1 Friday, 3 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.17 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hope that -- I'm hearing other people.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry about that. Okay. Good morning,
9 everybody. I hope we can now move on. We are at the stage where the --
10 the Defence is still cross-examining the witness, but before we start I
11 was made to understand by the legal team that there might be a request
12 that we sit this afternoon one session.
13 MR. BLACK: That's correct, Your Honour. Our request would be
14 that if the cross-examination is not completed by the end of the regular
15 morning session, that we would perhaps continue into the afternoon, in the
16 hopes of finishing this witness today. He does have other duties with
17 this team and, to some extent, with other teams. And while he's been able
18 to come to the Tribunal during his testimony and do some limited work,
19 he's very much limited in the -- the inability to communicate with us of
20 course, and to some extent with other teams, and we thought that might be
21 a possibility to wrap up his testimony today, Your Honour. That was the
22 only suggestion.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, you are probably best-suited to
24 give us an indication as to whether we are likely to wrap up the
25 cross-examination of this witness or the examination of the witness this
1 morning. Are you able to make any contribution?
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the plan of the
3 Defence is to finish our cross-examination today, although the duration of
4 the cross will depend on the expert witness's answers, whether they will
5 be short or more extensive. I do hope that we will be able to finish
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, the -- the other problem that I've sort of --
8 that has been reported to the Chamber is that we're falling behind with
9 scheduling of witness, and there's a new witness who is scheduled for next
10 week Monday. And the idea is to try and wrap up this witness today. In
11 any case, I hope we can do that, Mr. Milovancevic. My attention has also
12 been drawn to Rule 90(H), which does require that the Chamber makes sure
13 that we wrap up the examination of witnesses as expeditiously as possible.
15 I wouldn't want to waste more time. Can we then move on to the
16 witness -- or, I see Mr. Black has something to say. Yes, Mr. Black.
17 MR. BLACK: I apologise, Your Honour. Something very brief. We
18 filed a Rule 89(F) motion earlier in the week, I believe on Tuesday, with
19 regard to a witness who will come to testify viva voce at the beginning
20 not of next week but the following week. We failed to request expedited
21 consideration in the written motion, but we have since realised in order
22 for us to prepare that witness for the following week we'll need a
23 decision, which could be oral, by sometime next week. So I was going to
24 ask if the Defence could, if possible, file any response by Monday or
25 Tuesday, we'll then file any reply immediately, I would say the next day,
1 with the hopes that Your Honours would have time to decide the motion by
2 the end of the week, please, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, is the Defence in a position to
4 file an answer to the motion?
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We will do that within the time
6 limit on Monday or, at the latest, on Tuesday, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
8 Is that okay?
9 MR. BLACK: Yes, I'm very grateful. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 Mr. Milovancevic, the witness is yours.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS [Resumed]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic: [Continued]
15 Q. Mr. Theunens, we left it off on page 84, the SAO Krajina TO,
16 Territorial Defence. In paragraph 2 entitled evolution from January to
17 April, and then on the following page, paragraph 3, evolution between
18 April 1991 and December 1991, you describe the development of the
19 Territorial Defence of the SAO Krajina. Is it right that between April
20 and December 1991, the staffs and units of the TO were established in
21 different parts of Krajina that you mentioned in your report?
22 A. That's correct, Your Honours, but I would like to add that when we
23 talk about staffs, it's the staffs on the local levels. A staff on the
24 SAO Krajina level was, according to the documents I reviewed, only
25 established at the end of September 1991.
1 Q. On page 86 of your expert report, under paragraph 5, Adoption of
2 the Law on Defence of the Republic of Serbia, you stated that on the 1st
3 of August, 1991, the government of the SAO Krajina adopted a decision to
4 apply the law of defence of the Republic of Serbia on the territory of
5 this SAO Krajina. Do you know that the Croatian parliament on the 21st of
6 February, 1991, took a decision to sever all its constitutional and legal
7 links with Yugoslavia and that all the areas that had been governed by
8 federal laws would from that time on be governed by that republic alone?
9 A. Your Honours, as I've mentioned before, my report is aimed at
10 studying and analysing the SAO Krajina TO as well as the RSK TO and the
11 SVK, and relation between these armed organisations and Milan Martic, and
12 I've also indicated earlier during my cross-examination that therefore I
13 didn't study legal decisions and other issues related to Croatian armed
14 forces in detail for the purposes of this report.
15 Q. Can you tell us whether the law on defence of the Republic of
16 Serbia, which it had been decided to be applied in the territory of the
17 SAO Krajina, whether in fact it was in conformity or in compliance with
18 the constitution of the SFRY?
19 A. Your Honours, that's a legal question which would require legal
20 analysis and, as I've mentioned earlier during my cross-examination, I'm
21 not qualified for these matters and therefore I wouldn't want to express
22 any opinions which may be incorrect.
23 Q. Mr. Theunens, in the parts of your expert report where you deal
24 with the legislative provisions regulating defence, especially in section
25 2 where you analysed the legislation of Serbia, that's to say pages 57,
1 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, did you quote all the relevant legislation
2 from the Republic of Serbia dating from 1991 which had to do with defence
4 A. Indeed, Your Honours, I -- as Mr. Milovancevic pointed out
5 correctly, I listed these articles, but I didn't analyse them. I just
6 listed them in order to be able to better understand the decision that was
7 taken at the SAO Krajina level on the 1st August of 1991 to adopt the law
8 of defence of the Republic for -- of Serbia as the law of defence of the
9 SAO Krajina.
10 Q. Is it true that in all the pages that I enumerated, Mr. Theunens,
11 you compared the provisions of the -- those laws with the provisions of
12 the SFRY legislation with the 1982 All People's Defence law. And based on
13 that you drew your conclusions that the TO, the Republic of Serbia,
14 constituted the armed forces of the SFRY and conclusions to that effect?
15 A. Your Honours, what I did is - and that is explained on pages 61
16 and page 62 of the English version of my report - I quoted article 5 of
17 the 1991 law of defence of the Republic of Serbia as well as the article
18 6. And the article 6 in its paragraph number 1, which is mentioned at the
19 top of page 62 of my report, states, I quote, so we're talking about the
20 duties: "The president of the republic in organisation of defence
21 preparations commands the armed forces in peacetime and in war, thus
22 including the authorisation for realisation of organisational and personal
23 issues in territorial defence."
24 Now, what I did then, I compared it to the articles 113 and 115 of
25 the 1992 All People's Defence law --
1 Q. I apologise, Mr. Theunens. I did not wish you to analyse again
2 all the articles you cited and which you described in great detail. My
3 question to you was whether you compared the provisions of the federal
4 legislation and the Serbian legislation, and did you come across any
5 provisions which, to you as a military expert, would point to the fact
6 that the given provision was not in accordance with the SFRY constitution.
7 That was my question, and please do not go into detail in analysing
8 matters that we've dealt with here before.
9 A. Your Honours, to answer the question, what I did was I compared
10 paragraph 1 of article 6 of the 1991 defence of the Republic of Serbia
11 with articles 113 and 115 with the 1982 All People's Defence law, and I
12 wrote down based on that comparison there was a lack of coherence, and
13 this is on page 62, because the 1982 All People's Defence Law mentions
14 that the arm -- that the TO is subordinated to the SFRY Presidency,
15 whereas article 6 of the Serbian law of defence states, as I mentioned,
16 that it's the president of the republic, i.e., the Republic of Serbia who
17 commands the armed forces. That's all that I did, and I did -- because of
18 the fact that I'm not a legal expert, I didn't think it would be
19 appropriate to go into further details on this matter. I merely pointed
20 out what looked -- what seemed to be a contradiction or at least a lack of
22 Q. The law of -- on defence of the Republic of Serbia, in your
23 opinion, does it contain a provision to the effect that the TO of Serbia
24 is part of the unified armed force of Serbia?
25 A. Your Honours, I don't understand the question in the sense what is
1 meant with the concept of "unified armed force of Serbia"?
2 Q. I apologise. I misspoke. I meant the unified armed force of
4 A. Indeed, Your Honours, the -- as mentioned on page 57 and page 58
5 of my report, the article 31 of the 1991 Serbian law on defence states
6 that: "Territorial Defence of the Republic of Serbia is a part of the
7 united armed forces of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia."
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. On page 89, do you state there that the
9 Krajina Assembly took a decision on the 29th of May, 1991, electing Martic
10 to the post of minister of defence of the SAO Krajina. That's page 89 of
11 your report.
12 A. That's correct, Your Honours, and this decision is included in 65
13 ter number 79.
14 Q. Do you state in paragraph 1 on page 90 that on the 27th of June,
15 1991, Milan Martic was re-elected minister of the interior of the SAO
16 Krajina, re-elected?
17 A. Your Honours, I put the "re" in re-elected between brackets
18 because even though I didn't make an analysis of the role, on one hand, of
19 the secretary, and, on the other hand, a minister of internal affairs, I
20 understood that it was merely a continuation of the occupations Milan
21 Martic occupied before, and even though -- that is included in the chart I
22 prepared for Your Honours, that on the 29th of May, 1991, a Mr. Dusan
23 Vjestica was appointed minister of interior, and I don't -- I didn't
24 include -- that's -- sorry, that can be found back in 65 ter number 80,
25 which is not included in my report.
1 Q. Mr. Theunens, could you please keep your answers short. If your
2 answer is affirmative, as it was in this case, then please answer with
3 a "yes."
4 A. Yes --
5 Q. On page 89, at the top of the page, did you not state that on the
6 29th of May, 1991, the SAO Krajina Assembly promulgated the constitutional
8 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, interpreter's correction.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In addition to the constitutional law of the SAO Krajina, it also
11 adopted a law on ministries.
12 A. Yes, Your Honours, that can be found on page 89 of my report.
13 Q. Since you state in paragraph 1, page 90 that since January -- 4th
14 of January, 1991, Martic had been secretary of the internal affairs, you
15 start your sentence by saying that: "On the 27th of June, he was elected
17 Does it mean merely that the new law came into application and
18 that under the new law he was now styled as a minister of the interior and
19 not the secretary, as before. Isn't that correct?
20 A. Your Honours, I think I answered the question before, but then the
21 answer was considered too long. Between 4th of January and 29th of May,
22 1991, Martic was the secretary of interior. 29th of May, 1991, he was
23 appointed minister of defence, and on the same day, Dusan Vjestica was
24 appointed minister of the interior. However, on the 29th of June,
25 1991, Milan Martic is, if I could use the expression, is re-appointed
1 or is elected minister of the interior; and that's my answer to that
2 question which I already gave.
3 Q. The -- do you state on page 91 that on the 8th of August, 1991,
4 Milan Babic appointed Milan Martic minister of the interior. Did he not
5 appoint him minister of defence? Therefore, Milan Martic, who was both
6 minister of the interior and minister of defence, had been appointed
7 deputy commander of the Krajina TO. That's page 91.
8 A. Your Honour, maybe it's an issue with the translation, but page
9 91, paragraph 7, states that: "Milan Babic appointed Milan Martic, who
10 was the minister of interior and minister of defence of the SAO Krajina to
11 the position of deputy commander of the TO of the SAO Krajina. It
12 didn't -- the paragraph does not say that Milan Babic appointed Milan
13 Martic to the position of minister of interior, nor does it indicate or
14 does it say that Milan Babic appointed Milan Martic to the position of
15 minister of defence.
16 Q. That's correct, Mr. Theunens.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just get clarity. Are we looking at
18 paragraph 7 on page 91?
19 THE WITNESS: Indeed, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: And doesn't it say clearly that on that date, the
21 8th of August, 1991, Milan Babic appointed Milan Martic minister of
22 interior and minister of defence of the SAO Krajina to the position of
23 deputy -- well, what does it say? Does it say: At that stage Martic was
24 both minister of interior and defence but then was now also appointed to
25 the position of the deputy commander of the TO or does it say he was
1 appointed to all those three positions?
2 THE WITNESS: I tried to indicate the first option you mentioned,
3 Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. So he was already at that time minister of
5 interior and minister of defence, and he was being appointed minister --
6 deputy commander. Okay. Thank you very much.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That's
8 as much as we have to say about the power struggle between Milan Babic and
9 Milan Martic. Now let's move on to page 93.
10 Q. Mr. Theunens, in paragraph 9 you say on the 30th of November,
11 1991, the SAO Krajina adopted its own law on defence. Is that right?
12 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
13 Q. Do you quote article 31 of the law on page 94 which says that
14 the: "SAO Krajina TO is considered to be part of the unified armed force
15 of the SFRY"?
16 A. Indeed that's article 31 of the SAO Krajina law of defence.
17 Q. On page 99 of your report under (f) 6cap?, that's last paragraph,
18 you state that: "The commander of the 2nd Lika Brigade of the SAO
19 Krajina, Petar Grbovic" --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Petar Trbovic, interpreter's correction.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. -- "requested Milan Martic to remove a group of soldiers led by
23 Predrag Baklajic who had been training at the camp in Golubic and that
24 this order demonstrated Martic's position vis-a-vis the subordinate TO
1 A. Indeed, Your Honours. The reason I mentioned it is because by
2 that date, on the 12th of November, 1991, we have already a staff for the
3 SAO Krajina TO and also a commander for the SAO Krajina TO. And I'm not
4 sure, but I think it's still Colonel Ilijas Djulic at that stage. And we
5 discussed earlier the appointment of Milan Martic to the position of
6 deputy commander of the territorial defence on the 8th of August. The
7 decision we have does not indicate which would be the duties of Martic.
8 Normally in the military context, a deputy commander is most of the times
9 or in most cases responsible for logistical aspects and for the running of
10 the staff. For example, the Chief of Staff actually will be the deputy
11 commander in a traditional military environment, and he plays the
12 commander when the commander is not available. Now, again, Martic, 8th of
13 August, deputy commander of the TO, we don't know for how long he occupies
14 that post, but what we know is that by the 30th of September there is a
15 commander for the TO and there is no information on who the deputy
16 commander is.
17 Q. That was not the gist of my question, Mr. Theunens. My question
18 focussed on the fact that colonel -- that Petar Trbovic wrote a letter to
19 Milan Martic, wherein he told him that the mentioned Predrag Baklajic had
20 promised to cooperate with the Territorial Defence but that he refused to
21 do so, that he abandoned the first line, and that later on he came back
22 and called on the men to desert their positions. At the same time, many
23 people from the surrounding places speak of a group which does not engage
24 in combat but rather in looting, and they call them renegades.
25 Can you tell us what sort of order are you referring to here? Was
1 this an order issued by Martic to Trbovic or vice versa? What do you base
2 your conclusion as to this superiority -- or rather, this
3 superior/subordinate relationship between Martic and Trbovic?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you answer.
5 Isn't it quite clear from this paragraph, Mr. Milovancevic, that
6 obviously if - I don't know how to pronounce this - but Petar Trbovic
7 makes a request to Martic to remove somebody, it means Martic has the
8 power to remove that somebody, in the view of Trbovic. And that's the
9 basis for the conclusion. Isn't that as simple as all that?
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] In all respect, Your Honour,
11 this is a wrong conclusion because Mr. Theunens mentions a group trained
12 at Golubic, and by doing so ties Mr. Martic in with the group. At the
13 same time, he has a letter which shows that this is a renegade group, does
14 not engage in combat, but rather in looting, and he is asking for
15 assistance in that regard.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: But, Mr. Milovancevic, if the conclusion is wrong,
17 tell him the conclusion is wrong. Don't ask him to confirm what is
18 already written in the paper. He has written it in the paper. He makes
19 his conclusion based on the fact that somebody is appealing to this man,
20 who is supposed to be a superior, to do something about a situation that
21 he doesn't like. And that's the basis of the conclusion. And if that
22 basis is wrong, just tell him: "Your basis is wrong."
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Theunens, what is the basis of your conclusion that Mr. Martic
25 is superior to Baklajic?
1 A. Your Honours, I think the easiest would be if we all see the
2 document. It is 65 ter number 1256, but in any event what I tried to
3 explain in the conclusion is actually what Your Honours mentioned, it is
4 that Trbovic believes that Martic is a person with authority and with the
5 authority to remove this group of Predrag Baklajic. When you look at the
6 document it starts with: Comrade Martic, and then there's a long
7 description, and it ends with "friendly greetings." At least in military
8 language --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where can we find that document? Can we get it on
10 the screen?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That's exhibit 1256 from the 65
12 ter exhibit list. 1256, therefore.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do we have the 65 ter exhibit list with us? I
14 don't think I do.
15 THE WITNESS: The document is on the monitor, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. I don't have it still.
17 THE WITNESS: So from the heading we can see it's an order of a
18 document with a top secret number 1/10. Commander of the Lika brigade to
19 the SAO Krajina, it doesn't say which ministry, but it -- "to the
20 attention of Milan Martic," and then it says "Comrade Martic." When we
21 scroll down in the document we see at the end, the last paragraph: "We
22 ask you to remove the aforementioned and his group." And then he
23 says: "Friendly greetings, Commander Colonel Trbovic."
24 As I said, "friendly greetings" I have not seen that mentioned
25 often in all JNA officers to other people. My impression -- or my
1 analysis -- basically, my analysis of this document is that Trbovic
2 believes that Martic is a person with authority and that Martic is the one
3 who is in a position to remove Predrag Baklajic's group. If Trbovic had
4 followed, let's say, military procedures, he would have sent a letter to
5 the commander of the Territorial Defence. There was a commander at that
6 time. And that commander would then -- if Baklajic's group was
7 subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior, well then the command of the
8 TO would have contacted his counterpart on the level of the Ministry of
9 the Interior or the police. But it -- I mean, the explanation given by
10 Mr. Milovancevic does not make sense from the military point of view.
11 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Before you proceed, counsel. So would you agree
12 then that the document lends an interpretation that Martic was a person of
13 influence but not necessarily superior to the person who addressed the
14 letter? Is there any room for that interpretation?
15 THE WITNESS: That's correct, Your Honours. Now, with regard to
16 superior, at least de jure, there's no indication of a
17 subordinate/superior relationship. De facto, then of course we enter into
18 the area of influence.
19 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Very well. Thank you.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. What is the basis of your conclusion that there is actual
22 influence? Do you not in paragraph 3 mention this captain of special
23 forces and are you aware of the fact that Baklajic was in fact arrested
24 for serious crimes and was ultimately murdered?
25 A. Your Honours, as I mentioned earlier, all I can say on the basis
1 of this document is that Trbovic believes that -- or considers that Martic
2 is a person with influence who is able to fulfil this request of removing
3 Predrag Baklajic's group.
4 Q. On page 103 in paragraph (c) did you write that: "On the 10th of
5 October, 1991, Milan Babic, as president of the SAO Krajina, sent a report
6 to the chief of the General Staff of the SFRY armed forces, confirming
7 that the TO of the SAO Krajina had been established in accordance with the
8 order of the chief of the General Staff of the SFRY"?
9 A. That's correct, Your Honours, and this can be found in exhibit 65
10 ter number 167.
11 Q. On page 105 of your report in English, do you state in the very
12 first paragraph that: "During the operations in the mentioned areas in
13 Croatia towards the end of the winter in 1991, an order was issued to
14 achieve and maintain single command over the JNA and local Serb TO units."
15 And then you also mention the order of General Vukovic.
16 A. Indeed, Your Honours, the only difference is that the paragraph
17 says "orders were given," not just a single order.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. In the last paragraph on that same page,
19 105, do you state that: "The JNA established operational and tactical
20 groups in order to create conditions for or to restore, maintain, single
21 command and control over all forces involved in combat."
22 And do you then list forces which took part in combat operations,
23 namely, JNA, local Serb Territorial Defence forces, local Serb police, and
24 Territorial Defence of the Republic of Serbia"?
25 A. Indeed, Your Honours, and the details follow on the following
1 pages. I would just like to add that in Northern Dalmatia I didn't come
2 across any documents as far as Northern Dalmatia is concerned. I didn't
3 come across any documents as far as the local Serb and local Serb MUP to
4 the JNA was organised through operational and tactical groups; it was
5 mainly in the other areas.
6 Q. I put these two questions to you, Mr. Theunens, because on page
7 105 you quoted directly the order of General Vukovic dated 26th October,
8 1991, where in item 1 it is stated that: "The resubordination pertained
9 to the TO units in the territory in the area of responsibility of the 9th
10 Corps." No other order has the title that you seem to use "local Serb
11 TO," "local Serb police," "Territorial Defence of the Republic of Serbia."
12 Where else did you see these terms used? You are the only one who seems
13 to use them. Do you actually change the terminology used by the JNA units
14 in the field?
15 A. Your Honours, it was not my intention to change any terminology,
16 but I believe that for the reader it would be easier to understand that
17 when "TO" is mentioned, for example, in this order quoted by
18 Mr. Milovancevic, we are not talking about the TO of the Republic of
19 Croatia as it existed actually prior to the conflict, but of a TO which
20 was mainly manned and established by, call them, Krajina Serbs or local
21 Serbs because there were also local Serb TO units in Eastern Slavonia and
22 Baranja. And that was my only intention. I -- my -- it was my impression
23 that the use of "TO units" as such would be misleading or even confusing.
24 Q. Since you're an expert, isn't it much more precise to
25 say "Territorial Defence units in the area of responsibility of the 9th
1 Corps" or any other unit? Isn't that a proper, precise terminology? And
2 can you mention any unit of the Territorial Defence of the Republic of
3 Serbia by its name and military designation which participated in any
4 combat operations in the Republic of Croatia? And this is what we're
5 discussing here.
6 A. Your Honours, if we would have used Territorial Defence units in
7 the area of responsibility of the 9th Corps, there would still have been a
8 risk of confusion about whether these were mainly Serb organ -- I will
9 rephrase this. Whether these were TO units which were actually
10 established by Krajina Serbs, or whether it were TO units of the Republic
11 of Croatia. I think it's clear from the -- from my report and from -- in
12 particular from the documents I have used to compile my report that these
13 TO units were not units of the Republic of Croatia, but were self-styled
14 or self-established units which were controlled and commanded by the JNA
15 and which were manned by people from areas known as the SAO Krajina.
16 As for the second part of the question, unfortunately it's not
17 included in this report, but I can easily identify that during the break,
18 if that can be of assistance of the Court. When we look at the area of
19 Baranja and Eastern Slavonia, so in the Eastern part of Croatia, there is
20 an order from the 1st Military District or a report from the 1st Military
21 District at the end of September 1991 where they list at least 21 units or
22 detachments of the TO of the Republic of Serbia that are involved in
23 operations in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem. Again, this
24 specific order is not included in this report because I only talk about
25 SAO Krajina TO. And at that part -- at that time, the local Serb TO in
1 Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem was not yet part of the TO of
2 the SAO Krajina or the RSK.
3 Q. You said that those were the JNA orders of an authorised command
4 of the JNA. In a situation when the constitution stipulates that the
5 armed forces are constituted of the JNA units and the TO units which can
6 be considered forces for manoeuvres. Isn't that right, Mr. Theunens?
7 A. That's possible, Your Honours, but I only mentioned this an
8 attempt to answer your question when you state, Mr. Milovancevic, that
9 there are no -- that no units with the Republic -- with the TO of the
10 Republic of Serbia were involved in the conflict in Croatia. I didn't go
11 into further details in order to save time.
12 Q. On page 106, under (ii) you mentioned 18th of August, 1991, and an
13 order by Milan Martic, whereby he warned the police department in Split
14 and Kijevo as well as local commune in Kijevo that he would not tolerate
15 the presence of Croatian police in his territory, giving them a 48-hour
16 deadline to withdraw. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, and in the order is even -- Martic is more specific. He
18 calls these police stations "upholders and guardians of the Ustasha and
19 fascist policy of the so-called non-Croatian democracy."
20 Q. Do you know that Mr. Martic, as a policeman, wrote a letter to the
21 Presidency of the SFRY to the Federal Secretariat of the Interior in
22 Belgrade and to the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia on the 3rd of
23 March, 1991, warning them that barricades had been erected in Kijevo, that
24 the locals had been armed, and that, as much, they threatened the
25 delegation of the Municipal Assembly of Knin, and that they sent back the
1 Knin SUP members from that area? This is exhibit 244 on the 65 ter list.
2 Have you seen such a document?
3 A. I haven't specifically looked at that document, Your Honours,
4 because it referred more to purely police matters, whereas my report deals
5 with military issues.
6 Q. In that report dated 3rd of March, 1991, Mr. Martic gave a public
7 announcement saying that the population of the local commune of Kijevo is
8 used as a victim intended to provoke Croatian police for these purposes
9 that I have mentioned.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please see exhibit 244
11 on the 65 ter list of the Prosecution?
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, has this been already admitted
14 into evidence, this exhibit you're talking about?
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] As far as I'm aware, not,
16 Your Honour. This exhibit has not been mentioned at.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] English version is 02170655.
20 Q. Mr. Theunens, can you please read out --
21 A. Which part?
22 Q. The last paragraph of this report.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, shouldn't the document be
24 tendered into evidence before we start reading it?
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was about to
1 move for that to be done after we have gone over the contents. But, yes,
2 I will agree with your suggestion, I --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: But how do you go through the contents before it's
4 part of the evidence? If it's admitted -- if it's not admitted, how do
5 you deal with the fact that you've dealt with it already? If this is the
6 witness you want to tender this document through? Does this witness know
7 anything about this document?
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this has to do
9 with an operation conducted in the village of Kijevo. This document
10 pertains to the village of Kijevo and to the operation which was concluded
11 in August of 1991. This document is on the exhibit list of the
12 Prosecution. The Defence believes this document to be an important one
13 because it shows the motives and reasons for an event. This is why we
14 believe this document to be important. The witness uses this operation in
15 Kijevo to say something about Milan Martic as head of police in Knin.
16 This is a document sent by Mr. Martic.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I do understand what you say, Mr. Milovancevic, but
18 I would imagine that the Rules of Procedure in -- should be followed. And
19 I thought there is a specific procedure for tendering exhibits into
20 evidence. Anyway, you say that it's -- it comes from the list of
21 documents -- list of exhibits -- it comes from the exhibit list of the
22 Prosecution. I don't know -- we'll hear if there's anything from the
23 Prosecution on that.
24 You may proceed.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Theunens, would you please tell us: To whom is this document
3 addressed, the one dated 3rd of March, 1991? Would you please read out
4 the addressee's name?
5 A. The addressees are --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought you said you were tendering it before
7 you -- you start reading it, Mr. Milovancevic. I thought you seemed to
8 accept my suggestion that it must first be admitted into evidence before
9 you start reading it.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I move to have the OTP exhibit
11 244 admitted into evidence as a Defence exhibit.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, the document will -- is admitted into
13 evidence as a Defence exhibit. May it be given an exhibit number, please.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number 105, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Who is this letter addressed to, Mr. Theunens? Would you please
18 read out the heading.
19 A. It is addressed to the Presidency of the SFRY, Belgrade; the
20 federal SUP, Belgrade; and then something, I don't know what it means, OF
21 MUP Zagreb.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just at that point, Mr. Milovancevic, I'm sorry to
23 do this to you. Would it be convenient to take the break here? I'm
24 mindful of the fact we started 15 minutes late, but so that we don't
25 confuse our schedule for the day, I'd like us to keep to the time. Would
1 that be okay if we took the break now?
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, that's fine.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then the court will adjourn
4 and we'll come back at quarter to.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry about that delay, but we had to sort out
8 the issue that we were talking about this morning of sitting this
9 afternoon. From the point of view of the Bench, if it is convenient with
10 everybody else, it would be preferable, if we do sit, to sit at half past
11 2.00 for one hour and 15 minutes.
12 MR. BLACK: That would be fine with the Prosecution, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Obviously this means that the lunch break would be
14 much shorter than usual.
15 And how is it with you, Mr. Milovancevic?
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That's fine, Your Honour.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: And is it okay with everybody else, the
19 interpreters, the other staff?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honours, we would need to consult all
21 booths again and come back to you later.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please can you do that. I would appreciate that
23 very much. Thank you so much.
24 Mr. Milovancevic, you may proceed.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. We left off at the point where we were discussing the Kijevo
2 police station and Martic's warning issued on the 18th of August, 1991.
3 The accused, Martic -- in that letter containing warning that Mr. Martic
4 sent on the 18th of August, 1991, does Martic advise and warn the
5 population of Kijevo to find safe shelters in order to protect themselves
6 in case of a military operation?
7 A. That is correct, Your Honours, even though the safe shelters, as
8 such, is not specified. So it's not clear whether it's meant -- it means
9 that the people have to leave Kijevo or whether they can go to areas
10 within Kijevo where they are protected or somewhere else.
11 Q. The norms of international laws of war, do they provide for
12 precisely this type of a duty, that should there be any military
13 operations in a certain area where civilians reside, then these civilians
14 need to be warned of the upcoming military action?
15 A. My understanding, Your Honours, of international -- of the laws of
16 war is that attacks on civilian targets or civilian facilities should be
18 Q. Mr. Theunens, you are evading the answer. I'm not asking you
19 about what your understanding; I'm asking you about the provisions of the
20 international laws of war and whether there is a duty on the part of
21 warring sides to warn the civilian population. Let us not waste time any
22 longer, please.
23 A. Your Honours, that may be correct. But, again, I answered the
25 Q. Thank you, that's sufficient, Mr. Theunens. On page 107,
1 paragraph (iii), do you state there that the international mediator -- or
2 rather, the chairman of the international conference on the former
3 Yugoslavia sent a complaint to the SFRY leadership due to the destruction
4 of churches and religious buildings in Kijevo during the JNA operations,
5 whereas Mladic wrote a report justifying what had happened?
6 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
7 Q. In the footnote you marked that report by Mladic as Exhibit 1237,
8 so could we please see this on our monitor. This comes from the OTP 65
9 ter list.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I imagine this would be already into evidence as
11 part of this report? Am I right?
12 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I can quickly check. I'm not sure off
13 the top of my head.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, it is a footnote here -- it is on the
15 footnote, so it must be part of the report?
16 MR. BLACK: Yes, I'm sorry. I misunderstood Your Honour. It's
17 certainly part of the report. I don't know off the top of my head if it's
18 one of the ones I put into evidence during direct examination.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: It doesn't matter.
20 MR. BLACK: Okay.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this exhibit was
22 not tendered into evidence; it was mentioned in the expert report and
23 based on my recollection it was not entered into evidence. Therefore, I
24 move for it to be exhibited as a Defence exhibit.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hear your application, Mr. Milovancevic, but I
1 was thinking that because this report -- or what we have admitted is just
2 what has been mentioned during -- yeah, you are right. It will then be
3 admitted into evidence and may be given an exhibit number, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number 106, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: 106. Thank you very much.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Do you have this now on your monitor, this letter -- or rather,
8 the report by General Mladic on the 4th of October, 1991, Mr. Theunens?
9 A. No, Your Honours, we still have the letter by Milan Martic that
10 was briefly mentioned before the break on the monitor.
11 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, if it's helpful, I note that while the
12 B/C/S version of this document comes up okay, the English is not finding
13 it. So we're going to check on our side to make sure it got into e-court
14 all right, and I'll report as soon as I know something.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Black. It doesn't look like we have
16 the English --
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, while we're
18 waiting for the English version, could I put some questions to the witness
19 pertaining to this document, and then later on we can check the document
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic, yes. Thank you.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. Since you mentioned this document in item 1, do you remember that
24 General Mladic in item 1 says that: During the combat for Kijevo on the
25 26th of August, 1991, the units waged a multi-hour battle in order to lift
1 the siege in the area of the village of Civljani and that the greatest
2 resistance was provided by the units of the National Guards Corps from the
3 Catholic church which contained a machine-gun nest and the headquarters of
4 that unit. In the course of that combat, the commander was captured.
5 Do you remember such a report by General Mladic?
6 A. Your Honours, I remember the report and I also remember that --
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens.
8 A. -- I also remember that this is the version General Mladic gave of
9 the events at Kijevo.
10 Q. Do you remember that in this report General Mladic states that:
11 From the area of the church and from the cemetery which is near the
12 church, there were very well-fortified shelters built by concrete -- built
13 with concrete blocks. So from the area where the church is located and
14 from the cemetery, other forces of the National Guards Corps opened fire,
15 and these units were composed of reservists hailing from Postar [phoen]
16 near Split, that after five years [as interpreted] of fighting for Kijevo,
17 when further progress was impossible towards the besieged unit, they
18 opened fire, first from an anti-aircraft machine-gun, calibre 12.7
19 millimetre. And when that failed to chase the ZNG members from the
20 church, they opened fire from a cannon. The church was not destroyed,
21 rather the bell-tower was hit as well as one of the walls.
22 Do you remember this explanation provided by General Mladic?
23 A. Your Honours, indeed I mentioned -- I remember that this is what
24 General Mladic writes in his report about the events in Kijevo.
25 Q. Do you remember that General Mladic wrote that TV Belgrade had
1 made a report about the church in Kijevo, the monastery, and the Kijevo
2 graveyard as well as the Vrlika monastery which was used to house a
3 hospital for the ZNG as well as war materiel depot?
4 A. Your Honours, that is what General Mladic writes in his report
5 about the events in Kijevo, but if we really want to focus in detail on
6 what happened in Kijevo, I didn't analyse the events as such; and if I
7 were to analyse the events, I would have also looked for other sources
8 that described the events in Kijevo.
9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Counsel for the Defence, before you proceed, on
10 your first question there's a reference to five years of fighting. Is
11 that actually correct? It's in section 25 or 26 --
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, five hours. It
13 should read "five hours." I may have misspoken.
14 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: That should be corrected for the purpose of the
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Does the international law of war provide for religious buildings
20 to be deprived of their privileged status once a state of war has been
22 A. Your Honours, I'm not aware of that provision.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my question has
25 been interpreted as if the privileged status would be lifted for such
1 places of worship, whereas my question was: Is it not the case that
2 during war operations these places of worship do continue to enjoy their
3 protected status? However, once they are used for military purposes, the
4 protection is lifted and these facilities are no longer protected
5 facilities. That was my question.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, indeed, Your Honours. Put as such, I am
7 familiar with that provision of international laws and customs of war.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Can you explain to us the reason why you left this detailed
10 explanation by General Mladic out of your report. You, by doing so, not
11 only insinuate that the accused committed the crime, but you turn this
12 comment by Lord Carrington into an accusation. Why do you that?
13 A. Your Honours, on page 107 where -- in this Roman -- this
14 subparagraph (iii), I spoke about -- I mentioned that Carrington
15 complained to the SFRY about the destruction of churches and religious
16 buildings in Kijevo, I just mentioned that to indicate, well, indeed that
17 the operation that took place there, and I also included the fact that
18 Mladic wrote a report on report how he had handled the situation in
19 Kijevo. And I actually I write "Mladic wrote the report to justify how
20 the situation was handled."
21 We only have the account by Mladic. It was read out now. Now,
22 whether what Mladic writes is correct or not or is an objective comment or
23 not, I am not in a position to comment on that. The main reason I
24 included the section on Kijevo is to show that it's -- or to mention it as
25 an example where forces of the SAO Krajina police operated together with
1 the JNA and were subordinated to the JNA during those operations. I don't
2 think I insinuate anything in that paragraph and I don't specifically talk
3 about crimes.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, you concealed from the Trial Chamber and the Defence
5 the fact which you omitted to mention, which was that there were combat
6 operations going on in Kijevo, that the other side had machine-gun
7 emplacements, that the battle went on for hours. You presented the event
8 in an entirely different light and, in essence, you accused Martic of the
9 entire event.
10 A. Your Honours, that may well be the opinion of Mr. Milovancevic,
11 but I would like to draw your attention to the fact that I did include a
12 reference to the report by Mladic. It's the footnote 304, and it
13 corresponds with the exhibit 1237. If I really had had the intention to
14 hide anything or to do what you suggested I am -- that I did, why would I
15 have put the footnote number then in the document? Why would we have had
16 the opportunity to discuss the report by Mladic then?
17 Q. If you're asking me to answer this, Mr. Theunens, then this is my
18 question to you: By omitting this, isn't it quite evident what your
19 intention was?
20 But let's move on. On page one hundred and --
21 A. Your Honours, the question --
22 Q. -- 17 you mentioned Skabrnja-Nadin.
23 A. No, Your Honours. I mean, something is suggested, I gave an
24 answer. The footnote number is there, the reference number is there. If
25 the Chamber wants to consult this document, all the reference material is
1 there, so I don't really see a problem. The situation in Kijevo is
2 included in a section not on crimes but a section on subordination. So if
3 I considered that Kijevo was a crime, then I would have analysed in it
4 detail, consulted more sources than just the report of Mladic, and I would
5 have included it on the section on crimes.
6 Q. Mr. Theunens, let's move on to page 117 to the issue of
7 Skabrnja-Nadin, Northern Dalmatia, where you mentioned the Croatian side
8 complaining --
9 MR. BLACK: I apologise for interrupting Your Honour. Just before
10 we move away from that document, I said I would report back to the Trial
11 Chamber. We're trying to work it out so that the English appears in
12 e-court. There's some sort of technical difficulty, but we'll deal with
13 it hopefully at the break or as soon as we can.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Black.
15 Are you happy with that arrangement, Mr. Milovancevic? Thank you
16 very much. You may proceed.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Theunens, on page 117 of your report you mention Skabrnja and
19 Nadin, and the complaint by the Croatian side addressed to the European
20 Community Monitoring Mission about 30 people who had been slaughtered in
21 Skabrnja. In this context on the next page you mention reports by Major
22 Branislav Ristic and Simo Rosic, including the report by Ernest Radjen a
23 lieutenant. Is that right, Mr. Theunens?
24 A. That is correct, Your Honours, and in the footnotes you can find
25 the exact footnotes for these documents, if you wish to consult them.
1 Q. In the material you studied, did you come across the information
2 that in the village of Skabrnja a Croatian irregular unit was positioned,
3 an armed irregular unit?
4 A. I think that the report by Lieutenant Ernest Radjen, which is the
5 65 ter number 1271, makes a reference to -- I'm not sure the presence of a
6 Croatian -- what you call irregular unit or the presence of what was
7 called -- or I called Ustasha symbols is included in Radjen's report,
8 exhibit 1271.
9 Q. In your work, did you come by information that in Skabrnja in the
10 surrounding villages, the commander of the Croatian forces there had over
11 one -- over 700 armed men in his command?
12 A. Your Honours, that may be possible, but I didn't come across such
13 information. In any event, I think that what I've included in my report,
14 i.e., I included the report by JNA security officers, Ristic and Rosic,
15 for the purpose of describing or trying to describe that took allegedly
16 place in Skabrnja Nadin. I believe that the information included in the
17 reports of Ristic and Rosic is very helpful in that context.
18 Q. In addition to this information, did you study the notes by
19 Lieutenant Colonel Bogunovic, that's OTP exhibit 1489.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can it please be shown on the
22 Q. Until the document is shown, can you tell us whether you are
23 familiar with the notes by Lieutenant Colonel Bogunovic? That's Exhibit
25 A. Your Honours, I think I've seen these reports before, but I don't
1 recall exactly what is included in them.
2 Q. In these notes by Lieutenant Colonel Bogunovic, which were kept on
3 the 18th and 19th of November, 1991, they were handwritten, and the OTP
4 had translation made of relevant part, and these pages bear the number
5 0206872 and 020087075.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we see these pages.
7 Q. Here Lieutenant Colonel Bogunovic had said on the 17th of November
8 in Skabrnja two JNA officers were killed five were wounded. One armoured
9 vehicle of the JNA was destroyed, and that seven armed Croatian soldiers
10 were captured, 15 of them were killed, and five 82-millimetre mortars were
11 captured from the Croatian side, one 60-millimetre mortar as well, one
12 120-millimetre mortar.
13 Do you recall that, Mr. Theunens? Can you see that on the
15 A. I don't recall that exactly, Your Honours, and I don't see it on
16 the monitor. But it may well be correct, but again what we're talking
17 about, the reports of two JNA security officers, Major Ristic and
18 Lieutenant Commander Rosic wrote about crimes in Skabrnja --
19 Q. Mr. Theunens, I apologise for interrupting you. We'll get to both
20 the gentlemen Rosic and Ristic. Can you just briefly tell us whether you
21 recall that or not.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] And can we please see the
23 relevant part of the document on the monitor. The relevant portion of the
24 text is at the bottom of the page. The note dated 18 November 1991. Can
25 it -- can it be scrolled down a bit, please.
1 Q. Do you have before you the text of the notes by
2 Lieutenant Colonel Bogunovic which has to do with the situation in
3 Skabrnja on the 18th of November, 1991? Do you have that before you,
4 Mr. Theunens?
5 A. Yes, Your Honours, I can see the top of the page where, according
6 to the notes, General Vukovic - I assume this is the General Vukovic who
7 was the commander of the 9th JNA Corps - gives instructions in order to
8 have preparations made and mop-up the villages of Skabrnja and Nadin in
9 the course of the 18th of November, 1991. Yeah, and here --
10 Q. Do you see it now on the screen? Could you please read the last
11 paragraph at the bottom.
12 A. Page 15: "18th of November. Razovljeva Glava - railway station -
13 Crkva Svetog Luke, St. Lukas church, stretch taken over. Circular defence
14 has been organised. Skabrnja and Nadin have been partly encircled. MPs
15 are in control of mopped-up parts. In combat activities around the
16 village of Skabrnja there were: Two killed, two wounded plus two from
17 TO," and then it says the rest of the line illegible. "Seven captured
18 Ustashas. 15 killed Ustashas. Seized: Five 82-millimetre mortars, one
19 60-millimetre mortars."
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. On the next page, the next day of notes
21 by Bogunovic is the 19th of November.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] And can we please be shown the
23 combat report for that day.
24 Q. The report is located at the very bottom of the page.
25 A. "19th of November, 1991.
1 "The operation of cleansing Zemunik, Skabrnja, and Nadin from
2 Ustashas was finalised at 1700 hours.
3 "Gradina was taken over.
4 "In combat activities there were: Two killed, two plus two plus
5 one wounded, one tank and one armoured tank damaged, no Ustashas killed,
6 except for one foreigner (Kurd), eight Ustashas captured. Seized: Five
7 82-millimetre mortars, one 60-millimetre mortar, one 120-millimetre
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. In the two days of combat in Skabrnja,
10 the JNA seized a total of 14 mortars; however, on the 19th of November --
11 or rather, the OTP did not have the entire entry of the 19th of November
12 translated because in handwriting it also says that 50 automatic rifles
13 were -- was -- were seized, one recoilless gun, 35 hand-grenades, seven
14 crates of 7.62 ammunitions, and one hand-held rocket launcher.
15 On the basis of these notes by Lieutenant Colonel Bogunovic, can
16 it be said that what happened in Skabrnja was an armed conflict between
17 the JNA forces and the Croatian forces?
18 A. It is correct, Your Honours, that the notes of Colonel Bogunovic,
19 the ones I see now, speak about what seem to be combat operations between
20 the JNA. And in the notes of the Bogunovic, the other side are
21 called "Ustashas."
22 Q. On page 118 --
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I --
24 I move that this exhibit 1489 be tendered as a Defence exhibit, and can we
25 please be assigned a number?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: That document is admitted into evidence, and may it
2 please be given an exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number 107, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. On page 118 of your report, you mention the report by
7 Lieutenant Ernest Radjen dated 1 December 1991, and you state that the
8 report mentioned the killing of civilians that occurred during the
9 operation in the village of Skabrnja. Is that right, Mr. Theunens?
10 A. Your Honours, the quotation marks refer to the section where it
11 says: "Defeating Ustasha forces in the village of Skabrnja." I would
12 have to see the document to be able to answer the question of
13 Mr. Milovancevic. Because it could be that what I mention about "killing
14 of civilians" is based on what I read in the reports drafted by
15 Majors Ristic and -- Major Ristic and Lieutenant Commander Rosic, who used
16 the word "killings."
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can the OTP exhibit 1271 be
19 shown on our screens.
20 Q. You mentioned it, Mr. Theunens, in the -- in -- in the footnote
21 338 in relation to Radjen's report.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please take a look at
23 the exhibit. While we are waiting for the document to be shown on the
24 screen, we can proceed with the questions.
25 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Theunens, that Lieutenant Ernest Radjen wrote
1 the report as a member of the military police of the military post 4810 in
3 A. That's correct, Your Honour. That's what the document says.
4 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Theunens, that Lieutenant Radjen in the
5 introduction of his report wrote the following: "In crushing the Ustasha
6 forces and securing the front line and mopping-up, I came by the following
7 information," and then he enumerates the information. Do you recall this
8 part? It will be shown on the screen in a moment.
9 A. I do recall it, Your Honours. It would be helpful if we could
10 scroll a little bit down. Okay. Yeah, that's fine. Indeed, and now I
11 also see that in the first paragraph Radjen writes about -- okay, the
12 fighting in Skabrnja on the 18th and 19th. And he says: "... about 50
13 people of various ages, members of paramilitary Ustasha formations and
14 civilians at various locations in the village ... were killed," and then
15 he explains how the people in the villages were killed.
16 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Theunens, what the "sanitisation of an area"
17 means. Is this something that is not only governed by the international
18 laws of war, but even mandatory?
19 A. Your Honours, sanitisation or cleaning -- clearing-up of the
20 battle-field can mean many things. In the purely military sense it can
21 mean -- it means that resistance pockets -- enemy resistance pockets are
22 still remaining, have to be removed. It can also mean that, actually for
23 hygienic reasons dead corpses or even dead bodies have to be removed. Now
24 I would like to draw your attention also to the 65 ter number 2060 which
25 is explained or which is mentioned on page 112 of my report. It's at the
1 bottom. It's an order, number 01-47-3, where a Captain Divljakinje
2 [phoen] of the SAO Krajina Glina TO talks about mopping-up of the terrain,
3 which is actually the same as sanitisation. And he speaks about the
4 "requirement to make a distinction between Serbs and non-Serbs" --
5 Q. Mr. Theunens, that was not my question. My question was what
6 sanitisation of a battle-field means. In other words, does it imply the
7 obligation of a warring party to remove the bodies of men, carcasses, and
8 to undertake other such activities to avoid infection and to ensure the
9 sanitary conditions of the territory that it has under its control? Is
10 this not even something that is governed by international laws of war and
11 are you familiar with it or not?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the counsel also said:
13 It is not the mopping-up of the area. It doesn't mean to mop-up.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, of course Mr. Milovancevic is correct.
15 But I've seen it also used -- like here, the word "clearing-up" is used as
16 the English translation. Now, basically we would have to compare the
17 B/C/S documents with the original wording in order to be able to say
18 whether Radjen means cleaning-up, mopping-up, or sanitising the
19 battle-field. But I am familiar with the term "sanitising" the
20 battle-field. That's correct.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. In this report in items 1 through 21, the report by
23 Lieutenant Ernest Radjen, is it clear that he toured all locations in the
24 village, and that wherever he found a casualty, he wrote down that
25 casualty's location, injuries, clothes worn by that person, whether the
1 person was armed or unarmed, whether the person was in the house or
2 outside the house? And that in addition to the list of all victims - and
3 there were a number of victims -- or rather, more victims than reported -
4 he also attached a sketch of Skabrnja. Is that correct?
5 A. Your Honours, could we please see the top -- the first paragraph
6 of the top of the document. Yeah, I mean, from this document when we look
7 at it as the only source we cannot establish when Radjen tours the
8 battle-field. The document is dated the 1st of December. The events took
9 place on the 18th and the 19th.
10 If you go down a bit, please.
11 Do we know whether Radjen was on the spot when the people were
12 killed and is therefore in a position to exactly determine how, when, and
13 why the people were killed?
14 Therefore, I also include the reports by -- I mention Ristic and
15 Rosic, because they also provide information on the circumstances of the
16 killings in Skabrnja and Nadin.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are there reports different from this one?
18 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the other reports, the reports by
19 Majors Ristic and Commander Rosic talk more about the issue -- about the
20 investigation of a crime that took place. And they mention alleged
21 perpetrators and the organisation of the groups that allegedly perpetrated
22 the crimes. This report here focuses on the nature of the victims and the
23 condition in which they were found. So I think it would be advisable to
24 look at all available documents and not just the one by Radjen in order to
25 be -- to determine what happened in Skabrnja and Nadin.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
2 You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, in order to remove any misunderstandings, I'm not
5 claiming anything firmly; I'm just putting questions to you. My question
6 is as follows: On the 1st of December Mr. Radjen wrote his report. And
7 on the 20th of November, a day after the combat in Skabrnja, Croatia
8 lodged a protest with the European mission, the mission of the European
9 community. In your view, does this show that the victims didn't lay about
10 for ten days in yards and in the streets and so on without being cleared
11 away and buried? What Lieutenant Ernest Radjen wrote, doesn't it indicate
12 that he went to the spot immediately after the event and noted down all
13 the details? That was all I asked you.
14 A. Your Honours, at least I cannot conclude from the document when
15 Radjen went there. I assume that indeed he went there prior to the 1st of
16 December, but my answer to the previous question was that from the
17 document we cannot determine whether Radjen was there at the time of the
18 killings or whether he came later.
19 Q. The report by Major Ristic, Commander Simo Rosic, do they speak of
20 the suffering of the civilians -- or rather, the killing of the civilians
21 and do they indicate who the possible perpetrators might be? Obviously
22 during the combat, civilians got killed. Some civilians got killed, and
23 these people are now reporting about this. Do they mention perpetrators?
24 A. Indeed, Your Honours, Ristic and Rosic mention alleged
25 perpetrators in their reports.
1 Q. Do you know, did -- were these people ever prosecuted by the
2 Office of the Prosecutor of The Hague Tribunal? It's been 15 years since
3 the event.
4 A. I don't think that's a question that should be asked to me. I
5 mean, I'm not aware of any particular prosecution of the perpetrators in
6 Skabrnja. Now, I'm familiar with the mandate of the ICTY, and I think
7 that mandate is sufficiently clear to explain why these people are not
8 perpetrated and why other people have been indicted for the alleged crimes
9 in Skabrnja and Nadin. And I meant to say that these people are not
10 investigated or indicted.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. The next village in Croatia that you
12 mention is Saborsko. Do you know whether in Saborsko there was any armed
13 conflict or not?
14 A. Indeed, Your Honours. The situation in Saborsko, the military
15 operations there, discussed between page 108 and 111; and from the JNA
16 orders I reviewed, it can be concluded that there was an armed conflict in
17 the area of Saborsko.
18 Q. In the order of Cedomir Bulat commander of the 2nd Tactical Group
19 which you mentioned precisely in the pages that you just told us, were
20 orders issues in that document to lift the siege of the barracks in Licka
21 Jesenica attaching also a list of persons who were located in Saborsko,
22 namely 400 people armed with two Brownings, which are anti-aircraft
23 machine-guns, and an anti-aircraft gun, also armed with 20 machine-guns
24 and a number of automatic and semi-automatic rifles? Do you remember
1 A. Your Honours, I quote from several orders by Cedomir Bulat. It
2 could be that it's indeed mentioned in one of the orders that determined
3 the tasks of Tactical 2.
4 Q. Did you come across an OTP document entitled: "The war log of
5 Tactical Group 2" or "2nd Tactical Group"?
6 A. I think I came across, but I didn't include in my report. Because
7 this section here deals with the issue subordination, and it was -- the
8 documents I looked at, JNA orders for the Tactical Group 2, as well as
9 Operational Group 3 and from the 5th Military District were sufficient, in
10 my view, to establish the subordination relationship that existed between
11 the JNA and the local Serb order SAO Krajina TO in that area during the
12 time period that is relevant for this report.
13 Q. In this war log of the 2nd Tactical Group, did you see that
14 continuous assaults of Croatian forces, from Saborsko, from Glibadol, from
15 the Alan elevation, and from the surrounding area were carried out daily
16 on the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th November of 1991 before the operation for
17 clearing-up Saborsko began?
18 A. Your Honours, that may well be possible. I -- as I mentioned, I
19 didn't include that war diary in my report. The documents I included --
20 for example, I see one here, 1257, which refers to an attack on Saborsko.
21 Q. Could we be shown exhibit 1248 on the monitors, which is an
22 operative diary of the 2nd Tactical Group, commanded by Colonel Cedomir
23 Bulat, who was also in command of the Saborsko operation. I also tender
24 this OTP exhibit into evidence as Defence exhibit.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document be admitted into evidence and be
1 given an exhibit number, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number 108, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 While we are at the point of exhibits, Mr. Milovancevic, exhibit
5 number 107, that is the last exhibit before this one, I'm made to
6 understand has got, it's about 200 pages in B/C/S, and I think only 19
7 pages have been translated. Now, the question to you is: What actually
8 do you want admitted into evidence of these 200 pages?
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Prosecution
10 translated only 19 pages which are relevant for the Skabrnja event. I
11 propose that these 19 pages be tendered. Out of that material we covered
12 only two pages pertaining to the 18th and the 19th, and that's are the two
13 pages that are relevant to us, only those two.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. Then let
15 the record show that Exhibit 107 is made up of 19 pages, the translated
16 pages into English.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Furthermore, Your Honours, the
18 report by Ernest Radjen, 1271, should also be tendered into evidence. We
19 just covered it with Mr. Theunens. The report --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: The report by who?
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Reports 1271, report by Ernest
22 Radjen, lieutenant, on the 1st of December, 1991, about the sanitisation
23 of the area in Skabrnja.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. But that report will then be admitted into
25 evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number 109, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: 109. Thank you very much.
3 You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. You have before you, Mr. Theunens, the English translation of the
6 handwritten document which is operational diary of the 2nd Tactical Group.
7 Can you confirm to us that under items 2 through 9 there is mention of
8 daily combat and assaults, serious assaults, against the barracks in
9 Jesenica and Slunj.
10 A. If we could move to the next page, please. I can see the items 2
11 to 4 there is fire -- the fire exchanges. In items 5 it says: "They
12 suffer under heavy fire from Saborsko and Glibadol on barracks. They gave
13 the coordinates." I assume "they" refers to a JNA unit, but it's not
14 really clear from the document. Item 6 speaks about: "Very heavy attacks
15 on the barracks by ZNG."
16 Item 7 -- at least there's one entry for JNA opening fires --
17 ordered to fire from artillery weapons. It also shows item 7, actually,
18 there's cooperation between JNA and TO Plaski, which at that time is SAO
19 Krajina TO. Article 8 -- excuse me, entry 8 mentions that the barracks
20 are defended. And then item 9, okay, the body of a dead soldier is
21 evacuated. I think there's one entry that specifically mentions attacks
22 on the barracks, and then, maybe if I recall, two entries that refer to
23 serious combat activity.
24 Q. Mr. Theunens, under item 2, is the barracks in Slunj mentioned on
25 the 4th of November, 1991? Is it stated that: "Around 2200 hours, the
1 forces of MUP and ZNG opened small arms fire on the barracks, wounding
2 soldier Spasimir Vasilec?
3 A. Indeed it says that the ZNG and MUP --
4 Q. Just a brief answer, please.
5 A. Yes, but -- I mean, if you ask me a question -- it doesn't say
6 under which circumstances under which soldier Spasimir Vasilec was
7 wounded. It can be assumed from this entry that it's because of the
8 fighting, but again we don't know who wounded him. He was wounded.
9 Q. Under item 3, the date is 5th November, 1991. Does it read there
10 that: From the area of Glibodolski Kriz, that in that area there was an
11 activity of ZNG and MUP forces towards the Licka Jesenica warehouse and
12 that this continued until 2200 hours?
13 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
14 Q. Item 4, date 7 November. Does it state there that the forces of
15 Plaski TO were fired upon from Browning and mortars. They were fired upon
16 by ZNG forces and the attack was launched from Saborsko, Bozin Vrh, and
17 other directions?
18 A. Your Honours, firing and attacking are not necessarily the same
19 activity. You can also -- when you're like in entrenched positions, you
20 can open fire without attacking your opponent, and that's firing. Now,
21 if -- when you're carrying out an attack, attack implies also movement.
22 So I don't see that the word "attack" is being used in this entry. It
23 just says that TO forces from Plaski are being fired upon from ZNG
25 Q. Exactly, Mr. Theunens. That's awhile what is written there. Item
1 5, does it say on the 7th of November heavy fire was opened from Saborsko
2 and Glibadol against the barracks, and then they gave coordinates. Most
3 likely this pertained to artillery.
4 A. That's possible, Your Honours. It mentions heavy fire, heavy fire
5 is normally associated with artillery, but it's weird that in the other
6 entries the type of weapon is identified, 4, 6, but here it just
7 says "heavy fire."
8 Q. The first attack we mentioned on the 7th of November, was it 2.50
9 a.m., meaning during the night? And then under item 6 on the 7th of
10 November it says: "1630 hours," and then it says: "Very heavy attack on
11 barracks in Licka Jesenica by ZNG. They fire from artillery weapons,
12 calibre 130-millimetres, on the region Mala Kapela, Glibodolski Kriz, the
13 basin of Vrletna Draga [phoen]," and so on.
14 Is that right, Mr. Theunens?
15 A. It mentions indeed a very heavy attack by ZNG, that is correct.
16 But then the next line: The fire opened from the artillery weapons,
17 130-millimetre on the region, I think we would need to have a map to
18 determine who was whether, and in order to include whether it's the ZNG
19 that opens fire with the artillery or whether it's somewhere else. For
20 me, from just these two lines, it's difficult to draw that conclusion. If
21 Mala Kapela and Glibodolski Kriz are under the control of the JNA and the
22 SAO Krajina TO, then it's reasonable to assume that the artillery fire,
23 the 130-millimetre, comes from the ZNG, but I cannot draw that conclusion
24 from only this entry.
25 Q. Can you conclude that based on item 8, which says: 7th of
1 November, 1991, at 2000 hours. "One soldier was killed, the barracks
2 defended." And then the body of that soldier was, on the following day,
3 evacuated by helicopter out of the barracks.
4 A. That's correct, Your Honours, but the entries do not mention the
5 circumstances under which the soldier was killed.
6 Q. In item 17 and 18, does it say that on the 12th of November the
7 operation against Saborsko began as planned, that two planes bombed an
8 industrial zone in the area of Slunj? And does it say in item 18 that on
9 the 12th of November at 1600 hours the operation was completed and
10 Saborsko liberated?
11 A. That is what the war diary says, Your Honours, for the entry --
12 for number 17 and number 18.
13 Q. Do you know what Slunj is and -- facilities in Slunj, what kind
14 of JNA facilities existed in Slunj? Slunj is in the vicinity of
16 A. Your Honours, I know that -- and actually Mr. Milovancevic
17 mentioned it. There is what we call a polygon. It was a major training
18 area. I'm not sure for which kind of units this training area could be
19 used, if it was an infantry training area or also for artillery and
20 tanks. I also know that at one moment in time the headquarters of the 5th
21 Military District from Zagreb had to be evacuated, the 5th Military
22 District of the JNA, evacuated to Slunj. I also know from the 1991 census
23 that I think there was something like 63 per cent of the population in the
24 Slunj municipality was of Croatian ethnicity, and then a bit more than 30
25 per cent of the population was of Serbian ethnicity. Slunj is located on
1 the major road that goes from Karlovac to Asta [phoen] south, so to Titovo
2 Korenica. And if you want to achieve territorial integrity [Realtime
3 transcript read in error "majority"], particularly in the case of the SAO
4 Krajina, control over Slunj and the villages around it, including
5 Saborsko, was essential.
6 I didn't say "majority," but I meant to say "territorial
8 Q. Do you know that in Slunj there was a reserve command post of the
9 5th Military District, the main command post was in Zagreb, and a reserve
10 command post of a strategic JNA formation with all fortifications and
11 other equipment was located in Slunj?
12 A. I mentioned what I know, so ...
13 Q. Do you know that the training grounds in Slunj were built in an
14 area populated predominantly by the Serbs, who had to be moved out because
15 the training grounds were built there?
16 A. Your Honours, that is possible, but that was not the subject of my
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. On page 120 you write that the UN
19 Security Council adopted Resolution 743 on the 21st of February, 1992,
20 establishing -- or rather, deploying the UN peace mission to Yugoslavia.
21 Is that correct?
22 A. You could phrase it like that, Your Honours. 743 allowed the
23 deployment of UNPROFOR, whereas earlier resolutions only allowed the
24 deployment of what were called United Nations liaison officers who were to
25 prepare the UNPROFOR mission.
1 Q. On page 122 you say that in January of 1992, the constitution of
2 Krajina defined the Territorial Defence of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
3 as armed forces of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Is that true,
4 Mr. Theunens?
5 A. That's correct, Your Honours. It's article 102.
6 Q. Can you tell us how is it that such a provision on defining the
7 armed forces could constitute a violation of the Vance plan, when the
8 Vance plan was adopted almost two months later. This provision was
9 adopted in January, and the Vance plan was adopted on the 21st of
11 A. Your Honours, I am not familiar with the Vance plan -- the fact of
12 the suggestion that the Vance plan was adopted on the 21st of February. I
13 think -- I mean, we discussed it already earlier. On the 23rd of
14 November, a cease-fire agreement is signed in Geneva. On the 3rd of
15 January, an interim agreement -- an interim agreement and cease-fire is
16 agreed upon by the commanders of both the Croatian forces, as well as JNA.
17 But at that time the negotiations for the implementation of the Vance plan
18 were already ongoing. So 743 is just one part of the implementation of
19 the Vance plan. When I use -- when I say in my report the declaration of
20 the SAO Krajina TO, that it would be the SAO Krajina armed forces could be
21 considered a violation of the Vance plan, I meant by that that it could be
22 considered a violation of the spirit of the Vance plan. Because as I
23 mentioned on -- when Mr. Black asked me that question, I said: Well, as
24 long as you don't implement this article, it's fine. If you start
25 implementing this article about the armed forces, it represents a
1 violation of the Vance plan.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] One short question before the
3 break, by your leave, Your Honour.
4 Q. Do you know that the Vance plan provided, on the basis of what
5 Goulding agreed upon with the warring parties, that until such time as
6 UNPROFOR forces reached the area, Croatian legislation should not be
7 applied in the territory?
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we notice that
10 there was an error in the interpretation. My question was: Does the
11 expert know that the Vance plan explicitly provided for the areas where
12 the UN forces are deployed until -- for the duration of their deployment
13 there and until the resolution of the crisis, those areas should not
14 apply -- or the Croatian legislation should not apply in those areas.
15 Q. Are you familiar with this or not, Mr. Theunens? Just a brief
17 A. I am familiar with this -- this comment you make, but I'm not sure
18 whether it's included in the Vance plan or whether it was raised during
19 the meetings Marrack Goulding had with representatives of Serbia and SFRY
20 in February and March 1992. In any event, the UNPAs [Realtime transcript
21 read in error "UNPO"] were determined or declared -- or the UNPAs were
22 areas within Croatia. So that's the key issue, I think in the whole
23 discussion. It should be "UNPA," United Nations protected area. They
24 were determined as areas in Croatia.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we take a break at that stage?
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] This would be the appropriate
2 time, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do so, let me just mention that the
4 Chamber has received the communication that the interpreters are able and
5 amenable to sitting at half past 2.00 this afternoon for one hour, 15
6 minutes. We shall, therefore, reconvene at half past -- I beg your
7 pardon. At that -- during that session, we'll sit from half past 2.00.
8 Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.03 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We were discussing page 130 -- or rather, let's move to that page
14 where you discuss the transformation of the RSK TO into RSK special police
15 brigades. In paragraph 2, do you not say that on the 28th of April, 1992,
16 the SSNO ordered that eight police brigades be set-up on the territory of
17 the RSK?
18 A. Indeed, Your Honours. And the term used in the document, which is
19 65 ter 1334, is "Milicija Brigades."
20 Q. On page 133, do you not refer to the order on demobilisation
21 issued by General Milan Torbica on the 23rd of July, 1992?
22 A. That is correct, Your Honours. And I assume that Mr. Milovancevic
23 speaks about Exhibit 65 ter 2072.
24 Q. That's correct, Mr. Theunens. That's the document. In this
25 order, did General Torbica state under item 1: "With the demobilisation
1 and withdrawal from the for -- should be finished on the 24th of August
2 [as interpreted] in the entire territory of the RSK and the territory
3 should be taken over by special police forces"?
4 A. Maybe it's a translation issues, Your Honour, but General Torbica
5 says that the front line is being taken over by the PJM forces, so the
6 special police forces.
7 JUDGE HOEPFEL: May I ask, in terms of the time on the deadline
8 you mention 24 of August, but here I read 24th of June and then completion
9 by 1st of August.
10 THE WITNESS: That's correct, Your Honours.
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour. I
12 must have misspoken, if that was my mistake.
13 Q. Does not item 2 state: "The withdrawal of the troops, artillery
14 tanks, and PVO equipment is to be carried out as per the plan compiled
15 earlier in cooperation with the special police units and the UNPROFOR
17 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
18 Q. Does item 4 state: "From the 1st of August until the 15th of
19 August, 1992, store all weaponry and other technical equipment, seal the
20 repositories, regulate their security with the special police units, and
21 solve the issue of the documents of the killed or the wounded through the
22 municipal organs"?
23 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
24 Q. Does item 5 state as follows. "According to the rate at which the
25 weaponry is laid down and by the 15th of August, 1992, at the latest,
1 switch to regular work hours and to wearing the civilian clothes in all
2 the HQs, commands, and TO RSK institutions"?
3 A. This is indeed what the paragraph 5 says, Your Honours. Now I
4 would like to add that the Vance plan stipulated that the areas were to be
5 demilitarised and that then the UNPAs were to be demilitarised and that
6 the TO, local Serb TO, was to be disbanded and demobilised. Disbanding
7 means that military structures are dissolved. Now, if people continue to
8 work in commands, headquarters, and RSK -- TO RSK institutions, that
9 indicates that the military structures are actually not dissolved.
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We will get back to that issue a bit later, Mr. Theunens. Under
13 item 7 of this order by General Torbica, does it say that the TO members
14 are forbidden to carry -- from carrying firearms in public, except the
15 firearms for which the bearer has a regularly issued license, as for all
16 the other citizens?
17 A. Indeed, Your Honours, that's what paragraph 7 states.
18 Q. Does item 11 read that: "Duty rosters for the zone staffs,
19 brigade commands, municipal TO staffs, and the 75th Infantry Brigade Main
20 Staff of TO are to be organised and to wear civilian clothing"?
21 A. That is correct, Your Honours, but I -- again, I would like to
22 refer to the earlier comment I made on the stipulation of the Vance plan
23 and --
24 Q. My question to you was only what the order read. We know what the
25 Vance plan read. I apologise for interrupting you, but I've received your
2 A. Should I finish the answer or ...
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may, Mr. Theunens.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours. So I would just want to
5 add in relation to paragraph 11, that I wanted to refer also to what I
6 said earlier about dissolving of the military structures, i.e., the
7 dissolution of the local Serb TO, the SAO Krajina TO.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you know that the Vance plan precisely provides for the terms
10 disarming, demobilisation, and disbandment, and that it discusses
11 provisional disbandment of staffs?
12 A. Indeed, Your Honours, the Vance plan provides for disarming,
13 demobilisation, disbandment. The disbandment does not only apply to
14 staffs, but it applies to the entire local Serb TO. And again, if you
15 want to have the exact wording, the best would be to look at exhibit with
16 65 ter number 917.
17 Q. Does the Vance plan envisage for the TO staff to receive their
18 salaries from the local authorities? Are you familiar with this?
19 A. I am familiar with that. I'm not sure whether it mentions TO
20 staffs, but I'm familiar with the fact that the Vance plan prescribes that
21 former TO members are to be paid by the local authorities.
22 Q. We mentioned the UN Secretary-General's report on the resolution
23 on UNPROFOR. This is S24600, the resolution S24600. I don't think this's
24 any need for the document to be shown on the screen right now. Is it
25 correct that in this particular report, let's say paragraph 4, where it
1 says that: "The first stage of demilitarisation was implemented
2 successfully, that the JNA had fully withdrawn, except for one element of
3 the forces near Dubrovnik, that the TO was demobilised, and that the
4 weaponry was stored in warehouses under double lock."
5 This same report referred to the problem of special police units.
6 Is this a fair summary?
7 A. Your Honours, the reference S24600 is not sufficient for me to
8 determine which report of the Secretary-General we are talking about. It
9 would be helpful to have a date for the report or to have the report
11 Q. The date is 28th September, 1992, report S24600, exhibit number
12 1360. You quoted it. My question to you was as follows. Paragraph 34 of
13 the report says that special police units constitute that the main problem
14 in the UNPA zones, starting from July 1992 through to the period of the
15 submission of the report. Do you remember that part?
16 A. Indeed, but I would prefer to have the report shown because it
17 would be easier to see the entire paragraph 34 and also 35. I know that
18 the report talks about the problems raised by the existence of these
19 special police units, but if you want to discuss specific issues it would
20 be helpful to have the report in front of me.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can this report be shown,
22 please. Can paragraph 4 of the report be shown, that's the next page --
23 or can you please scroll up in order for us to see paragraph 4.
24 Q. Mr. Theunens, can you read for us where the paragraph 4 says that
25 the first part of the demilitarisation process was implemented. Can you
1 read that portion, please?
2 A. Yes, Your Honours, it's the first sentence.
3 "The first two phases of demilitarisation proceeded well. The
4 Yugoslav People's Army (General) completed its withdrawal from Croatia,
5 with the single but significant exception of the Dubrovnik area, and the
6 Territorial Defence forces demobilised, placing their weapons in storage
7 depots under a double-lock system. However, the complete demilitarisation
8 of the United Nations Protected Areas has been delayed by a violation of
9 the United Nations plan, which was referred to in my report of 27 July.
10 This is the creation of new Serb militia forces designated variously
11 as "special police," "border police," or "multi-purpose police brigades,"
12 made up of former members of the JNA, the Territorial Defence forces, and
13 irregular elements, which may total as many as 16.000 armed men, equipped
14 with armed personnel carriers, mortars, and machine-guns. The authorities
15 of the so-called Republic of Serbia Krajina" --
16 Q. That's enough, Mr. Theunens, thank you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we read paragraph 4 fully?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
19 " The authorities of the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina
20 hereinafter referred to as the Knin authorities, claim these are police
21 units. The force commander considers that their level of armament and
22 their almost total ignorance of police work show that, in reality, they
23 are paramilitary forces. UNPROFOR has vigorously protested this violation
24 of the" -- then we would need to scroll down to the next page.
25 "... of the United Nations peace plan and has pressed repeatedly
1 for the demobilisation of these newly created units and for the regular
2 police to be armed only with sidearms in accordance with the plan."
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see paragraph 7
5 on our screens now.
6 Q. Mr. Theunens, can you read for us what the Serb side presents as
7 the explanation for the existence of these special police units.
8 A. "The justification given by the Knin authorities for these forces
9 is that they are needed to defend Serb-controlled areas from attacks and
10 infiltration by the Croatian army. General Nambiar has repeatedly
11 stressed to the authorities in Belgrade and Knin that it is UNPROFOR that
12 exercises the protection function in the United Nations Protected Areas
13 and that the presence of these paramilitary units is contrary to the
14 United Nations peace plan and has caused the Croatian army to retain some
15 of its forces at the confrontation line. As a result, clashes continue to
16 occur along the line, fueling intercommunal tension in the United Nations
17 Protected Areas."
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please be shown
19 paragraph 3 under (a), the main incidents in the period covered by the
20 report. That's the previous page.
21 Q. Can you read for us what the main incident under (a) is in this
22 particular paragraph.
23 A. "On 7 August 1992, fighting erupted in an area adjacent to the
24 south-eastern portion of Sector West, apparently due to attempts by armed
25 elements of the Croatian side to cross the Sava River and attack Bosnian
1 Serb elements south of the river. United Nations troops in the area were
2 caught in an exchange of fire that included use of tanks, artillery, and
3 mortars; fortunately, there were no United Nations casualties. A
4 significant feature of this incident was that nine bodies in a variety of
5 uniforms found on the southern side of the Sava River were not claimed by
6 either side, which gives -- which gave rise to suspicion that they may
7 have been those of mercenaries."
8 Q. Can you please read the text under (d), the next incident.
9 A. "In the last week of August 1992, a large group of armed
10 personnel, who were attempting to infiltrate through Sector North to the
11 Bihac-Cazin area in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were engaged by the local Serb
12 militia and a number were killed or captured. Prisoners interviewed by
13 UNPROFOR said that they had been mobilised and trained by the Croatian
14 army in certain areas of Croatia and were being infiltrated in small
15 groups into Bosnia and Herzegovina to join in the fighting there. This
16 matter was raised with President Tudjman of Croatia on 31st of August,
17 1992, by Under-Secretary-General Marrack Goulding. The President said
18 that such practices would no longer be permitted. Tension in the area,
19 however, remains high and the incident has been used by the Serbs in the
20 United Nations Protected Areas to substantiate their fears of attacks
21 launched against them from Croatian-held territory."
22 Q. Mr. Theunens, do you know that UNPROFOR and UN sitpol [as
23 interpreted] reports that this was an armed group of 600 men, the one you
24 just mentioned, the one that was infiltrated from Croatia into Sector
25 North which was not stopped by UNPROFOR -- or rather, my question to you
1 is: Do you know that this was a large group of men?
2 A. Your Honours, I'm not familiar with the details, but if the
3 Secretary-General of the United Nations reported to the Security Council,
4 it must have been an important incident.
5 Q. Did you hear of the operation Miljevacki Plateau, Mr. Theunens, on
6 the 21st of June, 1992, and the action by the Croatian army where 40 TO
7 members were killed and were -- their bodies were disposed into pits?
8 A. Your Honours, as I mention in my examination, I am familiar with
9 the Croatian incursion or operation, the Miljevac Plateau area which was
10 located in the pink zone of Sector South. I've seen a document, I think
11 it's a copy of a letter Milan Martic sent to Boutros Boutros-Ghali in
12 which Milan Martic complained about the 40 TO members who were being
13 killed and treated as Mr. Milovancevic has just described.
14 Q. Do you know that in this same report you just quoted in paragraph
15 8, and if you believe we have to read it out here we can do so. But to
16 keep short and save time, I can say that Undersecretary-General of the UN,
17 Marrack Goulding, had agreed for the demobilisation of units in Knin to
18 take place, and that the demobilisation be done in two stages, the first
19 was supposed to end by the 20th of September and the second by the 15th of
20 October. However, when the report was drafted on the 28th of September,
21 1992, the first stage had not been completed as yet.
22 A. Indeed, Your Honour, that's what paragraph 8 mentions. Now, if we
23 want to see to what extent and later on the demilitarisation or
24 demobilisation of the PJM was implemented or not, we would have to consult
25 the subsequent reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council.
1 Q. On page 128 of your report, under (b), this is in section 4, did
2 you not say that: "In October and November 1992, an order was issued to
3 enter amendments to the to the organisation of the TO units -- or rather,
4 special police units and to transform the units into the SVK or rather the
5 Serbian army of Krajina"?
6 A. That is correct, Your Honours, and the order I referred to in this
7 summary is 65 ter number 1367 which is discussed on page 146 of the
8 English version of my report.
9 Q. On page 143 under 3 do you not say that General Mile Novakovic,
10 commander of the SVK, issued an order on the 27th of November, 1992, for
11 the re-organising of the Territorial Defence and the special police into
12 the Serbian army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
13 A. Indeed, Your Honours -- indeed, Your Honours, I mentioned it, but
14 it's page 146, not 143.
15 Q. I meant page 146. Thank you. On page 147, paragraph (d), in the
16 line which reads -- paragraph 6, does it say: "The Serbian army of the
17 Republic of Serbian Krajina shall keep and maintain its weapons and
18 equipment in depots with the presence of UNPROFOR representatives
19 according to the Vance plan"? And does paragraph (c) at the top state in
20 the last part of the sentence that: "All the previous establishments of
21 the staffs and units of the Territorial Defence and the special police
22 units of the Republic of Serbian Krajina are hereby disbanded"?
23 A. Indeed, Your Honours. They are disbanded because a new structure
24 has been established, and this new structure is the SVK, the Serbian army
25 of the Serbian Krajina.
1 Q. So the agreement with Mr. Goulding stipulated the 15th of October,
2 whereas this was done in November. The police units were disbanded in
3 late November. Is that correct, Mr. Theunens?
4 A. Your Honours, I don't think that the agreement that Mr. Goulding
5 aimed at, transforming one structure -- one armed structure into another
6 armed structure because at that time the Vance plan was still being
7 applied or should have been applied. And according to the Vance plan, the
8 local Serbs were only allowed to keep a lightly armed police. TO or other
9 armed forces had to be demobilised, demilitarised, and disbanded.
10 Q. In accordance with the Vance plan, did the UN have an obligation
11 to protect the area under the UN protection, including the Serb
12 population, and they failed to do that, both at the Miljevac Plateau and
13 when a group of 600 people went through Sector North in August?
14 A. Your Honours, I can only -- I can only mention what the Vance plan
15 says. It says that the people in the UNPAs should be protected from the
16 fear of armed attack. Now, as I stipulated already, Miljevac was not
17 located in the UNPA but was located in the pink zone, and there's a
18 significant difference between the UNPA and the pink zone. Pink zones
19 were areas which were under the control of the JNA and which had in a
20 number of cases, significant Serb presences, but they were located outside
21 the border -- the agreed border of the UNPA. So UNPROFOR had no mandate
22 in the pink zones. It is only as a result of negotiations with the
23 Croatian side and the Serbian side that UNPROFOR started to patrol the
24 pink zones in order to show the flag and to show some reassurances. But,
25 as I mentioned, the pink zones were not part of the UNPAs.
1 Q. If we accept that it is indeed so, even if it was so, does this
2 authorise the Croatian side to kill 40 people and to throw them into a pit
3 in the presence of international forces?
4 A. Your Honours, I don't know whether they were, as it is put
5 here, "thrown in a pit in the presence of international forces." And to
6 answer the question: Obviously not. And I think when you look at the
7 report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Security
8 Council, earlier reports than this one, the Secretary-General clearly
9 alerts the Security Council about the negative effects the Croatian
10 military operation in Miljevac has on the overall situation and the risks
11 it may entail for the future situation.
12 Q. We shall now turn, Mr. Theunens, to page 168, which speaks about
13 the relations between the Army of Republika Srpska and Army of Serbian
14 Krajina. When you discuss political aspects, under item 1 you mention a
15 declaration dated the 31st of October, 1992, Prijedor declaration; and
16 under item 2 you speak of a joint defence council, which was established
17 on the 20th of February, 1995, which was supposed to be in charge of the
18 defence of people and the territory in the two Serbian territories west of
19 Drina. Is that correct?
20 A. Indeed, Your Honours, but I don't know what is meant with "the two
21 Serbian territories west of Drina."
22 Q. I can't explain that to you, Mr. Theunens, even though I know that
23 this refers to Republika Srpska and Serbian Krajina.
24 Let us now turn to page 169. When speaking of military aspects,
25 you mention Operation Corridor 92 under item 1. Is that correct?
1 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
2 Q. Is it true that you explained that Posavina, that is to say the
3 corridor, is of a vital importance for the survival of the western part of
4 the RS and the RSK and that this is the only land linking Krajina, Western
5 Slavonia, and the Western part of BH with Serbia?
6 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
7 Q. Do you know who severed the corridor and how? Does it done by
8 Croatian forces which came to the territory of another country and used
9 their forces to cut the corridor in half?
10 A. Your Honours, I think I explained my understanding of the
11 operations in the Posavina corridor during examination, where I mentioned
12 that in the course of April 1992 Bosnian Serbs start taking over the
13 municipalities in -- located in the eastern part of the corridor. We are
14 talking about municipalities like Bijeljina, Zvornik, parts of Brcko,
15 Bosanski Samac. Bosnian Serbs take these over with the assistance of --
16 elements of -- or armed elements of the Ministry of the Interior of the
17 Republic of Serbia, as well as volunteers/paramilitaries from -- who came
18 from Serbia and who had also recruited local forces. And based on what
19 Radovan Karadzic said in May at the 16th Assembly Session of the Serbian
20 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the establishment of a corridor
21 between Krajina and Semberija was one of the six strategic goals of the
22 Bosnian Serbs. Now, whether anyone severed the corridor, my understanding
23 is that the corridor was established in June 1992, and what I mean by that
24 234 -- at end of June/July 1992, Bosnian Serbs and forces from the entity
25 known as RSK undertook military operations to free a corridor and to
1 establish their control over that area.
2 Q. Can it be said that you give extensive answers to the questions
3 concerning which you already provided answers when examined by the
4 Prosecution. You are thus stripping us of valuable times -- of valuable
5 time. Will you now please answer my question? I asked you whether the
6 Croatian forces cut the corridor, and what I expected from you is a simple
7 yes or no answer. I don't need the entire history of that event.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: But, Mr. Milovancevic, you are also repeating what
9 he has already said in his report and you are making in court things that
10 are already in evidence. How different are you from him?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I'm asking
12 the witness right now, namely, whether the forces of the Republic of
13 Croatia came out beyond the borders of their own country and crossed into
14 the neighbouring country, Bosnia-Herzegovina, conducted a combat operation
15 there, and cut the corridor in half, is something that this witness has
16 never mentioned, either in his testimony or in his written report. I
17 asked him this because we have an exhibit on 65 ter list, number 711,
18 indicating that the forces of 103rd and 108th Brigade, Zagreb Brigade, and
19 Rijeka Brigade of the Croatian army were deployed in the territory of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to conduct an operation there. In addition to
21 that there was 132nd Osijek Brigade there and 109th Djakovica Brigade as
22 well. I'm now asking the witness whether he came across such information
23 before or not.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: If it is something that he hasn't mentioned before,
25 then he is not repeating himself.
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I may have come across this
2 information, but as I mentioned at the outset of my testimony, this report
3 focuses on the SAO Krajina and the RSK Territorial Defence and,
4 subsequently, the SVK. And the relation between these organisations,
5 armed organisations, and Milan Martic. I did not analyse the involvement
6 or the role or activities of Croatian or Bosnian Croat armed forces in
7 general, and certainly not specifically in relation to the corridor.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Let me repeat my question. Do you have any information indicating
10 that the corridor had been severed and that this is why they attempted a
12 A. Your Honours, I don't think that Mr. Milovancevic and myself seem
13 to understand each other. If you are asking me when the corridor was
14 severed, I know from my previous work that -- I think in November 1992 and
15 December 1992, there was a lot of pressure from Bosnian Croat and also
16 Croatian forces, so HV, from the Osijek pocket, which is located north of
17 the corridor, to cut the corridor. But I don't think that is the
18 information you are looking for.
19 Q. Can you tell us whether the severing of the corridor meant that
20 the Republic of Serbian Krajina was, in reality, strangled in the
21 financial, military, and any other sense because there was no way any
22 supplies, including medical supplies and food supplies, could be delivered
23 there from Yugoslavia. In addition to that, there was also a provision, a
24 no-fly zone established.
25 A. Your Honours, in -- it is correct that in the course of the
1 conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I think it's during the latter half of
2 1992, a no-fly zone was established over Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is -- and
3 it is also correct that the crossroad was essential for the entity known
4 as the RSK to receive support from Serbia and from the Serbs in
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please be shown
7 exhibit 711 from the 65 ter list of the Prosecution. I'm interested in
8 the following pages: 03015812 and then 03015819.
9 Q. Mr. Theunens, you have before you a transcript of a television
10 programme of Radio Television Belgrade in which a reporter on page 1, line
11 25, on the first page that I mentioned, 03015812, says that the
12 breakthrough was commenced on the 12th of June and that the defenders were
13 met by aggressors from the 103rd and 108th Brigade as well as by hundreds
14 of Alija's Mujahedin. Is it correct? Is this what is stated here?
15 A. Maybe if you could scroll down a little bit. I'm not sure whether
16 we're on the correct page, but ...
17 Q. The very beginning of the text, the very beginning of it. I don't
18 know what page it is in English, but it is literally the first page of the
19 document. The last four digits are 5812. This is a transcript of a
21 A. On this page it says that Milan Martic has just arrived at the 1st
22 Krajina Corps command. The Krajina Corps's VRS unit with headquarters in
23 Banja Luka --
24 Q. It should be 3505 in English, 3505 in English, at the bottom of
25 the page. Would you please read out the words of the reporter. Does he
1 mention the 103rd and 108th Croatian Brigades and hundreds of Alija's
3 A. It mentions it, but do you want me to read it out?
4 Q. Yes -- no, no. Actually, I'm asking you: Is this mentioned here?
5 A. Yes, indeed. The reporter from RTV Belgrade states that according
6 to his information "the liberators were met by aggressors from the 103rd
7 and 108th Croatian Brigades and hundreds of Alija's Mujahedins."
8 Now, as I tried to explain earlier and also when I explained how
9 this report has been compiled, I tried to find as many original sources as
10 possible, i.e., in talking about the operations, if I had been to -- if I
11 were to analyse the Croatian operations or the alleged Croatian operations
12 in the corridor, I would have looked for military documents and I would
13 not have limited myself to the opinion of one TV reporter because a -- a
14 group known as Alija's Mujahedins, I know more or less what the reporter
15 is talking about, but to me, if I have to assess the reliability of the
16 source, he wouldn't score very high because it's like calling all
17 Serbs "Chetniks" or calling all Croats "Ustashas." He doesn't assist to
18 try to identify and try to determine what happened in the corridor.
19 Q. On page 831 of this report, the reporter talks to a captured
20 Croatian soldier who says that 101st, 108th, and 101st, 109th, and 132nd
21 Brigade were all on the ground. Does this information mean anything to
22 you, Mr. Theunens?
23 A. Your Honours, if I had known under which conditions this Croatian
24 soldier allegedly made this statement, that would have been very helpful
25 because, again, is this the result of an interrogation? Is it a media
1 interview? Is the person under pressure? All we can say is that we need
2 more sources in order to establish what really happened. I don't doubt
3 that there were military operations in the corridor at that time, and
4 military operations involves various sides. But I cannot, as an analyst,
5 draw any conclusions just based on a media report where words like, or
6 expressions like "Alija's Mujahedins" are being used.
7 Q. Do you know that this same report mentions the statement given by
8 the captured Croatian soldier and says that there were between 4 and 500
9 mercenaries on the Croatian side, mostly from Germany and also a lot from
10 Turkey, and that it is these Mujahedin that are referred to. It is not
11 used in a derogatory sense, as you are trying to imply.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, what does "Mujahedin" mean?
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in Arabic this
14 means a fighter for faith, literally. That's what it means, for Islamic
15 faith, for Allah.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: May -- thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. The
17 question was directed to the witness. You are not in the box, you see.
18 You are not in the witness stand.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I misunderstood
20 what you wanted.
21 THE WITNESS: But, Your Honours, I can agree with the definition
22 proposed by Mr. Milovancevic.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: They are fighters of the faith?
24 THE WITNESS: Indeed, Your Honour, that's how it should be used.
25 But, again, looking at this report, I don't know what Alija's Mujahedins
1 are. It is mentioned there, but do they mean -- and hundreds of them - a
2 particular faction? For this report, I didn't analyse the presence of
3 volunteers of Muslim faith in Bosnia-Herzegovina who participate in the
4 conflict for religious reasons. There is no doubt that there were there.
5 There is even an indictment in this Tribunal against such people or people
6 in control of them. But in this report, I cannot say. I have no
7 information of whether they were really there; it is just a media report.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you know that due to the fact that all communication was
10 severed between Serbia and Serbian Krajina, 12 babies in incubators in
11 Banja Luka died because they did not have oxygen supplies, that kidney
12 patients died because they did not have supplies for dialysis, that the
13 Republic of Serbian Krajina sent urgent appeals to the international
14 community to open up the corridor; however, they received no response. Do
15 you know about that?
16 A. Your Honours, I've seen media reports from the RSK media about
17 this, but again, there's not much I can say about it. If it happened,
18 it's very sad, but that's all I can say.
19 Q. You said that Mr. Martic was promoted to the rank of colonel
20 general after this operation. Do you know that Mr. Martic refused to
21 accept that rank and that he in fact never became colonel-general because
22 he believed that it was his duty to serve his people, not to attempt to
23 obtain higher ranks for himself?
24 A. Your Honours, that may well be true --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, the question is: Do you know or don't you
2 THE WITNESS: I've seen reports, media reports, where indeed
3 Martic said: I'm not interested in that rank. But I haven't seen any
4 revocation of the order that is included in my report that appointed him
5 to that rank.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Have you seen any official decline of the offer by
7 Mr. Martic in the records that you read?
8 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honours, I haven't seen any such decline.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Did you see a document promoting Mr. Martic to the rank of
12 colonel-general? There is an order by the president of the republic,
13 which is normally followed by a promotion, which is a special ceremony
14 promoting him to a general. Have you seen any documents regarding that?
15 A. Your Honours, I've only seen the order by Goran Hadzic, who was
16 then president of the RSK, appointing or nominating Milan Martic to the
17 rank of colonel-general. Now, when it comes to other officers, there was
18 always only one single document I've seen, so ...
19 Q. On page 173, Mr. Theunens, you speak of the Pauk command or spider
20 command, and you say that on the 23rd of September, the Assembly of Velika
21 Kladusa established a commission on establishing an autonomous province of
22 Western Bosnia headed by Fikret Avdic, following which hostilities broke
23 out between the pro-Sarajevo 5th Corps and the forces of Western Bosnia.
24 Is that correct?
25 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
1 Q. Can you tell us, what does this term "pro-Sarajevo" mean, the one
2 referring to the 5th Corps? Is this the 5th Corps of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina, whose president is Alija Izetbegovic? Or does this refer to
4 something else? What does "pro-Sarajevo" mean?
5 A. I mean by this the 5th Corps of the ABiH which were the armed
6 forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but at that time
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina was -- there was a war happening and there were
8 basically three factions fighting each other. There were Bosnian Serbs,
9 who had the VRS; there were the Bosnian Croats, who had the HVO; and then
10 there were -- I wouldn't say "the others," but mainly people who were
11 known as Muslims, i.e., the nationality Muslim, as well as non-Muslims --
12 I mean, sometimes these Muslims call themselves "Bosniaks," so you could
13 call them "Bosniak" or "non-Bosniaks" who believed in the unity of Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina and wanted to keep Bosnia and Herzegovina together as one
15 state, and their armed force was called the ABiH. So I agree that the
16 term I used in my report was a bit of an oversimplification.
17 Q. Did the army of BH intervene militarily in order to prevent
18 [Realtime transcript read in error "implement"] the implementation of the
19 decision on declaring the autonomous province of Western Bosnia?
20 A. I think you meant in order to prevent the implementation of the
21 decision on declaring the western province of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 Q. That's correct, Mr. Theunens.
23 A. Indeed, I didn't study this in great detail for my report, but I
24 remember from the documents I looked at, both at the ICTY and before, that
25 quite soon after Abdic declared his autonomous province of Western Bosnia,
1 an armed conflict erupted in the area known as the Bihac pocket between
2 forces under the control of Abdic and the 5th Corps which was commanded by
3 Atif Dudakovic, which was loyal to Sarajevo.
4 Q. On page 178 did you explain under paragraph (e) that pursuant to
5 the operations log for Pauk command, it stems that it was established in
6 November of 1994 in order to restore the autonomous province of Western
7 Bosnia after it collapsed on the 20th of August, 1994?
8 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
9 Q. Do you know that -- or rather, when the autonomous province of
10 Western Bosnia collapsed on the 20th of August, 1994, that 70.000 Muslims
11 who had lived in the area fled from the ABiH army into the RSK so that the
12 RSK had to open up all its food supplies to feed 70.000 Muslims?
13 A. Your Honours, this is outside the framework of my report, but I
14 remember from my work as an intelligence analyst in Belgium at the time,
15 that indeed the significant number of people loyal to Abdic had to flee.
16 They wanted to flee -- they wanted actually to enter Croatia, but they
17 were stopped by the Croats at the limits of Sector North, and I think
18 there were two, not really camps, but two areas where they stayed. One
19 was the Turanj crossing and other, I think, was a chicken farm called
20 Batnoga. And I think it's correct that the RSK provided assistance in the
21 first instance, but after a while the UN had to provide assistance. When
22 I was working for UNPROFOR I went to the area myself, I mean to Batnoga,
23 and people were living in appalling conditions, but then all the
24 assistance was being provided by the UN.
25 Q. Therefore, the Croatian side refused to receive the Muslims
1 fleeing their death or pogrom that was a threat coming from the 5th Corps,
2 but the Croatian side refused and they were finally received in the RSK.
3 Is that right?
4 A. Your Honours, I'm not hundred per cent certain of the
5 circumstances under which these people fled and whether it would be
6 justified to use the words Mr. Milovancevic has used, but the situation
7 was that they -- these people remained stuck at the Turanj crossing and
8 Batnoga. Turanj is just south of Karlovac, if you look at the map, and
9 indeed they were taken care of there by UNPROFOR.
10 Q. On page 139 under paragraph (f) you state that the Republic of
11 Serbian Krajina and the Republika Srpska closely cooperated on the
12 political and military level.
13 A. Indeed, Your Honours, but that's the summary what follows in the
14 report and it's more specifically dealt with on pages 168 and the
15 following pages.
16 Q. As a member of UNPROFOR, did you write a report on the 7th of
17 March, 1995, which is listed as exhibit 1467 on the OTP list where you
18 precisely deal with the matters of the creation of the joint defence
19 council? Can this exhibit 1467 please be shown on the screen?
20 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
21 Q. Do you recall writing under item 7 -- or, I apologise, item 6 of
22 the report that the developments -- the political developments so far are
23 a consequence, and I paraphrase, of the Tudjman declaration on the future
24 of UNPROFOR in Croatia which have prompted the leadership of the RSK and
25 the Serbian Republic of BiH to reinforce their links?
1 A. Yes, that's correct, Your Honours.
2 Q. In item 7, do you state that: "In the past during the Croatian
3 offensive in Maslenica or the operation against the Medak pocket, 9th
4 September 1993, there has been no tangible support of the Bosnian Serbian
5 army for the army of Serbian Krajina, and that the main reason for that
6 was the fact that none of the sides had the means available to assist the
7 other because the Bosnian forces did not have enough manpower, whereas the
8 forces of the RSK, as you put it in item 8, needed all their troops and
9 weaponry on the home front?
10 A. Indeed, Your Honour, and this -- I mean, the entire memorandum is
11 based on the information we had available at the UNPROFOR headquarters at
12 that moment in time. It may well be that now, because I have access to
13 additional information, I may change certain parts of that report or add
14 certain information to that.
15 Q. Do you state in paragraph 11 that the declaration dated 20th
16 February in Banja Luka was to lead to significant changes in the current
17 situation and that its objectives were primarily political, because both
18 the Republic of Serbian Krajina and the Republika Srpska wanted to show
19 their solidarity toward the outside world, Croatia, and Serbia in
21 A. I think -- to quote the paragraph 11 correctly, it should be
22 stated that for the time being there are no indications that the 20th
23 February Banja Luka declaration will lead to a major change in the current
24 situation. I forgot the exact date of that -- of when I drafted that
25 memorandum, but again, that was a first assessment.
1 Q. In the annex to this report dated 4th March, 1995, under item 2,
2 did you not write that the Republic of Serbian Krajina largely depends on
3 the economical support from Serbia and Republika Srpska and - this is the
4 last line of item 2 - that they depend on the supplies coming from the
5 outside of Republika Srpska, that's to say in terms of fuel?
6 A. I don't have it in front of me, Your Honours, but it is correct.
7 And maybe I should add that the RSK also largely depended the support
8 provided by UNPROFOR, and I mean by that mainly humanitarian aid.
9 Q. What was the basis for you saying in the initial part of section 4
10 that cooperation between the RSK and the RS was quite extensive,
11 politically and militarily, if in your report in 1995 you state that their
12 cooperation was quite poor, that they were only able to give a show of
13 political support but otherwise were unable to secure sufficient resources
14 for themselves?
15 A. Your Honours, I think this is not really a correct reflection of
16 my report, my -- the expert report here, and the memorandum I drafted in
17 1995. As I mentioned earlier, in 1995 and, for example, the issue of Pauk
18 is a very good example. Within UNPROFOR we were never able to establish
19 whether there was organised support from the RSK, organised military
20 support with combat units, weapons, and other military supplies from the
21 RSK, so the SVK, to Abdic's forces. It's only after -- once I came here
22 that I discovered original military documents indicating that indeed there
23 was an organised support of the RSK to the Abdic forces in cooperation
24 with the Bosnian Serbs and the Republic of Serbia. At the time, I mean in
25 1995, in the UNPROFOR headquarters we believed that this support was
1 mainly a local initiative because of the black-market connections. We new
2 very well that the Lika corps was conducting black-market with the BiH.
3 We also know that other SVK units in the area, the Banja Corps and the
4 Kordun Corps were involved in black-market activities with Abdic's forces.
5 We also knew that there were helicopter flights from Zagreb to the Bihac
6 pocket in order to bring in supplies for Dudakovic's forces for the 5th
7 Corps. We were always surprised by the SVK did no efforts to shoot down
8 these helicopters.
9 Now, coming -- I apologise for this long answer, but I think it
10 maybe helps to explain the circumstances under which this memorandum was
11 drafted when I was in Zagreb. When two entities decide to create a joint
12 defence council and make a number of statements in -- to say: Well, we
13 have now a common defence, I think that this is an example of significant
14 political cooperation, and this is actually what I mentioned in my report.
15 The fact -- the fact that on the ground at that time when I was in Zagreb,
16 we had no reliable or credible information about organised units being
17 involved in carrying out mutual support, well, okay, that's how it was
18 then. Now with the additional information I've seen while working at the
19 ICTY, I may have to review what is mentioned in this 1995 memorandum, and
20 I think that is quite understandable.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can the exhibit 1467 please be
22 admitted as a Defence exhibit?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence as an
24 exhibit. Can it please be given a number.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 110, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can you tell us what the strength of the Croatian forces attacking
5 Western Slavonia on the 1st of May, 1995, was?
6 A. Your Honours, I can only give a quite general answer because I
7 didn't analyse it in detail because it's not part of the subject matter of
8 my report, but I think that the forces of two guards brigades as well as
9 one regular HV brigade and also special police forces were involved on the
10 Croatian side. But I can't give a more precise figure.
11 Q. Did you review OTP document 1472, as listed on the 65 ter exhibit
12 list, which is the report of the Main Staff of the RSK army dated 4th May
13 1995, which stated that the 18th Corps which was in Western Slavonia had
14 4.700 men --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can he just answer that question hat you put first
16 before you put another question? We've got a very short lunch break. I
17 would like us to break punctually.
18 Can you answer that question?
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I'm sorry, but I don't know which is
20 65 ter number 1472, so it would be helpful if I could see it.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it possible, then, Mr. Milovancevic, that you
22 help the witness to see the document when we come back from lunch?
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: We shall adjourn and come back at half past 2.00.
25 Court adjourned.
1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.46 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Black.
4 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. One thing briefly in terms of
5 schedule. I know that we're trying to finish with Mr. Theunens today, and
6 I just wanted to forecast for the Defence and the Court that I think I
7 have about 15 minutes or so of re-direct examination, including dealing
8 with the time-line that Your Honours had asked about earlier and a few
9 other matters. I just wanted to alert the Defence, so hopefully it can be
10 taken into consideration.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Hopefully you can do that, Mr. Milovancevic.
12 Thank you.
13 You may proceed.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will
15 take the schedule into consideration. I will keep it in mind.
16 Q. Mr. Theunens, you told us that you learned some information about
17 the strength of the Croatian forces attacking Sector West, the zone under
18 the protection of the UN on the 1st of May, 1995. Do you know what the
19 balance of forces was of the two sides, the Croatian side attacking and
20 the other side defending?
21 A. Your Honours, I do not know what the exact balance of forces was.
22 I think also it would be -- it may well be misleading to only base
23 ourselves on figures like troop strength and so on, because from the
24 documents I reviewed for this report, in particular the investigation
25 commissions that were established -- or the reports by the investigation
1 commissions that were established in the RSK, following the fall of
2 Western Slavonia, it appears the 18th Corps was not as well-organised and
3 as well motivated as it could have been.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, do you know that General Bobetko, chief of the Main
5 Staff of the Croatian army published his book where he stated that the
6 directive for the implementation of Flash operation number 5/94 was issued
7 on the 15th of December, 1994, and that three months before the operation
8 was implemented the Croatian forces positioned themselves on the points
9 from where they were supposed to launch the attack, in his words?
10 A. Your Honours, I didn't analyse or use the book of Bobetko for this
11 report. Had as you can see from the report it doesn't include an analysis
12 about the activity of the Croatian forces either. Now, from my
13 recollection from my work from the UNPROFOR in Zagreb, we found that out
14 of operations the corps had conducted for several weeks, but I would not
15 in a position to confirm or offer a comment on the allegations made in the
16 book of Bobetko or the information provided in the book of Bobetko.
17 Q. Can you tell us whether you learned which were the main axes of
18 attack of the Croatian force in Operation Flash, which started on the 1st
19 of May, 1995?
20 A. Your Honours, I refer to the previous reply. I didn't analyse the
21 Operation Flash for the purpose of this report. What I remember from
22 information I saw at the time when I worked in UNPROFOR was that Croatian
23 forces approached from along the highway, both from the east as well as
24 from the west. And I also believe that there were some forces approaching
25 from the north.
1 Q. If you did not analyse the information or look for the
2 information, then what is the basis for your conclusion as to what the
3 conduct of the Serbian side was, whether they defended themselves well or
4 not? If you do not have any information as to what the conduct and the
5 acts of the Serbian side were, what's the basis of the conclusions you
6 state in your report?
7 A. Your Honours, I would like to draw your attention on the 65 ter
8 numbers 1889 and 1890, which are mentioned or discussed on the pages 199
9 to pages 202 of my report. These are quite extensive documents. I think
10 they cover each 20 pages, something. One is a report by a civilian
11 investigation commission, officially called the Republic of Serbian
12 Krajina State Fact-finding Commission on the Causes and the Manner of the
13 Fall of Western Slavonia. The other one is a military investigation
14 commission, and it is exactly in these two reports that I found
15 information on the conduct, morale, and the -- the way how the 18 Corps --
16 but also other senior officials in the SVK General Staff, as well as
17 Milan Martic, how they conducted the operations. So it is not something
18 I invent, it is something that comes from these two investigation
20 Q. I'm not saying that you invented them, Mr. Theunens, but, rather,
21 that you did not assess the balance of the two warring parties. Can you
22 tell me, did the UNPROFOR command assess the Croatian Operation Flash?
23 Can you tell us anything about it? Since the zone under the protection of
24 the UN was attacked and since UNPROFOR moved out of the way of the
25 Croatian forces and allowed them to launch an attack and seize the area?
1 A. Your Honours, this description of the alleged reaction or action
2 of UNPROFOR does not correspond with my recollection. It is indeed
3 correct that after the operation within the headquarters studies were made
4 and also reports were drafted on the -- on the way how the UNPROFOR
5 battalions in Sector West acted prior, during, and after the Croatian
6 attack. Now, I'm not familiar with the conclusions of these reports.
7 What I can also maybe mention, it -- excuse me? -- is that prior to the
8 operations, UNPROFOR was both within the sector as well as outside, and
9 that outside applies to the military observers, subject to serious
10 restrictions in its freedom of movement. And, for example, what I -- when
11 I mentioned earlier that we found out that the Croats had been preparing
12 weeks ahead, it is only too late that we understood -- I mean we, that
13 UNPROFOR headquarters understood that the visits by what seemed to be
14 civilians during the weekend to certain locations close to the zone of
15 separation and to the contact line in Sector West, that these were not
16 refugees, Croatian refugees, who came to look for their houses, but
17 actually military personnel and special police personnel in civilian
18 clothes who came to prepare and carry out reconnaissance operations.
19 Q. Were such refugees offered by Croatian President Tudjman to the
20 RSK when he insisted that only such type of Croat refugees return to the
21 area whilst refusing to allow Serb refugees to return to the area? Do you
22 know anything about that?
23 A. Your Honours, analysing statements, Croatian President --
24 late-Croatian President Tudjman may have made in relation to Croatian
25 refugees was not part of the tasking I received when I drafted this
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can Defence exhibit 1D000111 be
3 shown on the screen. This is a report by UNPROFOR, an overview of
4 activities of the Croatian offensive against Sector West on the 1st of
5 May. The report details incidents.
6 Q. While this is being done, to save time, let's proceed. The report
7 says that the Croatian army launched attacks from three directions:
8 North, east, and west, that the main axis of attack from the east was
9 along Gorice-Pivare highway, that the attack was supported by armoured
10 vehicles, artillery, mortars. That the main axis of attack from the west
11 was Novska highway-Donji Rajici, that the attack was supported by armoured
12 vehicles and artillery, that the main axis of attack from the north was
13 Pakrac, Glavinice [phoen], Seovica, Brusnik, and that the area of Pakrac
14 was subject to heavy shelling that very morning and on several occasions
15 during the day along the Dragovici road.
16 Do we have the exhibit on the screen? Yes.
17 A. I think it's another document, Your Honours, because this document
18 talks about 1991.
19 Q. 1D000111.
20 Do you know about this data, Mr. Theunens, that late at night the
21 Croatian side informed on the eve of the attack the UNPROFOR command
22 structure in Sector West, that combat operations would ensue, advising
23 them to place UNPROFOR units under their command in a safe location. Are
24 you familiar with such a document?
25 A. I may have seen the document at the time, but I didn't review it
1 to compile the expert report I'm testifying on here. I remember from the
2 events at the time that we were warned, I think, at 4.00 in the morning or
3 5.00 in the morning -- we received the phone call to join the headquarters
4 in Zagreb. I mean from time point of view, that's the only thing I
5 recall. And indeed the troops in the area had been warned in advance.
6 Now whether this warning came from the HV to the UNPROFOR headquarters in
7 Zagreb or from the HV directly to the troops in Sector West, that is
8 something I don't recall.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I tender this document into
11 evidence as Defence exhibit, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the -- excuse me. May the document be admitted
13 into evidence as Defence exhibit, and may it be given an exhibit number,
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number 111, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we see on the screen
18 Defence exhibit 1D000118.
19 Q. Before the document comes up, Mr. Theunens, I would like to put to
20 you that this document has to do with "an incident," as it was termed in
21 the document. The document is dated the 4th of May, 1995 - an incident
22 which occurred during the humanitarian efforts to avoid any casualties
23 among civilian population. This has to do with an event in the village of
24 Gavrenica in the Pakrac area. Do we have it on the screen now? Yes, we
25 do. Can you see it?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black is on his feet, Mr. Milovancevic.
2 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. I just -- again, as has
3 happened before, this is a document I have never seen before as far as I
4 know. We weren't notified that it was going to be used. And if
5 Mr. Milovancevic intends to use this and make it an exhibit, I would
6 appreciate it if he would explore who made this. Because what you have is
7 what seems to be one document and then if you can scroll a little bit to
8 the top of the page, this and the last document have titles added which
9 don't seem to be part of the same -- the body of the document. And if we
10 could have an explanation as to where these come from, it would help me
11 know as to whether I need to object to them. Again, I need to see these
12 before they're put to the witness, otherwise I'm going to have to ask for
13 an adjournment, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these are the
16 documents -- photocopies of UNPROFOR documents which can be found in the
17 book called "Serbian Western Slavonia, May 1995: Expulsion." This was
18 published by Veritas, which is an non-governmental organisation dealing
19 with the events in Western Slavonia. Pursuant to the author of this book,
20 all documents and statements contained in it were sent to the Prosecution
21 back in 1997.
22 In this case, on the monitor we can see a document, a photocopy
23 actually of a document of the UN. I think that it is beyond dispute that
24 this is a UN document. It bears all proper marks. It has a typical
25 introduction, signature --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Wait a minute, Mr. Milovancevic. You say this
2 book -- this document comes from -- was sent to the Prosecution back in
3 1997. Sent to the Prosecution by whom? And has notice been given that
4 they are going to be used as evidence?
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what we see now is
6 part of a document coming from this book. I mentioned the name of the
7 book. The author of this book states that he sent all of these documents,
8 all of these statements, to the OTP, all of the documents contained in
9 this book, and I am now putting to the witness one of such documents.
10 Namely, he claims that this was sent to the Prosecution. Naturally, this
11 is a separate issue from the one raised by my learned friend from the
12 Prosecution, namely that we need to inform them about the documents we
13 intend to use. This issue has not been resolved yet. Yes, Your Honour?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have a problem, Mr. Milovancevic. Obviously
15 this -- you say this book was sent to the Prosecution. I'm not quite sure
16 what you mean by the Prosecution. Was it sent to this Prosecutor for the
17 purposes of this case or was it sent to the offices of the OTP for their
18 general information? I don't -- if this document is not part of the
19 documents that have been disclosed, surely it must be tendered into
20 evidence in terms of proper procedure. In other words, the author of the
21 book must come here and tender it. You can't testify from the -- from the
22 bar and tell us that the author of the book sent this document to a -- to
23 the OTP. The author must come here and say: This is my document. I am
24 the author of this. I certify that -- I stand by the contents of this
25 document and I sent it to the OTP for the following purposes. And only
1 that way can it be admitted into evidence. I'm not quite sure what you
2 mean by "the author sent it to the OTP." I would like you to explain that
3 even before we deal with the actual issue raised by Mr. Black.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just attempted
5 to give you an explanation contained in this book and inform you and our
6 learned friends from the Prosecution --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Obviously the explanation you gave doesn't answer
8 the question I raised; that's why I'm repeating myself in different words.
9 I'm saying to you: When you say "this book was sent to the OTP by the
10 author," you are testifying. And you are not in the witness box. You
11 cannot be cross-examined on that statement to find out the veracity of the
12 statement. My -- to my knowledge, exhibits -- the proper way for
13 exhibits -- for tendering exhibits is that the author or the receiver of
14 the document must come here and say: I wrote this document. I confirm
15 the contents of this document, and I'm available to be cross-examined on
16 the contents of this document. That way it can be admitted. Or: I am
17 the recipient of this document, it came from so-and-so, who then addressed
18 it to me, and this is the original. When you say -- you have explained --
19 your explanation, in my understanding, is not procedural. You see, this
20 document is different, Mr. Milovancevic, if I may just add, from the other
21 documents that you have said came from the OTP and were given to the
22 Defence in this case. This is a document that is coming completely, it
23 looks like, from the Defence side. And the Defence must tender the
24 document properly.
25 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, if I may just clarify. The most
1 important thing from our point of view is notice. I may not object to the
2 authenticity of this document, and I think, in fairness to the Defence,
3 the rules of this Tribunal are much more lax than they are in -- certainly
4 in my home jurisdiction about admission of documents without strict proof
5 of authenticity. But what concerns me is a document such as this one and
6 the last one is that they obviously have information added. We're not
7 dealing with an original document. The title from the last document was
8 something like "The UN on the Run." That clearly seems to me is not part
9 of the UN document that -- that is reproduced there perhaps faithfully by
10 the authors. So that's why it's difficult for us as the Prosecution
11 without advanced notice that these documents are going to be used to be
12 able to determine what's acceptable and what's not acceptable.
13 For instance, if Mr. Milovancevic could say for us that those
14 titles are not part of the document but the rest is -- is a true
15 photocopy, I may very well be willing to accept that and not object to the
16 admission. But it's the kind of thing that's very difficult to do on the
17 fly. And I know that there's a motion about this, but this is my concern
18 about this with this document, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black I think has explained his concern about
20 the document and he does tell me that admission of documents is slightly
21 different in the Tribunal. He has raised this issue earlier about
22 advanced notice. Obviously he's now taken by surprise if documents are
23 being produced about which he has no advance notice, of which he hasn't
24 seen before, and the intention is to have them admitted into evidence. He
25 had made this request a couple of days ago, Mr. Milovancevic. You
1 undertook to try and do that as best you could; it doesn't seem to have
2 been done this time.
3 Now, from what I understand from what he's saying, he's not able
4 to react to this document because he doesn't know it. So he needs to know
5 it first before it is put here. This might cause an adjournment right
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at this point in
9 time, I'm trying to offer into evidence documents contained in this book
10 which has a title, just like a book by General Kadijevic had a title. It
11 was entitled "My View of a Break-up," and it also contained some
12 documents. Likewise, this book entitled "Western Slavonia, May 1995:
13 Exodus," contains a number of documents.
14 The author of the book gave titles to some of the documents. The
15 titles are not part of original documents, and I will point this out to
16 the witness. What I attempted to tell the Trial Chamber is that the
17 Defence has not disclosed this document to the Prosecution, not yet.
18 However, in the very book, the author - and I'm not trying to testify
19 about this - the author claims that he sent this book to the Prosecution.
20 That is not identical to disclosure. I realise that. And I'm not trying
21 to claim that it is. But I don't see why we shouldn't take a look at this
22 document which is contained in this book in the form of a photocopy.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The reason we are not able to take this book at
24 this point is because the Prosecution says they have no advance notice of
25 it, they do not know how they should react to the suggested tender of the
1 document into evidence, whether to object or to accept it, and they can
2 only be able to do so once they have seen the book, which is the reason
3 why they've been asking for advanced notices. Does that make it clearer?
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] It is clear to me,
5 Your Honours. However, I understood the words of my learned friend from
6 the Prosecution in a somewhat different light, and let me clarify this.
7 Could my learned friend state his position, namely, do they object to
8 documents from this book being put to the witness or not? I will abide by
9 your ruling, but I don't think that my learned friend stated firmly his
10 opposition. And would he please clarify his position?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think your learned friend stated his position
12 quite clearly. His position is clearly that he is unable to react because
13 he doesn't know the document. He hasn't seen the document, and I think
14 the solution to this problem is either to take a stand-down of about five,
15 ten minutes so that we can show your learned friend that document and he
16 can make up his mind whether he wants to object or not object.
17 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, perhaps I can help. At this point, based
18 on what Mr. Milovancevic has said, that the titles are not part of the
19 documents, I don't want to hold things up further. I'm happy to continue.
20 I do not object to this document with the understanding with that that
21 title is not part of the document, and then I hope we can discuss it --
22 well, we'll try to reach agreement between the parties. There's also a
23 pending motion on this issue, and then going forward from -- to that, I
24 think we can resolve it, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would then -- the Chamber would rule then that it
1 comes in as an MFI.
2 MR. BLACK: That's certainly fine with us. Thank you,
3 Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thank you very much.
5 Then the document will come in as an MFI -- may it please be given
6 an MFI number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that will be marked for
8 identification, 112.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Theunens, would you please read out the first paragraph in
13 this document, namely, the UN document dated 4th of May 1995. Please read
14 out the first paragraph. This says -- sentence says that this has to do
15 with the Argentinean Battalion and explains what happened?
16 A. Your Honours, if you will allow me before I start reading, I would
17 like to point out that the document says: "UN restricted" in the heading,
18 if you move back to the top. So even if it's a copy, one could wonder --
19 I mean, it's not an issue for us here, but how the parties involved in the
20 conflict could lay its hand on a UN-received document. However, I can
21 read the first paragraph.
22 "The incident occurred in the framework of humanitarian measures
23 and to avoid more casualties and dead among the civilian population. Due
24 to the artillery, mortars, and rockets shelling landed specially in
25 Gavrenica village instead of the RSK position. In other words, the main
1 target was the civilian population. The incidents and its consequences
2 could be witnessed by the Commander CC Lieutenant General Al Rodan
3 [phoen], UNPF staff Brigadier General Denaro, SC" - sector commander, I
4 assume - "Brigadier General Matalon, and all the UN soldiers who were in
5 the spot."
6 Do you want me to continue, or ...
7 Q. No, that's sufficient. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. Do you know,
8 Mr. Theunens, that there are other reports coming from the civilian
9 affairs sector in Sector West indicating that in the village of Paklanica
10 [phoen] in a house owned by Solaja three nurses were killed, their throats
11 slit. And they were there with the wounded persons with whom they were
12 assisting, Mica Todorovic was a disabled person. Then there was some
13 other wounded soldiers and people there. Do you know of this?
14 A. No, Your Honours, I'm not familiar with that incident.
15 Q. Could we see on the document 1D000119. This is Defence exhibit
16 which is a transcript of a document contained on page 18 of this book.
17 While we're waiting for the document to come up, please tell me: Do you
18 know that a member of civilian affairs department, whose last name is
19 Musali wrote a report informing about the crimes committed and saying that
20 on the road between the village of Trnakova and an intersection in the
21 village of Rogolj an ambush was set up for civilians on the evening of the
22 2nd of May, and the civilians were attacked by snipers and about 50 of
23 them killed. That in the village of Nova Varos, civilian population
24 including women and children travelling on foot and by car were targeted
25 and fired upon from small arms resulting in the death of about 100 people.
1 Did you hear about such reports?
2 A. No, Your Honours. The name Musali rings a bell. I think he was a
3 senior official in the UN civil affairs, but I've never seen this report
4 now -- or heard the information just mentioned by Mr. Milovancevic. When
5 we go back to the top of the document, normally a UN report would carry
6 the logo of the United Nations as well as a typical temp -- it would be --
7 the cover page would have a typical template format, and this format seems
8 to be missing here. But, again, it's not visible either who signed the
9 document or who compiled it because it's -- on the second page, more than
10 half or less than half is visible. So it's very hard for me to comment on
11 this document. I haven't heard about the events mentioned in the document
12 or the crimes -- alleged crimes mentioned in the document, and I haven't
13 seen this document before.
14 Q. Did you hear about the reports given by United Nations in Daruvar
15 sector, stating that out of 11.440 Serbs who lived in Daruvar in January
16 1995, only 540 remained?
17 A. What do you mean only 540 remained? Can you say when they
19 Q. Everybody else had to leave and flee to Bosnia prior to the
20 Croatian offensive.
21 A. Your Honours, but if you say -- again, I'm talking now only from
22 what I see on the transcript. "Everybody else had to leave and had to
23 flee to Bosnia prior to the Croatian offensive." To me it suggests people
24 left prior to the attack and not because of the attack. I'm not sure if
25 that's what you want to say.
1 Q. Well, what do you expect? Do you expect that the Croats should
2 have killed 11.000 people, should have killed all of them? Don't you
3 think it was normal for people to flee, anticipating this? And do you
4 know that there were similar figures in relation to other municipalities
5 constituting the territory of Western Slavonia, namely, in Pakrac after
6 Croatian offensive out of over 7.000 Serbs, only 560 remained. Everybody
7 else had to leave the area under pressure exerted by Croats during their
8 offensive. Do you know of this information?
9 A. What I know, Your Honours, is that - and I don't have an exact
10 figure - but the largest part of the Serb population in the area known as
11 Western Slavonia left because of the Croatian attacks. Now, the exact
12 circumstances were -- when they left, why they left, I don't know, because
13 I didn't analyse it. But there is obviously a relation between the
14 Croatian military operation on the one hand and people leaving on the
15 other hand.
16 Q. You said that the attack on Zagreb and that the firing of 12 to 14
17 missiles occurred on the 2nd and 3rd of May and that combat operation went
18 on until the 4th of May. Is that correct?
19 A. I don't remember that I gave an exact figure of the number of
20 rockets that were being fired, were not missiles that were fired because
21 missiles are guided weapons. But well, again, I don't remember the exact
22 number, and indeed combat operations actually continued later on. The
23 term that was used this morning already, like the mopping-up or the
24 clearing-up of the battle-field lasted until two or three weeks after the
25 start of the operation. Because according to Croatian sources there were
1 Serb -- or members of the 18th Corps or other members of the Serb armed
2 forces who sought refuge in the Sunja and Papuk mountains. Now, there
3 were no members of the UNPROFOR to verify that information.
4 Q. Did you hear about an indictment of the Prosecution against
5 Generals Gotovina, Markac, and Cermak?
6 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
7 Q. Do you know that in that indictment in paragraphs 51 through 53 it
8 is stated that Croatian state and military leadership planned back in 1992
9 to attack militarily the areas under the UN protection where Serbs
10 constituted either a majority or a significant minority?
11 A. I know that the Croatian officers you have mentioned are indicted,
12 but I'm not familiar with the indictments and main reason being that these
13 indictments are not relevant for the purposes of my report, which
14 discusses the TO, the SAO Krajina, and the RSK, as well as the SVK and the
15 relationship between these structures and Milan Martic.
16 Q. Is it true that the Croatian forces, as their first operation in
17 the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, conducted the Miljevac
18 Plateau operation on the 21st of June, 1992, and is it true that the
19 United Nations condemned the action and demanded that the Croatian troops
21 A. Your Honours, the concept of territory of the Republic of Serbian
22 Krajina is a political issue, even a legal issue, on which I can not
23 comment. I am familiar with the United Nations Security Council
24 Resolution number 721 which dates from February 1992, where the Security
25 Council condemned the Croatian attack against the Miljevac Plateau which,
1 as I mentioned earlier, was located in the pink zone of Sector South. And
2 in the resolution the Croats were also called upon to withdraw to the
3 positions they held prior to the attack.
4 Q. Did the Croatians withdraw?
5 A. I don't know, Your Honours, I haven't checked that. I don't think
6 so, but I'm not sure.
7 Q. Did you hear of the Maslenica operation on the 21st, 22nd of
8 January, 1993, and again a zone under the UN protection was attacked? It
9 was in fact exposed to a mass-scale attack.
10 A. Indeed, Your Honours, I know of the Maslenica operation which was
11 aimed at restoring Croatian control over the Maslenica bridge. The Perica
12 dam, as well as the Zemun [sic], I think, airfield. Now, this operation
13 first consisted of an incursion into the pink zone and then dragged on and
14 then indeed the United Nations protected area was violated. Okay, I did
15 answer the question.
16 Q. Did the Security Council condemn the action and demand that the
17 Croatian side retreat from the area seized?
18 A. That's correct, Your Honours. And I don't recall the exact number
19 of the Security Council Resolution, but all these resolutions called upon
20 all sides involved in the conflict to abide by the stipulations of the
21 Vance plan.
22 Q. Do you know that the UNPROFOR commander, General Zanko, on the
23 occasion of the Croatian action in Medak, as he toured the area in
24 September 1993 observed that the destruction there was systematic and
25 widespread. "The area that I toured did not show any signs of life,
1 either that of human beings or animals."
2 A. Your Honours, I've seen this comment in the media. Now, all I can
3 say is that two Croatian generals who were allegedly responsible for these
4 violations, Ademi and Norac, have been indicted by the ICTY.
5 Q. Do you know that the OTP, whom you work for, claim in the
6 indictment that the Operation Storm of 4th of August, 1995, caused some
7 tens of thousands of people, the entire population in Sector South, to
8 abandon the -- to leave the area and that several thousands of buildings
9 were destroyed in order to make their return impossible?
10 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, at this point -- I've been extremely
11 hesitant to rise on the issue of relevance. We've now gone beyond the
12 indictment period. We're talking about Croatian forces which the witness
13 has repeatedly says he did not study. And in light of the hour, I'm
14 concerned about whether we'll be able to finish the important matters if
15 we continue to deal with things that are essentially unrelated to the
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, any answer?
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have only
19 one or two more questions, therefore I will be finishing my
20 cross-examination soon. However, I put these questions in order to
21 ultimately ask the expert how it is possible that he writes an expert
22 report without giving a single illustration of the conduct of the other
23 side, their objectives, numbers, or documents or decisions. We have one's
24 version of the events stripped out of the content here and shown as the
25 witness saw fit. My question to the witness is whether he heard of the
1 statement of the president of Croatia, Tudjman, when the first an verse
2 rare of Operation Storm was marked, this was on the central square in
3 Zagreb in front of some ten thousand people where Tudjman said: "There
4 would have been no war had Croatia not desired one. We would not have
5 constituted our country had it not been for that."
6 Q. Did you hear of this statement?
7 A. I didn't hear about this particular statement. Again, you asked
8 about the 4th of August. This report ends I think the 6th of May. Why?
9 Because the shelling of Zagreb took place on the 2nd and 3rd of May. It's
10 not clear to me what events on the 6th of May had to do with the events in
12 Now, there is a misunderstanding of this report. I said from the
13 outset already during my examination and I repeated several times in
14 cross-examination: This report is not a conflict analysis; it is an
15 analysis and the study of the role of one party. If you look into
16 libraries, in the Internet, or book-shops, or wherever, you would find
17 plenty of studies covering warfare between the Ancient Greeks and -- the
18 Americans in Iraq or you would find studies about the activities of one
19 party. It's one type of studies. At the same time, there will be studies
20 about the conflict as such. As I explained, this study or this report is
21 about the background, the organisation, and the role of the SAO Krajina TO
22 and RSK TO as well as the SVK and their relationship with Milan Martic.
23 There are 300 references included in that report. It will be up to Your
24 Honours to decide and to judge the relevance of this report in the context
25 of this case. But again, let's not confuse the issues. This is not a
1 conflict analysis, because obviously then I would have discussed about the
2 Croats. It is a study on one party in the conflict. And you will see
3 that as you are informed about the indictment for Storm, there will
4 probably also be a report of my colleague who works for that case who will
5 study the HV without going into details about the other armed factions. I
6 think that's very clear.
7 Q. Mr. Theunens, do you wish to tell us that the conduct of one side
8 in a conflict has nothing to do with the conduct of the other side in a
9 conflict? This is something you've been asserting here before us
10 throughout your testimony?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I think the witness has been
12 asserting that he studied the conduct of one side. He has not -- I don't
13 remember him saying the conduct of one side in a conflict has nothing to
14 do with the conduct of the other side. I think you are now embellishing
15 what he has said.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was not my
17 intention to distort what the witness said but rather to show the gist of
18 it. The expert cannot provide an analysis of events without showing the
19 entire -- the two sides to the conflict. But I have another question, if
20 I may, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: But he has just told us that that's what -- exactly
22 what he did. And if you do want to argue at the end of the trial that
23 that was wrong, it's open for you to argue that. But he has answered you.
24 He said: I did just that. I studied the one side and I didn't study the
25 other side. So I think, can we move on, can we get on to the next
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Did the United Nations and UNPROFOR troops have the obligation
4 under the Vance plan and the accompanying resolution to protect the
5 UN-protected area from attacks from any side?
6 A. Your Honours, the answer to that question is very complex because
7 it involves many aspects. It involves analysing the mandate of the UN
8 forces. It involves analysing how each of the parties involved applied
9 the Vance plan, did they respect it, did they violate it? It also
10 involves, as we saw, with the Argentinean document, how did the individual
11 battalions that were members that were included into UNPROFOR carry out
12 their mandates and so on. I can't answer that question.
13 Q. Did not Mr. Nambiar give an answer to this? He is reported in the
14 report to the Security Council S24600, and you yourself read his words
15 today in answer to my question when he told the Krajina Serb that they
16 should not set up their own units because the territory was to be
17 controlled by UN forces and they themselves protected. Isn't that what
18 Mr. Nambiar said?
19 A. That is correct, Your Honours, and I've also mentioned earlier
20 during my --
21 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Theunens.
22 A. Your Honours, if you allow me -- and I've also mentioned that
23 indeed it was the task of the UN forces to protect the population of the
24 UNPAs from the fear of armed attack. What I tried to explain in the
25 answer to the previous question is that there is a significance difference
1 between the situation in 1992 and the situation as it was in May 1995.
2 And there -- obviously there are many parties to blame for the nature of
3 the situation in 1995, but in relation to whether the UNPROFOR forces had
4 the duty to protect the population and whether they did it or not, you
5 cannot just answer that in one question when you look at the complexity of
6 the situation as it was in May 1995. That was all I tried to say.
7 Q. Mr. Theunens, I asked you whether the United Nations protected
8 Krajina and Miljevac Plateau in 1992. Did they protect during the Medak
9 Pocket in 1993? Did they protect them during Operation Flash or Operation
10 Storm? No. My question to you was: What -- I did not ask you what their
11 obligations were or what the balance of powers was, but rather whether
12 they did protect them. The answer was no.
13 I have another question for you --
14 A. Sorry, but, I mean you give the answers here. You say "no." I
15 think it would be -- it would warrant a separate study to see to what
16 extent the UNPROFOR forces did their mission, yes or no. But it's not
17 one -- a thing you can sort out by stating slogans.
18 Q. I put this question, and I do not wish to insist upon it any
19 longer simply because you assess the conduct of the Serbian side in this
20 case on the basis of UN documents, Serb documents. You showed the
21 obligations of the Serbian side and the United Nations, but you did not
22 create a causal link between the two or between these and the other
23 warring party. That's why I will not insist any longer.
24 My last question to you is the following. In May 1992,
25 General Tudjman, prior to all these operations explained that there
1 wouldn't have been no war had Croatia not desired one and that Croatia
2 assessed that it was only through a war that it could gain its
3 independence. Do you wish to tell us that what President Tudjman said was
4 not true and that a person -- you as a commander of a tank platoon are
5 better at assessing the situation than a general who is a -- the president
6 of Croatia at the same time?
7 A. Your Honours, I think I have repeated several times that my report
8 does not analyse or study the behaviour of the Croatian side in the
9 conflict. Now, whether the fact that I have been in a tank platoon in my
10 life has any relevance or bears any relevance for my report, that's a
11 question that I can obviously not answer. You also say earlier that --
12 that I failed to see the causal relation between what the Serbian side did
13 and the Croatian side did or even what the UN did. Again, and I'm sorry
14 to repeat it, but it is not -- this report is not an analysis of UNPROFOR.
15 What did UNPROFOR do between 1992 and 1995? Did they implement the
16 mandate or not? I don't know because I didn't study it. What I tried to
17 do with this report is look at the SAO Krajina TO, which then transformed
18 into the RSK TO. I then also studied the SVK. I looked at the original
19 formation of these organisations, their activities, and then I analysed
20 the relationship between these organisations and Milan Martic.
21 Q. My last question: If that's the case, can you explain to us why
22 you dealt with the crimes in Skabrnja, Fruska, Saborsko, and Kijevo, if
23 your task was merely to analyse the SVK and the Territorial Defence? This
24 then goes beyond the scope of your task, and you have not -- have omitted
25 to mention a series of information that would have been highly relevant in
1 the context of these alleged crimes.
2 A. Your Honours, the alleged crimes in Skabrnja, Saborsko, Kijevo,
3 and other areas I may have included in the report, were included because
4 based on documentation, JNA documentation, SAO Krajina TO documentation,
5 or other documents, there were indications that forces of the SAO Krajina
6 TO or the SAO Krajina police were involved in these operations.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
8 no further questions.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
10 Before I call Mr. Black, Mr. Milovancevic, there's a document,
11 Defence document ID 000119, and you were asked nothing about it. I don't
12 know what you want done with it. Do you want it -- shall we give it an
13 MFI number or you don't want it as part of the record?
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have showed the
15 document and it will be good if it were given a provisional number.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Then the document will then be given an MFI
17 number. It will be admitted for -- it will be marked for identification
18 and may it be given an MFI number, please.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification number 113,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 Mr. Black, any re-examination?
23 MR. BLACK: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. I will try to cover as
24 much ground as I possibly can quickly.
25 With the assistance of the usher, I would like to pass around two
1 separate documents. The Defence have these.
2 Your Honour, the first one is a map of the Posavina corridor,
3 which was provided by Mr. Theunens at a point in his cross-examination.
4 It was admitted as exhibit 103, and the only thing is I had promised to
5 pass around hard copies, which I have now done, and I believe they will be
6 available in e-court as well, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 MR. BLACK: The other document is -- well, actually I would like
9 to have Mr. Theunens, if possible, look at this time-line that he has
11 Re-examination by Mr. Black:
12 Q. Mr. Theunens, briefly, what is this document?
13 A. Your Honours, this is a visual representation of documents we have
14 that describe the various positions Milan Martic held between 1991 and
16 Q. And -- and did you prepare this document yourself?
17 A. Indeed, Your Honours. I looked at exhibits, including my report,
18 and also others that are listed on the 65 ter list.
19 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, could this be given a number and
20 admitted into evidence, please.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, is this a document that you
22 prepared as a result of a request from the Bench?
23 THE WITNESS: Exactly, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 The document, this will then be admitted into evidence, and it may
1 be given an exhibit number, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number 114, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. At -- I believe at transcript pages 13 and 14 of today, there is
6 discussion of 65 ter number 1256. You will remember that this was a
7 document that dealt with Mr. Martic's influence over the TO, and I believe
8 the Bench had some questions. That was not tendered into evidence. I
9 would ask at this point that it receive a number and be admitted, please,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: 1256?
12 MR. BLACK: That's correct.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And it had already been given to the Defence, isn't
15 MR. BLACK: That's correct.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: That document number -- 65 ter number 1256 may --
17 is admitted into evidence and will please be given an exhibit number.
18 JUDGE HOEPFEL: This is already 43.
19 MR. BLACK: If that's the case, Your Honour, then I apologise for
20 wasting time. I didn't --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 MR. BLACK: Thank you very much.
23 Another document which has been discussed during cross-examination
24 is 65 ter number 917 which contains the text of the Vance plan. I would
25 also that -- this has been discussed during direct and cross-examination.
1 I would ask that it receive a number and be admitted, may it please
2 Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we just check if it doesn't already have a --
4 okay. Then the document will be admitted into evidence, and may it be
5 given an exhibit number, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 115, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Theunens, Defence counsel asked you several questions about
10 Skabrnja and events there in November of 1991. Do you remember those
12 A. I do remember those questions, Your Honours.
13 Q. And in the thrust, I believe, of counsel's questions were a focus
14 on the Croatian armed forces and fighting in that village. I'd like you
15 to look please at 65 ter number 5 which was cited in footnote 335 of your
16 report. If we could see that on the screen, please.
17 Mr. Theunens, when you're able to take a look at this, please tell
18 me what this document is.
19 A. Your Honours, this is a report called "official note by Simo
20 Rosic," who is a lieutenant commander and there's also the name of a
21 Milivoj Ostojic, major, who is an authorised officer in the OV which stand
22 for security organs. It's dated 8th of August, 1992, and it's addressed
23 to the 9th JNA Corps, the security organs for the OB, Organa Bezbeznos
24 [phoen], of the 9th Corps, and also the security organ of the 180th
25 Motorised Brigade.
1 MR. BLACK: And if we could please look at the first paragraph on
2 this first page, if you could scroll down to that.
3 Q. Mr. Theunens, what's the subject of this official note?
4 A. Your Honours, the subject is the alleged killings of -- or the
5 killings of civilians in Skabrnja and Nadin on the 18th and the 19th of
6 November, 1991.
7 Q. If we could turn to page 2 of this document in the English,
8 please, and scroll down to the last paragraph. Mr. Theunens, could you
9 tell me what's -- what's shown there.
10 A. There it says that a Ljubisa Vucicevic killed civilians by
11 shooting them one by one. It also says that he threw a bomb into a
12 cellar, owned by someone called Mandar [phoen] where a number of civilians
13 were hiding.
14 Q. And if we could turn to the top of the next page, please.
15 Mr. Theunens, just tell me what is addressed in the first paragraph.
16 A. So in the courtyard of the house in which a Colonel Stefanovic was
17 killed, the Serbian volunteers brought three or four men out of the house,
18 one of them was mad, and mowed [Realtime transcript read in error "moved']
19 them down with a burst of fire killing one of them --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it moved or mowed?
21 THE WITNESS: Mowed. Excuse me, Your Honour, mowed. Mowed him
23 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. Could this be given a number
24 and admitted into evidence, please.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence and may it
1 please be given an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 116, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. The next document that I'd like you to look at, Mr. Theunens, is
6 65 ter number 1957. This was cited at footnote 334 of your report, again
7 in relation to Skabrnja. If we could see that on the screen, please. And
8 when it comes up, if we could turn directly to page 3, I think that will
9 help -- actually, before we leave the first page, Mr. Theunens, what is
10 this document briefly?
11 A. Your Honours, this is another report by JNA security organ or OB,
12 in this case Major Branislav Ristic, security organ of the 180th Motorised
13 Brigade of the JNA.
14 Q. If we could turn to page 3, please.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just ask a question before we -- how do you
16 determine that it comes from the JNA, Mr. Theunens?
17 THE WITNESS: We can go back to the first page, that may be
18 easier, otherwise because I know from looking at other documents that the
19 180th Motorised Brigade is a JNA unit. And here it says "180th mtbr," so
20 motorised brigade. We know from looking at other documents. And you can
21 find them in the report, that Major Branislav Ristic is a security organ
22 who is assigned to the 180th Motorised Brigade.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: And the first page has a typical layout, it's a
25 template of the security organ's report, and you can scroll down.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 If we could turn then to page 3.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, what appears on this page?
5 A. Here the author of the report, and that was Major Branislav
6 Ristic, reports about the interviews he had with a soldier, Nenad
7 Zivanovic, who was a military policeman in the military police battalion,
8 I think, of the 180th Motorised Brigade, but at least a military police
9 battalion that has -- was involved or has knowledge about Skabrnja.
10 According to the notes here from Ristic, Zivanovic was quite agitated.
11 Q. And if you could look at the paragraph that begins: "In the crew
12 of the BOV" if we could scroll down a little bit more. And if you could
13 please tell us what's addressed in the second half of that paragraph and
14 then in the following paragraph, please. You could begin where it
15 says: "Took out three civilians without weapons."
16 A. So it talks about what members of the Territorial Defence did.
17 Apparently they had shoe polish smeared over their face to look more
18 frightful, and they took out three civilians without weapons. These
19 civilians were then lined up in front and, according to the report, at
20 that moment gun-fire started. And Zivanovic says that he had to fire as
21 well and didn't pay attention to them. And -- okay. Zivanovic adds that
22 when he stopped firing he saw them lying dead and according to the wounds
23 he could see that they were shot from a close range.
24 Then in the next paragraph there's mentioning of three children
25 that were taken out of one house. The military apparently requested to
1 take them over, but they would not let us."
2 I assume that "they" relates to the members of the local Serb TO
3 or of the TO, those were indicated earlier. And then Zivanovic explains
4 what, according to his recollection, happened to the children.
5 Q. And then in the following paragraph, what -- what is said in the
6 second sentence there, please?
7 A. There it says that "members of the Territorial Defence separated
8 four men and shot them behind the house."
9 And Zivanovic says that he saw how one older man was hit with a
10 rifle butt, and then probably it continues.
11 Q. I think that's sufficient for this document.
12 MR. BLACK: Could it receive a number, please, and be admitted in.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. Could it
14 please be given an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number 117, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 MR. BLACK: Another document, Your Honours -- actually, I should
18 pause. I have I think about ten minutes at the most of matters left to
19 deal with. This witness has other duties this weekend with witness
20 proofing. If it were possible to sit another ten or even five minutes I
21 would be very grateful, but I don't know what Your Honour's position is on
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The problem is that there may be questions from the
24 Bench, I don't know, from the other Judges. There may be questions from
25 the Bench, so another five or ten minutes will not dispose of this witness
1 if there are questions from the Bench.
2 MR. BLACK: If that's the case, Your Honour, my first request
3 would be whether or not we can take a break and sit for an additional
4 half-hour, however long it takes. I hesitate to impose on everyone like
5 that, but this witness has been on the stand for quite a long time and I'm
6 put in a difficult position. I don't want to not cover important matters
7 with him.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're also putting a very difficult question on
9 everybody else who is involved here because we are -- we've already asked
10 them to sit an extra session. Now you're asking for us to sit even
11 longer, and as I can see through the windows there, the smiles on the
12 interpreters indicates to me that -- I don't know what it indicates, but I
13 don't want to read it, but it indicates something.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm afraid it looks like the Bench does have
17 MR. BLACK: Very well then, Your Honour. I certainly understand
18 that position. Then I guess we could just as easily stop here and take up
19 on Monday.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much for understanding,
21 Mr. Black.
22 In that event, the matter will be adjourned until Monday, the 6th
23 of February, in this courtroom at quarter to 2.00. Is that right? At
24 quarter to 2.00, 13.45.
25 Well, I've got this scheduling which is dated the 1st of February.
1 It says 13.45. I also had it -- I also had it at 9.00 in my diary, and
2 now I'm -- I beg your pardon. I'm sorry. I just couldn't read. It is at
3 9.00. Thank you very much. Sorry. It is at 9.00.
4 Court adjourned.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.50 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 6th day of
7 February, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.