Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 11357

1 Wednesday, 30 August 2006

2 [Mrksic Defence Opening Statement]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. We are now ready to commence the

7 Defence cases in this trial.

8 Mr. Domazet.

9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good

10 afternoon to everyone in the courtroom.

11 The Defence of Mr. Mrksic will now give its opening statement in

12 accordance with the Rules, while simultaneously in keeping with the

13 recommendation of the Trial Chamber that this opening statement be brief

14 as and succinct as possible and not resemble the closing arguments or any

15 evaluation of evidence.

16 The Defence of Mr. Mrksic, in the course of our Defence case by

17 means of witnesses and other evidence, will demonstrate the role of

18 Colonel Mrksic during the time relevant to the indictment as commander of

19 the Motorised Brigade and commander of the Operative Group South.

20 In addition to that, we will lead evidence which will go to show

21 that the accused Mrksic did not participate in the joint criminal

22 enterprise, as charged by the indictment, nor was his objective to

23 persecute Croats and other non-Serbs who, following the fall of Vukovar,

24 found themselves in the Vukovar Hospital by committing crimes, inhumane

25 and cruel treatment, and similar acts against these people.

Page 11358

1 When it comes to Mr. Mrksic, his Defence rejects the argument of

2 the Prosecution, namely, that the crimes listed in charges 2 to 8 were

3 natural and foreseeable consequences of the joint criminal enterprise, nor

4 do we accept that he was aware that such crimes were possible consequences

5 of joint criminal enterprise.

6 Mile Mrksic at that time was a colonel in the Yugoslav People's

7 Army. In 1991, he was commander of the Motorised Guards Brigade, which

8 was an elite unit for special purposes, headquartered in Belgrade. This

9 unit, as is true of the entire JNA, was a multinational formation in

10 accordance with the then valid principle of brotherhood and unity.

11 Acting pursuant to the order of the federal secretary of defence,

12 who was his superior, Mr. Mrksic went to Negoslavci with his brigade and,

13 once again, pursuant to the order, took over the role of commander of the

14 Operative Group South. I believe that it is beyond dispute that this

15 order was issued at the time when the fighting in Vukovar was well under

16 way.

17 Even though it was not up to Mr. Mrksic to go into analysis of

18 what caused this conflict, the Defence believes that the Prosecution

19 wrongly defined these military operations as occupation, whose goal it was

20 to displace and persecute the Croatian population.

21 Throughout our defence case, we will be leading evidence to show

22 that in Croatia, in the course of 1991, there was an armed rebellion,

23 first by means of illegal arming of a large number of Croats and then by

24 creating paramilitary formations which initially intimidated the non-Croat

25 population.

Page 11359

1 When it comes to Vukovar and the surrounding area, there were

2 almost as many non-Croats as Croats, because that area was populated by a

3 mix of Croats, Serbs, Hungarians, Ruthenians, and others, although the

4 Croats were the dominant group.

5 When they moved from intimidation to physical elimination, in many

6 cases, of civilians, first of all of the Serbian ethnicity, when they

7 started torching and blowing up their homes, when they started persecuting

8 these people, the then leadership of Yugoslavia believed that it was only

9 the Yugoslav People's Army, as the sole armed force envisaged by the

10 constitution, that was capable of disarming illegally armed paramilitary

11 formations which, in the meantime, had taken over some parts of local

12 authorities and had also blocked many barracks of the JNA in Croatia and

13 specifically in Vukovar.

14 Unfortunately, very serious armed fighting erupted in Vukovar.

15 The paramilitary formations which blocked the entrance to the city and the

16 JNA barracks there were quite numerous and determined to prevent the JNA

17 in accomplishing its task of disarming them and restoring law and order in

18 that area.

19 The Defence will lead evidence to prove that Mile Mrksic, as

20 commander of the Guards Motorised Brigade and Operative Group South, acted

21 in accordance with all existing rules, and that he did not issue any

22 orders that would target civilians or prisoners, that would expose them to

23 persecution or murder. Even though he did not directly supervise the

24 transfer of prisoners and their accommodation outside of Vukovar, because

25 it was the local commanders that were in charge of that, he never

Page 11360

1 accepted, nor did he ever order, that any of the prisoners be transferred

2 to any other units, not even the Vukovar Territorial Defence or the

3 Territorial Defence of Eastern Slavonia. This will be the focus of the

4 Defence case.

5 When it comes to tragic events, in the night between the 20th and

6 21st of November, 1991, the Defence will be adducing evidence to show that

7 Mile Mrksic didn't issue any specific orders, especially not on that day,

8 in relation to prisoners in Ovcara, nor did anyone ask him to issue such

9 orders.

10 On the 20th of November, immediately following the regular meeting

11 with his subordinate officers, as was the daily practice, sometime after

12 1800 hours, Mile Mrksic set off to Belgrade in a passenger vehicle

13 together with Defence witness Coric. Coric's driver drove the car.

14 Mrksic arrived in Belgrade in his apartment in the evening hours, while

15 the second major news programme of Radio-Television Serbia was broadcast.

16 That evening, upon his arrival, his wife informed him that just

17 prior to his arrival his sister had called. She had spent the entire time

18 in Vukovar as a civilian and arrived in Belgrade in a convoy of refugees.

19 She's currently residing in the village of Jajinci, near Belgrade.

20 It was then that Mrksic called on the phone the headquarters of

21 the Guards Motorised Brigade and issued an order to the driver who was on

22 duty at that moment - and this is Defence witness Relic Nenad - to go to

23 Jajinci, to his sister, and to bring her to his apartment. The witness

24 did that and brought Mrksic's sister to the apartment. He stayed there

25 for a brief period of time and then left.

Page 11361

1 He was ordered to come on the following morning to pick up Mr.

2 Mrksic and to take him to a reception held by the Minister of Defence,

3 which was to take place on the 21st of November, in the morning hours. As

4 we were able to see in the evidence admitted so far, Mr. Mrksic attended

5 that reception.

6 On the following day, on the 22nd of November, 1991, together with

7 Major Tesic, he was first taken to the heliodrom, and the two of them were

8 transported in a helicopter to Negoslavci.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Domazet.

10 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] During his stay in Belgrade ...

11 JUDGE PARKER: Would you just try speaking into the microphone,

12 Mr. Domazet. There seemed to be some problem at the beginning.

13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] There are problems with my

14 microphone. I hope you can hear me now.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Yes, we can hear Mr.

16 Domazet now.

17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] That critical night between the 20th

18 and the 21st of November, during that particular time, Mr. Mrksic did not

19 receive, nor did he receive later, any notice, any information about what

20 was taking place; that is to say, he did not receive that information

21 either during the time while he was in Belgrade or afterwards.

22 Upon his return from Belgrade, he stayed in Negoslavci just two

23 more days. And then on the 24th of November, with his brigade, he left

24 that area and with his brigade returned to Belgrade without ever visiting

25 Vukovar.

Page 11362

1 The Defence will adduce evidence to show that allegations in count

2 9 of the indictment are not true, namely, those stating that Mr. Mrksic

3 had effective control over, as they termed it, Serb forces, which guarded

4 detainees, transferred and kept them at the Ovcara farm, and then later on

5 mistreated and killed them.

6 Even though Colonel Mrksic had no knowledge about the alleged

7 agreement in Zagreb, nor was he ever informed about that, he did talk to

8 Dr. Bosanac about the evacuation of the patients from the hospital, which,

9 until that time, was not part of the area of responsibility of his

10 Operations Group South.

11 The Defence will be adducing evidence to show that it is not true

12 that he ordered soldiers under his command, or rather permitted them, to

13 transfer the control of the detainees at Ovcara to other Serb forces which

14 physically committed these crimes.

15 In addition to that, we will be proving that it is not true that

16 he learned of the crimes committed and even took some steps to conceal

17 these crimes. We will also be leading evidence to show that the command

18 of the 1st Military District, which was superior to Operations Group

19 South, was in charge of the sanitisation of the terrain, the victims and

20 those who were killed, and that it was them who involved in that task

21 experts and military investigative organs. We will be proving that it was

22 not a task that Colonel Mrksic was issued with. Quite to the contrary.

23 A special team of senior officers of the 1st Military District,

24 officers from the security administration and the Federal Ministry of

25 Defence from Belgrade, were following the events in Vukovar those days,

Page 11363

1 especially those surrounding the detainees.

2 The Defence wishes to show whose officers and under whose orders

3 were at Ovcara during the critical time, the simple fact being they were

4 certainly not there under Colonel Mrksic's orders.

5 When speaking about the security officers of his own brigade or

6 any of his subordinate units, the Defence will prove that this by no means

7 meant or had to mean that, under all circumstances, they were acting on

8 his orders or with his knowledge or approval; namely, there was another

9 chain of communication running between these officers and the superior

10 security bodies, whose tasks they were carrying out throughout in addition

11 to their regular tasks with their own units.

12 As for these special tasks that they were carrying out for the

13 security organ, these tasks were not something that their regular

14 superiors outside the security bodies knew or had to know about. And this

15 applies to Colonel Mrksic as well. He did not necessarily know about the

16 existence of any such assignments, and he was not necessarily receiving

17 any reports that were being submitted to the security organ.

18 The Defence will be trying to show this all the more so because it

19 has been suggested that certain security officers, some of them so far

20 unidentified, had been present at Ovcara and had effected what had

21 happened on that day or perhaps even issued orders there.

22 The Defence will try to use as few witnesses as possible for our

23 case, as little time as possible, and we will be doing our best to

24 expedite the trial, to the extent possible, and help bring the entire

25 proceedings to a speedy and successful end.

Page 11364

1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Domazet.

2 Is it appropriate now to continue with your first witness?

3 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have been informed

4 that our witness, Mrs. Mrksic, arrived in The Hague a short time ago. I

5 have also been told that she's present on the premises. I would like to

6 ask the Trial Chamber one thing, though. I did not get a chance to see

7 her. Her arrival itself had been expedited and she had not been foreseen

8 as a witness for this week. If we are to continue with the following

9 witness, that is, Mrs. Mrksic, could the Trial Chamber please grant me a

10 somewhat longer break so that at least I get a chance to talk to her

11 before she starts testifying this afternoon?

12 [Trial Chamber confers]

13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, in the whole circumstances, we propose

14 to adjourn now and resume at 4.00. Will that be adequate time?

15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.

16 JUDGE PARKER: We will do that, and we'll resume here, then, at

17 4.00.

18 --- Recess taken at 2.41 p.m.

19 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.

20 [The witness entered court]

21 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mrs. Mrksic. Could I ask you

22 please to stand and to read aloud the affirmation on the card that is

23 given to you now.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Page 11365


2 [Witness answered through interpreter]

3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.

4 Mr. Domazet.

5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

6 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please stand closer to the

7 microphone. The interpreters can't hear him. Thank you.

8 Could counsel please stand closer to the microphone. Thank you.

9 Examination by Mr. Domazet:

10 Q. Can you hear me now, Mrs. Mrksic?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. There seem to have been some problems with the microphone. I'll

13 do my best to stand as close as I can.

14 Can you please tell everybody your personal details, your first

15 name, your last name, when you were born, and where.

16 A. My name is Djudjica Mrksic. I was born on the 24th of February,

17 1948, in Dreznica, Republic of Croatia.

18 Q. Thank you. You are Mr. Mile Mrksic's wife, aren't you?

19 A. Yes, I am Mr. Mile Mrksic's wife.

20 Q. When did you get married, and where?

21 A. We got married on the 28th of December, 1969, in Belgrade.

22 Q. Please tell me about your husband. Tell me about his family.

23 Tell me what you know. Did he have any brothers or sisters? Where did he

24 spend his childhood years? Tell us what you know about that.

25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We're still having a great

Page 11366

1 deal of trouble hearing Mr. Domazet. Thank you.

2 A. My husband was born in Croatia in a place called Vrgin Most. It's

3 a multiethnic environment. He has a brother and three sisters.

4 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Thank you. Do you know where he went to school? Do you know

6 about his educational background?

7 A. My husband completed his secondary schooling in Vukovar, which is

8 another multiethnic environment. He graduated from the military academy

9 in Belgrade.

10 Q. When you say the academy, you mean the military academy; right?

11 A. Yes, that's right, the military academy.

12 Q. You've mentioned several times that he was born and lived in a

13 multiethnic environment. What about his family or your extended family?

14 Were there any other relatives belonging to other ethnic groups, wives,

15 husbands, that sort of thing?

16 A. Yes, we do have multiethnic relatives.

17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we could just

18 briefly go into private session.

19 JUDGE PARKER: Private.

20 [Private session]

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 11367

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18 (redacted)

19 [Open session]

20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Mrs. Mrksic, can you tell me about your own family? Mr. Mrksic

22 and you, do you have any children?

23 A. Yes. Mr. Mrksic is the father of my three daughters.

24 Q. In 1991, were your daughters living with you?

25 A. Yes. All three of them were staying with us.

Page 11368

1 Q. I would like to ask you some questions now in relation to that

2 year. At the time your husband was, I suppose you know, occupying which

3 post exactly in the army?

4 A. My husband was the commander of the Guards Brigade.

5 Q. What about before he became the commander of that brigade? Had he

6 not spent some time with the brigade previously?

7 A. Yes, he had spent a substantial amount of time with the brigade

8 beforehand.

9 Q. Back in 1991, did you know that he went to that particular area

10 with his unit?

11 A. Yes, I know he was in the area with his unit back in 1991.

12 Q. Were you in touch with him after he left for the area? Did you

13 speak on the phone or did you perhaps meet throughout that time?

14 A. We didn't meet in person but we did speak on the phone, except for

15 the 20th. On the 20th he came in person.

16 Q. All right. First of all, you mentioned the phone calls. How many

17 and when?

18 A. He'd call once or twice a day. He mostly wanted to know about the

19 children, how they were doing, and whether there was anything new to

20 report in connection with the children.

21 Q. You say he only came once. Had he ever, before that one single

22 time, returned to Belgrade or to his home?

23 A. He had never been home prior to this one single time that I

24 mentioned.

25 Q. Mrs. Mrksic, can you tell me about this one time that he came?

Page 11369

1 Had he announced his arrival, when, and how did that go? To the best of

2 your recollection, of course.

3 A. My husband telephoned me in the evening hours. He told me to

4 switch the water boiler on because he would soon be coming. He said he

5 had some commitments the following day.

6 Q. Do you remember exactly when this was?

7 A. This was the day before St. Arandjel's day, which would seem to

8 imply that it was on the 20th of November, 1991.

9 Q. One question for the benefit of the Chamber. You mentioned

10 St. Arandjel. Can you tell us what that means in Serbia? Why is that an

11 important day?

12 A. That is the 21st of November. It's a very important holiday for

13 the Serbs, a church holiday.

14 Q. Thank you. Can we please go back to the 20th. You say that

15 sometime in the evening, Mrksic called to announce his arrival; right?

16 Can you tell us exactly what happened that evening? Above all I mean when

17 exactly did he arrive, and what did he do later?

18 A. My husband arrived during the second T.V. news programme that

19 evening. Just before he arrived, his sister Nada called --

20 Q. Can you please not mention that?

21 A. Oh, yes, right. So he arrived during the second edition of T.V.

22 news that evening.

23 Q. Thank you. We might have to move into private session for this

24 detail later on, but I want to ask you something about this. When you say

25 the second T.V. News that evening, what time did that usually start?

Page 11370

1 A. Normally it would start at 1930 hours and it would last for about

2 half an hour, but it would sometimes take as long as an hour because of

3 the various developments at the time and all the coverage of the theaters

4 of war throughout the former Yugoslavia.

5 Q. Thank you. If I understand you correctly, normally it would take

6 half an hour, but on the days in question it would normally last a great

7 deal longer. Is that what you're saying?

8 A. Yes, precisely. Not just that one day. It was like that

9 throughout this period.

10 Q. Thank you very much. You mentioned the phone call prior to his

11 arrival. I'd like to ask you a couple of questions about this.

12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Again, if we could please move into

13 private session briefly.

14 JUDGE PARKER: Private.

15 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honour.

16 [Private session]

17 (redacted)

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Page 11371











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Page 11374

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7 [Open session]

8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Mrs. Mrksic, you mentioned a bit ago that your husband was

10 supposed to go to report, or perhaps he was supposed to go to a reception

11 somewhere. Do you know when this was and how long he stayed in Belgrade?

12 A. My husband went in the morning. After we had had coffee with his

13 sister, he went to a reception or rather he went to work. I don't know

14 what he did afterwards. The driver took him. He stayed until the

15 following day, which is to say on the 22nd he went back, early in the

16 morning, at 7 a.m., or rather he left even before 7 a.m., he left our

17 apartment.

18 Q. Do you know how he was supposed to go back, by what means?

19 A. Yes. When my husband arrived on the 20th, in the evening, the

20 first thing I asked him was how long he would stay, and he said that he

21 would go back on the 22nd.

22 Q. Did he tell you on the 20th about the means of transportation?

23 A. Yes, I apologise, I didn't answer your question. My husband

24 arrived and I asked him how he had travelled, because he said that on the

25 22nd he would travel in a helicopter. And I asked him about how he had

Page 11375

1 arrived, how he had travelled on his way there, and he said that he had

2 travelled with Velimir Coric, former guards commander.

3 Q. All right. Do you know what means of transportation he used? Did

4 he say anything about that?

5 A. He arrived in a private vehicle. Coric travelled in a private

6 car, and my husband joined him; that is to say, they travelled in Coric's

7 private vehicle with his driver.

8 Q. You said earlier that Coric was the former guards commander. Were

9 you trying to say that he was the commander of that same unit before your

10 husband, or is that perhaps some other unit?

11 A. Velimir Coric was commander before my husband assumed that post,

12 commander of the same guards unit. My husband took over the unit from

13 Coric.

14 Q. Thank you. You said that your husband had told you that on the

15 22nd he would travel back in a helicopter. Do you know whether this

16 actually transpired, whether he indeed returned to Negoslavci in

17 helicopter?

18 A. As far as I could understand, my husband called from Batajnica

19 sometime around noon on the 22nd. I didn't quite understand whether they

20 had set out and then they returned, because it was quite foggy. At any

21 rate he told me, "I'm still at the airport. We're waiting for the fog to

22 subside so that we can take off."

23 Q. Thank you. Just to clarify, it is your evidence that from the

24 moment when he left for the first time to Vukovar with his unit, that from

25 that time on he didn't visit you until he came on that occasion that you

Page 11376

1 just described; is that correct?

2 A. Yes. Once he left to the front, he didn't come except for that

3 once. And then on the second time, he came back with his unit on the 24th

4 of November.

5 Q. Thank you. Now I'm going to ask you some questions about your

6 family life related to the period of time after this one.

7 Were you employed during that time or up to this time? Did you

8 have your own income?

9 A. Yes, I did have my own income. I was employed, mostly full time,

10 from the 1st of August, 1963, until June of 1996, when I retired.

11 Q. So in June of 1996 you retired. Do you remember when your

12 husband retired? Before you or after you?

13 A. My husband retired several months before me, roughly after the

14 Operation Storm.

15 Q. So in 1996, you were retired and so was your husband, and this is

16 what constituted the income for the family. What about your daughters?

17 They were your dependents; correct?

18 A. At the time our daughters were, and still are, our dependents. We

19 provide for their living from our retirement benefits.

20 Q. In 1996, was your pension sufficient to cover the expenses of your

21 family of five members? Did you have any additional source of income?

22 A. As this was not sufficient, all of us lived together. We had

23 another source of income from working at the Kalinic market in Belgrade.

24 My husband and I worked there for four and a half years, from morning

25 till night, in all types of weather, snow, sleet, rain and wind. We were

Page 11377

1 the first to arrive at the market and the last to leave.

2 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Mrksic. We are not going to go back to this

3 topic.

4 Can you tell us and the Chamber what you know about your husband?

5 Can you tell us about his attitude towards people in general, towards his

6 subordinates, and especially towards people of other ethnic backgrounds?

7 A. First of all, I can tell you right away that my husband was never

8 a nationalist. Quite the opposite. He socialised and met with his

9 friends and colleagues of various ethnicities. He attended military

10 school together with future officers of various ethnic backgrounds. At

11 the time, if we walked in the street and if we came across any other JNA

12 members, he would stop and always devote enough time to have a chat with

13 everyone. He showed great respect for all of these people and he

14 remains -- he continues doing that to this day.

15 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Mrksic.

16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I've concluded my

17 examination-in-chief.

18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.

19 Mr. Borovic, are there any questions of Mrs. Mrksic?

20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no questions.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

22 Mr. Lukic?

23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no questions for

24 this witness.

25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore?

Page 11378

1 Cross-examination by Mr. Moore:

2 Q. Mrs. Mrksic, I have some questions for you, not too many. You're

3 aware about the allegations against your husband and what happened at

4 Ovcara; isn't that right?

5 A. I don't know what happened at Ovcara since I was not at the front.

6 I'm a mother, first and foremost. I worked in two shifts, and in addition

7 to that I was a homemaker. As to the charges brought against my husband,

8 I know about that from the media.

9 Q. Would it be right to say that you're aware that there were over

10 200 people murdered in Ovcara, and that your husband is accused of being

11 involved in it? Are you aware of that fact?

12 A. I'm aware of that, and I feel deep regret about the death of these

13 people. My husband is not involved in that. I know him well and I can

14 tell you firmly here, under oath, that he would never allow for something

15 like that to happen.

16 Q. When did you first hear about the killings in Ovcara? We know

17 that they occurred in November 1991, and you knew that your husband was in

18 the area of Vukovar at that time. So when did you first hear about the

19 killings at Ovcara?

20 A. As for the murders at Ovcara, I heard about that for the first

21 time from the media, from daily -- from weeklies, daily -- from weekly

22 Vreme and Nin in 1993.

23 Q. And so in 1993, if we just take your evidence, you were aware

24 about murders in Ovcara at a time when your husband was in charge of

25 soldiers; is that right?

Page 11379

1 A. I can't answer that question because I don't know what their rules

2 and regulations are, and I don't know what took place there. My husband

3 wasn't there alone. There was an army of people there, many commanders,

4 and I don't know who was responsible for what. It is true, though, that

5 my husband was commander of the Operations Group South.

6 Q. So you were aware in 1993 that murders had occurred in the area

7 for Operations Group South that was controlled by your husband. You were

8 aware of that allegation; isn't that right?

9 A. The papers wrote about that. As to what extent that was true, the

10 Court will establish that.

11 Q. And consequently, I would suggest it's only logical that you would

12 have asked your husband, "Is this true? Did anything like this happen at

13 Ovcara when you were there?"

14 A. I didn't put that question to my husband. When I mentioned it he

15 felt very bad and he told me that he would have never done anything like

16 that or permitted it, and that he didn't participate in it. I'm telling

17 you this now absolutely sincerely.

18 Q. And so would it be right to say, about 1993, your husband

19 indicated to you that he would have had nothing to do with that and he

20 knew nothing about it? Is that right?

21 A. Yes, but --

22 MR. DOMAZET: Objection.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.

24 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't think that the

25 witness said that her husband knew nothing about that. She said that he

Page 11380

1 didn't participate in it, not that he knew nothing about it. In the

2 question of my learned friend, it is implied that he knew nothing about

3 the murders which occurred, which is something quite different from what

4 the witness said.

5 JUDGE PARKER: That is a fair statement, I think, Mr. Moore.

6 MR. MOORE: With the utmost respect, all I'm trying to do is to

7 find out when --

8 JUDGE PARKER: You might be trying to find out, but you did

9 misstate the evidence of the witness.


11 Q. When did your husband then say that he would never have done

12 anything like that or permitted it, and he didn't participate in it? Was

13 that in 1993, when you mentioned it to him?

14 A. Yes, that was in 1993.

15 Q. And was there a very general discussion with you and him, husband

16 to wife and vice versa, of what on earth happened; how did these people

17 get killed?

18 A. He didn't discuss it with me. He just felt very bad about it.

19 And he didn't speak about it at all.

20 Q. You see, your husband has told courts, certainly a court, that he

21 didn't know about this killing until about 1995, '96, somewhere

22 roundabout that period. Now, can you explain that to us, how he's

23 discussing it with you in 1993 with regard to knowledge but he's telling

24 another court that he heard about it really much later?

25 MR. DOMAZET: Objection, Your Honour.

Page 11381

1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Domazet.

2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we didn't introduce

3 that piece of evidence here, and as far as I'm aware we do not have that

4 particular statement of Mr. Mrksic which is now being put to his wife.

5 And I don't think that she can be cross-examined on that topic.

6 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Mr. Domazet, but the cross-examination

7 is not confined to a matter that is presently in evidence, so the question

8 can be put. Just what, if anything, Mrs. Mrksic will be able to say we

9 will learn.

10 Yes, Mr. Moore.


12 Q. Are you able to assist us about that?

13 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, I can't tell you anything about it since I

14 didn't discuss it with my husband.

15 Q. Did your husband ever say to you, Well, actually, I handed them

16 over or I authorised -- my mistake, I authorised these prisoners to be

17 given over to a government and unfortunately they seemed to have been

18 killed while under their control? Did he ever say that to you?

19 A. No, he never told me that.

20 Q. Did he ever refer to Major Sljivancanin when discussing this

21 topic, even in brief form?

22 A. No, he never mentioned Major Sljivancanin.

23 Q. Did he ever suggesting that people who were in charge of the

24 operation had perhaps let him down in their tasks?

25 A. No. No, he never said that. He never mentioned it or spoke about

Page 11382

1 it. We didn't discuss any military issues at all.

2 Q. Well, military issues I can perfectly understand and I can

3 certainly sympathise, but here is a situation where atrocities occurred

4 during his control. Did he ever suggest, for example, of going to the

5 authorities and seeing if he could assist in any inquiries or

6 investigations?

7 A. Mr. Prosecutor, my husband never discussed that with me - I state

8 this with full responsibility - because I'm not competent when it comes to

9 these matters.

10 Q. Might I ask when it was that you were asked to give evidence at

11 this Tribunal by this legal team who represent him?

12 A. I learned -- just a minute. Was it yesterday or perhaps two days

13 ago? Two days ago I learned that I was supposed to be the first witness

14 here, and today I arrived at the airport. At a quarter to two I went to

15 the hotel and was supposed to appear here at 2.15.

16 Q. Mrs. Mrksic you have my complete sympathy for the predicament that

17 you find yourself, but can I ask you to recall when it was you actually

18 spoke to the lawyers for the first time about this topic? Did they ever

19 come and take a statement from you?

20 A. No, I truly don't know that. They work with other things and

21 they're probably too busy with those other things. They didn't come to

22 see me and take a statement from me. No.

23 Q. I may come back to certain areas like this, but I want to deal

24 with other matters.

25 You told us, and it may be a case of translation, that your

Page 11383

1 husband telephoned you, as you believe, on the 20th, in the evening hours,

2 and told you to switch on the boiler. Do you remember saying that?

3 A. Yes, I remember that. On the 20th of November, in the evening

4 hours - I don't know whether we already had the light on or not; I can't

5 remember what time it was - but he told me that he was on his way and to

6 turn the boiler on, that he would arrive that evening.

7 Q. So he was on his way. Switch on the boiler and he would arrive.

8 Did he give an indication of the time he would arrive?

9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Objection.

10 A. No.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet?

12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, based on Mr. Moore's

13 question, it would appear that he called while on route. That's not what

14 the witness said. She said that he called, but the witness never said

15 that he called after he had already set out. No, that's not what she

16 said.

17 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry, I don't -- I'll ask the questions again and

18 then we'll see if that helps in any way.

19 Q. When your husband telephoned, was it your understanding that he

20 was still stationary at his headquarters?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And I think you've told us he didn't say what time he would be

23 there; is that correct?

24 A. He didn't tell me that.

25 Q. Bearing in mind you've told us that you were going to have supper,

Page 11384

1 did you ask him what time he would arrive so that perhaps you would know?

2 A. No. When he arrived, he was so tired he couldn't even eat. He

3 took a shower and wanted to go to bed as quickly as possible. There was

4 something he had to do before he could do that. He had to have a word

5 with his sister.

6 Q. So the sequence is, he phones from his headquarters, he's on his

7 way, put the boiler on, and doesn't say the time. Now, can I just -- can

8 I just clarify the situation that existed at that time.

9 Vukovar had been liberated, and I think it's right to say it was

10 on the Serbian news fairly extensively, along with other topics. Is that

11 right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And through that evening there were a number of broadcasts on the

14 television about the liberation of Vukovar. That is correct, isn't it?

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. When your husband arrived, you have three daughters; isn't that

17 right? I won't give their names. I know their names, and I hope I'm

18 right on it. But the three daughters lived with you at that time; is that

19 correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And is it your evidence that the three daughters were there that

22 evening when your husband telephoned and arrived?

23 A. My daughters were home when he arrived.

24 Q. Were your daughters present when he telephoned?

25 A. I don't remember if they were or not. Normally they're each in

Page 11385

1 their own rooms.

2 Q. Can I just see if we can work through this situation, because as a

3 father one tends to deal with these problems. When your husband said he

4 was coming home, presumably your daughters would have been pleased to see

5 him and you would have told them. Is that right or not?

6 A. I didn't say anything. I was far too busy. I had so many

7 commitments. I was still working at the time. I was gainfully employed,

8 and there was so much that needed doing and I was in charge of everything.

9 Q. From memory, your eldest daughter was of university age at that

10 time. I think she was 20/21; is that right? She was born, I think, in

11 1970. I'm doing it from memory. Can you help me?

12 A. Yes, that's correct, 1970.

13 Q. Was she studying at university at that time?

14 A. She didn't go to university. She went to a secondary school for

15 nurses, and she's not as active as she used to be, and hasn't been since

16 she turned 18.

17 Q. What I wanted to know is, did she attend a course at that time

18 that made either her stay out, or what time did she tend to come back, or

19 did she even stay away? Do you see the difference?

20 A. She didn't really leave home that often. She wasn't at school at

21 the time, if that's what you mean. I don't believe that she was. It was

22 quite late in the day, after all.

23 Q. Well, your other two girls, I think one was 17, one was very young

24 indeed. Let's deal with the 17-year-old. Was she attending school at

25 that time?

Page 11386

1 A. The younger one wasn't. The 17-year-old one was; she was

2 attending school at the time, sometimes in the morning and sometimes in

3 the afternoon, depending.

4 Q. So can I summarise your evidence in the following way? Please

5 tell me if I'm right or wrong. You can't remember if you told the girls

6 their father was coming home.

7 A. I didn't want to put that sort of burden on their soldiers. I

8 tried to spare them. They are all very emotional and there are all sorts

9 of problems involved. When their father arrived, they saw him. They are

10 quite fond of him. They are very attached to him, and I tried to spare

11 them any emotional effort. Whenever he came, they all just rejoiced.

12 Q. But, of course, he hadn't been there for a considerable time, had

13 he? And this was the first time back. Are you saying you didn't tell

14 them, truly?

15 A. Truly. He had spent half his life away from home, and my

16 daughters and I always wanted to have him back as often as possible. He

17 would always take off for a fortnight. He was always somewhere else. He

18 was always away from him. That's how committed he was to his job. And

19 every time he turned up at our doorstep, we were invariably ecstatically

20 happy to see him.

21 Q. And so would it be right to say, then, they only became aware of

22 your husband's arrival when he came through the door; is that correct?

23 They had no notice of it before.

24 A. Well, it's difficult for me to provide a specific answer to that

25 one because there was a mess in our house that evening. I was worried and

Page 11387

1 concerned about the whole thing and about my sister due to arrive -- my

2 husband's sister due to arrive, and I was the only one who was there to

3 keep the whole thing under control and wrap it all up, get things done. So

4 this wasn't something that I was thinking about at the time. It wasn't

5 something that was constantly going on in my mind. I wasn't thinking

6 about where my daughters were, whether they were perhaps doing their

7 homework for the next day in their own rooms or whatever. It all happened

8 very quickly, and there were too many things at the same time.

9 Q. So how long, what period of time elapsed, from the telephone call

10 from your husband until he arrived through the door?

11 A. I can't answer that question. I don't know. I can't be

12 sufficiently specific.

13 Q. Well, I'd like you to see. Somewhere between 11 and 12 at night,

14 would that be a fair estimate?

15 A. No. I assume it could have been by 1800 hours, that time of the

16 evening, but I can't be more specific than that, I'm afraid.

17 Q. So if one was talking about it and you are calculating when your

18 husband arrived, you think he was there by about 1800 hours. Would that

19 be a fair way of putting it?

20 A. No, he could not have -- he could not have reached home.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.

22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mrs. Mrksic's answer

23 was in relation to the phone call, whether she could remember when she

24 received the phone call, and now her answer is being twisted around to

25 mean something else. She said 1800 hours in relation to the phone call,

Page 11388

1 but Mr. Moore is now using that to imply that's when he arrived, which is

2 simply erroneous, or at least that's how I see it.

3 JUDGE PARKER: It's not altogether clear in the questioning, Mr.

4 Moore, but it was introduced with the phone call. So I think if there's

5 any indication, the 1800 hours does refer to the telephone call. If you

6 want to clarify it, please do so.


8 Q. I think -- well, I did ask you the question, what period of time

9 elapsed from the telephone call until your husband arrived through the

10 door, and you said you couldn't answer that. And I said, "Somewhere

11 between 11 and 12 at night, would that be a fair statement?" And you

12 said, "No. I assume it could have been by 1800 hours." Now, I'm just

13 trying to calculate or for you to estimate what the time estimate was from

14 the telephone call until he came through the door.

15 A. It's very difficult for me to estimate simply because I wasn't

16 watching the time.

17 Q. Yes, but this was a special situation. Your husband was coming

18 back after approximately two months. So I would suggest to you just --

19 not only you, but virtually every husband and wife who haven't seen each

20 other, normally they look forward to seeing each other.

21 A. I was often alone while he was away elsewhere on some business or

22 other. It was nothing that I wasn't used to. All I wanted is to have him

23 back safe, alive, and well. That's all that counted.

24 Q. Can I deal -- I will move on to another topic. Often in

25 translation we get variations, and often - and I mean no criticism - it

Page 11389

1 can change. But when you were being asked what day it was, you said the

2 day before St. Andjel's day, which would imply it's on the 20th, and he

3 said he had some commitment. I want to deal with that area of evidence.

4 Can we take it that you don't have a diary?

5 A. No, I don't keep a diary and I don't have an agenda. This

6 happened on the 120th of November. When I said commitments, I meant at

7 the federal secretary the next day. But he didn't say anything when the

8 federal secretary the next day. But he didn't say anything when we spoke

9 on the phone. The commitments, he said, the next day would be in the form

10 of a reception.

11 Q. I don't know what it's like in the Yugoslav army. Sometimes when

12 you have receptions in other armies, wives go along. Did you go to the

13 reception with your husband, or was it a soldier-only event?

14 A. This was a reception with soldiers only in attendance.

15 Q. And what time did he come back on the 21st?

16 A. The 21st, yes, he returned on the evening of the 21st.

17 Q. What time, approximately?

18 A. I don't know exactly. I was with the sister, and I had to look

19 after her.

20 Q. Can I ask you about the sister? When was it she arrived on the

21 20th? Can you give us an estimate of time when that was?

22 A. Not a very precise estimate. Perhaps an hour later. Perhaps.

23 Perhaps less, as I've previously shared with Counsel Domazet. I think

24 possibly less, but it's very difficult to say and I can't be more

25 specific.

Page 11390

1 Q. But what time did she come, approximately? What time did she come

2 through the door? Not just the interval but the time.

3 A. Truly, I don't know. I wasn't watching the time. It was an

4 extremely busy day. Everything they were saying on the news, and the news

5 programme was longer than usual, and then both of them arrived. It was a

6 very busy time for me and I wasn't watching the time. There was no time

7 to watch the time. All I know is on the 20th we went to bed earlier than

8 usual. It might have been about 11.00, because I still remember that we

9 had to get up early the following day.

10 Q. Can I then summarise it in this way: That you remember your

11 husband arriving because of the news programme; is that right?

12 A. That's right, I do remember that.

13 Q. And there were numerous news programmes that evening?

14 A. That's right. A lot of coverage, especially Vukovar, all these

15 special programmes devoted to those events. It was particularly

16 pinpointed in that particular programme that I mentioned.

17 Q. Coric, did Coric come up to the flat with your husband?

18 A. No, no, Coric didn't, he didn't come with my husband.

19 Q. So, really, the first -- the first thing that came to your

20 attention was your husband's arrival, and he came unaccompanied.

21 A. Yes, he came alone.

22 Q. I want to ask you now about the telephone call that your husband

23 apparently made. Is it right to say you didn't hear him make a telephone

24 call; you only found out about that later on?

25 A. I heard him make a phone call. I didn't know who to. I later

Page 11391

1 learned that he was calling the operations centre, the SAC, the military

2 car pool.

3 Q. So in the translation we have, we've got, "He called somebody but

4 I only found out about this later." That means that you were aware of the

5 phone call but not to whom it was going; is that right? Is that what

6 you're now saying?

7 A. Yes. I didn't know who he was calling. I wasn't standing there

8 with him to check. I just heard that he have was phoning about an address

9 and asking for a vehicle to be sent over.

10 Q. The driver who brought Mr. Mrksic's sister was Nenad Relic; is

11 that how you pronounce it?

12 A. That's right. The driver who brought his sister there was Nenad

13 Relic.

14 Q. Had you met or seen that driver before?

15 A. This was the first time I saw him, and this was the only time he

16 ever came to our flat.

17 Q. And so the driver sat down with the commanding officer of the

18 guards division of -- the commander of OG South and shared a glass of

19 wine, did he?

20 A. Yes. He drank the glass of wine. He seemed in a hurry and he

21 soon left. I know they shook hands. I went to the bathroom with the

22 sister so I wasn't paying that much attention to what they were doing.

23 Q. If you haven't spoken to the lawyers before coming into court, how

24 did you know the name of this driver, if this was the only time you ever

25 met him, 15 years after the event?

Page 11392

1 A. I didn't find out about the name until later, the driver's name I

2 mean.

3 Q. Well, who told you about the driver's name, if it wasn't the

4 lawyers?

5 A. Counsel Vasic was the one I asked. I didn't know what the

6 driver's name was.

7 Q. So when did you speak to Counsel Vasic about this name?

8 A. Two days ago.

9 Q. So have you been speaking to Counsel Vasic before coming to court?

10 A. He called me to tell me that I should go and testify. The only

11 thing I asked him about this what's his name.

12 Q. Why should you ask any questions about the driver's name? It's

13 got nothing to do with you, has it, if you don't know his name?

14 A. I wanted to know the name. Why? Simply because I wanted to know.

15 Q. But there was no reason to know, no reason to ask at all. Your

16 evidence was that a driver brought your husband. That's the end of story,

17 isn't it? No need. That's right, isn't it?

18 A. Yes. No, rather no. I needed to ask just because this man was in

19 our house, and all these years later I just felt curious. I wanted to

20 know his name because I had forgotten it. And since he was in my home at

21 that one time, I wanted to know his name.

22 Q. Have you spoken to any other person about this case, apart from

23 Counsel Vasic?

24 A. I didn't talk to anyone else about the case.

25 Q. Do you know Miodrag Panic?

Page 11393

1 A. We don't socialise. I do know him, though. He worked in the

2 guards unit.

3 Q. We know that Miodrag Panic is helping Mr. Vasic in some ways.

4 Did you have any conversation at any time with Miodrag Panic?

5 A. I did not have any conversation with Miodrag Panic at any points

6 in time.

7 Q. Have you had any dealings with a gentleman called Tesic, Borivoje

8 Tesic?

9 A. His name rings a bell. I think he has a different job now, at

10 least that's what I seem to remember reading in the press. I never met

11 him, though.

12 Q. And one final name. Do you know of the name of Vukasinovic?

13 A. What about the first name? Vukasinovic, I don't know.

14 Vukasinovic is not a name I'm familiar with.

15 Q. I'm told it may well be Ljubisa.

16 A. Not familiar. Never heard.

17 Q. Thank you. I'm nearly finished. Can I just go through with two

18 or three other areas. You told us that your husband was involved with the

19 guards for a considerable period of time. Would it be right to say that

20 he was immensely proud of being a guards officer.

21 A. My husband was with the guards throughout. He's proud of his

22 calling. He was a professional soldier. He was training to become a

23 professional soldier. It wasn't during the war that he became an officer.

24 He was very proud of his job, and he loved his job.

25 Q. Did he ever explain to you that there is a widely held belief that

Page 11394

1 the guards were sent to Vukovar because they had gone to Adzic, who was

2 chief of staff, with an attempt to replace Kadirevic and that he was part

3 of that delegation?

4 A. I don't know about that.

5 Q. You're aware that he has given evidence in court in Belgrade about

6 the Ovcara massacres or killings. You're aware of that fact, I presume?

7 A. A court in Belgrade? I don't remember. It's possible, however,

8 that he has given evidence in some court, rather, but I don't remember

9 when.

10 Q. Did he ever tell you, from your recollection, that he's given

11 statements or evidence, I think, in two courts- one in Belgrade and I

12 think one in Novi Sad? Did he ever tell you that?

13 A. He never told me about that.

14 Q. Are you aware that various suggestions and allegations have also

15 been made against him about his behaviour in Bosnia? Did you ever hear

16 that allegation?

17 A. No, I didn't hear that. There are courts, and it is their job to

18 establish whether it's true or not. I never heard that my husband did

19 anything.

20 Q. All right. Let us, then, conclude in the following way: On the

21 morning of the 22nd, your husband left the flat; is that right?

22 A. Yes, on the 22nd of November, my husband left the apartment early

23 in the morning.

24 Q. And can you give us an indication of what time he left?

25 A. He left early in the morning. Another sister and her husband went

Page 11395

1 as well. She had come to see the other sister. And I know that we all

2 had coffee together in the morning. I remember that it was very early.

3 It could have been before 7. And this sister and her family also left.

4 Q. MR. MOORE: I'm going to ask to go into private session, if I may,

5 for the moment.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Private.

7 [Private session]

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 11396

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 [Open session]

5 JUDGE PARKER: We're nearly at the time of our --

6 MR. MOORE: I've nearly finished, actually.

7 Q. I want to go back to the 20th/21st. You say that your husband

8 went off in the morning of the 21st. He was collected by a driver. Do

9 you remember?

10 A. The driver didn't come up. He just rang the intercom bell

11 downstairs, and he went with him.

12 Q. And on the 22nd?

13 A. On the 22nd, he didn't leave with the driver. The same driver

14 waited downstairs in the car in front of the building. My daughter Jelena

15 was on her way to school near Kalinic market, and she asked the

16 driver, "Are you waiting for my father, Mr. Mrksic?" And the driver said,

17 "Yes, that's right." And she said my father had already left. And he

18 asked where she was going, and she said she was on her way to school, and

19 so the driver offered to take her there.

20 Q. On the 22nd, did you see an officer called Tesic?

21 A. Nobody came to the apartment that morning. No, I didn't see

22 anyone.

23 Q. I would suggest to you that almost certainly you are wrong, that

24 your husband did not come that night but came the following morning and

25 only stayed one night with you, not two. Do you understand?

Page 11397

1 A. I do understand. He came on the 20th, in the evening. We were

2 all together, the sister and the family.

3 Q. Where did the sister sleep that night? Because I think you have a

4 three-bedroom flat; is that right?

5 A. Yes, correct. The sister slept in the small room, and my

6 daughter, who normally use that is room, I moved her to a sofa chair in

7 her sister's room. And the bed remained all made up, because I thought

8 that the sister would come back. But after she went to the bus station,

9 she didn't come back, even though I was expecting her to return.

10 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, would a break now be convenient?

12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, even though I

13 have only one or two questions. So if --

14 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we're nearly at the end of the tape, so I

15 think we should break now and that will give you time to reflect over your

16 questions, and I think it might help Mrs. Mrksic to have a little break

17 now. We will resume at 6.00.

18 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.

19 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Domazet.

21 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.

22 Re-examination by Mr. Domazet:

23 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Mrksic, towards the end of the last session,

24 you said in reply to Mr. Moore's question something about where the sister

25 slept. You gave us some details and you said that you left the bed all

Page 11398

1 made up for her, expecting her to return. It wasn't quite clear. So

2 would you please tell us now, when were you expecting her to return?

3 A. She was supposed to go with her friend Anka to look for her

4 husband, so she left. And she was also supposed to meet the children. I

5 was expecting her to come back. But the family was looking for each

6 other, they were in the process of finding each other, and there was no

7 need for her to come back to us.

8 Q. All right. So when you accompanied her to this place, when was

9 it?

10 A. It was on Tuesday. She came on Thursday, when the Guards Brigade

11 returned, on the 24th of November.

12 Q. That's a bit more clear. So that's what you had in mind.

13 There was another question dealing with what your husband did on

14 the 21st, namely, that in the morning he left the apartment and came back

15 in the evening. That's what you said. Am I right?

16 A. Yes. He left in the morning and he came back in the evening

17 hours.

18 Q. Did he tell you about what he had done that day?

19 A. No, he didn't tell me anything.

20 Q. Another question. You had a lot of questions about what you

21 discussed with him. Most of these questions focused on the Vukovar

22 events. I want to ask you this: Given the long career of your husband,

23 and you were married to him throughout that time, was it usual for him to

24 tell you about his works, things that he did at work, his colleagues, and

25 so on? Did he typically discuss that with you before this period and

Page 11399

1 after this period, in general, throughout his career?

2 A. In general, he never talked about his job. He never talked about

3 his colleagues or anything job-related.

4 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Mrksic.

5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have concluded my

6 redirect.

7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Domazet.

8 Mrs. Mrksic, I am pleased to be able to tell you that that

9 completes the questioning of you. The Chamber is grateful that you were

10 able to come here at, it seems, quite short notice and for the assistance

11 you've been able to give us. You are free now to leave whenever it's

12 convenient to return, but that's not suggesting that you must leave now.

13 You may want to remain here a little while.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, what is the position about the next

16 available witness? Could we ask?

17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, given that we spoke

18 about this on Monday, and that at the time I was told that it would be

19 very difficult to ensure the presence of the witness who was subpoenaed so

20 as to be here and testify for three days this week, I worked with

21 Mr. Vasic to ensure the presence of today's witness, Mrs. Mrksic. In the

22 meantime, we were told that all preparations were completed for the

23 arrival of our witness tomorrow, Bisic Stevan, who is scheduled to arrive

24 in the afternoon and he will be able to testify only on Friday. So

25 unfortunately we don't have a witness available for tomorrow due to these

Page 11400

1 circumstances.

2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.

3 [Trial Chamber confers]

4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, do you want to commence your case as

5 well?

6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to say something that has to

7 do with our Defence case, and I think it will be useful for everyone if I

8 were to address the Chamber now with our request.

9 I assume that we are done for the day, so before we leave the

10 courtroom, let me tell you this: This partially stems from Mr. Moore's

11 question today in cross-examination and has to do with a procedural issue

12 that both Mr. Borovic and I wanted to raise, and I think it will be of

13 interest to the third Defence team as well, perhaps later on; namely, you

14 are aware that in the pre-trial brief and in the documents proposed at the

15 time by the OTP in their 65 ter list of exhibits they planned to

16 introduce, there were also documents or, rather, statements given by our

17 clients before various judicial organs in our country. You were able to

18 see on the 65 ter list three statements of all three clients taken by the

19 security administration in 1998, and then there were three statements that

20 they gave as witnesses before the military court in the proceedings that

21 you are familiar with, that you learned of during the Prosecution case.

22 Towards the end of the Prosecution case, Mr. Moore first announced

23 that he wanted to introduce those statements into evidence, and then you

24 gave us a deadline to respond to that request. And then Mr. Moore

25 informed the Chamber orally that they were not going to tender that into

Page 11401

1 evidence, but then asked that he be allowed to use those statements in

2 cross-examination should our clients decide to testify.

3 Since today Mr. Moore put several questions related to the content

4 of the statement of Mr. Mrksic, and since Mr. Theunens, in his evidence,

5 also referred to some facts from those statements, we would like to

6 advance some arguments showing that these statements are absolutely

7 inappropriate, both when analysed in light of the Rules of this Tribunal

8 as well as in light of the provisions of the then valid Yugoslav criminal

9 and criminal/procedural law. They are absolutely unfit to be used in

10 court. But since Mr. Moore gave up on his initial request, we decided to

11 postpone this motion. This was not a factor in deciding whether our

12 clients are going to testify or not. But now, since this involves serious

13 arguments that we would like to present to you, and we would like to do it

14 in writing, would you please give us an eight-day deadline in which we can

15 explain why we believe that these statements may not be tendered into

16 evidence or used in cross-examination so that, following that, you could

17 rule on whether Mr. Moore is allowed to use them in cross-examination when

18 our clients start testifying. We would like to give you written arguments

19 as to why we believe that these statements are inadmissible.

20 This false under Rule 89(D), because we think that this goes

21 against the interests of justice. This is my submission. We would like

22 for you to set a deadline for us to submit this in writing, and if not,

23 then we would ask that we present our arguments orally. But, once again,

24 we need sufficient notice in order to prepare ourselves. Thank you.

25 [Trial Chamber confers]

Page 11402

1 JUDGE PARKER: I take it, Mr. Borovic, that's effectively a joint

2 submission of yourself and Mr. Lukic.

3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honours. We

4 were just wondering whether I need to clarify this further. But if this

5 is sufficient, then we would like to submit a written motion on this.

6 JUDGE PARKER: You're of the mind that you should have the time

7 you seek, eight days, within which to file any submissions you wish to

8 make and to serve them on the other parties. The Prosecution would have a

9 week to respond to that, if necessary. And if Mr. Domazet wants to add

10 anything, he certainly would have leave to do so. Not now but in the

11 written submissions.

12 So after service, within eight days, Mr. Domazet and Mr. Moore

13 will have a further week within which they may wish to put something.

14 That being so, we must now adjourn. We're not making any comment

15 on the circumstances that have arisen, but we will be looking at the

16 question of witnesses in the three cases, next week as foreshadowed.

17 We will -- oh, Mr. Moore.

18 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. It's

19 quite simply one matter that I know there's going to be a ruling -- well,

20 I suspect there will be a ruling. The Court had made an order that there

21 should be appropriate summaries by this Friday in relation to the

22 witnesses principally from the defence of Mr. Mrksic. I've spoken to my

23 learned friend, Mr. Domazet. For him to answer now, if the Court wishes,

24 but the impression I get is we will not have appropriate summaries. If

25 that is the case, we would submit that that is unfair. We have done

Page 11403

1 everything we can to accommodate Mr. Mrksic's predicament, but we are now

2 finding ourselves wholly disadvantaged by not having summaries of any

3 consequence at all. The Court has made, I think, many lenient orders, and

4 I don't mean that unkindly, because of the circumstances. But the time

5 has now come, we would submit, where we must have proper summaries in

6 accordance with the Rules.

7 JUDGE PARKER: As I recall it, there are five witnesses in respect

8 of whom the order is for this Friday and the balance later.

9 MR. MOORE: Perhaps Mr. Domazet can assist the Court.

10 JUDGE PARKER: That is the order, and at the moment we proceed on

11 the basis that it is going to be complied with, unless Mr. Domazet is

12 going to stand now and say that it won't be.

13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we will definitely

14 abide by the ruling. I will do my best to even do it before the deadline,

15 if possible. If I can remember, our deadline is by Friday. And for the

16 next group of witnesses, the first five are already available with

17 summaries, and I think that we need to give summaries for witnesses 6 to

18 10. If possible, we will do even summaries beyond those first 10. And

19 then, as I said to you, Mr. Vasic will be available next week, and as soon

20 as he's here, he and I will go over the witness list and we will try to

21 shorten it and -- in relation to the witnesses who will be withdrawn, we

22 will not be providing summaries for them. But at any rate, we will comply

23 with the ruling. I don't want Mr. Moore to have any concerns about us not

24 meeting deadlines.

25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.

Page 11404

1 I think the matter must lie there, Mr. Moore.

2 MR. MOORE: Yes, thank you very much.

3 JUDGE PARKER: In the circumstances, we must now adjourn until

4 Friday morning, at 9. And on Friday morning, we're in Courtroom III, just

5 so that people turn up in the right courtroom. We will now adjourn.

6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.16 p.m.,

7 to be reconvened on Friday, the 1st day of

8 September, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.