1 Tuesday, 2 May 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Would you please take the
7 affirmation card and read it aloud?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
11 Ms. Tuma.
12 MS. TUMA: Thank you. Okay. Thanks a lot. Sorry for that.
13 Today we have another witness, and while this witness is under protective
14 measures I will just call not the witness by name but by Witness.
15 WITNESS: WITNESS P-013 [Recalled]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 MS. TUMA: Witness, you have been recalled to deal with only one
18 document which the Prosecution served on the Defence after you did
19 conclude your evidence in this Tribunal on the 8th of November last year.
20 And for that reason, while it is the Defence that has recalled the
21 witness, I will then give the floor to Mr. Vasic. Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Vasic: [Continued]
24 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning to all
25 present in the courtroom.
1 Good morning to the witness. I would kindly ask you to pause
2 before you provide answers to my questions so that we would leave
3 sufficient time for the interpreters and also so that your voice wouldn't
4 carry via my microphone, having in mind the measures that you enjoy. This
5 will be a short cross-examination, having in mind the topic we need to
7 Witness, in April 1992, do you remember having given a statement
8 to any state bodies or commissions dealing with searches for missing
10 A. I don't remember having given any such statement to a state body
11 or to the police.
12 Q. Thank you. With the aid of the usher, I wanted to provide a copy
13 of the statement for you, and we received it from our learned friends.
14 Could you please verify whether this is the statement you have actually
15 given. This is ERN number 0202-7813 in the English.
16 Witness, please take a look at the statement, and tell me whether
17 you remember having given this statement. You have the Croatian version,
18 I presume. On the 15th of April, 1992, do you remember having given this
20 A. When we left Vukovar in 1992, we were put in a hotel. There were
21 various journalists coming to see us, and they received information from
22 us. I was in the same facility. In those very rooms, there were five or
23 six women there, and there were several journalists that went through the
24 facility and they used to note something down in the notebooks. But I
25 have never provided a statement in the sense that I was sat down with
1 someone and someone was typing my statement.
2 Later on this was typed, but I don't know by whom. Perhaps they
3 did that from their recollection. There is no signature of mine here, and
4 I can't state that I have given this statement. At least in its entirety.
5 Q. If I understood you correctly, some of the contents is what you
6 believe you had said to the journalists, but as concerns some other
7 portions of the statement, that is something you cannot recall. Am I
8 understanding you correctly?
9 A. You are. Since there were several people in the room when they
10 came to see us, they wanted to know how we had left Vukovar, who was in
11 the hospital, and so on and so forth. And then various women said various
12 things. Therefore, I can't say who the journalist was, and given the
13 circumstances and my mental state, I don't really know what it was that I
14 could have said. Had she noted down my name and then something I had
15 said, then I would be able to say that those were my words. Otherwise I
16 can't claim that I have given this statement in its entirety.
17 Q. Thank you. In your testimony here you stated that on the morning,
18 as you were walking through the corridors, that you saw a doctor, but you
19 also added that you can't distinguish clearly between Dr. Stanojevic and
20 Dr. Manojlovic; isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you please make a pause before you answer so you give me the
23 time necessary to turn off my microphone?
24 In the statement we are discussing, which, as you say, was noted
25 down by the journalists, one can read that that morning you saw
1 Dr. Manojlovic. Is it possible that you saw Dr. Manojlovic walking along
2 the corridor, pointing at various people and telling -- or rather,
3 informing some people who was Croat who was Serb?
4 A. I abide by the statement I had given that one of the doctors was
5 pointing out people, saying this one was Serb, this one was Croat. And
6 here one can read that this was Dr. Manojlovic, who was doing it. But
7 that could have been said by anyone else of the people who were present
8 when the statement was taken. I can claim with certainty that it was one
9 of the two, although I am uncertain which one. And I wasn't certain at
10 the time either. It states here that it was Dr. Manojlovic. Perhaps one
11 of the women knew him better than I did, and then she said that that was
12 his name. But I abide by what I had stated in my previous statement.
13 Q. Did you state to the journalist what can be read from the
14 statement, that Dr. Manojlovic was going from one wounded person to the
15 next, together with a captain, whose name I don't know, and that they were
16 compiling is a list of Serbs and Croats?
17 A. I stated something different. I stated that passing through the
18 corridor, connecting the two parts of the hospital, and that corridor is
19 underground, as we were going out there was one of the doctors there.
20 Whether it was Dr. Manojlovic or Dr. Stanojevic, I don't know. And there
21 was a JNA captain with him. Even then I didn't know his name was Mrksic
22 because I didn't know JNA captains then. But some soldiers came up to him
23 and they addressed him with "Comrade Mrksic." That is what I can
25 Q. Thank you. When answering the questions posed by my learned
1 friend on page 1186, you stated something quite different, that it wasn't
2 the soldiers who addressed him with "Comrade Mrksic," but rather that the
3 physician addressed him with "Comrade Mrksic." Do you remember having
4 said that, and that is quite different from what you are saying today?
5 A. It is not different. The doctor was there, and there were
6 soldiers there, and both the doctor and the soldiers addressed him that
7 way. I heard that particular name in passing. And this doctor addressed
8 him that way as well. I don't know which one, but one of the two.
9 Q. I will read out that portion of the transcript, since there is no
10 mention of any soldiers there. Perhaps then you can clarify whether you
11 remember having said that only the doctor was there and that you didn't
12 know whether it was Stanojevic or Manojlovic. That was page 1186, lines 3
13 to 7. Excuse me, to 9.
14 "[In English] On the morning of the 20th as I was passing down
15 that corridor, there was a doctor, I'm not quite sure which one it was.
16 But I believe it was Dr. Stanojevic. He was there with a high military
17 official whose rank I didn't know, because I don't know about these
18 things. He spoke to him, however, saying Comrade Mrksic. They were
19 walking together down the corridor, and this doctor, who, by the way,
20 hails from Vukovar, and he knew most of the patients, was saying this one
21 is ours and this one isn't."
22 [Interpretation] Do you remember having said this in your answers
23 to one of the questions of my learned friend?
24 A. Yes, I do, but the hospital was full. There were soldiers there
25 and lots of people.
1 Q. Thank you. Could you please go back to the statement? Would you
2 agree with me that in the statement that mentions your name, and I won't
3 mention it because of the protective measures you enjoy, in one of its
4 sentences one can read the following: "As I was going from the kitchen
5 towards the exit, and I was passing through the wounded or between the
6 wounded, Dr. Manojlovic was going from one wounded person to the next with
7 a captain whose name I don't know, and they were compiling a list of
8 people specifying who was Serb and who was Croat."
9 A. This is what can be read from the statement, but perhaps it wasn't
10 me who said that. I'm telling you that there were many women in the room,
11 and the journalist was jotting things down in his notebook, and then he
12 compiled the statement. What I can say now is that this is the first time
13 I've seen this statement, and I can't claim that this indeed is my
14 statement. If she put my name there, it could be that she remembered my
15 name out of all the women and she quoted it here. But this is not a type
16 of statement for which I could say that, yes, it corresponds to every word
17 I say. Any woman who was present in the room could have said that and the
18 journalist put the statement together, there is no signature, we didn't
19 know who wrote it, and I can't be specific as to the statement itself.
20 Q. Did the other persons present provide their names or were you the
21 only one?
22 A. She asked all of us for our names, and I can tell you five other
23 women who were there with me, if necessary.
24 Q. That won't be necessary. Thank you.
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
1 questions for the witness.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
3 Ms. Tapuskovic.
4 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Miroslav Radic's
5 Defence will have no questions for the witness.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
7 Mr. Bulatovic.
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. Sljivancanin's
9 Defence will have no additional questions for the witness.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma.
11 MS. TUMA: [Microphone not activated].
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
13 MS. TUMA: Thank you, I had forgotten that. Quite some time since
14 I was in the courtroom, so sorry for that.
15 Further re-examination by Ms. Tuma:
16 Q. Witness, do you -- if I understood you right, this was the first
17 time that you have seen this document arriving here at The Hague this
18 time. Is that correctly understood from me?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Have anyone before you arriving here to The Hague this time read
21 out this statement to you before?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Thank you. And one last question, please, to the witness. Why
24 did you not mention that even the soldiers also did address the JNA
25 officer as "Comrade Mrksic" before? Why haven't you mentioned that
1 earlier on?
2 A. I get somewhat confused here, and anxious. I can't explain any
3 better than that. If we were to discuss this outside of the courtroom
4 with my eyes closed, I can be very specific as to what had happened, but
5 as soon as I enter the courtroom I don't feel very comfortable.
6 Q. Okay.
7 MS. TUMA: No further question, Your Honour, thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mrs. Tuma.
9 I'm pleased to be able to say that your questioning has concluded.
10 We are very grateful that you have been able to return at the request of
11 the Defence to deal with this one further issue. We thank you once again
12 for the assistance that you have given to the Tribunal, and you may now
13 return to your home.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: The court officer will assist you to leave the
16 court. We must wait, for your protection, for these shutters to close.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma, are there other matters you wish to
19 raise at this point?
20 MS. TUMA: Yes, Your Honour. And that is the admission of the
21 92 bis material based on a decision from this Trial Chamber on the 21st of
22 October, 2005. Can I proceed, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 MS. TUMA: Thank you. And according to this decision as said from
25 the 21st of October, 2005, the Prosecution would like to request to be
1 admitted into evidence under the rule of 92 bis the following statements
2 and transcripts. And there is just one remark here before I go into the
3 list, so to say, is that when it comes to four witnesses, which I will
4 mention by name, there are both statements, written statements and
5 transcripts. For the rest of the witnesses that the Prosecution will
6 request to be admitted under Rule 92(D), that is to say only the
8 And at last --
9 JUDGE PARKER: Will you just pause while I check that we are in
10 public session?
11 MS. TUMA: Okay.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we are.
13 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 And the last issue on this topic, that is I will address a
15 witness, whose name is Mark Wheeler, but I take that to the last.
16 So when it comes to, as said, written statements and some
17 transcripts, when it comes to the witness Yvonne Milewski, bearing the
18 e-court ID number 0294-7921, and that is a statement, 0294-7921. That is
19 the e-court number. 2921. Yeah. And that is a statement on the 18th of
20 June, 2003, and a following report about her findings at the autopsy of
21 Ovcara examinations. And I have been told by the court officer that I
22 don't need to call out the ERN number. That is correct.
23 And further on, for the next witness, there is the witness Serge
24 Krieger-Woinowsky, it's a written statement, and the e-court number is
25 0600-0053. And he was giving a statement on the 14th of November, 1997.
1 Those two witnesses, both Milewski and Krieger, has given a specific
2 certification under the rule of 92 bis as well.
3 The following witness, Stipan Kraljevic, is both a written
4 statement and transcript. The e-court ID number for the written statement
5 is 0295-4950. That statement was given on the 8th of November, 1995.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma, I am not entirely clear. Are you at the
7 moment tendering these?
8 MS. TUMA: Yes.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I see.
10 MS. TUMA: According to the decision of the --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, I thought you were going on to make some
12 explanation about these. But I anticipate now as you progress that you
13 are actually tendering them.
14 MS. TUMA: Yeah.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I beg your pardon. We need then to go back to the
16 first statement, which is that of Yvonne Milewski, and it will be
18 MS. TUMA: Thank you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 381, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: And now we go to the second statement, that of
21 Serge Krieger-Woinowsky.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be received with exhibit
23 number 382.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Next -- you can carry on, if you would.
25 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 So the next witness with the name of Stipan Kraljevic, bearing
2 e-court number for his statement given on the 8th of November, 1995,
3 0295-4950. And in addition to that, concerning this witness, also a
4 transcript from his testimony in the Milosevic case on the 27th of August,
5 2003. The pages 25411 up until 25462. Bearing the e-court ID number
6 4666-4615. And I also requesting that to be tendered into evidence.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the Kraljevic statement will be
9 received with exhibit number 383, while the Kraljevic testimony transcript
10 will be received with exhibit number 384.
11 MS. TUMA: Your Honour, I'm sorry, my apologies. I need to do a
12 correction here from my case manager. When it comes to the last witness
13 transcript from the case of Milosevic, that is bearing e-court ID number
14 IM00-4666. The rest is correct. It was only this one.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MS. TUMA: So continue to the next witness. That is Luka Sutalo.
17 And he has -- which the Prosecution requests to be tendered into evidence.
18 That is a statement given by this witness on the 17th April, 1999 with an
19 additional addendum on the 18th of June, 2003. This statement is having
20 the e-court ID number 0297-8997. And in addition to the written statement
21 and the addendum, there is also transcript from the Milosevic case given
22 on the 28th of August, 2003, with the pages 25540, 25587, bearing the ID
23 court number IM00-4366.
24 Regarding this witness, Luka Sutalo, and the previous one,
25 Kraljevic, both of them have certifications, certifications under the
1 Rule 92 bis, according to the Rules and Procedure and Evidence.
2 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber assumes, unless you indicate to the
3 contrary, that each of the statements tendered are now in a form that
4 complies with the Rule. So if there is any deficiency, we rely upon you
5 to draw it our attention.
6 MS. TUMA: Absolutely, Your Honour, you can do that correctly.
7 Thank you, Your Honour.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the Luka Sutalo statement will
9 become Exhibit 385, while the Luka Sutalo testimony transcript will become
10 exhibit number 386.
11 MS. TUMA: Okay. The following witness with the name Pajo Nedic,
12 and the e-court number IM00-4607, the Prosecution is requesting to be
13 admitted into evidence only the transcript from his testimony in
14 Dokmanovic case on the 26th of May, 1998. Page numbers 3135, 3160.
15 The following witnesses --
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: With exhibit number 387, Your Honours.
18 MS. TUMA: Okay. And then the following witness, that is Bogdan
19 Vojnovic, e-court ID number IM00-46 -- 45, sorry, 4564, the Prosecution is
20 requesting to have his transcript testimony in Dokmanovic case admitted
21 into evidence, given on the 26th of May, 1998, bearing the pages 3160,
22 3196. Thank you.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the Vojnovic testimony will become
25 MS. TUMA: The next witness is a protective measures witness, so
1 that's where I will not mention the name but the number, pseudonym number,
2 and that is P-028. E-court ID number is IM00-4520. Prosecution is here
3 also requesting to be admitted into evidence transcript of his testimony
4 given in the Dokmanovic case on the 28th of April, 1998. Pages 2579 up
5 until 2554.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As exhibit number 389, Your Honours.
8 MS. TUMA: Excuse me.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MS. TUMA: I have a correction to make, another one, actually.
11 And that is the page number. I was mention here pages 2579 up until 2554.
12 Correctly it should be 2479 up until 2554. Okay.
13 And then we have -- let me see now, is there anything -- yeah.
14 The last one, that is a witness with -- bearing the name of Ilja
15 Koncarevic, e-court ID number IM00-4436. Also here, the Prosecution is
16 requesting to have admitted into evidence the -- his testimony given in
17 Dokmanovic trial, and accordingly the transcript given on the 25th of May,
18 1998, and the page numbers 3047, 30572 [sic]. It is 3047 up until 3072.
19 So it's -- yeah, pages from 3047 to 3072. Yeah. That's correct. Thank
21 JUDGE PARKER: That includes -- that will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the Koncarevic transcript will
23 become exhibit number 390.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Now that concludes the documents that you tender
25 pursuant to Rule 92 bis and our earlier decision?
1 MS. TUMA: Yeah. Yes, Your Honours. But there is one specific
2 issue left, actually. And that is regarding the witness Mark Wheeler.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 MS. TUMA: And the Prosecution would like to ask the Defence team
5 regarding the witness Mark Wheeler, if there is any attempt from the
6 Defence side to have him cross-examined as an expert or to have agreed
7 upon to have him admitted under the 92 bis and according to the decision
8 of this Trial Chamber on the 21st of October, 2005, having in mind that
9 the Defence, in the response to the Prosecution motion regarding the
10 92 bis material, raised a request to have Mark Wheeler cross-examined, and
11 the Trial Chamber did not allow that in its decision on the 21st of
12 October, 2005.
13 So I would like to ask the Defence with the permittance of the
14 Trial Chamber, of course, if the Defence would object for me to request
15 this material to be admitted under 92 bis. If so, the Prosecution will
16 today only request to put into evidence Mr. Wheeler's transcript from
17 former evidence given to the -- in this Court. And we have been able to
18 locate Mr. Wheeler, and he will be as soon as possible able to give us a
19 certification, so his statement, written statement, or report, can be
20 admitted then under the Rule 92(B).
21 I would also before the Defence answering the question, to inform
22 the Defence that the Prosecution has today received an positive answer
23 from Mark Wheeler, the witness, that he will be able to be in this court
24 for possible cross-examination between the 15th and 19th of May, if needed
25 to be.
1 JUDGE PARKER: So what you wish to do, if the Defence agrees,
2 would be to tender, pursuant to Rule 92 bis, only the transcript of the
3 former evidence given by Dr. Wheeler in the Dokmanovic trial.
4 MS. TUMA: Yes, for the proceedings to date. But also if the
5 Defence agreed to having admitted into his evidence given, admitted into
6 evidence so -- because we would like to have his certification in order
7 to --
8 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Mrs. Tuma, are you now moving to a
10 MS. TUMA: There is, when it comes --
11 JUDGE PARKER: There is previous evidence given in Dokmanovic.
12 With respect to that, you want to know whether there is any objection to
13 that being tendered.
14 MS. TUMA: Yeah, when it comes to --
15 JUDGE PARKER: Quite separately, there is a statement given by
16 Dr. Wheeler and you want to know whether it can be admitted subject to
17 cross-examination, or what is the position?
18 MS. TUMA: The position from the Prosecution side is that we
19 request to have -- first to have, if the Defence agree to that, to have
20 Mark Wheeler admitted into evidence under Rule 92 bis. Today the
21 transcript and as soon as we have received his certification. But will be
22 done between the 15th and 19th of May and then to have the -- his
23 statement admitted into evidence after he's given his certification or
24 declaration under Rule 92(B).
25 JUDGE PARKER: So you are asking separately whether the Defence
1 now will agree to his statement being received into evidence under
2 Rule 92 bis as soon as the procedural formalities are concluded.
3 MS. TUMA: That's correct, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 Mr. Vasic, can I start with you? First, with respect to the
6 transcript of Dr. Wheeler from the Dokmanovic trial. Is there any issue
7 about it being received today?
8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as the transcript
9 from the Dokmanovic trial is concerned, it has always been our position
10 that -- to ask to be given a chance to cross-examine this witness. We
11 need to establish the time-frame and the context for this particular
12 indictment. I have no objection to the transcript being admitted, but I
13 stand by our previous request to be given a chance to cross-examine this
14 particular witness.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
16 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. -- Ms. Tapuskovic. Is your position the same
18 as Mr. Vasic?
19 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Miroslav
20 Radic's Defence shares Mr. Vasic's position in relation to the transcript
22 In relation to the issue of Dr. Wheeler and his report, Miroslav
23 Radic's Defence, under Rule 94 bis, has served on the Court a note
24 informing the Court of our intention to cross-examine this witness. There
25 was a Court ruling on the 21st of October, but that was only in relation
1 to the Dokmanovic transcripts. Therefore, we stand by our previous
2 position as expressed in our 94 bis motion.
3 I might as well say something about the 92 bis admissions, because
4 that's what the Defence teams have agreed amongst ourselves. We have no
5 objections to any of the proposals just made by my learned friend. We
6 have no objections to transcripts or to statements. We have all the
7 documents for witness Milewski and for witness Krieger-Woinowsky. We have
8 received 92 bis certificates, and these arrived in a timely manner. The
9 same applies to Kraljevic, Stipan and Sutalo, Luka, who previously
10 testified in the Milosevic case. Their statements were admitted at the
11 time under 92 bis. Therefore, we have no objections to their transcripts
12 from the Milosevic case or indeed their statements being admitted, except
13 in relation to witness Wheeler under Rule 94 bis, as I've just specified.
14 Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just briefly, Your Honours. I have
16 nothing against the transcript being admitted under Rule 92 bis, but I
17 hope that will in no way prejudice the privilege of the Defence to
18 cross-examine on the statement only. If a ruling is made that the witness
19 should appear and be cross-examined, I hope it won't be a problem
20 confronting the witness with some of the facts that he mentioned in his
21 testimony. I believe it would be more practical to have this admitted
22 when the witness finally appears and when we start cross-examining
23 Mr. Wheeler. I think in terms of purely practical aspects it would be
24 better to do this once Mr. Wheeler is actually physically present in the
1 JUDGE PARKER: The transcript of Dr. Wheeler in the Dokmanovic
2 trial will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 391, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tuma, the position of any further evidence of
5 Dr. Wheeler, whether a statement or orally, can be dealt with when the
6 witness is available. You may want to move under 89(F) for the statement;
7 but the Defence, as we have indicated in our original decision, is not
8 going to be denied an opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Wheeler.
9 MS. TUMA: [Microphone not activated].
10 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will do nothing about any statement
11 at the moment and that will be dealt with when you are ready with the
13 MS. TUMA: [Microphone not activated] Thank you.
14 JUDGE PARKER: That concludes your -- not quite, I see.
15 MS. TUMA: Not quite, Your Honour. You can read me well, thank
16 you for that.
17 When it comes to exhibits regarding the transcripts that has been
18 admitted into evidence today, I got a message last week from the court
19 officer that we will, if so, by the end of business today to file a motion
20 regarding the exhibits in the transcripts. If we decide from the
21 Prosecution side to request them to be admitted.
22 JUDGE PARKER: So you did not move at the time of moving for the
23 admission of the transcripts to have also admitted the exhibits that were
24 tendered in the course of that evidence.
25 MS. TUMA: No, because I got the message that --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We look forward to your motion and see
2 what should be made of it in due course.
3 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour. May I -- I have concluded this
4 issue here when it comes to 92 bis.
5 May I address the Trial Chamber in another -- just shortly,
6 another topic?
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
8 MS. TUMA: And that is -- because tomorrow is my last day here in
9 this Tribunal, and I would like to take the opportunity to express my
10 gratitude to this Trial Chamber for me to be able to appear in front of
11 you. It has been a great honour and a great pleasure for me to do that.
12 I have learned a lot, and I will take that knowledge with me to my next
13 position. And I also take the opportunity to say thank you for the whole
14 Defence team. It has been a true pleasure and a good cooperation. And I
15 wish you all, both the Prosecution team, Defence team, and also Your
16 Honours, good luck with the case. Thank you.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mrs. Tuma. And as we
18 indicated on Friday, we wish you well in your new judicial role.
19 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
21 Mr. Vasic.
22 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you very much. I
23 am usually the one to have this pleasant duty to thank our learned friend
24 on behalf of all three Defence teams. I wish to thank her for her
25 cooperation and wish her every luck in her new position on behalf of all
1 of our Defence teams. Thank you.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Vasic.
3 MS. TUMA: Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. You are free to go about your new
5 business, Mrs. Tuma.
6 MS. TUMA: But before that, I will have a glass of champagne.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Now, is it Mr. Smith who is carrying
9 MR. SMITH: Yes, Your Honour, I'll be here for quite a while, so
10 no farewells yet.
11 Your Honour, we have a witness available this morning, he is a
12 military witness, and we have binders which have been distributed and Your
13 Honours may have it. So we can proceed with him now; we just need to
14 logistically swap over. And the witness is Mr. Trifunovic.
15 Your Honour, before the witness enters, perhaps if I just mention
16 the folder that is being distributed that would relate to this particular
17 witness. It contains 37 documents or parts of documents which are both in
18 English and B/C/S. I believe Your Honours may have received these folders
19 already. This folder relates to some rules and regulations relating to
20 the JNA, et cetera. And largely it relates to documents that were made
21 and reports that were made during the time of the Vukovar operation from
22 the guards brigade.
23 These documents have been disclosed to the Defence. Most of them
24 are Rule 65 ter numbers, but for the ones are not, which is probably about
25 seven or eight, they were discovered after the filing of the exhibit or
1 the exhibit list -- in terms of discovered, I mean received by the
2 Prosecution. And they have been given to the Defence well in advance. I
3 believe they have copies of the hard folder, as well as they have received
4 a list of the particular documents that we are to use today. But perhaps
5 I'll say a bit more about it after the witness is sworn in.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE PARKER: While that's being prepared, could I indicate for
8 all counsel that in the days when we sit from 9.30 to 4.30. We will break
9 between approximately 12.30 and 1.30 for lunch. And we will have a -- in
10 the absence of redactions, a 20-minute break between about 10 minutes
11 to 11.00 and 10 past 11.00. All of these times, of course, are subject to
12 precisely where a witness is in evidence and as you realise, we are a
13 little flexible about times. And in the afternoon, similarly, midway
14 between 1.30 and 4.30 there will be a 20-minute break somewhere at
15 approximately that time.
16 Good morning, sir. Would you please take the card that is shown
17 to you and read aloud the affirmation?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
21 Yes, Mr. Smith.
22 MR. SMITH: Thank you.
23 WITNESS: RADOJE TRIFUNOVIC
24 Examination by Mr. Smith:
25 Q. Good morning, Witness. Could you state your full name to the
1 Court, please?
2 A. Radoje Trifunovic, son of Miodrag.
3 Q. And your age, I believe you are currently retired, and your
4 ethnicity, please.
5 A. I am 54 years old, and I am a Serb by ethnicity.
6 Q. And what was the last position you held or the last job you had
7 before you commenced retirement?
8 A. The last duty I performed before I retired was deputy commander of
9 the guards brigade.
10 Q. And I believe you retired about a month ago; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, on April 1st of this year.
12 Q. This probably isn't how you planned to spend your retirement, but
13 we appreciate your presence in the courtroom. Is it correct that the
14 Prosecution has obviously requested you to come here to provide evidence
15 at the Tribunal?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. And is it also correct that prior to coming here that you have
18 spoken to at least one of the Defence lawyers in relation to this case, on
19 numerous occasions?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Perhaps if we can go to your military training and education. You
22 said that you were the deputy commander of the guards brigade, and I
23 believe this is the guards brigade that was based in Belgrade?
24 A. Yes, in Belgrade.
25 Q. And when did you join the JNA, approximately what year?
1 A. I joined the JNA in 1977, after having completed my studies at the
2 military academy in Belgrade.
3 Q. And how long were your studies for when you first began in the
4 JNA, your initial studies?
5 A. Four years, initially, at the military academy.
6 Q. And was this at the reserve officers' school?
7 A. No, at the military academy for land forces in Belgrade. The
8 reserve officers' school is the first post I had after completion of
9 military academy from 1977 until 1981. This was in Bileca.
10 Q. During that four years at the military academy, briefly can you
11 explain the types of subjects that you studied, in a very brief form?
12 A. Most of the subjects, expert subjects, were of a military nature.
13 As far as general education goes, there were many subjects from civilian
14 universities such as mathematics, chemistry, philosophy, psychology and so
16 Q. And then after you finished at the military academy, what position
17 did you hold, and what duties did you have?
18 A. It was the reserve officers' school in Bileca, I was the commander
19 of the cadets platoon from 1977 until 1981. This was for four years.
20 Q. And then in 1981 were you transferred to Derventa, to a JNA
21 motorised battalion there?
22 A. Yes, in 1981, and I stayed there until 1989, in Derventa, Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina.
24 Q. And what positions or what ranks did you hold during that
25 eight-year period?
1 A. In 1981, I was captain; in 1989, I was captain first class. This
2 was towards the end, because in 1990 I was granted the rank of major.
3 Q. And what command positions did you hold during that time?
4 A. Platoon commander in Bileca, this was a cadet's platoon; this is
5 the lowest functional post. In Derventa, in 1981, I assumed the command
6 of a company for two or three years, then I was deputy commander of a
7 motorised battalion and battalion commander until 1989 until I was sent
8 for continued training and education once again in Belgrade.
9 Q. And where did you do that training and education, what type of
10 school was it?
11 A. This was the command staff academy at the time in Belgrade. And
12 it was a two-year period of training for the level of colonel.
13 Q. And you studied -- you testified that you studied for about four
14 years when you commenced in the JNA. Can you tell us what type of studies
15 were involved in this two-year period? How were they different?
16 A. This is a higher degree education for duties of commander of a
17 brigade. So it's still at the tactical level. Duties of a brigade
18 commander and duties in higher command staffs were dealt with here.
19 Q. And when you say these studies were at a tactical level, what do
20 you mean by "tactical level"?
21 A. The tactical level is up to the level of a brigade. All the
22 levels above the brigade are operational or operative; there is also a
23 strategic level. So this particular training implied training for command
24 duties at the tactical level and duties of staff officers in operations
1 Q. And then in 1991 did you join the guards brigade then?
2 A. Yes, this was on the 15th of July, 1991.
3 Q. Can you tell us what the full name of the guards brigade is, the
4 formal name?
5 A. As far as I know it changed, but specifically at the time that I
6 arrived, it was called the Guards Motorised Brigade.
7 Q. And what position did you have there and what rank did you have
8 when you started in July 1991?
9 A. I was the senior staff officer at the operations and training body
10 and the Guards Motorised Brigade headquarters or staff.
11 Q. Briefly can you explain what a senior staff officer does?
12 A. These duties are regulated for any staff officer in the operations
13 organ. Amongst them the senior staff officer duties are to participate in
14 proposals, planning and command work in adopting various decisions, the
15 drafting of plans, which is part of the planning function, orders certain
16 assessments and calculations. But this was not specifically laid down, so
17 that some of these functions that are mentioned in some segments were in
18 the jurisdiction of other staff officers in the operations and training
20 Q. Would it be correct to say in that role that you were a direct
21 assistant, high-level assistant to the commander of the brigade? Is that
23 A. As a staff officer, no. But as chief of the operations organ I
24 believe, and it is certainly a duty of a high-level assistant to the
25 commander of the brigade.
1 Q. You referred to the functions of the staff officer. Did the
2 functions change between peacetime activities and wartime activities, and
3 if it did, can you tell the main difference and the change, say wartime
4 activities generally?
5 A. There are no significant differences. The wartime situation
6 itself and the form of the planning and the entire documentation that had
7 to be implemented makes it essential for work to be carried out more
8 specifically and more quickly in quite specific conditions.
9 What is done in peacetime is done in wartime, but of course one
10 has to adapt to the wartime conditions.
11 Q. Thank you. Much of your evidence today will be about the topic of
12 the guards brigade involvement in the Vukovar operation. Is it correct
13 that you went to Vukovar and you were there for the period of September,
14 30th of September to the 24th of November, 1991?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Perhaps just to finish off your education and experience in the
17 military, when you arrived back from Vukovar, what position did you take
18 up and how long did you hold that for until there was a change?
19 A. On my return from Vukovar I continued to perform the duties of
20 senior staff officer until November, 1992, when I was appointed chief of
21 the organ or sector for operations and training. I continued to perform
22 this function until May, 1994, when I was appointed as assistant for
23 logistics. Now this is -- title has changed, the title of assistant for
24 logistics. I spent a full 10 years in this post, until 2004 when,
25 sometime in mid-June, I was appointed as deputy commander of what is now
1 the guards brigade.
2 Q. And then from June 2004 until April 2006, you held this position;
3 is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And what was the last rank that you held before you retired from
6 the army?
7 A. Colonel.
8 Q. And in 2002 did you attend the General Staff school?
9 A. Yes. In 2002 I completed the General Staff school, that's the
10 highest level of education in the armed forces, and this took one year. I
11 did not hand over my duty.
12 Q. You've testified that you've done quite a bit of study in the
13 military to get to the position that you ended up with. This period of
14 study at the General Staff school, this period of time, what type of study
15 was that? What was different to it compared to the other that you had
17 A. Yes. This is training for the highest levels of command, or for
18 other duties at highest commands of operations and strategic levels,
19 meaning that when we're talking about command, this is up to corps
20 commander and above, when we're talking about staff duties in operation
21 commands corps, armies, although at the time that I went through my
22 training there were no armies. So we're talking about the most
23 responsible functions in the operations sphere.
24 Q. Thank you. My last question before the break: How long was the
25 training at the General Staff school?
1 A. The last one in the General Staff school, that took a year. The
2 one before that took two years.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I've finished that topic, so it may be a
5 good time to break.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Smith.
7 We will now have a 20-minute break and resume at 10 past 11.00.
8 And for that purpose we will now adjourn.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.52 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Smith.
12 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Your Honour, briefly before I question the witness further, I
14 earlier talked about the binder and its make-up, et cetera. But just
15 briefly. In relation to the binder there's 37 tabs, there is an index at
16 the front. The index at the front states the 65 ter number, the date of
17 the document, the description, and the English ERN and the B/C/S ERN.
18 Now, these documents are in e-court, but as Your Honour has suggested, a
19 hard copy version perhaps sometimes can make things run as smoothly as
21 In relation to the documents, especially documents number 1 -- 1
22 to 7, which are laws, regulations and principles from manuals in the -- in
23 the JNA, they have only been included in part, relating to the relevant
24 sections that we would like the witness to focus on. However, there are
25 other aspects of those manuals, et cetera, which we will be relying on,
1 but it's not required that the witness goes through that today.
2 Behind each tab we have the English version first and then we have
3 the B/C/S version. The witness has a copy of this folder, an exact
4 reproduction of what we have. And in a number of cases, especially in
5 relation to the regulations and laws, et cetera, we've put some
6 introductory pages to show the title of the document, just for
7 authentification purposes, and the relevant provision will sort of follow
8 after that. But hopefully it will go as smoothly as we can.
9 Q. Witness, before we had break we talked about the education and
10 training that you'd had with the JNA since 1977. Now I would like to
11 discuss some of the laws, some of the regulations, some of the principles
12 that were incorporated into the JNA and also enacted by law in the former
13 Yugoslavia back in 1991, or were applicable in 1991. What I would like to
14 do is ask you a few questions that will help the Trial Chamber and all
15 parties understand some aspects of the structure of the JNA and the armed
16 forces and some of the principles relating to combat operations, such as
17 command and control, and areas of responsibility and forces, et cetera.
18 Perhaps if we can start at the beginning with number 1, tab
19 number 1. This document is from the socialist former Republic of --
20 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and it's a law relating to the All
21 People's Defence, and it was issued in 1982. The ERN number, English, is
22 0046-1889 to 0046-1924; and the B/C/S ERN is 0216-6067 to 0216-6102. And
23 it's 65 ter number 387.
24 Witness, can you -- do you have that document in front of you now
25 with the Law on All People's Defence?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Are you familiar with that document, and were you familiar with it
3 in 1991?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Just briefly, can you explain the purpose of the -- of the Law on
6 All People's Defence and the basic principle which underpinned it, just
7 briefly what the law is about, and then I'll ask you some questions about
8 some specific provisions. In your own words.
9 A. The Law on All People's Defence is one of the laws adopted by the
10 federal assembly. Specifically, the Law on All People's Defence covers
11 the organisation of all matters pertaining to the defence of the country
12 regulating the main rights and duties of all the people and citizens,
13 basic and other organisation of associated labour, according -- relating
14 to all matters of defence of the country, and established by the
15 constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as well as
16 basic rights and duties of all parties in the state system that are part
17 the defence of the country.
18 Q. Thank you. And perhaps if you can look at Article 91, where it
19 talks about what the armed forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of
20 Yugoslavia, of what they comprised of. Do you have Article 91 in front of
21 you, page 61 of the English?
22 A. Yes, I can see it.
23 Q. Can you read that article to the Court, please?
24 A. Article 91: "The armed forces make up a single entity and are
25 comprised of the Yugoslav People's Army and the Territorial Defence.
1 "Any citizen who with weapons, or in any other fashion,
2 participates in the resistance against the enemy is also considered a
3 member of the armed forces."
4 Q. And in relation to the international laws of war that apply to the
5 armed forces in combat operation, if we look at Article 93, can you read
6 that, please?
7 A. Article 93: "During combat activities, members of the armed
8 forces are obliged at all times and in all circumstances to abide by the
9 rules of the international law of war on the humane treatment of wounded
10 and captured enemies, on the protection of the civilian population and
11 other regulations in this law, in compliance with the Constitution and the
13 Q. Further in the article it describes in more detail what
14 Territorial Defence means in the armed forces. And that can be found at
15 Article 102. Can you look at that provision and tell me whether you are
16 familiar with it, please?
17 A. Yes, I see it.
18 Q. If you can read that article, then I will just ask you a couple of
19 questions about it. But don't read the full article, please. Perhaps the
20 first three paragraphs, and then I'll tell you to stop, and then I'll ask
21 you some questions about it.
22 A. "Territorial Defence shall be the broadest aspect of an organised
23 grassroots resistance.
24 "Territorial Defence shall be organised in basic and other
25 organisations of associated labour, at the level of local communes,
1 municipalities, autonomous provinces, republics and other socio-political
3 "Territorial Defence shall comprise all armed formations which
4 are not incorporated in the Yugoslav People's Army and the police.
5 "Territorial Defence shall comprise units, institutions and
6 staffs, and other forms of organisations of working people and citizens
7 for a general popular armed resistant.
8 "Territorial Defence units and institutions, and other forms of
9 organisations of working people and citizens for a general popular armed
10 resistance shall be set up and trained in peacetime and engaged in wartime
11 in the event of an immediate threat of war or in other emergencies as well
12 as during exercises, ... and in the course of other assignments in time of
13 peace envisaged by this Law."
14 Q. Thank you. If I can stop you there, you referred to in that
15 article that: "The Territorial Defence shall comprise of all armed
16 formations which are not incorporated in the Yugoslav People's Army ..."
17 Did -- in your experience, did that happen in practice?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If we can move to Article 103, briefly can you say what the
20 article states in relation to command and control, the principle of
21 command and control and how it applies to the Territorial Defence and
22 explain that a little, please?
23 A. Article 103?
24 Q. That's right.
25 A. "Territorial Defence shall be organised and set up within a joint
1 system of all-people's defence, in accordance with the Constitution, law
2 fundamentals of organisation and outlines of plans of development of the
3 armed forces and a plan of their use, the system of command and control in
4 the armed forces, a common system of arms procurement, equipment and
5 training of the armed forces and the decisions and plans of
6 socio-political communities."
7 You wanted to have my comment, I presume. The Territorial Defence
8 is organised up to the level of republic of a given republic inside the
9 country. And the highest command levels are the organs of a given
10 republic. As one goes down towards municipalities and local communes and
11 other organisations of associated labour, the commanding of the
12 Territorial Defence falls under their jurisdiction.
13 Q. Thank you. And if we can move to Article 119 and this article
14 relates to volunteers. And perhaps if I read the section that is
15 contained in that, and then I will ask you to comment, please. In
16 Article 119, the second paragraph found in English states: "In times of
17 war, in the event of an immediate threat of war or in other
18 emergencies the armed forces may also be reinforced with volunteers.
19 "Volunteers as referred to in this Article, are considered to be
20 persons not subject to military service and who have been accepted in
21 joined the armed forces at their own request."
22 And then the last paragraph in the English version it states
23 that: "Persons referred to in paragraphs 2 and 4 of this Article shall
24 have the same rights and duties as military personnel and/or military
1 Do you see that part of the article of 119?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. In -- in 1991 in Vukovar were volunteers made part of the armed
4 forces? We'll discuss in more detail later, but just a simple yes or no,
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And as I said earlier, at the moment we're just discussing the
8 regulations and laws and principles that applied in 1991, and we'll
9 discuss what happened in Vukovar shortly.
10 And if you can look at Article 112, please. And this relates to
11 principles of command and control. If you can read that out, please.
12 A. "Command in the armed forces shall be founded on the principles of
13 unity of command with respect to the use of forces and resources, unity of
14 authority and the obligation to implement decisions, commands and orders
15 of a superior officer."
16 Q. And when it mentions the principles of unity of command, what does
17 that mean? In general terms at the moment.
18 A. The armed forces are comprised of two elements: The JNA and the
19 Territorial Defence. The command of either of the elements needs to be
20 unified from top to bottom. In this case, in the way I interpret this
21 article, that means that the command of the JNA and the TO should be
22 organised from the top, from the highest level, being the Supreme Defence
23 Council at the time; that is, the body under whose jurisdiction the
24 command of the armed forces was. Because both of the elements are
25 subordinated to that highest instance.
1 Q. And that unity of command, how does that relate to how authority
2 or power is exercised, if you can explain further.
3 A. In order to command in a unified fashion and from one single
4 level, irrespective of what level within the system we are talking about,
5 it has to be carried out by one single person, one commander. That, in
6 brief, is the principle of singleness of command, the way I see it.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to the armed forces of the former
8 Yugoslavia, if we look at Article 107, and if you can indicate who, in
9 fact, is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, or who was, in the
10 former Yugoslavia?
11 A. Yes. The president of the Presidency of the SFRY.
12 Q. And then if we look at Article 108, it mentions about the
13 president being able to transfer powers, and to who. Can you describe a
14 bit further, please?
15 A. One of the tasks of the president of the then SFRY was to organise
16 the country's defence system. Having in mind all of the other authority
17 vested in him and having in mind the level of expert knowledge of this
18 organ, being the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, it was logical
19 to be able to transfer certain of its duties in the sphere of command and
20 control to the Federal Secretary for National Defence.
21 Q. And if we can move to Article 110, it talks a little more about
22 the federal secretary of national defence. If you can read that out,
23 please, and then I'll ask you some questions about that section.
24 A. Article 110: "The Federal Secretary for National Defence shall
25 exercise the duties of command and control of the armed forces in keeping
1 with the powers transferred to him, pursuant to the SFRY Constitution, by
2 the SFRY Presidency, and in keeping with the federal law.
3 "The chief of the General Staff shall replace the federal
4 secretary for the national defence in the event of the latter's absence or
5 inability to discharge the duties referred to in paragraph 1 of the
7 "Commanders of units and institutions of the Yugoslav People's
8 Army shall carry out the command and control duties of the Yugoslav
9 People's Army in accordance with the federal law."
10 Q. At -- in 1991, who was the federal secretary of national defence,
11 if you can remember?
12 A. I remember. That was General Veljko Kadijevic.
13 Q. And the chief of the General Staff of the federal secretary, do
14 you know who he was in 1991?
15 A. I do. It was General Blagoje Adzic.
16 Q. Thank you. When, to the best of your knowledge, in 1991 was this
17 law in operation?
18 A. I can't be precise. As regards the events in 1991 and onwards, it
19 was a difficult situation in which one would have to pass new laws.
20 Perhaps there were some amendments to the law, but I believe this was the
21 form of the law that stood at the time.
22 Q. Thank you. If we can now move to tab 2, please. This is 65 ter
23 number 383. It relates -- a segment of the manual for work of commands
24 and staff dated 1983. The ERN number is K011 to 1600 to K011 to 1794;
25 B/C/S is K0239361 to K0239576.
1 Colonel, have you seen this document before, before coming to the
3 A. Yes, I have.
4 Q. Can you briefly explain what the purpose of this document is? You
5 only have a part of the document there, but the purpose of the manual? In
6 general terms.
7 A. The work of commands and staffs is a serious matter. One which
8 demands precise regulation. The previous manual on the work of commands
9 and staffs became obsolete. This particular draft was the result of new
10 ideas and work as regards the functioning of commands and staffs, in
11 peacetime as well as in times of war. It also contains additional issues
12 that is needed to be regulated and harmonised with the Law on All People's
13 Defence that we have discussed previously.
14 Q. And if we look at Article 358, or paragraph 358, which, in the
15 English is written as 385, but that's a translation error, it discusses
16 the role of the command in an attack operation. And at one point it
17 states: "The commander must at all times know the status, position and
18 capabilities of his units two levels down."
19 In the context of that article, can you give some explanation as
20 to what that means?
21 A. As stated, any given command needs to monitor the situation
22 constantly in order to be informed about the situation on the ground, and
23 that information had to be forwarded to the commander so that he could
24 appropriately assess the situation and issue decisions, as well as correct
25 them, if needed. In order to have a true reflection of the situation,
1 reports and the situation, the reports must be sent as well as the
2 situation followed from the lowest, from the grassroot levels all the way
3 up to the commander. By being informed of the situation two levels down,
4 the given commander can react properly by issuing decisions or correcting
5 his own previous decision.
6 And, as far as I know, one can read this in all military manuals
7 preceding this draft and even today.
8 Q. When you say that the reports must be sent as well as the
9 situation from the lowest -- the grassroot level, all the way up to the
10 commander, what are the basic levels of command in a normal military
11 structure? I'm talking about companies and brigades, et cetera. What
12 would be the grassroot level, and then what would be the highest level, if
13 you can explain?
14 A. The grassroot, or the lowest level of command, is a squad, by
15 squad leaders. And they send oral reports to their platoon commanders.
16 Platoon commanders, in turn, in an oral or written form, informs -- inform
17 company commanders. Orally it's usually done during briefings, and if
18 need be, they can send written reports.
19 Company commanders report to battalion commanders usually in a
20 written form or via communications, or in briefings.
21 Battalion commanders inform brigade commanders written -- by
22 written orders or via communications or orally. It can be done directly
23 with the commander or in the presence of other officers of the staff or
24 command during briefings.
25 Q. Thank you. You talk about each level having a responsibility
1 to -- to report, either oral or in written form, matters. What about the
2 commander's responsibility to seek that information, if reports are not
3 coming? Is there any responsibility for a commander to do that, in light
4 of what's written in this section?
5 A. When it comes to a decision being made to undertake a certain
6 activity or when a written decision needs to be corrected, in each such
7 document the commander needs to specify that he wants reports to be
8 submitted from all levels reflecting the situation at a given point of
9 time and specifying the dead-line for the submission of such reports.
10 This is what is asked for by the commander.
11 Then, by a commander's decision, he can also request oral reports
12 concerning some information that he believes he should know or receive.
13 Q. Thank you. And in the specific wording of the section, it
14 says: "The commander must at all times know the status, position and
15 capabilities of units two levels down."
16 When you read those words, "Must at all times know," does that
17 relate to any duty on the commander, and how would that duty be carried
18 out, if it does?
19 A. I have explained how he should receive information. He needs to
20 have information from all levels in order to be able to control, and that
21 duty is personally bestowed upon him, or perhaps such a duty can be
22 carried out by other officers as well, together with the commander.
23 All the reports that reflect the situation on the ground provide
24 the commander with such information that at any given point in time he can
25 assess the situation in any given unit properly. Of course we are not
1 discussing here the accuracy of those reports. If one submits a report
2 that is incorrect, that person can be instituted proceedings against, or
4 Personal knowledge of the commander is an important element of
5 control, and a clearly established command system needs to be set up
6 through precise and timely reporting, resulting in accurate and timely
7 information at the disposal of the commander.
8 Q. Thank you. And just to summarise, is this duty, would you say it
9 was an active duty on the commander to seek this information, or a passive
10 duty, just to receive it? What does the duty imply?
11 A. It encompasses the obligation of all to report accurately and
13 Q. Does it encompass the obligation of the commander to seek out
14 information, if those reports are not forthcoming?
15 A. Yes. Yes, it does.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. Sometimes reports are not forwarded, but it is a duty of the
18 commander to ask for such reports.
19 Q. If we look at the title of the section, it states: "The work of
20 the command during an attack." Would this, shall we say, situational
21 awareness of units two levels down, this duty, would that also apply in
22 post-attack and pre-attack situations, or are we just talking about the
23 attack itself? In principle, I'm saying.
24 A. In all situations. Of course, before the attack one has a more
25 realistic picture and the situation is known. The commander is supposed
1 to follow the situation. During the activities themselves, he also needs
2 to monitor. That is at any given point.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, I -- I was remiss, I didn't tender the
5 first document. I seek to tender at tab number 1, which is 65 ter 387,
6 the Law on All People's Defence, and I also seek to tender tab number 2,
7 65 ter 383.
8 JUDGE PARKER: First of all, tab 1, the extracts from the Law on
9 All People's Defence, will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 392, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Then tab 2, the extracts from the manual on the
12 work of commands and staffs will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: This will be exhibit number 393, Your Honours.
14 MR. SMITH: Just to clarify, Your Honour, the Prosecution will be
15 seeking to tender the full document, which has been disclosed to the
16 Defence, and is in e-court, but for the purpose of the hearing today, we
17 are just highlighting a couple of aspects of it, but we believe it to be
18 relevant, the full document, both full documents.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 MR. SMITH:
21 Q. Witness, if you can turn to tab 3, please. This is 65 ter number
22 384. And it's the JNA -- excerpts from the JNA text-book on command and
23 control dated 1983 and it relates to chapter 1, the functions of command
24 and control. And the English ERN is L006-3323 to L006-3474; and the B/C/S
25 ERN 0214-8123 to 0214-8517.
1 Witness, do you see the excerpt from the JNA text-book on command
2 and control in your binder?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. Are you familiar with that document?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And just in your own words, can you explain what the purpose and
7 the content of this JNA text-book on command and control is? Just
8 briefly, and then we'll look at some particular sections. What does the
9 manual attempt to do?
10 A. Command and control constitute the most important segment within
11 the system of armed combat. A theoretical knowledge of the principles of
12 command and control, as well as the application of these principles in
13 practice, guarantee organised adherence to these principles, encompassing
14 also control and coordination. There must be a guarantee that these will
15 be implemented in an organised way and that the objective of armed combat
16 will be achieved, as defined.
17 This is a document that outlines a system governing organisation
18 at all -- of command at all levels.
19 Q. Thank you. If we can look at part 6 of the manual, which is
20 page 35 in English, it's entitled "Functions of command and control." If
21 you can read that introductory paragraph, then I might ask you a few
22 questions about it.
23 A. "Functioning of command and control. In order to attain a goal,
24 which in this case means generally effective command and control, several
25 correlated operations need to be performed. These essential and linked
1 operations are named the functions of command and control. These are
2 mutually dependent, interrelated, and conditioned. These functions
3 encompass the entire process of command and control from the beginning to
4 the end - see figure 2. There are no discernible lines of division
5 between the functions because their implementation depends on interaction.
6 The command and control process consists of the following functions:
7 Planning, organising, command, coordination (concerted action) and control
8 (figure 2)."
9 Q. Thank you. If I can just ask you a question about how
10 organisation is a function of command and control, if you move to the
11 section that states -- that's entitled "Figure 2, organisation." And then
12 in the English on page 43, and I think it might be three paragraphs
13 down in the B/C/S, I'll read out to you what it says about organisation
14 and I'll ask you to comment.
15 "An effective organisation helps the performers of a combat
16 mission (commands,, commanders and commanding officers) to get a clear
17 notion of the set goal. The tasks stem from a goal; hey must be realistic
18 and assigned to specific participants (performers), and limited in time
19 and space (beginning and end). The command and control organs must be
20 familiar with and follow the situation in units, which can be ensured
21 through organising a system of reporting and supervising the progress of
22 all missions."
23 I'm not sure whether you found that section, but did you hear what
24 I just read out to you from that -- from that manual?
25 A. No. I heard it from you, but what my tab says is organising or
1 organisation at item 2. Not organisation, but rather "organising." But
2 organisation is not one of the functions listed here.
3 Q. Thank you. That may have been my error. It may be an error in
4 the translation, so thank you for clarifying that.
5 But particularly in that section, further down, it states that:
6 "Command and control can be ensured through organising a system of
7 reporting and supervising the progress of all missions."
8 Can you explain how that should be implemented?
9 Sorry, I can't assist you with -- it's -- the section should be
10 about 20 lines down, and it starts out with "an effective organisation."
11 Perhaps if you --
12 A. "Organising." The essence of organising as a function of command
13 and control is to secure a solution for the implementation of a decision
14 in terms of organisation.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. This is a process of establishing the entire system to be used
17 to -- for the implementation of a task. Is that what you have in mind?
18 Q. No, it's not. If you move further down and turn over the page,
19 please. It's the paragraph that's just before the list of the principles
20 that are part of the function of organising. It's the paragraph just
21 before that. And there's a sentence in the -- at the end of the paragraph
22 that says: "The command and control organs must be familiar with and
23 follow the situations in units, which can be ensured through organising a
24 system of reporting and supervising the progress of all missions."
25 A. Yes. Shall I comment on this?
1 Q. Yes, please.
2 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting my
5 learned friend, but I think it might be a good idea to read out to the
6 witness a passage as a whole in relation to a given subject. This is
7 taking usually a single sentence out of its natural context, which may
8 leave the witness nonplused, so my objection is more about a matter of
9 principle than anything else.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic, but I don't think that is a
11 particular problem with this witness who clearly knows the subject, and he
12 will be able to fill in a context, if that is necessary.
13 Carry on, Mr. Smith.
14 MR. SMITH:
15 Q. Could you comment on that duty to ensure an organised system of
16 reporting and supervising the progress of all missions and what that
17 should entail in practical terms?
18 A. In practical terms this means that the organs of command must
19 monitor situations, and based on their monitoring activity they must be
20 familiar with situations. This can be ensured by organising the reporting
21 system and by double-checking any missions being accomplished. In order
22 to gain an insight into a situation and in order to be able to make an
23 informed decision, one must have an accurate report. One must check
24 whether all the tasks are being carried out in keeping with the decision.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. This is what is generally implied by control.
2 Q. In relation to the command and control process, this manual states
3 that control is also a function of this command and control, and in the
4 English translation on page 48 the heading is entitled,
5 number 5, "Inspection." Do you see that section further down where it
6 talks about an inspection or control in heading 5? It's English page 48.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If I can ask you to read, say, the first 10 or so lines of that,
9 I'll tell you when to stop, and then if you can comment on how that would
10 be implemented, that inspection or control.
11 A. "Inspection is a function of command and control, which provides
12 an insight into the status and degree of accomplishment of the assigned
13 tasks. It is organised and conducted incessantly in the course of all
14 other functions. Through inspection comparison is made between the
15 planned or anticipated results and those actually achieved over a specific
16 time-frame. Negative phenomena and their causes are detected through an
17 analysis of results. Only then is it possible to take appropriate
18 measures conducive to a successful completion of tasks and generally
19 achieving better results. However, inspection must not" --
20 Q. If I can stop you there, sorry for interrupting, but if we can
21 move further down the section, and it's just above the part where it
22 states: "The effectuation of inspection as an organisation feature is
23 based on the following principles." And then it lists subsection 1.
24 Above that section there is a sentence that says: "The role of inspection
25 should be seen as a standing obligation and duty, it must not be
1 arbitrary, but rather based on science and the established system of norms
2 and criteria."
3 Do you see that sentence?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you explain in practical terms what it means by this -- "this
6 role of inspection should be based on science and the establishment of
7 systems and norms"?
8 A. If you ask me, the role of inspection is paramount, second only to
9 the role of command. Inspection is used to define and assess what the
10 real situation is. Based on science or on scientific principles, as well
11 as this reference to criteria means, in my opinion, that no inspection
12 within the JNA can be disorganised, no inspection must display a lack of
13 planning or a lack of objective. No inspection in the JNA must fail to
14 show the situation as it is. That is why inspection is organised in
15 several different ways. One way is control exercised -- inspection
16 carried out personally by the commander. Another way would be to send
17 teams, command teams out with specific tasks, having previously studied
18 all the principles, regulations, rules and decisions made by the commander
19 in order to ensure an appropriate reaction and appropriate monitoring. So
20 these are the norms and criteria governing inspection.
21 Of course, there are always several ways to conduct an activity,
22 and each and every activity is governed by its own criteria. The
23 important thing is to have these criteria incorporated into an overall
24 inspection plan.
25 Q. Thank you. One -- one facet of -- or one function of command and
1 control that is mentioned in this manual is coordination. But there is a
2 section relating to coordination explaining what it means. But rather
3 than perhaps going through the text of it, could you explain to the Court
4 how coordination is a function of command and control and why -- and why
5 it's important?
6 A. The same thing applies to any type of activity. In the military,
7 coordination is of paramount importance. Coordination is used to
8 harmonise a wide range of issues from a wide range of different areas,
9 from the sphere of economics, from the sphere of production, the use and
10 coordination of units in a combat area, cooperation with socio-political
11 organisations and communities, in the sense of contributing to the
12 accomplishment of an assigned task.
13 Coordination actually means coordinated action. When there is no
14 coordinated action, when there is no coordinated action that is fully
15 implemented, not only can there be no results, but one can also incur
16 great and significant losses to one's own forces.
17 Q. Thank you. But just very briefly, in your own words, as an
18 experienced commander, why is coordination so important in a combat
19 operation, the coordinating of different units? Just very succinctly,
21 A. Very succinctly. Coordination means coordinated action between
22 all those involved in combat activities while accomplishing a given
23 mission. Why is it important? It is used to coordinate all activities in
24 geographical terms, in terms of the time-frame and in terms of the main
25 agents. If there is no coordination, combat activity would be erratic or
1 chaotic and the possibility of undesired effects would be great.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I would seek to tender the JNA text-book
4 on command and control, which is tab number 3, and 65 ter number 384.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will become
7 Exhibit 394.
8 MR. SMITH:
9 Q. Witness, if we can move to the JNA brigade rules for infantry,
10 motorised, mountain, alpine, and marine and light brigades issued by the
11 Federal Secretariat of the People's Defence in 1984, in tab number 4. And
12 the ERN number is -- the English 0303-0230 to 0303-0415; and the B/C/S
13 is 0114-7096 to 0114-7391.
14 Witness, do you have the brigade rules in front of you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Just briefly, could you explain what brigade rules, what the
17 purpose and content of the brigade rules are? Just in your own words,
19 A. As all rules, the brigade rules constitute a manual that is used
20 to tackle issues of control and command exercised over units. The brigade
21 rules apply to the brigade level, to the level of a brigade commander.
22 They encompass all issues related to the use and principles of use of
23 brigades, both in peacetime and during war operations.
24 Q. Thank you. And if we can look at paragraph 12 which is, on the
25 English, page 6, and the heading is: "Assignment, zone of operation and
1 grouping of forces."
2 Do you see paragraph 12 there, Colonel?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In this paragraph it talks about the assignment that the brigade
5 shall -- the brigade will receive in combat operations. Can you briefly
6 read out the first two paragraphs of Article 12 or paragraph 12, please?
7 A. Paragraph 12: "A brigade shall receive its combat assignments
8 from its superior command. Whenever possible, the superior command may
9 also regulate the manner in which the assignment is to be carried out.
10 "When a brigade does not receive an assignment from its superior
11 command, the commander of the brigade shall give an assignment on his own
12 initiative according to the general concept and situation.
13 "The basic task of a brigade is to carry out continual and varied
14 combat operations and to inflict on the enemy as many casualties and as
15 much damage to its combat vehicles and other equipment as possible, to
16 break up and exhaust its forces, and to gain and hold territory in a given
18 "A task is carried out gradually" --
19 Q. Sorry, if you can just stop there, thank you.
20 In that section it explains the basic task of a brigade and then
21 it states that one of the tasks is to gain and hold territory in a given
22 zone. In we look at paragraph 13, this relates to zone of operations.
23 And if you can briefly read this paragraph out and then I'll ask you a few
24 questions about it. And if -- I know it's time consuming, but if you
25 could read a little more slowly, just for the translators that are
1 translating your testimony. Thank you.
2 A. "A brigade shall be assigned a zone of operations in which to
3 carry out its tasks (zone of attack, zone of defence, zone of march and
4 suchlike). Depending on the tasks, mainly in temporarily occupied
5 territory, a brigade may be assigned an area of combat operations.
6 "Zone of operations is a territory of limited width and depth in
7 which a brigade organises and carries out combat operations. Its size
8 depends on: The type of brigade, the features of the terrain, the task,
9 the brigade's place and role in the combat position within the higher
10 unit, its condition and combat capacities, strengthening strength of the
11 TO units in the area, its support and suchlike.
12 "In the assigned zone of action, the brigade's commander, in
13 cooperation with all the different players involved in armed combat,
14 organises systems of combat integrated in terms of goal, place and time.
15 "An area of operations is a free territory within the temporarily
16 occupied territory, usually in the operational or strategic depth, which
17 has been assigned to the brigade for the purpose of implementing its
18 tasks. In the area of operations, the commander of the brigade normally
19 organises on his own initiative the carrying out of various combat
20 operations and other activities according to the task assigned and the
21 specific circumstances.
22 "The brigade shall not or must not leave its assigned zone of
23 operations or area without the approval of the commanding officer."
24 Q. Thank you. Is there a difference between a zone of operations and
25 a zone of responsibility, command responsibility, or would that be the
1 same thing?
2 A. A zone of operations is the same thing as a zone of
3 responsibility, in terms of area.
4 Q. And if a brigade commander was placed in command of a zone of
5 operations, what would that mean in relation to other units operating in
6 that zone of operations in terms of subordination, if anything?
7 A. Yes. That would mean something in terms of executing combat
8 assignments. All units within the assigned zone of operations would be
9 affected and would fall under the unified system of command. What this
10 means in practical terms is that a single commander is in charge of all
11 the units within a given zone of operations. Whichever commander has been
12 assigned by the superior officer.
13 Q. Thank you. If we can now move to the command provisions,
14 chapter IV of the brigade rules, where it refers to a joint -- the joint
15 provisions, and it's paragraph 107. And in the brigade rules it gives a
16 definition of command of the brigade.
17 But perhaps, before we move to that topic, I think it's time for a
18 break, Your Honour.
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Vasic.
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Just one thing in the transcript,
22 page 48, line 17, it reads Exhibit 384, whereas what it should read is
23 Exhibit 394. Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
25 We will adjourn now for lunch, resuming at 12:00 -- at 1.30.
1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.34 p.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Smith.
4 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Witness, before the break we talked about some of the provisions
6 of the brigade rules that applied were enacted in 1984 in relation to
7 zones of operations and areas of operations. In your binder, this is in
8 tab 4, you'll see some brigade rules that specifically talk about command
9 and control issues at the brigade level. It's English page 35, it's
10 chapter IV, "command," and it has "joint provisions." And it starts with
11 paragraph 107. Do you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I'm going to read out the first paragraph then ask you some
14 questions about the terms that are used. Paragraph 107 states: "Command
15 of the brigade is part of an integrated system of command and control
16 which is based on adopted principles of command. Command implies the best
17 ways of using human skills and the capabilities of equipment for the
18 brigade to achieve the best possible results in performing a given task.
19 To this end, command must be integrated, continuous, secure, flexible,
20 effective and operational."
21 I would like you to have a look at paragraph 108 in relation to
22 integration as part of a command function. And if you can read that
23 paragraph out, and then I want to ask you some questions about it, please.
24 This is paragraph 108.
25 A. "Integration of command is reflected in the directing of all units
1 of the brigade and other subjects in its zone of combat actions towards a
2 common objective. This is achieved through joint efforts of the brigade
3 command and commands of the brigade's subordinate and other units and
4 staff of the TO operating in coordination with the brigade, as well as in
5 cooperation with the organisations and organs of DPZs, DPOs and OURs.
6 "Integration is achieved by linking and coordinating the efforts
7 of the brigade command with other organs of command on the basis of unity
8 of command and subordination. To achieve integration of command it is
9 necessary to organise an integrated system of communications and
10 crypto-protection for all forces in the brigade's zone of operations."
11 Q. In relation to this principle of integration, what is your
12 understanding of that section? Your understanding as a commander.
13 A. Unity of command implies commanding by one senior officer, one
14 commander in the entire zone for the purposes of implementing a specific
15 objective. That means that with this principle command, or one commander
16 is superior and all the subjects in the area of responsibility or in the
17 area of combat are subordinated to that one commander. In order to
18 achieve this, full responsibility is required, as well as the investment
19 of efforts by all for the resolution of all problems that are connected to
20 the implementation of a particular objective. Coordinated action by TO
21 units, cooperation with socio-political organisations.
22 Q. Thank you. Also in this provision it states that command should
23 be continuous. And if you can briefly read out the first sentence in
24 paragraph 109 about this aspect of continuous, continuity, then can you
25 tell -- tell the Court what your understanding is of that principle?
1 A. There should be no breaks in the continuity of command in order to
2 achieve its continuous functioning and implementation of cooperation in
3 joint action by all those indicating this process. Any break in the
4 continuity of command would be an impediment in the implementation of
5 objectives, which means all subordinate commanders are duty-bound to work
6 towards the implementation of decisions in accordance to the tasks
7 assigned to them in that decision.
8 Q. Does this -- does this section relate to continuity of command in
9 terms of time as well or not? And the frequency of that --
10 A. Yes, yes. In terms of time, yes.
11 Q. The section also states that the command in a brigade must be
12 flexible, and if we look at paragraph 111, I would ask that you briefly
13 read that paragraph out, and then I'll ask you some questions about it.
14 A. "Flexibility of command means that the brigade command and
15 commands of subordinate units can adapt rapidly to changes in the
16 situation. An important pre-condition for flexibility is the degree to
17 which commanding officers are trained to independently, on their own
18 initiative and rapidly evaluate situations and solve complex combat
19 problems in various conditions.
20 "Flexibility of command is reflected in: The deployment,
21 grouping of brigade units and other forces in its zone, which is most
22 suitable in a given situation; the ability to rapidly transfer the
23 emphasis of actions; the ability for rapid integration of actions by all
24 forces in the zone of actions; and the ability to carry out combat actions
25 in conditions of temporarily captured territory."
1 Q. What is your view of the importance of this principle of
2 flexibility in a brigade command? How important is it in exercising
3 command in a brigade?
4 A. It's very important. Because changes in the situation are certain
5 in the course of combat operations, and this is something that happens
6 frequently. It implies the commander's skill, as well as the skill of
7 subordinate commanders, to independently and on their own initiative, but
8 in the spirit of the commander's decision, quickly evaluate the situation
9 and solve the problems that crop up.
10 Q. Thank you. Command in a brigade is stated that it also should be
11 effective and operational. Can you read paragraph -- the first paragraph
12 of 112, then I'll ask you to comment on it, please.
13 A. "Effectiveness and operativeness of command implies that the
14 brigade command is capable of taking timely and correct decisions,
15 communicate them quickly to subordinates, and, through them, of exerting
16 effective influence over the implementation of that decision.
17 "For the command to be effective and operational, the brigade
18 command and commanding officers must be familiar with modern means of
19 combat and their impact on the character of combat operations, and the
20 characteristics of the terrain in the brigade's zone of operations."
21 Ability to use units of the TO organisation of the organisations
22 of associated labour and other organs and this requires a high level of
23 ability of the command to continuously monitor the situation, take
24 decisions and communicate them to subordinates.
25 "The timely adoption of decisions, their rapid conveying to those
1 charged with implementing them, and especially the results of operations
2 are the basic measure of effective and operative command. A decision
3 taken on time, even if it lacks some elements, is better and more
4 effective than one that is taken with delay.
5 "Initiative and courageous acceptance of responsibility,
6 especially in complex situations, are another necessary condition for
7 effective command."
8 Q. Thank you. And if I can ask you to look at the section number 2
9 in relation to brigade command, this is paragraph 114. Can you -- can you
10 read --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- that section out, please? And then explain what it means?
13 A. "The brigade command (scheme 2) is an organisational and
14 establishment organ of the brigade whose role is to command and control
15 the brigade. The brigade command should be equipped and trained to
16 effectively integrate actions by all forces in the brigade's zone of
18 "The organisational structure of the command depends on the type
19 of brigade, its composition and the work it performs within its area of
20 competence. It is also regulated and determined by the formation.
21 "The activities" --
22 Q. How does a brigade commander effectively integrate actions by all
23 forces in its zone, in its brigade zone? How would that be done, just in
24 brief terms?
25 A. The brigade commander unifies the actions of all the forces in the
1 brigade's zone of operation. The decision he has made on the basis of
2 proposals by all of the command organs that are illustrated on the chart,
3 and once he has made the decision and specified the assignments of all the
4 subordinate units, in one item of the decision he has specified also the
5 tasks of the units which are in the area and which are not in the
6 establishment of the brigade, which are resubordinated, actually, to the
7 brigade. His decision also regulates the coordinated action on the basis
8 of the decisions in the order of the superior command, some structures of
9 the socio-political organisations and socio-political communities in his
10 area of responsibility. Joint action is also regulated in a decision
11 based on a decision or order by the superior command, which regulates that
12 section of coordinated action in terms of coordinated action for the unit
13 under command. So it practically unifies everything in his establishment
14 composition and unifies everything that he has been tasked with in a
15 decision or order by his superior command.
16 Q. Thank you. And if we look at paragraph 115, it talks about the
17 exclusive right of the brigade commander to command all brigade units and
18 attached units. It states: "He bears full responsibility for the work of
19 the brigade, command and subordinate structures and subordinate commands
20 for the state of morale, for security and combat readiness, for training
21 and for the proper performance of tasks."
22 Then states: "The commander takes decisions, assigns tasks to
23 units, monitors their fulfillment, and demands their strict execution
24 regardless of difficulties that arise."
25 What is your understanding of this particular section?
1 A. It's like this: Just as in the previous articles of the rules in
2 the theoretical part of the rules and regulations, the command function is
3 indivisible. The commander makes a decision, sets the assignments,
4 carries out inspection, and bears full responsibility for the work of the
5 command of the brigade and for the work of the subordinate commands. And
6 naturally he bears responsibility for the overall situation, here we're
7 talking about morale, political state, state of training and readiness,
8 combat readiness and so on.
9 Q. Thank you. In relation to paragraph 116, refers to the Chief of
10 Staff of the brigade. What -- what is the function of the Chief of Staff
11 of the brigade? What duties does he or she have?
12 A. First the staff, it's the main organ or the basic organ in the
13 command of the brigade. Functionally it links all the other organs of the
14 brigade and integrates or unifies their tasks. He has the right of
15 issuing orders in accordance with the commander's decision relating to the
16 tasks these organisational units carry out in the staff. This is carried
17 out or implemented by the Chief of Staff, and he is the only one who has
18 the right to set assignments, but exclusively in line with the decision by
19 the Commander.
20 Q. Thank you. And when -- sorry, continue.
21 A. He is also a superior to the organ for operations and training, as
22 well as all other organs. I was also a part of that organ, so I know.
23 Q. And whilst you were in Vukovar who was the Chief of Staff of the
24 guards brigade; do you remember?
25 A. The Chief of Staff of the guards brigade was Lieutenant-Colonel
1 Miodrag Panic.
2 Q. Thank you. And if we move to paragraph 146, please. This
3 paragraph relates to how decisions are conveyed to subordinates. Can you
4 read that paragraph and then I'll ask you a few questions about it,
6 A. "Conveying the decision to subordinates can be done orally or in
7 writing, in the form of a command or an order. Regardless of whether it
8 is issued from the command post of the brigade commander or during
9 commander reconnaissance, a command is formulated as a written document.
10 More important orders are formulated as written documents, but all oral
11 commands are also recorded, while more important information is recorded
12 in the operations log.
13 "If commanders of subordinate units took part in the
14 decision-making, the decision is then conveyed orally (at the commander's
15 command post)."
16 Q. This operations log that is referred to, does it have another
17 name? Or not?
18 A. It's not mentioned -- oh, it can be described as a war diary.
19 Q. And you were the author -- or not the author, but the person that
20 recorded entries into the war diary in Vukovar, in the Vukovar operation;
21 is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. We'll talk about that war diary a little bit later on, but if we
24 can move now towards the requisites of a command that should be placed in
25 the command, that appears at paragraph 148. And if you can read that out,
1 please, and then I'll ask you some questions about it.
2 A. I'm sorry, but I don't have that paragraph. The last one I have
3 is 147.
4 Q. Okay. Perhaps if I can read out that paragraph, it's in the --
5 it's in the exhibit in e-court. It states: "A command is a commanding
6 act which categorically and imperatively expresses the commander's
7 decision and concretely, clearly and unambiguously gives tasks to
9 "A command for combat operations in principle should include
10 information about the enemy, the brigade's assignment, its reinforcements
11 and support from the superior command, and information about adjacent
12 units and borders with them."
13 And then the commander's decision. Those requirements --
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Those requirements for a command as stated in these rules, are
16 they familiar to you?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And can you explain whether or not you believe that -- that aspect
19 of the command or that formulation of the command is -- is important or
20 not, and why?
21 A. Orders, as acts of commanding, should contain all of the elements.
22 An order can be in a short written form without all of the elements in
23 particular situations, or in such conditions when one has limited time on
24 his hands, or when it concerns a correction of a previous decision, or if
25 it is a corrective decision by the commander. All of these documents and
1 elements make up the entire process and form of issuing a task or a
2 decision by the commander. And it should contain all of the elements.
3 Q. Thank you. And it appears you don't have this translation of the
4 next paragraph, but if I read it to you, and this is 359: "The brigade
5 commander constantly monitors the situation and influences the course of
6 the battle by issuing new or additional tasks. He makes his decision on
7 the basis of reports submitted by subordinate officers and his personal
9 Is that provision familiar to you, even if you haven't got the
10 translated version in front of you?
11 A. Yes, I am familiar with that.
12 Q. And I think you have discussed earlier, through other of the
13 rules -- other parts of the rules and regulations of why that, in fact, is
15 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender this exhibit. It's
16 65 ter number 382, and it's the JNA brigade rules.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 395, Your Honours.
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Vasic.
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 I would just want to ask for a clarification by my learned friend.
23 The excerpts that he wanted to tender and that he used in his
24 examination-in-chief is something that we don't object to, but I just
25 wanted to know whether he would seek to tender the part from which we
1 didn't -- he didn't ask any questions from in examination-in-chief; that
2 is, from paragraph 360 onwards relating to attacks on populated areas.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Everything that is in this folder is presently
4 exhibited. Mr. Smith has indicated he intends to tender the full
5 document, as I understand it, in due course.
6 MR. SMITH: That is correct.
7 JUDGE PARKER: So it will become in evidence in due course, but it
8 is not at the moment, except for those few lines on the bottom of the last
10 MR. SMITH: Well, perhaps, Your Honour, I will do that at the end
11 of the examination, I will just tender the full manuals completely.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
13 MR. SMITH:
14 Q. Witness -- excuse me.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. SMITH: Sorry, Your Honour, I believe there is a little
17 confusion. In e-court the excerpts are not included. It's -- there, it's
18 the full document that is in e-court. So my understanding was that each
19 time we were tendering, we were tendering the full document, but what we
20 have in front of us is a reference tool simply for court purposes.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that's not the way I understood your earlier
22 explanation, but it makes the process simpler.
23 MR. SMITH: Okay.
24 JUDGE PARKER: So the full document, Mr. Vasic, has now been
1 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Witness, if I can ask you to look at tab 5, please. It's 65 ter
3 Exhibit 298. And it relates to the regulations on the application of
4 international laws of war in the armed forces of the former Yugoslavia.
5 And it's issued by the Federal Secretariat for National Defence. Do you
6 see the cover page and a few attached pages after?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Are you familiar with this document in general terms?
9 A. Yes, I am.
10 Q. And to your knowledge, was it in existence in 1990 and 1991?
11 A. Yes, it was. And we discussed some of the topics here during my
12 education. That is, I wanted to say that we were taught on the subject
13 during our courses there as well.
14 Q. Thank you. And without going through provisions word by word, the
15 regulations relate to regulating responsibility of commander's actions for
16 their subordinates at paragraph 21. It relates to liability for criminal
17 responsibility for war crimes and other serious violations via
18 paragraphs 32 and 33 and other provisions.
19 But I would like you to look at paragraph 51, please. And it
20 relates to the duty of members of the armed forces when capturing members
21 of enemy armed forces. And if you have found paragraph 51, I would just
22 ask that you read that paragraph out and then I'll ask one or two
23 questions about it.
24 A. "Duty of the members of the armed forces of the SFRY when
25 capturing members of enemy armed forces. A member of the armed forces of
1 the SFRY shall spare the life of a member of an enemy armed force who
2 surrenders and lays down his arms or is overpowered and shall treat him
3 humanely. Furthermore, he shall prevent him from escaping and take all
4 measures for the prisoner to be taken under guard to a safe place as soon
5 as possible and surrendered to the competent officer. The same treatment
6 shall be accorded to any other person captured in the combat zone.
7 "The establishment of the identity or status of captured members
8 of enemy armed forces is in the competence of specially designated
9 military authorities.
10 "The necessary care and attention shall be extended to the
11 captured wounded and sick. They should be referred to the medical
12 authorities as soon as possible."
13 Q. Thank you. Do you have anything to add to the section in
14 practical terms as to what this duty implies in relation to the protection
15 of captured prisoners? Do you have anything to add to that, or is it
16 self-explanatory enough?
17 A. This rule or this paragraph should be implemented in full. I have
18 nothing further to add.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender Exhibit 298, which is
21 the regulations on the application of the rules of international law.
22 JUDGE PARKER: That will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be Exhibit 396, Your Honours.
24 MR. SMITH:
25 Q. Witness, if we can now look at tab number 6, which is 65 ter
1 number 385, and this the JNA battalion manual for infantry, motorised,
2 mountain, alpine, partisan and marine battalions, dated 1988 with a few
3 excerpts. Are you familiar with this battalion manual?
4 A. Yes, I am.
5 Q. And to the best of your knowledge, was that in existence in --
6 still in use in 1991?
7 A. Yes, it was.
8 Q. In this manual at paragraph 508, the manual refers to units of a
9 battalion called assault detachments. Do you see that section?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. If you could read out the definition of these assault detachments,
12 it's 508, and then also 509, and then I have a few questions to ask you
13 about it.
14 A. Certainly. But I don't believe this is the definition itself.
15 This was the way to form or organise such a unit and its tasks.
16 Q. Perhaps, then, if you could read it out and give us that
17 information, and then if you can provide a definition in your own terms
18 from your education and experience.
19 A. There is a definition, but as far as I can see it doesn't figure
20 here. The assault detachment is a unit of certain size and level
21 containing as much as several companies and battalions with
22 reinforcements, being formed the following reasons. That would be the
23 actual definition.
24 And here it states that: "The assault detachment is formed to
25 carry out an assault on the well-fortified strongholds and in the course
1 of an attack on a populated area in order to capture large and
2 well-fortified buildings and blocks. The battalion is as a rule
3 reinforced with tanks, artillery, engineers and necessary communications
4 equipment. The battalion acting as an assault detachment is specially
5 prepared, trained and drilled for the execution of the task at hand on
6 similar facilities or features."
7 Q. Perhaps if I can ask you a question there.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The reinforcements to a battalion in an assault detachment, would
10 that normally include Territorial Defence in a normal combat situation or
12 A. Reinforcements were not supposed to include the TO, but should a
13 TO unit be inside the area of responsibility or -- or of action of the
14 battalion, then combat actions are unified under the command of a single
15 command. In that case, such a TO unit can be resubordinated.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. We are discussing reinforcements here.
18 Q. That's correct. Thank you.
19 A. There is no mention of resubordination. That is something else.
20 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 509 relates to the tasks of the commander of
21 an assault detachment. Could you read that out, please, and then I may
22 have a question for you.
23 A. Yes. "When the commander of the assault detachment receives the
24 task, in addition to the other activities on the preparation and
25 organisation of the attack, he will organise reconnaissance and, in
1 particular, will study the enemy defence system.
2 "The combat disposition of the assault detachment consists of,
3 inter alia, the required number of assault groups, the fire group, the
4 anti-armour group and the reserve. The detachment commander specifies the
5 tasks for the assault groups and other elements of the combat disposition
6 on the ground."
7 Q. Thank you. And paragraph 510 provides a definition of assault
8 group. Can you briefly read that out, and then I may have a question for
10 A. "The assault group, the size of a reinforced platoon, is formed to
11 carry out an attack on a facility or feature, bunker, building or a part
12 of a bigger building in order to take it, demolish it or neutralise enemy
13 activity, thus making it possible for the detachment to carry out its
15 Q. Thank you. I think that will do for the moment. Just one
16 question about the assault detachment relating to the battalion being
17 reinforced, is it the case that the battalion is the -- is the backbone or
18 the main strength of an assault group as a rule, or not? The reason why I
19 ask is that --
20 A. It is the backbone of the assault detachment and not assault
21 group. Rather, the assault group is the backbone of the assault
23 Q. Thank you. Now I know why my learned friend looked confused.
24 You've cleared that up. Thank you. It was my mistake.
25 Perhaps then if we can talk about the assault group, and in
1 paragraph 510 it says: "The size of a reinforced platoon." Is that the
2 same situation for an assault group, that the platoon in the battalion is
3 the backbone of the assault detachment, and then other units or units are
4 attached? Yes or no.
5 A. As far as I'm familiar with this structure, and the way of forming
6 groups and detachments, an assault group should be the size of a
7 reinforced company and not platoon. We can read here "platoon," hence my
8 question is where is there any mention of company, if an assault
9 detachment is the size of a battalion. Is that a mistake in the rules or
10 something else, I don't know.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. I guess one could have several such assault groups. There are 12
13 platoons and three companies in a battalion. Therefore, one can have as
14 many as 12 assault groups in one assault detachment, and no mention of a
15 company. I don't understand the text here.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. But the notion of assault group, that is what I understand.
18 Q. And is it -- is it your understanding or what was the situation in
19 Vukovar, were there any assault detachments in the -- in the area in which
20 you were in the operational Group South, and were there any assault
21 groups, without stating the names but just whether or not these types of
22 units were present or units were set up.
23 A. Yes. Assault detachments were formed to be the size of battalion,
24 plus additional reinforcements, as defined here. The composition of
25 assault detachment comprised formation assault groups the size of company.
1 Q. Thank you. And we'll discuss a little bit more in detail the
2 formation of these groups when we discuss some of the orders which
3 implemented them. But perhaps we'll move on now.
4 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender the battalion manual,
5 and it's 65 ter number 385.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the manual will become exhibit
8 number 397.
9 MR. SMITH:
10 Q. Witness, if I can now ask you to look at tab 7, which is 65 ter
11 number 188. And it relates to the provisional rule on the corps of ground
12 forces. And this rule was brought into being in 1990, April 1990. Are
13 you familiar with this rule or this set of rules in relation to corps?
14 A. Yes, I am.
15 Q. And just for information, a corps, what is the size of a corps in
16 terms of a unit size in the armed forces?
17 A. A corps is an operations unit. The corps establishment can be
18 adjusted to the circumstances. In the JNA we moved on to the corps
19 formations somewhat later. There used to be a division establishment
20 within the army, but this was a new thing that appeared relating to the
21 formation of corps, as in all other armed forces it is an operational
22 unit, including a certain number of brigades, infantry brigades, armoured
23 mechanised brigades, as well as artillery units, anti-aircraft defence
24 units, depending on its area of activity. That can include the river navy
25 and so on and so forth. This is a higher level operations unit, including
1 several brigades and reinforcements, having its own area of
2 responsibility, and containing elements of the judiciary and investigative
3 organs as far as I can remember.
4 Q. And looking at -- you've probably answered this question, but
5 looking at these rules and the principles contained in them, would they
6 have applied to the guards brigade in 1991, even though we're talking
7 about a brigade, or not?
8 A. No. The Guards Motorised Brigade had its own establishment level.
9 You will probably ask me to explain further at a later stage.
10 As for the Operations Group South, it wasn't at the corps level,
11 but approximately at that level, in the operational sense of the word.
12 Because including the guards brigade, there were also some other units and
13 it also enjoyed a certain amount of support, and that was the definition
14 of the Operations Group South.
15 In my view, the corps was not Operations Group South. The group
16 was formed in order to carry out a specific task. Most of the elements
17 comprised therein were the size of a corps.
18 Q. You -- that's right. In terms of the application of these types
19 of principles relating to corps, are you saying that because operational
20 group south, which we will discuss shortly, was of a similar size to a
21 corps, that these principles would -- would apply because of the similar
22 size? Is that what you're saying, or something different?
23 A. The principles applied are to be used for all temporary or interim
24 formations. Operations group is a temporary formation to carry out a
25 specific task. All the principles are used when it comes to corps or
1 interim formations of such composition as discussed here. They are all to
2 be applied in all of those instances equally.
3 Q. Thank you. And if we can look at, say, paragraph 27 of the rule,
4 the paragraph relates to temporary units being formed within corps, namely
5 operative-tactical and tactical groups. Can you read out that paragraph
6 completely, and then I'll have a few questions for you. Thank you.
7 A. "As required, temporary units may be established within the corps
8 (operative-tactical and tactical groups). They are formed in exceptional
9 cases, when the corps' zone of action includes clearly separated routes or
10 areas which makes it difficult to ensure unified command and continuous
11 execution of operations.
12 "The composition of an operative-tactical group (OTG) may vary.
13 The group is formed out of units of the Yugoslav People's Army and the
14 Territorial Defence. In most cases its strength equals several regiments
15 and brigades of various types and a partisan division reinforced with
16 units of artillery, anti-rocket units of the air defence, et cetera,
17 depending on the situation at hand."
18 Q. And the next paragraph, please?
19 A. "A tactical group (TG) may have the strength of several battalions
20 of the Yugoslav People's Army and the Territorial Defence reinforced with
21 artillery units, engineers and other units, depending on the assignment."
22 Q. And the last paragraph?
23 A. "In exceptional cases a mixed detachment may be established out of
24 partisan units and units of Territorial Defence, with the necessary
25 reinforcements, and its strength may vary."
1 Q. Thank you. So, from this rule, briefly, what's the difference
2 between the operative-tactical group and the tactical group? What's the
3 main difference between those two groupings?
4 A. The main difference is their representative levels. An
5 operative-tactical group has a higher level. It comprises more units,
6 more reinforcements, and it is normally assigned an operation zone.
7 A tactical group has a lower level. It has less units, less
8 battalions. Both apply to both the JNA and the Territorial Defence,
9 needless to say. Therefore, it has a lower level and is itself part of
10 the operative-tactical group during a combat mission. Or perhaps even
11 not. Maybe it has its own independent axis, but that would largely depend
12 on the decision taken by the superior commander. It can be a component of
13 the operative-tactical group, or a temporary unit.
14 Q. Shortly I will ask you some questions about when the guards
15 brigade went to Vukovar and became a part of operational group south.
16 Operational group south that was set up in the Vukovar area, is that the
17 same as a operative-tactical group, or was it a different type of unit
18 that was being formed?
19 A. Well, based on their representative establishments it's very
20 difficult for me to draw the distinction. I do believe that it had the
21 level that would correspond to that of an operative-tactical group. In
22 principle, it contained these very elements, nearly all of them, in fact,
23 to a certain degree. So I would deem it to have been an
24 operative-tactical group on the balance. That's what the name seems to
25 imply as well, it's called Operations Group South, if that's what the rule
1 refers to. So that must be it then.
2 Q. If I can ask you to look at chapter III, which is about command
3 and control of this rule. And it relates to -- I understand what you're
4 saying, that this rule relates to corps which haven't come into existence
5 at that stage, at 1990, but in relation to the concept of command and
6 control to large units such as corps, can you read out paragraph 63,
7 please, and explain how command and control applied to military forces of
8 a corps size or something similar?
9 A. "Command and control are conscious and organised activities of the
10 corps commander and bodies of command aimed at engaging and unifying the
11 actions and activities of all units, commands, headquarters and other
12 entities of All People's Defence and social self-protection within the
13 zone of operations, as well as all equipment used in combat for the
14 purpose of achieving the said goals in an optimal way.
15 "Command and control are exercised through planning,
16 coordination, organising, command and control, preparation, and execution
17 of operations and other combat actions; they are based on unified,
18 continuous, secure, flexible, effective operative and secret information
19 flows among commands, units and institutions.
20 "The corps commander commands the forces of the Yugoslav People's
21 Army and the Territorial Defence under his command in the zone of
23 Shall I go on?
24 Q. No, thank you. That's fine. In relation to the principles laid
25 out in there in the general provisions on how command and control would
1 apply to a corps, what can you say in relation to the principles applied
2 in the exercise of command and control of Operations Group South when were
3 you in Vukovar? Were the principles the same or different, and if they
4 were different, can you explain how?
5 A. They were the same. There was no difference whatsoever. All the
6 rules we've looked at, the ones relating to the brigades, the ones
7 relating to the battalion, those are set down by the academy, as well as
8 the ones relating to the corps. The principles are the same across the
9 board. They were the same principles applied back then. Planning,
10 coordination, organising, command and control, these are some of the
11 principles that permeated all the rules governing the work of the armed
12 forces at the time. And the same by extension would seem to apply to the
13 rules in relation to corps. There is not a single rule that does not
14 incorporate these principles.
15 Q. Thank you for that -- for that understanding.
16 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender the rules for land
17 forces corps, dated 1990, which is 65 ter number 188, in full.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will become
20 Exhibit 398.
21 MR. SMITH:
22 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now I would like to turn your mind to the
23 15th of July --
24 A. You're welcome.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... On the 15th of July, 1991,
1 you joined the guards brigade; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. I was transferred directly from the college.
3 Q. And so that we have an understanding of the size of the guards
4 brigade before it went to Vukovar, can you just briefly state the main
5 units that comprised of the guards brigade before they left for Vukovar?
6 A. Yes, you have just referred to the 15th of July. For about 20
7 days at the time I was not aware of the establishment in Vukovar, and that
8 was in the nature of my work, I got to know all of it immediately. Before
9 its departure for Vukovar, the guards brigade had the structure
10 corresponding to its tasks. I believe it is important to say that. Its
11 principal purpose and task was as follows: To secure persons and features
12 or facilities. Protocol, combat training -- combat use, combat training,
13 as an ongoing activity, and several other auxiliary activities, as it
15 In keeping with this principal purpose, a structure was set up in
16 terms of establishment that comprised a brigade command. In principle,
17 this was the same as it normally was in the case of all other brigades,
18 but there were more officers involved in certain sectors or departments,
19 but it had all the other elements. It had the brigade command, and it had
20 a number of units attached to the staff, the brigade staff. It had about
21 eight battalion level units, some involved in combat and some weren't.
22 There were two motorised battalions. Two military police battalions. A
23 battalion that was in charge of securing buildings and facilities. An
24 armoured battalion. A light artillery division of the anti-aircraft
25 defence. And a rear battalion. That was it in terms of how the structure
1 was organised.
2 Q. Thank you. Did it also include an anti-terrorist unit or not?
3 And if it did, what was the size of it?
4 A. The anti-terrorist unit was called in actual fact an
5 anti-terrorist company. It was part of the 1st Battalion. Yes, it did
6 exist, but the name was anti-terrorist company. It had the level of a
7 company, and it was part of the 1st Battalion, establishment-wise, to the
8 best of my recollection. Later on perhaps it became independent. I'm not
9 absolutely positive about this. It was there. It was most probably part
10 of the 1st Battalion, or perhaps at some point it became independent, but
11 I can't quite remember. But it certainly had the level of a company.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] A minor intervention. I think the
14 witness said twice that he believed this unit to have been within the
15 1st Battalion of the military police, or at least that's what I believe to
16 have heard the witness saying.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's true.
18 MR. SMITH: Thank you.
19 Q. Is it usual for a brigade, this is back in -- was it usual back in
20 1991 for a brigade to have two military police battalions? Was that
22 A. I talked about the purpose and the tasks. The principal task of
23 the motorised guards brigade was to provide security for persons and
24 facilities or buildings. Then came protocol and everything else. But the
25 principal task was to provide security for persons and buildings.
1 In terms of establishment, I'm saying in order to have this
2 effectively implemented, it was only logical, and after all that's what
3 was eventually decided, for it to have two military police battalions, one
4 of which was used for training purposes, and provided manpower for the
5 1st Battalion, and these were at this point men who had already been
7 Q. Are you able to give an estimate of the average size of -- of the
8 battalions? You mentioned a number of battalions, two military police,
9 and others, in terms of the numbers of men in each. If you can. If you
10 can't, that's fine.
11 A. The battalion, as a matter of principle, and I think the same
12 principle applied to these battalions, this would have comprised over 700
13 men. The motorised one. 700 each. Police battalions comprised somewhat
14 less. The armoured battalion, a lot less. The rear battalion, well,
15 depending on the logistical needs of the moment, normally between 200 and
16 300 people. I can't be more specific, but what I'm telling you now is
17 roughly in keeping with the principles that prevailed. With the following
18 proviso: Just before its departure for Vukovar, the unit had both its
19 permanent set-up, as well as the reserve forces, waiting to be mobilised
20 [realtime transcript read in error "motorised"].
21 Q. Thank you. And when you refer to police battalions being somewhat
22 less in size, are you referring to military police battalions?
23 A. Yes, military police battalion, the 1st and the 2nd.
24 Establishment-wise, within the 1st Guards Brigade.
25 Q. And when you say that military police battalions were somewhat
1 less, about how much less? Can you approximate or not with any sort of
2 reasonable accuracy?
3 A. A reasonable ballpark figure, establishment-wise, would be about
4 300 up to 400 rear units. Well, a total of about 400 or 450 people.
5 Q. Thank you. And you mentioned that the military police battalion's
6 role in -- before Vukovar was to secure persons and buildings. When you
7 say secure persons, what type of people were they securing before Vukovar?
8 A. I can't be very specific, I'm afraid, about persons. I didn't
9 have the time to go into that. Military persons, high-ranking military
10 officials probably, but I'm not positive. But they certainly did provide
11 security for all the buildings, all the important features, the General
12 Staff, the Federal Secretariat for All People's Defence. The retired JNA
13 generals were entitled to a certain level of protection, that sort of
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I think it's time for the break, if I'm
18 JUDGE PARKER: It is that.
19 Line 70 -- page 78, line 6, should the word "motorised" be
20 mobilised or mobilisation?
21 MR. SMITH: That would seem logical, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now and resume just after 10
23 past 3.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 2.51 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 3.15 p.m.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith.
2 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Witness, before we had the break we discussed or you discussed the
4 task that the military police battalions had before they arrived in
5 Vukovar. I would now like to ask you: From the time that you arrived in
6 the guards brigade in July 1991 until the time that you left for Vukovar
7 with the guards brigade, did the size of the guards brigade increase, or
8 was it reinforced at all with reserves?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And by the time that the guards brigade left for Vukovar, about
11 what percentage of the troops, the people within the brigade, were
12 reservists, compared to professionals or the conscripts that had been
13 conscripted earlier?
14 A. I cannot really specify, but according to the principles of the
15 replenishment of units, classification A, it should be a percentage of up
16 to 20 per cent. The reservists were used to replenish all units that were
17 part of the combat establishment that had reserve forces according to the
18 combat establishment.
19 Q. And we'll be looking at some documents in a moment, but just to
20 provide an overview for the Court, what date did the guards brigade leave
21 and head to Vukovar?
22 A. As far as I can remember, it was the 30th of September.
23 Q. How much of the guards brigade went to the Vukovar operations?
24 Was it all or part of the brigade?
25 A. The brigade without the security battalion, and some people who
1 didn't feel fit, who were sick. I mean soldiers and officers and also
2 some people who needed to stay in order to implement tasks and duties in
3 the barracks. It was a small number of people who remained in these
4 tasks. The most part of the staff that remained were those who were in
5 the security battalion.
6 Q. And when you say "the security battalion," are you referring to
7 one of the military police battalions, or are you referring to another
9 A. I am not speaking about the battalion I mentioned in the
10 organisation and structural battalion. The security battalion was a
11 special-purpose one. It secured facilities that were also in the
12 jurisdiction of the guards brigade, as well as a number of buildings that
13 housed institutions of the federal ministry and the General Staff. The
14 Federal Secretariat and the General Staff.
15 Q. So the military police battalions, the two that you referred to
16 earlier, they went to Vukovar; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. And you may have mentioned this earlier, but what was the date
19 that the guards brigade came back from Vukovar after the operation there?
20 A. The 24th of November, 1991.
21 Q. When -- when the battalion left for Vukovar, can you give a
22 reasonably accurate figure as to the number of people, the number of
23 troops in the battalion, officers and regular soldiers and staff?
24 A. The battalion. You asked me about the battalion. Is that what
25 you meant? Or the brigade?
1 Q. Sorry. That's -- that's my mistake. The brigade. The guards
3 A. I really cannot give you a precise, an exact number. The
4 battalions that had been replenished up to the establishment number of
5 about 700 men altogether, but I really cannot tell you exactly. I think
6 the number was somewhere in the range of 4.000.
7 Q. What reputation did the guards brigade have before Vukovar
8 commenced, in comparison to other brigades in relation to the -- the
9 quality of their performance and the quality of personnel in the brigade
10 generally? Did it have a reputation and, if it did, what was it?
11 A. Its reputation was -- had more weight than most of the other units
12 in the Yugoslav People's Army. And the reputation was a result of the
13 purpose and the tasks it had. They were responsible and had to do with
14 the most important tasks of security and protocol of the top state and
15 military leadership. As far as I can recall, it was directly under the
16 federal secretary's Chief of Staff.
17 As far as the personnel is concerned, the Guards Motorised Brigade
18 has a long-standing tradition, since 1945, and throughout its whole
19 history it took care of the most important security tasks. Even at one
20 period it was entrusted with the security of the president of the SFRY.
21 And ever since that period the reputation and the rating of the guards
22 brigade kept growing.
23 As far as personnel is concerned, the guards brigade consisted
24 only of people who met certain criteria, and the criteria were very
25 strict. When we're talking about officers and civilians, when we're
1 talking about soldiers, they were criteria which were also quite strict
2 for them in all aspects; security, health, physical looks, commitment.
3 And ultimately I think that nobody could become a member of the guards
4 brigade without expressing the wish to do that and without being ready to
5 carry out the tasks that they were informed about when they requested or
6 were proposed for a member of the guards brigade.
7 Q. Thank you. And did the guards brigade reputation have any impact
8 on the amount and type of, say, combat equipment that it was issued with,
9 or was it similar to -- to other brigades in that regard?
10 A. No, the equipment was -- depended on the objectives, the purpose
11 and the assignments.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. For a particular objective, appropriate equipment and weapons
14 would be issued.
15 Q. And when the -- when the brigade, and we're talking perhaps now in
16 overview terms, because we have these documents we'll go through for
17 specifics. But in broad context when the guards brigade went to the area
18 of Vukovar, did it become subordinate to another command or not?
19 A. Yes, it was immediately subordinated to the command of Operations
20 Group South, which was under the command of Colonel Bajo Bojat.
21 Q. And just briefly, for about how long was the guards brigade under
22 the command of Colonel Bojac [phoen]?
23 A. Bajo Boja [phoen]. About 10 days. Since I was reading the war
24 diary last night, actually it was on the 8th of October that the transfer
25 was effected.
1 Q. And what was that transfer?
2 A. The superior command decided that the guards brigade should take
3 over the responsibility for the zone of operations and that the guards
4 brigade command should be transformed into the command of Operations Group
5 South. I don't know, I didn't see that document by the superior command,
6 but that's how it should have been, according to the line of
8 Q. And then who was the -- who then logically was the commander of
9 operational group south?
10 A. The zone of operations was taken over by the Guards Motorised
11 Brigade, and the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade transformed
12 itself into the command of Operations Group South, and the then commander,
13 Mile Mrksic, was appointed as commander of Operations Group South.
14 Q. And who did the command of operational group south, who did that
15 command report to? What was the next level up?
16 A. The command of the 1st Military District.
17 Q. And who was the commander of --
18 A. According to the orders of the federal secretary, it was
19 subordinated to the command of the 1st Military District.
20 Q. Who was the command of the 1st -- in command of the 1st Military
22 A. General Zivota Panic.
23 Q. And the area of the 1st Military District, what did that include,
24 what was the size of it? Just in approximate terms. Just very generally.
25 A. I cannot make a precise estimate. At the time the entire
1 territory of the SFRY was divided into military districts. As far as I
2 know, the Ljubljana region was abolished and that left the 1st Belgrade,
3 the 3rd Skoplje, the 5th Zagreb Districts. It covered a lot of territory,
4 but this had nothing to do with a state or administrative borders. It was
5 covering the area of Eastern Slavonia, perhaps all the way to Osijek.
6 Q. And the -- the 1st Military District, the commander, General
7 Panic, who was his superior, who did he report to? Which was the next --
8 what was the next level up, militarily?
9 A. The chief of the General Staff.
10 Q. And who was the chief of the General Staff in 1991?
11 A. General Blagoje Adzic.
12 Q. In operational group south in general terms, once the guards
13 brigade command took command of the operational group, what other units
14 were in that operational group in addition to the guards brigade? So
15 we're talking now, perhaps, mid-October? In general terms. We'll look at
16 the documents in a moment.
17 A. In mid-October, I think that the following units were attached:
18 Part of the artillery units of the 1st Military District; the 20th
19 Partisan Brigade was also part of the operations group, it joined them
20 around the 15th; then also parts of the mechanised or armoured, of the
21 mechanised brigade from Sremska Mitrovica; and I think the territorial
22 units in Vukovar and in the surrounding villages.
23 I am not sure specifically what the situation was on the 15th of
24 October. I'm sure about the units that I mentioned, but perhaps there
25 were some other units, volunteer units, but I really cannot remember right
1 now which ones they were.
2 Q. Thank you. And perhaps if we can look at Exhibit 103, please.
3 Witness, what you will see on the screen will be a map of Eastern
4 Croatia, it will come up shortly, it's not in your documents there. And
5 it will show a map of that particular area. When you see the map on the
6 screen, with the assistance of the usher, please, I would ask you to draw
7 the general area of operational group south so that we can see the
8 approximate size of it.
9 And if possible, if we -- thank you, that's good. Perhaps if we
10 could go one level higher too, please.
11 A. No, no, no. It's fine. It's in the middle.
12 Q. Okay. Witness, the usher will give you a magical pen which can
13 draw on the computer screen. And before you start to draw if you can take
14 your time and draw the area that operational group south covered, please.
15 A. [Marks]. There is one place that is not shown here, and that's
16 where the logistics of the operations group was. That's the village of
17 Berak. So I think that was in the area of Grabovo, somewhere nearby. So
18 for that part I'm not sure if I'm going to be quite precise.
19 Q. Is it the case that Grabovo was located in operational group south
20 or not?
21 A. [Marks]. Berak was part of it. I think that they kind of
22 bordered on one another. That would be it. Grabovo, Grabovo would be to
23 the east, if Berak is to the west of it, as I think that it is. [Marks].
24 There you are.
25 Q. So does that reflect the zone of responsibility of operational
1 group south; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, but I would have to provide additional explanations about
3 this zone of operations.
4 Q. And if you can briefly provide that. Thank you.
5 A. The operations zone of Operations Group South is the town of
6 Vukovar up to River Vuka, within the boundaries, the mouth of the Vuka
7 River into the Danube to the east or to the right. The River Danube,
8 including the places Ovcara, Jakubovac, which are not on the map, but they
9 are on a -- on a different map. It also includes Negoslavci and Berak.
10 To the west or to the left you have the River Vuka ruling -- or
11 excluding Nustar, Petrovci, Mirkovci, and excluding Stari Jankovci.
12 Therefore, the operations zone is elongated because of the deployment of
13 the logistics units of Operations Group South.
14 The front is as follows: Along the outskirts of the town,
15 encompassing the width of the town, the north boundary or the line which
16 was supposed to have been reached was the River Vuka. These are the
17 required explanations for the way the zone looks. It is deeper and not as
18 wide. We're talking about an attack of the town, operation on the town
19 with elements to the depth which were essential and which were as they
20 were in the operations principles and that is how they were deployed.
21 Q. Thank you. In relation to the size of the operations group, from
22 north to south about how many kilometres would it be, approximately?
23 A. About 14 kilometres to Berak, up to the front line. That would be
24 the depth.
25 Q. And, say, from east to west, approximately?
1 A. The width was eight kilometres at the most.
2 Q. And we'll discuss the particular units that were operating within
3 the zone of responsibility of operational group south shortly, but
4 approximately how many other troops were present in that operational zone,
5 say, mid-October? You said that the guards brigade had approximately
6 4.000 that left for Vukovar. What would be the total size of the troops
7 operating in that zone in mid-October, not including the guards brigade?
8 A rough figure.
9 A. The military situation was changing. Only from the 15th of
10 October did it begin to grow. But I don't think that it was, as far as
11 the force was concerned, any more than by one-third, in comparison to the
12 strength at the beginning of the operation. I'm saying changeable because
13 some units were leaving and others were joining the forces, so in this
14 time period from the 15th of October until the 11th the strength did
15 increase by about 50 per cent in relation to the previous situation, but
16 this was not something that happened every day. Some forces were leaving,
17 some were coming. So if we're talking about 50 per cent, then we're
18 talking about possibly up to 6.000.
19 At one point, when the 20th Partisan Brigade left, the strength
21 Q. And, briefly, when did the 20th Partisan Brigade leave?
22 A. It arrived on the 15th, and based on the decision by the
23 government, they were supposed to be there for some 40 days. I believe
24 they were relieved after 40 days. That is, the 15th of November. It must
25 have been before the 20th of November.
1 Q. And so, say, before the 20th of November, say the 18th of
2 November, for argument's sake, what would have been the size of the guards
3 brigade relative to the other troops in the area? I know you can't be
4 precise, but at least if you can give us an estimation.
5 A. They left, and between the 15th of November up to the 18th, as far
6 as I can remember, no other unit replaced it. Therefore, the manning
7 strength should be reduced by the size of that brigade. Although it
8 wasn't a classical size brigade, it was a partisan brigade, and it may
9 have had around 1.000 to 1200 troops.
10 Q. So in relation to the numbers, you mentioned about 4.000 guards
11 brigades -- I'm sorry, 4.000 troops within the guards brigade. About how
12 many others at that time?
13 A. Around 4.000, and there were 2.000 of them. Not at the same time
14 though, but interchangeably, as was dictated by the situation.
15 Q. Thank you. If could you mark that circle with a number 1 to
16 identify operational group south zone of responsibility.
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that map, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: With exhibit number 399, Your Honours.
22 MR. SMITH: If I can also ask for Exhibit 156, please.
23 Q. And, Witness, the map that will be produced on the screen will be
24 more of a detailed map of the Vukovar township area and the surrounds.
25 And it won't contain the full area of operational group south, but at
1 least if you could put the borders of that -- of that group, draw them on
2 the map, that would be useful. Thank you.
3 Witness, would you like the map enlarged one further level?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Perhaps if we can go back to the original version, and then from,
6 say, just above the hospital, if we could have to the bottom of the --
7 bottom of the map. Right to the bottom. Thank you.
8 Witness, do you recognise this map? I mean there are some photos
9 added on to it, but the map generally?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. Would you able -- are you able to draw the boundaries, as best you
12 can, of operational group south zone of responsibility with the pen,
14 A. [Marks].
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm afraid the witness
17 didn't quite understand the map. In the previous exhibit, 544 -- I'm
18 sorry, 399, the witness said that the boundary was on the River Vuka, but
19 obviously on this map he hasn't found the river. Perhaps my learned
20 friend could assist the witness.
21 MR. SMITH: That may clear up things, Your Honour.
22 Q. Witness, looking at that map, I think previously you said that the
23 northern border of the operational group south's zone of responsibility
24 was the Vuka River; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If you look closely at the map, where it's stated Nova Ulica, are
2 you able to see the river as it heads out towards the Danube, just above
3 that area?
4 A. Just above where it says Dunav.
5 Q. I'm wearing glasses and I can't see that.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Nor can I, and I think the witness, understandably,
7 would have difficulty as well. I'm going to suggest that we lose what has
8 been marked so far, enlarge the area of Vukovar itself once more, and
9 allow the witness to orient himself. I'm sure if it becomes something
10 that can be seen his experience will enable him to identify features.
11 MR. SMITH: Yes, thank you. That's a good idea.
12 If it could be enlarged say at least maybe two levels so that the
13 Vuka River can be seen, and then we can go to the smaller level once he's
14 oriented himself. Perhaps even one level again. I think that will do
16 Q. Witness, we can go to another level again, but do you see -- do
17 you see the river, or we'll enlarge the town. Perhaps if we can enlarge
18 it one level again, please. Just right close in on the town, please. I
19 think that will do. Thank you. Thank you.
20 Witness, are you able to see the river there?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Perhaps if you could just point it with the marking pen, thanks.
23 A. Yes. It goes around, there is a bend here. It goes just above
24 the hospital. [Marks].
25 Q. Just -- just to let you know, witness, the river doesn't go up
1 that high. But where you have the lowest point of the red line, that, in
2 fact, is where the river is, and it continues across with a light blue
3 line towards the Danube. Do you see that?
4 JUDGE PARKER: But, Mr. Smith, what appears to be a river can also
5 be seen where the witness has marked.
6 MR. SMITH: Okay.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Part of the problem may be the detail, or lack of
8 it, in this depiction on the screen. I can understand why the witness has
9 drawn the line where he has, but whether that is the correct position is
10 another question.
11 MR. SMITH: That's right. Okay. I agree.
12 Perhaps, then, if we can go back to the original -- the original
13 map. I believe -- I believe if we enlarge right in on the centre of town
14 where the river is the witness will be able to see it. And perhaps then
15 we can have a correct drawing. Thank you. Stop. Thank you.
16 Q. Witness, you see -- do you see the hospital at the top, the red
17 dot, and if you go further down --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- to the right, just underneath it, you see the words "Vuka" in
20 blue. Now are you familiar enough with the map to see that that's the
21 Vuka River or not?
22 A. I saw that it was the River Vuka. But the city hospital was
23 within the area of responsibility of Operations Group South, because this
24 part of the Vuka -- or is this a part of a lake? That was the upper
25 limit, the upper boundary, towards the north.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I would suggest, Mr. Smith, if the witness is
2 confident of the depiction on the map, he should mark what he suggests is
3 the area of responsibility of Operations Group South.
4 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 If we can now go back to the map in its original form, and if we
6 can just I think that's -- perhaps just one level up, please. And to the
7 bottom, thank you. Actually, that's my mistake, if we can go back to the
8 original map and try to have the witness mark the area, if we go back to
9 the original level. Thank you, yes.
10 Q. Witness, now looking at the map, as best you can, can you draw the
11 area of responsibility of operational group south, please?
12 A. [Marks].
13 Q. Thank you. And can you place the number 1 within the area that
14 you have depicted as the zone of responsibility for operational group
16 A. [Marks].
17 Q. Thank you. And the headquarters, the operational group south
18 headquarters, where were they located?
19 A. Should I mark it on the map? Negoslavci?
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
21 A. [Marks].
22 Q. And that flag symbol is a symbol for the headquarters; is that
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Now, as far as the -- that area within the area of operational
1 group south --
2 JUDGE PARKER: I think it's zone of operations, Mr. Smith.
3 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Is that correct? The area that you have depicted,
5 is that the zone of operations of operational group south?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is. The zone of operations
7 of operational group south.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 MR. SMITH:
10 Q. And at what time period was that the zone of operations? Was that
11 for the whole time that the guards brigade was there, or sometime less?
12 A. Yes, throughout the Vukovar operation.
13 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour. I seek to tender that map.
14 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the marked map will become
16 Exhibit 400.
17 MR. SMITH:
18 Q. Now, Witness, you mentioned that the headquarters of operational
19 group south was at Negoslavci, and during the period of time that the
20 guards brigade were in Vukovar, what was your job? What was your
22 A. I believe I've already mentioned that I was senior officer with
23 the department for operations and training or education upon the
24 department's head -- when the department's head left, and that was
25 Lieutenant-Colonel Lukic. Based on oral orders by Chief of Staff,
1 probably with the approval of Lieutenant-Colonel Mrksic, I also carried
2 out the tasks of the head of operations.
3 Q. You mentioned that with -- it was with the approval of
4 Lieutenant-Colonel Mrksic. Was that the correct rank that he had at that
6 A. No. Lieutenant-Colonel Panic was my immediate superior. Based on
7 Lieutenant-Colonel's -- Lieutenant-Colonel Panic's orders, and based on
8 the approval of Lieutenant-Colonel Mrksic.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, Colonel Mrksic.
10 A. There was no written document confirming that, but in the absence
11 of the chief the senior officer can carry out such tasks, that was
12 according to regulation.
13 MR. SMITH:
14 Q. And approximately what date was that that you carried out the
15 tasks of the head of operations?
16 A. Head of operations organ, not of operations, strictly speaking. I
17 can't be precise, but some three or four days after the commencement of
18 operations, I presume it was around the 3rd, the 4th or the 5th of
19 October, at the very beginning, a few days later, that is.
20 Q. Thank you. And in a -- in a practical sense, what -- what would
21 your day entail? Were you based at the headquarters, did you go out to
22 the combat area, and at what -- practically, what did you do?
23 A. As part of the organ for operations and education, apart from the
24 chief who was given another assignment, there were five to six operatives.
25 As the senior officer in charge of administration, I was supposed to take
1 over the duties prescribed for that particular position. But in carrying
2 out the tasks of the chief the nature of the situation and the
3 circumstances dictated that I spent more time at the command or, rather,
4 at the staff of the command to monitor the situation, to receive reports,
5 to be present at briefings, to participate in proposing measures and
6 decisions together with the other command -- brigade command officers
7 based on the principle used in the process of decision-making.
8 Because of that, I seldom went to the immediate combat area or,
9 rather, to the front lines. I remember that after having been issued with
10 tasks by the commander of the guards brigade, Colonel Mrksic, and at the
11 beginning that wasn't operations group, and I was present when the tasks
12 were issued near Vukovar and that one or two days after the combat
13 commenced, together with Colonel Pavkovic and Major Sljivancanin, I was at
14 the barracks in Vukovar. Then we went on to Petrova Gora to see the
15 commander of the assault detachment number 1. I remember that on several
16 other occasions I toured the units on the outskirts of Vukovar, first and
17 foremost at Mitnica, I was there with the Chief of Staff. Perhaps I was
18 in the barracks on one other occasion, but I can't be precise as to the
20 And on the 22nd or the 23rd I was in Vukovar with Colonel
21 Pavkovic. Since I was permanently at the staff, he thought that it would
22 be good for me to see the situation on the ground. Otherwise, I was
23 completely at the staff, at the command post in the operations room
24 carrying out the aforementioned duties, together with other senior
1 Q. Just so that we can get a clear picture, approximately what
2 percentage of your time was spent in the headquarters versus being out in
3 the combat area? Are we talking a small percentage or something larger?
4 A. I spent a small percentage of time within the combat area.
5 Q. You said earlier that at one stage you were the senior officer in
6 charge of administration. Is that correct or has it been misrecorded?
7 A. For operational issues, the most senior officer in the operations
8 department is charged with monitoring situation, collecting data, making
9 assessments, so that he could present such data to his chief, and that was
10 me at certain point, being the senior officer, and together with the other
11 most senior officers, we dealt with decision-making. In the
12 decision-making process, all staff organs are included as well as all the
13 aspects of the armed forces, and the operations organ headed by myself at
14 the time.
15 Q. Thank you. And just to get a picture of what your work was like,
16 the headquarters at Negoslavci, what type of building was that and about
17 how much staff were attached to the command, the OG South command, in
18 terms of working within that location?
19 A. In principle, a command post has three or four separate elements.
20 The operations part, the aspects parts, the group for assistance, the
21 communications group. Given the situation at Negoslavci, we adjusted to
22 the conditions there. It was a house of a local who had left Negoslavci,
23 and he put it at our disposal. It had a large living room, quite long and
24 narrow, and it served as an operations room. According to their tasks,
25 basically all of the command organs were there.
1 The brigade commander had a separate small room to rest, and a
2 side room in which he could have meetings, provided they didn't include
3 large numbers of people. And there was a corridor and a terrace. That's
4 as far as the working space was at the command post.
5 When it comes to the rest for the personnel, in Negoslavci there
6 was another house and rest and accommodation for the officers were secured
7 there, provided they were not at the command doing their tasks. The
8 communications centre and the assistance group assisting the command, they
9 were in some other basements or the outhouses, and out in the open.
10 Basically the conditions for work at the command post were quite poor.
11 Q. At the house where the command was working from, the brigade
12 command, I mean the OG South command, about how many -- how many staff of
13 that command would be working in that house at any one time? I know it
14 changed -- it would have changed over time, but approximately how many
15 people would work, say, in that command house on any given day?
16 A. Well, right from the outset people took shifts. There were tasks
17 that had to be carried out. People needed to rest. And further, there
18 had to be constant monitoring of units in the area of combat operations.
19 If everybody from the brigade command happened to be in that small
20 operations room at the same time, there was no way the room could have
21 held them, those 30 people from the inner circle of the leadership, as it
22 were. However, people took shifts. The commander would always send some
23 officers, and this was in keeping with the principle of inspection. He
24 would send these officers to tour the units and help them out. Some of
25 them went deep into the territory to visit the auxiliary units and the
1 rear units in order to see if they could give them a hand. But some
2 officers stayed right there.
3 It was in the same building that we had a communications centre
4 for the signals people. All the information was received there, and you
5 could listen to all the information being exchanged with any of the units
6 or with the superior command whenever there were incoming calls with
7 requests for the brigade.
8 Q. Thank you. So on average, if 30 -- if 30 inner circle of the
9 leadership of the command staff would not be there in the command house at
10 any one time, approximately what number would be there throughout the
11 period at any one time? Would it be half that amount or over or under?
12 A. About 15 men most of the time. And also, when briefings took
13 place, the regular ones, the inner circle belonging to the command, as it
14 were, and the unit commanders, that those would add up to, roughly
15 speaking, a total of 15 men.
16 Q. Thank you. You said earlier that part of -- one of your jobs was
17 to receive reports, and also propose measures and assisting them in the
18 decision-making. Does that mean that you, in fact, recorded in some way
19 of document the orders that had come in to the headquarters from other
20 places? Was that one of your jobs, to record those?
21 A. Yes. That was one of my duties. I had to use the war diary as
22 envisaged by the principals to enter the most important orders that had
23 never been received in written form, active orders received from our
24 superior command and such documents as any reports from our subordinate
25 units. Likewise, observations were entered made by officers carrying out
1 rounds of inspection in units along the front line in Vukovar. Other
2 types of information were recorded too.
3 Q. This war diary, would -- is it fair to say that that is -- it
4 was -- its purpose was to be a comprehensive account of important events
5 occurring in the operational group zone and of important orders coming in,
6 important reports coming in and going out, such that when the commander or
7 someone who needed to had to look at what the situation was in operational
8 group south, they would have a good overview of significant events and
9 activities? Is that reasonable?
10 A. Yes, precisely.
11 Q. In terms of a document that's the most comprehensive of important
12 matters such as we've just talked about, is the war diary the most
13 comprehensive overview of day-to-day important events and decisions and
14 orders? Or is there another document that is more comprehensive?
15 A. As far as events were concerned about which there was nothing in
16 writing, I think the war diary is probably the most reliable source, and
17 the most comprehensive source. However, when talking about documents that
18 were written, files on these documents that were kept are probably the
19 most comprehensive source in relation to those.
20 Q. When you say those files on the documents kept are probably the
21 most comprehensive, do you mean comprehensive in terms of the amount of
22 detail they contain, or comprehensive in the amount of separate and
23 singular incidents and -- that they may cover?
24 A. For example, if there is a written document, be it an order by a
25 superior command, or a report drafted by one of the subordinate officers,
1 it is not necessarily entered into the war diary, just by virtue of being
2 what it is. But once it was assigned a number, it had to be entered into
3 the register of the general administration office. This register contains
4 all the documents that were received from any level at all, higher up or
5 lower down. Some of those documents were marked in the war diary too.
6 But everything else that was not received in writing but was known about
7 based on reports from the inspection officers, based on the reports of
8 officers through our communications equipment, based on information
9 provided by our subordinate officers, based on information received by the
10 duty officer, at a time when the operations officers were not there, well,
11 all of this had to be entered into the war diary.
12 Q. In relation to the register you talk about that was kept to record
13 incoming -- I think you may have said incoming reports and orders, and --
14 or any document that was incoming, is it the case that that had to record
15 every one, every written order and report, as a matter of protocol?
16 A. Every report and every order received from the superior command
17 had to be entered into the register. The register which contained our
18 documents. There was no register kept in our subordinate units, not all
19 of them at any rate, as far as I remember. Therefore, such information
20 and such documents as were received by the brigade command would not be
21 registered in any of the lower-level units. However, I think most of the
22 information and documents received from the lower-level units were
23 eventually registered in this register book.
24 When somebody drafts a document and this document is sent to the
25 general administration office, it is entered into the register and
1 forwarded to whoever it's addressed to.
2 Q. So on that basis, does this register also record all outgoing
3 reports and documents, reports and orders, as well as incoming, or not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And, of course, we're referring to written reports and orders?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I know I'm about two minutes short, but
8 it seems like an appropriate time to break in terms of --
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 MR. SMITH: -- the topics.
11 JUDGE PARKER: We will then adjourn for the day. We resume
12 tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning because we are not able to sit in the
13 afternoon, as the courtroom will be used by the Appeals Chamber.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.28 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of May,
16 2006, at 9.00 a.m.