1 Thursday, 9 May 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 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 case number
9 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic. Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. For the
14 Prosecution, Alex Demirdjian with Lisa Biersay, Thomas Laugel, our case
15 manager; and our legal intern, Agnes Bugaj.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
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. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: There is a short oral ruling we could deal with.
21 The Prosecution filed a motion for order requiring redaction of certain
22 portions of the public transcript of GH-080 and 038. Is there any --
23 anything from the Defence?
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: There is not, then the motion is granted.
1 The witness may be brought in. Thank you.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Before we do that, Your Honours, do you remember
3 you wanted to discuss the issue of timings?
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. That's right.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Very briefly.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We had announced nine hours for this witness. I
8 announced to the Defence that I may be going a little bit over that to
9 ensure that I have covered all the topics, so I may be an extra hour. So
10 that means that, roughly speaking, I should be finished by the end of the
11 second session more or less today.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 And for the Defence?
14 MR. GOSNELL: Good morning, Mr. President. First of all, we have
15 no objection to that request for additional time. And if you're asking
16 for an estimate from the Defence on the cross-examination, we initially
17 had estimated nine hours, so equal to what had been requested by the
18 Prosecution. I think that that is still probably a valid estimate.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Roughly that should work for -- to be able to
20 finish this witness by -- after the Monday hearing. So that's good.
21 Thank you.
22 If there's nothing else, the witness may be brought in.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Theunens.
25 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, please proceed.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS [Resumed]
4 Examination by Mr. Demirdjian: [Continued]
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Theunens.
6 A. Good morning, Mr. Demirdjian.
7 Q. We left off yesterday with the war diary of the 80th Motorised
8 Brigade, if you will remember. And the war diary indicated that the
9 security for the camp at Ovcara was withdrawn and that it was replaced by
10 the Vukovar Territorial Defence. Do you remember that?
11 A. Indeed, Your Honours, I do.
12 Q. Now, keeping in mind the warning that we saw earlier which was
13 issued by the 1st Military District on the 18th of November with respect
14 to acts of retribution and revenge by the Territorial Defence, how do you
15 assess the decision to have the security detail withdrawn and to leave it
16 to the Vukovar TO?
17 A. Well, of course when we -- I mean, when I would answer that
18 question, there are different ways of looking at it. You can look at it
19 now with hindsight where obviously -- I mean, the answer is clear knowing
20 what has happened, but even at the time of the events, i.e., prior to the
21 crimes that occurred in Ovcara, there is a contradiction between on one
22 hand the order of the command of the 1st Military District to prevent
23 such acts and to maintain JNA control in the area and on the other hand
24 to hand over prisoners to members of the local Serb TO, including
1 Q. Now at the time this area was still under Operative Group South's
2 area of responsibility; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, it was located in the area of responsibility of OG South.
4 Q. Very well. Now, with respect to the -- if you remember we saw
5 the order on the evacuation -- well, the order which included a sentence
6 with respect to the evacuation on the morning of the 20th of November
7 which was issued by Mile Mrksic. Now, considering the character of the
8 evacuation, the way you described that yesterday, who can decide on the
9 situation where prisoners had to be handed over to another unit?
10 A. Well, given the organisation of the forces in the 1st -- in the
11 area of Vukovar, I mean JNA forces and forces operating under JNA
12 command, the order should have come from the -- would have come from the
13 1st Military District to OG South and then OG South to its subordinate
14 units. And the 1st Military District would have acted upon the
15 instructions of the Supreme Command through the staff of the
16 Supreme Command which was -- where General Kadijevic was the Chief of
18 Q. Now, as of page 485 of your report you explain that with the end
19 of combat operations a number of orders were issued with respect to the
20 resubordination of certain units, including the Territorial Defence. And
21 perhaps it would be useful at this stage to look at 65 ter 658 which is
22 at tab 188. And in your report this is at the bottom of page 485, it's
23 OG South order number 464-1. Right. Now we see this is dated the 21st
24 of November at 6.00 in the morning and the title is: "Regulating the
25 Issue of Resubordination and the Return to Home Units." Now, you've
1 dealt with this order in your report. Could you give us briefly your
2 view of what would -- what's its significance in the context of the
4 A. Your Honours, the significance is that after the events in Ovcara
5 in the late afternoon and evening of the 20th of November, on the 21st of
6 November, so the morning after at 6.00, an order is issued by OG South
7 command to resubordinate Leva Supoderica volunteer detachment or TO
8 detachment from the Guards Motorised Brigade from assault detachment in
9 the Guards Motorised Brigade under which it was subordinated until then
10 to another unit, namely, the 12th Mechanised Brigade of the 12th Corps
11 and also some other units are being moved. And in the -- I mean, what
12 is -- I will only talk about the paragraphs that are relevant in relation
13 to the question. Paragraph 4 then adds that Vukovar TO units will be
14 resubordinated to the 80th Motorised Brigade because they were prior
15 subordinated to the Guards Motorised Brigade.
16 Q. We can look at the diagram in your report so if you can --
17 sorry --
18 A. Sorry to interrupt you. It's also useful to look at the list of
19 addressees at the bottom of the document because I think it supports some
20 of the points I have mentioned in the previous days.
21 Q. That would be on page 2 in the English version and page 1 in the
22 B/C/S version.
23 A. Just to draw Your Honours' attention to the fact that, I mean, in
24 an official JNA document mention is made of a Seseljevci volunteer
25 detachment highlighting actually the link between these volunteers and
1 Mr. Seselj, i.e., the Serbian Radical Party and the relations between
2 these volunteers even when they're operating under JNA command and
3 Mr. Seselj.
4 Q. Thank you for that explanation, Mr. Theunens. If we can return
5 to the expert's report which is at 65 ter 5988 and in the English version
6 go to page 587 [sic]. I don't have the specific B/C/S page number but it
7 should be around 550 or 551.
8 A. 487, I think.
9 Q. 487 in English, yes.
10 A. Yeah.
11 Q. Oh, yes, I see it is recorded as "587." I meant to say "487."
12 Thank you.
13 Thank you. And here the title or the description you've given to
14 this graphic is that it's a representation of OG South number 464-1,
15 which is the one we just saw; is that right?
16 A. Indeed. And this is a diagram I drew, so it's not part of the
17 order but it's my interpretation of the order. So we see the move of
18 Leva Supoderica which used to be part of OG South, and we have seen in
19 prior orders that they were part of I believe the 1st Assault
20 Detachment --
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. -- of the OG South. And through this order they move from
23 OG South to the 12th Corps, more specifically the 12th Brigade, and then
24 the TO Vukovar which used to operate under -- again in assault
25 detachments commanded by officers of the Guards Motorised Brigade in
1 OG South they are resubordinated to the 80th Motorised Brigade.
2 Q. In B/C/S it's page 550. And with respect to this scheme or this
3 graphic representation we have in front of us, could you tell the Court
4 for how long does this remain in place?
5 A. I mean, it starts in the course of the 21st of November as is
6 indicated in the order 464-1 and it lasts until -- well, the next order.
7 I believe there is an order in -- is it in end of November or early 1992
8 concern -- for the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade in relation to
9 resubordination of the TO Vukovar -- I mean in the meanwhile, of course,
10 the Guards Motorised Brigade leaves by the 23rd of November in the
11 evening and there is also a later decision I think that's from January
12 1992 where Mr. Hadzic requests I think the JNA 1st Military District to
13 disband Leva Supoderica. But that's much further -- that's a new
15 Q. Very well. Just before the graphic -- if we can scroll down just
16 a little bit, please, there's a letter (d) so we can see it in full. You
17 have a comment here that the 1st Military District order, and you give
18 the specific number 115-151, is not recorded in the war diary. Now, is
19 it correct to say that at the time that you drafted this report in the
20 Mrksic case that document was not available to you?
21 A. That is correct, Your Honours. And notwithstanding that we
22 requested it because as part of the military analysis task when you see
23 references in one order to other documents, you obviously want to see
24 these other documents because they provide context. And 115-151 of the
25 1st Military District dated 20th of November, 1991, was not available to
1 me prior to October 2012.
2 Q. The -- can we then look at 65 ter 657 which is at tab 508. This
3 is a document which is not in the report, Your Honours. Now, we see here
4 that this is a document to the 1st Military District. Do you see the
5 confidential number?
6 A. Yes, indeed.
7 Q. So this is the one that we were just discussing, 115-151. Very
8 well. So this is a report on the results of the combat operation. It's
9 issued on the 20th of November. And I'd like to take you to the second
10 paragraph below the subject, so it's the one starting with "under the
11 single command ..." Looking at this paragraph here:
12 "Under the single command of the JNA, units of the 12th Corps, TO
13 detachments from Serbia and Vojvodina, with many volunteers taking part,
14 freed tens of thousands of residents of Vukovar ..." et cetera,
15 et cetera.
16 Do you have a comment with respect to this paragraph?
17 A. Not really. I mean, it's consistent with what you have been
18 looking at all the previous days, i.e., that there is single and unified
19 command over the forces operating on the JNA side whereby they operate
20 under the command of the JNA during combat operations.
21 Q. And on the last paragraph of this page the first sentence says
23 "All the Serbian populated areas south-east of Osijek are under
24 the control of the forces of the JNA, TO, and volunteers ..."
25 So is this a reflection of the situation on the ground?
1 A. In -- I'm sorry.
2 MR. GOSNELL: Objection, that calls for speculation.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I apologise. I'll rephrase the sentence.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, based on the information that you have available
5 and the documents that you have reviewed, how does this representative of
6 this situation?
7 MR. GOSNELL: Again, Mr. President, I have to object. That does
8 call for speculation.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Just -- we are asking that the expert gives his
10 appreciation based on the documents that he has reviewed.
11 MR. GOSNELL: Well, Mr. President, the specific question was:
12 Does that reflect the situation on the ground? The question wasn't if
13 those are the facts, what consequences are there, what is the
14 implication, how does it reflect chain of command, and so forth. So I do
15 believe that the question is calling for speculation.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: You may answer the question, Mr. Theunens, based
18 on the documents you consulted.
19 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours. Based on the documents I
20 reviewed, Mr. Panic confirms that Eastern Slavonia is under the control
21 of the JNA and the forces operating under its command and control during
22 combat operations. I think -- I mean, Panic gives a summary of the -- or
23 a description of the current situation on the ground.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
25 Q. And if we go to the last page -- well, the next page in the
1 English version and both -- also in the B/C/S. Do you see the sentence
2 before in the last one which starts with:
3 "I give full recognition to all officers, soldiers, conscripts
4 and volunteers for the successes achieved in combat."
5 Do you see that sentence?
6 A. I see that, Your Honours.
7 Q. We will deal with this in more detail with another document, but
8 at the time what was the appreciation, perhaps, or -- of the value of the
9 volunteers in the combat operations?
10 A. Here, as well as in other documents, and I believe it's included
11 in the amalgamated report, there was also a statement by General Mrksic
12 published in the bulletin or in an article "Narodna Armija," so the JNA
13 official magazine where he praised and other senior officers praised the
14 efforts and the contribution by the volunteers. There may be a reference
15 here in the document -- in the report, but there is also the visit on the
16 21st in the morning by a delegation of the Guards Motorised Brigade and
17 people like, if I'm not wrong, Miroljub Vujovic and/or Stanko Vojnovic of
18 the TO Vukovar, and they are also linked to the SRS volunteers are also
19 invited to the reception with Mr. Kadijevic in Belgrade. I mean, they
20 are part of the delegation of the Guards Motorised Brigade that is
21 invited to the reception in Mr. Kadijevic's office in recognition of
22 their victory in Vukovar.
23 Q. Yes, this issue of the reception in -- by Kadijevic is dealt with
24 page 489 of your report. Since it's there, I will not deal with it in
25 much detail.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this document we just looked at is
2 not in the report. It was 65 ter 657, tab 508. Might I apply to admit
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1694. Thank you.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
7 Q. Now, at page 490 of your report and 491 as well, you explain that
8 as of the 23rd of November the 80th Motorised Brigade takes over the
9 command of Vukovar and that the colonel of the 80th Motorised Brigade,
10 the commander, Colonel Vojnovic becomes the town commander of Vukovar.
11 So this is based on again the military documents and orders that you have
12 seen; is that right?
13 A. That is correct, Your Honours, and the orders -- the process is
14 described -- the process of hand-over of authority from the
15 Guards Motorised Brigade to the 80th Brigade is described in the report
16 because the Guards Motorised Brigade returns to Belgrade, whereas the
17 80th Brigade stays in the wider Vukovar area.
18 Q. So I'd like to move now to this issue of the town commands which
19 you deal with at page 491, and before we get into the specifics perhaps
20 can you give the Trial Chamber a bit of doctrinal background as to what
21 the town commands are, what they consist of.
22 A. Your Honours, the contemporaneous reference documents as --
23 concerning the role of town commands -- no, I would rephrase that.
24 Apparently there is a reference to the town commands in the 1985 rules of
25 service in the JNA where reference is made to garrison commands, but for
1 one or the other reason I didn't have that available at the time. But
2 the specific orders during the October/November time-period, orders from
3 the 1st Military District, and also instructions from the SSNO explain
4 the role and the functions of a town command. And basically those role
5 and functions correspond with those of the civilian authorities, which
6 means that a military authority takes or assumes the role that should
7 normally be fulfilled by civilian bodies of authority in the absence of
8 functioning civilian bodies of authority or, as we also see in these
9 documents, in the absence of recognised civilian bodies of authority.
10 There are bodies of authority -- civilian bodies of authority present
11 already earlier in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, when I mean
12 "earlier," you have the whole process of establishing SAO SBWS
13 authorities. But it's only on the 20th of November that the 1st Military
14 District issues a document, this is a new document, this is 2436-1,
15 whereby it explicitly recognises bodies of the SAO SBWS as the competent
16 bodies of civilian authority. This is not the case prior to the 20th of
17 November, 1991.
18 Q. We will look at that document in a moment, but just before that
19 in the context of the Vukovar operation, could you tell the Court when do
20 town commands start to be created?
21 A. There is already -- I mean, it's on page 491, Your Honours, there
22 is already an order from the 1st Military District, 1614-82/27, where he
23 mentions -- General Panic orders basically his subordinate commanders to
24 establish full control in the zone of responsibility and pay special
25 attention to the functioning of military authority. And then -- I mean,
1 this is followed on the 9th of November by an order by the command of
2 OG South. This is 349-1 and it corresponds with footnote 1434, where
3 Colonel Mrksic organises a number of town commands, for example, in
4 Negoslavci, Ovcara, Jakubovac, Grabovo, Barek, and other locations, and
5 there's subsequent documents so I think it's pretty clear in the report.
6 Q. Very well. So this one here that we're looking at on the screen
7 now, the 9th of November, it is in your report and -- well, I see a typo
8 there, the date of 9th of November, 1001, should be probably corrected to
9 1991. It is also on our list as 65 ter 552 just for the record.
10 May I ask that we display -- yes, it's an admitted exhibit, P365,
11 please, it's at tab 556. Now, Mr. Theunens, I'm going to ask you to look
12 at one of the new documents that we obtained last summer. Now, you see
13 that this is issued by the command of the 12th Corps on the 8th of
14 November, so this is the day before the Mrksic order we just saw. Now,
15 do you see at the bottom of the page -- well, first of all, in the
16 initial paragraphs again you have an explanation of the situation. At
17 the bottom of that page there is a question:
18 "To what extent should we observe the actions of the ... Serbian
19 district of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem and the government of
20 that district, which in fact exist ...," et cetera, et cetera.
21 Now, this is a military document issued by the 12th Corps. What
22 is your assessment of the question that is put here?
23 A. Your Honours, I mean by that time these -- the bodies I mentioned
24 earlier, these self-declared bodies of civilian authority of the
25 autonomous Serbian district of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem exist
1 and they try to influence the situation, they even try to exercise
2 authority. And this question indicates that there is no clarity yet as
3 of -- in relation to what attitude the JNA is to adopt towards these
4 bodies, whether they have to consider them as recognised bodies of
5 civilian authority or not. And so the Chief of Staff of the 12th Corps
6 asks for clarification, but he's a bit kind of suggestive in his question
7 in the sense that he also expresses that -- I mean, his personal views,
8 i.e., that they have already established what he calls the legal
9 legitimacy and even legitimacy at the international level.
10 Q. 12th Corps at the time was, as we saw at the top of the document,
11 was headquartered in the village of Dalj. If we stay on the same page in
12 the B/C/S version we need to go to the next page in the English version,
13 there is yet another question here. And it's the first bullet point at
14 the top of the page which reads:
15 "To what extent should we recognise the Territorial Defence of
16 the Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem SO, which is connected to the
18 And then we see a suggestion, I believe, in the next paragraph.
19 Is that right?
20 A. Indeed.
21 Q. Now, so far the majority of the documents that we have seen are
22 reports, orders, et cetera. How do you view a document of this nature
23 which is basically going up the chain of command seeking guide-lines?
24 A. I mean, it's not an unusual the situation. I mean, the command
25 of the 12th -- as you expressed the forward command post of the 12th
1 Corps is in Dalj. The 12th Corps and its subordinate units are operating
2 in the northern part of Eastern Slavonia and they are confronted or they
3 notice the existence and maybe certain activities of organs associated
4 with or linked to the SAO SBWS. And obviously -- I mean, the military is
5 not fighting 24 hours on 24. Once an area has been captured or the JNA
6 and its subordinate forces have achieved control over this area, then
7 there is requirement to return to, I would say, normal life and to allow
8 the people who are still staying there to go on with their daily life.
9 And ideally these kind of aspects are managed or even organised by
10 civilian authorities. 12th Corps sees that there are such self-declared
11 civilian authorities, and on one -- on the other hand, I mean there are
12 orders of General Panic to enforce military control as the one we
13 discussed earlier. So they seek clarification from General Panic as to
14 how they should approach and which attitude they should adopt towards
15 these self-declared SAO SBWS authorities.
16 Q. In the next paragraph the Chief of Staff here of the 12th Corps
17 suggests that the Territorial Defence, as it has been formed in SBWS,
18 should be fully disbanded and a new one should be formed. Do you have an
19 explanation as to why this suggestion would have been made?
20 A. This is the only document that discusses this aspect at that
21 moment in time. There are various explanations possible. I mean,
22 looking at the overall context and other not necessarily military
23 documents but other sources of information, there is no clear structure
24 and it's a lot of ad hoc arrangements based on the few men that are
25 available. Some units are stronger, some are weaker because of the lack
1 of resources, or some other units have more resources. There is
2 sometimes political affiliations and so on that play a role, so it's all
3 very ad hoc and not necessarily in accordance with the regulations as
4 they existed in the SFRY armed forces. So one option is that indeed
5 General -- Colonel Trajkovic, sorry, wants to start with a clean table or
6 suggests to start with a clean table and then establish a local Serb TO
7 in accordance with the rules as they have been set in SFRY armed forces
9 Q. I would now like to ask you to look at the document you referred
10 to earlier, this is at 65 ter 6026, tab 558. It is a new document and
11 this is the document you refer to as 2436-1.
12 THE REGISTRAR: I'm sorry, for the record this document was
13 already admitted as D19. Thank you.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
17 Q. Do you see the document in front of you, Mr. Theunens?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. And you mentioned the number 2436-1 earlier. Is that -- is this
20 the one that you had in mind?
21 A. Indeed. As indicated, this is a new document and I find -- I
22 consider it a key document because for the first time, again based on the
23 documents I have reviewed, the commander of the 1st Military District
24 explicitly identifies organs established by the SO or SAO SBWS -- I mean
25 civilian organs, I'm sorry, civilian organs established by the SAO SBWS
1 authorities as competent organs of civilian authority. Prior
2 instructions or previous instructions by Panic did not mention the SAO
3 SBWS, but, for example, used terminology like "self-declared bodies of
4 civilian authority" and always insisted on not recognising these bodies
5 and preventing them from interfering in the daily activities while
6 emphasizing the importance of the military through the town commands of
7 taking care of the tasks that would normally be carried out by bodies of
8 civilian authority. So that's why it's a key document, in my view.
9 Q. Looking at item 2 here, the fourth bullet point or dash states
11 "The task of the local commands is to," amongst other things,
12 "work to establish civilian authorities in municipalities ..."
13 And here we see in parenthesis that it makes reference to a
14 decision of the SO SBWS with respect to the municipalities. I want you
15 to go to the next page in both versions at item 6.
16 A. Yeah, I mean just to come back what you say about paragraph 4.
17 It states indeed that the -- I mean, Panic clearly states that the
18 established organs of authority are those that have been established by
19 the SAO or the SO, the Serbian Ooblast, Serbian district of Baranja,
20 Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem.
21 Q. And can you offer us a comment with respect to paragraph 6 which
22 states that:
23 "Co-operation with the Government of the Republic of Serbia and
24 the S AO ... will be ensured by the command of the 1st Military
25 District ..."
1 A. Yeah, it makes sense because the 1st Military District -- sorry,
2 the 1st Military District remains in the area and it's an implementation
3 of the principles of command and control.
4 Q. Very well. I'd like to -- sorry --
5 A. Yeah, I mean just to be complete. So the highest level -- I
6 mean, the military district co-operates with the level of the SAO, and
7 then the subordinate units, they will co-operate with the lower levels,
8 including the municipal organs.
9 Q. Yes. That's the next sentence at item 6. Is that what you're
10 pointing to?
11 A. That's what I was pointing at to show this division of labour.
12 But in order to ensure -- I mean, not just consistency but basically
13 single, unified command and control.
14 Q. At page 494 of your report which in B/C/S is page 558, you make a
15 reference to an interview with Colonel Vojnovic and it's a reference to
16 interview of Vojnovic as a -- as the town commander of the town of
17 Vukovar. And this is, I believe, recorded in one of the SSNO bulletins
18 which we also have as 65 ter 566. Now, I believe it is on -- yes, on
19 page 495 of the English version, please. So you have here the interview
20 with Colonel Vojnovic and -- sorry, in B/C/S it's probably 559. Thank
21 you. Do you see the second paragraph which reads:
22 "In carrying out this task, the Army has been co-operating with
23 the government of the Serbian region, its ambition not being to take over
24 or retain power in that territory, further stated the Vukovar town
1 How does this compare with the documents that we have seen so
3 A. Your Honour, this document -- this statement is consistent with
4 the instructions given in the order 2436-1 by the commander of the
5 1st Military District on the 20th of November, 1991.
6 Q. Very well. And on the next page at 496 of your report, which
7 should be 560 in the B/C/S version, you say here that -- well, you make a
8 reference to an instruction of the 27th of November, numbered 588-1. And
9 you say here that this order establishes the bodies or organs of civilian
10 affairs in the military units. Could you briefly explain to the
11 Trial Chamber what was the role and function of this -- of these organs
12 of civilian affairs?
13 A. The organs of civil affairs or civilian affairs, as defined in
14 the instruction 588-1 from the SSNO basically take care of, yeah,
15 civilian tasks -- I mean, all aspects of civilian life. For example,
16 re-establishing -- sorry, providing assistance to re-establish
17 infrastructure, providing assistance in relation to management of
18 abandoned property, resettlement of population, and other aspects of
19 civilian authority, as they are explained in the first paragraphs of this
20 instruction. They also address I think in paragraphs -- I mean, when you
21 look at the document 1, 6, and 8 the issue of protection of the civilian
22 population. And I mean, a more detailed description can be found in
23 paragraph 4 of the instruction. And again they highlight or they explain
24 how co-operation should be organised with the local civilian authorities,
25 and this is done in paragraphs 2 and 6.
1 Q. Now, this -- this instruction is included in your report, it is
2 also, for the record, at 65 ter 2919. And it is correct to say that this
3 instruction is followed by a second one a few weeks later, and this is at
4 page 500 of your report. And this instruction is numbered 588-3. Can
5 you tell us what is the significance of this instruction?
6 A. Before answering the question, obviously when you have 588-1 and
7 588-3, the question is: What about 588-2? But this document so far is
8 not available. It -- I don't think it was included in the new documents
9 that were obtained. 588-1 and 588-3 were obtained at the time prior to
10 the Vukovar trial when we requested the authorities of the Republic of
11 Serbia for any documents that regulated the relations between the
12 military and self-declared civilian authorities in the conflict areas in
13 Croatia. And to answer the question, 588-3 contains more details in
14 relation to the tasks that have been enumerated in 588-1. And again,
15 it's all aspects of civilian authority, administration, legislative
16 tasks, and judicial and executive authority, protection of civilians, and
17 so on, always highlighting the supporting role of the military, of the
18 JNA, in relation to these tasks.
19 Q. Now, at page 501 of your report you refer to a Memorandum of
20 Understanding of the 27th of November, 1991, and at this stage I would
21 like us to have it on the screen. It is 65 ter 722 at tab 211.
22 MR. GOSNELL: Sorry, could I ask for a reference, a 65 ter
23 reference, in respect of --
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: 588-3?
25 MR. GOSNELL: Yes.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, no problem.
2 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That would be 65 ter 708 at tab 207 of our list.
4 MR. GOSNELL: Thanks.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
6 Q. Do you see the memorandum before you, Mr. Theunens?
7 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
8 Q. Now, we see a number of names on this page from various organs
9 and institutions, and if we scroll down to the bottom of the page we see
10 a number of members of international organisations. Before we look at
11 the details of this document, could you perhaps give us the factual
12 background surrounding the reaching of this Memorandum of Understanding?
13 A. Well, this is basically a Memorandum of Understanding between
14 officials of FRY -- SFRY -- sorry, it should be SFRY instead of FRY, the
15 Republic of Serbia and Croatia, and the JNA. And it, as I put in the
16 report, it formalises their commitments towards the role and activities
17 of the ICRC and the strict application of all four Geneva Conventions.
18 So it's a totally different matter from town commands, but it's more
19 follow-up on the issue of the treatment and the handling of prisoners of
21 Q. Now, this was a -- yes, the date is, I believe, we will see it
22 later, on the 27th --
23 A. 27th --
24 Q. Yeah. If we turn to page 2 in both versions, what do we find in
25 a nutshell on this page?
1 A. Well, it's -- I mean, I think it's a reiteration of the relevant
2 and the applicable Geneva Conventions concerning the treatment of
3 prisoners of war; the treatment of civilians, i.e., the protection of
4 civilians; and also how hostilities should be conducted.
5 Q. Now, this -- sorry.
6 A. Including the wounded and the sick, but I mean it's obvious on
7 the screen, so ...
8 Q. Yes, it is right there on the screen. You conclude at page 504
9 of your report that the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding - and
10 there's a subsequent SSNO memo - these are directly related to the events
11 that have occurred during and subsequent to the evacuation of the
12 hospital in Vukovar on the 20th of November. And this was also directed
13 to the way OG South had handled the evacuation. Could you perhaps
14 explain to the Court how do you reach that conclusion?
15 A. Well, from a chronological point of view obviously one can
16 establish that the events in Vukovar and the evacuation of the hospital
17 and so on precede the signing of this memorandum. There is, of course,
18 also - which is not mentioned here in the report but somewhere
19 elsewhere - the 23rd November cease-fire agreement. It was well-known
20 that there were disputes or -- in particular among the JNA about the
21 nature of the conflict whether it was an international or an internal
22 armed conflict. And so it would make sense to have this memorandum then,
23 to clarify the responsibilities of -- clarify the responsibilities -- I
24 mean, first of all, the understanding and then the ensuing
25 responsibilities of all sides in relation to, yeah, the protection of
1 civilians, the handling of wounded and sick, and also the handling of
2 prisoners of war. Most obviously it doesn't refer to what happened in
3 Ovcara in the evening, but it's -- if there is a link, I mean, the link I
4 identified was more to the handling of the evacuation of Vukovar
6 Q. Very well. Now, we will be going to a different part of your
7 report. Before I do that, you did mention yesterday that an
8 international agreement had been reached between Slobodan Milosevic,
9 Franjo Tudjman, and General Kadijevic in Geneva and that was on the 23rd
10 of November; is that right?
11 A. Yes, a cease-fire agreement had been signed.
12 Q. If we could display 65 ter 699, which is at tab 669, please, and
13 the reference to this is on page 146 of the report.
14 THE REGISTRAR: For the record this is Exhibit P1344.1325. Thank
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
17 Q. Now, looking at the first page we see the date here, the 24th of
18 November, there is a letter that is addressed from the Secretary-General.
19 And could we go to the next page. We see that the letter here is signed
20 by Javier Pere z De Cuellar. And if we can move to the next page, which
21 is the annex. At the bottom right we see Geneva, 23 November 1991. We
22 see a number of signatures. And we see the agreement here, "the
23 undersigned agree ..." So first of all, we see that Croatia agrees to
24 lift the blockade of all JNA barracks and installations in Croatia and
25 that the JNA will, with immediate effect, begin the withdrawal from
1 Croatia of personnel, weapons, military equipment in those barracks and
2 installations, et cetera. And then we have unconditional cease-fire.
3 Now, this was on the 23rd of November and I believe you mention
4 that this was followed in your report with what had became to be known
5 the Vance Plan; is that correct?
6 A. Indeed, Your Honours. On the 2nd of January there is a
7 subsequent meeting in Sarajevo, where the parties agree for further
8 cease-fire as well as the plan that became known as the Vance Plan.
9 Q. So we'll discuss the Vance Plan now. We are at page 210 in the
10 English version of your report and that's page 250 in the B/C/S version.
11 Now, here you introduce the context of the signing of the Vance Plan, and
12 if we look at the next page you describe the three phases which are
13 included here. Could you just summarise it for the Trial Chamber before
14 we look at more specifics.
15 A. Your Honours, the first phase consists of deploying what was
16 described as a lightly armed United Nations peacekeeping force, UNPROFOR,
17 the United Nations Protection Force, together with unarmed observers,
18 UNMOs, as well as a United Nations Civilian Police Force, UNCIVPOL, in
19 three areas in Croatia which are identified as the UNPAs, United Nations
20 Protected Areas, and these three UNPAs are organised in four sectors:
21 South, north, west, and east. And the definition of the UNPAs can be
22 found in the report. The second phase is the withdrawal of all armed
23 forces, i.e., the demilitarisation of the UNPAs and the control of the
24 demilitarisation of the UNPAs which doesn't only imply the withdrawal of
25 the JNA and the ZNG as we have seen earlier, but also the disbanding,
1 demilitarisation, demobilisation of the weapons -- of the -- excuse me,
2 of the local Serb SAO SBWS as well as the SAO Krajina and by that time
3 we're talking about -- oh, no, we're not yet talking, sorry. I thought
4 we were already talking about the RSK bu the RSK does not yet exist.
5 Sorry. But so the disbanding, demilitarisation, and demobilisation of
6 local Serb armed structures, whereby the weapons are put under a
7 so-called dual-key system, that is, that the weapons in -- I mean the
8 storage sites -- both UNPROFOR and the local Serbs have a key to these
9 storage sites. And the third phase consists of the maintaining of peace
10 in the UNPAs in order to prepare for the return of refugees and also
11 create the conditions for political negotiated solution of the conflict.
12 Q. On the next page you describe the establishment of the UNPROFOR
13 on the 21st of February, 1992, and this is followed by a section where
14 you deal with the attitude of the RSK towards the Vance Plan. Now, you
15 explain here that on the 2nd of January the RSK proclaims a constitution
16 of the Republika Srpska Krajina and that Article 102 declares the
17 Territorial Defence of the RSK as the armed forces of the
18 Republika Srpska Krajina. And you conclude here that having regards to
19 the Vance Plan this decision was -- you consider it to be a violation of
20 the Vance Plan. Now --
21 A. I write "it can be considered a violation," it's not that I
22 consider it.
23 Q. "Can," thank you. Now, were there any subsequent efforts to
24 correct the situation?
25 A. I mean, summarising the events between January and November 1992,
1 actually the opposite is happening because first we see that with the
2 assistance -- or actually with the -- based on the orders of the SFRY or
3 what remains of SFRY armed forces, a local TO, an RSK TO, is established.
4 And then this TO is largely transformed into special police units, also
5 known as the PJM. And then starting in May 1992, but actually being
6 let's say fully implemented by November 1992, the RSK establish an SVK,
7 so the armed force or the Army of the RSK whereby PJM units which were in
8 fact re-batched TO units are transformed into units of the SVK. It
9 doesn't mean that all the police is transformed into the military but
10 those units PJM which were in fact re-batching or restructuring of TO
11 units are transformed into SVK units.
12 Q. You make a reference to a number of documents to that effect, and
13 to illustrate what you just told us, I would like you to look at one of
14 the new documents we obtained last summer which is 65 ter 6104 at
15 tab 609.
16 Yes. Do you see the cover page here which starts with "I
17 approve" and it's commander Major-General I think the name is not legible
18 but it says the command of the 1st Proletarian Guards Mechanised
19 Division, and there is a stamp at the bottom, 24th of February. And what
20 this is we'll see on the next page, page 2 in English and B/C/S, it says
21 it's a Work Plan of the command of the 1st Mechanised Corps on the
22 preparation of units to receive the United Nations forces. That's
23 February 1992. Now, first have you had an opportunity to review this
24 document, Mr. Theunens?
25 A. Yes, I did. I mean, I've seen several Work Plans because this is
1 a regular kind of document issues by corps and even I think by brigades.
2 Q. In the English --
3 A. In the JNA. Sorry, the JNA.
4 Q. I apologise, yes. In the English version could we move to the
5 next page, please. We can stay on the same page in the B/C/S version.
6 I'm not sure if it's very visible on the right side of the screen for
7 you -- yeah, thank you. That might be a little better. You see under
8 item -- well, we don't see it quite yet. Yes, with a bit of creativity
9 we got there. Now, you see item number 1 which includes -- well, the
10 title: "Strengthening of Combat-Readiness." And if we scroll down to
11 item 2 it deals with the formation of TO units. And you see that the
12 completion date here is 20-25 February, there's a colonel who's in
13 charge, and the fifth column -- maybe can we just scroll up to the fifth
14 column to see the title of that. Yeah. The title says "collaborators,"
15 and if we move down again we see commander of the TO of the SAO SBW --
16 SOS BZS. Now, what is your view on this -- first of all on this section
17 which says "formation of the Territorial Defence units"?
18 A. Yes, Your Honours, this is what I meant by the JNA based on
19 instructions given by the SSNO assists in the formation of at that time
20 RSK TO units, including in the SAO SBWS.
21 Q. And if we -- in the English version if we can move to the next
22 page. In the B/C/S I think you only need to scroll down. It's item
23 number 3. Yes. Yes, in the English can we scroll down a little bit. Do
24 you see the title here: "Receipt and distribution of weapons and
25 equipment and recruitment reviews." And we see that the person in charge
1 we have commanders of the 1st mK, 80th mtbr, and Colonel Miljkovic. What
2 is your comment on this item?
3 A. Your Honours, this item shows that the assistance that is
4 provided in relation to establishing TO units in the RSK including SBWS
5 also involves weapons and -- I mean, there's other documents talking
6 about ammunition and other military equipment.
7 Q. Very well. Now, the following pages contains an enormous amount
8 of detail we don't need to really get into.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: For the record, Your Honours, this is
10 65 ter 6104. It is a new document and we would seek to tender it.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1695. Thank you.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
14 Could we display on the screen Exhibit P171 which is at tab 596.
15 It is also one of the newer documents. Thank you.
16 Your Honours, I notice that this is an admitted document but that
17 the header hasn't been translated on the left-hand side of the screen.
18 Q. Yes, Mr. Theunens, are you able to see at least in the B/C/S
19 version who is initiating this document?
20 A. It comes from the 1st Military District and -- I mean, we would
21 see -- have to see at the end who signed it. Yeah, this is the chief --
22 I mean, yeah, the Chief of Staff of the 1st Military District.
23 Q. Very well. Now, if we look at the substance of the document, it
24 deals with a meeting which took place on the 24th of January, 1992,
25 between representatives of the 1st Military District and representatives
1 of the government of the region of SBWS. And at the meeting the
2 1st Military District was represented by a couple of corps commanders
3 while the Serbian district was represented by the prime minister, the
4 minister of internal affairs, the minister of people's defence, and the
5 Territorial Defence staff commander. And here we see:
6 "The objective of the meeting is to discuss issues in the
7 development of the police and the Territorial Defence in line with an
8 agreement dated 17th January 1992."
9 Now, can you provide us your comments again with respect to the
10 issue of development of the police and Territorial Defence?
11 A. Again it's consistent with, I mean, the various documents
12 discussed in my report in relation to that. It is from the highest level
13 SSNO. Instructions are given to the JNA to provide assistance in
14 establishing and organising TO units as I mentioned earlier but also RSK
15 police units, I mean at this stage -- yeah, RSK police units. And this
16 assistance consists not only of like what I would say plans and policy,
17 i.e., how to set up a unit, how to manage it, all the regulations and
18 doctrine that apply to that, but also effective support consisting of
19 weapons, ammunition, military equipment, vehicles, and all that is needed
20 to establish functioning TO and police units.
21 Q. Thank you. May I ask you to look at another document which is
22 65 ter 6144 at tab 361. This is one of the new documents. Now, this one
23 appears to be dated the 18th of November, 1992. We see the header here
24 Republic of Serbian Krajina, district of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
25 Srem, and it is issued by the Mirkovci municipal staff of
1 Territorial Defence. Now, Mr. Theunens, if you look at the first
2 paragraph -- and just before that you see it is sent to all Mirkovci
3 municipal TO. It says here that:
4 "Pursuant to a decision of the government of the district of
5 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, the command of the
6 Territorial Defence district staff issued the order to establish special
7 police units whose basic and main task is to provide security for the
8 border with the Republic of Croatia."
9 Are you able to give your assessment of what is exactly happening
10 here with this decision?
11 A. Your Honours, this is what I would call the second phase in the
12 process, referring to my earlier answer where the first process was the
13 assistance by the JNA to establish local Serb TO and local Serb police,
14 and this is happening in the time-period January to -- let's say to March
15 1992 in view of preparing for the situation when the JNA has officially
16 withdrawn. The second phase being the transformation of at least a
17 number of TO units because they are actually prohibited by the Vance
18 Plan. When I say "prohibited," I mean they should be demobilised,
19 demilitarised, and disbanded. So this provision of the Vance plan is
20 circumvented by transforming these TO units in special police units also
21 known by the acronym PJM, and I mean this is maybe -- no, still
22 interesting to note is, I'm sorry, that is that they talk about the
23 border with the Republic of Croatia. When you look at the Vance Plan,
24 the Vance Plan does not attempt to draw a conclusion as to whether the
25 territories controlled by the Serbs or the parts of Croatia controlled by
1 the Serbs should stay under Serbian authority or whether they -- I mean
2 it doesn't state that so it is a bit unusual to use terminology like the
3 border with the Republic of Croatia because it is not a border.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is one of the new documents.
6 Might I propose to tender it?
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1696. Thank you.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
10 Q. Now, at page 214 of your report you're dealing with this
11 establishment of police brigades and PJMs and you indicate that JNA and
12 RSK TO commanding officers and other personnel as well as JNA and RSK TO
13 equipment are transferred to the newly established milicija brigades of
14 the RSK MUP. And on this topic I would like you to look at one of the
15 new documents which is 65 ter 6165 at tab 645. Yes, thank you. We see
16 that this is a document of the 252nd Armoured Brigade command and it is
17 dated the 9th of April. And it is delivered to the 1st Mechanised Corps.
18 Now, very briefly, would this brigade be a unit as part of the 1st
19 Mechanised Corps? Are you familiar with this unit?
20 A. Yes, yes, Your Honours, indeed. I mean, it's -- obviously it's a
21 JNA unit and it's at that time present in the area of Eastern Slavonia.
22 Q. Now, what we see here is the title: "Report on the Selection and
23 Appointment of Officers to Command Duties in Police Organs." And we have
24 a Jovan Stevic here, a lieutenant-colonel in the armoured mechanised
25 unit. We see his military occupation, date of birth, et cetera. And
1 that he has expressed the wish to be appointed Chief of Staff of the
2 Vukovar police brigade with the establishment rank of lieutenant-colonel.
3 Again, what can you tell us about this proposal or this expression of
5 A. Your Honours, among the new documents I reviewed in September
6 2012, there were several documents from the JNA on one hand asking for
7 volunteers, asking subordinate commanders to check with unit members
8 whether they wanted to remain in Baranja or Eastern Slavonia or Western
9 Srem and on the other hand you have also expressions of interest by
10 members of the JNA to remain in the area, irrespective of the fact
11 whether or not they were born there or not because Gnjilane is obviously
12 not in SBWS. And it shows that actually JNA officers could then -- I
13 mean, if his application was approved, be appointed to a senior position
14 in a local police unit and there's no indication that any specific
15 training or education was required or would be given in order to
16 facilitate that transfer from the JNA to the SBWS police/milicija.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may I tender this document? It's
19 one of the new documents.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1697. Thank you.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, with respect to this topic there
23 are several other documents. I have selected two which I would propose
24 to tender without necessarily having to go into the details. I don't
25 know if you would prefer for me to display them on the screen very
1 briefly. They are two documents that are exactly of the same nature, of
2 the same topic, of expressions of interests from JNA officers to move
3 into police brigades. So the two documents -- sorry.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: If they are really similar and the Defence agrees
5 that they are similar, then I think we can use the rule we already had at
6 previous occasions.
7 Mr. Gosnell.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Perhaps in fairness to the Defence I can quickly
9 show them on the screen to make sure this is what I'm claiming that it
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: The first one is 65 ter 6166. And it is at tab
13 646 of our list. So as you can see, Your Honours, it is another document
14 from the brigade going to the 1st Mechanised Corps, we see a name, and if
15 we scroll down there is an expression of interest to be appointed as
16 chief of communications of the Vukovar police brigade. So that's one of
17 them. Does the Defence have any objection on this one?
18 MR. GOSNELL: Well, as long as the witness says that these
19 documents are similar or the same or connected, that would be sufficient
20 for us.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours. This is a similar example.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1698. Thank you.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you very much.
1 And the second one is 65 ter 6173 at tab 651.
2 Q. And perhaps, Mr. Theunens, a brief comment on this one because
3 this time it's not going from one of the brigades. It's issued by one of
4 the corps and it is addressed to the 1st Military District. Could you
5 briefly describe what we're looking at here?
6 A. Yes, this is a summarising document, i.e., it's not a JNA officer
7 who expresses his interest -- I mean I would say on a personal basis, but
8 this is a summarising or this is actually an overview document, the list
9 compiled by the 1st Mechanised Corps which was -- which chose to be if
10 I'm not -- sorry, the 1st Mechanised Corps which is then forwarded to the
11 1st Military District.
12 Q. And if we could look at the second page in the English version,
13 yeah, you see a number of other names here.
14 A. Yeah, and it concerns officers and NCOs, so ...
15 Q. Very well and this is --
16 A. Sorry, and just to highlight, they're not necessarily born in
17 SBWS or in other parts of Croatia, but you see people born in Pristina,
18 which is in Kosovo, or Belgrade or Loznica, so they are -- I don't know
19 which criteria were applied in order to allow JNA personnel to remain in
20 SBWS, but it's not just an issue of having been born there which has
21 often been mentioned in the past. I mean, in the context of this also
22 people who went to serve later in the SVK, that, well, you know, they
23 were born there so they wanted to protect their homeland. This doesn't
24 apply obviously to all of them given the fact that they were also born
25 outside Croatia.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I offer this document as well, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1699. Thank you.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
6 Q. Now, if we move to -- yes, it is at page 211 of your report when
7 you were mentioning the UN protected areas you explain here that these
8 areas were supposed to be demilitarised according to the Vance Plan. And
9 in connection with that I would like you to look at another document
10 which is 65 ter 6190 at tab 660. Thank you. Now, we see that this is a
11 document issued by the Federal Secretariat of National Defence and it
12 says JNA's operations group for Sarajevo with UN peace forces, are you
13 familiar with this unit or this organisation?
14 A. I mean, I've seen it on the document. It's -- if I -- my
15 recollection it's a liaison element of the JNA, I mean it -- by that time
16 we have actually already the VJ, but maybe this is an old heading or an
17 old stamp they are using in the absence of updated stamps because by June
18 1992 SFRY doesn't exist anymore. We have the FRY. And, yeah, there is
19 an element, a liaison element of the VJ with UNPROFOR, among others in
21 Q. Now, we see here this is dated the 18th of June, and the first
22 two paragraphs deal with what is said here to be a violation of the truce
23 by the Croatian side. And that the Krajina TO responded to the fire and
24 repelled the attack. However, later the Krajina TO forces opened fire
25 with 120-millimetre mortar and, according to claims of the Croatian side,
1 on several locations. Now, can you tell us, first of all, what type of
2 weapon is this, 120-millimetre mortar?
3 A. I mean, a mortar is an indirect fire weapon. I mean,
4 120-millimetre you could consider -- it's to be considered a heavy mortar
5 which in accordance with the provisions of the Vance Plan it should have
6 been withdrawn or kept in a warehouse under dual key, i.e., UNPROFOR and
7 the local Serb TO in Sector East. So it should not have been used. I
8 mean -- and none of the parties should have opened because there was also
9 a cease-fire, so ...
10 Q. And here there is an indication that the opening of the fire from
11 120-millimetre mortar in this phase is a serious violation and that the
12 information was forwarded to the Lieutenant-General Nambiar with the
13 liaison officer, and it would be reported to New York and New York would
14 report it to Belgrade.
15 I would like you to look at the last sentence in this report
16 which says:
17 "We recommend that the competent authorities and organs of the
18 Krajina TO be told at all levels about how damaging this conduct is."
19 Can you again give us your comment about what is meant here about
20 the damaging aspect of this conduct?
21 A. Your Honours, it's what I just said, the use of a heavy weapon is
22 a violation of the provision of demilitarisation and also the provision
23 of cease-fire included in the Vance Plan. I mean, traditionally this
24 would be reported by the UN UNPROFOR troops in Sector East to the
25 headquarters in Zagreb. General Nambiar was the force commander and he
1 would then inform UN headquarters and UN headquarters would raise it
2 with -- yeah, in this case Belgrade; in case of a Croatian violation,
3 they would raise it with the Croatian side. And at the same time, the
4 parties can also send letters of complaint to the United Nations which
5 would have to be investigated then in order to verify whether a claim is
6 justified -- a claim of a violation order unallowed unauthorised
7 behaviour is justified, yes or no.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is one of the new documents.
9 It's 65 ter 6190. Can I apply to tender it.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1700. Thank you.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
13 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, with respect to the previous sub-issue where
14 you were discussing the fact that some officers of the JNA and the TO
15 were transferred into the RSK police units, you make reference to this at
16 page 289 of your report. I would like you to look at -- well, also at
17 page 214, actually, because they're in both places. I would like you to
18 look at a document you cite in your report which is 65 ter 1151 at tab
19 292. Very well. We see that this is a document of the 2nd of June,
20 1992. It's issued by the cabinet of the president of the RSK. And the
21 title says: "Proposal for Promotion Submitted to the Presidency of the
22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." Now, we see the name here Borislav
23 Djukic, an infantry colonel. We see -- well, what is next to his rank,
24 VES 31040, are you familiar with that?
25 A. I'm not sure anymore whether it's his personal military number or
1 his military -- I mean, the number of the position he's occupying,
2 because I understand during the events -- I mean, end of 1991 he was a
3 brigade commander in the 9th JNA Corps.
4 Q. Okay. And do you see here under "currently," it says that he is
5 performing the duty of commander of the Special Police Units of the
6 milicija in MUP RSK. Now, how does that compare to what you told us with
7 respect to the earlier documents we saw?
8 A. Your Honours, Colonel Borislav Djukic is one of the examples of
9 senior officers who were transferred from the JNA first into the RSK TO
10 and then in the RSK PJM where in this case he's appointed commander of
11 the PJM.
12 Q. And if we can go to the next page in the English version. Yes,
13 we can scroll down to the bottom of the page in the B/C/S version. Very
14 well. Now, we see that this document is issued by the president of the
15 government, we see the name of Zdravko Zecevic, the minister of internal
16 affairs, and we see the president of the republic Goran Hadzic. And I'd
17 like to ask you here if you remember on the cover this proposal was sent
18 to the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Do you have an
19 explanation or a comment with respect to this?
20 A. This is just, Your Honours, an implementation of doctrine because
21 promotion of colonels to generals is the prerogative of, yeah, the
22 Presidency of the republic. I mean, whether it was in SFRY or in FRY,
23 it's the same. And since he is, in fact -- even if he's serving in the
24 RSK TO and subsequently in the PJM, Colonel Djukic is, in fact, a JNA
25 officer or by that time a VJ officer. So it's up to the FRY authorities,
1 i.e., the Presidency, to promote him.
2 Q. Very well.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is not a new document. I
4 guess we can deal with this with our filing in a week or so. I believe
5 that the Defence has expressed that they don't have an objection with
6 contemporaneous documents, but we'll deal with that in our motion.
7 MR. GOSNELL: Well, if it helps we wouldn't object to this
8 document coming in.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, is it practical at all to tender
10 it now, to have it admitted now, or do you wish for us to leave it all in
11 one package?
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: We would have prefer to have it in one package,
13 Mr. Demirdjian.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, very well. I believe it's time for the
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is, indeed.
17 Mr. Theunens, our first break. We'll come back at 11.00. The
18 court usher will escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian -- oh, the witness of course.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Demirdjian.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. Mr. Theunens, I'm going to press the pause button on the topic
4 that we've been dealing with so far and I will ask you to do some mental
5 gymnastics with respect to an issue that we were dealing with yesterday.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Could we have 65 ter 669 on the screen which is
7 at tab 171.
8 Q. If you remember, yesterday we were dealing with the end of the
9 operations in Vukovar and we were looking at some of the agreements
10 relating to the evacuation. Yes, this is the document that we were
11 looking at. This was the bulletin, if you will remember. And if we
12 could go to -- in the English version to page 2, the bottom of the page,
13 I'd like to have a little clarification here. Yes. Could you look at
14 the -- yes, the bottom of the page where the issue of the signed
15 agreement was dealt with. If you remember yesterday your comment was
16 that you would need to see other evacuation agreements to reach a certain
18 Now, with respect to the signed agreement that is referred to
19 here, could you look at the last sentence. We did not deal with it
20 yesterday. And it says here that:
21 "A new agreement was subsequently reached with Croatian
22 authorities to evacuate civilians, wounded, and sick on November 21st,
24 Now, what is your comment with respect to the fact that first
25 there's a discussion about a signed agreement and then there's a
1 discussion about a new agreement on the 21st?
2 A. I mean, at face value the use of the expression "new" would
3 suggest that we are talking about a different or -- if I would call the
4 signed agreement the first agreement in the context of this paragraph,
5 then the new agreement would be a second agreement.
6 Q. And have you seen other evacuation agreements besides the Zagreb
7 or Raseta Agreement?
8 A. Not to my recollection, Your Honours. I mean, I've seen
9 references to various agreements, but no -- I don't recall seeing other
10 signed agreements.
11 Q. Very well. Now, I would like to show you two documents which I
12 apologise to say I didn't have -- I didn't show you during proofing and
13 you can take your time to look at them on the screen. The first
14 one - and we've advised the Defence that we will be showing this
15 document - the first one is 65 ter 631. And you can see that it is dated
16 November 20th, 1991, in Zagreb. And at the bottom of the page we see
17 Colonel Imra Agotic. Are you familiar with this name?
18 A. Yes, Your Honour. Colonel Imra Agotic was a JNA officer who
19 served in the air force and air defence corps and he left the JNA, if I'm
20 not mistaken, in the course of 1991 to join the Croatian defence forces
21 or the Croatian national guard. And he was at that time the counterpart
22 of the General -- or the Colonel Andrija Raseta we mentioned yesterday,
23 so he was the senior negotiator involved in exchange of prisoners of war,
24 or matters related to evacuation of Vukovar similar to General Raseta but
25 this time on the Croatian side.
1 Q. Thank you. And if I pause after your questions it's simply
2 because I've been reminded to do that during the break.
3 A. Mm-hmm.
4 Q. Can you look at the first sentence which refers here to an oral
5 agreement reached on November 20th --
6 A. Mm-hmm.
7 Q. -- about the transfer of wounded and ill from Vukovar Hospital
8 and the refugees convoy from Vukovar, et cetera. And there is a
9 suggestion here to receive these convoys in Bosanska Raca. And if you
10 look at the bottom of the page there is I believe what is a suggested
11 route which -- I mean, could you tell us very briefly these towns that we
12 see are Bosanski Samac, Orasje, Brcko, Bijeljina, where are these
14 A. They are located in -- I'm sorry. They are located in northern
15 Bosnia in an area which became known as the Posavina corridor, I mean
16 Bosanski Samac and Orasje and Brcko. Bijeljina is in north-eastern --
17 main city in north-eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. Very well. And I'd like us to look at another document which
19 follows this one, it's 65 ter 5116.
20 A. I mean, I must have seen this document during the nine years I
21 worked here, but -- or the eight years I worked here, but I don't think I
22 discussed that in one of the reports or at least not the Vukovar report.
23 Q. I'm waiting for the document to come up. Thank you. Now, we see
24 here it's written at the top: "To the Government of the Republic of
25 Croatia, Zagreb, November 21st, 1991."
1 Now, we've mentioned him before. We see that it is signed by
2 General Lieutenant-Colonel Andrija Raseta and again the first sentence is
3 a reference to the verbal agreement reached on November 20th, 1991, and
4 the agreed proposal route. He mentions also Bosanska Raca and we see the
5 third paragraph there is a reference to Bosanski Samac as well. So
6 again, with respect to these two documents and the SSNO bulletin that we
7 saw earlier, does this clarify a little bit what was the reference to the
8 signed agreement?
9 A. Sorry, but this talks about a verbal or an oral agreement, so I'm
10 not clear whether there's a reference to a written agreement.
11 Q. And I apologise. My question may have not been clear. In the
12 first document we saw the SSNO bulletin there was a reference to a signed
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. And at the time you -- yesterday you told us that you were not
16 able to reach any conclusion as to which signed agreement this was a
17 reference to and that you needed to see if there were any other
19 A. Mm-hmm.
20 Q. These agreements we see here on the first document. It says oral
21 agreement. Here we see verbal agreement. So my question to you is: Are
22 you able to reach a conclusion as to which agreement the SSNO bulletin
23 was referring to when it said the signed agreement?
24 A. Actually, no, because unless I can establish that the only
25 written agreement is the Zagreb agreement, I cannot answer the question.
1 Q. Okay. And have you ever seen any other signed agreements --
2 A. No.
3 Q. -- on the evacuation of the hospital?
4 A. No. So I mean I could say that the signed agreement has to be
5 the Zagreb Agreement, but of course that could be challenged if another
6 agreement could be -- would be shown to me, but I'm not aware of any
7 other agreement so -- I mean, I could answer assuming that there is no
8 other written agreement then the Zagreb is the written agreement that the
9 SSNO makes reference to.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, these two documents were not on
12 the list; however, just for the completion of the record I would seek to
13 tender them, 65 ter 631 and 5116, to complete the record on the questions
14 that were dealt with yesterday.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter document 631 shall be assigned
17 Exhibit P1701 and 65 ter document 5116 shall be assigned Exhibit P1702.
18 Thank you.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
20 Q. Now we will return to the topic we were dealing with before the
21 break which was the transfer of JNA and TO officers to the RSK MUP units.
22 Could you look at the next document which is on my list, 65 ter
23 6185 at tab 657. Now, Mr. Theunens, this is one of the, again, new
24 documents that were obtained last summer. We see here that the header is
25 from the 1st Mechanised Corps command on the 20th of May, 1992, and the
1 report relates to the status of units and police stations in the corps'
2 area of responsibility. Now, do you see on page 1 if we scroll down at
3 item 1 here there's a discussion here about the five police stations
4 being established, Vukovar, Ilok, Mirkovci, Orolik, Tovarnik, et cetera.
5 And if we turn to page 2 only of the English version, we can stay on the
6 same page in the B/C/S version, there are numbers here under item (b)
7 establishing -- first of all, under item (a) you have the manpower, and
8 under item (b) you have the MTS levels. I think we've seen this term
9 before but very quickly what does that refer to, MTS?
10 A. MTS stands for materiel equipment, so I mean you see it with the
11 subtitles, weapons, communication equipment, vehicles, uniforms, and
12 other supplies, I mean materiel equipment.
13 Q. I'd like to take you now to page 3 which is page 2 in the B/C/S
14 version. And if you look at the second paragraph it reads here that the
15 1st Mechanised Corps command has extended assistance and armed the peace
16 time establishment police structure in Mirkovci and Orolik with long
17 barrels, loaned them wire communications and other equipment. Do you
18 have any comments with respect to the assistance provided here?
19 A. Your Honours, it's consistent with the documents we have seen
20 before, I mean which are cited in my report in relation to the assistance
21 that is provided by the SSNO in establishing a local Serb TO and also a
22 local Serb police and the instruction of the SSNO are then obviously
23 implemented by the subordinate units of the JNA in their respective areas
24 where they are deployed, in this case the 1st Mechanised Corps in
25 Eastern Slavonia.
1 Q. In the English version if we turn to page 4, I think in the B/C/S
2 version we can scroll down to the bottom of that page -- no, we will need
3 to go to the next page in B/C/S as well. I'd like you to focus on item
4 7. Here there is a mention to: In the area of responsibility of the
5 1st Mechanised Corps, there are cases and tendencies of establishing own
6 militias. Are you familiar with this situation?
7 A. Your Honours, among again what I would call the new documents,
8 those that I could review in September 2012, there is a whole range of
9 documents consisting of reports by organs of civil affairs of the JNA,
10 including also assistant commanders for civil affairs of the JNA units
11 that are still present in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem and
12 there is a pattern where they highlight that there are shortcomings in
13 the functioning of the SAO SBWS local authorities, which become part of
14 the SRK local civilian authorities, including also the existence of
15 so-called uncontrolled armed groups or groups that are not necessarily
16 co-operating with the JNA or have been established with JNA support, but
17 maintain relations with members of the local Serb civilian authorities.
18 And according to the JNA reports are involved in activities in criminal
19 activities like looting or harassment of local civilians and so on. And
20 this is an example concerning the establishment of police units where
21 there are also apparently parallel or de facto armed structures or
22 self-styled structures like here in Mirkovci.
23 Q. And I apologise, I missed an issue on item 5. Could we return to
24 page 3, please. Yes. Item 5, you see here that it says the:
25 [As read] "Regular police staff have been recruited from the
1 ranks of Serbia MUP who have sent a core of men on a temporary
2 assignment ..."
3 Have you seen other documents which relate to this issue?
4 A. I have. I cannot recall exactly which documents at this stage,
5 but I also know from my previous work outside ICTY that there was a
6 presence of members of the Ministry of the Interior or the police of the
7 Republic of Serbia among the RSK MUP in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
8 Srem which is quite logical given that they are, I mean, neighbouring
9 areas which is very easy to send personnel from Serbia.
10 Q. Very well.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is a new document 6185. May
12 I tender it, please?
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1703. Thank you.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
16 Q. On the same topic if we could look at 65 ter 6191 which is at tab
18 Yes, very briefly, this is a document of the state of the police
19 in the Mirkovci village, and you see here that they are reporting
20 pursuant to the plan of work of the 1st Mechanised Corps command's plan
21 of -- work plan, basically. And in the English version I'd like to take
22 you to the second page on the top of the page. And do you see the
23 sentence here which states that:
24 "The personnel allocated on a temporary basis from the Serbian
25 MUP are expressing dissatisfaction with the whole system of
1 organisation ...," et cetera.
2 So is this again another document you have seen in reviewing your
4 A. Indeed, it's one of the new documents and I think I've answered
5 the question before. There are members of the police of the Republic of
6 Serbia who are serving in the RSK police or milicija in SBWS on a
7 temporary basis, and there are several documents showing that these
8 members of the MUP Serbia are not always happy with the fact that they
9 are temporarily reassigned to the RSK or to SBWS.
10 Q. Very well. That's the only matter I wish to explore in this
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: May I tender it, Your Honours, it's 65 ter 6191.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1704. Thank you.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
16 Q. Mr. Theunens, could I take you now to page 369 of your report,
17 where you discuss the RSK Law on Defence of the 23rd of March, 1992. In
18 B/C/S it's page 420. And -- yes. Here you highlight the adoption of the
19 RSK Law on Defence and I believe you focus here on Article 5 on this page
20 and Article 6 on the next page. Now, looking at Article 5 first, it
21 focuses on the fact that the RSK armed forces are considered to be part
22 of the SFRY armed forces. Now, if you remember a moment ago we looked at
23 the constitution which was adopted on the 2nd of January, 1992, which
24 provided for the creation of a Territorial Defence of the RSK. How does
25 that compare with the terminology here, the "RSK armed forces"?
1 A. Well, I mean the Law on Defence further specifies issues related
2 to the armed forces as they have been defined in general terms in the
3 constitution. So it further clarifies the concept of armed forces by
4 stating that in certain conditions the special purpose units of the
5 police would be integrated in the armed forces.
6 Q. And if we go to the next page where you're dealing with Article
7 6 --
8 A. Yeah, and I could just add that it shows actually the military
9 nature or the paramilitary nature of this special police force.
10 Q. Yes. And here at Article 6 you're dealing with the powers of the
11 president, which include that the president leads the armed forces in
12 peace time and in times of war. And we also see at item number 5 that he
13 orders the use of the police in times of war, in times of imminent threat
14 of war, and states of emergency. Now, am I correct in saying that a year
15 later in 1993 this power of the president does change a little bit with
16 the creation of the Supreme Defence Council?
17 A. That is correct, Your Honours, with the amendments in 1993 to the
18 RSK constitution and subsequent Law on Defence an RSK Defence Council is
19 established, whereby it is stated that the president leads the armed
20 forces in accordance with the constitution and the decisions of the RSK
21 Defence Council. And obviously the president is a member -- one of the
22 five members of the RSK Defence Council.
23 Q. We will hopefully, if time permits, look at that amendment, but
24 it is in your report in April of 1993. You describe elsewhere in your
25 report that the RSK is created -- sorry, the -- just a moment, please.
1 You discuss the establishment of the SVK at pages 388 onwards,
2 and -- yes, and it's at page 389 -- well, let's look at it now, 389 is
3 where you deal with the amendment adopted pursuant to a decree -- I'm
4 sorry, I may have the wrong page here. Yes, I apologise. It's at page
5 296 of your report, which in B/C/S is 342. Now, here on 296 we see that
6 the RSK Supreme Defence Council is created by a decision of the 20th of
7 April, 1993, and you indicate that the Supreme Defence Council is
8 composed of the RSK president, the prime minister, the minister of
9 defence, the minister of interior, and the commander of the Serb Army of
10 Krajina. So I know we're jumping ahead in time a year later, but can you
11 tell us with respect to the RSK Law on Defence of 1992 how it is impacted
12 by this amendment?
13 A. It's -- I mean, the -- as I mentioned, the introduction of a
14 Supreme Defence Council could be seen as curtailing the powers of the
15 president because instead of being the supreme commander on his own, now
16 he commands the armed forces in accordance with the constitution which
17 obviously was obviously the case but also with the decisions adopted by
18 the Supreme Defence Council.
19 Q. Now, based on the documents that you have reviewed, what were the
20 president's power with respect to the SVK?
21 A. Well, you know, he's the supreme commander so he's the highest
22 political authority and he -- I can repeat myself for a third time,
23 but ... I don't understand the question.
24 Q. Perhaps let me clarify it, yes. Perhaps the question would be:
25 In practical terms how did that transpire?
1 A. Well, we've -- I mean, he commands the armed forces in accordance
2 with the constitution and the decisions of the Supreme Defence Council.
3 He can promote people. He -- I mean, he has the last word when it comes
4 to issuing political decisions in the manner as I have expressed, so
5 other detailed responsibilities can be seen in the relevant articles.
6 Q. I'd like you to look at a document which you have reviewed, it's
7 65 ter 5352 at tab 540. You see on the screen that this is an UNPROFOR
8 document and I'd like us to go to page 2, please. You see here that it
9 is signed by Lieutenant-General Lars-Eric Wahlgren, force commander. Are
10 you familiar with this name?
11 A. Yes, Your Honours. He was the force commander of UNPROFOR at
12 that time, so not only the UNPROFOR forces in Croatia but the overall
13 commander because at that time also -- I mean forces in Bosnia --
14 peacekeepers had been deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. Returning to page 1, we see here that the letter is addressed or
16 begins with: Dear Mr. Hadzic, and what is happening here is that he
17 informs or wishes to bring to the attention of the president a serious
18 humanitarian matter. It is the shelling of civilian targets in the
19 territory of Croatia, et cetera, et cetera. What I'm interested in is
20 not specifically the events described in the document but your assessment
21 of the UNPROFOR commander sending a letter to the president of the RSK,
22 how do you assess that?
23 A. Well, it -- it's a logical move because the president of the RSK
24 is the supreme commander of the armed forces of the RSK, I mean based on
25 the constitution, so de jure. And the fact that General Wahlgren sends a
1 letter to Mr. Hadzic shows that also for Mr. Wahlgren, who may well not
2 be hundred per cent familiar with the applicable legislation in the RSK,
3 for Mr. Wahlgren, Mr. Hadzic is the supreme commander, is the highest
4 political authority who also decides about the use of the armed forces in
5 the RSK.
6 Q. And just to complete the topics, if you go to page 2, the last
7 sentence here says that:
8 "I am also writing to the other party to this conflict in request
9 of breaches emanating from their military activity."
10 Now, is that consistent with the events at the time, based on the
11 documents that you have reviewed?
12 A. I haven't analysed in my report the nature of hostilities between
13 Croatia and RSK in that period of time, but I am familiar with the fact
14 that there was mutual military activity or mutual violations of the Vance
15 Agreement occurring between let's say -- the adoption -- I mean the
16 earliest -- the adoption of the plan until, actually, the Operation Storm
17 in August 1995. So on a regular basis there was military activity by
18 both sides that resulted in violations of the Vance Plan as well as is
19 highlighted here, the targeting of civilian objectives, in this case by
20 forces of the RSK.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is a new document. May I
23 offer to tender it, please?
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1705. Thank you.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
2 Q. Now, we dealt earlier with documents, instructions number 588-1
3 and 588-3 which dealt with the relationship between the 1st Military
4 District and the Serb regional district in SBWS. I would like you to
5 look at a document which is a new document, 65 ter 6154 at tab 637,
6 please. Yes, it's 6154, that's what I said on the record. Sorry. Thank
7 you very much.
8 Now, this is a document of the 1st Military District dated the
9 27th of March, 1992, and it is sent to the 1st Mechanised Corps and the
10 12th Corps. Here we see that the requesting information to carry out an
11 initiative for attaching an organ of civilian affairs to
12 Executive Councils as a group of advisors, and based on the request of
13 the SSNO they are requesting the following information for the command,
14 and a little bit lower they are asking for proposals to ensure that a
15 group of advisors is assigned to the Executive Council. I would like you
16 to comment on how do you assess the use of the word "advisors" in this
18 A. Well, Your Honours, this is in line with what I said earlier,
19 that after the 20th of November the role of the JNA in relation to
20 exercising civilian authority changes, and whereas prior to the 20th of
21 November, 1991, the town commands, JNA town commands, are in charge.
22 After the the 20th of November, 1991, the JNA through the bodies for
23 civil affairs fulfils a supporting and advisory role to the civilian
24 bodies of authority of the SAO SBWS, as is the case also in other parts
25 of Croatia which are by then under Serbian control. But I mean I
1 reviewed only the documents that covered Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and
2 Western Srem.
3 Q. Thank you. That is all I have for this document, Your Honours.
4 May I tender it?
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1706. Thank you.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
8 Q. Now, with respect to the town commands, Mr. Theunens, could you
9 generally tell the Court what type of matters were they reporting about
10 to their superior authorities? And just to be clear, I meant to their
11 superiors within the army chain of command.
12 A. I understand. I mean, again, as I mentioned earlier, within the
13 group of new documents, I mean those that became available to me in
14 October 2012, a very large number of these documents consist of daily or
15 weekly reports by the organs of civil affairs, whereby they report on the
16 functioning of the local Serb civilian authorities, addressing areas
17 like, for example, the treatment of abandoned property, the treatment of
18 civilian population, in particular non-Serbs. In some cases there are
19 reports on criminal activity on -- also on the lack of functioning or
20 problems with the functioning of SAO SBWS local civilian authorities. So
21 it's mainly these areas that are being covered in a regular manner.
22 Q. Now, with respect to the first topic that you mention, the
23 treatment of abandoned property, I would like us to look at 65 ter 6048,
24 which is at tab 570.
25 [Microphone not activated]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: It could very well be that I'm causing the
2 trouble. Please try again.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It's working now.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry about that.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
8 Q. If we look at this document, Mr. Theunens, it is a 1st Military
9 District document from the 11th of December, 1991, and I'd like us to
10 focus on the first paragraph here which states that:
11 "Some commands have received requests from certain local
12 officials for making use of abandoned property and farms. It refers to
13 collecting unharvested crops, abandoned cattle ..." et cetera, et cetera.
14 Item 1 here states - and again this is from the 1st Military
15 District, that:
16 "All ... issues should be resolved in co-operation with and at
17 the request of government officials of the Serbian district ..." and in
18 parenthesis here there's a comment that "all government officials carry
19 special ID to prove their actual position."
20 Now, first of all, can you offer us your comments with respect to
21 the issue of dealing with abandoned property in co-operation with the
22 Serbian district?
23 A. Yes, Your Honours. This paragraph shows that the government
24 officials of the SAO or the SO, it's actually the same, Baranja,
25 Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem, they have the lead and the JNA has an
1 advisory or supporting role. So the decisions are taken by members of
2 the SAO SBWS authorities, civilian authorities, and the JNA then assists
3 by that which is consistent with other documents from the SSNO as well
4 as -- or the other documents from the SSNO as well as the 1st Military
5 District that are released after the 20th of November.
6 Q. And if you look at item number 3 here it says that:
7 "In order to prevent any allegations linking the JNA and its
8 members with possible abuse of abandoned property, the following should
9 be done ..."
10 And there are three steps here. First:
11 "Local authorities are in charge of managing locally abandoned
12 properties and it is their obligation to create records ..."
13 Second step:
14 "If local authorities do not exist, but a government commissioner
15 is present, it is the local command that manages the property in
16 agreement with the government appointed commissioner ..."
17 Just to clarify here, are you aware of what the term "local
18 command" refers to?
19 A. Well, that's the local JNA command, so the unit in which zone of
20 responsibility the property is located.
21 Q. And if we turn to the next page in the English version and that
22 would require us to go on the next page in the B/C/S version as well, you
23 see the third dash:
24 "If neither the local authorities nor the government commissioner
25 exist, it is the local command that makes the decision in consultation
1 with the local assembly ..." et cetera.
2 First of all, on these three dashes, these three points we've
3 seen, do you have any comments on how this issue is supposed to be dealt
4 with by the local commands?
5 A. I mean, it's all consistent in a sense that the local civilian
6 authorities have the lead unless there are no local civilian authorities
7 and then only then the JNA takes over, summarising these three scenarios
8 that are described.
9 Q. Scrolling down to the bottom of that page if you can look at item
10 number 6, again there's a reference to "local commands," and it is
11 instructed here that they shall honour Municipal Assembly decisions,
12 Executive Council decisions, and the decisions made by the government of
13 the Serbian district. Now, is this again consistent with the
14 instructions 588-1 and 588-3?
15 A. Exactly, and it -- sorry, and it's also consistent with the
16 1st Military District order 2436-1 from the 20th of November as well as
17 the subsequent orders that figure among the new documents and probably
18 you will address later.
19 Q. Now -- yes. And -- sorry. Yes, this is a new document.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It's 6048. Your Honours, may I apply to tender
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1707. Thank you.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
25 Q. I would like you to take a look now at 65 ter 6056, which is at
1 tab 578. Thank you.
2 We see this is a document issued by the command of the town of
3 Ilok on the 23rd of December, 1991. And it says here that it's a regular
4 daily report submitted to the 1st pgmd. I'm interested in item number 10
5 which is on the next page. So after reporting on the situation to the
6 1st pgmd, here there is a comment that:
7 "Occupation of empty houses continue in the territory of the
8 command of the town of Ilok's area of responsibility. Occupation is done
9 without knowledge or approval of the command of the town of Ilok. The
10 Presidency of the SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem has not given
11 an announcement so far regarding the way and conditions of occupation,
12 which places this command into a very complex situation."
13 And then he ends with:
14 "At the same time ethnic Croatian inhabitants are under pressure
15 to leave this territory."
16 Now, this is one document. Have you seen other reports dealing
17 with the same topic?
18 A. I have, Your Honours, and actually there are several topics.
19 There is, first of all, the topic or the issue of the reoccupation of
20 abandoned houses and farms and land. I mean Eastern Slavonia was a very
21 fertile area. And secondly, there is also the topic of the presence of
22 minorities of non-Serbs, including ethnic Croatians, but I've also seen
23 documents on pressure -- I mean according to the JNA pressure exercised
24 to -- against Ruthenians or Ukrainians in parts of Eastern Slavonia to
25 encourage them -- or Hungarians to encourage them to leave. And this
1 pressure is exercised -- I mean in a number of documents members of the
2 local Serb authorities are identified as being behind this pressure or at
3 least supporting it or failing to act against it.
4 Q. Very well. This is a document of the 23rd of December.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, it's a new document, 6056. May I apply to
6 tender it, Your Honours?
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit P1708. Thank you.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
10 Q. Now, around this time I want to show you another document which I
11 believe is on the same day, it's Exhibit D30. It's at tab 577 of our
12 list. Now, sir, this is a --
13 MR. GOSNELL: I believe this is a document that's supposed to be
14 used in closed session, at least that's what e-court says on my screen,
15 but I could always be wrong since I see the Registrar shaking his head.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Originally I remember when we tendered this
17 document or when you tender a document there was a question mark as to
18 whether these documents that we obtained last summer should be used in
19 private session or not, but we have a confirmation that we can use them
20 all in open session.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
23 Q. Mr. Theunens, first if we go to -- well, looking at the header
24 right here it says Republic of Serbian Krajina, Government of the Serbian
25 District of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. Could we go to the last
1 page, please. Yes. Well, the page before that, please. This is the
2 stamp. In English. Right.
3 Now, the document is issued here by at the time -- scroll down a
4 little bit more, please, thank you very much, by at the time
5 Prime Minister Goran Hadzic. First of all, have you had an occasion to
6 review this document?
7 A. I did, Your Honours, because there's also a reply by
8 Colonel Belic, I mean that the assistant commander for civil affairs of
9 the pgmd or by then the 1st Mechanised Corps to the letter by Mr. Hadzic.
10 Q. Very well. If we return to page 1, yes, if we scroll to the
11 bottom of the page we see here that there is an introduction that the
12 letter is written in the name of the Government of the Serbian District.
13 We can now move to the next page and we see here that it's sent to the
14 town commander of Ilok. Yes, can we zoom in the middle part of the
15 document. Yes. Now, it deals here with discussions that have -- well,
16 arise from problems between both sides. And there is a reference here to
17 the fact that they are appointing the minister of justice,
18 Mr. Vojin Susa, as a representative in relations with organs of the JNA,
19 particularly in connection with the establishment of civilian authorities
20 in the liberated areas of the Serbian district.
21 Now, with respect to this part of the document, do you have any
22 comments with the appointment of a minister to deal with the relations of
23 the JNA?
24 A. Well, the comments would relate to the beginning of the document
25 where Mr. Hadzic highlights apparent difficulties or problems in the
1 co-operation -- I mean, identified by him in the co-operation of the
2 relations between the JNA and the SAO SBWS civilian authorities.
3 Q. Okay --
4 A. And since it's addressed to Colonel Belic, it focuses on the area
5 of Ilok.
6 Q. Very well. I'd like to put this document aside for a moment and
7 go to 65 ter 6063, which is at tab 584. Now, the previous document, the
8 letter we saw from Goran Hadzic, was on the 23rd of December. This one
9 is the 29th of December, and as you can see on the bottom right-hand side
10 it is signed, well, yes, by Vojin Susa for the government's commission.
11 It is addressed here as:
13 "Please be informed that the Government's Commission for
14 organisation and conduct of the operation of moving in and temporary
15 accommodation of the persons who fled from the area ... has convened a
16 session to be held on 30 December 1991 at 1200 hours on the premises of
17 the ... castle in Ilok ...
18 "We believe that your presence would contribute to a better
19 detection of problems," et cetera.
20 Have you seen this document today -- when you were reviewing the
21 new material?
22 A. I have seen the document, Your Honours, and maybe I can provide
23 some context or?
24 Q. Absolutely.
25 A. I mean, when -- and this is -- what I wanted to say this is
1 addressed in the report, but I addressed it in the new report that in
2 October there is an agreement between the JNA and the Croatian
3 authorities in Ilok, October 1991, concerning the -- what is described as
4 the -- I call it the departure of Croatian civilians or the civilian
5 population from Ilok by their own volition, which means that a large
6 number of houses are empty in Ilok as a result. There was very little
7 fighting in Ilok itself, so by the time of these documents, I mean for
8 example 29 December 1991, efforts are undertaken to use these houses for
9 Serbian refugees from other parts of Croatia, predominantly Western
10 Slavonia because there many Serbs had to leave. And these -- based on --
11 again, on the other documents I have seen, there are some difficulties in
12 how these Serbs from other parts of Croatia are allowed into these houses
13 which were previously occupied by predominantly non-Serbs. The JNA
14 highlights these problems, holds the local authorities accountable for
15 certain shortcomings or difficulties that arise during that relocation
16 process, including even also for the pressure or harassment against
17 remaining non-Serbs in Ilok. And, okay, by the end of December 1991 a
18 meeting is called by the representative of the local Serb authorities,
19 inviting the JNA in order to discuss the matter and probably try to solve
21 Q. Can I take you to page 2 of this document in both versions. So
22 here we see a table, a list of residents of Vinkovci and Vukovar
23 municipalities which is said to be drawn out according to the 1991
24 census. First of all, are you familiar with the 1991 census or the fact
25 that it had been done, conducted?
1 A. Yes. I mean, this is the census prior to the war, so I think it
2 was a census at the level of the SFRY.
3 Q. And can I take you to page 14 in the English version, and we can
4 stay in this format, actually, page 14, which is in B/C/S page 13. Thank
5 you. We can scroll down a little bit in the English version. Yes. So
6 here we see numbers broken down by what appears to be settlements,
7 Tompojevci, Boksic, Tovarnik, and you have numbers indicating the
8 population before the war and after the war. Have you seen documents of
9 the kind in the material you've reviewed?
10 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Among the documents that were available to
11 me in September/October 2012, there was quite a substantial number of
12 documents, JNA documents, which provide information on the ethnic
13 distribution or the ethnic composition of the population after the war in
14 1991. So they -- the JNA units in Eastern Slavonia regularly compile
15 reports on the then-ethnic compositions in the various areas in their
16 zones of responsibility.
17 Q. And if we move to the next page very briefly for both versions.
18 Here we see other villages and the same type of information, the numbers
19 before the war and after the war. And is it correct that the following
20 pages which succeed also have a number of other villages in this bundle?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. We can keep moving on but --
23 A. The documents were very comprehensive. I mean, they addressed
24 each village and municipalities, and then the villages -- I mean, the
25 municipalities, the towns, and the villages in the zones of
1 responsibility of the various JNA units in the area.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, might I tender this document which
4 is 65 ter 6063?
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This document shall be assigned Exhibit P1709.
7 And just for the record, the first page of this document has already been
8 admitted as D28. Thank you.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
10 Q. Now, could we display 65 ter 6065 which is at tab 586. So this
11 is another one of the new documents. Do you see on the screen,
12 Mr. Theunens, that this is issued by the 1st Proletarian Guards
13 Mechanised Division on the 31st of December, 1991?
14 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
15 Q. And here it says: "Report on the government session." And it is
16 sent to the 1st Military District. In the first paragraph we see that at
17 a meeting of the government commission for population and temporary
18 accommodation has been held on the 30th of December, 1991, at 1200 hours
19 in a castle in Ilok, organised by the Serbian District of Slavonia,
20 Baranja, and Western Srem. So does this relate to the document we just
21 saw before that?
22 A. Indeed, Your Honours, it relates to the invitations sent by
23 Mr. Susa to the Colonel Belic.
24 Q. So in the second paragraph here we see the individuals who have
25 attended. On behalf of the Serbian district you have the Deputy Prime
1 Minister Bogunovic; you have the minister of justice, Susa; a member of
2 the Executive Council; and on behalf of the JNA you have
3 Colonels Miljkovic and Milan Belic.
4 I want to take you to page 2 and in the B/C/S we can still remain
5 on page 1 and move towards the bottom. So at the top of the page here
6 you see that it is said that Bogunovic will deal with the coming task to
7 set up accurate records of temporarily populated persons. Perhaps we
8 should look at the translation here because it says "temporarily
9 populated persons," I'm not sure if that's the term that's used in the
10 B/C/S, but I will ask for a revision. At the bottom of the page you see
11 a paragraph which begins with "deputy prime minister," so we saw on the
12 first page this was Bogunovic.
13 "Deputy Prime Minister said: 'We do not know what our goals
14 are ... we want the structure here to change ... some people do not
15 understand military administration well.'"
16 And this is followed by a comment by the 1st pgmd officer who
18 "These quotes illustrate that the government wants to change the
19 structure of the population at all costs ..."
20 I'll stop there. What is your comment with respect to the
21 assessment of the JNA here?
22 A. Your Honours, this comment is consistent with the observations
23 made in other JNA documents at that time as well as with observations
24 made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations at a much later
25 stage, but in the reports on the implementation of the United Nations
1 Security Council Resolutions concerning UNPROFOR which include also
2 evaluations of the degree of implementation of the Vance Plan and
3 analysis of the situation in the UNPAs, regular reference is made to
4 efforts involving, for example, the structure we discussed earlier, the
5 PJM, so the milicija, in pressure or harassment of members of minority or
6 non-Serbs that is still remaining in the UNPAs, and this is not confined
7 to 1992 but also the later years.
8 Q. And -- now, from the JNA's perspective, Mr. Theunens, what
9 measures are available to the town commanders and to the 1st Military
10 District when they're aware of the situation?
11 A. From the documents I have reviewed, Your Honours, the first -- I
12 mean, it's not really a measure, but the thing they do is to report to
13 their superiors, and this goes -- for example, in this case it goes all
14 the way up the 1st Military District, as well as addressing it in the
15 situation with their counterparts in among the authorities of the SAO
16 SBWS. I don't recall at this stage any other measures that are
17 undertaken by members of the JNA when they come across situations or
18 activities as they are highlighted here in relation to pressure on
19 non-Serbs, even if there are, indeed, orders through the chain of command
20 to prevent such pressure, but I haven't seen anything or I don't recall
21 seeing anything indicating what specific measures are undertaken to
22 implement those orders.
23 Q. Very well.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may I apply to tender this
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1710.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
4 Q. Very briefly on this topic, could we look at 65 ter 6121 which is
5 at tab 619. Thank you. Now, we see that this is a document from the
6 1st Mechanised Brigade command. It is being sent to the 1st Mechanised
7 Corps to the organs for civilian affairs. It states here that:
8 "Further to your memo ... of the 7th of March ... we enclose
9 details of the ethnic structure of the population in our zone of
10 responsibility ..."
12 "We ... draw your attention to the fact that the numbers change
13 every day due to the movement of the population."
14 Can we move to the next page in both versions, please. Now, we
15 see a document which is in content similar to what we've seen before but
16 perhaps in format slightly different or we see the population before and
17 after. First of all, do you see in relation to the municipality of
18 Vukovar, the first block of numbers here we see, you have numbers,
19 Croats, Serbs, Ukrainians, et cetera, which are - how would I say? -
20 generally referred to in the thousands, all numbers end with zeros here.
21 Would you have a comment in relation to that?
22 A. One could think that that is a general estimate, but in the -- a
23 census was conducted before the war with -- whereby -- I mean, there were
24 detailed figures available or detailed data available as to the ethnic
25 composition of the SFRY. I'm not in a position to explain why these
1 accurate numbers apparently do not seem to be reflected in these
2 statistics, unless other boundaries are being used for municipalities,
3 the municipalities -- for the towns and villages that make up the
4 municipality of Vukovar, but again it's more for a demographer I would
6 Q. Yes, and if you look at the numbers below that -- now we see
7 numbers that are bit more specific. Now, how would the JNA have reached
8 these figures?
9 A. Your Honours, the documents I reviewed do not describe the
10 methodology that was used by the JNA. I mean, they could have made an
11 account by going house by house or they could have relied on data from
12 local authorities or whatever records, so I cannot give you a precise
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: May I tender this document, Your Honours?
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1711. Thank you.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
19 Your Honours, on this very topic we have two or three other
20 documents which have again same structure, cover page with a table
21 attached to it. If there are no objections, and this was in the e-mail
22 that I sent to the Defence last week, I would like to tender the
23 following three documents which are 65 ters 6127, 6124, and 6158. Again,
24 if there is an objection I could display them on the screen, but we say
25 that they have the same format.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: You have been able to look at them, Mr. Gosnell?
2 MR. GOSNELL: No objection, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
4 Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: They shall be assigned exhibit numbers P1712,
6 P1713, and P1714 in a chronological order. Thank you.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
8 Q. May I ask you, Mr. Theunens, to look at another document which is
9 65 ter 6102 at tab 608. Thank you. This is a document of the
10 1st Mechanised Corps, this time of the 22nd of February, 1992. We see
11 here the town Principovac and to be delivered to the 1st Military
12 District. Here -- the report relates to a meeting which was held in the
13 municipality of Mirkovci on the 21st of February, 1991, which was
14 attended by local organs, police station commanders. And if we move to
15 the next page --
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, you say 20 -- 1991? Wasn't it
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That's my mistake. It is 1992. Thank you,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
22 Q. And we see also on this page that police station commanders,
23 commanders of the TO attended the meeting. Towards the middle of that
24 page we see that the meeting was led by the corps commander,
25 Major-General Mico Delic. And the course of the meeting followed the
1 agenda and pressing problems were discussed. Now, I'd like to take you
2 to page 2 -- well, page 3, sorry, in the English version, item 5. In the
3 B/C/S it should be bottom of page 1, I believe. Yes. Now, at the end of
4 this meeting it appears that there is a general assessment which was
5 made, and the civilian affairs organ proposed the following:
6 "For measures to be taken at the level of the government of
7 Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, and Baranja ... to quickly resolve the
8 issue of settlement in areas that were hitherto unsettled ...," and we
9 see five villages here, "... and to more effectively change the national
10 make-up in places already settled."
11 Now, we saw an earlier document where the JNA was commenting on
12 the fact that the government seems to be pressing the matter on changing
13 the ethnic structure. What do you make out of this proposal here in this
14 JNA document?
15 A. It -- I mean, this paragraph shows -- in this document shows that
16 the civilian authorities still have the lead, but that contrary to
17 previous documents here the representatives of the JNA appear to concur
18 with changing the national make-up or the ethnic composition of the
19 location and -- which is different from other JNA documents I have seen.
20 Q. And you see under item number (b) that the JNA proposes here:
21 "For all displaced persons, regardless of their nationality, who
22 have participated in Ustasha units on any basis whatsoever to be
23 prohibited from returning to this area."
24 Now, have you seen any other documents which deals with the issue
25 of the returning of the population?
1 A. Obviously I have, but I mean it's a bit of a general question.
2 The issue of non-Serbs and their relations with what is described as
3 Ustashas is raised in several documents. I mean, in some documents by
4 the JNA it is questioned whether they can still stay, and in these
5 documents you see that it's both questioned or they can be questioned by
6 the JNA as well as there are JNA documents reflecting questions by the
7 local Serb authorities on the right, between brackets, to remain for
8 non-Serbs who are suspected of having maintained relations with what was
9 described as Ustasha authorities. Some of the documents talk about the
10 need to protect loyal members, I mean "loyal" members of minorities of
11 non-Serbs, and again these are both documents from the JNA as well as --
12 or documents where the JNA expresses its views as well as documents where
13 the JNA reflects the views of members of the SAO SBWS authorities. So
14 it's a complex matter. I think also for this document, in addition to
15 this paragraph as well as the previous one on change the ethnic make-up,
16 it dates from the 22nd of February, whereas in earlier documents, as I
17 said, the JNA seems to be denouncing what they consider efforts by the
18 local civilian authorities SAO SBWS authorities to change the ethnic
19 make-up. So the matter is quite complex and I think it's important to
20 look at the documents in context.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may I tender this document?
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1715. Thank you.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: So it is time for the break. Just in terms of
2 management I will have probably another 20 minutes after the break and I
3 should be finished.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 Mr. Theunens, second break. We'll come back at 12.45. Thank you
6 very much.
7 [The witness stands down].
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, with respect to the pending
12 translation which is MFI 1692, Exhibit 1692, we are expecting to receive
13 it during the course of the day. So I just wanted to update you on that
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Q. Mr. Theunens, I have a few more documents to show you before I
20 complete my examination. I would like you to look at 65 ter 6145 which
21 is at tab 632. Thank you. Now, this is a document of the 1st Mechanised
22 Corps on the 19th of March which is being sent to the 1st Military
23 District. It is a daily report of the organs of civilian affairs. There
24 is a description of the situation again here in the first page. I'd like
25 you to go to page 2 in the English version first, please, and, yes, the
1 next version and look at item number 6. Now, again with respect to the
2 topic we were dealing with earlier before the break, if you read the
3 first sentence here it -- it states here that:
4 "The moving out of the local population is being organised by the
5 local civilian authorities, with supervision and security provided by the
6 IS, expansion unknown, of the Government of the Serbian district ... the
7 person in charge is Ziko Vevcevic."
8 Now, first of all, have you had an opportunity to review this
10 A. I'm not a hundred per cent sure because, I mean, at this stage I
11 don't know what IS stands for, so I could check during the break in the
12 lexicon or something, but at this stage I don't -- so I'm not a hundred
13 per cent sure I saw it.
14 Q. Okay. I have another document which may clarify the issue. Now,
15 on the issue of the moving out of the local population under the
16 supervision of the Serbian district, do you have any views on this?
17 MR. GOSNELL: Objection, this is outside of the scope of the
18 report as far as I know unless there is a reference.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: This is the same topic that we've been dealing
20 with for the past hour.
21 MR. GOSNELL: Well, now I'm objecting.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Well, if there is no solid basis for an
23 objection, Your Honours, I would propose to continue.
24 MR. GOSNELL: Well, the basis of the objection is that it's
25 outside of the scope of the report.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, the report deals with the issue of
2 town commands, of the local commands that were created by the JNA and the
3 matters that they have been reporting. The issues of resettlement is
4 included in the report. From the top of my head I can remember the
5 Helsinki Watch Report which makes a very clear reference to the issue of
6 resettlement and these are matters that are in the report. These are new
7 documents obviously which we obtained last summer and which expand on the
8 topic. I don't see any difference between this topic and the ones that
9 we've been looking at for the past -- today.
10 MR. GOSNELL: To my knowledge, Mr. President, there is no section
11 or paragraph of the report that attributes responsibility for moving out
12 of civilian populations in this area to the district government of the
13 SBWS and that's now the subject that we're embarking -- well, continuing
14 upon and we object on the basis that it's outside of the scope of the
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, the Trial Chamber is of the
18 opinion that you should move on to another question.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Your Honours, I apologise for -- I know you've already ruled, but
21 at page 123, again, if I can come back to this part of the report, we're
22 looking at the implementation of the justice system and here you have a
23 21 January 1992 Helsinki Watch report which is quoted by Mr. Theunens
24 which are being sent to both civilian and military authorities. You have
25 Milosevic was copied on it, Blagoje Adzic was copied on it. And the
1 second paragraph that is quoted here there is a reference to abuses and
2 indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against civilian
3 targets, disappearances, forced displacement, resettlement of civilian
4 populations. This is a topic that is being dealt with in the report.
5 Now, another issue here is these documents have been on the list
6 since the month of January. This document has been listed since then.
7 This is the first we hear that there's an objection to dealing with the
8 issue of forcible displacement being connected to the local government.
9 This is an issue that was also dealt with with our MUP expert. So it
10 comes to me as a complete surprise that now at this 11th hour we're being
11 told we cannot use documents related to the civilian authorities and
12 forcible displacement and this is what we've been dealing with for the
13 past hour.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, I don't think that the fact that
16 we are dealing with this for the past hour prevents the Defence, if they
17 have good cause, to say this is as far as we will go and now we object.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I understand that part. Maybe that comment was
19 not necessary --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: -- but coming back to the issue that I was ...
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, the matter seems to be here in the
23 report, page 123.
24 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, what we have here is an extract from
25 a Helsinki Watch report dated the 21st of January, 1992, and as I
1 understand the Prosecution's argument they're saying that any subject
2 matter that's mentioned in a document that happens to be cited in the
3 report then provides an adequate nexus to discuss all manner of
4 documents. I would just ask this question: What subject would not be
5 encompassed within the breadth of this Helsinki Watch report? I can't
6 think of anything. And surely the purpose of Rule 94 ter is that we have
7 reasonable notice of extremely complicated matters and opinions that are
8 going to be presented by an expert. And to allow this as a bridgehead to
9 introduce all manner of documents for comment by the expert I would
10 suggest is not appropriate.
11 And just one final matter, if I may say, Mr. President, it's also
12 a question of the scope of the expertise. Dr. Nielsen, of course, had a
13 different expertise than does Mr. Theunens, and we did hear a
14 considerable commentary from Dr. Nielsen, but as I say Dr. Nielsen had a
15 different expertise than Mr. Theunens. So we do maintain the objection
16 and there is a distinction between Mr. Theunens and Dr. Nielsen. Thank
17 you, Mr. President.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Request for reconsideration overruled or denied,
20 Mr. Demirdjian.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Very well. I will move on, Your Honours, then.
22 Q. Now -- just a moment, please. Now, the document that we looked
23 at before the break, Mr. Theunens, if you'll remember was the one which
24 dealt with a report of the civilian affairs of the 22nd of February, and
25 there there were some proposals made by the civilian organs affairs if
1 you remember, some proposals for measures to be taken. I would like you
2 to look at 65 ter 6150 at tab 364, please. Now, this is a document of
3 the 23rd of March, 1992. You see that it is a conclusion the Republic of
4 Serbian Krajina Ministry of Internal Affairs is required to immediately
5 start sorting out the state of security in the Serbian region in
6 co-operation with the 1st Military District. Now, first of all, with
7 respect to the terminology here, "in co-operation," does that, again,
8 match with instructions 588-1 and 588-3 we saw earlier?
9 A. Indeed, Your Honours, it confirms -- it's consistent with what I
10 mentioned earlier; that is, not only the consistency with 588-1 and 588-3
11 but also the 1st Military District order 2436-1 of the 20th of November,
12 1991, that is that the JNA assists the organs of the SAO SBWS
14 Q. And the explanation provided below here is that:
15 "Due to the poor or non-existent protection of property and
16 persons ... the Serbian Region government has decided as stated above."
17 Now, with respect to measures which was related to the previous
18 document which was admitted, have you seen any other types of decisions
19 of the kind?
20 A. I --
21 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I'm objecting if the question
22 encompasses documents that are not issued by a military organ.
23 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, can I say something?
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Theunens.
25 THE WITNESS: You know --
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: You're not answering yet Mr. Demirdjian's
2 question, are you?
3 THE WITNESS: No, but I mean -- I don't know whether it's
4 relevant, but also the previous point raised by the Defence, I have
5 quoted, for example, passages from reports by the UN Secretary-General on
6 the implementation of the relevant Resolutions concerning UNPROFOR and we
7 discussed that earlier where the PJM is discussed. And, you know, if you
8 look at footnote 1159, mention is made by -- I mean, I will read it out
9 from the report on page 383:
10 "These paramilitary units," and this is referring to the PJM,
11 "engage in acts of terrorism against minorities especially in Sector East
12 and to a lesser extent Sector South and appear to enjoy complete
14 It is correct that I have not analysed the human rights situation
15 in SBWS in detail because that is indeed outside the scope of my report,
16 but I have on the basis of the material that I could consult analysed the
17 activities of the armed structures. We have highlighted the JNA, SFRY
18 armed forces, the TO, local Serb TO, paramilitaries and volunteers, as
19 well as the armed structures -- I mean as well as the MUP, sorry, and
20 including -- in SBWS and their relation with the civilian authorities and
21 their activities. So coming back to this document, yeah, it's in line
22 and even the previous document I would say is in line with the material I
23 was reviewing and which I have addressed in the report, the only
24 distinction being that I didn't have those documents available prior to
25 the dead-line that was imposed by the Trial Chamber, so therefore it was
1 physically impossible for me to review them within the set dead-line.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, if I may respond to the objection.
3 The nature of the document is what Mr. Gosnell is objecting to. I
4 believe that the military expert is allowed to use all sources that are
5 available to him, not only military documents. And I believe you have
6 seen already in the report that numerous gazettes and other documents
7 issued by civilian organs are also used by the military expert, so I
8 believe that there is no grounds for this objection.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: That last objection is overruled.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. Mr. Theunens, if I were to -- yes, my question was with respect
13 to the measures related to the -- this document that we have seen, have
14 you seen any other types of decisions of this kind?
15 A. I haven't, Your Honours.
16 Q. And with respect to the military, have you seen any documents
17 which call for measures?
18 MR. GOSNELL: Objection. I think that that question was asked
19 and answered, unless I misunderstood the previous question.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Well, let's have the clarification then, whether
21 the witness in the previous answer referred to military documents as
23 MR. GOSNELL: Sorry, Mr. President. The first question was broad
24 in the sense that I think it covered all categories --
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, but you -- with your objection, Mr. Gosnell,
1 I had the impression that we narrowed the scope of and the kind of
2 documents we were talking about --
3 MR. GOSNELL: Except, Mr. President, that you overruled my
4 objection and the question was posed.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: I know. But still it can -- it can direct the
6 witness's attention in a certain direction. So just let's --
7 MR. GOSNELL: I understand.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- let's ask.
9 MR. GOSNELL: I understand. Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Theunens.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours, my answer to the first question
12 in context in relation to this document by Mr. Demirdjian was that I
13 haven't seen any documents issued by the SAO SBWS concerning the kind of
14 measures that should be taken. And as I mentioned earlier this morning,
15 I have seen several military documents from the SSNO and the 1st Military
16 District as well as of subordinate units which we have discussed over the
17 previous days, whereby they call for preventing harassment of minorities
18 and criminal behaviour, but I don't remember seeing any document
19 specifying the kind of measures that should be taken in order to
20 implement these calls to prevent harassment or either criminal behaviour.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
22 Q. Mr. Theunens, with that topic in mind, would you please look
23 at --
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Well, before I move on, may I tender this
25 document, Your Honours?
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1716. Thank you.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
4 Q. And could I ask you to look at 65 ter 6099, please, which is at
5 tab 606. So here we have another document that the 1st Mechanised Corps
6 from the 18th of February, 1992, and looking here at page 1, it refers
7 here to a warning from the 1st Military District that a large number of
8 complaints by citizens have been received recently and these complaints
9 concerned the inappropriate action by local TO commanders, presidents of
10 local commune, and other authorities. Now, here he recalls that despite
11 his, I suspect he means the 1st Military District command, and our
12 express orders to desist from driving out non-Serbs using violent
13 means -- we'll have to turn to page 2 to see the end of that sentence,
14 these instances have not only not been prevented but have become even
15 more frequent and cruel. Then this is followed by an order.
16 If you look at the bottom of this page, the 1st Mechanised Corps
17 commander is appointing a commission to deal with these complaints. Now,
18 you see then the first name here, Colonel Novica Gusic, we have seen his
19 name in other documents; am I correct?
20 A. Yes, I think he was the commander at that stage of the
21 1st Mechanised Corps.
22 Q. And -- sorry, this document is being issued by the 1st Mechanised
23 Corps, and if we go to page 4 --
24 A. I'm sorry, I mean, I use my cheat sheet, but I summarise some of
25 the documents. He was the assistant commander for civil affairs --
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. Of the -- I mean, this is visible through other documents, of the
3 1st Mechanised Corps which succeeded to the 1st Proletarian Guards
4 Mechanised Division.
5 Q. Yes. And here we see the document is signed by
6 Major-General Delic --
7 A. Yeah, Mico Delic.
8 Q. If we return to page 3 we see the rest of the names of the
9 members of this commission. And under item 4 we see the term:
10 "Loyal non-Serbian citizens are to be protected from threats of
11 liquidation and from pressures of all sorts ..."
12 Now, are you aware of what he is referring to here by using the
13 term "loyal non-Serbian citizens"?
14 A. Your Honours, seen in the context of other documents, these are
15 citizens of non-Serbian ethnicity who did not join Croatian units or
16 forces when the conflict erupted between on one hand Croatian side and on
17 the other hand the Serbian side in the area.
18 Q. Very well. And then we see at the bottom of the page another
19 order to prevent paramilitary units from being organised, et cetera. So
20 does this tie-in with the answer you provided earlier with respect to
21 having seen documents where measures are taken by military units?
22 A. I mean, when I talk about measures, it is more like punitive
23 measures, i.e., were people arrested, were being investigated, were
24 people punished one way or the other. When I said that I haven't seen
25 any documents concerning concrete measures, it's I haven't seen any
1 documents from the SSNO or the 1st Military District or subordinate units
2 concerning, for example, investigation of alleged crimes or alleged
3 harassment or organs by security -- reports by security organs from after
4 December 1991, whereby they investigate specific cases in detail. I
5 mean, the reports I have seen talk about general behaviour and, for
6 example, I mean there are still security organ reports on the activities
7 of Arkan and his group, but it's quite general without really
8 investigating specific cases. So that's what I meant on my previous
10 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: May I tender this document, Your Honours?
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
13 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit P1717. Thank you.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
16 I'm mindful of the time, Your Honours. I will have two more
17 documents before I complete. May I call up 65 ter 6179 which is at tab
18 654. Very well.
19 Q. This is a document again from one of the town commands being sent
20 to the 1st Mechanised Corps in Principovac, and it's a submission of an
21 Official Note which relates to a meeting held between the town command of
22 Ilok with representatives of the UNPROFOR. Mr. Theunens, have you had
23 the opportunity to review this document?
24 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
25 Q. Now, by the 21st of April what was the situation with respect to
1 the UNPROFOR forces in the region?
2 A. As far as -- and this is also clear from the document, as far as
3 the territory covered by the SAO SBWS or at that time in UN parlance
4 Sector East there was already -- there was a presence of UNPROFOR in the
5 area, both military and civilian. I cannot say whether the full
6 deployment of the peacekeeping forces had been achieved by then in
7 Sector East but at least there was some presence.
8 Q. Very well. Now, we see in the second paragraph that UNPROFOR is
9 spelling out the importance of establishing co-operation with the
10 civilian organs and the JNA. And under item 3 we see here that there is
11 a discussion about focus to be turned to the question of forced eviction
12 which according to the UNPROFOR representative is the most acute problem
13 in this area. Now, again, is this consistent with the other
14 documentation you have seen?
15 A. It is, Your Honours.
16 Q. And with respect to the UNPROFOR's assessment here, and this is
17 April of 1992, I think you may have answered this partially before, but
18 how does the situation develop during the course of 1992?
19 A. Well, in my previous answer to Your Honours I mentioned a -- I
20 quoted from a report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution
21 743 and 762, I mean this is on page 383 of the amalgamated report. This
22 is report from September 1992, and according to that report including in
23 Sector East the PJM, so the special police units, are involved in -- I
24 mean "in acts of terrorism against minorities."
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may I offer this document?
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1718. Thank you.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, with respect to this collection of
5 documents we had sent an e-mail to the Defence last week. Again, I'm
6 mindful of the time so I will not take court time to deal with it, but we
7 may deal with this in our written submission next week. Mainly the issue
8 is that there are several documents relating to the same topics,
9 abandoned properties, resettlement, and the relationship between the
10 civilian organs and the JNA. Of course it is not humanely possible to
11 deal with all of them in the course of this examination, but we will make
12 a submission with respect to that with our filing which you ordered us to
13 file a week after the completion of the testimony of this witness.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: All right.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
16 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, we will not look at the other sections of your
17 report, but it is correct that you have a section dealing with the
18 relations between the SVK and the Yugoslav Army and this is from pages
19 298 onwards of your report.
20 A. Yes, Your Honours, that is correct.
21 Q. Now, as I say, I'm not going to delve into that. There is also a
22 section at page 307 onwards where you deal with the relation between the
23 SVK and the VRS?
24 A. That's correct, Your Honours. It starts at the bottom of 307.
25 Q. Very well. And again, considering the time, I'm not going to go
1 into the details here. You've described it in your report. I would like
2 us to quickly look at page 310 of your report. If we could display that
3 on the screen, and the B/C/S page number is 357. Yes. Now, here you're
4 dealing with the issue of the Posavina corridor and we see a map here.
5 First of all, is this your own annotation?
6 A. Indeed, Your Honours, it's a map I drew myself just to visualise
7 the location of the area known as the Posavina corridor, which
8 basically -- I mean, Posavina means the valley of the Sava, the Sava
9 being located -- I mean, coinciding with the border -- being the border
10 between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in that area.
11 Q. Very well. And with respect to that you deal with the orders
12 that were sent by or dispatched by Milan Martic with respect to the use
13 of the RSK MUP in this conflict. And I would like you to take a look at
14 65 ter 1159 which is at tab 672. Now, in your report at pages 310 and
15 311 you deal with a number of orders issued during the month of June of
16 1992. Here we have the minutes of the government of the RSK which were
17 held in Knin on the 9th of June, 1992. You see the individuals who are
18 attending this session, which include Zdravko Zecevic, who is the prime
19 minister at the time, and Milan Martic himself. I'd like to take you to
20 the top of page 5 in the English version, and that would be page 2 in the
21 B/C/S version. Do you see the first sentence here:
22 "Minister ... Martic spoke about the problems which have arisen
23 following the closing of the corridor towards Serbia. After a debate the
24 government authorised the MUP to do all it could to open the corridor."
25 Now, with respect to this, can you -- do you have any comments
1 with respect to the fact that Milan Martic addresses the government about
2 this issue?
3 A. Well, it's an -- I mean, as I mentioned in the report on page 309
4 I quote from an article in Vojska Krajina, which was the official
5 magazine of the SVK, where Milan Martic explains the importance of the
6 corridor, as it is the only physical or land connection between Serbia,
7 the territory controlled by Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the RSK.
8 And since, as is mentioned in document, the corridor is closed there
9 is -- this can create serious problems. And so we know that by that time
10 the Bosnian Serbs conduct operations there. Also can highlight - and
11 it's mentioned in the report - that the corridor -- opening a corridor,
12 establishing a corridor between Semberija, i.e., the north-eastern part
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Krajina, so the western part of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the six strategic goals. So all of this
15 highlights the importance of unrestricted access for the Serbs meeting in
16 the RSK or in the SR BiH and subsequently the RS to this corridor and
17 Martic wants to alert the government to the importance of reopening the
18 corridor and contributing to that.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That is the only question I have for this
20 document, Your Honours. May I seek to tender this document?
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1719. Thank you.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours. This concludes the
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens, for answering my questions.
1 A. Thank you.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Now, Your Honours, with respect to the report,
3 it is at 65 ter 5988 which we seek to tender at this moment, and we have
4 also two errata sheets. One of them is based on the amalgamated report.
5 It is at 65 ter 6416. And we have a second errata sheet, an additional
6 one which was prepared while Mr. Theunens was proofed here, and it's
7 6416.1, so we seek to tender these three documents.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Gosnell.
9 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, we would take the same position as
10 we did in respect of Dr. Nielsen's report, namely that the admission of
11 the report should be deferred until -- at the very least until the end of
12 the cross-examination.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Any objection to that, Mr. Demirdjian?
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I'm in your hands, Your Honours, on this matter.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: We'll wait then.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Theunens.
20 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Gosnell.
21 Q. Your English is impeccable and you clearly have a mastery of
22 military terminology, but sometimes it's helpful just to clarify some
23 basic definitions to avoid confusion later on. And I just wanted to
24 start with a couple of definitions, if I may. Would you agree with me
25 that if person A is inspecting a unit or an organisation, that that is a
1 function or could be indicative of command and control or at the very
2 least authority?
3 A. I would seek clarification of the question because -- I mean I
4 have included the definition of inspection as a function of command and
5 control as it exists in the SFRY armed forces, and there -- since it
6 is -- can be -- or since it is a function of command and control, it can
7 indicate command and control. However, on the other side it can be
8 reported, for example, in a press report that a visiting authority is
9 inspecting another detachment whereby in fact there is no relation, no
10 command and control relation between that visiting authority on the one
11 hand and the other detachment on the other hand. So I think I would be
12 careful in answering the question.
13 Q. So it depends on the context?
14 A. Yes, on the specific situation. I mean, if you ask me as I said
15 inspection is a function of command and control, obviously the one who
16 has command and control can or has to inspect. But if the word
17 "inspection" would be used in a non-purely military context, I would have
18 to look at the context.
19 Q. Can you at least accept that it's indicative of authority?
20 A. Yes, but not necessarily authority in relation to the unit that
21 is being inspected. I mean, given the example I gave of -- I mean the
22 minister of foreign affairs of Serbia -- no, that's not a good example,
23 but the minister of foreign affairs of Belgium can visit the Netherlands
24 and there will be an honour guard maybe at the airport if he comes by
25 airplane and he may inspect the honour guard, but that's where it ends.
1 It doesn't mean that the minister of foreign affairs of Belgium has any
2 command over elements of the Dutch armed forces.
3 Q. And if person A says that he is going to hold accountable person
4 B or unit B, would you say that that's indicative of authority of person
5 A over that unit?
6 A. I mean if it's put in a military document and signed by obviously
7 the commander of that unit, then yes. But again, I would -- I prefer to
8 look at specific documents and then draw conclusions from that instead of
9 giving general answers which could be misunderstood.
10 Q. Do you consider yourself a part of the Prosecution team?
11 A. No, because -- I mean, for sure not now -- I mean not since the
12 last four years because I've been very busy doing other things. But even
13 when I was -- the time-period I was at the ICTY, it is correct that I did
14 some work in relation to the Prosecution activities -- Prosecution
15 activities concerning Mr. Goran Hadzic, but that was initially and it was
16 part of my work on the Milosevic case. And it is also obvious that when
17 I was working as a military analyst supporting the Prosecution team in
18 the Vukovar 3 trial, if I can call it like that, that I came across
19 material that is also relevant in the context of this case.
20 Q. While you were employed by the office of the -- by the
21 International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, did you
22 consider yourself to be part of the various Prosecution teams to which
23 you were providing some form of service, let's say?
24 A. Well, you're very polite because I've heard other Defence lawyers
25 asking or trying to make this kind of or addressing this point in a much
1 more direct or even I would say less courteous way. I was obviously
2 member of a team, but I think as -- and you are familiar with my -- with
3 the methodology I applied. As I have mentioned also in answer to such
4 questions in other trials, applying the methodology refers to reviewing
5 the material. It is -- I would -- I mean a professional analyst,
6 irrespective of which "side" he or she is "working" for, a professional
7 analyst should not be influenced by that aspect. I mean, I was free to
8 review the material that was available at the OTP. It may well have been
9 that the Office of the Prosecutor asked me to look at additional
10 material, but again whether I was in the Office of the Prosecutor or in
11 any other situation here, the conclusions I draw from that material are
12 not depending of the side or the team or the whatever I was part of. It
13 is -- the conclusions are based on my understanding and my analysis of
14 these documents or other information material.
15 Q. That was a very long answer, Mr. Theunens, and I'm not sure that
16 you finally came to the point. The question was: Do you consider -- did
17 you consider yourself a part of the various Prosecution teams with whom
18 you interacted?
19 A. Well, I would say from a human point of view I hoped that I was
20 member of a team, but what I tried to clarify is that the services, as
21 you call it, that I was providing to these teams, for me it doesn't
22 matter whether they call themselves Prosecution or whatever. The -- I
23 was autonomous in doing the analysis I did, and this is the result of my
25 Q. You participated in meetings with Prosecutors; correct? I think
1 that could be a yes or no answer?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And did you discuss strategy in those meetings, yes or no?
4 A. Well, it really depends of each team I think -- I didn't keep the
5 count of all the cases I worked on, but especially -- for sure in the
6 Milosevic case issues like strategy were being discussed, yes. And maybe
7 also in the Vukovar 3 team, yes.
8 Q. Did you provide strategy information or advice to the -- whoever
9 was working on the Hadzic case?
10 A. I'm trying to remember because, as I said, initially I have -- I
11 believe I was involved -- I arrived in 2001 and as part of my work on
12 Milosevic was in 2002 or 2003, I believe there was some kind of a Hadzic
13 team or at least some information was collected on -- in relation to that
14 case. But after that, I'm not familiar with the existence of a Hadzic
15 team during the time I was here in The Hague. So I left in April 2009.
16 When I came back - and I mentioned that I think in answer to one of the
17 first questions - I think it was in April 2012 but I can check it in my
18 cheat sheets, I had contact with the Hadzic Prosecution team and I told
19 them, yes, I would need these and these type of documents in order to
20 write a report on the underlying issues. And on the basis of that, a
21 request was drafted and sent to the authorities of the Republic of
22 Serbia, and these are the so-called new documents which I consider very
23 helpful for the kind of tasking I had received.
24 Q. Well, let's go back to an earlier time. Did you assist in
25 drafting the indictment or did you review a draft of the indictment
1 before it was issued?
2 A. Your Honours, I have no specific recollection for the Hadzic
3 case, but for other cases indeed I was involved not so much in drafting
4 an indictment but in reviewing it for the -- for aspects like the correct
5 use of military terminology, some historical aspects, but for sure - I
6 mean just to clarify, I was never involved, I'm not a lawyer, in kind of
7 building legal theories or prosecutional theories because that's not my
9 Q. In the Seselj case you testified at page 4045, and that's 1D296,
10 Defence tab 368, but we don't need to bring it up:
11 "Like any other team member, I could participate in meetings
12 where, for example, the issue of witnesses to be called was discussed,
13 and my contribution then mainly consisted in providing a factual
14 background, whereas to the position or the knowledge of the witness."
15 So is that right that you participated in meetings and assisted
16 in choosing witnesses?
17 A. Yeah, I -- sorry. I expressed occasional views on witnesses,
18 again based on my military expertise. When a military witness is being
19 discussed, I could help maybe with CV information or clarify the duties
20 of that person to people with less military background in the Prosecution
22 Q. And you were involved in interviewing witnesses; correct?
23 A. That is correct, Your Honours. I was involved in interviewing
24 military witnesses, mainly I mean JNA members or members of the TO.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Please pause between answer and question, thank
2 Q. You were involved in proofing sessions --
3 MR. GOSNELL: I apologise for the transcription.
4 Q. And you were involved in proofing sessions immediately before
5 witnesses testified; correct?
6 A. That is correct, Your Honours. I mean, I'm giving general
7 answers. I cannot say -- I wish to clarify, it's not in every case --
8 like in the Hadzic case, you know, I mean, this is my -- except for the
9 two meetings I had or maybe three meetings with the Prosecution in
10 relation to my report, I have not done -- I haven't provided any
11 contribution or I didn't have any involvement in the work of the
12 Prosecution team.
13 Q. Between 2001 and 2009, who was your supervisor or supervisors?
14 A. My first supervisor was Mr. Peter Nicholson who was the team
15 leader of the military analysis team. At one moment in time, I'm not
16 sure anymore whether it was in 2005 or 2004 he left for the ICC, and then
17 Mr. Ewan Brown took over as supervisor or leader of the military analysis
18 team in the Office of the Prosecutor. He also left for the ICC. And
19 then a Mr. Phil Coo took over as team leader of the military analysis
20 team and these are all military analysts.
21 Q. And when was that that he took over as head of the team?
22 A. I don't recall exactly. I think between 2006 and 2008 I would
24 Q. So did he supervise you from, at the very least, 2007, 2008, and
1 A. Yes, but with the caveat that I believe that in 2009 he had
2 left -- I think he left in the course of 2008 and there was at that time
3 no direct supervisor, and then it was solved by having Mr. Bob Reid as
4 the supervisor in the latter part of 2008 and also the first half of 2009
5 when I was still here.
6 Q. Was there any discussion as to whether it was appropriate for you
7 to be supervised by someone whom the Milutinovic Trial Chamber determined
8 was not sufficiently independent to be treated as an expert, as was the
9 case with Mr. Coo?
10 A. I am familiar, Your Honours, with the decisions of the
11 Trial Chamber in relation to Mr. Coo, but I don't recall that that issue
12 was of any relevance -- not of any relevance, but that issue also arose
13 when discussing the supervision of the military analysis team. I don't
14 recall it.
15 Q. Well, let me put it this way: Did you yourself engage in any
16 soul-searching about whether you had sufficient independence to be
17 considered an expert after that decision was rendered?
18 A. Your Honours, for me there are two issues in this question. I
19 will start with the easiest one. The issue of an expert is not up to me
20 to decide; that's up to the Trial Chamber. And the first issue whether I
21 have sufficient independence, I think I've answered that. I think I've
22 always -- I mean, in all the time since I worked even as a platoon
23 commander in the military and until now, I always had the privilege
24 whenever I did analysis that I could draw my analysis in an independent
25 manner or in the case that it is now I consulted with my team members.
1 My supervisors may have different views, but I -- and I may enter into a
2 discussion with them, but they will not change my analysis or the
3 analysis of my team, but we are -- that's our job, we apply the
4 methodology, and this is it. And especially at the ICTY. I have no -- I
5 think I testified about that in previous trials. I may have had
6 different views or views that differed from those of the Prosecution team
7 in relation to certain issues, be it witnesses or be it their how certain
8 facts were addressed. And okay, it's -- I would say it's the call of the
9 senior trial attorney at the end of the day. But from a methodological
10 point of view, I have always tried to consciously apply my methodology on
11 the material that was in front of me and that I had the privilege to
12 review without being influenced by outside factors. And if you want, I
13 can address the issue of bias in further detail and how this is addressed
14 in the methodology, but maybe that is for another question.
15 Q. Do your reports transparently reflect what you just told us;
16 namely, that there are occasions when you have disagreements with the
17 position of the Office of the Prosecutor?
18 A. Well, Your Honours, my reports are not about the nature of my
19 relations with the Office of the Prosecutor or whether -- but my reports
20 are analysis of documentation within the scope of a general task that has
21 been given to me by the Office of the Prosecutor. But it -- as I said,
22 analysing or -- yeah, analysing relations and the nature of relations
23 with the Office of the Prosecutor is not part of the report.
24 Q. There's an expression that we see frequently in the documents as
25 well as in your report and that is "zone of responsibility." I wasn't
1 able to see a definition in your report of that concept. Could you help
2 us and define that term, please?
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. Perhaps without on this occasion consulting your report.
5 A. No -- I mean, the reason I want to consult the report is to show
6 you where it should have been included because, for example, it is
7 included in the 1983 regulations on the light infantry brigade. I use
8 "zone of responsibility" because I couldn't find "area of
9 responsibility," but it's basically the area or the zone where a unit is
10 operating and where it is responsible for the operations that it is
11 conducting there and where - and now I'm paraphrasing a definition but I
12 think it's important to highlight - where the commander of the unit,
13 given the three principles of command and control, is responsible for all
15 Q. And to your mind, is the concept of a zone of responsibility
16 purely a geographic or territorial -- in other words, a spatial concept,
17 or do you think that there is something else that defines it, something
18 in addition to that? In other words, let me break this down into a very
19 simple example. And of course as you know, sir, this is very germane of
20 the issues we're discussing here. But if a unit enters into the zone of
21 responsibility - when I say "a unit," let me rephrase that - a group of
22 soldiers enter into a zone of responsibility and they have no prior
23 affiliation and they're armed and they take up arms on behalf of one side
24 to the conflict, is it correct that it's the duty of the commander in
25 that zone of operations to subordinate them?
1 A. I mean, just to clarify, I assume you're talking about friendly
3 Q. That's correct, and that's a word you used the other day and I
4 appreciated your use of that word, yes, friendly forces.
5 A. Okay. It is the duty -- and again, I mean this is also specified
6 in JNA documents, to subordinate them or to remove them.
7 Q. You're very categorical in that answer. Are there any
8 limitations on that in your view?
9 A. I am categorical because I was thinking of a number of documents
10 I have seen. For example, we have discussed those documents in relation
11 to paramilitaries and volunteers, where it is -- it is stated that they
12 have to be subordinated to the JNA or they should be removed. Now, if
13 the limitations, then I would prefer to see specific documents because
14 otherwise it's abstract.
15 Q. And your view is that they would be -- that this obligation of
16 the commander in that zone of responsibility, that arises as a matter of
17 law and doctrine or both?
18 A. If we keep -- if we take in mind an example we discussed, namely,
19 the presidential order number 73 of the 10th of December, then it's not
20 just a matter of doctrine but also a matter of law. 10th of December --
21 sorry, 10th of December, 1991, just to be accurate in the record.
22 Q. You're not saying, are you, that this obligation arises only on
23 the 10th of December, 1991, are you?
24 A. No, I'm not saying that. But that -- this is the clearest
25 example I see from the law. But otherwise if you show me an article.
1 And I can also verify the Law on Defence if you want during the breaks I
2 have in order to assist you better.
3 Q. Mr. Theunens, there are quite a few articles and quite a few laws
4 and regulations, but you're well familiar with this subject matter and
5 the proposition I'm putting to you is simply this: Would it have been
6 understood by JNA commanders in an area or a zone of responsibility,
7 notwithstanding any specific reaffirmations of that responsibility, that
8 it's their obligation because units entering into their zone of
9 responsibility are by law, doctrine, regulations, subordinate to them
10 that they must take measures to either bring them under control,
11 discipline them, or eject them from the zone of responsibility?
12 A. Your Honours, from a purely theoretical point of view, and I mean
13 by that my review of the legislation and the doctrine, I would agree a
14 hundred per cent with you. However, and this is where I think it becomes
15 important to look at all the documents, reviewing military
16 documentation - and we have discussed the categories before - apply -- I
17 mean, there is a documentation in relation to the operations in Baranja,
18 Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem. There we see that it's for various
19 reasons quite difficult to implement -- [Microphone not activated].
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry, I'm doing it again. Now I know what
21 I'm doing wrong. Sorry.
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, to -- it's quite difficult to
23 implement or enforce this I would say basic rule, and this explains for
24 example why, and we have seen these documents, the commander of the
25 1st Military District reportedly issues orders and instructions to his
1 subordinate commanders to maintain military control and to subordinate
2 local forces and so on.
3 Just to finish, another complicating factor is the fact that we
4 see units that were not foreseen by doctrine, i.e., party-affiliated
5 paramilitary/volunteer units/TO, as well as local Serb TO, they were not
6 foreseen in doctrine, so it appears that some of the subordinate
7 commanders are -- yeah, are confused --
8 MR. GOSNELL:
9 Q. If I can just stop you there, if I may, Mr. Theunens.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Gosnell please make a pause
11 between -- Mr. Gosnell, please make a pause between question and answer.
12 We have to catch up with you. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell --
14 MR. GOSNELL: I sincerely apologise --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's difficult, of course, if you want to
16 interrupt the witness.
17 MR. GOSNELL: That's the last thing I wish to do.
18 THE WITNESS: But, if, I mean, if you allow me just to finish the
19 sentence that it appears that some subordinate commanders I wouldn't say
20 are confused, but there's no uniformity in handling the issue and I think
21 the example of the commander of the 12th Novi Sad Corps,
22 General Andrija Biorcevic, and I've spoken a few times about the video,
23 but the video is very clear on that. He sees Arkan, actually, as an
24 important -- Arkan and his group as an important element of his forces,
25 whereas at the same time you see documents from the 1st Military
1 District, from security organs, highlighting the alleged involvement of
2 Arkan in crimes and other -- I mean not only against civilians but also
3 against the JNA. So there is a bit of a contradiction indicating that
4 there is some degree of confusion as to which attitude to adopt towards
5 volunteer/paramilitary units as well as local Serb TO. Thank you.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: That was a very long sentence to finish,
7 Mr. Theunens.
8 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, Your Honours.
9 MR. GOSNELL:
10 Q. Mr. Theunens, I promise that we're going to come to the Biorcevic
11 statement and many other particularities, but right now I just want to
12 get some parameters set with you, if I could. And I entirely understand
13 the distinction you're making between on the one hand individual
14 volunteers popping up in a zone of responsibility which does appear to be
15 contemplated, as I believe your report indicates, by the Law on All
16 People's Defence. But as you point out in your report, there is no
17 specific authorisation for a unit as such to show up in the zone of
18 responsibility. But notwithstanding that distinction and notwithstanding
19 whatever illegality may be being carried out by those people, you'd agree
20 it doesn't affect the zone commander's obligation; correct?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. And you'd also agree, I think, that if that group or those
23 individuals, separately or individually, are engaging in acts of
24 indiscipline, it's not permissible for the commander in the zone of
25 responsibility to say: Well, I'm just washing my hands of you, correct,
1 if they're friendly forces?
2 A. It's easier for me to look at specific documents, but in general
3 terms I would agree with you, claiming that they're not under your
4 responsibility is not an excuse in a sense that given, again, the orders
5 that I have -- I mean given the doctrine and the orders I have mentioned,
6 the commander has to use his power and his means either -- I mean to
7 subordinate them or to remove them.
8 Q. And where is the contour, the boundary line, between an
9 individual who arrives, takes up arms, fights as a friendly force along
10 with the JNA, and then commits a petty crime, stealing a loaf of bread?
11 Is that something that it's the obligation of the zone commander to
12 punish in accordance with the subordination or would you say that that
13 does not extend to the obligation?
14 A. The petty crime would fall -- I refer to the military discipline,
15 the military justice system, as well as earlier provisions -- the
16 provisions we have discussed earlier, that is, that -- I mean starting
17 with the law, anyone who takes up defence -- the defence of the country
18 shall be considered a member of the armed forces, all obligations apply
19 both to that individual as well as to the commander and these provisions
20 are repeated afterwards. So -- but the key issue is really to look at
21 the specific documents because without running too far -- but there
22 example in Sector East where members of local armed groups, when I say
23 Sector East I mean Slavonia, Baranja -- Eastern Slavonia -- sorry,
24 Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, there are a number of
25 instances where armed individuals are operating in group and there is no
1 mention made of the JNA, and as an analyst I would like to see any
2 documents discussing that area at that time to see whether -- who is in
3 command there because maybe the JNA isn't there anymore and then the
4 picture, of course, looks totally different.
5 Q. So the issue is whether or not they are present in a zone of
6 responsibility; is that correct?
7 A. Yeah, that is one of the important issues.
8 Q. And how do we know whether or not a zone of responsibility is in
9 existence -- sorry, or an area of responsibility, zone or area of
11 A. By looking at the specific military documents.
12 Q. Let's go to one then.
13 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 65 ter 422, Prosecution tab 117,
15 Q. Now, this is -- you've looked at this document either today or
16 yesterday, and this is from Panic, commander of the 1st Military
17 District, dated the 15th of October to subordinate commands, as well as
18 the provincial TO staff of the autonomous province of Vojvodina. And
19 this document says:
20 "Pursuant to recent problems in the zones of combat activities
21 and with the aim of regulating the life, work, order, and discipline, I
22 hereby order:
23 "1. Establish full control in the AOR of the units ..."
24 Let's just stop there, is AOR an acronym for area of
1 A. Yeah -- I mean, this is not the original B/C/S because I know
2 that in another case I had -- one of my colleagues was testifying. This
3 is a long time ago. There was a quite deep debate with the Defence about
4 whether it was an area or a zone of responsibility. And so when you look
5 in the B/C/S it says -- sorry, I touched the screen, it says "zona" or
6 "zoni," "ogdgovornosti," that is why I used the term "zone of
7 responsibility" but it corresponds to the same concept. Yes, indeed. I
8 mean, to answer your question the answer is yes.
9 Q. And -- well, let's just pin that down. So there is no difference
10 between the concept of area of responsibility and zone of responsibility?
11 A. To my recollection, area of responsibility was not used, I mean
12 the concept of area of responsibility was not used by the JNA. It's
13 called zone of responsibility.
14 Q. That's fine. Thank you. And then the remainder of the provision
16 "Pay special attention to the functioning of the military
17 authority in all the settlements and do not permit the local organs of
18 authority to interfere and exert influence until the civilian control of
19 the liberated territory is established."
20 Now, just that last bit is what I would like to ask you to focus
21 on. Would you agree that Panic's view is that this zone of
22 responsibility is going to continue until, as he puts it, civilian
23 control of the liberated territory is established; is that right?
24 A. Yeah, maybe I would word it differently because the concept of --
25 I mean, the concept -- it is obviously the zone of responsibility of the
1 1st Military District and its subordinate units, but what Panic is
2 basically saying, that is, that the JNA remains responsible in the area
3 and has to control all aspects because at that time there is no official
4 view on whether or not -- sorry, there is no official view on which
5 attitude to adopt towards the self-declared SAO SBWS organs of authority.
6 And it's only on the 20th of November as we saw with I think it was 26 --
7 sorry, with 2436-1 that the 1st Military District recognised the SAO SBWS
8 authorities as competent authorities.
9 Q. We're going to discuss extensively that thesis, which I suggest
10 to you is quite wrong. But the last point that I want to make or
11 question that I would like to ask you is who in your view, reading this
12 document, is going to determine whether or not civilian control has been
13 established? Who is that up to?
14 A. Well, Panic actually doesn't explain it here. And when we look
15 at the other documents, that is basically -- I mean, he at one moment,
16 around the 20th of November, he must have received instructions from his
17 commander, i.e., from the SSNO, when I use "must," it is because I
18 haven't seen the specific document, but on the 20th of November there is
19 a change in the instructions from the 1st Military District towards
20 subordinate units in relation to the attitude they have to adopt towards
21 SAO SBWS organs of authority. And then we see later on 25th of November
22 and early December we see the more specific instructions, 588-1 and
23 588-3, from the SSNO. So it has to come from a superior military
24 authority. Whether anything was decided on the political level, I don't
25 know, I haven't seen the documents.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, if you don't mind, we would call it
2 a day.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
5 Mr. Theunens, we will see you again tomorrow at 9.00. And as I
6 told you the two previous days, don't discuss your testimony with
7 anybody, don't talk to any of the parties. Thank you very much.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, how far are -- is OTP with
11 witness planning and practical arrangements for witnesses? And I ask you
12 this with regard to the 27th of May when there is a ceremony at the
13 Tribunal and where we have been asked eventually to consider not to sit
14 that day.
15 Ms. Biersay.
16 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour. That is a very good question.
17 We currently have the financial expert scheduled for the 27th and the
18 28th. If the Trial Chamber is inclined not to sit that day, then I think
19 we can perhaps do some reshuffling, but that was the current plan to call
20 the financial expert on the 27th and the 28th.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. We'll let you know. Thank you very much.
22 Court adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.01 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Friday, the 10th day of
25 May, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.