1 Tuesday, 7 May 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic. Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
11 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Prosecution
14 this morning, Alex Demirdjian with Lisa Biersay; our case manager,
15 Thomas Laugel; and our legal intern, Agnes Bugaj.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
17 For the Defence, Mr. Zivanovic.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
19 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 There is a short oral ruling I could deal with. The
22 Trial Chamber is seized of a Prosecution motion to replace the
23 translation of Exhibit P1004 with a corrected version. The Defence does
24 not object. The Chamber hereby grants the request and directs the
25 Registrar to take the appropriate measures to implement this decision.
1 And if there is nothing else, the witness may be brought in.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning.
4 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Witness.
6 Could you tell us your name, please.
7 THE WITNESS: My name is Reynaud Theunens, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. You are about to read the
9 solemn declaration, by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the
10 truth. I need to point out to you, as you probably know, that you are
11 exposing yourself to the penalties of perjury should you give untruthful
12 information to the Tribunal. Would you now please read the solemn
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
15 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Theunens, I wouldn't ask for your ethnicity,
20 as we often do for people -- for witnesses from the region, but out of
21 personal curiosity, are you a native French speaker or a native Dutch
23 THE WITNESS: I am a native Dutch speaker but as an officer in
24 the military I also acquired I think a decent knowledge of French.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
1 Mr. Demirdjian, your witness.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Theunens.
5 A. Good morning, Mr. Demirdjian.
6 Q. Before I begin, am I correct in thinking that you have a copy of
7 your amalgamated report in a binder before you?
8 A. Yes, Your Honours.
9 Q. Perfect. Thank you. And I'd like to -- before I begin, I would
10 just like to remind you and myself that considering that we both speak
11 the same language, I'd like to make sure that we make pauses between
12 answers and questions.
13 First of all, could I ask that we have 65 ter 3044 on the screen,
14 which is Mr. Theunens' resume. And that's at tab 668. And while that is
15 being brought up, Mr. Theunens, could I ask you to briefly give the
16 Trial Chamber your educational background, please.
17 A. I attended military academy in Belgium from August 1993 -- 1983,
18 I'm sorry, until December 1987, and I obtained a degree of masters in
19 social and military sciences. After that, I attended armour school, I
20 attended trainings abroad in intelligence as well as in peacekeeping, I
21 mean you can find it in the resume. And in 1997 I attended the
22 brigade-level staff course in Belgium.
23 Q. Very well. What is your current occupation?
24 A. Your Honours, since April 2009 I'm chief of the joint mission
25 analysis centre in the United Nations interim force in Lebanon.
1 Q. And prior to that, it is correct that you were employed at the
3 A. Indeed, Your Honours. From July 2001 until April 2009 I worked
4 as an information analyst or intelligence analyst military in the Office
5 of the Prosecutor at the ICTY.
6 Q. And during your tenure at the ICTY, did you specialise on a
7 particular area?
8 A. Basically the job of an intelligence analyst military consists of
9 reviewing military documents in order, in my case, to identify chains of
10 command, chains of command and reporting. I think initially I worked
11 mainly on cases involving Serb perpetrators in Croatia. As I indicated,
12 I mean, identifying chains of command and of reporting, that concerned
13 predominantly relations between the JNA, the Territorial Defence, and
14 then groups which were identified as paramilitaries or as volunteers. I
15 also looked into issues of support, I mean combat support, logistics,
16 personnel, and so on. And later on, I mean, I didn't work on the
17 investigation, but I also testified in a case involving a Croatian
18 perpetrator, i.e., or Croatian perpetrators, General Gotovina,
19 General Markac, I think that was in 2009. I didn't participate in
20 investigation, but I prepared a similar report as I did for this case.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, before we move on through these issues, could
22 you give the Trial Chamber a brief overview of your professional
23 background before joining the ICTY in 2002 -- 2001.
24 A. Your Honours, as -- after armour school, as any young officer in
25 the armour -- in the Belgian -- sorry, it has to be armour school in the
1 transcript. I joined the 2nd Guides Regiment in Germany, the Belgian
2 armed forces in Germany where I worked as a platoon commander, sometimes
3 as a second in command of a company, and then as a personnel officer.
4 After that, I returned to military academy as an instructor and a
5 promotion commander for a year. And then on my own request I changed
6 assignment and I was moved to the Ministry of Defence where I worked as
7 an intelligence analyst on the Balkans, I mean this was in September 1992
8 and basically I stayed there in similar assignments until July 2001 when
9 I left the military.
10 Q. Now, as part of your work as of September 1992, is it correct to
11 say that you were sent to the former Yugoslavia?
12 A. Indeed, Your Honours. I participated in three peacekeeping
13 operations. The first one was in December 1994 till September 1995,
14 where I worked as an information analyst -- I'm sorry, military
15 information officer, I'm sorry, military information officer in the
16 headquarters of UNPROFOR/UNPF in Zagreb which was the headquarters
17 covering all UN peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia at that
18 time. From July 1996 until May 1997 I had a similar -- held a similar
19 position in the UNTAES headquarters of the United Nations Transitional
20 Administration Eastern Slavonia headquartered in Vukovar. And then
21 December 1999 until I think that was also May 2000, I was a chief of a
22 national intelligence cell in the SFOR, the stability force headquarters
24 Q. Thank you for that, Mr. Theunens. I'd like to move on to your --
25 the report that was prepared for the purposes of this case. Now, is it
1 correct to say that the report that you have --
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Well, actually, sorry, Your Honours, before I
3 move on. The resume is not a document in the report. Might I ask to
4 tender that, please?
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1682. Thank you.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
8 Q. And while we're dealing with the report, could we display the
9 cover page of the report which is 65 ter 5988, please.
10 Mr. Theunens, in -- with respect to the report that we have for
11 this case, it is correct to say this is an amalgamated report composed of
12 various parts of previous reports you had prepared at the Tribunal?
13 A. That is correct, Your Honours. And if need, I can explain what
14 that is a reason -- I mean, how this happened.
15 Q. Yes, we will get into that.
16 A. Oh, okay.
17 Q. Now, first of all, could you tell the Court which of your
18 previous reports were used to create the amalgamated report we have here?
19 A. Your Honours, this report -- I mean amalgamated report includes
20 elements of reports I drafted for the Karadzic case; Martic case;
21 Stanisic/Simatovic; Vukovar three, or Mrksic, Sljivancanin, and Radic;
22 and the Seselj case. I think that covers all of them.
23 Q. Yes. And could you tell us briefly how this report was put
25 A. Yesterday, basically, I looked back at my notes and -- because
1 since I work in Lebanon I've returned to the ICTY a few times. And if my
2 recollection is correct, I came back in March 2012 to work on a report
3 for the Mladic case and I also reviewed -- I was contacted by the Hadzic
4 Prosecution team and I looked at -- I mean my previous reports, the ones
5 I mentioned which covered related issues, but I also identified
6 additional issues I would like to cover in my Hadzic report, and of
7 course that required certain documents. And it was my understanding that
8 these documents - and these were mainly documents concerning or covering
9 the relations between the JNA and the civilian authorities - that there
10 were no additional documents available compared to what was available to
11 me and actually what I had requested at the time I was working on the
12 Vukovar case. When I say I had requested, that was requested through
13 RFAs, requests for assistance to the Government of the Republic of
14 Serbia. And so my conclusion to the Prosecution was that, actually,
15 there was not much to add at that stage because in my view important
16 documents were lacking. So it was decided to prepare a kind of a
17 preliminary, what I would call a cut/paste of the reports that I
18 mentioned, focusing on issues that I believed to be relevant for the
19 Hadzic case.
20 My next trip to The Hague may have been in summer 2012. I don't
21 recall exactly when, but it was not for this case. It may have been for
22 Mladic again. But in any event, I was informed when I came then for a
23 third time but actually a second time for Hadzic, I believe that was in
24 September/October 2012, I was informed that additional documents had been
25 made available and including translations. So I was given the
1 opportunity to review these documents and I considered that these were
2 really -- I mean key documents. And I decided to prepare a new report
3 basically reducing what was -- had become -- I mean the amalgamated
4 report, i.e., the cut-and-paste had been transformed into an amalgamated
5 report. I had -- and my new report would thus only include the relevant
6 sections of the amalgamated report in a kind of reader-friendly structure
7 and layout. In addition, a section that covered -- that reviewed the new
8 documents. With "new documents," I mean by that documents on operational
9 group south -- sorry, operational group north, other JNA elements in
10 Baranja in the northern part of Eastern Slavonia as well as relations
11 between them and the authorities of the SAO/SBWS, as well as what I
12 considered the most important relations between the JNA and the SAO/SBWS
13 authorities after November and more specifically after the 20th of
14 November, 1991.
15 Q. Mr. Theunens, with respect to the report we have before us here,
16 you mentioned that these were, as you put it a cut and paste from
17 previous reports. Could you tell us how the report -- the amalgamated
18 report we have before us, how were the portions selected, the portions
19 that we have from each of the previous reports?
20 A. Your Honours, I selected those based on my assessment of the
21 relevance of these portions for the Hadzic case. And, as usual, all my
22 reports basically consist of two parts. The first part is a doctrine, I
23 mean, the general legal framework as it existed in SFRY and then FRY
24 together with the main aspects of the JNA's or the VJ's military
25 doctrine. And that I took from the Karadzic report because that was at
1 that stage my last report on -- for the ICTY. And then for the second
2 part, which discusses the operations or the actual operations, I looked
3 at work I had done or reports I had submitted in the Martic case, Vukovar
4 three, Seselj, and Stanisic/Simatovic, and I had identified those
5 elements and those sections I considered relevant and communicated -- I
6 mean the page numbers to the OTP who then put it all together in one
7 document. They showed that to me or they sent it to me, asking whether
8 that was what I -- whether it corresponded with what I had selected. I
9 said yes. And this is how the amalgamated report was then, yeah,
11 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like us to turn to the issue of the focus of
12 your analysis in this report, and first perhaps we could -- I could ask
13 you about the sources that you have used in the past when creating these
15 A. Your Honours, the choice of sources is obviously closely related
16 to the methodology I apply, where basically when selecting sources two
17 criteria apply, i.e., the reliability of the source and the credibility
18 of the information. In relation to the reliability of the source, in
19 this cases we -- I mean, we are basically talking about activities of
20 states, state authorities or entity -- authorities of entities as well as
21 of military structures. So the most obvious choice is to take original
22 documents issued by these state authorities or authorities or entities or
23 military authorities, and that covers a wide range going from the
24 constitution to military regulations, military orders, situation reports,
25 information or intelligence reports, but I would obviously, I mean,
1 focus -- when I select these documents, I apply the criteria in a sense I
2 would look at what is, for example, the relation between the entity --
3 no, between the organisation that issued the document and the events
4 described in the document. And it would of course in this context make
5 more sense to use an order signed by the commander of OG South, I mean,
6 when discussing the operations of OG South than, for example, take a
7 Croatian newspaper article, I mean just to give you one example.
8 I was in I think an enormous privilege also compared to my
9 previous work, that in the OTP there is an enormous amount of original
10 documents issued by the parties. So in this case I would look at
11 documents from the JNA, the SAO Krajina, TO, SAO SBWS TO, the SVK, as
12 well as documents issued by the SFRY Presidency, for example,
13 FRY Presidency, and related.
14 Q. Very well. And what views have you developed over the course of
15 the preparation of your reports with respect to the authenticity of the
16 documents you've reviewed?
17 A. Your Honours, during the time I worked at the ICTY, I mean at the
18 OTP between 2001 and 2009, I -- I think I was also privileged to be
19 involved in a number of witness interviews, whereby -- I mean, those
20 witnesses were mainly JNA officers. So we would use some of these
21 documents, depending of the case, and submit them to them and --
22 obviously we would ask the witnesses whether this document was authentic.
23 I mean, in many cases they had signed the document. So that's one way of
24 authenticating. We also looked at the original of the document. Most of
25 these documents -- I mean, there is two -- two of -- yeah, two big
1 categories. There is a group of documents that have been obtained
2 through searches conducted by ICTY/OTP personnel of various archives. I
3 myself during the time I was here I was involved in searching archives of
4 the SVK that were -- had been captured by or seized by the Croatian armed
5 forces during Operation Storm in August 1995 and I went to state archives
6 in Zagreb and Sisak with investigators and other analysts and we reviewed
7 these documents. And again, these documents were then shown to
8 witnesses, and these were SVK documents, and we showed them to former SVK
9 officers in order to authenticate them.
10 A second group of documents that were provided by the Government
11 of FRY and subsequently the Government of Serbia. And also there, when
12 possible, we tried to show them to witnesses or compare them with other
13 documents, I mean the layout, signatures, and so on, and I'm confident
14 that the documents I have used in my report and is for sure in the
15 amalgamated report because they have also been used in other cases and no
16 objections have been formulated there as to their authenticity that these
17 documents I have used are authentic.
18 Q. Very well. Now, a moment ago you mentioned that after the filing
19 of your report last summer you were given an opportunity in September to
20 look at documents that were obtained from the Government of Serbia. Just
21 to be clear, were these documents received after the filing of your
23 A. I mean, I saw them after the filing of the report and also the
24 translation. I'm not sure when the OTP received them. I think they
25 received them afterwards, I'm not sure, but as far as the translations
1 and actual -- I mean, the time they were shown to me, that was after
2 July -- or I was notified after July and then we arranged a trip for
4 Q. And during your trip during September/October, you were given an
5 opportunity to review the translations of the documents?
6 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
7 Q. Very well. We will deal with those at a later stage. I would
8 like us to turn to page 2 of your report, so we can briefly look at the
9 table of contents. And here what we see on -- well, we'll see it in a
10 minute on the screen - yes - if we could zoom in a little bit. Thank
11 you. Yeah. Just to briefly explain this to the Trial Chamber, we see
12 here "report for case IT 95-5/18." Could you tell us what that refers
14 A. This -- I mean, the background part comes from the report for the
15 Karadzic case.
16 Q. And -- now, when you selected portions from the five previous
17 cases, is it correct to say that these portions were kept together,
18 meaning that all the Karadzic excerpts were kept together in one section?
19 A. Indeed, Your Honours, and that also explains that there is
20 sometimes overlap, I mean not for what I would call the first part, the
21 doctrinal background, but in the second part where we discuss, for
22 example, the operations in Croatia or the establishment of local Serb
23 armed forces, there may be some overlap between the different reports
24 because these topics were discussed in different reports.
25 Q. Very well. So this means that essentially each excerpt
1 follows -- one excerpt follows the other, the excerpt from the Karadzic
2 case is followed by one from another case?
3 A. Yes, they were not integrated, but they were just added one after
4 the other.
5 Q. And just a little note here, in some of the footnotes throughout
6 your report, it is correct in past cases you had used 65 ter numbers and
7 exhibit numbers; is that right?
8 A. That is correct, because it dates back from the time before
9 e-court and in some cases we had already exhibit numbers before the
10 report was filed which facilitated the referencing during testimony.
11 Q. So with respect to our purposes here, should we ignore those
13 A. Yes, indeed, Your Honours.
14 Q. Very well. Yes. Well, I'd like to move on now to the subjects
15 that you deal with in your report, starting with the background first.
16 If we could -- if I could take you to page 17 of your report where you
17 deal with the SFRY armed forces. So I'd like to deal with the doctrine a
18 little bit before we move on to the actual operations during the war.
19 And here we see that you are dealing with the All People's Defence and
20 the constitution. Could you tell us, first of all, what were the
21 constituent parts of the SFRY armed forces?
22 A. Your Honours, the SFRY armed forces consisted of the JNA and the
23 Territorial Defence, whereby the Territorial Defence includes all armed
24 formations that are not part of the JNA.
25 Q. Now, you quote here Article 240 of the 1974 Constitution and it
1 indicates here that any citizen who takes part in resisting aggression
2 towards the country is a member of the armed forces of the SFRY. Now, I
3 believe you highlight this, and this is on page 18, that this has
4 implications with respect to command responsibility. Could you expand a
5 little bit on this?
6 A. Yes, Your Honours. By becoming a member of the armed forces of
7 the SFRY, the individual is also subject to all the legislation and
8 regulations that apply to the armed forces, and for the commander by
9 using these individuals they -- I mean, it's -- it's a basic principle of
10 command responsibility, they will also become responsible for their
11 activities by admitting them in the armed forces.
12 Q. Very well. Now -- well, on the screen I see that in the English
13 version we would have had to scroll to the bottom of the page to see the
14 excerpt we were discussing. Yes, I think it follows on the following
15 page, that's the excerpt I just read.
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. Now, at page 20 of your report you explain that the JNA is the
18 core of the Yugoslav armed forces and that a second component that you
19 just told us was the Territorial Defence. Are there significant
20 differences between the JNA and the TO?
21 A. Yes, Your Honours. I mean, in a nutshell, the JNA covers all the
22 SFRY republics and autonomous regions. The TO is organised by republic
23 or autonomous region. The JNA was -- I mean, in layman's term was a
24 professional armed force and if there were conscripts, of course, but
25 was -- also had heavy weapons, whereas the TO, which was organised by the
1 republics, did not have heavy weapons. And basically the TO concept was
2 introduced by Tito in 1968, whereas the other JNA was established much
4 Q. Very well. Now, can you explain to the Judges the structure of
5 the Territorial Defence.
6 A. As I mentioned, the TO was organised by republic and by
7 autonomous region, whereas the JNA was an army that covered the whole of
8 SFRY and was consisting at that time, for example, in -- for military
9 districts, whereby most military districts covered the territory of more
10 than one republic.
11 Q. And what implication did that have, the fact that the TO was
12 organised by republic?
13 A. That -- it meant that the republics were responsible for
14 organising and equipping the TO, and I haven't gone in detail in that --
15 in my report, but many people at the time, and especially after the death
16 of Tito and when some republics express aspirations for a weakening of
17 central authority or even independence, then a number of -- I mean, some
18 officers in the JNA or Yugoslav officers, they see -- they feel that the
19 TO in those republics that seek independence could develop into an
20 republican armed force or a republican army.
21 Q. Very well. And in each republic, who does the TO -- who is it
22 responsible to, who does it report to?
23 A. We would have to look at the specific regulations, but the ones I
24 reviewed show that there is a commander of the TO who is responsible for
25 planning, organising, training, manning, I mean it's more like a
1 management role. And he responds to the -- or she -- no, he responds to
2 the president of the republic, whereas in operations if the JNA and the
3 TO operate together, then at least during the combat operations I have
4 reviewed in Croatia covering the 1991 time-period, it is the JNA that is
5 in command.
6 Q. Now, at page 21 of your report, you refer to Article 102 of the
7 Law on All People's Defence. This is the law that was adopted, I
8 believe, in 1983; is that right?
9 A. It's 1982, Your Honours, and I mean it confirms what I said
10 earlier, also that the Territorial Defence comprises all armed formations
11 that are not included in the JNA or the police.
12 Q. Yes, I'd like to refer exactly to that second paragraph of
13 Article 102 which we have on the screen. For purposes of this case it's
14 Exhibit L10 which is at tab 10 as well of our list. Here it reads that
16 "Territorial Defence shall comprise all armed formations that are
17 not incorporated in the Yugoslav People's Army and the police."
18 So I'd like to ask you what are the other armed formations that
19 this is referring to?
20 A. Well, if you ask the question in the context of the conflict of
21 1991, which of course happens nine years later, but there we see the
22 appearance mainly on the Serbian side of what is described as volunteer
23 forces, of volunteer units, others describe them as paramilitaries, but a
24 paramilitary in the sense of groups or formations that are not foreseen
25 by law but that function in accordance to military doctrine, i.e., they
1 have a military -- they try to adopt a military structure or they carry
2 out activities that -- of a military nature. So we see appearance of
3 these groups, and I assume we will go into that. And they're often
4 identified in military documents as TO detachments, whereas, in fact,
5 they have nothing to do with the TO. But in order to give them -- I
6 mean, my conclusion is in order to give them a bit of a legal or to
7 legalise them and to regulate their presence and their participation in
8 the operations, they are identified as TO detachments.
9 Q. Yes, we will come to that a little bit later, but on the next
10 page, page 22 of your report, you do deal with the concept of volunteers,
11 which appears to be provided by the law. Could you perhaps summarise the
12 concept itself of a volunteer to the Trial Chamber?
13 A. Yes, Your Honours. And also to clarify my previous answer,
14 Article 119 of the 1982 All People's Defence law refers to individual
15 volunteers, whereby volunteers are people -- are identified as or defined
16 as people who have no military obligations. The volunteer groups I spoke
17 about in my previous answer -- I actually -- I mean, as I said "groups,
18 these -- the volunteers, they are not individuals but they operate in one
19 single group. And they also include people with military obligations
20 who - again this is discussed in my report - who for mainly political
21 reasons refuse to be part of the JNA, I mean refuse to respond to the
22 mobilisation and other call-ups and prefer to serve in a politically
23 or affiliated volunteer groups.
24 Q. Now, we see here Article 119 that there are categories perhaps of
25 volunteers which are persons who are not subject to military service and
1 persons who are not conscripts.
2 A. Mm-hmm.
3 Q. Perhaps could you just explain to us what type of persons fit
4 under these categories, having regard to the military service that was in
5 place at the time?
6 A. It could include -- it would include, for example, people who are
7 beyond the age of call-ups, I mean, but maybe they still feel able or fit
8 to participate in the defence of the country but they are beyond the age
9 of being called up or maybe they have some physical shortcomings whereby
10 they couldn't operate in a combat unit but maybe they feel they could
11 participate in logistical support jobs, it's more in that area.
12 Q. Very well. And on the next page at page 23 of your report, you
13 provide -- you conclude here that the legal framework effective at the
14 time did not foresee the establishment of volunteer formations. Could
15 you expand on that a little bit, please.
16 A. Yes, it basically comes back to what I said, I mean the law talks
17 about individuals and these individuals were then incorporated in
18 existing JNA or TO units, and I mean we can maybe later go into the
19 reasons for that, why it is important not to have -- I mean from a
20 command and control concept -- point of view, not to have separate units
21 all with their own motivation, but instead separate volunteer units, I'm
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. But instead have them included in different groups, and also we
25 see that in the course of -- I mean, between July 1991 and December 1991
1 a number of decisions are adopted by the Republic of Serbia, the SFRY
2 armed forces Supreme Command Staff, and most importantly, the SFRY
3 Presidency, to legalise the participation of volunteer formations into
4 the conflict.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. In the conflict, sorry.
7 Q. Thank you. We see at the bottom of that page that you also deal
8 with the use of the police, which is provided by Article 104 of the Law
9 on National Defence. And on the next page, which is page 24, you discuss
10 the mission of the SFRY armed forces. In a nutshell, could you tell the
11 Court what was the mission of the SFRY armed forces prior to the
13 A. The mission is taken from -- as I put in the report is taken from
14 Article 92 of the 1982 All People's Defence law, and it's very
15 straightforward. It consists of safe-guarding the independence,
16 sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the social order as defined by
17 the SFRY constitution.
18 Q. And next I see you deal with the 1983 manual on the strategy of
19 armed conflicts.
20 A. Mm-hmm.
21 Q. And here you emphasize that the role is in protecting the
22 interests of all nations and all nationalities in the SFRY; is that
24 A. Yes, indeed. And I think I discuss at other locations in the
25 report the famous slogan "bratstvo i jedinstvo," brotherhood and unity.
1 Q. Very well. As at page 25 you deal with the issue of command and
2 control, the concept of command and control, and you include a definition
3 from the military lexicon of what command is and -- but I believe here
4 it's indicated that it encompasses also -- I think this is on the next
5 page, on page 26 at the top of that page, I believe we see here that --
6 it says that: "Command and control encompasses a continuous gathering of
7 information, monitoring of the situation, making decisions, and issuing
8 directives, commands, and orders."
9 And in your experience and from the documents that you have
10 reviewed, how does a commander ensure this continuous gathering of
12 A. I just would first like to highlight, I mean, the military
13 lexicon is obviously not the most authoritative document to define
14 command and control. You will find in my reports both definitions from
15 the legislation as well as from a doctrine which all come back to the
16 same elements, but I include the lexicon just for -- to be as complete as
17 possible. The commander organises command and control by basically
18 having a staff, whereby the staff acts as an advisory body and also by
19 organising a reporting system whereby subordinate units continuously
20 report on their activities, I mean their activities that are based on the
21 orders they have received from the commander. And the commander at the
22 same time receives orders from his superiors and all that together is
23 considered in order to -- I mean, it's like a cycle to develop orders for
24 subordinates and also reports, of course, to the superior about the
25 degree of implementation, reports -- the degree of implementation of the
1 orders that have been received from that superior.
2 Q. Okay. I may be jumping a few pages here because at page 59 of
3 your report you do deal with the issue of situational awareness; is that
5 A. Indeed. I'm not sure whether the concept of situational
6 awareness as such is defined -- I don't remember it being defined as such
7 in an SFRY armed forces regulation, but the reporting system that is
8 explained and, for example, the obligation for commander to know -- to be
9 familiar with the situation -- I mean, the status position and
10 capabilities of his units two levels down is exactly the same as what in
11 some other armies is called situational awareness.
12 Q. Can you tell us what is this concept of the status and
13 position -- you said two levels down, what does that refer to?
14 A. I will do so by giving an example, Your Honours. If -- I mean, a
15 brigade consists of battalions. Each battalion consists of -- battalion
16 consists of companies, each company consists of platoons, and platoons
17 consists of sections. If the brigade commander wants to give an order --
18 I mean, he has received -- the brigade commander has received an order
19 from his superior, the division commander, to conduct an attack
20 somewhere, and the brigade commander, I mean, usually has three
21 battalions for that, he will have to decide which battalion will do what
22 where. In order to be able to decide about that he needs to know the
23 status of these battalions. Well, the status of these battalions is
24 determined by the status of the companies of these battalions because the
25 battalion is just a framework of three companies. So for the brigade
1 commander to give -- to use his battalions in the best possible way, he
2 will have to understand the status of the companies of those battalions,
3 this is from two levels down, from brigade, the next level would be
4 battalion, battalions are actually the companies, I mean, it's the
5 companies who do the work, so that's -- that goes back to the second
6 level then is then company level.
7 Q. Perhaps I may be going into too much detail here, but you just
8 told us the company really does the work. What are you -- can you
9 explain to us what that means?
10 A. Yeah, maybe it's not -- it's not the most correct English, but I
11 want -- what I tried to say, the means of the battalion, the manpower and
12 the equipment is in the companies, and from -- I mean, and if you go from
13 the company, a company will consist -- when I look back at my experience
14 in an armoured battalion, a tank battalion would consist of three -- we
15 wouldn't call them companies, we called them squadrons, but three
16 squadrons. If a battalion commander received an order from the brigade
17 commander to conduct an attack somewhere, well the attack would be
18 physically conducted by the squadrons, the battalion is just the
19 encompassing level with the staff. There will be of course in addition
20 to the three what I would call combat or tank companies or squadrons,
21 there would be a support company that would also have to provide some
22 kind of support, refuelling, ammunition supply, and so on. But basically
23 the work is done, the mission is implemented by the companies.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. And if you have a company with only -- I mean a weakened company,
1 it cannot have -- it doesn't have the same capacities or capabilities as
2 a stronger company.
3 Q. Very well. We see as of page 28 you deal with the various
4 government organs such as the Presidency, the Federal Secretariat for
5 National Defence, et cetera, and I'd like you -- I'd like to take you to
6 page 33 where you deal with the Supreme Command. And this is at the
7 bottom of page 33 you refer to the 1983 strategy of armed conflicts. And
8 here it is quoted that:
9 "In war the Presidency of the SFRY performs the functions of the
10 organ of Supreme Command and control over the armed forces of the SFRY."
11 Could you tell us in practice what does that imply with respect
12 to the role of the president during war time, the Presidency?
13 A. It means that the Presidency, I mean the SFRY Presidency, acts as
14 the highest political authority which issues directives or instructions
15 or orders, I mean depending of the level, to the, as it was in SFRY, the
16 staff of the Supreme Command, which is the -- led by -- which was led by
17 the SSNO, the federal secretary for people's defence. And he and the
18 Supreme Command Staff will then translate these political directives and
19 instructions into military orders for the subordinate units.
20 Q. Very well. You explained to us a little earlier that the
21 presidents of the six constituent republics were heading -- were the
22 heads of the -- well, the TOs reported to the presidents of the
23 republics. Did the presidents of the republics have any --
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Objection, that misstates what the witness said
1 about that relationship.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Fine, let me rephrase that then. Let me just go
3 back to that.
4 Q. Perhaps you could start by telling us what was the role of the
5 president of the republic with respect to the TO?
6 A. Again, as I mentioned earlier, we would have to go back to the
7 specific documents because the -- there has been some dispute -- I mean,
8 what I remember from interviewing witnesses -- not witnesses but -- yeah,
9 witnesses, when I was working for the OTP, about the Law on Defence of
10 the Republic of Serbia that was adopted in July 1991, but the TO, I mean,
11 it reports to the president in the context of -- in the area of manning,
12 organisation -- I mean the commander of a TO reports to the president of
13 the republic in relation to manning, organising, planning
14 combat-readiness, and these issues. But during operations involving JNA
15 and TO, as a general rule, the TO would operate under the command of the
16 JNA. And again, if you look at specific cases and especially the
17 situation in fall 1991 in Croatia, we need to look at the specific
19 Q. Yes. We will do that in a moment. Just with respect to what we
20 were dealing with here the Supreme Command, are the presidents of the
21 republics members of the Supreme Command?
22 A. Yes, they are, as it is foreseen in the regulations. It needs to
23 be mentioned that the Supreme Command, as such, is not mentioned in the
24 1974 Constitution because at that time President Tito didn't need such a
25 body. It's only later that we see that the term "Supreme Command" is
1 introduced like in the 1983 doctrinal regulation and as well as during
2 the conflict we see that in media and also in other documents the
3 expression "Supreme Command" is being used.
4 Q. Very well. Now, as of page 39 we see a section here on the
5 Territorial Defence. I would like to turn your attention to that,
6 please. You just explained to us the system with the republics, and I
7 believe it is at page -- sorry -- yes, it is at page 43 where you quote
8 General Kadijevic's memoirs --
9 A. Mm-hmm.
10 Q. --- with respect to the role of the TO. Could you tell us a
11 little bit maybe in a nutshell in the late 1980s what transformations, if
12 any, occurs within the system of the relationship between the JNA and the
14 A. Your Honour, several things are being done. I'm not sure anymore
15 where it is in this version -- oh, yeah, no, it's on page 49. I mention
16 the Jedinstvo plan which is adopted in 1986, changes the name of the
17 chief of General Staff of the JNA to Chief of General Staff of the SFRY
18 armed forces. So the Chief of General Staff is not only responsible
19 anymore for the JNA but also for the TO. We also see, and that is
20 discussed further in the report, a change in boundaries of certain units,
21 and we see the introduction of the military districts. And then in May
22 1990 the Presidency adopts a decision to subordinate the weapons -- or
23 for the -- actually, it's for the safekeeping of the weapons of the TO,
24 that is discussed on page 42, to have these TO weapons kept or stored in
25 warehouses under JNA supervision. And Kadijevic and also others see this
1 as measures to increase federal control over republican TOs.
2 Q. Now, you make a --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian --
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could I please intervene for a moment.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: At page 24, line 10, you asked the witness:
8 "Yes, we will do that in a moment. Just with respect to what we
9 were dealing with here about the Supreme Command, are the presidents of
10 the republics members of the Supreme Command?"
11 And perhaps I missed something, but I didn't see the concept of
12 Supreme Command coming up before this question. So now I'm not certain
13 about which Supreme Command we are talking.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, I apologise, Your Honours. I think it was
15 as at page 33 that we had the concept of Supreme Command, I think we had
16 it for a little while on the screen.
17 Q. But perhaps Mr. Theunens can explain to us how the concept came
18 about. I think you gave us a small explanation earlier, but maybe if we
19 can return to that.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Is there a problem with the display or --
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: There is a problem with the B/C/S documents,
23 Mr. Demirdjian. So if you could when you call a document give the B/C/S
24 reference to the Registrar.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Okay. With respect for individual documents, I
1 do have the B/C/S version. For the report itself I'm afraid I haven't
2 noted those down, so I will try to see how we can follow the best
3 possible way.
4 Q. So here we have the concept of Supreme Command on the screen.
5 Could you explain that to us, Mr. Theunens.
6 A. I just want to highlight the diagram. I didn't take from any
7 regulation. I just put that together myself based on documents I had
8 reviewed. But basically a number of regulations from the 1980s mention
9 the Supreme Command and its command and control role during one of the
10 three states, and these states are the state of war, the state of
11 imminent threat of war, and I think the state of emergency --
12 Q. Mr. Theunens, may I just interrupt you.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Could we perhaps zoom in on the English version
14 on the diagram because I don't think it is quite visible. Yes, thank
16 THE WITNESS: So the Supreme Command is basically -- is the
17 Presidency, the highest civilian or political authority, is established
18 during -- or becomes active during one of the three states I just
19 mentioned. And the Supreme Command as the highest command and control
20 body issues instructions or directives or orders to the Supreme Command
21 Staff. The Supreme Command Staff consists of the Federal Secretariat of
22 people's defence which you could more or less compare with the
23 Ministry of Defence with the only difference that in most countries the
24 Ministry of Defence is civilian but in the SFRY the secretary or the
25 federal secretary for people's defence was a colonel-general, at that
1 time Veljko Kadijevic, so he's assisted by his secretariat as well as by
2 the General Staff and the Chief of General Staff. So -- and the orders,
3 at least those I have seen during the preparation of this report and the
4 other reports, military orders most often go from the SSNO to the next
5 command level which would be the military district, whereas the Chief of
6 General Staff, he may also issue some orders but only -- he only does
7 that when he's forwarding similar -- actually, the same instructions he
8 had already received from the SSNO. So there is much less role played by
9 the Chief of General Staff than may be in some other militaries in other
11 In the context of the events we're looking at, it's also
12 important to notice that during fall 1991 and especially spring 1992, the
13 federal secretary for people's defence, Colonel-General Kadijevic, is
14 often absent for health reasons, and then General Blagoje Adzic who is
15 the Chief of General Staff becomes the acting SSNO.
16 Q. Very well.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Sorry to interrupt, and I didn't want to interrupt
19 the witness, but we've lost the realtime transcript, Mr. President.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It's working on the middle monitors but not on
21 the e-court -- I mean on e-trans; is that right?
22 MR. GOSNELL: It seems to have come back at least on some
23 monitors, Mr. President.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: On e-trans on our computers it's not moving
25 anymore. It's only working on the monitors in the middle screen.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, are you okay now?
3 MR. GOSNELL: It seems to be back. Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So we can continue?
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes. Thank you.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
8 Q. I apologise, Mr. Theunens, for that. With -- yes, what I wanted
9 to ask you was this Supreme Command, was it active at all times?
10 A. No, Your Honours. Based on the documents I reviewed -- I mean,
11 according to the doctrinal documents, it became active when one of the
12 three states was declared, state of war, imminent threat of war, or
13 emergency, but again looking at the events in 1991, even already in
14 spring 1991, media are talking about the Supreme Command, whereas none of
15 these three states had already been declared.
16 Q. Very well. And when you say that media -- sorry, I'm lost --
17 losing my LiveNote as well. When you say media were talking about the
18 Supreme Command, in what terms were they referring to the
19 Supreme Command?
20 A. I mean to my recollection they're talking about decisions taken
21 by the Supreme Command or meetings of the Supreme Command or -- yeah,
22 decisions and guidance to the military.
23 Q. Okay. Very well.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I think there's a question from the Judges.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: Yes, Mr. Demirdjian.
2 [Interpretation] Witness, generally speaking nowadays when we
3 talk about Supreme Command we mean the head of state or heads of state,
4 as you said, the highest political level, as you said. In this little
5 table that I see on the screen before me there is mention of the federal
6 Presidency of the SFRY, and it is said that the Supreme Command consists
7 of eight members - I'm translating as I speak - one from each of the six
8 republics, and one from each of the two autonomous provinces. Can you
9 tell me, who are the members delegated by republics? Is it, again, the
10 highest political authority, as is the case of the Socialist Federal
11 Republic of Yugoslavia, or would it be any random delegate sent to that
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, there is a distinction or there is a
14 difference between the president of each of the republics, I mean
15 Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia on
16 one hand; and then the delegates of these republics in the Presidency.
17 Like, for example -- I haven't mentioned the two provinces, Kosovo and
18 Vojvodina. So each of these republics and provinces has its own
19 president, but that person is not a member of the Presidency. They have
20 each of these republics and provinces has a delegate or has a
21 representative in the Presidency. For example, as you will see later in
22 the report, during the times that are relevant for us, Mr. Borisav Jovic
23 is the representative of the Republic of Serbia in the Presidency, the
24 SFRY Presidency; whereas, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic is the president of the
25 Republic of Serbia. And it's two individual persons with their own
2 And I've tried to highlight that also on page 35, that is, that
3 the president of the republic plays no de jure - when I say "de jure," I
4 mean in accordance with the 1974 Constitution and other legislation --
5 relevant legislation - so the president of the republic has no command
6 and control role in relation to the armed forces; whereas, the
7 representative of that republic does have such a role. Now, how they
8 interact with each other, that's obviously another matter, but it's a
9 distinction that needs to be made. I hope I clarified the matter,
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you very much. It's
12 very clear now.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Demirdjian.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. Mr. Theunens, I would like to take you back now to the issue that
16 we were discussing with respect to the TO which we have at page 39
17 onwards. And again -- first of all, before I ask you any questions about
18 the book that is published by General Kadijevic, could you tell us what
19 are your views with respect to the content in his memoirs?
20 A. Your Honours, his memoirs -- I mean, I focused mainly on his --
21 the views he expressed on the Supreme Command, his relations with the
22 Supreme Command, as well as his analysis of the operations conducted by
23 the SFRY armed forces and in there he focuses on the JNA, looked in the
24 context of -- seen in the context of other contemporaneous documentation,
25 like official decisions, political and military, I consider him a
1 reliable source and the information he provides on these issues of -- of
2 a high degree of credibility.
3 Q. Very well. Now, at page 43 of your report in English, I will try
4 to see if I can find the page number in B/C/S, although it might be a
5 little bit -- oh, yes. I'm sorry, it's page 54, thank you, of the B/C/S
6 version. We see here General Kadijevic describing the decision to disarm
7 the TO and to place it under the control of the JNA, and you quote here,
8 "as 'one of the most important steps taken to paralyze the baneful
9 constitutional concept of the Armed Forces.'"
10 Now, in what context does this come about?
11 A. Your Honours, this corresponds with what I mentioned earlier,
12 that is that in especially in the latter half of the 1980s, senior JNA
13 officers as well as the authority -- I mean, the political authorities in
14 Serbia or -- and others who consider themselves pro-Yugoslav, they
15 consider that republics like Croatia and Slovenia are striving for
16 independence and as -- and in order to implement this desire for greater
17 independence or even total independence and secession from SFRY are
18 transforming their Territorial Defences into armed forces.
19 Q. You mentioned a little bit earlier that - and this was at page 42
20 of your report - that there is an order from General --
21 Colonel-General Blagoje Adzic with respect to the safekeeping of the
22 ammunitions and the weapons of the TO. Might I ask that we display on
23 the screen 65 ter 40, 4-0, which is at tab 29. Yes. Now, I believe we
24 can see the date, it is the 14th of May, 1990; is that right? Do you see
25 this on your screen?
1 A. I do, Your Honours.
2 Q. Very well. And under item 1 Adzic orders the military district,
3 the air force, and naval district commands together with the TO staffs to
4 organise the take-over, storage, and safekeeping of the complete stock of
5 the TO weapons and ammunition in the JNA supply dumps and depots. Now,
6 first of all, is this the document that you are referring to at page 42
7 of your report?
8 A. Indeed, Your Honours, it is.
9 Q. And to your knowledge, what impact did this order have at the
11 A. Your Honours, I haven't been able to make a complete review of
12 the degree of implementation of that order. We had -- we have some
13 documents indicating that, for example, in some parts of the Republic of
14 Croatia indeed weapons of the TO are transferred from storage sites that
15 were under exclusive TO control to storage sites that are under JNA
16 control, but I've also seen reports that actually this order was not
17 fully implemented.
18 Q. Very well. Perhaps if we could look at 65 ter 41, 65 ter 41,
19 which is at tab 30. The previous document we saw from Blagoje Adzic was
20 dated the 14th of May, 1990. Now we have a document from a week later,
21 the 21st of May, 1990. Are you familiar with this document,
22 Mr. Theunens?
23 A. Yes, Your Honours. This is an example of a TO unit in Croatia
24 in -- more specifically in the city of Split, indicating that their
25 weapons have been transferred to another warehouse -- a warehouse under
1 JNA control, a JNA depot.
2 Q. And does this have any relation with the document we just saw
3 before this one?
4 A. Yes, Your Honour. Even if -- it refers to a document of the 16th
5 of May, 1990, as opposed to the 14th of May, but it's reasonable to
6 assume that the document of the 16th of May would have referred to the
7 order of General Adzic because Adzic would not issue orders to each and
8 every municipal TO staff. It would most likely have gone through the
9 republican and then the zonal TO staffs.
10 Q. Very well.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: These two documents, Your Honours, are in the
12 report. In fact, whenever I don't mention anything, we can assume that
13 the document is in the report. When it's a new document, I'll mention
14 it. Very well.
15 Q. We talked about the mission of the JNA, and I will -- we'll deal
16 a little bit later this morning with what happened in 1991. For now I'd
17 like us to move to the structure of the SFRY armed forces which you deal
18 with as at page 59 of your report. And I'm very helpfully told that in
19 B/C/S that's page 74, 74/75.
20 Now, you deal here with -- yes, the structure of the territorial
21 organisation of the SFRY armed forces. And if we move on to two pages
22 forward at page 61 we see here that you deal with the branches of the
23 JNA. We have the army, the ground forces, the air force, the air
24 defence. And on the next page, 62, you have the navy. I'd like you to
25 explain to the Trial Chamber the concept of armies. I believe you
1 indicate at page 63 that the armies are abolished and as a peace time
2 military territorial structure was replaced by the term "military
4 What are armies and how do they compare to military districts?
5 A. Armies in the sense of a hierarchical or structural level of the
6 armed forces -- I mean, the definition you can find on page 62. It's a
7 group of ground forces, all JNA, whereas the military districts, they are
8 part of the state -- I mean, this is explained on page 63. They also --
9 I mean, they have different boundaries and they could also -- they would
10 also include, I mean at least on a functional level when they conduct
11 exercises and so on, they would also include TO. And the important issue
12 there is that the boundaries of the military districts do not correspond
13 to the boundaries of the republics.
14 Q. Okay. So are you telling us that the armies did correspond?
15 A. To be honest at this moment I'm not sure. I would have to review
17 Q. Okay. Maybe we can return that to a little bit later. So you're
18 telling us that the military districts as of 1988 do not correspond to
19 the boundaries of the republics. With respect to the present case, which
20 military district was the most relevant to the events?
21 A. That would be the 1st Military District, Your Honours, because
22 that covered the eastern part of Croatia as well as northern Serbia.
23 Q. And in -- we'll get back to that in more detail later, but very
24 briefly could you tell who is the chief of the 1st Military District in
1 A. At the time of the events in 1991, Colonel-General Zivota Panic
2 was the commander of the 1st Military District.
3 Q. Very well. In the next -- at the next page which is page 64 in
4 English, you explain here that -- or the old concept of armies meant that
5 there were seven armies, one for each republic.
6 A. Yeah.
7 Q. The new concept of military district changes this dramatically.
8 This is what you just told us. Is there an explanation as to why this
9 change came about?
10 A. I haven't seen documents at the time or official documents where
11 the -- the reasons for these measures because I think the introduction of
12 the military districts has to be seen in the context also of the Adzic
13 order which was based on an instruction from the SFRY Presidency to put
14 TO weapons under JNA control, and then we had the earlier decision to
15 change the Chief of General Staff of the JNA -- I mean, to change the
16 functioning to Chief General Staff of the SFRY armed forces, are all part
17 of measures to increase federal control over the TOs in light of these
18 aspirations among some republics, most obviously Croatia and Slovenia,
19 to -- for more independence or even to secede from the SFRY.
20 Q. Very well. Now, without getting into too much detail, could you
21 tell us within military districts what kind of units can one find at the
22 beginning of the conflict, let's say in early 1991?
23 A. I mean, for ground forces you would have corps, divisions,
24 brigades, and so on up to the platoon level. There are also TO units and
25 then -- I mean, since we're talking about the conflict - and I presume
1 that's the reason for your question - we would also see the establishment
2 of temporary units for the conduct of specific operations in specific
3 areas, and those being operational groups, tactical groups, and in some
4 areas assault detachments and assault groups.
5 Q. Well, at page 69, actually, you do deal with the concept of
6 operational group.
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. Could you perhaps give us an explanation of the structure and the
9 role of an operational group?
10 A. Summarising what is mentioned in the report, Your Honours, these
11 OGs, TGs, JODs are temporary formations that are established to conduct a
12 specific operation in a specific area, and they are established because
13 they will be forces of different parent units or of a different nature
14 involved. We see from the operational groups and tactical groups that
15 are established in fall 1991 in Croatia by the JNA that they consist of
16 JNA units which may come from different corps. Krajina Serb MUPs, or
17 police, I mean this is mainly in Banja or Lika or Kordun, but in Eastern
18 Slavonia we see JNA units, local Serb TO, TO Serbia, units identified as
19 volunteer detachments. There's even sometimes the use of expressions
20 Chetnik detachment. And all these different forces, they will have to
21 operate together.
22 Now, given the three principles of command and control which are
23 explained earlier in the report, and those are single command and
24 control, unity of command and control, and obligation to implement
25 decisions, the easiest way to implement these or enforce these principles
1 is by creating a new structure with one single commander, the OG or the
2 TG commander, and then all these different units are part of that
3 temporary structure.
4 Q. Could you tell the Court if this temporary -- the temporary
5 nature of an operational group -- well, what impact does it have on
6 issues such as command and control which we have seen earlier?
7 A. Your Honours, since we are talking about militaries, I would say
8 everything happens on command, i.e., there is an order to establish the
9 OG or the TG or the other temporary formation and there will be an order
10 to disband them. And during the time of existence of the OG and the TG,
11 all forces that are part of the OG and the TG are under the command of
12 the OG and TG commander, unless of course specified differently.
13 Q. Very well. And with respect to the -- again, the temporary
14 nature of an operational group, in which way is it created and in which
15 way does its existence end?
16 A. It would be done through an order and most often a written order.
17 I mean, it could be done through oral orders, but then one would find a
18 trace of that oral order in a war diary or a situation report. I mean,
19 there should be some kind of a written trace of the decision to establish
20 or abolish it.
21 Q. Okay. And just before we take the break, at page 73 you deal
22 with another organ which is the security administration and the security
23 organs. This is page 73 in the English version and in B/C/S that's page
24 92. Now, here first we see a quote from the Law on National Defence and
25 let me just see -- yes, I believe you refer to -- just a second, please.
1 Well, before I get to that, could you tell us briefly what is the role
2 and function of the security administration?
3 A. Well, they are responsible for security, and that involves also
4 counter-intelligence as well as -- and again, it's explained in the
5 report just to save time, that also involves, for example, investigation
6 of serious crimes against the military.
7 Q. In terms -- with respect to the structure of the armed forces,
8 where does the security administration fit?
9 A. The -- Your Honours, the chief of the security administration or
10 the "uprava bezbednosti," I apologise for my incorrect Serbian
11 declination, is located at the level of the -- it is part of the federal
12 secretariat of people's defence, or the SSNO, and then there will be
13 security organs OB in the different commands, corps command, brigade
14 command, division command. There may also be separate
15 counter-intelligence groups, KOG, established. The security organs will
16 consist of an assistant commander for security who is an advisor to the
17 operational commander, and he may have -- he will have certain
19 And the interesting -- I mean, relevant maybe to mention here is
20 that the assistant commander for security or the security organ in a unit
21 will be subordinated from an operational point of view to the operational
22 commander, but from a functional point of view he will get instructions
23 from the security administration, for example, as to how to do things.
24 And there are also examples throughout at least 1991 but also earlier
25 with the security administration giving tasks concerning investigations
1 or something directly to security organs located at an operational
2 command level in a brigade, for example, without informing the brigade
4 Q. Now, you explained to us that the security administration, or if
5 we refer to it by its abbreviation the UB, is at the level of the federal
6 secretariat of people's defence, and then you mentioned the security
7 organs, the OB, and then you just mentioned that, you know, for example,
8 we would find them in brigades. Could you tell the Court in which
9 organisational units would you expect to find an OB unit or a security
10 organ basically?
11 A. For sure in brigades, Your Honour, and higher level, of course,
12 corps and divisions. I don't recall having seen reference to security
13 organs at battalion level.
14 Q. Very well. And, yes, one last question before the break. I
15 think at page 75 under item (c) you say here that the security organs
16 also provide specialist management to the military police. Can you tell
17 us what is that relationship between the security organs and the military
19 A. Mm-hmm. Yes, yes, Your Honours. Again, from an operational
20 point of view, the military police is under the command of the
21 operational commander, but given their specialist tasks, whereby it is
22 explained in the report military police can also conduct investigations
23 in crimes, for those kind of activities the security organs cannot only
24 advise the commander on how to use the military police but can also
25 advise military police commanders on how to do -- how to conduct these
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I believe it is the appropriate
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Demirdjian.
6 Just for the record in -- at page 38, line 20, the word "obey"
7 after security organs should be replaced by OB.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Theunens, we take the first break. We will come back to --
11 at 11.00. The court usher will escort you out of the courtroom. Thank
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please be seated.
19 Yes, Mr. Demirdjian, please proceed.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Q. Welcome back, Mr. Theunens. I'd like to take you to page 76 of
22 your report, and in B/C/S that is page 95, where you deal with the armed
23 forces of the Republic of Serbia.
24 A. Mm-hmm.
25 Q. I will not delve into too much detail. I believe your section is
1 self-explanatory, but suffice it to say there is a TO, a
2 Territorial Defence, in the Republic of Serbia; is that right?
3 A. That is correct, Your Honours. Maybe very briefly in the report
4 I explain in the following pages what I mentioned earlier that there was
5 some controversy about these -- this defence law which was adopted in
6 July 1991 because it also refers to the president of the republic acting
7 as the commander of the armed forces of the republic, which was not
8 consistent with the SFRY armed forces doctrine in relation to the TO.
9 Q. And perhaps just to remind us, how does it compare to the SFRY
10 armed forces doctrine, this decision?
11 A. I mean, as we discussed earlier, the commander of the TO is
12 answerable to the president of the republic for a number of issues which
13 I would call managerial issues, i.e., planning, organising, equipping,
14 training, and so on. But in this defence law we see that the president
15 of the republic commands the armed forces. And then further on -- I
16 mean, I'm also referring, sorry, to the 1990 Constitution of the Republic
17 of Serbia, but again you can find all that in this section of the report.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That's page 78 if we can flip for that.
19 Actually it's the next page.
20 THE WITNESS: And that actually there is a reference in one of
21 these articles that as long as there are no armed forces defined, the TO
22 will function as the armed forces of the Republic of Serbia.
23 Q. Very well. Now, quickly moving on to page 83, here you deal with
24 the VJ, the Vojska Jugoslavije, and you explain here that the VJ was the
25 successor to the JNA. And I believe it's at page 92 in the English
1 version, which is page 114 in B/C/S, where you explain that there is a
2 high degree of similarity and coherence between the command and control
3 doctrines in the JNA and the VJ.
4 With respect to the VJ leadership itself, how does the
5 composition of the VJ compare with the composition of the JNA?
6 A. I mean, there are a few differences. First of all, in the --
7 when the FRY is established, the concept of Territorial Defence is
8 abolished, so the VJ is the only military force, and then the VJ is
9 obviously commanded by the Chief of General Staff and above that
10 political authority the highest authority for defence matters consists --
11 is the Supreme Defence Council, which you could compare to the
12 Supreme Command as it existed in the SFRY, whereas of course in this
13 situation in the FRY it consists of the presidents of Serbia, Montenegro,
14 and FRY and is presided by the president of FRY and if I recall well the
15 Chief of General Staff has an advisory role.
16 Q. Very well. And I'm sorry, I don't think I can find it here, you
17 said that this is -- at page 83 you mentioned that the VJ is a successor
18 of the JNA and you make a reference to the FRY Constitution of 1992.
19 A. Mm-hmm.
20 Q. Can you just help us perhaps pin-point a date as to when the VJ
21 succeeds or is created?
22 A. Yeah, this is in May 1992, but it takes some time to establish it
23 because as a serious -- I mean, reorganisation to happen as there was
24 still a TO in the Republic of Serbia and a TO in the Republic of
25 Montenegro as well as in Vojvodina and Kosovo and all these have to be
1 integrated or abolished or transformed otherwise in order to create the
3 Q. We will get to the factual context later on, but could you just
4 give us in a nutshell what causes the creation of the VJ?
5 A. It's the dissociation of the SFRY -- not the dissociation, but
6 it's the fact, okay, Slovenia had left already in summer of 1991, Croatia
7 in November of 1991, and then Bosnia-Herzegovina in April 1992.
8 Q. Very well. As I say, we'll look at that in more detail later --
9 A. Sorry, I forgot to mention also Macedonia also I believe in April
10 or May 1992.
11 Q. Okay. I'd like us to go to page 98 of your report in B/C/S,
12 that's page 120, where you deal with the military justice system in the
13 SFRY armed forces. First you begin at -- yes. You begin with a section
14 on the military discipline system, which is at page 99, and you make a
15 distinction between infractions and offences, et cetera. And then it is
16 at page 100, B/C/S 123, where you deal with the military justice system.
17 A. Mm-hmm.
18 Q. And the role of the office of the military prosecutor. I want to
19 take you to Article 5 of the Law on The Office of the Military Prosecutor
20 which is at page 102 in your report, which is 125 in the B/C/S version.
21 I'm just waiting for the English version to come up on the screen. Now
22 we can focus on the bottom part of the page. Yeah, Article 5 is right
23 there. You indicate here that at Article 5 there is a duty upon the
24 offices of the military prosecution at the units and bodies of the JNA to
25 inform not only the office of the military prosecution about the
1 implementation of the law and their work but also the superior officers
2 and units and bodies of the JNA. I want you to clarify a little bit the
3 terminology here. What is meant by the offices of the military
4 prosecution at the units and bodies of the JNA?
5 A. Your Honours, as is explained in the law, there is a structure --
6 I mean, there's not only a system with procedures and rules, but also a
7 structure to implement those procedures and rules. And I don't think I
8 have a detailed breakdown as to how the military prosecution, the
9 military justice system was organised, but it would be plausible to have
10 military prosecution officers or prosecutor officers at the military
11 district level and -- or at the regional level and these -- they may have
12 sub-officers, and all these, I mean, the sub-officers report to the
13 superior officers, and they will at the end report to the military
14 prosecutor at the General Staff level.
15 Q. And this duty to inform about the implementation of the law and
16 their work, can you tell us in practice how this would translate in
17 practical terms?
18 A. Your Honours, this is done by periodical reports. There are some
19 included in the section where I discuss the implementation of the system.
20 Further trials I've seen -- I mean, not specifically for the VJ, but, for
21 example, the VRS that there were monthly updates by the military
22 prosecutor officers at the corps levels.
23 Q. Very well. If we move away from this for a moment and go to the
24 next page, which is page 103 of your report, that's 126 in the B/C/S
25 version, you deal here with the mandate of the military courts. And here
1 you -- I think you quote -- yes, Article 1 of the Law on the Military
2 Courts. Yes. And you indicate here that military courts, as regular
3 courts, try criminal acts committed by military persons and also by other
4 persons when such criminal acts are related to the national defence and
5 the security of the state ..."
6 Now, this is a law of 1977. To your knowledge, does this also
7 apply with relations to violations of the laws of war?
8 A. The -- I mean, for the military personnel, obviously the answer
9 is clear. For non-military and, for example, volunteers, the answer is
10 difficult to give because I -- there are very few examples. I mean, this
11 is discussed further in the reports -- in report, but there are very few
12 examples at least that I am aware of even if we, for example, requested
13 these kind of reports from the military prosecution office or from the
14 military courts to the authorities of FRY and later Serbia while I was
15 working as a military analyst in the Office of the Prosecutor, but we
16 received very little or no answers. So it's difficult for me to say
17 whether, for example, members of volunteer units were prosecuted by
18 military prosecutors and whether justice was pursued in front of military
19 courts or, as we all know, later on when there was a war crimes
20 prosecution office established in Belgrade - but this is like 10 or 15 or
21 20 years after the events - then these people were brought to justice in
22 front of this special war crimes court. So I mean, to answer in shorter
23 manner for civilians I cannot answer on the basis of the information --
24 the documents that I reviewed.
25 Q. Now, you do refer at page 106 of your report to the -- to
1 regulations which were adopted in 1988 with respect to the application of
2 international laws of war. At the bottom of that page -- and, I'm sorry,
3 in B/C/S page 108 -- page 107 is page 132 in B/C/S. Here at the bottom
4 of that page you indicate that as a member of the international community
5 of states, Yugoslavia had accepted the rules of international laws of
6 war, and this -- how would you -- with regards to that, how do you view
7 these regulations, the 1988 regulations?
8 A. Your Honours, the 1988 regulations, and they were still valid
9 during the 1991 conflict, are consistent with the various international
10 regulations, including Geneva Conventions, and the content is similar to
11 similar regulations that apply to other armed forces, I mean armed forces
12 of other countries.
13 Q. Very well. And just a moment, please.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we could actually display the instructions,
15 it's 65 ter 27 at tab 23.
16 Q. While that's coming up, Mr. Theunens, with respect to what you
17 say here at the bottom of page 106, that Yugoslavia had accepted the
18 rules of international laws of war, were you aware of whether they were
19 members of the Geneva Conventions, where Yugoslavia was a state party?
20 A. My understanding is they were.
21 Q. Very well. Now, is this the cover page here that we see of the
22 1988 regulations?
23 A. Yes, it is, Your Honours.
24 Q. Okay. And in the English version could we go to page 23 --
25 sorry, page 21, and in B/C/S it is also page 21. Yes, do you see item
1 number 37 here, jurisdictions -- jurisdiction for trials?
2 A. Mm-hmm, I do.
3 Q. Now, it says here that trials of military personnel who violate
4 the laws of war which entail criminal liability fall under the
5 jurisdiction of the Yugoslav military courts, and if a member of a
6 foreign armed force violates the laws of war, he shall be tried by the
7 military court with jurisdiction trials, et cetera.
8 Now, does this in some ways correspond to the articles we've seen
9 earlier with respect to the law on the military courts?
10 A. It does and I think it's also relevant to refer to one of your
11 first questions this morning, that was, that anyone -- I'm paraphrasing,
12 anyone who joins the defence of the country shall be considered a member
13 of the armed forces and is therefore also subject to these regulations.
14 Q. Very well. Now, in relation to the Law on Armed conflicts you
15 also quote I believe it is Article 93 of the Law on People's Defence.
16 And this is Exhibit L10 which is at tab 10.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we could display this law.
18 Q. Yes, sorry, it is at page 105 of your report in English and B/C/S
19 I haven't noted it down, but it's probably page 127/128.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Okay, so with respect to the Law on All People's
21 Defence could we go in English to page 60, 6-0. Yeah. Yes, and we can
22 zoom on Article 93, and in B/C/S it is page 16.
23 Q. And again here we see Article 93 which provides that:
24 "During combat activities, members of the Armed Forces are
25 obliged at all times to abide by the rules of international law of war on
1 the humane treatment of wounded and captured enemies ...," et cetera.
2 Can I ask you, I mean, with respect to documents that you have
3 reviewed, are you able to tell the Court what was the level of training
4 of officers and soldiers of the SFRY armed forces with respect to
5 international humanitarian law?
6 A. Your Honours, I'm -- I don't have -- I haven't seen any training
7 programmes of -- or I don't recall seeing, like, annual training
8 documents or programmes for the JNA or SFRY armed forces. However, the
9 specific orders, for example, from the command of the
10 1st Military District or Operational Group South for the operations
11 conducted in fall 1991 in the wider Vukovar area, they repeatedly
12 referred to the importance of abiding by the international laws of war
13 and the humane treatment of prisoners and civilians, and in my report I
14 also refer to guide-lines and instructions from General Kadijevic, I
15 mean, so superior commanders, as well as General Adzic in this domain.
16 So I think it's reasonable to conclude from that that the officers and
17 their personnel were aware of the obligations and were also regularly
18 reminded of those.
19 Q. Very well. On the same page of your report, at page 105 you
20 referred to Chapter 16 of the SFRY Criminal Code which again lists
21 offences against humanitarian law. And perhaps as a general overview,
22 could you tell the Court what was the state of the legislation at the
23 time and how did it compare with the existing legal framework with
24 respect to international humanitarian law?
25 A. I'm not a lawyer and I don't pretend to be one, but my impression
1 is that all these things are consistent and they all come back to the
2 same base line, that is, that what we in the military know as the
3 Geneva Conventions and our obligations in relation to laws of armed
4 conflict and international humanitarian law, that all these aspects are
5 codified also in the SFRY, not only in legislation as what we are quoting
6 in now -- now from, but also in military regulations like the 1988
7 regulations in that military personnel is familiar with those and are
8 during the combat operations also reminded of those.
9 Q. Very well. I'd like to move now to another topic which is at
10 page 116 of your report and that's 143 in the B/C/S version, and this is
11 the topic of investigation and prosecutions of violations of the laws and
12 customs of war. Now -- perhaps maybe generally before we move to the
13 specific, could you tell the Court which Army of organs are in charge of
14 investigating such criminal offences?
15 A. Your Honours, two types of organs or structures are responsible
16 for these activities, those are the security organs and the military
18 Q. And I believe you quote here the rules of service of the security
19 organs, the 1984 rules of service, and you have a quote here with respect
20 to their specific task relating to the detection and prevention of
21 serious crimes.
22 A. I do and I just maybe draw your attention to the fact that the
23 article -- the paragraph 7 of the 1984 rules of service of the security
24 organs refers to actually crimes to the armed forces consisting of theft
25 or damage of arms and ammunition and property crime, but we see - and
1 again these documents are discussed in the report that during the 1991
2 conflict security organs also investigate crimes or alleged -- crimes
3 that could correspond to violations of the laws of war. For example, in
4 the Skabrnja area as well as also in Baranja and eastern Slovenia there
5 are several reports by security organs discussing crimes or serious
6 crimes that would fall under violations of the international laws of war.
7 Q. Very well. On the next page, page 117 of your report, you deal
8 with the authority of the security organs to detain a suspect for up to
9 three days.
10 A. Mm-hmm.
11 Q. And you quote an article here of the rules of service, that's
12 Article 45, I believe, and you indicate that the decision on detention
13 which must be justified is issued by the senior officer of the security
14 organ of an army command; is that right?
15 A. Yes, that is what the article states.
16 Q. Okay. And the next quote you have here is:
17 "When placing a person in detention before the commencement of an
18 investigation, security organs may not question the detained tern as a
19 suspect but are authorised to conduct interviews with him aimed at
20 procuring necessary information."
21 Can you tell us what this refers to?
22 A. In my understanding, Your Honours, this refers to -- I mean, the
23 difference between a criminal investigation where the military police
24 would be involved and most likely members of the military prosecutor's
25 office, I mean the criminal/judicial investigation on one hand, and on
1 the other hand the work of security organs who are -- whose task is to
2 gather information concerning potential security threats to the armed
3 forces. Criminal investigation is not their main task; that is taken
4 care of by other organs.
5 Q. Very well. I'd like to take you to the implementation of the
6 military justice system, which starts at page 122 in the English version
7 and that's page 150 in the B/C/S version. Here you start with your
8 conclusion in the first paragraph of the section. Yes, it's up there.
9 And can you briefly summarise for the Trial Chamber what is your
10 conclusion with respect to the implementation of the military justice
12 A. Mm-hmm. Your Honours, the conclusion is that this system is --
13 appears to be functioning and is for what friendly armed forces --
14 members of the friendly armed forces is concerned focused on what I would
15 call the typical military crimes, like desertion or crime against the
16 armed forces, whereas otherwise -- I mean, in relation to violations of
17 the international laws of war or related crimes, it's mainly focused on
18 activities of members of the opposing armed force. And again, I don't
19 have so many documents -- I didn't have so many documents available to
20 draw conclusions from, but I do remember that between 2003 and 2007,
21 several requests were sent to the Republic of -- to FRY and to the
22 Republic of Serbia for reports of the work of the military prosecutor
23 offices versus a military court in order for us -- for me at least to
24 achieve an understanding of their activities and in relation to, for
25 example, reports we had seen from security organs concerning alleged
1 violations of the laws of war committed by members of the JNA or members
2 of volunteer or other units operating under JNA command during the 1991
4 Q. Very well. I will skip over the whole factual basis of the
5 operations in Eastern Slavonia. I will come to that later. I would like
6 you to take a look at a document which relates to this issue from the 2nd
7 of December, 1991. This is 65 ter 748 at tab 220. You see the cover
8 page here which says "Bulletin." Just perhaps by way of introduction, I
9 believe there are a few of these bulletins which you have used in your
10 report. Could you tell the Trial Chamber with respect to their content
11 and their preparation, what are your views with respect to the
12 information contained therein?
13 A. Your Honours, the bulletin was a document -- sorry, a publication
14 in English issued by the SSNO, so the federal secretariat for people's
15 defence. I believe it was done by the administration for moral guidance.
16 And it was specifically intended for the international community, be it
17 diplomats or embassies as well as the EU observers or even the UN, and it
18 gave -- it reflected the SSNO's views on the conflict. There were
19 reports on the conduct of operations, on alleged crimes committed by the
20 other side, and various issues.
21 Q. And if we could go to page 4 in the English version, we can stay
22 on page 1 in the B/C/S version. Yes. In the middle of that page we see
23 a statement by the commander of the 1st Army District. Can you see that,
24 Mr. Theunens?
25 A. Yes, I see it, Mr. Demirdjian.
1 Q. And we see here that forensic medicine and criminal investigation
2 team of the JNA is engaged in identifying persons killed in Vukovar. And
3 the next paragraph we see here that criminal proceedings are imminent or
4 have already been opened at military or regular courts against a number
5 of members of the Croatian paramilitary formations suspected of
6 committing these and other crimes. What is your view, again, with
7 respect to this type of information?
8 A. Your Honours, this corroborates what I said earlier, that is,
9 that the investigative and prosecution effort concerning alleged
10 violation of the laws of war are concentrated on members of the opposing
11 armed force and in this case in looking at the conflict in Croatia in
12 1991, that -- those members are members of the Croatian National Guard
13 and Croatian forces.
14 Q. Very well. Now, generally speaking and if we're getting into
15 specifics, can you explain to the Judges what kind of information was
16 available to the Belgrade leadership at the time with respect to crimes
17 committed by Serbian soldiers?
18 A. On one hand, Your Honours, you have reports from security organs
19 and sometimes military police. But of course I have seen these reports.
20 Sometimes I see follow-up documents -- I have seen follow-up documents
21 from a higher level in the military, but I cannot -- I do not know from
22 the documents that were available to me to what extent these documents,
23 for example, from the 1st Military District were then forwarded to, for
24 example, the Supreme Command. That is one type of documents. On the
25 other hand, there is, for example, what I quoted a letter dated 21st of
1 January, 1992, by the US Helsinki Watch Committee, which was sent to the
2 president of Serbia, Mr. Milosevic; the acting federal secretary for
3 people's defence, General Blagoje Adzic, I mean those two. And this is
4 quoted on page 123. And the fact that -- I think that's on the next
5 page, yeah, that a few weeks later, I believe, let's check -- yeah, three
6 weeks later the chief of cabinet of President Milosevic answers to the
7 letter, the Helsinki Watch letter, indicates that indeed they have
8 received it - I mean "they," I mean President Milosevic and his
9 staff - have received it and they have reviewed it.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we could look at this report from Helsinki
11 Watch, it's 65 ter 892 at tab 246. Thank you.
12 Q. Now, we see on the cover page as you've indicated, that this is
13 addressed to the president of the Republic of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic,
14 as well as General Adzic. Looking just at the first sentence:
15 "The US Helsinki Watch Committee is deeply troubled by reports of
16 serious human rights abuses by the Serbian government and the Yugoslav
18 If we could turn to the second page in both versions, we can see
19 the title there: "Rules of War Violations in the Croatian Conflict."
20 And the third paragraph here states that:
21 "The Serbian government has also condoned and, in some cases,
22 supported the formation of at least three paramilitary groups in Serbia
23 which operate in Croatia."
24 Can you give us a little bit of a background with respect to
25 these paramilitary groups?
1 A. You want me to explain the groups in -- addressed in this
2 document? Because then I would have to see the page, but otherwise I
3 have reviewed actually other documentation, documentation from the
4 Republic of Serbia Ministry of Defence as well as, for example, answers
5 provided by government officials of the Republic of Serbia to questions
6 in the parliament where they are -- indeed, members of the parliament
7 inquire or ask questions about various paramilitary or volunteer groups
8 that are being established. And again, from related documents - and I
9 mean by that official documents - one indeed can conclude that the --
10 that the then-authorities of the Republic of Serbia, mainly the
11 president, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Defence, condone
12 or even support the creation of these volunteer groups notwithstanding
13 actually -- and we haven't discussed that but you can find it in the Law
14 of Defence that Article 118 of the July 1991 Law of Defence of the
15 Republic of Serbia states that only the state authorities are competent
16 to plan, organise, equip, and maintain, I believe, armed forces.
17 Q. Thank you for that. Now, this is a very lengthy report. I just
18 wanted to look at two more excerpts. If we can go to page 3 in the
19 English version. Yes. Do you see the entry for August 1st in Dalj?
20 A. I do, I see it.
21 Q. And here the Helsinki Watch is reporting that after the JNA
22 occupied Dalj, Serbian paramilitary groups reportedly searched the
23 village for Croatian soldiers, police officers, and civilians and killed
24 many of those who were found wounded. That's one example we have there.
25 And if we could go to page, just a second, 7. Yes, under the
1 title: "November 18 - Vukovar," there is a general assessment first of
2 the situation in Vukovar. And then we see the last sentence in that
3 paragraph that:
4 "On the basis of interviews with displaced persons from Vukovar
5 and foreign journalists ... Helsinki Watch has reason to believe that
6 many Croatian men, both civilians and combatants who had laid down their
7 arms, were summarily executed by Serbian forces after Vukovar's fall."
8 I'm not going to go through every example we have here, but you
9 told us that there was a response from Milosevic's chief of cabinet; is
10 that right?
11 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
12 Q. And in the documentation that you have reviewed, have you seen
13 with respect to the Serbian authorities anything else with respect to the
14 crimes that are listed here?
15 A. When I -- when we look at the answer that is sent by the chief of
16 cabinet of Mr. Milosevic, i.e., Goran Milinovic, he, for example, states
17 in paragraph 2 that the president of the Republic of Serbia asked
18 competent organs of the republic to investigate the crimes, and even if
19 citizens of the Republic of Serbia participated in those crimes they will
20 be brought to justice. Again, based on the documentation I had available
21 to me, I have no -- not seen any indications of that. I think this is
22 discussed further on in the report and maybe in the Seselj section, but,
23 for example, in relation to volunteers who are affiliated or recruit
24 through the Serbian Radical Party and who has been we discussed the
25 operations in Vukovar operated in the so-called Leva Supoderica TO
1 detachment. It's only -- I think it's in the latter half of 1993 when
2 there is a political fallout between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Seselj that
3 members of Seselj's volunteers, i.e., individuals recruited through the
4 SRS, Serbian Radical Party, or SS war staff, are arrested and
5 investigated but they are not investigated for war crimes but for the
6 illegal possession of weapons. And again, the few cases I remember they
7 were released quite quickly or maybe sentenced to minor sentences. But
8 there was, as far as I recall, no investigation of their alleged
9 involvement in serious violations or in serious crimes and violations of
10 the laws of war.
11 Q. Now, at the time you explained to us earlier that the security
12 administration and the security organs were in charge of detecting and
13 preventing crimes. Were you aware of any exchange of information between
14 the security organs or the security administration with the state
15 security in Serbia?
16 A. Yes, Your Honours. I think there is at least one example
17 included in my report. I would just like to clarify that according to
18 the 1988 regulations any officer who sees or is informed that the crime
19 has occurred or may have occurred is obliged to inform the competent
20 bodies or organs in order to ensure that the adequate measures are taken.
21 I don't recall the exact article number, but I think it's important to
22 highlight it's not just confined to security organs and military police.
23 Anyone who discovers or who believes that a crime may have been committed
24 has to report it.
25 Q. Very well. In that context could I ask you to look at
1 Exhibit D17, which is at tab 291. Yes.
2 Mr. Theunens, this is a document here we see from the state
3 security department. Have you -- are you familiar with this document?
4 A. I am, Your Honours.
5 Q. And if you look at the preamble, what does it say here in respect
6 to the information received from the SSNO?
7 A. Well, it shows that the security administration UB at the SSNO on
8 the 26th of May, so one day before this report, shared information with
9 the state security department in Belgrade.
10 Q. And looking at the information contained herein, what -- what
11 type of events does it relate to?
12 A. The first paragraph talks about -- or discusses the killing of 17
13 residents in -- of Lovas village on the 18th of October.
14 Q. Yes. And we'll not go through the entire report, but is it your
15 understanding that this is the type of information contained in this
16 five-page report?
17 A. Yes, and I mean if I recall well that there's various crimes -- I
18 mean, there's the Lovas crime but there may be also other crimes or
19 alleged crimes are discussed. I would have to go through the document.
20 Q. Yes, very well --
21 A. But it shows that there is an exchange of information between the
22 security organs at the SSNO and the state security department.
23 Q. And this document is dated the 27th of May. Now, could we look
24 at very briefly 65 ter 1131, which is tab 289. I believe this is a
25 document that is also cited in your report. The title here is:
1 "Information." Yes, we see the English version now. Crimes against the
2 civilians committed by members of the paramilitary and the volunteer
3 formations in the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
4 At the bottom we see the date which is the 26th of May. And
5 actually if we scroll -- yes, at the top we see it's from the federal
6 secretariat for the national defence, the SSNO --
7 A. Security administration, so it's the document actually we
8 referred to earlier.
9 Q. And if we go to page 2, yes, do we -- do you find here in the
10 first paragraph which starts with:
11 "While carrying out the tasks from within their authority ..."
12 A. Mm-hmm.
13 Q. The -- how this information was gathered, the information
14 contained in this report?
15 A. Indeed, Your Honours, I mean the text is very straightforward.
16 It talks about how security organs while conducting their regular
17 activities collected information concerning alleged crimes or they
18 actually call it serious criminal acts that are described and this is by
19 members -- I mean, committed by members of the -- of volunteer formations
20 who were a part of the TO of the S -- of Eastern Slavonia, western Srem,
21 and Baranja, i.e., the SAO.
22 Q. Yes. And that's the part of the sentence which I'd like you to
23 focus on for a minute. It says that crimes committed by members of the
24 volunteer formations who were for the most part on the strength of the TO
25 of Eastern Slavonia --
1 A. Mm-hmm.
2 Q. What do you make out of this in respect to the fact that the
3 volunteer formations were part of the TO?
4 A. This comes back to what I said in the beginning, Your Honours,
5 that according to the legislation that anyone who wants to join the armed
6 struggle in defence of the country and who is not a member of the JNA
7 will be considered a member of the TO -- actually, I'm combining now two
8 articles, because the literal text says that any armed formation that is
9 not a part of the JNA will be considered TO, which comes back to the
10 same. And since the law did not foresee the establishment of volunteer
11 units, I make a distinction between units and individuals, while these
12 volunteer formations or units were amalgamated or were considered TO.
13 Q. Now, at the bottom of page 2 we see a first instance that is
14 reported here with respect to events in the village of Lovas. And we see
15 here, again at the bottom of that page, that about 40 members of the
16 Valjevo TO detachment participated in the action and approximately ten
17 members - if we can go to the next page, please - yes, ten members of the
18 Dusan Silni detachment under the command of certain Joca who left the
19 unit immediately after the event, are you familiar with this unit, the
20 Dusan Silni detachment?
21 A. Yes, Your Honours, it's one of these volunteer formations or
22 paramilitary groups from Serbia who participated in the fighting in
23 this -- here in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and western Srem. And just
24 for the sake of completeness, Valjevo TO detachment is a TO detachment
25 originating from the city of Valjevo in Serbia.
1 Q. Now that you've mentioned that, can you tell us a little bit,
2 what was the extent of the involvement of TO units from Serbia in
4 A. Again, I think I want to highlight two aspects. First of all,
5 referring to what we said about military districts, whereby military
6 districts consist of JNA or cover, sorry, cover TO and JNA units, that we
7 see indeed that TO units of the area covered by that military district
8 are participating in the conflict on the side of the JNA. But we also
9 see TO units from other parts of Serbia participating in these
10 operations. And that is not only the case in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja,
11 and western Srem but also other parts of Croatia, but I think in the
12 report there is a document included that refers to several TO units and
13 detachments from the Republic of Croatia, even outside the area covered
14 by the 1st Military District that are participating in the operations in
15 Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and western Srem.
16 Q. First, the document we're looking at now is from May of 1992.
17 I'd like you to look at a document from the month of November 1991 which
18 is 65 ter 6032 at tab 561.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And, Your Honours, this is a document that is
20 not in the expert's report.
21 Q. Yes. We see here a document of the JNA command of the town of
22 Ilok of the 23rd of November, 1991. Mr. Theunens, have you had the
23 opportunity to review this document?
24 A. Yes, Your Honours. This is one of the many documents that were
25 available to me after July 2012, and I understand they were obtained by
1 the -- or the translation was -- and even they were obtained by the OTP
2 after July or around July 2012. So this is a document I reviewed during
3 my second stay here in September/October 2012.
4 Q. Okay. Now, we see that this document is sent to the command of
5 the 1st PGMD. We'll come in more detail with respect to the units
6 available, but can you tell the Court what is the 1st PGMD?
7 A. PGMD stands -- I mean, it's explained the Proletarian Guards
8 Mechanised Division, whereby proletarian guards means that it's not a
9 regular unit, I mean, proletarian refers also to traditions of the Second
10 World War. We just have to be careful when we see guards that we don't
11 confuse it with the Guards Motorised Brigade which is a totally different
13 Q. Okay. Now, at the bottom of this page under item 7 we see -- and
14 if we can scroll down a little bit on the -- on page 1 of the English
15 version. Yes, thank you. We see here that intensive normative work is
16 being done on establishing local commands and ensuring their functioning.
17 The next sentence reads:
18 "In the course of the day paramilitary organisations from," if we
19 can move to the next page, "the Dusan Silni detachment were chased out of
20 the village of Lovas and parts of the local TO were placed under a single
21 command of TO commands present in that area."
22 Now, do you have information as to the reasons behind this
23 chasing out of the Dusan Silni detachment?
24 A. I mean, the document here doesn't say why they were chased out,
25 but there is a report by the -- I think it's a weekly or biweekly report
1 by the Lieutenant-Colonel Eremija and it's cited in my report toward the
2 assistant commander for morale guidance of the 1st PGMD, where he refers
3 to -- I mean serious crimes in the village of Lovas, and if I am -- if my
4 recollection is right, he identifies Dusan Silni as one of the groups
5 that is responsible for those crimes. So it may well be that one is
6 related to the other, but there is obviously a time gap between the two.
7 Q. And you mention that Milan Eremija is the assistant commander of
8 the 1st PGMD?
9 A. For morale guidance. I mean, there are several assistant
10 commanders and he's for morale guidance.
11 Q. Very well. And here we see that the document is signed by
12 Colonel Milan Belic. Are you familiar with this name?
13 A. Yes, I've seen him before. I mean, he's the -- he's identified
14 as town commander in the town of Ilok, and it could be that he -- I mean,
15 that he is then assistant commander for civil affairs of the 1st
16 Proletarian Guards Mechanised Division, I believe he is.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Okay. Now, before we look at the Eremija
18 report, might I ask Your Honours to tender this document which is
19 65 ter 6032.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1683. Thank you.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Let's go then to Exhibit P78.50 which is at tab
23 135. Yes. Thank you.
24 Q. Now, you've discussed this document in your report and we see
25 here that it's from the command of the 1st PGMD on the 23rd of October,
1 1991. Now, the document we just saw earlier from Milan Belic was from
2 the 23rd of November, so this is a month earlier, and it is sent to the
3 command of the 1st Military District. Just for the Trial Chamber's
4 understanding, what is the relationship between the 1st PGMD and the
5 1st Military District?
6 A. Your Honours, at that time the 1st PGMD is one of the subordinate
7 units of the 1st Military District and it's operating in the southern
8 part of Eastern Slavonia, in Western Srem.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we can go to page 2 in the English version,
10 it's item number 4, I believe it is also page 2 in the B/C/S version.
11 And if we can scroll down to the bottom of page 2 in the English version,
13 Q. The third bullet point at the bottom of that page indicates that:
14 "In the combat activities of the 1st PGMD, the main motive behind
15 the presence of several groups of different paramilitary formations from
16 Serbia, Chetniks, the Dusan Silni Detachment, and various self-styled
17 volunteers, it is not to combat the enemy but to loot the people's
18 property and engage in the sadistic abuse of innocent civilians of
19 Croatian nationality."
20 And if we go to the next page in the English version we can
21 remain on that same page in the B/C/S version. You see the first
22 paragraph which deals with the activities of the Dusan Silni Detachment,
23 where they had 80 Croatian citizens were physically abused and four of
24 the Lovas villagers were killed. And the next paragraph deals with the
25 minefield -- civilians were used for clearing the minefield. With
1 respect to this event, the clearing of minefield, have you seen other
2 documents which refer to this event?
3 A. You mean in the context of Lovas?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Yes. I mean, we just saw the earlier exchange of information
6 between the security administration UB at the SSNO and the state
7 security. And I believe in 2012 there was a trial in Serbia for the war
8 crimes prosecutor for these events for -- sorry, 2011 --
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. -- for these events, so -- and I would just add -- I mean,
11 Eremija is entitled to write about these things because he's responsible
12 for moral guidance, I mean for morale of the troops, and he considers
13 that these activities have a negative impact on morale, so his role is
14 not to investigate crimes but his role is to highlight factors that
15 impact -- in this case have a negative impact on the morale of the
17 Q. Now, he is an assistant to the commander of the 1st PGMD; is that
19 A. That is correct, yeah.
20 Q. And what other units would you expect to find an assistant
21 commander for morale and guidance, which levels perhaps?
22 A. I mean, for sure starting at the brigade level and then upwards,
23 and I -- I'm not sure anymore at the battalion level whether -- I mean,
24 according to JNA doctrine, a battalion doesn't have a command but there
25 is still a commander and there are a number of staff officers and for
1 sure someone will take care of morale guidance but it could be that it's
2 accumulated with another function.
3 Q. Very well.
4 A. But given the doctrine, moral guidance was one of the key -- is
5 an important aspect in the JNA -- I mean the doctrine of unity,
6 brotherhood and unity, moral guidance is an important aspect in the
7 training and education of soldiers and their behaviour during combat.
8 Q. Okay. Now, the previous document which was admitted as P1683,
9 the one from Milan Belic, is on the 23rd of November. At that time what
10 was the state of combat operations at the end of November?
11 A. I mean, now we are jumping a bit, but a cease-fire agreement -- I
12 mean, many of -- an agreement was -- I think it was for a cease-fire, but
13 there was an agreement reached in Geneva on the 23rd of November. I
14 mean, the main factor at that stage was the fall of Vukovar theoretically
15 on the 18th but basically on the 20th of November. And then on the 23rd
16 the warring parties and I think Mr. Vance or another international
17 mediator met in Geneva and they agreed I think on a comprehensive
18 cease-fire, and this is then consolidated in early January for a further
19 cease-fire. So basically there is a cease-fire. The JNA is still in the
20 area of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and western Srem, and is gradually
21 preparing for handing over authority to the local SAO SBWS authorities.
22 Q. And with the end of the combat activities there, what is then the
23 status of units such as the Dusan Silni Detachment, some volunteer or
24 paramilitary formations, what happens to them?
25 A. We would have to look at the specific documents because, I mean,
1 from the various documents I've seen they are still in the area. They're
2 not fighting but they're still doing -- conducting certain activities.
3 Some documents mention that they are involved in crimes. Some groups are
4 exploiting natural resources. When I say "crimes," it involves petty
5 crime but also harassment of minorities and so on. But I think it's the
6 most useful would be to look at the specific documents.
7 Q. Yes. Now, if I can return to the -- to your report where you
8 were still discussing the issue of the implementation of military
9 justice, I believe at one -- at page 125 which in the B/C/S version is
10 153 you refer to a report prepared by the office of the military
11 prosecutor of the VJ in November of 1992. And you quoted here -- and
12 just for the record that document is in the report and it's
13 65 ter 1378 - you quote here that criminal proceedings were initiated
14 against 125 members of the Croatian armed forces and against one member
15 of the JNA. So what is your conclusion based on these figures?
16 A. The conclusion based on these figures, Your Honours, and also
17 when looking at this particular document in the context of the other
18 documents, because that is what analysis is about, it leads to conclusion
19 that the military justice system is implemented in a selective manner,
20 that is, that investigations for -- and prosecution of serious crimes is
21 focused on members of the opposing armed force because I mean there is a
22 major inconsistency between on one hand what security organs and here,
23 for example, what Eremija, I mean, the assistant commander for moral
24 guidance is saying on the one hand, and on the other hand then these kind
25 of summarising statements or reports by the military prosecutors and the
1 military courts.
2 Q. Now it is correct to say that on the next --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: One moment.
4 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, I'm sorry to interrupt. There's just one
5 correction for the record. The report actually says that it was not
6 against one member of the JNA but against one member of the armed forces
7 of the SFRY. And just given the answers by Mr. Theunens, it's a
8 distinction of some relevance.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, that is correct, actually. Thank you.
10 Q. Now, on the next page, Mr. Theunens, it is correct that you're
11 covering the report, the annual report, in 1993, which was prepared by
12 the military prosecutor's office, I believe; is that right -- or the
13 military court, I apologise.
14 A. Yes, Your Honours.
15 Q. And here you've pretty much extracted, if I'm correct, the
16 percentages of crimes that had been investigated?
17 A. That is correct. And, I mean, I didn't have many documents. I
18 just had these annual documents but they're still quite indicative.
19 Q. And you had also similar reports for the following years; is that
21 A. Exactly. We cover 1993, 1994, and 1995.
22 Q. Very well. Now, we see here the numbers. Most of the crimes
23 that are processed appear to be crimes against the VJ, right, 66.9
24 per cent?
25 A. Exactly.
1 Q. Okay. And then we see property crimes at 18 per cent.
2 A. Mm-hmm.
3 Q. Crimes against traffic safety and crimes against misconduct for
4 personal gain. Now, how does this -- how does this connect with the
5 conclusions you made at the beginning of the -- of this section of your
7 A. Well, it -- I think it would corroborate the conclusions because,
8 again, I included 1993 to 1995 because 1992 -- I mean, in simple terms
9 nothing happened. We see that in 1992 the effort for prosecution -- for
10 investigation and prosecution is focused on members of the opposing armed
11 forces. So then I tried to find out whether during the later years, I
12 mean subsequently, there was any effort to investigate the crimes that
13 had been reported, for example, by security organs and others, crimes
14 committed by or allegedly committed by members of volunteer units and/or
15 members of the JNA in 1991, but the conclusions are the same.
16 Q. Very well. I'd like to move to another section of your report --
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I don't know if it's the
18 appropriate time to take a break, I'm moving to -- no, five more minutes
19 I believe.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, okay. All right.
22 Q. As of page 133 of your report you deal with the SFRY armed forces
23 and the conflict in Croatia, and here 133 is 163 in the B/C/S version.
24 And the title we have here is: "The Evolution Within the SFRY Armed
25 Forces Supreme Command." And you deal on this page, at the bottom of the
1 page, and this is something you mentioned earlier, I believe, the
2 activation of the Supreme Command; is that right?
3 A. Yes, Your Honours.
4 Q. Okay. Could you explain to us for -- with respect to the diagram
5 we see on the screen, what is it exactly that we're looking at?
6 A. Your Honours, this is a diagram I drew myself. It's not based on
7 a specific document, but I drew myself on the basis of reviewing several
8 documents and it shows what I highlighted earlier, that is, that -- okay,
9 even if it doesn't show the Supreme Command as such but the federal
10 Presidency of the SFRY is the Supreme Command. It is assisted by the
11 SSNO, who is the chief of staff of the Supreme Command Staff, and he will
12 have with him his deputy, Chief of General Staff, then the sector
13 commanders -- I mean the assistants to the SSNO, as well as the chief of
14 cabinet and the head of the security administration. And he uses -- I
15 mean, those people advise him and then he -- the SSNO prepares military
16 directives and instructions and orders for the military districts who are
17 doing the actual -- conducting the actual operations. So we have three
18 army districts consisting of ground forces, the 1st, the 3rd, and the
19 5th. There is a naval military district which actually consisted of
20 naval elements but also the 9th Corps. And then there is the air force
21 and the air defence. And then maybe the -- on the right side is a small
22 typo. It shouldn't be the 1st Motorised Guards Brigade. It should be
23 the 1st Guards Motorised Brigade, GMTbr, and actually you can also drop
24 the 1, and they are through the chief of cabinet of the SSNO directly
25 subordinated to the SSNO.
1 Q. Could you explain to us, and maybe we could zoom in to that right
2 part of the diagram, please. Could you explain to us how it is that
3 there is a brigade located there at that level under the chief of cabinet
4 of the SSNO?
5 A. Your Honours, the Guards Motorised Brigade is an elite unit and
6 its task is -- include the protection of the Supreme Command, I mean of
7 the -- the Presidency and in times of -- I mean, one of the three states,
8 the Supreme Command, it is also a unit that is used as a ceremonial guard
9 and they guarded a number of official buildings and monuments in
10 Belgrade. I think of importance is also as we will see in Vukovar that
11 the Guards Motorised Brigade had two military police battalions as
12 compared to one for regular brigades. And in these military police
13 battalions or in its regular battalions, it had also anti-terrorist units
14 which no other unit had. So the Guards Motorised Brigade, even if they
15 had a ceremonial duty, I mean you would see them conducting or present at
16 ceremonies, they were responsible for protecting the Presidency, and
17 in one of the three states, the Supreme Command, and they could also
18 conduct hostage release and similar operations which -- it's an elite
20 Q. In very broad terms, Mr. Theunens, I'm sure we don't have
21 specific numbers, but could you tell us what was would be the strength of
22 a battalion?
23 A. I -- I mean, I prefer not to say anything because during the war
24 the strengths continuously change, but it -- regular infantry battalion
25 could be 900 people but it could be much less too. So I don't have -- we
1 never -- I mean, during the Vukovar trial, we -- I don't think we ever
2 learned the theoretical strength of the Guards Motorised Brigade, but it
3 was a strong brigade because I think it had two or three infantry
4 battalions, two military police battalions, it had a tank battalion and
5 then the supporting elements. It was a much stronger brigade than other
7 Q. And we see it placed there under the chief of the cabinet of the
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. Next to it we see the head of the security administration,
11 Colonel-General Vasiljevic; is that right?
12 A. Yes, indeed. And I mean I guess you will come to that, but on
13 the 30th of September, 1991, the Guards Motorised Brigade is
14 resubordinated from the SSNO to the command of the 1st Military District,
15 i.e., when they are deployed or when they are sent to the Vukovar area.
16 Q. To your knowledge, are there other units such as the guards
17 motorised brigades that are -- I don't know if I could say it floating
18 this way or are they usually under one of the military districts?
19 A. I mean, in peace time this is the only unit at that time, I mean
20 1991 -- I mean in the SFRY, sorry, that was directly subordinated to the
22 Q. Very well. And here we -- the -- in blue at the bottom we saw
23 the military districts.
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. These are the organisational units which were called armies
1 before 1988; is that right?
2 A. Yes, and whereby of course the composition and the unit
3 boundaries changed with the transformation of armies into military
5 Q. Very well.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Is there any clarification necessary on this,
7 Your Honour s?
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Pardon?
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Do you require any clarification on this?
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, no.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Very well. I will move to a brand new topic
12 now, so perhaps it would be a good time to stop.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, indeed.
14 Mr. Theunens, this is the second break. We will come back at
15 12.45. You will be escorted out of the courtroom. Thank you.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Demirdjian, please proceed.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. Mr. Theunens, can we go to page 135 of your report, in the B/C/S
24 version we're looking at page 165 -- actually, 134, sorry. You explain
25 here -- well, let's wait for it to come up. Yes. Thank you.
1 You explain here how in -- around May 1991 Stipe Mesic, the
2 Croatian member of the SFRY Presidency, fails to obtain the required
3 number of votes from the other members of the Presidency. And at the
4 bottom of that paragraph 2, General Kadijevic who is the federal
5 secretary for people's defence does not recognise Mesic as the new
6 supreme commander of the SFRY. So, first of all, can you explain to us a
7 little bit of this concept of a rotating chairmanship of the Presidency,
8 how did that work?
9 A. Your Honours, if I recall well, every six months the Presidency
10 would rotate among the eight members of the Presidency, and the 15th of
11 May it was the turn of the Croatian member of the SFRY Presidency,
12 Mr. Stipe Mesic to take over, but he didn't obtain the votes and then the
13 events happened as you described.
14 Q. What is the background to Kadijevic's position and the fact that
15 Mesic fails to obtain the required number of votes?
16 A. I mean, these are two different aspects of the same issue I would
17 say, and the causes are at least related to each other. At that stage
18 Croatia -- I mean, there is a movement in Croatia -- a strong movement in
19 Croatia for independence and even secession from the SFRY and various
20 statements are made by various people, including Mr. Mesic, and I haven't
21 analysed that in this report. And again referring to the book of
22 Mr. Kadijevic, my view to breakup, he describes in his book that these
23 kind of statements and the general policies pursued by Mr. Mesic and
24 other senior members of the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, are
25 incompatible with the status of supreme commander of the SFRY or armed
2 Q. And on that same page you quote also the published diary of
3 Borisav Jovic. Here it says "acting" but I believe we have an errata
4 sheet which specifies that he was the outgoing chairman of the SFRY
5 Presidency; is that right?
6 A. That is correct, Your Honours. There was a typo, ellipsis.
7 Q. Now, as an outgoing member of the chairmanship, how much of a
8 role does Jovic have?
9 A. Your Honours, I mean as a result of the events that are
10 developing at that stage in the SFRY, the SFRY Presidency's functions
11 obviously affected by those events, and we see that even if the EC
12 intervenes to ensure that Mr. Mesic could achieve or take over the
13 post -- take over the post of chairman, it's not really working also
14 because there are even meetings where he doesn't show up. And at that
15 stage, I mean, we're talking between May and the end of the year, the
16 conflict in Croatia is developing and becomes a general conflict in areas
17 that the JNA and then also the leadership of Serbia considers Serb.
18 So the SFRY Presidency is not really functioning anymore as the
19 Supreme Command, and then we see again based on, for example, the memoirs
20 of Borisav Jovic that a kind of a de facto structure becomes active and
21 that de facto structure involves not only Mr. Jovic but also
22 Mr. Milosevic who is the president of the Republic of Serbia at the time;
23 General Kadijevic who is the SSNO; as well as General Adzic who is the
24 Chief of General Staff of the SFRY armed forces. And they have regular
25 meetings and these meetings can also involve Mr. Bulatovic, who is the
1 president of Montenegro at the time and even I think Mr. Branko Kostic,
2 who is the -- becomes the acting chairman and I think he's representative
3 of Vojvodina if I'm not wrong, representative of Vojvodina in -- or of
4 Montenegro in the Presidency, I may be wrong. I would have to check
6 Q. No problem. This paragraph carries on to the next page, and
7 these regular meetings that you were referring to, it appears that at
8 least according to Jovic's book, that during these meetings he, Jovic,
9 and Slobodan Milosevic would occasionally give directions -- or, sorry,
10 instructions to General Kadijevic. Now, what does this -- how does that
11 impact the role of the JNA at the time?
12 A. Well, Your Honours, the starting point is the constitutional role
13 of the JNA, which is, among other things, as we discussed to maintain the
14 territorial integrity of the SFRY. And we see on one hand we have these
15 meetings and the discussions at the meetings and where certain
16 instructions or guidances are given on the one hand, and on the other
17 hand we see the activities of the JNA and the forces under its command on
18 the terrain. We see that that mission -- the constitutional mission
19 gradually changes, whereby at least initially the JNA also tries to act
20 as an interposing force, trying to separate armed -- the two armed sides,
21 if I can express myself that way, i.e., Croatian forces on one hand and
22 Serbian forces on the other hand. And we can explain what we mean by
23 these terms. They try to separate these parties, but in a number of
24 areas basically they consolidate Serbian control over parts of Croatia.
25 And later on we also see that basically the JNA and the forces under its
1 command during the operations they are conducting in Croatia are, in
2 fact, fighting to achieve control over areas that are considered Serb by,
3 for example, Mr. Milosevic, Jovic, and the others who are involved in
4 these what I would call the de facto Supreme Command.
5 Q. On that note, at page 137 of your report - and that's 168 in the
6 B/C/S version - you make a reference to a meeting that took place on the
7 5th of July, 1991. And again, this is from the diaries of Borisav Jovic.
8 And here you indicate that according to the book a number of demands are
9 expressed in relation to the role of the JNA and Jovic and Milosevic
10 appear to have asked Kadijevic to concentrate the main forces of the JNA
11 in Croatia along specifically -- well, described lines here --
12 A. Mm-hmm.
13 Q. Yeah. Now, could you tell us, first of all, we see an axe
14 Karlovac to Plitvice, and then in Baranja, Osijek-Vinkovci, what is the
15 significance of these axis?
16 A. Well, these are basically the western and the eastern limits of
17 what according to Mr. Jovic is the area the JNA should have to cover
18 based on the instructions of Mr. Milosevic.
19 Q. And in respect of the context of the time that we see this is on
20 the 5th of July, what would have prompted or what did prompt Jovic and
21 Milosevic to express this demand?
22 A. I mean, obviously there are several events happening. We had the
23 conflict in Slovenia and its independence, we have the declaration of
24 independence in Croatia, I think 25th of June, we have had already armed
25 clashes between Serbs and Croats and various parts of Croatia. So I
1 mean, there is a widening of armed clashes in Croatia between Serbs and
2 Croats in areas -- predominantly in areas with a significant Serb
4 Q. Very well. Now, you carry on at the next page at 138, which is
5 page 170 in the B/C/S version, and here you quote Kadijevic who states
6 that the constitutionally defined task of the SFRY armed forces,
7 including the JNA, against an internal -- external and internal
8 aggression is radically changed. Do you see that there at the top of the
10 A. Yes, indeed. And this is -- I mean, the radically is quoted from
11 Kadijevic's book. It's not me who put it there. It's taken from his
12 book as well as the text in italics below, and I think it corresponds
13 with what I just said.
14 Q. And the first bullet point here says that it radically change
15 into, first, defence of the Serb nation in Croatia and national interests
16 of the Serb nation.
17 At the time and based on the material that you have viewed, how
18 do you view Kadijevic's perception that the Serb nation in Croatia needs
19 to be defended?
20 A. I mean, these kind of issues which we see in many contemporaneous
21 conflicts are always difficult to assess as an outsider, but for anyone
22 who is to some extent familiar with the history of the conflict in the
23 former Yugoslavia, I think people will agree that there is a massive use
24 of propaganda by all sides, whereby the other side is described as a
25 threat, wants to maybe exterminate the other group, and by doing so --
1 and some -- I will clarify, some actions are undertaken by the other side
2 which actually kind of reinforce this propaganda. And I think a general
3 atmosphere of fear is created which makes it easier for leaders to
4 galvanise support and ensure maybe the support of their people and, again
5 based on the material I reviewed, there is a general fear among many
6 Serbs in Croatia that an independent Croatia would be a repetition of
7 what was witnessed during the Second World War with the Independent State
8 of Croatia, where significant crimes were committed against the Serbs.
9 This was exploited by propaganda on the Serbian side as there was
10 propaganda on the Croatian side and people are influenced by that.
11 Q. Now, the second bullet here, I'm not going to go through all of
12 them, but the second bullet is related to the pulling out of JNA
13 garrisons from Croatia. Was anything in particular happening with
14 respect to the JNA garrisons in Croatia?
15 A. This is somewhat outside the scope of the report, but in the
16 course of summer and I think predominantly in September 1991, the Croats
17 start with the almost general blockade of JNA barracks and garrisons in
18 Croatia -- I mean, in the areas where there's a Croatian majority. And
19 of course there is a double agenda behind that. Of course the JNA wants
20 to withdraw these garrisons because there's people there, there's
21 equipment and weapons there, and also as we see later there is an attempt
22 to concentrate JNA elements - and at that time the JNA is still a
23 multi-ethnic force, even if there is a lack of response to mobilisations
24 and call-ups mainly by non-Serbs but also by Serbs - the JNA wants to
25 concentrate these forces in safer locations, i.e., areas where there's a
1 larger presence of Serbian citizens in Croatia.
2 Q. Now, at page 141 of your report you make a reference to a letter
3 that Kadijevic writes on the 3rd of October to the citizens of
4 Yugoslavia. This is -- if we can display it on the screen, actually,
5 it's 65 ter 369 at tab 100. Yes. Now, you see this is a similar type of
6 bulletin as the one we saw earlier from the secretary for National
7 Defence, Federal Secretary for National Defence. The date is the 5th of
8 October, and I would like to take you to page 3 I believe in both
9 versions. Yes, if we can zoom on the central part of that page. Thank
10 you. Yes. Now, you see here citizens of Yugoslavia, members of the
11 armed forces of Yugoslavia. The title is: "Statement of the SSNO
12 general army, Veljko Kadijevic." If we scroll -- well, if we go to the
13 next page in both versions, yes, and zoom in to the middle of the page in
14 the English version, please.
15 The perhaps fifth or sixth paragraph which starts with:
16 "Acting upon the decision of the SFRY Presidency ..."
17 Have you located that, Mr. Theunens?
18 A. Yes, in the middle. It's where the cursor is now.
19 Q. Yeah. So:
20 "Acting upon the decision of the SFRY Presidency, our exclusive
21 goal was to prevent bloody inter-ethnic clashes and the repetition of the
22 genocide against the Serbian people ..."
23 And if we scroll down a little bit there's another paragraph --
24 well, two paragraphs down:
25 "The army now wants nothing more but to restore control in the
1 crisis areas, to protect the Serbian population from persecution and
2 annihilation, and to liberate the army personnel and members of their
4 Now, again, with respect to the mission of the JNA, how do you
5 interpret this letter issued on the 3rd of October, 1991?
6 A. Your Honours, the mission has obviously changed, but I would -- I
7 mean, in all fairness to Mr. Kadijevic, it's not just -- or anybody else
8 involved in the process, it's not just their own decision but they're
9 also kind of forced by the events. There is no external enemy, but the
10 JNA is being used to -- is used as a force -- as an interposition force
11 to separate armed groups which makes perfect sense. But of course when
12 you dig a bit deeper in this document, the -- I think it illustrates what
13 I said earlier, the use of terminology like genocide and Ustasha and
14 extermination or neo-Naziism and not -- things like neo-Naziism, well, in
15 Croatian documents the use of terms like "Chetnik" is not really
16 conducive to a kind of confidence-building between the various people,
17 and then on the contrary, so it deepens the gap and it actually increases
18 the clout and the authority of people who are pursuing other goals, if I
19 can express myself that way, and I would go more in the direction of the
20 instructions -- what I called the de facto Supreme Command gives to the
21 JNA. And then we end up in a situation that the JNA transfers -- or
22 transforms from being an interposing force or interposition force into a
23 force that is operating in order to liberate between brackets, areas
24 considered Serb, having under its command also groups like paramilitary
25 groups who essentially pursue a purely nationalistic agenda.
1 Q. Very well. And on page 147 you conclude on this section of your
2 report and you state that JNA ceases to be the SFRY armed forces at least
3 in Croatia and gradually develops into a mainly Serb force; is that
5 A. Yes, and maybe one element I haven't mentioned yet, that is of
6 course that -- and again this is something I didn't analyse, but anyone
7 who is slightly familiar with the history will understand. There is --
8 the non-Serbs or non-Montenegrins are more and more critical towards the
9 JNA and especially in Croatia. I mean, I'm not even mentioning Slovenia
10 anymore, but in Croatia conscripts don't respond anymore to call-ups and
11 there is at the same time an effort to establish Croatian forces with the
12 ZNG and transform Croatian -- I mean, units of the TO which are dominated
13 by Croats in Croatia are then transformed into ZNG and local Serbs
14 transformed their units into their TO units or areas where they take
15 control into their own TO units.
16 Q. Well, on this topic of the conscripts not responding anymore to
17 call-ups, I'll take you through the next page, 148, where you start
18 dealing with the issue of Serbian volunteers. Now, you describe
19 here - this is page 148 and the B/C/S version is page 181, 182 - you
20 describe the role played by the volunteers during the conflict in Croatia
21 to, as you say, replenish the ranks of the JNA. The first thing that we
22 have is, again, Veljko Kadijevic's position where at least in appearance
23 he seems to - and this is on page 149 - concede the negative impact of
24 some of these volunteer units. Perhaps you could explain to us at this
25 time how the concept of volunteer units comes about in the conflict in
2 A. I'm sorry, you mean how they are established or how --
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. -- how they become involved? Okay.
5 Q. That's fine.
6 A. Yeah, I mean, this is in the following pages. For -- the Serbs
7 are concerned in the Republic of Serbia various political parties, but
8 these are mainly nationalistic parties, develop their own armed groups.
9 And these groups are apparently tolerated by the authorities,
10 notwithstanding the existing legislation. And these groups, they --
11 groups, they may recruit volunteers which are then incorporated in
12 existing JNA units or TOs which would still be kind of acceptable, I mean
13 acceptable in the framework of the legislation. But actually what we see
14 is that these groups as such go to Croatia and participate in the
15 fighting. We have seen Dusan Silni earlier. And in the field then
16 efforts are undertaken to subordinate these groups to the JNA in order to
17 implement and to ensure the implementation of the principles of command
18 and control. And what is important in the context of this report is that
19 these groups consist mainly or largely of able men who should actually
20 have joined the military because there were call-ups but they didn't do
21 so because they prefer to fight for political agenda. I mean, there are
22 examples that they are even suspicious of the JNA because they see the
23 JNA as communist whereas, for example, SRS volunteers see themselves
24 first and foremost as nationalists, whereby religion plays also a role
25 and they reject communist. And as we see from the documents these
1 groups, given their motivation and also their composition, often becoming
2 involved in criminal behaviour.
3 Q. Now, you just said a moment ago that these troops were or these
4 units were tolerated by the authority notwithstanding the legislation.
5 What did the legislation provide with respect to volunteers?
6 A. Maybe if you allow me I can give a double answer. We saw
7 Article 118 of the Law on Defence which states that only the government,
8 only the authorities, and this is the Law on Defence of the Republic of
9 Serbia, only authorities are allowed to organise, establish, and train
10 armed forces. And then for what it's worth, whatever I will never
11 forget, the first trial I testified in was the trial of Mr. Milosevic,
12 and I think this was in 2002 or 2003, he said: Well, you know, all these
13 groups were the opposition, they were not the government. But then my
14 answer was: Well, if they were all belonging to the opposition it should
15 have been more of a concern because these groups, you have private groups
16 driven by political motives and they have a military -- they develop
17 military capabilities, they could also be a threat for state security.
18 So actually, the incentive for the Serbian authorities to act against
19 them should actually have been even bigger if, indeed, as Mr. Milosevic
20 claimed in 2002/2003 that they were all belonging to the opposition. So
21 he didn't -- I mean, my understanding was he didn't challenge the fact
22 that they existed, but he tried to explain: Well, you know, they were
23 all belonging to the opposition, it was not the government.
24 Q. Perhaps there's a second aspect of this -- of your response here
25 as to what was provided by the legislation with respect to the
2 A. I mean, once these groups are there and they are tolerated
3 because nobody acts against them, then we see - and again this is also
4 discussed in the report - measures are taken to -- for example, to
5 compensate members of volunteer groups -- I mean on the level of Serbia
6 they are given certain favours or also entitlements. And then on the
7 level of SFRY and the -- I mean, the armed forces as well as the SFRY or
8 what remains of the SFRY then, decisions are adopted to what I would call
9 legalise their existence and the most obvious example is the SFRY
10 Presidency order number 73 of December 1991, I think -- I mean, I forget
11 the exact name but it's on the participation I think of volunteers --
12 sorry, on the engagement, I'm sorry, of volunteers in the SFRY armed
13 forces during an imminent threat of war and this is from the 10th of
14 December, 1991.
15 Q. Now, on page 150 I believe you provide the SSNO's own assessment
16 with respect to the volunteers. And perhaps we could look at this
17 document, it is 65 ter 532 at tab 148, please. Yes, thank you. This is
18 a document of the 7th of November, 1991, and -- yes, we see here that
19 it's a periodical operations report of the OB GMTbr and it's submitted to
20 the SSNO's security administration. Could you just quickly remind us
21 what is the OB GMTbr?
22 A. So, this is drafted by the security organs of the
23 Guards Motorised Brigade, and I mean security organs -- the other name is
24 assistant commander or the chief of the security organs in a brigade is
25 also an assistant commander for security.
1 Q. And this O -- well, the Guards Motorised Brigade on the 7th of
2 November, 1991, could you tell the Trial Chamber where they were located
3 at the time?
4 A. Almost all of the Guards Brigade, I think one battalion stayed in
5 Belgrade, but otherwise almost all of the Guards Brigade is participating
6 in the fighting in the Vukovar area, whereby the command of the Guards
7 Motorised Brigade is also the command of OG South.
8 Q. Now, could we go to page 2 on both the English and B/C/S
9 versions. We can zoom in to the middle of the page in the English
10 version. And it's the top of the page in the B/C/S version. Yes. Now,
11 do you see the paragraph or the sentence that begins with:
12 "With regards to the 'Vukovar Operation' ...," where the cursor
13 is right now. The sentence reads that:
14 "... the Serbian nationalistic and the Chetnik propaganda are
15 taking on a serious dimension which, in its breadth, outstrips by far the
16 results in combat of the volunteer groups and the members of the
17 paramilitary units."
18 And the next sentence refers to:
19 "The nationalistic and ideological symbols, the nationalistic
20 songs, the speeches of Seselj, the liquidation of prisoners of war by
21 Chetniks are all unjustifiably tolerated."
22 Now, at this time this is a document written by -- well, this is
23 a report from the security organs that are on the ground. Do you have
24 your own view of when he says tolerated by -- which institutions would be
25 tolerating these instances?
1 A. I mean, there are several of these documents, but it basically
2 shows the complexity of the situation in the sense that the JNA is -- I
3 mean, the JNA officers have been trained to adhere to the values of the
4 SFRY which are totally opposite to the values of people like Chetniks or
5 people calling themselves Ustashas, i.e., nationalistic ideas that, for
6 example, manifested itself during the Second World War in all its
7 negative ways in Yugoslavia. So the JNA has been trained to oppose these
8 kind of ideas and to adhere to the, as I mentioned earlier, the general
9 principle of brotherhood and unity, i.e., equality of all the peoples of
10 Yugoslavia and so on. And of course then they see themselves confronted
11 to an internal conflict and they receive other orders. They start to --
12 I mean, in -- by November it's clear that the JNA in Vukovar is mainly
13 fighting to, I would say, pursue Serbian goals as I have explained in the
14 report. And at the same time they have -- they see themselves confronted
15 with a lack of manpower because people don't respond to mobilisations,
16 people leave, and so on. And on the other hand you have these volunteers
17 who are eager to fight and they are kind of -- I mean, the JNA in
18 Vukovar -- among, for example, in Vukovar and other areas accept these
19 volunteers even if they -- these volunteers are driven by a different
20 ideology and even, I would say, conflicting ideology compared to that of
21 the JNA. And then you see that instead of, for example, adopting JNA
22 symbols like the red star, these volunteers have their own symbols and
23 have their own kind of doctrine and, as I mentioned, own goals.
24 And security organs in the JNA, again prior to the war this kind
25 of behaviour would have been prohibited and security organs would write
1 about that if such behaviour was shown in the armed forces because it
2 could be a threat against the state. But now in the conflict it's
3 tolerated because the manpower and the drive of these volunteers is
4 needed to achieve the goals, but nevertheless security organs want to
5 express their concern about it because obviously there are negative -- I
6 mean, there are various excesses related to that including what is
7 mentioned here as liquidation of POWs by Chetniks.
8 Q. Okay. The next document that you referred to, Mr. Theunens, at
9 page 151, is a VJ security organ's report. I would like us to display
10 this one on the screen. It is 65 ter 2883, 2883, at tab 446. You
11 indicate in your report that this document is an undated report. First
12 of all, how are you able to assess that this was a VJ security organ's
14 A. Maybe we have to go in private session.
15 Q. Yes, yes --
16 A. Taking into account the origin of the document.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may we go into private session,
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
20 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
20 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, looking at the first paragraph of this report
21 which appears to be a retrospective report as it starts with:
22 "From the start of the war in 1991, a large number of various
23 paramilitary units and groups were engaged on the territory of the
24 RSK ..."
25 It says here that none of them were completely independent and in
1 various ways they were connected to certain structures in the Republic of
2 Serbia. Do you have any comments in relation to this sentence?
3 A. I can be very brief -- I mean, I can discuss it in detail but
4 then it's going to be very long. What I tried to say is that I looked
5 into this for my report for the Stanisic and Simatovic case, and I mean
6 the relevant documents are also included in the amalgamated report laying
7 in front of us here, that is, that not only were these groups tolerated
8 but some of these groups that were kind of colloquially called
9 volunteers, like Arkan and his Tigers and also Dragan, there is -- I
10 mean, there is extensive documentary material available indicating that
11 they maintained relations with the Ministry of the Interior of the
12 Republic of Serbia and not only support - I mean materiel support like
13 weapons and ammunition but also that they were allowed to move and were
14 allowed to do the things that they were doing. Just a small aspect in
15 relation when we talk about Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, for
16 these groups, for example, we know that they came from Serbia. To go to
17 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem obviously they had to come from
18 Serbia and to transit from Baranja to Eastern Slavonia, they had to
19 transit via Serbia, they couldn't move via Croatia. So if the Serbian
20 authorities had any intention to act against these groups, they could
21 have done so because there was Serbian police at the time on the three
22 bridges that separated -- three bridges over the Danube that separated
23 Serbia from Baranja or Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem.
24 Q. Okay. With respect to that part of your answer here it says that
25 these units and groups lingered longest on the territory of Slavonia,
1 Baranja, and Western Srem. However, when the provisions of the
2 Dayton Agreement came into effect requiring the disengagement of military
3 forces, paramilitary units and groups were also forced to withdraw from
4 this territory. Have you seen documents or do you have information as to
5 how it is that these units lingered longest in this territory?
6 A. I mean the obvious reason is that this territory remained under
7 Serbian control -- I mean, we are talking about Croatia, and this
8 territory remained under Serbian control until the course of 1997, 1998,
9 I'm not sure anymore, but basically the mission -- I served the UNTAES
10 mission, which was United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern
11 Slavonia. This was a follow-up mission for UNPROFOR because as a result
12 of Operation Storm, Oluja, conducted by the Croatian armed forces or the
13 HV in August 1995, only the eastern part of Croatia remained under
14 Serbian control. And in the framework of the negotiations in Dayton, an
15 agreement was obtained between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Tudjman which was
16 then translated into or resulted into the so-called Erdut Agreement
17 around I think October/November 1995 for the gradual transfer of
18 authority of Baranja, Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem to Croatian
19 authority. And in order to kind of facilitate that process, the
20 remaining UNPROFOR -- and actually it should be UNCRO because the name of
21 UNPROFOR had changed on the 30th of March, 1995. The UNCRO mission
22 that -- or -- but -- forces that were still in that area, SBWS, became
23 part of a new mission under UNTAES, and these groups were still there.
24 I mean, before I arrived there in July 1996, but I think around
25 was it April or May 1996, UNTAES conducted an operation to verify the
1 withdrawal of the Skorpions, the groups of Slobodan Medic, which is
2 slightly out of the scope of my report, but the group is discussed in my
3 report. So UNTAES conducted an operation to verify the withdrawal of
4 Skorpions and Medic from the Djeletovci oil fields where it was common
5 knowledge, and also I visited the area a few times between 1993 and 1995,
6 it was common knowledge that they were present at Djeletovci oil fields.
7 Part of the exploitation of those oil fields for benefit of certain
8 individuals in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, as well as in Serbia.
9 Q. Now, in the next section of your report here you deal with the
10 attitude of the SFRY authorities with respect to the existence of these
11 units. And here you state that the Government of the Republic of Serbia
12 is notified at the latest in July 1991 of the existence and activities of
13 party-affiliated private armed volunteer groups. Now, in the next --
14 well, at the bottom of that page you referred to Vojislav Seselj. We
15 haven't really mentioned him so far, but here you explain that he was the
16 president of the SRS. And -- I'm sorry. Yes, now are you aware of
17 Seselj's volunteers' presence in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
19 A. Indeed, Your Honours. The best-known presence consisting of the
20 so-called Leva Supoderica TO detachment in -- which operated in OG South,
21 whereby the name Leva Supoderica refers to the name of a neighbourhood in
22 Vukovar, but there is SRS, so Serbian Radical Party, documentation
23 identifying Leva Supoderica as a "Chetnik" detachment.
24 Q. Okay. We will get to this unit in a moment, but before I would
25 like to take you to page 153 of your report, which in B/C/S is 186. And
1 here you state the position of the Republic of Serbia in relation to the
2 existence of such groups. First you quote a statement by
3 Vice Admiral Miodrag Jokic on the 25th of July, 1991. And then you move
4 on to December 1991. Could you perhaps provide to the Trial Chamber in a
5 nutshell what was the general position of the Republic of Serbia at the
7 A. Your Honours, these two documents or elements of information
8 show, actually, a transfer -- a change in the attitude, whereas
9 initially -- and, again, Admiral Jokic was an officer in the JNA brought
10 up and raised with the principle of brotherhood and unity and very
11 familiar with the legislation that applied at the time. He doesn't see a
12 benefit in having party-affiliated volunteer groups, and again from a
13 military point of view he realises the difficulties such groups pose for
14 command and control, in particular in light of the doctrine on -- sorry,
15 the ideology these groups adhere to. And on the other hand we see then
16 later on, I mean December 1991 is actually very late in the conflict,
17 then we see basically that on the level of the Government of the Republic
18 of Serbia Jokic has already left, there is another minister of defence,
19 that efforts are undertaken to regularise the participation of volunteers
20 from Serbia irrespective of the fact that these are actually people who
21 should have joined the JNA because they were able and they didn't respond
22 to call-ups, but efforts are undertaken to compensate and recognise,
23 otherwise, the participation of these volunteers in the conflict.
24 Q. Very well. Now, there is a document from the 5th of December,
25 1991, which might help at this stage. It is 65 ter 764 at tab 223. And
1 this is the one that you're dealing with actually at page 153 of your
2 report, I believe. So first we appear to have a cover page here and we
3 see the header Republic of Serbia, "Government of the Republic of
4 Serbia." Can we go, please, to the next page in both versions. Okay.
5 Now, we see at the top of this page that Dragan Jovanovic, a
6 deputy of the Assembly, posed the following question which basically asks
7 the Assembly in what way and through which measures does the Government
8 of the Republic of Serbia intends to preserve the welfare, security of
9 JNA reservists and volunteers from Serbia who are deployed at the front.
10 Then he goes into a detailed explanation. And if we go to the next page,
11 page 3, I believe we have the answer. Yes. If we can zoom in to the
12 paragraph below "answer." You see here that there is a reference to
13 certain provisions of the law and the sentence at the end of this
14 paragraph states that:
15 "With respect to these rights, volunteers are equal to military
16 servicemen, i.e., military conscripts."
17 What can you say about this specific sentence?
18 A. Well, basically it explains what I mentioned earlier, that is,
19 that volunteers, even if they do not meet the legal requirements because
20 they should have joined the JNA, they will be recognised as being members
21 of the armed forces including for what the compensation and allowances is
23 Q. Very well. On the next page, at page 154, that's 188 in the
24 B/C/S version, you deal here with the -- let me see, it's under item --
25 yes, at the bottom of that page I believe you're quoting again
1 Borisav Jovic's book. And there's a discussion between Milosevic,
2 Kadijevic, and Adzic on the 28th of September. And on the top of page
3 155 you discuss here how they refer to the possible establishment of
4 units of rebel Serbs.
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. Have you seen this term elsewhere?
7 A. I mean, not the term "rebel" in this context, but maybe it's a
8 translation issue. I understand it as setting up units of local Serbs.
9 Given, I mean, that the state -- or the self-declared state structures of
10 the Serbs in Croatia at that stage are still quite evolving, and, I mean,
11 they're not foreseen by the SFRY legislation or let alone Croatian
12 legislation. So the Serbs in Krajina and SBWS as well as in Western
13 Slavonia establish -- and this starts already earlier, established their
14 own state structures and various ministries and they adopt various
15 legislations. They also need to develop their own armed forces. They
16 can partly rely on TO units -- I mean, units that used to be part of the
17 TO of the Republic of Croatia, but the Serbs withdraw or they -- in an
18 area of the Serb majority they may have removed or they removed the
19 Croats or the Croats leave themselves. So de facto we have Serb units
20 and this has to be further developed, so that's a bit a way I understood
21 the use of the term "rebel" in this context.
22 Q. Okay. Well, let's look at some groups you describe as at page
23 156, which is page 191 in the B/C/S version. The first group you deal
24 with here is the Knindzas or a group led by Dragan Vasiljkovic, aka
25 Captain Dragan. Now, some of the documents you quote in this section
1 here in the following pages report that Captain Dragan was involved in
2 training units in Croatia including units in the SAO Krajina MUP at the
3 Golubovic camp. Now, based on the documents you have seen, can you tell
4 us approximately when does Captain Dragan become involved in the events
5 in the former Yugoslavia?
6 A. I mean, again based on the documents I have in front of me or
7 which I reviewed for the report it's at the latest in August 1991. Now,
8 there is lots of open source and media articles about his adventures and
9 other activities -- not, adventures, his activities in Australia prior to
10 that and his CV, but basically in relation to the events in the Krajina,
11 at the latest in August 1991.
12 Q. And -- now, we see here your title says: "Captain Dragan" and
13 then comma or in parenthesis "Knindza" or "Knindzas." Is this a unit per
15 A. The name Knindza -- I'm sorry, I've seen it being used in
16 different contexts. It has been used for people who were trained, had to
17 receive training from Dragan in Golubovic, as well as, if I'm not
18 mistaken, when, for example, Dragan is with some of his people in the
19 area of Glina in -- and the document is included in -- I'm just trying to
20 check what the exact time-period is, whether it's August or whether it's
21 later. But then I have also seen the use of the word "Knindza," which is
22 just a kind of a word play of the word "Knin" --
23 Q. Right.
24 A. -- and then "dza" which have some kind of importance in the
25 context of the activities we are referring to.
1 Q. And is his main role in Croatia limited to training?
2 A. It's not limited to training. I mean, he's known -- he's best
3 known for his role in training volunteers as well as Krajina MUP, but
4 there are also documents demonstrating his involvement in operations.
5 And I -- I mean, we didn't find many documents, but there is one
6 including the report on the involvement of combat activity --
7 activities -- combat activities, I'm sorry, in the Glina area.
8 Q. Very well. And I believe it is on page 157 of your report, where
9 you indicate here that documents discuss his relationship with the
10 Serbian DB. And this one document we're looking at is a military
11 document, I believe, which says that we are talking about an organ or
12 personnel engaged on behalf of the MUP of Serbia."
13 So how do you interpret this term "an organ or person engaged on
15 A. Your Honours, this originates from a report from someone in the
16 security administration at the SSNO, which is sent to I believe six
17 addressees, which is also quite significant including General Kadijevic,
18 so it's not I would say the daily report where you just consciously
19 report what has happened, but it's a special report. And the use of the
20 terminology "engaged on behalf of," basically means that he has been sent
21 by them and also his activities after having been sent are facilitated
22 and approved or even instructed by the MUP of Serbia.
23 Q. What is the significance of the fact that it is copied to the
24 general of the army Kadijevic?
25 A. Well, he is the SSNO. It would mean that it's -- that the author
1 considers the report of high importance and that he considers that the
2 SSNO needs to know the contents of the report.
3 Q. Very well. Now, I believe that we do have a document which you
4 quote - and this we will have to skip a little bit in your report - I
5 believe at page 258, this is in the section of your Stanisic and
6 Simatovic report, and in B/C/S the equivalent of page 258 would be 301.
7 Yes. For the purposes of the transcript I could say that this document
8 is 65 ter 156, tab 48.
9 I believe that the document actually starts on the previous page,
10 on page 257, sorry, of the English version. Yes. If we go to the bottom
11 of that page. Do you see here a title:
12 "Proposal to set up a new training centre"?
13 A. I see that and I also stand corrected for what I said earlier
14 that at the latest in August he becomes active because here indeed it's
15 May 1991, so I'm sorry.
16 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Now -- actually, to your
17 knowledge, when does the Golubovic camp start operating, do you have any
18 information in relation to that?
19 A. No, it must be between end of May and end of August. I have a
20 vague recollection of July, but I mean I may be mistaken, but it's in
21 that time-period.
22 Q. Okay and --
23 A. 1991.
24 Q. And this document is being sent to the secretariat of the SUP, I
25 believe, and -- just a second, please. I'm not sure it indicates which
1 SUP we're talking about here --
2 A. Yeah, that's -- the difficulty with Vasiljkovic's or Dragan's
3 document that he doesn't indicate who -- I mean which SUP. Is it the SUP
4 of the SAO Krajina or is it the SUP in -- even in Knin or is it somebody
5 at the ministry of the interior in Serbia, so it's not specified. I
6 highlight the same in my report in relation to his the use of the
7 expression "security service," because there is no body and there is no
8 organisation at that time with that name, there is no official name, so
9 that makes it a bit complicated as to find out to whom he was addressing
10 this information. However, in the context of other documents and without
11 being too speculative, it wouldn't be unusual if it had been sent to the
12 MUP Serbia. But I cannot give a clear answer to that.
13 Q. Very well. And if we go to the next page in the English version,
14 I think in B/C/S we just need to scroll down, I believe we could see the
15 date there. Yeah, that's the 27th of May. Now, based on the document
16 that you have seen, what was -- what information is available on the
17 relationship between Captain Dragan and the MUP of Serbia?
18 A. I'm just looking -- I mean, the documents of course -- there is a
19 number of documents drafted by him -- sorry, which he sends, for example,
20 to -- or where he mentions people -- I mean, he mentions Frenki. Now,
21 the only context I have seen the use of the term "Frenki" in is when it
22 refers to Franko Simatovic who was a senior member of the Serbian state
23 security at the time and who was also active in the SAO Krajina.
24 Q. Maybe on that note we could go to page 259 of your report?
25 A. Yeah, indeed it's there. You had the document from this -- from
1 the UB, from the security administration.
2 Q. That's page 302 in the B/C/S version.
3 A. Yeah, the one we had just saw.
4 Q. On the top of that page you discuss that on the 14th of June
5 Captain Dragan and Frenki had a planning meeting?
6 A. Exactly, yeah.
7 Q. Okay. And in the next paragraph you also quote that Frenki on
8 the 16th of June orders the removal of all weapons from the Knin fortress
9 to Golubic?
10 A. Exactly, yeah.
11 Q. Now, earlier you were telling us that his chief role was to
12 train -- training in Croatia?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. And you mention that there is one or two instances where he or
15 his units were involved in combat operations?
16 A. At least according to the documents. There may have been more
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. And it's training of members of MUP of the SAO Krajina as well as
20 TO of the SAO Krajina.
21 Q. Okay. And on page 260 you provide one example, a report from
22 Lieutenant-General Marko Negovanovic about the involvement of Dragan and
23 his formation?
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. We can move to -- back to your Karadzic report at page 160 where
1 you deal with Arkan and his men. And in B/C/S that would be page 195.
2 So it's 160 in English; 195 in B/C/S.
3 Now, you begin this section with -- hang on a second. No, sorry.
4 Just a second, please. At page 161 you quote a report from the security
5 organ of the Republic of Serbia TO. Now, before I get into the details,
6 is this consistent, did the TO also have their own security organs?
7 A. Indeed.
8 Q. Okay. And in this report here the TO analyses the activities of
9 Arkan and his men. We see in the first -- well, item (i) that Arkan and
10 his assistant, aka, kum, enjoy special attention and privileged treatment
11 by numerous ministers and other officials of the Serbian government every
12 day. Now, here he's talking about ministers and officials of the Serbian
13 government. First of all, how does the TO of the security organs gather
14 this type of information?
15 A. You mean the security organ of the TO of the republic -- of the
16 Republic of Serbia? I mean, they have their war procedures. We can -- I
17 mean, we have addressed regulations in the -- in the first part of the
18 report, so they have their ways of gathering information. They may have
19 sources. I mean, there was a lot of talk in the media at that stage
20 already in Serbia about the activities of people like Arkan. There was a
21 bit of I would say glorification, even if this is outside the scope of my
22 report, but even some security organ reports of the time kind of
23 denounced this glorification in the media, including state-controlled
24 media, of the activities of people like Arkan as I mentioned so that's
25 also a potential source of information.
1 Q. Now, the next document I believe you referred to here is a
2 document dated the -- no, not this one, I'm sorry.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yeah, perhaps we could display on the screen
4 Exhibit P103, which is at tab 93.
5 Q. It's a document of the 1st of October and I believe you referred
6 to it at page 162 of your report. In B/C/S it's page 196 of the report.
7 Yes. Now we will see in a moment here on the screen -- yes, 1st of
8 October. Can you tell us a little bit about the organisations to which
9 this document is submitted to?
10 A. So it's submitted in two copies to the security administration,
11 which is at the SSNO, as well as in one copy to the security organ of the
12 SSNO which is separate from the security administration.
13 Q. And --
14 A. And again which is quite significant because it -- I mean, you're
15 not going to send everything to the headquarters. Instructions should
16 have been given to filter and to only -- I mean, to share information on
17 the basis of need to know. That means that the headquarters is only
18 informed if there is a need to inform them because of the significance
19 the author gives or believes that the information that he's reporting
21 Q. And we see here the term security organ on the top left-hand
22 corner of the document, although the rest of the header is illegible.
23 Now, this is an information and the title is "Zeljko Raznatovic, aka
24 Arkan, Observations." And at the bottom of this first page you see
25 references to negative occurrences; for example, Arkan has completely
1 destroyed a Catholic church in the village of Erdut. And if we move to
2 the next page in the English version, the top part -- yes, the second
3 bullet point we see a reference to together with his group he goes to
4 Croatian houses, interrogates them, and according to his own estimation
5 if he doesn't like what a person says, he takes a knife and cuts, words
6 are missing here, ears or massacres them in different ways. So this
7 information is being sent to the SSNO on the 1st of October, 1991; right?
8 A. That's what the document states, yes.
9 Q. And the bottom of this page the paragraph before the end -- now,
10 I don't know how you will treat this type of information, there is a
11 rumour amongst JNA members, et cetera, that Arkan goes into action,
12 et cetera, et cetera. They think that Arkan is doing it with the full
13 support of the SDB, State Security Service of Serbia. How would you
14 treat this sort of information?
15 A. Well, the use of the word "think" expresses an opinion which is
16 not necessarily factual. So you would -- in order to assess the
17 credibility of that information, you would try to seek corroboration.
18 You would try to look at what do other sources say in relation this
19 specific aspect, i.e., the relations between Arkan and state security of
21 Q. Now, on the very next page, page 163 of your report, which is 198
22 in the B/C/S version, at the bottom of that page -- now, again, this is
23 an intelligence report by the security organs of the 1st Military
24 District. The date is the 9th of January. For the record, this document
25 is admitted Exhibit P101. And there's a reference here that the
1 information confirms links between Arkan and the Government of the
2 Republic of Serbia, including the Ministry of Interior, stating that
3 Arkan is openly supported by the MUP, the TO, and the MOD of the Republic
4 of Serbia. This is one document. Have you seen other documents of the
5 kind confirming this information?
6 A. Yes, I've seen several documents and I've include that in the
7 report. I mean on page 164 there is also references. And there may
8 also -- I have to check whether in the new documents, the ones that
9 became available after July 2012, whether there is documents that discuss
10 similar issues. I will check during the break.
11 Q. Very well. In fact, let me see if we have one here. Well, let's
12 move first to 65 ter 343. This one's actually cited in another part of
13 your report at page 241, that's from your Stanisic and Simatovic report,
14 65 ter 343 at tab 89, please. Yes. I believe we can see that this is a
15 document of the 30th of September, 1991, and it is issued by the Novi Sad
16 KVOK. Now, can you help us with this acronym if you can, military
17 district command?
18 A. Yeah, we looked into that. It's not a military district like the
19 o for "Ooblast," here the o is used for Okrugan [phoen]. My
20 understanding is that this is more like a geographical name or a name of
21 a geographical level, i.e., territorial level, as opposed to a military
22 district -- sorry, a military formation level.
23 Q. Yes. And do we see here that the document is being sent to the
24 federal secretariat for National Defence?
25 A. It's at least received by them because when you look at the text
1 it's a stamp.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. So my understanding is it's received by them.
4 Q. And this is an information. Again the title is: "Zeljko
5 Raznatovic, aka, Arkan, the Mistreatment of Volunteers." And there's a
6 description of Arkan's behaviour here.
7 If we go to page 2 in the English version and the same in the
8 B/C/S version, there's a description of two JNA officers were dispatched
9 in the area and there's a description that they encounter Arkan and this
10 is on the 21st of September. And do you see here that there's a footnote
11 next to Arkan's name?
12 A. Yes, I see the little 2.
13 Q. Okay. Can we scroll down to the bottom of that page in both
14 versions, please. Now, do you see the comment here:
15 "Allegedly Zeljko Raznatovic private entrepreneur from Belgrade,
16 according to the statement of the 12th and the 17th Corps OB, he is
17 connected with the officials of the autonomous region of Slavonia,
18 Baranja, and Western Srem and intends to dominate and rise above the JNA
19 and the SUP in that territory."
20 Now, first of all, can you tell us, we know about the 12th Corps.
21 What is the 17th Corps in this context?
22 A. Your Honours, the 17th Corps had its headquarters in Tuzla and
23 this is the corps that sends units to Eastern Slavonia, for example, in
24 May 1991 when we have the clashes, early May, the clash in Borovo Selo as
25 well as also later in Dalj as part of the mission I discussed earlier,
1 i.e., interposing between the armed parties.
2 Q. Very well. I'd like you to look at another document which is
3 65 ter 6050. This is at tab 572.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And, Your Honours, this is one of the new
5 documents which are not in the report. Yes.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, do you see here that at the bottom of the
7 page, this is a document of the command of the 12th Corps on the 12th of
8 December, 1991. To your knowledge at the time who was heading the 12th
10 A. General Andrija Biorcevic was at that time the commander of the
11 12th Corps. He took over end of October -- no, early October/early
12 November 1991 when General Bratic was killed in Vukovar.
13 Q. Very well. Now we see various numbers here of the numerical
14 strength of brigades.
15 A. Mm-hmm.
16 Q. And if we go to page 2 and look at item 8, I believe that item 8
17 in the B/C/S version is on page 1, yes. Now, do you see here the
18 following volunteer units belonged to the ranks of the 12th Corps? You
19 have the Baranja volunteer OdTO. Another OdTO volunteer detachment from
20 Novi Sad, Backa Topola, and then we see Arkan OdTO volunteer detachment
21 70 v/o. So what can you say here about the fact that Arkan's volunteer
22 detachment is listed as belonging to the ranks of the 12th Corps?
23 A. Your Honours, it shows that indeed -- and Od stands for "odred"
24 or "detachment" that Arkan's group is considered a unit of the 12th Corps
25 which may well be also -- sorry, which has to be seen also in the context
1 of the attitude General Biorcevic had towards people like Arkan, and I
2 don't know whether this has been shown already in this trial, but there
3 is a video where basically General Biorcevic praises Arkan and his
4 volunteers and their role in the conflict, and he describes in quite
5 clear terms what the role of Arkan is and what kind of mission they
6 conducted during the conflict in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and Western
8 Q. And this is signed by the Chief of Staff Colonel
9 Srboljub Trajkovic of the 12th Corps. And if you return to the first
10 page in the English version, you will see that it is sent to the command
11 of the 1st Military District which is the superior command; is that
13 A. Indeed. And I haven't looked in that -- to that before, but it's
14 dated 12th of October. May we see it in context of the SFRY Presidency
15 order number 73 of the 10th of October --
16 Q. Of December, yes.
17 A. Of December, I'm sorry. It's dated 12th of December and the
18 Presidency order of the 10th of December. It's consistent because the
19 Presidency order states that volunteer formations, even if we know that
20 Arkan's group had a particular status given its relations with the MUP
21 Serbia, it's -- I mean the fact that on the 12th of December, so two days
22 after president should order Arkan's unit which is described as a TO unit
23 is described as part of the units of the 12th Corps is consistent with
24 the presidential order.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may I tender this document,
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1684. Thank you.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I believe it's the appropriate time.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is. It is indeed, Mr. Demirdjian. Thank you.
6 Mr. Theunens, this is the end of the -- today's hearing. You
7 will come back tomorrow at 9.00. While I'm sure that you know the drill,
8 I have to tell you that you're not released as a witness which means that
9 you can't speak to anybody about your testimony and you can't speak at
10 all to any of the parties. Thank you very much. Court usher will escort
11 you out of court.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.01 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
17 May, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.