1 Thursday, 22 August 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 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.
11 Could we have the appearances, please, starting with the
13 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted for
14 the Prosecution, joined by Matthew Gillett; Case Manager, Thomas Laugel;
15 and our intern, Maggi Qerimi.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
18 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell, with
19 Jolana Makraiova, our intern. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 The witness may be brought in.
22 Mr. Gosnell, do you expect to need more time than today's
24 MR. GOSNELL: Good morning, Mr. President. No, I do not.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Brigadier Wilson. May I remind you
4 that you are still under oath.
5 WITNESS: JOHN BRIAN WILSON [Resumed]
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.
9 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Good morning,
10 Your Honours.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell: [Continued]
12 Q. Good morning, Brigadier.
13 A. Good morning, sir.
14 Q. You first met Goran Hadzic as you testified yesterday or the day
15 before, on the 27th of January, 1992. Do you recall what position he
16 held at that time?
17 A. My -- I don't know the exact title, but I understood he was the
18 most senior political representative of Sector East area.
19 Q. So you do recall this was before the area encompassed by
20 Sector East had joined the RSK; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you recall that the Geneva Accords were signed by -- on the
23 Serbian side, General Kadijevic for the JNA and President Milosevic for
24 the Republic of Serbia; is that right?
25 A. No, I was not aware it.
1 Q. You don't know that the two parties on the Serb side to the
2 Vance Plan were the JNA and the Republic of Serbia?
3 A. I don't know who signed the agreement. My understanding is
4 responsible political authorities on both sides signed it.
5 Q. Well, leaving aside the exact identities of who did the signing,
6 do you recall that the parties on the Serb side were the JNA and the
7 Republic of Serbia?
8 A. No. I said I didn't know who signed.
9 Q. Were you having separate discussions with the JNA during your
10 first visit to Belgrade during this interval between the 26th of
11 January to the 30th of January?
12 A. We had a meeting with the minister of defence, the senior
13 military man, immediately after the meeting we had with Mr. Kosic. I
14 think that was on the 26th. And, yes, there were many discussions in my
15 role as UNMLOY, where we talked to the JNA and -- and while I may have
16 met political representatives from Sector East in that UNMLOY period, I
17 don't recall that I remember meeting JNA representatives in the
18 Sector East area during the UNMLOY time.
19 Q. In Belgrade, do you remember whether you met General Kadijevic or
20 any very senior member of the JNA - I'm not talking about the minister of
21 defence - Kadijevic or other senior member of the JNA?
22 A. There were lots of generals present at these meetings.
23 Q. But you never met separately with the JNA officers. Are you
24 saying you were always meeting JNA officers in the presence of a
25 political official from Serbia at least?
1 A. I -- I can't recall the exact composition of the delegation.
2 There were maybe a dozen people sitting on the other side of the desk,
3 and -- I've done well on occasions to remember who the principal was, let
4 alone his assistants.
5 Q. That's understandable, Brigadier.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Could we bring up L2, please, Defence tab 15.
7 Q. Now, sir, just looking at the front page of this document, do you
8 remember that this was the bundle of documents that, together, reflected
9 the Vance Plan as you understood that to be the case in January 1992?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And if we could turn to page 8 of this document, please. And by
12 page 8, I mean e-court page 8. If we look down at the bottom of
13 paragraph 25 -- and we mentioned this yesterday, Brigadier, but I would
14 just like to take us to the text specifically. It's referring to
15 constructive negotiation -- an effective cease-fire would further open
16 the way for constructive negotiations between the representatives of the
17 republics, refers to a declaration of the 12-member states of the
18 European community at Rome on 8 November 1991. That declaration stated
19 inter alia that:
20 "The prospect of recognition of the independence of those
21 republics wishing it can only be envisaged in the framework of an overall
22 settlement. The conference has also, with the agreement of its
23 participants, ruled out any changes in external or internal borders by
24 means of force. I believe that any selective uncoordinated departure
25 from those principles could hold very serious dangers, not only for the
1 republics of Yugoslavia, but for all of her peoples ..."
2 Now, this reflect, does it not, the UN position that -- and the
3 date of this again is the 11th of December, 1991, that there should be no
4 unilateral declarations of independence by the republics?
5 A. I -- I don't know without -- seriously without re-reading this
6 document in -- in detail. I -- I couldn't speculate on that what the
7 intent of the author was.
8 Q. If we could go, please, to page 11 of e-court, paragraph 8.
9 And now we are inside the Vance Plan itself, Brigadier. And at
10 paragraph 8, it says:
11 "As already stated, the special arrangements in these areas," and
12 this is referring to the UN protected areas, "would be of an interim
13 nature and would not pre-judge the outcome of political negotiations for
14 comprehensive settlement of the Yugoslav crisis."
15 Now, do you remember that upper-most in the mind of the Serb side
16 was the significance of this provision, namely that what they had secured
17 was a -- an assurance that the final status of the protected areas was a
18 matter for future negotiation?
19 A. They certainly expressed that view. Whether it was the most
20 important to them, I can't speculate on. But certainly they expressed
21 that view.
22 Q. And -- and when I say "status," I mean the question as to whether
23 or not those protected areas would ultimately be absorbed into a future
24 or, as it became the case by the end of 1991, an existing
25 Republic of Croatia.
1 A. That was certainly their negotiating position.
2 Q. Now, yesterday at page 7439 of the transcript, you were asked
3 about your recollections of that meeting with Mr. Hadzic on the
4 27th of January, and you had the following exchange with the Prosecutor,
5 "Do you recall" -- this is the question:
6 "Q. Do you recall Mr. Hadzic's response to the issue of
7 intimidation on this occasion?
8 "A. I -- I can't recall the detail of the conversation. It's
9 20 years ago. But the central theme of the discussion was the
10 impossibility of the -- the Serbs living in the UNPA again to be able to
11 live under, with Croats, but in particular under any Croat political sort
12 of governments and also the provocation that the Croat forces were
13 conducting, which was creating an insecure and threatening environment,
14 at least along the confrontation lines. He was generally pleading that
15 it would be very difficult to reach s political accommodation after some
17 Now, am I right in understanding that the answer that you have
18 described there as having been given, or the remarks having been given by
19 Mr. Hadzic, was he addressing those remarks to the issue as -- of whether
20 the Serb protected areas would be reabsorbed into Croatia?
21 A. When you quote -- I'm sorry to be difficult but it's important to
22 my answer. When you quote what the Prosecutor asked me, it relates on an
23 occasion. I'm not quite sure what that occasion was, sir.
24 Q. This --
25 A. If you -- you might need to --
1 Q. In context to this occasion it was the 27th of January,
2 1992 [Overlapping speakers] ...
3 A. Oh, okay. Okay. And, sorry, the end of your question again?
4 Q. Well, do you recall that he was addressing those remarks to
5 whether the protected areas were going to be reintegrated into Croatia?
6 Was that what he was addressing in his comments?
7 A. I -- I believe he was addressing the general situation. It was a
8 concern about what the situation would be with UNPROFOR on the ground and
9 where this would possibly lead to and general concerns about the
10 political situation rather than anything specific. But, as I say, I'm
11 recalling a general theme of a discussion, not -- not -- not a -- I can't
12 vouch for precise wording.
13 Q. That's fair enough. I'm trying to get to the gist of it, really.
14 A. Good.
15 Q. And here you have used in your answer the word "impossibility" of
16 the Serbs living in the UNPAs being able to live under, with Croats.
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. So what was he saying was impossible? Wasn't he saying that what
19 was impossible was the idea of the protected areas being reintegrated
20 into Croatian republic?
21 A. Yes, he was saying he could not foresee a circumstance where the
22 Croat nation and the Serb nation could live, intermingle, and together
23 again. They would need to live separately.
24 Q. Did he express to you the view, and you testified that by this
25 state there were few non-Serbs still living in the protected areas, did
1 he express to you the view that the non-Serbs should be segregated from
2 the Serbs in the protected areas?
3 A. He was talking to Mr. Goulding. I was a witness, so --
4 Mr. Goulding was the principal, but I don't recall any discussion about
5 segregating within the UNPA.
6 Q. Did he express the view to you, to Mr. Goulding, or to anyone
7 else that those few remaining non-Serbs should be harassed?
8 A. No, I don't -- well, I have no recollection of that.
9 Q. Do you have any recollection whether he expressed the view to
10 you, Mr. Goulding, or to anyone else that they should be forced out of
11 the protected areas?
12 A. No, I don't recall that at all either, no.
13 Q. Now, I'd like to move now to show you some documents about the
14 special police, some of which you may have seen before and some of which
15 you may not have seen before. But I just want to preface some of these
16 questions by telling you that I'm going to show you documents from the
17 United Nations. These are not documents from other sources, and I don't
18 intend to suggest to you that the information is always entirely
19 accurate, but I want to ask you some questions about whether you saw
20 these documents and what they indicate to you.
21 Could we have P2414.2398, which is Defence tab 65.
22 And perhaps I should follow up on my previous line of questioning
23 with one additional question in respect of what Mr. Hadzic said to you on
24 the 27th of January.
25 In respect of the questions I asked you about segregation or
1 harassing or forcing non-Serbs out of the protected areas, did he ever
2 express any of those views any of the other occasions that you met him in
3 1993 in the context of the negotiations in New York or elsewhere?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Now, in front of us, we have a document from the civil affairs
6 co-ordinator in Sector East to Mr. Thornberry. And this is the
7 22nd of June, 1992.
8 And if we could turn to page 3 in e-court. Actually, we need to
9 start on page 2.
10 Now, there at the top it refers to political meetings during the
11 period between the 15th and 21st of June. And it says on the 16th June,
12 the sector commander introduced the CCAO and colleagues to a meeting of
13 heads of the opstinas of the Baranja officers and professionals in local
14 government. Present were some 200 persons, including Mr. Vezovic ...
15 Mr. Spanovic (Defence), et cetera."
16 If we go over to the next page, at the very top:
17 "This meeting which ended at 1400 hours presented Colonel Jokin,
18 civil affairs and CIVPOL with the opportunity to express UNPROFOR's
19 concern and delay at the local level of phase 2 of the peace plan, and
20 insisted that the special police ... should be disbanded to outline the
21 horrendous atrocities that are being committed by the milicija and
22 Red Berets against old persons and other minorities and express
23 indignation at the barbarous nature of the society and the lack of
24 control over these criminal elements. Mr. Spanovic stated that the
25 police were fighting a war, that a special police force was needed but
1 that all others will be disbanded as per plan. As regards the
2 composition of the police, Spanovic conceded that the police force is
3 probably larger than needed but as the situation stabilises, the force
4 will be decreased. He added that the timing also depended on UNPROFOR."
5 Now, I just have a few questions to ask you about this.
6 First of all, do you remember whether you saw this particular
8 A. No, I have no recollection of it at all. At this time I was in
9 Sarajevo. And this is an internal civil affairs document.
10 Q. And you don't remember whether the Prosecution showed this
11 document to you during the preparation of your statement in 2012 or in
12 your preparation for your testimony here?
13 A. I have no recollection of this document.
14 Q. What is your understanding, if any, of the relationship between
15 the Red Berets and the special police?
16 A. I believe they were separate entities.
17 Q. Who commanded the Red Berets, according to you?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Who was the ultimate authority over the Red Berets, according to
21 A. I believe they came from Serbia proper and operated throughout
22 the UNPAs and Bosnia on an as required basis. And I -- my understanding
23 at the time was when they operated within those area, they operated in
24 there with the agreement, if not the support of the local political
1 Q. When did they arrive in the UNPAs, according to you?
2 A. My understanding is they were there from the time I arrived.
3 Q. Do you agree with me that Mr. Spanovic here appears to be rather
4 frankly acknowledging the role of the special police? In other words,
5 he's not concealing that their true function is, indeed, to be a fighting
6 force rather than to be merely policemen directing traffic at
7 intersection, for example.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And would you agree with me that here we see Mr. Spanovic
10 suggesting that there is the special police, whom he is saying are duly
11 designated to carry long-barrelled rifles or perform this function of
12 protecting the areas whereas there are other elements who would be, as he
13 says, disbanded as per plan?
14 A. That's what he says in the statement, or this record of his
16 Q. And that last part where he says the timing depends on UNPROFOR,
17 do you understand him -- and I'm asking you to, if you can, provide an
18 answer based upon your information from your other conversations with
19 Serb interlocutors. Would you understand him to be saying here that he
20 is awaiting or expects a robust UNPROFOR presence as a precondition for
21 reducing the size of that force?
22 A. He -- he could mean that. I think ultimately he means that he'll
23 take action when he believes there's a secure environment that allows him
24 to reduce or disband his special police.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 05197, please.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Could we get the tab, please.
2 MR. GOSNELL: Defence tab 72.
3 Q. Brigadier, this is a -- another communication between the civil
4 affairs co-ordinator for Sector East and Mr. Thornberry. And we're going
5 here in more or less chronological order. This is the 2nd of July, 1992.
6 Do you recall whether you saw this document at the time?
7 A. I -- I have no recollection of whether it's an internal civil
8 affairs document. There's no reason I would see it, unless
9 Mr. Thornberry referred it to me or it was covered in a conversation.
10 But at a quick glance at the first paragraph, it is fairly typical of
11 correspondence at that time.
12 Q. If we could turn to page 7, please. Now, we're going to come to
13 paragraph -- subparagraph (b) but let me just start by asking you
14 something about subparagraph (a) while we have it here on the screen.
15 It refers to a 67-year-old Croatian lady being forced to leave
16 her house. The house was taken over by a refugee family:
17 "Civil affairs officer met with the commander of the local police
18 and demanded the return of the lady to her house. She feels insecure and
19 requested the assistance of UNPROFOR to leave the Baranja."
20 Now we don't have a lot of details here, Brigadier, but was it
21 common -- we referred earlier to many non-Serbs having remained behind
22 being elderly. Was it your impression that they were left behind without
23 the rest of their families in many cases?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And that would place them already in a position of vulnerability,
1 would it not, to be separated from their families in that fashion?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Particularly in the culture of the Balkans where family support
4 structures are so important; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And so there might already be an inclination, even leaving aside
7 any threats or inducements to leave, to want to leave and rejoin the
8 remainder of the family; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And if someone comes around to the house and issues verbal
11 threats or shoots a bullet into the roof, in most cases that's going to
12 be sufficient to want to induce the person to leave, isn't it?
13 A. It's true. There are many ways to intimidate old people.
14 Q. And the result at least in this particular case is that the
15 person comes to UNPROFOR and says, Please help me leave; right?
16 A. In this case, yes.
17 Q. Now, my understanding is that UNPROFOR's position on this is a
18 bit delicate in a situation of this kind. On the one hand, they do want
19 to safe-guard the lives and security of people, if necessary, by allowing
20 them or facilitating their departure. On the other hand they're very
21 sensitive to be being accused of ethnic cleansing themselves by the
22 Croatians. Isn't that a fair summary of the dilemma facing UNPROFOR at
23 this time?
24 A. Yes. It's very difficult.
25 Q. And, again, just looking and focussing on this particular case,
1 which -- which, I suggest, is not atypical, it's going to be very
2 difficult for UNPROFOR to post a soldier in the front yard of this lady
3 to ensure that events such as a bullet being fired into the roof or
4 verbal harassment or other forms of cohesion don't occur; isn't that
6 A. It's true. It's much more difficult to deal with a thousand of
7 these cases, provide security for a thousand, and at least to attempt to
8 address the root cause of the situation which is the insecure,
9 intimidating environment that existed in the UNPAs. And that's quite
10 correctly where the emphasis should be, solving the bigger issue by at
11 the same time ignoring the real threat to people. You have to help them
12 if you can. Life's more important than property.
13 Q. And the local police would have the same challenge that UNPROFOR
14 would have in the sense that they probably don't have the resources to
15 place someone in the front yard of this person's house to ensure there
16 are no verbal threats or acts of harassment, such as a bullet being
18 A. There were even fewer local police than UNPROFOR people, but
19 UNPROFOR's concern was that, really, the local police were not taking
20 appropriate action at all. They were by all reports, in effect, aiding
21 and abetting this process.
22 Q. When you say "aiding and abetting this process," you mean
23 actively encouraging it?
24 A. They were assisting in it or ignoring it.
25 Q. Well, Brigadier, those are somewhat two different things.
1 A. It depends on the circumstances and the occasion.
2 Q. Entirely. And perhaps we should stick with specifics, so I'll --
3 I'll just take us down to subparagraph (b), if I may.
4 A. Sure.
5 Q. "Mr. Stojanovic, the mayor of the village who is influential, as
6 well as his wife who deals with refugees, has promised to assist in
7 calming down the tension in the village. They recognised the existence
8 of extremists who get drunk and terrorise the people during the night.
9 The mayor stated that the Blue Brigades (special police or milicija) are
10 involved in cases of harassment. Their commanders are requested to
11 reorganise them and remove those who misbehave. He also mentioned that
12 all local officials in the Baranja had received clear instructions from
13 high officials of the Krajina to that effect."
14 Now, was there some kind of a division in views amongst local
15 mayors and whoever in this case is representing the Blue Brigades of the
17 A. I just don't know the answer to that, I'm sorry.
18 Q. Well, what we have, it seems, is an accusation by a mayor that
19 some police are involved in acts of harassment. But he also says we have
20 received instructions from the RSK leadership -- well, high officials of
21 the Krajina, that that should not occur. Did you hear that there were
22 conflicting instructions of this nature?
23 A. To be honest, this is the first time I've read anywhere or heard
24 a report similar to this where a local authority acknowledges directions
25 from higher in regard to the security situation.
1 I'd also point out what people say and what people are two
2 entirely different things. It is quite common to receive assurances from
3 a person in authority and then to find out that absolutely nothing is
4 done about it.
5 Q. What do you mean when you say this is the first time you've heard
6 of a local authority acknowledging directions from a higher --
7 A. On this matter.
8 Q. In respect of security?
9 A. Yes.
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 MR. GOSNELL: For the record, this is P2416.2398. Could we have
12 5211, please; Defence tab 73.
13 Q. Again, we have another report from civil affairs co-ordinator
14 Sector East to Mr. Thornberry. The date is 21st of July, 1992. It
15 refers -- appears to be the minutes of a meeting of the 20th of July.
16 If we turn the page, meeting between Mr. Thornberry and
17 Mr. Spanovic at Sector East headquarters on 20 July. Mr. Thornberry
18 welcomes the guests, recalls UNPROFOR's mandate which is based on the
19 Vance Plan, says that resolution had the force of law.
20 Is it correct that UNPROFOR viewed the Vance Plan as, indeed,
21 prevailing law if there was any conflict with any local legal provisions?
22 A. It's not an interpretation I would make. The Vance Plan is an
23 agreement between two parties.
24 Q. In your role as a senior member of UNPROFOR and the commander of
25 the observer force, did you instruct your officials that the Vance Plan
1 prevailed over any claims by anyone else that there was some contrary
2 provision -- provision of law that prevailed.
3 A. That's a very broad statement. No, no, I didn't make that -- at
4 all, that statement at all, or issue that policy, or direct my troops.
5 The reality is that the Vance Plan had specific provisions. They were
6 agreed by the parties and that was the guide-line for UNPROFOR and, I
7 believe, the parties.
8 Q. Second paragraph continues to reflect what Mr. Thornberry says,
9 apparently. And he says ostensibly that:
10 "According to the Vance Plan police will carry side-arms only;
11 and other armed elements would be disarmed."
12 He reassured in the next paragraph Mr. Spanovic that UNPROFOR was
13 capable of protecting the borders while the local authorities dealt with
14 other problems of restoring law and order. He cautioned that the
15 continued presence of long arms could only provoke problems, especially
16 of infiltration, not cure them.
17 And Spanovic responds, apparently, that the Vance Plan should be
18 revised to take into account changes that had occurred since its adoption
19 and one of the changes he cites is that the Republic of Krajina has no
20 physical contact with Yugoslavia. The Bosnian component had not been
21 foreseen and Croatia is now a new state.
22 He proposed that the police structure should remain in all UNPAs
23 under the mandate of the so-called Republic of the Krajina. There would
24 be two types, two kinds of units as in the rest of the world with the
25 following responsibilities.
1 And then if we turn the page, he sets out the distinction between
2 the regular milicija and the special milicijas.
3 Now, again do we see here in this document that Mr. Spanovic is
4 being very upfront and frank about the existence of the special police,
5 where they are, what their role is?
6 A. Yes. And Mr. Thornberry is objecting to -- to -- in the earlier
8 Q. Well, let's see what the rest of the minutes reveal. At the
9 bottom it says, "Milicija," and this appears to be Spanovic's views being
11 "Milicija can be organised to control infiltration, the danger of
12 which still exists. After this condition passes long weapons will be
13 kept in HQ units where UNPROFOR can access them at any moment. The units
14 will then be transported to special places and the APCs and vehicles
15 garaged. They will be called upon to intervene only at the request of
16 UNPROFOR and at infiltration of special units. They will be used after
17 UNPROFOR is informed and will be comparable to the system of
18 Territorial Defence weapons under UNPROFOR control."
19 Now, do you agree especially in that last sentence but also in
20 terms of what he is concretely proposing, is he saying that the special
21 police should be treated in the same way as the Territorial Defence would
22 be treated under the Vance Plan in terms of demobilisation?
23 A. I think he is laying out special circumstances for the special
24 police and indicating what could happen to them in the future under --
25 under conditions that the Serb authorities would seek to establish. But
1 we did not believe at the time that such statements were genuine
2 statements, that there was any genuine intention to carry this type of
3 action out. We believe they were just delaying statements. Because, in
4 the end there was no action taken despite vigorous representations,
5 continuing representations for many months. They are hollow words.
6 That's basically what I'm trying to say.
7 Q. Let's turn the page, please:
8 "The director of civil affairs remarked at on the frankness of
9 the statement and pointed to the many problems it is posed for UNPROFOR.
10 He recapitulated the relevant part of the plan and noted that he detected
11 an important step in Mr. Spanovic's proposal but that weapons should be
12 under the same double-lock system as those of the Territorial Defence."
13 Now at least it seems that Mr. Thornberry's view is that the
14 proposal being made by Mr. Spanovic, and I entirely understand what you
15 said about it being insincere, but Mr. Thornberry's view is that what
16 Mr. Spanovic is trying to do, sincere or not, is to bring the special
17 police within the parameters of the provisions that govern the
18 Territorial Defence under the Vance Plan?
19 A. Or you could interpret it that he is not excluding this
20 development and using it as a positive step in the right direction and he
21 is not trying to discourage Mr. Spanovic.
22 Q. Next page, please, down at the bottom. Essentially what goes on
23 between these two passages is a back and forth about modalities and
24 disagreements as to whether it does comply or doesn't comply with the
25 Vance Plan. And down at the bottom, Spanovic says that:
1 "No one should carry arms in the zone. Enforced security was in
2 question. While UNPROFOR has been given a mandate, it does not have
3 enough soldiers to efficiently cover the situation. He asked whether the
4 numbers existed. He repeated that there was a war in progress. This was
5 not foreseen in the Vance Plan."
6 Now, you know that in July 1992 there were infiltrations by Croat
7 forces into Sector East, weren't there?
8 A. There were.
9 Q. And UNPROFOR didn't have enough soldiers to stop those
10 incursions, did they?
11 A. No, they didn't.
12 Q. So Mr. Spanovic's assessment here is correct.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And just one last item to look at with this document on the next
15 page. There's someone named Superintendent Vranic, who is the
16 milicijaman from the Beli Manastir. And he apparently says during this
17 meeting that there are bunkers --
18 A. Sorry, whereabouts in the document?
19 Q. I'm sorry, it's the third-last paragraph from the bottom just
20 below the part where it says "Spanovic agreed."
21 A. Thank you.
22 Q. And it says the milicijaman from Beli Manastir
23 Superintendent Vranic claimed he had proof of incursions of the Croatian
24 side into the Baranja for up upwards of 3 kilometres along the Drava
25 river and Torjanci and Sarvas and Bilje. Let me just stop there. Did
1 you ever hear that there were incursions of that magnitude?
2 A. Well, it's a magnitude of distance, it's not a magnitude of
4 Q. Yes, of that distance?
5 A. Oh. No, it's not surprising at all, no.
6 Q. There are bunkers 4 kilometres inwards within 1 kilometre from
7 the Serbs. He asked whether Colonel Jokin has so reported. He pressed
8 for the stay of the demilitarisation of the milicija before the Croatian
9 side has moved. He remarked that Colonel Jokin had reinforced the
10 activities of BelBat (APCs night and day) where it was not necessary
11 which only confirmed his contention that the Croatians had encroached.
12 Now, here we see, do we not, a criticism of BelBat battalion not because
13 of harassment of Serbs at check-points or other matters, we see criticism
14 of BelBat arising from Mr. Vranic's perceived perception that they were
15 failing to provide adequate protection in this area?
16 A. That was the implied criticism, yes. But we previously agreed
17 there was perhaps an issue of lack of numbers.
18 Q. Well, I don't mean to pin any specific blame or attribute blame
19 to any one person by any means. It's a function of the situation. It's
20 a fact --
21 A. It's a fact, yes.
22 Q. And isn't the essential fact they are under-resourced to provide
23 the protection necessary?
24 A. Yes. But we go back to the point yesterday that it was never
25 intended that UNPROFOR would do anything more than supervise the
1 demilitarisation of the UNPAs and then once it was demilitarised then to
2 ensure the continuing security of the population.
3 MR. GOSNELL: May I tendered this document, Mr. President.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 MR. GOSNELL: Sorry, it's already tendered --
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is.
7 MR. GOSNELL: -- as P2424.3978.
8 Could we have 5228, please, on the screen.
9 Q. And just remind ourselves the last document was the 21st of July.
10 This document is the 25th of August.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Could we have a tab, please.
12 MR. GOSNELL: Prosecution tab 156.
13 Q. This is from HQ -- HQ UNPROFOR Zagreb to various sectors. Could
14 we go to page 1, please.
15 And it's -- appears to be a military information summary document
16 which we've seen several examples of this during your direct testimony:
17 "This summary as usual contains the latest info on CA, JNA, and
18 other groupings in UNPAs and in pink zones."
19 Could we please go to page 4. If we can go down to item 4 A:
20 "After the harvest gathering killing incidents in Markusica, 13
21 August 1992, Mr. Vranic," and that's the gentleman who we saw in the last
22 document, "local militia leader in Baranja has ordered his men to carry
23 rifles again. He also mentioned the existence of a reserve police which
24 is also allowed to carry rifles, but wearing civilian clothes."
25 Now, first of all, do you remember anything about an event at
1 Markusica on the 13th of August, 1992?
2 A. No, I don't.
3 Q. Did you ever hear in the Baranja region that around this time,
4 three or possibly four Serb farmers were killed while harvesting?
5 A. I may have and it doesn't surprise me, but I don't recall.
6 Q. And can we see here that what UNPROFOR is observing is that that
7 caused at least some elements of the police to start carrying
8 long-barrelled rifles again?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, who is this reserve police that is being referred to? Is
11 that part of the special police or is it something else?
12 A. I don't know, counsel. There were many different forms of
14 MR. GOSNELL: For the record --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, I suppose it's a detail, but when
16 you draw the conclusion that some elements of the police, that caused
17 some -- at least some elements of the police to start carrying
18 long-barrelled rifles again. In the text, I read that the carrying
19 rifles again is about the militiamen -- the milicija, sorry, which are, I
20 suppose, it's a paramilitary group; right? Leaded -- headed by
21 Mr. Vranic.
22 MR. GOSNELL: Well, perhaps I should direct that to the witness.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
24 MR. GOSNELL: And thank you, Mr. President. I hadn't focussed on
1 Q. Brigadier, when you see a reference to -- and here the words used
2 in English are local militia, but in the previous document we saw that he
3 was something else. When you see the words local militia in this context
4 what do you understand that to mean?
5 A. I understand it to be the TDF, the Territorial Defence Force,
6 which was volunteer organisation which was meant to take off their
7 uniforms, hand over their rifles, demobilise. It goes back to my
8 evidence yesterday, Your Honour, where I said this is mid-August,
9 Sector East was only taken over by UNPROFOR in mid-July. People are
10 coming together? There's not standard terminology. There's non --
11 non-native English speakers writing reports, so many different terms are
12 being used. In regards to arming, I think -- the first sentence refers
13 to the militia carrying rifles. The second sentence refers to the police
14 carrying rifles.
15 Q. So you think that this is a Territorial Defence person, Vranic?
16 A. I -- I don't know about the incident.
17 Q. I didn't ask you about the incident. The reason I asked you that
18 question is because you say at the beginning of your last answer: I
19 understand it to be the TDF. So --
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Does that mean that your understanding is that Mr. Vranic is a
22 commander in the TDF?
23 A. That's what this report says, I believe.
24 Q. Let's go back to the previous document then, please, which is
25 65 ter 5211. Let's go to the last page, please. If we could zoom in,
1 "local authorities." Down there at the bottom it says, "Vranic SUP.
2 Beli Manastir." Does that mean anything to you?
3 A. It's not on my screen yet.
4 Q. Sorry. I'm looking for the very last page of 5211.
5 A. I would interpret that to mean superintendent, a policeman. Of
6 course, it is possible that somebody could belong to both organisations.
7 Q. Let's --
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, I -- I remember seeing Mr. Vranic
9 being qualified in the text of the document.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Quite right. I was just looking for the page.
11 It's -- it's page 6.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 MR. GOSNELL: If we could go, please, to page 6.
14 Q. The reference here says, "The milicijamen from Beli Manastir --
15 A. Sorry, where are you reading, please, counsel?
16 Q. Sorry, right under "Spanovic agreed."
17 A. Thank you.
18 Q. "The milicijamen from Beli Manastir, superintendent Vranic,
19 claimed he had proof," et cetera et cetera.
20 Does that confirm your view that in fact that is somebody who is
21 part of the regular or local police.
22 A. Ah, successfully confused me. He goes by the title
23 superintendent. He is a policeman but they referred to him -- it's this
24 confusion, lack of standardisation in terminology that we addressed
25 yesterday. Is he here a militia or a TDF person or is he policeman? It
1 is quite possible, as I said, that somebody could under normal
2 circumstances wear a military uniform but when a military threat exists
3 he could take off his police uniform and put on his green uniform. It's
4 quite possible.
5 Q. I don't disagree with you at all that there is a lack of
6 standardisation, but what we see in these two documents which I find
7 interesting is on the one side we have the civilian UNPROFOR authorities.
8 I suggest to you correctly identifying this individual as local police
9 and we have the military information summary incorrectly identifying him,
10 at least on your interpretation, as someone in the Territorial Defence.
11 A. I think this sentence on -- on the screen describes him as a -- I
12 don't speak Serbo-Croat but my interpretation is a militiaman, second
14 MR. OLMSTED: I just note perhaps his prior answer. The
15 Brigadier -- it is recorded here and I think he might have misspoke. It
16 says, "Circumstances wear a military uniform but when a military threat
17 exists he would take off his police and put on a green uniform."
18 Could we just correct that? Just -- I think it's a bit unclear.
19 What were they wearing before and what would they take off.
20 MR. GOSNELL: My learned friend is more than welcome to explore
21 that on a re-direct.
22 MR. OLMSTED: It's -- it's -- it's clarifying the record, I
23 think. It's not really something that I need to go back over in
24 re-examination. If you could just ask the witness to look at that answer
25 and correct what is recorded there.
1 MR. GOSNELL:
2 Q. What did you mean, Brigadier, if can you help us?
3 A. I stumbled over my answer there. It is taking off the police
4 uniform and putting on a green militia uniform when a significant
5 military threat emerges. I believe it is quite possible for a policeman
6 to be a policeman in normal circumstances but also a member of the
7 military reserve, the TDF.
8 Q. Before that intervention the last thing you said was that I don't
9 speak Serbo-Croat but my interpretation is --
10 A. Militiaman of the second word in that paragraph.
11 Q. And do you interpret that to mean that he is militia in the
12 English sense of the term?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You never heard it said that milicija, in Serbo-Croat, is a
15 reference to police?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Very easy to properly identify the affiliation of people on the
18 ground, isn't it?
19 A. I'm sorry?
20 Q. It's very hard to properly identify the affiliation of people on
21 the ground in these circumstances, isn't it?
22 A. Yes, it is. And in some cases people went to considerable
23 lengths to make it difficult to recognise.
24 Q. And in some cases there are errors or discrepancies in different
25 documents as to the affiliation; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Gosnell, I believe that the
4 question you addressed to the witness concerning the difficulty in
5 knowing to whom this and that force in the field belonged to applies to
6 me equally on the Bench. I have the same difficulty because we are using
7 different terms without those terms being defined previously. For
8 instance, on page 17 of today's transcript, Mr. Spanovic made a statement
9 concerning various types of militia, regular militias and special
10 militia -- that is to say, milicija.
11 At the same time, the witness speaks about
12 Territorial Defence Forces, TDF or TO. And the -- at the same time, we
13 are talking about the police, in English, and even the police reserves,
14 and finally about the Red Berets. Would it be possible to have all these
15 terms explained either through the witness or by the CLSS, by the
16 language services. What do you think?
17 MR. GOSNELL: I share entirely the concerns, but I'm not sure
18 that I am in any position to resolve them, neither as to methodology nor
19 as to substance. And I recognise that that means there is ambiguity
20 created even in the answers of the Brigadier.
21 I have been now, Your Honour, attempting to explore just one
22 component of this, to try to at least understand what the nature of the
23 difficulty is. But given -- given what this witness just said, I don't
24 know how much further I can explore it, other than to go through some of
25 the documents, and that's what I propose to do, in order to show or put
1 to the witness some different terminology and see what he knows about it,
2 if -- with Your Honours' leave.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. I hope that you will
4 succeed because, ultimately, we have to know who is meant when we talk
5 about certain forces.
6 MR. GOSNELL: I couldn't agree more, and that's part of the
7 Prosecution's burden of proof, I suggest.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: At least I think that one confusion is put aside
10 about -- about this specific group of which Mr. Vranic was the leader.
11 In none of those documents, they -- this group seems to be qualified as
12 paramilitary. Is that a correct understanding?
13 MR. GOSNELL: Well, in the two documents we've looked at, I think
14 that's a correct statement depending on your definition of paramilitary.
15 I'm sorry -- I -- I -- but -- I don't really see, Mr. President, that I
16 should necessarily have to come up with that -- the reason I don't want
17 to be --
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Well --
19 MR. GOSNELL: Yeah. My position, to be very clear, is that
20 Mr. Vranic is part of the regular police. But the witness thinks
21 otherwise, and that's fine.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's on the record, so let's proceed.
23 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 5226, please. Prosecution tab 131.
24 Q. This is from an UN CIVPOL chief of operations dated
25 20th of August, 1992, to Mr. Thornberry. I suppose you wouldn't have
1 seen this at the time either, Brigadier?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you remember seeing it since?
4 A. No, I've not seen it before.
5 Q. If we turn the page. It is talking about the Red Berets, refers
6 to them as the Red Beret army. They appear to be involved in numerous
7 crimes and dirty dealings and refuse to deal with CIVPOL claiming they
8 are military in nature. And then it describes at least one crime of a
9 Red Beret, alleged crime of a Red Beret in Ilok. We are trying to get
10 the woman to report to police.
11 Now, is that reflective of a common difficulty, namely, that you
12 have someone reputed to be part of a fearsome military group, commits a
13 crime, the victim doesn't want to go to the local police?
14 A. It's quite a common situation.
15 Q. Paragraph 4 is what I'm really interested in:
16 "In Ilok it had been learned that one Sabados Joza was arrested
17 by members of the special police (Red Beret) for singing a Croatian song.
18 The matter is being taken up with local police who are trying to deal
19 with the Red Beret."
20 Now, I think earlier you said that -- and perhaps I have to ask
21 you again, do you think the Red Berets are part of the special police or
22 do you think they are separate?
23 MR. OLMSTED: I have to object to this question because it's a
24 bit misleading. This witness does not know who the Red Berets were, who
25 they were associated with, and we do have evidence as to who the
1 Red Berets were. It was -- it's -- it was colloquial name for a unit,
2 and I won't specify the name [Overlapping speakers] ...
3 MR. GOSNELL: [Overlapping speakers] ... I'm going to object to
4 any substance, otherwise the witness should be asked to excuse himself.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Yes. And I won't go into the substance, but it is
6 a misleading question. If Your Honours can understand where I'm going
7 with it. In order to answer that question the witness would have to know
8 more about who the Red Berets were and what their perhaps other titles
9 could have been. And if I'm not clear, Your Honour, I could ask the
10 witness to be excused.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think -- I think it's -- it's clear enough.
12 And I don't see any problem for the witness to answer whether he
13 knows or not if the Red Berets were part of the special police or not.
14 So I'll allow it.
15 THE WITNESS: I don't believe they were part of the special
16 police. I say it indicated my early evidence. I thought they came from
17 outside the UNPAs and operated with the agreement of the local political
18 authorities. Whether that's correct or not, I don't know, but that's
19 what I believe.
20 MR. GOSNELL:
21 Q. Doesn't seem to be shared by the author of this report at least
22 in respect of that individual, does it?
23 A. That's fine.
24 Q. Do you agree with me?
25 A. I agree that's what's written there, yes.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. GOSNELL: May I tender this document, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D92, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 03624, please.
7 If we could go to page 3 of this document --
8 Q. You've been shown this document at least once, I think actually
9 twice now. If we could go to page 3. And this is the
10 Secretary-General's further report of the 28th of September, 1992,
11 paragraph 6, "In Sector East, other armed elements" -- hopefully we can
12 zoom in on paragraph 6.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could we look at the B/C/S
14 version on the screen as well, please.
15 MR. GOSNELL:
16 Q. "In Sector East, other armed elements reportedly controlled by
17 unidentified persons in Belgrade add to UNPROFOR's problems."
18 Now, what armed elements do you have any knowledge of that were
19 controlled by persons in Belgrade that were present in Sector East?
20 A. I am aware of people who worked for Arkan used to appear in
21 Sector East and other parts. It would be one example. But I'm not sure
22 what the -- sure of the detail that the author is referring to here.
23 Q. Could the reference have been the Red Berets, based on the
24 information that you have?
25 A. I can't speculate on that, counsel.
1 Q. Could we please go to 1304, please. Now, this as it comes up on
2 the screen is a press briefing provided by Cedric Thornberry on the
3 1st of October, 1992. And if we go to page 7 in e-court, down at the
4 bottom there's a question by an individual, Tim Judah:
5 "Two quick questions. You talked about terrorists, especially in
6 SE and the connection was implicit but not explicit. Are the terrorists
7 special militia, special police that you were referring to? That's the
8 first question. And the second question: What are you going to do about
10 If we turn the page:
11 "I know Tim Judah's quick questions. Your first question, are
12 the terrorists the same as special militia, in many cases, yes. In many
13 cases they seem to belong to gangs, who ... have moved in there from
15 Who controls the border between Sector East and Serbia, under the
16 Vance Plan?
17 A. UNPROFOR controls -- controls the movements of military
18 personnel, arms ammunition, et cetera, et cetera, but there's movement of
19 commerce so it's a complex question.
20 Q. At some stage there was an attempt by the RSK authorities to set
21 up border controls; isn't that right? And I should say as well. Set up
22 border controls as well as the existing UNPROFOR controls?
23 A. Yes, there is. But I'm not an expert on this topic, counsel.
24 Q. It's not really a question of expertise. It's just a question of
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So you do remember that that occurred at some point?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Any recollection of when that might have occurred for the first
5 time that that was attempted?
6 A. I'm thinking sometime in late 1992.
7 Q. And, otherwise, and even not otherwise, even if there was also a
8 border post set up by the local authorities, it's UNPROFOR, under the
9 Vance Plan, that has responsibility to control that border.
10 A. To control the movement of armed elements and the weapons of war.
11 Q. And that might not include people who are members of gangs who
12 cross the border without their weapons. Is that what you're entertaining
13 the possibility of?
14 A. It's quite possible people could come through if they were not
15 armed and they were not uniformed, then they would be considered to be
16 normal commerce. Civilian traffic.
17 Q. Was it possible to get around the UNPROFOR controls in some way
18 or another?
19 A. Clearly it was. Because the Serb forces were able to move
20 equipment, contraband quite successfully.
21 Q. And according to Cedric Thornberry, gangs were also able to enter
22 Sector East from Serbia, implicitly criminal gangs; right?
23 A. Yes. But I mean, how they entered isn't specified.
24 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 05268, please. I'm sorry,
25 Mr. President, may I tender that document.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D93, Your Honours.
3 MR. GOSNELL:
4 Q. This is an UNPROFOR document dated the 5th of October, 1992.
5 Military information summary from 25 September to 1st October 1992. Now,
6 what I'm most interested in in this document is the annex which at
7 page 19 in e-court. And there it says:
8 "Border milicija, total STR: 1600 to 2.000 persons. HQ Erdut,
9 COMD: Mr. Kostic."
10 Any idea who Mr. Kostic is a reference to?
11 A. No.
12 Q. If we turn the page, we see in grand total that there are four
13 border battalions. Gives their strengths, their locations. We don't
14 need to go into that in detail. I just wanted you to have sight of the
15 four battalions indicated. And then if we go to the next page, please.
16 Now, here we have a reference to special purpose milicija,
17 special milicija, and there are three headquarters indicated. And when
18 you add up those numbers there, we see a strength of 260 to 330 men
19 total. Do you see that. You don't need to do the math. I did the math,
20 and I'm pretty sure it's accurate.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So you have a border police that is 1600 to 2.000 persons strong
23 under the command of someone named Mr. Kostic according to this document
24 and you have a special purpose milicija which has 260 to 330 men; right?
25 A. According to the document, yes.
1 Q. Do you remember that it was the border police that had by far the
2 preponderance of strength amongst, let's say, and I'm searching for a
3 term, a non-regular police. Was it the border police that was the --
4 that was the dominant -- numerically the dominant force, in your
5 recollection and you may not recall?
6 A. No, I don't recall, but it wouldn't surprise me.
7 Q. Why not? You say it wouldn't surprise you. Do you have some
8 indication in your mind as to why it is not surprising?
9 A. Because a lot of the special police were deployed along the
10 borders, in practice.
11 Q. So do I understand from that answer that you're saying that what
12 this org chart is reflecting is the special purpose milicija who are not
13 at the borders?
14 A. What's on the screen now?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. Oh. This is highly complex and I have great sympathy for the
17 Bench because I spent two years dealing with this and never developed a
18 full understanding of what forces were there. But I would say that this
19 is quite deliberate. We weren't meant to understand it. They were
20 camouflaged, hidden. They were meant to confuse so that they could
21 retain force and do whatever they wanted without people really being able
22 to do anything about it. It's -- this particular document here is an
23 understanding of the police organisation at a point in time. There would
24 be later documents which we find this information. This is very early in
25 UNPROFOR's understanding of the situation in the UNPAs. Over time, it
1 got better. But it was deliberately confusing.
2 Q. Just a couple of short questions, Brigadier, because we're at the
3 break. This is October 1992, a good six months after the deployment, not
4 early in the deployment unless you consider six months to be early.
5 A. No. I believe UNPROFOR took over in Sector East in June or
6 mid-October -- mid-July, perhaps [Overlapping speakers] ...
7 Q. No advance teams there from April?
8 A. From March, in fact. The first people would have arrived in the
9 UNPAs. But, as I say, there was a deliberate policy of obscuring the
10 reality on the ground.
11 Q. Except that Mr. Spanovic met on at least two occasions with
12 Mr. Thornberry, the civil affairs co-ordinator or the civil affairs
13 person, and set out, at least in Mr. Thornberry's words, a frank
14 description of the forces?
15 A. Well, many things were said in those meetings, counsel, that were
16 not true and many commitments were made which were not honoured. That's
17 the reality of the situation.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Gosnell.
20 Brigadier, time for our first break. Thirty minutes. We'll come
21 back at 11.00. The Court Usher will escort you. Thank you.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, I'm sorry to insist, and I'll tell
2 you why. It's because I -- we have to eventually take measures, if
3 necessary, for this afternoon.
4 How long would you think you'll take and then I'll ask for the
6 MR. GOSNELL: There's a chance I might finish before the next
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
9 MR. GOSNELL: And, if not then, then shortly thereafter.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, what is -- what do you think you
11 will need in re-direct.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Currently I don't think any more than 15 minutes.
13 So I think we're well within --
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah. Nothing has to be done for the moment.
15 Thank you very much.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President. Could we have
19 65 ter 1344; Defence tab 33.
20 And while this is coming up, Brigadier, this is a letter from
21 General Nambiar to Marrack Goulding dated the 9th of November, 1992, with
22 an attachment and the attachment is a letter from Mr. Zecevic - it's
23 possible we've seen this document before. I'm not sure - and the date of
24 the letter is the 4th of November, 1992. If we could go to page --
25 page 2. It's not the same letter that we looked at previously from
1 Mr. Zecevic. But you'll recall, Brigadier, that we did see a previous
2 letter from Mr. Zecevic. And once again he appears to be reiterating his
3 insistence of his interpretation of that provision of the Vance Plan. We
4 won't revisit that issue.
5 If we go over to page 3, in the same way we insisted that you
6 answer whether you are capable of executing your responsibilities from
7 the cited regulation to which we either got no answer or a negative
8 answer. Nevertheless we continued with activities in the process of
9 demilitarisation towards executing item possibly 15 of the Vance Plan,
10 where we completed items A, B, C, while units addressed by item D were
11 completely disbanded and demobilised. At the same time armed groups
12 which might eventually be seen on the terrain are outside the composition
13 of our militia units and are presenting to us at this moment a bigger
14 problem than they are to you.
15 Now I see you're shaking your head. I assume that you disagree
16 with what he is saying or what is your reaction to that?
17 A. I just understand what groups he is referring to.
18 Q. And by that you mean you don't understand how he is using the
19 term "armed groups"?
20 A. I don't understand which armed groups he is referring to.
21 Q. But he is clearing indicating, is he not, that there is an
22 authorised force of armed people and, in his view, armed groups that are
23 outside of the composition of our militia units; correct?
24 A. Yes. This is consistent with many statements in many meetings I
25 attended which said that it was beyond the control of the -- the person
1 there because these were ill disciplined groups or uncontrolled groups
2 or -- or whatever. There was wide acknowledgement, indeed. Sometimes
3 uses an excuse that such groups existed.
4 Q. Well, we're going to come eventually or shortly to the issue of
5 responsibility for disbanding such groups. But for now we can say that
6 there is at least in Mr. Zecevic's mind a distinction; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. GOSNELL: May I tender this document, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D94, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have D73, please, which is Prosecution
13 tab 67.
14 Q. This is again from General Nambiar to Mr. Goulding. Info Vance
15 30 November 1992. It says that:
16 "Thornberry travelling to Knin to seek to repair some political
17 bridges in poor condition in recent months. Four hours private
18 discussion with Colonel Stojan Spanovic, minister of defence of RSK, then
19 dinner with him and minister of energy, Bjegovic. The main direct
20 consequence is that we are opening negotiations later this week with RSK
21 on border controls."
22 If we could turn the page, I'd like to focus in on the
23 paragraph that I'm interested in your observations on. Paragraph 6:
24 "We kept clear of displaced persons' issues on this occasion and
25 said little about disarmament. But Spanovic volunteered that they were
1 making a very big effort to clean up their act by arresting their bandits
2 and making life hot for their gangsters especially in Sector East.
3 Clearly very sensitive to this matter, now, he agreed precisely with our
4 analysis, and felt that the deadline into anarchy line we have been
5 publicly taking could destroy any residual credibility they may have."
6 Let's just pause there. Did you observe that the Serb side
7 understood that their credibility was being damaged by lack of security
8 in the protected areas?
9 A. No, I -- I don't believe they saw that at all.
10 Q. So do you think that General Nambiar, who you previously
11 described as extremely well-informed, I believe yesterday, in his
12 face-to-face conversations with Mr. Spanovic, are you saying that he has
13 gotten this wrong?
14 A. I think this is Mr. Thornberry reporting on a meeting.
15 Q. Well, let's go back to page 1. From Nambiar.
16 A. Yeah. But it's signed by Thornberry. The protocol was that
17 your -- it's always from Nambiar, Zagreb, or wherever he happened to be,
18 but releasing officer in this case is Thornberry. This would be, I
19 believe, a record of Thornberry's conversation, without having the
20 opportunity to read the whole document.
21 Q. What would Nambiar's role be in the drafting of a document of
22 this nature where his name appears on the from line but then we see a
23 signature such as this?
24 A. Well, without reading this whole document, counsel, you know, I
25 can't refer to --
1 Q. Let me just clarify then because there already is a confusion in
2 my question.
3 I'm not asking about this document. I'm asking your knowledge of
4 general practice. If we have a document that in the from line is
5 indicated to be from a person, in this case, Nambiar and it's signed --
6 let's take the specific example of Nambiar and Thornberry. It's from
7 Nambiar. Thornberry' signature is there. What would you understand from
8 general practice Nambiar's role in such a document would be?
9 A. It's just a signal address. It's -- all correspondence going
10 from UNPROFOR headquarters to UN New York should be from Nambiar and then
11 you would recognise by the releasing officer, the person who signs it,
12 who -- who -- probably who the author is or at least he is accepting
13 responsibility for releasing that cable. But all correspondence going to
14 New York should be Nambiar.
15 Q. So do I understand correctly that that means Thornberry can't
16 write directly to Goulding?
17 A. No. You understand correctly. Nambiar is the boss, and all
18 communications should go through Nambiar.
19 Q. Okay. So your view, understanding that you don't know the
20 particularities about this document, is that it could likely have been
21 created without any direct role by Nambiar?
22 A. Oh, most certainly it could have gone to New York without Nambiar
23 seeing it before it went. But he would see this document in his daily
24 pile of papers and if he had a problem with it, after the event, then he
25 would certainly raise that with the author and a correction would be made
1 to New York. But there's a delegation of authority and there's trust
2 involved in here between colleagues.
3 Q. So the least that can be said is that there is a presumption that
4 Nambiar agrees if we have a document of this nature; correct?
5 A. Subject to there being no other communication, correspondence.
6 Q. Let's now return to page 2, please. Now, and I want -- I'm
7 focussing on the issue of their sensitivity as recorded in this document.
8 Are you saying Thornberry has got it wrong?
9 A. No. I'm saying that he -- he is recorded here his record of a
10 conversation that he's had. And this document does indicate that there's
11 a genuine willingness of the Serb authorities to address a particular
12 issue concerning security.
13 Q. But --
14 A. That's what this document says.
15 Q. Let's just leave aside the issue of the measures and whatever
16 steps might be taken to restore security and let's focus on the issue of
17 sensitivity. In other words whether this was a matter of concern to
18 them. And I suggest what we have Thornberry saying is that he perceives
19 that they are clearly very sensitive to it matter; correct?
20 A. In this conversation.
21 Q. And he uses the expressing "now."
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Does that suggestion to you that there may have been at least in
24 respect of Spanovic, as far as Thornberry concerned, an evolution?
25 A. There was and there were further developments also in this
2 Q. And yet your previous answer was that you saw no evidence that
3 your Serb interlocutors were sensitive to that issue. Is that -- is that
5 A. I interpreted the question was, did I believe that the Serbs were
6 concerned about their credibility on this matter, and my answer was, no,
7 I didn't. Over my two years of experience, I believe they're quite
8 insensitive to how they presented themselves to UNPROFOR and to the world
9 through the media in general.
10 Q. In your view, during negotiations with UNPROFOR or other
11 international interlocutors, you're saying that the Serb side was
12 oblivious as to how these kind of events were affecting their negotiating
13 position, their credibility, in the negotiations. Is that your
15 A. My belief is that they were not aware how their stance on these
16 matters presented to other people, to UNPROFOR, and to the international
18 Q. And I assume that also means they were oblivious to the fact that
19 the Croatian side was using this information and evidence of -- of these
20 events to maximum advantage in the negotiations.
21 A. They could see this, and they were quite frustrated by the
22 situation, that the Croats were able to use perhaps the international
23 media more effectively than the Serb people were. But the question -- my
24 answer to your question remains the same.
25 Q. At -- do you attribute that to stupidity or callousness or what
1 do you attribute that to? Because I have to say, I find that rather hard
2 to understand.
3 A. I -- I don't know in any way want to be insulting in my
4 description here, but I believe it was ignorance of how these issues were
5 played out in other forums outside of Serbia, outside the former
6 Yugoslavia. I don't know that they were reading the media the way the
7 rest of the world was. I don't know that they saw how their stance in
8 the various negotiations in Geneva and other places played out, that
9 they -- you know, the image they were presenting or they believe they
10 were presenting was not the same as other observers interpreted it.
11 Perhaps it was cultural. I'm not sure, counsel.
12 Q. Do you attribute it to a lack of sophistication in understanding
13 how these issues were manifestly playing out in the negotiations, as well
14 as in the media?
15 A. I can't attribute to ...
16 Q. Could we have 65 ter 1324, please. Before I do turn to that
17 document, was the view that you just expressed by, as far as you know,
18 Mr. Thornberry himself in your conversations?
19 A. I believe so, yes.
20 Q. So he didn't convey anything to you about this particular meeting
21 that he describes in that document; is that correct?
22 A. This is the first time I've seen this document. Mr. Thornberry
23 attended many meetings. I saw many of the records of those meetings and
24 we had many discussions. I mean, he expressed a level of frustration in
25 dealing with the Serb authorities and trying to explain to them that it
1 was in their best interests to perhaps modify their stance and their
2 behaviour, and he felt that he was wasting his time.
3 Q. Actually, could I have 01307, please; Prosecution tab 65. This
4 is a weekly situation assessment. It doesn't have the cover page that we
5 often see with these documents, but it's dated the 7th of October, 1992.
6 It appears to be the TO -- the COO. And down under item 5, the problem
7 of the border police with Hungarian border has to be included in the
8 overall demilitarisation plan. The only way to hinder terrorism is the
9 disarmament and disabandonment of regional milicija. It has to be
10 followed by disarmament of all civilians and the local milicija which is
11 allowed to carry only side weapons. About 70 per cent of civilians
12 possess weapons at home.
13 I asked you about that yesterday. Does that jog your memory that
14 that was the level of armament available at large in the civilian
15 population at that time?
16 A. I think my answer yesterday was that I didn't know the precise
17 percentage but it wouldn't surprise me.
18 Q. And am I right that one of the steps of the Vance Plan that you
19 identified requires disarmament not only of armed groups but actually
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Not very realistic, is it?
23 A. It's what the parties agreed to do.
24 Q. That wasn't my question. Not very realistic, that was the
1 A. I believe if the parties had genuinely intended to carry out
2 their agreement, then it was realistic, and it was quite possible.
3 Q. And the parties didn't include anyone, include any authority from
4 the -- what would later become the RSK, did it?
5 A. No, it didn't. But it did have the most senior Serb political
6 leader signed it. The document we've seen, a letter, from -- I think it
7 was then-Vice-President Kosic, or, in reality, he was the acting
8 president of Yugoslavia, and -- and there was also the oral agreement at
9 least of President Milosevic.
10 Q. Could we have P2227.2168, which is Defence tab 52. It's also
11 01478, for the assistance of the Registry. Thank you very much. This is
12 a fax dated the 8th of February, 1993, between UN CIVPOL entities.
13 Item 3, on page 1:
14 "Knin CIVPOL station reported that they had a patrol in the
15 village of Vrpolje. They met local milicija who are guarding the
16 residents of this village. The Croatian who were forced to leave their
17 houses by the refugees are still leaving in the school, the milicija
18 informs CIVPOL that they have three buses to transport Croatian people
19 from that village but they didn't get the confirmation from Sibenik that
20 the CA side is ready to accept them. There were no complaints from those
21 Croatian people during this visit."
22 Now this is the 8th of February, 1993. It's right after the
23 incursion at Maslenica bridge. This is Sector South. Does that tell you
24 anything about where the -- what's described here as refugees would have
25 been from?
1 A. I -- I -- my reading of this document is that they're Croatian
2 refugees from this village in Sector South. They had been evicted by, I
3 presume, Serb refugees from other areas, and they're living in the
5 Q. What other areas would those Serb refugees have been from, at
6 this date, in Sector South?
7 A. Could have come from Bosnia, perhaps other areas of Croatia.
8 Could have come from redistribution of refugees within the Krajina.
9 Q. Nothing to do with the week-long offensive by the Croatian army
10 in the Benkovac area?
11 A. I included that. I said they could have come from Croatia. But
12 they could have come from any of these other places too.
13 Q. Page 2:
14 "During the meeting, OPS officer was introduced to the new police
15 for Knin and Sector South, Mr. --
16 A. Sorry, I have no page.
17 Q. Oh, sorry. It's coming up.
18 A. It's up. But which paragraph?
19 Q. The very last paragraph there.
20 A. Thank you.
21 Q. "During the meeting, OPS off was introduced to the new chief of
22 police for Knin and Sector South, Mr. Nebojsa Pavkovic. He is also the
23 assistant of Minister Milan Martic. This man will be chief until
24 Mr. Ilija Prijic come back. He was informed about all the problems and
25 he is ready to help us and to have a very good co-operation but it is
1 very difficult to have co-operation now because of the war situation."
2 In general terms isn't what is going on here is there are, what I
3 suggest, refugees who have come from fighting in the Benkovac area.
4 They're angry, having just been forced out of their homes. They've gone
5 to another location and started terrorising Croat civilians who then fled
6 to a school where they are being protected by the local police. Does
7 that fairly summarise what's in this document?
8 A. No. I have only read two very short paragraphs in this document.
9 I don't see any reference there to Maslenica or, indeed, that the
10 refugees came from there. You're suggesting it. It may have come from
11 there and it may be a reasonable suggestion, but it's also possible that
12 the refugees referred to earlier in this document could have come from
13 anywhere. It's not -- without a thorough reading of the document I can't
14 really agree or disagree with you, counsel.
15 Q. Well, there's a reference there to the war situation apparently
16 as being the source of the problems; correct?
17 A. Well, in the last paragraph, it says the war situation makes the
18 situation difficult. It doesn't refer at all to the question of the
19 refugees in the first paragraph.
20 Q. If we go to the next page, please. The second paragraph:
21 "A common problem at present is that local Croats are still being
22 forced out of their houses an apartments by both newly arriving refugees
23 and by local opportunists. Local authorities appear powerless to stop
25 Now let me ask you this general question: Did you know that
1 internally displaced persons, Serbs from parts of Croatia that were
2 pushed into the protected areas, were they particularly militant and
3 extremist, to your knowledge?
4 A. No. No, there was -- they were a general cross-section of the
6 Q. Did you see this document at the time, 1993?
7 A. I'll be unlikely to see this. This is an internal police
9 Q. So is it fair to say you didn't review any police documents at
10 the time?
11 A. No. I saw police documents which were on a school of float,
12 which is a lot of documentation which may be of interest but it's not
13 specifically referred to me for an action, and I therefore have the
14 opportunity to have a general read of this. This is the quite common in
15 military organisations that if you're not the action officer, you -- you
16 have the opportunity to read general correspondence passing through the
17 headquarters. Now this type of report may or may not be on the float if
18 it is considered to be of interest. I can't say I never read reports. I
19 have no recollection of reading this report.
20 Q. You weren't playing close attention to police reports because it
21 wasn't within your area of responsibility; is that correct?
22 A. It was within my general area of interest rather than my specific
23 area of responsibility.
24 Q. So you didn't rigorously or closely examine such reports during
25 the course of your time there; correct?
1 A. No, I didn't.
2 Q. Now, back in January 1992, when you first met Mr. Hadzic, the JNA
3 was still on the ground in Sector East; correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. How many times did you visit Sector East between the time you
6 arrived in the former Yugoslavia and the time that you were deployed to
8 A. Two or three times.
9 Q. And during those two or three times, did you observe that the JNA
10 was in control of the territory of what would become Sector East?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what makes you say that?
13 A. They were evident by their uniforms and their deployment. The
14 people I met were JNA officers who claimed to be in control of the area
15 and to be the authority in the area at that time, the practical
16 authority. I don't recall meeting, in that time-frame, any of the
17 political authorities. I may have, but I don't remember it at all.
18 Q. Were they controlling the -- as far as you could observe, the
19 crossing points between Serbia and Sector East?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were you able to observe whether they were exercising authority
22 over all - and I mean all - irregular forces in Sector East; i.e.,
24 A. I believe they were, but on occasions when we raised our concern
25 about cease-fire violations, they would often attribute these to
1 "uncontrolled" elements?
2 Q. Now as a military man, if you have a militia fighting alongside
3 you, for example, in Vietnam or anywhere else, Lebanon, from your past
4 experience, you have an obligation as commander in that area to
5 subordinate that irregular group, don't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And to oblige them to comply with the provisions, for example, of
8 any cease-fire agreements; correct?
9 A. It depends upon the command relationships. Military forces are
10 deployed. You are told usually in writing who your boss is and what your
11 relationship is with other forces in the area, what your responsibility
12 is to supervise them and to support them. There are various terms like
13 under command, in support, under command, less administration, et cetera.
14 These are technical military terms but soldiers quite clearly understand
15 that if you're deployed in the line what your relationship is with
16 another units. There is no ambiguity.
17 Q. And not only on the line, in the depth of the territory; correct?
18 A. Exactly.
19 Q. Was there any discussion within UNPROFOR - and I ask you this as
20 someone who would be very familiar with these issues - whether after the
21 declaration of independence by Croatia that the JNA should be considered
22 an army of occupation under the Law of Armed Conflict?
23 A. I don't recall such a technical discussion, no.
24 Q. Could we have 65 ter 695, please. Do you remember who signed the
25 first cease-fire agreement, the Geneva Accord, of 23rd November 1991?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Now, this is a version of the Geneva Accord. Unfortunately, it's
3 not the original version. But it does indicate there that it's signed by
4 Tudjman, Milosevic, Kadijevic and Vance. Seeing this, does that in any
5 way refresh your memory that those were the signatories?
6 A. No, I've not seen this document before. And to be honest,
7 cease-fires or arrangements for cease-fires before the 2nd of January
8 were of very little interest because there were so many cease-fires that
9 were not respected that they were irrelevant.
10 Q. Well, I suggest this one was not irrelevant because this is the
11 one that ultimately took hold.
12 A. My understanding was that -- the document signed on
13 2nd of January in Sarajevo was -- was the cease-fire that was -- the
14 important one in terms of UNPROFOR.
15 Q. Subpart (c) of this, "They will immediately," and "they" is the
17 "They will immediately instruct all units under their command and
18 control or political influence to observe an unconditional cease-fire
19 with effect from tomorrow, 24 November, and they will make sure that any
20 paramilitary or irregular units not formally under their command,
21 control, or political influence also observe the cease-fire from that
22 date ..."
23 Now do you agree with me that that imposes very categorically an
24 obligation on the JNA to enforce the cease-fire, if necessary, by
25 enforcing it against all irregular elements in Sector East and -- and
1 elsewhere in the protected areas?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Now, as a military man and as a member of UNPROFOR, can you think
4 of why it would be necessary to have the JNA as a separate party to such
5 agreements? My point being why not just have Milosevic sign?
6 A. Well, in my military culture and my political upbringing, the
7 political authority speaks for the military. This must have been
8 perceived by all parties concerned that the military needed to be
9 included in it, otherwise it might not happen. But it's not part of my
11 Q. And can you help us understand why they wouldn't have had the
12 most senior official in the rump Presidency of the SFRY sign the
14 A. No. I mean, you're asking me about a document that existed,
15 discussions that took place, considerations that were taken in account
16 two months before I became involved in this conflict at all.
17 Q. Would you agree with me -- and this doesn't flow direct from the
18 demilitarisation agreement that is on the screen but it may flow from the
19 general principle that you articulated earlier. Would you agree with me
20 that it is for the military force in an area of responsibility and
21 territorial control of an area of responsibility to prevent aligned or
22 allied forces operating in that area from committing crimes?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could we have L2, please. And if we could please turn to
25 page 14. Again, Brigadier, this is the bundle of documents containing
1 the Vance Plan. And actually we should start on page 13. Now, when do
2 you say that the Vance Plan was agreed to, the date?
3 A. The cease-fire was signed on the 2nd of January. That's what I
4 understand. That's why UNMLOY was deployed to monitor and report on that
5 cease-fire. My understanding is that the Vance Plan was not finally
6 accepted until sometime after Mr. Goulding's visit in late January to --
7 to -- to the area, that there was an assurance given by all parties
8 concerned that they would honour the agreement. So when it was signed, I
9 don't really understand, but it was the Secretary-General's --
10 Secretary-General's concern that the parties were genuinely committed to
11 the plan that necessitated Mr. Goulding's visit and it was based on the
12 assurances given at that visit and immediately afterwards that the
13 decision was made to go ahead with the deployment of UNPROFOR.
14 Q. Now, the provision and I think this is completely uncontested
15 that this is the applicable provision that was agreed to, paragraph 15,
16 describing demilitarisation of the UNPAs. On the basis of the agreed
17 timetables, demilitarisation would be implemented as rapidly as possible
18 in the following ways [sic]: (a) is, I think, self-ex explanatory; (b)
19 is self explanatory. If we can turn the page. Likewise, (c) fairly
20 clear; and there's (d):
21 "All paramilitary, irregular or volunteer units or personnel
22 would either be withdrawn from the UNPAs, or, if resident in them, be
23 disbanded and demobilised."
24 Now, let's take January 30th as a reference point. On
25 January 30th, that is before Sector East is a part of the RSK and while,
1 according to you, the JNA is still in territorial control of Sector East
2 prior to the assumption of responsibility by UNPROFOR, for that matter
3 even the arrival of anyone from UNPROFOR, who has the responsibility to
4 enforce paragraph (d)?
5 A. The JNA.
6 Q. Why don't you say the local authorities have that responsibility?
7 A. Because the military were in control, stated they were in control
8 and accepted responsibility for what was happening in that area in the
9 negotiations and in the discussions that I had with them.
10 Q. Would it be your view that this provision means that they are
11 required to accomplish that obligation prior to their withdrawal from
12 Sector East and the other protected areas?
13 A. Not -- not necessarily. The sequence there suggests that the
14 first thing to happen was the withdrawal of the JNA. That's the sequence
15 laid out in the report there. And there was to be subsequent
17 Q. Are you implying that (a), (b), (c), and (d) were meant to be
18 effectuated sequentially?
19 A. No. They would happen in some cases at the same time.
20 Q. You say in some cases and you've also said that the obligation is
21 on the JNA to enforce subparagraph (d), so doesn't that mean that (d) is
22 going to happen before (a)?
23 A. Perhaps if would happen at the same time.
24 Q. Now let's say as of the withdrawal date or at the moment that the
25 JNA withdraws from Sector East, who inherits the obligation under -- or
1 if anyone at all, maybe no one inherits. But what happens to the
2 obligation in 15 (d) according to you?
3 A. I believe it passes to the senior political leadership.
4 Q. Of what?
5 A. Of the -- of the Sector East.
6 Q. Which, on January 30th, was the -- well, I'm sorry, let me -- let
7 me correct myself. On January 30th we have the JNA and sometime in --
8 A. February.
9 Q. Yes. And sometime in the summer or late spring we have the
10 withdrawal of the JNA. So you would locate in time the occurrence of the
11 obligation on the local authorities as being coincident with the
12 withdrawal of the JNA?
13 A. What I'm saying is that if the JNA has completely effected its
14 withdrawal and in that process has left behind some armed elements that
15 it is not overseeing the withdrawal of or has been unable to do so, that
16 once it is out of that area, that responsibility passes to the senior
17 political leadership by default.
18 Q. And prior to the withdrawal of the JNA, that is while it is still
19 in territorial control of the area, in addition to the obligation under
20 paragraph (d), would you agree that they have a -- a general obligation,
21 again based on the principles we've previously discussed, to prevent
22 those allied forces from committing crimes?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, you say that it's the obligation of the senior political
25 authorities upon the departure of the JNA to effectuate subparagraph (d),
1 and down at the bottom of the page, we have a definition of the forces
2 that are at the disposal of local authorities. And it says:
3 "The maintenance of public order in the UNPAs would be the
4 responsibility of local police forces who would carry only side-arms ...
5 the local police forces would be responsible to the existing opstina
6 councils in the UNPAs. Any existing regional police structures would
7 remain in place, provided that they were consistent with the principle
8 described above concerning the national composition of the local police
9 force [sic]."
10 Now, given that that's the only force that's at the disposal
11 under the Vance Plan of the local authorities, how are they supposed to
12 carry out the obligation in subparagraph (d)?
13 A. The police forces in Sector East, after the withdrawal of the
14 JNA, represented some thousands of people quite heavily armed, quite
15 capable of dealing with relatively small but disruptive armed elements.
16 There were plenty of resources available to the political authorities if
17 they're given adequate direction.
18 Q. And the view of UNPROFOR was that all those forces were illegal;
20 A. Which forces are we talking about?
21 Q. What you described in your previous answer as the police forces
22 in Sector East.
23 A. Certainly there were some thousands of normal policemen as we
24 have in any society. And there were a number of special police that's
25 acknowledged in paragraph 19 that existed that could have been called
1 upon to exist. It says existing police structures, which provides for
2 the fact that there may have been other police but they would be of a
3 particular composition.
4 MR. GOSNELL: Sorry, Mr. President, did I misstate something from
5 the previous answer or is there a confusion?
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's the -- I think it's the qualification as
7 illegal. Is that part of the witness's answer?
8 MR. GOSNELL: Not that particular answer but we've heard, I
9 believe, a number of answers that indicated that earlier in the
10 testimony. Let me try to rephrase it.
11 Q. They would be - am I right - in your view, illegal if they were
12 armed with long-barrelled weapons, any police forces, whether they be
13 local or regional?
14 A. I don't -- I'm not sure what the Bench might interpret the word
15 "illegal" to mean. What I'm saying in my evidence, Your Honour, is that
16 these people were in breach of the Vance Plan agreements. They're
17 violations of the agreement.
18 Q. Let's go to page 5 of L2, please. Now this is from the
19 Secretary-General's report that accompanies the agreement and it says
20 there in the second-last sentence of paragraph 12 and I hope we can zoom
21 in. Well, let's go back a couple of sentences even.
22 It says:
23 "On this basis, United Nations troops and police monitors would
24 be deployed in these areas, which would be designated as United Nations
25 Protected Areas. They would be demilitarised and all armed forces in
1 them would be either withdrawn or disbanded. The role of the
2 United Nations troops would be to ensure that the areas remained
3 demilitarised and that all persons residing in them were protected from
4 fear of armed attack. The role of the United Nations police monitors
5 would be to ensure that the local police forces carried out their duties
6 without discriminating against persons of any nationality or abusing
7 anyone's ... rights."
8 This is the key sentence, I say.
9 "As the United Nations force assumed its responsibilities in the
10 UNPAs all of the JNA forces deployed elsewhere in Croatia would be
11 located outside the republic."
12 Can you see any indication in that paragraph that it appears to
13 be UNPROFOR that is the force that is the successor to the JNA in terms
14 of responsibilities under the Vance Plan?
15 A. I read the sentence -- the critical sentence here is that -- it's
16 the third sentence which states clearly the role of the United Nations
17 would be to ensure the areas remained demilitarised. That is, UNPROFOR
18 would inherit a security situation in the UNPAs that was completely
19 demobilised and UNPROFOR would then be responsible for maintaining or for
20 protecting people within the UNPAs.
21 Q. Let me try to first pin down the scope of that obligation. The
22 word "remained," are you suggesting and I have heard your answers from
23 the last two days, but are you suggesting that the areas had to be
24 completely denuded of arms, completely demilitarised before the
25 obligation to prevent remilitarisation exists, or would you agree that
1 this obligation implies blocking any reinsertion of arms into the
2 protected areas after UNPROFOR takes over?
3 A. It's both. It should be demilitarised and UNPROFOR should
4 prevent the reinsertion of military force.
5 Q. And in the event the first doesn't happen and if 70 per cent of
6 the population at least have arms, we know that that simply is not going
7 to happen, if the first doesn't happen, the second obligation still
8 exists; isn't that right?
9 A. We've covered this several times in the last couple of days,
10 counsel. My contention is that it was a deliberate centrally conceived
11 managed policy not to disarm, to circumvent the provisions of the Vance
12 agreement. It was deliberate.
13 Q. You've not answered my question.
14 A. Sorry, would you restate it then, please.
15 Q. I can just repeat it.
16 A. Thank you.
17 Q. It says -- the question was: If the first doesn't happen, if
18 there is not absolute and complete demilitarisation of the sectors by the
19 time UNPROFOR takes over, doesn't UNPROFOR still have that obligation to
20 prevent the reinsertion of arms into the sectors?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it your view that -- UNPROFOR infantry has no role in policing
23 and maintaining internal security in the protected areas under the
24 Vance Plan?
25 A. No. They were there to foster a safe and secure environment.
1 Q. And that included -- as a sovereign state would control its
2 boundaries, that included UNPROFOR exercising territorial control to the
3 extent at least of manning the -- what I don't want to called border
4 posts between Serbia and Sector East but the crossing points?
5 A. The UN established control points to prevent the reintroduction
6 or the movement of military force within the UNPA. That was their
8 Q. And UNPROFOR undertook many efforts to, as best it could, given
9 the resources available, maintain security in the protected areas; right?
10 And by "security," I'm referring here to violence by individuals against
11 other individuals inside the protected areas.
12 A. Yes. But that -- it's an issue of when is it law and order and
13 when is it sort of a military security issue. Depends upon the
15 Q. Now, one of the aspects of the process that you noted about
16 refugees was that they were often occupied in vacated homes. And you
17 said a couple of different things about that. On the one hand, you said,
18 at 7905, that people had to have somewhere to leave. But then at 7495,
19 you said, that you considered this to be, I believe -- if I may just have
20 a moment.
21 Yes, you said that you merely commented that in some cases they
22 were being once vacated occupied by Serb refugees from other areas.
23 Is your view that those refugees were forcing merely by virtue of
24 living in the houses that were vacated, did you view that as a process of
25 forcing out the previous inhabitants or are those two phenomena at least
1 in particular circumstances separate?
2 A. In some cases, it was separate. In other cases, it was entirely
4 Q. Could we have 05230, please, which is Prosecution tab 157. Do
5 you know that the local authorities, the RSK authorities, were careful to
6 ensure that, to the extent that they could enforce this, that those who
7 inhabited vacated houses understood that it was only a temporary measure?
8 A. No, I'm unaware of that.
9 Q. This is a letter from Mr. Thornberry to Mr. Susa, 27 August, and
10 Mr. Thornberry is complaining about individuals having their property
11 confiscated. And then if we turn over to page 4. There should be a
12 translation attached.
13 MR. GOSNELL: May I inquire of the Registry how many pages this
14 document has?
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Three page, Mr. Gosnell.
17 MR. GOSNELL: The document appears not to have the translation,
18 at least the version I have. And I'm just going to skip the document and
19 move on.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The translation seems to
21 be on the left.
22 MR. GOSNELL:
23 Q. Brigadier, you said that you --
24 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, Mr. President?
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Did you hear the interpreter's intervention?
1 THE WITNESS: I have a translation on the left-hand page of my
3 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, that's it. Thank you very much.
4 Q. And if we can go down to the bottom, we have Mr. Susa responding
5 to this letter from Mr. Thornberry and he says he admits that there is a
6 provision of the criminal code that permits such confiscation, but he
7 says that it cannot be ordered without a court order. And then at the
8 bottom he says:
9 "No cases in which property confiscation has been pronounced as
10 an additional sentence has been registered so far."
11 If we turn the page:
12 "Please do not be confused by the fact that a certain number of
13 individuals banished from the territory of the Republic of Croatia has
14 moved into buildings in the RSK [sic] which had previously been abandoned
15 for various reasons by their owns. This measure - temporarily moving in,
16 primarily as a humanitarian aspect, without the right of the temporary
17 inhabitants to treat the property as their own."
18 That's a complete sentence. Not entirely grammatical.
19 But would you agree that -- or did you ever hear that in fact
20 this was what the Serb policy or position was in respect of this
22 A. No, I didn't.
23 Q. In your testimony you said that you saw a mosque that was
24 destroyed in Sector North; is that right?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Do you remember the name of the town?
2 A. No, I don't.
3 Q. Do you remember roughly where it was geographically?
4 A. Somewhere to the west of Bihac.
5 Q. West of Bihac?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Across the border from Bosnia in Croatia or in Bosnia?
8 A. In the UNPA.
9 Q. My understanding is that there was no mosque in that area. Are
10 you sure that you weren't in Bosnia at this time?
11 A. That's my recollection.
12 Q. It's possible your recollection is mistaken?
13 A. It's possible. But the location might -- might be an error in
14 recollection but not the fact.
15 Q. Brigadier, thank you very much for your time, for coming here.
16 A. Thank you very much.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, those are my questions.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Gosnell.
19 Mr. Olmsted, I see the time. I would suggest we take the break
20 now and come back at 12.40, in 30 minutes.
21 MR. OLMSTED: That works with me, Your Honour. Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Wilson.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Olmsted:
6 Q. Brigadier, you stated during cross-examination that UNPROFOR had
7 the responsibility to control the borders in the UNPAs to prevent the
8 reinstatement of arms into the sectors.
9 Now, we touched on this during direct examination a bit, but can
10 you tell us why UNPROFOR was not able to carry out this particular part
11 of its mandate.
12 A. Because the -- firstly a lot of the arms remained hidden within
13 the area.
14 Secondly, because they were moved by whomever around the UN
15 control points. There was a deliberate attempt to move points around.
16 In some cases, people forced their way through UN control points
17 and the UN were unable to stop them.
18 Q. Now, I think Mr. Gosnell was referring you to a chart that
19 represented there were perhaps even thousands of, quote/unquote, border,
20 RSK border police. Were these border police assisting UNPROFOR with the
21 task of controlling the borders of the UNPAs?
22 A. I'm not sure what you mean by assisting.
23 Q. I mean were they helping protect the borders, to prevent these --
24 prevent this reinstatement of arms at the borders. Were they helping
25 UNPROFOR carry out its mandate?
1 A. My understanding from reports is that in some cases they were
2 in effect denying entry into the area and in other cases they were
3 facilitating it.
4 Q. And with regard to the latter, with regard to facilitating it,
5 did this cause a significant problem for UNPROFOR in carrying out its
7 A. Yes. It contributed to the unstable threatening environment.
8 Q. You were also asked during cross-examination a number of
9 questions about the JNA's responsibilities, both in the pre-Vance Plan
10 period, as well as under the Vance Plan.
11 Now, are you familiar with the military laws that applied to the
12 former Yugoslavia?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And do you have actual knowledge with regard to the organisation
15 and the chain of command of -- let's take Territorial Defence units that
16 were operating in the former Yugoslavia?
17 A. No.
18 Q. I'm sorry, we did get an answer. Yes, we did. I apologise.
19 And what about other let's call them non-JNA forces that were
20 operating in the Serb-controlled areas of Croatia? Did you have any
21 understanding particularly at the early phase, January, February, March
22 1992, with regard to their chain of command and who they reported to?
23 A. We believe they were controlled from authorities in Belgrade.
24 That's as much detail as I was aware of at the time.
25 Q. So do you know what degree the local authorities - and when I say
1 "local authorities," I mean the authorities that eventually became the
2 RSK government - do you know what powers, authorities, influence they
3 exercised over these non-JNA units, armed units that were operating in
4 these areas?
5 A. I believe they at least condoned their deployment. I'm not aware
6 of the exact level of control or effectiveness of control they had over
7 them. I understood in many ways they were quite independent and could do
8 as they wished.
9 Q. And in some cases they were independent of the JNA.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Leading.
11 MR. OLMSTED:
12 Q. Were they, in some cases, independent of the JNA?
13 MR. GOSNELL: Leading.
14 MR. OLMSTED:
15 Q. I'll even say it broadly. Who are they independent of?
16 A. Well, I believe they were responsive to some direction from
17 authorities in Belgrade, and they may or may have not have responded to
18 whoever was the local authority as it suited them.
19 Q. Under the Vance Plan, was it only the JNA who had responsibility
20 for demilitarisation?
21 A. The militias, whoever controlled them, that is, the territorial
22 forces or the TDF, also had to disarm. And whoever was responsible for
23 them had to ensure that it was done.
24 Q. And did the JNA have the sole responsibility to reign in the
25 local armed forces, the TOs, or whatever you want to call them, and to
1 prevent their crimes?
2 A. I believe while the JNA was occupying the UNPAs, they did have,
3 as an occupying force, the ultimate legal responsibility to control all
4 elements within that area.
5 Q. Did they share that responsibility with anyone?
6 A. I don't know the answer to that.
7 Q. Would you be able to comment on what the role of the local
8 authorities would be with regard to those crimes?
9 A. The crimes?
10 Q. The crimes committed by these local forces. I'm not talking
11 about JNA forces. I'm talking about TO units, or members of TO units or
12 members of -- of other local armed forces that were operating in these
13 Serb-controlled areas of Croatia.
14 A. At what point in time?
15 Q. And I'm talking about before the JNA withdrew.
16 A. They may have some authority or influence over them, but
17 ultimately I believe it is the occupying military power who has the
18 responsibility for the control of these people.
19 Q. Mr. Gosnell was raising some issues regarding the cease-fire
20 agreement that was -- the Geneva Accord, I think it was referred to, from
21 November of 1991. But I want to ask you about the Vance Plan.
22 Did anyone actually sign the Vance Plan?
23 A. I don't know the answer to that.
24 Q. The plan was attached to a report by the Secretary-General from
25 December 1992; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. It wasn't a -- a treaty or a document that was signed by any
4 A. I don't know the answer to that.
5 Q. And what was the role of Mr. Goulding in January 1992? What was
6 his -- his chief aim? You talked about a number of meetings he was
7 holding. What was he trying to do?
8 A. He was trying to achieve a firm assurance from all of the
9 responsible parties that they supported and would implement all of the
10 provisions of the Vance Plan.
11 Q. And again I think you touched on this in direct examination, but
12 what was the position that Mr. Hadzic took with regard to the Vance Plan?
13 A. I believe he accepted the Vance Plan but pointed out some of the
14 difficulties; in particular, the difficulty of two nations of Croats and
15 Serbs living together in the future.
16 Q. And the latter issue was the political issue, if I understand it
18 A. Yes. But he broadly accepted the Vance Plan. He did not object
19 to it.
20 Q. Let's look at 65 ter 3054. This is tab 125. This is a -- an
21 UNPROFOR weekly situation assessment dated 11 November 1992. And if we
22 could turn to page 3 and go to the bottom, we see it states:
23 "Declaration of RSK on meeting organised on 7 November 1992 that
24 pink zone areas belong to Krajina. Therefore, no Croatian authorities
25 will be allowed to take over or part in control."
1 And if turn the page, the part I'm particularly interested in
3 "... second declaration was that RSK believes to be independent
4 and do not recognise the Vance Plan because it never has been signed by
5 anyone from RSK government."
6 I'm particularly interested in the second declaration about not
7 signing the Vance Plan. What do you make of this argument being made in
8 November of 1992?
9 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, objection. If this document hasn't
10 been used up until this time, because I would say that it exceeds the
11 scope of a re-direct. Just embarks into additional evidence -- there is
12 no lack of clarity that has been suggested in the cross or -- so I think
13 this would set a very bad precedent if we just open the door to
14 additional documents being used on re-direct unless there's some
15 particular reason.
16 MR. OLMSTED: Mr. President, this goes to the issue which
17 Mr. Gosnell spent a significant amount of time on is with regard to the
18 signing of these agreements and what that entailed, and I'm pursuing this
19 issue of the lack of signatures on, in particular, the Vance Plan.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Objection is overruled.
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. Brigadier, I just want, again, to focus your attention on the
24 issue of -- of the statement or the declaration that was made with regard
25 to the non-signing of the Vance Plan, and if you could give us what you
1 make of this kind of argument being made in November of 1992.
2 A. At the time, I wouldn't have placed any great weight on that
3 report. It is just another statement made by somebody or other. There's
4 no accountability usually associated with these sort of statements. It's
5 perhaps a negotiation that was an attempt to delay or obscure. It's ...
6 it's a meaningless statement.
7 Q. Does it surprise you that the RSK would be making such a
8 declaration in November 1992?
9 A. No. And I mean, as -- as time went on, there were many
10 qualifications about the Vance Plan, what was supported and what wasn't,
11 what they thought they meant, and what they didn't. It was all
12 meaningless sort of chatter delaying the process.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2875, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on the screen P2179.
18 Q. And earlier today you were shown this UNPROFOR military
19 information summary dated 25 August 1992. And if we could turn to page 4
20 of the document. If we could focus in on Sector East.
21 You recall, this is the document that Defence counsel drew your
22 attention to, the report from Sector East regarding a killing incident.
23 Now, if we could just turn to page 7 -- well, first of all,
24 before we do that, after receiving a report such as this, Brigadier, what
25 was the standard practice for UNPROFOR to verify this incident? Would
1 they look into it?
2 A. They would. But ultimately this is a police function. If --
3 reading that report as it existed, it doesn't say that the firing came
4 from outside the UNPA or this was an incursion by Croat forces. So could
5 have been anybody, as I read that report, and which would suggest to me
6 it's a law and order issue. That might be clear if I looked at a map and
7 saw exactly where these vicinities -- these localities are.
8 Q. [Microphone not activated]
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, please.
10 Q. You might be able to get some clarity if we look at page 7 of the
11 report. And if we look under the 14th of August, 1992, item 4, we
12 actually see some additional information that was acquired the next day.
13 And it says:
14 "In respect of the shooting of Serb farmers by CA," which I think
15 there's no dispute, that's Croatian army, "near Markusica on 13 August,
16 it has been learned that they first crossed the CFL," confrontation line,
17 "there on 12 August. They were warned not to return, but did so on
18 13 August carrying with them grenades and SA," which, Brigadier, I think
19 is a small arms?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. "It is believed that when the Croatian army attempted to arrest
22 them, the Serbs opened fired [sic] which the Croatian army returned.
23 Three Serb men and one woman were killed and one woman was wounded."
24 Then it talks about the -- there must have been others who came
25 across the border at the same time because it says 19 were arrested and
1 it talks about their release.
2 Now does this add clarity, with regard to this particular
3 incident, in which local Serbs crossed the confrontation line?
4 A. I interpret that that the Croatians have crossed the line.
5 Q. So you're saying that the -- how you read it, the Croatian army
6 crossed and they were warned by the local Serbs not to return and they
7 crossed again and then the Serbs approached them with grenades?
8 A. And then the -- that's the way I'm reading it. Perhaps I'm
10 Q. Okay. That's not how I would read it but I think that's fair
11 enough. We'll leave that to argument. I think we'll just leave it at
13 But, anyway, this is, Brigadier, an example of following up and
14 looking more into the matter to see whether it is an issue with regard to
15 the Vance Plan or not?
16 MR. GOSNELL: Leading.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: I don't even see a question there.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Oh.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Was there? Was there a question?
20 MR. OLMSTED: Yeah. Is this an example of them following up into
21 this matter. But I can withdraw the question. It's not that important.
22 I think it speaks for itself.
23 Q. Yesterday it was put to you repeatedly that the Serbs did not
24 demilitarise because of the concerns about the security threat by the
25 Croatian army. And at one point, I believe this is at transcript page
1 7542, you responded that both sides got what they deserved.
2 If we could look at 65 ter 5187. And while that's coming up,
3 Brigadier, can I ask you: Did local Serb armed forces in certain
4 situations engage in activities that may have provoked the Croatian
6 A. Oh, I can't recall --
7 MR. GOSNELL: Objection. That's leading.
8 MR. OLMSTED: In this case, Your Honours, I don't think it is
9 because it doesn't suggest any answer to my question. It's whether they
10 did or they did not.
11 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, merely using the word provoking
12 insinuates an answer, and that makes it leading.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. Let's say, did the Serb armed forces engage in any activities
15 that may have caused the Croatian forces on occasion to respond
17 A. On many occasions.
18 Q. If we look at this document in front of us, we have a -- looks
19 like -- appears to be a situation report. The date is difficult to read
20 but if we look at the upper right-hand corner we can see that it's
21 17 of June, 1992. And we can see that also at the very bottom where
22 there's a signature. It has 17 June, 1992.
23 And this reports:
24 "Real danger was creating to the whole peacekeeping operation in
25 our sector. Motor/shooting, organised by local militia, direction
1 Vinkovci, forced the Croatian side to make a claim to us and warn that in
2 case of the next opening fire from high calibres by JNA side, the
3 Croatian army side will bring all their heavy weapons back to the
5 What can you tell us about such incidents?
6 A. It's quite common.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2876, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 MR. OLMSTED:
12 Q. Yesterday at transcript page, I believe, it's 7537, you were
13 asked whether UNPROFOR was able to identify perpetrators of crimes
14 against the non-Serbs. And I think you testified that you were aware of
15 examples of such cases.
16 A. Yes, I remember reports which actually named individuals and, in
17 fact, said that they were known to have committed previous crimes, were
18 known by the UN police to have committed previous crimes.
19 Q. And were those cases reported to the local police?
20 A. I believe they were.
21 Q. And what was done with them, based upon the information you had?
22 A. My understanding is that, in most cases, no action was taken
23 against these individuals.
24 Q. If we could have on the screen, 65 ter 1301. And what we have in
25 front of us is an International Conference of the Former Yugoslavia
1 report dated 3 October 1992 from Cyrus Vance to the Secretary-General.
2 And it appears to be, and Defence counsel will correct me if I'm wrong, a
3 report on a meeting held with top Yugoslav officials. I think
4 President Milosevic is mentioned there, as well as General Panic, along
5 in the document. But what I want to draw your attention is -- is -- is
6 page 4 of document, which is a section that deals with the situation on
7 the UNPAs which was discussed at this meeting.
8 And it ...
9 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, we have the right page now.
10 Q. And it states:
11 "UNPROFOR is getting little or no co-operation in these regions
12 and did not have sufficient strength to enforce the disbanding of these
14 I think that relates to something that I'm not interested in at
15 this point. The next sentence I am, however. It says:
16 "However they had advised the local authorities of known
17 criminals but nothing was done to apprehend and punish them."
18 Is that consistent with your recollection?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2877.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. And finally along this same line you were asked a number of
1 questions regarding the police and their function. And I want to return
2 one last time to 65 ter 3624, which I think has been admitted into
3 evidence now. This is the -- it's P2848. And it's the Secretary-General
4 report for the 28th of September, 1992.
5 And if we could turn to page 5. And if we could focus in on
6 paragraph 17. We can see that this is a paragraph concerning the regular
7 civil police force operating in the UNPAs. And the sentence I'm
8 interested in is:
9 "Some professional police chiefs have been dismissed and replaced
10 by extremists who know nothing of police work, but a great deal about
12 What's your assessment of that?
13 A. It's consistent with reports and discussions at that time, within
14 the UN.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, no more questions.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Olmsted.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Brigadier, is this the end of your testimony.
19 Thank you again for coming to The Hague to assist the Tribunal. You are
20 now released as a witness, and we wish you a safe journey back home.
21 Thank you very much.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Nothing else?
24 MR. OLMSTED: No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. We wish you a safe weekend.
1 Court adjourned.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.13 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day
4 of August, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.