1 Tuesday, 20 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. We are to commence evidence of a
6 new witness, and there are special orders in respect of this witness, are
7 there not, Ms. Somers?
8 MS. SOMERS: Yes, there are, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Are you ready to call the witness?
10 MS. SOMERS: We are, Your Honour, and Mr. Weiner will be leading
11 the evidence.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes. Can the witness be brought in.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Would you be good enough to read
15 the affirmation on the card that is being offered to you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. If you would sit down, please.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS B
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner. We'll just pause while the blinds
22 go up.
23 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I'd like to show this document to the
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 Examined by Mr. Weiner:
2 Q. Witness, is that your name on that document?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is that your date of birth on that document?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. WEINER: I'd like to offer that and asked that it be sealed,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received and sealed.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked P152, and it's under seal.
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may we go into private session for about
11 two minutes so I can elicit a few personal details from the witness?
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
13 [Private session]
12 Page 5012 – redacted – private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
11 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
12 Q. Now, during basic training, sir, what did you study?
13 A. I was an artilleryman working with Maljutkas. We were taught how
14 to handle Maljutkas and different mines and also infantry training. That's
15 the gist of my training.
16 Q. Did you receive any classroom training in Maljutkas?
17 A. For the most part it was in the classroom that I learned about
18 Maljutkas, but not all the time. For about a month I was not in Zajecar,
19 when I went to Kicevo to pass my "C" level training as a driver.
20 Q. All right. Let's just stick with Maljutkas for a moment. Were
21 you taught assembly or disassembly of the Maljutka system?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you understand it?
24 A. Barely.
25 Q. What about guidance? Did you -- were you trained in guidance or
1 did you attempt to guide the missile yourself?
2 A. Yes, they did train us, but I didn't really understand that.
3 Q. I'd like to show you a photograph and ask that you look at it.
4 Witness B, could you tell us what is depicted in that photograph?
5 A. That's a Maljutka rocket and also a device for guiding it.
6 Q. Is that a fair and accurate representation of what a Maljutka
7 looks like?
8 A. Basically, yes, but the Maljutka that we had was perhaps a bit
9 shorter, something to that effect. Maybe its fins were shorter, but
10 basically that's it.
11 Q. Sir, could you tell the Court what does a Maljutka weigh, as best
12 you can?
13 A. Well, they told us that it weighed approximately 15 kilometres [as
14 interpreted]. They actually gave us the exact figure, but I don't
15 remember it. So it's around 15 kilogrammes.
16 Q. And what is the length of the Maljutka rocket?
17 A. About this big, sort of. Perhaps this big. I don't know exactly
18 in terms of centimetres or whatever.
19 Q. May the record reflect that the witness held his hands apart about
20 1.1, 1.2 metres.
21 JUDGE PARKER: If it reflected that I think it would be
23 MR. WEINER: We use a different measurement in the States. They
24 tell me it's 75 centimetres
25 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we thought it might be .75 to .8 metres, so
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 we're -- that shows a Swedish eye as opposed to fisherman's eye that you
2 must have.
3 MR. WEINER:
4 Q. Can you tell us the approximate cost of a Maljutka? Did you
5 receive any training on that or did they tell you what a Maljutka cost?
6 A. Yes. They told us that it -- that this one rocket cost as much as
7 a Lada Samara car at that time.
8 Q. A Lada Samara, is that a Russian car?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Sir, could you tell us the various parts in that photograph
11 starting -- what is that base? It looks like a suitcase. What is that?
12 A. Yes. It's sort of like a suitcase, and then this rocket is
13 disassembled and put into it, and then this suitcase is carried around.
14 At least that's what we did, one on the back, one on the abdomen, and in
15 each hand one, and inside is the rocket. When the rocket is taken out,
16 then part of the suitcase is dug into the ground, and it has something
17 inside that is adjusted, and then the rocket is placed on that suitcase.
18 Q. What are those two prongs in the front of that case-like object
19 between the case and the rocket?
20 A. Yes. It would be that kind of thing, like a prong. I don't know
21 how to call it.
22 Q. What does that prong do, prong or arm do?
23 A. The rocket is stuck onto it. It is lifted and then it is adjusted
24 in terms of the height that the rocket is supposed to reach.
25 Q. Those flaps or wings on the back, are those on the rocket when
1 it's in a case or do you install those?
2 A. They are already on the rocket, but when the rocket is taken out
3 of the suitcase, then these small wings or fins are opened.
4 Q. Is there any -- is there any wire on the device?
5 A. Yes. When the rocket is fired, then a wire is left behind, and
6 the wire goes from the device for guidance to the rocket.
7 Q. What is that yellow object, pipe-like object, to the left of the
9 A. Yes. It's like binoculars that you look through to see where the
10 rocket is being guided.
11 Q. Now, what is that object on the ground to the left if you're
12 facing the rocket, to the left of the binocular-type object? What is
14 A. That is the device or stick for guiding the missile, the rocket.
15 Q. Where does the operator stand or sit when the rocket is fired?
16 A. Near the guidance device.
17 Q. And does he or she look into the guidance device and use the
18 joystick to guide the missile or rocket?
19 A. Yes, but there's a button, too, that has to be pressed in order
20 for it to go.
21 Q. Now, you indicated that you were not -- you had trouble or were
22 not very good at operating the rocket. Could you tell us why?
23 A. In my battery in Zajecar, for the most part there were soldiers
24 who had had a better education. There were only four or five of us who
25 had completed only elementary school. For me, this was quite a bit of a
1 problem. In the classroom, we worked on this kind of training about
2 guidance, and we had to write a lot down in our notebooks, and I didn't
3 really understand any of this. I only understood the very basic things.
4 Q. And last question, when you guide the rocket, do you guide it all
5 the way into its target? Do you continue to watch -- I should say
6 missile. When you guide that missile, do you guide it all the way into
7 its target? Do you watch it the whole way?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. WEINER: The Prosecution would like to offer this photograph
10 at this time.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: This document is P153.
13 MR. WEINER:
14 Q. Now, Witness, since you were having some trouble with the Maljutka
15 training, were you sent for some other type of training?
16 A. Yes. I was sent to Kicevo as a driver. Two of us from the
17 battery went to Kicevo.
18 Q. Did you complete the driver training?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And when did your basic training end?
21 A. About the beginning of June, perhaps by the 10th of June,
22 something like that.
23 Q. Were you sent on any specific assignment in another area after you
24 completed basic training? That's in June.
25 A. No. I continued doing my military service in Zajecar as the
1 driver of my battery.
2 Q. All right. Let's move a few months ahead to September 1991. Were
3 you still at that same location?
4 A. Yes, until the 13th of September.
5 Q. And could you tell the Court what happened on the 13th of
7 A. On the 13th of September, in the morning, the alarms were sounded
8 all over the barracks, and the entire army was lined up. We were ordered
9 to hand over our weapons and to return some of our equipment. We had
10 everyday working equipment and also the more ceremonial kind of equipment,
11 to pick up just whatever was necessary, the basics, and that we would be
12 sent for retraining, but no one could really tell us where we would sent
14 Q. Were you sent somewhere?
15 A. Yes. We set out on foot towards the train station in Zajecar -
16 I'm not sure how many soldiers there were - accompanied by three officers
17 from the barracks. We took a train to Titograd. We stayed there for one
18 or two days, and then we arrived by bus in Titograd. We met a lot more
19 soldiers who had come from other barracks, from Serbia, from Kosovo and so
20 on, and then we were transferred in buses to Bileca. In Bileca, we were
21 given lunch, if I may call it that, and later on in the afternoon, we
22 arrived in Trebinje.
23 Q. Now, from Trebinje, where did you go?
24 A. At the barracks in Trebinje, towards dusk all of us soldiers who
25 arrived from Zajecar and the surroundings, they put us in several
1 different batteries alongside with reservists who had arrived in the
2 barracks on that same day, and there were only four of us Croats remaining
3 in that battery. And I'm not sure how many other persons of other
4 ethnicities, soldiers. Weapons were divvied out to everyone with the
5 exception of us four Croats, and we set out towards Ivanica during the
7 Q. Where is Ivanica located?
8 A. I'm not sure in terms of kilometres how far it is from Trebinje,
9 but it's about two kilometres as the crow flies in the direction of Brgat.
10 Q. In what state is it in? Is it in Croatia? Is it in Kosovo? Is
11 it in Montenegro?
12 A. Ivanica is in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 Q. How long were you in Ivanica?
14 A. We stayed in Ivanica for about two months.
15 Q. You say the word -- you used the word "about." Did you maintain
16 any diary or record of where you were each day or what you did each day?
17 A. No. No.
18 Q. After you went to Ivanica, where did you go?
19 A. We left Ivanica and went to an rear area called Duzi. That's
20 where we were stationed. We had guard duty there and nothing special in
21 addition to that.
22 Q. Where did you go after those two months?
23 A. I'm afraid I don't understand the question. Which two months?
24 Q. You were in Ivanica, you said, for about two months. Where did
25 you go next?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Duzi.
2 Q. And after Duzi?
3 A. After Duzi, one day we received orders to go, and we reached
4 Ivanica, the same place we had been stationed previously. We only stayed
5 for a couple of hours, and we set out for Brgat, which was where we
6 arrived at Zarkovica.
7 Q. Okay. What's the approximate date of your arrival at Zarkovica?
8 A. Mid-November, thereabouts. I can't remember the exact date.
9 Q. And can you tell us what happened when you arrived in Zarkovica?
10 A. My artillery battery left Brgat for Zarkovica with great caution.
11 We walked behind trucks sometimes, and sometimes we had to crawl. We
12 proceeded with great caution, however.
13 When we reached Zarkovica that same afternoon, I was among the
14 first to get there, and I noticed there were several soldiers, JNA
15 soldiers, up there who were firing from automatic rifles. However, after
16 a brief while, those soldiers disappeared from Zarkovica, and my entire
17 artillery battery arrived.
18 Q. Did you set up any of the weaponry?
19 A. Yes, provisionally, for about half an hour, one hour. That's how
20 long it took us to set up two Maljutkas and perhaps one or two recoilless
21 cannons. That's as much as we could do given the time that we had.
22 Q. And did you do anything with that artillery and with those
23 missiles after you set up the Maljutkas and the recoilless cannons?
24 A. Yes. Both the Maljutkas and the recoilless cannons were used.
25 Q. And can you explain to the Court what you mean by used in
2 A. Will you please repeat the question?
3 Q. Certainly. You said that you set up those weapons and that they
4 were used. Could you please explain what you mean by the weapons being
6 A. Yes. The weapons were used to target the town of Dubrovnik.
7 Q. Were there any officers present while these weapons were used
8 targeting the town of Dubrovnik?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who was present?
11 A. Captain Nesic, Captain Kovacevic, and some other lower-ranking
12 officers. I can't remember their names, those who were with us in the
14 Q. Did you hear anyone give an order in November to fire with those
15 weapons on the town of Dubrovnik?
16 A. Yes, I did, from the reservists. They said that Captain
17 Kovacevic, Captain Kovacevic had given an order to fire, but I didn't hear
18 this personally.
19 Q. And when you say Captain Kovacevic, are you referring to Vladimir
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, did your unit stay up on Zarkovica?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was additional weaponry brought to Zarkovica?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, with the Court's permission, could the
2 witness be allowed to draw a diagram of the layout of the troops in
3 Zarkovica, of the dormitories, the various weaponry?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I've drawn what you asked me
6 to draw roughly.
7 MR. WEINER: Could it be placed on the ELMO.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
9 MR. WEINER:
10 Q. Could you begin by explaining what that is, sir.
11 A. To the left from where I am you can see the Maljutkas dug in, in
12 front of which you can see the operators. What you see in the middle of
13 the anti-aircraft machine-guns, sort of, and to the right you can see the
14 recoilless cannons.
15 Q. Could you point to the area where the Maljutkas were located?
16 A. [Indicates]
17 Q. And then could you point to the area where the anti-aircraft gun
18 was located.
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. And could you then point to where the recoilless cannons were
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. What are those box-like or rectangular figures? There are three
24 of them on your drawing.
25 A. This here is one of the dormitories that we used to sleep in, and
1 this is another dormitory, and here is where Captain Nesic slept, and
2 that's where his command post at Zarkovica used to be. Something I didn't
3 draw here was there was a cesspit here, and roughly speaking that's the
4 layout of Zarkovica hill.
5 Q. Okay. Were there any trucks on Zarkovica?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you show us where the trucks were located?
8 A. The trucks were right here behind Zarkovica. Then here there was
9 a road that the vehicle that brought us food took to get there.
10 Q. Sir, could you use that pencil or if you could get a pen, and I'd
11 like you to put a couple numbers on your diagram and then we can put it
13 Could you please put a 1 in the area where the Maljutkas were
14 located, the number 1.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Could you please place a 2 in the area where the anti-aircraft
17 weapon was located.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Could you -- could you please place a 3 in the area where the
20 recoilless cannons were located.
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. Could you please place a 4 on the dormitory.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. And was there an officers' dormitory there, or a communications
1 A. Yes. There was another dormitory there where the command was for
2 Zarkovica, and that's where Captain Nesic was staying, as well as the
4 Q. Could you place a 5 on that.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. And finally, could you place a 6 in the area that's outside the
7 mount of Zarkovica where the Old Town of Dubrovnik was, the direction?
8 Could you please place a 6, or an arrow with a 6.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. And could you put that back on the ELMO, please. Thank you.
12 And just finally, could you just write "Witness B" and today's
13 date on that piece of paper.
14 A. Today's date.
15 Q. The 20th of April.
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. WEINER: We'd like to offer that at this time.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked P154.
20 MR. WEINER:
21 Q. Witness B, we'd like to show you another photograph. Witness,
22 could you tell us what that is?
23 A. This is a photograph taken from Zarkovica with the Maljutkas.
24 Q. And is the --
25 A. That's at least what it looks like to me.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And is the Old Town depicted in that photograph?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And is that a fair and accurate representation of the way
4 Zarkovica looked on December 6, 1991, in part?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. WEINER: We'd like to offer that photograph too.
8 JUDGE PARKER: That will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked as P155.
10 MR. WEINER:
11 Q. Witness B, how many soldiers were on Zarkovica or approximately
12 how many soldiers were on Zarkovica with you?
13 A. About 50. I don't know the exact number.
14 Q. And what was the breakdown between reservists and conscripts?
15 A. Will you please repeat the question? I'm afraid I didn't
16 understand what you mean by "breakdown."
17 Q. I'm sorry. What were the percentages between reservists and
18 conscripts of those 50 or so soldiers on Zarkovica?
19 A. The total number of soldiers there was about 50. About 60, 65
20 per cent of them reservists, and the remaining portion were conscripts.
21 Q. Now, during those months in November and December that you were in
22 Zarkovica and even January, how old were you?
23 A. 19.
24 Q. Had you ever been to Dubrovnik?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Had you ever heard of the Old Town?
2 A. No.
3 Q. When did you first hear about this place called the Old Town?
4 A. The first I heard of it was when I was stationed at Ivanica, when
5 the first shelling of Dubrovnik allegedly took place. That's at least
6 what Captain Delic said, and he was the commander of my battalion at the
7 time. He came over to see us once, my artillery battalion. He was quite
8 angry, and he said that he had no idea why the Old Town had been shelled,
9 if it had been ordered that it not be shelled. And that was the first I
10 ever heard of the Old Town.
11 Q. Captain Delic, that Ekrem Delic?
12 A. I don't remember the first name.
13 Q. Was he the commander prior to Kovacevic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, you said that was the first time you'd ever heard of the Old
16 Town. Prior to your military service, how many times had you been out of
17 your municipality that you lived -- that you lived in? How many times had
18 you been outside of that?
19 A. Perhaps twice, three times, three or four days each. As a child,
20 sometimes we went on outings with my school class to the sea coast. That
21 was about it.
22 Q. When did you see the Old Town? When did you first see it?
23 A. When I got to Zarkovica.
24 Q. And how did it appear?
25 A. When I first laid eyes on it, it looked like the most beautiful
1 thing I had ever seen in my life, and that applies not only to me but to
2 all the soldiers present there. Everyone stood and looked in wonderment.
3 Q. Now, how is the Old Town or the Old City separated from the rest
4 of Dubrovnik?
5 A. Well, it had walls, sort of. You could see that immediately from
6 Zarkovica that there were walls, and you could tell the difference between
7 what the new buildings were and the part that was inside of the town
8 walls, encircled by the walls.
9 Q. How long did you remain on Zarkovica? If you began staying there
10 in mid-November, how long did you stay there?
11 A. For about two and a half months.
12 Q. Can you tell us what the conditions were like for the soldiers in
13 Zarkovica. Was there any set time to get up and go to work each morning?
14 A. No. We woke up whenever we liked, depending on the person, and in
15 the evening you went to sleep whenever you wanted to, and the same thing
16 applied during the day. Whoever was standing guard was just there on
17 duty, and whoever wasn't was resting.
18 Q. Now, how did the reservists act? How did they behave on
20 A. They treated us soldiers who were conscripts in our regular
21 military service quite rudely or brutally. I, as a Croat, received
22 especially rude treatment.
23 Q. Did they do their daily work, the reservists? Did they do their
25 A. We conscripts who were not reservists had to do most of the work,
1 clean the toilets, transporting weapons from one truck onto another, that
2 sort of thing.
3 Q. Did the reservists also do that work?
4 A. Whenever they felt like it. When they didn't, they didn't. Then
5 we had to.
6 Q. Was there much drinking of alcohol on Zarkovica?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How often was the drinking?
9 A. The reservists drank every second or third day. In the evening
10 they'd be drunk. Not only on Zarkovica but even before, at Ivanica.
11 Q. What about the officers? Did they complain or do anything about
12 the drinking by the reservists?
13 A. No, nothing special.
14 Q. Did the commander, Kovacevic, do anything about the drinking by
15 the reservists?
16 A. No. Whenever Kovacevic came to Zarkovica in the evening, they
17 would all start panicking, saying, "Kovacevic is on his way." But they
18 would just sing slightly more softly. It's not that they were behaving
19 any differently. Kovacevic would just cast a glance their way and then
20 leave. There was no special reaction.
21 Q. Was there a lot of singing on Zarkovica?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What was sung?
24 A. The reservists were singing their Chetnik songs. They also sang
25 folk songs. They had a cassette player with a large microphone that was
1 aimed at Dubrovnik, and they played songs there, too, so they could be
2 heard in Dubrovnik.
3 Q. Where were these reservists from that were drinking and singing
4 and not doing their work?
5 A. Only from Trebinje.
6 Q. Was there ever any mention about Mijo Vucurevic from Trebinje?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what about the reservists say about the mayor?
9 A. Would you repeat the first thing you said?
10 Q. What did -- what did the reservists say about Mayor Vucurevic from
12 A. They said he was the mayor of Trebinje. I never saw him.
13 However, he did come to visit the soldiers, even while we were at Ivanica.
14 He probably didn't come to my battery. I did not see him. But a few
15 reservists then went to these other batteries where he stopped by. They
16 went there to see him.
17 Q. And after these reservists returned from their visits, did they
18 say anything about the visit with the mayor?
19 A. Well, whenever he arrived, they always talked about some kind of
20 surrender and some kind of negotiations, that Dubrovnik would be
21 surrendered, things to that effect.
22 Q. Okay. Now, let's move on. Who was the commander of your unit on
24 A. Do you mean my unit, my artillery battalion, or the battalion as
25 such? I don't know about a particular unit. I know about the division,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the artillery battalion and my battalion.
2 Q. Your particular battalion and the artillery battalion, who were
3 the commanders?
4 A. Captain Nesic was commander of the artillery battalion. He was
5 commander of the division or artillery battalion. I can't remember who
6 the commander of the battery was. It was a second lieutenant or
7 lieutenant. He was a Bosniak; I can't remember his name. Whereas Radomir
8 Kovacevic, "Rambo", was commander of the battalion.
9 Q. And what did the reservists say about Vladimir Kovacevic,
10 nicknamed Rambo?
11 A. They said that he was very strict. I noticed the same thing. He
12 was strict. He was brave. Things to that effect. Whenever he came,
13 people would sort of panic. "Captain Kovacevic is coming." But he never
14 shouted at them or did anything special, but they really were afraid of
15 him, especially Captain Nesic.
16 Q. Were you afraid of him?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Who was the deputy commander under Kovacevic?
19 A. Captain Zeljko Soldo.
20 Q. Let us move to December, December 5, 1991. Did you hear any
21 rumours from the reservists on that day?
22 A. Something like negotiations about the surrender of Dubrovnik.
23 Nothing else.
24 Q. Now, let's move to the 6th. Could you tell us what happened in
25 the morning of the 6th.
1 A. In the early morning hours, I don't know the exact time, 7.00,
2 7.30, I can't say exactly, Kovacevic would arrive up there [as
3 interpreted], issued an order. We were all lined up. If Dubrovnik would
4 not surrender by 7.30, by a given hour, we would attack. We would attack
5 the positions of the Croat forces.
6 Q. Now, while you were lined up, was there ever any discussion from
7 the commander Kovacevic that there was any fighting during the night? Was
8 there ever any mention of that?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Was there any mention of JNA suffering any losses during the early
11 morning hours?
12 A. No.
13 Q. The reservists and the other soldiers, did any of them mention any
14 fighting during the early morning hours or anyone -- any losses suffered
15 during that time?
16 A. No.
17 Q. During the early morning hours of December 6, from midnight on,
18 were you awakened by the sound of any gunfire or shelling?
19 A. You mean during the night?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Could you please repeat that? No, nothing woke me up. I didn't
22 hear anything.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter' note: Could the witness please
24 come closer to the microphone. Thank you.
25 MR. WEINER:
1 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that on December 6th you got up and you
2 were called into line. How do you know that that was on December 6th that
3 this happened?
4 A. Well, that stuck in my memory. It's a memorable day. It was
5 St. Nicholas Day, according to our Catholic calendar, and a person cannot
6 forget the 6th of December. I cannot remember that day for the rest of my
8 Q. You said, "I cannot remember that day for the rest of my life."
9 Do you mean you cannot forget that day?
10 A. Yes. Yes, sorry. Yes.
11 Q. Now, after you lined up and you were told that if there's no
12 surrender that they would -- you would attack, what did you do next?
13 A. We went to the positions.
14 Q. What did the Maljutka operators do?
15 A. They were stationed where the operators were, I mean the operators
16 who were in charge of guidance, and they awaited further orders.
17 Q. What did you do?
18 A. I was in one of the dormitories where there were some rockets and
19 other weapons that were stationed there.
20 Q. And -- and what were you doing with them?
21 A. We were waiting until the attack began. When the attack began,
22 then we would bring the rockets to the positions where they had been dug
23 in. We brought them to the other operators who were preparing them for
25 Q. Could you tell us about the beginning of the attack? What
2 A. First Srdj was attacked. For a while, Srdj was targeted. I don't
3 know for how long exactly. Then artillery fire stopped at Srdj because
4 the infantry set out towards Srdj. When the infantry set out towards
5 Srdj, then automatically Dubrovnik was targeted from Zarkovica.
6 Q. When you say Dubrovnik was targeted, what part or parts of
7 Dubrovnik was targeted from Zarkovica?
8 A. All parts. The Old Town, the New Town, and that island on the
9 left-hand side.
10 Q. What type of artillery was used on the Old City? Please tell the
12 A. Mostly Maljutkas. Some recoilless guns, but then they redirected
13 their fire to the new part of town on the right-hand side while the
14 rockets targeted the old part.
15 Q. You mentioned cannons, recoilless cannons and Maljutkas. Was
16 there any mortar fire in the morning?
17 A. Yes. Mortars were stationed behind us, behind Zarkovica. They
18 were firing too. You could hear it, but I don't know where they were
20 Q. Now, what were you doing while the artillery was firing on
21 Dubrovnik, including the Old Town?
22 A. Since I was an operator but I was not very good at that, I didn't
23 really know how to do this, then I was just bringing these Maljutkas from
24 the trucks that were stationed behind Zarkovica to that room where the
25 rockets were, or I'd go all the way up to the positions and hand over the
1 rockets to the other soldiers who would then put them in a position that
2 was ready to be fired.
3 Q. Now, within 30 minutes of the JNA opening fire on the Old Town of
4 Dubrovnik and Srdj, was there any return fire?
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, I think
8 that my learned friend is leading the witness by putting such a question.
9 That is the first thing I wish to say. And secondly, if he wishes to base
10 it on something the witness has said so far, that is not the case. This
11 is a construction which has not appeared in what the witness said until
13 JUDGE PARKER: The counsel, Mr. Petrovic, in my assessment, is
14 merely directing the witness to a different and specific area by asking
15 whether in that specific time there was return fire. So I cannot uphold
16 your objection.
17 Yes, Mr. Weiner.
18 MR. WEINER:
19 Q. Sir, could you tell us what, if any, return fire there was towards
20 Zarkovica that morning?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. First tell us, when after the attack started was the return fire,
24 A. Five, ten minutes approximately when the attack on Srdj started.
25 Q. Now, were you wearing a watch that morning?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No.
2 Q. Now, could you tell the Court about that return fire?
3 A. When the attack on Srdj started, as I said, within five or ten
4 minutes' time the Croatian side responded with fire against Zarkovica.
5 However, not a single shell fell on Zarkovica itself. The largest number
6 of shells was three or four, and they didn't even fall on Zarkovica itself
7 but near Zarkovica, and that was all for all of that day.
8 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown the diagram P154 again,
10 JUDGE PARKER: I'm conscious of the time, Mr. Weiner. Is this
11 going to take more than a minute or so?
12 MR. WEINER: Why don't we go ahead with the break and we can
13 continue after.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Because we will run out of tape time if we don't.
15 So what we'll do now is have an adjournment for some 20 minutes, but first
16 the witness needs to be allowed to leave the Chamber.
17 We will now adjourn.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
21 MR. WEINER: Thank you. Could the witness be shown the diagram
22 P154, please. Could that be placed on the ELMO. Thanks. Sorry.
23 Q. Using the pointer -- using the pointer, could you please show us
24 the area -- the areas where those three or four shells landed?
25 A. One of them landed in front of Zarkovica, one to the left, and one
2 Q. Did any land within that military area on top of Zarkovica?
3 A. You mean Zarkovica itself?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, during the day, sir, during the rest of the day,
7 did any other shells land on Zarkovica or in the area of Zarkovica?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Now, when the shells landed, those three shells landed early after
10 the attack started, what did you do?
11 A. At that time, I was in one of the dormitories.
12 Q. Was there anyone else in the dormitory?
13 A. Yes, there were some of us there. Quite a number of other
15 Q. And what were you doing there?
16 A. We took shelter.
17 Q. When did you realise that the other -- no more shells were
19 A. Well, it was clear, and you could hear that there were no more
20 shells landing on Zarkovica.
21 Q. So what did those people who were staying in the dormitory, what
22 did they do when there was no more shelling into Zarkovica?
23 A. We went down to where the truck was to fetch the rockets to take
24 them back to their position.
25 Q. With no shelling, were you able to move around Zarkovica?
1 A. Yes, but with a lot of caution.
2 Q. What were you being cautious about?
3 A. Cautious of stray shells or stray bullets, those things mostly.
4 Q. Were there any other -- were there any stray bullets or any sniper
5 fire into Zarkovica during that day?
6 A. Not that I noticed.
7 Q. Did any stray shells reach Zarkovica during that day?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Now, what were you doing during most of the morning?
10 A. As I said, I was in charge of bringing the rockets and the
11 ammunition that was on the trucks and taking it to that room or to the
12 positions where the rockets were stationed. Except when fire was returned
13 by the Croatian side, those three or four shells, then most of us ran off
14 and took shelter in that room.
15 Q. Now, did you place any of the missiles, the Maljutka missiles, on
16 top of the platforms?
17 A. No.
18 Q. What did you do?
19 A. I brought the rocket to those other two or three operators who
20 were there manning those rockets, and they had them mounted. I went back
21 to fetch another one and stayed in the room until I received orders as to
22 where I should go next. I did whatever I could to take shelter for the
23 sake of my own safety until I received further orders to go and fetch more
25 Q. During the day, did you ever watch or go up front and see what was
1 happening from the -- as a result of the JNA shelling?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Could you show us on that diagram where, from where you watched,
4 the area where you watched?
5 A. This is where the first operator was, and that's where I went,
6 roughly speaking. I was standing out about two metres from where the
7 operator was, something like that.
8 Q. Could you point to that again, please, that area again?
9 A. Yes. My apologies. So this is where the first operator was. I
10 reached him, and I stood a metre or two away from him. I was standing
11 next to him, but when he fired the rocket, I would stand back a metre or
12 two from where he was standing.
13 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may the record reflect that the witness
14 has pointed to a line located between 1 and 2, the first line, a dot
15 indicating a Maljutka closest to the number 2.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
17 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
18 Q. How many times during the day did you watch the firing from that
20 A. Two or three times. I don't know exactly.
21 Q. And for how long would you watch on each occasion?
22 A. Sometimes five, sometimes ten minutes.
23 Q. What did you observe while watching from that location? What did
24 you observe being hit or struck by the shells?
25 A. I saw that the shells were falling directly into the Old Town and
1 on the ships and on the island of Lokrum and into the water in front of
2 the ships. You could see that not only from my position at the time but,
3 rather, also from the other position standing just outside the room. If
4 there were people standing there next to that wall, it was perfectly
5 possible for them to see that.
6 Q. What did you observe being struck by the Maljutka missiles?
7 A. What I remember most clearly is when one of the rockets fell
8 straight through a window, if I may call it that, in the Old Town. We
9 could see it from that far away.
10 Q. When you say a window, was that a window in a building that you're
11 referring to?
12 A. It was a window on that Old Town, on the walls. That's what it
13 looked like from the distance.
14 Q. Did you see any other rockets strike or any other missiles,
15 Maljutka missiles, strike the walls of the Old Town?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What else do you recall? You've talked about walls, the windows
18 or openings in the walls, vessels. What else do you recall being struck?
19 A. Boats. Rockets were flying over the Old Town, depending on how
20 good the operators were in terms of hitting their targets.
21 Q. Did any rockets or shells go into the Old Town?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, while you were in that operating area, the Maljutka operation
24 area, was there any talk about competitions among the operators?
25 A. You mean competition among the operators?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Yes, there was.
3 Q. Please tell the Court what that -- what that discussion was about.
4 A. The operators took turns firing the rockets. Anyone who wanted to
5 was given an opportunity to try, even those soldiers who were manning the
6 recoilless cannons could come up and have a go if they liked. Anyone was
7 free to give it a shot. And they talked month themselves saying, "What
8 shall we hit next?" And then one of them said, "I'll try to hit that one
9 over there," and in case they were successful they would raise a hand by
10 way of celebration, "I hit it."
11 Q. What were some of the various targets, if you want to call them,
12 that were part of this competition? What type of targets were part of
13 this competition?
14 A. There were no targets as such. Anyone could target whatever they
16 Q. Were any boats shot at as part of the competition?
17 A. Yes, boats that were just outside the Old Town.
18 Q. What about buildings? Were any buildings targeted as part of this
19 competition or game?
20 A. I don't know which buildings you have in mind.
21 Q. Well, other than boats, what else do you recall being targeted as
22 part of the competition? What did they try and hit?
23 A. That section of the Old Town, there were no targets. They were
24 targeting whatever they could and whatever they felt like targeting. It
25 was something like that. Some hotels were being targeted. They said the
1 Argentina Hotel was on fire. That's what I remember.
2 Q. Now, do you recall any of the officers assigning any targets to
3 the operators, any military targets? Official targets as opposed to the
4 games and competition.
5 A. No, no targets had been determined.
6 Q. Did you ever see a piece of paper in anyone's hand or a document
7 indicating certain targets for the operators to fire upon?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Who determined or who selected the targets to fire those Maljutkas
11 A. Whoever was firing.
12 Q. Are you saying the operators themselves selected the targets?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did anyone ever mention that they were targeting a position in the
15 Old Town that -- where there was a mortar or any positions where there
16 were troops in the Old Town? Was there any discussion of that?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you ever observe any fire coming out of the Old Town, any
19 gunfire, any artillery fire coming out of the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And we're referring to December 6th. Throughout the day, did you
22 observe any artillery or gunfire coming out of the Old Town on
23 December 6th?
24 A. No, I didn't notice anything.
25 Q. Now, sir, while you were looking towards the Old Town, did you
1 observe any flags flying over the buildings? Did you observe any flags?
2 A. Yes. There were flags that could be seen even before that day.
3 Q. Do you know what those flags were or what they meant?
4 A. Personally, I did not know what the flags meant, but the others
5 were saying that those flags were there to protect the section of the town
6 in the sense that that portion of the town was not to be targeted.
7 Q. Was there any discussion among the reservists as to protection of
8 the Old Town?
9 A. On previous days, yes, before the 6th, and after the 6th also.
10 Q. What did they say? What was protected?
11 A. The Old Town itself. I remember once we were stationed at
12 Ivanica, it was after the 1st or 2nd of October when the attack on Brgat
13 had commenced, and Captain Delic, who was the commander of the battalion,
14 came over to our battery, and he was furious. He said, among other
15 things, that he didn't know why the Old Town had been shelled allegedly
16 with howitzers, given that the flags were there and that it was not
17 supposed to be targeted. There had been an agreement not to target the
18 Old Town and yet someone fired shells on it.
19 Q. And that was in October?
20 A. Yes. That was on the 1st or 2nd of October. October.
21 Q. And were you maintaining a diary in October as to what was
22 happening, or any records as to what was happening on the various dates?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Can you give us an exact date when this occurred?
25 A. No, I can't give you the exact date, but I know that it was on the
1 1st or 2nd of October that Brgat had been attacked from Ivanica. Several
2 days later, Delic came over to see us and that's what he said.
3 Q. Now, did any of the officers on Zarkovica ever say that the Old
4 Town could not be shelled or rockets or, I mean, missiles, Maljutka
5 missiles could not be fired into the Old Town?
6 A. No.
7 Q. But on December 6, rockets were in fact fired into the Old Town?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, sir, did you ever fire a Maljutka rocket on the 6th of
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did anyone ever ask you? You mention that all sorts of people
13 were firing rockets. Did anyone ever ask you if you wanted to fire one?
14 A. Yes, I was offered.
15 Q. By whom?
16 A. I remember Jovan Vukalovic was there, Djordje Gudelj. They were
17 standing next to each other and they offered me to have a go if I liked to
18 see what it was like to fire a missile, which I refused, saying that I was
19 not a trained operator, that I knew nothing about that. They just laughed
20 and I left.
21 Q. Prior to declining their offer, did they ever tell you about any
22 targets that you could fire at?
23 A. No. They just offered me to try firing a missile, and it didn't
24 matter what I hit, even if it fell into the water, it wouldn't have been
25 an error on my part they said. It would just fly and hit something
1 somewhere, that's what they said.
2 Q. Did they ask you if you'd completed the Maljutka guidance course
3 or if you were properly trained in firing the missiles?
4 A. No, they didn't ask anything at that time.
5 Q. Did they tell you that you couldn't fire upon the Old Town when
6 they asked you if you wanted to fire?
7 A. No, they didn't say anything.
8 Q. Now, you previously testified that some recoilless cannon
9 operators also fired the Maljutkas on that day, on December 6th. Did
10 anyone -- were you present for that, for the firing of those missiles?
11 A. Can you please repeat the first part of your question?
12 Q. You testified that the recoilless cannon operators also came over
13 and fired some Maljutka rockets. Were you present or did you observe
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And did anyone tell them what they could or could not target when
17 these Maljutka -- I'm sorry, when these recoilless cannon operators were
18 firing the rockets?
19 A. No, no one told them anything. No one warned them about what they
20 could target and what they couldn't.
21 Q. Now, we know that they were asked and you were asked. Who else
22 was asked?
23 A. They offered it to anyone who was willing.
24 Q. And did several people or did anyone who was untrained in Maljutka
25 operation fire one of those missiles?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Where was Commander Kovacevic during the day of December 6th?
3 A. He was at Zarkovica for that whole day. He spent most of the time
4 with the operator who was manning the Maljutka that was firing. He spent
5 some of the time with the recoilless cannons, but after awhile, a brief
6 while, he came back to the Maljutkas.
7 Q. Did he speak to any of the Maljutka operators on that date? Did
8 you observe that?
9 A. Yes. He was with then all the time talking.
10 Q. How did he appear on December 6th? We're talking about Commander
12 A. He was furious. He was angry that whole day, all the time. He
13 kept shouting. He kept running back and forth from the recoilless cannons
14 back to the missiles, and he personally fired some missiles. He was very
15 angry. He was always an irascible person, but he was particularly angry
16 on that day.
17 Q. For a correction on the record, page 36, line 18 says he was --
18 okay. They did correct it. I'm sorry, Your Honour.
19 Now, sir, you said he fired some rockets. I'm sorry. Are you
20 referring to Maljutka missiles?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, about how many missiles or rockets did he fire on that date?
23 A. I don't know the exact number, but certainly he fired ten at
24 least. Certainly not less. Perhaps more.
25 Q. Did you hear him issue any orders on that date?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Please tell the Chamber what you heard -- what orders you heard
3 him issue.
4 A. I remember one particular order when he said on one particular
5 occasion - I can't remember when the time was - he was talking to the
6 operators, and he said, "Everything should be razed to the ground."
7 Q. Do you know approximately what time he talked about razing
8 everything to the ground?
9 A. Perhaps in the morning at 10.00, 11.00. I can't say.
10 Q. Did he give any orders in relation to the amount of fire that
11 should be levelled upon the area?
12 A. There was no limitation imposed. The main thing was to keep
14 Q. Sir, you indicated there was no limitation that the main thing was
15 to keep firing. Can you give us an idea of what he said, please?
16 A. As I've already said, that everything should be razed to the
18 Q. Okay. Now, did you see Deputy Commander Zeljko Soldo on Zarkovica
19 on December 6th?
20 A. No, I didn't see him on that day.
21 Q. What about Captain Nesic? Did you see him on December 6th?
22 A. Yes. Most of the time he was by the recoilless cannons.
23 Q. How long did the firing from Zarkovica continue?
24 A. The fire itself stopped sometime in the afternoon on that day.
25 Q. Do you know the exact time that it ended or even approximate time?
1 A. If I say in the afternoon, that means around 3.00 approximately.
2 Q. Now, if you can, can you tell us approximately or about how many
3 Maljutka missiles were fired from Zarkovica on that date?
4 A. Over 100. So it was 100 for sure, only more than that.
5 Q. Now, prior -- let's go back. Prior to the attack on December 6th,
6 did the reservists say anything about Dubrovnik, specifically the Old Town
7 of Dubrovnik?
8 A. Before the 6th of December, they always said that this was a Serb
9 town, that Serb churches were in that part of town, and that everything
10 there was Serb.
11 Q. After the attack ended on December 6th, was there any discussion
12 about Dubrovnik by the reservists?
13 A. Yes. Not only on the 6th, after the 6th. Whenever there was any
14 fighting in the Dubrovnik battlefield, whenever they would not manage to
15 conquer anything, when they were sort of defeated, they would always
16 say, "What do we need this for? It's a Croatian town. Let them have it,"
17 something to that effect.
18 Q. Did you observe any outgoing fire from the Old Town of Dubrovnik
19 throughout the period of the JNA's attack on December 6th?
20 A. No, there was no fire. I didn't notice anything. This is what
21 reservists -- reservists also said after the 6th of December for a few
22 days, they were saying why did they shoot at the Old Town at all when not
23 a single shell from there fired from Zarkovica.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please be
25 asked to speak up or to get closer to the microphone. Thank you.
1 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
2 Q. Witness B, if you could try and speak up a bit so the
3 interpreters can hear you.
4 A. I will. Thank you.
5 Q. Thank you. Sir, are you aware of anyone being decorated for their
6 actions on Zarkovica?
7 A. I didn't notice anything except active soldiers who were doing
8 their military service. They got a few days' leave, extra leave. Some
9 got even 15 to 21 days by way of a reward. Only I and another Croat did
10 not get any extra leave then, but I don't know whether that was for
11 Zarkovica or for the whole thing, because we were on the front line,
12 generally speaking.
13 Q. How do you know other soldiers received leave?
14 A. One day Captain Nesic lined us up, and he proposed that Jovan
15 Vukalovic and others who were battery leaders and platoon leaders, that
16 they should make lists of soldiers who should get how many days of leave
17 by way of a reward. However, they all got this leave, except for the two
18 of us who were Croats. Then we complained to Jovan Vukalovic who was
19 commander of our platoon, because he was the only one we could talk to
20 about some things and complain about some things. Of course, only on a
21 one-on-one basis when nobody else could overhear.
22 He then said that he would try to see whether anything else could
23 be done, because allegedly the papers had already reached headquarters.
24 Q. Let's take this one step at a time. When were you lined up and --
25 and people were advised of their reward time? Was this before or after
1 December 6th?
2 A. After the 6th of December.
3 Q. And you complained to Mr. Vukalovic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was it successful? Did you receive any reward after your
7 A. Yes, we did, my friend and I. I can't remember. Five or seven
8 days of leave by way of a reward. However, we did not know about that
9 until we were about to leave the JNA.
10 I remembered another thing now. I think it was a reward for
11 Zarkovica itself, because a gentleman, a soldier from Macedonia, Saso
12 Janev, he was a squad leader, and he fired many rockets at Dubrovnik. He
13 got the largest number of days, the longest reward time off. I think
14 between 17 and 21 days. The rest got somewhat less.
15 Q. You indicated that you didn't know about receiving a reward until
16 it was time to leave. How did you learn that you were receiving a reward
17 for your service in Zarkovica?
18 A. Well, since our military service had been extended by two months'
19 time, we were supposed to leave on the 1st of February, 1992. However,
20 since we got these five or seven days of leave, then we were to leave the
21 JNA on the 22nd, 23rd, or 24th of January, and we asked Captain Nesic
22 every day what would come out of that, and he kept saying he knew nothing
23 about it until the very last day. That is when he told us that our reward
24 leave had been granted and that we would be going home on the following
1 Q. And what day did you in fact leave?
2 A. I think it was the 22nd when we were supposed to go home.
3 However, in the morning, we returned our weapons, and with Captain Nesic
4 we came to Brgat on a truck. He went to headquarters, and he said, "Wait
5 here." We sat on the truck all day, until late in the afternoon. He
6 returned from headquarters and said that he was sorry but that they had
7 some kind of celebration at headquarters and they had simply forgotten
8 about us. Then we returned to Zarkovica, and it was only the next day
9 that we reached the headquarters at Brgat yet again. Commander Kovacevic
10 was not there, and then my release papers were signed by Soldo, my
11 military booklet, too, and then we went to Trebinje.
12 Q. So your last day was on the 23rd, January 23rd, as opposed to
13 February 1st?
14 A. The 23rd of January, 1992.
15 Q. Now, sir, you said you were extended for two months. When were
16 you originally supposed to be leaving the JNA?
17 A. I was supposed to leave the JNA on the 16th of December. However,
18 since I did not go home at all, not for a single weekend or on regular
19 leave, then I was supposed to get out on the 1st of December. However,
20 since our military service was extended by two months, minus those seven
21 days of reward leave, it turned out that it was the 23rd of January.
22 Q. Now, after your papers were signed, did you have to see anyone
23 else in the military?
24 A. At the barracks in Trebinje, we returned the rest of our
25 equipment, our uniforms, whatever else we had, and it was not compulsory
1 to go for vaccination. That's a kind of an injection. But we did go, my
2 friend and I did, my friend who was leaving the army the same day. So we
3 got this injection that people get when they leave the army and go home.
4 Q. Did you return home, sir?
5 A. Yes. I think I got there on the 25th of January.
6 Q. Now, were you required to report to the local military
7 headquarters or the local military office?
8 A. Yes. Immediately, within two, three, or four days, I reported at
9 the office. I showed them my military papers, my military booklet, and
10 then they wrote it down in their records when I arrived home, and then I
11 went back home.
12 Q. Did you have to report again some months later to that same
13 office, without saying the location where -- where it is?
14 A. Yes, I had to in about three months' time to report at my office
15 again in order to get a new military booklet, new military papers. That's
16 when we got our booklet.
17 As for this JNA booklet, we would throw that into the bin.
18 However, when I got out of the office and when I looked at the new
19 booklet, I saw that the date was wrong, the date of my return from the
20 JNA. Those two months of military service, those extra months, were
21 missing. I returned to the office, and they said something like that
22 that's the kind of information they received from Trebinje by way of the
23 date when I left. I tried to correct the situation several times, but no
24 change actually took place.
25 Q. I would like to show you this booklet, ask that you look at it,
1 please, sir. Sir, is this a copy of your Croatian military booklet?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And are the dates correct in relation to your service in Trebinje?
4 A. They're not.
5 Q. And you've indicated you've attempted to correct -- have the dates
7 A. Yes. However, unsuccessfully.
8 MR. WEINER: Thank you. I'd like to offer this, and may it be
9 maintained under seal.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received as an exhibit under seal.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This exhibit is P156 under seal.
12 MR. WEINER:
13 Q. Witness B, I'd like to show you this other document. This is your
14 medical book issued by the Secretariat for National Defence. Sir, if
15 you'd like at the second page of the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian version,
16 does that list the proper date what you received your injection from the
17 doctor upon leaving military service?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And that would also be the second page in the English version.
20 Thank you.
21 MR. WEINER: The Prosecution would like to tender this document
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received under seal.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That document is P157 under seal.
25 MR. WEINER:
1 Q. Now, sir, have you ever testified in another court concerning the
2 actions, the military actions, by the JNA which occurred on Zarkovica on
3 the 6th of December, 1991?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Where did you testify?
6 A. At the court in Dubrovnik against the accused Zeljko Soldo.
7 Q. Is that the same Zeljko Soldo who was the deputy commandant of
8 your battalion?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Are you aware of the outcome of that case?
11 A. I don't understand what you said. Do you mean how this trial
12 against him ended?
13 Q. Yes, the verdict, if you know.
14 A. Yes. 15 years in prison. However, not long ago I saw on Croatian
15 television that he was pardoned a year later.
16 Q. Okay. Now, sir, while you were in the military did you hold any
17 rank or position while you served in the JNA?
18 A. No. I was a mere private.
19 Q. Were you familiar with the 2nd Operational Group or 2nd Operations
21 A. No.
22 Q. Were you familiar with a man by the name of General Strugar?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Were you familiar with Admiral Jokic?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you know the number of the battalion that you were assigned to
2 back then?
3 A. The 3rd Battalion.
4 Q. And when did you learn that?
5 A. I don't remember.
6 Q. Okay. Was it while you were a member of the battalion or sometime
8 A. While I was a member of the battalion.
9 Q. Okay. Now, did anyone ever tell you what the objective was of the
10 troops, the objective of the troops on Zarkovica?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did Commander Kovacevic or any of the officers ever explain to you
13 why you were there and what their plans were to do?
14 A. Several times an officer would come, not of a high rank, of a low
15 rank, and he'd sort of talk to the soldiers saying that the objective was
16 to disarm the paramilitary Ustasha units.
17 Q. Did you ever learn of the objective of the troops on Zarkovica
18 from the reservists? Did they ever tell you what the objective was in
19 relation to Dubrovnik?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Now, sir, after 1991 and 1992, did you ever serve in the Croatian
23 A. Yes. I was mobilised in the action called Storm.
24 Q. When was that?
25 A. August 1995, approximately the 5th of August.
1 Q. And how long did you serve?
2 A. Four or five days approximately. I was at the front line. Then
3 we returned to the barracks, and then I didn't feel well. I ended up in
4 hospital. I was diagnosed with PTSP.
5 Q. And what is that, sir?
6 A. Basically it's an illness of the nerves. I can put it that way.
7 Q. Now, I'd like to just go back and finish. On Zarkovica, back in
8 1991 and early 1992, how were you treated by the reservists?
9 A. The reservists treated me very shabbily, both psychologically and
10 physically. The reservists psychologically, whereas the other soldiers
11 who were doing their service in the JNA who were ethnic Serbs, they also
12 mistreated me physically.
13 Q. How did they refer to you? Did you have a certain nickname?
14 A. They called me Ustasha.
15 Q. How often were you called Ustasha?
16 A. Everybody called me Ustasha, the soldiers and the reservists,
17 except for the officers, of course. And Vukalovic, when he was alone with
18 me, he would use my name when addressing me, but when he was with them,
19 then they would always address me as Ustasha. They'd call out to me
20 saying, "Ustasha." No other name for me existed.
21 Q. You said you were also physically abused. Did any of them strike
22 you, any soldiers or reservists?
23 A. Yes. Once when I was supposed to go on guard duty in front of the
24 dormitory, a soldier called Cvetkovic - I can't remember his first name -
25 came to wake me up half an hour early before I was supposed to take guard
1 duty over, and I was already dressed and I asked him why he was waking me
2 up too early, and then I sort of got up a bit, then he started beating me
3 with a rifle butt, and I asked him why he was doing that. I said that I'd
4 complain. And he said that I could complain to whoever I want and that
5 nobody would believe me because I'm an Ustasha. Then I didn't complain,
6 because perhaps I would have fared even worse.
7 Even when I went home, when I did not go home that first day, had
8 I returned to Zarkovica -- or, rather, when I returned to Zarkovica, then
9 that soldier, Cvetkovic, and this other soldier, I think his name was
10 Radivojevic, then they hit me on the mouth. And when I left by truck,
11 they wanted to shoot after us as the truck was leaving.
12 Q. When you returned back to your village, could you tell us how you
13 were treated?
14 A. Yes. Back in the army they called me Ustasha, and over here some
15 people called me a Chetnik saying that I had fired on Dubrovnik, that sort
16 of thing. But those, in my opinion, were people who were perhaps even
17 envious about something, but now the situation is much better in that
19 Q. What's the word that they called you back home? It didn't come
20 out properly on the transcript?
21 A. Chetnik.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. WEINER: One moment, please, Your Honour.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. WEINER:
1 Q. Last question, sir. You were interviewed or you said you
2 testified in the Soldo prosecution. Did anyone from the JNA ever
3 interview you concerning the attack which occurred on December 6, 1991?
4 A. I don't understand what you mean. When about anyone from the JNA
5 ever interviewing me?
6 Q. Did anyone from the JNA ever interview you concerning the firing
7 of Maljutkas and cannons from Zarkovica on December 6, 1991? Did anyone
8 from the JNA ever question you about what happened on that date?
9 A. Oh, right. You mean once I returned home from the army.
10 Q. Yes, sir, concerning the attack on the Old Town.
11 A. Yes. Back where I come from, I was interviewed by some police
12 officers. I don't know who they were. And there were a couple of other
13 interviews before the trial that took place in Dubrovnik.
14 Q. Okay. And did those interviews concern Soldo, the prosecution of
16 A. When I talked to them for the first time, that was a month after I
17 had returned from the army. The Yugoslav side still held Zarkovica, and I
18 was questioned about all of that in terms of who was there and what they
19 were doing. Once Zarkovica was liberated by the Croat forces, they only
20 asked me about Soldo, nothing else.
21 Q. How, when you said you were questioned by police, were these
22 Croatian police officers or Yugoslavian police officers?
23 A. Croatian. Private investigators, something like that, because
24 they were not wearing uniform.
25 Q. And the information you supplied resulted in the prosecution of
1 Soldo; is that correct?
2 A. Probably.
3 MR. WEINER: No further questions, Your Honour. The diagram which
4 the witness drew, could that also be placed under seal? That's
5 Exhibit 154.
6 JUDGE PARKER: What is the purpose of that being under seal?
7 MR. WEINER: Since all of his other documents are under seal, I
8 thought it would just be consistent.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Documents revealing personal details of the witness
10 have one justification for being under seal, but that is merely a document
11 concerned with the factual events of which he dealt in his evidence. I'm
12 quite at a loss to see why it should be under seal.
13 MR. WEINER: I was just trying to keep some consistency, Your
14 Honour, but that's fine. That's fine.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You mean to keep the inconsistent consistent.
16 MR. WEINER: That's life in the UN.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I think not, Mr. Weiner.
18 Mr. Petrovic.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. May I have
20 the lectern, please.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. B.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. That's how I'll keep referring to you during this
1 JUDGE PARKER: Before you get under way, may we just ensure or
2 inquire, Mr. Petrovic, whether you would expect to finish by the end of
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I regret to say I
5 don't believe that is possible. However, according to plan, the way I
6 have prepared this cross-examination and based on what the witness has
7 said in this courtroom, I believe that I can complete tomorrow by the end
8 of the first session. Perhaps even earlier.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I think it would be important that you keep your
10 eye and mind to time, Mr. Petrovic. The Chamber is becoming increasingly
11 concerned at the length of time which is being spent on this trial, and in
12 particular on cross-examination, and is concerned that a general tendency
13 for the early parts in particular of cross-examination to be somewhat
14 loosely structured and not really directed to essential parts of the case,
15 and that cumulatively is having an effect upon the overall time of trial.
16 As we've pointed out earlier, it's in your client's interests, as well as
17 any other, that this trial not be drawn out unnecessarily.
18 So with those words of reassurance, comfort, and stimulation in
19 your ears, if you could concentrate on trying to deal with the essential
20 points as quickly as possible.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 I will do my best, certainly, but then I would also like to be told at one
23 point when I should put an end to my cross-examination, bearing in mind
24 your warning and your advice, which I hold in the highest possible esteem.
25 What I wish to avoid is being suddenly interrupted, this making it
1 impossible for my to conclude my cross-examination. That's what I want to
3 I will abide by your instruction, but I would appreciate obtaining
4 some sort of guarantee that I will be able to ask some of the key
5 questions tomorrow, since a lot of time has already gone by today.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think, Mr. Petrovic, that at any time in
7 this trial there has been any sudden interruption of cross-examination.
8 The rare times when there has been some firm hand taken is after long and
9 careful warning. So you can be assured of that.
10 We had rather thought that the nature of this evidence might be
11 such that you could finish today. At the end of this second session. We
12 may have a judgement as to whether our initial impressions are ones that
13 we would hold to or whether you will carry on for a little time tomorrow
14 morning. So perhaps you'd better get on with it now and use the time as
15 quickly as you can.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. B, first of all, I would like you to tell me the following.
18 Who and where did you give your statements about the events that you
19 testified to today?
20 A. I gave my first statement at my local police station. The second
21 statement also. The third was given before a court near to the place
22 where I live. And the last one was given in Dubrovnik in court.
23 Q. Have you ever testified during any trials in Dubrovnik before a
24 Trial Chamber in the presence of an accused, a Defence team, a prosecutor?
25 Is that how you testified?
1 A. Yes. The accused was also there when I testified. He was present
2 in the courtroom.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] May I just have the ELMO lowered a
4 little, please, because I can't see the witness. Thank you for your help.
5 Q. At the beginning of your testimony today, you said that you were a
6 member of the HDZ but not an active member. What precisely did you mean
7 by that? How can you possibly be a member of a party without being an
8 active member?
9 A. I never had my membership papers. I never attended any meetings,
10 although I had been invited to a number of meetings, but I never went to a
11 single one locally.
12 Q. How old were you when you became a member of the HDZ?
13 A. I had not even turned 18. I had not even come of age. So that's
14 probably one of the reasons why I was not given any proper membership
16 Q. Just briefly, why did you decide to join the HDZ?
17 A. Because it was a democratic party in Croatia.
18 Q. Do you know what the objectives, what the platform of that party
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Briefly, in one sentence, what were the objectives?
22 A. A democratic Croatia and the downfall of communism.
23 Q. Do you know what VES means, military specialisation?
24 A. I think it's something to do with the battery, VES. I'm not sure,
25 but it does ring a bell.
1 Q. Would it be of any assistance to you if I told you that this was a
2 military occupational speciality?
3 A. Yes. Now I remember.
4 Q. So what was your VES, military occupational speciality? What were
5 you trained for?
6 A. I was an operator and a truck driver. That was an additional
7 speciality that I had. But my basic speciality was as a Maljutka
9 Q. So you distinguish between the basic VES and the additional VES.
10 You can even distinguish between the different kinds, can't you?
11 A. Yes. After all, it's in my military papers, in my military
12 booklet. It's right there for you to see.
13 Q. Back in Zajecar, were you trained to become an operator by VES?
14 A. That's what they wrote down in my military booklet, although that
15 was not the case.
16 Q. Did you take any exams? Did you perhaps take any tests?
17 A. No, I didn't.
18 Q. Is that what they wrote down in your booklet in Zajecar, that you
19 were a trained operator?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. How come you stayed in Zajecar?
22 A. Well, first of all, I stayed because I was a driver. My presence
23 there was required. The battery needed me. There were about ten squad
24 leaders left and ten privates, those of us remaining and the squad leaders
25 said that new recruits would be coming. I drove the truck for the
1 battery, and I was the truck driver for the whole barracks.
2 Q. Do you know which unit that was where you were in Zajecar?
3 JUDGE PARKER: I appreciate you are eagerly getting on. There
4 does need to be a pause, not a lengthy one, but a clear pause between the
5 answer and your question and between the end of your question and the
6 commencement of the answer because of the voice distortion protection
7 measure equipment. So if you could just take a short breath.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour. I'll do my
10 Q. Tell me, please, if you know, which unit did you belong to in
12 A. I don't remember.
13 Q. Do you know which type of unit it was generally?
14 A. My artillery battery contained a -- our artillery battalion
15 contained a Maljutka battery, a battery of self-propelled guns, and there
16 was another battery, some sort of command, something along those lines; I
17 don't remember. So there were those three batteries within that artillery
19 Q. What is the distance between Zajecar and Titograd? How long does
20 it take to get from one place to the other?
21 A. Depends on your mode of travel. Do you mean by rail?
22 Q. My question is how you travelled.
23 A. By rail. I don't remember exactly how long it took. I think it
24 took more than a day. The train was very slow, too, and then people
25 boarded the train along the way there. There were other stations, and
1 soldiers kept getting on the train.
2 Q. Is it true that in your barracks in Zajecar in May 1991, a new
3 group of soldiers arrived --
4 A. Will you please just repeat the month for me.
5 Q. May 1991.
6 A. May or June?
7 Q. May.
8 A. That wasn't my artillery battalion. My artillery battalion got
9 new people towards the end of June. We had reinforcements, new people
10 every six months.
11 Q. Those soldiers, were they also sent to Titograd along with you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Those soldiers or, rather, had those soldiers received the proper
14 training at all to operate the Maljutkas and the other weapons that unit
15 in Zajecar had?
16 A. They'd gone through some training, but they had not completed it
17 by that time.
18 Q. So they'd not completed their training and yet they were sent from
19 Zajecar to Podgorica together with you. Was that the case?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What happened to the officers from your unit in Zajecar? Did they
22 also travel with you, and were they also assigned to the same units which
23 you belonged to later on? That was the unit that you devoted most of your
24 testimony to.
25 A. No. All the soldiers remained in the barracks in Zajecar. It was
1 only three officers from that barracks that accompanied us as far as
2 Trebinje, and when they saw to it that we arrived safely in the barracks
3 in Trebinje, they went back. I know only one of their names, Jaldalski --
4 or Medarski.
5 Q. So none of your superior officers since December 1991 to December
6 1991 [as interpreted] stayed with you. You were assigned to entirely new
7 units, weren't you? How long did you travel from Zajecar through Trebinje
8 to Bileca?
9 A. I've answered that question already. It took us about two days to
10 reach Titograd, up to two days. We spent one or two nights there, and we
11 set out for Bileca where we only stayed for a short while. We had lunch
12 there and then continued on towards Trebinje.
13 Q. Is it true that two of the soldiers from your unit fled en route
14 between Trebinje and Ivanica?
15 A. Yes, that's true.
16 Q. Who were those soldiers and why did they flee?
17 A. Those were my best friends in the army. Ante Situm from Imotski
18 and Franjo Bolin from Djordjevac.
19 Q. So they fled the unit and the unit was moving from Trebinje to
21 A. Yes. We had already arrived at Ivanica. That was the first day
22 following our arrival, and we were beginning to dig in and to work on the
23 bunkers, but not too many people really working seriously because no one
24 actually expect add attack to take place. They said we were merely there
25 to watch the border.
1 There was an agreement between those two, myself, and a fourth
2 soldier, Prelcic that we would try to leave the JNA and that we would try
3 to run away as soon as an opportunity presented itself. That was what we
4 had agreed upon. However, the two of them went to a shop in Ivanica, the
5 two of us, myself and Prelcic stayed back so they seized their opportunity
6 to go to Brgat.
7 Q. Mr. B, can you please just stick to answering my questions. My
8 question was about them fleeing the unit while the unit was moving from
9 Trebinje to Ivanica, wasn't it? I did not exactly require any further
10 explanation. Thank you.
11 When did those combat operations in the area commence? Is it true
12 that on the first day of these combat operations 12 members of the JNA
13 were killed in the very same place where you were?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know how those people were killed?
16 A. Those people, that's at least what the reservists and
17 lower-ranking officers said, this was back at Ivanica because the
18 recoilless guns had been positioned too close to one another, so when a
19 shell fell from the Croatian side on Brgat, that's when the soldiers were
20 killed. And there were some people wounded too.
21 Q. Is it true that many shells landed on your unit on that occasion,
22 shells fired by the Croatian side?
23 A. The Maljutka battery that I belonged to, seven shells, at least
24 the way I counted them, landed behind us at Ivanica, some metres behind
1 Q. Was that all, all the shells that landed on you that day?
2 A. Yes. I'm talking about my own battery. I don't know about the
3 other batteries.
4 Q. Did you perhaps hear how many shells had landed on other units
6 A. No, I don't know that.
7 Q. Do you agree that there were very many?
8 A. I'm not sure what you're referring to, very many, how many
10 Q. I'll try to help you with this now. Did you give a statement to
11 the investigators of the Tribunal in 2002?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Well, I'll read out to you what you said in that statement on
14 page 4 of the B/C/S version: "The Croatian defenders at Brgat fired back
15 by recoilless guns of the JNA that were in the higher positions. During
16 that first attack, between 10 and 12 JNA soldiers were killed. Near our
17 Maljutka battery there were seven shells that landed and missed us by
18 about ten metres. After that we retreated and I stopped counting the
19 incoming shells."
20 You stopped counting the shells because there were so many shells
21 that you couldn't even count them in, could you?
22 A. Yes. I withdrew or, rather, we withdrew, and there was no way for
23 me to tell how many shells landed.
24 Q. Did you retreat back to your starting positions because the
25 resistance put up by the Croatian forces was that fierce?
1 A. Am I allowed to explain exactly where we withdrew to or not?
2 Q. Just please try to answer my question.
3 A. We withdrew allegedly because there were people who were dead
4 there, and the Maljutka missiles that were firing at Brgat were rather
5 unsuccessful, allegedly because they were moist and they didn't want to
6 explode more than half of them. That's what people said. And that is why
7 we were compelled to withdraw from Ivanica to Trebinje.
8 Q. Why are you telling us today that you returned to Trebinje when in
9 your statement there is no mention of that, none whatsoever? In your
10 statement, on page 5 it says that you retreated and went back to the
11 village of Ivanica.
12 A. No. We withdrew from Ivanica towards Trebinje, and we stayed
13 there, I don't know, a day or two and then returned to Ivanica yet again,
14 because allegedly the officers said that Croatian forces had come to
15 Ivanica. However, since this is a different border, then they went back
16 to Brgat. When the Yugoslav side saw that, then we went back to Ivanica,
17 to our positions there.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, you rose?
19 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. Just to correct -- apparent
20 correction of the record. On page -- on line 17 on page 58, they said
21 that the JNA were in the higher positions, and the word should be lower
22 position in the English. It may make -- it may make a difference in the
23 future. I just want to check on what the B/C/S states. The line
24 is: "The Croatian defenders at Brgat retaliated by firing at JNA
25 recoilless cannons that were at a lower position." And in the transcript
1 here it says, "higher position." What does the B/C/S --
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] In the B/C/S it also says lower
3 positions. If I did not read it out that way, then the mistake is mine.
4 It's unintentional, but that's what it says in the B/C/S too.
5 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Petrovic, as we have disturbed you, we
7 might notice the clock and have the break at this point.
8 How do you see your progress so far in your cross-examination?
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's very hard for me
10 to assess that so soon. There has been some progress, but it's very
11 fleeting, if I can put it that way. There hasn't been enough time for me
12 to give a proper assessment, but I'll try to focus on the very essence
13 now, and then we will be able to tell perhaps.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would need a
15 ten-minute break or so, if possible.
16 JUDGE PARKER: We will hold our judgement then, Mr. Petrovic, for
17 a little longer. Thank you.
18 We will have break now.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: We need to enable the witness -- can that be done
21 after we leave? Yes.
22 We will adjourn now.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 5.56 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Could the witness please be given P156. In view of the nature of
3 the exhibit concerned, could we please move into private session.
4 JUDGE PARKER: We will move into private session.
5 [Private session]
12 Pages 5077 to 5083 – redacted – private session.
3 [Open session]
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. B, why did you tell us --
6 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. B, since I am being cautioned about this, too, when I put a
9 question to you, could you please pause for a few seconds so that I could
10 turn off my microphone before you start giving your answer so that we
11 could protect your identity as you had wished and as is appropriate before
12 this Court.
13 A. All right.
14 Q. Just before the break, why did you tell the Honourable Trial
15 Chamber that you were in Dubrovnik at the trial that was held, Soldo's
16 trial, when you were not there?
17 A. I was at Soldo's trial in Dubrovnik.
18 Q. When were you at this trial exactly?
19 A. I think it was in the month of March 1993. I'm not sure, but
20 thereabouts. It was in the spring of 1993.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I will tell you now that I have the judgement of that court in
24 front of me now, the trial of Zeljko Soldo, and this is what the judgement
25 said on page 11. This is ERN number 00228896 in Croatian. This is a list
1 of exhibits that was tendered during that trial.
2 Sir, here we have a list of the witnesses that the court heard,
3 and the reference is to four witnesses that were heard before the court
4 during the proceedings, and then it says: "An agreement was reached
5 between the parties to read out a statement that the Witness B had given."
6 That is your name, is it?
7 A. I don't understand the question, and it is still my submission
8 that I was there at Zeljko Soldo's trial in Dubrovnik.
9 Q. Perhaps I may be of assistance. If this is clearly stated in the
10 judgement, that means that your statement, the statement that you had
11 given elsewhere, was simply read out, the statement that you had given to
12 another body, to another court, an investigating judge, or by request in a
13 different way.
14 A. No, that's not true.
15 Q. I will proceed. Further in the judgement the substance of your
16 evidence is examined and the book of rules is quoted in relation to
17 examination of witnesses, dated the 1st of December, 1992, in front of the
18 district court in Bjelovar.
19 A. Will you please repeat the question?
20 Q. In the statement of reasons attached to a judgement, the substance
21 of your evidence is examined, and the pages given are 104, 105. That's
22 how they were marked in Dubrovnik, the transcript, and this is in relation
23 to the hearing of Witness B, compiled on the 1st of December, 1992, in
24 front of the district court in Bjelovar. This is in the possession of the
25 OTP, ERN 00229046.
1 A. Yes. Immediately before I went to the court in Dubrovnik, I had
2 given a statement in front of the Bjelovar court, but after that I also
3 gave testimony before the Dubrovnik court.
4 Q. Perhaps you misunderstand me. Perhaps you pretend to
5 misunderstand me. Here we have a statement of reasons attached to a
6 judgement, and the submission is that a statement was read out. My
7 learned friends and colleagues and the Honourable Trial Chamber can have
8 evidence to this effect from just about any lawyer from the former
9 Yugoslavia. What this means is that a written document was read out,
10 doesn't it? It means that the witness was not physically present before
11 the court, did not testify viva voce.
12 A. I completely fail to understand this.
13 Q. Let's move on, then. How many times and to whom exactly in the
14 police and before the courts did you give statements?
15 A. I can't remember exactly. Twice, I believe, in Krizevci, once in
16 Bjelovar, and once again at home where I live.
17 Q. Tell me, please, in Krizevci, which case did you testify in?
18 A. Well, the case where I was during the war.
19 Q. In Krizevci, were you questioned in the case of the accused Zeljko
21 A. Not the first time, but the second time, yes, they questioned me.
22 Q. Were you perhaps prosecuted on account of your participation in
23 the events that you recounted today?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And you were questioned, you gave testimony in the Zeljko Soldo
1 case, didn't you?
2 A. I beg your pardon?
3 Q. Each time you were questioned, it was in relation to the Zeljko
4 Soldo case, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes, with the exception of the very first time.
6 Q. So what was the first time in relation to?
7 A. The first time I gave a statement was in relation to the general
8 situation as to who the commander had been at Zarkovica and what the
9 Superior Command was, because the JNA was still holding those positions at
10 the time.
11 Q. Your memory in relation to those events, was it particularly fresh
12 immediately following the period when all these things happened in 1992
13 and 1993?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. In the statement you gave the Ministry of the Interior of the
16 Republic of Croatia in Bjelovar on the 21st of April, 1992, you stated
17 that you had arrived in Zarkovica at the beginning of December.
18 A. Is that November?
19 Q. That you reached Zarkovica at the beginning of December.
20 A. No, not the beginning of December. It was mid-November.
21 Q. Would you please be so kind as to tell us why, then, you told the
22 police that you had arrived at the beginning of December. You stated that
23 clearly in April 1992.
24 A. I don't remember that, that I ever said that.
25 Q. Did you sign that statement?
1 A. I probably did.
2 Q. Were you cautioned that you should read the statement before you
3 signed it in order to be able to certify that the statement faithfully
4 reflects your words and what you said the truth was?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How come, then, the statement reads that you arrived in Zarkovica
7 in December?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. Does that statement state explicitly who fired the missiles?
10 A. I don't know. I don't have the statement in front of me. I can't
11 tell you whether it's there or not.
12 Q. Do you know the names of those persons?
13 A. Those firing the missiles, yes, I do.
14 Q. Can you enumerate the names of these persons and how many missiles
15 each of them fired?
16 A. Jovan Vukalovic, Djordje Gudelj, Vladimir Kovacevic, Saso Janev,
17 Cvetkovic. I can't remember any other names.
18 Q. And how many missiles each?
19 A. I can't say with precision.
20 Q. May I be allowed to remind you then? On the 21st of April, 1992,
21 you said that Vukalovic had fired six --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner?
23 MR. WEINER: Is he going to refresh his recollection? If he's
24 going to do that he should give him the document and let him read it and
25 see if that refreshes his recollection. It's not an issue of prior
1 inconsistent statements.
2 JUDGE PARKER: That would be the normal procedure, Mr. Petrovic.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I show him the
4 statement, I have nothing left to ask in relation to that statement. Then
5 what happens is he reads the statement, and what I want to do is see
6 whether he remembers and the authenticity of what he said. If I show him
7 the statement, then there's no need for me to ask any further questions in
8 relation to the statement. I might as well move on then.
9 JUDGE PARKER: You can certainly ask him whether he recalls
10 certain matters that you know are recorded in that statement, and if he
11 doesn't recall them, what you do after that, then, if you are wanting to
12 put to him what is in the statement is that you need to show him the
13 statement. So you can -- has that given you enough help?
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
15 Q. Is it true that on the 21st of April, 1992, you said, as follows,
16 that the total of the missiles fired was 26 from Zarkovica on the 6th of
17 December, 1992?
18 A. I don't remember.
19 Q. Why then --
20 MR. WEINER: Where does it say that in the statement?
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Weiner, it's on 00229069, and
22 there is a list of who fired those missiles and how many missiles each of
23 those persons. So if you add them up, it amounts to 26 missiles exactly.
24 MR. WEINER: It doesn't -- that doesn't say that it's listing
25 every single person who has fired rockets or missiles. And he never said
1 today every single person who fired missiles. That's taking it out of
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Name by name there is a list of
4 persons who fired the missiles, and he referred to all these persons
5 today. There are no new names on this list. If there are, please point
6 them out to me. If there is a single name that has not been referenced in
7 court today.
8 MR. WEINER: With regard to the list who fired, I don't see
9 Vladimir Kovacevic here, which all his other statements talk about
10 Kovacevic firing, and it does not say that this is the total list of
11 persons who fired, and today he didn't say the only persons that fired
12 were those that were named. He said the ones that -- they were operators
13 from recoilless cannons that were firing. I don't see anyone here listed
14 as a recoilless cannon operator.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be of
16 assistance, I think the best way for me to proceed is to just move on with
17 my questions.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. At Zarkovica on the 6th of December, did you see any other JNA
21 officers in relation -- except for the ones you've enumerated today?
22 A. As I said, in the presence of Kovacevic I saw one or two other
23 officers, but I can't remember their names, and I can't remember anything
24 about them.
25 Q. Can you remember their ranks?
1 A. You mean ranks?
2 Q. I mean were they high-ranking officers, junior officers and
3 specific ranks, if you remember?
4 A. Those were junior officers, but I can't remember the ranks
5 specifically. Whether they were reservists or officers, I'm not sure.
6 Q. So they may as well have been reservists; right?
7 A. Yes. I'd never seen them before and I never saw them again.
8 Q. I'll read out what you stated to the OTP on the 15th of June,
9 2002. This is page 8 of the B/C/S version.
10 "Also, I saw a number of other high-ranking JNA officers whose
11 names I don't know visiting Zarkovica on the 6th of December."
12 A. Yes, precisely. That was in the afternoon when the shelling of
13 Dubrovnik had already stopped. I apologise. I thought your question was
14 in relation to the moment that Dubrovnik was being targeted. That's when
15 I saw the junior officers. And later on in the afternoon, once the
16 shelling had stopped, some higher-ranking officers arrived.
17 Q. On page 75, line 19 of the transcript, my question to you was:
18 Which other JNA officers did you see on that day?
19 If my question is unclear to you, then please say it right away.
20 What did those high-ranking officers wear, the ones you saw?
21 A. I saw them at a distance. I wasn't physically there, not a single
22 time when the high-ranking officers arrived.
23 Q. Were any of those officers wearing naval uniform or were they all
24 wearing olive drab?
25 A. As I said, I saw them from a distance, and I can't remember any
1 specifics as to what exactly they were wearing.
2 Q. You were looking from afar. How could you tell that those were
3 high-ranking officers?
4 A. Because that's what the reservists said, that some high-ranking
5 officers would be coming to Zarkovica and that all of us Croats should go
6 back to our rooms. Not that we needed telling on that day, because we'd
7 usually be given advance notice when high-ranking officers were about to
8 arrive, so we were never there.
9 Q. I'm not asking you about never. I'm asking specifically in
10 relation to the 6th of December.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So some reservists told you that high-ranking officers would be
13 arriving, and you did what?
14 A. I went back to the dormitory.
15 Q. How long did you remain there for?
16 A. This whole time, until they left.
17 Q. How did you know when they left?
18 A. Well, the reservists said. They said, "Okay. Now they're gone."
19 Or the other soldiers who were there.
20 Q. So it is your submission those high-ranking officers arrived in
21 the afternoon, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you wear a watch on that day, or perhaps you were keeping a
25 A. No, neither.
1 Q. So how come you know they arrived in the afternoon?
2 A. Well, if you look at the sun, the position of the sun, you can
3 tell. Everyone knows what the position of the sun is in the afternoon and
4 in the morning. If you look at the sun, it's easy to tell the time. It's
5 easy to distinguish between the morning and the afternoon.
6 Q. So you remember the exact position of the sun at the moment those
7 officers arrived?
8 A. No, not this very moment. I don't remember the position of the
9 sun then.
10 Q. But my question is: How do you know they arrived in the
11 afternoon, and you say the position of the sun, and then my question to
12 you is, do you then remember the exact position of the sun on the 6th of
13 December, the moment the officers arrived?
14 A. This very moment, I do not remember the position of the sun.
15 Q. Therefore, you don't actually remember that they came in the
17 A. Oh, but yes, I do.
18 Q. Who among those high-ranking officers did you know or who had you
19 heard of?
20 A. Almost no one. I'd heard from the reservists about a man called
21 Zec, but I never saw anyone, none of the high-ranking officers.
22 Q. If you never saw any of those high-ranking officers, why then did
23 you state to the investigators on the 15th of June, 2002, as follows, it's
24 the same page that I quoted awhile ago: "I also saw a number of other
25 high-ranking JNA officers whose names I don't know visiting Zarkovica on
1 the 6th of December. I think they came in the afternoon when the
2 operation almost over. I think I saw Milan Zec once or twice during the
3 whole operation."
4 A. Well, that's perfectly clear if you read my answer again. I saw
5 the Campagnola arriving, the vehicle, and everyone was saying that
6 higher-ranking officers were coming and I should go away. As far as Zec
7 is concerned, I'm not sure about his rank. I said I believed I saw
8 someone who looked just like him, but I never actually said that I saw him
9 in person.
10 Q. Well, if there is a person who looks just like Zec, then you must
11 know what Zec looks like or who he is, Milan Zec?
12 A. No, I don't really know. I just saw him on TV about two years
14 Q. So two years ago, you were just watching TV, and you saw someone
15 and then it dawned on you that you had seen that someone on Zarkovica on
16 the 6th of December; right?
17 A. Yes, something like that, from a distance.
18 Q. Which means that 11 years later, you see a person on TV, and this
19 person just happens to look very much like someone you had seen from a
20 distance on the 6th of December at Zarkovica.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What do you know about this person, Milan Zec?
23 A. Nothing.
24 Q. Was there a time when you knew something about him?
25 A. No.
1 Q. In your statement to the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of
2 Croatia four months after the events we are discussing, the transcript is
3 dated the 21st of April, 1992, and the page number is 2209068 [as
4 interpreted]. You said as follow: "Kovacevic was probably ordered to
5 attack Dubrovnik by a certain general named Zec."
6 A. Well, that's what the reservists said. They talked among
7 themselves, and they mentioned Zec, like I said. But I didn't hear this
8 or see this.
9 Q. So when I ask you a question, when I ask you whether there was
10 ever a time that you knew something about this person, and I asked you
11 precisely that two minutes ago, and you said no --
12 MR. WEINER: I'd object. According to his statement, he is
13 speculating, or he's repeating the speculation of reservists. That's not
14 his memory of his personal knowledge of Zec, and he's maintained he
15 doesn't know anything about Zec. In fact, he refers to him as a general,
16 which he isn't.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll move on.
18 Q. What did the reservists say? What happened to this General Zec?
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. Did you ever know?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. Well, this is what you've said: "Kovacevic was probably ordered
23 to attack Dubrovnik by a certain General Zec, who was allegedly replaced
24 later because he did not have orders from Belgrade for the attack."
25 A. Who did they replace?
1 Q. Zec, sir.
2 A. Possibly. At this moment, I don't remember that.
3 Q. On the 6th of December, did the reservists tell you that Zec had
4 ordered the attack?
5 A. No. I don't remember.
6 Q. When -- when did the reservists tell you that Zec ordered the
8 A. Probably later. I don't know. I don't remember.
9 Q. When did they tell you, how much later?
10 A. I don't know. I can't remember.
11 Q. Did the reservists actually tell you anything about that?
12 A. You mean about the attack on Dubrovnik?
13 Q. Did the reservists ever tell you anything about Zec's role in the
14 events of the 6th of December?
15 A. Not to me personally. You're reading from the statement, and that
16 is all the things I heard from them, from their conversations. It's not
17 that the reservists ever came up to me and said, "Hey, such-and-such a
18 person gave an order," et cetera.
19 Q. So if nobody ever addressed you -- so this conversation that you
20 overheard, did it take place on the 6th of December?
21 A. I don't know what's written there.
22 Q. I've already read out to you what is written there and now I'm
23 trying to obtain information from you, from whom you heard this and when.
24 So since no one told you that, you say that you overheard the conversation
25 of other people, then I'm asking you when it was that you overheard this
1 conversation of these other people.
2 A. I don't know. I can't remember.
3 Q. In your statement to the Prosecution, you say: "I think that I
4 saw him once or twice during the entire action."
5 Am I right when I say that when you saw Zec on television two
6 years ago, you came to the conclusion that you perhaps saw him once or
7 twice on the 6th of December?
8 A. I think that perhaps that was misinterpreted. Throughout those
9 four months, I saw him perhaps once or twice.
10 Q. Tell me, where was the sun when Captain Kovacevic lined you up and
11 said that Dubrovnik had to be surrendered within half an hour?
12 A. I didn't look at the sky then.
13 Q. Was it after daybreak?
14 A. Well, a bit, yes.
15 Q. Where is the sun during the winter around 7.00?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. What was the first objective of that attack that you're talking
18 about of the 6th of December?
19 A. You mean the first objective that was targeted?
20 Q. The first objective in general.
21 A. The first objective that was targeted was Srdj.
22 Q. Tell me, were there any provocations from the Croatian side at the
23 time when you came to Zarkovica and all the way up to the 6th of December?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Were there any provocations after the 6th of December?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Were there ever any provocations from the Croatian side?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Could you be a little more careful with your
5 microphone and your pauses, Mr. Petrovic. There are problems --
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm really making an
7 effort, but I realise that the effort is inadequate, and I'll try to do
9 Q. Why, then, did you tell the investigator of this Tribunal on the
10 15th of June -- or, rather, 2002, why did you say there were provocations
11 from both sides involving infantry weapons but there weren't any
13 A. Not at Zarkovica.
14 MR. WEINER: Where is -- excuse me, where is counsel referring to?
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to read the whole
16 paragraph now and then it would be clear to you precisely because of this
17 answer. This is how it starts -- it's page 6 in B/C/S, towards the bottom
18 of the page. Unfortunately, at this moment I cannot tell you where it is
19 in English, but I'll try. Page 6 in English, the last paragraph.
20 Q. "Between the 6th of November and the 6th of December [as
21 interpreted], there were routine activities going on at Zarkovica. We
22 maintained combat readiness. More weapons were brought in, mostly
23 Maljutkas, and rocket were dug in. There were provocations with infantry
24 weapons from both sides."
25 You clearly refer to Zarkovica there.
1 A. Yes. Bullets could be heard, but not a single bullet passed via
3 Q. What kind of Croatian provocations were there when you say they
4 came from both sides?
5 A. I don't know whether they were provocations. When an automatic
6 rifle is heard somewhere, when someone is shooting from the automatic
7 rifle. I don't know. But not a single bullet reached Zarkovica.
8 MR. WEINER: Your Honour?
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
10 MR. WEINER: There's a problem with the record. Page 83, line 20.
11 It says: "Between the 6th of November and the 6th of December." The
12 language in the report says: "Between the 19th of November."
13 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying it should be between the 19th of
14 November and the 6th of December?
15 MR. WEINER: Yes, that's verbatim from the statement.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It was wrongly quoted in the transcript. Is that
18 MR. WEINER: Yes.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I read the 19th
20 in the Serbian language. There must have been some mistake.
21 Q. So what kind of provocations coming from both sides are you
22 referring to?
23 A. In my opinion, a provocation is if somebody uses an automatic
24 rifle to shoot at a position. However, there were no bullets fired at our
25 positions. Even if a burst of gunfire was heard somewhere in the area
1 around Dubrovnik, there was a sniper shooter who was in charge of doing
2 that, targeting a boat on sea or whatever.
3 Q. So, from Dubrovnik until the 6th of December, nobody fired a
4 single bullet; is that right?
5 A. I think no one did. At least I'm not aware of anything like that.
6 Q. Tell me, then -- I'm going to find this part of your statement
7 now. Why do you say that you were under the constant threat of sniper
8 fire? Can you give me an answer?
9 MR. WEINER: Excuse me, where is he referring to? Where?
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I perhaps have a look at that
13 JUDGE PARKER: It's still being identified. If you would just be
14 a little patient.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I will be of assistance now, of
16 course, to the witness and to my learned friend and, first and foremost,
17 of course, to the Honourable Trial Chamber.
18 Q. Did you talk to my colleague Mr. Weiner during these past several
19 days before testifying here?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you tell Mr. Weiner about this, what the truth was to the best
22 of your knowledge?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Well, here in Mr. Weiner's record, and he is certainly very
25 conscientious in attending to his duties, on page 3, paragraph 1, it
1 says: [Previous translation continues] ... "[In English] ... could be hit
2 by sniper fire. There was no sniper fire, however, into Zarkovica on that
4 [Interpretation] That's what you said to Mr. Weiner.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Weiner, please.
6 MR. WEINER: That's right. And being conscientious, it says the
7 witness was still cautious that they could be hit by sniper fire, but
8 there was no sniper fire that day. There's no statement in there that was
9 indicating that there was a great deal of sniper fire.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,
11 throughout this time I've been talking about the period from the 19th of
12 November until the 6th of December. I'm not talking about the 6th of
13 December. I emphasise that. And you even corrected me, Mr. Weiner, or
14 rather, you corrected the transcript. So I'm asking the witness about his
15 statement about the period from the 19th of November until the 6th of
16 December. I thought that that was clear at least.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying that in that statement in respect of
18 the period from the 19th of November to the 6th of December he says there
19 was sniper fire.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the statement he
22 gave to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 15th of June, 2002, he
23 says: "Between the 19th of November and the 6th of December, there were
24 provocations with infantry weapons." And he says to Mr. Weiner that he
25 was very careful because he was afraid of sniper fire. On that day there
1 was no sniper fire. If there was no sniper fire on that day and --
2 JUDGE PARKER: When do you say he said that to Mr. Weiner? Are
3 you speaking of his evidence in this Chamber or an earlier statement?
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm referring to the
5 proofing session that Mr. Weiner had with Witness B.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. That hadn't become clear to me.
7 Well, we're having a considerable debate over the true effect of
8 these various statements, and a lot of the reason for that is that you are
9 not following the conventional way of putting to a witness that he has
10 been inconsistent, which would be to say, "Your evidence is X. Did you
11 not say something different on a previous occasion?" The witness will say
12 yes or no. If the witness says no, for you to show the witness where
13 something different was said the previous occasion and ask for the
14 witness's comment.
15 You're not doing that for reasons which you have indicated, and
16 that's leading us now to this great debate as to what was said and where
17 and what really was its effect when the language is generally not crystal
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for what
20 you've said.
21 Q. Did you talk to Mr. Weiner about sniper fire at Zarkovica?
22 A. I don't remember.
23 Q. Did you mention sniper fire to him at all in the entire interview
24 you had with him?
25 A. I can't remember that either.
1 Q. When did you talk to Mr. Weiner?
2 A. About two weeks ago and yesterday and today.
3 Q. Today? When today?
4 A. In the morning.
5 Q. And in none of these situations you mentioned snipers to
6 Mr. Weiner. You never mentioned it to him?
7 A. I can't remember. I told him about what he asked me.
8 Q. Tell me, for how long did Captain Kovacevic speak to you that
10 A. Approximately five minutes.
11 Q. What did he tell you exactly that morning? Do you remember?
12 A. That the surrender of Dubrovnik is expected, and if Dubrovnik does
13 not surrender by such-and-such a time that it would be attacked.
14 Q. What else did he tell you? Five minutes is a long time.
15 A. I can't remember the rest.
16 Q. Who was it that he said this to? Who were all the people present
18 A. The soldiers, we who were at Zarkovica.
19 Q. How many soldiers were there, Mr. B?
20 A. About 50.
21 Q. Did they all hear this, what he said to you?
22 A. No. Those who were on guard duty could not hear that.
23 Q. All of those people who were lined up, did they hear the same
24 words that you are testifying about here today?
25 A. I don't know if everybody heard all of this.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in view of the hour
2 and in view of how far I got in the cross-examination, and I believe that
3 I have assured you that I am putting questions only in respect of our case
4 here, I kindly ask you to allow me to continue putting questions tomorrow
5 as well.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It is the view of the Tribunal, which we have given
7 some consideration to, that you will be allowed to continue tomorrow, but
8 we would think you should plan to conclude in half an hour.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: And we've now reached the time to close the
11 session. We will now adjourn. After we've left, preparations will be
12 made for the witness to leave the Chamber and we will resume tomorrow
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of
16 April, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.