1 Wednesday, 29 May 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 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.
9 This is case number IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Goran Hadzic. Thank you.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
15 everybody in and around the courtroom. Alexis Demirdjian for the
16 Prosecution, with Indah Susanti, our case manager, and Ivana Martinovic,
17 our legal intern.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
21 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 I have to inform the parties, and the record will reflect, that
25 Judge Mindua will leave court at 10.00. His presence is necessary in the
1 judgement rendering hearing in the Prlic case. Thank you.
2 The witness may be brought in.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, there are just a couple of
4 preliminary matters which I want to deal with before the witness is
5 brought in.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: First of all, last Thursday Mr. Stringer
8 circulated an e-mail with respect to a document which was marked for
9 identification with Witness Christian Nielsen. This was Exhibit P369.
10 The translation has now been revised. There is a missing title. So we
11 would ask that at this time the MFI be lifted and that the document be
12 fully admitted.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Comment from the Defence?
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No objections, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 Then the MFI status may be lifted, Mr. Registrar. Thank you.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: On -- on another matter which arises from your
18 decision of the 29th of January, Your Honours, it was in relation to the
19 very next witness. It's the decision granting our 92 ter motion
20 for Witness GH-110, Milorad Vojnovic, and other witnesses. In your
21 decision at paragraph 8 you highlighted the fact that 13 documents were
22 being tendered publicly, whereas in e-court they were designated as
23 confidential and you asked the Prosecution to look into the matter. We
24 can inform the parties that these documents do not require any protective
25 measures and that the matter has been fix in the e-court. So the
1 designation as confidential has been removed as well.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And that's all the matters that stem from that
4 decision. And yesterday, one last thing, we did send a notification to
5 the parties that in the 92 ter package of the next witness, we found two
6 documents that have already been admitted under different 65 ter numbers.
7 They are duplicates. So essentially we notified that 65 ter 638 and 676
8 are being withdrawn from the 92 ter package.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That's it.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would suggest for the next
13 witness that the Trial Chamber warns him pursuant to the Rule 90 of the
14 Rules. It is the Rule 90(E) of the Rules.
15 Given the nature of his testimony and given some -- some other
16 circumstances that could arise from his testimony and consequences for
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, that's the first I hear of it so
20 let me take a look here. According to the Rule, the witness may object
21 to making any statement and the Trial Chamber may compel him, so I
22 suspect that we should defer until the matter arises. We have no
23 indication that the witness will object to answering questions, at least
24 not from the testimony in previous cases that we have seen.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Gosnell.
1 MR. GOSNELL: If I may briefly, Mr. President. I've consulted
2 with Mr. Zivanovic before coming to court. Warnings of this nature are
3 routine in other cases, it hasn't happened so far yet in this case, but
4 if there is a potential for the witness to incriminate himself, it's best
5 that a warning be given as a blanket matter at the beginning of the
6 testimony because, as you know, there is no lawyer present to advise him
7 in respect of specific questions whether they might incriminate. So the
8 practice in other cases has been a blanket warning at the beginning where
9 there is a potential for the witness to incriminate himself. And that's
10 clearly the case when you look at the 92 ter statement.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: If the Prosecution says there is in -- in the
12 Prosecution's opinion there is no risk and you say there is, do I have to
13 conclude, then, that there will be in your cross-examination? So the
14 moment we give him this warning would be at the beginning of your
16 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I think that the warning should be
17 given at the beginning of the examination-in-chief because any of the
18 answers that are given, even to the Prosecution's questions, could lead
19 to liability not just before this Court but before other courts. In
20 fact, the statement itself -- the 92 ter statement itself contains
21 information that is incriminating to the witness. He's present during
22 crimes. And that being the case he -- even on the basis of the 92 ter
23 statement, there is a potential for incrimination.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: The witness may be brought in.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, very briefly, I quickly checked in
3 the prior cases and just for your information such a warning was never
4 issued to the witness, so it hasn't been the practice at least in
5 relation to this witness in the two cases he's testified; that is, the
6 Mrksic case and the Seselj case.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Witness. First of all, do you
9 understand me -- do you hear me, sorry, in a language you understand?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
12 Just one moment, please.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] Mr. Witness, sorry,
15 could you please --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry.
18 Mr. Witness, could you please tell us your name and your date of
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Milorad Vojnovic. I was
21 born on the 15th of October, 1945, in the village of Gorica, the
22 municipality of Sipovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. You are about to read the
24 solemn declaration by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the
25 truth. I must point out to you that by doing so you expose yourself to
1 the penalties of perjury should you give false or untruthful information
2 to the Tribunal. Now could you please read the solemn declaration the
3 Court Usher will give to you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
5 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 WITNESS: MILORAD VOJNOVIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
9 Mr. Vojnovic, let me also tell you that if an answer to any of
10 the questions would incriminate you, you have the right to say so and to
11 refuse to answer. If you do that, the Trial Chamber will consider
12 whether it is justified or not and eventually compel you or admit your
13 refusal. Do you understand?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 Mr. Demirdjian, your witness.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vojnovic.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. Sir, is it correct to say that you are a retired colonel of the
22 Yugoslav People's Army?
23 A. Yes. I am a retired colonel of the Yugoslav Army.
24 Q. And is it correct to say that you have given statements and have
25 testified in prior cases in relation to events which took place in
1 Eastern Slavonia in late 1991 and early 1992?
2 A. Yes, I testified twice.
3 Q. And to be specific, it is correct that you testified in the
4 Mrksic case and the Seselj case?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In December last year, you were met by representatives of the
7 Office of the Prosecutor and you signed a new statement; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And this statement incorporated portions of your previous
10 statements and testimonies; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Could we bring up 65 ter 6374, please.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Vojnovic, in a moment you will see on the screen a
14 document appear on the right screen before you.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
16 Q. Colonel, do you see the document before you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And can you tell us what we see here?
19 A. I see here a witness statement given by Witness Milorad Vojnovic.
20 I see the father's name, ethnic origin, religion, date of birth,
21 occupation, former occupation, languages spoken, the dates of the
22 interview, interviewer, interpreter, names of all persons present during
24 Q. Very well. And do you see your signature at the bottom of this
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: For the record this statement is of the 11th and
4 12th of December, 2012.
5 Could we go to the next page, please. Page 2. Let's go to the
6 bottom of that page.
7 Q. Colonel, do you see your initials at the bottom of this page?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And is it correct that you have initialed every page of this
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And can we go to the last page, please.
14 Q. On the top of this page, is that your signature under the witness
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Colonel Vojnovic, yesterday were you given an
18 opportunity to review your statement?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And is it correct to say that you noted some minor errors which
21 you wished to clarify?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. So we will go through these corrections now.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Could we go to page 3 in both the English and
25 the B/C/S versions and zoom onto paragraph 5, please. Thank you.
1 Q. Now, do you see that at the end of this paragraph it states here
2 that you retired on the 1st of January, 2001. Did you wish to make a
3 correction there?
4 A. Yes. I retired on the 1st January 2002.
5 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we go to page 4 in both versions please and
7 zoom onto paragraph 8. Thank you.
8 Q. In paragraph 8 you discuss the war diary of the
9 Guards Motorised Brigade, and I think that you wish to bring to our
10 attention an issue relating to the terminology used here with respect to
11 the Guards Motorised Brigade. Can you clarify that for us?
12 A. I felt that the term "war diary of the Guards Motorised Brigade"
13 covered my unit, the 18th Motorised Brigade, and the war diary of the
14 Guards Motorised Brigade is a different document. I did not have access
15 to the war diary of the Guards Motorised Brigade. I only had access to
16 the war diary of my own, the 80th Motorised Brigade. So that was what I
17 was talking about.
18 Q. Now when you gave a statement in the Seselj case in 2008, were
19 you given at that time access to the Guards Motorised Brigade's war
21 A. No. I did not have access to it.
22 Q. And were you given an opportunity to look at it yesterday?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now with respect to the term that we see here in B/C/S,
25 "motorizovane brigade garde," is that the term that is usually used for
1 what was known as the gmtbr or Mr. Mrksic's unit?
2 A. Yes. The wrong term was used. You -- you don't have the letter
3 that should be here in front, gmtbr, G standing for "guards," so the term
4 was not correct.
5 Q. So in B/C/S the term is not correct. In English we see
6 Guards Motorised Brigade. How would you say it in your language? How
7 would the term be? The full --
8 A. "Guardiska motorizovana brigada [phoen],"
9 "Guards Motorised Brigade." And my brigade was the
10 80th Motorised Brigade.
11 Q. Very well.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we go to page 20 in the English version and
13 page 21 in the B/C/S version. And let's focus on paragraph 52 please.
14 Q. Here I think you had a clarification to make with respect to the
15 second sentence which reads:
16 "I do not remember if I issued any specific orders to my officers
17 who stayed there before I left for the briefing with Mrksic."
18 Could you tell the Court what was the clarification you wished to
19 make here?
20 A. At that time when I was there, none of my commanding officers or
21 officers were present there. A captain arrived later. I think his name
22 was Vukic. I warned him about the man in the hangar. He was the
23 highest-ranking officer there, Vukasinovic, and I said, "Do you see the
24 highest-ranking officer there?" He said, "Yes." I said, "That's
25 Major Vukasinovic," and I said, "You should talk to him and ask him if he
1 needed any assistance whatsoever." Later on he told me that he had
2 spoken to Vukasinovic once asking him if he needed any assistance and
3 Vukasinovic said he did not. After about half an hour or thereabouts,
4 Vukic went back and spoke to Major Vukasinovic again asking him if he
5 needed assistance. Again he said he did not. And then Vukic asked him
6 if they were free to go, and Vukasinovic said they were and they could
7 indeed leave.
8 I spoke about this encounter with Captain Vukic already and it
9 was not recorded here, although it had been recorded in the previous
10 statements I had made. I cannot account for this omission.
11 Q. Thank you for that clarification. We'll come back to the events.
12 We'll just take a look at the statement for now.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we go to page 22 in the B/C/S version, which
14 is page 21 in the English version, and zoom in -- zoom onto paragraph 55,
16 Q. Colonel, I think you had a comment with respect to the first
17 sentence where you said that, "... Dragi Vukosavljevic told me that the
18 situation was complex." I think it is the term "zamrsena" in B/C/S which
19 you wanted to clarify?
20 A. Yes. This is a mistranslation in the B/C/S. The term that was
21 used in the B/C/S version was not actually correct. The term that is
22 used would be more something like "confused," and in fact what we wanted
23 to convey was that the situation was complex and difficult. So the term
24 "zamrsena" is not really correct.
25 Q. Very well. And I don't know if the record shows what would be
1 the appropriate term in B/C/S?
2 A. Well, the term would be "slozena," "complex," "nejasna,"
3 "unclear." Because you could not really see all the possibility outcomes
4 of the situation because it was so complex.
5 Q. Very well.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can I take you now to paragraph 60 which in the
7 English version is at page 23. In the B/C/S version it's page 24.
8 Q. And in this paragraph you're dealing with your encounters with
9 Kameni and you explained that after the Ovcara incident search groups
10 were formed to gather broken weapons and I think you wanted to fix the
11 word "broken."
12 A. Yes. It's actually the term that is used in B/C/S was not
13 correct, what we meant by "broken" was "damaged" or "left behind."
14 Q. And there is one last correction which is at paragraph 89.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That's page 32 both in the English and in the
17 Q. Yes, here we see a reference to Colonel Milan Belic. And it says
18 here that he's of the 1st Proletarian Guards Mechanised Division. I
19 believe you wanted to correct something here too.
20 A. Yes, Colonel Belic was not from the 1st Proletarian Guards
21 Mechanised Division, he was actually a general -- I think it was actually
22 General Milan Delic who was from the 1st
23 Proletarian Guards Mechanised Division. Colonel Milan Belic was from a
24 brigade that was deployed in Ilok. So this is not the correct
25 designation of his unit. He was not the same man.
1 Q. Very well. And at the time did you -- did you know Colonel Belic
2 at the time?
3 A. I saw Colonel Belic once in Ilok. I don't know him all that well
4 so I can't really tell you anything about it. I don't know where he
5 served. I just saw him once. I knew that he was the commanding officer
6 in Ilok and that he was performing his tasks there. I knew that he had
7 organised life and work in Ilok after the operations there in 1991.
8 Q. Very well.
9 Colonel Vojnovic, thank you for these corrections. Now other
10 than these modifications that we just made, is the statement accurate to
11 the best of your recollection?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And if I were to ask you the same questions in the courtroom
14 today would you provide the same answers?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: At this time, Your Honours, I would tender
18 65 ter 6374, the amalgamated statement, as well as the associated
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 Mr. Zivanovic.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I do not object to the tendering to
23 amalgamated statement but I have objections as to some of the exhibits
24 from the package, Rule 92 ter package. I have many objections as to
25 these exhibits and I would ask the Trial Chamber to give me some time to
1 give details for my objection.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, again, this is the first we hear
4 of it, and this is a matter I would say for cross-examination. If there
5 are any issues about either -- I don't know. I don't know what the
6 issues are, really, but I think this is a matter for cross-examination.
7 As usual, the 92 ter package should be admitted in whole.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Very briefly, I would say that many of these
10 particular documents have not been -- have not any nexus with -- with the
11 witness statement. For example, many of these documents are first time
12 shown to the witness and he didn't issue these documents. He didn't --
13 these documents does not concern -- did not concern either him or his
14 unit. And in this sense I would object to -- to admission of these
15 documents. I would specify each of them.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I'm sorry. This is not the appropriate time.
17 If -- the Trial Chamber already ruled that the documents that were
18 attached to this statement were relevant and appropriate for admission.
19 Again, if Mr. Zivanovic has an objection with respect to any aspects of
20 the document, he can raise them in cross-examination and cross-examine
21 the witness on that basis. But the witness has already stated to the
22 Trial Chamber that what is in the statement is accurate to the best of
23 his recollections. The comment are there with respect to each document.
24 He has comitted himself to them to the extent that he commented on them
25 on this statement. So at this stage, again, we would say that it is part
1 of the package and you have already ruled on this.
2 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: We'll try to take a decision after the first
5 break. Thank you.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 I believe there is no objection to the statement so that one can
8 be admitted already.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's fine. Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: The statement 65 ter document 6374 shall be
11 assigned Exhibit P1981.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
14 Q. Colonel, as I indicated to you now we will get into some
15 additional questions relating to the topics in your statement. Since
16 your statement is admitted, we don't need to go in all the details. So
17 I'll ask you very specific questions. Do you understand?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Okay. Now first to put us in context a little bit, Colonel,
20 would you say that your unit, the 80th Motorised Brigade, arrived what
21 would be the latter part of the Vukovar operations; is that right?
22 A. Yes. Almost towards the end of the Vukovar operation is the time
23 when the unit arrived in that area. I think that part of my unit did
24 arrive around the 6th or the 7th to the area.
25 Q. And that would be, just to be clear, the month of? When you say
1 the 6th or the 7th.
2 A. No, no. November, definitely.
3 Q. Thank you. Now it is an admitted fact in this case - and this is
4 adjudicated fact 108 for the record - that your brigade came under
5 Mile Mrksic's command; is that right?
6 A. Yes. The majority, or rather, the whole brigade was under his
7 command. I was his subordinate.
8 Q. And it is also an admitted fact in this case, Mr. Vojnovic - and
9 this is adjudicated fact 109 for the record - that your Chief of Staff
10 was Rade Danilovic and that your chief of security was
11 Dragi Vukosavljevic. Can you confirm that?
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Just some clarification. It is said "admitted
14 fact." I don't know, is it adjudicated fact or something else?
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I used the word "admitted" for the witness. But
16 it is an adjudicated, yes, adjudicated fact.
17 Q. So, Colonel, could you confirm that the two names that I
18 mentioned, Mr. Danilovic and Vukosavljevic were part of your staff?
19 A. Yes. Rade Danilovic was Chief of Staff and Dragi Vukosavljevic
20 was security organ.
21 Q. With respect to Vukosavljevic, could you tell us to whom he
22 reported in his line of work?
23 A. In his professional sense he reported or submitted reports to the
24 security organ of the Operations Group South.
25 Q. Very well. And could you tell the Court a little bit about the
1 structure of your brigade, like what type of soldiers did you have at
2 your disposal?
3 A. In my brigade I have only a handful of active duty members.
4 Mostly it was made up of the reserve force and there were some active
5 duty officers. Later, active duty officers were assigned commands of the
6 units where -- but the majority of the brigade were members of the
7 reserve force.
8 Q. And how did your brigade compared to the brigade commanded by
9 Mile Mrksic, the Guards Motorised Brigade?
10 A. Well, it's difficult to compare. The other one had a huge core
11 of active duty members and it was even reinforced with officers from
12 other places like, for example, from Belgrade as opposed to us who were
13 mainly composed of reserve forces and reserve officers.
14 Q. Did your brigade have a --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: One moment.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Sorry, Mr. Demirdjian. Please proceed.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Q. Colonel Vojnovic, I was going to ask you: Did your brigade have
22 a military police unit?
23 A. Yes, it did.
24 Q. And what was its strength?
25 A. Well, this unit was a company. It has two military police
1 platoons and one transport platoon. One of those military police
2 platoons was subordinated to -- to the Guards Brigade in advance. So
3 let's say that there were some 30-odd people in that company. And the
4 level of manning was not 100 per cent. One of the platoons had to go and
5 join another unit, leaving one transport per platoon and one military
6 police platoon.
7 Q. And how about the Guards Motorised Brigade. Did they have
8 military police unit?
9 A. Yes, they did. They had larger military police units. Whether
10 they had one or two of them. But, anyway, they did have military police.
11 It was a bigger unit and better equipped than the units that we had.
12 Q. Now you said that in your case you had one company. Are you
13 aware of what was the level of the military police unit of the
14 Guards Motorised Brigade?
15 A. I don't know. I don't know. But it was definitely stronger than
16 ours and it was better equipped both in terms of equipment and skills and
17 professional levels, et cetera. The formations are not equal in or --
18 all units. The Guards Brigade had a better MP unit and it was a kind of
19 elite unit which was better equipped and better trained.
20 Q. Now in your statement at paragraph 12, for the record, you
21 mention that your units did not directly participate in combat operations
22 but rather they were there to keep control of liberated areas. And you
23 also explain that, however, some of your resubordinated units were used
24 by other brigades for combat. So can you explain this a little bit to
25 the Trial Chamber how this worked when your unit, the
1 80th Motorised Brigade, arrives in Vukovar? What -- what you are
2 assigned with?
3 A. My unit was given a task of controlling the area, the territory,
4 to provide security for the population and logistical support wherever it
5 was possible for the population. Elements of the units that were
6 resubordinated to the Guards Brigade were probably involved in combat
7 operation, but we did not command them and they were not subordinated to
8 us until their operations in Vukovar were completed and at that point
9 they returned to our unit.
10 Q. Now, Colonel Vojnovic, are you familiar with the contents of the
11 war diary of your brigade?
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we play 65 ter 556 which is at tab 46. And
14 this is part of the 92 ter package. And can we go to page 2 in both
15 versions, both in English and the B/C/S.
16 Q. Thank you. Now on both versions, do you see at the top the words
17 war diary, 80 mtbr, 9 November to 19 November 1991. Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, I do. I see it clearly. But as for the handwritten part, I
19 can't see it clearly. But as I recall I know that the
20 2nd Motorised Battalion had gone to Tovarnik. And the 3rd Battalion was
21 also deployed in the Vukovar area and the same applies to the PVO
22 artillery battalion as well as the 105-millimetre artillery battalion.
23 Q. Thank you. So we see the first few entries. We see 1 mtb, 2 mtb
24 and 3 mtb. What does "mtb" stand for?
25 A. A motorised battalion.
1 Q. I notice an error in the English translation. It is written as
2 "motorised brigade." We will fix that to reflect that it's "motorised
3 battalion." Now are you able to see the deployment here for
4 2nd Motorised Battalion, or would you like us to zoom in a little bit on
5 that part of the screen if that would help you?
6 A. Yes, I would appreciate that.
7 Q. Is that a little bit better?
8 A. Yes. It was deployed, provided security for the village of
9 Tovarnik, the 2nd mtb. And the 1st mtb was engaged in the
10 1st Guards Motorised Brigade but neither of them was subordinated to us
11 at the time.
12 Q. Okay. So here we see that the 2nd and the 3rd Battalions are
13 engaged in security. So is that what you were telling us earlier in
14 terms of the assignments that were given to your battalions?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. Okay. Could you tell us maybe for the benefit of the
17 Trial Chamber who made the entries in this diary?
18 A. Well, typically and based on their experience that would have
19 been done by an operation organ, but I think that a reserve captain was
20 the one who kept most of the diary. I can't remember his name. I think
21 he was from either Raca or Topola. He was a good lad. He was an
22 engineer, a reserve officer, and he kept this diary in a responsible way
23 and to the best of his ability.
24 Q. And during the time that we see here between the 9th and the
25 19th of November, 1991, where was this diary kept?
1 A. At the brigade command HQ.
2 Q. Now at paragraph 12 you say that your command, HQ, was in
3 Negoslavci; is that right?
4 A. That is right.
5 Q. I would ask you to situate that on an aerial image.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Could we play 65 ter 6282, which is at tab 63,
8 Q. And, Colonel, in a minute I will ask you to mark this aerial
9 image on the screen with the assistance of the usher.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we could zoom in a little bit -- yes.
11 Q. Colonel, were you given an opportunity to look at this aerial
12 image before you came to court?
13 A. No. No, I wasn't. My command post upon arrival to Negoslavci
14 designated by the Colonel Mrksic was located on the left-hand side
15 towards Vukovar. That's the last house. So it would be approximately
16 somewhere here, the last house or one-before-last, if I remember
17 correctly, viewing in the direction of Vukovar.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you. The usher will hand you a pen that is
19 connected to the board and you can mark with that one.
20 A. I believe that this is where the house was. Somewhere here. The
21 last one on the left-hand side viewed towards Vukovar. I didn't use the
22 pen maybe properly, but it's on the left-hand side of the road. It was
23 an old abandoned house. It had a big room inside and that is where we
24 were stationed.
25 Q. Could you write the number 80 next to the dot that you just
1 marked on the map?
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Very well. And are you able to roughly indicate to us where the
4 OG South command post was in Negoslavci?
5 A. I believe that the command post of the OG South was somewhere
6 beyond this intersection. A little bit downwards, maybe the second one.
7 Q. Could you put the letter OG in that area.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. And was that on the main street or on one of the side streets?
10 A. It was on the main street, as was my command post and so was the
11 command post of the OG South. My command post was closest to Vukovar,
12 some 3 or 4 kilometres away. And the same distance is between Negoslavci
13 and Vukovar as well.
14 Q. Now roughly could you tell us what is the distance between both
15 command posts, the 80th and the OG?
16 A. I didn't understand your question.
17 Q. I apologise. I'll rephrase. Can you tell us what was the
18 distance between your command post of the 80th Motorised Brigade and the
19 command post of the OG South on that street?
20 A. I believe that it wasn't more than 500 metres, 300 to 500 metres
21 maximum. They were both on the main street but the OG South command post
22 was in a more urbanised area in a better house that provided better
23 conditions for the work of the command as a whole.
24 Q. Very well. We will talk later this morning about the events at
25 Ovcara but since we have the image on the screen here, are you able to
1 see on the right side of the screen the location marked as Ovcara?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. From memory, I know it's been 20 years, but are you able to give
4 us an approximate -- approximately the distance between Ovcara and the
5 command post of the OG South?
6 A. Well, not more than 2 kilometres.
7 Q. Very well.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: May the record reflect that Judge Mindua left the
9 courtroom and that we sit pursuant to Rule 15 bis. Thank you.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
11 Q. And are you able to show us on this image what was the road that
12 you took from Ovcara to get to the OG South command post that afternoon
13 on the 20th of November? And you don't have to be precise. I know it's
14 a very general image.
15 A. Well, this is a kind of road leading from the OG command post
16 downwards towards Ovcara. There is another road from Sotin in the upper
17 part that leads to Ovcara from the top part. So you can reach it from --
18 you can reach Ovcara from two or three directions. One from Negoslavci,
19 then if you go towards Vukovar, Jakubovaci. There are some dirt roads as
20 well which are not plotted in this map leading towards Jakubovac and
21 other places, but they were used as well.
22 Q. Very well.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That should suffice for our purposes,
24 Your Honours. May I tender this marked image?
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1982. Thank you.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
3 Q. Colonel, I will move to a different topic. It is at paragraph 7
4 of your statement that you discuss the issue of volunteers and you
5 indicate here that volunteers were not subordinated to your brigade.
6 However, you mentioned that individuals from Serbia, and you give the
7 area of Sumadija, tried to join. They were removed after a few days
8 because their main interest was looting. And I'd like you to clarify for
9 the Trial Chamber, how did you come to learn about their presence in the
11 A. Yes. Up until then there were no volunteers in my brigade but
12 following the liberation of Vukovar, some informal groups appeared in
13 order to offer assistance to the citizens of Vukovar in terms of repair
14 works and other things. Actually, their intention was not to join the
15 unit and place themselves under the control of this unit but they just
16 were interested in what they can gain from that and what can -- they can
17 loot. I cannot tell you exactly where these groups came, but most of
18 them came from Sumadija and they numbered some seven or eight people
19 each. My commander told me that we should expect such groups to arrive.
20 And when it -- that happened we ordered a bus and sent them back first to
21 Sremska Mitrovica and then to their places of origin. We didn't provide
22 transportation -- actually, we didn't send them back. We just provided
23 transportation and they went back on their own.
24 Q. Very well. I would like now to move to the period of time where
25 you discuss the fall of Vukovar and this is as of paragraph 31 of your
1 statement. And you explain here that with the fall of Vukovar your
2 brigade was involved in evacuating certain groups from the area, and you
3 mention one group led by Filip Karaula. Do you remember that?
4 A. Yes. It was a group of the Croatian Armed Forces, so the HDZ.
5 They were about a hundred men strong. They fought quite fiercely at
6 Mitnica against our forces. In the end they were surrounded and they
7 were forced to surrender. This unit was headed by I think his first name
8 was Filip but his last name was Karaula. So it was about a hundred men
9 strong, this unit. We were tasked with securing this group and in order
10 to be able to do this job properly, I assigned only officers to secure
11 them until the next day when they were transferred to Sremska Mitrovica,
12 probably to some kind of a prison. And there were no problems. We
13 didn't have any problems with those people that we eventually handed
15 Q. Thank you. I'd like to ask you a few questions about this event.
16 First of all, who informed you or who assigned you to this task of
17 receiving this group led by Karaula?
18 A. I don't know specifically who gave me that task, but we did
19 receive this task. I knew that we were supposed to secure this group and
20 to escort it to Sremska Mitrovica. I was probably not in the HQ at the
21 time when the order was relayed to us, but I accept this command as an
22 order that had come from the Operations Group South. I did not question
23 it. We simply did the job professionally in a soldierly manner without
24 any incidents, and we were able to transfer the whole group to
25 Sremska Mitrovica.
1 Q. And before going to Sremska Mitrovica -- well, did this group go
2 directly from Mitnica to Sremska Mitrovica?
3 A. Yes. The soldiers were transported directly to Sremska Mitrovica
4 and the group was secured by Vezmarovic. He commanded the military
5 police platoon in my unit. There were some other COs from my brigade but
6 I can't recall their names. Some other commanding officers. But I don't
7 know, really.
8 Q. Thank you. In relation to this topic, I would like you to look
9 again at the war diary of your brigade and hopefully the handwriting will
10 be clear enough for you to comment upon it.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It is again 65 ter 556 at tab 46. And I would
12 ask that we go to page 14 in both versions. Yes. In the English version
13 we can zoom in on the bottom part of the page, and in the B/C/S version I
14 would ask that we zoom in on the middle part of the page around the area
15 which says 1400 hours or 1410. Yes. Thank you. Can we actually scroll
16 to the right a little bit. A little bit more for the witness.
17 Q. First of all, Colonel, do you see that little note on the very
18 far right side of the page?
19 A. Yes. Yes. But it's illegible.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we zoom in on it, please. A little bit
21 more -- yeah, that square right there. Maybe zoom out one notch.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Okay.
24 Q. Could you tell us what it says?
25 A. Well, if I can read it correctly, it says "Vukic is" -- no,
1 "Vukovar was liberated. At 1200 hours the fighting stopped."
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We can zoom back out and -- yeah, go back to the
4 1410 area.
5 Q. Now we see that this is a little bit here higher on the page. On
6 the left-hand side we see the date. On the B/C/S version it says the
7 18th of November. And the entry is at 1410. Now do you see the entry at
8 1410 here?
9 A. Yes, I do. I can see the number but I cannot really read what it
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Is it possible to zoom a little bit?
13 Q. Are you able to see the sentence that begins with:
14 "All brigade officers and some of the the ic, zv, and VP soldiers
15 were ordered to form up."
16 Do you see that sentence?
17 A. No, I can't see it really.
18 Q. Do you see the time code on your screen? Okay.
19 A. 1410. Yes. Yes, now I can see it.
20 Q. Okay. Can you see the sentence here which says that:
21 "All went to the Ovcara farm in Vukovar with the task of getting
22 a camp established to receive prisoners, members of the ZNG and
23 Croatian MUP from the Mitnica sector."
24 Do you see that area?
25 A. No, I can't see it really.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we zoom a little bit on the centre of that
3 Q. It's right next to 1410. It's that one dash there. It's a
4 paragraph, five lines.
5 A. Yes. I'm looking at it, yes. An order came for all brigade
6 officers the line up and that the 1st Company -- and the
7 1st Military Police Platoon -- well, I know what happened. This order
8 came in. The officers went there. They were lined up at Ovcara. Then
9 they were given the task to secure the prisoners from Mitnica to make
10 sure that they came to no harm and that they should be handed over at
11 Sremska Mitrovica. That's what it probably says, but I cannot really
12 read it and I already explained about the group. It was Filip Karaula
13 and his unit. They fought at Mitnica.
14 Q. Okay. And maybe it's better then we go off of your memory in
15 that case. Do you remember the reason for the selection of the Ovcara
16 hangar as the -- or the Ovcara farm, sorry, for this purpose?
17 A. Well, that was the only facility in that area that was suitable
18 for the accommodation of the prisoners. We knew that they would not be
19 there long. It was isolated. It was -- it had a roof, and it was really
20 the only facility, the only building where you could actually put a large
21 number of prisoners.
22 Q. Very well. Let me move on now to the events of the -- well,
23 actually, before I do that, you did tell us earlier that you had no
24 problems with this group, the Karaula group?
25 A. No. Once we took over we had no problems. They behaved very
1 properly. They were told not to try anything and that if any of them
2 would try anything that there would be dire consequences. They did not
3 try to fight back, offer any resistance, or escape. And the commander of
4 the unit, Filip Karaula, was told about all that and they acquiesced.
5 They were not beaten or mistreated in any way, they spent the night in
6 the hangar, and the next day they moved to Sremska Mitrovica.
7 Q. Thank you. And are you aware of where exactly in
8 Sremska Mitrovica they were transferred to?
9 A. I don't know whether they were moved directly to the prison or to
10 a barracks. I do know that they were taken to Sremska Mitrovica. I
11 heard later that they had been put in prison but I did not check so I
12 can't really tell you.
13 Q. Very well. So I will move to the events of the 20th of November.
14 In your statement as of paragraph 36 onwards, you explained the events
15 with great detail. And you -- you explain at paragraph 37 that you --
16 when you arrived at Ovcara on that day, you saw people coming off buses
17 and being beaten and hit. Now, at the time under whose responsibility or
18 area of responsibility was the village of Ovcara?
19 A. I was in Sotin visiting a unit that was part of my brigade, and I
20 spent some time there with the men. I can't really remember the time but
21 it was still daylight when I headed towards the command post. And on
22 route, I got this idea that I should go to Ovcara to visit the commander
23 of the light artillery battalion of the anti-aircraft artillery,
24 Captain Marcek. When I reached his command post, the house where he was
25 stationed, he was there to see me and to report to me, as is proper. And
1 suddenly I saw some buses come in and the buses moved towards the Ovcara
2 hangar. I didn't really know where the buses had come from, who was
3 driving them. We were not aware of any tasks of that sort and I did not
4 wait for Marcek to complete his report. I went straight there to see
5 what was going on. I saw two or three buses that were already parked
6 there. Some buses were already leaving and some people were getting off
7 the buses. I couldn't really tell who they were, prisoners or what. And
8 then in front of the hangar there was about 10 or 15 soldiers, most of
9 them from the Territorial Defence, lined up. Territorial Defence, yes.
10 And the men had to run the gauntlet. They were hit, punched, cursed, and
11 they knew each other. They knew each other's names. I tried to protect
12 those men whichever way I could. I tried to defend them. I tried to
13 prevent those people from harming them, from beating them, if indeed they
14 were prisoners. But some of those people actually said, "Why are you
15 doing this? These are not your prisoners. You have nothing to do with
16 them. They are our prisoners." But regardless of this unpleasant
17 situation, I really tried to protect these men as much as I could and I
18 exposed myself to some unpleasantness. Marcek also came at that point in
19 time. He had been waiting for me and he came there and he helped me.
20 In the end those men entered the hangar and I followed them. I
21 saw that there were a large group of soldiers there. Well, soldiers,
22 what I mean is actually prisoners. Some of them were in military
23 uniform. Some had military uniforms or parts of military uniforms or
24 hospital gowns paired with military boots, all kinds of clothes. I
25 couldn't really identify them. But there was a rope on the -- in the
1 hangar and that's where they were separated into groups. There were --
2 there were some machinery on the left-hand side. It was probably some
3 kind of a barn or something. So we were there and I observed the
4 situation without knowing what was actually going on. There were about
5 30 or 40 members of the Territorial Defence there, and I remarked -- two
6 of them, I saw two of them in particular, because they were energetic.
7 They had an air of command around them. But that was the first time that
8 I saw them. One of them was Stanko Vujanovic as I was to learn later,
9 and the other one was Miomir Vujo. And indeed it turned out that they
10 were in charge there. And when --
11 Q. Can I stop you for a second because you gave us a lot of
12 information and I want to go through this bit by bit. My original
13 question was whose area of responsibility was this -- this Ovcara farm
14 located in, and you told us a minute ago that you were coming to visit a
15 Jan Marcek who was stationed there. Can you clarify this, about the area
16 of responsibility?
17 A. Yes. Let me explain. Let me just first finish my previous
18 answer and then I will address the issue of the area of responsibility.
19 Marcek joined me and we were able to establish some sort of an
20 order there. And I entered the hangar, spoke to Major Vukasinovic who
21 was standing there right in the middle. He was a very tall man. He was
22 surrounded by a group of men. I couldn't tell who they were, but they
23 were in clean standard issue JNA uniforms. I asked him who these people
24 were, where they had come from, and he said that those were the prisoners
25 from the hospital. That was the first time that I heard about it. I saw
1 him there.
2 In the meantime, I don't know how it happened but my captain,
3 Captain Vukic, joined me. Somebody must have let him know about what was
4 going on. He was a reserve captain. He came with a group of perhaps a
5 squad, about five or six soldiers. Somebody must have told him that I
6 was in danger there and they were dispatched to join me. And I was about
7 to leave, because I had to go and attend the briefing with Mrksic and so
8 I told Captain Vukic, I appointed Major Vukasinovic to him, and I said,
9 "You should ask him if he needs any assistance," because the situation
10 was really complex. It was not clear. And Vukic told me later that he
11 had approached Major Vukasinovic asking him, "Do you need any assistance?
12 My commanding officer had instructed me to approach you." And he said,
13 "No, you can go there. You can go, leave." He did not leave but he
14 observed the situation in the hangar for about an hour. And again, he
15 approached Major Vukasinovic about an hour later, again asking him if he
16 needed any assistance. And Major Vukasinovic told him, "I don't need any
17 assistance. You are free to go."
18 So now, as for the area of responsibility, Marcek was there at
19 the command post because command post had been already determined. It
20 was part of his sector. It was also the area of responsibility of my
21 brigade, part of it. But all the command posts that were there -- well,
22 since there was no organised resistance, there was no fighting because
23 Vukovar had been liberated, what might happen was some commando raids,
24 and the people were still at the command post to guard the relevant axes
25 and defend the area against any such raids.
1 There were no people, civilians, left there except for maybe just
2 a few that were in co-op. But let me just explain one thing: It is
3 quite clear how areas of responsibility are assigned. My superior
4 officer will assign my area of responsibility to me and it is only my
5 superior officer that can enter my area of responsibility without seeking
6 my approval. He can do whatever he wants because he is the commanding
7 officer, the superior officer, and he assumes responsibility for that.
8 All the other officers, all the other personnel, in accordance with the
9 rules of service must report to me. And then we have to co-ordinate our
10 operations to prevent any friendly fire incidents and so on.
11 So in this case the person who assigned the area of
12 responsibility to me also gave himself the right to enter the area of
13 responsibility without my approval. They -- he could do that without
14 asking me because I could not either allow or prohibit him from entering
15 the area of responsibility because my area of responsibility was part of
16 the area of responsibility of the Operations Group South. We secured our
17 area, we controlled and monitored those specific locations and axes.
18 Q. And you indicated to us that Major Vukasinovic was in the hangar
19 and in your statement you clarify that Vukasinovic was from the
20 Guards Brigade - and this is at paragraph 46 - and that he was
21 Major Sljivancanin's deputy then. Can you tell the Court what was the
22 status of operative group south on that day?
23 A. Where -- this was the largest group and the commander of the
24 OG South commanded the OG South and all the units in the area that were
25 supposed to be subordinate to him. He issued orders to all the units
1 specifying the activities that had to be carried out.
2 As regards Major Vukasinovic, he was the deputy security chief in
3 OG South, so he was Major Sljivancanin's deputy.
4 Q. Very well. You also told us earlier two names, Stanko Vujanovic
5 and Miroljub Vujovic, you mention them at paragraph 42 of your statement.
6 And then you also say that Vukasinovic in particular seemed to be the
7 Commander-In-Chief. Could you tell the Court how you came to that
9 A. I saw both of them. That was the first time that I saw them.
10 Their body language, the way they moved, the aggressive manner in which
11 they behaved, they were both armed -- well, I can't really say whether
12 they issued any orders but -- but they did talk to each other and to
13 other soldiers, and I could see that the other Territorial Defence
14 members who were there obeyed them. Stanko was really tall. He wore a
15 cap and he strode around the hangar as did Miroljub. Miroljub was a bit
16 smaller. He wore a green sweater. But they issued orders. I can't
17 really tell you what kind of orders they were. I did not listen to what
18 they were saying. I did not really pay that much attention. But I could
19 see that they seemed to be in charge and that others obeyed them. So
20 that was my conclusion. And in the end it did, indeed, turn out that
21 they did have some units in Leva Supoderica, and this was both confirmed
22 both by this Tribunal and in the court in Belgrade.
23 Q. And before we take the break, let me wrap up on this topic. You
24 mentioned later in paragraph 61 of your statement that before the
25 Guards Motorised Brigade departed for Belgrade, you had a meeting with
1 Sljivancanin and he introduced you to Vujanovic and Vujovic. And I would
2 like to ask you to tell the Court whether after this introduction you had
3 the occasion to see Vujovic and Vujanovic?
4 A. Before they left, there was a room in Velepromet. I cannot tell
5 you what kind of a room it was, but there was a meeting with quite a few
6 members of the Territorial Defence. About 30 or 40 of us were in that
7 room. I don't know why I was there but I must have been told that I
8 should be there. I saw Sljivancanin there and I also saw Stanko and the
9 other guy and some other people I can't really remember now, but
10 Sljivancanin told them who I was and that I would be there and that I
11 would be the commander of the city. That's when I first -- first saw
12 them. I did not encounter them all that often. Miroljub came to the
13 command once or twice to make some arrangements, some things had to be
14 solved, but they did not really come there often. They had their own HQ
15 where they would all gather. I think it was in an area that was called
16 Holivud. It was a residential area. A very nice area. That's where
17 they gathered. And when the Guards Brigade left I encountered Kameni
18 several times. He came to the brigade command of his own accord, but the
19 others they did not really.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I notice the time, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Demirdjian.
22 Mr. Witness, this is our first break. We will come back at
23 11.00. The Court Usher will escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you
24 very much.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I verified during the break with
5 respect to the 92 ter package of this witness, and we have an e-mail from
6 the 4th of January where the Defence stated that they will take no
7 position and would make no submissions with respect to this package.
8 So again, I would say it defeats the purpose of Rule 92 ter.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. --
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, that is something that one can
12 read in our 28 January --
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- decision --
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- in which we did find that the tendered
17 statements and associated exhibits are relevant and have probative value
18 and are appropriate for admission pursuant to Rule 89(C) and 92 ter. And
19 as the conditions set forth in Rule 92 ter have now been fulfilled, the
20 documents will be admitted and marked. I suppose the Registrar will
21 circulate the memo for the numbering.
22 Thank you very much.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Demirdjian.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. Colonel, I would like us to pick up on what we are talking about
3 before the break and this was with respect to Miroljub Vujovic and the
4 fact that he was introduced to you again by Major Sljivancanin after the
5 fall of Vukovar. I'd like to ask you, after the events at Ovcara, how
6 would you qualify your relationship with Miroljub Vujovic?
7 A. Well, generally speaking, Miroljub Vujovic was an energetic
8 individual. He enjoyed recognition and esteem among his co-fighters, but
9 he wanted to have a last say in everything and to be everywhere at all
10 times, including the setting up of a draft officer and the authorities
11 and everything. He made a lot of promises but he failed to keep them. I
12 had an opportunity to make two or three agreements with him in order for
13 seeking assistance from volunteers in the hygiene and other measures,
14 removal of dead bodies, and repair of roads. He even promised a number
15 of soldiers to be at a designated time. But they were not there, so I
16 concluded that he was the person that I couldn't rely upon and that was
17 particular the case at the beginning.
18 Q. Very well. Now I'll move on to the topic of the -- the briefing
19 after you left Ovcara the afternoon of the 20th of November. This was
20 something that you mention as of paragraph 54 of your statement, and you
21 say here that you reported to Mrksic about the maltreatment of prisoners
22 which you had personally seen and you say here that Mrksic replied,
23 "Don't talk about it." Now when you briefed Mrksic about the situation,
24 were you speaking to him alone or are there other officers around?
25 A. When I came to the operations south command, there was this
1 briefing room and it was nearly packed with people. The meeting was
2 close to the end and everybody was standing up. I reported and I
3 apologised for being late. I told them that I had come from the
4 situation where I saw a commotion. I didn't know what was happening
5 there, how the prisoners were being treated, and I even didn't know what
6 kind of prisoners they were, whether they were wounded or what kind of
7 intervention they needed. They were being treated in an inappropriate
8 manner. They were being pushed around, insulted, belittled, and
9 everything else that was inappropriate to which he responded, "Don't talk
10 to me about this." I was simply stunned by that, by his answer. I
11 thought at first that he didn't understand me and that he wasn't aware of
12 what was going on there.
13 When the meeting finished we all went outside and he and I
14 established a contact again, and I asked him, "Colonel, what am I going
15 to do about the situation?" And he said, "Why do you need to be there?"
16 Which indicated to me that it wasn't my place to go there, that this
17 operation was carried out without me, without my officers. We didn't
18 know anything about it. We were not engaged. I just happened to be
19 there and I happened to see it. If that hadn't been the case, I would
20 not have been possibly in the situation that I was.
21 I understood that his response was a well-intentioned one when he
22 said, "You needn't go there" and "you needn't become yourself involved in
23 a situation that you didn't know anything about." Later on we heard
24 different stories. I understand that this kind of operation had to be
25 done in a speedy way, that it was not necessary for everyone to know
1 about it, and that it was done on a need-to-know basis for only a certain
2 and specific number of officers.
3 Q. Now at the time with respect to the gmtbr, you explained to us
4 earlier today in comparison to your unit that it was better equipped,
5 better manned, what was the state of affairs with regards to the
6 Guards Motorised Brigade and the manpower available to Mrksic on that
7 day? Could you tell us a little bit about that?
8 A. Well, at the moment I cannot tell you exactly what the
9 Guards Brigade tasks were in other sectors and axes. However, in the
10 area of the hangar and Ovcara I saw a number of their officers belonging
11 to the Guards Brigade, starting from the Chief of Staff, that is to say,
12 Mrksic's deputy, to security officers, to Vukasinovic -- actually, I
13 didn't see Vukasinovic but I heard that Captain Karanfilov, one of the
14 security organs, was deployed there and he was also a member of the
15 Guards Brigade staff.
16 Q. Very well. I am going to move now to a different topic,
17 Colonel Vojnovic, and this is one which deals with the establishment of
18 town commands which you deal with at paragraph 22 onwards of your
19 statement. Now you say here that after the fall of Vukovar and the
20 events that you just described, you were appointed as town commander, and
21 you explain that you were ordered to establish local town commands in
22 your area. Now here you said this was a verbal order of Milan Mrksic; is
23 that right?
24 A. That is right. Prior to their departure, during the last-but-one
25 briefing in Negoslavci, Mrksic said that the 80th Brigade accepted the
1 tasks and obligations that had by that time been undertaken by
2 Operations Group South in the area, that I was appointed town commander
3 of Vukovar and Borovo Naselje. I don't remember seeing a written order
4 to that effect but it probably did arrive at a later stage. All the
5 obligations that the OG South and the Guards Brigade had were to be taken
6 over by us.
7 In the meantime, an order came through the military district
8 command and the OG South command to my brigade, and I can say that I am
9 proud of my officers and soldiers who made a considerable contribution to
10 the overall situation in Vukovar by their conduct and their manner of
11 carrying out tasks, although they suffered a number of casualties. This
12 is probably out of context but I wanted to mention it.
13 So command posts were designated and our task was to decide
14 command posts in each and every village where it was possible and where
15 people were still residing, and as a result and based on my order the
16 command post was set up in Negoslavci, Ovcara, Jakubovac, Sotin,
17 Pinjaci [phoen], and some over villages which I cannot recall at the
18 moment. And that's what we did. These commands posts were manned mainly
19 by officers who were capable of exerting control of the area and to
20 prevent incursions by terrorist groups.
21 These command posts and these unit commanders received sort of
22 instructions or guidelines, either through conversations or in writing.
23 Anyway, our task was -- or their task was to secure vital facilities in
24 those places such as waterworks, transformer stations, power lines,
25 et cetera, in order to make it possible for certain patrols to be set up
1 in certain places, to organise some labour that needed to be done; in a
2 word, to keep law and order in those places by preventing looting,
3 plundering, and taking away equipment from these villages, et cetera.
4 Q. Now at paragraph 12 of your statement you mention a report which
5 you signed, and perhaps it would be useful to display it on the screen.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It's 65 ter 731 at tab 24. Thank you.
7 Q. Now this is the 29th of November, and we see the stamp of the
8 command of the 80th Brigade. At the time, Colonel, could you tell us on
9 the 29th of November who was the 80th Motorised Brigade subordinated to?
10 A. At the time, we were resubordinated directly to the command of
11 the 1st Military District because our brigade was the largest one in the
12 area which is the situation following the departure of the
13 Guards Motorised Brigade. We became subordinated to the
14 1st Military District Command. I don't know for how long this lasted but
15 it was definitely about a month, more or less. I don't think that's
16 important at this juncture.
17 After that we were emerged -- merged with --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the name of the
19 unit and for the benefit of the interpreters asked to speak more slowly.
20 Thank you very much.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
22 Q. Colonel, the interpreters are asking us if we could slow down a
23 bit so they can keep up with you, and they are asking if you could repeat
24 the last sentence where you said:
25 "Don't think that it's important at this juncture."
1 And you mention a unit and a commander, I believe. If you could
2 repeat that.
3 A. Yes. I said that initially on or around the 29th for a month or
4 so a unit and command that had been subordinated directly to the
5 1st Military District Command. After that period, and I don't know
6 exactly when, as a command we were resubordinated to the
7 1st Proletarian Mechanised Division whose commander was
8 General Mico Delic.
9 Q. Thank you for repeating that. And looking at this document, we
10 see here that the title is: "State of combat morale in the units of the
11 80th mtbr." And I'd like to take your attention to the second paragraph.
12 Do you see the paragraph which begins with: "Following the liberation of
13 Vukovar ..."?
14 A. Yes, I can see that:
15 [As read] "Following the liberation of Vukovar, the brigade
16 command, as the town command, was tasked with securing a military
17 authorities and to create conditions for establishing civilian
18 authorities and to have all the health services, [indiscernible]
19 services, other services running and operating, as well as to prevent
20 criminal offences."
21 This was done because they wanted to make it possible for the
22 command of the 80th Brigade to become engaged in its primary role which
23 was to secure the area of responsibility to control the area within the
24 zone, to train officers and soldiers who were member of this unit, and
25 these were its combat tasks and thereby the town command were to relieve
1 the brigade from the burden of carrying out these specific obligations.
2 For that purpose, the command post of the town command was
3 designated and it wasn't a part of the brigade nor was it situated in the
4 Vukovar barracks. It was in a detached location. I don't know exactly
5 where but I went to see them there. All these units such as the town
6 command, the hospital, the police company that was established, and some
7 other units that remained there, were under the command of the
8 80th Motorised Brigade. And in that manner the brigade was able to
9 operate and the town command made it possible for all these other
10 activities that I mentioned earlier to be carried out, of course, with
11 our approval and with our assistance. They used to visit us on a daily
12 basis in order to report to us what they had done, how far they had
13 progressed, et cetera.
14 Q. Now you just told us a moment ago that the command post of the
15 town command was detached from the brigade command. Could you perhaps
16 explain to us what does this command post look like? How was it manned?
17 How was it organised?
18 A. Yes. The town command was detached and it was not in the same
19 place as the brigade command. It was in the neighbourhood of the city of
20 Vukovar, at the point of entry to Vukovar from Negoslavci in a house. I
21 know that it was close to the house of a well known singer from Serbia.
22 I don't remember her name. Her sister is called Goca and she's a folk
23 singer from Serbia. Anyway, she had a house there. And there were two
24 or three officers posted there, there was one vehicle, and about two
25 soldiers who acted a security officers. They co-ordinated all these
1 village command posts and provided assistance to people and organised
2 things as much as they were able to do. But that was the situation that
3 prevailed until I left Vukovar on the 28th of February.
4 Q. Very well. You just told us that in the house there were two or
5 three officers posted there. Is that all in terms of the town command?
6 Is that all in terms of manning or structure?
7 A. Yes. That was the entire composition. There were no other
8 officers or soldiers there. Those were the people who manned it. And
9 they were not even members of our unit. By virtue of some order they had
10 been sent there by the 1st Military District Command, but while they were
11 there they were subordinated to us.
12 Q. Now going back to this second paragraph here, there is a part of
13 the sentence that says that the town command is tasked with ensuring the
14 conditions for the revival and the establishment of the civilian
15 government, judiciary, health, economy, et cetera. Could you perhaps
16 tell the Trial Chamber and describe to them what was the situation with
17 respect to the civilian government when you took up your role as town
19 A. When I assumed the duty of town commander and other
20 responsibilities, there was nothing there. Nothing was working. Nobody
21 could go anywhere to seek help. Of course, since at that time the
22 military authorities were operational, everything had to go through the
23 command. Since the brigade command did not intend to stay there and
24 exert its authority any longer, they wished to establish these
25 institutions as soon as possible that would provide for civilian
1 governance of Vukovar.
2 I don't remember the exact date. I believe that I received
3 instructions from someone on how to organise these matters, and for that
4 purpose we called a meeting at Velepromet where we intended to establish
5 civilian authorities in the city of Vukovar. Rajko Bibic, maybe he's not
6 called Rajko but that's what he was called, was among them. He used to
7 be the manager of the co-operative, if that is correct, and he was one of
8 the better educated people, and I met him. These authorities had to have
9 between 14 and 16 members.
10 Now I was guided by the idea to have people who were capable of
11 carrying out these duties, so a list of 14 or 16 individuals was made. I
12 showed the list to Rajko. And on the list there were two men that he
13 told me that we should not mention their names at any cost because he
14 feared the reaction of other people, some 50 or 60 of them who were
15 present on the premises. So I gave it to him and he read the list of the
16 names. Whether he omitted these two questionable names or read them in a
17 low voice, I don't know, but anyway the people who were on the list were
18 elected to form a government, the Executive Committee, and other
19 structures. It was Rajko Bibic who took over these tasks from that
21 I believe that the first president of the municipality was
22 Dr. Visic, I don't recall his first name, but Dr. Visic at any rate. And
23 I can tell you that even the venue that they have chosen were quickly
24 made operational for administrative work. They carried out the necessary
25 organisational work. But I wasn't too much privy to what they did. I
1 used to visit them occasionally, asking them whether they required any
3 Every day they worked on these issues and I know that certain
4 people, for example, those who used to work at Vuteks were managers of
5 that factory, and I know that in Borovo Naselje it was Markovic who was
6 appointed. But before that, I issued an order as commander of the
7 military authorities and in accordance with the consultations of the
8 people who were versed in these problems, I appointed these people; for
9 example, Radan Jovica in Vuteks.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the second name.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Anyway, an order was announced on
12 TV - I don't know where it had come from - that Markovic was appointed
13 the manager of Borovo. At the time he was a deputy or whatever. Anyway,
14 in view of everything I described, things were set in motion, and after
15 that they started moving towards the villages.
16 These village command posts were going out of operation and even
17 during the military authority we tried to do something and for that
18 purpose we re-established the water-supply and we made sure for everyone
19 who was starving to come twice to the barracks a day to receive food. We
20 established a transportation service between Vukovar and Belgrade,
21 et cetera.
22 Of course the problems we faced were huge, but there were
23 improvements on a daily basis, shops were being opened and the town was
24 being cleaned up and put into order, particularly the barracks which was
25 the hub of the whole operation.
1 Q. Colonel Vojnovic, can I ask you very briefly to explain to us --
2 you just explained to us the situation with the civilian authorities.
3 There is also a mention in your report here to the judiciary. Could you
4 briefly explain to the Court what was the status when you took over as
5 town commander?
6 A. When I came to the command post, I was not aware of any judiciary
7 because there was no such thing in the brigade. Some extra judiciary
8 tasks, political issues, they were dealt with by our morale organ. But
9 investigations, an organised judiciary, there was no such thing at the
10 time and, indeed, throughout the time when I was there in Vukovar in the
11 brigade command.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we go to the last page in both versions,
13 that's page 3 in the English and page 2 in the B/C/S. Just go to the
14 bottom of that page.
15 Q. This is a report that was drafted by you; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's my signature indeed. And -- yes, it is true that the
17 brigade command and the battalion command that we ordered our soldiers
18 not to move their positions and that they could not leave their positions
19 without the approval and also there is this order from the 1st
20 Military District that some units would be disbanded after 45 days.
21 If I as a commander had some problems in this regard, I know that
22 an order was issued or a communique was issued by the command of the
23 1st Military District that the soldiers would be rotated every 45 days.
24 Q. Colonel, Colonel, I apologise. I don't want to interrupt you,
25 but I would ask that you would focus on the question and you have
1 confirmed that this was a report that was drafted by your unit. That is
2 all I was asking you.
3 And I apologise for interrupting you, but we need to focus on the
4 questions, please. You mentioned elsewhere in your report and you just
5 told us a minute ago that after you established the town commands in
6 Vukovar, then other villages followed, and town commands were established
7 there, too. And at paragraph 22 you say:
8 "My duties were to cease once local government representatives
9 were elected."
10 Could you explain to the Court when in your -- well, in your
11 knowledge, were civilian authorities established in your area of
13 A. Yes, well, I can't be specific about the date and the time. But
14 once the government was in place, the Executive Council and the
15 government in Vukovar, they assumed more and more duties and we assisted
16 them as much as we could and focused more on the military tasks,
17 training, and also repairing the equipment and weapons in that area. I
18 don't remember when it was. There was a certain period of time that
19 elapsed. Well, some things were perhaps set in motion right at the
20 beginning, but some were set in motion later. So it must have been a
21 certain period of time because the government did not have the premises.
22 They did not have the basic prerequisites. They could not really do
23 their job. There must have been some kind of an advisory role, some kind
24 of guidance that was given to them. I don't remember whether that was in
25 December or January. I really don't know the specific time, but sometime
1 in late December or early January. That might have been the time.
2 Q. And when did the 80th Motorised Brigade leave the area of
4 A. The 80th Brigade left Vukovar on the 13th of January, but some of
5 the officers and some of the elements of the command remained, and I left
6 the area together with those units in Kragujevac. I went back to Vukovar
7 seven days later to report to my duty because I had my duties as the town
9 Q. You explain at paragraph 26 of your statement that while you were
10 town commander, you had no contacts with the government of the SAO SBZS
11 and that you considered that to be not to be a normal situation. Could
12 you tell the Court why you considered that not to be a normal situation?
13 A. Well, I really was not in contact with the government and I don't
14 know how it was established at the time. I know that there were huge
15 problems and that there were many things to be dealt with in the Vukovar
16 area. Now, I, myself, was not in contact with them. But on one
17 occasion - I don't know when that was - Rajko Bibic told me that he had
18 attended a meeting somewhere and that he had presented some views as to
19 how things should be done. But I did not really have any details and I
20 can't recall what he was saying. I knew that he had gone there.
21 Q. Very well. Now, later in your statement you discuss one of the
22 reports which was drafted by the town commander of Ilok,
23 Colonel Milan Belic. This is at paragraph 89 of your statement.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And perhaps we could display it on the screen.
25 It's Exhibit P371 at tab 32. Yes.
1 Q. Now, Colonel, you see here that this is a report that we showed
2 you back in December from the town command of Ilok, and in your statement
3 here you say that the document shows the dissatisfaction of the JNA with
4 the government because the government had appointed people who were loyal
5 rather than people who were educated, and you were aware of this
6 situation at the time. Could you tell us how did -- how did this
7 situation in Ilok compare with the situation in your area?
8 A. Well, as regards -- well, in comparison with Vukovar, Ilok was a
9 smaller town and it was much easier to establish control and to do one's
10 job there, and yet some problems emerged. They had the same kind of
11 problems that we had. Our problems were bigger because Vukovar was the
12 epicenter, so to speak, of that area. Everybody was looking at it. It
13 was in the centre of attention. It was written up in the media and so
14 on. But the people who were in the Vukovar area, they had come from
15 various places. Not only the Territorial Defence detachments but there
16 were some independent individuals, volunteers. There were commanders who
17 did not report to anyone, and if you had four or five soldiers you called
18 yourself a commander and that man would strut around the town followed by
19 his soldiers calling himself a commander. It was very difficult to
20 co-ordinate anything with them and to work with them at all, particularly
21 because we didn't know those people.
22 I got to know those people who appeared to be in charge, Stanko,
23 Miroljub, and Kameni, and others, indeed, but there were other people
24 that nobody knew. You would have people enter a house, set up their HQ
25 with just a handful of soldiers, and nobody knew how they operated, how
1 they worked side by side, and it was a very big problem. Very much
2 present in Vukovar, to a lesser extent in Ilok. People would move out --
3 move into the houses and take stuff out. It was like a conveyer belt.
4 Some people would take stuff out, others would be waiting to move in and
5 take stuff in. And it took a while, it took some time, and you had to
6 talk to people. You had to exercise command in order to re-establish
7 order. And -- but that's a normal process. And the same kind of thing
8 happened in Ilok.
9 Q. Colonel, I would like to deal now with my last topic which is the
10 departure of the Guards Motorised Brigade in November. Now, you
11 explained this at paragraph 78 of your statement that the gmtbr left
12 around the 25th of November and it is also an admitted fact - an
13 adjudicated fact in our case, this is 112 - that when the gmtbr leaves
14 Vukovar that the Operative Group South ceases to exist. Is that a
15 correct statement of the facts?
16 A. When the operational group or, rather, the Guards Brigade pulled
17 out of this area, I think it was in the period between the 25th and the
18 27th, the Operational Group South ceased to exist. The command of the
19 80th Brigade assumed all the duties that had been exercised by the
20 OG South in that area all the way down to the Vuka river, because all
21 the -- the OG South covered that area. And to the north of us further
22 away from the Vuka river, it was the 12th Corps, the Novi Sad Corps.
23 Q. Finally you explain at paragraph 69 of your statement that before
24 he left Vukovar Mrksic ordered you to prepare and to accommodate a team
25 of investigators who were coming to look into what happened at Ovcara.
1 Now, first, I would like to ask you: Was this a verbal or a written
2 order from Mrksic?
3 A. Mrksic gave me that order at a meeting, at a briefing, at his
4 command post in Negoslavci. He said to prepare a room, that a team of
5 investigating judges and investigators, lawyers, judges, and so on, would
6 come and that they would spend some time there and would conduct
7 proceedings, investigate the events in the area. Of course, the emphasis
8 was to be on the events in Ovcara. I did not have a room that I could
9 set aside for them. I found a classroom in the command building and I
10 made preparations as much as I could given the circumstances, but the
11 team of investigators never reported to me, never came, and later on I
12 think that there was a written order to me instructing me to make those
13 preparations for them, to confirm what Mrksic had told me orally. Well,
14 I actually never saw them. They never came. They never reported to us.
15 I don't know. They may have come but we never saw them, and they never
16 came to us for assistance. Oh, now, yes, I remember. Of all of those
17 who were supposed to come, I only saw the pathologist. He was the
18 captain first-class at that time and later on he was promoted to general,
19 Dr. Stankovic. And I assisted him as much as I could at Ciglana where he
20 carried out the postmortems on the bodies, but I didn't ask him any
21 questions. I don't know whether he was accompanied by anyone else but he
22 was the only one that I actually saw.
23 Q. Could you just clarify for us, where is this Ciglana.
24 A. Well, it's a building. It's actually brick works. That's where
25 construction materials, bricks, and so on, are made. I am not even sure
1 whether it was the Ciglana brick works. But that's where I was waiting
2 for him. I think that's where it was.
3 Q. Thank you, Colonel Vojnovic.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this completes my
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Zivanovic.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 But before I start my cross-examination, I would just -- oh yeah,
10 okay, transcript is running. Thank you.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Vojnovic. My name is
13 Zoran Zivanovic and I am representing Mr. Hadzic in these proceedings.
14 A. Good day to you.
15 Q. Mr. Vojnovic, let me just first to ask you to clarify if you can.
16 I have gone through your statement, in particular paragraph 4, that you
17 are a highly educated military professional. In paragraph 5 you state
18 your educational background. But could you please clear up some military
19 terms that have been used in the course of your testimony and were also
20 used in your statement that was admitted into evidence.
21 First, I would like you to explain to us the term
22 "resubordination." What does it entail? How is that different from
24 A. I think it's just a turn of phrase. Subordination -- to
25 subordinate a unit. For instance, my command was subordinated to the
1 command of the Operational Group South or an element of my brigade. But
2 in some cases, it is not the entire unit or a battalion or just two
3 battalions from my brigade may be resubordinated. So I don't really see
4 a difference between the two terms, in any substantive terms. So you
5 shouldn't really be confused by that.
6 Q. Can we then explain it like this: Before you arrive into the
7 Vukovar area, I think that your brigade was subordinated to a different
9 A. No. Before I arrived, no. But once I came to the Vukovar area,
10 then it was subordinated to the OG South.
11 Q. And can you tell me -- so until your arrival in the Vukovar area,
12 your brigade was not subordinated to anyone, then?
13 A. Before the arrival in the Vukovar area, it was part of the
14 Kragujevac Corps.
15 Q. In other words, it was subordinated to the Kragujevac Corps?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. So can we then say that resubordination is an act whereby you get
18 a new superior command - let me just finish - so resubordination is an
19 act whereby you get a new superior command?
20 A. Yes, well, you could say that. You could interpret it in that
21 way because until our arrival in Vukovar, until we became part of the
22 OG South, we had been subordinated to the Kragujevac Corps command.
23 Q. Well, we looked at several documents and you, yourself, also
24 looked at them, including the war diary of your unit and of the
25 Guards Motorised Brigade. You were also shown the operational log of
1 your unit, and I would like to ask you this: If you can explain, what
2 kind of data are entered into the war diary?
3 A. Well, the war diary contains the key tasks during the day; for
4 instance, any movements of the unit, transfers of the unit, any
5 extraordinary events, incidents, any woundings or casualties or traffic
6 accidents, training drills - for instance, shooting practice, and so on -
7 and all the other information that is very important for the unit, any
8 briefings, but not at the lowest level, not at the company level but
9 probably at the brigade level, also meetings that were held at battalion
11 Q. The war diary, does it contain entries specifying the most
12 important combat operations that were carried out during the day?
13 A. Yes, definitely.
14 Q. The Prosecutor showed you the diary of the
15 Guards Motorised Brigade. That's document 357 from the Prosecution's
16 list. Let us look at it because I need you to clarify some things for
18 Well, you know that your unit also kept a war diary. Could you
19 please tell us whose names are entered here at the cover of the war
20 diary, the first page? You will see it here.
21 A. Yes. Major Gojkovic, he was from OG South, and Major Trifunovic.
22 The two of them were charged with maintaining the war diary. So, for
23 instance, if one of them was absent then the other one would make
25 Q. Could we please move on to the second page of this war diary.
1 Here right at the beginning you see the date and the time when this war
2 diary first -- was first started to be kept.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And I can see that there are four columns. The first column is
5 where you entered the place, date, and time.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you please clarify this for me: Is this the place, date,
8 and time of the event in question?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The second column has the heading the description of the event.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The third column contains the names of the people who actually
13 made the entries. I can see that here we see the name of
14 Major Trifunovic.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So he entered this information. And the fourth column you can
17 see that it's -- the heading is "Remarks," so it's mostly who was
18 notified about the events. You can see here in -- "S notified," that
19 would mean Chief of Staff?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now we will not be going through this date by date, but would
22 this be the model, the usual format for the war diaries?
23 A. Yes, that is the universal format that was used by all the units
24 at tactical level but also from the brigade up and from the brigade down.
25 This was the universal format that was used.
1 Q. And it seems to me that it governs by the instructions of the
2 staff commands?
3 A. Yes. It was adopted from them.
4 Q. Thank you. In addition to this we saw a document which is called
5 an operational diary. Unfortunately, we did not manage to get hold of
6 the diary of the Guards Brigade but we had an opportunity to see the
7 operational diary of your brigade. What I'm interested in at the moment,
8 and I don't need to show you the operational diary, but can you explain
9 the difference between an operational diary and the war log? Which kind
10 of information is entered into one and which information is not entered
11 and vice versa?
12 A. The operational diary contains all the activities that are taking
13 place within a unit and within an area during the entire day. There is
14 no significant difference between this and the war diary, only the focus
15 is more on combats activities and the results of combat activities.
16 Operational diaries are kept by higher level units, starting from the
17 level of corps upwards.
18 Q. But if I'm not wrong, your brigade kept an operational diary as
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. So that means that the brigade as well --
22 A. I said that that was the standard format that was being adopted
23 and applied from the level of brigade upwards.
24 Q. And this operational diary format -- so let's look at it after
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] It's document 557 from the
2 Prosecutor's list.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no difference.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Let us look at it anyway. Can we enlarge it a little bit so that
6 you can see. You can see at the top the period that this diary pertains
7 to and here it starts on 9th November, 1991, until the 14th of January.
8 I think the 9th November is the day when this unit arrived in Vukovar?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the 14th of January is the date when it left Vukovar?
11 A. Yes. But I'm not sure whether we went back on the 13th or the
12 14th. But that was before the Serbian new year. And you know when that
14 Q. Well, that would be the 13th of January, then, but for the
15 purposes of my question the date is not so relevant.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please enlarge the Serbian
17 version so that you can read it better.
18 Q. Here again we have place, time. The next column is "content,"
19 then the next column is the signature of the recipient, and remarks.
20 Now, my impression is that all these columns are identical to war logs?
21 A. Yes. I said that this is the standard format and that we have
22 the same columns. It depends who kept this diary. Here we have an
23 ordinal number and that is the only difference.
24 Q. Let me ask you something in relation to another document, let's
25 say, which provided us with certain information and statements.
1 According to our information, JNA officers had their own notebooks at the
2 time where they noted down certain events and data. Can you confirm
4 A. Yes, I can. They had their official notebooks that were
5 certified that had stamps on the backside and in which they entered
6 crucial tasks.
7 Q. When you say certified on the backside with a stamp, that would
8 be the stamp of their unit?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If I am not wrong, the pages of these notebooks were marked in
11 advance, and I think that there was a total of 200 of them?
12 A. Well, there were different notebooks and each page had a number.
13 And at the end, the organ who had issued the notebook would put a
14 signature and a stamp on it.
15 Q. And they would indicate the number of pages?
16 A. Yes, yes. As I said, from 1- to 200. They would say that this
17 notebook contains 200 pages and would put a stamp in order to verify it
19 Q. Tell me, please, did you, yourself, keep such a notebook?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And can you tell us what did you enter into this notebook?
22 A. Well, all the activities that were occurring in the unit starting
23 from the tasks assigned to subordinates, attendance of certain
24 gatherings, the problems that you, yourself, need to solve or in
25 co-ordination with other people. Everything that was pertinent to the
1 unit in any way whatsoever.
2 Q. Did you enter, for example, the tasks that were assigned by an
3 officer to his subordinates?
4 A. Yes. But perhaps not in so many details. For example, I would
5 say that so-and-so should carry out so-and-so task without going into
6 specific details.
7 Q. And I assume that this notebook contained also what you received
8 from your superiors?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell me this: What happened with your notebook? Do you
11 still have it or is it some place else?
12 A. I can't tell you that. Really, I don't know. Well, there is a
13 lot of things. You take one notebook, you misplace it, you take a new
14 one. But basically once you fill it, you have to return it. It wasn't a
15 big deal. Usually it was either destroyed or you just never returned it.
16 Q. Thank you. But as a rule once the notebook was filled, to be
17 returned to the issuing command, and then you would get a new one; is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When you said that sometimes a notebook would be misplaced or
21 lost, did that mean that the person who did that was supposed to report
22 that to you? And I am talking about your subordinates.
23 A. Yes. That should have been the case.
24 Q. Did you ever face such a situation? And I specifically mean in
25 this period.
1 A. No, I never encountered such a situation.
2 Q. And you also never lost your notebook?
3 A. No, I just don't know where it is.
4 Q. Do you remember if you had handed it over?
5 A. I cannot be positive about it, but if you return a notebook then
6 they would set up a commission who would then burn it. If we are talking
7 about a big unit, there may be one or two or more notebooks. If you have
8 a lot of officers then this wouldn't be archived. Then we have this
9 commission again who took care of those notebooks and destroyed them.
10 Q. Do you perhaps know who set up this commission - for example, if
11 you had received a number of officers from your
12 subordinates [as interpreted] - who set up this commission who was going
13 to destroy or burn those notebooks?
14 A. Well, that was usually done by the Chief of Staff or the
15 operations officer. That would be the person who worked in an office,
16 who would stamp these kind of documents, and that would be then taken out
17 and set on fire.
18 Q. Can you tell me when was this procedure applied? Did it happen
19 immediately after handing over the notebook or did they keep it for a
20 certain time?
21 A. Well, you wouldn't burn one notebook at a time. You would
22 possibly wait for a year or two to collect a certain number of notebooks.
23 Q. Do you remember if these notebooks kept by the officers in your
24 units, were they burned?
25 A. No.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. President, I think it is the time for a
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
4 Colonel Vojnovic, this is the time for our second break. We come
5 back at 12.45. The Court Usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
6 Thank you very much.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.48 p.m.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, while the witness is being brought
12 in, may the record show that Doug Stringer has joined the Prosecution.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. And I want to say that the record should
14 reflect also that Judge Mindua is present again. Thank you.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vojnovic, I am going to show you now a
19 working notebook that we have, and I would kindly ask you that we look at
20 certain parts of that notebook.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] This is Exhibit 27 from our list
22 or, rather, Exhibit 503.
23 Q. It is turned around. We can see the front page or the cover
24 page. Is this the way how this operational notebook looked like, the
25 front page and the back page?
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move to the last page,
4 Q. It says here a clause on the number of pages, and it reads:
5 [As read] "This working notebook contains 100 (written out 100
6 pages numbered 1- to 200) and entered into the list of issued notebooks
7 under the number," and then we have the signature of the officer.
8 My question is: Is this the usual clause that was printed at the
9 end of each notebook?
10 A. Yes. That is the standard notebook that all the officers had.
11 Some were larger in size, some were smaller, but this is what is written
12 out in each and every one of them.
13 Q. If we look at page 2 of this notebook.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have it.
15 Q. We can see that there are some blanks like reference number, type
16 of confidentiality, and the degree of confidentiality. And we have the
17 user's name, Dragan Vezmanovic. Can you confirm he was a military police
18 company commander in your unit; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You saw on the last page that there is no reference number for
21 this notebook nor the unit stamp nor the -- the officer's signature, that
22 is, the officer who had issued the notebook. And you also see that the
23 same information is missing from the first page. Can you tell me how it
24 happened that in this specific instance the MP company commander had a
25 notebook that had not been verified and certified in a proper way?
1 A. I cannot explain that. All this information should have been
2 there including the number, and all these other blanks should have been
3 filled properly. Most probably, him being a reserve officer, and when he
4 joined the unit, he was given this notebook in the office that issued it,
5 who failed to fill out these blank spaces. I said that all of these
6 blank spaces should have been filled with the appropriate information.
7 Q. Tell me, is it perhaps possible that this notebook was filled in
8 and the entries made only later?
9 A. Well, it is filled in in sequential order, page by page and date
10 by day. He might have made some entries in advance, but from experience
11 I know that every day when I come to work, I enter a date and then I make
12 notes that relate to that day. So he should have followed the same
13 procedure. You may add something later. But this should have been done
14 on a daily basis. Everything should have been entered regularly every
16 Q. Perhaps I was not clear enough when I asked the question. Is it
17 possible that instead of using his certified workbook, which was filled
18 in and destroyed, was it possible that a different notebook was actually
19 used. When I say "afterwards," I mean after the events at Ovcara --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment --
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. -- and all the trials at the Tribunal?
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- Colonel.
24 Yes, Mr. Demirdjian.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I believe the question calls for
1 speculation. Could it be that this was re-transcribed, we don't know,
2 and I'm not sure the witness can answer the question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot make any claims as to
4 whether this was possible or not. It shouldn't be possible. If all the
5 entries are made sequentially on the pages, perhaps another notebook
6 could be found where further tasks are entered date after date.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. If you look at the left-hand side of the screen, I see the
9 calendar and I see that the years listed here are 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981;
10 in other words, this notebook dates from a period, a decade at least
11 before the events that we are talking about.
12 A. Yes. Well, that's how it's usually done. In that year a large
13 number of notebooks are purchased, not all of them are used up, and then
14 they are simply issued. These are huge batches and, of course, you
15 cannot procure -- you cannot purchase new ones until you have used up all
16 the ones that you already have, and that's how this happens.
17 Q. Did you have a notebook of this kind bearing those dates or,
18 rather, this kind of a calendar with those years?
19 A. Well, I can't tell you that really. I am sure that we did not
20 have the actual -- the current calendar years. All you had to do is to
21 enter the exact date and then take it from there.
22 Q. In your statements and in the course of your testimony, you
23 mentioned the term "area of responsibility." I would like you to tell
24 me, can you define it? What is it, in fact?
25 A. Well, this is an example of irresponsible behaviour because
1 obviously this person did not return the notebook. This is a minor
2 infraction. He was supposed to give the notebook back to his superior
3 because it is said once you have filled in the notebook, you have to
4 return it. Or perhaps it is a major infraction involving failure to
5 carry out some other type of task.
6 Q. I am not sure whether you heard me. I asked you: What is
7 actually an area of responsibility? What is the meaning of the term?
8 A. Oh, yes, yes. I see. I understand. Well, this means that each
9 and every unit in a given situation in the theater of war is assigned a
10 section of the territory defined by four points, four facilities or
11 features, and this is then its area of responsibility. This is the area
12 in which this unit must deal with all the problems, must engage in
13 combat, any kind of task that needs to be done in that area of
14 responsibility is for that unit. Brigades are assigned areas of
15 responsibility, and smaller units - battalion and down - they are
16 assigned sectors.
17 Q. Can you tell me is there a way regulated by the relevant rules in
18 which this area of responsibility is supposed to be secured?
19 A. Well, it's up to the command and indeed the commander. It is
20 secured by the deployment of the units. You have to establish control of
21 the territory by deploying your units. Units go out on patrols, sentries
22 are set up, reconnaissance activities are carried out, and so on.
23 Q. Can you tell me now, what was the area of responsibility of your
24 unit in the period after the liberation or the fall of Vukovar? Whatever
25 you want to call it. So after the 18th of November, 1991, and from that
1 point in time onwards?
2 A. Well, I can't really specify all the locations because you get it
3 on the map. It is plotted onto a map which is part of the commander's
4 decision. It is drawn in felt-tip pens, and also you have the command
5 post of the superior command, of your command, of the subordinate
6 commands, the adjacent units, and so on. Everything is defined there.
7 Q. Can you tell me then whether your area of responsibility, the
8 area of responsibility of the 80th Brigade, included Ovcara among other
10 A. I did not understand what you said.
11 Q. I am asking you if the area of responsibility of the 80th
12 Motorised Brigade included Ovcara as in the village of Ovcara?
13 A. Yes. It was there and it was assigned to my unit, but later on
14 it was taken away from my unit, from me, because the area of
15 responsibility is defined by the superior commander. And in line with
16 the rules, no one can enter your area of responsibility without your
17 express approval and knowledge with the exception of the superior
18 commander. That would be the person who actually assigned the area to
19 you. In this case, that was the commander of the operational area south.
20 They or he could enter each and every sector he wanted and to set up a
21 position there and I, as a commander, could not do anything about it.
22 Q. Now I would like us to clarify this. You say that this unit --
23 this area was given to you and then taken away from you.
24 A. Yes. The moment they entered the Ovcara, the hangar sector with
25 their own commanding officers, with their own soldiers, they took that
1 position and that was from that moment on their sector and they were
2 responsible for it. They assumed all the responsibility. They had to
3 perform all the duties, all the obligations, and also all the risks.
4 Q. Let me just analyse this a bit further. You said that the
5 commander or whoever it was that assigned this area of responsibility to
6 you could enter the area at will without anyone's approval.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. But the way I understand it, the commander never entered this
9 area of responsibility. In fact, some other people did.
10 A. Yes, yes, but his officers were there. His Chief of Staff was
11 there, his security officer was there. His assistant for morale was
12 there as well. So that doesn't mean that he's not responsible for it.
13 Q. Are you trying to tell us that all those officers or soldiers
14 from the superior command could enter the area of responsibility without
15 notifying you?
16 A. No. Only superior officers could enter the area. Not just
17 anyone from the brigade command. It was part of the OG South command
18 that was located there. They were my superior command and there was some
19 really high-ranking and responsible commanders; as I said, the
20 Chief of Staff, the security officer, the assistants and so on.
21 Q. Just to make it clear, can you please give us their names?
22 A. The Chief of Staff was Lieutenant-Colonel Miodrag Panic, he was
23 later promoted to general; the security chief was -- in fact, the deputy
24 security chief was the one that I saw there, Vukasinovic,
25 Major Ljubisa Vukasinovic; and there was a colonel who was in charge of
1 morale, I don't know his name, but I knew that he was there. I went back
2 with the colonel. Now, I don't know whether he was the one or not. I
3 couldn't really tell you. Well, I saw later on -- or, rather, I didn't
4 see him, but I knew that he was there, Captain First-Class
5 Karanfilov [phoen], and there were some other people there. I am sure
6 that the people I have named were there.
7 Q. Would you mind repeating the name of that captain first-class.
8 A. Karanfilov. I don't know his first name.
9 Q. When you saw those officers there, you also saw a mass of
10 civilians. I understand why you felt that those officers were entitled
11 to enter into your area of responsibility, but why did you allow the
12 civilians to enter? You said that some of them were even armed. They
13 were not personnel of the OG South of your superior command.
14 A. This entire operation was led by some officers from OG South and
15 they were present there, so the highest-ranking officers with the
16 greatest deal of responsibility and authority. And I could not ask any
17 questions because they were either -- they either outranked me or were at
18 the same rank as I did. They brought those people in. I didn't know who
19 they were. I said that there were people dressed in all kinds of
20 clothes, mix and match, military shirts or shoes or hospital gowns paired
21 with military boots, and so on.
22 Q. When I said that there were civilians there, I did not mean the
23 prisoners. I meant the other civilians, the ones that you said attacked
24 you, caused commotion and that they mistreated the prisoners, and so on.
25 A. No, I --
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we have a reference for the witness ever
2 saying that there were civilians there? I don't recall him using the
3 word "civilians" with respect to the non-JNA persons who were present
4 when he arrived.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: He has described. That's right. I'll clarify it
6 with the witness.
7 Q. [Interpretation] You saw some people who mistreated the
8 prisoners. You described in your statement how they had to run the
9 gauntlet. You described the situation in the hangar. Can you now tell
10 us your opinion? Well, I'm now asking you about the people who actually
11 mistreated the prisoners. Did you consider them to be members of the
12 unit that was part of the OG South?
13 A. I did not see the officers from the OG South until I entered the
14 hangar, and men who lined up in front of the hangar wore uniforms and
15 they appeared to me to be members of the Territorial Defence. The
16 civilians were getting off the buses and they were passing through this
17 gauntlet, actually. I saw the civilians enter the hangar. And as I
18 said, they had all kinds of clothes, military and civilian. So it was a
19 mix and match situation.
20 Q. Now I would like to hear from you whether you considered them to
21 be civilians or members of the units that had accompanied the officers
22 that you saw there on the site?
23 A. I did not consider them to be civilians. They were people in
24 uniform carrying arms standing in front of the hangar. I don't know how
25 they came to be there, whether they accompanied anyone or what. They
1 were just there.
2 Q. That's precisely why I'm asking you this. You, as the commander,
3 and those people entered your area of responsibility. You see those
4 people there. You see what they are doing. Did you do anything to have
5 them removed because you didn't know who they belonged to. They wore
6 uniforms, that is a fact, but it didn't mean a lot in any way and they
7 were rank-and-file soldiers and you are an officer.
8 A. Well, first of all, I took measures to prevent them from beating
9 and abusing the prisoners. Together with my officers I protected myself
10 and the two soldiers, that was just as they were getting in. I entered
11 the hangar and I saw an officer there from the OG South. He was really
12 the high-ranking officer -- the highest ranking officer in the security
13 service of the OG South, and I asked him, "Who are these people?" He
14 said, "Those were the people from the hospital." And I couldn't do much
15 more than that. And I really couldn't ask him any further questions
16 because I didn't know what his task was, what these people were doing,
17 and he told me then that those people had come from the hospital.
18 There were other officers from the command with him including the
19 Chief of Staff, so really, I mean, I didn't see the Chief of Staff
20 because he was standing by the hangar to the side. And there was another
21 officer, assistant commander, standing by the side lines just observing
22 the things. I -- when I came there, I risked my own life and limb to
23 protect the people because I felt it was the right thing.
24 Q. The officer that you saw inside the hangar, was his name
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What rank did he have?
3 A. He was a major at the time.
4 Q. And he was subordinated to Major Sljivancanin, I think?
5 A. I think so too. Anyway, he was part of the OG South security
7 Q. And you don't know who was the chief of security of OG South?
8 A. Major Sljivancanin.
9 Q. Except for asking him where those people had come from, and I
10 suppose you meant the prisoners, did you talk with Vukasinovic about
11 anything else?
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. Did you ask him who the people who were beating the prisoners
15 A. No, because I saw those people. He was inside but I don't know
16 if he, himself, saw it or not and how long he stayed inside. But most of
17 the people were already inside when I arrived and when I saw them.
18 Perhaps an additional one or two buses arrived. One of them was already
19 leaving. So the people from the bus ran the gauntlet, and once this
20 process of entering the hangar was over I went inside. I saw a group of
21 soldiers, I saw the prisoners, I told you how they were dressed. Some
22 were sitting on the side. Some were standing in groups and talking
23 amongst themselves. And then I asked Vukasinovic the question I asked,
24 and he gave me the answer I told you. I was happy to see him there and I
25 was happy that he was aware of what was going on and what his task was,
1 and I thought it wasn't my place to ask him any further questions. All I
2 wanted to know was where those people had come from.
3 Q. Let us clarify a bit the answer that you have given me. You said
4 that he was inside and that you don't know if the prisoners were beaten
5 or not.
6 A. I don't know. I didn't ask him that. I only asked him where
7 those people had come from. I didn't say the word "prisoners" because I
8 didn't know the definition of who these people were. I just asked who
9 are these people and he said the prisoners from the hospital. That's the
10 first time that I saw those people, those prisoners being maltreated.
11 Q. Now I'm interested in the following: Why didn't you tell him
12 about what you had seen? You had seen these people being beaten up and
13 maltreated by some people in uniforms or partial uniforms. Why didn't
14 you inform him or why didn't you ask him, "Who are theses people? Who
15 are beating people" outside the hangar?
16 A. No, I didn't ask him. I only informed my commander. When I
17 arrived, when the soldiers entered the hangar, I left. I went to see my
18 commander and gave him the account of what I had seen. And I told him
19 that people were being beaten up, were maltreated, et cetera, while they
20 were entering the hangar and it was about 10 or 15 metres before they
21 reached the door, and they were beaten with everything they could get
22 hold of. They were kicked and punched and beaten up with rifle butts.
23 Q. Why didn't you tell Vukasinovic anything about this? He -- it
24 took some time for you to reach him?
25 A. Well, I'm not going to deny that I never asked him --
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Colonel, would you please not speak while
2 Mr. Zivanovic is still speaking and preferably have a little pause
3 between the two of you so that the interpreters can follow. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please go ahead.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You said today that you and Vukasinovic were inside the hangar
8 and that you saw a group of people dressed in M77 military uniforms. Can
9 you tell us something about M77 uniforms? What does that mean, M77?
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, before we go to that answer, I --
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yeah, yeah.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: When I interfered I interrupted the witness, and
13 he answered your previous -- or he started answering your previous
14 question why he didn't tell Vukasinovic anything about what was happening
15 outside, and the witness started to answer saying:
16 "Well, I'm not going to deny that I never asked him ..."
17 And then I stopped him.
18 So now I would ask you, Colonel, to continue what you were --
19 what you planned to tell us.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. What I wanted to say was that
21 I wasn't sure if I told him that the soldiers outside were being
22 maltreated. I cannot say that for sure. But I don't believe that under
23 such circumstances I failed to mention this to me [as interpreted]. And,
24 on the other hand, I am sure he did indeed know about that, as well as
25 his Chief of Staff who was standing outside the hangar and whom I saw
1 only later.
2 Q. You said that you were not sure about telling him that the
3 soldiers outside the hangar were being maltreated. Is that what you
4 wanted to say? I know that you said that in Serbian and that's how it
5 was interpreted.
6 A. No, not soldiers. The prisoners. The people who were getting
7 off the buses.
8 Q. Well, if you're not sure, did you ask him - but probably you
9 don't remember the answer that he'd given you if you asked him.
10 A. I did not debate this issue with him for a long time. I only
11 asked him, "Who are these people and where do they come from?" That's
12 verbatim what I asked him. And he replied, "These are the people from
13 the hospital." I stayed there for a while longer and then I went to the
14 OG South command post where I briefed my superior about what I had seen
16 Q. Let me ask you this: Weren't you interested why these people
17 were beating the prisoners. Why didn't you ask them why they were doing
19 A. I said that I saw that they knew each other, that they were
20 addressing each other by name, and that they were even using derogatory
21 names in addressing each other. And then when I saw Vukasinovic standing
22 inside, I said that there are people there without any insignia
23 whatsoever, without any caps. I realise that that was all. I had
24 nothing else to do that [as interpreted]. And I decided to go and report
25 it to my commander. And that is when he told me what he told me.
1 Q. Among other things, you said that you saw Vukasinovic surrounded
2 by a group of people dressed in M77 uniforms. Can you explain to us
3 what -- the meaning of M77 uniform?
4 A. Well, that was a new type of uniform that was introduced at the
5 time, different from the old one. If you remember, it was manufactured
6 in 1977 for the purposes of the Yugoslav People's Army. For the
7 officers, it was a working uniform. And for ordinary soldiers, it was a
8 dress uniform. And then it turned into an every day regular uniform.
9 Q. In other words, the number 77 indicates the year of manufacture;
10 is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's what I think. The same applies to the weapons, 48 is
12 1948. You have M-53 and other types of weapons.
13 Q. Now I'm going to put to you your statement or, rather, your
14 testimony given Mrksic case. That was on the 15th of May, 2006.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's Exhibit 4628 and the
16 number 22 on our list. Let us move to page 22. And then it goes on to
17 page 23 in e-court. That's line 22.
18 Q. I'm going to read it out in English and you're going to listen to
19 the interpretation. This is your response:
20 [In English] "I saw a group around Vukasinovic. They were
21 wearing regulation uniforms. They were military personnel. I don't know
22 who they were, but mostly they were all without caps and I didn't know
23 those people. They were all wearing our M-77 military uniform.
24 "Q. And can you just assist us what the M-77 military uniform
25 looks like without going into a fashion statement?
1 "A. That was the standard uniform at the time in the
2 Yugoslav People's Army and was olive-drab shirt and pants. There were
3 boots and at the time we -- it was a cap that we called the Tito cap, as
4 well as a wind-jacket. This is what all the senior officers wore, and
5 these particular officers were wearing all of those things."
6 [Interpretation] Do you remember this evidence that you gave?
7 A. Yes, do I.
8 Q. Can you confirm that this is all correct?
9 A. Yes, I can.
10 Q. When you arrived at Ovcara in the vicinity of the hangar, I think
11 that you saw a couple of buses and you saw the prisoners alighting from
12 the buses. Can you confirm that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Apart from these buses, did you see any other vehicles?
15 A. I saw only one passenger car, Renault 4. It was parked on the
16 side some distance away. And next to it was an officer. He was a thin
17 man, not too tall. He had the rank of colonel. I approached him and
18 asked him what is all this about, what's happening here. Can you help us
19 introduce some order here. He didn't give me any answer at all, just
20 entered his car and left. I didn't know his name.
21 Q. He had a higher rank than you did?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you were lieutenant-colonel at the time?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I know that there is a rule in the military which is part of the
1 rules of service that if an officer is approaching an officer senior in
2 rank, the junior, so to speak, officer should identify himself. Did you
3 do that? Did you tell him your name and what your role there was so that
4 that was your zone of responsibility?
5 A. I can't remember identifying myself, but I saluted him in a
6 military manner and I asked him, "What's happening here?" Now, whether
7 he recognised me and my position, I don't know, but that was the first
8 time that I saw him.
9 Q. Have you ever seen him anywhere else at a later stage?
10 A. No, I haven't.
11 Q. I am not referring only to Vukovar. I mean later.
12 A. No, no. I was reading reports and following the proceedings. I
13 think a name was mentioned but I don't know what his name was.
14 Q. And do you remember what name was mentioned?
15 A. I couldn't really remember. It's at the tip of my tongue, but I
16 can't really remember.
17 Q. And can you tell us to the best of your recollection -- well, you
18 were 46 at the time?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us whether he was older than you were, younger,
21 whether you were of an age? Can you just give us your estimate.
22 A. Well, I think that in addition to being higher than I was in rank
23 that he was also older than I was.
24 Q. And he left after a brief encounter, after what you told him. He
25 left in this Renault car?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you don't remember the colour, the paint colour? Do you
3 remember by any chance?
4 A. I am not sure whether it was red or olive-drab. It was -- I
5 think it was sort of like greenish in colour.
6 Q. And were you able to see if he was alone or if he had some kind
7 of escort, another soldier?
8 A. Well, I saw him standing there on his own. Now perhaps there may
9 have been somebody standing a couple of steps away from him or behind
10 him, I don't know. I didn't see anyone at any rate. So he probably was
11 accompanied by somebody. I don't know if he drove the car. He probably
12 was there with somebody else.
13 Q. Could you please tell me if you saw any military vehicles there,
14 such as the various all terrain vehicles, Pinzgauer or Puch or Kampanjola
16 A. No, no, I didn't see any vehicles there. No, I just saw the
17 buses there.
18 Q. The reason why I am asking you this is because you saw some
19 officers in addition to this colonel. You say that you didn't see some
20 of them but you knew that they were there. I'm assuming that they drove
21 there. I don't suppose that they had come there on the same buses that
22 had brought the prisoners in. So I'm asking you whether you saw any
23 vehicles that they may have used to get there and get back again?
24 A. Well, if I think about those events I was probably much too
25 concerned about the people, so I didn't really pay much attention to
1 vehicles. But they must have got there somehow.
2 Q. So can we then conclude that when you were there in front of the
3 hangar and inside the building that the way I understand it you did not
4 tell the colonel and Major Vukasinovic, "What you are you doing in my
5 area of responsibility? Who are these people? Why have you brought them
6 here? What are you doing to them," and so on?
7 A. I didn't say anything of the sort. I knew who Vukasinovic was,
8 which unit he belonged to. There were some other officers there as well
9 from his command which was superior, and they were -- they outranked me
10 and indeed they outranked him. I assumed that they had a task but I
11 didn't know what the task was.
12 Q. When you say other officers, you mean Panic?
13 A. Panic, the Chief of Staff, Karanfilov. Well, there may have been
14 others, although I didn't see them, because I wasn't really trying to see
15 which officers were actually there.
16 Q. In your statement you say that in addition to having to run the
17 gauntlet and abuse, that the documents were taken off the prisoners.
18 Their identity documents.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you see where the documents were put?
21 A. I think there was some kind of a bag, some kind of a suitcase or
22 something like that where the documents were put. It was an old
23 fashioned bag of this sort. Like a travel bag.
24 Q. Well, as an experienced officer, how did you interpret this fact
25 that documents were taken from those people? Was this the usual
1 procedure? Was this how you always treat the prisoners? Or was this a
2 contravention of the rules?
3 A. Well, I thought that the documents would be used to make lists to
4 determine the identity of the people, to simply take their personnel
5 details, so that those documents would be delivered to somebody who would
6 then check their identity. That's how it should be.
7 Q. In other words, you did not find this unusual?
8 A. No, no. The fact that documents were taken from these people?
9 No, no. I thought that this was the reason why documents were taken away
10 from them.
11 Q. In your statement you say that the day before, if I'm not
12 mistaken, a group of prisoners were also brought to Ovcara and that you
13 secured this group, your personnel from the 80th Brigade, the guards were
14 mostly officers, and that the next day this group was transferred to
15 Sremska Mitrovica?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you please tell me whether documents were taken from those
18 prisoners, too?
19 A. I don't know. I came to the hangar when they were already lined
20 up, a list had been made, and they were taken away after their identity
21 was checked against this list.
22 Q. Do you know who made this list?
23 A. You are talking about the group that was taken to Mitrovica.
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Well, I don't know who made this list. They were brought there.
1 I was told who the commander was - well, I've already told you about that
2 several times - Filip Karaula. He was told how to behave. He said how
3 many of them there were. I don't know whether he made the list. But all
4 we had to do was take receipt of them, so to speak, to secure them
5 overnight, which we did, and the next morning we took them to
6 Sremska Mitrovica.
7 Q. Does that mean that you did not know when the list was made?
8 When they were -- when they arrived there or where it was?
9 A. I don't know whether it was done there or in the sector where
10 they had surrendered. I don't know.
11 Q. At any rate, you don't know that you or any other officers from
12 the 80th Brigade issued any orders to the effect that documents should be
13 taken away from the prisoners?
14 A. That's right. No.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at the work
16 notebook. That's 503. That's page 14 of this workbook or operational
17 book. In fact it's page 15, I think. It's 27 -- page 27 and the ERN
18 number ends with 1291. Next page. Yes. That one. No, I'm sorry. I
19 may have misspoke. I probably have the wrong list. I think we'll need
20 the list that's at page 302.
21 Q. This is the operational book that we have been discussing and now
22 I am talking about the pagination in the notebook itself, so from
23 pages 49 through - just a moment - 65, you have a list containing the
24 names of a large number of people. And they appear to be the prisoners
25 that you are talking about, the ones that were at Ovcara the day before.
1 Could you please tell me -- well, I see that you have the first name,
2 last name, father's name, and the year of birth listed for each and every
3 prisoner, so I want to know whether you knew or had been told about when
4 this list was made?
5 A. No. I just know that they were transported where they were
6 supposed to be transported, that everything went smoothly. There were no
7 complaints. And this was probably done by Vezmarovic who actually
8 secured them. He put those names in the notebook because he had to know
9 the identity of the people that he handed over.
10 Q. Did he report to you that he did this list?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And did you inquire about it?
13 A. No. What I wanted to know was whether everything had gone
14 smoothly, and then when he got back he told me that everything was fine
15 and that he was able to hand-over the same number of people that he had
16 initially taken over.
17 Q. And can you tell me who handed over the prisoners to him or to
18 your unit?
19 A. Those prisoners were handed over to us from an element of the
20 OG South. This group of prisoners was secured and brought to the hangar
21 by Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic. He was a colonel at the time. So he
22 brought them there and he told Filip Karaula, "Now it's up to you to obey
23 these people. Do whatever they tell you." And then Pavkovic left.
24 Q. Did you actually see Nebojsa Pavkovic on that occasion?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And can you tell us what you talked about on that occasion?
2 A. We didn't talk about anything.
3 Q. And how was this hand-over effected if you didn't talk about
5 A. Well, they were brought to the hangar. I don't know how we
6 received notice that we should go there and take-over those prisoners who
7 were in the hangar. I didn't know who had brought them there until I saw
8 Pavkovic. That was the first time. And that's the only thing he
9 actually said to their commander and he left. He didn't even say hello
10 to me.
11 Q. And did any of the people in his escort talk about this issue
12 with any of the officers from your unit; for instance, from the military
13 police company or from the securities organ?
14 A. Well, I don't know. I can't really tell you. I arrived there in
15 the evening. They were already lined up in the hangar. They were
16 standing next to the wall. Then they were allowed to sit down, to have a
18 Q. The reason why I am asking you this is because you say that
19 Vezmarovic told you that he had handed over the same number of people
20 that had been handed over to him, so it has to be noted down somewhere?
21 A. No, that's not what I said. I said that Vezmarovic had handed
22 over those people, that he then had come back and reported to me that
23 everything had gone smoothly. And this notebook, which probably belongs
24 to him, I don't know, I can see that he made a list.
25 Q. Very well. I may have misunderstood you or something else but
1 I'm not going to dwell on this. Well, did Vezmarovic tell you how the
2 hand-over had been effected, whether he left them there in Mitrovica and
3 just turned around and left or whether there was any document there?
4 A. Well, he just got back and he reported to the brigade command
5 that he had handed over the prisoners, that there had been no problems.
6 An entry was made to that effect and that was the end of it. So -- and
7 he just said that he had handed over the same number of people that had
8 been handed over to him.
9 Q. So he did tell you that he had handed over --
10 A. No, no, he did not. I learned the number later. I don't know
11 who told me that or how I learned that. But he did not give me the exact
12 figure. He just said that everything had gone smoothly and that he had
13 handed over the same number of people that he had received. I don't know
14 if he was accompanied by any other officers, but as an officer of the
15 military police it was his duty to do that.
16 Q. You did not ask for any kind of document as proof that this was
17 actually done?
18 A. No. It was enough that it was noted in the war diary and it was
19 indeed confirmed at the briefing that Vezmarovic had handed them over.
20 Vezmarovic reported that in the evening.
21 Q. Now we're not going to be talking about these prisoners but the
22 prisoners that were brought there on the 20th of November. After you
23 left the hangar, you went to attend a briefing with Mrksic, and you said
24 that, among other things -- well, first, he said that you should not
25 mention that to him at all. And later on he said -- he asked you who had
1 sent you there and why you had gone there at all; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Well, did you tell him that you had gone there because it was
4 part of your area of responsibility and that he himself knew that very
5 well because he had assigned it to you in the first place?
6 A. No, because that was not the reason why I went there. I went
7 there from Sotin, from my unit because I wanted to visit an artillery
8 battalion commander who was there in his command post in the village of
9 Ovcara. So that was the only purpose.
10 Q. Yes. That's how I understood it. But I assumed that you went to
11 see the buses at the hangar precisely to see what was going on, and you
12 probably would not have followed each and every bus anywhere, but you did
13 that because this was your area of responsibility.
14 A. At that time I was really stunned to see the buses because I
15 didn't know why they were there. I wanted to see who those people were
16 and I saw those things that I actually described. I -- I'm sorry --
17 Q. Yeah, please go ahead.
18 A. Had I gone in a different direction and if I had headed directly
19 to Vukovar from Sotin, I would not have seen this. I would have learned
20 about it only the next day or even some days afterwards, but I had some
21 time on my hands and I wanted to visit this commander because I wanted to
22 have as much information as I could for the briefing with Mrksic and to
23 report to him, and I reported to him about the things that I saw.
24 Q. Do you know what I find really strange? I find it really strange
25 that Mrksic asked you what you were doing in Ovcara and he knew very well
1 that Ovcara was part of your area of responsibility and that in a way it
2 was only natural for you to tour your area of responsibility and to keep
3 an eye on what was going on.
4 A. What he found strange was the fact that I did not know about the
5 events that were going on. My officers did not know that this thing
6 would happen there and that this task was supposed to be carried out in
7 an organised manner involving as few of other personnel as possible.
8 Only some people -- only a few people were supposed to know, only those
9 who were actually involved, and it was supposed to be kept secret from
10 everybody else including myself and that's why he was asking me this.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. President, I think it is time for a break.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is that time indeed, Mr. Zivanovic.
13 Colonel, this is the end of the hearing of today. We will see
14 you tomorrow morning at 9.00. You are not released as a witness. That
15 means that in the meantime, while you're still on the stand and still a
16 witness, you are not allowed to discuss your testimony with anybody and
17 you cannot talk to any of the parties. Is that understood?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. The Court Usher will escort
20 you out of the courtroom.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
23 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. Good
25 Just to -- so that the Chamber is not taken by surprise tomorrow,
1 you may recall that the witness who is currently testifying was switched
2 when difficulties were encountered getting the necessary authorisations
3 for the witness originally intended, and the result of that is that when
4 the current witness has completed his testimony tomorrow, there will not
5 be another witness available then to continue on. We are short this week
6 because of this -- of having to make that switch, and so I thought I
7 would just bring that to the Chamber's attention at this time rather than
8 so you are not caught by surprise tomorrow.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Stringer. That could be a
10 not-to-unlucky coincidence because tomorrow there is a visit -- the
11 Tribunal has a visit from the president of Germany and that gives us
12 perhaps a little more time. So thank you very much for your information.
13 MR. STRINGER: I should probably add that the -- the issue or the
14 problem encountered that prevented the intended witness from coming has
15 still not been resolved, and we are pushing hard to hopefully get that
16 resolved and identifying potential other witnesses who might be able to
17 come instead if it comes to that, but I -- I -- since I'm doing my
18 mea culpas I should just put it all out there for Your Honours at this
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
21 Court adjourned.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.03 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the
24 30th day of May, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.