1 Friday, 6 September 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Biersay, appearances for the Prosecution,
12 MS. BIERSAY: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is
13 Lisa Biersay on behalf of the Prosecution, and I am here with my
14 colleague Muireann Dennehy as well as with our case manager
15 Thomas Laugel.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
18 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 Could the witness be brought in, please.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Loncar. May I remind you that
23 you are still under oath.
24 Ms. Dennehy, please proceed.
25 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 WITNESS: MLADEN LONCAR [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examination by Ms. Dennehy: [Continued]
4 Q. Good morning, Dr. Loncar. Can you hear me in a language you
6 A. Good morning. Yes, I can hear you.
7 Q. Dr. Loncar, yesterday you told the Court that one of the
8 prisoners was partly castrated and there were several other -- there was
9 several other prisoners to whom you expected that there was sexual abuse
10 happening to them. I would like to explore that topic with you this
11 morning a bit more. You told the Court yesterday that there were
12 approximately 25 to 30 women housed at the stable with the other
13 prisoners. What part of the stable were those women placed in?
14 A. Looking from where I was, they were in a corner next to the
16 Q. And without naming any of the women in question, what used to
17 happen to some of the women in the evenings?
18 A. Both I and others noticed that they were frequently being taken
19 out of the stable in the late afternoon or in the evening and they
20 wouldn't return for quite a while. Sometimes they would stay away all
21 night. And we suspected that this was not for purposes of interrogation,
22 but rather that they were being taken to the camp command or somewhere
23 else, we didn't know that, for sexual harassment.
24 Q. And again, without naming any of the women in question, did you
25 later learn the place to where they were brought?
1 A. Yes. When I saw the Begejci camp and remembered what life was
2 like there, I made up my mind that in case I survived I would devote part
3 of my work to the victims. In that context, after the exchange, I
4 started to provide psychosocial help to camp inmates, first and foremost,
5 that was in Zagreb; and I also went to refugee centres and spoke to some
6 women who survived. They corroborated my suspicion and told me
7 devastating stories. Some women had been taken not only to the guards'
8 dorms but also to hotels in Zrenjanin. They felt like private
9 prostitutes. They were being forced not only to regular sexual
10 intercourse but also fellatio and other types of violence.
11 Q. How far was Zrenjanin from the camp at Begejci?
12 A. I couldn't tell you the exact distance in kilometres. But it's
13 about a half-hour drive, thereabouts.
14 Q. And how old were the women who were kept in Begejci, what were
15 the age range?
16 A. There was a large age bracket. There were women from 20 to some
17 70 or 80 years of age. There were grannies from villages, and there was
18 also another group of women from 20- to about 40-odd years, that is,
19 women in the reproductive stage of their lives, as we say it in medicine,
20 it was mostly them who were taken away.
21 Q. You've just mentioned that there were grannies from villages.
22 What villages did these women come from?
23 A. Those women were from Tovarnik and other villages toward Ilok,
24 Lovas, Berak, also from Ilok, Sarin Grad, Bapska, that area.
25 Q. And just to confirm for the Court, these villages that you've
1 just named such as Tovarnik, Ilok, Bapska, where are those villages, in
2 what country are those villages?
3 A. In the Republic of Croatia.
4 Q. I'd now like to show you a photograph that you'll see on the
5 screen in front of you.
6 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that tab 11, that is 65 ter 6415,
7 and that's Exhibit P01641, be shown.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I saw this photograph in
9 Zagreb. These are women who were detained at Begejci camp. Perhaps I
10 could tell you some more about this photograph. This group of women was
11 kept at the central camp for a while, that is, in that stable. And when
12 the Red Cross was supposed to arrive they were transferred to the command
13 building. This was taken in that building, where those women were kept
14 for a while.
15 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, can I please -- I'd like the record
16 to reflect what the witness has just said in relation to the exhibit.
17 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar. I'd now like to have you look at another
18 document and that is 65 ter 857. Now, before we discuss the document,
19 I'd like you to explain the visits of the Red Cross. You've just
20 mentioned that the Red Cross -- before the Red Cross came, the women in
21 the previous photograph were moved to the command building. How many
22 times did the Red Cross visit the camp while you were at Begejci?
23 A. Twice while I was there. The first time around they came
24 routinely, they made a list of us all, so that we felt safe to some
25 extent, at least I, because we had the feeling that we had been
1 registered and that people knew of us.
2 When they came for the first time, we gave our names and our
3 profession. The second time around they wanted to speak to me
4 specifically. I was the only medical doctor in the stable. I then spoke
5 to the ICRC representative whose mother tongue was French. He was
6 accompanied by a professional interpreter, and at one point he asked me
7 what my expectations were. And I answered that I expected to be
8 exchanged. And he said, "Relax your arms and raise your head." And then
9 I relaxed for a moment and I -- my concentration sank, I forgot that
10 there was an officer standing behind me, and I was asked by the ICRC man,
11 "Do you have anything else to say to me?" And I said, "You know, they
12 took my car." And the interpreter did a professional job, but the
13 officer behind me started swearing, cursing my Ustasha mother and what
14 have you. And the interpreter continued to interpret. And then I was in
15 terrible fear because I realised what had happened. But then that guy
16 also became upset because he realised that he had threatened me in the
17 presence of an international and started saying -- explaining to that
18 ICRC man that nothing would happen to me and so on.
19 When these people left, the ICRC people, I never saw them again.
20 Q. Dr. Loncar, how did the attitude of the camp guards change
21 towards the prisoners before the ICRC representative visited?
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, it seems that there is an error in
24 translation. The witness said that he never -- never saw his car.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you clarify with the witness, Ms. Dennehy.
1 MS. DENNEHY: Before I do so, Mr. President, I'm not quite clear
2 on what counsel's objection to the translation is if --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: What happened after the --
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is last sentence before the question, last
5 sentence before the question.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: What happened after the ICRC delegation left.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Maybe the witness could repeat whole -- the
9 MS. DENNEHY:
10 Q. Dr. Loncar, there appears to be an issue in relation to part of
11 your previous answer and the interpretation of it. Just to clarify that,
12 you said that the ICRC man said, "Do you have anything else to say to
13 me?" And you responded, "You know they took my car." Is it correct to
14 say that that is what you said to the ICRC representative?
15 A. Yes, yes. That's what I said, and at that point the officer,
16 whose presence I had forgotten and he was standing behind me, started
17 swearing, "Why are you saying that?" But I didn't give you the entire
18 context. The provincial SUP took my car. That's where it was. But I
19 didn't finish my sentence.
20 And after the exchange or after the departure of the ICRC I was
21 too scared to ever inquire about that again and I never got my car back.
22 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar. Now if I could put the question that I --
23 my last question to you again. How did the attitude of the camp guards
24 change before the visits of the ICRC?
25 A. The way of life improved somewhat on the occasion of the first
1 ICRC visit. I also mentioned yesterday that they started cutting our
2 hair and shaving us. One of the inmates was a barber and he cut our
3 hair. That was one thing. Another thing, they were careful not to
4 inflict any visible injuries on us, at least not on the uncovered parts
5 of the body such as the face. We, inmates, at least felt some -- felt
6 safer psychologically once we had been registered.
7 Q. Now, Dr. Loncar, if I can ask you to look at the document on the
8 screen in front of you. Halfway down the first page in the English
9 copy - and I believe it's the same in the B/C/S version - there is a
10 Zelimir Loncar, a psychiatrist in Vukovar Hospital mentioned. Can you
11 please comment on whether you are of the view that that's the correct
13 A. I think that this is a mistake. There is no such person as
14 Zelimir Loncar. Probably they meant me, Mladen Loncar. And ...
15 Q. And in that same paragraph, the -- it says:
16 "In the village of Begejci ..."
17 And then it goes on to say:
18 "Reminiscent of World War II concentration camps, it had barbed
19 wire fences patrolled by armed guards, dogs and search lights ..."
20 What is that description referring to?
21 A. That is a description of Begejci camp about which I spoke at the
23 Q. And, Dr. Loncar, why do you characterise Begejci camp as a
24 concentration camp?
25 A. Why, Your Honours? One reason is the things I went through. At
1 very moment I entered the camp, I saw a terrible scene that I had only
2 seen in movies so far. And then there was the organisation at the camp.
3 In films I saw and in the little reading that I did about World War II
4 camps, they were described almost in the identical manner. Each room had
5 a room monitor in charge of order and discipline. They were inmates too.
6 One's name was Mirko, the other's Krasnici. On one occasion I was
7 slapped on the face a couple of times and those room monitors were also
8 beaten occasionally, not only we. And it was the same in World War II.
9 And there is also a legal aspect, and although I'm not a lawyer I
10 think I understand. I requested to be tried, but the reply was that
11 there are no grounds for that. So people who are being kept without any
12 legal grounds and deported based on the arbitrary decision of the police
13 and military authorities because they were of a different ethnicity, a
14 different religion, or had different political views. Why am I
15 mentioning this latter moment? Because there were also some Serb
16 inmates, because they held different political views. That's why I
17 described this camp as a concentration camp.
18 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar.
19 MS. DENNEHY: And Mr. President, I'd like to now ask that 65 ter
20 857 be admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2984, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MS. DENNEHY:
25 Q. Dr. Loncar, how old was the oldest camp detainee as far as you
1 are aware?
2 A. As far as I can remember, the oldest detainee was about 80 years
4 Q. And how old was the youngest detainee?
5 A. I think that there was a boy there who was about 14 or 15 years
6 old from a village between Vukovar and Ilok, I cannot remember exactly
7 where. I remember him distinctly because he was beaten terribly. TV
8 crews came a few times from Belgrade and Novi Sad. An officer would
9 stand behind the cameramen. Then he'd give a sign to this young boy and
10 then he'd have to say that he had slaughtered people, that he had cut off
11 children's fingers to make necklaces out of them. He recited this as if
12 it were a poem, that particular text. That's why I remember that boy.
13 Q. And did he cite that particular text under duress, do you know?
14 A. Of course. He was not of an age to have been able to do that and
15 he didn't do it in the first place. In my view, he was even a
16 border-line case of mental retardation. So he was forced to say whatever
17 he was told to say in order to be able to survive.
18 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that 65 ter 784 be shown.
19 Q. Dr. Loncar, you'll shortly see another press article appear on
20 the screen in front of you.
21 MS. DENNEHY: That's tab 1 of the Court's bundle.
22 Q. Dr. Loncar, in the third bottom from the bottom of this text it
24 "Mladen Loncar told at a news conference broadcast live on Zagreb
25 Radio that he saw at least one man die after being bruised and bloodied
1 in a beating at a camp near Sremska Mitrovica ..."
2 Is it correct to say that the camp was near Mitrovica?
3 MR. GOSNELL: Objection, Mr. President. This has happened many
4 times and I haven't objected, but now I do object that this is leading.
5 What's occurring is that a document is being put to the witness and then
6 a confirmation is being sought. We heard a long intervention from the
7 Prosecution several weeks ago that that was inappropriate because it was
8 leading and I agree with him.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy.
10 MS. DENNEHY: I can rephrase the question, Mr. President.
11 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, rephrasing doesn't resolve the
12 issue. The question should be asked first. If the witness can't answer,
13 then of course refreshing is possible, but that should only be done after
14 the initial question is asked in a non-leading manner.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy.
16 MS. DENNEHY: I'll disregard my question and ask another.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
18 MS. DENNEHY:
19 Q. Dr. Loncar, the third paragraph from the bottom of this text
20 refers to comments that you made. Who is the man that you refer to who
22 MR. GOSNELL: Objection, Mr. President. We're doing -- my
23 learned friend is doing exactly the same thing that she did on the two
24 previous questions.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: I agree with you, Mr. Gosnell.
1 This is just doing in some particular detail exactly the same.
2 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, I am attempting to provide a
3 foundation for the admission of this document. I can select other parts
4 of this document if the Defence would prefer. The questions I'm asking
5 have been covered in the witness's evidence in chief already. I don't
6 believe any of this is new information. I'm simply attempting to provide
7 a foundation for the admission of this document.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: That is a document that is actually on the
9 screen, I take it, yes?
10 MS. DENNEHY: Yes, that's correct.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy, we have a witness on the stand who
13 is able, to a certain extent, to testify about the events. So why would
14 we then need a news article that tells us that some people told about
15 this -- about these events? It isn't helpful. So I think -- I think
16 your attempts to get this document tendered are not very helpful.
17 MS. DENNEHY: Yes, Mr. President. I'll move on to another
18 document in that case.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that 65 ter 6413, that's
21 Exhibit P01639, page 2, be shown.
22 Q. Dr. Loncar, do you recognise the photographs in front of you?
23 A. Yes. This is a photograph that was taken during the existence of
24 the Begejci camp.
25 Q. And looking at the second photograph, that's the bottom
1 photograph, who are the men in that photograph?
2 A. They're among the first inmates who were brought to the camp of
3 Begejci, they're from Valpovo, and they were called the pioneer group.
4 They wore JNA uniforms when they were brought to the camp so that they'd
5 look like JNA soldiers.
6 Q. And what were those men required to do at the camp, at Begejci?
7 A. Since they were among the first to arrive, they were lying
8 opposite me in the stable. So I contacted them the most. We could
9 whisper and communicate that way. They said that when they arrived they
10 were a small group, between 20 and 30 persons. They were guarded by the
11 military police and they worked on building the camp in the following
12 way. They were digging, then placing poles, putting barbed wire on these
13 poles. As they said then, the guards told them that "more Ustashas would
15 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, can I please ask that this -- that
16 Dr. Loncar's comments in relation to this exhibit be reflected on the
18 May I now ask that tab 10, that is 65 ter 6414, be shown to the
20 Q. Dr. Loncar, do you recognise this photograph in front of you?
21 A. Yes. On the drawing that I spoke about yesterday, if you
22 remember I marked the eves yesterday and we had a half-hour break I said
23 when we could take a walk during the day within that compound. You can
24 see the wire here, it's a bit blurred, and from that photograph where
25 there are two women with white head scarves, between the two poles you
1 can see a woman with a white scarf.
2 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that the 65 ter 6414 be admitted.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is this another document?
4 MS. DENNEHY: Yes, this is a separate document from the one we
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2985, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 MS. DENNEHY:
10 Q. Dr. Loncar, were there any foreign prisoners held at Begejci?
11 A. Yes. What I know is that there were two Romanians but not from
12 Vojvodina, they were from Romania itself. They did not speak Croatian or
13 Serbian. And also there were two younger men. We think that they were
14 students. We heard something like that, that they were from Sri Lanka.
15 Their skin was black and they were travelling through the former
17 Q. And what happened to those men from Sri Lanka?
18 A. If we go back to what I said yesterday during my testimony, they
19 were lying at the very end, or rather, by the door of the stable. And
20 they were exposed to very low temperatures there. They come from such a
21 climate that they're not used to low temperatures. On the other hand,
22 they were tortured in an exceptionally bad way. I can describe one or
23 two things that happened that remain imprinted in my memory. One was
24 that they beat them and made them sing songs. They did not speak
25 Croatian or Serbian. They didn't speak the language. They didn't know
1 the songs, and they were beaten terribly. Then guards made them lie
2 down. They called out their names, and they beat them so badly that at
3 one point both of them fell unconscious. I remember that. I was so
4 scared because a guard hollered, "Come here, Doctor," and I thought that
5 it was my turn to be beaten. However, he ordered me, by using a swear
6 word, to check whether, as he said, these monkeys were alive. I leaned
7 over, took their pulse. Fortunately the men were alive and I said that
8 they were alive, and he said, "Off you go, skedaddle." They were beaten
9 most terribly at that camp. They stayed after I did. I don't know what
10 happened to them. I asked. Allegedly their embassy sought them and I
11 don't know what happened to them ultimately.
12 Q. Now, I'd now like to move on to your time after you left Begejci.
13 How long in total did you spend at the camp?
14 A. Well, I said when I arrived and then I was exchanged on the 10th
15 of December, three days, then say until the 6th or 7th of
16 October [as interpreted] a bus came to the camp, and then they started
17 calling out names. They called out my name too, and we went into a bus.
18 And they said, "You're going off for an exchange."
19 Q. Dr. Loncar, I'd just like to clarify. Did you say that you
20 stayed until the 6th or 7th of October or of another month?
21 A. No, no, December.
22 Q. And when you left Begejci on the 6th or 7th of December, where
23 did you go to?
24 A. That bus drove us to Stajicevo camp. The bus was almost full.
25 We were there for up to half an hour. We did not enter the camp. We
1 didn't leave the bus. But I saw from the window that it was identical or
2 similar to the Begejci camp. Dr. Emedi from Vukovar and a few other
3 persons entered the bus and then we went on.
4 Q. And where were you brought to along with Dr. Emedi from Vukovar?
5 A. We were taken to Belgrade, to the military investigative prison.
6 We arrived there. They first brought us into a waiting room on the
7 ground floor. I didn't know these people, but then they started calling
8 out our names and they took us to different cells.
9 Q. And when were you ultimately exchanged?
10 A. The 10th of December, 1991.
11 Q. And can you describe the days before your exchange on the 10th of
13 A. When we arrived, then they took us to different cells. It was a
14 classical prison. I remember that on that occasion I was in the same
15 cell as Dr. Njavro, who is deceased now, and also a technician from the
16 Vukovar Hospital --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the three of us were in that
19 room. As far as I can remember, this was on the second or third floor of
20 the prison. During my stay there, during those three days, they took us
21 out for an exchange every day and every time we'd run a gauntlet of the
22 military police, and I would be beaten with a truncheon every time, on
23 the head or my body. And then it would turn out that for some reason the
24 exchange would not take place or they'd say, "Croatia doesn't want you,"
25 and they would return us to the prison again, the military investigative
1 prison in Belgrade. That was repeated on the following day as well and
2 it was only on the third day that after running the gauntlet we boarded a
3 bus and came to the military airport at Batajnica. The bus was
4 relatively close to the military plane. It was a transporter plane. So
5 you'd enter from the back. It wasn't a passenger plane, it was a
6 transport plane. So we'd run a police gauntlet there too, and I remember
7 before boarding the plane the last time I was hit with a truncheon was on
8 the head close to my ear. I felt this terrible pain, and then we finally
9 boarded the airplane.
10 I don't know who it was that was behind me then, but it was a
11 general who boarded the plane, the back door was closed, and we took off
12 for Zagreb.
13 Q. What was the name of the general who boarded the plane with you?
14 A. I didn't know his name then. I knew the rank. I've already said
15 that I did my military service in the former JNA, so I knew what ranks
16 were. Inside he started giving people cigarettes and he started talking,
17 so we were relaxed. We didn't have to keep our heads down any longer. I
18 remembered his face, therefore, very well. I saw him on television, on
19 Croatian television, later. It was General Aleksandar Vasiljevic.
20 Q. Dr. Loncar, I'd now like to very briefly discuss what you have
21 done since your release. How did the detention change your professional
22 career path?
23 A. Well, everything I lived through and everything I saw affected me
24 and it made me help these people, on the one hand by protecting human
25 rights and on the other hand by providing this kind of psychological and
1 social assistance. This interest turned out to be the right thing
2 because no one really did anything with these victims, survivors,
3 et cetera. I started doing that immediately after the exchange with
4 victims and survivors. Spontaneously I started taking statements from
5 them. On the one hand I collected information about violations of
6 international humanitarian law and human rights, but on the other hand it
7 was therapeutical because a feeling of being a victim oneself is not very
8 pleasant. When people would write this down they would become witnesses
9 too. So a victim feels much better that way. The victim no longer feels
10 rejected by society, punished by society, and then this feeling of guilt
11 that they had. Somehow for the first time such a person would feel
12 socially useful after undergoing such traumatic experience.
13 Q. What was the name of the organisation that you established
14 following your release from Begejci?
15 A. Can I just answer in two sentences. Since I met Dr. Njavro at
16 the military investigative prison and we were exchanged on the same day,
17 I assume that beforehand he knew the dean of the school of medicine of
18 Zagreb university, Professor Kostic. So I became one of their associates
19 and I started working for them as a freelancer. At the same time within
20 that department that was under the Ministry of Health at that time, I
21 established the medical centre for human rights. It was attached to the
22 school of medicine of the University of Zagreb.
23 Q. And how many patients has the centre of human rights treated
24 since its establishment?
25 A. Well, some were treated on our premises, but we also went to
1 refugee centres, between 3- to 5.000 persons were treated.
2 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar.
3 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, that concludes my
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Ms. Dennehy.
6 Cross-examination, Mr. Gosnell.
7 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Good morning,
8 Your Honours.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:
10 Q. Good morning, Doctor.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. My name is Christopher Gosnell. I'll have a few questions for
13 you this morning. If any of them are not clear, please let me know and
14 I'll do my best to assist you with that. Do you understand?
15 A. Thank you.
16 Q. You testified that you received your last interrogation at the
17 Novi Sad SUP building on the 4th, 5th, or 6th of November, 1991, and
18 that's at transcript page 8204, and that you were then taken to Paragovo
19 in the area of Fruska Gora. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes. But yesterday --
21 Q. And in what country is Paragovo?
22 A. Paragovo is in the Republic of Serbia.
23 Q. How far is that from Ilok, Paragovo?
24 A. Well, I was never there but it's closer to Novi Sad and it's a
25 road that's on the Srem side. Then I could put it in terms of time, say
1 it's a half-hour drive, up to 45 minutes. This would be a free estimate
2 of mine.
3 Q. You said that during your time at Paragovo you were interrogated
4 by three majors in the KOS. Can you -- did they ever mention their names
5 or did you hear their names being mentioned at any time during these
7 A. No, they never mentioned their names. I only knew the ranks
8 because they wore uniforms with rank insignia that I know from when I did
9 my military service in the JNA. That's why I said three majors. I don't
10 know the names.
11 Q. And the facility at Paragovo, was it run by the military police?
12 A. I have to be clear on this, our movement was restricted but, yes,
13 it was military police that guarded the facility. They had "VP"
15 Q. And the officers who took you from the Novi Sad SUP to Paragovo,
16 were those police officers? Were they military police? What was their
17 affiliation or identity?
18 A. No, they wore civilian clothes. They didn't have any kind of
19 uniforms. They had civilian clothes and a civilian car. So they were
20 not military personnel.
21 Q. And yesterday you described their affiliation as being to the
22 secret police. Do I understand that to mean the Serbian DB?
23 A. Yes. I'm convinced that this was the case. If you allow a short
24 digression, we learned about forensics at the faculty of medicine and we
25 knew what the crime police was doing because there was a co-operation in
1 place. I'm sure these people weren't from the crime police but from the
2 secret police that collected intelligence, as it were.
3 Q. You said during your testimony yesterday at the provisional
4 transcript, page 68, that one of these majors who was interrogating you
5 at Paragovo told you that he had searched your family house. Do I
6 understand that to be a reference to your family house at Ilok?
7 A. Yes, Ilok.
8 Q. Did they at any time explain to you why they were interested in
9 your family house in Ilok?
10 A. No. They weren't looking for anything particular. I was telling
11 the truth all the time. I was saying that I was first and foremost a
12 medical doctor, that I had nothing to do with any military activity, and
13 as I said yesterday and I can amend what I said, I said that I was
14 interrogated by a lieutenant who didn't beat me or anything, but apart
15 from saying that there were no elements for me to be tried, he also said
16 that I -- I was the leader of a unit bearing a name Croatian something.
17 And I replied, "No, I never did that." Even when I served my compulsory
18 military service in the JNA, I was in the medical service.
19 Q. Aside from the information that you received from the major, who
20 indicated that they had searched your family house in Ilok, did you ever
21 learn from any source the role that KOS may have had in the surrender of
22 Ilok and the subsequent departure of the majority -- the vast majority of
23 the civilian population?
24 A. At that point, or rather, I'll provide an answer in two parts, if
25 I may. One will refer to my detention at the camp and the other to some
1 information I got later from some documents. While I was at the camp,
2 based on the questions they asked me, I concluded that they were
3 interested in military matters and that their purpose was to take Ilok
4 and the surrounding areas. And that's how they targeted their questions,
5 what I knew about Ilok and the surroundings. And secondly, if the
6 Trial Chamber cares to hear, I can add what I learned by investigating
7 into human rights violations.
8 Q. No, Dr. Loncar. I think we'll leave that aside. But thank you
9 for your answer.
10 Did the majors themselves -- or were they the only ones to beat
11 you or other prisoners? Or did the military police also engage in
12 beatings at Paragovo?
13 A. The military police also took part. I remembered that because I
14 didn't expect such high-ranking officers to stoop so low. That's how I
16 Q. Did you see the three -- or did you yourself experience the
17 three -- any of the three majors ordering military policemen to beat you
18 or anyone else?
19 A. No. No such order was issued in my presence, but I was able to
20 tell from their actions that it didn't happen spontaneously.
21 Q. Did the military police beat you or anyone else in the presence
22 of those majors as far as you know?
23 A. Yes, there were such cases.
24 Q. Did it happen to you?
25 A. No, not to me. In the presence of the majors, there was no one
1 else present then. I'm speaking about Paragovo now.
2 Q. And you mentioned that these majors slapped you. Do I understand
3 correctly that each of them slapped you?
4 A. Those two were there on the first and the second day. And the
5 third one, who allegedly searched my house, only insulted me and used
6 rough language but didn't beat me.
7 Q. Did he threaten you, the third major?
8 A. Yes, between the lines there were threats. The swear words also
9 carried a threatening message.
10 Q. Did he threaten your family?
11 A. They inquired about my family. Fortunately, though, my family
12 had left Ilok on a convoy on the 17th of October. No one of my closest
13 family remained in Ilok.
14 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P2981, please, which is Prosecution
15 tab 12.
16 Q. Doctor, this is the receipt that you looked at during your direct
17 examination - it's coming up on the screen in front of you - for
18 temporarily confiscated items. And --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And if we could go to page 2 of the English but please leave page
21 1 of the B/C/S. There are items there mentioned -- described as:
22 "Money vouchers.
23 "500.000 dinars - 1 voucher;
24 "100.000 dinars - 1 voucher;
25 "500 dinars - 1 voucher;
1 "100 dinars - 1 voucher."
2 What is a money voucher?
3 A. I must admit that my memory is failing a bit. There was some
4 vouchers in circulation but I don't know if they were for fuel or any
5 other goods. I -- I'm not sure what they were for. They may have been
6 for food, but they were vouchers. As far as I remember - and I'm talking
7 from memory now - that vouchers were issued instead of money for some
8 goods that were in short supply.
9 Q. Did you receive those vouchers from the Ilok authorities while
10 you were there during that month of September 1991?
11 A. No, no. This was at Novi Sad.
12 Q. And who do you think in Novi Sad gave you those vouchers?
13 A. I could only have received them at work. It may have been
14 through the union. I don't really remember. I know that those vouchers
15 weren't of any great value.
16 Q. Do you remember that there was a work obligation programme in
17 effect in Ilok in September 1991 while you were there?
18 A. No. I don't know of that, not me personally.
19 Q. Well, the local authorities -- well, I didn't ask you whether you
20 personally were a part of it. I'm asking you whether there was such a
21 programme in existence, whether you had heard from anyone that there was
22 a work obligation programme in existence in Ilok in September 1991?
23 A. Not as far as I know.
24 Q. So the civilian authorities in Ilok did not take it upon
25 themselves, given the dire circumstances in the town, to organise the
1 civilian population as needed to perform various tasks for the city, for
2 the town?
3 A. I must admit that I didn't have close relations with the city
4 authorities because my activities were mostly limited to the infirmary.
5 If you're referring to the accommodation provided for displaced persons
6 from the surrounding villages, I might be able to say something. My
7 parents told me that in our house we put up some five to ten people
8 because we also had a basement, but I don't know about the rest.
9 Q. And who organised that?
10 A. My parents never told me. I think it was more or less
11 spontaneous, but these are my assumptions now. People were called upon
12 to receive these displaced persons if they could and everybody was afraid
13 so they all spent the nights in basements. That's what my parents told
14 me when they were still alive.
15 Q. Did you ever receive the items back listed on this receipt in
16 front of you? Did you receive those items back from the authorities of
17 the Begejci camp?
18 A. I did sign a slip of paper, but the only thing I got back were my
19 ID, my driving licence, and the and the registration certificate for my
20 car. I brought those back to Zagreb.
21 MR. GOSNELL: Could we please have Defence tab 3, 65 ter 05230.
22 Q. While that's coming up, could I just ask you, Doctor, is it
23 correct that your family returned to their home in Ilok in 1999?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did they move back to the same house that they had occupied prior
1 to October 1991?
2 A. If you're talking about my family, my brother-in-law was the
3 first to go back. Our family house and the houses of my two sisters and
4 their families are on the same street, very close to each other. So my
5 brother-in-law went back and two elderly Serbian persons were there. For
6 a while they lived together. But on one day after a certain while, I
7 don't know how long, they just went away, just left. But during that
8 time they occupied the same house.
9 Q. And where were these elderly Serbian persons from? Where did
10 they originate from, if you know?
11 A. I'm not sure, but I think that they were from Western Slavonia.
12 That's the -- my conclusion from what my brother-in-law told me, but
13 that's an assumption of mine.
14 Q. Now you've described your brother-in-law returning and also the
15 houses of your two sisters on the same street. Do I understand correctly
16 then that we're dealing with three houses in total of your family that
17 your family returned to?
18 A. Yes, but not all of them were in good enough state to live in,
19 and that especially applies to my parents' house; it was devastated.
20 Q. And when you say "devastated," what precisely do you mean?
21 A. I can describe it. Doors and windows had been taken out, so you
22 couldn't move in and start living there immediately before making
24 Q. The house had not been burnt, had it?
25 A. No.
1 Q. And what was the condition of the other two houses of your family
3 A. They were also damaged, but I must add that my parents had an old
4 house and a newer house on the same plot. The so-called -- it was a
5 so-called old house where my parents lived and they went -- when -- they
6 lived there when they had to leave Ilok. Upon return, we started
7 building, or rather, at some point we started building a new house, but
8 that was unfit for living, as I described, because it was left without
9 doors and windows. And the old house was in such a poor state, so
10 devastated, that it had to be demolished. It couldn't be repaired
11 because supporting walls had been so badly damaged.
12 Q. Now, your parents' house, both the old house and this newer house
13 that you've just been describing, were they vacant upon your return --
14 or, sorry, upon your family's return, were they vacant or was there
15 someone there?
16 A. Yes, they were vacant, the houses that belonged to my parents.
17 Q. So the houses that were occupied, the two houses that were
18 occupied, were in better condition than the houses that were vacant;
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. GOSNELL: If we could please turn to page 2 of the B/C/S of
22 the document in front of us.
23 Q. Now, this, Doctor, is a document from the RSK dated the 15th of
24 September, 1992. I don't say that you've seen this document. I'm sure
25 you haven't. But it's describing --
1 A. No, I didn't.
2 Q. But it's describing what may have been occurring, at least from a
3 legal perspective, during your family's absence from Ilok. And down at
4 the bottom of the second paragraph we see an indication that:
5 There are "no cases in which property confiscation has been
6 pronounced as an additional sentence has been registered so far."
7 And that's referring to property that has been left by refugees.
8 And then if I could direct your attention to the middle of paragraph 3
9 and if we could turn the page to page 2 of the English. And it says:
10 "On the other hand, please do not be confused by the fact that a
11 certain number of individuals banished from the territory of the Republic
12 of Croatia has moved into buildings in the Republic of Serbian Krajina,
13 which had previously been abandoned for various reasons by their owners.
14 This measure - temporarily moving in, primarily has a humanitarian
15 aspect, without the right of the temporary inhabitants to treat the
16 property as their own."
17 Now, first of all, can I ask you: Did the elderly Serbian
18 inhabitants that your family encountered upon returning to their houses,
19 did they ever indicate that they believed that they owned those houses?
20 A. No. My parents' house was unfit for living in, but in my
21 brother-in-law's house there were these people and I saw them. They were
22 elderly, they had chickens, were on normal speaking terms with my
23 brother-in-law while they were -- during the short spell that they were
24 there, and they were saying that they would leave as soon as their
25 problem was resolved. That's what my brother-in-law told me. I don't
1 know where they went. I suppose that they returned to their own place.
2 Q. So they understood that they were there in your houses
3 temporarily; correct?
4 A. That's what I understood.
5 MR. GOSNELL: I tender this document, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D102, Your Honours.
8 MR. GOSNELL:
9 Q. Now, I'd like to turn to what you were just testifying about this
10 morning, your departure from Batajnica airport. And you said you
11 received a blow on the back of your head or somewhere on your head with a
12 baton and then there was a general, who you realised was present on the
13 plane or behind you. Now, did this general observe you being struck on
14 the head with the baton?
15 A. I'm certain that he had to see it because the distance wasn't
16 great. I was in the last column to enter the plane and we ran this
17 gauntlet. I of course felt my own pain, didn't feel that of others, but
18 others were beaten as well and there was no way of not seeing that.
19 Q. Are you saying he would have seen the gauntlet as a whole in
20 operation as the prisoners boarded the plane?
21 A. Yes, that's my opinion. The gauntlet was reached from the bus to
22 the plane's tailgate. I was the last in the column to board the plane
23 and at a point I saw this officer somewhere behind me, and only on board
24 the plane I saw his face and his rank.
25 Q. And you've testified that you subsequently identified that
1 individual as General Vasiljevic. Did you hear General Vasiljevic tell
2 any of the individuals in this gauntlet to stop doing what they were
4 A. That officer, and I didn't know who he was at that moment, didn't
5 say anything. He just boarded the plane and then started talking to us
6 as if nothing had ever happened. Only later I found out after inquiring,
7 and I also saw him on television, because we were exchanged for the
8 so-called Labrador group in Zagreb. That's what I know from the media.
9 I didn't witness it. That Labrador group was a KOS group. According to
10 media reports they placed an explosive device by the entrance to the
11 Jewish community in Zagreb. I repeat that I know all this from the
12 media. And they confirmed that General Aleksandar Vasiljevic came to
13 exchange us for the Labrador group.
14 Q. Did the KOS have a particularly negative reputation as far as you
15 know -- knew in 1991 for acts of brutality, sabotage, terrorism and so
17 A. It was by no means popular as far as I know.
18 Q. Well look at my question and see if you can answer that, did it
19 have a reputation for engaging in acts of terrorism, brutality, and so
21 A. Well, yes, that's what I heard. I cannot state with certainty
22 that they did engage in that, but I heard from one victim during my work
23 that the KOS in Western Slavonia dressed up in HV uniforms and brutally
24 raped a woman at -- and they also taped that so as to show how Croatian
25 soldiers were allegedly behaving, but now I'm relating a story that I
2 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D773, which is Prosecution tab --
3 Defence tab 4, I believe.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy.
5 MS. DENNEHY: The Prosecution would object to the use of this
6 exhibit, and my objections, I'm afraid, will have to take place outside
7 of the witness's presence, given the nature of the objections.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
9 MR. GOSNELL: Excuse me, Mr. President, I'm sorry to intervene,
10 but actually there shouldn't be any reason for the witness to leave and
11 there shouldn't be any reason for closed session either as long as we are
12 careful as to how we proceed.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Well, wouldn't we know that only after having
14 heard Ms. Dennehy's submissions?
15 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I suppose so, Mr. President. But I would
16 just -- I suppose I would just ask my learned friend to re-consider
17 whether it's really necessary.
18 MS. DENNEHY: The Prosecution has considered this point and I
19 would not like to go any further without the witness being taken from the
20 courtroom at this time.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Loncar, we will ask you to leave the
22 courtroom for a moment. The usher will escort you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy, I'm not sure that you also asked for
1 closed session?
2 MS. DENNEHY: I haven't yet done so, but I would ask that we go
3 into closed session, please.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Closed session, please.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 8260-8261 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 Re-examination by Ms. Dennehy:
2 Q. Dr. Loncar, my learned friend asked you about General Vasiljevic
3 at Zagreb -- on the way to Zagreb and your transfer from Belgrade to
4 Zagreb. I'd like to ask you: Did General Vasiljevic give you or any of
5 the other prisoners anything while you were on the plane?
6 A. Yes. On that plane he offered cigarettes to us. At that time I
7 used to smoke too. Most of us were smokers, so I did take a cigarette
8 from him.
9 Q. And how did he behave towards you and the other prisoners on the
11 A. On the plane he was totally okay. I cannot say that he was
12 either arrogant or -- how do I put this? He talked with us normally.
13 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar.
14 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, that concludes my re-examination.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you two
19 questions in order to clarify things. During your testimony you
20 mentioned the fact that you tried to resuscitate or you tried to care for
21 the prisoners who were in the Begejci camp. But when you gave us your CV
22 you told us that you were a psychiatrist and that you were specialising
23 in psychological traumatology. But I would like to know the following:
24 Have you also studied general medicine? Are you a general doctor?
25 A. Your Honour, precisely. First of all, I had to get a degree in
1 general medicine, that is to say to be a general practitioner. Then I
2 had to do an internship for a year, that is to say to go through all the
3 different clinics and then to pass a professional state examination in
4 order to be able to work as a GP. And then I did -- I did specialised
5 training in psychiatry for three years. So after getting my medical
6 degree, I specialised in psychiatry for an additional three years.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. That's
9 I would like to ask you a second question. When you were
10 arrested - and that took place in front of your friend's house, I think
11 this took place in Novi Sad - policemen asked you some questions. They
12 wanted to know whether you had contacts with the Hungarian community. Do
13 you know why they asked you that question?
14 A. Your Honour, I can just speculate. One of my assumptions as to
15 why they asked was that in Vojvodina there was a great deal of resistance
16 then to mobilisation. This was among the ethnic minorities but also the
17 Serb population who didn't feel like going to war. So was it along those
18 lines that they wanted to find something out? I don't know. But this
19 was my assumption, that that would be it.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Loncar, this brings your testimony to an end.
22 We thank you very much for coming to The Hague to assist us. You're now
23 released as a witness and we wish you a safe journey back home. The
24 court usher will escort you out of the court. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.44 a.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Monday, the 9th day of
5 September, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.