1 Tuesday, 16 July 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case IT-04-75-T, The Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. May we have the appearances, please,
11 starting with the Prosecution.
12 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
13 For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer; Matthew Olmsted;
14 case manager, Thomas Laugel; legal intern, Kathryn Fox.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 For the Defence, Mr. Zivanovic.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
18 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Perhaps a short oral ruling about the Prosecution
20 motion to modify e-court regarding Exhibits P01378.1351, P01188, P02072,
21 and P02073. Motion was filed on the 10th of July. Prosecution seeks to
22 attach the B/C/S translation of P01378.1351 in e-court, which pertains to
23 an UNPROFOR report. Prosecution also seeks to attach one-page maps to
24 Exhibits P01188, P02072, and P02073, none of which currently contain
25 pages in e-court.
1 Could the Defence give us a position.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No objection, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 Motion is granted, and the Registrar shall mark the translation
5 and the maps as admitted into evidence.
6 The witness may be brought in.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Witness.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you for coming to The Hague to assist the
12 Do you understand me -- do you -- sorry, do you hear me in a
13 language you understand?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you please state your name and date of
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dusan Jaksic, born on the
18 2nd of November, 1956, in the village of Rabljak, Nasice municipality,
19 the Republic of Croatia.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. You are about to make the solemn
21 declaration by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth. I
22 need to point out to you that by doing so, you expose yourself to the
23 penalties of perjury should you give false or untruthful information to
24 the Tribunal.
25 Can I ask you to make the solemn declaration now that the
1 Court Usher will give to you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: DUSAN JAKSIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Jaksic. You may be
8 Mr. Olmsted, your witness.
9 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Examination by Mr. Olmsted:
11 Q. Good morning, Mr. Jaksic.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Let me begin by asking you, have you previously testified before
14 this Tribunal?
15 A. I have.
16 Q. In what case was that?
17 A. In General Mrksic's case seven years ago.
18 Q. And can you tell us, who called you as a witness in that case?
19 A. The Defence for Mr. Mrksic, attorney-at-law, Mr. Vasic.
20 Q. And prior to testifying here today, did you have an opportunity
21 to review that testimony?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you have any changes to the evidence you provided in that
25 A. No.
1 Q. I want to touch on your background a little bit. First, may I
2 ask you, what is your ethnicity?
3 A. Serb.
4 Q. And could you please tell us about your educational background.
5 A. I have high school education.
6 Q. And where did you attend high school?
7 A. In Vukovar.
8 Q. And after secondary school, did you attend any other schools?
9 A. When I was serving in the army, I attended the school for reserve
10 officers. At first, I started studying at the traffic school and then
11 when on to the other one.
12 Q. And where was that reserve officer school?
13 A. At Bilica. It was the school for the reserve officers of the
14 land forces, infantry.
15 Q. And at some point after your completion of the reserve officers'
16 school, did you return to Vukovar?
17 A. I was in Vukovar from 1971, so I did my schooling there, and then
18 I went to the army. Once I completed my military service, I went back to
19 Nasice only to de-register myself from the military records in that
20 municipality so that I may be able to return to Vukovar.
21 Q. I understand. Can you tell us what year you were back in
23 A. I came to Vukovar to attend school there in 1971. I was there
24 throughout my time until the military service, and then after completing
25 the military service, I went back there again.
1 Q. And -- and that's what I'm getting at, Mr. Jaksic. After you
2 completed your military service, what year did you return to Vukovar.
3 Could you tell us what year it was?
4 A. 1976.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, when you returned to Vukovar, where were you
7 A. Previously I worked part-time for Cazmatrans and for a private
8 business. When I went back, I started working for Cazmatrans yet again,
9 and three months later I had a steady job.
10 Q. And did you hold any position in the Vukovar TO structure?
11 A. As soon as I served the army, my compulsory service, I was the
12 commander of the scouts platoon of the brigade. That was the assignment
13 I was given immediately.
14 Q. And you referred to a brigade. Was that the TO brigade in
16 A. The TO brigade, yes, in the municipality of Vukovar.
17 Q. And did you hold any subsequent positions in the brigade?
18 A. After the first exercise with the reconnaissance or
19 scouts platoon, I was commended for my service. I was promoted and sent
20 for training for security officer, and therefore during [as interpreted]
21 the war, I became --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the exact title
23 that he had.
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. Mr. Jaksic, the interpreters asked us for you to repeat the exact
1 title that you had.
2 A. I was chief of security of the Vukovar TO brigade.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I just noticed one error in transcript. Because
4 the witness said "until the war" not "during the war."
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could we clarify that, Mr. Olmsted.
6 MR. OLMSTED: Absolutely, Mr. President.
7 Q. Could you clarify what Defence counsel has raised.
8 A. Yes. The Territorial Defence and the brigade were operational
9 until the multi-party elections in the area. Subsequently, the ZNG took
10 over the municipality, and the brigade no longer existed. It wasn't
11 being assembled.
12 Q. Before we get into all that, I think the clarification is simply
13 how long did you hold the position of head of security for the
14 TO brigade. I -- the question is whether it was until the conflict began
15 or you continued in that position afterwards.
16 A. We had exercised up until the multi-party elections. Thereafter,
17 there were no exercises organised anymore, nor did we have any contacts
18 with the brigade.
19 Q. And in what part of Vukovar did you live?
20 A. I lived on Solidarnost Street, which joins up with
21 Petrova Gora Street at -- once this whole area used to be called
23 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on e-court 65 ter 6318. This is
24 tab 43. And perhaps we could enlarge it. I think that's probably about
25 right there. Well -- yeah, let's not move it too much.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Further up, please.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Could we move it further up.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, actually, if we could move it
4 further down so I can show you where I lived.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Yeah. And zoom out a little bit as well, please.
6 Let's just leave it there. I think that --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I?
8 MR. OLMSTED:
9 Q. Let's -- yeah, let me ask you a question.
10 First of all, can you -- you just mentioned the area of Sajmiste.
11 Could you take the electronic pen and just circle the area of Sajmiste
12 for us.
13 A. You have to move further down so that I could show you the area
14 of Sajmiste.
15 Q. All right. Is that good right there?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Great.
18 A. May I?
19 Q. Yes, please. If you could circle the area of Sajmiste for us.
20 A. There.
21 Q. And just so we can recall your evidence, if you could put an S
22 there for Sajmiste.
23 A. I write in Cyrillic script. Is that fine?
24 Q. That's fine.
25 A. All right. I'll put at S, like this.
1 Q. And you also mentioned Petrova Gora. Could you tell us, is that
2 a subset of Sajmiste? Is that a smaller component of Sajmiste?
3 A. It's a small part of it. As you look at the picture, it's on the
4 left-hand side. It's one of the side streets. It's called Petrova Gora.
5 Q. And we sometimes during this trial heard of the area called
6 Petrova Gora. Is that synonymous with Sajmiste, or is it a smaller area?
7 I know it's also a street.
8 A. Later on, in the course of war and after the war, since a large
9 defence exercise was organised at -- there, at Petrova Gora previously,
10 the entire area of Sajmiste was then called Petrova Gora.
11 Q. We've also heard the -- a part of Vukovar referred to as
12 Leva Supoderica. Could you circle that for us?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. And just for our reference, could you place a letter
15 L inside that circle.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And can you tell us, what was the pre-conflict ethnic composition
18 of these neighbourhoods?
19 A. Before the conflict, Vukovar was a multi-ethnic town. There were
20 around 38 ethnic groups and minorities living there. We called it
21 Yugoslavia in miniature.
22 The left side of it was prevalently inhabited by the Serbs and
23 the right side of it, the area called Mitnica, et cetera, was
24 predominantly inhabited by the Croats.
25 Q. And could you circle for us Mitnica?
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. And again, for our benefit, if you could put a letter M in that
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. OLMSTED: May be this be admitted into evidence.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2366, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 MR. OLMSTED:
11 Q. Mr. Jaksic, prior to the conflict how was the TO organised in
13 A. The Territorial Defence was organised at municipal level. The
14 municipal organs appointed the commander of the staff, and they financed
15 the unit.
16 The next level was the level of the district. That was the level
17 of Slavonia and Baranja, as far as we were concerned and then you had the
18 republic level. So you had a local staff, a district staff, and a
19 republican staff. And, of course, the command structures followed the
20 same principle, when we talk about the commands of brigades and units.
21 Q. And organisationally was the TO separate from the JNA?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you mentioned previously that you were part of the Vukovar TO
24 brigade. Was that the only TO you -- overall unit that existed in
25 Vukovar at the time?
1 A. There was the regular army in Vukovar at the time, as well as the
2 Territorial Defence, and civilian protection. There were also local
3 guards. And these were the structures that were the reserve forces that
4 were to be activated in the event of an aggression or natural disaster.
5 Q. Within Vukovar municipality, was there any structure that was
6 superior to the Vukovar TO brigade? Was there any unit above it within
7 Vukovar itself?
8 A. In the municipality of Vukovar? Only the political structure,
9 not one in terms of command.
10 Q. And to what degree did the ethnic composition of the Vukovar TO
11 brigade reflect the population in Vukovar?
12 A. The composition of the brigade reflected the ethnic makeup in the
13 area. The only difference was where the specific battalions or platoons
14 were from. So it would happen that some of these battalions would be
15 predominantly Croat or predominantly Serb, depending on the area that
16 they covered and the population that inhabited the area. That was the
17 situation in Vukovar.
18 Q. And where were the TO weapons stored?
19 A. It was very expensive for municipalities and the country as a
20 whole to build specific-purpose storage facilities, and the army already
21 had its own storage facilities, so the weapons would be stored in their
23 Q. And where were those facilities?
24 A. It was in the forest of Djergaj. It's on the edge of Vukovar in
25 the direction of Brsadin it was by the roadside. It was a storage
1 facility for weapons, explosives and equipment.
2 Q. And what happened to those weapons during the conflict?
3 A. I think that as the conflict broke out, it was the Brsadin
4 territorials who got there first because they were close by, and they
5 took over the TO weapons.
6 At the time, the army was still under a blockade. There was only
7 one platoon of it deployed that was there for security for the storage
9 Q. And can you tell us, this Brsadin TO, was that a -- a TO that
10 formed by the -- the Serb authorities in Brsadin?
11 A. Before the conflict broke out, territorial units were formed in
12 villages. So it was no longer the case that you had a territorially
13 based structure. It was, rather, individual villages that got organised,
14 and in the area of Petrova Gora, we had roughly 80 men.
15 Q. I understand. In Brsadin, what was the ethnic majority of that
17 A. They were mostly Serbs.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness be instructed to speak a bit
19 more slowly, please.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Jaksic, the interpreter has asked that you speak a bit more
22 slower for her. Thank you.
23 Could you tell us, and I think you alluded to this earlier, was
24 the Vukovar TO brigade ever activated in 1990 or 1991 for war operations?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now, prior to 1991, was there a Petrova Gora TO?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Could you tell us, in what month was a Petrova Gora TO unit
5 A. The unit was formed shortly before the liberation of the
6 barracks. However, the organisation was already there. As soon as the
7 multi-party system took hold, we organised village guards, or local
8 guard, to watch over the various settlements.
9 Q. You testified that the unit was formed shortly before the
10 liberation of the barracks. Can you tell us what month that unit was
12 A. It was sometime after the 2nd of May, after the events at
13 Borovo Selo, when Vukovar was completely blocked off. It may have been
14 July. The end of July.
15 Q. By -- by the end of July, could you tell us, how many -- or
16 perhaps you could tell us what percentage of Serbs remained in Vukovar by
17 the end of July?
18 A. Women and children and many people in general had already fled
19 Vukovar by that time. Whoever was able to leave no longer went to work
20 or walked about the town. Many Serbs left Vukovar too.
21 Q. Did your family leave by that time, by the end of July?
22 A. My family, my wife and four children, left for Kragujevac, and it
23 was it was at the eleventh hour, basically, that they managed to get out.
24 Q. Now, initially how many members were -- were there in the
25 Petrova Gora TO unit?
1 A. Initially, we had 180 men.
2 Q. And where did these members come from?
3 A. They were all residents of these several streets there, and there
4 was some of them who had come over from Mitnica.
5 Q. And who was the commander of this unit?
6 A. I was.
7 Q. Mr. Jaksic, what was the first significant combat operation that
8 members of the Petrova Gora TO participated in?
9 A. I can't recall the exact date. It was before the barracks was
10 liberated that we were attacked once or twice. We received word from the
11 Croats that they -- from the Croat side that they were planning an attack
12 from Mitnica on Petrova Gora.
13 Q. And I think you alluded to the issue. Did your TO unit
14 participate in the liberation of the barracks?
15 A. The liberation of the barracks wasn't along the axis of the
16 barracks. It was along the street before the barracks.
17 Q. Yes, I -- I understand. But please focus on my question.
18 Did your TO unit, the Petrova Gora TO, participate in the
19 liberation of the barracks?
20 A. We were issued with the task, we were involved in the action, but
21 along the axis that concerned the barracks, there was the battalion that
22 was called Negoslavci, the Negoslavci battalion.
23 Q. I understand. Thank you. Could you tell us what date the
24 operation to liberate the barracks occurred on?
25 A. The 14th of September.
1 Q. Prior to that operation, did you make contact with any JNA
2 command in the Vukovar area?
3 A. I can't remember exactly. Perhaps two weeks earlier on, the
4 barracks was under a blockade for over 20 days. We didn't have any
5 electricity, telephone lines or any water. We didn't know what was
6 happening. We had been completely cut off. And then I decided that we
7 should break through to Negoslavci.
8 Q. And did you reach Negoslavci?
9 A. Yes. Because Atar was on the left-hand side of Petrova Gora and
10 I sent in a platoon. We knew that the troops were by Smetiste, in the
11 direction of Petrovci so that the -- we sent a platoon so that they
12 wouldn't fall into an ambush. We linked up with the troops and they took
13 me to the command of the Mitrovica Brigade in the village of Negoslavci.
14 Q. And who did you meet with in the Mitrovica Brigade?
15 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Ilija Lokic [as interpreted], who was the
16 command of the Mitrovica Brigade at the time.
17 Q. The transcript says "Lieutenant-Colonel Lokic." Could you
18 confirm whether that's his correct last name?
19 A. Jokic, J. Jokic.
20 Q. And what did you tell Colonel Jokic?
21 A. I told Colonel Jokic about our situation, about what we had at
22 our disposal.
23 Q. And how did he respond?
24 A. I then suggested we should liberate the barracks.
25 However, he said that he didn't have such authority and that I
1 would have to contact someone higher up the chain of command.
2 Q. And after this meeting with Colonel Jokic, where did you go?
3 A. I then went to Borovo Selo, near Jakovic.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction to see Ilija Kojic.
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. And who was Ilija Kojic at that time?
7 A. Ilija Kojic replaced Soskocanin, the late Soskocanin.
8 Q. And what position did he replace the late Soskocanin?
9 A. Soskocanin was the commander for the defence of the village of
11 Q. And had you known Mr. Kojic before this occasion in September?
12 A. No, I hadn't known him before the war.
13 Q. When did you first meet Mr. Kojic?
14 A. I can't remember exactly. I can't remember whether I met him on
15 one occasion prior to that event. And, if so, I can't remember where
16 that was.
17 Q. Do you recall meeting him in May 1991?
18 A. In May, in the 2nd of May, I was in my village when the attack
19 was launched on Borovo Selo. I only managed to get to Vukovar. We went
20 to Trpinje by car and then carried on to Vukovar on foot.
21 Q. I understand you didn't meet him on the 2nd of May. But any time
22 in May, did you meet him?
23 A. It's possible.
24 Q. Regardless, you knew who he was?
25 A. Yes. I knew he worked in the police and that he held that post
1 at the time.
2 Q. Now, why did you meet with Mr. Kojic in Borovo Selo after your
3 meeting with Colonel Jokic?
4 A. Well, because Borovo Selo was more organised. I thought that he
5 now had more authority and that it would be easier for me to get to the
6 corps command through him. They were -- probably recognise his authority
7 sooner than mine. So given his authority, once I had presented the
8 situation to them, I thought it would be easier for us to exert an
9 influence in the sense of acting so that the barracks could be liberated.
10 Q. And after you met with Mr. Kojic, where did you go?
11 A. We went to Novi Sad, to the command of the Novi Sad Corps, to see
12 General Bratic.
13 Q. And did Mr. Kojic accompany you on that trip?
14 A. He did.
15 Q. And what did you and Mr. Kojic tell General Bratic?
16 A. I told General Bratic about the entire situation, since, in
17 Vukovar, there were 50 or 60 volunteers. My brother, brother-in-law,
18 were in the barracks in Vukovar, so I knew quite a lot about the
19 situation through phone calls. I had heard that there had been quite a
20 few wounded. They had no water, no food. Snipers fired on them
21 constantly and they came under mortar fire, constant mortar fire, and it
22 wasn't possible for the barracks to survive if no one reacted. So I
23 suggested we should attempt to liberate the barracks and to liberate the
24 troops who were confined within the barracks.
25 Q. And how did General Bratic respond?
1 A. Bratic only said, Very well, either contact Jokic and agree
2 everything with him concerning further action to be contain in order to
3 liberate the barracks. You will then have your agreement with him as to
4 how you should proceed. I then contacted Jokic, and we then agreed on
5 what action should be taken.
6 Q. And could you tell us what was agreed between you and
7 Colonel Jokic.
8 A. I received uniforms from Jokic for those who had no uniforms. I
9 received weapons, automatic weapons, so I had a group of 42 men that I
10 equipped, and we tried to link up with the troops and clear the
11 Proleterska Street. And I was also provided with a RUP-12 radio device.
12 Q. Was there to be a signal for the beginning of the operation?
13 A. Yes. He didn't tell me exactly when the attack would be
14 launched. He said I should wait. There would be a signal, and that
15 would be when birds flew over the Vukovar shelter. That would be the
16 sign for us to go into action --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, when there were
18 fighter planes flying over the area, that would be the signal.
19 MR. OLMSTED:
20 Q. And the fighter planes, did they, in fact, fly over the area on
21 the 14th of September?
22 A. They did. That was the sign for me to turn the radio device on,
23 and they then launched rockets against the shelter.
24 Q. What did the rockets hit?
25 A. They targeted the warehouse. As to what they hit, I didn't go
1 there to observe it myself.
2 Q. And what was the name of the warehouse?
3 A. It was only two rockets, and they weren't very potent. These
4 Galeb planes are fairly small planes.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. I see that the transcript omitted that it
7 was Vukovar Zenga shelter. It was in line 11, page 17.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment.
9 So the name of the shelter would be ZNG; is that right?
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: ZNG used it as their shelter.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Oh, sorry. ZNG used it. That's what you mean,
12 yes. ZNG used it as their shelter. Is that right, Mr. Witness?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Your Honours, I just would ask in the future
16 if such situations that Defence counsel simply say that there needs to be
17 a clarification regarding a particular part of the transcript rather than
18 providing what he believes was said, just to make sure that we're getting
19 the witness's answers.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: If need be, Mr. Zivanovic.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would say that it is recorded and it will be --
22 see from the -- from the audio record what the witness originally said.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's right.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Olmsted.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. This warehouse, what was the name of the warehouse? Did it have
2 a name?
3 A. It was in a basement where equipment was kept. It was dug in.
4 It had strong walls and it was quite secure. It was in the basement of
5 the Vuteks company.
6 Q. Thank you. That was what I was after. Thank you.
7 Now, what units participated in the operation that day, on the
8 14th of September?
9 A. The Mitrovica Brigade was involved, Petrova Gora company and the
10 Negoslavci battalion on the axis up to the barracks.
11 As for those involved on the other side, in other areas, I don't
12 know who they were.
13 Q. You referred to a Negoslavci battalion. Was that JNA or was that
14 a TO battalion?
15 A. TO.
16 Q. And did any of these units reach the barracks that day?
17 A. The Negoslavci unit did.
18 MR. OLMSTED: May we have 65 ter 6318 on the screen. This is,
19 again, tab 43.
20 Q. Sir, if you could take the pen again and mark for us, after this
21 operation occurred, what area of Vukovar was under the control of the JNA
22 and its -- the TO units that participated in that operation?
23 A. What units participated -- after the second day --
24 Q. Let me -- let me clarify the question. After the operation was
25 completed, what area --
1 A. On the first day, we were blocked by a wagon in
2 Proleterska Street so we didn't reach Vuteks on -- on the first day. It
3 was only on the second day that we reached that location.
4 Q. I understand, and unfortunately I do not have time to go into all
5 the details of the operation.
6 What I want you to answer is after this operation was completed
7 on the first or second day, can you tell us, can you draw a line as to
8 what area was --
9 A. Line.
10 Q. Yes, a line. Where the -- where the front line was essentially
11 after that operation.
12 And do we need to scroll down a bit for you?
13 A. Well, it would be like this. That was the line.
14 Q. And could you put a B on the barracks.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Thank you. So everything below that line was under control of
17 the JNA and the other TO units.
18 A. And the TO, yes.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2367.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 MR. OLMSTED:
24 Q. Sir, at some point, did the JNA Guards Motorised Brigade arrive
25 in Vukovar?
1 A. The Guards Brigade arrived on the 2nd of October. That's when
2 they arrived in Vukovar -- or, rather, on the 1st, but on the 2nd, the
3 Guards Brigade went into action. It was brought in on the 1st at night.
4 Q. Prior to the arrival of the Guards Brigade, did anything happened
5 organisationally to the Petrova Gora TO?
6 A. The Petrova Gora TO, since this area was liberated, and there
7 were Serb inhabitants there, they immediately mobilised in the
8 Petrova Gora brigade. There were some volunteers. I formed a company.
9 I had about 344 men for combat, plus logistics. There were about 20 men
10 in logistics and then there were men to provide security for Vuteks and
11 Trend [phoen], for these companies that had been liberated. These men
12 were slightly elderly. They were there to provide security for the
13 factories so that they could prevent looting.
14 So, at the time, there were about 344 men on the line ready for
16 Q. Could you tell us, at this stage, was the Petrova Gora TO unit,
17 was it a brigade, a battalion? What was it -- what kind of unit was it
18 at that stage?
19 A. At the time it was a battalion. Since it was independent, not on
20 the TO, as part of brigade, so we called it a detachment because it acted
22 Q. And could you explain to us, what that means, that the detachment
23 acted independently?
24 A. A battalion is part of a brigade. But a detachment is the size
25 of a battalion but acts independently so it's not part of the brigade.
1 It's independent. It doesn't have a superior commander, but the
2 commander of this so-called battalion is independent. They can act
3 independently. They can penetrate the rear and get involved in actions
4 independently without being linked to the brigade command. So it wasn't
5 part of that composition. It was independent. It represented a sort of
6 independent formation and was not integrated within a larger body.
7 Q. And how many companies were in the TO detachment?
8 A. Four companies at the time, but the composition was not identical
9 for each one of them.
10 Q. Could you tell us, who were the commanders of those four
12 A. The company commanders: Miroljub Vujovic was the company
13 commander for the 1st Company; the 2nd Company, Stanko Vujanovic; the
14 commander of the 3rd one was Miroslav Pejic; and the commander of the
15 4th Company was Sinisa Fot.
16 Q. Did any of these commanders have training as officers?
17 A. I didn't have any reserve officers there at the time. Only my
18 deputy was a reserve officer, and those who were the most competent, the
19 most courageous, well, they would designate commanders. First they'd be
20 commanders of platoons and they would subsequently become company
22 Q. And could you tell us, how big was Miroljub Vujovic's company?
23 A. Well, last time I had a notebook so I was able to use that. But
24 I think there were about 117 men in his company. His company was the
25 biggest one.
1 Q. And how about Mr. --
2 A. And their main axis was in that area.
3 Q. And how about Mr. Vujanovic's company? How big was that?
4 A. I can't remember the number exactly now because on the previous
5 occasion in Mrksic I had a notebook and then I was able to provide all
6 the information by relying on the notebook. Perhaps about 200 and --
7 perhaps about 70, I'm not sure.
8 Q. Was an operational group formed in Vukovar?
9 A. In Vukovar there was the Southern Operations Group. While we
10 were co-ordinating action with the Mitrovica Brigade, there was the
11 commander, Colonel Bajo Bojat.
12 Q. And was Colonel Bojat replaced; and, if so, when, and by whom?
13 A. Colonel Bajo Bojat was replaced perhaps a week or two later by
14 General Mrksic. He was Colonel Mrksic at the time.
15 Q. Did you attend briefings with Colonel Mrksic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How frequently would you attend briefings with him?
18 A. It was almost every day.
19 Q. And where were those briefings held?
20 A. At his command post in Negoslavci village. That was the command
21 of the south operations group.
22 Q. Can you tell us, who was Major Sljivancanin during the operations
23 in Vukovar?
24 A. Sljivancanin was the chief of security of the Guards Brigade.
25 Q. And can you tell us, did -- did Major Sljivancanin limit himself
1 to security matters or did he expand his mandate during the operations in
3 A. According to the rules of service valid before the war, at a time
4 of war, the commander had authority and the chief of security. That was
5 also the case on this occasion. Colonel Mrksic said that the command and
6 the security organ should exercise authority in the operations group --
7 Operations Group South.
8 Q. Who was more often in Vukovar, Mrksic or Sljivancanin?
9 A. Sljivancanin was there almost on a daily basis.
10 Q. What was Major Sljivancanin's relationship with the media?
11 A. Well, he always had the media and cameras in tow. Wherever he
12 went, they would accompany him.
13 Q. As TO commander, did you meet with members of the district
14 government, the SBWS district government?
15 A. I never did so officially. Only when I went to Erdut I
16 unofficially passed through. I unofficially contacted them just to say
17 hello, but I didn't have any official meetings with them.
18 Q. And who from the SBWS government would you have contact with?
19 A. I had contact with Rade Leskovac. I'd seen Dokmanovic there,
20 too. I was on good terms with him before the war. I remember Goran
21 giving me an emblem, a Serbian flag, an emblem that I could put on my
23 Q. You just referred to "Goran." Could you tell us the last name of
24 that person?
25 A. Goran Hadzic.
1 Q. When you came to Erdut, did you meet with anyone in the armed
2 forces structure in Erdut?
3 A. I went to see the commander of Operational Group North,
4 Mr. Radovan Stojicic, Badza, when I was in Erdut. Since the training
5 centre and the palace are near to each other, as I was waiting for a good
6 moment to cross over to Serbia, I only dropped by to see them for a cup
7 of coffee.
8 Q. The transcript reads that you went to see the commander of
9 Operational Group North, Mr. Radovan Stojicic.
10 Can you clarify what his position is or what you believed his
11 position to be at the time?
12 A. TO. I don't know if it was -- I know that he was the commander
13 of the TO Operational Group --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness be asked to repeat this. It
15 was very unclear.
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. I apologise, sir, but if you could repeat your last answer for
18 the interpreters.
19 A. Badza was the commander of the TO of the operational --
20 Operations Group North.
21 Q. And what was the purpose of your meetings with him?
22 A. I went twice, and both times, it was to co-ordinate with the
23 operations group, to co-ordinate our activity. And the second time was
24 to see that co-ordinated action was put in place with Mrksic. So I went
25 there personally.
1 Q. Were you aware of a unit called the Leva Supoderica?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what kind of unit was that?
4 A. I think that they belonged to the Radical Party.
5 Q. And do you remember who the commander of that unit was:
6 A. Lancuzanin, also known as Kameni. I don't remember the others at
7 this point.
8 Q. Do you recall whether that unit was subordinated to any JNA
10 A. All the units in the area were subordinated to the command of the
11 Operational Group South.
12 Q. Did you see any of the leaders of the Radical Party in Vukovar?
13 A. I saw Mr. Seselj when he was touring the troops.
14 Q. And when and where did you see him?
15 A. He passed down Petrova Gora Street and Solidarnost Street. He
16 went through to the front line to boost the morale and to visit the
17 troops in general.
18 Q. Do you recall what month that occurred?
19 A. I don't recall. It was probably in November.
20 Q. Were there other volunteer units from Serbia --
21 A. Early November. There were quite a few volunteers who were
22 members of military units and territorial units.
23 Q. And how were these volunteers viewed by the OG South Command?
24 A. I didn't perceive a difference in the treatment of soldiers or TO
25 members. I didn't see that there was a difference.
1 Q. And I'm speaking about volunteers from Serbia. What was the
2 attitude or what was the perception of the JNA command towards them?
3 A. Well, I can tell you that we didn't have any problems whatsoever
4 with volunteers from Serbia. They were patriots, honest folk, for the
5 most part, and if they were in the army, they were assigned to a platoon
6 or a company, and if they were TO, they were subordinated to us, and they
7 were not extremist at all. They didn't cause any trouble, quite the
9 Q. Were you aware whether any members of these volunteer units or
10 members of volunteer engaged in any crimes?
11 A. I don't know that there were any organised volunteer units other
12 than that organised by the Radical Party. The rest were all members of
13 the TO. At any rate, they didn't have their own independent units. They
14 were either members of the TO or the JNA or members of the unit belonging
15 to the Radical Party.
16 Q. And were you aware whether any of these volunteer, regardless of
17 what unit or -- they were attached to, were you aware whether they were
18 committing any crimes in Vukovar?
19 A. I can tell you that during combat, it could not so happen that
20 they would loot and plunder and carry on any of the looted goods across
21 the check-points, because that was very strict. It could only have
22 happened after the liberation of Vukovar. That was when the -- the
23 control was not as strict as it was before.
24 Q. Did the issue of volunteer crimes ever come up at any of your
25 briefings with Colonel Mrksic or Major Sljivancanin?
1 A. When I attended briefings, there were no such comments made, as
2 far as I remember, up until the 17th of November. There were no such
3 cases being reported in the operative sense.
4 Q. Was a TO Staff established in Vukovar?
5 A. As far as I know, a TO Staff was set up in Vukovar. A TO Staff
6 was set up in Oriolik for OG South.
7 Q. And when was that?
8 A. That was sometime in October, I think, when the Guards Brigade
9 was there.
10 Q. Prior to October, was there an effort to establish a TO Staff for
12 A. Two weeks before the 14th of September, Jokic and I had
13 preparations for the liberation of the barracks. Slobodan Grahovac and
14 Mile Uzelac dropped by, came to the hotel, intent on setting up a
15 TO Staff of Vukovar.
16 Q. And who were these individuals at the time?
17 A. Mile Uzelac was the pre-war commander of the Vukovar TO Staff,
18 and I saw Slobodan Grahovac for the first time on that occasion.
19 Q. At the time, though, in September 1991, what organ were they
21 A. I found out later that Slobodan Grahovac had been working for the
22 MUP of the then -Yugoslavia. I only know that he was in the
23 Ministry of Interior of Yugoslavia. What specifically he did, I didn't
24 know. I didn't ask.
25 Q. Well, let me ask it this way: Where did Mr. Uzelac and
1 Mr. Grahovac come from?
2 A. It must have been from Sid.
3 Q. And what was in Sid that they came from?
4 A. I know that there was a mobilisation staff in Sid. There, they
5 mobilised the individuals in the area and deployed them to where we were
6 in Croatia.
7 Q. Do you know where Mr. Grahovac was from, as far as where he lived
8 prior to the conflict?
9 A. I found out that he was Vukovar-born, but I never met him in
10 Vukovar. It was later through stories that I came to recall his mother
11 and where she worked. I never saw him though. He was probably sent to
12 study in Belgrade, and I never saw him afterwards.
13 Q. And what profession did Mr. Uzelac have prior to the conflict?
14 A. In 1971, when I started high school, Mr. Uzelac was my maths
15 teacher for that one year. At that point, he was appointed commander of
16 the Vukovar TO Staff. He taught my generation through to the end of
17 schooling, although he was already working for the staff. But, as I say,
18 in 1971, he transferred as a commander of Vukovar TO Staff.
19 Q. Now, when Mr. Grahovac and Mr. Uzelac came to Vukovar, did you
20 speak with them?
21 A. As they came, I was just about to see Commander Jokic. They
22 joined me, and they said that they wanted to see how this should be put
23 in place. And I said, Look, where have you been so far? It's just now
24 that it's occurred to you that you should set up this staff. Now that
25 it's all done and you've come to -- to -- with this idea. I'm not
1 interested. And that's where it all ended.
2 So I left them there, and I went to see Jokic.
3 Q. You mentioned that a TO Staff was eventually established in
4 Vukovar in October 1991. Who was appointed TO Staff commander?
5 A. I didn't even know. I was at the front line when I learned that
6 there was a meeting held in Oriolik where I was appointed TO commander
7 and Mile Uzelac, my deputy.
8 Q. Did this TO Staff of which you became commander did it encompass
9 only Vukovar town or did it encompass a wider area?
10 A. The entire OG South. It was the staff of OG South, TO.
11 Q. And could you tell us roughly -- I'm sure you don't know the
12 exact number, but roughly how many village TO Staffs were subordinate to
14 A. There were more than 20 villages, and all the units that were
15 there, including Petrova Gora.
16 Q. And where was the TO Staff in Vukovar headquartered?
17 A. It was only Velepromet that had offices, and it was not
18 destroyed. We decided to set up our staff in those offices.
19 Q. Now did you fully assume the duties of TO Staff commander?
20 A. I was appointed TO Staff commander, but I could not discharge
21 solely that duty. Mrksic did not allow for that because then the
22 Petrova Gora unit would be without a leader. He said that it was
23 important for us to liberate Vukovar and that the commander of TO Staff
24 was a political function and that we should now focus on the liberation
25 of Vukovar.
1 Consequently, I had to stay with the Petrova Gora unit until the
3 Q. In what way is TO Staff commander a political function?
4 A. It was a political function because, let's say, the TO finances,
5 equips and appoints municipal TO commanders. So it's not a military
6 structure; it's a municipal/civilian structure.
7 Q. And do TO Staffs fall under a government institution; and, if so,
8 which institution?
9 A. They all fall under the Ministry of Defence.
10 Q. You -- you mentioned that you had this conversation with Mrksic
11 regarding his desire for you to focus on -- on the efforts to liberate
12 Vukovar. Who performed the duties of TO Staff commander in your absence?
13 A. Whenever there was no combat or operations in course, I would
14 attend meetings. So whenever there was a truce in place, I was able to
15 attend meetings. Otherwise, when fighting was going on, I did not.
16 Q. And when you did not --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat what he said.
18 MR. OLMSTED:
19 Q. Could you please repeat what you just said. The interpreters
20 didn't catch it.
21 A. If I went for a meeting, then I would -- my deputy,
22 Milanovic [as interpreted], Milan would take over.
23 Q. The transcript says your deputy "Milanovic." Could you actually
24 confirm whether he was your deputy?
25 A. Ivanovic. Milan Ivanovic.
1 Q. And what about Mile Uzelac? Did he perform any roles when you
2 weren't available as TO Staff commander?
3 A. Mile was my deputy. When I could not attend meetings, he did, in
4 my stead. But I think that there were two meetings that both of us
6 I recall myself, him, and Lazo Pjevic going to Lovas.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, you're changing topics? I mean
8 about the witness's deputy. There is a little bit of confusion there
9 about Milan Ivanovic. You asked whether he was your deputy, and then the
10 witness says that Mile is his deputy.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President. We should clarify that,
13 Q. Could you tell us, what position did Milan Ivanovic hold within
14 the TO Staff?
15 A. Milan Ivanovic was deputy commander of the Petrova Gora
17 Q. And if I understand correctly, Mile Uzelac was deputy of the TO
19 A. Uzelac was deputy commander of the TO Staff of
20 Operations Group South.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. And just so we have everyone on the record, were there also
24 assistant commanders of the TO Staff; and, if so, could you name them?
25 A. There was Lazo Pjevic, he was for mobilisation. Jovica Kresovic
1 was for communications. Pajo Stekovic was operator. This was 22 years
2 ago ... it's a bit hard. Mile was deputy; Mile Uzelac.
3 There was one man from Trpinje. He was in charge of engineers.
4 He was also a reserve officer. I can't recall his name. I had
5 everything noted down in my notebook.
6 Q. Not a problem. We understand a long time --
7 A. Many of them had not attended military exercises with me
8 previously. They had not been members of the TO brigade. So I only got
9 to know them at this point; whereas, all the others who had been there
10 with me previously, senior officers, I knew them all.
11 Q. That's fine, Mr. Jaksic.
12 I think we have two minutes, so let me quickly show you document
13 P1727. This is tab 4.
14 And we see this document is issued by Dusan Filipovic. Who was
15 he back in --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I believe this -- who was he back in October 1991, the date of
18 this document?
19 A. Dusan Filipovic, I only knew that Slobodan Grahovac was staff
20 commander. Dusan Filipovic was a member of the staff, but I didn't know
21 which organ he was.
22 Q. We see a couple stamps on this document. Have you seen those
23 stamps before?
24 A. It says "chief."
25 Q. Yeah.
1 A. No. I didn't receive a single document with such a stamp. It's
2 the first time I'm seeing this.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, this would be a good time to break.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Olmsted.
5 Mr. Jaksic, this is the time for our first break. We take
6 30 minutes and come back at 11.00. The Court Usher will escort you out
7 the court. Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.14 a.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: I have to apologise for the -- for the delay.
16 It's entirely my mistake. I was working in my office and completely
17 forgot about the time. Sorry about that.
18 Please continue, Mr. Olmsted.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Jaksic, before the break, you mentioned TO Staff meetings.
21 Can you tell us, did any representatives of the village TO Staffs attend
22 those meetings?
23 A. Yes, they did.
24 Q. And who from the villages attended those meetings, to the best of
25 your recollection?
1 A. At the time of the war, they were commander of units in the
2 village. Those were both commanders of units and presidents of the
3 villages. And they were the people who attended these meetings.
4 Q. You mentioned one of the meetings was in -- was in Lovas. Do you
5 recall who were the representatives from Lovas?
6 A. I think Devetak, Ljuban Devetak, was the president of Lovas.
7 Q. And generally what was discussed at these meetings?
8 A. The general subject concerned war-time activities, the conditions
9 for mobilisation, organising matters in the field. Since the civilian
10 authorities were not properly functioning, one was concerned about the
11 families of men on the battle-field. They had to be taken care of, had
12 to be fuel provided, agricultural matters had to be taken care of, and so
13 on and so forth. So these were basic matters that concerned the
14 inhabitants and the villages. These are the basic issues that were
15 addressed at these meetings.
16 Q. Did any representatives of the JNA attend those meetings?
17 A. I don't remember that having occurred when I was there.
18 Q. Can you tell us, for how long were you commander of the
19 Petrova Gora detachment?
20 A. From the time it was established until more or less the end of
21 the war, the 16th or the 17th - something like that - it was just prior
22 to the operation launched against Leva Supoderica, or, in fact, I
23 apologise, against Milovo Brdo.
24 Q. And just so we're clear on the record, the 16th or 17th of
1 A. According to my notebook, I had a meeting on the 17th. I
2 couldn't even remember it. It was in my notebook. At the time I wasn't
3 the commander of the Petrova Gora detachment, so I attended the meeting
4 as a staff member.
5 Q. And all I was seeking to clarify, you remained commander of the
6 Petrova Gora detachment until sometime in November; is that correct?
7 A. November. Up to the time just prior to the fall of Vukovar.
8 Q. And who replaced you?
9 A. Sljivancanin appointed Milivoj Vojovic [as interpreted] to
10 replace me as the commander of the 1st Company.
11 Q. Did Major Sljivancanin provide with you any reasons why he was
12 replacing you?
13 A. No. He just said Miroljub, as of today you will be the commander
14 of the Petrova Gora detachment and of the Vukovar TO Staff.
15 Q. I think you just clarified the question I -- I had. You -- with
16 regard to your question -- earlier answer, it's says on the record he --
17 that Vojovic was -- replaced you as commander of the 1st Company. But he
18 replaced you as commander of the Petrova Gora TO; is that correct?
19 Is that correct? You were replaced as TO commander of the
20 Petrova Gora detachment.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And I've also been reminded to try to correct with regard to the
23 person who replaced you. Can you give us his name one more time? I
24 don't think it's clear on the record.
25 A. Miroljub Vujovic.
1 Q. Did Major Sljivancanin give you any reasons for why he was
2 replacing you?
3 A. He didn't.
4 Q. Why do you believe you were replaced?
5 A. Well, I noticed that Mr. Sljivancanin, and Radic and the others,
6 that they were treating me a little more coldly. Something was going on
7 but I didn't know what. It was only on --at the other trial that I
8 noticed that Mr. Sljivancanin was conducting an operative defence against
10 Q. And --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Operative -- was processing me operationally,
12 interpreter's correction.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. At the time were you -- well, what was he processing you for?
15 A. His Defence said that it concerned black marketeering with cars
16 and so on. Apparently I had obtained some property illicitly. I heard
17 that they said I had about 300.000 marks in a bank -- in the Sabac bank,
18 and I was shocked to hear this as I had nothing to do with these matters.
19 I then asked the chief of the police, Djukic, what's going on?
20 Is it possible for them to spread such lies? He said, Why are you
21 concerned? What are they saying about you? Given the lies they are
22 telling, a lot of replacements should have been made years ago.
23 Q. And could you just clarify for us, when did you first learn of
24 these allegations?
25 A. I didn't hear this from Mr. Sarsic [phoen] but from other people.
1 They conveyed the rumours to me. It all started when four humanitarian
2 aid trailers arrived Vukovar.
3 Q. And please just focus on my question. My question was: When did
4 you first hear of these allegations? Just so we have a time-frame.
5 A. I can't remember exactly, but it was before the liberation of
6 Vukovar. I'd already been significantly affected by these rumours at the
8 Q. And, at the time, were you trying to prevent any kind of
9 activities that might have justified or might -- might have been the
10 reason for your removal?
11 A. I thought that these were just rumours, that it had nothing to do
12 with the top of the command. It wasn't logical for me, for
13 Mr. Sljivancanin not to have my biography. I couldn't believe that he
14 hadn't checked everything, that he hadn't spoken to me about these
15 matters. I didn't believe he could act in such a way, be involved in
16 such things.
17 Q. My question to you was: At the time of your removal, or before
18 your removal, were you interfering in any activities that were going on
19 in the Vukovar area that, in retrospect, you believe may have been the
20 reason for your removal?
21 A. Well, first of all, when these six trailers arrived in Vukovar,
22 when I raised the issue, someone just signed this fictitiously and they
23 returned to Vukovar. These -- to Serbia. The goods were sold at the
24 market later. Later I found out that there was a Siptar called
25 Dusan Spasojevic there, who was eliminated in the Sablja Operation, was
1 at the gate.
2 Q. So am I to understand you that you were attempting to prevent
3 smuggling operations?
4 A. I couldn't prevent these activities because the trailers had
5 already left. I only raised the issue and asked for the matter to be
6 looked into. I wanted them to see where the trailers had gone, why the
7 aid hadn't been delivered to the people in Vukovar ...
8 Q. And what effect do you believe your removal had on the situation
9 in Vukovar?
10 A. Well, as an officer, given my background, my education, I never
11 even thought of doing something illegal, of embezzling anything. This
12 wasn't allowed, in any case. And I was an optical [as interpreted] for
13 certain elements who wanted to get involved in looting and illegal
14 activities, and that was why there was the -- this slandering that
15 concerned myself, and they attributed actions to me that were, in fact,
16 their responsibility.
17 Q. You mentioned that were no longer head of the TO Staff as well.
18 Why did you relinquish that position, of TO Staff commander?
19 A. Since Sljivancanin said at a meeting in the command that
20 he [Realtime transcript read in error "Ilija"] would be head of the
21 TO Staff, I was to be in charge of the OG South and that the Vukovar
22 TO Staff should be subordinated to the OG South Staff. However, he took
23 over complete authority. He was then the commander. And since after the
24 event concerning the trailers, I heard from the military intelligence and
25 from officers in the barracks that preparations were under way to have me
2 Q. You -- you mentioned the name Ilija. Could you give us the last
4 A. When? Just a minute ago or earlier on?
5 Q. Yes. The transcript reads:
6 "Since Sljivancanin said at the meeting in," and it's not clear,
7 "the command that Ilija would be head of the TO Staff."
8 A. Miroljub. Not Ilija. Miroljub. Miroljub Vujovic.
9 Q. Did you ever see a written order to this effect removing you and
10 appointing Vujovic to this position?
11 A. I never received a written order, nor did anyone deliver such an
12 order to me. But a few days later, Miroljub waved this in front of me,
13 Petrova Gora, and since I knew what was under way, and I didn't try to do
14 anything against it, he his hand on his pistol. He was waiting for a my
15 reaction. I quite simply decided to relinquish authority. It was either
16 that or lose my head.
17 Q. Do you believe that Vujovic had the qualities to be a TO
19 A. Vujovic didn't have such qualities. He didn't have the mind. He
20 was just a puppet in the hands of others.
21 Q. Now, after your removal as TO commander, did you remain within
22 the TO structure?
23 A. No, I didn't.
24 Q. Mr. Jaksic, after the fall of Vukovar, did you get a sense of the
25 sentiment of the Serb population of Vukovar towards the Croats who had
1 participated in the armed conflict there?
2 A. Well, for example, in Petrova Gora, in my case, there were
3 neighbours who had stayed on there, who were friends. They remained with
4 us throughout that period, and nothing happened to them. They were
5 protected, as well as other ethnic minorities. On one occasion, they
6 took a hunting rifle from a Rusin [as interpreted] and the rifle was
7 returned to the person immediately after I had intervened. Later when I
8 left, as to what happened, who knows?
9 On one occasion, Milosevic even said that someone should be
10 immediately eliminated.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, Mr. Witness, please -- please slow
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. If I may interject there. Were members of the Serb population
16 angry at the -- at the Croats who had participated in the armed conflict?
17 A. Well, you know, when blood is spilt after all that evil, all
18 those who lived through that, who experienced that, they held these
19 things against them. They were angry with them.
20 Q. I would like to show you a couple of video-clips.
21 MR. OLMSTED: The first one is 65 ter 4799.14. And we will play
22 the clip until 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 48 seconds.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "... it should go, a bus or a truck,
25 something will have to ...
1 "We do apologise. This is the footage made by the Politika
2 television crew filmed over the past couple of days in Vukovar. In the
3 following seven to eight minutes, you will hear the testimonies of people
4 as seen through the eye of the camera in the hands of ..."
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. We've paused at an image, Mr. Jaksic. Could you tell us, who is
7 the person on the left wearing the uniform?
8 A. That's me.
9 Q. Can you tell us when and where this footage was taken.
10 A. It was on 18th of January [as interpreted]. The civilians went
11 to the bridge on Vutcija [phoen]. I was present there. And the women
12 here were Croats. I found out about that later. I didn't even know
14 Q. Can we clarify the record. It says in your last answer it was on
15 the 18th of January. Is January the correct month?
16 A. No, no. The 18th of November. That was the liberation of
17 Vukovar. Borovo Naselje was on the 20th.
18 Q. Thank you. And at this stage, were you a civilian, or were you
19 still with the TO?
20 A. At the time everyone had uniforms. I wasn't the commander of the
21 TO then. Jovica Kresovic and I left the staff unofficially to find the
22 wife and relative of a pilot and the son of Kerisic [phoen]. We tried to
23 help the civilians pass through with the help of the brigade. They had
24 subordinated their logistics, the lorries and everything -- or rather,
25 used their logistics and lorries and so on to get the civilians out of
1 Vukovar, as far as Velepromet.
2 Q. Let's jump to 1 hour, 24 minutes and 33 seconds.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. Before that, the witness mentioned
4 Kragujevac Brigade but it is not in the transcript.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, I think I heard the mention of that
6 brigade. I don't think it needs to be clarified at this stage. If
7 they're going to revise the transcript.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Are you sure about that, Mr. Olmsted? If we can
9 be sure about that, then the problem is solved. But are you?
10 MR. OLMSTED: Well, I won't say 100 per cent sure. I thought I
11 heard it. I'll ask it.
12 Q. Sir, you mentioned a brigade. Can you tell us the name of that
14 A. It was the Zaslin [phoen] detachment from Kragujevac. In the
15 case of action, they had to protect the Zastava factory for special
16 purposes and their cars. They were sent to the Vukovar battle-field
17 where we were.
18 MR. OLMSTED: If we could now jump to 1 hour, 24 minutes, 33
19 seconds. In the English transcript, this is in -- on page --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd just like to say that they
21 didn't enter the town. They remained in the rear. So the detachment
22 didn't enter the town. That is why I used them so that they could help
23 get the civilians out by placing these lorries and other equipment at
24 their disposal.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. All right. Well, if we could please now go to where -- where I
2 want to start playing again, which is 1 hour, 24 minutes and 33 seconds.
3 This is on page 4 of the English transcript, about halfway down.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 MR. OLMSTED: We'll restart where we --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: He couldn't find the
7 passage and the sound quality was too poor.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Yes. If we can turn to page 4 of the English
9 transcript. I think it's around line 17 that it begins. And I
10 understand it's a little bit difficult to hear. But let's try -- try it
12 [Video-clip played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter still cannot find the passage.
14 It sounds as if the person was saying: Everything has been mined. We
15 cannot find the mines. We don't know where the mines are.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, unfortunately, I have a different transcript
18 but now we've got it corrected. If we could have the interpreters go to
19 page 6 of the transcript, and we believe this is starting around line 23
20 of the transcript on page 6. And if we could play it one last time to
21 see if we can get it right.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Only, they must have mined it ...
24 just -- no, no. Tomislav is now ... check this ... the biggest criminal.
25 I don't know whether he has been in ... he did not come yesterday ...
1 but now we heard that yesterday ... Tomislav, the biggest criminal ...
2 Dosen ... Molnar ... Dane ... Korac Ivan who swore at me because I am a
3 Serbian woman ... Pedja, name the people. Go on, who else? Pedja, go
4 on, name more of the men that you know ..."
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. Can you assist us? What's -- what's happening here?
7 A. I don't know this lady. I see that she is mentioning certain
8 names and saying that they are terrible criminals. They say that someone
9 insulted her because she was a Serb woman, and this was said to members
10 of the TO.
11 Q. And the persons she's naming, what ethnicity are they?
12 A. Croats.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this clip be admitted into
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2368.
17 MR. OLMSTED: I would now like to show you 65 ter 4797.1. We
18 will play until 1 hour, 6 minutes and 19 seconds.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] On this gloomy day Vukovar has its
21 brighter face. On my left side is a large settlement of the
22 Second Congress. On the right, the famous settlement called Petrova Gora
23 predominantly inhabited by the Serbs. Here it looks like there was no
24 war. Houses were quite -- left quite intact. Life is slowly returning.
25 Good morning is it some family's patron saint's day?
1 "Yes, it is Slava today.
2 "What day is it today for the army?
3 "I don't know.
4 "Is it Arandjelovdan today.
6 "You've baked a cake for the army?
7 "Yes, we've baked it for the army. Where are they?
8 "Well, here in this house, everywhere around us they guard us."
9 MR. OLMSTED:
10 Q. First of all, could you identify for us where this footage is
11 taking place?
12 A. This was filmed in a settlement called Drugi Kongres, the
13 Second Congress. It was the second area to be liberated after the
14 barracks. There was no heavy fighting there and so the settlement wasn't
15 much damaged. She baked this cake for Arandjelovdan. It was meant for a
16 captain who was celebrating his family's patron saint's day. That's what
17 it was for. And she said, The army was there to guard us. And this
18 was -- we are still on the 21st of November.
19 Q. That was one of my questions. So this holiday, what's the date
20 of this holiday, Arandjelovdan Day? What's the date?
21 A. Yes. Well, it turns out that Arandjelov liberated because
22 Vukovar was liberated on the 17th, Borovo Selo on the 20th, so the 21st
23 was for the entire area.
24 Q. All right. And you mentioned Second Congress. Where is this in
25 relation to the Sajmiste-Petrova Gora area?
1 A. It's right next to Sajmiste, or where Sajmiste or the
2 market-place used to be. It's right on the beginning of the Petrovac
3 road, where the Petrovac road starts.
4 MR. OLMSTED: If we could jump to 1 hour, 6 minutes and
5 43 seconds. I understand that the transcript on page 2, has slightly
6 different time code but that is essentially where we're going to begin.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] It doesn't look too -- you're not
9 getting too ill here?
11 "So nothing happened to you?
12 "Nothing happened. We are preparing a stew for our captain. It
13 is his family patron saint's day today.
14 "All right. What are your views on all these events in the last
15 four -- three or four or five months?
16 "Everything was horrible. The worst thing is that the neighbours
17 were the first ones doing it.
18 "Sorry for asking, are you Serb?
19 "Yes, yes, I am. And my husband is a Serb and all of us here.
20 "What were the things that your neighbours did to do?
21 "All kinds of things. They were threatening us, maltreating us,
22 turning their heads from us, all sorts of things, shooting at our houses,
23 everything. They're gone now.
24 "Will they come back?
25 "I don't think so but I'd like to see them now. I have heard
1 that they are there at Velepromet. I would like to see them now, look
2 them in their eye and let them see we remained humans while they are more
3 than animals.
4 "Today in Vukovar, in the Oris family this is what things look
5 like. Homely-set table, nicely arranged dining-room."
6 MR. OLMSTED:
7 Q. Sir, you mentioned the anger in the -- in the -- in the Serb
8 population. Is this indicative of that, what she expressed?
9 A. I know this woman. She does live in this neighbourhood of the
10 Second Congress. So she was liberated on the 14th of September. Her
11 house was free but she was telling us what had been going on before the
12 14th, that she was being harassed and her house came under fire.
13 Q. Mr. Jaksic, I do want to try to complete your examination in my
14 time allotted, so it's very important if you could please --
15 A. And she was saying --
16 Q. It's very important for you to focus on my questions at this
17 stage so we can get through this so that cross-examination can begin.
18 And my question was simply: What she was expressing here, her
19 anger, was that indicative of the feelings among the Serb population at
20 the time. That's all I'm asking.
21 A. Yes, that's how it was. Something like that.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2369, Your Honours.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. Mr. Jaksic, were you at Velepromet in Vukovar on the
2 20th of November?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. At what time did you first arrive there?
5 A. It was only thanks to the footage that I realised that I was
6 there on the 20th, sometime in the morning.
7 Q. And while you were at Velepromet, who arrived?
8 A. I was at Velepromet, and I recall that there was
9 Mr. Goran Hadzic, Arkan was there, as was Slavko Dokmanovic, president of
10 the municipality, Jagodina, Vlado Kosic and many others. I saw them in
11 the footage. I can't recall them. There were many other people from
12 Vukovar. Milos Vojnovic was there, of course, and I talked to him.
13 Q. Can you tell us, if you know, in what capacity was Arkan present
14 there that morning?
15 A. I saw that Arkan was with Mr. Goran. Was he a accompanying him
16 as an escort, I don't know, because he was head of security at the Erdut
17 training centre.
18 Q. Mr. Jaksic, just so the record is clear, and I know I keep on
19 asking you this, you've referred now a couple of times to "Goran." Is
20 that in each of those cases Goran Hadzic?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, please, Mr. Zivanovic.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is again omitted from the transcript that
1 security at the Erdut training centre, the witness said to Badza.
2 It is line 24.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm not quite sure I understand what you're
4 referring to, Mr. Zivanovic. Is this a place or a name, a person's name?
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: The name, or nickname, Badza. He was
6 Radovan Stojicic nicknamed Badza --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] TO commander of OG North.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Is that the -- the TO commander, OG North,
9 is that Radovan Stojicic?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of Operation Group North, yes.
11 Arkan was head of security there for that centre.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue, Mr. Olmsted.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Sir, do you know the name of Savo Stupar?
15 A. I knew him by sight only.
16 Q. Do you know who he was?
17 A. I don't know what his role was, but I would see him in the
18 company of Goran Hadzic.
19 Q. Do you recall whether Mr. Stupar was present on the
20 20th of November at Velepromet?
21 A. I saw him in the footage. He was at Velepromet.
22 Q. But do you personally recall?
23 A. I don't recall exactly. It was 22 years ago. I saw him in the
24 footage. I recognised him. But my memory doesn't serve me as to whether
25 he was somewhere in that room.
1 Q. Now, we're still talking about when these government
2 representatives first arrived at Velepromet. Did you learn the reason
3 why they were coming to Velepromet?
4 A. I learnt that from Mr. Milos Vojnovic.
5 Q. And could you tell us what you learned from him, as far as why
6 these officials were all coming to Velepromet?
7 A. I learned from him that there would be a government meeting and
8 that I should go to see Mrksic, because I was the only one who knew him
9 personally, and plead with him that all the civilians who had blood on
10 their hands, who had committed war crimes and were known to have done so
11 should not be allowed to go to Serbia but should remained within that
12 military district.
13 Q. And when Mr. -- first of all, can you tell us who Milos Vojnovic
14 was, what position he held?
15 A. I think that Milos Vojnovic was the president of the district
16 court or minister of justice. But I know that he was the person in
17 charge of the judiciary in the government.
18 Q. Before I ask you some questions about this conversation you had
19 with Mr. Vojnovic, could you tell us, what was the mood amongst you and
20 the other officials who were present at Velepromet that morning?
21 A. The mood was euphoric. We congratulated each other on the
22 liberation. It was a festive mood.
23 Q. And you've now mentioned your conversation with Mr. Vojnovic.
24 Was anyone else present in immediate surroundings when you were having
25 this conversation with Mr. Vojnovic?
1 A. I don't know. I know that Mr. Vojnovic and I were there. We
2 knew each other from before the war. Our children were close friends. I
3 know that we had this inform conversation where he asked me that I should
4 go and see Mrksic and see to it that all those who were war criminals
5 should stay behind, should be tried before the district court because we
6 had competent judges who were able to do that part of the job well and
7 that they should not be allowed to go to Serbia. That was the only issue
8 that was discussed.
9 Q. Did he tell you anything else about what he thought the status of
10 the SBWS government was at the time, as far as its capacity?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did he mention anything about the police force?
13 A. At the meeting, I found an entry in my notebook for the
14 17th of November that negotiations were already under way for Croats to
15 surrender. And there were bullet-points as to what should be done next:
16 That police stations should be set up, that health centres should be set
17 up, that all the various services for civilians should be set up so that
18 there would be normal services provided as well as the cleaning services
19 for the town. There were no supplies, all the shops were destroyed, and
20 life had to be restored to that town.
21 Q. Did you share Mr. Vojnovic's views?
22 A. Yes. At first, I did. At that time Serbia was not official in a
23 war. The JNA was, but not Serbia as a republic. That's why we thought
24 that we should not draw Serbia into this. Rather, that the district
25 itself should do its job. The district was already formally as a state,
1 as the RSK, and we wanted to have these people tried in our district
2 rather than in Serbia.
3 Q. Did Mr. Vojnovic provide you with any details regarding what
4 would be done with these alleged war criminals, if Mr. Mrksic agreed to
5 your request?
6 A. No. He only said that they should be brought to justice here in
7 the districts, that the courts in the district should be responsible for
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly be asked to pause
10 before answering the question.
11 MR. OLMSTED:
12 Q. Mr. Jaksic, the interpreters have again asked you to -- to slow
13 down a bit and to pause before you answer my question, just so that
14 they're able to interpret everything you say.
15 Was any mention made with regard to where these war criminals
16 were to be detained?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Was any mention made as to who would be responsible or what
19 organs would be responsible for the detention of these war criminals?
20 A. This wasn't discussed at all. The issue discussed was that I
21 should go to see Mrksic to make sure that they would not be sent onto
22 Serbia but that they should be kept there. I suppose that they organised
23 it independently later on.
24 Q. Now, did you, in fact, meet with Colonel Mrksic as requested by
25 Mr. Vojnovic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How soon after your conversation with Vojnovic did you meet with
3 Mr. Mrksic?
4 A. After the conversation we had I went to Negoslavci and didn't
5 stay long with Mr. Mrksic, perhaps some ten to 15 minutes. I went -- I
6 then went back and conveyed Mrksic's views on this.
7 Q. And what did you tell Colonel Mrksic during this -- this brief
9 A. I suggested -- or, rather, I told him what Mr. Vojnovic had said;
10 i.e., that those who were known to have committed crimes should stay in
11 the -- within the district and be tried before the district court.
12 However, he was categorical in saying that they should be sent to
13 Serbia --
14 THE INTERPRETER: And can the witness please repeat what he said
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. Again, Mr. Jaksic, I know that you just naturally speak very
18 quickly but you're going to have to slow down somewhat for the
19 interpreters. They've asked that you could repeat the very end of what
20 you said.
21 A. I'll do my best.
22 Q. If you could just repeat what you said at the very end of your
23 last answer.
24 A. He said that the deal was that they could not stay behind, that
25 they should go to Serbia, that he could not allow for them to end up in
1 the hands of the territorials. That's what he said to me.
2 Q. Can you tell us, on whose behalf did you tell Colonel Mrksic you
3 had come to see him about this issue?
4 A. On behalf of Mr. Vojnovic, only him.
5 Q. Did Colonel Mrksic know who Mr. Vojnovic was?
6 A. I told him who Vojnovic was. And if he didn't know it before, he
7 knew at that point.
8 Q. Was Colonel Mrksic aware at this time that you no longer were TO
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. After this conversation with Colonel Mrksic, what did you do?
12 A. I went back to Velepromet. I conveyed the information to
13 Mr. Vojnovic, stayed there for a short while and headed back to
14 Petrova Gora. I passed by the barracks on my way.
15 Q. And we'll get to that in a moment. Can you tell us,
16 approximately -- I know a long time has passed, approximately how long --
17 how much time elapsed between when you were first at Velepromet, when the
18 government officials first arrived, and when you returned from your
19 meeting with Colonel Mrksic? Can you tell us how long a period are we
20 talking about? Was it a half an hour? An hour?
21 A. Well, approximately 45 minutes, an hour -- half an hour to
22 45 minutes. That would include going there and back and the meeting I
23 had with him.
24 Q. Now, while you were back at Velepromet and you informed
25 Mr. Vojnovic of your conversation with Colonel Mrksic, did you do
1 anything else at Velepromet?
2 A. No. That was the only thing.
3 I do remember that tensions were high for the army. They were
4 terribly angry at the army, and tensions were high in that respect. I
5 don't recall anything else.
6 Q. You said that "they were terribly angry at the army." Who's
8 A. Well, almost the entire room. It wasn't just one individual that
9 I would recall standing up. Everyone was. The whole room was
10 practically murmuring and speaking out against the army, saying that they
11 were protecting the Ustasha and similar.
12 Q. And you mentioned a room. What was this room?
13 A. The room at Velepromet.
14 Q. And can you recall who do you remember was in the room at that
16 A. I can't give you the exact names, really. I remembered what I
17 saw in the footage. It was 22 years ago. Besides, I tried to put behind
18 and forget all these events that happened during the war.
19 Q. These people are in -- in a room at Velepromet. Who are these
20 people and what is going on in this room? What event is going on in this
22 A. You mean at the government meeting or the people at Velepromet,
23 the civilians?
24 Q. You referred to a government meeting. You've described that
25 tensions were high. Was this at the government meeting, that tensions
1 were high?
2 A. I don't know. That was -- that was more than the government
3 members. Who was there? I really don't know. Was it the territorials?
4 The workers there? There were far more than there were cabinet members.
5 Q. What -- which cabinet members were at this meeting, Mr. Jaksic?
6 A. I know that cabinet members at the time included
7 Mr. Goran Hadzic. I saw Dokmanovic. I saw Crnogorac, Mica, for
8 transport. I remember Rade Leskovac. Boro Bogunovic was there for
9 transport. But I don't recall seeing him there. Devetak was in charge
10 of commerce, as far as I remember. I'm not sure, really.
11 Q. And can you tell us, just roughly, how long were you at this --
12 this meeting?
13 A. I was there for a very short time. I said what I had to say to
14 Mr. Vojnovic, and before that, Mr. Goran Hadzic expressed his wish for me
15 to take him to Petrova Gora.
16 Q. Besides members of the government present at this meeting, do you
17 recall whether any JNA representatives were at the meeting?
18 A. I remember seeing Vukasinovic and Sljivancanin there. This was
19 in a -- in the informal discussion before the meeting started. I don't
20 know if they were there during the meeting. But they were there during
21 this informal bit before the meeting.
22 Q. Do you recall any other JNA officers who were -- perhaps you
23 didn't see them at the meeting itself but in the -- in the environs of
24 the --
25 A. I also saw Panic at Velepromet. But I don't know if he was there
1 for the meeting.
2 Q. And can you tell us who this Panic was.
3 A. He was deputy to Commander Mrksic, deputy for the Chief of Staff.
4 Q. Do you recall his first name or at least his -- his rank?
5 A. I'm not sure. Milorad Panic perhaps? I'm not sure about his
6 first name. As for his rank, major or lieutenant-colonel. I'm not sure
7 about that either.
8 MR. OLMSTED: If I may just have a moment.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, I just noticed the time,
11 Mr. President.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Indeed, Mr. Olmsted.
13 Mr. Jaksic, we take our second break now, 30 minutes as well.
14 And we'll come back at 12.45. The Court Usher will escort you out of the
15 courtroom. Thank you.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Olmsted.
23 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Mr. Jaksic, before the break, you mentioned that after the second
25 time you went to the Velepromet, from there, you went to Petrova Gora.
1 Can you tell us, why did you go to Petrova Gora?
2 A. I went to report that Mr. Hadzic was coming. I also went because
3 of Milka Keric's son who had gone missing. She asked me it find him.
4 That is the lady who broke through the line to report on two guards'
5 vehicles that had been captured and wanted to find out where the soldiers
6 were. I passed by the barracks on the way and I saw Miroljub Vujovic and
7 Stanko Vujanovic there.
8 Q. And I'll get to that trip to the barracks in a moment.
9 But before we do, did Mr. Hadzic tell you why he wanted to go to
10 Petrova Gora that day?
11 A. He wasn't at Petrova Gora during the entire war-time-period. He
12 wanted to see what the situation was like there after the war, and he
13 wanted to see what had been destroyed. He quite simply wanted to pay a
14 visit to the inhabitants, the people.
15 Q. And you mentioned on your way to Petrova Gora, you stopped at the
16 barracks and you had -- you encountered Mr. Vujovic and Mr. Vojanovic.
17 Yes, Vojanovic is the second name. These are your former commanders of
18 the TO companies - is that correct? - your former TO commanders?
19 A. The commander of the 2nd company, yes of the 1st and 2nd company.
20 Q. And when you encountered them, did you have a conversation with
21 them; and, if so, what did you discuss?
22 A. The barracks is 100 or 300 metres from Velepromet, and when I saw
23 this on the GPS, I stopped. I saw buses with civilians I told them that
24 I had seen Mr. Mrksic, that I was looking for Vojnovic and the civilians
25 were all going to Serbia. And I just continued to Petrova Gora then. I
1 didn't really linger on there with them.
2 Q. How did they react to what you told them with regard to
3 Mr. Mrksic's, or Colonel Mrksic's decision?
4 A. They were also angry why weren't they to be left there and be put
5 on trial there, why did they have to go to Serbia ...
6 Q. Again, I can see from the interpreters booth, you really do need
7 to slow down in your answers, because we're not catching everything that
8 you're saying.
9 Can you please tell us again about how did they react to what you
10 told them about Colonel Mrksic?
11 A. They were revolted. They were angry. Why wouldn't they remain
12 there to be put on trial? Why did they have to go to Serbia? So they
13 felt revolted.
14 Q. Did they say anything to you regarding why they believed they
15 should stay in the area to be tried?
16 A. All I remember is that this is what I conveyed to them, and then
17 I continued to Petrova Gora.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is kindly asked to wait for the
19 question to be completed before answering it.
20 MR. OLMSTED:
21 Q. Mr. Jaksic --
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Jaksic, you have to wait for Mr. Olmsted
23 finishing his question before you start answering. Even -- even if you
24 want to add something to your previous answer while Mr. Olmsted is
25 speaking, you should wait. Because, if not, it gets a complete mess for
1 the interpreters.
2 Do you understand?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try.
4 MR. OLMSTED:
5 Q. And it appears that maybe you understand a bit of English, and if
6 that's the case, look at the screen in front of you, and when the typing
7 stops, then you know that you can go ahead and answer my question.
8 Because you seem to be predicting my question.
9 Let me just ask my last question one last time. Did Vujovic and
10 Vujnovic tell you why they believed that these prisoners, war criminals
11 should be tried in the SBWS? Did they give you their views?
12 A. Well, they were of the same opinion as Mr. Vujnovic. They
13 believed they shouldn't go to Serbia, since crimes had been perpetrated
14 in that area that is where they should be put on trial.
15 And, finally, it turned out that those who were convicted in
16 Serbia for crimes ...
17 THE INTERPRETER: The witness did not complete his answer.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ... who had a lot of blood on their
19 hands, these individuals were allowed to go to Croatia, and they didn't
20 serve their sentence. No punishment was meted out to them. Mr. Panic
21 let them go.
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. You mention Mr. Panic. Who are you referring to there?
24 A. Milan Panic.
25 Q. The commander of the 1st Military District?
1 A. No. I think he was the prime minister at the time of Milosevic.
2 He came over from America.
3 Q. All right. Thank you for clarifying that for me.
4 Other than your conversation with Mr. Hadzic regarding visiting
5 Petrova Gora that day, did you speak with Goran Hadzic about any other
7 A. We only said that it would be good if I could exert some
8 influence so that the civilian authorities took over from the military
10 Q. Okay. Let's -- let's try to clarify it, "We only said." Who
11 said this?
12 A. Mr. Goran Hadzic.
13 Q. And what influence did he want you to use?
14 A. Well, since I was at Petrova Gora and I knew quite a few people
15 there whom I could consult and to whom I could make suggestions, it
16 probably had to do with that. He suggested that the president of the
17 Executive Council of the municipality, Mr. Rajko Bubic [as interpreted]
18 should be involved.
19 Q. The transcript says "Rajko Bubic." Is that the correct last
21 A. Bibic. Bibic.
22 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have L57 on the screen. Yes, I'm
23 sorry, Exhibit L57.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. Mr. Jaksic, this is -- this is an Official Gazette for the
2 Serbian District of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
3 I want to turn to page 26 of the original; page 73 going onto
4 page 74 of the English translation.
5 And I'd like to draw your attention to the decision that's
6 beginning on the bottom left side. And we see that this ... hold on a
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MR. OLMSTED: I'm actually -- for the original version, I'm
10 looking for the one that has the stamp of 02809343. I'm now informed
11 that that's actually page 16. So I was off by ten. There we go.
12 Q. If we can look at the bottom left side, bottom decision, we see
13 that this is a 3 December 1991 decision that appoints Srbobran Bibic of
14 Negoslavci chairman of the Executive Council of Vukovar municipality.
15 Sir, can you tell us is this same person as Rajko Bibic?
16 A. Perhaps as a typo. I believe that his name is Rajko. That's the
17 name I know.
18 Q. What role did you play in his getting appointed to this position?
19 A. I can't remember having been involved at all.
20 Q. Sir, returning to the timeline of events, you -- you've spoken
21 about stopping by the barracks and you've also spoken about going to
22 Petrova Gora to announce that Mr. Hadzic would soon be there. After you
23 did this, did you return to Velepromet?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. And from there, what happened?
1 A. Then Goran Hadzic and Slavko Dokmanovic set off with me.
2 Q. Who else do you recall came along with you?
3 A. I first drove off in my vehicle. I was followed by Mr. Hadzic.
4 And Mr. Hadzic was followed by Mr. Dokmanovic.
5 Q. Do you recall anyone else who came along with you that day?
6 A. I don't.
7 Q. Did Mr. Hadzic have a security detail?
8 A. I can't remember. At the time, we just drove down in the car,
9 the two of us were together. As for whether there was security detail
10 with us or behind us, I don't remember that.
11 Q. And did you end up in Petrova Gora that day?
12 A. Goran Hadzic and I did. After we had passed by the barracks and
13 reached the medical clinic, the medical clinic you turn left to
14 Petrova Gora. There is a big park there, and they opened fire there from
15 automatic rifles. It was like a battle-field.
16 I noticed in the rear-view mirror that Mr. Dokmanovic was in a
17 sort of a canal, a small canal. He managed to get out of there. We
18 turned off to Petrova Gora. When we arrived there, Mr. Dokmanovic wasn't
19 behind us. He had stayed behind. He returned.
20 Q. And what did you and Mr. Hadzic do in Petrova Gora that day?
21 A. There was a euphoria because of the liberation. People were on
22 the street. They were greeting each other, and they would speak to each
23 other informally. There weren't any meeting of any kind. We just passed
24 through and as we passed through, we would greet the people, the
25 inhabitants, we would speak to them, but there was nothing of an official
2 Q. And how were the people reacting to Mr. Hadzic?
3 A. They were delighted. They approached him from all sides. They
4 congratulated him.
5 Q. And do you recall Mr. Hadzic telling the people anything during
6 this visit?
7 A. I don't remember him having said anything of importance.
8 Q. And roughly how long were you in Petrova Gora with Mr. Hadzic?
9 A. We walked down the entire street and stopped over here and there.
10 So by the time we had done that, it was already the afternoon, perhaps
11 4.00 in the afternoon.
12 Q. Could you tell us roughly how long you were in Petrova Gora for?
13 Was it an hour? Two hours? Three hours?
14 A. Petrova Gora, the street there isn't a very long one, so it
15 didn't take us that long to go down that street.
16 Q. So you can't really recall how long you were in Petrova Gora at
17 that -- at that time.
18 A. It wasn't for very long.
19 Q. Yeah. And where did you go from there? What happened after this
20 visit to Petrova Gora?
21 A. As my house was in the vicinity, I returned home, and Mr. Hadzic
22 went his own way. We took leave of each other.
23 Q. Do you know where Mr. Hadzic went that day?
24 A. At the time, it wasn't possible to pass through Vukovar by car.
25 You had to go to Serbia via Sid. For the northern part, if you wanted to
1 go to Serbia, it was only possible to do so if you travelled via Sid.
2 Q. And did Mr. Hadzic go to Sid that day?
3 A. He certainly did. I saw footage. There was nowhere else to go.
4 You couldn't go down through the town. You had to pass through Sid.
5 Whether you wanted to go to Erdut or to Serbia, it was necessary to pass
6 through Sid.
7 Q. And given the conditions that existed at the time, how long would
8 it take to get from Vukovar town to Sid?
9 A. Perhaps an hour. Because the -- the road had been damaged by
10 tanks, so you had to drive slowly there. So perhaps it would take about
11 an hour because the roads had sustained significant damage because of the
12 tanks that used them.
13 This road is the road at Oriolik, the road that I'm talking
15 Q. Do you recall, at this time of the year, towards the end of
16 November, what time did the sun set? What time does the sun set? I'm
17 sure it's quite similar today as it was 20 years ago.
18 A. I would say around 6.00, half past 6.00, something like that.
19 Half past 5.00, 6.00, 7.00. I don't know, but the days are quite -- a
20 lot shorter.
21 Q. Sir, after the 20th of November, did you learn about what
22 happened at Ovcara on the night of the 20th and 21st of November?
23 A. There were rumours, but a lot later. I think that at the time an
24 investigation had already been launched and there was a lot of media
25 coverage of the event. People had started discussing the matter, but ...
1 Q. Yes, please go ahead.
2 A. But it wasn't possible to believe everything that you heard via
3 the media. Because, after the war, many who hadn't participated in
4 combat attributed many things to themselves. So there was no concrete
5 evidence. I wasn't certain about this event. I didn't believe that it
6 had taken place.
7 Q. Did you eventually learn who the physical perpetrators were?
8 A. I was at the trial of the Ovcara group in Belgrade.
9 Q. And who were the accused in that case?
10 A. Miroljub Vujovic was one of the accused, as well as
11 Stanko Vujanovic, Stanko's wife. Vujo Zlatar was also accused. He was
12 acquitted. He was wounded. He hadn't been there. There was Vojnovic,
13 Milan Vojnovic, I think, his name was. I can't remember the names of the
15 Q. Mr. Jaksic, had you remained TO commander in Vukovar, would you
16 have allowed the massacre in Ovcara to have occurred?
17 A. Absolutely not. Serbian soldiers never wanted to commit acts of
18 genocide or to kill helpless civilians. They would have provided
19 security to ensure that tasks could be carried out.
20 Q. And I think you were about to answer -- or -- were in the process
21 of answering my question, which is: What actions as TO commander would
22 you have taken to protect those victims?
23 A. If I had responsibility for prisoners, then I would designate
24 reliable people to deal with the issue. I'd have people who would
25 guarantee with their lives that nothing would happen to these people
1 until the trial started, until they were delivered to a court or a
2 prison, but for as long as they were my responsibility, it is quite
3 certain that no harm would have come to them.
4 Q. After the fall of Vukovar, did you remain in Vukovar?
5 A. I remained in town until the time of the integration, and after
6 the integration, up until the 22nd of February, 1998.
7 Q. And in 1991, did you establish any business in Vukovar?
8 A. No, I didn't. No.
9 Q. What did you do after you left the TO? Did you --
10 A. Established a transport company. It was the former Cazmatrans.
11 There were four vehicles. We repaired the other vehicles that had been
12 damaged in the war, and there was a donation of about 32 vehicles, and I
13 used these resources to establish a company.
14 Q. And where did you live in Vukovar after the -- after its fall?
15 A. I lived in my house in Vukovar in Solidarnost Street.
16 Petrova Gora Street and Solidarnost Street intersect. So I lived in my
17 home there, in my house.
18 Q. Did your family return to Vukovar?
19 A. Immediately after the liberation I returned them there. My wife
20 and children returned from Kragujevac, in fact. My elderly daughter was
21 shocked when she saw Vukovar. She spent one night there, no more, and
22 then she returned back, my son as well. The small children and my wife,
23 however, remained in Vukovar.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, no further questions.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Olmsted.
1 Mr. Zivanovic, cross-examination.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Jaksic.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Although we got acquainted the day before yesterday, I will
7 introduce myself formally for the record. My name is Zoran Zivanovic,
8 and I am the Defence counsel for Mr. Hadzic in this case.
9 You said today that at the time when this crisis broke out in
10 Croatia, your family, that's to say, your wife and four children, left
11 for Kragujevac.
12 Can you explain to us a bit further what the reasons were for
13 your separation, why you stayed behind in Vukovar, while your family left
14 for Serbia.
15 A. There was no room for the Serbs at the workplace in Vukovar. I
16 barely managed to get out after my annual leave. After the 2nd of May, I
17 took up annual leave to see what the situation would be like, whether the
18 army would be taking any steps, and how things would unfold.
19 As I ran out of annual leave, I went back to work. All my
20 work-mates - who were Croats, naturally because all the Serbs had left by
21 then - were surprised to see me show up for work. It was before the end
22 of working hours at 12.00 a.m. that we set off. There was a blockade on.
23 There were strict checks in force. Close to the forest of Djergaj on the
24 edge, there was one of their check-points there, a barricade. I was
25 driven by a colleague of mine, Croat, and another one, we were friends.
1 We went together.
2 We were stopped by a policeman at the check-point. He was an
3 experienced policeman who had been there in the previous Yugoslav police
4 structure. He asked for our IDs, took our documents, and he motioned to
5 a group of ZNGs who were close by, beckoning him to take over.
6 Since the colleague who was driving us, Zarko Kordic, appeared to
7 be a Serb, in fact, judging by his name, he believed him to be a Serb,
8 most probably, so started harassing him, provoking him.
9 Later on, I found out that he was in their big structures there.
10 He opposed him, and then he asked him, Did you brush your teeth? The
11 other one said, What? This was to mean that he bad breath because he was
12 a Serb. However, those people from the police told him that he wasn't a
13 Serb, in fact, that I was the only one who was a Serb there. So he gave
14 us back our IDs so that we may pass through.
15 By the time a Hungarian had been killed at Luzac,
16 Jovan Jakovljevic, aka Rakice [phoen], had been killed as well, I
17 believe. Zeljko Pajic had disappeared and it was no longer safe for me
18 to go to work.
19 Every night, fire would be opened at Serb houses. Serb stores or
20 work-shops would be blown up. The news-stand near the barracks had been
21 blown up twice. The most recent occasion provoked objections on the
22 parts of the Croats because the explosion tore the overhead cables,
23 electricity cables, prompting a power outage. And all this simply to
24 make it impossible for the military personnel to buy newspapers.
25 Next, check-points were erected on the edge of Vukovar, later to
1 be followed by others in the centre of town and in all the streets. We
2 came up to be blocked as if we were in a ghetto. And the same went for
3 the barracks as well. Cars were being blown up.
4 That day, when I went to work, at the gate outside the Cazmatrans
5 company, several metres away from the Djergaj forest and the military
6 storage facility there, there was a check-point that they had behind the
7 compound of the company. They were obstacles made out of railway tracks.
8 They were to hinder passage. There were concrete-made pyramids placed on
9 the roadway. They placed anti-tank mines. They were electronically
10 connected. Actually, they were connected by wires so that they could all
11 be activated at once. The passing vehicles could not accelerate further
12 than 5 or 10 kilometres per hour because they had to zigzag to avoid the
13 obstacles. And it was only passenger vehicles, freight vehicles, because
14 trucks could not even pass through.
15 As soon as the multi-party elections started, and when it became
16 obvious that there was some lawlessness and that the Croatian police
17 were -- admitted the worst possible kind of people from the underworld,
18 ex-convicts, criminals. Rather than protect the law, they were precisely
19 the ones who opened fire on -- on Serb homes and blew up their shops.
20 Serbs were getting killed, went missing. Their homes came under fire.
21 And, because of all of this, we were compelled to organise shifts of duty
22 or village guards to protect ourselves so that they would not raid our
23 neighbourhoods and do evil.
24 Since obstacles and barricades were placed everywhere along the
25 street, not just at ends of streets but midway as well, everything was
1 under a blockade. My wife, as she was leaving with the children, at that
2 point, the Croats were already storming into homes, looking for Serb men.
3 None were allowed to leave, and if anyone stayed within, their lives were
4 at risk.
5 From previous experience of their method of attack and the way
6 they proceeded I organised the remaining population in that small nucleus
7 of the neighbourhood. I organised them into squads and platoons, based
8 on my military knowledge. We used the weapons that we had. Some
9 individuals bought homemade weapons, and it was on this basis that we
10 formed the Petrova Gora detachment. Since both we and the barracks there
11 were completely blocked, we were without electricity, water, or telephone
12 lines, it meant that we weren't able to follow what was going on either
13 on TV, on the media in general. We weren't able to communicate. This
14 situation continued for some 20 days.
15 In view of the situation, I decided that we should break our way
16 through to Negoslavci.
17 Q. I think that you've already discussed this. We will possibly go
18 back to that later.
19 My question was what the reasons were for your family's departure
20 to Serbia and your stay in Vukovar. But I think your answer to that
21 question was quite a detailed one.
22 If I may ask you this: Can you describe this in further detail?
23 All the events that you've just discussed now, did they happen after the
24 HDZ came to power, before they came to power, or was it during the
25 election campaign?
1 A. There was an indication of this cooling of mutual relations
2 during the election campaign. And then, as the HDZ came to power, it
3 escalated fully. There was general lawlessness, mistreatment at the
4 workplace, in the street. People disappearing. The police failing to
5 react to that. And we were their people, after all.
6 Had they tried to take steps politically, they could have asked
7 for negotiations and for a way out of this so that we may live there as
8 free citizens. Instead, they exerted pressure, torture, liquidations.
9 We were left with no other choice than to get organised and defend
11 Q. Before the multi-party elections, were you aware of the sort of
12 policies that the HDZ advocated? Was it common knowledge among the
14 A. There was knowledge of it because it had been publicly announced
15 that the Serbs would be divested of all of their rights. The Serbs were
16 in a constituent nation in the Republic of Croatia. As the HDZ came to
17 power, they lost that right. Not to speak of what had been going on, in
18 towns, at the work-place, they managed to split families apart. There
19 were quite a few mixed marriages. It all suffered as the HDZ came to
21 Q. Was the HDZ policy with regard to Yugoslavia itself or Croatia
22 becoming independent known at all? Did they discuss this publicly?
23 A. Well, the first policy that became quite known while Yugoslavia
24 was still in existence was the footage involving Spegelj where it was
25 said that grenades were held into Serb homes, that executions were under
1 way. This is something that the Serbs had felt in World War II. Perhaps
2 as many as a million Serbs were killed in Croatia alone during World
3 War II. In my village, some hundred Serbs were killed out of 120 victims
4 of the Fascist terror. The people were loyal. There was no resistance,
5 but they would come, kill people, and had it not been for the dugouts,
6 nobody would have come out of it alive. And I'm talking about World
7 War II.
8 In 1971, with the emergence of the Croatian nationalism of the
9 Maspok, this was a repeat of what had happened later -- what happened
10 later in 1991. There were people who we were on visiting terms with and
11 they would turn their backs to us at one point. Then they started
12 drawing up lists of Serbs who were to be executed. And back then, in
13 1971, there were many villages where the Serbs organised themselves into
14 village guards in order to protect themselves. In 1991, all of this
15 practically escalated.
16 Q. Perhaps I should be more precise with my questions.
17 At the time, during the election campaign, did the HDZ present
18 its platform with regard to Croatia coming out of Yugoslavia? Was it
19 part of their policy?
20 A. Yes, it was something that they talked about in public.
21 Q. You spoke today about the organisation of the Territorial Defence
22 as it existed in the pre-crisis period in the former Yugoslavia, and you
23 then explained to us how it all developed.
24 If my understanding of your words is correct, as the political
25 crisis began, as well as the hostilities themselves, the pre-war TO
1 continued to exist or it only continued to exist on paper because it had
2 been of mixed composition and it was no longer a multi-ethnic
3 organisation in the true sense of the word.
4 A. In the early days of the Yugoslav crisis, the TO changed in
5 Slovenia, because the TO Slovenia attacked the JNA barracks. So already
6 at that point, quite a lot of blood was shed. The Slovenians were able
7 to do this because they were ethnically pure and had Slovenians in their
8 ranks. There was a handful of Serbs, and they were able to use these
9 units regardless.
10 Croatia was a multi-ethnic area. There were quite a few Serb.
11 In Vukovar, there were even more Serbs than Croats, and, of course, all
12 the other ethnic groups. Most of the officer corps were Serbs. For that
13 reason, they were unable to use that brigade.
14 When Mercep came to power, he took over the TO Staff and the
15 Secretariat for National Defence. So all the records, all the archives
16 were in the municipality, and the archives from the brigades, all these
17 documents fell into his hands. We could no longer form units on the
18 basis of the existing records. We had to organise ourselves
20 Q. Tell me, we have information here concerning an armed group, its
21 troops were reviewed in the village of Bogdanovici. What I'm interested
22 in is whether you know anything about this, about the arming, in fact, of
23 these troops.
24 A. Yes. And Mercep said for the media, We are forming unarmed
25 detachments. And then he cynically smiled and said that if necessary
1 they will be armed. It was just a matter of propaganda at the stadium
2 when they said unarmed units, but in fact it concerned the ZNG armed
4 Q. You mentioned village guards that had been organised at the time.
5 Tell me, were these village guards subsequently called the
6 Territorial Defence when the war broke out?
7 A. Yes. They were the local guards and we formed platoons, squads,
8 and then they became the TO in accordance with the military principles.
9 Q. When explaining how the TO was structured and organised, you said
10 that you were appointed as commander of the TO of OG South.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But, at the time Colonel Mrksic didn't authorise this. He said
13 that this was a political post and that this is something that should be
14 discussed after the war. My question, in fact, is as follows: Could you
15 say how it happened that you were appointed as a commander of the TO of
16 OG South?
17 A. I didn't even know that the meeting was being held. There were
18 over 20 villages in OG South, and the commanders from these villages had
19 a meeting in the village of Oriolik. I was appointed as commander of the
20 staff of the TO OG South there without me being aware of the fact. It
21 was only when I was at the line that they informed me of the fact that I
22 had been appointed as commander.
23 Q. When you mentioned these villages, this concerns the villages
24 south of the Vuka river?
25 A. Yes. To the south, as far as Mirkovci and beyond.
1 Q. Did Colonel Mrksic perhaps think that because of the way the
2 elections were held or -- that it was a political function or what other
4 A. He thought if I left my command post --
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, Mr. Olmsted.
6 MR. OLMSTED: My objection was he asked what Mrksic thought about
7 something, and I thought that would call for speculation.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you rephrase, Mr. Zivanovic.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, I will.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know the reasons for which Mrksic
11 believed the following -- or, rather, were you ever informed why he
12 believed that appointing you would be a political decision and does this
13 have anything to do with the manner in which people were elected that you
14 have mentioned?
15 A. Before the war, the TO Staff -- I apologise. The TO Staff would
16 appoint a commander of the staff. Civilian organs would in fact elect
17 them. There was a subordination from the municipality to the districts
18 to the republic or, rather, this was the hierarchy. They weren't under
19 military administration. But in the case of large units such as
20 brigades, in the case of districts, for example, active-duty officers
21 would be brought in who were capable of being in charge. In battalions,
22 you would have reserve forces. From battalion commanders they were all
23 reserve officers, and the men were also reserve men. So the army had no
24 influence. They were under the ministry in terms of the hierarchy, but
25 the ministry is a political body. And since the municipalities didn't
1 have enough resources and significant resources were required, they
2 couldn't establish warehouses for ammunition and so on, so they had
3 military warehouses in which equipment and weapons were kept. The
4 municipal -- municipalities financed clothing, training, and so on and so
5 forth. And depending on the resources the municipality had, the
6 municipality would have a larger unit, better equipped unit. If it had
7 fewer resources, then the units would not be as large and they wouldn't
8 be as well equipped or well armed.
9 Q. I think I read this in a previous testimony. I won't quote it.
10 Perhaps you can remember it yourself.
11 Before the war-time conflict broke out, were the reservist
12 members of the TO issued with military equipment that they perhaps kept
13 at home and then used when they were requested to participate in reviews
14 or training?
15 A. Yes. All members of TO units would be issued with uniforms with
16 transport bags, combat rations, and they had all this equipment at home.
17 In the case of mobilisation, they would appear in uniform and only
18 weapons would be brought in on such occasions and the unit would be
19 prepared, ready. Everybody would turn up, and they would only be issued
20 with weapons and the unit would be ready to go into combat within a very
21 short period of time.
22 Q. Could you perhaps tell me what sort of uniforms they had -- I
23 apologise. How did they compare with the uniforms of members of the
24 regular Yugoslav People's Army? What were the similarities or
1 A. The TO had JNA uniforms but they were M70 uniforms made in the
2 1970s, because at the time they and we had similar uniforms. Some
3 officers had similar uniforms, similar insignia to those of active-duty
4 uniforms. But later the army had new uniforms, and if there was a
5 surplus of M70 uniforms they would be given to the TO. So the entire TO
6 had M70 uniforms and these are the uniforms that you can see in the
7 footage. I had such a uniform, a uniform that was used by the TO.
8 Q. Tell me, did these uniforms differ in any way from the uniforms
9 that reservists had; for example, those from the uniforms that people who
10 were reserve members of the JNA had?
11 A. The reserve men in the JNA had the same uniforms as the JNA.
12 When they would be mobilised, the unit, the battalion, would provide them
13 with the same uniforms that they had so they all had the same uniforms.
14 It wasn't possible to have one company with M70 uniforms and another
15 company with camouflage uniforms. So they had the same uniforms. When
16 the new uniforms were introduced what remained, what -- the uniforms that
17 remained were sort of uniforms used for work-related purposes.
18 Q. So were there similarities? In other words, when you saw a
19 reservist in uniform, let's say in October or November in Vukovar, and
20 when you saw a member of the TO, were their uniforms similar?
21 A. No.
22 Q. How did they differ? Please explain that for us.
23 A. They didn't have similar uniforms, but the volunteer who reported
24 towards the end who were issued with equipment with the army they didn't
25 have these uniforms. In fact some of them also received camouflage
1 uniforms because they didn't have the other uniforms towards the end.
2 But the entire TO had the uniforms that dated back to the 1970s. That
3 was the kind of uniform that they had.
4 Q. In other words, do you want to say that some reservists had
5 camouflage uniforms whereas the TO didn't have any camouflage uniforms at
6 all. Is that the difference?
7 A. The difference is that the reservists, if they were part of the
8 JNA, just as in the case of volunteers and the TO, in some cases, some of
9 these men could have camouflage uniforms. In Sid, they would be provided
10 with a military uniform, for example, a camouflage uniform, but there
11 were very few such cases.
12 Q. In any event, if I have understood this clearly from the footage,
13 the uniforms concerned were those winter uniforms that were used in
14 winter. Would you agree with me?
15 A. As far as I know, the JNA's winter units weren't the same as the
16 TO's ones. They also had camouflage uniforms but winter camouflage
17 uniforms. They had camouflage uniforms with fur. The [indiscernible]
18 also had special uniforms. They were also camouflage uniforms but they
19 had certain straps around the collar.
20 Q. Are you saying that the JNA soldiers had camouflage uniforms and
21 the TO didn't have camouflage uniforms, or are you trying to say
22 something else?
23 A. Well, what I'm trying to say is that infantry units, for example,
24 land units, or armoured units, they had camouflage units. The other
25 units had SMB, olive-drab units, so it was just one colour but they were
1 different. The army did not have the M70 uniforms.
2 Q. Which uniforms did they have?
3 A. The army had camouflage uniforms, the new model of camouflage
4 uniforms. They also had winter uniforms. And after the war we would
5 also receive those uniforms. When the Slavonia Banija Corps was formed
6 these are the uniforms we were issued with.
7 Q. Are you trying to say that the army did not have these olive-drab
9 A. No. They didn't have the M70 models of uniforms, the
10 Guards Brigade didn't have such uniforms.
11 Q. They had camouflage uniforms. They didn't have olive-drab
12 uniforms; is that correct?
13 A. Camouflage uniform is green but it's not the same model. It's an
14 olive-drab uniform but it is not the same model.
15 Q. Very well. I'm not going to burden you anymore with this issue
16 because it is a matter I am unable to clarify.
17 Please could you tell me the following: As of the time that you
18 were at the head of the TO, as you have said, and up until the time you
19 were relieved on the 16th or 17th of November, who were you subordinated
21 A. I was subordinated to the commander of OG South, Mr. Mrksic.
22 Q. And that was throughout the period during which the OG South was
24 A. Yes. All the units in the field were subordinated to the
25 commander of OG South.
1 Q. Before OG South arrived, whom were you subordinated to?
2 A. Before the arrival of OG South, I was subordinated to
3 Lieutenant-Colonel Jokic, the commander of the TO Mitrovica Brigade. No,
4 not of the TO, of the Mitrovica Brigade, the army's Mitrovica Brigade.
5 Q. While you were subordinated to the commander of OG South, to
6 Colonel Mrksic, you would attend meetings with him?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. These meetings were held in Negoslavci?
9 A. Yes. In the command of OG South, in it the operations room.
10 Q. I believe that in an extract from your previous testimony I
11 noticed that this would usually take place around 4.00 p.m.?
12 A. Yes. It would be in the afternoon. Tasks would be issued for
13 the following day, and there would be a briefing on what had happened in
14 the course of the day.
15 Q. Could you briefly tell me, did all subordinate officers attend
16 those meetings or were these -- or were the special meetings with the TO
17 without the presence of active-duty officers --
18 A. These were meetings that concerned battalion commanders and
19 further up. So company commanders, commanders of lower-level units did
20 not attend those meetings. Only battalion commanders and commanders of
21 units above the level of a battalion. Naturally chiefs or heads of all
22 the combat arms and services were present as well.
23 Q. That was where assignments were issued and reports made on the
24 assignments issued previously.
25 A. Yes. There were assignments of general nature, such as how to
1 deal with the situation in a battle-field, how to deal with civilians,
2 et cetera, and then there were assignments specific to units.
3 Q. Since you were a TO unit commander, I had information that all
4 the JNA senior commanding officers had official notebooks that they were
5 issued with where they would note down precisely the assignments that
6 they received and possibly the assignments that they, in turn, issued to
7 their subordinates.
8 Did you have occasion to see this?
9 A. I used to have these notebooks at a time when I was chief of the
10 TO brigade. All the chiefs or heads of TO brigades used to have these
11 notebooks before the war.
12 Q. If I am correct, they had these official covers, and they were
13 certified by the superior command or commander issuing them; right?
14 A. I believe so.
15 Q. Do you know what uses was made of these notebooks specifically at
16 the time when you were TO commander or, rather, when you were within the
17 TO? Once you've filled in an entire notebook, would you have handed it
18 over to your commander or what would become of it?
19 A. I didn't have that notebook. During these preparations that we
20 discussed I had a notepad. It was rather large, so I used another one, a
21 smaller one, where I would note down all the orders given from the
22 operative staff, complete with assignments and everything else.
23 Q. You said that chiefs within TO brigades would have these
24 notebooks. I'd like to know what the standard procedure was when one
25 such notebook was filled out -- to the full and new ones were issued.
1 A. Well, no, they had notebooks of the sort that they would use when
2 they would attend schooling courses. They could be used as simple
3 notepads. They didn't have to be destroyed. You would keep it with you
4 in your military bag. And until you've completely used it up, you didn't
5 have to destroy it.
6 Q. When you say "destroyed," was this done by a superior officer, a
7 commission of sorts, or who?
8 A. Well, for instance when I attended the security course all of
9 these notebooks had to be handed in at the end. In other words, whatever
10 you were taught, all the methods and everything else, it all had to be
11 destroyed so it wouldn't end up in -- in the hands of someone you didn't
12 want to. So you perhaps could keep some of your notes, but not
14 Q. But this was specific to security, wasn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I see the time.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness -- indeed, we are going to stop here
18 for the day. But before I do that, I must remind you for tomorrow that
19 you have to respect a pause between your answer and Mr. Zivanovic's
20 question. Particularly because you speak the same language.
21 Interpreters are still busy interpreting Mr. Zivanovic's question when
22 you already starting to answer, and that's a mess again.
23 Can you try to remember that for tomorrow? So for tomorrow --
24 for tomorrow --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We get carried away and then seem
1 to be having a conversation. I -- I apologise.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's -- that's why we keep repeating it without
3 much more, Mr. Jaksic.
4 So this is it for today. We'll see you back -- we'll see you
5 back tomorrow in the courtroom at 9.00, which means that you are not
6 released as a witness, that you are not allowed to discuss your testimony
7 with anybody in the meantime, and that you are not allowed to talk to any
8 of the parties. The Court Usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
9 Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.01 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
15 July, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.