1 Thursday, 27 April 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 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
9 Mr. Vasic.
10 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
11 afternoon to everyone present
12 WITNESS: WITNESS P-014 [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Vasic: [Continued]
15 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to warn you again to pause between
16 question and answer so that we will make it easier for the transcript and
17 the interpreters.
18 Sir, you're familiar with the fact that the military operations in
19 Vukovar took place within the area of responsibility of the 1st Military
20 District; is that so?
21 A. Yes, in the wider context.
22 Q. The 80th Motorised Brigade at the time was also one of the units
23 of the 1st Military District; is that correct?
24 A. The 80th Motorised Brigade, after the third wave of mobilisation,
25 was within the Operations Group South.
1 Q. And what about the Operations Group South?
2 A. The Operations Group South belonged to the 1st Military District.
3 Q. What about the 24th Corps, to which the 80th Motorised Brigade
4 belonged to before being resubordinated to the Operations Group South?
5 A. I don't know exactly. I presume the 1st Military District,
6 because we communicated only through a short period of time with the 24th
7 Corps, since we had two unsuccessful waves of mobilisation, and after the
8 third mobilisation, after the battalions and artillery battalions were
9 completed, we were sent out to carry out tasks. Therefore, we knew some
10 other units that were resubordinated to us better than the 24th Corps,
11 although we were trying to get more men from that unit.
12 Q. Is that from your personal experience or does that include the
13 opinion of the other officers of the 80th Motorised Brigade who belonged
14 to the 24th Corps throughout, even before the mobilisation?
15 A. When on the 21st of November --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, in September of 1991.
17 A. We were sent away and told to report to the 24th Corps, and from
18 there we were supposed to be deployed within the 80th Motorised Brigade as
19 foreseen by the order on the sending of troops for temporary assignments.
20 Unfortunately we were sent from Topcider directly to the area of Sid, and
21 as officers we reported to the command of the 1st Infantry Guards
22 Motorised Division there.
23 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you mentioned the 20th Partisan Brigade.
24 Did that unit belong to the 24th Corps as well?
25 A. Mr. Vasic, I wasn't certain of that before I received the overview
1 of the units and analysed it. According to my knowledge, it was a
2 separate unit. When I was in the area of Vukovar, it was a neighbouring,
3 an adjacent unit, all the way until the 18th of November, 1991. After
4 having spent 45 days at the front line, the unit left.
12 Q. Thank you. We mentioned the operations group. Would you agree
13 with me that an operations group is a temporary or provisional formation
14 comprising two or more corps or brigades to carry out specific tasks and
15 that once those tasks had been completed the operations group is being
16 disbanded. Is that in accordance with the military rules?
17 A. Yes, I agree. And to me, it was something I learned there,
18 because apart from the Operations Group South, there were similar
19 formations of provisional nature. For example, the Tactical Group North.
20 Some even called it the Operations Group North.
21 Q. Thank you. Did you know that by an order of the commander of the
22 Operations Group South, as early as the 9th of November, 1991, commands of
23 particular locations or settlements were ordered to be formed in order to
24 protect the inhabitants and property there?
25 A. Yes, I found such orders in the archives of the military
1 historical institute in 2003 in April.
2 Q. Thank you. By that particular order commanders of settlements
3 were ordered to abide by appropriate rules for garrison and barracks
4 service, when commanding the settlements?
5 A. Yes. But the task or the aim of forming such commands, as is
6 stipulated in the preamble of the order, was to carry out anti-sabotage
7 and anti-terrorist protection of the units belonging to the commands in
8 the area. Therefore, they were formed with a particular aim in mind, and
9 later the operational part was carried out, in terms of their tasks.
10 Depending on whether in a given settlement there were civilian authorities
11 in existence or not.
12 Q. In case there were civilian authorities, what was the situation
13 then? Who was the competent person to carry out the tasks of securing
14 peace and order?
15 A. In case there were civilian authorities, then the military
16 authorities, as regards such settlements, and as far as I can remember,
17 were tasked with establishing military authorities to control the
18 situation. Of course, in such settlements in which there were no civilian
19 authorities, the situation was a bit more peculiar.
20 Q. According to the rules of garrison and barracks service, is one of
21 the duties of the settlement commander to regulate discipline and order
22 inside the garrison or barracks, and to inform the officers and heads of
23 institutions that may temporarily happen to be in the area?
24 A. Yes. Before me I have certain provisions of the rules of the
25 armed forces pertaining to that period, dating back to 1985. Chapter 3
1 pertains to accommodation and order, and chapter 4 on securing material
2 and equipment. These are the two documents regulating this topic. And in
3 certain of the items in those chapters, the rules exist concerning the
4 establishment of settlement commands and the behaviour of the commanders.
5 Q. Thank you. In those rules, does it say that a settlement
6 commander should regulate order and discipline as well as the managing of
7 the detention facility within the garrison or barracks compound?
8 A. Yes, that is regulated by the rules, when it comes to securing
9 property, personnel and material.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my next question might
12 compromise the identity of the witness, so I would like us to move into
13 private session, please.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We must then move into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 7800-7825 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 MR. MOORE: Before we go any further, I don't know what statements
15 my learned friend is even referring to. I've got nothing from my learned
16 friend. Could he perhaps indicate to -- what statements they are?
17 MR. MOORE: We've receiving nothing from my learned friend at all.
18 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I thank my learned friend. I was
19 quite clear in what I wanted to say. All the statements that I gave to
20 the ushers just now are the statements that the Prosecution delivered to
21 the Defence, and the witness confirmed yesterday that he gave all these
22 statements in response to the question by Mr. Vasic, and these were
23 statements that he gave to the military court in Belgrade to the ministry
24 of the interior in Serbia, to the Belgrade court in the case trying war
25 crimes, and I also gave him the statement that he himself gave to OTP
1 investigators. Is my learned friend satisfied with my answer?
2 MR. MOORE: Thank you, that's very helpful.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. Would you be so kind as to stop going through these statements,
5 because we have not come to those statements yet, and answer the question
6 that I put to you.
7 A. Thank you for your remark. I will do so. I wanted to check
8 whether these were indeed statements that I mentioned, and I was going
9 through these statements more out of curiosity than anything else. I
11 You asked me when it was that I started preparing for my
12 testimony. It is difficult for me to date that precisely. Unofficially
13 it started in 1992 upon my return from the assignment I was carrying out.
14 Officially, ever since 1997, when I heard that the first indictments were
15 issued in respect of the Vukovar Hospital. The immediate preparations
16 started when I was serviced with the first summons with the military court
17 and so on and so forth, and to this date, of course.
18 Q. Thank you. Does this mean that you have been dealing with these
19 topics for nearly 15 years?
20 A. Yes, one could put it that way.
21 Q. In preparing for your testimony did you make use of the statements
22 given by Vojnovic in different cases?
23 A. In preparing for my testimony I used to a certain extent the
24 statements given by not only Vojnovic, but other witnesses who were
25 directly or indirectly in contact with me.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. And these were statements that were published in the press.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you use the statements these witnesses gave before
4 the court for war crimes in Belgrade?
5 A. I didn't use those statements, except for the extracts that were
6 published in the press.
7 Q. Thank you. If I were to tell you that the trials were held in
8 closed sessions, as far as these statements, some of these statements were
9 concerned and that they must not have been published in the press, does
10 this mean that you came by these statements otherwise, because yesterday
11 in responding to Mr. Vasic's questions you said Vojnovic explained all
12 that. How come you knew what it was that Mr. Vojnovic was going to say
13 before this Tribunal?
14 A. Yesterday I referred to what Vojnovic had stated in the
15 proceedings before the special court in Belgrade on the basis of press
16 clippings. In view of the fact that I use the internet extensively, I was
17 able to come by, among other things, your statement that you gave at the
18 balcony after you were following these trials and this statement of yours
19 was published in the press. And it included the following, and I'm
20 paraphrasing: After what Vojnovic stated, he should replace my client in
21 The Hague.
22 Q. Thank you very much. That's my opinion today. Can you explain to
23 the Trial Chamber what it is that has been bothering you for 15 years that
24 you have -- that has made you prepare so thoroughly for -- on behalf of
25 the Prosecution for these particular trials, and I mean you personally,
1 what it is that bothers you as a person.
2 A. Your Honour, I find this question problematic because I haven't
3 been preparing against anyone for these 15 years. In the interview I gave
4 to the ICTY investigators, please allow me to read that portion.
5 Q. No, please, I have an order in which I want to take my questions.
6 MR. MOORE: My learned friend asked a question. The witness
7 surely must be allowed to answer the question in a way that he deems to be
8 appropriate, and not to be interrupted because it doesn't suit my learned
10 JUDGE PARKER: Please carry on, Witness.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Witness
12 statement, item 2, page 0351-5011. "Representative of the -- the
13 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International
14 Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia conducting this interview has
15 informed me that the statement I'm giving may be used in the court
16 proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of
17 Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian
18 Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991.
19 "In this respect I wish to state that I would prefer to appear as a
20 witness for the Defence. However, I agree to appear as a witness of the
21 Office of the Prosecutor, I request that I be granted protection measures
22 when testifying in the ICTY courtroom in The Hague, Netherlands, including
23 image and voice distortion, perhaps even a closed session."
24 And somewhere else I also pointed out that already given a
25 statement --
1 Q. Yes, I believe this is quite sufficient, thank you.
2 May I proceed? Because I do accept that your motive was the one
3 as you read it now. You have the statement that you gave to the
4 investigating magistrate of the military court in Belgrade, it is before
5 you. It is marked with number 1. Do you have it in front of you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You stated there, you can merely follow, that on the 19th of
8 November, on page 4, paragraph 1, of English version, page 5, paragraph 2,
9 this is something you testified to yesterday in response to my learned
10 friend's questions. (redacted)
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I agree.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
17 Closed. Private, I should say.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 7832-7867 redacted. Private session.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Friday, the 28th day of April,
23 2006, at 9.00 a.m.