1 Tuesday, 7 October 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 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 the case
9 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
13 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted and
14 Thomas Laugel for the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 For the Defence, Mr. Zivanovic.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
18 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell, with Case Manager
19 Negosava Smiljanic.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 Could the record reflect that we sit 15 bis; Judge Mindua being
23 Mr. Zivanovic, we were told that you have a matter to raise.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
25 Your Honours, the Defence seeks an extension and clarification of
1 Your Honours' decision of 3rd September 2014 so that it may include
2 permission to exchange documents with all Defence witnesses who are
3 detained at the Detention Unit. In Your Honours' decision at
4 paragraph 6(iii), you ordered that "the Registrar to permit the exchange
5 of documentary material between the Hadzic Defence and DGH-045 through
6 DGH-045 legal advisor in anticipation of DGH-045's appearance as a
7 witness in this case." The Defence understood this order to apply
8 mutatis mutandis to all its detained witnesses.
9 Yesterday, a number of issues arose during the proofing the
10 DGH-046 that did not, in the Defence view, comply with that order. The
11 Defence delivered on Friday, in accordance with UNDU regulation, a binder
12 of documents the witness's counsel so that they could be delivered to the
13 witness in order to prepare for this -- for and streamline my upcoming
14 interview. When the proofing session began, the witness was prevented
15 from bringing the binder with him from his cell, although his counsel was
16 present to receive those documents from him during the meeting. As a
17 consequence, the proofing process was obstructed and the review of
18 documents was impeded.
19 Yesterday morning, I brought another binder of new documents
20 which I gave to the witness counsel again, but this time his counsel was
21 not permitted to provide the document to the client. As Your Honours are
22 aware, the Defence will have at least five witnesses who will be proofed
23 in the Detention Unit. We would therefore request that the Trial Chamber
24 affirm that the Defence may surrender the documents to any witness at
25 Detention Unit through his counsel, and we would also seek a modification
1 of Your Honours' order to allow the witness to bring these documents to
2 the next proofing session.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, is -- do you have the witness
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honours. Before he entered the
9 courtroom, I would just inform the Chamber that we have on our list five
10 documents from our fourth motion to amend our Rule 65 ter list, and I
11 would ask the Chamber to admit these documents under our Rule 65 ter
12 list. These documents are 1D3766, 1D3767, 1D3768, 1D3769, and 1D3770.
13 And we would also like to add four documents to our Rule 65 ter
14 list that we put on the list of exhibits for this particular witness.
15 These are 1D3761, 1D3777, 1D3778, and 1D3779.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: It would be helpful, Mr. Zivanovic, if you could
17 provide us with tab numbers from your exhibit list for the --
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated] Yes --
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: I suppose we are on the list, right?
20 Microphone, please.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 1D3766 is 669. 1D3767 is 670. 1D...
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 1D3761 is 671. 3769 is 672. Sorry, it -- it
24 seems that 1D3761 is actually 3768. It is number -- tab number 671.
25 1D3769 is 672. And 1D3770, it is 673. 1D3761 is 638. 1D3777, 714.
1 1D3778 is 715. And 1D3779 is 716.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
4 Could the witness be brought in, please.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated] Sorry, I omitted
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, please.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is tab -- I -- sorry. I omitted 1D3646. It
9 is tab 713.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is there a position from the Prosecution?
11 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Just taking a quick look at these exhibits, the Prosecution has
13 no objection to 1D3766, 3767, 3768, 3769, 3770, 3777, 3778, and 3779.
14 All of those documents the Prosecution has put on its own list for this
15 witness and therefore doesn't object to them.
16 With regard to 1D3761 and 1D3646, the Prosecution does object on
17 the grounds of look of due diligence and late notice with regard to those
18 two documents.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Susa.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: I take it you can hear me in a language you
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you very well.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Thank you for coming to The Hague to
1 assist the Tribunal. May I ask you to state for the record your name and
2 date of birth.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Vojin Susa. I was born
4 on the 14th of August, 1957.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Mr. Susa, you are about to make the
6 solemn declaration by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the
7 truth. I must point out that by doing so you expose yourself to the
8 penalties of perjury should you give false or untruthful information to
9 the Tribunal.
10 Could I now ask you to read the solemn declaration the court
11 usher will give to you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
13 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: VOJIN SUSA
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Zivanovic, I'm -- I was wondering whether we should first
18 finish the business with the documents. Two documents are objected to by
19 the -- by the Prosecution. Do you have a reply for that?
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, that's correct. As far as I know, 1D3646
21 was one of associated exhibits from the Rule 92 ter statement that we
22 submitted to -- to -- so as far as I know, it is not new document at all.
23 And for 1D3761 -- 1D3646 is amendment of the -- sorry, 3761 was
24 amendment of the constitution of the RSK, and it is known -- this
25 document is known to the Prosecution for a long time.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: All these documents, I don't think I need to
3 repeat the numbers, but all of them are -- can be admitted to the 65 ter
4 list, including the two the OTP objected to.
5 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Susa.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. I want to introduce myself for the record. My name is
11 Zoran Zivanovic, and I appear as Goran Hadzic's counsel in these
13 First of all, I would kindly ask you to tell us where you were
14 born and where you lived before 1991.
15 A. As I have said already I was born on the 14th of August, 1957, in
16 Vinkovci as part of the Republic of Croatia which was one of the
17 republics of the SFRY. After birth, shortly afterwards, my parents were
18 employed in a nearby village called Stari Jankovci. I grew up in that
19 village and completed primary education. Then I completed gymnasium high
20 school in Vinkovci and studied law in Osijek. Having graduated from the
21 law school, I became employed as an intern with the public prosecutor's
22 office in the municipality of Vinkovci. Having passed the bar exam, I
23 was appointed to the position of municipal public prosecutor in Vinkovci.
24 I occupied that position until September 1991.
25 Q. Have you testified before in any proceedings before this
2 A. Yes, in 1998, in the case against late Mr. Dokmanovic.
3 Q. In those proceedings, did you provide a written statement to any
4 of the parties?
5 A. In those proceedings, I was heard as a Defence witness by the
6 Defence team headed by Mr. Toma Fila. I also provided a statement to the
7 OTP Prosecutors. As regards the topics discussed with the Prosecutors, a
8 voluminous statement was drafted in English. The interview took place in
9 English as well with the presence of an interpreter. I spoke in Serbian
10 and the interpreter interpreted it into English. The gentleman addressed
11 me in English and it went through the interpreter again. The procedure
12 that was applied was fair, and I signed that statement in English. I
13 signed it in the office of Toma Fila, the attorney-at-law, when the
14 statement was brought in by Mr. Vasic or, rather, his assistant.
15 At that time it had not been translated into Serbian. In my
16 presence, he reviewed it and read it and said it seems to be fine, so I
17 signed the statement.
18 Q. Did you also provide a statement to Mr. Dokmanovic's Defence?
19 A. I believe so.
20 Q. Describe for us briefly the interethnic relations in Croatia
21 before 1990.
22 A. In my estimate, there were good interethnic relations. In the
23 village where my parents worked as teachers, I grew up in the part of
24 village inhabited exclusively by Croats and Hungarians. All of my
25 childhood friends, some of who remain to be my friends, are Croats and
1 Hungarians. As for any discussions based on ethnicity, it simply did not
2 exist. The entire society was expanding. In my view, we developed
3 individually as well as collectively, education was free, and most
4 people -- or basically all of them had jobs. We had good social security
5 and the situation was fine.
6 Q. Did the situation change in the 1990s?
7 A. Unfortunately, yes. As I said, I worked in the municipal
8 prosecutor's office. In addition to standard measures of prevention and
9 sanctioning of crimes, the prosecutor's office is also engaged in
10 carrying out assessments in the field in order to follow certain trends
11 in the society that may cause turbulence or shifts. In the late 1980s,
12 starting, say, with 1989 and 1990, and especially in 1991, we observed
13 that when labourers who worked abroad came back, and had it happened in
14 terms of cycles around Christmas, Easter, and summer, the topics they
15 discussed became increasingly political. There was already mention that
16 the way the SFRY was set up became obsolete and that different social
17 relations needed to be established; i.e., that capitalism needed to be
18 introduced. There was mention that the relationships between the
19 socialist community was not set up properly and that the developed
20 republics such as Slovenia and Croatia were being held back as well as
21 that situation needed changing.
22 There was also discussion about too many Serbs being in senior
23 positions in Croatia either in the economy or the political system. It
24 gained additional momentum in late 1990 and early 1991 when, in Croatia,
25 political emigres became resurfacing in Croatia. Starting with the 1970s
1 onwards, they had problems with the law because of their chauvinism and
2 nationalism and the way they expressed their ideas.
3 If I may, I'd like to add something. Those stories were untrue.
4 For example, I gained employment with the public prosecutor's office in
5 the municipality based on the ethnic principle. What does that mean? It
6 means that certain positions in the judiciary, police, the economy, were
7 going to be occupied relative to the ethnic structure in the
8 particular -- in a particular area. The public prosecutor's office in
9 Vinkovci had the prosecutor and four deputies. I was the only Serb out
10 of those people and that place was supposed to be assigned to the Serb
11 community. I occupied the position of Mr. Branko Mijovic who had
12 proceeded me in the prosecutor's office and then went to the
13 investigation centre of the district court in Osijek. That relationship
14 was also reflected in all other segments of society pertaining to ethnic
16 Q. Can you tell me briefly in early 1990 what was the position taken
17 by the Serb population in Vinkovci and the surrounding area?
18 A. Well, I can only tell you how we experienced it within my family.
19 We're Serbs so this began to cause a certain amount of disquiet. In the
20 beginning, it wasn't fear but it was a kind of disquiet because
21 particularly as far as my parents were concerned the direct memory of
22 World War II was very strong. We later generations experienced that
23 differently but they experienced it personally in their lives.
24 My family, which is not a large family, in the period of 1941,
25 the family, which lived in a number of houses, numbered about 20 of us
1 with the same last name. Four people were between 16 and 25 years of age
2 and they ended their lives in concentration camps from that family, these
3 were my father's brother and sister, and he remembered all of these
4 events as a family tragedy. And, of course, this was something that
5 disturbed the people, made them feel disquiet and among some of them
6 there was even fear.
7 Q. Are you able to tell us how the authorities at the time reacted
8 to these events in Croatia? Did they try to calm things down?
9 A. The authorities at the time were still trying to calm things
10 down. In the period of 1989 and 1990, the state organs viewed on this as
11 something that was not good. But no specific actions were taken in terms
12 of initiating investigations or anything like that. All of that was in a
13 phase of rest. In words, we were in favour of action but we actually
14 never took any action.
15 Q. Are you able to tell us what happened after 1989 and 1990, what
16 happened after that?
17 A. After that -- thank you, yes, it's probably my fault. We were
18 getting ready and we were waiting for multi-party elections. In these
19 preparations for the multi-party elections, many political rallies were
20 held, many parties were being established. Other than the old League of
21 Communists that transformed in Croatia by introducing a series of liberal
22 and free-thinking positions, all the other parties that were founded
23 unfortunately were a bit more nationalist and they vied with each other
24 as to which one would emphasise more the idea that Croatia belonged to
25 Croats and that there should be political and economic independence of
2 In some areas of Croatia inhabited by a majority Serb population,
3 parties were founded that were ethnically Serb. I think the worst
4 position was for us, people from urban areas, who at some point did not
5 belong anywhere anymore, neither here nor there.
6 Q. Do you know if there were any specific events that particularly
7 disturbed the Serbian population in the area where you lived?
8 A. Well, you know, incidents that boiled down to verbal and then
9 later mild physical altercations began already from 1989 through 1990 and
10 1991. I myself, at that point in my life, didn't notice any particular
11 changes towards myself. I don't know whether that was because I'm that
12 sort of a man or because of the fact that I was in a respectable post,
13 but nobody exhibited anything bad towards me. Things began to complicate
14 significantly after the HDZ won elections. Everything that went around,
15 talks and threats, actually, began to materialise. It was compulsory in
16 work organisations for you to sign those infamous statements of loyalty
17 to the Croatian state. Even though you did not question in any way the
18 integrity of the Croatian state, nevertheless you had to affirm this in
19 this written document. And the process began in which many Serbs lost
20 their jobs, responsible positions. For example, in my family my wife
21 lost her job, but she actually stayed in Stari Jankovci. She was a music
22 teacher in the elementary school. She lost her job because of her
23 professional qualifications, allegedly, but actually that could not have
24 been questioned because after her they gave the job to a person who was
25 less qualified than she was.
1 So, in conversations with other people, I learned that in their
2 areas as well, perhaps in their families too, the same kind of things
3 were happening.
4 Q. You said that when the HDZ came to power, they introduced some
5 legal measures that had an effect of interethnic relations. Is that
7 A. Yes, the constitution was amended so the main body of the
8 constitution, the founding document of a state, Serbs were erased as a
9 constituent element. This represented a serious threat and a danger to
10 the Serbs. I recall -- or I would like to remind that Croatia, the way
11 it was, the Croatia that I was born in, was established after Second
12 World War, after the peoples' liberation fight, and after the pro-Fascist
13 authorities left who formed the so-called independent republic of Croatia
14 from 1941 to 1944. This second Croatia was created on the basis of laws
15 post-World War II and the Serbs paid for that with vast casualties.
16 I wouldn't want to speak about those casualties because I don't
17 want to be accused of bargaining with those casualties, but I must simply
18 say that those casualties were vast. They were not just casualties as a
19 result of direct fighting with the occupation Fascist Nazi forces. The
20 tragic thing is that those casualties were a result of numerous
21 concentration camps such as Jasenovac, Stara Gradiska, Jadovno, and the
22 most awful of them all, the only concentration camp recorded for
23 children, the one in Jastrebarsko.
24 So after all of those casualties, the Croats and Serbs were
25 together in these new organs of power and they established the
1 Socialist Republic of Croatia within the Socialist Federal Peoples'
2 Republic of Yugoslavia which was later renamed to the Socialist
3 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. By being deleted from the
4 constitution, the Serbs got a very ugly message, and also in the press
5 every day you could read very ugly articles about how the Serbs usurped
6 power, they took more than they had a right to, and that this had to come
7 to an end.
8 Q. Besides being removed from the constitution and reading articles
9 in the paper, can you please tell us if any other things happened that
10 made the Serbs feel threatened? Were there any events that would
11 indicate that there would be an armed conflict.
12 A. Well, these were not events. It was an ongoing thing. Already
13 in early 1990 -- and it became more and more frequent from the mid-1990
14 onwards, for example, in Vinkovci you could notice armed persons in
15 classic military uniforms. I asked myself for a long time what these
16 units were, who do they belong to. In view of the fact that I had good
17 connections as deputy prosecutor, I had connections in the police, so I
18 was able to ask the people from the police whether those units were under
19 their jurisdiction, and the answer I would get would be, "No. These are
20 some other units. We don't know who is setting up these units."
21 Evidently by the insignia that they wore, they did not belong to the
22 Yugoslav People's Army either, the only regular army that existed at the
23 time in the territory of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia,
24 including Croatia.
25 Later, we learned that those units were called ZNG, National
1 Guards. What's very typical and important is that members of those units
2 could only be Croats which indicated that a special formation was being
3 created, a police or a military one, we didn't know which one at the
4 time, because already at the time because of that approach constituted a
5 threat to the Serbs. At the beginning the units were located in areas
6 which were not areas where any police or military formations were
7 supposed to be, these were training camps, stadiums. Already in late
8 1990 or mid-1990, these units began to appear in public. They had their
9 patrols. They checked traffic and persons and they did this particularly
10 in areas where there were Serb villages. This caused unpleasant scenes,
11 people were brought out of their cars, they were taken away for
12 interrogations, their vehicles were seized, and there was even physical
13 force applied which in this phase would be restricted to beatings and so
14 on. But in this first stage people were allowed to go home and the most
15 extreme things did not happen yet where people would disappear.
16 Q. And appearance of these armed formations and generally the arming
17 that was going on at the time, how did that affect the Serbian population
18 in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
19 A. Well, it's easy to conclude on the basis of what I have just said
20 that the Serbs were uneasy, and the Serbs began to organise too. They
21 self-organised. People were slowly beginning to form those village
22 guards which during the night would control who was entering the village
23 in order to prevent any incursions. Records were kept of who was
24 interrogated and taken in on a particular day. I think that among the
25 people in the area where I lived, this caused a most serious degree of
2 Q. And now that we're talking about fear, are you able to tell us
3 what it was that Serbs were afraid of at the time? The army existed,
4 there was the police. So what sort of a fear was it among the Serbs?
5 A. I must tell you that initially the army, in a way, could not act.
6 It was sidelined. The army as we knew it was not formed in order to
7 prevent internal conflicts within Yugoslavia. This is something that was
8 primarily done by the police. So people knew that only by
9 self-organising could they get any results because people, you know, they
10 would come to the prosecutor's office when I worked there and they would
11 also go to the police, they would report cases when they were mistreated
12 and when without any warrants their vehicles were seized or other
13 valuables. Police -- the police would say that this was not under their
14 jurisdiction. They said that these were not the units that they had sent
15 out into the field. We in the prosecutor's office, we did not get any
16 investigation reports that we could act upon, and judging by what people
17 told me from Mirkovci, a neighbouring village where my cousins live, for
18 them, all of that was a sign that they had to do everything to secure
19 their own protection; the protection of their families too.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 1D1201. This
21 is tab 257.
22 Q. You had the opportunity probably to see this petition signed --
23 well, it was sent by the Serbian inhabitants of Stari and Novi Jankovci,
24 the villages that you have talked about. Could you please tell me --
25 well, they cite a series of details about events that were happening
1 about worsening interethnic relations, about incidents, so what I would
2 like to know is if you had any information about this worsening of
3 interethnic relations in Stari and Novi Jankovci?
4 A. All -- I know all the people involved in these unfortunate
5 incident, both Serbs and Croats. I lived in Stari Jankovci until I was
6 27 years old with many of these people. I grew up with them. Yes,
7 unfortunately, everything that is stated in the petition is true. I was
8 informed about it directly. When the petition was drafted, the people
9 informed me that they were going to do it. They asked me if there was
10 any point in doing it. I said that, yes, there was some point in
11 addressing the state organs and asking for their protection.
12 Q. Are you able to tell us, do you know if the organs acted upon the
14 A. Unfortunately, no. Nothing was done. It was just recorded as an
15 incident that would be investigated. All the elements of it would be
16 established, but nothing was actually done.
17 Q. On the second page of the same document we can see a reference
18 being made to the events that happened on the 5th of May, 1991. I can
19 see that that followed the incident in Borovo Selo.
20 Do you know - and if you do know about that incident in
21 Borovo Selo - what happened?
22 A. That was on the 2nd of May, 1991. I was near Zagreb. I went
23 there with my son to attend a tennis tournament. Something happened on
24 the 2nd of May, and I learned about that on the evening news as I was
25 watching Zagreb television. On the following day, I returned home. I
1 already had the information about all that. I had inspected and perused
2 official documents, and it was obvious that the first incident of very
3 low intensity happened on the 1st of May. It was about flags being
4 hoisted. The 1st of May is the international labour day, and on that day
5 people in Borovo Selo hoisted a Yugoslav flag. Two Croatian police
6 officers came. They took the flag down and replaced it by a Croatian
7 flag. There was a verbal argument as a result of that, and I believe
8 that some of the villagers of Borovo Selo beat one of the police
9 officers. The police officers left, they reported on what had happened,
10 and then on the 2nd of May a police expedition arrived in Borovo Selo.
11 They arrived two buses, there were about 100 armed men on those buses,
12 they were well armed, and this started the notorious conflict.
13 As soon as they got off the buses, the police officers started
14 shooting. The man who was sitting in front of the local commune building
15 was killed. Obviously they had informers in Borovo Selo and they knew
16 that armed policemen had set out against them, so the villagers of
17 Borovo Selo were well-informed. They knew that there were armed
18 policemen coming, they returned fire, and as a result some Croatian
19 police officers were killed and a lot of the villagers of Borovo Selo
20 were wounded.
21 We can see that the incident in Stari Jankovci happened on the
22 5th of May, after the burial of one of the police officers who had been
23 killed. By way of retaliation and revenge, the incident happened in the
24 way it was described in this petition.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document into
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D1201 will be Exhibit D214.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could you now please tell us in very general terms what was the
6 effect of the incident in Borovo Selo in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
8 A. Members of the formation that we have already mentioned, the
9 ZNGs, started getting more and more involved in the happenings. They
10 were fully armed. They had long-barrelled weapons. They started
11 patrolling Serbian villages and blockading them. These were not full
12 blockades, which means that you could go in and go out. However, the
13 controls became very, very rigorous and people were ill-treated on a
14 daily basis. Unfortunately, I have to say that people were also beaten
15 and that was considered to be very normal. The Serbs started withdrawing
16 to their own villages, and when they did leave them, in order to do
17 chores or buy provisions, those ended up in incidents. They were taken
18 to the police stations, they were kept there, they were interrogated.
19 Some extreme happenings were recorded, people went missing, they never
20 returned to their homes, arms were being more often used against people
21 in their fields in the zones of those Serbian villages. A lot of people
22 were wounded and quite a few were killed as well.
23 Q. After these incidents, did people start moving out from Slavonia,
24 Baranja, and Western Srem or in to the province?
25 A. Unfortunately, when it comes to more permanent settlement, very
1 few people settled in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. During the
2 first phase, people started moving out, albeit it slowly, first from the
3 areas bordering on Croatia. And both peoples moved out from there.
4 People who were Croats moved to Croatia, and people from Serbian villages
5 started moving out to Serbia. The first ones to leave were the women and
6 the children and the infirm. Those who remained were young people who
7 were ready and prepared to defend their homes.
8 Q. What about your personal experience? What did you experience in
9 the course of 1991 at the time when interethnic relations worsened?
10 A. In 1991 at the very beginning, I believe that that was in the
11 month of February, I was taken to the hospital for a gall-bladder
12 surgery. The surgery was successful. I felt well but I was very
13 ambitious and I thought that I was feeling better than I actually did.
14 That's why I had to stay on sick-leave for longer than intentionally
15 planned. As I was recovering, I was in my house in Vinkovci. I moved
16 about the town, and I walked by a barricade. Every day I had to pass by
17 a barricade which was some 100 metres away from my house in the direction
18 of the town centre, and it faced the village of Mirkovci. That barricade
19 was constantly manned by some 30 or 40 people, some of them in uniform,
20 some of them in civilian clothes, but in any case they were all armed.
21 Those people knew me. Some of them were my neighbours and they did not
22 pose any problems to me. I could move freely around that barricade.
23 Those barricades, both on the Croatian and Serbian sides, is where shots
24 were heard at dusk. Shots were fired from infantry weapons. Mirkovci
25 and Vinkovci actually are not two separate settlements. They are only
1 separated by a railway line and you really don't know where Vinkovci
2 stops and where Mirkovci starts. In Mirkovci some 500 metres away from
3 the barricade that I have mentioned, there was a Serbian barricade.
4 Every night over the roofs of our houses bullets were flying. We didn't
5 feel safe, but we did not have any other option but to remain living in
6 our houses.
7 On the 9th of July, 1991, after what was possibly the strongest
8 fire that forced all of us in the house to spend the night in the
9 basement, several bullets ended up in the roof of our house. I was
10 sitting with my mother and my wife on the terrace of our house. The
11 morning was sunny and warm. We were drinking coffee. My father had gone
12 to fetch bread. Some 30 to 40 members of the ZNG formation burst into my
13 courtyard. They did not have any search warrants. I asked them what
14 that was all about, and they told us just remain sitting. Don't move.
15 Their weapons were aimed at us and they were cocked. They entered the
17 My wife was afraid because our older son was in the room sleeping
18 there. He was 12 years old at the time. She told them there's a child
19 asleep in one of the rooms and a guy responded, "We do not shoot
20 children." They chased my son out of the house and they start searching
21 the house. One of the guardsmen were standing next to me with his rifle
22 aiming at me. I asked him what was happening, and he said we have a
23 report that shots were fired from your house onto the barricade that.
24 That was crazy. It would have never occurred to me to provoke anybody
25 from the house where I was living with my closest, my wife and children
1 and my parents. I only had a hunting rifle in the house and they are
2 used -- such rifles are used only in game hunting. And I also had a
3 pistol that I was issued as a member of the prosecutor's office. I
4 believe that it was the red -- the Crvena Zastava pistol, 7.65. Those
5 weapons were locked in a cabinet to keep them away from the children. So
6 I kept the weapon safe in the cabinet.
7 When the search of the house was completed, and while they were
8 searching the house they broke things, they overturned furniture, there
9 was a lot of damage as a result of that search. I asked them, "Who is
10 your superior?" And then a man introduced himself to me and said, "I'm
11 the one. What do you want?" And he introduced himself to me as Cigo and
12 he said -- I said to him, "I am the deputy public prosecutor in Vinkovci.
13 Here's my official ID." He took that ID and tore it apart. I asked him,
14 "How can you do that?" And he said, "You will tell us everything you
15 have to tell us within the next couple of hours."
16 They did not handcuff me. They pushed me into a van and we
17 started driving through the city. We stopped in front of the football
18 pitch of the football club that was called Dinamo at the time, now it is
19 Cibalija, a gate opened. There is a high fence around the football
20 pitch. I knew that because I had attended football games at that stadium
21 many times, many times before. I saw a lot of members of the ZNG in
22 uniforms. I was taken to a bench. There were several benches in the
23 courtyard. Those were metal benches, fixed to the ground. They told me
24 to get out of the van. I did. And then they handcuffed me. They
25 actually handcuffed me to the bench, and I remained sitting there.
1 Nobody ever said anything to me at that point. And then there came a
2 time when a door opened and a large group of people, some 40 or 50
3 people, entered the cart yard. They were all members of the ZNG. I
4 noticed several wounded among them because they had blood-drenched
5 dressings around their heads or arms or legs. I heard that that unit had
6 attacked people who were doing harvest near the village of Pacetin but
7 that the villagers tried to defend themselves using weapons and they
8 wounded some of the ZNG members. While they were passing by me, one of
9 them or several of them wanted to know who I was. And somebody else
10 said, "He is a Chetnik. He had opened fire on us last night." Some of
11 them started savagely beating me as if they had been given the signal.
12 They beat me on the head, on the body, on the arms. I lost consciousness
13 and I suppose that I fell down by the bench.
14 When I came to I was sitting on that same bench and two lads from
15 the ZNG unit whom I recognised as villagers of Stari Jankovci, one of
16 them was Jurisic and the other was Zecevic, they obviously knew me and
17 they were rinsing my face with the water from a plastic jerrycan.
18 Jurisic told me, "Don't worry, they will not kill you." Obviously I was
19 hurting from the beating. I was sitting. And I realised that I was
20 missing some teeth. And then I -- I -- I realised two or three of my
21 teeth were missing, and I also had a strong pain in the right chest and
22 the right shoulder. My arm was crooked. My right arm was somehow
23 crooked. I told him it seems that my shoulder was broken, and they said
24 no, it's probably just twisted. And then they left.
25 I was sitting there for some 10 or 15 minutes with my head bowed.
1 I was bleeding from my mouth and from my nose. A group of some four or
2 five of them arrived. They uncuffed me. Actually, they cuffed me again
3 and they took me to what they called a face washing. That face washing
4 actually entailed another round of beating in the toilet. One of the
5 guards then pulled a pistol. He put it in my mouth. He pushed it
6 forcefully and then I realised that something was breaking. I -- there
7 was a cracking sound in my jaw. The nickname of that person was Sokac,
8 but it's neither here nor there. I fainted again and they brought me to
9 by pushing my head into the toilet bowl while somebody was flushing the
10 toilet bowl. I heard one of them saying, "You're really going to kill
11 this guy." They dragged me -- or carried me rather than dragged me to
12 that same bench and they tied me to it again. I believe that a couple of
13 minutes passed before a window opened on the first floor and a young
14 officer appeared on the window. He had patches on his shoulders. I
15 don't know what the patches signified. I know that he was sporting
16 spectacles and he said, "You're going to kill this man. Bring him
18 Two members of the ZNG came to fetch me. They had not
19 participated in the beating. They literally held me under their arms and
20 they carried me to that guy's office. I found my father there and a
21 friend of ours, Bosko Racanovic. That same morning he had heard the
22 terrible shooting. He knew where our house was and he came to our house
23 to see whether we were all alive. Bosko was bleeding from his nose, my
24 father was -- my -- my -- my father's face was red so I knew that
25 somebody had slapped him around. They were not otherwise injured. On
1 that officers desk there was a military uniform, and when I say
2 "military" I mean a JNA uniform, and there was also a rifle which was not
3 mine. There was also my rifle, my official pistol, and two grenades.
4 At that moment, a door opened behind us. A cameraman arrived and
5 took photos of the entire situation. He left. Nothing happened. That
6 that commander asked me whose weapons are these? I couldn't speak. I
7 was bleeding from the mouth and that blood was pouring all over my body.
8 My father saw that. He started crying from fear when he saw that. I
9 only told him that those were not my weapons. I pointed to all the
10 weapons. And he says I know and -- some -- some of it is yours and the
11 rest belongs to somebody else. He took a grenade, he hooked it to his
12 belt, I saw that there were no other grenades on his belt, and another
13 man who was there took the other grenade, and I realised that those
14 grenades belonged to them. He ordered to his subordinates to take us to
15 the police station. He said, "You're now going to be taken to the police
16 station, they will take your statement, and then everything will be
18 We went to the police station, my father and Basko Racanovic were
19 taken to a room, and they kept me there, exposed to everybody's views, in
20 a hallway behind the public desks. The guards who remained there and
21 kept me at gunpoint asked me to remain standing, although I wanted to sit
22 down. There were people coming to those desks on their business, and
23 they were in a state of shock. They were wondering who I was. And the
24 reply they received was this is a Chetnik who had opened fire on us last
25 night, and this is how everybody of that sort would fair. I wanted to
1 lean against the wall. He pushed me away from the wall and said you are
2 staining the wall with your blood, which is true. And then there was
3 this staircase leading to the first floor. At that moment a member of
4 the ZNG started coming down, that was Cigo whom I already mentioned, and
5 he said to -- to -- tonight you will see what will happen. And that's
6 how I remained standing. Nobody approached us. None of the citizens.
7 None of the police inspectors. At that moment my uncle came from the
8 city. He probably heard that we were there and in his car he transported
9 us to our own house.
10 At home my wife and my mother were trying to put order into the
11 house. I saw them crying. I saw them afraid. And a friend of mine, a
12 Croat, came and told me, "Vojo, I'm begging you, go somewhere. Don't
13 stay. Don't wait for the night-fall in the house. I am afraid that
14 something bad will happen to you. I can't help you and I will feel
15 terrible if something bad happens to you." I had already made my
16 decision. A friend of mine came, another Croat from Vinkovci, a doctor.
17 He tended to my wounds as much as he could and he told me that -- my jaw
18 looked the worst. My pallet looked the worst. He tried to use tampons
19 to close the wound on my pallet. He succeeded to a certain extent. He
20 gave me two painkillers or rather injections, and then he addressed my
21 wife and told her, "Jelena, the best thing for you to do would be to go
22 to Belgrade." He knew that I had an aunt, my father's sister, who lived
23 in Belgrade.
24 He went to see whether there were any trains running to Belgrade
25 on that day, and the trains were still running to Zagreb, Ljubljana,
1 Vinkovci, Belgrade, and further on. He returned to fetch us and he told
2 us, "There is a train leaving in half an hour. There is nobody there.
3 The train will probably be empty. Let me take you there." He did take
4 us to the railway station. He bought us tickets. We got on the train
5 and we started our journey.
6 There was another dangerous point that we had to cross and that
7 was Stari Jankovci. The railway track goes through there and that was
8 where international trains were always stopped. ZNG members controlled
9 the passengers on all the trains there. They entered the compartments.
10 They inspected papers. I heard that things like that happened.
11 Sometimes they would take the people off the trains and those people
12 would be taken somewhere. I didn't know what happened to them
13 thereafter. I don't know who those people were, but in any case there
14 were rumours. But I know for a fact that the trains were stopped in
15 Jankovci and that happened to the train that we were on.
16 I was seated next to the window. A three- or four-man strong
17 patrol came, including a young man who recognised my wife. He told her,
18 "Teacher, what are you doing here?" And then he saw me. It was clear to
19 him that we were actually leaving the area. He held at both sides of the
20 door literally blocking the view from anyone outside. His mates came
21 along he told them, "Move along, things are fine here." He bid us
22 farewell and went on.
23 In Sid when we crossed into Serbia, I was addressed by a man who
24 was part of the official escort of the train, and he said, "I saw you on
25 the train. What's wrong with you?" As I couldn't speak my wife said
1 that we had had some problems since she did not know who he was. He
2 asked whether he should stop the train or if we were able to go on. And
3 I waved my hand to show him that we can go on.
4 By way of radio he called someone in Belgrade and we arrived
5 there. There was an ambulance and a police patrol awaiting us. I was
6 placed in the ambulance while my wife picked up our two children and went
7 to my aunt's place.
8 I was taken to the emergency ward. I was operated on there and
9 the -- and I was bandaged. My shoulder was put back in place. My palate
10 was stitched, and I stayed three days in the ward. Later on, I went to
11 my aunt's apartment where I was treated at home. A nurse would come
12 every day and for five days I received infusion because I was unable to
13 eat. I was blue all over, and I received vaccines to prevent blood
14 clotting. After some ten days, I started walking with a stick and my
15 condition improved significantly.
16 Q. Mr. Susa, how long have you known Mr. Hadzic?
17 A. I met Goran Hadzic in 1973. I was in the second year of
18 high school, whereas he had just started high school. We were introduced
19 to each other through our colleague, Ms. Zivka.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the last
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They liked each other at the time.
23 We simply started socialising. We did not become exceptionally good
24 friends, but I have known him since that time.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Following your education were you still in contact with him?
2 A. Yes. Although not as intensively. Whereas I studied law, he
3 studied economics, and we ran into each other occasionally in Osijek. He
4 did not seem to attend all of the classes at his university but that was
5 the nature of his studies. In any case, we travelled together when we
6 went back home because we stayed in Osijek during the week. When he
7 started working in the same company where his father had worked before
8 retirement, we would see each other. I was a hunter and Goran bred some
9 dogs and we therefore had some common topics. I think the families
10 visited each other, say, every six months or so.
11 Q. During the period where interethnic tensions were being raised in
12 Croatia, did you have contact with Goran Hadzic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Please explain.
15 A. I read in the newspapers that following an incident at Plitvice,
16 Goran was arrested. As far as I could tell from the article, on their
17 return from Knin they stopped at the Plitvice national park where he was
18 arrested. He was taken to Zagreb and then released after a while to go
19 home to Pacetin. He also experienced beatings. My wife and I sat in our
20 car and went to visit him.
21 When I went to Pacetin to see him, it was registered because
22 before we joined the road between Vinkovci and Vukovar, one needs to turn
23 towards Pacetin, and there was a Croatian check-point there. I was
24 stopped and one of the people asked me where we were going. I showed him
25 my official ID, and he asked me, "Mr. Prosecutor, what is your business
1 in that Chetnik village?" Because you had to let them know you were
2 going to turn to Pacetin. Between the barricade and the village, there
3 was perhaps some 150 metres and unless you had previously announced your
4 intention, you may be fired at. I told him that I was going to visit a
5 friend. I didn't say it was Goran Hadzic. I just told him that I had a
6 sick friend. And he said yeah, go ahead.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I --
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
9 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Perhaps this is the result of very open nature of the questions
11 asked by Mr. Zivanovic, but this whole topic of what happened I do not
12 believe was anywhere in this witness's statements or -- and in the
13 proofing notes, and so the Prosecution is unawares of it.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I don't know what part is not in the statement,
15 and why it is relevant is because it is viva voce witness.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
17 MR. OLMSTED: Well, the issue is notice. Well, we were not aware
18 that this witness was going to talk about this particular incident, and
19 it should have been at least in the witness summary or in the proofing
20 note or in the 50-some-page statement that this witness provided. But
21 it's nowhere to be found.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: If it is related to this particular incident as
23 to visit to Goran Hadzic in Pacetin, we didn't spoke about it. It is
24 first time that I hear from the witness.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: You may -- you may move on -- you may continue,
2 Mr. Zivanovic.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Please go on. You were explaining your trip.
5 A. Yes, I stopped at some point. I apologise. I have so many
6 things in my memory and stories to that did not make their way into the
7 statement but I'll try to stick to the statement itself.
8 I was under an obligation to submit a report to the prosecutor's
9 office on my visit to Mr. Hadzic and what I did there.
10 Q. Let me tell you another thing since you are testifying under
11 oath. You are not only limited in your testimony to the content of your
12 statement. Should you remember anything else that is true and accurate
13 and of importance for the proceedings, you have to tell us irrespective
14 of what is contained in the statement.
15 A. Everything I've said so far is true, although it is not up to me
16 to estimate the weight of it.
17 Q. When you arrived Belgrade, did you have occasion to see
18 Goran Hadzic in the period after that?
19 A. Yes, I saw him only once in the home foundation in Belgrade in
20 Nusiceva Street. He asked me then whether I was willing to assume the
21 position of -- in a particular body, although he still didn't know what
22 its name was going to be. He just said that it was supposed to be some
23 kind of centre for civilian affairs in the region. I answered to him
24 that I had already discussed it with Koncarevic and that I was willing to
25 take up that position.
1 I wanted to say that he wasn't at the home foundation to see me.
2 He just spoke to me for a few minutes and he also greeted my wife who was
3 present. He was accompanied by Vitomir Devetak whom I did not know at
4 the time. Later on we were introduced and then I put two and two
5 together and I realised I had seen him before at the home foundation. In
6 any case, they were on their way to a meeting and we only exchanged a few
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I see the clock.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
10 Mr. Susa, we take our first break, 30 minutes, so we will be back
11 at 11.00.
12 Court adjourned.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Susa, did you hear of the existence of the
21 Serb National Council?
22 A. I did, when I was still in Vinkovci. I could read it in the
23 newspapers that the Serbian National Council was established and one
24 could also read about the members. I only knew some of them who had been
25 prominent experts in the fields of culture, education, and alike, and who
1 were Serbs.
2 Q. Were you a member of the Serb National Council?
3 A. No, I was never a member of it.
4 Q. Did you hear about a decision of the Assembly of SBWS from 1991?
5 It was decided that the government of the SBWS be established. The date
6 was the 25th of June, 1991.
7 A. I heard about it when I was in Belgrade. I had no information
8 about the session itself and the decisions reached there until later.
9 Q. When you left for Belgrade, when did you again go to the
10 territory of the Republic of Croatia?
11 A. I returned for the first time in August 1991 after there was
12 preliminary discussion with me about assuming a position in that body
13 that was supposed to be established for the SBWS. That is when I went to
14 Dalj with a group of friends and associates.
15 Q. Who formed the group of your colleagues and friends, and who did
16 you discuss the proposition before going to Dalj?
17 A. Before that there was a conversation in Brane Crncevic's office.
18 Mr. Ilija Koncarevic was present during the conversation as well as
19 Mr. Dusan Pekic, retired general. Then I met the people who were there
20 for the first time. There was also Mr. Simonovic who was the secretary
21 of the federal assembly. Mr. Crncevic asked me, and he was the first one
22 to ask me then, whether I would be willing to assume that position. It
23 all happened before I met Mr. Hadzic at the same place which followed a
24 few days later. I told him that I had no means to support my family and
25 that my circumstances were changed. I had a very serious plan to leave
1 Serbia altogether and to accompany my friend Tomo Ilic to Sidney,
2 Australia. Mr. Crncevic told me that this technical issue of income
3 could be dealt with because he would be of assistance in order for me to
4 find a job and that under such circumstances I would be willing to assume
5 that position. After he said that, I agreed.
6 Q. Tell us how you reached Dalj?
7 A. We used the road from Novi Sad, through a number of settlements,
8 including Srpski Miletic. Then one arrives at a bridge across the Danube
9 in order to reach Erdut. Erdut is the first settlement after the border
10 in Croatia. The next settlement in line is Dalj. That was the route we
12 Q. Were there any check-points along the route to Dalj?
13 A. The leg through Serbia, I think it is Bogojevo that is on the
14 other side of the bridge, that is where the first check-point was manned
15 by Serb police. We had our IDs checked and we were let through. When we
16 crossed the bridge when we reached the fork to Erdut, there was another
17 check-point which at that time was of mixed composition. When I say
18 that, I mean to say that there were some policemen as well as JNA members
20 Q. Had you been in Dalj before that?
21 A. No, never before.
22 Q. Where did you go? What -- what location in Dalj?
23 A. To the centre of town where there are several buildings. The
24 building we entered and the building where we met was the building of the
25 village library or the town library.
1 Q. Who did you meet in Dalj on that occasion?
2 A. I saw Goran Hadzic there. He was the only one I knew there with
3 the exception of a number of judges, colleagues, and prosecutors who were
4 from Vukovar who, for some other places, were in Dalj that day as well.
5 The colleagues who worked in Vukovar included a colleague who used to
6 work in Osijek, and I knew him in our regular work. Ilija Koncarevic was
7 there, whom I met previously at Mr. Crncevic's, and also
8 Mr. Bogdan Vojnovic came with me together from the direction of Novi Sad.
9 Q. Did you have the opportunity to meet any members of the future
10 government in Dalj that time?
11 A. As I said, there were a number of them there. Maybe ten or
12 fifteen. And that was where I met Mr. Vitomir Devetak again. I'd seen
13 him before. I met Boro Milinkovic. Dr. Jovic. Dr. Mladen Hadzic. I
14 don't know if I saw anybody else there. I cannot remember. I probably
15 did, but I cannot remember their names.
16 Q. And are you able to tell us if you met Radovan Stojicic, Badza,
17 if that was the first time or whether you had met him before?
18 A. On that day in Dalj when I saw him, I wasn't quite sure. I
19 didn't know exactly who that was.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
21 MR. OLMSTED: That was a very leading question, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, we have -- we have the answer now.
23 So move on but be careful.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I really don't know how to put the question to
25 the witness if he met some particular person. I must tell the name of
1 this -- that person.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood your question as being
4 whether I met any people there that I'd worked with before, but it wasn't
5 just those people who were there in the Dalj library. There was some
6 other people there, people in military uniforms, people who evidently
7 belonged to some other formation. When you specifically asked me about
8 Radovan Stojicic, Badza, at the point in time when I saw him in Dalj -
9 and I did see him in Dalj - I didn't know what his function was. At one
10 point a number of people in uniform appeared. These were brown uniforms.
11 I don't know how to describe them. They were modern, brown, war combat
12 military uniforms. This was a group of people that I learned was from
13 Vukovar. There were two brothers. I think they were twins and that
14 their last name was Lazic, and there was evidently somebody there who was
15 leading them and that is how they were sitting at the table and that was
16 the first time that I saw Radovan Stojicic, Badza. Later I got to meet
17 him. But I knew when the first time was that I saw him and I didn't
18 communicate with him then.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Do you remember if then or later possibly you had the opportunity
21 to see anyone else, any of his associates perhaps?
22 A. All the people who appeared in Dalj then appeared several times
23 later in places where I happened to be as well.
24 I think that during the next ten days this contact or scene,
25 Badza and people who were there in that group, was something that
1 occurred more frequently. I think for the second time in Erdut, when I
2 saw Radovan Stojicic, Badza, he was in the company of Mr. Zavisic, whom I
3 knew as a high-ranking Serbian operative who I used to meet in Novi Sad,
4 and I think that was the first time in my life that I saw
5 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan.
6 Q. And did you know who Radovan Stojicic, Badza, was at that time or
7 can you tell us what you knew at that time?
8 A. When I met him for the first time I didn't know almost anything
9 about him. When you meet people in gatherings, you would ask who is that
10 person, who is that person, and those people are asking about you as
11 well. Already on the way back to Belgrade, the people who were there
12 with me, Milos Vojnovic, Bogdan Vojnovic, they told me that this was a
13 very high-ranking member of the Serbian MUP. I knew that of Zavisic.
14 Let me just remind you that at that point when I went to Dalj I myself
15 had began to work in the Serbian MUP as an inspector, independent
16 inspector for economic crimes, and that is the work that Mr. Crncevic
17 said he could fix for me. I received a very high salary for the
18 conditions at the time. I had social insurance. My wife was able to
19 draw on the salary through my bank account, and I was happy that my
20 family was taken care of and I could do some other things.
21 In the city secretariat in Novi Sad when I went to collect the
22 decision about my new post, that was when I met Mr. Zavisic. Before
23 that, I didn't -- I didn't know him.
24 Q. You said that you also saw Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan. Can you
25 tell me at that time, did you have any information about him, who he was?
1 A. I had information already from the time I was in Vinkovci, this
2 is very indirect information acquired through the media, where there was
3 talk about how he was captured in Croatia while smuggling arms and there
4 was some kind of court proceedings against him in Zagreb. I think that
5 only a few times before that I had heard of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan.
6 Of course, later I became more interested and I saw who he was and where
7 he was from and what were all the things that he was involved in.
8 Q. And could you please tell us how people in Slavonia, Baranja, and
9 Western Srem viewed the arrival of Radovan Stojicic, Badza, and the group
10 of policemen who came with him? How did they see that?
11 A. What can I tell you? When you're in danger, when you're afraid
12 for your life, when somebody comes to help you and when that someone is
13 either a representative of Serbia or of the federal organs, then for you
14 that represents a certain relief.
15 Q. And do you know how Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, was viewed?
16 A. Well, just like myself people knew very little about Arkan. When
17 he appeared, he brought men with him who appeared like serious soldiers.
18 This was not just a group of people assembled from the street. Already
19 by the way they appeared, by the way they talked, by their conduct, one
20 could conclude that these were members of some serious military
21 formation. Later, getting to know everything that he was involved in
22 better and who all these people were, I received confirmation for this
23 assumption. All of these people were people who completed military
24 schools in other countries. Some of them perhaps in Serbia. They were
25 highly educated soldiers, able to use the latest equipment.
1 Q. And Arkan and the group that came with him, did they take part in
2 combat; do you know?
3 A. Yes, they did participate in combat. They did not carry out any
4 political work in the field. They carried out activities that have to do
5 with military operations in the -- in the field.
6 Q. Are you able to tell us, do you remember when you were elected
7 into the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem and what was
8 the post that you were appointed to?
9 A. The Great National Assembly in its session in September, at the
10 proposal of the prime minister-designate Goran Hadzic, selected a
11 government in which I was given the post of minister for justice.
12 Q. Do you remember if Radovan Stojicic, Badza, ever attended these
13 government sessions?
14 A. Yes. Not each one. He would come from time to time. He was a
15 person of a few words. He would sit. Sometimes he would talk about
16 losses in the field, about how serious they were. He did not ever
17 propose anything specific or ask us for any opinions.
18 Q. Did he inform you about military operations, about future plans?
19 A. No, never. We did not take part in the drafting of any
20 operational plans, and after actions were carried out he never informed
21 us about the course of those actions. He would stick to a kind of
22 statistical line where he would talk about the casualties.
23 Q. Did Radovan Stojicic, Badza, ever issue any instructions,
24 directives? Did he ever reach any decisions about any specific problem
25 or anything like that?
1 A. No. No, never.
2 Q. Do you know whether Radovan Stojicic, Badza, ever had any
3 functions in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
4 A. Radovan Stojicic, Badza, was the commander of the
5 Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
6 Q. Do you know who appointed him to that post?
7 A. Yes, I know who appointed him indirectly. He was appointed to
8 that function by Serbia.
9 Q. When you say "Serbia," what do you mean more specifically?
10 A. Well, look, at that time the authority of Serbia and organs of
11 the SFRY were overlapping in certain aspects. So he was sent to us to
12 head the Territorial Defence. I believed, and I believe that now, that
13 somebody from the federal organs, or Serbia, was behind that.
14 Q. And do you know if the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and
15 Western Srem adopted a decision appointing Radovan Stojicic, Badza, to
16 that post?
17 A. No. Perhaps that's a bit unusual, but as far as police and
18 military structures, we did not make any strategic decisions, executive
20 Q. And do you know if perhaps the Assembly of Slavonia, Baranja, and
21 Western Srem perhaps made such a decision?
22 A. Well, as far as I know, it did not, no.
23 Q. And did Goran Hadzic himself perhaps make that decision ; do you
25 A. No, no. I don't think Goran Hadzic would make that decision by
1 himself. It was something that would be made by the government or by the
2 assembly, but the documents that I had indicate that this was not
3 something that was discussed either by the government or by the assembly
4 nor by Goran Hadzic.
5 Q. Do you remember if Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, attended government
7 A. Yes, he did. More rarely than Radovan Stojicic, Badza. He would
8 come. Sometimes he would be in the hall in entrance to the room where
9 the government sessions were, and sometimes he would be present at these
10 sessions. As opposed to Radovan Stojicic, Badza, he was well-known. He
11 was loud. He would always speak with his voice raised. He would always
12 be discussing something with someone. I didn't really have any frequent
13 contacts with him. I practically had no contacts with him, actually.
14 Q. And at these government session, did he issue any instructions,
15 directives, make proposals to what the government was supposed to do,
16 adopt, things like that?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. Are you able to tell us, if you know, what the relationship was
19 between Radovan Stojicic, Badza, and Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan?
20 A. Like I said, Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, was a specific figure.
21 You could not make a -- make an impression on him unless you held him in
22 awe. But I think Radovan Stojicic, Badza, was the only person he held in
23 awe. I must said that he had frequent conflicts with mostly two people:
24 Slavko Dokmanovic, late Slavko Dokmanovic, and Boro Bogunovic.
25 Slavko Dokmanovic irritated him because of one thing and that was because
1 Slavko Dokmanovic consumed a little bit more alcohol and he was always
2 slightly inebriated and this is something that really irritated
3 Zeljko Raznjatovic, and he told him that several times in the presence of
4 others including my own. He did not consider Boro Bogunovic as a serious
5 man. He would always ironically say, "Where are you, minister? You're
6 not to be seen anywhere. What service are you heading?" And this
7 unfortunately was true because Boro Bogunovic was very rarely in Erdut.
8 He would always find reasons why he wasn't there. And in principle he
9 was not really a very capable person able to carry out the duties he was
10 given. And during one such conflict with Dokmanovic when Dokmanovic was
11 asking something of Raznjatovic, he wanted Raznjatovic to explain
12 something to him, I didn't understand what the thing was about any way,
13 Arkan started shouting at him and said, "Nobody can ask me about anything
14 here. I don't have to account for my behaviour to anyone. The only
15 person I can report to is Radovan Stojicic, Badza. So please remember
16 that." Nobody ever asked him to report or do anything like that, but
17 generally this applied to everything.
18 Q. You have just mentioned Boro Bogunovic and you said that he
19 attended government session very rarely. Where was his office while he
20 was the minister of the interior?
21 A. He would always be at the wrong place at the wrong time. You
22 couldn't find him when you needed him most. Officially he was in Sid.
23 The distance between Sid and Erdut was half a day at that time. For him
24 that was always a good excuse for not coming to Erdut as often as he
25 should have.
1 Q. I'm going to show you a document that we were provided with
2 concerning Radovan Stojicic, Badza, and Zavisic whom you also mentioned.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is 1D2206, tab 687. And it should not be
5 Just to be on the safe side, I would propose to move to the
6 private session.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
8 [Private session]
11 Page 11928 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Can you tell us, as far as you know, where was
22 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, deployed from the moment he arrived in SBWS?
23 A. As far as I know, the first destination where Zeljko Raznjatovic,
24 Arkan, appeared was the village of Tenja, near Osijek. After his
25 deployment in Tenja, and according to some information that was the
1 result of a conflict with the local leader Jovan Rebraca,
2 Zeljko Raznjatovic appeared in Erdut.
3 Q. How did you learn that Zeljko Raznjatovic appeared in Erdut?
4 A. I have indirect information. Namely, I travelled from Belgrade
5 to Erdut all the time, that was tiring and not very practical, because I
6 had to work and I had a serious job. I didn't have a place to work. I
7 didn't have an office. At one point I turned to Goran Hadzic, I talked
8 to him about my problem, and then he told me, Mr. Vojnovic, and two other
9 ministers to go and take up offices in the administrative building of the
10 winery. And that was across the road from the building where we held our
11 government sessions. We went there, we inspected the premises, those
12 were well presented and fit for office work. I took two offices, I
13 believe, Mr. Bogdan Vojnovic took one, and there was somebody else with
14 us, either Caslav Otic or somebody else, and he took one or two offices.
15 There was not much by way of office equipment. There was just a
16 desk and a chair. We needed machinery. We needed a fax machine, we
17 needed a copier. That's why we decided that we would go back to Belgrade
18 and the next time we were to come we would bring everything with us.
19 That was a decision that we followed through. We appeared in Erdut
20 perhaps a couple of days later. My driver went to unload the van where
21 all those things were, and then he returned, he said our offices were not
22 there. I didn't understand. And then I went there and I realised that
23 the entire winery was taken by the units that I'd not seen before, again
24 impeccably dressed in military uniforms. I saw that military discipline
25 ruled supreme there. I realised that Arkan took up all the premises. I
1 went to see Goran. I complained. And then he said, "Leave it be. We
2 can't deal with the problem at the moment. Leave the things that you had
3 brought in an adjacent room. They will be safe there. In a couple of
4 days we will find some other premises for you." And that's how the whole
5 thing ended.
6 Yes, I learned that Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, had arrived with
7 his unit and occupied the entire building. That's what I learned.
8 Q. Had he gone to the government asking for such premises to be
9 provided to him?
10 A. I have to tell you, when Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, needed
11 something and -- and explained that those things were needed for defence
12 and for the purpose of war operations, he didn't request. He didn't beg.
13 He just took things and used them. And that went without saying.
14 Q. Radovan Stojicic, Badza, also came to those premises with his
15 men. Do you know if he had turned to the government asking for premises?
16 Did he ask for a permission to take up some of those rooms?
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, it's leading. The first part of the
19 question was assuming facts not in evidence. This witness has not
20 testified about Badza coming to that location.
21 And the second part is somewhat less leading but nevertheless
22 still leading.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It seems that the first part of my question is
24 not properly translated. I -- I asked when Radovan Stojicic, Badza, came
25 not to those premises but in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem
1 generally, not in the premises. I didn't mention premises.
2 So my question --
3 Q. [Interpretation] I will repeat my question, sir.
4 When Radovan Stojicic, Badza, arrived in SBWS, did he turn to the
5 government and asked for a permission to take up a location with his men?
6 A. I understood your question the first time round.
7 Radovan Stojicic, Badza, just like Arkan, did not ask for any
8 permissions. Let me just explain: Arkan and Badza did not share that
10 Q. You said that when you first arrived in Croatia after you had
11 fled Vinkovci that you found that JNA units that they manned check-points
12 there. When it comes to the JNA and those units, did they ever turn to
13 the government of the SBWS looking for accommodation in their -- in the
15 A. No, never. In keeping with the prevalent regulations, they
16 didn't even have to. In a situation when arms are used, a military can
17 requisition assets for their purposes. That was part of our law. They
18 could take whatever they needed against a certificate on the temporary
19 expropriation of assets, and there was nobody who could forbid them to do
20 that. They never asked for any such permission from us.
21 Q. When you mentioned laws and regulations, did they apply only to
22 the military or to any military formations?
23 A. Any military formations. The daily procedures are applied by the
24 police who are always in a position to prevent crimes or destruction of
25 evidence. This goes without saying and there's nothing in dispute about
1 that among the legal profession.
2 Q. Do you know that Goran Hadzic gave that centre in Erdut to
3 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, to be used by his unit for training?
4 A. I don't know that that was the case. How should I put it?
5 Nobody could give Arkan anything and that includes Goran Hadzic.
6 Goran Hadzic was in charge of some civilian activities,
7 programmes and plans, and any assets in that respect. Anything that had
8 to do with military strategy or military defence. There was nobody who
9 could forbid anything to those persons who had been deployed in the area
10 to defend us and to engage in military activities.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, tab 628. It is P194.140.
12 Q. [Interpretation] You had an opportunity to see this document
13 before. My first question about this document is this. Please look at
14 the upper left corner. What you can see here is the Secretariat of
15 President. Was there a secretariat of that kind within the government of
16 the SBWS? Was there a secretariat of the prime minister or the president
17 of the government.
18 A. The government did have a secretariat, the secretariat of the
19 government headed by Mr. Jovan Pejakovic. I never heard that the
20 president had his own secretariat, not in our conditions, and in that
21 sense this order leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn't make sense that
22 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, is appointed as a TO centre and a commander.
23 That may be correct but then it wouldn't be signed by President Hadzic
24 but by the commander of the TO, Radovan Stojicic, Badza.
25 Q. We see a reference to staff commanders. Can you tell us if such
1 positions existed? Were there any such staffs at the time in existence;
2 and, if so, can you tell us what kind of staffs they were?
3 A. It would be very pretentious to discuss any kind of staffs or the
4 Territorial Defence, at least not to the extent its structure should look
6 We have touched upon this earlier. In villages where there was a
7 Serb majority, people self-organised and established village guards.
8 They never assumed any type of organisation that would include commands
9 and staffs. There was very little organisation in the process and much
10 chaos. I didn't even know that on 21st September, 1991, there were any
11 TO Staffs. I never saw that in the field.
12 Q. In the upper left-hand corner, you see a number, 1/91, followed
13 by the date. To your knowledge, were there ever cases where different
14 documents would be filed under the same number?
15 A. No, that did not happen. I do have to say that Mr. Pejakovic was
16 a very pedantic and precise person in how he kept records of all
17 government documents. He would not have made that kind of mistake, and
18 even if some mistakes happened, at the very first session of the
19 government he would have it corrected as part of the record.
20 Q. As far as you know, when did Mr. Pejakovic assume his duty, in
21 real terms?
22 A. I came to Dalj in August 1991 for the first time. It was also a
23 consequence of the fact that Mr. Dukovic was supposed to be appointed
24 government secretary. However, Mr. Dukovic did not enjoy the support of
25 his own village, Borovo Selo. He left Borovo Selo for Belgrade and the
1 people there held it against him. Goran did initially accept that
2 Mr. Dukovic be the government secretary, but then he told me that the
3 local population did not want him and suggested Mr. Pejakovic instead who
4 was a lawyer. So even then we agree that Mr. Pejakovic would be the
5 government secretary and he was appointed to that position at the next
6 government session.
7 Q. Did he begin performing those tasks before his appointment?
8 A. Yes. But he was only formally appointed at the assembly session.
9 In real terms, he began filing records and creating the files before
10 that. He put the whole system in place that was supposed to monitor all
11 government communications.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P3217, tab 710.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see this. This is much
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. It is a proclamation of general mobilisation. I won't go into
17 the contents. I would only ask you to -- draw your attention to the
18 heading in the upper left-hand side corner. Again, we see the same
19 number, 1/91. The document is dated the 23rd of August, 1991, in Dalj.
20 That is precisely what I wanted to ask you. To your knowledge, this
21 document and the preceding one you saw on the screen, could they have
22 been filed under the same number?
23 A. They should not have been. As regards the proclamation, I am
24 aware of its contents and I assisted in drafting it. The time-period
25 does seem to tally, although I cannot be a hundred per cent certain. But
1 as for the number of the document, 1/91, that would seem to be correct
2 because at the time we were busy mobilising people, and I also see that
3 it was issued by the prime minister. In any case, we were all aware of
4 it by the time.
5 Q. Let us now go back to document --
6 A. I have to point out one very important thing. At this point in
7 time, on 23rd of August, 1991, Goran Hadzic was still not the
8 prime minister formally speaking. It was well-known that he was going to
9 assume that duty, but due to the urgency of this matter the document had
10 to be drafted as such in order for it to be signed.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us go back to the previous
12 document, tab 628. It is P194.140.
13 Q. Do you know whether Goran Hadzic ever issued documents in the
14 form of orders?
15 A. No. As per law and in keeping with his authority, he was not in
16 a position to issue orders. One had to be commander to issue orders,
17 whereas he was not that. He mainly used decisions within the remit of
18 the prime minister and the government itself.
19 Q. When you returned in August and subsequently in 1991, what was
20 the situation like in SBWS? What kind of living conditions prevailed?
21 A. Difficult ones. As early as June 1991, after tensions were
22 raised and communications ceased between Serb and Croatian villages, the
23 Croatian side cut off electricity. It is a big problem because the
24 electric network was also connected to water supply because of the
25 pumps -- pumps that were used. There was also a shortage of oil and
1 gasoline, commodities such as sugar, salt, flour, they were all lacking
2 and it all contributed to poor living conditions for ordinary people.
3 Q. What was the situation like with the JNA members in the district
4 at the time? And how many were there?
5 A. Their numbers increased constantly because the intensity of the
6 conflict grew. In that situation, Croatian paramilitary formations
7 attacked barracks, surrounding them, cutting off electricity and water
8 supply, and cutting off supply lines, in terms of food, for the armed
9 forces. At the same time, they increased attacks resulting in a number
10 of killed and wounded soldiers. At that time in the SBWS, the number of
11 JNA soldiers was on the increase. They were mostly people who were
12 mobilised. For years before that there was a trend within the JNA that
13 young people, having graduated from high school, would serve their
14 military term before embarking upon their studies at universities. In
15 other words, there were very few serious active-duty soldiers equipped to
16 wage war. In such a situation, units were manned through the process of
18 Q. I wanted to ask you something about the authority of the
19 government, but for the time being I'd like to focus only on Stojicic,
20 Badza, and the people he brought with him, as well as Zeljko Raznjatovic,
21 Arkan, and his group. Did the government have any legal or factual
22 authority to order anything to Stojicic, Badza, or Raznjatovic, Arkan?
23 Could it order them to do something or not to do something?
24 A. I think I have already answered that question. Let me repeat.
25 There was no possibility for the government as a whole, as well as
1 Goran Hadzic individually, to order anything to the two people in
2 question or to prohibit them from doing anything. Anyone who spent more
3 than a day there was in a position to see that for themselves. As a
4 government member, I never took part in issuing a single decision that
5 would order those people to do something or request anything of them.
6 Q. Did the government have any factual ability to use force to, say,
7 have Radovan Stojicic and his group or Raznjatovic, Arkan, and his group
8 removed from the area of the SBWS?
9 A. Even if someone had wanted to do something like that, you would
10 have needed a much stronger force than they had. I have to tell you,
11 though, that we had no force at our disposal whatsoever. Perhaps the odd
12 government member did have a side-arm but no one was very skilful in
13 soldierly skills. A few of us had drivers or security escort and we did
14 have a team of guards that guarded the government premises round the
15 clock. Perhaps there was a dozen of them, but I doubt they were any more
16 capable in -- in military sense than the rest of us ordinary people. In
17 other words, we had no possibility to prohibit anything to these two or
18 to have them removed from the area unless they wanted to do so
20 Q. What kind of relationship was there between Stojicic, Badza, and
21 the JNA and its officers?
22 A. Their relationship was excellent. They all co-ordinated their
23 activities, as far as I could see. They held daily meetings where
24 reports were submitted, attended by Stojicic and Arkan or one of his men
25 and JNA representatives. Their command was in Erdut. It is well known
1 that Arkan was on exceptionally good terms with General -- I can't recall
2 his last name off the cuff. His last name begins with a B. He was
3 killed later on. Yes, Bratic, General Bratic. Later on, he had the same
4 kind of relationship with Biorcevic.
5 As for Stojicic, Badza, he was in daily contact -- well, there
6 was a room in Erdut that we had to passes by en route to our government
7 offices. We would frequently see them in the yard where they stood and
8 we would great them before moving on to our premises.
9 Q. Tell us something about the work of the government itself. Who
10 presided over the government sessions?
11 A. If Goran Hadzic was present, he presided. In his absence, it was
12 basically done by Dr. Mladen Hadzic. The two of them are not related,
13 despite the fact that they share the last -- the same last name.
14 We preferred Goran Hadzic presiding because then things were
15 dealt with briefly. When Dr. Hadzic presided, such meetings would
16 usually turn into much talk on his own about things that mostly concerned
17 himself and lasted for several hours.
18 Q. Was there a condition that had to be met before a government
19 session would be considered a proper session?
20 A. Yes, of course. We had to have a sufficient number of ministers
21 in order to be able to discuss and decide. We were quarried if we had 50
22 per cent plus 1. Otherwise, say, three people met, they could discuss
23 things, but whatever they decided was not binding on anyone. Also all
24 decisions were voted on. That is why it was important that we were
25 present in sufficient numbers.
1 Q. And how were the government meetings prepared? Can you remember?
2 A. Yes, I can remember. At the very beginning, perhaps for the
3 first 15 or 20 days until things got going, it was a little bit
4 improvised. At the meeting itself somebody would be adding items to the
5 agenda, but very quickly a rule was introduced that each minister who
6 wanted to have an item placed on the agenda would have to notify the rest
7 of us about the topic that he wanted to be placed on the agenda. And
8 then the secretariat would provide this material in a sufficient number
9 of copies for all the ministers so that they could prepare for each item
10 on the agenda. Only exceptionally when we were discussing very difficult
11 life problems could that be added to the agenda during the meeting
12 itself. Otherwise, no.
13 Q. Were there any notes made during the government meetings?
14 A. Yes, of course. There was a record made. The meeting would
15 finish with a recording of everything that happened. There would be a
16 summary of all the conclusions and positions that were important. There
17 would be separate parts on the decision-making and the result of votes,
18 and then this part with these conclusions would be provided to everybody
19 at the beginning of every next meeting.
20 Q. From the point in time when the government was made and for as
21 long as the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem existed,
22 are you able to tell us what the situation was regarding movements around
23 the area, in view of the authority you had as members of the government?
24 A. Well, at some point after the first 15 or 20 days of work, we
25 were given official IDs where our identity was stated. These were
1 official passes signed by Goran Hadzic and with the stamp of the
2 government. However, very often these official IDs or passes were not
3 enough to let us into the area of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
4 To be more precise, it depended on which side you wanted to enter. If
5 you were entering through Bogojevo to Erdut, which was the entrance we
6 used most frequently, where we were known, we would pass through easily.
7 But if you wanted to enter through Negoslavci from the direction of Sid,
8 you could not enter with that pass. You had to have a clear identifiable
9 permit by the military authorities. This was a piece of paper with your
10 particulars, the vehicle you were using, the direction you were moving
11 in, on the paper and these were permits that were only valid for one day.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic, I see the time as well.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. Yes, correct.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Susa, we will take the second break, 30
15 minutes as well. We'll be back at 12.45.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Susa, could you just tell us briefly about
23 the communications of the government within Slavonia, Baranja, and
24 Western Srem. Let's start with Vukovar, for example. Did the government
25 have any communication with Vukovar in that period, from September,
1 October, November, when the military operations were under way?
2 A. As you yourself say, extensive, very complicated, and serious
3 military operations were under way in Vukovar. We didn't go to Vukovar
4 and we practically had no contact with them other than some indirect
5 information from people who just happened to go there.
6 Q. And are you able to tell us about the government's communications
7 with Western Srem, with that area?
8 A. Until the army broke through towards that area, Sid, Tovarnik,
9 towards Mirkovci, and to the right towards Lovas, Negoslavci, the
10 communication there was very difficult. Let me put it differently. We
11 had good communication with Baranja and along the direction from Bogojevo
12 including Erdut and Dalj. That would be the limited area of our
14 Q. You mentioned the village guards in certain Serbian villages.
15 Are you able to tell us if the government had any communication with
16 those village guards?
17 A. There was communication from time to time. We didn't go there.
18 Certain people from the villages which were encircled would manage to
19 come out under exceptionally difficult circumstances along roads that
20 were known to them, and they would come to Erdut from time to time. They
21 would mainly come because of complex great problems they had in their
22 villages. I'm repeating. There were electricity, water cuts, basic
23 foodstuffs were lacking. There were no medicines. They were fighting
24 epidemics and different illnesses, and that's why they would come, asking
25 for help on these matters.
1 Q. These village guards, was there any kind of unified command for
2 them, if you know?
3 A. As far as we are concerned, no, there wasn't anything like. Then
4 later, Radovan Stojicic, Badza, managed to unify them. Until he came to
5 the area, we were not any kind of command for them. We didn't present
6 ourselves in that way either.
7 Q. When you say "we," who do you mean?
8 A. I'm thinking of the government based in Erdut.
9 Q. Are you able to tell us anything about the relationship of the
10 village guards and the Yugoslav People's Army?
11 A. In the beginning, all of those people living in that area were
12 very relieved when the Yugoslav People's Army came. If we're talking
13 about ordinary people, they felt like that later too. However,
14 individuals from these village guards which imposed themselves as leaders
15 in a particular village slowly came into conflict and in collision with
16 members of the JNA who were giving them certain assignments that they
17 were not willing to carry out. On the other hand, they still had the
18 obligation towards the people who had chosen them by acclamation to lead
19 them in the defence of their villages. When they would appear before
20 these local leaders with requests for help with their living problems,
21 they, as a rule, didn't have any response or answer to these problems.
22 Q. The Assembly and the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
23 Srem, did they make any decisions in relation to these village guards?
24 A. No. As far as I know, they did not.
25 Q. Did the government or the prime minister ever issue any orders to
1 these village guards as to what they were to do?
2 A. This was impossible, in practice and by the letter of the law.
3 These people were villagers. They were mostly people that we knew from
4 before. And in the first stage, that I would even limit to the first
5 year, did not even consider us as somebody to whom they would be
6 answerable to or from whom they could receive orders. These people were
7 our equals, more or less, and we were on the one hand, privileged because
8 we were not on the front lines and we were not in daily danger of losing
9 our lives. The authority that we could exercise in relation to them was
10 never established in the first place and it was not something that was
11 seriously discussed of. We constantly tried by words or personal
12 engagement to help them, to provide essential medications for them, to
13 provide doctors there. There were people with influenza, children's
14 illnesses, infectious diseases which if you didn't control you would have
15 considerably serious circumstances, which was something that did happen
16 in certain villages.
17 Q. Do you know in the Assembly of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
18 Srem made any decisions regarding the Territorial Defence of the area and
19 their joining the armed forces of the SFRY?
20 A. That is a good question. Had someone been making decisions
21 regarding the TO, it could only have been the assembly, and as far as I
22 know the assembly did not make any decisions relating to the
23 Territorial Defence.
24 Q. We have a document here that I would like you to look at.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] This is L19, tab 601.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm familiar with the contents of
2 this decision. I didn't understand your previous question.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Well perhaps my question was unclear. This decision in the lower
5 part of the text and goes onto the following page, are you familiar with
6 that decision of the 10th of October, 1991?
7 A. Yes. When you put the question to me about village guards and
8 the Territorial Defence, I said that we did not make any decisions in the
9 government or the assembly in terms of their formation or work. This is
10 what Radovan Stojicic, Badza, did with his decisions that we didn't have
11 any part in. Once they were conceived and formed in that way, at one
12 point, it became clear that the Territorial Defence, for purposes of
13 efficiency and problems in the field, have to be resubordinated to units
14 of the Yugoslav People's Army. I first saw this concept at the
15 government, and it was placed on the agenda by the late Ilija Koncarevic.
16 I myself and everyone else was in favour of adopting this decision.
17 I need to point out something important here. In relation to the
18 existing provisions of federal laws and decisions of certain federal
19 organs, primarily the decision of the Presidency on establishing or
20 declaring imminent threat of war, this decision seems superfluous.
21 However, under this decision we wanted to make it known that we ourselves
22 were quite aware of the situation in the field and that the
23 Territorial Defence had to be joined to the armed forces of the SFRY
24 without fail.
25 Q. Are you able to tell us what the relationship between the
1 government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem and the Yugoslav
2 People's Army was?
3 A. Well, I couldn't define them as good relations. Why? There was
4 a lot of lack of understanding of the other's rights and duties. We
5 tried, at least in the later stage, to assert ourselves as those who made
6 and implemented civilian decisions. The army simply did not wish to
7 accept that, judging by their decisions. When did they address us?
8 When, in certain areas, there were activities that were not classic
9 combat activities, problems would become beyond what they could deal
10 with. Then they would address us, ask us to repair the damage, and then
11 when we would propose to them that we plan together and implement these
12 actions at a later stage, they would remain passive and none of this
13 would ever then be implemented.
14 Q. Do you know if the JNA informed the government of Slavonia,
15 Baranja, and Western Srem about its activities?
16 A. No, not officially. No reports were sent. It may have done in
17 personal, private contacts, or if somebody learned something and then
18 conveyed that knowledge to somebody else. But directly, it was not done.
19 Q. You said that one needed a special permit to go from Sid to
20 Negoslavci and that that special permit was issued to you. Who was it
21 who issued those permits? Where were they obtained?
22 A. In the centre of Sid there was a building, and in that building
23 there was an office manned by two men. Maybe there were more than two
24 but I remember those two because I communicated with them the most.
25 Their names were Grahovac and Filipovic. They issued those permits which
1 were sufficient for one to enter the area, to move about the area, and to
2 return from the area.
3 Q. Did the JNA recognise those permits?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know if Grahovac, whom you have just mentioned, had a
6 position in the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
7 A. No, he never turned up at the government in Erdut, nor did I hear
8 that he was ever engaged on our behalf in any capacity.
9 Q. Did he [Realtime transcript read in error "you"] submit his
10 reports to the government on what he was doing?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Let us just correct something. My question was whether "he"
13 submitted reports and this was misrecorded. Did he submit reports to the
15 A. I answered: No, he never submitted any reports to the
17 Q. Was he perhaps an assist or a deputy of a minister?
18 A. He did not have a position in the government as far as I know.
19 If he had had a position, I'm sure I would have known.
20 Q. Did the government send any instructions or any such thing to
21 that office in Sid which issued those permits; more specifically, to
22 Mr. Grahovac or Filipovic?
23 A. No -- no, not as far as I know.
24 Q. When the government arrived in Erdut, did it have a security
25 detail, somebody who provided physical security?
1 A. Perhaps not on the first couple of days, and then some people
2 appeared, all of them from Borovo Selo. I believe that I have already
3 mentioned them. I don't know whether there were more than a dozen of
4 them. They were on duty 24/7, two or three of them, and that was good
5 because we had already installed some state-of-the-art equipment that
6 somebody may have stolen. They provided physical security for the
7 building where we were.
8 Q. Who was in charge of organising that part of the tasks, providing
9 security for the government building?
10 A. Nobody appeared officially based on a decision, but we all knew
11 that he was -- that they were Stevo Bogic's friends from Borovo Selo. He
12 was there all the time. They communicated with him.
13 Q. Do you know if Goran Hadzic had his own body-guards?
14 A. I know because I personally knew all those men. One of them was
15 Milenko Japundzic and the late ... I knew him from before the war.
16 What's his -- Ljubo Modrinic. I apologise. He was my karate trainer for
17 a while.
18 Q. The men who provided security for the government building, were
19 they also Goran Hadzic's personal body-guards at the time in 1991 and
20 1992? Was that one and the same service?
21 A. What do you mean, one and the same service? No. Those people
22 who were on the building provided security for the building. When we had
23 drove to Baranja in several cars, whether they came with us, I don't
24 know. I think that I saw them on several occasions in Baranja, but I'm
25 not sure that they were anybody's body-guards. That was just not within
1 their purview.
2 Q. Do you know if Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, was a member of the
3 security detail for Goran Hadzic?
4 A. In technical terms, it was impossible. Arkan could not have been
5 Goran's body-guard because Goran often travelled from Erdut to Novi Sad,
6 Belgrade, and some other places to attend political meetings, while
7 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, stayed in Erdut with his unit. Every now and
8 then Arkan would be heard saying that he guarded Goran, but he guarded
9 every single one of us in that case, because he was only 200 metres away
10 from us.
11 Q. Do you know anything about the creation of an organisation known
12 as the Serbian National Security?
13 A. Yes, I do. While I was waiting for a government session to
14 begin, sitting with Ilija Koncarevic and Bogdan Vojnovic, Stevo Bogic
15 approached us, we discussed some other things, and then he touched upon
16 the topic or rather the need to create a service in a foreseeable future
17 that would deal with national security and counter-intelligence. I
18 realised that that was his desire. Ilija Koncarevic asked him whether he
19 would be interested in doing that. He was a vice-president without a
20 portfolio, so he was bored sitting in Erdut all day long. He said, "Yes,
21 I'm thinking about that, but I don't know how to do it, how to go about
22 it." And asked me and I agreed to make a draft of how such a service
23 should look like. And also I -- I agreed to make a draft decision
24 constituting that service and to make a draft of the inception document.
25 I didn't want to go into the details such -- such as the number of
2 And then Ilija Koncarevic, who was a former member of the
3 military intelligence, told us, "Whatever you're planning, it is the
4 assembly that has to make a decision." He said, "I don't know but what
5 is going to do what he has just promised that he would?" It took me some
6 ten or fifteen days to draw that necessary decision and to draft the form
7 of that organisation and the personnel structure. I gave him some 20
8 pages of densely typed information. And then, after some ten days later,
9 he told me, "You know, I read everything carefully and it looks very
10 complicated. I don't think that I would be able to do that." And all
11 that after I had adapted everything and said that the head of that
12 service did not have to have any particular knowledge, that he could be a
13 political figure.
14 However, those who will be heads of sectors, departments, and
15 managers, I thought that those people should have specific knowledge,
16 specific skills, that they should have a university education, so he told
17 me, "You know what, I can't ensure such people. You don't have such
18 people in your bodies. Where am I supposed to find them?" Such draft or
19 any specific proposal of that institution was never discussed at any of
20 the government session. This simply remained a plan or simply an
21 activity that he wanted to implement but never got around doing it.
22 Q. One more thing. From the moment when Radovan Stojicic, Badza,
23 became the commander of the Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and
24 Western Srem, what was the relationship between the Territorial Defence
25 and its units and the government? Was there any relationship at all?
1 Were you in communication with each other?
2 A. You mean all the units of the Territorial Defence?
3 Q. Some of the units.
4 A. The contacts that we had with particular units got lost, and when
5 their representative attended a government session, that representative
6 would be exclusively Badza, nobody else.
7 Q. You were appointed a minister of justice and administration in
8 the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. What were the
9 main tasks and duties of your ministry? What was its purview?
10 A. My ministry, first and foremost, had to draft basic documents
11 that served to establish judiciary bodies. It was a complex procedure
12 that we had to implement within a very short space of time. I would like
13 to emphasise Mr. Vojnovic, Stankovic, and Ajdukovic's contribution, and a
14 group of professional and highly professional individuals who belonged to
15 the justice system of Serbia and the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia.
16 They assisted us in implementing that task in record time. They provided
17 us with their expertise, know-how, and technical capabilities.
18 Q. Do you remember whether the Ministry of Justice prepared the
19 constitutional law of the Serbian region of Slavonia, Baranja, and
20 Western Srem?
21 A. Generally speaking, we adopted that as our own document, as our
22 own proposal to the Great National Council. Nobody was a big enough
23 expert to do that. Milos Vojnovic takes most credit for drafting that
24 and I was just his assistant.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see please L1. It is tab 589. Second
1 page. It -- the translation does not correspond to the original text.
2 Oh, sorry, third page of English translation, please. Fourth.
3 Fourth page of English translation.
4 Q. [Interpretation] I'll withdraw the question because I don't know
5 the exact page.
6 My next question is this: Did your ministry prepare the Law on
7 the Implementation of the Constitutional Law?
8 A. Yes, we did.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, P1808. It is tab 560.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Please look at Article 1 where it says that:
11 "The laws of the Republic of Croatia would no longer be
13 Why was that? Why were the laws and regulations of Republic of
14 Croatia no longer valid in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
15 A. As I have already stated, after the HDZ won in the multi-party
16 elections, drastic changes affected all spheres of life. One of those
17 spheres was the legal system. The Serbs were removed from the
18 constitution as a constituent people. Many other laws and regulations
19 were no longer acceptable if for no other reason than for the fact that
20 the Serbs had not participated in their passing by the parliament.
21 Therefore, it was necessary to make the legal practice of Croatia
22 ineffective because we were in no position to know what would happen in
23 the future period. In view of everything that was going on in Croatia at
24 the moment, this was indispensable. This was absolutely necessary,
1 Q. And can you now please look at Article 3 of the same law.
2 A. I can see it. I've read it.
3 Q. It says here:
4 "As of the day when the constitutional law comes into effect on
5 the territory of the Serb region, all governmental bodies, bodies of
6 local self-government, and other bodies and organisations of the
7 Republic of Croatia shall terminate their work."
8 At that time, were there any organs of the Republic of Croatia in
9 that territory at the moment when this law was passed?
10 A. A few months before that, they had withdrawn from the territory.
11 There were no longer any bodies of the Republic of Croatia in place.
12 Q. Did the Ministry of Justice prepare and draft laws on ministries?
13 A. Yes. The Law on the Government, the Law on The Secretariat, all
14 that was prepared by the Ministry of Justice.
15 Q. According to the Law on the Government that you mentioned, can
16 you tell us who elected the prime minister and members of the government?
17 A. I don't have the text before me, but they were elected by the
18 Grand National Assembly. They were all elected separately, although the
19 ministers were elected pursuant to a proposal made by the prime minister
21 Q. Who were the ministers answerable to?
22 A. To the body that elected them, which was the National Assembly.
23 Hence, the prime minister's remit was made narrower, and I will explain
25 None of the bodies had been elected directly at elections, which
1 was considered a shortcoming. That is why the prime minister could not
2 receive the same authority that they otherwise have in different systems
3 when such results are achieved in a different way.
4 Q. Who could remove a government member, including the
5 prime minister?
6 A. The Grand National Assembly could. If Goran Hadzic, as the
7 prime minister, was dissatisfied with the work of a minister, he could
8 not have them removed. He could only submit a report to the
9 Grand National Assembly explaining his position, and then the Assembly,
10 by virtue of its own decision, would perhaps have the minister removed.
11 Q. Could the Grand National Assembly reject such a proposal?
12 A. Of course it could.
13 Q. Let's look at L27, tab 608, which is the Law on the Government.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Article 8, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I still don't have Article 8.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] It is on the next page in the
18 Q. There it is.
19 A. I see it.
20 Q. Please look at paragraph 2 of Article 8. Please explain this
21 provision under which, "A member of the government shall be responsible
22 to the prime minister for representing and implementing the views of the
23 government as well as for discharging the duties assigned or entrusted to
24 him by the prime minister."
25 A. I think the second paragraph of article 2 is clear. Each one of
1 us in the course of our work is answerable to the prime minister. We
2 were duty-bound to implement everything that was put forth by the
3 government as its joint position. However, there were some tasks that do
4 not fall within the narrow limit or framework of each minister, but such
5 a framework could be issued by the prime minister. If a government
6 member did not meet his or her obligation, they could not be removed by
7 the prime minister, but it is sufficient grounds to initiate a removal
8 procedure before the Grand National Assembly.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Article 17, please.
10 Q. Here, we see that the government shall supervise the work of
11 ministries and other organisations. Did the government carry out such
12 supervision over the work of the ministries?
13 A. This was a general position envisaged for some better happier
14 times when many professional staff were expected to work as part of the
15 government. This was not the case at the time. Who could control and
16 supervise the work of my ministry at the time? It was simply not a part
17 of the times. It was not applied. It was not done. The ministers did
18 submit periodic quarterly, semi-annually, and annually reports to the
19 government which they drafted based on the specific issues for each of
20 the ministries, and then these reports were adopted at assembly sessions.
21 Q. When you say periodic reporting, as far as I know, the government
22 lasted for only five months.
23 A. Yes. So this was in principle. I think I submitted one joint
24 report. Bogdan Vojnovic did the same on the state of finance. He did it
25 rather more often than me. But as for others, I don't remember. In any
1 case, no procedure of adoption or approval was undertaken that would be
2 followed by a pass or fail mark for each of the ministries. It was
3 simply a matter of need in order to have our colleagues informed of the
4 problems we encounter and the solutions we come up with.
5 Q. Did ministers at sessions report on the work of their ministries;
6 i.e., what was being done between two government sessions?
7 A. Well, of course, what else would be on the agenda? That is what
8 we discussed. Some people were criticised because of the fact that they
9 mainly reported orally, something that could not be monitored or
10 followed. And at some point, they were made to put their reports in
11 writing. So people would just come and start discussing a problem they
12 have and ways to deal with it, but then it creates a problem with the
13 secretariat because there's no specific decision, and then the
14 secretariat had to draft it themselves. Later on, we pursued the policy
15 of submitting everything in writing.
16 Q. Do you know whether the Ministry of the Judiciary drafted a law
17 on measures in case of states of emergency?
18 A. No, I don't think we worked on that.
19 Q. Do you know whether there ever was a state of emergency in the
21 A. I know there was a proposal drafted and presented by
22 Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic. It had to do with some obligations to carry out
23 farming work which was a significant issue. It did reach the assembly
24 but it was not discussed at a session. No state of emergency was ever
1 Q. Did the Ministry of Justice prepare a decision on the work and
2 manner of work of municipal executive councils?
3 A. Yes, it was part of our -- of its basic remit.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, L53. It is tab 624.
5 Q. [Interpretation] We see the heading that the date was the 3rd of
6 December, 1991. Was this decision implemented as proposed in the text?
7 A. Yes, partially, where it could have been implemented. There was
8 still areas where we couldn't implement all that was contained in the
10 In any case, it was implemented partially. We appointed
11 presidents of executive councils, and the executive councils then chose
12 their own teams and notified us. We couldn't object to their choice
13 because they chose the people they wanted to work with. The problems
14 they had were significant, and, thus, we could not put forth any serious
16 Could the text be zoomed in, please. Otherwise I can't see.
17 Q. On the 3rd of December, 1991, or around that time, how did
18 civilian authorities in the SBWS function?
19 A. Civilian authorities did not function fully because there was a
20 constant overlap of competencies between us and the executive councils
21 and the army in the field that had its own officers in charge of civilian
22 affairs. Hence, civilian authorities always collided with the military
23 in terms of who would be doing what. It usually ended up by the army
24 offering its own interpretation, requesting that they give express
25 approval. They may have had a legal basis, according to some federal
1 regulation, but we hoped for better co-operation and more sensitivity for
2 the situation in the field. However, it was not the case.
3 Or let me be more precise. At this point in time, around
4 December 3, 1991, in a number of areas, there was military rule. By
5 definition, it poses significant problems for the functioning of
6 executive councils.
7 Q. Since there was military rule there, as you say, why was this
8 decision issued in the first place, trying to establish civilian
10 A. If one looks only at what is implementable at the time, you would
11 never have adequate laws. We had to draft certain laws and measures for
12 a period when such things would see the light of day.
13 Q. Did the Ministry of Justice prepare a Law on Temporary
14 Territorial Organisation of the SBWS and Temporary Local Self-Governance?
15 A. Yes, it was part of our basic remit.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, it is L1, page 29 to 33,
17 tab 589.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is English page 84. Sorry.
20 Q. [Interpretation] You can see the date of this law.
21 A. Yes, the 22nd of November, 1991.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us go on to the next page.
23 The next page, please.
24 Q. We see here a list of municipalities and settlements. Do you
25 recall how many municipalities were established under the law?
1 A. I don't know exactly. Perhaps five or six. Well, there were as
2 many as you can see in the document.
3 Q. As for the system those five or six municipalities were organised
4 in, was it implemented in the field?
5 A. Not as stipulated in the law. Because the temporary seat of
6 Vinkovci municipality was in Mirkovci and for Osijek it was Tenja. But
7 later on their names were changed by establishing the municipality of
8 Mirkovci and of Tenja. In Article 10, there is a political
9 presupposition, so to speak, reflecting our hope that in some future time
10 we would also be able to include the towns of Vinkovci and Osijek in our
11 territory. But at the moment of drafting this law already, we knew it
12 was way too ambitious to expect. However, there was a school of thought
13 or a number of people who insisted on it so that it reflects our wish.
14 However, we quickly renamed them into the municipality of Mirkovci and
15 the municipality of Tenja with the two towns being their seats.
16 Q. Before this law was passed, was there another law or regulation
17 that dealt with temporary territorial organisation and temporary local
19 A. Not as far as I know.
20 Q. Did the Ministry of Justice prepare the Law on The Interior?
21 A. No. That law had been created in Belgrade and handed over to
22 Mr. Bogunovic. If I recall well, it was presented by Sinisa Puskar on
23 behalf of the ministry. I know it was drafted in Belgrade. I know so
24 because later on Mr. Puskar joined my ministry.
25 Q. As for the police force in SBWS, who commanded them? The police
1 force, that is.
2 A. They were under the command of a centre in Serbia. There was a
3 large number of policemen who got work there. I myself was one of those
4 people. And then they were transferred to different commands. But they
5 were the ones who paid their salaries, provide their social benefits,
6 their pension, and they were just temporarily deployed in Slavonia,
7 Baranja, and Western Srem territory.
8 Q. Can you be a little more clear in your definition? Could you
9 tell us in English what it means to be transferred to a different
10 command, "otkomanda" [phoen], what does that mean that the policemen were
11 sent to a different command?
12 A. In the area of your home organ, you are registered as an
13 authorised person, and then are you signed out in that place, you are
14 transferred to a different location where you report to a different
15 superior who will assign you tasks and activities. That does not mean
16 that you lose your basic general status in the place where you began your
17 employment. The fact that you are in a different area is a temporary
19 Q. So that means that a policeman who is in the Serbian MUP, for
20 example, would be transferred to the MUP of Slavonia, Baranja, and
21 Western Srem, for example?
22 A. But he is not dismissed. At any point, he can be returned to
23 Sombor, Novi Sad, Belgrade or to the place where he was originally from.
24 Q. Are you able to tell us who decides whether a person would be
25 sent to Slavonia, Baranja, or Western Srem, or whether they would be sent
1 back? Does the government Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem have any
2 say in that?
3 A. No. This is something that his police station or the city
4 secretariat decides, depending on the case. In some cases, the agreement
5 of the person was sought. It was not obligatory but some of them did
6 want to return to the area where they were from originally by birth.
7 Q. The justice ministry --
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, I would like to ask a clarifying
9 question to the witness about the topic you touched upon.
10 Your question was:
11 "As for the police force in SBWS, who commanded them? The police
12 force, that is."
13 And the witness answered:
14 "They were under the command of a centre in Serbia. There was a
15 large number of policemen who got work there."
16 And then, and this is what puzzles me a little bit:
17 "I myself was one of those people."
18 Do we have a translation problem or is that what the witness said
19 and wanted to say?
20 Mr. Witness, do you understand?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. I understand. Thank
22 you for that warning.
23 I said earlier that before I game to Slavonia, Baranja, and
24 Western Srem, I started to work at the city secretariat of the interior
25 in Novi Sad as an independent inspector in the economic crimes
1 department. I received my certificate about my temporary transfer to
2 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, and I was not given any more
3 specific duties.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: And when was that? Could you give us a
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can tell you that it was in
7 late August 1991.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic. Sorry for the interruption.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. The justice ministry, did it prepare a decree on the temporary
12 protection of the property of economic and private subjects of SBWS
13 outside of the territory?
14 A. Yes, together with two other ministries, the Ministry of Finances
15 and Ministry for the War Time Economy. I would say that the largest
16 contribution was given by the finance ministry, by Mr. Bogdan
17 Trifunovic [as interpreted], and then we made sure that then this was
18 formed as a decision the way it should be.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the very
20 last words of the question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bogdan Vojnovic, not
22 Bogdan Trifunovic.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: My question was complete actually. Okay.
24 May we see, please, L18. It is tab 600.
25 Q. [Interpretation] This is the decree that we referred to. Could
1 you please look at Article 3.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It's on the following page of the English
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm looking at it.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. And can you see here that special protection is planned. Could
7 you explain to us a little more about this "special protection of
9 A. I have to tell that you the ownership structure in the former
10 Yugoslavia, including Croatia, was mostly state-owned property. Private
11 property had a very small proportion in the overall property categories.
12 So when we were looking at certain forms of property ownership, very
13 valuable property such as buildings, institutions, agricultural lands,
14 banks, it was logical and normal for us to take over that property and to
15 protect it because there was an objective danger that this property would
16 be subject to misuse and that it would change the ownership structure in
17 a way that would not be very specific and would become private in an
18 impermissible way. So this was given special status. It became regional
19 property which had to be recorded precisely and had to be protected.
20 Above all, it had to be protected.
21 Q. I think you've given a partial answer to my next question
22 already, but still I will put the question to you.
23 The justice ministry, did it prepare a decision on the temporary
24 transfer of property of the Republic of Croatia, socially owned property,
25 to the ownership of the SBWS?
1 A. Yes. I made a mistake when interpreting the previous decree.
2 There are two decrees. Basically they boil down to the same thing. The
3 first decree refers to property which is outside of the territory area.
4 What does that mean? Of course, all property that was -- belonged to the
5 Republic of Croatia originally was not located only in that area, SBWS.
6 There was a lot of property of SBWS that was in Vojvodina, Serbia, inner
7 Serbia, and Montenegro. So the first decree covers the property which
8 was outside of the area which we also were taking over and placing under
9 our protection. Specifically, we had a large problem with the Borovo
10 chain stores. There were many of them in Serbia but we already knew that
11 certain workers had tried to take that and present it as their own. This
12 is something that had to be protected. There were also some holiday
13 resorts in Montenegro and so on. Another part of the property which was
14 in the area itself for the same reason was included under the decree and
15 placed under our protection.
16 Q. And this decision on the temporary transfer of property, this is
17 tab 623, L52, are you able to tell us why it says that this is a
18 temporary transfer of ownership?
19 A. Well, it's clear you could not definitely establish ownership.
20 So something that was not subject to a broader interpretation and
21 something that would not be well accepted by all and something -- well,
22 we knew that in some future point in time the war would end, and then
23 everybody would have to settle accounts with everybody else. Croatia
24 would then say that, based on their investments, various forms of
25 investments, including international loans, we owed them money for things
1 that we had taken over. What we had taken over at that point in time was
2 not definitely ours. It was temporarily placed under our protection.
3 When all the problems were definitely resolved when relations would
4 normalise, then we would proceed to establish rightful ownership.
5 Q. One more question relating to property regulations. Did your
6 ministry prepare a decree on the temporary protection of abandoned
8 A. Yes. That segment includes two types of property: Socially
9 owned and private property. Other than socially owned property, there
10 are quite valuable pieces of private property. Houses, land, summer
11 house, movable and immovable property. We did not want to place those
12 things -- we did not want to have those things subject to abuse or
14 Q. Abandoned property, are you able to tell us whether the decree
15 could be implemented and to what degree could it have been implemented by
16 the government?
17 A. I'm thinking of courts. Perhaps we'll come to that and be able
18 to additionally protect this property by that way. Unfortunately, we did
19 not manage to implement this. For a number of reasons. For -- one of
20 them is that there was lot of misuses in the field by individuals prone
21 to crimes. It is particularly regrettable that we had a situation in
22 which the JNA considered all property as war-booty and took a lot of that
23 property out from the territory to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
24 Personally, I had a lot of problems about this later.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May which see, please, L37. It is tab 615.
1 Q. [Interpretation] This is the decree that we referred to. What I
2 would like to know now is -- well, the procedure is laid down here in
3 these articles, from Article 1 onwards, the manner in which the property
4 would be protected. What I would like to know is did other organs - you
5 mentioned the JNA - that came there and practically had the power in the
6 field, did they act in accordance with the decree and did they protect
7 the property accordingly?
8 A. I'm afraid that they did not. I've already said something about
10 Q. And this property, was it made available to others for use? Was
11 it sold? Was it given to somebody? I'm talking about the government of
12 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
13 A. I understand your question. The ownership structure did not
14 change in one single instance. Of course, property was given for
15 temporary use. Newly formed work organisation and even private subject
16 citizens were able, under specially set rules, get this property, be able
17 to use it, care for it, make the required investments, and in the case of
18 some profit they could have had earnings from it. But in essence, nobody
19 could become an owner of something that they did not own before the war
20 broke out.
21 Q. Was the property given for others so that they could use it?
22 A. Yes, I've already said that.
23 Q. Were any records kept of that?
24 A. Yes, records were kept. Quite proper records.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see please 1D1212. It is tab 258.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, could you repeat that. You were
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is 1D1212, tab 258.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I think that you've already seen this document. I'd like to know
7 if this is one of the examples of these records. The document has a
8 number of pages.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at the next
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've seen all of that.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is this one of the documents, a record of things that were being
14 given for the temporary use?
15 A. Yes. These are drafts that were retyped. The contents are
16 identical but they were typed and looked a little bit more orderly. This
17 is property given to physical entities. This is agricultural land that
18 had to be cultivated in any case, both for the benefit of the people who
19 had its temporary use and also due to the fact that land that was not
20 regularly cultivated could be damaged. It would be covered by weeds and
21 it would deteriorate, so then would you need a few years of work in order
22 to get it back into a good workable condition.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would tender this document, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D1212 will be Exhibit D217.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: And I see the time, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic. Thank you.
4 Mr. Susa, this is the end of the hearing today. You will be
5 expected to be back at 9.00 tomorrow morning. In the meantime, you
6 continue to be a witness and to be under oath, and that has two
7 particular implications. The first one is that you can't discuss your
8 testimony with anybody. Not someone at -- on the street, in the hotel.
9 Not even your family members. And the second implication is that you
10 can't have contact at all with any of the parties.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, I understand.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I understand.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.02 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
18 October, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.