1 Wednesday, 16 October 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, may we have the appearances, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. And good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Goran Hadzic.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
15 For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Alex Demirdjian,
16 Stavroula Papadopoulous, Case Manager Thomas Laugel, legal intern
17 Milomir Matovic.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 Mr. Zivanovic for the Defence.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
21 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. There's a short oral ruling.
23 On the 25th of June, 2013, the Trial Chamber determined that the
24 Defence had laid sufficient foundation for the admission of Exhibit D74
25 into evidence. However, the exhibit was MFI'd pending provision of a
1 corrected English translation.
2 On 9 October 2013, the Defence provided a corrected translation
3 of the exhibit.
4 The Chamber hereby instructs the Registry to replace the current
5 English translation of D74 with the version uploaded as document
6 ID 1D05-1703, after which time the MFI status shall be lifted and D74
7 shall be deemed admitted into evidence.
8 The Registry shall take any other necessary action to implement
9 this decision.
10 Could the witness be brought in, please.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Witness. Thank you for coming
13 to The Hague to assist the Tribunal.
14 First of all, can you hear me in a language you understand?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 Mr. Demirdjian, I suppose we have a pseudonym sheet?
18 Oh, I'm sorry.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: There are no protective measures --
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, sorry, there are no protective measures.
21 Sorry, sir. Could you please tell us your name and your date of
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jovan Susic. Born on the 13th of
24 April, 1957, in the village of Bukovica, municipality of Savnik,
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
2 You are about to make the solemn declaration, by which witnesses
3 commit themselves to tell the truth. I must point out to you that by
4 doing, so you expose yourself to the penalties of perjury, should you
5 give false or untruthful information to the Tribunal.
6 Could I now ask you to make the solemn declaration. The court
7 usher will give you the text of it.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
11 WITNESS: JOVAN SUSIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, your witness.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Susic.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. Sir, it is correct to say that are you a retired colonel of the
19 Yugoslavia People's Army which later became the Army of Yugoslavia?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And is it right to say that testified here at the Tribunal in
22 November of 2006 in the case of Mrksic, Radic, and Sljivancanin?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And in that case, you were called to testify during the Defence
25 case of Veselin Sljivancanin; is that correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. And you testified for the better part of two days, that is, on
3 the 17th and 20th of November, 2006?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Now when you arrived here in The Hague a few days ago, were you
6 given an opportunity to listen to the audio recording of your testimony
7 in the Mrksic case?
8 A. I was, and I listened to the entire recording.
9 Q. Thank you. You actually pre-empted my next question which was to
10 ask you if you listened it. You confirmed that now.
11 Would you say that it is an accurate recording of the testimony
12 you gave in the Mrksic case?
13 A. Fully. Fully accurate.
14 Q. And if I were to ask you the same questions today would you
15 provide the same answers?
16 A. I would give entirely the same answers.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, at this stage I would seek to
18 tender 65 ter numbers 6481 and 6482. These are the two days of testimony
19 of Mr. Susic in the Mrksic case.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P3025, the under seal version, and
22 public redacted version will be P3025.1. And 65 ter 6482 will be
23 Exhibit P3026 under seal and the public redacted version will be P3026.1.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, I had failed to mention that we had also a
25 redacted version due to portions of the private session. Thank you,
1 Your Honours.
2 Q. Sir, your testimony in -- from the Mrksic case has now been
3 admitted on the record. This means that we do not need to revisit all
4 the details of your prior testimony.
5 However, I do have a number of items I wish to get some
6 clarifications from you. Do you understand?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. Now, in your testimony - and, for the record, that's at
9 page 14887 - you mention Branislav Lukic as a commander of the
10 2nd Assault Detachment, and you also mention that he is the commander of
11 the JNA barracks. Could you tell the Court when he -- when did he become
12 the commander of the JNA barracks?
13 A. He became the commander of the barracks on the 2nd of November,
14 1991 -- sorry, the 2nd of October, yes, the 2nd of October, 1991. The
15 2nd of October, 1991, when I came to the barracks.
16 Q. And when -- when he became commander of the JNA barracks, which
17 units were stationed there?
18 A. The units of the 2nd Assault Detachment were stationed there. As
19 well as an anti-terrorist company of the 1st Battalion of the military
20 police. As of the 4th of October, the 2nd Company of the MP battalion
21 was stationed there as well, which was also to provide security for the
23 Q. And just so that the Trial Chamber understand, when you say --
24 when we talk about the 2nd Assault Detachment, what are we talking about
25 here? What kind of a unit is this?
1 A. It's the 2nd Battalion of the Guards Brigade which was also
2 called the 2nd Assault Detachment. But it's one and the same.
3 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
4 Now, you also mentioned in your testimony in the Mrksic case that
5 your command post was in Negoslavci but that your forward command post
6 was at the JNA barracks. Could you also tell us, for the record, as of
7 when was your forward command post at the barracks.
8 A. As of the 1st of November, 1991. That was when the forward
9 command post was located in the Vukovar barracks.
10 Q. Very well. Now, you spoke about your military police battalion,
11 and this is, for the record, in your testimony as of page 14878.
12 Now, first of all, could you tell the Court how many military
13 police battalions were there within the Guards Motorised Brigade?
14 A. The Guards Brigade had two military police battalions called the
15 1st and the 2nd MP Battalions.
16 Q. Now, could you tell the Court, these two MP battalions, were they
17 of equal size or did they differ in size?
18 A. They were of different sizes. The 1st MP Battalion was larger,
19 and its composition was different.
20 Q. Now, you describe the composition of your military police
21 battalion, which was the 1st Military Police Battalion, on the same page
22 in the Mrksic testimony. And you explain the various components besides
23 the command, how you had various companies, communication section, crime
24 section, et cetera.
25 Could you give us a rough figure of the number of officers and
1 soldiers in the 1st Military Police Battalion?
2 A. Roughly of the senior officers, that's to say, commissioned and
3 non-commissioned officers, there were 120 of them, and around
4 800 soldiers.
5 Q. And in relation to the 2nd Military Police Battalion, are you
6 able to give us its strength?
7 A. It had fewer men, and it only had three companies. So it had
8 fewer men.
9 Q. Very well. You don't have a rough figure in mind by any chance?
10 A. Approximately 500, and that's to say soldiers, commissioned and
11 non-commissioned officers.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you explain in your Mrksic testimony -
13 that's at page 14881 - how you were the deputy commander of the
14 1st Military Police Battalion but you replaced your commander when he
15 became ill.
16 Now, before assuming your role as acting commander of the
17 1st Military Police Battalion, how -- how familiar were you with the
18 brigade commander, Mr. Mile Mrksic?
19 A. I was quite familiar with him. I knew him, but I was not in
20 daily contact with him. He contacted Major Kavalic. He was the
21 battalion commander.
22 Q. And as of the time when you become the acting deputy commander,
23 how frequently were you in contact with the brigade commander?
24 A. When I became the battalion commander, these contacts were daily.
25 There was the daily briefing, and in the course of the day, we would be
1 in contact, perhaps, twice or three times, or perhaps not once. But we
2 had daily briefings at 1800 hours.
3 Q. These daily briefings at 1800 hours, where did they take place?
4 A. The briefings were held at Negoslavci, at the command post of the
5 Guards Brigade or Operations Group South.
6 Q. I'd like to take you now to the events of the 20th of November,
7 1991. You testified in the Mrksic case about the fact that sometime
8 between 10.00 and 11.00 in the morning you received a call from
9 Captain Predojevic, and you were told that there were problems about
10 securing some buses with civilians at the barracks.
11 For the record, this is at page 14889.
12 Could you tell the Court how you were able to say that this took
13 place somewhere between 10.00 and 11.00 in the morning?
14 A. I'm able to say that because, based on my daily duties, and also
15 when I was preparing for my first testimony, from conversations with all
16 my various senior officers, I came to conclude that that was the time. I
17 can't tell you exactly the -- the time in that time interval, but the
18 interval is correct.
19 Q. And now, you -- you testify that you -- at that time you went to
20 the site where the buses were and that you saw four or five buses
21 surrounded by about 50 civilians and armed men. And these armed men you
22 thought belonged to the Territorial Defence.
23 For the record, this is at page 14890.
24 Could you tell the Court where these TO members were from?
25 A. These Territorial Defence members were from Vukovar. They were
1 locals, therefore.
2 Q. How were you able to come to that conclusion?
3 A. I came to conclude that because they knew some of the people on
4 the buses. They were talking about how some of these people had killed
5 some of their own, torched their homes, chased their own people out.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat the last sentence,
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
9 Q. Mr. Susic, it appears that the interpreters weren't able to catch
10 the last part of your answer. Could you repeat the last part of your
11 answer, please.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness come closer to the microphone,
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
15 Q. And you're also asked to please come a little bit closer to the
16 microphone so that they can hear you. Thank you very much.
17 A. They knew some of them by name, and they said that they had
18 killed some of their own family, set their houses on fire, or destroyed
19 their houses, and persecuted them.
20 Q. Now, you testified that once you had observed the scene for about
21 ten minutes, you returned to your building and you called your brigade
22 commander. Now, where was your brigade commander located when you called
24 A. The brigade commander was at the command post at Negoslavci.
25 Q. I would ask you to take a look at a footage we have.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: This is Exhibit P117.111. It's at tab 9 of our
2 list. And I believe we have a very short translation for the
3 interpreters. Okay. Are we ready to play?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Let's play the clip please.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "He stopped in Negoslavci for a
8 short visit where he spoke to the commander of the operations group,
9 Colonel Mile Mrksic and members of his staff."
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
11 Q. Do you recognise here the man at -- at the right-hand side at
12 18 minutes and 45 seconds of this clip?
13 A. I do, I recognise him. That's Colonel Mrksic.
14 Q. Very well.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we rewind just a few seconds, please. Once
16 more. Yes.
17 Q. Now, do you recognise the -- the building in the background?
18 A. That building is the headquarters of the Guards Brigade.
19 Q. And this is in which -- in which village or which town?
20 A. It's the village of Negoslavci.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we keep playing, please.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Very well.
25 Q. Mr. Susic, we see to the left side of the screen a number of
1 soldiers here. Can you tell us who they are or what -- what unit they
2 belonged to?
3 A. They are military police soldiers of the 1st Military Police
5 Q. From this footage, are you able to tell us on -- on which
6 occasion this -- this footage was recorded? Who is Mile Mrksic
8 A. I think that it was Cyrus Vance.
9 Q. And at the time while you were in Vukovar, were you familiar with
10 the fact that Mr. Vance visited Negoslavci?
11 A. I was aware of that because the members of the 1st Battalion
12 secured his visit from the moment he arrived, throughout his stay, and at
13 his departure.
14 Q. Now, earlier when I asked you if you recognised the building, you
15 said that this is the headquarters of the Guards Brigade. So is this the
16 building where Mr. Mrksic was located when you called him on the
17 20th of November, 1991?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we play the remainder of the clip.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
22 Q. Sir, do you recognise the premises that we're seeing on this
23 footage at 18 minutes and 57 seconds?
24 A. It's the operations room where we had our meetings at 1800 hours.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "This is the village of Negoslavci,
2 3 kilometres south of Vukovar."
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we pause? Sorry. Can we just -- can you
4 rewind a little bit.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: [Microphone not activated] -- a bit more. Pause
7 there. One more. Yeah, that's fine. Let's just leave it. That's fine.
8 Thank you.
9 Q. Now, with respect to this international delegation, Mr. Susic,
10 how were they able to enter the zone of -- of responsibility of your
12 A. Every visit was announced. Security would be readied so that
13 during their stay in the area of the Guards Brigade they would be fully
15 Q. Very well. And who would need to announce themselves before
16 entering your zone?
17 A. All those who were not members of the Guards Brigade, including
18 delegations, such as this one, visits by anyone from the state
19 leadership, or anyone from other units; senior officers and such.
20 Q. Now, you testified in the Mrksic case that Mrksic ordered you to
21 secure the buses - now we're back at the barracks on the
22 20th of November, 1991 - and he told you, and I quote from page 14891,
24 "Now, the meeting of the government of Krajina is under way at
25 which the question of where the buses will be transported is being
2 Now, can you tell us if you're able to say what is meant here by
3 "the Krajina government"?
4 A. I don't know what he had in mind, but it referred to the
5 government of that place, and that was Vukovar. So that would mean the
6 civilian authorities of Vukovar, or the government of Vukovar.
7 Q. And how are you able to connect Vukovar to the term "Krajina
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would object because, as far as I understand,
11 Mrksic mentioned the Krajina government, so I don't know why this
12 question was put to the witness, how the witness connected Krajina
13 government -- Vukovar with the term "Krajina government."
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: The question is about the witness's
15 understanding. He was an interlocutor in the conversation and when
16 the -- when his commander told him that there was a Krajina government
17 meeting, it is relevant for him to tell us what he understood by that,
18 and he already provided us half the answer by connecting it to the
19 Vukovar government.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: In that case, it is asked -- asked and answered.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Overruled.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
23 Q. Mr. Susic, let me ask my question again.
24 Are you -- how are you able to connect Vukovar to the term
25 "Krajina government"?
1 A. We're talking about the civilian authorities. That's all. I
2 didn't know what it was all about at the time, but I knew that they were
3 referring to the civilian authority in that location.
4 Q. Now, did Colonel Mrksic tell you where this meeting was taking
6 A. No, he didn't.
7 Q. And did you ever come to find out where this meeting took place?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Now, here in the transcript at page 14891, the word "government
10 meeting" is -- is used, and I want to ask you if the term "meeting" is
12 A. I did not hear any interpretation.
13 Q. Let me repeat the question.
14 In the Mrksic case, the words "government meeting" is used, and I
15 seek your clarification as to whether the term "meeting" is accurate.
16 A. No, no, it was a government session.
17 Q. And when you say "government session," are these your words, or
18 are these the words of Mr. Mrksic?
19 A. Those of Mr. Mrksic because he said that the government -- the
20 session of the government of Krajina was in progress.
21 Q. Very well. Now at page 14893 of your Mrksic testimony, you
22 testified that in order to take control of the situation at the barracks,
23 you issued a verbal warning to the civilians and the TO members, and you
24 increased the strength of the military police.
25 By -- by how many military policemen did you increase the level
1 of the troops?
2 A. There were about 20 military police overall. And after a
3 warning, they went away and did not return by bus.
4 Q. Very well. And I have one last topic for you, Mr. Susic.
5 You spoke about Mr. Mrksic and -- being as -- commander of the
6 Guards Motorised Brigade in OG South during the Vukovar operation. Can
7 you tell the Court to whom was Mile Mrksic reporting during this time?
8 A. He was reporting to the command of the 1st Army because that's
9 what they belonged to then, and to the General Staff, through the
10 representative of the General Staff. That was Colonel Pavkovic. But I'm
11 not familiar with any other details because I was not a member of the
12 Guards Brigade Command.
13 Q. And by "General Staff," what do you mean exactly?
14 A. I mean the General Staff of the army, the Yugoslav People's Army.
15 Q. And during normal circumstances, to whom did the Guards Motorised
16 Brigade report to?
17 A. Under normal circumstances, it was directly subordinated to the
18 General Staff. But at that moment when there were combat activities and
19 there was the 1st Army, they were subordinated to the commander of the
20 1st Army.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Susic.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this concludes my
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 Mr. Zivanovic for cross-examination.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Susic. My name is
4 Zoran Zivanovic. I'm Goran Hadzic's Defence attorney in this trial. I'm
5 going to ask you a few questions about the testimony you gave today and
6 your testimony in the Mrksic case.
7 You said today that Major Lukic became barracks commander in
8 October 1991. Did he remain in that position until the Guards Brigade
9 left on the 24th of November, 1991?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Please explain. You said what it meant for the barracks
12 commander to be an also the commander of the 2nd Battalion or the
13 2nd Assault Detachment. Does that mean that he was present in the
14 barracks, that he had his office there, that he stayed and slept there?
15 A. Yes. His command post was at the barracks, and as barracks
16 commander, he was fully responsible for the entire security of the
18 Q. Does that mean that he did not have offices at Negoslavci or that
19 he didn't sleep there?
20 A. He did not sleep there. He slept at the barracks in Vukovar.
21 Q. You were deputy commander of the 1st Battalion of the military
22 police until the 1st of November, 1991. And according to what I was able
23 to read in your previous statement, it follows that that unit was a part
24 of the 2nd Assault Detachment; is that correct?
25 A. No. The 1st Military Police Battalion secured the command post
1 at Negoslavci, and one part secured the the rear command post at Berak.
2 And one part was used to escort convoys from Negoslavci to Sid and back,
3 or to Berak where the commander was.
4 The 2nd Company of military police APCs from the
5 4th of October until the 24th of November was part of the 2nd Assault
6 Battalion. And the anti-terrorist company from the 2nd to the
7 20th of October was part of the 2nd Assault Detachment.
8 Q. You may know, but at any rate, we have information that the
9 2nd Military Police Battalion was not used in combat activities until the
10 1st of November; is that correct?
11 A. The anti-terrorist company was used from the 2nd until the 20th
12 and then it was withdrawn to rest until the 1st, because, on the 1st, the
13 anti-terrorist company and part of the military police company made up
14 the 5th Assault Detachment, of which I was the commander, and it -- its
15 place was between the 1st and the 2nd Assault Detachments.
16 Q. When you spoke about the numerical strength of the 1st Battalion,
17 you mentioned 120 officers and 8 00 soldiers. In the Mrksic case you
18 said 900 soldiers but that difference doesn't matter so much now.
19 Did you take into account that part of the 1st Battalion of
20 military police that was part of the 2nd Assault Detachment, that is, the
21 2nd Battalion?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. You said that there was also a 2nd Military Police Battalion.
24 Can you tell me who the commander was?
25 A. Major Radoje Paunovic.
1 Q. Today you spoke about the briefing at Negoslavci that you
2 attended as of the 1st of November, 1991. Can you now tell us what was
3 discussed at those briefings.
4 A. At those briefings, the activities of that day were briefly
5 analysed and tasks were assigned for the coming period.
6 Q. That briefing was attended by all battalion commanders from the
7 1st Guards Brigade?
8 A. Yes, all battalion commanders, members of the brigade command,
9 and the brigade commander attended.
10 Q. At those briefings, the subordinate officers, did they inform the
11 brigade commander about what they did to carry out the orders on that --
12 the orders received on that day?
13 A. Yes, that is how it went.
14 Q. And orders were also given for the coming day or days.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you tell us about Mladen Predojevic. What was his position
17 in the Guards Brigade?
18 A. Mladen Predojevic was commander of the 2nd APC Company of the
19 military police, and that company was attached to the 2nd Assault
20 Battalion, and he secured the barracks with his men. I was with him from
21 the 4th until the 1st, when I was appointed commander. And together with
22 them, I defined the elements of barracks security; sentries, observation
23 posts, gates, patrols, et cetera.
24 Q. The 2nd APC Company, the commander of which he was, was --
25 belonged to the 1st Battalion of military police.
1 A. Yes, it was. But then it became part of the 2nd Assault
2 Battalion --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the date.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could you please repeat the dates for the interpretation.
6 A. The 2nd APC Company became part of the 2nd Assault Battalion on
7 the 4th of November -- sorry, the 2nd -- the 4th of October until the
8 24th of November.
9 Q. During that time, it was subordinated to Major Lukic.
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. I saw that Mladen Predojevic is no longer alive. Do you know
12 when he died?
13 A. He was killed in action in 1993.
14 Q. In another trial, and here, too, you said that he contacted you
15 on the 20th of November between 10 and 1100 hours. Can you please
16 summarise that conversation for us.
17 A. Between 10 and 1100 hours, he called me to tell me that he was
18 having problems because buses with some people had arrived, and the
19 civilians had -- and civilians had gathered around them. And I was
20 invited to go over there to see what was happening.
21 Q. Excuse me, I just wanted you to give us a short summary of the
22 conversation. Later on, we'll move on to what happened later.
23 A. He said that some buses with civilians had entered the barracks
24 and that a group of people had gathered to protest and that something --
25 some unwanted events could happen.
1 Q. That is all that he said to you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you ask him why he was calling you at all?
4 A. No, I didn't ask him why. Because he wouldn't have called me if
5 he hadn't had a problem.
6 Q. As far as I can tell from that conversation, he didn't ask you to
7 do anything.
8 A. Well, yes, he did. He asked me to help him. That's what he
10 Q. Did he state that explicitly or was that your conclusion from the
11 conversation as you related it to us, that this must have been a request
12 for help?
13 A. I cannot tell you exactly how, but then I concluded that he
14 needed help and that I had to go there to see what was happening.
15 Q. And you went over to see what was happening. And can you tell us
16 what you saw when you arrived?
17 A. When I arrived, I saw some four to five buses, one behind the
18 other, and there were civilians on those buses. The drivers were in the
19 driver's seats, and on the buses at the front and rear doors, there were
20 police officers; one in the front, the other at the rear. Around them,
21 there was a group of people, about 50, dressed in all sorts of ways,
22 civilian clothes or civilian pants and uniform jackets and what have you.
23 There was also a small number of them who were armed.
24 Q. When you said "civilians," were they men, women, children,
25 elderly people?
1 A. They were middle-aged. I didn't pay much attention, but I don't
2 think I saw a woman.
3 Q. Children?
4 A. No children.
5 Q. When you said that you noticed police, did you mean military
7 A. Yes, military police. But they weren't members of the
8 1st Battalion.
9 Q. Do you know which unit they belonged to?
10 A. No, I don't. But these were from the hospital, and the
11 2nd Battalion secured the hospital. They would probably have been
12 soldiers of the 2nd Military Police Battalion.
13 Q. When you say that they were securing the hospital, how did you
14 find out about that?
15 A. Well, I knew that the 2nd Battalion was securing the hospital.
16 It started on the 18th.
17 Q. How did you find out that the civilians were from the hospital?
18 A. I asked the driver when I arrived, and the first one I met, I
19 asked him, Where are you from? And he replied, These people are from the
20 hospital. And that was confirmed also by Mladen Predojevic, and he said
21 that he had learned that from the driver. And Major Vukasinovic had also
22 been there, but I didn't meet him because we weren't there at the same
24 Q. As you know that Paunovic was commander of the 2nd Military
25 Police Battalion that was securing the hospital, why didn't you contact
1 him to learn what all that was about and until what time he intended to
2 send prisoners from the hospital to the barracks?
3 A. I did not contact him.
4 Q. Since all that was happening at the barracks, the commander of
5 which was Major Lukic, can you tell me why you didn't contact him?
6 A. I didn't contact him because this had to be taken care of
7 immediately. I later saw Major Lukic. He -- later on, he was even --
8 there was even a Lieutenant-Colonel Panic at the barracks, the Chief of
9 Staff. But after that, the situation was calm.
10 Q. You say that you didn't contact him because you took immediate
12 A. Correct. Since I was the one who set up security there, and
13 since I was responsible, as of the 1st of November, together with
14 Predojevic for the security of the barracks, I wanted to do that, rather
15 than leave that to Predojevic. That's why I was looking to find a
16 solution so that nothing untoward would happen.
17 Q. And you set about doing it as soon as you arrived.
18 A. Well, as I got there, I went to have a look. I could have had
19 the civilians removed at the time, but I didn't know what was going to
20 happen to the buses. Were they going to stay there? Did we have any
21 obligations towards these people, in terms of food, accommodation, and
22 that was why I contacted the commander. I also wanted to know how long
23 they would be staying there because, later on, we had to step up security
24 and we didn't have enough men, so I wanted to know how many would have to
25 be set aside for security.
1 Q. You didn't discuss this with Predojevic, did you? I mean, where
2 these buses were coming from, who sent them there, how long they would be
3 staying there, et cetera.
4 A. Well, Predojevic didn't know this. He didn't know this. He was
5 told by the driver and, later on, by Major Vukasinovic that they had come
6 from the hospital. And that much he knew. As I arrived, I asked the
7 driver and then Predojevic confirmed that they had come, indeed, from the
8 hospital, so I called the commander. I went back to the command post --
9 I mean, I went back to the command post, called the commander, and he
10 told me specifically what the order was, and what I should be doing.
11 Q. And did Predojevic explain to you why didn't he inquire all of
12 this himself? Why did he ask you to do so?
13 A. Well, he was unable to call the brigade commander.
14 Q. And why?
15 A. Well, because he would be sidestepping his superior. He would
16 have to have -- he would have to go through Major Lukic. And I don't
17 know if he was there at the time or not. At any rate, he called me.
18 Q. And you didn't even try to get in touch with Lukic, did you?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And you have no explanation for that.
21 A. No. Had Lukic been there, he would have sorted it out. Was he
22 at the command post or somewhere else? I don't know. At any rate, I
23 didn't ask about it, but Predojevic must have tried to call him, failed
24 to get in touch with him, and then he contacted me, though I didn't ask
25 him about all this.
1 Q. Can you tell me how long was it after your conversation with
2 Predojevic that you arrived at the place where the buses were?
3 A. Well, between my conversation with Predojevic and my arrival at
4 the site, no more than five minutes passed. I was very close by, around
5 300 metres away.
6 Q. And between your arrival there and your calling Mrksic?
7 A. Some ten minutes. Well, I toured the buses there. I talked to
8 the driver. I talked to Predojevic. I inspected the situation. So it
9 could not have been longer than ten minutes.
10 Q. Tell me, please, how do you account for the fact that these
11 50 civilians and members of the TO ended up at the barracks? How were
12 they able to gain access?
13 A. Well, you see, there was the reception box, but they didn't go
14 through the reception box. Rather, they went through the fence
15 perimeter, which had been breached in many places by shells, et cetera.
16 There were bits of it missing in places even, and so that's how they
17 could gain access.
18 Q. I don't understand. So how did they get in?
19 A. Well, they went through the bits where the fence was missing and
20 where there was no security. The perimeter around the barracks was quite
21 large and you couldn't really deploy as many men as you would need to
22 prevent people from entering.
23 Q. And how were you able to know that they didn't go by the
24 reception box?
25 A. Well, I know simply by the fact that they would not have let them
1 through, had they done this.
2 Q. Do you know this for sure or do you assume this?
3 A. Well, I know this for sure because I deployed security, and they
4 were tasked with not letting anyone through who had not previously been
5 registered at the reception box.
6 Q. Can you explain to me what the purpose of the reception box was
7 to begin with, if anybody could gain access into the compound in the
8 areas where the fencing was missing?
9 A. Well, you see, everyone went through the reception box because
10 that's where the road led. Those who wanted to gain access in a
11 different way, they could have done so in the areas where -- not covered
12 by security.
13 Q. In other words, enemy units could have passed through there.
14 A. No, they could not have. Because they would be acting
15 differently. They would be acting from ...
16 Q. Who would be acting differently?
17 A. Well, the security.
18 Q. Does this mean that the security let them through?
19 A. Well, not really. But they could not physically prevent them
20 from entering. They knew that they were not enemy soldiers. They knew
21 that they were civilians, so I suppose they kind of thought this was
22 going to be dealt with differently. They didn't use weapons.
23 Q. In other words, the 50 men, members of the Territorial Defence
24 and civilians, gained access there because the security detail tolerated
25 their entering the compound of the barracks.
1 A. Well, they didn't tolerate it. They could not prevent them from
2 entering. There were, let's say, two of them, and confronted with ten.
3 And they didn't want to use weapons. They didn't want any killing there.
4 They let them through, and then it was hoped that it would be resolved
6 Q. So that's what I'm saying: They actually let them through.
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. From the time of your arrival at the place where the buses were
9 and through to the departure of the buses, were you at the barracks all
10 this time?
11 A. No. As soon as we sorted it out and we did very soon with the
12 orders and the warning, the mass of people left the barracks, and then
13 when the buses left, I went back to my duties. There was a lot to do. I
14 didn't have spare time to idle by the bus. But as I was moving in the
15 compound, I saw Major Lukic and Lieutenant-Colonel Panic, Chief of Staff
16 of the Guards Brigade there, and the situation was quite peaceful around
17 the buses. No additional measures were required, save for the fact that
18 the security around the barracks was stepped up to ensure that other
19 people wouldn't gain access there again.
20 Q. Can you tell us how long you stayed there, from the point you
21 arrived? And I mean at the location where the buses were. How long did
22 you stay there before leaving to attend to your other duties?
23 A. Between half an hour and 45 minutes. Because when I left the
24 site, I didn't leave the barracks immediately. I was discussing how to
25 set up the security detail with Predojevic.
1 So, as I said, between 30 and 45 minutes.
2 Q. Did you go back to the place where the buses were later?
3 A. No, I didn't, but I was passing by. Company commanders would be
4 coming, groups of senior officers as well, and certain daily duties
5 needed resolving. So I was around, and I was able to see the buses on a
6 couple more occasions.
7 Q. You say different senior officers were coming and you were
8 dealing with various problems together with them. Were these problems
9 related to the prisoners and these buses?
10 A. No. They were our daily duties. We were covering different
11 locations, and we had to make our tasks very precise. At the same time,
12 we were starting to prepare for our departure to Belgrade.
13 Q. Do you know up until when the buses stayed within the barracks?
14 A. Well, up until 1400 hours, thereabouts.
15 Q. What happened then? Did you see the buses leave?
16 A. I saw the buses leave. They left. A colonel and a captain came
17 with two all-terrain vehicles. They were received by Predojevic. Well,
18 they went around the buses. They spoke to the drivers, and with one
19 vehicle at the head of the column and the other at the rear, they set off
20 for Negoslavci.
21 Q. You witnessed this?
22 A. No, not really, but I was around. I was doing something else,
23 and then, from a distance - perhaps 200 metres from the buses - I saw
25 Q. Was it because of the distance that you weren't able to hear what
1 they were discussing?
2 A. Yes. I wasn't able to hear what they were saying.
3 I didn't recognise the two. Had they come from the Guards
4 Brigade, I would have recognised them. Obviously they weren't.
5 Q. Did they come -- did they approach you?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You say you saw them from a distance of 200 metres from the
8 buses. What I'd like to know is this: Predojevic, that colonel you
9 mentioned, and the captain, were they by the buses?
10 A. Yes. There were several buses. They passed by the buses, and
11 then one of the vehicles was at the head, and then the other at the rear,
12 and, in this way, they set off for Negoslavci.
13 Q. Did you observe their entire conversation? I say "observe"
14 because you weren't able to hear them. Did you observe them go around
15 the buses? Did you observe the buses leave?
16 A. Well, I wasn't looking at it all the time, but, yes, I would
17 glance at them. And I was relieved to see the buses go because no more
18 security would be required.
19 Q. Did you observe any other senior officers from the Guards Brigade
20 coming together with them, like Major Lukic or Panic?
21 A. No, not at the time, but in between they were. And then later
22 on, they went to the command post at Lukic's. I don't know whether they
23 were with Lukic or somewhere else, but they weren't there. Besides, I
24 was dealing with my own duties, and this was something on the side, as it
25 were, for me.
1 Q. Would you be able to describe for us the colonel that you saw
2 that day?
3 A. No. No, I didn't know him. I only knew that he was active-duty
4 colonel, because he had the rank of colonel.
5 As for the captain, I concluded that he was TO because he had
6 that SNB or olive-grey uniform.
7 Q. Were you able to see whether the colonel was an elderly man or a
8 young man?
9 A. Well, he was elderly, but I don't think I'd be able to recognise
10 him if I saw him now. A colonel could not be younger than 40. If you
11 call that old.
12 Q. Were you able to see if he was bald or if he had hair?
13 A. No. He had a cap on.
14 Q. Did he have a moustache or something?
15 A. No, I wasn't able to observe that.
16 Q. What about his height? Was he as high -- as tall as Predojevic?
18 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you. I didn't pay attention to that.
19 Q. Did they approach you at all? You say that you saw the buses.
20 You saw them. This was at the distance of 200 metres. Did you come
21 closer, or they?
22 A. No. I was busy doing something with senior officers. I wasn't
23 at the command post itself. The command post was 300 metres away. But I
24 was within the compound, talking to someone, one of the senior officers.
25 Q. Does this mean that they didn't come closer at any point in order
1 for you to get a better look?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Can you tell me how you were able to observe the rank of that
4 person who was there?
5 A. Well, I was young, 34. I was able to see the rank from that
7 Q. I suppose that was how you were able to see the rank of captain
8 as well.
9 A. Well, yes. Later Predojevic confirmed too. He said, The Colonel
10 arrived or, A captain arrived, and so on. So he would have refreshed my
11 memory, if I hadn't remembered.
12 Q. But, at any rate, you saw it with your own eyes.
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. When you say that Predojevic later confirmed that, can you tell
15 us what else you discussed with him when he told you that those people
16 were a colonel and a captain? Did he tell you who they were or what --
17 what for and so on?
18 A. Well, I knew why they had come. And they left with the buses.
19 The convoy moved on.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] It seems that something is wrong
21 with the transcript. No, it's okay.
22 Q. You say that you knew why they had come. How come you knew? Who
23 told you?
24 A. What do you mean who told me? I saw them leaving with the buses.
25 So they came and continued with the convoy. That is, they attended that
1 meeting and travelled on. The same buses, the same driver, the same
2 security force. They continued moving fully secured so ... nothing
4 Q. Did Predojevic tell you where they were going?
5 A. He said towards Negoslavci, which I was able to see myself. It
6 was the Negoslavci road that they took. Of course, they didn't tell him.
7 Why would that colonel explain himself to a captain? We were a Guards
8 Brigade. This captain received him. We visited the buses, and then they
9 moved on.
10 Q. Does it mean that Predojevic actually didn't know who that
11 colonel was?
12 A. No, he didn't. He didn't know him. He wasn't a member of the
13 Guards Brigade. He would know him otherwise. And we didn't have any
14 colonels in that brigade, except for Mrksic.
15 Q. You know anybody in a colonel's uniform could have come and taken
16 away whoever he wanted?
17 A. No way. Nobody else would have been able to come. Everything
18 was known. You could tell that this was a JNA colonel and ...
19 Q. You say that it was obvious. But you could tell from the uniform
20 he was wearing and his rank insignia?
21 A. Well, yes. How could he have taken the whole security force and
22 the buses? It would have been another thing if that man had come and put
23 on some uniform, and those civilians had been taken from those buses to
24 some other means of transportation. But given the fact that those were
25 the very same buses with the very same drivers and the very same military
1 police in military vehicles that were properly marked, an off-road
2 vehicle at the head of the convoy and another at the tail-end.
3 Q. But why couldn't somebody else have the same kind of vehicle and
4 attach plates to them, and so on?
5 A. Oh, well, come on.
6 Q. Please tell me: According to the rules that set out the -- that
7 were in force for the work of the military police and the JNA, a military
8 police unit is -- has a commander who is subordinated to the unit to
9 which that military police unit belonged.
10 A. Yes. The military police battalion was commanded by
11 Major Kavalic. When he fell ill, I took over, and my superior was
12 Commander Mrksic. And I was the superior of the company commanders.
13 Q. In the rule-book --
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I refer to P2761, paragraph 13.
15 Q. [Interpretation] This rule-book says, among other things, in
16 paragraph 13 -- I mean, the rule-book of the military police. There are
17 also provisions about the security organ also has the role of being in
18 charge of the military police along professional lines. So what did that
19 mean with regard to your military police battalion? I mean, the security
21 A. Well, the key word here is "professional." So he makes proposals
22 to the brigades commander and then the brigade commander decides.
23 However, the security organ does not have the authority to issue
24 orders. Only to propose things to the commander and then he -- he can
25 issue orders. For example, to define some tasks, assign them to someone,
1 and so on.
2 Q. Could the commander issue orders both personally and through the
3 authorised security organ?
4 A. No, no, no. Only personally. He never did so through the
5 security organ.
6 Q. Does that mean that you, as military police battalion commander,
7 were not in contact with the security organs?
8 A. Oh, yes, I was. I always had contacts with them, but they could
9 not issue me orders.
10 Q. Can you describe those contacts with the security organs that you
11 had? Or let us take the freshest event. The fall of Vukovar on the
12 18th of November, 1991. What kind of contacts with the security organs
13 did you have then?
14 A. We met at briefings and -- I don't know. If they came to inspect
15 the unit, to see what the situation was like, and such occasions. But as
16 for issuing orders, they couldn't do that.
17 During the inspection, they could make some observations based on
18 which they would make proposals to the commander, and the commander could
19 then order some things to be rectified.
20 Q. I was reading the rule-book we're discussing, and I noticed that
21 one of the duties of the military police is escorting persons that --
22 deprived of liberty, among whom there are prisoners of war.
23 A. Correct. That's what we did.
24 Q. Can you tell me when did you that?
25 A. We did that on the 19th. For example, the battalion from Mitnica
1 which surrendered on the 18th and it was disarmed and it was at Ovcara,
2 and from Ovcara, we escorted them to Sremska Mitrovica on the 18th, and
3 it was the 1st Military Police Company from the 1st Battalion who did
4 that. And I prepared the people for that task.
5 Q. When you say "prepared," do you mean that you prepared the
6 military police or the prisoners?
7 A. No, no, no. I mean the unit. And a -- an officer is always
8 given the task of preparing those to be transported. That is, making a
9 list, and so on. The police gives -- provides security.
10 There was a police officer at the front door, one at the rear
11 door, and nobody was allowed to enter. And whoever was on the side
12 couldn't possibly shoot or throw stones at the bus. But to prevent that,
13 I called Colonel Mrksic to take steps to prevent that.
14 Q. Do you know that those prisoners from Mitnica were registered?
15 A. Yes, they were. They were all registered. A list was made, and
16 with that list, they were handed over at Sremska Mitrovica. It was on
17 the 19th of November. Because they surrendered on the 18th, they spent
18 the night at Ovcara. In the evening of the 18th, I was given the task to
19 prepare a unit to provide security. There were APCs and so on. In a
20 word, they went to Sremska Mitrovica under full security and were handed
21 over there. And we also escorted a convoy from Velepromet. They were
22 escorted to the border but they wouldn't accept them. And then we had to
23 go to Sid. And so on.
24 Q. But you personally didn't escort that convoy?
25 A. No. But I gave orders, and they had to report to me later how
1 everything had gone.
2 Q. Do you happen to know about those people who were brought to the
3 barracks on the 20th of November, if they had been registered?
4 A. I don't know. But I'm sure that they were. Because whoever put
5 them on the buses was duty-bound to make a list of them. Now who that
6 was, I don't know, but it must have been that way.
7 Q. We have information that during -- or that while those buses were
8 at the barracks, the prisoners were physically maltreated, were taken out
9 of the buses, and that some of them were returned on some other bus.
10 Have you heard of that?
11 A. Yes, I have. And Captain Predojevic confirmed that
12 Major Vukasinovic from the brigade command, who was the security organ,
13 had come on a bus and taken some 20 people from the other buses, to
14 return them. Major Vukasinovic did that.
15 Now whether there were some physical contacts or not, I don't
16 know because I wasn't there. After that, Predojevic called me.
17 Q. In other words, you don't know anything about the mistreatment of
18 the prisoners.
19 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I wasn't there, nor was I told that
20 there was anything of the kind. But I was told that Major Vukasinovic
21 had been there, and that he had taken away some 20 people. Whether
22 anything happened while they were leaving isn't anything I know.
23 Q. About that convoy that the military police escorted to
24 Sremska Mitrovica, can you tell me who issued that order?
25 A. Mrksic did. These are the briefings we were talking about.
1 On the 18th, he ordered me to make preparations for the escort of
2 a convoy of prisoners to Sremska Mitrovica, but to who he assigned the
3 task to register them, to make a list, I don't know. Whether it was
4 someone from the brigade command or not, but certainly someone would have
5 had -- had to do it.
6 Q. Did you know that in the framework of OG South there was the
7 80th Motorised Brigade from Kragujevac?
8 A. Yes. But I had no contacts with them. They were also at Ovcara
9 to provide security. That was their zone of responsibility.
10 Q. Do you know that, given the fact that you attended all those
11 briefings, town commanders were appointed, starting from Vukovar to other
12 places, villages?
13 A. Yes. The town commander at Negoslavci was Major Vukasinovic.
14 Yes. But physical security was provided by the 1st Military Police
16 Q. Do you know what those town commanders were actually supposed to
18 A. Yes. The commanders were responsible for the overall security
19 and safety and the activities at that place that was being secured. Who
20 was coming, who was going, where the security was placed, and so on. I
21 wasn't in that role, so I couldn't give you the details. But he cannot
22 issue orders to the security but orders me -- or, rather, not me, but
23 asks Mrksic for a reception box to be placed somewhere, or whatever, and
24 then I make a decision based on a professional considerations where to
25 place these.
1 Q. When we say "town commander," I mean a village or a neighbourhood
2 of a town or something?
3 A. Yes, well, he was commander of Negoslavci, Major Vukasinovic.
4 Major Lukic was a barracks commander. Whether there was some commander
5 at Berak, for example, I don't know.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
8 Mr. Susic, this is the time for our first break. We'll take
9 30 minutes. We'll come back at 11.00. The court usher will show you
10 out. Thank you.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Susic, Colonel Mrksic was the commander of
19 the Guards Brigade at the time of your arrival in Vukovar, which was the
20 30th of September, 1991, I believe; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. After that, Operations Group South was set up, and he became its
24 A. Right.
25 Q. Tell me, when he became the commander of the Operations Group
1 South who became commander of the 1st Guards Brigade?
2 A. That was one and the same. It's just that that was -- that the
3 name Operations Group South was used in combat. Other than that, he was
4 the commander of both. That's why we sometimes mix up the two, the
5 commander of the Guards Brigade and operations group, because it's the
6 same thing.
7 Q. Does that mean that the Guards Brigade was declared to be
8 Operations Group South or did it mean something else?
9 A. No, you're right. The Guards Brigade was called Operations Group
10 South. That was the task that it had.
11 Q. In my understanding, the Operations Group South consisted of some
12 other units in addition to the Guards Brigade. Does this mean that these
13 other units were under the 1st Guards Brigade?
14 A. Or under the operations group. Again, it's the same. The
15 commander was Mrksic. There can be a difference, though. But these
16 units joined the Operations Group South and were under the command of
17 Mrksic. Later on, when the operations ended, they left that contingent.
18 Q. According to the information I have, following Mrksic's
19 appointment as commander Operations Group South, the commander of the
20 1st Guards Brigade was Miodrag Panic.
21 A. No. Miodrag Panic was Chief of Staff of both the Guards Brigade
22 and the operations group.
23 Q. At the time of your arrival in the area of Vukovar, you were
24 captain first class by rank; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell me when were you promoted to the rank of major?
2 A. That was in 1993.
3 Q. And to the rank of lieutenant-colonel?
4 A. That was in 1996.
5 Q. And, finally, to the rank of colonel?
6 A. In 2000.
7 Q. Can you tell me when was the first time you heard - if at all -
8 that a number of people were summarily shot at Ovcara? The people from
9 hospital, and roughly 200 of them.
10 A. I learnt it from newspapers, and it was only two or three years
12 Q. I suppose that after the return of the Guards Brigade on the
13 24th of November, you were still in touch with the people in the brigade.
14 So you didn't hear from them of anything like that happening until 1996
15 or later?
16 A. No, no. And I was part of the Guards Brigade within the
17 battalion, up until 1994, when I went to attend schooling at the Staff
18 Command, at the Command Staff Academy.
19 Q. Can you tell us what this Command Staff Academy is, so that the
20 Trial Chamber may understand what you are saying?
21 A. The Command Staff Academy is a higher schooling institution which
22 gives training to people up to the rank of colonel.
23 Q. Were you called by the organs of the then-JNA, and later by the
24 Army of Yugoslavia, to give any statements relative to your participation
25 in the events in Vukovar and about the events in Vukovar in general?
1 A. It was either in 2000 or 2001 that the security organs called me,
2 and I gave a statement similar to the one that I am giving now, about my
3 work and such-like.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: May we see, please, 1D1098.
5 Q. [Interpretation] I think you can see that statement now on the
7 A. Yes. And that's my signature at the bottom. It's my statement.
8 It's not a very clear copy.
9 Q. We'll enlarge it for you now and then we'll have a look at it in
10 some detail.
11 Tell me first: Is this the only statement you gave to the
12 military security structure?
13 A. Yes, the only one.
14 Q. Can you recall who you talked to at the time?
15 A. The security organ, Petar Kovacevic.
16 Q. He was the security organ of the Guards Brigade at the time or
17 some other unit?
18 A. The Guards Brigade.
19 Q. Was he the chief of the security organ?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It was at the time of your discussion with him that this
22 statement was made.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Let's have a look at paragraph 3 of your statement. And this is
25 how it reads:
1 "I declare under full responsibility that not a single member of
2 the company under the command of late Captain Mladen Predojevic was
3 involved in escorting the convoy outside the barracks, and that
4 Captain Mladen Predojevic and his unit fully secured the buses carrying
5 men while they were at the Vukovar barracks. Furthermore, officers and
6 soldiers of his unit did not board the buses or in any way mistreat the
7 civilians aboard these buses."
8 You were able to follow?
9 A. Yes. It's entirely correct.
10 Q. You see, on reading this passage, one gains the impression that
11 you were there at all times and, therefore, on the basis of your
12 first-hand observations, you said that during their stay at the barracks,
13 they were secured by men and that neither officers nor soldiers of his
14 units boarded the buses or mistreated the civilians.
15 You told us today that you you spent roughly 45 minutes there, at
16 which point you left. What I'd like to know is this: On the basis of
17 what did you tell the security organ that, at all times, while present at
18 the barracks, members of Predojevic's unit, including himself, never
19 boarded the buses or mistreated civilians?
20 A. During these 45 minutes I was there, after we had removed that
21 group of civilians surrounding the buses, the situation was quite calm.
22 Besides, both at the front and rear doors, there were military policemen
23 based who did not leave that position. I was working within the
24 compound. I wasn't there at all times, but I did observe occasionally
25 that they did not approach the buses anymore. The buses were secured,
1 and there was no way one could come close to them.
2 Q. Could anyone else mistreat them?
3 A. No, not during this time. It was not possible.
4 Q. When you say "not during this time," do you mean the 45 minutes
5 or throughout their stay there?
6 A. Well, for these 45 minutes after the arrival of that group of
7 people, up until their departure.
8 Q. You see, we have information to the effect that some of the
9 civilians were mistreated, taken off the buses, that various people were
10 involved in this, both uniformed and in civilian clothes, and it doesn't
11 tally with what you're telling us.
12 Did you hear of what I'm saying?
13 A. Yes. Well, when Vukasinovic -- and this was before this
14 particular event, at the time when that group of people were still there.
15 So when -- when he was still trying to turn people back from the bus, at
16 that point in time, this could have happened. But later on, there was
17 nobody there.
18 Q. Can we have a look at paragraph 2 of your statement, line 2,
19 where you say:
20 I declare under full responsibility that the men did not leave
21 the buses but were waiting for other buses ... to gather (about five to
22 six buses). Next a convoy was formed out of these buses and under the
23 command of two individuals, one of whom a colonel (unknown to me) and a
24 member of the Vukovar TO, the column was taken charge of and under escort
25 by the military police, taken somewhere, I don't know where.
1 A. Yes, but they took the road to Negoslavci.
2 Q. I'm also interested in another thing you said. The individuals
3 on the buses were waiting for other buses to gather, some five to six.
4 It is not quite consistent with what you are saying here. You said that
5 the buses were already there.
6 A. Yes. But you see, they were expecting some other buses to
7 arrive, and that's why they were waiting there. However, no more buses
9 Q. And who was it who was expecting other buses to come?
10 A. They came there in order for a complete convoy to be made.
11 That's why they stopped there. I don't know what other expectations they
12 had, but they were there until roughly 2.00 p.m. And then that same
13 column of vehicles left.
14 Q. Did somebody tell you that they were waiting for extra buses?
15 A. I spoke to the driver and was told that they were assembling
16 there and that they would then continue their journey.
17 Q. There's another thing that strikes me when reading this statement
18 of yours. You're not mentioning any sort of conversation with Mrksic
19 here, or any part of your communication with him or what he told you.
20 A. Well, this was certainly the case because I was not put such a
21 question. I was answering the questions that he put to me, and if he had
22 asked me that, I would certainly have told him that I had a discussion
23 with the commander where -- and what we talked about and at what time.
24 Q. In other words, you were merely answering the questions put to
25 you by Kovacevic?
1 A. That's correct. He put questions to me, and I answered them.
2 Q. Well, didn't he know that Predojevic was commander of the
3 2nd Company of the military police? Did he ask you about it?
4 A. Well, that was the way he formed his question. He must have
5 known. He was at the Guards Brigade at the time.
6 Q. Well, we're talking about the first paragraph of your statement.
7 Did he ask you who Predojevic was subordinated to?
8 A. Yes. Because Kovacevic did not go to Vukovar. He was at the
9 barracks in Dedinje at the time these combat operations were taking
11 Q. Did he ask you about the civilians being brought over from the
12 hospital in Vukovar?
13 A. Well, you see, the statement is based on him putting questions to
14 me and me giving the answers.
15 Q. In other words, he did ask you about the civilians being brought
16 over from the hospital in Vukovar or not?
17 A. Well, I don't know. I know that when he put a question to me, I
18 answered it and the answer was recorded here. So ...
19 Q. So did he ask you where these civilians had come from and why
20 they were brought over? Do you know anything about that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You do recall your testimony in the Mrksic case?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You remember that Mrksic's Defence challenged the very fact that
25 you talked to Mrksic on that day and at that time and about that subject.
1 A. Yes, I do recall that.
2 Q. Since I share their view and believe that this conversation did
3 not take place the way you say it did, do you know that at the time you
4 say you spoke to Mr. Mrksic, no government meeting was taking place?
5 A. I don't know if there was a meeting or not, nor who chaired it,
6 or where it was held. What I know for a fact is that this is what the
7 commander, Colonel Mrksic, told me.
8 Q. And that's what he told you then, between 10 and 1100 hours?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Do you remember that the Prosecutor back then, in that trial,
11 asked you who had taken those people from the barracks, and you replied
12 that you didn't know.
13 Do you remember?
14 A. I did not say that I didn't know who, but, rather, that I didn't
15 know that colonel or that captain.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I refer to P3026, page 62.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, while this document is coming up,
18 I'm looking at your guide-lines here, and I understand -- I don't want to
19 get too technical, but I understand that for cross-examination of a
20 92 ter witness, the opposing party usually has double, 200 per cent. I
21 think we're way over that time. So can we seek some clarification as to
22 where the Defence is heading.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. I have just few minutes to finish my
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
3 Q. [Interpretation] And do you remember that the Prosecutor claimed
4 then that both you and many others knew who had taken the prisoners to
5 Ovcara but that you were concealing that?
6 A. Yes, that's what he was saying. But I said then, and I am saying
7 now, that I don't know and that I'm not concealing anything.
8 Q. And you haven't found out to this day.
9 A. I have not.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Susic. No further questions.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
13 Mr. Demirdjian, of course, when Mr. Zivanovic said that he only
14 had two minutes left, there was no reason to intervene.
15 But there is something -- I -- I know the rule, of course. But
16 there is something strange, if not contradictory, in the situation. This
17 is a prior testimony for two days, and OTP decides to have half an hour
18 examination-in-chief which means that the less you ask for examination,
19 the less the Defence has with regard to a testimony that is barely
20 touched by the OTP.
21 So that's why I didn't really take it by the minute for the
22 Defence for their cross-examination.
23 Anything in re-direct?
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honour, just very briefly. And if I
25 can comment, I know you have shown a good degree of flexibility with the
1 parties throughout the trial. However, it's always -- in terms of
2 planning also it is good to know whether the parties are going
3 to exceed -- especially that your guidelines indicate that if a party
4 wants more than the allotted time, we should know that in advance. But I
5 don't believe that there is a much of a consequence here.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
7 Q. So, Mr. Susic, I just have one short topic to ask you about. You
8 were asked by Mr. Zivanovic that there's information suggesting that
9 people on the buses were mistreated by those civilians and TO members.
10 That question was asked a few minutes ago.
11 Now, in the Mrksic case, you were asked about the presence of men
12 referred to as Chetniks. This at page 14945. And in that case, your
13 answer was as follows. Your answer was:
14 "There were some who wore civilian clothes. There were some who
15 had mixed attire, bottom civilian, top uniform. Different variations
16 thereof. They wore different clothes. They had different head-gear,
17 hats, whatever. I could not really perceive each and every detail then
18 because I was supposed to do something different," et cetera.
19 Now, could you tell Court, what you did know at the time about
20 men referred to as Chetniks?
21 A. The people referred to as Chetniks were volunteers who had beards
22 and fur hats with an eagle badge on the hat. But when they were fighting
23 with the JNA, they were fully subordinated to the army command. Nothing
24 special about them. Only that's what they were being called.
25 On the other hand, on the other side, the fighters of the other
1 side were being called Ustasha, and that's how it was.
2 Q. And do we understand from your answer in the Mrksic case that
3 among these -- amongst these civilians and TO members that you saw, this
4 group of 50, there were also men referred to as Chetniks?
5 A. Yes. They were -- there were some who were dressed that way and
6 who wore beards.
7 Q. Very well.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours. That concludes my
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Susic, this is the end of your testimony. We
13 thank you very much, once again, for coming to The Hague to assist the
14 Tribunal. You're now released as a witness, and we wish you a safe
15 journey back home. The court usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, and good-bye.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Nothing else?
19 MR. STRINGER: No, Mr. President. The next witness, the last
20 witness, is tomorrow's videolink, so no further witnesses today.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 Court adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.33 a.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 17th day of
25 October, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.