1 Monday, 17 June 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, may we have the appearances, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you for calling the case, Madam Registrar.
11 May we have the appearances now, starting with the Prosecution,
13 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. For
14 the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Matthew Olmsted,
15 Case Manager Thomas Laugel, and legal intern Brendan Bresnahan.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 For the Defence, Mr. Zivanovic.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
19 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 Could we go into closed session to bring the witness in.
22 [Closed session]
11 Page 5761 redacted. Closed session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Witness, one more thing. We will not use your name, and that
5 was a mistake of me to do it, but we were in closed session so there is
6 no real problem. But as of -- as of now, we won't uses your name and,
7 therefore, we will refer to you as witness, or Mr. Witness, or sir, just
8 simply that.
9 Mr. Olmsted, your witness.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, I also apologise. I probably should
11 have reminded you about the pseudonym. We do have a pseudonym sheet. I
12 think it probably makes sense to also do that or --
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: I don't know whether it is still necessary, but
14 out of an abundance of caution.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: So let's -- let's put it up and show the witness
17 the sheet and have him confirm whether the name and date of birth
18 mentioned on the sheet are correct.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Yes. And it's 65 ter 6447, and it should not be
20 broadcast to the public.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Are these your name and date of birth, sir?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 Admitted and marked.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2150, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
2 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise, Your Honours, that's under seal.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Your witness, Mr. Olmsted.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 I think for the first series of question it's better that we go
6 into private session.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 5764-5768 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. OLMSTED:
4 Q. Sir, prior to the conflict, what was the ethnic makeup of
6 A. The population of Baranja was made up of three ethnic communities
7 in about an equal share. Croats, Serbs, and Hungarians each had
8 one-third. There were other ethnicities represented to the extent of 1
9 or 2 per cent, perhaps.
10 Q. And prior to 1991, how were the relations between the
12 A. Considering that it was a multi-ethnic community, there was
13 mutual tolerance and respect. There were mixed marriages. And since it
14 is an agricultural region, farmers refrained from working during
15 holidays, the holidays of another ethnic community. Generally speaking,
16 there was a lot of mutual tolerance.
17 MR. OLMSTED: May we have on the screen 65 ter 5653. This is
18 tab 57. That is not the exhibit I'm looking for. Let me see if I
19 can ...
20 It should be a map. And it's 5653. Ah, that's it. And if we
21 could just enlarge it a bit.
22 Q. Sir, can you confirm, is this a map of the Baranja region?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you circle for us, using the pen that will be provided to
25 you, Backi Breg.
1 A. Backi Breg is here in this darker area. I cannot see it on this
2 map. This is it.
3 Q. And was there a bridge nearby that entered into Croatia?
4 A. It was practically the only point of entry or exit into Baranja.
5 It's at Batina. It's usually called Bezdan, although Bezdan is 3 to 4
6 kilometres away. It's marked here as a border crossing. Should I mark
7 it nonetheless?
8 Q. Why don't you put a B for bridge next to it.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Now you alluded to this just a moment ago. During the conflict,
11 once the conflict broke out in Baranja, were there any other ways to
12 enter or exit Baranja other than across this bridge?
13 A. At the outset of the conflicts - and I must add that they didn't
14 break out in all of Baranja on the same day; however, it was within a
15 short period that it happened - the Hungarian border initially was open.
16 There is the border crossing of Udvar [phoen] which is also in the north
17 of Baranja. It is marked here as a border crossing. There was also a
18 ferry crossing west of the village of Jagodnjak, and you could go to
19 Belisce there.
20 In the first days of the conflict, it was possible to exit
21 Baranja in the direction of Osijek. The bridge connecting Bilje - we can
22 see Podravje [phoen] here on one bank and Osijek on the other bank - was
23 mined. East of that bridge there was another bridge, a railroad bridge,
24 which was operational. West of that bridge, there was a pedestrian
25 bridge. But it couldn't carry heavy vehicles. It could be used by light
1 vehicles and pedestrians though.
2 In the first five to seven days after the conflicts broke out in
3 Baranja, those were alternative points of entry or exit from Baranja.
4 Q. You testified that initially people could leave travelling I
5 believe it's northwards from Beli Manastir into Hungary. When was that
6 crossing closed?
7 A. The crossing was closed when the Croatian police left Baranja,
8 that is, Beli Manastir, because the police secured that crossing. I
9 can't give you the exact date, but I suppose it was in mid-July or
11 After the Croatian police left, and they withdrew in the
12 direction of Belisce, the border crossing with Hungary was closed.
13 Q. And who blocked that exit point? What forces were there?
14 A. All the Hungarian border police did.
15 Q. And on the Croatian side, was there anyone blocking an exit from
16 that check-point, or that entry point?
17 A. When the -- the TO of Knezevo took over that crossing, it was
18 their duty to do that. But, of course, there's no logic in one country
19 closing the border crossing and the other keeping it open because nobody
20 can pass anyway.
21 And, moreover, the crossing was mined. There were anti-tank
22 mines laid there.
23 Q. We see on this map there's an X in the eastern part of Baranja.
24 Can you tell us what's at that location?
25 A. That entire area marked with a lighter shade is a natural park.
1 And there was also the residence of Tito's palace, or Tikves palace. It
2 was the former residence of President Tito and before him it was used by
3 the king. It's a traditional facility for VIPs who came there to hunt.
4 Q. And later on I'll be asking you questions about Grabovac. Could
5 you circle that for us?
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Thank you. And one more place to circle for us. You've already
8 mentioned Bilje. Could you circle that for us?
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2151, Your Honours.
14 MR. OLMSTED:
15 Q. Sir, after the 1990 elections, what was the most popular
16 political party in Baranja?
17 A. The most popular party was the SDP.
18 Q. And what was the ethnic makeup of the members of the SDP?
19 A. It was a multi-ethnic party. It -- even in its name there was no
20 ethnic designation, and the people considered it as the most acceptable.
21 Q. At some point, did another political party rise to prominence
22 among the Serb population of Baranja?
23 A. Yes. With time the SDS was able to attract more and more
24 citizens of Baranja of Serbian ethnicity. On the other hand, the HDZ was
25 able to do the same with ethnic Croats.
1 Q. And can you tell us generally when did the SDS become -- rise in
2 its popularity in Baranja?
3 A. In my assessment, the popularity of the SDS rose after the
4 conflicts broke out in connection with the events at Plitvice and
5 Borovo Selo. That is, starting from April or May 1991.
6 Q. Prior to the conflict in Baranja, so prior to July 1991, who was
7 the leader of the SDS in Baranja?
8 A. The SDS leader was Ms. Vida Mandic.
9 Q. And once the conflict began, did she remain in that position?
10 A. Maybe at the very beginning of the conflict but for a very short
11 time because there were changes in the leading echelons of the SDS.
12 Q. And who replaced her?
13 A. Mr. Borivoje Zivanovic became the leader of the Baranja SDS.
14 Q. And how did his views, how did Mr. Zivanovic's views compare to
15 those of Ms. Mandic?
16 A. One could say that his views were more radical than those of
17 Ms. Mandic. Although the objective was more or less the same, but they
18 differed in their methods. His methods were more radical. He was in
19 favour of proceeding faster, be more hands-on, and so on.
20 Q. Within the SDS party structure in the 1991/1992 time-period, who
21 was Mr. Zivanovic's superior within the SDS structure?
22 A. Only the president of the party.
23 Q. And who was that?
24 A. Mr. Hadzic.
25 Q. And focusing now in -- on the conflict period, what powers or
1 influence did the SDS leadership exercise over municipal and village
2 government in Baranja?
3 A. The structures of power were -- were pyramidal in form. The --
4 there was the municipality which had local communes. Practically each
5 village was a local commune, and the local communes were subordinated to
6 the municipal organisation.
7 Q. And I want to focus on the SDS leadership's, their powers, their
8 influence over these local structures. What influence did they have?
9 A. At that time, the influence was great and manifested itself in
10 all aspects. From appointing the members of the Crisis Staffs to
11 appointing the commanders of local TO Staffs within local communes.
12 Those were the two most important factors when talking about Crisis
13 Staff. Then there was the appointment and the removal of the management
14 of companies. In other words, there was influence at all levels.
15 Q. You mentioned the Crisis Staffs. What role did they play during
16 the conflict?
17 A. The Crisis Staffs are -- are a structure that was taken over from
18 Yugoslavia. Its task or role was to react at times of crisis, any
19 crisis, natural disasters included, but also war. Although in the plans
20 that had been made, nobody expected this kind of war, but an aggression
21 from with out. So the objective was to fight the enemy coming from
22 another country. That's why the preparations were inadequate. And it
23 became necessary to separate or the Crisis Staffs in -- rather, divide
24 them into two aspects: The military component; and the civilian
25 component that -- that would control other take -- be in charge of things
1 that were not connected with mobilisation and military activities.
2 Q. You mentioned that the SDS was involved in the appointment of TO
3 commanders. Can you tell us, what criteria did the SDS use to select TO
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Speculation.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I'm not asking the witness to
9 speculate. It's if he knows what criteria was being used to select these
10 TO commanders. I'm not going into in the details of the witness's
11 background, but he does have some background in this area.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: So let's see whether he knows.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. Sir, did you understand my question?
15 A. Yes. As I've already said, that law had been taken over from
16 former Yugoslavia.
17 The commanders of those Crisis Staffs were also the presidents of
18 local communes. As I've mentioned, this proved inadequate. It became
19 necessary to appoint a leadership for the military sector and another for
20 the civilian sector.
21 In the military sector, at the very beginning, people were
22 appointed according to the ranks they had in the reserve force of the
23 JNA. The higher rank somebody held the more likely it was that he would
24 become the commander of the defence of his village.
25 Then there were frequent -- there was frequent rotation resulting
1 in people with poorer military skills as compared to some who would have
2 been able to do the job better. But the one thing they had in common was
3 that they were all SDS members.
4 Q. Were you aware of -- and I want to talk now just briefly about
5 the pre-conflict period. Were you aware of any politicians from Serbia
6 coming to the Baranja region?
7 A. Politicians became -- began coming to Baranja only after the
8 conflict at Plitvice and Borovo Selo. I remember two politicians who
9 came there, and that's Mr. Seselj and Mr. Paroski. They didn't come on
10 the same day though. They came at different times. And the place they
11 visited was Jagodnjak in Baranja.
12 Q. And what did they do when they came to Baranja?
13 A. They mostly organised rallies on a patriotic basis, ethnic
14 awakening, and rising ethnic -- raising ethnic awareness among the Serbs.
15 Q. And what was the effect of these rallies on the relations between
16 the ethnic groups in Baranja?
17 A. The position of Jagodnjak is specific because next to that
18 village, there's the purely Croatian village of Ceminac and it was
19 visited by Croatian politicians who had the same objectives. They also
20 wanted to raise ethnic awareness.
21 Jagodnjak had a Serbian majority. I think there were up to 80
22 per cent of Serbs among the population. And their tensions were rising
23 between those two villages, and there was exchange of fire from infantry
24 weapons, even -- there were even some mortar shells fired. And that was
25 at -- at a time before the conflict broke out in Baranja.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may we go into private session.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session please.
3 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
20 MR. OLMSTED:
21 Q. Sir, prior to the conflict in Baranja, was the local Serb
22 population supplied with weapons?
23 A. The Serb population illegally got weapons after the events at
24 Borovo. I don't know which quantity they got. The arming of the Serbs
25 was stepped up only after the video in -- involving Martin Spegelj was
1 shown on TV.
2 Q. Where did these weapons come from?
3 A. The weapons had come from Serbia. As I've already said, it was
4 transported illegally, although at the time the Croatian MUP had a
5 check-point at the Batina bridge -- or a couple a months later, a
6 kilometre and a half or 2 kilometres away from the bridge, on the road
7 from Batina to Beli Manastir.
8 Q. Who supplied these weapons?
9 A. As far as I know, and judging by the type of weapons that came
10 in, and the -- those were old weapons, obsolete, if you will, and unused
11 for a very long time. Those weapons had been in military warehouses.
12 And according to what I learned later, it was distributed by the
13 operatives of the KOG in Baranja villages.
14 Q. And just to clarify, when you refer to the KOG, do you mean the
15 counter-intelligence group of the JNA?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Once the weapons arrived in Baranja, who was responsible for
18 distributing them to members of the population?
19 A. The weapons were usually delivered to Jagodnjak village, and upon
20 invitation, certain people who would be usually members of the SDS, and
21 even higher-ranking people, would go there and bring back weapons into
22 their own villages.
23 Q. And when these persons collected these weapons and brought them
24 back to their villages, what did they do in their villages?
25 A. They, in turn, would invite followers, supporters of the SDS,
1 although by that time it stopped to matter that much. You would be
2 invited if you were a Serb, whether you were a member or a supporter of
3 the SDS or not.
4 Q. You were invited -- I'm reading your last answer. You were
5 invited to come to these SDS members' location, and at that stage did
6 they provide them with weapons?
7 A. Yes, that's how it went. People would get an invitation to come
8 to a remote place where the weapons were stored, and people would be
9 given a time for collection.
10 MR. OLMSTED: May we go into private session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session.
12 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 MR. OLMSTED:
20 Q. Sir, was there a Baranja TO?
21 A. Yes, there was a municipal TO Staff for Baranja.
22 Q. And where was it headquartered?
23 A. It was headquartered in Beli Manastir, like all the seats of
24 political power and also the MUP and the Territorial Staff.
25 Q. At the beginning of the conflict, who was the head of the Baranja
2 A. The person who occupied the position of TO Staff commander in
3 Baranja when all this started happening was Major --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the name.
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. I apologise. Could you repeat the -- the name of the -- of the
8 A. Lazar Brnovic.
9 Q. Was he at some point replaced?
10 A. I can't exactly say when, but a month or a month and a half after
11 the conflict broke out, he was replaced.
12 Q. And who replaced him?
13 A. His predecessor in that position, Borivoje Dobrokes. He used to
14 be TO commander earlier, and then he retired from that position.
15 Q. And who instituted this change in TO commanders?
16 A. That was a political decision. The TO commander was appointed by
17 local politicians, or, rather, the ruling party, the SDS.
18 Q. Was Dobrokes a member of the SDS?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And if you know, could you tell us, was there a difference
21 between Brnovic and Dobrokes, as far as their views?
22 A. There was a difference. Brnovic was an organised man, very
23 thorough, more liberal, whereas Dobrokes was short-tempered and much more
24 radical, you can say, than Mr. Brnovic. A man of action. A man of the
25 moment, impulsive.
1 Q. Just briefly, could you tell us, how was the Baranja TO
2 structured? What was underneath it?
3 A. The structure of the Baranja TO relied on two brigades. One was
4 based in Beli Manastir; another in Darda. And there was a border
5 detachment near Knezevo. Their area of responsibility was the border
6 with Hungary.
7 As far as the brigades are concerned, the Beli Manastir Brigade
8 covered positions at the Drava river. That was the first separation line
9 up from the north-west, a place called Torjanci. Down to the south up to
10 the Topolik farm approximately, a cattle farm.
11 From that Topolik farm via Bilje and partly Kopacki Rit was the
12 area covered by the brigade in Darda. That was the so-called separation
13 line, the first combat line.
14 Q. And where did the village TOs fall within the structure?
15 A. Depending on their geographic position, local staffs would be
16 attached to a -- one of the brigades. Staffs of larger places provided
17 personnel as needed. And larger places had to form battalions that would
18 be part of the brigade; whereas, smaller places would form smaller units,
19 beginning with the company, and larger.
20 Q. Were you aware whether there was an SBWS TO?
21 A. The SDS TO?
22 Q. No, I apologise. The -- whether there was an SBWS TO. In other
23 words, for the SAO.
24 A. There could be no two Territorial Defences. There was only one.
25 I never heard that there was another parallel TO in Baranja.
1 Q. I think you're misunderstanding my question.
2 Serb Autonomous District of the entire region of SBWS. So
3 Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, and Baranja. Were you aware that there
4 was a TO at that level, at the SAO level?
5 A. Oh, I see. Yes. That was only logical. It was an institution
6 inherited from Yugoslavia by SAO Krajina. So it was present in its every
7 form in that territory as well.
8 Q. And where was it headquartered?
9 A. Somewhere in Slavonia. I'm not sure whether it was in Dalj or in
10 Erdut. Considering that it was established before the liberation of
11 Vukovar, it must have been in one of the places that was liberated
12 earlier, such as Borovo.
13 Q. And what was the relationship between the Baranja TO and this TO
14 that was in Dalj or Erdut?
15 A. I'm not sure I can give you a good answer to that question
16 because I did not personally monitor these contacts. And I didn't have
17 any with the area of Slavonia.
18 I can speak about anything that concerns Baranja. I'm not sure
19 about Slavonia, how it worked. I can only make assumptions.
20 Q. Could you tell us, what level -- then let's return to Baranja.
21 And if you tell us what level of armed conflict existed in Baranja in
22 1991 and 1992?
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, it is unclear what does it mean, what
25 level? I don't know what does it mean.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Well, what I mean is whether it was -- there was a
3 significant amount of armed conflict there, or was it very little armed
4 conflict. That is what I'm getting at.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. OLMSTED:
7 Q. Sir, did you understand my question?
8 A. I think I did. Let me see. In the first years of war, nor
9 later, were there any large-scale direct conflicts. When I say "large
10 scale," I mean those that would involve the movement of larger units.
11 That did not happen in Baranja. You could say the conflict was local in
12 nature, limited to one or two villages.
13 The first major local conflict was the expulsion of Croat forces
14 from Bilje village, and the second happened on 3rd February 1992, when
15 the Croatian forces attacked the forward defence line near Torjanci
16 village on the Drava river, and the conflict involved the stretch of 5, 6
17 kilometres of the forward line. The fighting would begin and end on the
18 same day, and that's why I consider it a low-intensity conflict. There
19 were no battles stretching over several days. There were no battles
20 involving movements of larger units. Those were the few more important
21 clashes that I remember.
22 There were occasional incidents and breakouts and attempts to
23 conquer the border crossings on the Hungarian border by members of the
24 Croatian armed forces, but they were mostly unsuccessful, and these
25 attempts usually ended in their surrender and capture.
1 Q. I think you alluded to this earlier. What happened to the
2 Croatian members of the police at the beginning of the conflict in
4 A. The Croatian police abandoned Baranja. They pulled out from
5 their base in Beli Manastir using a ferry towards Velisce [phoen] and
6 Palvobo [phoen].
7 Q. Did they leave Baranja voluntarily?
8 A. Before this happened, conflict had started in Karanac,
9 Knezovi Vinogradi, and other places in Baranja. There were clashes in an
10 increasing number of places including one in Beli Manastir between local
11 Serbs and the Croatian MUP reserve. They had tried to infiltrate
12 reservists by rail but word got out and this transport was intercepted.
13 There was an exchange of fire involving losses on the Serbian side. But
14 since all this was happening at the entrance to Beli Manastir, armoured
15 transporters came out of the local JNA garrison and stopped this
16 transport. Later on, maybe according to a directive from the Croatian
17 government who had estimated that their personnel is in jeopardy, the
18 police pulled out of Baranja. Except for Bilje village. They remained
19 in Bilje village because it's 4 or 5 kilometres from Osijek, and they
20 continued to operate safely for a while longer.
21 Q. Were there any ZNG units in Baranja when the conflict broke up --
22 broke out?
23 A. I am not sure about the ZNG. But there were MUP units both from
24 the active duty and the reserve force. However, it's possible there were
25 ZNGs in Bilje village because they hailed from various parts of Croatia,
1 Istria, Varazdin, et cetera. There were their men in Bilje. But their
2 uniforms were different and it was difficult to identify them.
3 Q. During the conflict in 1991, were any non-Serb villages taken
4 over by Serb armed forces?
5 A. The territory of Baranja is rather idiosyncratic in terms of the
6 ethnic distribution of the population. Several villages that were
7 populated by Germans before the Second World War had been vacated and
8 then resettled by population hailing from various parts of Yugoslavia.
9 And during the resettlement, these villages became almost pure
10 ethnically, with population from Medjumorje [phoen], Lika, Kordun,
11 various other areas. And the villagers were -- the villages where these
12 colonists were non-Serb were abandoned by that population. Only the
13 Serbs and other non-Croats remained but they were few.
14 After these villages were abandoned, they were mopped up.
15 Territorial units and units from the MUP of Krajina went to search and
16 mop up these villages.
17 Q. And could you just, for our benefit, name some of these villages
18 that you mentioned in which the TO entered and mopped up.
19 A. Strategically speaking on the road those were Kozarac and Ceminac
20 looking from Beli Manastir and Darda. The Serbs took over Beli Manastir
21 and Darda and between those two larger places there are two smaller ones
22 where the situation was not yet clear. The Croats had left, but not the
23 entire villages had yet been taken over.
24 Q. And did the non-Serb population in these villages offer any form
25 of armed resistance?
1 A. No. First of all, the people who remained were too old and
2 infirm. They stayed behind just to preserve their homes and estates. So
3 there was no armed resistance.
4 Q. By the end of August 1991, what parts of Baranja remained outside
5 of Serb control?
6 A. Only Bilje.
7 Q. And what was the ethnic makeup of Bilje before the conflict?
8 A. In Bilje, as a suburb of Osijek, which went through a sudden
9 expansion just because of its vicinity to Osijek, a lot of people coming
10 in from Osijek, the majority population was Croat, and there were many
11 Hungarians. The Serbs had the smaller share in the population, perhaps
12 10 to 15 per cent.
13 Q. And was Bilje taken by Serb forces and if so when?
14 A. Serb forces took Bilje, as I described earlier. It was one of
15 the major operations. It was, in fact, the first large-scale military
16 operation in the territory of Baranja.
17 Q. And can you tell us when.
18 A. I cannot be precise. It could have been in August. I can't
19 remember the date.
20 Q. And can you tell us which Serb forces participated in the
21 takeover of Bilje?
22 A. The Territorial Defence and special police units from
23 Beli Manastir and one special police unit from Knin, known as Kninjas.
24 So the police was practically the main task force that went from house to
25 house. The Territorial Defence kept Bilje surrounded, leaving a corridor
1 for civilians and anyone who wanted to leave Bilje along the road that
2 connects Bilje with Osijek. That was left open for the civilians to
4 Q. And who commanded the operation?
5 A. Considering that the primary vehicle of the operation was the TO,
6 the TO commander, Dobrokes, commanded the operation. He was man number
7 one in the Territorial Defence. So he was the leader.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I see the time.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Witness, this is our first break. We'll come back at 11.00.
11 The court usher will escort you out of the court after we have gone into
12 closed session.
13 Closed session, please.
14 [Closed session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Olmsted.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Sir, before the break you testified about the Croat colonist
4 population in Baranja. Can you tell us, when did they abandon their
6 A. I think I've said that already. Before the Croatian police
7 pulled out and when people learned that information, then the remaining
8 non-Serb population of those villages started leaving Baranja.
9 Q. And I know dates are difficult for you, but can you tell us what
10 month was that? Would that be July/August?
11 A. Most of them left in July or August. Late July, early August,
13 Q. Besides this Croat colonist population were there, if I can use
14 the term, indigenous Croats living in Baranja?
15 A. Yes. Of course, there were indigenous Croats in Baranja. Some
16 left, others stayed, but that changed daily. Some of them were making up
17 their minds whether they should leave or not, and they -- it changed
18 according to the situation --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last
21 MR. OLMSTED:
22 Q. Sir, I believe the interpreters missed your last sentence.
23 A. I believe that, at the end, I said who joined the TO stayed. I'm
24 talking about the non-Serb population. Those who would not join the TO
25 were leaving or had the intention to leave Baranja.
1 Q. And we'll come to those issues in a moment. Could you tell us,
2 this indigenous Croat population, what were the villages -- the main
3 villages that they lived in?
4 A. They could be found in almost all villages. There weren't any
5 ethnically pure villages. They were all mixed. In some villages, the
6 Croats were the majority, and others the Hungarians and others, again,
7 Serbs. But they were all mixed.
8 Q. And those villages where the Croats and the Hungarians and the
9 other non-Serbs made up the majority, were those villages taken over by
10 the Baranja TO in 1991?
11 A. Yes. The TO established staffs in each village or each local
12 commune in Baranja.
13 Q. And when those villages were taken over, was there any resistance
14 by the non-Serb population during those takeovers?
15 A. No. There were no such incidents.
16 Q. I want to briefly return to the attack on Bilje. Can you tell
17 us -- you mentioned that the organiser would have been the Baranja TO
18 commander, Dobrokes. Can you tell us, how was the attack organised?
19 A. The plan to attack was agreed at the meeting between the TO
20 commander, that is, Mr. Dobrokes and the commanders of the local TO
21 Staffs. It took place at Jagodnjak. And the other participants were
22 Mr. Borivoje Zivanovic and Mr. Djordje Latas as high-ranking SDS
23 officials who were not military persons.
24 At that meeting, it was agreed which local staffs should provide
25 what number of men. Mr. Latas and Mr. Zivanovic were charged to provide
1 materiel of non-military nature, such as transportation, logistics, and
2 on all main directions ambulances were provided and medical staff, and
3 the military component would provide -- was supposed to provide
4 armaments, weapons and anything that has to do with the army.
5 Q. And prior to the attack on Bilje, had the Croat forces in Bilje
6 mounted any significant attacks?
7 A. Apart from sporadic individual incidents, you can't -- you
8 couldn't speak of an organised attack.
9 Q. What was the significance of Bilje to the Serb forces?
10 A. The -- Bilje had a strategic significance. It was the only
11 village in all of Baranja that was not under Serb control. And,
12 secondly, in order to move the first line of defence in Baranja toward
13 Osijek, you had to take Bilje. In front of Bilje, there's an old branch
14 of the Drava river, and -- so that it was a very good defence line
15 against a possible attack from Osijek.
16 Q. And you may have alluded to this: How long did the combat
17 operations in Bilje last?
18 A. I think that the attack on Bilje began at 5.30 a.m., and by
19 1.00 p.m. I think it was all over.
20 Q. And you mentioned before the break that a corridor was created
21 from Bilje. Could you tell us, what happened to the non-Serb civilian
22 population in Bilje during -- during or after the attack.
23 A. During the attack, in my opinion, most non-Serbs left Bilje.
24 They were -- there were columns of vehicles, people were carrying their
25 most precious belongings.
1 Some non-Serbs stayed at Bilje. Only Bilje had a TO Staff which
2 did not function there for the reasons that were mentioned already. It
3 was physically impossible. Later on, it started operating in accordance
4 with its purpose.
5 Q. You mentioned also before the break a special police unit from
6 Beli Manastir. Who was the commander of that unit?
7 A. A special purpose unit established by the Beli Manastir SUP was
8 commanded by Milan Jaric, an experienced police officer from before the
10 Q. Did any members of this unit receive training in 1991?
11 A. Some members of that unit had previously been reserve police
12 officers and then there were also some new arrivals, and all of them
13 together underwent special training led by Captain Dragan.
14 Q. And could you tell us, were any problems caused by this special
15 purpose unit during the takeovers of towns and villages in Baranja?
16 A. The unit did cause problems. But Baranja was already practically
17 under Serb control then. There was much property of non-Serbs who had
18 left Baranja, such as business premises that certainly were interesting
19 to some members of that unit. And that's why there was internal strife
20 between them as well as conflicts with the non-Serbs who had stayed
21 behind and owned some of the facilities that were interesting to them and
22 some other property.
23 Q. Besides property crimes, was this special unit committing other
24 crimes against non-Serbs?
25 A. Yes. It is said that some members committed murders while
1 mopping up Kozarac and Ceminac. They mistreated and brought in mostly
2 non-Serb inhabitants of Baranja to the SUP facility at Beli Manastir.
3 There were such and similar occurrences.
4 Q. Now, did any JNA units come to Baranja in 1991?
5 A. The JNA had a permanently stationed unit from before the war. I
6 believe I have mentioned it already. It was a unit that guarded the
7 frontier, the border with Hungary, and it was stationed at Beli Manastir.
8 It was the border garrison.
9 As the events in Croatia unfolded, the 36th Subotica Brigade
10 gradually moved into Baranja. It started by taking the bridge. I
11 believe that I've also mentioned that the Croatian police forces took the
12 Batina bridge in order to control traffic over the bridge. As the
13 36th Subotica Brigade advanced toward the bridge or -- which later became
14 a bridge head, the check-points of the Croatian police retreated. That
15 would -- began in 1991. And some units of the 36th Subotica Brigade were
16 already -- were already present in Baranja then.
17 Q. Could you give us roughly when -- when the 36th Brigade showed up
18 in the Baranja region? Maybe a month.
19 A. If I mentioned it, the -- it was after the conflict at Plitvice
20 and Borovo Selo. We can place it in the month of May 1991.
21 Q. And what role, if any, did the JNA play in the takeover of
22 villages and towns in Baranja?
23 A. The JNA did not take part in the takeover. It would sometimes be
24 a buffer zone between the Croatian forces in Baranja and the Serbs.
25 Q. When the local TO units entered a village or town in Baranja,
1 what happened to the movable property of the non-Serbs?
2 A. Now, there were different situations whether the Crisis Staff was
3 immediately established or not. I mentioned the village Kozarac and
4 Ceminac where there were no Crisis Staffs. There, looting began.
5 Property was looted that could be taken away immediately, such as TV sets
6 and smaller items.
7 In villages, however, where there was a Crisis Staff, there were
8 efforts to register such property, make a list of it, and seal those
10 Q. Where was the property that was taken -- where was it taken to?
11 A. Whoever was able to carry things took it home.
12 Q. Was there more organised looting going on during this period?
13 A. More organised looting began when it became necessary to provide
14 transportation. It was for property that couldn't be carried by one man,
15 so he needed a truck or a tractor to move it. And this is an
16 agricultural region, so there was agricultural machinery. In other
17 words, property that you can't even conceal, really. And there was a lot
18 of living livestock left behind, from smaller animals all the way to
19 cattle. Some people hid their property, but some of it was looted.
20 Q. You mentioned that some of this property was transported. Was
21 any of it transported to outside the region?
22 A. Yes. There was property that was taken to Serbia. And that was
23 the only possible solution. Because on the other bank of the Danube in
24 Serbia, the region is also agricultural. And it was very easy to resell
25 agricultural machinery and such stuff.
1 Q. And what part, if any, did the TO commanders play in this type of
3 A. The role and the objective of the commanders should have been to
4 prevent that. But, at that time, objectively speaking, it was very
5 difficult to do that. There were many people carrying weapons, in
6 different moods, and it was extremely difficult. At any rate, they were
7 unable to -- do that the way they should have.
8 Q. You said that they were unable. Did they participate in the
10 A. Unfortunately, there were situations when they gave in to
11 temptation or whatever you may choose to call it. But there were
12 situations when staff commanders made it possible and possibly even
13 participated in what was going on.
14 Q. Now besides looting, when the TO entered into villages and towns,
15 were they committing other crimes against non-Serbs?
16 A. There was pressure exerted on all non-Serbs, especially those
17 whose family members had left Baranja previously, especially in the
18 direction of Croatia. They were considered traitors and mistreated
19 because their children or other relatives were members of the enemy army.
20 That kind of pressure was continuous.
21 Q. And what was the effect of this pressure on the non-Serb
23 A. Those who were maltreated couldn't stand it long. And it went as
24 far as people could bear. The -- those concerned eventually left
1 MR. OLMSTED: May we have on e-court 65 ter 267. This is tab 5.
2 And I'm interested in the decision that's number 44. Which, I believe,
3 is -- yes, on the right side of the -- the original.
4 Q. This is a decision that's signed by Borivoje Zivanovic, dated
5 1 September 1991. And it states that:
6 "Passes for leaving the municipality with a large quantity of
7 goods or expensive goods may only be issued by the commander of the
8 Baranja TO or a person he authorises."
9 First of all, did the TO commanders exercise authority over the
10 removal of property from the region?
11 A. As we see, the commander of the municipal staff was able to
12 transfer this authority and commanders of local staffs under this order,
13 and they should have control over the -- over who of the local population
14 leaves that place. I'm not sure, however, it was technically possible at
15 the time. But certainly the local staff had to be informed of population
16 movements in their own village.
17 Q. And this deals with property movements. And you've testified
18 that some TO commanders were complacent or even participated in some of
19 the organised looting. What was the effect of giving this authority to
20 TO commanders?
21 A. I'm not sure I fully understand the question. But as for the
22 looting of property, that refers to people who left Baranja without a
23 permit, although there weren't any permits at that time. And whoever
24 wanted to leave the region subsequently needed a list of property they
25 wanted to take with them, and that was then controlled at the point of
1 exit. Clearly those persons were unable to take away all their property
2 and that again meant that the staffs had to be active because they also
3 sealed abandoned houses.
4 Now, of course, what they did specifically is something only
5 those who were involved can know.
6 Q. What's -- was paperwork necessary to remove property from
7 Baranja? To Serbia, for instance.
8 A. From what we see, we know that this was required and checks were
9 made, both at the staff and at the exit via the bridge.
10 Q. And it was the TO Staffs that were responsible for issuing that
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2153, Your Honours.
16 MR. OLMSTED: May we have on e-court 65 ter 291.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. I would object in the sense that, first
19 of all, the witness should be asked about something. And then show him
20 the document. Otherwise, it is leading.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Well, I believe this -- this document stems out of
23 the evidence he's already provided with regard to takeover events in
24 Baranja, and I simply want to compare some of the things that are stated
25 in this document to what he knew at the time.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Overruled.
2 MR. OLMSTED:
3 Q. This is a declaration on unconditional capitulation of Croatia in
4 the area of Baranja. And it's a -- doesn't have a date on it, but
5 there's a facsimile page with a date of 11 September, 1991.
6 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to the second page.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. May we see whose declaration is it?
9 Who -- who issued this declaration. And who signed this declaration.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, that's exactly --
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I cannot see it on the screen.
12 MR. OLMSTED: And, Your Honours, that's why I'm turning to the
13 second page.
14 Q. If we look under item 10 we see a number -- the persons who are
15 listed as the signatories of this declaration. Are you familiar with
16 these people?
17 A. The letters are too small. Could we make it larger? Just the
18 passage you want.
19 Q. Certainly.
20 MR. OLMSTED: If we could just enlarge item number 10.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. We have a technical problem for the
24 moment, Mr. Olmsted. The technician is on his way. For the moment, we
25 can't zoom in.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Well, if you --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I can make it out. Just a
4 Borivoje Zivanovic is mentioned in relation to Beli Manastir.
5 And the commander of the TO Staff, Major Borivoje Dobrokes.
6 MR. OLMSTED:
7 Q. And I think that also -- that Vida Mandic is also mentioned.
8 A. That's correct. In the second line of the second paragraph,
9 under 10.
10 Q. And who were these individuals in September of 1991?
11 A. Well, as far as I can see, it says president of the co-ordination
12 board of Yugoslav-oriented parties, Dr. Vida Mandic who was president of
13 the SDS; president of the Executive Board of Slavonia, Baranja, and
14 Western Srem for the municipality of Beli Manastir, Borivoje Zivanovic,
15 also member of the SDS; and TO staff commander, Borivoje Dobrokes, also
16 member of the SDS.
17 Q. And is that consistent with your recollection that those were the
18 positions that they held in September 1991?
19 A. I'm not sure I knew the exact position of Mrs. Vida Mandic after
20 the rotation occurred in the leadership of the Baranja SDS.
21 Q. But the others?
22 A. The others, yes.
23 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page -- we can't even turn
24 to page 1 now. If we could just wait two minutes, I think.
25 [Technical difficulty]
1 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 1 of this document.
2 Q. I want to focus your attention under -- of point 1 where it says
3 that the whole area of Baranja is under the control -- or is controlled
4 by the Territorial Defence and Beli Manastir municipality and SUP forces.
5 Sir, is that consistent with your information about the -- the
6 state of affairs as of September 1991, that Baranja was under Serb
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And perhaps can you help us out on this. It then mentions that
10 there was a military administration in Beli Manastir for three days. Do
11 you know, what are they referring to?
12 A. I'm not completely sure because it was a relatively short period,
13 too short to leave much of an impression. Military administration. I'm
14 not sure what these three days were. Was it a transition to normal
15 operation of the authorities after the liberation itself? I can't say
17 Q. Was there ever a JNA military administration in Beli Manastir or
18 in the Baranja region controlling civilian affairs or executive affairs?
19 A. Well, that's what a military administration would be, if the army
20 had been governing all affairs. I'm not sure now. The JNA was present
21 both with lower-ranking and higher-ranking commands, depending on the
22 period. But I'm not sure about those two or three days. Perhaps it was
23 a short period without any civilian authority. But I cannot claim
24 anything with any certainty.
25 Q. But you're not aware of a period when the JNA was governing
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. If we look under point 4, it states that are there no
4 paramilitaries in Baranja. You mentioned a number of units that were
5 operating in Baranja. Were you aware of any paramilitary units?
6 A. I was not. And I believe there were no paramilitary units in
7 Baranja. There had been attempts by adventurously bent individuals from
8 Serbia to join individual staffs, but that was not tolerated and they
9 were not admitted because they were not from the area.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence?
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2154, Your Honours.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. Sir, was there a radio/television transmitter in Baranja?
15 A. Yes, there was one, and it still exists.
16 Q. And what happened to this transmitter after the outbreak of the
18 A. As I've stated before, some places were taken over by the Serbs,
19 whereas others remained in the hands of the Croatian police. The TV
20 transmitter remained part of the Croatian television. Although most of
21 the places were in Serb hands, the TV transmitter still transmitted
22 programmes broadcast by Television Zagreb.
23 Q. And can you tell us what happened to that transmitter in 1991?
24 Did it remain in Croatian hands?
25 A. The TV transmitter was captured sometime in September. It was
1 guarded by five armed men. And there was also one technician whose job
2 was to take care of the quality and maintenance. When the men
3 surrendered, the TV transmitter was switched off from the Croatian
4 television and started broadcasting Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Subotica TV
6 Q. And which Serb forces took part in taking over the transmitter?
7 A. Only the Territorial Defence from three different staffs.
8 Q. I want to play you a portion of a -- of a videotape. This is 65
9 ter 4967.
10 MR. OLMSTED: And just for the sake of the translators, or
11 interpreters, the transcript begins on page 5 of both the English and the
13 And we're going to play beginning at 10 minutes and 36 seconds.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. My transcript doesn't run.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Your transcript ...
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think mine doesn't --
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
21 MR. OLMSTED: Mr. President, should we just wait?
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think we could continue, couldn't we?
24 Madam Registrar, as far as the Registry is concerned?
25 Would it be okay with you, Mr. Zivanovic?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Unfortunately not because I cannot follow the
2 same time video and the transcript on the same screen.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's correct. That's correct, yes. That's not
4 possible. Okay. We'll wait.
5 [Technical difficulty]
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think we can try to proceed, Mr. Olmsted. Is
9 it all right with you, Mr. --
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated] I believe it is.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
12 MR. OLMSTED: I'm just making sure that mine's working now.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Is it?
14 MR. OLMSTED: Right now, it's not. But actually I'm perfectly
15 fine working without it at this stage just so we can proceed.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: We were told to close it and re-open it again.
17 MR. OLMSTED: Oh.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: And that works.
19 MR. OLMSTED: That's good advice.
20 And that advice works.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President. Yes.
23 And just so we're back on the record, this is 65 ter 4967,
24 tab 43.
25 Q. And I'd like to play, sir, a video for you.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] May I -- let's just clarify the
3 issue of the Croatian TV rating. I assume it could be watched since it
4 is connected to the transmitter at Bilje. In this connection, the
5 Croatian television has sent a letter to television Novi Sad demanding
6 that they return the transmitter. We answered that this transmitter is
7 theirs if they wanted and as far as we are concerned they can use it.
8 "Goran Hadzic: It is absurd that they're asking you to return
9 it. Baranja has been liberated. Ustashas have been expelled.
10 Everything that remained on Baranja territory of the people who remained
11 there, it means the Serbs, Hungarians, and Slavonians who did not do
12 anything wrong. It's absurd. Our units took over the transmitter. They
13 liberated it and it's normal for us to decide which program to broadcast.
14 I mean, this is an absurd issue. Even Goebbels is an amateur comparing
15 to what the Croatian TV does, and that we permit them to be watched
16 through this transmitter, I mean ..."
17 MR. OLMSTED:
18 Q. Sir, could you tell us who was the man wearing the yellowish suit
19 that answered the question?
20 A. That's Mr. Goran Hadzic.
21 Q. And he mentions our units took over the transmitter. What is he
22 referring to?
23 A. He's talking about the capture of the transmitter carried out by
24 three units or, rather, units from three staffs of the Territorial
25 Defence of Baranja.
1 Q. And can you tell us, why was the Baranja transmitter significant
2 to the SAO government?
3 A. In my view, it was significant for two reasons. One is that
4 Croatia was spreading propaganda using that transmitter, and it was
5 necessary to prevent the spreading of Croatian propaganda in territories
6 under Serb control. And, secondly, with the help of these studios whose
7 programmes were taken over, it was necessary for news and programmes in
8 Baranja to be broadcast from Serb-held territory.
9 Another important thing is the strategic position of the TV
10 transmitter. After it was taken over, the JNA installed a complex radar
11 system there because it's the highest elevation in the radius of about 50
12 kilometres. So it had a dual use.
13 Q. Could you tell us what area was covered by the transmitter?
14 What -- what geographical area.
15 A. That whole geographic area. In Baranja, it is located at an
16 elevation called Baranja mountain at the highest point, at some 400
17 metres of altitude. So the top of the transmitter is 450 metres tall, if
18 you include its own height. Which means that it has a very large range.
19 Q. Did it cover Eastern Slavonia as well?
20 A. Eastern Slavonia, certainly.
21 Q. And after the takeover of the transmitter, where did the
22 broadcasts through the transmitter come from?
23 A. In the early days, the entire programme was taken over from TV
24 Serbia. And then gradually news programmes were introduced from Baranja
25 that the Beli Manastir studio had managed to prepare in the course of the
1 day to cover the developments in Baranja itself.
2 Q. And what happened to Croatian broadcasts through the transmitter?
3 A. The Croatian broadcasts were no longer transmitted from the day
4 the transmitter was taken over.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this video be tendered into
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2155. Thank you.
9 MR. OLMSTED:
10 Q. And you mentioned that there were eventually broadcasts made from
11 Baranja from Beli Manastir. Where was that studio located?
12 A. In the centre of Beli Manastir, there is a recent building called
13 P+8. In that building, there is a TV studio.
14 Q. And did any political parties exercise influence over what was
15 broadcast through the transmitter?
16 A. The SDS was the leading political party in Baranja. And there
17 was no real opposition, but if you wanted to call a party that it would
18 be the Serbian Radical Party. The programme was influenced by the SDS.
19 MR. OLMSTED: May we have 65 ter 525 on the screen. This is
20 tab 15.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. I think that the translation was not
23 correct because witness said, "I consider that the programme was
24 influenced by the SDS."
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you check that with the witness,
1 Mr. Olmsted.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Certainly, Mr. President.
3 Q. Just to confirm your last answer, the transcript reads:
4 "The programme was influenced by the SDS."
5 And Defence counsel was asking whether you, in fact, said, you
6 considered it to be influenced by the SDS.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. It was not my question, but that's
8 something that witness said.
9 MR. OLMSTED:
10 Q. Well, let me ask you this: Can you repeat your last answer
11 regarding the SDS and its influence over the programming.
12 A. I said that I thought the SDS had influence because who appointed
13 the director of the television and the editors and all the way down to
14 the camera staff and reporters? It was exclusively in a part of the
15 SDS's authority.
16 Q. We have on the screen 65 ter 525 which is an article in the
17 "Vreme" newspaper from 4 November 1991. The first paragraph deals with
18 the takeover of the Baranja transmitter, which you've already told us
19 about. If you could look at the third paragraph, the article notes that:
20 "Viewers are greeted by authorised civilian officials identifying
21 themselves as announcers."
22 Sir, do you recall seeing civilian officials over the station
23 and, if so, who?
24 A. I don't remember. Those -- in those early days, it was difficult
25 to see a civilian anywhere. Everybody was wearing some kind of a
1 uniform, either a camouflage uniform or an old JNA uniform that was
2 issued by the TO. Daily life was not very orderly. Whoever wore weapons
3 or not was wearing some kind of uniform. I don't really remember seeing
4 a civilian in those first days. Maybe I didn't watch long enough, but
5 certainly I don't remember.
6 Q. Do you recall any political leaders from the Baranja region
7 providing information over this local station?
8 A. Yes. At the very beginning, the president of the
9 Executive Council of the Beli Manastir municipality, Mr. Zivanovic,
10 briefly presented the events of the day or possibly some plans. There
11 would be reports on attempted breakthroughs or provocations on the front
12 line and the like.
13 Q. Did you consider the information being provided through the local
14 station to be objective?
15 A. Maybe not all of it. It was a problem to estimate what was a
16 serious attempted breakthrough and who provoked who because all sorts of
17 things went on, on the front line. (redacted)
22 Q. You've already mentioned some of the crimes being committed
23 against the non-Serb population in 1991. Was any information about those
24 crimes broadcast over the local station?
25 A. First of all, I must say that I didn't spend much time watching
1 TV due to the circumstances under which I lived and worked. But I don't
2 remember information about crimes or sanctions against the perpetrators.
3 Q. Now, in paragraph 5, the article reports Hadzic as stating that
4 95 per cent of the assembly delegates were SDS members.
5 I believe you already touched on this issue. Was there a
6 significant opposition in the assembly during this time-period?
7 A. I can now only interpret what I see, although I did mention that
8 this was another party in Baranja, that's the Radical Party, which was in
9 opposition to some extent, although their common goal was the liberation
10 of the Serbian people in all territories.
11 Now the question is of course what you can consider an
12 opposition. Possibly the radicals didn't agree with all aspects of
13 personnel policy. But I don't think there was a real opposition with a
14 different idealogy.
15 Q. And just number-wise, was there a large number of opposition
17 A. Now, it is important to know which period we're talking about.
18 Because the numbers varied. The SDS was certainly the strongest, most
19 numerous party in the region.
20 Now, the radicals sometimes rose over 5 per cent. Maybe they
21 reached as high as 15 per cent. But then it depends on the time-period
22 in question.
23 Q. Yes, that's a noteworthy clarification. I'm talking about the
24 period of this article, so November 1991.
25 A. I suppose that this is realistic. It -- I don't know the
1 statistical data, and this is all about statistics.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this article be admitted into
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would object.
6 First of all, we do not know the author of this article.
7 On the other side, witness could not provide any significant
8 answer about this specific issues from this article.
9 And I would say that this -- the author, this article, just
10 demonstrates the bias of the author towards Mr. Hadzic. And I -- there
11 is not any citation from his -- from his statements or something like
12 that, so I would oppose to -- to admitting of this document.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
14 MR. OLMSTED: The author that -- they provide the initials of the
15 author of this article. We obviously have a -- an original copy of the
16 article taken from the "Vreme" periodical with the date on it.
17 And we submit it relates to the evidence presented by this
18 witness thus far with regard to the transmitter in Baranja, and the local
19 broadcasts that were made over that transmitter during the period in
21 As far as the bias in the article, I think we have to leave that
22 up to, you know, the Trial Chamber taking that into consideration when it
23 decides what weight to give this, but it does corroborate the evidence of
24 this witness.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would just add that the takeover of the
2 transmitter was asked and answered by the witness with the -- and this
3 document does not help -- help us to -- to understand anything else, but
4 it contains many many other -- many other points that, in my view, are
5 not -- are not reason for -- for -- for admitting of this document into
7 MR. OLMSTED: If I may respond to that, Your Honours.
8 It -- it goes beyond the transmitter. It goes to the witness's
9 evidence regarding local programming, the existence of this local
10 broadcasts that were coming out of the Beli Manastir area after the
11 transmitter was taken over.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Objection sustained.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Mr. President, I see the time.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Olmsted.
16 Mr. Witness, we'll take our second break. We'll come back at
17 1 -- at 12.45. And, as soon as we are in closed session - closed
18 session, please - the court usher will escort you out of court.
19 [Closed session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] thank you.
10 MR. OLMSTED:
11 Q. Sir, after the outbreak of the conflict in Baranja, who was the
12 head of the Beli Manastir SUP?
13 A. The leadership, that is, the chief and the secretary,
14 Svetislav Vranic was the chief and Radoslav Zdjelarevic was the
15 secretary. These are the first two men of the Beli Manastir SUP. Number
16 one and number two.
17 Q. And just to clarify, who was number one and who was number two as
18 far as hierarchy?
19 A. In hierarchical terms the secretary of the SUP is number one and
20 the chief is number two, he is a pure operative.
21 Q. I'm not going to attempt to say the secretary's name. So let me
22 just ask you, can you tell us when was he appointed to his position?
23 A. The Beli Manastir SUP began to function once the Croatian police
24 had left. The -- I can't give you the exact date, but as soon as the
25 Croatian police left the building, the Beli Manastir SUP - that is to
1 say, the Serbian SUP of Beli Manastir - was established.
2 Q. And how many police stations reported to the SUP?
3 A. Initially, there was the milicija station at Darda and the SUP at
4 Beli Manastir. As events developed in Baranja, there was a need to cover
5 the entire territory. There was another milicija station at Batina, and
6 they controlled the border crossing, that is, the bridge at Batina. Then
7 there was another at Knezevi Vinogradi and another at Bilje.
8 Beli Manastir, Dardik, Knezovi, Vinogradi, Bilje, and Jagodnjak.
9 Q. Thank you. And by August 1991 what was the ethnic makeup of the
10 police force in Baranja? You already mentioned that the Croat police had
11 left. What was the ethnicity as of August 1991?
12 A. The police was made up of the people who had stayed in Baranja.
13 Most of the staff of the Beli Manastir SUP were Serbs. A smaller number
14 of Croats had stayed. They were police officers before. And a couple of
15 Hungarians too. The percentage of non-Serbs at the Beli Manastir SUP
16 certainly did not exceed 10 per cent.
17 Q. I want to now ask a series of questions regarding the conditions
18 in Baranja faced by the non-Serb civilian population from July 1991
19 through 1993.
20 But to help us out, first, could you break this time-frame into
21 different periods?
22 A. In rough terms, this can be divided into a number of periods.
23 The period from the start of the conflicts, that is, June, July, August,
24 when there was a sudden change of the ethnic structure of the population.
25 And there was uncontrolled arming. Whoever wanted could take up arms,
1 and it was very difficult to exercise any sort of authority at the time.
2 When civilian authorities and the TO Staff and the SUP starting
3 functioning in Beli Manastir and other institutions too, life was slowly
4 going back to normal. Again, that depended on the events on the ground,
5 whether or not there were mass expulsions of Serbs from Western Slavonia
6 because that provoked similar reactions on the other side and vice versa.
7 Speaking about refugees, let me mention that in late 1991 and in
8 1992, up until March or so, there was a massive organised influx of
9 refugees who had been expelled from Western Slavonia and had reached
10 Serbia by way of Bosnia. In Baranja, there were vacant houses belonging
11 to Croats or other non-Serbs who had left Baranja, so they were trying to
12 put these houses -- make these houses available to these refugees.
13 Q. We'll go into further detail regarding these periods in a moment.
14 But I just want to set a framework here. As I understand it, there was
15 an initial first period from June to sometime in August, and then you
16 mentioned at that there was a second period, once the SUP in
17 Beli Manastir and TO Staff began to fully function. Can you tell us
18 roughly when that second period began?
19 A. We can say that it was as of mid-September or end September 1991.
20 Q. Thank you. And then, if I understand it, there was a third
21 period in which there were a number of Serb refugees coming into Baranja,
22 and that was beginning late 1991?
23 A. Yes, that is correct. Round about December 1991, the first
24 refugees appeared. That is, in an organised fashion. Refugees had been
25 coming to Baranja from July, but in Western Slavonia, Serbs were expelled
1 and they were staying in Serbia provisionally but they were looking for a
2 more permanent solution, and Baranja seemed a solution with prospect for
3 the coming period because there were many empty houses and most of these
4 people were able to settle in the same village as their former
5 co-villagers so that social relations could be preserved.
6 Q. I first want to address this initial period, this first period,
7 beginning June and going through August. Can you tell us -- obviously
8 you've already testified that this was the period when there was the
9 takeovers of the villages and other events. What were the conditions
10 like for the non-Serb population during this first period?
11 A. They were not good. Especially for those who had a family member
12 or a friend who was -- who -- an immediate participant in the Croatian
13 forces or who had a child who had left Baranja because whoever had left
14 Baranja at that time was considered to have joined the Croatian army,
15 which was not necessarily the case. But that was the prevailing view.
16 And so whoever stayed and had someone who had left Baranja were under
17 constant pressure because of that.
18 Q. And you mention pressure. Were they subjected to crimes?
19 A. Yes, that was the most serious form of pressure. There had been
20 incidents. There were murders, expulsions. After each murder, there
21 would be more people moving out.
22 Q. And during this initial period, did the police take any measures
23 to prevent these crimes?
24 A. I don't think anybody took any measures. It was a time of
25 anarchy and general euphoria. Everybody was afraid of everyone else.
1 Everybody was armed and prepared for anything. It was difficult to keep
2 control over such large numbers of people under arms.
3 Q. When the situation calmed down later on in 1991, did the police
4 investigate any of these crimes committed during this early period, this
5 June through August period?
6 A. What does it mean to investigate a crime? The police would come
7 to the crime scene when bodies were found, for instance, and they would
8 collect some information. They would be able to identify the victim, the
9 location, et cetera, but there was no follow-up. Criminal reports would
10 be filed against an unidentified perpetrator and that would be the end of
12 Q. During this first period, were non-Serbs being arrested?
13 A. As I said, it was a period when anarchy reigned. Anybody with a
14 weapon would be able to make an arrest, and nobody was safe from arrests
15 in that situation where practically every armed person could arrest
16 someone else.
17 Q. Well, you say "anybody." Was it anybody or were they the
18 non-Serbs who were being arrested?
19 A. As a rule, it would be non-Serbs because at that time they were
20 considered an enemy and a threat.
21 Q. And can you tell us when did these arrests begin? What month.
22 A. Well, the remand prison of the Croatian SUP, once the police left
23 the building that included the prison premises, those prisons were used
24 to keep, to hold the people who were suddenly being arrested in large
1 Q. And just to clarify for the record, you refer to the Croatian
2 SUP. Would that be also the Beli Manastir SUP?
3 A. I said when the Croatian police left the SUP in Beli Manastir the
4 building remained empty, the SUP of Beli Manastir had not yet been
5 formally established, and everybody wearing a uniform was trying to
6 arrest somebody and bring them to that remand prison at the SUP.
7 Q. You testified that "...everybody wearing a uniform." Would that
8 include members of the police?
9 A. I meant primarily members of the police.
10 Q. And can you tell us, to the extent you know, why were non-Serbs
11 being arrested during this period?
12 A. For all sorts of reasons, including trivial ones. First of all,
13 anybody who was a member of the HDZ was an enemy. Anybody whose family
14 member was of the HDZ was an enemy. If somebody had left the territory
15 of Baranja and went to Croatia, they were an enemy. If somebody had
16 property that was the subject of prior conflicts and disagreements, the
17 moment had now come to settle old accounts. So there was a variety of
18 reasons for arrests.
19 Q. Besides HDZ members, were there other particular non-Serbs who
20 were especially targeted?
21 A. I said that wealthy people were particularly targeted for their
23 Q. Were any official reasons given for these arrests? Official
24 reasons provided by, for instance, the SUP or the political
1 A. As far as I recall, in that period, nobody asked for arrest
2 warrants. And, at that time, nobody could issue one. Everybody acted on
3 their own conscience in making arrests. After people were placed in that
4 remand prison at the Beli Manastir SUP, they were mistreated and beaten.
5 And as far as I know, nobody appeared before a court to prove or disprove
6 charges against them.
7 Q. Can you tell us approximately how many non-Serbs were being
8 arrested and brought to the SUP during this initial period?
9 A. It's difficult to put a number on it because these things were
10 commonplace. Happened every day.
11 Q. Was it a large number?
12 A. I think it was over 100. Not at the same time, not all at the
13 same time, but in the first 15 or 20 days.
14 Q. And you mentioned that these detainees were mistreated and beaten
15 at the prison. Who was mistreating them?
16 A. In that remand prison, nobody was really in charge of those
17 people. Anybody who wanted on a whim to get into the remand prison and
18 pick out a person to mistreat would be able to do so.
19 Q. You've already testified that there was a secretary of the SUP
20 who was appointed I believe you said some time -- well, soon after the
21 Croatian police left the SUP. Did he do anything to stop to
23 A. No, they did not. And I believe the circumstances that prevailed
24 required a better organisation of the SUP than it was able to provide at
25 that time in those early days. The hierarchy wasn't operating very well,
1 but also there was a lack of professional, trained personnel. And the
2 fact that the streets were full of people under arms was a huge problem.
3 Q. Did you see any of the prisoners at the SUP?
4 A. I had occasion to see what was going on in the yard of the SUP.
5 I saw people coming out of the remand prison to bring a service vehicle
6 or to bring firewood. They would come out occasionally into the yard.
7 Q. And how did they appear?
8 A. From their appearance, it was obvious ...
9 Q. I think -- maybe perhaps you got cut off. You said: "From their
10 appearance it was obvious ..." It was obvious what?
11 A. There was interruption in the interpretation. From their
12 appearance, it was obvious that they been subjected to physical torture.
13 You could see bruises, cuts on their faces.
14 Q. Did any prisoners die from their mistreatment?
15 A. I know of one person, Zeljko Hodak. But I'm not sure if he died
16 at the remand prisoner in Beli Manastir or after he was transported into
17 a different prison. But he died as a result of the beatings.
18 Q. After this early period, did you see further evidence that
19 prisoners were mistreated in the prison during their detention?
20 A. Most often, we found those things out from the torturers
21 themselves who bragged about it. Also, there was a time in October when
22 the mattresses were being brought out from the remand prison and they
23 were covered in blood-stains from the beatings of those people. They
24 were dirty and bloodied.
25 Q. And what eventually happened to these detainees?
1 A. A part of them were transported to Slavonia; namely to Borovo, to
2 be exchanged. And there was a continuity to the rate of arrests and
3 releases. The prisons were always full. Some prisoners were lucky and
4 would be released after five or seven days, but a good part of them ended
5 up in transports for prisoners intended for exchange.
6 Q. And can you tell us, when did these transports to Borovo occur?
7 What month.
8 A. Sometime in September, maybe even early October because there was
9 a number of these transports. I suppose it began already towards the end
10 of August. Contingents of prisoners were transferred from this remand
11 prison in Beli Manastir to Borovo where there was a collection centre for
12 these prisoners who were supposed to be exchanged for captured Serbs in
14 Q. Can you tell us, to the extent you know, how many were
15 transferred down to Borovo?
16 A. From what I know, between 50 and 80 persons were transported in a
17 number of transports to Borovo.
18 Q. And, to your knowledge, who organised these transports?
19 A. The police handled the transport in their own vehicles, and the
20 police provided drivers and escorts, guards, from the SUP of
21 Beli Manastir.
22 Q. And which bridges did these transports have to cross to get to
24 A. There's only one physical link between Baranja and Serbia, that's
25 the bridge at Batina. And the closest bridge to Borovo Selo is the
1 bridge between Erdut and Bogojevo. So the entrance was on the axis
3 Q. And who guarded these bridges on the Croatian side?
4 A. I would put it a bit differently. On the Serbian side, it was
5 the Beli Manastir SUP; and on the Serbian side, it would be the Serbian
6 police. Also at the second bridge, on the Serbian side, it was the
7 Serbian police; and on the side of Serbia proper, it would be their
8 police. When I say "Serb police," I mean the Serbian Krajina police.
9 Q. Just making sure I understand your answer. I think I understand
10 what you're intending to say. So on the SAO side, it was the Krajina
11 police; and on the Serbian side it was the Serbian MUP.
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Now, did you later obtain information as to what happened to
14 these detainees who were transported to Borovo?
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 5824-5825 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. OLMSTED:
4 Q. Sir, what were the effects of these arrests on the remaining
5 non-Serb population in Baranja?
6 A. Things like that instilled fear in themselves. The other
7 non-Serbs overtaken by fear looked at what was going on very wearily, and
8 if some were hesitating whether to stay or leave, this made them leave.
9 Q. I want to now turn to the second period that you mentioned a
10 little while back, this period from roughly September onwards of 1991.
11 Can you tell us, during this second period, what was happening to the
12 non-Serb civilian population?
13 A. The non-Serb civilian population continued to leave Baranja,
14 although in smaller numbers now. The civilian as well as the military
15 authorities had begun to function to some extent, and although there were
16 few non-Serbs left, the remaining ones stopped leaving Baranja in such
17 great numbers.
18 Q. I think you mentioned earlier today that there was a municipal
19 Executive Council who was headed by -- which was headed by Mr. Zivanovic.
20 Can you tell us, what sorts of decisions was this Executive Council
21 issuing during this period?
22 A. The decisions were about the population of Baranja; that is,
23 those who had left. They -- some deadlines were set for their return.
24 Those who had stayed were obliged to accept to be mobilised and so on.
25 There were various decisions. You don't expect me to comment on
1 every decision of the Executive Council of the municipality. There were
2 also some proclamations. And in some places there were some groups
3 bearing strange names that threatened the non-Serb population.
4 Q. Can you give the names of some of those groups.
5 A. At Batina, for example, there was group that called itself
6 Black Hand. They would throw threatening messages into the mailboxes of
8 Q. I want to look at some of these decisions.
9 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 268 on the screen. This is
10 tab 6. And I'm interested in decision number 6, which begins on the left
11 side of the page.
12 Q. And this is the decision on the termination of employment and
13 prohibition to return and remaining in Baranja, and it's dated
14 1 September, 1991. And we can see from the beginning of the document
15 that this decision applies to all persons who were in enemy units on the
16 Baranja territory, their collaborators, as well as immediate family
18 Sir, what was the impact of this decision on the non-Serb
19 population in Baranja?
20 A. The decision in this form certainly negatively affected the
21 non-Serbs in Baranja. Most non-Serbs either had children or parents or
22 friends or relatives who had left Baranja. Of course, they felt
23 threatened by this kind of decision.
24 Q. We see under article 2 that lists are to be prepared of persons
25 falling within the scope of this decision based on information in their
1 official records as well as based on information gathered from local
2 communities, companies, institutions, and citizens.
3 Were you aware that lists were being made of such persons?
4 A. There were various kinds of lists. I knew of this type but there
5 were also lists in companies. There were lists based on kinship. Each
6 staff had its own statistics and logs, and there were also statistics of
7 persons who had somebody in the Croatian armed forces.
8 Q. And can you tell us, how did a person end up on one of these
9 lists? Was there a judicial process or was it -- what was it based upon?
10 A. No, on the contrary. I think that these lists drafted by local
11 staffs should have been reviewed by the judiciary.
12 Q. And what happened to people who were put on these lists?
13 A. The most frequent sanction would be a dismissal from your job or
14 a transfer to a worse job.
15 Q. And did any Serbs protest the implementation of this -- these
16 kinds of decisions?
17 A. No. Because, objectively speaking, it was good for the Serbs.
18 Why not be promoted to a better job in this situation?
19 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2157, Your Honours.
22 MR. OLMSTED: If we may now have on e-court 65 ter 276. This is
23 tab 9. And I'm interested in decision number 57, which appears to begin
24 on the bottom left but then goes onto the top right.
25 Q. And, sir, this is a decision on the termination of employment for
1 all persons who openly supported the overthrown regime of the Republic of
2 Croatia dated 5 September 1991. Could you tell us, what was the
3 practical effect of this decision on the non-Serb population.
4 A. I mentioned a minute ago what this was about. The goal was to
5 open better jobs for those Serbs who had a prominent role in the
6 liberation of Baranja, whereas the non-Serbs either remained in worse
7 jobs, those that no Serbs were interested in, or in the worst case they
8 would be left without a job.
9 Q. Article 2 - if we scroll down a bit on the original, or scroll
10 up, I suppose - mentions -- or establishes commissions in all enterprises
11 and work organisations. What were these commissions?
12 A. These were commissions that drew up lists of people who were
13 either to be dismissed or transferred to a worse job. Those were the
14 ones ... they were drawn up by people who were deciding on the fate of
15 their former friends who worked with them in the same company.
16 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this decision be admitted into
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P21 --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no objection, but I would like just to --
22 to see what -- what kind of Official Gazette it was. Because, as far as
23 I can see, it is Official Gazette of the municipality of Beli Manastir.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you assist --
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Is it correct?
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you assist, Mr. Olmsted?
2 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, absolutely. This is the Beli Manastir
3 Municipal Gazette, and these decisions - I could have brought this out
4 through the witness - but they're all stamped and signed by the president
5 of the municipality, Borivoje Zivanovic.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Satisfied?
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. And the previous decisions also shown to
8 the witness are -- were they also published in the Official Gazette of
9 municipality of Beli Manastir?
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, absolutely. And it is self-evident
11 in the -- if you read the language in the decision themselves, it is
12 quite clear that this is coming from the Beli Manastir municipality.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 276 will become
16 Exhibit P2158. Thank you.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. OLMSTED: For this next document, it's a -- one -- has
19 protective measures, so we need to go into private session to show it.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 5832 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thanks.
11 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on e-court Exhibit P1387.1351.
12 This is tab 60.
13 And if we could turn to ...
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. OLMSTED: Good. And if we could have -- on the left screen,
16 if we could go up to page 5. And on the right screen, if we could go to
17 page 4.
18 Your Honours, it's the same document, it's just that the English
19 translation is actually contained within the document so ...
20 So page 5 on -- on -- yes, exactly, on the left. Page 4 on the
22 Q. Sir, what we have in front of us is a certificate that was issued
23 on 15 April 1992 to a person whose name appears to have been redacted
24 from the document. But the finding is that the person acted in a
25 pro-Croatian pro-Ustasha manner and was therefore undesirable. And we
1 can see that it was issued on behalf of the TO commander of Knezevo, as
2 well as the local commune president of Dubosevica. Do you know who those
3 persons were? I'm sorry.
4 A. I have a remark. I don't think that the translation matches the
5 original. I don't think this is the same document. What I have on my
6 screen certainly is not.
7 Q. I do see some discrepancies. Can -- can you read for us the text
8 of the original version, the best you can.
9 A. [As read] "This is a certificate stating that somebody publicly
10 spoke against the new authorities offending our struggle and that he
11 acted in a pro-Croatian/pro-Ustasha manner for which reasons we consider
12 this person undesirable in our community. The certificate is issued for
13 the purpose of issuing a document allowing this person to go abroad."
14 It is signed by the Territorial Defence Staff of Knezevo and
15 bears illegible signatures. And also by the local commune of Knezevo.
16 And the one who signed it on its behalf is, I believe, Ilija Plavsic.
17 Q. And did you know who Mr. Plavsic and Mr. Stojanovic were?
18 A. Yes, I knew them both.
19 Q. And based on what you knew, does it surprise you that they issued
20 this kind of certificate?
21 A. Frankly speaking, no. You could expect something like this from
23 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, this has been admitted into evidence
24 but there must be -- it looks like at least maybe the name is incorrect
25 on -- for the president. So I suppose we should have this submitted for
1 a correction.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, indeed. Something seems to be wrong,
4 Mr. Zivanovic.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I just cannot see on the original the
6 first part of the translation. Territorial Defence headquarter Knezevo,
7 et cetera. I cannot see it in original -- in original document.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Well, we could scroll up --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Overlapping speakers] Yeah.
10 MR. OLMSTED: If we could scroll up and -- that might be one of
11 the things that is be a discrepancy.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: There's nothing there.
13 MR. OLMSTED: So, Your Honours, this not -- this translation I
14 believe was part of the original document. It wasn't in-house
15 translation, so I think we will -- we'll get a proper translation on --
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Did you say that it is already an exhibit?
17 MR. OLMSTED: Yes. The whole document was tendered into evidence
18 previously. I can tell by the P number. But we didn't do an in-house
19 translation about because most of the document is English, and I think we
20 just presumed that the translation was provided with the document was --
21 was accurate. But now I think it requires some correction, and we'll get
22 that fixed. We'll order a correct translation.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: You'll get that fixed.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Yes.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: You'll come back to us. Okay.
1 MR. OLMSTED: If we could now move onto P72.50. This is tab 7.
2 And I'm interested in decision number 4, which, again, begins at
3 the bottom left of the original.
4 Q. Sir, this is a decision on the requisition of all movable and
5 immovable property belonging to companies and stores based in Croatia and
6 Slavonia -- or Slovenia dated 1 September 1991. Could you tell us, how
7 does this decision relate to the ones we've looked at regarding the
8 termination of employment, et cetera?
9 A. In Baranja, there were some companies from Croatia, apart from
10 Bilje. That is, from the territory not controlled by Serbs. There was
11 one or maybe two companies from Slovenia. One manufactured some spare
12 parts for Renault cars, and there may have been a branch office of
13 Ljubljanska Banka in Beli Manastir. I'm not sure if it was there during
14 that period in 1991. By taking over that property, they wanted to
15 preserve the jobs there. And it is clear from the previous decisions who
16 could work there and who could not and for what reasons.
17 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 449 on e-court. This is
18 tab 14. And if we could go to page 2 of the English version. I'm
19 interested in decision number 117.
20 Q. And, we see that this decision from Beli Manastir Executive
21 Council revokes the tenancy rights of persons and their family members
22 who actively participated in Croat armed forces.
23 Sir, can you tell us what percentage of apartments were socially
24 owned in Baranja in this time-period?
25 A. More or less all apartments were socially owned, whereas houses
1 were privately owned. There were apartments owned by the municipality or
2 the local -- or local self-management, and others that were owned by the
3 Bilje company.
4 Apart from that, there were also workers settlements such as
5 Jasenovac, Sokolovac, and others. They were all socially owned. There
6 were a great number of such apartments.
7 Q. What was the effect of this decision terminating tenancy rights
8 on the non-Serb population?
9 A. The effect was clear: If anybody was in the position to move in
10 with a friend or relative willing to accept them, could stay. But if
11 not, then that person has to leave the territory.
12 Q. And just to clarify your last answer, if a non-Serb person lost
13 their -- their apartment, they can move into -- would they move into
14 another apartment or to someone's home, which was owned by that person?
15 A. Someone's home. If somebody accepted them at their home, yes, it
16 was possible to stay.
17 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence?
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2160, Your Honours.
20 MR. OLMSTED: If we could on e-court 65 ter 447. This is tab 13.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: You have one -- one minute and 30 seconds left,
22 Mr. Olmsted.
23 MR. OLMSTED: Then perhaps, Your Honours, I should stop here for
24 the day.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Witness, this is the end of the -- today's hearing. We'll
2 expect you back tomorrow morning at 9.00, which means that you are not
3 released as a witness and that implies that you're not allowed to discuss
4 your testimony with anybody, and you cannot speak to any of the parties.
5 Do you understand?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. The court usher will escort
8 you out of the courtroom.
9 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, perhaps we should go --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes -- thank you. Once we are in closed session,
11 of course.
12 [Closed session]
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of June,
19 2013, at 9.00 a.m.