Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3483

 1                           Friday, 8 March 2013

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

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

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

 6     courtroom.

 7             Mr. Registrar, can we have the appearances, please.  Sorry.

 8     Could you call the case, please.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Sure, Your Honours.

10             This is the case IT-04-75-T, The Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.

11             Thank you.

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

13             May we have the appearances, please, starting with the

14     Prosecution.

15             MR. STRINGER:  Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.  For

16     the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Matthew Gillett; our Case Manager,

17     Indah Susanti; and legal interns, Jennifer Sorby-Adams and

18     Adrianne Michael.

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  And for the Defence.

20             MR. GOSNELL:  Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours.  It's

21     Christopher Gosnell for Mr. Hadzic this morning.

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

23             The witness may be brought in.

24                           [The witness entered court]

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Good morning, Mr. Witness.


Page 3484

 1             First of all, can you hear me in a language you understand?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

 4             Could you please state your first and last name, date of birth

 5     and ethnicity.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mate Brletic, born on the

 7     13th of July, 1940, Croat ethnicity.

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

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

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

11     to you that by doing so, you expose yourself to the penalties of perjury

12     should you give false or untrue information to the Tribunal.

13             Can I ask you to make the solemn declaration now.  The

14     Court Usher will give you the text.

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

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

17                           WITNESS:  MATE BRLETIC

18                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you very much.  You may be seated.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gillett.

22             MR. GILLETT:  Thank you, President, Your Honours.

23                           Examination by Mr. Gillett:

24        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Brletic.

25        A.   Good morning.

Page 3485

 1        Q.   Did you testify before this trial in the case of Prosecutor and

 2     Dokmanovic in 1998?

 3        A.   I did.

 4             MR. GILLETT:  And for Your Honours, the 65 ter number of the

 5     testimony is 4705, Your Honours.

 6        Q.   Now, sir, did you have the opportunity this week in The Hague to

 7     review the audio of your testimony from Dokmanovic in a language that you

 8     understand and to provide any corrections?

 9        A.   I did.

10             MR. GILLETT:  Your Honours, there is one correction that needs to

11     be made to the English transcript from Dokmanovic, and this is at

12     transcript page 1325, where it states that 70 per cent of the population

13     of Ilok were in favour of a surrender of arms to the JNA.  We discovered

14     this during proofing and we informed the Defence about it, so I'd propose

15     having the witness verify what he in fact said during the Dokmanovic

16     hearing and then we'll, following that, apply to the Registry concerning

17     the transcripts from Dokmanovic, if that's agreeable.

18                           [Trial Chamber confers]

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Please do.

20             MR. GILLETT:

21        Q.   Mr. Brletic, is it correct that during your testimony in

22     Dokmanovic, you in fact stated that when the referendum was taken,

23     70 per cent of the population in Ilok were against a surrender of arms to

24     the JNA?

25        A.   That is correct.  That is what I stated and made the correction.

Page 3486

 1     70 per cent of citizens declared against a surrender of arms, declared to

 2     be against the surrender of arms to the Yugoslav army.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  With that correction in mind are you satisfied that

 4     your testimony from Dokmanovic is accurate and correct?

 5        A.   I am satisfied my testimony is accurate and correct.

 6        Q.   And if you were asked about the same matters today, would you

 7     provide the same answers?

 8        A.   They would be the same.

 9             MR. GILLETT:  Your Honours, the Prosecution tenders

10     65 ter testimony 4705.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

12             THE REGISTRAR:  Shall be assigned Exhibit P1418.  Thank you.

13             MR. GILLETT:  Thank you.

14        Q.   Sir, I'm now going to ask you some additional questions

15     concerning the matters in your testimony.

16             First, could you tell us the approximate ethnic composition of

17     Ilok prior to the conflict in 1991.

18        A.   The ethnic composition of Ilok was 12 per cent of

19     Croats [as interpreted], 14 per cent of Slovaks, and the rest were

20     Croats, 76 per cent -- 74 percent.

21        Q.   Sir, in the transcript, it has said that 12 per cent of the

22     population was Croats but also that 74 per cent of the population were

23     Croats.

24             Could you confirm which ethnicity were the 74 per cent?

25             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  12 per cent were

Page 3487

 1     Serbs.

 2             MR. GILLETT:  Thank you very much.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 74 per cent were Croats of the

 4     overall population.

 5             MR. GILLETT:

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Sir, at transcript page 1313 of your testimony in

 7     Dokmanovic, you describe the procedure usually followed by the JNA when

 8     it attacked villages in the SBWS.  You state that they first issued

 9     ultimatums, then they used heavy artillery and then entered the villages.

10     In relation to the shelling with heavy artillery, did they target

11     military objectives?

12        A.   Since there were no military targets in villages, none could have

13     been targeted.  Rather, it was businesses, and churches, and buildings

14     where representatives of local authorities were housed that were

15     targeted.

16        Q.   And when they entered the villages, which Serb forces would

17     enter?

18        A.   When villages were shelled from a certain distance, the shelling

19     was done by the regular forces of the JNA.  When the shelling ended, the

20     regular forces of the Yugoslav army would retreat from the village and

21     move on to other tasks.  Subsequently, the reservists of the Yugoslav

22     army and -- and local Serbs would enter these villages.

23        Q.   You referred to the local Serbs and paramilitaries entering

24     villages at transcript pages 1339 to 1340 from your testimony, and you

25     say that they would commit atrocities in the villages.

Page 3488

 1             Could you describe what atrocities they would commit.

 2        A.   When these forces came, and we referred to them as the

 3     paramilitary forces, they would come to the villages with the assistance

 4     of local Serbs.  They would target specific individuals, abuse them

 5     physically and psychologically, which would then lead to the worst of

 6     all, i.e., murders that they would commit.

 7        Q.   Which villages did this occur in that you're aware of?

 8        A.   It was the villages surrounding Ilok and Vukovar.

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Can the witness please be asked to repeat the

10     witness -- the villages slowly, since he is reading.

11             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

12             MR. GILLETT:

13        Q.   Could you please repeat the villages that you just mentioned.

14        A.   Sotin, Tovarnik, Ilaca, Nijemci, Svinjarevci, Cakovci, Boksic,

15     Miklusevci, Dzeletovci, Jankovci, Lovas, Opatovac, Bapska, Mohovo,

16     Sarengrad, Dzeletovci.

17        Q.   Sir, I see that you're reading from a document, and I'd ask you

18     to answer the questions without referring to this document for the

19     meanwhile, if that's all right.

20             MR. GOSNELL:  Can I ask what document is in front of the witness?

21     I didn't know that he had anything.

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Witness, what -- what document do you have in

23     front of you?  What is it?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a document entitled:  Persons

25     killed, gone missing, and -- and those who ended up in camps.

Page 3489

 1             So it's a list of persons from these villages who ended up in

 2     camps, were killed, or ...

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Witness, I'm sure that if -- if there are

 4     questions in that regard, that the -- the party questioning you will show

 5     you documents that are to be eventually exhibits in -- in this case or

 6     that are already exhibits in this case.

 7             So I would suggest you to put that document away and wait for the

 8     questions.

 9             MR. GILLETT:  Thank you, President.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Understood.

11             MR. GILLETT:

12        Q.   Now, you mentioned that the JNA would first shell villages and

13     then the paramilitaries or, you've said today, reservists, would enter

14     the villages and commit crimes.

15             Did the JNA take any measures to prevent those crimes or to

16     punish the perpetrators of those crimes?

17        A.   No.  The JNA did not prevent the perpetrators from committing

18     crimes.

19        Q.   Were the JNA and the paramilitaries acting in co-ordination?

20        A.   They most probably were.

21        Q.   Do you know who these people that you referred to as

22     paramilitaries, and today you've referred to as reservists, reported to?

23        A.   They reported to the JNA, in part; that was a part of the reserve

24     force of the former Yugoslavia.

25             Secondly, the insurgent Serbs reported to the government of

Page 3490

 1     Krajina.

 2             MR. GOSNELL:  Your Honour, I object to this.  There's nothing

 3     about this in the proofing note, nothing about this in any of the

 4     witness's prior statements.  I realise I can address it on

 5     cross-examination but now evidence has just been elicited that I -- I can

 6     only say I'm surprised that there isn't notice.

 7             MR. GILLETT:  Your Honours, in the witness's testimony, he

 8     describes the actions of the JNA and then paramilitaries, which he has

 9     called reservists, coming into villages.  So I -- I submit the natural

10     follow-up question is to find out who these people report to.

11             I'd add there is mention in his testimony of the civilian

12     authorities having an ability to influence the actions of these -- these

13     people involved in various actions.  So there is some reference to this.

14             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, with great respect to that, Mr. President,

15     there isn't.  And the Prosecution knows that this is directly

16     incriminating.  And that element should have been communicated to us and

17     it hasn't been.

18             MR. GILLETT:  Your Honours at transcript page 13 - I believe -

19     39, in his Dokmanovic testimony, to 1340, the witness mentions the that

20     the civilian authorities could have influenced members of the JNA in

21     their actions.

22             MR. GOSNELL:  But, Mr. President, whether the civilian

23     authorities could influence the JNA officers is not the same issue that

24     the witness has just testified to.  It's a different issue.  It's about

25     control over paramilitaries or even influence.  The witness testified

Page 3491

 1     that the reference that was just given to you by the Prosecution concerns

 2     an alleged level of influence by Mr. Dokmanovic over JNA officers.  It's

 3     an entirely different issue.

 4             MR. GILLETT:  Well, if I could add one more follow-up.  Given

 5     that the witness has said that these two forces were acting in

 6     co-ordination, we would say that the two issues are linked, and it's a

 7     natural follow-up to find out who the reporting chain went to.

 8             Thank you.

 9                           [Trial Chamber confers]

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Objection -- the objection is sustained.  And we

11     would ask you, Mr. Gillett, to move on.

12             MR. GILLETT:  Thank you.

13        Q.   Witness, did you personally see members of the JNA together with

14     paramilitary forces at any time?

15        A.   I did.

16        Q.   Where?

17        A.   I saw them at Backa Palanka when I was going to fetch the

18     observers of the European committee, whom I was supposed to escort to

19     Ilok.  There, together with the Yugoslav officers, there were

20     representatives, political leaders from an area of Vukovar and

21     Backa Palanka.  Mr. Dokmanovic, Kertes, Ljubo Novakovic, and others.

22        Q.   Turning to the events in Ilok, in your testimony at transcript

23     page 1309 to 1310, you described how the inhabitants of surrounding

24     villages such as Sotin, Ilaca, Nijemci fled to Ilok in September 1991.

25     What were the conditions like in Ilok when all these refugees were in

Page 3492

 1     that town?

 2        A.   When these villages fell, many people headed for Ilok in the hope

 3     of finding refuge there, since Ilok was peaceful at the time.  It was

 4     surrounded by the forces of the Yugoslav army which did not engage in

 5     combat.  The inhabitants of these villages were received by us and

 6     accommodated.  We secured food supplies for them and provided

 7     accommodation for them, and this situation prevailed until Ilok itself

 8     had to flee the area.

 9        Q.   Did you have sufficient supplies of food and electricity for this

10     increase in the population?

11        A.   When these refugees, as we called them, arrived from the nearby

12     locations, problems emerged with food supplies and accommodation.  We

13     overcame these problems somehow, but the JNA frequently cut off

14     electricity, which we were receiving from the Republic of Serbia.  It was

15     thus in their power to cut off electricity.  With these intermittent

16     power cuts, we were unable to use various appliances, and we didn't have

17     a supply of water.  This was additional pressure at a time when there

18     were more than 20.000 people in Ilok, and all the various settlements

19     around Ilok amounted to more than 10.000 people; in other words, the

20     population of Ilok doubled at the time.

21        Q.   Moving to after the mass exodus on 17 October 1991, what were the

22     conditions like for the Croats who remained in Ilok after this point in

23     time?

24        A.   The Croats who remained in Ilok were treated by the former

25     authorities of Krajina as citizens of -- second-rate citizens, in fact,

Page 3493

 1     because the area was settled by Serbs from elsewhere in Croatian such as

 2     Virovitica, Podravska Slatina, et cetera.  It so happened that the

 3     majority population in Ilok at the time were Serbs, whereas the Croats

 4     were a minority.

 5             For a while after the exodus, the JNA remained in Ilok.  Yugoslav

 6     officers found accommodation in those family houses that were better off,

 7     where the husbands or the heads of that family had to flee or were absent

 8     through some other reasons, and the women who stayed there were forced to

 9     put up with these men who they had to cook for and serve them.

10             Certain men were brought in to the police station that had been

11     set up by the SAO Krajina authorities.  They were mentally and physically

12     abused.  They were questioned about weapons and asked to surrender

13     weapons that they didn't have.  The position was that they had hidden the

14     weapons that we had in our possession while we were still in Ilok.

15             Likewise, men were mobilised at a later stage and forced to do

16     labour at the front line in the area of Nijemci.  They were forced to do

17     hard labour.  They were also beaten and physically and mentally abused.

18        Q.   Thank you.

19             MR. GILLETT:  Could we now play video which is Exhibit P322.

20                           [Video-clip played]

21             THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] The reporter:  We are moving to the

22     area of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.  After the press conference,

23     dear viewers, that was held today in Erdut we asked Goran Hadzic,

24     president of the Serb region of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem to

25     answer some questions for viewers of the Belgrade television.

Page 3494

 1             "Mr. Hadzic, to what extent is the fierce fighting going on now

 2     if we can put it that way, in this theatre of war?  What are the

 3     prospects of this war?

 4             "Goran Hadzic:  Fights -- the fighting is intense.  The first

 5     action, the first part, meaning the liberation of Western Srem, is in its

 6     final stages.  As I said, the fighting for Vukovar is going on.  We can

 7     say that our units control nearly 50 per cent of the city.  We have

 8     secure positions and are advancing house by house.  The action of mopping

 9     of Ustasha villages was also carried out in the last two days.  Following

10     the mopping of Sid-Vinkovci section, a couple of Ustasha villages in this

11     section of the central part of our region were mopped up three days ago,

12     so Bogdanovci and the villages done there.  Some villages surrender.  In

13     Ilok, specifically, one wing is offering to surrender while the other

14     extreme faction will not let them.  I will have talks regarding this

15     issue today so they can surrender their weapons and the perpetrators can

16     be held responsible before the law, and the innocent can stay and live

17     with us.

18             "The reporter:  Is the territorial army the defenders of the

19     village, the Yugoslav People's Army, launching a stronger offensive since

20     as you yourself are aware there is talk about a great number of

21     complaints with regard to intense war activities, especially by the JNA?

22             "Goran Hadzic:  Well, there are complaints.  These are, I could

23     say, relatively justified given the attitude and possibilities.  Our goal

24     is not a mass killing of Croats but punishing individuals in their midst.

25     This means we have tried everything through democratic and other peaceful

Page 3495

 1     means to prevent this.  However, even after the signing of the truce,

 2     agreements and negotiations, the Ustasha continue disregarding these

 3     signatures.  It means I do not trust them at all.  There can be no

 4     negotiation with them so we will have to have some co-ordinated action

 5     between the people and the army."

 6             The interpreter skipped a passage because it was too fast.

 7             MR. GILLETT:  That's okay.

 8        Q.   Sir, in the video Hadzic refers to mopping up Ustasha villages.

 9     What does this phrase "mopping up" refer to?

10             MR. GOSNELL:  Objection.  Is this a question about what

11     Mr. Hadzic meant, or is it a question about what the witness understands

12     that phrase to mean, in his own head.

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Please clarify, Mr. Gillett.

14             MR. GILLETT:

15        Q.   Mr. Witness, from your experience, what does the phrase "mopping

16     up" refer to?

17        A.   As we were looking at this footage of Mr. Hadzic, we could see

18     that he, as one of the politicians, and one of the almost military

19     commanders who had influence on the actions to clear these villages, he

20     could have done something to prevent crimes.  The innocent people cannot

21     be blamed that they are ethnic Croats.  When this term "mopping up" is

22     used, it is implied that they were searching for Ustashas.  We never had

23     Ustashas in our ranks.  We never had any troops that belonged to the

24     Home Guards Corps, the ZNG, or the police.  When the Serb forces and the

25     Yugoslav People's Army raided our villages - I'll just mention one place,

Page 3496

 1     which is Lovas - after the shelling, the residents fled towards Ilok to

 2     find refuge.  The army withdrew and then paramilitaries came in and

 3     perpetrated a crime, almost genocide.  They drove 23 men into a

 4     minefield.  They all got killed.  There are records about this case.

 5     This is genocide.  This is something terrible, an atrocity.  And I

 6     believe that Mr. Hadzic, who was at the top of that pyramid, the

 7     political and the military pyramid in SAO Krajina, could have prevented

 8     that crime.  He should not have allowed the commander of the police or

 9     the paramilitary formations, Ljubomir Devetak from Lovas who directly

10     commanded these forces, to co-operate with Mr. Stanisic who was chief of

11     the state security of Serbia.

12        Q.   Sir, if I could just ask you to focus on Ilok, which is mentioned

13     in the clip that we've just seen, Mr. Hadzic refers to Ilok and says that

14     he will have talks regarding the surrender of weapons.  What is he

15     referring to in that phrase?

16             MR. GOSNELL:  Objection.  That is asking for speculation.

17             MR. GILLETT:  Your Honours, the witness was based in Ilok at the

18     time and intricately involved in the events there.  Mr. Hadzic refers to

19     negotiations and the surrender of arms in Ilok, so I feel the witness is

20     well placed to comment on what that could relate to within the town.

21             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, the question was:  What he is referring to in

22     that phrase.  And it's not good enough to say what he could have been

23     referring to.  That's exactly what speculation is.  It is asking the

24     witness to speculate about what Mr. Hadzic meant.

25             MR. GILLETT:  Well, I submit it's not pure speculation when

Page 3497

 1     Mr. Hadzic refers to a factual event of surrender of arms which is also

 2     something commented on in the witness's testimony, and he is in a place

 3     to answer whether this could relate to the same facts.

 4             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Please proceed with caution.

 5             MR. GILLETT:  Thank you.

 6        Q.   I will repeat my question.

 7             When Mr. Hadzic refers to having talks regarding the surrender of

 8     weapons, do you know what this could relate to?

 9        A.   Well, he probably meant the definitive talks that the JNA was

10     having with the representatives of the civilian and military authorities

11     in Ilok and the surrounding places about the surrender the weapons.  In

12     some places these agreements were observed and arms were surrendered, but

13     regardless of the fact that they were surrendered, the paramilitaries

14     came into those places and committed what they committed, what I

15     described.

16             In Ilok, weapons were not surrendered.  Instead, we were

17     conducting talks.  Never, in the homeland war, I never saw in my area

18     Goran Hadzic or met him as part of a delegation or saw him having talks

19     with us about the surrender of weapons.

20        Q.   I'm now going to turn to some additional documents concerning

21     events in Ilok.

22             MR. GILLETT:  So if I could ask that we get P321 on the monitor,

23     please.

24             MR. GOSNELL:  I'm just wondering if the Prosecution is going to

25     make a request for additional time with this witness.

Page 3498

 1             JUDGE DELVOIE:  I was looking at the clock, Mr. Gosnell, indeed.

 2             MR. GILLETT:  Indeed.  We -- in our most recent exhibit list, we

 3     noted that we'd seek 45 minutes with this witness because there are a

 4     number of documents that he could comment on, and also in light of the

 5     amount of available time in the schedule, we felt that we could, since

 6     the witness is here, get him to comment on some relevant documents.

 7             So we would seek to have that extra time to address these

 8     matters.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Nothing from your side, Mr. Gosnell?

10             MR. GOSNELL:  This was originally a 92 bis witness.  I understand

11     that technically under the Rules here once a 92 bis witness is called for

12     cross-examination they are converted to 92 ter.  Under the old Rules once

13     a 92 bis witness was called for cross-examination, it was only for

14     cross-examination.

15             Now I haven't objected in any way and said that they shouldn't

16     also ask clarifying questions, but I am starting to think that we're

17     converting this into a full-blown 92 ter witness, and they're taking a

18     considerable about of time to elicit a lot of information that wasn't in

19     the 92 bis statement.

20             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President, could I just offer one

21     additional comment before Your Honours consider the issue.

22             The consistent position taken by the Defence in this case from

23     the very beginning has been that documents should come in through

24     witnesses, not bar table motions.  We tried to offer a bar table motion

25     shortly before the beginning of the trial which would have covered some

Page 3499

 1     of the most non-controversial - in our view - documents.  The position

 2     consistently taken is, if a witness can speak to documents, the witness

 3     should do it.

 4             Now, if counsel is agreeing that the documents we'd like to put

 5     to this witness today can actually be admitted, be a bar table motion at

 6     the end of the trial, then we'll withdraw these now and we can be

 7     finished.

 8             The Trial Chamber wants to hear the witness comment on them

 9     instead, then I propose we go forward.

10             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, just a small point on that, Mr. President.

11     These documents would not have come in through the witness if the 92 bis

12     motion filed by the Prosecution had been granted.  So nothing is being

13     taken away here.

14                           [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]

15                           [Trial Chamber confers]

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gillett, we, and the Defence, of course -- -

17     we were on very short notice about the extra time you asked for.

18             We will allow it exceptionally.  So please proceed.

19             MR. GILLETT:  Thank you, Your Honour.

20             If I could get document P321 on the screen, please.  And page --

21     page 4 of the English.

22        Q.   Sir, this is a meeting of 9 October 1991.  And you are listed as

23     present at this meeting.  About halfway down the page, we see an F. Leko

24     who says that:

25             "... Hadzic has said regardless of negotiations being conducted,

Page 3500

 1     he will level Ilok."

 2             First, who was F. Leko?

 3        A.   Mr. Leko was, at the time, a member of the town assembly in Ilok.

 4     And that's his statement.  He said that he heard on radio or television

 5     that Goran Hadzic had made such a public statement.

 6        Q.   And do you recall Mr. Leko making that statement at that meeting?

 7        A.   Yes.  Yes, I recall that he said he had heard a speech by

 8     Mr. Hadzic in which Mr. Hadzic had said that he would level Ilok.

 9             MR. GILLETT:  Could we now get document 05057 on the screen,

10     please.

11        Q.   Now, this document states that it's a copy of the agreement of

12     14 October 1991 concerning the exodus from Ilok.  Do the terms in this

13     document match those in the agreement that was signed for the departure

14     of the non-Serb inhabitants of Ilok?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Now, Article 1 refers to the referendum.  What was the attitude

17     of the JNA concerning the results of the referendum in Ilok?

18        A.   When the referendum was carried out, the representatives of the

19     Yugoslav army were of course not happy with the result, because they had

20     expected that the result of the referendum would be negative.  In

21     reality, it turned out to be a positive vote in favour of the exodus so

22     that all the residents of Ilok would move to the free territory of

23     Croatia.

24        Q.   And why would the JNA be unhappy with the vote in favour of an

25     exodus?

Page 3501

 1        A.   The Yugoslav army did not find it in its interest that the

 2     population from Ilok and the places I've mentioned move to the free

 3     territory of Croatia.  There was widespread propaganda by the politicians

 4     of SAO Krajina advocating the destruction of all the population in that

 5     area and its replacement with Serb population, so that within near future

 6     that area could be annexed to Serbia.  Whereas, after the referendum and

 7     the exodus, it would not remain a part of SAO Krajina.  They did not want

 8     the Croatian population to stay in that area.

 9        Q.   But I'll repeat:  Why would the JNA be unhappy with that outcome?

10        A.   The JNA had a completely free hand, and it had plans and designs

11     how to occupy territory.  They asked us to surrender weapons.  We did not

12     accept that ultimatum.  Instead, we agreed that we wanted to remain

13     living in our area in peace and have a free town and a free population

14     and that the JNA may not come into town territory.

15             If the referendum had not been conducted, there would have had to

16     be a direct conflict between the ZNG and the police of Ilok, on one hand,

17     and the Yugoslav army, on the other hand.  We would have been in such a

18     position that after that conflict there could be no talks.  There would

19     be no one to talk to because, at that time, the Yugoslav army had 25.000

20     men deployed around Ilok, over 200 artillery pieces, over 100 tanks,

21     which means that it was preparing to completely destroy Ilok.  We have

22     guarantees from militaries -- military sources that they were intending

23     to completely destroy Ilok because, on 4 to 5 square kilometres over 150

24     shells can be fired within one second.  So they were able to raze Ilok

25     completely and the entire population would be killed under shelling and

Page 3502

 1     under bombing from the air.  And that would have been a genocide of the

 2     kind that humanity does not remember.  And that is why the people of Ilok

 3     were forced to flee, to save their women and children, to prevent such a

 4     genocide.

 5        Q.   Okay.

 6             MR. GILLETT:  I'll tender this document at this time.

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Shall be assigned Exhibit P1419.  Thank you.

 9             MR. GILLETT:  Thank you.  Could we get document 02094 on the

10     monitor, please.

11        Q.   Sir, this is a report written by a Mato Baterovic [phoen].  Do

12     you know this person?

13        A.   I do.

14        Q.   Who is he?

15        A.   He used to be the custodian of the museum in Ilok.

16        Q.   The report refers to destruction to a number of religious sites

17     listed and I won't run through them except to note that one of them is

18     listed as Orthodox church, Gavrilo, in Sarengrad.  Apart from that, do

19     you know what denomination or religion the other churches were?

20        A.   They were Catholic and Serb Orthodox churches.  And other

21     business premises.

22        Q.   Which ones were Catholic churches?  If we go back to page 1.

23        A.   There was the church of Virgin Mary.  There was the --

24             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not get all these names.

25     Could the witness be asked to repeat.

Page 3503

 1             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

 2             MR. GILLETT:

 3        Q.   Sir, could you repeat which churches were Catholic churches.

 4        A.   The Catholic churches were Our Lady's Church,

 5     Saint Ivan Kapistran, Saint Paul's Church, another Catholic church in

 6     Ilok, Saint George's Church in Bapska.  The Orthodox church in Sarengrad.

 7     The new church of Nikola Tavelic in Mohovo.  All the crosses in Bapska

 8     and Sarengrad and in Ilok.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  And do you know who caused the destruction to these

10     religious sites?

11        A.   This destruction was perpetrated by the Yugoslav army.

12             MR. GILLETT:  Your Honours, we would tender this at this time.

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

14             THE REGISTRAR:  Shall be assigned Exhibit P1420.  Thank you.

15             MR. GILLETT:  Could I check with the Registrar if I have any

16     minutes remaining.

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  [Microphone not activated]

18             MR. GILLETT:  May I ask a final question.

19        Q.   Sir, in your testimony at transcript page 1328 in Dokmanovic, you

20     mentioned that during the exodus on 17 October 1991, you saw him present

21     on the bridge.  Did you see any other Serb officials present during that

22     exodus, and who were they?

23             MR. GOSNELL:  Is the witness's answer reflected in the proofing

24     note or in any previous statement?  I don't know what the witness is

25     going to say.  Maybe it is.  I'm just -- I would just like to know from


Page 3504

 1     the Prosecutor whether they know what the answer is and whether it's

 2     reflected in any previous statement or proofing note.

 3             MR. GILLETT:  The answer is something that is, I think, in the

 4     testimony at some points but it's not clear, and that's why I'm asking

 5     the witness to clarify this matter at the moment.

 6        Q.   Sir, could I ask you:  Which other Serb officials, if any, did

 7     you see during the exodus at the bridge when you saw Dokmanovic?

 8        A.   When the citizens of Ilok were leaving, tents had been placed by

 9     the bridge.  There were tables and chairs in the tents where refreshments

10     were offered, including sandwiches, for the representatives of the local

11     government in Backa Palanka and the representatives of the SAO Krajina.

12             Mr. Mihalj Kertes was there, as was Dokmanovic, Ljubo Novakovic,

13     the president of the assembly of the Backa Palanka, and the -- an array

14     of the Yugoslav army officers and police officers.  It was also noted

15     that there was a representative of the State Security Service of Serbia

16     there, Mr. Stanisic, and his assistant, Mr. Sarac.  That was the elite

17     that was present and witnessing something that we can call the expelling

18     of the population of Ilok in the presence of the Yugoslav army.

19             MR. GILLETT:  That completes my direct examination for this

20     witness.  Thank you, Your Honours.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

22             Mr. Gosnell, cross-examination.

23                           Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:

24        Q.   [Microphone not activated] Good morning, Mr. Brletic.

25        A.   Good morning.

Page 3505

 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the counsel, please.

 2             MR. GOSNELL:

 3        Q.   My name is Christopher Gosnell.  I represent Mr. Hadzic in these

 4     proceedings.  I'm going to ask you a few questions.  If any of my

 5     questions aren't clear or you need clarification, please feel free to ask

 6     me and I'll try to do that.  Do you understand?

 7        A.   Very well.  Yes.

 8        Q.   Earlier today you testified -- you were asked a question about

 9     the term "mopping up," and the answer that you gave was:  "When this term

10     'mopping up' is used it is implied that they were searching for Ustashas.

11     We never had any troops that belonged to the Home Guards, the ZNG, or the

12     police."

13             Do I understand from that answer that you're saying the mopping

14     up was directed at the ZNG or the police or the Home Guard?

15        A.   Well, it was normal that that should be directed at mopping up

16     the members of the ZNG and the police that happened to be in the town

17     itself.

18        Q.   But you're saying there were none there; is that right?

19        A.   Well, it was normal.  In all the locations that I mentioned,

20     there were members of the National Guard Corps.

21        Q.   Well, your testimony earlier was:  "We never had any troops that

22     belonged to the Home Guards, the ZNG, or the police."

23             Whom did you mean when you said "we" when you answered that

24     question?

25        A.   I think that in these villages and the town of Ilok, there was a

Page 3506

 1     unit of the National Guard Corps formed - that's to say, the Croatian

 2     army - and there were police stations there, there was the police station

 3     of Ilok which had its area that it covered all the way to Tovarnik, and

 4     that area over there was covered by others.

 5             There was the Croatian police in Lovas, Opatovac, and there were

 6     also some members of the ZNG.

 7        Q.   Well, your answer now makes it hard for me to understand your

 8     previous answer because you said "we never had any troops that belonged

 9     to the Home Guards, the ZNG, or the police."

10             Now you're saying that, in fact, you did have such troops in the

11     area; correct?

12        A.   Sir, we didn't have the Ustashas and the Home Guards.  Those were

13     terms belonging to the Second World War.  At that time, there were units

14     of the Ustashas.  But this term continued to be used by the Serb

15     population, and members of the ZNG were referred to as the Ustashas.  And

16     you know this full well.

17        Q.   Well, that's very helpful.  That actually was my primary

18     question.  Thank you.

19             MR. GOSNELL:  Could we have 02216 on the screen, please, which is

20     Prosecution tab 2.

21        Q.   Sir, do you remember that you gave a statement to the

22     Office of the Prosecutor in November 1995?

23        A.   I do.

24        Q.   And do you recognise that what's on the screen in front of you is

25     the first page of that document?

Page 3507

 1        A.   Yes.

 2             MR. GOSNELL:  Could we go to the last page, please.

 3        Q.   Is that your signature there on the page?

 4        A.   It is.

 5        Q.   And in signing that statement, did you mean to signify that the

 6     contents of the statement were true and correct, to the best of your

 7     knowledge?

 8        A.   Well, yes.

 9        Q.   And you gave answers that were as complete as possible; correct?

10        A.   Correct.

11        Q.   And may I ask you whether the investigator suggested to you that

12     he was interested in any particular individuals when he was talking to

13     you during this interview?

14        A.   Well, he was probably asking me to say something about specific

15     individuals.

16        Q.   But did he specifically ask you about Mr. Dokmanovic?

17        A.   He did.

18        Q.   And am I correct in saying that in this statement, as well as in

19     your testimony before the Dokmanovic Trial Chamber in 1998, you

20     identified Mr. Dokmanovic as the president of the

21     Municipal Assembly of Vukovar?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   And, as far as you were concerned, that was the only role that he

24     had, or only position that he had; is that correct?

25        A.   Officially he held the position of the president of the assembly.

Page 3508

 1     When he left Vukovar, he endorsed the government of the SAO Krajina.

 2     What sort of function he occupied there is something that I don't know.

 3        Q.   Well, you made no mention of this -- I don't know -- I have no

 4     idea what you mean by "endorsed."  It doesn't matter.

 5             You don't make any mention of Mr. Dokmanovic having any

 6     connection whatsoever to any regional government; correct?

 7        A.   Correct.  I didn't know which functions he held later because he

 8     was not in Vukovar.  I had -- but that I had met him with politicians in

 9     Palanka, that is a fact.  He told me then, Listen, Brletic, can I enter

10     that Ilok of yours?  And I told him, Yes, you can.

11        Q.   Sir, let's just stick to the answers to my questions, please.  I

12     understand that you want to tell the story again.  But you do

13     understand -- and that's understandable, but you do understand that now

14     your testimony from Dokmanovic is in evidence before the Judges, just so

15     you do understand that.  So I'm just trying to ask a few specific

16     follow-ups and one of those follow-ups that I'm interested in is --

17     additional follow-ups is --

18        A.   Very well.  Very well.

19        Q.   Thank you, sir.  Thank you, sir.

20             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Sorry Your Honour we have an error in transcript.

21     It is in line 23.  Instead the word "end" it should be "enter," "Brletic,

22     can I enter that Ilok," not "end that Ilok."

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  I heard enter, indeed, in the translation, so

24     it's an error in the record.

25             MR. GOSNELL:

Page 3509

 1        Q.   Sir, do you realise that at no time in your statement from 1995

 2     or at any time during your testimony in the Dokmanovic case do you make

 3     any reference at all to the regional -- the Serbian regional authorities

 4     in Croatia?  And by that I mean the RSK, the SAO Krajina, or the SAO

 5     SBWS.

 6        A.   I'm aware of that.

 7        Q.   And is it correct that you never saw Mr. Dokmanovic or anyone

 8     else who you would say is connected with any of those structures

 9     participating in the negotiations for the surrender of Ilok?

10        A.   No, I didn't see any of them participating in the negotiations

11     concerning Ilok.

12        Q.   And how many such meetings did you have?  I understand that these

13     meetings occurred -- started occurring in September.  How many meetings

14     did you have to discuss the fate of Ilok?

15        A.   When I assumed the duty of the commander of the police station in

16     Ilok, I held talks with officers of the Yugoslav army on a weekly basis

17     and as needed; that's to say, with representatives of the Novi Sad corps,

18     Mr. Pero Grahovac.  These talks were held weekly and when needed more

19     often as well.

20             As the situation grew ever-more tense and pressure was exerted by

21     the Yugoslav People's Army, to the effect that they wanted to take over

22     Ilok, to take over the power in Ilok, we took this talks to a higher

23     level.  We then attended political talks in Backa Palanka, Karadjordjevo,

24     Nestin, Sid, and Vizic.  These talks were held with the delegations of

25     both the military and civilian authorities.

Page 3510

 1        Q.   Let me stop you --

 2        A.   And the subject matter was --

 3        Q.   Sorry, let me stop you there.  Am I correct in saying that the --

 4     the -- the political authorities to whom you -- with whom you -- let me

 5     rephrase.

 6             The political authorities who participated in these discussions

 7     was it primarily Mr. Ljubo Novakovic, the president of the Backa Palanka

 8     municipality?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   And Mr. Kertes?

11        A.   Kertes was there but rarely at these meetings.

12        Q.   Any other political authorities participating in any of these

13     meetings?

14        A.   There was the president of the Sid Assembly, the president of the

15     local commune of Nestin, of Vizic.  Finally, we attended the negotiations

16     with General Arandjelovic in Sid.  The negotiations were always conducted

17     in the Serbian territory.  They were never conducted in Ilok because

18     neither the government of Sid or representatives of the army wanted to

19     hold these talks in Ilok.

20        Q.   During your testimony in Dokmanovic -- well, first of all, let me

21     just ask you:  You've testified earlier today that the Yugoslav army had

22     25.000 men deployed around Ilok.  At what time period would you say that

23     they had reached the threshold of having 25.000 men around Ilok?

24        A.   That number was reached when the exodus was being prepared.  It

25     was several days before the exodus that there was a build-up of the

Page 3511

 1     forces of the Yugoslav army, which were deployed, in part, in the

 2     territory of Serbia, Principovac, Nestin, Backa Palanka and in the

 3     direction of Plavna [phoen].  That was where the Ruma division was.  And

 4     here there was the Novi Sad corps, Valjevo Corps, and the tank corps

 5     which was under the command of General Arandjelovic.

 6        Q.   [Microphone not activated] and Territorial Defence units from

 7     Serbia as well; correct?

 8        A.   There were also the reservists who were part of the Yugoslav

 9     army.

10        Q.   And one small geographic detail, isn't Principovac on the

11     Croatian side of the border between Serbia and Croatia?

12        A.   Principovac was occupied by the Yugoslav forces sometime in

13     September.  There were minor clashes there, and they simply occupied that

14     area.  Our forces were forced to --

15        Q.   And, sir, I understand that, but the question was just

16     geographic:  Is Principovac on the Croatian side of the border or is it

17     on the Serbian side of the border?

18        A.   Principovac is in Croatia.

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell, at 28, 17, there is a question --

20     your question is not on the record.  And I don't know whether it is while

21     your microphone was not on, but I think it is important that it would be

22     there, so could you repeat the question.

23             MR. GOSNELL:  Yes.  The question was:  And did that include

24     Territorial Defence units from Serbia?

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

Page 3512

 1             MR. GOSNELL:

 2        Q.   Sir, you testified in Dokmanovic, and I quote:

 3             "Had we not got out then, had we stayed for another two or three

 4     days, there would have been a terrible conflict and the entire population

 5     would have been destroyed in that area.  That was the wish of the

 6     Yugoslav officers of the Yugoslav army and of the paramilitary units that

 7     were together with the Yugoslav army."

 8             What I'm particularly interested is those last few words.  Is it

 9     true that the paramilitary units were together with the Yugoslav army?

10        A.   It is true.  Who was among the reservists was well known.  There

11     had to have been paramilitary formations as well.  I wasn't able to see

12     them or to see what it was that the Yugoslav army had at its disposal.

13        Q.   And terms of operations, and, first, let me ask you this:  How

14     did you know, for example, about the strength of the JNA forces around

15     Ilok?  What were your sources of information about that?

16             If you could briefly, sir.

17        A.   Well, listen.  You're a soldier.  You probably know the

18     composition of the JNA.  You know how it works.  There are other sources,

19     too.  It wasn't just the Yugoslav army that had its sources when

20     analysing the terrain.  We had our own professional cadre.  And we were

21     able to obtain information as -- about when the attack was imminent and

22     what sort of assets the Yugoslav army had.

23        Q.   Nothing wrong with that at all, sir.  Entirely to be expected.

24     But are you saying, then, that you had spies and infiltrators who could

25     give you this information?

Page 3513

 1        A.   That's only natural.

 2        Q.   And based on the sources that you had, did you know that, in

 3     terms of operations, in terms of operational activity, that the JNA was

 4     actually giving instructions and orders to these paramilitary units in

 5     their operations?

 6        A.   Naturally, I had information to that effect.  I was aware of it.

 7        Q.   And in your testimony in Dokmanovic, you talked at length - and

 8     I'm not going to back over it - but you talked at length about the

 9     relationship between the Territorial Defence and the JNA and one of the

10     points that you make there is that in some sense the civilian authorities

11     are providing funds for the Territorial Defence.  They may have some

12     responsibility for issuing a mobilisation order.

13             But it's true, isn't it, sir, that in terms of operations, the TO

14     is subject to the orders of the JNA; correct?

15        A.   Correct.

16        Q.   Sir, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions about the movement

17     of the population from Ilok.  And if I could, I'd just like to go back to

18     the period prior to the siege of Ilok, if we can describe it that way.

19             Were Serb civilians in Ilok --

20        A.   All right.

21        Q.   Were Serb civilians in Ilok leaving your town at any time during

22     the summer and fall of 1991?

23        A.   It is true that some individuals of Serb ethnicity left for

24     Backa Palanka and lived there until we left Ilok.

25             What the reasons for their departure were, well, I thought that

Page 3514

 1     it was peaceful in Ilok and that there was no pressure to bear on the

 2     Serbs there.

 3             MR. GOSNELL:  Could we have Prosecution tab 4.  Excuse me,

 4     Prosecution tab 5, which is 65 ter 374.

 5        Q.   Sir, this appears to be a document from the municipality of the

 6     city of Ilok.  It's dated the 8th of October, 1991.  It's directed to the

 7     Army Command, the government of the Republic of Croatia.

 8             Can I just ask you, when it says the government of the

 9     Republic of Croatia, I take it that means the republican government the

10     Croatia, the Croat government of Croatia.

11             MR. GILLETT:  Sorry, could I just note.  I think the date is

12     6 October.  It's not the greatest printout.

13             MR. GOSNELL:  Oh, thank you.  Yes.

14        Q.   Is that to the Republic of Croatia government in Zagreb?

15        A.   Among others.  The only Croatian government was in Zagreb.

16        Q.   This document is not addressed to anyone in the -- on the -- in

17     the Serb civilian regional governments, is it?

18        A.   No, it isn't.

19        Q.   If we go over to page 2.  Let me just ask before I go on:  Did

20     you have anything to do with the drafting of this document?

21        A.   No.

22        Q.   Do you know anything about how this document was drafted or who

23     it came from?

24        A.   The mayor of Ilok.

25        Q.   So you saw it before it was sent, I assume.

Page 3515

 1        A.   No.  No, I didn't see it.

 2        Q.   If we go to page 2, paragraph 7:

 3             "We invite all of those citizens of Ilok, Serbs and Croats, who,

 4     in our opinion, because of individual psychological reasons temporarily

 5     have left this community, to return to their homes which we have kept and

 6     preserved better than our own."

 7             Do I understand from this that after individuals of Serbian

 8     ethnicity who left Ilok you and other town officials were protecting the

 9     homes that had been vacated?

10        A.   Yes.  I was involved in that personally.  And as the commander of

11     the police, I spoke to these individuals in Backa Palanka one on one.

12     There were meetings held there, which they always attended, and I always

13     told them, Come back to Ilok, because there had been no revenge, nor

14     quarrel between the Serbs, Croats and Slovaks in Ilok.  Any such

15     conflicts were prevented, and nobody was ever persecuted for being a

16     Croat, Serb, or Slovak.

17             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, I do see the clock.

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you, Mr. Gosnell.

19             Mr. Witness, we take the first break now.  We will come back at

20     11.00.  The Court Usher will escort you out of the courtroom.  Thank you

21     very much.

22                           [The witness stands down]

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Court adjourned.

24                           --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.

25                           --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.

Page 3516

 1                           [The witness takes the stand]

 2             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.

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

 4        Q.   Mr. Brletic, before the break, we were talking about the homes in

 5     Ilok that had been vacated by Serbs.

 6             Do you remember that discussion?

 7        A.   I do.

 8        Q.   And you explained to us that, in fact, you never discriminated

 9     and that you did everything possible to encourage people to come back.

10     And I understand all that.  But you didn't answer the precise question I

11     asked you, which was:  Did you make efforts to safe-guard the property of

12     individuals who had left.

13        A.   All the property, in the ownership of Serbs, was preserved.

14     Nobody moved into those houses.  When they came back, they found

15     everything as they had left it.  I personally placed police at every

16     place that I had the slightest suspicion that something might happen,

17     where the owner had left for Backa Palanka or Sid.

18        Q.   How many properties are we talking about that had been vacated?

19        A.   Around 20 houses.

20        Q.   And you testified that -- in Dokmanovic that Ilok normally had a

21     population of between 6- and 7.000 but that after the attacks on Lovas

22     and other villages, that you had an influx of refugees; is that correct?

23        A.   I have already said that in the area of Ilok, namely, Ilok

24     municipality, including Bapska, San [phoen], and Mohovo villages, there

25     were 9.600 residents also.  In the course of the relevant events, some of

Page 3517

 1     the Croatian population moved to Croatia proper.  Also, 9- to 10.000

 2     people came and the population increased to around 17- to 18.000 before

 3     the exodus.

 4        Q.   Well, in your testimony in Dokmanovic, and, of course, it's easy

 5     to perhaps not be exact on these numbers, you said that the population

 6     had increased to as many as 20.000 people in Ilok itself.

 7             Does that refresh your recollection that that may have been a

 8     more accurate number, that it was 20.000?

 9        A.   Look, we did not count people.  It could be 18- or 20.000.

10     Because we did not count people.  That's why I'm saying "roughly," a

11     rough number.  Between 18- and 20.000, that's for sure.

12        Q.   And with three times the normal population in the town,

13     conditions must have been extremely crowded; correct?

14        A.   The town was really overcrowded.  There were not enough beds.  We

15     barely managed to find any accommodation.  People slept in basements

16     because there was no adequate housing.  I said we had water and

17     electricity shortages and outings even before that, and living conditions

18     were very difficult.

19        Q.   And, yet, your testimony is that you personally placed police in

20     front of the 20 apartments or houses that had been vacated by Serbs to

21     prevent anyone from going inside, notwithstanding these conditions?

22        A.   Yes.  Because I thought there was a possibility, in view of the

23     fact that people had arrived from those villages.  I could not check what

24     kind of people they were, and, of course, I had to protect a number of

25     houses that stood out.  Although those people who went to Backa Palanka,

Page 3518

 1     they came back occasionally to visit their houses.

 2        Q.   Well, if you did have someone who you thought was appropriate or

 3     responsible, would you have considered allowing them to go into one of

 4     those vacate houses?

 5        A.   No.  Because we believed that we would resolve the problem in

 6     Ilok in a peaceful way.  That's why we protected property from intruders.

 7        Q.   Now, I want to ask you a little bit about the reasons why

 8     people -- and the circumstances surrounding the departure of the

 9     population from Ilok.  And one of the things that you said in your

10     testimony in Dokmanovic was that you were under increasing pressure

11     because you didn't have access to medical services.  And one of the

12     things you said in that respect was, and I quote from page 1310 after

13     you've said that in fact you couldn't get to the Vukovar Hospital after a

14     certain stage, you say:

15             "Our other connection was with Novi Sad Hospital which meant

16     negotiating with the JNA for our wounded to be taken to the Novi Sad

17     Hospital but this would have not been feasible because each of our

18     wounded would have been killed."

19             Do you confirm that it's your view that if your wounded had gone

20     over for treatment in Novi Sad, they would have been executed?

21        A.   As for health services in Ilok, the situation was very hard.  We

22     had only four GPs --

23        Q.   Sir, your testimony from Dokmanovic is before the Judges in this

24     case.  They've -- they have it.  They can look at it.

25             I asked you a specific question, and we can make this shorter if

Page 3519

 1     you just answer the specific question, if it's possible, please.

 2        A.   It's possible.  I will answer.

 3             With that agreement with the Yugoslav army prior to departure,

 4     the agreement was that if we had any ill or wounded people, we would

 5     transfer them to Novi Sad.

 6             However, if fighting occurred between the forces of the

 7     Yugoslav army and the forces on the Croatian side, we would have been

 8     forced, in case we had many wounded, to take them to Novi Sad; but, under

 9     circumstances of conflict, those wounded would not be able to get to

10     Novi Sad, and if they were caught, they would probably not survive.

11        Q.   Well, to be clear about your testimony from Dokmanovic, you're

12     not talking about a situation of a soldier attempting to -- or being

13     caught in combat.  What you're talking about, and I quote:

14             "Negotiating with the JNA for our wounded to be taken to the

15     Novi Sad Hospital."

16             And then your supposition or opinion which you express in

17     Dokmanovic, in the Dokmanovic testimony, is that you believed that "each

18     of our wounded persons would have been killed."

19             So clearly you're talking about the prospects of your wounded

20     being permitted, based on negotiations, to go to Novi Sad Hospital and

21     receive treatment and your belief is that those people -- those people

22     would be killed if they were to be sent there; isn't that right?

23        A.   Well, sir, my answer was that it is normal in combat, in warfare.

24     There's no agreement.  There is no deal.  I was talking about a situation

25     before the fighting.  I'm -- I'll give you just one example from the

Page 3520

 1     Yugoslav army.  They had wounded men in the Vukovar Hospital.  They

 2     wanted me to turn over those men to them.  I went to Vukovar.  I took

 3     that wounded person and took him to Backa Palanka.  That is what I did

 4     out of my own good conscience.  That's natural co-operation without the

 5     conflict.

 6             Now, if, in case of a conflict I would succeed in turning over

 7     the wounded to the other side, that's very hard to say.  It happens very

 8     rarely in war that the other side gives its wounded to the enemy.

 9        Q.   So your belief is that, if I understand you correctly, it would

10     not have been possible to negotiate a transfer of wounded to Serbian

11     hospitals because the JNA would have executed those individuals; correct?

12        A.   Correct.  Because amid a conflict, such as it would have been in

13     Ilok, that would have been impossible to do.  Because some Yugoslav

14     officers with whom I co-operated, I had a good relationship with them.

15     That's why we were able to work together in peace.

16             However, immediately prior to the conflict, new officers arrived

17     who were not friendly, and that's why I said that the wounded would have

18     been executed.

19        Q.   And did other -- did others amongst those who were fighting on

20     the Croatian side in Ilok share that view; if you know?

21        A.   I did not check that.  I was in a command position of the army

22     and the police, and I have my own opinion.

23        Q.   During your testimony in Dokmanovic, you described the reluctance

24     of the JNA to permit to you leave with the population.  And what you said

25     there, and I quote from page 1325 was:

Page 3521

 1             "The Yugo army did not agree to this exodus, believing that the

 2     forces of Ilok, the joint forces of Ilok, were talking the people into

 3     leaving.  And at that point in time they asked for some kind of a

 4     guarantee from us as to why the people were leaving, and it was proposed

 5     by the civilian authorities in town to have a referendum carried out who

 6     is in favour of surrender and who is in favour of exodus, a complete

 7     exodus, from the town of Ilok."

 8             Now I understand that this referendum was held on the

 9     13th of October; is that correct?

10        A.   Correct.

11        Q.   And how, briefly, was the referendum carried out?

12        A.   The referendum was held.  It lasted about 12 hours.

13        Q.   And were there written ballots or was this done orally somehow?

14        A.   It was a written ballot.  There were leaflets where each citizen

15     circled the word "in favour" or "against" in secret.

16        Q.   And what was the question, or questions?

17        A.   The referendum was about the exodus.  Who is in favour of moving

18     out, and who is in favour of surrendering weapons.

19        Q.   And as far as you were concerned, what did you understand the

20     consequences of surrender to be?

21        A.   The consequences of surrendering weapons.  We had agreed to

22     surrendered weapons, and I insisted on that on the same day, when the

23     exodus starts at 8.00 a.m. on the day of departure, that weapons should

24     be surrendered.  And that's how it happened.

25        Q.   You see, sir, the difficulty I have is I don't understand how

Page 3522

 1     these two are mutually exclusive.  Why wouldn't it have been possible for

 2     you, the fighters in Ilok, to surrender their weapons and leave and then

 3     have the civilian population remain behind?  Was that an option?

 4        A.   No.  The civilian population decided to go into exodus.  If we

 5     surrendered weapons, the Yugoslav army would have entered Ilok by force.

 6     That's why we agreed.  And we obtained guarantees from the Yugoslav army

 7     that, as soon as the exodus starts, we would surrender weapons.  And

 8     there were European observers who supervised all this.  And that was a

 9     fair way to conduct this action, both for the Yugoslav army and for us.

10        Q.   Well, you seem here to be suggesting that there were two choices:

11     Exodus, or the Yugoslav army entering Ilok by force.  Wouldn't they only

12     had to enter Ilok by force if you chose to fight?

13        A.   Of course they would have come in by force.  If we had decided to

14     fight, the other side would have fought back, and they were stronger.  Of

15     course they would have defeated us.  And what would then have happened

16     after the victory the Yugoslav army, I have already said.

17        Q.   What about the option of laying down weapons and the population

18     remaining behind?

19        A.   We did not even consider that option.

20        Q.   Why not?

21        A.   Because we were aware that it was necessary to save the

22     population, that we must not, on any account, get in a clash with the

23     Yugoslav army.  It would have been disastrous, fatal to the population.

24     Nobody would have survived with all that shelling and weaponry.  When the

25     shelling stopped and when we start to the talk, it's difficult to agree

Page 3523

 1     anything different.  There's no saving the population or the soldiers.

 2     Retaliation begins.  We all know how war is waged.

 3             We did not leave Ilok of our own free will.  It's our wealth.  We

 4     had 4 million litres of wine in our cellars, just multiply one bottle by

 5     ten kunas, the Croatian currency.  It's a huge wealth.  The other side

 6     wanted it.

 7        Q.   Sir, I think you've missed my question, because my question

 8     wasn't why not get into a clash with the Yugoslav army.  My question was:

 9     Why not put down your weapons and allow the forces to enter without a

10     clash with the -- with the civilian population remaining behind.

11        A.   Well, listen, this was the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

12     Why allow the Yugoslav army to take it?  We also had our orders from our

13     government in Zagreb.  And if one side doesn't give in, conflict occurs.

14     Until then, we had negotiations with the army to leave Ilok alone, and

15     there would be no problem, until a solution is found at the level of the

16     two states.  Why would it be in the interests of the Yugoslav army to

17     enter Ilok by force?

18        Q.   What were your orders from the government in Zagreb?

19        A.   What orders we had.  The government in Zagreb.  We were under

20     complete blockade imposed by the Yugoslav army and certain civilian

21     structures from Serbia.  We had --

22        Q.   Sir, I am sorry to interrupt again.  I understand that you want

23     to put it all in context, but the context is there from your testimony in

24     Dokmanovic, respectfully.  So if I could just ask you to try, if

25     possible, to focus on what orders you had from the government in Zagreb.

Page 3524

 1     What were they?

 2        A.   I don't think I have to answer that question.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Witness, were there any orders from Zagreb or

 4     not?  With regard -- with regard to what should happened -- happen in

 5     Ilok.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at the end of the day, Zagreb

 7     left it to us to deal with that part alone.  We informed Zagreb to the

 8     extent of our ability of all our decisions.  And colleagues followed it

 9     from the area of Serbia.

10             You could see that our assembly decided to let the people of Ilok

11     leave peacefully and move to the free territory of Croatia.  We did as

12     they wished, we executed that plan, and we left Ilok.

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you, Mr. Brletic.

14             Yes, Mr. Gosnell.

15             MR. GOSNELL:

16        Q.   Did you encourage civilians to leave with you?

17        A.   Well, that's why we held that referendum, for civilians to state

18     what they wished to do.  Nobody forced anyone.  One part of the Croats

19     remained.  It was a free expression of will.  The majority was in favour.

20     And they went with the exodus.  Some did not.  Some stayed.  And quite a

21     few Croats remained in Ilok.

22        Q.   Sir, I'd like to take you now to the day of the exodus, as you've

23     described it, and you testified in Dokmanovic, the Dokmanovic trial:

24             "On the bridge, I did not talk to Mr. Dokmanovic because I was

25     too busy with other affairs."

Page 3525

 1             Do you remember that?

 2        A.   Yes, I remember that.  I remember saying that.  When I said I was

 3     too busy with the other affairs that were ordered to me by the

 4     Yugoslav army, because the Saint Ivan Kapistran Church was being

 5     targeted.  That Yugoslav officer told me, There is a machine-gun nest in

 6     the tower of the church.  Go and get it down.  I told him there was

 7     nothing there, so Captain Petrovic and I personally went to the tower of

 8     the church and established there was none.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Brletic, that was a very simple question:  Do

10     you remember having said that.  So you remembered, but you don't have to

11     repeat everything you said.  We saw that in the transcript.

12             Thank you.

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

14        Q.   And would it be correct you also didn't have an opportunity to

15     observe his -- not only did you not speak to him.  You also didn't have

16     an opportunity to see any of his activities that day; correct?

17        A.   That's correct.  I didn't either talk to him or was present with

18     him.

19        Q.   You don't know to whom he may have spoken during that day;

20     correct?

21        A.   No.

22        Q.   And you have no idea whether he was there on anyone's behalf or

23     in any capacity; correct?

24        A.   I did -- I have none.

25        Q.   Now I'd like to take you to a passage from your testimony in

Page 3526

 1     Dokmanovic.  I won't pull it up on screen but you said something very

 2     striking about Mr. -- or General Arandjelovic.  And you described meeting

 3     him in what I believe was the definitive meeting before the surrender of

 4     Ilok.  Can you just confirm, first of all, when it was that you met

 5     Mr. -- General Arandjelovic?

 6        A.   I met with him -- was it the 14th or the 15th?  I don't know the

 7     exact date.  The delegation met.  There was the referendum that was

 8     carried out, and an agreement was reached as to the day when the exodus

 9     would take place.

10        Q.   So your meeting with Mr. -- General Arandjelovic was on the same

11     occasion that the agreement was signed for the evacuation of Ilok; is

12     that right?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   And you testified in Dokmanovic, "Can I tell you...," and this is

15     at page 1338:

16             "Can I tell you at one point in time, General Arandjelovic told

17     me personally, 'If you do not surrender weapons with all the arms from

18     tanks, all the arms you have, I am going to use tanks and howitzers and

19     aircraft and I'm going to level Ilok to the ground."  And I said,

20     'Mr. General, you have one daughter.  If she is there, would you shoot

21     then?'  He said, 'Yes, I would.  I am a general and I carry out orders of

22     the General Staff, yes.'"

23             Do you remember that?

24        A.   Yes.  And that's correct.

25        Q.   That's all true, that occurred?

Page 3527

 1        A.   That's exactly how it happened.

 2        Q.   And would you say that that statement is consistent with your

 3     observation of the kind of man that General Arandjelovic was; that he was

 4     a tough, determined military officer?

 5        A.   Very tough and determined and a person who would always implement

 6     his intentions.  He would always materialise them.  And that was a

 7     serious threat.

 8        Q.   And your impression was that -- from this statement that his top

 9     priority was that he was going to carry out his orders.

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   And he was not going to be obstructed by you or anyone else;

12     correct?

13             MR. GILLETT:  Could we be a bit specific by what you mean by

14     "anyone else" for the witness, to clarify whether you mean Croat, Serbs,

15     for instance.

16             MR. GOSNELL:

17        Q.   Did you sense that he was the kinds of person who would be

18     lightly turned from his object and from his orders?

19        A.   Of course I did.  The way he said it indicated that he was

20     serious.  The conclusion was that those of us who were in Ilok had to

21     leave because in the events of combat, we would not leave there alive.

22     This was a serious conversation.  He was a serious person.  He said that

23     he was a soldier who obeyed the orders of the General Staff.  And every

24     soldier must obey the orders of his superior.

25        Q.   And present at this meeting, as I understand it, in addition to

Page 3528

 1     General Arandjelovic was Colonel Grahovac, Captain Petrovic,

 2     Major Mucalovic, Major Banic, Colonel Ostojic, and the public prosecutor

 3     from Sid, as well as Colonel Milic Jovanovic who was from the

 4     counter-intelligence service of the army; is that correct?

 5        A.   You're right.

 6        Q.   Was the president of the Backa Palanka municipality,

 7     Ljubo Novakovic, also present at that last meeting?

 8        A.   No.

 9        Q.   And what was General Arandjelovic's attitude towards the one

10     civilian present at this meeting?

11             MR. GILLETT:  Sorry.  I don't know if the witness can talk about

12     his attitude.  Maybe he could be asked about his behaviour towards the

13     representative.

14             MR. GOSNELL:  Attitude as reflected through actions.

15        Q.   Sir --

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  [Microphone not activated]

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know why you're asking me

18     this now.  The position of General Arandjelovic was to sign the agreement

19     and act upon it.  Which civilians were there did not matter.  The only

20     civilian was from the legal profession.  And he, together with Grahovac

21     and the president of the commission charged with the referendum, and I

22     was present in part.  We drafted the agreement and signed it before

23     General Arandjelovic.  He then reviewed the agreement, agreed with it,

24     and said that it should be signed.

25             MR. GOSNELL:

Page 3529

 1        Q.   So he was the one in control of -- or representing the Serb side

 2     at this meeting and making the decisions; correct?

 3        A.   Yes.  He was a general, and all his subordinates were obeying

 4     him.

 5        Q.   You testified today at page 17 of the transcript that you heard

 6     Mr. Leko, a certain Mr. Leko, make a statement about what he had heard

 7     Mr. Hadzic say.  Can I, first of all, ask you:  Was Mr. Leko at this

 8     meeting that we're describing, this final meeting at which the agreement

 9     for the evacuation of Ilok was determined?

10        A.   No.

11        Q.   So when did Mr. Leko make this statement that you described

12     earlier today?

13        A.   He stated that at a meeting of the town council in Ilok, because

14     he was the councilman.

15        Q.   Was he Croat?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Did he say where he had heard Mr. Hadzic make this statement?

18        A.   He only said that he had heard it over the radio or television.

19     I'm not sure.  I don't recall.

20        Q.   And you hadn't heard that statement, is that correct, of

21     Mr. Hadzic?

22        A.   No, I hadn't heard it.

23        Q.   So you're in no position to say here today whether it was said by

24     Mr. Hadzic or not, are you?

25        A.   I cannot confirm that.

Page 3530

 1                           [Defence counsel confer]

 2             MR. GOSNELL:  Your Honour, may I just have a moment to consult.

 3                           [Defence counsel confer]

 4             MR. GOSNELL:

 5        Q.   Sir, did you know that at some point in time in 1991 there were a

 6     large number of Serbs forced out of the areas in or around Western

 7     Slavonia?

 8        A.   I was not aware of that.  The area which was under my authority

 9     did not see any forced movements of the population.

10        Q.   Well, I'm asking whether you know that that's the case, not

11     whether it was in your area of jurisdiction.

12        A.   I did hear information that some of the Serbs from Virovitica and

13     Podravska Slatina either departed forcibly or voluntarily.  But I cannot

14     claim either way.

15             MR. GILLETT:  Your Honours, I'm not sure how this arises from the

16     direct examination today or in Dokmanovic at this stage.

17             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, under the Rules, it doesn't have to.

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yes, Mr. Gillett.

19             MR. GILLETT:  I understood that in cross he would be addressing

20     the matters within the scope of this witness's evidence or else matters

21     of credibility.  And that's what I'm trying to understand in this line of

22     questioning.

23             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, the rule adds a third category.  And that is

24     matters of relevance to the Defence case.

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Please continue.


Page 3531

 1             MR. GOSNELL:

 2        Q.   And do you have any idea of the numbers involved?  Of internally

 3     displaced persons that we're talking about.

 4        A.   I have no idea of the number of people displaced.

 5        Q.   And you yourself faced a very difficult influx of refugees in

 6     Ilok, as we've discussed.  The population of the town trebling; is that

 7     right?

 8        A.   That's right.

 9        Q.   And did you welcome that development of having a large number of

10     refugees flowing into an overcrowded city?

11        A.   How would I have welcomed it?  Of course I didn't.  I wasn't

12     happy about it.

13        Q.   And you tried to cope with the situation as best you could; isn't

14     that right?

15        A.   That's right.

16             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you, Mr. President.  No further questions.

17        Q.   Mr. Brletic, thank you very much for your answers today.

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gillett, anything in re-direct?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

20             MR. GILLETT:  A couple of questions.  Thank you, Mr. President,

21     Your Honours.

22                           Re-examination by Mr. Gillett:

23        Q.   Mr. Brletic, during your cross-examination testimony at

24     transcript pages 22 to 23, you said that it was normal that mopping up

25     was directed towards ZNG or police or Home Guard.  Did this process of

Page 3532

 1     mopping up also have an impact on civilians?

 2        A.   It did have an impact on civilians.  When they did not locate

 3     members of the ZNG or police, then the civilians were processed.  There

 4     was some sort of duress used against them and actions that were not

 5     appropriate, in order to find out information about weapons or certain

 6     information about the field.

 7        Q.   What do you mean when you say "duress" or "actions that were not

 8     appropriate"?

 9             Could you elaborate?

10        A.   When the forces got in, either the reservists or individuals of

11     Serb ethnicity, they vented their anger on the civilian population.  They

12     mistreated them, physically abused them, some were beaten; and, in some

13     cases, some were even killed.

14        Q.   Sir, during the cross-examination, you mentioned that

15     Mihalj Kertes was involved in some of the negotiations, and that's at

16     transcript page 27.  Who was Mihalj Kertes and what was his position?

17        A.   Mihalj Kertes was an inhabitant of Backa Palanka.  He was in

18     the -- in the paramilitary formations of Krajina at the time.  He wore a

19     uniform of Krajina.  He was the man who enjoyed the full confidence and

20     trust -- trust of the person number one in Serbia, President Milosevic --

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Can the witness please repeat his last

22     sentence.

23             MR. GILLETT:

24        Q.   Could you please repeat your last sentence of your answer there.

25        A.   I said that he did not take part in the talks, in the military

Page 3533

 1     talks between Backa Palanka and Ilok.  He was present when we held talks

 2     in the local commune in Backa Palanka where there were also

 3     representatives of the Serbs' residents of Ilok who had fled the area.

 4        Q.   Now during cross-examination you were asked why you didn't

 5     surrender your weapons and the population remain in Ilok.  What would

 6     have happened if you had taken that course of action?

 7        A.   Had I surrendered weapons before the exodus, the military forces

 8     of the Yugoslav army would have entered Ilok.  Naturally, we wouldn't be

 9     able to mount any resistance.  They would have taken Ilok.

10             Now what would have happened isn't something that I can surmise

11     now.  At the time, we knew that these forces should not get into Ilok

12     because we would not be able to leave for the free territory of Croatia.

13        Q.   Well, you said earlier that of the Croats who remained, who chose

14     not to leave, they were abused.  What did you mean by "they were abused"?

15        A.   They experienced abuse the same way as those did who had

16     surrendered themselves to the control of the SAO Krajina earlier on.

17     They suffered physical and mental abuse.  They were taken to -- to the

18     police station for processing.  They were kept there for seven or eight

19     days and then released.  And then brought in again, et cetera.  This was

20     the way pressure was brought to bear upon them to leave the town of Ilok

21     and the surrounding areas.  Some of them did leave; and, at one point,

22     the remainder of the Croatian population left in an organised fashion to

23     the territory of Croatia.  But, on that occasion, I don't know where the

24     order had come from and they did not leave in an organised fashion but

25     piecemeal.

Page 3534

 1        Q.   Thank you.

 2             MR. GILLETT:  No further questions on re-exam, Your Honours.

 3                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 4             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Brletic, thank you very much for coming to

 5     The Hague to assist the Tribunal.  This is the end of your testimony.

 6     You are now released as a witness.  The Court Usher will escort you out

 7     of the courtroom.  And we wish you a safe journey home.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 9                           [The witness withdrew]

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Are there any other matters to take care of?

11             MR. GILLETT:  None from this side, Your Honour.

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay then.  Court adjourned.

13                            --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.54 a.m.,

14                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day of April,

15                           2013, at 9.00 a.m.