1 Wednesday, 8 May 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, may we have the appearances, please -- yeah, of
8 course, I'm sorry. Can we -- could you call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic. Thank you.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: And now may we have the appearances, please,
12 starting with the Prosecution.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
14 everyone in and around the courtroom. Alex Demirdjian with Lisa Biersay,
15 the case manager Thomas Laugel, and our legal intern Agnes Bugaj for the
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
18 Mr. Zivanovic for the Defence.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
20 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to you, Mr. Theunens.
24 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: You're comfortable as you are?
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, thank you very much.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, please proceed.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours. And before I begin
4 with my follow-up questions, may I just make a little correction to the
5 transcript yesterday. At page 4174, line 24, I referred to a document in
6 the report and I said that it was for the record Exhibit P101. I stand
7 corrected, it is in fact P1004. So I'll just make that correction to the
9 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS [Resumed]
10 Examination by Mr. Demirdjian: [Continued]
11 Q. Good morning, Mr. Theunens.
12 A. Good morning, Mr. Demirdjian.
13 Q. If you remember, we left off yesterday with a document of
14 December 1991 which had listed Arkan and his unit as member of the --
15 well, as part of the 12th Corps of the JNA. Do you remember that?
16 A. Yes, Your Honours, I remember.
17 Q. Now, could you tell us how frequently were Arkan and his men used
18 in combat with the army?
19 A. I think among the new documents, I mean the documents that were
20 obtained after July 2012, there is at least one combat order of the
21 1st Military District concerning combat operations by a unit of the
22 1st Military District together with members of Arkan's group, Arkan's
23 group being subordinated to the JNA, in the area of Luzac, L-u-z-a-c.
24 Q. Well, let's look at that document. I believe it is 65 ter 6019
25 at tab 553.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And, Your Honours, as Mr. Theunens indicated,
2 this is a document that is not in his report, it is one of the new
3 documents. Yes.
4 Q. So we see here that it's another document of the 12th Corps; is
5 that right?
6 A. That is correct, sir. I mentioned 1st Military District, but it
7 should be 12th Corps. I'm sorry.
8 Q. No problems. The document is dated the 30th of October, and
9 looking at the document it's an order. We see a reference to a map.
10 Typically what kind of a document is this, having regard to the body of
11 JNA documents that you reviewed?
12 A. Your Honours, when you look at the doctrine there is a whole
13 series of what are called combat documents, and combat documents
14 basically consist of orders whereby there is a hierarchy from the top to
15 the -- from the highest level to the lowest level you start with
16 directives, then you have instructions, then you have orders and
17 commands, and the lower you go, the more specific they become, but of
18 course they are addressed to I would say another audience, the highest
19 level is addressed to the highest command and the lowest level obviously
20 to the lowest command level. And this is an order here from a corps,
21 it's an order for combat operations and -- I mean, military documents
22 have a standard layout. And in addition to orders, there is also
23 reports, and when we talk about reports those concern mainly situation
24 reports. I mean most of them are regular situation reports and similar
1 Q. Very well. Now, looking at the bottom of this page at item
2 number 2, there is a reference to a Tactical Group Vihir and it lists a
3 number of units here. Do you see to -- I mean on the fourth line, I
4 believe, the Borovo Selo the OdTO, the Arkan, Luzac, and Novi Sad
5 volunteer detachments?
6 A. Indeed, Your Honours. I see that.
7 Q. Okay. Now, I want to take you to page 3 in the English version
8 which is page 2 in the B/C/S version. And I would like to bring your
9 attention to item number 9, which again makes reference to these
10 detachments and indicates that the Novi Sad, Luzac, and Arkan volunteer
11 detachments will attack from the line -- well, and it gives us an axis.
12 And as you mentioned the village of Luzac. So is this another example of
13 Arkan's volunteers deployed as part of the JNA unit?
14 A. It's actually being employed as under JNA command and control to
15 conduct combat operations.
16 Q. Very well. Now, returning to my question earlier, I was asking
17 you how frequently based on the documentation that you have reviewed was
18 Arkan's units used or employed as you would say. Do you actually see a
19 distinction here? You used the term "employed."
20 A. I just say employed because you said deployed.
21 Q. Sorry, yes.
22 A. The problem we faced and this is not just in this case but also
23 when I worked on -- I mean, from the start, I start to work in OTP in the
24 Milosevic case as well as in other cases where I believed that it was
25 relevant to have documents concerning the operations conducted by the
1 12th Corps. Over the years, and I think the records exist in the OTP or
2 must still exist in the OTP, I drafted several requests for assistance
3 which were then obviously reviewed by the senior trial attorneys to be
4 sent to the authorities of the republic of -- I mean at that stage it was
5 still the FRY and subsequently Serbia, four documents concerning the
6 operations of the 12th Corps or OG North or Tactical Group North in
7 Baranja and Eastern Slavonia during fall 1991. And I mean we obtained
8 very few documents. This one is basically the only one to my
9 recollection that explicitly mentions the use of Arkan volunteers in
10 combat operations. On the other hand, you have the famous Biorcevic
11 video where the commander of the 12th Novi Sad Corps at the time praises
12 the role of Arkan volunteers during combat, suggesting that it was a
13 regular occurrence that they were used under JNA command when combat
14 operations were conducted by units of the 12th Corps in Baranja and
15 Eastern Slavonia.
16 Q. Very well. And could we go to the last page in both versions,
18 Yes. Here we see on the last page that the document is signed --
19 it says Commander Srboljub Trajkovic. In the B/C/S the term uses
20 "komandant." Now at the time I don't know if you are aware, was he in
21 charge of the 12th Corps?
22 A. Your Honours, Colonel Trajkovic was to my recollection the Chief
23 of Staff. But the Chief of Staff as is explained in SFRY armed forces
24 doctrine is entitled to replace the commander when he's not available and
25 he can sign orders in his name. He's the only one who can do so.
1 Q. Very well.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may I apply to tender this
3 document. It's one of the new ones.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1685. Thank you.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
7 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, there are many other documents in your report
8 which refers to Arkan's men and yesterday you mentioned also the support
9 that he benefitted from members of the JNA, members of the Government of
10 Serbia. Could you tell the Court, again based on the material that
11 you've reviewed, for how long Arkan benefits from this support?
12 A. Well, I mean depending on the nature of the support, basically he
13 remains -- Arkan and his group, they remain in Eastern Slavonia, I mean
14 Erdut, until, if I remember well, the course of 1997. And obviously
15 during combat operations there is support in ammunition, weapons, there
16 were -- I mean, even if he was involved in, I mean, "business dealings,"
17 there is reason to believe that there was also financial support. And as
18 was highlighted earlier, I think there was an order from the 12th Corps
19 we discussed -- we haven't discussed yet but I remember now, you could
20 only move from Serbia into Baranja and Eastern Slavonia by using one of
21 the three bridges over the Danube, the one in Batina, the one in Erdut,
22 and the one in the south close to Ilok. And especially during the war
23 but also afterwards, there was -- there were control posts from -- during
24 the war the JNA and later on the police of the Republic of Serbia. So
25 they would see that Arkan and/or his people would cross. And especially
1 I remember documents and they are included in the report here where
2 security organs of the 1st Military District state that Arkan and/or his
3 volunteers are involved in looting. Well, the looted goods they were
4 brought to Serbia and that had to happen via one of the three bridges.
5 So it was noticeable and it was actually tolerated.
6 Q. Now, we have seen some documents yesterday with respect to that,
7 and I would like you to look now at another document from the JNA which
8 is 65 ter 1371. 1371. This is at tab 317. Yes. Now, we can see here
9 that this is a document of the 1st Army on the 18th of November, 1992.
10 Perhaps just a clarification here, is this an old term that's being used,
11 1st Army, or is this a different unit?
12 A. It may well be because the document dates from November 1992 and
13 to my recollection the VJ continued to use the definition of military
14 district. So it's probably an old heading.
15 Q. Okay. Now, looking at the title of this document -- and, in
16 fact, I believe, that there's a stamp just below the header which has --
17 what is command of the 1st Military District --
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. -- right? Okay. The title here is: "Indications re: The
20 Establishment of the 'Serbian army' centre and re: Criminal activities."
21 And this is an interview that seems to have been conducted with a
22 civilian which seems to be a source here; is that right?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Okay. In the -- in this initial paragraph the topic is being
25 introduced and they're talking about the formation of a Serbian army.
1 And next it's about large-scale criminal activity involving the leading
2 man of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia, the Government of the SBWS,
3 members of UNPROFOR, and numerous criminals and smugglers. Now, first of
4 all, with respect to the formation of the Serbian army, do you have any
5 information as to what this is a reference to?
6 A. Not specifically. I mean, when we look at the context, i.e., the
7 Republic of Serbian Krajina, efforts are undertaken between May and
8 November 1992 to transform the Territorial Defence which had earlier been
9 transformed into the PJM. So to transform the PGM into a Serbian army, I
10 mean the Serbian army of Krajina, the SVK, it may well be that person,
11 the individual, refers to that or to something else. I cannot state
12 from --
13 Q. The acronym that you referred to now, is it PGM or PJM?
14 A. J like Juliet. I'm sorry.
15 Q. Very well. And just very briefly, we'll see it later, but what
16 does it stand for, the PJM?
17 A. Those were the special police units in the RSK.
18 Q. Very well. May I take you now to page 3 in both versions, I
19 believe. Now, do you see on the first paragraph here there is a
20 reference to criminal activities in SBWS taking big proportions and
21 partly spread even on the territory of Yugoslavia, SRJ. There is a
22 reference here to connections between those committing the crimes in SBWS
23 and the leadership here of the MUP, the -- including Stanisic. Who do
24 you think this is a reference to when the word Stanisic is mentioned
25 here, name?
1 A. Again, when -- Your Honours, when seen in the context of other
2 documents -- I mean, other documents on similar topics, this would be
3 Jovica Stanisic of the Serbian -- who was the head of the Serbian state
4 security at the time.
5 Q. Very well. Then they move on to the Government of the RSK and
6 SBWS, here we see a reference to Goran Hadzic, Ilija Kojic, Zivanovic,
7 Radulovic, Spanovic, Milanovic, this is followed by members of UNPROFOR,
8 members of the VJ, et cetera. And the last sentence here says that they
9 are smuggling and reselling fuel, food supplies, supplies sent as
10 humanitarian aid, et cetera. Now, have you seen this type of information
11 in any other document?
12 A. Yes, Your Honours. For what -- the smuggling of -- I mean,
13 re-selling, for example, of humanitarian aid and food supplies that was
14 coming from Serbia during fall 1991 is concerned, there are other reports
15 of security organs of the 1st Military District that link Arkan to these
16 kind of activities. I mean already I think more than a year ago, more
17 than a year before this document, i.e., in fall 1991. And the issue of
18 the smuggling of fuel -- I don't remember any specific document from the
19 JNA or the VJ security organs, but it -- it was, if I can express myself
20 that way, common knowledge that even during the war the oil fields in
21 Djeletovci was being exploited and that oil was -- I mean raw oil was
22 being exported to Serbia.
23 Q. And do you have any documentation which would point to who was
24 responsible for this exploitation?
25 A. I --
1 MR. GOSNELL: Objection. This -- first of all, I'd like a
2 reference into the report as to where this particular topic is discussed
3 because I would say this is outside the scope of the report. And
4 secondly, we're really getting into matters, Mr. President, and we know
5 what the indictment says, we know this is 1992 we're talking about. I
6 question whether these questions are relevant.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I'm a bit surprised by the
9 objection. This is about criminal activities going on the territory that
10 the accused was responsible for during the period relevant to the
11 indictment. It also mentions other members of institutions that he was
12 related to, at least that is what is alleged in the indictment. So I
13 believe that this is dead-on relevant.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: And the link to the report, Mr. Demirdjian?
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes --
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Do you have an answer for that one?
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Just a second, Your Honours. Well, yesterday we
18 were at page 241, if I can just verify here. Yes. Yes, well that is
19 where the document is mentioned, at page 241, with respect to the
20 volunteer units, Arkan's units, and -- yes, it is mentioned -- the
21 document is actually at footnote 736 and it's mentioned in other
22 footnotes as well, at page 240/241 of the report, Your Honours.
23 THE WITNESS: I mean, it's helpful to bring me to the pages of
24 the report because I'm sometimes a bit lost with the amalgamated report
25 because I consider my last report as my working base. But on the next
1 page, 242, there is a footnote, there is a reference to a discussion of a
2 group, the Slobodan -- I mean the group of Slobodan Medic, the Skorpions,
3 that talks about the issue of the Djeletovci oil fields and it's footnote
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I maintain the objection, Mr. President. I
7 mean, what seems to be under discussion here is smuggling of oil, other
8 contraband I presume, in 1992 and beyond. Now, how is that relevant to
9 the charges in the indictment? And even assuming with this reference to
10 names in this document that other members of the JCE are mentioned, how
11 is this relevant to establishing the alleged common purpose alleged in
12 the indictment? So we would say that this is irrelevant.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, if I may offer one more response
14 on this issue.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: The document goes to clearly the acts and
17 conducts of the accused, and his conduct during that period of time for
18 which he is charged for. And again, the issue is what was the focus of
19 his activities.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: What's the date of this document?
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: The 18th of November, 1992.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: November 1992. And did I hear the witness say
23 that there was -- that this was going on already a year before that?
24 THE WITNESS: I mean, not necessarily mentioning the same names,
25 Your Honours, but there are documents referring to Arkan, that he's
1 involved in such activities.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Overruled.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
4 Q. I'd like you to look at the -- if we return to page 3 again,
5 please. I'm interested in the source that is being used here. You look
6 at the paragraph after the one we looked at. The sentence beginning
8 "We consider that information very interesting. It also confirms
9 some of our previous information, but we have to keep in mind that
10 Aleksandra," which is the name given on the first page, "has had contacts
11 with Stanisic before and also that she tends to make unpredictable moves.
12 And that is the reason why it has been decided to terminate contacts with
14 Now, is this -- sources for the JNA of this kind, is this
15 something that you have seen elsewhere?
16 A. I would prefer to give a more generic answer in a sense. I mean,
17 in the methodology called intelligence cycle and when you look at the
18 face of analysing the information, in that face or processing the
19 information there is a step called evaluation, and in the evaluation step
20 you look at, you assess the reliability of the source and the credibility
21 of the information. And it's common knowledge that an unreliable source
22 can still provide credible information and vice versa. A reliable source
23 can also provide information of a limited credibility. What we see here
24 just on the face of this one paragraph that there would be reason to have
25 some doubts about the reliability of this source because of the motives
1 she may have in order to disclose that information. However, the
2 reference to -- I mean, the phrase "it also confirms some of her previous
3 information," would add to the credibility of the information provided by
4 that source. So a source of doubtful or low reliability can still
5 provide information that is credible.
6 Q. Thank you. I'll move on to another unit that you discussed in
7 your report now, and I believe this is page 164 of your amalgamated
8 report and the equivalent in B/C/S is page 199.
9 I apologise, that's page 160 -- well, 165, actually, the next
10 page. Here you deal with the group of Slobodan Medic, Skorpions, and the
11 unit of Vasilije Mijovic, and if we move to page 167 this is where you
12 dealt with the Red Berets, that's page 202 in B/C/S. Now, with respect
13 to the Red Berets, you cite in your report a document which suggests that
14 the unit was led by a man by the name of Zika Ivanovic. Is that right?
15 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
16 Q. And the reference you have made here is to a certificate which we
17 could display on the screen, it's 65 ter I believe 1179 at tab 667. This
18 is a document cited in your report.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: But for some reason, Your Honours, I have it
20 down as a new document. I'll have to verify this during the break.
21 THE WITNESS: It should be old because I have cited it -- I mean,
22 I cited it in the Stanisic and Simatovic report and --
23 Q. Very well --
24 A. For sure there -- maybe also in the Seselj report, I'm not sure
25 but, I mean -- and when you look at the ERN it's an old ERN.
1 Q. It's an old ERN, yes. It may be that it was recently added to
2 the list. I'll make some verifications during the break. Now, this
3 document here we are looking at is a certificate issued on the 27th of
4 June, 1992. And we see the header here says: "MUP Serbia Unit for
5 Special Purposes." Have you seen this term used elsewhere, unit for
6 special purposes?
7 A. Indeed, Your Honours, this is the official name of the unit that
8 was colloquially called the Red Berets. The problem with the name
9 "Red Berets" is that there were several units who sometimes out of their
10 own decision, I mean in Bosnia-Herzegovina or in certain parts of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in other parts, started to wear Red Berets, there
12 was confusion, but the official name is indeed the unit for special
13 purposes of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
14 Q. Very well. Now, the document is signed by Zivojin Ivanovic. Is
15 this the same person that you referred to in the -- yes,
16 Zivojin Ivanovic, at page 167 of your report?
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. And, now he makes a reference here to an individual named Jovan
19 Vejinovic, a member of the unit, who while performing a task, a checkup
20 patrol in the area of Ilok-Bapska, it appears that one of them -- one of
21 the members of this unit was killed and another one wounded and Vejinovic
22 is heavily wounded himself. Now, this is a reference to operations in
23 what appears to be 18th and 19th of December, 1991. Now, are you
24 aware -- well, have you any information as to the presence of this unit
25 in the area of Ilok and Bapska in December 1991?
1 A. At least this document would show that the unit or -- that the
2 individual was there in a military capacity or paramilitary capacity at
3 that moment in time. I have some doubts to refer to the Red Berets or
4 the unit for special purposes because in my recollection it was
5 established later. But the groups or the -- I mean, this is very clearly
6 explained in the Stanisic/Simatovic report and some of the parts,
7 relevant parts of that report are included in the amalgamated report. We
8 see an evolution that some of these individuals are already operating in
9 groups linked to the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia and
10 only at a later stage the unit for special purposes is established and
11 then they move to that group. We even see paramilitaries, I mean
12 volunteers, who were part of Seselj's group who suddenly when they go to
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina appear in groups that are actually linked to the
14 ministry of the interior of the Republic of Serbia.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I will not seek to tender the
17 document at this stage. I will just verify during the break if it needs
18 to -- yeah.
19 Q. I would like us to move now to another unit which is Seselj's
20 men, and for this purpose I will take you to the special portion of your
21 report at page 518, in the B/C/S version that is page 587. Now, here in
22 your report you explain that already in March 1991 Seselj visits villages
23 in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem to lend support to terrified
24 Serbian people. Now, Seselj was, as we've seen earlier yesterday, was a
25 president of the Serb Radical Party. In a nutshell, are you able to tell
1 the Court what were the goals of the platform of this party?
2 A. I mean, in a nutshell, the SRS, one of its goals was basically
3 to - and I'm paraphrasing - re-establishing what was colloquially known
4 as Greater Serbia, i.e., unification of all the territories where Serbs
5 lived in the former Yugoslavia.
6 Q. Very well. Now, on the next page, at page 519, you make a
7 reference to an article from Velika Srbija. Can you tell us what is this
9 A. Your Honours, Velika Srbija, or Greater Serbia, is the official
10 party magazine of the Serbian Radical Party, SRS.
11 Q. Yes. Maybe we can take a look at this. It is at 65 ter 144,
12 which is tab 46. Now, you've told us that this is the magazine of the
13 Serb Radical Party. Could you tell us, first of all, how do you assess
14 its content when reviewing it?
15 A. Your Honours, referring again to the -- I mean the aspect of
16 source evaluation, this is an official magazine of a political party,
17 whereby the editor is -- I mean, is Mr. Seselj, so he is responsible for
18 the contents. When you look at the nature of the articles and the
19 wording that is being used, one could say indeed that there is some
20 propagandistic contents included. But again for the -- I have cited for
21 a number -- in a number of sections I always look for corroboration with
22 other sources, but I believe it was relevant to know when -- especially
23 when they were talking about their own activities, I mean the Serbian
24 Radical Party was talking about its own activities or the activities of
25 its volunteers, that it was relevant to see how they were representing
1 their own -- again, their own activities, in particular to also reflect
2 the mind-set these volunteers and the party that sent the volunteers had
3 in relation to their role in the conflict in Croatia.
4 Q. Very well. Now, I think it's the fourth paragraph or third
5 paragraph of this document which begins with: "The Chetnik volunteer
6 detachment ...," and it says that it was established pursuant to a
7 decision of the central homeland department, et cetera. And at the end
8 of the sentence it says that it was dispatched to Western Srem on the 2nd
9 of April, 1991. Now, this is what you make a reference to in your
10 report; is that right?
11 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
12 Q. Now, at the bottom of this page in the English version, and I
13 believe that in B/C/S it will be page 2, we see an interview with the
14 leader of this Chetnik volunteer detachment by the name of Miladin
15 Todosijevic. Now, here we see -- yes, at the bottom of page 1 there is a
16 question put to him and -- yes, he's being asked here where and when he
17 received his recognition. And he says this was one week before the
18 battle of Borovo Selo, where I commanded the Chetnik volunteer
19 detachment. Can you tell us what is this reference to the battle of
20 Borovo Selo?
21 A. The battle of -- I mean, as they call it, the battle of Borovo
22 Selo are the -- is the armed confrontation between Croatian policemen and
23 local armed Serbs, including SRS volunteers, that occurred on the 2nd of
24 May, 1992 -- excuse me, 1991 in Borovo Selo, and where a number of
25 Croatian policemen were killed.
1 Q. Very well. Now, if we move to page 2 in the English version, we
2 can remain on page 1 in the B/C/S version. There are various questions
3 about when this unit arrived and where they were posted. And there's a
4 question as to: How many people did you have in your volunteer
5 detachment? And here it says:
6 "At the time of the attack there were 14 of us, Vojislav Seselj's
7 Chetniks, two members of the Jovic Dusan Silni unit, and six locals."
8 Now, this is the same unit Dusan Silni that we heard about yesterday; is
9 that right?
10 A. That is correct, and these are all party-affiliated volunteer
11 units or paramilitaries.
12 Q. Very well. At the bottom of page 3 in the English version, we
13 start seeing an interview with another member of the unit, Oliver Baret,
14 and if we go to page 4, and that's page 3 in B/C/S, the member of the
15 unit here describes the events at Borovo Selo and describes the number of
16 casualties. He claims here that on their side according to the witnesses
17 and my observations, the killed includes 12 Croats from the legal
18 specials, whose casualty had to be reported, and 15 convicts or tramps
19 without families whose disappearance was not reported. Do these numbers
20 match other documents on the same topic?
21 A. Your Honours, to be honest, I wouldn't be able to say so because
22 I haven't looked at any Croatian documents in relation to this incident.
23 Q. Very well. And if we move to page 6 of the interview, that's
24 page 5 in B/C/S, we see another interview this time with another member
25 of the unit called Zoran Milivojevic. Yes, at the bottom of the page we
1 see his name and we can go straight to the next page in the English
2 version at the top of page 7. He states here that on May the 1st, so
3 this is the day before the Borovo Selo incident, around 2.00 a.m.: We
4 captured two specials, close associates of Branimir Glavas. He mentions
5 their names and mentions that they were captured. At the end of the
7 "When we captured them, the Ustashas were trying to take down our
8 Serbian flag."
9 Are you familiar with this incident?
10 A. Yes, Your Honours. I mean, what happened is that on the --
11 Borovo Selo is one of these villages with a significant Serbian presence
12 or even a Serbian majority at that time. And we have the various events
13 in Croatia where there is on the one hand Croats striving for more
14 autonomy or even independence or secession from SFRY and on the other
15 hand Serbs who want to stay in the SFRY and -- I mean, all sides create
16 their own armed structures. And there's also efforts undertaken to
17 remove people from another ethnicity from the territory one controls.
18 Borovo Selo is a village in Croatia and -- I mean, the Croats had -- the
19 Serbs had some difficulties -- or some Serbs had difficulties with the
20 Croatian flag. So instead of having the official Croatian flag, they
21 hoist a -- what appears to be a Serbian flag on an official building. So
22 the Croatian police is sent to remove the flag from Osijek -- I mean,
23 they are sent from Osijek. Two guys -- two members, sorry, are arrested
24 or kidnapped, I mean depending on which side you stand and how you define
25 it. And a day after a more significant group or unit of the Croatian
1 police is sent to free the captured or the kidnapped or the arrested
2 colleagues. And then we have this armed confrontation between Croatian
3 police and Serb volunteers/paramilitaries consisting of Seselj's
4 volunteers, members of Dusan Silni, as well as armed local Serbs.
5 Q. You mentioned this incident also at page 439 of your report,
6 which is the Mrksic portion of your report. In a nutshell could you tell
7 the Court how significant was this incident?
8 A. Well, it was the -- the most significant armed confrontation so
9 far in Croatia so -- and especially in Eastern Slavonia -- I mean in
10 eastern Croatia. It resulted in a serious increase in the overall
11 tension and further polarisation creating the situation that we would
12 witness then later on in summer and fall 1991.
13 Q. Now, having regard to what you told us earlier yesterday about
14 the mission of the JNA, could you tell us based on what you reviewed how
15 the JNA reacted to this incident?
16 A. Your Honours, among the new documents there are a number of
17 orders and situation reports of units belonging to the 12th Corps and the
18 12th Corps to deploy JNA units in Borovo Selo and other parts of Eastern
19 Slavonia where the tension has increased in order to interpose itself
20 between the armed Croats and -- between Croatian police and armed Croats
21 and armed Serbs.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I would ask that we display 65 ter 6013 at
23 tab 549. It is one of the new documents that Mr. Theunens is referring
25 Q. Thank you very much. We see here that this is a document of the
1 8th of October, 1991, in the village of Dalj issued by the 12th Corps.
2 And it is a report on the situation in the units. Now, first of all, do
3 you see here at the third paragraph which starts with:
4 "The 12th pmbr and the 51st Mechanised Brigade have been
5 conducting operations since the beginning of the armed conflict ..."
6 Do you see that paragraph?
7 A. I do, Your Honours.
8 Q. Very well. The second sentence indicates here that some of these
9 mechanised brigades or battalions have been participating in the armed
10 conflict since 4 May. And when they were sent to Vukovar and Vinkovci
11 garrisons. Now, is this what you were referring to a moment ago?
12 A. Indeed it's one example. I mean, there are several documents.
13 This is a bit -- I wouldn't say unusual, but it's a kind of a situation
14 report that covers several months because it states the 8th of October
15 and it talks already about events occurring in May, but there's also
16 reports, daily situation reports that talk about similar developments,
17 for example, in Dalj and other towns in Eastern Slavonia.
18 Q. Very well. Now, do you see the next paragraph, it begins with:
19 "The 18th Infantry Motorised Brigade ... positioned in the zone
20 since the 20th of September 1991 ..."
21 The second sentence here says:
22 "We have been securing the bridges on the river Danube in the
23 sectors of Backa Palanka, Bogojevo, and Bezdan since early May 1991."
24 Do you know what this refers to exactly?
25 A. Your Honours, it's what I mentioned earlier. When you look at
1 the map, there is no physical connection between Baranja,
2 Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem on the one hand and Serbia on the other
3 hand. I mean, there is the Danube in between and there are three
4 bridges. The locations mentioned here: Backa Palanka I mentioned
5 earlier, it's the most southern bridge; Bogojevo is the location in
6 Serbia opposite to Erdut, so it's what I would call the central bridge;
7 and Bezdan is the most northern bridge is opposite to -- is what is
8 called Batina, Batina Bridge, I mean it's opposite to Batina, and it
9 shows that the JNA is controlling these bridges since May 1991. And
10 later on, I mean in the course of 1992, there was still -- this is not in
11 the report but I was there a few times and also from my work in UNCRO --
12 UNPROFOR, sorry, there was a JNA presence along the river-banks as well
13 as Serbian police check-points on the bridges on the Serbian side.
14 Q. Okay. And if we go to the last page of this document, the
15 document here is signed by Major-General Miladin Bratic, so this was at
16 the time the commander of the 12th Corps?
17 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Bratic is killed in action early November
18 1991 and then he's replaced by Major-General Andrija Biorcevic.
19 Q. Very well.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is one of the new documents.
21 May I apply to tender it.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1686. Thank you.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
25 Q. Returning to your report. At page 440 you make a reference to
1 other groups of volunteers who arrived later that summer and you make a
2 reference here to I think it is at item 4, page 440, to a detachment
3 commanded by Branislav Gavrilovic, aka Brne. And this document that you
4 cite to in your report indicates that he was deployed in the region of
5 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem between the 4th of June and the 2nd
6 of December, 1991. First of all, have you seen other documents with
7 respect to Branislav Gavrilovic?
8 A. You mean in the context of Eastern Slavonia or --
9 Q. Generally, meaning the conflict.
10 A. Yeah, this -- probably not in this report but in the report on
11 the role of Seselj volunteers he was also very active in northern
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina during the take-over operations there of spring 1992.
13 Q. Very well. And in the conflict in SBWS you mention other SRS
14 units, and for this I believe we have to flip to page 198. This would
15 be, I suspect, part of your Karadzic report. Yes. In fact, it's page
16 199. That's in B/C/S page 238. And here you make mention of the
17 Seseljevci volunteers detachment, the Leva Supoderica. In fact, at the
18 top of the page you also mention the Petrova Gora. Can you tell us a
19 little bit about these two units?
20 A. These units are two local Serb TO detachments in Vukovar -- I
21 mean, the names refer to neighbourhoods in Vukovar. And -- I mean,
22 Leva Supoderica is also often identified mainly in SRS documentation but
23 I think also in some OG south documents as a Chetnik detachment or Seselj
24 volunteer detachment. And so in -- within these local Serb TO
25 detachments there are indeed a substantial number of SRS volunteers
1 predominantly -- I mean, particularly in Leva Supoderica, and
2 Leva Supoderica, for example, was led by Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni, who,
3 if I'm not mistaken, is also proclaimed Chetnik Vojvoda by
4 Vojislav Seselj in recognition of his activities in Vukovar prior to the
5 fall of the city.
6 Q. Very well. You mentioned yesterday that some of these units,
7 when they were deployed in the field, they were -- there was a process of
8 legalisation. Am I right in saying that?
9 A. Yes. I mean, yesterday I spoke about decisions that have -- that
10 were adopted between summer 1991 and winter 1991 on the level of the
11 Republic of Serbia in August. Then in September there is a similar
12 decision or instruction on the level of the SSNO. And on -- in December
13 there is the -- on the 10th of the December there is the presidential
14 order number 73 to regularise, but in fact legalise, the status of these
15 party-affiliated volunteer groups -- not only their existence, but also
16 their participation in combat operations -- yeah.
17 Q. Yes. Now, could we look at 65 ter 443, please. This is at tab
18 122. Very well. We see the document on the screen here. On the top of
19 the page, on the top left-hand corner, we see what appears to be -- yes,
20 a stamp of the Serbian district of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem,
21 Vukovar, must be the municipal staff here. And on the right-hand side we
22 see the date. Sid, 18 October 1991. Is there anything in particular you
23 can say in relation to the fact that this document seems to have been
24 drafted in Sid?
25 A. Your Honours, as long as combat operations were ongoing in
1 Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, on the one hand we see efforts
2 by local Serbs to establish local bodies of authority, also efforts to
3 establish local -- or their own armed structures, obviously using the
4 name "TO." And as long as they cannot operate from Eastern Slavonia,
5 they maintain a presence in, for example, in Sid. And even later on
6 there is a presence maintained in Sid. But I have no information as to
7 when they moved from Sid, for example, to Erdut or to Vukovar.
8 Q. Very well. Now, with respect to the title "legalisation of the
9 functioning of the unit 'Leva Supoderica' detachment," it indicates here
10 that the commander of unit as you mentioned earlier was Milan Lancuzanin.
11 Are you familiar also with the name of the person who signs the document,
12 Dusan Filipovic? Have you seen this document elsewhere?
13 A. Obviously I've seen the document because it's included in my
14 report. But at this stage I don't recall seeing additional documents
15 signed by this person, so --
16 Q. Very well.
17 A. And again the term "legalisation" refers here to -- it's used by
18 the drafter, whereby the drafter is connected to the municipal TO staff
19 in Vukovar, which is at that stage not under Serbian control. It's
20 different from the three kind of high-level documents I referred to
21 earlier issued by Republic of Serbia, the SSNO, and in December by the
22 Presidency, SFRY Presidency.
23 Q. Now, in relation to Milan Lancuzanin you explain at page 532/533
24 of your report, this is in the Seselj portion of your report, that he was
25 proposed from a promotion -- for a promotion in December 1991. Do you
1 recall that?
2 A. I recall, yes.
3 Q. And if we could display 65 ter 771, please. This is at tab 225.
4 A. Maybe just to clarify, this is promotion within the whole - how
5 would I say? - structure and organisation of the SRS volunteers, whereby
6 the SRS, as is explained elsewhere, establish a war staff and they
7 basically also establish a military structure, so a party-affiliated
8 military structure.
9 Q. Yes. Now, in respect to that, actually, we see on the top
10 left-hand corner that the document -- at least the header says
11 "Territorial Defence municipal staff of Vukovar."
12 A. Indeed.
13 Q. Do you have an explanation as to why the header is used in this
14 way if it's supposed to be an SRS document or --
15 A. I didn't -- I don't think I said it's an SRS document, but it's a
16 document that is sent by a person from the municipal TO staff Vukovar, so
17 the local Serb or the SAO SBWS local Serb TO to the SRS because the SRS,
18 as I mentioned, established starting in spring 1991 a paramilitary
19 structure, referring to all traditions like the Chetniks they used
20 military ranks but these ranks are not necessarily recognised by the JNA.
21 And they have their own even rituals I would say. For example, people
22 are proclaimed Chetnik Vojvoda, which again is a reference to history,
23 but there is not necessarily -- this is not necessarily recognised within
24 the JNA.
25 Q. Now, you see a name of Milan Lancuzanin here. Do you recognise
1 any of the other names that are proposed for promotion on this request?
2 A. I would recognise most of the names. I mean Miroljub Vujovic and
3 Stanko Vujanovic, they also they were part of Leva Supoderica and
4 Petrova Gora TO detachments during the conflict and they participated
5 with their volunteers in the operations to take control of Vukovar under
6 the command of OG South.
7 Q. Very well. And at page 538 of your report you indicate that
8 these men, Lancuzanin, Vujovic, and Vujanovic were indicted by the
9 Belgrade war crimes Chamber in 2003; is that right?
10 A. Indeed, and there was also a judgement in 2005, but I understand
11 that judgement was quashed and I haven't been able to follow what
12 happened afterwards, whether there has been a re-trial and if there was a
13 re-trial what the outcome of the re-trial was.
14 Q. Very well. Now -- and just to wrap-up on this issue, you say
15 here that this was in relation the Ovcara case; is that right?
16 A. Yes, yes, indeed.
17 Q. Very well. In relation to the issue of the deployment of
18 Seselj's men, I would like you to look at another document which is at
19 65 ter 741 at tab 682.
20 Yes. Here we see that it is a stenographic record of the
21 Republic of Serbia Assembly. And it is held on numerous days during the
22 month of December 1991. Now, in the English version I would like us to
23 go to page 14 of the document. We're looking for the B/C/S equivalent
24 right now because I don't have the correct page number. Yes. On page 14
25 at the bottom we see that during this Assembly session - so if we can
1 scroll down to the bottom of this page in the English version - we see
2 that Dr. Vojislav Seselj is given the floor and begins with a speech.
3 I'm just waiting to see if we're capable of finding the B/C/S page
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Sorry about this delay, Your Honours. It would
6 be at page 9 of the B/C/S version. Thank you very much.
7 Q. Now, on page 15, this is the very next page in the English
8 version, we would have to move to the next page in the B/C/S version as
9 well, we see Seselj saying here -- this would be the third paragraph
10 which begins with: "As far as Chetnik units are concerned ..."
11 And at the fifth line he says:
12 "Where are these Chetnik units being formed? In those places
13 where there is no regular government authority. We had Chetnik units in
14 Eastern Slavonia and in the Serbian Krajina until the regular, legal, and
15 legitimate governments of those countries were elected. The Chetniks
16 were dominant in participating in the defence of Borovo Selo. When the
17 government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem was formed, we merged
18 those Chetnik units with the Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja,
19 and Western Srem. Today we have no Chetnik units anywhere ...," et
21 Now, with respect to what you told us yesterday about the
22 dispatching of volunteers and -- what can you say about Seselj's
23 utterance here that they were merged with -- with units of the
24 Territorial Defence, sorry?
25 A. I'm not -- I'm not familiar with the formal merging process
1 regulated by military documents stating when the process starts and ends
2 and how it is conducted, but we see indeed -- I mean, Leva Supoderica is
3 a good example where we have members of local Serb TO or local volunteers
4 and SRS-affiliated volunteers who identify themselves as Chetniks who
5 joined -- who start working together in one unit, Leva Supoderica, which
6 according to SRS documentation is a Chetnik detachment, but in JNA
7 documentation is referred to as a TO detachment. So there is, I would
8 say, something more than collusion. There is obviously a -- you can call
9 it a merging, but it's a -- I would call it more a de facto merging than
10 a formal merging process.
11 Q. Very well. Now, if we turn to page 169 of your report, so we're
12 returning to your Karadzic segment, here you're dealing with decrees,
13 instructions, and orders by the SFRY and Serbian authorities between
14 August and December 1991. And here you begin your section with your
15 conclusion that various decrees and orders were adopted between the
16 period summer to winter 1991 to regularise the status of volunteers. One
17 decree you refer to here is the 14th of August, 1991, decree, at the
18 bottom of that page. And could you tell us a little bit about this
19 decree, what it establishes?
20 A. So these are the three decisions I mentioned earlier in my
21 testimony. This one, 14th of August, 1991, is a decree by the Serbian
22 government to register volunteers in the Territorial Defence of the
23 Republic of Serbia. The question could of course be raised why at that
24 time when Serbia is not involved in, at least officially, is not involved
25 in a war why volunteers would have to join the Territorial Defence of the
1 Republic of Serbia.
2 Q. I see. Now, this is the first order or decree in a string of two
3 or three document -- three documents you referred to. I believe it is at
4 page 172 where you deal with the decree on the registration of volunteers
5 in the Territorial Defence --
6 A. Yeah.
7 Q. -- right? Okay. Now, generally speaking, having looked at these
8 three documents, what is your conclusion with respect to the Serbian
9 government's position with respect to volunteer formations?
10 A. Well, this is discussed in the report, i.e., irrespective of this
11 specific decree and the other decisions, i.e., the instruction by the
12 SSNO of 13th of September and the order of the Presidency, SFRY
13 Presidency of the 10th of December, so irrespective of those, the Serbian
14 government takes measures to compensate party-affiliated and other
15 volunteers for their participation in the conflict in Croatia, whether it
16 is as part of the JNA, local Serb TO, TO units of the Republic of Serbia,
17 or party-affiliated paramilitary/volunteer groups.
18 Q. Now, at page 178 of your report, that is 215 in the B/C/S
19 version, you indicate at item 6 that by the time the armed conflict moves
20 to Bosnia and Herzegovina in April or early May 1992, some of these units
21 are still engaged, some of these volunteer formations were still active;
22 is that correct?
23 A. That is correct. And we even see the same individuals. I mean,
24 individuals move from one group to the other as I mentioned earlier.
25 Individuals who were affiliated with the SRS, we see them appear in the
1 spring 1992 in Bosnia-Herzegovina during take-over operations, whereby
2 they are part of groups that are affiliated to the Ministry of Interior,
3 Republic of Serbia.
4 Q. Now, there is a reference here to a document that I want you to
5 look at. It's 65 ter 1213 at tab 304, please. In fact, the reference is
6 at page 180 of your report. Yes. This is a document drafted by the Serb
7 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, army Main Staff. Are you familiar
8 with this document, Mr. Theunens?
9 A. Yes, Your Honours, I am familiar with this document. I think
10 when you go at the end you will see that it was signed by, at that time I
11 think he was still colonel, Tolimir, who was the assistant commander for
12 security and intelligence in the VRS.
13 Q. And what do we see in the first paragraph of this document? We
14 see references to various units and what can you make out of the list of
15 the names we see Arkan's men, Seseljevcis, Captain Dragans, Carli's,
16 et cetera?
17 A. Your Honours, these are names of -- of the same names of groups
18 we also see participating on the Serbian side during the conflict in
20 Q. I would like now to move to the next segment of your report at
21 page 181 onwards which deals with the Territorial Defence of the SAO
22 Krajina and later the RSK. Now, at page 181/182, I believe you describe
23 there some of the factual background relating to the creation of the Serb
24 autonomous districts. And then you start talking about the TO.
25 Perhaps - and this is I think at the top of page 182 - you indicate that
1 the term TO is used here for those TO forces that are established by the
2 Serbs in Croatia. And perhaps you could clarify for the -- do you need a
3 moment, Mr. Theunens? You okay?
4 A. No, no, I'm okay. No worries.
5 Q. Perhaps you could clarify for the Trial Chamber as to whether
6 prior to these events in 1991, whether there was a Territorial Defence in
7 existence on the territory of the Republic of Croatia?
8 A. Yes, Your Honours. As we discussed yesterday, the TO,
9 Territorial Defence, was organised on a republican basis, so each
10 republic, each of the six republics and each autonomous province in the
11 SFRY had its own TO, which was answerable to the president of the
12 republic for its level of organisation, planning, equipment, and so on.
13 And we see with the -- the events early 1991 in Croatia that -- I mean,
14 parallel with the -- I would say the political process, that local Serbs
15 start establishing their own structures. There are occasions where the
16 Croats are removed or the Croatian -- or the Croats leave themselves.
17 And the result is that with the assistance of the Republic of Serbia and
18 in some cases JNA, local Serbs in parts of Croatia where they have a
19 majority or a significant presence establish their own SAO TO which then
20 later merges into the RSK TO.
21 Q. Well, having regard to what you just told us that there was an
22 existing Croatian TO, could you provide us with your comments about the
23 creation of the Serb-only TO units in Croatia and the -- perhaps having
24 regard to what you told us yesterday with respect to the doctrine and the
25 existence of legally-framed TO units?
1 A. I mean, I think -- I'm not sure I understand the question because
2 the process as it occurs -- again, based on a review of the documents is
3 described on page 182 and 183 -- okay, what I didn't mention but it goes
4 by itself is that the local Serbs also adopt their own legislation;
5 however, this is done with some delay. And as I mention on page 183,
6 that is the Law on Defence of the Republic of Serbia which was adopted in
7 July 1991 and which was a bit, as I mentioned, controversial in relation
8 to the fact that it mentions the term "armed forces of the republic,"
9 which was a novelty. So the SAO Krajina develops its own Law on Defence
10 only on the 30th of November, 1991.
11 Q. This is on page 183 --
12 A. Exactly, yeah.
13 Q. --- where you mention this. So --
14 A. And maybe I can add, but that's also in the report, that
15 throughout this evolution the local Serbs regularly emphasized the unity
16 between their TO or -- and even their police forces and the armed forces
17 of the SFRY or what remains, actually, of the armed forces of the SFRY.
18 Q. Now, looking at this law which is actually an admitted exhibit,
19 P1248, it's at tab 67, if we can display that for a moment. Yes. Now,
20 we see here and maybe we could zoom in to Article 1 on the Law on
21 Defence, here it mentions that the law -- yes, on the application of the
22 Law on Defence of the Republic of Serbia -- so Article 1 mentions here:
23 "The Law on Defence of the Republic of Serbia will be applied on
24 the territory of the Serb autonomous region of Krajina."
25 This is what you told us a moment ago.
1 A. Exactly, yeah.
2 Q. And if we scroll down to Article 5 it provides here that the
3 armed forces -- the armed forces of the republic -- of the SAO Krajina
4 are the Territorial Defence and the special purpose units of the Krajina
5 Ministry of Interior. Now, very briefly, could you tell us what is this
6 special purpose units of the Krajina?
7 A. The -- Your Honours, these were special police units that were
8 established in the course of spring/summer 1991 by local Serbs in the
9 Krajina. They are sometimes colloquially referred to as the Marticevci
10 and there is obviously, as we discussed over the previous day, yesterday,
11 also the link with Captain Dragan, whereby Captain Dragan acted as their
12 main trainer in the Golubic camp in Knin.
13 Q. Now, if we move to Article 6 which is on the next page in the
14 English version, yes. Here Article 6 mentions that:
15 "The President of the Government of the SAO Krajina is by his
16 position commander of the Territorial Defence, i.e., the armed forces of
17 the Serb autonomous region of Krajina."
18 So Article 6 provides the president here of a commanding position
19 only with respect to the Territorial Defence. There is no mention here
20 of the special purpose units of the Ministry of the Interior; is that
22 A. Yeah, but again looking at the process how all these documents
23 were prepared at the time and also looking in -- this is discussed in the
24 report, there was what could be qualified as a power struggle between
25 Mr. Babic on one hand who is then president and on the other hand
1 Mr. Milan Martic who is at that time among other things minister of the
2 interior. I would look at the context and other documents to see who is
3 actually de facto in command of the armed forces consisting of the TO and
4 the -- and the special police units -- or the special purpose units of
5 the Ministry of the Interior in official terminology.
6 Q. Okay. Earlier at page 33 you mentioned that the special police
7 units were established in the course of the spring and summer of 1991.
8 Can you tell us roughly when were the TO units starting to be
10 A. Again, based on a review of the documents, we see the first
11 documents -- I will rephrase that. The documents I reviewed, some of
12 them make reference to as early as January 1991 as a time when local
13 Serbs start -- I mean Serbs in Croatia start establishing their own TO
15 Q. Very well.
16 A. This is footnote 513.
17 Q. Yes. Thank you for that.
18 Now, you make a reference in the next page - and I'd like us to
19 display Exhibit L19, which is at tab 103 - you cite a decision of the
20 Great Assembly of the Serbian district of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
21 Srem, this is on page 184 of your report, in B/C/S it would be page 223.
22 So looking at the decision, waiting for the English version to come up,
23 yes, Article 1 here establishes that the Territorial Defence of the
24 region, the Serb region of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem is hereby
25 joining with the SFRY armed forces and becoming part of it.
1 Now, before I get into the issue of the joining, have you seen
2 any documents or other material with regard to the composition of the TO
3 of this region, SBWS?
4 A. You mean at -- for that period in time or -- because there is
5 several documents, I mean, throughout the report referring to units of
6 that TO. I'm not aware of one say overarching document that includes the
7 total detail or the detailed structural breakdown of the units, but there
8 are various references already prior to this date to TO -- to units of
9 the TO of SAO SBWS.
10 Q. Now, moving on to the issue of joining, do you know whether
11 this --
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, sorry.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, B/C/S original at the screen does not
14 match to the translation.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We may have to move to the right side of the
16 screen perhaps. I apologise. Maybe you can help me because it's in
17 Cyrillic here. Yes, I believe this is the one on the bottom right-hand
19 Is that correct, Mr. Zivanovic? Yes.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It's okay. Thank you.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
22 Q. Now -- yes. With respect to the issue of joining the SFRY armed
23 forces, do you know whether this decision was received or reacted by the
24 JNA in any way?
25 A. Your Honours, I have not seen a document by the JNA or the SFRY
1 armed forces in response to this document. Now -- and again, this may be
2 outside the scope of the report, but you could -- one could argue what
3 the necessity of this document is because if it would have been a
4 recognised TO it would have been -- there would be no need to express its
5 attachment to the TO -- to the SFRY --
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry, Mr. Theunens, just one moment, please.
7 Mr. Gosnell.
8 MR. GOSNELL: Objection, Mr. President, as the witness himself is
9 indicating, he's going outside the report and he's speculating.
10 THE WITNESS: No, I didn't --
11 MR. GOSNELL: So I would object on that ground and say that we
12 move on to the next question.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, please.
14 Mr. Demirdjian.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I can see that -- I can see at the
16 beginning of the answer it directly points to the fact that the expert
17 has not seen any documents. Now, I believe that as an expert he is
18 entitled to reach his own conclusions with respect to what is the meaning
19 of the document or what is the meaning of the absence of documents with
20 respect to this matter. Again, the expert is aware of what the
21 regulations and what the doctrine provides, and I believe he is entitled
22 to tell us what it means that a decision of this kind is issued and
23 whether it was necessary or not.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue, Mr. Theunens.
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours, just to clarify, when I said it
1 was outside the scope of the report, I haven't -- I meant by that that I
2 didn't draw any particular conclusions in the report on that document.
3 But all I wanted to mention was that given the doctrine, I mean -- and
4 the -- for example, on the composition of the SFRY armed forces, one
5 could question the relevance of this document because from a military
6 point of view there was no need for such a document unless the SAO SBWS
7 authorities want to reconfirm the attachment to what remains of the SFRY
8 at that stage, i.e., namely Serbia and Montenegro -- okay,
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia are still there but mainly Serbia and
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
12 Q. Now, you later say at page 189 of your report that with respect
13 again to the TO of SAO SBWS until at least December 1991, that it was
14 subordinated to the local Serb police under the command of
15 Radovan Stojcic when not participating in combat operations. And here
16 you cite to a certificate of the TO headquarters of SBWS. Perhaps we
17 could take a look at this document. It is an admitted exhibit. It is
18 P198.140, and that is at tab 234. Thank you.
19 Now do you see the author of this document, as you mention in
20 your report, is Radovan Stojcic. Before we get into the substance of the
21 document, could you tell the Judges what was his position at the time?
22 A. I mean, at the time according to this document --
23 MR. GOSNELL: Sorry -- I'm sorry to object. We do need I believe
24 specificity as to what time specifically is being asked about.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Well, let's start with the moment that the
1 document was issued, yes.
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, at the time of the document,
3 according to the document he is the commander of the SAO SBWS TO,
4 according to this document.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
6 Q. Very well. Now, earlier that year in 1991, are you aware of him
7 holding any other positions or perhaps do you have any documents to that
9 A. I recall a document - and I think that is an answer to a question
10 in the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, where he answers as an
11 assistant minister of interior of the Republic of Serbia, at least an
12 official of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia. When
13 I say "he," I mean Radovan Stojcic.
14 Q. And around which time was that document?
15 A. I don't know by heart, but if you can point me to the document in
16 the amalgamated report, I would be very grateful.
17 Q. Yes. Now, let me take a note and I'll try to come back to that
18 after the break. Focusing on this document for a moment, we see that
19 this is a certificate to certify that Slobodan Miljkovic was a volunteer
20 in the units of the Territorial Defence since the 1st of December, 1991.
21 And you also see the header of the Serbian district of Slavonia, Baranja,
22 and Western Srem. Now, could I ask you with respect to your conclusion
23 in your report, how do you reach the conclusion that when not in combat
24 operations the TO were at least, as you say, in December 1991
25 subordinated to the local Serb police?
1 A. Because during combat operations - and combat operations are
2 specified by orders, I mean the start and end of combat operations -
3 TO -- units of the TO of SBWS are fighting under JNA command. Outside
4 combat operations there is few documents available but documents like
5 this lead me to draw that conclusion. So in the TO -- the SBWS TO is not
6 involved in combat operations, then we have documents like this one and
7 then we see that the commander is Stojcic.
8 Q. Now, on the issue of the Territorial Defence, I believe it is at
9 page 189 that you make reference to the Law on the Ministries of the 25th
10 of September. Let me just see here. While I'm pulling it up here --
11 yes, sorry, it starts at the bottom of page 189. You indicate here that
12 from the 9th of October, 1991, onwards the Ministry of Defence according
13 to the documents takes over a number of administrative tasks in relation
14 to the local Serb TO. Can you tell us what is meant here by
15 "administrative tasks"?
16 A. Well, these tasks are explained in the article I refer to. When
17 you look at the Article 6 of the Official Gazette you will see these
18 tasks, and again these are consistent with the tasks defined in Laws of
19 Defence of the various republics when there was still -- I mean, when
20 there was republican TOs, it has to do with manning, training,
21 organising, and equipping.
22 Q. Okay. And just before we take the break can you tell us how we
23 reconcile these two decisions, the one we saw earlier whereby the SBWS
24 Assembly declares that their TO is joining the SFRY armed forces and this
25 decision where the Ministry of Defence takes over a number of
1 administrative tasks?
2 A. I mean at face value there is no need for reconciliation because
3 the two documents are consistent with SFRY armed forces doctrine. But of
4 course if you would have -- if you would go into the practical aspects,
5 we would have to take into account that the -- it would imply -- I mean,
6 the whole process would imply that the SFRY or what remains of SFRY
7 recognises the SAO SBWS Territorial Defence as well as the SBWS
8 authorities as legal authorities and who are entitled to establish a
9 Territorial Defence.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I believe it's the break time.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Indeed, Mr. Demirdjian. Thank you.
13 Mr. Theunens, half an hour break. We will come back at 11.00.
14 You will be escorted out of the courtroom. Thank you.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, before the witness is brought in,
20 I had done some checks during the break. With respect to the document
21 which referred to the Red Berets, the 65 ter 1179, it is in the report.
22 It was my mistake. It is not a new document. And yes, that's it for
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thanks.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: May we -- yes, thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. Mr. Theunens, I was kindly reminded during the break that we
4 should be careful to take breaks between questions and answers. And also
5 when we're flipping pages we've been asked to turn off the microphone if
6 at all possible so that we can hear each other's answers. I'll do my
8 Just to wrap-up on the issue we were discussing earlier with
9 respect to Badza, you were asking me if I could direct you to a portion
10 of your report where his position is mentioned. I think it is exactly at
11 page 189, it was the very next sentence that I think we missed which
12 indicates now on the 31st of December, 1991, this was the time after the
13 certificate we saw earlier he was appointed assistant minister of the
14 interior in Serbia. Now, this is in your report; is that right?
15 A. Yeah, yeah, that is correct.
16 Q. Just for the record, Your Honours, this is Exhibit L11, it's an
17 already-admitted exhibit.
18 So I would like us now to move on to the next section of your
19 report, page 190/191, where you deal with TO units from Serbia, and this
20 is page 228 in the B/C/S version. And you write here at page 190 that
21 units from Serbia took part in combat operations in Croatia such as
22 around the town of Benkovac in Krajina as well as during the Vukovar
23 operation. I would like you to look at a document which is 65 ter 589 at
24 tab 170. Oh, thank you.
25 So do we see that this document is drafted by the 1st Military
1 District and is sent to the General Staff; is that right?
2 A. Your Honours, I don't see the document on my monitor. I see the
3 excerpt of my report, but maybe it's about to come. Unless I have to
4 switch. I see it now. Okay.
5 Q. All right. Do you see it on the screen?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Okay. Perfect. Now, this is, I believe, a cover page and it is
8 sent by the 1st Military District on the 16th of November, 1991, to the
9 General Staff. And 1st Administration, does that have any significance?
10 A. I don't want to guess -- I know the 2nd Administration was
11 intelligence, but the first may be personnel or organisation or
12 operations. Anyway, there are different staff administrations, but I
13 don't recall --
14 Q. That's fine --
15 A. -- the exact one now.
16 Q. Now, if we flip to the second page in both versions, the English
17 and the B/C/S version, here what we have is a table of the units of the
18 units of the 1st Military District in combat operations in Eastern
19 Slavonia. Now, do you recognise at the top of this table where you see
20 the word "unit," at the top of each of the five columns you see the name
21 of various units. Do you recognise them?
22 A. Indeed, these are the units of the 1st Military District that are
23 conducting operations in SBWS at that moment in time. We can see in the
24 middle, for example, OG South, we see the 12th Corps, we see the
25 1st Proletarian Guards Mechanised Division, and so on, whereby it needs
1 to be said, I think that's addressed somewhere else, that some documents
2 at some moment in time talk about the existence of an OG North where as
3 at other times there was a TG North, and there was also at moments in
4 time -- certain times an OG Baranja.
5 Q. Very well. Now, if we turn -- I mean, the next few pages
6 actually show the units, if I'm right, that were deployed as part of each
7 of these organisational units; is that right? If we go to the next page,
8 these are all the units again that are --
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. -- part of these five main units. And if we go to page 5 and
11 the -- both versions. Yes. Sorry, in B/C/S it's page 3. Page 5 in
12 English, page 3 in B/C/S. Yes, we see a table here which depicts the
13 numerical strength of the units as well as the combat equipment deployed
14 in Eastern Slavonia; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
16 Q. Now, you see here very specific numbers with respect to the
17 personnel for the 1st Pgmd, the 12th Corps, OG South, et cetera, and at
18 the bottom you see the number 20.325. What can you say about this
19 number? And I will remind you the document is issued on the 16th of
20 November, 1991.
21 A. Yeah, Your Honours, I mean this number is the strength of the --
22 the manpower of the 1st Military District involved in operations in SBWS
23 on the 16th of December 1991.
24 Q. And if we go to the very next page in both versions, here we see
25 a table of the engagement of the Republic of Serbia TO units belonging to
1 the 1st Military District on 15 November 1991. So again with respect to
2 what you've written at page 190 of your report, the deployment of units
3 of the TO of Serbia, are we to understand these are all the units that
4 were deployed at the time from the TO of Serbia?
5 A. Yes, that's what the title says. I'm just checking whether
6 there's no local Serb TO mentioned there. No, it seems to be okay.
7 Q. We can scroll down and we can also go to the next page in the
8 English version and remain on the same page in the B/C/S version. Yes.
9 You can look at these units as well.
10 A. Yeah.
11 Q. So does this confirm what you were saying in your report with
12 respect to the deployment of TO units from Serbia?
13 A. Yes, indeed. And it was my impression at the time looking also
14 now at the last page, the Kragujevac TO, I had some doubts whether
15 Kragujevac fell in the zone of responsibility or the area covered by the
16 1st Military District, but in any event what we see is that units of the
17 TO Republic of Serbia are participating in hostilities on the territory
18 of the Republic of Croatia and they're fighting on JNA/Serbian side.
19 Q. And here the total number we see here is 9.000 TO units from
20 Serbia. The previous numbers we saw was about 20.000 with respect to the
21 other units. Would you say that this is the bulk of the units employed
22 in Eastern Slavonia at the time?
23 A. As the document states, it reflects the strength of the force of
24 the 1st Military District that are participating in operations in
25 Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem at that moment in time. There's
1 not much more I can conclude because I don't have the peace time strength
2 of the 1st Military District let alone the total strength of the
3 1st Military District at that moment in time, so it's difficult to draw
4 any additional conclusion.
5 Q. Now, at the bottom of this page we have a title which really
6 carries on in page 191 which is the command and control over the local
7 Serb TO and Serb forces during the conflict in Croatia. And in your
8 introduction here at page 191 under item 1 you start with your conclusion
9 where you say that the example you have seen of orders and reports show a
10 relationship between the JNA and other Serb forces which is reflective of
11 the legislative and doctrinal framework and that they operate, as you say
12 here, under the single command of the JNA. As a general question perhaps
13 before we get into the specific, with respect to the non-JNA units, is
14 there a time-period during which you could tell the Court that they
15 operate under this single command of the JNA? Is there a time where it
16 starts and where it ends?
17 A. One has to look, Your Honours, at the specific documents. It's
18 basically even if -- and also at the specific regions; for example, in
19 southern Dalmatia where the 9th Corps is active, the JNA 9th Corps, they
20 don't establish operational groups or tactical groups or at least not
21 based on the documents I have reviewed, but nevertheless measures are
22 taken to subordinate local Krajina Serb TO as well as Krajina MUP, i.e.,
23 again local Serb, under the command of units of the 9th JNA Corps, so in
24 order to ensure a single and unified command and control. Elsewhere,
25 more to the north, Lika, Banja, and Kordun, I mean other parts of Krajina
1 similar orders are issued and examples are given in the report. So you
2 have to look at -- I mean, there may have been examples, and this is
3 often referred to I think by Mr. Seselj, for example, in the context of
4 Eastern Slavonia, also the document we saw earlier, when he makes a
5 statement in the parliament that, like in Borovo Selo, there we see
6 volunteer units acting on the Serbian side against Croatian police with
7 no -- without involvement of the JNA, so there is no subordination to the
8 JNA. But after that, the JNA becomes involved to separate the parties
9 and the next phase, and again then you have to look at the specific
10 documents to see how this actually materialises on the terrain, we see
11 that what is -- could be summarised as Serb forces, i.e., units of the
12 local Serb TO, local Serb police, TO Serbia, volunteer/paramilitaries
13 start operating under JNA command and control through the establishment
14 of OGs, TGs, and as far as Vukovar is concerned also as assault
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. Now, on the following pages, 192 to
17 194, you provide examples of combined forces acting under the direction
18 of the JNA in the SAO of Krajina.
19 A. Mm-hmm.
20 Q. And as of page 194 you provide examples in Western Slavonia.
21 Since we haven't discussed Western Slavonia yet maybe we could take a
22 look at one of the documents which emerged from that region which is
23 65 ter 500 at tab 143. Thank you.
24 Now, we see here a document of the 31st of October is prepared by
25 the 5th Corps and this is signed by Colonel Momir Talic. Are you
1 familiar with Colonel Talic?
2 A. Yes, indeed. He was then Chief of Staff of the 5th Corps and
3 later he becomes the command -- I mean after the creation of the VRS he
4 becomes the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps of the VRS, so after
5 May 1992.
6 Q. Now, the document is entitled: "Deployment and Co-ordination
7 with TO Units."
8 Item number 1 indicates that all TO units and staffs in areas of
9 responsibility of JNA brigades are to be subordinated [sic] to these
11 And item number 3 indicates that the JNA brigade commanders are
12 to consider the attached TO and other reinforcement units part of their
13 own combat disposition.
14 Now, what does this last item, number 3, illustrate?
15 A. It means, as is also indicated, that -- it means that the JNA
16 unit that has command over these TO units has to ensure that they are
17 adequately supplied and also has to ensure the enforcement of all aspects
18 of I would say military life, including military discipline, among --
19 military justice among these TO units. And I think you have to look at
20 this document in the context of the document I have cited in footnote 574
21 on page 195, because there is a four-day time difference, but this
22 document -- I mean the one we are looking at now, the contents refers to
23 and attempts to provide some solutions for the difficulties and the
24 problems that are highlighted in the document under footnote 574.
25 Q. Let me see if I can display that one.
1 A. I mean, I can read from my report if you want it. There are
2 problems with "growing incidents of looting and uncontrolled behaviour of
3 members of the TO and civilians ..." and so on.
4 Q. Well, Mr. Theunens, we can look at it. I hadn't planned to
5 display it but since you're mentioning it, it's 65 ter 494 at tab 139.
6 Yes, we have it here. I'm not sure entirely to which page of the -- this
7 document you are quoting here.
8 A. It's not the first page.
9 Q. Okay. Let's first look at the document. It's the 5th Corps
10 operations centre. So are we talking about the same organisational unit
11 as the previous document?
12 A. Yes, we do, Your Honours.
13 Q. Very well. The section of the report that you're quoting --
14 A. It's not the first page. It should be one of the following
16 Q. Okay. Let's move to the next page.
17 A. Unless it's at the bottom --
18 Q. I'm sorry to put you through this exercise. I believe the
19 document is about five pages long.
20 A. Yeah. It's probably the next page. Sorry, not -- and again the
21 next page. I mean, here they give all examples of difficulties -- I mean
22 problems with troops and so on, but -- we'll have to move on to the next
23 page, I believe. I mean, I'm just judging from the screen in front of me
24 which is not always reflecting --
25 MR. GOSNELL: I think it could be at the top of the very last
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. Gosnell. It's still another page,
3 next page.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I think we need to go to the very last page.
5 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I mean -- I don't have the hard copy, but I'm
6 pretty sure that what I put in my report is an adequate reflection of the
7 document so ...
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Let's go to page 6 which should be the one just
9 previous to this one.
10 THE WITNESS: Yeah, we have under (f), Foxtrot.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
12 Q. Yes. So what is your comment with respect to this excerpt?
13 A. My comment is, I drew -- I wanted to draw your attention to this
14 document because of the document you mentioned, the 31st of October Talic
15 order. You have to look at the Talic order in context again, I mean,
16 this is what the analysis is about, and then the document in front of us
17 which is the 27th of October situation report actually provides at least
18 a number of explanations as to why it is important to consider TO units
19 as elements of the own combat disposition. I mean, I can continue on
20 that. When you look at again the section on Western Slavonia all
21 documents, there was a strong presence of volunteers of the Serbian
22 Radical Party among the local Serb TO. And there were various reports
23 and also I think later by General Talic, indicating that at least some of
24 these volunteers of the -- affiliated to the Serbian Radical Party were
25 involved in the usual crimes like looting, illicit trade, and so on,
1 and -- yeah, related crimes.
2 Q. And to tie it all in, Talic's report which is issued four days
3 later, how do you view it with respect to this document of the 27th of
5 A. Yeah, it's in accordance with military doctrine. It means that
6 the JNA is in command here of the operations and that means that command
7 of the JNA unit in question is responsible -- command responsibility is
8 responsible for the use of his forces and their behaviour and has to
9 enforce military discipline and military justice as well as is clearly
10 stated he's responsible also for the supply of these units.
11 Q. Thank you for that explanation, Mr. Theunens.
12 I would like to move now to page 197 of your report, where you
13 indicate the forces in SBWS. You indicate first that we have OG North
14 based -- which is based on the 12th Corps from Novi Sad. We then deal
15 with the Guards Motorised Brigade, which you indicated to us earlier was
16 an elite unit. Perhaps here you could expand a little bit on what you
17 mean by the Guards Motorised Brigade being an elite unit. You briefly
18 touched on this subject yesterday, I believe.
19 A. Yes, Your Honours. Without repeating what I mentioned yesterday,
20 I mean in the references I think I put a footnote when -- this is
21 actually earlier -- when you see on footnote 588 it refers to Articles --
22 at least one article, and I wrote "Armija" which is the official JNA
23 magazine at that stage where the word "elite" is used, and there is also
24 a reference made to the Vojni lexicon, to the SFRY military lexicon where
25 the history as well as the various missions of the Guards Brigade, its
1 composition, the special requirements that applied to its members and so
2 on, I explained -- I could even add that the Guards Brigade had also the
3 most modern equipment compared to other units in the JNA. So all that
4 together, the level of training and so on, makes it an "elite" unit.
5 Q. You indicate, still on page 197, that the Guards Motorised
6 Brigade which is deployed to Vukovar on the 30th of September 1991 is the
7 principal unit of OG South, and could you expand a little bit as to how
8 they became the principal unit in that area?
9 A. I write that they are the principal unit because the command --
10 so the commander and his staff and the assistant commanders of the
11 Guards Motorised Brigade they take over the command of OG South. And
12 when you look at the composing units of OG South after the arrival of the
13 Guards Motorised Brigade not only by its manpower but also by its
14 equipment, the Guards Motorised Brigade is the principal unit and
15 conducting the main effort. And again, just to finalise, commanders -- I
16 mean battalion commanders of the Guards Motorised Brigade become assault
17 detachment commanders when the operations are conducted in Vukovar --
18 assault detachment commanders.
19 Q. And on the next page 198 of your report which is 237 in B/C/S,
20 you also describe the other units that are present in that area including
21 the 1st pgmd which we discussed before and some of the local TO units?
22 A. Yeah. And just if you allow me, I mean, I talk about OG North on
23 page 197, the caveats I mentioned earlier, i.e., the lack of
24 documentation at the time when these various reports were complied apply.
25 Among the new documents, I mean the documents that became available after
1 July 2012, reference was also made to a Tactical Group North as well as
2 actually the 12th Corps operating as such with attached units or
3 subordinated units without explicit reference to the name OG North, so
4 which again highlights also the temporary nature of operational groups
5 and tactical groups, but I didn't have that information when the
6 amalgamated report was compiled.
7 Q. Yes. Now, with respect to the employment of these units, I would
8 like you to look at 65 ter 405 which is at tab 110.
9 We see at the top on the header this is a document from the
10 Federal Secretariat for National Defence and the document is issued on
11 the 12th of October. I'm more interested on the next page. This page
12 seems to describe a little bit the factual background and the situation
13 at the time. So if we move to page 2 at the bottom of that page, I would
14 like to take your attention to that last paragraph which states:
15 "All armed units, be they JNA, TO, or volunteer units, must act
16 under the single command of the JNA. They should behave and act
17 according to the rules that apply in the army ..." et cetera, et cetera,
18 and it is signed Blagoje Adzic.
19 I believe this document is elsewhere in your report. Can you
20 tell us in what context this document comes about?
21 A. Well, this is a confidential letter. It's discussed on page 142
22 of the amalgamated report, confidential letter sent by -- or on behalf of
23 General Blagoje Adzic, Chief of General Staff of the SFRY armed forces,
24 and it clarifies basically -- I mean, it's a reminder of the role of the
25 JNA in the conflict in Croatia. It also addresses how operations are
1 conducted. And then it also explains -- I mean, it highlights again in
2 addition to the various orders we have seen the importance of a single
3 and unified command and control of all the forces operating on the side
4 of the JNA.
5 Q. And just looking at the paragraph before that, it indicates here
7 "During the performance of the above tasks, any act of
8 disobedience, indiscipline, unauthorised leaving of units, maltreatment
9 of citizens irrespective of their nationality in the areas where units
10 are located, plundering, looting ...," et cetera, "should be prevented at
11 all costs."
12 Now, having regard to the time that this document is issued, how
13 do you assess this paragraph in the context of the letter written here by
14 Blagoje Adzic?
15 A. Your Honours, we're looking in the context of other documents I
16 have reviewed, and I mean by that specific orders as well as situation
17 reports or even reports by security organs on crimes that were allegedly
18 committed by units operating under JNA command or being present in the
19 area where the JNA is operating during combat operations. It shows that
20 Adzic believes that it's necessary to remind all commanders of the
21 importance of, yes, indeed, preventing crime and so on, i.e., applying by
22 the regulations that existed at the time, for example, in 1988 regulation
23 on the application of the provisions of international -- the
24 international laws of war by the SFRY armed forces.
25 Q. And having regard to the specific acts that are referred to in
1 this paragraph here, how do you view them? Is this the type of generic
2 type of orders that would go out from the JNA leadership?
3 A. I would just clarify, this letter is not an order as such. I
4 mean, there are other ways to issue orders. But it serves as a reminder
5 to the subordinate commanders of the importance the chief of
6 General Staff attaches to, yeah, preventing these kind of activities.
7 Q. Very well. Now, this is followed three days later by another
8 document which is 65 ter 422 at tab 117. Yes, thank you. This is a
9 document with the header "1st Military District Command" on the 15th of
10 October, 1991. And it is delivered to a number of units here, including
11 the 12th Corps and the OG -- well, actually, perhaps you could clarify
12 the translation here. It says operations group JUG, J-u-g, at the top of
13 the document where it says deliver immediately. Can you clarify that for
14 the Trial Chamber?
15 A. Yeah, Jug stands for south, Operation Group South.
16 Q. So that's the term used in the Serbian language?
17 A. Mm-hmm.
18 Q. Yes. Looking at this order, this time this is an order from the
19 1st Military District, you see the first item which is:
20 "Establish full control in the AOR of the units ..."
21 And the second item here says that:
22 "All paramilitary compositions and the volunteer detachments
23 which refuse to put themselves under the command of the JNA units are to
24 be removed from the territory."
25 Now, does this follow from what you were telling us earlier in
1 the document we saw three days before with respect to singleness of
3 A. Indeed, yes. I mean, this is clearly a link, one follows from
4 the other. So General Panic received a letter of General Adzic, and I
5 think the last paragraph of the letter we haven't discussed here but
6 states that the information contained in the letter should be
7 communicated to all the troops. From a military point of view then, it's
8 logical that the subordinate commander in this case,
9 Colonel-General Panic, commander of the 1st Military District, issues an
10 order to his subordinate units.
11 Q. If we go to the last page in both documents, yes -- well, it's
12 probably the bottom of the page in the B/C/S, okay. It is issued by
13 Panic himself. Very well.
14 I would like us now to move to the Vukovar operation which I
15 believe would be -- or practically if we move to the Mrksic part of your
16 report at page 438 onwards. Now, earlier if you'll remember we saw a
17 document of the 12th Corps from the month of October which was a
18 retrospective document. It is P1686 which discussed the deployment of
19 the 12th Corps units since the 4th of May. Do you remember that
21 A. I do, Your Honours, and if I remember well that was also one of
22 the new documents I didn't have available when, I mean, the Vukovar
23 report was compiled I think in 2003 or 2004.
24 Q. Yes. Just a moment. I would like us to pull up 65 ter 6198
25 which is at tab 665. And this is one of the new documents, Your Honours.
1 Thank you. Now, this is a document of the 12th Corps on the 8th of July,
2 1991, and the title is:
3 "Order for Deployment for 12th Corps Forces in Slavonia."
4 Now, we see the initial paragraph again provides the
5 situational -- the context basically. And if we scroll down to the
6 bottom of the page, item number 2, it says:
7 "I have decided: The 12th Corps forces ...," and he names three
8 brigades here, "shall advance through Slavonia in two marching columns in
9 Slavonia and one in Baranja on the following axes ...," and he provides
10 the number of axes here. "The objective is to prevent by a rapid and
11 energetic movement of armoured and mechanised equipment on the given axes
12 in a show of force ..." et cetera, et cetera.
13 Now, first of all, could you tell us a little bit about the axes
14 that are described here? You have Odzaci, Bogojevo, Osijek, et cetera,
15 and all the other ones.
16 A. Ideally one would look at the map to see the terrain because
17 these axes of approach or advance are based on the availability of the
18 roads and the nature of the terrain, i.e., where troops could move from
19 east to west in order to deploy -- I mean, to move into Eastern Slavonia
20 and Baranja, but even to move further because mention is made from of
21 Slavonski Brod, Novi Gradiska, Kutina, and so on, so these are general
22 directions to move from east to west.
23 Q. Very well. So this is not restricted to Eastern Slavonia?
24 A. I think we would have to look at other parts of the document
25 because it doesn't -- this just indicates how -- I mean in which
1 direction they should move, but --
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. -- I think it -- maybe other parts of the document include what
4 should be done in which location.
5 Q. Well, if we move to page 2 actually we will see here -- and I
6 think that in B/C/S it's the bottom of page 1 for now. Here you see the
7 mention of the 17th Corps which have been engaged in Slavonia, I think
8 you mentioned this earlier --
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. In B/C/S we can now move to the next page. And you see the axes
11 are being a bit more specific here on this page.
12 A. Mm-hmm.
13 Q. And towards the bottom of that page, if we scroll down a little
14 bit --
15 A. Mm-hmm.
16 Q. -- we see the formation of a tactical group in Baranja as well.
17 A. Mm-hmm, yes. But clearly -- I mean, in these paragraphs you see
18 the missions of the subordinate units and then on the basis of locations
19 are indicated you can conclude that it -- the order covers more than only
20 Eastern Slavonia and -- yeah. Because for Baranja, for example, it
21 states -- I mean what I can read here that the 1st Mechanised Battalion
22 shall be -- in the Beli Manastir sector shall be ready to secure axes
23 leading from Hungary into Baranja, so they should be ready to move
24 further to the border or at least control the northern border area.
25 Q. Now, at the time could you tell us, based on the documents that
1 you have seen, what are the general objectives of the JNA with respect to
2 these movements?
3 A. On one hand there is an order from September from the 1st
4 Military District which should be discussed in the report which basically
5 talks about moving from east to west but up to the area north of Zagreb,
6 i.e., from Eastern Slavonia -- from Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, through
7 Western Slavonia, all the way to the north-western border with Hungary.
8 That is one information. On the other hand, of course, the evolving
9 combat situation, we notice - but this is after this document - that
10 following the fall of Vukovar on the 18th of November, I mean the
11 surrender of the Croatian forces there, that basically on the 23rd of
12 November a cease-fire agreement is concluded in Geneva between the
13 parties and under the auspices of the UN, and this means the end of the
14 operations. So the -- at that stage the JNA is satisfied with achieving
15 control over a number of areas but not -- I mean, these -- that situation
16 is not the same as the one that was projected in the September 1st
17 Military District order, i.e., they have achieved control over areas
18 considered Serb except for Western Slavonia where there's still a
19 significant Serb presence north of the area under the control of the JNA.
20 But, for example, the JNA has not achieved control over the area between
21 Eastern Slavonia -- or between Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem as
22 an eastern limit and Western Slavonia as a western limit.
23 Q. Now, if we move to the next page, page 3 in both English and the
24 B/C/S version, I'd like you to focus on item number 10 here, where we see
25 that the -- yes. We see here that the 12th Corps KM is in Novi Sad and
1 the 12th Corps IKM is in Tenja village. Could you just describe very
2 briefly those abbreviations?
3 A. Your Honours, KM stands for command post, so the
4 "komanda mjesta," and IKM is the forward command post. Novi Sad is
5 located in Serbia and Tenja is located in Eastern Slavonia, in Croatia.
6 Q. Sorry. Very well. Yes, this is one of the new documents,
7 Your Honour, 65 ter 6198. May I apply to tender it?
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1687. Thank you.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
11 Q. I'd like us to look at an admitted exhibit which is D13 at tab
12 494, please. Now, the previous document we saw was the 8th of July, the
13 deployment of the 12th Corps. And this one should be -- yes, the 27th of
14 July. It is issued by the 2nd Mechanised Battalion. Yes. Now, this
15 document reports that a conflict broke out in the morning between the
16 Serbian population and Croatian MUP forces in Erdut and its surroundings.
17 And under item 4 we see that the report says:
18 "I have decided to march along the village of Miletic, village of
19 Bogojevo Most," which is the bridge, "Novi Erdut...," et cetera, "to
20 separate the conflicting sides."
21 Now, you've seen this document before, Mr. Theunens?
22 A. I did, Your Honours.
23 Q. Okay. And if we go to page 3 in the English version, it should
24 be page 2 in B/C/S, it is signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Mirko Broceta. I
25 was just wondering if you have seen any other documents issued by
1 Mr. Broceta, because the header of this document does not indicate to
2 which unit this mechanised battalion belongs to?
3 A. I may have -- sorry. I may have seen documents signed by
4 Broceta, but I think when you look at the other documents the -- this is
5 the 2nd Battalion of the 51st Mechanised Brigade, which was a unit of the
6 12th Corps.
7 Q. And the 51st Mechanised Brigade was actually referred to in the
8 document of the 8th of July that we just saw; is that right?
9 A. Yes. I mean, you have -- as I just said.
10 Q. Yeah. Now, following this one, I would like you to look at
11 65 ter 6199 which is at tab 666.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: And this is, Your Honours, one of the new
13 documents. Yes.
14 Q. Now, this is issued by the command of the 12th Corps on the 9th
15 of August, 1991. You've had an opportunity to review this document,
16 Mr. Theunens?
17 A. I believe so. I mean, at face value I don't recognise it, but
18 let's go through the document and then maybe then --
19 Q. Okay. It is a report on the armed conflict near the village of
20 Dalj on the 1st of August --
21 A. Yeah, I saw that. Sorry, I remember now.
22 Q. Now, in the initial paragraphs there is a report on the conflict
23 on the 1st of August. It describes fierce conflict between armed forces
24 of the MUP, ZNG, and the organised Serbian forces in the village of Dalj.
25 A. Mm-hmm.
1 Q. The second paragraph indicates that due to the conflict there are
2 many dead and wounded. And two paragraphs below, the one that begins
4 "Given the situation in the village ... and the endangered
5 position of the area ... the commander of the 51st Mechanised Brigade
6 reported to the commander of the 12th Corps and submitted to him a
7 detailed report, emphasizing the need for deploying parts of the unit to
8 separate the warring parties. And after receiving authorisation at 5.45,
9 the commander of the 12th Corps ordered the units of the 51st Mechanised
10 Brigade to move out and separate the warring parties."
11 Now, with respect to this paragraph we see a back and forth
12 between the 51st Mechanised Brigade and the 12th Corps. And could you
13 comment on this exchange?
14 A. It's the normal implementation of command and control in a sense
15 that the subordinate unit commander, i.e., the commander of the
16 51st Brigade reports to his commander, i.e., the commander of the
17 12th Corps, about the situation in his zone of responsibility. And as a
18 subordinate commander he can make proposals to the superior commander as
19 to what he sees or what he considers as the most suitable course of
20 action to adopt. And he will be allowed -- no, and he can implement that
21 or he will implement that course of action after receiving an order to do
22 so from his superior commander.
23 Q. And that is what -- the last sentence here says that:
24 "After receiving authorisation, ... the commander of the 12th
25 Corps ordered that the 51st Mechanised Brigade ..."
1 Who would have given the authorisation to the 12th Corps?
2 A. Yes, Your Honours, that would have come from the superior command
3 of the 12th Corps, which was the command of the 1st Military District at
4 that time.
5 Q. Very well. And if we go to the last page of this document, it
6 should be page 3 and probably page 2 in the B/C/S version, yes we see
7 again here that the document is signed by Chief of Staff
8 Colonel Srboljub Trajkovic?
9 A. Mm-hmm.
10 Q. Now -- and again you -- I think you explained this to us earlier
11 that the Chief of Staff is authorised to issue such orders -- well, this
12 is a report actually, I'm sorry. But ...
13 A. As I mentioned -- I mean the chief -- based on doctrine, the
14 Chief of Staff is the only one who can replace the commander and can act
15 on his behalf. This is, for example, explained in the regulation on the
16 light -- on the infantry mountain and other brigades -- I think it's from
17 1984 and it's quoted in the Vukovar report but also in the Karadzic part
18 1 I think.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this document was 65 ter 6199,
20 it's a new document. Might I apply to tender it?
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1688. Thank you.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
24 Q. I'd like to move to page 442 of your report, which is the section
25 coming from the Mrksic report. And here you explain this page and the
1 following pages the operations in seizing Vukovar involving various
2 units. First here you -- and you've said this before, that the
3 Guards Motorised Brigade, the gmtbr is resubordinated from the SSNO to
4 the 1st Military District, this is on the 29th of September, and I
5 believe we have the order copied here in the report.
6 A. Mm-hmm.
7 Q. And I just wanted to bring your attention to the wording here.
8 It says the Guards Motorised Brigade, except the security battalion, is
9 resubordinated to the 1st front command. Do you have any comments on the
10 usage of this language here, front command?
11 A. Your Honours, it must be a lapsus. I don't have the original
12 B/C/S in front of me but it's most -- I mean, it's clearly the
13 1st Military District command because we can also see from the various
14 reports and orders issued by OG South on the one hand and the
15 1st Military District on the other hand, that is that all confirming that
16 the Guards Motorised Brigade is subordinated to the 1st Military District
17 during the time it is participating in the combat operations in the wider
18 Vukovar area.
19 Q. Yes. I apologise. I should have given the B/C/S equivalent.
20 It's page 496 in the B/C/S version, otherwise we can always pull up the
21 document. And we may have to move to the next page to see the text of
22 the order. This is the header. Yes. I don't know if that helps you at
24 A. Yeah, I mean the word "vojista" is uncommon -- I mean, I find it
25 uncommon based on the documents I reviewed but I think the matter is
2 Q. Very well. I'd like us to look at two orders which were issued
3 by the 12th Corps. The first one is at 65 ter 5992 which is tab 542.
4 Yes. Thank you.
5 Now, this is a document of the 20th of September, and we see here
6 that here this is an order to 12th Corps to attack. So this is issued by
7 the 12th Corps command. Can you explain to me -- I mean, we have seen
8 this before in other documents. We see that the 1:100.000 and a number
9 of villages are listed here. What does that refer to?
10 A. Your Honours, this refers to the maps and like, for example, what
11 we discussed in the previous document, that is, if avenues of approach or
12 axes of attack or something are identified in an order, they are also
13 visualised on a map which makes it much easier for the subordinate
14 commanders to understand the orders from their commander.
15 Q. Very well. Can we move to page 2 in English. In B/C/S we'll
16 have to move to the bottom of page 1.
17 A. This is also a new document.
18 Q. I'm sorry, quite right. It is one of the new documents. Didn't
19 I actually mention that? No.
20 So looking at this document here, we see that the 12th Corps and
21 in brackets we see a number of units, brigades, TO units, et cetera, and
22 even TO detachments, shall carry out an offensive operation along the
23 general Osijek-Nasice-Virovitica axis. Their task to crush Ustasha
24 units, lift the blockade of units and military installations, et cetera,
25 et cetera. Now, within the context of -- well, the document is issued on
1 the 20th of September. Can you tell us based on the documents you have
2 seen, what is -- what are the operations carried out by the JNA at the
4 A. Well, this order actually refers to -- Your Honours, to what I
5 mentioned earlier what is -- I will find a reference for the 1st Military
6 District order in September that talks about JNA units and subordinate
7 units advancing from east to west up to the borders with Hungary, i.e.,
8 through Western Slavonia up to the north-western border of Croatia with
9 Hungary. And -- because you see the axis -- I mean, mention is made they
10 have to advance in the direction of -- oops, I touched the screen, but in
11 the direction of Bjelovar. And then -- I mean, before that, all the
12 subordinate units are listed, including a number of TO detachments. So
13 at that time the goal is still to move -- I mean, based on these two
14 documents, to move up to the -- to advance up to the borders with Hungary
15 north-west, i.e., to restore SFRY authority over Croatia.
16 Q. Okay. Now, the sentence below that describes the
17 453rd Mechanised Brigade to remain within the security and intelligence
18 command of Vukovar and co-ordinate the activities of all forces in, and
19 we'll go to the next page, in that area. And the next sentence here
21 "Once the right conditions are in place, launch an offensive
22 operation in order completely to lift the blockade of Vukovar, Borovo,
23 and Borovo Naselje and destroy Ustasha units."
24 Can you tell us again what is this -- what does it mean by
25 requesting to lift the blockade of Vukovar? What is it a reference to?
1 A. The initial official objective for us to lift the blockade of the
2 JNA barracks in Vukovar which had been blocked by Croats in the course of
3 the month of August and I understand -- I mean, we will see that probably
4 later that on the basis of -- I mean documents of OG South that by the
5 6th of October OG South units reach the JNA barracks in Vukovar and lift
6 the blockade.
7 Q. If we go to page 4 in English which is page 3 in B/C/S, I want
8 you to look at item 5.2 which is entitled at the bottom of that page in
9 English "blockade forces." It indicates here that: The
10 453rd Mechanised Brigade with a number of TO detachments shall impose a
11 blockade of Vukovar and together with territorially based units, once the
12 right conditions have been created, it shall launch an attack with the
13 objective of breaking up the Ustasha forces, et cetera, et cetera.
14 Can you perhaps, again within the context of the time-period,
15 tell us what is meant here by imposing a blockade of Vukovar?
16 A. Your Honours, given the fact that Vukovar is a major city and the
17 complexity of urban warfare whereby in very simplistic term cities are
18 much easier to defend than to conquer, the most appropriate way the JNA
19 commander believes or considers to restore JNA control, i.e., to lift the
20 blockade of the barracks would be to isolate the city, i.e., to block it
21 in order to prevent the influx of Croatian reinforcements or Croatian
22 resupply, and by thus weakening the forces defending Vukovar it would be
23 easier to achieve the goals set by the JNA, consisting first and
24 foremost -- first of all of lifting the blockade of the barracks; and
25 then, as it indicated here also, breaking up the "Ustasha forces" whereby
1 "Ustasha" is the name used to identify members of the Croatian National
2 Guard and other Croatian forces.
3 Q. Thank you. And there's one last item I'd like you to look at and
4 it is at page -- at page 7 of the English version, and it should be page
5 6 in B/C/S. Let's scroll down to the bottom of that page. Now, this is
6 the section dealing with moral and psychological support. You see
7 there's a section here -- a paragraph which begins with:
8 "Lifting the blockade of JNA barracks and garrisons ..."
9 et cetera.
10 And the last sentence here reads:
11 "In the area of combat operations, work with the authorities and
12 people who are loyal to the JNA."
13 Again, based on the material that you have seen, do you have a
14 view as to what this is referring to, authorities and people who are
15 loyal to the JNA?
16 A. I'm a bit -- I don't see it on my screen. I mean, I can hear
17 what you tell me, but I would like to see it --
18 Q. At the very bottom of that page do you see, it starts with:
19 "In the area of combat operations ..."
20 A. Yeah, I would say it's a bit of a complex matter because at face
21 value you would say okay the authorities -- you could conclude these are
22 the SAO SBWS authorities, but then again it would be -- make more sense
23 to look into wider context and look also at the instructions and orders
24 of the 1st Military District in this context as well as OG South because
25 one sees that there is occasions at least, and again based on the
1 documents I reviewed, a difference in attitude of the 12th Corps on the
2 one hand and on the other hand the 1st Military District and OG South and
3 the 1st Proletarian Guards Mechanised Division towards SAO SBWS
4 self-established authorities. That's one point. And secondly, well,
5 people who are loyal to the JNA, the obvious conclusion would be that
6 that refers to the local Serb TO. But again, I think we -- as I try also
7 to do in the report is to look at as many documents -- I mean, the
8 available documentation in order really to be in a good position to draw
9 conclusions as to just restrict myself to one document.
10 Q. Very well.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Before I move on, Your Honours, this was a new
12 document 65 ter 5992. Might I apply to tender it?
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1689. Thank you.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
17 Q. And I'd like you to look at a second document here from the
18 12th Corps, it is 65 ter 5997, tab 544, which is also a new document.
19 Thank you.
20 Now, we see that this is a document issued eight days after the
21 one we just saw, so this is the 28th of September, 1991. Command of the
22 12th Corps, village of Dalj -- in fact, just on that point earlier the
23 document we saw on the 8th of July established that the command of the
24 12th Corps was in Novi Sad and that the IKM, so the forward command post,
25 was in Tenja. Do you have any information as to what is -- what is a
1 reference here to the village of Dalj?
2 A. I mean a command post, whether it's the main command post or the
3 forward command post, I mean to be safe I would say the forward command
4 post of the 12th Corps is now located in Dalj, which corresponds with the
5 development of the situation on the ground, i.e., that by end of
6 September Dalj is under JNA control -- actually, early already but ...
7 Q. Now, under the word "urgent," you see that there is a preliminary
9 "In order to organise and replace forces currently holding
10 Vukovar under siege from the north and the west, I hereby order ..."
11 And here we see that Colonel Milan Belic is appointed commander
12 of the Operations Group North. And the following units are subordinated
13 to him and it's a mixed bag of TO units and detachments as well as
14 mechanised battalion here. Now, earlier you mentioned the issue of
15 operation groups and tactical groups. First of all, is there a
16 difference between both formations, an OG and a TG?
17 A. Your Honours, based on the doctrine, an OG would be larger and a
18 TG would be the smaller unit, and I can -- we can go to the section in
19 the report. Now what we see in Vukovar is that the names -- I mean that
20 the OGs as they are established or the TGs do not necessarily reflect the
21 doctrinal -- I mean from the size point of view, they don't -- do not
22 necessarily reflect what is in doctrine. If I'm not mistaken a bit -- an
23 operational group could involve several brigades, a tactical group
24 several battalions, well we see that, for example, this operational group
25 is actually a battalion plus, so which highlights also the importance of
1 looking at the specific documents. But the other key aspects of OGs and
2 TGs, i.e., that they unify JNA, TO, and other units operating on the side
3 of the JNA, this is supported by this document.
4 Q. Now, the next sentence here deals with the OG commander's tasks,
5 which is to consolidate forces north of Vukovar, blocking exit from
6 Vukovar from the north, and preparing the lift -- to lift the siege of
7 Vukovar. Now, am I right in -- since -- well, OG North itself, what is
8 the area that is covered by OG North?
9 A. I mean -- you mean this OG North that is ordered in this
11 Q. Yes, generally -- well, actually, no. We've seen the orders from
12 the 12th Corps as well as to the area that is covered, and I suspect from
13 your answer that there is not an area that is covered at all times by
14 this OG, so if you expand on that a little.
15 A. I just want to highlight it would be misleading -- I mean, in my
16 view at least the OG North that is specified in the document here in
17 front of us is not what is commonly understood as OG North, i.e., the
18 operational group that is responsible for -- that was responsible for a
19 large part of Baranja and the northern part of Eastern Slavonia up to the
20 Vuka river. So basically the JNA forces deployed around Vukovar. There
21 was one group of units responsible for the northern part and the other
22 was responsible for the southern part, whereby OG South was responsible
23 for the southern part, and for the northern part we had the 12th Corps as
24 part of the wider OG North, and here we have a smaller OG North that is
25 established at one moment in time. At another moment in time you will
1 see a Tactical Group North being defined which generally -- I mean they
2 are responsible for the area north of the Vuka river.
3 Q. And the very next sentence here: "Ensure the existence of a
4 physical connection with OG South which is launching operations from the
5 village of Negoslavci."
6 A. Mm-hmm.
7 Q. Would this relate to what you've told us earlier about the
8 difficulty between these units to connect each other, and you were
9 talking about the bridges and the entry points, I believe, at the time?
10 A. No, actually we're now looking at the area basically surrounding
11 Vukovar on the north, the west, and the south. The JNA tries to maintain
12 a blockade of Vukovar to, as I mention, prevent resupply of the Croatian
13 defence forces within Vukovar. Nevertheless - and again this is not an
14 issue I addressed in my report but it is common knowledge - in spite of
15 this blockade that was imposed by the JNA, the Croats managed to send in
16 reinforcements and get out troops and so on into Vukovar. And in order
17 to -- I mean it's essential if you want to enforce a siege, a physical
18 siege or a blockade of a city, you need to avoid gaps between your forces
19 and you avoid a gap even if the terrain there isn't entirely flat, you
20 avoid a gap by establishing a physical connection, for example, that you
21 see each other or that you have a common check-point or patrols meet up
22 between the various units that are ensuring the blockade of the city.
23 Q. Very well.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is 65 ter 5997, might I apply
25 to tender it?
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1690. Thank you.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I believe that it's the time for the break,
4 Your Honours, before I move to another topic.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: A few minutes early but that's no problem,
6 Mr. Demirdjian.
7 Second break, Mr. Theunens. We'll come back at 12.45. You will
8 be escorted, as usual, out of the courtroom. Thank you.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Demirdjian.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours. Yes.
16 Q. Mr. Theunens, before the break the last document we saw related
17 to OG North was dated the 28th of September and in your report still at
18 page 442 which we were looking at earlier you indicated that the guards
19 Motorised Brigade was resubordinated to the 1st Military District on the
20 next day, the 29th of September, 1991. I would like us to look at page
21 443 of your report which in the B/C/S version is page 497, where you have
22 a diagram of the forces deployed in the area.
23 A. Mm-hmm.
24 Q. Very well. Now, if we first zoom in to the upper diagram, you
25 have what you call here a graphic representation of the 1st Military
1 District after the resubordination of the Guards Motorised Brigade; is
2 that right?
3 A. Indeed. And just to clarify, these are diagrams I drew myself,
4 Your Honours, on -- based on various sources of information. The purpose
5 was just to highlight the fact that the Guards Motorised Brigade was
6 subordinated to the 1st Military District at that time.
7 Q. Now, if we scroll down to the next diagram in the English
8 version, I think in the B/C/S you may have to turn to the next page, here
9 we have a diagram of the 1st Military District, now the difference being
10 this time you don't have the 4th Corps, 17th Corps, et cetera?
11 A. No. Indeed, I mean, we will have to look at the subtitle.
12 Basically here I only focus on the units that are participating in the
13 operations in Eastern Slavonia. And just to come back to something I
14 said before the break, I spoke about the 1st Military District order of
15 September 1991 with the wider mission of restoring territorial integrity
16 for the JNA, i.e., moving from the east to the west, that was the
17 document that is mentioned in footnote 1488. We don't have to see it but
18 just I want to correct. I spoke about the 1st Military District order of
19 September 1991. It's in footnote 88. It's order 5-89.
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. 5-89.
22 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Now here we see Operative
23 Group South which is highlighted in yellow. I don't know if we could
24 zoom in a little bit more for visibility purposes. Thank you. And here
25 you've written OG South Colonel Mile Mrksic and gmtbr
1 Colonel Mile Mrksic. Could you just explain to us how is it that Mrksic
2 appears under both headers?
3 A. Your Honours, I refer to what I mentioned earlier, that is, that
4 the command of OG South is basically taken over by the command of
5 Guards Motorised Brigade within a week after the arrival of the
6 Guards Motorised Brigade in Vukovar, and we can see that from the war
7 diary of the Guards Motorised Brigade as also the various orders issued
8 by Colonel Mile Mrksic after the 6th of October, 1991, where he signs or
9 which he signs as commander of OG South.
10 Q. Next we see the 80th Motorised Brigade, and just to be -- well,
11 we may see documents later about this, but could you already tell us when
12 the 80th Motorised Brigade becomes involved in the Vukovar operation?
13 A. I believe it's in the course of October, but I'm not sure. I
14 would have to see the specific document.
15 Q. That's fine. We will come to that. And then finally we see TO
16 Vukovar, Miroljub Vujovic. The fact that you've put the name here
17 indicates that this is the man who led the TO Vukovar?
18 A. At least he was -- I'm sorry. At least he was identified in a
19 number of documents as commander or chief sometimes even of the local
20 Serb TO Vukovar.
21 Q. Very well. I would like to take you to page 448 of your report.
22 In this section you deal with the -- well, in the previous pages you were
23 dealing with the war diary of the Guards Motorised Brigade. Here we have
24 the order for blockade and attack of the 1st of October. And at page 449
25 which is the very next page you have a paragraph about the capture of the
1 barracks. Now, you mentioned the capture of the barracks earlier. Could
2 you tell us how significant was it for the Guards Motorised Brigade to
3 capture the barracks?
4 A. Your Honours, as we saw from the documents we have discussed
5 before the break, lifting the blockade of the barracks was one of the
6 objectives of the JNA's combat operations in Vukovar area at that moment
7 in time, blockade of the barracks in Vukovar.
8 Q. Okay. And you say one of the objectives. After the capture of
9 the JNA barracks, did combat operations carry on?
10 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Operations were continued and then we come
11 to the missions as we discussed also in the documents before the break is
12 to advance -- I mean to capture Vukovar and also then to advance with the
13 forces further west from Eastern Slavonia towards Western Slavonia.
14 Q. Very well. Can we look at 65 ter 460 which is at tab 129. Thank
15 you. This is an order of the 1st Military District of the 19th of
16 October, so this is after the capture of the barracks. And if we look at
17 the cover page here it is delivered to the 12th Corps, 1st pgmd. We see
18 OG South again which is written as Jug, et cetera. And if we go to page
19 2 in both the English and the B/C/S versions, and if we scroll to the
20 bottom of that page, you will see here that the 1st Military District
21 orders the 12th Corps, and this is at the very bottom of the page, and
22 OG South to establish a full close blockade of Vukovar and with the
23 1st pgmd a blockade in depth ... et cetera. So again, does this confirm
24 what you were telling us a minute ago that combat operations carry on in
25 the middle of October? And if we move to page 3 in both versions, please
1 and let's look at item number 4. Here the 1st Military District writes
2 the following:
3 "In order to prevent looting, the abuse of citizens, and murder,
4 even that of captives, all armed persons and groups which are not in the
5 JNA and TO composition are to be disarmed and detained and the leaders
6 incarcerated and legal measures taken against them."
7 Now, having regards to military doctrine and regulations, could
8 you tell us how typical is an order of this kind?
9 A. I think -- I mean, without having to go through the whole
10 document, but paragraph 4 actually follows from paragraph 3 in this
11 document where General Panic highlights a number of incidents which --
12 and are related to poor discipline. From the various documents I have
13 reviewed, there are problems with discipline, in particular among members
14 of local Serb TO and of volunteer units, and these problems with
15 discipline also express themselves in criminal behaviour towards
16 civilians in acts like looting and so on. We have seen a few documents.
17 And because of this, General Panic as the commander of the 1st Military
18 District, i.e., the highest commander, operational commander in the area,
19 reminds his subordinate commanders of their responsibilities in order to
20 enforce discipline and also prevent criminal activities.
21 Q. Thank you. You've quoted this -- for the record this document at
22 page 453/454 of your report. I would like to take you now to 459 where
23 you indicate here that the -- that during combat operations the local
24 Territorial Defence is subordinated to the OG South. And looking at this
25 I would like us to take a look at 65 ter 496, which is at tab 140. Yes,
1 thank you. This is a decision issued by OG South on the 29th of October,
2 1991, and it is a decision on the continuation of the assault operation
3 Vukovar. Under item 1 here we see that the first stage includes the
4 capture of Mitnica. And under item 2 is a description of the structure
5 of assault detachments, JOds. Now, we didn't look at it in detail in the
6 earlier part of the report, but could you quickly describe to us what is
7 an assault detachment?
8 A. Your Honours, assault detachments apply the same principles as
9 tactical -- as operational groups and tactical groups, albeit they
10 existed at a much lower level. They are, for example, established when
11 conducting warfare in urban areas by the JNA. And again, looking at the
12 OG South documents that mention assault detachments, we see that assault
13 detachments consist of JNA battalions or elements of JNA battalions,
14 local Serb TO, elements of the TO Serbia, as well as volunteer or members
15 of or elements of volunteer units.
16 Q. Now, in this JOd-1 we see the structure, a motorised battalion,
17 and then we see a detachment, Leva Supoderica, and a detachment
18 Petrova Gora, are these the two TO units we were discussing earlier
20 A. Exactly, Your Honours.
21 Q. And we see a number of other companies, volunteer companies,
22 et cetera. And just briefly if we can go to the next page in the English
23 version, we also see other detachments, the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th, the
24 5th, et cetera.
25 Now, you told us earlier that they are similar to the OGs or TGs
1 although on a smaller level. Who would be heading these assault
2 detachments on the ground?
3 A. In this particular context of the assault detachments established
4 by OG South, I've included a diagram on page 458 which shows that it's --
5 commanders of motorised battalions of the Guards Motorised Brigade who
6 are commanders of these assault detachments and this is, for example, the
7 case with then-Major Borivoje Tesic who is the commander of the
8 1st Assault Detachment.
9 Q. Very well. Perhaps we could go to page 458 of your report,
10 display that on the screen. It should be page 505 in the B/C/S version.
11 Yes, thank you. So here again we see OG South Commander Mile Mrksic at
12 the top of this structure, and I believe you have included the various
13 assistants to the commander here.
14 A. Indeed, you have on one hand the staff and on the other hand you
15 have the assistant commanders and the branches I explained.
16 Q. Just to be clear here, we have the assistant commander for
17 political affairs, for security, for logistics. Is this just a sample or
18 are there more assistants to your knowledge?
19 A. No, these are the assistant commanders. The other departments or
20 branches are part of the staff and they are organised and managed by the
21 Chief of Staff who is also the deputy commander.
22 Q. Very well. You mentioned earlier Borivoje Tesic. We see him
23 under assault detachment 1, and so it is under his detachment that the
24 Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora were deployed?
25 A. Yeah, I prefer the word "employed," because "deploy" is just to
1 put troops on the ground, but they were used, according to this order,
2 under his command, and that's also visible, for example, in the war diary
3 of the Guards Motorised Brigade.
4 Q. I apologise, yeah. And this graphic representation as you've
5 indicated in your report is based on order 235-1 which is footnoted in
6 your report; correct?
7 A. Indeed, at least for the structures concerned and the names I
8 added on the basis of other information.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. The names of commanders, I'm sorry.
11 Q. I'd like to move now to the end of combat operations. Your
12 report includes a number of detailed orders and reports during the month
13 of October and November, so I will not delve into it at this stage. And
14 I would like to take you to page 467 of your report under item number 22.
15 And here you quote I believe it is from the war diary of the
16 Guards Motorised Brigade a conversation between Mile Mrksic on the 18th
17 of November, and this is with the envoy of the Croatian Democratic Union
18 for Vukovar. We don't see his name here but it is elsewhere in the
19 report. Do you remember who -- the name of the envoy?
20 A. I'm trying to remember if it's Mr. Marin Vidic.
21 Q. Yes, in fact at page 472 you mention it, but we will get to that
22 later. And according to the diary you indicate here that the commander
23 of OG South requested the unconditional surrender and guaranteed safety
24 of Ustasha forces in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. So this is
25 directly from the war diary; is that right?
1 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
2 Q. Very well. Now, in addition to the diary we have an OG South
3 report which is 65 ter 606, Your Honours, that's at tab 507. I would
4 like us to display this document. It is not a new document, but I don't
5 believe that it is included in your report, Mr. Theunens. We'll look at
6 it in a moment now. Yes. It's the Operative Group South's confidential
7 number 423-1. Do you see it on the screen?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. It is sent to the 1st Military District and to the SSNO cabinet.
10 It's a regular combat report and we have here a mention that at about
11 1.40 in the morning the commissioner of the government for Vukovar
12 Marin Vidic asked to talk with OG Jug commander. They spoke twice,
13 around 8.00 and 9.00, when the conditions were set for the surrender of
14 Ustasha forces. Then the next paragraph deals with negotiations held at
15 Mitnica around 9.50 in the morning. What is -- can you tell us briefly
16 what is Mitnica and what was there?
17 A. Mitnica is a neighbourhood in Vukovar close to the centre, and I
18 understand from the other documents that on the 18th of November Croatian
19 forces in Mitnica surrendered to the JNA.
20 Q. Very well. And is this consistent with the war diary that you
21 quoted in your report?
22 A. Yes, it is, Your Honours.
23 Q. Thank you. If we can go to the last page, Your Honours. We can
24 see here that it is -- well, let's see the original. Yes. It is issued
25 by Colonel Mile Mrksic.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Now, Your Honours, this is a document that is
2 not in the report. May I seek to tender it, please?
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1691. Thank you.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
6 Q. Now, at page 470 of your report you mention the Zagreb Agreement,
7 and you explain that an evacuation agreement was reached between the JNA,
8 the Croatian government, and international organisations, including the
9 ICRC and the Medecins Sans Frontieres in relation to the sick and wounded
10 from the hospital. What you mention here at page 471 of your report is
11 that there is no mention in the evacuation agreement of the JNA handing
12 over evacuees to any other body of authority. Now, could you explain to
13 us in principle what happens in the military should the army leadership
14 reach an agreement at the international level, what did they do with that
16 A. You would expect, Your Honours, that the agreement that is
17 reached at the highest level is then translated into specific orders for
18 the various units that may play a role or that are likely to play a role
19 in implementing that agreement.
20 Q. For the record, the agreement is admitted as P1461.
21 Have you seen any documents based on what you just said from the
22 military leadership around that time with respect to the agreement?
23 A. No, Your Honours, and I've also explained that on the bottom of
24 page 471 -- 72.
25 Q. Yes, very well. Could I ask that we display 65 ter 610 which is
1 at tab 175. And this is a reference to a document that you discuss at
2 page 472 of your report.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Can the interpreters have the reference for the
4 B/C/S version, please.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: For the report that is page 532.
6 Q. Yes, do you see the document, Mr. Theunens?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. Now, this is a document from the 1st Military District being sent
9 to a number of units, again including the 12th Corps, pgmd, OG South,
10 et cetera. If we scroll down a little bit at page 1 of the English
11 version, the first sentence we see here is:
12 "The Croatian armed forces are defeated in the area of combat
13 operations carried out by the 1st Military District units."
14 Now, having regard to the time and the date, is this a document
15 which roughly marks the end of combat operations?
16 A. It's maybe a matter of nuance, but indeed by then the JNA has
17 achieved control over Vukovar, but as we see from subsequent situation
18 reports there is -- the surrender is still ongoing. There may still be
19 small resistance pockets that have to be eliminated first before combat
20 operations can be really described as having finished.
21 Q. Well, on that note if we move to page 2, we can remain on page 1
22 in the B/C/S version, you see the -- under the title "Order," OG South:
23 "Carry out detailed and complete preparations and in co-ordinated
24 action with TG North take the hospital and the MUP building and mop-up
25 the remaining Ustasha forces ..."
1 So is this a reference to what you were just saying now, there
2 are small pockets still that need to be captured?
3 A. No, actually, what I was saying is referring more to paragraphs 2
4 and following. At least based on this single document when you look in
5 the context and of course there are documents that -- JNA documents that
6 state that there are "Ustashas" in the hospital, then obviously I would
7 agree with you. But looking just at the document in isolation there is
8 no reference to resistance pockets in relation to the hospital. But, for
9 example, the second paragraph that refers to Tactical Group North talks
10 about mopping up remaining Ustasha forces. So that's what I meant by
11 resistance pockets.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you for that clarification. If we move to page 4 in
13 the English which is page 3 in the B/C/S version, I'd like us to zoom on
14 item number 8 in the middle of that page where the 1st Military District
15 reminds that every unit has to control the situation on their territory,
16 that commanders at all levels will be responsible for this. And he
17 carries on saying that:
18 "War time laws have not entered into force and therefore - as
19 always - nobody has the right to retribution and other kinds of revenge,
20 which some local TO units carried out."
21 Now, how do you interpret this last sentence, especially with
22 respect to the end of the sentence "carried out"?
23 A. Your Honours, this paragraph indicates that General Panic is very
24 concerned about the behaviour of members of local Serb TO who, based on
25 his information and what he puts here in his order to his subordinate
1 commanders, have been involved in criminal behaviour before and that
2 criminal behaviour includes - I'm just reading from the document - acts
3 of retribution or retribution and other kinds of revenge. So it makes
4 sense -- since this has happened, it makes sense for Panic to remind his
5 subordinate commanders to prevent such behaviour.
6 Q. Now, when subordinate commanders receive such a reminder, again
7 based on the military doctrine, what do military commanders do at that
9 A. I mean, based on one hand of the principles of command and
10 control and, more specifically, the two principles of unity of command
11 and the principle of the obligation to implement decisions, and on the
12 other hand their understanding of the applicable regulations like I mean
13 the Geneva Conventions and others as they are described in the 1988
14 regulations on the implementation of the international laws of war, a
15 subordinate JNA commander, i.e., a subordinate of Panic, would issue
16 orders to his subordinates in order to ensure that Panic's warning and
17 instructions are implemented. In addition, he would also verify the
18 implementation of these orders -- of his orders, I'm sorry, and report
19 accordingly to Panic.
20 Q. In practical terms, are you able to tell us how would he verify
21 that these orders are implemented?
22 A. I mean, inspection is a function of command and control. The
23 whole reporting system is one important aspect of implementing the
24 inspection function, i.e., subordinate units on a regular basis report
25 not only about their situation but also about the level of implementation
1 of the orders they have received. In addition, the commander can also
2 inspect himself, he can use staff officers to go on the terrain and to
3 look around and to see how things are going and to what extent, for
4 example, the reports he receives from his subordinate units correspond
5 with reality. He can use the military police, in particular the
6 Guards Motorised Brigade since they had two battalions of military police
7 compared to only one battalion for regular brigades, so these military
8 police can be used to send -- to patrol and to make sure that -- I mean
9 the orders from the commander in this specific regard, i.e., enforcing
10 discipline, preventing crimes, are abided by, are implemented.
11 Q. Along these lines I would like you to look at a new document
12 which is 65 ter 5991 at tab 541. Yes. This is a document of the command
13 of the 12th Corps, which is another one of the subordinated units of the
14 1st Military District. It's issued on the 22nd of November and the
15 preliminary paragraph says that:
16 "Due to an increase in the number of incidents of undisciplined
17 conduct and disobedience ..." et cetera, et cetera, "I hereby order."
18 Could you look at item number 3 which says:
19 "We have information that certain officers take it upon
20 themselves to pass judgement on prisoners on the spot, which is
22 Now, this is the command of the 12th Corps. Again, based on your
23 previous answer could you tell us how would the command of the 12th Corps
24 have obtained this type of information?
25 A. Well, it would probably be unlikely that a superior -- because
1 I have -- I mean, we have had this over the years in the ICTY, the
2 translation of "staresine." I mean I am not a translator, but it makes
3 more sense to translate as "superior," it's not just only officers but
4 any superior, somebody in a position of authority. Anyway, they're not
5 going to -- probably not going report it themselves, but as I mentioned
6 earlier, the commander, and we saw that also yesterday, the commander has
7 to be familiar with the situation two levels down, he has various tools
8 to do so. When I spoke about reporting system and military police, I
9 didn't mention the security organs, but -- I mean, there are various
10 tools available to him to allow himself to familiarise himself with the
11 situation of his units two levels down, including their potential alleged
12 involvement in crimes.
13 Q. And do I understand it correctly that you're pointing to a small
14 error in the translation when you talked about "staresine"?
15 A. You know, when I was here it was a long debate and it was never
16 clarified, so I don't know what the situation is now. I left here four
17 years ago, but when I look at military doctrine not all "st aresine" are
18 officers. "Staresine" actually would mean in my understanding superior
19 and not all superiors are officers. An officer is most often a superior
20 but it -- I mean it doesn't go both ways.
21 Q. I understand.
22 A. But it doesn't change the sense of the document.
23 Q. Okay. And superiors, are you saying that they would not
24 necessarily mean officers?
25 A. Yeah, because an NCO can also be in the position of a superior.
1 Q. I understand. And if we go to the next page, we can stay on the
2 same page and scroll down in the B/C/S version, this is a document issued
3 by Andrija Biorcevic, so that was the commander of the 12th Corps at the
5 A. Yes, indeed.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this is a new document, I wish to
7 tender it. But considering the remark Mr. Theunens has made just now, I
8 will submit it for a revised translation so perhaps at this time we may
9 MFI it.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, MFI it, please.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1692 marked for
12 identification. Thank you.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
15 Q. Now, at page 471 at the bottom of that page of your report which
16 in the B/C/S version is page 531 you comment, again moving back to the
17 Zagreb agreement, that there is, again, no reference to this agreement in
18 the war diary of the Guards Motorised Brigade. I take it from this that
19 you have reviewed the war diary which is footnoted in your report in its
21 A. Yes, I did at the time also for the Vukovar case, so I'm familiar
22 with the war diary --
23 Q. Very well --
24 A. -- of the Guards Motorised Brigade.
25 Q. And the last sentence on this page begins with:
1 "Taking into account the level at which the evacuation agreement
2 was conducted with the involvement of international organisations, it can
3 be considered unusual that such references are lacking in the gmtbr war
4 diary ..."
5 So here you're making a connection with the fact that the
6 agreement was reached at the international level, and am I correct in
7 understanding from this conclusion of yours that you would have expected
8 to see this in the war diary?
9 A. Indeed, Your Honours, given the purpose of a war diary -- and
10 maybe there wouldn't be a specific reference to the Zagreb Agreement, but
11 what I said earlier that the superior command - and that would be at the
12 level of the Supreme Command Staff or the General Staff - would have
13 issued orders on the basis of the Zagreb Agreement to the 1st Military
14 District, and then the 1st Military District would have issued orders to
15 the -- to its units not just to take the hospital, as we have seen, but
16 then also to handle those present in the hospital and treat them in
17 accordance with the Zagreb Agreement. And I haven't seen any written
18 documents to that effect. The only thing we see is later on in daily
19 situation reports there are general references made by OG South as well
20 as the 1st Military District that the evacuation of the population is
21 conducted in accordance with Geneva Conventions and the relevant
22 regulations without explicitly referring to the people in -- who are
23 present at the hospital before the JNA entered or members of the
24 Guards Motorised Brigade entered the hospital or before they were handed
25 over to members of the local Serb TO in Ovcara.
1 Q. Very well. Now, in previous trials I believe it is correct to
2 say that you have seen the video on the 20th of November where on one of
3 the Vukovar bridges you see an exchange between a JNA officer and one of
4 the international monitors. You recall that?
5 A. Yes, Your Honour. Actually, I remember two videos. There is one
6 showing a representative of the ICRC and General Pavkovic who had been
7 sent from the SSNO as a -- I think liaison officer to the
8 Guards Motorised Brigade. And there is also the -- I mean, the video
9 showing the conversation between, again, the representative of the ICRC
10 and Major Veselin Sljivancanin, who was the assistant commander of
11 security of the Guards Motorised Brigade and who was in charge of the
12 actual evacuation on the 20th.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Might I ask that we show one of these two
14 videos. It's 65 ter 5006 at tab 687. I believe that the interpreters
15 have a translation, although part of the conversation is in English, part
16 of it is in B/C/S. Just a minute.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Tell us.
19 "Nicholas Borsinger: Not to help fighters disguise themselves as
20 civilians and be evacuated from the hospital.
21 "Interpreter: The role of the Red Cross is not to help those who
22 are fighting to escape the hospital as civilians.
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Then why don't they allow us to do
24 our job.
25 "Interpreter: Why don't you leave us to do our job?
1 "Nicholas Borsinger: I -- I -- I'm never to going to prevent you
2 from doing your job!
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Does he want to control the army?
4 "Nicholas Borsinger: He can check -- if he finds some people who
5 he considers are not wounded people --
6 "Interpreter: You can check and then if you find something you
7 can --"
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
9 Q. Mr. Theunens, do you recognise the man wearing a helmet, the
11 A. Yes, Your Honours, that is General Pavkovic, Nebojsa Pavkovic of
12 the JNA.
13 Q. This is the one you just mentioned was dispatched by the SSNO?
14 A. Indeed. He may have been colonel at the time. I mean, he's --
15 but he ended as a general.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Let's continue playing.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "But what does he want?
19 "Nicholas Borsinger: I want nothing. Tell. First of all I want
20 nothing. I must comply with instructions I get of an agreement that the
21 JNA has signed. That is all. I want nothing.
22 "I have a responsibility and --"
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "So why isn't he talking to us?
24 "Interpreter: Yes, go ahead.
25 "You cannot go with the car.
1 "Nicholas Borsinger: The Colonel tells me I cannot go.
2 "Interpreter: You cannot go with the car you can go on your own.
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "At the tail of the column there are
4 your colleagues from the International Red Cross.
5 "Interpreter: On the back of the -- there are your colleagues,
6 our colleagues from International Red Cross. You know them?
7 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Who are these people?
8 "Interpreter: Colleagues from Belgrade.
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Do they work together or is he
10 doing something separately?
11 "Interpreter: With you or you --
12 "Nicholas Borsinger: Yes, they work together with me.
13 "Interpreter: Why are you not with them?
14 "Nicholas Borsinger: Because since I --
15 "Interpreter: Let him go and join them, be together with them.
16 "Nicholas Borsinger: I meant to be ... according to this
17 agreement I meant to be in the hospital since last night at 8.00.
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "First of all, we don't have an
19 agreement. Where is that agreement? Show me.
20 "Nicholas Borsinger: How can I show the agreement which was
21 signed by the JNA?
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Tell this gentleman that we should
23 end this conversation. If he wants on his own responsibility to walk to
24 the hospital, let him go ahead. But the JNA is not taking any
25 responsibility for his security and safety. He can only go as part of
1 the column and then I will guarantee his safety.
2 "Nicholas Borsinger: But I must go in my car, I must go in my
4 "Interpreter: So it means you have to go in the convoy.
5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Let him park the car, this vehicle
6 must be moved to the left or to the right so the convoy can pass."
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, you have heard the part of the conversation
9 when Nebojsa Pavkovic is saying there is no agreement or we don't have an
11 A. Yes, Your Honours.
12 Q. You heard that, yes. And with respect to what you told us
13 earlier, your answer was that you would have expected the army leadership
14 to convey this agreement down its chain of command; is that right?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours.
16 Q. And just as a reminder, I mean we don't have to show the
17 document, we could if we have to, but do you remember who signed the
18 document on behalf of the JNA?
19 A. Yes, Your Honours, it's -- I mean, I have it in my report, page
20 470, General Andrija Raseta, who was acting as a senior negotiator for
21 the JNA at the time, and prior to that he -- I think he was a commander
22 of the 5th Corps or part of the command of the 5th Corps located in
24 Q. Very well. And -- yes.
25 A. That's okay.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you. Your Honours, might I apply to
2 tender this clip, please, 65 ter 5006?
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P1693. Thank you.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
6 Q. Now, we've seen that the JNA signed the evacuation agreement on
7 the 18th of November. We have now seen the video where Nebojsa Pavkovic
8 is saying that there is no agreement. I would like you to look at 65 ter
9 669, please and that is at tab 191.
10 Yes. Now, you refer to this document in your report and this is
11 another one of those SSNO bulletins, so the 22nd of November 1991. I
12 would like to go to the bottom of page 2 in the English version, please.
13 And we can remain on the same page in the B/C/S version. Now, you see
14 the first sentence here, this is two days after the date when the
15 evacuation would have taken place in Vukovar.
16 "The presence of European Community Observer Mission
17 representatives did not help to evacuate children, women, and other
18 civilians in Vukovar, desirous of moving to the territory of the Republic
19 of Croatia. In spite of the signed agreement on the evacuation and the
20 understanding that there would be no shooting during the evacuations."
21 It carries on to say that:
22 "Croatian armed forces deployed in the villages Nustar and
23 Vinkovci fired on the front and rear lines of evacuees, convoys,
24 whereupon the JNA unit in the presence of the ECMM diverted them to a
25 safer area."
1 Now, looking at this document what can you say with respect to
2 the JNA's position with respect to the evacuation agreement?
3 A. I would just like to seek clarification whether you want to refer
4 to the Zagreb Agreement for the hospital or other evacuation agreements?
5 Q. The Zagreb Agreement, yes.
6 A. My understanding -- maybe I'm wrong, you know, but it's quite a
7 while since I looked at the Zagreb Agreement, that it is confined to the
8 hospital, whereas for the other evacuations there were other agreements.
9 But again if you show me the agreement, then I can refresh my memory and
10 I'm in a better position to answer your question.
11 Q. Absolutely. I believe I have the number here. It is P1461 at
12 tab 174.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, while we are waiting.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: You are referring to the evacuation agreement as
16 the Zagreb Agreement.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: If I remember well, yesterday I think we were
19 talking about the Raseta Agreement. Is -- are we talking about the same
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, we are. I believe in the report at 470 --
22 page 470, we are talking about the Zagreb Agreement and signed by
23 Andrija Raseta, but perhaps Mr. Theunens can explain. But generally if I
24 ask the questions the same.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Theunens, do you agree that the Zagreb
1 Agreement -- what is called the Zagreb Agreement and the Raseta Agreement
2 are one and the same?
3 THE WITNESS: Yeah, Your Honours. I wasn't familiar with the
4 name "Raseta Agreement," but Andrija Raseta is the person who signed for
5 the JNA --
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
7 THE WITNESS: -- so probably that's why he's mentioned in the
8 context of that agreement.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
10 Q. Very well. Now, the evacuation agreement is in front of you if
11 you would like to take a look at it.
12 A. I mean, Your Honours, first paragraph talks about the following
13 agreement regarding a convoy to evacuate the wounded and sick from the
14 Vukovar Hospital. There were several evacuations. There were a few
15 already prior to the evacuation of the hospital. I think there was
16 already something in October to move injured people out from Vukovar as
17 the city was under siege. There was the Mitnica evacuation, the members
18 of the ZNG who surrendered in Mitnica I think on the 18th. We have the
19 evacuation of the people from the hospital and then there were also --
20 there was also an evacuation -- I mean large-scale evacuation of
21 civilians from Vukovar because it was decided -- I mean, it was obvious
22 that these people could not reside in a city that was largely destroyed.
23 And as can be seen from situation reports from mainly the 1st Military
24 District covering the 20th of November to, let's say, the 23rd of
25 November time-period, some of these convoys are not received or not
1 allowed through by the Croatian authorities because of course the
2 evacuation of mainly Croats from Vukovar would actually consolidate
3 Serbian control over the city. And there is -- there are some problems,
4 convoys are sent back and so on. But this is something else than the
5 evacuation of the hospital and this is what I wanted to raise when
6 Mr. Demirdjian asked his question.
7 Q. Very well. And under item 2 here do I understand that this is
8 where the Republic of Croatia and the JNA undertake to guarantee a
9 cease-fire so that there would be no shooting during the evacuation?
10 A. Yes, during this evacuation indeed.
11 Q. Okay. Now, can I return to that document which we were looking
12 at which was 65 ter 669. And go to page 2 at the bottom again, please.
13 Yes, so focusing again on that second sentence which says that in spite
14 of the signed agreement on the evacuation and the understanding there
15 would be no shooting, are you saying that you're not able to conclude as
16 to which evacuation exactly this relates to?
17 A. Exactly, yeah. I mean, for sure the Zagreb Agreement or the
18 agreement on the evacuation of the hospital, is a signed agreement. I'm
19 not sure for the other evacuations, whether there are any signed
20 agreements. So that's why I would prefer not to draw a conclusion
21 because I would have to check first whether for the other evacuations
22 there were signed agreements.
23 Q. Very well. Can we move now to page 478 of your report --
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Before we do that, is this the document we MFI'd
2 a few moments ago?
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It is not, no.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is not?
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: No.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: But by all means this -- the translation problem,
7 could you have it solved by the end of the week?
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: This one I believe is --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, the one we MFI'd because there was a
10 translation problem, you know, the --
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Just the --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- the problem about the officers and the
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: The word officer and superior.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: You know.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I will ask that we do that -- I will ask
19 Mr. Laugel to organise that.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: So by the end of the week?
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: All right.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: In fact, if it's one word, I could even ask that
24 this be done by the close of business today.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. The sooner the better. Thank you very
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
3 Q. Now, in page 478 of your report which is page 538 in B/C/S, from
4 this page onwards we see several orders and reports on the 20th of
5 November. The first one that you were dealing with on this page - and I
6 will wait for it to come on the screen - this is the 20th of November
7 order number 439-1 issued by Mile Mrksic at 6.00 in the morning on
8 settling the issues of daily activities. Now, we see the second sentence
9 under item number 1 which says:
10 "Simultaneously evacuate and transport civilians, the wounded,
11 and the sick from the hospital in Vukovar."
12 Now, have you seen any other orders with respect to the
13 evacuation of the hospital in Vukovar?
14 A. No, Your Honours. And actually, this document allows to clarify
15 my earlier answer to the question where like I need to specify that I
16 didn't see specific references to the Zagreb Agreement and the modalities
17 like the presence of international observers and ECMM and so on in
18 connection to the evacuation by the JNA of the hospital. But here
19 obviously there is an order from OG South instructing subordinate units
20 to evacuate people from Vukovar Hospital.
21 Q. Okay. Now, turning to doctrine again and the regulations in the
22 JNA, how do you qualify an evacuation operation? How is that provided
24 A. In -- among SFRY armed forces doctrinal documents there is a
25 regulation on -- for the military police on -- I think on the guarding of
1 prisoners of war, and this is a document we -- I mean, I don't recall the
2 exact name, but it's -- it was extensively discussed in the Vukovar case,
3 which basically explains how prisoners of war should be guarded, how any
4 movements of prisoners of war should be organised, which measures should
5 be taken by whom, not just measures to prevent them from escaping but
6 measures to protect them. And so we checked that document, for example,
7 with at least one commander from the military police battalion of the
8 Guards Motorised Brigade at the time of the events in Vukovar, and he
9 told us at the time that this was an authentic document that was
10 applicable then. So just in a nutshell there were indeed specific
11 regulations available on how such an operation should be conducted not
12 just from the security point of view but also logistical point of view
13 and ensuring protection of all these prisoners.
14 Q. And how do you view this order that we have in front of us here
15 that has two lines basically with respect to the evacuation?
16 A. Well, on the basis of this order from Operational Group South,
17 the one -- the subordinate who would be responsible for leading and
18 conducting the evacuation operation would develop his own orders to his
19 subordinates and at the end the section commander of the -- of a military
20 police section of ten persons who would be involved in evacuation would
21 know what to do, where, when, how, and would know how to respond in any
22 situation that may occur during the implementation of the order. So
23 orders at the higher level are, in general, more general. And I mean,
24 the lower you go the more specific they become.
25 Q. Now, I would like you to look at a -- well, just for the record
1 this document that we have on the screen is also 65 ter 652 at tab 186.
2 I would like us to look at --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Before -- Mr. Demirdjian, before you go to
4 another document, I would like to have something clarified by the
6 Mr. Theunens, the order is to evacuate civilians, the wounded and
7 the sick from the hospital. How would you interpret this order or how do
8 you suppose that the subordinates should interpret this order? I mean
9 with regard to the people to be evacuated?
10 THE WITNESS: Seen in the context of other documents of OG South
11 of that time-period, Your Honours, the --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: I would rather like you to give first your
13 opinion about what this would have meant to the people who read this
14 order and nothing else.
15 THE WITNESS: Okay. Well, I mean, just looking at the text it
16 would mean anyone who is a civilian, whatever situation they're in; then
17 the wounded, whatever their origin would be, whether they would be
18 civilian or military or maybe police; and sick also irrespective of their
19 allegiance or -- I mean the group to which they would belong.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. That's exactly what I wanted to know.
21 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: And now when you put it in the context of other
24 THE WITNESS: In the context, the JNA -- I mean, OG South, and in
25 particular the security organs are convinced that among the patients of
1 Vukovar Hospital at that time there are members of the ZNG. There are
2 also, and I think they are quoted in the amalgamated report, that in
3 certain locations of the hospital there are "Ustashas" and that even
4 prisoners, I mean members of the Guards Motorised Brigade who are held in
5 detention by the ZNG are mistreated in the hospital. So in that context,
6 of course, maybe one would have another interpretation.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Demirdjian.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. And the next document I would like us to have on the screen is
11 65 ter 639 at tab 182. This is a document which you quote at page 476 of
12 your report. It is also at page 536 in the B/C/S version. Now, the
13 first document you were quoting earlier was of the 20th of November at
14 6.00 in the morning. We're looking now at a document or we will look at
15 it -- yes, at a document of the 20th of November at 1800 hours, so 12
16 hours after the first one we looked earlier. It is an OG South regular
17 combat report to the 1st Military District and the SSNO. Actually, on
18 that matter how do you interpret the fact that the document is sent both
19 to the 1st MD and the SSNO?
20 A. We know that in peace time the -- or in -- I mean the regular
21 subordination of the Guards Motorised Brigade is to the SSNO, and by the
22 order that was issued on the 30th of September the Guards Motorised
23 Brigade was subordinated to the 1st Military District. So it's not
24 unusual that the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade informs both his
25 current superior, the 1st Military District, as well as his previous
1 superior of the activities of his unit. And also I think this has to be
2 seen in light of the importance of the operations around Vukovar and
3 given the strategic importance of Vukovar according to senior JNA
4 officers at that time.
5 Q. Now, scrolling down to item number 2 of this document, we see
6 that OG South refers to orders given by the 1st Military District, tasks
7 relating to the take-over of the hospital and the MUP building,
8 et cetera. And if we go to the top of page 2 and in the B/C/S version we
9 can stay on the same page, you should see a -- what looks like a second
10 paragraph beginning with "during selection."
11 "During selection, transport, and hand-over of prisoners of war
12 everything was handled in accordance with the Geneva Conventions on
13 prisoners of war. Measures were taken on strengthening the command and
14 control, order, and discipline in the units."
15 Now, with respect to the documents we have seen previously from
16 the 1st Military District, do you know what is this reference to
17 prisoners of war?
18 A. There are references, Your Honours, in my report. There is a --
19 for example, an order signed by the Chief of Staff of the 1st Military
20 District that there can be no exchanges of prisoners of war unless it has
21 been agreed upon by the highest command levels. I will be able to find
22 the exact reference of that order. So the JNA -- I mean, SFRY armed
23 forces or in fact the JNA, they want to centralise the whole issue of
24 exchanges of prisoners of war and that's also why, for example, senior
25 officers of the security organs are sent to Vukovar before the evacuation
1 of the hospital because these prisoners of war can be used, yeah, to
2 exchange, it's one-for-one exchange, so they want to avoid that at the
3 lower level subordinate commanders decide on their own -- by their own --
4 like, who is to be exchanged against whom. So they really want to keep
5 this centralised, and an additional benefit of having centralised control
6 is it's easier to ensure the enforcement or the application of Geneva and
7 other relevant conventions.
8 Q. Now, with respect to this sentence here, it doesn't specify who
9 the prisoners of war were handed over to; is that right?
10 A. No, but in light of the previous order then it should be clear to
11 any commander that since he is not allowed to hand them over, yeah, that
12 the hand-over is only going to happen at a higher level, so it shouldn't
13 be a concern of the subordinate commander.
14 Q. Very well. On that note I want to show you a document of the
15 same day from the 1st Military District, it's 65 ter 656, tab 187. Yes,
16 thank you. Now, you see this is a document of the 1st Military District
17 on the 20th of November and it is entitled "combat report ." I want to
18 take you to page 4 in the English version and that is page 2 in the B/C/S
19 version. Can we go -- can we scroll down a bit in the English version to
20 look at the paragraph which starts with:
21 "During the day OG South captured the hospital and the MUP
22 building. Control was taken of the hospital building and the examination
23 of the wounded and sick began in order to identify MUP and ZNG members
24 who are hiding in the hospital among the wounded."
25 So this goes back to what you were telling us a moment ago. Now,
1 this order -- this report, I apologise, includes some detail that I
2 was -- we didn't see in the report of the OG South. Are there any
3 OG South documents which include this information about the examination
4 of the wounded and the sick?
5 A. I don't recall -- I mean, I'm just looking at which wording is
6 used in the OG South daily reports or any mention of wounded and sick.
7 For example, there is footnote 1408 that is for the 21st of November,
8 this is on page 481. I'm just looking at what I have for the 20th of
9 November. But as I mention in my report, there are no specific entries
10 in OG South documents or in the war diary referring specifically to the
11 hospital evacuation.
12 Q. Now, we have seen two OG South reports on the 20th of November.
13 Does the JNA also use other means of reporting than written reports?
14 A. Yeah, there can always be oral reporting, but again -- and I
15 think maybe -- probably I mention in the report, given the importance of
16 the event and the presence of international observers and the interest
17 shown by the SSNO, I mean the security administration, the 1st Military
18 District, to the overall handling of the end of hostilities and the
19 evacuation of civilians, it would make sense to have written -- I mean to
20 have -- to code in written reporting because written report is actually
21 the report, yeah, that is being sent on a regular basis and you would
22 expect that it covers all activities, so why would you not include an
23 important event as the evacuation of the hospital? It would be unusual
24 or it is unusual.
25 Q. Now, you come to that conclusion at page 480 of your report. If
1 we could display 65 ter 556, please. At page 480 of your report you
2 discuss the fact that there is an entry in the war diary of the
3 80th Motorised Brigade, and I'll conclude on this topic, so this --
4 65 ter 556, tab 155 of the lists, very well. And could we go to page 16
5 in the English version and that's page 15 in the B/C/S version. If we
6 scroll down to the bottom of the page in the English version and zoom in
7 to the entry at around 4 -- 1600 hours. Yes. And same thing for the
8 B/C/S version. Thank you. We see the entry here which says that:
9 "The brigade commander" at 4.00 in the afternoon "requests that
10 the detachment commander relieve officers from guarding the captured ZNG
11 and MUP members, the cVP and brigade command were engaged for this."
12 Can you tell us what is the cVP, if I'm pronouncing it right?
13 A. Yeah, it's the Ceta and Vojna policija, it's the military police
14 platoon if I'm not mistaken. VP stands for military police. I think
15 that Ceta is a platoon if I remember well.
16 Q. Okay. And the next entry at 10.35 -- 2235 hours:
17 "The security for the camp for captured ZNG" and let's move to
18 the next page in the English version on the top part, yeah, "so the
19 security for the camp for captured ZNG and MUP members was withdrawn from
20 the Ovcara sector and they were replaced by the Vukovar territorials.
21 The detachment of the military police and duty organs from the brigade
22 command returned to Negoslavci village and the command post."
23 Now, what do you make out of these two entries, Mr. Theunens?
24 A. Well, I think the language is clear. It means that 80th --
25 commander of the 80th Brigade must have been ordered to take the measures
1 he has taken, i.e., withdraw his personnel from Ovcara. We know from
2 other documents that the 80th Brigade had a presence in Ovcara area and
3 that the 80th Brigade was subordinated to OG South at the time of the
4 events, even afterwards. Just hypothetically, if the commander of the
5 80th Brigade had issued these orders without the approval or the
6 authorisation or the orders from the commander of OG South, the commander
7 of OG South would afterwards have held the commander of the 80th Brigade
8 accountable for failure to implement his orders or for doing things that
9 were not in accordance with his orders, and I haven't seen any such
10 response from the commander of OG South.
11 Q. And I know that we're passing the time but if I may give one last
12 question to close this chapter, Your Honours. Here it says that the --
13 on the previous page the security for the camp were withdrawn from Ovcara
14 and were replaced by Vukovar territorials. Is that what it says? And
15 Vukovar territorials refers to what exactly?
16 A. Again in the context of other documents, it refers to members of
17 the local Serb TO in Vukovar, including volunteers.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I think it's time to adjourn, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Indeed.
20 Mr. Theunens, this is the end of the second day of your
21 testimony. You're not released, which again means don't discuss your
22 testimony with anybody, don't talk to any of the parties. Thank you very
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours. Thank you.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: See you tomorrow at 9.00.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could we discuss tomorrow morning at the
3 beginning of the hearing the plan -- the further planning of this
4 witness, the end of examination-in-chief to start of cross-examination,
5 the timing.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honours, absolutely.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. Court adjourned.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.02 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of
10 May, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.