1 Tuesday, 3 September 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 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case IT-04-75-T, The Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
13 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours.
14 Matthew Olmsted and Alex Demirdjian for the Prosecution, joined
15 by Thomas Laugel, our Case Manager, and our intern, Simona Onicel.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
19 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 Could the witness be brought in, please. Thank you.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, General. May I remind you that you
24 are still under oath.
25 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Mr. Olmsted, please proceed.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Examination by Mr. Olmsted: [Continued]
5 Q. Good morning, General.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. I would like to return to the issue of Town Commands, which I was
8 asking you questions about when we concluded your testimony yesterday.
9 MR. OLMSTED: And I'd like to bring up on the screen 65 ter 6106.
10 This is tab 187.
11 Q. And this is a 1st Mechanised Corps report to the
12 1st Military District, dated 25 February 1992. And if we turn to the
13 last page. And if we turn to the last page, we'll be able to see that
14 it's submitted by Major-General Mico Delic.
15 And I'd like to draw your attention to page 2 of this report
16 where Major-General Delic reports on a number of objective difficulties
17 faced by the civilian affairs organs, including, and I believe this is
18 the second bullet point, or about midway through the page, he raises the
19 difficulty of the selection of civilian authority organs is the
20 responsibility of the Executive Councils of the government of SAO SBWS;
21 most often -- and municipalities:
22 "Most often these are their people. If we directly involve
23 ourselves in the selection of these people, it would cause
24 dissatisfaction on the part of the government and its institutions, and
25 even the people."
1 General, were the JNA Town Commands permitted to involve
2 themselves in local politics?
3 A. As far as I know, no, they would just make their observations and
4 assessments. This is simply a statement as to what the situation was and
5 that there are difficulties regarding elections of civilian authorities
6 on the ground, so this is just within the context of this being advisory
7 organs rendering some kind of assistance in establishing a system of
8 government and for having all spheres of life start functioning on the
10 If certain checks were made though and if they had some
11 information about certain persons who would not exactly be eligible to
12 hold a particular post, they could have passed that on, but it wasn't in
13 their hands to decide who it would be.
14 Q. And who would they pass that information on to?
15 A. Well, specifically regarding the situation and problems with
16 establishing civilian government, it's send to the -- from the corps to
17 the 1st Military District, and in the 1st Military District there was a
18 special organ that was in charge of these problems regarding
19 Town Commands and then that report would be sent to them. If there would
20 be some problems in their functioning, they were actually not in charge
21 of resolving disputes and passing judgement. Their reports were sent to
22 the Command of the Military District and then, according to those
23 instructions, they were supposed to inform the government of Serbia about
24 that, and then the government of Serbia would exercise influence
25 vis-a-vis the organs of government in the territory of the SBWS. That's
1 why some of these problems are being indicated here, described.
2 Q. Why was the selection of civilian authority organs causing
3 problems in the SBWS in early 1992?
4 A. Well, I saw some of these reports from different levels, from
5 brigade level to the level of corps. The problem boils down to the
6 following: On the one hand, in certain areas, the population itself
7 opposed the functioning of these authorities. In such reports, it was
8 indicated that there were still quite a few Croats in particular areas,
9 and they distanced themselves from these activities. They didn't want to
10 take part.
11 Also, there was resistance on the part of others because they
12 disagreed with certain candidates who were supposed to hold a particular
13 position in their territory. So then there was this tacit obstruction,
14 if you will. I saw such reports coming from lower levels.
15 Also, there were objections to the effect that there were
16 different personal connections involved, in terms of who would hold which
17 particular office. This was not characteristic only of the situation in
18 the SBWS, but it's characteristic of areas beyond that in Serbia.
19 Q. Just to clarify your last answer, General, you just testified
20 that in such reports it was indicated:
21 "... that there were still quite a few Croats in particular
22 areas, and they distanced themselves from these activities."
23 Who was distancing themselves from these activities, and what
24 were these activities?
25 A. Specifically in one report - I don't know whether it was from the
1 2nd Brigade of the corps - they indicated that Croats did not want to
2 take part in the these activities regarding the appointment of particular
3 organs, their functioning, et cetera, and, generally speaking, that they
4 are resisting the whole effort.
5 This was a particular town - I cannot remember exactly which one
6 it was - where quite a few Croats were still left. Maybe it was Ilok.
7 That's just an assumption, but I know that quite a few Croats did remain
8 in Ilok, for instance.
9 In that situation, although they were a minority, they were
10 rather restrained and they probably did not want to take part in these
11 activities. I assume that some elections were held there, that it wasn't
12 only appointments.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It seems that the words of the witness were not
15 accurately translated as to Ilok. He said that many Croats left in Ilok.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you clarify with the witness, Mr. Olmsted.
17 MR. OLMSTED: Certainly.
18 Q. The -- General, the transcript reads that there were quite a few
19 Croats still left in Ilok. Is that what you testified to?
20 A. No. I said what the gentleman, the attorney, said in his
21 objection. In Ilok, in relation to some other places that I know about,
22 many Croats were left because, from the very beginning, the army played a
23 role there. They wanted to keep the situation as it was.
24 Let me not speak at great length about this now. There were some
25 people from Ilok who left with their weapons, but many returned their
1 weapons and stayed in Ilok.
2 Q. And those that stayed in Ilok, what was happening to them in --
3 in early 1992 that caused problems with regard to them?
4 A. I don't know about specific problems that occurred there. But
5 there were some because on the other side is Backa Palanka, as far as I
6 know. There were attempts made to intimidate some of them so that they'd
7 leave the territory. I know that something happened in relation to the
8 local priest in Ilok. So this was the later stage.
9 Pressure was brought to bear against some of them so that they'd
10 leave the territory. I don't have precise information about this, and I
11 cannot speak about it now, but I am aware of the phenomenon.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2950, Your Honours.
15 MR. OLMSTED:
16 Q. General, I just want to look at one more of these
17 Town Command-related documents.
18 MR. OLMSTED: This is 65 ter 6177. It's tab 200.
19 Q. And this is a -- an assessment by the 1st Mechanised
20 Corps Command sent to the 1st Military District organ for civilian
21 affairs dated 20 April 1992. And if we take a look at the last page, we
22 see that it's sent by Colonel Novica Gusic. And I would like to draw
23 your attention to page 1 of this assessment, page 2 in the English
25 And if we look under item 1, we see much like General Delic,
1 Colonel Gusic is listing a number of problems that they are encountering,
2 and I want to draw your attention, in particular, to item (e) which in
3 the English version is towards the bottom, as well as in the original
5 And under (e), Colonel Gusic lists as a problem that:
6 "In the area of Vukovar and Mirkovci municipalities, the SUP has
7 not ensured the protection of personal and social property or full safety
8 of the people through its professional and executive organs for public
9 security. Moreover, it showed no desire to co-operate with this Command
10 in resolving recruitment and the provision of equipment to police units."
11 General, if the local police refused to co-operate with the JNA
12 Town Commands, what recourse did the JNA have?
13 A. Well, they did what can be seen from the previous two documents.
14 They would report to a higher organ. They were not in charge of
15 resolving the problem by any kind of force. If police -- police stations
16 could not be established, they could not issue a decree or engage in any
17 other activity to appoint the people they wanted to have appointed. They
18 would report to their superiors and that would go all the way up to the
19 command to the Military District, or I don't know -- was already in the
20 army command. I have already explained the army command. Now whether
21 they communicated with the government of the SBWS, then if they could not
22 resolve the problem there, according to General Pujic's instructions,
23 then the army command would resolve that with the government of Serbia,
24 that level. And then by political means this problem would be resolved.
25 So the army was not in charge of establishing any kind of authorities by
2 If no result would be achieved, then they would report to their
3 superior command and then that would go all the way up to the government
4 of Serbia, ultimately.
5 Q. Do you know how the -- the local government, the government of
6 SBWS, would respond to these types of problems when they were raised by
7 the military?
8 A. I don't know. Otherwise, in operative terms, I was not involved
9 in these activities because this is not within the purview of the
10 security organs.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence,
12 Your Honours.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2951, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. General, under the Vance Plan, who had the responsibility to
18 demobilise and disarm the non-JNA armed elements in the RSK?
19 A. In general terms, I know what was regulated by the Vance Plan.
20 That is to say, demilitarisation was supposed to take place in the zones
21 where combat activities had been taking place. That is to say, to
22 disband armed units and to have weapons and the equipment of the
23 Territorial Defence placed in storage, double key, the JNA should leave
24 that area.
25 As for these armed units, only the police - milicija - could stay
1 on, and the army was supposed to be on the ready, in a way, if the other
2 side violates the agreement, if there are any incursions coming from the
3 other side. So they would protect the population.
4 Now who was in charge? Everybody was in charge of their own
5 units. The Territorial Defence was supposed to demobilise and disarm
6 their own units. They had the obligation to fully man the new TO units,
7 according to war establishment, or -- we had a meeting. I think it was
8 sometime in April. Maybe we were in Plitvice or somewhere over there,
9 together with the MUP organs and the organs of the Krajina. That is
10 where everything that was needed by this Territorial Defence was taken
11 care of, units, et cetera. The army gave its equipment, weapons, so that
12 they would be fully armed, equipped, but that all this should be in
13 storage in case of an emergency. So everybody had their own obligations.
14 The army was supposed to withdraw and before that to help the local
15 organs establish these units of Territorial Defence and also in materiel
16 terms, to help them. And then the army was supposed to withdraw. And I
17 think that the Territorial Defence also did what they were supposed to do
18 in relation to the units that been armed up until then.
19 Q. Let me show you a document. 65 ter 6174. This is tab 199.
20 Sir, this is a 1st Military District document addressed to the
21 Command of the 1st Mechanised, I believe, Corps, and the 12th Corps and
22 it's dated 13 April 1992. And I'd like to draw your attention to item
23 number 1, which states:
24 "With regard to all questions concerning the situation in the
25 territory outside JNA units and their activity, European Community
1 observers should co-ordinate their plans to assess the situation with the
2 government of the Serbian District of Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and
3 Western Srem, but even then they should be accompanied by a liaison
5 General, can you tell us, why is the JNA making this distinction
6 with regard to who is responsible for co-ordinating the plans with the
7 European Commission observers?
8 A. Well, this is the first time I see this document, but I can
9 assume that it only acts as a reminder in terms of who was in charge of
10 what. The authorities in the territory have their own responsibility for
11 the work that is supposed to be carried out. I cannot give a more
12 detailed comment because I'm not aware of this, and I did not take part
13 in this activity.
14 Q. And I understand that. But is this consistent with what you
15 understood were the respective roles of the JNA versus the role of the
16 local authority with regard to issues regarding disarmament and
18 A. Oh, that's clear. I said who was supposed to disarm. They
19 disarmed their own units, that is to say the units of the
20 Territorial Defence that they have. The army reports about how a
21 particular process is evolving in an area where they are so that the
22 command would be kept abreast of what was happening. So there's nothing
23 controversial here. I have nothing to add to that.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
1 Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would object because the witness clearly said
3 that he doesn't know anything about it.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, it's consistent with what he was
6 testifying about with regard to obligations under the Vance Plan, with
7 regard to demobilising and demilitarising, with regard to the roles of
8 the JNA versus the role of the local authorities. And he was able to
9 provide some comment on this, and we would tender it at this time.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I think this document is not related to
12 MR. OLMSTED: Well, Your Honours, that's an issue for argument, I
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Overruled.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2952, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. OLMSTED:
18 Q. And, finally, General, and very quickly, I want to return to the
19 issue of crimes in Vukovar after its fall.
20 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could have on the screen, 65 ter 5127.
21 This is tab 152.
22 Q. This is a letter from the British Medical Association to
23 General Kadijevic dated 9 December 1991. The signature at the bottom has
24 been redacted because this document has -- is subject to some protective
1 But let me ask you, the contents deal with persons missing from
2 the Vukovar Hospital after the fall of Vukovar. Could you tell us, in
3 December 1991 or early 1992, were you aware that persons from the
4 Vukovar Hospital were missing after the fall of Vukovar?
5 A. No, I was not. I know that there were quite a few wounded
6 persons from the Vukovar Hospital at the collection centre in
7 Sremska Mitrovica and that part of the seriously wounded persons were
8 treated at the VMA, the Military Medical Academy and other medical
9 institutions of the military in Novi Sad.
10 Q. As head of the Security Administration, if you were informed of
11 this issue of missing persons from the Vukovar Hospital, what measures
12 would you have taken?
13 A. This is referred to rather non-specifically. If it says that
14 several persons are missing, then a list should be made as to who these
15 persons who are missing are. This is a rather generalised assessment
16 which is basically incorrect. I think that over 100 wounded persons,
17 persons who were receiving medical treatment, had been evacuated, and I
18 know that they were treated at the VMA and the military hospital in
19 Sarajevo, and in the collection centre itself there were infirmaries
20 where they were treated.
21 This was provided by some, as far as I could interpret this, some
22 group of doctors, some British Medical Association. I see that they are
23 addressing probably General Kadijevic? I don't know who they are
24 addressing. Yes. It is General Kadijevic. I never heard at a single
25 meeting that this question was particularly pointed out and discussed,
1 perhaps because all of these organisations that at the time came to this
2 area and followed the situation, what was going on in Yugoslavia, for the
3 most part, raised problems only from one side, from one angle. We have
4 no information that they indicated such problems in relation to the Serb
5 side. I assume that with regard to these objections, that are rather
6 one-sided in general, they did not even receive an answer. It just says
7 that these persons are missing.
8 In collection centres, there were persons, including persons from
9 the Vukovar Hospital, who were doctors. That just confirms what I've
10 said so far. We did not have any information to the effect that some of
11 the wounded from the hospital had gone missing. They were transferred,
12 some of them to Croatia, some of them to Serbia, or, rather, collection
13 centres there.
14 Q. Just clarification in your last answer. You said that some of
15 the wounded persons were treated at the medical centre in Sarajevo. Is
16 that the correct location?
17 A. No, not Sarajevo. Novi Sad. And the VMA, the
18 Military Medical Academy in Belgrade.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may I tender this into evidence,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: To -- to what end, Mr. Olmsted?
22 MR. OLMSTED: I -- I would like to give my explanations, but I
23 think it would be better outside the presence of the witness.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Then ...
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Before moving on to another topic,
1 I don't know if I've understood correctly.
2 Did the witness answer the question which you've just put to him,
3 Mr. Olmsted? Because you asked him whether as chief of security he was
4 informed about the issue of missing persons at the hospital and what
5 measure would you have taken.
6 I don't know if he answered this specific question. I didn't
7 quite understand the witness's response.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour. I think I should ask the
9 question again.
10 Q. And, General, please, if you could just try to answer it as
11 simply as possible.
12 We understand that you were not aware of this situation where, in
13 this letter, they're reporting about missing persons from
14 Vukovar Hospital. My question to you is simply: Had you been informed
15 of the contents of this letter, that they -- there were a large number of
16 persons missing from the hospital? As head of Security Administration,
17 what actions would you have taken had you had this information?
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It was not the same question as put before that.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Well --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is it.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Nothing wrong with that, Mr. Zivanovic, I would
23 say. If -- if Mr. Olmsted wants to rephrase or focus the question, and
24 Judge Mindua is satisfied with that, what would be the problem?
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. OLMSTED:
2 Q. General, I -- you --
3 A. Let us simplify. I am not aware of the contents of this
4 document. That would be a simple answer to your question. Had I been
5 acquainted with it, although I don't know along which lines I, as a chief
6 of the Security Administration, should have been, but had I been, I would
7 have demanded this organisation to give me a list of names rather than a
8 general statement that somebody had gone missing. In other words, I
9 would have requested more complete information. And based on what I
10 received from them, I would have taken measures of verification and
11 determination of facts.
12 I don't know if I should reply to anything else because,
13 actually, there were two questions. You asked me what I would have done;
14 and the second question, whether I knew of this. No, I did not know of
15 this. But had I known, I would have requested specific information, who
16 went missing, under which circumstances, and what they know about it.
17 But if what's alluded to - if I may comment - are the persons who went
18 missing at Ovcara, they should have stated that. But obviously at that
19 time they themselves didn't know. They may have heard some accounts but
20 they didn't know. The missing persons for them were Vesna Bosanac and
21 Juraj Njavro and, what do I know, maybe five more doctors. They, as a
22 doctors' association, may have been interested in these people. I
23 suppose that in this text these persons are -- are mentioned somewhere.
24 I haven't read all of it.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, just for the record clear, I just --
1 just before Mr. Zivanovic objected, I noted that you added a little bit
2 to the content of the letter. I'm reading, page 14, line 13:
3 "My question to you is simply: Had you been informed of the
4 content of this letter that there were a large number of persons
6 I think the qualification "large" is an addition by yourself;
8 MR. OLMSTED: It's an addition by myself but it is self-evident
9 in the letter because it's talking about -- if you do the math it's not
10 like one or two people, it's many more. And maybe I should have
11 qualified it more is what I meant by large.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Significant number.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may I tender this into evidence.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: This is the letter -- the document we ask you
17 about the reason for tendering and you said you would explain that -- or
18 are we talking about another -- another document?
19 MR. OLMSTED: It's this document, and if -- if -- if I may -- if
20 I can do it outside of the presence of the witness.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: So that will be at a later point in time. Thank
23 Mr. Olmsted, your time is more than up.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Yes. And I apologise for that, Your Honours, and I
25 have no further questions.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
2 Mr. Zivanovic, cross-examination.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vasiljevic, my name is Zoran Zivanovic, and
6 I am Goran Hadzic's Defence attorney in these proceedings. I have read
7 your statement, and I listened to your evidence yesterday and today, and
8 I'll ask you some questions about it.
9 I suppose that you have your statement in front of you; 6444 is
10 the number. If you don't have a hard copy, you will see it on the
11 screen. I'll start with item 4 of your statement where you speak about
12 your military career, especially the latter part, that has to do with
13 your work at the Security Administration of the Federal Secretariat of
14 National defence. I saw that from 1986 to 1988, you were head of the
15 counter-intelligence department. Please tell us whose superior you were
16 at the time? I correct myself. Who -- whose subordinate you were?
17 A. At the time I was subordinate to the chief of the
18 Security Administration, General Ilija Ceranic.
19 Q. From July 1990, you served as deputy head of the
20 Security Administration. Can you tell me who was head at the time?
21 A. Major-General Marko Negovanovic was the head of the
22 administration at the time.
23 Q. In paragraph 5 of your statement, you say that on the
24 16th of June, 1991, you were appointed head of the Security
25 Administration at the Federal Secretariat of National Defence; is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You remained in that position until the 8th of May, 1992.
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. In paragraph 7, you say that you are proud to have been a JNA
6 officer and proud of any other senior officer who chose this profession
7 of his own free will. Given this attitude of yours towards the JNA,
8 which is not difficult to understand, let me ask you to what extent you
9 can be objective in assessing the activities of the JNA in this context,
10 especially if we talk about some things that give rise to a suspicion
11 that crimes were committed?
12 A. I can be objective to the extent I had information of events, and
13 I can be objective due to the time that has elapsed since, and we're
14 talking about almost 20 years. Now I can look at some events from a
16 Q. In a word, I understand your answer to mean that your attitude
17 towards the JNA does not hinder your ability to analyse the events about
18 which you gave evidence.
19 A. In the period after the end of my career and after giving
20 evidence, my attitude has not changed significantly. I may have changed
21 my opinion when I learned of some things ten or 15 years after they
22 happened, but when I gave my statement, I gave it on the basis of the
23 information that I had. I don't mean any subsequent corrections. But,
24 in principle, my attitude remains unchanged. This especially pertains to
25 the breaking up of Yugoslavia. In the period from around 1990 until --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the General repeat the latter year,
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry --
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Vasiljevic, could you repeat the year you
5 mentioned? From around 1990 until?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In paragraph 8, you mentioned some proceedings conducted in
10 Croatia against you. So let me ask you if that fact affects your ability
11 to objectively assess the events?
12 A. No. My opinions when I was in active service and later when I
13 retired, and so on, has remained unchanged. There is no reason for me to
14 change my opinion, and that does not depend on what they allege in their
15 indictment. Why should I change my opinion? I gave their prosecutor
16 replies twice at the War Crimes Court in Belgrade, and I didn't change
17 anything essential before or after that.
18 Q. Let us be a bit clearer. I did not ask you whether you changed
19 your opinion but to what extent your opinion, your attitude, your way of
20 thinking, or your conclusions about some things, can be objective in the
21 context of these two things I have just mentioned: Your emotional
22 attitude toward the JNA, on the one hand; and the fact that there are
23 proceedings against you in Croatia, on the other.
24 A. That didn't influence me at all. Due to these proceedings, I was
25 in the position to review some archive documents. But if you're alluding
1 to the possibility that my statement is affected by the fact that
2 proceedings are conducted against me in Croatia, you can rest assured
3 that this is not the case.
4 Q. We have some information here that round about 2001 or 2002, a
5 commission was established by the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
6 and the Federal Secretariat of National Defence for co-operation with the
7 ICTY. It was on the 26th of March, 2001.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see D79, please.
9 Q. [Interpretation] My question is: Do you know of the
10 establishment of this commission?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us what you know?
13 A. That commission was established - I know that - and it was to
14 provide assistance to witnesses and defendants in proceedings. Let me
15 explain so as not to beat about the bush and waste time. I learned of
16 the indictment against Milosevic when it was published in the media. The
17 persons suspected of participating in a joint criminal enterprise were
18 another four generals, one of whom is me. Although I was a pensioner, I
19 reported to the Security Administration because I do have some duties
20 with regard to the institution I worked for. I reported to be
21 interviewed, but they said that there was no need for that. So -- and I
22 contacted the office of the ICTY of my own accord. They interviewed me,
23 and I informed the general in charge who was a member of that commission
24 of what had happened.
25 I also wrote a report -- actually, I dictated it to a
1 non-commissioned officer who put it on paper. After that, I contacted
2 the Security Administration to inform them because that's where I had
3 served, but they replied that they had already been informed by that
4 commission. And I was angry at that man from the commission to whom I
5 had reported because he was also a security organ at his time. He was
6 even my superior for a while because he didn't tell me he would do so.
7 I encountered resistance. Everybody who wanted to speak out
8 openly about what had happened encountered resistance from -- from within
9 the commission that some things -- that it wasn't necessary to speak out
10 about some things.
11 So that's what I wanted to say.
12 Apart from that, I never set any conditions to ICTY personnel who
13 wanted to talk to me. I never demanded to be taken off the list, and
14 even now I don't know if I've been taken off or not. I gave a witness
15 statement and a statement as a possible suspect, but even if I had been
16 indicted I would have said the same thing.
17 Q. I understood you to say that you were indicted together with
18 Milosevic, but --
19 A. No, no, no. I didn't say that I had been accused. I'm sure that
20 all four generals had been indicted if I had not volunteered to be
21 interviewed and given a lot of information to clarify the circumstances.
22 And, as far as I know, none of us four were indicted. We were suspects,
23 but so were many others, I think.
24 Q. Apart from this contact with the commission that you've just
25 mentioned, did you have any other contacts with them?
1 A. With the commission?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. No, there was no need. I contacted them and they asked me if I
4 wanted to be a witness, and I accepted. And I told the people from the
5 commission that I would testify. But that required the lifting of my
6 obligation to keep secrets. That was in 2002, and the procedure
7 preceding my evidence drew on, and somebody intervened, I think. Then I
8 was invited to be interviewed by the head of that federal commission,
9 where I explained what I had gone through because I was not informed that
10 I was on the list for interrogation about the events at Ovcara. That was
11 in 1997 or 1998.
12 From the Belgrade War Crimes Court, they asked me if my
13 administration or the General Staff had informed me that I was one of the
14 persons to be questioned about the crimes at Ovcara, but they wouldn't
15 tell me that at the Security Administration.
16 Let me explain. I believe that you are familiar with the
17 situation. In 1992, on the 8th of May, I retired. There was a group
18 of -- a total of 70 generals who retired then. I went to see Milosevic
19 on the 5th of March, 1992, for the first time. I spoke about that at the
20 trial, what the purpose of that meeting was, so I needn't go into that.
21 And I was being shoved aside all the time. Because I'm a frank man I
22 know that people are looking -- people are watching and listening. I
23 have nothing to hide. That's why I acted the way I did, and perhaps I
24 will be convicted if I'm -- if I ever find myself in that situation.
25 So feel free ask me any questions you want that had to do with
1 this case.
2 Q. I want to ask you something else about the work of this
3 commission. Please take a look at another exhibit, D80.
4 It's an analysis of the trial before the Tribunal. It is rather
5 comprehensive. We don't have to go through all of it. But let's take a
6 look at the last page -- actually, the last paragraph of this report.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, I don't mean that. In the
8 English version, this is the page.
9 Q. It's just the last paragraph where the commission says:
10 "Continue with the preparation of the accused, suspects and
11 potential witnesses before The Hague Tribunal, focussing on the officers
12 in the so-called Operation Dubrovnik ... Operation Vukovar (three
13 persons, Kosovo and Metohija), the officers suspected in connection with
14 the war in Croatia."
15 And among others your name is mentioned too. I would like to
16 know if at least as far as you're concerned what is mentioned here is
18 A. Yes, it is. But it is not true that I was informed of it or that
19 anybody proofed me. Because who can proof me? I was head of the
20 Security Administration. I could proof them concerning these things.
21 How can they proof them -- how can they proof me and in what way? So
22 they didn't, nor was I informed of this.
23 I can't see the name because it is blurred but I suppose that
24 General Terzic signed this. He was -- had a lower rank and fewer years
25 of service than I, so he couldn't have known everything that I know. He
1 couldn't prepare me. I don't know if others were prepared. I was not.
2 Q. There is something that is striking in the beginning of this
3 paragraph. It says, "Continue with the preparation of," et cetera. One
4 gets the impression that these preparations had already taken place and
5 should just continue. But, all right, you've already answered that
6 question. And you say that you were not being prepared by this
8 A. As far as I know, these people - and I was in contact with them -
9 we would see each other even after retirement, at receptions, et cetera,
10 doesn't really matter, in different circumstances. None of them ever
11 told me that they had undergone through these preparations, specifically
12 this Tomislav Simovic. Now why am I saying this? Because
13 Tomislav Simovic responded to the calls of the office of The Hague
14 Tribunal in Belgrade and he engaged a Defence attorney for that, and I
15 said, Why do you need a lawyer? I was also in contact with Zivota Panic.
16 I'm not aware of them having undergone any kind of preparations. Perhaps
17 they were given some assistance.
18 Well, I did that too. If I needed some documents that I knew
19 existed then I would address not this commission, I would address the
20 Security Administration so that they could make it possible for me to
21 obtain these documents, and I do not rule out the possibility that they
22 receive these documents or perhaps that they also gave these documents
23 that somebody was involved in that. They knew about Dubrovnik. Somebody
24 would collect everything about Dubrovnik and then they say, Here it is,
25 everything about Dubrovnik.
1 Admiral Jokic is not mentioned here and he was one of the person
2 who was being prepared in the sense of giving him access to documents
3 regarding the Dubrovnik operation.
4 I believe that preparation is not an adequate word, perhaps to be
5 given assistance in their preparations, in my preparations, et cetera.
6 It is in my interest to get the materials I need.
7 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 9 of your statement, you said that the
8 eight-member Presidency consisted of a representative from, et cetera,
9 et cetera, and then in 1991 and 1992 you said that you attended three to
10 four meetings between members of the SFRY Presidency and the SSNO. That
11 is paragraph 9 of your statement. You can probably take a look.
12 Now I'd be interested in the following: Was this a meeting of
13 the Presidency or individual members of the Presidency with --
14 A. The SSNO.
15 Q. Yes. The Federal Secretariat for National Defence.
16 A. I attended twice a meeting of the federal council for the
17 protection of the constitutional order that was chaired by Mr. Boro Jovic
18 in the building of the Federal Executive Council with General Kadijevic.
19 So these were meetings where we went, where I went, to these federal
21 There was a meeting -- as far as I know, there were two meetings.
22 Now if I can remember correctly one was on 4th December, 1991. By then,
23 the Presidency was no longer complete. It was the so-called rump
24 Presidency consisting of Bora Jovic, Bulatovic, Milosevic, and they came
25 to the Federal Secretariat for National Defence. There must have been
1 ten other generals present there, but the four of them came to this
2 meeting at the SSNO.
3 Q. When you say "the rump Presidency," tell me, while you were chief
4 of the Security Administration, that is to say, the 16th of June, 1991,
5 until May 1992, was it always that, as you put it, the rump Presidency?
6 A. No. No, it was complete. Up until the 30th of June. Until the
7 Slovenian situation started.
8 The first problem was that Mr. Stipe Mesic was not elected and
9 verified at the Presidency session. I think that was the
10 15th of May, 1991. And then the Presidency functioned without him.
11 Q. But at that time you were not the chief of security yet.
12 A. I was, I was. The 15th of -- oh. The 15th of May. Fine, yes, I
13 was deputy chief. I know that I came from Zagreb where the investigation
14 was taking place, and he became a member of the Presidency. It was
15 verified at the session that was held on the 30th of June at the
16 insistence of the European Commission that the Presidency had to be
17 completed, and that is why I am saying that the Presidency had to be
18 complete because if it is not complete as the Supreme Commander then it
19 cannot be legal to use the JNA. Who commands the JNA? So on the 30th of
20 June, sometime in the evening he came, and he took over at that session
21 of the council for the protection of the constitutional order. He took
22 over from Boro Jovic.
23 Q. Can you tell us until when this Presidency functioned, including
24 all its members?
25 A. Already before the Slovenian situation, Mr. Drnovsek did not come
1 to attend meetings. That was the case also on the 12th of March, 1991,
2 when he did not come to this session when the introduction of
3 extraordinary measures and the state of emergency of Yugoslavia were
4 being discussed. He was in fact a member of the Presidency but he did
5 not take part in the work of the Presidency. I cannot remember when this
6 happened exactly. It was after the Slovenian situation. They started
7 distancing themselves because of the war conflict in Slovenia, but I
8 cannot give you an exact date.
9 Q. You said that the Presidency was the Supreme Commander of the
10 armed forces at the time. Now this is what I'm interested in: What
11 happens when there is a rump Presidency, as it is usually referred to?
12 A. The position of General Kadijevic was, and we accepted that, was
13 that we always treated the Presidency as the Supreme Commander,
14 regardless of how many member it has. The important thing is that not a
15 single member of the Presidency is prohibited from taking part in its
16 work. Drnovsek does not want to come and attend Presidency sessions but
17 that doesn't mean that Yugoslavia is supposed to fall apart. He had the
18 right to attend sessions of the Presidency and that went for Mr. Mesic
19 and everybody else too. No one was prohibited from doing that. So we
20 respected this other part of the Presidency that continued to function.
21 So this so-called rump Presidency, as people called it, we accepted them
22 as our Supreme Commander.
23 Q. You spoke about the then-Territorial Defence and the system of
24 command and control in the JNA and the Territorial Defence. You invoked
25 certain articles of the Law on All People's Defence and also of the
1 constitution, so this is what I would be interested in: I have the
2 impression that when you talked about the Law on All People's Defence,
3 you did not take into account its amendments that were carried out in
4 May 1991.
5 A. Possibly.
6 Q. I'm going to put a few questions to you in relation to this
7 subject matter, although you are not a lawyer, and you don't have to know
8 all these things, but let me see whether you can confirm this.
9 You see Article 110 of this Law on All People's Defence. I think
10 you saw it. It is mentioned here. It is number 13, according to 65 ter.
11 Among other things -- we're probably going to see it on our screen now.
12 Let us just have the English version too, please.
13 Actually, in your statement, you say, in paragraph 11, that the
14 Presidency's orders to the armed forces were passed through the SSNO.
15 That's what your statement says in paragraph 11. I don't know if you
16 have it there.
17 A. No, no, I haven't brought it.
18 MR. OLMSTED: If Defence counsel would like, I could provide a
19 copy to him.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you very much, Mr. Olmsted.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Paragraph 11, page 5.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. However, I think that what it says here is that the
1 Federal Secretariat does not convey orders of the Presidency but commands
2 the armed forces or, rather, the JNA.
3 A. You're talking about 11?
4 Q. I'm talking about paragraph 11 from your statement. And now what
5 I have here on the screen is Article 110 of the Law on All People's
6 Defence. And it says here:
7 "The Federal Secretary for National Defence shall exercise the
8 duties of command and control of the armed forces ..."
9 And I think that that is different from what you said, conveys
10 orders, passes on orders.
11 A. Where does it say passed on or conveyed?
12 Q. It's the last sentence in your paragraph 11, in your statement.
13 In my version, it is page 5.
14 A. May I be of assistance, although I'm not a lawyer. The key thing
15 was that the Presidency of the SFRY was the Supreme Commander of the
16 armed forces; that is to say, of the JNA and the Territorial Defence. If
17 the Presidency of the SFRY as the Supreme Commander transfers the rights
18 of commanding the armed forces, then the Federal Secretariat can command
19 these forces as a whole. If such authority is not given to him, he
20 cannot command these forces. Now this finesse, whether this was
21 transferred, these orders can be transferred by the Presidency. He
22 cannot command on his own so this entire part that we are discussing,
23 there's always this problem, not at a single moment did the function of
24 the Presidency as the Commander-in-Chief stop regardless of whether there
25 were eight of them or four of them. We accepted this Presidency as the
1 Supreme Command.
2 In my statement, later I said that I did not know whether these
3 powers were transferred by the Presidency to the JNA so that the JNA
4 could command the Territorial Defence too. I assumed that that was the
5 case, but I did not have to know about that because at the command post
6 of the 1st Military District we had General Mandaric, who was the
7 provincial secretary, or rather, the provincial commander of the
8 Territorial Defence of Vojvodina. According to one article from the
9 Law on All People's Defence, Joint Commands can be established precisely
10 in such situations, that is to say when the right to command the armed
11 forces was transferred to the JNA; then it is good for the command post
12 of the Territorial Defence, and the Territorial Defence Staff should be
13 together with the JNA command. And this position goes through my entire
14 statement and the entire situation as it was. Now whether this right was
15 transferred, I don't know. I assume it was because General Kadijevic
16 probably would not have given orders to the Territorial Defence of
17 Vojvodina too, and put them into the command post of the 1st Army.
18 Q. Thank you. I am not going to torment you with these provisions
19 of the law any longer. I am going to go on to these questions that have
20 to do the general structure of the JNA.
21 You said that in 1987 there was a reorganisation, modernisation
22 of the JNA and that out of the existing five Military Districts, three
23 Military Districts were created, and then there was the naval district
24 and there was the air force and special segments, and these areas of
25 responsibility no longer coincided with the territories of the republics.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you say why it was that they no longer coincided with the
3 territories of the republics?
4 A. First of all, there weren't five Military Districts. There were
5 five armies. And that is a significant difference, whether it's a
6 Military District or an army.
7 If it is armies, for the most part but not completely, they
8 mostly coincided with the republican boundaries. Not exactly, but for
9 the most part.
10 The 5th Army, the Zagreb Army did not have command responsibility
11 over Baranja. From Beli Manastir and Osijek, that was in the area of the
12 Sarajevo Army, the 7th Army, where I was. So this was absolutely not
13 done according to republican borders but for the most part it did
14 coincide. And then the headquarters were in the centres of these areas.
15 In 1987, there was this serious reorganisation of the armed
16 forces that you referred to in terms of the modernisation of the command,
17 adequate placement of units in terms of operative and strategic
18 directions. So in terms of strategic directions -- for example, if there
19 is an aggression from the Warsaw Pact there would not be two armies that
20 would be in that zone of operations. That is one of the reasons why
21 reorganisation took place and why areas of responsibility were made
22 bigger. Then it also had to do with the modernisation of the entire
23 system of defence; that is to say that divisions were abolished as the
24 largest units according to establishment. And the system of corps was
25 introduced, and it consisted of brigades, not divisions. But five
1 independent divisions stayed on as separate units.
2 This caused a problem because just before the crisis that started
3 in the 1990s and continued, some areas were objectively empty. There
4 weren't any units in that area. The most characteristic situation for
5 that was Lika, Kordun, Banja, where, for example, there was a partisan
6 division as an element of a force to be reckoned with. And if you
7 noticed in my statement that I believe it didn't really matter that much
8 to you when officers were sent from the SSNO who started reanimating the
9 units that had been abolished beforehand because this area had been
10 sidelined, if I can put it that way, in terms of consideration from which
11 side threats to Yugoslavia came from. However, some republican
12 leaderships reacted to this situation and their commands were taken,
13 although these commands were never theirs, if I can put it that way.
14 However, in a few armies, army commanders were people precisely from that
15 area and when Military Districts were established, then this was no
16 longer the case. Then the commander of the 5th Military District was a
17 Slovene and the headquarters were in Zagreb. The commander of the
18 1st Military District was a Croat, and so on. Some republican
19 leaderships and that preceded subsequent to when it started -- reacted
20 and -- and complained that they were being crippled, and so on. That was
21 a mixture of what the army was doing and the -- and the reactions from
22 political circles.
23 Q. You go on to say that in May 1989 - that's in paragraph 30 of
24 your statement - the Presidency of SFRY decided that all assets from TO
25 warehouses are to be transferred to JNA warehouses.
1 Why was this decision taken at that time?
2 A. I was not with the SSNO at that time. I was commander of a
3 division. Now this is -- I'm not saying this by way of defending myself.
4 The Presidency considered that there was a massive misuse with
5 regard to theft of ammunition and weapons. At Prizren, there was a major
6 incident of this kind. Assets from a warehouse were being sold
7 illegally. The former reason was that there was not adequate security
8 and that this must be protected adequately and it was economically and
9 technically best to put all this into JNA warehouses.
10 But, in 1989, in Kosovo, the state of emergency was proclaimed,
11 and that -- those weapons had to be put under control.
12 What I'm talking about was also publicly discussed. And I must
13 say that in all republics of the former Yugoslavia, and not only in
14 Croatia and Slovenia, weapons were placed under the control of the army
15 in army barracks. Only Slovenia did not fulfil this obligation. In 12
16 municipalities, they did not return these weapons. It was in the region
17 of Gorinsko [phoen].
18 Now was -- were these weapons taken away from the TO? No. The
19 commander of the TO was able to access those weapons, or even lower
20 levels, such as a captain or so, who had the double keys to the
21 warehouse. But he had to inform the commander of the Military District
22 that they were organising an exercise or a brigade of the TO and that
23 they need weapons. And then it went down the hierarchy and were
24 eventually allowed to take these weapons. In other words, the republican
25 TOs were not left without weapons but the access of those -- to those
1 weapons was regulated. General Novoselic, commander of the Croatian TO,
2 upon the pressure and persuasion of General Spegelj refused to hand over
3 those weapons, although he could have taken the weapons out of the
4 warehouse for exercise purposes, and so on. And, subsequently, I believe
5 that his house which was somewhere near Osijek was burned down.
6 Q. Tell me one more thing: When the TO weapons were placed under
7 JNA control, the reorganisation of the army and the reduction of army
8 districts from five to three which triggered negative reactions on the
9 part of some republics, did that forebode an internal conflict in
10 Yugoslavia, which did happen subsequently?
11 A. The situation was not assessed not only from that angle but
12 primarily with regard to what was happening in Europe at the time. The
13 Berlin Wall fell. The Warsaw Pact was breaking up. There was unrest in
14 Romania. The president was removed and later killed. All these factors
15 affected our considerations of what was coming.
16 Internally, the multi-party political system was introduced.
17 Various parties emerged, some of which were extremist parties.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vasiljevic.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I see the clock, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: General, this is the time for our first break.
21 We'll take 30 minutes. Come back at 11.00. The Court Usher will assist
22 you. Thank you.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, we have problems with two of the
3 associated documents, and this is about 65 ter 0249 - let's see - which
4 needs -- do I read the number correctly? 02491, sorry. There is
5 translation lacking. So there needs to be some additional translation
6 for that document.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: You'll take care of that?
9 MR. OLMSTED: Absolutely Your Honours, and I'll look at it during
10 the break.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: And this is another one, and that is 02929 which
12 is unclear. And when we say unclear, we mean unclear in the literal
13 sense. You'll take care of that as well?
14 MR. OLMSTED: We'll take care of that as well. Thank you,
15 Your Honour.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
17 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic, please proceed.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vasiljevic, I will continue where I left off
20 with my last question, and I'm sure you can recall it. So my question
21 was this: Did these restructuring measures within the army - not to
22 repeat now the type of measures because you know of that - and the
23 placement of the TO weapons under military control, were they, in a
24 manner of speaking, motivated by the desire to diminish the threat of
25 armed conflict?
1 A. Yes.
23 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now be shown Exhibit 19,
23 please, and this is the document I just mentioned, the rules of service.
24 Q. I will ask you to clarify a couple of things that we can see in
25 these rules.
1 If we can be shown paragraph 6, please. I believe that's on
2 page 6 of the B/C/S version.
3 It says here that security organs are responsible for, and then
4 we see listed a number of activities that they are responsible for. Now,
5 could you tell us what this means exactly, when we say "responsible for"?
6 A. Well, that means that they are the chief agents or elements that
7 deal and tackle these issues but they're not the only ones because we
8 also had an evolved system of the so-called social self-protection, and,
9 on the other hand, there were various elements that had certain
10 responsibilities within self-protection that were in the
11 League of Communists, including the chain of command that related to
12 certain elements of the protection of the constitutional order and
13 general security to deal with.
14 Now, if you want me to say what the tasks were --
15 Q. Well, they're enumerated here but we don't have to go through all
16 of them.
17 A. Well, there are three main tasks, responsibilities.
18 Q. Well, could you just briefly tell us about them.
19 A. Well, yes, briefly it is the detection and prevention of
20 intelligence work targeting the armed forces, and so on and so forth.
21 The second portion was the monitoring and detection of activities
22 of enemy activities of the enemy emigration, Yugoslav emigration. That
23 was the second part.
24 And the third was what was then qualified as the activities of
25 the inner enemy, working to subvert the constitutional order.
1 So briefly, in brief, that would be the three basic activities.
2 Q. In other words, the first group would relate to foreign
3 intelligence services, the second group would deal with emigration - in
4 other words, our people who lived abroad - and the third group dealt with
5 people who were working against the constitutional order but they were
6 active within the country itself.
7 Am I correct? I've sort of simplified this.
8 A. Well, no, you didn't really simplify it. You actually expanded
9 on it. It's not the entire emigration, for instance, but the enemy, the
10 so-called enemy or hostile emigration that was involved in terrorism.
11 Q. Well, in this particular portion there is mention, I believe, of
12 the detection of enemy activities by certain individuals and groups. And
13 these individuals and groups would actually relate to those people who
14 would attempt to change the constitutional order in the country by use of
15 armed force.
16 A. Well, yes, that's the organised portion that deal with that.
17 More often than not, they are organised groups that take action with
18 weapons and arms. And we were involved in detecting these groups from
19 1991 onwards.
20 Q. Some members of those groups were, later on during the -- during
21 the war, members of the ZNG forces of the Croatian MUP that were later
22 taken prisoner during the war. Would you agree with that?
23 A. Well, yes. A portion of the extreme emigration after the HDZ won
24 in the elections entered the country legally, although they were still
25 registered as persons who should be detained at the border so that some
1 well-known emigrants from Canada and other parts of the world arrived in
2 Croatia and even assumed some very high positions.
3 There were also those people who were engaged in terrorist
4 activities at their lower level, and they were members, for the most
5 part, of the ZNG.
6 In the first category, I would like to name Gojko Susak, who was
7 in a very important position while President Tudjman was president, and
8 later on during the war I believe he was appointed minister of defence,
9 if I recall that correctly.
10 Q. And as part of the work of the security organs, for instance,
11 when dealing with the detained members of the ZNG, their job would be, in
12 fact, to establish the individuals who were, in fact, involved in such
13 activities, that were part of the work of the security organs, as well as
14 those who had committed some crimes, some other crimes?
15 A. Well, among them, there were those who had committed crimes that
16 were both on the -- the jurisdiction of the military security organs and
17 military courts. However, at the time, it was not our priority to
18 establish who the members of the extreme immigration were. Nor the most
19 part we knew the names of those persons and in the final analysis those
20 people actually entered the country legally. So that was not the focus
21 of the work of the security organs. The focus of the security organs's
22 work within these collection centres was to establish, first of all, the
23 identity of all these individuals who were detained because after the
24 first triage and controls, there was an assessment as to who might have
25 been a member of these enemy forces that were involved in activities
1 against the JNA. And in order that to identify that group and those
2 individuals who were there but were not responsible for anything, such
3 individuals were released from the collection centres.
4 As for the other group of individuals, they were then subject to
5 operative processing, and if it was established that they had committed
6 crimes that were not under the jurisdiction of the military judiciary, in
7 other words, that there were minor crimes, such persons would then be
8 exchanged for detained members of the JNA. However, if they were
9 suspected of having committed crimes and serious crimes, those
10 individuals would not be exchanged.
11 Now, the checking of persons, such as in the case of
12 Vesna Bosanac, before she was detained, she was taken and questioned by
13 the investigative judge, and it was then determined that she could be
15 Q. Could we now move on to the next paragraph. We can see it. We
16 can see the English version of it. But in B/C/S I would ask that we move
17 to the following page. Here it says that security organs participate in
18 and then they list what it is that they participate in, the detection and
19 prevention of serious crimes, and so on and so forth.
20 Could you just distinguish these two things for us? Could you
21 help us understand the difference? In the previous paragraph, it says
22 that the security organs are responsible for, whereas in this paragraph,
23 paragraph 7, it says that security organs participate in certain
24 activities. What is the difference?
25 A. Talking about state security, that's part of the
1 Ministry of the Interior. There's also public security.
2 But, simply speaking, the security organs of the JNA conducted
3 activities from the purview of state security. Other services went about
4 public security, but the security organs were able to participate mostly
5 pursuant to a request of the prosecutor, although somebody else was
6 responsible for that, such as the military police. They could take
7 measures and initiate activities to collect some information that cannot
8 be collected by -- through the activities of public security.
9 Such tasks as detecting such acts follow the -- follow
10 hierarchical lines. They have some powers. But whoever gets information
11 about a crime that has been committed is duty-bound to inform his
12 superior. In the army, you must inform your commander, and then he is
13 duty-bound to take further measures. He can either forward the case to
14 the judiciary or conduct an interrogation from his own purview.
15 Q. The activities mentioned in paragraph 7 are done by security
16 organs only when requested to do so, such as by the security organ or the
17 commander or so.
18 A. Security organs go about operative work. They have their own
19 methods of collecting information from these three areas. If the source
20 of information points out a problem from without the purview of the
21 security organs, and I am -- now I mean the first three, then he is
22 duty-bound to draft a document and inform the commander because the
23 security organs were, in reality, subordinated to the unit commander.
24 And they were duty-bound to -- to provide information even from without
25 their purview when they were in a position to learn of them.
1 Q. I see that your -- that part of your answer was not recorded, but
2 I'll move on to ask you whether that really means that security organs
3 are duty-bound to do the -- this work as described in paragraph 6 without
4 getting special orders or instructions as opposed to the activities in
5 paragraph 7?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In paragraph 17 of these rules of service, we read that the JNA's
8 security organs, as far as the methods of work of these -- these
9 activities, are subordinate to the SSNO --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreters only have
11 a redacted version of the text. Could counsel please repeat the latter
12 part of his question.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, could you look to the transcript
14 and read the interpreter's intervention.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I will repeat for the record.
16 Q. According to paragraph 17, the JNA security organs, with respect
17 to the application of methods of -- and tools of work used by these
18 organs, are subordinated to the Federal Secretariat of National Defence
19 or in a -- any senior officer appointed by the secretary. I repeated
20 this part for the record.
21 A. Yes, I will repeat as well. He transferred this authority to
22 some senior officers, not only just before the 1990s, but ever since I
23 have been in service. The security organs are subordinated to the
24 commander -- to the unit commander and not to the superior security
25 organ. That is why. And the right to apply these methods, he
1 transferred to the army commanders and later to commanders of army
2 districts and other senior officers at their level, such as chiefs of
3 General Staff or chiefs of individual sectors at the SSNO, and so on; in
4 other words, the proposal to apply these measures went to the army
5 commander who decided about their use. And he could be briefed about the
6 results of the application of these measures in the same manner as a
7 superior security organ would be, but lower-ranking commanders did not
8 have that right.
9 Q. According to the following section of this same paragraph, the
10 powers of the Federal Secretary in Territorial Defence under the law:
11 "In the Territorial Defence, the commander of the
12 Territorial Defence of a republic or the commander of the Territorial
13 Defence of an autonomous province has the powers of the Federal Secretary
14 under paragraph 1 of this item."
15 In a word, these powers are vested in the commander of the
16 Territorial Defence and this was not transferred to him. This is based
17 on the rules of service.
18 A. Yes, the rules of service regulate this aspect. And they had the
19 same powers with regard to heading the security organs as the command --
20 army commanders in the JNA. The Territorial Defence also had its
21 security organs. These security organs could be transferred from the JNA
22 to the TO, and vice versa.
23 Q. These officers from paragraph 17 can established provisional
24 groups and send them to garrisons and units to carry out complex
25 intelligence tasks.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were such groups established in 1991?
3 A. If we take into account the -- when this -- these rules of
4 service were published, what they in mind was establishment of KOGs,
5 counter-intelligence groups. And a distinction was made between an
6 operative group which is a military structure and a counter-intelligence
7 group which is a security structure. The later existed -- had their
8 headquarters where they were detached and at that time that you
9 mentioned. There was a counter-intelligence group of the 1st Army in
10 Belgrade, for example, and it had its -- detached security organs in
11 Osijek and other towns. The difference is that these
12 counter-intelligence groups were not subordinated to the commanders in
13 these towns, such as the corps commander or division commander in
14 Novi Sad but they were subordinated to the chief of the KOG in Belgrade.
15 Because they only went about very specific counter-intelligence tasks.
16 And they did not participate in the work of the command. They were in
17 civilian clothes because they weren't part of the commands. And a
18 detachment of a part of the KOG to Sid is in line with this rule, with
19 this provision.
20 Q. In other words, a member of a KOG was subordinated to the chief
21 of the KOG.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that chief was really the chief of the KOG at the army
25 A. He was subordinated to the chief of the security -- security
1 department. It's a small unit. It only has ten to 11 people, whereas, a
2 counter-intelligence group headed also by a colonel, could have up to 100
3 or 110 men or 70 to 80 and they were dispersed to cover the whole
4 territory and deal with security matters. They were numerous. But the
5 head of that counter-intelligence group was professionally subordinated
6 to the chief of the security department of the army.
7 Q. Let us try and clarify. A member of a KOG, let us say from the
8 1st Army, or rather, head of one of these departments, to whom was he
10 A. To the chief of the KOG of the army.
11 Q. On the other hand, chief of the security organ of a unit, such as
12 a corps or brigade, was not subordinated to the chief of the KOG in that
14 A. No. Nor -- nor did that one need to have contacts with him but
15 could. They are parallel structures. They have different tasks. One
16 provides security to the unit and deals with problems connected with the
17 unit and has three tasks, those three tasks in the territory, whereas the
18 KOG works pursuant to the instructions of the chief of the KOG. If there
19 was a major security problem within a unit, such as an organised enemy
20 group which the operative detected, then the chief of the
21 counter-intelligence department --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, the interpreters missed part of what
25 you said and they ask you to repeat the last sentence. That means the
1 one you started -- the one just before the one you now started.
2 Can you remember?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
4 If in a unit there was a major security problem, such as, for
5 example, an organised enemy group, then -- then the operative processing
6 of that group could be done, for example, by a detachment of the KOG from
7 the headquarters, wherever headquarters was.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. And now about this last reply. A member of that detachment of a
10 KOG was not subordinated to the chief of security of that unit.
11 A. No.
12 Q. He is still, in fact, subordinated to the chief of the KOG at the
14 A. Yes. And he sends information to his boss and -- who, in turn,
15 gives him directions, professional directions for his work, although the
16 latter works in a unit.
17 Q. The Prosecutor showed you a document yesterday, P1865.1. It's a
18 document from the Security Administration dated 26 May 1992. Could we --
19 or rather, please tell me, I see in the upper left-hand corner -- we see,
20 "Please return after use." What does that mean?
21 A. Because it is the Security Administration that is the source of
22 this information. It is given at the request of the commander and by
23 then it was Zivota Panic, chief of General Staff, so he is the person who
24 ordered the security organs to submit all information to him that have to
25 do with paramilitary units, crimes, and their knowledge about that. They
1 compiled this information, and they submit it to him.
2 All such information is returned to the Security Administration.
3 It could have said up here, Please destroy after use. It could have said
4 that too. However, without a decision of the chief of the General Staff,
5 other persons, his co-workers, could not have been made aware of such
6 information. He could have also given authority to the morale organ to
7 become familiar with that. They are all subordinated to him and carry
8 out tasks issued by him.
9 Q. You say that Zivota Panic was then chief of General Staff.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were they not subordinated to the Federal Secretariat of National
12 Defence --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the
14 witness. Could he please be asked to speak closer to the microphone.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, General, the interpreters ask that
17 you should speak a little bit closer to the microphone, please. Thank
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So this information was provided at the request of General Panic.
22 A. As chief of General Staff.
23 Q. As chief of General Staff. And they were supposed to be returned
24 once he was made aware of it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Tell me, I see that this information was sent when you no longer
2 headed the Security Administration. This information -- or rather, do
3 you know why such information was not requested earlier on while you were
4 at the helm of the Security Administration?
5 A. I assume that a problem occurred in relation to the department of
6 the interior because I see that after this, after this information, there
7 was that analysis of what this information says. I assume, I can only
8 assume, that somebody started an initiative. Why was such and such and
9 such not done, and then the chief of General Staff ordered that all of
10 this information be given to the MUP. And then the MUP provided some
11 analysis of their own in response to that.
12 Now, that could have been even some initiative from the military
13 prosecutor's office or from somewhere else.
14 Q. In this information - I think it's already on the next page -
15 there is reference precisely to that crime in Lovas, and -- can we
16 actually move onto the next page, please. First, there is a reference to
17 the Lieutenant-Colonel Dimitrijevic from the Territorial Defence Staff in
18 Valjevo. Do you know whether he was active-duty personnel or whether he
19 was a reserve officer?
20 A. He was an active-duty officer.
21 Q. Further on, it says that he held the position of co-ordinator for
22 combat activities in the village of Lovas. Can you tell us what that
23 means, "co-ordinator for combat activities"?
24 A. The detachment from the Territorial Defence from Valjevo was
25 resubordinated, sent out into the field, and resubordinated, as far as I
1 know, to the 2nd Mechanised Brigade from the 1st Guards Division. And
2 then from the Territorial Defence Staff, Valjevo, they sent a
3 lieutenant-colonel who would help these reservists, because all of them
4 were reserve officers and reserve soldiers, help them in carrying out
5 their activities. That is, he was supposed to co-ordinate these
6 activities with the 2nd Brigade, too; that is to say he did not have true
7 command responsibility there, to the best of my understanding. Rather,
8 he had the following position. Perhaps I should compare this for the
9 sake of clarity. Like Colonel Pavkovic at the command post of the
10 Guards Brigade, so an officer who was sent from a superior command who
11 was sent to help a particular unit function and resolve problems because
12 he was a more experienced officer. After all, this man was a
13 lieutenant-colonel, and those four officers were all reserve officers.
14 Q. Tell me, is the co-ordinator authorised to issue orders?
15 A. No, he did not have that kind of authority because objectively
16 they were subordinated to the commander of the 2nd Brigade, and he was
17 the one who could issue orders.
18 Q. I'm asking you that because I see here that is says that on the
19 18th of October at the order of Lieutenant-Colonel Dimitrijevic, and so
20 on and so forth, a group of 50 residents of Croat ethnicity was engaged
21 in sanitising the terrain around the village. I see that this was done
22 in accordances with his order. That's what this document says.
23 A. The trial at the Belgrade Court has just been concluded with
24 regard to this case. This was done only on the basis of intelligence and
25 only afterwards did an investigation follow and court proceedings, and I
1 don't know what the outcome was. But then there was another trial with
2 all the other members of the Dusan Silni detachment, so I cannot say now
3 that he is the one who issued an order. According to initial
4 intelligence, they were supposed to search the area, and that was
5 supposed to be done by that unit. However, the reservists vacillated and
6 then these volunteers cropped up, and that's how it went. Let me not go
7 into analysis now of the actual situation there. This information was
8 compiled on the basis of some initial intelligence and this intelligence
9 was provided by the Security Administration. As for more complete
10 pictures to what was happening, that could have been requested from the
11 judiciary organs that were involved in the investigation.
12 Q. I am confining myself to this information that exist until
13 May 1992 because I see this information contained here in this specific
14 document that we have in evidence. I see that according to this
15 information that it had to do with sanitising the area around Lovas, and
16 that 40 members of the TO Valjevo unit detachment took part in this and
17 about ten members of the Dusan Silni detachment under the command of a
18 certain Joca. Since this information was compiled about seven months
19 after the actual event, so during these seven and a half months was any
20 more detailed information received? My impression is that nothing more
21 was learned as compared to what is contained in this information that is
22 written up here.
23 A. No. During my previous testimony, I mentioned that this
24 information as mentioned here is not identical to that information number
25 590 of the 25th of October.
1 Now, when I look at this here in this information, there was no
2 reference to any individual called Joca. Some other names are mentioned,
3 namely persons who were identified by the security organ after the
4 initial interviews.
5 Now, my assessment is that some information was included here
6 that was not only the result of the work of the security organs. Further
7 on in this first information of the 25th October, I don't remember that
8 it was stated that there were 40 of them. So obviously this was some
9 additional information as compared to what was stated on the
10 25th of October.
11 Q. I don't think that the transcript reflects -- perhaps it wasn't
12 transcribed, perhaps it wasn't interpreted, but you said that criminal
13 proceedings were instituted and that some information from these criminal
14 proceedings were included here. Did I understand you correctly?
15 A. I assume that.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we move on to the next page.
17 Q. It says here that it is evident from witness statements,
18 eye-witness statements:
19 "That it was known of the existence of the minefield,
20 particularly because it was set up by our units."
21 Also that residents were warned to provide information upon
22 having come across mines and:
23 "Should they try to run away, they would be killed."
24 Did you have information to that effect that these mines were
25 placed there by "our units," as it says here? I mean JNA units by that.
1 A. This includes information that is not included in that first
2 information of the 25th of October. So I'm convinced even more that this
3 is from the investigation.
4 Minefields were referred to then, but it wasn't stated whether it
5 was the JNA that had laid that there. There was no one else who could
6 have, though, so that was clear, and now this is precisely defined.
7 So this has to do with providing supplement information in
8 relation to the initial information provided that was incomplete, and I
9 am certain that it was from the investigation that was carried out at the
10 time, because there is some information that I had not been aware of at
11 the time.
12 Q. I see that it says here - I think it's the third paragraph - that
13 security organs conducted several interviews with
14 Lieutenant-Colonel Dimitrijevic and some other persons. And it says here
15 that the key actors of this event are the members of Dusan Silni and that
16 they left Lovas.
17 I would be interested in the following: When you say that you
18 are convinced that some investigation was being carried out, and that is
19 more than obvious since all these statements were taken, I do not see
20 from here that these persons were identified, the people who left Lovas,
21 these members of Dusan Silni, and I don't see that their names are being
22 provided in this information so that possibly some follow-up action could
23 be taken.
24 A. In that information of mine dated the 25th of October, the one
25 that I've been referring to, there is a precise reference to names. All
1 eight person, as far as I know. There were eight persons. Now why they
2 are not referred to here, I don't know. But this information did go to
3 the military prosecutor of the JNA, so he knew of those persons as well
4 by name. There weren't any statements then that they had been provided.
5 This was initial intelligence, and that's why I went out into the field.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please take a look at an
7 R 65, 610 document. It is paragraph 8. I think that it's on the
8 penultimate page, or the last page. Yes, it's the last page.
9 MR. OLMSTED: I'm sorry, could Defence counsel provide a
10 tab number.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is 65 ter 610.
12 MR. OLMSTED: No -- 610.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 610, yes.
14 MR. OLMSTED: But I was asking for a tab, either in your binder
15 or in my binder.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'm absolutely sure that it is in my binder, but
17 I believe it is your binder too.
18 MR. OLMSTED: I'll take a look.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation].
20 Q. This is an order issued by Zivota Panic, commander of the
21 1st Military District. I'm interested in paragraph 8.
22 It reads:
23 "Every unit must fully control the situation in the territory of
24 its area of responsibility. Commanders at all levels will be responsible
25 for this. Wartime laws have not entered into force and therefore - as
1 always - nobody has the right to retribution and other kinds of revenge,
2 which some local TO units carried out. In future, arrest these who
3 commit any such acts and undertake appropriate legal measures."
4 You spoke about the jurisdiction of civilian organs, military
5 organs, and others when it comes to crimes. It follows from this order,
6 which was sent to JNA units, that whoever commits crimes in a territory
7 where those military units are must be arrested and that legal measures
8 must be taken against them. This order is dated the
9 18th of November, 1991. Do you know if the rules and regulation were
10 changed at that time as compared to those that were in force in July or
11 August 19 -- of the same year?
12 A. No, I don't think that any rules changed, and this would not have
13 been the only order of this kind. There may have been different orders
14 at other levels.
15 Here, some negative occurrences are being pointed out and the
16 situation in the units themselves is not sufficiently known. Before item
17 8, we see how much ammunition the 46th Partisan Division from Kragujevac
18 had consumed, and it was subordinated to the army; that is, to the
19 1st Guards Division. It was in the latter zone of responsibility. And I
20 know of some things that happened there. A soldier got killed who
21 changed into civilian clothes, and when he was returning they mistook him
22 for a terrorist. Now it is pointed out here that the situation of units
23 must be known and he reminds the commanders.
24 Let us take a murder which is generally recognised as a crime,
25 and here everybody in the zone of responsibility is responsible in case
1 of such a crime.
2 Now, the local authorities that were in function at the time,
3 that were operational, whether any such letter was sent to them that it
4 was their duty to organise such measures and they had their police
5 stations, and so on, and there was one police station of which
6 Colonel Petkovic had said that he didn't know how they were being set up.
7 However, these people, to whom this is addressed, were not the only ones
9 Q. To me, this is a clear order that all those who are guilty must
10 be sanctioned, that measures must be taken against them, which means that
11 there was no legal obstacle for military commanders irrespective of the
12 status of any person as a volunteer or member of a TO, to -- there was no
13 obstacle to launching proceedings against them.
14 A. This is about the legal provision saying that any person found in
15 the commission of a crime that is prosecuted ex officio must be
16 prosecuted and the judiciary body in charge must be informed.
17 General Zivota Panic didn't go into legal details, although he
18 had good intentions. Of course, the army cannot arrest persons, but they
19 can detain them. And that person, if he is not a JNA member, is
20 transferred to the bodies of the MUP. But there is no problem with this.
21 I don't think that this is the only such order. It's an effort to
22 introduce law and order.
23 Q. My question is really why such and similar previous orders were
24 not carried out because we have heard repeatedly that the commander
25 simply failed to act upon such orders.
1 A. From that previous document we discussed that was sent to
2 General Zivota Panic contains some cases -- some instances of crime, such
3 as rape, plunder, and so on. The perpetrators were not arrested, but the
4 crime sites were secured and the body in charge informed. Talking about
5 the crime at Sotin, I mentioned the person conducting the on-site
6 investigation. Measures were taken, but you couldn't accept the -- you
7 couldn't expect the army to arrest them and keep them and initiate
8 proceedings that were not in its jurisdiction. It was of key importance
9 that the judiciary bodies are informed and then they would decide whom to
10 arrest and whom to transfer to somebody else.
11 Q. If we look at the following paragraph, number 9, we read that:
12 "All units and formations (volunteers, local communes, et cetera)
13 participating in combat operations in the territory of the
14 1st Military District must be under the command of the JNA or else they
15 will be disarmed and removed, while extremists will be arrested and
16 appropriate legal measures will be taken."
17 Again, I see that before the order issued by the Presidency, or,
18 more specifically, General Kadijevic, about the disarming of volunteer
19 groups, I see that even before there was such an obligation to place all
20 such groups and units under JNA control. According to your information,
21 why was that not done?
22 A. I cannot say that it wasn't done. That's a general statement.
23 Sometimes it was done, sometimes it was not. At Lovas, it was done, or
24 Sotin, Antin, and other places I have mentioned. This isn't anything
25 new. This is not the first order pointing out this problem.
1 In early December the chief of General Staff issued such an
2 order. All groups and units in this zone of responsibility must be --
3 either be placed under JNA command or disarmed and removed. And this was
4 issued even before the combat activities on 15 September. And I'm here
5 to say the truth and not speak for the Defence or the Prosecution. Many
6 commanders, in the tactical sense, didn't really cope. Some were
7 unwilling to go into conflict and some engaged in unlawful activity.
8 When there was -- I'll give you an example: In
9 General Blagoje Adzic's order, and that's something generally known
10 anyway, all volunteers had to wear insignia and uniforms of the JNA and
11 respect that aspect, but you saw photographs what the situation was
12 really like. There were guards who were wearing white belts, as if they
13 were military police. So, objectively speaking, there were problems
14 in -- with the line of command because some units in the field did not
15 take strict measures to make sure that this was complied with.
16 General Kadijevic issued an order on the 7th of December, and
17 then on the 10th of December the Presidency took its final decision. But
18 even when these measures were being implemented, I remember that even
19 then all elements of that order were not complied with. What is Arkan
20 doing there? Why is Leva Supoderica still around? In a word, the
21 situation was almost chaotic, and more determination on the part of local
22 commanders was required to impose law and order in respect of their
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, shall we keep your next question
25 for after the break?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes -- yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 General, 30 minutes again. We will come back at 12.45. The
4 Court Usher will escort you. Thank you.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] General, could we now take a look at the
13 Law on All People's Defence. That's 3 -- 65 ter number 13. In B/C/S,
14 that would be page 16, whereas in English that's 59.
15 I will only read out paragraph 2 because that's what is relevant
16 here where it says a member of the armed forces is any citizen who is
17 armed or participates in another way in the ... resistance against the
18 enemy. So from this definition, does it follow that all members of the
19 Territorial Defence and volunteer units and similar units that took part
20 in the fighting in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem specifically in
21 1991, were all these individuals considered members of the armed forces
22 in keeping with this legal provision?
23 A. Well, first of all, I think that this law pertains to a much
24 earlier period which implied -- which only envisaged a situation where
25 the enemy would actually be on the territory of Yugoslavia. That's just
1 a general comment.
2 However, this is only a part of the definition of which
3 individuals are considered to be members of the armed forces. There are
4 other laws such as Article 119, for instance, which deals with
5 volunteers, where it is stated what all conditions have to be met so that
6 a person may be considered a volunteer. It was not a -- it was not
7 sufficient to just bear arms.
8 So there are additional provisions, not just this one, and they
9 were contained both in the orders which came from the General Staff but
10 also the Presidency which dealt with who was to be considered a volunteer
11 and -- let alone a member of the armed forces. To -- to simplify this,
12 not to be banal, but to simplify it, you couldn't just carry hunting
13 weapons and be considered a member of the armed forces.
14 Q. Well, you are not a lawyer so I will not enter into a debate with
15 you on this, but, according to this formulation, a person is to be
16 considered a member of the armed forces if they take part in the
17 resistance against the enemy not necessarily carrying arms. So this
18 would pertain to any citizen, whether volunteers or not, if I read this
19 correctly. Could you agree with me?
20 A. Well, as layperson I do not want to enter in a polemic. But this
21 would mean that -- well, any armed person in a combat area would have to
22 be subordinated to a military command in order to be considered a member
23 of the armed forces, but let's not polemicize on this.
24 Q. Please tell us, in the second paragraph of 1991, the
25 Yugoslav People's Army considered the Croatian armed forces as an enemy
1 force; correct?
2 A. Well, the JNA considered those forces, forces that had engaged in
3 an armed rebellion. Now, objectively and factually they were the enemy
4 because there was armed combat with them.
5 Q. Are you aware that the volunteers who were, for instance, in the
6 Operations Group South area of responsibility that they were placed under
7 the command of that operations group?
8 A. Yes, I saw that in the order of -- for engagement of the south
9 operations group and the Leva Supoderica detachment was part of the
10 detachment 1, the Assault Detachment 1.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we see Exhibit 779, or,
12 actually, 65 ter 779, page 2, please.
13 Q. Please look at the third paragraph. Let me just check something.
14 That's the penultimate paragraph in the English version. It says there
16 "In addition to the Guards Motorised Brigade the Vukovar and
17 Leva Supoderica detachments a large number of volunteers participated in
18 the fighting."
19 The work and sending of volunteers in the -- in the zone was not
20 organised. They arrived in group -- volunteers arrived in groups and in
21 a disorganised manner:
22 "Our unit had major problems with receiving them, checking and
23 equipping them, and employing them in combat. A large number of
24 volunteer arrived with party insignia, which might have had considerable
25 effects on the order and discipline of the units conducting combat tasks.
1 Through daily and relevant activity, we succeeded in placing all the
2 volunteers under JNA command, or rather, under the OG South Command."
3 What is the date of this order?
4 A. What is the date of this order?
5 Q. I believe that the Prosecutor showed this to you when he showed
6 your report. Perhaps we can see the first page. I believe this is a
7 report submitted by Major Sljivancanin on the 10th of December, 1991.
8 I will show you another report by the same individual. You were
9 shown that report yesterday by the Prosecutor as well. And that is
10 65 ter 483 document.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let me just check the English
12 version. It appears that the translation into English is not complete.
13 Q. I will read out the entire text to you, and then you can see
14 this. It says here:
15 "On the 23rd of October, 1991, because of what blatant cowardice
16 and mass opportunism, 70 volunteers were disarmed and dismissed and the
17 dismissal of another 60 volunteers has been announced."
18 This is a report submitted by the security chief from the office
19 of the Federal Secretary of National Defence reporting on the situation
20 with security within the units, an area of responsibility of the
21 Guards Motorised Brigade. And I see that this practice of disarming of
22 volunteers was already evident in October, but I also see that one of the
23 reasons for that was cowardice and mass opportunism. Now, I don't know
24 exactly what this was supposed to mean, but let me put my question, then
25 you'll understand why I show this to you.
1 It would seem that volunteers were disarmed and dismissed easily
2 if they did not participate in combat as they should and that the
3 dismissal was far less frequent if they were -- if their conduct was
4 contrary to some laws and rules.
5 A. Well, can I perhaps answer? Volunteers arrived from various
6 parts and in various ways. You probably know from the documents
7 available that there were reception centres for volunteers that were
8 established in the beginning. There were two such centres. There, they
9 were trained briefly, and then they were sent in an organised manner to
10 various units.
11 Now, what we are talking about here are two kinds of volunteers,
12 and Major Sljivancanin is talking about one of them. He is discussing
13 volunteer who came and joined the Guards Brigade unit from various parts
14 and in various manners and is he not referring to volunteers that
15 established their own units and had their own unit names. He is talking
16 about the dismissal of volunteers from the brigade itself without going
17 into the details of what the volunteers' situation was like within units
18 like Leva Supoderica, and so on, or volunteers who had come through the
19 TO Staffs. These were volunteers that were assigned to the brigade from
20 various parts and in various manners.
21 Now, when I went to Dalj to be briefed, we were also shown
22 information about losses. But in daily reports of the OG South, you can
23 see that there is also discussion of losses, where they would point out
24 how many officers and JNA soldiers were killed or wounded and then there
25 would be mention of volunteers and then below that, it would say
1 "Chetniks." In other words, those who arrived without any insignia, who
2 came to = the brigade but were not part of it. They engaged in action
3 together with the brigade but not as part of it.
4 So there was this division and this distinction of volunteers
5 when I was in Dalj, so please be aware of this. Those who joined the
6 brigade as volunteers they became JNA soldiers. There were some of them
7 who were not brave who realised that people died there and also all such
8 individuals who displayed cowardice or who were unsure and uncertain,
9 they were dismissed. But these were not dismissals of volunteer who
10 arrived there as member of some other unit; for instance, the
11 Leva Supoderica or any other unit was subordinated to the JNA during
12 fighting but once the fighting was over, they were no longer under the --
13 under the brigade command.
14 Q. Well, that's something that we will clarify in a moment. In any
15 case, I don't see a major difference between those volunteer who came in
16 one way or another, who were members of one unit or another. They were
17 within the same complement and the commanders had the same authority over
18 them so they could disarm or dismiss either ones. Would you agree with
20 A. Well, no. They did not have the authority to disarm a group who
21 came from who knows where, from some part of Vukovar or some other place,
22 like Lovas, for instance. Let's go back to Lovas. There is the
23 Ljuban Devetak group in Lovas that was not part of the JNA, and they did
24 not disarm that group as such because that's the kind of group it was.
25 Q. My apologies for interfering, but we're talking about the
1 Guards Motorised Brigade. So let's not go to Lovas or any other area
2 there. Let's just focus on the brigade.
3 So the commander of this brigade was authorised -- had the
4 authority over all the volunteers who were there. Irrespective of the
5 manner that they arrived there, he had authority to disarm or dismiss
6 them or to punish them, and so on and so forth?
7 A. No, he could not punish them. There was no grounds for punishing
8 them. If they refused to fight, what would be the grounds for his
9 punishing them?
10 Q. Well, but if they commit crimes or infractions, then they could
11 punish them?
12 A. Yes. In that case, he could punish them.
13 Q. Reading this material, I see that you said yesterday - and that's
14 on page 7955 of yesterday's transcript - that volunteers were called up
15 because the JNA could not replenish its units. It could not man its
16 units properly. And it is my impression on reading this that those who
17 fought were tolerated even if they committed some criminal act and only
18 those who were incapable of fighting, they were the ones who were
19 returned. Am I correct?
20 A. Well, I don't think so. Because -- well, you also said that
21 these people would be tolerated even if they created problems. I
22 wouldn't agree with that. The problem we're talking about - in other
23 words, who was subordinated to whom - that's where the issue is.
24 In Vukovar, on the 21st, the combat ended. The volunteers then
25 broke into JNA barracks because of the buses that had arrived there with
1 the prisoners from the hospital, and they created chaos there.
2 Colonel Panic at the time who was the chief of the barracks arrived there
3 then --
4 Q. I apologise, but I have to stop you here. You weren't there at
5 the time, on the 21st of November, as you said; correct?
6 A. That's correct. I wasn't.
7 Q. You heard about this later on from various sources.
8 A. Yes, while reading the transcript of the proceedings here. So
9 I'm an indirect witness --
10 Q. Well, the only thing I'm trying to put to you, and I don't have
11 too much time, is this: There is no need for you to refer to these
12 transcripts because we've read most of them and we're familiar with them,
13 both in this case and in some earlier cases.
14 But could you just clarify something to us? The subordination,
15 the chain of command within combat operations or during combat
16 operations, what did that mean practically; for instance, during the
17 Vukovar operation? From what point in time were these territorial units
18 and volunteers under the command, or rather, subordinated to OG -- to the
19 OG. Or perhaps even clearer or more pointedly, up until when would they
20 be subordinated?
21 A. Well, as long as the combat was ongoing they would be
22 subordinated. The combat is carried out upon an order, and everyone is
23 assigned a task. Once a task is completed, they should return to their
24 original unit. In other words, this unit would no longer be responsible
25 for them, because this is outside of the combat operation.
1 Q. According to your information, when did combat activities end in
3 A. I was in Vukovar on the 19th of November, in the evening. I had
4 contact with Sljivancanin and the security organs. They told me that the
5 combat was over. So, according to that, it would have been the 19th or a
6 previous day.
7 Q. Did they give any orders to that effect to the Vukovar TO or
8 Leva Supoderica, saying that their task was accomplished? You said that
9 they would either return to the original unit or be resubordinated to
10 another JNA unit.
11 A. I never discussed that with them.
12 Q. That is exactly why I'm going to show you a document. It's
13 1995. --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Zivanovic please repeat the number.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] The number is 1995.1981.
16 Q. This is an order issued on the 21st of November, 1991, at
17 6.00 a.m. It is about the resubordination and the return to the original
18 units. And it says under item 1 that:
19 "In the course of the 21 November 1991, withdraw the
20 Leva Supoderica volunteers detachment and dispatch them, resubordinate
21 them, to the 12th pmbr."
22 Does that mean that until that time this detachment was
23 subordinated to OG South?
24 A. It could mean that.
25 Q. Let us now look at item 4:
1 "Vukovar TO units to be resubordinated to the
2 80th Motorised Brigade and continue with carrying out the assigned
3 tasks - the provision of security and the control of the captured areas
4 in Vukovar, with an emphasis on the most sensitive facilities
5 (municipality, post office, SUP, educational and cultural facilities)."
6 Does that mean that at that time TO -- Vukovar TO units were
7 resubordinated to OG South?
8 A. This doesn't say that the unit in question was part of OG South.
9 It only says where it is supposed to go. I suppose that, since it was
10 there all the time, it was with OG South, but -- I see you're smiling so
11 I'll follow your example.
12 I saw some documents about -- saying what was going on. Nobody
13 ever reported where they were supposed to report. They stayed behind and
14 did what they pleased. Then approval was given to the command of the
15 1st Army to disarm the Leva Supoderica, and this is very telling as to
16 how things stood.
17 Q. Sorry. Could you please take a look at paragraph 4. This is
18 what it says there. The TO Vukovar units should be resubordinated to the
19 80th Brigade and continue with carrying out the assigned tasks.
20 Does that mean that until then they had some tasks and on that
21 21st of November at 6.00 in the morning, these tasks were still under
23 A. Well, you see what it says here? Provide security for the
24 municipality, post office, water works, et cetera. These are typical
25 tasks for a TO unit, very correctly defined. Again I have to say, what
1 is this unit doing on the 21st? Where is it? Is it providing security
2 for buildings or is a considerable part of this unit at Velepromet and at
3 the barracks when the buss arrived.
4 All of this is regulated and written just fine but we are talking
5 about the actual state of affairs. I am defending one thing: What
6 happened. What actually happened. And then you have what it was
7 regulated like.
8 Q. You see, on the 21st of November, I really don't know where this
9 unit was deployed but I know where its commander was. Do you know whose
10 commander it was?
11 A. Whose?
12 Q. The TO Vukovar unit.
13 A. I think that they changed at least once. I may be making a
14 mistake when I say Dusan Jaksic, perhaps that was not the case, or how
15 should I know? Was it that Ljubinko? What was it, Stojanovic? I don't
16 know who the commander is. I cannot say with certainty now because they
18 Q. We have some information to the effect that on the
19 21st of November, General Kadijevic, received a group of officers from
20 the 1st Military District, or rather, from the Guards Brigade, and among
21 these persons was also the commander of the TO of Vukovar. Do you know
22 anything about that?
23 A. I attended the reception. I was shown some footage from that
24 reception here. There was a man from Territorial Defence there. I
25 cannot confirm his first or last names, and it's not that I could
1 recognise him. I think that he had a bandage on his hand or arm. He was
2 wounded but it wasn't in combat but in some kind of fight, so this
3 reception did not last for very long.
4 Q. Tell me now, please, this order that we looked at just now, do
5 you consider it to be the order that is supposed to follow after combat,
6 either in order to have that unit returned to its original units, or for
7 it to be resubordinated to another JNA unit?
8 A. That is what I think because the same kind of order had to be
9 there when they were resubordinated to Operation Group South. And also
10 when it is no longer necessary to engage them, then this kind of order is
11 made because someone cannot leave without knowing on what grounds. So I
12 confirm that.
13 Q. Can we now take a look at the bottom of this page, this order.
14 It says that it was made in eight copies and that it was submitted to,
15 first of all, the commander of the volunteer unit, Seseljevci, Seselj's
16 men. Who is this commander of the volunteer detachment "Seseljevci?" Do
17 you know?
18 A. There is no dilemma in my mind that this is the Leva Supoderica
19 detachment. Because at these levels, different expressions were used.
20 Even the chief of General Staff in an order speaks about armed units of
21 the Republic of Croatia and then in relation to that same document, the
22 political administration says, armed Ustashas. So they used the word
23 "Ustashas," and the chief of General Staff says "the armed forces of the
24 Croatia." Or here, often Leva Supoderica is referred to, that
25 detachment, and they call them Seseljevci, Seselj's Men. So I have no
1 doubt in my mind that this has to do with that detachment.
2 Q. I think that yesterday you spoke about your notebook and your
3 contact with General Babic in Sid, or was it Petkovic - I'm sorry, I may
4 have forgotten a bit - in Sid. And you say that you recorded that
5 meeting in your notebook.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please take a look at
7 that. It's 495. That is the exhibit number from the --
8 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. --
10 MR. OLMSTED: If we could go into private session.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 8036-8040 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] P2917.
23 Q. You remember that this is a pass issued to comrade, as it says,
24 Djordje Neznanovic.
25 A. Glad to hear that.
1 Q. Let us try and clarify this because the terminology probably
2 isn't clear. This word "comrade" was used in the former SFRY instead of
3 mister, which is used now. Do you agree?
4 A. Yes. At some point, comrades became gentlemen.
5 Q. Is it a bit unusual for people from a Chetnik unit to be termed
6 that, a Chetnik unit such as Leva Supoderica?
7 A. The usual way to address persons was comrade. This isn't special
8 in any way, has nothing to do with the status of the unit. The fact that
9 they were members of the Serbian Radical Party doesn't mean that they are
10 no longer comrades. It was the jargon of the time. I don't think it has
11 any significance.
12 Q. Did they use that jargon themselves?
13 A. I don't know. I don't know if Mr. Seselj was Comrade Seselj from
15 Q. Have you ever heard anyone from his party addressing him as
16 Comrade Seselj?
17 A. I never paid attention to the way they communicated.
18 Q. You said you didn't have any specific knowledge about the
19 certificate but you offered us your understanding of it.
20 Let me ask you if it is your impression that this certificate, or
21 rather, pass, as it says, is in line with the order issued by
22 Colonel Mrksic under which Leva Supoderica is resubordinated to the
23 12th Corps. Do you see any coincidence there in terms of dates?
24 A. My view is different, and I was going to comment on that.
25 In the morning, at 6.00, he got an order to resubordinate to the
1 12th Brigade, which means that as soon as the 22nd he was supposed to be
2 at Dalj, or wherever that brigade was. But on this day indicated here,
3 he is giving leave to this person who is supposed to return his weapons.
4 But this fact has nothing to do with the -- this location. The entire
5 unit, as it was, had to be resubordinated. So there is no connection
6 here. I can only tell that on the 22nd he was still there rather than at
7 the 12th Brigade.
8 Q. I cannot tell that he is there. Are you referring to Lancuzanin?
9 A. His deputy, which means the unit.
10 Q. And where, there, at Vukovar?
11 A. Yes. Because this is the stamp of the Guards Brigade which was
12 in Vukovar.
13 Q. Can this mean that this man decided to leave Leva Supoderica and
14 go home?
15 A. I suppose that this is exactly the matter.
16 Q. This time when he's returning what was issued to him, does it
17 coincide with the time when the Guards Brigade was leaving Vukovar?
18 A. As far as I know, the Guards Brigade withdrew a few days later,
19 on the 24th, if I'm not mistaken.
20 Q. Did such persons, as the one whose name we read here and who had
21 the same status, did they get any sort of compensation or benefits from
22 the JNA?
23 A. Yes, they should be -- should have received some.
24 The last time I went to Vukovar, I went there due to problems
25 created by some armed members, probably members of Lancuzanin's units,
1 judging by the insignia they wore and the kokardes. They didn't want to
2 return what was issued to them because they -- they didn't get any money
3 on that occasion.
4 The purpose of this certificate was that the person mentioned in
5 there was a legitimate member of the armed forces and that they got some
6 financial compensation. This is a certificate enabling the person in
7 question to leave the combat zone because there was still check-points.
8 And the certificates for the purpose of proving participation in war were
9 like the ones we saw for those two from Lovas, showing that they were --
10 that they were there until January or February. They also enjoyed some
11 benefits and some -- some rights that they still have today.
12 Q. We have information that the JNA disbursed some money to this
13 very person roughly at the time when he returned what was issued to him.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I refer to the 1D553 but it should not be shown
15 to the witness and the public. It is paragraph 29, page 7.
16 Sorry, I said it should not be shown to the witness and to the
17 public. It is on our exhibit -- on our list for this witness.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, could you repeat the number,
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 1D553.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We can see the first page just briefly. And we
24 can move to the page -- to paragraph 29. It's page 7.
25 Q. [Interpretation] I cannot reveal the source of information
1 because our rules prohibit that. But, according to that information,
2 before leaving Vukovar - that is, before the 22nd of November - this
3 person got some money from the JNA. Only then did he return his weapons
4 and equipment and then left. Is that in line with your information about
5 the way that money was paid to members of this detachment?
6 A. I cannot comment this specific example on this unit. I know the
7 general rule, and it was honoured. Those who took part in combat as
8 members of a JNA unit were paid out compensation. To receive it, they
9 needed to provide a certificate from the unit, and their military booklet
10 also needed to have an entry that from, till, they were members of
11 military post number so-and-so. If he had a military booklet, then I'm
12 sure that this information was entered there. Then lists of such persons
13 were made, and they got what was due to them.
14 There's no problem with that, to my mind. He was a member of
15 Leva Supoderica, which, under the Command of OG South, took part in
16 combat, and he had the same rights of any soldiers of the Guards Brigade.
17 Q. Let me now return to the report dated 10 December 1991. You know
18 which report I mean, the one Major Sljivancanin sent to you on
19 10 December.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I see that in that report he mentions that the government of
22 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem appointed TO commanders who were not
23 respected by the people and who engaged in dirty business. And I believe
24 that you answered the Prosecutor's question that this was in line with
25 the information that you had.
1 Tell me, did that information originate from this report by
2 Major Sljivancanin?
3 A. Yes. But there was a time when I didn't have that information
4 but on the basis of documents about the establishment of Town Commands,
5 some people were complaining - and I think that this was from the
6 1st Guards Division - that people were being appointed who lacked the
7 qualities required for those positions. And then there was resistance on
8 the part of the population, and so on.
9 There was such information, so Sljivancanin's report was not the
10 only source, nor was it all from the period you're referring to. There
11 was information that there were criminal-minded people around.
12 Q. I would limit myself to the Guards Brigade and his reports, so I
13 would -- don't want to go into other reports for the time being. Did you
14 ever find out - and I'm referring to that period in that area - which TO
15 commanders were appointed by the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and
16 Western Srem?
17 A. I don't know about any appointments made by the government.
18 Q. You mentioned a moment ago -- or, rather, we were talking about
19 the commander of the TO Vukovar, Jaksic, and you said what reasons were
20 provided for asking for his dismissal. But you were not told that he was
21 involved in some kind of crime. My understanding was that you were told
22 that he was too passive.
23 A. Yes. And they reacted on account of that.
24 Q. In other words, it is not crime that was the reason for his
1 A. That's not what I was told then or what was explained to me then.
2 It was only the things that I have stated just now.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. President, I would change the topic, and I
4 see the clock, and maybe we could make the break now.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
6 General, we finish for the day. You -- we expect you back
7 tomorrow morning at 9.00, as Mr. Zivanovic has not finished yet, and
8 there are eventually questions in re-direct and questions from the
10 You are -- you remain under oath, which means, as I explained to
11 you yesterday, that you cannot discuss your testimony to -- with anybody,
12 and you cannot talk to any of the parties. Thank you very much. The
13 Court Usher will escort you out of court.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 4th day of
18 September, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.