Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 9432

 1                           Monday, 7 July 2014

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness takes the stand]

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

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

 7     courtroom.

 8             Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.

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

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

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.  May we have the appearances, please,

12     starting with the Prosecution.

13             MR. STRINGER:  Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.

14             For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Sarah Clanton,

15     legal intern Mirko Roguljic, and case manager Thomas Laugel.

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

17             Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.

18             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Good morning, Your Honours.  For the Defence of

19     Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell, with case manager

20     Negosava Smiljanic, and intern Milan Jovancevic.  Thank you.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.  We have a short oral ruling.

22             On the 3rd of July, 2014, the Defence request to replace

23     translation of D00021 was filed.  The Defence requests that the current

24     English translation of D21 be replaced with a corrected version provided

25     by CLSS.


Page 9433

 1             Is the Prosecution in a position to make submissions in this

 2     respect?

 3             MR. STRINGER:  Your Honour, I'm 95 per cent sure that there's no

 4     objection to that but I just -- if I could take one moment to

 5     double-check to make sure that I've got the same document in mind that

 6     the Chamber does.

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  One moment or after the first break, what --

 8             MR. STRINGER:  Well, the first break.  Yes, sir.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  Thanks.

10             Good morning, Mr. Hadzic.  I remind you that you're still under

11     oath.

12             Mr. Zivanovic, please proceed.

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

14                           WITNESS:  GORAN HADZIC [Resumed]

15                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

16                           Examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]

17        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, first of all, I wanted to put some

18     questions to you about the Serbian National Council that was mentioned

19     several times here.  So can you tell us when this Serbian National

20     Council was established in the first place, to the best of your

21     knowledge?

22        A.   In Croatia, the Serbian National Council was established in 1990

23     in Srb.  I mean for all of Croatia, that all-Croatian one.  But the

24     regional one was established on the 7th of January, 1991.  That's the one

25     that is discussed the most over here.

Page 9434

 1        Q.   Can you tell me what the reason was for establishing the regional

 2     Serbian National Council, that is to say, for Slavonia, Baranja, and

 3     Western Srem?

 4        A.   The Serb people expressed their views through the Serb Democratic

 5     Party.  Most of the people who worked with me and also Koncarevic and

 6     Petrovic thought that some super-party body should be established

 7     consisting of people who are not members of the SDS but who are Serbs who

 8     live in the territory of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.

 9        Q.   So what was the function of this Serbian National Council

10     supposed to be?

11        A.   To express the will of the Serb -- of the people living there,

12     primarily the Serb people.

13        Q.   At the time when the Serbian National Council was established, do

14     you remember whether the Croatian authorities had already started the

15     arming that had to do with members of the HDZ?

16        A.   I think that even before the Serbian National Council was

17     established, that is to say, before the new year, in autumn and winter of

18     1990, we had a lot of information about the arming of Croats.  Actually,

19     their Serb neighbours saw them being armed with long-barrelled weapons,

20     and this caused panic among the Serb people, so we had information about

21     the Croats arming themselves.  When I say "Croats," I mean members of the

22     HDZ because this was arming along party lines.

23        Q.   Did you have -- or, rather, did you have any direct or indirect

24     knowledge about the arming that was taking place?

25        A.   Well, basically I had direct information, almost 99 per cent.  I

Page 9435

 1     did not see that, but people who came to see me had seen that personally.

 2     And I personally saw people in the street, reserve policemen, with

 3     weapons.  There were that's well-known incidents around Osijek, in bars.

 4     When one of Vladimir Glavas's men quarrelled with people because of music

 5     in a tavern, then they'd go home and they'd get more people with

 6     automatic weapons, and that was a terrible thing, that people could

 7     resort to automatic weapons because of some kind of quarrel in a tavern.

 8             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we see, please, P1762.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Do we have a problem, Mr. Zivanovic?

10             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  I don't know.  It is P1762.

11        Q.   [Interpretation] You had an opportunity to read this document.

12     So, tell me:  When you spoke about the establishment of this main Serbian

13     National Council in 1990, is this a piece of news that was carried with

14     regard to its establishment?

15        A.   Well, that is that news or, rather, the decision of the SNS to

16     declare a referendum.  I mean, the one established in Srb.  And I was not

17     a member of that.  There were almost 100.000 Serbs there, I think.

18        Q.   Could you please tell me whether there was any link and, if so,

19     what was that link like, between the Serb National Council that was

20     established in Knin, the one that we're talking about now, and the

21     regional council that was established for Slavonia, Baranja, and

22     Western Srem?

23        A.   There was no practical link.  In a way, there was a formal link,

24     although all of that was within Croatia.  These were two completely

25     independent councils.

Page 9436

 1             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Your Honours, I would tender this document into

 2     evidence.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

 4                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

 5             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Sorry, sorry, it -- it's already admitted.

 6     Sorry.

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Indeed, Mr. Zivanovic.  Thank you.

 8             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   The Serb National Council, on the 26th of February, 1991, passed

10     a declaration on sovereign autonomy of the Serb people of Slavonia,

11     Baranja, and Western Srem.  Do you remember that?

12             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we see, please, P81.50.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I remember that declaration,

14     but I was made aware of it later.  In February, I didn't really attach

15     any importance to it.  I didn't even know what it represented, and I did

16     not take part in it.

17             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   When you say that you did not take part in it, does that mean

19     that you did not draft this declaration?

20        A.   It means that, but it also means that I don't know who wrote it.

21     To this day, I don't know who wrote it.  Because they had not consulted

22     me.

23        Q.   Sometime after the establishment of the Serb National Council, do

24     you remember that an order was made by the Presidency of the SFRY to

25     disband all armed formations that were not within the single armed forces

Page 9437

 1     of the SFRY?

 2             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we see, please, 1D2186.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember, yes.  That was carried

 4     by all the media.

 5             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   Do you remember whether this order was carried out in Croatia?

 7     Do you remember whether, after that, some formations were disarmed,

 8     formations of the HDZ and other formations, that were not established in

 9     accordance with these requirements from the order of the Presidency of

10     the SFRY?

11        A.   Well, of course not.  Of course, it wasn't carried out in

12     Croatia.  This order, in a way, just quieted people a bit and we relaxed

13     a bit, and we thought that the federal state would resolve problems

14     through its own instruments.  However, it was not resolved, and according

15     to the information I have, no attempt was even made.

16             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  I would tender this document into evidence,

17     Your Honours.

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

19             THE REGISTRAR:  Exhibit D112, Your Honours.

20             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   During the first two days of your testimony, you mentioned twice,

22     or, rather, even more than that, you mentioned that you were shocked by

23     the film that you saw on television.  In it, the then-minister of defence

24     of Croatia, Martin Spegelj, spoke about the arming of the HDZ and their

25     supporters and the possible killing of their opponents.

Page 9438

 1             I would just like us to take a look at a few excerpts from this

 2     video.

 3             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  It is P1200.  We shall see portion from

 4     41 second, to 1 minute and 20 seconds.  In B/C/S -- in English

 5     transcript, this text is on the page 1.

 6                           [Video-clip played]

 7             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   First of all, tell me whether this video is what you spoke about

 9     when you testified about the fear that it caused among other Serbs,

10     yourself included, after having seen it on television?

11        A.   Yes, that is that video.

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Zivanovic.

13             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Sorry.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  I didn't hear any translation of what was said.

15             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  It -- this video is admitted into evidence and

16     there is a transcript in English.  It is P1200.

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  We did not have that

19     transcript.

20             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  We can replay it, it is very short.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Let's do that, yes.

22             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  We do not have the

23     translation; hence, we are not in a position to interpret.  Thank you.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Do we had it on the screen now?  Yeah.

25                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

Page 9439

 1                           [Video-clip played]

 2             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Zivanovic, I suggest that you provide this

 3     transcript to the interpreters and that we play the video again after the

 4     break.  Because this doesn't work.  We can't follow the testimony without

 5     knowing what has been said.

 6             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  That's okay, Your Honour.  We'll do it.

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thanks.

 8             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   We will show the video later and then I will put you -- my

10     questions related to the video.

11             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we now see 1D2189, please.

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Zivanovic, it would be helpful that you

13     mention the tab number of the documents you are asking on the screen.

14             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  There is no -- there is no date in this

15     particular document, but in the next -- in the text on next page -- on

16     this page, on the right side of the page, it is March.

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. --

18             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  March 1991.

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Sorry, Mr. Zivanovic.  It's not the date I'm

20     asking for.  It's the tab number of your document list.

21             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Tab number ...

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yeah.  Your document list has -- let's see.  The

23     first column of your document list gives tabs numbers.

24             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Yes, yes, I know.

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Oh, you don't have them on the document you have

Page 9440

 1     there.  Because the -- I don't know whether it was the previous one or

 2     the one before, I couldn't find with the -- with the 65 ter number.  So

 3     it would be helpful to have the tab numbers.

 4             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  We'll get back to this document later.  Sorry.

 5             JUDGE DELVOIE:  No, go ahead.  Go ahead.  Go ahead.  But next

 6     document, if you could, please add the tab number as well so that we can

 7     check.  Thanks.

 8             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   Can you see the text?  Do you remember this appeal by the

10     then-president of the municipality, Slavko Dokmanovic, that appeal was

11     read on Radio Vukovar?

12        A.   I remember.  I did not listen to it on Radio Vukovar but then it

13     was published in a newspaper.

14        Q.   What prompted this appeal, what kind of a situation?

15        A.   The news on the arming of the HDZ caused panic among the Serbian

16     population.  People were in panic, and they started sending their wives

17     and children to Serbia in an unorganised manner, spontaneously, because

18     they were afraid that the Croats would attack the Serbian villages where

19     they lived.

20             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Your Honour, tab number is 1022.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

22             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  I would tender this document into evidence,

23     Your Honours.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

25             THE REGISTRAR:  As Exhibit D113, Your Honours.

Page 9441

 1             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

 2             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   Mr. Hadzic, you mentioned that after you were released from

 4     prison, after the developments in Plitvice, you visited the American

 5     ambassador in Belgrade, Mr. Zimmermann.  Do you remember when that

 6     happened?

 7        A.   I remember that event very clearly.  I knew even before I saw

 8     this document that it was in mid-April but now I see that it was on the

 9     12th of April.  I remember that event very well.  Although I do have a

10     bit of amnesia for everything that happened a month after my arrest, but

11     that was the biggest thing that could ever happen to me, meeting with the

12     American ambassador in Belgrade.

13             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we see 1D2181.  It is tab 1410.  May we see

14     the second page of this document, please.

15        Q.   [Interpretation] Under 3, somewhere in the middle of the

16     document, it says that at the request of the president of the

17     Serbian Democratic Party, Dr. Raskovic, the ambassador and the political

18     advisor received you on the 12th of April and that Ilija Sasic and

19     Veljko Dzakula accompanied you.  Do you remember that the two of them

20     were also present at that meeting?

21        A.   Yes, I remember that there were the three of us.

22        Q.   And now you can see what problems you presented to the

23     ambassador, a description of the situation in your region.  It says here,

24     amongst other things, that almost all ethnic Serbs have been fired from

25     official jobs, especially in the courts, prosecutor's offices, and the

Page 9442

 1     police.  Is it true that you presented that situation to the ambassador?

 2        A.   Yes, we said that, and it was a fact.  I have to emphasise that

 3     Sasic and Dzakula had been well prepared for that meeting, and they had

 4     checked everything.  I arrived there after that incident.  I thought I

 5     was there as a case in point, as a person who had been a victim of the

 6     situation.  So they were talking much more than I did.

 7        Q.   It also says here that a condition on landing a job at the

 8     Croatian police was not only the ethnic affiliation to the Croatian

 9     people but also the membership in the HDZ.  Is this a true reflection of

10     what was going on in Croatia at the time?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   It says here as well that a majority of the Serbian teachers were

13     fired and that the curricula concerning Serbian history and culture had

14     been changed or altered.  Did you also say that to the ambassador?

15        A.   Yes, that's what they said, because that's how things were.

16             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now go to page 4.

17        Q.   In the paragraph preceding bullet point 4, it says that all three

18     of you said that the beatings of Serbs by the Croatian police or

19     civilians and other physical abuse was becoming a daily matter.  And also

20     that barricades and armed patrols on both sides had become the norm.

21             Did you, indeed, say that to the American ambassador at the time?

22        A.   Yes, we said that.  Unfortunately, it was the truth.

23        Q.   Since you do not have the Serbian translation of this document,

24     I'm going to read paragraph 4 to you, which speaks about you precisely.

25     It says here:

Page 9443

 1             [In English] "Goran Hadzic is one of the SDP leaders detained by

 2     the Croatian police at Plitvice on March 31st.  He was obviously still

 3     very badly shaken by the arrest and by what he described as a severe

 4     beating he received from the police.  Hadzic insisted that the SDP

 5     leaders who met at Plitvice were not discussing a revolt against Croatia

 6     or any kind of armed action or uprising.  On the contrary, he said, the

 7     people in the meeting were moderates who were discussing ways in which to

 8     establish some kind of constructive dialogue with the Croatian

 9     authorities.  With considerable bitterness he added that if the police

10     had microphones in the room, they would know that -- this."

11             [Interpretation] Tell me, please, does this truly reflect your

12     own situation and what you said at the time?

13        A.   Yes, this is 100 per cent as I said it.

14        Q.   And now I'm going to ask you to look at paragraph 5, which reads:

15             [In English] "The SDP leaders indicated that they and Serbs in

16     eastern Croatia do not entirely share the views of Milan Babic and his

17     Knin Serbs in the so-called Serbian Autonomous Province of Krajina.  The

18     Slavonia/Baranja Serbs, they said, have not joined the Krajina Serbs in

19     seceding from Croatia and do not see secession as the only desirable or

20     acceptable solution.  They stated several times that they are prepared to

21     continue to live in Croatia, but only a democratic Croatia within a

22     Yugoslav Federation.  It is only such structure, they said, which can

23     guarantee them protection and respect for their national rights."

24             [Interpretation] Did you discuss this?  Do you remember?  Was it

25     said that you did not share the views of Babic and his people from Knin?

Page 9444

 1        A.   Yes, that was said at the meeting, and this only confirmed the

 2     situation that it was.  It was a matter of general knowledge that we were

 3     not in agreement with Babic, but when I look at the English translation,

 4     I can see the SDP, but it is the SDS.  There is the SDP party, but this

 5     party is not the SDP but the SDS, Serbian Democratic Party.  So there is

 6     a -- a mistake in the English version of the text.

 7        Q.   Yes, this is the English abbreviation for the SDS because the

 8     words "stranka" which means "party" in English, starts with a P?

 9        A.   Yes.  But I know that there was a party in Croatia known as the

10     SDP.  So I just wanted to make sure that the difference is noted.

11        Q.   Further on it says:

12             [In English] "They specifically mentioned the Yugoslav People's

13     Army, JNA, as an institution which protected their rights, but they added

14     that they have been disappointed with the JNA's action recently,

15     particularly in Pakrac and Plitvice.  The army, they said, should act

16     quickly to prevent interethnic violence and confrontation in the first

17     place, and not simply step in when the victims have already fallen.

18     Because of what they perceive as the JNA's tardy and inadequate response

19     [sic] to the Pakrac and Plitvice situation, Serbs, they said, are

20     increasingly relying on themselves for self-defence."

21             [Interpretation] Tell me, please, when it comes to your

22     protection by the JNA, did you also present that to the ambassador?

23        A.   Yes, this is what we said at the time.  This reflected the

24     situation as it was on the ground.

25        Q.   I would like to ... you see towards the end of this last

Page 9445

 1     paragraph, page 5, we see:

 2             [In English] "When asked whether they are satisfied with the

 3     support they are getting from Belgrade and Serbia, President Milosevic,

 4     the SDP leaders were surprisingly non-committal.  They stressed that they

 5     do not take orders or instructions from Belgrade and they clearly implied

 6     that Babic and the Krajina Serbs do and also indicated some fear that

 7     their interests would be sold out in a Milosevic/Tudjman deal.

 8     Regardless of what the two republic presidents agree on, they said, they

 9     act in response to their conditions locally and will defend their own

10     interests."

11             [Interpretation] Tell me, do you remember whether this was said

12     at the meeting?

13        A.   Yes, I remember.  We said it that way, and that was the truth.

14        Q.   Can you tell me, since I can't see it in this report, what did

15     the American ambassador tell you, or maybe his advisor who accompanied

16     him?

17        A.   Perhaps I should first tell you the reason why we went there,

18     from my perspective.  To present the problem - that was the first

19     reason - and the second reason was to gain some knowledge to arrive at a

20     proposal for a solution.  Then, as now, I believed we had come to the

21     highest possible level, considering the territory we came from.  The

22     embassy of the largest and most powerful state in the world, and in fact

23     we were seeking the ambassador's opinion.  He said, and to us this gave

24     some satisfaction and provided us with some guide-lines in what to do in

25     the future, that his government would not support any separatist

Page 9446

 1     republics, or recognise them, and that they would be supporting a united

 2     SFRY.  To me, that was the key thing.  That's what I remember from the

 3     whole meeting.

 4        Q.   Was this encouraging news, not only to you but also to the people

 5     from your area to whom you conveyed it?

 6        A.   Of course.  I couldn't wait to go back and tell everybody.

 7             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  I would tender this document, Mr. President.

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  As Exhibit D114, Your Honours.

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

11             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Mr. Hadzic, when you said this news was very encouraging to you,

13     these words of the American ambassador, tell me, did you hear any other

14     similar statements to the effect that other countries, too, would support

15     a united SFRY?

16        A.   As far as I remember, it was not the only statement of that kind.

17     It was the position of, I would say, the majority of the member states of

18     the then-European Union and the United Nations, but I remember

19     specifically the Italian Prime Minister De Michelis, who said it in so

20     many that words, and it was widely publicised.

21             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we have 1D915.  It is tab 808.

22                           [Defence counsel confer]

23             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   I see in this text that he also talked about the right to

25     self-determination.  Have you read this?  Maybe it's too small to read

Page 9447

 1     from the screen, but I have a hard copy with larger print.

 2        A.   Yes, I've read it, that he supports the rights of people to

 3     self-determination, and he says specifically "including the Serbian

 4     people."

 5        Q.   How did you understand this statement he made?  How did you

 6     understand his position?

 7        A.   I can speak in my own name and in the name of people to whom I

 8     personally talked.  I understood that as them supporting our position.

 9             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Your Honours, I would tender this document into

10     evidence.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

12             THE REGISTRAR:  As Exhibit D115, Your Honours.

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

14             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   Last time we left off on the subject of your meetings with

16     Boljkovac and Degoricija after the events at Plitvice, sometime in

17     April 1991.  You said he travelled to Vukovar very often.  That's on

18     pages 94 to 99 of the transcript.

19             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we see, please, 1D2192.  2192, sorry.  1D.

20        Q.   [Interpretation] You can see the text published in the newspaper

21     of the Vukovar municipality.  Can you tell us, was this one of the

22     meetings that you mentioned as having been designed as a way to defuse

23     the situation in Vukovar municipality?

24        A.   Yes, it's one of these meetings.  We had meetings of that kind

25     every week and even more often.  This one was just at a higher level

Page 9448

 1     because Boljkovac came along with Degoricija.  Before that, Degoricija

 2     came alone, before the situation got more complicated.  I remember that

 3     meeting.  I was one of the participants.

 4        Q.   Can you tell us what was discussed at the meeting?  Were there

 5     any specific conclusions?  Was something specific done?

 6        A.   As this newspaper story says, the purpose of the meeting was to

 7     diffuse tensions, as we called it at the time.  There were no

 8     particularly conclusions except that Mr. Boljkovac and Mr. Degoricija

 9     gave verbal promises that the situation would calm down there so there

10     was no reason for concern, but obviously these were just words, and the

11     Serbs were not happy.  And in a way, despite these guarantees, they were

12     wondering why we are not happy, and I remember there were some problems

13     about that.

14             There was Rade Leskovac as well, from Vera village, at that

15     meeting.  That was the first time I met him.  He made a very unusual

16     digression and made a comment - I don't know if I mentioned this before -

17     he said it would be unusual for one person to walk naked around town, but

18     if you see 1.000 of them doing that, then you should wonder what the

19     reason is.  In the same way, you should not be surprised that we Serbs

20     are afraid.

21        Q.   It says in the text that before coming to this meeting,

22     Degoricija and Boljkovac had a meeting with Radmilo Bogdanovic in

23     Backa Palanka.  Tell me, were there any direct meetings between the

24     highest leaders of Serbia, on one hand, and Croatia on the other?  Were

25     there any media reports about that?

Page 9449

 1        A.   Yes, there were.  And that's how we learned about these meetings.

 2     I don't think Boljkovac ever told us at that meeting that he seen

 3     Radmilo Bogdanovic.  I think I read it in the newspaper.  But I'm not

 4     100 per cent sure.

 5        Q.   When you were released from prison after Plitvice - I believe it

 6     was on the 3rd of April - and when you came back to Slavonia, Baranja,

 7     and Western Srem, you saw the barricades.  What happened later with these

 8     barricades?  Did they remain standing or were there any changes?

 9        A.   After Boro Savic and I came back from Plitvice, there was no

10     longer any reason to keep the barricades.  They had been set up because

11     we were arrested, and they were removed after we were released.  That was

12     the condition for their removal.  And Degoricija demanded when releasing

13     me from prison that the barricades be removed, and I succeeded in having

14     them removed.  I mean, all of us succeeded.  I believe Veljko Dzakula

15     also came one evening to Borovo Selo.  But as soon as we removed the

16     barricades, there was some provocation from the Croatian side, and then

17     they are set up again.

18        Q.   So what was your role in all of that?  Did you influence people -

19     and in what way - to have the barricades removed?

20        A.   I was wholeheartedly trying to have the barricades removed.  I

21     had no question in my mind it should be done, and most of the people I

22     knew shared the same view.  Nobody enjoyed sleeping at the barricades and

23     keeping them at any cost.  In my understanding, barricades were a type of

24     defence, and if it turns out there's nothing to fear, then barricades are

25     not needed.

Page 9450

 1             I trusted Mr. Degoricija and Boljkovac, of course, and I thought

 2     there was nothing to fear, and the barricades should be removed.  I

 3     didn't have any special authority so that people should listen to me, but

 4     most people thought the same way I did.

 5             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we have D5.  It is tab 1223.

 6        Q.   [Interpretation] I will show you a couple of passages from the

 7     book of Josip Boljkovac that was published much later in 2009.  He is

 8     reminiscing about these events and the time when he was the minister of

 9     the interior of Croatia.

10             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we see B/C/S page 5.  It is English page 26.

11     It seems it is ... we should go to B/C/S -- B/C/S chapter 47.  Sorry, I

12     have wrong page here.

13        Q.   [Interpretation] Can you see this, this page?

14             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we go to next page in B/C/S, please.  And

15     next one.  That's it.  And just to find it in English, it might be 27.

16     Maybe 28.  29, please.  30, if we can.  Yeah, that's here.  Sorry.

17        Q.   [Interpretation] What you will see here is that the provocations

18     that were characteristic of Serb extremists in the area of the Krajina

19     municipalities, it says then were matched by what happened in Slovenia

20     and often there were incidents on the ground, and, according to the

21     information I had then, were mostly provoked by the Croatian side.

22             Tell me, please, this information, does it correspond to the

23     knowledge that you had at the time?

24        A.   Yes, 100 per cent.  When the Croatian minister admitted that they

25     had provoked -- well, they say it was mostly the Croatian side that was

Page 9451

 1     actually provoking, doing the provoking, but he didn't want to be too

 2     harsh by saying it was 100 per cent.

 3        Q.   Can you now take a look at the next paragraph that has to do with

 4     things that happened in the second half of March 1991.

 5        A.   He made a mistake there.

 6        Q.   I see that you know what incident this is about, so can you tell

 7     us what it was that had actually happened and when.  If you say that he

 8     made a mistake, tell us what the mistake is?

 9        A.   It was mid-April.  He got the wrong month.

10             As I've already said, when Boro and I returned from Plitvice,

11     both Boro and I and the entire leadership of the SDS advocated the

12     removal of the barricades, and barricades were removed everywhere.

13     Traffic was normalised throughout Eastern Slavonia and Baranja.  However,

14     obviously this did not suit someone in Zagreb.  And in mid-April, I think

15     in the second half of April, somebody fired three shells at Borovo Selo.

16     When I say "somebody," well, I, at the time, did not know who it was.

17     That's why I'm saying "somebody."  It's only now from this book that I

18     see who it was that had fired that.  And I remember that event very well

19     because I barely survived.

20             I advocated the removal of barricades.  I went all over the

21     village.  I was telling people in the street that there was no problem

22     whatsoever, that I reached an agreement with the Croatian authorities,

23     and they started shooting at the village then.  And then this woman in

24     front of whose house that shell fell, I really don't know how I managed

25     to get away then without being lynched by the people there.  As she said,

Page 9452

 1     the shell fell where she had been standing with her two children, and

 2     then she entered the house, and then the shell fell right there on that

 3     path where they had been standing five minutes before that.  And now I'm

 4     thinking about this.  These children, had they been killed then, then the

 5     people would have killed me.  I would have had no way of surviving, and I

 6     was the one who was in favour of the removal of barricades.

 7        Q.   In this text, he identified people who did that, and he said what

 8     his source of this information was.  In your assessment, this source that

 9     provided this information that is noted here, was this a reliable source?

10        A.   I have to take a look at this first to see what his source is.

11             Yes, yes, 100 per cent reliable source because I personally knew

12     Mr. Kir, and he was along the same lines as the leadership of Slavonia,

13     Baranja, and Western Srem.  However, his fate was worse than mine.  They

14     just beat me up, but they killed him.

15        Q.   When you say that he was on the same positions, can you define

16     this a bit?  Can you tell us in what way?  He was not a member of the

17     SDS.

18        A.   I do apologise.  Well, we were not of the same ethnicity, so, in

19     a way, we were on two sides ethnically, but our position was the same in

20     view of resolving the problem.  We wanted to have problems resolved by

21     way of negotiations.  I don't know.  I don't want to say anything that

22     would not be right, but Mr. Kir probably was one of the most sincere

23     Croats I knew, and he really wanted to resolve problems by peaceful

24     means.  I'm not saying that there weren't other sincere people there at

25     the time, but Mr. Kir figured prominently in that respect.  In his heart

Page 9453

 1     and soul.

 2             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we see, please, 1D271.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Tab number, please.

 4             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Sorry.  It is tab 738.

 5             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

 6             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   Mr. Hadzic, can you tell us whether you know who compiled this

 8     document, this text?

 9        A.   Well, the title shows that this is a document of the joint

10     council of municipalities from Vukovar, Croatia.

11        Q.   So I see that this was compiled considerably after the war.

12        A.   Yes, 2001.  So this institution is a Serb institution but within

13     the Croatian state.  So it's a Croatian institution and the members are

14     Serbs.

15        Q.   If you take a look at page 3 or, rather, page 2 of this document.

16             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President.  Before counsel

17     continues, I'd like to object to this procedure.  This document is not in

18     evidence as far as I know.  It is some sort of compilation prepared by

19     Serbs in Croatia who we don't know.  Whether it is purporting to be in

20     the nature of some expert report or some historical summary from a point

21     of view that was prepared some ten years after the conflict.  But, in any

22     event, I think to put the document in front of the witness, not knowing

23     anything about it and simply to have the witness hold forth, if you will,

24     as to his views and comments on it is not appropriate.  Let counsel ask

25     the witness a question, and let the witness answer.  But the document

Page 9454

 1     itself is not appropriate to use as some springboard for the client --

 2     for the witness to say yes or no, I agree with this or not.

 3             So we object to the procedure on those grounds.

 4             Thank you, Mr. President.

 5                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 6             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Zivanovic, do you have a reply to the

 7     objection?

 8             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Your Honour, I shall put to the witness some

 9     questions related to this document and then show him it.

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Let's first hear the questions, then.

11             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Mr. Hadzic, do you know that sometime at the end of March 1991,

13     in Bogdanovci, the first public lineup of armed Croatian civilians took

14     place?

15             MR. STRINGER:  I object to the leading question, Mr. President.

16             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  I'll rephrase it.

17        Q.   [Interpretation] Do you know, Mr. Hadzic, that at any point in

18     time, in any place, Croats were lined up, armed Croats?

19        A.   Yes, I know about that.

20        Q.   Can you tell us something about what you know.

21        A.   Well, the first I learned of this was from my associates, that

22     this happened in Bogdanovci.  This is a village near Vukovar, but from my

23     village, there are three or four villages before you reach Bogdanovci.

24     It caused anxiety.  That's why I found out about that.

25        Q.   Was this perhaps portrayed in the media?


Page 9455

 1        A.   I don't remember that this was portrayed in the media.

 2        Q.   And do you know whether, at that time, sometime in the summer of

 3     1991, were there any armed actions?

 4        A.   From the Croatian side?

 5        Q.   Yes, yes.

 6        A.   Well, not only the summer, but it started from Plitvice, the

 7     spring.  In fact, the end of the winter.  And then there was Borovo Selo.

 8     And then -- and then later on, it escalated to the blockade of the

 9     barracks in Vukovar.  That was the summer of 1991.

10        Q.   Do you know of any cases of attacks against citizens of Serb

11     ethnicity before the conflict broke out?  So can you remember some names?

12        A.   This is a generally known thing.  How do I put this?  Well, it's

13     not hundreds and hundreds, but there were tens and tens of such cases.

14     Also, some of my acquaintances and even some of my friends were attacked.

15     They were attacked -- it was mostly houses of prominent Serbs that were

16     attacked.

17        Q.   Can we hear their names perhaps?  If necessary, if I think that

18     that is more convenient, we could move into private session.  Tell us.

19        A.   Well, I don't know.  One name is that of a person who testified

20     here and I'm not sure that this person had protective measures.  So

21     perhaps it would be fairer if we were to move into private session.

22             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we move to the private session, please.

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Private session.

24                           [Private session]

25   (redacted)

Page 9456

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22                           [Open session]

23             THE REGISTRAR:  We're in open session, Your Honours.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

25             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]


Page 9457

 1        Q.   Could you please look at 1D271.

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   On page 5, can you see --

 4             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Sorry, it is page 4.  Page 4.

 5        Q.   [Interpretation] Do you see some of the names that --

 6             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Zivanovic, that's -- that's the document

 7     Mr. Stringer objected to; is that right?

 8             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  I understood that I have to put further question

 9     and then to -- to show to the witness the document.

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Well, if there's no objection anymore from

11     Mr. Stringer.

12             MR. STRINGER:  Well, the objection stands.  Mr. Hadzic has

13     clearly got his own independent recollection of these events.  He is

14     recalling names, dates, places in some detail, so again it's unclear why

15     we need to look at a document written by people for whom -- who we don't

16     know about.  There's still no foundation for the document itself.

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Zivanovic.

18             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Because Mr. Hadzic could explain, to see these

19     events, these names, and other details, and to let us know if he knows

20     anything about it, and he could confirm whether these details or these

21     data are correct.

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Then we are back to the first objection -- to

23     Mr. Stringer's first objection, Mr. Zivanovic.  I'm afraid I have to

24     sustain his objection.

25             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Okay.

Page 9458

 1        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, do you remember whether, on the

 2     1st of May, 1991, there were some incidents in Slavonia, Baranja, and

 3     Western Srem?

 4        A.   Yes, I remember that well.

 5        Q.   Can you explain.

 6        A.   I personally participated in calming the situation down after the

 7     incident.

 8             In Brsadin, which is the neighbouring village, a villager was

 9     killed.  He was a Serb.  It was a custom in the region to mark the

10     1st of May as the Labour Day.  We would get up very early in the morning

11     and rally on that day, to celebrate.  It was a custom that had been

12     introduced already during the Communist reign.  A citizen, whose family

13     name was Inic, got up.  He walked through the village to the neighbouring

14     forest with a state flag in his hands.  His neighbour, a Croat, called

15     Gelencir, for no reason at all, killed him just because he was carrying a

16     Yugoslav flag.  There had not been a previous history of quarrels or

17     arguments.  They were on good terms before that incident.

18             The story continues.  I can tell you what happened next and how

19     the day ended.  Since this was a neighbouring village, I learnt what had

20     happened.  The population of Brsadin were mostly Serbs, 90 per cent of

21     them were Serbs.  They tried to lynch the Croat.  That would have been

22     not only illegal but totally insane.  Milenko Milinkovic was from Brsadin

23     and he was a deputy in the Croatian Parliament.  He hailed from Brsadin

24     and had come home for the weekend.  Together with me and some other

25     people he prevented that lynching.  We called the police from Vinkovci

Page 9459

 1     and those people from Brsadin handed over Gelencir to the Vinkovci

 2     police.

 3             The story continues.  I heard that a couple of years ago as I was

 4     watching the Croatian television programme.  Gelencir's son or daughter,

 5     I forget, was a guest on one of the TV shows.  She said that he had died

 6     but he was never put on trial, and ever since he has been hailed as a

 7     hero in Croatia and nobody has posed any problems to the family.  This

 8     means that justice in that case has never been done.

 9             Can I say something about the institution which is mentioned in

10     here?  Although the Trial Chamber has rejected document, I don't want to

11     go into that.  The institution in question was given to the Serbian

12     people by the European Agreement.  It's an institution of the Croatian

13     state.  Their letter is not a letter without an address.  They are the

14     officials of the Croatian state, and their address, the address of the

15     common council of municipalities, has a full title.  They are Serbs who

16     live in Croatia.  They are citizens as all the other citizens of Croatia,

17     with equal rights.  They were already discriminated once and I don't

18     think that they should be discriminated by anybody, albeit unintentional.

19     Those were not Serbs who supported me.  Those were Serbs who supported

20     the Croatian government and the Croatian administration.  They lived in

21     Croatia, and this was printed and released by the Croatian state.

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  This was totally unnecessary, Mr. Hadzic.

23             Mr. Zivanovic, would this be an appropriate moment?

24             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Yes.  Yes, Your Honour.

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

Page 9460

 1             Court adjourned.

 2                           --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.

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

 4             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Stringer.

 5             MR. STRINGER:  Yes, Mr. President.  To inform the Chamber, the

 6     Prosecution has no objection to the Defence motion on substituting the

 7     translation for D21.

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you very much.

 9             The Trial Chamber instructs the Registry to replace the English

10     translation of D21 with the corrected transcription now available in

11     e-court.

12             Mr. Zivanovic, please proceed.

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

14        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Hadzic, could you now tell us, please, what

15     you know about the incident in Borovo Selo on the 2nd of May, 1991.

16        A.   My knowledge is almost first-hand, but it is certainly

17     second-hand because I was not a participant in the event.  I spent a lot

18     of time in Borovo Selo during the war and after the war until the

19     reintegration in 1997.  I spoke to a number of the villagers and they

20     told me what had happened.  However, I will tell you what my direct

21     knowledge is because this is relevant.

22             Since I was one of the participants in the talks with the

23     Croatian side, on the 2nd of May, 1991, I was at home in the morning.  It

24     was a bank holiday, or perhaps it was a Sunday; I don't know.

25     Slavko Degoricija called me on the phone around half past 9.00 or 10.00,

Page 9461

 1     or thereabouts.  The conversation was informal, almost friendly, I would

 2     say.  He asked me to try and talk to Vukasin Soskocanin because he knew

 3     about our relationship with the aim of removing the barricades in

 4     Borovo Selo.  They had been re-erected by Susak, Vukojevic, and Glavas

 5     after the August incident, as we have just explained.

 6        Q.   Just a moment.  I apologise.  Could you please repeat the names

 7     of the people.  Just one name has been recorded and that is the name of

 8     Glavas.

 9        A.   Gojko Susak, who was the defence minister at the time in Croatia.

10     Vice Vukojevic, who was the assistant minister for the police.  And

11     Branimir Glavas.  They were the ones who organised the attack.

12     Josip Reihl-Kir was also with them, but he didn't know what was going on.

13     He only brought them to the place.

14             MR. STRINGER:  Apologies to counsel.  There was one name that I

15     think I was hoping to hear - it might have also been missed - which was

16     the name that Mr. Degoricija asked Mr. Hadzic to contact someone about

17     removing the barricades.  And I don't know that that name appeared

18     either.

19             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

20        Q.   Would you please repeat the name who was supposed to remove the

21     barricades at Mr. Degoricija's request.

22        A.   Yes.  Degoricija asked me to talk to Vukasin Soskocanin, Vukasin.

23     At that time he was the commander of Borovo Selo, the commander of the

24     defence of Borovo Selo, better say.

25             I called Vukasin and I told him what I thought, but Vukasin knew

Page 9462

 1     that already.  I told him that I was against the barricades.  However,

 2     after the incident that I had with the population of Borovo Selo, when I

 3     advocated the removal of the barricades and Susak opened fire at

 4     Borovo Selo, and when people in Borovo Selo attacked me, I couldn't share

 5     my position with Vukasin.  I just told him what Degoricija's request was.

 6     Vukasin and Degoricija knew each other personally, obviously.

 7             I knew that there was a problem in Borovo Selo and that people

 8     had already had enough of the barricades.  Borovo had nearly

 9     10.000 inhabitants, and I believe that about 800 of them were also

10     employees of the Borovo factory.  They didn't have any arable land, they

11     didn't have any other source of income.  Their only source of income was

12     the salary that they received from the Borovo factory.  A majority of

13     them put a pressure on the village staff to remove the barricades because

14     they wanted to go to the factory to get their monies and to avoid being

15     fired.  From this perspective now, I can see that Croatia could hardly

16     wait to be put in a position to fire them.

17             Vukasin told me to call Degoricija and to tell him that he as

18     well could not wait for the barricades to be removed and that they would

19     be removed straight away.  I called Degoricija and told him that.  He

20     thanked me.  The conversation was rather polite.  He wanted us to see

21     each other some time soon, and so on and so forth.

22             After a while, I drove my daughter to see a doctor at the

23     Vukovar Hospital, along with my wife.  In the village, we picked up

24     another two women who were going to Vukovar, to give them a lift.  One of

25     them was employed at the agricultural pharmacy in the village, and the

Page 9463

 1     other was my daughter's teacher living in Vukovar.  At the entrance to

 2     Vukovar, near Suma Djergaj, we were stopped by a police patrol.  That

 3     seemed very unusual to me because there were over 20 policemen in that

 4     patrol wearing camouflage uniforms.  They asked to see my ID and other

 5     documents that I didn't have on me.  That policeman then approached his

 6     boss and said there was a problem.  The other one approached us, looked

 7     into my car and recognised my wife.  They had been classmates in Nustar.

 8     They even shared the same desk.  And without even looking at me, he said:

 9     Zivka is here.  You can let them through.  No problem.  She's a friend of

10     mine.

11        Q.   Excuse me for stopping you here.  Could you just explain why you

12     had no ID on you?

13        A.   My documents and money and everything had been taken away at

14     Plitvice.  I was robbed.  Degoricija had promised that they would be

15     returned so I did not apply for new documents.  I explained that

16     yesterday.  I went to Zagreb and they did not return my documents, and

17     they didn't say anything definitive so I was still hoping that they would

18     find my documents.  I was not hoping to get the pistol and the money

19     back.

20        Q.   Okay.  Continue.

21        A.   I was planning to go to the Secretariat of the Interior just

22     after the holidays and apply for new documents.

23             When they let us through, it was a couple of hundred metres

24     before the junction where you go left to Vukovar and to the right for

25     Borovo Naselje.  The other way around:  Vukovar is to the right, and

Page 9464

 1     Borovo Naselje to the left.  [In English] Yes.  [Interpretation] And I

 2     saw a motorcade of police cars passing by in great haste.  I had to stop

 3     and let them pass.  I didn't suspect anything.  I thought there had been

 4     an accident or something.

 5             At the hospital, my wife and daughter got out.  Perhaps it's

 6     interesting to note that they were going to see Dr. Vesna Bosanac.  She

 7     was the attending physician for my children.  And I continued to the

 8     centre of the city to drop off these two ladies.

 9             On my way back, I was recognised by a former classmate at the

10     market-place, Branko Ponjevic [phoen].  Ponjevic, Ponjevic.  P as Paris.

11     He suddenly made a U-turn on the road, with the tires squealing, and

12     shouted at the top of his voice, almost crying:  They had attacked

13     Borovo Selo, curse their mothers.  My children are just now in

14     Borovo Selo spending the weekend at their grandparents.  Branko was a

15     traffic policeman in Vukovar before the war.

16             I got into my car quickly and went to the municipal building in

17     Vukovar to see Slavko Dokmanovic, president of the municipality.

18     However, Slavko was not there.  There was only his secretary, and she was

19     in tears.  She told me that Slavko had gone to the barracks to see the

20     commander of the barracks.  I understood only then that I could get in

21     trouble again the way I had at Plitvice, especially since I no longer had

22     any documents.

23             I drove quickly to the hospital where my family was already

24     waiting outside because they had heard what had happened, and the police

25     was already surrounding the hospital; the Croatian police, I mean.  I

Page 9465

 1     went to hide at my relatives who lived close to the hospital, and I

 2     stayed there for five or six days until I camouflaged myself.  That means

 3     shaving off my beard, putting on a cap, and crossing the Danube in a

 4     boat.

 5             On the Serbian side of the Danube, there were already a lot of

 6     cars, the cars belonging to local residents of the places alongside Dunav

 7     who volunteered to give a ride to the refugees and take them to Serbia.

 8     We were taken across by one resident of Backa Novo Selo, I believe, whose

 9     name was Sead.  His nickname was Sejo.  He was a Muslim.  I became

10     friends with him, you can say.  We met quite a few times after the war.

11     I crossed the Danube from Borovo Selo by boat, and then went by boat back

12     again to get my son, who was four years old.  He had stayed in Pacetin.

13     And my then-wife and daughter were taken to Kljajicevo village as

14     refugees.

15             At that time, the telephones were still working so I was able to

16     get a call through to Pacetin, and somebody brought my sister, Goranka,

17     and my son to Borovo Selo.  And then I took them to Kljajicevo to join my

18     wife and daughter.

19             That's what happened to me from the 7th of May onwards.  I was a

20     direct participant in these events, and my knowledge about the events of

21     the 2nd May that are 99 per cent accurate are briefly as follows.

22             Very soon after my conversation with Degoricija, perhaps just an

23     hour or 90 minutes later, around half past 11.00, the barricades were

24     removed.  And then around noon, or perhaps 12.15, the Croatian police

25     entered Borovo Selo from the side of Borovo Naselje with two or three

Page 9466

 1     vehicles and two or three buses -- and two buses.  I -- those were the

 2     vehicles I had seen at that junction when I was taking a turn to Vukovar.

 3     As soon as they came in, they fell to the ground at the canal and started

 4     shooting.  In the centre, they killed a guard who stood outside the local

 5     commune building.  His last name was Milic and he was a volunteer.  He

 6     was just sitting there, unarmed.  His rifle was lying on the ground

 7     50 metres away from him.  And they wounded another local resident.  That

 8     rifle was about 10 metres away from the guard, not 50.  And they were

 9     shouting at Vukasin Soskocanin that he should surrender, and then they

10     ran into the building of the local commune.  But there was no one up

11     there on the first floor.

12             The leader of that group was called Stipo Bosnjak.  He entered

13     the building, and on the ground floor there was an outpatient clinic or

14     an infirmary.  It was full of people, mostly children.  When I say

15     "people," I mean women, women and children.  And he took a child and used

16     it as a life shield.  It was perhaps 30 minutes into their raid.  During

17     those first 30 minutes, nobody responded to their fire.  Nobody returned

18     fire because nobody was expecting that attack.

19             Later on, the clashes got worse and, according to official data,

20     12 Croatian policemen were killed and one Serb, this man Milic, and more

21     Serbs were wounded.

22             That group that was coming to Borovo Selo from Osijek was not

23     very well synchronised and they were late, so that people from that part

24     of Borovo Selo hearing the shooting put up the barricades again and

25     didn't let them in.  Then the Yugoslav People's Army arrived and escorted

Page 9467

 1     safely all the Croatian policemen out.

 2             This is what I know, briefly, although I've heard many more

 3     details.  Perhaps it's interesting to note that at the outskirts of the

 4     village, Croatian policemen entered a cafe that was located in a

 5     basement.  The cafe was called San Marino.  And there, they took about

 6     20 young people hostages, young girls and boys.  Some friends of mine

 7     were there as well and later on we called him "Hostage," in jest.

 8             Well, that would be it, briefly.  However, the Croatian media

 9     tried to portray this as an ambush.  Since I was a direct participant in

10     the talks with Degoricija, I can say here before you with 100 per cent

11     certainty that it was not an ambush.  This very fact that I went to

12     hospital with my child, that the infirmary in Borovo Selo was full of

13     children, and that the cafe was full of young people, all of that shows

14     that there was no ambush there whatever.  Also, later on, some say that

15     the fire was returned by the locals of Borovo Selo 30 minutes later, on

16     hour and a half later.

17             And now these stories that some people have been telling, people

18     from Serbia, leaders, saying that their volunteers took part in this,

19     this was exaggerated.  Because there was this group of volunteers of the

20     Serb Radical Party in Borovo Selo - there were very few of them,

21     actually, there weren't more than six of them then, on the 2nd of May -

22     when the barricades were removed around 11.00, they returned their

23     weapons and they planned to cross the Danube.  So, at first, they could

24     not even respond to gun-fire.  But I found out about all of that later.

25        Q.   Mr. Hadzic, you said that at the end of this conflict the JNA

Page 9468

 1     entered Borovo Selo.  Tell us, to the best of your knowledge, did the JNA

 2     withdraw after that from Borovo Selo or did they stay there?

 3        A.   Well, to the best of my knowledge and on the basis of fact -- of

 4     factual evidence, they stayed there.

 5        Q.   Could you explain the following to us now.  Since you went to

 6     Serbia with your family and you told us that you first stayed in the

 7     village of Kljajicevo, where did you go after that?  How long did your

 8     family stay in Kljajicevo and where did they stay after that?

 9        A.   They stayed in Kljajicevo very briefly.  I mean, I cannot say

10     exactly right now.  And they were transferred as refugees to stay with a

11     family in Backa Palanka.  Since I could not get my car across the Danube,

12     we had a problem, a transportation problem.  When I borrow somebody's

13     car, then I cannot really drive because I did not have any documents.

14     Not only documents for driving but also documents for identification.

15             When we arrived Backa Palanka, I tried to get some documents at

16     the Backa Palanka SUP.  However, they could not give me any.  They told

17     me to wait until the situation was normalised with Vukovar or otherwise I

18     would have to take a driving test again.  That was insane for me to pay

19     for all of that.  I could not go to driving school again and pay for that

20     and the exam.

21             Then I tried to find some connections, trying to sidestep all of

22     this --

23        Q.   Another thing:  Can you tell us how long you stayed in

24     Backa Palanka with your family?  Tell us whether you changed your place

25     of residence.

Page 9469

 1        A.   Yes, I apologise.  I haven't given a full answer about that.

 2             Well, towards the end of August, or almost the beginning of

 3     September, we went to Novi Sad.  It was an apartment for refugees.  It

 4     was not a very good apartment but at least we were on our own.  It was a

 5     room -- it was an apartment consisting of one room and another smaller

 6     room.  And also the roof was flat and it was leaking, but that was better

 7     than nothing.

 8             I know that my daughter started school, second grade it was.

 9     That was in Novi Sad.  So, on the 10th of September, we were in Novi Sad.

10        Q.   Who was staying in this apartment that consisted of one room and

11     another smaller room, as you said?

12        A.   My wife, two children, I, and my sister.

13        Q.   Could you please tell us how it was that you found out about the

14     death of Vukasin Soskocanin.

15        A.   It was by chance that I was on the Danube on the 15th of May.  As

16     I said a moment ago, when I went to the police station in Backa Palanka

17     to get documents, that was technically impossible.  I was trying to find

18     some connections.  I even went to see the president of the municipality,

19     Ljubo Novakovic, and he said that he couldn't do anything.  I knew the

20     police commander.  I think his last name was Cavka and his first name was

21     Lazar, Lazo.  He couldn't do anything either.  And then I bumped in

22     Lazo Sarac who worked for state security of Serbia in Backa Palanka.

23     That's what I learned.  I indicated what my problem was to everyone, and

24     I said that I had to go to Pacetin to see what the situation was.  I

25     didn't know what was going on in my village.  Then Lazo said that he was

Page 9470

 1     planning -- well, you see, we saw each other on the 14th and he was

 2     planning to go to Borovo Selo on the following day and he could help me

 3     get across.  We could go together because I could not find that place

 4     where the boat would cross the river.  That was quite complicated.  I

 5     wasn't a local person there.

 6        Q.   I do apologise to you now.  I see that you mentioned some names

 7     here.  I planned for us to do that in private session.  My only question

 8     to you was whether you were on the Danube when you learned -- actually

 9     how was it that you learned about Soskocanin's death?

10        A.   I do apologise.  I thought that I was supposed to explain how it

11     was that I got there.  Yes, I was on the Danube.  Perhaps I arrived an

12     hour or two -- well, all of this was a bit -- a bit confusing for me.

13     Perhaps an hour or two after he drowned.

14        Q.   Can you tell us what it was that you heard then?  What was this

15     information that you had about that, about how Vukasin Soskocanin lost

16     his life?

17        A.   I heard about that from the horse's mouth.  I came across all

18     these people who were on the Danube when all of that had happened.  And

19     later on, I talked to the people who were on the same boat with Vukasin

20     who survived.  There was even an elderly woman there who had originally

21     hailed from Pacetin and who married in Borovo Selo, so I talked to her

22     too.  There were six of them on that boat:  Vukasin, his two friends or

23     escorts or perhaps friends, then that woman, and then the man who was in

24     charge of the boat, and then these two other people from Borovo Selo.

25             A Bulgarian ship came along, as these people who lived by the

Page 9471

 1     Danube say and they are more familiar with the river than I am.  This was

 2     a very heavy ship, and it's not like a normal ship.  It creates a

 3     different kind of waves.  They were perhaps 50 metres to 100 metres from

 4     the place that they had set out to -- or, rather, where they had started

 5     from, and they were about 20 metres away from the bank of the river, but

 6     the bank is different there.  I mean, there's no shallow water.  You get

 7     into deep water immediately.

 8             When the first wave hit them, the boat was still on the surface.

 9     There was water in the boat but it hadn't sunk completely.  Vukasin got

10     up and he said to them:  Don't be scared.  Everything is going to be

11     fine.  And then the second wave sank the boat.  These people jumped to

12     the right, towards the bank, whereas Vukasin went left, towards the

13     centre of the river.  The woman, she was hanging onto the fuel reservoir.

14     Later on, they managed to get her out.  She had passed out, but she was

15     still clinging to that fuel reservoir.

16        Q.   You heard a version here, I mean, the one that was given by

17     Borivoje Savic, that, in actual fact, it was some people who were divers

18     and who had turned this boat over.  Did you hear of that version from

19     anyone else?

20        A.   Some leaders of opposition parties in Serbia were saying that

21     too.  That was the thesis of Milan Paroski.  One cannot say that that is

22     insane.  It is 100 times crazier than insane.

23        Q.   Tell me, please, do you know what kind of relationship

24     Borivoje Savic had with Soskocanin?

25        A.   Well, they knew each other, but Vukasin simply could not stand


Page 9472

 1     him, could not stand the sight of him.

 2        Q.   Do you know, for example, what Savic said?  That's in his

 3     statement, P50, paragraph 73.  That he gave Soskocanin a particular

 4     assignment to set up a group of 200 men to provide protection for members

 5     of the party.

 6        A.   That's crazy.  That is totally fabricated.  It's a lie.  Members

 7     of the party providing security for other members of the party?  I mean,

 8     that is a totally insane idea.  Well, Vukasin would never take any orders

 9     from Boro Savic.  Vukasin was president of the local board of Borovo, and

10     Boro Savic and I were not members of that board.  We had nothing to do

11     with that.

12             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  May we move to the -- to the private session,

13     please.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Private session, please.

15                           [Private session]

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 9473











11 Pages 9473-9500 redacted. Private session.
















Page 9501

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7                           [Open session]

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  We're in open session, Your Honours.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

10             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

11             MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   If you would please look at this document and tell us if this is

13     the decision adopted at the Assembly session on 25 June 1991.

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Please look at Article 1.  Does it faithfully reflect what the

16     Assembly decided; namely, that the people from Slavonia, Baranja, and

17     Western Srem should remain within a single country along with the other

18     parts populated by Serbs who wish the same thing?

19        A.   Yes.  And that is in keeping with what we have discussed today

20     and the stance of Mr. De Michelis.

21        Q.   Do you recall if that Assembly session decided anything as to

22     what the Serbian National Council should do in future?  Did you get any

23     tasks from the Assembly?

24        A.   If I remember well, we were to monitor every step taken by

25     Croatia.  If the Croatia should continue to separate itself from


Page 9502

 1     Yugoslavia, within our mandate and as decided by the referendum, we

 2     should separate from Croatia, to remain within Yugoslavia.  That's why

 3     the Assembly gave the mandate to the Serbian National Council to monitor

 4     these developments and to form a government that would eventually

 5     become -- to form a body that would eventually become the government.

 6        Q.   Can you recall if you personally received an assignment from that

 7     Assembly?  Were you entrusted with anything?

 8        A.   Yes, I was to be the prime minister designate of that future

 9     government.

10        Q.   In your understanding, what exactly were you supposed to do?

11     What were your duties?

12        A.   From this perspective, I could perhaps be able to explain it, but

13     then, on the 25th of June, 1991, I was not quite sure what to expect and

14     what my duties would be.  We knew that we were to form an executive body

15     that would represent those people who wished to remain in Yugoslavia.

16             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Mr. President, I think it's appropriate time for

17     the break.

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.

19             Mr. Hadzic, we adjourn for the day.  You're still under oath, and

20     you know what that means:  You can't talk to anybody about your

21     testimony.  Thank you.

22                           [The witness stands down]

23                            --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m.,

24                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 8th day of July,

25                           2014, at 9.00 a.m.