1 Tuesday, 21 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. May I remind you of the
7 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence which still
8 applies. Now Mr. Vasic is going to surprise us with his speed.
9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good
10 afternoon to all. I'll do my best; that much is certain. I think a lot
11 depends on the witness and the kind of answers that he provides.
12 WITNESS: BOGDAN VUJIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Vasic: [Continued]
15 Q. Good afternoon to you, sir.
16 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Vasic.
17 Q. Let's start with our questions, please. Bearing in mind the
18 course of our cross-examination yesterday, sir, could I please ask you to
19 try to answer my questions directly. If you don't understand, please
20 state so, but try to give clear answers so that we can get through this as
21 quickly as possible. Thank you.
22 After touring the rooms in which prisoners were being detained,
23 did you order that those rooms be secured, that security be provided for
24 those rooms?
25 A. No, I didn't, because they were secured already and they remained
1 that way.
2 Q. Thank you. Having toured those rooms, in your security assessment
3 what did you believe to be the most important issues involved in a
4 possible evacuation?
5 A. I carried out no security assessment to begin with.
6 Q. From the moment you gave the order for a number of buses to enter
7 the Velepromet compound and for the prisoners to start boarding -- or
8 rather, do you remember when this was?
9 A. This might have been around -- at around 2330 hours.
10 Q. Did you order the rooms to be emptied one by one or several rooms
11 all at once?
12 A. It was one by one. I gave the orders to the officers and then the
13 buses, as they were parked in the same order. The bus on which I was was
14 the farthest one from the room that we are talking about.
15 Q. Did each of these buses have two police officers providing
17 A. There were two officers escorting the prisoners of war to each of
18 the buses as well as the officers in charge.
19 Q. Did you order for the military police to secure the area around
20 the buses?
21 A. There was no need because that area was already secured.
22 Q. Once the prisoners got on to the buses, where were they taken over
23 by the military police who were providing security along the way?
24 A. I don't know. This was in a previous order, an order familiar
25 with Colonel Mrksic, Major Sljivancanin, and the officers in charge of the
1 evacuation and in charge of that column. My duty, as I've pointed out
2 already, was to get the POWs on the buses. And once the buses left the
3 gate, my duty ceased.
4 Q. You've told us that already. Does that mean that you were not in
5 touch with the unit that took over at the gate?
6 A. No, I didn't. I didn't know who their commander was or who he was
7 subordinated to, under whose command he was working.
8 Q. You told us that during the evacuation Colonel Kijanovic, Major
9 Stosic, and warrant officer -- and a warrant officer were saying that
10 Crevar, Marko and Topola were saying that you were to be killed along with
11 the Ustashas --
12 A. Yes, I was first warranted by warrant officer --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please speak one at a time to
14 ensure that all the names get recorded. Thank you very much.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They also said --
16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you very much. You told us about that yesterday. All I
18 wanted to know -- or rather, it was my colleague who asked you and you
19 provided a detailed account of this. Let's not go back to that now. At
20 the time, were you also told that Crevar and Topola had been saying things
21 to the effect that they were all right with the prisoners being taken out
22 of those rooms, except for that one room with the tin door?
23 A. No, they didn't say that.
24 Q. Once the evacuation was over, did they not tell you that Crevar
25 and Topola were taking some persons away and that bursts of gun-fire could
1 be heard just outside the compound?
2 A. Yes, they did mention that.
3 Q. In your testimony before the trial chamber in Belgrade, did you
4 say that you heard they had been taken to the cornfield?
5 A. Yes, that was indeed what I testified, but I did not know there
6 was a cornfield anywhere in the vicinity because I couldn't just go and
8 Q. Having been informed by your subordinates about all these things,
9 you talked to Grabar [phoen] telling him that you were there on behalf of
10 the security administration, the supreme commander, that the prisoners
11 were to go to Sremska Mitrovica? Is that right?
12 A. No, that wasn't a conversation proper, it was a verbal clash, an
13 altercation, if you like. There were raised voices on both sides. Crevar
14 said that he was the one who had taken these people aside, those
15 criminals, as he said, because they -- they were Ustashas who had been
16 killing the Serbian people and that they need to be held accountable, and
17 he was already taking steps against these people he said.
18 Q. What was your authority or your powers, based on the rules
19 governing your service in this situation where Crevar was making threats
20 against your person and making it impossible for you to carry out your
22 A. Pursuant to Article 112 on the law on armed forces, under that
23 Article there is an exact description of how the command of the armed
24 forces in the JNA and the TO is to be organised, how the resources are to
25 be used in order to achieve a common or mutual objective. There is the
1 principle of singleness of command, and the next important thing is that
2 the orders given by superior officers must be carried out. An order from
3 a superior officer is law for all of the subordinate officers, which as
4 precisely what I did. What I found there was a duality of command, I mean
5 within the Velepromet compound, and that is why I did what I did.
6 Q. What about your powers under Articles 46 and 45 of the rules
7 governing the work of the security bodies of the SFRY?
8 A. It's all the same as whatever Article 112 envisages, and all the
9 other legal provisions stem from that.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
11 MR. MOORE: May I respectfully interrupt. If my learned friend is
12 going to ask various questions about, for example, Article 112, as being
13 specified here and also other references to Articles 46 and 45, there are
14 copies available for the witness at this time, if the Court or my learned
15 friend would wish to draw the witness's attention to them or other things
16 as well.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I know we were led into this, Mr. Vasic, by the
18 witness with Article 112, but you have specifically referred him to two
19 articles. And at the moment it would seem appropriate that he have an
20 opportunity to refresh his recollection of them before answering you, if
21 you're going to ask him about the detail of the effect of those two
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, but the
24 witness did say yesterday that he was fully aware of the rules of service.
25 I'm about to ask him about his powers and his actions and not about the
1 actual substance of that Article.
2 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... Article 46
3 and 45?
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] No. I'm not going there. I'm not
5 going to be asking him about the provisions of these rules.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I don't understand your earlier question
7 then, but you ask now what it is you're going to ask.
8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. In actual fact, my question is: Why did you not arrest Marko
10 Crevar when he opposed your order to have the room emptied and when you
11 learned that he had taken prisoners away and killed them?
12 A. That is a complex question, if I consider my role in the area. My
13 actions were those that would generally have been taken by any military
14 commander. I acted in keeping with the regulations. I acted in keeping
15 with the rules of military discipline. I acted in keeping with any rules
16 governing the work of military police. I used force in order to
17 accomplish my mission, and I did accomplish my mission.
18 It wasn't my place to arrest the chief of the Vukovar SUP. He did
19 not commit any crimes in my presence. I was warned, however, that certain
20 POWs had been taken away and that bursts of gun-fire had been heard. In
21 addition to this, he clearly stated that he was in charge of these
22 actions. I never knew who had empowered him, who had authorised him to do
23 these things. It may have been Colonel Mrksic for all I know because we
24 were, after all, in Colonel Mrksic's area of responsibility.
25 Q. As you said at the outset, you were tasked by the security
1 administration with uncovering war crimes committed by both Croats and the
2 JNA. When you were told that members of the TO and Marko Crevar were
3 taken prisoners outside of the Velepromet compound and that bursts of
4 gun-fire could be heard, would this have provided sufficient grounds for
5 you to arrest Marko Crevar and to verify all this information you were
7 A. No, that would not have constituted sufficient grounds, the reason
8 being that Marko Crevar was in charge of a unit under the command of
9 Vojvoda Topola. Those men were Chetniks. They were getting ready for a
10 possible showdown with the JNA.
11 Q. Did you have enough soldiers to stop this unit, to make them
12 follow your orders and --
13 A. I didn't --
14 Q. -- and in order to protect the lives of the prisoners and in order
15 to make sure that your mission was completed?
16 A. I don't know how many military police officers were there, but I
17 did know that there were officers there going about their tasks in
18 carrying out whatever assignments they had been given by their superiors.
19 Major Sljivancanin, Colonel Mrksic, that for me was sufficient guarantee
20 that I would be able to carry out my own assignment under the protection
21 of those officers and those soldiers that, if I was willing to carry it
22 out and if I had sufficient will-power to do so.
23 Q. At which point in time did you order the use of force?
24 A. I ordered the use of force when I first gave one warning and then
25 the other. At this point in time, they threatened to use weapons against
1 me. It was at this point that I called Captain Borisavljevic. His
2 subordinate officers told me that he was not around, which really
3 surprised me. I found it equally surprising that at the most critical
4 moment of all, when Crevar told me he would not allow the Ustashas and
5 criminals to be taken away even if this meant he had to use weapons
6 against us, my fellows from the same operations group, Colonel Tomic and
7 Colonel Stojanovic approached me to say that they did not wish to stay
8 there, that they were about to leave the Velepromet compound altogether,
9 and that they were on their way to see Colonel Mrksic to tell him about
10 all this.
11 Q. What about the use of force that you ordered? Did you apply this
12 for the first time when Crevar and Topola made it clear to you that you
13 would not be able to carry out your assignment? Do you think you would
14 have been able to save all of the prisoners if you had decided to act
15 earlier on?
16 A. No, I started to using force when I decided to empty the prisoners
17 from that room and get them on those buses.
18 Q. But you did not use force when you allegedly heard that prisoners
19 were being taken outside the Velepromet compound?
20 A. There was no need, and I could not know for sure that this was
21 true and until these facts were verified.
22 Q. And when did you verify these facts?
23 A. This was verified by Colonel Kijanovic in the morning of the 20th
24 of November. I left on a mission with Major Sljivancanin. We were off to
25 the hospital, and Warrant Officer Korica was with us, too. Colonel
1 Kijanovic took a number of military police officers with him, and there
2 was a vehicle that had been assigned to him by Colonel Mrksic. He found
3 out that there was 17 bodies, dead bodies, in the area, which he then
4 collected - he told he about this later on - and took the dead bodies to
5 the military cemetery.
6 Q. Did he tell you whether he buried the bodies?
7 A. Yes, at the military cemetery. That's what he said. He certainly
8 would not have been able to do this on his own.
9 Q. Did he tell you about the whereabouts of this military cemetery?
10 A. He didn't say; I didn't ask.
11 Q. When you ordered for that armoured combat vehicle to enter the
12 Velepromet compound, why did you not arrest Crevar and Topola at this
14 A. I had already used sufficient force and sufficient manners by the
15 fact that I started exercising command in the area. If you want me to, I
16 can repeat my account of how exactly this happened.
17 Q. Did the fact that you failed to arrest Crevar and Topola did not
18 lead to an increased threat to the life of the prisoners?
19 A. No, I don't think there was any increase in the threat to the
20 lives of the prisoners because they weren't on the buses by this time.
21 Q. Did you not say that Topola was drunk, boarded one of the buses
22 and tried to attack you with a knife?
23 A. No, I didn't say that it was Topola who was drunk. I was calling
24 out names, and I was asking the POWs about their names, trying to record
25 their names in a notebook that I had. It was at this point that Vojvoda
1 Topola got on to the bus in order to settle the accounts with me. He
2 lifted my body. He approached me from behind, he lifted my body into the
3 air, and he put a knife to my throat. If you want me to, I can go over
4 this again.
5 Q. Thank you very much. You've described that for us already. Was
6 even that not sufficient for you to order his arrest, the fact that he
7 attacked you, the fact that after that he tried to attack the prisoners,
8 the fact that there was blood dripping from his knife? All of this was
9 not sufficient for you to order his arrest?
10 A. Who should I have ordered that?
11 Q. The military police.
12 A. The military police were there with him securing the room. They
13 were acting in concert. That was before I even got there.
14 Q. Are you saying now that there was nobody to whom you could issue
15 an order at that point to arrest Topola?
16 A. It would have been very risky to my own person. I don't believe I
17 would have been a witness here today had I done that.
18 Q. As the responsible officer, did you put your life over and above
19 the lives of the men who were threatened?
20 A. Yes. I first ordered the sergeant --
21 Q. You told us that.
22 A. No, I didn't. You don't want to hear how I commanded.
23 Q. Was it about the machine-gun being loaded? You told my learned
24 friend about it.
25 A. Yes, I did. But I also told him to target me, if necessary.
1 Q. You told us the military policemen, even without your order,
2 evidently took Topola from the bus and held him. Why didn't you arrest
3 him then?
4 A. No. He was taken out by Sekic with his two policemen, Second
5 Lieutenant Sekic. I told the Chamber how after the bus left the compound
6 I noticed that Topola had changed into clean overalls. He was no longer
7 blood-stained and in the company of a woman as tall as he was turned up in
8 the compound.
9 Q. And you didn't arrest him?
10 A. You're asking me a lot.
11 Q. You had Topola before you and there were indicia that he might be
12 a war criminal. You had Topola there who had attacked your life and limb
13 while you were carrying out your official duties. Wasn't that sufficient
14 grounds to arrest him or even to kill him when he attacked you with a
15 knife? Weren't you authorised to do that?
16 A. Yes, I was. But he was also authorised to act towards me as he
18 Q. May I conclude, then, that you did nothing to prevent or stop the
19 alleged taking out of prisoners after you learned about this?
20 A. No. You couldn't conclude that and that would be an insult to me.
21 Q. So what did you do?
22 A. I did everything to complete my task.
23 Q. You said that allegedly you heard that people were being taken
24 out. What did you do to stop that?
25 A. I completed my task.
1 Q. Were you authorised to protect the prisoners, even if you had to
2 kill the people taking them out?
3 A. My authority was first to caution them, according to the military
4 regulations; then to fire in the air, one burst; then the next burst in
5 the legs; and then the following burst in the body. That's according to
6 the law.
7 Q. If your story is true, I conclude then that you're responsible for
8 what happened in Velepromet while you were in command of the evacuation of
9 the prisoners.
10 A. I completed my task and I'm proud of it.
11 Q. You're aware of your omissions, and that's why you're trying to
12 cover them up in your testimony.
13 A. I'm proud to have completed my task. I completed it on behalf of
14 the Serbian people.
15 Q. We'll move on. What time was it when you left Velepromet and
16 arrived in Negoslavci?
17 A. I have already said that I left Velepromet after 2400 hours. From
18 Velepromet to the command post there are about five kilometres certainly.
19 That's already been said. I know what my soldier's march is like, and I
20 know that I must have marched for about an hour.
21 Q. When you arrived in Negoslavci, where did you go?
22 A. I don't know where the sign-post saying "Negoslavci" is, but I
23 know where the command post is.
24 Q. So you went to the command post?
25 A. Yes, I did, and I looked at the people there. I was very upset.
1 Q. What did you see?
2 A. I saw my officers and my men who had abandoned me. I told them
3 they had betrayed me at the most crucial moment, that they had put my life
4 at risk, and I observed what was going on. All I wanted was to see where
5 Colonel Mrksic was so I could approach him and tell him what I thought.
6 Q. You saw your comrades there and you were upset with them. They
7 had placed your life at risk. Did you institute any kind of report
8 against them?
9 A. No, sir. Don't insult me.
10 JUDGE PARKER: You are talking above each other as you go along.
11 The interpreter has no hope of following you. There must be a pause, even
12 if you don't agree with what is being said by the other person, even if
13 you want to put something different, it is necessary that you wait so that
14 the interpreters can complete what is being said. That way, we will
15 manage to record all of what each of you wishes to say. Thank you.
16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could the
17 witness allow me to complete my question; that's why the problem arises.
18 Q. Please allow me to complete my question, then leave a short pause
19 before you start answering, otherwise the interpreters will not be able to
21 I asked you whether you submitted a report to your superior
22 officers about your colleagues who were in your group from the security
23 administration who refused to comply with your order, who abandoned you
24 while you were performing your duty, and who put your life at risk. Did
25 you report them?
1 A. No, I did not submit such a report.
2 Q. Were you duty-bound to do so?
3 A. No, I wasn't.
4 Q. You said that you were looking around hoping to spot
5 Colonel Mrksic. Where did you see him?
6 A. First he wasn't there. There were other people there. Then he
7 turned up in the ground floor area where we first arrived and where he had
8 met us.
9 Q. Are you talking about the operations room?
10 A. Yes. But there is also another small room there which I explained
12 Q. Are you now referring to the operations room or the small room?
13 A. I'm referring to the big operations room.
14 Q. In that big operations room, did you address the duty operations
16 A. No.
17 Q. Who else was in that room?
18 A. Tomic, all my comrades, they went in and out. They were milling
19 about, and I was searching for an opportunity to approach Colonel Mrksic
20 and speak to him.
21 Q. Was Jerko Crmaric there?
22 A. Yes, he was, as I said, but at what point in time, I don't know.
23 I first approached Colonel Mrksic, and only then did I meet Colonel
24 Crmaric and talk to him.
25 Q. Was the duty officer there?
1 A. He probably was.
2 Q. Couldn't you have first reported to the duty officer?
3 A. No. Had I done so, I would not have been able to approach
4 Colonel Mrksic.
5 Q. I have to ask you to leave a short pause between question and
6 answer because the interpreters are having problems.
7 Why do you think you would not have been able to approach
8 Colonel Mrksic?
9 A. He was always busy. There were many officers there. He had tasks
10 to carry out, so why would I be able to ask for an audience when Slavko
11 Tomic was the officer who was my superior and who was authorised to see
12 him and to receive instructions and orders from him?
13 Q. You told us that allegedly you told Mrksic what you had
14 experienced and that people had been killed, and you say that there were
15 quite a few people present in the room but that you don't believe anybody
16 else heard what you were telling him. Is that what you said?
17 A. I don't know whether anyone heard or not. It wasn't my aim to
18 have other people hear it; I wanted him to hear it.
19 Q. Then you must have spoken in a low voice?
20 A. I spoke in a normal voice. Sometimes I might raise my voice when
21 speaking to you, and I apologise for that; it's automatic. It simply
22 follows from my feelings when you provoke me like that. I do apologise
23 for it.
24 Q. What time was it approximately?
25 A. I can't be precise, but I told you how I got back. There was
1 Jerko Crmaric there, those comrades of mine were there, then we had a
2 meeting with Major Sljivancanin concerning the tasks that had to do with
3 the hospital.
4 Q. Apart from General Crmaric, was Colonel Dusovic [phoen] there; do
5 you know him?
6 A. No, I don't know him. But I saw that Crmaric was accompanied by
7 two of his colonels who were subordinate to him, probably from some
8 service like logistics.
9 Q. Did you say in your statement that as soon as you finished
10 speaking you turned around and left?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I have to put it to you that what you said and what you are now
13 saying as regards what you told Colonel Mrksic does not correspond to what
14 you told the Trial Chamber in Belgrade under oath.
15 I will now ask the usher to give you the transcript from the trial
16 before the war crimes court in Belgrade of the 17th of December, 2004, and
17 that's on page 45 in the B/C/S version. And, for my learned friends, on
18 page 28 of the English version. I will read out to you, as it's a
19 dialogue, the relevant part, and you will only tell me whether such a
20 dialogue was conducted before the court.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note they do not have the text.
22 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did the president of the chamber put your statement to you and say
24 that you then said that the territorials and the volunteers murdered
25 prisoners and that the bodies were next to Velepromet? And your response
1 was: "No, I didn't say that."
2 Then the president of the chamber put it to you: "That statement
3 is in this record."
4 You then replied: "Probably that's what was stated."
5 The president of the Chamber asked you about Djordje Trifunovic,
6 and you replied: "In my statement I said that, but I could say that only
7 after I had learned from Colonel Bozidar Kijanovic that he had undertaken
8 measures and carried out an inspection, that is, on the 20th of November
9 in the morning he inspected the situation around Velepromet and they found
10 about 17 corpses."
11 Is this the dialogue that was conducted before the Trial Chamber
12 in Belgrade?
13 A. Yes, it is. Mr. Vasic, Your Honours, I -- in connection with the
14 facts being presented here they were checked when I testified before the
15 military court. They were then checked when I testified before the
16 investigators of this Tribunal, and then they were checked when I
17 testified before the special court in Belgrade.
18 Please understand that I am a person who wishes to repeat before
19 this Tribunal what I have already testified to and which I say is the full
20 truth. From the moment I was invited or summoned to the first interview
21 before the military court in Belgrade, I was subjected to pressure. I was
22 summoned to make a statement and to be interviewed as a witness three days
23 after the NATO bombing of buildings in Belgrade and facilities in Serbia.
24 Q. Excuse me.
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I respect the witness's
1 need to explain, but I don't think we have time. He can explain about
2 this statement before the court in Belgrade.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can cut it short,
4 but then I have to start with my encounter with Counsel Vasic. One day
5 Counsel Vasic called me through Lieutenant-Colonel Panic who is now a
6 lieutenant-general and asked to meet me in the school centre in order to
7 harmonise some facts in the statements, as they told me. I felt that this
8 was pressure, a continuation of the pressure I had continually been
9 subjected to, and that was the attitude I took towards Counsel Vasic. He
10 was correct but he attempted to exert pressure on me.
11 I have been subject to this pressure to this very day, and so I am
12 now through his questions. Your Honours, I have stated the truth before
13 this Chamber.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We have allowed you to complete, in
15 short form, what you wanted to say about the matter. Now Mr. Vasic here,
16 you will understand, is properly asking you questions which he thinks are
17 of relevance to his client's case. And if you could exercise your
18 patience and deal with those questions honestly and shortly, it will help
19 this Chamber considerably. So thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Vasic.
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. In response to my learned friend's questions, did you not say that
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Kijanovic on the 20th of November at around 1900 hours
24 allegedly told you that he had found the bodies?
25 A. I said -- my answer was around 1800 hours.
1 Q. You were, therefore, unable to inform Colonel Mrksic of these
2 killings because you were not sure whether they had indeed been committed?
3 A. Yes. You asked me repeatedly about me not having taken any
4 measures or not having uncovered dead bodies. This was the thing that I
5 was supposed to do at dead of night, go out into the cornfield searching
6 for corpses.
7 Q. What would you say if I were to tell you that Colonel Kijanovic
8 stated that he had never told you anything of the sort, that he never --
9 that he had never collected any dead bodies and that he was unable to do
10 so because that was within the purview of the sanitisation service and
11 that the dead bodies cannot be buried before an autopsy is conducted?
12 A. Mr. Vasic, Colonel Mrksic could have had military court during
13 wartime. You're not listening to me.
14 Mr. Vasic, the brigade during the war has a military court. I
15 don't know whether Colonel Mrksic had set up a military court -- or
16 rather, I should have said that a brigade has all the different bodies.
17 It has a lawyer who is, I believe, even a justice on the supreme court in
18 Serbia now. And as I had heard, they had turned over every single body.
19 Q. I apologise. My question to you was the following: What would
20 you say to -- if I told you that Colonel Kijanovic had stated that he was
21 unable to and did not, in fact, bury the dead bodies. What would you say
22 to that?
23 A. Colonel Kijanovic did not state this only in front of me; he
24 stated it in front of Korica, Stosic, and other persons. If he had
25 withdrawn his statement, then my only conclusion is that somebody must
1 have exerted pressure on him.
2 Q. Thank you. You mentioned the existence of a military court. Is a
3 military court established only when a state of war is declared?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was at that time a state of war declared in fact?
6 A. Any state of emergency, as the one that existed, for instance, in
7 the Vukovar area or in any other area where there are war operations,
8 there are conditions in place to create a military court. But this was
9 not, in fact, done at the time, not only by Colonel Mrksic but by all the
10 units that were present in the area of the war operations.
11 Q. Let us go back to the conversation with Colonel Mrksic. If I were
12 to tell you that my client claims that he never spoke to you that night,
13 that he was not at the command post at all, and that the only person you
14 could have talked to was the duty officer, who was then duty-bound to
15 record this conversation with you in the log. Isn't that right?
16 A. No. Colonel Mrksic could not have spent the night sleeping in his
17 pyjamas when you had occasion to see what all of us were doing at the
18 time, and I don't believe that this is what Colonel Mrksic in fact told
20 Q. What would you say if I told you that Colonel Mrksic did not see
21 you that night at his work-place?
22 A. Well, that's his right to say so, but I tell you that I did see
24 Q. Let us go back to the 20th of November and your visit to the
25 hospital. We heard that you received a task from the security
1 administration which had to do with the separation and evacuation of the
2 prisoners of war, at the same time you also had the task which you had in
3 fact carried out at Velepromet. Under this same assignment of the
4 selection and evacuation of prisoners of war, is that how your visit to
5 the hospital came about, it was part of the same assignment?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you then have some other assignment in addition to this one
8 that you haven't told us of?
9 A. The assignments I had are the ones that I described in my
10 statement and the ones that I told about in my evidence before this Court.
11 Q. Thank you. And who gave you this assignment?
12 A. I chose this assignment for myself as part of the general
13 assignment which had to do with the uncovering of war crimes and
14 perpetrators of war crimes.
15 Q. You told us that in the hospital you came across a room where JNA
16 soldiers were held. In connection with this, I'd like to know whether at
17 a later stage in your conversation with Vesna Bosanac you heard that a
18 soldier by the name of Ivan Zivkovic had been treated at the hospital.
19 A. I would have to consult the statement written by Dr. Bosanac. In
20 this statement all the facts are mentioned which have to do with the
21 interview on what her role and her actions within the hospital were.
22 Q. I wanted to remind you, in fact this particular soldier, once he
23 recovered, joined the convoy which left the hospital for Croatia in
24 mid-October. Do you remember this man? Does this ring a bell?
25 A. No, I don't. But if I were to see this statement, I might
2 Q. You told us that you toured the hospital that morning with
3 Dr. Stanojevic. Can you tell us whether Dr. Stanojevic addressed you
4 as "Colonel" or as "Colonel Mrksic" [as interpreted] while you were
5 touring the hospital?
6 A. No, that's ridiculous.
7 Q. Did he address you as "Colonel" perhaps?
8 A. Well, that's possible.
9 Q. Thank you. You told us that having left the hospital you went to
10 Velepromet once again. What time was it when you went to Velepromet
12 A. I returned to Velepromet in a car driven by a journalist, I
13 believe, or some sort -- a driver that I didn't know and this was after
14 1200 hours.
15 Q. Can you tell us what assignment took you to Velepromet?
16 A. I went over there to meet with Branko Korica to jot down an
17 outline of the report on the tasks we had been carrying out.
18 Q. Do you know what task Branko Korica had on that day at Velepromet?
19 A. I don't know. I only found him expecting the contents of the bag
20 that I mentioned, or the brief-case.
21 Q. And how did you know you were going to meet him there? Did you
22 agree to meet there?
23 A. Yes, we met -- we agreed that we would meet in Captain First Class
24 Radivojevic's office.
25 Q. You said that you went to Velepromet on your own basically
1 although you were driven by a journalist. Were you not afraid in view of
2 the threats you had experienced the night before?
3 A. I had heard from Korica that that very morning he had left the
4 rooms in the hospital where he was with me to go to the ground floor there
5 to inspect the situation. When I returned to Velepromet, he told me that
6 at one point he had been approached by a sergeant, a sniper shooter, who
7 told him to feel lucky that he was still alive. He said that he had told
8 him: I thought that you were Colonel Branko because that's -- then I was
9 cautioned by others that you were not, in fact. You should feel lucky for
10 that reason.
11 Q. Did Colonel Korica arrest the sergeant?
12 A. No, he did not --
13 Q. Or rather, did he arrest the lieutenant?
14 A. No. He merely told me the story and Branko Korica also told me
15 that he had two reservists taken to custody to the military detention
16 there. I believe this was at the time when Major Lukic was in the
18 Q. Did you take any measures to find out who the sniper shooter was
19 in order to ensure your protection?
20 A. No, I didn't. I rather thought that it would be best for us not
21 to meet such a person again.
22 Q. What could you see in the Velepromet yard when you went there?
23 A. You mean in the morning hours or when I arrived there?
24 Q. When you arrived there at 1200 hours, as you said.
25 A. When I arrived there, as far as I can remember, there were buses
1 parked there with women on board. I don't know for how long they had been
2 there. The driver of the Land Rover went on to the command post. He went
3 past the Velepromet.
4 When I entered the Velepromet compound, there was just one
5 police -- military police officer at the gate, and then inside the
6 compound there was a captain first class with a sub-machine-gun there by
7 the telephone. We greeted each other; he may have even introduced
8 himself, but I wasn't sure whether he was a member of captain -- of
9 Colonel Mrksic's unit or whether he was from the TO staff. But
10 nevertheless he was on duty by the phone.
11 Through our conversation, I learned that there was a person who
12 was interested in knowing who was in the office. The person may have been
13 interested in me, but I'm not sure.
14 Q. I'd like to know what you saw in the Velepromet yard as you
15 arrived there. Was the convoy inside the compound?
16 A. No. The convoy was out in the street. I did not find anyone or
17 anything in the yard that would remain in my memory.
18 Q. After that you enter the building and, as you put it, you were
19 looking at your notes which were to serve to draft your report?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. From the moment you entered the building, did you leave the
22 building at some point to go out into the Velepromet yard?
23 A. No.
24 Q. All through to the moment that you explained to us when you
25 attended the government meeting and then as you went out, saw the
1 journalists there?
2 A. I don't know whether they were journalists or not, but I saw
3 Tomislav Peternek with his cameras, and next to him I saw --
4 Q. Thank you. You've described that bit already. I was only
5 interested in knowing whether that was the first time you left the
6 building after having entered it.
7 A. Yes. I did not dare leave the premises earlier because of the
8 threats leveled at me.
9 Q. You mentioned the brief-case and Warrant Officer Korica. Did you
10 hand the brief-case to someone to the security administration or to the
11 security department of the 1st Military District as well as did you convey
12 the information you had about the brief-case?
13 A. I told Warrant Officer Korica to write a -- an official note about
14 the brief-case and to state who had given him the brief-case, that it was
15 the military police officer under Borisavljevic and to say that the
16 brief-case had been handed over by the Chetniks. He drafted the official
17 note, and together with the brief-case he sent it to the forward command
18 post of Ljubisa Petkovic, Colonel Ljubisa Petkovic.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] My apologies.
21 Q. You said that at one point the colonel from Arkan's escort entered
22 the room you were in.
23 A. Starovic or something to that effect.
24 Q. It doesn't matter. When was that? What time was it; do you
1 A. Well, what time could it have been? I believe it could have been
2 about 1.00, perhaps a bit earlier.
3 Q. Thank you very well. You said that after that Arkan himself
4 entered the room. How long after the departure of the colonel did he come
6 A. In my statement I described how that colonel and I were trying to
7 outwit each other, and I can describe this again if necessary. But the
8 colonel was trying to exert psychological pressure on me. I understood
9 him to have been asked to do so by Arkan, that I should appear in all
10 humiliation before Arkan and report to him and so on and so forth.
11 Q. You've described that, but how long after your exchange with the
12 colonel that he entered?
13 A. Well, the colonel entered the room three times. He'd address me,
14 we'd have an exchange, and then he'd go back to Arkan. And then finally
15 after I had told him that I was the most senior person in the room and
16 that he ought to have honoured the military rules, I said that Arkan
17 should enter. And that was when Arkan entered and addressed me with
18 the -- in those -- in those disparaging remarks.
19 Q. Yes, but how long was that after the colonel's entry to the room?
20 A. I can't say whether it was three or five minutes, but five minutes
21 at most certainly.
22 Q. Was this the first time you saw Arkan in Vukovar?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you ever see him again after that?
25 A. You mean in Vukovar?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. No, I never saw him again.
3 Q. How long was this conversation between the two of you?
4 A. As long as it took us to exchange the words that I recounted in my
5 statement. He was being abusive. He called me a madman, and he kept
6 telling me that I would have to send those prisoners of war back to them.
7 Q. Can you give us a rough idea of how long this took altogether?
8 A. Say about five minutes.
9 Q. These exchanges you had with Arkan and the members of his guards
10 unit were not exactly pleasant, were they?
11 A. You mean with Arkan?
12 Q. Yes, and the members of his guards unit.
13 A. No, they weren't pleasant by any stretch of the imagination.
14 Q. You say that in that conversation Arkan referred to a lady called
15 Magda who had slit the throats of 40 children?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. There's something else I want to know. Before your arrival in
18 Vukovar, officially or unofficially had you ever heard anything about a
19 necklace being made of children's fingers, allegedly made by a man named
20 Daruvar, or about Serb children being slaughtered in a creche in Vukovar?
21 An Italian journalist had supposedly found out about that.
22 A. No. What I heard from Arkan was the first I ever heard about it,
23 about this woman named Magda slitting the throats of children. I met her
24 at the penitentiary where she was a prisoner of war.
25 JUDGE PARKER: I would just remind you, Mr. Vasic, of the time.
1 Be conscious that you will need to finish.
2 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm doing my utmost to
3 complete within -- by the end of the first session, and I think I might
4 just succeed.
5 JUDGE PARKER: You will succeed, Mr. Vasic.
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. You said that at one point you were invited to a government
8 meeting. What time was this?
9 A. It may have been about 1300 hours.
10 Q. Did you invite anybody else to come along?
11 A. Yes, I invited Branko Korica. I told him to watch my back. I
12 said: Pack that bag of yours, leave it in one of the drawers, and come
13 with me to watch my back. I had a presentment of danger, and I kept
14 thinking to myself: What sort of a government is this and what sort of a
15 meeting is this at Velepromet?
16 Q. If you felt there was danger, why did you go?
17 A. I felt I needed to go in order to keep Arkan and his guards unit
18 from coming back, perhaps even trying to arrest me or at least mistreat
20 Q. When you left the room to go to the government meeting, you didn't
21 exactly leave the building. You just took the corridor and you walked
22 down the corridor all the way to that room where the meeting was taking
24 A. Yes, that's true. But on my way there I watching through that
25 glass pane and I realised what was happening outside.
1 Q. Please try to stick to the gist of my question. I have severe
2 time limitations imposed on me, and I'm trying to do my best with what I
4 When you entered the meeting room, the meeting had not got off the
5 ground yet and the ministers were still arriving, right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In addition to those ministers, commanders of TO staffs and chiefs
8 of SUP were also arriving?
9 A. Yes, some at least. I recognised some of them as people in those
10 official capacities.
11 Q. What I want to know is: From the moment you entered the
12 meeting -- or rather, how long did it take for the meeting to begin after
13 you had entered the room?
14 A. What exactly do you mean how long it took for the meeting to
16 Q. When did it begin?
17 A. Well, they got in and then Mr. Goran Hadzic came in, and then it
18 took three or five minutes for the rest of them to come in, the ministers,
19 their assistants, staff commanders, and so on and so forth.
20 Q. In your assessment, the meeting might have started at 1300 hours
21 or 1315 at the latest?
22 A. Yes, thereabouts. I can't be much more specific.
23 Q. Thank you. You told us that the meeting was opened by Goran
24 Hadzic who said that this was a continuation of a previous meeting?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you remember him mentioning anything about the government
2 adopting a conclusion at the previous meeting which took place on the
3 19th of November, 1991, to the effect that the JNA had to submit to the
4 government of Eastern Slavonia, Srem, and Baranja for as long as they were
5 still in their territory?
6 A. I don't think he said that. It would have struck me as very
7 strange because, if anything, his ambition was great.
8 Q. Thank you very much. You're answering questioned posed to you by
9 the justice minister and you said you were there on behalf of the security
10 administration, the Supreme Command, and the top level state leadership.
11 You said that the decision had to be observed that the prisoners of war be
12 sent to Sremska Mitrovica?
13 A. Yes. I made it crystal clear that I was there on behalf of those
14 bodies and that the prisoners of war were to be sent to Sremska
15 Mitrovica. And then the justice minister, Susa, asked me on whose orders
16 I was acting. I do believe that Arkan had told them about what I had said
17 to him previously, when he asked me the same question in a rather
18 offensive way and when he made threats to the effect that I would be made
19 or forced to send them back.
20 Q. Do you remember what you answered the minister who asked you about
21 whose call it was for those prisoners to be sent back to Vukovar from
22 Sremska Mitrovica?
23 A. I said that they had been taken to Mitrovica in an organised
24 manner, and that their return should then likewise be organised. What I
25 meant was planning, implementation, supervision, that sort of thing.
1 Q. During your interview with the OTP investigator, did you mention
2 the fact that at the meeting you spoke about being there with a security
3 group on behalf of the security administration, that you had been acting
4 on their orders, and that you had not sent away 1.500 prisoners of war,
5 but rather as few as 800?
6 A. Yes, that is what I said.
7 Q. What I want to know is if at one point in time you were addressed
8 by Ljuban Devetak. You've mentioned that already, saying that the JNA
9 made a Croat Stalingrad out of Vukovar?
10 A. Yes. And I said hat one day all the Croatian children would learn
11 about this and this would be used for their indoctrination. He said --
12 Q. My apologies, but can you please make a pause because we keep
13 having overlaps and there is little that eventually gets recorded.
14 A. I apologise. I'll do my best.
15 Q. I repeat my question. Do you remember Ljuban Devetak at this
16 government session telling you that Vukovar -- that the JNA had made a
17 Croatian Stalingrad out of Vukovar, and this would remain as a historical
18 fact that would be used to indoctrinate Croatian children?
19 A. Yes, it would be a study case and it would be used for
20 indoctrination. The TO would have liberated Vukovar long ago, had it not
21 been for the JNA.
22 Q. At this government meeting -- I don't mean you personally but the
23 JNA as a whole, were any armed threats made against you?
24 A. Yes, Arkan was the only one carrying a Heckler gun, a long barrel,
25 across his chest. And he had that well-known expression, menacing
1 expression, and he was waiting to see what would happen in order to then
2 decide what he would do about me.
3 Q. That's not what I meant. I meant if any words were uttered by any
4 of the ministers present at the meeting that an attempt would be made to
5 prevent the taking away of prisoners by force or by the use of weapons.
6 A. Yes, yes. Those who were taken away were mentioned -- first they
7 said there would be a vote on what would happen to me. And the next thing
8 they said was that I would be told to bring them back from
9 Sremska Mitrovica, to bring the prisoners back.
10 The next thing that was said was another threat and what you've
11 just stated and what I've pointed out already, that I would never leave
12 that room alive. Maybe I should have said that first, that I would never
13 leave that room alive and that there was no way we would ever be allowed
14 to release those Ustashas and criminals from the hospital. The barracks
15 had already been surrounded by the TO units and the people there.
16 Q. You were the only officer at the meeting at this point in time,
17 weren't you?
18 A. Yes, but if one of them said: Colonel, don't be scared. There is
19 another lieutenant-colonel, he should be around somewhere, but he's off on
20 an errand or something.
21 Q. We'll get to that. But what I want to know now is: Upon your
22 return, did you draft a report about this and did you send it to the
23 security administration to inform them that threats had been made at
24 Vukovar against JNA members, threats made by the local authorities who
25 tried to stand in your way? Did you or did you not?
1 A. My apologies to you, my apologies to the Chamber, but there's
2 something I have to say. I have to tell you exactly what Warrant Officer
3 Korica told me. I asked him: Why didn't you follow me into that room to
4 watch my back? Do you know what I had to go through?
5 And he replied: I tried to get into the room but I was stopped by
6 Lieutenant-Colonel Panic. He also stopped another TO member who was
7 threatening to chuck a grenade into the meeting room.
8 Lieutenant-Colonel Panic was trying to hush the whole thing up and
9 trying to calm down that TO member with the assistance of some military
10 police officers. This TO member was trying to explain that they had
11 killed his boss. His boss was the chief of Velepromet who was an ethnic
12 Serb. There were the Chetniks, there was Marko Crevar, and it was they,
13 as I understood at the time, who had killed an ethnic Serb who happened to
14 be the chief of Velepromet. I don't know what the reason was, but what I
15 gathered was that Lieutenant-Colonel Panic was within the compound at the
16 relevant time, that was before the meeting. And he met Goran Hadzic and
17 everybody else. Most likely Branko Korica will testify about this.
18 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Vujic, but you're not answering my
19 question, are you? We'll get to this, but what I want to know now is:
20 Did you send that report or not? Yes or no, please, it's that simple.
21 A. No, of course I didn't. I asked all my superiors if they knew
22 everything that had been going on, that sort of thing.
23 Q. And they all said they knew, so you decided not to file a report.
24 Is that right?
25 A. Yes, they all said they knew. I believe a copy of the minutes
1 from that particular meeting should be available it's just that I've never
2 seen those.
3 Q. We'll get to Lieutenant-Colonel Panic now. You've just told me
4 that it was at this government meeting that you heard about the fact that
5 there were people waiting for him?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. But you've never shared this with anybody up to this point. Your
8 earlier account was that he came to the government meeting or that he was
9 expected and not that he returned?
10 A. Each time I said that he was expected. I am saying this now
11 before this Chamber, and I'm saying it to you so that the Chamber may be
12 informed about this fact which I believe to be relevant because it shows
13 that Lieutenant-Colonel Panic was there once the government people
14 arrived. He was within the Velepromet compound.
15 Q. What would you say if I told you that Lieutenant Panic's account
16 is quite different. He says he was late for the start of the meeting.
17 The meeting had already commenced by the time he got there. He said he
18 spoke at that meeting, and you said: He got there, he came in, the
19 ministers assembled around him, and you were left in the room all alone.
20 A. I'm putting it to you, Mr. Vasic, that Lieutenant-Colonel Panic
21 was not there with me at that meeting. I would have loved for him to be
23 It was in your present that Lieutenant-Colonel Panic tried to
24 talk me into agreeing to harmonise or coordinate our statement, to
25 indicate that he was there at the meeting. However, the only thing I can
1 say is: He wasn't there. He arrived just as I have described.
2 Q. Can you tell us how long the meeting took, the government meeting,
3 and when, roughly speaking, did it end?
4 A. It could have taken about 45 minutes, the duration of a block in
5 primary school. It finished when Lieutenant-Colonel Panic came -- or
6 rather, when the buses came. These are some facts to be taken into
7 account. I don't know when the buses arrived from the hospital.
8 Q. That's why I'm not asking you about that. I'm asking you about a
9 very rough time-line. Would you say past 2.00 or at around 2.00?
10 A. Yes, I'd say that's a fair assessment.
11 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry. May I just object on one small matter.
12 My learned friend is trying to put to the witness what Colonel
13 Panic's account or statement says, and I appreciate the difficulties --
14 well, I presume he is, because that's the way it seems to be sloped. I
15 see my learned friend saying no.
16 If in actual fact he is going to be putting Colonel Panic's
17 account to him, I've got Colonel Panic's statement here. I, for my part,
18 have no objection at all for this witness to have paragraph 81 read to him
19 which relates to the Velepromet meeting and see whether this witness
20 agrees with that particular account or not rather than, perhaps, an
21 inadvertent misrepresentation of a facts. And I don't criticise my
22 learned friend; I only suggest this as a way to ensure that it can be done
24 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that the
25 witness has shown that he's familiar with what Lieutenant-Colonel Panic
1 said and that he abides by what he said. I'm afraid that due to lack of
2 time, every minute is precious to us, and there's nothing further I want
3 to go into.
4 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... you guide
5 yourself. Please be aware that you've had a very generous allowance of
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I feel
8 better now. I will continue with the questions so as to keep to my
10 Q. After that you said that you went to the barracks. I would like
11 to know until what time you stayed in the barracks, approximately.
12 A. Well, the first question is when I left that place with and in the
13 Velepromet yard I saw only a journalist, Tomislav Peternek, a
14 photographer, and two or three others --
15 Q. Yes, you've already told us who was there. So we don't want to
16 hear that, but I want to know what time you left.
17 A. I think it was about 3.00 when I left.
18 Q. And how long did you stay in the barracks? When did you leave the
19 barracks to go to Negoslavci, approximately?
20 A. I cannot be precise about the time. I had lunch there. I had a
21 conversation with Major Lukic, which went on for some time, and then be
22 Colonel Gvero, who was getting ready to brief the minister; Rade Leskovac.
23 Q. Thank you. You've told us that. But when did you arrive in
24 Negoslavci, approximately?
25 A. And then I looked at the damage to the barracks.
1 I said that I arrived in Negoslavci at around 1800 hours.
2 Q. What kind of uniform were you wearing throughout your stay in Vukovar?
3 A. It was an olive-grey uniform with an officer's belt, a
4 windcheater, a Tito cap, and a back-pack, and a small bag.
5 Q. Did you have a pistol?
6 A. Yes, certainly.
7 Q. Thank you. You said in Negoslavci you came across members of your
8 group. Did you also meet soldiers from the 1st Military District? Did
9 they go back to Negoslavci?
10 A. Yes. They were around, but they didn't go back to Sid with us.
11 They remained in the area of Vukovar.
12 Q. Can you tell us what their tasks were, if you know, on the 20th
13 and where they were?
14 A. I think they had tasks given them by the security organ in
15 wartime, and that they reported on their work to their superiors. Colonel
16 Petkovic or whoever it was who gave them their task.
17 Q. Thank you. You have told us what you heard that Colonel Tomic had
18 said to Colonel Mrksic about the fact that the TO wanted to take over the
19 prisoners of war from the barracks by force. If I tell you that Colonel
20 Mrksic's standpoint was that Colonel Tomic, in the presence of an air
21 force colonel, never said anything like that to him, nor was Colonel
22 Mrksic ever an advocate of the alleged idea that anyone should be treated
23 with laxity, and especially not that prisoners of war should be handed
24 over to the local authorities, what would you say to that? Did the
25 Colonel tell you the same thing or perhaps you…
1 A. I was not mistaken about what he told me…what Colonel Tomic said.
2 I believe that Colonel Kijanovic was with him. He never left him for
3 a moment, just as Branko Korica never left me. I believe that he went,
4 as was his duty as the leader of our group, to report to Colonel Mrksic
5 about the events that were taking place.
6 Q. You were waiting for the column that was forming to go to
7 Belgrade, and then you say you heard shots from the direction of Ovcara.
8 Was it after 2300 hours or later?
9 A. The shooting lasted for some time. It wasn't just a single short
10 burst. There was a shop there, and we milled around in front of that shop
11 and the column was forming behind us. I didn't know why we had to wait
12 for so long.
13 Q. Well, you've already explained that. I'm just interested in the
14 time. Could that have been at around 11.00 p.m.?
15 A. Well, it was after 10.00 p.m., towards midnight, in that span of
16 time. That's when the shooting was heard.
17 Q. You said that on your arrival in Sid to see General Babic and
18 Colonel Petkovic and that you heard that they knew about the events that
19 had to do with the evacuation of prisoners from Velepromet and the hospital?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. As you said, he was in charge of dealing with prisoners of war?
22 A. Yes, for some kind of coordination, but I can't tell you precisely
23 what his task was. I know what the tasks of a chief were who was holding
24 such a post.
25 Q. Thank you. And a general question about this. While you were
1 travelling back to Belgrade, did you ask Colonel Tomic whether he would
2 report to the security administration or whether you should do it? I'm
3 referring to a written report.
4 A. No, Mr. Vasic. Colonel Tomic went to Belgrade almost every
5 weekend, and he went into the security administration. There was an
6 operations duty service there. There was a war on. Some people say there
7 wasn't a war, but there actually was a war, Mr. Vasic.
8 Q. Thank you very much. My time is running out, so I have to be very
9 quick. I have only a few more questions.
10 After your return to Sremska Mitrovica, did you ever write any
11 kind of report any anything that had occurred in Vukovar?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Can you tell us why you took notes about all this in your notebook
14 if you didn't write a report?
15 A. Well, how could I describe these events in my statement? You can
16 see how long it is. This "mokraca" [phoen] that you're interested in, you
17 can see how many people's names I had to remember.
18 Q. Are you aware of whether Colonel Petkovic or the chief of security
19 of the 1st Military District ever submitted a report to the chief of the
21 A. I don't know if they did, but they were duty-bound to submit
22 regular reports, daily operations reports, just as Colonel Mrksic had to
24 Q. Did you submit any criminal reports against persons whom you knew
25 to have committed characters in Vukovar?
1 A. I had no proof that they had committed war crimes.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you submit a report in writing about the fact that
3 you allegedly informed Colonels Mrksic and Sljivancanin about the events
4 on the 19th of November, 1991?
5 A. I explained what I had experienced. I did not accuse Major
6 Sljivancanin for performing his tasks. I told a general, whom you know
7 well, that Major Sljivancanin would be the best witness in these
9 Q. Thank you, sir. My time has almost run out. I have two more
10 questions, so please allow me to finish.
11 Did you submit a report in writing about the fact that you
12 allegedly reported to Mrksic and Sljivancanin about the events of the 19th
13 of November, yes or no?
14 A. No. I only made a statement about it.
15 Q. And my last question: Did you ever submit a written report to
16 anyone about the events in Velepromet that allegedly took place on the
17 19th of November during the evacuation that you were in charge or about
18 the government session you attended?
19 A. No, I didn't report in writing; I reported orally right away to
20 Colonel Tomic, and I told him what I had experienced at the government
21 session. And Colonel Kijanovic and Major Slobodan Stosic and others were
22 present when I did so.
23 Q. Thank you. But I'm asking you whether you reported in writing.
24 A. No. I reported orally when the chief of the security
25 administration, Aleksandar Dimitrijevic summoned me. At the time you're
1 interested in when I was part of the group, he was the deputy of Colonel
2 Radivojevic. That's why I said to Dimitrijevic: You should have been
3 where I was.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
6 questions. I hope I haven't disappointed you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic. You always manage to rise to
8 the occasion.
9 We will now have the first break and resume at five minutes
10 past 4.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Borovic:
16 Q. Good day. I am Defence counsel for Miroslav Radic, as you heard,
17 counsel Borivoje Borovic. How many years of experience do you have as a
18 troop officer? That means experience in working with military units.
19 A. Eight years.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how many men a company has.
21 A. About 120.
22 Q. An infantry company or a motorised company in combat, is that the
23 lowest-level tactical unit?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. My next question: Can you tell us the difference between
1 subordination and joint action or coordinated action?
2 A. Subordination is regulated through an order, a different kind of
3 order than coordination is. In the case of coordination, the order is to
4 work together in carrying out a task.
5 Q. And who?
6 A. The subordinate -- the superior officer determines the area and
7 the axis, and for operations units, the zone of attack or defence.
8 Q. Thank you. Can we agree if I tell you that during these combat
9 operations a company leader first has an observation post, and the next
10 highest-ranking unit has a command post? Did you have the approval of the
11 security administration to be sent from Sid to Vukovar?
12 A. From Sid to Vukovar, yes, yes.
13 Q. And when did you get this approval?
14 A. Only Colonel Tomic could have obtained it.
15 Q. Excuse me.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. The answer to my
17 previous question has not been recorded. When I asked the witness: In
18 connection with the observation post and the command post of a brigade
19 commander and higher-ranking units, his response has not been recorded.
20 I'll do it again for the sake of the transcript.
21 Q. Can we agree, that's how I put my question, that a company
22 commander establishes an observation post of the company command and that
23 a battalion commander or a commander of higher-level units establishes a
24 command post?
25 A. Yes, that's according to the military regulations.
1 Q. When you were giving your statement to the OTP -- do you have it
2 before you?
3 A. Statement?
4 Q. Yes. To the Prosecution.
5 A. Yes, yes, I have it here.
6 Q. And do you have the statement that you gave before the military
8 A. Well, I have it, but I haven't brought it with me.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please hand this
11 statement; it's the statement made before the military court. In case I
12 put something to the witness, the witness will be able to read it or
13 compare the text to my question. Thank you.
14 Q. Could you please now look at the statement you made to the
15 Prosecutor's office.
16 A. The Prosecutor's office.
17 Q. Do you want me to give it to you?
18 A. Well ...
19 Q. Here you are. The first page of your statement, could you look at
21 My question is: Who was with you when you were making this
22 statement? Did you have someone giving you advice or did you give the
23 statement on your own?
24 A. You mean to the Prosecutor's office?
25 Q. Yes, in The Hague.
1 A. Well, the persons who were present included Gradomir [phoen]
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. And also colonel -- just let me see. Colonel Mojsilovic from the
5 military part of the commission on cooperation with the Tribunal.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. That is, two persons were with me.
8 Q. And the name of this other officer, is it on the front page of
9 this witness interview?
10 A. No.
11 Q. In 2002 this person, you say, was an officer cooperating with
12 The Hague Tribunal?
13 A. The other person was a member of the commission, the military part
14 of the commission headed by a general. There was some retired generals in
15 the commission, maybe one or two active ones, and there was Colonel
16 Mojsilovic as the secretary.
17 Q. Thank you. At the time you made the statement and when you say
18 this friend of yours, Miletic, as it says on the front page, was he a
19 soldier or was he the director of a company called Smederevka?
20 A. Yes, he was the director of that company but he used to be a
22 Q. Can you then explain to Their Honours how the director of a
23 company dealing in fruit juices and fruit and vegetables can be part of
24 such a high-level commission cooperating with The Hague and be present
25 during your interview with the OTP?
1 A. Miletic used to be a judge of the military court in Zagreb. After
2 that, he was a major in the legal service, in the legal administration of
3 the SSNO. After he left the army, he became the director of that company.
4 But he is a graduate lawyer and he was an attorney.
5 Q. Was he an attorney at the time you were making the statement?
6 A. No. What it says here was that he was there as a friend of mine.
7 Q. Thank you. I will comment on this at another time.
8 Let us now go back to our main topic. Did Colonel Radivojevic
9 issue a specific order to you? He was your immediate superior.
10 A. No.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. Apart from the fact that he gave me general tasks. I asked him
13 whether this was covered legally, if you understand me, and he said:
14 There is an order on organising camps for prisoners of war and collection
16 Q. Thank you. And his recommendation for your work, what did it say?
17 A. He said that we were to investigate crimes and criminals.
18 Q. Thank you. Aleksandar Vasiljevic, whom we have mentioned in these
19 proceedings, did he issue any specific orders?
20 A. No. I didn't see Aleksandar Vasiljevic until the arrival in
21 KP Dom in Sremska Mitrovica when we communicated by telephone occasionally
22 He issued tasks to me or received reports from me.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you see Aleksandar Vasiljevic before you came to
24 make this statement here?
25 A. No, I didn't, except when I was interviewed as a witness by the
1 investigating judge of the Novi Sad district court. I think his name is
2 Alen Pijevic --
3 Q. Alen Pic.
4 A. Yes, Alen Pic. And he was doing that on the premises of the
5 military court in Proleterskih Brigada Street which has been renamed now.
6 Q. Thank you. What was this meeting like with Vasiljevic?
7 A. Well, he was also being interviewed as a witness, as far as I
8 could tell, and so we encountered each other in the waiting-room where
9 there were other witnesses as well.
10 Q. Thank you. As we have heard over these past few days, you
11 helped - I'm using your own words - to evacuate prisoners and take them to
12 Sremska Mitrovica. And for the most part, this was what your activity
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Haven't we heard that your task was to investigate war crimes?
16 A. Yes. War crimes have to be investigated pursuant to the rules. I
17 can't remember the precise article now. You'll know that better than I
18 do. And we start this procedure only after prisoners of war are evacuated
19 to a camp.
20 Q. Does that mean you did not take any suspect interviews from any
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. On the ground in Vukovar?
24 A. That was not my task.
25 Q. Well, if you didn't take any statements in Vukovar, why were you
1 present there as someone in charge of investigating war crimes? You say
2 that there were enough people from the military police and other companies
3 to evacuate the prisoners, so what were you doing out on the ground?
4 A. I believe that you have observed the duality of command in
5 Velepromet. This is a salient characteristic of the relations between the
6 Territorial Defence and the JNA.
7 Q. Did you draw up an official note about this?
8 A. No, I acted as I did.
9 Q. Very well. Thank you. Did you draw up an official note at the
10 government session, as you said?
11 A. I only tried to write down some key words, and because I did that
12 I received threats.
13 Q. Where is your official note now?
14 A. It doesn't exist anymore. This was a notepad that I as a security
15 organ carried around with me, and I believe it has been destroyed.
16 Q. Can you clarify what you mean when you say you believe it has been
18 A. The documentation I, as a security organ, handed over remained in
19 a file or a dossier or a binder referring to the case I was working on.
20 It contained all my notes and the statements I took from prisoners of war.
21 Q. You had an official logbook and a case you were working on. Can
22 you clarify this to avoid misunderstanding?
23 A. No, it wasn't a single case. My work in the Sremska Mitrovica
24 KP Dom took place from the 21st of November to the 27th of December.
25 Q. Well, to clarify this further, I see you're giving very precise
1 answers, so let's continue like this. My -- you said that your official
2 note and log-book were probably in that case file. What does that mean?
3 A. Well, in that case file, in that dossier, my notes remained there.
4 That was a dossier concerning my work.
5 Q. And this file of yours relating to Sremska Mitrovica, was it sent
6 to Belgrade?
7 A. I don't know. It was received by the next camp commander and his
8 subordinates. I remember that when I was sitting there, at one point in
9 time I felt someone leaning against my chair behind my back. When I
10 turned around, I was surprised to see someone I knew. I couldn't recall
11 who he was, but he looked familiar. It was Major Srecko Borisavljevic,
12 and there was another major, Major Luka Miljus.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you remember what my question was?
14 A. Yes, you're looking for my notebook.
15 Q. That's right.
16 A. I cannot tell you that it's in existence.
17 Q. As someone who gave himself a task, as we have just heard, can you
18 tell us how many members of the ZNG were hiding in the hospital, the
19 paramilitary formation, approximately.
20 A. I was unable to check that, and it was not my task to check it.
21 Q. Thank you. And did you establish that members of the ZNG and the
22 Croatian paramilitary formations were hiding in the hospital?
23 A. There was only one example. When a member of the Territorial
24 Defence brought before me a man whom he said was a criminal, and he told
25 me that his nickname was Jajo or Joja. And he said that he had
1 slaughtered Serbs; he gave me some examples of his crimes. And I first
2 said --
3 Q. So there was one example.
4 A. Yes, only that one example.
5 Q. Before your arrival in the hospital, did you have any knowledge
6 that during the last days of the Vukovar operations the Crisis Staff had
7 moved to the hospital and operated from there?
8 A. I heard that first from Major Sljivancanin when he briefed us.
9 After that, I had an interview with Dr. Vesna Bosanac and I asked her
10 about it.
11 Q. Very well. Thank you. You, as we heard, introduced yourself as
12 Colonel Branko in various places. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In some statements or parts of your statement you even asked
15 people to introduce themselves to you - is that correct - officers or
16 non-commissioned officers with whom you communicated?
17 A. Only the commander of the armoured vehicle.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you. My next logical question is as follows.
19 On page 11, line 1 of your statement to the OTP, did you say that the
20 buses escorted by armoured combat vehicles left the Velepromet compound?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You have the statement before you. Did you say that there was a
23 colonel at the head of the column?
24 A. That's what I heard.
25 Q. Wouldn't it be logical for you to ask that colonel to introduce
1 himself to you because then that would constitute the end of your task?
2 You would then have known to whom you handed over those people, and you
3 would be able to include that in your report, whether oral or written?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Well, tell us then.
6 A. Well, I would have liked it to have been like that.
7 Q. Well, whose omission was it?
8 A. It was the omission of more than one colonel.
9 Q. When you arrived at the hospital, you said that you found a
10 military police company there.
11 A. I found a unit of the military police there providing security for
12 the hospital.
13 Q. Very well. Do you know what the name of the commander of the
14 military police company was?
15 A. I don't. I can only tell you what Major Sljivancanin had said,
16 that they had been rotating.
17 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to the part of your statement wherein
18 you said -- my apologies.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in line 7 -- oh, now
20 it's fine. The transcript has been corrected.
21 Q. You stated: I gave myself the assignment at the hospital. That
22 was in line 12 -- or, rather, page 12, line 4 of your statement to the
23 OTP, and I believe you repeated that part of the statement here?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. If there are any such regulations, then you will have to tell me
1 which regulations these were, allowing you to give yourself assignments on
2 your own. You said that in the area covering [as interpreted] by
3 Colonel Mrksic, that there was no one else who could issue orders than
4 him, or were you the person number one at that point and you did not need
5 the authorisation of any officer?
6 A. No, I did not consider myself to be in charge there. I said
7 before -- in front of Major Sljivancanin and others present there that I
8 wanted to inspect the way in which the hospital was used from the
9 perspective of the international laws of war, its use and abuse, and that
10 I was to interview the POWs and any other suspects in view of the possible
11 commission of crimes, that I wanted to take stock of the situation.
12 Q. Very well. But you did not say "I wished to," you said "I
13 assigned myself the task."
14 A. You asked who had given that assignment to me, and I could have
15 said that this was pursuant to the law.
16 Q. Very well. If this was pursuant to the law, then it's all fine.
17 In the statement you gave to the OTP you have before you on
18 page 13, line 2 -- please find the page, page 13.
19 A. Page 13, line 2, "on the roof," and so on.
20 Q. Yes. My question is as follows: You stated there that on the
21 roof of the hospital there were traces of the presence of this armed
22 formation there. Before that, you referred to the ZNG formations. Is
23 that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Would you be so kind as to describe in more detail for the Trial
1 Chamber, since you were acting in accordance with the law, what sort of
2 presence you established there in terms of the strength, equipment,
3 ammunition, and action of the unit.
4 A. No ammunition or equipment was found there. First of all, Dr.
5 Stanojevic stated that a unit was stationed there which was subordinated
6 to the big boss, as he put it, Bojler, Veliki Bojler, who was the
7 commanding officer of the ZNG unit?
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, line 19, question and
9 answer have been shown as a question only. So they should be split.
10 That's line 16 -- from line 19 the answer starts, but it seems to be
11 continuous text.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I believe that's enough or should we
14 put the same question to the witness again?
15 JUDGE PARKER: I think not.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Did Dr. Stanojevic tell you that members of the ZNG had used this
18 vantage point under the roof in the attic to observe?
19 A. Yes, they removed tiles. The attic was covered only by beams and
20 tiles. If you removed some tiles, you would -- you were able to see the
21 surroundings of the hospital.
22 Q. Does this mean that the tiles had been removed only on this one
24 A. Well, they had their own room where they were located, and
25 obviously this other spot was their observation post.
1 Q. Thank you. So on two places only you found traces of their
2 observation posts where the ZNG formations were located?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You also stated in paragraph 5 on page 13, the last two lines --
5 A. Yes, I see that.
6 Q. -- That nobody in the hospital was wounded or killed by shelling.
7 All the wounded had been brought in from combat positions.
8 A. Yes, that's right. That's what I stated in my statement.
9 Q. Very well. In carrying out your task, that's the inspection you
10 conducted, did you find any traces of leftover weapons or did you hear of
11 any discarded weapons?
12 A. No. Before me there were members of the military police who
13 entered the hospital, and it must have been in their interest to collect
14 any such weapons.
15 Q. Very well. Do you allow then for the possibility that had there
16 been any -- if there were any weapons they were taken away by them?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. On page 15 of your statement for the OTP in paragraph 1. Have you
19 found this?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You state that you started making notes for your report. My
22 question to you is: For the report intended for whom?
23 A. The security administration.
24 Q. Who precisely?
25 A. Chief of administration.
1 Q. His name, please?
2 A. Colonel Vasiljevic. Although I never sent my report.
3 Q. I believe that after these answers you have to explain for the
4 Trial Chamber.
5 A. Yes, I will. I was not asked to submit any such report.
6 Q. Are you unhappy about the fact that you were not asked to submit
7 such a report?
8 A. Yes -- yes, I am.
9 Q. Are you frustrated to a certain extent on that account?
10 A. Well, quite some time has passed since, and I was interviewed on
11 these events.
12 Q. But you were -- were you angry about this at the time?
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. In view of your extensive involvement and the many years of your
15 work that you investigated, did you expect to be retired from the rank of
16 a general?
17 A. No, I did not expect that and I regarded my work with modesty. I
18 believed that my work was important to inform the military leadership on
19 significant matters for the decision-making process.
20 Q. But in view of the procedure and in view of the tasks you
21 accomplished, would it not have been appropriate for you to have retired
22 from the rank of a general?
23 A. No, I did not regard myself in that light.
24 Q. Colonel Branko, is that the name you used only for the purposes of
25 the Vukovar assignment or --
1 A. Only for the time I worked with the prisoners of war.
2 Q. Very well. But can you then explain the following: In December
3 2002, when you gave the statement to OTP, why does the statement contain
4 your name [as interpreted] as Colonel Branko?
5 A. Because the investigators had asked me whether I had had a
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry. That's not the way the statement is put at
9 all. He gives his name perfectly clearly, and then the statement says in
10 nickname/alias: Colonel Branko. The name is quite clear. His name is
11 quite specific there. No attempt to mislead whatsoever.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is an error in
13 the transcript. My question was "nickname," whereas the transcript
14 says "name." My learned friend is partly right to say that, but my
15 question included the term "nickname," not the name.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but my full name and surname
17 are contained there.
18 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Well, we should not have any confusion here unnecessarily. I
20 asked why his nickname, that's to say, that of Colonel Branko, featured
21 here again 11 years later. Does it mean that you had other code-names?
22 A. No. In the statements I took from Dr. Bosanac, from Dr. Sadika
23 Bilus, from Mirko - I can't recall his name.
24 Q. We are wasting time. In 2002 you, yourself, stated that your
25 nickname was Colonel Branko?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Does this mean that this was the nickname that you used widely and
3 was generally known?
4 A. It wasn't generally known. It served only this purpose, and the
5 statement I gave was used in the Milosevic case, when Milosevic himself
6 showed my statement to Dr. Bosanac, when she testified in that case.
7 Q. Very well. On the transcript, page 4559, and not the page you're
8 looking at, not the page 2 to 5 [as interpreted], but rather the
9 transcript of your evidence here. On that page, lines 2 to 5, you
10 state -- you stated that they became prisoners the moment they raised
11 their hands and laid down their weapons. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Since you agree with this, my question is as follows: During the
14 time of your stay in Vukovar, did you at any point see anyone raise their
15 hands or lay their weapons down?
16 A. No, I did not see any such thing.
17 Q. At the government meeting, how come you knew that the person
18 chairing the meeting was called Ilija Kucarevic [phoen]? When did you
19 first meet him?
20 A. I first met him many years before that in Novi Sad. I knew
21 another cabinet member there; that was Vojislav Vukcevic, a doctor of law.
22 I believe you know him as well. He was present at the government meeting
24 Q. Thank you very much. I find this information precious for private
25 purposes, but let's move on.
1 As is stated on page 17, line 10 in this statement to the OTP, is
2 it true that when you were asked at the government meeting -- please find
3 the page before I move on. Therefore, page 17, line 10.
4 A. Page 17, line 10.
5 Q. You -- "I answered that my name was Colonel Branko and that I was
6 there with a group of security organs, for which we were tasked by the
7 chief of the security administration and I stated that we had acted upon
8 his orders and plan."
9 Is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did the chief of the security administration inform you of the
12 plan related to Vukovar or not?
13 A. No, I apologise.
14 Q. On page 20 --
15 A. I apologise. If I may add, I did not finish saying that I had met
16 Mr. Vukcevic as early as in 1974 on the solemn occasion when a bridge was
17 inaugurated, was made operational. It was a bridge symbolising
18 brotherhood and unity of the 51st Division.
19 Q. Very well, but we have to save time.
20 Can you find page 20 of your statement to the OTP. Would you
21 please be so kind as to read out the first line.
22 A. "Those who provided security to Velepromet" -- oh, "all of us were
23 waiting -- we kept waiting for something."
24 Q. You stated that you seemed to have been waiting for something, and
25 then you heard shots from the direction of Ovcara?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. If I told you that Negoslavci are at least five kilometres away
3 from Ovcara as the crow flies, or if I were to tell you that Negoslavci
4 are more than five and a half kilometres away from Grabovci, would this
5 not mean that you were not able to hear shots from those directions?
6 A. Yes, we were, Mr. Borovic. And expert witnesses would be better
7 placed to explain this both to you and to me.
8 Q. I consulted experts, and --
9 A. Well, they must have deceived you. I am a tank operator by --
10 Q. You stated: "I don't know, but we seemed to be waiting for
12 And my question to you is: Were you waiting for your mission to
13 be accomplished?
14 A. No. It was only later that I realised that Vesna Bosanac was in
15 the column as well as was the group that arrived later on at Metkovci
16 [phoen], and I believed that we were waiting for them.
17 Q. Did you learn later on what it was that you were waiting for?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Who told you to wait?
20 A. Nobody did, except for the person who was to issue orders for the
21 column to move ahead. And I don't know to this day who it was who should
22 have issued an order.
23 Q. Do you have any official note from Velepromet or from the barracks
24 or from the hospital?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you have any such official notes?
2 A. No, I had the notebooks that I told you about.
3 Q. A while ago you mentioned a notebook, and now you're
4 mentioning "notebooks."
5 A. Well, I have these notepads, you see, such as this one. I, for
6 instance, was writing down the questions put to me by Mr. Vasic.
7 Q. Very well. Did you establish how many JNA officers were killed in
8 Vukovar after all these events?
9 A. I wasn't interested in that, except that I was able to read in the
10 press that there were more than one victims.
11 Q. Victims of -- which victims?
12 A. Victims who were soldiers and civilians.
13 Q. Thank you very well -- very much. Do you know who Captain Nikolic
14 from Sremska Mitrovica is? Captain Mitrovic [as interpreted], and I'm
15 referring to the period you stayed at Sremska Mitrovica.
16 A. I only know who Major Mitrovic is.
17 Q. Would you be so kind as to tell us who he is.
18 A. He was a major wearing an air force uniform.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies, there is a mistake in
20 the transcript. It says "Major Mitrovic," whereas it should say "Major
21 Nikolic." Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was a member of the security body
23 from the security administration under Aleksandar Vasiljevic.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I think that's right. I think your answer is correct.
1 My question is: Did Major Nikolic process all of your reports,
2 and I don't mean just the people from Sremska Mitrovica, and take them
3 straight to Aleksandar Vasiljevic?
4 A. I don't know about that.
5 Q. Were I to tell you that some of the witnesses in relation to these
6 facts said that this was indeed the case, would you allow for the
7 possibility that someone took these reports to him?
8 A. Yes, I would. Because he was also attached to the other team, the
9 team that remained in the area after we had left.
10 Q. You said you went to the hospital with Major Sljivancanin in a
11 vehicle you described as P-U-H, PUH [as interpreted]?
12 A. Yes, it's an all-terrain vehicle.
13 Q. You said there was another officer with you. My question is: Was
14 he a security officer? Was he a military police officer? Was he one of
15 the escort?
16 A. It was a Warrant Officer Branko Korica, a security officer from
17 Colonel Ljubisa Petkovic's group or from General Mile Babic's group. He
18 was subordinated to either of those two officers. He used to be one of my
19 subordinated officers back when I was still an officer with the
20 counter-intelligence group attached to the army command.
21 Q. It would have been impossible for another officer from a totally
22 different unit to be there in that vehicle with you on your way to the
24 A. No. It could only have been one of the officers under Major
1 Q. Would you please be so kind and track down page 14 of your
2 statement to the OTP. There were no questions about this by the OTP. I
3 am looking at paragraph 2. Have you got that, sir?
4 A. When asked by the Prosecutor whether I knew --
5 Q. Yes. But please, read it out slowly because you haven't testified
6 about this yet.
7 A. "When asked by the investigator, Vladimir Dzuro, whether I knew
8 Captain Radic, I am positive that nobody by that last name ever introduced
9 himself to me, nor was I ever in touch with such a person, except for what
10 I've already stated. There was another officer with Major Sljivancanin in
11 the PUH vehicle with no rank, or at least none that I noticed. I saw him
12 with the soldiers near the hospital at the time when I handed over that
13 flak jacket. I was not aware of the fact that this was Captain Radic."
14 Q. Thank you. Although you seem quite determined as far as Captain
15 Radic's role is concerned, I have to ask you again, please try to be
16 crystal clear about it. You did not see Captain Radic anywhere in or near
17 the hospital compound, and he certainly wasn't in that vehicle?
18 A. No --
19 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry, even though I never adduced any evidence of
20 it for obvious reasons. If my learned friend has elicited the fact and
21 indeed the witness has said that he doesn't know who Captain Radic is, how
22 on earth can he possibly say he was or was not there?
23 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Borovic, the witness can go no further
24 than to say that he wasn't aware of a Captain Radic being present, but it
25 is his very specific evidence that he didn't know Captain Radic. So he
1 cannot tell you that somebody standing around wasn't Captain Radic. If
2 there are other people there, he doesn't know who they were. He doesn't
3 Captain Radic, so I think you won't be able to go further than that. He
4 was not aware of Captain Radic being there.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
6 I deliberately spoke about this captain along these lines. If it's not
7 the one who was in the PUH vehicle, if that wasn't Captain Radic, then
8 perhaps not. But the witness has made himself crystal clear about this
9 issue, and there's no need to pursue it. I think you're entirely you're
10 right. Thank you.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm just conferring with
13 my learned friend. She's noticed something in the transcript. What the
14 statement says and what the witness has just read out on the transcript is
15 not identical. The statement says that the person had no rank. This was
16 misread by the witness, perhaps, or it's been misinterpreted.
17 Q. So which is true?
18 A. That I didn't note any ranks.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I'll be very brief, Your Honour.
20 Q. What was the crime in relation to which you interrogated Vesna
21 Bosanac at Sremska Mitrovica?
22 A. I was interrogating her about possible crimes at the Vukovar
24 Q. Thank you. Were you interrogating her about a crime that is
25 normally described as a war crime?
1 A. I was in no position to do anything like that. I was asking her
2 the questions that as a security officer I was entitled to ask. This is
3 at the investigation stage of the proceedings before charges are even
4 brought against a person. You try to establish facts about crimes that
5 may or may not have been committed. I was asking her questions about dead
6 bodies, who they were, that sort of thing.
7 Q. Just for the benefit of the Chamber and in order to shed light on
8 your work at Mitrovica, I must ask you this: Are you aware of the
9 existing legal regulations on the distinction between grounds for
10 suspicion and founded suspicion?
11 A. Yes, I'm aware of that distinction, and this distinction is very
12 important for any investigative work.
13 Q. Do you know that in order to file a criminal complaint, it is
14 sufficient for there to be grounds for suspicion?
15 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that.
16 Q. Do you know that in order to start an investigation it is
17 necessary to establish that there are grounds for suspicion against
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does that not mean that no criminal complaint in relation to
21 Vukovar was filed because there were no grounds to suspect any persons of
22 having committed crimes to begin with?
23 A. The grounds for suspicion were assessed by the relevant prosecutor
24 of the military court -- or the military prosecutor. At the time I
25 believe this was Lieutenant-Colonel Mladenovic who held an MA degree in
2 Q. This is an area that we're both familiar with. My learned friend
3 Vasic asked you whether you pressed charges against anyone because of what
4 had occurred in Vukovar, and your answer was: No, I didn't because there
5 wasn't sufficient evidence. Is that what you said?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. So what I'm asking you now is the existence of evidence, on the
8 one hand, and grounds for suspicion on the other. There's quite a
9 difference there between the two, isn't there? Does that mean that you
10 did not file any criminal complaints because there were no grounds for
11 suspicion, or was this something that your legal officer should have done?
12 A. I can't answer a question like this. You need to know something
13 about the way our work was organised. You had to take into account the
14 role of the investigating magistrate. At this time, it's Miodrag Salic,
15 attorney-at-law. Back then he was working together with Major Stankovic,
16 a pathologist, and head of a ward at the military hospital in Belgrade.
17 He carried out autopsies on all dead bodies that were found in the area.
18 These needed to be traced back to any remaining members of the family who
19 were still alive. You know that that was no easy task at the time.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Would eye-witness statements not be taken
21 into account when these reports were being drafted? Did you have anything
22 in writing in terms of witness statements regarding the circumstances of
23 these crimes before you spoke to the investigating magistrate?
24 A. No, I had no such thing. I carried the investigation out myself.
25 Just to give you an example --
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Prisoner of war, whenever there was
3 a commander, as ZNG called them, I would ask them: What about your
4 defence area, was anybody killed in your defence area? Were there any
5 dead people? Were there any dead bodies?
6 And they would say: Yes. During the night somebody brought two
7 bodies into our area from a different defence area. What did you then do,
8 I would ask them.
9 And then the person would say: We would burn them.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Your answer is very clear. We know about JNA bodies being
12 burned -- bodies of JNA soldiers being burned at Borovo Komerc, we've
13 heard about that.
14 But my question now is: Did you look into the matter, into the
15 circumstances, because your remit was quite comprehensive, wasn't it?
16 Did you look into any crimes possibly committed by members of the JNA?
17 What you're telling us now. Did you take statements from anybody in the
18 JNA or any other military unit in the area, yes or no?
19 A. I had no chance to speak to anybody from the JNA. I wanted to
20 speak to soldiers who had been captured in order to find out more about
21 the circumstances because there are a number of wounded there, too. I
22 wanted to know more about the circumstances, and those soldiers were heard
23 and statements were taken from them by Colonel Kijanovic.
24 Q. Thank you. And what about the time when you finished your report,
25 which Major Nikolic may or may not have taken to the security
1 administration, did these reports ever go missing from the administration
2 files or were these reports forwarded to any judiciary bodies?
3 A. I believe these reports were eventually passed on to the judiciary
4 bodies. First an assessment would be made about the possible relevance of
5 a statement, in as far as statements indicated the existence of crimes and
7 Q. As for Sremska Mitrovica, you said today, and I believe you said
8 the same thing yesterday but I can always go back to your statement for us
9 to verify this, you said that Vojin Susa, the justice minister in that
10 government, brought along five or six lawyers who were "the authors of our
11 work in Sremska Mitrovica"?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is that right?
14 A. I can't say it like that.
15 Q. So what do you have to say? Is that right or not?
16 A. You should have gone back to my first statement when I said
17 Vojislav Susa, when he asked me: Can we have other bodies attending the
18 process, attending these interviews when security officers are
19 interviewing prisoners of war?
20 I said: Yes, of course.
21 Q. Please, sir.
22 A. But first of all you need to get approval.
23 Q. I need to stop you right there. There's a question that may be of
24 relevance of the Defence, and then you tend to speed up and provide very
25 comprehensive answers in order to lose track of the original question. It
1 may be an accidental thing. I don't believe -- I don't wish to believe
2 that you're doing this deliberately. I'm asking you: Is it true that
3 Vojin Susa, the justice minister of the Krajina SAO, Baranja, and
4 Zaparanje [phoen], Srem, sent monitors to Sremska Mitrovica to keep tabs
5 on your work?
6 A. Yes, and they helped uncover criminals of war. And Vojin Susa
7 personally was there and he helped us track down war criminals.
8 Q. Who authorised him to monitor you, a security officer, on an
9 important and very secret mission on behalf of the security
10 administration --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
12 MR. MOORE: Perhaps it may be the interpretation. I suspect it is
13 that. It's "to keep tabs on your work." Is that in the plural or is that
14 in the singular? It does seem later on that it does go into the singular,
15 but can we just have that clarified because it may be important.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying singular or plural of tab?
17 MR. MOORE: No, I'm saying singular or plural of -- 66.13, "to
18 keep tabs on your work," because the work related to a group of people at
19 Sremska Mitrovica. Is it "your" in the plural or "your" in the singular.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Oh, I see what you mean. On the work of this
21 witness personally --
22 MR. MOORE: Exactly --
23 JUDGE PARKER: -- Or the work of the group --
24 MR. MOORE: -- The group --
25 JUDGE PARKER: -- of which this witness was a part.
1 MR. MOORE: Exactly.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's worthy of some clarification,
3 Mr. Borovic.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] With pleasure, Your Honour.
5 Q. That group comprises five or six lawyers, the group established by
6 Vojin Susa, the justice minister in the SAO Krajina government, did they
7 keep tabs on your work, yes or no?
8 A. You could take it to mean that, yes.
9 Q. Did he personally monitor your work?
10 A. You could have taken it to mean that, yes.
11 Q. Did they personally take part in the sorting out --
12 MR. MOORE: [Previous translation continues] ... same
13 point. "Your" means plural or singular in English.
14 JUDGE PARKER: The issue is whether it is somebody just watching
15 this person here, who is the witness, Mr. Vujic, or whether it is somebody
16 watching the work of the group there. "Your" is a word in English that
17 can mean both in this context.
18 MR. BOROVIC: Okay.
19 [Interpretation] Thank you. It was with respect that I used the
20 plural. I don't think Mr. Moore understands the distinction in our
22 Q. My question: Was the work of all the investigators at
23 Sremska Mitrovica being monitored by this group established by the justice
24 minister, Vojin Susa, or was the work of Colonel Branko or Bogdan Vujic
25 alone being monitored?
1 A. It was my work being monitored.
2 Q. What about the other investigators?
3 A. I don't know about that.
4 Q. Are you sure about that?
5 A. Yes, I'm sure about that.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. Please --
8 Q. Don't yell.
9 A. But you have to respect me as well.
10 Q. My only question about this is: Who authorised Vojin Susa to
11 monitor you in carrying out security work?
12 A. Colonel Jugoslav Maksimovic.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. As the camp commander, he informed me that Goran Hadzic had first
15 come to the camp together with minister Vojin Susa.
16 Q. Yes. Go ahead.
17 A. And that he asked for Aleksandar Vasiljevic. He said to him that
18 Vasiljevic wasn't there, that he was probably in Belgrade. Then they
19 uttered a threat to the effect that they would lose their general.
20 I asked Colonel Maksimovic: What is this about? He said: They
21 arrived here and they were very upset. They came to the KP Dom
22 Sremska Mitrovica, probably to see the director or the warden. They had
23 received approval to enter the premises where the commander was and where
24 the offices were. And they made a threat, referring to General
25 Vasiljevic. He asked: What is this about? But they wouldn't say at the
2 He sent them to Belgrade to look for Aleksandar Vasiljevic.
3 Whether they found him or whether they obtained approval for Vojin Susa
4 and his group to attend, I don't know, but he monitored my personal work,
5 and I was aware of it.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you. Was this the first time in your career
7 that someone was monitoring you?
8 A. Well, monitoring is quite legal and normal. It's an institution
9 of command and control.
10 Q. Very well. Thank you. The government of the SAO Krajina, was it
11 part of the chain of command in respect to the security organs?
12 A. I think I was quite clear when I said that duality with respect to
13 Article 112 was evident first in Velepromet.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. And that there were two commands -- two chains of command. Who
16 was behind them, I don't know. Don't ask me. You can try to clarify that
17 with other witnesses.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vujic. It's evident that there were parallel
19 chains of command, one in Vukovar and one in Belgrade headed by Aleksandar
20 Vasiljevic. And when proceedings had to be instituted under every law, he
21 gave permission for your investigations to be monitored and controlled.
22 A. That's not what I said.
23 MR. MOORE: Exactly that.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It's all right, Mr. Moore.
25 MR. MOORE: It's misrepresentation.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It's all right, Mr. Moore.
2 The witness said something quite different. You are adding in
3 your understanding, Mr. Borovic, which is not that of the witness. You
4 will have to get the witness's understanding, if you want it, and that's
5 as far as this witness can go.
6 MR. BOROVIC: Okay.
7 [Interpretation] Very well. The conclusion is premature, but my
8 question is as follows.
9 Q. Does this mean that in Sremska Mitrovica, that is in Serbia, there
10 was work being carried out in parallel on this investigation?
11 A. Well, that's not how I would put it. I told you that my work was
12 monitored by Minister Vojislav Susa and his lawyers, some of whom were
13 judges in the Vukovar court or in some other court on that territory.
14 Q. Thank you. You also said that they could get authorisation to do
15 that from the chief of the security administration. Is that correct?
16 A. Well, maybe they could have obtained permission from some other
17 ministry, because I told you that at least two ministries gave their
18 approval for the establishment of the camp.
19 Q. Which ones?
20 A. Well, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Defence which
21 was actually called the Federal Secretariat for National Defence.
22 Q. The Ministry of Justice headed by this Susa, what was it
23 responsible for at that time?
24 A. He said it was their prisoners of war, not just the prisoners of
25 war of the JNA.
1 Q. According to the code on criminal procedure, do you know he could
2 not have had that authorisation?
3 A. Yes. If you understood me correctly, he pressured me to say what
4 laws we would be working under, and I told him we would be applying the
5 laws of the federal state and implementing the federal law on criminal
7 He asked: Why not the law on criminal procedure of Serbia? And I
8 just looked at him in surprise. I said: There is a state called the
9 SFRY, and there is the JNA. And the JNA worked under federal laws.
10 Q. Very well. So you've answered what was to be my next question.
11 You were working under federal laws at the time. Did you take any steps
12 against Vojin, or Vojo, as you called him, Susa because of his attack on
13 your authority and your work as an investigator before he received
14 authorisation, or were you not applying the law and not taking any steps?
15 A. Don't draw these conclusions, please. You are exaggerating.
16 You're going too far. Vojin Susa is a colleague of yours. I believe that
17 you have met him. Counsel Vasic has met him. There he is. He's
18 laughing, see? I can prove that he met him. Why don't you ask Counsel
19 Vasic about this.
20 Q. Excuse me, but your manner is really that of a security man.
21 You're evading my questions. I'm not trying to exert any pressure on you,
22 but I asked you whether you acted in compliance with the law. If someone
23 is obstructing an investigation you are in charge of, why don't you arrest
24 him or remove him, or is it like the Velepromet incident? You simply get
25 out of the way, leaving the victims to their fate?
1 A. A long time has elapsed since the war was waged.
2 Q. You told us that the National Council for Cooperation with
3 The Hague Tribunal provided you with documents before you testified?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What were these documents and when did you receive them? Could
6 you just list them?
7 A. Well, I can't, actually. I received a summons to go and be handed
8 these -- or rather, the summons for an interview. And along with that, I
9 received a document headed "the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the
10 Federal Ministry of Justice." There's a number and a date, the 4th of
11 November, 2002 --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And, Your Honours, if necessary, I
13 can give this document to the gentleman for him to read. But the purpose
14 of the document is that the Federal Ministry of Justice is warning Srecko
15 Borisavljevic, Bogdan Vujic, and Ljubisa Vukasinovic that they have been
16 handed summons and signed receipts are mentioned as well as the statement
17 that these persons are not exempt from the duty of keeping state and
18 military secrets.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. What other documents did you receive, apart from this summons?
21 That was my question.
22 A. An invitation to an interview.
23 Q. Who interviewed you?
24 A. The interview took place on the premises of The Hague offices in
25 Jevrem Grujica Street in Dedinje. I was interviewed by the Prosecutor who
1 is here now about my statement and my testimony before the special court
2 in Belgrade.
3 Q. Thank you. How long did the interview last?
4 A. It lasted about two hours, more or less.
5 Q. And were any records drawn up? Was a statement written out?
6 A. I'm not aware of that. The Prosecutor can answer that question.
7 Q. Thank you. You also said that lawyers Nikola Barovic, lawyer
8 Petovar can speak about your work?
9 A. Only concerning the case where they were Defence counsel.
10 Q. And what case was that?
11 A. It was the case tried, and it related to terrorism and conspiracy
12 to carry out the crime of terrorism.
13 Q. And who are accused?
14 A. Soldiers of Albanian and Slovenian and Croatian ethnicity.
15 Q. No ethnic Serb?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Before testifying here, did you cooperate with Natasa Kandic? You
18 know who she is?
19 A. I have met Mrs. Natasa Kandic. I met her in the corridor of the
20 special court during the break, and the victims and aggrieved parties from
21 the Vukovar area --
22 Q. My question is: Did you cooperate with her?
23 A. I tried to avoid a conversation with Mrs. Kandic and the citizens
24 who were there from the Vukovar area. They were trying to put various
25 questions to me. At one point I entered the hall during the break, and
1 the security men were surprised to see me doing that. I realised I was
2 being put under pressure, that they wanted to ask me about the missing and
3 the dead.
4 Q. And Natasa Kandic was there in what capacity?
5 A. I understood her to be a Defence attorney, somebody's counsel
6 appearing for the victims.
7 Q. Well, you're a professional. Victims don't have defence counsel.
8 She can only be a person who has been authorised by the victims.
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
13 Probably a good time for a break, is it, Mr. Lukic? Yes.
14 We will resume at 20 minutes to 6.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.19 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.44 p.m.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
19 afternoon to everyone in the courtroom --
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
21 Q. -- And to you, Mr. Vujic. I am Lukic, and I am counsel for
22 Sljivancanin. I will be putting questions to you and you know the request
23 of Their Honours when it comes to cross-examination. I will try to put
24 very clear questions to you, and I would like you to give me very concise
25 answers. If I will wish you to say something in more detail, then I will
1 ask you to do so, and at any rate you will have the opportunity when
2 re-examined by the Prosecution to add to what you have to say.
3 This pause was meant to show you how long the interpretation
5 I will give you a factual conclusion in the form of a question,
6 that's the following. During your testimony here and on the basis of your
7 statement, I understood you to mean -- to say that you saw my client the
8 last time on the 20th of November at about 1200 hours when you left the
9 hospital. Is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You did not see him on that day, either at Velepromet or at the
12 barracks or at the government meeting or at Negoslavci?
13 A. I did not. Except that one of the witnesses before the special
14 court in Belgrade stated that Mr. Sljivancanin was at this meeting instead
15 of me.
16 Q. Yes, I know about this, Witness. And both the Prosecution and I
17 are aware of this. You were at this meeting from its beginning to its
18 end, and you did not see Sljivancanin there?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me: When was it that you received this
21 request from the Prosecution to appear as a witness here? And I'm not
22 talking about the statement now. I'm just talking about the time when
23 they got in touch to call you to come here.
24 A. I cannot give you an exact answer, but I will provide you with the
25 following explanation. I was first invited to the SUP on the 29th of
1 November, and it was there that an inspector or a representative of the
2 service handed me the summons for an interview. I signed a paper there
3 confirming that I received the summons and the documents.
4 Q. Let's make it short. Did you receive a request to come to testify
5 here from the Prosecution before the start of trial?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Based on your role and the position you had in the people's
8 Yugoslav army, I take it that you understood Mr. Pavkovic, Mr. Gvero, and
9 Mr. Jerko Crmaric from before, even Major Lukic. Isn't that right?
10 A. As far as I understand -- as far as I take it you mentioned
11 Mr. Pavkovic first. I met him at the school for national defence; that
12 was the war school. I probably attended his graduation ceremony and he
13 was probably the best in his class. Which year that was, I'm not sure.
14 Q. What about the others?
15 A. I know Jerko Crmaric from the security department of the first
16 army. That's what it was -- that's how it was organised at the time. It
17 was the command of the first army. We worked there together. He was my
18 superior officer.
19 Q. I'm just interested in knowing whether you knew him,
20 A. Yes, I did. I knew Major Lukic from before as well, from the
21 Pancevo barracks where we spent three years working in the same barracks.
22 Q. And you knew Milan Gvero as well?
23 A. I knew him from the graduate military school centre, where we were
24 members of the collegium of the chief of the centre. Colonel-General
25 Slavomir Djokic, who passed away.
1 Q. Please answer with a yes or no. And Jerko Crmaric died as well?
2 A. No, he's still alive.
3 Q. My apologies.
4 A. I apologise. I only spoke of General Djokic.
5 Q. Very well. When my learned friend from the OTP was putting
6 questions to you on the first day, that's page 4480, on the 16th of
7 February, he called your group as a group of senior officers. Do you
8 agree with that?
9 A. Maybe I didn't understand what you asked.
10 Q. When Prosecutor Moore put questions to you during his chief, he
11 qualified you as a group of senior officers.
12 A. We were officers of high ranks. Colonel is a high rank.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you agree with me that you were invited into this
14 group as a person with great professional experience for the matters that
15 the group was expected to work on. Is that right?
16 A. That's how I understood it.
17 Q. On several occasions you explained to my colleagues what, in your
18 opinion, the task of the group was. I was reading the transcript and I
19 will try to put it in a nutshell. You stated that the task of your group
20 was to, in accordance with the international laws of war and federal
21 regulations, work with the POWs and to make -- conduct investigations on
22 possible war crimes.
23 A. Yes, but I wish to add the following. It was only at the
24 Sremska Mitrovica camp that it was possible to conduct identification,
25 which doesn't mean that there weren't any persons there who used other
1 names. Many of them did not have any identity papers. One had to
2 establish their identity. It was in that context where perhaps Justice
3 Minister Susa gave his contribution. Please go ahead.
4 Q. Once you explained this to my learned friend from the OTP and to
5 colleague Vasic, I don't want to go into that, you said that this referred
6 primarily to the members of the Croatian paramilitary formations but that
7 you had the task to investigate war crimes and possibly war criminals, and
8 that was your jurisdiction, so to speak?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When I saw that your work also included women, that went also for
11 Dr. Bosanac, did it not?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You will agree with me that under the then-regulations in
14 Yugoslavia, all persons above the age of 16 were subject to the laws.
15 That means those persons who are above 16.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this age limit is identical for the persons who are considered
18 to be of military age. Isn't that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. As a security organ, you were entitled to verify the identity of
21 the person, to interrogate the person before any criminal proceedings are
23 A. Yes. But the procedure is somewhat more specific when it comes to
24 war criminals.
25 Q. My apologies. I established that in December 1991 you were 58.
1 Is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Before that, you were retired, as you told us, but in accordance
4 with the law on the military obligation you were also a military-aged
6 A. Yes. Under Article 119 where -- this applies to Colonel Tomic
7 Slavko, for instance, and Mr. Tomic because this particular article
8 provides for the meaning of the term "volunteer" and the relation in which
9 this term stands when it comes to an active military serviceman and a
10 reserve military serviceman.
11 Q. Let us not place too much of a difficulty for the interpreters
12 this late in the night.
13 Slavko Tomic was more or less the same age. You said that -- my
14 question to you is: Had you refused Radivojevic's invitation to join the
15 group, would there have been any consequences for you since you were an
17 A. I believe this would not have been regarded in a positive light,
18 just as the fact that I am a Prosecution witness is not regarded in a
19 positive light. I was also offered to be a Defence witness.
20 Q. That wasn't my question; my question was something completely
21 different. I apologise.
22 At any rate, a conscript, including a reserve officer who is
23 called to report to his unit or to report according to an assignment, if
24 he refuses to respond to that call will incur certain sequences under the
1 A. Article 119 deals with the military personnel that has not been
2 given any wartime assignment. I believe that I had a wartime assignment
3 which was that in the security bodies, that was something I could assume,
4 and I was listed of course in the military records of the relevant organ
5 in Belgrade.
6 Q. You gave quite a few answers to questions requiring military
7 expertise, and I will have to put such questions as well, and I suppose
8 you can understand that in view of my client's function. I suppose you
9 know very well what the relationship between the military police and the
10 security organs is?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Do you know - and if you do, please give us a very brief answer -
13 what sort of military police formations existed in the JNA at the time.
14 A. I apologise, I will have to give you a brief introduction. I knew
15 Major Sljivancanin when he was company commander in the command of the
16 defence of the city of Belgrade.
17 Q. You mean of the military police?
18 A. Yes. We had never met. We -- our paths crossed each other
19 professionally, and his superior, Colonel Djordjevic, had a very good
20 opinion of Major Sljivancanin, who was captain at the time. I know Major
21 Sljivancanin as commander of a military police battalion carried out very
22 technical matters from the purview of the military police in providing
23 security to important institutions.
24 Q. I will have to chide with you now. You haven't answered my
25 question. Can you tell me which is the highest military police unit?
1 A. It's the military police battalion.
2 Q. Who commands a military police unit in both wartime and peacetime?
3 A. An officer is assigned based on his individual deployment and
4 assignment and within the overall command structure. As far as the
5 military aspect is concerned, he is subordinated to the commander of a
6 joint unit which he is part of. In terms of technical responsibility, he
7 is responsible to the relevant security body.
8 Q. Under the law, it's the security body that is in charge of all the
9 technical aspects of the work of the military police. Would that be a
10 fair assessment?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When a security body calls a military police officer with a
13 request, this officer, does he need to receive approval from his superior
14 commander about that task or assignment?
15 A. Yes. But as far as I understand --
16 Q. But we're not there yet. I'm asking you a very general question.
17 A. Can you please run that past me again, just briefly.
18 Q. If a security body has a request to make or certain activities to
19 be undertaken by the military police, what about the military police
20 officer? Would he not have to receive approval from his own superior in
21 the command structure?
22 A. Yes, the security body would request such approval from the unit
23 commander, the most senior commander, if you like.
24 Q. You've provided two answers and I only asked one question. I
25 think we're getting better and better all the time.
1 Do you know if approximate during combat operations local
2 commanders are signed or appointed?
3 A. Local commanders, during combat operations unit commanders are
4 appointed, and they're each assigned their own areas of responsibility, if
5 we're dealing with brigade-unit levels and up. Battalions are assigned a
7 Q. When you arrived in Vukovar, you -- did you report to Mrksic or
8 did you know about the fact that Vukovar broke down into three zones and
9 that each zone had a local commander depending on the area in question,
10 geographically speaking? Did you know about that?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. Do you know what duties a local commander would have had?
13 A. It's very difficult for me to get a reference point for these
14 combat areas, which makes it very difficult for me to answer your
15 question. All we're talking about in a war is the zones of combat
17 Q. Were you familiar with the peculiar structure of the JNA guards
18 brigade with its peculiar mission or, to put a leading question, what the
19 primary mission of the guards brigade in both peace and war be to protect
20 state officials, military officials, and commands?
21 A. I could give you an answer, but it may not be a competent answer.
22 All I can say about this is that in peacetime a brigade's task is well
23 known, or of this particular brigade. It provides security for persons
24 and institutions which are guarded or protected in an organised manner
25 under the law.
1 Q. I think you confirmed this yesterday, although I see you weren't
2 precisely aware of it, but you didn't challenge this. There were two
3 military police battalions that were part of the guards brigade, weren't
5 A. I'm not familiar with their structure or the way they were
6 organised; therefore, I can hardly be expected to provide a very accurate
7 answer. But if you're interested in this sort of information, you can go
8 back to their annual in 2000, which reflects all of the information that
9 you're after. There should be an accurate breakdown there about all these
10 things you're asking me about. I don't know if there is, but I suppose
11 there would be.
12 Q. A couple of questions about something you happen to be more
13 familiar with. The security administration. I will read out to you
14 Article 18 of the rules governing the work of the security bodies in the
15 JNA. I assume that you probably know this by heart, most of these
16 provisions at least.
17 Can you please tell me: Did you act in keeping with these rules?
18 "Security organs of the superior command unit or staff of the
19 armed forces are in charge of the technical aspect of the work of the
20 security organs of the subordinated units, institutions, and staffs of the
21 armed forces. They assist these bodies, they organise these bodies, they
22 direct the work of these bodies, they coordinate the work of these bodies,
23 and they monitor the work of these bodies."
24 If you look at this Article, if you look at what you've been
25 talking about, generally speaking, you arrived in Vukovar. What
1 implication did that have for the security body of the guards brigade?
2 What was the professional relationship between your own group -- your own
3 group is all that I'm interested in. It may be the same as the 3rd -- as
4 the 1st Army Group. Was everything done according to regulations?
5 A. No. In wartime, as opposed to peacetime, establishment-wise, even
6 battalions and divisions have security bodies in the person of their
7 commander. This goes without saying.
8 What also goes without saying is that Major Sljivancanin had a
9 security body in each of his battalions at the time, but they were in
10 charge of intelligence, too. They were in charge of both intelligence and
11 security as a body. If this was the case, this was perfectly in keeping
12 with the wartime regulations. I am talking as if this was a fact,
13 although I don't actually know.
14 I did realise Borisavljevic was, on the one hand, a unit
15 commander, a commanding officer, and on the other a security officer. I
16 also viewed Major Sljivancanin as both a military police commander and a
17 security officer subordinated to Colonel Mrksic.
18 Q. But I didn't get my answer, did I? Please try to focus on what
19 I'm asking you. I've read this Article back to you. It's Article 18 of
20 the rules governing the work of security bodies. You are a member of the
21 security body from a superior command, the security administration. It's
22 a superior body. Technically speaking, do you assist, coordinate, and
23 direct the work of the security bodies belonging to a lower level of
25 A. My answer to you is: This was not my assignment -- or rather, I
1 had no such assignment nor was I ever authorised to carry out an
2 assignment like that. I was there to help evacuate the POWs.
3 Q. That was the specific mission that you had. I am asking you about
4 these general regulations.
5 A. I had no assignment pursuant to the regulation you quoted,
6 Article 18 of the rules governing the work of security bodies.
7 Q. Isn't that supposed to be a permanent task for every commanding
9 A. That would have been the task of the superior officer, Major
10 Sljivancanin, and he should know who did this job in the federal
11 secretary's cabinet or in the Supreme Command staff.
12 Q. In terms of all the technical aspects, would the security
13 administration be superior to any other security body?
14 A. Can you please go and ask the same question of General Vasiljevic
15 when he appears here before this Court as a witness, if he does.
16 Q. So you know for a fact that he is about to appear and testify
17 here, don't you?
18 A. I did notice that he appeared as a witness before the special
19 court. I imagine that he might be summoned to testify before this Chamber
20 as well.
21 Q. Every time there's an ad hoc group, there's a clear definition of
22 who is in charge of a mission, who receives orders, who passes them on,
23 and who reports. Isn't that a fact?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Major Zivanovic is a person you've mentioned. He could only have
1 relayed to you a task previously assigned to you by the security
2 administration. Is that not a fact?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Based on the principle of singleness of command and subordination,
5 a principle that you have referred to, would it be possible for a
6 lower-ranking officer to issue an order to a higher-ranking officer?
7 A. A lower-ranking officer could just pass it on but not actually
8 issue an order, which was the case with Major Sljivancanin. He passed on
9 a mission that he had been entrusted with by someone, and I don't know who
10 that someone was.
11 Q. We heard yesterday that Zivanovic said that Sljivancanin would --
12 A. Yes, yes, indeed. Colonel Mrksic transferred his powers or
13 bestowed his powers on Major Sljivancanin, as did Colonel Tomic on me,
14 which is perfectly in keeping with the rules of control. I can't quote
15 the Article by rote.
16 Q. I understand that. Colonel Tomic transferred his powers to you,
17 but can a major issue an order to you as a colonel?
18 A. He just passed it on; that was all he did.
19 Q. We may have to go back to that later on.
20 You, as a citizen I suppose at the time and experienced operative,
21 must have been familiar with the general situation that prevailed in
22 Vukovar over those two months. I'm talking about individual operations.
23 I assume you were familiar with the fact that the guards brigade remained
24 in combat, engaged in combat, for two months and never rested?
25 A. Yes, I did know that.
1 Q. You know that they sustained a great deal of casualties and losses
2 and that they were beginning to run out of commanding officers?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you know that the reserve forces belonging to the guards
5 brigade midway through the operation were forced to return to Belgrade
6 over some decision or other. Did you hear anything about that?
7 A. I heard nothing about that.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I said "commanding officers" on
9 page -- page 87, line 8. I said: "The commanding officers were
11 Q. You've answered my question and we don't need to go back there.
12 You know that Sljivancanin came to security from the military
13 police. He was not a career security officer, was he? You did know that,
14 didn't you?
15 A. Yes. But he was in charge of complex security tasks in relation
16 to buildings of federal importance, buildings of ministerial importance,
17 as we would call it.
18 Q. What about the people who worked with him who you saw there on
19 that day? Did you know any of those people from before, from your work
20 with the security services?
21 A. I know none of them personally, but I was expecting to see Major
22 Kavalic [phoen] there, whom I had met while he was commander of a military
23 police battalion. However, he wasn't there, and I didn't ask any
24 questions about why he wasn't there.
25 Q. Based on your previous information about the actions that certain
1 commanding officers took in Vukovar about their qualifications, I imagine
2 that when you set out to complete this task you knew that your
3 professional experience would greatly assist you in helping those people
4 out, did you not?
5 A. Yes. But only in terms of accomplishing my mission, of helping
6 with the evacuation of POWs.
7 Q. Briefly, sir, please, if at all possible, both in your previous
8 statements - and they are quite comprehensive, that's because of all the
9 facts, no doubt - and in your testimony before the special court in
10 Belgrade as well as here, you have clearly given the impression of being a
11 man who has a good head for details.
12 A. Well, I think that might be taken as a fact.
13 Q. I suppose you tend to memorise a lot of detail. When you take
14 statements from various persons, you try to put all these details together
15 in order to arrive at some sort of conclusion, don't you?
16 A. Yes. But experience is very important because it helps you to
17 distinguish what is relevant in relation to an event. It helps you to
18 assess things and to establish priorities.
19 Q. You spent years and years conducting these interviews and taking
20 statements. It was part of your nature as a professional to make quick
21 and automatic, as it were, calls on whether somebody was lying to you or
22 telling the truth?
23 A. Yes, that's part of the mental make-up of any security officer.
24 I suppose the same would apply to experienced lawyers. They must be even
25 more perceptive at this kind of thing, I assume.
1 Q. I suppose you know about this, don't you, because I imagine you
2 must have come across this in your work very often --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last part of
4 the question. Could counsel please be asked to repeat the last part of
5 his question.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreters. I'll
7 repeat my question.
8 Q. You were a professional involved in interviewing persons in
9 carrying out investigations, and you were familiar with certain legal
10 provisions which clearly state that false testimony is a crime. Are you
11 aware of the fact that you have, therefore, committed a crime? I'm about
12 to ask you a number of technical issues for the benefit of the Chamber
13 because there are a number of statements that we shall be referring to.
14 I do have a series of technical questions about how you gave your
15 statements and how you testified. Please confirm briefly, if you can,
16 sir, so that we can move through this quickly. Reading your statement to
17 the OTP in The Hague, I established that your interview with the
18 Prosecutor lasted for five days and that based on that, a 22-page
19 statement was typed up. Is that correct? Do you agree with me?
20 A. Yes, but I don't know what you mean by five days.
21 Q. That's the number of dates I counted.
22 A. Yes, the dates are correct.
23 Q. It's probably the last date.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In that interview with the OTP in The Hague, did you simply talk
1 about what you remembered or did the investigators put specific questions
2 to you?
3 A. They put questions and I talked about the events that were
4 relevant and said what I knew about them. I only spoke about events where
5 I had been present, where I was an eye-witness. When I was speaking about
6 things I had heard from others, I said so and you may have observed that
7 in my statements.
8 Q. The investigators wanted to know information primarily about the
9 accused here. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes. But they also asked me about the beginnings of my work, how
11 and why I was engaged there, who engaged me, when it started.
12 Q. Yes. That is evident as well. So their questions were directed
13 at that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When the interview was over, a written statement was drawn up
16 which you read and signed. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes. They were making notes all the time concerning their
18 questions and my questions. After that, a statement was drawn up. I read
19 it. The first statement was offered to me in the English language.
20 Excuse me, it's important -- no, it's important for me to say
21 this. I think that I am the first witness from Serbia who said decidedly
22 that I would only sign a statement in my native language.
23 Q. Thank you. In relation to that statement, the statement you gave
24 to the military court and the statement you gave to Mr. Alimpic,
25 investigating judge, was in the following form: The judge would put a
1 question to you, you would answer, he would then dictate a text for the
2 record, re-telling your testimony in his own words, and you would be there
3 listening to it and, under the law, it was your right to raise objections
4 to both judges while they were dictating the record or at the end. After
5 that, you signed the statement. Was that the procedure that was used?
6 A. That's your interpretation, but I have to tell you what my
7 interpretation is. Judge Alimpic would read my statement and give it to
8 Colonel Trifunovic for the record. And I would confirm: Yes, yes, and
9 only enter certain corrections. I would not correct what was already
10 entered as unclear from the viewpoint of what you are interested in.
11 That's something that I feel cannot be corrected. If it has been entered,
12 it's entered. If you noticed in the first statement I made to Colonel
13 Trifunovic --
14 Q. We won't go into that. We'll go through the statements in detail.
15 I was just asking now about the form this took. And finally when you were
16 testifying in the Belgrade Ovcara proceedings, you testified live and an
17 audio transcript was then transcribed -- or rather, an audio-recording was
19 A. Yes, but they asked me whether I wanted to read it. They said:
20 Well, you probably don't -- well, he's not listening to me again.
21 Mr. Lukic, Mr. Alimpic would ask, he would say: I think you don't
22 have to read the statements because you heard it being dictated. And ten
23 lawyers were present there and I would sign.
24 Q. Yes, Mr. Vujic, you've said that. But I keep looking at the
25 clock. That's my problem. I am sorry.
1 A. Yes, I'm sorry, too.
2 Q. At the Belgrade trial, that's what we're talking about now, your
3 words were transcribed into the transcript directly. And yesterday you
4 said that this was your most reliable statement. Is that correct?
5 A. Well, yes, more or less. But here also I verified my exposition
6 of the facts by making additions or clarifications.
7 Q. Well, now I'll put a very few brief technical questions to you
8 concerning the evacuation.
9 As a rule, tell me: Do you agree that a POW camp has to be
10 outside the zone of combat operations. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you agree with me also that when an evacuation is organised,
13 rear organs participate and, according to your testimony, it was the rear
14 organ headed by General Semalic [phoen] of the 1st Military District that
15 was involved. Is that correct?
16 A. I don't know whether all the vehicles were under the
17 responsibility of that rear organ. I also mentioned vehicles that were
18 from the Pancevo rear organ, and I told you the name of the driver. I
19 also said --
20 Q. Is there anything new you have to add to what you said?
21 A. I said that his name was Mihajlo Vukic, known as Mile, who drove
22 me to work for three years, from Belgrade to Pancevo, from the one
23 garrison to the other.
24 Q. I will tell you what my thesis is about this missing bus. You
25 said it was the bus you emptied and that it was the last bus in the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. If I tell you that before this Tribunal we heard only a few weeks
4 ago a person who had been on that bus testifying, you will agree that this
5 was just a story that went around?
6 A. No, I don't agree. I can even prove to you that the man was
7 there, if I'm authorised to speak to him in the presence of the person to
8 whom he said this. But don't do this. This, I find offensive, to be
9 quite honest.
10 I know how difficult it is for that man; it's even harder for him,
11 perhaps, than it is for me. It's very hard for him to evoke everything he
12 experienced from the time when we were putting people on the bus, and he
13 was observing all this. The other members of the military police and the
14 security organs know him. They were educated in the Pancevo garrison. Do
15 you know that, Mr. Lukic?
16 Please go ahead. I apologise.
17 Q. I'm telling you about a witness who testified here and who was a
18 prisoners in that room, and he described the situation that you described.
19 He was here alive and well; that's what I wanted to tell you.
20 A. I'm sorry. I misunderstood you. I thought you were speaking
21 about the driver, Vukic. I do apologise.
22 Q. And I wanted to tell you that according to my information and the
23 conclusions I have drawn, those people survived after all, even though you
24 say they're missing.
25 A. Thank you very much for telling me that.
1 Q. That was a digression, but now let's go back to the evacuation.
2 Are you aware and would you agree with me that all plans in the
3 brigade are drawn up by the brigade staff and approved by the commander,
4 yes or no?
5 A. No.
6 Q. All right. Let's move on --
7 A. A brigade? Yes, go ahead, go ahead.
8 Q. I have got the answer I needed, and if the Prosecutor wants more,
9 he'll ask you about it.
10 Are you aware that a brigade includes organs carrying out
11 operations staff tasks, yes or no?
12 A. Yes. I know that Major Lukic also did such tasks.
13 Q. You will agree with me that an evacuation which, as you said
14 yesterday, is a complex operation, various structures participate. It's
15 the rear and the logistics and the quartermaster and the security, and
17 A. Yes. But someone has to draw up a plan and write an order.
18 Q. Does a lower-ranking officer, a subordinate, have the capacity to
19 issue an order to a higher-ranking person?
20 A. He can only transmit an order.
21 Q. Yes, you've said that. Would you agree with me if I told you that
22 Major Sljivancanin could not have commanded you, nor could you have
23 commanded him? Just tell me whether you agree or not?
24 A. Yes, I agree.
25 Q. Did he have the right to command units in the zone of combat
2 A. Those that were subordinate to him, yes.
3 Q. On the 19th and 20th of November in Vukovar, there were teams, so
4 to speak, at three different levels: The security administration, the
5 1st Military District, and the guards brigade. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Their powers, are they different according to the regulations?
8 A. Not according to the general regulations, but they are different
9 according to specific regulations. Counsel Vasic asked me why I didn't
10 draw up a counter-intelligence assessment of the execution of the task.
11 Well, I would have had to assess Captain First Class Borisavljevic, who
12 was a security organ at battalion level, and he was commanding a company
13 on that occasion, or I would have had to assess Major Sljivancanin, who
14 was in charge of counter-intelligence or security protection of the task
15 of the brigade in its zone of responsibility. I was not authorised to do
17 Q. Very well. Now we'll move on to specific facts, and my last
18 question relating to generalities is as follows: Yesterday, in your
19 response to Mr. Vasic when he asked you about Imra Agotic, you said that
20 you heard when Borovic was putting questions to him.
21 A. I apologise. I didn't hear the questions. I wanted to hear the
22 questions, but my television was turned off when I was trying to listen.
23 And I even tried to find out why it was turned off. Mr. Borovic is
24 looking at me now, but they did turn it off. And then a good friend of
25 mine and a neighbour of mine who had taken notes came and told me
1 everything. And he said -- he asked Imra Agotic ten times whether you
2 were an honourable man.
3 And I said: Did he have to put that question so many times?
4 Q. Did you watch other parts of this trial on television?
5 A. Well, there weren't many broadcasts from this trial. There were
6 news broadcasts on B92. But I want to tell you and Their Honours quite
7 sincerely when the Prosecutor was making his opening statement, as my name
8 was mentioned, I tried to get hold of what he said in relation to me. And
9 I applied to Studio B92 and tried to see Mr. Milic. At first he promised
10 to receive me, but then he changed his mind.
11 Q. Let's move on. I'll try and skip over some questions.
12 Well, we're now coming to Sremska Mitrovica and I have just a few
13 questions about that. You said you didn't know pursuant to whose decision
14 these camps, Begejci and so on, were established.
15 A. Yes. It says here in the rules that the federal secretary
16 regulates such issues with his orders.
17 Q. Mr. Zivanovic?
18 A. Miroslav.
19 Q. He transmitted to you a message from the security administration
20 telling you to interrupt your activities in Begejci and take up a new
21 task. Could you just confirm from these contacts all the way up to
22 Vukovar, you had information that it was expected that persons would
23 arrive from the Vukovar territory and that that is why the camp or the
24 collection centre in Mitrovica was set up. Is that correct?
25 A. Major Zivanovic, on the morning when we were supposed to set out
1 for Begejci, we were in Zitiste in the municipal building, to be brief,
2 received a telephone call. And he was given an order from somebody in the
3 security administration - I don't know who, either the chief or his
4 deputy - who told him that we should interrupt our work and relocate to
5 Sremska Mitrovica to KP Dom, where a camp for prisoners of war would be
6 established and that they were expecting the fall of Vukovar and a large
7 number of prisoners of war.
8 Q. I have no further questions about Mitrovica. I will now move on
9 to something entirely different. I'm looking at the clock.
10 We will talk about the hospital now. On the 20th -- we'll leave
11 the 19th for tomorrow so we can deal with it at greater length.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to put
13 before the witness his statements, the witness's statements to The Hague
15 Q. And let it be before you all the time, Mr. Vujic, all your
16 statements. I will also give you the statement from the military court
17 and the transcript.
18 Page 14 of your statement to The Hague Prosecutor's
19 office, could you open it, please.
20 A. Page 14?
21 Q. Yes, page 14. And I will read it to you, the first passage.
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. MOORE: Before my learned friend does that, I know he was
24 going to give me the English page numbers. Thank you very much.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the English copy, the page is 17.
1 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. "During the time that I spent at the hospital, it was Major
4 Sljivancanin who coordinated the military police unit in charge of
5 security during the assignment, but the commander was an officer of his
6 whom I didn't know by rank or by name."
7 Is that what you stated?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You made no amendments to this particular statement. You stick to
10 that sentence, don't you?
11 A. Yes. Except for the fact that I gave two flak jackets to that
12 officer, flak jackets that I had brought over from inside the hospital.
13 And I also gave him two periscopes from the APC which I found in a room in
14 the hospital where the detained JNA members were being held.
15 Q. In your understanding, it was Sljivancanin who was in charge of
16 the evacuation of the hospital. Right?
17 That evening or the previous night at the hospital, did you learn
18 that the convoy evacuating the wounded and medical staff back to Croatia
19 be led by Nebojsa Pavkovic?
20 A. I never heard that, nor did Major Sljivancanin share this with me.
21 Q. Did you see Nebojsa Pavkovic at the hospital on the 20th?
22 A. No, I didn't.
23 Q. Please just try to focus on my questions. Mr. Borovic was asking
24 you about that military all-terrain vehicle, the PUH vehicle that picked
25 you up at Velepromet and you drove in it to the hospital. Was Dr. Ivezic
1 in that car with you? Does that ring a bell?
2 A. Not really, except Dr. Ivezic and I exchanged greetings in the
3 hospital itself, just outside the room in which Major Sljivancanin was
4 holding a meeting with the medical staff.
5 Q. Do you remember a conversation that Sljivancanin and Dr. Ivezic
6 had with Vesna Bosanac prior to this meeting where they spoke to the
7 remaining medical staff?
8 A. I didn't see that, but I did realise that Vesna Bosanac was late
9 for the meeting.
10 Q. Did you perhaps hear that prior to the meeting or during the
11 meeting -- or rather, you were following the progress of the meeting and
12 what was being said?
13 A. No, not really. I heard that the hospital was to be evacuated and
14 those were the key words uttered by Major Sljivancanin, that the hospital
15 was being taken over --
16 Q. I know that, I know that. But did you by any chance hear about
17 this? If not, please say so. Did you hear Dr. Ivezic make a proposal to
18 the effect that the Croat doctors from the hospital should be involved in
19 screening the wounded at the hospital along with their colleagues from the
20 military medical centre and doctors from Novi Sad?
21 A. Right there that morning, you mean. No, I heard no such thing,
23 Q. Do you remember about this PUH vehicle. You drove off, you left
24 Velepromet. Was there a vehicle following you in which there were doctors
25 from the military hospital in Novi Sad?
1 A. No, I noticed no such thing.
2 Q. Do you remember seeing these doctors later on at the hospital, in
3 addition to seeing Dr. Ivezic?
4 A. No, I didn't see any.
5 Q. When you were at the hospital at this time, let me say
6 between 7.00 and 12.00 at the latest, as you put it --
7 A. By 12.00 I was already at Velepromet.
8 Q. Did you see throughout that period that any acts of vengeance were
9 being perpetrated or any acts of violence against anyone at all?
10 A. No. I saw no such thing, Mr. Lukic. There was a military police
11 unit at work there, and they were carrying out their assignments at a
12 level that is enviable, if anything.
13 Q. Not that you were asked about this by the OTP, but I think you
14 stated something about to this effect. Your impression was that the
15 control and the monitoring process was much better at the hospital than at
17 A. Yes, indeed. I did point that out and I think the OTP took note.
18 Q. The plan was that persons suspected of war crimes should be taken
19 on special buses and taken to Sremska Mitrovica. Right?
20 A. All men, those who were able to walk, the wounded who were able to
21 walk, and the sick were to be the first to leave and were to get on the
22 buses. They walked along a corridor secured by the military police.
23 Q. Did you see other civilians walking alongside these civilians,
24 those who weren't wounded?
25 A. Yes, all of those who were in the hospital and who were able to
1 walk. There were people wearing plaster casts but still able to walk.
2 Q. During your time at the hospital -- oh, right, you were watching
3 this whole thing unfold, and you had seen those dead bodies together with
4 Dr. Stanojevic. I'm asking about everything, the totality of what you
5 observed at the hospital. As a security officer, did you have anything to
6 share with my client?
7 A. No. On the previous day, but this was the 20th of November
8 already, I think -- and also that same morning at the Velepromet gate,
9 Major Sljivancanin said that the buses would first go to the barracks. I
10 told him what had been going on at Velepromet. I told him there were
11 casualties there. Major Sljivancanin said: The buses will arrive at the
13 Q. You described the situation that my learned friend, Mr. Borovic,
14 asked you about but not the OTP, this thing about the Territorial Defence
15 member who brought over a man named Joja or Jajo who took off the bandage
16 or the sling that he was wearing and you saw there were no injuries, no
17 visible injuries. He told you that this man was a criminal, and you tried
18 to calm both of these people down. That's from the Belgrade trial.
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. You told him to take that man to the bus?
22 A. To direct him towards the bus. There was this corridor set up by
23 the military police, and people were being systematically directed towards
24 the buses.
25 Q. You were right there on the spot at the hospital throughout, in
1 practical terms, until the buses left, but you remained, didn't you?
2 A. I was in the hospital from the moment that the evacuation began,
3 and then I made this request to Major Sljivancanin, whereupon he assigned
4 to me Dr. Stanojevic and one of his squad leaders as well as two police
5 officers as my escort. They were there to protect me.
6 Q. My next question: You stayed there --
7 A. At the hospital.
8 Q. -- Yes, at the hospital. Even after the buses left for the
9 barracks. Right?
10 A. Yes, I stayed until about 11.30, half past 11.00, and I left with
12 Q. If I told you that in some way you were also involved in the
13 triage because you did send some of those people to the buses --
14 A. No, no. It's impossible to see that way. The fact is those
15 people -- or that person was brought to see me. He probably wanted to
16 convince me that there was suspicious individuals mingling with all the
17 others there.
18 Q. Do you remember one particular episode - we heard about this
19 before this Chamber - Dr. Stanojevic asked you something in relation to a
20 particular person. He said this person had nothing to do with anything
21 that had happened in the war. He asked you to put this person on a bus
22 heading back for Croatia.
23 A. Dr. Stanojevic had no opportunity to try anything like that with
24 me. He was with me throughout and we toured all the floors and all the
1 Q. You say --
2 A. If I may. Stanojevic brought me to the bed where his
3 mother-in-law had died and he pointed the bed out to me. My apologies.
4 Q. You say that you saw Mr. Borsinger from the International
5 Red Cross talking to Ivezic. You wanted to approach him. It's something
6 I read in one of your statements. There wasn't that much detail about
7 it. But what did you want to tell him? Why did you want to approach the
8 International Red Cross man?
9 A. It was like a special impression that I have. He was jumping
10 around like a small dog [as interpreted]. Borsinger must be about 190
11 centimetres tall, and there was this little dog jumping up and down and
12 jumping at him, regardless of which he continued talking to Dr. Ivezic.
13 And I asked for Mr. Ivezic to interpret for me and to ask Mr. Borsinger if
14 this dog belonged to him or if he perhaps wanted to take this dog
15 somewhere else. It may have been a trained dog. Mr. Borsinger then --
16 Q. Let's not go any further into that. I was referring to something
17 else. I know about this. You just wanted to ask him about this dog.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I just want to ask you something about Velepromet. On the 20th
21 when you returned following your exchange with Arkan, who else was there
22 as this exchange between you and Arkan took place. Do you remember?
23 A. Yes. Branko Korica, who also tried to explain to Arkan the damage
24 of crimes being committed, the damage that this might cause to the Serbian
25 people, and he was telling him the same thing as I was, that crimes are
1 more often than not reciprocated, and that he was saying something about
2 some places in Lika where Serbs had been killed and who was the criminal
3 now? If you kill five Ustashas here, and that sort of thing,
4 quid pro quo, tit for tat, he was telling him stuff like that.
5 And there was this captain first class who was holding a
6 sub-machine-gun there. I would really like to meet that man. I don't
7 think I will though.
8 Q. What about this major whom you said you knew from earlier? You
9 knew that he was chief of operations with -- at the brigade staff and that
10 he was working under Panic, wasn't he?
11 A. I thought he was assistant chief, and Colonel Mrksic might confirm
13 Q. And later on he became the barracks commander, didn't he?
14 A. Battalion commander and barracks commander. As far as I heard,
15 there was a battalion commander there already, a major whose name escapes
16 me right now.
17 Q. My question: I suppose you were quite agitated after what you had
18 just been through. When you met Major Lukic at the government session,
19 government meeting, did you tell him about your experience?
20 A. No, not really. Lukic was under an enormous amount of pressure,
21 just like I was.
22 Q. Did you ask him about where the buses you know --
23 A. Oh, come on. I just walked across the compound, and I couldn't
24 even see any bus tracks on the ground, and this really amazed me, to be
25 quite frank.
1 Q. So where did the buses end up?
2 A. It's only now that I've learned, having come together with
3 Colonel Tomic, it's about 1800 hours, like I said, he tells that story,
4 which you can find in my statement.
5 Q. Let me just conclude. You didn't tell Major Lukic about your
6 experience at the government meeting and you didn't ask him about the
8 A. No, I didn't ask Gvero either, but Rade Leskovac who was present
9 knew. If I may -- I wish Rade Leskovac was here now so that I could
10 confront him with these facts. I wish I could tell it to his face that he
11 attended this government meeting. I wish I could tell him that he was
12 listening to everything that I was saying. I wish I could tell him that
13 it was back at the barracks that he asked me about the destruction that
14 the JNA had brought on Vukovar in terms of percentage.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I suggest that this may
16 be a good time to break for the day. I believe I will not need more than
17 one and a half hours to finish my cross tomorrow, give or take a minute or
18 two. I remain hopeful. I'm halfway through my cross-examination; I can
19 certainly tell you that much. And I only had one and a half hours to go
20 when I first began.
21 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sure that the witness will be very pleased when
22 you finish your one and a half hours, even if it only takes three-quarters
23 of an hour.
24 We will adjourn now for the evening and continue tomorrow at 2.15.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 22nd day of
2 February, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.