1 Thursday, 30 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 4.50 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good evening. I am very sorry that in the interest
7 of trying to assist another Chamber, our start today was delayed. And
8 there is a double reason, not only was there no other courtroom available,
9 but Judge Van den Wyngaert was sitting on the other Chamber as well, so we
10 really couldn't get going until now.
11 We hope that we will be able to conclude the present witness in
12 the course of this next tape because there will have to be a tape break at
13 the end of that which would virtually run us out of time. So it may be
14 possible to finish before 7.00 but at the end of the tape, which we can
15 stretch to about 1 hour, 40.
16 Sir, if I could remind you of the affirmation that you made at the
17 beginning of your evidence which still applies.
18 Mr. Moore
19 WITNESS: MLADEN KARAN [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Moore: [Continued]
22 Q. Can I deal with one small topic in relation to the hospital
23 itself. When you went to the hospital on the 20th, did you have lists
24 which included the names of people that you wished to speak to or
1 A. No.
2 Q. Were you aware of any other person, including Major Sljivancanin,
3 of having a list?
4 A. No, I was not aware of it.
5 Q. And throughout your dealings there, presumably you would say that
6 you were unaware of the use of lists; is that correct?
7 A. I didn't understand the question.
8 Q. You say you did not have a list, that you were unaware of other
9 people having lists, but I'm asking you about when you got there, did you
10 see any people operating from a list?
11 A. No, not as far as I know.
12 Q. Then what was the purpose of taking the list from Dr. Bosanac?
13 A. I perhaps misunderstood you. I thought that you asked me whether
14 we had -- or made any such lists.
15 Q. Well, I'll break it into two parts. Did you within the security
16 organ at any time compile lists of individuals who might interest you
17 prior to the hospital evacuation on the morning of the 20th?
18 A. Yes. We did this on the basis of the information that we received
19 through our operational work with the names and the nicknames and we
20 relayed that to our superior security organ.
21 Q. And what sort of persons were on that list or lists?
22 A. According to our intelligence, these were the important persons in
23 the chain of command or, in accordance with the reports that we had
24 received, persons who had committed some criminal offences, either against
25 the JNA or the Serbian population.
1 Q. You have told us that lists were given to yourselves and Nicholas
2 Borsinger of persons who were in the hospital. Did you check those lists
3 to see whether any of the persons whom you wished to speak to or identify
4 were actually included in the Bosanac list?
5 A. As far as I remember, I said that the list that we had received,
6 you could not really call it a list at all. These were just scrolls, and
7 we couldn't use it at all, because things were crossed out and added and
8 it was completely useless. And the list that was received by the
9 representatives of the ICRC from Dr. Bosanac, it was neater, and I think
10 it contained more pages that the one that we had been given. Ours had
11 only one or two pages, and it was completely useless.
12 Q. The persons that you -- the list of names that you compiled in the
13 course of your work, the names of individuals who were of interest to you,
14 what did you do to identify those persons in the hospital?
15 A. No. We didn't do anything to identify them. We didn't even have
16 enough time to do it. The lists that we made in the rear of the security
17 organ were something that we needed for our future work when we conducted
18 interviews with ethnic Serbs who would be able to give us more reliable
19 information about their activities.
20 Q. Therefore, in conclusion of this topic, what list did you use on
21 the morning of the 20th?
22 A. I did not have any list and there, in fact, was no list apart --
23 if you're asking me about the 20th, then no, no, I did not have any list,
24 just a list that Vesna Bosanac had provided but that list was not
25 something that we could use, and that's the gist of it.
1 Q. You told us that you became aware of a foreigner. He was tall, he
2 was blond, in a white coat. I use my own note. You said: "I became
3 angry. She had given Borsinger a list of names."
4 You mentioned that to Sljivancanin. That's right, isn't it?
5 A. I described it -- I described this representative of the ICRC in
6 those terms, and the reason why I was angry is because I didn't know what
7 was on the list, not because she had given him the list. I was angry
8 because we did not have the list.
9 Q. I have a note which says: "I had a look at Sljivancanin's list."
10 Is that correct or not?
11 A. No. You misunderstand me. I looked at the list or, rather, the
12 note that was scrolled on this piece of paper that Sljivancanin had told
13 me he had received from Vesna Bosanac telling me that I should not worry,
14 that this was. For all intents and purposes, the same list that had been
15 provided to the representative of the ICRC.
16 Q. And why did you get angry?
17 A. Well, I was angry because she gave it behind our back, so to
18 speak, and I didn't know at that time that Sljivancanin had already gotten
19 that and that he didn't tell me at the time that I shouldn't worry.
20 Because when she gave it to this man, I thought this was something that
21 we, ourselves, should have.
22 Q. And how did you know or how did you realise it was nothing like
23 the list of the names of persons given to the ICRC man?
24 A. Well, since we couldn't use it and it didn't look like the list
25 that I saw her give the representative of the ICRC, so that was the only
1 reason, and that was quite obvious.
2 Q. When you use the phrase "foreigner," it can often mean a person
3 who is not wanted in that particular location. Would it be right to say
4 that there was a view that the ICRC and the ECMM had no reason to be
5 there, that this was an internal matter?
6 A. No. Surely not. When I said "foreigner," I meant to say a person
7 whose name I didn't know and who I assumed not to be our citizen. I did
8 not mean an undesirable person, because it was not up to us to decide who
9 was desirable and who was not, especially not when it came to
10 representatives of the international community.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Let us now move to another topic.
12 You distinguish order and task, would that be right, by way of
13 military directive?
14 A. In the security organs, there were no orders like there were in
15 the chain of command. There is only control, not command in the security
16 organs. That's the distinction that I've been trying to draw here.
17 Q. So you use the phrase "task" as opposed to "order" to represent
18 that; is that correct?
19 A. One could say that.
20 Q. If you are given a task, or a person is given a task, can that
21 person refuse to perform the task without good reason, may I say? Sorry,
22 my fault.
23 A. An active-duty serviceman can refuse to obey an order that is
24 against the interests of the constitutional order or an order that would
25 be tantamount to the commission of a criminal offence that is prosecuted
1 ex officio. All other orders or tasks in terms of command, if you look at
2 units, not at institutions or establishments, this is -- these orders have
3 to be carried out. This is the system that applied in the former JNA, and
4 this is, as far as I know, the system that is valid in all the armies of
5 the world. This is the principle of the singleness of command.
6 Q. And if a person refuses to perform a task, can there be military
7 consequence, a military consequence against him on that?
8 A. At any rate, failure to obey an order results in certain
9 consequences, depending on the actual problems that were caused by the
10 failure to obey this order, and then the commander, within the chain of
11 command, decides to deal with it himself or to bring this person, had this
12 person brought before a military disciplinary court. And in the security
13 organs, failure to obey an order was viewed in a slightly different way,
14 because I can accept an order and yet be prevented from actually carrying
15 it out for a variety of reasons, because our job was a little bit peculiar
16 and it depended on a number of circumstances that could not be foreseen
17 and which could prevent one from actually carrying out the task.
18 Definitely when one submits the report to the security organ that
19 actually issued the task, this security organ will take all those elements
20 into account and decide whether to give them any weight or not.
21 Q. But it is correct to say that one of the options available would
22 be a person to be brought before a disciplinary court; isn't that right?
23 A. I have already told you. Depending on the damage caused by the
24 failure to carry out this order, the commander of the unit decides,
25 together with his colleagues at a meeting, whether to deal with a
1 disciplinary infraction himself or whether it has affected the combat
2 readiness of the unit to such an extent that disciplinary proceedings have
3 to be instituted against this person, and this is then done before a
4 special body and that is the military disciplinary court. It can also be
5 decided to institute criminal proceedings against this person.
6 Q. So the answer is yes, one of the options is that a person can be
7 brought before a disciplinary court. That is right, isn't it?
8 A. [No interpretation].
9 Q. Thank you. Counter-intelligence is a very specialist field.
10 Would you agree with that?
11 A. Yes, fully.
12 Q. What specialisation did you have that was complementary to the
13 security organ of the Guards Motorised Brigade?
14 A. The very fact that one belongs to the security organ in itself
15 means that a person can be specialised, can specialise in
16 counter-intelligence. One could be more or less successful in this work,
17 some people did a good job, some people did a poor job, but you could not
18 say that every security organ was the -- or officer was a top specialist
19 in the job. There were precious few such people in our service, and I
20 think that the same applies to the services of the same kind in other
22 Q. I'll ask the question, I hope, in a different way. What was it
23 about your specialty that made it beneficial for you to join the security
24 organ of the Guards Motorised Brigade? What did you add?
25 A. Now I'm able to understand your question better. When I joined
1 the Guards Brigade, I had already been doing -- performing my tasks as an
2 independent officer in the 317 Signals Regiment in Bijeljina. I did my
3 job in three different republics and also I worked in Sarajevo, so this
4 was a very, very complex situation with the unit that had a number of
5 facilities on top of different mountains and hills that were all very
6 sensitive. I also worked in the 17th Corps in Tuzla, and this was the
7 springboard for me and I was able to move to the 1st Department in the
8 security administration.
9 So the security administration decided that I was able to help the
10 security organ in the Guards Brigade as a professional, primarily.
11 Q. But doing what? One appoints a person to assist for a reason.
12 What was the gap that you filled or what did you do that improved what
13 they already had?
14 A. There was a vacancy for the assistant for counter-intelligence and
15 they didn't have the right person for that. They did not have an
16 assistant for counter-intelligence, they had the chief, they had an
17 assistant for staff security, they had their desk officers but no
18 assistant for counter-intelligence, and that was the principal reason.
19 Another reason was they were now involved in combat, as a unit.
20 Q. So what was it that you did when they went into combat over and
21 above that which could be done by the people from the security organ
22 already there?
23 A. I'll give you a simple answer. I systematised any information
24 that we received. I gave them a certain form. I drafted them in the form
25 of reports, proper reports, the way they should be, and these were then
1 submitted to our superior security organ. Any correspondence that we
2 exchanged was very formulaic in terms of the proper format.
3 For a report to be dispatched, it must contain several crucial
4 elements, such as what constitutes the threat. Is there a person or
5 entire group behind this threat. Or some third element: What method are
6 they likely to use in posing this threat? And then any measures that we
7 propose to forestall this threat.
8 If we can't take steps ourselves, we are supposed to seek
9 assistance from our superior officer within our own unit or body.
10 Q. So to simplify it, four principal heads: One, threat
11 identification. Would you agree? I understand that's what you are
13 With regard to the Vukovar scenario, would it be right to say that
14 the threat identification principally involved ascertaining such things as
15 Ustasha strength, who was resisting, and the identification of leaders and
16 units? Would that be right? And that's not a complete list; I just do it
17 by way of example.
18 A. I would agree on the whole except for numerical strength and enemy
19 units. This is intelligence, strictly speaking, and not
21 Q. What is causing the threat, if one looks at this in general terms,
22 what was the conclusion, the general conclusion of your reports when it
23 came to what was causing the threat?
24 A. I'll try to word this properly in a number of sentences. I will
25 say the following: We had information to indicate that in the Vukovar
1 area, there had appeared a member from the Ustasha enemy emigration,
2 Srecko Rover from Australia with a group of people. We had information to
3 indicate there was activity underway there being carried out by extremists
4 from the Croatian Party of Rights, the HSP. We had information to
5 indicate that in the Vukovar area, important political and military
6 figures had been arriving, top-level political and military figures from
7 the Republic of Croatia garnering significant support in humanitarian
8 terms, and all these provided sufficient elements, sufficient proof for us
9 to reach the conclusion that we were up against an enemy to be reckoned
10 with who was in fact already carrying out combat operations.
11 And if I may just add this: On our side, in terms of our
12 counter-intelligence activity, wherever you have emigrants appearing who
13 tend to be the worst extremists, politically speaking, and in any other
14 sense, one thing you can always expect is sabotage and acts of terror. If
15 you've been following my testimony closely over the last two days, one of
16 the focuses of our activity, in addition to discovering moles in our own
17 service, foreign agents, was to forestall any extremist action taken by
18 such emigrants present in the area, as Srecko Rover and the HSP units
19 affiliated with him.
20 Q. I want to move off this topic fairly soon given the time table,
21 but can I suggest the following to you: That there are two principal
22 consequences, and I don't criticise, I merely draw attention to them.
23 One, that the involvement of what you would call emigres and their
24 involvement could, at that time, have had consequences for other areas of
25 Croatia where there was conflict. That is correct, isn't it?
1 A. I believe that if there were things like that happening elsewhere,
2 that was only to be expected, but I can't be certain.
3 Q. And secondly, that in the identification of leaders in the Vukovar
4 area, that would facilitate counter-measures to be taken by you. Would
5 you agree with that?
6 A. Certainly. Counter-measures to protect our units, to familiarise
7 our own units at the front end about what they are up against, to put it
8 in the simplest possible terms.
9 Q. Thank you. You used a phrase yesterday which was translated
10 as "the security organ without informers has no raison d'etre."
11 A. That's right. Precisely so, in fact.
12 Q. Now, I've used the word "informers," and in actual fact I think
13 you used the word "collaborators"; that was the translation. But I
14 suspect it could be collaborators or informers as almost synonymous.
15 Would you agree?
16 A. I don't think I can agree, unfortunately. I said a security organ
17 with no collaborators has no raison d'etre. I mean a security organ which
18 creates no collaborators in the true and proper sense of the word, which
19 means someone who has gone through the full set of training measures in
20 order to be enlisted, so to speak. But any security organ has numerous
21 other sources. This, however, is something official.
22 Q. But can I suggest that the word "collaborator" can have a more
23 general application. That a collaborator, in general terms, could mean a
24 person who is sympathetic to a particular cause and assists that cause in
25 the pursuit of its goal. Would you agree with that?
1 A. No. This is entirely erroneous. A collaborator is a collaborator
2 and no other term can possibly be used. Any other source of information
3 can be called whatever one likes. A collaborator is a collaborator is a
4 collaborator. This is an official relationship between the security
5 organ, on the one hand, and the person they work with. Information about
6 this collaborator is only available to the security organ itself. So
7 that's the difference.
8 Q. But it is also correct to say that at that time, that you were
9 receiving assistance from individuals within the Vukovar area who were
10 behind the lines of the Croatian forces. That is correct, isn't it?
11 A. We would have been very happy, indeed, had that been the case, had
12 we had the possibility. Throughout the entire operation, I never had
13 occasion to receive any information whatsoever from the opposite side.
14 Perhaps the intelligence people did, but we didn't.
15 We, as security officers, in an unknown area, have no time or
16 capability to create a foothold on the other side, as it were. And this
17 was not a single area in a manner of speaking, meaning we were not
18 actually holding that area. We were limited to our own units, to our
19 facilities at Topcider. Once we were in an unknown area, it was only
20 natural that we would start creating our own network ahead of the front
21 end and then down the depth of our units, as they were deployed. I'm not
22 sure if I'm making any sense.
23 Q. Therefore, if that is the case, if there was evidence of directed
24 artillery or mortar fire on to walls -- on to wells or water Bowsers, that
25 had to be a direct consequence of artillery direction and not collaborator
1 direction within Vukovar. That is correct, then, is it not?
2 A. To be quite frank, I am not an artillery man myself. I am into
3 telecommunications. I don't know about artillery fire, how it is
4 directed, guided, and how targets are hit. You might be right, but I just
5 don't understand your question entirely.
6 So perhaps I'd best phrase my answer in the following terms: I
7 don't know how artillery fire is guided, and I was never the commander of
8 an artillery unit. I was the commander of a signals unit, but it's
9 nothing like an infantry unit, not even in the remotest sense.
10 Q. So what you are saying is that a member of the security organ --
11 or as a member of the security organ, you're not in a position to control
12 artillery fire; is that right?
13 A. I think you misunderstand me. I am entirely unable to have
14 anything to do with artillery. I know nothing about artillery. That is
15 not my field. I think it would constitute a great insult to true
16 artillerymen if I were to take their position and start doing anything
17 about it, firing a cannon and such-like.
18 Q. Or directing fall of shot?
19 A. As far as I'm aware of, the way an army is organised, only an
20 artillery man can carry out reconnaissance and scout for enemy's
21 positions. Only a person like that knows what to do. So one needs to
22 have an artillery man doing that, or, alternatively, one needs to have
23 someone who is very close to artillery units or the place being targeted,
24 so this person then provides feedback and tells the artillery men that the
25 targets are not being hit. That's as far as I can tell you about guiding
1 artillery fire, but I'm no expert myself.
2 Q. I seem to remember that yesterday -- I seem to remember that
3 yesterday you indicated that there was a line for building artillery
4 shells exclusively for Vukovar; is that right? It's an inelegant way of
5 putting it. A production line for the specific purpose of being used in
6 Vukovar. That was your evidence, I believe, yesterday, and I see
7 Mr. Lukic nodding no, but the page number is 15537, 10 down to 17.
8 Do you remember giving that evidence?
9 A. I know exactly what I said yesterday, if indeed that was
10 yesterday. I know I was talking about that.
11 While I worked for the 1st Department of the security
12 administration, my colleagues and I exchanged a lot of information about
13 the fact that equipment and ammunition were being produced for specific
14 purposes as well as shot. And the fact that there were problems about
15 production. They said there was a possibility that any bullets or
16 missiles filled with this sort of shot would be dysfunctional and not
17 quite up to scratch.
18 We had information to indicate that our own artillery were firing
19 at our positions, not the enemy. I remembered that bit of information.
20 And I called for them to provide the serial numbers of all these missiles
21 and ordinants just to make sure that it wasn't us who had received this
22 dysfunctional or defective ammunition. It could have been another unit as
23 well. So that's what I was talking about yesterday.
24 Q. But that's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is
25 that there was a production line for shells to be used at Vukovar. It was
1 an exclusively production line. That was the suggestion that you made
2 yesterday; do you agree?
3 A. That's not what I said. I would like to look at the transcript to
4 see. But I didn't say that there was a production, the specific purpose
5 of which was to be shipped to Vukovar and used there, as specifically by
6 our unit.
7 Q. I will read it out for you. "We received word at the time that
8 there were acts of sabotage in progress." Never mind that. "Shells were
9 being produced in Travnik and in other factories across the country. By
10 the same token, we realised that there was a production line at the time
11 shells being produced with the specific purpose of being used in Vukovar
12 in fighting around Vukovar."
13 So I'm asking you, quite simply, about the production line that
14 you say was specifically for Vukovar.
15 A. My memory is normally good, but I don't think I ever said anything
16 like that, that there was a special series of ammunition, special lots
17 being produced for the specific explicit purpose of being used in Vukovar.
18 I'm quite convinced -- maybe that was the interpretation you got, but I'm
19 quite certain that I couldn't possibly have said anything like that. This
20 is simply not true, that something was being specifically produced in
21 order to be used in Vukovar.
22 I know what special production is. I know how that is done. I
23 worked with the security organ later on and I was in touch with those
24 people. It is impossible that I should have said this that special
25 ammunition was being produced in order to be used in Vukovar.
1 Q. Well, we can check that.
2 A. Sure.
3 Q. We can check that.
4 I will move on to another topic. We have heard evidence that the
5 JNA had a listening capability to various forms of communication coming
6 out of Vukovar going elsewhere. Were you aware of that at the time?
7 A. Of course, somebody probably was doing that. The same probably
8 applied to the other side. They probably had a listening capability to
9 use against our own lines.
10 Q. Just tell us, please, the systems that you had available to you to
11 listen in to conversations. You don't have to go into great detail, just
12 tell us.
13 A. You mean the Guards Brigade security organ?
14 Q. Well --
15 A. Or the entire command.
16 Q. Well, if you tell us either, it won't take you long to inform us.
17 Perhaps I can ask the question in this way.
18 As far as you're aware, the JNA at that time had the capability to
19 listen into telephone conversations; do you agree?
20 A. Of course. There were special centres for listening in to
21 telephone conversations as well as specialised units for that purpose
22 within the JNA.
23 Q. And if we short-circuit this, it's correct to say that it was -- I
24 don't know if common knowledge would be right, but it was apparent that
25 there was an attempt to broker an agreement for a surrender; do you agree
1 with that? And that was known by the JNA because they were listening to
2 the conversations.
3 A. I must be very specific about this. These surveillance centres or
4 electronic surveillance centres monitoring any activity by the enemy, or
5 any activity that we ourselves are carrying out, are not related to
6 counter-intelligence, they are related to intelligence, and these are two
7 very distinct types of services back in our country. It used to be that
8 way at the time and I believe it still is.
9 Q. But the reality is even if you don't know specifically what was
10 being said, you were aware that the capability existed. Would that be the
11 summary of your evidence?
12 A. Of course. That's right.
13 Q. Thank you very much indeed. You have told us, moving on to a
14 different topic again, that there was a form of government in existence at
15 the time of the fall of Vukovar. Perhaps not government, but form of
16 administration. Is that what your evidence is?
17 A. That is not my evidence. All I said was there was a police
18 station in Negoslavci which was part of the civilian authorities that were
19 there. Not a form of government, though. I knew there was such a thing
20 as a Ministry of the Interior and it is a government body. All there was
21 in Negoslavci was a police station. But it is not really a government, it
22 is a police station. It's all that is.
23 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much. If that's what your evidence is,
24 I'll ask you no further questions on it.
25 Would Your Honour forgive me a moment, please.
1 Q. My apologies for moving around from topic to topic but perhaps
2 that's the sort of evidence you have given.
3 We have heard that the word "terrorist" was used on occasion when
4 describing the defenders of Vukovar, the Croatian defenders of Vukovar.
5 Would it be right to say that that was a view taken by certain members of
6 the JNA, as far as you're aware?
7 A. Well, I'm not exactly sure that all members of the JNA defined the
8 enemy like that. However, there's a difference between the regular armed
9 forces of a country and terrorists, legally speaking.
10 Q. Does that mean the answer is "yes"? Not necessarily by you, but
11 that was a view expressed by some?
12 A. I don't know who exactly expressed that view, but you're asking
13 me, so I'm telling you. I could be caught thinking that way about certain
14 emigres that we had ample information on, such as Srecko Rover, yes.
15 As for such armed forces as the ZNG and the MUP, the Croatian
16 forces, they could not have been labelled like that. The essential
17 distinction was the latter were supported by the government and the former
18 were not, in a sense.
19 Q. So would you accept from me that there was almost a subcategory of
20 individuals who could be described as "terrorists/criminals"?
21 A. Well, in a sense, yes, you could say that.
22 Q. May I then move on to another topic, please. It is this: You
23 were there to systemise the reporting procedure, you have told us that.
24 It's right to say, however, that you yourself signed, I think, a document
25 once and got told off for it, and thereafter and probably before as well,
1 every such document that you created had to be signed by the head of the
2 security organ, is that right, Major Sljivancanin?
3 A. Yes, that is true. Because I could have signed any document but I
4 could not have sealed -- placed a seal on it. I had the authority to sign
5 it if he was prevented from doing that, but in order to keep our reporting
6 proper, we did all we could to ensure that all our reports were signed by
7 the chief.
8 Q. And the purpose of that, I would suggest, is perfectly clear,
9 because by that, it ensured that the chief of the security organ was aware
10 of the content of the document being sent. That is correct, isn't it?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And Major Sljivancanin is a thorough and was a thorough officer
13 and ensured that before he signed a document, he was aware of its content.
14 That is also correct, isn't it?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. You informed us that Major Sljivancanin, the way you described it,
17 again, I work from my own private notes, you said as follows, and believe
18 me, I'm not trying to catch you out: "When I arrived in the brigade, I
19 knew no one so it was logical for me to stay," I presume by that meaning
20 the command post, "and natural for Sljivancanin to do the rounds for our
21 analysis and reports."
22 Now, that is my brief note. Do you agree with that as a summary
23 of what you said in evidence?
24 A. That's correct. Yes. That would be it.
25 Q. Could you explain to me or perhaps the Court why it was beneficial
1 for him to do the rounds for analysis and reports?
2 A. Well, counter-intelligence work, when one is in the barracks, is
3 quite different from counter-intelligence work in combat operations. The
4 people that we call our collaborators, this is an official kind of
5 relationship, they know in advance when they have to call in, but because
6 of the combat, the fighting, enemy fire, because it is impossible for them
7 to get some form of transportation, these circumstances forced us to
8 select the person who is really familiar with the unit who had been there
9 right from the start to go around gathering information from these people,
10 because he knew those people. And from all the other people at the
11 forward end to collect the information that would be necessary for our
12 assessment, analysis, and reports. And that is why there was this
13 arrangement. Because 99 per cent of the personnel in the Guards Brigade
14 didn't know me. Maybe even -- the percentage may have been even greater.
15 Some people may have heard of me but that was not enough. And if I were
16 to show up, they would not know who I was.
17 Q. So in simple terms, people will talk more readily and an officer
18 will be able to assess more accurately if the officer is known to the
19 troops and the troops is known to the officer. That is correct, I think,
20 isn't it? That's what you are saying.
21 A. No. I'm just trying to tell you what situation I would find
22 myself in, because if nobody knows me in a unit and I come there and I say
23 this is who I am, I introduce myself, at the forward end, I don't think
24 that it would be really very good for me. After all, anyone could go
25 there and say I am Sljivancanin's assistant without Sljivancanin being
1 there and they would not know me because I had only just arrived.
2 Q. I suspect we agree, but maybe it's the way I've put the question.
3 What you are saying is this: Mr. Sljivancanin was known to the
4 troops. Therefore, they would recognise him and speak to him more easily
5 than someone they did not recognise. Do you agree with that? Just as
6 point one.
7 A. Well, it's only natural, it's easier for you to talk to somebody
8 you know than somebody you don't know.
9 Q. And secondly, that Mr. Sljivancanin had a knowledge of those
10 troops, and therefore he was in a better position to analyse their morale,
11 their state of confidence and problems better than someone like yourself
12 who had just arrived. Would you agree with that as proposition two?
13 A. I agree with the part of your statement when you say that he knew
14 them better than I did. But nobody could know the actual situation in the
15 unit better than the commander of this unit. Because he is the most
16 responsible person for the morale and the combat readiness in the unit.
17 The commander of the platoon, company, and so on.
18 Q. I don't disagree with that in any way at all. All I'm simply
19 saying is in the context of Mr. Sljivancanin or yourself, Mr. Sljivancanin
20 is the right choice or - the better phrase - the better choice than
22 A. Yes, a better choice because he was in a better position.
23 Q. The function of the security organ or one of its functions is to
24 assess morale, combat readiness, and assess any other problems within a
25 unit. Would you accept that as a general proposition but not an exclusive
2 A. Not in the sense that you are trying to present. The assessment
3 of the morale in the unit is done by the command, and after all, we have
4 the organ for morale monitoring the situation, and we were just a part of
5 this system which is called command and control.
6 Q. I'm not trying to catch you out. Do you understand? I'm putting
7 forward questions to try and clarify certain issues. All right? So I'm
8 not suggesting it is exclusive. I understand there are other units. But
9 this is one of the functions of the security organ, isn't it?
10 A. Mr. Moore, I am not in the corner at all. I am -- you are not
11 trying to -- or indeed succeeding in catching me out because this is my
12 area. If you try to ask me any questions that had to do with law, you
13 would probably catch me out quite soon. But I really didn't quite
14 understand the question that followed, so if I could ask you to assist me
15 so that I could assist you by answering.
16 Q. I am quite sure that this is your area of expertise. All I'm
17 trying to do is to ascertain when you have the security organ, the
18 function of the security organ, along with other units, is to try and
19 understand if there are any problems and to try and resolve those
20 problems, whatever they may be.
21 A. One could say that this was the case and he would propose some
22 measures to this end and provides a prompt warning to the relevant organs
23 about possible causes and consequences of any activities that might damage
24 the combat readiness and of course attends the analysis of the morale and
25 combat readiness situation.
1 Q. It is right, is it not, that you were aware that the Guards
2 Motorised Brigade had subordinated to it - indeed OG South had
3 subordinated to it - various TO units. That is correct, isn't it?
4 A. I didn't see the order, but I assume that this order existed in
5 light of the fact that the Guards Brigade was renamed by the fact that
6 some other units were attached to it, and then it was called the
7 Operations Group South. This was a task for some temporary formation with
8 different units performing a certain task within a given time-period.
9 Q. And what I am suggesting to you, that one of the tasks that Major
10 Sljivancanin performed was to assess those potential problems not only of
11 regular soldiers from the Guards Motorised Brigade but other units that
12 were subordinated to them at that time. That is correct, isn't it?
13 A. No. You're completely off the mark. The other units had their
14 own security organs that did or should have done precisely the same thing
15 that we were doing in the Guards Motorised Brigade. So Major Sljivancanin
16 could not have assessed the work being done in the attached formations, to
17 purport to be their chief, to issue their tasks, and I'm now referring to
18 the security organs there, and least of all, to any other organs in those
19 other units.
20 Q. But what about an assault detachment? Is it not made up of
21 regular and irregular units?
22 A. I don't know what kind of irregular units you are referring to.
23 Perhaps you could be a bit more specific and then I will be able to
25 Q. Well, such members as the TO.
1 A. You're way off the mark again, Mr. Moore. The TO was part of the
2 armed forces of the SFRY, and the armed forces consisted of the JNA and
3 the TO. So these were two constituent elements.
4 Q. You see, one of the things that has to be taken into account,
5 surely, when you are compiling reports is that there may be lines of
6 demarcation between units, but often trouble from what I will call
7 irregular units can filter in sideways and create difficulties and
8 problems. And anybody going round will often hear that. And that's just
9 a question of common sense, that's not a question of military hierarchy,
10 is it?
11 A. Yes, this is a matter of common sense. But I simply don't know
12 what irregular units you are talking about. If you told me, then I would
13 be able to be more specific.
14 Q. Well, the fact of the matter is, you weren't there and you
15 wouldn't be able to answer that question. But all I'm asking is the
16 function of Major Sljivancanin going round, you said, was on a regular
17 basis; isn't that right?
18 A. Well, in principle, you could say that. He wasn't simply walking
19 from one soldier to another asking them, Well, what's new? Because
20 counter-intelligence work is much more complicated than that. It's not
21 just asking questions. I mean regular counter-intelligence work is
22 necessary. It has to be done on a 24-hour basis. And all the rest is --
23 you have other tasks and then you have to hear from the field -- from the
24 people in the field about some specific things been specific time-periods.
25 Q. Would you then accept that the TO is indeed a regular unit, such
1 as the Leva Supoderica and volunteer units?
2 A. Again, you are mixing apples and oranges here. The TO has its
3 superior command, that would be the republican TO staff, the zone TO
4 staff, and some other formations. So the Territorial Defence and the JNA
5 were constituent parts of the armed forces of the SFRY, and they had their
6 superior organs within the vertical system of the chain of command that
7 that was the only way it could be done. So the lower-level units of the
8 Territorial Defence reported to the zone Territorial Defence staff and
9 then all the way up to the republican TO staffs.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, then, what is the name of the chief
11 of the security organ for OG South?
12 A. There was no chief of the security in OG South.
13 Q. But I think it's right to say that you just indicated that the
14 Guards Motorised Brigade became OG South, did it not?
15 A. No, no, you misunderstood me. I said that by attaching some other
16 units, the OG South came into being. I didn't say that this brigade
17 became OG South.
18 So the organisational order of the superior command established
19 the OG South from the Guards Brigade and other units that were either
20 brought in or already were deployed in this area. That's what I said.
21 Q. Well, can I just suggest that in actual fact it was Major
22 Sljivancanin who was actually the chief of the security organ for
23 OG South, but you presumably would not accept that under any
24 circumstances. Would that be right?
25 A. No. No. This interpretation is completely erroneous. The
1 security organ of the OG South did not exist because a number of
2 conditions would have had to be met in order for it to come into being.
3 Q. Thank you very much. May I deal then, please, with the evening of
4 the 19th of November.
5 You were present, I think, when General Vasiljevic came along with
6 another general, Tumanov; is that right?
7 A. Yes. General Aleksandar Vasiljevic and General Simeon Tumanov.
8 Q. And just remind us again where it was you were when they arrived?
9 A. I don't know when they arrived. I just know when they arrived to
10 our offices. They were in the office of the Guards Brigade security organ
11 in the village of Negoslavci. They arrived sometime after 10.00 p.m.
12 This is when they came to our premises.
13 Q. And you remained in those premises throughout the evening; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And it's also right to say they're not a particular large
17 premises. That is correct also, isn't it?
18 A. No, the house is, in fact, rather large, and we had at our
19 disposal three rooms: One room where we worked, one large room where we
20 slept, and a bathroom, and the part of the hall. And some other
21 structures of the logistics organ were stationed in the other rooms in the
22 house, the technicians, it seems to me now.
23 Q. Were you aware that apparently General Vasiljevic had contacted
24 Major Sljivancanin who had informed Major Vukasinovic that Croatian
25 soldiers should be collected in possible exchange for JNA soldiers who had
1 been captured?
2 A. I did not hear about this, this thing that you are now telling me.
3 What you just told me, I did not hear about that.
4 As far as I understood, the only reason why they came was because
5 of Marin Vidic and Vesna Bosanac, and they did well when they prevented us
6 from recording those interviews for propaganda purposes. And it's a good
7 thing they did, because this would probably -- the fallout from that would
8 probably be much worse than we could have imagined.
9 Q. Well, I am not passing any view on that. It's not my business.
10 But I'm curious about one respect of your evidence which you have given so
11 methodically. Would you tell us, please, about the argument that was
12 between Major Sljivancanin and General Vasiljevic?
13 A. Precisely because of this thing that I am telling you. He wanted
14 to do that because he thought it would be really great and he said, Well,
15 you have this man here, and it makes no sense for this man to speak
16 against Tudjman whose closest collaborator he was, and the Croatian
17 policy, and you have him there. This is where he was.
18 And I think that this assessment by General Vasiljevic was quite
19 good, that it would have been madness to do that because a person in a
20 situation -- in such a situation cannot really achieve the effects that we
21 had thought it would be possible, either on the people in Serbia, or on
22 the other side, and we knew that they were watching Serbian TV channels.
23 Q. The phrase that we have heard has not just been Vasiljevic
24 dictating orders in a loud voice. The phrase that we have heard
25 is "heated exchange" between Sljivancanin and Vasiljevic. Now, a heated
1 exchange in English means that both parties are raising their voices. In
2 this case, it is a major raising his voice to a general which, I would
3 suggest, is a fairly unusual state of affairs, isn't it, Mr. Karan?
4 A. I think that this was not the way it was. Major Sljivancanin, at
5 that time, and I think it is still the case, speaks in a loud and clear
6 voice. To some people, it may look as if it was a quarrel. And if you
7 see somebody moving their hands, the gesticulation, it may appear as an
8 argument. But it was not my impression when those two officers arrived
9 that they were angry with us, that we had done something wrong, apart from
10 this thing that they suggested that it would be bad to do this, and once
11 they explained to us, we saw their points. And after all they did
12 have -- they were senior officers with more experience.
13 Q. Would you agree with me that Major Sljivancanin has a loud and
14 distinctive voice?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. With regard to the exchange, the heated exchange, your analysis,
17 would that be based on a person who is unfamiliar with Major
18 Sljivancanin's tone and tenor? Do you understand the question?
19 A. I don't know why you keep referring to this as a heated debate
20 that was supposed to frighten everyone around them. This is not the way I
21 saw it and this was not something that I paid any attention to, to be
22 quite honest with you.
23 Q. Well, you are not the only person who has given evidence in this
24 court. And all I'm simply suggesting to you is this: Often, and this is
25 a question of common sense, I would suggest, often if you hear a person
1 whom you do not know speaking in a loud voice, perhaps one can come to the
2 conclusion that person is yelling or shouting. However, if that person is
3 known to you, to speak in that particular way, then you understand that is
4 quite normal. Do you follow me so far? Da?
5 A. Yes, yes, I understand you completely.
6 Q. And therefore, what I'm suggesting to you that the phrase "heated
7 exchange" was used by a person who knew Major Sljivancanin probably better
8 than you did. Do you follow me?
9 A. I follow you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that this line of questioning
12 calls for the speculation on the part of the witness but I may be wrong.
13 JUDGE PARKER: You may prove right but it's too early to decide.
14 Carry on, Mr. Moore.
15 MR. MOORE:
16 Q. Well, it's not the most withering point, but could I just have an
17 answer to the question?
18 A. Well, there may be people who know him better than I do and that
19 that's the impression that they got. I'm sure that many people knew him
20 better than I did. In fact, that holds true for all the members of the
21 security organ in the Guards Brigade, and it's possible that they reached
22 that conclusion. I agree with you on that.
23 Q. Thank you very much. Let's move on to another topic. The evening
24 of the 19th, you say that you remained in the hall -- sorry, you remained
25 in the building. Now, would it be fair to say that a security organ was a
1 small unit and a close unit?
2 A. I don't think it's a problem to answer this one. If you consider
3 the numerical strength of a regiment or a division, yes, it's small in
4 comparison, of course. But the only thing that a security organ is about
5 is its professionalism. There is no cowtowing, there is no favouritism,
6 no such things as might occur in a different kind of unit. We were, after
7 all, hand-picked to those positions. Special selection methods were used
8 and the selection process took some time. It wasn't about camaraderie.
9 Of course there was friendship, but each relationship within the security
10 organ was strictly professional because that is the only guarantee of
11 survival in that particular line of work.
12 Q. So on the night of the 19th, morning of the 20th, you slept
13 together with Major Sljivancanin; is that right?
14 A. Yes, same room. The security organ room in Negoslavci.
15 Q. I'm not trying to be frivolous in any way, please understand that,
16 or suggestive. Did you all have your own beds or did you tend to share
18 A. Those weren't beds to begin with, just mattresses strewn over the
19 floor. A bed normally takes up more space and we had mattresses lined up,
20 and that's how we slept, military mattresses.
21 Q. And would it be right to say that on the night of the 19th, the
22 morning of the 20th, I'll call it now the night of the 19th, that you were
23 extremely tired?
24 A. It depends. Some people were, some people weren't. If you're
25 asking me, I can't quite claim that I was particularly tired. I hadn't
1 been plowing the field that day, if you see what I mean.
2 Q. I do see what you mean, but I seem to remember either in your
3 evidence or your proofing note that you indicated that when you saw Major
4 Sljivancanin for the second time at the hospital, you indicated that you
5 were very tired, that when you went to Sremska Mitrovica you would like to
6 go home, and it was for fatigue that you were asking to go home.
7 Do you agree with that?
8 A. No. I would never agree with that. I'm absolutely certain that I
9 never said any such thing, not here or before any of your colleagues. On
10 account of fatigue, no, never. Maybe it was interpreted that way, but I
11 think there should be an audio recording in Serbian somewhere and we can
12 cross-reference the two.
13 MR. MOORE: Would Your Honour forgive me one moment, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may add something. I mentioned
15 the word "fatigue" just once when I spoke about the meetings that we held
16 on a regular basis. Sometimes they weren't that regular, as they say.
17 Because of assignments elsewhere, or because of fatigue in the evening and
18 then it would be postponed for the following morning, and that was the
19 only reference I ever made to the concept of fatigue. But there is no
20 possibility, there is zero possibility of me having used the
21 word "fatigue" in any other constellation.
22 Q. You were asked a question when you came to see the Office of the
23 Prosecutor representative, and you said the following, and it was in
24 relation to the night of the 20th when you were at Negoslavci and you
25 allegedly were taking back Dr. Bosanac et al. to Mitrovica. You said as
1 follows: "Late at night I took them to Mitrovica and I had asked
2 Sljivancanin if I could go home for a couple of days as I was tired."
3 Now, it's a very simple point, is that right or not?
4 A. I would dearly love to hear the original. When I asked to go to
5 Bijeljina, I made no reference at all to being tired, it was about seeing
6 my family after so long. So that's what it was about.
7 I don't believe I ever used the word "fatigue" or "tired." I
8 would love to have that replayed so that I can see for myself.
9 Q. We can have that done and Mr. Lukic and I can come to some form of
10 arrangement so let's not concern ourselves on that.
11 Can I also suggest that you described Vujic in that interview --
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is the sort of technical problem
14 that occurs when we don't have a transcript. Every time we had a witness
15 in the courtroom and every time they were shown parts of their own
16 testimony they were given a chance to read for themselves. There is an
17 audio recording and we might as well try to play it right away and not
18 leave things for later.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Technically not feasible, Mr. Lukic.
20 Carry on, Mr. Moore. My light is on. Carry on. Be aware of my
21 light. It's signalling you are about out of time.
22 MR. MOORE: Oh, I see. Well, I'm nearly finished. Thank you very
24 Q. Can I also suggest in that particular interview that you did
25 describe Mr. Vujic as: "We met a bald, fat, arrogant man whom I later
1 learned was Vujic along the way."
2 All right? So you know exactly that I'm not just making it up.
3 Can I just deal with one or two other matters, while the light is
4 still on.
5 A. No, no, no, no. No, no, no, no. Not like that. If there's one
6 thing I learned in life, it was to speak cautiously and act cautiously.
7 I'm telling you, and I'm repeating for your benefit something that I said
8 to your investigators. I found that man striking because his approach was
9 haughty somehow, arrogant. He was bald. But I never referred to him as
10 being fat.
11 Q. Can I just move on then, please, because we have got certain time
13 I'm going to suggest to you quite clearly this: That you in no
14 way were able to assess whether Major Sljivancanin was or was not around
15 that location through the early hours of the morning and that what you say
16 is incorrect.
17 A. What location are you talking about?
18 Q. Well, the location where you say that in actual fact
19 Mr. Sljivancanin was there all the time and didn't go in and out. Do you
20 remember the point from Mr. Lukic?
21 A. Right, you're skipping, aren't you? I thought we were moving
22 toward the hospital and the vehicles and -- do you mean the hospital and
23 the date? What about the date? You can just give me the date, no
25 Q. I'm talking about that night, the night of the 19th/20th.
1 A. All right. You should have said it like that the first time
3 I can tell you with absolute certainty that that night, following
4 our departure, in some formal and informal exchanges, we were in the rooms
5 of the security organ back in Negoslavci, and we rose together the
6 following morning and we were off to our mission, the mission that we had
7 that morning.
8 Q. Just tell us again, please, what you did on the 18th.
9 A. On the 18th, I was in the rooms or offices of the security organ
10 back in Negoslavci.
11 Q. But Mr. Lukic has asked you, because what you were doing is giving
12 a very detailed account of these two days. I'm asking you to assist us:
13 What were you doing on the 18th?
14 A. I'm telling you I was going about my regular activities in the
15 office of the security organ. Counter-intelligence is not like using a
16 chain saw to split something in two exactly. I didn't go anywhere on
17 the 18th.
18 Q. Mr. Lukic asked you the question and you had difficulty yesterday.
19 Why is it now you're suddenly remembering?
20 A. What difficulty? What exactly do you mean by asking me this? Oh,
21 all right. All right. I remember. He asked me differently. He asked me
22 a different question from the one you're asking.
23 Do I remember something along these lines? Do I remember anything
24 happening on the 18th? So I was surprised. Why was he trying to tie me
25 down to me doing something on the 18th and then he jogged my memory about
1 the surrender of the Mitnica Battalion, so I know full well now why you
2 are phrasing your question the way you are.
3 Q. The answer is very simple, Mr. Karan, isn't it? Until Mr. Lukic
4 jogged your memory about the Mitnica Battalion, you couldn't remember what
5 you were even doing on a complete day. Isn't that right?
6 A. I was very specific, Mr. Moore, wasn't I? I was not involved in
7 the negotiations or indeed the surrender of that unit. I was doing my own
8 job. So that's why I paused there for a moment trying to remember what it
9 could possibly have been about any actions that I took that might have had
10 to do with the 18th. I wasn't thinking about other bodies from the
11 command or from the security organ. I was just thinking about myself, my
12 own job, because that's how the question was originally phrased. Did I
13 have any reason to specifically remember the 18th? Therefore, I do agree
14 that you certainly noticed a pause in my thinking there but this is the
15 reason. I was thinking about what I did, not what other people were
16 doing. Because we'd spent the whole time discussing my activity, not
17 someone else's activity.
18 Q. May I be allowed to ask one question and then put my case? May I
19 do that?
20 JUDGE PARKER: You're cutting Mr. Lukic down to next to nothing,
21 Mr. Moore. The tape runs out.
22 MR. MOORE: Of course, the tape. May I ask this question and then
23 I will put my case and leave.
24 Q. Isn't it right that you have told others that you were doing
25 something specifically on the 18th. Weren't you outlining questions that
1 were to be asked and posed for people who were arrested? Does that jog
2 your memory a little now?
3 A. Well, no. This does nothing to jog my memory. I never said that
4 this is what I had done on that day. That was a little later.
5 Q. Can I suggest that unfortunately you have come to give evidence on
6 behalf of --
7 A. That was on the 20th.
8 Q. That you have come to assist your colleagues, that with regard to
9 Dr. Bosanac and money, there was no money for the Crisis Staff that they
10 kept looking at. I'd suggest in actual fact there were lists and there
11 were targeted people. I would suggest that you were aware of colleagues
12 of the security organ being present on the night of the 20th and going to
13 Ovcara and that in actual fact you have deliberately come to give evidence
14 to ensure that these -- or this particular defendant has a chance of
15 acquittal. What do you say to that?
16 A. You are asking me a whole lot of different questions. But one
17 thing I'd like to tell you is as far as this money is concerned, my
18 signature was published in all the media, all the printed media in Serbia
19 because I was the president of the commission for this money that we
20 handed over to the security administration. And this was the apparent
21 cause of a quarrel later on between General Vasiljevic and Major
22 Sljivancanin. So none of this is true.
23 I could take a whole lot of time answering your questions, but I
24 think your theory is entirely random, entirely arbitrary. I came here to
25 testify of my own free will. When there is a special task, I will stand
1 up and be counted. I will do it. I will get the job done. I am an
2 honourable person. If there's one thing I hate most of all human
3 qualities, it's lies, and if that were the case indeed, I'd end up truly
4 hating myself.
5 The reason I'm here is to provide details concerning my own work,
6 my own involvement, and the detail of any events that I witnessed. I'm
7 not afraid of anything. I stand by every single word that I have uttered.
8 I have two children. My two children must have a future.
9 You've listed a whole lot of things there that are quite
10 erroneous. I have no recorded interpretation in Serbian. I can't
11 remember everything that you said, but it is entirely frivolous, arbitrary
12 and, above all, entirely erroneous.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
14 Now, Mr. Lukic, we have at the moment no more than five minutes
15 left on the tape. The courses are obvious. Either you can do what you
16 need in that five minutes or we continue tomorrow.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, previously I talked to
18 Mr. Moore. He said he would take about one hour, right, that's impossible
19 to predict.
20 One thing is certain, I can't finish in five minutes.
21 Unfortunately, we may have to meet again tomorrow, 9.00. I think I might
22 take perhaps half an hour, up to 40 minutes.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume tomorrow, Mr. Lukic, at 10.00,
25 rather than 9.00, and I would expect that in one session your questioning
1 will be concluded.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour. Just to keep the
3 tape from running out, I can inform you tomorrow about the next witness
4 and why it is that we have decided to drop the next witness, having
5 confirmed with him and all the relevant topics. But I think we'd best
6 just tell you tomorrow, once we've concluded our redirect of Mr. Karan.
7 And then on Thursday, we start Mr. Vuga. Some exceptional circumstances
8 have intervened.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I think you meant Tuesday, not Thursday.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, must be an interpretation error.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I once again apologise that the needs of the other
12 Chamber have caused us to reach this difficulty tonight.
13 We resume at 10.00 tomorrow.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.35 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Friday, the 1st day of
16 December, 2006, at 10.00 a.m.