know whether the Registrar took the original list or took the

22     revised list.

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  I seem to remember that we have seen exactly the

24     same document but about another witness.  Perhaps the confusion is there.

25     I even think that it is -- that it has the same date on it.

Page 2286

 1             MR. GOSNELL:  When I look at the front page of the document, I do

 2     see the witness's name indicated.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  The one on the screen , indeed.  Yes.

 4             MR. GOSNELL:  And I believe the number is correct.  So I'm not

 5     actually sure what the difficulty is, because unfortunately I can't hear

 6     the Registrar in the location of the video.

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 8             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] If I may --

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Could you -- can you use the witness's

10     microphone?  Because yours is obviously not working well.

11             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Sure, Your Honour.  The document

12     that is contained, the hard copy document in the Defence binder isn't the

13     one that was called by the Defence.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  I'm not sure I understood.  The document --

15             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] The table of contents --

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yeah.

17             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] -- of the documents to be used

18     with this witness that was provided by Defence --

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yes --

20             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] -- lists one document that was

21     called by the Defence.

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yes.

23             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Under 65 ter number --

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Can't hear you.

25             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] With 65 ter number 3256; however,

Page 2287

 1     document with 65 ter number 3256 is not the one --

 2             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. Registrar, I don't know whether you have the

 3     Prosecution's bundle --

 4             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Not contained in the bundle.

 5             MR. GOSNELL:  -- but if you could look and see --

 6             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, I do.

 7             MR. GOSNELL:  -- whether you have the old bundle, you will see

 8     tab 7 of the old bundle would be the document that I'm looking for.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  So that is the Prosecution's old bundle,

10     Mr. Registrar, tab 7.  Would that be the document with the witness's name

11     on it?

12             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I don't think so because the

13     document under tab number 7 in the Prosecution binder is a photograph.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  We have a problem here, Mr. Gosnell.

15             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, if I may, and with the optimistic, perhaps,

16     expectation that perhaps there would be no objection, I would propose to

17     read the section of the document that I wish to use and elicit the remark

18     or any response from the witness because that's what's significant here.

19                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

20             JUDGE DELVOIE:  The Registrar tells me that we could try to

21     broadcast the document we have on the screen to the screen in Zagreb.

22                           [Trial Chamber confers]

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Let's see whether that works.

24             And in the meantime, Ms. Dennehy.

25             MS. DENNEHY:  If I may assist, Your Honours, this document was

Page 2288

 1     shown to the witness and the witness may have a copy with him still or

 2     the investigator may have a copy of that document.  So it might be

 3     helpful to ask whether the witness is in possession of that document.

 4             JUDGE DELVOIE:  But before we can ask the witness whether he has

 5     a document, we should be able to show it to him because if not -- so

 6     let's see what the broadcast solution would bring.

 7             In the meantime, Mr. Gosnell, I see the time.  How long do you

 8     think you still need?

 9             MR. GOSNELL:  I can wrap this up very shortly.  I would say

10     within five minutes.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  They have it on the screen now.

12             And then re-direct, Ms. Dennehy, just to know where we go?

13             MS. DENNEHY:  I will only have one or two questions,

14     Your Honours.

15             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  So the document is on the screen in

16     Zagreb, Mr. Gosnell, so please go ahead.

17             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you very much.

18        Q.   Mr. Witness, Mr. Sandor, I'm sorry, I understand that you've seen

19     this document in preparation for your testimony.  And just to make it

20     clear, is it correct that this is the statement that you say was

21     extracted from you under conditions that were oppressive by the JNA

22     officer investigating judge?

23        A.   With your leave, that's just a part of that detailed, long

24     statement that was dictated to us.  But I agree, that's the part of that

25     statement, yes.

Page 2289

 1             MR. GOSNELL:  Could we turn to page 2, please -- correction, that

 2     should be page 4 of the English and page 3 of the B/C/S.

 3        Q.   And, sir, if you look at the -- midway down the page, the long

 4     paragraph, this statement says:

 5             "On 4 July 1991, sometime between 0900 and 1000 hours, an

 6     exchange of rifle fire was heard," and this is referring to

 7     Borovo Naselje.  And the statement goes on:

 8             "I was at my uncle's, and at first we did not know what was

 9     happening ..."

10             First of all, is it true that you were at your uncle's on this

11     day?

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   And is it true that there was an exchange of fire at between 0900

14     and 1000 hours?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Statement goes on:

17             "Sometime later we were all called to come in front of the

18     'Nikola Demonja,' MZ local commune and I went there together with all the

19     others.  After arriving at this commune, at some point the guard also

20     came towards this MZ and then immediately left."

21             Now, first of all, is that correct?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   And by "guard," are you referring to the ZNG?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   And that's what actually happened; correct?  That's true?

Page 2290

 1        A.   Yes, that's true.

 2        Q.   The same time goes on:

 3             "This is when I heard that Serbs would be cleared out from a part

 4     of Borovo Naselje."

 5             Did you hear that at that time?

 6        A.   That was coerced.

 7        Q.   So just that sentence was the part that was inserted by the JNA

 8     investigating judge; is that right?

 9        A.   In this entire part, yes, that's correct.

10        Q.   Okay.  Was the next sentence also inserted by the JNA

11     investigating judge or is that true?

12             I'm not sure if my question came through.  The question was:  Was

13     the next sentence also inserted by the investigating judge or was that

14     true?

15        A.   Which next sentence?  I did not hear that sentence.

16        Q.   The next sentence reads:

17             "After a while in front of the local commune, Zoran Gotal, at

18     least I think it was him, told us that Zadro Blago reported that

19     Stara Banijska Street had been taken and that we could return."

20        A.   Yes, that's correct.

21        Q.   And by "return," does that mean that you had formerly lived on

22     that street?

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell, before that, what does --

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  -- the "yes, that's correct" mean?

Page 2291

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

 2             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Does that mean that it was coerced or does it

 3     mean that -- that's not clear in the transcript, I'm afraid.

 4             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

 5        Q.   Mr. Sandor, your second-last answer was not perfectly clear, so

 6     let me put the question to you again, hopefully more clearly.  Did -- was

 7     it the investigating judge who inserted the sentence about Zoran Gotal,

 8     telling you that "Zadro Blago reported that Stara Banijska Street had

 9     been taken and that we could return."  Was that true to your knowledge or

10     was that something that had been inserted against your wish into the

11     statement by the investigating judge?

12        A.   That is my statement to the effect that we were told, informed,

13     that we could go back to Stara Banijska.

14        Q.   And your statement goes on and you say:

15             "We brought the guard to Nove Banijske Street where they set up a

16     check-point.  I did not have a weapon at that time ..."

17             Now, earlier today you testified you received your rifle in June?

18        A.   That's correct, yes, and it is correct that on that day I did not

19     have a weapon.

20        Q.   But you did --

21        A.   On that day I did not manage to get hold of my weapon.  It

22     remained in my uncle's house.

23        Q.   If there were shots being fired, why would you leave your rifle

24     behind?

25        A.   Because what we heard were not only infantry shots, but also

Page 2292

 1     mortar fires.  I can give you an explanation about the two streets, Stara

 2     and Nove Banijske to shed some light on the events, maybe you will

 3     understand better.

 4        Q.   Well, let me proceed to the next sentence.

 5             "After this clearing out, it happened that literally all of the

 6     Serbs or a majority of the Serbs fled Stara Banijska and other streets."

 7             Is that part of your statement also true?

 8        A.   No.  The investigating judge inserted that and this is exactly

 9     what I was going to explain to the gentleman from the Defence.

10        Q.   Please go ahead, sir.

11        A.   Look, there are two streets.  One is Nove Banijske and

12     Stara Banijska, two streets sharing partially the same name.  Nove

13     Banijske was held by the Croatian forces, whereas Stara Banijska was held

14     by the Serb forces.  The JNA enabled Serb civilians from Stara Banijska

15     to be evacuated to Borovo Selo.  If we are talking about that buffer

16     zone.  And then Serb paramilitaries from Stara Banijska launched attacks

17     on Croatian check-points on Nove Banijske.  They launched mortar shells

18     and an infantry attack ensued.  In other words, there were no civilians

19     there.

20             This was not a mopping-up operation.  It was an operation to

21     liberate Stara Banijska, where well-armed and well-organised military

22     formations were stationed.  There were no civilians because the civilians

23     had already left and went to Borovo Selo.

24             Perhaps you will remember that I said that I used to live in

25     Stara Banijska; my house was there.  I did not mop-up Stara Banijska.  I


Page 2293

 1     went there to free my home.

 2             This was not ethnic cleansing.  All the civilians who were on

 3     that side had already fled to Borovo Selo for their own safety because

 4     they knew that the Serbs were going to attack the Croats.  All the other

 5     Serbs that remained in the area, they went completely unscathed.  Not a

 6     single Serb was even slapped.  They still live in Vukovar.  They shared

 7     the destiny of us Croats.  They live in the city of Vukovar.  And those

 8     people who claimed that were killed by us during those operations are

 9     still living happily in Vukovar.

10             I hope that the gentleman from the Defence now understands the

11     distinction between Nove and Stara Banijska.  I repeat that there were

12     well-armed and well-organised Serb paramilitary formations who used JNA

13     weaponry and the TO depots to attack Croats in the city of Vukovar, and

14     they chose the 4th of July because it was formerly celebrated as the day

15     of veterans.  And that was the first open conflict between the Croats and

16     the Serbs in the area, if we exclude hostilities by the JNA that happened

17     previously.  Thank you very much.

18        Q.   Mr. Sandor, thank you very much for your answers and your

19     patience.

20             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you, Mr. President.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Re-direct, Ms. Dennehy.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]

23                           Re-examination by Ms. Dennehy:

24        Q.   Mr. Sandor, at paragraph 85 and 86, you refer to a handwritten

25     statement that was dictated to you.  When you wrote that statement, did


Page 2294

 1     you feel free to write what you wanted to in the statement?

 2        A.   No.

 3        Q.   And did you agree with the entire contents of the statement?

 4        A.   At the end I had to state, I had to put down, that I gave my

 5     statement under no coercion, that it was not given under duress.

 6        Q.   And was it true that the statement was not given under duress?

 7        A.   That statement was given under duress.  It was dictated to me.

 8        Q.   And at paragraph 96, you refer to the proceedings before the

 9     investigative judge.  Did you feel free at the time to speak openly and

10     freely before that judge?

11        A.   No.

12        Q.   Thank you.

13             MS. DENNEHY:  No further questions.

14                           Questioned by the Court:

15             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Sandor, I have a very

16     short question for you and it consists of three different parts.  I would

17     like to come back to your detention in Sremska Mitrovica, in the prison

18     there.  Correct me if I'm wrong, that prison was actually established in

19     a building -- in a school building; is that correct?

20        A.   No, it was an old Austro-Hungarian prison.  It was a

21     purpose-built prison.  There were also classrooms for those who wanted to

22     study.  There were classrooms within the prison complex, but it was a

23     proper prison.

24             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well.  So it was a prison but

25     there were classrooms, right?  Did I understand you well?

Page 2295

 1        A.   Yes, you understood me properly.

 2             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] In the basement or on the ground

 3     floor of that prison - I'm reading on page 59, lines 6 and 7 of today's

 4     transcript - you remembered that there was a man called Nikola Cibaric

 5     who was taken to the basement of that building; is that correct?

 6        A.   I apologise.  You did not understand.  Cibaric was not taken to

 7     Sremska Mitrovica, to the prison building there, but to Luzac which is a

 8     suburb on Vukovar.  That's where he was detained in a school in the

 9     basement.  It was either a school or the local commune building but it

10     was outside of Vukovar.

11             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this

12     clarification.  And my last question, you told us that there was

13     ill-treatment, that he was ill-treated.  Do you know that -- whether he

14     survived or whether he succumbed to the wounds?

15        A.   Yes, he himself told me what he had gone through because we

16     shared the same cell in Sremska Mitrovica subsequently.  That happened to

17     him when he was taken prisoner in Vukovar and then our paths crossed in

18     Sremska Mitrovica when we were detained there together.

19             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for your

20     answers.  Now I see where my confusion may have arisen from.  He was

21     first taken prisoner and then you were detained together later.

22        A.   I apologise, I was brought to Mitrovica before him.  I was the

23     one who was in that cell first in Sremska Mitrovica, and he rejoined me

24     later.  I believe that he was brought in perhaps two or three days later.

25     I don't know where he was in the meantime.  What happened to him happened

Page 2296

 1     in Vukovar in the suburb called Cibac, and later on in the camps known as

 2     Begejci and Stajicevo.  I don't know what they're called.  He joined me

 3     in my cell later.  I was there before him.

 4             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you for all these

 5     clarifications.  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Sandor, this brings your testimony to an end.

 7     Thank you for coming to Zagreb to assist the Tribunal.  You're now

 8     released as a witness and we wish you a safe journey back home.  Thank

 9     you very much.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thank you for your

11     patience.  Thank you.

12                           [The witness withdrew via videolink]

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Court adjourned.

14                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.21 p.m.,

15                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day of

16                           January, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.