1 Monday, 13 May 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 I would like the record to reflect that the late start is due to
8 technical problems in the courtroom.
9 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 This is the case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
15 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. For
16 the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Alex Demirdjian, Case Manager, Thomas
17 Laugel, and legal intern, Lucia Laporte.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 For the Defence. Mr. Zivanovic.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
21 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
23 If there's nothing else, then the witness may be brought in.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning Mr. Theunens.
1 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: May I remind that you're still on your oath.
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, please proceed.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Thank
7 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS [Resumed]
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell: [Continued]
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Theunens.
10 A. Good morning, Mr. Gosnell.
11 Q. I'm afraid I have to go back briefly to Arkan. Probably because
12 I was speaking too quickly on Friday, there was an important word missing
13 from the quotation from General Panic in his interview to the BBC in the
14 Death of Yugoslavia interview. And that was up on the screen in front of
15 you before, so I'm not going to put it up again. I'm just going to put
16 to you the proper quotation and then pose a question to you. And what
17 General Panic said on that occasion in respect of, I suggest to you, the
18 arrival of volunteers in September 1991 was:
19 "They were not big groups, say in Arkan's case between 80 and 120
20 persons, and in Seselj's case between 90 and 120 men. All these
21 formations were under my command but the people who wanted to act
22 independently were being removed from that area and disarmed and returned
24 Now can you agree with me that that implies that Arkan is
25 subordinated to the armed forces continuously in the year 1991, from
1 August to December?
2 A. No, Your Honours, because as far as I recall the statement by
3 General Panic for the Death of Yugoslavia, he didn't provide a specific
4 time-frame for the -- his statement that all these groups were
5 subordinated to him. I don't dispute the statement. On the contrary, I
6 have included it in my report, but I think Mr. Gosnell now introduces
7 specific dates and those dates are not available or were not pronounced
8 by Mr. Panic in the Death of Yugoslavia interview.
9 Q. Let's go to what you said in the Milosevic case at page 31488,
10 and the end of an answer leads to a question by a Judge and then a
11 clarification on your part. And I'll read it. And these are your words
12 at the beginning and then there's a question from the Judge and then
13 there's your answer:
14 "And that brings us back to the initial distinction that was
15 made: Volunteers as individuals are purely legal, then we have
16 volunteers as groups which were -- or steps were done to subordinate them
17 to the JNA, and then we have individuals or groups like Arkan -- excuse
18 me, like Dragan or Arkan who, again, according to JNA information,
19 actually were related to the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, even if
20 there could be doubts about the legality they were doing, but that's
21 probably outside of my knowledge."
22 Judge Robinson:
23 "So that according to your thesis then, Seselj and his men, Arkan
24 and his men, were within the command structure and subordinate to the
25 lowest level of the JNA?"
1 Answer, this is your answer:
2 "Based -- based, Your Honour, based on the orders I've seen and
3 the order that have been used for the report, the answer to that is
4 affirmative. There were -- they were, indeed, subordinated to JNA units
5 in the framework of the structure I discussed earlier in order to
6 maintain single command."
7 Now no mention there, Mr. Theunens, at all of what you said on
8 Friday about Arkan stepping in and out of subordination during this
9 period, is there?
10 A. Could you remind me, Mr. Gosnell, when I made that testimony in
11 the Milosevic trial.
12 Q. That was the Milosevic trial. I don't have the exact date noted
13 down but it would have been 2002 or 2003, I believe.
14 A. Yeah. Your Honours, since 2000 -- I don't dispute my testimony,
15 but since 2003 we have obtained additional documents, and these
16 additional documents, I mean specifically SBWS, that was during the
17 Vukovar trial, and these were most documents we requested from FRY and
18 Serbia, these documents allowed to further specify the issue of
19 subordination. And as I've mentioned throughout my testimony and
20 cross-examination also in different -- in other trials where this issue
21 was discussed, as a rule volunteers and paramilitaries should be
22 subordinated to the JNA. To see how the situation was in practice, we
23 have to look at the specific documents, and I have for example quoted
24 from reports by security organs of 1st Military District where it is
25 stated that, I'm paraphrasing now but I recall that stated that, Okay,
1 quote/unquote, it is believed that Arkan acts outside the subordination
2 of the JNA or on the orders of the Ministry of Interior or maintains
3 and/or maintains specific relations with the authorities of the SAO SBWS.
4 You can check the records of the OTP when these reports of
5 security organs became available but not all of those were available at
6 the time I testified in Milosevic trial. And, again, the more documents
7 you look at, the easier it becomes to really see the -- the sequence of
8 events and to also be in a better position to qualify general statements
9 like the subordination of volunteers and paramilitaries to the JNA during
10 combat operations.
11 Q. Mr. Theunens, I thought we agreed on Friday that the OB reports
12 about Arkan were neutral.
13 A. Your Honours, what do you explain -- what do you understand --
14 Q. No, excuse me. I just need to finish my question, Mr. Theunens.
15 A. Sorry.
16 Q. I paused because there was a --
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. -- a note from the court reporter.
19 So my question is: I thought we agreed on Friday that the JNA OB
20 reports about Arkan were neutral in respect of the issue of his
21 subordination to the JNA. Now you're saying that they're not neutral,
22 that they show that he's not subordinated?
23 A. Your Honours, that -- that is not what I'm saying. I say that
24 there are some reports where -- and I will try to identify them but there
25 are -- there is at least one report, and we discuss it in examination,
1 where it is stated that at least according to the people or the sources
2 interviewed by the security organ that these sources believe that Arkan
3 operates on behalf of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
4 And that I have -- I mean, I also recall that at least one or several of
5 these documents specify that he is not under JNA command at specific
6 instances, but I don't dispute that there are instances and probably for
7 most of the time Arkan operated under the command of the JNA in fall 1991
8 in SBWS. But I tried so say it's not black or white. There are -- I
9 mean, there are a lot of nuances and that's why there are some many
10 documents I have attempted to review in this report, and for each of
11 conclusions I draw also in relation to subordination there are footnotes
12 to official JNA or other documents to substantiate these -- these
14 Q. Isn't the whole point of the notion of singleness of command and
15 command and control that when issues are not black and white the unit is
16 considered subordinated?
17 A. Actually, Your Honours, and this is visible from the documents,
18 the various orders issued by General Panic for example on the 15th of
19 October as well as on 16th of November where he re-emphasises the
20 importance the JNA maintaining control in the areas it has captured or --
21 or seized as well as to always subordinate the volunteers and
22 paramilitaries together with other documents we have seen from
23 General Kadijevic, from General Adzic, all these documents show that
24 there were difficulties with the subordination of volunteers/paramilitary
25 groups. One of the reasons is because these -- these groups were not
1 foreseen by law. They popped up or they appeared in certain parts of the
2 disputed areas be it in Eastern Slavonia or Western Slavonia or the
3 Krajina, and JNA commanders faced the problem of what to do with these
4 groups and how to handle them and that's why these additional orders were
5 issued, i.e., to subordinate them or to remove them.
6 Q. Yeah. But those orders don't mention Arkan, do they? They
7 mention other groups; correct?
8 A. I mean, we can look at specific documents but they mention
9 volunteers groups in general terms. They don't specify the groups.
10 There is one document but that's not so much an order, it's more a
11 report. The armija report by the assistant commander for moral guidance
12 of the 1st Proletarian Guards Mechanised Division, Milan --
13 Lieutenant-Colonel Milan Eremija when he discusses the crimes in Lovas he
14 mentions, for example, Arkan and he also mentions other groups. But
15 that's not an order, I agree.
16 Q. And even assuming that Arkan is sponsored, supported under the
17 protection in some way of the Serbian MUP, that's in no way inconsistent
18 [Realtime transcript read in error "consistent"] with being subordinated
19 to the JNA, is it?
20 A. Sorry, the transcript say it's is no way consistent or you mean
22 Q. Inconsistent. Thank you.
23 A. No. One doesn't exclude the other, and that's -- again, that's I
24 think visible from the documents I have discussed.
25 Q. Could we have L43, please. This document, as such, is not on our
1 list; however, it is a part of 01939 which appears on our list twice at
2 Defence tab 77 and 208.
3 MR. GOSNELL: I see we have the wrong document.
4 I feel that I went down this road before with Dr. Neilsen.
5 Q. Perhaps we could just remove that document from the screen and
6 I'll just put a question to you, Mr. Theunens. Mr. Theunens, do you know
7 that it was only on the 18th of August, 1991, that those who were
8 involved in setting up a district government in SBWS promulgated or
9 initiated the process of promulgating laws to set up ministries. Do you
10 know that that was the date, the 18th of August, 1991?
11 A. This is -- this is probably the case, yeah. I mean, I have the
12 date my report but I don't by heart. Maybe you can point me to the
13 section in my report where I discussed that.
14 Q. That's all right. I'm just going to proceed to the next
15 question. And that is do you know that it was only on the 25th of
16 September, 1991, that the statutes were passed by the SBWS Assembly
17 setting up Ministries of Defences, Justice and so forth?
18 A. Yes. I mean, I have to reason to doubt the date. I also have a
19 recollection that on the -- I mean, this is in my report on page 184 that
20 on the 10th of October, they also -- I mean, the SAO SBWS Great Assembly
21 adopts a decision to attach the TO, i.e., the local Serb TO to the -- of
22 the SAO SBWS to the armed forces of SFRY. That's footnote 532.
23 Q. And you'd agree that the development of the district government
24 in the SBWS lagged far behind the development of the district government
25 in the area of the SAO Krajina, right?
1 A. Your Honours, I haven't specifically looked in that issue. I
2 mean, looking at the dates of -- of certain decisions and so on I would
3 agree with you. I mean, that -- that decisions in SAO SBWS are taken at
4 a later stage than in the SAO Krajina.
5 Q. You testified on Friday I believe it was that you had
6 participated in the drafting of final trial briefs for the Prosecution.
7 Did that include the final trial -- or reviewing and revising final trial
8 briefs for the Prosecution. Did that include the Mrksic final trial
10 A. It did. And just to avoid misunderstandings, I didn't
11 participate in such activities for the Hadzic trial.
12 Q. But you did for the Mrksic case?
13 A. Indeed.
14 Q. And I noticed in the course of your testimony that you often use
15 the verbal expression "between quotation marks" or "in quotation marks."
16 Did you have anything to do with the term SBWS government being referred
17 to in the Prosecution's final trial brief in Mrksic in quotation marks as
18 if to suggest it wasn't a real government?
19 A. The use of quotation marks, I mean, I can give you various
20 examples in -- but in relation to the what -- I mean, what we're looking
21 at now, you may have seen -- you may have noticed in the various JNA
22 documents that mention the local authorities prior to the 20th of
23 December, the 1st Military District puts local organs of government or
24 local authorities between quotation marks. My understanding is because
25 this -- these local bodies were not recognised. Whether they are real or
1 not, I mean, that's another matter. I would say this is more for a
2 political expert. After the 20th of November, 1991, I don't remember
3 seeing quotation marks in JNA documents. I use the quotation marks
4 because I want to make it clear to the reader these are not the same
5 bodies as the legal bodies or the legally recognised and the legally
6 established bodies as they existed in the SFRY.
7 Q. You know that Radovan Stojicic, aka Badza, arrives in the region
8 of the SBWS in early August, don't you?
9 A. It -- it's possible. I don't recall exactly. Early August 1991,
10 yeah, it's possible.
11 Q. Do you have any awareness at all of the testimony that has been
12 heard in this case.
13 A. No, Your Honours. As I think I replied on Friday or Thursday,
14 occasionally I look on the Internet just to -- I mean, on Sense Tribunal
15 web site to see which case are on them, and sometimes issues related to
16 this case are being discussed or there are reviews of articles on
17 testimony in this case, but I mean that's not I would say a legal or an
18 authoritative source because it's -- they are paraphrasing the testimony,
19 so that is the furtherest I can be familiar with the testimony in this
21 Q. Well, we have evidence in this case that Mr. Stojicic shows up in
22 the area of the SBWS in early August, that he convenes a meeting of local
23 TO commanders in Bobota, that he announces that he is the commander of
24 the TO in that area of the SBWS, and that those commanders accept that
25 pronouncement. And he also says that he's there on behalf of the Serbian
1 MUP. Now, listen carefully to this question: Is there any regulation or
2 law from the SFRY or elsewhere suggesting that he was obliged to consult
3 with the prime minister designate of a government that's barely in
4 existence and that has no ministries at all?
5 A. Your Honours, I believe there are several aspects covered in this
6 question. There is no provision in SFRY law that the -- a local -- that
7 a TO is -- is set up in SBWS that doesn't answer to the republican
8 authorities, i.e., the authorities of the Republic of Croatia but
9 instead, based on what Mr. Gosnell just stated, is subordinated to the
10 Ministry of Interior of a neighbouring republic. You know, that is not
11 foreseen by law, so we're in a very grey situation.
12 Now, whether the government is barely in existence and has no
13 ministries at all, what we can say is that again looking at the documents
14 that in the SBWS bodies are set up calling themselves government or
15 authority, and I'm sorry to repeat myself, but that -- until the 20th
16 November 1991, the 1st Military District of the JNA apparently refuses to
17 recognise these bodies because they were' not even identified by name in
18 1st Military District orders, but after the 20th of November, 1991, the
19 1st Military District considers these bodies as the relevant authorities
20 and even identifies them as SO, so Serbian District of SBWS bodies of
22 Q. Do you believe that any reference to SO SBWS implies a reference
23 to the government or can you understand that a reference to SO SBWS could
24 be a reference to a geographic area?
25 A. Your Honours, I stated SO SBWS organs or bodies of government, I
1 mean that is the quotation or the text that is being used. Obviously
2 SO SBWS without any additional clarification can be anything. I agree.
3 But I'm specifically talking it -- I mean, it talks about local bodies of
4 government of SO SBWS.
5 Q. And don't you think that under Article 1 of the Law on All
6 People's Defence - and this Chamber has heard evidence about it, but
7 apparently you're not aware of that - that Serbs at the commune level
8 would consider themselves legally entitled to set up local TOs in order
9 to take up arms against what they perceived as an armed threat from the
10 Croatian side.
11 A. Well, obviously they consider themselves entitled to do so
12 because otherwise they wouldn't have done so. And they were supported --
13 supported by -- in doing that by Ministry of Interior of the Republic of
14 Serbia as well as the Ministry of Defence and in -- in many cases also --
15 already initially by the JNA, and later on as we discussed all this
16 becomes regularised and the local Serb TOs become allied forces of the
17 JNA in the operations in Croatia during late summer/fall 1991.
18 Q. And being, as you say, supported by the Serbian MUP, it's not at
19 all surprising, is it, that Radovan Stojicic could show up on the ground
20 and announce off his own bat, so to speak, or on the basis of the
21 authority of his position in the Serbian MUP that he was the commander of
22 the TO in that area, of the various local TOs in that area?
23 A. Yes, Your Honours. And again coming back to my report and the
24 fact I -- I really focussed on -- I mean, I focussed on documents and not
25 on testimony for obvious reasons. I can explain those if needed.
1 I haven't seen a document from the SAO SBWS or from -- from
2 the -- from the prime minister or the president of the government
3 concerning, for example, the removal of Mr. Stojicic or the fact that
4 Mr. Stojicic is showing up and it's unauthorised and that something has
5 to be done about it. Just if you allow me, there is a document from I
6 think January 1992 where Mr. Hadzic allows the 1st Military District to
7 remove --
8 Q. Excuse me --
9 A. Sorry, but I would like to finish.
10 Q. That wasn't my question. You're going into all kinds of matters,
11 and ...
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: You may proceed --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm very sorry. My hand signal was for the
15 witness, for Mr. Theunens, to stop for a moment.
16 Could you ask the question again, Mr. Gosnell, and I would
17 suggest to Mr. Theunens to try to answer the question.
18 MR. GOSNELL:
19 Q. Yeah, Mr. Theunens, the issue was about whether or not -- and
20 I'll just repeat it because I believe it's clear: It's not surprising
21 that Mr. Radovan Stojicic, given, as you say, that the Serbian MUP was
22 providing support to these local TO groups, and -- announce that he was
23 the commander of these TO units?
24 A. Of course, anyone can make any statement. Then we have to see
25 what is the practical effect of this statement, what are the
2 Q. I want to take you back to page 189 of your report. And this is
3 where you say, and I -- I posed a question about this to you before, and
4 now I come back to it in the context of this discussion. And you say,
5 page 189: "When not participating in combat operations, the local Serb
6 TO in the SAO SBWS is, until at least December 1991, subordinated to the
7 local Serb police under the command of Radovan Stojicic."
8 That's almost right, except the part that you got wrong is that
9 it's not the local Serb police. It's the Serbian MUP, isn't it? That's
10 what you meant to say.
11 A. Yes, Your Honours. We discussed this statement. I -- I have
12 difficulties to find the reference -- I mean, I have to admit, to find
13 the reference for the local Serb police because I don't have the same
14 access to the material as I used to have when I was here. So, I mean,
15 if -- if Mr. Gosnell challenges that I have to accept that because I
16 cannot clarify given the material I have in front of me.
17 Q. But when you wrote this report you knew that Mr. Stojicic was
18 affiliated with the SUP of -- with the Serbian MUP; correct?
19 A. I knew that but I also remember that there was a clear lack of
20 documents. I mean, there's lot of open sources that mention that, and I
21 was looking for documents to -- to -- to be able to establish the
22 position held by Mr. Stojicic at that time as well as his exact -- I
23 mean, the position in the MUP Serbia and the nature of his relations with
24 the MUP Serbia. And given the lack of footnote there, I haven't been
25 able to -- to establish that and the same applies to the local Serb
1 police. I must have had a document but the footnote isn't there so I
2 cannot -- what I say, I cannot stand by this claim -- by this statement
3 at this moment.
4 Q. And we know that Arkan arrives in the region at around the same
5 time as Mr. Stojicic; correct?
6 A. I believe there's a JNA document that mentions him -- I mean,
7 Arkan in the area of Tenja already in May 1991, so that would be earlier
8 than what you mentioned for Mr. Stojicic.
9 Q. Well, we know at the very at least that Arkan is involved in
10 operations on 1st and 2nd August 1991, correct?
11 A. Yeah. I mean, I have no exact recollection but probably it is.
12 I mean, that would have been established from the new documents. In the
13 old documents I don't think I have any document that refers to Arkan's
14 involvement in operations on the 1st and 2nd except -- yeah, I recall
15 now, I think that security organ report in relation to Arkan's alleged or
16 his group blowing up of a Catholic church tower in Erdut around that
18 Q. I think that was the Helsinki watch report; correct?
19 A. Also.
20 Q. And we have the certificate from Arkan himself describing a
21 wounded soldier in Tenja on the 2nd of August; correct?
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated].
23 MR. GOSNELL:
24 Q. And we have the certificate from Arkan indicating that one of his
25 soldiers was wounded in Tenja on the 2nd of August, 1991; correct?
1 A. Your Honours, I mean, unless this is a memory test, it would be
2 helpful for me to see the actual document otherwise I can just say, yeah,
4 Q. Well, we discussed them on Friday, Mr. Theunens.
5 A. Yeah, okay.
6 Q. And we know that the JNA identified the training centre in Erdut,
7 as you said, identified the training centre in Erdut as a training
8 facility of the Croatian TO prior to the conflict; correct?
9 A. Yeah. But I think the wording there is -- could be
10 misunderstood. There was in Erdut a facility prior to the war which,
11 according to documents we saw, was used by I think Croatian Ministry of
12 Interior. It may have been also been Republic of Croatia TO but that is
13 prior to the war. But there is no handover from the Croats to the local
14 Serbs or what.
15 Q. I fully understand that there are no documents about that, but
16 what I'm asking you -- what I propose to ask you is this: Do you think
17 given that the JNA is on the ground in Erdut in force on the 1st of
18 August, and Badza is on the ground in early August, do you think either
19 the JNA or Badza needs to go to Goran Hadzic and ask him for permission
20 as to the use of that TO training centre?
21 A. I cannot answer that question, Your Honours. All I can say is
22 that based on JNA 1st Military District documents -- as I mentioned
23 earlier, the 1st Military District doesn't recognise the local SAO or SO
24 SBWS authorities; on the other hand, security organs report of the
25 1st Military District between October 1991 and, say, January 1992,
1 mention, for example, that Arkan has close relations with -- with local
2 Serb authorities, but how the centre in Erdut became a training centre
3 for Arkan and then for the local Serb -- for the local SAO SBWS TO, I
4 don't know.
5 Q. Well, you seem very comfortable drawing other types of
6 inferences. Why can't you draw an inference in this case that the
7 training centre was handed over to Arkan either by the JNA directly or by
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Isn't that asked and answered, Mr. Gosnell?
10 MR. GOSNELL: Well I put the question a bit more forcefully and a
11 bit more leadingly, Mr. President, but I take your point. I will move on
12 if it's your wish.
13 Shall I move on? Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Could we have 05998, which is Defence tab 492.
15 Q. And, Mr. Theunens, what I'd like to do now is to take you through
16 a number of documents chronologically that show what is going on in the
17 TO at this time-period in this area, or at least I hope they will show
19 Now, this is dated the 30th of September, 1991. It's from the
20 command of the 12th Corps, Major-General Mladen Bratic, and he is talking
21 about the formation of a tactical group to unify the command of blocking
22 Vukovar from the north, and he appoints a commander and the staff of this
23 TG, and then it says:
24 "The following units and commands will be subordinated to the TG
1 Starts with a JNA unit. And then it says:
2 "Volunteer TO detachment from Valjevo," so that's Serbia, "TO
3 company from Borovo Selo, TO company from Brsadin."
4 Now this indicates, doesn't it, that the JNA is subordinating TO
5 units -- local TO units in the area; correct?
6 A. Yes, Your Honours. Local Serb TO units.
7 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender that, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D40. Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 65 ter 6000, which is Defence
12 tab 390.
13 Q. This again is from the command of the 12th Corps. This time
14 signed by the Chief of Staff, Colonel Srboljub Trajkovic. The date is
15 the 1st of October, 1991, and the subject is permits for movement in the
16 combat zone. It says:
17 "Attached please find the permits for the movement in the combat
18 zone. Permits to be issued to every officer by name for those who need
19 to move in the combat zone in order to supply units, deliver goods, and
20 evacuation. Individuals without permit attached cannot move during the
21 night neither cross the bridge over the Danube by Bogojevo without this
23 First of all, does this reflect that the JNA is controlling
24 movement in the area?
25 A. Yes, Your Honour. But just to be precise, I mean, the combat
1 zone, and this is delineated by the -- the limits of the various zones of
2 responsibility of the units. But it's -- it makes sense, yeah.
3 Q. And given that Bogojevo bridge is mentioned, wouldn't you agree
4 that it seems that the zone of responsibility goes right up to the
5 Bogojevo bridge in the depth of the territory?
6 A. Indeed.
7 Q. And if we look at the list of addressees, no mention there at
8 all, is there, of a TO SBWS headquarters, General Staff, HQ, anything of
9 that kind; correct?
10 A. Your Honours, I can't see the -- I would like to see the list of
11 addressees. I think it's at the bottom, the left bottom corner of the
13 MR. GOSNELL: Yes. If we could scroll down.
14 THE WITNESS: Yeah. Oops.
15 Yes, according to the handwritten additions, it is only sent to
16 subordinate units of the 12th Corps, JNA units.
17 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender that, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D41. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 00444, please. And that's
22 Prosecution tab 123.
23 Q. Now, this is from the SFRY Official Gazette. The date is the
24 18th of October but it refers to a proclamation dated the 1st of October,
25 1991. It says:
1 "According to the Article 316 of the SFRY Constitution and
2 Article 6 of the Law on All People's Defence ... at the session held
3 on ...," and then there appears to be a typo if you see there, "the 1st
4 of November 1991, the SFRY Presidency estimating current political-safety
5 situation in the country proclaimed existence of imminent war danger in
6 SFRY number 190, Belgrade, 1 October, 1991."
7 Now, sir, just a very brief correction: In your report you
8 indicate that this proclamation of 3rd. Do we -- can we agree that it's
9 actually the 1st of October, 1991?
10 A. Could you please tell me on which page my report is this
11 discussed, because I think there I refer also to a JNA document which
12 uses the 3rd. So I agree with you that it should be the 1st, but maybe
13 we should explain why I apparently erroneously wrote it was the 3rd.
14 Q. That's page 135 of your report.
15 A. Thank you.
16 Yeah, I think -- I mean, if you pointed out -- I think it's also
17 helpful to point out footnote 374 which states that the decision or
18 the -- the establishment of the state of imminent threat of war by the
19 SFRY Presidency is on the 1st of October.
20 Q. All right. So the footnote is correct and it's just the text
21 that is wrong; is that right?
22 A. Well, we should have -- look at all the references, because it
23 wouldn't -- I mean, why I would write the 3rd if I write in the footnote
24 it's the 1st, so because there are other documents. I think maybe it's
25 not in the cut and paste or in the amalgamated report, but there is a
1 follow-up document by I think organ for morale at the SSNO or the
2 General Staff of the JNA to explain to the JNA personnel the implications
3 of this declaration by the SFRY Presidency.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, I don't why you would do that. But you've got the
5 document there quite clearly in front of you. The date of the
6 proclamation is 1st of October, 1991; correct?
7 A. Yes, it's in the footnote. 374.
8 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender this document, Mr. President.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, just to remain consistent with the
10 policy we adopted on Friday. This is one of the documents that will be
11 part of the package we will be including. It's one of the documents in
12 the footnotes.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. It will be admitted with the package.
14 Thank you.
15 MR. GOSNELL:
16 Q. What's the consequence of this proclamation in your view,
17 Mr. Theunens?
18 A. Your Honours, I haven't seen any specific documents to that
19 effect. Just from the context one would say that, okay, it will -- it
20 can be used to declare additional mobilisations as well deployment of
21 forces but I haven't seen any specific documents except, as I mentioned,
22 there is this document from the JNA or General Staff or SSNO
23 administration for moral guidance on the practical implications, mainly
24 for morale of the troops. But that's all I have seen and I thought this
25 document was included in the report but I cannot locate it as of now.
1 Q. I should have been more precise in my question. What is your
2 view of the legal consequence of this proclamation?
3 A. That is outside the scope of my expertise, Your Honours. I
4 haven't looked into that.
5 Q. Outside of the scope of your expertise and yet you rely at length
6 in your report on the Law on All People's Defence, the SFRY constitution,
7 and many other SFRY laws. Are you saying that you included material
8 that's not within the scope of your expertise?
9 A. I think, Your Honours, that my answer was clear. What -- I will
10 try to clarify my answer, then.
11 I haven't -- I'm not aware of any specific documents from after
12 the 1st of October, 1991, explaining what the legal implications are of
13 the -- the mentioned proclamation by the SFRY Presidency. I don't recall
14 seeing such documents. If you would show me such documents then maybe I
15 can be helpful to you and try to answer your question.
16 Q. In your view as a matter of law, does it have any impact on the
17 chain of command?
18 A. Your Honours, as we discussed earlier, it would imply the formal
19 establishment of the Supreme Command as well as the staff of the Supreme
20 Command. However, as we discussed during my examination, the Supreme
21 Command was already in existence de facto prior to the 1st of October,
22 1991, and the same applies to the staff of the Supreme Command.
23 Q. Well, now I'm very confused because I thought that the
24 Supreme Command was in existence prior to this date de jure, wasn't it?
25 A. Well, it's maybe a matter of defining de jure and de facto. When
1 I say de facto, I mean that the Supreme Command is issuing decisions or
2 is -- I will correct that is -- is quoted I mean, the -- the term
3 "Supreme Command" is used in JNA documents and SFRY armed forces
4 documents. The same applies to the staff of the Supreme Command even
5 prior to 1st of October. That's why I used de facto because it's only on
6 the 1st of October that the SFRY Presidency, 1st of October, 1991, that
7 the SFRY Presidency proclaims the existence of an imminent threat of war.
8 Q. So is it your testimony that de jure there is no Supreme Command
9 of the SFRY prior to the 1st of August, 1991?
10 A. Your Honours, I have answered the question. I have stated
11 that -- I have stated a number of -- of -- of for that the bodies, i.e.,
12 called Supreme Command or identified as Supreme Command is according to
13 the documents I reviewed already existing prior to 1st of October, 1991.
14 Q. I want to be very precise about your view on this, Mr. Theunens.
15 A. Well --
16 Q. Is it in existence de jure prior to that date or not?
17 A. Your Honours, I believe I have answered the question to the best
18 of my abilities.
19 Q. Does that mean you don't know?
20 A. It's not a question -- sorry. It's not a question of knowing or
21 not knowing, but I'm not going to make a statement on issues like de jure
22 when I haven't looked into that matter. I'm not a political analyst. I
23 haven't looked at constitutional issues in the SFRY beyond the level that
24 is required to understand the functioning of the JNA during summer and
25 fall 1991, and I believe that the answer I have given to the question so
1 far, and I think I repeated myself three times, is the best I can do in
2 order to assist you in relation to your question.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 060055, please -- excuse me, let me
4 restate that number: 06005, Defence tab 395.
5 Q. This is a regular combat report from the 12th Corps Command
6 signed by Major-General Mladen Bratic, dated 4 October 1991. The
7 location of the report seems to be village of Dalj.
8 MR. GOSNELL: If we go to page 2, please.
9 Q. And if we can just look at the last sentence of (d) and (e) there
10 on the page:
11 "2/18 pmtbr remained in the region of village Bogojevo and on 5
12 October will be redeployed in the region of Klisa. The 12th pmbr with
13 part of its forces attacked the axis village Silas village, Markusica
14 village, Sodolovci, where they provided assistance to the units of TO in
15 repelling the attack ..."
16 Now can you tell from the way that that reference is formulated
17 that that is local TO or would you not be able to say that?
18 A. Your Honour, if you look at the document in isolation, one would
19 not be able to answer the question. But looking at the overall context,
20 by that time by the 1st October it would be highly unlikely that the JNA
21 would be supporting units of the TO of the Republic of Croatia. So,
22 again, looking at the context, this has to be local Serb TO.
23 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender that document, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D42. Thank you.
1 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 65 ter 6008, which is Defence
2 tab 398.
3 Q. Now, this doesn't specifically concern TO, but there are one or
4 two issues I would like your assistance on, and we're proceeding in
5 chronological order which is why I put the document to you. It's a
6 command report, regular command report of the 12th Corps dated the 5th of
7 October, 1991, again signed by Major Bratic -- or General Bratic:
8 "During the day, the members of the armed formations of the
9 Republic of Croatia carried out a stiff defence in the town of Vukovar.
10 Despite our call, they did not agree to surrender."
11 Do you know whether there were periodic calls to surrender by the
12 JNA to the Croatian forces in Vukovar?
13 A. Yes, Your Honours. I mean, this is one example. I'm not fully
14 familiar with the time of the -- the timings of other examples but there
15 is also quite highly publicised I wouldn't call it effort but attempt by
16 Mr. Seselj when he visits Vukovar - I think this is early November or in
17 October 1991 - and he is allowed to drive around with a vehicle and he
18 has a megaphone where he calls the "Ustashas" to surrender. When I say
19 he is allowed, he is allowed by the JNA to drive around or to move around
20 in a vehicle with a megaphone. And this is when he is visiting OG South
21 I believe.
22 Q. Do you know whether there were calls by the JNA itself or are you
23 suggesting Seselj was a part of the JNA?
24 A. Well, Your Honours, I answered the question. So I'm -- this is
25 one example. I belive that there were also calls -- other calls by the
1 JNA, and I mentioned in addition Seselj because that's also an example of
2 a call to the Croats to surrender.
3 Q. Going over to page 2, I won't quote the passages but I'm
4 interested in subparagraphs (f) and (g). And it's talking about
5 movements of units in the first case between the village of Dalj and the
6 village of Trpinja, and then the village of Rogojevo to the village of
8 Now, can I ask you as relying on your military expertise, is it
9 normal that there are movements of forces of this nature within the zone
10 of responsibility?
11 A. Yes, Your Honours, this is normal.
12 Q. And what kind of, if any, would -- security measures would be
13 implied by those types of movements?
14 A. I'm not sure I fully understand the question. What do you mean
15 what kind of security measures would be taken or what kind of measures
16 would be made to secure, protective measures or -- to protect the
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. I mean, the movements would be -- would be -- ideally they would
20 be conducted at night. I'm just giving a generic answer now, but
21 movements to be conducted at night to avoid detection from the air which
22 is obviously not an issue in Eastern Slavonia in 1991 because there is no
23 Croatian air force. You would use military police to control
24 crossings -- I mean, to avoid interference -- or road junctions to avoid
25 interference with other traffic. Ideally, you would also send patrols
1 before the convoys as well as -- in potentially vulnerable locations to
2 avoid that there are attempts by infiltrated enemy forces to threaten the
3 convoy, because when moving, of course, units are more vulnerable than
4 when being static. I mean, you would try to take all necessary measures
5 to avoid like, for example, ambushes.
6 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender this document, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit D43. Thank you.
9 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P1686, please, Prosecution tab 149.
10 Q. This is another report of the 12th Corps dated I believe the 8th
11 of October 1991, although I cannot see that on the English version. But
12 I'm interested in one specific passage from this document.
13 If we could turn to page 3, first full paragraph:
14 "Direct engagement of people in combat operations has led to the
15 deaths and wounding of some soldiers ..."
16 What do you think is meant by the expression "direct engagement
17 of people in combat operations"?
18 A. It -- it means that JNA person -- or, yeah, JNA or subordinate
19 personnel is involved in combat operations and those can consist of -- I
20 mean, depending on the nature of troops, but if it's infantry, I mean,
21 this can include exchanges of fire with opposing forces or maybe they are
22 exposed to shelling by the opposing forces. It could be -- I mean, it
23 doesn't explain exactly what kind of operations they are conducting,
24 whether it's offensive or defensive operations, but all of these
25 operations would include exchanges of fire of various nature. It can be
1 direct fire, can be indirect fire.
2 Q. All right. And let's go to the next page:
3 "Security situation in units and in the territory ... on the
4 whole, the system of security and /illegible/ in the zone of combat
5 operations of the 12th Corps is not functioning as it should. The newly
6 established organs of authority haven't gained control over the security
7 situation in the field to the necessary extent and there are different
8 views and opinions among them on how to resolve problems while a few
9 local staffs function independently. A large number of former agents of
10 the State Security Service of the Republic of Croatia, some of whom have
11 radio stations, use those to report on positions and conditions in our
12 units to the enemy, which also contributes to the infiltration of
13 reconnaissance and sabotage groups?
14 Now, first question: Do you agree that it seems that
15 General Bratic, who is the author of this report, seems to be very
16 preoccupied with infiltration and sabotage in his zone of responsibility?
17 A. Indeed, Your Honours. And I think it's important to know that
18 the 12th Corps is operating in an area where obviously there are a number
19 of municipalities with a Serb majority but there is also municipalities
20 with a Croatian majority, and obviously he has doubts about the
21 allegiance of these Croats, and according to the information he believes
22 that they are still in contact with the Croatian authorities and maybe
23 gathering information, transmitting that information, as well as also
24 maybe assisting or -- yeah, assisting in Croatian infiltration, enemy
25 infiltration in the zone of responsibility.
1 Q. And the second sentence there referring to the newly established
2 organs, do you agree with me that that's probably a reference to local TO
4 A. I would -- I -- and I mean, I haven't discussed it in the report,
5 this document, the amalgamated report, obviously, because it's a new
6 document, but I discuss it in the report that was submitted in October.
7 My conclusion was that it was bodies of the SO SAO SBWS because if it was
8 TO, I mean, to answer your question, he would have referred to local Serb
9 TO or to local TO.
10 Q. Well, I assumed you were going to say that, Mr. Theunens and
11 that's why I put the question to you, but take a look at the last part of
12 the sentence. On the one hand in the first part of the sentence you see
13 a reference to "newly established organs not having gained control over
14 the security situation," and then in the last part of the sentence you
15 see him saying: "While a few local staffs function independently."
16 Now, wouldn't you agree that that second reference, that express
17 reference to local staffs implies that the earlier reference is also to
18 local staffs? Is the transcript okay, or are --
19 A. It -- it is possible -- I would agree with you that if there's a
20 reference to a local staff it would be TO, but we know that there is also
21 groups like Arkan operating. And again, we cannot really draw a
22 conclusion on the staffs because Bratic doesn't identify the nature of
23 these staffs, so what I would do then, again, from an analytical point of
24 view or a methodological point of view is to try to look at other
25 documents in order to better understand the context and then hopefully be
1 in a better position to draw a conclusion.
2 Q. Isn't Arkan if he is subordinated to the armed forces a member of
3 the TO by definition?
4 A. In theory, yes, but in practice the volume of reports from the
5 1st Military District - and again we have been going over them quite a
6 few times already - show that there are difficulties with the status of
7 Arkan and his relations with the JNA. There are for sure orders that he
8 is subordinated to the JNA at specific moments in time and closely
9 co-operating. There are also documents in the latter group. I see, for
10 example, reports of the security organs of 1st Military District where
11 his relations with the JNA are not entirely clear let alone his
12 subordination at that specific moment in time.
13 Q. Isn't that precisely why this document would say a few local
14 staffs function independently?
15 A. As I said, Your Honours, it's possible. I don't dispute that.
16 It's possible.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 06077, please, which is Defence
18 tab 407.
19 Q. This is a 12th Corps Command order dated the 11th of October,
21 A. I think we have another document, Your Honours.
22 MR. GOSNELL: Is that 6077?
23 May I just have one moment, Your Honour.
24 Well, again my handwriting has failed me. It's 65 ter 6017. Now
25 if we can just go to page 3 of this document which again is a 12th Corps
1 Command order dated the 11th of October, 1991, village of Dalj.
2 Q. Item 8 says:
3 "36th mbr," and then there's an expansion unknown but there is a
4 reference to TO, "shall establish full control over the territory of
5 Baranja in co-operation with Baranja TO units."
6 Would you agree again this is an example of local TO units being
7 subordinated to the JNA.
8 A. Your Honours, indeed the Baranja TO units are units of the local
9 Serb TOs so SAO SBWS. Now, again, in co-operation doesn't mean that the
10 Baranja TO would be subordinated to the 36th Mechanised Brigade.
11 However, since this -- the TO Baranja is mentioned in the document of the
12 12th Corps, in this context it implies that indeed these Baranja TO units
13 are subordinated to the 12th Corps at that time.
14 Q. Go to page 5. It says:
15 "Various individuals and groups acting independently have started
16 appearing in areas of combat looting and terrorising the population and
17 similar. Regiment brigade commands are required to get in touch with
18 such groups and individuals in their respective areas of responsibility,
19 place them under their command, and control their behaviour, demanding
20 them to stick to the same laws obeyed by the JNA in the [sic] area.
21 Otherwise, take energetic steps to prevent their independent actions and
23 Now that speaks for itself, but the question I have for you is
24 would you agree that the duty to subordinate - you know what I mean by
25 that, and I know you don't like the term, but the concept is agreed
1 between us - the duty to subordinate extends to groups showing up in the
2 territory and looting civilians? Looting civilian homes, for example.
3 A. Yes, Your Honours, that is correct, to subordinate them or remove
5 Q. And are they subject to military jurisdiction as military
7 A. If -- if they accepted to be subordinated, then obviously they
8 would become a member of the armed forces and therefore be subjected to
9 military discipline and military justice system. The question, of
10 course, is what if -- what would happen if they refused to be
11 subordinated and no measures were taken or no successful measures were
12 taken to remove them. I mean, I'm not aware of any - we discussed it
13 during the examination - of any investigations by the military
14 prosecutors in SFRY and in FRY in 1991, 1992, 1993 concerning the
15 activities of volunteers, but it was more toward the civilian judicial
16 instances who at a rather late stage, and I think I quoted from a Human
17 Rights Watch report referring to investigation and trial proceedings or
18 attempts for trial proceedings against members of the volunteer group
19 known as Yellow Wasps and their alleged crimes committed in Zvornik in
20 April 1991, Zvornik in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, yeah, I mean if they
21 accepted to be subordinated, then obviously they would be members of the
22 armed forces.
23 Q. Are you telling me that whether or not they are subject to
24 military justice depends on whether or not they have agreed to be
25 subordinated? It's their choice?
1 A. Well, the way you formulate the question, you -- you make
2 subordination seem as -- as -- as an issue of choice. When you look at
3 this document in isolation, but again we can look at it in the context of
4 others and they say similar things. The JNA leaves room open for
5 consultation with these groups to, i.e., that the commander asks them,
6 well, or tells them: You will be subordinated and then you will act in
7 accordance with the rules and regulations or you will be removed.
8 What I mentioned in the second part of my answer to the previous
9 question is -- is a third option: What happens with groups who refuse to
10 be subordinate but who remain in the area. I have heard, but I haven't
11 seen any documents about it, but I have heard while working here that,
12 for example, the Guard Motorised Brigade used its military police to
13 remove such groups manu militari, i.e., to use military force to kick
14 such groups who refused to be subordinated to the JNA out.
15 Without going repeating too much what I have said already before,
16 I think from the documents it's clear that groups like Arkan, given their
17 relations or their special relations with authorities of the Republic of
18 Serbia, MUP, and MOD, and also with the local Serb authorities, they seem
19 to have been treated in a different manner by the 12th Corps, in
20 particular after General Bratic was killed in action and
21 General Biorcevic takes over. Now, basically Biorcevic praises Arkan for
22 his activities and -- okay, in that situation we see that at times from
23 the documents on combat operations that Arkan and his group are
24 subordinated to the JNA, but again security organs of the 1st Military
25 District also provide other information.
1 Q. We're going to come to a couple of documents later but the
2 difficulty I have with your answer is that I thought we had discussed
3 carefully the Law on All People's Defence, and my understanding was that
4 if someone arrives in a zone of responsibility and takes up arms in
5 defence of the country, they are deemed to be a part of the Territorial
6 Defence. And in turn under the SFRY constitution, if you're a part of
7 the Territorial Defence, you're part of the armed forces.
8 So what I understand, and I -- this is -- this is where I want
9 your comment: What I understand is the mere fact of showing up in the
10 area, whether or not you abide by the instructions of the local JNA
11 commander, you are a military person and therefore subject to military
12 justice. Isn't that the way it is?
13 A. No, Your Honours. It is not. And I mean, I can elaborate again
14 but I will partially repeat what I have been testifying over the past
15 days so ...
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: If that's your position, Mr. Theunens, that's all
17 right as an answer.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Yes.
19 I would tender this document, please, 6-0.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D44. Thank you.
22 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 00422, please, Prosecution tab 117.
23 Q. Now we've looked at this document -- at paragraph 1 of this
24 document already. I don't want to go back to paragraph 1 but I do want
25 to go down to paragraph 5, and this is a 1st Military District Command
1 order, 15th of October, 1991:
2 "Form the Military District command for the AO of Slavonia,
3 Western Srem, and Baranja with the centre in Dalj, organise the military
4 sections in Beli Manastir and Ilok upon its liberation."
5 Now, first of all, just as a matter of nomenclature, would you
6 agree with me that that reference to the AO of Slavonia, Western Srem,
7 and Baranja, that's a geographic reference, correct? There is no
8 implication that this miliary district command is going to be connected
9 to the district government is there?
10 A. Yes, I agree. It's for the geographic area. I was just
11 comparing with the B/C/S because the word "district," I mean, it's -- the
12 B/C/S exactly "oku [phoen]." It's not the same as "ooblast." So it's
13 the territorial structure, not an operational structure like the
14 1st Military District.
15 Q. And what does it mean that the a military district command is
16 being set up? Why is that being done, if I could ask for your
18 A. Your Honours, this is connected to issue of establishing town
19 commands; i.e., according to the 1st Military District there are no
20 functioning or recognised civilian authorities and this is why the JNA
21 has to take care of that. And in this document, I have referred to in my
22 testimony a few times to this order by General Panic of 15th
23 October 1991, he highlights these problems. And I think it is also in
24 this document or a follow-up document of the 16th November that he refers
25 to attempts of local bodies of authority without explicitly identifying
1 them but attempts to interfere in -- in the situation and Panic orders
2 his subordinate commanders to prevent such attempts.
3 MR. GOSNELL: I believe this is part of the package so I'll say
4 no more about it.
5 Q. Let's look at one of those attempts that you're referring to,
7 MR. GOSNELL: L12, Defence tab 167, please.
8 Q. Now this is a decision on the organisation and activity of the
9 Territorial Defence and Civilian Protection apparently passed by the SBWS
10 Assembly, Great National Assembly. And the date appears to be the 17th
11 of October.
12 A. Mm-hm.
13 Q. So that's two days after the document we just looked at.
14 Now --
15 A. Sorry, could I please see the bottom of the document, because I
16 think the bottom explains when the decision has been taken or when it has
17 been published. Or maybe the next page.
18 MR. GOSNELL: We could go to page 7 of the English.
19 A. Okay. Thank you.
20 MR. GOSNELL: Now if we could go back to page 2 of the English,
22 Q. And if we could look at Article 3:
23 "The commander of the Territorial Defence of the Serbian district
24 and commanders of the Territorial Defence of settlements, within the
25 rights and duties determined by this decision, shall organise and prepare
1 the Territorial Defence, control it, and ensure its unified organisation,
2 preparation, and action."
3 Now, at this point, Mr. Theunens, as you know, the SFRY
4 Presidency has declared an imminent state of war. Can I ask you whether
5 it's your view whether Article 3 interferes with the JNA's chain of
6 command -- or interrupts the JNA's chain of command over local TO units?
7 A. I -- Your Honours, I would prefer to word it differently because,
8 I mean, I don't see a conflict or an inconsistency between Article 3 on
9 one hand and SFRY armed forces doctrine on the other hand, whereby I
10 referred for the doctrine to the 1982 All People's Defence law so that
11 the two are consistent.
12 Q. I would agree with you that they are consistent and I appreciate
13 that comment. Would you agree with me that what is reflected in
14 Article 3 is purely the managerial function in respect of TOs and does
15 not reflect a command and control function, either in war time or in
17 A. Well, I agree with -- with your proposition.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I would tender that document -- oh,
19 it's tendered, I'm sorry. L12.
20 Would that be a convenient moment, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Very convenient, Mr. Gosnell.
22 Mr. Theunens, first break. We'll come back at 11.00.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: You'll be escorted out. Thank you.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's have a look at the planning.
2 Mr. Gosnell, how long do you think you'll have?
3 MR. GOSNELL: It's a bit hard to say, Mr. President. I really
4 had hoped to finish today. There have been some extremely long answers.
5 You'll notice that I have not been interrupting.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So you hope to finish today but not before
7 the end of the hearing. Is that more or less what you're saying?
8 MR. GOSNELL: I would be very surprised if I -- if I was able to.
9 Of course, nothing is impossible in this world.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: How about your re-direct, Mr. Demirdjian?
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It will be, so far, about 15, 20 minutes.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: So we're looking at tomorrow morning continuing
13 Mr. Theunens testimony?
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I suspect. Depending on when the Defence
15 finishes their cross-examination, probably the first session, yeah,
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you very much.
18 Court adjourned.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed. Mr. Gosnell.
23 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Could we have 65 ter 460, which is Prosecution tab 128.
25 Q. And this is a -- an order or document from General Panic,
1 commander of the 1st Military District, dated the 19th of October, 1991.
2 If we can just cast our eyes over the addressees on page 1. We
3 see that it's addressed to the Vojvodina Provincial Territorial Defence
4 HQ. No reference here to any Provincial Territorial Defence HQ of SBWS,
5 is there?
6 A. That is correct, Your Honours. And if you want I can -- I can
7 provide an explanation.
8 Q. Well, what's your explanation?
9 A. Well, I mean it basically comes back to the point I expressed
10 earlier, that is that basically two points: First of all, Panic doesn't,
11 as commander of the 1st Military District, doesn't recognise the local
12 Serb TO as a -- as an established TO structure; and, on the other hand,
13 units of the local Serb TO, when they're operating under JNA command,
14 well, it's sufficient for Panic to issue his orders to the -- to the
15 units of the JNA because he knows that based on the principles of command
16 and control they will -- I mean, the subordinate units will inform the
17 subordinate local Serb TO units of the instructions.
18 Q. Page 2, top of page :
19 "Terrorist operations in the rear of our units which would be
20 carried out by groups of the Black Shirts that have been left behind or
21 infiltrated are to be expected."
22 And then there is an allegation by General Panic that the
23 Medecins Sans Frontieres convoy has basically been used as a cover for
24 smuggling weapons into Vukovar.
25 Do you go that that's what he's saying?
1 A. Well, I mean, to be precise he talks about the arrival of fresh
2 troops and combat equipment but not into Vukovar but to Vinkovci and to
3 Nustar. So I'm reading it as you speak, so I'm trying to find the
4 passage you are referring to, but maybe you can help me.
5 Q. Well, that's a fair distinction, yes. The convoy appears to have
6 been used as some kind of a distraction, would you agree, to bring
7 supplies to Vinkovci and Nustar, right?
8 A. I wouldn't go that far. You know, maybe it -- they used this
9 kind of -- as a deception or what, but you would have to look at the
10 documents from the Croatian side in order to -- to find out more about
11 this. We see that Panic uses the expression "synchronized" but I cannot
12 establish what he -- I mean, I know what synchronises means. It's --
13 there's a coincidence or co-ordination in time, but what the motives for
14 that are I don't think we can establish that from this document.
15 Q. Well, I'm not really interested in establishing the facts one or
16 the other. What I am interested in is General Panic's perception of the
17 situation, and wouldn't you agree that he seems to be very concerned
18 about -- well, as he says there in the first sentence, "groups that have
19 been left behind or infiltrated"; correct?
20 A. That is correct and that corresponds with the operational
21 situation as I have also seen it mentioned or discussed by the JNA in the
22 area at that moment in time.
23 Q. Now, if we go over to page 3, item 4:
24 "In order to prevent looting, the abuse of citizens, and murder,
25 even that of captives, all armed persons and groups which are not in the
1 JNA and TO composition, Chetniks, et cetera, are to be disarmed and
2 detained, and the leaders incarcerated and legal measures taken against
4 Now this is germane to the answer that you gave just before the
5 break in which you were expressing, if I can put it pithily, I think you
6 were suggesting that these volunteer formations are subject to military
7 justice if they're only acting badly, but if they're acting very very
8 badly they're not subject to military justice.
9 Now looking at this paragraph, isn't Panic saying even if they're
10 acting very very badly, they're under military jurisdiction, military
11 justice jurisdiction?
12 A. Your Honours, maybe Mr. Gosnell can point me to the -- or can
13 cite from my testimony, but I don't remember using the kind of
14 expressions he is using now. I don't think you're even paraphrasing my
15 previous testimony.
16 What I tried to explain was the situation as I have seen it from
17 the documents; i.e., whether or not these members of volunteer groups and
18 local Serb TO were subordinated to the TO -- to the JNA at the time of
19 the crimes or not. The order by Panic is not necessarily a reflection of
20 the implementation of the system of military justice. What it is is that
21 Panic, as commander of the 1st Military District, is, again, because
22 there are several documents, ordering his subordinate commanders to
23 implement the principles of command and control, i.e., to ensure at all
24 times single and unified command and control over all the forces in their
25 zone of responsibility, and obviously if members of these forces commit
1 crimes, well, to make measures against them in order to prevent further
2 crimes from being committed.
3 Q. Not just any measures, take legal measures against them; right?
4 A. Yes. And then we are in the area of -- of the 1988 instructions
5 on the implementation of the laws of war by the SFRY armed forces, and
6 again without referring to the specific articles this implies that -- I
7 mean, based on the level of authority, that commanders, any -- actually
8 any officer who sees a crime, informs the appropriate organs so that it
9 can be investigated, and then we know that military police and security
10 organs have specific duties and even rights and that, for example,
11 security organs and then for sure military police can arrest or detain --
12 Q. Mr. --
13 A. -- alleged perpetrators of crimes.
14 Q. Mr. Theunens I put it to you that the duty to report a crime is
15 irrelevant here. The issue here is Article 1 of the Law on Military
16 Courts and the jurisdiction over what is described there as military
17 persons. And what I'm putting to you is that even these individuals who
18 are acting very, very badly, are considered military persons and within
19 the jurisdiction of military justice; right?
20 A. No, Your Honours, because, I mean, you have -- you have read out
21 paragraph 4. I think it's very clear. It states in the second line:
22 "All armed persons and groups --" oh, yeah, sorry, I touched the
23 screen, "-- which are not in the JNA ..."
24 That is the whole issue and that is the whole problem in fall
25 1991; that is - and I'm sorry to repeat it again - but we have various
1 groups, party affiliated or supported by the Ministry of Interior or the
2 MOD of Serbia, who appear. Some of them are very well organised and very
3 well equipped like Arkan's Tigers. And even if Panic doesn't explicitly
4 refer to the Arkan Tigers in his paragraph 4, but he talk about all armed
5 persons in groups which are not in the JNA and the TO. And again from
6 the context, I conclude from that that he is referring to groups like
7 Arkan, the -- the Dusan Silni, even -- and if there would be -- he talks
8 about Chetniks even though we know that in OG South, for example, a
9 detachment of volunteers affiliated with the SRS are, I mean, Leva
10 Supoderica, are identified as Seselj TO detachments in one order and as
11 TO detachment Leva Supoderica in another order.
12 Q. Mr. Theunens, if they are not deemed or considered to be military
13 persons within Article 1 of the Law on Military Courts, then what is the
14 basis for General Panic saying that legal measures be taken against them?
15 A. Well, I would say irrespective of your status whether you're
16 civilian or military, if you engage in looting or the abuse of citizens
17 and if you engage in murder, even captives, in an area where according to
18 the 1st Military District there is no recognised civilian authority, then
19 it's up to the military to take measures. And if you want, I can explain
20 you why it makes sense that Panic repeatedly issues such instructions
21 during fall 1991.
22 Q. Well, are you saying that he therefore falls into the other head
23 of jurisdiction in Article 1 of the Law on Military Courts. And just for
24 your assistance, Mr. Theunens, this is at page 103 of your report, and
25 the other head of jurisdiction is it says criminal acts committed by
1 military persons and by other persons when such criminal acts are related
2 to the national defence.
3 So you -- and you have that provision in front of you?
4 A. I have it, yes.
5 Q. Would it be your position that these volunteer groups which are
6 declining to be subordinated fall into the other head of jurisdiction
7 under Article 1?
8 A. Your Honours, perhaps they do. But I mean, I also wish to draw
9 the Court's attention that Panic doesn't refer to the Law on Military
10 Courts and the Law on Military Prosecutors. He doesn't need that. He
11 looks at as a commander who is responsible for the situation in his zone
12 of responsibility and irrespective obviously of the legal prohibitions in
13 relation to commission of crimes he is also concerned by the implications
14 for his forces of such behaviour taking place in his zone of
16 Q. We're going back to back to this issue but that's as far as I can
17 take it with this document.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Are you, Mr. Gosnell?
19 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: For the umpteenth time?
21 MR. GOSNELL: Well --
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: I mean, the witness has explained his position
23 and answered your questions at least three or four times and his answer
24 is always the same.
25 MR. GOSNELL: I understand. But I'll have two documents later
1 that are very precise on this point and --
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
3 MR. GOSNELL: -- that's --
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let's give it a go.
5 MR. GOSNELL: -- what I propose. But I'm not going to do that
6 now. I'm just putting a bookmark into the issue, Mr. President.
7 Could I tender this document, please.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's part of the package, Mr. Gosnell.
11 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Could we have 496, please, Prosecution tab 140.
13 Q. Now this is -- as it comes up on the screen, I'll say what it is
14 for the record. It's an OG South command decision signed by Mile Mrksic
15 dated the 29th of October, 1991. And down under units tasks, we see a
16 reference to the detachment Leva Supoderica and the detachment
17 Petrova Gora. Are those both local TO units from the area of Vukovar?
18 A. Your Honour, these are local Serb TO units which have been
19 established by the local Serbs in the course of summer/fall 1991 and
20 some -- I mean, at least Leva Supoderica involves also volunteers from
21 Serbia which would be irregular when compared with the legal framework or
22 the doctrinal framework that organised or regulated the republican TOs
23 as -- as is for example explained in 1982 All People's Defence law.
24 Q. And yet they're being subordinated here by Mrksic; correct?
25 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
1 Q. Now if we go over to page 2, item 3. Again, we see TO units
2 Negoslavci and Sotin from the current area of combat deployment. Again,
3 does that reflect subordination of local TO Serb units to the OG South?
4 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Local Serb TO units just to avoid
5 confusion. And this is discussed also on page 457 of my report, the
6 amalgamated report.
7 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender this document if it's not part of
8 the package. I'll say no more. Thank you.
9 Could we have 6022, please. Defence tab 404.
10 Q. Now, sir, I understand that your thesis is that the town commands
11 of the JNA are exercising civilian authority up until the 20th of
12 November. But then you say that after the order of the 20th of November,
13 which we're coming to, they adopt an advisory role vis-a-vis the civilian
14 authorities. Does that correctly summarise your position?
15 A. That is correct, Your Honours. And just for clarity of the
16 record, 20th of November, 1991, and the order is to 2436-1 from the 1st
17 Military District.
18 Q. Thank you for that. And if we look at paragraph 1 of this
19 document, would you agree that that reflects what you've just said about
20 the position prior to the 20th of November, 1991?
21 A. I'm just -- I mean, clarifying. It's a new document. It became
22 available in September/October. Yes, I mean, it corresponds with -- it's
23 consistent with the pattern or the role of the town commander had
24 described in the amalgamated report.
25 MR. GOSNELL: I tender this document, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Correct, Your Honours. This document was already
3 admitted and marked on 10th January 2013 through Witness Nielsen. Thank
4 you. Exhibit P365. Thank you.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
7 Could we have 00586, please, which is Prosecution tab 167.
8 Q. Now this is from the 1st Military District Command dated the 16th
9 of November, 1991. Again, we see the listing of addressees and again we
10 see no reference to any SBWS TO but we do see a reference to the
11 Vojvodina provincial TO staff.
12 Now I just want to take you down, if I may, to point 1:
13 "Apply the same treatment to the attached and the resubordinated
14 units of the JNA, the TO, and the volunteer compositions, if they are put
15 under the command of the JNA units ...," this is the part I'd like you to
16 focus on, Mr. Theunens, the last bit, "... regardless of whether they are
17 engaged in the carrying out of combat tasks, the control of the
18 territory, or the establishment of military authority."
19 Now, would you agree that all three of those functions are within
20 the scope of the JNA's activities, first of all?
21 A. Indeed, they fall within the scope of JNA's activities.
22 Q. And TOs and/or what is referred here to as volunteer compositions
23 can be used for any of those JNA activities; correct?
24 A. That is indeed what the paragraph states, Your Honours.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Can we go now to page 2, please, and item 2.
1 Q. And there's some military language here that I found a bit
2 obscure and I was hoping you could help us.
3 "The military authority and the town commands" --
4 Well, let me go back to the beginning of item 2:
5 "Immediately start establishing the military authority and the
6 town commands in liberated territory and settlements."
7 Now, is this the 16th of November. Do you think that it's likely
8 that General Panic, on the one hand is arguing or is declaring -- start
9 establishing military authority and town commands in the liberated
10 territory on the 16th, and that then on the 20th he is saying, No need to
11 do that. Just provide assistance to the local authorities?
12 A. I'm not sure of the way you put it, and I don't want to criticise
13 you but the way you put is not an accurate reflection of the documents
14 that are included in my -- even in the amalgamated report where I only
15 had part of the documents available, and I would like to refer to page
16 491. It's already -- I mean, we discussed it this morning. Already on
17 the 15th of October General Panic issues orders to establish town
18 commands and to prevent or not to permit the local organs of authority to
19 interfere and so on and so on. We discuss that.
20 We see that the military -- excuse me, OG South on the 9th of
21 November informs already the 1st Military District about the
22 establishment of town commands in certain locations. The fact that Panic
23 comes back to this on the 16th of November, given the context, in my view
24 highlights that there are difficulties with the establishment of military
25 authority and that maybe in some of his subordinate units, they are
1 not as diligent or as effective as OG South to establish town commands in
2 the various towns and -- and areas located in the zone of responsibility.
3 And this is why he reiterates his orders.
4 Now, from a military point of view, on the 16th of November,
5 Panic cannot know that Vukovar falls on the 18th, and he can even less
6 well know what is going to happen on the 20th. So I don't think it is --
7 I mean, again from a methodological point of view relevant to question an
8 order of the 16th of November by referring to an order of 20th
9 November because he doesn't know on the 16th what's going to happen on
10 the 20th.
11 Q. So it your position that the hand-over of authority to civilian
12 authorities on the 20th of November is related to the fall of Vukovar.
13 Is that what you're saying?
14 A. I would just to correct it is a gradual hand-over. It's not
15 from -- from moment A or moment B that the situation totally changes
16 because criteria are established and we get these instructions from the
17 SSNO 5881 and 5883 of 25th of November and, I think, 6th of December,
18 1991, but to -- sorry, to answer the question: The fall of Vukovar is a
19 key event because, again - and that is with hindsight - we know that on
20 the 23rd November a major cease-fire agreement is agreed in Geneva and
21 this is not something that is decided on the 23rd. It's reasonable to
22 assume that once Vukovar falls -- okay, there is a surrender on the 18
23 and then the city is entirely under JNA control maybe except for some
24 resistance pockets by the 20th, and we have the evacuation of the
25 hospital and so on. It is clear that this means the end of offensive
1 combat operations by the JNA in SBWS.
2 Q. Now the terminology that I was hoping you could assist us with is
3 the next sentences.
4 "The military authority and the town commands in the depth of the
5 zone of JNA regiment brigade in contact are established by the units of
6 the first echelon and by the autonomous province of Vojvodina TO staffs
7 in the depth according to the second echelon and in the regions of the
8 deployment of the reserve. The lowest levels of the establishment of the
9 town commands are the companies."
10 Can you explain what that means in layman's terms, please?
11 A. Your Honours, it means that -- I mean, it would be easier would
12 be to use a map and to see where the line -- the contact line, i.e., the
13 confrontation line between the JNA on one hand and the Croatian forces on
14 the other hand is located, and then obviously in the first line I would
15 say the main units -- trying to look how it was expressed here, but the
16 units of the first echelon are not only deployed but are being used.
17 Of course, there is a whole depth in, as I mentioned also in
18 earlier days, where for example logistical units are deployed,
19 communication units and so on, because there's no interest in putting
20 them on the front line. On the contrary, it would expose them because
21 they -- they are not organised to defend themselves, so the same applies
22 to units of second and third echelon, and then the use of first echelon,
23 second, and third echelon is a concept the SFRY armed forces doctrine.
24 But Panic tries to say that these -- the military control should not only
25 be established close to the front line but all over the zone of
1 responsibility using the respective units that are deployed there.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens, for that explanation.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Could we tender this -- no we can't tender it.
4 THE WITNESS: It's in the report.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have D10, please, Prosecution tab 131.
6 Q. Now this is describing -- it's an order from the 9th Corps
7 Command by General Major Vukovic, and it concerns Bosnia to be clear.
8 But the reason why I am showing you this document comes back to our issue
9 of jurisdiction over TO units. And it says here at item 2:
10 "From their own composition and from the composition of the
11 subordinated TO units and other armed compositions of the city command in
12 the municipality centres, the commands of the JNA units at the level of a
13 regiment-brigade in their AOR and the zone where the combat activities
14 are being carried out will form platoons for the protection of the
15 citizens and the property and in the local communities they will form
17 So is that a typical task that should be carried out by a town
19 A. It is -- I mean, yeah, it falls within the tasks of a town
20 command. But obviously we see a distinction or difference between what
21 is happening in the zone of responsibility of the 9th corps, i.e., in
22 northern -- or in Dalmatia on the one hand and the zone of responsibility
23 of, for example, OG South or the 1st Military District on the other hand
24 because the documents of OG South only mention Guards Motorised Brigade
25 personnel being used to form the town command. There is no further
1 specification as to the use of TO like it is done by the 9th Corps in
2 tasks of the town command.
3 Q. Well, as a matter of doctrine and practice, wouldn't JNA
4 commanders who are setting up town commands have the same understanding
5 of the scope of their activities and responsibilities?
6 A. Yes. But they can decide themselves on which forces to use
7 for -- for what task.
8 Q. Now if we just go over to page 2, item 4:
9 "Criminal charges are to be filed through the closest command of
10 the JNA units in line with the provisions of the penal code for all
11 persons for whom justified suspicions exists that they committed a
12 criminal act.
13 "Perpetrators of the crimes from the jurisdiction of the military
14 court are to be arrested and through the police of commands of the
15 regiments-brigades of the JNA are to be escorted to the military police
16 in Knin."
17 So apparently I made a mistake. It's actually not Bosnia, it's
18 apparently the --
19 A. Yeah, yeah, it's Dalmatia.
20 Q. Yes. Can you tell us what the basis for this jurisdiction is
21 that's being asserted by this commander?
22 A. It would be useful to look again at the beginning of the document
23 whether there's a reference to an order of a higher echelon or reference
24 to a doctrinal document or maybe even as we discussed earlier the Law on
25 Military Courts or Law on Military Prosecution.
1 Q. Well, just for your assistance on that there isn't.
2 A. Okay. If there's not, there's not. And -- I mean, he is
3 applying the doctrine. This includes also as I mentioned earlier the
4 1988 SFRY armed -- sorry, regulations on the application of the laws of
5 war by the SFRY armed forces.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 00577, Prosecution tab 163.
7 Q. This is dated the 14th of November, 1991. It's from the OG South
8 Command. Which should be Colonel Mrksic.
9 A. Mm-hm, yes.
10 Q. And it's just items 4 and 5 that I'm interested in. We see there
11 he is saying:
12 "Limit all unnecessary movement in the regions of deployment
13 while fully implementing the signs of identification and FOM passes."
14 Is that freedom of movement passes?
15 A. I assume it is. I mean, unless the B/C/S uses -- is a different
16 wording but then FOM is usually the acronym for freedom of movement, yes.
17 Q. It says:
18 "Establish full control over the movement in and out of
19 settlements. Immediately arrest all suspects, interview them, and based
20 on the gathered information react decisively."
21 What is Colonel Mrksic doing in this order. Is he talking about
22 infiltrators or is he talking about people who are disturbing the peace?
23 A. I mean, for sure he identifies infiltrators because that we see
24 from paragraph 2. And in paragraph 4, I mean, you -- it implies that you
25 can only move if you have a freedom of movement pass. And, okay, these
1 freedom of movement passes would be issued by the military, so the
2 military would know who would have them and this would also allow to
3 prevent the movement of unauthorised persons. And this could also
4 involve volunteers or paramilitaries from Serbia who have not been
5 authorised to move around or anybody else who hasn't been authorised to
6 move around.
7 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender this document, Mr. President. I
8 see the registrar shaking his head. It must be part of the package
10 00658, please, Prosecution tab 188.
11 Q. This is again from the OG South Command dated the 21st
12 November 1991 at 0600 hours in the morning. And before we look at the
13 content if we can just go to page 2 and have a look at the addressees.
14 Commander of the Seseljevci volunteers, Det. Commander of the
15 Sumadinci Detachment from Kragujevac, and TO Vukovar commander.
16 Now, first of all, on the 21st of November, 1991, what is the TO
17 Vukovar? What does it comprise?
18 A. Well, we know from the other documents we have reviewed before
19 that it is a local Serb TO detachment that also includes volunteers or
20 people affiliated with the SRS, the Serbian Radical Party of Mr. Seselj.
21 And we know also that during the operations conducted by OG South that
22 the TO Vukovar is subordinated to OG South through one of the three
23 assault detachments that are established in the course of October 1991.
24 Q. Does it include any subsidiary TO units that are known by any
1 A. Indeed. According to -- I mean, a number of documents or several
2 documents make mention of a TO Petrova Gora -- of a Petrova Gora TO
3 detachment and a Leva Supoderica TO or Leva Supoderica Detachment;
4 however, other documents also identify Leva Supoderica as a Chetnik
5 detachment. When I say other documents, for example, documents of the
6 Serbian Radical Party. And, for -- I mean, I mentioned that but I can
7 repeat. The command of Leva Supoderica, Mr. Milan Lancuzanin, also known
8 as Kameni, he's for example at a later stage proclaimed Chetnik Vojvoda
9 by Mr. Seselj.
10 Now I mention this because from the head -- addressees in the
11 document, one would conclude that when mention is made of commander of
12 the Seseljevci volunteer detachment that this actually refers to the
13 Leva Supoderica Detachment.
14 Q. Let's go back to page 1. And this again, the date is the 21st of
15 November. It says:
16 "In the course of 21 November 1991, withdraw the Leva Supoderica
17 volunteers detachment and dispatch them, resubordinate them to the
18 12th Corps ..."
19 Have I got all the extensions correct in that reading or not?
20 A. No, no, that's correct. Yeah, it's subordinated or
21 resubordinated to a brigade of the 12th Corps or a brigade subordinated
22 to the 12th Corps.
23 Q. Thank you. So they're moving out of subordination from OG South
24 and moving into subordination from the 12th Corps; is that right? Oh,
25 sorry, the 12th Mechanised Brigade?
1 A. Yes, indeed.
2 MR. GOSNELL: I'm not sure whether I need to tender this one,
3 Mr. Registrar. No, I don't. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: This is also on page 485 in the report.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 06031, please, which is Defence
6 tab 331 -- 339.
7 Q. This from the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade, the
8 commander is Lieutenant-Colonel Milorad Vojnovic. It says to the
9 commands of files:
11 Point 2 says:
12 "The Vukovar Territorial Defence Staff with the command of the
13 80th Motorised Brigade will establish organs of authority in local
14 commune and organise their functioning, set up police stations, regulate
15 movements of the population returning to town and their compulsory
16 identification at the Velepromet reception centre."
18 "Relocate the Vukovar Territorial Defence Staff to a more
19 suitable location near the Vukovar barracks as per decision of
20 Commander Miroljub Vujovic."
21 Let me just ask you there: When you look at items 2 and 3, would
22 you infer that the Vukovar TO is still taking orders from the
23 80th Motorised Brigade?
24 A. Yes, Your Honours.
25 Q. And it says:
1 "The Vukovar Territorial Defence Staff in co-operation with the
2 command of the 80th Motorised Brigade will prevent all forms of theft and
3 misappropriation in the city of Vukovar and the surrounding villages."
4 Does that look to you like a military administration?
5 A. Yes. I mean, we have to look at the date of the document. It's
6 the 22nd of November, so it's after Panic's order 2436-1. I mean,
7 whether it's military administration or not, it's maintaining law and
8 order which would be a task of town commands. Normally, obviously, it
9 would be a task of the civilian authorities, but we are the 22nd. I
10 would assume that Vojnovic has made his assessment on the state of
11 functioning of the civilian authorities, and, I mean, the document
12 doesn't talk about the civilian police but if he tasks the TO to be
13 responsible for preventing all forms of theft and -- and
14 misappropriation, it's his conclusion that the civilian police is not yet
15 able to do so. It's not clear whether he has consulted with the civilian
16 authorities about this, yes or no, from the document. I mean, he just
17 gives a clear order to the local Serb TO staff.
18 Q. Isn't it Mile Mrksic, the commander of OG South, who appointed
19 Miroljub Vujovic on the 20th of November? Did he appoint the commander
20 of that TO Vukovar staff?
21 A. I haven't seen a document, I mean, that says what you are stating
22 now. I understand that the 80th Motorised Brigade takes over the
23 responsibilities of the Guards Motorised Brigade or OG South in the
24 course I believe of the 22nd when the Guards Motorised Brigade is
25 preparing to withdraw and to return to -- to its barracks in Belgrade and
1 OG South is disbanded. But if you show me the document, yeah, then ...
2 Q. Well, let me remind you what you said in the Seselj case at page
3 4006 to 4007. And in one of your answers you say:
4 "Now that we're at the Vukovar TO staff, I would like to make a
5 correction to what I mentioned yesterday. I mentioned that
6 Slobodan Katic had been removed at one moment as the person in charge of
7 the TO for Vukovar, local Serb TO for Vukovar. I actually confused the
8 name or the name of Katic with the name of Dusan Jaksic. It was
9 Dusan Jaksic who was initially head of the local Serb TO Vukovar and at
10 one time is replaced by a decision of the command of OG South by
11 Miroljub Vujovic."
12 Does that refresh your memory that, in fact, it was the OG South
13 that appointed Miroljub Vujovic on the 20th of November?
14 A. It does, Your Honours. And I apologise. I misunderstood Vujovic
15 with Vojnovic in the previous question by Mr. Gosnell, so I apologise.
16 Q. So sorry, just to clarify: The answer to my question is that it
17 was --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- Mrksic who appointed him?
20 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
21 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender this document if it's not --
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Correct, Your Honours. This document is already
24 admitted on 11th January, 2013, as D20. Thank you.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
1 If we could turn briefly to 06026, please.
2 Q. And this, Mr. Theunens, is the key document that you referred to
3 in your testimony, that, if I understand correctly, and you've now
4 slightly modified your position, because now you say that this initiates
5 a transition rather than marking an immediate shift of responsibility to
6 the -- to the civilian authorities. Is my understanding of your
7 additional nuance that you provided here today correct?
8 A. It's not a shift in position but, you know, there is the order
9 and then it has to be implemented. Like, if you order to withdraw a
10 military unit, for example, it's not going to happen in two seconds. So
11 the order for withdrawal may be dated date X but it will take several
12 days or even weeks or even months to implement the withdrawal, so that is
13 what I tried to explain when I referred to order 2463-1; that is, that
14 indeed it shifts the position of the 1st Military District, so this is
15 2436-1 of the 20th of November, because for the first time the
16 1st Military District recognises the organs of the SO or the SAO SBWS as
17 relevant, i.e., legal, local authorities or organs of authority, and he
18 explains then what kind of relations the -- the units of the 1st Military
19 District should maintain with these SO SBWS authorities. But of course
20 the practical implementation, as we also see from the documents, the
21 documents going up to spring 1992, they show that it takes time.
22 Q. That's a fair point and I appreciate that clarification.
23 A. Okay. Yeah.
24 Q. And the reason I ask it is because if you look at this very
25 order, what I suggest to you is we still see the JNA purporting to
1 exercise authority in respect of civilian affairs. The very third -- the
2 third sub-point under 2 says:
3 "Establish civilian authorities, take steps to establish law and
4 order (safety of citizens, basic supply functions, and other communal
5 needs) needs."
6 And then the next sub-point is:
7 "Work to establish civilian authorities in municipalities ..."
8 So wouldn't you agree, Mr. Theunens, that we're still seeing a
9 very healthy role being carved out - and I would suggest to you a
10 dominant role being carved out - by the JNA in respect of civilian
12 A. Well, Your Honours, the fourth point, as well as other points in
13 the report -- in the document, I'm sorry, in the order by Panic actually
14 show that the JNA has a supporting role. They may still have the leading
15 role in areas where civil authorities are not capable yet, for example,
16 maintaining law and order, but it is conducted in accordance with
17 decisions of the SO SBWS, and its -- its various organs of authority up
18 to the municipal level.
19 Q. Let's see if the documents show that.
20 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 06032 which is Prosecution -- or,
21 sorry, which is P1683, Defence tab 421.
22 Q. And this is from Colonel Milan Belic, a name that pops up --
23 A. Mm-hm.
24 Q. -- several times. And he is from -- he is the commander of the
25 command of the town of Ilok which certainly appears to still exist on the
1 23rd of November 1991. And point 2:
2 "Territorial Defence units are carrying out set tasks in their
3 redeployment areas, i.e., securing settled area, communication routes,
4 and vital installations, to ensure normal living and working conditions
5 in those areas."
6 Now when he says set tasks, would you agree with me that that
7 implies those task have been set by the town command?
8 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
9 Q. So as of the 23rd of November, 1991, would you agree that that --
10 those TO units are still subordinated to the JNA?
11 A. I mean, as far as this document is concerned, discussing the
12 situation in the area covered by the town command of Ilok and for the
13 specific tasks, yes. Or for the set tasks, I'm sorry, yes.
14 Q. Second portion of item 3:
15 "A military police detachment arrived in the village of Bapska
16 from the Sremska Mitrovica municipal TO staff. A police station
17 numbering 15 officers was established in the village of Lovas."
18 Who do you think established that police station, based on that
20 A. It -- to me it's not clear that ideally we would have an
21 additional document. There may be a document from the SAO SBWS if they
22 had documents on this, but we would look for additional information as
23 to -- in order to establish who is responsible for setting up this --
24 this -- this police station.
25 Q. Point 7:
1 "Intensive normative work is being done on establishing local
2 commands and ensuring their functioning. In the course of the day,
3 paramilitary organisations from the Dusan Silni Detachment were chased
4 out of the village of Lovas and parts of the local TO were placed under a
5 sing the command of TO commands present in the area."
6 Now, doesn't that look like it's the JNA that's organising and
7 setting up and commanding the TO commands present in the area?
8 A. Well, it's for sure playing a role in that. I mean, and it --
9 the fact that only then the Dusan Silni Detachment is being removed
10 raises a number of questions because they were involved -- allegedly
11 involved in crimes much earlier. So I mean here the answer would be yes,
12 but obviously the local organs are also involved in establishing these
13 structures, but here it's clearly highlighted that JNA is playing a role.
14 Q. By local organs here you're referring to municipal or town
16 A. For example -- yeah, but it's -- I mean, it's not -- I agree with
17 you, it's not mentioned in the document, but they obviously play a role
18 in this because the manpower has to come from somewhere and so on, so.
19 Q. A role, a directing role; isn't that right?
20 A. I cannot state that on the basis of this document here. I mean,
21 as you highlight, there is a directing or leading role of the JNA in this
22 particular context.
23 Q. No mention at all here of any district authorities having
24 anything to do with it, right?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Could we have 65 ter 06034, which is Prosecution tab 563. This
2 is another document from our Colonel Milan Belic, commander of the Ilok
3 town command. This is dated the 28th of November, 1991. So this is
4 eight days after the 20th of November document?
5 A. Mm-hm.
6 Q. And it says -- at item 1 it's referring to the departure of
7 civilians and the -- a number of abandoned houses or flats.
8 Item 2 says:
9 "The Ilok town command, which is responsible for the territory of
10 the aforementioned settlements, i.e., Ilok, Lovas, Opatovac, Mohovo,
11 Sarengrad, and Bapska, is receiving requests from refugees from towns and
12 settlements in Eastern and Western Slavonia to move into the abandoned
13 houses in Ilok and other aforementioned settlements. These requests are
14 numerous and their number is increasing."
16 "Since the Ilok town command has no [sic] instructions or letters
17 as to what should be done in such cases, we hereby request an explanation
18 and instructions on how to deal with the requests of people from those
19 areas to settle here."
20 Now, don't we see here Ilok town command taking primary
21 responsibility for resettlement of refugees from Eastern and Western
22 Slavonia in the area?
23 A. I don't think so, Your Honours. I'm sorry. Because what this
24 document states is that the Ilok town command receives questions from --
25 from civilians and asks its superior command, i.e., the 1st Proletarian
1 Guards Mechanised Division for instructions and they forward it to the
2 1st Military District as is written in -- there's a handwritten note on
3 the top of the document, so this is what the document actually states.
4 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender that if it's -- I withdraw that.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: It's not part of the package, actually. Is it?
6 THE WITNESS: I think I discuss it -- this in the new report but
7 which was not admitted.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Now it's tab 563. It is not part of the
9 witness's report, the amalgamated report.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Shall we admit and mark it.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D45. Thank you.
12 MR. GOSNELL: I'm delighted to get one through.
13 Could we have 65 ter 763 [realtime transcript read in error
14 "0736"], please. This is not on our list. I informed the Prosecution
15 this morning of our intention to use this document, so I'm not sure if
16 there's an objection.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: No objections, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] Thank you.
19 MR. GOSNELL:
20 Q. And actually I'm sorry to peel away from our issue of civilian
21 control and civilian affairs and come back to TO. And this again
22 concerns Miroljub Vujovic as the commander of the TO Vukovar, and this is
23 from the command of the ... is that 0763?
24 THE REGISTRAR: It is incorrect in the transcript. It should be
25 0763 not 0736. Thank you.
1 MR. GOSNELL:
2 Q. Now this is a report apparently on the wounding of
3 Miroljub Vujovic by someone, and it's dated the 5th of December, 1991,
4 from the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade. Does this kind of
5 reporting indicate to you that Miroljub Vujovic who is the commander of
6 the TO Vukovar is still subordinated to the JNA?
7 A. Not necessarily. I mean, the document doesn't allow to draw a
8 conclusion on that aspect.
9 Q. It suggests that, doesn't it?
10 A. I mean, I wouldn't -- it suggests -- it's possible because the
11 reason why I have a doubt is, of course, looking at the context and also
12 the fact that given the nature of the personality of Miroljub Vujovic and
13 some of the members in the Vukovar TO, or local Serb TO, is that the JNA
14 had an interest in -- in -- in keeping an eye on their activities and,
15 for example, such an incident here is, it is relevant for the
16 1st Military District to know so because it could affect the law and
17 order situation. I'm sorry. The law and order situation in Vukovar. So
18 it doesn't necessarily imply or -- or provide any information on the
19 subordination relation between Vukovar TO and the 80th Motorised Brigade
20 at the time.
21 Q. And why would you say there's an investigation being carried out
22 into the perpetrator if he's not subordinated?
23 A. Because as I mentioned the -- the -- the JNA is interested in the
24 activities of Vujovic and -- I mean, given the role of Vujovic and his
25 group also during the conflict and at this stage, so they're interested
1 because it can affect the overall law and order situation in Vukovar,
2 so ...
3 Q. And he has been sent to the Military Academy for treatment as
4 well; right? JNA institution, isn't it?
5 A. It's true. But maybe that is -- it's not -- it's the -- the VMA
6 is the military -- yeah, the military hospital. But it is probably the
7 best medical facility where he can be treated. I mean, I'm not sure
8 what -- about the state of medical facilities in Vukovar. I don't know
9 why they didn't send him to Sid or to Novi Sad where -- because there may
10 be military facilities there too where he could be treated so.
11 Q. Well, if you're suggesting that this report has been written
12 because Mr. Vujovic is a troublesome character leading a volunteer group,
13 does it make sense that he would be sent to the VMA?
14 A. Well, you know, I mean, as we discussed a Vukovar TO unit is
15 recognised as -- as a legal or a local -- I mean, a local Serb TO unit,
16 so I don't -- and, i.e., member of the armed forces, so I don't consider
17 it unusual that he would be sent to a military facility to be treated.
18 It depends on the nature of his wounds. In Belgium people suffering from
19 burns who have nothing to do with the military are sent to a military
20 hospital because it's the best equipped facility for these kind of
21 things, you know. I don't say that you are wrong but I just try to
22 explain that these documents -- document at its face value -- I'm sorry,
23 for the transcript, doesn't allow to draw a conclusion.
24 Q. And no CC here to any SBWS TO HQ or General Staff, is there?
25 A. That is correct. And again that can mean different things.
1 Maybe Vujovic informed them in another way or maybe they were already
2 informed. Again, it doesn't allow to draw a conclusion.
3 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender this document, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D46. Thank you.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 06045, please, which is Prosecution
7 tab 569, also known as P378.
8 Q. This is again from Colonel Belic as the commander of the Ilok
9 military -- well, as it says here, the military command of the town of
10 Ilok. The date is the 9th of December, 1991. Point one at the bottom
11 page 1 reads:
12 "Civilian authorities have not been established to date in the
13 town of Ilok or the villages of Sarengrad, Mohovo, Opatovac, Lovas, and
14 Bapska ..."
15 Let's just stop there. Assuming that that pronouncement -- well,
16 whether that pronouncement is correct or not, the consequence of his
17 statement that there are no local authorities is that the town command
18 still exercises civilian control over those towns, right?
19 A. Yes. Actually that the town command -- the military town
20 commander is still responsible for conducting civil affairs in these
22 Q. And therefore that's probative that that's what they're doing,
24 A. Yes, and these duties are explained in 2436-1 as well as in the
25 SSNO instructions 588-1 and 588-2, which we don't have, and 588-3.
1 Q. Because all those instructions say that if there's no local
2 civilian authority in place, it's the town command that exercises
3 civilian control; correct?
4 A. Yeah. But I'm not sure whether these documents use the
5 expression "civilian control." You would have to define it. I do know
6 that these documents use the expression "civil affairs" and there's maybe
7 a difference between the two.
8 Q. What is the difference in your mind?
9 A. If I -- I mean, you haven't defined what you mean by civilian
10 control, but I think it goes beyond what is defined as civil affairs in
11 the regulations I have mentioned.
12 Q. Now I'm just not sure what you mean. I mean, isn't it the case
13 that the town commands are supposed to exercise - I'm not sure what to
14 use? - authority in respect of civilian matters in the towns?
15 A. Yeah. Yes, I would say the easiest is to use the language in the
16 terminology that is used in the JNA documents. Then we avoid any
17 potential confusion.
18 Q. Let's see what else this says. It goes on:
19 "We have one person," then we go to page 2, "in each of the
20 following places in charge of local committee matters in Ilok, Lovas, and
22 A. Excuse me, which paragraph are we?
23 Q. We're still at item --
24 A. Ah, yeah.
25 Q. We're still at item 1.
1 A. Okay.
2 Q. And item 1 is saying, and this is Belic speaking:
3 "We have one person in each of the following places in charge of
4 local committee matters in Ilok, Lovas and Mohovo."
5 What do you think that suggests?
6 A. Well, I think it corresponds with what I said. I mean, when you
7 look at the various reports from the -- the various city commands after
8 the 20th of November, 1991, in -- in -- in Eastern Slavonia, they conduct
9 activities which corresponded with -- with -- civil administration or
10 civil affairs and they are specified in -- in the regulations. I have
11 mentioned SSNO instruction 588-1, 588-2, and 588-3. And just to come
12 back to this document, when you look at paragraph 3, it also -- again, it
13 shows that certain activities are also conducted under the authority of
14 the SAO Baranja, so we really have to look at the specific documents to
15 see how this gradual process I mentioned earlier of the hand-over of
16 civilian organs of authority which are being established is taking place.
17 Q. Let's take a look of a paragraph 3:
18 "A police station has been established in Ilok and one of its
19 squads has been detached and posted to the village of Lovas formed by the
20 MUP of Serbia and is now under the authority of the SAO Baranja,
21 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. In carrying out its tasks, the
22 police station is subordinated to the command of the town of Ilok."
23 Now, how do you understand this statement which on the one hand
24 says the police station is subordinated to the command of the town of
25 Ilok, and then on the other hand it says is now under the authority of
1 the SAO Baranja, Slavonia, and Western Srem? How do you explain that?
2 A. Looking in the context of SFRY armed forces military doctrine, it
3 can mean that it's -- I mean, the police station is under the authority
4 of the SAO Baranja, Western Srem -- Slavonia and Western Srem, i.e., they
5 are providing the personnel. They're appointing the people, including
6 the commander. They may well be setting tasks. However, when
7 implementing these tasks, when carrying out its tasks, there is a -- as a
8 document states, a subordination to the town command of Ilok. This may
9 also imply that the town command of Ilok, i.e., the JNA, can give tasks
10 to the -- to this police personnel but they are under the authority of
11 the SAO SBWS.
12 So I would assume just to finish off that there is a consultation
13 between the town command and probably as we saw in the other document by
14 General Panic a consultation between the town command of Ilok through its
15 superior commands, i.e., at the end 1st Military District on the one hand
16 and the SAO SBWS on the other hand.
17 Q. Who do you think has the final say in how law enforcement is
18 conducted? Assuming your interpretation is correct.
19 A. If you ask how things are done, then this document would -- this
20 document shows that in the town of Ilok, the how is determined by the
21 town command. But it doesn't -- it doesn't state what they have to be
22 done and there I would refer to the sentence that they are under the
23 authority of the SAO SBWS.
24 Q. Well, let me suggest to you another possible interpretation that
25 reconciles these two apparently contradictory sentences.
1 It's that the police station has been set up within the
2 territorial jurisdiction of the SBWS but it's still the JNA that runs the
3 police station. Does that seem like a plausible interpretation to you?
4 A. No, Your Honours, because it wouldn't be consistent with the use
5 of the expression "authority."
6 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P1708, please, which is Prosecution
7 tab 578.
8 Q. And this, again, is Colonel Belic --
9 A. Mm-hm.
10 Q. -- as commander of the command of the town of Ilok. The date is
11 the 23rd of December, 1991, and as of this date he is still referring in
12 paragraph 1, is he not, to the area of responsibility of the command of
13 the town of Ilok, right? So as far as he is concerned there is still an
14 area or a zone of responsibility, correct?
15 A. Yeah, it -- I mean the area in which -- it's a geographic area
16 obviously focussed on the kind of tasks that the town command of Ilok
17 is -- excuse me, conducting.
18 Q. So are you now saying that there's different concept of zone of
19 responsibility being used in this document than the one that you defined
20 on Thursday last?
21 A. No, Your Honours. I mean, the zone of responsibility there
22 was in context of combat operations. Here we're talking about a town
23 command. And, again, looking at the context.
24 I mean, if I -- I tried to find in the brigade regulations, I
25 think 1983 or 1984, whether the zone of responsibility as such is defined
1 by the JNA but it is not. There is something like an area of operations
2 is defined. It may well be that zone of responsibility is defined in
3 other regulation but I haven't been able to establish that.
4 So my answer now is focussed on the specific tasks of the town
6 Q. That's correct. That the brigade rules don't refer to a zone of
7 responsibility. They only refer to an area of operations. But wouldn't
8 you agree with me that we've seen many, many documents that show that the
9 JNA's operations include enforcing security in places where units are and
10 they include setting up civilian authorities. That's well within the
11 purview of JNA activities, isn't it?
12 A. Yes. On the basis of the orders they receive from their
14 Q. Well, we're looking at a fist full of documents showing that
15 they're in charge or at least heavily involved in civilian affairs,
16 aren't we?
17 A. Yes. I mean, looking at the different timings and the different
18 context and the actual contents of the documents, then we can understand
19 how -- what kind of civil affairs they're conducting, how they do that,
20 and I think what is very important in the context of my report, the
21 relation with local organs of authority, i.e., the SAO SBWS organs of
22 civil authority.
23 Q. Well, item 6 says:
24 "Further engagement of units will be done in accordance with the
25 basic decision of the commander of the town of Ilok with the emphasis on
1 checking tasks, combat control of the territory, and securing of
2 inhabited places."
3 So securing of inhabited places still seems to suggest that we're
4 talking about a law and order function being discharged by the town
5 command; correct?
6 A. That is correct. And, again, the document doesn't say whether
7 there is a civilian police or not, but for sure according to this
8 document the JNA is taking care of these tasks.
9 Q. Let's go to page 2, please, which is -- and item 10:
10 "Occupation of empty houses continues in the territory of the
11 commands of the town of Ilok's area of responsibility. Occupation is
12 done without knowledge or approval of the command of the town of Ilok.
13 The Presidency of SAO SBWS [sic] has not given an announcement so far
14 regarding the way and conditions of occupation, which places this
15 commands into a very complex situation. At the same time, ethnic
16 Croatian inhabitants are under pressure to leave this territory."
17 Now, first of all, just from reading this --
18 MR. GOSNELL: And I do see the time Mr. President. Perhaps we
19 should take a pause there and come back.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
21 Mr. Theunens, next break until 11 -- until 12.45. Have you been
22 told that the parties will most probably require your assistance tomorrow
23 morning as well at the beginning of the hearing.
24 THE WITNESS: I was informally informed by the Victims and
25 Witness assistant, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you very much.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
6 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President, while we're waiting.
7 At the end of today's hearing, perhaps we could briefly discuss
8 the issue of whether we'll be sitting on Monday next week, the 27th.
9 We've been trying to organise ourselves around the possibility of not
10 sitting on that day, as was indicated, and we think that is doable but
11 wanted to at least raise the issue with the Chamber.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, thank you.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed. Mr. Gosnell.
15 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. So we were discussing this document that's still on the screen in
17 front of us, Mr. Theunens. And, first of all, do you agree that that
18 first sentence, "occupation is done without knowledge of approval of the
19 command of the town of Ilok," doesn't that imply that occupation should
20 be done with the approval of the town command?
21 A. Not necessarily, Your Honours. And again I base that answer on
22 the other documents I are reviewed discussing the same topic. There's a
23 whole sequence of documents including also a letter by Mr. Hadzic
24 directly addressed to Colonel Belic --
25 Q. Mr. Theunens --
1 A. Yeah, but that's my answer, so ...
2 Q. You could just say no and then we'll proceed to the next
4 A. Okay.
5 Q. Now if we look at the last sentence there it says:
6 "At the same time, ethnic Croatians inhabitants are under
7 pressure to leave this territory."
8 Now, he doesn't say in any way that they're under pressure from
9 the Presidency or from the SBWS government, does he?
10 A. Not in this document, Your Honour.
11 Q. And the reason why I ask you that question, sir, is because I
12 think we can agree that there's a difference between the second-last
13 sentence and the last sentence. The second-last sentence, the SBWS
14 government is being criticised for having failed to produce an
15 announcement, I presume of policy, but then the last sentence concerns a
16 different subject; isn't that right?
17 A. It -- it's a different subject but they may well be related. And
18 looking at the context, I mean the other documents, I believe there is --
19 there is -- there is some relation between the two.
20 Q. But he is not making that allegation, is he?
21 A. He is not making that in this specific document, that is correct.
22 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P371, please, which is Prosecution
23 tab 580.
24 Q. This again is Commander Belic writing. Same position. On 25th
25 of December, 1991, and the topic line is: "Report on the Settlement of
1 People in the Zone of Responsibility of the Ilok Town Command."
2 And he says - and I won't read all of it - but he says:
3 "We realised that the settling of people would be the most
4 important task, which will be accompanied by objective problems.
5 However, I could not have anticipated the unjustifiable indolence and I
6 would add the indifference of the government of the Serbian autonomous
7 district would create a handful of unobjective difficulties."
8 So here we see some harsh words about the district government.
9 And if we can go to the very last paragraph of the document, which is
10 page 4, I suggest to you that we see the reason for this criticism. He
12 "Having realised that the problem can no longer be ignored, we
13 took the initiative and contacted SAO representatives in order to put the
14 situation in a real perspective so as to prevent more suffering and
15 uncertainty among the refugees. My objective was to single out this
16 problem alone, although we come across numerous other problems which we
17 have been resolving with our own forces so far, mainly to the
18 satisfaction of the command. I will regularly inform you about how the
19 settlement is proceeding and if problems crop up."
20 Now, isn't his main reason for criticising the government is as
21 he says here because that indolence is causing "suffering and uncertainty
22 among the refugees"?
23 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Also based because of -- and based on the
24 instructions he has given in his exchange of letters with Mr. Hadzic. I
25 mean, Mr. Hadzic sends a letter on the 23rd of December to Belic to
1 complain about certain issues of the resettlement -- to complain about
2 certain issues of the resettlement of refugees in Ilok. Belic replies on
3 the 25th of December. Given that context, Belic understands that the SAO
4 SBWS authorities are responsible for decision-making in relation to
5 resettlement and that the town command has a supportive or an assisting
6 role in that matter, and according to Belic, the SAO SBWS authorities are
7 not taking up their responsibility, so the JNA, i.e., he, has no other
8 choice than to fill that gap.
9 Q. Belic's complaint is not that Croats are being removed or that
10 the policy is facilitating or encouraging that. Belic is complaining
11 that the government's indolence is inflicting suffering on the refugees;
12 isn't that right?
13 A. Yes, Your Honours. In this document, he doesn't talk about the
14 pressure on non-Serbs in the area.
15 Q. Bottom of page 3 which is the previous page.
16 A. At least on -- sorry, at least the part as I see -- part of the
17 document I see, he doesn't mention Croatian refugee -- non-Serbs in the
18 area, sorry.
19 Q. "Unauthorised settlement of Ilok is widespread although this
20 command has not issued a single permit. There is no point in describing
21 the various cases, but this might have been done by SAO ministers
22 Bogunovic and Ljubo Loncarevic, a former policeman who is now in
23 Backa Palanka, and so on."
24 Now isn't what Belic saying here is -- well, let's start first
25 with this: Doesn't this clearly indicate that the town command does view
1 itself as the authority for determining who settles in what houses?
2 A. No, Your Honours, because in other parts of the document and in
3 other documents Belic explicitly refers to a decision he expects from the
4 SAO SBWS he authorities in relation to the resettlement.
5 Q. Fine, he doesn't get that decision, and he takes over
6 responsibility of the process; isn't that right?
7 A. I wouldn't say that it is then that he becomes responsible
8 because somebody else who should be doing it doesn't do it. I think he
9 is confronted with a problem. He raises it the superiors, I mean, see
10 the the document of the 17th of December 1991 we have reviewed. You
11 haven't shown that document but there is a reply from the 1st Military
12 District dated the 23rd of December with the number 2562-3 re-emphasising
13 the responsibility of the SAO SBWS authorities in relation to
14 resettlement. But in the meantime, I mean, Belic is confronted with a
15 situation and he reports on it.
16 Q. You say somebody else doesn't do it and yet in this very document
17 it seems that two ministers are being accused of improperly doing it?
18 A. Yeah. But, I mean, it is -- maybe there are some nuances in what
19 we mean by "it."
20 My understanding from the documents is that the SAO SBWS
21 determines the criteria and other policy matters concerning the
22 resettlement of Serbian refugees from other parts of Croatia or maybe
23 from -- from Serbia even or even from Kosovo in abandoned houses in Ilok.
24 The JNA, i.e., the city command -- sorry, the town command of
25 Ilok has a supportive role to play because they have most of the
1 manpower. They may -- I mean, to facilitate this process. In the
2 exchange between Mr. Hadzic and Colonel Belic, i.e., first letter by
3 Colonel -- by Mr. Hadzic on the 23rd of December to Belic, and then the
4 reply by Belic on the 25th of December, this is confirmed. And Belic
5 denounces or criticizes what he considers the lack of active role of the
6 SAO SBWS even though they have this role but they don't fulfil it. But
7 instead of a leading -- I wouldn't say leading but a -- the SAO SBWS
8 fulfilling this role to the best of their abilities, they are not doing
9 enough according to Belic but instead you have two members of the
10 government who allegedly are doing something but that is probably not
11 necessarily consistent with the kind of policy the JNA would like to have
13 MR. GOSNELL: Go back to page 2 if -- if we could.
14 Q. Here we see that the JNA has taken an inventory and Belic has
15 taken an inventory of empty houses in the various villages of the area of
16 responsibility of the town command. He says there:
17 "About 150 have been moved into in Ilok without authorisation
18 which will be emptied in the coming period and planned and organised
19 settlement will be required."
20 Isn't he saying he is going to remove the people who have been
21 settled there to date and he is going to settle new people there in those
23 A. I agree in relation to the -- the -- the activities mentioned but
24 not in relation to who will be responsible, i.e., who will be in charge,
25 and who will actually implement these activities. Because that is not
1 specified in the document. I mean, not in this paragraph.
2 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 6059, please. Prosecution tab 581.
3 Q. Again, Belic writing to Mr. Hadzic.
4 A. Mm-hm.
5 Q. I'm not putting the predecessor document up. It's not relevant
6 to my point. There we see paragraph 2:
7 "In the second paragraph of your letter, you showed that you
8 grasp the essence of military engagement and the introduction of military
9 rule because it is a fact that the liberation is followed by a stage of
10 stabilising the situation and creating conditions to gradually establish
11 civilian government which can later on assume their part of the [sic]
13 First of all, the expression "military rule," is that something
14 you've seen in other documents? What is "military rule"?
15 A. Well, it -- I mean, the concept of military rule I think we have
16 to look at in -- as it is used here, we have to look at it in the context
17 of the orders that are issued for the establishment of town commands and
18 then the -- in addition, the instructions determining the role of these
19 town commands, i.e., conducting tasks of civil administration.
20 Q. And if we can go to page 2, please.
21 At the bottom of the page, starting with the sentence:
22 "Naturally..." Belic says:
23 "Naturally, it is very difficult to have to deceive people who
24 have suffered and lay the blame on others, and I say this because we have
25 heard very many serious criticisms of your government. I do not intend
1 or need to use this correspondence to tell you how to deal with the most
2 serious task at the moment, which is giving accommodation and providing
3 for the refugees mainly because I am sincerely convinced that you
4 personally have given priority to resolve it, and I do not doubt for a
5 moment that you will use your personal authority to arouse your listless
7 Now, again, is Belic's concern here as expressed to Mr. Hadzic
8 that the refugees be placed in accommodation as soon as possible?
9 A. Indeed. And it's consistent with the view I expressed earlier
10 that he addresses Mr. Hadzic for that.
11 Q. I believe this --
12 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. Registrar, is this already admitted?
13 THE REGISTRAR: Correct. This one was already admitted through
14 Witness Nielsen pursuant to the Chamber's decision of 9 May 2013 yet to
15 be assigned an exhibit number. Thank you.
16 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much. Could we have P1709, please,
17 Prosecution tab 584.
18 Q. Now, sir, what I'd like to do now is show you a series of
19 documents about one or two specific places and how the situation evolves
20 over time in those one or two specific places so we can see how the
21 notion of this transition from military rule to civilian authorities
22 occurs on the ground.
23 And you looked at this particular document during your
25 MR. GOSNELL: And if we can go to page 7 of the English. Could
1 we try page 3. We're getting closer. It could be the page after this.
3 Q. Well, sir, do you remember you were shown a document - and I
4 appear to have the wrong number - which was dated the 29th of
5 December and it showed that Mirkovci was an inhabited settlement?
6 A. It's possible. I mean, I've been shown a lot of documents over
7 the past days, but ...
8 Q. That's fair enough. For our purposes, it's not absolutely
9 necessary to show the document.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 06069, please, which is Prosecution
11 tab 588.
12 Q. Now, sir, I want to suggest to you that this document give us a
13 flavour of what local politics is like in this region at this time, and
14 it's a petition from some members of a TO, in particular the Mirkovci TO.
15 And these individuals are complaining about someone who they allege has
16 taken over this town, and they say improperly. And it says there:
17 "On 10 August, command of the staff was taken over by Vuksic Egic
18 at a local citizens meeting attended by fewer than 150 people, mostly
19 supporters of Egic."
20 And then there are various allegations against him which I'm not
21 going to go into it. But what is significant for our purposes is the
22 perspective or the attitude of those who are criticizing. And here's
23 what they say on page 2:
24 "Locals who are on duty and keeping guard day and night cannot
25 come to terms with the fact that they do not decide about anything, have
1 no insight into the distribution of aid (food, clothing, fuel, money) and
2 we are particularly troubled by the fact that the staff appoints people
3 to leadership positions who are not only not opposing Ustasha authorities
4 but also condemn what we did. These individuals have lost their status
5 as refugees in Serbia and have not spent a single day keeping guard."
6 Now we don't know the background to all this, but would you agree
7 with me that it appears that these members of the TO are more radical in
8 terms of their attitude towards their Croatian neighbours than those who
9 they allege have usurped power in the municipality?
10 A. Sorry, before answering, could I see again to whom this petition
11 is addressed? Just to -- because I've seen the document, just to
12 refamiliarise myself.
13 Q. It's addressed to the Mirkovci local commune council.
14 A. Okay. To answer your question, it's possible. I mean, the use
15 of terms like Ustasha, whereas, I mean, this refers to the Second World
16 War, I've also noticed that in JNA documents, it could express a
17 sentiment of or a point of view of radicalism among those who use it but
18 that is as far as I can go. I mean, as you said we don't know the
19 further context of this, but I just know that it's -- the TO members
20 addressed to local civil authorities.
21 Q. And you notice that this document is not addressed to the
22 district authorities, is it?
23 A. I think that is correct, but it's addressed to the local civilian
24 authorities, so maybe there is a -- I don't know. I mean, there may be a
25 subsequent one but it makes sense to address it to the local authorities.
1 It's not addressed to the JNA, as far as I can see.
2 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender this document, if it's not already
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D47. Thank you.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 MR. GOSNELL: 6073, please. Prosecution tab 592.
8 Q. This is an order from the assistant to deputy federal secretary
9 for national defence. And we seen an order appointing somebody named
10 Colonel Radivoje Kasic, commander of town of Mirkovci. And then his
11 staff. Can you tell us why this appointment is being made by the SSNO?
12 A. It's not -- it's not clear from the document, Your Honours,
13 whether there were already town commanders in those locations before, but
14 I have no reason to assume there were no JNA town commanders before
15 because, again, the orders of the 1st Military District and of the
16 various subordinate units, indeed, ordered the appointment of town
17 commanders there. So for me it's a continuation of the earlier situation
18 that for whatever reason there needs to be maybe a rotation in the -- the
19 people fulfilling these tasks --
20 Q. Sorry, Mr. Theunens, maybe my question wasn't precise enough. I
21 was wondering if you could tell us why this decision is being made at the
22 SSNO level.
23 A. It's a follow up of previous ordered by the SSNO, but I think the
24 other question is justified: Why does the SSNO have to order the
25 1st Military District to appoint officers as town commanders in an area
1 where units of the 1st Military District are present unless this would
2 concern officers who are not part of the 1st Military District.
3 Q. Is it possible that the reason for this appointment from a very
4 high level is because, as it says at item 4, "the complexity of the
5 situation and the fact that all activities could not be foreseen in the
6 instructions and so forth"? Is it because this is perceived as a
7 particularly contentious or fractious area?
8 A. It's a possibility. But I would have -- I mean, this a document
9 I saw in September but I was not in the position, for example, to check
10 the names of these officers and to look at their peacetime assignments.
11 If they came from outside the 1st Military District, then that could have
12 been an explanation as to why it's the SSNO that issues that order,
13 because the 1st Military District cannot order officers to do something.
14 They're not part of its composition. If they were indeed part of the 1st
15 Military District at the time of the order, then obviously we'd have
16 considered other factors and maybe what is mentioned in paragraph 4,
17 adding that what is mentioned in paragraph 4 is again consistent with the
18 various orders and reports we have seen for the 20 November to, say,
19 January 1992 time-period concerning the establishment and functioning of
20 SAO SBWS authorities in -- in that area.
21 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender that one, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D48. Thank you.
24 MR. GOSNELL: 06089, please, Prosecution tab 599.
25 Q. Now, sir, I'm not quite sure how this document appears. It's
1 formatted in B/C/S. But the front page is -- appears to be an agenda
2 that's being set by the chairman of the executive council of Mirkovci,
3 Vukasin Egic, the man who was being complained about in the earlier
4 document. And if we can just turn over to page 2 -- well, before I go
5 on, it says:
6 "Immediate tasks of municipal executive council and individual
7 secretariats in the upcoming period to the development of civilian
8 authority and assisting the JNA in overcoming possible difficulties."
9 And then if we can just go over to page 2. And it's a
10 handwritten and partly upside down, it appears, in the B/C/S. In any
11 event, do you see on page 2 that -- is that Mico Delic apparently making
12 some notes?
13 A. We see the name Mico Delic, Major-General Mico Delic commander of
14 the 1st Mechanised Corps typed there, but I wouldn't be able to say
15 whether this is his handwriting or not. It may well be. Maybe you have
16 a witness to establish that but I'm not in a position to establish that.
17 Q. And whoever wrote it, the comment is:
18 "Power wrangling in the entire territory of the local commune up
19 to the municipal structures. People of suspicious qualities who have
20 compromised themselves in their work so far (prone to looting and theft).
21 "Pressures from individuals and organised groups to relocate
22 certain citizens (individuals and groups)."
23 Does it look as if this is an identification of problems in
24 respect of the functioning in respect of this local commune?
25 Does it look as if this is an identification of the problems in
1 this particular commune?
2 A. It does, Your Honours.
3 Q. And if we go over to page 3, do we see that the author of this,
4 whoever it is, is saying that:
5 "The zone of responsibility of the 1st MK covers 35 settlements.
6 Settlement commands have been established in all settled areas within the
7 zones of responsibilities of units, and they are subordinated to local
8 commands which cover three to four settlements."
9 Then there's a description of the activities, including a
10 detailed itinerary of communes to be visited. When you look at that,
11 doesn't it suggest to you that the JNA is exercising is supervision over
12 these communes?
13 A. I don't see the word "supervision" or -- in the document or
14 anything to that effect. In my view, this is consistent with the earlier
15 instructions on implementing the tasks of -- of civil administration,
16 assisting the SAO SBWS authorities.
17 Q. Who is going to have final say in case of disputes, such as that
18 that seems to be brewing in this municipality of Mirkovci?
19 A. You ask the question in context to the specific document or the
20 previous document that was addressed to the civilian authorities, I mean
21 the petition that was addressed to the civilian authorities in Mirkovci?
22 Q. I'm asking you whether this document suggests that the authority
23 to resolve contentious problems lies with the JNA town commands.
24 A. I don't see that in this document, unless I forgot to look at
1 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender this document, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D49. Thank you.
4 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 6098, please.
5 Q. This is from the command of the 1st Military District,
6 Colonel-General Zivota Panic issuing what is an instruction or an order.
7 An order. It's an order. He starts off saying:
8 "Lately there have been very many complaints and protests by the
9 citizens of Vukovar municipality about the improper work of the
10 commanders of TO of towns, the presidents of local communes, and other
11 structures. Having personally looked at and checked the submitted
12 complaints, I have been convinced in the authenticity and credibility of
13 the information.
14 "In spite of my explicit orders to halt the forcible expulsion of
15 Croats and others, without having previously checked the settling
16 process, looting and so forth, nothing has been done but instead these
17 incident have been become more frequent and more cruel. In order to put
18 an end to this barbarism by these vigilantes, I hereby order ..."
19 And he gives a series of measures. Now can I just ask you, when
20 you look at that page, page 2, doesn't that suggest quite clearly that
21 it's the JNA that ultimately is the final arbiter in respect of disputes
22 at these commune levels?
23 A. Your Honour, the document as -- the parts we have seen so far do
24 not indicate who is responsible for -- or who is the final, as you call
25 it, arbiter of these disputes at the communal level, I assume. The
1 document -- what I have seen so far of the document doesn't state that.
2 Q. How about the order to relieve of duty all those who have been
3 compromised and appoint through your orders personnel who have been
4 screened and are loyal?
5 A. My understanding would be that these are members of the local
6 Serb TO. Where it could be disputed whether the JNA is responsible for
7 that yes or no, I mean, if you look at the legislation as it existed
8 prior to the war, it would be the responsibility of local authorities,
9 but given the particular situation and the shortcomings in the
10 functioning of SAO SBWS authorities, here one would conclude that it's
11 indeed the JNA 1st Military District that can relieve members of the
12 local Serb TO.
13 Q. You limit it to local Serb TO but the previous line says:
14 "Investigate the work of the commanders of towns and presidents of the
15 local communes in rural local communes."
16 A. Thank you for the clarification. So it would also include then
17 JNA personnel. I mean, like JNA town commanders who haven't done their
18 work in a satisfactory manner.
19 Q. And presidents of local communes; correct?
20 A. Your Honours, I haven't -- not seen any documents showing that
21 the JNA, i.e., the 1st Military District relieved or could relieve local
22 SAO SBWS authorities.
23 So I could take your -- your claim at face value and then I would
24 like to see other documents, i.e., was this implemented or not and how
25 was it implemented, and then I could maybe be of more assistance, but at
1 this stage this is the furthest I can go.
2 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender this document, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D50. Thank you.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
6 MR. GOSNELL: P1715, please. Prosecution tab 608.
7 Q. Now, sir, this is from the civil affairs assistant commander,
8 Novica Busic [sic] command of the 1st Proletarian Guards Mechanised
9 Division. He is writing on the 22nd of February, 1992, and he is
10 describing a meeting at the Mirkovci municipality. And we see that some
11 officials from the municipality are in attendance, including the police
12 station commanders, the commander of the TO staff of the municipality,
13 and commanders of the TO staffs of the local communes. And on the JNA
14 side, we see what I think you would agree is some very senior JNA
15 officials. Do you agree with that?
16 A. I believe that the level of participation of the JNA is
17 consistent with the earlier order, I think the Panic order of 2436-1 of
18 the 20th of December -- excuse me, 20th of November, 1991, where he
19 explains who should maintain relations with who. It could be questioned,
20 of course, I mean, referring to your question why the assistant commander
21 of the civil affairs of the corps has to be present at a meeting at -- I
22 mean, Mirkovci is a rather small municipality. It's not the size like --
23 a town like Ilok or so. It could be questioned, yeah.
24 Q. Well, Major-General Mico Delic is there. Isn't that is a very
25 senior JNA official?
1 A. Okay. I didn't see that. You know, I just saw the
2 subparagraph B where Delic was not mentioned.
3 Q. In fact Major-General Delic is leading the meeting, is he not?
4 A. That is what the document states, yep. It would be unusual,
5 again in the context of the other documents, to have a corps commander
6 present at a meeting with the local authorities at the level of a
8 Q. And the focus was on "resolving organisational issues related to
9 the functioning of civilian authorities, TO, police units, and general
10 organisation of daily life."
11 A. That is indeed what paragraph 3 states.
12 Q. Do you think that means that the JNA is sitting there passively
13 and with a hands-off attitude receiving information but then ultimately
14 not having a supervisory function in relation to those issues in this
16 A. Your Honours, as I have mentioned earlier, it is my conclusion
17 based on the documents I reviewed that after 20th of November the JNA has
18 an assisting role and that the SAO SBWS authorities should have the lead.
19 What I mean by should is that obviously from the various examples there
20 are parts of SBWS where these SAO SBWS authorities have problems to
21 assume that role, but, again, the various JNA instructions and orders
22 reconfirm that the JNA has an advisory role and supports the local
23 civilian authorities.
24 I know that this document -- I mean, on the next page you will
25 see that something else is suggested, i.e., that the JNA has the lead,
1 but I see that document more as an exception to the other ones --
2 compared to the other ones I have seen than the document setting the
3 situation for the other municipalities.
4 Q. Let's go to the next page.
5 And, first of all, we see that there is still a zone of
6 responsibility in existence; is that right?
7 A. Yeah. But it's logical. I mean, even in a town command the
8 commander has to know for which area he is the town commander. So it's a
9 geographic area.
10 Q. And the civilian affairs of the civil affairs organ is proposing
11 for measures to be taken at the level of the government of the Eastern
12 Slavonia, Western Srem, and Baranja SO to quickly resolve the issue of
13 settlement in areas that were hitherto unsettled. And to more
14 effectively change the national makeup in places already settled.
15 Now do you see, can you see, when you look at that, can you see
16 that the JNA is complaining that the district government, according to
17 the JNA, has not in its view effectively changed the national makeup of
18 places already settled?
19 A. I can see that the -- the organs for civil affairs makes a
20 proposal. I would say the wording is fairly neutral. I do agree with
21 you that the organs for civil affairs proposes that measures would be
22 taken by the government of the Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, and
23 Baranja Serbian district to more effectively change the national makeup
24 in places already settled, which to me indicates that the -- the SAO
25 government is responsible for decision-making in that domain.
1 Q. The JNA is dissatisfied, isn't it?
2 A. I mean, it's possible. I -- I don't see that they are
3 dissatisfied. As I said, I find the wording neutral. They raise a
4 number of issues where they want the SAO SBWS government to -- to take up
5 its responsibilities. Or where they propose, sorry, the SAO SBWS
6 government to take up its responsibilities. And, again, I just see,
7 like, ten lines of the document. Maybe you can point me to those
8 sections where dissatisfaction or -- and similar negative feelings are
9 expressed by the JNA.
10 Q. And no representatives from the district government are present
11 at this meeting according to the document, are they?
12 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
13 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 6113, please.
14 Q. Now the cover page. As I understand it, you've looked at this
15 document, sir, during your examination-in-chief. And there's a cover
16 page from Commander Major-General Mico Delic. And this from the
17 1st Mechanised Corps to the 1st Military District Command, and attached
18 to that cover page appears to be a report by this Novica Gusic, the same
19 person who we before. And it appears to, although there is no date on
20 the attachment, the cover page seems to imply that this is going on at
21 the end of February.
22 If we can go to page 6, please.
23 MR. GOSNELL: Now, you drew some inferences about this document.
24 I think we need to go back one or two pages in the English, please.
25 I'm looking for item 10 in the English. So back one more page,
1 please. Yes.
2 Q. And this document says:
3 "Because of distrust --"
4 And this is this Gusic individual writing:
5 "Because of distrust and what is happening to the Serbs who
6 remained in Western Slavonia and their property and with the tacit
7 consent of the government of the Serb autonomous district, Slavonia, and
8 the assistance of the detached members of the government, the so-called
9 co-ordinators and ministers ... are exerting certain pressure on the
10 local inhabitants so that they would move away voluntarily. In doing so,
11 they resort to unlawful means, threats, and have even killed some
13 Now, can you first of all agree that what that passage is saying
14 is that there's someone who's doing it actively on the one hand, and on
15 the other hand you have what Gusic says is the tacit consent of the
16 government of the SAO Slavonia?
17 A. I assumed that by "it" you mean the removal or the pressure on
18 non-Serbs to leave?
19 Q. Well, first of all, it doesn't actually say non-Serbs. It says
20 exerting certain pressure on the local inhabitants."
21 And that's what I mean by "it."
22 A. Yeah. Okay, but -- yeah, that's -- I mean, fine. Again, when I
23 say the non-Serbs, that's also based on my review of the other documents.
24 And, again, most of these documents we have been looking at for the past
25 hours are all new documents which I reviewed in the new report. It would
1 have been easier to establish the context of these documents by having
2 that new report in front of me, but I guess so is life. I'm sorry for
3 this digression. I go back to the question.
4 Again, based on the context we are talking about -- mainly about
5 non-Serbs and there is pressure on them to leave. My understanding is
6 that the reference to the Slavonia government when you look at the rest
7 of the sentence, is not any SAO government in Western Slavonia but is,
8 indeed, the government in the SAO SBWS. And that members of that
9 government, even as is stated there, prominent members of that government
10 are involved in this process of exercising a pressure on local
12 Q. Next sentence reads:
13 "Characteristic examples of such conduct can be found in the
14 villages of Bapska, Lovas, Sarengrad, and Mohovo, organised by Radojcic
15 from Lovas village, the commander of the Lovas Territorial Defence Staff
16 and co-ordinator for the TO 5th Zone who has a certain Ljuban Devetak,
17 who is very influential in the government of the SAO Slavonia, standing
18 behind him."
19 Now first of all, isn't the commander of the Lovas Territorial
20 Defence Staff subordinated to the JNA at this stage?
21 A. According to doctrine it may well be the case. We don't know who
22 appointed Radojcic. So, yeah, that's all I can say. The document
23 doesn't indicate who -- to whom he is subordinated at the time.
24 Q. And SFRY imminent threat of war is still in effect at this date;
25 is that right?
1 A. I'm trying to remember. I think -- it was lifted at moment, but
2 I think you're right, it was lifted at a later stage. So if the state of
3 imminent threat of war is still in effect, then indeed the commander of
4 the -- I mean, Radojcic would still be under the command of the JNA.
5 Q. And why is Gusic talking about the tacit consent of the district
6 government in talking about his own tacit consent?
7 A. I don't understand your proposition, his own tacit consent.
8 Q. He is subordinated -- if Radojcic is subordinated to the JNA,
9 that must mean the town command in the area where that TO commander
10 exists, and he is subject to the jurisdiction of that town command. Why
11 isn't Gusic talking about his own tacit consent for this bad behaviour by
13 A. I would say that this is not -- this is an incorrect
14 interpretation of SFRY armed forces doctrine because Radojcic would be
15 subordinated to the JNA for the execution of specific tasks which would
16 be set out in orders issued by the JNA units in the area where the TO was
17 present and obviously to whom the TO was subordinated.
18 What Radojcic is allegedly doing in the relation to the presence
19 of -- to the pressure on local inhabitants, I haven't seen any JNA
20 documents ordering Radojcic or any other TO commander to put pressure --
21 to exercise pressure on the local population.
22 Q. Mr. Theunens, in a state of imminent threat of war, isn't the
23 commander of the Territorial Defence Staff directly subordinated to the
25 A. Your Honours, the various documents we have discussed since -- I
1 mean, basically also in the examination, and the repetitive orders by the
2 commander of the 1st Military District to exercise military control and
3 to subordinate the TO to the JNA and so on and so on show that the
4 situation is not as clear-cut as Mr. Gosnell tries to depict it here,
5 especially once the combat operations are finalised. We are now -- this
6 is 22nd of February, 1992. There are no more combat operations in -- in
7 the territory covered by the SAO SBWS, so again I would prefer to look at
8 additional documents in order to establish what the subordination
9 relationship is between the SAO SBWS and the JNA, and then specifically
10 who was the commander of Radojcic at that time.
11 So just to finish, this being said, obviously there would be
12 responsibility on the JNA not just to write about in very quite vague
13 terms about the role or alleged responsibility of Radojcic in putting
14 pressure on local inhabitants. One would expect more detailed reports
15 from the military police and/or the security organs. Maybe they were
16 there, I don't know. I haven't seen them.
17 Q. Mr. Theunens, I put it to you that whether or not there are
18 combat activities as such ongoing is completely irrelevant. We know that
19 amongst the JNA tasks, amongst the purview of the JNA's tasks, is setting
20 up civilian authorities. So if you have a TO commander in an area in a
21 zone of responsibility who has been charged with that and who is giving
22 instructions -- is being given instructions by the JNA to do that, why
23 isn't that person continuously subordinated in the discharge of those
25 A. I mean, if you can show me a document that indicates that
1 Radojcic, and maybe I missed it, but if you show me a document that
2 Radojcic is appointed by the JNA as a town commander or part of the town
3 command in Lovas, then I would obviously review my answer but I haven't
4 seen such a document.
5 Q. So none of the documents that you've seen so far in respect of
6 the relationship between the JNA and the TO would lead you to the
7 reasonable inference that Radojcic has also been appointed by the JNA
8 along with others who we have seen were appointed by the JNA in other
10 A. It is correct that -- that people like Vujovic and maybe others
11 have indeed been appointed by the JNA, but I -- again from the context of
12 the other documents, it is my understanding that other local Serb TO
13 commanders are appointed differently. And maybe -- and by other
14 authorities. And again, I haven't seen a specific document for Radojcic,
15 so it would be helpful to have a document concerning his appointment and
16 then we can clarify the matter.
17 Q. Do you have any information or documentary evidence that confirms
18 that Ljuba Devetak is in fact or was in fact very influential in the
19 government of the SAO Slavonia?
20 A. No. What I know about Devetak is that he was allegedly involved
21 in the crime in Lovas in fall 1991, and I think he has been sentenced in
22 2010 or 2012 by war crimes court in Belgrade, he and others for his
23 involvement in that -- in that crime.
24 Q. Could we look at item 11.2:
25 "The problem of mutual usurpation of power that exists between
1 the police and the TO can be solved with more resolute stands by the
2 government of the Serbian district Krajina, the MUP of Serbia, and the
3 command of the 1st Military District."
4 Do you know what that's a reference to and why is the MUP of
5 Serbia being invoked?
6 A. The MUP of Serbia is invoked because there's personnel from the
7 MUP Serbia that serves in the local Serb police as well as in the TO, and
8 I'm not sure whether the process already starts then, but we are in this
9 process of establishing -- of further establishing local Serb TO units
10 based on orders from the SSNO and then the gradual transformation or the
11 transformation of these TO units into police units in order to circumvent
12 the Vance Plan.
13 Q. If I could, I'd like now to go to the last page of this document.
14 I'm sorry, we're going to have start on the previous page.
15 Down at the bottom there's a note, and it's talking about Egic
16 and Tesic. You remember we saw that letter of complaint about Egic from
17 those members of the TO who were complaining that he was, at least from
18 their perspective, not sufficiently radical in terms of Ustashas as it
19 was put in that document. Now that's just a preamble, sir.
20 A. No, but that's --
21 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
22 A. I haven't said that he was not sufficiently radical.
23 Q. Sir, I didn't say that you did. I'm just setting up the
25 And what it says here is:
1 "Both these individuals were appointed by the government of the
2 SAO Krajina but the people do not accept them because in their work so
3 far they engaged in dirty and illegal affairs, stealing, trade, and even
4 physical pressure against the will of the people of which, according to
5 statements from some local inhabitants and local organs of authority
6 there is factual evidence. We believe that they should be removed from
7 these posts and from the village all together through your influence on
8 the government of the SAO Krajina."
9 Now, first of all, I want it to be clear that we don't accept
10 that this proposition that Mr. Egic was in fact appointed by the district
11 government. But my question is: Wouldn't you agree that this kind of
12 notation and the description of the situation as a whole, doesn't it
13 raise some serious problems if you're trying to adopt a policy that is
14 the most protective to the Croatian inhabitants because of this
15 infighting, this factionalism, and frankly the strong motives by some
16 groups to undermine those who have been pointed to positions of
17 authority, for whatever reason?
18 A. Just to allow me to understand the question. The "you" refers to
19 Mr. Hadzic and the SAO SBWS government?
20 Q. No. I was referring to how the JNA is going to react to the
22 A. Well, the problem the JNA is facing, or at least as it is
23 highlighted by Colonel Gusic, is that the SAO SBWS have appointed people
24 who involve -- who participate in crimes and for that reason are not
25 accepted by -- by the population. And then it is suggested here that the
1 JNA exercises or uses -- I mean, the person, the addressee, uses his
2 influence among members of the government of the SOWS -- sorry, SAO SBWS
3 in order to have removed these -- these doubtful people or these -- these
4 people who are allegedly involved in crimes from their position.
5 Now I haven't seen -- maybe they were removed, but then it would
6 be helpful if I would see such documents. I haven't seen any documents
7 from Mr. Hadzic or members of the SAO SBWS to remove people except one
8 document I think from January 1992 concerning the removal of the
9 Leva Supoderica TO unit whereby Mr. Hadzic authorises the JNA to do so.
10 Q. Mr. Theunens, that is beyond the scope of my question. And I'll
11 just go to -- first of all, I would like to tender that document.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D51. Thank you.
14 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 6118, please, which is Prosecution
15 tab 617.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes. Before we move the document away, I
18 noticed a little error in the last paragraph.
19 If we go back to the previous page in the English version, it
20 appears that the term SAO Krajina is being used interchangeably. In the
21 B/C/S version if you look the fifth line it says "Vlade SAO Slavonija
22 [phoen]," so we'll -- we can ask for a revised translation of this
23 document. Just to put that on the record.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] You would do that
25 immediately, Mr. Demirdjian, so that we don't have to note that in our
1 agenda as something to be done?
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: To be done. I'll request it right away and
3 hopefully that work can be cleared today.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
5 MR. GOSNELL: 6118, please, that's Prosecution tab 617.
6 Q. Now, this is from the 1st Military District. It's dated the 8th
7 of March, 1992, signed by the head of the civil affairs organ,
8 Colonel Jovo Blazinovic?
9 And it appears to record a meeting. Do you agree with me that
10 this meeting is between the civil affairs organs of the JNA of the
11 1st Military District and municipalities of the Serbian District of
12 Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem, in order to ensure
13 establishment of authority; correct?
14 A. That -- that is correct, yeah.
15 Q. So it doesn't appear that there's a district government
16 authority -- representation at this meeting, is there?
17 A. No. And, I mean, from what I see on the screen I don't know
18 whether -- I cannot establish whether any -- any reference is made to the
19 SAO SBWS government. Or, sorry, and in that stage, I mean, we are talk
20 about RSK government.
21 Q. It says:
22 "The following measures and tasks were agreed upon at the meeting
23 of civil affairs organs of the 1st Military District and presidents of
24 the municipal executive councils from the Baranja, Eastern Slavonia,
25 Western Srem SO."
1 And the first agreed upon item is:
2 "Implementation of certain decisions that have already been
3 planned and adopted, i.e., return of unlawfully confiscated land and
4 other -- or other types of property, appointment of new individuals to
5 certain positions within the TO to replace individuals holding those
6 positions now as a result of specific elections procedures, prevention of
7 power-wrangling, and refusal of practices introduced by appointees."
8 And this is March 1992. Is the JNA still exercising dominant
9 influence or very significant influence over the -- over these matters?
10 A. I can only say that the document refers to a meeting and an
11 agreement on measures and tasks. It doesn't specify how this agreement
12 was achieved.
13 Q. And if we can turn the page. At the top of the page, it says:
14 "With a systemic development of the TO, including, among other
15 things, the appointment of active duty personnel to TO staffs and brigade
16 commands, the shutting down of local TO staffs (and provision of materiel
17 and other equipment), the JNA will resolve other issues as well,
18 including the separation of the TO from civil authority, et cetera."
19 Does it look like the TO -- or the JNA is talking about inserting
20 its own officers to lead the -- any existing TO structures?
21 A. Yes, Your Honours. And this has to be seen in context of the
22 instructions of the SSNO to establish an RSK TO, and we have seen other
23 documents. I think the Prosecution also discussed some of those with me.
24 And I also I note that, I mean, explicit mention is made to separate the
25 TO from civil authority which to me is consistent with what we have
1 discussed earlier; that is, that in the prior period - and we have
2 discussed municipalities like Mirkovci where this poses problems - that
3 civil authority, i.e., the SAO SBWS authorities maintained ties with
4 certain individuals in the TO and even appointed people in a senior
5 position the local Serb TO, whereby these people were allegedly involved
6 in crimes.
7 MR. GOSNELL: We would tender this document, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D52. Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 MR. GOSNELL: 6122, please.
12 Q. This is two days later. It's an order from the 1st Mechanised
13 Corps Command, the assistant commander for civilian affairs,
14 Colonel Novica Gusic.
15 "Order: Re: Joint measures and activities by the civil affairs
16 organ and the organs of the authorities to further constitute the
18 So even now we're still talking about to further constitute the
19 authorities. And task number 1 is that:
20 "Town commanders," so the JNA town commanders, "together with the
21 presidents of the municipal executive councils, municipal TO staffs, and
22 brigade commands, civil affairs organs, inspect the following in their
23 own territories: Local TO staffs, local communes, police stations, and
24 other structures of the authorities, primarily those which are seizing
25 the responsibilities of certain organs and structures of the authorities,
1 on these occasions they shall interview the entire group, tell them about
2 their location, role, and function, and make an energetic demand for them
3 to reduce their activities to the framework of their prescribed
5 Now, doesn't it look there as if the JNA is taking a directing
6 role in the affairs mentioned there? In particular the appointments to
7 the local TO staffs and the police stations.
8 A. Could ... could I please see the first page of the document
10 Q. And we do see on that first page that it does concern Mirkovci,
11 amongst others.
12 A. It doesn't talk about, I mean, what I see here paragraph 1 and
13 maybe you should now move to the next page to see paragraph 2. What I
14 was trying to find out whether he talks about appointments of personnel.
15 No, Your Honours, I mean, it doesn't talk about appointments of local TO
16 staffs and police station. It talks about inspecting them. And it's
17 done in, I would say, a collegial manner, i.e., the town commander with
18 the presidents of the local municipal executive councils, so I think this
19 is still consistent with -- with the role of the JNA as it was defined
20 before, i.e., to assist the local authorities. And when I say defined
21 before, after the 20th of November, 1991.
22 Q. Just one last question, Mr. Theunens.
23 You don't think that the JNA being responsible for interviewing
24 the entire group and making energetic demands for them to reduce their
25 activities suggests supervision, control, direction?
1 A. Excuse me, could we go back to -- to the bottom of the first
3 Because it says -- I mean, on the second page, "they shall
4 interview." I'm try -- just to make sure --
5 Q. Yeah, and the "they" is clearly town commanders.
6 A. Yeah, but, you know, look at title one. It says:
7 "Together with the presidents of the municipal executive
8 councils, municipal TO staffs, and brigade commands."
9 So it's not just the JNA. It is the JNA together with local
10 civilian authorities and officials of the TO.
11 Q. And in a situation like the one that we've seen in respect of
12 Mirkovci with various power factions, factions struggling for power, who
13 is going to resolve that in your opinion?
14 A. I forgot to -- sorry, the reference for the previous document,
15 but the previous document we saw there, it was suggested by a senior JNA
16 officer that the JNA would use its -- its influence with members of the
17 SAO SBWS or SAO Krajina, but it comes to the same, would use that
18 influence in order to make these changes in personnel because the
19 document also said the two individuals we discussed had been appointed by
20 the local civilian authorities, i.e., the SAO SBWS authorities.
21 Q. I think we have to leave it there, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Gosnell.
23 Mr. Theunens, we will see tomorrow morning at 9.00. In the
24 meantime, you're still on your oath. You know what that means. Thank
25 you very much.
1 The court usher will escort you out of court.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 Mr. Stringer, about the 27th, I must say I thought that the
6 parties have been informed about what we decided after the -- the little
7 discussion we had. You confirm now that there is a possibility not to
8 sit that day, and that's what we will do.
9 MR. STRINGER: Just with this minor caveat, Mr. President. The
10 witness who is scheduled is an expert witness and would have to be --
11 have his evidence completed by noon on Wednesday of that week, the 29th.
12 Now we think that's -- that's quite doable. It's -- it's
13 certainly not going to be the -- the extensive kind of evidence that the
14 Court -- the Chamber has seen this week and last. So we think that it's
15 quite likely he can complete his evidence by noon on Wednesday without
16 any difficulty even accounting for cross-examination, et cetera. But
17 it's possible that we may face ourselves or we may be asking to sit a
18 little bit longer on Tuesday just to make sure that that happens. His
19 travel has been arranged, he's made all of his arrangements with his
20 current employer to be back home by that Wednesday evening which would
21 require him to leave -- or to be finished by Wednesday on noon.
22 We think it is quite doable but I just wanted to mention the
23 possibility of possibly having to sit a bit longer on Tuesday to do that.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. That's -- we'll take that into account.
25 Anything from the Defence on that matter?
1 MR. GOSNELL: Nothing on that, Mr. President. But could I just
2 tender 6122, please.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D53. Thank you.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
6 Court adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.05 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 14th day of May,
9 2013, at 9.00 a.m.