1 Wednesday, 17 September 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: We'll begin by giving the Chamber's oral ruling on
6 the preparation and presentation of the Defence case. There is then a
7 matter I want to deal with briefly in private session for a short period.
8 Turning to the oral ruling, a written order will be available
9 today and is authoritative.
10 The Trial Chamber has had to balance the need for the accused to
11 have adequate time for the preparation of his case and the need for an
12 expeditious trial. In this connection, the Trial Chamber has taken into
13 consideration that the accused has the support of two legal associates.
14 It is apparent from his cross-examination that he has been provided with
15 detailed information. The Trial Chamber has also taken into consideration
16 the fact that the trial has already taken 19 months. The accused has been
17 in detention for two years and three months, during which time he's had
18 the opportunity to consider and make preparations for his Defence. The
19 Trial Chamber notes that the accused has elected to represent himself.
20 While this cannot be allowed to give him an advantage, the Tribunal should
21 provide appropriate logistical assistance to enable the accused to prepare
22 his defence whilst in detention.
23 It is with these matters in mind that the Trial Chamber now gives
24 its ruling concerning the preparation and presentation of the Defence
1 Preparation for the Defence case. The trial will be adjourned
2 for three months between the close of the Prosecution case and the
3 commencement of the Defence case to facilitate the accused in the
4 preparation of his case. This adjournment will be subject to any hearing
5 which the Trial Chamber may order. The accused, within six weeks of the
6 close of the Prosecution case, shall file the following documents: The
7 list of witnesses he intends to call, including the name of each witness,
8 a summary of the facts on which each witness will testify, and an
9 indication of whether the witness will testify in person or, pursuant to
10 Rule 92 bis, by way of written statement or use of a transcript of
11 testimony from other proceedings before the Tribunal. He shall also file
12 the list of exhibits he intends to offer in his case and is obliged to
13 serve on the Prosecutor copies of the exhibits so listed.
14 The Trial Chamber will thereafter hold a Pre-Defence Conference
15 for the following purposes: To review the accused's witness list and set
16 the number of witnesses he'll be entitled to call; to determine the time
17 which will be available to the accused to present his case; and to deal
18 with such other matters as the Chamber considers appropriate for the
19 purposes of facilitating the presentation of the accused's case, including
20 practical arrangements to be made to bring Defence witnesses to the
21 Tribunal, and for the accused to prepare for his examination-in-chief.
22 I turn to the presentation of the Defence case. At the
23 commencement of the Defence case, the accused shall be entitled to open
24 his case in respect of all three indictments against him subject to a time
25 limit to be imposed by the Trial Chamber. The Trial Chamber may refuse to
1 hear a witness whose name does not appear on the accused's list of
2 witnesses. If the accused wishes to add any witnesses or exhibits to his
3 witness list after the Pre-Defence Conference, he must apply to the
4 Chamber for permission to do so, showing good cause.
5 In the examination by the accused of his witnesses, he should bear
6 in mind at all times that the Trial Chamber exercises control over the
7 mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence so as to
8 assure it is effective for the ascertainment of truth and to avoid the
9 needless consumption of time. The accused is reminded that his time will
10 be limited and that he should focus on relevant areas of evidence. The
11 accused is encouraged to avail himself of the provisions under Rule 92 bis
12 with respect to the admission of evidence in written form. If he so
13 desires, the accused may appear as a witness in his own defence. In this
14 respect, he is reminded of annex A to the Chamber's order of the 19th of
15 February, 2002 concerning his right of silence, the relevant parts of
16 which will be attached to the written decision confirming these orders.
17 I finish by dealing with practical arrangements for the
18 preparation and presentation of the Defence case. The Registrar is hereby
19 ordered to provide the accused with facilities in a privileged setting to
20 confer with witnesses and others relevant to his defence, facilities in a
21 privileged setting to review and work with documents and other material
22 relevant to his defence, logistical support with regard to witnesses and
23 facilities to prepare for the presentation of his case.
24 That, as I say, is the order of the Trial Chamber, which will be
25 in written form.
1 There is a matter I wish to deal with now in private session.
2 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we're in open session.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Bauer.
11 MS. BAUER: The Prosecution --
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I should like to say that I
14 categorically protest against this ruling of yours because it does not
15 enable --
16 JUDGE MAY: No. No, this -- it wasn't a matter for debate or an
17 invitation to argument. This was a ruling. Now, that is the ruling which
18 we have made. Now, let us get on with the witnesses.
19 If you would call the witness, please.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Every decision or ruling can be
21 re-examined and abolished, and that is my request and demand, that it be
22 rethought and --
23 JUDGE MAY: We've just given it. We're not going to abolish it,
24 as you call it, now. We've just given it. If there comes a time when
25 some matter has to be considered, we'll consider it, but that certainly
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 hasn't arisen at the moment.
2 Yes, Ms. Bauer.
3 MS. BAUER: Your Honours, the Prosecution is ready to call
4 protective witness C-1160, pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS C-1160
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Ms. Bauer:
13 Q. Witness, by a court order, you have been granted the protective
14 measures of facial distortion and have been assigned a pseudonym
15 throughout the proceedings. You will be known as Witness C-1160
16 throughout your testimony.
17 The usher will show you now a piece of paper, and if you could
18 confirm just with a simple yes or no answer whether this is your name and
19 your personal details.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Witness C-1160, did you have the opportunity to
22 review a statement that you gave to an ICTY investigator over the course
23 of the last few days?
24 A. I did.
25 Q. And did you have the opportunity, in the presence of a
1 representative of the court, to sign a declaration affirming the
2 statement's accuracy and truthfulness?
3 A. Yes.
4 MS. BAUER: Your Honour, the Prosecution would offer this
5 statement into evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the pseudonym sheet is 541 under
7 seal, and the statement is 542.
8 MS. BAUER: I'll commence with the summary. The witness is of
9 Croat ethnicity and was 32 years of age at the time of the events. He was
10 a resident of Novi Sad in the Vojvodina and conducted business throughout
11 the region of Eastern Slavonia and Vojvodina.
12 On 5th November 1991, the witness was arrested in Titov Vrabas,
13 which is in Vojvodina, for no apparent reasons, other than driving a car
14 with Croatian license plates. He was taken to the police station for
15 interrogation. Subsequently he was transferred to the Novi Sad police
16 station, where the interrogation continued. The witness was shocked by
17 the amount of detailed background that the police had obviously gathered
18 on him, including on his family and his exact movements over a substantial
19 period of time. The witness was never informed about any allegations
20 against him, nor were his rights ever read to him.
21 After two full days of questioning, the police in civilian
22 clothes took him to the Paragovo barracks in the Fruska Gora area.
23 And for Your Honours' information, most of the locations are on a
24 map in the map binder, Exhibit 326, tab 8, which was tendered with --
25 through Witness C-037. It's not in the Croatian atlas, I'm afraid; it is
1 a separate map that was tendered.
2 In the Paragovo barracks, he was received by a military policeman
3 who routinely took his belongings and personal details.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down. Thank you.
5 MS. BAUER: He was imprisoned in a tiny cell, which he shared
6 with another eight to nine Croat detainees. Two JNA officers interrogated
7 the witness the following day, again not giving him any reason for the
8 arrest or detention. Afterwards, he was driven to another JNA
9 headquarters, which he couldn't recognise at that time. The military
10 policemen looked inside the van, he was capped, and discussed how they
11 would slaughter him. As soon as the van drove off, the witness was
12 terrified and thought they would kill him.
13 Shortly after that, the witness arrived at an agricultural
14 complex in the village of Begejci. There another JNA military policeman
15 received him and said that he had arrived at Logor camp. The same man
16 threw the witness against a barbed wire fence and beat him until he was
17 bloodied all over. The witness later heard that many guards at the camp,
18 including this individual, had a criminal background and that they had
19 been released at the outbreak of the war to serve the military police.
20 When the witness entered the stables of this agricultural
21 complex, he saw what he at first thought was cabbage covered with
22 blankets. He found out that there were about 240 men and 20 women lying
23 on the concrete floor. The witness recognised some of the men being from
24 different parts of Eastern Slavonia. The prisoners were only allowed to
25 stand when they were taken outside to sing the national -- Yugoslav
1 national anthem or during meals. Prisoners were provided with little food
2 and it was of very poor quality. The hygienic conditions were dreadful
3 and soon the camp suffered an outbreak of lice. Reflectors inside the
4 stables were switched on throughout the night, making it impossible to
6 A certain JNA colonel or lieutenant colonel, Zivanovic, was in
7 charge of the camp and came to see the detainees on two occasions. Every
8 night a group of drunk military policemen would come to the stable and
9 inflict on the detainees different forms of humiliation, including severe
10 beatings. For instance, each prisoner had to say his prison number, and
11 after which he would receive a baton blow on the head. On some nights,
12 prisoners were forced to run over the bare bodies of other prisoners.
13 Once the detainees had to participate in a mock execution, allegedly as
14 revenge for a killed officer. For more than half an hour they were lined
15 up against a wall and feared being shot any minute. A 60-year-old
16 prisoner died following a particular severe beating. There was never any
17 inquiry into the circumstances of his death.
18 The witness was called on several occasions for interrogations.
19 The patterns used were always the same: There was a JNA officer asking
20 questions with three or four military policemen standing guard. After
21 each question and answer, the witness was punched by the military
22 policemen, no matter what he answered. At one point the military
23 policemen pretended to shoot the witness. After they had sufficiently
24 intimidated the witness, the interrogation continued. Again, the witness
25 was never told any reason for his detention nor what he was accused of.
1 He also did not see any judge or a lawyer during the whole time in his
3 After about 20 days in detention, the ICRC came to register the
4 prisoners and undertook to inform families. The military police guards in
5 the camp hid ten prisoners during that time from the ICRC.
6 Shortly after, the witness received a visit from his wife and
7 daughter. A television team, whose cameraman was in a JNA uniform, filmed
8 the day of the visit. Before the witness, however, met his visitors, he
9 was beaten all the way up to the point and humiliated.
10 On 10 December 1991, the witness was released after five weeks of
11 detention in a town in Bosanski Samac. Approximately 630 mostly Croat
12 prisoners from various detention camps were exchanged for around 129 Serb
13 JNA officers. Only then did the witness find out that the alleged reason
14 for his detention was that he was accused of being the main HDZ organiser
15 in the Vojvodina, although he had never any involvement with the party
16 movement. Furthermore, he learned that his family had made inquiries
17 about his whereabouts immediately after he had disappeared. The
18 authorities had lied and informed them that he had been released
20 That concludes the summary, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
22 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1160, up until November 1989, you had lived
25 in Zagreb, when you got married with a lady from Novi Sad and you moved to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 live in Novi Sad; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And is it true that in -- just before the war, you worked as a
4 representative of a company and in that capacity you covered the area of
5 Eastern Slavonia and the northern part of Serbia, or actually the whole of
6 Vojvodina, as a kind of commercial representative; is that right? What
7 company was it?
8 A. Mladinska Knjiga.
11 A. In 1989 I tried to do that work.
12 Q. So you actually covered this part of Eastern Slavonia, an area
13 where the conflicts started?
14 A. At that time, there were no such indications. The situation had
15 not started to worsen.
16 Q. And when did it start to worsen?
17 A. When I could no longer cover that area. This occurred towards
18 the end of 1990.
19 Q. So you say that it became much more difficult to travel and do
20 your job. You say this on page 2, paragraph 5.
21 A. Serbs were crossing from Eastern Slavonia into Vojvodina, and of
22 course then I could no longer be active in that area.
23 Q. Why were Serbs crossing from Eastern Slavonia to Vojvodina?
24 A. Allegedly conflicts were worsening after Borovo Naselje and they
25 were being expelled. That is what was said. But I also learnt some other
1 things; that is, they didn't see anyone. People were simply awakened
2 during the night and transported by buses across, and I learnt this
3 talking to people as I was travelling around.
4 Q. So what you are saying that happened, that is, when Serbs were
5 fleeing Eastern Slavonia, you say they did that without any cause.
6 A. I can't claim anything because I didn't see anything happening.
7 I'm just telling you what I heard.
8 Q. Very well. In paragraph 5, page 2, you say that you then started
9 to train a younger man, a Serb, to work with you. As far as I understand
10 it, you needed him to be able to travel more easily; is that right?
11 A. I'm talking about this year, that when I was working and
12 travelling, they would ask me where I came from and what I was, and
13 problems had started so I felt that the circumstances were no longer
15 Q. And that is why you hired that man.
16 A. Not just for that reason. I needed several people. But in any
17 case, it would be easier for me. The new area that I was supposed to
18 cover, I had my own marketing agency which mediated between the
19 manufacturer of cosmetics and the consumers, and they requested several
20 people. But when a new area was being covered, after the experiences I
21 had had, I no longer dared travel alone.
22 Q. You yourself say that your work required that you hire several
24 A. Yes. That is what I just said. That is why I didn't dare go
25 alone, because I had already experienced some unpleasantness in certain
1 places, not everywhere.
2 Q. And can you tell us the name of this man?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If this reveals the identity of the
4 witness, he can tell us in private session.
5 JUDGE MAY: Let's go into private session, to be on the safe
7 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. As far as I understand it, that man was with you when, at the
4 beginning of November, as you say - it was probably the 5th of November,
5 1991 - when you were taken into custody to the Secretariat of the Interior
6 in Vrbas; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Tell me, please: Where exactly were you taken in in Vrbas? Do
9 you know in what part of town?
10 A. I don't know, but I was taken to the SUP. I was sitting in my
11 car until he went inside to arrange a meeting so that we could start
12 working there.
13 Q. I heard a moment ago from the summary read by Ms. Pack [sic] that
14 the only reason that you were taken into custody was that you had Croatian
15 license plates. Is that right? Is that what you're claiming?
16 A. No. I don't know the reason to this day. One of the assumptions
17 was that it was because I was in a car with Croatian license plates. Of
18 course, there were others in the same situation, and until then I had had
19 no problems.
20 Q. But when you were taken into custody, as we heard from the
21 summary, you were shocked to -- by the details they knew about you and
22 your movement?
23 A. Just then.
24 Q. I see, just then. So I assume the only reason could not have
25 been your license plates, but surely this information they had and -- that
1 shocked you, because they knew what you had been doing and where you
3 A. I wasn't shocked when I was taken in. But after the interview
4 and interrogation, after I went to the camp itself, that is what I had in
5 mind. I referred to the interrogation, which went on for two or three
7 Q. As you referred to the date of the 5th of November, 1991, was
8 that the time when there was fighting around Vukovar and many other places
9 in Eastern Slavonia and in Western Slavonia also?
10 A. At that time, according to my knowledge, there was a conflict in
12 Q. And do you know how far Vrbas is from the border with Croatia?
13 A. About 50-odd kilometres, roughly. I haven't been there for a
14 long time.
15 Q. Very well. And on the second page, in paragraph 6, you stated
16 that they didn't treat you badly at that time, they questioned you about
17 what you were doing, what your work was, where you travelled, and things
18 like that. Is that right?
19 I didn't hear the answer.
20 A. I said yes, that was true. What does it mean to treat me badly?
21 I was probably exposed to regular procedure. By the end of the
22 interrogation, I noticed changes; I wouldn't be given bread or water or
23 anything, and this went on all day.
24 Q. What do you mean by "all day," when you say five hours later you
25 were driven to Novi Sad?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I'm talking about Novi Sad, about the provincial SUP.
2 Q. And you were interrogated there too?
3 A. Yes. After Vrbas, which lasted so many hours, I was
4 transported -- both of us, actually, were transported in this vehicle.
5 The co-driver turned round to face us and the driver. Both of them were
6 wearing police uniforms. And the one -- the co-driver was facing us with
7 a pistol, and my car was being driven by a third policeman.
8 Q. Look at what you said on page 3, paragraph 1. You say that "I
9 had the impression that they thought I was a spy because of the way that I
10 travelled about." Is that what you stated?
11 A. Which paragraph? Which number paragraph?
12 Q. On page 3, first paragraph. Page 1 is numbered "2," so I don't
13 want you to be confused by that.
14 MS. BAUER: If it is of assistance, it's paragraph 8.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because of my travelling around,
16 not because of the way I travelled around. That's what I meant.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I just have your statement in English. I wasn't given it in
19 Serbo-Croatian. And you say, "I got the impression that they thought that
20 I was a spy because of the way that I travelled about."
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, what is the -- what's the question,
22 Mr. Milosevic?
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Did you engage in collecting information?
25 A. No.
1 Q. But give me, please, a precise answer. Did they consider you to
2 be a spy or not?
3 A. That was what I thought. I just said what I thought at the time,
4 because there was no reason for all this to happen to me. I couldn't see
5 any reason.
6 Q. Does that mean that you drew the conclusion that you had been
7 arrested because they considered you to be a spy?
8 A. I thought that that was probably the reason for questioning me,
9 because the way in which they questioned me, the details they went into,
10 endeavouring to draw information from me that I didn't have, that is why I
11 said that, because that was my conclusion, that I thought -- that they
12 thought I was a spy
13 Q. May I infer from that you don't believe that you were arrested
14 because you were a Croat working there but because they suspected that you
15 collected intelligence, in view of the fact that you moved around in your
17 A. I still think because -- that I was arrested because I was a
18 Croat, because the colleague who worked with me and who was a Serb was
19 released immediately; whereas, having met people who went through similar
20 treatment as I did, I gathered that quite a number of Croats were rounded
21 up mostly without cause. So there is every indication to believe that it
22 was because I was a Croat.
23 Q. Do you know, in view of the fact that you lived in Novi Sad, how
24 many Croats, how many thousands of Croats were living and working not just
25 in Novi Sad but all over Vojvodina, without any one of them being in any
1 special situation because he was a Croat? Why would you be in such a
2 special situation if it was not because they suspected you of being a spy?
3 A. I knew very few Croats, nor did I have many business friends of
4 that ethnicity. There were more of other ethnicities. So I don't know
5 how the others were treated, other Croats.
6 Q. Very well. On page 3, paragraph 2, you said that you were
7 questioned in Novi Sad until about 2.00 in the morning and that then you
8 were taken home; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then they returned your car to you and you went home. Was
11 that right?
12 A. No. It wasn't like that. I was questioned until late into the
13 night. I was driven home with an order. They told me that I had come
14 back -- that I had to come back by 10.00, I think it was, the next day.
15 Q. So you weren't arrested, since they drove you back home and told
16 you to come back again by 10.00 in the morning; is that right?
17 A. If I had spent the whole day in the police station, how can I say
18 that I wasn't arrested?
19 Q. But they just talked to you over there and then let you go home
20 and told you to come back on your own. Nobody was taking you under any
21 kind of coercion, but they were just telling you to come back in the
22 morning, as you yourself say. Is that right?
23 A. Yes. But I don't know why I was released and my documents kept
24 there. I had to go back. This may have been part of this whole
25 examination, to see what I would do or -- how do I know what?
1 Q. Tell me, where did they talk to you in Novi Sad? In which
2 building? In which state institution?
3 A. I think it was the provincial SUP. I don't really remember the
4 building any more.
5 Q. And that morning in Novi Sad you were interviewed by a man whose
6 name you don't know; is that right?
7 A. I don't know the name of any one of the investigators from Novi
9 Q. And you say that he was very well informed about where you -- the
10 place of your birth in Croatia. I won't read it out because it's a small
11 place and it could perhaps call in question your status of a protected
12 witness. So he was extremely well-known, as you say -- well informed
13 about your home town, that he knew everything about your movements there a
14 week before, where you had gone before these events; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. On page 3 of your statement, paragraph 4, you say that "The JNA
17 had withdrawn from the barracks," which is about 10 kilometres from your
18 place of birth.
19 A. It handed -- it surrendered its weapons.
20 Q. It surrendered weapons because it was blocked by the National
21 Guards Corps; is that right?
22 A. I don't know, I wasn't there, but what I just said I heard from
23 others. And this was visible afterwards too.
24 Q. So this could be seen afterwards.
25 A. It was possible to move around in the area where the barracks
1 used to be. Two days later I went to Novi Sad and I passed by there.
2 Q. All right. You say, [In English] "Which is 10 kilometres from
3 --" [Interpretation] 10 kilometres from your home town. And then you
4 say, [In English] "A gunfire. It was not a significant battle,"
5 [Interpretation] Then you say, [In English] "There were no deaths that I
6 know of and the garrison was not small, because we were close to the
7 Hungarian border. I was told by whoever was organising things there to
8 make up a guard duty on one of the streets. It was a local arrangement."
9 [Interpretation] All right. So in your town, where you say there
10 had been some gunfire but minor gunfire, and you say it was not a
11 significant battle, so only a week prior to your arrest somebody who had
12 organised things there said that you should take up guard duty on one of
13 the streets; is that right?
14 A. I had come from Zagreb. I came back in the morning, around 6.00,
15 and I was asked to come to a meeting. And then I found out what was going
16 on. We stood in front of the building for an entire day, all of that day.
17 Of course, I was unarmed, I didn't have any weapons. And everything I
18 mentioned is what I heard. It's not that I moved anywhere from the centre
19 of town. This meant that defence of the town had been organised in this
20 way. However, since I did not live there, in my home town, of course my
21 friends did not really have much confidence in me. They didn't know what
22 I thought and so on and so forth, so I was in a situation which required
23 that I behave - I don't know - in some way that should have been --
25 This statement that had to do with the barracks, that's the only
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 thing I heard.
2 Q. Yes. But as far as I can see, you were told to take up some kind
3 of guard duty; is that right?
4 A. We were assigned to various streets, wearing civilian clothes,
5 and that day, if - I don't know - the army would get out of barracks and
6 move towards Osijek and in this way attack the town -- well, I don't know.
7 Q. All right. You say that you yourself were not armed at that
8 point in time, whereas some of the local men had some light weaponry; is
9 that right?
10 A. Light weaponry in the sense of hunting guns and pistols. That's
11 what I saw. The barrels that they referred to -- that's what they were
12 saying. I'm just saying what I saw there.
13 Q. You also say -- well, you do not say that anybody made weapons of
14 their own. You say I was not armed [In English] "although some of the
15 locals had light weapons." [Interpretation] And when did you return to
16 your family in Novi Sad?
17 A. Two days later. So the second day in the afternoon, that's when
18 I left.
19 Q. So all of this in your home town lasted for less than two days.
20 A. Well, two days.
21 Q. And that was going on at the time when JNA soldiers were attacked
22 in the vicinity of your town -- or rather, in your town and around your
23 town; is that right?
24 A. I happened to be there at the moment when this was taking place.
25 Q. All right. Since you happened to be there at the moment when
1 this was taking place, as you put it yourself, you say that you took part
2 in guard duty, although you were unarmed. Did you take part in the
3 fighting, Mr. C-1160?
4 A. I did not take part in any kind of fighting.
5 Q. So you were just a person who was present at the time when this
6 was happening.
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. You were on some kind of guard duty, though you were unarmed.
9 A. I was unarmed, whereas the man who was with me had a pistol, I
11 Q. Tell me, what was the name of the man who told you to take up
12 guard duty and the man who was with you and who was armed? If you don't
13 want to say this in open session, perhaps we could move into private
15 A. I can say it in private session.
16 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. All right. In view of your participation or, as you say,
14 presence and partial participation in these developments, you were
15 actually a temporary member of the National Guards Corps; is that right?
16 A. In case anything bad happened in my home town, of course I would
17 have taken part, and it just so happened that I was in such a situation
18 that I had to defend my home town in a way. According to the information
19 that they gave me then, and all the things that could happen - my parents
20 are there, my relatives, et cetera - I don't know how else I should have
22 Q. All right. I'm just establishing the facts here. However, you
23 claim that the man who interrogated you knew everything about you, even
24 what you wore during that fighting; is that right?
25 A. I said that, that he knew where I had been when all of those
1 things were taking place during that day or two that is being referred to.
2 He knew that, yes.
3 Q. Is it true that at the time you wore a ZNG uniform?
4 A. I had not worn a uniform since 1988, which was the last time when
5 I went to do some shooting -- training as a JNA reservist, when I was
6 called up. Since then, I had not worn a uniform.
7 Q. You say that the man who spoke to you knew everything about what
8 you did in your home town. I'm not going to mention the name. And he
9 arrested you practically for nothing. That is what you say.
10 A. He knew the names of persons. He asked me about the names and
11 the positions held by various people in the town. And of course, I didn't
12 know what positions they held. I told him what happened a while before
13 that, but I said that I was there for a very short period of time, and
14 nobody really confided in me.
15 Q. Isn't it clear that nobody had arrested you because you were a
16 Croat, because otherwise they would have arrested thousands of other
17 Croats who then and all those years lived in Serbia, including Novi Sad,
18 where you lived?
19 A. Well, I'd put it in a different way. If there was so much
20 information about me, then also they could have known that I had not done
21 a thing that would have caused me to be arrested.
22 Q. All right. In paragraph 6, also on page 3, you say that they
23 treated you correctly, because they explained that they knew that your
24 father-in-law was a retired JNA captain. Is that right?
25 A. That's what I thought.
1 Q. They also questioned you about the Ustashas, who had committed
2 atrocities against women and children in Eastern Slavonia; is that right?
3 A. Well, the questions were the same, like those put to the other
4 detainees. So it was my understanding that this was probably a system
5 that had already been in place. I was asked because -- I mean, I was
6 asked whether I knew about this man who wore a necklace made of children's
7 fingers and also whether I knew about an Ustasha killing a baby in a
8 cradle and putting dynamite or a shell into the baby's stomach. That's
9 the kind of questions that were addressed to me.
10 Q. Did you know anything about these events?
11 A. Of course I didn't.
12 Q. Do you know anything about these things now, about the atrocities
13 that were committed then?
14 A. I don't know about that even now.
15 Q. In the last paragraph on page 3, you say that they did not
16 believe that you were innocent and that they tried to intimidate you by
17 saying that they would send you to defend Serb houses in Papuk; is that
19 A. That's what they were telling me.
20 Q. Did you know that Serb houses in Papuk had been attacked?
21 A. That's what I heard from the interrogators, from the
23 Q. Who attacked these houses?
24 A. It was always presented in the same way, Ustashas, like
25 previously. It was the Ustashas who attacked Serb houses in Papuk too.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 That's the way they put it. I heard all of this from the investigators.
2 Q. You say that this was a place near the front line where it was
3 believed that the Ustashas were killing Serbs. Is that what you stated?
4 A. I stated that this was at the front line, where the investigators
5 believed, what I had said previously, that the Ustashas were attacking and
6 killing Serbs. These are the words of the investigators. That's what I
8 Q. All right. But the town that you went to, was that on the front
9 line actually?
10 A. I was told that the Ustashas were attacking Serb houses in Papuk,
11 and I consider then that to be fighting, a front line. That's my
12 interpretation. And where the front line actually was, I really do not
13 know. As I said, I did not even know that this had been going on before I
14 heard about it from the investigators.
15 Q. All right. Your participation in these activities of the
16 National Guards Corps boils down to those two days only.
17 A. It wasn't the National Guards Corps. It was the defence of the
18 town itself. So there were no uniforms. These were men in civilian
20 Q. All right. After the interrogation in Novi Sad, they took you in
21 an unknown direction, you say, to a military facility that you did not
23 A. I was never there.
24 Q. Can you say where it is?
25 A. Well, I know where I was -- I mean, later on I found out.
1 Q. I didn't understand what you said. Where was it that you were?
2 A. A military facility near the -- I mean, after the provincial SUP.
3 It's a military facility called Paragovo. I heard about that only later.
4 Q. Where is this military facility?
5 A. I was driven during the night, so Fruska Gora -- Paragovo-Fruska
6 Gora. That's what they said to me. I did not check this. I did not look
7 it up on a map or anything, so I cannot say.
8 Q. All right. You thought they were taking you to Papuk, and that
9 is why you were very frightened; is that right?
10 A. Since the last threat before they took me away was that that's
11 where they would take me, what else could I have thought?
12 Q. You say in your statement that they told you that they would take
13 you to Papuk to defend Serb houses. Here in this summary that was read by
14 Ms. Pack [sic] you say -- I do apologise. On the other side there are so
15 many persons that are involved that I cannot remember all the names, Mr.
16 May. They change so frequently.
17 So Ms. Bauer read, if I heard this correctly, that they were
18 taking you to kill you.
19 A. I cannot describe all the things that go through a person's mind
20 at moments like those, so everything I said was true. All of this was
21 after the things I had experienced, so what else could I have thought?
22 Q. All right. If they told you that they were taking you to Papuk
23 to defend the Serb houses there, and if that was a threat that they were
24 addressing, so on the basis of what do you say that they threatened you
25 that they would take you out and kill you?
1 A. Is it sufficient to say that they would push me unarmed in front
2 of troops? That is not something that is unheard of.
3 Q. They told you that they would take you to defend Serb houses.
4 They did not say that they would take you out to kill you. Now, what you
5 thought in your very own head, that they would take you out and kill you,
6 that is not something that they said to you.
7 A. What they said to me, that they would take me to defend Serb
8 houses, that is one of the sentences that they uttered, not to mention
9 cannon fodder and other words they referred to. So this one sentence is
10 not the only thing that said in -- it was not the only thing that led me
11 to believe what I had thought at the time.
12 Q. Mr. 1160, I am not going into that, what you could have thought
13 at the time or what you thought at the time. I just want to establish
14 that not at a single point in time did they tell you that they were taking
15 you out to kill you. Is that right?
16 A. The way in which they did all of this could not have led me to
17 believe anything else.
18 Q. But they never said to you or threatened you that they were --
19 would take you out to kill you.
20 A. What you are saying now was during the period of questioning in
21 Novi Sad, at the provincial SUP there. What followed were things that
22 could not have been put in that way, and I explained this gradually, how
23 things developed.
24 Q. All right. They took you to this military facility, and then
25 they questioned you there as well. You say that you were questioned by a
1 major and a captain; is that right?
2 A. At that moment, I can -- at this moment, rather, I can say that I
3 do not know what the ranks were. One of them was a captain for sure; I
4 know that. There were NCOs among them as well. There were different
6 Q. So they also had information about you; is that right?
7 A. Of course. Of course. I wrote the statement in the provincial
8 SUP and the statement accompanied me wherever I went. And of course they
9 had all this information available.
10 Q. And you say that the major put a series of questions of a
11 military nature, and you say that he asked you about your own observations
12 during your travels around Vojvodina; is that right?
13 A. For the most part, he asked me about arms. And actually, he
14 wanted to see what I knew about weapons and other things, of course. It
15 was one and the same thing that was asked about all the time. And later
16 on they were probably trying to compare all these different statements.
17 Q. And so there you wrote the statements in your own hand, just as
18 you had done in Novi Sad, right, where you were also questioned and
20 A. I wrote the statements myself, yes.
21 Q. And you say you wrote out the statement covering five pages.
22 What were those five pages about?
23 A. I wrote about everything, from my education and everything else.
24 You could take 55 pages to write down your own history if you have a
25 little imagination or if you have a talent for writing.
1 Q. All right. Now, without going into the details and talent for
2 writing, which I'm sure you possess, let me ask you whether in those five
3 pages, did you write anything about answers to questions that were asked
4 you and matters relating to what you yourself call a series -- a lot of
5 military-type questions, as you put it.
6 A. Well, I couldn't give them an answer because I knew nothing about
7 any of that.
8 Q. All right. Fine, Mr. 1166 [as interpreted]. As far as I was
9 able to gather from this statement of yours, you're a musician too, aren't
10 you, alongside the job you also hold?
11 A. Well, for just one period, that period of time, I wasn't a
12 musician nor did I earn money by playing music. During that time and also
13 after the exchange.
14 Q. All right. But you said that you played in a well-known Zagreb
15 band. Now, I don't want to ask about that, but what I do want to
16 establish is what you said. You mentioned a major and a captain having
17 questioned you and they even knew about that, about you being a member of
18 the band. Is that right?
19 A. Well, I didn't play music during that period of time. They were
20 just some guys playing at a party. That's what the captain told me.
21 Q. So he told you about that, did he, that you were a musician?
22 A. No, that they played music in front of some military facility.
23 Q. So they knew everything about you, and yet you say they arrested
24 you for no reason.
25 A. Let me repeat: In view of the fact that they knew everything
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 about me, then they could have also known that I had done nothing to
2 warrant my being arrested and ending up in a concentration camp.
3 Q. All right. But you were in a cell with another -- or with some
4 other Croats, or rather, with one Croat. That's what you say. And he was
5 the owner of some cafe in Zagreb; is that right?
6 A. I said I recognised a man who happened to be the owner of this
7 cafe in Zagreb.
8 Q. And why had he been arrested? Did you learn of that?
9 A. Well, we couldn't talk amongst ourselves very much. I just
10 learnt that he had -- drove a car there and he was arrested in Vojvodina.
11 Q. All right. But you say there were two other men from some
12 village in Vojvodina who took place -- took part in rallies held
13 against -- to protest against the mobilisation.
14 A. Well, these were all talks -- we had short conversations and
15 chats, and that's what these people said. Now, they said that they had
16 attended a rally to protest against the mobilisation, and when they were
17 dispersing - that's what they told me, at least - that when they were
18 dispersing and going home, they were all rounded up and brought there.
19 Q. All right. But you remember their names, then, and the place
20 they came from in Vojvodina?
21 A. No, I don't remember that.
22 Q. So you don't know the place or their names?
23 A. No, I don't. I've forgotten. I don't know their names or the
25 Q. All right. Now, at around 2300 hours of that same day, you were
1 taken for interrogation once again, on a second occasion, and the major
2 and the captain, as you claim on page 6, paragraph 2, they just
3 interrogated you briefly, about half an hour; is that right?
4 A. Well, I was handing over that statement -- making the statement.
5 That's why it lasted such a brief time.
6 Q. Yes. But I'm interested in the interview -- in the conversation.
7 You say it lasted half an hour. What did you talk to them about on that
9 A. About the statement I had written.
10 Q. So what did you discuss.
11 A. Well, he analysed my statement.
12 Q. Do you remember any specific parts that you analysed from the
13 statement, any portions of it?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And on that occasion, nobody beat you or mistreated you.
16 A. Not then, unless you consider mistreatment the fact that I was
17 incarcerated in a cell. I did receive one blow at Paragovo when we were
18 cleaning in front of the -- sweeping in front of the building.
19 Q. But I'm asking you about during the interview.
20 A. No, nothing happened during the interview.
21 Q. But you said that the captain was rough with you verbally, in his
22 verbal address to you.
23 A. Well, that took -- that happened several times.
24 Q. Well, what happened?
25 A. Well, he would be nice to start off with and then would turn ugly
1 and so on. One man would be nice and the other man would be brutal or,
2 rather, one would be well disposed towards you and the other would be
4 Q. And you say that the next day you were transferred to Begejci, a
5 place near Zrenjanin, the town of Zrenjanin; is that right?
6 A. I was driven off in the morning, and I think I say this in my
7 statement, but let me repeat that, while I was being taken out of the
8 building in Paragovo, I was told that as I was carrying something for
9 breakfast, that I couldn't go back to have breakfast. So that was the
10 last thing I heard. So once again, psychological pressure.
11 Q. Well, when they said that you didn't need breakfast - that's what
12 you said, I think - that you understood that you were being taken off to
13 be killed.
14 A. Well, I was driven off alone in a Black Maria with -- I think
15 that's what the van is called, with small windows, and I was taken off by
16 the warrant officer and four others, other policemen wearing the white
17 belts, police belts.
18 Q. Well, these policemen with the white police belts, was their
19 conduct correct and proper?
20 A. Well, if you -- if we take it that their shoving us in and
21 pushing us around was direct and proper, then I suppose they were.
22 Q. I see. You now see that -- you say that the first time you were
23 beaten was by a man called Zare and you said that that happened when you
24 got to Begejci; is that right? What happened? Was it a centre for war
25 prisoners or what in Begejci?
1 A. When the door opened, he made me bow my head and put my hands
2 behind my back. So what could I have seen like that? He just told me
3 that it wasn't a hotel and I don't know what else. What can I call it?
4 Well, it turned out to be a concentration camp, in fact. And at that
5 point in time he began beating me. He shoved me head into the wire.
6 Q. So you say that this military policeman, that actually he was a
7 criminal who had been released from prison before the war broke out.
8 A. During the time I spent in that camp, one of the people who would
9 come in - and there were five or six of them who came in - he was drunk,
10 and he said he couldn't care less whether he was behind bars or behind a
12 Q. So on the basis of that, you concluded that criminals had been
13 released from prison to become military policemen; is that it?
14 A. Well, that might have been the case -- it might have been
15 translated that way, but I do consider that they were criminals
16 nonetheless. And what I said is that this was linked up. It was my
17 assumption. I assumed that they had been doing prison sentences in prison
18 and then had been trained as military policemen and reservists and
19 transferred and that they were in fact serving their prison sentence by
20 being these military policemen.
21 Q. So according to what Ms. Bauer read out, it is your assumption
22 that they were criminals who had become military policemen; is that it?
23 A. Well, this man Zare, who beat me, was a policeman and he had
24 scars on his face. I don't know how else to describe it. That's how I
25 experienced the whole thing, anyway. Those were my impressions.
1 Q. Well, we can meet -- we come across various people with tattoos
2 on them and they're not considered to be criminals. You said he had
4 A. Well, he was a criminal, as far as I was concerned, judging by
5 his conduct. It wasn't the first time he had behaved that way, or the
6 last, I assume.
7 Q. Well, we can't know that, so let's not enter into those details.
8 But that -- those were your conclusions and observations, but you had no
9 actual information that somebody had turned criminals into military
10 policemen, did you?
11 A. All I can say is this: I wrote my statement on the basis of my
12 own experience and how I experienced that particular situation, so I don't
13 have any confidential inside information of any kind, of course.
14 Q. All right, you don't have any information. But you remember
15 another military policeman nicknamed Rambo; is that what you claim?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you have any information and knowledge about this man, Rambo,
18 that he had a criminal record or anything of that kind?
19 A. I think that that's what Rambo himself said on one occasion.
20 Q. You think he told you that.
21 A. Well, I don't know who said this, but I think one of them said
22 that they couldn't care less whether they were behind bars or behind
23 wires, it was the same thing to them.
24 Q. So it was on the basis of that statement that you drew your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Well, yes. But a long time has gone by since then for me to be
2 able to remember all the details. I just said what I remembered.
3 Q. All right, very well. But according to what you yourself say in
4 Begejci, you were mostly beaten by an Albanian by the name of Krasniqi and
5 a Croat called Mirko, but you don't know his last name, last name unknown;
7 A. I didn't know Mirko's surname, but I didn't say that they were
8 the ones who beat me most. They did beat me, yes, amongst others.
9 Q. So this Albanian Krasniqi and this Mirko from Croatia, he was
10 from Biljani Osijek [phoen]; that's right, isn't it?
11 A. Yes, that's right. And they were at the entrance to the shed or
12 stable and they were standing between the military policemen and us. So
13 if anybody had to go to the toilet or anything, they had to pass by these
14 men. And one of them always had to be awake. And if any new detainees
15 were brought in, both of them had to be there, and they were standing up,
16 whereas we were lying down.
17 Q. But you recognised a certain man called Milas from Opatovci in
18 Eastern Slavonia; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right, Stjepan Milas. He had a shop. And when I
20 worked with cosmetics, he would purchase some cosmetics from me.
21 Q. All right. Now, just like this other man, Kruno Farkas, whom you
22 mention, were they members of the Croatian National Guards Corps? They
23 were, weren't they, Mr. 1160?
24 A. I learnt that Kruno was a member and that he was in Ilok at one
25 point in time, but he was captured wearing civilian clothing leaving Ilok.
1 As for Stjepan Milas, I think he was some functionary in his home town.
2 Q. Well, all right, then, but were the people who were arrested
3 actually people who had fought within the ranks of the Croatian National
4 Guard Corps? Amongst them -- by mistake they ranked you amongst them; is
5 that right?
6 A. Of the 500 odd people at the end, some 20 -- approximately 20
7 people, I don't know the exact number, from the surroundings of Bileca,
8 were in uniform of the Croatian National Guards. All the others were
9 wearing civilian clothing.
10 Q. But you say of this man Farkas, that he was indeed a member of
11 the Croatian National Guards Corps but that he withdrew wearing civilian
12 clothing; is that right?
13 A. He was in that place, but I assume he was dressed like that, and
14 I deduced this from what he said later on, in my conversation with him
15 later on. He was organised in the defence of his town or village.
16 Q. All right. On page 8, paragraph 9, you claim that one day, as
17 you yourself say, two black men were brought in, but you don't know where
18 they were from nor did you know their names. Is that right?
19 A. I didn't know the names, but according to the rumours that went
20 round in the camp, they were students from Sri Lanka who studied in Skopje
21 somewhere. They were students in Skopje but had come to Belgrade to fetch
22 some documents.
23 Q. As far as I understand it, they were some sort of foreign
24 mercenaries; right? They were foreign mercenaries; is that right?
25 A. Well, when the military policemen came to that -- the stable,
1 they would say that two mercenaries -- two Croatian mercenaries had
2 arrived, which means on the one hand we have this piece of information
3 and, on the other, that other information.
4 Q. But the commander of the Croatian Guards -- National Guards and
5 that group of ZNGs who were in the prison, the commander was a man named
6 Grizbauer; is that right?
7 A. Grizbaum or Grizbauer, yes, that's right.
8 Q. Tell me, what unit of the ZNG was it? Do you know? What ZNG
9 unit was it?
10 A. I don't know what unit, what the unit's name was. All I do know
11 is that they were from around Bileca.
12 Q. And do you know what part of the front they were captured on?
13 A. They said that they had taken part on an attack on a border hut
14 somewhere and that they were surrounded and captured.
15 Q. So they attacked a military border hut, is that it?
16 A. Yes, that's what was said, that they had gone into action, into
18 Q. And they said that somebody had betrayed them and that when they
19 arrived they were surrounded -- found themselves surrounded and captured.
20 A. Yes. How else would I know that?
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you should have in mind you have five
22 minutes left now.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I understood it, Mr. May,
24 that I began after half past 9.00. But I am sure you have more precise
25 evidence. But I'll hurry along.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. So that was the battlefront that they were captured on, and an
3 ambush -- you say they were betrayed, that nobody shot at them, that they
4 were captured during an ambush and arrested; is that right?
5 A. Yes. I'm saying what I remember them having told me or having
6 heard about the incident. Dogs were used to hunt them down, and one of
7 the men was bitten by one of the dogs.
8 Q. Well, the frontier guards always have dogs with them. That's
9 common knowledge.
10 A. Well, yes.
11 Q. Now, although you refer to this as a concentration camp, the
12 prison in which the members of the National Guards Corps were
13 incarcerated, that you nonetheless had medical care there, did you?
14 A. All I saw was a lady passing by wearing civilian clothes but a
15 white coat over her clothes. She wasn't from the army. That's what I
16 say. But later on there was a doctor in camp that was there with us, and
17 I assume they knew who he was. But that medical care was very scant. All
18 it meant was the bandaging of wounds, like that man who had been bitten by
19 the guard dogs, and perhaps some tranquilisers were handed around. That's
20 all, as far as I know.
21 Q. All right. Now, you wrote to your wife from Begejci and she in
22 fact visited you with your daughter. She came to Begejci to visit you
23 with your daughter; is that right?
24 A. Well, yes, when the Red Cross came. So the Red Cross wrote the
25 letter, not me.
1 Q. All right. But she visited you, together with a cousin - I don't
2 want to read her name out - and she tried to intervene with the warden,
3 prison warden; is that right?
4 A. Yes, that's right, because they didn't know why I was being held
5 there in the first place.
6 Q. And you say she was upset after talking to the warden. Did she
7 tell you why she was upset?
8 A. Not then, but several months later when we were in Hungary.
9 Q. And did she say why she had been so upset?
10 A. She told me that she had learnt that I was the main organiser for
11 the HDZ party in Vojvodina at the time.
12 Q. So that was what they believed. But you were exchanged on the
13 10th of December, 1991 in Bosanski Samac; isn't that right, Mr. 1160?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So how long did you spend in prison altogether and in the -- with
16 the ZNG group?
17 A. I didn't hear the first part of your question.
18 Q. How long did you spend in prison altogether with that group of
19 ZNG members?
20 A. It was a small group of about 20. I was there with some 500
21 civilians from Vukovar and the other places in Eastern Slavonia. Now, you
22 keep insisting upon this group of ZNG members. I don't think it was a
23 very important group of people or a large one.
24 Q. Yes. But you were -- an indictment was never raised against you
25 in Yugoslavia, nor were you found guilty of anything.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No, I don't remember, except for traffic misdemeanours, traffic
3 Q. And when did you last stay in Yugoslavia, actually? When were
4 you last there?
5 A. What did you say? When was I in ...?
6 Q. When were you in Yugoslavia last?
7 A. In Yugoslavia. I see. Well, Yugoslavia, it's not called that
8 any more, is it? So I don't know which Yugoslavia you mean.
9 Q. All right. Tell me this: After the war, did you continue to
10 live in Novi Sad or did you go elsewhere? Did you stay with your wife,
11 who is a native of Novi Sad, to live in Novi Sad or did you go anywhere
13 A. To Zagreb.
14 Q. So you didn't return to the area after that, did you, at any
16 A. I was there recently.
17 Q. Recently?
18 A. Yes, recently, on business.
19 Q. Were you there after 1991 -- or rather, when were you there first
20 after 1991, after the events we discussed?
21 A. I was in Pozarevac with some people -- with a band, playing with
22 a band.
23 Q. When was that?
24 A. Three years ago, three and a half years ago. I'm not quite sure.
25 We were invited by the radio.
1 Q. To play on the radio?
2 A. No. We were called by Radio Pozarevac to play there.
3 Q. What year was that?
4 A. Well, I said; three years ago roughly.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic or Mr. Kay, do you have any questions?
6 MR. KAY: Your Honour, if some copying is done, it will be much
7 quicker for this witness after the break.
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
9 MR. KAY: Five minutes.
10 JUDGE MAY: You know what the copying is, do you?
11 MR. KAY: Yes, I have it here, but mine has been written on by me
12 and it's probably better to have clean copies.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn for twenty minutes.
14 Witness C-1160, we're just going to adjourn for 20 minutes.
15 Could you remember not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's
16 over, and that does include the members of the Prosecution.
17 Twenty minutes, please.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
21 MR. KAY: Your Honours, during the break, a copy of a -- an
22 additional statement was provided for Your Honours and the court.
23 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
24 Q. Witness, I'd like you to look at the statement which is going to
25 be produced for you. Have you got it in your hand? Can you see it's a
1 statement in your name? Don't mention your name. Can you see that?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. Can you tell us, first of all, when you made that statement?
4 A. I made that statement after the exchange, maybe some ten days
5 after that.
6 Q. And who did you make that statement to?
7 A. I made that statement in my place of birth to the police.
8 Q. I want you to look at some of the details of this statement.
9 First of all, in the first paragraph you can see that it states you were
10 arrested by the police in Vojvodina. Is that right?
11 A. Two policemen were in civilian clothes who approached the car.
12 Policemen or milicija.
13 Q. And that particular place, I think you've told us, is Titov
14 Vrbas. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And when you refer to a provisional SUP, is it the SUP in Titov
17 Vrbas where you were taken?
18 A. I'm referring to the provincial SUP of Novi Sad. That's how it
19 was called. That was the full name of it.
20 Q. When we look at this statement, it says that you were taken to
21 the provincial SUP.
22 A. From the SUP in Titov Vrbas, I was driven by car, as I have said,
23 two of us, and then two men in civilian clothes, the driver and the
24 co-driver with the pistol, and a third man in uniform was driving my car.
25 Q. When we've looked at your statement that was produced before the
1 court, we can see on page 2 of it, at paragraph 10 that when you were
2 taken home, you were ordered to return at 7.00 in the following morning.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is your evidence, then, that they left you alone with your family
5 for that period of time at your home and that you returned voluntarily to
6 the SUP some hours later?
7 A. All my things stayed behind in the SUP, my documents, the
8 documents of my firm, my personal documents, and the car with advertising
9 products, samples. So I couldn't do but go back. There was no other
10 thing I could do but go back.
11 Q. In the statement before the court, it says in paragraph 7 that
12 you were in that station, meaning the police station, and then you were
13 driven to the SUP office in Novi Sad. That indicates that you were at two
14 separate police stations, doesn't it, before you were transferred to the
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. If we look at that other statement that I've put before you just
18 a moment ago, at line 14 it says in that statement that you went from the
19 provincial SUP to Paragovo.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In that statement, there's no mention of you being in the police
22 station at Novi Sad at all.
23 A. I made a distinction. In Titov Vrbas the police station -- the
24 SUP, I was taken there, and then the other one I called the provincial
25 SUP, the one in Novi Sad.
1 Q. In that statement, then, you refer to the provincial SUP but you
2 don't refer to the police station at Titov Vrbas.
3 A. That statement was made -- I was just recounting the events as I
4 knew them. It was a statement -- it was no special statement. Maybe I
5 didn't understand your question.
6 Q. I'm asking you about this other statement that wasn't exhibited
7 before the court, and in that statement it doesn't make a distinction
8 between a police station at Titov Vrbas nor a police station at Novi Sad.
9 A. As far as I can remember, I didn't sign this statement, so I
10 didn't read it. The man was writing it while I was talking, and that is
11 probably why that is not indicated. But I'm sure that I said it.
12 Q. The man who took the statement, what was his job?
13 A. He was a policeman or an inspector or something like that.
14 Q. And was he there to listen to you and write down what you had to
16 A. I think that it went as follows: After my return from the camp,
17 it was stated that I should go and make a statement. I reported to a
18 police station, people who were responsible for this, and I made that
19 statement over there. It wasn't an investigator, or at least I didn't see
20 it as being an investigation of any kind. And I don't know whether that
21 man was a professional or whether he was just acting as a police officer.
22 Q. Would it be fair to say, though, that you knew it was important
23 as to why you were giving a statement about what had happened to you from
24 the 5th of November, 1991?
25 A. No. It was my friend who encouraged me to do that, because they
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 knew what had happened to me. No one asked me to come and make that
2 statement. I didn't receive any particular call-up or summons to make
3 that statement.
4 Q. One other matter: If we look at paragraph 18 of the statement --
5 the main statement that was exhibited. I appreciate that on the 15th of
6 September you made a correction to the line that says, "To this day I
7 still don't know where they took me."
8 A. I'm afraid I can't find my way. I don't know what exactly you're
9 referring to. The 18th?
10 Q. If you look at paragraph 18 of the statement, where you say, "The
11 questioning went on until around 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then, "They put me in an unmarked car and drove to an army
14 barracks about 30 minutes away. To this day I still don't know where they
15 took me."
16 A. The statement that I made, I think it was three years ago, I
17 didn't prepare myself for it nor did I give detailed thought to things - I
18 thought it would follow a normal course - and just then I couldn't
19 remember the barracks I was taken to. That is why the correction was made
21 Q. In that statement that we see that I've produced this morning, it
22 names the place as being Paragovo; is that right?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. Are you telling the Court that you couldn't remember that place
25 when you made the statement on two dates of interview in June of the year
2 A. That statement was left like that. I don't remember that we made
3 any corrections. I probably just omitted to do that. And I don't even
4 know whether during those two days I knew.
5 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
6 MS. BAUER: Your Honours, no re-examination.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay, it won't matter to you whether you --
8 MR. KAY: I didn't really want --
9 JUDGE MAY: It's not for you to say put it in or not, but since
10 there have been questions about it, it may be appropriate to put it in.
11 It may be most convenient, really, if it could be attached to Exhibit 542.
12 There's also an addendum and a sketch plan, and it would seem appropriate
13 if we could attach, Ms. Bauer, I should think, this statement to the -- to
14 the MUP.
15 MS. BAUER: Yes, Your Honours. We don't have any objections.
16 And if we please could just redact the personal details of the witness for
17 the public version. That's all.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course. Yes.
19 Witness C-1160, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for
20 coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go, but
21 could you just wait while the blinds are drawn down.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, the next witness is the
24 witness Marko Knezic. He does not have any protective measures. And he
25 will actually speak about a region which is on page 37 of the atlas
1 Exhibit 336, the village Slano, north-west of Dubrovnik at the coast, and
2 Bileca, above Trebinje.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would take the declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: MARKO KNEZIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
12 Q. Sir, please state your name.
13 A. Marko Knezic.
14 Q. Mr. Knezic, you gave a statement to an investigator of the OTP in
15 the year 2000. Did you review and confirm your statement in a proceeding
16 in front of a court officer in June this year?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, the Prosecution would like to
19 tender the 92 bis package for this witness. It's the statement, the
20 proceeding, and also the attachment -- attachments to that previous
22 THE REGISTRAR: 543, Your Honour.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I will now read the summary
24 for the witness and just ask a very few questions.
25 Mr. Knezic was 39 years old at the time of the events. He is
1 from the village of Slano, north of Dubrovnik. Slano had a population of
2 450 to 500 people, mostly Croats.
3 When the events in Vukovar got known and the people in the region
4 felt insecure in the middle of 1991, a crisis committee was formed in
5 Slano. The crisis committee worked in coordination with the local police.
6 The witness participated in the village defence. The village defence had
7 very few weapons, namely hunting rifles. They guarded the communication
8 system, water supply, post office, and the like.
9 On the 3rd of October, 1991, the JNA started shelling Slano and
10 its surroundings. The crisis committee of Slano directed the inhabitants,
11 especially elderly, women, and children, to leave the village. By 4th of
12 October, 1991, only about 30 people remained in Slano.
13 Q. Mr. Knezic, I have just a few questions. This crisis committee
14 in Slano, was it a civilian body or a military body?
15 A. It was a civilian body.
16 Q. And the policemen they cooperated with, were they the regular
17 civilian police or was it special police from elsewhere?
18 A. It was the regular police.
19 Q. Before the attack, did the population get any warning from the
21 A. No, it didn't receive any warning.
22 Q. Were the villagers ever requested to surrender their village or
23 to surrender weapons to the JNA?
24 A. No. I never heard any such thing.
25 Q. Did the villagers do anything that could have caused the attack
1 of the JNA?
2 A. No, they didn't.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: On the 4th of October, 1991, the JNA
4 attacked Slano with artillery and infantry. The soldiers were wearing SMB
5 uniforms with a red star on the caps. In addition, paramilitary soldiers
6 took part in the attack.
7 The witness, who had not been able to flee when the attack
8 commenced, spent two months in hiding in the rocks above his house,
9 together with his father and a neighbour. From this place where he was
10 hiding, the witness would see JNA and paramilitary soldiers burning the
11 houses and looting them.
12 The father of the witness was captured on the 1st of December,
13 1991, while the witness, along with his neighbour, surrendered to JNA
14 soldiers from the Uzice Corps on the 4th of December that same year. The
15 witness and his neighbour were mistreated during this surrender. The
16 witness was wounded on his head.
17 On the next day, the 5th of December, the witness was taken to
18 the Bileca prison camp. This prison was first run by the JNA Uzice Corps
19 and later by the JNA Rijeka Corps. The witness was taken to a room,
20 Catacomb, as the prisoners used to call it, and he was chained, together
21 with his neighbour. And a soldier from Uzice came to the room and kicked
22 the witness with his boot and broke his left rib.
23 The next day, the witness was taken to another small room, where
24 he was interrogated by several -- several times by regular JNA officers.
25 He and the other two detainees in that room were hit during -- and beaten
1 during the interrogations.
2 Subsequently, the witness was detained in two different rooms,
3 together with 30 detainees and 50 detainees respectively. Both rooms were
4 overcrowded. The quantity of food in Bileca prison was inadequate. The
5 hygienic conditions were very bad. The prisoners were psychologically and
6 physically mistreated and humiliated in different ways. They were forced
7 to work.
8 On the 23rd of May, 1992, along with 90 to 100 other detainees,
9 the witness was taken to Morinj in Montenegro in JNA buses. The living
10 conditions in Morinj camp regarding food and hygiene were worse than in
11 Bileca. The psychological and physical mistreatment continued. Although
12 beating was a routine, the detainees were particularly beaten on the 13th
13 of June, 1992. On that day two ribs of the witness were broken. Along
14 with 20 other detainees, the witness was exchanged on the 2nd of July,
16 Q. Mr. Knezic, while you were detained in Bileca or Morinj, were you
17 ever charged with a specific offence or even tried?
18 A. I was not charged, and I was not tried.
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, this concludes the
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
22 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Knezic, in paragraph 4 of your statement,
25 you said that you started feeling tensions growing in your region and in
1 your village Slano that you started to organise the defence; is that
3 A. Yes. In our village, at that time a Crisis Staff had been
4 organised. I've already said that. People who organised the defence of
5 the village protected various facilities, anything that had to do with the
7 Q. And tell me, Mr. Knezevic [as interpreted], what were these
8 tensions that were on the rise in your village? What was going on in your
9 village at the time? What led to this rise in tensions?
10 A. We were informed by way of the media about attacks against
11 Vukovar. We saw that something unusual was going on in our homeland,
13 Q. All right. So that means that you started organising yourselves,
14 in terms of a defence, before anything happened within your village or in
15 its vicinity.
16 A. The organisation boiled down to guarding water sources and power
17 facilities. No action was taken which would have jeopardised anyone.
18 Q. I understand that, but were you threatened by anything at the
20 A. I do not understand this question.
21 Q. Well, in this region of Dubrovnik, including Slano, absolutely
22 nothing was going on at the time, except that, as you put it, you had
23 organised yourselves to guard economic facilities and other things that
24 you referred to.
25 A. I've already said we did that. We didn't do anything else.
1 Q. When you started organising yourselves in Slano, did you do this
2 on orders that you received from the Crisis Staff in Dubrovnik?
3 A. No. This was the Crisis Staff of Slano. I don't know anything
4 about connections between the Crisis Staff in Slano and the Crisis Staff
5 in Dubrovnik.
6 Q. Do you know whether anybody had ordered Slano, to put it that way
7 - not to mention Dubrovnik or other towns - to start organising these
8 units that are supposed to guard the village or town in any way? Do you
9 know who launched this initiative? Because absolutely nothing was going
10 on in your region at the time.
11 A. These were not any special kind of units. These were just local
12 people wearing civilian clothes. Their duty was to guard the water supply
13 or the power facilities, like transmission stations and so on.
14 Q. All right. But as you say in paragraph 4 of your statement,
15 local crisis committees were formed in order to deal with the looming
17 A. I don't know where I said that.
18 Q. Since you are testifying on the basis of this Rule, according to
19 which there is no live testimony, I am speaking only on the basis of your
20 written statement. You say, "Local crisis committees were formed." This
21 is in the middle of paragraph 4 of your statement. "Local crisis -- to
22 combat the impending danger, local crisis committees were formed." So
23 it's not that I'm construing anything. I'm just asking you about what you
24 stated in your own statement.
25 A. I was not a member of the crisis committee. I was just supposed
1 to do what I had been ordered to do.
2 Q. All right. But you are referring to some impending danger,
3 something that was not in place there and then, but you were expecting
4 some kind of danger, weren't you?
5 A. Well, I wasn't the one who decided about that. There was the
6 Crisis Staff. I was not a member of the Crisis Staff or the local crisis
7 committee, whatever.
8 Q. However, the time when you started organising these local crisis
9 committees there was actually no danger; isn't that correct at least?
10 A. I don't know anything about that.
11 Q. You know the time when this was established, because you refer to
12 it in your statement. You talk about impending danger, and you know that
13 there was no danger there at the time. There was nothing going on. Is
14 that right or is that not right, Mr. Knezic?
15 A. Well, things were happening in Vukovar, and that was probably the
16 main reason why the organisation of the crisis committee was embarked
18 Q. All right. Did this local crisis committee work in accordance
19 with guidelines provided by the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia; is
20 that right?
21 A. Well, as you can see in the statement, it says that "The local
22 crisis committee received instructions from Dubrovnik." But I was not a
23 member of the crisis committee, so I cannot answer that.
24 Q. I understand. But you wrote in this statement that the local
25 crisis committee was receiving instructions from Dubrovnik.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I asked you about this a short while ago, and you said you did
3 not know about that and that you organised yourselves on your own and that
4 you did not have any connections with Dubrovnik; whereas, in your
5 statement you say that you were given instructions by Dubrovnik.
6 A. Yes, as it was put here, the local crisis committee. I was just
7 supposed to carry out what the local crisis committee had told me to do.
8 Q. But you received orders from Dubrovnik.
9 A. The local crisis committee.
10 Q. And what kind of orders were these? What did they pertain to?
11 A. I cannot speak about that. I was not a member of the crisis
12 committee. I can only say that I did what the crisis committee told me to
14 Q. So what did they tell you to do, the crisis committee?
15 A. Within a given period of time, I was, for example, supposed to
16 guard the water supply that is right above the village.
17 Q. All right. What kind of weapons did you have then, when you were
18 guarding this water supply?
19 A. I specifically did not have any weapons.
20 Q. And who had weapons?
21 A. Somebody who was in the group. Well, perhaps one hunting rifle.
22 Q. All right, Mr. Knezevic [as interpreted], you say that the
23 situation worsened. And as the situation worsened, your Crisis Staff
24 started reaching decisions on its own, at its own initiative. Is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You say that they had hunting rifles only.
3 A. Yes, that's what I saw.
4 Q. And members of the Territorial Defence joined these crisis
5 committees and they defended the villages; is that right? That is what
6 you say.
7 A. Yes. But they didn't have any weapons.
8 Q. So all of them defended the village unarmed.
9 A. I've already said that there was a certain number of hunting
10 rifles and that's the only thing that I saw.
11 Q. All right. Were the villages attacked and were you defending
12 them therefore, since you say the villages were being defended? So had
13 they been attacked before that?
14 A. They had been attacked on the 3rd and 4th of October, 1991.
15 Q. As you had put it yourself, the JNA was predominant, in terms of
16 manpower and the equipment it had; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. However, you managed to defend your villages.
19 A. No, we did not defend our village.
20 Q. But did you defend it in the first place?
21 A. I think an attempt was made to defend it, but it could not
22 ultimately be defended.
23 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Knezic, that from the Dubrovnik Crisis Staff
24 and the ZNG you got orders to attack JNA members whenever possible and
25 wherever possible, those who were retreating from the area? From that
1 area, Northern Dalmatia and ...?
2 A. I have not heard of such an order.
3 Q. You have not heard of any such thing?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And is it correct that as for the local population, together with
6 them there were members of the National Guards Corps in that area and also
7 some foreign mercenaries?
8 A. I did not see that.
9 Q. Did you hear anything about that?
10 A. No, I did not hear anything about that, and I didn't see
12 Q. Nothing?
13 A. I'm talking about Slano.
14 Q. All right. In paragraph 6 you say that on the 3rd of October,
15 1991 the Bijelo Brdo TV transmitter was destroyed and that is how war
16 started in your area.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Tell me, were there any positions of the ZNG at Bijelo Brdo and
19 was the JNA fired at from there?
20 A. I said that there were no members of the National Guards Corps in
21 my area, and at that position, at the transmitter, the TV repeater at
22 Bijelo Brdo, there wasn't anyone there.
23 Q. There was no one at Bijelo Brdo?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Tell me now, please: You say that the bay of Slano was shelled
1 from sea and from the direction of Popovo Polje; is that right?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Tell me, how many local people from Slano were injured or killed
4 on that occasion?
5 A. One man was killed and a few people were wounded.
6 Q. How did this man get killed?
7 A. By a shell.
8 Q. And tell me, how much was the village actually shelled? So from
9 sea and from Popovo Polje you say it was shelled.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How long did this shelling go on?
12 A. The shelling was carried out throughout the night between the 3rd
13 and the 4th. And every second or third shell that was fired was
15 Q. So there was intensive shelling all night?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And one man got killed. And the population of Slano had not left
18 their homes at that point yet and they hadn't gone to Dubrovnik yet.
19 A. It is already on the 3rd that the inhabitants of Slano started
20 leaving, and they were not retreating towards Dubrovnik but towards the
22 Q. All right. Mr. Knezic, tell me, is it correct that the objective
23 of that attack was not the village of Slano or the civilian population but
24 the positions of what you call the defence of Dubrovnik, from where fire
25 was opened against the members of the JNA?
1 A. I beg your pardon? I don't know what you're talking about now.
2 Q. Well, was the object of the attack of the JNA the positions from
3 which fire was opened against the JNA?
4 A. I don't know that anybody fired from any positions near Slano at
5 the JNA.
6 Q. All right. And you say that the Crisis Staff recommended to the
7 local population to leave Slano.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You say that one man got killed and that there were a few persons
10 who were wounded. However, in the statement you say that there were many
11 persons who were wounded but that you do not remember their names. Is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes. I saw some of the wounded, and I heard about others. I
14 don't remember the names.
15 Q. All right. Slano is a small town, a village. A short while ago
16 you said, when I think Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff mentioned during the brief
17 summary of your statement, that this village has a population of about
18 500. Is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. You're a person from Slano.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You cannot remember a single name of any one of the wounded,
23 including those that you had only heard of? You haven't heard of a single
25 A. For a while - and I've already said that - I was hiding from the
1 shells and from the attack. So then I was not able to see all of these
2 people. Of course, some of the wounded managed to get out towards the
3 west and that was that.
4 Q. Did you see a single wounded person?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Do you know at least the name of that person from your village,
7 that small village of yours?
8 A. Yes, I know.
9 Q. What was his name?
10 A. Goran Bebura [phoen].
11 Q. Did you see any other wounded persons?
12 A. I did see some wounded persons, but it was night-time, so I was
13 not in a position to recognise everyone.
14 Q. Since it was night-time, how did you know that they were wounded?
15 A. Because they were near the medical centre.
16 Q. Do you draw this conclusion that they were wounded because they
17 were close to the medical centre?
18 A. They were being treated by a doctor.
19 Q. All right. And in paragraph 8, you say that "The defenders were
20 at the Admiral Hotel"; is that right?
21 A. These were a few persons who, as they were fleeing, tried to put
22 up some resistance, and then they withdrew by boats further on, across the
24 Q. Tell me, please: How long did they offer resistance for? How
25 long did that last? Because you say that they offered resistance and that
1 then they turned towards the sea and got into boats and withdrew. So how
2 long did this resistance last?
3 A. As far as I know, a very short time. Because I wasn't actually
4 there with them.
5 Q. And tell me, please, once they withdrew in boats, did they
6 withdraw to Dubrovnik then?
7 A. As far as I know, they were on their way to Ston.
8 Q. I see, Ston. Now, you say that you didn't manage to pull out and
9 that you had to go into hiding amongst some rocks with your father and a
10 neighbour; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How long were you in hiding for?
13 A. For two months.
14 Q. As long as two months? Well, what did you eat during that time?
15 A. My father would go around collecting food, some tins. And at
16 that time, it was the mandarin season and oranges were ripe and some
17 rose-hips so that was the only food we had.
18 Q. You said that "We spent two months in hiding in those rocks and
19 during that time the three of us had a rifle and three or four bullets,
20 and from our shelter we could see the village. There was no electricity,
21 so we would crawl out at night and take food from our houses, from our
22 homes." That means you went home to get food from your houses. Now you
23 tell us that you went around collecting mandarin oranges round about,
24 which of course is something you might have done. But what you say here
25 is that you actually went home and took food from your own house.
1 A. As there was an electricity -- a power cut, all the freezers and
2 refrigerators stopped working and all the food went bad, so that in some
3 of our houses, the ones that hadn't been set fire to yet, we did
4 nonetheless manage to find a box of biscuits, for example, or some stale
5 bread. Whereas, all the rest of the food that was stored in the
6 refrigerators went bad.
7 Q. Now how is it possible for you to go into the village to take
8 food regardless of whether the food was -- what food you took when you say
9 that the entire village was under occupation? How were you able to do
11 A. Yes, the village was under an occupation. But in the evening
12 hours those who had occupied this settlement would withdraw towards the
13 centre of the village and some of our houses that were located up above
14 the road were accessible to us.
15 Q. Tell me, please, in paragraph 9 you talk about history repeating
16 itself, something of that kind, and you say, "Soon after the occupation of
17 the village, the JNA and the paramilitaries began setting fire to the
18 house and looting, and in 1667 this happened -- those same people attacked
19 the area. The next time was in 1806 and I hope the last time was 1991,"
20 when history seems to have repeated itself. What are you talking about
21 there, Mr. Knezic?
22 A. I'm talking about what I read about in my history books.
23 Q. And you say that in -- that 90 per cent of the houses in Slano
24 were burnt down? Is that your testimony?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was the whole of Slano burnt down then? It no longer remained
3 A. Just a few houses were left standing, yes.
4 Q. You even claim that members of the JNA set fire to an old woman
5 called Ana Strazicic to force her to tell them where she had hidden some
7 A. They didn't set fire to her. What happened was that they lit a
8 fire underneath her bed. She was bed ridden and sick and she lived there
9 with her husband and they wanted to extort money from her.
10 Q. But later on she died a natural death. She was ill and she died
11 of natural causes later on. Is there anybody that can corroborate what
12 you're telling us?
13 A. Yes, her husband, Mirko Strazicic, and my father, Antun Knezic.
14 Q. Well, did the woman die of natural causes?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did anyone harm her on the occasion when you say that this fire
17 was lit or when you say that she was set on fire?
18 A. I did not say they set her on fire. What I said was that they
19 lit a fire underneath her bed to make her frightened.
20 Q. But did anybody harm her? Since you say that they lit a fire
21 underneath her, she must have been hurt.
22 A. I wasn't there, actually.
23 Q. Well, who was there? Which of these people were there?
24 A. Her husband -- her husband was there and my father was there.
25 Q. But you nonetheless say that the woman died of natural causes.
1 A. Yes, later on.
2 Q. Yes, of course, later on. I understand.
3 Now, you also say that they wanted to rape the wife of a
4 fisherman but didn't actually do so.
5 A. I heard about that when I was set free, after I had been
7 Q. How do you know they wanted to? You say they wanted to rape this
8 man's wife but didn't, so what was all this about? What did you actually
9 see and who actually told you that? Because you saw none of it. You just
10 say that somebody told you.
11 A. Well, I say what I heard from the wife's family members, some of
12 her relations, and she stayed in Slano.
13 Q. But nothing happened to the woman, as far as I can see from your
15 A. She wasn't raped, but her husband, who tried to defend her, was
16 shot in his legs from a firearm and was taken for treatment to Montenegro.
17 Q. So he was wounded in Slano, but quite obviously not whilst
18 defending his wife, because he wasn't able to defend her successfully and
19 she wasn't raped either.
20 A. He tried to defend her.
21 Q. And nothing happened to her, although he wasn't successful in his
22 attempt to defend her. Was he perhaps not wounded on some other occasion
23 and not in defence of his wife?
24 A. No, he was defending his wife.
25 Q. But nothing happened to her, did it?
1 A. That means that he did succeed in defending her in some way.
2 Q. All right. If that's your conclusion, then we can move on.
3 Mr. Knezic, in paragraph 13 you mention your father, who was
4 captured in December 1991; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Tell me, please: What happened to him after that? Was he taken
7 to Bileca too or was he released?
8 A. He wasn't taken to Bileca, and neither was he released. He spent
9 the entire time in Mirko Strazicic's house, in a sort of house arrest,
10 under house arrest.
11 Q. So Mirko Strazicic's house is in fact located in Slano, is it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What kind of house arrest? Did anybody tell him he wasn't
14 allowed to leave the house or what?
15 A. He had to have a permit, a pass to go and take food to them,
16 because they were elderly people.
17 Q. Well, did anybody stand guard in front of their house? Was it a
18 sort of prison or what, or was it an ordinary house and he lived in the
19 house of this man Strazicic?
20 A. He always had to be in the house if somebody were to come by to
21 control and see whether he was there. And if he went out for food, he had
22 to have a permit or pass to do so.
23 Q. How often did an inspection come by? Was there a military unit
24 all the time, or would people come and inspect the house from time to
1 A. I think that people came to inspect the house from time to time.
2 Q. All right. Well, there's no sense in me pursuing the point.
3 Tell me now: Three days later, on the 4th of December, in fact,
4 you were arrested, together with a man called Bozo Glumac. And you talk
5 about that in paragraph 13. You say that you were arrested by members of
6 the Uzice Corps; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. While you were being arrested, you had arms on you, didn't you?
9 You had a weapon on you. Isn't that right?
10 A. I had an old army -- no, I apologise. An old hunting rifle
11 belonging to my grandfather.
12 Q. So when you were arrested, you had a rifle on you, did you?
13 A. I said I had an old hunting rifle belonging to my grandfather.
14 Q. All right. Now, tell me, how come you were able to say that it
15 was the Uzice Corps which arrested you?
16 A. The people taking me into custody, capturing me, told me that.
17 Q. And you claim that you learnt about that only when you were taken
18 to Bileca.
19 A. Well, yes, that was the information.
20 Q. So when they brought you to Bileca, did they tell you, "We are
21 members of the Uzice Corps," or what? Did they introduce themselves and
22 tell you what corps they were from? Is that what you're claiming,
23 Mr. Knezic?
24 A. Well, yes, in Bileca I learnt about it being the Uzice Corps.
25 Q. Who from?
1 A. I heard from the guards.
2 Q. All right. In paragraph 14, you say that in the room that you
3 were in -- you were interviewed in, questioned in, a local arrived, a
4 local came into the room by the name of Momcilo Tubic and he pretended he
5 didn't recognise you; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Well, what was he doing there? Was he a member of the Uzice
8 Corps too?
9 A. I don't know what he was doing there.
10 Q. Or was he wearing a uniform?
11 A. I think he was wearing civilian clothes.
12 Q. He was a local, you say, but he was wearing civilian clothes.
13 How could he have gone to a military facility wearing civilian clothes?
14 Why did he come there in the first place?
15 A. Well, I don't know. I can't say.
16 Q. You claim that they gave you food to eat and that was the first
17 time that you had seen bread for the past two months, the two months you
18 spent in hiding; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Well, that means that as soon as you were brought there, they fed
21 you straight away.
22 A. No. I was questioned first, interrogated first.
23 Q. And the very next day, on the 5th of December, you and Glumac
24 were transferred to Bileca; is that it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And together with you, as you say, there was some officer from
2 Trebinje; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So both Trebinje and Bileca are on the territory of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's right, isn't it, Mr. Knezic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know that at the time the Yugoslav People's Army, both on
8 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as on the territory of
9 Croatia, was the regular army, belonging to the state, so an army on its
10 own territory? Are you aware of that?
11 A. I don't understand the question.
12 Q. All this is taking place in 1991; that's right, isn't it,
13 Mr. Knezic?
14 A. Yes, 1991.
15 Q. Now, you are saying you were arrested by members of JNA and taken
16 to Bileca and Trebinje. You were in Trebinje, Bileca and Slano. Now, at
17 that time - and the period is 1991 - was the JNA the sole regular army on
18 the territory of the former Yugoslavia or was there some other army there?
19 A. I don't know about any other army, and I don't know why the JNA
20 was supposed to attack Slano.
21 Q. I'm not going into that. I really don't know about that. What
22 I'm trying to do is to learn what you know about and what you're
23 testifying about. So tell me, Mr. Knezevic [as interpreted], you were not
24 a member of the Croatian National Guards Corps, were you?
25 A. No, I was not.
1 Q. But at the point of your arrest, you had a weapon on you, and it
2 was considered that you had taken part in the attacks on the JNA; is that
4 A. I didn't attack anybody. I didn't fire a single bullet. And I'm
5 not a hunter either, so I don't really know how to load a rifle either.
6 Q. Well, the men who captured you couldn't have known that. They
7 came across you with a weapon and they assumed, I suppose --
8 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, the witness can't possibly answer
9 what was in the minds of those who arrested him.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I assume he can answer this
11 question: What does he think? Why was he sent to this collection centre
12 in Bileca? In what capacity? He was arrested bearing arms.
13 JUDGE MAY: He can't answer for what somebody might have thought
14 or somebody else's reasoning. But he can be asked this:
15 Did they -- when they arrested you, Mr. Knezic, did they tell you
16 why they were arresting you and why they were taking you to these camps?
17 Did they say anything to explain that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nobody explained anything to me.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Very well, Mr. Knezic. Now, upon arrival in Bileca, as you
21 yourself say, a certain man called Ivan Tanovic introduced himself and
22 told you he was from Uzice on the occasion. Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was he a soldier, an officer, a man wearing a uniform, a member
25 of the JNA?
1 A. Yes, he was a soldier.
2 Q. Well, is it true that he said that he was from Uzice, not that he
3 was actually a member of the Uzice Corps that, he was from Uzice, that he
4 was born in Uzice, that that was his native town?
5 A. Yes. And his nickname was Ivan of Uzice, "od Uzice."
6 Q. And what was he wearing?
7 A. A military uniform.
8 Q. He was a soldier. He didn't have a rank of any kind, did he?
9 A. I didn't see him with a rank insignia. When he came up and he
10 broke my ribs, I wasn't able to see anything.
11 Q. So that means the man beat you, did he?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did he beat anybody else?
14 A. Yes. But I didn't see at all, because there were just the two of
15 us in that room.
16 Q. All right. Now, you say that over the next few days members of
17 the JNA interrogated you and they mistreated you.
18 A. Yes, I was interrogated.
19 Q. What did they question you about? Can you remember?
20 A. I can't really remember very well, but I think the interrogations
21 were linked to the defence of the locality.
22 Q. Did they ask you about a National Guards Corps unit, the number
23 of soldiers this unit had and questions along those lines?
24 A. I said that in my village there was no National Guards Corps
25 unit, and I think they knew that, so they didn't have to put any such
1 questions to me.
2 Q. Well, what, then, did they ask you? As you are talking about an
3 interrogation, what did they ask you?
4 A. I think I've already answered that question.
5 Q. All right. I won't insist. Can't you remember what they asked
6 you about?
7 Tell me, then: Do you remember seeing the nickname of one of
8 those men? And you say that his name was Biga. Where is that man from?
9 A. I don't know where he's from.
10 Q. You claim that he was a JNA captain.
11 A. Yes, because he had such a rank insignia on his uniform.
12 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, you say that he was wearing an SMB
13 uniform. Is that why you claim that he was a JNA member? And a captain
14 by rank?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you as a member of the reserve force of the JNA have a
17 similar uniform at home?
18 A. I didn't have any uniforms at home.
19 Q. Did anyone else have them in Slano?
20 A. I didn't see them. I think that no one had any uniforms.
21 Q. Now, these guards who beat you, that you say mistreated you at
22 night, were they also JNA members?
23 A. Yes. They were guards in the camp in Bileca.
24 Q. But you claim that there were guards who treated you like human
25 beings, as you put it, treated you decently. I see that you keep checking
1 through your statement. I do assume that you do recollect some of these
3 A. Yes. I remember very well all the mistreatment that I was
4 subjected to for a total of 212 days in two camps. And for that reason I
5 can't sleep well. I find it difficult to concentrate. And I am -- I am
6 not very good at fulfilling my responsibilities. I have a wife and three
7 children at home. I was taken to two camps for absolutely no reason, and
8 I repeat, I spent 212 days there absolutely for no reason.
9 Q. Tell me, Mr. Knezic, please, did an officer of the JNA ever beat
10 you or mistreat you?
11 A. Mistreatment doesn't merely imply beating. Mistreatment also
12 includes psychological mistreatment, which it is very difficult to stand.
13 To be more specific, during my stay in two camps, I went seven times to be
14 exchanged. We were promised that we would be exchanged in three or four
15 days, and this was a mere lie, and it was only on the seventh occasion
16 that at an exchange which was not an exchange, on the 2nd of July, 1992 in
17 Cavtat, I was released - I can call it that - from the camp in Morinj.
18 Q. You were released in Cavtat, and this was not an exchange, was
20 A. As far as I was able to gather, our exchange had been prepared
21 for the 5th of May that year, but it didn't take place and I didn't see
22 anyone moving from Brod to the buses that we were brought there in.
23 Q. You were released without an exchange.
24 A. I don't know what the arrangement was. I just know that this was
25 on the 212th day of my detention in two camps, without any reasons.
1 Q. I am very sorry, Mr. Knezic, that this happened to you. I'm just
2 asking you questions to establish the facts. So if no officer ever beat
3 you and there were guards who treated you decently, can you claim that
4 those who beat you received orders from a higher place to beat you,
5 whether they be JNA or from someone else, or was it just arbitrary
6 behaviour by individuals?
7 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't say whether the men had orders
8 unless they said something to him.
9 Did anybody say whether they'd been ordered to beat you or not,
10 Mr. Knezic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. But I do know
12 that beatings were a daily occurrence, and they would wake us up at night.
13 Again for no reason we would be beaten. And while being beaten, we had to
14 hold our hands behind our heads and look down at the floor. So we
15 couldn't always know who was beating us.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And on the 23rd of June, 1992, you were transferred to Morinj in
18 the territory of Montenegro; is that right?
19 A. I think that's not the right date. I think it was the -- the
20 23rd of May.
21 Q. I see, in May. And you say that in Morinj too you were beaten.
22 Do you know who were the guards who beat you there?
23 A. I said that whenever we moved around, we had to look down, look
24 at the floor. Our hands had to be behind our heads, and none of us dared
25 to look at who was beating us.
1 Q. I understand that. But tell me, please: You do distinguish
2 between the people who beat you and those who treated you decently. So
3 could you at least tell us who were the people who treated you decently?
4 Because I assume they would not prevent you from looking at them if these
5 others who beat you would not let you look at them.
6 A. Regardless who was with us in a particular area or room, we had
7 to look down. This was humiliating. We didn't know who was beating us.
8 But in most cases they must have been the prison guards. I just know that
9 especially in Morinj - I don't know his name - there was a young man who
10 told us a little about what was happening outside, because throughout that
11 time we were in total isolation in terms of information. We had no
13 Q. In paragraph 39, you say that on the 13th of June, 1992 a certain
14 Gligic tortured you and beat you in Morinj. He was wearing a JNA uniform,
15 but you say he was not a member of the army. Is that right?
16 A. With regard to him, they said that he was a reservist.
17 Q. You say, "He was wearing an SMB uniform, greyish-olive-green, but
18 I'm sure he was not a regular member of the JNA." You go on to say that
19 "He was much older than the regular soldiers and this was confirmed to us
20 by the prison guards as well."
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You yourself say that you never saw a single JNA officer issuing
23 orders to a soldier, a reservist, or a guard to beat the prisoners, is
24 that right, but you assume that they had their permission to do that. Is
25 that right, Mr. Knezic?
1 A. I think it is logical for a soldier to carry out orders.
2 JUDGE MAY: It's time now for the adjournment.
3 Mr. Milosevic, there will be ten minutes more for your
4 cross-examination, if you require it.
5 Mr. Knezic, could I please remind you not to speak to anybody
6 about your evidence until it's over, and that does include the members of
7 the Prosecution. Could you be back in 20 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Knezic, did I understand you correctly that this mistreatment
13 that you described took place at night?
14 A. There was mistreatment by day and by night.
15 Q. But you never saw a single JNA officer giving orders to a soldier
16 to mistreat people, so I -- surely you know that that is a crime, to
17 mistreat prisoners of war.
18 A. I don't know how I could have been a prisoner of war.
19 Q. Well, that is probably how they treated you, because they
20 arrested you with a weapon on you. I'm just assuming. I'm not claiming
22 A. I didn't have a weapon in my hand.
23 Q. A moment ago you said you did. But that doesn't change anything
24 regarding these explanations.
25 A. I didn't say that I had a weapon on me.
1 Q. But you said you were arrested with a rifle that was your
3 A. Yes, that's true. But I didn't have the weapon in my hand. It
4 was hidden away so as not to get wet from the rain.
5 Q. Did you ever learn whether there were any proceedings against any
6 person who mistreated you or anyone else, a criminal or any other kind of
7 proceedings against such persons?
8 A. Yes. I heard regarding the commander of the Bileca camp, Branko
10 Q. If proceedings were instituted against the commander, I assume
11 you must have heard that similar proceedings were instituted against other
12 perpetrators of such impermissible acts. Did you hear anything about
14 A. I did not.
15 Q. You just mentioned, according to your own knowledge - and I
16 cannot be privy to that knowledge - you mentioned one of the camp
17 commanders. What was the name of the other camp commander in Morinj?
18 A. I never learnt that.
19 Q. As far as I was able to see from what you wrote here, you
20 mentioned that the commander of the camp in Bileca was Miodrag Nikolic,
21 and now you mentioned a different name of the commander, saying that
22 proceedings were instituted against him.
23 JUDGE MAY: To what --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we got there --
25 JUDGE MAY: Let's see what the point the accused is trying to
2 He's mentioned one name in his evidence. Are you putting another
3 name to him now, Mr. Milosevic?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am pointing to his testimony, in
5 which -- in his statement, in which he mentioned the name Miodrag Nikolic.
6 I'm not saying anything other than what I find in the statement.
7 JUDGE MAY: Which paragraph is that?
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thirty-five, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
10 Yes. Well, Mr. Knezic, the point that's made is that you
11 mentioned two names -- you've now mentioned two names as the commander at
12 Bileca. Can you assist us as to how that comes about?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when I got there,
14 there was the Uzice Corps, and he was replaced -- the corps -- that corps
15 was replaced by the Rijeka Corps. And this mentioned Branko Ljubisic is
16 from the Rijeka Corps.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
18 Q. Regarding this Ljubisic, it is known that he was called to
19 account for what happened there. As for Nikolic, you don't know anything
20 about him.
21 A. No, I don't know anything about Nikolic.
22 Q. While Nikolic was in command, was there mistreatment of prisoners
23 as well?
24 A. Yes, there was.
25 Q. Apart from this one person that you heard was called to account,
1 do you know of anyone else being prosecuted?
2 A. I don't.
3 Q. Very well, Mr. Knezic. While you were either in Bileca or in
4 Morinj or in both, did any representative of the Red Cross come and visit
6 A. Yes. On several occasions, representatives of the International
7 Red Cross did visit us.
8 Q. If you were so badly mistreated, as you say, did you pass on that
9 information to representatives of the International Red Cross?
10 A. People were afraid to tell them anything, because they were in
11 fear and they feared further mistreatment, and it was also possible for a
12 man to have a sandbag and then be beaten and then no traces are left.
13 Q. Does that mean that when you spoke to representatives of the
14 International Red Cross you had no visible traces of mistreatment on you?
15 A. A broken rib cannot be shown to anyone. It is only visible under
16 an x-ray.
17 Q. Tell me, the other prisoners, did they have any traces of
18 mistreatment? Because you say that the International Red Cross visited
19 you several times. So surely they must have noticed traces of
21 A. Psychological mistreatment in particular are not so clearly
23 Q. I'm not asking you about psychological mistreatment. Of course,
24 the very fact that one is in prison is psychological mistreatment. But
25 I'm asking you about physical mistreatment. And due to several visits by
1 the International Red Cross, I'm asking you whether they noticed any
2 traces of that physical mistreatment on the prisoners.
3 A. Perhaps you should ask them.
4 Q. So you didn't complain to any one of them, did you, you yourself?
5 A. We were all afraid to complain of anything.
6 Q. So no one complained. And apart from the Red Cross, were there
7 any physicians in either of the camps?
8 A. Only once did I see a doctor, in Bileca.
9 Q. Did that doctor intervene in relation to you or to someone else,
10 and in what -- under what circumstances? Did he examine you, this doctor?
11 A. He just brought some pills that the men needed.
12 Q. Were you able, according to the rules in the camp, to ask? Could
13 you ask to see a doctor?
14 A. I don't know what kind of rules you're referring to.
15 Q. Did any one of those people who were responsible for you in the
16 camp say that there was the possibility for you to see a doctor if you
17 needed medical treatment?
18 A. I never heard of any such thing.
19 Q. Then how did this doctor bring pills to some of the men who
20 needed them if nobody had requested medical assistance? Did he do it just
21 like that, or did you just see it happen?
22 A. I saw this only once. He came. He asked whether anybody needed
23 some kind of pills. Later on he brought them, and that was that.
24 Q. All right. In addition to the International Red Cross, did any
25 other humanitarian organisation have a representative of theirs come and
1 see you? Anybody outside the camp?
2 A. I know that during the first and second visit of the
3 International Red Cross I had been hidden. It was only during their third
4 visit that I was registered.
5 Q. And how many --
6 JUDGE MAY: You must bring this to a close, please. But you can
7 ask two more questions.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. What was the total number of visits of this International Red
10 Cross to Bileca and Morinj, as far as you know?
11 A. I think that the visits were on average once a month.
12 Q. That means during this time there had to have been at least seven
13 visits, if it were once a month.
14 A. I said "on average," so it could have been even less.
15 Q. All right. Did anybody receive a visitor? Did any relatives,
16 friends come and visit the prisoners there, anybody, any one of the
17 prisoners who were there in the camp?
18 A. I did not receive any visits, and I did not hear of anybody else
19 receiving any visitors.
20 Q. All right, Mr. Knezic. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
22 MR. KAY: We have no questions, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff --
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, there --
25 JUDGE MAY: There is attached to the statement the photograph of
1 the witness's house, I see.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. And it was burnt.
3 And I have only -- and attached are also some medical records,
4 but they refer to the psychological result --
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: -- of the detention.
7 JUDGE MAY: Various psychological reports. We've seen those.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. And I have only one question to
9 clarify one matter.
10 Re-examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
11 Q. Mr. Milosevic inquired about the hunting rifle of your
12 grandfather. When you surrendered to the -- to the Uzice Corps, to the
13 soldiers, did you have that hunting rifle with you and did you hand it
15 A. The hunting rifle, as I said, was near the rock where I was
16 hiding with my father and my neighbour. There was no ammunition in it.
17 It was not used. And the soldiers who took me prisoner took it
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No further questions, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Knezic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for coming
22 to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE MAY: There'll be a few minutes to arrange the voice
1 distortion for the next witness.
2 Are there any administrative matters meanwhile,
3 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff?
4 Ms. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Not -- not that I know of.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] According to what I have here now,
9 the next witness is not a protected witness. Is the list I have wrong?
10 JUDGE MAY: Well, if you have the witness -- the witness list I
11 think of the 9th of September - I could be wrong about the date - but the
12 one that I have most certainly has the next witness as a protected
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a lady with a name and
15 surname here. Now, let me take a look.
16 JUDGE MAY: I think you'll find she's protected.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would like to take the declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: WITNESS C-1164
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like take a seat.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
1 Ms. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you.
2 Examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
3 Q. Madam, in front of you is a sheet of paper. Is there your name
4 on it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You gave a statement to an investigator of the Office of the
7 Prosecutor in the year 2000. Did you have an opportunity to read and
8 confirm this statement, with some additions, in a proceeding in front of a
9 court officer during your stay here in The Hague?
10 A. Yes.
11 Ms. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the Prosecution would like to
12 tender the 92 bis statement of the witness.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the pseudonym sheet will be 544
14 under seal, and the statement will be 545 under seal.
15 Ms. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I will now read the summary.
16 The witness is a Croatian female. She was a resident of Vukovar
17 during the events. Beginning of July 1991, the JNA started shelling
18 Vukovar. From the 25th of August, 1991 onwards, Vukovar was surrounded
19 from all sides. The shelling intensified and the witness and six other
20 civilians took shelter in the basement of a house until the 16th of
21 September, 1991.
22 The group ventured outside on the 16th of September and
23 encountered 10 to 15 men, JNA reservists from Vukovar and elsewhere.
24 These soldiers forced them back into the house. All the while, the
25 witness could hear people screaming, crying, and a lot of shooting.
1 From the 16th of September until the 12th of October, 1991, the
2 witness and about ten other Croatian civilians were detained in different
3 Serb houses, guarded by JNA reservists. They had to put a white ribbon on
4 their arms. One of the houses was a kind of headquarters for the
5 soldiers. During their detention, the witness and the other detainees,
6 most of them women and children, were interrogated. While the women were
7 only verbally abused, one of the male detainees, a friend of the witness,
8 was physically mistreated.
9 On the 12th of October, 1991, two soldiers took the detainees to
10 Velepromet factory. Ten additional Croats, including children and women,
11 were already there. Upon arrival, the witness's friend, the male
12 civilian, was taken away for interrogation. He is missing ever since.
13 The witness and her mother were then removed from Velepromet and
14 again detained in different Serb houses. On the 10th of November, 1991,
15 they were brought back to Velepromet. That same day, about 50 to 60
16 women, children, and elderly were transferred to the military prison in
17 Sid --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff please slow down.
19 Ms. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: They were taken to a facility, a sort of
20 movie theatre, from where most of the detainees were taken out for
21 interrogation. The witness was interrogated throughout the night.
22 Although the witness was not beaten herself, she heard screaming from the
23 interrogation room next door.
24 The witness, together with about 70 non-Serbs, mostly women,
25 children, and old men, were driven to Becej, Vojvodina, in a bus. They
1 were escorted by Serb soldiers. In Becej, the witness and 20 others were
2 called out from the bus. The others were taken to Begejci camp.
3 The witness and her group were taken to the Becej sports hall.
4 There Sveto, a member of the Serbian state security, gave them instruction
5 on how to behave. That night every detainee was interrogated by members
6 of the state security of Serbia.
7 The next morning, they were again loaded onto a bus and taken to
8 the Sremska Mitrovica military prison. They saw a military truck bringing
9 men from Vukovar to be detained there as well. The witness and her group
10 were searched, their money and jewellery was taken away. After a few
11 days, many of the detainees, among them the witness and her mother, were
12 transferred to the Sremska Mitrovica sports hall. There they met about
13 1.000 civilians that had arrived at the sports hall after the fall of
14 Vukovar. The witness's mother had to sign a form handing over her
15 property in Vukovar to the authorities.
16 On or around the 19th of November, 1991, a convoy was organised
17 and the witness and her mother managed to get on the convoy that travelled
18 through Bosnia to Croatia.
19 Q. Witness, I have just one aspect to ask you about: During your
20 detention in all these various houses in Vukovar or the facilities in
21 Serbia, were you always guarded by armed personnel, JNA or other soldiers?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. And during the transfers, was that also the case? Were you also
24 always --
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. In all these places, be it in the -- in Serbia or in Vukovar,
2 could you move around freely?
3 A. No. No, we could not move about.
4 Q. Did you stay in all these places or any of these places on your
5 own free will?
6 A. I did not stay in any one of these places of my own free will.
7 Q. When you were transferred to Serbia, were you ever informed where
8 you were taken and what would happen to you?
9 A. No. We never knew where they were taking us and what would
10 happen next.
11 Q. Did you ever have a choice to decide where to stay and where to
13 A. No. There wasn't any choice. We did not have the possibility of
14 a choice.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, these are the questions that I
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. 1164, when were you arrested?
19 A. On the 16th of September, 1991.
20 Q. That means that you spent two months in all these events that
21 you've been testifying about.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. A short while ago you said that you did not have any choice. On
24 the 19th of November, you were taken in a convoy through Bosnia to
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Was that your choice, to be set free and to be safely taken to a
3 place where you would feel safe?
4 A. The convoy in which we left was organised by the European Union,
5 actually, with the people from Vukovar, a great many people from Vukovar,
6 representatives of the international community also arrived, and that is
7 how we managed to get out in this convoy, through Bosnia to Croatia.
8 Q. I assume that you know that the representatives of the
9 international community were there with the agreement of the authorities
10 of Serbia and Yugoslavia to see how people were being treated or, rather,
11 in this particular case citizens who had been evacuated from war-affected
12 areas, and then they were transported to safe areas.
13 A. When we were brought from the prison in Sremska Mitrovica, there
14 were no representatives of the international community. Still we had
15 armed JNA soldiers around us.
16 Q. At any rate, this two-month episode of yours ended with your own
17 safe departure, the safe departure of your mother, and of the other
18 citizens who were transferred to Croatia then; is that right?
19 A. Safe, in the sense that we arrived safe and sound, but we did not
20 belong to the convoy that came from Vukovar. We were detainees, the
21 entire group that was there. When the convoy set out, we requested the
22 members -- the representatives of the international community to make sure
23 that we would leave with them, because people came on buses and everybody
24 had their own seats on a particular bus. We were not brought -- we had
25 not been brought with them, and people didn't know about us when they came
1 to the sports hall in Sremska Mitrovica.
2 Q. So you could have been in contact with them. So you were not
3 concealed in any way, since you were in contact with them and you asked to
4 be included in this convoy.
5 A. There was a great many people there and everybody came to one
7 Q. And then you were transferred.
8 A. I think everybody was. I don't know.
9 Q. So this great many people who were evacuated from the
10 war-affected areas stayed there for a while, where they did in Serbia, and
11 then they were transported to Croatia on buses; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. The interpreters cannot
14 hear the question.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Now I'm going to put a few concrete questions to you. As far as
17 I can see from your statement, on page 2, in paragraph 1, during the war
18 you were serving in the Croatian army. You were assigned to a Crisis
20 A. Yes, I gave an additional statement. When I was taken prisoner,
21 I was not a member of the Croatian army. I was working for a state
22 agency. I was part of the services that were engaged in taking care of
23 things that were going on in that particular building, so that would be a
24 Crisis Staff.
25 Q. All right. So you did not belong to a military organisation?
1 A. No. No, not when I was taken prisoner.
2 Q. And you were not a member of any political party?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And you became a member of the Crisis Staff.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What qualified you for becoming a member of the Crisis Staff?
7 A. Among the people who were there where I worked at the time,
8 everybody was assigned a particular job. I, with a lady colleague of
9 mine, tried to take care of everything; lists, archives, and to have it
10 put at certain places, safe places. During those days, that's what it
11 was, more or less.
12 Soon afterwards, I was taken prisoner, and I did not see anybody
13 after that. Actually, on the 13th of September it was the last time that
14 I was at work, and then I went back and that was it.
15 Q. And who took you on this Crisis Staff?
16 A. The people who were there.
17 Q. Can you say -- be more specific?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know the full name of this Crisis Staff?
20 A. No, I don't.
21 Q. Who was president?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. For how long did you work on this Crisis Staff altogether?
24 A. Well, it was perhaps for about a week, and then it became
25 impossible to move around and to come. I lived farther away from the
1 place where I worked, so I tried to come and do the things that should
2 have been done there, in terms of taking care of the archives and things
3 like that.
4 Q. All right. On page 2, in paragraph 2, of your statement, you say
5 that after the elections of 1990, you could feel a difference in Vukovar,
6 that there were some tensions or something like that. Could you elaborate
7 on that.
8 A. Well, as far as I'm concerned personally, I did not see any big
9 differences in all of this, but what it says here in my statement is that
10 people talked about it, how the Croatian state became independent and our
11 colleagues who worked with us were not exactly thrilled. They were ethnic
12 Serbs and they didn't like seeing the Croatian flag even on Croatian
13 television at the beginning and the end of the Croatian TV programme, let
14 alone on the buildings that were there.
15 Q. What was being discussed about the independence of Croatia that
16 caused concern among the Serbs in the area?
17 A. I don't know whether it caused concern. They probably --
18 Q. All right. Tell me, Madam 1164, what were your own political
19 views then in relation to these developments?
20 A. I did not meddle in politics. I did my own job, and I thought
21 that nothing had changed and I didn't think that attention would have to
22 be paid to things like that, that the Croatian flag was flying on Croatian
23 buildings in Croatia.
24 Q. So it's not only a question of the flag, but is it true that
25 during these first multi-party elections Slavko Dokmanovic, a Serb, was
1 elected president of the Municipal Assembly?
2 A. I think those are the facts, yes. I think he was. I'm sure that
3 that is probably common knowledge, whether he was or not.
4 Q. Now, do you remember who won most of the votes from the parties
5 -- of the parties at those first multi-party elections?
6 A. Well, all that's a question of history. I really can't say. I
7 really don't know how the voting went at that time.
8 Q. Well, do you remember that the representatives of the League of
9 Communists of Croatia won the largest number of votes, or the SDB -- the
11 JUDGE MAY: The witness has just said that she doesn't remember,
12 and there's no point repeating it.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. And do you remember that already in July 1991, by decree, the
16 Assembly was dissolved, the one chosen at the elections, that its
17 president, a Serb, Dokmanovic, was suspended and that somebody else was
18 put in his place, Marin Vidic, a representative of the Croatian
20 A. Yes, I think that's what happened. Now, whether that was on the
21 -- in June or July, I really can't say, but I think those are facts. And
22 it's easy to check them out, so I don't think you need me -- I really
23 don't know, but there was Marin Vidic. Now, whether he was appointed by
24 the deputy or what, I really can't say.
25 Q. Well, his party only won 25 per cent of the votes in Vukovar, if
1 you recall. You don't remember that?
2 A. Well, as I say, I didn't really deal with statistics or politics
3 or anything like that in Vukovar. I really can't say.
4 Q. You say on page 2, paragraph 2 - and I'm not going to delve into
5 what you don't deal with in your statement or, rather, I'll try not to and
6 to keep it to a bare minimum - but you say that the Croats in Vukovar,
7 after the elections, did their best not to upset the Serbs.
8 A. When I say that and when I said that, I meant the environment I
9 lived and worked in. And whenever there were any comments - you're going
10 to refer to the flags again - now, I don't know when the flag began to
11 appear, whether automatically on television or in the papers, but I and
12 the people around me, we didn't actually react to any of this and we never
13 -- with our colleagues, we never discussed this with our colleagues. That
14 wasn't up to us. It wasn't our place to do so.
15 Q. Madam 1144 [as interpreted], I'm quite sure you didn't involve
16 yourself in any of this, and I'm not trying to imply that you meddled in
17 it, but have you heard of Tomislav Mercep?
18 A. Yes, I have.
19 Q. And he was the commander, was he, of those forces, the Croatian
20 National Guards Corps, those forces that were set up in Vukovar at the
21 time before any conflicts broke out at all?
22 A. When you say "any kind of conflicts," what period are you
23 referring to?
24 Q. Until the conflict broke out, in fact?
25 A. Well, I have heard of Mercep, and I do know that for a time he
1 worked in that secretariat or whatever it was. But from the founding of -
2 what did you call them - the Guards or whatever, I don't know anything
3 about that.
4 Q. So you don't know anything about those sorts of activities and
5 the persecution of the Serb ethnic group in Vukovar, the killings, the
6 dismissals from work posts, et cetera.
7 A. Where I lived and worked in my environment, none of that
8 happened. There was none of that where I lived and worked.
9 Q. Now, did you hear what happened in the different villages around
10 Vukovar and how individuals fared, the crimes that were committed, the
11 casualties and so on?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now that you're asking me that, let
14 me say again that when people did start talking about what had happened
15 somewhere, the people around us, as a general rule we didn't react to any
16 of those stories and things that were being said.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Do you know that already at the end of 1990 a man called Zeljko
19 Ostojic testified about this and later on, probably due to his testimony,
20 was killed?
21 A. No, I never heard of the name. Which testimony? Where? What do
22 you mean?
23 Q. Well, he was killed just half an hour after the Spegelj film was
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. And his testimony was on that film.
2 A. I've never heard of him, the name or the event.
3 Q. And did you ever hear of anything about any decisions about
4 ethnic cleansing of the Vukovar municipality?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you have any knowledge of the visits of Vladimir Seks [phoen]
7 and Ivan Vekic and Branimir Glavas to Vukovar?
8 A. No. As I say, I'm not a political person. I've never dealt in
9 politics, had anything to do with politics.
10 Q. As you didn't have anything to do with politics, do you know any
11 cases in which Serbs were replaced from different posts in Vukovar and
12 dismissed from their jobs except for this man who was mayor, president of
13 the municipality, Mr. Dokmanovic?
14 A. I don't remember that until the 16th of September, when I was
15 captured, that there were any cases of that kind.
16 Q. Do you know Zdravko Egic [phoen], the director general of the
17 Borovo company?
18 A. No.
19 Q. So you know nobody from the Borovo concern?
20 A. No.
21 Q. What about Mirko Bejanovic, the director of Buca [phoen], and
22 Marko Sejgl [phoen], the director of Transport, that company?
23 A. No. And I don't know anything about Borovo or who occupied what
24 post or anything about the factory really.
25 Q. But do you at least know that Marin Vidic, Bili, who was a deputy
1 of the Croatian government replaced the head of the Vukovar hospital, Dr.
2 Rade Popovic even, and replaced him by a Dr. Vesna Bosanac? Do you
3 remember that event?
4 A. I remember that Vesna Bosanac did begin -- become the director.
5 Now, who replaced whom, I really can't say. And when that took place, I
6 really don't know.
7 Q. So you don't know anything about these replacements and
8 dismissals in the social insurance company, the Secretariat of the Defence
9 of the municipality and things of that kind?
10 A. No.
11 JUDGE MAY: We're wasting time here. The witness doesn't know
12 anything about this. There's no point just going all over it time and
13 time again with all your lists of names. Pointless, Mr. Milosevic. Why
14 don't you move on to something else. Move on to some of her evidence
15 about how she was arrested and detained and that kind of thing. She can
16 deal with that.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I assume that it is my
18 right to ask the witness about the events in Vukovar, because the witness
19 was there. She's an educated woman. So I assume that she is informed.
20 JUDGE MAY: It's pointless asking her about things she knows
21 nothing about, all these alleged grievances which you have. No point
22 rehearsing them with her. You can call your own evidence about it if you
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, as you see, she does know
25 about some of these and not about others. So I can't know in advance what
1 the witness knows about and the things she doesn't know about.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Well, all right. Let me ask you this, madam: Did you know about
4 the mining of facilities owned by Serbs, that they were blown up at that
5 time in Vukovar, that is to say, before any conflict actually broke out?
6 Did you hear anything about that?
7 A. As to what you are -- just like the questions you asked
8 beforehand, all I know about that event and those events was what the
9 media wrote about. I don't have any direct knowledge of these events or
10 indirect knowledge or neither do I know anything concrete about any of
11 these events.
12 Q. But as you're talking about the media, did you see about the
13 takeover by force of Radio Vukovar?
14 A. I don't think that it was taken over by force.
15 Q. A different director was appointed.
16 A. No. Everything I'm saying is to the best of my recollections.
17 Now, whether there was any forceful takeover -- forcible takeover, I don't
19 Q. All right. So you don't know anything about that.
20 Now, do you know anything about the blockade of JNA facilities in
21 Vukovar, for example, the blockade of the barracks in Vukovar, to be more
23 A. As far as I know, the barracks were not blocked until the time
24 that I was taken into custody. So I didn't hear about the blockade of the
25 barracks at all, that it had actually been blocked.
1 Q. How come you didn't -- well, if you haven't heard anything about
2 that, then I won't ask you about that any more.
3 Now, was any -- were any of your family members members of any
4 political party?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Or perhaps of some military formation?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Just let me consult my notes and take a moment, please.
9 I should like to ask you, Madam 1164, for your comments on this.
10 I'm not quite clear on paragraph 6 of your statement it says, "Around the
11 4th of September, I asked soldiers from our -- our soldiers to come to my
12 place and take grenades that my father had in our house. I knew that I
13 would never use them. Our soldiers always told us that everything was
14 under control, that nothing would happen, and that we shouldn't worry."
15 A. What it says in my statement -- when I say "our soldiers," I mean
16 people who were civilians who were there, the men there, the males around
17 the house who at that time, towards the end of August and beginning of
18 September, took care of the rest of the civilians in the area. That meant
19 that, for example, they would -- there was a lot of shelling, terrible
20 shelling, so they collected some sand and put the sand up in sandbags
21 around the windows. Potatoes were being handed out to everybody there in
22 the local commune. So that's what I said -- meant when I said "soldiers,"
23 the people who were there. They weren't actually people wearing uniforms
24 of any kind. They were all our neighbour, people who lived around that
25 place. They were all Croats by ethnicity.
1 Q. Yes, I understand what you want to say. But as you are
2 testifying on the basis of your statement, then I saw you talking about
3 soldiers. Now, what other weapons were there in your house except for
4 these grenades?
5 A. Nothing, nothing. No other weapons.
6 Q. Why did your father have these grenades in the house in the first
8 A. I don't know. Had I known about them, I would probably have told
9 him that we didn't need that. I just happened to come across them. When
10 I found them, I handed them over, because my mother and I were alone in
11 the house, and I tried to get rid of them as soon as possible.
12 Q. How did he come to possess these grenades?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. I see. You just came across them, found them, and then asked
15 that they be got rid of.
16 A. That's right, yes.
17 Q. I understand perfectly.
18 JUDGE MAY: May I remind both the witness and the accused not to
19 speak at the same time, please.
20 Madam C-1164, could you watch the accused's microphone, and when
21 the light goes out, answer, but not before. In that way we will then
22 maintain the protection.
23 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You said a moment ago, during the brief examination-in-chief,
1 that you were there when the shelling started, that you were in the
2 basement, actually, in the cellar; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And when was that exactly?
5 A. The shelling --
6 Q. When were you there?
7 A. Well, before we were taken prisoner, we were in the basement
8 practically every day when there was shelling going on.
9 Q. Can you give us a date?
10 A. Up until the 16th of September.
11 Q. You say in your statement on page 3, paragraph 3, that you saw
12 people who were reservists of the JNA -- I think Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff was
13 quoting you, or you said that they were reservists who were locals, the
14 local inhabitants that you saw there. Is that right? Once you left the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you know any of them?
18 A. Not all of them, but some of them, yes, I did.
19 Q. So as you knew them, you concluded that they were the locals;
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You say -- you said that they looked frightening because they had
23 chains with Orthodox crosses on them. Is that what you said? And I'm
24 quoting from your statement, paragraph 8, if you count the last paragraph
25 on page 3 of your statement. You say that "I knew at least five of them
1 by sight. I went to school with them. They were from the village of
2 Negoslavci. All these men were reservists of the JNA before the war
3 started in Croatia. The group was really scary to look at. They were
4 carrying chains with Orthodox crosses, they were dirty, had long beards,"
5 and so on.
6 Tell me, please, what is the difference between an Orthodox cross
7 and a Catholic cross?
8 A. I was just waiting for the interpretation. Well, the difference
9 is in the shape. They look different. An Orthodox cross looks different
10 from a Catholic cross. And one of the men who came and whom I recognised
11 had this big Orthodox cross, and he was my neighbour, a Serb.
12 Q. Yes, I understand that. But that's not what I meant by my
13 question. What I want to know is this: Apart from the difference in the
14 words "cross" - "kriz" in Croatian and "krst" in Serbian - where is the
15 Orthodox cross different from the Catholic cross?
16 A. Well, it looks different in shape.
17 Q. All right, Witness. Well, one lives and learns throughout life.
18 As far as I can see, you were detained in the house of a certain Tomasevic
19 in Vukovar. Is that right? Is it true that in the yard of Tomasevic's
20 house a Kalashnikov was found that had been buried there?
21 A. Yes. My friend, he was taken out of the basement and he was told
22 to dig, and he unearthed a Kalashnikov buried next to the wall.
23 Q. On Saturday, the 12th of September, 1991 a certain Bozidar Bauk
24 was taken away. Is that right?
25 A. Yes. Not on the 12th of September but on the 12th of October.
1 Q. I see. Then I am mistaken. And what happened to this Bauk?
2 A. Nothing is known of him. There's no trace of him to this day.
3 Q. Apart from this Bauk who you say was taken away and of whom
4 nothing is known, I do not see from your statement that during your
5 detention anything happened along the lines of physical torture or
6 mistreatment or anything like that during your detention.
7 A. No physical torture, but psychological, yes.
8 Q. Of course the very fact that you had to stay in that house was a
9 kind of torture, but did anyone insult you, threaten you? What did this
10 psychological torture consist of, apart from the fact, which of course I
11 am not denying, that if somebody is keeping you in detention, that that is
12 a form of torture as well?
13 A. We were taken for interrogation several times, so that was real
14 torture. That did take place. Constant questioning whenever they wanted,
15 they would take us along the street with our hands behind our backs and
16 our heads bowed, to some houses where we were questioned every time by
17 someone else.
18 Q. Your hands were tied?
19 A. No, mine were not.
20 Q. And they took you to some houses to question you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And who questioned you? Were they civilians or soldiers or
23 reservists? Could you perhaps be a little more specific in describing
24 those who questioned you.
25 A. They were always military persons. There was never a civilian at
1 the other end of the table. They were always people wearing olive-grey
2 military uniforms of different age groups who were questioning us.
3 Q. When you say that they wore these olive-grey uniforms and were of
4 different ages, does that mean that they were local reservists?
5 A. Yes, I assume. So I didn't know them. It could have been an
6 active-duty officer of the then-JNA. I didn't know them. I didn't know
7 the people who were questioning me, but they were always people in
9 Q. On page 5, second paragraph you say that Serb soldiers even
10 informed your mother about you, where you were, et cetera.
11 A. That was when they took me for questioning. It lasted so long,
12 and then my mother asked to be told where she was. This was in the prison
13 in Sid and she came up to one of the soldiers and asked him to inquire
14 what had happened to me, because she was terrified because they had taken
15 Bozidar and now they had taken me and she thought that I wouldn't come
16 back. So I don't know whether he checked or not, but anyway she plucked
17 up courage and strength to come and to beg him to find out where I was.
18 JUDGE MAY: We must adjourn now. It is the time.
19 Witness C-1164, we have to adjourn now. Could you be back
20 tomorrow, please, at 9.00 to conclude your evidence. Could you remember,
21 please, also not to speak to anybody about it until it's over.
22 Mr. Milosevic, you've got half an hour more, if you require it,
23 for this witness.
24 We'll adjourn now.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
1 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
2 the 18th day of September, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.