1 Tuesday, 12 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.30 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honour. This is
9 case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Today is Tuesday, February 12, 2008. Let me greet the
12 Prosecution, the witness, as well as Mr. Seselj and everyone assisting us
13 in this trial.
14 Today we're going to proceed with the examination-in-chief of the
15 witness. Let me remind you that the Prosecution used one hour and 25
16 minutes. It was given four hours originally. Therefore, the Prosecution
17 have two hours and 35 minutes left.
18 Let me tell the Prosecution that if you produce video or a
19 document, I would like you to tell us what is the date of the document, of
20 the material, the origin, in order to avoid any time-consuming objections.
21 So please give this information about the material, date, origin before
22 you put questions to the witness about the -- this material. If we
23 proceed that way, we'll avoid objections. It might not be possible, for
24 example, if you have a document that does not have a date, but then you
25 should tell us in advance.
1 Yes, Mr. Seselj.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I must draw your
3 attention to two problems. One of these problems I have been assisted
4 with by the Prosecution, because yesterday I received a document which is
5 part of my book, The Vampire's Ball. I disclosed this book in the set of
6 80 books of mine as early as 2003. It's a newspaper article talking about
7 a rally before the Federal Assembly, and in fact it's the rally we spoke
8 about on Thursday. And you remember that Mr. Mussemeyer did not know
9 either where the meeting was held or on what date, but he did have all
10 this information at his disposal, and this is evidence of that fact. I
11 don't know if the Chamber has received the documents I received yesterday.
12 He had all this information, but it did not suit him to present it,
13 because he wanted this witness to say something different.
14 You will recall that on Thursday when this witness was being
15 examined a video clip was shown where the crowd is yelling, "Revenge,
16 revenge." When asked by the Prosecutor what the revenge -- what revenge
17 was being referred to, the witness said it was revenge because of the
18 crimes committed by the Croats in World War II. However, if you read this
19 text, you will see that the crowd was responding to the killing of
20 Vukasin Soskocanin, the commander of the Borovo Selo defence, and it was
21 thought at the time that he had been killed, whereas later on it
22 transpired that he had drowned in the Danube.
23 The Prosecution disclosed this to me yesterday, and I suppose to
24 you too. The first page bears the ERN number 03474996. It's an article
25 entitled "Masked ball before the Assembly," and it was published in the
1 Belgrade daily Osmica on the 21st of May, 1991, and the author of the text
2 is Zoran Krstic.
3 I have to tell you this in order to draw your attention to the
4 kind of methods being used by the Prosecution to -- to introduce lies into
5 this trial.
6 The second point I have to raise is this: Yesterday -- we saw an
7 article in the journal Epoha last week, and we were told that the author
8 was Dobrica Cosic. I immediately drew your attention to the fact that
9 this was a falsehood, and then Mr. Mussemeyer said that it had been a
10 mistake. Well, now look at this witness statement made in 2002. On page
11 9 of the addendum where this witness comments on certain exhibits. It
12 says here that the article was written by Dobrica Cosic. It's 06030949,
13 page 9. So it's not a mistake made by Mr. Mussemeyer at the last session.
14 It is a trick plotted by the Prosecution as early as 2002.
15 I'm drawing your attention to this because I feel that you as the
16 Trial Chamber have to intervene in such situations and that the Prosecutor
17 has to have certain sanctions imposed upon him. I insisted on this last
18 time, and I insist on it now and it's up to you to decide how to proceed.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Seselj has raised two
20 issues. Does the Prosecutor want to respond?
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes, Your Honour. The first reproach was that
22 we -- I sent yesterday this article from Mr. Seselj's book, "A Masked Ball
23 In Front of the Parliament." I did this because I was tasked by the Trial
24 Chamber to give the date and the location of this video. We made a little
25 research, as I may call this, and found this article which is exactly
1 describing what happened at that day. Because it's ten pages long I
2 didn't want to surprise the Trial Chamber and the accused with this and
3 this is the reason I disclosed it already yesterday, to give everybody a
4 chance to read it.
5 And the other reproach Mr. Seselj made that I was using this video
6 on purpose to -- to give a false impression to the word "Revenge." I
7 remind the Trial Chamber that it was not the Prosecution who asked what
8 the revenge was referring to, it was the Judge, as to my recollection.
9 The second document where we say that the author was Mr. Coric, I
10 corrected it last time. It was the impression in the Prosecution this
11 article was always referred to as the Coric document, and this is because
12 Mr. Coric is named on the first page of this newspaper and therefore we
13 always refer to the Coric document which was wrong and I corrected it last
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We've taken note of
16 your comments. Let me come back to the first issue though. Admittedly
17 when you see a video where the crowd is calling "Revenge, revenge," if you
18 put it in context, in the context of the indictment, then you can
19 establish a nexus, a connection between the two, but if you put this video
20 in the context of a crowd calling "Revenge," because crime has been
21 committed in Borovo Selo against someone, then the meaning of the video is
22 not quite the same. That's why it's so important when you produce a
23 document to give us any type of relevant information, the source of the
24 document, the place, the location it took place in, and so on and so
25 forth. Therefore, we are in a better position to understand the document,
1 because if the document is misinterpreted, then it could be given more
2 importance or less importance than it should. That's the reason for the
3 objections raised by the accused, but I believe that it will -- won't be
4 any problem in the future. The Prosecution will be able to tell us, okay,
5 this is from such-and-such person, from such-and-such date, and things
6 will be much clearer.
7 I've taken note of the comments of Mr. Seselj. I've taken note of
8 your answer.
9 Mr. Seselj.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there's another
11 problem here. I know that it's not possible here in the courtroom to show
12 entire -- the entire footage of the rallies I attended and the speeches I
13 made. I know that fragments have to be presented here to have the most
14 important parts shown, but I think that the Trial Chamber has to intervene
15 every time that the footage is artificially produced.
16 You were able to see for yourself how often that footage had been
17 cut and how it was actually a compilation of different parts. This cannot
18 be admitted. It has to be an entire fragment, and we who are viewing it
19 have to be aware that it's an entire fragment. As soon as something is
20 cut up, I know that it is useless. How do we know that something has not
21 been inserted from some other footage?
22 You will recall the BBC footage where some statements of mine are
23 combined with other footage made somewhere else, who knows where. This
24 again is a compilation that has no evidentiary value. It has no probative
25 value. What is shown here on video has to be an entire piece of footage.
1 As soon as we see that it's been edited and cut up and something might
2 have been inserted, then it can no longer be admissible.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. This is now on the
5 This morning I was reviewing part of your testimony in the
6 Milosevic case about that BBC programme, and you had challenged the entire
7 thing. It's something I remember very well. And as a professional and
8 well-informed Judge, I am supposed to take into account everything. And
9 when viewing a video made -- that has been edited and with a commentary,
10 then you have to put yourself questions, but the proceedings will help the
11 Judges to draw conclusions based on footage that is not complete and that
12 could have been intentionally or not manipulated.
13 I'm now going to give the floor to the Prosecution for them to
14 proceed with the examination-in-chief.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I want to refer to your last remark. We don't
16 manipulate any video. If the accused has to object to something that it
17 is not complete or other things are not correct, he may do this. We are
18 in a position to play the whole video if it's necessary, just to show that
19 nothing has been manipulated by the Prosecution.
20 I will proceed with the examination-in-chief.
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: And refer to this video we discussed about. It
22 was shown last time. I think it's not necessary to show it again. I only
23 wanted to refer to the last sentence where it said -- Mr. Seselj would
24 have said this: "The Croats can create their new state but only West of
25 the Karlobag line. Everything east of that line is Serbian."
1 Last time I had the possibility to put only one question. I want
2 to ask the witness again.
3 WITNESS: WITNESS VS-004 [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examination by Mr. Mussemeyer: [Continued]
6 Q. Mr. Witness, was this the typical way how Mr. Seselj spoke about
7 the Karlobag line?
8 A. Yes. When that line is in question, Karlobag, Ogulin, Karlovac,
9 Virovitica, that is the typical way he spoke about it.
10 Q. I would like now to come to the state which Mr. Seselj had in
11 mind, which should have been created as a Greater Serbia. Can you tell us
12 what kind of relation to other ethnic compositions Mr. Seselj had in mind?
13 A. I don't know what precisely he had in mind, but I do know that in
14 that Greater Serbia that was advocated there was a concern that Serbs as a
15 people should be protected. If they couldn't live in Yugoslavia, they
16 would live in a Greater Serbia. But I never heard him speaking in
17 positive terms of either Croats or Bosniaks.
18 Q. Can you tell us how he spoke about Muslims and Albanians?
19 A. He spoke about Muslims that they were Serbs of the Muslim faith.
20 I don't remember what he said about Albanians, but he said the same thing
21 about the Croats as well.
22 Q. Was he using derogatory terms in respect to these minorities?
23 A. I don't remember that.
24 Q. Do you know if his comments about these minorities have been
25 criticised in the media in Serbia?
1 A. Yes. Yes, they were, but I don't remember the details.
2 Q. Do you know who criticised this?
3 A. I think it was opposition papers and opposition politicians.
4 Q. Do you know if there have existed any restrictions for him to make
5 these kind of remarks in the media?
6 A. I don't remember that.
7 Q. Are you in a position to tell us how Mr. Seselj spoke about the
8 Croats, the Croatian state and its leaders?
9 A. Well, he said the Croats could have their state east of the border
10 we have just mentioned. As for the leadership, he would call them
11 Ustasha. He would say that about Mesic, Ante Markovic and the others. I
12 remember that.
13 Q. I would like to play another video. It's 65 ter number 6020.
14 It's a video about the same event we spoke. It happened on the 15th of
15 May in front of the parliament. The Prosecution does not know who is the
16 originator of this video. The Prosecution got it on the 3rd December,
17 1994, from an unknown person.
18 For the interpreters, it's V000-0101.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Vojislav Seselj: The power has not
21 been constituted by democratic elections. It is a direct prolongation of
22 Tito's despotism and tyranny. That power is especially represented by the
23 second big sworn enemy of the Serbian people, Ante Markovic."
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you.
25 Q. Mr. Witness, can you confirm if this was a typical way how
1 Mr. Seselj spoke about Croatian leaders?
2 A. Yes, I think so. I think that's how he spoke about them, yes.
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can we have admitted this video clip into
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P180.
6 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I want to continue with another exhibit. It's
7 the 65 ter number 411. This document has already been marked for
8 identification under the number P39. It's an interview which Mr. Seselj
9 gave to the German magazine Der Spiegel on 6th of August, 1991.
10 Q. Mr. Witness, did you have a chance to read this article before you
11 came or when you came to The Hague?
12 A. As far as I can remember, I saw this before.
13 Q. In the third paragraph, Mr. Seselj speaks in this interview about
14 the amputation of Croatia and that he was the commander of the volunteers
15 of Borovo Selo. What is the meaning of amputation of Croatia?
16 A. Well, the very word "amputation" means cutting off a part, a part
17 of Croatia from the whole, probably for the purpose of achieving the
18 Karlobag, Karlovac, Virovitica border.
19 Q. Was this used also by other Serbian politicians?
20 A. I don't remember, but I don't think so.
21 Q. I would like to come to paragraph 5 in the B/C/S version where it
22 says -- the question is: "What borders would that be? The borders are
23 meant from Greater Serbia?"
24 And Mr. Seselj's answer was: "Aside from provinces of Vojvodina
25 and Kosovo, republics Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro
1 should be attached to Serbia, as well as the territories in Croatia which
2 are inhabited by Serbs with the border along the
3 Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica line."
4 Is this the area which Mr. Seselj meant to be Greater Serbia?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In the next article it is said by the journalist that that would
7 mean that Croatia would be reduced to one-third of its territory, and
8 Mr. Seselj answered: "To as much as you can see from Zagreb cathedral
9 tower. It is not enough to the Croats. We will take everything."
10 Are you aware of this quote, and was this the way as Mr. Seselj
11 referred to the reduction of Croatia?
12 A. Well, as he spoke about amputation, this would mean it would be
13 reduced to the borders it had had. As for the displacement of 30.000
14 people from Rijeka, I don't remember that detail. I'm reading about it
15 now. I do know that Zagreb cathedral was mentioned.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can the volume be
17 turned up? I can't hear the witness very well. I can hear the
18 interpreters very well but not the witness.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard that Zagreb cathedral was
20 mentioned and later on some politicians in Croatia quoted those words.
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
22 Q. Was the meaning that all what you can see from the tower of the
23 Zagreb cathedral is only Croatia or was there a different meaning?
24 A. Well, it means that Croatia would be so reduced that one would see
25 its borders from the tower of Zagreb cathedral. That's a narrow part
1 around Zagreb itself where the border with Bosnia is. As soon as you
2 mention the view from Zagreb cathedral it would mean that the borders of
3 Croatia would be greatly reduced.
4 Q. I want you to comment on the part which is on page 2, paragraph 3,
5 where it says: "And if Muslims oppose the attempt to be deprived as a
6 nation status." And the answer was: "In that case they will be expelled
7 from Bosnia." The question: "To where?" The answer: " To Anatolia."
8 Do you know this quote from Mr. Seselj?
9 A. I don't remember that quote, no.
10 Q. Further down on page 2, second column, paragraph 8, Mr. Seselj
11 said: "The question was you are the leader of your own volunteer army.
12 What was -- what is your strategy? The answer: I am a duke. This title
13 has been given to me by the oldest Chetnik leader alive, Momcilo Djujic,
14 from California. I organise interventions by our guerrilla organisation,
15 define aims of attack and points that have to be won."
16 Do you know if this description from Mr. Seselj describes
17 correctly his role?
18 A. The first part, yes, that he was a duke and that he was granted
19 this title by the oldest Chetnik leader alive, Momcilo Djujic, who lived
20 in the USA, but I don't remember this other part about the guerrilla.
21 Q. Next question, it's on page 2, third column, paragraphs 2 and 3 of
22 the Serbian version. "It is said 80 per cent of the Federal army are
23 Serbs. Why don't you let them defend Serbs?" Mr. Seselj's answer was:
24 "Because this army has not protected us Serbs till now. They only
25 intervene when Serbs are fighting against Croats. When they appear, we
1 immediately retreat. There are still some Communist commanders in it who
2 have prejudice against Chetniks."
3 Did Seselj's men act under the command of the JNA or did they act
5 A. Well, I can't speak about all the places where Mr. Seselj's
6 volunteers were, but as far as I know, up there in Western Slavonia there
7 was no army in one area where Mr. Seselj's volunteers were. As for the
8 other areas I wasn't there so I don't know if they were together or
10 Q. Thank you. I want to come to another issue. This is the
11 relationship between Mr. Seselj and Arkan. Do you know how their
12 relationship was, and can you describe this to the Judges?
13 A. At the time, to the best of my recollection, and it was also in
14 the newspapers and the press, there were some quarrels between Arkan,
15 Mr. Arkan and Mr. Seselj. They were quarreling about who was the greater
16 Serb and the greater patriot. So they would try to denigrate each other
17 in a way. There was rivalry and mutual recrimination between them.
18 Q. Were they bragging about their deeds and to the deeds of their men
19 on the battlefield?
20 A. I think they each said that they were braver warriors than the
21 other one, and better warriors and more honourable warriors than the other
23 Q. I with like to come now to the arrival of Mr. Seselj's volunteers
24 in Croatia if there aren't any questions from the Bench. No.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have a question for
1 the witness about the relationship between Arkan and Seselj. You stated
2 that these two men were in conflictual relationship because each one of
3 them said that he was a better patriot than the other but what I find
4 relevant here is the following: I would like you to tell me if, according
5 to you, there was an understanding between them, an agreement between
6 them, or were there differences between them?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's hard for me to answer
8 that question, Your Honour. My feeling was that they were not in complete
9 agreement, that they had two different approaches. Mr. Seselj was first
10 and foremost a politician, and later on he joined in the defence of
11 Serbian interests as he himself said, whereas Mr. Arkan, from the very
12 first day, was a warrior involved in the war. So I think their approaches
13 were different in that way.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You answered my
16 Prosecution, please.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
18 Q. Mr. Witness, can you tell us when the war broke out in Croatia?
19 A. Well, the war broke out, I would say, immediately after the Borovo
20 events, which was towards the end of May when the incidents first started
21 and they burgeoned and became a war conflict in June and July when the
22 flames of conflict were burning. In 1991, of course. And later on in
23 Western Slavonia, this was on the 19th of August, it started a little
24 earlier in SAO Krajina, I don't know the exact date when it started there,
25 but that's it.
1 Q. What happened on the 19th of August in Western Slavonia?
2 A. Well, I'd like to mention first of all that just a few days before
3 the 19th of August, which would make it the 14th of August, in Okucani the
4 forces of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia stormed
5 the place and they started by shooting around Okucani and there was a
6 conflict between the local population and the police and it spread, the
7 conflict spread. And then on the 19th of August, there was an all-out
8 resistance or attack by the Serb Territorial Defence from Pakrac, Daruvar,
9 Grubisno Polje, Orahovica, Podravska Slatina, Pozega and so on and there
10 was a broader conflict between the Croatian police forces and the Serb
11 Territorial Defence.
12 Q. So the openance of this war were the Croatian police forces and
13 the Territorial Defence?
14 A. Yes. At the beginning it was the Croatian police and then a few
15 days later it was the National Guards Corps as a new army formed of the
16 Republic of Croatia.
17 Q. Can you please tell us what was the role of the TOs?
18 A. Well, it organised the resistance in all these municipalities and
19 the Secretariat for National Defence established them of the
20 municipalities that existed in Western Slavonia, the ones I've already
21 mentioned. They carried out a mobilisation of the male population, and
22 they had reserve uniforms that they kept in their homes. These people
23 were armed, and they established some sort of military defence.
24 Q. I would like to show the Exhibit 65 ter number 584. Mr. Witness,
25 do you know this document?
1 A. Yes. I've already seen it several times.
2 Q. For the others, for the Judges and the accused, this is a report
3 on the organisation of the local Serb Territorial Defence, Western
4 Slavonia, and it's from the 16th of October, 1991.
5 Mr. Witness, did you ever saw this document and can you tell us if
6 it is authentic?
7 A. Yes. Judging by the names of the people on that list, or at least
8 I know a part of those people, their posts, and, yes, the document is an
9 authentic one.
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can we please have admitted this document into
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, number, please.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P181.
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
15 Q. Mr. Witness, there was a time -- or can you tell us if volunteer
16 units arrived in Eastern and Western Slavonia and when?
17 A. Well, as -- I don't know about Eastern Slavonia when they arrived.
18 I heard that they were there. Now as regards Western Slavonia, I think
19 that they started arriving sometime at the beginning of October 1991.
20 Q. Do you know who sent them?
21 A. Well, according to what I'd heard they came from Serbia and they
22 were volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party.
23 Q. Only of the Serbian Radical Party or also from other
25 A. At the time, people said that they came -- that various volunteers
1 came and movements, but on the ground people would rank them all together
2 under the heading title of volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party.
3 Q. Did they call them volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party or in a
4 different way?
5 A. Well, they referred to them as the volunteers or the Chetniks,
7 Q. Have these volunteers been called by local inhabitants? Do you
8 know about this?
9 A. I heard that the Territorial Defence Staffs asked for assistance
10 in manpower so that they could -- so that the fighting would be easier in
11 the area.
12 Q. Did you yourself see them arrive sometime?
13 A. I saw buses on one occasion who were -- which were arriving
14 towards Zvecevo late. It was already dark. Several buses arrived, and
15 the people in them were dressed differently. They didn't just have one
16 type of uniform. They had different badges and insignia on them.
17 Q. From which company were these buses?
18 A. Well, I don't remember that.
19 Q. Do you know if these volunteers were already armed or not?
20 A. Well, as far as I remember, they did have weapons with them.
21 Q. Weapons already when they left the bus? And what kind of weapons,
22 if you remember?
23 A. I think they were military weapons, the PAPs. Semi-automatic
25 Q. Thank you. Were they welcomed by the local population?
1 A. Well, people reacted differently. Some people were happy that
2 somebody had come in to help them and not to be left alone. Other people
3 were wary seeing who these people were. So it was wartime and people felt
4 differently towards them.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, you just said
6 that it was war. The Prosecutor is going very quickly and there's some
7 events that are not mentioned, so I'd like to go back a bit if I may.
8 You said that in August, on August 14 -- on August 19 there was
9 Pakrac, but on the 14th of August there were other incidents, and I
10 thought I understood that the Croatian police entered in different towns,
11 and at the time there was a conflict. Is this the way it was perceived on
12 the field? Did you feel that the Croatian police was entering into towns,
13 that at that moment the ethnical Serbians tried to get together within the
14 Territorial Defence in order to oppose the arrival of the Croatian police?
15 Is this what the source of the problem was?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I started my answer,
17 and I began with the 19th of August, but then I went back a few days
18 before that event and which was the cause of all the events to follow.
19 But in response to your question, I'd like to go back even further after
20 what happened in Pakrac on the 2nd of March and the 1st of April in
21 Plitvice and then the 1st of May in Borovo Selo, to those events. And
22 later on what happened was that in the vicinity of Pakrac municipality, on
23 Mount Papuk, the policemen wearing uniforms of the forestry workers wanted
24 to enter into the depth of the Serb villages where the Serbs, at least the
25 menfolk, had already started to take to the forests with weapons, and
1 there was a clash between the Croatian police at the time and the Serbian
2 Territorial Defence because they found themselves in the forest
3 face-to-face, and this was a surprise, and there was fear amongst the
4 Serbian population, this conduct on the part of the Croats, because there
5 was a lot of talk about arming the Croatian police and Croatian guard, and
6 then the Serbs self-organised. They created their own Territorial Defence
7 in case the conflict spread.
8 So, Your Honour, this was a play of nerves, who would yield first
9 or who would move first. And that's what happened in Okucani. The
10 Croatian police moved first. And let me add that it was -- this happened
11 in Grubisno Polje too to the north of Pakrac. The other was to the south
12 of Pakrac where there was also a clash between the Croatian police and the
13 Serb population and then all the events, the fears, the waiting, resulted
14 in a broader conflict, and so from all these places, from all these
15 localities there were a settling of accounts, if I can use the term, to
16 prevent any further incidents.
17 Now, I don't know he what was in the head of the Territorial
18 Defence commanders, what they wanted to achieve through these activities
19 of theirs but I do know that a sort of all-out offensive, all-out uprising
20 occurred in Western Slavonia and the 19th of August is marked as a day of
21 uprising by the Croats. And the Serbs see that day as the day when they
22 started defending themselves in an organised fashion from the further
23 storming of Croatian police into a territory which was exclusively Serb
24 apart from a few villages which were partially Croatian or where the
25 Croats were the minority population in those generally Serb villages.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What you've just said which is
2 very important to determine the origin of the problem. I sum up. So
3 according to what you say, starting on March 2nd, 1st April, 1st May, 2nd
4 Borovo Selo, then August 14, August 19, according to what you say,
5 apparently the Croatian police came into villages that were mainly
6 Serbian, and at the time it seemed that there was a resistance or even an
7 uprising of the Serbian population who self-organised, procured weapons,
8 and so on. Is this how things happen?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
11 Second question: Why did the Croatian police, as of March 2nd,
12 and then April 1st and so on, why did they engage into this kind of
13 operation? What was their motivation for this?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When Croatia became a new state, was
15 established as a new state, it changed its symbols. Instead of the star
16 on the flag and on the caps and uniforms of the police and army, there was
17 the chequer-board insignia which is the coat of arms of Croatia which the
18 Serbs saw negatively during World War II, and the Croatian state wanted to
19 establish a new police force in all the localities in Croatia. Where the
20 Serbs were in the majority and where the Serbs had their police the Serbs
21 put up a resistance in -- they resisted this new chequer-board insignia.
22 And so the Serb police station separated because they did not want to come
23 under the jurisdiction of the Croatian authorities, because they saw this
24 new police force with the chequer-board as something they could no longer
25 trust and have confidence in because the Croatian leadership said that
1 there were too many Serbs in the police force, that there were too many of
2 them in other places. That meant to the Serbs that new policemen should
3 be brought in to replace the Serbs.
4 So on the 2nd of March there was the conflict in Pakrac when the
5 new Croatian police force wearing the chequer-board insignia came. I
6 think there were some 40 of them who arrived in Pakrac and the Croatian
7 police were disarmed because they were thought to be taking away the
8 weapons from the police station. So the chief of the police station
9 disarmed then and called in the reserve police force. And I would say
10 that the Croatian state did this too quickly and the Serbs saw this as an
11 imposition on them in these places without any psychological preparation
12 before that. And so there was resistance and a conflict between the Serb
13 police in those places and the new associated Croatian police who was
14 given an assignment by the Croatian leaders to establish control over that
15 whole area.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I understood what
17 you said extremely well.
18 So you were in Pakrac. You originate from Pakrac.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The document that was shown to
21 you by the Prosecutor on the setting up of the Territorial Defence of
22 Pakrac was headed by Zozo Vezmin [as interpreted]. There were three
23 battalions, 13 companies, 1.740 soldiers: 1st Battalion, 540 soldiers;
24 2nd, 740 soldiers; 3rd Battalion, 450 soldiers. So these are very
25 significant figures. Was this the reality on the field? Did the Pakrac
1 TO really comprise more than 1.700 soldiers altogether?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but they weren't
3 soldiers of 19 or 20 years old. They were men from 18 to 60, ranging in
4 ages from 18 to 60. So the figures are correct. And it was the
5 Territorial Defence of military-able, active men who, according to their
6 deployment, were in the Territorial Defence or the Secretariat for
7 National Defence. They had their own records according to different
8 branches and services. They had uniforms at home, all the reservists.
9 All the reservists had their uniforms at home, but they were issued
10 weapons subsequently, and I don't know how that was done.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I'm sure you will shed some
12 light. There's one thing I don't really understand. At the time Croatia
13 was a republic that had been first recognised by the Vatican, then by
14 Germany, then by the international community. So it's a republic.
15 Why is it that in Pakrac a TO is set up and a report is sent to
16 the Ministry of Defence of the Serbian republic? Could you explain how
17 this happened?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at that time when the
19 report was compiled, Croatia was not an internationally recognised state.
20 This is October 1991. I think Croatia was recognised on the 15th of
21 January. I might be wrong there, but I'm not very good on dates, but I
22 think that was it. 1992, which means several months later.
23 Now, at that time Croatia was a component part of Yugoslavia
24 still, and it was one national defence for the whole country, and each
25 municipality had its Secretariat for National Defence with all the tasks
1 and assignments for peacetime and wartime when it came to defence, and
2 that is why the lists and records that we have seen here was compiled by
3 the staffs at the Territorial Defence of the municipalities and probably
4 the Joint Staff of Western Slavonia which was sent on - I don't know by
5 what channels - up to the Ministry of the Republic of Serbia. So that
6 was done by the TO staffs in 1991 when Croatia was still not a recognised
7 state internationally.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So if I understood
9 everything, in October 1991 when the volunteers of the Serbian Radical
10 Party arrived, the Pakrac TO depended and reported to the Ministry of
11 Defence of Serbia.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't claim whether it depended on
13 it, but I know that the TO, for instance, relied on the Yugoslav People's
14 Army, and through the Ban -- corps came to Okucani and reached the town of
15 Pakrac itself. The Banja Luka Corps. And there was just one man - I
16 think his name was Jovo Trbojevic - from the JNA he came from Novi Sad
17 directly to Vocin, but the Yugoslav People's Army never went further than
18 Pakrac municipality and the TO was linked to the JNA. Now, whether the
19 JNA acted within the frameworks of the Ministry of the Defence of Serbia
20 or something else I really don't know.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good. One last question and
22 then I will give the floor to the Prosecution.
23 When the Serbian volunteers arrived, when these volunteers from
24 the Serbian Radical Party arrived in Pakrac, where were they housed? Were
25 they housed by the TO or of their own accord? Did they decide where to
1 find housing? Can you tell us how it happened?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in the Pakrac region I don't
3 think they were there. They went to Zvecevo, Vocin, Slatina, that area,
4 more to the north where the Yugoslav People's Army was not located. All I
5 can conclude is they went via the TO, because it was the TO which was in
6 command at a local level in the municipalities. They were the local
8 Now, I don't think they could set up on their own. They had to be
9 led by someone, so I assume it was the TO.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So what you say is
11 the following: When they arrived in Pakrac, the TO sent them to Zvecevo,
12 Vocin, Slatina. That's what you just said.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think that the TO invited
14 them to come in. Whether it was Slatina, Vocin, or somewhere else, that's
15 how they came to come in and put up in the area.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
18 Q. I want to continue with the volunteers. Mr. Witness, can you tell
19 us what kind of reputation did they have among the local population?
20 A. Well, different reputation. Some people liked them and relied
21 upon them. Other people were afraid of them, depending on the experience
22 that people had and the contacts people had with them, because Western
23 Slavonia in World War II was a partisan area which -- well, there were
24 Ustashas on the part of the Croatian army and the Partisans that were made
25 up of Serbs and Croats. Serbs were in the majority.
1 Now, the arrival of the Chetniks some people saw as -- that they
2 should be wary of them, and -- because bad things were written about the
3 Chetniks, whereas good things were written about the partisans. Now, some
4 people relied on them because there was no other assistance coming in or
5 other force that would help them in the war that was going on, and the
6 Serbs had the feeling that they were left on their own. So the
7 relationship towards them was different depending on people's experience
8 of them. And because people were left to their own devices, people
9 preferred to have someone with them, not to be left alone, to fend for
11 Q. Do you know if Mr. Seselj ever visited his volunteers in the area
12 of Western Slavonia?
13 A. Yes, I do remember. That was sometime in late autumn. I think it
14 was in October when Mr. Seselj arrived in Zvecevo and Slatina to tour his
16 Q. Is it also possible that it was in November?
17 A. Yes, quite possible. As I say, I don't remember dates that well,
18 but it was late autumn, anyway. November, yes, November, because on the
19 15th of October, there was an exodus from Grubisno Polje and the defence
20 of Western Slavonia was shaken by that.
21 Q. Did you meet Mr. Seselj on that occasion?
22 A. Yes, I did meet him. We were at a dinner together in Vocin with
23 some other people.
24 Q. Can you tell us who accompanied him?
25 A. I can't remember exactly the people who accompanied him, but I
1 think all together with him there were Veljko Vukic, Miljenko Miletic, I
2 think Cedo Gacesa was also there and Petkovic, Veljko Vukelic, myself, and
3 perhaps one or two other people. Not too many of us as far as I remember.
4 Q. Was there also a person called Ilija Sacic [sic], if I pronounce
5 it correctly?
6 A. You mean Ilija Sasic. I think he was there too, yes.
7 Q. Did you speak to Mr. Seselj on that occasion?
8 A. Well, yes. We all talked amongst ourselves, discussed the general
9 topics, the state of affairs in Slavonia and people who had taken part in
10 the events spoke about those.
11 Q. Can you please shortly describe what was your relationship to
12 Mr. Seselj at that time.
13 A. We weren't too close, but we did talk -- or, well, in the way
14 people talk when they meet.
15 Q. Is it correct when we say you had the same goals more or less?
16 A. Well, I don't really think so. Not as far as political goals are
17 concerned and as far as -- but as far as the war is concerned, well, no
18 there, too, because I was exclusively in favour of a peaceful solution,
19 whereas Mr. Seselj was a leader, and as such he accepted combat as a means
20 of resolving the issue when it came to the war.
21 Q. After the volunteers had arrived in the area of Western Slavonia
22 have there been committed any crimes, do you know about it?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, I think you're
24 going too fast. There's a dinner that the witness is attending with
25 Mr. Seselj. It might be good to know whether during that dinner there
1 were any conflicts or any disputes among all these people or whether they
2 shared the same objective.
3 So there's this dinner in Vocin. During the dinner did you
4 express openly your own solution, which seemed to be a more peaceful
5 solution, and did Mr. Seselj mention the problem but calling for a
6 military solution, or did you just talk about, you know, the weather?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the dinner wasn't in Vocin, it
8 was at Zvecevo, and at the dinner -- well, there was the general topic.
9 We didn't discuss any concrete military action. My standpoint was
10 well-known to most of the people who attended. I did not present my views
11 because that was neither the place nor the time to do so, and my
12 compatriots were in the Territorial Defence, so I was different from them,
13 and we didn't discuss any military operations and conducting them in the
14 defence of Western Slavonia, but the general situation what was happening
15 in Serbia. People wanted to hear about things they didn't know about
16 because they were cut off from the events there in the environment in
17 which they lived.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So as far as you remember, what
19 did Mr. Seselj say on that day? Do you remember? Yes or no? Because
20 when you meet Mr. Seselj, I'm sure you remember that. So do you remember
21 what he said?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, nothing special. He didn't
23 say anything particular that I could recall now and tell you. They were
24 just general topics.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Did he talk about
1 his own arrival and the arrival of the volunteers from his party? Did he
2 expound on this? Did he say why he was doing this or was this just not
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He just mentioned that he had come
5 to tour his volunteers, to talk to them, to see how they were, what the
6 problems were, how they felt, and then he toured his volunteers the next
7 day, people from the Territorial Defence.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When he came was he wearing
9 civilian clothes or military clothes?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was wearing a military uniform,
11 the camouflage uniform. It was the standard type of camouflage uniform
12 that was worn at the time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time anyone could have a
14 camouflage uniform without any problem?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite a lot of people had camouflage
16 uniforms. I don't know how they came by them. At the beginning it was
17 difficult, at the very beginning of the war, but later on the Yugoslav
18 People's Army uniforms arrived and they were -- or, rather, that uniform
19 was worn more than the JNA-type uniform. So people managed to come by
20 these camouflage uniforms more.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last detail. Was he seemingly
22 wearing a weapon or not?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think he had a pistol.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another question. At the time
25 could one walk around carrying arms when one wasn't a soldier?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at that time there were few
2 people walking around without weapons. Those were rare individuals.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you yourself, did you
4 possess a weapon?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not carry a weapon. And I was
6 always in civilian clothing.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
8 Q. My question was: Do you know if crimes have been committed in
9 Western Slavonia by the volunteers after their arrival?
10 A. Sometime towards the end of 1991, we heard about crimes that
11 happened in Western Slavonia. A number of them was ascribed to volunteers
12 up there to the north of Vocin, and those around Pakrac were ascribed to
13 Serbian extremists among the local population.
14 Q. Can you tell us who the victims were?
15 A. Well, the victims were 90 per cent Croat, and a small number were
17 Q. Were they all -- people of all ages, or were they more or less
18 older people? What do you know about this?
19 A. Well, those were mostly elderly people if we're talking about
20 Croats, because the younger ones had left the area and gone to Croatia
21 proper. Whether they were joining the Croatian army or police, I don't
22 know that, but I know that it was mainly elderly people who remained in
23 their homes.
24 Q. I would like to show the witness a map which is 65 ter number
25 2868. It's map number 17 of the mapping binder.
1 While we are waiting on the loading of the map, could you already
2 tell us in which locations these crimes happened? Can you give us names?
3 A. I believe it was Balinci, Cetekovac, Vocin. I can't remember all
4 of them. And some more places if we are talking about the northern part.
5 Could we possibly enlarge this?
6 THE INTERPRETER: We no longer hear the witness.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please try and speak up. The
8 interpreters have difficulty hearing you. Please speak up.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.
10 To see better I have to come closer to the map. I'm
11 short-sighted, and the glasses don't help all that much. Hum, Voceski -
12 can you raise the map please - Vocin, Macute, Bokane, Ceralije, Balinci,
13 Cetekovac. Yes, those are the places that are mentioned along with
14 Sekulinci, Kraskovic. Those were the places that were mentioned as sites
15 of crimes against non-Serb population.
16 Q. Can you tell us if this map is depicting in the correct way?
17 A. I think so.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are discussing crimes. Which
19 ones? What happened?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in those places elderly people
21 who remained living there were killed or beaten up. Some people who were
22 middle-aged as well, they were beaten up or killed by Serbian volunteers
23 and the Serbian Territorial Defence. They were Croats.
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
25 Q. Can you tell us what happened in Vocin in December 1991?
1 A. I think that in December when the Territorial Defence and the
2 populous withdrew from Slatina and Vocin and other places, I believe Croat
3 civilians of middle or elderly age were arrested and beaten up.
4 Q. Have there been killings?
5 A. Yes. Some of them were killed. I don't know the exact number.
6 Q. Do you know when these killings happened?
7 A. Well, sometime towards the end of December. I don't know the
9 Q. Is it possible that it was more to the middle of December?
10 A. Possibly. From the 10th until the 23rd December grave incidents
11 took place. There was a large exodus of the people, and in several places
12 there were killings, beatings.
13 Q. Are you aware of the disappearance of four young Croat men at the
14 beginning of December?
15 A. I heard about that later.
16 Q. Do you know who committed these crimes?
17 A. I can only tell you what I heard from other people. It was
18 believed to have done by volunteers who did it together with the
19 Territorial Defence of those places.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, I believe
21 that you have already realised that the Prosecution is leading this
22 witness through hearsay. First of all, the witness doesn't even claim
23 that he knows something reliably. He says it was being said. I believe
24 the Trial Chamber should intervene every time you hear the words "it was
25 being said" because it's hearsay and you can't even take it as indirect
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was about to say something
3 before Mr. Seselj took the floor. These four Croatian men, the Prosecutor
4 said that these men disappeared. What I felt was what did the Prosecution
5 mean by this? The people were no longer there and went elsewhere, or were
6 they killed and the bodies were found.
7 So do you know anything? Don't you? What can you say about it?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, during those days,
9 Your Honours, people disappeared on all sides. That happened too. I
10 don't know for a fact whether they were found later dead or alive, but --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say the people
12 disappeared, what do you mean by this when you say "disappeared"? Does
13 this mean that on one day these people were in their houses and the next
14 day they weren't any longer? So the people were perhaps no longer in
15 their houses because they had left elsewhere or because they had been
16 killed? So when you use the word "disappeared," what meaning do you
17 attribute to this word?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, when you say someone
19 disappeared, that means nobody knows where they were gone, what they were
20 doing, whether they were alive. You know that there is a great number of
21 people still on record as missing. It is suspected that most of them were
22 killed, but nobody knows where their remains are. There are about 50.000
23 people still recorded as missing in Croatia. They disappeared in the
24 winds of war. Nobody knew where they were. They couldn't just have left
25 without telling anyone. They could have disappeared only in the sense
1 that somebody took them away and killed them.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
3 continues] ... Croatians did someone tell you that these young people had
4 been arrested and had disappeared after that, or is it that the rumour had
5 it -- the rumour had it that these four young men had disappeared?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I only heard the
7 rumours because I wasn't close to those localities and I had no direct
8 contact with anyone involved. Those four were not a solitary incident.
9 It was happening all over that area. I was not there, and I really had no
10 direct insight.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor showed you a map
12 a while ago. A number of localities are circled in red. According to the
13 Prosecution, that is allegedly where the crimes were committed.
14 According to what you know, you were a local personality as far as
15 these crimes are concerned. And these people who disappeared, were
16 inquiries conducted during the events, after the events? Today what can
17 you say about this?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not a local resident there. I
19 was 50 kilometres away from those places so I had no direct insight. I
20 don't know whether the investigation was done then. I know the Croatian
21 police investigated after the war. They did gain some information. I
22 don't know how much. The only thing I heard during 1992 was that there
23 occurred mistreatments and killings of Croats in those places. I didn't
24 know the exact number. Later on in Croatian media, in the Croatian
25 judicial system, inquiries and investigations were made as to what exactly
1 had happened, who was killed in which way, et cetera.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that you had heard
3 about this in 1992. Who told you and how did you get to know about it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard that from Mr. Mladen Kulic
5 who lived in that area during the war and spoke about these events and the
6 victimisation, but he didn't provide any details. He spoke in general.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who is -- who is Mladen Kulic?
8 Who is this man?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He's a man who lived in
10 Podravska Slatina, and during the war he was part of the Territorial
11 Defence and lived in the area of Vocin.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Before we continue, I want to say for the
13 Prosecution that we are well aware that this witness is only a hearsay
14 witness. I think it came out from my questions, but hearsay is possible
15 in this institution. And if everybody realised that this is a hearsay
16 evidence, it is what I intended to show.
17 Can I have please admitted the Exhibit number 2868, the map.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P182.
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I would like to show the witness the next
20 exhibit, which has the 65 ter number 936.
21 Q. This is an open letter from Helsinki Watch to the Serbian
22 President Slobodan Milosevic and General Blagoje Adzic, acting minister of
23 defence and chief of staff of the Yugoslav army, concerning human rights
24 abused by the Serbian government and the Yugoslav Army, and it dates the
25 21st of January, 1992.
1 Mr. Witness, do you know this document?
2 A. I have seen this document at the Office of the Prosecutor. I
3 believe I was given it to read.
4 Q. Are you aware of this report, that it has been sent to
5 Mr. Milosevic?
6 A. I was aware when I saw it.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, it's
8 obvious that the witness had never seen this document until the
9 Prosecution showed it to him in proofing, and it's pointless to discuss
10 the document any further.
11 Anyway, this is a document by a totally irrelevant political
12 organisation of anti-Serbian nature which makes it doubly pointless to
13 discuss. This witness doesn't know how the document came into being, nor
14 had he seen it contemporaneously, and in this way the document cannot be
15 introduced into evidence.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If it is true that he does not
17 know about the document given that the document had been addressed to
18 Mr. Milosevic and to General Adzic, however, in the document itself there
19 may be events which he is aware of. Therefore, the Prosecution can put
20 questions to him relating to the contents of the document. Maybe he can
21 confirm or deny things.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
24 Q. This is exactly the reason I wanted to discuss this document with
25 the witness.
1 Mr. Witness, please have a look on page 5. For Your Honours it's
2 page 4 in the English version, where crimes are described that should have
3 happened in Cetekovac and Balinci. Mr. Witness, you already told us that
4 you heard that these crimes had happened. Can you confirm if these crimes
5 have happened in the areas mentioned here on page 5.
6 A. This report speaks about the crimes in the localities I mentioned
7 a moment ago. I see the details here such as the number of people said to
8 be killed and victimised in these places. The places are right. I
9 remember that well. Cetekovac, Balinci -- I really didn't know before the
10 exact number of victims.
11 Q. Who informed you about these crimes?
12 A. Well, people talked towards the end of 1991, and as for Cetekovac
13 I heard of it earlier during the war itself. It was said that -- at least
14 in the military circles it was said that there was fighting there. Later
15 on it turned out civilians had been killed. Then I heard, during 1992,
16 more about these events in Vocin. And when I say Vocin, that includes the
17 area of Vocin including all the hamlets and villages around it.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecution has
19 just indicated to you items that occurred on the 3rd and 4th of September
20 in Cetekovac and Balinci. In three of these localities people were
21 killed. I realise that this document talks about the Serbian forces
22 without indicating which ones more specifically. On the second paragraph
23 an event is being described which occurred in Cetekovac and the
24 paramilitaries are mentioned, the Serbian paramilitaries. All of this is
25 not very precise. What can you tell us about this, Cojlug, name of the
1 third locality. Who would be the Serbian forces and who would be the
2 paramilitaries according to you?
3 A. What I remember personally and what was said and was happening
4 there in Cetekovac, in Balinci, it seems that the members of the
5 Territorial Defence of Cetekovac, Balinci and Vocin did it; it was
6 ascribed to them. But when they say irregular Serbian army, they probably
7 mean the Territorial Defence because it was the only force that existed
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'll withdraw this
10 objection immediately if you think it's inappropriate but it's obvious
11 that these crimes happened a month before the arrival of the volunteers of
12 the Serb Radical Party. Therefore it's out of place for the Prosecutor to
13 examine on that. It's irrelevant. You only warn me when something is
14 irrelevant. You have never done so far with the Prosecutor.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, but I note everything
16 that's being said and also what you say. This is the reason why I shall
17 put a question to the witness.
18 Those events which are being described are events which happened
19 one month prior to the arrival of the volunteers of the Serbian Radical
20 Party. Can you confirm this?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot tell you whether it's a
22 month more or less, but at that time there were no volunteers in Vocin
23 area or in Western Slavonia.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If the events, the
25 crimes occurred in September and the volunteers arrived in October, you
1 cannot accuse the volunteers of these crimes without being well-versed in
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If that is a question to me, it is
4 certain that at that time there were no volunteers, so you can't ascribe
5 this act to them.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Prosecutor, you have
7 the floor.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The Prosecution has nothing to hide that at that
9 time when these crimes happened the volunteers were not there. It's our
10 intention to show what really happened, but may I please remind you that
11 there is in the indictment against the accused there's also the JCE
12 indicted and there is a certain relevance but it's up to you to make this
14 Q. Mr. Witness, I wanted to go to page 10 for the Judges. It's page
15 9 of the English version. Here is described what happened in Vocin. Can
16 you please have a look at it.
17 Here it's mentioned in the second paragraph which deals with the
18 events in Hum and Vocin that the White Eagles were responsible for these
19 crimes. Who were the White Eagles?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What page, Prosecutor, please?
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It's in --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the English version?
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: In the English version -- oh, sorry. In the
24 English version it's on page 9. It starts with December 19, "Hum and
25 Vocin (municipality of Podravska Slatina)."
1 Q. My question was -- referred to the White Eagles. Do you know who
2 were the White Eagles?
3 A. They were also volunteers who had arrived there to that area, and
4 they also came under the heading of Serbian Radical Party volunteers, but
5 I don't know whether they were really sent by the Serbian Radical Party or
6 some other political organisation or movement within Serbia.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said they came under the
8 heading of Serbian Radical Party volunteers. Who are you talking about
9 when you said "they came under"?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The local population saw all the
11 volunteers as members of one group, representatives of a single political
12 option, probably because Mr. Seselj was the only politician who came to
13 visit from Serbia. So they were all lumped together as members of the
14 same group.
15 I'm not sure whether they were all from the same party, same
16 group, or they came from different groups.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
18 Q. Were also Mr. Seselj's men referred to as White Eagles when people
19 spoke about White Eagles?
20 A. As I said, the local populous lumped them all together and called
21 them volunteers. They were one group, and the other group was the
22 Territorial Defence. Since a lot of volunteers were from the Serbian
23 Radical Party, they thought of them all as Serbian Radical Party
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's now time to have a break.
1 It is 10.00. We shall have a 20-minute break.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.00 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.20 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will resume. I will give the
5 floor to the Prosecution.
6 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Before I continue, I would like to have admitted
7 the last exhibits we were discussing about into evidence.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P183.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I object to the admittance of this
10 document because it has no relevance to the indictment. You have seen
11 what the introductory part is like. It seethes with hatred against me and
12 the Serb Radical Party and later on there is no information on any crimes
13 committed by volunteers of the Serb Radical Party.
14 On page 11, only one witness says that Chetniks, members of the
15 paramilitary group led by Vojislav Seselj would arrive in small trucks
16 with body bags. There may have been a truck with body bags indeed, but
17 those body bags for Serb corpses, civilians, or soldiers who had been
18 killed. Fallen soldiers if they were volunteers were transported to
19 Serbia. Where is any relevance to be found here for volunteers of the
20 Serbian Radical Party?
21 I repeat that this is a political document. Certain facts are put
22 forward. I might even agree with the facts, but the initial description
23 saying that the most brutal group was the one led by Vojislav Seselj, the
24 leader of the Serb Radical Party and the Serb Chetnik Movement, this is a
25 purely political qualification and has no basis in the data presented
1 later on.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges took note
3 of your objection and we will see whether we need to overturn a decision
4 regarding P183 after what you've just said.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
6 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I would like to have shown on the monitor the
7 Exhibit number 6041, which is a video. Before the video is played I can
8 give you the information that we received this tape from the Croatian
9 government in 2001. It was recorded by the TV Benkovac, and the event
10 happened on the 23rd of November, 1991.
11 For the interpreters it's V000-3248.
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
14 "VS: That is not a Communist army and don't talk like that.
15 "US: For me it still it is.
16 "VS: Well, for you, for you.
17 "US: That army betrayed me five times in the past three months in
18 the battlefield.
19 "VS: It betrayed you because of incapable officers in the field.
20 Well, it's not like if someone is incapable - he is a Communist.
21 Nonsense. It is one thing to be incapable, and a completely different to
22 be a Communist.
23 "US: Well we are in the army now.
24 "US: Come on people, don't do this.
25 "VS: We, the Chetniks, are also a part of that army today, and in
1 Vukovar we also achieved ... Army officers command our Chetniks. We
2 painted over almost all the helmets. Wait a second! On those army
3 helmets we ... You know what, guys, I'm used to everybody being silent
4 while I'm talking. Perhaps you still haven't developed this habit but I
5 have. We painted two-headed Serbian white eagles on the helmets, and the
6 army officer, captain, major, commands our people. And by coordinated
7 action, also known as Kameni, our chief commander in Vukovar plans the
8 action in cooperation with the Army Major in the evening, and they carry
9 it out the following day. Because of soldiers deserting from their units,
10 the army did not have enough manpower to go from house to house and take
11 it over, so our people did that. Army strikes with tanks, mortars,
12 Howitzers, and our people go from house to house and conquer it. And
13 don't you tell me now that is a Communist army. They took off the
14 five-pointed star insignias and did not ask us ..."
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: This video has already been admitted as Exhibit
16 number P60, but we played a shorter version of it. What I was referring
17 with this video is that Mr. Seselj said: "We painted White Eagles on our
18 helmets." And I also wanted to have shown a picture to the witness which
19 has the 65 ter number 4189. It's a photo showing Professor Seselj holding
20 a gun and on his helmet is a White Eagle in front. If we can see this.
21 Can we enlarge this?
22 Q. Witness, can you see what is on the helmet of Mr. Seselj?
23 A. Yes. You can see the White Eagle insignia on the helmet.
24 Q. Was this the typical insignia which also the volunteers had on
25 their helmet?
1 A. Well, this is the first time I've seen the White Eagle on a
2 helmet. Usually they were caps. This is the first time I see a helmet.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President,
4 Mr. Mussemeyer is deliberately trying to mislead the witness by equating
5 the two-headed White Eagle as the traditional Serbian symbol or coat of
6 arms with the paramilitary organisation called the White Eagles. The
7 witness heard something about that organisation, but as he said he doesn't
8 know any details. I think this is impermissible in the
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We took due note of
11 what you have just said. According to you there could be a mix-up between
12 the White Eagles who are a paramilitary unit and the White Eagle, which
13 is -- which would be a symbol. You're saying that these are two different
15 Witness, you've heard what was said. Can you add anything? If
16 you have nothing to say, you just don't need to say anything.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was just explaining about
18 this photograph, that it was the first time I had seen the White Eagle on
19 a helmet. I don't know of any direct connection between the White Eagles
20 and the Serb Radical Party. I don't know whether there was any
21 connection, and how strong it was.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A small technical question.
23 These White Eagles, the paramilitary unit which allegedly committed
24 crimes, did you ever see any members of this unit in the street or
25 encounter any?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I couldn't tell them apart. In
2 my view they were all the same. You couldn't tell by their uniforms or
3 their insignia, because all these volunteers wore different insignia and
4 different uniforms. It was all very varied, so it was very hard to say
5 that they all belonged to a single group.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, but these volunteers
7 in the broadest sense of the word, did you ever see any that had helmets?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There were volunteers with
9 helmets which had five-pointed stars on them. Most helmets had that sign.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understood you well, you
11 never saw a helmet with the White Eagle painted on it, except for the one
12 we just saw on the photograph?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so, Your Honour. It's the
14 first time I've seen a helmet with a White Eagle on it. I've seen helmets
15 with other insignia but not the White Eagle.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: May I come back to the Exhibit number 936. There
18 is one sentence on page 9 I want to have it commented by the witness.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please ask your question.
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
21 Q. I refer to paragraph 3 where it's said: "Chetnik members of a
22 paramilitary group led by Vojislav Seselj were coming in small trucks
23 packed with trunks of body bags." And then the sentence I will refer to
24 is: "They spread rumours throughout the village that hundreds of Serbs
25 have been massacred in Podravska Slatina and that they, the Serbs, will
1 retaliate." Witness, are you aware of this fact and is it true?
2 It's on page 10 of the Serbian version.
3 A. When I saw this report here, then I read this. As for rumours
4 that in Slatina hundreds of Serbs had been massacred, all over Western
5 Slavonia at the time, the part under Serb control, rumours were going
6 around that in Daruvar, Pakrac, Grubisno Polje, Podravska Slatina, Pozega,
7 Gradiska Nova, and other places, Serbs had been killed and taken away. So
8 there were rumours about this happening.
9 Later on it was established that a part of the Serbian population
10 civilians did really end up that way. I heard about this only in the
11 report and that revenge or retaliation would be carried out for the Serbs
12 massacred in Podravska Slatina.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, I think
14 you should insist that the witness say what he thinks about this statement
15 made allegedly by a witness, but there's no name mentioned here or not.
16 Did any Seselj's men come there in small trucks loaded with body bags?
17 Somebody stated this somewhere. It was included in the Helsinki Watch
18 document. The Prosecutor is putting a question but we don't have the
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Seselj. But this
21 is a question that you should put during the cross-examination. It's up
22 to you during cross-examination to highlight the inconsistencies. I see
23 one immediately, and I will say it right away because I want it on the
25 In the sentence in English it says: "Chetniks and (members of a
1 paramilitary group led by Vojislav Seselj) were coming in small trucks,"
2 et cetera, et cetera.
3 So very obviously the sentence that is in brackets has been put
4 there by the person drafting the document. It's not the witness who said
5 that. It's not Mr. Seselj that was with those trucks, you know, that had
6 the body bags. So obviously something is added in brackets. Something
7 has been added. But you can do this during the cross-examination. This
8 is when you will have the opportunity to do this. I can't, you know,
9 replace you at all moment and replace everyone.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can I please have admitted the Exhibit number
12 4189 into evidence.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P184.
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER: As for the video, it's my understanding that it
15 has already been admitted, but we played a shorter version maybe that we
16 need an additional exhibit number.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P185.
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
20 Q. Mr. Witness, have there been destructions in Vocin?
21 A. Yes. There was burning of houses and blowing up of houses
22 belonging to Croats or other non-Serbs during the war up to 1991. And
23 then when the Serbs fled, the Croats burnt Serb houses.
24 Q. Do you know what happened to the Catholic church?
25 A. I read that in the report, that it had been destroyed. I've heard
1 about that later.
2 Q. You never saw this?
3 A. No. I wasn't there where the church was. Unfortunately, at the
4 time it was the custom to destroy churches on a large scale, both Catholic
5 and Orthodox. This was not an isolated incident. It was just one of
7 Q. I want to show the witness a map which has the 65 ter number 142.
8 It's a map called "Crime Locations with Ethnic Composition."
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Prosecutor, who drew this
10 map? Could you source it, please?
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Sorry, at the moment I have no answer to this but
12 I will check it.
13 According to our records, it's a document from the 17th of
14 September, 2002, and it was admitted -- not admitted. It was brought into
15 this institution by an investigator, as far as I can see. I think the
16 name is not important of this investigator. This is all I can tell you
17 about this, but I want to show this to the witness and let him tell us if,
18 according to his information, this map is correct and what it does show.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, we don't
20 know the source of the map. We only know that it was procured by an
21 investigator of the OTP. Of course we're not interested in his name, but
22 we have to know who drew up this map based on what data. How can the
23 witness know whether the map is correct for each and every location? The
24 witness can know that there were victims on both the Croat and the Serb
25 side, and he can perhaps estimate in a general way where there were more
1 victims, on which side, but as for the details on this map, the witness
2 cannot do this. I couldn't do this.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Apparently it seems
4 that it is the OTP who drew this map through an investigator. This must
5 be the reason. I see that the source is on the bottom right. There's ERN
6 numbers, and they must correspond to witness statements, victims'
7 statements. So this is the reason. This document comes from the OTP and
8 was drawn up using crimes committed in different localities as source.
9 That's all we know.
10 However, independently in all this, what is the purpose of your
11 question, Mr. Prosecutor, please?
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER: For me Mr. Seselj's remarks are completely right,
13 but I would like to hear this from, from the witness if he can show us or
14 can tell us if this map, according to his information, is correct.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute before answering,
16 Witness. You may answer if you have knowledge. However, if you have no
17 knowledge, just say so and say you cannot answer. I'm picking things at
18 random. I see a settlement, Skabrnja, in the left, bottom left. It seems
19 that there were Serb victims and a few Croats. So do you know something
20 about this or do you know nothing?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you mentioned the
22 village of Skabrnja which is well known in Croatia, because a large-scale
23 crime against Croatian civilians occurred there in 1991 in Vrbe [phoen].
24 About 40 people were killed in Skabrnja at the time and there was a trial
25 where the perpetrators were prosecuted recently.
1 As for the map, Your Honour, I can testify to the fact that I am
2 familiar with the names of the villages mentioned here such as Saborsko,
3 Vocin, Cetekovac, Balinci, and so on. I know them as places where crimes
4 were committed against Croats. I'm referring to this map now. There were
5 also other places where Serbs were victims. But in geographical terms, I
6 think this map does indicate crime scenes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You just said that in Skabrnja
8 there was a trial. To your knowledge, was anyone convicted?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Several people
10 were convicted, some in their absence. Others were brought to Croatia and
11 tried there.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And these people who were found
13 guilty, what unit did they belong to? Were they TO members? Did they
14 belong to a paramilitary unit? Were they volunteers from the Serbian
15 Radical Party? Who were these people who were convicted? The
16 Prosecutor's showing us this -- this village, you know, and he's
17 presenting his case. It's obviously because there was a connection with
18 the accused. Otherwise, he just wouldn't show this.
19 I'm trying to understand. Do you know who was convicted and do
20 you know which unit these people convicted belonged to?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge,
22 Your Honour, it was said that they were members of the Territorial Defence
23 of Benkovac municipality, I think. This crime was ascribed to the JNA and
24 to the best of my knowledge the Territorial Defence of Benkovac.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question and I apologise
1 for being so detailed but I feel obliged to do this. Crimes were
2 committed by people who apparently were military. According to the
3 knowledge you have of this event, was this done within a military context
4 or were these crimes committed by individuals who might have been military
5 but who committed the crimes on their own accord, individually without the
6 JNA or the TO or this unit or that unit be implied? Could you shed some
7 light on this?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards Skabrnja, there was the
9 army there with its own commanders and there were also local people who
10 were members of the Territorial Defence. I think that these crimes
11 occurred because they were perpetrated by individuals who came from the
12 local area, but what their motivation was, I don't know. I've heard
13 different stories. If you listen to the Croatian side, they were simply
14 venting their feelings on the population, whereas the Serbs say there was
15 fighting and the civilians were killed in the fighting.
16 I did not attend the trial, so I'm not familiar with the details.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] One question. Witness, please,
19 do you know whether the people who were convicted were convicted for war
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I wish to draw
23 attention to the fact that you may have lost from view the fact that a far
24 greater crime was committed against Serbs in Skabrnja. The Serb victims
25 were greater by three-quarters than the Croatian victims in numbers.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that maybe so, but what
2 we're interested in right now is to know whether on the -- this list of
3 crimes is to know whether the perpetrators belonged to the JNA or to the
4 TO. Apparently so. And what was the nature of the crimes committed, and
5 it seemed that these were crimes of war. This is all we can draw from
6 this at the moment, at the moment.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I think this comes also out from this map,
9 because if you see in Skabrnja there's three-quarter is red, which is for
10 Serbs. So these were Serbs victims.
11 I can give you additional information about this map. It has
12 indeed been produced by the OTP, by OTP members, but based on statements
13 from witnesses of this area. And from the 1991 census what -- that was
14 the source of it.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Prosecutor, the
16 problem with the pie chart, you know, hadn't escaped me. Of course I had
17 wondered whether these pie charts dealt with the ethnic make-up of the
18 casualties, and you just answered affirmatively, or whether these pie
19 charts represented the ethnic make-up of the settlement itself and not of
20 the casualties. But according to what you just said, in blue we have the
21 Croat victims and in red the Serb victims. And there are a few towns, at
22 least five, where there are other victims that are neither Croat nor
23 Serbian. They're green.
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Exactly. And if I may assist the Chamber, this
25 map has been -- I know that it is of no importance for your Chamber, but
1 this map has been admitted into evidence in the Milosevic case as
2 Exhibit 326, tab 6.
3 Can I have it admitted into evidence in this case?
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. We need a number
7 and then we will record your objection. We have a number please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P186.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What is your
10 objection, Mr. Seselj?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I object to this map being admitted
12 because it is unprofessionally made. We have no indices to tell us what
13 the circles represent which resemble the French cheese Camembert, as you
14 say, or pie chart and what the figures are, and all the circles are the
15 same so it would appear that an equal number of crimes were committed in
16 all these locations. And then a selection is being made of the victims
17 according to Serb victims, Croat victims and others, and it is impossible
18 that the figures apply to all this, that they're the same. So this map is
19 a falsification of its own, because these circles should be different in
20 size, as far as I understand the technique of compiling graphics of this
21 kind, whereas the circles are the same. So it's a hundred victims here, a
22 hundred there and a hundred in the third place and that's the ratio, and
23 that's impossible. So in fact this map tells us nothing.
24 Now, if we're talking about the crime locations, then you can
25 state the places. Without figures the map does not telling you anything.
1 Letting -- leaving aside the fact that Mr. Mussemeyer is giving us the
2 figures for all the casualties committed by the Serbs because I seem to be
3 the culprit for all the victims and the JCE. Now, if I were -- if I had
4 been the main commander of all the Serb forces, then that could be taken
5 into consideration, but like this it can't.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are taking down
7 your objection. Personally, I must say that these pie charts seem to
8 connect different events for Skabrnja municipality, for example, where
9 apparently there were Serb -- a great number of Serb victims, and the
10 perpetrators were probably -- must have been Croats, and Croat victims who
11 would have been killed by Serbs. But there must have been crimes that
12 were committed in different periods of time. That's all we can say as it
13 is now. But we now have the objection from Mr. Seselj on the transcript.
14 Please continue, Mr. Mussemeyer.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I want to continue with the facts you already
16 were asking for, if these crimes have ever been investigated and by whom,
17 and for this purpose I want to show the witness the 65 -- the document
18 under 65 ter 1026.
19 Q. This is a document by the military post of Banja Luka, security
20 office, addressed to the military prosecutor, and it relates to the crimes
21 committed in Vocin.
22 Mr. Witness, do you know this document and can you tell us
23 something about this?
24 A. I saw the document here in the OTP when I came, and it does
25 correspond to the events that took place, and I have heard that an
1 investigation had been conducted into these events in the course of 1992.
2 Witnesses were heard who were in the vicinity. Colonel and Lieutenant
3 Colonel Stevilovic, he conducted the investigation into these events, I
4 believe, but they weren't just events in Vocin. They were also in the
5 village of Glavica, which is a village a little further on.
6 Q. Can you tell us if something happened to the investigator
7 Milan Stevilovic.
8 A. As far as I know, I heard sometime in 1992, I believe, he was
9 killed in Republika Srpska, not far from Banja Luka, that he was killed by
10 some extremist Serbs.
11 Q. Can you tell us why he was killed or don't you have any
12 information about this?
13 A. Well, he conducted investigations all over the place. I think
14 that it was when the war in Bosnia began and it was said that he poked his
15 nose into things that shouldn't interest him. Otherwise, he was an
16 honourable officer. Anyway, that's the story I heard linked to his name.
17 Q. Do you know if ever trials were led against the alleged
19 A. I don't know that.
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can I have this document admitted into evidence.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P187.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, but I have a question
23 for the Prosecutor. An investigation was carried out by Lieutenant
24 Colonel Stilovic [as interpreted] who seems to have been murdered in 1992.
25 This report deals with a number of individuals and is sent to the military
1 prosecutor in Banja Luka. Now, what happened to the investigation? Was
2 there an investigative Judge? Were the perpetrators judged? Were they
3 convicted? What happened afterwards, please?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't really know what happened
5 afterwards because he belonged to the Banja Luka Corps. Now, whether the
6 military court in Banja Luka took any steps I don't really know.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just to avoid any
8 misunderstanding, I'd like to draw your attention to the following: We're
9 talking here about a group of people who are almost -- to a man from
10 Novi Sad, which is symptomatic, asymptomatic indicator. Secondly, it says
11 for each one of them that they were primarily volunteers, but they were at
12 the military post 8316, 8316, which means that was the JNA, and according
13 to that we can identify which JNA unit it was. And the Prosecutor is
14 leading us astray and skipping that purposely. They were all from unit
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on. This had not escaped
17 me, and this is why I'm asking the question to the Prosecutor.
18 What came out? Was there an outcome to the investigation? Do you
19 know or not?
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I can't tell you, sorry.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have an observation to make
22 regarding Mr. Seselj when he takes floor. I'm saying this for himself,
23 for his own interest.
24 The risk is that we will not take what he is saying into account
25 if he does not make his comment in the right moment during the
1 cross-examination. It's like -- it's as if we were accepting that you
2 testified, and we don't -- we will not allow this. So all these comments
3 you're making will probably not be taken into account. You must try and
4 obtain all this information, you know, that you aim at demonstrating
5 during the cross-examination, please.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Seselj, what my fellow
7 Judge is saying, and I already said this to you last week, if you're
8 challenging something, if you're challenging the fact that these people
9 were volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party, then it's very easy for
10 you to do that. You have this report. You know -- you're aware of this
11 report. You see that these people seem to belong to the -- to the unit
12 8316. Get the judgement, get all the documents and the files of the
13 investigating judge and prove that these individuals either did this on
14 their own accord or under orders of JNA and not because of a political --
15 because they were volunteers from a political party. But do this during
16 the cross-examination. This is when you should lead all this, because as
17 my fellow Judge is saying, we will note down your objection. We cannot
18 draw any conclusions from it. The only conclusions we will draw from it
19 is that we will compare this document with what you will demonstrate later
20 on. This is exactly what I told you last week.
21 Otherwise, what will happen is we have a document, if we don't
22 have a counter document coming from you, we can draw the conclusion that
23 "volunteers" committed crimes. And if we connect this document to other
24 documents then we can end up by saying that these volunteers belonged to
25 the Serbian Radical Party and this would all lead up to you. So during
1 the cross-examination it will be your turn to challenge this evidence, but
2 not just by comments but through documents that you will show.
3 Technically this is very easy here in this case. Just check with
4 the military prosecutor in Banja Luka, see what happened, what was the
5 outcome of this case. Kulic, Milosevic, Kuga, Ristic, Stjepanovic --
6 find out what they said when they were on trial. I mean, those who are
7 not on the loose, because obviously some are at large. I don't really
8 know. But this is something you will do during the cross-examination.
9 You can highlight the fact that all these people came from Novi Sad, had
10 nothing to do with you, so forth and so on.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to make a
13 comment again. I oppose to having documents admitted and I explained why.
14 Throughout the document nowhere does it say that these people were
15 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party, and I can see that you've already
16 drawn the conclusion that they were indeed volunteers of the Serbian
17 Radical Party.
18 Secondly, here there is an abbreviation that is used --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I have drawn no
20 conclusion. I said that one could conclude something on the basis of the
21 documents that would be cross-referenced. So you should be made aware of
22 this, and you should deal with this during the presentation of your case
23 when you rebut the Prosecution's case. This is what I wanted to tell you.
24 And I put this in the conditional tense.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Briefly, Mr. President. You can see
1 this abbreviation V/O at the end of the description of each of the
2 accused. Now, this V/O wasn't interpreted, whereas V/O is an abbreviation
3 used by the JNA which means military conscript. In the military post
4 such-and-such number. So at one time he was a volunteer, then he was
5 mobilised into the JNA and became a military conscript, V/O. And I'm not
6 going to ask this witness anything during my cross-examination because
7 this witness has nothing to do with the document. He's never seen the
8 document before until he was shown it by the Prosecution. So I have a
9 serious concept for my own cross-examination, and I'm not going to be led
10 astray by these bits and pieces that the Prosecution is trying to
12 It says military conscript for each of them, V/O, and that's not a
13 volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party. So I'm not going to put forward
14 any counter-documents to prove the contrary. These are nebulous things.
15 I have planned my defence seriously. I don't care who they are. Why
16 should I show you who they are? I am not a prosecutor. I'm not going to
17 take the role of subsequent prosecutor. All I'd like to do is to draw the
18 Court's attention to the fact that you have no information that we're
19 dealing here with members of the Serbian Radical Party.
20 Now, if you admit this into evidence, fine. We can move on. I
21 apologise for the comments I made, for my objection then.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your observation is
23 now on the record.
24 Now, in light of what you have just said, I would like to tell you
25 that in the report that was issued the commander of a unit of volunteers
1 is mentioned. You are right in saying that these are military men, but
2 there's a commander of a unit of volunteers that is mentioned in the
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The reason to show this document for me was that
5 there have been investigations and that the leader of this investigations
6 has been killed later on.
7 I would like to have this document admitted into evidence and go
8 on to the next document.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor.
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Okay. The next --
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, I would like to put the question
12 of relevance then, because if you agree that the possible perpetrators of
13 these crimes who were investigated according to this document were not
14 members of the SRS or volunteers of the SRS, then what is the relevance of
15 the document?
16 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It is the Prosecution's intention to show the
17 whole picture, what really happened, to give a history, overview, and some
18 documents not always relate to Mr. Seselj's volunteers, but it's necessary
19 to give the Trial Chamber a complete overview about the events which
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has noted the
23 Prosecution's comment and Mr. Seselj's objection. We'll mark the document
24 for identification.
25 Registrar, the 65 ter document 1026, could we have a document that
1 is marked for identification. This document will be marked for
3 THE REGISTRAR: It will be MFI P187, Your Honours.
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The next document I want to show to the witness
5 is the 65 ter number 2078. It's a description of war crime events in
6 accordance with the article of Criminal Code of the Croatian department of
7 war crimes in Vocin.
8 Q. And, Mr. Witness, can you please comment on this document? Is it
10 A. I've seen it here and read it. Mention is made of the events in
11 the area of Podravska Slatina, Vocin, and further afield. The name of
12 Ilija Sasic is mentioned. The weapons are mentioned. The arming is
13 mentioned. And the Prevenda hamlet of Vocin is mentioned, inhabited by
14 the Croatian population. So that's what I actually heard about those
15 events subsequently on the territory of Vocin as I said earlier on during
16 my testimony.
17 Q. At the bottom of this document it is said: "During the retreat of
18 Chetniks." Can you tell us why the Serb forces retreated and the Serb
19 inhabitants fled at that time?
20 A. Well, at the time there were frequent attacks by the Croatian
21 police and army in the area. And as far as the TO of Daruvar is
22 concerned, it withdraw earlier on because it wasn't able to defend itself
23 from the frequent clashes between the Serb TO and the Croatian police and
24 army in the Daruvar area, so that area was left open and it was insecure
25 and unsafe. So when the territorials withdrew, the people also withdrew.
1 The population withdrew because they were afraid that they would be
2 killed. And there was an exodus there, too, from the area of Slatina,
3 Orahovac, and Vocin.
4 Q. Do you know where these people were fleeing to, which areas?
5 A. Well, in leaving Western Slavonia they would go via Banja Luka
6 toward Serbia, Eastern Slavonia and Srem. Vojvodina.
7 Q. I wanted to question if you have any information that some of them
8 also fled to Vojvodina.
9 A. Yes. A part of the population ended up in Vojvodina. They went
10 to various places in Vojvodina province, Subotica and then lower down,
11 Sombor, Novi Sad, and so on. Sid.
12 Q. Was also Hrtkovci mentioned?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please answer the Prosecutor's
14 question, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't hear it. I didn't hear the
16 question. Could he repeat it, please.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
18 Q. You enumerated the regions where these witnesses were fleeing to
19 and you also mentioned Vojvodina, enumerating certain villages. Did they
20 flee also to Hrtkovci? Did you hear about it or not?
21 A. Yes, they went to Hrtkovci.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the document we have
23 before us is an interesting one. We would like you to give us some
24 information about it.
25 According to this document, in June 1990 [Realtime transcript read
1 in error "1991"], in the municipality of Slatina there is an arm of the
2 Serbian Democratic Party that is being established, and a lawyer,
3 Ilija Sasic, heads it. It seems that after this was established some
4 people in three localities, Sekulinci, Bucje, and Zvecevo, were trained.
5 Also a fourth locality which was Ceralije. After that events occur and a
6 terrorist unit which is qualified as such headed by Lukic and
7 Radosavljevic will act.
8 According to what you know -- in the transcript there is a
9 mistake. I said June 1990, and I read 1991. You have to be very careful
10 to the case. June 1990. That's what's written in the document.
11 You who had specific knowledge about this, do you know whether the
12 Serbian Democratic Party had established in Slatina an arm of the party
13 where some members of this party trained, you can see what is written in
14 the document, and what can you say about it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The SDS was founded in 1990, in
16 June, on the territory of Podravska Slatina municipality. In the course
17 of 1991, the Secretariat for National Defence, Slatina municipality, and
18 the others that I enumerated, on their behalf mobilised the reservists,
19 the military conscripts, and set up its headquarters in Vocin, Slatina,
20 and so on, but they were in the area around Zvecevo and Vocin.
21 Now, Lukic and Radosavljevic were the commanders of the TO Staffs,
22 one for Slatina, one for Vocin as far as I recall, and they were in
23 command of those TO units in that area. Now, how they armed them I don't
25 Now, the party itself did not carry out arming. It was
1 individuals who were organised within the frameworks of the secretariat of
2 the -- of national defence that did so, and the name of Ilija Sasic is
3 particularly mentioned, and they conducted military actions or operations
4 in the area, stormed the villages which were mostly populated by the
6 Now, the -- Sekulinci, Zvecevo, and so on are places that are
7 mentioned. They grouped themselves militarily there, and when the TO
8 units were formed attached to the staffs, they were deployed in the
9 different localities to the best of my knowledge.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to what you are
11 telling us, those people who headed those operations were members of the
12 Serbian Democratic Party. That has nothing to do with the Radical --
13 Serbian Radical Party of Mr. Seselj.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Perhaps they weren't members of
15 the Serbian Democratic Party. They had nothing to do specifically here
16 with the Serbian Radical Party, and I think that they were organised in
17 such a way -- let me repeat that the Secretariat of National Defence
18 organised them for the Podravska Slatina municipality.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me get to the heart of the
20 matter. According to you, the people in charge of this unit, Lukic and
21 Radosavljevic, did they have any connection whatsoever with Mr. Seselj?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at the time we're talking
23 about, no. Whether they had contacts later on or anything to do with him
24 later on I really don't know.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
1 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I would like to have admitted the last document
2 which is number 2078 into evidence.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can see that here in the English
6 you don't have a list of the suspects. All it says is "List of suspects."
7 Now, if you look at the Serbian list of suspects, it says there
8 that there were 78 persons. All those 78 were locals of Western Slavonia,
9 inhabitants of Western Slavonia. Not a single one was from Serbia. Not
10 only were they not from the Serbian Radical Party and our volunteer but
11 not from Serbia. So for the 78, the Croatian authorities give the
12 particulars and they're all from Western Slavonia.
13 Now, in the introductory document you have something that I
14 consider to be very important. It keeps saying Chetniks, Chetniks,
15 Chetniks. The Croats call all Serb forces Chetniks. As far as they were
16 concerned, they were Chetniks for them even before the Serbian Radical
17 Party volunteers arrived. The war began in mid-August there, and the
18 volunteers arrived in mid-October. So for two months they were referring
19 to them as the Chetniks. There was no mention of volunteers from the Serb
20 Radical Party.
21 Now, you see that what the Prosecution is using here. The
22 document says that all the suspects were local inhabitants, whereas he is
23 now wanting to tender this as proof and evidence against me and against
24 the Serbian Radical Party. I don't know how much longer you're going to
25 tolerate things like that.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall have this document
3 marked for identification.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be MFI P188.
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: For the assistance of the Chamber, this document
6 has been admitted in the Milosevic case under number 327, tab 12.
7 Q. I want to continue with -- we spoke about Serbs fleeing from
8 Western Slavonia in different directions to Serbia. My question, did
9 Croats flee from Vojvodina to Croatia or to Western Slavonia? Do you know
10 about this?
11 A. Well, during the war they did come in to Croatia from Vojvodina.
12 Some arrived as volunteers and joined the Croatian army. Some said they
13 were forced to leave and had to leave their places of residence.
14 Q. Did you ever hear about exchange of houses between Croats from
15 Serbia and Serbs from Western Slavonia?
16 A. There was that, too, an exchange of houses. Except that in
17 Western Slavonia that could not be the case because the vast majority of
18 Serb houses were destroyed in actual fact so that they exchanged
19 properties with -- so that properties were exchanged in other places, not
20 so much in Western Slavonia.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What can you tell us about the
22 exchange of houses, how things happened, what kind of procedure was
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, mostly there were go-betweens.
25 Sometimes people would contact each other directly, so the Serbs fleeing
1 from Croatia to Serbia or Bosnia would try to exchange their property for
2 Croats fleeing from Serbia or leaving Serbia and Bosnia and going to
3 Croatia. That's what happened in the area around Zadar, Banja Luka, and
4 parts of Croatia.
5 Now, Western Slavonia itself while the war was still going on, it
6 was impossible to exchange property there because the war engulfed the
7 towns too. So this is something that took place later on. The exchanges
8 took place subsequently where through the courts and the legal authorities
9 they tried to legalise this. Now, what happened later on is that the
10 Croats who exchanged their property with Serb property were able to
11 legalise their property in Croatia and later on they realised their rights
12 to have their property back that they'd left.
13 Now, the Serbs that exchanged their property for the Croats were
14 not able to legalise their property in Bosnia-Herzegovina, for instance,
15 because the law didn't allow them to do that because of the international
16 community. So they lost their property in Croatia because the person they
17 exchanged properties with had managed to register and get the title deeds
18 to the property.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have just described to us an
20 overview of how things happened. If I've understood you correctly, you
21 said there were go-betweens or that the people amongst themselves came to
22 a solution and found a way of exchanging their houses, the Serbians and
23 Croatians. And you also added that there was even a legalisation of this.
24 This was written in the law. Some Croats who had acquired property then
25 asked the legal authorities to draft title deeds.
1 So notwithstanding what you have just said, what I'm interested is
2 this: When this exchange of houses happened, as far as you know, did
3 people other than private individuals intervene in this process? For
4 instance, any political party or the Serbian Radical Party would have
5 played a role in this or had a hand in this? Did the government or the
6 representatives of the government or local authorities, municipality,
7 could they have had a hand in this to entice the Croatians to leave, to
8 replace them by Serbs from Croatia?
9 According to you, did the political or administrative authorities
10 play any part in the exchange of property or flats?
11 A. Maybe not so directly or so publicly that you would be able to
12 see, but I would say that when these people were fleeing from these places
13 like Western Slavonia and arrived in some places like Hrtkovci, they,
14 specifically Rade Cakmak [phoen] was mentioned, intimidated those people
15 and they had to leave their houses. I couldn't see that directly, how the
16 pressure was exerted on those people and who supported this intimidation
17 and pressure, but I believe those people were not given enough protection
18 to stay. Instead they succumbed to pressure, and it got worse when new
19 waves of refugees came looking for accommodation.
20 Who exactly directed the refugees to those Croat houses I really
21 cannot tell you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that the
23 refugees that were arriving in great number could exert pressure on the
24 owners of the houses or the flats so that they leave and so that they
25 could take their place. Is that what you mean to say?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour. Somebody
2 probably helped them at the local level. Whether they were individual
3 people or members of a political party I don't know because I wasn't
4 there, and I didn't have that kind of contact.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Among the people you knew, can
6 you give us an example of someone whom you knew who exchanged his or her
7 house against somebody else's? Could you give us an example? You don't
8 have to give us any names, but could you just give us an example,
9 something that comes to mind straight away?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a number of examples,
11 although I cannot give you the exact name at this time because it's
12 precisely to my organisation that people addressed themselves attempting
13 to recover their property in the hinterland of Zadar, Sibenik, and other
14 places from where people exchanged their property for property in
15 Banja Luka. There are many of those names and I confuse them now, but
16 there are perhaps exact records about people and cases.
17 I can give you one name perhaps now but I'm afraid to get it
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. At the time, you
20 were a member of a political party. According to what you've just said, I
21 have a feeling that there were some people who came to you, this is what
22 you just said, to ask for you to do something, to settle this kind of
23 issue. Is that what you've just told me?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I mentioned that, I meant later
25 events from 1997 and 1998, to this day when the war stopped and people
1 started returning.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the years 1992, 1993, not
3 after that. During the events my question relates to 1992, 1993. At that
4 time, were people coming for assistance and addressing themselves to the
5 political parties so that the exchange of houses and flats could take
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. Nobody addressed
8 me personally.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
11 Q. Mr. Witness, do you know what the accused's approach to this
12 exchange of houses was?
13 A. As far as I remember, he did speak about that as one of the ways,
14 but I cannot tell you anything specifically.
15 Q. When the conflict was over, had there been attempts that the
16 refugees can turn back?
17 A. Yes. There was a series of attempts and a series of activities.
18 Q. What was your approach for this?
19 A. All the time I worked for the return of refugees, even during the
20 war. From 1993 to 1995 when there were no longer any conflicts and the
21 United Nations were there, I worked for Serbs to return to Serb villages
22 and Croats to return to Croat villages, for the police force to be made up
23 of representatives of both peoples to protect all the people. And in
24 1993, 1994, 1995, I worked on that. And after -- after that period, I
25 continued to work systematically for the return of refugees to their
2 Q. Have there also been opponents to this return back of refugees,
3 and who were they?
4 A. Well, the opponents of that policy were the political leaders in
5 Knin primarily, Martic, Babic, and their entourage. The people in
6 Benkovac, Gracac, Lapac, and Korenica who were in their inner circle.
7 Otherwise, there was no support on other sides either. They mostly kept
8 silent and didn't support my drive. The stand of the government was that
9 what was held by Serbs militarily should be populated by Serbs and the
10 same went for Croats. There was yet no official recognition of the policy
11 that refugees should return to their homes.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Could we please see on the monitor Exhibit -- or
13 65 ter number 1680.
14 Q. This is a letter of Milan Martic written to the United Nations
15 Protection Force and State Committee for Cooperation in which he threatens
16 military actions if Croatians are allowed back in the areas of Skabrnja,
17 Novi Grad, Prodragra [phoen].
18 Mr. Witness, do you know this letter from Mr. Martic? It is on
19 page 2. Or, rather, page 3.
20 A. Yes, I am familiar with this letter by Martic. I had seen it
21 earlier. And that was generally the policy of Mr. Martic, that Croats --
22 Croat refugees should not return -- should not be allowed to return to
23 their former places of residence.
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can I have admitted this document into evidence?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, they are
2 deceiving you as to the contents of the document. In this letter
3 Mr. Martic is opposed to forced moving in by Croats to Skabrnja. I am
4 underlining the word "forced." Forced settlement is not the only form of
5 settlement. Of course if there is a political agreement, there should be
7 And second, I would like to raise the question of relevance. What
8 do I have to do with Skabrnja? The witness told you a moment ago that the
9 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were not present there at all, so
10 what could this mean to my case, and what could I possibly cross-examine
11 the witness on this document?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you want to reply to this
13 objection, Mr. Prosecutor?
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
15 Q. In fact, it's said that: "We will be forced to prevent by force
16 arrival of the territory of Republic of Serbian Krajina" but I understand
17 forced arrival, that the Serb inhabitants are forced to accept the
18 refugees. Is this the right interpretation or am I wrong, Mr. Witness?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will give a final
20 number to this document signed by Mr. Martic and sent to UNPROFOR, because
21 we have proof of the existence of this document. The relevance is that
22 this has a connection with the movement of population.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, P189.
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
25 Q. I will now come to the next issue. This is the Vance Plan.
1 Mr. Witness, are you familiar with the Vance Plan, and what was the goal
2 of this plan?
3 A. The Vance Plan was signed in Sarajevo between Croatia and
4 Yugoslavia. The objective of that plan was to deploy peacekeeping forces
5 in the war-affected areas, those three autonomous provinces. It was
6 envisaged to disarm, to re-establish peace, to open up roads, to enable
7 refugees to return, and to seek a political solution. That was it
8 briefly. It was supposed to be implemented in the course of 1992. That
9 is the beginning of the 1992.
10 Q. Do you know what Mr. Seselj's approach to the Vance Plan was?
11 A. As far as I remember, he said that the Vance Plan was not the best
12 solution offered to the Serbs because at that time Babic was a great
13 opponent of the Vance Plan, and as far as I remember, his opinion was that
14 for the time being there was no better solution so it should be accepted.
15 So it was neither for or against, really. He said mainly that this should
16 be accepted for lack of a better option.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can we please see 65 ter number 4123 on the
19 Q. Mr. Witness, are you familiar with this document?
20 A. I think this is the Vance Plan.
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can I have admitted this document into evidence?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, number, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P190.
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
25 Q. I have a last question before I would ask the Trial Chamber to go
1 into --
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection, Mr. President.
3 Again this begs the question of relevance. The witness said that I was in
4 favour of accepting the Vance Plan but not against, although I had
5 objections to its contents. Why would this be relevant enough to be
6 introduced into evidence? The plan is common knowledge. If I had opposed
7 the plan, then it would make sense to admit it.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj.
9 Don't just raise objections for the sake of raising objections. This
10 document deals with the international conference on the former Yugoslavia.
11 These are official documents. This is public -- in the public domain. It
12 cannot be challenged.
13 Let's move on.
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
15 Q. As I said, I have a last question, which is completely unrelated
16 to the facts we were taking evidence before.
17 Mr. Witness, you mentioned in your first statement from May 2002,
18 a person called Branko Popovic that was on the Regional Board of the SDS
19 of Slavonia. Do you happen to know if this Branko Popovic later went to
20 Zvornik and became the head of the TO there in April 1992?
21 A. No. Branko Popovic, who led the SDS of Grubisno Polje was not
22 pushing for war. He was a quiet, nice man who was in favour of a peaceful
23 solution, and he was not a leader of any military formations. Later he
24 died after the war, but he was a quiet, peaceful man, as I said, and he
25 never led any military units.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. I believe that an
2 objection in principle is in order.
3 The question was too leading. Of course the witness answered with
4 sobriety and calm, but you can't ask questions like this. Do you know
5 that Branko Popovic went to Zvornik and put himself at the head of some
6 military formations? This should not be done in an adversarial
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this question is slightly
9 leading. You should have asked the witness whether to his knowledge
10 Mr. Popovic went to certain places, and he would have said yes, and you
11 could have said what places and so on and so forth.
13 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I am done now with all the facts in open session.
14 I would like to turn back into private session because I have some
15 questions to the witness which might reveal his identity.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session.
17 [Private session]
11 Pages 3463-3467 redacted. Private session
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We are in open session.
1 The Prosecutor has just informed us that he's completed his
2 examination-in-chief. I'm now going to give the floor to Mr. Seselj for
3 him to start his cross-examination, and the Chamber had granted him four
4 hours to do so.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. VS-004, you spoke about the arrival of
7 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party to Western Slavonia, and you spoke
8 about my visit to Western Slavonia. How many times have you and I met?
9 A. Well, I think maybe on two occasions officially.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Seselj's microphone be switched on.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. You said that we met on two occasions officially. When was that?
13 A. That was, I think, in 1991 and 1992.
14 Q. I have to keep switching on. I don't know what's wrong with the
16 In 1991 to the best of my recollection, we met on two occasions,
17 once at a rally in Banja Luka in the Borik hall where there were several
18 thousand people, and on the second occasion in Western Slavonia. Is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I have to keep switching it on. You attended that rally in
22 Banja Luka; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And where did we meet in 1992?
25 A. In 1992 we met, I think, in the Assembly of Yugoslavia when that
1 convention was held.
2 Q. That was the convention on the third Yugoslavia; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did we talk on that occasion?
5 A. I don't think so.
6 Q. We only saw one another. Our only conversation was when I visited
7 Western Slavonia at the dinner prepared for me by the leadership there; is
8 that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you recall what we spoke about at that dinner?
11 A. As I said, general issues, nothing specific.
12 Q. Was Colonel Trbojevic, the commander of the Territorial Defence,
13 present at that dinner?
14 A. Yes, he was.
15 Q. Did Colonel Trbojevic praise the volunteers of the Serb Radical
16 Party, saying they were very brave and disciplined?
17 A. Believe me, I don't remember that.
18 Q. Was there any discussion of volunteers of the Serbian Radical
20 A. Yes, they were mentioned.
21 Q. Did any of the officials of Western Slavonia at the time, and the
22 entire leadership was there, the prime minister, the speaker of the
23 Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, all the main officials were
24 there; right?
25 A. Most of them were there, yes.
1 Q. Did any of them have any complaints about the behaviour and
2 discipline and conduct of the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party?
3 A. That was not mentioned at that meeting.
4 Q. Did you hear me while I was in Western Slavonia advocate the
5 commission of crimes, any sort of crimes?
6 A. No. I don't recall you saying any such thing in my presence.
7 Q. Did anyone tell you that I advocated the killing of civilians, the
8 killing of prisoners of war, the expulsion of civilians, rapes, looting,
9 and so on?
10 A. No. No one ever told me that about you.
11 Q. Do you know about most of my political speeches in the wartime
12 period where I categorically opposed any form of crime?
13 A. In the course of the war I did not have occasion to hear most of
14 your speeches. I only heard some of them, but I never heard you call
15 people to kill.
16 Q. Mr. 004 --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, a new form of
18 gymnastics has been introduced here. Every time I start to speak I have
19 to press this button. This has not been the practice so far. So far it's
20 only been sufficient for me to press it once.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, when I want to speak
22 I also have to switch on my microphone. We're all supposed to do that
23 when we want to take the floor. But I'm being told that since the witness
24 has been granted voice distortion, we have to do this.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I understand that now, and
1 I'll act accordingly.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. In the course of the examination-in-chief you mentioned that the
4 territory of Western Slavonia was mostly a partisan area in World War II;
5 is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. There were no Chetniks there at all?
8 A. No, there weren't.
9 Q. The vast majority of the Croats there were in the Ustasha, many of
10 them were in the Home Guard, and as the war went on more and more Croats
11 joined the partisans; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. In 1941 there were very few Croats in the partisans, few pre-war
14 Communists; is that right?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. In 1943 after the capitulation of Italy, when it was already well
17 known that Hitler was going to lose the war, more and more Croats joined
18 the partisans; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, correct.
20 Q. Members of the Ustasha units almost never joined the partisans; is
21 that correct?
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. It was the Home Guard who joined the partisans. They were people
24 who had been forcibly mobilised into units of the Independent State of
25 Croatia; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Just before the end of the war, the Ustasha authorities mobilised
3 a certain number of Serbs into the Home Guard by force; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. But they did not give weapons to those Serbs. They were labour
6 units; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. After World War II under the Communist regime, people from Western
9 Slavonia were able to hear only negative things about Chetniks; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Never anything positive. That's why there was fear of the
13 Chetniks, fear of Serbs, Chetniks a priori; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That's why the Serbs from Western Slavonia had mixed feelings when
16 receiving volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But they felt very threatened, which is why the volunteers were
19 welcomed; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. They were being threatened by the regime of Franjo Tudjman?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Well, now we'll deal with the period right after the arrival of
24 Franjo Tudjman and the Croatian Democratic Union in power. I will put
25 brief questions to you, and please continue answering briefly and then
1 we'll save a lot of time.
2 As soon as Tudjman gained power, intensive renewal of Ustasha
3 iconography started at political rallies and in public places; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But before Tudjman's gaining power at the election rallies of his
7 party, Ustasha symbols were brought out more and more often?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know that long before the war, long before gaining power,
10 Franjo Tudjman entered into firm contacts with the Croatian Ustasha
12 A. I heard about it.
13 Q. To the best of your knowledge, was Franjo Tudjman financed by the
14 Ustasha emigres?
15 A. I heard that too.
16 Q. Did he bring a leader of the Ustasha emigres to Croatia and make
17 him minister of defence when he gained power?
18 A. Yes, he did.
19 Q. Was that Gojko Susak?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Had he been a Ustasha leader among the emigres for a long time?
22 A. I don't know how long he had been a leader but he was an emigre
24 Q. Have you read Tudjman's book, "Worldlessness [phoen] of History"?
25 A. No, I haven't.
1 Q. Have you heard that Tudjman stated in public that he was proud
2 that his wife was neither a Serb nor a Jew?
3 A. Yes, I did hear that.
4 Q. So Franjo Tudjman displayed animosity both towards Serbs and
5 towards Jews; is that correct?
6 A. Well, that's how people experienced it, how they perceived it.
7 Q. Did you hear that Franjo Tudjman spoke in public that the Ustasha
8 Independent State of Croatia, in the course of World War II, was also an
9 expression of the historical aspiration of the Croatian people?
10 A. Yes, he did say that.
11 Q. In the eyes of the public was this perceived as rehabilitation of
12 the Ustasha state?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did this inspire horror among the Serbian masses in Croatia?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did this influence their fear or was it because I was scaring them
17 with Tudjman from Belgrade?
18 A. Well, they were certainly afraid of these statements made by
19 Mr. Franjo Tudjman.
20 Q. In the mass of the Serbian people, did the new Tudjman regime
21 represent a certain kind of restoration of the Independent State of
22 Croatia? Is that how most Serbs perceived it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And at the parliamentary elections in Croatia, who did the Serbs
25 vote for?
1 A. They gave the greatest support to the -- to the League of
2 Communists party, the Party of Democratic Changes of Ivica Racan, and only
3 five representatives of the Serb Democratic Party entered parliament.
4 Q. Does that mean that the majority of Serbs did not vote for their
5 national party? They voted instead for the then ruling political party
6 which was made up mostly of Croats?
7 A. Precisely.
8 Q. Does that mean that Serbs primarily wanted stability, a peaceful
9 and normal life together with Croats?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Does that mean that among the Serbian masses there was no great
12 nationalist sentiment?
13 A. There was not.
14 Q. Did Serbs feel betrayed by Racan's Party of Democratic Changes?
15 A. They did.
16 Q. Were they disenchanted by their behaviour before and after the
18 A. They were disappointed after the elections by his behaviour.
19 Q. Was it only then that the Serbs joined the Serb Democratic Party
20 en masse?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. That's after May 1990. You made a mistake in the
23 examination-in-chief. You said Tudjman's party came into power in end
24 1989, but Tudjman actually came into power in end April and early May
25 1990. Am I right?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. I know it was an honest mistake, and I didn't want to draw
3 attention to it.
4 That year, 1990, when Tudjman came into power did you Serbs in the
5 territory of Croatia even know about me?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Was I able to exert any influence to enhance your nationalist
9 A. No, you were not.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1990, was the name of Seselj
11 familiar to those Serbs who lived in Croatia? Did that name ring a bell,
12 or was it someone no one knew nothing about?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was completely unknown to Serbs
14 in Croatia at the time.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. In that year 1990, after the electoral victory in Croatia, Tudjman
17 speedily changes the situation in that republic.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. First of all, he changed the official symbols of Croatia; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. He abolished the red five-pointed stars, and the Serbs did not
22 mind much because we've all -- we had already been sick and tired of it
23 under Communist power.
24 A. They did not mind because they were loyal to Croatia.
25 Q. Especially in that partisan area where you lived.
1 A. Precisely.
2 Q. That five-pointed star was a symbol of struggle against Fascism
3 and Ustashas.
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. They were not much interested in Communist ideology, but they were
6 anti-fascists and they wanted to live in a normal state, and they wanted
7 to be equal to Croats?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Did the Serbs in Croatia after World War II represent a
10 constituent people?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what was the percentage of Serbs in Croatia approximately?
13 A. Thirteen per cent, I believe.
14 Q. Just after World War II was there many more?
15 A. I think a lot more.
16 Q. And before World War II there were even -- even more?
17 A. I think at that time there were 30 per cent.
18 Q. So from 30 per cent they fell to 12, 13 per cent. What explains
19 that demographic fall?
20 A. First of all, Ustasha crimes during the war, and then a number of
21 people left Croatia.
22 Q. After World War II?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Why did those people leave after World War II?
25 A. Well, most of them left to find jobs elsewhere, better living
1 conditions, because their localities were underdeveloped and there were no
2 great prospects.
3 Q. And did the authorities keep them underdeveloped deliberately in
4 many of these regions?
5 A. That's how we Serbs perceived it, that our regions were kept
6 underdeveloped and neglected by the authorities in Croatia although Serbs
7 were represented in those authorities.
8 Q. And what did it mean to have the status of a constituent nation, a
9 constituent people? Could you explain that?
10 A. That means that we were not a national minority as we were
11 supposed to be after Tudjman came in power. We were an equal people,
12 equal to Croats, enjoying all the rights guaranteed by the constitution.
13 Q. What was the first time, do you know, when Serbs were proclaimed
14 to be a people, a nation on equal footing in Croatia?
15 A. I don't know that.
16 Q. You're an educated man. Let me try to remind you. Was it in the
17 19th century?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was it the basic precondition for the unification of the military
20 Krajina with Croatia and Slavonia?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The military Krajina, was this an independent territory under the
23 direct government of Vienna?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In that military Krajina, Serbs border guards lived for centuries.
1 They had no feudal obligations, but they served as good fighters against
2 the Turks; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Under Austria and Hungary, Croatia was reduced to three counties
5 only, Zagreb, Krizevac, and Varazdin; correct?
6 A. I think that's right.
7 Q. After that Croats displayed political aspirations to unite with
8 Slavonia; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And there came the turn of military Krajina that encompassed
11 current Dalmatia, Lika, Banija, Kordun, and Western Slavonia; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And to join Croatia and Slavonia, the Serbs put -- imposed a
14 condition that they should be an equal people and as such represented in
15 the Croatian parliament.
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. That first session of the anti-fascist council of the national
18 liberation of Croatia, did it introduce the constituent status of Serbs in
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did it mean that the legal status of Croatia may not be changed
22 without the agreement and consent of the Serbian people?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Did this anti-fascist council of the national liberation of
25 Croatia try also in this way to make reparations to Serbs because of the
1 genocide committed against them in World War II?
2 A. Yes. It was that as well.
3 Q. Being a constituent nation, it was defined in the constitution
4 that the State of Croatia belongs to Croat people and the Serbs who live
5 in Croatia, just as all other people. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did that imply that Croatia can never secede from Yugoslavia
8 without the consent of the Serbs living in Croatia?
9 A. Yes, it did.
10 Q. Did Franjo Tudjman, as soon as he came into power, call into
11 question the Serbs' status as constituent nation?
12 A. He did.
13 Q. To that end did he seek constitutional amendments?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could Serbs ever agree to Tudjman's intentions to reduce them from
16 a constituent nation to a simple national minority?
17 A. The Serbs did not want to accept that.
18 Q. In your opinion, is that the basic --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Seselj is now
20 dealing with a constitutional issue. He asked you a question, you
21 answered yes but without making any further comment. His theory is as
22 follows considering those questions: In the constitution mention was made
23 of the Serb people, and the simple fact that Croatia would secede from
24 Yugoslavia would have required the approval of a Constitution or a Serb
25 constitutional Assembly. When Croatia decided to secede from Yugoslavia,
1 were there internal discussions in Croatia, discussions related to the
2 fact that Serbs had not been asked for their opinions? Did politicians
3 mention the fact? Was there mention of this in the press? Were there
4 demonstrations? To your knowledge did such things happen?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when the
6 constitutional amendments initiated by Franjo Tudjman occurred requiring
7 Serbs to be proclaimed a national minority rather than a constituent
8 people, we from the Serbian Democratic Party proposed our own amendments
9 to the constitution, invoking this anti-fascist council session insisting
10 that we should stay a constituent nation precisely because of the role
11 that Serbs played in the Croatian history even before the Second World War
12 and especially during the Second World War when they were greatly
13 victimised and they were the main anti-fascist force. However, the
14 parliament did not acknowledge our proposals and the ruling party,
15 Tudjman's party, Croatian democratic -- the HDZ, had a majority, and they
16 pushed whatever they wanted.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You mention amendments to the
18 Constitution. Was there a vote at the Assembly, at the parliament?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our amendments were not even taken
20 into consideration. If a proposal is not accepted, then there is no vote.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The amendments were dismissed as
22 part of what kind of procedure, in a small circle, as part of a more
23 official setting? How did it happen?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The proposals were not accepted or
25 taken into consideration. Anything that came from the Serbian Democratic
1 Party was rejected with -- dismissed.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. In view of the way Croatia was founded after World War II, was it
4 possible to change the status of Serbs within Croatia by simple
6 A. No.
7 Q. So in order to change the status of the Serbian people Serbian
8 consent was required; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. After the HDZ party came into power, they immediately started
11 introducing new systemic laws.
12 A. Right.
13 Q. Were they discriminatory regarding Serbs?
14 A. Yes, there were some laws like that.
15 Q. There was, for instance, the law on holidays where Serbs and Jews
16 did not have the same right to celebrate their religious holidays.
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Not only Serbs but Jews as well, because they were required, first
19 of all, to become members of a particular community in order to exercise
20 the right to a holiday.
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. In addition to those laws, the government of the Croatian
23 Democratic Union also passed decrees which changed the current situation
24 regarding inter-ethnic relations even quicker.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. They introduced the coat of arm -- or coats of arms that were very
2 reminiscent to Serbs of the Independent State of Croatia, the Ustasha
4 A. The Serbs perceived it that way.
5 Q. Do you -- do you remember the change of name of the academy of
6 fine arts and science? It was renamed into Croatian academy.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You know that this academy was called the Yugoslav academy of arts
9 and science, and it was founded by Strossmayer and Racki in 19th century.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Only the Ustasha leader Pavelic tried to change the name of that
12 academy before.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it the case that in the new Statute of the Croatian academy of
15 arts and science it was written that it was a successor of the academy
16 from the times of Ustasha power, Ustasha government?
17 A. I don't know that.
18 Q. Did Ustasha -- sorry. Did new Croatian authorities start renaming
19 very quickly places, streets, squares, et cetera?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did the new names evoke former Ustasha criminals?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was there a big scandal with the raising of a monument to the
24 Ustasha leader Mile Budak?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In Croatian media did open propaganda of separatism begin?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did new Croatian authorities begin massive dismissals of Serbs
4 from public service?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did Serbs lose their jobs in the police, in the judiciary, the
7 television en masse?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Many Serbs were forced to retire early, weren't they?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Serbs began to be dismissed from large enterprises.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is it the case that Tudjman's authorities introduced a new special
14 document that had never existed before, and it was called Domovnica?
15 A. Yes. That was for citizenship.
16 Q. Did they issue it selectively to the citizens of Croatia?
17 A. At the beginning it was hard for Serbs to get that document, that
18 certificate of citizenship.
19 Q. It was hard even for Serbs whose fathers and grandfathers were
20 born in Croatia.
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Did Serbs perceive the introduction of this certificate of
23 citizenship, Domovnica as a way to expel them from Croatia?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. On the 21st of February, 1991, did the Croatian parliament adopt
1 the decision that Federal laws no longer apply in Croatia?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was it by that time an openly separatist move?
4 A. That's how Serbs perceived it.
5 Q. Just after he came into power, did Tudjman begin to arm the
6 followers of his party?
7 A. He did.
8 Q. Did it arrive in trailers massively from Hungary this weaponry?
9 A. That's what we could read in the media.
10 Q. Did you watch on television sometime in January 1991, a programme
11 filmed by the counter-intelligence service of the JNA led by
12 General Aleksandar Vasiljevic?
13 A. Yes, it was broadcast on TV.
14 Q. Did this programme document the illegal arming of Croats?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know who General Martin Spegelj was?
17 A. At that time he was minister of defence in Tudjman's government.
18 Q. The military security service clandestinely taped some
19 conversations between Martin Spegelj and his associates.
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. We were able to see on that programme how Spegelj was telling his
22 associates that groups of five men must be formed to go to army officers'
23 houses door-to-door, kill them at their doorsteps so that at the key
24 critical moment not a single officer would be able to reach his barracks.
25 A. I remember that.
1 Q. Did Spegelj say then that it would be civil war without mercy?
2 There would be no mercy even for women or children. Simply they would
3 throw bombs into the family homes of Yugoslav officers.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember that Martin Spegelj as Tudjman's minister of
6 defence said that the problem of Knin and the Serbs in Knin would be dealt
7 with by massacre?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. Did Tudjman establish quite illegally a paramilitary formation
10 called the Home Guards Corps?
11 A. It was illegal under the Federal laws then.
12 Q. Under the constitutional and legal system of Yugoslavia it was
13 completely illegal, wasn't it?
14 A. Yes, it was.
15 Q. At the largest stadium in Zagreb did he organise a parade and
16 inspection of the Home Guards Corps?
17 A. He did.
18 Q. In the eyes of the Serbian people, did that mean officialising an
19 Ustasha army?
20 A. It certainly caused terror among the Serbs because a new army was
21 created they were not represented in.
22 Q. Did the Croatian Democratic Union as Tudjman's ruling party begin
23 to arm its members?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You said on one occasion that on your way from Osijek via
1 Slovanska Pozega to Pakrac, in many places in Slavonia you saw armed
2 civilians carrying rifles in Croatian places. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did Franjo Tudjman increase the force, the numbers of Croatian
5 police many times?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did that police force now accept almost exclusively members of his
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did an openly Ustasha political party, the Croatian Party of
11 Rights, form its own paramilitary formation called Croatian Armed Forces?
12 A. That political party made their own army that was called this way.
13 Q. Did they display openly all Ustasha symbols?
14 A. They did.
15 Q. Did Tudjman's government start making demands that the Yugoslav
16 People's Army leave Croatia?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did they begin blocking barracks, cutting off power, water,
19 telephone lines to the barracks?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did they start killing soldiers, attacking them, injuring them,
22 killing them?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In Split was a JNA soldier killed, a Macedonian called
25 Sasko Gesovski?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Was the garrison in Varazdin blockaded in?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was an entire corps under siege there?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did that corps have 120 tanks which were the most up-to-date
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. At the end did the corps commander finally surrender and deliver
10 all those weapons to the Croats?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were some officers killed in spite of having surrendered?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In the barracks in Bjelovar did Major Tepic refuse to surrender
15 and did he blow-up both himself and a group of soldiers?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Because he didn't want to surrender to Tudjman's paramilitary
18 forces; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did Croatian propaganda persistently call the JNA a Jugo-Communist
21 army, then a Jugo-Chetnik army, and then finally a Serbo-Chetnik army?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When the armed operations began did Croatian propaganda call all
24 Serbs Chetniks making no distinction?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were the families of JNA officers mistreated and harassed?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In this way were JNA officers blackmailed and made to surrender?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were there cases when a JNA barracks was surrounded, the officers
6 refused to surrender, the Croatian police and paramilitary forces brought
7 members of their immediate families there and threatened that their
8 families would be killed unless they surrendered?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do remember when Goran Hadzic was arrested at Plitvice in the
11 first few days of April 1991?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Are you aware -- are you aware that the Serb Radical Party, in the
14 course of March and April 1991, at the invitation of local Serbs sent
15 their volunteers to many villages to participate in defending the
16 population which felt under threat?
17 A. I heard about this.
18 Q. That was in March and April 1991; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At the time the JNA did not participate in the armed clashes at
21 all; is that correct?
22 A. Well, it didn't participate, but on the 2nd of March they arrived
23 in Pakrac, and later on, on the 1st of April, it arrived in Plitvice.
24 Q. I'll ask you about that separately. Now I want to maintain the
25 continuity of this set of questions.
1 You were one of the negotiators with the Croatian authorities
2 negotiating the release of Goran Hadzic and his associates; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Goran Hadzic when he was arrested was beaten up, put in the boot
6 of a police car; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you as a negotiator with the Croatian authorities, did you
9 manage to reach an agreement that the Croatian authorities should release
10 Goran Hadzic and the Serbs should remove the barricades at the approaches
11 to the villages in Eastern Slavonia and --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure where.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. And the Croatian police would not intervene?
15 A. Yes, that's what we agreed.
16 Q. Are you aware whether these barricades were really dismantled?
17 A. Yes, they were dismantled.
18 Q. Are you aware that most volunteers of the Serb Radical Party then
19 withdrew to Serbia?
20 A. I don't know that.
21 Q. Do you know that small groups in individual villages remained even
22 after the signing of that agreement and that one such group remained in
23 Borovo Selo?
24 A. I heard about that.
25 Q. Do you know that the Croats with two busloads of policemen, both
1 regular policemen and extra -- irregular policemen and the speedily
2 mobilised policemen, burst into Borovo Selo?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Are you aware that they began to shoot as soon as they disembarked
5 from the buses?
6 A. That's what I heard.
7 Q. Are you aware that the first person killed in Borovo Selo was a
8 Serb, Vojislav Milic, a volunteer from a village near Valjevo?
9 A. I heard that.
10 Q. Did you hear that he was killed although he was not carrying a
11 weapon? He was killed in front of the cultural club where a group of
12 volunteers was quartered?
13 A. I heard about that.
14 Q. Are you aware that volunteers of the Serb Radical Party started
15 fighting only then?
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. Are you aware that the local people were working in the fields at
18 the time because it was time to sow corn and other agriculture crops?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that it took some time for them to hear the shooting, collect
21 their weapons and start fighting?
22 A. That's what I heard.
23 Q. Are you aware that large number of Croatian policemen and
24 para-policemen were killed in that fighting?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Are you aware that the fighting stopped only when a JNA unit
2 entered Borovo Selo and separated the warring sides?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Are you aware that the Croatian authorities demanded that the JNA
5 unit intervene?
6 A. I think so.
7 Q. It was only then that the Croats managed to pull out of Borovo
8 Selo, collect the wounded and the dead; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. Yes. They did that with the assistance of the army.
10 Q. So practically the JNA took the Croats' side at that time and
11 helped them not to suffer an even greater defeat.
12 A. Well, the JNA then separated the two sides and allowed the wounded
13 and the dead to be pulled out.
14 Q. Had there not been the JNA intervention, it would have been hard
15 for any Croatian policeman to pull out alive; is that right?
16 A. Yes, most probably.
17 Q. Are you aware that at that time the Croatian authorities had
18 already mobilised foreigners into their paramilitary units?
19 A. I heard about that later.
20 Q. Did you hear that many Kurd mercenaries were in their units?
21 A. Well, a lot of things were being said at the time, that people of
22 different nationalities were there.
23 Q. Did you hear that the Croats took these poor, illiterate, and
24 rather primitive Kurds and that they paid them in false money with
25 banknotes that had long not been valid, the banknotes used in Pavelic's
1 Independent State of Croatia and even Hitler's Reich marks?
2 A. I didn't hear that.
3 Q. Did you hear that the Croats did not count Kurds who had been
4 killed among their losses?
5 A. I heard something about that but I don't really know.
6 Q. Did you hear that these Kurds were simply buried somewhere as if
7 they had never even turned up in Croatia?
8 A. I didn't hear that. I didn't hear about that.
9 Q. Very well. You saw this footage shown to you by the OTP where I'm
10 declaring Stipe Mesic to be a Ustasha. You remember that, don't you?
11 A. Yes I do.
12 Q. Are you aware that Stipe Mesic was one of Franjo Tudjman's closest
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Are you aware that at the time of the election campaign in Croatia
16 when the elections were being prepared Stipe Mesic visited the Ustasha
17 emigres in overseas countries?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Are you aware that there is video footage showing Stipe Mesic
20 singing Ustasha songs at rallies where Pavelic's pictures were displayed
21 and Ustasha iconography?
22 A. I saw footage where Mr. Stipe Mesic spoke about the double victory
23 of Croatia on the 10th of April when the Ustasha came to power and again
24 in 1945 when the partisans won. He spoke of two victories, the victory of
25 the Ustasha government and the victory of the partisan government.
1 Q. It's the 10th of April, 1941, when under German occupation the
2 Ustasha took over power in Croatia and declared the independent State of
3 Croatia; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is the date.
5 Q. That was the 10th of April. The Croats won both when the Ustasha
6 gained power and after World War II when the partisans gained power. Both
7 times they were among the victors. Is that the gist of Stipe Mesic's
9 A. Well, that's how he spoke to the rally in Australia.
10 Q. Well, I'll he deal with these rallies very briefly; it would take
11 too long to deal with each of them in detail.
12 In the summer and autumn of 1991, did it sometimes happen that in
13 Sisak Serbs would simply go missing? Sisak is a town close to Western
14 Slavonia and close to Banija; is that correct? Banija is the closest to
16 A. Yes, Sisak is in Banija and these things did happen.
17 Q. It would simply happen that a Serb would go missing, would be
18 swallowed up by the night and no one would know about their fate?
19 A. Yes, that's what happened.
20 Q. Did some of -- were some of these Serbs later found in the river
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were Serbs killed there in their houses and armed groups would
24 simply turn up and kill them?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In Sisak, were there any armed conflicts?
2 A. In the town itself, no.
3 Q. So Croatian paramilitary units killed Serb civilians even though
4 there was no conflict going on, no fighting. Am I right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know about the Croatian camps in Pakracka Poljana, and
7 Marino Selo close to Pakrac?
8 A. Yes, I heard about them. I know about them.
9 Q. Were Serb civilians brought there from various places in Croatia?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were there Serb civilians from Zagreb among them?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were many of these Serbs killed?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did many of these Serbs have to pay vast sums of money to get out
16 of those camps?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So one of the motives of putting the Serbs into camps was to
19 extort money from them?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Slavonska Pozega is close to Western Slavonia, is it not?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Do you know that the Crisis Staff of the defence of the
24 municipality of Slavonska Pozega ordered in writing that all Serbs be
25 evacuated from 25 villages in a 48-hour period with the belongings they
1 could carry with them?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was that on the 29th of October, 1991?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were these villages in which there had been no fighting, no armed
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Those Serbs who were not evacuated, were they killed in their
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And all the houses in those villages, were they looted and burnt?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was this the big -- the first big example of ethnic cleansing in
14 the wars that were conducted in the territory of the former Yugoslavia?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you remember the events at the Korana bridge on the 21st of
17 September, 1991?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did a group of JNA soldiers then run into an ambush set by
20 Croatian paramilitary units?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And when asked to surrender, did these JNA soldiers really
24 A. Yes, they did.
25 Q. When they surrendered, did they lay down their arms, and were they
1 then made to lie down on the bridge?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And was fire opened on them, and were they slaughtered with
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Under public pressure much later was there an attempt to prosecute
7 the perpetrators of this crime?
8 A. The trial is still ongoing.
9 Q. Well, the trial is still ongoing. Evidently there's
10 procrastination. It's being delayed.
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 Q. On the 1st of November was there a general attack on the civilians
13 in Grubisno Polje?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is Grubisno Polje to the north-west of Pakrac, and there were no
16 armed conflicts there?
17 A. Grubisno Polje is to the north-west of Pakrac, but there was
18 fighting there in August and September 1991.
19 Q. But it was sporadic fighting. There were no serious battles.
20 A. No, there were no serious battles.
21 Q. One could say that there was -- there was skirmishes. Is that the
22 right expression?
23 A. Well, I wasn't there but there was shooting.
24 Q. As early as the 15th of October did an exodus of civilians begin
25 from the area of Grubisno Polje?
1 A. Yes. That was the first exodus of Serbs in Western Slavonia.
2 Q. Was the exodus caused by the news that the Croats were preparing
3 for a major attack on Grubisno Polje?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When the Croats burst into Grubisno Polje there weren't many
6 civilians left there; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And those who did remain were killed in spite of this?
9 A. Some of those who remained were killed.
10 Q. A number of civilians took refuge in the woods near
11 Grubisno Polje; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did the Croats burn down that wood in order to kill the Serbs who
14 were there?
15 A. Well, people spoke about this, but it was not correct.
16 Q. Well, most of the Serbs managed to escape that wood, but those who
17 remained were burnt?
18 A. I think they were killed.
19 Q. They were killed and then they were burnt?
20 A. Something like that.
21 Q. Very well.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. 004, do you remember the events in Zagreb in December 1991,
25 when the police killed an entire family, the Zec family?
1 A. The Zec family was killed but two children survived, I think.
2 Q. A mother -- a mother, a father, and a 12-year-old daughter were
3 taken to Mount Sljeme near Zagreb; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The mother and the father were killed immediately?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. The 12-year-old daughter was first raped and then killed?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Did it turn out that the perpetrators of that crime were people
10 from Franjo Tudjman's personal security guards?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. After a long time, after many years, were these perpetrators put
13 on trial?
14 A. I think there was a trial, but they did not have a lawyer when
15 they were interviewed, and they could not be tried.
16 Q. So they were released for procedural reasons, although the facts
17 were established showing that they had perpetrated the crime?
18 A. Correct.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will stop now
20 because it's time to stop and to adjourn. We will start tomorrow at 8.30.
21 I would like to tell Mr. Seselj that you will have three hours and eight
22 minutes left for the cross-examination.
23 So we will meet again tomorrow at 8.30.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.15 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 13th day
1 of February, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.