1 Monday, 2 September 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at the 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in around the courtroom.
6 Madam Registrar, may we have -- would you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. May we have the appearances, please,
10 starting with the Prosecution.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted for
12 the Prosecution; joined by Case Manager, Thomas Laugel; and our intern,
13 Simona Onicel.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
17 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Could the next witness be brought in,
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Witness. First of all, can you
23 hear me in a language you understand?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot hear any interpretation.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. I'll repeat the question. Can you hear me
2 in a language you understand?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
5 Could you please tell us your name, and your date of birth.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Aleksandar Vasiljevic, the
7 8th of July, 1938.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Vasiljevic. You are about to make
9 the solemn declaration by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the
10 truth. I must point out to you that by doing so, you expose yourself to
11 the penalties of perjury should you give false or untruthful information
12 to the Tribunal.
13 Could I now ask you to make the solemn declaration the usher will
14 give to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. Please be seated.
20 Mr. Olmsted, your witness.
21 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Examination by Mr. Olmsted:
23 Q. Good morning, General Vasiljevic.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. I want to begin by asking you a few questions about your written
2 Did you provide a written statement to the ICTY Office of the
3 Prosecution which you signed on the 19th of April, 2013?
4 A. I did.
5 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 6444 on e-court.
6 Q. General, can you confirm that this is your statement.
7 A. I can.
8 Q. Now prior to testifying here today, did you have an opportunity
9 to review this statement?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. And during proofing this past weekend, did you identify a few
12 corrections to this statement?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. And I would like to go through those corrections at this point.
15 If we could turn to paragraph 14 of your statement. And actually I'd
16 like to turn to the end of this paragraph which deals with general
17 structural issues. And I'm interested only in the last sentence of this
18 paragraph, which is an incomplete sentence. Says, "In response" -- I'm
19 sorry, it says, "In practice, the secretary ...," and then it doesn't
20 continue on from there. Can we just delete the sentence, General?
21 A. Yes, we can because the continuation doesn't really matter, who
22 General Kadijevic contacted directly.
23 Q. And if we could turn to paragraph 52 of the statement which in
24 the English version, is on page 19. General, the second sentence reads:
25 "In response, the Serbian population in Croatia began to arm
1 themselves in an organised manner in the latter part of 1991, albeit to a
2 lesser degree than the Croats."
3 Can you be more precise as to when in 1991 the Serb population
4 began arming themselves in an organised manner?
5 A. This is about arming in organised fashion. That was not in the
6 latter half of 1991 but, rather, in the first half of that year, after
7 the session of the Presidency of the SFRY that took place on the
8 12th of March, 1991.
9 Q. And if we could now turn to paragraph 134 of the statement, and
10 this is on page 49 of the English version. And, General, this is not a
11 correction for you but, rather, for -- for the record and for the
12 Trial Chamber.
13 With regard to this paragraph, we would like to revise the
14 reference to 65 ter Exhibit 456, and make it a reference, instead, to
15 65 ter Exhibit 443. Exhibit 443 is an identical version of Exhibit 456
16 and it has already been admitted into evidence as P1727.
17 If we could turn to paragraph 138. This is on page 50 of the
18 English version. General Vasiljevic, this paragraph relates to a meeting
19 you attended with General Kadijevic. Could you let us now, do you have a
20 clarification to make with regard to this particular meeting?
21 A. Yes, I do. I stated in my statement that I was in Vukovar five
22 times, and one of those visits to Vukovar was the one on the
23 16th of November. However, I didn't go to Vukovar on that occasion
24 because the meeting with General Kadijevic and the generals in the field
25 did not take place in Vukovar but, rather, in Dalj. So I was in Vukovar
1 four times in fact, and once I was at Dalj.
2 Q. Could you give us the names of the other participants in that
3 meeting other than you and General Kadijevic.
4 A. With General Kadijevic, there was the inner circle of the staff.
5 And from the field, there were the local commanders:
6 General Zivota Panic; General Mandaric, the commander of the TO; General
7 Biorcevic, the commander of the Novi Sad Corps; General Mico Delic, the
8 commander of the Guards Division; General -- or, at the time he was still
9 a colonel, Mrksic, commander of the Guard Brigade and commander of
10 OG South.
11 These are the persons that I remember having attended the
12 meeting. I don't think there were any others.
13 MR. OLMSTED: If we could turn to paragraph 165 which, in the
14 English version, is on page 60.
15 Q. And, General, this is a paragraph that relates to the collection
16 centres in Serbia. And about midway through the statement, it states
17 that on 16 December 1991 that you toured Stajicevo and Begejci collection
18 centres; is that correct? Did you tour both collection centres on that
20 A. No. On the 16th of December, I went to Stajicevo with
21 General Simon Timunov [phoen], and the security organs from the operative
22 team who did operational work at the collection centres briefed us. They
23 also reported about the work with the detained persons there and at
24 Begejci. I did not go to Begejci, though, but I have notes about it. I
25 was at Stajicevo but I did not go to Begejci.
1 Q. And could you clarify who was the head of the operative team at
3 A. The operative team of the security organ at Stajicevo was headed
4 by Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic.
5 Q. And was Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic present during your tour of
7 A. He was at Stajicevo at the time.
8 Q. If we could go to paragraph 167. This is on the next page, page
9 61. And we see midway through the paragraph, it reads:
10 "There were a total of 1.300 Croat prisoners held at this
12 Could you tell us which facility you are referring to?
13 A. The facility is the collection centre at Sremska Mitrovica.
14 Q. And if we can go to paragraph 168, which begins the bottom of
15 page 61 and, actually, I'm interested in -- towards the end of the
16 paragraph on page 62.
17 And, General, this is another correction that I don't need any
18 answer from you. It's for the record.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, there is a typographical error in the
20 English version of the last sentence. The last name of the individual
21 referenced in the last sentence should be "Cvek," C-v-e-k, rather than
22 "Crk," C-r-k.
23 Q. Finally, if we could turn to paragraph 169, which is on page 62
24 of the English. General Vasiljevic, in this paragraph you describe a
25 meeting that you attended at the Sremska Mitrovica KP Dom with
1 Goran Hadzic and his delegation. And you provide the date of that
2 meeting as 10 December 1991. Is that the correct date of that meeting?
3 A. The persons mentioned from the SAO really were at the collection
4 centre of Sremska Mitrovica on the 10th of December.
5 However, on that day, I did not contact these persons. I had no
6 contact with them because, on that day, I took part in the exchange of a
7 group of detained persons from the Sremska Mitrovica collection centre.
8 That group -- in that group, there was Vesna Bosanac. In other words, I
9 wasn't at the collection centre on that day. The conversation I had was
10 with Colonel Jugoslav Maksimovic, who was head of the operative team.
11 When I reviewed my notebooks, I established that on the
12 13th of October, 1991, I was at the Sremska Mitrovica collection centre
13 where the military prosecutor called a meeting with the security organ
14 from the operative team, and my contact with Goran Hadzic and those other
15 persons, according to my notes, took place on the 13th of December.
16 That would be a correction of this text.
17 Q. So this paragraph relates to your meeting with Goran Hadzic on
18 the 13th of December; is that correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And we will talk about the meeting on the 10th of December later
21 on during your testimony.
22 But with the corrections and clarifications that we have just
23 made to your statement, are you satisfied that the information is
24 accurate and correct?
25 A. It is correct and accurate to the extent my memory is. I
1 refreshed it by reviewing my notes from the time. So I stand by this
3 Q. And you were asked about these matters contained in your
4 statement, would you provide the same answers?
5 A. On the whole, essentially it would -- it would tally with what is
6 written here.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, at this point, we would like to
8 tender in --
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we clarify what does it mean "essentially"?
11 MR. OLMSTED: Certainly.
12 Q. General Vasiljevic, could you clarify that? As this is a
13 important part of admitting your statement into evidence, what did you
14 mean essentially your answers would be the same?
15 A. This statement is 60-odd pages long. Now, whoever expects that I
16 can recite all this by heart, word for word, I don't think anybody could
17 do that. But I said that the essential matters which I'm -- because of
18 which I'm here to testify, I stand by, and there are no problems with
20 And, for the record and in order to avoid any confusion, I stand
21 by my statement fully, and if I were to be asked any questions about
22 these elements, I would give the same answers.
23 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, at this time the Prosecution would
24 tender into evidence 65 ter Exhibit 6444, under seal, and we've already
25 uploaded a redacted version of the witness's statement as
1 65 ter Exhibit 6444.1 for the reasons specified in the underlying motion
2 with regard to this statement.
3 There are also a number of associated exhibits, several which
4 have already been admitted into evidence, including some recently and we
5 would seek the unadmitted ones to be admitted into evidence.
6 And finally with regard to one of the associated exhibits, it's
7 65 ter 495, it's incorrectly indicated on the exhibit list as not being
8 subject to protective measures. It is in fact subject to protective
9 measures as it falls within the redacted portions of this witness's
10 statement. And therefore we ask that that exhibit be tendered under
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: You have all that, Madam Registrar? Then we can
13 admit and mark them.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The statement will become
15 Exhibit P2913 and the redacted version is P2913.1.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. OLMSTED:
18 Q. General Vasiljevic, although it's covered in your statement, just
19 for the record, if you could please provide your rank as well as the
20 position you held in the 1991/1992 time-period.
21 A. I was Major-General of the Yugoslav People's Army at the time,
22 and I was a chief of the intelligence administration -- or --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction:
24 Security Administration of the JNA.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. And as chief of the Security Administration, who was your
2 immediate superior?
3 A. The federal secretary of national defence,
4 General Veljko Kadijevic.
5 Q. I will now ask you a series of questions that clarify, expand
6 upon a number of matters that are raised in your written statement. And,
7 first of all, in paragraphs 42 to 46 of your statement, you describe the
8 JNA's jurisdiction over crimes and disciplinary infractions and I would
9 like to -- you to look at a few documents that may shed further light on
10 this particular issue.
11 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on e-court, 65 ter 407. This is
12 tab 77.
13 Q. And this is a report by the security organ of the guards
14 Motorised Brigade to the security organ of the SSNO dated
15 12 October 1991. If we can could just turn to the last page for a
16 moment? General, could you tell us, who drafted this report?
17 A. This report is handwritten by, as we can see at the end,
18 Captain First Class Mladen Karan, who was assistant for
19 counter-intelligence in the security section of the guards brigade at the
20 head of which there was Major Sljivancanin.
21 Q. Could you explain to us why this report would be submitted
22 directly to the SSNO?
23 A. I think that you were not precise when you said who this report
24 was submitted to. It was not submitted directly to the SSNO. There was
25 a procedure in place and according to that procedure it was submitted to
1 the chief of the security organ in the office of the federal secretary of
2 national defence. The Guards Brigade was not subordinated to
3 General Kadijevic but rather to the head of his office who, at the time,
4 was General Vuk Obradovic. In the office to which the brigade was
5 subordinated, there is a security section so that the chief of security
6 at brigade level and his deputy, this captain first class, submitted the
7 report not to the Security Administration but rather to the chief of
8 security at the secretary's office.
9 Q. Thank you for that clarification. If we could turn to page 2 of
10 the original, page 1 of the English.
11 The author of this report discusses the work of the security
12 organs in interviewing captured members of the ZNG regarding the
13 situation within their formation. And if we look towards the bottom of
14 the page in both versions he writes:
15 "Also being verified is the information on individual who took
16 part in the crimes against the local population and JNA members and whose
17 actions can be qualified as war crimes."
18 He then writes:
19 "Other prisoners are handed over to the local organs of authority
20 after identification, in other words, to the Territorial Defence Staff
21 and the police force for further steps to be taken."
22 First, General, when it's referred to as "other prisoners," do
23 you read that as referring to prisoners of war?
24 A. Well, there are no other prisoners. There are prisoners and
25 there are detainees. These are prisoners, that is to say, person who
1 were in paramilitary units and other than illegal units of the
2 Republic of Croatia, and, well, this is a rather lengthy text, but the
3 essence of the question is: How this selection was carried out of these
4 persons who were arrested. Security organs interviewed the person who
5 had been taken prisoner. As far as can I see here, they singled out 25
6 persons as suspected of having committed either crimes or actually the
7 crime of armed rebellion, according to the laws that were then in force.
8 These persons remained under the jurisdiction of the military organs.
9 These other persons who did not have such status were handed
10 over, as far as I know now, to a type of collections centre that the
11 Territorial Defence had at the Velepromet facility.
12 One of the main persons there was some Ljubinko. Maybe I will
13 remember his last name. As for a these other persons, these 25,
14 according to procedure, they were supposed to be handed over to the
15 collection centre in Begejci that dealt with the problem of persons who
16 had taken part in the armed rebellion and who had been suspected of
17 having committed crimes.
18 Q. Could you tell us under the procedures that existed back in 1991,
19 when was it appropriate to turn over prisoners of war to the local
21 A. At that time, there were TO units of the SAO Slavonia. They had
22 their staff in Vukovar. And since these were person who had been taken
23 prisoner, they had to be put up somewhere for the purposes of further
24 procedure. For security organs, it was persons who were suspected of
25 having committed more serious crimes were of interest. As far as I know,
1 they stayed at this collection centre in Velepromet.
2 Now what the procedure was later followed in respect of them, I
3 don't know. I imagine that they were also subjected to some kind of a
4 triage, and I assume that some persons were released and also some were
5 used for exchanges at the time. Because, at these local levels, in the
6 first stage, there were exchanges that were not in accordance with the
7 orders of the Federal Secretariat for a national defence and then
8 General Blagoje Adzic wrote a special order prohibiting local exchanges
9 because at the federal secretary for national defence there was a special
10 organ for the civilian sector. That's what it was called. And it was
11 headed by General Nikola Pujic and he was the assistant federal secretary
12 for the civilian section. Within his organisational unit a special
13 commission had been set up for the exchange of detained and imprisoned
14 persons in order to prevent these local exchanges that were at brigade
15 level or at even lower levels, with -- so these exchanges with local
16 commanders of the other side an order was issued that this be halted and
17 that things be done in accordance with the regulations that I referred to
18 just now.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this document be admitted into
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2914, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. General, since you raised the issue of exchanges, if we could
1 have 65 ter 5999 on the e-court. This is tab 214.
2 This is a memorandum from the 12th Corps, committee for
3 monitoring cease-fire date 30 September 1991. And if I could focus your
4 attention on the second paragraph, it is reported that a meeting was held
5 in Klisa with a three-member EU mission which was attended by
6 Colonel Boro Ivanovic, Colonel Vujica Rakicevic and two ministers of --
7 from the SBWS government on the Serb side and then a former
8 lieutenant-colonel on the Croatian side.
9 And the topic was exchanges of those captured. You referred to a
10 moment ago a procedure that existed before exchange was regulated by the
11 SSNO. Is this an example of that?
12 A. Yes. This is an illustration of what you referred to just now.
13 Here, we can see that other part that I spoke of a moment ago, and that
14 is to say that two representatives of the SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and
15 Western Srem took part in this exchange too; which is to say that they
16 had -- well, shall I put it this way, their own prisoners too who went
17 for an exchange because these were only prisoners who were under the
18 jurisdiction and control of the JNA. There wouldn't have been any need
19 for these persons to take part in this, unless they had some prisoners of
20 their own. And, in practice, on the ground, that is what happened;
21 namely, that the Territorial Defence had a collection centre of their own
22 and a location where they kept persons who were prisoners and who they
23 interrogated and who could then go for exchanges and follow judicial or
24 other procedures.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2915, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. OLMSTED:
5 Q. General, I want to return to the issue of jurisdiction over
7 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could have on e-court Exhibit P1865.1.
8 This is tab 134.
9 Q. This is an information report from the SSNO Security
10 Administration dated 26 May 1992. General, were you still head of the
11 Security Administration when this report was issued?
12 A. I was not. I was pensioned off on the 8th of May, 1992. I see
13 here the form of this information that does match the form of documents
14 that were in place at the time when I was head of the administration.
15 Q. If we could turn to page 3 in both versions. And if we could
16 focus in on the -- I believe it's the fourth paragraph. It's the one
17 with the exclamation points in the margin. And there's reference to a
18 Security Administration report dated 26 October 1991. And from the
19 paragraphs above that, we can see that that report pertain to crimes
20 committed in Lovas during this period. Could you tell us, what report
21 are they referring to?
22 A. There 's a reference here to something that was written on the
23 26th of October. However, I remember for sure that the information that
24 was compiled about the crimes in the village of Lovas that was submitted
25 for nine persons: Four generals at the SSNO, commander of the
1 Territorial Defence of Serbia, the Ministry of Defence of Serbia, and the
2 Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, and the attorney-general for the JNA,
3 at that time it was Mladen Papic. This information was strictly
4 confidential 590 and this was the 25th of October. I received the first
5 information - if I'm supposed to speak about that now - about what
6 happened -- or, rather, what was established later to have been a crime
7 in the village of Lovas. On the 23rd or 24th of October, I think, the
8 chief of security at the 1st Military District, and this, as far as I can
9 see on this page, this is a survey of all the cases that had occurred and
10 that had to do with war crimes. And specifically with regard to this
11 passage here, there is a reference to -- actually not all the persons
12 that this information was submitted to had been mentioned, the
13 under-secretary of the SDB for the MUP of Serbia, and it was submitted to
14 the minister of the interior, this information of the 25th, that I
15 referred to just now.
16 And, also, it just says here that it was submitted to three
18 Q. Did you submit -- or did the SSNO Security Administration submit
19 this report to the civilian prosecutor in Serbia?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Why not?
22 A. First of all, because it was submitted to the military prosecutor
23 of the JNA, and he was fully informed about this event. Although he
24 thought that the civilian prosecutor should have been informed -- or,
25 rather, had he believed that it was necessary to inform the civilian
1 prosecutor, he would have done so through official channels. However,
2 the important thing is that the information was submitted to the organs
3 of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia that also have
4 certain obligations vis-a-vis the Office of the Prosecutor in Serbia.
5 So in that information there is a reference to four military
6 persons and eight civilian persons for a whom it was actually the MUP of
7 Serbia that had jurisdiction.
8 Q. As a general practice, did the JNA security organs file criminal
9 reports directly with civilian prosecutors?
10 A. No.
11 Q. If we could go to page 2 of this report. In the first paragraph,
12 the report states that the JNA security organs gathered operative and
13 other information on serious criminal acts committed by volunteer
14 formations who were, for the most part, on the strength of the SBWS TO.
15 The report then states that these crimes were generally only
16 registered and only partially documented and provides as -- as one
17 explanation for this the "non-existence of the legally enforceable
19 How do you interpret that, "the non-existence of the legally
20 enforceable jurisdiction."
21 A. I don't know what the question is ...
22 Q. Yes. I'll repeat it then.
23 Can you see where it says in this first paragraph that -- they
24 explain that they only partially documented some of these crimes? And
25 only registered them? And then it provides as one of the bases for this
1 that there was a non-existence of the legally enforceable jurisdiction.
2 And my question is: Could you explain what is meant by that, the
3 "non-existence of the legally enforceable jurisdiction"?
4 A. Yes, I see that here in e-court. Now, what is all this about?
5 Organs of military security, organs of the military police and other
6 official organs, at any level, objectively have jurisdiction in terms of
7 crimes that the military court is in charge of. And that is chapter 25
8 of the then-Criminal Code.
9 So all powers and the entire procedure is enforced in terms of
10 perpetrators who fall under military courts. If these are crimes that
11 the military court is not in charge of and if they find out the crime had
12 been committed that a crime that a civilian court is supposed to deal
13 with, then, in accordance to general legal provisions, they were supposed
14 to secure the scene, collect at least initial knowledge -- information
15 and inform either the military prosecutor or the military commander, and
16 then he provides information to the persons who have territorial
17 jurisdiction; namely, that they should take over these cases and fully
18 follow the procedure involved. That is why there is their note of theirs
19 that this is partially documented. However, it was submitted. Rather,
20 this information was submitted to the MUPs in the territory that were in
22 And I can give several examples now, but let me not take up too
23 much of your time. Say, the 28th of November, where the organs of the
24 military police at the farm in Lovas found 20-something corpses, some of
25 which had been massacred, and they immediately documented this by
1 photographs and informed the MUP, so that they could follow the full
2 procedure because there was nothing that indicated that it was military
3 personnel who had committed that crime. It was perpetrators unknown that
4 were involved.
5 Q. And if the perpetrators are unknown, who has jurisdiction over
6 that crime?
7 A. Well, I would say that both sides are informed. That is to say,
8 both sides have to work on that, namely, to search for the perpetrators
9 who are unknown. However, if the said crime is under the jurisdiction of
10 the civilian authorities, then, it is the organs of the civilian sector
11 that should pursue the matter. Military organs can co-operate from a
12 certain point of view; namely, if there are several indications that a
13 military person had committed the crimes involved.
14 Q. And if we read further on an in this paragraph, it states:
15 "All information was immediately passed on to the local organs of
16 government, the organs of internal affairs of the Republic of Serbia, and
17 the military legal organs."
18 With regard to crimes committed by paramilitaries who were under
19 the strength of the SBWS TO, was that the general practice?
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would object to the question in the last
22 sentence. Because it is a leading question and there is no foundation
23 laid for the paramilitaries under the strength of the SBWS.
24 MR. OLMSTED: I was actually referring to -- further above this
25 passage, it does mention serious committed by volunteer formations who
1 were for the most part on the strength of the SBWS TO.
2 And my question is simply whether it was the general practice for
3 the security organs to submit information regarding these kind of crimes
4 to the local organs of authority.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: You still object, Mr. Zivanovic?
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. OLMSTED:
9 Q. General Vasiljevic, do you understand the question?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 And these local territorial organs were informed because then,
12 when this happened, there was a local police station, there was a staff
13 of the Territorial Defence of the SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and
14 Western Srem.
15 Q. And I think you touched on this briefly, but what was the
16 procedure if a criminal report that was within the civilian court's
17 jurisdiction was filed with the military prosecutor's office? Was there
18 a process that it went through?
19 A. There is co-operation too, but, first, and foremost there is this
20 obligation on the part of the prosecutor's office and other state organs.
21 Namely, that if they receive information for which they establish that
22 they do not have jurisdiction, then they should forward that information
23 to the organ that is in charge. So the military prosecutor receives
24 information that he does not have jurisdiction for because it's not
25 chapter 25, that is to say, crimes against the armed forces, then he
1 hands over this information to the court or the prosecutor or some other
2 state organ and that was in charge. And it works the other way around
4 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have D17.1 on the screen. This is
5 tab 135.
6 Q. And this is an analysis by the State Security Department,
7 Belgrade, of information received from SSNO Security Administration dated
8 27 May 1992, and this appears to be in relation to the document we just
9 looked at.
10 And if we look under item 1, it's relating to the crimes
11 committed in Lovas in October 1991. And if we could turn the page in
12 both versions, we see at the end of the paragraph, item 1, it states --
13 or it concludes:
14 "We think that the military prosecutor would have the authority
15 for the possible criminal procedure against these persons."
16 That is, the -- the perpetrators of the crimes in Lovas. Do you
17 agree with that conclusion, General?
18 A. I could not agree with that because, as for this incident, first
19 of all, it was members of a paramilitary organisation that were involved,
20 Dusan Silni. Before that, they committed other crimes, too, in addition
21 to the one that is referred to here. Also they were suspected of having
22 taken part in this in a certain way. It was four military persons who
23 were suspects.
24 I filed criminal reports against these four to the military
25 prosecutor for the JNA. However, since there were eight other civilians
1 here from the paramilitary detachment Dusan Silni, it was only natural
2 that since these were civilians and the victims were civilians, it was
3 only natural that civilian organs should also initiate a procedure with
4 regard to the matter.
5 Afterward there could be co-ordination between the two
6 prosecutors who is actually supposed to act, because preceding could be
7 brought before a military court, too, if there is responsibility of these
8 four military persons and also jurisdiction can be transferred so that
9 civilians could be tried before a military court as well and it works the
10 other way around too. If the civilian court would be trying all of these
11 people, then in some occasions the law allows for military personnel to
12 be tried before civilian courts too. I read this information. The first
13 information that you showed me, that military information, where there is
14 a reference to all the crimes that were committed in the territory for a
15 certain period of time. Now this, what I'm being shown now is a MUP
16 document and there is an analysis here. It doesn't say who this was
17 submitted to. At any rate, I shall take the liberty of saying that this
18 is a case of shifting blame or avoiding any situation where one would be
19 held guilty. They say, Well, it was the military, it was the army that
20 was in charge of all that. Whereas, they provide a description of events
21 that show that civilians were responsible too. And now there is the
22 question immediately as to why these four military personnel immediately
23 faced proceedings before a military court of law whereas those who,
24 indeed, took part in these killings and in the mistreatment of civilians,
25 torture of civilians. Before this incident in Lovas, they were not
1 arrested at all and they were not part of any kind of judicial procedure
2 until this case was reopened before the court in Belgrade.
3 Q. And that case that was reopened in the court in Belgrade, do you
4 recall exactly when that was, what year?
5 A. I think it's an adjudicated case and it was in 2007 or 2008.
6 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, if we could go into private session.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 7902-7904 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 MR. OLMSTED:
4 Q. General, just to wrap of the issue of jurisdiction over crimes.
5 Could you tell us --
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: One moment.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Oh.
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 MR. OLMSTED: I apologise, Your Honours.
11 Q. Just to wrap up the issue, General, of jurisdiction over crimes.
12 Could you tell us just briefly what was the effect of a declaration of an
13 immediate threat of war on the JNA's jurisdiction over crimes?
14 A. As far as I remember, the declaration of an immediate threat of
15 war was made in early October 1991. I believe it was the 3rd of October.
16 I dare not to interpret what changes and what comes into effect
17 once such a declaration is made. But I know what happened. In late
18 August and early September, the JNA was supposed to release a large
19 number of soldiers or -- serving their mandatory military service.
20 Q. I apologise for interrupting you, General. In fact, I might want
21 to come back to this issue of mobilisation later on, but I really just
22 want to focus on jurisdictional issue, criminal jurisdiction issues.
23 And my question is simply: With a declaration of an immediate
24 threat of war, did that have any impact on the JNA's criminal
1 A. No.
2 Q. And under the criminal procedures that would exist during an
3 immediate threat of war, how long could a criminal suspect be detained
4 without a court order?
5 A. Under normal circumstances in peacetime, people could be detained
6 up to 24 hours. Under the -- in some cases up to 72 hours.
7 Under extraordinary conditions and when the state of war is
8 declared, some more stringent rules applied. In 1991, no decree had been
9 passed changing the previous status regarding the authorities and powers
10 of official organs. So detention could last up to 72 hours.
11 This boils down to the fact that the -- the -- the --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. I apologise, General Vasiljevic, but we're going to need you to
15 repeat the last bit of your answer because the interpreters did not pick
16 it up. And perhaps speak a little bit slower so that they can catch it.
17 A. I'll do my best. The extraordinary circumstances in this -- that
18 situation of the immediate threat of war had no repercussions with
19 respect to the change of the legal provisions in force in peacetime. In
20 extraordinary circumstances, especially in war time these authorities can
21 be transferred and detention could be extended up to 30 days. When the
22 state of war is declared, with respect to the aggression in Kosovo, the
23 security organs had the power to detain persons up to 30 days. This was
24 based on a special decree.
25 However, in this case, no other decree was passed except the one
1 about general mobilisation.
2 Q. Beginning at paragraph 69 of your statement, you describe
3 information that was available to the Security Administration concerning
4 various Serb volunteer and paramilitary units that were operating in the
5 SBWS region in 1991 and 1992.
6 And I'd like to show you a couple of reports to see if you can
7 assist in authenticating them.
8 MR. OLMSTED: And, Your Honour, I apologise, but I think this
9 should be done in private session as it does relate to matters that are
10 redact the in his statement.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 7908-7909 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, my next exhibit is a video, and I
13 think it's going to go beyond four minutes. Perhaps we can take our
14 break at this stage.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Olmsted.
16 General Vasiljevic, this is the time for our first break. We
17 take 30 minutes and come back at 11.00. The Court Usher will escort you
18 out of the courtroom. Thank you.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
23 MR. OLMSTED: While the witness is being brought in, may I state
24 for the record that we are joined by Alex Demirdjian. And may I also
25 state for the record that two weeks ago, Alex and Evelyn had a new
1 addition to their family. Their daughter Sarah was born.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Congratulations, Mr. Demirdjian. Two weeks ago,
3 you said? When was that exactly?
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, that's right, Your Honours. On the
5 20th of August.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just a few days after the birth of my fourth
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you for Mr. Olmsted for his kind words and
9 Your Honour's.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Olmsted.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. General Vasiljevic, before we resume, I will do my best not to
14 cut you off. However, if I feel that you are going beyond the scope of
15 my question, I might have to do that, just for the reason that I want to
16 make sure that I cover all of the material with you. I do not by any
17 means intends to be rude by doing so.
18 Let's return to your statement. Now, in paragraph 76 of your
19 statement, you discuss the Serbian Volunteer Guard Unit operating in the
20 SBWS under the command of Zeljko Raznjatovic. And according -- could you
21 tell us, according to the information that was available to the
22 Security Administration, to whom was Arkan's units subordinate?
23 A. Arkan's units -- unit, as far as Slavonia, Baranja, and
24 Western Srem is concerned, objectively speaking, was under the
25 jurisdiction of Radovan Stojicic, Badza.
1 It appeared in several places, and from time to time, some of the
2 military officers, commanders were in contact with him, like
3 General Biorcevic.
4 Q. And during this period, what position did Badza hold?
5 A. Badza, as a member of the MUP of Serbia, in 1991, was sent to
6 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem and he was, in fact, the commander of
7 all these local units in the territory of Baranja and Srem.
8 Q. Was he given a particular title within the SBWS?
9 A. Well, I don't know about any official title. But he was the
10 dominant person there who, in fact, had the greatest authority, authority
11 behind which the president of the Republic of Serbia stood. And he was a
12 man who had a decisive say for everything regarding these units. From
13 time to time, he took part in -- meetings with General Zivota Panic, and
14 some problems were being sorted out there.
15 Q. And did he have a relationship with regard to the SBWS TO?
16 A. Yes. He was in contact with Mr. Goran Hadzic too. Practically
17 he was the commander of all these units, but officially he was not
18 commander of the staff of the Territorial Defence in Vukovar 's
19 [indiscernible] Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. These were other
20 persons. He was a man who had his own staff, as far as I can remember,
21 in Borovo Naselje, and, in fact, all these units were subordinated to
22 him. So he had such power that he could remove people, move them from
23 one place to another, engage them, and so on.
24 Q. I would like to show you a series of video-clips this is
25 65 ter 4991.6. And the video-clip is quite short. It's only five
1 seconds. And it's, I think, page 1 of the transcript.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "You know that we are under the
4 command of the Territorial Defence of the Serb District of Slavonia,
5 Baranja, and Western Srem ..."
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. OLMSTED: First of all, in -- yes, if we could go back a
8 little bit, just a few clips, to show the person who had just spoke.
9 Q. Well, anyway, General Vasiljevic, we heard a person say:
10 "You know that we are under the command of the
11 Territorial Defence of the Serbian District of Slavonia, Baranja, and
12 Western Srem."
13 Here we have his image on the screen. Who is this?
14 A. That is Arkan Raznjatovic.
15 Q. And what Arkan stated to the interviewer, was that consistent
16 with information that the Security Administration had in 1991?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You also mention in paragraph 76 of your statement that several
19 members of the Serbian Volunteer Guard had criminal records.
20 MR. OLMSTED: If we could play the next clip, which is page 2 of
21 the English transcript.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "I remember when Arkan led me
24 through the dormitories and one of them he said there are over 250 years
25 of prison time in this room."
1 MR. OLMSTED:
2 Q. General, who was speaking just then?
3 A. That is the so-called Captain Dragan Vasiljkovic.
4 Q. And what he says about the criminal histories of members of
5 Arkan's unit, was that consistent with information that you had in 1991?
6 A. When we collected intelligence about who Arkan was, he had his
7 first group that consisted of about 20 persons. I think that they took
8 their oath at the Pokajnica church. We checked the names that we had,
9 and these were persons who had, according to the information that we had
10 then, 102 years of prison time. Obviously since Captain Dragan was in a
11 bigger dormitory, it turned out to be over 200 years of prison time.
12 Q. General, in paragraph 77 of your statement you describe seeing
13 General Biorcevic, commander of the Novi Sad Corps, on television
14 praising Arkan.
15 MR. OLMSTED: And I would like to start the next video-clip at
16 52 minutes and 4 seconds. This is page 4 of the English transcript.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "... encirclements and in smaller
19 enclaves Mr. Arkan, the commander of the Serbian Volunteer Guard, acted
20 very neatly, wisely and in a planed fashion.
21 "Narrator: Certain generals understood the message. Among them,
22 the first was the commander of the Novi Sad Corps, Andrija Biorcevic.
23 "General Biorcevic: What Arkan told you, whom I consider a just
24 and honourable Serb, he was rich even before the war. In this war, he
25 had lost more than he had gained. Where is your wound? Show it.
1 Serbian hero. Look at his finger. Which one is it? See what it looks
2 like. I tell him, Go and have it treated. And he replies, I'm with
4 MR. OLMSTED:
5 Q. General, who was -- can you confirm who was speaking on the stage
6 during the clip?
7 A. That was General Biorcevic, commander of the Novi Sad Corps.
8 Q. And how was what he was saying during this segment compared to
9 what your yourself had heard General Biorcevic state?
10 A. Well, what he said speaks most tellingly of what
11 General Biorcevic was like himself. He glorifies Arkan and practically
12 he was never his subordinate directly. Maybe he did carry out operations
13 in the area of his operations group. I mean, the way in which he spoke
14 speaks tellingly and sufficiently about him himself.
15 As far as I can see, he is a lieutenant-colonel general at the
16 time, so that may be after the Vukovar operations.
17 Q. And if we can look at one more segment which is going to begin at
18 58 minutes and 35 seconds. Before the break, you were mentioning Arkan
19 and his units' involvement in smuggling.
20 MR. OLMSTED: If we can play this clip.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 MR. OLMSTED: And this is page 6 of the English transcript.
23 Perhaps we could go back and start it again.
24 [Video-clip played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Each time the Serb Volunteer Guard
1 returned from Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina, apart
2 from APCs and tanks there was also a large number of container lorries in
3 the column and that was their characteristic. It had to do with
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. General who was just speaking there?
7 A. This was General Milovanovic, who was Chief of Staff for
8 General Mladic.
9 Q. And with regard to what General Milovanovic stated with regard to
10 the looting activities of Arkan in the RSK and RS, how did that compare
11 with information that the Security Administration had in 1991 and 1992?
12 A. Well, in the papers that we had the opportunity of seeing earlier
13 on, well, that is absolutely correct. Because of this awareness of
14 looting and taking this property out of the Krajina in 1992, I think it
15 was my second visit in Vukovar, I noticed that there were these units
16 that were stealing. We ordered that check-points be placed on the
17 periphery of the Krajina and when I returned at the toll point near
18 Belgrade, lots of stolen goods had already been taken out and everybody
19 was taking it all over the place. However, when these check-points were
20 placed on the exits out of the Krajina, Arkan was not prevented in doing
21 what he wanted to do because he took certain byways and managed to get
22 out with this stolen property. So he did have this image of constant
23 looting in the theatre of war.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may these series of video-clips be
25 admitted into evidence.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: That is under -- under one number, Mr. Olmsted.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Yes. We combined all those clips into one --
5 one -- one document.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2916, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. OLMSTED:
9 Q. General, in paragraph 134 of your statement, you discuss the
10 Leva Supoderica and the Petrova Gora detachments which were operating in
11 Vukovar in 1991.
12 Can you tell us, to whom were these two detachments subordinate?
13 A. They were subordinate to the staff of the Territorial Defence in
15 Q. At some time, were they -- at some point in time, were they
17 A. Yes. During some combat operations, they were resubordinated,
18 practically to Operations Group South, or specifically to
19 Assault Detachment 1 in General Mrksic's order for attack. He was
20 commander of Operations Group South.
21 Q. And if you know, for how long were they resubordinated to
22 Operations Group South?
23 A. He were -- they were resubordinated during the operations that
24 were taking place. Apart from those operations, practically they were
25 not under the command of the operation group, so while combat operations
1 were underway and within the tasks issued through this order.
2 Afterwards, they would return to their original unit.
3 Q. When these detachments were not participating in a combat
4 operation, to whom did they report?
5 A. I don't know whether they reported to anyone, but it was the
6 staff of the Territorial Defence that had jurisdiction over them. They
7 admitted them as one of their units.
8 Q. In paragraph 134 of your statement, you mentioned that some
9 members of these units, or the volunteer units operating in Vukovar, were
10 committing crimes.
11 MR. OLMSTED: If we could look at 65 ter 532. This is tab 88.
12 Q. And what we have in front of us is a periodical operations report
13 of the OB Guards Motorised Brigade to the SSNO Security Administration.
14 And if we can scroll up a bit, we can see that it's dated
15 7 November 1992.
16 And if we could go to the bottom of -- of the page in the
17 original. And page 2 of the English --
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I think the year is incorrect.
20 MR. OLMSTED: That's -- thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Yes, the date
21 is 7 November 1991.
22 Q. And if we can look at the bottom page of the original and page 2
23 of -- of the English version, the report states:
24 "With regards the Vukovar operation, the Serbian nationalistic
25 and the Chetnik propaganda are taking on a serious dimension which, in
1 its breadth, outstrips by far the results in combat of the volunteer
2 groups and the members of the paramilitary units. The nationalistic and
3 ideological symbols, nationalistic songs, the speeches of
4 Vojislav Seselj, the liquidation of POWs by Chetniks, et cetera, are all
5 unjustifiably tolerated."
6 Given the date of this document, 7 November 1991, who -- who had
7 the responsibility to investigate these liquidations and, for that
8 matter, any other crimes committed by these groups?
9 A. I have already explained that if these were crimes that belonged
10 to the jurisdiction of the military courts, then the procedure was
11 supposed to be carried out by the military organs. Otherwise, if the
12 crimes committed did not fall under this chapter then it was the civilian
13 organs in the territory that were in charge. Everyone who had
14 information about such things takes place was supposed to make the
15 authorities aware of what was happening so that proceedings could be
16 initiated. So this is information that was sent to the chief of security
17 in the office of the federal secretary for national defence.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I understand that this document is --
19 is pending admission into evidence, so I won't tender it at this time.
20 If we could have on -- on the screen, 65 ter 680. This is
21 tab 110.
22 Q. General, what we have in front of us is a pass dated
23 22 November 1991. And if we look at the upper right-hand corner of the
24 document, we see reference to the -- I'm sorry, the upper left-hand
25 corner, we see reference to the Vukovar Municipal Territorial
1 Defence Staff. First of all, before which get into this document, could
2 you tell us just generally what was the purpose and role of a TO Staff?
3 A. TO Staffs in the territory of Western Slavonia had under their
4 jurisdiction local units of the Territorial Defence. So they had a
5 command function in respect of these units in the area of their
7 So practically, to simplify matters, these were military commands
8 that had subordinate units.
9 Q. And in the SBWS, who appointed the TO Staffs?
10 A. I could say what the regulation said. At the beginning of my
11 testimony, I said that the appointment of the commander of territorial
12 staff of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem was supposed to be verified
13 by a final decision of the Presidency of the SFRY. However, as far as I
14 know, that was never done. Now who appointed these staffs here? It
15 could have been the government of the the SAO Krajina, Western Srem, that
16 territory. I've already explained that an important influence over
17 everything that happened there was exercised by Radovan Stojicic, Badza,
18 with his command post in Dalj.
19 Q. If we could turn now to this -- this document, this pass that was
20 issued on the 22nd of November, 1991.
21 Could you tell us, what does this document indicate to you with
22 regard to the command and control over the Leva Supoderica detachment?
23 A. On this document, one cannot see that it is just
24 Milan Lancuzanin. Down there it says that someone signed on his behalf.
25 He was either absent at that moment or perhaps he transferred this
1 authority that somebody could sign on his behalf. However it clearly
2 states "commander of the detachment," and we know that it is
3 Leva Supoderica, and it says Milan Lancuzanin.
4 Now, within the framework of what I said previously, up here we
5 see that this detachment belongs to the Serb District of Slavonia,
6 Baranja, and Western Srem and that this is the municipal staff of the TO
7 in Vukovar. That is confirmation of who these units on the ground were
8 subordinated to.
9 Q. And do you know by 22 November 1991, were there any combat
10 operations ongoing in Vukovar itself?
11 A. As far as I know, that was over.
12 Q. We see at the bottom of this document a stamp. Can you tell us
13 what kind of stamp that is?
14 A. It's a military stamp. It's the stamp of military post 4795.
15 That is the military post code of the Guards Brigade.
16 Q. Can you explain why a -- a JNA stamp would it be affixed to a
17 SBWS TO document?
18 A. I can make an assumption. They don't have stamps of their own,
19 when speaking of the Territorial Defence. Before this 22nd of November,
20 he was within that operations group of the 1st Assault Group of the
21 Operations Group South. Operations were over. That's the
22 22nd of November. They are releasing some of these persons. And now
23 these persons are returning their weapons. That is to say, they're being
24 dismissed from the units and they're returning their weapons. Probably
25 the weapons were received from this military post. And then that is
1 confirmed by these signatures here. If I can read this, it says major -
2 and I don't know whether it's a person by the name of Nikola - he
3 actually confirms that this rifle number such and such was received.
4 So this stamp was not used to confirm the right of this Djordje
5 to leave the Leva Supoderica Unit. Rather, that is a confirmation of him
6 receiving this rifle that the Guards Brigade had issued him with.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2319, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 MR. OLMSTED:
12 Q. In paragraph 144 of your statement you describe a report that you
13 received from Major Sljivancanin after the fall of Vukovar which you
14 found to be dissatisfactory.
15 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have P2001.1981 on e-court. This is
16 tab 114.
17 Q. And this is a report from the security organ of the
18 Guards Motorised Brigade to the SSNO Security Administration, dated
19 10 December 1991. And if we could turn to the last page. We can see
20 that it is signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Sljivancanin. General, do you
21 recognise this report?
22 A. Yes. It's a report which I requested from
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Sljivancanin after the cessation of hostilities in
24 Vukovar. I wanted a report about the activities of the security organ
25 during the Vukovar operation. This is the report he drafted and that is
1 why Sljivancanin submits it directly to the Security Administration
2 rather than to the chief of his section. Probably he did provide a copy
3 to Lieutenant-Colonel Dragan Djukic who was chief of his sector.
4 I criticise him in my statement too because he didn't deal with
5 the key counter-intelligence tasks. He mostly speaks about the combat in
6 Vukovar and points out some problems with the -- that they had with the
7 paramilitary units and the TO. I was not content with this report. I
8 replied to him that he had not given an account of counter-intelligence
10 Q. If we could turn to page 2 of this document. And towards the
11 bottom, at least of the English version, maybe it's more towards the
12 middle of the original version, Sljivancanin reports:
13 "The government of the SO of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem
14 are mostly to blame for this kind of behaviour and poor response. This
15 government appointed Territorial Defence Staff commanders who are neither
16 generally respected or valued by the people owing to their previous
17 services as well as appointing to high positions people who were corrupt
18 and tried and tested in dirty business and activities."
19 Is what Lieutenant-Colonel Sljivancanin is reporting here, is
20 that consistent with information that the Security Administration had?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. General, after the fall of Vukovar, what sort of crimes were
23 members of volunteer groups committing in Vukovar?
24 A. There was some quantity of information from the organs in the
25 field. I'm speaking about looting houses, the killing of individuals who
1 were characterises as Ustasha. That's what they called them. Then
2 Croats who would not leave Vukovar were persecuted, and these are mostly
3 the crimes I'm talking about.
4 I would like to add that TO units at that time were not
5 subordinated to the army because there were no more combat activities in
6 Vukovar. And that's what Sljivancanin writes about.
7 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 937 on e-court. This is
8 tab 119.
9 Q. What we have in front of us is a report on clearing up the
10 battle-field ground and restoring Vukovar and other endangered sectors
11 from the 1st Military District Command to the SSNO
12 Operations Administration for Logistics, and the date of the document is
13 20 February 1992.
14 If we could turn to page 12 of the original, page 19 of the
15 English. And if I can draw your attention to item (C), it reports:
16 "In December and January, the commission conducting clearance
17 located and identified fresh human bodies. This means that the
18 clandestine liquidation of people was being carried out in the town, with
19 atrocities being committed (slaughtering, burning, gun-shots to the
20 temple, homicide by using big-game hunting rifles, and other crimes)."
21 It then states that the security organs undertook immediate
22 measures to protect the population. General are you aware of what
23 measures, if any, were taken?
24 A. I cannot name any specific measures, but one of them was that the
25 security organs reported about individual killings to the security organ
1 of the 1st Military District and so on. Of the measures taken, which
2 started after the end of combat activities in Vukovar, which means on the
3 21st or 22nd of November, I drafted a report to the highest military
4 commanders, General Kadijevic and his assistants, about looting,
5 killings, expulsions of persons from their homes, and so on.
6 On the 27th of November, he ordered that an order be issued about
7 clearing up in all the zones where military units were present. A result
8 of that was an order of the Presidency of the SFRY, dated the
9 10th of December, 1991 about removing all paramilitaries and there was a
10 provision that in case any armed units were to remain there, which
11 conditions they had to comply with. This started happening around the
12 21st in the area of Vukovar.
13 Q. You referenced the 21st. Is that the 21st of December?
14 A. No. I mentioned that after the 21st of November, and if I said
15 December, I misspoke.
16 Q. You didn't misspeak. It simply wasn't clear to me on the record,
17 so I just wanted to clarify that.
18 Did you have a conversation with the head of the
19 1st Military District security organ, General Mile Babic, about
20 paramilitary crimes after the fall of Vukovar?
21 A. Yes, I did. As far as I remember now, on the 4th of December, I
22 went to the Novi Sad Corps' security organ. I saw
23 General Milic Jovanovic [phoen]. They were also active on the ground. I
24 was briefed about counter-intelligence matters, and he passed on his
25 information about the events on the ground. He mentioned killings,
1 persecution, and crimes committed in his zone.
2 I had not received such information from the chief of security of
3 the 1st Military District, although he had sent that information along
4 regular lines. When I returned to Belgrade, I went to see General Babic
5 and was briefed about the usual procedure concerning counter-intelligence
6 matters, and I also mentioned that I had information from the 24th Corps
7 which information never reached our administration. And then he replied
8 that they mostly were taking measures at the local level and obviously he
9 didn't consider it necessary to write to the Security Administration
10 about such information that was not about counter-intelligence.
11 Q. Did you find such a response by General Babic to be satisfactory?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Why not?
14 A. Because it was his duty to forward the information received from
15 the security organs at corps level, although they do not strictly belong
16 to the jurisdiction of the security organs; that is, killings, and
17 looting, and so on. Because there is a list of things that are part of a
19 However, these were important events that, first of all, the
20 commanders should be informed about so that they can pass such
21 information on. They can ask that a prosecutor become active. And on
22 the 20th of October, 1991, I got the first information from him about the
23 events at Lovas. I wasn't satisfied with the description of that event.
24 The information was incomplete. And then I asked for additional
25 information, only then was I able to draft a report for the SSNO and
2 Q. You mentioned at this meeting with the 12th Corps on the
3 4th of December that you were informed about a number of killings and
4 persecutions. Can you recall where those killings had taken place? Do
5 you recall the locations?
6 A. These were the villages of Sotin and Antin. These were the most
7 characteristic locations because the most people had been killed there;
8 19, 20, 21, persons, and the modus operandi was typical.
9 The security organs on the ground at corps level informed the
10 local organs of the MUP. They conducted an online --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: On-site
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The name of the person involved was
14 Zavicic, I believe, and they initiated the procedure to identify the
15 perpetrators. It didn't -- it wasn't limited to the description of the
16 events. And later on, the civilian organs did what they did and I don't
17 know how it ended. But our information came directly from the field, and
18 that can be seen from the previous document that he showed, the analysis
19 that was made for the organs of the MUP of Serbia. They were always
20 informed and somebody always conducted an on-site investigation and the
21 initial activities, as required.
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. You mentioned that around 19 to 21 persons were killed. What --
24 what were their ethnicity?
25 A. There were both Croats and Hungarians. According to the initial
1 information compiled by the security organs, that was preceded by placing
2 labels on their houses, saying that within 24 hours they had to leave the
3 village otherwise they would be removed by force. The ones who did not
4 leave were killed.
5 Q. Do you recall whether the perpetrators of these crimes were
7 A. According to the information the security organs were collecting,
8 they came up with a name, and they informed the on-site investigation
9 team of that. One person was suspected of having participated in that.
10 If I'm not mistaken, his last name was Gogic.
11 Q. Paragraph 171 of your statement, you discuss how Vesna Bosanac
12 was falsely accused of committing atrocities against Serbs who were at
13 the Vukovar Hospital.
14 MR. OLMSTED: If we could look at page 11 of the original and
15 page 18 of the English. If I could draw your attention to item (B). If
16 we could scroll over a little bit in the original so I can make sure we
17 have the right one in front of us. Scroll -- scroll over to -- to the
18 left. Yes. All right.
19 Q. And if we look under item (B) it is reported that:
20 "The case of the burning of bodies in the incinerator of
21 Vukovar Hospital and transplants of body parts was shown to be completely
22 unfounded. This report was the product of certain organs of ... SAO ...
23 Krajina, certain physicians from Vukovar Hospital, and part of the local
24 unobjective press."
25 How does that finding compare to the information obtained by the
1 security organs of the JNA?
2 A. The operative team of the security organs at Sremska Mitrovica,
3 and, among other things, they interviewed Vesna Bosanac, never mentioned
4 such allegations. Before she could be exchanged, she was interrogated by
5 an investigative magistrate of the Belgrade military court. They also
6 had at their disposal materials compiled by the operative team at
7 Sremska Mitrovica and they concluded that there was no foundation that
8 she committed such crimes and allowed her exchange.
9 What you have just read out is an authentic reproduction of what
10 the sanitation commission for the battle-field had stated.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2918, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 MR. OLMSTED:
16 Q. And related to this last issue that you have just testified
17 about, if we could have 65 ter 969 on the screen. This is tab 120.
18 This is an article from the "Novosti" periodical, entitled:
19 "Vesna Bosanac, Dr. Mengele, dated 6 March 1992." You had an opportunity
20 to review this article -- we could zoom in a little bit for him.
21 You had an opportunity to review this article during proofing.
22 How did the allegations against Ms. Bosanac in this article compared to
23 what you were reading in the press at the time.
24 A. I haven't now read the details of this article. I see that this
25 was published on the 4th of March, 1992, in "Vecernji Novosti." At that
1 time criminal proceedings were underway against me before the military
2 court, and one -- one of the charges was that I protected war criminals
3 and had them released. There were several such articles in "Politika"
4 and "Vecernje Novosti." They were about this Dr. Mengele who had cut
5 body parts off Serbian prisoners of war, and so on, and other nonsense.
6 It is clear that no amputations were ever made. In hospital safes, there
7 were only such limbs that were affected by gangrene. And at
8 Vukovar Hospital there were also four JNA members taken prisoner. One of
9 them was Corporal Sasa Petrovic, I think, and he a foot wound, because he
10 stepped on an anti-personnel mine. He was treated correctly and fairly
11 and remained in active service in the Army of Yugoslavia for a while
12 subsequently. And the other soldiers were also well treated medically.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2919, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. OLMSTED:
18 Q. General, I want to return to the issue of TO and volunteer units
19 operating in Vukovar after its fall.
20 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on e-court document P151. This is
21 tab 215.
22 Q. And this is a decision of the SBWS government dated
23 21 January 1992. And if I may draw your attention to the -- the very
24 first paragraph. It states that this discussion was issued at the
25 proposal of Colonel Ratko Ristic, assistant commander of the
1 Novi Sad Corps for civilian affairs. And if we look under item 1, the
2 decision authorises the 1st Military District to disband the unit led by
3 Kameni stationed in Vukovar, and under item 2 states that the
4 1st Military District Command may issue an order for the implementation
5 of item 1 after agreement with the SBWS Ministry of Interior regarding
6 the engagement of police forces of the Vukovar SUP for the joint
7 accomplishment of this task.
8 General, does this decision indicate anything to you with regard
9 to the relationship between the JNA and Kameni's unit after the fall of
11 A. I will probably have to give a lengthy introduction what this has
12 to do with. This has to do with an order about the disbanding of
13 paramilitary units. It's an order of the 10th of December. That was
14 preceded by an order by General Kadijevic on the 27th of November --
15 November. In that order by the commander of the 1st Military District,
16 it is specified what should happen with these territorial units, and the
17 unit of Miodrag Lancuzanin had to -- was supposed to join the
18 24th Novi Sad Corps. However, they didn't join that corps. They
19 remained behind in the territory. So volunteers and other territorial
20 units were still roaming the territory, and they did not subordinate to
21 the JNA, as was required by the regulations, and Arkan's unit was one of
22 them. General Zivota Panic ordered the security organ, Colonel Petkovic,
23 on the 28th of January, that he should see Radovan Stojicic, Badza, and
24 order him to remove Arkan's units from the terrain.
25 This is very telling about Stojicic's influence. He said that he
1 would carry out the order but that they were planning to establish some
2 sort of brigade of their own. Since Lancuzanin, with his units, was not
3 part of the 24th Corps but stay -- stayed behind in that territory, and
4 all the units had to be removed because of the crimes they had been --
5 that had been committed, what now follows is a funny -- is some funny
7 The government of the SAO allows the 1st Military District to
8 remove Kameni because he had become a nuisance. It would be logical to
9 submit a request to General Panic to do the job in the field considering
10 everything that is contained in various reports and Sljivancanin's report
11 about what was happening, who was really commanding and who was supposed
12 to command but didn't.
13 Q. I'm sorry, General, we might have missed the end of your answer
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The transcript reads:
17 "... Sljivancanin's report about what was happening, who was
18 really commanding and who was supposed to command but didn't."
19 Is that the end of your sentence?
20 A. Who was really supposed to -- who was supposed to command but
21 didn't. And the other way around: Who didn't command but was supposed
22 to. That was how I ended my sentence.
23 Q. Thank you. If these armed elements, Arkan's unit, the -- the
24 Leva Supoderica Unit under Kameni, if they were, in fact, subordinated to
25 the JNA, would General Panic have had to go through the SBWS government
1 and Badza to seek to remove these groups?
2 A. I'm going to put it very briefly and perhaps this is an unusual
3 way of speaking before this Court.
4 Heaven for bid that the commander ask some self-styled president,
5 self-styled districts to ask for approval what the military is going to
6 do in relation to their own authority, well, that's why I'm saying that
7 this formation was supposed to be put this way. It is not that it is
8 being -- that they are being allowed to do it but they should just ask if
9 they would do it since they were not capable of doing it themselves.
10 Q. All right. Towards the beginning of your testimony, you had made
11 reference to the Velepromet detention facility, and I would like to show
12 you a document, which is 65 ter 553. This is tab 90.
13 This is a Guards Brigade security organ report to the security
14 organ of the office of the SSNO dated 9 November -- 9 November 1991.
15 And if we could turn to page 2 of this document, and if we could
16 look at the penultimate paragraph, this report states:
17 "Over 300 persons have been evacuated to Velepromet where they
18 are being individually processed. During the day, around 100 persons
19 were processed, of which around 25 have been selected; they are of
20 interest to the security organs in the further collection of information
21 about Ustasha positions and forces and in possible exchanges for captured
22 JNA members."
23 And then if we look at the final paragraph, it is written:
24 "These persons are currently in Velepromet."
25 We can account for the 25 persons that were identified by the
1 security organs. What does this tell us about the 275 persons who were
2 not identified by the security organs, as of security interest?
3 A. This is one of the fairly rare reports of the security organ of
4 the Guards Brigade that had to do with their actual tasks and purview.
5 This is a report concerning a segment of counter-intelligence. I think
6 that earlier on we talked about detainees, prisoners, and they selected
7 25 who were of interest. And it says here why they are of interest. And
8 there's also some other information about connections that some persons
9 had with the HDZ and so on. So this is a counter-intelligence report.
10 As far as I can see, it was compiled by Mladen Karan again, the assistant
11 commander for counter-intelligence.
12 Now you asked me what about the remaining 300 persons. There is
13 no answer. It is only natural that they would have remained at the
14 collection centre at Velepromet. I think his name is Ljubinko. Maybe I
15 will make a mistake about his last name. I think it was Stojanovic. The
16 staff of TO Vukovar had their own person in charge of selection, security
17 processing of persons who were detained at Velepromet. These persons,
18 these 25, to the best of my knowledge from
19 Captain First Class Borisavljevic, who was the security officer at the
20 Vukovar barracks, they were transferred to the barracks and then
21 interviews continued with them. Information -- more in-depth information
22 was sought, and so on. During the next stage, I think that they were
23 released, as I've already said, and were sent to Begejci, the collection
24 centre there.
25 As for these person, I cannot say because no one reported to me
1 about that when I came to Vukovar and I'm not aware of their fate. Maybe
2 somebody from Slavonia could give an answer. However, we do know what
3 happened in Velepromet. However, that is what happened in relation to
4 the 19th, 20th, that is what I have to say about the type of collection
5 centre that that was.
6 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2920, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 MR. OLMSTED:
11 Q. As OG South commander, who was Colonel Mrksic's superior?
12 A. There are two situations that we can look at, and then there are
13 two different persons that are immediate superiors to him. In peacetime,
14 his immediate superior is the Chef de cabinet of the minister federal
15 secretary for national defence, General Vuk Obradovic. Within combat
16 operations when he was sent to Vukovar he was subordinated to the
17 commander of the 1st Military District, General Zivota Panic. After
18 those operations, he returned to the office at the SSNO and was under
19 them again.
20 Q. While Colonel Mrksic was reporting or under the command of --
21 of -- of General Panic, did he continue to provide information to
23 A. I don't know about that, but I can assume that information was
24 sent to Obradovic because from the federal secretary's office and
25 Vuk Obradovic's office, then Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic was there too. He
1 was sent to General Mrksic, to the brigade command, as a person who could
2 in a way help by way of giving professional advice, et cetera. However,
3 he was not subordinated to Zivota Panic. Along the vertical chain he was
4 linked to Vuk Obradovic, so I assume that if not regularly they did
5 inform Vuk Obradovic every day about what happened and what kind of
6 problems there were, like one of the problems listed here, that 26
7 soldiers who were Croats who were within the brigade asked how their
8 status would be resolved later because they don't want to desert from the
9 JNA. They request to know how they're going to leave the JNA and how
10 they're going to go back to that setting. So that had to do with the
11 internal problems with that brigade, and Pavkovic probably had daily
12 communication about that with Obradovic, and vice versa. Now Mrksic,
13 apart from that, whether he communicated, I can just make an assumption,
14 but I do not have any specific knowledge about that.
15 Q. In paragraphs 165 to 172 of your statement, you address the
16 collection centres that were established in Serbia for a persons captured
17 during the conflict.
18 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 6459 on e-court. This is
19 tab 209.
20 Q. This is a 1st Military District order dated 15 September 1991.
21 And if we look at the first paragraph it reads:
22 "Pursuant to the SSNO order of 14 September 1991, with the aim of
23 examining, identifying, settling securing and regulating the
24 status-related issues of the persons captured in the inter-ethnic
25 conflicts in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, I hereby issue the
1 following ..."
2 Could you give us some insights? What was the SSNO order that
3 was issued on the 14th of September?
4 A. It is clear what the order is. It is probably the BB that is
5 unclear, and that means without a number, "bez broje," that is to say
6 that this is an oral order of General Kadijevic issued on the
7 14th of September, 1991, to resolved the question of taking in prisoners
8 of war, refugees, from the combat zone. That is to say, the
9 establishment of collection centres of the JNA. On the basis of this
10 oral order he issued on the 14th of September, I can say that he then
11 ordered the start of the Vukovar operation too, that started, because
12 all-out attacks by Croatian paramilitary forces against all JNA barracks
13 started on the 15th. On the basis of this order, General Blagoje Adzic
14 issued his order that he sent to the commanders of the
15 Military Districts, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Military District, so not only the
16 first one. And on the basis of that order of General Blagoje Adzic, I
17 don't know whether you have it, but I think that I know the number 5-86,
18 if I'm not mistaken. I know that by heart. Commanders of
19 Military Districts then regulated the establishment of collection
20 centres, their organisation, their tasks, et cetera. And this is one of
21 the orders of the commander of the 1st Military District to the assistant
22 commander for logistics because this was within his domain to set up a
23 commission for identification and everything else that is done in
24 collection centres.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
1 MR. OLMSTED: I have two more questions and then I'm done with
2 this document, if I could just go one more minute.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Very quickly.
5 Q. Just very quickly, General, prior to this 14 September 1991
6 order, were there any JNA-operated collection centres for persons
7 captured during the conflict?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And very quickly, what was the first collection centre that was
10 established as a result of this order?
11 A. On the basis of this order, the collection centre of Begejci was
12 established on the basis of the order issued by the commander of the
13 1st Military District.
14 Q. And what date was that that the collection centre was
16 A. The order is dated the 16th of September. That is to say, when
17 he received this order, that is, the 15th, so then from the 16th. That
18 was the order to establish the collection centre in Begejci and that the
19 command of the Novi Sad Corps is in charge of this with regard to all
20 matters, that they should appoint their own commander of this centre, and
21 also a unit that will provide security for it.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2921, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
1 MR. OLMSTED: And, Your Honours, we're moving on to a new topic,
2 so we can break here.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: General Vasiljevic, this is the time - a little
4 bit over even - for our second break. We'll take 30 minutes, or 32 even,
5 and come back at 12.50. The Court Usher will escort you out of the
6 courtroom. Thank you.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Olmsted.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. General, I want to briefly return to the topic of the
15 paramilitary groups who were operating in the SBWS in late 1991 and early
16 1992. Return to a question that I asked that I'm not sure I got a clear
17 answer, and perhaps I can phrase it differently.
18 You've testified - and it's in your statement - that on the
19 28th of January, General Panic ordered Colonel Petkovic to tell Badza to
20 remove Arkan's unit from the area. And we also looked at a SBWS decision
21 which states that Colonel Ristic requested the SBWS government to take
22 certain actions with regard to Kameni's unit.
23 My question to you is: If Arkan's unit and if Kameni's unit were
24 subordinate to the JNA, what actions would General Panic have taken with
25 regard to those units?
1 A. Well, had they been subordinate to the JNA, he would have
2 directly either disarmed those units or kept them within the JNA under
3 the conditions that had been prescribed by the Presidency on the
4 10th of December, 1991.
5 So he would fully be in charge of either expelling and disarming
6 these units or admitting them within his own ranks if they so wished and
7 if they met the requirements specified in the order of the Presidency.
8 Q. Would he have gone through Badza or the SBWS government to
9 accomplish that, if they were subordinated to him?
10 A. If they were subordinated to him, then he asks those that they
11 are subordinated to, to expel them and to act in accordance with the
12 order of the Presidency, or to remind them of the order of the
14 Q. And was Badza subordinated to the JNA?
15 A. To who?
16 Q. Well, was Badza, was he reporting directly to General Panic? Was
17 he a subordinate of General Panic?
18 A. I know that he was not subordinated to General Panic. Now
19 whether he submitted reports to him, if he had asked for that, I don't
20 know. But he was not subordinated to General Zivota Panic, although he
21 did come to some meetings that were held by Panic.
22 Mr. Goran Hadzic attended these meetings from time to time, but
23 he was not subordinate to General Panic.
24 Q. And you testified that General Panic ordered Colonel Petkovic to
25 instruct Badza to remove Arkan's unit. Was Colonel Petkovic in a
1 position to order Badza to do anything?
2 A. No, no, absolutely not.
3 Q. I would like to change topics now. Now, in paragraph 168 of your
4 statement, you mentioned that the "Politika" newspaper reported that
5 Goran Hadzic announced a SBWS government decision that all Croat
6 prisoners from Vukovar be handed over to them. And this is after the
7 fall of Vukovar.
8 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 644 on e-court. This is
9 tab 102.
10 Q. This is a "Politika" article dated 21 November 1991. And if we
11 could zoom in to the left-hand column. And just for the record, this
12 article is entitled: "The most hardened will be tried in Vukovar." And
13 if we look at the second paragraph, Goran Hadzic is reported as stating:
14 "The government of the Serbian district met in session for the
15 first time today in liberated Vukovar and the only item on the agenda of
16 the session was the question of how the most hardened criminals were to
17 be handled."
18 And further on, Mr. Hadzic is reported as asserting that the
19 judiciary of Serbia and the federal judiciary only have jurisdiction in
20 the second-instance and third-instance proceedings against criminals from
22 First of all, how does what is reported in this article compared
23 to what you recall reading and viewing in the press around this time?
24 A. Well, in this context there was constant insistence upon them
25 having their own judiciary organs and that they were in charge of the
1 fate or trials of war criminals, as they call them here, but actually
2 these are prisoners. Several times, as for persons that were in
3 collection centres, they made many efforts to have them under their
4 control. It is interesting here that it says that their organs are in
5 charge. In first instances and second instances would be the
6 Republic of Serbia, its organs; and then, third instance be would the
7 Supreme Court of the Republic of Serbia. However, they were not a
8 constituent part of the SFRY at the time, that is number one. Number
9 two, secondly, we know, unfortunately, what their judgement was when they
10 had an opportunity to pass one. I see the date here, and that's only a
11 day's difference from Ovcara. And therefore, this insistence, and that
12 was also in contact with Colonel Maksimovic, when they visited on the
13 10th of December and in their contacts with me three days later on
14 13th December, in Mitrovica, the same efforts were being made. That they
15 should take over, that they are in charge, that they spilt their blood,
16 that they know who criminals are, and so on, and that they have to try
17 them. So let me not go outside this context. If necessary, they would
18 ensure that even by arms.
19 Q. And if we look further down, we see that Mr. Hadzic is reported
20 as thanking the Serbian government. What is the significance of that?
21 A. I don't see the article. Perhaps you could explain. It will be
23 Q. Yeah. Yes, I'll just actually read it because it is a little
24 difficult to read in the original version. It says:
25 "This time, Goran Hadzic said, on behalf of all Serbs in this
1 autonomous district, I wish to express our deepest appreciation for how
2 Serbia has treated us. I wish to thank the Serbian government, Assembly
3 and all Serbian citizens for their generous aid in this horrendous
5 General, what do you see as the significance of him thanking the
6 Serbian government?
7 A. I don't want to -- wouldn't like to speak about the significance.
8 But why is he thanking them? It's a fact that the Serbian government, as
9 he said, provided generous assistance during the whole period of
10 constituting the government of Slavonia and Srem and throughout its
11 existence. It went from funds, through weapons, to sending people from
12 Serbia to the territory to assist that government, starting from
13 Radovan Stojicic, Badza, to others. There were also people from the top
14 echelons of the state security of Serbia. And now he is taking the
15 opportunity to express his gratitude in a ceremonious fashion. And,
16 frankly, speaking, he had good reason to be grateful.
17 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this article be admitted into
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2922, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. General, in paragraph 169 of your statement, you describe your
24 meeting with Goran Hadzic at Sremska Mitrovica KP Dom. And at the
25 beginning of your testimony here today, you've clarified the date of that
1 meeting as the 13th of December, 1991, rather than the 10th of December,
2 1991. However, you also testified that on the 10th of December, that
3 persons from the SAO were also at the KP Dom. Can you tell us, first of
4 all, how did you learn about this visit on the 10th of December?
5 A. When I reviewed my notes, I found out that on the
6 10th of December, I was neither in Belgrade nor in Mitrovica. I was in
7 Zagreb for exchanges. And then I remembered that there was a visit and
8 that they were in contact with Colonel Jugoslav Maksimovic. That's who
9 they talked to. In "Vecernje Novosti" they published an article about
10 Goran Hadzic threatening Vasiljevic; namely, that I would be held
11 accountable for releasing war criminals. And that's how we learned that
12 such a meeting really had taken place.
13 I took a look at some material from the archives and I found a
14 note drafted by Colonel Jugoslav Maksimovic about that visit.
15 I would also like to mention that he signed that as head of the
16 operative team of the security organ and not as is sometimes stated in
17 some other -- in some other sources that he was commander of the
18 collection centre. He was not.
19 What did he write there? That Goran Hadzic had come, and
20 Mr. Susa, minister of the justice, then the minister of the interior,
21 Mr. Bogunovic and another person who remains unidentified. He states
22 that from the very beginning, they had -- they were very arrogant. They
23 were insulted by the fact that Vesna Bosanac had been exchanged. And by
24 the fact that war criminals were being released and that people were
25 being released from collection centres at all without them being asked
1 about it, and they had taken prisoner all these people and they had shed
2 their own blood to capture all these Ustashas and so on. Susa was the
3 loudest. Hadzic mostly kept quiet. He only mentioned when he was
4 leaving the room, You'll be left without a general.
5 They wanted to be able to take part in operative -- the operative
6 processing of the detainees and they wanted to -- they wanted the results
7 of this operative processing. Likewise, since they had their own
8 judicial organs they wanted to be in charge of what would happen to those
9 detainees. Whatever they said to Maksimovic was also mentioned in a
10 letter of theirs in which they contacted first General Zivota Panic, but
11 he didn't reply, and then they sent that letter to the SSNO. They also
12 wrote to Maksimovic that they know -- that they knew who he was because
13 in the first wave when people were pulled out of Vukovar, he, with the
14 Red Cross, wanted -- or --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Had 1500 Ustashas as
16 they said, actually, 1500 Croats, leave the place because they wanted to
17 go to Croatia.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were at Sremska Mitrovica in
19 the Red Cross facility and they objected to these Ustashas being
20 transported out of Vukovar. That's what they called all Croats. And
21 they also commented that they knew who was -- who bore most of blame for
22 all that, and that's why we would be left without a general. That was a
24 Maksimovic was in contact the people at the collection centre.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. Let me just go briefly back to some of the things you've just
2 stated. First of all, you mentioned that at this 10 December meeting,
3 the minister of the interior was also present. Can you repeat his last
5 A. Bogunovic.
6 Q. And you mentioned that one of things that was stated to
7 Maksimovic is that you would be left without a general. How did you
8 interpret that? Who were they referring to?
9 A. There's nothing to interpret. On that day, I took the first
10 group to Zagreb to be exchanged for members of the security organ taken
11 prisoner in Croatia and some other prisoners. These were from the
12 Gospic garrison.
13 On the 10th, they came to Mitrovica to react because the media
14 had already published the news that Vesna Bosanac had been released and
15 that the exchange -- that I was in -- in charge of the exchange. And
16 they were reacting to that. Why had it been done, why had they not been
17 asked that these people were criminals. And Maksimovic said, No,
18 we're -- we won't let our general -- we'll back up our general, in other
19 words. And that general, that was me.
20 Q. Prior to your meeting with Mr. Hadzic and his delegation on the
21 13th of December, did you have a conversation with Colonel Maksimovic
22 regarding the 10 December meeting?
23 A. No. He was at Sremska Mitrovica. His letter was sent to the
24 person in charge in the Security Administration. I wasn't in the field
25 much, or in meetings. To us, this was an insignificant event. It was
1 part of their efforts to -- to get these prisoners, to be in charge of
3 Q. And, finally, just to clarify, in your statement, you make
4 reference to a newspaper article published later in 1992. And this is
5 65 ter Exhibit 772, tab 32, which describes a meeting between Mr. Hadzic
6 and his delegation and Colonel Maksimovic.
7 Which meeting is that referring to, that newspaper article? And
8 we see it on the screen now.
9 A. Well, you see, there's no date here. I don't know when the
10 article was published. Maybe further down I can see it.
11 Q. General, and you don't need really to look too much into this
12 article because it's in your statement, and this is the article that you
13 provided to the Tribunal. And my question is simply whether this article
14 relates to the 10 December meeting or the 13 December meeting.
15 A. No, this article refers -- refers to the 10 December meeting. At
16 the time when it was published, I didn't see it. I didn't have the
17 opportunity to read it then. I only got it on the -- in 1998, when my
18 brother died, and I took over some of his things, he collected such
19 clippings, and that's when I first saw it. It was -- it was about Hadzic
20 accusing Vasiljevic when he went to see Colonel Maksimovic.
21 Q. I want to now turn just briefly to the 13 December meeting, which
22 you do describe in a fair amount of detail in your statement.
23 But can you tell us, how did it come about that this meeting
24 happened on the 13th of December?
25 A. I didn't know that the meeting had been called and that there
1 would be a meeting with Mr. Hadzic and the other persons.
2 On the 13th of December, as I said, I was in a meeting with the
3 military prosecutor and the operative team of the security organ where
4 there was talk about professional problems in connection with the
5 documentation of the activities they had initiated.
6 At that meeting with the military prosecutor which took place in
7 the -- in the correctional and penal facility that is in the
8 administration rooms that I didn't know that this meeting was taking
9 place elsewhere. I don't know whether later they came to Mitrovica or
10 not but it doesn't matter really. The same persons came, Goran Hadzic,
11 Vojin Susa, Minister Bogunovic. I don't remember a fourth person, but
12 there may have been one. During that conversation, which was different
13 from the one with Jugoslav Maksimovic, they were not as arrogant as then.
14 Secondly, I didn't know then that they had come to Maksimovic two
15 days earlier. I only had some rough indication that they had been there
16 before. I was in contact with them, but it was a short meeting and it
17 was not tense. There were complaints about war criminals being released.
18 They considered those their own prisoners and they repeated those phrases
19 that they shed their blood to catch them, and you're releasing them
20 without asking anybody, and we want you to stop this practice, and
21 that -- that they had to be consulted about everything.
22 Q. Let me stop you there because much of this is in your statement,
23 so we don't need to repeat it here on the record.
24 But, can you tell us was the JNA, in fact, releasing war
1 A. No. Whatever the operative team of the security organ had found
2 out, discovered and documented, a great number of people were released to
3 go where they wanted to. They were not exchanged. This was done by the
4 mediation of the Red Cross. Those who were suspected of having committed
5 crime, mostly armed rebellion, that is, those who were members of armed
6 formations in Croatia who had attacked the JNA, were not released. If
7 the crimes committed were less serious such as merely being a member of a
8 paramilitary formation in Croatia they were exchanged for JNA members
9 taken prisoner. That would be another category, to call it that.
10 Whereas, those who were suspected of committing serious crimes, such as
11 war crimes, were not exchanged.
12 Charges were pressed against them with the military court in
13 Belgrade. As far as I remember, there were 182 such persons against whom
14 criminal proceedings were launched. They couldn't be exchanged, and they
15 were under the jurisdiction of the military court.
16 Investigations were conducted and about 80 persons were tried and
17 there were first-instance judgements in 25 cases. And later on, there
18 was a -- an all-for-all exchange.
19 Q. You also mentioned -- mention in your statement that you
20 suggested to the SBWS delegation that they could help the JNA by
21 providing any information they had about crimes committed by the
22 prisoners in the Vukovar area, that they could provide that information
23 to your security organs. How did they react to that suggestion?
24 A. There were no special reactions, such as, No, we don't want to do
25 that. They requested to be directly involved in these talks. It was our
1 position, not only mine but that of the military organs, that they cannot
2 interfere with the activities of military security and military -- the
3 military judiciary. That's what Colonel Maksimovic also had told them:
4 You cannot be involved in any talks. If you have any useful information,
5 give it to us, and we will use it.
6 Q. To your knowledge, did the SBWS organs ever provide any
7 information to the JNA security organisations, regarding the prisoners at
8 these collection centres?
9 A. No. They were supposed to give such information to the
10 Security Administration or the -- our security organ of the 1st Military
11 District, but I never got anything like that and I don't believe that
12 they provide any.
13 Q. I want to switch topics. But before I do, General, though I
14 haven't received a notification from the interpreters, I think it will be
15 helpful if you slow down a little bit for them so they can be sure to
16 catch everything you are saying and make sure it's on the record, and
17 also I would remind you again to focus on my question so I can get
18 through this material.
19 In paragraphs 147 to 153 of your statement you describe the
20 information you received about the crimes committed in Lovas and in
21 particular the killing of a number of local Croats by the Dusan Silni
23 And in paragraph 151 of your statement, and I think you mentioned
24 it earlier today, that a criminal report was filed against certain
25 members of the Serbian TO who may have been linked with that crime and
1 that that was filed with the military prosecutor's office.
2 Can you tell us, do you know what happened to that case?
3 A. I filed the criminal report about the case at Lovas. It was a
4 criminal report against four TO members from the Valjevo detachment, and
5 there were also other persons who had taken part in that. What later
6 happened to that and how it all ended, I don't know, because I retired
7 relatively fast, but I was also very busy with paramilitaries in other
9 I know that four military persons were -- were processed, or,
10 rather, that proceedings were launched against them. I don't know what
11 happened to the eight from Dusan Silni, but certainly the organs in
12 charge were informed.
13 Q. Now, in paragraph 80 of your statement you identify
14 Ljuban Devetak as commander of the Dusan Silni and you also name several
15 of the members of Dusan Silni that provided security for Devetak,
16 including Nikola Vukovic and Ljubodrag Jelic.
17 MR. OLMSTED: If we could please look at 65 ter 3670. This is
18 tab 204. And if we could turn to page 7 in the both the English and the
20 Q. We see that this is a 5 December certificate confirming that
21 Ljubodrag Jelic has been a member of the Lovas TO as a volunteer
22 territorial from 8 October 1991. And if we could now go to page 10, this
23 is a 10 January 1992 certificate confirming that Nikola Vukovic has been
24 a member of the Lovas TO as a volunteer territorial who participated in
25 the liberation of villages in war operations from 10 October 1991 to
1 10 January 1992. General, what do these documents indicate to you?
2 A. This document confirms what we have already discussed and what I
3 talked about. There was a Lovas TO Staff, and they were issuing
4 certificates to members of paramilitary units who - these two
5 specifically - took part in the event of the 17th or 18th of October,
6 when civilians were driven into a minefield.
7 This -- these certificates are -- were issued to them in
8 January 1992. They should have been tried and serving their sentence at
9 that time, but they were still at large, out in the field, and these
10 certificates are routine certificates that were issued by the TO to such
11 persons and others for them to be able to exercise some rights because
12 they had taken part in war, and their commander was Ljuban Devetak.
13 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this series of documents be
14 admitted into evidence.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2923, Your Honours.
17 MR. OLMSTED:
18 Q. General, I'd like to shift to another topic.
19 Could you tell us, at any time in 1991 or 1992 in the SBWS region
20 did the JNA consider itself an occupation -- an army of occupation under
21 the laws of war?
22 A. No. The JNA was active in a territory of the country to which it
23 belonged, and that was Yugoslavia. An army cannot occupy its own
24 territory. The -- that there were organised rebellions of paramilitary
25 units is another matter. They were trying to secede from that country in
1 contravention of the existing rules and regulations. In other words, the
2 JNA was conducting activities in its own country.
3 Q. General, was it ever proposed that the JNA should take over full
4 power and control within the SBWS region?
5 A. No, not in relation to that area. But it's well known that at
6 the meeting of the Supreme Command, that is, the Presidency of the SFRY
7 and the military leadership on the 12th of May, 1992, the proposal of the
8 SSNO was considered that in all of Yugoslavia due to the crisis that
9 broke out because illegal arming had been discovered to introduce
10 extraordinary measure, emergency measures, but the Presidency did not
11 accept the proposal. Nor -- nor did the JNA ever try to have emergency
12 measures introduced in any area, including Slavonia.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment.
14 Mr. Zivanovic, we didn't hear you.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. I would suggest that the witness repeat
16 the date. I think that the date in transcript is incorrect.
17 MR. OLMSTED:
18 Q. General, you mentioned the date of 12 May 1992. Is that the date
19 you wanted to refer to?
20 A. No, no. I didn't mean that date, and I didn't say it, but the
21 interpreters probably didn't hear it properly. It is the 12th of March,
22 the session of the Supreme Command. The 12th of March, 1991. And then
23 it was extended afterwards on the 14th and 15th of March.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, thank you, that's an important correction.
1 Q. General, did the JNA have forces on the ground in the SBWS that
2 were capable of controlling the whole region of the SBWS?
3 A. I think so.
4 Q. At the beginning of your testimony, you referred to an issue
5 regarding mobilisation around the time of the declaration of immediate
6 threat of war. Can you provide some information regarding that issue.
7 What was the problem?
8 A. The problem was that the peacetime levels of the JNA, that is to
9 say, soldiers serving their military service, they were supposed to be
10 released in 1991, in September. This was one of the largest groups of
11 conscripts ever, almost 90.000 soldiers, and this was the highest quality
12 that the JNA had.
13 General Kadijevic suggested to the Presidency that these
14 conscripts have their military service extended because of the military
15 and politician situation in the country. However, the Presidency did not
16 agree with that, and these soldiers were let go, and, therefore, the
17 overall combat readiness of the JNA was significantly decreased.
18 Therefore, the reserve of the JNA was called upon. However, since a
19 state of imminent threat of war or a state of emergency had not been
20 declared, then they were called up under the guise of a military
21 exercise. And according to the then-regulations, they could stay for a
22 maximum of 15 days. Then resistance started. Why were they being called
23 up since they had already attended military exercises before that? Then
24 also some opposition parties joined in, those who wanted to profit
25 politically at that point in time. Then there's the situation in Serbia
1 as such. Serbia says, We're not at war. We cannot mobilise anyone. And
2 those who want to join the JNA voluntarily can do so. This created a
3 create deal of difficulty, in terms of making the JNA capable of dealing
4 with the situation that they were up against, the blockade of barracks,
5 prisoners taken from the ranks of the JNA, and so on.
6 Finally in this situation, only on the 3rd of October, the
7 Presidency made a decision to declare a state of imminent threat of war
8 with a view to legalising mobilisation of the reserve force of the JNA.
9 Q. And you mentioned that -- that General Kadijevic's proposal
10 regarding the 90.000 conscripts was not accepted, and you have also
11 mentioned the problems with the reserve forces of the JNA.
12 What armed elements ended up going to the SBWS to -- to make up
13 the lack of soldiers?
14 A. First of all, reservists went, those who had been mobilised.
15 Those who had responded to the call-up, that is, because, to a large
16 extent, there were those who didn't want to respond to call-up. That is
17 one thing.
18 Secondly, in such a situation when the JNA is not properly
19 manned, measures were taken to call up volunteers that will become part
20 of the JNA.
21 And on the 13th of September, 1991, the 3rd Administration of the
22 General Staff, wrote a set of instructions or I can perhaps say an order,
23 a guide-line, as to how volunteers should be taken in, those who want to
24 join the JNA. That was the first time to regulate from a normative point
25 of view the taking of volunteers into the JNA, and it happened because
1 there was a lack of personnel within the JNA itself.
2 They also went to JNA units, those who responded to the call-up
3 of JNA. They were sent to the JNA. However, along parallel lines, some
4 political parties, especially the Radical Party, the Serb Radical Party,
5 then the SPO, they brought people together. They carried out a kind of
6 mobilisation, if you will, of some of their members, and they also sent
7 them to the front line. They did not respond -- or, rather, report
8 directly to JNA units. They reported to these local staffs of the
9 Territorial Defence in Slavonia and Krajina.
10 Q. General, I want to ask you now about a concept about which this
11 Trial Chamber has already heard; namely, the concept of Town Commands.
12 Can you tell us what your understanding is of what a Town Command
13 was under the laws and regulations that applied back in 1991/1992.
14 A. I can explain that to the extent to which I know, because that
15 was not within the sector of my own work.
16 I do know, though, that when operations were over in Vukovar the
17 establishment of Town Commands was regulated in a lawful way. The
18 civilian sector of the SSNO wrote a set of instructions as to how these
19 Town Commands should be constituted and what their tasks were. However,
20 we see that there, within that Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja,
21 and Western Srem, Ljuban Devetak is signing his name as commander of the
22 town. So they established some Town Commands of their own. It was
23 mainly Territorial Defence staffs or Territorial Defence units. However,
24 these were not Town Commands in the sense in which they were later
25 defined in an order issued by the SSNO.
1 Q. And can you tell us, what was your understanding of the purpose
2 of a Town Command? And what I mean by that, I mean a legitimate
3 Town Command established within the JNA structure?
4 A. In relation to these legal Town Commands, the basic task was to
5 secure peace within the area of responsibility.
6 Furthermore, to help establish local civilian government. That
7 is to say, providing professional assistance to them so that they could
8 start functioning and so that a normal system of life and work could be
9 established for the business community, for all activities.
10 So these Town Commands were not order-issuing authorities. They
11 were not - how shall I put this? - the supreme government in that
12 particular area, they could be that only if a state of emergency were to
13 be declared, not to say occupation or to establish military government.
14 So according to all these instructions, it was stated very specifically
15 what this was all about. It has to do with rendering assistance to these
16 local organs that were supposed to start functioning in the territory
17 where there weren't any war operations anymore. They should establish
18 authority there and normal life on the ground. The only place where
19 Town Commands had direct responsibility was to create lists of military
20 conscripts, to help constitute legal units of the legal
21 Territorial Defence in that area, to help them have war assignments, to
22 know where they should report for equipment and weaponry, and so on.
23 MR. OLMSTED: Let's take a look at a document, 65 ter 708. This
24 is tab 112. And Your Honours, this is another document that is pending
25 an exhibit number. And when I mean pending exhibit number, it's pending
1 based upon a decision by this Trial Chamber with regard to a second
2 motion for admissions of documents cited in the Theunens report and those
3 P numbers haven't been assigned yet as of this date.
4 Q. General, what we have in front of us is instructions on
5 conducting the civilian affairs in crisis area by the SSNO, civilian
6 defence sector, and it's dated 25 November, 1991.
7 In your last answer, or last couple of answers, you referenced a
8 set of instructions that were issued. Are these those instructions?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. And you can see that this was immediately done after the Vukovar
12 operations were over.
13 Q. And could you provide us an explanation of what the role of the
14 SSNO Civilian Defence Sector was with regard to matters such as
15 Town Commands?
16 A. Well, as a professional organ of the SSNO, they have an
17 instructive role, if you will. Organisational activity, in terms of
18 helping carry out these tasks, these tasks that were now before the
19 Town Commands. Up here on the stamp you can see that this is an entire
20 sector within the SSNO, by then Sector for Civilian Defence. So there's
21 civilian protection under them and all other problems that have to do
22 with civilian activities, General Pujic.
23 Q. What weight was given by the Military Districts to instructions
24 issued by this Civilian Defence Sector?
25 A. Since this was a properly regulated army, I don't think there's
1 anything troublesome involved. All the commands and units that received
2 this order, this set of instructions, acted upon it with full
3 responsibility. However, I did not monitor its level of realisation, but
4 I have no doubt in terms of this task being received with full
6 Q. Let's take a look at some of the provisions of these
7 instructions. If we could turn to page 3. And this section provides the
8 tasks of the organs for civilian affairs in the commands of JNA units and
9 the Town Commands.
10 And we see under various items listed in the section, tasks --
11 the tasks frequently referred to co-operating with or assisting the
12 civilian government and administrative organs on various local matters.
13 Is that consistent with your understanding of what a Town Command is?
14 A. Yes. It is it words like "participation," "establishing
15 obligations," "rendering assistance," "direct co-operation." So that
16 shows what the essence of their tasks was.
17 Q. And if we can turn to page 4 of this document. And if we could
18 look at item number 10, it states:
19 "Direct co-operation with the administrative-executive organs of
20 the state administration for the affairs of the national defence and
21 proposed measures with the aim of efficient functioning of those organs."
22 Can you provide us a little bit more insight into the purpose of
23 this task.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Perhaps it's -- it's over the page, over the
2 page, because I don't need -- I don't read what you just cited from
3 number 10.
4 MR. OLMSTED: It -- perhaps I misread it. But it's at the -- top
5 of the page, item number 10, "Direct co-operation" --
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Oh, I'm sorry. I was at the bottom of the page.
7 Sorry about that.
8 MR. OLMSTED: No problem.
9 Q. General, just looking at this item 10, can you provide us with
10 some insights into what this task entails.
11 A. It entails -- or, rather, this has to do with making the defence
12 system operational in that territory. That is why military departments
13 are being established within the organs of socio-political communities as
14 they were at the time. They are establishing records of military
15 conscripts, according to their specialties; then also establishing units
16 of the Territorial Defence in that area; then units of civilian
17 protection. All of these are tasks that are under these administrative
18 executive organs.
19 Let me take the example of the municipality. These organs from
20 the military commands are in charge of giving direct assistance to these
21 civilian authorities so that they could carry out these activities
23 Q. Now, if we could turn -- or, actually, I think, if we could
24 scroll down. And now I want to look towards the bottom. And, in
25 particular, under section 2, item 4 of these instructions state:
1 "Co-operation with the other organs of government, local
2 communities, companies and other organisations and citizens on the
3 protection of lives, personal safety, and security of property ..."
4 And then if we look under item 5, it further states:
5 "Co-ordination of activities and establishing direct co-operation
6 with the organs of the government in preventing and uncovering criminal
7 acts, and discovering and capturing the perpetrators and taking them
8 before the authorised judicial organs."
9 Could you provide us some insights as to the role of
10 Town Commands with regard to law enforcement.
11 A. Well, what is highlighted here is co-operation between the
12 military organs and the civilian organs of the interior and joint
13 activities aimed at finding the perpetrators of crime and ensuring peace
14 and security in the area. So this has to do with public law and order
15 and crime prevention. Military organs will be involved in these efforts,
16 in co-operation with the civilian authorities that are supposed to be the
17 mainstays of these activities.
18 So this is co-ordination of tasks on both sides and providing
19 assistance in order to have this start functioning as soon as possible in
20 the field of public safety and security.
21 Q. I would now like to show you a few more documents relating to
22 this issue.
23 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on e-court, 65 ter 6046, which is
24 tab 146.
25 Q. What we have in front of us is a 2nd Proletariat Guards
1 Mechanised Brigade report to the 1st Proletariat Guards Mechanised
2 Division command dated 10 December 1991.
3 General, do you recall the general area in which the
4 2nd Proletariat Guards Brigade was responsible for in 1991?
5 A. I cannot say anything for sure, but as for the Lovas case, where
6 the detachment of the TO from Lovas was resubordinated to that brigade, I
7 believe that that would be that. But specifically, I don't know what its
8 area of responsibility was.
9 Q. If we look under item 3 of this report, it reports that police
10 stations in the zone of responsibility have been formed in accordance
11 with the Serbian MUP regulations and elected authorities.
12 And then if we could look at item 6, which is on the next page of
13 the English, this document reports that the brigade is located in an area
14 where all organs of authority have been functioning from before.
15 General, what does this mean in terms of the JNA's responsibility
16 for law and order in this area?
17 A. I see in paragraph 7 it says that an interim assistant for
18 civilian affairs has been appointed and he has the rank of major. So the
19 brigade was issued a specific task in relation to Town Commands that are
20 supposed to help the successful functioning of state organs in the
22 What he is invoking is that the staff of the TO is established as
23 were TO Staffs in Serbia. And then also other organs function according
24 to the same principle, like in Serbia. So there shouldn't be any major
25 problems in terms of carrying out these tasks -- these tasks, because all
1 of that is already functioning successfully.
2 Q. And in your last answer, you reference the TO Staffs were
3 established, and I just want to correct you. The document actually
4 refers to -- to -- to police stations having been established in this
5 area. And that's why my question was with regard to law enforcement at
6 this stage with the establishment of functioning police stations in this
7 area, what did that mean in terms of the role of Town Commands?
8 A. Down here he himself says that he won't have any major
9 obligations there because the entire system is already functioning
10 according to the one in place in the Republic of Serbia.
11 For me to be able to interpret this more specifically, I would
12 need to know what his area of responsibility is because I don't know
13 whether perhaps the territory of Serbia, that part around Sid is part of
14 his area of responsibility, or is it just this SAO, or rather, the
15 territory of Croatia?
16 So these are two separate things. If he is in the territory of
17 Serbia, the system is functioning. If he is in the territory where that
18 is not the case, then it is a good thing that these organs have already
19 started functioning and have been doing so for quite a while and that
20 civilians rule has been established in the area, then he doesn't have any
21 major obligations in that respect. That is his interpretation because
22 everything had already been resolved.
23 Q. Do you recall, General, any problems with the establishment of
24 police stations in the Republic of Serbia during this time-period?
25 A. No. Those stations existed and there weren't any changes,
1 radical changes that were taking place. I am not aware of them having
2 any problems in Serbia with the functioning of police stations. I'm not
3 aware of any such thing.
4 Q. And are you aware of any Town Commands being established in the
5 Republic of Serbia during this period?
6 A. No.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I see the time.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Olmsted.
9 General Vasiljevic, this is the end of the hearing for today.
10 You are not released as a witness. We expect you back tomorrow morning
11 at 9.00, and that means that you are not allowed to discuss your
12 testimony with anybody, and it also means that you are not allowed to
13 talk to any of the parties. If that is clear, the Court Usher will
14 escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 MR. OLMSTED: Mr. President, if I may tender the last document
17 into evidence, 65 ter 6046.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2924.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 Court adjourned.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of
24 September, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.