1 Wednesday, 11 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner?
6 MR. WEINER: Good morning.
7 WITNESS: MIROSLAV RADIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Weiner: [Continued]
10 Q. Good morning, sir.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. Yesterday, at pages 96 through 101, we talked about a document,
13 your prior statement, and you indicated that you used the word "unit" in
14 that document to refer to your battalion and not your company. Do you
15 recall that testimony?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And sir, would it surprise you that throughout your testimony
18 yesterday, you used the word "unit" to refer to your company? Would that
19 surprise you? Or do you recall that?
20 A. I don't understand what you're trying to say.
21 Q. That throughout your testimony yesterday, sir, you used the
22 word "unit" or you used the phrase "my unit" to refer to your company. Do
23 you recall that? You did that many times, ten or more times yesterday,
24 from the beginning of your testimony to the end.
25 A. Yes, yes, I remember that.
1 Q. So, for example, on page 11, "the troops along the same axis where
2 my unit, my company, was deployed ..." you're obviously referring to your
3 unit, being your company; isn't that correct? Isn't that correct, sir?
4 A. If I understand you correctly, you are asserting that I was
5 engaged with my company during combat up to the Danube River or the hotel
6 Dunav. Did I understand you correctly?
7 Q. Sir, yesterday, when you said this line, "The troops along the
8 same axis where my unit, my company, was deployed," you were obviously
9 using "unit" and "company" interchangeably, weren't you, yesterday, sir?
10 That's page 4 -- I'm sorry, page 11 of the transcript. Isn't that
12 MR. WEINER: Excuse me, Your Honour. May counsel lower his voice?
13 Counsel keeps on speaking and he's within, I'd say, 2 to 3 metres of the
14 defendant, of the accused.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It can be disruptive. If you could take care of
16 that, please, Mr. Borovic.
17 MR. WEINER:
18 Q. Sir, you were using those two words interchangeably in that phrase
19 yesterday, on page 11; isn't that correct?
20 A. I thought that I was clear yesterday, and I stand by my position
21 from yesterday. Right now I cannot be sure about what you're saying, if
22 that's the gist of what I said or not. I really cannot -- you are putting
23 to me that I said something. I have to recall what I said at what point.
24 But I think that I was clear. What I said yesterday is something that I
25 stand by now today.
1 Q. Sir, let's continue. Let's move to page 19.
2 "At that point in time, I was commanding a unit consisting of
3 professional soldiers, soldiers who had contracts with the Army of
4 Yugoslavia, professional service contracts."
5 Again, sir, you're referring to your company, aren't you?
6 A. They were soldiers who, in 1992, for the first time, at least to
7 my knowledge, had signed a professional contract, as professional soldiers
8 under contract. And at the time, in my company, there were about 60
9 soldiers, meaning --
10 Q. Sir, again, the question is: You were referring to company --
11 your company when you used the word "unit" in that particular phrase.
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Page 39, you were asked:
14 "Did you at any time during combat operations send a report to
15 Sljivancanin about combat operations?"
16 And you responded, in answer, on page 39:
17 "When visiting my unit, I was obliged to inform Mr. Sljivancanin
18 with the current situation, to inform him about what I knew in relation to
19 information that he sought."
20 Again, you're referring to your unit as your company in that
21 situation, when he visited your company; isn't that correct?
22 A. It's not clear to me. Are you trying to tell me that I made a
23 mistake or that I'm referring to my company as "unit"? Yes, I used the
24 term "unit" when I meant my company, when I meant my battalion, when I
25 meant my brigade. I don't see what the mistake is.
1 Q. Sir, you continually used the word "unit" yesterday to refer to
2 your company; isn't that correct?
3 A. Meaning my company, battalion and brigade, depending on who I was
4 referring to at that particular point.
5 Q. Sir, you continually used the word "unit" yesterday to refer to
6 your company. Let's continue. Page 57, you're speaking about having
7 secured the hospital.
8 "My unit was then withdrawn from this assignment, and we took no
9 further steps within the hospital compound or in the hospital building
10 itself, not myself, not my unit."
11 Again, you were referring to members of your company when you used
12 the word "unit"?
13 A. At that point, yes.
14 Q. Page 72:
15 "Then, now, and always I would say that pertaining to the
16 assignment being carried out by my unit, that is also my personal
17 assignment ..."
18 Again, you're referring to your unit's personal assignment as your
19 company's assignment?
20 A. Probably you are correct on this point, yes.
21 Q. And later on that same page, you say:
22 "So when it says here in the text 'following the handover of the
23 security of the hospital compound I withdrew my unit to the previous
24 location,' it means that that was my assignment and I was obliged to
25 implement it."
1 Again, you're referring to your unit as your company.
2 A. That is correct. Part of the company.
3 Q. And then move on to page 94:
4 "A company is assigned its axis of action, and this is the lowest
5 unit of permanent composition."
6 Again, you're referring to your company and your unit
7 interchangeably in that phrase, aren't you, sir?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And, sir, the only time that you referred to your unit as a
10 battalion was in an attempt to change your testimony yesterday, to come up
11 with an excuse for why you previously indicated that your unit was in
12 combat to November 17th; isn't that correct, sir?
13 A. No. Would you allow me to explain?
14 Q. Sir, the record speaks for itself. It's obvious. You were using
15 that to change your previous statement. It's clear.
16 A. I don't think so.
17 Q. We'll come back to that before we finish. Let's try and get some
18 other subjects covered.
19 You testified yesterday that you were not at your residence or, if
20 you want to call, your place of sleeping or residence/observation post on
21 the evening, or sometime during the latter part of the evening, of
22 November 20th. You testified to that at pages 2 through 5, that you went
23 to a roasted pig dinner. Do you recall that, sir?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now --
1 A. There was some meat. There was probably other kinds of meat, too,
2 but I think there was also pork.
3 Q. Okay. Now, you don't have any writings, diary or calendar, to
4 support that or to corroborate that, do you, at this time?
5 A. I didn't note down such things, no.
6 Q. And this dinner was in Petrova Gora, and that's the same section
7 of where your residence/observation post is located, also in the Petrova
8 Gora section; isn't that correct?
9 A. Well, I can say that it was about a kilometre and a half from the
10 place where I was sleeping, or perhaps 2 kilometres. I slept in Nova
11 Ulica street and the observation post of Lieutenant Vuckovic was in
12 Oslobodjenje street, which was towards the exit from Vukovar. But it's
13 all part of Petrova Gora. That's at least how we understood it at the
15 Q. And by vehicle, how far of a drive is it? Five minutes, ten
16 minutes at the most?
17 A. A very short drive. A couple of minutes.
18 Q. Now, even though Witnesses P22 and P18 claim that they saw you at
19 your lodging or observation post, you deny that you were there; isn't that
21 A. I assert that neither of the two were at the observation post that
22 evening, but they slept at the place where all of these soldiers were
23 billeted, where all of the soldiers were sleeping. That's what I assert.
24 Q. So basically you're asserting that you could not have talked to
25 them and learned of the murders that night because you weren't there;
1 isn't that basically your claim?
2 A. I assert that the way in which each one described the event was
3 actually not the way it happened.
4 Q. Sir, the question is: Are you basically claiming that, since you
5 weren't at that observation post, you weren't able to speak with them that
6 evening and learn of the murders? Is that basically the gist of your
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Are you aware, sir, that some of the Belgrade accused denied
10 committing murders at Ovcara, since, like you, they were also at a dinner
11 on the evening of November 20th, 1991? Are you aware of that?
12 A. Yes. I've heard that story, but I think that we heard here in
13 this courtroom from Witness P022 who made up what and why.
14 Q. And that these people claim to be having dinner with you that
15 night; isn't that correct?
16 A. I do not accept that.
17 Q. And you are aware, as you just said, that P022 indicated that this
18 dinner alibi was all manufactured to avoid liability for the murders at
20 A. They talked about another dinner altogether allegedly at a place
21 belonging to a woman in Nova street, and that has absolutely nothing to do
22 with the place where I was. I said that the place is about 2 kilometres
24 As for Witness P022, that witness stated here that the story was
25 manufactured in the circle of people that he communicated with. As far as
1 I recall, Mr. Borovic put questions to him relating to that dinner and he
2 answered those questions.
3 Q. And you also know, sir, just as that was manufactured, that the
4 court in Belgrade rejected that so-called dinner alibi and convicted those
5 accused. You're aware of that.
6 A. Yes. That's correct.
7 Q. And I put to you, sir, just like they manufactured that alibi,
8 your alibi, your dinner alibi, is also manufactured to avoid liability.
9 A. That is absolutely not true. And I would ask you to present any
10 kind of evidence that would corroborate what you are asserting.
11 Q. Well, sir, you have no documentary evidence to support your claim,
12 do you, sir?
13 A. I don't think that you will find any officer writing in his work
14 diary, "I am going to dinner." That is not the sort of information that
15 would be recorded in a work diary.
16 Q. Sir, the question is: You have no documentary evidence of any
17 kind supporting your dinner alibi, do you?
18 A. That is correct. But there are people, live people, who were with
19 me there, and I hope that they will appear before this Trial Chamber and
20 you and will tell their story.
21 Q. Friends of yours; correct? Friends and former associates.
22 A. Do you think that all friends are prepared to lie and provide an
23 alibi just so that they could save somebody? Of course, some of them are
24 my friends, some are my acquaintances, but that is absolutely not a reason
25 for them to lie or do anything wrong in order to help me. If you would
1 allow me a short digression, I am sure --
2 Q. But we know, sir, that witnesses and accused did that and lied in
3 the Belgrade court in relation to the Ovcara murders. We know that did,
4 in fact, occur, and you know that, too.
5 A. Please do not place me in the same basket with the accused in
7 Q. Okay. Let's try and cover a few more subjects quickly. You
8 testified on Monday that each night you prepared plans for the next day's
9 operations for the assault group, and that's at page 12621. Do you recall
11 A. I would like to ask you, since now I understand the importance of
12 using the proper term: I did not conduct operations, I was conducting
13 tactical actions. Operations are conducted by corps and operations
14 groups, so I was not at that level.
15 Now I can answer your question. Unless a cease-fire was ordered,
16 one that was agreed between the two sides at higher levels, in such cases,
17 I did not plan anything. If, the next day, there was an action being
18 carried out in which my company also took part, or the assault group, then
19 I would plan the communications system and the manner of the unit's
21 I repeat once again: I did all of this until the fall of Milovo
22 Brdo. After that - I give you my word - I did not draft a single letter
23 on the map or issue any commands to anyone.
24 Q. Now, sir, you testified that you gave them the tasks in the
25 morning - and that's at 12621 - just before their actions.
1 A. The commanders of the squads or groups were given these
2 instructions, if there were such, so that I could monitor their
3 implementation of the tasks. This was done so that I could have an
4 overview of the situation at any given time.
5 Q. And, sir, when you say "tasks" and "instructions," you're
6 referring to orders; isn't that correct?
7 A. No. See, we all received combat orders from our commanders, and
8 on the basis of that combat order, we would make an evaluation or
9 assessment of our assignments. That is how I also assessed my
10 assignments. And then, in the spirit of carrying out that assignment, I
11 would specifically set the tasks for each group or squad. I already had
12 my assignment. We all had our assignment. But then we would translate
13 that into actions on the ground. The battalion commander didn't tell
14 me, "This squad should go here, this squad should go there," and so on.
15 No. This was something that I did.
16 Q. And if you received the orders from the battalion commander, you
17 issued those orders to the commander of the -- the commanders of the
18 assault group; isn't that correct?
19 For example, if they told you the time to go into action, you
20 would then issue the orders with the plan that you drafted; isn't that
22 A. I would just like to correct one thing. During the period, as I
23 described it, after the 20th of October until the 10th of November, there
24 was only one assault group, not several assault groups.
25 Q. Sir, the question was: After you received, for example, the time
1 from the battalion to go into action, you issued those orders with your
2 plan to the commanders of the assault group; isn't that correct?
3 A. I did not receive the information. The battalion commander
4 doesn't give information; he issues orders. I would then relay his orders
5 to a lower level and then implement it on the ground. That would be a
6 precise answer.
7 Q. Sir, on page 12621, you stated: [As read]
8 "Since I used to draw up such plans before any action, for reasons
9 of security, I would do that immediately prior, prior to action. I never
10 drew up a plan and set it aside for the next two days or so but I always
11 do it the night before. Since we coordinated, and since the battalion
12 commander would tell us the exact time when we were to go into action at
13 the level of battalion and the brigade, I always issued those orders to
14 those commanders which were part of the assault group immediately prior to
15 going into action, that is the morning, that is that morning. If we were
16 to start attacking at 7 a.m., if we were all assembled at 6.30, I used to
17 issue those tasks, 10 minutes to 15 -- 10 to 15 minutes before we were
18 supposed to set out."
19 Do you agree with that, sir? Do you agree with your prior
21 A. With most of it, but I insist that it's either a question of
22 interpretation or in terms of marking my statement, one thing should be
23 changed: There aren't any commanders in the sense of komandant. The
24 lowest level unit where there is a komandant commander is a battalion,
25 whereas platoons, companies, assault groups, squads, have commanders in
1 the sense of komandir. So, in the doctrine of the Yugoslav People's Army,
2 they are not commanders in the sense of komandant, and that is a crucial
3 difference in terms of command and control. So there are no komandants of
4 assault groups, companies, platoons, and squads.
5 As for the rest, all of it is correct. That is exactly what I
7 Q. But, sir, you know that, according to JNA rules and regulations,
8 even you as a komandir as opposed to a komandant, as a komandir, you can
9 issue orders to your subordinates?
10 A. That's correct. That is correct.
11 Q. So whether you're a komandir or a komandant, you can still issue
12 orders to your subordinates.
13 A. It's not that I "can". It is my duty to do so.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, you testified that you were the one who drew up
15 these plans, since you were the only person of that group who had attended
16 military academy, since the leaders of the TOs or the Leva Supoderica
17 unit, they hadn't attended military academy and they weren't professional
18 soldiers like you. Is that correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And you coordinated -- you testified that you coordinated the
21 actions along -- or their actions along your axis, and you had to
22 coordinate them, I'd suggest to you, because there were several people
23 involved in various tasks on that axis.
24 A. That was the task that I was given by my battalion commander, and
25 I carried it out as best I could and as best I knew.
1 Q. And I suggest to you that since several people were involved in an
2 action, large numbers of men, and you coordinated their action, that
3 that's why, sir, the soldiers of the Vukovar TO and the Leva Supoderica
4 unit were placed under your command. Isn't that correct?
5 A. No. I just want to say the following as well: I coordinated with
6 the battalion from the reserve force that came from Kragujevac. I also
7 coordinated with the TO detachment that had come from the village of Berak
8 next to Vukovar. I also coordinated with some other units that were along
9 that axis, but I did not command those units. They had their own
10 superiors. I just said, "This is your assignment," and I took care that
11 they would carry out that assignment as best they could and should.
12 Sometimes on that axis, there could be lots of people, a great
13 many people. I didn't count them, but sometimes there would be over a
14 thousand people; that is to say, could I, as a company commander, command
15 over 1.000 people? That is not true.
16 Q. Sir, when you say you coordinated, "coordinated" is one aspect of
17 command. You were controlling those units. When you gave them those
18 tasks, they couldn't say no. You gave them orders.
19 A. Sir, I cannot accept responsibility for something that I did not
20 have responsibility for. I cannot accept responsibility for that, that I
21 had been issued with an order stating that I was responsible for the life
22 and work and activity of the units that you are suggesting. I could not
23 have done that and I did not do that.
24 Q. Sir, isn't it a fact that the assault group lasted until November
25 17th and that you remained as commander of that assault group until the
1 end of November 17th or 18th, 1991?
2 A. Please, could you just tell me where you got that information
4 Q. Sir, I'm asking you that.
5 A. No.
6 Q. Isn't it true that their activities continued through the 17th and
7 18th and that actually you remained as commander until you left on the
9 A. No. No. That is a sheer assumption and it is absolutely
11 Q. Sir, do you know who Sasa Bojkovski is? He was a fellow company
12 commander of yours. You've mentioned him in your testimony. You know who
13 he is.
14 A. He was commander of the 1st Motorised Company from the 1st
15 Motorised Battalion.
16 Q. And you were the commander of the 3rd Motorised Company.
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. And would it surprise you that Sasa Bojkovski has given a
19 statement saying that you were still an assault group commander on
20 November 17th? And he --
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic?
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] A procedural matter. This is the
24 first time that we hear of this statement being put to the witness. We
25 can follow but we haven't got the statement. However, if it doesn't
1 bother the witness or the Trial Chamber, then I'll accept. Then I'm going
2 to present some statements that we had not announced at all and that were
3 not before this Court at all. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I respond?
5 JUDGE PARKER: Just a minute, please.
6 Mr. Weiner?
7 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. It's just a statement in relation
8 to this specific incident --
9 JUDGE PARKER: Is it part of the discovered documents on the 65
10 ter list? Has notice been given of it?
11 MR. WEINER: I'm almost positive. It's an older document. May I
12 have one moment to consult?
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I'll check at the break. It's one of a
15 number of statements, and I was under the impression it was, in fact,
16 disclosed with --
17 JUDGE PARKER: Well, at the moment it's subject to objection by
18 Mr. Borovic on the basis that he knows nothing of it, as I understand.
19 MR. WEINER: I will withdraw that and check at the break and get
20 some dates. Thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: You'll be continuing until the break, will you, Mr.
23 MR. WEINER: Yes.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 MR. WEINER: Is there a limit going to be placed on
1 cross-examination today?
2 JUDGE PARKER: I understood last night you were near the end. Is
3 this the effect of reviving overnight?
4 MR. WEINER: We'll see if we can move quickly, Your Honour.
5 Q. Sir, you were interviewed on two occasions in 1998 in Belgrade,
6 and never once in either interview did you say that "the Serbian
7 paramilitaries or Serbian troops who committed the crimes were not part of
8 my unit." Isn't that correct?
9 A. I am sorry. Could you please repeat the question? I do
11 Q. No problem, sir. You were interviewed twice in 1998 in Belgrade,
12 and at any time -- at no time during those interviews did you state
13 that "the Serbian troops or paramilitaries who committed the crimes at
14 Ovcara were not part of my company."
15 A. That's right. They were not part of my company, my unit.
16 Q. But, sir, you never stated that in those statements to Belgrade,
17 either to the court or to the security organs, in either statement; isn't
18 that correct?
19 A. I don't understand. I was answering the questions that were put
20 to me.
21 Q. Sir, you never made that statement, that "the Serbian
22 paramilitaries who committed the crimes were never part of my company."
23 You never said that in Belgrade, in either interview; isn't that correct?
24 A. You expect me to confirm that. Although I was not at Ovcara, I
25 did not see with my own eyes who committed the crime, you expect me to say
1 that those soldiers who committed that crime were not members of my unit?
2 How can I know who it was that committed the crime if I had not seen that?
3 Q. Sir, you were asked about your views of the indictment and that's
4 what is stated in the indictment. So my question is: At no time -- isn't
5 it true that at no time you stated, did you -- I'm sorry, at no time did
6 you state that "the Serbian paramilitaries who committed the crimes were
7 not part of my company." Isn't it true that you never stated that?
8 A. I would ask you kindly if I could have a look, but I'm sure that
9 you've had a look and that it is not contained in any one of my
10 statements. I kindly ask you not to put me in a position to state
11 something which was absolutely not within my awareness. I absolutely did
12 not know who committed that at that point in time. How can I state
13 something that someone did not belong there? So until this witness, P022,
14 took the stand here, or rather until I got his statement, I --
15 Q. Sir, you were asked about the indictment and it's stated in those
16 indictments, and you denied what was in the indictment. But you never
17 said, sir, "those Serbian paramilitaries" or you never said, "those
18 locals, the Vukovar TO, the Leva Supoderica unit, those people were not
19 part of my command." You never said that in either interview in Belgrade.
20 A. No one asked me that at that time. Had somebody asked me that,
21 had somebody put the question to me, of course I would have answered.
22 Q. You were asked if you had committed the crimes and you were asked
23 about the indictment, and you denied -- made certain denials in relation
24 to the indictment. But you never said that "the soldiers or the local TO,
25 the Leva Supoderica, the volunteers, were not part of my company." Isn't
1 that correct? You never made that statement; yes or no?
2 A. Absolutely. Had somebody asked me about that, I would have told
3 them what I told you just a moment ago.
4 Q. And, sir -- sir, you're aware, from the Belgrade trial, that
5 Miroljub Vujovic has given a statement both to the court and the
6 investigative judge that he was under your command, that he and his unit
7 were under your command. Do you deny that?
8 A. I deny -- well, I know that he stated that, but that is his mode
9 of defence. I deny that that is the truth, the way he had put it. But I
10 told you -- well, you heard the testimony of his commander here as well.
11 So I absolutely deny that that is the truth, as Miroljub Vujovic had put
13 Q. Now, sir, at the trial in Belgrade, Vujovic defends you, makes no
14 accusations against you and even commends you. Knowing that, will you
15 accept his testimony that you were his commander?
16 A. Your Honour, if I remember correctly, I was also praised by
17 Witness P022 and P024 and P018, but that does not mean that I agree with
18 their statements, the statements that they made here, just as I do not
19 agree with the allegations made by Miroljub Vujovic, if he really did
21 Q. Milan Lancuzanin, known as Kameni, who you've mentioned --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Just a minute now.
23 Yes, Mr. Borovic?
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, although he answered a
25 great many questions here, and I told him not to present his wishes here,
1 but the Trial Chamber decided that these statements that were given by the
2 members of Leva Supoderica to the police cannot be taken into account.
3 Now, what Lancuzanin stated and before what organs, all of that, what was
4 submitted by the Prosecution a minute before Radic started testifying is
5 something that we cannot use and should not use. This is a question of
6 principle. The Prosecutor should not abuse the wish of the accused,
7 because we are in a court of law, after all, and it is for the Court to
8 set the rules and we are to follow them. Thank you.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner?
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I was under the impression that we were
11 allowed to confront people -- confront a witness with a statement and ask
12 for his opinion based on it and to see if it changes his testimony. I
13 wasn't here throughout trial, so if there might be a rule that I'm unaware
15 JUDGE PARKER: That is correct. I think Mr. Borovic is referring
16 to the very recent decision of this Chamber concerning particular
18 MR. WEINER: I was under the impression that each defendant can be
19 impeached, if you wanted, with their own particular statement, but that
20 does not concern the statements of other persons.
21 JUDGE PARKER: The statements of other accused may not be put.
22 That is what our -- to a witness which is a decision that we have given.
23 MR. WEINER: Is that an accused in this case or other accused in
24 any case?
25 JUDGE PARKER: The accused in this case. The particular
1 statements, there were six of them, all in 1998, two by each of the three
3 MR. WEINER: These statements here are not part of any of those
4 particular statements. These are statements that these accused made in
5 the Belgrade court.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Are they statements of which notice has been given
7 to the Defence?
8 MR. WEINER: Yes. In fact, also in that other statement,
9 disclosure was given 19 January 2005.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry, I missed the last part of that answer.
11 MR. WEINER: With regard to that other statement, the Bojkovski
12 statement that was mentioned, earlier disclosure was given 19 January
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 Mr. Borovic, for the purpose of testing the credibility of this
16 witness, statements made by others, not the three accused that were the
17 subject of our decision, may be put to them. Normally, it would simply be
18 a matter of an oral question, which is what is being done by Mr. Weiner at
19 the present time. It is, of course, exactly what the Defence did with
20 Prosecution witnesses when any previous statements of those witnesses or
21 of others, given either to this Tribunal or in other proceedings, whether
22 in Belgrade or elsewhere, or to other investigating authorities in the
23 present Serbia or the former Yugoslavia, were used by different Defence
24 counsel, including yourself. It's the same position but in reverse. It's
25 simply calling for this witness to say whether or not that affects his
2 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave,
3 everything you said in relation to discovery and putting statements to
4 witnesses by the Prosecution is correct. Those are statements that have
5 to do with witnesses that we heard in this courtroom, whereas what Mr.
6 Weiner is trying to do now has to do with your decision taken a day or two
7 ago; namely, to show witness statements to the witness that we had not
8 received. The last one he tried to put to the witness is one of those
9 five or six statements for which you decided that they cannot be put to
10 the witness a minute or two before they -- the witness before he starts
11 giving evidence. We did not discuss that with the witness, and it is our
12 right to be able to follow what the Prosecutor is putting to the witness.
13 This decision was in force.
14 Again, the Prosecutor is trying to put to this witness some
15 witness statements, and again we are not in a position to follow, because
16 we observed your decision. We do not have these witness statements before
17 us and there is no reason -- I mean, I know what credibility is, and this
18 would be an adventure that Radic would be embarking upon. But it doesn't
19 make sense, from the point of view of procedure, to put something to the
20 accused now that we were not in a position to discuss with him earlier
21 on. And he, as a witness, was not preparing along those lines and had no
22 opportunity to prepare. After all, this is 12 --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the number.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] And it has to do specifically with
25 the names my learned friend is putting now.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
2 It seems, Mr. Weiner, this last statement at least is one subject
3 to the objection raised very early on by Mr. Borovic; that there had not
4 been the required notice given that this would be a document used in
6 MR. WEINER: However, the Court indicated that we could not
7 introduce it, that we would not show it, but we could still confront a
8 witness with it. But if the Court wants to change that, I can move on,
9 whatever the Court pleases.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, you accept it is one of the documents
11 affected by that ruling?
12 MR. WEINER: Yes, sir. Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Right. Our position was and is, Mr. Borovic, that
14 the document, not having been given the correct notice, may not be put to
15 the witness as a document, but the witness can be asked whether or not he
16 is aware that a statement to a certain effect has been given, which is
17 different from his evidence. If the source of that proves to be one of
18 the statements, it might be open to you, if you are not in a position to
19 re-examine on it, to seek leave to do some unusual things, such as defer
20 your re-examination about that; even to have leave to take instructions
21 from your client about it before you re-examine him on it.
22 Now, they are very unusual courses. It would be rare that the
23 circumstances would persuade us that they were appropriate, but they can
24 be if the document really is of considerable importance and significance
25 to you.
1 Now, I suspect these may not. They are, perhaps, typical of
2 statements made by a variety of people which say a wide range of things,
3 some of which are different in some detail, some of which contradict the
4 evidence of your client. And your client just will say of such a
5 statement put to him, "That's not correct," or "I don't understand how
6 that could be," or whatever it was, and that is as far as your client can
7 take it. And the Prosecution isn't able to go any further because it has
8 not been part of their case and they haven't given you proper notice about
9 it. They can't set about trying now to prove the truth of that statement.
10 So it's not going to be evidence against your client for its
11 truth. The only evidence will be your client's reaction to hearing that
12 somebody has said something different to his evidence. And I guess there
13 are a very large number of people who might come into that category for
14 right or wrong.
15 Carry on, Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Sir, would you agree that the Leva Supoderica unit was under your
18 command through November 21st, 1991?
19 A. No way.
20 Q. Sir, we've had testimony in this court - Witness 024 - that
21 Kameni's unit was under Radic's command, and it had to be so since Kameni
22 wasn't a real commander - and that's Milan Lancuzanin, as you know -
23 because he's not a real commander. Do you deny that, sir?
24 A. No. First of all, my personal conviction during the evidence of
25 Witness P024 is that that man was never there at all, that he just talked
1 about certain events. He knows about some facts, but he is not aware of
2 all the events that took place. He said somethings that are ridiculous
3 even to this Honourable Trial Chamber. He says that Major Tesic was
4 commander of the 4th Company, which is ridiculous.
5 But let me go back to the statement itself. It has to do with a
6 comment of one witness who was a soldier, who was at Petrova Gora all the
7 time, according to his own statement, and who absolutely does not know
8 about the system of command and control. If that is his impression, I
9 kindly ask the Trial Chamber to give a qualification of that impression.
10 If it is your assessment that I commanded Leva Supoderica, then I will
11 accept that. But I was never the commander of Leva Supoderica.
12 Q. No, sir, it was under your command, as was the TO and these other
13 units, all under your assault group, sir.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a question?
15 MR. WEINER: Yes.
16 Q. Isn't that true, sir?
17 JUDGE PARKER: Would you allow the witness to react, if he wishes.
18 MR. WEINER:
19 Q. Isn't that true, sir, that it was all under your command?
20 A. I'm convinced that you, yourself, do not believe in the truth of
21 this statement. Leva Supoderica was under the command of Milan
22 Lancuzanin, Kameni, and Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni, went to get his orders
23 from Major Tesic from time to time, orders, instructions, tasks. A part
24 of the Territorial Defence that was under the command of Miroljub Vujovic
25 was under his command. He received his tasks from his commander, as his
1 commander explained here before this Court, and I coordinated the work in
2 the field only during combat, not a second after that.
3 Q. Sir, Witness 022 has testified that the TO members and the Leva
4 Supoderica unit were under your command for the Vukovar operations. Do
5 you deny that, sir?
6 A. This is not correct. Witness 022 was just an ordinary soldier.
7 He is not familiar with the command and control system. He saw that I was
8 participating in the tasks that I myself carried out, that I received from
9 my superior command. He had no idea as to what exactly I was doing. He
10 gave his impression of -- his interpretation of what he saw. But I
11 absolutely deny that what Witness 022 stated is true. I don't think that
12 he is a person that is competent enough to give this assessment.
13 Q. Sir, Witness 018 has placed the local Chetniks, which is referring
14 to the Leva Supoderica unit, to being under Radic's command. Do you deny
15 that also?
16 A. Yes, I do deny this. Again, I gave you my opinion of Witness
17 018. It was a soldier whom I really had to put in my pocket, keep him
18 there to keep him alive. He did not know what his duties were, let alone
20 And if you allow me to go back to Witness P022, when your
21 colleague asked him - I don't recall who conducted the examination but the
22 question was - whether the Territorial Defence and Leva Supoderica were
23 incorporated into my company, he confirmed that this was correct. But
24 when Mr. Borovic asked him what it means, "incorporated," he said, "I
25 don't know." And now you're talking to me about his competence and asking
1 me to accept his statement which, of course, I cannot do.
2 Q. Sir, all these people, some with no personal relationship or
3 association to each other, have all maintained that you were the commander
4 of either/or -- either the Vukovar TO and/or the Leva Supoderica unit
5 during that time in Vukovar. Having heard these people who were not
6 related to each other, will you admit that you were their commander, sir?
7 A. I accept that I was the commander of the 3rd Motorised Company and
8 I accept all those things that I have already stated before this
9 Honourable Court. I do not accept the statements made by people who were
10 not part of the command and control system, those who were not familiar
11 with it and those who merely presented their own impressions. Of course,
12 the impressions have nothing to do with the actual truth.
13 I have to apologise, I would really like to have been able to hear
14 my commander here. I was rather hoping he would come here to testify. He
15 would be the competent person to testify about this. But a soldier who
16 volunteered to join the Leva Supoderica unit, for him to give us his
17 views, it is strange. I find it strange, to say the least.
18 Q. Sir, have you subpoenaed the commander, your commander, Major
19 Tesic, to testify? If he's the one who could clarify all this in your
20 favour, have you subpoenaed him to testify? The answer is no; isn't that
22 A. Major Borivoje Tesic was on your witness list, Mr. Weiner. Now,
23 why he didn't come here to testify, it was your call. I called my
25 Q. Have you subpoenaed him to testify? You just indicated that he's
1 the person who can clarify it all in your favour. Isn't it true you
2 haven't subpoenaed him because he would not testify in your favour; he
3 would testify that those units were under your command?
4 A. Mr. Weiner, I have gone through the statement made by Major Tesic
5 to the investigative organs, to the OTP investigators, with great care.
6 Q. Sir, so have I. The question is: Have you subpoenaed him? And
7 you haven't, since he wouldn't testify in your favour; is that correct,
8 yes or no?
9 A. No, I did not call him.
10 Q. And you didn't call your counterpart, Bojkovski, because he would
11 tell you that you attended an assault group commander meeting on the 17th
12 with the other assault group commanders; isn't that correct?
13 A. I have to apologise, but this is a ridiculous statement to make.
14 I really don't want to be mocking anyone, but what you just stated here is
15 just a jumble of facts. What meeting of the assault group? There was no
16 meeting of assault group, least of all on the 17th. I don't know where
17 you get this information from. I have never heard of any such meeting
18 taking place anywhere.
19 Q. At Major Tesic's command post, the evening of November 17th?
20 A. Mr. Weiner, I will now make a following assertion: The battalion
21 commander, Mr. Tesic, labelled companies as assault groups, and I can now
22 say that the 2nd Company was not a platoon-strength unit, so it could not
23 have been an assault group. So this is a totally wrong term. I am not
24 going to now evaluate the quality of work of my commander. This is for
25 somebody else to do.
1 Q. Sir, the question is: Isn't it true that you attended, you were
2 one of the assault group commanders who attended a meeting at Major
3 Tesic's office on November 17th, Major Tesic's command?
4 A. I was the commander of the 3rd Motorised Company, and I attended a
5 briefing with the battalion commander on the 17th of November, 1991. That
6 is the truth of it.
7 Q. On the evening of November 19th, could you tell us where you were
8 on that evening?
9 A. On the 19th of November, after coming back from the briefing with
10 the battalion commander, I took a bath; I changed my clothes. So I just
11 rested a bit and did something for myself.
12 Q. Did you attend another dinner on that evening, too?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, we've had testimony in this court from Witness
15 002 that on the morning of November 21st, he was discussing with others
16 and learned of the murders of prisoners inside of your
17 apartment/observation post. Do you know anything about that?
18 A. The first time that I heard about this version of events was when
19 Witness P002 explained it or testified about it. I, myself, have never
20 seen that in this way, this version of events.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I waited until my
22 client made his answer and now I want to say that Witness P002, in fact
23 this is an assertion made by the Prosecution, and now I would like the
24 Prosecutor to be quite specific. What is it that he actually had in mind,
25 the statement made by the witness or what?
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner?
2 MR. WEINER: Just as I asked it; that P002 learnt about the
3 murders of prisoners at Ovcara on the morning of November 21st inside of
4 his apartment/observation post, and I asked the witness if he knew
5 anything about that and did --
6 JUDGE PARKER: You were asked if that is based upon evidence, on a
7 statement or what?
8 MR. WEINER: That's based on his testimony at pages 10398 to
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Weiner. Carry on.
11 MR. WEINER:
12 Q. Now, Witness 002 testified that on the morning of November 21st,
13 there was discussion of the murder of prisoners just outside of your
14 apartment/observation post. And that's at 10400 -- page 10400 of the
15 transcript. Do you know anything about that, sir?
16 A. I know absolutely nothing about that.
17 Q. Witness 002 testified at page 10400 that Stanko Vujanovic was
18 outside of your apartment/observation post complaining that too many
19 people were talking about the murders at Ovcara. Do you know anything
20 about that, sir?
21 A. I think that Witness P002 invented the whole thing. That is my
23 Q. Well, you know that Stanko Vujanovic - and you were staying in his
24 family home or family complex - was the same individual who was convicted
25 for those murders in Ovcara at the court in Belgrade; isn't that correct,
2 A. I know that, yes.
3 Q. And you also know that Stanko Vujanovic's wife, Nada Kalaba, who
4 was staying at your home/observation post, was also convicted for the
5 crimes at Ovcara. You know that, too, don't you, sir?
6 A. I can't see what that has to do with me. I know that she also was
7 convicted. Does that mean that I am guilty because, from time to time, I
8 would see them?
9 Q. Well, my next question is: Since you were staying at their family
10 compound, did you ever hear from either one of those people what happened
11 in Ovcara?
12 A. Mr. Weiner, as an officer, throughout my life, I tried to be
13 honourable and honest, and I did not allow any arbitrary acts by my
14 superiors -- by my subordinates.
15 Q. Sir, we have ten minutes. I want to finish at the break -- by the
16 break. Could you just answer the question? Did you hear from Stanko
17 Vujanovic or his wife, Nada Kalaba, about the murders at Ovcara? You can
18 say "yes"; you can say "no"; or "maybe".
19 A. I never discussed this with them, or they did not dare to mention
20 that in front of me because they knew very well what my views of that
21 would be.
22 Q. There was testimony that a woman by the name of Dragica or Daca
23 was describing the murders in your house and observation post. And that's
24 at page 10398-10399, Witness 002. Did you hear that conversation, sir;
25 yes or no?
1 A. I heard Witness P022. Dragica is dead and she can neither confirm
2 nor deny this. I, myself, have never heard about this conversation or
3 that conversation.
4 Q. That morning, according to testimony, Dragica was complaining that
5 too many people were talking -- that others were talking too much about
6 the murders. Did you hear that?
7 A. Don't ask me about Dragica. I did not see Dragica at all. I
8 think I actually saw her only once, when there was a little bit of
9 confusion, but I never spoke to her at all. I don't know what she was
10 saying, nor was it my duty to know what she was saying.
11 Q. So you never heard anything, with all this discussion happening,
12 you never heard anything; is that your testimony, sir?
13 A. It is my testimony that I was never in a position where
14 discussions were held about any crime. Had I been in such a situation, I
15 can put my life on the line here and say that it would not just go like
16 that, unpunished. I cannot abide anyone being unfairly charged with
17 anything, accused of anything. But to let somebody go unpunished for a
18 crime, that is something that is completely unacceptable to me. This is
19 not the kind of a man and an officer that I was. For me, I take it as an
21 Q. Sir, is it your testimony that none of your soldiers told you
22 about the murders that occurred in Ovcara, including your soldiers who
23 participated in that murder -- in those murders?
24 A. I don't know whether this was committed by my soldiers. I heard
25 what Witness P022 said. Many things in his testimony are not quite clear
1 to me, but sitting here on the witness stand, I have to express my doubts
2 about many things that he said. I don't know, in fact, whether he's a
3 normal person at all, when he was able to say all those things. I'm not
4 trying to say --
5 Q. Sir, did any of your soldiers tell you about the murders?
6 A. Never, because I would have eaten up.
7 Q. Eaten up? Excuse me?
8 A. I'm being metaphorical here. I would not have allowed anyone to
9 go unpunished.
10 Q. Sir, Witness P022, who you mentioned, testified that he
11 participated in the murders, he told you about the murders at Ovcara, and
12 on the following day he provided you with an update about those murders.
13 Do you still claim that you were unaware of the murders at Ovcara?
14 A. That is correct. In his first statement, Witness P022, he said
15 himself that I would have killed him had he told me that. I don't know
16 whether I would have killed him, but he would not have gone unpunished.
17 The statement that he made before this Court is ridiculous, and, in fact,
18 it's offensive to me. I find it offensive. And he knows it.
19 Q. Witness P0118 testified that while he was at your
20 apartment/observation post, they were talking very loudly about the
21 murders and you were sitting not very far away. They were celebrating
22 what they had done. Do you still claim that you were unaware of the
23 murders at Ovcara on November 20th and November 21st?
24 A. Please allow me to correct you here. Witness P018 said that he
25 had been present there while the murders had been discussed, but he did
1 not know about the murders, he was just learning about them. And I say
2 that this situation did not occur as he described it. I'm putting my life
3 on the line here.
4 Q. Witness 002, who is not a business associate, a military
5 associate, of 018 and 022, has testified that he had a brief discussion
6 with you on November 21st, in the morning, about those murders. Do you
7 still claim that you were unaware of them?
8 A. Your allegation that he was not their associate in any way, I
9 think, is not correct. Witness P022 stated that he had seen Witness P002
10 in the place where he lived. Why would they see each other? Why a
11 soldier, an ordinary soldier, felt the need to see his commander? I don't
12 know what the relationship was, but there was a relationship. I can say
13 that on November 21st, in the morning, I absolutely did not know of any
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, an error in the
16 transcript. The witness stated why would Witness P022 see a journalist,
17 P002, and the transcript says "commander." That is not what the witness
18 said. He said why would Witness P022 see Witness P002, the commander, and
19 the word "commander" was not mentioned at all by the witness.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
21 MR. WEINER:
22 Q. Sir, you know that reporters see lots of people and speak to lots
23 of people to get information for stories, but that doesn't mean that they
24 are associated with them.
25 MR. WEINER: Could we go into private session for a moment?
1 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
2 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
20 MR. WEINER:
21 Q. Sir, I put to you that in that small community of soldiers in
22 Vukovar, there is no way that you could have not known about the murders
23 occurring at Ovcara, and that you, in fact, knew about them and did
25 A. It is my testimony that there was no such thing as a small
1 community of soldiers the way you are trying to paint it. And it is also
2 my testimony that I would either use the help of the military police or I
3 would do it myself; I would have taken any measure available to bring
4 those people to justice. I would do the same with my brother had he been
5 in such a situation, let alone a witness who is a soldier or anyone.
6 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, as promised, finished by the break.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Weiner.
9 We will resume at 25 minutes past.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.26 a.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic?
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have a
14 question for Mr. Radic. This will not take long.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Borovic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Radic, the Prosecutor asked you about the two
17 statements you provided in 1998. When you gave the first statement in
18 March 1998, and when you were summoned, did you know at all what you were
19 going to talk about?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you. When you gave your second statement, did you find out
22 before or after that that you would have the status of a suspect in this
24 A. This was in 1998, and through the media, I found out that I was
25 accused before this Tribunal for acts that I did not commit. And when I
1 was summoned to the military court, shortly before my testimony, the
2 president of the military tribunal at the time - I think it was Colonel or
3 General Gojevic - handed me the indictment from this Tribunal, which I
4 received and signed for.
5 Q. My question is: Since you said that you were imprecise, that you
6 didn't recall dates, when did you get down to remembering, and what did
7 you do in order to know the details, the dates, such as the 18th, the 19th
8 and the 20th? Was this after the trial before the military court in
10 A. This was before I came here to the Hague Tribunal, and I have
11 thought about that mostly during these three and a half years, since I've
12 been here.
13 Q. Thank you. We showed a tape here, some footage of JNA soldiers
14 being brought out of the Vukovar Hospital who had previously been captured
15 there, and in this footage you recognised Major Tesic and then officers
16 from the LADPVO you recognised, and you explained to the Chamber that you
17 cannot be seen in the footage. When my learned friend from the
18 Prosecution showed you a part of your testimony before the military
19 tribunal, he said that you stated that it was your assignment to bring the
20 soldiers out of the hospital.
21 So my question is: This footage, which has been tendered into
22 evidence as proposed by us, what does it confirm? Since you cannot see on
23 it that you are bringing out the soldiers.
24 A. I would respond like this: Then and now, I considered myself to
25 be a member of the unit of the Guards Motorised Brigade. If I was ever
1 imprecise, I was not imprecise with the intent to deceive anyone or to
2 give any misinformation. If I say that it was my assignment to bring
3 someone out, at the time it seemed logical to me. I didn't want to
4 misinform anyone or lead anyone to the wrong conclusion. But
5 specifically, I did not participate in the actual act of bringing out
6 Corporal Jovic and the other -- Sergeant Jovic and the other people.
7 Q. This exhibit, 787, is actually evidence where you indicate that
8 your statements in 1998 were imprecise, so the obvious example of that is
9 this footage showing where the soldiers were being brought out.
10 A. Well, this is something up to the Judges to decide.
11 Q. And what is your view?
12 A. I believe that I, as a person, I, myself, Miroslav Radic, did not
13 do that.
14 Q. Very well. Thank you. The Prosecutor showed you the statement by
15 Dr. Njavro when he said that you and reservist Kuzmic went around the
16 hospital and were checking up, seeing who the patients were. The
17 statement by Witness P012, on page 3727, stated that, with Kuzmic, there
18 was Sasa Bojkovski, and that he knew him because he saw him in the film
19 "100 Days of Vukovar" when he stated his famous sentence, "Vukovar must
20 fall tonight." So my question is: Did you see that film?
21 A. Yes, I did. I saw it a long time before I actually came to this
23 Q. Thank you. You said that on the 19th of November you briefly
24 entered the hospital, and that Tesic and Bojkovski were already inside and
25 also another person whose name you know now, the name of Reserve Officer
1 Kuzmic; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. There were another two soldiers there, but I don't know
4 Q. Thank you. When, on the 19th of November, you went to check on
5 the security of the hospital which was held by your soldiers, when you
6 went to check on the external security of the hospital, did Sasa Bojkovski
7 stay inside with Tesic and Kuzmic?
8 A. I cannot claim that because I wasn't really paying attention to
10 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Did he go out with you or not?
11 A. I do not recall anybody going outside with me. All I know is that
12 when I went outside, I then did not return to the hospital ever again.
13 Q. Thank you. Witness P030 said that on the 20th of November, you
14 took part in the evacuation; more precisely, that you assisted in the
15 search of those captured. And then on the same day, in the barracks, you
16 took out 15 soldiers from the list and returned to the hospital. You
17 denied that in response to a question that I put to you. So now I would
18 like to ask you again: On the 20th of November, what sort of uniform were
19 you wearing that day?
20 A. I state that on the 19th, in the evening, I received a new
21 camouflage uniform from the company officer that I changed - I was happy
22 to be clean after a long time - and that I did not take this uniform off
23 until I arrived in Belgrade -- when we came to Belgrade.
24 Q. And what did this uniform look like? Can you give us more
1 A. It was a camouflage uniform with a pattern worn by some of the
2 units at the time. I think these were military police units. So it was
3 the camouflage pattern in a light green, dark green and brown combination
4 of colours.
5 Q. At the time, did you wear a beret, a red beret?
6 A. I was in the Guards Brigade and I never had a beret, although that
7 unit, after I left the army, did wear such berets. But I never placed a
8 beret like that on my head.
9 Q. My question referred to Vukovar. On the 20th of November, were
10 you wearing a red beret on your head?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you. My next question: That day, at any point in time, at
13 the hospital or at the barracks, did you wear a leather jacket?
14 A. No. I didn't even go to the barracks.
15 Q. On the 20th of November, 1991, how old were you?
16 A. I was 29.
17 Q. Thank you very much. This witness claims that the person who took
18 part in the actions was up to 40 years old and that they were between 185
19 and -- 175 and 180 centimetres tall. How tall are you?
20 A. I am 1 metre, 91.5 centimetres tall.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we now look at
22 Exhibit 430 on the monitors, please.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we can just run over this
25 quickly. I've just seen it now. Maybe we can look at Exhibit 410 first.
1 It's an order from the commander of OG South dated the 29th of October
2 1991. Thank you. Could you please zoom in on paragraph 2, item 2. Thank
4 Q. Mr. Radic, since witnesses of the Prosecution and expert witnesses
5 and other witnesses read this document, you don't need to read it now.
6 But from this order, it's evident that under item 2, "Tasks to the Units,"
7 paragraph 1, "Composition of Assault Detachment 1," could you please
8 kindly read what the composition was of the assault detachment on the 29th
9 of October?
10 A. Item 2, paragraph 1 -- paragraph 2, item 1, it says: [As read]
11 "Composition of Assault Detachment 1: 1st Motorised Battalion;
12 1st Platoon of the 3rd Company of the 2nd Military Police Battalion; Leva
13 Supoderica Detachment; Petrova Gora Detachment; Volunteers Company from
14 Novi Sad; 1 M84 tank. 1st platoon of the 1st Company, 1st platoon of the
15 1st Pioneer's Company, a part of the TO unit from the current sector are
16 to extend the attack and, in coordinated action with Detachment 2 --"
17 Q. Thank you very much. Later they will describe the axis, but my
18 question is: It was the first time that the Leva Supoderica and the
19 Petrova Gora detachments became part of the 1st Assault Detachment?
20 A. This assignment issued by the commander of OG South, Colonel
21 Mrksic, assigns the subordinate units to their tasks, determines the
22 composition of these subordinate units, specifically of Assault Detachment
23 1, and defines their assignments. From what I could see, based on the
24 documents that were available to me and from the documents I saw, this is
25 the first time that the Leva Supoderica detachment and the TO Petrova Gora
1 detachment were subordinated to the commander of the 1st Assault
3 Q. Thank you. So the tasks and commands to the Leva Supoderica and
4 Petrova Gora detachments were issued by Borivoje Tesic; is that correct?
5 A. Colonel Mrksic ordered it to be so.
6 Q. Thank you very much.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we now look at
8 Exhibit 430.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I just would like
10 to say that this is my understanding of this order, because I did not see
11 this order or any order in their written form in Vukovar. But this is how
12 I understand them now.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Thank you. Now we can see on the monitor the decision of the 14th
15 of November, 1991, of the commander of Operations Group South.
16 MR. WEINER: Objection.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner?
18 MR. WEINER: Two or three things. First, we didn't go into the
19 last document; we haven't gone into this document here during
20 cross-examination. This is just examination-in-chief being done. This is
21 whatever they didn't do previously, they are trying to do now.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, surely you have challenged the evidence
23 of this witness as to the composition of the assault detachment after the
24 10th of November.
25 MR. WEINER: But not on the documents, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: But you've raised the issue. This is the way the
2 Defence is dealing with the issue you have raised. That's perfectly
4 MR. WEINER: The other objection I have is if he could be a little
5 less leading on these issues so I don't have to get up and object.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Borovic, but a little less leading is
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please zoom in
9 on item 2, "Assignments to Units," and then go to the paragraph marked
11 Q. Mr. Radic, could you kindly read this paragraph under number 4.
12 A. "Assault Detachment 1, without the 1st Motorised Battalion, from
13 the current combat disposition sector is to be transferred to the axis
14 Dalmatinska street, Alija Alagica street and the water tower, with the
16 Q. Thank you. My question is: Who is now in command of Assault
17 Detachment 1?
18 A. From the first to the last moment, the assault detachment was
19 under the command of Major Borivoje Tesic.
20 Q. Thank you. When we say "without the 1st Motorised Battalion,"
21 what does that mean? What was the composition of Assault Detachment 1
23 A. According to this order, issued by Colonel Mrksic to the
24 commanders of all subordinate units, the Assault Detachment 1 comprises,
25 as we read in the previous decision of the OG South commander, without the
1 1st Motorised Battalion. So all the companies and batteries of
2 120-millimetre mortars are taken away.
3 Q. Thank you. This is the axis of Assault Detachment 1. Is that an
4 axis that has nothing to do with the axis of your third company?
5 A. I claim that I was never in Dalmatinska street or in the street of
6 Alija Alagica.
7 Q. Thank you. Would you please be so kind as to read out paragraph 5
8 now, which has to do with the tasks of the 1st Motorised Battalion that
9 was taken out of the 1st Assault Detachment, the so-called JOD 1?
10 A. Paragraph 5, the commander of the Operations Group is issuing a
11 separate task for the 1st Motorised Battalion, and he says:
12 "The 1st Motorised Battalion, from the current sector of the
13 combat disposition, should secure the line achieved, establish full
14 control of the area taken, and act in concert with the forces that are
15 attacking along the following axis: Sundaciceva street; Marsala Tita
16 street. Stand ready to take active action along the axis of Milovo Brdo,
17 the bridges on the Vuka River."
18 Q. Thank you. Could you please explain what that means?
19 A. As far as I understand it, the commander of the Operations Group
20 South spelled out in concrete terms the task of the commander of JOD 1,
21 and through his own order, he told him that the 1st Motorised Battalion,
22 which is a unit based on establishment, should remain in the sector where
23 they were, where they got to during combat action; and that they should
24 establish full control there and that they should act in concert with the
25 forces that were attacking. And those forces were the other forces from
1 the assault detachment that we referred to a few minutes ago and that were
2 moving along the mentioned axis. And it says: "Stand ready to take
3 active action"; that is to say, if there is a counterattack by the
4 opposing side, they were duty-bound to accept --
5 Q. Could you please speak a little slower. Perhaps not everything is
6 in the transcript. Thank you.
7 A. So, the forces of the 1st Motorised Battalion, in case of a
8 possible counterattack, were duty-bound to engage in battle so as to
9 facilitate the attack of the forces that were attacking.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. That is how I understand this order.
12 Q. What about Major Borivoje Tesic, who was then, at the same time,
13 the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion and the commander of the 1st
14 Assault Detachment that is now on a completely different axis of action
15 compared to your own?
16 A. This was a decision of Colonel Mrksic, the commander of the
17 operative group, not my decision. He is responsible for the 1st Motorised
18 Battalion and for JOD 1.
19 Q. So who is issuing commands, who is issuing assignments, tasks,
20 after this period all the way up to the fall of Vukovar, as far as the
21 Territorial Defence and Leva Supoderica is concerned? Is it Major Tesic?
22 A. The way in which Major Tesic regulated this, with the units that
23 were subordinated to him at that point in time, is something that I don't
24 know. I really do not want to say anything that I did not see myself or
25 participate in myself. Now, what it was that he ordered to JOD, or rather
1 to Leva Supoderica, and what was it that he ordered to the Territorial
2 Defence, that is something that I really don't know.
3 Q. Thank you. You know that he was the commander of those units at
4 the time because they were within JOD 1; right?
5 MR. WEINER: Objection to that, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner?
7 MR. WEINER: Objection. It's very leading.
8 JUDGE PARKER: You're getting too eager, Mr. Borovic. Carry on.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I accept.
10 Q. After all, the documents are self-explanatory, so you don't even
11 have to answer, Mr. Radic. It's all right.
12 A. Allow me to, please.
13 Q. With the permission of the Court.
14 A. I am going to answer in the following way: From the moment when
15 we got out to Milovo Brdo, every day Major Tesic was in that sector, which
16 is to say that that was not the case until they reached Milovo Brdo. I
17 assume that from that moment, Major Tesic took over control over future
18 developments. He can confirm that or he can deny that. That is my
19 opinion. Now, how he did that is something that he knows best.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you. You are doing your best to be fair to
21 Major Tesic, which is fine.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we see Exhibit 431
23 on the screens, please.
24 Q. It is a decision dated the 16th of November, 1991, and in
25 paragraph 2, tasks issued to units, it says, under number 1, that:
1 "The 1st Motorised Battalion, in accordance with the assignment of
2 the 14th of November --" sorry "- in accordance with the assignment of the
3 14th of November, 1991, with the support of part of the forces of the
4 armoured battalion of the Guards Motorised Brigade, should continue its
5 attack ..." and so on and so forth.
6 My question is as follows: At this point in time, under whose
7 command were the Territorial Defence detachments and the Leva Supoderica
8 detachment, after the 16th of November?
9 A. Since the order of the 14th of November did not change, according
10 to my understanding, they were still under the control of Major Tesic.
11 Q. Thank you. My next question: After the liberation or fall of
12 Vukovar, depending on the interpretation of the parties in these
13 proceedings, in your view, did the need cease for the existence of the 1st
14 Assault Detachment, JOD 1, as well as the other assault detachments?
15 A. The actual state of affairs was that the decision on the existence
16 of assault detachments is made by the superior officer; in this case it
17 was Colonel Mrksic. If he decides that there is no reason, then he is
18 going to disband them. If he decides that there is a reason for that,
19 then they will go on existing. So it is not for me to assess whether it's
20 necessary or not. I can assess what is going on in my own domain.
21 Q. Thank you. Since you stated that they were of a temporary nature
22 until the mission was accomplished, the assault groups and the assault
23 detachments that is, once combat ceases, what is your understanding,
24 irrespective of the commander's decision? Is there no longer a military
25 necessity for the existence of these groups?
1 A. Mr. Borovic, I was a soldier, and as an a soldier I'm giving you
2 an answer. The superior officer is the one who decides on that
3 necessity. Therefore, it is only Colonel Mrksic who was in charge and who
4 would say whether they would exist or would not exist. Whether he did
5 that or not is something that I don't know.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you. My colleague, Mr. Weiner, quoted part of
7 the statement made by Witness Ljubisa Vukasinovic. On the basis of that,
8 I give myself the right, or rather I also say that Ljubisa Vukasinovic, in
9 that statement, said that he, on the 20th, was the person who searched and
10 took away people from the hospital to the bus, and also that he was the
11 person who returned 15 people from the barracks to the Vukovar Hospital on
12 orders. Are you aware of that statement?
13 A. I wish to say that I did not do that. What I read on that piece
14 of paper -- well, Mr. Vukasinovic will have the right to confirm or deny
15 that. But I'm saying that I did not do that.
16 Q. Thank you. Today, my learned friend, Mr. Weiner, asked you why
17 you did not ask for Borivoje Tesic to be called to give evidence before
18 this Court, and you said that he would have been a Prosecution witness so
19 why didn't they do it.
20 My question is: Do you know that Borivoje Tesic was on the
21 witness list of the first accused, Mrksic? Did you know about that?
22 A. Yes, I knew about that.
23 Q. Is that one of the reasons why you did not insist that we put him
24 on our witness list? Just a moment, please, before you answer. Was that
25 one of the reasons?
1 A. I don't want to go into those reasons. Mr. Borivoje Tesic, in my
2 view, was not a witness that I was supposed to call for my own defence. I
3 have the right to defend myself as I believe is best for me. If somebody
4 thought that they were supposed to bring him here, I was absolutely not
5 opposed to that.
6 Q. All right. I'm not opposed to that at all. But did you think
7 that Slavko Stijakovic, the deputy commander of the 1st Motorised
8 Battalion, was a perfectly adequate replacement who could explain to this
9 Trial Chamber and the Prosecution your tasks and your position in the
10 chain of command and control?
11 JUDGE PARKER: This is not a position that can be taken in the way
12 of evidence from this witness. You're really just trying to justify your
13 own decisions, Mr. Borovic.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] You're right, Your Honour. Thank
15 you. Since Mr. Weiner quoted Tesic on several occasions, I would like to
16 ask for the English version to be placed on the ELMO, that is to say, of
17 Borivoje Tesic's statement of October 2003, paragraph 48.
18 Q. Mr. Radic, this is a statement that Tesic gave to the Office of
19 the Prosecutor of this Tribunal, and we are just going to refer to one
20 particular sentence.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE PARKER: At the moment, there is a technical problem which
23 may be able to be corrected shortly, but in the meantime, is this document
24 on e-court? If it is, we could bring it up on that basis.
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that it will be
1 simpler, since only one single sentence is being put to the witness, that
2 we give the Prosecutor this English version, that I read the B/C/S version
3 and that I put it to the witness. It will go very quickly.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Could you take the English version from
5 Mr. Borovic?
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that we do not have any
7 documents, so could we please receive a copy. Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: The interpreters are indicating they haven't
9 anything. Mr. Weiner is happy now but not the interpreters.
10 MR. WEINER: I have my own copy. The interpreters can take the
11 additional copy, if they would like.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Can we get the additional copy to the interpreters?
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] It is just one sentence. It's not a
14 problem. I'm going to read it and this will make it easy for the
16 Q. So, Mr. Radic, Mr. Weiner claimed that you invented this dinner
17 with the commander of the mortar company, Vuckovic, and he compared that
18 dinner with some dinners where people from some other cases were invited.
19 You told the Court here that on the 20th, in the evening, after the
20 briefing, you went to the commander of the mortar company, Vuckovic, and
21 you described who was there. Tesic, in this statement of his that he gave
22 to the OTP, says the following in paragraph 48:
23 "The commander of my mortar company later told me that Radic
24 stayed with him on the 20th of November, 1991, up to late at night."
25 Does that correspond to what you stated to the OTP, that until
1 late at night, you stayed at the dinner hosted by Vuckovic, commander of
2 the mortar unit? Do you agree?
3 A. I think I agree, but I can just repeat that that night I was in
4 the house where Lieutenant Vuckovic was.
5 Q. Do you agree; yes or no? I mean with what Borivoje Tesic stated.
6 Is that it or not?
7 A. I think it is.
8 Q. Thank you. When the Prosecutor told you that you never stated
9 before that your people had committed a crime and that you did not deny
10 that anywhere, you challenged all the counts of the indictment; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is there a count in the indictment that refers to your
14 responsibility for crimes committed by your subordinates?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you challenge that as well?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Jaksic, at this trial, as commander of the Territorial
19 Defence of Vukovar, said, verbatim:
20 "I issued orders to my own company commanders of the Territorial
21 Defence, and the commanders of the companies of the JNA were receiving
22 direct orders from Major Tesic."
23 Is that correct?
24 A. I know that Major Tesic issued assignments to me and to the other
25 company commanders when I was present. Now, who he issued tasks to as
1 well when I was not present, that is something I don't know about. Now,
2 whether Mr. Jaksic issued assignments to his own lower-ranking commanders,
3 I don't know. I did not see that with my own eyes, but I have no reason
4 to doubt anything. And I find what he said before this Trial Chamber to
5 be quite logical.
6 Q. And finally, my learned friend referred to what Witness P024
7 stated, talking about the subordination of his unit commander to you. Do
8 you know that in this courtroom we produced Exhibit 198, that is to say, a
9 photograph on which we see Seselj; Tesic; Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni; and
10 that precisely this witness, P024, that the Prosecutor asked you about,
11 did not recognise his own commander Lancuzanin? Rather, do you know that?
12 A. Yes, I remember that.
13 Q. And on the basis of all that you heard, do you still maintain what
14 you said to the Prosecution, that this witness fabricated a lot here at
15 this trial?
16 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
18 MR. WEINER: You're asking him to comment upon the credibility of
19 a witness as a direct question. That's for the Court, not for this
20 witness to determine, credibility.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, please, Mr. Borovic.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Well, I think that this
23 is the time for me to complete my redirect -- I'm sorry, yes, my
24 redirect. And since I have now concluded my examination, and I did not
25 take a lot of your time, I think that this is now the last opportunity for
1 the witness to address the Court, if he thinks he has anything to say.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Is there anything further, Mr. Radic, you wish to
3 add to your evidence?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you to give me
5 this opportunity to address you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Procedurally, Mr. Borovic, this is out of order.
7 If there was some matter that was still concerning Mr. Radic about his
8 evidence, we would certainly be prepared to hear it right now. But a full
9 statement of some sort from Mr. Radic at this point is not something that
10 should occur. It should have been part of his evidence-in-chief and,
11 therefore, subject to cross-examination.
12 So I'm afraid, Mr. Radic, I would confine you to the issue of
13 whether there is something you feel needs to be added to what you said in
14 evidence that hasn't been made clear. If there is anything of that
15 nature, mention it now.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I wish to
17 say the following: The Yugoslav People's Army is an army in which I
18 served for eight full years. In those eight years, I strived to be an
19 honourable officer.
20 The gentleman from the Prosecution has put it to me that I was
21 derelict in the performance of my duties. I cannot accept this view of
22 the Prosecution. At the time when I was told -- and in fact when I myself
23 stated that the first time that I heard, or rather read in a paper in
24 1992, sometime in mid-1992, that something like that happened at all, and
25 I was not given an opportunity to state why I did not believe in this
2 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Although the Trial Chamber is very
3 patient, I would not like to abuse their patience. So please be very,
4 very brief and mention only items that have already been mentioned by Mr.
5 Weiner in his cross-examination and do not go beyond that. I am
6 duty-bound to make this instruction because I have to follow the
7 procedure, and I'm afraid that you are going to go into too many details.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first article that I read about
9 me in Vukovar was entitled, "100 Days of Hell for Captain Radic in
10 Vukovar." At that time I had been in Vukovar for only 20 days. This is
11 one of the reasons why I was not convinced that the article, which was
12 also available to me at the time, that it was truthful. That article
13 presented some situations that definitely had not happened. And I would
14 like the Court to use its authority to locate this article - I think it
15 was published either in April or May 1992 - because Mr. Weiner put it to
16 me that I invented this article, and this is not so. So if you could
17 please check this, I would really like to ask you to do so.
18 A little while ago, there was a report in the media that Witness
19 P013 stated that I had raped and then killed a woman, and this is not
20 something that we heard from this witness before this Court, because this
21 is something that it was -- this is simply something that was not true.
22 So I simply do not trust reporters, and that's the truth of it.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I've concluded
24 my re-examination, and we have nothing further for this witness.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic. Thank you, Mr. Radic.
1 That concludes your evidence. You may now return to your position.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE PARKER: Are you ready with your next witness, Mr. Borovic?
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm ready, but I
6 completely lost track of time. Okay. So if we work until a quarter to 1,
7 then we can proceed with our next witness. I'm ready.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes. We rise at a quarter to 1.00, and
9 we resume again at 2.00 until about quarter to 4.00. Today we must stop
10 then because of commitments by the Chamber, but tomorrow we will be
11 sitting through to 5.00 again. So we are trying to catch up some of the
12 time that you, unfortunately, lost. You'll manage, Mr. Borovic.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you for your
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, sir. Would you please read aloud the
17 affirmation on the card that you have.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: SLAVKO STIJAKOVIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Before we begin, Your Honours, I
24 would like to hand over the documents to this witness. These are the
25 orders that we've seen on the screen, the combat log of the 1st Motorised
1 -- of the Guards Motorised Brigade, so that the witness is able to use
2 them if he wishes to do so. But everything will also be on the screen.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Are there copies for the Chamber?
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] This is all in the system.
5 JUDGE PARKER: So you're planning that the witness will have the
6 B/C/S and the Chamber will have English on the screen; is that it?
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic. We will try and bring up
10 the individual English versions on our screens so that the accused can
11 have the B/C/S version on their screens.
12 I would mention that I've noticed that there are only two monitors
13 for the accused at the moment. We will ensure that, as soon as practical,
14 the third monitor is installed in this courtroom. Please carry on.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I think that it would be more
16 practical for us to lose one of the accused in the dock, but it's just a
17 joke. Then we would have enough room.
18 Examination by Mr. Borovic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stijakovic, please be so kind and say
20 something about yourself; when you were born, where you were born. And
21 what is your family situation?
22 A. My name is Slavko Stijakovic. I was born on the 12th of July,
23 1960, in Banja Luka. There were four children in my family. My parents
24 were workers; they worked in a factory.
25 Q. Thank you. Tell us something about your education. In fact, what
1 schools have you graduated from before enrolling in the military academy?
2 A. Before I enrolled in the military academy, I graduated -- I first
3 attended elementary school in my hometown, Banja Luka, and then I went to
4 the secondary military school in Sarajevo. And after I graduated from the
5 secondary military school, I served for two years as a non-commissioned
6 officer in a garrison in Bar, which is a town in Montenegro. And as one
7 of the best non-commissioned officers in that unit, I was then sent to
8 study at the military academy of the ground forces in Belgrade.
9 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, after you graduated from the military academy,
10 could you please describe where you served, in what army, in what units,
11 all the way up to the end. So that I don't keep interrupting you with
12 questions, I think you can just give us a brief list.
13 A. When I was still a non-commissioned officer, upon my graduation
14 from the secondary military school, I enrolled in the faculty of political
15 science, and when I enrolled in the military academy, the knowledge that I
16 gained made it possible for me to be quite a successful student in the
17 military academy, so that I had an average mark of 4 -- of 945, at the
18 academy. Because I was a good student, a very good student, I remained in
19 Sarajevo, in the ground forces training centre, where I was the commander
20 of the unit of new students, and I also taught tactics as a subject.
21 Q. Thank you. How did your military career proceed from there?
22 A. Because I was a good teacher, after two years of serving in the
23 Sarajevo garrison, my superior officers proposed me to be promoted to the
24 rank of captain. When I received the rank of captain, and in light of my
25 rank and the assessments that I received, that I was given, the
1 evaluation, it was the usual practice in the JNA for such officers to be
2 appointed to responsible posts in the best units, in the elite units of
3 the Yugoslav People's Army.
4 And so, in 1989, based on the proposal of my superior officers
5 from the training centre in Sarajevo, I was transferred to the Guards
6 Motorised Brigade in Belgrade where I was the commander of the company
7 that was securing Dvorovi. These were -- this was a special facility that
8 was secured by this unit.
9 Q. Until your arrival in Vukovar, which duties did you perform?
10 A. I was the commander of the company that provided security for
11 Dvorovi, but in light of my military knowledge that I gained during my
12 education, my superior command, headed by the commander, Colonel Mile
13 Mrksic, proposed me to take a higher post. That would be the deputy
14 commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion, where I served as the deputy of
15 the commander, Major Borivoje Tesic. And I was holding that post when the
16 events of 1990 and 1991 began to unfold, the beginning of this unfortunate
17 war in the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.
18 Q. Thank you. You say that you were in the Guards Motorised
19 Brigade. We heard some opinions, and the Defence and the Prosecution have
20 an idea what kind of a unit it is. As an officer of the Guards Motorised
21 Brigade, what can you tell us? What was the composition of this unit, in
22 military terms? What was the ethnic composition of its troops? And what
23 were the soldiers and the officers like in the Guards Motorised Battalion?
24 A. As far as I know, it was a unit that choice personnel was assigned
25 to, and many elements were taken into account in the process of
1 selection. But the key factor that decided whether an officer would be
2 assigned to that unit or not was the moral qualities of the officer.
3 In-depth checks were made for each officer before he was assigned to this
5 And I remember that when I was in the Sarajevo garrison, before I
6 joined the Guards Brigade, I had several official interviews. And when
7 such checks are made, of course my entire family was checked, so that it
8 was impossible to join this unit if you -- unless you had a completely
9 clean slate, two generations back. Your grandfather, your father,
10 everybody in your family had to be completely clean; no criminal record,
11 no brawls, no traffic accidents. Your family members could not have been
12 members of any paramilitary formations in the Second World War.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stijakovic. We have heard here that it was an
14 elite unit, mostly dealing with the security of high functionaries and
15 state buildings and so on. Is that important -- is that true?
16 A. Yes, the unit had important tasks. It secured the most important
17 facilities and officials of the then leadership of the Socialist Federal
18 Republic of Yugoslavia.
19 Q. And was that the main assignment of the unit?
20 A. Yes. That was one of the main assignments of the unit.
21 Q. We've heard that in different armies, especially of the western
22 alliance, there are special units which deal with anti-terrorism and also
23 fighting in inhabited places. You, as a Motorised Brigade, were you elite
24 in that sense at all or in this sense that we just heard that was
25 providing security for important officials for facilities, and so on?
1 A. I can speak from the position of my own post. I was the deputy
2 commander of the motorised Battalion. That battalion's main assignment
3 was regular training of soldiers who would come to serve their military
4 term of duty. After that training, the soldiers secured the special
5 purpose facilities through guards services and duties, so their service
6 mainly was of -- entailed classic guard duty. That would be the external
7 perimeter of security of some facility. And - excuse me - other than
8 that, the two battalions, the motorised battalions, had specific tasks of
9 officially greeting and seeing off persons who came on protocol visits to
10 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know what the task of the Guards
12 Motorised Brigade was when it went to the Vukovar front?
13 A. The task of the Motorised Guards Brigade, when it went to the
14 front, was the following -- I was the deputy battalion commander and I
15 could read on the basis of the order that we received what the assignment
16 was. There is a decision of the commander of the Guards Motorised Brigade
17 which specifies the assignment of the brigade, and I can convey what the
18 contents of the decision are as follows:
19 In the front sector of the town of Vukovar, unblock the blockaded
20 barracks of the Yugoslav People's Army in the town. In the sector under
21 the control of paramilitary rebel units of the Croatian Defence Council,
22 unblock the captured or forcibly detained population, numbering between
23 5.000 to 6.000. These people were prevented from any sort of movement
24 outside of the town itself. To secure, after that, law and order in the
25 sector, and wait for the following assignment.
1 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know, when you left for this
2 operation, the so-called Vukovar operation, what was the time period?
3 A. It was September 1991. It was a month when there were frequent
4 clashes in a part of the Republic of Croatia against the Yugoslav People's
5 Army. Some barracks were blockaded. Different information arrived
6 through the media.
7 Based on those events, we, as superior officers, expected that we
8 could possibly be used, our units, in some of those focuses of crisis
9 where conflicts were breaking out.
10 After our unit was replenished in late September, I think this was
11 the 30th of September, according to the regulations, we went to the
12 broader sector of the town of Vukovar in a marching column.
13 Q. Thank you very much. Could you tell us, if you know, what the
14 composition of the Guards Motorised Brigade was? And, in particular, do
15 you know what the ethnic composition of the 1st Motorised Battalion was?
16 A. When we talking about the Guards Motorised Brigade, I know that
17 the entire brigade went to the assignment, the entire brigade.
18 As for the 1st Motorised Battalion, in relation to the ethnic
19 composition issue, I can say that the composition was the same as it was
20 in the previous years. It comprised all the national groups that were
21 represented in our battalion. I cannot give you the percentages, but by
22 name, by faces, through contacts with the soldiers and the officers, I
23 know that the composition was a multi-ethnic one.
24 Q. Thank you. So that it would be clear to everyone in this
25 courtroom, could you please tell us what ethnic groups made up the entire
1 multi-ethnic composition?
2 A. The officers had under them as soldiers Serbs, Croats, Muslims,
3 Macedonians. I don't remember if there were any Slovenians. There were a
4 few Hungarians. That was mostly the composition of the Motorised
6 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, where was the command post of the 1st Motorised
7 Battalion in Vukovar when these operations began? What happened at the
8 command post? What was going on there? Who was there?
9 A. On the basis of the specific order of the superior command, and in
10 terms of our assignment, we deployed the battalion to the Dubrava sector.
11 This is an agricultural farm close to Vukovar. After a few days there,
12 for the purposes of our assignment, we entered the town itself.
13 Our unit was led into town by people who lived in Vukovar. It was
14 night, and we needed some assistance to enter as easily as possible and
15 without any problems, and to reach our march destinations. It happened
16 that my commander, Major Tesic, myself and the entire battalion command,
17 as we were moving on foot, somewhere in the middle of the column, we
18 reached the beginning of the Svetozara Markovica street.
19 Then, upon the recommendation of our guide, we met Mirko Jagetic.
20 He is a man who lives in Vukovar. And since I'm Slavko and he's Mirko, in
21 our use, there are some comics about Mirko and Slavko; these are
22 well-known characters. So we met and we were joking. And he told me,
23 "Slavko, come to my house. It's quite safe there." So that's how the
24 command of the 1st Motorised Battalion ended up billeting in his house.
25 Q. Thank you very much. Who was in the command of the 1st Motorised
2 A. The command, before it set off for the front, had Major Borivoje
3 Tesic as its commander. I was his deputy. The morale assistant was
4 Zeljko Simanic, who, before going to the front, fell seriously ill and
5 unfortunately he died because of this illness, so that I was then
6 entrusted by my commander to carry out not just my regular duties but also
7 the duties of the assistant for morale. The command also included a
8 general desk officer, Sergeant Bojic, and also commander of the signals
9 sector, Stamenkovic. There was also the staff command and also the
10 signals sector.
11 Just one moment. When we set off for our task, the superior
12 command resubordinated a military police platoon, because that was not
13 part of our composition to date, so that military police platoon, headed
14 by commander second class sergeant -- lieutenant --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not get the name.
16 A. -- was entrusted with providing with security for the command and
17 to implement my assignment, because, according to the rules of service, I
18 was the most responsible person in the command for the accommodation,
19 security, order, discipline and all the assignments that were important to
20 the commander, in terms of the command and the command location.
21 Q. Thank you. The interpreters did not hear the name of the military
22 police platoon commander, so could you please repeat that.
23 A. Second Lieutenant Stefanovic.
24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stijakovic, can you please tell us who, and when,
25 would come to the briefings, and what that term means at the command post?
1 A. Beside the members of the command who worked there, occasionally
2 the briefings would be attended by subordinate officers. The
3 term "briefing" means informing or acquainting the commander with the
4 situation in the subordinate unit; also making proposals, what the
5 subordinate were requesting the command to do for them; and then after
6 that, defining the assignment by the commander to the subordinates. Most
7 often, that was how we met and briefed each other.
8 Q. When an assignment was issued to the subordinate, assignments --
9 and these would, for example, be company commanders, I assume. How many
10 companies did you have and how many komandirs did you have?
11 A. We had three motorised companies in the battalion. The commander
12 of the 1st Company was Captain Bojkovski, of the second one was Captain
13 Zirojevic, and the third company was Captain Radic. The anti-armoured one
14 was Captain Kopcic and the deputy commander for logistics was Captain
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stijakovic. You said assignments were issued. The
17 next day, when they returned for the briefing, would they report to you on
18 the implemented assignments, as ordered by Commander Borivoje Tesic?
19 A. The method of work of our command -- the method of work of our
20 command meant that the commander, Major Tesic, always opened the meeting.
21 He would review the attendance. He would speak generally with the
22 komandirs on general matters, just to sort of put a more human face on
23 everything. After that, I would be given the floor. Then I would note
24 and listen to all that the komandirs had to say.
25 Like I said, the method of work implied a democratic atmosphere.
1 Our subordinates could, at the meeting, always say everything, and I mean
2 everything, that bothered them. They could bring up all the problems
3 without any fear that they would be subjected to anything uncomfortable
4 because of any weaknesses.
5 After they would bring up whatever they had to bring up. I would
6 most often note down what was important; I would put that in our
7 operations and war diary. After that, most frequently, I would then have
8 the approval from Commander Tesic to propose the use of the battalion or
9 our unit in terms of an upcoming assignment. Then the commander would
10 listen to the proposal, he would correct it, augment it or would just
11 approve it. When he said, "I have decided that we are going to act in
12 such and such a way," that would be the order.
13 Q. What was the role of the military police that you mentioned
14 earlier? What did they do in terms of the command post? What were the
15 tasks that you would set to them?
16 A. At the beginning of combat, the military police platoon would need
17 to secure the command post with a group to prevent unauthorised access or
18 attacks on the command post. To lose a commander or the whole command, I
19 mean, these were very sensitive persons on the front. They also had an
20 assignment. Since we were in a zone with a great concentration of
21 different people - civilians; people were moving around and people lived
22 in that area - so they needed to check, screen people, in certain places,
23 where they were going, what they were doing. This especially applied in
24 the area very close to the command.
25 Also, there was the situation in the front. If it happened that
1 our unit captured or any members of paramilitary units surrendered to
2 them, it was their assignment that the military police would disarm those
3 people, bind their arms, and then transport them to the place where
4 prisoners of war were kept. This was in Negoslavci.
5 Q. Did it ever happen that they would ever capture members of the JNA
6 and that this would be done by some other formation that was in the same
8 A. I'm not aware of any such problems. But in view of the different
9 structure and the different problems due to a large concentration of
10 volunteer units that happened to be there, it's possible that sometimes
11 they also had to resolve problems of that nature, meaning that soldiers or
12 people who were violating discipline or were obstructing the
13 implementation of certain tasks, they needed to then bring these people
14 under control and take them in to the superiors who would then deal with
15 that problem.
16 Q. One more question before the break: Did you ever hear of members
17 of the military police, to whom you issued orders, beat up anybody who had
18 been arrested, and that you possibly saw that? I mean, if this happened
19 and you saw that, what would you have done?
20 A. I never saw anything like that.
21 Q. Did you ever hear of anything like that happening?
22 A. Secondly, that is a very small platoon, and each section is
23 deployed on its own task, so I doubt that they would manage to keep an eye
24 on everything. But had I ever seen anything like that, I would definitely
25 have that officer or soldier punished. Measures would definitely have
1 been taken. Please, would this battalion have implemented any of its
2 assignments if we had been beating our own soldiers?
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it's time for
4 a break now, so I propose that I resume after the break.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
6 We'll adjourn now and resume at 2.00.
7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 2.03 p.m.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, could you please explain to the Court what the
12 word "cooperation," acting in concert, "sadejstvo," means in military
14 A. In military terms, "sadejstvo," cooperation, acting in concert, is
15 action through which adjacent units support each other in carrying out a
16 specific mission or task. It can be carried out by way of fire, movement,
17 manoeuvre, and it can also be accomplished through a mutual exchange of
18 information during combat action.
19 Q. Thank you. Do you know which units of the Territorial Defence
20 acted in concert with the units of the Guards Motorised Brigade, and which
21 ones with the 1st Motorised Battalion?
22 A. As for the cooperating units of the Guards Motorised Brigade, I
23 cannot remember them at this point in time because this is a higher level
24 of command and I wasn't really interested.
25 As for the 1st Motorised Battalion, the units that cooperated or
1 acted in concert with them at the beginning of combat actions was the
2 Territorial Defence detachment Petrova Gora. After a while, the Leva
3 Supoderica Territorial Defence detachment, consisting of volunteers, on
4 orders of the superior command, a detachment was established consisting of
5 a territorial unit from Novi Sad. However, it actually never came to be
6 primarily because of the personnel problems they had, notably among the
8 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell the Court what axis of action of
9 a particular unit means?
10 A. Axis of action is a line that is materialised on the ground, and
11 it usually drawn from a point of departure and it ends with an objective;
12 that is to say, every unit that gets an axis of action ultimately has an
13 objective. So this line materialised on the ground means that the unit is
14 carrying out its task on the ground.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you know what the axis of action of Company
16 Commander Sasa Bojkovski was?
17 A. I can show that on a map, if you could show me the map. I
18 remember that that 1st Company of ours that was commanded by Captain
19 Bojkovski was on the right flank of the battalion, and it was cooperating
20 with the units of the 2nd Motorised Battalion. This is an axis that leads
21 to the very centre of Vukovar, to the bridge; that is to say, from the
22 point of departure, from the railroad, and further on through Pionirska
23 neighbourhood and further on to the centre of Vukovar.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please put his question again?
25 The interpreters could not hear him.
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. My question is as follows: What unit of the Territorial Defence
3 acted in concert with the unit of Sasa Bojkovski; do you know?
4 A. At the beginning of combat action, along the line of use of the
5 1st Motorised Company, or rather on the axis where Captain Bojkovski was
6 carrying out his task, there was a cooperating unit, and its strength was
7 about one territorial unit of Petrova Gora, or rather territorial company.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you know about Stanko Vujanovic? Was he along the
9 axis of action of the company of Captain Sasa Bojkovski?
10 A. Stanko Vujanovic, a member of the territorial unit of Petrova
11 Gora, is a person that we were familiar with from day one, from when we
12 arrived to the theatre of war in the territory of Vukovar. In actual
13 fact, he was in the group of guides, the people who -- before our
14 engagement and before we entered the town itself, he came with a group of
15 territorials to help us, that is to say, to lead every company to where it
16 was to be used. These were people who lived there and who knew it very
17 well. On the other hand, they had already had certain combat experience,
18 so in this way they could also be of assistance to attain the desired
19 objective with the smallest number of casualties possible.
20 I remember that the first evening, when the guides came, among
21 them there was the man called Stanko Vujanovic who led this 1st Company of
22 ours together with Captain Bojkovski.
23 Q. And later, did he remain on this axis of Sasa Bojkovski to act in
24 concert with the company of Sasa Bojkovski?
25 A. It's logical that the guides came from the territorial units of
1 the Petrova Gora detachment. It is logical that a guide was from the axis
2 where they had already carried out combat action. Also, the mentioned
3 names, Stanko Vujanovic, the mentioned person, that is, was from a platoon
4 or company of the Territorial Defence, which had already acted along the
5 axis towards Pionirska neighbourhood, and it is logical that as such he
6 was there together with Captain Bojkovski, going to the mentioned axis.
7 Q. Are you trying to say that they acted in concert?
8 A. Yes. Stanko Vujanovic, at the outset, had the task of a guide,
9 until they got to the axis of use. And after that, every one of these
10 guides returned to their original unit and continued action there. As for
11 the 1st Company, that was a classical example of cooperation, acting in
13 Q. Thank you. We heard here persons claiming that Stanko Vujanovic,
14 with his Territorial Defence, was never on the axis of Captain Radic. Is
15 that correct?
16 A. I've already explained to you how I first saw Stanko Vujanovic and
17 what his task was. After that, I know that the Petrova Gora detachment
18 acted in concert with us and kept the original disposition of units; that
19 is to say, that the mentioned person continued to act on the axis that
20 we analysed a few moments ago.
21 Q. Thank you. In terms of this cooperation, acting in concert, who
22 commands units of the JNA and who commands the units of the Territorial
23 Defence and Leva Supoderica?
24 A. As for this cooperation, acting in concert, between the Petrova
25 Gora detachment and then after that when, in the area of responsibility,
1 Leva Supoderica appeared as well, the actual accomplishment of the task
2 that we had been preparing in the battalion command, and afterwards the
3 command of the assault detachment, at that meeting and during this
4 preparatory period for the task, what was exactly spelled out was which
5 unit would do what, up to what point, and how. And then these units would
6 become familiarised with this.
7 For example, Petrova Gora, in terms of a specific task, could not
8 have been engaged in its entirety but only according to the estimate of
9 the commander of that unit, that part of the unit that could have carried
10 out a particular action.
11 I would describe this concrete task in the best way, for example,
12 fighting for the intersection of Nova Ulica-Otokara Kersovanija. On that
13 intersection, the cooperation went as follows: Part of our unit, in terms
14 of its military composition, would have as a task to block a certain part
15 of the street, specifically the right-hand side of the street. A part of
16 Petrova Gora would block the left part of the street. The central part of
17 the street would, say, involve a chosen group of the most courageous
18 members of Leva Supoderica. These concrete tasks regarding a concrete
19 facility were, in most cases, led or conducted by us active duty officers.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Borovic please
21 pause before the witness finishes.
22 A. There is a time distance. There is a time distance, in terms of
23 who had actual authority to command certain units. For example,
24 specifically, our 1st Motorised Battalion, when it came to carry out its
25 task, it was commanded by our commander, Major Borivoje Tesic. This
1 involved the organisation of the entire unit with part of the units that
2 were from the Guards Brigade and that were attached to us for support; the
3 platoon of pioneers, of the MP, of the BOVs. So that is the original
5 As for the detachment of Petrova Gora, at first it was an
6 independent unit in the zone. Why? For several days or months - I cannot
7 say that with any certainty now, they were carrying out certain actions in
8 the zone where they were. So this was an organised unit which lived and
9 waged war there until we got there.
10 Q. Just a moment, please. Who was the commander of the Territorial
11 Defence in Vukovar; do you know?
12 A. I know that the commander of the detachment of Petrova Gora, of
13 the territorial composition, was Jaksic, Captain Jaksic. And who was the
14 commander of the entire Territorial Defence in town? I don't know. I
15 just know Captain Jaksic, commander of the detachment of Petrova Gora.
16 Q. We heard claims here that Jaksic was commander of the Territorial
17 Defence of all of Vukovar and that he commanded all the units of the
18 Territorial Defence in the area of Vukovar.
19 A. I'm not aware of any such role played by him. I just know him as
20 the commander of the Petrova Gora detachment.
21 Q. Thank you. And was he at the command post of the 1st Motorised
22 Battalion when assignments were given, specific duties?
23 A. In the original stage of combat actions, when these two units,
24 that is to say, the detachment of Petrova Gora, headed by Captain Jaksic,
25 and the 1st Motorised Battalion, headed by the commander, Major Tesic, in
1 the original stage of the fighting, these were two parallel, in terms of
2 their rights and responsibilities, parallel, adjacent units. As such,
3 during this -- from time to time, my commander, with -- that is to say,
4 Commander Tesic, with Major Jaksic, did have certain meetings and
5 discussions as to how the units would be used.
6 Q. Thank you. Do you know until when the commanders of the companies
7 of the Territorial Defence came to the command post of Borivoje Tesic or
8 of the 1st Motorised Battalion?
9 A. The commanders of companies of the Territorial Defence never came
10 to the command post of the 1st Motorised Battalion. It was only the
11 commander of the detachment of Petrova Gora who came to the command post,
12 the commander of the Leva Supoderica volunteer force.
13 Q. That's what I meant. Thank you.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Now, since you told us that you need
15 a map, can we see on our screens Exhibit 357. And I would ask the witness
16 to be given a marker so that he could mark what we ask him about
17 and what possibly the Trial Chamber will ask him about.
18 Q. Do you see the map, Mr. Stijakovic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you need to have it enlarged, perhaps, so that you could see
21 the centre better?
22 A. You mean the built-up part of Vukovar?
23 Q. Yes.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have it enlarged a
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I will be able to give you
2 my answer in this way.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we have some technical
4 problems today, but let's not bother them too much.
5 Q. Perhaps you can do it this way.
6 Mr. Stijakovic, are you able to show on this map where Petrova
7 Gora neighbourhood is?
8 A. This is the area here. This is this area here where the
9 crossroads is.
10 Q. Please mark it with number 1 at the side and just circle the
11 number itself.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. And now, Mr. Stijakovic, can you please show us where your command
14 post was?
15 A. This is the Svetozara Markovica street. This is where it is.
16 Q. Can you please circle it and put the number 2 next to it.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, can you please show us, what was the axis of
19 action of the 3rd Motorised Company and the axes of action of the other
20 two companies?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak into the
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Please mark the axes of action of 1st Company with the Roman
25 numeral I, the second with the Roman numeral II, and the third with the
1 Roman numeral 3.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Thank you. Now, could you please mark with the number 3 the
4 location where Milovo Brdo is, if you can see it.
5 A. Yes, I can see it.
6 Q. Please circle it.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to tender
10 this into evidence.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 788, Your Honour.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We will no longer need
14 the pen for the time being.
15 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, you mentioned assault detachments. What is an
16 assault detachment? And do you know why and how they were established in
18 A. In my previous explanation, as for the time period in which those
19 temporary units were formed, I wanted to get to that, but now that you've
20 asked me this specific question, I will answer it. An assault detachment,
21 in our doctrine, it's a temporary unit formed in order to carry out a
22 specific task, and the specific task was defined here by engagements in a
23 built-up area where the front is actually substantially reduced. For that
24 reason, and in light of the fact that you had constructed areas there,
25 built-up areas, solid walls, solid buildings, then those temporary units
1 are formed and they have a very specific task.
2 In light of this situation that we had on our axis of action of
3 our battalion, the superior command, quite logically, right at the
4 beginning of the operations, ordered that we should set up assault
5 detachments along our axis of detachment.
6 The 1st Assault Detachment -- there is evidence of this in the
7 form of an order of the brigade commander. It was right at the beginning
8 of combat. This assault detachment was composed of our three motorised
9 companies, a tank platoon, an engineer/pioneer platoon, a platoon of
10 armoured fighting vehicles with anti-aircraft weapons, and a military
11 police platoon. So this was the original composition of the 1st Assault
12 Detachment. As such, it was active up until the 29th of October.
13 Q. Thank you. What happened on the 29th of October, 1991, in
14 relation to the assault detachment? And, please, we have to go a bit
16 A. I do apologise. On the 29th of October, because of some problems
17 that were encountered at the front, problems involving the cooperation
18 between the battalion and the detachments of the Territorial Defence,
19 because of certain problems that were the consequence of the fact that the
20 defence was extremely well organised, and the actions of our opponent, the
21 command decided to reinforce the detachment. And pursuant on the -- on an
22 order issued on the 29th of October, the following units were added to the
23 assault detachment: The 1st Motorised Battalion, a detachment of the
24 Territorial Defence Petrova Gora, the Leva Supoderica volunteer
25 detachment, and the Novi Sad Territorial Defence unit.
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like Exhibit 410 to be
2 put on the screen, because I see that the witness has now touched upon
3 this topic so that we don't have to get back to it. So this is the
4 decision that the witness has just referred to, a decision dated 29
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is item number 2.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. We've already seen this in the course of our hearing today, but
9 please let us see it on our screens. The item number 2, "Tasks for the
11 Now I would like to ask you, Mr. Stijakovic, since you now have it
12 in front of you, on the screen, to read this composition specified here
13 and to tell us whether this was, in fact, the situation in the field.
14 A. By way of introduction, I would like to say that, up until that
15 date, the 1st Motorised Battalion did have a detachment but it was
16 composed of the forces that we had brought in from Belgrade. After this
17 order, which stipulates that "the 1st Assault Detachment will be composed
18 of the 1st Motorised Battalion, then the military police battalion," that
19 was already there, "the Leva Supoderica detachment, the Petrova Gora
20 detachment, the volunteer company from Novi Sad, and one M84 tank,"
21 because in the meantime two tanks had already been destroyed, and the
22 pioneer platoon from the 1st Pioneer Company.
23 So that was the composition that was formed for the first time
24 after this -- or rather, pursuant to this order. The commander of the
25 assault detachment, quite logically, was Major Borivoje Tesic.
1 Q. Thank you. Because you were the deputy commander of the 1st
2 Motorised Battalion, and because you were in the area of Petrova Gora, you
3 were able to see what the Territorial Defence had at its disposal, and my
4 question to you is whether the Territorial Defence at Petrova Gora had its
5 own logistics. What did it have by way of logistics in this area at the
6 time when you arrived in the area?
7 A. I've already mentioned that the Petrova Gora detachment is a unit
8 that was carrying out tasks there before our unit arrived. It is quite
9 logical, then, that this unit had all the elements that were necessary for
10 its functioning - medical service, logistics service. All aspects of
11 logistics service were there. So, when we came there with our unit, we
12 encountered a completely organised, self-contained composition unit that
13 was called the Petrova Gora detachment.
14 Q. Thank you. You said that they had their medical service, their
15 ammunition supply system, their kitchen. Did they have a fuel supply
17 A. Yes. All the elements of logistic support were there. They were
18 there, living there, working there, before we arrived.
19 Q. When the JNA units came there, did they have their own hospital?
20 Where did they get their ammunition from? Where did they get their meals?
21 Was it an independent system?
22 A. The JNA units, quite specifically the unit that I was the deputy
23 commander of, had, for a long time, functioning lines of supply and a
24 supply system that was functioning in peacetime, so that all the elements
25 of logistic support simply moved to the theatre and we were able to get
1 everything we needed from our logistics.
2 There were some suggestions from the superior command that nothing
3 should be taken from the locals because this area had been -- war had been
4 going on for a long time, there was a danger of infectious diseases, and
5 water supply could have been a problem. So we took great care to have the
6 entire logistic support, using the lines of supply from our superior
7 command. The logistics of our superior command was located in the village
8 of Berak, so they either sent something to us, or some things, we went
9 there to pick them up.
10 Q. I would now like both of us to speak a little bit slower. When I
11 asked you about assault groups that were called JOD 1, when you said that
12 these were temporary forces, existing only until the completion of the
13 task - we were talking about the assault detachment - my question is
14 whether you know that, in this period, there were assault groups within
15 the JOD; and what characterised them?
16 A. If we refer to the drawing that I showed you where you can quite
17 clearly see the axis of deployment for each of our companies. When fire
18 points would be located at one of those axes or a stronghold of the enemy,
19 the company commander would set up an assault group. Those were temporary
20 forces that had three to four subgroups, and their strength would be
21 between 30 and 50 people. Those temporary forces are then organised in
22 such a way that they simply carry out their task related to this
23 particular objective, and after this task is completed, they go back to
24 their original unit, platoon, company and so on.
25 So from time to time, along our axis of action, we would set up
1 three assault groups. Since we had three officers, it is quite clear
2 that -- it is quite logical that they should establish such assault groups
3 from time to time, when necessary.
4 Q. Thank you. When you said that the JOD 1 was established, you also
5 said that Major Tesic was the commander of both the Motorised Battalion
6 and the Assault Detachment 1.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like Exhibit 430 to be
8 placed on the screen. This is a decision.
9 Q. Captain Stijakovic, can you please now look at item number 4. The
10 date of this document is the 14th of November, 1991. It is a decision.
11 You read an order recently of the 29th of October about the composition of
12 the assault detachment.
13 A. In item 4 of this decision of the 14th of November, it says that
14 JOD 1, the 1st Assault Detachment, then in brackets, "(minus the 1st
15 Motorised Battalion) from the current sector of combat disposition should
16 be transferred to the axis Dalmatinska street, Alija Alagica street, water
18 Q. Would you be so kind as to read item 4, which is on next page,
19 once we see it on our screens. No. In the same document we should see
20 item 5. This is not it.
21 A. Subitem. This is item 5 but we need subitem 5, item 2.
22 Q. Yes, that's correct. At the top of page -- the next page.
23 A. Not item 2, item 4. Please, can you enlarge this?
24 Q. Can you now please read, Mr. Stijakovic, subitem 5.
25 A. "The 1st Motorised Battalion, from its current sector of combat
1 disposition, should secure the line that has been reached, establish full
2 control of the captured territory, and effect cooperation with the
3 forces --" I repeat:
4 "The 1st Motorised Battalion, from the current sector of combat
5 disposition, should secure the line that has been reached, establish full
6 control of the captured territory, and effect cooperation with the forces
7 attacking along the axis of Sundaciceva street-Marsala Tita street; stand
8 ready for active action along the axis of Milovo Brdo, bridges on the Vuka
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stijakovic, what is your interpretation, as a
11 witness in this case, of item 4? Please now go back to item 4. You have
12 it here in front of you.
13 A. Would it be a problem for me to give you a graphical explanation?
14 Q. You mean to draw something?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I don't know if it's technically feasible, but please try to
17 say -- okay, okay.
18 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be given a
19 piece of paper and a pen. And can we please switch on the ELMO? And then
20 he can make a drawing of what the situation was like.
21 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, number 1, please first draw JOD 1.
22 A. On the basis of Exhibit 410?
23 Q. That's right, Exhibit 410. And now you can draw.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Would you please be so kind as to make your letters more legible.
1 Could you write it in block letters, in the Latin script.
2 A. This was the Cyrillic script but I can use the Latin script, too.
3 Q. Well, please use the Latin script.
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Could you please be so kind as to put the date there, the 29th of
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Thank you. And could you now --
9 A. A bit of an explanation, please. Please have a look at this.
10 This is the 1st Motorised Battalion, this is the Leva Supoderica
11 detachment, this is the Petrova Gora detachment, and this is the company
12 of volunteers from Novi Sad. These are parallel compositions within the
13 assault detachment, neighbours.
14 Since Tesic was the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion, and
15 he was the top professional, of course, I assume it was only natural that
16 he would be appointed by the command to be the commander of --
17 Q. Thank you. Now the 14th.
18 A. I'm sorry, I'll use the Latin script again.
19 Q. 430. The 14th of November 1991.
20 A. [Marks].
21 Q. Please go ahead.
22 A. All of it remains as it was.
23 Q. Draw it.
24 A. JOD 1, and then within its composition, the following
25 detachments: Now, Leva Supoderica, detachment Petrova Gora, the company
1 of volunteers from Novi Sad. This is the composition of the assault
2 detachment that was established on the 14th of November, 1991. That is --
3 what was the number of the item that you gave a moment ago?
4 Q. 4.
5 A. Item 4. So, apart from that, the 1st Motorised Battalion gets out
6 of this composition and it becomes an independent part, and therefore the
7 command says so in item 5.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we have this
10 admitted into evidence, please, this sketch?
11 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 789, Your Honours.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, can you briefly interpret item 5 for us, where it
15 says that "the 1st Motorised Battalion, from the current sector of the
16 combat disposition, should secure the attained line"? On the 14th of
17 November, what was this attained line that was being secured?
18 A. Could you please return the sketch where I showed you the axes
19 using units? I can tell you as well. The objective was the neighbourhood
20 of Milovo Brdo.
21 Q. My question is: When did you go out and take Milovo Brdo?
22 A. The 1st Assault Detachment, according to the order of the 29th of
23 October, on the 10th of November, 1991, got out to the feature of Milovo
24 Brdo and, in this way, completed its action within the zone of the assault
1 Q. Thank you. And the assault detachment, on which axis was it? Who
2 commanded it, all the way up to the fall of Vukovar? And what happened to
3 the companies that comprised the 1st Motorised Battalion?
4 A. On the 10th of November, a period of regrouping of units in the
5 zone followed. So on the 12th of November, an oral order came from the
6 superior command that the 1st Motorised Battalion, in view of the major
7 losses sustained, human casualties that is, and in view of the fact that
8 it was the only one that had accomplished the task it had received, will,
9 in a way, be resting. That is what item 5 means; to secure the attained
10 line; that, in that zone, the leftover features should be examined; that
11 minefields should be found; that full law and order should be established
12 in the liberated part of town.
13 After the order of the 14th of November, the 1st Assault
14 Detachment, without this battalion, got the task to continue action along
15 a new axis. This axis was Milovo Brdo, the water tower. The mentioned
16 composition was still led and commanded by Major Borivoje Tesic.
17 Q. Thank you. Were you at Milovo Brdo on the 10th of November, 1991?
18 A. Yes. I remember that on the 9th, in a telephone communication, or
19 rather I was called by the commander of our brigade, Colonel Mrksic,
20 although this was a very rare occurrence. Knowing that this was a very
21 important feature in terms of liberating the city, he expressed to me his
22 hope, or rather a sentence -- question. He said, "Slavko can we get to
23 Milovo Brdo today?" That was on the 9th of November. We could not do
24 that. I said to him, "Comrade Colonel, we will be able to do it on the
25 10th." And, to our great joy, we managed to get there on the 10th.
1 Of course, once this task was completed, it was only natural that
2 all of those who contributed in a way to the liberation of that part of
3 town should be present there, and I myself was there.
4 Q. Thank you. The 10th of November, do you know what the 3rd Company
5 was doing on that day, the company commanded by Radic?
6 A. Up to the 10th of November, Captain Radic, together with his
7 company, had the most difficult task of all.
8 Q. I asked you -- we know that. I mean -- sorry to interrupt.
9 A. I just wanted to show the territory, how big the territory was
10 that this company had gone through.
11 Q. Could you show that on a different map?
12 A. Any map. I can even --
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] So could we please see 156 on our
14 screens. Because I see that the witness is insisting. Could you just
15 enlarge the centre, please. Just a bit more. Just a moment. Could he
16 now please be given that pen.
17 Q. This is a map of Vukovar. Please have a look at this map and draw
18 what it was that you, yourself, wanted to show to the Trial Chamber now,
19 what the route was that the 3rd Company took to Milovo Brdo.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you think it is
23 necessary, could I please tender this.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 790, Your Honours.
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. The 3rd Company and Miroslav Radic, you said, traversed the most
3 difficult road of all. When the task was accomplished, when they got up
4 to Milovo Brdo, did you have any proposals, in terms of someone who had
5 had the most difficult task of all? Did you make any proposals to Radic?
6 Was this carried out? Could you please tell the Trial Chamber.
7 A. Knowing what I drew a few moments ago, where the mentioned person,
8 indeed, carried the greatest burden among all the officers who were
9 involved in that period, at the regular briefing on the evening of the
10 10th, around 2000 hours, I suggested to Major Tesic that Captain Radic
11 should be awarded for everything he had done until then, and that that
12 award should be his departure, after more than 40 days, to go and visit
13 his family. That would be called a "leave of award" in our army.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether Radic actually went to that leave
15 as an award?
16 A. Yes. The commander accepted this proposal and, during the next
17 few days, he sent Captain Radic as the first officer from these winds of
18 war to go to Belgrade to see his family.
19 Q. Thank you. We heard what Captain Radic himself said about Milovo
20 Brdo. And up to the 19th of November, when he was given the task to
21 secure the hospital, he, with his company, his 3rd Company, did not have
22 any task. What is your comment?
23 A. In view of the explanation given a few moments ago that I had
24 proposed him as a candidate for an award, it was only logical that that
25 part of the unit that had made the greatest effort of all should have a
1 rest in the coming period.
2 Q. Does that mean --
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lunny?
4 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour. I have an objection. I was
5 perhaps slightly slow to my feet and missed the start of the answer. I
6 think my friend is leading a very important point and he's also telling
7 the witness what Captain Radic has said and has asked him to comment on
8 that, which, I would submit, is inappropriate.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 Mr. Borovic, you know the issue. Thank you.
11 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Believe me, this is the second time
13 that I'm doing this unintentionally. I'll put it differently, if it's not
14 too late. I understand things when you tell me.
15 Q. What were the tasks of the 3rd Motorised Company, from the 10th of
16 November onwards?
17 A. The 3rd Motorised Company, as it says in the exhibit, in Exhibit
18 430, had the tasks of securing the attained line, establishing full
19 control over the liberated area, and cooperate with the forces that
20 continue the attack; that is to say, the 3rd Company most certainly could
21 not have had any kind of combat task except for securing the attained line
22 and maintaining what had been achieved up to then.
23 Q. Thank you. Is that the way it was all the way up to the
24 liberation of Vukovar?
25 A. Yes. From the 10th of November, until the de facto --
1 MR. LUNNY: Excuse me again, Your Honour. I apologise for the
2 interruption, but perhaps I'm missing something from Exhibit 430 that the
3 witness is referring to. He was asked about the 3rd Motorised Company,
4 being Captain Radic's company, and what they were doing in that period and
5 he was answering that from Exhibit 430. I'm looking at the English
6 translation of 430 and can see no reference to the 3rd Motorised Company,
7 and it causes some concern.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps, Mr. Borovic, you could learn whether the
9 witness is deriving this information from the exhibit or from his own
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Go ahead, Mr. Stijakovic.
13 A. The practice is, when there is a higher level of command, like the
14 Motorised Battalion, to get a task, the one that I read out, the practice
15 is that it is always the lower levels of command in the most important
16 part. I mean, that order is identically conveyed to subordinates. It is
17 correct that I'm referring to the task of the 3rd Company which is part of
18 the Motorised Battalion. And I'm saying that on the basis of the order
19 that we wrote, that is to say, Major Tesic wrote, his task to the
20 subordinate companies on the basis of this order received from the
21 superior command.
22 Q. Specifically, the 3rd Company, you read out these new tasks. Up
23 to the fall of Vukovar on the 18th of November, did it have any other
24 tasks, or not?
25 A. Up to the 18th of November, the whole battalion, not only the
1 company, remained at Milovo Brdo, deployed according to companies from
2 that sector. Our units did not take a single step from there.
3 Q. Thank you. Who was in command and who commanded the Leva
4 Supoderica unit and the Petrova Gora Territorial Defence unit in that
6 A. From the 14th of November, in accordance with the order, Exhibit
7 430, the 1st Assault Detachment is still under the command of Major
8 Borivoje Tesic.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Would you be so kind as to put on
11 the screen Exhibit 431.
12 Q. It is an order from the Operations Group South, from the 16th of
13 November 1991, and here we have tasks and then item 1. This is unit by
14 unit. Mr. Stijakovic, do you see it on your screen?
15 A. It is not enlarged here, but I have it in front of me. Okay. Now
16 I see it.
17 Q. In item 1, what does it say in the first two lines? Because this
18 is of interest for us in regard to this topic.
19 A. "The 1st Motorised Battalion, in accordance with the task issued
20 on the 14th of November, 1991, with the support of a part of the forces of
21 the armoured battalion of the Guards Brigade ..."
22 Q. Okay. So we can see here the axis. You will explain that later.
23 But what does it mean in accordance with the task issued on the 14th of
24 November, 1991?
25 A. As far as I know, this means that they have to cooperate with the
1 forces along the relevant axis and stand ready in case any further order
2 or task is issued.
3 Q. Thank you. After the 16th of November, who commanded the Leva
4 Supoderica and the Petrova Gora detachments?
5 A. These detachments were commanded at all times by their commanders;
6 Jaksic was in command of the Petrova Gora detachment, and Lancuzanin of
7 Leva Supoderica.
8 Q. But was Borivoje Tesic still in command of the 1st Assault
10 A. Yes, that is correct. Major Tesic was in command of those units
11 and issuing orders.
12 Q. After the fall of Vukovar on the 18th of November, these temporary
13 combat units, the JOD 1 and the assault groups, did they cease to exist?
14 A. On the 18th of November, after combat ceased, all temporary units
15 were disbanded. There was no need anymore for their functioning. And I
16 remember that on the 18th, Major Borivoje Tesic, at the evening briefing,
17 said that he was going back to his battalion and that he would not be
18 going anywhere.
19 Q. Can you tell us, what do you know about the tasks of the 3rd
20 Motorised Company, commanded by Miroslav Radic, after the fall of Vukovar?
21 A. On the 18th, in the evening hours, after the surrender of the
22 paramilitary forces, all the units in the zone were tasked with increasing
23 their vigilance because there was a possibility that some of the
24 insurgents might try to break through or to set -- to do some diversions,
25 engage in sabotage, and so on.
1 Secondly, the troops would have to get organised; their strength
2 should be established and the whereabouts of every person should be
3 established. And every such unit had to be organised in order to be able
4 to work and live, as necessary.
5 A part of our unit got its next task, its order, from Major
6 Tesic. Among them was the 3rd Motorised Company and their commander,
7 Captain Radic. They received the task that, on the 19th of -- in the
8 morning of the 19th, they were to continue moving across the bridge on the
9 river Vuka, to enter the hospital compound, blockade the hospital, not
10 allowing anyone to get out of the hospital or any persons to enter the
11 hospital who were not authorised to do so.
12 Q. Does it mean that the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion
13 issued an order to Captain Radic to secure the hospital from the outside
14 with his company, and that only his company was given this task?
15 A. I actually remember this order that was issued in the morning. It
16 was a general rule for us in the command, in the headquarters, to have
17 breakfast together at half past 6.00, my commander, myself, Sergeant
18 Bojic, and whoever happened to be there. I remember that in the morning
19 of the 19th, he received an order from his superior command, to
20 personally, within an armoured personnel carrier, go to the hospital
21 itself, get in touch with Dr. Vesna Bosanac, and to bring her safe to the
22 superior command where there would be talks about the situation in the
23 hospital, the evacuation of the wounded, and everything that was to
24 follow. And Tesic communicated this order to Captain Radic, using
25 communications equipment. We had Motorola equipment at the time. And I
1 remember that he ordered Radic to go to the hospital and to blockade it in
2 the way that I just described.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. May I just add something and explain why Radic was given this
6 Q. Please go ahead.
7 A. If we look at the city map -- perhaps we could look at the last
8 drawing, the city map.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] This is Exhibit 156. Perhaps if we
10 could bring this up on our screens. Can we have it enlarged so that we
11 can see the city centre on our screens. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I just draw two lines to explain
13 why Radic was given this task?
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be given the
15 pen? And then he can mark on this map -- to explain on this map why Radic
16 was given this task.
17 Q. Please go ahead.
18 A. This here is the hospital. This is the axis of action of Captain
19 Radic's company up to the river Vuka, and this is his next task. So it is
20 quite logical, and this was proper exercise of command, for the commander
21 to use the company that is already on this axis. And it is quite logical
22 that the commander ordered Captain Bojkovski and his company to go to the
23 city centre itself and it is quite logical that he ordered Captain
24 Zirojevic to go to the Dunav hotel.
25 Q. Can you please mark this axis with number 1, Zirojevic's axis with
1 number 2, and Bojkovski's axis with number 3.
2 A. [Marks]
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] And I would like to ask the Trial
4 Chamber to admit this into evidence.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 791, Your Honours.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, on the 19th of November, were you in the hospital
10 A. Yes, I was.
11 Q. Can you please give us some more details about who was there at
12 the hospital, whether Captain Radic's company was, indeed, securing the
14 A. I've already said that Major Tesic had been given a specific task
15 to establish contact with Dr. Vesna Bosanac and to transport her --
16 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, perhaps if I could interrupt.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lunny?
18 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour. The witness was asked if he
19 was in the hospital on the 19th of November and he said yes. There has
20 been no notice of this whatsoever to the Prosecution, neither within the
21 65 ter summary, which came in two parts. There was an earlier summary in
22 mid-July. Your Honour will recall a number of motions filed by the
23 Prosecution for further details. Further details were provided on the
24 31st of July. The Prosecution was then provided with proofing notes
25 yesterday evening, late yesterday evening, at close of business. And in
1 none of these three documents does it ever say that this witness was at
2 the hospital, and on that basis I would object to this line of
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lunny. Your proposition may be well
5 founded, but the evidence has relevance and we will hear it. If you're
6 embarrassed in cross-examination about it, you can move whatever you feel
7 is appropriate about that.
8 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Borovic.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. My learned
11 colleague was right.
12 Q. But because it is relevant, Mr. Stijakovic, please respond.
13 A. On the 19th of November, in the morning, I personally, with Staff
14 Sergeant Bojic, went to the hospital. The main reason why I went to the
15 hospital was because I had learned that Sergeant Jovic was in the
16 hospital. In the early days of the combat, he had gone missing, and I had
17 an interest in this because his superior, Lieutenant-Colonel Lesanovic
18 would often criticise or make criticism of us because we did not manage to
19 save the young sergeant.
20 The second reason why I went to the hospital was because I knew
21 that Captain Radic's company was there outside of the zone. I felt a
22 need, in light of the task that was given to Major Tesic, to be there and
23 assist in the task that was given to Captain Radic and everybody who was
24 present there.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether Captain Radic actually performed
1 the task that was given by Major Tesic?
2 A. When I arrived there, I think it was between 11.00 and 12.00 a.m.,
3 the hospital was quiet. There was a group of people, doctors in white
4 coats. Soldiers were stationed around the fence, the hospital fence, in
6 Q. And was the task performed?
7 A. Yes. This is where Captain Radic's company really did carry out
8 the task. Nobody came in. There were no other people. And immediately
9 after I arrived there, which was on foot, Major Tesic arrived.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises but we didn't get
11 who, or what with, Major Tesic arrived.
12 A. And when I saw that, I went back to the command post together with
13 Staff Sergeant Bojic because I knew that he would take over.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Do you know who then secured the hospital?
16 A. As I was leaving the hospital and I was on my way to the first
17 bridge, I met Milivoje Simic, a captain whom I knew, and he was in a
18 hurry, leading a group of his soldiers. They were police officers. And
19 later on I learned that he relieved Radic's unit and then established full
20 security at the hospital.
21 Q. Just to clarify, Major Tesic arrived in an armoured personnel
22 carrier, so just to have it on record.
23 My next question: On the 19th, did you have the regular briefing
24 at the command post, and on the 20th?
25 A. Yes. In those conditions, the commander insisted on us getting
1 together as often as possible to give him an idea of the situation, and we
2 were supposed to give him as accurate reports as possible about our
3 actions, as his subordinates. And on the 19th, we all gathered at around
4 8.00 p.m. and we had a regular briefing.
5 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, you said a little while ago that your task from
6 Major Tesic, after the end of combat, was to gather all the equipment.
7 This was a task for all the units there, in fact. Were you personally
8 tasked with controlling or verifying the implementation of this order on
9 the 20th, or what happened?
10 A. Major Tesic was really very busy, way too busy in those days, and
11 he knew -- in fact, he would give me some tasks of his to finish. And
12 that is how it happened that on the 20th, in the morning, he told me that
13 a press conference would be organised in the Dunav hotel, and since I was
14 standing in for the non-existent assistant for morale, it was quite
15 logical for me to go to the Dunav hotel and to check how things were
16 going, because this was the key task in those days, one of the key tasks.
17 Q. And on the 20th of November, did you visit all the company
18 commanders as part of your obligations as the deputy commander of the 1st
19 Motorised Battalion?
20 A. It was general practice for all the zone to be visited, because it
21 enabled us to control all the subordinate units, to check what they were
22 doing. And that is why I visited all sectors of all the companies,
23 including the Dunav hotel, in the course of that day.
24 Q. Thank you. And who did you encounter in the Dunav hotel that day?
25 A. That day, at the hotel reception of the hotel Dunav, I encountered
1 Captain Zirojevic and Captain Radic together.
2 Q. Thank you. Where did you see Bojkovski that day? Because he also
3 had part of an assignment to tour.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lunny?
5 MR. LUNNY: Excuse me, Your Honour, I, again, apologise for the
6 interruption. It strikes me, Your Honour, this borders upon an alibi for
7 the 20th and the whereabouts of Captain Radic. There are a number of
8 Prosecution witnesses who place Captain Radic in different places on the
9 20th, and I won't go into details in front of the witness. Again, this is
10 an item that the Prosecution have had absolutely no notice of whatsoever,
11 nor from the proofing notes, nor the two 65 ter summaries. And it strikes
12 me this is an important matter that ought to have been intimated and,
13 again, places the Prosecution at somewhat of a disadvantage.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic --
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
16 JUDGE PARKER: -- do you accept as being notice at any time --
17 that there has been no notice of any time on the 20th when your client was
18 at the Danube hotel?
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the summary, item
20 4, I just warn the Prosecution that I would ask about the 20th of
21 November, whether he visited all three company commanders. And as part of
22 that, I am putting this question, which is part of the summary. I don't
23 want to interpret what the witness said, but --
24 JUDGE PARKER: Well, Mr. Borovic, your client has given his
25 evidence, as I recall it, with no mention of this. There has been no
1 opportunity to cross-examine your client on it. The matter should not be
2 pursued further by you, his presence at the Danube hotel.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, although
4 Radic said he was at the hotel Dunav, I'm going to -- well, it doesn't
5 matter. I don't have to put this question, then.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, I am mistaken. That is not something
7 that I am able to recall at this moment.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to move to other
9 questions, and then when my associates find the exact line, then -- but I
10 do not wish to prove that you were mistaken. So let's continue.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It makes life easier for me if I'm not. But if I
12 am mistaken, I'm quite happy to admit it. Carry on, Mr. Borovic, for the
14 Thank you, Mr. Lunny.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, we have it.
16 Yesterday, it was 12657, line 16. That was page 2 yesterday and page 3.
17 But it's all right. I'm moving to my next question.
18 JUDGE PARKER: "Except that they reached the river, they had moved
19 towards the hotel but I don't say that I had reached the hotel," are the
20 words that we have.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Then there is also page 3, the first
22 line from yesterday. It's there. "Hadzic and I went to the centre and
23 stopped at the Dunav hotel," and so on.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Our problem is that our pagination is different
25 from yours. We are trying to find that reference.
1 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour --
2 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, page 12657, line 16, and it's
3 one of the examples.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It is there, Mr. Borovic. Thank you.
5 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, if I just may clarify my own objection.
6 It wasn't in relation to the simple attendance at the hospital. It was
7 the further corroboration from another witness that we now have, of which
8 no notice was given to the Prosecution. Captain Radic did say he was at
9 the hospital yesterday.
10 JUDGE PARKER: We've been distracted by the hotel.
11 MR. LUNNY: Yes.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Not the hospital.
13 MR. LUNNY: Sorry, the hotel.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 MR. LUNNY: But this now borders upon alibi as opposed to Captain
16 Radic speaking about his own movements. The fact that this hotel is, in
17 some respects --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Well, it's a matter that can be dealt with, if
19 necessary, by adjournment. It's not an alibi because no offence was
20 committed at this time. It's merely a detail of movement on a day.
21 MR. LUNNY: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Well, in the end, you won out, Mr.
23 Borovic. Carry on.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Since the
25 witness -- since the witness already responded to that, I'm going to move
1 to my next question.
2 Q. Did you have a briefing on the 20th, in the evening?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who was present? And were you given an assignment?
5 A. On the 20th, it was a normal attendance of all the subordinates.
6 At the beginning of the briefing, Major Tesic, the commander, was also
7 there. However, he knew that the next day he had to travel to Belgrade to
8 be received by the Federal Secretary for National Defence, and he told me
9 to conduct the briefing until its conclusion, and to receive reports of
10 subordinated units. And then he ordered me, the next day, on the 21st, to
11 definitely line up all the subordinate units, because on the 20th, he also
12 came to the conclusion that the soldiers and everyone there had begun to
13 behave a little bit more loosely. And because he was a model officer,
14 that day he immediately suggested to have a review of the troops and to
15 make sure that we go back to the army that we were supposed to be, that we
17 Q. At the end of the briefing, which was attended by the company
18 commanders, where did you go?
19 A. I was at the command post all the time. I remained at the command
20 post on the 20th.
21 Q. Thank you. On the 21st of November, did you carry out the
22 assignment received from Borivoje Tesic; and if you did, would you kindly
23 tell us how you did that, and in what way?
24 A. On the 21st, and I scheduled that in the evening, since the
25 closest assembly point was the Nova street, that was the closest point
1 close up to the battalion, so I wanted the 1st and the 3rd companies to
2 have a review. That was Radic. Then the next company was Zirojevic's
3 company, and then at 10.00 would be the Bojkovic company, which was a
4 little bit further off towards Pionirsko Naselje. At 11, it would be the
5 anti-armour division, by Captain Kopcic.
6 Q. Excuse me, this was not completely recorded in the transcript.
7 A. Shall I repeat it?
8 Q. Yes, could you please do it again?
9 A. Since the place where we were staying and the place for review of
10 the 3rd Motorised Company was in Nova Ulica street, the closest to the
11 battalion command, the first review was scheduled for the 3rd Company at
12 0800 hours.
13 Q. Thank you. Could you now remember where you carried out the
14 review of the 3rd Company?
15 A. The 3rd Company --
16 Q. Go ahead.
17 A. The 3rd Company was assembled on the right side of Nova Ulica
18 street, and I remember that because between the pedestrian lane and the
19 road, there was a ditch. The company was lined up on the pedestrian lane.
20 Q. Thank you. Do you know where Captain Radic was billeted at that
22 A. From what I know, Captain Radic was staying at a house in Nova
23 Ulica. That's where he was staying.
24 Q. Thank you. And the review of the 3rd Company, was that near the
25 house where the captain was staying?
1 A. Yes. I think the house where he was staying was near the place
2 where the review took place.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stijakovic. So, what was the result of that
4 review? Were all the soldiers present? Was Captain Radic present?
5 A. Yes. Captain Radic reported to me. He submitted a report. It
6 was the first review after a number of days. I was personally
7 flabbergasted or astounded by the few soldiers that actually attended.
8 Out of a total of 150 people, there were only 30 to 40 people, actually 50
9 people maximum, in the lineup.
10 Q. Did you know where the others were from that company?
11 A. Yes. The company commander explained that. He said that the
12 majority of the people were either wounded, killed or sick, and they had
13 already been transported to Belgrade. But if you permit me?
14 Q. Go ahead.
15 A. I remember that review because of another detail that personally
16 touched me. At the head of the line, there was a soldier called Zlatko
18 Q. Go ahead.
19 A. That was a soldier from my village. My village is called Motike,
20 and it's close to Banja Luka. His two brothers went to elementary school
21 with me. And he was a Croat. And even now, I get upset because of some
22 things that I know from the past; namely, on the 7th of February, 1942, my
23 village, which was populated by 60 per cent Serbs and 40 per cent of
24 Croats, experienced an indescribable catastrophe. 3.216 Serb souls were
25 slaughtered in one day. My grandmother survived and my father survived
1 because the guides were Croats, and the grandfather of Zlatko Ljevar
2 worked with my great grandfather and he didn't want to point out the house
3 where my family, the Stijakovics, survived. So I was exceptionally
4 pleased when I saw that Zlatko was alive.
5 I'm sorry. I'm upset. Please excuse me.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stijakovic. Can we continue?
7 A. Yes, we can.
8 Q. Can you please describe to the Trial Chamber the climate of
9 command in the 1st Motorised Battalion, and what the climate was in the
10 3rd Company under the command of Miroslav Radic?
11 A. The climate in a unit is not created overnight. It's a process.
12 And this unit that we are talking about, the battalion under the command
13 of Major Tesic, had excellent command officers. As our commander Mrksic
14 used to say, they were like apples lined up, one next to the other. And
15 it wasn't hard to create a good system of subordination when you had such
16 quality officers. We knew each other well. We respected each other. And
17 out of that mutual respect, you always had maximum discipline rise up to
18 the surface.
19 So, when we are talking about command and subordination in the
20 battalion, it continued from Belgrade to Vukovar and back again. Nothing
21 changed in that line.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. Could you please describe the procedure of
23 keeping a diary that you were in charge of. And also when and how was it
24 and where was it archived, as you mentioned?
25 A. A war diary is a document that is kept in war. Our unit had such
1 a diary that I personally kept. So, in the document, you would write down
2 all the activities, orders, instructions, all events that were important
3 for a certain date or that were important in order to implement a certain
5 After combat actions were over, the return from Vukovar to
6 Belgrade, all the documents that existed during the combat actions were
7 submitted to the superior command for archiving or their storage,
8 according to the law.
9 I actually was a little bit undisciplined when this was involved,
10 so I dictated the contents to the soldier who was with me, by the name of
11 Dobras, certain activities from that diary which I wanted to use for my
12 own research. So, in a way, I violated discipline when I did that.
13 My intention was, when the circumstances were right, to prove that
14 the soldierly/military part of the conflict between the two conflicting
15 sides, in which I was on the winning side, would be useful in military
16 sciences. And that is how this copy of the war diary, based on what I
17 know, is the only document that is left, that I'm using here.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Can you please tell us when you submitted a
19 copy of those notes from the diary to the Defence?
20 A. I handed that over to you sometime in the summer.
21 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know where the first copy is, which
22 was photocopied after that? Who did you give that to?
23 A. My copy, handwritten copy, written in blue ballpoint pen, of the
24 original diary was written by a soldier. It's not my handwriting. This
25 was written by the soldier Dobras. I kept it together with my other
1 confidential documents, commendations, decorations and some other
2 important military items. I kept that at my barracks, in my own personal
3 strongbox, locker.
4 After the year 2000, the Deputy Defence Minister was my
5 acquaintance, General Ristic. He was appointed to that post. And other
6 than you, he was the only other person who could see the contents of this
7 handwritten copy.
8 Q. Thank you. When did you find out about the events at Ovcara, and
10 A. I found out about the Ovcara events in 1995, when the media
11 reported information about a number of suspects, my colleagues who were
12 there, amongst them Captain Radic. And I found this out when I was
13 staying in Banja Luka at one time.
14 Q. All right. So at the time when you were in Vukovar, you did not
15 find out about Ovcara at all?
16 A. No.
17 Q. One more question, even though I don't have too many questions
18 left. We will have to finish for today, but I will put one more question.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] And then for tomorrow, Your Honours,
20 I have only a few questions left. I'm just informing my colleagues so
21 that they can be ready about that.
22 Q. Did you give an interview to the Prosecution in relation to your
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How long was this interview?
1 A. We had about an hour and a half to talk.
2 Q. And was that interview attended by any of the Defence of the
4 A. No.
5 Q. And one more question on the same subject: Did you say anything
6 there differently from what you stated here today?
7 A. From what I know, the gentlemen from the Prosecution recorded my
8 conversation, so this can be checked.
9 Q. And what did you say?
10 A. Well, I said the same things to them as I'm saying them now. I
11 said that I am happy to be a Defence witness. And I told you that it's
12 not important, actually, to me in what capacity I appear before this
13 Tribunal, whether I'm summoned to testify by you or from the other side.
14 I am speaking the truth here, and only the truth.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stijakovic.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it's time to
17 finish for today.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we must. We'll resume tomorrow at 9.30.
19 Thank you.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.44 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 12th day of
22 October, 2006, at 9.30 a.m.