1 Wednesday, 22 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. May I remind you of the
7 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence which still
8 applies. And now we have to finish your cross-examination by Mr. Lukic.
9 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
11 afternoon to all.
12 WITNESS: BOGDAN VUJIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
15 Q. Mr. Vujic, good afternoon to you.
16 A. Good afternoon to you, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have two brief interventions; it's
18 something about yesterday's transcript. On 4759, line 10 and line 11, my
19 question was interpreted somewhat clumsily and I believe Mr. Vujic
20 provided a crystal clear answer. I would just like to repeat that
22 My question was: Is the witness familiar with the provisions of
23 the law on criminal procedure which envisaged criminal responsibility for
24 all those giving false testimony. Your answer was recorded.
25 And the second thing is on page 4774, line 17, I asked the witness
1 the following: "After the meeting in Velepromet when he saw Major Lukic,"
2 and the transcript says "at the meeting in Velepromet," whereas we know
3 that Major Lukic did not attend that meeting at Velepromet. So I believe
4 this needs to be changed.
5 Q. Mr. Vujic, we shall now continue with our questions. Can you
6 please keep your answers as brief as possible because I have limited time
7 available to me. I will ask you questions about Negoslavci on the 19th
8 when you arrived at about 2000 hours. Do you remember or do you know that
9 the headquarters of the security body of the Guards Brigade was in the
10 same building as the command operations group south?
11 A. Based on whatever information I had, I know that
12 Major Sljivancanin was the chief of the security body and he was the
13 technical organ, in a manner of speaking, on behalf of the commander.
14 Only he was allowed to go there and everybody else was allowed to come
15 only if they were previously invited by Major Sljivancanin or the
17 Q. I'm asking you about the headquarters. Was it there or not?
18 A. I don't think so. I don't think it was.
19 Q. Can you please answer yes or no. When you arrived and when the
20 meeting began at Colonel Mrksic's, was Major Sljivancanin there already or
21 did he arrive later on?
22 A. Let me try to distinguish. I am certain that he wasn't there when
23 we greeted each other, everybody who was there, which probably means that
24 he arrived at some point after the introductions were made to
25 Colonel Mrksic, Colonel Pavkovic, and Lieutenant-Colonel Panic.
1 Q. Let's not try to repeat ourselves. Both your groups were there.
2 We know who was there.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I will stray from my line of questioning slightly, but it's
5 something I wanted to ask you yesterday. Do you know if such operations
6 groups belonging to the 1st Military District or belonging to the security
7 administration, did such groups go to Operations Group North as well? Do
8 you know anything about that?
9 A. No, I don't. I have no information on that.
10 Q. You all remained together in that meeting. And after your meeting
11 with Sljivancanin, you all left for Velepromet, I mean your operatives.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. As for the substance of your meeting with Colonel Mrksic and as
15 for what you remember being told at that meeting by both Mrksic and
16 Sljivancanin, this is something you testified at length about, both to the
17 investigating magistrate, to the military court at the Belgrade trial, and
18 here. You agree with me; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In your statement to the OTP of The Hague Tribunal, you said you
21 had the impression and you believe that Mr. Sljivancanin was speaking
22 truthfully when he was speaking at that meeting and you believe what he
23 told you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Why did you as a colonel accept the fact that a major, a
1 lower-ranking person, was referring to you about these missions and tasks?
2 A. He was just passing them on.
3 Q. And you accepted that, didn't you?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. Do you remember that at the meeting with Colonel Mrksic it was in
6 your presence that Mrksic told Sljivancanin that he should go and talk to
7 the medical chief Jovanovic about those doctors who were supposed to leave
8 the next day?
9 A. No, I don't remember that.
10 Q. Did you personally speak at the meeting?
11 A. No. Can you please say more about which meeting.
12 Q. I mean the meeting with Mrksic.
13 A. No. Slavko Tomic was asking some questions. I'm not sure if it
14 was here at the meeting with Colonel Mrksic, but we looked at a chart
15 representing our losses.
16 Q. All I want to know is whether you personally contributed to that
18 A. I don't believe I did, or at least I can't remember.
19 Q. Did you at that point in time or later on when you talked to
20 Sljivancanin say that you had been sent by the security administration to
21 provide technical assistance?
22 A. No. Slavko Tomic as the head of that group was asking questions.
23 That was all.
24 Q. Let us now talk about your conversation that evening with
25 Mr. Sljivancanin at Negoslavci, so that's the meeting I'm talking about
1 now. That was the meeting after your conversation with Colonel Mrksic.
2 How long do you think this conversation was, your conversation with
3 Major Sljivancanin?
4 A. I can't be very accurate. I'm sure you understand.
5 Major Sljivancanin made the schedule and the agenda. He decided what the
6 substance of the meeting would be or the agenda, as any officer would.
7 Q. You say that your meeting with Colonel Mrksic lasted about 10 or
8 15 minutes. In relation to that, was this one shorter or longer?
9 A. It was shorter.
10 Q. I will try to quote your testimony about what my client told you.
11 He told you that Vukovar had been liberated. Please just say whether what
12 I'm suggesting is true.
13 A. Yes, Vukovar had been liberated.
14 Q. That the opposite side had surrendered at Mitnica?
15 A. He wasn't speaking about an opposite side; he was using the kind
16 of language used normally in combat operations. He was saying
17 "Ustashas," "the enemy," and the Croats were using the same kind of
18 expressions, Serbo-Chetniks, Chetniks, enemies, that kind of thing. My
19 apologies for being a bit extensive.
20 Q. He did mention this surrender at Mitnica, didn't he?
21 A. He said this was the last Croat stronghold, the last area of
22 resistance. He said that there had been talk of conditions for this
23 surrender and that Colonel Pavkovic was there to arrange that.
24 Q. On 4493 of the transcript you said several days ago that he said
25 at the time that many potential criminals of war were hiding in the
1 hospital, fearing surrender, and that they were disguising themselves.
2 A. He said that the situation was unclear at the hospital or that the
3 situation at the hospital was particularly unclear.
4 Q. I'm just reminding you what you said.
5 A. Yes, yes, I understand.
6 Q. You said that there were Croatian paramilitaries at Velepromet who
7 were mingling with the civilians.
8 A. My testimony was slightly different, I believe.
9 Q. I have just read exactly what you -- but if you want me to, I can
10 go back to what you stated. So what do you think you said?
11 A. The way I believe Mr. Sljivancanin have spoken about this in reply
12 to Colonel Tomic's question, having been asked how many captured Ustashas
13 there were. And then Major Sljivancanin said they didn't know the exact
14 number because they were surrendering at different stages and they were
15 mingling with civilians. They were coming with civilians. You couldn't
16 tell who was who there. There were about 2.000 people mingling at
17 Velepromet. There were more civilians there than men of military age,
18 those Ustashas, criminals, and that TO members were mingling with the
19 crowd, too. He also said that Velepromet, the facility of Velepromet, was
20 being secured by a military police unit, a unit that was either
21 subordinate to him or to Colonel Mrksic. And this unit was being led by
22 such and such officer.
23 Q. He told you that the buses would be there that evening that were
24 supposed to ...
25 A. Yes. We must have made some questions to him about things that we
1 weren't sure about. We didn't know what the plan was about, so obviously
2 there was some degree of uncertainty in terms of our role as officers or
3 military people. We didn't know what the plan was. He told us not to
4 worry because there were no special surprises in store for us, he said.
5 Everything had been planned and arranged. The buses would be there. It
6 was all well-rehearsed.
7 Q. We'll go back to some statements that we were using yesterday. I
8 suppose you gave back your copies?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Would you please have a look. Can you please look at the
11 statement you gave to the military court.
12 A. If there's something you want to challenge, please just ask away.
13 I don't think I even need to look at these statements. These are my
14 statements. Just ask a question, I'll answer as best I can. You don't
15 need to remind me that I said one thing there and another thing here. We
16 are now here in order to shed light on everything that happened, so please
17 if you could just ask your questions.
18 Q. It is with the Court's help that I'm asking you questions. So
19 it's up to the Chamber to decide if my questions are allowed or not. I
20 have placed documents before you because that is an established practice
22 A. I apologise in that case.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For the benefit of my learned friend
24 from the OTP the English copy, we're talking about page 8 and 9, the last
1 And, Witness, please, could you go to page 7?
2 A. Of my first statement?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't hear what counsel said in
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I'm talking about the B/C/S copy -- English 4 and the B/C/S is --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the page of the
8 B/C/S version.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Page 4 -- my apologies to the interpreters. The English is page
11 4, paragraph 2.
12 "After that, Sljivancanin informed us that the last stronghold and
13 the last points of resistance in Vukovar had been broken, that soldiers
14 and civilians had already been surrendering en masse, that a provisional
15 collection centre was set up near the Velepromet company which was near
16 the barracks. There were around 2.000 people there, many of which women,
17 children, old people, and other civilians. It was impossible to know
18 which of them had been involved in the armed rebellion or may have
19 committed crimes. Furthermore, he said that it was necessary to separate
20 the men between 16 and 65 years of age from the women. He also said that
21 that same night as soon as the buses were there, the men must board the
22 buses, be taken to the collection centre at Sremska Mitrovica, and that
23 these persons would then continue to be processed there."
24 We'll go to something else now and then I'll ask you the question.
25 Your statement to the OTP, if you could have a look, please.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For the benefit of my learned friend
2 the page number is 8, the bottom of page 8 in the English version.
3 Q. Witness, it's page 7 for you. The last sentence. This is you
4 testifying about that same fact.
5 "He said that our task would be as soon as the military buses
6 were there to separate the prisoners of war from the women and children at
7 Velepromet. He made a special reference to men between 16 and 65 years of
8 age. These were to be put on buses, after which they were to be evacuated
9 to Sremska Mitrovica, as planned. He said the buses would be arriving
10 during the night."
11 Let us now please have a look at what you said in relation to this
12 same topic while testifying at the Belgrade trial.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For the benefit of my learned friend
14 page 9 in English, page 33 of your testimony in the Ovcara case.
15 Q. It's the same topic. I'm reading the bottom of page 33.
16 "Our task would be to coordinate the separation, the separation of
17 men aged between 16 and 65 from the women and children, that the buses
18 would be arriving at around 2200 or 2300 hours, and that the situation was
19 such that there was no need for us to worry, the situation was under
20 control, and the officers of the military police unit were securing the
21 area. They were good at their job, and all that we had to do was wait for
22 the buses."
23 Did you say all that?
24 A. Yes, I said all of these things to different investigators, and I
25 was talking about the same subject.
1 Q. And essentially ...
2 A. Essentially on the same topic and the substance of my statement is
3 the same and my words are the same.
4 Q. My question to you now is: Why is it that you said something
5 before this Chamber for the very first time; it is something that you
6 didn't even share with the Prosecutor while you were being proofed,
7 namely, you testified here that Sljivancanin had then told you that the
8 triage had already been completed. You said that here for the very first
10 A. He said that in front of me, but not only in front of me, he said
11 that in front of everybody.
12 Q. I --
13 A. Yes, I did say that.
14 Q. Why did you give a completely different story three times?
15 A. There were three completely different questions put by three
16 different court representatives or judges. Everybody phrased their
17 questions in different terms and attempted to see whether I was concealing
18 something, misrepresenting something, whether something was not clear.
19 They all wanted to clarify what it was that we had been given as a task.
20 I said in front of this Trial Chamber quite frankly how it was in response
21 to your questions. I described the sequence of events.
22 Q. So when testifying before the military court and before -- and
23 when testifying before the Belgrade court where you testified as a witness
24 and in front of the investigative judge Alimpic, where you testified as a
25 witness, you kept quiet about this fact?
1 A. No, Mr. Lukic, I didn't keep quiet about anything. I wish I would
2 want to know what Mr. Sljivancanin said, what he did there, and Thursday,
3 the 2nd day of March, what he conveyed to me, but I don't know that.
4 Q. All right. Let us proceed. In view of the assignment you
5 received back from your superiors at the security administration, the one
6 that we mention yesterday, in view of how you imagined the reason of your
7 arrival in Vukovar, why would you, as a senior officer within the security
8 administration, be dispatched to board the buses and not do what you had
9 come there to do?
10 A. Mr. Lukic, this is why we came there. That was the most complex
11 issue in the history of wars, at least as far as I studied them, how to
12 separate prisoners of war from civilians and how to protect their lives
13 and take them to a location where they would be safe and where certain
14 procedural steps can be taken, as prescribed by the international laws of
16 Q. All right.
17 A. Most likely, knowing what could potentially happen there, the
18 generals in charge who were responsible for implementation of the laws had
19 sent three colonels there to ensure that the task would be carried out
21 Q. Mr. Vujic, whenever you gave statements, you were given an
22 opportunity to correct anything you had stated previously. This was so in
23 2000 when you gave testimony to The Hague investigators and this was so
24 when you spoke to Mr. Moore several days ago, but you never made this
1 A. Mr. Lukic, what stated just now before you and before Mr.
2 Sljivancanin is, in fact, a correction. Prior to that, both when I
3 testified before the special court and before the investigative court,
4 Major Sljivancanin was not present. I am now saying this in his presence
5 about what I heard and what he said, and he can confirm to you whether
6 this is true or not.
7 Q. I will give you the position of my client straight away. He is
8 claiming that he did not state this, but rather stated what you had said
9 previously in your prior statements.
10 A. No, that's not how it is. There are other witnesses who can
11 confirm what I'm saying.
12 Q. Immediately thereafter, after the meeting with Sljivancanin, you
13 went to Velepromet. Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Never in the past, never until Thursday last week when you started
16 testifying before this Trial Chamber and also in your proofing with the
17 OTP, you never, ever stated that Sljivancanin held a meeting with you in
18 front of the command on the road. You stated this for the first time here
19 in the courtroom.
20 A. Yes. I didn't quite say that it was on the road.
21 Q. However, it was in front of the building?
22 A. Yes, in front of the building.
23 Q. In front of the building where the headquarters was housed?
24 A. Yes, where the headquarters was housed.
25 Q. When you made corrections of your statement at a meeting held with
1 the OTP on the 14th of February, you signed this statement, this
2 corrigendum. Item 1 was read out to Mr. Moore, item one of the addendum,
3 and it says: "The meeting with Mr. Sljivancanin at the command
4 headquarters in Negoslavci," and so on. Once again you stated "at the
5 command headquarters."
6 A. Well, Mr. Lukic, a part of the meeting was held inside the command
7 headquarters with Mr. Sljivancanin, and then a part was held in front of
8 the building.
9 Q. Let us conclude --
10 A. The substance was the same. We discussed the same assignment. He
11 informed us -- I apologise.
12 Q. I was waiting for the interpretation.
13 So the meeting with Sljivancanin continued, and from the building
14 you went out into the street?
15 A. Well, not literally into the street. That's not how it was.
16 Q. The position of my client is as follows: At that time, as you
17 were about to depart for Velepromet, you expressed a wish to go to the
18 hospital on the following day?
19 A. No. The hospital was discussed on that occasion because Colonel
20 Slavko Tomic asked whether that evening the hospital would be evacuated as
21 well. Major Sljivancanin said that it wouldn't until the situation was
22 assessed at the hospital and that it would be done only on the following
23 day in the morning and that a decision would be taken as to who would go
24 there, but that that was a different plan and that he personally would be
25 in charge of that plan.
1 Q. All right. Let us now turn to another topic regarding the same
2 event. Please take a look at your statement given to the military court.
3 Based on what I can see - and you will probably agree with me - half a
4 page pertains to what you heard on that occasion from Mrksic and
5 Sljivancanin. This is densely typed text of your statement.
6 We didn't hear your answer. Would you please give an audible
7 answer. Do you agree with me?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. Your statement given to the OTP investigators after four days of
10 interview, one and a half page of densely typed text pertains to what you
11 remembered and conveyed about that conversation. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When you gave your first statement to The Hague investigators, you
14 provided one correction in relation to your military court statement, and
15 this is what Investigative Judge Trifunovic wrote about how he interpreted
16 what you said about hearing sounds near Ovcara, and you said that it was
17 misinterpreted. Is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Would you please give me a yes or no answer and then we'll proceed
20 further. Never in front of any judge or investigative judge or in front
21 of the OTP investigators did you state a sentence that you said for the
22 first time here and the same sentence you said two days prior to that to
23 my colleague Mr. Moore. The sentence on page 4497 about how Sljivancanin,
24 as you were leaving added to you: Don't be surprised if you see a Chetnik
25 slaughter an Ustasha?
1 A. Don't be surprised if Chetniks start slaughtering there. Is that
2 how it was written?
3 Q. Yes. But Ustashas were also mentioned.
4 A. He said, "if Chetniks start slaughtering there." Mr. Lukic, was
5 this written down as I said? There was also comment by warrant officer
7 Q. Yes, that's right. It's in there.
8 A. I have to repeat it. He said: It will be interesting if --
9 Q. What did he say. Will you please repeat it.
10 A. It will be interesting to see how Chetniks hold a public
11 demonstrate on slaughtering or slitting throats.
12 Q. You repeated this but you didn't answer my question. My question
13 was different. We didn't want to hear this once again; we wanted you to
14 state before this Trial Chamber that this is something that you had never
15 stated before any other court.
16 A. Correct. I didn't say this in front of any other court or any
17 other institution to which I gave a statement.
18 Q. You will agree with me that this is a memorable sentence. One
19 doesn't forget easily such a question. This is a sentence that definitely
20 causes goose bumps?
21 A. Yes, that's right, especially in my case because I thought about
22 this subsequently and I also had that encounter with Vojvoda that I
23 described to you, where he, Vojvoda, a leader of a unit of Chetniks held a
24 knife to my throat.
25 Q. And you remembered this sentence only once you came to see
1 Mr. Moore?
2 A. No. I carried this sentence with me for a long time, for 14
3 years, and I'm happy to be able to express my sentiments here before this
4 Trial Chamber and also to preserve them, but also to put my thoughts into
6 Q. Tell me, that day when you went to Velepromet to a meeting with
7 Borisavljevic, with your colleagues, Korica was there, did you comment on
8 this sentence about what you had heard from Sljivancanin?
9 A. No, sir, it was inappropriate to comment on that.
10 Q. We will now read page 7. Page 7 of your statement to The Hague
11 investigators, English version page 9. Once again this has to do with the
12 conversation with Sljivancanin. This is how you described it to the OTP.
13 You said: "He also mentioned that several members of the staff unit of
14 the Serbian TO of Vukovar were in Velepromet; however, he didn't give us
15 any details about those units."
16 A. Yes. What is in dispute?
17 Q. Nothing. Let's proceed.
18 A. What is in dispute in relation to my prior statements or in
19 relation to what I'm saying here now?
20 Q. This sentence that you uttered to The Hague investigators, you are
21 now denying it?
22 A. I'm not disputing it.
23 Q. You're not disputing it. All right. Let us now take your
24 sentence given to --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear which statement.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. -- when you came -- your statement given to the military court,
3 page 7, penultimate paragraph, second sentence. You're describing what
4 you said to Mrksic upon your arrival.
5 "On that occasion I was upset because we were not informed of the
6 actual problems in relation to the behaviour of members of Territorial
7 Defence and volunteers, and thus we did not have a plan in advance about
8 how to act in such a situation."
9 A. I don't see anything that should be disputed here either,
10 Mr. Lukic.
11 Q. All right. So you took it against Mrksic, the fact that you had
12 not been warned, and in relation to Sljivancanin you had a different
14 A. Well, you saw how the events unfolded and how problems erupted.
15 The judge of the military court interviewed me about the circumstances
16 under which the crime was committed. He already interviewed me -- or
17 rather, we don't know whether he interviewed me about the circumstances
18 under which persons committed crimes or about circumstances relating to my
19 presence there and my description of events and facts.
20 Q. Very well. Why did you then tell him at length what you told him
21 and The Hague investigators without telling him this sentence?
22 A. Well, this is what the judge asked me. The investigators followed
23 a somewhat different methodology in interviewing then, and my answers were
24 adapted to their questions.
25 Q. I know that my learned friend Mr. Moore has a special methodology,
1 to remind you.
2 A. No. I came to this court to set straight everything I had stated
3 so far. You can see how many documents there are here, how many pages,
4 quite a paperwork.
5 Q. All right. Let us proceed. Did you ask my client to take certain
6 steps in relation to events? Did you do this in accordance with your
8 A. Would you please say the name. Don't say "client." I have a lot
9 of respect for Major Sljivancanin.
10 Q. Upon your return from Velepromet, did you ask Mr. Sljivancanin to
11 take certain measures?
12 A. Why would I? That was his unit. He had sent me to a facility
13 over which he had responsibility. Major Sljivancanin had responsibility
14 over that facility; he was responsible to Mr. Mrksic.
15 Q. We will get to that later. Let us now turn back to your statement
16 given to the Belgrade court, page 34. We're still dealing with the same
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Moore, in the English version this
19 is page 10.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, which page did you say?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. 34, middle of the page.
23 "During the meeting, while the assignments were issued" -- this is
24 now referring to the meeting with Borisavljevic --
25 A. And with other commanding officers. Borisavljevic was not the
1 most senior. Colonel Tomic, was both in terms of his age and --
2 Q. Please, let me finish my quotation.
3 "During the meeting while assignments were being issued, I noticed
4 that some heads were popping through the door lead being into the room,
5 the heads of bearded, unkempt men. And I asked: "Who are these people?"
6 Up until that time I didn't know that there was a unit there called the
7 Chetniks, and I did not envisage nor did I hear that there were any
8 assessments indicating that we could expect something unpleasant from
9 them. That was probably quite a surprise for me."
10 A. Yes, that's precisely what I said. That's precisely what I said.
11 Q. With you that accurate what you said?
12 A. I don't see what you're challenging, Mr. Lukic.
13 Q. In your testimony here you said that the transcript from the
14 Belgrade trial was your most reliable statement. Isn't that a fact?
15 A. I would include this testimony, too, Mr. Lukic, because the
16 accused are present.
17 Q. What about Belgrade?
18 A. No, they weren't.
19 Q. What I've just read out to you, you testified under oath as a
20 witness. This is diametrically opposed to your testimony before this
21 Trial Chamber, yes or no?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Very well then. Let's move on to Velepromet.
24 Your departure for Velepromet, on that day did you know that on
25 that same day in the morning, just before 1200 hours before you came,
1 Cyrus Vance was there with some high-ranking company. Did you know that?
2 A. I heard about that in the media, and I realised that he was being
3 escorted by a number of officers, specifically I saw Colonel Nebojsa
4 Pavkovic, but I didn't know that he toured Velepromet and I didn't know
5 what was there or what he saw there. He could have seen something else
6 and I could have seen something else. And what I saw is what I have
7 described here.
8 Q. I'm telling you about how it looks from the perspective of my
9 client, Mr. Sljivancanin. You as a security officer, would you allow a
10 high-level delegation to enter a facility where there was real danger to
11 their security?
12 A. No. I am telling you again that what I came across there was not
13 necessarily the same thing as they did. And what I experienced may not
14 have necessarily been the same thing as Mr. Cyrus Vance had been shown.
15 Q. You are a security officer. You are in charge of an area, say.
16 Your commander is on his way, for example.
17 A. Sir, there's no need for this. I know full well who Cyrus Vance
18 is; I know why he was there. I know why he came.
19 Q. I'm waiting for the interpretation. There is no problem,
20 Mr. Vujic. We're both creating an enormous amount of difficulty for the
21 transcript. It will be very difficult to decipher later on. Thank you.
22 Let's move on to something else, and then perhaps we may at one
23 point go back to this. I'll ask you several questions about Srecko
24 Borisavljevic. There's one point where I agree with you. I have to hand
25 it to you. Mr. Srecko Borisavljevic was subordinated to Mr. Sljivancanin
1 in the security chain of command. He was a captain first class with a
2 security unit of the guards brigade.
3 A. The police chain of command, too, that applies as well, Mr. Lukic.
4 Q. Please, sir, please. I am putting it to you that he was not a
5 military police officer, that he only became -- that there was a military
6 police officer at Velepromet called Nenad Bajic and that Srecko
7 Borisavljevic was a officer -- a military police officer at the barracks,
8 which also covered Velepromet. Would I be wrong in saying that?
9 A. No, you wouldn't be wrong, but I'll be very honest with this
10 Chamber, brutally honest. Nenad Bajic is my neighbour. My house is 74
11 and his house is 82. If I go back to my old neighbourhood, I am likely to
12 say hi to his father. I knew Nenad Bajic. I saw him there. But I have
13 to tell you this: The person in command there was captain First Class
14 Srecko Borisavljevic. Who was his superior? Well, Major Sljivancanin,
15 Colonel Mrksic know that, don't they.
16 Q. So, who?
17 A. How should I say?
18 Q. Srecko Borisavljevic was ordered by my client, Mr. Sljivancanin,
19 to meet you there?
20 A. For me he was the person reporting to me and Mr. Lukic in any
21 army. You know full well what that means, don't you?
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honour, I am
23 trying to keep the situation under control, but I do believe it might be
24 appropriate to draw the witness's attention to some procedural facts. I
25 am really trying to focus on my questions. I'm not trying to create a
1 source of tension, and I don't think the witness should either.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies, really, but you are
3 taunting me. That's a fact.
4 JUDGE PARKER: If you would bear in mind, please, Mr. Vujic, that
5 the process here is for counsel to ask questions, not for the judges,
6 which is not a process that you may be readily familiar with so that when
7 counsel for each interested party, Prosecution and each accused, asks
8 questions, that is the way that we learn of the events. If a counsel is
9 asking you matters that you find you don't agree with, you say so. If you
10 find he's putting to you matters that you find objectionable, you can say
11 so. But don't think that the counsel is trying to do that just to upset
12 you or antagonise you. It is his job and his responsibility to put those
13 matters to you so that you can comment on them so that we will know your
14 position about that matter. So please try and answer as calmly as you can
15 so as to indicate whether you agree with what is put to you or disagree
16 with it. And if you disagree, indicate where you disagree.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vujic, let's try to go through this briefly,
21 if we can. If there's anything you need to add, I'm sure Mr. Moore will
22 be re-examining you. Yesterday you confirmed to me what you had stated to
23 The Hague Prosecutor when I asked you about the hospital evacuation. You
24 said that Major Sljivancanin was in charge of the evacuation and that it
25 was under the command of the military police officer who was there, and
1 you met him. That's what you said yesterday. Today my question is -- my
2 question to you as an expert: A security body can only be in technical
3 control of the military police but only an officer can command a military
4 police unit. Is that right?
5 A. My interpretation of Major Sljivancanin's role was as follows. He
6 was both the security body present there and he was the commander of the
7 military police unit.
8 Q. I'm putting it to you that he was never the commander. There are
9 two military police battalions and two military police battalion
10 commanders, but you didn't know about this so we may as well move on.
11 A. I know that Major Gavalic was one of the commanders and he was
12 nowhere to be seen.
13 Q. He was replaced by Major Susic, but -- well, no matter.
14 A. My answer is: Major Sljivancanin was in control of the hospital's
16 Q. Let's go back to Velepromet, please. You say Srecko Borisavljevic
17 reported to you upon your arrival. You surveyed the scene and you were
18 off to that meeting. That's your testimony. Right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In your statement to the OTP you suggest that the meeting went on
21 from 2300 hours to 2330. You said that to Mr. Vasic and you said that
22 before the military court. Right?
23 A. Mr. Lukic, I don't think it's really that material, when exactly
24 the meeting was held. I think the substance of that meeting and what was
25 actually said is what matters. What does matter is that the meeting was
1 held before any steps were taken, before any missions were carried out,
2 and before the buses arrived. The assignments were set out at the
3 meeting. I believe I was crystal clear about that particular aspect in
4 all of my statements, except that with my statement before the military
5 court, the investigating magistrate turns things around somehow or twisted
6 the time-line of these events, that the meeting was held later, something
7 like that.
8 Q. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm asking you about the
9 time-line. I believe it is important. You are shifting the times, as it
10 were, in order to --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the last part of
12 counsel's question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, by no means, Mr. Lukic. I
14 was thinking that you were trying to clarify the exact time-line of events
15 there and not necessarily what I said.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please be asked to speak one
17 at a time in order to ensure accurate interpretation. Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. My question was not recorded. My theory was: You are shifting
20 the times or the time-line, as it were, in order to justify the
21 discrepancy in your testimony before the military court where you said
22 that first you visited the --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Again the interpreter didn't hear the last part
24 of counsel's question. Please speak one at a time. Thank you.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vujic, you are jumping in even before Mr. Lukic
1 finishes his question. The interpreter is about half a sentence behind
2 you - he has to be - so that he cannot finish what Mr. Lukic says and hear
3 what you say, and that is a constant pattern. So if you'd please try and
4 hold your tongue for that little bit longer until Mr. Lukic is finished
5 and the interpreter can finish, and then if you can give your answer.
6 Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Count to five; that's what I should be doing too, I suppose.
10 I'll go back to this a little later. My next question. Do you
11 remember the conversation you had with Sljivancanin at Negoslavci, the
12 first meeting? Do you remember Sljivancanin telling you that the
13 Territorial Defence staff of Vukovar was in charge of Velepromet or in
14 control and they were there? Do you remember him telling you that?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Does the name of Ljubinko Stojanovic mean anything to you?
17 A. No.
18 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry for interrupting my learned friend. It's
19 really the way he has phrased the question that causes me a little
20 concern. "Do you remember Sljivancanin telling you that the Territorial
21 Defence staff." If my learned friend is going to be saying that this was
22 what was actually said by Sljivancanin, then it should be put to him in
23 clearer terms so he has a chance to say: Well, that occurred or not, and
24 not couching it in a way that suggests in actual fact it is right when it
25 has never been said. If that's the way the challenge is going to be put,
1 it's got to be clearly.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, is that your instructions about an
3 aspect of what was said by your client?
4 MR. LUKIC: That's right, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: If you could allow the witness to comment directly
6 on that, rather than: Do you remember, et cetera.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I tried to tell the witness exactly
8 what my client told me he said at the time, his very words. I quoted what
9 my client remembers when he spoke to me about it, and that's what my
10 question is about.
11 Q. Mr. Vujic, did Sljivancanin on that occasion mention the fact that
12 Velepromet was in control of Vukovar's TO, and that their headquarters was
13 there, too?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You can answer the question now.
16 A. It was all mixed up there, civilians, POWs, TO people.
17 Q. What about Zigic Nenad, does that name mean anything to you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. The meeting at Velepromet where you attended with your officers,
20 the people from the military police and Borisavljevic, at that meeting was
21 there anyone from Vukovar's TO Staff? Did anybody introduce themselves as
22 members of the TO Staff?
23 A. No. No one like that was ever introduced to me at the meeting.
24 Q. Your statement before the military court, page 5, page 5 in
25 English as well, halfway down the page.
1 "Also at the meeting where representatives -- or rather, officers
2 from the TO unit and the volunteers who had been invited."
3 Did you state that, sir?
4 A. Let me explain. If somebody's asking you trick questions: Were
5 there representatives of the TO present at that meeting, for example, and
6 I said yes. What if I had said: No, there were no such people there.
7 And then later I go on to explain how heads were popping in and out of
8 that door, bearded faces, people wearing different kind of uniform but not
9 the JNA uniform, well that sort of answers your question, doesn't it? And
10 if I'm not answering your question, again, the question would be: How am
11 I supposed to answer the question. Right?
12 Q. Thank you very much. Let's move on. On the 16th of February --
13 just a minute, please. I think this was on the 16th of February. The
14 page is 73 of the draft transcript. I don't have the official page yet,
15 unfortunately, but I'm sure you will remember. You had begun evacuating
16 that room and you called out: "Where is Srecko Borisavljevic?" He was
17 nowhere to be seen. So you told Sekic to send over an officer to Mrksic
18 so Mrksic could send in reinforcements. Isn't that what you said?
19 A. Yes. That's what I said and that's what I did.
20 Q. Tell me, please try to remember, did you perhaps tell
21 Borisavljevic to go to Mrksic?
22 A. No, I didn't, Mr. Lukic. Borisavljevic went away from there, just
23 like Colonel Tomic did. In my statements and in my evidence, I used the
24 term "treason." I said that they had betrayed me.
25 Q. Yes, we heard that. Please take the transcript from the Belgrade
1 trial, page 37.
2 MR. LUKIC: For my learned friend it's page 15.
3 Q. I'm reading the first paragraph, middle of that paragraph. "I
4 ordered Captain Srecko Borisavljevic to go to Colonel Mrksic for help and
5 to ensure that a reinforce arrived arrives in the form of the military
6 police unit so that we can be sure to accomplish our mission."
7 A. Yes, that's what I said before the special court.
8 Q. Under oath?
9 A. Under oath.
10 Q. And you testified here under oath as well?
11 A. Yes, under oath.
12 Q. Thank you. Let us move on.
13 A. Do you want me to clarify anything, Mr. Lukic?
14 Q. No. My learned friend Prosecutor is here and you will probably
15 have to do a lot of explaining to him.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Well, the Tribunal will want to clarify the matter,
17 Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: I apologise, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 Mr. Vujic, you have said apparently you agree on oath before the
21 court in Belgrade that you ordered the captain to go to Colonel Mrksic for
22 help. I understood your testimony here when you gave it and what you have
23 said a few minutes ago here to be that you did not order the captain to go
24 to Colonel Mrksic for help; he had deserted you. You had ordered someone
25 else. Could you please clarify whether you ordered the captain or someone
1 else or no one to go to Colonel Mrksic for help.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Parker, I stand
3 by this statement I gave just now and also previously, in the previous
4 days, when I described how I acted and how I issued this order. This
5 means that first I called out twice, loudly, Captain Borisavljevic's name.
6 I asked him to respond so that I could issue an order to him to go to
7 Colonel Mrksic, to explain the situation, and to ask for reinforcements in
8 the form of a military police unit. At the Belgrade court when asked by
9 the judge to describe how I acted, I explained, saying that I called out
10 the name, that is to say, ordered Captain Borisavljevic. But there, in
11 front of the special court, in front the chamber and in front of defence
12 counsel and family members, I didn't say anything further in order to
13 spare myself and the public further anguish. The truth is something that
14 I stated before this Trial Chamber.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Do I correctly understand your evidence to be that
16 you allowed it to be the impression in the Belgrade court that it was the
17 captain you had ordered to go to Colonel Mrksic for help?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I didn't say that
19 with any bad intentions. I didn't say in front of the Belgrade chamber
20 that the members of my team and operations group had left me,
21 Colonel Slavko Tomic and Colonel Kijanovic. It was very difficult for me
22 to utter that in front of the Belgrade chamber.
23 JUDGE PARKER: I take it your answer is yes?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. President. I
25 answered saying that I acted in the way that I described before this Trial
1 Chamber. Over there it was difficult for me to say that Captain
2 Borisavljevic was not there, that he had left the location, abandoned the
3 mission. It was also very difficult for me to say that my superior,
4 Slavko Tomic, had abandoned the mission as well, as well as
5 Colonel Kijanovic.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I understand your answer to my original question to
7 be yes, that you allowed the record in Belgrade to appear to be that you
8 had ordered the captain to go to Colonel Mrksic for help? You've
9 explained your reasons, but that's what occurred. Is that correct?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. We stated so previously. In relation to your first statement
15 given before the military court, you made corrections concerning the
16 time-line of the events in Velepromet and said that things basically
17 transpired in the way you described them here before this Trial Chamber.
18 If you arrived in Negoslavci at 8.00 - and this is quite reliable
19 information because this is written down in the log-book of the guards
20 brigade - if the meeting with Mrksic lasted for 15 minutes, if the meeting
21 with Sljivancanin lasted also for 15 minutes, if you needed -- first you
22 said 45 minutes to get to Velepromet, even one hour, if based on that you
23 arrived at Velepromet, say, at 10.00, what did you do there for an hour if
24 you scheduled the meeting immediately, if you called the meeting
1 A. I didn't quite understand you. What are you challenging? Which
2 time reference are you challenging?
3 Q. What I'm challenging is that you have an extra hour. You say that
4 you arrived at Velepromet at 10.00 and the meeting started at 11.00.
5 A. No, Mr. Lukic. You're not right when claiming so. I'm saying
6 that we were at Velepromet throughout the whole time until the buses
7 arrived. Now, let us see how much elapsed.
8 Q. No, no. My question related to the beginning of the meeting in
9 relation to the moment of your arrival. I am putting to you that you
10 arrived at 10.00 and that the meeting started at 11.00, and that in the
11 meantime you toured the facility. So I'm putting to you that the event
12 transpired the way you described it before the military court and which
13 you denied later. This is what I am suggesting to you.
14 A. No, Mr. Lukic. This is not right.
15 Q. Thank you. I will now read out to you page 5 of the transcript of
16 the military court, which is something that you're denying. This Trial
17 Chamber needs to be aware of something that you're now denying and that
18 you previously stated before the military court.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For my learned friends, page 6 of the
20 English version, paragraph 2.
21 Q. "In the meantime the buses arrived in front of Velepromet,
22 accompanied by a military police unit. At that moment, I called for a
23 meeting or scheduled a meeting of all officers who were at the collection
24 centre at Velepromet in order to agree on how to implement this
1 I know your position; however, the logic of your testimony here
2 does not imply that this is an error. We have a sequence of events:
3 Buses, scheduling of a meeting.
4 A. No, Mr. Lukic. I'm telling you that the sequence of events and
5 the implementation of the assignment depended on the arrival of buses. So
6 it needs to be established. Mr. Mrksic and Sljivancanin need to say
7 exactly when the buses arrived. Somebody had to escort, accompany, the
8 buses. The buses had to have some officers on them.
9 Q. Thank you. You remain by your previous statement. We will move
11 Give me a brief answer, please. After the buses departed, you
12 remained until the very end, until the last bus departed, and then you
13 returned to Negoslavci. Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You claimed here before and repeated just now, you said that you
16 did not want to say so in front of the Belgrade court that your
17 colleagues, Tomic and Kijanovic, basically left you out to hang dry. And
18 on page 7 of your testimony before the military court, you stated this and
19 never denied it in front of any institution. You uttered the following
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For my learned friend English version
22 page 8.
23 Q. "I did not leave with the column, but rather remained together
24 with all other officers within the Velepromet compound."
25 A. What statement is it, Mr. Lukic?
1 Q. Trifunovic, military court. It is true that you didn't say that
2 they left, or perhaps you insisted for this to be recorded.
3 A. I didn't insist; that's what I said.
4 Q. All right. What would you say if I put it to you that here before
5 this court we listened to the testimony of victims, persons from
6 Velepromet who had been taken away that night, who said that they left
7 Velepromet at around 4.00 a.m.; were they wrong in stating that?
8 A. Left Velepromet, perhaps. Yes, if somebody hid them and then took
9 them out later on. Also, I didn't know about these victims.
10 Q. All right. Let us now proceed to your arrival in Negoslavci. You
11 stated that Sljivancanin was in front of the command headquarters in
12 Negoslavci upon your return from Velepromet. This is where you found him.
13 You said that Tomic was there. You also mentioned Kijanovic. The other
14 colleagues who were with you, Stosic, Muncan, Korica, did they also return
15 there to the command headquarter?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I don't know if you know, but the position of my client is that on
18 that evening he had a lot of major activities. He interviewed Vesna
19 Bosanac, met with Marin Vidic, met with Aleksandar Vasiljevic, he went to
20 Ovcara to see the refugees who had spent the night there, and his position
21 is that you never saw each other that evening again. This is what he's
23 A. What is your question?
24 Q. All right. I just wanted to give you his position.
25 When giving evidence here you said that on page 4522 you told
1 General Jerko Crmaric what you had experienced at Velepromet. The
2 Prosecutor put a question to you at transcript page 4523, asking you
3 whether you informed General Crmaric about the murders. And you stated
4 unequivocally to Mr. Moore that at the time you did not have that
5 information. This is what you stated and what was recorded here in this
6 courtroom. My question is: Did you mention to my client, if you indeed
7 saw him then at 1.00 a.m., did you mention to him all the clashes you had
8 had and did you mention all the murders to him, to Mr. Sljivancanin?
9 A. Mr. Lukic, upon my return to the command headquarters, there were
10 a number of officers there, as I said. They were coming and going out and
11 observing, just like I did. Major Sljivancanin was there as well. I
12 accept that he was busy completing all these tasks that you mentioned, but
13 he also went to see Colonel Mrksic to brief him on the results achieved in
14 implementation of tasks. Major Sljivancanin held a meeting with us in
15 relation to the accomplishments with the lists at the hospital.
16 Q. Yes, you explained that.
17 A. And he briefed us on that. He told us how the hospital would be
18 evacuated on the following morning, saying that not all of us could
19 accompany him, but also adding that we would have a meeting in relation to
20 that at 6.00 the following morning at the gate of Velepromet.
21 Q. I will now put to you the position of my client. Everything you
22 have stated so far is something that he told you at 8.00 p.m. -- or
23 rather, when you met first time. And then I will give you his second
24 position, that in the morning at the Velepromet gate it was only you and
25 Korica who showed up and not other colleagues. Is that right or not?
1 A. Not right, Mr. Lukic, and I have to give you a brief explanation,
2 which means that at 8.00 p.m. Major Sljivancanin did not yet have the
3 lists. He only received them in the course of the night from
4 Mrs. Vesna Bosanac and probably Gjuro Njavro and Marin Vidic. So when it
5 comes to the persons at the hospital, medical staff, doctors, whoever was
6 suspected of crimes, all those people in disguise, he only learned about
7 them when he started collecting information, that is to say in the course
8 of his activities when he started collecting information from Mrs. Bosanac
9 and so on. He held a meeting with us, as I said to you, and informed us
10 briefly about that. And then he said --
11 Q. Yes, we know what he said. This is your position. All right. I
12 gave you our position. There will be other witnesses, and it will be duly
13 assessed. Now my next question --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, there was a second-limb proposition
15 about the following morning, which the witness hasn't been reminded of.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. This is my
17 problem: I am under pressure, too, here looking at the clock. I am aware
18 of your deadline, the one you imposed, and I am trying to do my best to
19 abide by it.
20 Q. Sir, you didn't tell us about this other position that I put to
21 you, that at 6.00 in the morning in front of the Velepromet gate it was
22 only you and Korica who showed up to go to the hospital and not other
23 officers. Is that right?
24 A. Not right, Mr. Lukic. Both groups were there, headed by
25 Colonel Slavko Tomic and all those subordinated to him. Also headed by
1 Major Muncan and those subordinated to him, as well as the group of
2 Major Sljivancanin, his subordinate commanders and his driver as far as I
3 could see. His driver was an officer, too. All of us assembled there at
4 6.00 a.m. on the 20th of November at the Velepromet gate within the
5 compound, inside the compound.
6 Q. Thank you. My learned friend from the Prosecution put a question
7 to you about your travel from Velepromet to the hospital on that morning.
8 I will now put another question to you linked to this issue that Mr. Moore
9 brought up with you. Do you remember at the meeting with Mrksic on the
10 evening of the 20th, did any of the soldiers or officers come to inform
11 about an incident which had happened with soldiers in a vehicle? This is
12 somewhat of a leading question. Let's see if it can be even more leading.
13 Do you remember someone saying in your presence to Mrksic that
14 four soldiers got killed in a tank that evening?
15 A. Yes, I remember that moment. During the briefing that we received
16 from Colonel Mrksic, towards the end of that briefing a junior officer
17 came, perhaps lance-corporal or a sergeant, and said that a vehicle ran
18 into a mine and that four soldiers were killed. Colonel Mrksic listened
19 to this and then said to the soldier or the non-commissioned officer who
20 arrived to send a cable to the operations centre. And he said that the
21 data should be entered into the chart, the data on the victims.
22 Q. Did you have this information to where were these soldiers killed
23 who were driving in that APC, the location?
24 A. I was in no position to find out about that, so I didn't know.
25 Q. Let's try to wrap this up. You meet Kijanovic at Negoslavci yet
1 again, and he tells you that he managed to get four JNA soldiers off that
3 A. Yes, to get them off.
4 Q. Did he tell you where specifically? Was it from the hangar at
5 Ovcara? More specifically, did Kijanovic tell you that he and Tomic were
6 in the hangar at Ovcara?
7 A. Kijanovic said that the buses were at Ovcara when he took those
8 soldiers off. He and Tomic never really parted ways, so I suppose they
9 were there together, too. He also said that those were soldiers who were
10 at the hospital, the room that I described, when I came to that room and
11 what I found there.
12 Q. While you were waiting for the column to set out in Negoslavci
13 that evening, did Kijanovic or Tomic tell you that they entered the hangar
14 at Ovcara where the detainees were?
15 A. No, they didn't.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If we could please go into private
17 session briefly. I'm not sure if there are protective measures involved
18 in any way in relation to the questions that I'm about to ask.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
20 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Were I to tell you that these persons were not JNA soldiers but
14 rather JNA deserters who had joined the ZNG forces and they introduced
15 themselves to Kijanovic's JNA soldiers at one point --
16 A. No, no, please, Mr. Lukic, don't even try to go there. My
18 Q. I have ten minutes left, Your Honours --
19 A. Mr. Lukic, there are records of interviews of those soldiers.
20 Colonel Kijanovic took those and they must be in the files of the Vukovar
21 case and the penitentiary facility at Sremska Mitrovica.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have exactly ten
23 minutes left. I hope that in view of the time I stole yesterday, I don't
24 think that I will be blamed for it.
25 JUDGE PARKER: You want us to smile benevolently on you,
1 Mr. Lukic.
2 We adjourn now and resume at five past 4.00 and you can have seven
4 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Vujic, I have a couple of questions left for you. I would
9 like to take you back to that moment. You are in the car at Negoslavci
10 with Tomic, Kijanovic, Stosic, and Mirkovic. You can hear something that
11 leaves you with a feeling of anxiety, something that leads you to believe
12 that there's something bad going on. Did you perhaps think of suggesting
13 to your colleagues that perhaps you should drive over to Ovcara to see
14 what was going on? That's my question.
15 A. Mr. Lukic, that was the longest day in my entire life. There will
16 be no other day like it. For me, that day had 27 hours, not 24. Do you
17 think that this is what I should have done, go there and see if there was
18 anything going on? How do you think I would have been able to get there
19 in the first place?
20 Q. Thank you. Did you or any of your colleagues propose that you go
21 and find General Crmaric or Gvero or Pavkovic, anybody at all from the
22 SSNO who was there or perhaps to go and look for somebody from the
23 International Red Cross?
24 A. Mr. Lukic, the only place I could have gone is to see
25 Colonel Mrksic, and even that wasn't certain. It wasn't certain that he
1 would have agreed to see me. Slavko Tomic said that he did go to see him
2 about this once the vehicles were in the barracks. He went three times;
3 that's what he said.
4 Q. Yes, we know that. What about your group leader, Tomic, did he
5 tell you that the mission had been accomplished and were you given
6 approval to leave the area?
7 A. He said that the assignment at Velepromet had been completed. I
8 was angry and I was saying things like there are dead bodies over there --
9 Q. On the 20th --
10 A. No, nothing about any mission being completed.
11 Q. Thank you. What's -- what are your relations with Bogoljub
12 Kijanovic like?
13 A. I haven't seen him for years, for years.
14 Q. Do you believe him to be an honourable man?
15 A. If he was saying something that isn't true, if he was saying
16 something against me, then probably that would define him as a rather
17 dishonourable man.
18 Q. And what about Branko Korica, is he an honourable man?
19 A. He was guarding my life, and he lived the same experience that I
20 did, or nearly. I can say that he was safe-guarding my safety, my life.
21 Q. Do you know if perhaps you rubbed either of these people the wrong
22 way, in a manner of speaking, at any time?
23 A. No, I don't think so, unless someone put them under pressure. At
24 the end of my testimony, I will tell the Chamber exactly who tried to put
25 pressure on me to not tell the truth.
1 Q. If I told you that Branko Korica never heard these words about
2 Chetniks and Ustashas, the ones that you talked about before the Trial
3 Chamber, do you think he would be right in saying that?
4 A. I don't think how he could have gotten to Branko Korica without
5 going through the official channels, which leads me to conclude that you
6 must have applied some pressure on Branko Korica in order to get to him in
7 the first place.
8 Q. Thank you. What if I told you that he said that the two of you
9 were involved in the triage at the hospital together, that he was with you
10 when he found those grenades under one of the beds, that some TO members
11 were with you who then left or who you were abandoned by. He took about
12 40 persons out of the hospital, none of them wounded, all civilians, and
13 took these persons to the buses. What would you say about that?
14 A. I don't know if he carried out that assignment. I find that
15 unlikely because he spent most of the time with me outside in the
16 courtyard. It's true that he left me a number of times to go and see what
17 the others were doing.
18 Q. Mr. Vujic, you were on an official mission in Vukovar on the 19th
19 and the 20th. You were insulted. You were attacked. You were verbally
20 abused. You were even threatened with assassination. You were attacked
21 by Topola. You were told about a sniper who had his mind set on shooting
22 you. You began to have suspicions, silent ones, at least, that something
23 really dreadful was happening at Ovcara. The only thing you actually
24 asked at Sid was the following sentence: Do you know what's going on? Is
25 that right?
1 A. Yes. General Babic, we're on first-name terms. Mile Babic, do you
2 know what's going on over there? Ljubisa, I didn't even say "Petkovic,"
3 do you know what's going on? Do you know what happened there? And they
4 invariably said: Yes, we do, we are aware of that.
5 Q. My last question or second-last question: Do you believe that you
6 acted in keeping with the rules when you told Babic and Petkovic and
7 invoked late Colonel Tomic about this when you asked them: Do you know
8 what's going on there? Do you think that you acted in keeping with the
10 A. First I hear of General Babic having passed away. You called him
11 a colonel, and this is the first I hear of it. I wasn't aware of the fact
12 that he passed away. I know how Colonel Petkovic was killed, and I
13 attended his funeral. He is no more. I attended Slavko Tomic's funeral,
14 too; he is no more. But there are other persons, other witnesses, who are
15 still alive. Likewise, the prosecutor is gone who monitored the work of
16 our security bodies, who supervised our work, who gave us our assignments.
17 He's now gone. He committed suicide. I was expecting you to mention his
18 name, too, but you didn't.
19 Q. I only mentioned the names of those --
20 A. You failed to mention the prosecutor. You know what a prosecutor
22 Q. My question is: Do you believe you acted in keeping with the
23 regulations when you asked them that, when you said that sentence, yes or
25 A. As far as my moral integrity is concerned, as far as my sense of
1 duty is concerned, I made the greatest possible contribution to attaining
2 truth before this Trial Chamber, before the Defence counsel present here,
3 and before the accused. Please go ahead and verify all of my statements,
4 but do it in an honourable way and do it responsibly.
5 Q. I'm not interrupting you. Please go ahead.
6 A. My testimony is liable to verification, no doubt.
7 Q. In answer to the questions of my learned friends you felt offended
8 a number of times; I don't believe it was anybody's intention. One thing
9 today's testimony seems to imply is, by way of a conclusion - please tell
10 me if I'm wrong - you say that your account before this Honourable Trial
11 Chamber is your final account. What about the Belgrade military court?
12 What about the Belgrade special court, are those institutions less
13 honourable then in comparison?
14 A. No, Mr. Lukic, I have great respect for the president of the
15 chamber of the special court in Belgrade. He guided he. He encouraged me
16 to tell the truth. He didn't even ask me to take an oath before I
17 testified before his chamber. Is this something you noticed? I didn't
18 draw your attention to that myself, but if you just look at this, if you
19 look at the fact that he didn't ask me to take an oath. All he wanted me
20 to do is to summon all my courage and tell the truth. A witness is in a
21 position that is far worse than that of an accused. I really apologise
22 for having to say this in front of this Trial Chamber, but if given a
23 chance, I could explain.
24 Q. So you were encouraged by Vesna Krstajic in front of the Belgrade
25 special court --
1 A. Yes, I was encouraged to tell the truth. I told the truth to the
2 best of my ability, and the naked truth is what I am now sharing with this
3 Chamber and with you. It can be verified.
4 Q. Thank you very much?
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I hereby conclude my
6 cross-examination. There is one thing that I wish to say. I must
7 apologise to my learned friend, Mr. Moore, for that remark I made on the
8 transcript. It was in the course of a very strenuous cross-examination.
9 I hope he understands. It won't happen again.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
11 Now, Mr. Moore, your re-examine?
12 MR. MOORE: I will, if I may.
13 Can I just clarify. I, for my part, would wish the statements of
14 this witness to be placed before the Court as an exhibit. There has been
15 cross-examination on documents, statements that he has made. There has
16 been a large amount of cross-examination. In my submission, it would be
17 an appropriate course if those documents went before the Court, perhaps
18 marked off with a highlighter to demonstrate, as the Defence would say,
19 the inconsistencies. I am in the Court's hands in relation to that?
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, you well realise that the normal
21 procedure is not to do that, but in this case there has been, as I recall,
22 specific suggestions of recent invention over some material matters.
23 MR. MOORE: Yes.
24 JUDGE PARKER: And that would justify a departure from the normal
25 course, if it is your contention that the original document read in
1 context would be material to this Chamber's assessment of that
3 MR. MOORE: Yes, I have not applied to do it, as far as I can
4 recollect, with any other witness because there has not been the same, as
5 the Defence would suggest, the same inconsistencies. In our submission,
6 it's an appropriate course for the Court to adopt, and it would go, of
7 course, to the credibility of the witness and the inconsistency, if it be
8 inconsistency, with regard to the context and the totality of the
10 JUDGE PARKER: So you seek to tender them not for the purpose of
11 establishing the truth of their content but for the purpose of assessing
12 the credibility of this witness?
13 MR. MOORE: Well, it's that -- not necessarily. In my submission,
14 the normal, from the common-law perspective, is that statements should not
15 go before the Court to demonstrate consistency. But where there has been
16 a suggestion of inconsistency, a Court would then be entitled to look at
17 those statements and say whether, in actual fact, the witness himself has
18 been inconsistent, as suggested. It then really begs the question: How
19 does that affect the witness's evidence in toto. So while I submit, and
20 perhaps an easy option is to say: It merely goes to credibility, and
21 clearly it does go to credibility, in my submission there is scope for the
22 Court to attribute to his evidence vis-a-vis the context of the other
23 statements the weight and value of the account that he gives. And I would
24 seek to rely upon the Rules in relation to that. May I just obtain that
1 If one looks at Rule 89(F), and I read for everyone's
2 assistance. "A Chamber may receive the evidence of a witness orally or,
3 where the interests of justice lie, in written form."
4 Well, clearly there has been evidence which my learned friend
5 relies upon to demonstrate his inconsistency, and therefore I would submit
6 when one looks at the totality of the problem that now goes before the
7 Court, if it be a problem, then, in our submission, it would be an
8 appropriate course. And it does not have to be merely for consistency.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, 89(F) would normally not be regarded as
10 relevant to the question of tendering of a document that had been the
11 subject of cross-examination. The normal practice of the Tribunal where a
12 document is put in cross-examination for the purpose of identifying what
13 appears to be a change of substance of account is to have the material
14 passage read into the transcript and then to have the witness comment on
15 the change and not to tender the document itself.
16 In this case, I would suggest to you the material distinction
17 from -- that might justify a different course is the express proposition
18 not only that there has been some change of account, but that on more than
19 one material issue there has been recent invention.
20 MR. MOORE: Well, I will be actually making a submission in
21 relation to that latter category in relation to another matter to rebut
22 the presumption of invention. I understand that that is one of the
23 exceptions to the common-law rule. And I, for my part, am quite happy for
24 it to go in on that basis. It is a very unusual set of circumstances that
25 we find ourselves in; I cannot think of a specific authority that deals
1 with it. But certainly to rebut the presumption of fabrication is one of
2 the categories that would allow it in, in any event.
3 JUDGE PARKER: And I think, if you analyse it, Mr. Moore, that
4 goes down to credibility in the end.
5 MR. MOORE: Well, Your Honour's, I'm sure, a much better lawyer
6 than I will ever be, and that is the --
7 JUDGE PARKER: Flattery won't get you very far, Mr. Moore.
8 MR. MOORE: It never has, I fear, but there we are.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any comment about the previous statement
10 and the transcript of the evidence of the witness should be received as an
11 exhibit? Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I must express some reservations. I
13 am speaking on my own behalf. I have not had time to confer with my
14 colleagues. I complied with the rules that you set down, Your Honour,
15 that inconsistent portions of any statement that a witness can be
16 confronted with. In the interest of the Defence and in relation to this
17 witness, I would agree to have his entire statement submitted. But if we
18 leave this as an exception, this will be a precedent for all further
19 situations. And this is something the Chamber must be aware of, too. I
20 suspect the further and further we go there will be more and more
21 witnesses with varying accounts and testimonies, and I'm referring to the
22 Prosecution witness and the possible Defence witnesses. The substance of
23 this trial has already been discussed in virtually three different trials,
24 and the credibility of the witnesses is an issue that is likely to be
25 raised again and again throughout the trial. The OTP leads the witness on
1 examination-in-chief. When it's my witness, I take the witness through it
2 in order to prove my case. I have some portions that I wish to show the
3 Trial Chamber. I have inconsistencies to point out. I have discrepancies
4 to draw the Chamber's attention to. If we make an exception here, and I
5 am aware of the extent of documents and materials from all the different
6 trials, I'm sure that there will always be someone having doubts about a
7 witness's credibility. I believe we should stick to what we started out
8 doing, for portions of statements to be put and for this to be available
9 to both parties. I believe we should stick to that principle otherwise we
10 are likely to be facing a huge amount of problems because there will be so
11 many different accounts by different persons and different accounts by the
12 same persons about the relevant events. That is what I am afraid of,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. I well understand your
15 concern. That is why the practice that has become, as I understand it,
16 pretty uniform in this Tribunal is not to receive previous full statements
17 but merely to identify those parts that are material. It not only
18 confines then the potential more debate and discussion within the trial,
19 but it also makes it easier should there be an appeal, for the Appeals
20 Chamber to see what was the point in the issue. There are two limbs to
21 that reasoning.
22 Is there any other submission?
23 Mr. Moore, before ruling on the matter, you will realise that the
24 Chamber has not seen any of these documents and your comment earlier is
25 one that appeals to us as potentially the way forward, that is to have
1 offered to us a marked-up version, one that, by consultation between
2 yourself and Defence counsel, has identified those passages which appear
3 material to these disputed issues, and that is the issues where there has
4 been a change of story or there is a proposition of recent invention. We
5 can then see quickly whether the context is going to assist us to evaluate
6 particularly the recent invention proposition. If it is not, we will
7 maintain the normal position; but if it is going to be material and assist
8 us, the circumstances might well justify receiving the document. So we
9 will not make a decision on the matter at this point; we will wait until
10 the -- an agreed marked-up version of each of the documents can be made
11 available, and we will see then whether it should be received. But if it
12 is received, Mr. Moore, it will be to the issue of credit only.
13 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I accept the Court's ruling. I have no
14 problems, obviously, in relation to that, although it might be interesting
15 for the Court to remember that in England now under the new criminal
16 justice act 2003 that there is a variation in relation to the hearsay
17 rules and what is hearsay and what is not, what can be relied on.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, but we are running here on our Rules,
19 Mr. Moore.
20 MR. MOORE: Well, I am really very grateful. I never understood
21 very much. Very well.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Please carry on, Mr. Moore.
23 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Moore:
25 Q. Colonel, you have told us that you have said at Belgrade, at the
1 court there, that in relation to Kijanovic, Tomic, and, in particular,
2 Borisavljevic, that you had said to Borisavljevic to go and get Mrksic;
3 but you have told this Court clearly that that was not the case, he was
4 not there. And you have given an account of why you have said that. Can
5 I deal with that issue for one moment then, please. How difficult was it
6 for you to give evidence in Belgrade about this matter and your
8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
10 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. My learned friend, in
11 putting this question to the witness, told the witness that he sent
12 Borisavljevic to go get Mrksic. He didn't say that, nor is this recorded
13 in any of the statements. He wasn't supposed to go get Mrksic, just go
14 inform Mrksic that a unit of military police is needed. This is what I
15 wanted to object to.
16 MR. MOORE: I accept that. I hope the substance remains the same.
17 Q. Can you tell us if you found it difficult to give evidence in
18 Belgrade about these topics?
19 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I will give you just one sentence. The first time
20 when I was summoned to testify about the Ovcara case in front of the
21 president of the war trial, then-colonel, and later General Gojevic, my
22 position was that I shouldn't testify -- in fact, I refused to testify. I
23 told him they should designate a cell for me, that I wanted to be the
24 accused, and I wanted my role to be proven as well as my activities and
25 how I went about implementing my assignment. This was three days after
1 the state of war was declared, after the NATO bombing had started. Then,
2 with the president of the war court, I managed to convince him to give up
3 on interviewing me as a witness because it was extremely difficult for me
4 to testify. I knew exactly -- or rather, I anticipated exactly what kind
5 of pressure I would be put under because I was asked to testify only three
6 days after the war against Yugoslavia had erupted. I was asked to testify
7 about the events in Vukovar and Ovcara. I don't know how many other
8 persons were summoned to testify about these events at the time. Based on
9 what I heard, only Major Lukic was called, as well as another journalist
10 to testified perhaps not in front of many Chamber. I apologise. I
11 refused to testify on that occasion, and I waited for the next summons,
12 which came after the war.
13 Q. The question - and thank you for that, it's part of the answer.
14 But can I just ask you to focus on the question. Here you are. You've
15 had Mr. Lukic ask you questions, perfectly reasonably, saying: Here you
16 are in Belgrade. You say that you spoke to Borisavljevic. But of course
17 here, in giving your evidence, you said when you called for him he wasn't
18 there. Now, there's a difference, and of course the Prosecution accept
19 that. But what I want you to answer is that when you were actually giving
20 evidence on this topic, how difficult was it for you, as a Serb, to give
21 evidence in Belgrade?
22 A. Extremely difficult. It was extremely difficult, truly. It was
23 so difficult that you can see what I stated in that trial. I believe that
24 the president of the chamber understood just how difficult it was to me.
25 He guided me and encouraged me to tell the truth.
1 Q. Can I ask you then, please, you also said that you were going to
2 tell this Trial Chamber on who tried to put pressure on you not to tell
3 the truth. Do you remember saying that?
4 A. Well, all Defence counsel had my statements at their disposal,
5 both those given before the military court and those given to the
6 Prosecution. I said that on behalf of the military portion, the
7 commission for -- or rather, the national commission for cooperation, a
8 representative of that commission was present there throughout the whole
9 time. He took me to the interview with the OTP. His name was
10 Colonel Mojsilovic. He was present there throughout the whole time.
11 Perhaps he went out briefly, but he received the statement I gave to
12 The Hague Prosecution. Colonel Mojsilovic had the same statement that can
13 be found here. My statement was assessed from that point of view. I was
14 also --
15 Q. Yes --
16 A. -- called by the commission. I was invited to come to an
17 interview with the commission, to talk to them about the statement. I can
18 also say this, and I hope that Mr. Vasic will not misinterpret this. When
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Panic called me to, as he put it, reconcile our
20 statements, that was another difficult situation for me. I warned both of
21 them and said that my first statement given to the president of the
22 military court was sent with the whole file to the OTP. So I didn't send
23 this statement on my own, no. It was sent officially with the whole file,
24 as part of a file against unidentified perpetrators.
25 Q. Thank you. Again, you have been cross-examined by Mr. Lukic about
1 a statement that you say Mr. Sljivancanin made as you were leaving the --
2 what I will call the first meeting at Negoslavci. That was the statement
3 that dealt with Sljivancanin saying: Don't be surprised if you see
4 Chetniks slaughtering people. I use that in general terms. Now, do you
5 follow? You've told this Court about that particular statement. It's not
6 in your witness statement at OTP, it is not mentioned in any of your court
7 transcripts. Why -- if, as you say, that you wanted -- or you've had it
8 for 14 years, why didn't you tell the OTP investigators or the judge about
9 what Sljivancanin had said when he was leaving or when you were leaving
10 Negoslavci about slaughtering by the Chetniks? Do you understand the
12 A. I understood your question. This, again, is a very important
13 question about how I presented facts. To this day I'm not sure whether
14 Vojvoda Topola is still alive. None of the councillors or
15 Mr. Sljivancanin ever informed me about who Vojvoda Topola actually is.
16 Perhaps I'm yet to meet him or perhaps he will surprise me by doing
17 something. Is he going to benevolently interpret my words and description
18 of events. I don't know that. But this is a reason why I never mentioned
19 this before the military court or the special court. I opted to say here
20 what I experienced and heard there.
21 Q. Did you have any fear that anything would happen to you if, in
22 actual fact, you had publicly stated what Sljivancanin said about the
23 Chetniks slaughtering?
24 A. Absolutely, of course. Everybody knows how tightly
25 Major Sljivancanin was defended before his arrest or during his arrest in
1 Belgrade. One of my neighbours told me about this. He was present or he
2 was in a group protecting Major Sljivancanin. He belongs to this
3 association called Sloboda. He is a big man, 2 metres, and is a chef in a
4 major Belgrade hotel. So I had to wonder whether he approached me
5 accidentally to discuss such issues with me such as who is a traitor, who
6 is a patriot, what is the right thing to do, and so on. These were daily
7 occurrences. One could experience this on a daily basis in Belgrade.
8 Q. Thank you very much. Could I just deal then, please --
9 MR. MOORE: Sorry, this perhaps more for the Court at this stage
10 because I want to deal with Colonel Mrksic. In my submission, the Defence
11 have not put to this witness whether they accept, as this witness has
12 said, that the Velepromet facility was within, what I will call, the zone
13 of responsibility for Mrksic. This witness says that that is the case.
14 In our submission, if that is not the case, that that should be put by
15 Mrksic's counsel to this witness so he has an opportunity to reply.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I understand the course of cross-examination to be
17 as you indicate, Mr. Moore. Perhaps I could confirm that with Mr. Vasic.
18 MR. MOORE: And can I just say that I would apply the same
19 principle: Do they accept that the JNA barracks are within the zone of
20 responsibility for Mrksic?
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. As for the
22 question put by my learned friend, I can say that the Defence of
23 General Mrksic does not dispute that General Mrksic was commander of the
24 Operations Group South, within whose area of responsibility Velepromet and
25 barracks were. But the Defence clearly disputed through its questions as
1 well as through the arrangement that we made where we split topics between
2 the Defence counsel, and within that we disputed that the JNA was
3 stationed throughout the whole time at Velepromet and that there was a
4 staff of the Vukovar TO Defence there.
5 As for the operations area, both Kasrna [as interpreted] and
6 Velepromet were located within the area of operations of the Operations
7 Group South.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, barracks and
10 JUDGE PARKER: That is, I understand it, that the barracks and
11 Velepromet, both of them were located within the area of operations of
12 Operations Group South.
13 MR. MOORE: Yes, the zone of responsibility for Colonel Mrksic.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 MR. MOORE: Thank you. Thank you very much for that
17 Q. Colonel, could I just ask you then - and moving on in topic - how
18 important is it for a commander to know what is occurring in his zone of
20 A. All military rules are directed towards ensuring that. All organs
21 subordinated to the commander are duty-bound to inform him whenever there
22 is a change in the situation or to inform him about a new situation. This
23 is all well known. These rules are there to ensure that legal procedure
24 is complied with, to ensure effectiveness of command. Commander must be
25 in a charge of a situation, must be informed of all changes. He also must
1 be warned about what is anticipated. Therefore, the work of all organs is
2 directed towards that goal. Even his superior command issues guidance
3 along those lines.
4 Q. Okay. So how -- you've dealt with it slightly, but how is -- how
5 is that achieved within a military structure? How is the command and
6 control achieved within the zone of responsibility when one deals with the
7 control and command of the commander himself?
8 A. First of all, the commander assesses a situation and decides on
9 his own. The decision that he takes he needs to take to the superior in
10 order for it to be approved. If the commander and the command are at a
11 high level, and if it has to do with an important stage of the operations,
12 important enough to ensure that the superior command approves this and
13 approves the assignments given to units, then the commander is duty-bound
14 to ensure approval for all this. I believe that Colonel Mrksic, in the
15 final stages of the Vukovar operation, had to harmonise or had to ensure
16 that the decision he took was approved by the superior command and
17 superior commanders.
18 Q. And what about the subordination of units to a commander? How
19 does one command and control those units? What are the principles that
20 guide that in the JNA?
21 A. I already gave evidence before this Trial Chamber, saying that in
22 accordance with Article 112 of the law on All People's Defence, the
23 principles of command are clearly set forth. The first principle is the
24 unity of command to ensure that all resources and all forces are aimed at
25 achieving the set goal. In that sense, the commander within his area of
1 responsibility is the most senior officer. He is the one giving
2 assignments to subordinate commanders and units. His decisions must be
3 implemented, his orders as well. So the order of a superior is a law to
4 those who are subordinated to him. The authorities of the commander can
5 be transferred to his deputies only in cases regulated by law or by rules.
6 I explained that Colonel Mrksic transferred his task related to briefing
7 to Major Sljivancanin. That is to say that Major Sljivancanin conveyed
8 the task to us, the task that he received from his superior.
9 Q. So if that is the case, from what you understood in your dealings
10 there, to whom was Sljivancanin subordinated?
11 A. Sljivancanin was subordinated to Colonel Mrksic. As for --
12 Q. And to whom was Borisavljevic subordinated --
13 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] It was my impression that the witness
16 wanted to complete his sentence; however, my learned friend interrupted
17 him. Perhaps it would be fair to let him finish his previous sentence.
18 JUDGE PARKER: The transcript suggests that may be correct,
19 Mr. Moore.
20 MR. MOORE: Certainly. That's not a problem.
21 Q. Colonel what you've said is you've said Sljivancanin was
22 subordinated to Colonel Mrksic. And then you started, by the looks of the
23 transcript, "as for." What were you going to say after that?
24 A. I wanted to say that in the professional sense when it comes to
25 the rules regulating the work of the security organs and their
1 implementation, he is responsible for these tasks to his superior
2 commander in the security chain of command. I don't know who was his
3 first superior in that security chain of command, that is to say
4 professional chain of command.
5 Q. Thank you very much. I'll ask the question again and try and
6 pronounce it again. To whom was Borisavljevic subordinated?
7 A. Borisavljevic was subordinated as a security organ to
8 Major Sljivancanin. This was the professional chain of command. On the
9 other hand, as a subordinate officer he was certainly subordinated to
10 Colonel Mrksic. As for the Velepromet assignment, that specific
11 assignment, I do not know how it was regulated by the order, how the
12 implementation of assignments at Velepromet was regulated. But there had
13 to exist some written order or a plan.
14 Q. Thank you very much. And then finally, as far as you could
15 understand from your dealings, to whom was Miodrag Panic subordinated to?
16 A. As Chief of Staff within the command of Colonel Mrksic, he was
17 subordinated to Colonel Mrksic. In addition to that, he also had certain
18 authorities as a deputy.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Now, I'd like to move on to another topic,
20 if I may. I want you to throw your mind back, please, to the evidence
21 that you gave about when you returned to Negoslavci after having witnessed
22 various incidents at Velepromet. Now, Mr. Vasic put the following
23 question to you that you, Colonel, allegedly told Mrksic what you had seen
24 and people being killed. And the answer that you gave was as follows.
25 "I wanted him to hear it."
1 Now, do you remember saying that: "I wanted him to hear
2 it," "him" being Mrksic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Why did you want Mrksic to hear the killings at Velepromet?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, had I done it otherwise -- I apologise. Had I
6 done what my fellow officers did, Tomic and Kijanovic, then based on the
7 law, I would be sitting to the left or to the right of Colonel Mrksic
8 answering this question. In accepting the assignment, in accepting to
9 implement the assignment, I invested my full mental and physical faculties
10 in ensuring that the assignment is implemented. I acted the way I did,
11 realising that perhaps I would never come to testify here or thinking that
12 nobody would ever find out what was going on there.
13 Q. It may well be it's the way that I phrased the question, but why
14 was it important to tell Colonel Mrksic that what -- that you had seen
15 killing at Velepromet? Why?
16 A. In order to inform him that this happened, which was my duty under
17 the law, to inform the commander that this happened within his area of
19 Q. Now, I want to move on to another question, please, flowing from
20 that. What would you expect him to do or how would you expect him to
21 react, having been told that people were being killed in his zone of
22 responsibility? Do you understand the question?
23 A. I understand the question. He could have acted based on what I
24 said. He could have failed to act. He could have kept silent, as he did.
25 However, under the law and under the rules of the international law of
1 war, he was duty-bound to take measures to establish the facts. He was
2 duty-bound to find out whether what I told him was true or not. There had
3 to be some verification. Colonel Mrksic had the resources and manpower
4 available to him that were sufficient to establish the truthfulness of
5 this account and to have some form of verification. Under the law, he
6 should have established a committee. He should have appointed officers.
7 He had a legal assistant in his own unit, Colonel Jankovic --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Lieutenant-Colonel Jankovic, interpreter's
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who had the wartime assignment of
11 infractions and crimes, to establish the identities of those found dead or
12 wounded. I do believe that this was indeed what Lieutenant Jankovic was
14 MR. MOORE:
15 Q. Is I then please deal with -- it is a 65 ter document, 2 -- number
16 298. It deals with the 1988 regulations on the applications of
17 international laws of war. I want you to please have a look at these two
19 MR. MOORE: To assist my learned friends I've given the 65 ter
21 Q. I've got hard copies for you, Colonel. I'm told it's on the
22 splendid e-court, but the hard copies are there as well. The e-court
23 number is 00807698 and 00807699. Now, you can have a hard copy, some
24 people prefer hard copies, or you can look at the wonderful screen. Would
25 you like a hard copy?
1 A. Can I have a copy, please?
2 MR. MOORE: Well, may I pass this forward then, please. And I
3 hope then having given all the details that the Court will then have the
4 references. No, that's not what -- what I'm expecting to see.
5 Q. While the computer is orientated, would you be kind enough to look
6 at that copy and look at regulation number 20 and regulation 21. It's in
7 front of you. Can you see it all right. Can you answer yes or no,
8 Colonel, have you got it in front of you?
9 A. Yes, I can read.
10 Q. Just a moment, please.
11 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I've got the e-court copy, but it's
12 completely -- well, you just can't read it. It's just a fudge. Certainly
13 over here it is. I don't know what the Court -- it's out of focus
15 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we have the B/C/S on screen. I haven't
16 turned to the English yet.
17 MR. MOORE: Well, I'm sure Your Honour will be delighted to read
18 it in B/C/S.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I was waiting for you to proffer the hard copy this
20 way, Mr. Moore.
21 MR. MOORE: I don't think there are any left. Would Your Honour
22 forgive me a moment.
23 JUDGE PARKER: English is on screen now and it's very clear here.
24 MR. MOORE: No, I've just got it in B/C/S and it's in --
25 JUDGE PARKER: It's been retrieved from history.
1 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, what I'll try and do is I'll move over to
2 the side. It looks as if one screen has got some sort of -- that's in
3 B/C/S, and I've got the English. Let's deal with the English, if I may.
4 Q. Colonel, would you be kind enough, please, to go to the -- Article
5 Number 20. Have you got it there in front of you? You've got it in hard
6 copy, anyway, haven't you?
7 A. Yes. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. I see this reads: "Prevention of any
8 violations of the international criminal law and criminal responsibility."
9 This is Article 20. "Personal responsibility for any violations of the
10 international laws of war."
11 Do you expect me to read it out loud or do you want me to --
12 Q. Would you be kind enough -- would you be kind enough to read it
13 out loud. I am going to be asking for it to be made an exhibit, but it
14 does help everybody so that they can hear what you've said. And then I'm
15 going to ask you one or two questions about number 20 and then number 21.
16 Shall we do that?
17 A. The article reads: "Any individual, military or civilian, is
18 personally responsible for violations of the rules of the international --
19 of the laws on war, whoever carries out this violation or issues an order
20 for the violation to occur. Lack of familiarity with the provisions does
21 not preclude criminal responsibility in relation to those violating the
23 Paragraph 2 reads: "Persons committing a war crime or another
24 serious violation of the rules of war will be prosecuted before their
25 national court or, if they fall into the hands of the enemy, before the
1 enemy's courts."
2 This is an article describing personal responsibility. In
3 continuation, paragraph 3: "The perpetrators of these crimes" --
4 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Vasic.
5 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have one
6 objection about this. I don't remember this being raised on
7 cross-examination by any of our Defence teams. There was nothing about
8 the norms or the applications of any of the laws or provisions with regard
9 to the subject matter back in 1991. Therefore, I believe my learned
10 friend should have asked questions about this in chief, if he so wanted.
11 But we have so far not even established the existence of these provisions
12 and norms in the constitution of the SFRY at the time. Plus, as I have
13 already pointed out, I don't believe this was raised on cross-examination.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
15 MR. MOORE: In my submission, it is a natural corollary of the
16 questions that my learned friend, Mr. Vasic, asked. Mr. Vasic asked
17 about: You allegedly told him what you had seen of people being killed.
18 I wanted him to hear it. Well, it is perfectly permissible to ask him why
19 it was he wanted him to hear it, as point one. And point two: Why was
20 that? That is the consequence of that is because it is against the law.
21 And three: In our submission, it is a natural consequence to direct the
22 witness's attention to the actual existing rules for the JNA that were
23 existing at that time having been compiled in 1988. It's a direct
24 consequence of the question of my learned friend, Mr. Vasic, and that's
25 why I quoted it.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
2 I believe the proposition put by Mr. Moore is soundly based,
3 Mr. Vasic, so we will not interrupt the re-examination. It directly
4 flows, I think you see, from your question, and it is just pinning down
5 the source of this witness's understanding as to the legal requirement.
6 Yes, Mr. Moore.
7 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
8 Q. Colonel, I think we have got to the third paragraph. In
9 English: "The perpetrators of such criminal acts," can you read that,
10 please. Can you carry on reading, would you mind, where you left off?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I was listening to the interpret. I'm not sure
12 that I understand properly. You saw some people being killed. I have --
13 Q. I'd like you please -- I'd like you please just to stop for a
14 moment, and I want you to continue reading, if you'd be kind enough, this
15 particular paragraph.
16 A. "The perpetrators of such crimes may be tried before
17 international court, if such a court exists."
18 The next paragraph: "Those persons will also be tried as
19 perpetrators who are found to have instigated, aided, or abetted any
20 violations of the law of war" --
21 Q. Well --
22 A. -- "or found to have been involved in the perpetration of such
24 Q. Thank you very much. So we can put it in completeness, this deals
25 with personal responsibility for violations of war. I think you've
1 already accepted that. Now, let's move on to Article 21, please. Now,
2 I'd like you to read this and then I have a question for you at the end.
3 A. Article 21: "Responsibility for actions taken by subordinates.
4 Any military officer will be personally responsible for violations of the
5 international law of war if he knew or had reason to know that units
6 subordinate to him or other units or other individuals were preparing to
7 commit such violations and for failing to prevent these violations in a
8 timely manner or for failing to take measures in order for these
9 violations to be prevented. Those officers, too, shall be held personally
10 responsible who knew that violations of the international law of war had
11 been committed and failed to -- failed to initiate disciplinary or
12 criminal proceedings against the perpetrators. If no such proceedings are
13 within their purview, then these officers must report the relevant
14 perpetrators to the relevant superior officer."
15 Paragraph 3: "A military commander shall be responsible as an
16 accomplice if, by failing to take measures against his subordinates
17 committing violations of the international rules of law, he contributed to
18 a repeated commission of such acts by his subordinate units or
20 Q. The question I have is this: If we look at Article 21, how
21 important is this article for an officer who discovers that killings are
22 occurring within his zone of responsibility?
23 A. It is quite certain that this article defines the responsibility
24 of a commanding officer for any violations of the international laws of
25 war. And it is quite clear that measures are envisaged that an officer
1 must take against anyone in violation of these rules. The same applies to
2 cases where a commanding officer fails to take steps or initiate
3 proceedings or an investigation against any perpetrators.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 MR. MOORE: I have no additional re-examination.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Did you indicate that you proposed to tender those
7 documents, Mr. Moore?
8 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I will be tendering those documents. I
9 can put them in now. I am calling an expert called Theunens. He will be
10 adducing these rules in any event, but perhaps just for --
11 JUDGE PARKER: I'm quite happy if it's to come.
12 MR. MOORE: I sincerely hope it is. But can I just say that quite
13 simply it will be going in, in a bundle. But if for any reason it is
14 omitted, can I say that I reserve my position of putting these documents
15 in now.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we'll wait for the event, Mr. Moore, if there
17 is one.
18 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Could I observe that the documents were translated
20 by those here assisting us from B/C/S, I would understand, on the spot, it
21 would seem. As they are legal texts, the precise language is important
22 and the Chamber would be referring to an authorised translation rather
23 than what appears in the transcript --
24 MR. MOORE: Yes.
25 JUDGE PARKER: -- if there is any difference.
1 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vujic, you'll be pleased to know that that
4 concludes your examination here. The Chamber is grateful that you've been
5 able to attend The Hague and expresses its appreciation of the assistance
6 that you have been able to give to the Chamber. And we thank you, and you
7 are now, of course, free to return to your home. So we will adjourn now,
8 and in a little while you can leave the court after we do. You can be
9 seated for the moment. Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, President.
11 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, there is one matter; it is entirely my
12 fault. I forgot to put it. I did mention it earlier on. It relates to a
13 document, and there is a submission that I would want to make about it. I
14 suspect that my learned friends may have an argument about it, and --
15 JUDGE PARKER: Is it a matter that concerns further evidence from
16 the witness?
17 MR. MOORE: It does, yes. But -- not significantly, but yes, it
19 JUDGE PARKER: I must ask you to sit again. There may be one
20 further matter.
21 Yes, Mr. Moore.
22 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I want to submit but for the witness not
23 to hear what I am going to submit because I would not want it to be
24 thought that my submission in any way may prejudice the Defence. I don't
25 know if that can be done or not.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It certainly can be. It's a very proper
2 proposition to put.
3 Mr. Vujic, the Prosecutor wants to put some matter to us. He's
4 concerned that he should not speak in your presence in case it could be
5 said to unduly influence you. Would you please go with the court officer,
6 and we will hear what counsel have to say. We will then have a break, and
7 if you're wanted again, you will be advised and will come in after the
8 break. Thank you.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 MR. MOORE: The submission -- the submission that I would have at
11 this time really relates to the cross-examination of my learned friend on
12 behalf of Mr. Mrksic. What is being put perfectly fairly and perfectly
13 properly is that at no time did Mrksic receive any notice from the
14 Velepromet incident; and then secondly it was put that at no time did
15 Mrksic receive notice from Tomic that incidents were happening at the JNA
17 May I deal with the second point. Clearly what is being submitted
18 here by the Defence is that this witness is giving a fabricated account,
19 both in relation to the notice after Velepromet, but also in relation to
20 Tomic saying to Mrksic that incidents were happening at the JNA barracks
21 and Mrksic basically played no part or disregarded what was said. And so,
22 putting it quite plainly, what's being said by Mr. Mrksic's counsel is
23 that this witness is not to be believed and what he is saying is a
24 fabricated account.
25 Clearly, therefore, in our submission, the issue of the witness --
1 witness's credibility is at issue in relation to this matter. We would
2 submit, if that is the case and the issue is one of credibility, that we
3 would be entitled to place before this witness other evidence, namely part
4 of the state [sic] of Tomic, which -- and I can say it now, and that's why
5 I didn't want to do it in front of the witness, which states in actual
6 fact that Tomic went and informed Mrksic of what had happened at the JNA
7 barracks. And the reason we submit it is not because of the truth of its
8 content but because it is entirely consistent with the account given by
9 this witness. And therefore, when you evaluate the overall credibility of
10 this witness, you should disregard it for the truth of the content, but
11 you are entitled to take it into account when consisting -- when
12 considering the consistency of this witness's evidence.
13 So we would submit that there is scope within the Rules for this
14 witness to be reminded of what a person has said and for the Court then to
15 evaluate whether, in actual fact, when one looks at the totality of his
16 credibility, whether in actual fact that is right or not. It is important
17 to note, it was put in the negative by Mr. Vasic. It is not accepted that
18 Tomic told Mrksic about what was happening at the JNA barracks.
19 The Defence are not prejudiced because they have now stated quite
20 categorically that this did not occur, and therefore, that is before the
21 Court. As I say, it only goes to the consistency and the credibility of
22 this witness. Perhaps a better way of putting it is: It goes to the
23 credibility of this witness, and the Court is allowed to take that into
25 JUDGE PARKER: Can I be clear. What is it you wish to put to this
2 MR. MOORE: I would wish this witness to read into the record what
3 Tomic has said in relation to Tomic going to Mrksic and informing Mrksic
4 about what had happened at the JNA barracks and the concerns that he has.
5 This witness says that Tomic told him that he had done it. What is being
6 suggested here is that that was not true and that was a fabricated piece
7 of evidence.
8 JUDGE PARKER: And this is in the context, it seems to be accepted
9 that the witness or the person Tomic is no longer alive?
10 MR. MOORE: That is correct.
11 JUDGE PARKER: What are the circumstances in which this statement
12 was made?
13 MR. MOORE: The indicia of reliability are that it was compiled on
14 the 14th of March before an investigating judge at the military court in
15 Belgrade in relation to unknown perpetrators for the criminal offence. It
16 was taken in front of an investigating judge, Trifunovic. There was a
17 clerk. There was an interview as such, and that, if I may
18 read: "Pursuant to Article 231, the witness was cautioned and he was
19 obliged to tell the truth and he must not" -- actually, it says that "he
20 must withhold any facts." But I'll read it. He was obliged to tell the
21 truth and he must withhold any facts as giving false testimony was a
22 criminal offence. I suspect the word "not" is missing there.
23 Then it goes on to give the name of Tomic and the document itself
24 is compiled. It is a -- basically a court-created document.
25 JUDGE PARKER: And the date?
1 MR. MOORE: The date is the 14th of March, 2000. And I'm very
2 helpfully reminded by my learned friend, Ms. Regue that exactly the same
3 process that was applied when Colonel Vujic was giving evidence and
4 founded basis of credibility and arguments by my learned friends.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
6 Mr. Vasic.
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours. I
8 believe that in this way my learned friend is trying to introduce the
9 substance of a statement that he has already tried to introduce pursuant
10 to the 92 bis statement of Colonel Tomic. This was a proposal that the
11 Trial Chamber overruled at the time. The witness is dead, and his
12 statement speaks directly to the actions of the accused. We do not
13 believe that this can be admitted based on Rule 92 bis.
14 Aside from that, I believe that my learned friend is entirely
15 wrong, as far as the basis for this is concerned. The Defence is not
16 trying to contest the fact that Colonel Tomic may have told him that he
17 had been to see Colonel Mrksic or whatever he told him if he did. All we
18 did challenge was that Colonel Tomic was with Colonel Mrksic, but we did
19 not challenge the fact that Colonel Vujic may have talked to Colonel Tomic
20 about this and that Colonel Tomic may have told him this or that for one
21 reason or another, mainly that he talked to Colonel Mrksic, which he
23 This is not a circumstance affecting the credibility of a witness.
24 We didn't say that Colonel Vujic was not speaking the truth when he talked
25 about talking to Colonel Tomic. All we challenged was that Colonel Tomic
1 ever went to see Colonel Mrksic. These are two very different things. In
2 addition to this, we believe that introducing a statement, especially the
3 relevant portion that my learned friend wishes to have read out, would run
4 counter to a ruling of this Trial Chamber, the ruling of the Trial Chamber
5 in relation to the OTP's request to use this statement under 92 bis.
6 My learned friend, Mr. Lukic, has just reminded me that there was
7 another legal issue just like this at stake in the Simic case, and the
8 Chamber overruled a request like this that was made by the OTP in that
9 case. If necessary, I believe that my learned friend, Mr. Lukic, can
10 elaborate on that.
11 Once again, the Defence is not challenging the fact that the late
12 Colonel Tomic said something like this to Colonel Vujic, but what we are
13 definitely challenging is that Colonel Tomic went to see Colonel Mrksic on
14 that day. But what my learned friend said about Velepromet is not in
15 Colonel Tomic's statement at all. Therefore, it can't be used in
16 reference to this portion of the statement. Thank you very much,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, you've been offered as a volunteer. Do
19 you have a reference in Simic that's material?
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In procedural terms, I believe that
21 this is an identical situation. In the Simic case, the Prosecutor
22 proposed at the very outset of the case to introduce into evidence an
23 interview which OTP conducted with Miroslav Tadic, one of the accused.
24 The Trial Chamber made a ruling - I'm not sure whether it was an oral or a
25 written ruling - in September of 2002, refusing to admit into evidence
1 these interviews, finding that they were not in a proper form -- or
2 rather, that the form was deficient and didn't warrant them to be
3 introduced into evidence.
4 When the OTP -- rather, we had a Court's ruling that one of the
5 documents could not be admitted into evidence; however, despite of that,
6 the Prosecution still made a request to put certain parts of the interview
7 to the witness. And once again the Trial Chamber overruled this saying
8 that this could not be used to prove or disprove the credibility of a
9 witness because, once again, the form of the interview was deficient.
10 This Chamber in this case ruled that the statement of Mr. Tomic was
11 deficient in its form, and thus could not be admitted into evidence under
12 Rule 92 bis. This is why I used this analogy. Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: That decision was before Rule 89(F) came into
14 existence, wasn't it?
15 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation]
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Moore.
18 MR. MOORE: Firstly, I have a transcript of my learned friend
19 Mr. Vasic's question.
20 "You told us" -- may I just read it.
21 "You told us what you heard Colonel Tomic saying to Colonel Mrksic
22 about the fact that the TO wanted to take of the prisoners of war from the
23 barracks by force. If I tell you that Colonel Mrksic -- was that
24 Colonel Tomic in the presence of an air force colonel never said anything
25 like that to him nor was Colonel Mrksic ever an advocate of the alleged
1 idea that anyone should be treated with laxity, what would you say to
3 Now, there are two elements in that question: One, never said
4 anything like that to him. I would submit it is as plain as a pike staff,
5 if I may use an old English phrase, that that is what is being put, that
6 it was not said by Tomic to Mrksic.
7 Now, with regard to the distinction, and I believe there is an
8 important distinction to be drawn here. One has to ask: What is the
9 purpose of putting this statement in? If it's to be put in testimonially,
10 namely for the truth of the content, that cannot be done. I accept that
11 although it may well be there's a development on the law of that. But as
12 matters stand, I accept that it cannot be put in for the truth of the
13 content. And when in actual fact the application was made by the
14 Prosecution under the 92 bis application, it was being put in for the
15 truth of content. That was denied, perfectly rightly, by the Court. But
16 what is the purpose now of this statement going in? It is not going in
17 for the truth of the content. I would submit, it is going in, in relation
18 to the consistency of the witness. It goes in to his credibility, and
19 that is the important distinction, in my submission.
20 With regard to this, what is being suggested by the Defence is
21 that this witness an untrustworthy witness and a witness not to be
22 believed, and they are putting to him an element that we submit should be
23 before the Court for the Court to evaluate the overall credibility of the
24 witness. And I rely on -- again, the Rules in relation to it. I rely on
25 89(F), as I have attempted to do before, that "it may receive the evidence
1 of a witness orally or where the interests allow in written form." In my
2 submission in the interests of justice in relation to the credibility of
3 this witness, Vujic, it should be permitted. That would be my submission.
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I have to clarify something to my
7 learned friend. The Defence cannot be in the position to know whether
8 Vujic and Tomic talked amongst themselves. We do not wish and are not
9 even trying to deny that. All we're saying is this: If they talked then
10 Tomic said something that was not true to Vujic. So we're not trying to
11 challenge the credibility of Mr. Vujic through this; all we're doing is
12 we're claiming there was no such conversation taking place with Mr. Tomic.
13 Therefore, I think that my learned friend is not right about this fact.
14 We do not have a single fact that could disprove whether Vujic and Tomic
15 talked at all.
16 As for Rule 89(F), I believe that here we are facing the same
17 problem we discussed when my learned friend put his general submission for
18 application of this rule. In this case, when we're discussing
19 credibility, we could perhaps discuss the potential application of this
20 Rule. However, this does not jeopardise the credibility of Mr. Vujic.
21 His credibility is put at risk by means of some other submissions we made
22 here. As for the acts of the accused, I think that our position is clear,
23 namely that Rule 89(F) should not violate the principles set by 92 bis.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, do we correctly understand that your
25 question to the witness was, in essence: You told us you heard Tomic
1 saying to Colonel Mrksic that the TO wanted to take prisoners of war from
2 the barracks by force? Was that the thrust of your question?
3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I asked, since
4 Mr. Vujic said that Mr. Tomic told him about the meeting with
5 Colonel Mrksic -- thus, I asked him what would be his position if I were
6 to tell him that Mrksic never met Tomic, without challenging whether Tomic
7 and Vujic ever talked. I don't know about that. I also don't know
8 whether Colonel Tomic said the truth or not to Colonel Vujic about the
9 meeting with Mr. Mrksic. So what we're saying --
10 JUDGE PARKER: What I put to you was what I understood to be the
11 transcript that Mr. Moore read out. Did I misunderstand Mr. Moore?
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what Mr. Moore read out
13 was that I put to the witness that Colonel Tomic and Colonel Mrksic did
14 not talk about the relevant matter. That's one thing. Then I asked him
15 this: You said that Colonel Tomic talked to you, telling you that he had
16 been to see Colonel Mrksic. I'm telling you that he didn't see
17 Colonel Mrksic. What is your comment?
18 That was the substance of my question. Based on this question, it
19 doesn't arise that I challenged whether Vujic talked to Tomic.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I'll just have Mr. Moore remind us of what it was
21 that he read, Mr. Vasic.
22 MR. MOORE: What I've got here is day 52 of the transcript. I'm
23 told the number is, I think, 4706.18. I, unfortunately, have not got an
24 edited version, so may I just find that so I can read it out absolutely
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. MOORE: The question is as follows. Thank you.
3 "You told us what you heard Colonel Tomic saying to Colonel Mrksic
4 about the fact that the TO wanted to take over the prisoners of war from
5 the barracks by force. If I tell you that Colonel -- from
6 Colonel Mrksic's standpoint was that Colonel Tomic, in the presence of an
7 air force colonel, never said anything like that to him, nor was
8 Colonel Mrksic ever an advocate of the alleged idea that anyone should be
9 treated with laxity, what would you say to that?"
10 Now, that is the -- my reading from the transcript.
11 JUDGE PARKER: There seems to be then quite a dispute between what
12 you understand you were putting, Mr. Vasic, and what the transcript
13 suggests you were putting.
14 I think, Mr. Vasic, in fairness we will let you contemplate this
15 over the break so that you can be clear whether you accept that this was
16 the question that you put to the witness or not. Will that be of use?
17 And, if necessary, you and Mr. Moore can talk about the issue and we will
18 return at five minutes past 6.00 and the witness should wait.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.47 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 6.09 p.m.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
22 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It seems to
23 me that this break was beneficial, and I think I have discovered what the
24 problem is. The problem is in the transcript, more or less. It seems
25 that it does not reflect what I asked yesterday. As my learned friend
1 read out, my question begins with: "You told us what you heard
2 Colonel Tomic saying to Colonel Mrksic."
3 I actually asked the witness: "You said what you heard from
4 Colonel Tomic about him talking to Colonel Mrksic because Colonel Vujic
5 was not present when that conversation took place," and that can be seen
6 also on the basis of the answer the witness gave to my learned friend on
7 page 4567, lines 11 to 14 of the transcript, when my learned friend
8 said -- asked: "What about Tomic?"
9 And the answer was: [In English] "Slavko Tomic said that he went
10 because of that two or three times to see Colonel Mrksic to intervene in
11 relation to these buses."
12 [Interpretation] Based on the answer, we can see that
13 Witness Vujic was not present when the conversation took place, and I
14 couldn't challenge whether he heard the conversation between Tomic and
15 Mrksic; quite the opposite. I asked Mr. Vujic: Based on the conversation
16 with Mr. Tomic, what would his position be if I said that Tomic didn't see
17 Mrksic. I don't know whether Tomic talked to Vujic and told him the truth
18 or not. Thus, I did not challenge the credibility of Mr. Vujic. I think
19 that the mistake lies in the interpretation as recorded in the transcript
20 on the page that my learned friend mentioned.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
22 Mr. Moore.
23 MR. MOORE: Well, I'm sorry, it does go to the credibility. It
24 is -- it is put in very clear terms to the witness that -- in actual fact,
25 that that never occurred. And so, therefore, I'm just trying to read
1 exactly the way it was finally put. Would Your Honour forgive me one
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I'm just locating the original rather
6 than what was reported.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 MR. MOORE: Well, Your Honour, I haven't got the transcript as it
9 should be, but in any event the way that it was put was perfectly clear
10 that it never said anything like that to him, nor was Colonel Mrksic ever
11 an advocate.
12 And so what is being suggested to Vujic was that Tomic had not
13 spoken to Mrksic, and therefore the suggestion is that Vujic was, once
14 again, fabricating the evidence. And all I'm submitting is if the
15 credibility of this witness is to be considered, then the Court should
16 have this particular piece of evidence from Tomic's statement - not all
17 the statement - that relates quite clearly to Tomic going to Mrksic and
18 stating what he says in the statement, warning about the prisoners of war
19 and the barracks because it is evidence, if I may use the old-fashioned
20 phrase, that corroborates what Vujic has been said. Now, corroboration
21 deals with truth of content. I don't do it for that reason. I do it for
22 the credibility of the witness.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic draws a distinction between there being a
24 conversation between Tomic and Colonel Mrksic --
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think it's fair that we wait, Mr. Vasic, because
2 Mr. Moore is being -- regrouping.
3 MR. MOORE: Well, Your Honour, I have it on one screen here to my
4 right, bun unfortunately the microphone is to the left. Let me see if
5 this microphone works. What I've got on the transcript is:" Thank you.
6 You told us what you heard Colonel Tomic saying to Colonel Mrksic about
7 the fact that the TO wanted to tell -- to take over the prisoners of war
8 from the barracks by force. If I tell you that Colonel Mrksic's
9 standpoint was that Colonel Tomic, in the presence of an air force
10 colonel, never said anything like that to him, nor was Colonel Mrksic ever
11 an advocate of the alleged idea that anyone should be treated with laxity,
12 what would you say to that?"
13 Now, that is, I hope, a verbatim reading of -- I think it will be
14 4706, line 18 to 25. My submission is that Colonel Vujic is having a
15 question put to him that the account that he gave, namely, that Tomic had
16 told Vujic that Tomic had been to Mrksic and expressed concerns about the
17 TO and the behaviour at the barracks, what is being suggested there is
18 that Vujic is fabricating his evidence.
19 In my submission, because that question has been phrased the way
20 it has, it brings into issue the credibility of Vujic's testimony. And
21 again, in my submission, all I would wish to do is to adduce part of
22 Tomic's statement which states that Tomic did, indeed, state in his
23 witness statement that he did go to Mrksic and express those concerns on
24 three occasions or on occasions.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, we start with the difficulty that
1 Mr. Vasic now puts that this English translation is not the question that
2 he put to the witness. And as he understands it, his question started not
3 with, "You told us that you heard Colonel Tomic saying to Mrksic," but
4 starts along the lines: You said what you heard from Colonel Tomic about
5 him talking about Colonel Mrksic. And then Mr. Vasic draws a distinction
6 between whether or not there was any conversation between Tomic and
7 Colonel Mrksic as to which he says we have no dispute, we accept there
8 was, but that what we did dispute was the content of that conversation.
9 And it's not that the witness said: I actually heard the conversation,
10 but that the witness merely has -- recounts what Tomic told him later
11 about that conversation. And on that footing he says: We are disputing
12 the accuracy of what this witness heard from Tomic about the conversation
13 between Tomic and Mrksic, but we are not disputing that the witness may
14 have been told that by Tomic. We don't know.
15 MR. MOORE: Well, I agree -- I accept my learned friend if he says
16 that the translation is in error. I will accept, of course, the word of
17 my learned friend on that. And therefore, I imagine that the transcript
18 will have to be looked at again, irrespective of whether it is a finished
20 In my submission, it matters not. The issue is that Mr. Vasic,
21 upon instructions, is clearly saying to this witness, Vujic: You are
22 fabricating your evidence in certain respects with regard to, as I say,
23 the other matter at Negoslavci, but here in relation to the barracks,
24 because what this witness is saying is that Tomic told him he had been to
25 see Mrksic. Now, what is being said here by my learned friend Mr. Vasic
1 is: Well, that never happened. No such conversation with Tomic or Mrksic
2 ever occurred. And irrespective of whether you get it right or wrong,
3 that conversation never occurred. Mrksic never was told that. And
4 therefore, in my submission, the issue is: Is Vujic to be believed on
5 what Tomic said to him? Because what Tomic said to him is admissible as
6 evidence against Mrksic. It may well be in our definition hearsay, but
7 the fact of the matter it is admissible as evidence against Mrksic.
8 Consequently, if my submission, if there is an attack on the
9 credibility of this witness and it is said: Was that conversation between
10 Tomic and Mrksic never occurred, in my submission the Court is entitled to
11 look at the totality of the evidence in relation to this topic, not for
12 the truth of the content of what Tomic says, but the fact that Tomic
13 himself did indicate in his statement that he had been to Mrksic. It goes
14 to the credibility of the witness, not to the truth of the content.
15 JUDGE PARKER: The proposition you put is clearly materially
16 affected by what the question actually was, and that, I think, is
17 something that the Chamber may have to have determined by a
18 reconsideration of the tape.
19 MR. MOORE: Sure.
20 JUDGE PARKER: And we'll get it accurately and fully set out so we
21 know what it was. But if you go on further, if you look at the question,
22 as we understand the second part of it is, at least from the English - and
23 again, this may be subject to further consideration from the tape - that
24 my client's standpoint is that in the presence of an air force colonel,
25 Tomic never said anything like that, does seem to carry the implication
1 that there was a conversation, it was in the presence of an air force
2 colonel, but its content was different from what this witness understood
3 from Tomic to be the content. The question is whether it is this
4 witness's credibility or Tomic's credibility that's being called in
5 question, if that is a correct rendition of what the question was about.
6 Mr. Moore, let's see if we can deal with this constructively,
7 given the hour. If everything you put was right and was accepted, what is
8 it that you would have this witness say? What sort of question would you
9 contemplate putting to him? One question, whether the relevant part of
10 the transcript of the deceased Tomic should be received in evidence on the
11 question of credibility; another issue, and this is what I'm putting to
12 you now, is what can this witness contribute to it?
13 MR. MOORE: Well, Your Honour has hit the nail on the head. I,
14 for my part, would see no reason for the witness to be delayed or to be
15 re-called. We can look at the accuracy of the transcript. The legal
16 argument will be determined one way or other. And for my part - I don't
17 know what the Defence position would be - I would then seek for that
18 extraction, this part of the statement, to be put in as evidence. It's
19 not -- I was going to put it through the witness, but it's perfectly
20 possible for this to go in as evidence, which is self-supporting. So for
21 my part, it could go in that way without having to re-call the witness.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Moore, we are approaching a solution
23 to the present situation. The Chamber sees the precise form of the
24 questioning and the answer to be material. There -- we understand from
25 Mr. Vasic's rendition in English, which may not be accurate. We will need
1 to have the actual form of question and answer confirmed. That will take
2 time, and we therefore propose to delay reaching a decision on the
3 admissibility of this extract from the document until we can be assured
4 about the actual question and answer that you found your present
5 application on. And we do that in the understanding at the moment that
6 even if your position is proved to be sound, we don't see that this
7 witness can contribute anything more to the matter one way or the other.
8 MR. MOORE: Yes.
9 JUDGE PARKER: The witness has said: "I heard certain things from
10 Tomic," and that will, if we ever come to receive the written document, be
11 borne out or not borne out by whatever the deceased Tomic has said. So we
12 can, for the moment, defer a decision on your motion. We heard what
13 Mr. Vasic has to say, and we accept that there's need and reason to have
14 the exact translation confirmed, and we will have that done and deal with
15 the matter in due course when we get a confirmed form of the question and
17 Could I just indicate that this is, in our view, not a matter that
18 arises under 92 bis and is not determined by the decision that was given
19 on the 92 bis application because the decision on 92 bis was on a motion
20 under a very precise rule which allows the admissibility for the truth of
21 its content of written statements which do not touch the actual acts and
22 conduct of an accused person. What is now being proposed is something
23 quite different, that is on a question of credibility whether we should
24 receive this statement in confirmation or otherwise of the evidence given
25 by this witness. So we mention that so that you understand that we see
1 Rule 92 bis as not determinative of the issue one way or the other. And
2 if it is received, this document, I think, if we needed a rule, would be
3 received under Rule 89, perhaps under (B) or (C), but we will worry about
4 that if the case arises. So we will defer that matter until we get the
5 correct interpretation.
6 You've got something further, Mr. Vasic?
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, something that may be of
8 assistance to the Chamber and to everybody else. I don't think there's
9 any dispute, even from my learned friend, about the fact that Mr. Vujic
10 was not present when Mr. Tomic and when Mr. Mrksic allegedly talked.
11 Therefore, I could not possibly have asked him whether he had heard this
12 conversation. It was just one thing that I wanted to clarify. I think
13 that is beyond dispute, and in this context I think the nature of my
14 original question is quite clear. Thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
16 Well, that concludes the evidence of the witness. He should be
17 informed that he may leave.
18 Mr. Moore, are you ready with the next witness?
19 MR. MOORE: Well, I have a witness who is here and ready to give
20 evidence, if I may reply in that way.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Well, you're getting as cagey as Mr. Vasic over
22 that last question. Can I say that I have a need to finish at a quarter
23 to 7.00 tonight. Is it practical, do you think, to commence the new
24 witness or not?
25 MR. MOORE: I, for my part, think it's better for a witness to
1 settle and then just proceed to give his evidence.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any concern about an early break this
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I hope my learned friend will be happy
5 to see us cooperate on this.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I am grateful to counsel; it assists me. We
7 will then adjourn early and resume tomorrow at 2.15.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.32 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
10 February, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.