1 Tuesday, 9 May 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I understand there are some issues to be raised by
7 Mr. Vasic.
8 MR. VASIC: [No interpretation] And unfortunately ...
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, regrettably your opening words were
10 lost. If there was anything significant in them, repeat them. Otherwise,
11 carry on from where you were.
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It was not
13 all that important. Basically we looked at the notebook briefly, because
14 there was a judgement hearing in the courtroom in another case so we
15 didn't have much time. So the view of all of the teams of the Defence is
16 that it would be good to have a photocopy of the notebook, which we could
17 then use during cross-examination especially in relation to some
18 establishment questions and maybe some gaps about the events between the
19 18th and the 20th. This refers to some dates. So we would kindly ask to
20 have a copy of the notebook, and also to be given enough time until the
21 end of the day to look at the notebook so that then we could begin the
22 cross-examination tomorrow morning.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, my first reaction is "no" to both
24 propositions. The second one is the one of greatest concern. The
25 notebook is a small notebook. The entries are substantially dated. It
1 ought to be possible to assess in a few minutes whether there are any
2 entries of relevance to the issues in this case. The idea that you would
3 need A, a photocopy, and B, the balance of today and overnight to prepare
4 by looking at this one document, it seems to be considerably excessive.
5 Turning to your first proposition, we certainly would be of the
6 mind that if you hadn't enough time last night, because of the other court
7 hearing, to look through the document, that we could have a longer
8 adjournment say at the end of the first session today to give you and the
9 other Defence counsel to look through it. But unless there can be
10 identified in that some material that is of clear relevance to this case,
11 and which would be of -- usefully photocopied for the purposes of the
12 case, then we would be not inclined to the idea that the whole document
13 should be photocopied. You have already been provided, we are told, with
14 those parts which appear to the Prosecution to be relevant. The point of
15 view looking at it is in case the Prosecution have missed some parts that
16 you think are very haven't, and they have. And that's the sole reason for
17 you and the other Defence counsel to have a look at the actual document.
18 So for those reasons, without calling on Mr. Moore, we will
19 consider a longer adjournment at the first break in which you can look at
20 the document with other Defence counsel and then if there are any
21 particular matters arising from that, they can be raised when we return.
22 Is there any other matter?
23 Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would just like to say a couple of
25 things. I understand your directive and sometimes it means a lot that I'm
1 third in line for the cross-examination, so I don't really need a longer
2 postponement, but I would really -- we looked at the notebook yesterday,
3 and the relevant part provided to us by the Prosecutor starts at page 40.
4 The parts that we looked at very quickly it all seemed quite interesting
5 to us up to page 40 as well in regards names, some establishment matters.
6 So I think that it would be very good if we could get three copies of the
7 entire relevant part of the notebook up to the 24th of November. The
8 notebook begins from November 8th, the day he arrived there, and their
9 preparations during training, there are some establishment data there,
10 which the Prosecutor asked the witness about, and we really need to be
11 informed about that. We did react adequately as far back as January when
12 we made our request in this matter.
13 JUDGE PARKER: On Mr. Lukic's submission, Mr. Moore.
14 MR. MOORE: We will help in any way that we can. I remained here
15 last night with my learned friends. I could have had photocopying done if
16 it had been asked for. It was not asked for last night at all. The
17 problem that I foresee is a small one, but it will delay, and it is this:
18 That when one takes the document and photocopies it, it must be what's
19 called MIFed. It must have an ERN number, because if there is going to be
20 cross-examination on that page, there should be a reference point for it.
21 Now, if I had been able to do it last night, that wouldn't have been a
22 problem. If the cross-examination can be done on the basis of the natural
23 page number of the page itself, because, as the Court has seen, there is a
24 number, we can proceed without any difficulty at all, and I can have, I
25 hope, the ERNing proceeding on a corresponding time-frame. That's the
1 only difficulty that I would see. There is no difficulty photocopying it.
2 JUDGE PARKER: When will that be available, would you think?
3 MR. MOORE: In chief this morning, I can deal with the issues
4 actually, what I will do is I will change my evidence in chief slightly.
5 I will deal with the document now, because there is not a lot that I have
6 to deal with anyway. If that document can be released, then I will give
7 it to someone to photocopy. Unfortunately, this morning our case manager
8 has been taken to -- or has had to go to hospital, so we have no case
9 manager. I will get someone from the team to take it to evidence and have
10 it photocopied and ERNed and there should be no difficulty whatsoever for
11 my learned friends to look at the document. There is not a lot of
12 material there at all. It's the ERNing that I would be concerned about on
14 JUDGE PARKER: We can cope without an ERN number for
15 cross-examination, Mr. Moore.
16 MR. MOORE: Well, then I wouldn't see any problem at all. So I
17 will deal with the document now. If the document could then be released
18 from the registry, I will ensure that it is taken off into evidence,
19 photocopied, and provided to my learned friend within about 20 minutes, I
20 would have thought. As I say, it's a pity it wasn't asked for last
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, once again Mr. Moore is more
23 conciliatory than the Chamber.
24 The witness now, is it, Mr. Moore?
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 MR. MOORE: Yes, if we could have the witness now, please.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. You could sit down, if you would,
4 please. If I could remind you of the affirmation you made yesterday,
5 which still applies. Now Mr. Moore will continue with his questions.
6 Mr. Moore.
7 WITNESS: DRAGAN VEZMAROVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examination by Mr. Moore: [Continued]
10 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
11 Q. Mr. Vezmarovic, may I just deal then, please -- we were dealing
12 with what I will call the Mitnica evacuation, so I just want to deal with
13 that, if I may, please. You've told us about Karanfilov, you've told us
14 about, as you assessed, 60 individuals in charge of the -- what I will
15 call the prisoners. It's right to say, I think, that in actual fact you
16 made a list of the names of the people who were on that convoy and came
17 into your custody; is that right?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Why did you make a list?
20 A. One of the duties of a military policeman or police in general is
21 to have the list of the people present so that the next day or whenever
22 planned they could be handed over. So in order to do that I had to do
23 have the list of persons whom I received in order to have that tally with
24 the number of persons that I was handing over.
25 MR. MOORE: To assist the Court, could the registry please turn up
1 the same number that we had yesterday, which was 0214-7205, and continuing
2 throughout. So can I deal with number 0214-7206?
3 Q. Mr. Vezmarovic, would you look at page 50 of your book for a
4 moment, please? We have dealt with 49, we have dealt with 48. Let's just
5 look at 50. What does 50 show, please?
6 06, please. 206, for the registry. Yes.
7 Have you got that, page 50?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What does this represent, what does this tell us?
10 A. This is the sixth officer who was present in the group that we
11 talked with. His name is Jozo Brajcic, son of Jozo, born in 1955, and I
12 was told he didn't have any particular function.
13 Q. Thank you. You told us that yesterday. Let us now move on,
14 please, to page 51, which is 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212. Can we just go
15 through those simultaneously, please? So that the Court get an idea of
16 exactly what has occurred. So we've got 207, can we go to 208, please?
17 209. 210. 211, please. And 212. And then conclude, please, on page 213
18 for the moment. Thank you very much.
19 Now, you have seen the sequence of names that are in your book.
20 Who wrote those names in your book?
21 A. All the names that are here, and that are mentioned in the
22 notebook were written in personally by me. If I can explain, I put the
23 surname first, then the name of the father and then the first name of the
24 recruit. At the end is the year of birth. In the beginning I would write
25 the full year, 1958, for example, in the first, but then later, because of
1 the speed and the cold, I would shorten it, so I didn't put the 19, but
2 only the last two digits, 59, 63, and so on. There are a couple of
3 mistakes where they told me the names in the wrong order, because
4 sometimes I would be told that their first name and then the name of the
5 parent, so there would be an arrow in such cases indicating the correct
7 Q. Thank you very much. I'm going to slightly out of sequence, but I
8 will deal with, if I may, if one looks at page 213, right-hand side, it is
9 the natural page number top right-hand corner, page 63. On page 62, 63,
10 the writing is upright, we go to page 63, it's slightly angled. But there
11 is an entry there which commences dealing with the date of the 18th of the
12 11th, 91. Can you read out to the Court what that says, and then I will
13 deal with that entry and the subsequent entry in due course. So go to
14 page 63, please. And have you got it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would you be kind enough to read out what that says then, please?
17 A. It begins, "Received on the 18th of November, 1991 around 1600
18 hours at the farm in the village of Ovcara, handed over to Karanfilov on
19 the 19th of November, 1991 at 1130 hours lists given to the KP Dom in
20 Sremska Mitrovica on the 19th of November, 1991, at 1530 hours.
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic, Colonel Zaric - guards." The text is
22 written in the Cyrillic script and the names were written in the Latin
23 script because it was easier. I started to write the names in Cyrillic
24 and then I realised it was more difficult for me to write the Croatian
25 names in the Cyrillic script, so then I switched to the Latin script.
1 Q. I just want to deal, you've clearly got a number of names of the
2 people that were taken into your custody. So when you were, say, received
3 at about 1600 hours on the 18th of November, and you cite in the village
4 of Ovcara, there is a reference to "handed over to Captain Karanfilov" at
5 1130 on the 19th of November.
6 Now, I just want you just to stop for a moment, and go back to the
7 time that you had the prisoners of war, or the detainees at Ovcara. You
8 have told us about how you controlled those prisoners through the night.
9 And you have told us how many people were guarding them. Did you have any
10 members or any persons coming to Ovcara through the night and inquiring
11 about the prisoners themselves?
12 A. Well let me say that it was perhaps normal for them to come to ask
13 whether the prisoners were there, they were asking about how many of them
14 there were, what would happen to them, and so on and so forth. So we
15 could say that it was quite a normal conversation with people in uniforms
16 or without uniforms who came, with ranks or without ranks, who came in the
17 course of the night and asked about them. The usual answer was that we
18 were guarding them, that we didn't know what would happen to them later,
19 and so on and so forth, how long they would stay there. But everything
20 was under control and everything was all right.
21 Q. I want to deal with the persons that you referred to as "they."
22 Who are they, who are the people came through the night to ask about these
23 prisoners? Can you please be a little more precise?
24 A. Well, I couldn't be sure, because I don't know. They spoke
25 Serbian, I assume that they were members of the TO or people who lived in
1 Vukovar. People who knew that this group could be there, or that it
2 possibly is there. No one came in an organised fashion following a
3 command or something. They just came on their own.
4 Q. Were any of these people armed?
5 A. Yes. I think that in that area there wasn't a single person
6 without weapons.
7 Q. Is the answer to that "yes"? Is the answer to the question yes?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. And can we deal with the uniforms, please. What sort of uniforms
10 were they wearing; can you tell us?
11 A. They were olive-drab uniforms like we all had at that time, then
12 there were also camouflage uniforms, as well as people in civilian
13 clothing or mixed. They would have some uniform parts and some just
14 civilian clothes.
15 Q. Are you able to say if they had any insignias on their uniform?
16 A. No. And even if they did, I didn't see it. I didn't notice
17 anyone wearing insignia of ranks, indicating ranks. And the uniform was
18 the same.
19 Q. If we're talking about people from the Vukovar TO, how many times
20 did they come through the night? Can you give us a general idea?
21 A. No, because they would come from time to time, I was making the
22 list, I left for Negoslavci to secure food and water. So I really
23 couldn't tell you how many times people came, who came, I really don't
25 Q. Thank you. Can I just see if I can clarify the position when one
1 is responsible for evacuees in the role that you were in as, really,
2 military police. Would it be right to say that there are principal
3 criteria. One, that you have a concern from inside that the people that
4 you are detaining do not escape or cause trouble. And the second criteria
5 would be to ensure that there is no trouble from the outside, that people
6 try and interfere with the individuals who are detained. Would that be a
7 fair analysis of the responsibility that you had that evening?
8 A. Yes, it's just as you say.
9 Q. And would those be criteria that you would apply when you are
10 guarding any persons who have been detainees and taken into custody?
11 A. Yes. It was necessary to reduce the possibility of escape. Or
12 the possibility that someone outside should help them escape. Or try to
13 help the prisoners in any other way. So both these tasks had to be dealt
14 with efficiently.
15 Q. What about the task of protecting prisoners from the possibility
16 of attack or physical injury from hostile forces outside. Is that a
17 feature or a factor in your -- in your brief when you protect individuals?
18 A. Well, yes. At the time it was self-implicit in the area. They
19 needed protection from people who might have attacked them, outsiders. We
20 had outside security, we had inside security, in order to protect
21 prisoners from the possibility of escape or from any outside attacks.
22 Q. May we move on to 11.30 on the 19th of November? The entry that
23 I've allowed to remain on the magic board, and you say that you handed
24 over these prisoners to Karanfilov. Now, you remember that entry; is that
1 A. Yes. The convoy that arrived on the 19th of November at about
2 1100 hours, again there were buses, military vehicles, Red Cross vehicles.
3 These vehicles disgorged a group of military officers bearing a variety of
4 ranks. Captain Karanfilov walked up to me, asked me if everything was all
5 right, how the security detail had gone. I told him about what happened
6 during the night, I told him that everything was under control, that I had
7 drawn up a list which was now in my notebook.
8 Upon hearing this, he said that first checks should be run to see
9 how the prisoners had been treated and then the prisoners should be put on
10 the buses. Meanwhile, I should nip over to the command in Negoslavci and
11 have the list typewritten, which is precisely what I did next.
12 Q. Why did you tell Karanfilov about what had happened through the
13 night, namely the TO Vukovar arriving? Why did you tell him that?
14 A. This is the usual reports you make to a superior officer.
15 Karanfilov, at that point in time, was my superior officer, giving me
16 tasks and assignments. I reported to him on the situation and on what had
17 gone on during the night in terms of the security, food, the lavatories
18 and keeping the outsiders outside.
19 Q. May we deal then, please, with the -- the hand-over itself, why is
20 it necessary to have a formal hand-over from one controlling unit to
22 A. Well, to put it in the simplest possible terms, there were 181
23 people who had surrendered and were received. There were some Red Cross
24 people there and some military officers, and these people had the chance
25 to speak up, to tell everybody whether they had been treated in keeping
1 with the Geneva Conventions or not, whether they had been mistreated by
2 any of the military police members there or any of the JNA members there
3 during the night. Or whether any other military recruits had been allowed
4 to beat them or mistreat them. Or whether on the other hand everything
5 had been perfectly all right. One just needed to check whether the
6 hand-over was smooth and check the numbers too. Just to make sure that no
7 one had been killed during the previous night or anything like that.
8 Q. Can we deal, please, then with what I will call the convoy leaving
9 Ovcara? Can you remember again in general terms, you've told us about
10 the -- I think you've told us about the Red Cross, but I would like to
11 deal with the vehicles that took the detainees. What vehicles were used?
12 Can you just tell us in general terms, please?
13 A. Well, the prisoners were driven on a bus. Three or four of those,
14 as far as I remember. The military police used Puch and Pinzgauers, all
15 the other military officers were arriving either in Puches or in
16 Pinzgauers. So exactly the kind of vehicles that were generally available
17 to military personnel in the area.
18 Q. So if I may conclude this way: As far as you are concerned, were
19 there any problems, significant problems from the time that those
20 prisoners were brought into Ovcara until the time they were -- and handed
21 over by Karanfilov, and then handed back to Karanfilov on the 19th, and
22 their subsequent removal, were there any problems as far as you are aware?
23 A. This is what I can say: Whatever problems there were, were taken
24 in our stride and resolved. What Karanfilov was told and what the
25 international factors or agents were told was that everything was all
1 right, that no one had complained about anything, that everything that had
2 gone on during the night had been in keeping with the rules of service
3 and, most important of all, the Geneva Conventions.
4 Q. When you say the rules of service, what do you mean by the rules
5 of service? What rules of service control or guide the control of
6 evacuees? Can you tell us what you mean by that?
7 A. I'll try to say this: The security itself ran along these lines:
8 Some people were standing guard, some were resting and some were readying
9 themselves to take over guard duty. There were guards inside the hangar
10 and outside the hangar. Two rings of security, as it were. The other
11 officers who were also there were commanding the smallest units that there
12 were, from squad level down. Everything that needed to be secured was
13 secured. Things such as food, water, and everything else. Everything
14 that had to be done under the rules was done.
15 Q. May I just deal then, please, with the list itself. It's a
16 handwritten list, you've told us, I think, that you subsequently went to
17 Sremska Mitrovica with that list. In very short phrases, can you tell us
18 what it was you did with the list and how it was compiled? Well, you have
19 told us how it was compiled, but what happened to it after you left
21 A. When I was given the assignment of getting a typewritten copy of
22 that list to use it as a document for sending those prisoners to Sremska
23 Mitrovica, Karanfilov sent me back to the command. It was between Vukovar
24 and the centre of Negoslavci. On the right-hand side of the road, between
25 the first houses and the hospital. That's where I first came, there was a
1 warrant officer, a warrant officer second class who told me they had
2 nothing to typewrite this with. He told me to go to the other building
3 where Major Sljivancanin was, and find a typewriter there, which I did.
4 This was another house just outside the hospital to the right. I managed
5 to find a typewriter which I used to copy my list. I took this list back
6 to Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic who then informed me that the convoy had
7 already left for Sremska Mitrovica.
8 My new assignment was to try and catch up with the convoy. Should
9 I fail, I was told I should go straight to Mitrovica and hand over the
10 list of prisoners, which is what I eventually ended up doing.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Now, I want to just stop there.
12 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I wonder if it's possible for the
13 registry to turn over to the following page number, which is 0214-7206.
14 I'm reading it go upside down, I hope I've got the right one. Let's see
15 if I've got it the right way. Excuse me a moment. Actually, 7214 would
16 be a better choice. Thank you. So it should be 7214. I don't know if
17 it's possible for the registry to hold that particular image and then for
18 the document now to be taken from the witness so it can be removed and
19 photocopied, and I can deal with this page subsequently.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It should be possible.
21 MR. MOORE: So if the document could be taken now, I would be
22 extremely grateful.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MR. MOORE: And I sincerely hope that I don't have anything to do
25 with case -- electronic here -- electronic case projection.
1 Q. Can we please now move on to -- you've told us that you went to
2 Sremska Mitrovica. You've told us that you have been to Ovcara on this
3 one occasion. Did you ever return to Ovcara again?
4 A. When the first security job was finished I returned to Ovcara
5 after my assignment when I was told at the company that we now had a new
6 security job because there was new group of prisoners arriving at Ovcara,
7 that most of the company's people were there already. I drove straight on
8 to Ovcara in that vehicle with the soldiers who were already with me.
9 Upon my arrival what I found there was mayhem. Should I continue?
10 Q. Not just for the moment. May I just deal with one or two
11 questions. You've told us with regard to the Mitnica evacuation, you had
12 notice that an evacuation was coming prior to its arrival. With regard to
13 this evacuation, and I'm going to call it the Vukovar Hospital evacuation,
14 with regard to this evacuation, had you any notice that it was arriving?
15 A. No. I had received no announcement of that that morning. No
16 announcement of a new group of prisoners of war arriving, that we should
17 be organising a security regime for. So it was for this reason that I had
18 already left and gone away on a different task.
19 Q. You told us one or two minutes ago that when you arrived at Ovcara
20 you described it as, "what I found there was mayhem." What do you mean
21 by "mayhem?" Can you give the Court, please, a description of what you
22 found and saw?
23 A. This was the very same hangar at Ovcara where the Mitnica group
24 had been secured previously. There were two doors being used now for
25 gaining entry. The one to the left and the other one to the right. There
1 were several different groups there, groups of what I shall call
2 prisoners. There were people wearing uniform, wearing parts of uniform,
3 wearing no uniform at all, their heads, arms and legs bandaged. Most of
4 them were wearing something. Moving freely around them were military
5 policemen, soldiers in uniforms and people with no uniforms or with parts
6 of uniforms. So to sum it up, this by no means looked like proper
7 security being provided for the prisoners. This was a mess. Disarray.
8 Q. May we deal, please, with the time that you arrived on this
9 occasion at Ovcara. I'm going to try and use lighting, whether it was
10 daylight or night or dusk. Are you able to assist us that when you
11 arrived at Ovcara, what was the lighting like?
12 A. It was dark by this time. One could no longer see. It was too
13 dark to see.
14 Q. And if one was to try and estimate a time when you arrived, would
15 you be able to give a time, approximately?
16 A. Well, no. I can only speculate. But it would be mere
17 speculation. It was dark already, I do know that. I don't know about the
18 time of day.
19 Q. May I deal with the persons who were bandaged, you described it as
20 "some not wearing uniform at all, their heads, arms, and legs bandaged."
21 Would you be able to give an estimate of the percentage of prisoners, if I
22 may use that, or detainees who were bandaged or injured?
23 A. At least 70 per cent of them. Not that I'm really able to give
24 you the exact figure in terms of the numbers of people there. But once I
25 had managed to establish some sort of order for myself, and they were now
1 standing to the right of the door, so I pulled the rope again. The
2 density of the crowd was not the same as during the previous security job.
3 Now, as to how many of them were wearing bandages and how many were not,
4 this would only lead to speculation on my part. I can tell you what my
5 soldiers told me in passing, not formally reporting but just hints dropped
6 in passing, I was trying to exercise command there to get everybody out of
7 the hangar. I was trying to take all the prisoners across to the
8 right-hand portion of the hangar, looking from the door. So these
9 soldiers were telling me in passing that they had already been
10 categorised, the prisoners, based on the gravity of the crimes they
11 committed against the Serbian population. There was a group of people who
12 killed seven Serbs. There was another group, for example, who had slit
13 the throats of three persons. So now everybody was confused. Why was I
14 grouping them all together, since they had already been categorised, as it
15 were. However it was my belief that all the prisoners should be kept
16 together in one place and I gave an order to that effect.
17 Q. And did you see any of these prisoners receiving medical treatment
18 during this period?
19 A. Well, no. I mean, they were all helping each other out. Even the
20 policemen were helping along those who had difficulty moving. As far as I
21 remember, there were people with crutches there, who were using crutches
22 to walk, and those other people were helping them cross to the other side.
23 As for the prisoners, nobody seemed to be complaining. Everybody just
24 crossed without complaining at all. Soldiers who were not military police
25 officers left without complaining. The only grumpy party, so to speak,
1 were the TO people. They were saying things like, Why are we doing this?
2 Why is this being done in this way? However, they too, eventually left
3 and everything was back under control. Again, it was the military
4 policemen providing security to the right with the police officers and a
5 rope was pulled across. So both security rings were now re-established in
6 a way, and the security regime resumed its normal function.
7 Q. You told us about the Mitnica evacuation that Karanfilov was
8 responsible when he came and gave them to you on the 18th, he collected
9 them on the 19th, and he was what I will call a designated person of
10 responsibility for that evacuation. Did you make any inquiries of who was
11 responsible for the Vukovar Hospital evacuation to try and clarify what on
12 earth was going on?
13 A. No. Well, you see, truth to tell, I didn't even know at the time
14 where that group had come from. There were rumours in circulation, but I
15 had no officers to speak to. I kept asking if there were any officers
16 around for me to talk to, so that we might work together and set up a
17 proper security regime. No one talked back, however. Based on which I
18 concluded that there were no officers in the area to help me. I seem to
19 have been the only officer in the area at the time. And I managed to
20 establish a semblance of order at least, even if there were other officers
21 around, no one responded. Although I was looking for help, I was looking
22 for someone who could help me with that. Anyone, someone from the TO or
23 from the JNA. I was setting up the security regime, and I was trying to
24 get all of those didn't belong there out of the hangar, but nobody
25 assisted me, no one responded when I asked.
1 Q. It may seem a ridiculous question, but it is a necessary question.
2 Why did you require assistance from officers at this time?
3 A. Each officer exercises command over his own unit. I can't
4 exercise command over somebody else's unit. Even if the unit is just a
5 squad. There needs to be an officer in command. I was looking for an
6 officer with whom I might work together and agree on the terms of command,
7 what he would be doing, what I would be doing, what the respective
8 responsibilities were, that sort of thing. I was looking, but there was
9 no response. And things just went the way they did until the moment
10 Captain Karanfilov re-emerged.
11 Q. We'll deal with that in due course, but I want to deal with other
12 topics that you mentioned and we have as yet not dealt with. You have
13 told us that you had been informed that groups had been categorised in
14 relation to the gravity of offences that they may or may not have
15 committed. What did you mean by that, please? What did you understand by
16 that when it was said to you?
17 A. What I wish to say is that this was not a formal report. These
18 were snippets that I caught in passing while giving my men orders and
19 while I was trying to establish some degree of discipline both in and
20 outside the hangar with the assistance of the military policemen there.
21 There was a lot of foul language being used and a lot of complaints by
22 Vukovar's TO men. That's what was going on.
23 Q. Who had been doing the categorising before you arrived?
24 A. I don't know who had been doing the categorising. I was just told
25 that this had been done. And I didn't really take this at face value when
1 I came. People's accounts differed of what exactly had happened, but I
2 wasn't interested in stories. My job was to guard the prisoners, much the
3 same way as I had previously done with the Mitnica group. And regardless
4 of whether there had, in fact, been any categorisation or not, my job was
5 not to vet them for crimes. They were all equal to me, all prisoners of
6 war, and I was there to guard them. That was my job.
7 Q. You have told us that you were trying to locate officers, what I
8 will call regular officers. Did you manage to locate any person who
9 appeared to be in command or be responsible for what I will call the
10 Vukovar TO?
11 A. No one responded when I called to tell me that they were the
12 commander of a unit there so we might work together. One thing that was
13 obvious though was this: Whenever I spoke to the TO people, whenever I
14 told them to look one way, to look to the door or to the exit, they would
15 always eventually leave without really complaining. They did make a bit
16 of noise, and they did use a bit of bad language, but that was the extent
17 of it. I did notice, however, that they were looking around, casting
18 their eyes around as if in search of their commander, somebody who would
19 tell them what to do. And this later turned out to be true. They were
20 looking out for two officers who were there, and who were later introduced
21 to me as Vukovar's TO officers.
22 Q. And are you able to tell us the name of those two officers,
24 A. I was introduced to both of them the way Karanfilov was introduced
25 to me previously and it was this time that Karanfilov introduced these two
1 men to me. And he introduced me to them, but I don't remember their
2 names. The only thing is what I have already said, and that is that one
3 of them, being the shorter one, moved about much more than the taller
4 person. He was of dark hair, he had a dark overcoat, a goatee, I believe,
5 whereas Mirko, the other one, was somewhat shorter than I am. He was
6 blond. And he moved around much more, and there was another soldier who
7 went around with him, a rather fat person. Later on when they were
8 introduced to me by Karanfilov, it turned out that they were officers. As
9 regards Mirko, his first and last name is here. At the time it seemed to
10 me that he was addressed as Mirko. I believe I had met him on one
11 occasion in Vukovar previously, and I wrote down at that time that he was
12 Miroljub Vukovic [as interpreted] [Realtime transcript read in error
13 "Vukovar"] from the Vukovar TO so that his full name was Miroljub rather
14 than Mirko.
15 Q. Perhaps it's the way it came out, but needs clarification. Would
16 you look at the screen in front of you, would you look at top right-hand
17 corner, it's copy from your book, it's 2714. Do you see it up there?
18 Have you got your spectacles. Now, that's a copy from your book can you
19 just tell us what this says, and when it was you entered it?
20 A. What I have on the screen is the 73rd page, if that's what you
22 Q. Yes. I don't know if yours is the same as mine. Mine is very
23 difficult to read. Are you able to see it?
24 A. Yes. I see it. That's the thing. There is number 2 in circle,
25 Olajnica building number 6 in passing. Savic Momcilo Miroslav, the 11th
1 of February, 1969, Vukovar, Proleterska 2 Street, Vukovar. Miroljub
2 Vujovic, TO Vukovar. Perhaps I can clarify Vukovar Street [as
3 interpreted], Vukovar. Miroljub, perhaps I can clarify further if I need
5 Q. Yes, I would like to try and break it into parts because it's
6 running all together. You have got one entry with a star. Do you see
7 that, an asterisk? Do you see it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I would like you to read this part out and then wait for the
10 question, please.
11 A. Next to the asterisk it says Savic Momcilo Miroslav, the 11th of
12 February 1969, Vukovar, Proleterska, number 2 Vukovar. Kom. Miroljub
13 Vujovic, TO Vukovar.
14 Q. When you use the word "kom.", what does that mean, please? Kom.
15 Miroljub Vujovic?
16 A. Short for commander, komandir or komandant of the for TO Vukovar.
17 Q. Why was that you wrote that in your book?
18 A. The first and the last name next to the asterisk, Savic Momcilo,
19 was a guy from Vukovar this was at a time when I was in the Vukovar
20 barracks. And there was an incident related to this person, and he
21 started causing problems to the units that were deployed in Vukovar. He
22 threatened, he cursed them, he even threatened to set a bomb off to kill
23 many of the unit members. At the moment when I met this person I noted
24 down his particulars and I asked him about his commander and he said that
25 his commander was Vujovic Miroljub. Then I went to see this Miroljub, and
1 he told me that indeed he was a problematic person because his parents as
2 well as his sister had been killed, and that he is under stress. After
3 that Miroljub and I sort of made an arrangement of how to treat this
4 person and I believe it was a rather good one, because there were no
5 further incidents with the person.
6 Q. And had you seen this person, Miroljub, before?
7 A. Yes. I saw Miroljub that evening at Ovcara. As regards of Savic,
8 he came another two occasions to my office and we discussed cooperation.
9 Q. Thank you. I really just want to focus on Ovcara and Miroljub.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Just before you do, could I mention that in the
11 transcript at page 21, line 12, the name you are focusing on is
12 misrecorded. The surname is recorded as Vukovar rather than Vujovic.
13 MR. MOORE: My learned friend Mr. Theunens had informed me of it,
14 but I just thought I would deal with that in due course.
15 JUDGE PARKER: So we've got that noted and now you can focus for
16 all you wish, Mr. Moore.
17 MR. MOORE:
18 Q. May I return please to the incident at Ovcara, you've told us
19 about the TO Vukovar, the individuals who were there, and you said that
20 there were individuals who were responsible or in charge, I should say.
21 Now, are you able, please, just to deal specifically with the smaller of
22 the two individuals that appeared to be in charge. So can we just deal
23 with that, please? Firstly, did you know his name, the smaller person's
25 A. No. At the moment I didn't. I believe he was being addressed as
1 Mirko, but I'm not certain whether that was indeed so. I may have
2 remembered that wrongly.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. But even today when I think about it, it seems to have been a
6 Q. What height are you, please?
7 A. 174 centimetres.
8 Q. Are you able to assess whether this person whom you believe to be
9 Mirko was taller or smaller than you? And please don't guess.
10 A. Mirko was somewhat shorter than I am.
11 Q. May we deal with his build? Are you able to assess it, whether it
12 was fat, thin, or just of average dimensions?
13 A. He was well-built. He wasn't fat. I believe he was of
14 appropriate appearance and weight, and he could move well.
15 Q. And was he wearing a uniform at that time?
16 A. I don't remember.
17 Q. And why did you think he was a leader of that group?
18 A. Before Captain Karanfilov's arrival, as I said, everyone from the
19 group would cast their glances towards him, and occasionally towards the
20 other person who wore a hat. Then, after that, they would do whatever I
21 said. My conclusion was that they were asking for a permission from these
22 two as to whether to obey or not. That was the impression I was under at
23 that time.
24 Q. That is the first person that you have referred to. Who was the
25 second person that you saw that evening whom you believed to be in charge
1 or in control? When I say that I mean with regard to the Vukovar TO.
2 A. The other person was somewhat taller than I am. He wore a black
3 hat, a large one. Quite peculiar. He wore a leather jacket as well, and
4 as far as I can remember, that person had a beard. He was mostly in one
5 place, didn't move around much. He wasn't as agile as Mirko was.
6 Q. And you have told us that you saw Vujovic that evening at Ovcara.
7 What was he doing?
8 A. He was there with the rest. When I issued the orders, they all
9 left the hangar. There was no one inside the hangar apart from the
10 military policemen. And around the building there were many TO members,
11 there was yelling, cursing. Because they wanted to stay there. And in
12 order to relax the tension, I allowed them to go in, in small groups, to
13 walk by the rope to see who was there, and then to leave.
14 Once outside, they usually resorted to cursing, they would comment
15 on whom they recognised and whom they didn't. Whether this or that person
16 killed someone, they were explaining things to each other and so on and so
18 Q. To assist the Court, how would you describe the atmosphere in that
19 hangar with the TO Vukovar behaving the way that they have done? Can you
20 paint a picture for us, please?
21 A. If you have in mind the moment as of which the control was
22 re-established, it means that there was no one there anymore who wasn't
23 supposed to have been there, apart from the people that we would let in
24 occasionally. The situation outside was quite unchanged. They were
25 angry, cursing. And once they would leave the hangar, they explained
1 things to each other. You know, that guy was from that part of Vukovar,
2 and he used to live there, he killed this or that person. And it just
3 increased the tension among the Vukovar TO members, because they had
4 members of their family or relatives killed previously.
5 Q. And you have said that they were saying what they would do. What
6 sort of things were they saying they were going to do to the people
8 A. No one spoke directly to me. No one tried to tell me to do
9 anything, but they were talking among themselves in small groups, and one
10 can -- could overhear that. They were quite loud, they cursed a lot.
11 They were explaining to each other whom they recognised inside, where that
12 person used to hide, who did what to whom. No one addressed me directly,
13 trying to get me into doing anything, but they simply discussed this among
14 themselves. They weren't saying anything along the line of wanting to
15 kill anyone, but they were simply cursing the prisoners, explaining to
16 each other what each prisoner did previously. Just to clarify, perhaps,
17 in the Serbian language there are quite a lot of curses, rough ones too.
18 Q. Well, it may surprise you that not everybody is a sensitive
19 individual, and I suspect we are all rather hardened. Would you tell us,
20 please, the sort of curses that were being said outside the Ovcara hangar;
21 would you mind? That won't offend you too much?
22 A. I can't remember everything that was said. Well, those are nasty
23 swear words. To us they appear rather ordinary because there was nothing
24 to indicate that something could take place later on.
25 Q. Well, let's just examine that for the moment. How many people did
1 you have, how many soldiers did you have in place at that time for the
2 security of these individuals?
3 A. There were between 15 and 20 policemen there. I came in a
4 Pinzgauer, and so there were two more policemen with me. Altogether
5 around 20.
6 Q. And you told us that for the Mitnica evacuation there were
7 something like 60 individuals protecting them. Now, this was a larger
8 group by approximately 70.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe my learned friend is trying
11 to suggest an answer to the witness when the witness was explaining
12 yesterday that the Mitnica group was at any given point secured by 20
13 soldiers, and that it lasted throughout the night, 15 to 20. Now a
14 suggestion is attempted that the number was -- of the policemen was such,
15 but the witness only mention the number as regards the Mitnica group.
16 MR. MOORE: I have a copy of the transcript.
17 JUDGE PARKER: You don't need it, Mr. Moore. The group guarding
18 the previous night was the larger number you used. The fact that only 15
19 to 20 might have been detailed at a particular time is a different issue
20 from the number that were there and available. Carry on, Mr. Moore.
21 MR. MOORE:
22 Q. You have told us that this group was a larger group. Are you able
23 to assist the Court in the following way: Do you know if there had been
24 any concern expressed by anyone about whether there were enough soldiers
25 on the ground to protect this group adequately?
1 A. As I have said, I didn't find a single officer at the moment with
2 whom I could talk to. There were the 15 to 20 policemen at my disposal,
3 and I had to do with the people I had. Therefore, there weren't enough of
4 them to put together the second and the third shift. That was the number
5 of people I had to use for the rest of the night as well. To provide
6 security at low temperatures for the entire night, that was a difficult
7 thing to do for them. They had to secure the prisoners both inside and
8 outside the hangar.
9 Q. Did you see Colonel Vojnovic at any time at Ovcara that day?
10 A. No. From the moment I arrived at Ovcara until the moment I left,
11 I didn't see Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic.
12 Q. You have told us that you had -- that you saw Karanfilov that day
13 later on. I want to deal with that area of your evidence. When did you
14 next see Karanfilov on the 20th?
15 A. Captain Karanfilov arrived at a certain point to the hangar. I
16 told him about the situation that I found there, I told him about the
17 things I undertook, and I reported the same way I used to report my -- my
18 superiors as regarded the Mitnica group. This officer was someone that I
19 coordinated with before, and I was supposed to carry on. Therefore, I
20 informed him on the situation and reported of the measures undertaken.
21 Q. Now, I want to again try and work at time. You said that you
22 arrived, that it was dark and it was difficult to assess time. How long
23 had you remained at Ovcara before seeing Karanfilov arrive?
24 A. I can't be specific, but I believe from the moment I arrived until
25 the moment I left, that period lasted two hours at the most. Perhaps I
1 spent another half an hour with Karanfilov, so it may have been an hour
2 and a half between the time I arrived and the time when Captain Karanfilov
3 arrived. But I'm just trying to guess.
4 Q. Had you been told that Karanfilov, firstly, was involved with this
5 evacuation prior to his arrival?
6 A. No. As I have explained, there was no officer there with whom I
7 could speak so that I could learn that some people were there from the
8 Vukovar Hospital. At the moment when Captain Karanfilov arrived, he told
9 me these people were from the hospital and that an arrangement was made
10 between the JNA and the Vukovar TO that the Vukovar TO was to take control
11 of the security of the building and the prisoners.
12 Q. When he came -- you have already told us he didn't come along -- I
13 will let the interruption proceed before I start my question.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Vasic.
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The witness
16 said that he was told that the civilian authorities were to take control
17 of the town of Vukovar. I believe that was something the witness stated,
18 and it wasn't recorded in the transcript. Perhaps it could be clarified
19 by my learned friend.
20 I apologise. I was being corrected by my colleagues. The witness
21 stated that the TO was to take control of the town of Vukovar.
22 MR. MOORE:
23 Q. I'm going to deal with the conversation that you had with
24 Karanfilov. There seems to be some confusion. Please disregard anything
25 you have heard said in your own language and just deal with the evidence
1 that you remember. So can I deal, please, with Karanfilov. What was it
2 that Karanfilov said to you?
3 A. I don't know whether I have explained myself well, but Karanfilov
4 told me that there was a meeting and that the JNA reached an agreement
5 with the Vukovar TO that the TO was to take control. I may have misspoken
6 the first time, and maybe the things went in different sequence, but
7 Captain Karanfilov was explaining things to me that based on the agreement
8 the TO of Vukovar was take over the security of the prisoners. That's the
9 way he put it.
10 Q. I thought you also told us that Karanfilov had said that the
11 prisoners had come from the hospital. Is that right or not?
12 A. Yes. As far as I can remember from where I'm sitting now, I had a
13 notion of what was taking place here, and this was clarified to me
14 further, but I don't know whether in those exact words. That's what was
15 given to me by way of information.
16 Q. And the other thing was that there had been an agreement between
17 the JNA and the TO Vukovar that the TO Vukovar would take charge of the
18 prisoners. Is that correct or not?
19 A. Yes. I was told there was a meeting. I don't know at what level,
20 or where. It may have been mentioned but I don't remember. I was told
21 that the Vukovar TO was to take over Vukovar, as well as the prisoners
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
24 A. Therefore, the civilian authorities -- I apologise. Maybe I
25 manage to clarify somewhat. Civilian authorities were being established,
1 and they were supposed to take over the prisoners.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, the purpose of my intervention is
3 because of a reference at page 28, line 9. Is this conversation with
4 Captain Karanfilov on the 19th or the 20th of November?
5 MR. MOORE: I thought I had posed the question, which was on 28/8,
6 which I said that you saw Karanfilov that day, later on, because he had
7 said that in evidence. I want to deal with that area of your evidence.
8 When did you next see Karanfilov on the 20th. So I specifically
9 referred --
10 JUDGE PARKER: So we have moved to the 20th from the 19th. That
11 was the point of my inquiry.
12 MR. MOORE: We have never been on the 19th. I said in actual
13 fact -- well, I understand now exactly what Your Honour's question relates
14 to. I will take the witness back to clarify that. Because I referred
15 to -- that he had been to Ovcara twice. I will ask him when it was the
16 second time. What date that was. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE PARKER: And then we will break.
18 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
19 Q. Witness, you went to Ovcara a second time. Do you know what date
20 that was?
21 A. Well, no. Such things as dates and the time of day seemed
22 irrelevant to me at the time. What I do know, is because my memory was
23 jogged during all the investigations and everything, that the Mitnica
24 group was on the 18th and the 19th, and what I'm talking about now was
25 happening on the 20th. I don't think I ever spoke about anything else
1 happening on the 19th except for the hand-over of the POWs from Mitnica,
2 or rather their transport to Sremska Mitrovica.
3 Q. So when you refer to this incident, what I will call the Vukovar
4 Hospital incident, you're referring to the 20th; is that right?
5 A. Yes. The evening of the 20th.
6 MR. MOORE: I think Your Honour wanted to adjourn.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Where was -- did you spend the evening of the 19th?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I should talk about that
9 too. Upon my return from Sremska Mitrovica there was a murder in another
10 unit, so I went there to secure the crime scene until an on-site
11 investigation was carried out. So I was outside Negoslavci, and the next
12 day, on the morning of the next day, I drove to Njemci, and once I had
13 left Njemci I drove back to Ovcara.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
15 Now, we will have a break until 11.30. And I see that there may
16 be photocopies, and that will allow some opportunity for that to be
17 examined. We will now adjourn.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.04 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
21 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
22 Q. I'd like to deal with the evening of the 20th, please.
23 Karanfilov, you've told us that he arrived with various individuals and
24 had a conversation with you. Did you expect to see Karanfilov that night?
25 A. Well, I had no idea who would be turning up, or if anyone would at
1 all. It was logical to expect though that one of the officers would be
2 there to see how the security regime was going, and to see if everything
3 was going according to plan. So in a way, you might say I expected one of
4 the officers to turn up, and Karanfilov did.
5 Q. And can you tell us what he said to you, please?
6 A. Well, I reported to him, and I informed Captain Karanfilov about
7 everything that had gone on, about everything that I had done and what the
8 situation was. He again told me that there had been a meeting between the
9 JNA and the Vukovar TO. He said an agreement had been reached for the TO
10 Vukovar to take charge of the town, as civilian authorities, and that the
11 prisoners would be handed over to the Vukovar TO.
12 Q. And did you hand the prisoners over to Karanfilov when he said
13 that to you?
14 A. No. The next stage was outside the hangar. There was another
15 conversation between Captain Karanfilov, myself with the big hat, and
16 Mirko. Karanfilov introduced me to the Vukovar TO people, he introduced
17 them to me and said that the Vukovar TO would now be taking charge of the
18 prisoners' security, saying that I was to pull my unit back, or out. What
19 I asked the Vukovar TO people is if they had a sufficient number of men to
20 perform all these security tasks. The answer was in the affirmative. We
21 exchanged greetings, I took leave of them and took all the necessary
22 measures to prepare my unit for heading back to Negoslavci.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I didn't want to interrupt my
25 colleague. Page 32, line 25, the witness said, "I was expecting one of
1 the officers, but whether it was Karanfilov or not..." The interpretation
2 was different.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
4 MR. MOORE: I don't know --
5 JUDGE PARKER: If I'm silent, I'm leaving it to you whether you
6 need to do anything or not.
7 MR. MOORE: The only thing that concerns me is one is trying to
8 get a witness to give evidence in a flowing way. There are interruptions,
9 I'm sure it is with the best motives. There seems to be a problem with
10 interpretation that go to crucial issues and it is very unfair and very
11 undesirable. I don't know what I can submit about it. I rely on the
12 goodwill of my learned friends and their honesty which of course is beyond
13 any doubt at all, but it does cause concern. I will carry on.
14 Q. You said, or you asked the Vukovar TO people if they had had a
15 sufficient number of people or men to perform all these security tasks. I
16 want to deal with that particular question. Now, with Mitnica you had
17 approximately 175 people who were detained, and about 60 individuals in --
18 guarding them in some capacity. Are you able to assess or were you able
19 to assess how many people would have been required to properly protect
20 these detainees? That's outer ring, inner ring, and groups who are
21 staggered in relation to their time on guard.
22 A. Well, perhaps I should repeat what it was that I did. What I
23 assumed would be logical for that sort of a security regime in a different
24 group under similar conditions under which I welcomed the Mitnica group.
25 I expected about 60 soldiers, which was realistic. They could take turns
1 also because of the weather conditions that prevailed. I didn't see or I
2 didn't know how many men they had at the time. That's why I asked them
3 whether they had sufficient men to set up an appropriate security regime.
4 I was thinking that if it was necessary the military police company should
5 join and be under their command, and I meant Captain Karanfilov and
6 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic. That was what my question to them was about
7 when I asked them if they had sufficient men to set up a security regime.
8 Q. What number of men did you have in mind as being sufficient to
9 protect this larger group of detainees?
10 A. Well, as I said, about 60 soldiers. That would have constituted a
11 minimum. The more soldiers, the easier it is to set up a security regime.
12 Because instead of taking two or three-hour shifts, we could have had one
13 or two-hour shifts, had we had a greater number of men at our disposal.
14 Q. Thank you. And did you subsequently then hand over the prisoners
15 as a result of the assurances you were given?
16 A. Yes. Once our conversation was over I handed out the assignment
17 to have the unit prepared for our return to Negoslavci. The military
18 policemen came out of the hangar and got into our vehicles and we just
19 drove off to Negoslavci.
20 Q. When you drove off, what happened to Karanfilov? Did he leave
21 with you, or did he remain? Can you assist us, please?
22 A. When the vehicles were ready to go, and the policemen were in the
23 vehicles, I took leave of Karanfilov and the Vukovar TO officers. I got
24 into my vehicle and I left. And they all remained beside the hangar.
25 Q. And when you left Ovcara in your vehicles, what had you believed
1 would happen to the detainees who were then be controlled by the Vukovar
2 TO and Karanfilov?
3 A. I am afraid I don't quite understand what you're asking me here.
4 However, you receive an assignment from your commander, you complete it or
5 you don't. Then you receive another assignment. This is perfectly
6 normal. I received an assignment telling me to pull my unit out, because
7 another unit would be taking over the security, would be taking charge of
8 the security of the prisoners. This struck me as something that was
9 perfectly normal. I wasn't thinking about what would happen next. I was
10 happy in a way, because I thought to myself it wouldn't be me and my
11 soldiers freezing throughout the night, but a different set of soldiers.
12 In terms of the cold, it was actually a pleasure to leave Ovcara.
13 Q. You use the word "assignment." What do you mean, assignment? How
14 does that compare with "order", receiving an order?
15 A. Well, an order is something that I have to do. An assignment is
16 something that I need to plan. I'm trying to extemporise here in terms of
17 phrasing. When there is an assignment I have to give it some thought, it
18 takes some planning. An order is an order. He ordered me to take my unit
19 away from there. There was nothing for me to think about. The military
20 police company was now leaving, and handing over the security to someone
21 else. And we were supposed to be on our way back to Negoslavci.
22 Q. When you returned to Negoslavci did you see Colonel Vojnovic there
23 or not?
24 A. I can no longer be certain whether I saw him or not. Maybe I just
25 reported to the duty officer, I'm not sure if he was there or not. I
1 reported to the duty officer saying that we were now back to our previous
2 assignment, that we were no longer at Ovcara. Whether Vojnovic was there
3 or not is really not something that I can now remember.
4 Q. Can you remember the date when you actually left the area of
6 A. I may have got the dates mixed up, but I think it was on the 23rd.
7 This date is the date my children were born, and that's why it remains
8 etched in my memory. I think it was on the 23rd that we got a transfer
9 from Negoslavci to the barracks in Vukovar.
10 Q. And how long did you remain in Vukovar itself; can you remember?
11 A. Personally, from the 23rd of November, when we got our unit across
12 to the barracks, until the 15th December, 1991. It was on the 15th of
13 December that I left Vukovar and returned to Kragujevac. But as far as I
14 know the unit itself remained until the 15th of January, 1992.
15 Q. I will deal with that topic with other witnesses, but I want to
16 deal with the one area, and it is this: Whilst in Vukovar, did you ever
17 hear any rumours that the prisoners at Ovcara had either been mistreated
18 or killed?
19 A. I can't remember when, at which point in time there were rumours
20 circulating, all sorts of rumours. Someone was killed, someone wasn't
21 killed, someone was shot, someone wasn't shot. Not only in relation to
22 that group of people but all other problems. This was hearsay and
23 soldiers were telling stories. But nobody took this seriously. I did not
24 at any point in time receive any official reports from any of the officers
25 indicating that that particular group of POWs had been killed or that
1 measures were to be taken in that respect. I heard nothing official.
2 Q. I want to deal with that topic, if I may. Here you are, you're
3 military police, you are in the Vukovar area until, I think, the 15th of
4 January. Did you at any time, were you ever requested to make inquiries
5 or to investigate the possibility of atrocities occurring at Ovcara on the
7 A. Not until the 15th of January, I was there until the 15th of
8 December. Nothing was said officially at any time about anything
9 happening at Ovcara on the 20th, nor did anyone request the military
10 police company to get involved in terms of discovering any crimes or in
11 terms of assisting the military investigating magistrate with discovering
12 any possible crimes.
13 Q. That is the period until the 15th of December. You leave the
14 area, but clearly you were a unit that was involved with regard to the
15 Ovcara evacuations. Did you at any time, after the 15th of December,
16 receive any inquiry or were you requested to inquire about the atrocities
17 at Ovcara? This is when you were away from Vukovar.
18 A. No. Officially no one ever asked me about it. Not before 1998,
19 or thereabouts, when Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic called me over and asked me
20 if I was willing to talk to him, and General Vasiljevic about this. The
21 general came to Kragujevac, we went to a restaurant, and talked about
22 this. This was the first time that I talked to anyone, but this was off
23 the record, that I talked to anyone about it. I was later summoned by the
24 military court to give a statement. I gave a statement to the military
25 court. There were later statements and trials that I was part of. I gave
1 about two statements or I testified twice in Belgrade, once in Novi Sad,
2 also at the war crimes tribunal in Belgrade, and I don't quite remember
3 where else. Needless to say, I also gave a statement to investigator
4 Vladimir Dzuro.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 MR. MOORE: I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
8 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, it's my fault. I should have made
9 application for this witness's diary to be made an exhibit. But I would
10 only make -- well, at this moment I will make an application for the diary
11 as a whole. It may well be my learned friends wish to modify that.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any objection to the whole diary being
13 received in evidence? There is not. It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit 432.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. The Defence
17 assumed that the whole notebook would be tendered and that is why it was
18 necessary for us to obtain the copies.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Vasic:
20 Q. Good morning, sir. First of all, I would like to ask you one
21 thing. We both use the same language, so please make a short pause after
22 each of my questions before you start answering, so that the interpreters
23 may be given adequate time to interpret both my question and your answer
24 and so that we may have an accurate record of these proceedings.
25 You testified in chief about how your unit was mobilised in 1991.
1 You mentioned Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic, who was your superior. What was
2 his position, and was he your superior while you were in Kragujevac as
4 A. Yes. Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic was an officer of the 80th
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, presumably brigade.
7 A. But it's possible he worked for the corps as well. I'm not sure
8 where he belonged, technically speaking. I know that everything about the
9 setting up of the military police company in terms of manpower, in terms
10 of preparation, in terms of the drills that we had back in 1991, when
11 through him. At the time of the last mobilisation callup,
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Jevtic was with us, or rather with me all the time. He
13 was with me in Smederevo, he came to Negoslavci with me, and then after
14 that he went back. I'm not sure if he, technically speaking, belonged to
15 the 80th motorised or to the corps or perhaps a third unit.
16 Q. Thank you very much. You mentioned the corps. Let's clarify
17 this. Are we talking about the 24th Corps, the corps that the 80th
18 Motorised Brigade was part of?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Was Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic the chief of security for the
21 brigade or the corps?
22 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic worked with me throughout. He was the
23 security organ in charge of us. Whether establishment-wise he belonged --
24 or rather his office was where the corps was, and that's why I'm slightly
25 in two minds because of the location of his office whether he was formally
1 part of the corps or whether he only belonged to the 80th Motorised
3 Q. Thank you. As you say, he was competent for your unit as one of
4 his security assignments, did he only deal with the issues pertaining to
5 security or whether he worked on counter-intelligence tasks as well, that
6 he belonged to that group?
7 A. I was a reserve captain, so I was supposed to have an officer, a
8 superior who would issue assignments to me, and that would be the
9 commander or someone from the security organ. That sufficed to me, and
10 everything else was ...
11 Q. Thank you. You have explained your arrival to the area of
12 Negoslavci, and that in early November you reported to your unit's
13 command, and they assigned you a location to be billeted at in Negoslavci.
14 Concerning the tasks of your unit as a military police company, did you
15 also organise a facility to be used as a detention facility for soldiers,
16 was that one of your tasks?
17 A. During that afternoon, when I arrived there, the sequence of
18 events was the following: First we need to remove the vehicles from the
19 street, we needed to camouflage the vehicles, we needed to prepare
20 accommodation for those soldiers who were not on duty, then we needed to
21 secure the unit, meaning to establish guard points in front of the
22 facility where the unit was, then to organise night guards, and the first
23 and foremost task was to secure an open passage between Negoslavci and
24 Vukovar. There was a check-point established there with some people who
25 provided security. And we also needed to replace the soldiers who were
1 providing security for the commander, for the past few days. Whether
2 during that afternoon or maybe the next morning, well there was a cellar
3 in that building. I don't know whether we sealed it off the previous
4 evening, making it a detention facility, or whether it was something we
5 did the next morning, I don't know. Perhaps if I went through the whole
6 exercise it would take a lot of time.
7 Q. That won't be necessary. I wanted to ask you something else. You
8 have explained already how you organised things at the place where you
9 were accommodated. You had your own deputy within your unit as well as
10 two platoon commanders?
11 A. Yes. I can't remember their names exactly, though. Mika Pavlovic
12 was a company officer, I believe. They were not there -- all of them
13 there at the time of our arrival. They arrived successively. So if there
14 was a reserve officer who was supposed to be a platoon commander was
15 missing then I had to appoint someone to command.
16 Q. Do you remember who was your deputy commander of the military
17 police company?
18 A. I don't remember his name. I think he was from -- no, I can't
20 Q. Thank you. Within your military company there was a traffic
21 police platoon. What were their tasks, and do you remember how many
22 vehicles they had at their disposal, as well as how many men?
23 A. A constant problem was that we were always being short of people.
24 Another platoon was extracted from the unit in Smederevo and was attached
25 to the Operations Group North. As for the traffic police platoon, they
1 provided security during the movement of the unit, and they directed the
2 unit. As concerns Vukovar itself, since we were short of people, we --
3 and we called these men the traffic men, I began using them for military
4 police tasks. When they were not securing the movements of the unit, they
5 were assigned tasks of the military police.
6 Q. Thank you. Do you remember who was platoon commander of the
7 traffic police?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Traffic police is tasked with securing or following the column as
10 the unit is moving within the operations zone; is that correct?
11 A. At the entrance to Negoslavci these policemen checked vehicles,
12 they secured exit and entry, but they were not carrying out only the tasks
13 that they had been prepared to carry out, but they needed to do whatever I
14 told them. Perhaps I can explain further how I organised the company, but
15 that would take time. But I had to carry out all the tasks necessary at
16 the time.
17 Q. Thank you. We will now move to a different topic. I just wanted
18 to see what the role of the traffic police unit was. We may return to the
19 topic yet at a later stage.
20 You probably know that at a certain point the 80th Motorised
21 Brigade was assigned an operations zone or area of responsibility,
22 including Jakubovac, Grabovo and Ovcara. Did you know that?
23 A. No. I don't remember having been informed about this.
24 Q. A military police unit within a staff or location command is
25 tasked with providing security, order, military detention facility as
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Between the 16th of November and the 20th November did you receive
4 any instructions from the three people mentioned --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters apologise, but they didn't get the
7 Q. -- of tasks regarding -- there is a problem with the transcript.
8 Between the 16th of November and the 20th November, did you receive any
9 instructions from Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic or Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic
10 or Captain Dragi Vukosavljevic concerning the carrying out of tasks of
11 security, providing order and discipline and securing the military
12 detention or prison in the area encompassing Negoslavci, Grabovo, Ovcara,
13 and Jakubovac?
14 A. Provided I understood your question, I believe you asked me
15 whether I received orders directly from them. I don't remember that.
16 There was telephone communication, or communication via courier. I could
17 intervene in the units who were in the area concerning various things.
18 But I was charged with regular military police tasks, therefore there was
19 no need for them to issue any orders to me.
20 Q. Thank you. In your testimony in chief you stated that together
21 with the commander of the 80th Motorised Brigade and some other officers
22 on the 18th of November, 1991, you tried to locate a facility suitable for
23 accommodation of prisoners and their arrival was announced to your unit;
24 isn't that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. We have feedback.
2 Apart from Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic and yourself, were there
3 any other officers trying to locate a facility suitable for the
4 accommodation of prisoners?
5 A. No. I don't remember who there was exactly. There were usually
6 officers and soldiers who were not on duty at the time. They would be
7 tasked with doing that. But I don't remember the names of the actual
8 people who went.
9 Q. Thank you. You have explained how you managed to locate that
10 facility and how you ordered for it to be prepared to receive the
11 prisoners, and you have explained the arrival of the first group of
12 prisoners escorted by Captain Karanfilov. You have also explained the way
13 you noted down the names and particulars of the prisoners. I'm interested
14 in one of your entries on page 48, it says, "Elementary school, Sremski
15 front, from Sid, Captain Karanfilov." You explained that you were told by
16 Captain Karanfilov that that was the place where he would spend the night
17 between the 18th and the 19th, and that you could find him there; isn't
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is that school, Sremski front in Sid a place where the security
21 centre of the 1st Military District was, as well as the
22 counter-intelligence group for the area of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and
23 Srijem; is that correct?
24 A. No, I don't know where that was. I only said what was told to me,
25 and he said that I could find him during that night, but as to whether he
1 was accommodated there throughout, I don't know.
2 Q. Did he give you any telephone number or did he simply tell you
3 where the elementary school in Sid was?
4 A. No, no telephone number. Had I been given one, I would have noted
5 it down. But if we had a field phone I don't know for how long that
6 worked, but I didn't try to talk to him on the phone. I could always
7 dispatch a courier.
8 Q. If I understand your answer, you didn't ask Captain Karanfilov
9 what his tasks were in Sid, you said yourself that he was one of the
10 senior officers of security within the operations group; is that correct?
11 A. May I proceed? I'll try to clarify and to be precise. When I saw
12 Captain Karanfilov for the first time, there was Lieutenant-Colonel
13 Vojnovic as well. He introduced Captain Karanfilov in the military sense
14 of the word. He said what his name was, what his function and duties
15 were, and his assignments. And he introduced me to Karanfilov as the
16 military police company commander, who was to be issued with tasks from
17 Captain Karanfilov. I didn't remember the whole thing, of course. But
18 only the points of interest to me at the moment. And that was that there
19 was such a person as Captain Karanfilov who was to manage the entire
21 Q. Thank you. In your testimony in chief you described the operation
22 on the 18th and the 19th in the morning. I believe you said that when
23 securing the group of prisoners you had shifts of 15 to 20 guards and that
24 those shifts took turns and there were some people who were off duty at
25 any given point; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. You also said that Captain Karanfilov came in the
3 morning and after he checked the situation he told you that the list you
4 have compiled in the meantime should be typed in Negoslavci, and you have
5 already explained how you went about doing that. I'm interested in the
6 following: It can be found in your notebook concerning the 19th of
7 November regarding Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic and Captain Zaric, and the
8 entry states "the guards". Was there someone present at the place where
9 you were typing the list?
10 A. I don't know whether I mentioned this before, but I will now. In
11 the building where I was told Sljivancanin was, and that was immediately
12 in front of the hospital, the list was typed by a lieutenant-colonel in
13 charge of information, I believe. As we were typing the list he had to
14 interrupt the typing on several occasions because he had other routine
15 tasks and typing to do. So he was in charge of that within the command as
16 well. He had the only typewriter that could be used, and we used, of
17 course, that typewriter. He was actually doing the typing.
18 Q. Thank you. These surnames that I mentioned from your notebook, do
19 you know where you met these people, Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic,
20 Captain Zaric?
21 A. I cannot remember exactly who they are, and I cannot remember how
22 we met, but they probably were people who were in Mitrovica who had
23 actually escorted the prisoners. I think it's in the context of that
25 Q. Thank you. You explained to us how, after the list was typed, you
1 went to Sremska Mitrovica where you handed the list over. Do you remember
2 whom you gave the list to?
3 A. No. When I arrived there somebody in uniform came out, introduced
4 himself as the prison warden commander. I asked whether everyone had
5 arrived, whether the numbers tallied. He was expecting the list in a way,
6 because he was told it should arrive, and he -- I handed over the list.
7 And that's how long I stayed in the prison. Actually in that room in the
8 prison. I didn't see the prisoners in Sremska Mitrovica, actually.
9 Q. They had already been admitted to the prison facility by the time
10 you got there?
11 A. I assume that they had already been admitted. In any case, I
12 didn't see them.
13 Q. And this happened at around 1530 on the 19th of November 1991; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. After that you returned to Negoslavci. Can you tell us when you
17 arrived and who did you report to when you came?
18 A. The -- I don't recall the time of arrival. The driver and I came
19 back alone, I don't know what time we came back. All I know is that in
20 the course of the night we had another intervention and so we were really
21 getting upset because we were wondering if there would be a moment when we
22 could actually have some rest. I guess it's just in the nature of police
23 work to be moving all the time.
24 Q. Thank you. When you returned to Negoslavci did the security
25 officer or officer on duty inform you that your unit was supposed to
1 receive a new group of prisoners, about 200 of them, that was supposed to
2 be taken out of the Vukovar Hospital sector the following day?
3 A. No. Nobody informed me about anything in terms of an expected new
4 security or guard task.
5 Q. Did you have the opportunity to look at the war diary of the 80th
6 Motorised Brigade before now?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Could we now look at Exhibit 375, please. This is page -- this is
9 actually the entry for the 19th of November at 1800 hours. In English
10 it's page 10, and it's number 17664211825. Could we please look at the
11 entry for the 19th of November at 1800 hours. Thank you.
12 I'm going to read, and then you can perhaps follow. "In the early
13 morning hours the captured Ustashas were taken to the Sremska Mitrovica
14 prison. Combat activities in the sector around the hospital. Surrender
15 of remaining ZNG forces and MUP is expected, approximately 200 of them,
16 and" -- so there was an order to be ready for -- to be ready to prepare
17 security for these prisoners. Do you see this entry in the war diary?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. And your unit, the military police company, would it have been
20 aware or informed about this information when it arrived at the brigade
22 A. That would be by decision of the chief of security.
23 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry. I would wish to object to the form of that
24 question. I don't challenge the entry in the diary, but surely this
25 witness, if he's going to be asked to comment on either material which
1 relates to the diary or the diary itself, should be asked whether he
2 actually been involved in its insertion of the material or whether he was
3 aware of that particular entry. He's being asked for opinions that I
4 would submit he can't possibly give. It's not his diary.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, what is there as your last question is
6 really an assertion. And I think the point made by Mr. Moore is that you
7 should commence with the question: "Were you or was your unit aware or
8 informed about this?"
9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before I showed the
10 witness this excerpt from the war diary, I asked him whether he was
11 informed about the announced arrival of the prisoners of war. But I can
12 ask him again. It's not a problem. I put this other question because he
13 already said in his previous answer that he was not informed. But here it
15 Q. Were you informed about this entry in the war diary from the 19th
16 of November 1991 as the commander of the company of the military police?
17 A. No, I told you already that I was not.
18 MR. MOORE: If the witness says no, what is the relevance of the
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think we have resolved the matter now, gentlemen.
21 And in any event we've reached the time for the break. Which we will now
22 take and resume at 1.30.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.33 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.35 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, I understand there's something you wish
1 to raise.
2 MR. MOORE: Yes. It's only a small matter. It's quite simply
3 this: I did indicate to the Court that we would agree -- not that we
4 can't disagree anyway, that we would proceed from 9.30 to 4.30 with
5 variations perhaps on Monday and Friday. But it creates certain
6 difficulties for our proofing because witnesses are coming in on certain
7 days. We have a witness here, he is the next witness. I will finish
8 today, I then will proceed proofing him this evening, and that creates its
9 own difficulties administratively, and then I will have to try and proof
10 him again. The most that I can do this evening is, I think, about two
11 hours. I would merely ask if it is possible, for the Court to rise
12 earlier tomorrow, or that the witness should not be called before
14 Under the old regime we could alternate if it was a morning or an
15 afternoon, but the way the matters are at this time, I can't do it in the
16 morning, it's not possible, because I deal with the witness who is already
17 giving evidence, and in the evening there is a time restraint that's
18 imposed because of WBSS, and actual physical ability to do so after a day
19 in court. So I did indicate to the Court that I may make an application
20 for an occasional period. This will be one. And then we have Vojnovic
21 coming on Friday and I will be proofing him on Saturday and Sunday to
22 commence on Monday. So I hope that that would be sufficient for him. But
23 with regard to this witness, Vukosavljevic, I would ask that I be
24 permitted to have a little more time.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, do I see you with you at your feet?
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to support my learned friend
3 from the Prosecution this time. For us it would be perfect so that we
4 could have a good conversation with our clients tomorrow afternoon in the
5 Detention Centre, so it would be a perfect opportunity for us for a longer
6 consultation with our clients tomorrow afternoon.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE PARKER: On this occasion we will not sit tomorrow beyond
9 12.30. If the present witness concludes before then, we will finish even
10 earlier. That should assist in the particular interests and concerns of
11 all counsel. It may even allow Mr. Lukic to have some fresh air and
12 exercise. But don't take this as a general precedent for the pressures
13 that counsel are under.
14 If the witness could be brought in.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit.
17 Mr. Moore.
18 Oh, sorry, Mr. Lukic.
19 Let's try Mr. Vasic.
20 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... by the events
22 that have just occurred.
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I think it's hard on all of us, and
24 perhaps that's just a reflection of that. But let us continue.
25 Q. Sir, when we stopped for the lunch break I asked you whether you
1 knew about the entry from the war diary of the 80th Brigade of the 19th of
2 November at 1800 hours, and you said that you didn't know about it. What
3 I would like to ask you is the following: You were the commander of the
4 military police company, so as part of your duties on the 18th and
5 generally that a commander of a military police company would have, should
6 you have been informed that the unit was to expect another group of
7 prisoners of war that had to be guarded?
8 A. Well, if I'm not mistaken I tried to give you that answer before
9 the break. This is something that is under the jurisdiction of the
10 commander of the security sector. He is to decide on that.
11 Q. You told us that on the 19th you came back from Sremska Mitrovica.
12 I assume that was sometime in the late afternoon. What would I like to
13 know is whether you reported to the security chief then, and did you
14 inform him that you had completed your assignment in Mitrovica?
15 A. Whenever I completed an assignment, because my unit was billeted
16 to -- two houses away from the command post, so I would always stop by at
17 the command post to see what was new and also to report on what had
18 happened. During the day I would stop at the command post several times.
19 On my return, I don't know if I stopped in at the command immediately, or
20 after a while, I really -- I really don't remember.
21 Q. Thank you. I would like to digress a little bit here. You said
22 to my learned friend that on the 18th of November
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic introduced Captain Karanfilov to you and told
24 you what his duties were in respect of the prisoners of war. Did you
25 inform Vukosavljevic, your security organ, about that, or did he attend
1 this meeting between yourself, Vojnovic and Karanfilov?
2 A. What I know for sure is that the three of us talked and that there
3 were some officers and soldiers around. I don't know exactly who was
4 present. I can't remember. Because for me, what was important at that
5 time was that I was given an assignment that I was expected to execute.
6 Q. And later did you inform your security chief that you were told
7 that Captain Karanfilov was in charge of the prisoners of war or did you
8 inform Jeftic about that?
9 A. Dragi Vukosavljevic was there, he was at Ovcara, you knew exactly
10 the same things that I did.
11 Q. Thank you. In response to a question by my learned friend you
12 said that on the 19th in the evening you went out on an assignment because
13 of an incident. Did you return to the command post on the 19th or on the
14 20th, the command post of the 80th Brigade?
15 A. I returned during the night.
16 Q. On the 20th, in the morning, can you tell us where you were and
17 which assignments you had, if you remember?
18 A. On the 20th on top of our regular duties we had received a request
19 to secure and transport a group of officers who were supposed to go to
20 Nijemci, amongst other places. Since I was not familiar with the terrain,
21 and I could not issue an order and complete the procedure just by sending
22 the driver, I sat with the driver and went to the field. We had maps that
23 we used to orient ourselves and on the basis of which I issued various
25 Q. And was this a group of officers headed by the Chief of Staff,
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic?
2 A. Even though -- well, if the -- the clerks who were supposed to
3 issue our salaries to us were under Danilovic, then yes, that would be
5 Q. Could we now look at Exhibit 371? That would be the war diary of
6 the 80th Brigade. And that would be the entry for the 20th of November at
7 8.00 a.m.
8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] For my learned friends this is on page
9 10 of the war diary.
10 MR. MOORE: 371, I think -- 371 we have is the exhibit for the
11 operations diary.
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I'm talking about the
13 operations diary. There's obviously been a mistake in translation. Thank
14 you very much.
15 Q. This is the 20th of November at 8.00, and it states there -- it's
16 the 28th of November that we see here, but I would like to look at the
17 entry of the 20th of November. I know the handwriting is a little bit
19 Sir, you see this, 8.00, group of brigade officers, the following
20 officers: Chief of Staff, operations assistant commander for moral
21 guidance, two of the assistant commander for moral guidance assistant
22 clerks went to Nemci in order to take stock of what the situation was in
23 the unit that had taken part in the liberation of Podgradje village and
24 Nemci village. Are we talk about the same group that you set out with on
25 the 20th of November or this the same group?
1 A. I'm not sure if you understood me. The group that I was in charge
2 of had received our salaries for the soldiers.
3 Q. Thank you very much. When was it that you set out with that
4 group, roughly speaking, which time of day?
5 A. Not this early in the morning. It was just before noon, perhaps.
6 Q. When you left, who replaced you as company commander back in
7 Negoslavci during your absence?
8 A. The duty officer of the unit always did everything, and he knew
9 what to do. So yes, he was my deputy.
10 Q. Maybe I'm asking too much, but do you remember who the duty
11 officer was on this day in the military police unit?
12 A. I can't remember his name, but if I may explain, my duty officer
13 was always the same. But I can't remember his name. I only had two of
15 Q. And they took turns as duty officers, right, or were they duty
16 officers at the same time?
17 A. You asked me about when the prison was set up. I broke my story
18 there because I did not think that it was of interest to you. But I will
19 try to explain now. This building that we used, the house, had two rooms
20 where the soldiers slept. There was another room that I called the
21 dining-room, there was a corridor where we kept the rifles and there was a
22 basement. Up on the first floor I had the night-time observation post.
23 In this room that I called the dining-room there was a table and a
24 cupboard. Two soldiers were in charge of keeping this room squeaky-clean.
25 Whenever soldiers returned from their mission, there always had to be
1 something for them to eat or drink, so that they could rest afterwards.
2 They made sure the room was clean and they made sure there was sufficient
3 food as well as heating in that room. They worked 24-hour shifts in terms
4 of their duty with the unit itself. I did not have any special duty
5 officers taking turns or shifts because these two only looked after these
6 assignments and nothing else.
7 Q. Thank you. You say you returned from Nemci on the 20th, but you
8 weren't sure about the time of day. Was it daylight, dusk, night?
9 A. It was dark by the time I reached Negoslavci.
10 Q. Having reached Negoslavci, who did you go and report to, if
12 A. I went back to my own unit, the duty officer told me that there
13 was another security job for us, that a number of policemen had already
14 left for Ovcara. I then joined the ones who were still there and we got
15 into the vehicle. I'm not sure if I did or not, but most probably I did.
16 I mean I did pass by the headquarters, I told them I was on my way. I
17 can't remember who was there at the time. Probably because it was right
18 near the house in which we were staying, that's why I can't remember. And
19 we just drove straight on to Ovcara.
20 Q. When the duty officer told you that the military police had
21 already gone to Ovcara, did he inform you exactly who the officer was who
22 went with this group? Your deputy, the company commander, who was in
23 charge of this unit? Who led them in your absence?
24 A. He said there was a new security job for us to do, and that some
25 men from our unit were there already. I have told you that I had a
1 problem with manpower in terms of officers, and that was a problem that I
2 faced in commanding my unit. I got into that vehicle and drove off to
3 Ovcara. I didn't know who had taken the unit there or for what reason.
4 All I knew was that there was another security job and that some elements
5 of our unit were on it already.
6 Q. You say some elements of your unit were on it already. Does that
7 mean that the rest of them were still back at the command post in
9 A. Again, we have regular assignments. There were men going about
10 the regular assignments already, some were with me and only those that
11 were still left were involved. That's why I'm saying some elements. If
12 you take into account the fact that a whole platoon was not there, then
13 that would seem to imply that most of the unit was still stationary.
14 Q. Were you perhaps told if the traffic police platoon from your
15 company secured the convoy that went to Ovcara on the 20th? I'm referring
16 to the traffic police platoon.
17 A. The information I had was quite short. There was another security
18 job, some parts of the unit were on this, and I was to go to Ovcara. I'm
19 not sure if I've made this clear. I did not have sufficient men. I did
20 not make any distinctions between paramedics, drivers, or policemen. I
21 made no distinctions between the various types of soldiers. Simply
22 because all who were there, all those who were available, had to carry out
23 a military policeman's assignment. Other than that, as far as I know, no
24 one from my unit was part of the security for this group. The first group
25 or the second group. I'm sure about the first group.
1 Q. Thank you very much. When you set out for Ovcara to join the
2 military policemen there, you stopped by the command post. Did the duty
3 officer tell you if the other officers from the 80th Brigade were at
4 Ovcara? Is this something you remember, sir?
5 A. No.
6 Q. He didn't tell you or you don't remember?
7 A. I don't remember.
8 Q. Thank you. When you arrived at Ovcara on the 20th of November,
9 you described what you found there. What I want to know is, did you see
10 an officer from the 80th Brigade inside the hangar when you got there?
11 A. Yes, there were a number of soldiers from our unit inside the
12 hangar. Among others, a captain First Class, I think his name was Joca,
13 the cafe owner in Kragujevac. He actually used to own a cafe in
14 Kragujevac. He was there with part of his unit; some of his soldiers were
15 there doing the same sort of disposition as everybody else. So when I
16 came I ordered them all out of the hangar and he was one of those who
18 Q. Do you remember this: Before you -- this person you say was
19 called Joca Kafic left the hangar, was he perhaps involved in drawing up a
20 list of the prisoners there?
21 A. Yes, there was another soldier taking some notes. We were told
22 that a list was being drawn up. At first I didn't really pay attention to
23 this. I didn't ask myself any questions. They were making a list,
24 apparently. Might be useful to them, I thought to myself. But I had been
25 planning things the same way as on the previous occasion. I thought we
1 should make a list during the night when everything settled. I wanted to
2 have an A-4 sheet of paper and make copies knowing at this point in time
3 what I would be facing the following morning. The fact that somebody else
4 was drawing up a list there was not something that really caught my eye at
5 the time.
6 Q. Thank you. This fellow, Joca Kafic was he perhaps a reserve
7 captain First Class from the 1st LAD PVO division whose commander was
8 Jovan Macka [phoen]?
9 A. I don't know. He may well have been.
10 Q. Do you know about one particular unit of the 80th Motorised
11 Brigade being the local command at Ovcara and being housed in a building
12 about 200 or 300 metres away?
13 A. No.
14 Q. So you didn't know about the existence of any unit anywhere near
15 that farm, did you?
16 A. If I understand your question, you're asking me if I knew about a
17 command post of another unit being there. I did not know about that, but
18 I did know about a unit being there.
19 Q. Thanks for clarifying that, sir. What sort of equipment did your
20 signals officers have at Ovcara? Did your unit have any equipment, did
21 any of the other unit commands have any equipment?
22 A. I'm sorry, but we only had RUP 3 and RUP 12 because their
23 batteries were in a poor state, these were not operational.
24 Q. Based on this I am inclined to conclude that there was no
25 communication between your unit and the other units. Do you know what the
1 communication was like from the unit that was nearby, from their command
3 A. I don't know what sort of equipment they had.
4 Q. Thank you. So you said that you had seen Joca Kafic inside the
5 hangar. Was he the only officer from the 80th Brigade that you actually
6 saw there?
7 A. As far as I can remember, I spotted him. I don't remember
8 spotting anybody else. Did you ever find out that the commander of the
9 Q. Did you ever find out that the commander of the 80th Brigade,
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, on the 20th of November, 1991, at 1600 hours,
11 had ordered the rotation of duty officers in order to watch the ZNG and
12 MUP members and that he put the military police company and the brigade
13 commanders in charge of that?
14 A. I didn't know about that.
15 Q. You don't remember seeing any brigade command officers in the
16 hangar, do you?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Thank you. Do you remember what the lighting was like inside the
20 A. The first time around on the first security job that we had there,
21 there was a generator and there were a handful of light bulbs inside the
22 hangar. The lighting was poor, and inadequate. So both times I used
23 additional light from the headlights of the Pinzgauers, which also had a
24 search light mounted on it, so I used that too.
25 Q. So under all this lighting you were eventually able to see clearly
1 what was going on inside the hangar, weren't you?
2 A. What mattered to me was to be able to see what was going on inside
3 the hangar. To some extent anyway. The additional lighting I used was
4 used outside the hangar but had no bearing on the light conditions inside
5 the hangar. It was far from actually very good, but it was satisfactory
6 under the conditions, let's put it that way.
7 Q. You said you provided several statements in the past several
8 years. In your testimony before the special court in Belgrade when
9 testifying in the Ovcara case, in 2004, in October, do you remember having
10 said that as of the moment of your arrival up to the moment when you
11 withdrew, that everything on your part and the part of your unit that
12 pertained to the hangar was done according to the rules and what you were
13 taught professionally in various schools including the one in Bileca?
14 MR. MOORE: With the utmost respect to my learned friend, if
15 transcripts are going to be put to the witness, in my submission it's only
16 fair and proper that the witness should have an opportunity of having that
17 before him.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, do you have them?
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do have that
20 transcript. I just wanted to check with the witness whether he remembers
21 having said that. In case he does, perhaps we needn't refer to the
22 transcript, but in any case, I can give it to the witness with the usher's
23 assistance. That is page 75. The date of the transcript is the 29th of
24 October, 2004, in the B/C/S.
25 Q. You have that portion highlighted. Did you find it? Could you
1 please read it out for us?
2 A. "Witness Dragan Vezmarovic: I think as of the moment of arrival
3 until I went away that everything went according to the rules with what I
4 had been taught in Bileca, Panco [as interpreted], et cetera, and in
5 various other trainings before I withdrew."
6 Q. Thank you. Did you state that before the Chamber in Belgrade?
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters failed to catch the witness's
9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I apologise, could you repeat your previous answer?
11 A. I have no reason to doubt what I have just read out.
12 Q. In your testimony in chief you said that once the order was
13 established in the hangar that you allowed people to enter in small groups
14 to see who was in the hangar. Did those groups contain one to three
15 people, small numbers of people who entered and left the hangar and that
16 there were no incidents during that time? Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You mentioned the cursing and you have explained that our language
19 abounds with swear words. What I wanted to ask is, these swear words that
20 we use, would they raise any concern as regards anyone's security, or they
21 are just another specific feature of the language we use?
22 A. I don't know what to say to that. With all due respect for the
23 Chamber and yourself, maybe we could discuss this somewhere else as
24 regards this particular answer.
25 Q. Thank you. After having established order in the hangar, did
1 everyone abide by your orders and the newly created situation and were
2 there any problems prior to your unit pulling out?
3 A. No, there were no problems.
4 Q. Am I right if I conclude that you witnessed no maltreatment,
5 beating or any type of physical assault against the detainees while you
6 were there?
7 A. You are right.
8 Q. In your testimony in chief you have explained the way you pulled
9 out from Ovcara, and you said that you went back to the building where
10 your unit was accommodated, is that correct, in Negoslavci?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. As regards the pulling out of your unit, did you report the
13 security organ, in particular Drago [as interpreted] Vukosavljevic about
14 that, be it that evening or the next morning?
15 A. Dragi Vukosavljevic, as far as I know, but I don't remember
16 exactly, he was present there.
17 Q. Do you know whether Dragi Vukosavljevic drafted a report
18 concerning the events of the 20th of November at Ovcara and whether he
19 forwarded that to the security department of the 1st Military District in
20 Sid or to the 24th Corps?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Were you present at a meeting chaired by Lieutenant-Colonel
23 Vojnovic on the 21st of November where some of his subordinate officers
24 were and the events of the 20th of November at Ovcara were discussed? Do
25 you know of any such a meeting?
1 A. I wasn't present, and I don't know of any such a meeting. There
2 were meetings, though.
3 Q. Thank you. The next morning within the military police company,
4 did you try to analyse your tasks on the 20th and did anyone from your
5 unit report anything to you regarding that date?
6 A. I haven't conducted an analysis on the 19th or on the 20th -- 21st
7 for that matter.
8 Q. Thank you. Within the 80th Brigade were you tasked, among other
9 things, with the sanitation operation in the town of Vukovar to assist
10 those people who came on behalf of the 1st Military District, including
11 the military investigative representatives?
12 A. As of the arrival at Vukovar, up until the moment I left, all that
13 my unit could have done was beginning with the removing of bombs and
14 explosives that we encountered often we had assistance from an engineering
15 unit as well. We were tasked with securing the grammar school with the
16 equipment that was there, we also had to secure a house close to the
17 school which contained large quantities of explosives in the cellar. We
18 also needed to secure the church. We had to intervene when fire broke out
19 in the church and we were trying to save the Catholic library there. We
20 had to intervene whenever we were told a corpse was found. We had to
21 secure the scene until the people who would clear it up arrived. I'm
22 trying to remember what else we were tasked with, but this was quite
24 Q. Thank you. Among the duties of your unit in the sanitisation
25 plan, apart from the military investigative organs were there also
1 civilian investigative organs included? I have in mind the civilian
2 magistrate from civilian courts.
3 A. I helped the police unit to be formed that spent a few days in the
4 barracks and then they were billeted elsewhere. We cooperated with
5 civilian authorities. I cooperated with the TO command as well as with
6 the civilian police when necessary.
7 Q. Thank you. Since you were within a military company -- military
8 police company, did you know that on the 22nd of November the 80th Brigade
9 took over the area of responsibility that used to belong to the Operations
10 Group South?
11 A. No. Such matters were of no importance to me. I didn't need to
12 know whether it was OG South or the 80th Brigade command or someone else,
13 for that matter.
14 Q. Therefore, you have no knowledge of that?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Thank you. Could you please take your official notebook? Perhaps
17 we could clarify a couple of things. Page 64. The date is the 20th of
18 November, 1991; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you tell me what there is just below the date, because I
21 can't read that out?
22 A. "Patrol all the way up to Sotin." Do you want me to continue?
23 Q. Yes, please.
24 A. "In Slavkamenac [phoen], Major Dragotinovic [phoen],
25 Major Jankovic, Lieutenant Danilovic, and the security organ, the organ
1 for morale security Tovarnik."
2 Q. Is this an entry pertaining to the 20th of November, 1991?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you remember what this entry means?
5 A. Patrol up to Sotin, that means that I sent one of my patrols to go
6 as far as Sotin, and the rest I don't know. It doesn't mean anything.
7 Q. Thank you. Page 65, which is the next page, contains some names.
8 Do the names pertain to the 20th of November, and do they mean anything to
10 A. No, and this is not even my handwriting. It means that someone
11 else made this entry, I must have given the notebook to someone and then
12 they made the entry. It's not my handwriting.
13 Q. Please go to page 66. At the top there is a name. Nikola Plavic
14 [as interpreted], does that mean anything to you, is that your
15 handwriting, and do you remember when that was written?
16 A. No.
17 Q. What about the entry below, could you please read it out?
18 A. "The centre for collection and accommodation of civilians and
19 material property. Captain First Class Antic Kresojevic and Stojanovic."
20 Q. A correction for the transcript. Could you please read it out
21 again slowly?
22 A. Neither of the entries mean anything to mean. The first one
23 reads "Nikola Plavsic, son of Nikola, the 27th of May 1933, Vukovar.
24 Franciceva Street number 10, Vukovar." Below the line the centre for
25 accommodation of civilians and taking care of material property. Below
1 that commander Ljubinko Stojanovic, Captain First Class commander of the
2 rear unit, Antic Kresojevic.
3 Q. You said these entries mean nothing to you?
4 A. No, they don't.
5 Q. Thank you. On page 68, if you continue with the previous page,
6 the 67th, that pertains to the 24th of November; is that so?
7 A. No, not necessarily. Because the 24th the entries there, that's
8 not my signature, so I must have given the notebook to someone to write
9 something down. Should I read out what it states on page 68?
10 Q. No, thank you. I'm going to ask you about some entries. All I
11 was asking you was when you give your notebook for somebody to write
12 something down, is that all in the course of the line of duty? What does
13 it mean when you give it -- your notebook to somebody?
14 A. Well, it means that I probably gave it to some of my soldiers, so
15 that I could perhaps do something else in that time. Then I would ask
16 some of them perhaps to note something down for me.
17 Q. Could you please now read the entry on page 68, and could you
18 please check when the entry was made?
19 A. Zavisic, commander of the police station --
20 MR. MOORE: Might I respectfully submit that it might be prudent
21 to clarify with regard to each witness, whether this witness has actually
22 written that page, and whether he's aware of the content and agree with
23 it, rather than get him to read it as such. Those preliminary steps may
24 assist everyone, I think.
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that the witness
1 answered all these matters when he didn't write something or when he
2 doesn't know something. So I think that the witness actually responded in
3 each case in terms of what my learned friend has mentioned.
4 Q. Sir, did you write this entry on page 68, please?
5 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... matters, if
6 you wouldn't mind if you are asked to refer to and read an entry in the
7 diary, which is not your entry, would you say so at the beginning? Thank
9 Yes, Mr. Vasic.
10 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
11 Q. Go ahead, sir.
12 A. It states on page 68, Zavisic, and then there is an asterisk,
13 commander of the police station in Vukovar, Zavisic Miodrag. Underneath
14 that it says SO Slavonia, Baranja and western Srem, Dragan Djukic, station
15 commander. Branko Obradovic, police chief. Bogunovic, internal affairs
16 minister. I wrote this down, and the date is something that I cannot
17 remember, but it's probably somewhere around the 27th when I said the
18 civilian police was established. So at that point that was probably the
19 composition of that police force in terms of a particular command
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
23 questions for this witness. Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Borovic:
2 Q. Good afternoon, I'm Borivoje Borovic, and I represent Miroslav
4 First let us clarify. How many people did you definitely have in
5 your company when you came to the area of Vukovar? Is that the number,
6 60, including the drivers, officers, medical staff and the auxiliary
8 A. No. In Smederevo where I was with a number of police officers,
9 one platoon was taken away. So I came to Negoslavci perhaps with 25 to 30
10 policemen, and I can check this in my notebook.
11 Q. Thank you. At the time, as part of that company, did you have any
12 auxiliary staff, drivers, medics?
13 A. Those who responded to the call-up were present. I cannot really
14 tell you exactly how many of each type of personnel there was.
15 Q. How many people did you have in the company?
16 A. For example in Negoslavci it was around 30.
17 Q. Thank you. When you were guarding the first group at Ovcara, how
18 many soldiers did you have who carried out this guard duty?
19 A. About 20 military policemen.
20 Q. Thank you. The second time when you were guarding on the 20th of
21 November at Ovcara, how many policemen did you have?
22 A. Well, it was probably similar. Between 15 and 20.
23 Q. Thank you. The first time, was it enough to have 20 people to be
24 able to carry out the assignment of guarding that first group at Mitnica?
25 A. The first time I had about 60 people who were carrying out the
2 Q. Where did you get those 60 policemen the first time, where did
3 they go to for the second time, the following day? Why didn't you have 60
4 policemen the following day as well?
5 MR. MOORE: The witness didn't say that he had 60 policemen, he
6 had said that he had 60 people. And indeed he had actually said earlier
7 on it was 20 military policemen.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I must say that's a distinction I hadn't
9 appreciated, Mr. Moore. My understanding was the same as Mr. Borovic's.
10 But it can be made clear by Mr. Borovic.
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 A. Perhaps I'm not being clear enough.
13 Q. Well, let's go again. The first time when you were securing the
14 Mitnica group, you had 20 military policemen. Who did you command on top
15 of that, which other group that was also securing the Mitnica group?
16 A. I think that I already said that, but I will repeat it. Besides
17 the policemen in the security of the first group, there were also officers
18 there from the 80th Motorised Brigade, and also a certain number of
19 soldiers from other units that the commander, Vojnovic, redirected to
20 guard duty.
21 Q. Thank you. Were these soldiers from the 80th Kragujevac Motorised
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. On the 20th of November was it enough to have just your 20
25 military policemen to completely execute the task that you were given, was
1 that enough people to do that?
2 A. On the 20th I did establish order with that number of people. But
3 it would have been very -- to do this the whole night.
4 Q. Well this is a different question. Let's go --
5 MR. MOORE: I object to this. There was a question that was asked
6 quite specifically, Mr. Borovic wasn't getting the answer that he wanted
7 and he interrupted the witness. The witness should be allowed to answer
8 the question properly. If my learned friend Mr. Borovic doesn't like it,
9 he can live with it and afterwards and other questions [sic].
10 JUDGE PARKER: I think it would be good if we calm down,
11 Mr. Moore.
12 MR. MOORE: I will put it as politely --
13 JUDGE PARKER: That will be enough, Mr. Moore.
14 MR. MOORE: Yes, thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Borovic, if you would be good enough to
16 let the witness answer the question. Thank you.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Q. My question was, was 20 military policemen enough to establish
19 order and to execute the assignment that evening?
20 A. I tried to answer. I did establish order with that number of
21 people. However, to work the whole night with that number of people would
22 have been too exhausting and it was a question if everything would have
23 been done according to all the elements that needed to be done.
24 Q. Thank you. Did you do anything in terms of informing Vojnovic to
25 again assign soldiers to you who would, just like the first time, guard
1 the detained persons in shifts, yes or no?
2 A. If you permit me, I cannot just answer with a yes or a no.
3 Because I am trying to explain to you that at that point when I arrived I
4 did establish order, everything was proceeding in a regular manner, then
5 there was the command that I should withdraw or pull out. So I did not
6 manage to carry out all the actions that I was planning to do.
7 Q. Well, I just am going to tell you the following: You did not
8 spend 15 minutes there, we're gradually going to establish how long you
9 spent there. First of all, to clarify the circumstances, how much time
10 did you need to get to Negoslavci from Sremska Mitrovica by car?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Second question, how many kilometres is it in your assessment from
13 Sremska Mitrovica to Negoslavci?
14 A. I didn't know it then, and I don't know it now.
15 Q. Thank you. Third question, if I was to tell you this was less
16 than 50 kilometres, would you agree with me?
17 A. Well, I have no reason not to believe you.
18 Q. Thank you. How much time is needed to cover 50 kilometres by car
19 for you? In terms of time.
20 A. Well, let's say about an hour.
21 Q. Do you usually drive so slowly, 50 an hour on the motorway? All
22 right. Very well. Thank you.
23 A. May I say something? Which motorway? There is no motorway.
24 Q. All right, all right. I accept the answer. One hour.
25 A. Perhaps even longer.
1 Q. You've already provided a statement to the investigators of the
2 OTP. It's on page 9. Do you have that statement? If not, I can read it
3 to you. On page 9 you say that you left Sremska Mitrovica and then the
4 next sentence is, "When I came back I was informed that some of my
5 military policemen were again sent to Ovcara to secure or guard a second
6 group of prisoners, so that I immediately," I emphasise immediately, "went
7 there." Is this what you told the investigators of the OTP?
8 A. Is that what it says in that passage?
9 Q. Yes. That is correct.
10 A. Well then I don't know what is not correct there.
11 Q. So you confirm that this is what you stated?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If I tell you that on page 9 it says that you returned from
14 Sremska Mitrovica at about 1600 hours -- no, I apologise, that you left
15 Sremska Mitrovica at around 1600 hours, is that correct?
16 A. Probably [as interpreted].
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please make a pause between
18 answer and question.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you please kindly estimate how many kilometres was it from
21 Negoslavci to Ovcara?
22 A. Let's say it was three.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. Line
24 74 -- page 74, line 7, it's written down as probably, but the witness
25 said "certainly."
1 A. I accepted what you read, but the word "verovatno" probably was
3 Q. Very well. I'm sorry, what did you say about the distance from
4 Negoslavci to Ovcara?
5 A. Well, let's say it was three kilometres.
6 Q. Thank you. How long would it take you to cover that stretch of
7 three kilometres in a Pinzgauer, in terms of time?
8 A. Well, about 10 minutes, let's say.
9 Q. Thank you. So if we have now established that you left Sremska
10 Mitrovica at 1600 hours, then you had to have been at Ovcara at 1500 hours
11 and 10 minutes [as interpreted]. Do we agree based on my mathematics that
12 we have come to, and that we have calculated?
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, there is a
14 transcript -- a mistake in the transcript. It should have stated 1700
16 Q. Would you agree that this would have to be 1700 hours and 10
18 A. No.
19 Q. Could you please explain why not?
20 A. You have taken a -- a theoretical approach according to which,
21 once I turned on the ignition of my vehicle from Sremska Mitrovica I just
22 drove without stopping and then I came to Negoslavci. That's the theory.
23 But what's actually was the real situation and what happened to me on the
24 road is that possibly I could have reached Ovcara one and a half hours
25 later, but it's possible that I arrived at Ovcara sometime later.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. So I really don't remember when I exactly came to Ovcara.
3 Q. Well, let us accept that it was perhaps an hour and a half later
4 after leaving Sremska Mitrovica, so it must have been 1700 hours 30 at the
5 most, it's November, it's winter, and it gets dark quite early; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If the war diary of the 80th Kragujevac Brigade says that you
9 pulled out on -- at 2230 hours, how many hours is that that you spent in
10 Ovcara performing your duties as a military policeman, can you tell us
12 A. I don't know what it says in the war diary.
13 Q. Well, if I were to tell you that it says in the war diary, and I
14 want to be quite fair, that you pulled out at 2230 hours, doesn't that not
15 come to four hours?
16 A. Does it say there that I pulled out at 2230 hours?
17 Q. The military police company.
18 A. That I pulled out at 2230 hours, well, that means -- I'm just
19 thinking aloud, because I don't know. All I know is that I came, I was
20 there for some time, and then I left.
21 Q. Sir, let's finish with this topic. I tried carefully, question by
22 question, to show that you spent about four hours there, it wasn't such a
23 short period of time, not that you just came and left. You came,
24 established order, and left. This is something we will evaluate through
25 other witnesses and on the basis of what you said. So I would like to
1 then push ahead.
2 Where was your deputy from, because you are obviously avoiding to
3 say his name. Did you have one deputy or several deputies in the company?
4 A. I'm not sure if the person who was the deputy in terms of the
5 establishment ever responded to the call-up to begin with.
6 Q. My next question. In your absence, who would have deputised for
7 you and commanded the company?
8 A. As I've already said, the duty officer would take over every time
9 I left.
10 Q. And who commanded your company, the element of your company that
11 was at Ovcara while you were in Sremska Mitrovica and who met you there
12 when you returned at 1630 hours?
13 JUDGE PARKER: That last part of the question is clearly not what
14 the witness said was the time, Mr. Borovic.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] According to the Defence -- my
16 apologies 1730, my mistake. I apologise. I apologise. The mistake is
17 mine. 1730.
18 Q. What is your answer, sir?
19 A. I will start with the last part of your question. I'm not sure
20 when I got there. That's the first thing. Secondly, I don't know who
21 raised the unit. I don't know who was in charge of unit because I wasn't
22 he there, simple as that.
23 Q. But when you were in Ovcara, who was in command of your unit
24 before you returned?
25 A. Again, there was no command there.
1 Q. Thank you. Can we please have Exhibit 256 on our screens, page
2 22, specifically. Page 22 is what I need. Thank you.
3 This environment shown in the photograph, does that ring a bell,
4 is that familiar? Do you recognise this?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What is it?
7 A. Ovcara.
8 Q. Thank you. If the usher could please hand you a pen, and could
9 you please use that pen to indicate the hangar where you, as you say,
10 established order on the 20th of November. Can you mark that as number 1,
11 please, and circle it.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Thank you. Number 2, to indicate the spot where the guards were
14 staying, the room where they were resting, this other group who was
15 waiting for the security men.
16 A. Can I comment, please?
17 Q. Mark first, then comment.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Please, go ahead.
20 A. We were considering the possibility of putting the reserve men
21 there, but it was a very cold spot and was not convenient at all. So I
22 took my policemen inside.
23 Q. Could you please mark with number 3 the outer ring of security, as
24 you called it. Could you please draw the outer ring and mark it as number
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Thank you. Can you please indicate where the Pinzgauers were that
3 were providing additional lighting for the hangar. Where were they
4 parked? Number 4, please.
5 A. There is an overlap here.
6 Q. Use an arrow to get out of that.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Thank you. Can you please use an arrow to indicate the direction
9 of the yellow house that you referred to from the hangar?
10 A. It was this way. [Marks]
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this photograph
13 into evidence, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Could something be clarified, please, Mr. Borovic?
15 Perhaps the witness might help me.
16 The number 3, the outer ring of security, you seem to have just
17 indicated one position. Did you have guards posted around the hangar on
18 the outside, or were they only located in one position at the -- about the
19 door, as you have arrowed?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They weren't all around the
21 building, they were along the stretch between the door and to the right,
22 based on this photograph. That was the movement of the guards. Towards
23 the yellow house, as it were.
24 JUDGE PARKER: So you had no security on the ends or the back of
25 the hangar at all on the outside? And how many guards did you have on the
1 outside? I accepted your nodding of the head as indicating your answer
2 was no. You had no security other than near the hangar door. If that is
3 correct, how many guards did you use outside the hangar?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my estimate, the guards should
5 have provided security and monitored any vehicles coming from the
6 direction of the yellow house. I do not believe that anyone could have
7 approached the area from the opposite direction, not in a vehicle anyway.
8 And there was hardly any danger of anyone walking up to us. So I placed
9 my guard outside the door and he was moving to the right. Based on this
10 photograph. One or two guards, when in there was a visit, there would be
11 two. When there was no visit, there would be one, or at least that's how
12 it turned out to be.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 I'm sorry, Mr. Borovic; I interrupted.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours,
16 this has been of great assistance. I would like to wrap this up now.
17 Q. How many doors does this hangar have, entrances, if you like?
18 A. As far as I remember, the one that we used to get in at the back
19 there's -- what should I call it, at the opposite end there's another
20 entrance as far as I remember.
21 Q. Was anyone securing that rear entrance or exit, if you like?
22 A. No, I've just tried to explain that using the map. I didn't think
23 there was any danger, any potential danger, from that side, as it were.
24 Q. Just another question. I'm wrapping up this set of questions now,
25 since it's time for a break. Were only soldiers from your military police
1 company securing the main entrance and no one else? Were they only men
2 from your company?
3 A. At no point in time were the men from my company the only ones
4 providing the security, but rather people from the 80th Motorised Brigade
5 taking shifts.
6 Q. How many other men from the 80th Motorised Brigade were there in
7 addition to your own military police company on the 20th of November? You
8 say they were taking turns or taking shifts in cooperation from with
9 soldiers from the 80th Motorised Brigade, the Kragujevac Brigade.
10 A. The photograph that you showed me, that was in relation to the
11 18th and 19th.
12 Q. I wasn't talking about that at all.
13 A. I was telling you all of this in relation to the 18th and the
14 19th. The last thing you asked still stands.
15 Q. Hold on there. This is the witness's understanding, that this was
16 in relation to the 18th of November. May that be noted. Although that
17 wasn't what I was asking him about. And then we can ask him again about
18 the 20th under a different set of circumstances.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I think this is a convenient time
20 for us to have a break, Your Honours. And I seek that this be admitted
21 into evidence as showing the situation on the 18th of November.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You want me to mark it with an
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received as an exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 433, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE PARKER: And you would prefer to clear up the situation on
2 the 20th after the break, Mr. Borovic?
3 We will adjourn now to 20 past 3.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.01 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 3.25 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. On the 18th of November, Ovcara was -- thank you. Can we proceed?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. On the 18th of November Vojnovic and you chose Ovcara as the
11 location for the detention unit; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was this meant to be a detention unit used for all future
14 prisoners in the Vukovar area?
15 A. Our assignment was to find a building that met all the criteria
16 for guarding POWs. That was our assignment and that was what we did. As
17 for any future prisoners, that wasn't something that I knew at the time.
18 If you're asking me about whether this was to become a permanent
19 facility --
20 Q. Would that have been possible?
21 A. Assuming the war had gone on for another three years or so, then
22 that could have been the case, yes.
23 Q. On the more serious side, or let's try to make this answer of
24 yours more serious. On the 18th of November were you building a permanent
25 detention unit that was to be there for as long as you stayed in Vukovar,
1 not knowing at that time how soon you would be leaving Vukovar?
2 A. You mean Negoslavci, yes? It wasn't in Vukovar, it was in
4 Q. Thank you very much. Does that mean that on the 19th and 20th of
5 November you had a regular detention unit in Negoslavci or not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. During your testimony you explained the situation at Ovcara on the
8 18th of November. Can we please have Exhibit 256, page 22, displayed
9 again? Page 22. That's it. Thank you.
10 Sir, now about the 20th of November, 1991, could you please mark
11 the spot where the outer ring of security was that you referred to in your
12 earlier evidence as existing on the 20th of November? And please mark
13 that with number 1.
14 A. The guard was outside the door on the 20th of November. [Marks]
15 Like this.
16 Q. Does that mean you had no outer ring at all? There was a single
17 guard, wasn't there?
18 A. I merely established order, and started the security job. I had
19 not yet completed or finished the job in the proper sense of the word.
20 The situation I found when I came was sorted out. By now, with the
21 exception of the military policemen and the detainees, there was nobody
22 else inside the hangar. The rope was pulled up, there was a guard, a
23 military policeman standing outside the door.
24 Q. We've heard about that. Thank you. Can you please mark the spot
25 where the Pinzgauers were and how many were there outside the hangar? Can
1 you draw that for us please, use a line, a dotted line?
2 A. I really can't remember their exact location.
3 Q. But you did tell us, didn't you, that you used the headlights of
4 those vehicles to light the interior of the hangar. Where were these
5 vehicles then?
6 A. I used a Pinzgauer that was parked just outside the door.
7 Q. Can you mark that, please, just the location. You see that you
9 A. [Marks].
10 Q. Thank you. How many soldiers, military policemen from your
11 company were inside at this point in time?
12 A. Between 15 and 20, I reckon. More like 15.
13 Q. What about Joca Kafic, how many of his own soldiers were this
14 whom you ordered to leave the hangar when you arrived?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Where did those men go next?
17 A. I don't know how many were there to begin with and I have no idea
18 where they went afterwards.
19 Q. Your Honours I seek that this be admitted into evidence. Having
20 in mind what the witness marked am in relation to the 18th of November, I
21 don't we will be needing this for the time being.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 434, Your Honours.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Q. Joca Kafic, commanded his own group, and then you sent them away.
1 How did you know that he was the commander of a group? Did you know that
2 previously before you arrived, or did you just realise on the spot?
3 A. Joca was a captain first class by rank. There were a number of
4 his soldiers there. At one point I said that all those who were not
5 military police officers should go out and they obeyed. They left.
6 Q. Were there 10 of those or more than 10?
7 A. I really don't know.
8 Q. Thank you. Let me now go back to that question which you failed
9 to answer right at the outset. Had it been necessary for you to stay
10 until the next day, would it have been sufficient for you to call Vojnovic
11 and ask him again to send over his soldiers who would then take turns
12 guarding the hangar throughout the night? Would that have been a way to
13 do it?
14 A. One thing I'm certain about is that had I continued with the
15 security job, I would have got more soldiers to help out with it
16 throughout the night, just as the first time around.
17 Q. Thank you very much. You set up the rope for the first time on
18 the 18th of November. The other thing you did is you drew up a list. The
19 second time around on the 20th of November, you applied a procedure which
20 is more or less the same again, you set up this rope down the middle of
21 the hangar, you guard the prisoners, and what do you do next? Do you
22 start drawing up lists, or were you not thinking about the list at all at
23 this point in time? Or rather, was it possible that Joca Kafic, his real
24 name was Jovan Novakovic, right, had already drawn up a list?
25 A. Yes, and?
3 A. Shall I start at the end. Joca was making up a list wit a soldier
4 there. I'm not sure what became of it eventually. As for my own actions
5 once order had been established and the soldiers were standing to the
6 right of the door and the rope was to the right of the door, and not down
7 the middle of the hangar. When only military policemen were inside the
8 hangar, in addition to the prisoners of course, I started allowing other
9 people into the building too. Those who wanted to go around the rope to
10 see who was inside. They would come in, and they would then leave. It
11 was of paramount importance for me, given the fact that the situation had
12 been a total mess before and was now, eventually, under the control of the
13 military police, to keep things this way, to keep things under control.
14 But I was already thinking about calling in the reinforcements I was
15 already thinking about having more soldiers come over to help us out. I
16 was thinking about getting some more food. I was thinking about getting
17 some more water.
18 Q. That's fine. Thank you. We've covered that before. My question
19 is, under just which military rule is it that you allowed members of the
20 TO into this hangar guarded by your military policemen, knowing that they
21 would mistreat prisoners once inside? On the other hand, you had sent
22 away soldiers belonging to Ovcara's local command, who had been there all
23 along before you arrived. Don't you think that you -- you may thereby
24 have violated the rules governing the conduct of a military police
25 commander, once you allowed these people inside to take a look? What was
1 the reason you believed it necessary to allow them in so that they could
2 have a look?
3 A. Three questions, a total of three questions, if I follow. There
4 are three questions for me to answer, right? The first question being
5 those people who came in did not mistreat anyone. Nor did they attack
6 anyone. The prisoners, specifically.
7 Secondly, it was my personal assessment as the commander that the
8 safest thing for the prisoners and for the whole security job was to allow
9 the TO men to have a look at the people who were there.
10 Thirdly I'm not sure what your third question was, I've lost
11 track, sorry. Oh, right, yes. Under which rule I could have done this.
12 It was a matter of my personal assessment, I believed this to be the
13 safest option for the task in hand.
14 Q. Thank you. I believe you've answered this one to some extent
15 already, but does that mean you had full control of the detention unit?
16 When I say under control, I mean the safety of the prisoners and I mean
17 keeping at bay, so to speak, the TO men. Both these things, right?
18 A. I'm waiting for the interpretation, that's why my answer is
19 delayed. I'm certain that I had full control of the prisoners' security
20 at this time.
24 My question, you were there with the brigade commander Vojnovic you are
25 looking for a location to receive a large number of people. Did he
1 explain to you about the unit that was actually there? That was my first
3 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic must have told me about the adjacent
4 units, or unit. I'm not sure exactly what he told me, but when you asked
5 me the three questions earlier on, I think you also said this: You said
6 that I had sent those soldiers away. Those soldiers who, as you said,
7 held that area. They were the security there, right? So if that was the
8 case, I certainly didn't know that at the time.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] It's done now, but I didn't think
16 the witness would know, so --
17 A. And indeed I didn't.
18 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] My words have been misinterpreted.
19 I did not mention that this name whose name I mentioned is a witness, and
20 especially that he had the status of a protected witness. So that the
21 gentleman whom I was examining wouldn't know, would he? But in any case,
22 it's all right. It's not so crucial that I would now ask that you adapt
23 your ruling to my desires. Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: There will be redactions.
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. When you came from Mitrovica to Negoslavci, we've spoken about
2 this to some extent, you say they are informing you that your company is
3 at Ovcara, guarding a new group. My question is, were any of your
4 officers then at Negoslavci when you received this information?
5 A. I think I'm repeating myself. I don't believe I went to the
6 command. I did probably though, but it's just that I don't remember who
7 it was that I saw there.
8 Q. Who could have ordered your company in your absence to do the
9 security job at Ovcara on the 20th of November, 1991?
10 A. A commander has all the rights because he is the one issuing
11 assignments and orders.
12 Q. Excuse me, just which commander are you talking?
13 A. There is only one. Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic. Whether he did
14 or didn't is not something that I can say.
15 Q. Was there anyone else in addition to Vojnovic that could possibly
16 have ordered the members of your company to go and do the security at
17 Ovcara or not?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Thank you. In your statement to the OTP, it's page 10 in the
20 English, paragraph 3, for the benefit of my learned friends.
21 Page 10, paragraph 2, when you arrived at Ovcara, the JNA
22 reservists withdrew to the yellow house. Which soldiers are we talking
23 about here, since a while ago you said you had no idea where Joca Kafic
24 and his soldiers had gone to. Who are these soldiers that we see here now
25 going to the yellow house?
1 A. The only soldiers who would possibly have withdrawn to the yellow
2 house were Joca Kafic's soldiers, although --
3 Q. Although what?
4 A. If you think that I said this at the time and now I don't
5 remember, well that's about it, isn't it.
6 Q. Thank you. Did you ever go to the yellow house yourself?
7 A. No, I didn't go inside.
8 Q. Where did you go, if not inside?
9 A. I was outside the house. I passed the house several times.
10 Q. Thank you. What was at that house, since you passed the house as
11 you went about your duties?
12 A. I didn't go into the house. I did say that, didn't I?
13 Q. Why did you notice the yellow house at all then?
14 A. If I'm not mistaken, there is a stretch of the road looking from
15 Negoslavci in the direction of Sotin, so to the left there is a flat area,
16 and that was the only house outside the forest, if I'm not mistaken.
17 Q. Can we please have that photograph displayed again, Exhibit 236,
18 page 22. 256. Fine. Do you have that, sir?
19 A. Here we go. The hangars again.
20 Q. The yellow house, no need to mark anything. Where is it in this
21 photograph? You have indicated the general direction, but there is a
22 number of other buildings there. Was it near the buildings on the
23 right-hand side of the photograph?
24 My apologies. My apologies, we need photograph number 20 and zoom
25 in a little. Could you please zoom in the left-hand side of the
1 photograph? That's right.
2 Sir, do you see the yellow house in this photograph? Could the
3 technicians please bring back the first photograph, because -- well, yes.
4 Okay. Right. Thank you very much. Excellent.
5 Can you indicate the house now or not?
6 A. Can I just please take a minute to get my bearings? This looks
7 very much like the house, but I need to get my bearings.
8 Q. You will need a pen after that?
9 A. Yes, I can't see the hangars. If I could see the hangars maybe it
10 would be easier, at least the road. I'm quite --
11 Q. Let's bring back that first photograph, number 20, please. What
12 about this angle? Can you see the yellow house?
13 A. Can I ...
14 Q. Mark that as number 1, please.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Why did you memorize this house of all houses, since we see that
17 there are a lot of buildings in the area?
18 A. I'm not sure if you understood me. Looking from Negoslavci in the
19 direction of Sotin, this is the flat area, and to the left. That's what I
21 Q. So that's your explanation?
22 A. Yes, you had in the direction of the flat bit and then you notice
23 something on the left-hand side.
24 Q. No need to tender this into evidence I believe it's sufficient for
25 the Chamber to have heard the witness's explanation as to why he
1 remembered this particular house.
2 My next question: When you left for Ovcara did you have any radio
3 equipment at this point in time?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether Vojnovic had any telephone
6 communications with the house?
7 A. No. I don't know.
8 Q. Thank you. Who came at Ovcara with you on the 20th of November?
9 Was Jovica Trifunovic, a soldier, with you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who else?
12 A. It was myself, the driver, Trifunovic, Sapic, and perhaps some
13 other soldiers who were off duty.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you all carry automatic weapons?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Did all your military policemen within the hangar
17 carry automatic weapons?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. After securing the hangar on the 20th, did you secure
20 some other facilities in Vukovar?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Such as?
23 A. We secured the hospital, the grammar school, the house full of
25 Q. Thank you. Did you also secure the safe of the payments institute
1 at Vukovar?
2 A. No.
3 Q. If you reread the statement you provided at the Belgrade Ovcara
4 case, page 62. In the English that's page 61. On page 62 and for my
5 learned friend from the Prosecution, that's page 61, you stated the
6 following in your answer to the Presiding Judge you mentioned Kameni, and
7 then you said --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Borovic read slowly, please. Borovic.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I'll try my best.
10 Q. "When we were securing the safe of the then payments institute,"
11 is that correct? That's what one can read in your statement at the
12 Belgrade Ovcara case?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. But that is different from what you have just told us?
15 A. Perhaps I can clarify. The safe wasn't being secured when there
16 was money in it. When it was broken into and when the money was taken
17 out, we were told to try and protect everything else that was inside the
18 safe. Therefore, we didn't provide security per se, but I don't know what
19 to call it. We were there on guard during the night, and I took part in
20 one of the shifts as well. That's why we were -- I said we were not
21 securing the safe, because it included only one night.
22 Q. So you were securing the safe during that one night?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. My learned friend Mr. Vasic asked you whether you know
25 Aleksandar Vasiljevic?
1 A. If that is the general, then yes, I met him.
2 Q. Thank you. When?
3 A. For the first time in Kragujevac, when he was introduced to me by
4 Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you know that he was born in Kragujevac as well?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you know that he had proceedings instituted before the
8 military organs concerning the safe that was broken into?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now, to go back to the issues relevant to the defence of my
11 client. In the period defined here between 1730 and 2200 hours, were
12 there any murders at the hangar at that time? I am asking you to be quite
14 A. No.
15 Q. Were there any killings in front of the hangar?
16 A. No.
17 Q. At that period were there any agricultural machines or machinery
18 turned on in front of the hangar, tractors or some other type of
19 machinery? And I have in mind the 20th of November.
20 A. With the exception of the machinery at the back of the hangar,
21 I -- we also gave it a thought for the soldiers to rest there, but in the
22 front part where the entrance was, there were no machines there.
23 Q. Thank you. And at that time when you were there and when your
24 soldiers were there who had arrived there before you, did you see a loader
25 right next to the entrance to the hangar?
1 A. I didn't.
2 Q. Do you know for how long your soldiers had been securing prior to
3 your arrival at 5.30 p.m.?
4 A. I don't.
5 Q. Thank you. If I were to tell you that we have information
6 according to which some people's -- some people claim that during the time
7 wherein your soldiers were there and when you were there, that period
8 being defined as of 4.30 p.m. onwards, that a tractor was on.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] That was page 5.004, line 1 for the
10 Chamber and the OTP. And on page 5.005, line 19, pertaining to the period
11 as of 4.30 p.m., an hour after that some people stated that the military
12 police withdrew from the hangar and Ovcara. So one hour later, perhaps
13 that's around 5.00 p.m.
14 Q. Could you agree with me then that such information is incorrect?
15 You testified here that you went away at 2200 hours and that you were
16 securing the prisoners throughout, as defined by you before. Irrespective
17 of the exact time period, in case we don't agree on the exact time?
18 A. I haven't understood quite well. 4.30 or 5.00, what did you have
19 in mind?
20 Q. As of the moment of the arrival of your soldiers, and during the
21 time you were there, and up until 2200 hours when you left. Is this
22 correct, or rather, the statement I quoted, is it incorrect, the statement
23 is on page 5.005, stating that the military police withdrew from Ovcara as
24 early as 5.00 p.m. Is that incorrect? The statement provides that there
25 were no military policemen between 5.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m.?
1 A. I wasn't at Ovcara at 5.00 p.m. As for the 2200 hours, well, it
2 was dark. It could have been an hour and a half or up to two hours. I
3 was there during that time. But whether that was between 5.00 and 7.00
4 p.m. or 10.00 p.m., I don't know. If I understood your question properly.
5 Q. Since I can't put something that a particular witness stated here
6 to you, I have to go the round about way, but I'll try to be more clear.
7 There was a statement in possession of the Defence and the Chamber and the
8 OTP know of it, by which the military police and its company were not
9 there after 5.00 p.m. at Ovcara?
10 A. If I am to confirm that, it should be stated then that there were
11 policemen after 5.00 p.m.
12 Q. Up until when?
13 A. I don't know. I came there when it was already dark. I spent
14 some time there. As to when exactly I came and left, I don't know.
15 Q. To reiterate yet again?
16 A. But 5.00 is still ...
17 Q. If the operations diary states that the military police, in
18 particular your company, and that is the operations diary of the 80th
19 Kragujevac Brigade, that that company withdrew at 2200 hours, 2230. Is
20 that correct?
21 A. No [as interpreted].
22 Q. To go back to Aleksandar Vasiljevic, you spoke with him in 19 --
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Page 96, line 12, the
24 witness's answer was "absolutely" and the transcript states "no."
25 Q. Therefore, to my question I asked, then you stated that yes, the
1 military police from the 80th Kragujevac Brigade was there between 5.00
2 p.m. and 10.30 p.m., and then I asked you if the operations log of the
3 80th Kragujevac Brigade states that the military police company withdrew
4 from Ovcara at 10.30 p.m.; is that correct? What would be your answer?
5 A. I'll try to answer yet again.
6 Q. Could we agree on the accuracy?
7 A. I don't know when we left, but what you asked me is whether I
8 agree with what is stated there, with the entry. If somebody wrote down
9 that I withdrew at 10.30, that must be correct. I also agree with you
10 that at 5.00 p.m. The military police was not withdrawn from Ovcara. I
11 arrived later and we were there, therefore we agree.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I believe we've clarified the
13 matter, Your Honours, and that I got the answer I was looking for.
14 Q. In the conversation you had with Milovan Jeftic and Aleksandar
15 Vasiljevic, what were you asked to do?
16 A. More or less everything I have explained so far concerning the
17 Mitnica group, and the other group we called the hospital group. I
18 briefed them on all of that, but in a much shorter form. We spent some
19 time there, although I don't know how long, but we were in that
21 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry for interrupting my learned friend, and it
22 is my fault. I have been trying to follow the series of questions that
23 arose at 96/13, and down to 97/1. And it said that the witness said
24 absolutely. That was not our understanding of what was said.
25 Secondly, the way the question was formulated was whether the
1 entry was correct or whether in actual fact it reflected the actuality of
2 what had occurred. And with the utmost respect to my learned friend,
3 there is an element of confusion on that. Although the entry says 10.30,
4 well that may well be. But the question surely is, does he agree that he
5 left at 10.30, yes or no. I'd like the transcript, perhaps, to be
6 listened to again, to see whether in actual fact he did use the
7 word "absolutely", but it's left in a state of disarray, and obviously
8 it's important.
9 JUDGE PARKER: The effect of his last answer is apparent at the
10 moment, Mr. Moore. I'm sure that it will be an interesting field for
11 re-examination. I agree with you that until that last answer, everything
12 you put was entirely justified. But I think the last answer has clarified
13 the position. If there is confusion, re-examination is the answer.
14 Carry on, Mr. Borovic.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. The witness clarified
16 that on page 97. Perhaps we needn't listen to the tape. I'm absolutely
17 certain that the witness said "absolutely." But perhaps we can proceed.
18 Q. Were you asked to covertly tape the conversation you had with Joca
19 Kafic? Were you asked to do that at that meeting?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you propose to get a hold of the list that was in the
22 possession of Joca Kafic containing the list of detainees on the 21st of
24 A. If I understood your question, you are claiming that I knew that
25 Joca Kafic was in possession of that document. I didn't. On the other
1 hand, I offered my assistance to everyone in order to shed some lights as
2 regards the Ovcara events, and I can claim at any time that I have been
3 trying to shed some light concerning those events.
4 Q. Thank you. You came back from Sremska Mitrovica, you went to
5 Negoslavci, and you heard that a part of your military police company was
6 at Ovcara. After that you went and did everything you have explained
7 today, and then withdrew. My question, hence, is the following: First
8 your military policemen were there and then you were there securing the
9 hangar. Throughout that time, did you go away from the hangar at any
10 point before your withdrawal?
11 A. At the beginning of your question, you mentioned Mitrovica, but we
12 are now talking about the 20th. If I understood the second part of your
13 question, you stated, or you asked me whether, as of the moment I reunited
14 with my unit, spent all of my time with them until we withdrew from
15 Ovcara, then my answer is yes. But you have to bear in mind that I was
16 going in and out of the hangar. But I was there with my unit.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, to be specific, you were going in and out, there
18 was a Pinzgauer with lights on in front of the hangar. My question,
19 therefore, is, in front of the main entrance to the left there was a
20 guard. Then the road. Across from the entrance, or across from the road
21 was there a pit or a hole in the ground on the other side of the road? On
22 that day did you see anyone taking people out and shooting those people at
23 that time? Did you see any corpses or were there any such holes? And I
24 mentioned the 20th of November, and that is not in the transcript.
25 A. I didn't see any sort of a hole, I saw no corpses. No one was
1 killed during the time I was at Ovcara.
2 Q. Did you know that Ovcara was within the 80th Kragujevac Brigade
3 area of responsibility on the 20th of November?
4 A. You mean the 80th motorised.
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Did you mention their area of responsibility? The 80th motorised
7 was within OG South.
8 Q. I have in mind the area of responsibility of the 80th Kragujevac
10 A. I don't know. Perhaps.
11 Q. In the morning on the 21st of November did anyone give you any
12 kind of list of detained persons from the hangar?
13 A. The 21st or later I did not have any conversations with anyone,
14 nobody asked me, and I didn't respond to any questions regarding the
15 security of the group of prisoners from the hospital. This is on the 20th
16 of November. I didn't discuss that with anyone.
17 Q. Thank you. You then left the hangar, and where did you go, the
18 military police company?
19 A. We went to Negoslavci.
20 Q. Did you see Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic that evening?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. Thank you. Did members of your unit return that evening, once
23 again to Ovcara in order to guard, to make it easier for you, the yellow
25 A. Not according to an order from me.
1 Q. But do you know whether this happened without an order from you?
2 A. From a conversation with Novica Trifunovic, he said that he was
3 given the assignment to secure the Sapic group [as interpreted], although
4 I don't know who he got this assignment from and why they would be doing
5 that anyway.
6 Q. If I were to tell you that there are assertions that on the 21st
7 of November, 1991, in the period that you were the person with the
8 nickname Stuka, and were carrying out liquidations of people in the pit
9 across from the hangar, how would you comment that assertion? This was in
10 the period of the 20th of November when you were there.
11 A. If I understood you correctly, you said that I had the nickname
13 Q. No, not you. Did you hear of a person called Stuka?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Does that mean that that evening when you held the area around the
16 hangar under control, there was no one by the name of Stuka there?
17 A. I didn't hear about that.
18 Q. Does that mean that nobody with the nickname Stuka in this
19 critical period of the 20th of November, could not have been carrying out
20 any executions in front of the hangar entrance; is that correct?
21 A. If I understood your question correctly once again, because I have
22 the impression that the question constantly is -- could be taken in two
23 ways. In the period that I was there, there was no liquidation, there was
24 no abuse of prisoners, they were treated properly.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. Have you heard of Jovan Dulovic?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am done with my
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
6 Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I think that on page 100, line 20
10 there's something illogical. I think that the witness said something
11 about an assignment to secure the yellow house, and here it says "Sapic's
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I can assist, Your Honour. The
15 intervention is correct, but actually the text was the yellow house was
16 secured with Sapic. That was the correct reply. Thank you.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Perhaps the witness will help me by
18 telling me what Sapic is.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sapic is a military policeman, also
20 who was on assignment at Ovcara. It's the name of a soldier. Because I
21 was told, and I don't know this, but I was told that the two of them came
22 back to guard the yellow house. Why and in compliance with whose command,
23 I don't know. Whose order, I don't know.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. I think that answers Mr. Vasic's
1 Now, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone in the
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Vezmarovic, I am Mr. Lukic, and I represent
7 Mr. Sljivancanin. I'm going to be asking you questions. I think that you
8 understood while looking at the screen that you need to make a little
9 break before beginning your answer, so we need to have a good rhythm, so
10 our questions and answers don't overlap, for the sake of the interprets.
11 What I would like to do is to discuss some statutory things at the end of
12 today's hearing and perhaps touch upon some topics that we will dealing
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So I would like to ask the usher to
15 give this set of statements, and there are also exhibits there, so that
16 you have them in front of you, so in the course of the examination you
17 have all the copies in hard copy with you and there will also be some at
18 the end.
19 Q. Mr. Vezmarovic, you yourself said that you provided a number of
20 statements to different organs and because we will be going through your
21 statements and your testimony, I would like to ask you if you could look
22 there, if you recall that the first time you practically gave a statement
23 about the events in Ovcara was before the military tribunal and this was
24 on the 8th of February, 1999. You perhaps don't remember the record of
25 the date of the record, but was that not the first statement that you
1 provided in the capacity of a witness, before the military court in
3 A. From what I can remember, it is true that I provided my first
4 statement to the military tribunal in Belgrade.
5 Q. Thank you. Next in the sequence of events is your testimony in
6 the case of the Belgrade-Ovcara case, this is the case against Miroljub
7 Vujovic and others when you gave a statement to Judge Alimpic on the 24th
8 of June, 2004.
9 A. If I'm not mistaken, in the interim I also provided a statement to
10 the Tribunal, and then the -- the new -- Novi Sad statement came.
11 Q. Yes, that is correct chronologically. Before that you provided a
12 statement to the investigators of The Hague Tribunal which was given on
13 the 13th and 18th of December, 2001; isn't that true? Yes, could you
14 please confirm yes or no so it's recorded in the transcript?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. And finally, you appeared as a witness in the main hearing in the
17 Ovcara case against Miroljub Vujovic et al on the 29th of October, 2004.
18 This was before the special department of the military court -- of the
19 district court in Belgrade.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the answer of the
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Yes, I would like to say something else and then I will ask you
24 about that again. But let's finish these official public testimonies.
25 Finally, you testified before the Belgrade courts in the Ovcara II
1 case, as we call it, that was actually the case against Sasa Radak where
2 you were heard again before the same Trial Chamber, this was in 2005,
3 isn't that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I saw from your testimonies that you also provided a statement to
6 the police during the sablja action. We did not have access to those
7 statements even though we asked for them.
8 When we use the word sablja, saber, could you please describe what
9 that operation was, because we are going to be referring to it? Could you
10 explain something about that period in Serbia and Montenegro?
11 A. Well, simply speaking after of the assassination of Prime Minister
12 Dzindzic there was an emergency state imposed in Serbia which lasted three
13 months and during a certain period I was called to Belgrade to provide a
14 statement, and that's that.
15 Q. So this was during the state of emergency in Serbia?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. You can give me brief answers to the following questions, these
18 are just some status things we're moving to the Vukovar events at that
19 time you had the rank of reserve captain in Vukovar?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. I read, and you said that here, and you also said that during the
22 Belgrade trial, that you completed the school for reserve officers in
23 Bileca; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can we agree that Bileca is amongst the most elite schools for
1 training infantry cadre at the time in the Yugoslav People's Army?
2 A. Well, I think that would apply even more broadly. I don't want to
3 be modest.
4 Q. Can we agree that there were special standards in order to admit
5 persons to the Bileca school?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Perhaps this is in the record, when you were providing your
8 particulars, but when did you attend this school in Bileca?
9 A. This was in October 1977 that I went there, and I came back in
10 1978. For the first six months I was in Bileca.
11 Q. What was also said after this training for reserve infantry
12 officers, you were sent immediately after that for additional training to
13 Pancevo for the military police, and this was part of your regular
14 military term of duty; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I also understood that after serving your term of duty in order to
17 receive the assignment that you did receive in the Vukovar period, so in
18 order to be able to be a company commander, you went through additional
19 training and courses, I assume in Pancevo. Can you please tell us how
20 many times this was in the period in relation to this period of 1991?
21 A. I went to Pancevo on two more occasions for additional trainings
22 first for platoon commander and then I went for additional training for
23 company commander of military police. The dates and the periods are
24 something that I don't remember exactly, but this is something that you
25 can see in my records or in my file. In any case, I went there twice
1 before 1991.
2 Q. These training courses last for several months, and you have to
3 pass examinations at the end; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you please tell us when you received the rank of captain?
6 A. I can check that in my military booklet. It's entered there
7 exactly which date.
8 Q. And these general questions, we have heard that here, and I assume
9 that you are going confirm that in view of the structure of the 80th
10 Kragujevac Brigade, the military police company was a staff unit, do you
11 know that?
12 A. Not the Kragujevac, but the motorised brigade. And it was a staff
13 unit, the company was an independent one. I don't know in what sense it
14 would be a staff one.
15 Q. In view of the function of the police, the company's main
16 assignment would be to secure the command units?
17 A. It secures the commander in a location and during the movement.
18 Q. The entire command also?
19 A. Yes, the entire command.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, could I interrupt? Clear up something?
21 On our numbering, page 107/1, but it's the commencement of an answer by
22 the witness that says, "Not the Kragujevac but the motorised brigade."
23 Could you please indicate, are you saying there that they are two
24 distinct brigades or are you merely correcting the correct and indicating
25 the correct description of the brigade?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If I remember properly, what
2 was said was the Kragujevac 80th Brigade, but in jargon it's either the
3 Kragujevac brigade, but without the prefix "the 80th," so it's the 80th
4 Motorised Brigade, but it's all one unit that we're talking about.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
6 Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Sometimes I am using jargon here, but
8 this actually affects my client the most because he really asks me to be
9 very precise. So I apologise if I did not ask a question that was not
11 Q. What I would like to ask the witness now is again to take his
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is Exhibit 432. May we please
14 place that on the ELMO? I don't know if it's on e-court, but in any case
15 we can perhaps look at page 19 for a moment.
16 Q. Sir, you testified about the senior staff, or senior officers in
17 your company, and what the composition was of the cadre that went to the
18 Vukovar front. Am I understanding and seeing correctly that practically
19 what is stated here on page 19 -- well, tell us, what are these names on
20 page 19?
21 A. This is a list of a part of the military police company where we
22 have Senad [as interpreted] Krstic, he's lieutenant second class, Pavlovic
23 Mikan, he is a first class sergeant, and Radomir Stankovic, sergeant first
24 class. I cannot remember for sure who was present at which point in time
25 in Vukovar itself. The only thing that I know for sure is that Pavlovic
1 Mikan was there because he was my company officer. Who of the others was
2 there, who left, who had any problems, is really something I cannot
3 remember anymore because some of these officers were in the other group
4 that was taken away from me as early as Smederevo.
5 Q. We see under the number person that you mentioned is this Novica
6 Trifunovic who is a private first class?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that person that the judge asked you about, Sapic, his name is
9 Predrag but he is not on this list. He was just a military police
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Practically all the persons on this list up to number 22 do have
13 some kind of rank, they're either officers or non-commissioned officers?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am glad that I won't
16 have to be looking at the clock all the time, and I will have enough time
17 to continue with my cross-examination, but if we can now stop.
18 JUDGE PARKER: You have extensive opportunities in the morning,
19 Mr. Lukic.
20 We will adjourn now and resume at 9.30 tomorrow morning.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.30 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 10th day of May,
23 2006, at 9.30 a.m.