1 Wednesday, 7 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 12.34 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir. May I remind you that the
7 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence still applies.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, yes, that's clear to
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
11 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
12 Good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom.
13 WITNESS: WITNESS P-001 [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Bulatovic:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Witness?
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. My name is Momcilo Bulatovic, I am attorney-at-law, one of Defence
19 counsel of Mr. Sljivancanin, and I will be putting questions on behalf of
20 Mr. Sljivancanin's team to you. I will make sure that my questions are
21 brief and clear so that you can provide answers that are similar to that
22 and we can conclude as soon as possible.
23 A. All right.
24 Q. Since I want to start with a number of questions that could
25 compromise the identity of the witness, could we please go into private
2 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 10129-10135 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
5 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You've told us about your superior. What I want to know is did
7 you report to your superior on any assignments completed once orders had
8 been received and how did you do this, orally, did you submit written
9 reports, did you submit interim reports or just regular ones? I want to
10 know everything.
11 A. You're talking about my superior during combat or my superior in
12 terms of the establishment?
13 Q. I'm talking about both.
14 A. Throughout the combat activities I was at the front line with the
15 commander of the 2nd Assault Detachment, Major Bajic, only. I was company
16 commander at the time, and I was involved in our daily reporting, in our
17 reports to the barracks which was the command post of the commander of the
18 2nd Assault Detachment. These were regular daily reports, perhaps not
19 every single day. Most of these had to do with events along the front
20 line, any problems that were occurring, and how to deal with those. The
21 usual things that one tends to talk about at a time like that.
22 Q. Fair enough. During the fighting and also in terms of the
23 establishment, who would have been in a position, who would have had the
24 power to issue you an order? Your superior only?
25 A. The chain of subordination in the guards brigade was a well-known
1 fact, and this applied to all other JNA units or perhaps to any army
2 across the world. The chain of command is established, and everybody
3 knows how an order travels, up and down the chain of command, all the way
4 down to ordinary soldiers. Since this was a special unit, it was not a
5 classic unit in the usual sense of the word, the units of which I was
7 Q. Can I please ask you not to mention the specific unit, because you
8 are revealing your own identity. I wanted to remain in public session, so
9 please do not refer openly to your own position. I'm talking about the
10 principles. Who can issue you an order? Your superior or someone else as
11 well? Who would have had the power to do so?
12 A. Thank you for stepping in. I wanted to say this: We were not a
13 text-book unit, if you like. And we received our assignments from a
14 number of different sources, purely technical assignments down the chain
15 of command. These assignments tended to be very specific. They concerned
16 military security, primarily. We would be given these assignments by the
17 security organ, therefore it could have been the case that I received an
18 order from the security officer, but also from someone higher up, the
19 brigade commander or the chief of the security administration.
20 Q. In a situation like this, for example you receiving an order from
21 someone who is not your direct superior, would you not be duty-bound to
22 inform your direct superior either of the fact that you have received an
23 order, or upon completion of a given task?
24 A. It all depended, especially in the 1990 -- in 1990 and 1991, on
25 the urgency of an assignment. There were times when I was not duty-bound
1 to inform anyone about an assignment.
2 Q. Which type of assignment are we talking about, just give us one
3 example where you were not duty-bound to inform your commander?
4 A. You're asking me, and you were the one who just told me a minute
5 ago that we were in public session.
6 Q. That's a good idea. Can we please go into closed session for the
7 witness's sake.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Closed.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 10139-10149 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
6 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would now like to
7 ask the usher to give a paper to the witness, and also a pencil, so that
8 the witness could draw for us, based on his recollections, the hangars
9 that he mentioned, the bus and the location of the bus, which way did the
10 bus face, the lights that were on.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I think you'd better be specific in what you want,
12 Mr. Bulatovic.
13 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can the witness draw
14 for us the hangar that he saw when he was at Ovcara on that day?
15 A. You mean that night?
16 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... drawing, not a
17 sketch of the hangar.
18 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely right. I don't think
19 the witness has these capabilities.
20 Q. So can you please draw for us the road that you travelled on, the
21 position of the hangar in relation to the road, and also the position of
22 that one bus that you saw?
23 A. I will attempt to do that, based on my recollections. I will try
24 to sketch the micro-location where one will be able to see the hangar and
25 the opening or rather the door through which I saw the prisoners. Now, as
1 to my capabilities, I think we can discuss it on another occasion.
2 [Marks]. I attempted to do something here.
3 Q. Where we see the arrow, I suppose that that denotes the road?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you describe to us the direction from which you came? I
6 assume that that was the direction of the arrow. You so were travelling
7 from Vukovar in which direction? Where does this road take you?
8 A. Are you interested in the micro-location of the hangar or in the
9 broader area of the topographic map?
10 Q. I'm only interested in decoding what you drew here. You came from
11 the direction of the arrow, is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And what is that direction, is it Vukovar going to where? Is it
14 to Negoslavci?
15 A. No, no, no. You were not entirely clear in your first question.
16 That road was a narrow road, the field road. And at some point it joined
17 the road between Vukovar and Negoslavci. And then right here once again
18 it joined another road, also leading to Vukovar, which was closer to the
19 Danube, so to speak. [Marks]. In my assessment, I came from this
20 direction, and I returned in that direction too. As to the distance
21 between these two spots, I don't know.
22 Q. This square here, I assume that that's the hangar?
23 A. You mean the rectangle.
24 Q. Yes, the rectangle. I apologise.
25 A. Yes. And I also drew something additional here.
1 Q. Yes, I think I can guess what it is. Can you mark that rectangle
2 number one so we can identify it as the hangar. Please put number 1 and
3 circle it.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. This vehicle here right next to the entrance into the hangar, I
6 assume that that's the jeep in which you arrived?
7 A. One of the jeeps.
8 Q. Could you please put number two there?
9 A. [Marks].
10 Q. The third rectangle with these lines in front, I suppose denotes
11 the bus with the lights on, and the bus is facing forward. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Would you please put number three there?
14 A. I will. [Marks].
15 Q. These dots on the left side of the rectangle, I suppose are the
16 people that you saw in the hangar?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. These are small circles. And then the dots
18 represent the line, or rather the rope that was stretched in front of
20 Q. Would you please put number four there?
21 A. [Marks].
22 Q. And the opening, I suppose, is the entrance. Would you please put
23 number five if I'm correct, and if this is indeed the entrance into the
25 A. Yes. [Marks].
1 Q. Can you please tell us what's the distance from the entrance into
2 the hangar marked with number five to the front of the bus with the lights
3 on marked with number three? So what's the distance between the lights of
4 the bus to the hangar entrance, based on your recollection?
5 A. I think it's possible that the distance was between five and 10
7 Q. In addition to the bus headlights, did you also see any other
8 lights in the hangar?
9 A. I'm now pointing to the symbol here, which denotes a lamp and the
10 direction in which that lamp shone. And -- and this part of the hangar
11 with the lines was the part where I didn't see anything.
12 Q. Would you please mark this lamp in the hangar with number six?
13 A. [Marks].
14 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I offer this into
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 558.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may add something.
19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Yes, please.
21 A. It is possible. Since it was dark and we didn't stay there long,
22 it's possible that if we rotate this hangar by 90 degrees, then it would
23 face the road in this way. I can't confirm this with certainty, but as
24 far as I can remember I approached it from this direction, and the door
25 was on my right side. That's all.
1 Q. I'll ask you whether there was just one hangar or more than one.
2 A. Is that a question? You mean you're asking me that directly?
3 What I saw at that moment was this door and this hangar. I didn't look
4 around, because it was dark.
5 Q. Let me ask you this, if you can remember: How far was this bus
6 from the road? So what's the distance between the right side of the bus
7 and the road?
8 A. I can't say. I would be speculating if I were to tell you
9 anything. One to five or ten metres. It was facing this way, I didn't
10 realise at the time that this sort of information would one day be
11 helpful. Don't get me wrong, please, but right now I am unable to say.
12 Q. What you do remember, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that the bus
13 was facing the entrance to the hangar like this, right?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Let me go back to the initial portion to your statement where you
16 talked about the one to three buses, as you say. What sort of an area was
17 that, the surface, I mean. Was it a grass surface, a concrete surface,
18 dirt? Where was this bus parked, on what sort of surface?
19 A. As I've already pointed out on account of poor lighting and on
20 account of me not paying attention to that, I am unable to say what was
21 around the bus. It just wasn't something that I was focusing on.
22 Q. So you lingered for about 15 minutes and then you headed back. At
23 one point you heard sounds of firing, shots being fired. If I read your
24 statement correctly, you couldn't tell exactly where this was coming from,
25 but the distance must have been several hundred metres, right?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. Let me ask you this now: When you heard these sounds of firing
3 what was the first thought that occurred to you? What was the first thing
4 that you associated with these sounds, if anything?
5 A. I don't think anything specific sprang to mind in connection with
6 the firing, but we left the possibility open that this was a case of
7 celebratory fire, which was something that was quite rife in the area at
8 the time. As for the direction or the area that the firing was coming
9 from, the area in which these shots were being fired, it's not something
10 that I'm able to specify.
11 Q. Did you talk to your non-commissioned officers about this firing?
12 Did you comment or did you not comment just because you put this down to
13 some sort of celebratory fire which was a daily occurrence in the area at
14 the time?
15 A. I can't remember whether we, in fact, exchanged comments about
16 this particular firing. I'm sorry, shall we be requiring this sketch.
17 Q. I will be tendering that into evidence.
18 A. No, I mean the ELMO.
19 Q. No, we can take the ELMO away now.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Is this a convenient time, Mr. Bulatovic?
21 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I think 15 or 20 minutes will do,
22 Your Honours. If that's no problem.
23 JUDGE PARKER: That will be run over the tape, unfortunately.
24 It's a question of --
25 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] If it's no problem to have a break
1 now, and then to continue after the break, and then 15 or 20 minutes will
3 JUDGE PARKER: We will need to break for half an hour because of
4 the redaction. Yes.
5 --- Recess taken at 1.54 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 2.31 p.m.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Witness, I've been looking at some of my questions during the
10 break and some of your answers too. Just in order to clarify some
11 details. You talked about that assignment when some officers were
12 seconded to the security administration. You talked about an assignment,
13 I'll be mentioning it. We're in public session. Did you have any other
14 such assignments where officers were seconded to the security
15 administration? Just say yes or no, please.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it necessary for you to describe the specific assignment, do
18 you think we should go into private session?
19 A. I've mentioned that already. That was in the autumn of 1990.
20 Q. That's the one that we were discussing, right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Any other assignments that you were aware of?
23 A. There was a group comprising 10 young officers who were attached
24 to the cabinet of the federal secretary for All People's Defence.
25 Q. Will you agree with me if I say that in situations like these
1 where a necessity arises for a group of officers to be seconded to the
2 security administration, the procedure to follow is the following: The
3 chief of the security administration sends a request to the brigade
4 commander for a number of officers to be seconded to the security
5 administration for a particular assignment. The company commander and the
6 battalion commander are informed about this, but approval is granted by
7 the brigade commander. Would that not seem to be the correct procedure to
9 A. The procedure you have just described may be the procedure that is
10 actually applied in cases like these, but that was above my head, so to
11 speak. I didn't really know for sure. I do accept this as a possibility
13 Q. Are you familiar with the decision of the OG South commander dated
14 the 16th of November detaching you from the assault detachment and sending
15 you back to your original unit, the military police battalion? Have you
16 ever seen that decision?
17 A. No, not in writing. However, believe me, I can't say for sure.
18 It is certainly possible. I do apologise. I know that in those days
19 before or after I was in touch with Captain Susic. That much is true.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Since 1996, which is when you provided your
21 statement to the OTP, had you given any other statements to anyone up
22 until May about these events that we are discussing here?
23 A. As far as I remember, I gave a statement to the OTP investigators
24 back in 1997.
25 Q. You're quite right.
1 A. After that statement I gave another one, which is the present
2 annex to my statement, and that happened quite recently.
3 Q. When you provided that annex to your statement, how many days did
4 you spend in The Hague on that occasion?
5 A. I said recently. I got it mixed up slightly. When I say
6 recently, I mean two or three years ago. I spent a couple of days here.
7 Q. All right.
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we please go
9 into private session for this.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 10159-10167 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Moore:
20 Q. Witness, would you be kind enough please to look at your
21 supplementary note that you made. Does it have a date at the bottom with
22 your signature?
23 A. No.
24 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I just need to clarify one thing, if
25 Your Honour would forgive me one moment.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. MOORE:
3 Q. Could you look at the English translation, would you mind? To see
4 if you see your signature there. If not, we will have it on Sanction.
5 A. No, I don't have it. I don't have the English translation.
6 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at your screen, please. Now, we will
7 have to go into private session, because clearly the signature is -- or we
8 will submit the signature is there. So could we go into private session,
10 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 10170-10175 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please take the card and read out the
7 affirmation, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
11 WITNESS: ZLATKO ZLOGLEDJA
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith.
14 MR. SMITH: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
15 Examination by Mr. Smith:
16 Q. Witness, could you state your full name and your date of birth,
18 A. Zlatko Zlogledja, I was born on the 19th of March, 1972.
19 Q. And your ethnic background?
20 A. I'm a Croat.
21 Q. In 1991 did you join the JNA as part of your national service?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And what date did you join?
24 A. The 17th of March, 1991.
25 Q. And how long did you train for before you were given an
1 assignment, a military assignment?
2 A. Three months.
3 Q. What was your first military assignment in the JNA?
4 A. First there was the training, and then we were told that we would
5 be going to Slovenia, when ...
6 Q. After you were told that you were going to Slovenia, did, in fact,
7 you go there, or were you assigned somewhere else?
8 A. We didn't. We left Valjevo, we left the barracks, and stopped
9 near a power plant at Sabac, and that was where we set up camp.
10 Q. And then in late August, early September, 1991, were you assigned
11 to combat activities in the Vukovar area?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And briefly can you state the position that you took, or where
14 your unit was positioned in the Vukovar area?
15 A. We were positioned at Negoslavci, and from Negoslavci towards
16 Luzac, which is a suburb of Vukovar.
17 Q. Briefly can you describe the size of the unit you were assigned
18 to, the number of men, and the type of equipment, military equipment,
19 vehicles, et cetera, that were assigned to your unit?
20 A. There were about 20 tanks stationed there, and military APCs, as
21 well as about 100 men.
22 Q. About how far from the centre of Vukovar, the centre of the town,
23 was your unit positioned, approximately?
24 A. We were in that field just outside the suburb itself, outside
25 Luzac. It was quite far from the centre.
1 Q. Whilst you were located at this position, what were your duties
2 within the unit?
3 A. While we were located at this position, our duties were to dig
4 trenches. We were told to be careful and to guard the trenches. Because
5 otherwise the enemy might sneak in on us, and that was why we had to be
7 Q. Approximately what length of time did you stay with this unit at
8 this position?
9 A. I stayed for about four or five days.
10 Q. And after that four or five days, what did you decide to do?
11 A. After that four or five days I decided with another four fellow
12 soldiers to escape to Vukovar, to escape into free territory. It was
13 becoming quite obvious that we would have to use our weapons sooner or
14 later, which meant that I would have to start firing at my own people, in
15 my case. I decided to have no part in that.
16 Q. And who did you decide to escape with?
17 A. Srecko Ravlija, Samir Hrkic, Dodaj Hajdar.
18 Q. The other person Lorenc Duhanaj?
19 A. And Lorenc Duhanaj, that's right.
20 Q. And how did you -- how did you escape and where did you go?
21 A. Lorenc Duhanaj was a local. He was from Marinci. He knew the
22 area well. We agreed that he would take us across to Luzac, and on to the
23 Vukovar police station.
24 Q. What was your escape plan, was it to assist in the defence of the
25 town or was it to leave the town completely?
1 A. The plan was to abandon our positions and to each go back to our
3 Q. Why did you decide to head for the Vukovar police station?
4 A. Simply because that was the only way, and this was the only road
5 leading into Vukovar.
6 Q. When you got to the police station, what happened then?
7 A. They checked us there, who we were and where we had come from.
8 Having been vetted, we were given a chance to call our families. However,
9 I called my aunt in Zagreb, since my folks back home did not own a phone.
10 My aunt told me that my family were staying with them in Zagreb because my
11 own village had already been taken by the Serbs.
12 Q. Once you received that news what did you decide to do?
13 A. As all of my mates decided to stay and join the police reserve
14 forces, I too decided to join them and help with the town's defence, to
15 try and keep Vukovar from meeting the same kind of fate as my own village.
16 Q. Were you given any particular job in this defence of the town by
17 the commander of the police or someone else?
18 A. At first we just helped out at the station. Later on, when things
19 became complicated and when everything got serious, we too were sent to
20 the front line to give them a hand there.
21 Q. And at one point in time did you decide to leave Vukovar
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you explain why you made that decision, and when that was?
25 A. The road was blocked, and Vukovar was cut off. It was impossible
1 to leave, and I had no choice but to stay.
2 Q. But when did you attempt to leave the town? Was it when Vukovar
3 was about to fall? Do you remember?
4 A. That was on the eve of Vukovar's fall. I tried to escape with a
5 group of other people. As we were trying to make our way out of Vukovar,
6 Lorenc Duhanaj stepped on a mine. We then had to walk all the way back to
7 Vukovar Hospital to leave him there.
8 Q. And did you stay at Vukovar Hospital for a period of time?
9 A. When we left Lorenc there, I decided that I too would be staying.
10 I stayed at the hospital for a couple of days.
11 Q. After taking Lorenc to the hospital, why did you decide to stay
12 there for those few days?
13 A. This was on the eve of the fall of Vukovar. This was the very
14 end, if you like. I felt that this was the safest place for me to be at
15 the time.
16 Q. What date did you leave the Vukovar Hospital?
17 A. I left the hospital on the 20th of November.
18 Q. We'll talk about what happened when you left the hospital in a
19 moment, but if you take can your mind back to the night before, what
20 happened the night before you left the Vukovar Hospital?
21 A. The hospital was surrounded by the Serbian forces. Serb soldiers
22 were entering the hospital and taking people away.
23 Q. When you say Serb soldiers, can you be a little more specific as
24 to whether they were regular JNA soldiers, reserve JNA soldiers,
25 paramilitaries, or armed Serb people, if you can? Or a combination?
1 A. There were local Serbs there, as well as JNA soldiers, reservists.
2 Q. When you say that these Serbian forces were taking people away on
3 the night before, about how many people are you talking about, and who
4 were they?
5 A. Specifically I remember this one thing, I remember a Serb soldier
6 approaching me asking me where I was from. At the time it occurred to me
7 to answer that I was a local, I thought that was the best thing for me to
8 say. There was a police officer from Vukovar standing next to me, Zoran,
9 we called him Baki, whom this Serbian soldier recognised, I think they
10 were even related. He then took him away. I know that he didn't want to
11 go because he had been wounded in his arm, and he said so. He said he was
12 unable to leave, and yet the soldier took him away.
13 Q. Do you know what happened to this Zoran?
14 A. No. The soldier later returned, and took another man away, a
15 young lad called Rasid. He was Zoran's friend. He took him away, too,
16 and I never heard what became of them.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, if we can look at what happened on the morning of
18 the 20th of November, 1991. You testified that you left the hospital on
19 that day. Can you tell us how you left the hospital?
20 A. That morning, sometime between 8.00 and 9.00, we were told that
21 the buses were there, that we were all to leave the hospital, which we
22 did. We stood outside the hospital and lined up, all of us.
23 Q. Who told you that the buses were there and you were to leave the
25 A. The hospital staff.
1 Q. You said that you stood outside the hospital and you lined up.
2 Did someone order you to line up, or did people just line up of their own
4 A. Yes, we were ordered to line up. They frisked us too, for any
6 Q. Who ordered to you line up, and who was doing the frisking?
7 A. The Serb military police were there, the Serb reservists probably
8 from Serbia, as well as local Serbs from Vukovar, natives who were also
9 wearing JNA uniforms.
10 Q. About how many of these soldiers were there outside of the
11 hospital near this line-up and where the frisking was occurring?
12 A. Quite many.
13 Q. Did anyone appear to be in charge of these soldiers to you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And who was that or who were they?
16 A. I saw a man wearing a camouflage uniform. He was in and out of
17 the hospital all the time.
18 Q. This man wearing the camouflage uniform, can you describe him more
19 specifically in terms of his height, perhaps his build, and whether he was
20 wearing anything, his face.
21 A. He was quite tall, black hair, and a black moustache. Of solid
23 Q. Did this man have any facial hair?
24 A. Just the moustache.
25 Q. And what about any hat, helmet, or was he wearing nothing on his
1 head, if you can remember?
2 A. He was wearing a camouflage uniform and a cap.
3 Q. What type of cap was he wearing?
4 A. A camouflage one.
5 Q. And the build, what type of build was he? Thin, fat, solid or any
7 A. He was slender.
8 Q. Did you know that person's name?
9 A. Yes. Sljivancanin.
10 Q. How did you know his name?
11 A. While we were still in the Vukovar police building we were able to
12 watch TV. We watched Serb reports from their TV stations. I saw him
13 there, on their TV.
14 Q. How often did you see him on the TV, and can you describe the
15 context in which you saw him?
16 A. We were able to follow their programmes. I saw him several times.
17 He was lending moral support to his soldiers, saying that they would have
18 no trouble at all dealing with the Croatian forces, that sort of thing.
19 Q. You stated that you saw him at the hospital on the morning of the
20 20th. When you saw him on TV, was that the -- before the 20th of
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. After you left the hospital did you ever see Sljivancanin again in
25 A. After I left the hospital I saw him again at Ovcara, but that was
1 the only time.
2 Q. You say that you saw him at Ovcara. When was that? Was that on
3 the same day or another day?
4 A. The same day.
5 Q. If we can go back to what happened at the Vukovar Hospital in the
6 morning on the 20th, you said that you were lined up and you were frisked.
7 When you say you were lined up, what other people were lined up with you?
8 A. All those slightly wounded who were still able to walk were there.
9 Q. After you were frisked, where did you go from there?
10 A. When the frisking was done we headed for the buses. We entered
11 the buses, we got on to the buses and we set out. We stopped at the
12 Vukovar barracks.
13 Q. About how many buses went to the Vukovar barracks?
14 A. A total of four or five buses.
15 Q. On the bus that you were on, was anyone guarding it?
16 A. Yes. There was an armed Serb soldier watching us.
17 Q. Was he -- are you able to say whether he was reserve soldier or a
18 regular soldier or a paramilitary or simply an armed civilian?
19 A. He was their military policeman.
20 Q. What happened when you got to Vukovar barracks, if you can briefly
22 A. When the buses stopped in front of the Vukovar barracks we were
23 met once again by Serb soldiers, local Serbs, reservists, who went around
24 the buses and pointed to certain people on the bus. Later these people
25 were taken off the buses.
1 Q. When you say you were once again met by Serb soldiers, local Serbs
2 and reservists, when you say Serb soldiers, are you including regular
3 soldiers or not in that term?
4 A. I didn't see regular soldiers there. I meant the Serb reservists
5 from Serbia and the local Serbs from Vukovar, also wearing uniforms of the
7 Q. Briefly can you tell us what the atmosphere was like at the
8 Vukovar barracks and how you felt emotionally?
9 A. The atmosphere was horrendous. The soldiers boarded the buses and
10 beat the people who sat in front. A man was taken off my bus too. They
11 told us that all of us would be executed, they were saying things to us
12 like, "You'll never see Croatia again." They were hurling insults our
13 way, and saying, "All of you would be taken to an execution site and
14 shot." And we felt tremendous fear for our lives.
15 Q. Whilst you were on the bus were you looking around the Vukovar
16 military barracks compound to see what was happening with everyone else?
17 A. The little that I could look around, I could see that the similar
18 things were happening on other buses. That is to say people were pointed
19 out and taken off the buses and led away. Now, as to what happened to
20 them afterwards, I don't know that.
21 Q. You say the little that you could look around, was there anything
22 stopping you from looking around completely? And, if there was, can you
24 A. We had to sit with our hands on our backs with our heads lowered
25 down so as not to look around, not to look outside. That's what they told
2 Q. How many people were taken off your bus?
3 A. One person from Zagreb, I believe, was taken off my bus.
4 Q. Did you see what happened to him once he got off the bus?
5 A. No, he was simply led away. I didn't see what happened
7 Q. How long did you stay at the barracks for before you left?
8 A. Approximately two hours.
9 Q. When you left the barracks where did you go?
10 A. Once we left the barracks we stopped in a field in front of a
12 Q. Do you know what that place was called then, or subsequently did
13 you discover what it was called later?
14 A. I didn't know at the time what its name was. Later on I learned
15 it was Ovcara.
16 Q. When did you learn later that it was -- that place was called
17 Ovcara, if you can remember?
18 A. I learned that once I returned from prison, when some graves were
19 already uncovered and when they believed that some Serb civilians had been
20 shot there and that that place was called Ovcara.
21 Q. And we'll discuss this a little later, but you left prison in
22 August 1992; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You mentioned that when the bus that were you on left the Vukovar
25 Hospital there was an armed military police officer on that bus. Was that
1 person still on the bus when you arrived at Ovcara?
2 A. Yes. They accompanied us all the way.
3 Q. When your bus arrived at Ovcara can you tell us what you saw
4 whilst you were still seated on the bus? What was happening outside?
5 A. Once we arrived at Ovcara we saw people leave the buses in front
6 of us. We saw that the Serbs had lined up two rows of local Serbs and
7 soldiers. As the people got off the buses, they beat them with whatever
8 they got their hands on. So people passed between these two rows and
9 entered the hangar.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
11 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I think that
12 I need to intervene, page 61, line 18 and 19. It seems to me that the
13 witness said that these two rows were composed of local Serb soldiers, and
14 then the transcript reflects local Serbs and soldiers, so could that
15 please be clarified with the witness.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
17 MR. SMITH: Thank you.
18 Q. You said that people from the buses had to pass through the two
19 rows. After they passed through those two rows, where did they go?
20 A. The door of the hangar was open, and they took them inside the
22 Q. Thank you. And as you just heard, it's a little bit unclear
23 whether the two rows were local Serb soldiers or local Serbs, or whether
24 or not they were some other regular or reserve or paramilitaries. Can you
25 be clear about who those people were in the two lines?
1 A. Those were Serb reservists wearing JNA uniforms. As soon as
2 people got off the buses, they recognised some of those people and they
3 immediately took them aside. They didn't let them inside the hangar, they
4 simply took them aside, based on which I concluded that those were local
5 Serbs wearing JNA uniforms.
6 Q. You mentioned that it was the reservists, the local Serb
7 reservists that formed the two lines. Other than those soldiers forming
8 those two lines, were there any other soldiers outside of that line-up
9 that was present outside of the hangar?
10 A. Yes, yes. There were soldiers, yes, who were everywhere around.
11 Q. And these other soldiers that weren't in the line-up, are you able
12 to say what type of soldier they were, from a local armed civilian to a
13 reservist to a paramilitary to a regular? Are you able to say which
14 groups that they may have belonged to?
15 A. Out all of those you mentioned, I can say that all of them were
16 there, including regular JNA soldiers.
17 Q. In total, including the soldiers or the reservists in the line-up,
18 about how many soldiers, no matter what group they came from, were outside
19 of the hangar when the buses arrived there, approximately?
20 A. That was quite a large group of some perhaps 50 to 60 people.
21 Q. And if you can describe just in a little more detail as to how
22 people would walk through these two lines and what would happen to them,
23 if anything, when they went through the two lines?
24 A. Once they got off the buses and moved in the direction of the
25 hangar the people who were there armed with chains, bats, rifles, and so
1 on, would beat the people off the buses as they passed through. This was
2 an all-out beating, following which they were pushed inside the hangar.
3 And in the hangar they had to stand facing the wall with their hands on
4 their backs, facing the wall.
5 Q. These beatings that were occurring between the two lines, were you
6 watching that from your bus, or from outside of the hangar when you got
7 off your bus?
8 A. I managed to see it from the bus too. I saw the people who were
9 in the bus in front of us get off their bus and I could see that as they
10 were getting off they were being hit.
11 Q. And what about you, how did you get off the bus and what happened
12 to you?
13 A. The same thing happened when it was the turn of my bus to
14 disembark. As soon as the people got off, they had to go through the rows
15 of people and were beaten. When it was my turn, I saw Hrkic and Kuscevic
16 stand on the side in front of the door, they stood with an officer and
17 sort of pointed towards the two of us. When it was our turn to approach,
18 they said, "These are those two soldiers."
19 They got off the bus earlier, and they said that they were the JNA
20 soldiers who had been imprisoned in Vukovar, and then they also said that
21 there were two additional soldiers also captured in Vukovar. And then
22 they pointed to us and we were taken aside so that we didn't have to go
23 through the gauntlet of soldiers beating people.
24 Q. So you got off the bus with Dodaj; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, Dodaj Hajdar.
1 Q. And the other two soldiers that they were referring to, who were
2 they again?
3 A. Samir Hrkic and Petar Kuscevic.
4 Q. And the four of you were kept in a group outside the hangar; is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was there any discussion between any one of you in the group and
8 that officer you talked about or any other soldier there?
9 A. When they said that they were two additional soldiers and when we
10 got off our bus, they believed them. We gave them information about the
11 units where we did our service, we gave them the names of our superiors,
12 so that right then initially they believed us, that we had indeed been
14 Q. Did you get beaten or not?
15 A. No, not at the time. They simply took us aside then. They even
16 gave us some cigarettes, water, and some other refreshments. Those of us
17 who smoked took some cigarettes, and I think that we went to stand under a
18 tree, and we talked to each other. Some active soldiers approached us,
19 and we stood there talking.
20 Q. Did those soldiers or anyone else soon discover that you were a
22 A. Yes. Later, when an officer approached us and started talking to
23 us, he asked us about our nationalities. Once we said we were Croats, or
24 rather one of us was an Albanian, he immediately said that we were no
25 prisoners, that we had deserted, that we were military deserters, and that
1 military deserters are normally shot, and that we would be shot too. If
2 we told the truth, then, yes, we stood some chance of saving our skins.
3 He said we would be transferred to Belgrade to the military investigative
4 prison where we would stand trial.
5 Q. So the other two, the other two in your group, they were Croats as
6 well as you, and there was the other person, who was an Albanian?
7 A. Yes. There was an Albanian and, I apologise, Samir Hrkic was a
9 Q. This officer that was speaking to you and told you that you were
10 deserters, can you describe him, and would you be able to state what his
11 rank was?
12 A. I think that he had a senior rank, but I couldn't describe it
13 right now.
14 Q. His physical description, are you able to provide a few details?
15 Say, his height, his build, his age, whether he was balding or had a head
16 of hair?
17 A. As far as I can remember, I think he was of medium height, medium
18 build. As far as one could see, he was balding and had greyish hair.
19 Q. What about his age?
20 A. Middle-aged.
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I think that on page 66,
24 line 4 and 5, it doesn't reflect that the witness said that he was balding
25 and had greyish hair. I think it only says that he had greyish hair, but
1 not that he was balding.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, my line on my screen, it's line 5, said
3 he was balding and had greyish hair.
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honours. I
5 failed to see that word.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
7 MR. SMITH:
8 Q. This officer, was he with -- well, firstly, what type of uniform
9 was he wearing and would you be able to classify him as a regular or
10 reserve officer or some other type?
11 A. He was a JNA officer.
12 Q. Was he with any other officers or any other soldiers that appeared
13 to be with him at the time or not?
14 A. Yes, there were several officers, a couple of them.
15 Q. Do you mean a couple of extra officers to the one that you were
16 just talking about, or are you talking about two in total?
17 A. No, no. In addition to the one I mentioned. Altogether there
18 were a couple of them.
19 Q. And you may have answered this already, but are you able to say
20 what rank he had, the main officer that was doing the questioning?
21 A. I don't know exactly which rank, but it was a senior-ish rank, a
22 senior rank. Whether he was a lieutenant-colonel or a colonel, I wouldn't
23 be able to say.
24 Q. And the other -- the other officer that you referred to that was
25 present with him, are you able to -- well, firstly, do you know his name,
1 this other officer, and are you able to describe him?
2 A. The other one, I wouldn't be able to say what his name was.
3 Q. And as far as a physical description is concerned, are you able to
4 say how old he is -- he was, how tall he was, and what type of build he
5 had, and say the colour of his hair? And if you can't, just say so,
6 but ...
7 A. I wouldn't be able to say.
8 Q. Thank you. I would now ask that you look at a video, which we'll
9 show you, and Exhibit Number 225.
10 MR. SMITH: We have it on Sanction, Your Honours. And I ask that
11 it be played from one minute and 11 seconds to the end of the video, one
12 minute and 29 seconds.
13 Q. Witness, we're going play this once fully, and if you can take
14 time to have a look at it, and then once you have seen it once, we'll play
15 it again, and when we play it again I'll ask you a couple of questions.
16 Do you understand?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. If we can play the video, thanks.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. SMITH: Perhaps if we can play the video fully from 1:11 to
21 1:29, and then we'll go back. We did, all right.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MR. SMITH: Thank you.
24 Q. Witness, now the question I have for you, if we -- looking at that
25 video, was there anyone in that video that you saw at Ovcara on the day
1 that you were there?
2 A. I believe I may have seen one person, but I'm not entirely sure.
3 Q. And if we play the video now and if you could stop us at the point
4 of the person that you believe that you may have seen.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. SMITH: Thank you. I have -- I wasn't looking at the witness
7 then, but he indicated one of the people, and I just ask that it be
8 stopped on that person.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. SMITH:
11 Q. Witness, just so that we're clear, we're just going to play the
12 video again, and if you can tell us to stop the video as soon as you see
13 the person that you said that you may have seen in Ovcara. Thank you.
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop.
16 Q. Thank you. And just for the record, this is at 1 minute 17
17 seconds point 4 of Exhibit 225.
18 Witness, when you say that you may have seen him at Ovcara, what
19 was he doing at Ovcara, and why do you say that you may have seen him?
20 Why are you not sure?
21 A. The man was there with a group of officers who were there. And it
22 sounds familiar, but I couldn't say that I am 100 per cent sure that this
23 is precisely that person. I'm not sure.
24 Q. Thank you. In the statement -- thank you, we've finished with the
25 video now. In the statement that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor
1 in 1996 you stated that the officer that was speaking to you about being a
2 deserter was a General Panic, and you also stated that his junior, or the
3 person that was with him, was a person called Mrksic. In this video we
4 have a -- an officer called Panic in this video. Bearing in mind that you
5 didn't recognise this Panic in this video, are you confident that you
6 identified this Panic to the investigators correctly as the officer that
7 spoke to you about desertion?
8 A. I'm not sure. It could be that I was wrong.
9 Q. Both of these people that were speaking to you, or the officer
10 that was speaking to you about being a deserter, and the other officer
11 that was with him, had you ever seen those people before at Ovcara --
12 before, before Ovcara?
13 A. No, never.
14 Q. You didn't know their names; is that correct?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And when you identified two people, namely Panic and Mrksic, to
17 the investigator in 1996, did you tell them, did you tell that
18 investigator their names, or did the investigator tell you their names of
19 the people that you identified?
20 A. When I pointed to these two people, I didn't know who they were,
21 what their names were. The investigator later told me who they were.
22 Q. About how long was this officer speaking to you for, and about how
23 long were you at Ovcara in total?
24 A. I spent about half an hour at Ovcara.
25 Q. Whilst you were at Ovcara did any other person or people arrive
1 there whilst you were standing outside of the hangar?
2 A. While the four of us were there with some other JNA soldiers, at
3 one point I saw Mr. Sljivancanin arriving. He talked to these people, the
4 Serb reservists, who were in the gauntlet beating people. He said
5 something to them, they talked briefly about something, and then he turned
6 around and left shortly thereafter.
7 Q. Was he trying to stop people from being beaten, or do you not
9 A. I was hoping that he was somebody who issued an order that people
10 not be beaten, but soon after he left the beating continued, based on
11 which I didn't get the impression that he ordered that people not be
13 Q. How did Sljivancanin arrive at Ovcara?
14 A. He arrived in a military vehicle, I believe it was a Pinzgauer.
15 Q. Did he arrive with anyone else?
16 A. Driver brought him.
17 Q. And you said that he left shortly thereafter. About how long did
18 Sljivancanin stay at Ovcara for?
19 A. When he arrived he talked to people and he may have stayed five to
20 10 minutes there.
21 Q. I would like to show you a video, and it's Exhibit 285. And I
22 would like to play the first six seconds, please. And can you tell us
23 whether you recognise anyone in that video. Or perhaps if we just leave
24 it at the commencement of the video, at zero seconds. Looking at that,
25 that picture, is there anyone in that picture that you recognise?
1 A. Yes, this is Mr. Sljivancanin, the person behind the man in white.
2 The person whose head we can see.
3 Q. And that person -- is that person wearing anything or not?
4 A. Looking from here, I can't really say. I can see his cap, I can
5 see the cap on his head. Now, as to what else he may have on, I can't
7 Q. Thank you. When you were at Ovcara did you see what was happening
8 inside of the hangar, all of the detainees that were taken in there?
9 A. There were soldiers entering the hangar at will. It was dreadful
10 how those people inside were beaten. Every now and then they would
11 recognise someone, the local Serbs, I mean. They would take them outside
12 the hangar, behind the hangar, and I have no idea what became of those
13 people. For the most part they would go into the hangar and beat people
15 Q. When you left Ovcara, were you taken to Negoslavci where you were
16 detained for three or four days?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Who detained you, and were you beaten whilst you were detained?
19 A. We were in a cellar. When we reached Negoslavci we were all
20 blindfolded and taken down to a basement of sorts, and they started
21 beating us there. It was horrendous. Local Serbs would appear, saying
22 that we should all be killed and that they would kill all of us, in fact.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I have a maximum of 10 minutes left,
25 perhaps it would only be five. I am happy to continue on now or,
1 alternatively, first thing tomorrow.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I take it that's a convenient point.
3 MR. SMITH: Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
5 We will adjourn now. Tomorrow we resume in the morning at 9.00.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.59 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 8th day of June,
8 2006, at 9.00 a.m.