1 Wednesday, 11 December 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: JERI LABER [Resumed]
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
9 Q. [Interpretation] In the September 1991 report, on page 5, second
10 paragraph, it says [In English]: "Many Croats explain resurrection of
11 Croatian nationalism in the past year as a reaction to 45 years of
12 communist repression and Serbian hegemony." [Interpretation] So Serbian
13 hegemony for 45 years. That is what is stated in the report.
14 And in the report from the 9th of January, on page 1, paragraph 3,
15 at the very beginning, you speak of Tito's rule using the term
16 "dictatorial rule." And then in the next sentence, you speak of "...
17 extremely repressive aspects of the Titoist regime..." Does that mean
18 that you believe that in the SFRY, Josip Broz Tito, the late president,
19 though I don't consider that to have been a dictatorial regime, that he
20 had virtually absolute authority, absolute power?
21 A. Yes, that was my impression, that he had absolute power, typical
22 of many other communist leaders in other parts of the region at that time.
23 Q. And do you know the nationality of the late President Tito?
24 A. I should know. I believe I know, but I'm not certain. I think he
25 was a Croat, but I'm not certain.
1 Q. He was a Croat. How, then, is it possible to speak of Serbian
2 hegemony in a country in which, as you claim, absolute power over civilian
3 and military authorities is in the hands of a Croat?
4 A. Well, until the period after Tito's death, I and many people in
5 the world were not in the habit of thinking of the former Yugoslavia in
6 terms of ethnic nationality. They were Yugoslavs, and I thought of Tito
7 as a Yugoslav. I thought of my colleagues in Yugoslavia as Yugoslavs.
8 They thought of themselves as Yugoslavs. It was only as the federation
9 began to break up that questions of specific ethnic identity became
10 paramount, I think very unfortunately so.
11 Q. We, too, did not pay too much attention to what ethnicity each one
12 of us was. But do you know that throughout the period of existence of the
13 Yugoslav federation, that is, for 47 years, the position of a Prime
14 Minister, federal Prime Minister, throughout that period, which means half
15 a century, was held by only one Serb for four years, from 1964 to 1967,
16 and that all the others were not Serbs?
17 A. Let me go back, Mr. Milosevic, to your -- the opening of your
18 first question when you quote from our report saying how the Croats felt
19 about Serb hegemony. We were not saying that that was factually the case,
20 we were trying to explain the attitudes that we heard, what people told us
21 when we were there, to give some sense of what various ethnic groups were
22 saying about each other. There was no intent or implication in that part
23 of the report to say that this is what we thought. We were just saying
24 Croats talked about many years of Serb hegemony. That was the way they
25 seemed to see it, not the way we were saying it was, in fact.
1 Q. Yes, but you put it in your report --
2 A. Yes, we did.
3 Q. -- as some sort of a reason. Do you know that during this 47-year
4 period --
5 JUDGE MAY: No, I think you're mistaken, Mr. Milosevic. What the
6 witness is saying -- and we may be at cross-purposes. What the witness is
7 saying is that what they reported is what they were told. You understand
8 that? Not that it's the truth or anything else. It's merely what they
9 were told. You understand that?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I understand completely.
11 However, thereby, a picture is being created that is wrong, and then on
12 the basis of that picture, one says people said so.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. And do you know that after Tito's death, during the last ten years
15 of the existence of Yugoslavia, from 1982 up until 1992, the Prime
16 Ministers were Croats, Milka Planinc, then Branko Mikulic, a Croat from
17 Bosnia, and finally Ante Markovic, a Croat from Croatia, as was Milka
19 A. I don't have the report open in front of me, but I believe we also
20 -- we told not just what the Croats were thinking, what they told us, but
21 also what the Serbs told us. We were trying, in this part of the report,
22 to explain a very complicated situation to people who were not living in
23 the federation, people outside, in Europe and in the United States, who
24 wanted to get some understanding of what was happening there, and we were
25 trying, in our own simplest way, to explain that.
1 JUDGE MAY: The witness should have a copy of the report. It's
2 tab 2 -- tab 2, page 5.
3 THE WITNESS: This is the 1991 report?
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue, Mr. May?
6 JUDGE MAY: When the witness has got to the paragraph. September
7 1991, it should be tab 2, page 5, paragraph 2.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much. I have it now.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you know that the constitution of Yugoslavia envisaged, among
12 other things, the following: With respect to the composition of the
13 command staff and the appointment to higher commands and leading positions
14 in the Yugoslav People's Army, the principle of proportional
15 representation of republics and autonomous provinces will be applied as
16 much as possible. So that principle was observed, and the army was
17 composed in harmony with the population structure of Yugoslavia.
18 And do you also know that when the Yugoslav crisis broke out --
19 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer. You produce these points and
20 you never give a chance for the witness to answer.
21 Do you know anything about this, Ms. Laber?
22 THE WITNESS: The description of the constitution sounds correct
23 as to my understanding of it, yes. I'm not sure about the composition --
24 the actual composition of the army is another story.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. And do you know that when the crisis broke out, the Defence
2 Minister was General Veljko Kadijevic, who comes from Croatia originally?
3 A. I'll take your word for that. I don't know that personally.
4 Q. And do you know that the commander of the air force and anti-air
5 defences was also, at the beginning of the war, Antun Tus, a Croat, the
6 most sophisticated part of the army? Later on, he joined Tudjman's army,
7 and then another gentleman called Jurijevic took over, and he was also a
8 Croat. Are you aware of any of these facts?
9 A. Before I was not in the habit of thinking of Yugoslavs in terms of
10 their ethnicity.
11 Q. Do you know that there was general military service that was
12 obligatory for all able-bodied young men, and again that there was
13 proportional representation in accordance with the population, that is,
14 the men of military age? Therefore, all ethnicities were represented
15 proportionally? Are you aware of that?
16 A. I'm not an expert on the military structure or of -- of the
17 republic at that time.
18 Q. Do you know that this proportional representation in the army was
19 undermined only when Croatia and Slovenia acting with the view to violent
20 secession called on the Croats and Slovenes not to serve in the army and
21 on Croatian and Slovenian officers to abandon the army and to join the
22 illegally established armies in Croatia and Slovenia? Later on, the
23 Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic followed suit. Do you know about that?
24 JUDGE MAY: If you can't answer it -- it seems to me this is a
25 tendentious way of looking at history. What has this to do with the
1 witness's evidence, Mr. Milosevic?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that it is
3 stated in the report references to a dictatorial regime, to Serbian
4 hegemony, can we infer from that that reference to any kind of Serbian
5 hegemony in view of all these facts, this reference being one of the
6 reasons given for secessionism in Croatia, and their nationalist
7 intentions, was just an attempt to find an excuse because the facts
8 testify to quite the opposite.
9 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't deal with that. All that she is
10 here to say is that this is what the Croats, many Croats, explained to the
11 people who wrote the report. Now, whether it's right or wrong, I suspect
12 is one of the issues we may or many not have to try. It sounds like
13 history, so we may not be therefore required to decide about it. But --
14 Just a moment. Just a moment.
15 All the witness can deal with and all you can ask her about is
16 what is in the report. This is what is reported to them. Whether it's
17 right or wrong is not for the witness to say, and there's no point asking
18 any questions to her about it. Here's what was reported as the view of
19 many Croats.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is what I'm talking about,
21 Mr. May. That by selecting information and putting it in a report, a
22 certain picture is drawn, and that picture is totally erroneous. That's
23 what I'm saying.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. But let us comment on another aspect of the 9th of January report.
1 You say that the Croatian side advocated secession, and in the same report
2 you say that the Serbian side in Croatia wanted to remain in Serbia, that
3 the Serbian authorities, and I personally, spread -- propagated calls to
4 maintain a single Yugoslavia. This is page 2, fourth paragraph.
5 My question is: Is propagating the preservation of the unity of
6 Yugoslavia actually meant preserving the lawful situation according to
7 international law and the Yugoslav constitution? Do you have any
8 awareness of this?
9 A. You're on page 2, paragraph 4, did you say?
10 Q. Yes. In your report of the 9th of January, what I've just quoted,
11 that the Croatian side advocated secession whereas the authorities in
12 Serbia, and I personally, advocated the maintenance of Yugoslavia. Of
13 course, I did. There is no dispute about that. But my question is, is it
14 clear to you that that meant advocating the preservation of a legal state
15 of affairs according to international law and the Yugoslav constitution?
16 A. I think from your point of view, that's what you advocated.
17 That's true. You wanted to preserve Yugoslavia. And as I said to you
18 yesterday, I am not prepared to speak about national determination or
19 whether it was a legal or illegal secession on the part of Croatia. This
20 is beyond my competence to discuss today.
21 Q. Yes. But are you aware, and I will quote Article 237 of the
22 Yugoslav constitution, which envisages, and I quote: "It is the
23 inviolable and inalienable right and duty of nations and nationalities of
24 Yugoslavia, the working people and citizens to protect and defend the
25 independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the social order of
1 Yugoslavia as established by the constitution."
2 I assume that that is written in all the constitutions in the
3 world, that the citizens have to defend their country and its territorial
4 integrity. Are you aware of this?
5 A. Mr. Milosevic, this is beyond my competence to discuss today.
6 Q. Very well. But you are talking about rights; you are involved in
7 human rights protection at the highest level, and that is why I'm talking
8 about rights. Do you know for example that the Criminal Code of
9 Yugoslavia envisaged as one of the worst --
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this is just a waste of time. Now
11 unless you've got some relevant questions, we'll bring this to an end.
12 You know, you ought to be looking at this indictment, Mr. Milosevic. You
13 look at count 1. That's what this case is about, not erudite discussions
14 about the constitution.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I was quoting the report
16 which refers to our support for Yugoslavia and Croatia's secession. So my
17 question is, if we bear in mind the fact that I have mentioned, can we
18 infer that propagating the maintenance of Yugoslavia was not only an
19 expression of our political options and wishes, which is not in dispute,
20 but it was also our constitutional obligation, whereas advocating the
21 breakup of Yugoslavia and secession was a crime.
22 JUDGE MAY: It's not for the witness to answer that question. It
23 may be an issue that we will have to determine in due course, but it's not
24 for her to deal with it. Now move on to something else. There are
25 matters in the report which you may want to ask about, but your time is
1 going. Concrete matters.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I'm just limiting my
3 comments to her reports and comparing them to the real state of affairs.
4 So I think that my question is quite appropriate. Let me go back to the
5 report again.
6 JUDGE MAY: Ask questions which relate to the report, by all
7 means, but don't indulge in constitutional debate with a witness who
8 can't deal with it.
9 Prosecution, are you going to call a constitutional expert who can
10 tell us about this?
11 MR. NICE: We intend to call constitutional experts, and indeed an
12 historian. The Court will remember right from the beginning that Mr.
13 Tapuskovic, from whom a report was at one time expected, said that there
14 ought to be a historian to deal with historical matters. Whether there
15 will be time for all these experts to come in is perhaps another matter,
16 but it's our present intention to call them.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We are talking about human rights
18 here, and this has to do with rights and vital human rights.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. In the 9th of January report, on page 2, paragraph 4, the last
21 sentence says that the Yugoslav army had "a strong pan-Yugoslav political
22 orientation." Don't you think it was normal for the Yugoslav People's
23 Army, whose constitutional obligation was to protect the Yugoslav state,
24 to have a Yugoslav orientation? What other orientation could it have had?
25 A. Mr. Milosevic, you continue to quote from material which is
1 labelled Introduction, Background. These are not statements where we --
2 that are under dispute. These are our explanation to readers who
3 may not be at all familiar with the situation of what we were told, what
4 is the background. It's not the substance of the report. We can quibble
5 over the way things are phrased but I don't think they are really relevant
6 to what the report is about, which is about serious abuses by both sides
7 in this conflict.
8 Q. Yes, but the question is if that orientation of the Yugoslav
9 People's Army was pan-Yugoslavia, as you describe it - you yourself say
10 that - then it cannot be pro-Serbian. Don't you see that one excludes the
12 A. I think you're trying to draw me into the kind of argument I do
13 not intend to get drawn into today.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to
15 say that this is a document that has been exhibited here. It has been
16 tendered into evidence. It may not have any relevance, but the Court may
17 base some of its judgements on what is stated in this report. If this has
18 been tendered as an exhibit, then I feel it is natural that it should be
19 the subject of cross-examination as it may serve as one of the grounds for
20 the courts' judgement.
21 JUDGE MAY: That's so, Mr. Tapuskovic, but relevant
22 cross-examination, of course. Now the basis of the report and the
23 important thing in it, I suggest, is the abuses which it documents and
24 abuses about which the Court is going to have to make judgements. But
25 trying, as the witness rightly describes it, to draw her into a
1 constitutional debate which is outside her expertise is not a relevant way
2 of spending the time. Now, it's a matter for the accused how he spends
3 his time. If he wastes it on questions like this which are of no
4 assistance to the Court, then his time goes. It's up to him. But I am
5 certainly not going to require the witness to try and enter into this sort
6 of argument.
7 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I'm relying exclusively on
9 the documents that have been tendered through this witness, so I'm not
10 quoting from any other documents, nor am I relying on any other documents
11 except on those that have been tendered through this witness.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So my next question is: Is it possible to conclude that according
14 to international and domestic law, the legal aspiration of the Serbian
15 authorities and the population in Croatia and also in Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 to preserve Yugoslavia was in conformity with the legal option of the JNA
17 to preserve Yugoslavia and its constitutional obligation to protect the
18 territorial integrity of the country? So is it possible to draw such a
19 conclusion from these unquestionable facts, undeniable facts?
20 A. I do not intend to answer that question. By not answering it, I
21 am not saying that I disagree with you or agree with you; I just do not
22 feel that it is appropriate for me to discuss at this moment and at this
24 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to confer as to whether we should bring this
25 cross-examination to an end because it's wasting the time of the Court.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Continue, Mr. Milosevic.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. In your reports, did you draw the conclusion that the Serbian
5 population in Croatia and the authorities of the Republic of Serbia and
6 the JNA were seen by the Croatian authorities that had opted for secession
7 as enemies, as opponents? Is that in dispute? Is that a debatable fact?
8 JUDGE MAY: If you can't answer, just say, "I can't answer."
9 THE WITNESS: I guess I really cannot say what was in the minds of
10 the Croatian authorities.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Very well. In a portion of your report of the 9th of January
13 1991, you described the activities of the police force with a view to
14 seizing weapons from the reserve police and Territorial Defence in the
15 parts of Croatia where the Serb ethnicity was in the majority. Now, was
16 this directed towards the elimination, in fact, of a segment of the
17 Defence, or rather, the constitutionally provided for armed forces of
18 Yugoslavia in an area where the population strove for retaining the
19 territorial integrity of the country, which was also pursuant to the
21 A. As the report states, the express intent of the Croatian
22 government was an overall action which was to remove weapons from all
23 police stations throughout the country. Our impression was that they
24 focused primarily, at least initially, on areas that had a Serbian
25 population. I think was a provocative act. I think it was, in our
1 experience where we documented it, the police were intent on preserving
2 order. They did not -- they told us they were under instructions not to
3 create violence. However, at that point, there was a serious tension in
4 the air, and I think there was suspicion on both sides that the Croatian
5 police were afraid that the Serb population might seize arms from these
6 police stations in their own defence, and I think that the Serbs were
7 afraid that the police were trying to keep them from doing that because
8 they didn't trust them. I think that the propaganda coming from Serbia
9 was stirring up thoughts of war, of persecution, bringing fear into the
10 minds of simple people who had lived for many years in close harmony with
11 their neighbours without concern about whether or not they were Croats or
12 Serbs. I think that this whole ethnic tension was raised not by the
13 people but by the governments, but both governments involved. And that's
14 what led to all of the bloodshed.
15 Q. Well, that's very, how shall I put it, doubtful, a dubious
16 explanation. If I quote your table, tab number 1, on page 6, or rather
17 the portion of that page, it's all in English, and you can follow, it is
18 in the first fresh paragraph of page 6. And you speak about the fact that
19 they had come in to collect up the weapons and that there were Serbian
20 demonstrators, and then you say the following: "Serbs, who had suffered
21 terribly at the hands of Croatian fascists during World War II [In
22 English] apparently believed that the current arms seizures would put them
23 at the mercy of the Croatian government, a fear that was compounded by the
24 fact that the arms seizures initially were carried out by special
25 Croat-only police units, apparently hastily assembled and trained, and
1 mainly in villages and towns that were predominantly Serb. The Serb
2 minority thus saw the seizures as a targeted disarmament, and not as a
3 neutral move by the government on a general and non-ethnic basis to reduce
4 the quantity of arms..." et cetera.
5 A. I believe that's what I just said in answer to your previous
6 question. I see no disparity between what you just read and my response.
7 I think that both governments took positions and actions that were bound
8 to stir up unrest and fear amongst the population.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Well, now that this kind of practice, the one you
10 talk about, and the fear of that practice being implemented, if you link
11 that up with the observations that we made yesterday and established
12 yesterday from the leadership of the new Croatian authorities to the
13 effect that the independent state of Croatia, the one from World War II,
14 was an expression of the historical aspirations of the Croatian people,
15 and at the same time bringing in members of the Ustasha emigration to top
16 positions in the government, and then the re-introduction of state
17 symbols, the symbols of that same independent state of Croatia, do you not
18 think that it is logical and that the fear is justified on the part of the
19 Serb population at a point in time when their national rights are being
20 taken away from them, from the constitution, and their footing of equality
21 in the constitution, and this was followed up by the seizure of arms which
22 were provided for by that constitution as a means of defence and one of
23 the instruments of the army of the SFRY? Now, is that something that you
24 are challenging or not?
25 A. I'm not challenging what you said, but I would point out that at
1 the same time, at the very time that we were inspecting the situation in
2 these Serbian villages where the Croatian police had come to seize the
3 arms, just before that, there had been an unofficial referendum amongst
4 the Serbian minority in Croatia that they would not want to become part of
5 a separate Croatian state and that in Knin, in the area of Knin, they had
6 already taken up arms and were taking over the territory that they
7 occupied. So that I think at least at that moment in history, there
8 seemed to be a reason for both sides to have severe distrust of each other
9 which was what we were trying to explain in the initial part of the report
10 when we give both the Serb position and the Croat position.
11 Q. You have been endeavouring to draw a symmetry between the
12 perpetrators of crimes and the victims of those crimes. But let me draw
13 your attention to page 8 of that document. At the bottom you say the
14 following: "However Helsinki Watch believes that excessive force was used
15 by Croatian police in, for example, the village of Dvor na Uni. [In
16 English] There is reason to believe that the intent was to intimidate the
17 Serb population as well to bring about compliance with the otherwise
18 lawful orders to collect arms. Although the collection of arms was
19 presented as a part of general programme of public safety, at least in the
20 early part of the collection programme, the burden of the government
21 orders appears to have fallen on the Serb villages alone."
22 A. I don't know what the question is. You're reading my words back
23 to me, and I agree with them. I mean, you can take them out of context.
24 I think there was a kind of symmetry at that time.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Well, I didn't take anything out of context. I
1 can't read you the entire report, but that's how it was composed.
2 Now, taking away arms of the reserve police force and Territorial
3 Defence in the areas where the Serb inhabitants were the majority
4 population, I assume you do know that the Croatian authorities justified
5 this by the large representation percentage-wise of Serbs in the police
6 force itself. Now, could you answer me this, please: Is there anything
7 that is not normal, not natural, in the fact that in areas where the Serbs
8 make up the majority population, even the vast majority that most of the
9 policemen there are Serbs, in fact? Was there anything that was not
10 normal or illogical in that?
11 A. Not necessarily. I mean, I have no reason to dispute that. I
12 think that we're talking about a situation that was about to erupt into
13 open warfare and that at that moment in time when I was there, I saw great
14 fear and great distrust on both sides, which is the attitudes of both the
15 Serbian population and the Croatian population. And I saw no effort made
16 by your government or by Mr. Tudjman's government to alleviate those
17 concerns. If anything, it seemed to be -- both sides seemed to be
18 generating something that would lead to warfare.
19 Q. Yes, but let's dwell on the facts for a moment, let's stay with
20 the facts. Before that, as you deal with human rights, social status, and
21 so on, to be a policeman, is that a special social privilege in any way?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Or do you perhaps consider that the Republic of Serbia or somebody
24 from the structures of power and authority in Serbia were responsible for
25 the facts that in the territory of Croatia where the vast majority of the
1 population were the Serbs, that the largest number of policemen were
2 precisely of Serb ethnicity or Serb origin? Is that disputed? And
3 through a whole series of years that was how it was?
4 A. I have not investigate the structure of the police force during
5 those years. I have no reason to dispute what you say, but I don't know
6 that it's accurate or not.
7 Q. Well, in your report of the 9th of January, 1991, in the part you
8 say you wrote yourself, you speak about the fact that the policemen
9 conducted their operations at night and in the early hours of the morning,
10 that they were exclusively Croats, and that they were not properly trained
11 and adequately trained and armed to the teeth, as you say. Now, do you
12 not consider that that is sufficient reason for fear on the part of the
13 Serb population?
14 A. I think it was a very good reason for fear on the part of the Serb
15 population and that it was compounded by the fact this they were being
16 told from Belgrade that they were under attack.
17 Q. Well, you yourself state on page 8 of your report of the 9th of
18 January: "In the view of the mission, however, the Croatian government
19 appears to have used inappropriate and intimidating amounts of force in
20 Serb villages, [In English] to carry out its order to collect weapons."
21 [Interpretation] How, then, is it possible that in your statement
22 on the 4th to 7th of March on page 3, you say that the fear among the
23 Serbs was, in fact, caused by propaganda on the part of Serb radio?
24 Answer that question for me, please, if you would?
25 A. [Previous interpretation continues] ... that things can exist and
1 did exist at the same time. I also -- we say in the report that we
2 interviewed some of these Croat policemen, and although their methods
3 seemed out of proportion to the activity that they were sent there to do,
4 they told us and they had no reason -- these were just ordinary policemen,
5 they had no reason to lie about it, that they were under strict orders not
6 to provoke violence in any way. Perhaps they expected violence and that's
7 why they were overly armed. But it was an escalating situation, and the
8 fear and the tension was coming from both sides.
9 Q. And are you aware of the fact that on the 17th of June, 1991, the
10 Croatian party of rights published the so-called Lipanj or June Charter,
11 calling for the revival of the independent state of Croatia on all its, as
12 they say, historical territory, ethnic territory, its eastern borders
13 along the line of Subotica, Zemun, the Drina River, Sandzak, and the Bay
14 of Kotor, which means that their pretensions were on all the territory of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina, a large part of Serbia, and part of Montenegro as
16 well. Is that something that you know about?
17 A. I'm not aware of it, no.
18 Q. Let's take a look at what you say in tab 3, for example, tab 3,
19 page 5. You state the following: "Grubisno Polje and other villages in
20 Western Slavonia --" I have to read this out for the public, because the
21 entire public knows about the horrendous crimes that took place there
22 against the Serb population, and this is what you write. You say, among
23 others, that the Tanjug news agency accused the Croats -- but I'll read it
24 as it says: "... accused Croats of having committed war crimes [In
25 English]: against Serbs in the areas near the town of Grubisno Polje in
1 Croatia. The allegations were investigated by members of the European
2 Community Monitoring Mission who found that Serbian forces, not Croatian
3 forces, were guilty of summary executions and destruction of civilian
4 property in the area. The monitoring mission's report concludes: We
5 established evidence of crimes which were committed by the (Serbian
6 forces) during the two- and three-month period that they controlled that
7 particular zone (Western Slavonia). Our team did not find evidence of
8 killings later, nor of the systematic destruction of Serbian property by
9 the Croatian National Guard or Croats from the area."
10 [Interpretation] Now, we've even heard here testimony by a very
11 important protected witness, precisely from the area of Western Slavonia.
12 I presented him with a fact which is common knowledge, a well-known fact,
13 that the forces destroyed 193 Serbian villages in Western Slavonia, and he
14 said to that that my figures were incorrect, that that was not the figure,
15 and that according to his information, the Croatian forces destroyed only
16 163 Serb villages. Now, do you know anything about those facts and
17 figures and the crimes committed in Western Slavonia when you put a report
18 of this kind of the alleged Serb crimes in that place into your report?
19 A. Well, you're quoting from an EC report, a report by done by
20 members of the European Community. We put that into our report because it
21 was a respected delegation. I cannot, off the top of my head, respond to
22 the figures that you just gave me. I'm sure there are people who have
23 those figures and, you know, I could go to members of my staff and see if
24 they know the details.
25 Q. Well, yes, all right. I have quoted the provisions that speak of
1 the composition of the armed forces in Yugoslavia. Do you know that after
2 the operation in which weapons were seized from the Territorial Defence in
3 Krajina, the next major operation on the part of the Croatian authorities,
4 militarily speaking, was the blocking, encirclement and attacks on
5 barracks of the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army, which had been positioned
6 there for 50 years, in Croatia, that is. Do you know about that?
7 A. Yes, I do. I may not characterise it quite the way you do, but I
8 know that the JNA was stationed there and was seen by the -- I believe by
9 the Croatian government as being sympathetic to the Serbian minority.
10 Q. Now, about the armed Serb population that took place in the
11 conflicts in Croatia, you speak about them as rebels, and you say this on
12 page 6, paragraph 2 in your statement to the investigators, or you refer
13 to them as paramilitary formations or units. Now, in view of the fact
14 that these forces, as you yourself state in your report of the 9th of
15 January, 1991, fought for the preservation of Yugoslavia, do you consider
16 that they were legal and lawful or illegal?
17 A. The paramilitary forces, in my view, were illegal, and their
18 actions were most definitely illegal. They committed tremendous crimes
19 that had nothing to do with military behaviour, including summary
20 executions of people, looting and robbing in the areas that they took
21 over; and much of that booty, as I understand it, was brought back into
22 Serbia over Serbian borders, which would imply that they had the tacit
23 cooperation of the Serbian government or the Serbian border guards at the
24 very least. Paramilitaries are not an official army, and these particular
25 paramilitaries were documented as having done and committed gross abuses
1 against the civilian population.
2 Q. Well, do you know anything about the fact that the most horrendous
3 crimes, massive crimes, took place in operations by the Croatian army when
4 thousands and thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands of
5 people expelled from Croatia? Do you know anything about that at all?
6 Have you read the New York Times? Did you read the New York Times in
7 1993, in which David Binder says that in this area outside the Krajina
8 10.000 Serb houses were blown up by dynamite, and that Croatia has become
9 the purest country, ethnically speaking, in Europe? If you haven't looked
10 at the facts and figures on the ground, in the field, I assume that you
11 read the New York Times.
12 A. I am not disputing fact that gross abuses were committed by both
13 sides in this conflict. We tried to be as even-handed as possible about
14 all sides in the conflict. And you want to call attention, obviously, to
15 what was done by the Croatians. I am not going to dispute the facts with
16 you. I'm just saying that crimes were committed by the Serbian
17 government, the JNA, which was under -- at that point, under the control
18 of the Serbian government, and the vast majority of crimes seemed to come
19 from that side, even more than from the Croatian side, although war has a
20 way of making everyone ultimately into criminals.
21 Q. Well, you haven't got a single piece of information to bear that
22 out, to confirm that something had come from outside, and we're talking
23 about the insurgent Serbs in Croatia, and I quoted the constitution of
24 Yugoslavia to you and the obligation to protect the territorial integrity
25 of the country. And do you know that, among others, it also says the
1 following: Each and every citizen who, by weapons or in any other way,
2 takes part against an attack are members of the armed forces of the SFRY,
3 does that to all intents and purposes mean, if you look at the law of it,
4 because you deal in the humanitarian law, that the people in Krajina who
5 fought to preserve the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, which is one
6 of the constitutional duties and obligations, did so in keeping with the
7 provision of the constitution and was therefore a component part of the
8 legal armed forces of that country, formed part of the legal armed forces
9 under the constitution?
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to stop you. It's not a
11 matter for the witness. It may be something that we will ultimately have
12 to decide. Now, your time is very nearly up, but we'll give you another
13 five minutes.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. May, I have done my best
15 to reduce the number of questions as much as possible. I can be quite
16 frank and say that I did do so because I have been submitted with many
17 reports here, and I would need many more days to uncover the background of
18 reports of this kind that fan the flames, in fact, of an anti-Serbian
19 campaign. But I do have a few more things to ask the witness. I assume
20 that you will give me the time to do so.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You in your report of September 1991 wrote that in May 1991, the
23 national guard was set up to serve as a republican army. And in the
24 footnote on page 24 and 5 of your report you state the following: "The
25 National Guard Corps is not a part of the police force and, therefore, not
1 under the control of the Ministry of the Interior. The National Guard
2 Corps was set up about three months ago and serves as a Croatian army and
3 is responsible to the Croatian Defence Ministry. But during the fighting
4 with the Serbian insurgents, as you call them, the National Guard and
5 Croatian police worked together in cohorts," and you note yourself that
6 the object of these forces was to ensure secession, a break away from the
7 SFRY. And we quoted Tudjman's statements of the 18th of October which
8 relate to this, and when he called the people to arms in order to defend
9 the country's independence. Therefore, if we bear in mind the
10 constitutional provisions and these facts which you yourself state and set
11 out here, can you tell me the following: Which are the illegal
12 paramilitary forces that we're talking about in fact here? The ones that
13 are protecting Yugoslavia and its constitutional order or those which
14 engaged in violent secession?
15 A. Our role was to document the abuses committed by these illegal
16 paramilitary forces. The ones that came from Serbia were particularly
17 heinous in the crimes that they committed, and we have documented them in
18 these reports and in other reports when it went on into the Bosnia
19 struggle. I would like to say also that I take strong exception to your
20 implication that we are fanning anti-Serb sentiments. This was not our
21 intent. Our reports were, as to the greatest degree possible,
22 even-handed, and it is not our responsibility if the vast majority of the
23 crimes were committed by troops under your command.
24 Q. All right. Let's move on. I have to skip some of my questions.
25 But in that same report, you also say that although the presidency was the
1 highest organ in Yugoslavia, to send a letter to the Presidency would mean
2 nothing because I am the one who did all the decision-making. That's what
3 you claim, at least. Now, before this institution certain witnesses have
4 testified about the fact that at this meeting, and this is an undisputed
5 fact, of the 12th to the 14th of March, 1991, the Presidency meeting went
6 on for two days, the Yugoslav state Presidency as the supreme command, in
7 its capacity of Supreme Command rejected the proposal by the staff the
8 Supreme Command to raise the level of combat alert for the JNA because of
9 the deteriorated political and security situation in the country. Now,
10 could you answer me this, please, as that is a fact which is in complete
11 contradiction with what you're claiming, if I, as you say, was the one who
12 made the decisions, was that my will to reject the proposal of the staff
13 of the Supreme Command or perhaps the staff of the Supreme Command was
14 following my orders and rejected it following orders from me perhaps?
15 Whereas the fact remains that the proposal was rejected to raise the level
16 of alertness for the army because of the deteriorated situation at that
17 same Yugoslav State Presidency meeting who was in command of that same
18 army which you claim that I was commanding.
19 JUDGE MAY: Can you answer that or not?
20 THE WITNESS: I was not at the meeting. I can only say what the
21 general impression by informed people inside and outside of Yugoslavia at
22 that point was, and it was that when people talked about orders from
23 Belgrade, that they came from you and not from the Presidency. And
24 regardless of what happened at that meeting, I would like to ask you what
25 actually happened in practice?
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Yes. But answer me a simply question. If I did indeed have
3 control over the JNA, how come I couldn't influence the decision to raise
4 its combat readiness, for example? How would that be possible, then?
5 A. Did you actually listen to the decision that was made? I don't
7 Q. All right. Let's move on. In your statement given between the
8 4th and 7th of March, you speak of the displacement of the non-Serb
9 population from Baranja, and we had a witness here testifying before you
10 who said that nobody ever expelled anyone from Baranja, and they even
11 called them to come back, and this was a Prosecution witness not my own
12 witness. And you speak of the displacement of the non-Serb populations
13 and settlement in the areas of the displaced Serbs who had fled from
14 Western Slavonia in November. I quote you there. And you speak about
15 some 20.000 Serbs who had fled, and it is awful if even one man has to
16 flee from his own home regardless of which ethnicity he belongs to. But
17 my question to you is the following: Is it possible that in your
18 statement and in your letter, you express concern only for the non-Serb
19 population because these people are settling into the area, so the ones
20 who have left won't have anywhere to return, whereas, the destiny and fate
21 of those 20.000 who did not leave from any other reason but from the need
22 to leave because they were suffering and had to leave, you're not
23 interested in that at all. You're not interested who they were fleeing
24 from, why they had to flee; you're just looking at them as a danger
25 because -- as a threat because you say that they will come to settle
1 Baranja --
2 MR. NICE: [Previous interpretation continues] ... insofar as
3 there is a question there at all, and the first sentence is misleading and
4 doesn't accurately reflect the evidence.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this will be your last question. Now
6 would you like to rephrase it in a way that the witness can answer? It is
7 your last, because you've now had well over the time.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So you will allow me just one more
9 question. Is that right?
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, then I would like to deal with
12 one more topic with several questions if I may, Mr. May, because in page 8
13 of the statement given to the Prosecution, in paragraphs 3 and 4, you said
14 that I refused to hand over three officers to this institution, JNA
15 officers, being accused of an alleged killing of 200 persons at Ovcani
16 Vukovar, and I didn't respect Yugoslavia's international obligations.
17 Do you mean the obligations provided for by the statute of this
18 institution, adopted by the UN Security Council at its -- in 1993?
19 THE WITNESS: Are you talking about the Tribunal?
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Yes, yes.
22 A. No, the Tribunal did not exist at the time that we sent our letter
23 to you.
24 Q. Now, do you consider that the observation is correct that the
25 member states of the United Nations are duty bound to respect and
1 implement the decisions of the UN Security Council only if they are in
2 conformity with the UN charter? Is that so or not?
3 A. I think you're getting me into a question of international law
4 once again.
5 Q. Do you consider that this constitution in which you are testifying
6 now was set up in conformity with the United Nations Charter and pursuant
7 to it?
8 JUDGE MAY: This is well away from anything that the witness can
9 possibly answer.
10 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. May, that you won't
13 give me a few more minutes to raise some very important questions.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, out of everything
15 that the Prosecution has tendered as evidence through this witness, I
16 should like to ask the witness to explain a few things stated in tab 4 of
17 Exhibit 359. This is the document, handwritten document, by Ms. Jeri
19 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Ms. Jeri Laber, could you please tell me the
21 following. I have reviewed this document and I have noticed, actually
22 both of us, my colleague and myself, that between page 8 and 34, on 27
23 pages, in other words, after page 8 comes the 34th page. How can you
24 explain the pages missing from this document? Did you hand the entire
25 document to the Prosecution consisting of all the pages, and why are 34 --
1 no 27 pages missing?
2 A. That's very easy to explain. There were two meetings. And in
3 between them, we did other things. They didn't take place consecutively.
4 Page 2 was the meeting with Mr. Pujic and Petkovic and Lieutenant-General
5 Vojvodic. And if you'll see at the beginning of page 34, it says "Foreign
6 Ministry," so this was the beginning of a new set of notes that I was
7 taking. In between, I mean, I have all of the notes at home, but for this
8 purpose, I took out only the ones that dealt with our official meetings.
9 Presumably we went somewhere else in between, spoke to people, I took
10 things down in my notebook.
11 Is that clear?
12 Q. Those pages maybe contain something that could be useful for
13 Mr. Slobodan Milosevic. Why didn't you hand the complete document to the
14 Prosecution and then it would be up to the Prosecution to judge?
15 A. Because my notes, which probably numbered in hundreds of pages
16 from my notebooks, I was interviewing people throughout that mission,
17 talking to journalists, talking to witnesses. Some of the material was
18 probably confidential. None of it related to this particular set of
19 meetings. What I was asked to provide were my notes, and I provided
20 them -- my complete notes which are provided here from the official
21 meetings that I had when I was in Belgrade. And the first meeting is from
22 page 2 to page 8. There's nothing missing in between. And the second
23 meeting begins on page 34, and it is again numbered consecutively until it
24 ends on page 36. I see no discrepancy there whatsoever.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no more
2 questions regarding this particular issue, but to be able to put any
3 additional questions to the witness, I should like to ask the documents to
4 be shown to you which I have received as exculpatory evidence on the basis
5 of Rule 68. The first one is 013998, and a component part of that
6 document is 013999. This is the ERN number, that is one document. And
7 the second document is 00113625, and the third document is 00289306. And
8 I have only a single point to address linked to these documents.
9 JUDGE MAY: What are the documents, please? Can you tell us what
10 they are?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] These are documents which we
12 received under the provisions of Rule 68. These are very important
14 JUDGE MAY: I know that. Just what is the nature of them? What
15 are they headed?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It has to do with investigations
17 that were conducted by Ms. Laber in connection with rape, rape of Muslims,
18 Croat, and Serb women. So this is a very important issue and one that is
19 part of the indictment. And it reflects on the method of work applied by
20 this organisation, and some very important facts that Ms. Laber can
21 testify about.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice.
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, if the amici wish to produce documents in
24 their examination of witnesses, they have to produce them in copies. We
25 don't carry everything from our trollies.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, have you got a copy?
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] We have.
3 JUDGE MAY: Let us have a look at it, and then the witness can
4 have it.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The last two documents in
7 particular. The first contains a statement by Ms. Laber.
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tapuskovic, why don't you make photocopies in
9 advance in the future, in this kind of case.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I will. But this is an exhibit
11 that was given to me two days ago. Believe me, I had to have it
12 translated, and it was rather difficult to organise all this and keep all
13 this in mind. But you will see that it is highly relevant, especially the
14 last two.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The matter could be put to the witness. And
16 perhaps it can go on the ELMO as a way of making sure everybody sees it.
17 JUDGE KWON: The Prosecution may want to see it.
18 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. I won't take any more time.
19 Passing all too quickly. I'll deal with it on the overhead projector.
20 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Laber, would you look, please, at this document
21 which will be put on the projector. It will come up on your screen. If
22 you need to look at it more closely, you can, of course, take it.
23 Now, Mr. Tapuskovic, what is it that you would like to ask the
24 witness about?
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Could Ms. Laber, first of all, confirm for me that she was working
2 on the field and conducting investigations in connection with rape.
3 A. Is it possible to make it brighter?
4 JUDGE MAY: It may be easier if you look at it on the ELMO beside
6 THE WITNESS: Fine.
7 JUDGE MAY: That might be the easiest way to see it.
8 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. Would you start again.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. My question was with reference to what you have already said, that
11 you were involved in investigations into the crime of rape on the
12 territory of the former Yugoslavia. Isn't that right?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. And one of the reasons for your organisation to request sanctions
15 was what you reported regarding rape.
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. In view of the fact that you investigated rape, the rape of Serb
18 women, did you ask for sanctions to be imposed on Croatia, by the same
20 A. I don't think we talked about sanctions at all in this context.
21 Q. Thank you. Ms. Laber, could you please look at two other
22 documents, documents drafted by you. They are in the same group, turn two
23 pages, and then you will come across two documents compiled by you. It's
24 your document, isn't it?
25 A. Wait a moment. First of all, I don't recognise any of these
1 documents. What is the first one? "Bosnian falsehoods on rape -
2 rejected." Whose document is this?
3 Q. This document is a report that you drafted after hearing the
4 testimony of a victim. Please --
5 A. Are we talking about the first document now?
6 Q. No, no, no.
7 A. [Previous interpretation continues]... that's an incorrect quote.
8 I don't know where it comes from.
9 Q. Would you please be kind enough to turn two pages, and then you
10 will come across the document that you compiled. Isn't that so?
11 A. Yes, that is correct. This is from an article that I wrote in the
12 New York Review of Books. It is entitled Bosnia: Questions About Rape.
13 Q. This is a document that you drafted on the basis of an interview
14 with a Serbian woman who was a victim. Is that so?
15 A. The article that I wrote was -- contained interviews with a number
16 of women, including, I believe, three Serbian women who were victims and
17 also Croat women and also Bosnian women, Bosnian Muslim women.
18 Q. I don't know whether you can see this well. It is a document
19 after interviewing a witness, you're indicating the name, her age. I will
20 not, of course, mention her name. There's no need to. And she told you
21 that she was ready to say that before TV cameras, who was raped by seven
22 Croats, lost consciousness, and her 9-year-old cousin was also raped. Did
23 you talk to that woman?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. If you did talk to that woman, you have all the data there, and
1 this might also be used in the proceedings in this Tribunal because you
2 conducted the interview in an identical manner as is done by the
3 investigators of this Tribunal.
4 A. Yes. What is the question?
5 Q. All that you heard from the victim is something that you yourself
6 heard directly, so I consider that such testimony can be very useful.
7 This is what you yourself heard from the victim.
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE MAY: The witness agrees with that. Any further questions,
10 Mr. Tapuskovic?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. What I would like to know is whether in all other cases on the
13 basis of which you drew up your report, you have similar documents like
14 this one which you used as a basis for your report?
15 A. Are you talking about the report on rape or reports in general?
16 Q. In general, your report and your positions, the positions upheld
17 of your organisation as contained in those reports.
18 A. Yes, this is not untypical except that in many cases we do not
19 have the person's name. In this case, these Serbian victims were actually
20 brought to our attention by the Serbian government's official commission
21 on war crimes, and they produced witnesses who were prepared to speak
22 openly and publicly and to give their names and had no compunction about
23 having it be used. In those cases, of course we have documents exactly
24 like that. In other cases, we don't even know ourselves the real name of
25 the person because they refused to give it to us. In other cases, we have
1 the name of the person but we don't use it in official reports because we
2 promised not to.
3 Q. Thank you. Ms. Laber, let us go back to the first document now.
4 This is a newspaper article, and you made a statement there. I would like
5 to ask you whether you made that statement. And on the left-hand side,
6 you will see -- no, rather, on your right-hand side, there's a heading
7 called "False Accusations." And then on the other side "Facts." And the
8 heading is "Bosnian Untruths About Rape Rejected. Rape has become a
9 component part of malicious propaganda. Peter Jennings. And now these
10 false accusations are given. First, December 1992, Muslim leaders in
11 Bosnia accused Bosnian Serbs of raping 50.000 Muslim women in camps where
12 they held them." Isn't that what it says there? Then again in December,
13 Newsweek says that in Bosnia there were almost as many victims of rape;
14 and then there is a draft report of the Council of Europe, relying on
15 sources from Germany, referring to 20.000 Muslim women; and then comes the
16 point: New York Times and other publications make accusations that Serb
17 soldiers were given orders to rape.
18 Do you remember that?
19 A. I remember the entire climate at that time. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Now, we come to the facts listed there. And it says on behalf of
21 the International Red Cross, Mr. Phillip Miserez, there is no evidence
22 that such camps exist, nor that they ever existed. Then there's your
23 statement as well. Amnesty International says there is no evidence of
24 that again, and asked by a reporter of NBC, Peter Jennings, whether
25 members of the Serbian army were issued orders to rape, Jeri Laber,
1 heading Helsinki Watch, answered there wasn't a single piece of evidence
2 to confirm. Did you state that? And in your work by your organisation,
3 did you indeed establish hat there was not a single shred of evidence to
4 prove this?
5 A. In our work we determined that rape was committed extensively by
6 all sides in the conflict. That women were victims; Serbian women, Muslim
7 women, and Croatian women were all victims. And I personally interviewed
8 people from each nationality. I was concerned at the time, our
9 organisation was concerned, that the numbers had escalated probably beyond
10 the actual fact. 50.000, the number 50.000 was being bandied about by
11 various organisations, and I believe that when I spoke to Mr. Jennings on
12 television, I tried to make it clear that although vast numbers of rapes
13 had taken place, it was a mistake to exaggerate the number because it
14 would destroy the credibility of the reports altogether. I --
15 Q. That is not my question, Ms. Laber. I'm sorry, what I'm asking
16 you is about this statement of yours which is of essential importance for
17 these proceedings and for the Judges. But you made a statement as to
18 whether members of the Serbian army were given orders to rape. And your
19 answer was, when Jennings put this question to you, that there is no
20 evidence to confirm that members of the army were given orders to rape.
21 That is what you stated.
22 A. That statement is probably true. I did not have evidence that
23 they were given orders; however, I did have evidence that the actions were
25 Q. That's something else. But this will be my last question: You
1 know that after that, the UN commission for war crimes refused to accept
2 those statistics, and officials in the Council of Europe first
3 emphatically condemned such accusations, unfounded accusations. Is that
4 correct? Do you remember that both representatives of the Council of
5 Europe and the United Nations condemned these figures which did not
6 correspond to the truth? Yes or no.
7 A. I myself felt that the figures were exaggerated, but I wish you
8 had brought, as part of your evidence, the actual article that I wrote
9 which is referred to in these papers, because I do describe camps where
10 women were held and raped, and I do say it was hard to believe that this
11 kind of activity could have been conducted by Serbian soldiers without the
12 complicity of the officers in charge, and presumably, the people who
13 commanded them. I could not produce an order in writing to say that they
14 had been commanded to do this.
15 Q. Yes, but you said something quite else. You said that you didn't
16 have any evidence of that.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you.
20 MR. NICE: Yes, I have some questions.
21 JUDGE MAY: Do you want to ask the witness about those documents
22 first; otherwise they can go back.
23 MR. NICE: One question arising, but not about the documents
25 JUDGE MAY: The usher can return the document.
1 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
2 Q. Ms. Laber, do you have with you the article to which you refer and
3 that covers the question of rape?
4 A. I actually have it in my hotel room, I do not have it in person.
5 MR. NICE: May we have that exhibited in due course? If I can
6 have a number associated with it. It's clearly relevant and arises from
7 the questioning of the amicus.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it can be marked identification for the moment,
9 but we'll give it a number.
10 MR. NICE: Maybe I can get it before the end of today's session;
11 otherwise, on Wednesday.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecutor's Exhibit 360, then.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Just a few other questions, broadly speaking, Ms. Laber, in
15 reverse form -- or not in reverse form, dealing with matters today and
16 then matters yesterday. Did the accused, to your knowledge, take any
17 steps to hand over for trial those named as responsible for the Vukovar
19 A. I have no knowledge that he did.
20 Q. Dealing with questions about his, as opposed to federal,
21 responsibility, apart from the passage in the letter from his chef de
22 cabinet Goran Milinovic, was there ever any denial in correspondence or
23 communications to you that the accused was the person with authority to
24 whom you could, as you did, turn?
25 A. No, there was not.
1 Q. It was suggested in one long passage by the accused that contained
2 no discrete question, that you had no single piece of information to say
3 that something came from outside. And I think the implication was that
4 you held no single piece of information to suggest that there was
5 influence from Serbia or from, indeed, the accused on events in Croatia.
6 Do you accept that proposition or not?
7 A. Could you repeat the question. I'm not sure I got --
8 Q. If I understood it correctly, then it is to the effect that you
9 have no piece of information to suggest that there was influence from
10 Belgrade on events in Croatia. Do you accept that proposition?
11 A. No, I don't accept that.
12 Q. The newspaper article headed "Why Keep Yugoslavia as One Country,"
13 which you say was a title incorrectly applied to an article of yours, can
14 you just summarise how a passage of what you wrote in that article was so
15 misinterpreted by the headline require?
16 A. Well, the article was written at a time when Yugoslavia was still
17 a Federation. And in the course of our mission, it became clear to us in
18 various ways that the Federal Presidency was extremely weak, and that the
19 Serbian government was the power in charge. And in trying to influence --
20 we were particularly concerned, then, as you recall, with the situation we
21 saw in Kosovo. And in trying to influence that situation, we urged the US
22 government, we addressed the US government in our article, and urged them
23 to apply economic sanctions against the Presidency and inasmuch as was
24 possible against the Republic of Serbia. But -- and rather than to punish
25 the entire country, because we felt that there were parts of other
1 republics where behaviour was respectful of human rights. And we also
2 pointed to Croatia has a possible culprit, and that we should also watch
3 what was happening -- the US government should also watch what was
4 happening there. I think that by trying to target USA, rather, to certain
5 parts of the country, the person who wrote the headline misunderstood what
6 we were saying, saying that why keep the country at all?
7 Q. Thank you. One matter of detail. The Chamber may be assisted in
8 comprehension by looking at the atlas, pages 20 and 21. D3, which is
9 absolutely in the centre of the page. I don't need trouble the witness
10 with it. And D-3 on the bottom, you can see Bosanski Novi fairly large,
11 and immediately above it Dvor. And then further up that road and indeed
12 up the river valley, you can see Bosanska Kostajnica, and you can see the
13 number of villages that lie between the two.
14 With that geographical assistance, if it is appropriate, would the
15 witness and perhaps the Chamber turn to tab 2 at page 20. There was -- in
16 fact, the relevant passage on which criticism was based starts at page 19
17 under the heading "Shooting at medical vehicle and personnel, denial of
18 treatment to the wounding, and holding medical personnel hostage." Do you
19 have that passage, Ms. Laber?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. And then the passage that was the subject of complaint by the
22 accused was on page 20 in the middle where he said you couldn't identify
23 small villages between the two towns I've spoken of on the map. And the
24 further complaint was in respect of page 21 where there was reference to
25 yellow camouflage uniforms. Without going into it in detail, an
1 allegation that is detailed over in excess of two sides, does that seem to
2 you to be a fairly detailed allegation or not?
3 A. Yes, it was.
4 MR. NICE: The Chamber can read it for itself with the map in mind
5 to see if there's anything in the complaints by the accused. But in any
6 event, it's worth bearing in mind that this appears in tab 2 which is one
7 of your generally published reports.
8 Q. When we turn to the complaints made against the accused at tab 3
9 to which his response was requested and never forthcoming from him
10 personally, do we see that that particular allegation is not reflected
11 there in any event?
12 MR. NICE: Perhaps the Chamber will accept that from me, the
13 allegations in tab 3 as I read it did not include the medical personnel
14 set out in the earlier one. If I have missed it, my mistake and nobody
16 Q. I don't think it's in tab 3, Ms. Laber.
17 A. Okay.
18 Q. Finally on the meetings you had when you attempted to make tab 3
19 available to the accused and were met by others, the meeting with the two
20 men including Kostajnica at the ministry, did they assume responsibility
21 for the matters in hand and of which you were speaking?
22 A. That was the impression we got at the time. I mean, we didn't ask
23 to see them. We asked to see a spokesman of the government. They were
24 the people provided to us. I do not recall them identifying themselves as
25 opposition politicians, if that in fact is what they were. They spoke on
1 behalf of the government.
2 Q. If we look at your notes in tab 4, the very passage to which
3 Mr. Tapuskovic drew your attention on page 34 of your notes.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We see that the notes of this part of your meetings begins with:
6 "Foreign Ministry. He seems to want to pass responsibility to the army."
7 A. Mm-hmm.
8 Q. Do you remember who was seeking to pass responsibility to the
10 A. You mean which of the two people?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. We spoke to?
13 Q. If not, it doesn't matter.
14 A. I really don't. I mean I would have to guess. Because, as you
15 see here, I didn't even get their names until the very end of the
16 interview. And I notice here now that I have in very small writing here
17 Democratic Party president and vice-president. So they obviously did
18 identify themselves in that way.
19 Q. Thank you very much. And they nevertheless were making
20 observations of the type we see seeking to pass responsibility for events
21 to one body or another?
22 A. Mm-hmm.
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 A. In general, the conversation with these two gentlemen was less
25 hard line, I think, than the previous interview. But then Foreign
1 Ministry conversations usually are.
2 MR. NICE: That concludes my questions of this witness.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I just have an objection.
4 Not regarding the witness, but regarding an unnatural link that Mr. Nice
5 has made in his question regarding war crimes and the reference to the
6 letter of my chef de cabinet, Milinovic. It's an objection that I would
7 like to enter into the record. May I make it?
8 JUDGE MAY: Very briefly, Mr. Milosevic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very briefly. It won't take more
10 than a minute. Mr. Nice has linked up a statement that Yugoslavia refused
11 to extradite three officers to this Court with the letter of my chef de
12 cabinet, point 2, in which he says: "The President of the Republic of
13 Serbia has asked the competent organs of the Republic of Serbia to
14 investigate abuses referred to in your letter, and in the case that any
15 citizen of the Republic of Serbia took part in those crimes, he will be
16 put on trial." The implication is that he would be tried in Yugoslavia on
17 the basis of the Yugoslav Criminal Code, as a Yugoslav citizen if he is
18 the perpetrator of a crime. And that is quite different from our position
19 that this Tribunal is illegal, and of course I would not extradite anyone.
20 These are two completely different things. And it is my obligation, duty,
21 by the constitution and also my international obligation to say to an
22 illegal Tribunal that has not been established by --
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, it's no good addressing us on your
24 alleged illegality. We've already ruled on that ages ago.
25 Ms. Laber, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for coming to
1 the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, just one thing: Of course, it was the
3 first sentence of the first numbered paragraph of that letter that I had
4 in mind in the question that I was making, not the second.
5 The next witness will be taken by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff after the
6 break. Can I simply make this point: I have been very slow to interrupt
7 the cross-examination of this witness. We're going to be looking, in due
8 course, at the timetable problems that we are facing. The Prosecution has
9 a real interest in time, of course, not being used by the accused in a way
10 that denies us further evidence. And I will invite the Chamber, in due
11 course, to consider carefully the way the accused has used time on this
12 cross-examination as an example of time that is being misused by him.
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, he has a right to cross-examine. It's one which
14 must be defended. He is a litigant in person. But on the other hand, we
15 of course bear in mind that some of the questions which he asks are
16 totally irrelevant. He has to be controlled. And that is what the Trial
17 Chamber will do. But we note what you say about time, and we will return
18 to it next week, I anticipate.
19 MR. NICE: [No microphone]
20 JUDGE MAY: All right. There's a matter we're going to raise in
21 private session.
22 I'm sorry, Ms. Laber, you should have gone ages ago. We're on to
23 administration matters.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Go into private session now, please.
1 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you would like to take a seat.
17 WITNESS: PETAR POLJANIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
22 Q. Witness, please state your name, place and date of birth.
23 A. My name is Petar Poljanic. I was born in Trstenik on the island
24 of Peljesac on the 23rd of December, 1939, in Croatia.
25 Q. Are you a Croatian citizen?
1 A. Yes, I am.
2 Q. What is your profession?
3 A. I graduated as an agricultural engineer.
4 Q. During the war, were you the mayor of Dubrovnik?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When you were elected mayor, were you a member of any political
7 party at that time or during the war?
8 A. No. At the first democratic elections, I was a candidate on the
9 HDZ ticket outside the parties, an independent.
10 Q. How many people lived in the municipality of Dubrovnik before the
11 war, approximately?
12 A. I don't know the exact number, but it was about 73.000. A little
13 more than that, several hundred more.
14 Q. And how many people lived in Dubrovnik city?
15 A. 48.000 of those 73.000.
16 Q. What was the ethnic composition of this population, both in
17 Dubrovnik municipality and in the town? Can you say?
18 A. About 88 per cent were Croats, 5.8 per cent were Serbs, and 4
19 point something per cent were Muslims, and 1 per cent were other, others.
20 I think that makes up 100 per cent, if I'm right.
21 Q. After the introduction of the multiparty system, was an SDS -- an
22 SDS party founded in Dubrovnik?
23 A. It was founded not straight away. The elections were held in May
24 of 1990, and the SDS was founded in the early spring of 1991.
25 Q. What was the political aim of the SDS party in relation to
1 Dubrovnik? Can you say? The main theme.
2 A. Well, this is how it was: In the close vicinity of Dubrovnik lies
3 the town of Trebinje which is where the SDS party was very strong. And
4 some people from Dubrovnik did have links with that party. However, in
5 Dubrovnik itself, Dubrovnik proper, there were some members who, shall we
6 say, were malicious with respect to Croatia at that time. But the
7 president of the SDS himself in Dubrovnik, who was elected then, was,
8 according to my assessment, a very normal man. He wasn't malicious at
9 all, the president himself, as opposed to some others whom I couldn't
10 qualify in that same way.
11 Q. When you say they were malicious with respect to Croatia, what do
12 you mean?
13 A. Well, look at it this way: At that point in time, people started
14 thinking about, or rather, you felt the mood change; democracy had
15 arrived, was coming, and Croatia quite certainly would no longer be in the
16 same position that it had been up until then. And quite normally, some
17 people on the Croatian side were very enthusiastic about this fact and
18 showed it. On the other hand, we saw the advent of their - when I say
19 "their," I mean the Serb side - their line of thinking that they wouldn't
20 serve the new authorities and that the police began -- when the uniforms
21 of the police force took on Croatian insignia and emblems, those who
22 belonged to the Serb people in Dubrovnik and were in the police force -
23 and there were quite a large number of them - they didn't want to accept
24 that. This led to outbreaks of various kinds. There were songs that were
25 sung, provocations made, and the hopes were expressed that nothing would
1 happen of that expected Croatia. And that was the prevalent mood during
2 those times.
3 Q. Were the Serbs discriminated in Dubrovnik? Were they, for
4 instance --
5 A. No, no.
6 Q. Were they dismissed from their jobs?
7 A. No. There were dismissals in the police force, people were
8 dismissed from their jobs, and the reason for that was that some people
9 did not want to accept the insignia and emblems that I mentioned a moment
10 ago. As to other dismissals from jobs, I don't know about those. Perhaps
11 somebody was dismissed, but because he had made a misdemeanour or offence
12 on the job, but not because they were Serbs, not because a person was a
14 Q. Did Serbs continue to hold positions in the government of -- in
15 the town government or the public institutions, before the war?
16 A. For the most part, yes.
17 Q. Despite this, did the media in Serbia and Montenegro describe the
18 situation of the Serbs in Dubrovnik as endangered? Do you know that?
19 A. Yes. And very intensively, too.
20 Q. Were there reports about the destruction of Serb homes in
21 Dubrovnik? And if so, what was the -- what actually happened?
22 A. Yes, there were reports of that kind, too. I remember a
23 particular heading, a title - I don't remember the newspapers it appeared
24 in, whether it was the Politika or Politika Ekspres newspaper, I don't
25 remember now - but the heading was "Poljanic --" that is to say myself --
1 "Destroys 400 Serb Homes in Dubrovnik." I didn't destroy a single home.
2 But what it was all about was that when we arrived in 1990, when we came
3 into power in Dubrovnik, we inherited the fact that in the Dubrovnik
4 municipality, it's an unbelievable number, but there are about 7.000
5 houses that were built without building permission. Among these 7.000
6 houses and facilities that were built, some of them already had papers and
7 court rulings for those buildings to be demolished. And all the legal
8 remedies had been fulfilled, and the decisions had come into force. Some
9 of these decisions we inherited, as I say, and others were made by us
10 ourselves. So at that period of time it is a fact that some 60 facilities
11 were destroyed.
12 I say "facilities" intentionally because some of them were chicken
13 coops, and others were buildings. They weren't all houses and dwellings.
14 So I say "facilities." That's the term I use.
15 Q. And those facilities, did they belong to Serbs only or to whom did
16 they belong?
17 A. That's the point. They did not belong to Serbs. They also
18 belonged to Croats and Muslims and Serbs, to all three. That was what it
19 was quite certainly and nothing else. So it was only a question of
20 whether they could be legalised or not. Those that could not be
21 legalised, that is, a small portion of those facilities were demolished.
22 And as I say, there were about 60 of those.
23 Q. Was a rally held in the summer of 1991 at the border between
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia?
25 A. Yes. A rally was held, but I don't think it was in the summer. I
1 think it was in the spring. I think it was April when the rally was held
2 at Ivanica.
3 Q. Please answer the questions very briefly so we can conduct this.
4 A. My answer is yes. It was held at Ivanica.
5 Q. Who conducted the rally and who attended it?
6 A. The rally was held under the SDS organisation from Trebinje.
7 However, participation in the rally included other parties. We had the
8 representatives of the popular party from Montenegro, for example. Then
9 representatives of the SDS turned up from, I think -- I think there was an
10 SDS representative from Knin as well. But I can't say with certainty. I
11 do sort of remember that he might have been. And also from other Serb
12 parties, we saw representatives arriving there, too.
13 Now, I have to say in addition that in the statement that I gave
14 and which I leafed through yesterday, I saw that an error had been made, a
15 typing error. The SDS means the Serbian Democratic Party. At the same
16 time, the SDS and the abbreviation for the State Security Service, that
17 is, also SDS. So when I talked to the investigator in Dubrovnik, he
18 ranked those people and joined them up to the SDS party. But the two have
19 nothing to do with each other. So would you please take that into
20 account. It is not the same something.
21 Q. Witness, I do not need to go into the details of who was member of
22 the SDS party. But if I understand you correctly, when you reviewed your
23 previous interview, statement, you noticed that there was a passage in
24 there where the SDS party and the police department was confused. That is
25 what you want to correct here, but we do not need to go into these
2 A. Precisely so, yes. All right.
3 Q. In relation to the rally, what was the gist of the rally? What
4 was the message coming from this rally?
5 A. The message was the same as all the other messages that were put
6 forward at that particular time in the spring of 1991. There were
7 intensive preparations underway for everything that was to happen in the
8 near future so that all the speeches uttered at the rally, and you have
9 them on the tape, were along those lines. They were intoned in that way.
10 They were very war like with respect to the Croatian side. They were very
11 belligerent with respect to the fact that democracy had come to Croatia,
12 and that Croatia quite certainly would no longer be in the situation it
13 had previously been in. And there were overtones according to which the
14 question of the protection of Serb rights in those regions were
15 highlighted, in this case, in Dubrovnik. And I'm not quite sure as to
16 what was to be defended or protected there.
17 Q. At the time of this rally and the time leading up to the war, were
18 the Serbs in any way endangered in their position in Dubrovnik as part of
19 the population, their rights?
20 A. I don't know of a single case.
21 Q. Did the Croatian population or authorities pose a threat to the
22 JNA in the region at that time?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did the Croatian authorities at that time deploy army or special
25 police forces in Dubrovnik region in the direction of Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 or Montenegro?
2 A. As far as I know, in that summer, in Konavle, which is that reach
3 towards the -- towards Montenegro, it is the southernmost part, there were
4 four policemen. If truth be told, in the place called Cilipi from June
5 onwards, there was an organised company of the Croatian National Guard
6 Corps. But that same company was demobilised; that is to say, it ceased
7 to exist. It was disbanded in the month of that August of that same year,
8 1991. So that they were actually there from June until August, but not
9 after that date.
10 Q. And did the few policemen that you mentioned or anyone else in
11 this region, did they attack Montenegro or shoot or shell into Montenegrin
12 territory? Do you know that?
13 A. No, quite certainly, quite definitely no.
14 Q. Did JNA troops, on the other hand, shoot and shell into the
15 Dubrovnik municipality from Bosnia or Montenegro?
16 A. The provocations through shooting began as early on as September,
17 around the 10th or 12th of September, in fact. What happened was that
18 from the hill called Kobile, and that is the border line between Croatia
19 and Montenegro, the eastern half belongs to Montenegro, the western
20 reaches belongs to Croatia, so this western area was in Konavle, and it
21 was from that hill that there was intensive firing coming at the
22 population of Konavle. And on one occasion, I was present when this took
23 place. I was in a place called Vitalina in front of a restaurant, rather
24 a village inn, a typical village inn. And that is what is the southern
25 most part in the Konavle area.
1 Q. When you speak of September, you speak of 1991?
2 A. Yes, yes, 1991.
3 Q. You mentioned the rally, the rally. And I would like to know if
4 during this rally and in the time that came afterwards, was there any talk
5 about a Dubrovnik republic? Do you know that?
6 A. I don't know whether there was any talk of that at the rally in
7 April. I can't confirm that. I'd have to look through the tapes. So I
8 can't actually assert that there was talk of that at the rally itself.
9 However, after the Serbo/Montenegrin army arrived and took control of
10 Konavle, it was then that their project to set up the Dubrovnik republic
11 became intensive. They even set up a board for the restoration of that so
12 called Dubrovnik republic, and the board was headed by a prominent man
13 called Aco Apolonjo, who for many years was the public Prosecutor in
14 Dubrovnik. And as far as I know, there were eight members in that board
15 or council, and they held several meetings in Cavtat, in the town of
16 Cavtat, but nothing actually came of it. Or rather, they did not succeed
17 in what they wanted.
18 Q. The Dubrovnik republic, what was that supposed to mean? What was
19 understood by this Dubrovnik republic?
20 A. Well, the Dubrovnik republic had existed. It ceased to exist in
21 1806, 1808. And from those days onwards, it has no longer existed. It
22 stretched from the borders at Neum up until Sutorina, and it was to have
23 meant that this newly established or reinstated Dubrovnik republic,
24 according to them, was to have been reliant on what would be outside the
25 borders of the republic which would mean the new Serbia, that is to say
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 14399 to 14411.
1 Greater Serbia.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
3 show the witness, and it is tab 1 of the exhibit binder designed for this
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll give it a number, the binder.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The two binders will be marked Prosecutor's
7 Exhibit 361.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
9 Q. Witness, you see here it is a pamphlet of a movement for the
10 Dubrovnik republic. And it speaks here of a restoration of a modern
11 demilitarised and democratic Dubrovnik republic. And it refers also in
12 the header to the citizens of all areas of the former Yugoslavia.
13 This document, were you aware of this movement and do you know
14 which person is standing behind it?
15 A. Yes. I am aware of the movement. I knew about it. And I had in
16 my hands this piece of paper at one time. This is how it was. And it was
17 the Council for the Restoration of the Dubrovnik Republic. And as far as
18 I know, Mr. Aco Apolonjo headed that council. I don't know whether he's
19 still alive. Some people say he is; some people say he isn't.
20 Q. Those in the movement for the Dubrovnik republic, were they Serbs
21 or of all sorts of ethnicities? Can you say that? And were they related
22 to the SDS party?
23 A. For the most part, they were Serbs. Now, what their links were
24 with the SDS party, I cannot say, but yes the majority were Serbs. And as
25 far as I know, there was a Croat amongst them, however, that particular
1 Croat was a man whose conduct was, mildly speaking, strange. That's what
2 I can tell you about that.
3 Q. And you said already that this Dubrovnik republic would be out of
4 -- outside of the Croatian republic and part of a new Serbia. Was that
5 propagated by this movement?
6 A. Yes, exclusively that.
7 Q. Witness, before the war broke out, did you try to make contact
8 with the JNA to avoid the war?
9 A. Yes, I did, on several occasions. Not just I, but the Prime
10 Minister, that is, the president of the municipal government, Mr. Sikic.
11 We wanted several times to get in touch with them, and several times we
12 managed to achieve contact with them. I would like to say that in that
13 misfortune, it was lucky that -- it was fortunate that the commander of
14 the Boka military district was, in my view, a normal person who,
15 unfortunately, is now deceased. His name was Krsto Djuruvic. At the
16 time, he was captain of a frigate. Later on, he was promoted to the rank
17 of admiral. Ex officio, he was member of the Council for the Protection
18 of Dubrovnik Municipality, and we frequently discussed problems. And
19 once, in Kupari, we went there as a delegation, and they were there also
20 as the collocutors on the other side. But the second time, it was in
21 Herceg Novi, but by then it was clearly too late to do anything.
22 Q. Tell me, when did you visit Admiral Djuruvic in Herceg Novi?
23 A. I think this was around the 15th or the 16th of September. I'm
24 unable to say exactly, but anyway, one of those two days. And I spoke to
25 them in the army centre there.
1 Q. On your way to Herceg Novi and around the army centre, did you see
2 JNA troops or other military troops gather?
3 A. I did. There were many soldiers. They were mostly reservists.
4 One could tell by their age and their attire and the fact that they were
5 not very neatly dressed that they were mostly reservists already deployed
6 at several positions. These military fortifications were being made, and
7 one could already feel that war was at our doorstep.
8 Q. Did you discuss with Admiral Djuruvic the situation, especially
9 the presence of these troops on the Montenegrin side?
10 A. I did.
11 Q. What did he tell you why they were there?
12 A. At the time, he was in a special sort of mood. He said that they
13 were there exclusively to defend themselves. Unfortunately, we were not
14 alone. There was a person who was listening to everything, probably
15 recording as well - he didn't say anything except on one occasion - and I
16 realised that Mr. Djuruvic was unable to tell me what he really thought.
17 Q. Defend themselves against whom? Did he say that? Did he speak --
18 A. I asked him that, in fact. And he said that they had information
19 that, on our side, that there were a large number of troops with who knows
20 what kind of conquering aspirations towards Montenegro and the Bay of
21 Kotor. All this sounded rather ridiculous to me, and he was aware that
22 that was so but I had the feeling that he had to say that.
23 Q. Did you tell him that this was not correct, and that there were no
24 troops on the Croatian side?
25 A. I told him, and just then, this other person who was listening
1 joined in the conversation, claiming that in the St. Anne church at Brgat,
2 there was an Ustasha nest which they have to destroy at all costs. I let
3 him speak, and when he finished, I said to him: "Listen, sir, at the St.
4 Anne church, there is no belfry," because he mentioned the bell tower,
5 that there was an Ustasha nest in the bell tower. And indeed, there was
6 no bell tower nor was there any nest there.
7 Q. Did Admiral Djuruvic make any promises to you?
8 A. Admiral Djuruvic, throughout that time, was obviously waiting for
9 a chance to tell me just one sentence. And at the end, when he was sure
10 that nobody could hear it except me, he said: "While I'm the commander of
11 this district, you can rest assured that not a single shell will fall on
13 Q. Was Mr. -- was Admiral Djuruvic replaced?
14 A. A couple of days later, he was in some sort of detention, and then
15 he was released. He was again at his post for two days, and then he was
16 killed. The opposing party claimed that we had killed him, but it was
17 clear to me that we hadn't killed him because there were no troops of ours
18 on the spot where he was killed, and it was immediately clear to me that
19 this must have been some combinations on their part. And eventually, I
20 really did find out that they had killed him. Much later, much later.
21 Q. How did you find out and what did you find out in relation to this
22 killing? But very briefly.
23 A. I was told by a person who was on their side and who carried him
24 from the helicopter to a vehicle in a dying condition - he was unconscious
25 and he was dying - and he told me the details about the incident. That's
2 Q. And according to this information, "they" killed him, meaning who?
3 A. Meaning the Serbian/Montenegrin army.
4 Q. Who came afterwards? Who was in charge after his death?
5 A. Admiral Jokic came.
6 Q. Do you know when he became the commander?
7 A. Well, as far as I know, Djuruvic was killed on the 4th of October.
8 So I assume that Admiral Jokic took over on that same date, or maybe the
9 next day, on the 5th. I can't say. But I met him when he was already in
10 that position on the 11th of October.
11 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, I would like to hear more details
12 about the incident which the witness heard from the third person.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Um-hum, yes.
14 Q. As you heard, the Judge would like to hear more details about how
15 Admiral Djuruvic was killed and by whom.
16 A. In all truth, I cannot say because I didn't see it. I'm just
17 passing on what this man told him who was there when the helicopter was
18 landing, and not falling. He wasn't killed in the helicopter because the
19 helicopter fell. It is true that the helicopter landed in a rather
20 unusual way. This did not happen in the village of Popovici in Konavle,
21 as was announced, but rather, 150 metres southeast from Vukobrat glass
22 houses that were also in Konavle.
23 Q. According to what you were told, was the helicopter shot down?
24 A. According to what this man said, the helicopter was flying in a
25 rather strange way, but he didn't hear anyone opening fire at the
2 Q. How did Djuruvic die?
3 A. When that man ran up to the helicopter, he was outside the
4 helicopter, and he was dying.
5 JUDGE MAY: Can you just try and concentrate on the question,
6 Mr. Poljanic, please. If you don't know how he died, just say so. But if
7 you do know, could you tell us briefly what -- how he came to die.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how he was killed, but
9 I know that he died. But how and who killed him, I don't know. Who the
10 person was who killed him, whether he killed himself, I don't know.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
12 Q. Before the outbreak of the war, did you go to Trebinje to meet
13 with Bozidar Vucurevic?
14 A. I did.
15 Q. When did you go there?
16 A. This was round about that time, two or three days after that. I
17 went to Trebinje for a conversation --
18 Q. You said two or three days after that. After what? When did you
19 go there?
20 A. After this incident when I spoke to Mr. Djuruvic in Herceg Novi.
21 He was still, of course, alive then. So this could have been on the 17th
22 or 18th of September. Yes, 17 or 18th of September, I went to talk to
23 Mr. Vucurevic in Trebinje. We had information that in Trebinje, there was
24 a strong concentration of troops, that next to the road from Trebinje
25 towards the Croatian border, there were again strong forces ready to
1 attack. And I went to talk to him to see what was happening.
2 Q. Did you see this concentration of troops when you went to
4 A. I saw them on the road to Trebinje and in Trebinje itself.
5 Q. Trebinje is how far away from Dubrovnik approximately?
6 A. 27 kilometres by road. Much less as the crow flies.
7 Q. And it's in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. Yes, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. Was there a garrison there or barracks, and if so --
10 A. Yes, there was.
11 Q. And which military facility was it? Was there a corps stationed,
12 or what?
13 A. The infantry to be quite frank, I am not very familiar with
14 various military units, corps and brigades. I know, however, that there
15 were 6.000-odd soldiers in the barracks at the time, before the attack on
16 Dubrovnik and around it, there were many more. Now, whether that's a
17 brigade or a corps, I can't say.
18 Q. What was your information in relation to 6.000 soldiers being
19 there? How did you learn that?
20 A. The commander of the barracks in Trebinje was Mr. Nojko Marinovic,
21 in those days a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Yugoslav army, a Croat from the
22 surroundings of Benkovac. And we had certain information about what was
23 going on in Trebinje.
24 Q. This lieutenant-colonel, did he subsequently become the commander
25 of the Croatian defenders of Dubrovnik? And if so, when?
1 A. Yes. He went over to our side in Dubrovnik, and as soon as he did
2 that, and that was on the 18th or 19th of September in 1991, he took over
3 as the leader of the defence of Dubrovnik.
4 Q. You mentioned Mr. Vucurevic. What was his position at that time?
5 Who was he?
6 A. He was the president of the municipality of Trebinje.
7 Q. Was he an SDS member?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did he have political views in relation to Dubrovnik? Did he ever
10 express anything? Did he tell you something?
11 A. Well, in that conversation of ours, I must admit that he did not
12 express any major pretensions towards the territory of Dubrovnik
13 municipality. Of course, I told him with respect to the situation I had
14 seen along the road, that is, the large concentration of troops, I told
15 him that I found all this surprising because we have absolutely no
16 ambitions, nor ability, to wage war for anybody's territory. But that if
17 anything were to happen, we would defend our territory to the best of our
18 ability. And he just said to me at one point literally: "Well, we're
19 only interested in that little bit further to the south." That's
20 literally what he said. He didn't express any other pretensions in the
21 course of that conversation which went on for two or three hours.
22 We even had a walk together through Trebinje for the people in the
23 streets to see that we had no -- there were no hostilities between us, at
24 least not on my part.
25 Q. This "little bit further to the south," does that refer to a part
1 of Croatia?
2 A. Absolutely a part of Croatia, and this could have meant only
3 Konavle, because that is the southern most area of Croatia. Whether he
4 meant a part of Konavle or the whole of Konavle, I really don't know what
5 he had in mind because he didn't tell me and it wouldn't be fair for me to
6 say. I just repeated the sentence that he uttered.
7 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Vucurevic was close to Radovan Karadzic?
8 Do you know anything to this effect?
9 A. I do know that he frequently mentioned in that conversation,
10 Radovan said this to me, Radovan said that to me, and Slobo said this, and
11 Slobo said that. So I assumed that he meant, when he mentioned Radovan,
12 that he meant Radovan Karadzic, and when he used the word "Slobo," that he
13 meant Slobodan Milosevic.
14 Q. What was the conversation about when he referred to Mr. Karadzic
15 or Mr. Milosevic, as you understood it?
16 A. In that conversation between him and me, there was nothing
17 alarming. In fact, I had the feeling that through that conversation, he
18 wanted to indicate to me that he was on good terms with both of them. I
19 don't even remember exactly what he mentioned as having talked about with
20 Karadzic and Milosevic, if they are the persons he meant.
21 Q. Did Mr. Vucurevic, despite this conversation with you, did he
22 express political views in relation to Yugoslavia and Dubrovnik on other
24 A. On other occasions, yes; very frequently, in fact. He always
25 spoke about the protection of Serb interests in the areas which were not a
1 component part of Serbia. In his reflections and activities and the
2 vocabulary he used, he was very, very malignant. And also there is his
3 well-known sentence once the war started and when Dubrovnik lived through
4 the greatest catastrophe in its history: "So what? We will rebuild
5 Dubrovnik to make it even more beautiful and even newer." Something to
6 that effect.
7 Q. Was a naval blockade imposed on Dubrovnik region on the 30th of
8 September, 1991?
9 A. Yes, it was.
10 Q. Was the region attacked the next day, 1st October?
11 A. Yes, it was.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Poljanic, could you tell us what the reason or
13 the pretext, as you may put it, was for the JNA's attack at the time? Was
14 there any ultimatum or any notice or something like that before?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the attack, no. Before the
16 attack, no.
17 JUDGE KWON: Did you know at the later stage the reason?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The reason could only have been one,
19 but as far as the ultimatum is concerned, we did get ultimatums later, but
20 not up to that point in time. The reason could have been Dubrovnik and
21 the Dubrovnik area and Konavle - which let me add in passing is 100 per
22 cent ethnically Croatian - was the road towards the west, eventually
23 towards Karlobag where their border was meant to be, even though that is
24 400 kilometres away.
25 JUDGE KWON: What was the ultimatum like?
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, we have the documents actually
2 here, and I would come to this in the course of the testimony.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
5 Q. What was the aim of the attack? You mentioned "their border."
6 What does that refer to and what was the aim of the attack in the long
8 A. Well, you see the aim of the attack on the 1st of October when the
9 worst we had experienced up to then happened - later on, it was even worse
10 - the aim was to block us entirely, to separate us, to deprive us of
11 electricity, water, and any communication with the world. All the
12 television transmitters were destroyed, the transformer station in
13 Komoljac. The water supply installations were destroyed. We were left
14 without electricity, without water, without telephone lines, without TV
15 programmes, without the ability to communicate by road or by sea. So just
16 then, we were probably the largest prison in the world.
17 Q. Witness, I had referred to your quote "eventually towards Karlobag
18 where their border was meant to be." I was actually asking you what do
19 you refer to?
20 A. I was referring to the fact how would they form the border at
21 Karlobag unless they conquer everything leading to Karlobag and Split and
22 Sibenik and Zadar. But they didn't attack Rijeka.
23 Q. Does that mean the municipality of Dubrovnik lies in a territory
24 that would be part of Serbia or Yugoslavia or the new Yugoslavia that you
25 spoke about?
1 A. Certainly. You see, these people who committed provocations in
2 Croatia would chant slogans "This will be Serbia" and all their other
3 well-known songs. So these were agents provocateurs
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
5 show the witness the atlas. This is Exhibit 336, and the pages 36 and 37.
6 And I would like to have it put on the ELMO.
7 Q. Witness, can you point to us the regions that were attacked and
8 taken. In the municipality of Dubrovnik, of course.
9 A. The southernmost point in Croatia is Prevlaka.
10 Q. Can you please show Prevlaka.
11 A. Here it is, exactly here.
12 Q. Can you please show us the entire region that was taken over and
13 attacked on the 1st of October and the subsequent days.
14 A. As my pointer is going, this is the area of Konavle, right up to
15 Cavtat, including Cavtat, up to Ljuta, in fact. All of this is Konavle.
16 Then comes the Dubrovnik Zupa, then the town of Dubrovnik itself. Then
17 from Zaton you have the Dubrovnik coast which goes as literal -- goes as
18 far as the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina at Neum. This is the Dubrovnik
19 literal. Over here is Peljesac, which was also part of Dubrovnik
20 municipality. The island of Mljet, then the islands of Kolocep, Lopud,
21 and Sipan. All of this is Dubrovnik municipality. And in Peljesac, it
22 went as far as the place called Postup.
23 Q. And from which directions did the troops attack and take over?
24 Can you show that as well.
25 A. I can. The area of Dubrovnik was attacked from the south, across
1 Debeli Brijeg, then from Herzegovina via Dubravka, a locality in Konavle,
2 then from Trebinje, also towards Dubrovnik, and from Popovo Polje via
3 Zavala, they reached Slano. This was on the 4th. And they also arrived
4 here, to the Dubrovnik literal, through Cepikuca. And of course, crossing
5 all the other hills there but not in such large numbers.
6 These were the main axes of attack, and of course from the sea.
7 And all this was accompanied by attacks by the navy which was no more
8 merciful than the army, and also the air force was involved.
9 Q. And in -- which troops were they? Were they JNA, TO, or what?
10 A. They were -- they said they were the JNA, though they had various
11 insignia. As far as I know, the JNA had on their caps a five-cornered
12 star. In those days, those insignia were very different, so there were
13 not just five-cornered stars on their caps but various other insignia as
14 well. I don't know how I could call them, whether that army could still
15 be called the Yugoslav People's Army.
16 Q. And how much time did these troops need to take over the territory
17 that you showed to us on the ELMO?
18 A. This heavy attack started on the 1st of October. Konavle, up
19 until the 12th of the afternoon, including Cavtat, were captured by the
20 12th in the afternoon. On the 4th of October, Slano was taken. And then
21 they went from Slano towards the south, so one after another there was
22 localities that fell: Maravinci, Brsecine, Orasac, Zaton.
23 JUDGE MAY: Could you just concentrate, please, on the question.
24 It was a simple question. How long did it take for them to take over the
25 territory? Can you just give us an idea in terms of days.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For Konavle, it took them from the
2 1st of October until the 12th of October. For the Dubrovnik literal, a
3 little longer, a couple of days longer. But the Dubrovnik literal attack
4 started on the 4th and not on the 1st. Slano fell on the 4th.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
6 Q. So it took approximately 12 days, perhaps --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And looking at the result of this attack, were Croatian villages
9 in this area that you just showed to us destroyed or severely damaged?
10 A. It was exclusively Croatian villages that were in that area, and
11 some of them were almost completely destroyed. For example, in that
12 Konavle area, some villages were completely destroyed, others partially
13 destroyed. But at any rate, Konavle experienced the greatest tragedy in
14 its history and the greatest destruction of its history. The place called
15 Cilipi was almost 100 per cent destroyed. Benkovac was destroyed 100 per
16 cent. Gruda almost 100 per cent, et cetera.
17 Q. Let me put to you some villages.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And actually, Your Honours, it's the villages
19 listed in paragraph 81 of the Croatia indictment.
20 Q. And I would like to you to comment on each of these villages
21 whether you know they were destroyed and the amount of destruction. Very
22 briefly, no details. Brgat?
23 A. I said a moment ago Zvekovica was completely destroyed. And where
24 there were some 30 or 40 houses left standing after Konavle were
25 liberated, we just found a mass of rubble, not a single house was left
1 standing, not a single wall was left standing. Cilipi was also almost
2 completely destroyed. And Mocici, a little hamlet between Cilipi and --
3 Q. Witness, I just want to put to you the names of villages, and you
4 just comment on this particular village, please. Brgat, was it destroyed?
5 A. Very well. Brgat? You mean Brgat, I assume. Is that what you
6 mean, Brgat? Yes, Brgat was
8 Q. Cilipi you already mentioned. Dubravka?
9 A. Dubravka is a place in Konavle. Yes, yes, it was.
10 Q. Grude.
11 A. Grude, the largest place after Cavtat, yes, terribly destroyed and
12 demolished. Not absolutely 100 per cent of the houses, but let's say 80
13 per cent, yes.
14 Q. And Mocici.
15 A. Mocici, just like Cilipi, too.
16 Q. Osojnik.
17 A. Osojnik is not in Konavle. That is a place right above Mokosica,
18 up in the hills. It is a place which was destroyed 100 per cent. I think
19 of the 103 houses, 102 were completely demolished. One was left standing
20 where the army -- where the soldiers lived, and they didn't succeed in
21 destroying that when they left.
22 Q. Soldiers -- you said, where soldiers lived. What soldiers?
23 Croatian soldiers?
24 A. No, no. The Serb/Montenegrin army. The Serb/Montenegrin army.
25 That's who it was.
1 Q. Does that mean they took over this building and stayed there?
2 A. Yes, yes. That's right.
3 Q. I think you already mentioned Slano. Was it destroyed?
4 A. Yes. I mentioned Slano. Slano is a beautiful place on the coast
5 in a little bay, and there were a lot of beautiful villas there. It was
6 totally, absolutely totally destroyed, including the hotels.
7 Q. And Popovici?
8 JUDGE KWON: Could you help me find the place on the map, Slano.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
10 Q. Witness, could you look at the atlas again on the ELMO and point
11 out Slano.
12 A. It's here. It's in the Dubrovnik literal.
13 Q. Okay. And the next place is Donja Ljuta. If you would also
14 whenever you speak about a place, point it out on the map.
15 A. I will.
16 Q. So Donja Ljuta.
17 A. There is a Ljuta in Konavle, and another Ljuta bay where the
18 hydroelectric power plant emerges. Do you know the Konavle Ljuta? Is
19 that the place you mean? You probably mean the Konavle Ljuta because it
20 is a village there, and that was destroyed, too.
21 Q. Yes. So it's in Konavle. And the next one is Popovici.
22 A. Popovici, that is another place in Konavle. A lot of it was
23 destroyed, but as far as I remember, not completely. Not like Cilipi,
24 Zvekovica, Mihanici, Dubravka and the other places were.
25 Q. What about Mihanici?
1 A. Yes, Mihanici, Konavle, yes, they were destroyed.
2 Q. And Drvenik?
3 A. Drvenik. Yes, also in Konavle and was also demolished.
4 Q. And Plat?
5 A. Plat is a place in the Dubrovnik literal once again. Not in the
6 Dubrovnik literal, but in the Dubrovacka Zupa county, and Plat was also
7 damaged to a great extent including all the hotels that existed in Plat.
8 Not only were they destroyed but they were looted, too.
9 Q. And Cepikuce?
10 A. Cepikuce is a place in the Dubrovnik literal, on the coast. It
11 was destroyed, too.
12 Q. And Uskoplje?
13 A. Uskoplje, I think you mean. In the Konavle, area. Yes, that was
14 destroyed, too.
15 Q. And Gabrili?
16 A. Gabrili, that is a place in Konavle once again. And yes, it was
17 destroyed heavily.
18 Q. Pridvorje?
19 A. Pridvorje is a place also in Konavle near Gabrili with a wonderful
20 old monastery, and it was quite considerably damaged.
21 Q. And Molunat?
22 A. Molunat is a place in Konavle along the coast. It was damaged,
23 but not nearly like the places we've mentioned just now. Although there
24 was great destruction there, too.
25 Q. Donja Cibaca?
1 A. I think you mean Donja Cibaca. Donja Cibaca is a place in the
2 Dubrovacka Zupa under Dubac. And the place was very heavily damaged.
3 Yes, heavily damaged, too.
4 Q. And Karasovici?
5 A. Karasovici are a border place in Konavle, along the border between
6 Montenegro and Croatia. And that's where the border crossing of Debeli
7 Brijeg is to this day. That place, too, was significantly damaged and
9 Q. And the last place, Zvekovica, you have already mentioned as being
11 A. Zvekovica, completely destroyed. Completely. I don't know if
12 there is a single house left standing in Zvekovica.
13 Q. Did you meet with representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor
14 in preparation of your testimony, and did you review, on this occasion, a
15 huge stack of documentation with photos of damage to these places?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Did you provide a declaration confirming the correctness of the
19 A. Yes, I did. To all photographs that I looked at, and there are
20 very many of them, I gave a written statement saying that they were true
21 and authentic.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, as tab 3 of the exhibit, we
23 have this declaration. It was prepared, and it is signed by the witness.
24 And following this declaration are actually, starting with tab 4 going on
25 through to Tab 32, photographs of the places that are indicated in the
1 declaration. And rather than putting it to the witness during this
2 testimony, we have prepared the declaration referring to what he reviewed
3 during the preparation. And the Prosecution would like to tender it as a
4 stack into evidence. It's photos --
5 JUDGE MAY: We'll admit the declaration and the exhibits which are
6 referred to in it.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, thank you.
8 Q. Witness, in these photos that you saw of the damaged location, did
9 you also see photos with ethnically based, anti-Croat graffiti?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, the translation of this
12 graffiti is also included in the specific tabs.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I feel that the Court ought to
16 bear in mind that on none of these photographs is there the date as to
17 when the photograph was taken. I think that the Prosecution should
18 explain how we're going to ascertain when the photographs were actually
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
22 Q. Witness, when you reviewed the documentation, was it actually
23 documentation produced by the police station in -- of the
24 Dubrovnik-Neretva police department, and do these reports indicate when
25 they were produced?
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And I would like to point Your Honours to
2 actually the reports where it always indicates on the first page the date
3 when the report was made. It's most -- it states from -- mostly it is the
4 6th of August, 1992.
5 Q. Witness, those damages that you saw in the documentation, do you
6 know when these villages were destroyed? Not the exact day, but the time
8 A. As to the exact date, I cannot tell you for certain. But I can
9 tell you for certain that all the photographs - and I saw hundreds of them
10 shown to me by you, perhaps even more - all of them to the last relate to
11 the period after, or rather, during the destruction of the Dubrovnik
12 region. The photographs were taken after these territories were
13 liberated, of course. Now exactly when, I can't say. I can't give you a
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, that is the closest that we can
16 come to the date when the photographs were made.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it's now 12.15. Is that a convenient moment?
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.
20 Mr. Poljanic, would you remember, please, during this adjournment
21 and any others there may be not to speak to anybody about your evidence,
22 and that does include the Prosecution team, until it's over. Thank you.
23 20 minutes, please.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.38 p.m.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. We have just briefly addressed the graffiti that were seen on
4 photos. Did you see photos with graffiti indicating names of many persons
5 and places from Serbia and Montenegro?
6 A. Yes.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just as examples, you find this
8 in tab 13, tab 16, tab 20, and tab 23 as examples, without addressing them
9 now or here in the courtroom.
10 Q. Did any of the destroyed villages that we just spoke about, did
11 any of these villages have military installations of the Croatian army?
12 A. As far as I know, not a single one.
13 Q. Were JNA facilities in that region? Do you know?
14 A. The JNA had some facilities on the island of Mljet.
15 Q. But that's not in the villages --
16 A. No, that's not in any one of the villages that we mentioned.
17 Q. Did actual fighting take place while these villages were taken
18 over and damaged or destroyed? Do you know?
19 A. No. There was some -- in Konavle, a few young men who were
20 organised, when the Yugoslav army arrived and started with its occupation,
21 occupying places towards Cavtat, I think in Pridvorje, there was a clash
22 of some kind that broke out, but I can't actually confirm that. I seem to
23 remember that there were some sporadic shooting there, but nobody was
24 either injured or killed in it.
25 Q. Are you aware of any casualties of the JNA side during these
1 takeover and attacks on the region?
2 A. Well, I don't know that in Konavle, anybody died on the side of
3 the JNA except for the man that we said was dead, Admiral Djuruvic, but we
4 don't know how he died.
5 Q. And in relation to these other two regions, Zupa Dubravka and
6 Primorje, is that different from Konavle?
7 A. Well, it was in the Dubrovacka Zupa, the Dubrovnik county, that
8 there was some resistance. Now, how many dead on the side of the Yugoslav
9 army, I don't know. On our side, there were people killed, quite a number
10 of them. Innocent people - not soldiers - civilians.
11 Q. When these villages were attacked, what actually happened to the
12 Croatian population living in there?
13 A. Are you talking about Konavle or Zupa?
14 Q. Let's talk about Konavle first.
15 A. Konavle moved out practically everyone. Perhaps just 5 per cent
16 stayed on, and they were elderly men and women. Elderly persons, very old
17 people stayed. But otherwise, all the rest left. They left Konavle, they
18 left their homes. And for the most part came to Dubrovnik. I remember
19 that they were mostly accommodated in the Babin Kuk area, and some of them
20 went to the northern Dalmatian coastline to, the islands, and there
21 are a lot of refugees from Dubrovnik, generally speaking.
22 Q. When you say they left their homes, what does it mean? Does it
23 mean they fled or in which way did they leave their homes?
24 A. They fled in the throws of the shelling, the beating, and the
1 Q. About how many people are we talking here in relation to Konavle,
2 how many people fled?
3 A. Well, Konavle numbered, as far as I remember, in 1990, 8.200, I
4 think, inhabitants, thereabouts. Now, if we agreed upon the fact that 5
5 per cent remain, then you can calculate what that figure is.
6 Q. And how many people left or fled from the Primorje region?
7 A. Almost all of them, from the villages that were occupied. There
8 were some villages from which few people left. But villages like
9 Cepikuce, Lisac, Tocionik, Trnova, which was completely destroyed, the
10 entire population left.
11 Q. How many are there in numbers all together?
12 A. Several thousand inhabitants, a couple of thousand inhabitants
13 left from the Dubrovacka/Primorje.
14 Q. And from Zupa Dubrovacka, this region, how many people?
15 A. Almost all of them. Also several thousand inhabitants, which is
16 the number of inhabitants that the Dubrovacka Zupa had. Very few of them
18 Q. Did anything happen to those who remained?
19 A. Well, it was like this. When they arrived in Mlini, they killed
20 everybody that they found there. For example, at the doors of the hotel,
21 the director was killed. And several other people were killed, and the
22 others fled regardless.
23 Q. And when you say "they," whom do you mean?
24 A. The Serb/Montenegrin army.
25 Q. Were people detained?
1 A. Yes. People were detained from Konavle, those who had not
2 succeeded in escaping and were captured. Other people from Zupa were
3 detained, who were captured and detained who had not succeeded from
4 escaping from the Dubrovnik/Primorje area, too. And for the most part
5 they were taken off to the camp in Morinje in Montenegro. And a portion,
6 most of those from the Dubrovnik/Primorje, they were taken off to Bileca.
7 But there were no specific rules as to that. Some of them from the
8 Dubrovnik/Primorje were also taken to the Morinje camp.
9 Q. The Morinje camp in Montenegro, was this a JNA facility?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What kind of facility was it?
12 A. Well, I can't say what kind. It was a military facility. There
13 were three low typical military buildings. What they were used for
14 before, I don't know, nor do I understand what they are used for now.
15 Q. How many people from the region were detained there and for -- in
16 which time period? Do you know that?
17 A. From the 1st of October when this all started until the end of
18 December when an exchange took place, about 300 persons from the Dubrovnik
19 area were there.
20 Q. You mentioned Bileca. Is this a JNA facility or what kind of
21 place were people detained in there?
22 A. I can't say.
23 Q. Do you know how many people from detained there from the region,
24 not from other places, and for how long, in which time period?
25 A. From the Dubrovnik area alone, there were less people there than
1 in Morinje. And they stayed on longer, a little longer than the ones in
2 Morinje did. A little longer.
3 Q. And when you say less people, did you give a number of people who
4 were from your region taken there?
5 A. Well, I think I allow for the possibility of making a mistake in
6 quoting a figure, but I don't think there were more than about 150 from
7 the area. Not more than that, I would say.
8 Q. And what is your information on this detention, from where did you
9 get the information that 300 persons were detained in Morinje and maybe
10 150 in Bileca?
11 A. Of the people who were there -- from the people who were there.
12 Q. Does that mean you met them afterwards when they returned?
13 A. I met many of them, many of them were my friends. And of course,
14 many of them told me about the atrocities that they had experienced there.
15 Q. Atrocities, what kind of atrocities did -- were committed in
16 Morinje? Just very briefly.
17 A. People were tortured in amazing ways, and I think that you will
18 have a man here who was actually there, so he will be able to tell you
19 more about that. So I would rather not speak about that issue. It's too
21 Q. In -- I would like to put tab 33 of 361 to the witness. And it is
22 a proclamation to the citizens from the 7th of November, 1991, of the
23 Cavtat town command and the Cavtat local commune committee.
24 And first of all, the Cavtat town command, what kind of command is
25 it? Is it a military command, and of which --
1 A. Exclusively the military command.
2 Q. And of which army?
3 A. Of the Serb/Montenegrin army.
4 Q. And the Cavtat local commune committee, what is it? What kind of
5 a body was that?
6 A. Those people who, up until the time the place was occupied, who
7 were there, mostly ended up in Morinje. And then a body of their own was
8 set up which sort of coordinated or did what it could under the
10 Q. And it says here in the -- actually the first paragraph, the
11 bigger paragraph, it says: "The town command and JNA units have partially
12 finalised the cleansing of the area, detained a part of the remaining
13 military formations' members, and collected some weapons, ammunition,
14 explosives, with your assistance and collaboration."
15 Do you know which people from Cavtat were detained; and if so,
16 were they part of military formations of the Croatian army? Do you know
18 A. I don't know of a single person who was detained from Cavtat and
19 ended up in Morinje having been a member of any kind of military
20 formation. I know about some who ended up there who were activists in
21 this local board and Crisis Staff, local committee and Crisis Staff. As
22 to any soldier, I really don't know that there were any.
23 Q. Yes. Thank you.
24 In relation to the detainees that you mentioned in Morinje and
25 Bileca, do you know whether they were civilians or soldiers or both?
1 A. Mostly they were civilians. There were just a few soldiers in
2 Bileca. Now, some were transferred from Bileca to Morinje, so I don't
3 want to say that there was not a single soldier in Morinje. I do know
4 that some were transferred to Morinje. But of the 300 people in Morinje,
5 very few of them were soldiers. Not more than, let's say, a fifth.
6 Mostly they were civilians.
7 Q. We have already spoken about the destructions and handed in the
8 documentation. Do you know whether these places and these villages were
9 looted? Do you know that?
10 A. I do know that they were.
11 Q. And how do you know that? Who did it and how do you know that?
12 A. Exclusively, the army that was there, they took everything that
13 was mobile, or at least most of what could be moved, what they were
14 interested in. They carried away from Konavle what hadn't burned down.
15 They also carried away from Zupa what hadn't burned, especially from the
16 hotel. They carried off property from the literal and all the hotels
17 along the coast, and they also carried off a large number of vessels from
18 the entire area.
19 Q. Now I would like to move on to Dubrovnik town itself. In which
20 time period was it shelled? Can you say? When it started, and we are
21 concentrating on the year 1991.
22 A. I think before I start my answer to that question, we should make
23 it quite clear that when I refer to Dubrovnik, I'm referring to the whole
24 town. And when I'm thinking of the protected old city that is under
25 UNESCO protection, I will refer to it as the old town. So my answer is
1 when the attack on Dubrovnik started, it is the 1st of October. If you're
2 asking me when the shelling of the old city started, then my answer is the
3 23rd of October.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
5 give to the witness a map, the map of the town, actually. And this would
6 need to be inserted into the map binder which has the Exhibit Number 326,
7 and it would become an additional tab, tab 13. You have a rather small
8 map while, on the ELMO, we have now a bigger one. But we will provide a
9 better copy on a later date. We were not in a position to make a better
10 one in the time period that we had.
11 Q. Witness, would you please point out to us on the map the old town
13 A. This is it that I am encircling with the pointer. That is the old
14 town of Dubrovnik. That is the protected old city.
15 Q. Protected in which way?
16 A. As part of the world cultural heritage.
17 Q. And on the other part of the map, that's all the entire town of
19 A. Yes. The whole town of Dubrovnik is shown. But maybe the most
20 beautiful part is to the right of the old town, the area known as Ploce,
21 as far as the Belvedere Hotel, which is not shown on this map but I can
22 show it to you if we open up the map.
23 Q. No, not at the moment. You mentioned also hotels where refugees
24 from the region actually were placed. Can you show this on the map, where
25 they were?
1 A. I can.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. The refugees were mostly accommodated in all the hotels, but most
4 of them in Babin Kuk. This is this area here coloured in black ink, those
5 buildings there. And the Libertas Hotel, which is right here, that I am
6 pointing to now. Of course, some were accommodated in other hotels as
7 well, but most of them in these two places.
8 Q. Yes. And to put the map aside for a moment, but you can leave it
9 there on the ELMO, you mentioned already that the town was shelled
10 beginning on the 1st of October, and how long did it continue to be
11 shelled? I mean, the entire town.
12 JUDGE MAY: I thought the evidence was it was the 23rd of October.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, the old town, Your Honour. I was
14 speaking about Dubrovnik town, the shelling of the entire region.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
17 Q. The entire region was shelled from the 1st until when? In 1991.
18 We'll concentrate on 1991.
19 A. Yes, and it lasted, with interruptions, virtually up until the
20 liberation of the whole area. However, in actual fact, it went on until
21 the summer of 1995 because it would not be fair not to mention that the
22 last shell fell in August 1995 and killed three innocent people.
23 Q. But I had asked you to concentrate on the year 1991. And what
24 would be the end date for the shelling of Dubrovnik --
25 A. The 31st of December, because continuously, not on a daily basis,
1 true, there are records about this, but Dubrovnik was intensively shelled,
2 in particular, in mid-November. And there was an exceptionally heavy
3 shelling on the 10th and 11th, and especially the 12th of November. And
4 then every couple of days, there would be more shelling. Not as
5 intensively as on the 12th, but a shell or two would be fired. The areas
6 outside the old city were more heavily shelled in that time period, but
7 the old city also would regularly be hit by one or two shells. And the
8 culmination was on the 6th of December when a really disastrous
9 destruction occurred, by far the greatest in the history not only of
10 Dubrovnik, but of the whole area.
11 Q. And the old town, you said, started to get shelled on the 23rd of
12 October and also through to the 6th of December?
13 A. Yes. From the 23rd, you mean. The 23rd, only two shells fell.
14 And then after that, a couple of days later, many more, then many more,
15 then less, then more. Then in mid-November, it peaked, there were very
16 many then. Several hundred. And if you want the total number of shells
17 on the old city, and I must tell you that there is a record of each and
18 every shell that fell on the old city, I think the number is 1.056, on the
19 old city.
20 Q. And you said already that in November 10, 11, and 12 was intensive
21 shelling on both the town as such and the old town. And on --
22 A. Of the whole town and the old town, yes, precisely so. But there
23 was also shelling between mid-November and the 6th of December. But not
24 so intensively, but shelling all the same.
25 Q. Yes.
1 From where was Dubrovnik and also the old town, from where was it
2 targeted? From which positions? Do you know that?
3 A. From the positions of Zarkovica, from Grab, from Strincera, from
4 the position at Miocic, from positions of the western part of the airstrip
5 in Cilipi, from Brgat, as far as these positions were concerned. As for
6 the positions from which Slano and Sipan were shelled, those were
7 positions in the immediate vicinity just behind Slano, on the road leading
8 from Slano towards Orahov Do, Zorovo, Ravno. They had positions there.
9 Q. Let me stop you there. I was actually asking only from where
10 Dubrovnik was shelled and was not talking about Slano, shells on Slano.
11 Let's -- we are speak now about Dubrovnik only.
12 A. Very well.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
14 put Exhibit 361, tab 34.
15 Q. Witness, is this a photo of Dubrovnik --
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. -- and can you indicate on this photo the point Zarkovica that you
18 just mentioned?
19 A. The picture was taken precisely from the Zarkovica position, so
20 whoever was taking the photograph was standing at a spot known as
22 Q. From Zarkovica, did you have an unobstructed view on the old town?
23 A. Absolutely unobstructed. With the exception of the Gruz harbour,
24 which is the harbour of Dubrovnik. You can't see Gruz from Zarkovica.
25 Q. There is indicated on the photo also Babin Kuk where you mentioned
1 the hotels and the Libertas Hotel. Would that be positioned correct here
2 on this photo?
3 A. Babin Kuk is marked correctly, but Libertas not quite, not quite
4 correctly, but it was lower down than this red spot. So that is where
5 Libertas is, but roughly speaking, that's right.
6 Q. Was the old town and also Dubrovnik as such, was it also shelled
7 from ships?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Would you know from which -- would this map here or this
10 photograph, would that be correct as -- in regard to the shelling from
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Yes, we can put this --
14 A. Except, let me note. Here on this map, on this photograph, I
15 can't see the directions of shelling from ships towards the Ploce area,
16 and this is the Ploce area, and shelling from boats to Ploce was quite
17 intensive. Also, to the left, in the left-hand corner, is the Belvedere
18 Hotel which was for days shelled from boats. It cannot be seen on this
19 photograph, nor can you see the direction from the boats towards it. So
20 this would be the only omission on this photograph, if one could call it
22 Q. Yes. Thank you.
23 Witness, was the old town shelled indiscriminately, or were
24 specific buildings targeted? Do you know that? Could you observe
25 anything of that kind?
1 A. My impression is that buildings were not targeted, because the old
2 town, the whole of the old town was shelled on the 7th of December when I
3 climbed on to the ramparts, the walls. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a
4 single roof on which a shell had not fallen or had been destroyed by the
5 shell falling on the roof next door. So my conclusion is that they didn't
6 have specific targets; the target was the town itself. I mean the old
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I do not like to go into
9 details of the damage done to the old town because we will have a witness,
10 the witness Franic who was actually already mentioned as a witness. And
11 this witness is actually an expert at the same time as an eyewitness, and
12 he would speak about the damage. And we do not need to have it twice.
13 Q. Witness, just -- you mentioned already that almost each building
14 was -- each roof was at least damaged, and you are referring to the
15 shelling on the 6th of December?
16 A. Not just the 6th of December, but also on the 6th of December
17 roofs were damaged before that, too. But not as badly as on the 6th of
18 December and not to such an extent.
19 Q. Witness, what I would like to talk to you about is actually the
20 casualties, if there were any, in the town.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And for this, to assist in this, I would like
22 to put to the witness tab 35 of the Exhibit 361. And it's actually the
23 annex to the indictment, to the Croatia indictment.
24 Q. Witness, did you have opportunity to review this document while
25 you had your conversation here in The Hague with members of the
1 Prosecutors' Office, including me?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You see here the people listed with dates. Could you say whether
4 these people listed in the annex were killed on that day, on the days
5 indicated and in the places indicated? Is the list in so far correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Are you aware that these people were killed, and what was your
8 information to that?
9 A. Yes. Among them, some were my friends. I learned on the same day
10 they were killed. I would learn about their deaths. They were reported
11 to me. I even buried some of those on this list.
12 Q. So does it mean the list from the beginning, 1st October, with
13 Mato Violic, down to the 6th December, Ilija Radic, is correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Those persons listed here, were they civilians or soldiers or
16 both? Do you know?
17 A. To be quite frank, I cannot say whether there were any soldiers
18 among them. Perhaps among those I didn't know. But regarding all those
19 that I knew from this list, not a single one of them was a soldier.
20 Possibly among those I didn't know.
21 Q. Can you point out those you know, or -- point out those you knew
22 that were civilians. Can you do that. Just say the name going down the
24 A. You want me to read out the names?
25 Q. Yes, please.
1 A. Mato Violic, for instance, was a civilian. I knew him extremely
2 well. Milan Milisic, a writer. Stijepo Cikato, Jozo Brajovic. The Liban
3 brothers. Maskaric. Bokun.
4 Q. Both or?
5 A. Both persons, both. Bruno Glanc. Pavo Urban. Those are the
6 names that I have here.
7 Q. And among those killed on the 6th of December, are there fire
8 workers among them?
9 A. I'm sorry. Before I answer that question, I noticed here there
10 are a couple of soldiers. I see now that there were a couple of soldiers,
11 people who were soldiers.
12 Yes, please. What was your next question?
13 Q. First, you haven't answered. First, will you please answer my
14 question in relation to fire workers. Whether among those killed on the
15 6th of December, were there any fire workers?
16 A. Yes. That was at the point in time when the Libertas Hotel which
17 was full of refugees was burning. After many shells had hit it, it was up
18 in flames. And several firefighters went to try and save the people.
19 Among them was this young man that I just mentioned, Bruno Glanc. A shell
20 hit them and killed each and every one of them.
21 Q. And who are the others? Are they also on the list, the other fire
23 A. I think that they are these Jablan, Paskojevic, Mihocevic. I
24 think that is the group. I think there were five of them in the group.
25 Three of them were active-duty firefighters, and two joined them to assist
1 them, and all five were killed.
2 Q. And you mentioned that you just saw that on the list there are
3 several soldiers. Who would they be? Can you give the names?
4 A. I think -- I think that Ivo Martinovic was a soldier. I think so.
5 If he's the one I have in mind, then he was a soldier. But it may be
6 another Martinovic. But I think he was a soldier. Then this young man,
7 yes, he was a soldier. If he's the one I'm thinking of, unless it's
8 somebody with the same name.
9 Q. Which name?
10 A. I think it's the one I'm thinking of. Ivo Martinovic.
11 JUDGE KWON: Who is born 1915?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, that can't be the one.
13 I'm sorry. Oh, I see, 1915 -- no, no, this was a young man, a young
14 Martinovic. I'm not even sure that his first name was Ivo, but I do know
15 that his surname was Martinovic and I know he was killed at Srdj, but it's
16 out of the question that he could be the one as he was born in 1915, so
17 I'm sorry.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
19 Q. Witness, among those that --
20 A. In that case, there's not a single soldier among these on the
22 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]... is not listed here, as you
23 can see.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
25 put to the witness tab 36 of the Exhibit 361. And I only -- only this
2 Q. I would like to turn your attention just to one article.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And Your Honours, it's page 7 of the English
4 translation, and it's an article with the headline "Tragic Consequences of
5 the 6th December --" there is a mistake in the translation. It says 6th
6 September but it's 6th December -- "Attack."
7 Q. And you see here listed, actually, those we find in the annex
8 listed under the 6th of December, and we, in addition, find here mentioned
9 the following: "Courageous defenders of Dubrovnik and the members of
10 National Guard Corps, Marko Bitunjac, Nenad Covic, Mario Zelenika, Saban
11 Islamoski, and Miroslav Buntic. Furthermore, the following civilians,"
12 and then come actually those listed in the annex that we talked about.
13 Witness, how was it possible to distinguish who was a soldier and
14 who was a civilian? Who made this distinction? Do you know that?
15 A. Civilians are civilians, and soldiers are those who are wearing a
16 uniform with a weapon in their hands.
17 Q. So do you know who lists those people, who --
18 A. I don't know. I don't know.
19 Q. And in that same newspaper, on -- two pages further on.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: For Your Honours, for your orientation, page
21 9, there is actually an article saying, "Dubrovnik fire department in the
22 war, by saving others, they jeopardised themselves."
23 Q. And is that the incident where the fire workers were killed
24 through a grenade while trying to save people from the Hotel Libertas? Is
25 that what you referred to?
1 A. Yes. I had that in mind. And these are the three names that I
2 mentioned a moment ago, Mihocevic, Savinovic, and Paskojevic. And the
3 other two who went to help them and who, unfortunately, got killed, their
4 names are also missing. That's right.
5 Q. Witness, at that time, when the -- when Dubrovnik was shelled and
6 in particular, the old town was shelled, were you in any position or in
7 any military command position, or what did you at that time and what were
8 you, in particular in the time period in mid-November 1991 and 6th
10 A. I was in Dubrovnik. I wasn't at any military position. I was the
11 mayor of Dubrovnik. If you meant exactly in which house, then sometimes
12 in the municipality building, sometimes in the St. Ivan fortress, because
13 we felt it was safer there. Also, we had no electricity or water or
14 anything else, so the only electricity supply to have a telephone, because
15 there were no mobile telephones as today, we used a generator that was put
16 in a well-concealed spot so that it wouldn't be shelled so that we were
17 able to have a telephone line and communication with the world. And for a
18 while, it was the only one we had. We spent some time not only at the
19 foot of the St. Ivan fortress but also up at the top, in the studio of a
20 well-known Dubrovnik artist, Djuro Politika.
21 Q. Witness, this St. Ivan fortress and the municipal building, are
22 they in the old town?
23 A. Yes, in the old town, yes.
24 Q. And according to your observations and your knowledge, were there
25 any military installations in the old town in the time period from October
1 to the 6th of -- October to the 6th of December 1991?
2 A. I really and sincerely am not aware of any military installations
3 in the old town.
4 Q. Were there any artillery positions in the old town or immediately
5 in the vicinity of the old town? Do you know? And I'm only referring to
6 this time period, October to 6 December 1991.
7 A. I do not know of any artillery position in the old town. I never
8 heard that any kind of shell was fired from the old town, and I was there.
9 As far as I know, the closest position to the town was a mortar of a small
10 range in the Gradac park, which was relatively close to the old town. And
11 probably -- I'm no military expert but I believe that was so because the
12 range of the weapon was such that it could reach Zarkovica. I'm only
13 assuming that; I can't assert that with certainty. Talking about that,
14 there was an anti-aircraft gun. I think it was a 20-millimetre gun which
15 we somehow managed to get hold of, without a cap or a cap that wasn't
16 functioning. And then we repaired it. And that gun was moved around on a
17 small truck from one position to another so as to give the impression that
18 we had several such weapons. And I repeat, it was a 20-millimetre gun.
19 May military experts correct me, it may be 22 millimetres. Anyway,
20 somewhere around 20 millimetres, and it did approach the town, come close,
21 because the road is along the walls. So it may have passed by. And I
22 know that at one point, it was near the Dubravka restaurant on this truck.
23 Whether it was there for five minutes or five hours, I don't know.
24 Q. The Gradac park, how far away is it from the old town, in metres?
25 A. Well, approximately 500 metres as the crow flies, let's say,
2 Q. And you said that this moving 20- or 22-millimetre gun may have
3 been on the road. Did it ever shoot when it was in the vicinity of the
4 old town? Do you know that? In particular, in this time period in
5 mid-November 1991 and December 1991, 6th December.
6 A. I guarantee that it did not. I guarantee no.
7 Q. Those -- the gun that you mentioned, or other military objects,
8 were they ever close to the hotels where the refugees were housed in Babin
9 Kuk or this Libertas Hotel? Do you know that?
10 A. I really don't know that they were. And as I knew people from the
11 headquarters, I don't think that they would have allowed themselves to do
12 anything of the sort. Precisely because they were aware of the danger of
13 having those unfortunate people in the hotel suffer.
14 Q. Were any soldiers stationed, or any units of soldiers, or the
15 police stationed in the old town during this period October to 6th
16 December, 1991?
17 A. This is how it was: Many young men who were in the Croatian army
18 were from the old town. And many of them, when they would get one, two,
19 or three days off, I'm speaking off the top of my head, let's say eight
20 days, after spending eight days in their positions, they would go home.
21 They would come into town. And quite certainly, you could see a soldier,
22 one or two soldiers, in uniform entering the town. But that they were
23 stationed in any of the buildings in town, I really don't know that there
24 were any such cases, and I am almost ready to swear that there were not.
25 Q. These soldiers that you mentioned, where were they actually
1 stationed? Where were they -- where was the front line?
2 A. 200 metres from the Argentina Hotel. That was the last outpost,
3 the last position or the first position depending on which way you look at
4 it, the Montenegrin army. Right above the Argentina Hotel that's where
5 they had their - what shall I call it? - bunker or whatever.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
7 put again to the witness the map of Exhibit 326, tab 13, the map of the
8 Dubrovnik town.
9 Q. Are you able to indicate that on this map, or is it not on the map
10 at all?
11 A. No. It's hidden. It's to the right of the town here. I'd need
12 to have the page unfolded.
13 Q. Yes, please.
14 A. What I'm indicating here is the Argentina Hotel. And they were
15 right up here on the hill, which is about 200 metres, give or take 20
17 Q. And how far is it from the old town?
18 A. Well, I don't really know. About 500, 600, or 700 metres perhaps,
19 thereabouts. Seven or eight hundred metres, let's say. We can calculate
20 it actually. This is 300. 650 to 700 metres as the crow flies, in direct
22 Q. And where was the military headquarters at that time where
23 Mr. Marinovic was? Can you show that, where Mr. Marinovic was with his
25 A. Just a moment. Up here where I am indicating, the area is called
1 Lapad. It is an area called Lapad. There is a hotel there called the
2 Zagreb Hotel, and another one.
3 Q. Were any soldiers or military units stationed in or close to the
4 refugees hotels that you mentioned that were shelled?
5 A. Near Babin Kuk, no. But around this hotel in which the
6 headquarters were located, I'm sure there were, yes.
7 Q. And that would be, as you said, Lapad. And can you say which
8 hotels? Can you say in which hotels the soldiers were?
9 A. Yes, that's right. Sumatrin and Zagreb. Those were the names of
10 the hotel. Was it called Zagreb? Yes, I think it was the Zagreb Hotel.
11 Q. Yes. These shellings that you say that were particularly intense
12 on the 10th, 11th, and 12th November and on the 6th of December, were they
13 provoked by the people or the army -- the defenders of Dubrovnik? Do you
14 know anything to this effect?
15 A. We were not in a position to provoke. With respect to the
16 attackers, we were completely powerless. They were the third or fourth
17 strongest army in Europe, and we numbered less than 100 men to begin with.
18 So there can be no question of any kind of provocation.
19 Q. You have already mentioned that you didn't have electricity. What
20 about water? Can you say something about the provision of water from the
21 1st of October to the 6th of December? Can you say anything to that?
22 A. There was a piece of information about that. Up until the summer,
23 we didn't have electricity for 153 days. And I think for 132 days, there
24 was no water, although there was a reserve -- how shall we call it --
25 backup possibility whereby we received small quantities of water from
1 bypassing waterway from an old pipeline, water pipeline, that dated back
2 to the French. The experts will know all about that. But that particular
3 water line, supply line, gave very small quantities of water from time to
4 time. And when I say at least a small amount of water, this would be a
5 few-odd liters. But they were very valuable to us because the town was in
6 a dreadful, catastrophic state, epidemics threatened to hit the town, and
7 there were more people in the town than ever before in its history. So
8 had the rain not fallen in November, everything would have ended much
9 tragically than it did.
10 Q. When you say a few-odd liters, does that mean a few-odd liters per
11 person a day, or what does that refer to?
12 A. There were times when I personally, who was the number one man in
13 the municipality, I would have 1 litre of water per day for all my
15 Q. And you are referring to the time period 1st October -- starting
16 on the 1st October?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Couldn't you get water from the sea?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Why not?
21 A. Well, they were just 2 or 300 metres away from us, and they had
22 their snipers cock at us. And no one was able to put their noses outside
23 the walls. And very often we were targeted within the ramparts, within
24 the town walls where we were moving around, they could target us with
25 their snipers, and did so. So nobody dared go out to fetch any water
1 because there was a great likelihood that they would be killed if they
2 were to do so, so that not even the water of the sea, sea water, could be
3 used for the lavatory, for example.
4 Q. I would like now to move to the negotiations and the ultimatum
5 that you already mentioned. And I would like to know from you whether you
6 took part in a meeting on the 11th of October, 1991, with Admiral Jokic.
7 And was that the first meeting?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And who attended from your side and from the army side, from the
10 JNA side?
11 A. On the Croatian side, there was Mr. Zeljko Sikic who at the time
12 was the president of the municipal government. Then there was Mr. Hrvoje
13 Macun, who was in charge of communal affairs. There was Mr. Miso
14 Mihocevic, who was an interpreter. There was myself. And just let me
15 think back whether there was anybody else on our side. I can't remember
17 Q. And from the JNA side?
18 A. And on the JNA side, there was Admiral Jokic. There was, I think,
19 a Lieutenant-Colonel was his rank, Dr. Svicevic, and Sofronije Jeremic, an
20 Admiral. He later became an Admiral. I think he was captain of a
21 military vessel at that time, but he advanced fairly rapidly and became
22 Admiral later on.
23 Q. Did Admiral Jokic indicate to you what his position was, what
24 exact military position he had?
25 A. We discussed the situation. On the ground, he was a new man for
1 me. I had never seen him before. And at one point, he said that he was
2 the one who commanded the units in the area which were moving towards the
3 west, towards Dubrovnik and the town. Let me also mention, this was on
4 the 11th, and Cavtat was still free, relatively free. Because up until
5 Cavtat, everything else was occupied, Cavtat was still free.
6 Q. And Jeremic, what position did he have?
7 A. I think he was an intelligence officer. I assume he was, anyway.
8 Q. How do you know that? I mean, what is the basis of --
9 A. Well, judging by everything; the negotiations, he was constantly
10 negotiating, and I assumed that that was what his job was.
11 Q. And Dr. Svicevic?
12 A. As far as I heard, he was a doctor of wartime psychology. And I
13 think that he was one of the organisers of the atmosphere and mood that
14 was created with respect to our attacking them, which never, ever
15 happened. And creating this atmosphere and mood on the other side with
16 respect to the attack that Baca was threatened by with 30.000 armed
17 Ustashas who had allegedly -- were on the move to take it over, take
18 control of it. He was very arrogant in all the negotiations.
19 Q. Who spoke -- did anyone on this occasion speak about the 30.000
20 armed Ustasha that was threatening Baca?
21 A. Not on that occasion, but before that, yes. And that's how they
22 managed to recruit many people from Montenegro to go and march towards
23 Dubrovnik, but not on that occasion; Konavle had already been taken over.
24 Q. When you had this meeting with Admiral Jokic and the other two,
25 did they give a reason why they were attacking Dubrovnik? What did they
2 A. They persisted in claiming that there were 3, 1.000 or 7.000
3 terrorists, mercenaries, Kurds - those figures differed - and God knows
4 who else, and that they ought to surrender
5 Q. And was that true? Did you have mercenaries --
6 A. No, not at all. Not a single mercenary did we have in our army at
7 all. There was one foreigner. Yes, go ahead, may I continue?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. There was one foreigner in our army, and that was a Dutchman who
10 was married to a woman from Dubrovnik and who happened to find himself in
11 Dubrovnik when the attack was launched. And he volunteered as a volunteer
12 in the Croatian army. And as luck would have it, he's still alive and I
13 hope he's living in the Netherlands. He was a very decent man. I don't
14 know what his name was but I would recognise him if I saw him today.
15 Q. Did you tell this to Admiral Jokic? Did you tell him that's wrong
16 and --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How did he react to that?
19 A. Nothing. He didn't react at all. He just went on just as if I
20 had not said anything.
21 Q. Did you complain about what was happening to the town and to the
23 A. Yes, we did.
24 Q. What was the reaction to this?
25 A. There was no reaction. They just continued.
1 Q. You mentioned an ultimatum given to you. And with the help of the
2 usher, I would like to put to you Exhibit 361, tab 39. And actually, the
3 translation -- do we have the translation? The translation is actually in
4 a different document.
5 JUDGE MAY: We have to adjourn, in fact, today prompt, at quarter
6 to. So I think we'll adjourn now since it has come to the time.
7 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, you're not going to be very much longer, I
8 trust, with this witness.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, it's actually something like 20 minutes.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. No more, please, because we must finish the
11 examination-in-chief and also have time for cross-examination and to deal
12 with any administrative matters which we need to next Wednesday.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I have to tell you something,
14 and it's also for the witness and the other participants here. I will not
15 be available on the 18th, so my colleague Mr. Nice will continue the
16 examination and also be present during the cross-examination.
17 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
18 MR. NICE: The newspaper article spoken of by Ms. Laber is now
19 available. I've got what looks like her original. I haven't spoken to
20 her about it yet. It may be that the Chamber will be happy to accept
21 simply copies. They come on rather large-size paper because it's the only
22 way of fitting it in, but if I can make those available.
23 The document that I had forecast being available today dealing
24 with timetable issues is available. It is being filed today. But I will
25 provide what are called courtesy copies to everyone, including the
1 accused, I hope, before he leaves, so that people can have time to
2 consider that between now and next Wednesday.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll have the number of the article
4 again. What is it?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecutor's Exhibit 360.
6 MR. NICE: Thank you. On the document coming your way by way of
7 courtesy copy dealing with timetable matters, there's one attachment,
8 attachment B, that is in a first form, it needs to be amplified, and I'm
9 hoping to have it properly amplified by next Wednesday, but certainly in a
10 more advanced stage than it is at the moment.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.
12 Mr. Poljanic, I'm afraid we are not sitting, the Trial Chamber in
13 this trial - we have other matters to attend to - before next Wednesday.
14 So could you be back, please, next Wednesday when we shall return to this
15 trial when we will finish your evidence.
16 We'll adjourn now.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
18 at 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday
19 the 18th day of December, 2002,
20 at 9.00 a.m.