1 Friday, 12 May 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE PARKER: May I remind you the affirmation you made at the
9 beginning of your evidence still applies.
10 Yes, Mr. Moore.
11 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
12 WITNESS: DRAGI VUKOSAVLJEVIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examination by Mr. Moore: [Continued].
15 Q. You told that on the evening of the 20th you returned to
16 Negoslavci and you told Vojnovic about what had occurred. I want to move
17 on, if I may, to subsequent events. Are you able to remember when it was
18 or indeed if you heard of any reports circulating in the area about
19 possible atrocities occurring at Ovcara?
20 A. Yes. I heard that several times there were already the first
21 comments on the next day.
22 Q. Were you at any time aware of an investigation occurring
23 immediately thereafter, an investigation into what had occurred at Ovcara?
24 A. I informed the security organs from Sid about the rumours about
25 atrocity having been committed and they suggested that we should not be
1 dealing with that problem, that this will be done by other people who were
2 out in the field and that I should really deal with the security matters
3 pertaining to my duties as part of the 80th regular Brigade. I think
4 that's how it was.
5 MR. MOORE: I have no further questions. Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
7 Mr. Vasic. Oh, Mr. Domazet.
8 Could I remind counsel to be conscious of time. I don't put it
9 higher than that, because I recognise that at least in some cases this
10 witness is of significance. But there are significant time constraints
11 put on the availability of the witness to us by the government of Serbia,
12 and the witness must return to Serbia after today. Therefore, I leave you
13 with that thought, Mr. Domazet.
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Good morning to all.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Domazet:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vukosavljevic, good morning. I am Vladimir
17 Domazet, and I represent Mr. Mrksic.
18 Mr. Vukosavljevic, first of all, a few things from your CV, which
19 was already covered by my learned friend Mr. Moore. And as pertaining to
20 your career as a reserve officer, it wasn't quite clear in your movements
21 in your CV whether you worked until the time you completed your university
22 education, which was sometime in 1984 when you were already 30 something,
23 37 years old.
24 A. Yes, yes. I was about 35, 36 at the time.
25 Q. After completing high school, did you work somewhere before you
1 graduated in 1984?
2 A. Well, I would like to broaden a little bit my answer to your
3 question so that we don't have to discuss that again. I worked -- I
4 completed the secondary mechanical school in 1966, then I worked in a
5 factory for special manufacture, and then I completed the higher
6 engineering school, so I was an engineer of the -- at sixth level. After
7 I completed that, I moved again to the car manufacturing factory as part
8 of Zastava. I worked there until 1977. Then I went back to my birth
9 place and I worked in an enterprise --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the name.
11 A. -- and then I started to work in 1977 or 1978, and then I
12 graduated at the faculty of organisational sciences in 1984, so by that
13 time I already had quite a few years of work experience.
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
15 Q. So you went to Zastava in 1972 when you were about 25 years old.
16 At the time, the compulsory military service was 18 months?
17 A. Yes. For people who had completed higher education or university
18 education, it was 12 months, but for those who had high school education,
19 it was 18 months. I served 11 months because I was released earlier
20 because of my good grades in school.
21 Q. Am I right when I say that you served 12 months because you were
22 in the reserve officer's school? So my question is all those who went to
23 the reserve officer's school, regardless of the level of their education,
24 served their military duty for 12 months and not for 18 months; am I
1 A. No, I do not think you are right because the military term then
2 was 15 and 12 months, those who had completed secondary education,
3 regardless of whether they attended the reserve officers schools. But let
4 me tell you, this is something that I recall from 30 years ago, so ...
5 Q. At the time, in order to go to the reserve officers school, am I
6 right if I say that it was necessary in your CV for it not only to be
7 clean in terms of prior convictions or prosecution, but you also had to be
8 politically vetted?
9 A. Yes, that is correct. I agree with what you say.
10 Q. This also applies even more so to those who, like you, later
11 attended the security schools or worked in the duties that you worked in
12 as a reserve officer.
13 A. Well, I wouldn't want to comment on that, because the election of
14 cadres to certain posts is an official secret and I do not have the
15 authorisation of the government to discuss that.
16 Q. At the time when you served in the military and when you attended
17 the reserve officers school in our country, there was the so-called
18 single-party system. There was only one party, the League of Communists.
19 Were you a member of that party?
20 A. Yes, I was a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, but I
21 must remind you that, besides that, there was also the Socialist Alliance
22 of the Working People, so that was also a party, so it wasn't just the
23 League of Communists.
24 Q. Well, let's not discuss that. As you say, members of the
25 Socialist Alliance were all the of-age citizens of the country, so we're
1 not going to go into that in particular.
2 A. Well, not all of them, but the majority, yes.
3 Q. Well, let's move on. You explained your advancement as a reserve
4 officer, and then finally in 1990 or 1991 you became the chief of the
5 security organ in the 80th Motorised Kragujevac Brigade. Can you tell me,
6 briefly, your role as the chief during this attempt to carry out a
7 mobilisation in 1991.
8 A. Well, I can give you a general answer. In principle, I tried to
9 carry out all the mobilisations in the best possible way, to make sure
10 that unit was fully mobilised. Which is the chief of security's job
12 Q. Yes, you were doing that work even before you went to Negoslavci;
13 is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. At the time, did you already know the other officers and soldiers
16 from the 80th Motorised Brigade?
17 A. The main work of the security organ is based on knowing your
18 people, from soldiers up to the brigade commander.
19 Q. So can I conclude that you knew well both the soldiers and the
20 officers in the brigade, that you were the chief of security before you
21 left for Negoslavci?
22 A. Yes, you can conclude that, because that was the nature of my
23 personal or official assessment, but of course you cannot know anyone
24 completely. There are always possible surprises.
25 Q. I'm going ask you about Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic. Did you know
1 him at the time, did you know him before?
2 A. Colonel Vojnovic, at the time Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, was a
3 person I got to know during the second call-up because the brigade
4 commander was replaced after the first call-up, and Mr. Vojnovic came in
5 his place. So I met him. He had come from Slovenia, so I didn't know him
6 for as long as I knew some of the other officers and soldiers in the
8 Q. When you were talking about mobilisation and going to Smederevo
9 and then to Negoslavci, when we're talking about the military police, you
10 also said that your brigade had two platoons of the military police, and
11 one platoon of traffic police.
12 A. Yes, another service detachment, which was a very expert unit.
13 Q. One of those platoons was resubordinated to another unit, or let's
14 put it more simply, didn't go with you to Negoslavci.
15 A. Well, we can say that it was taken out of the military police unit
16 of the 80th Motorised and attached to another military unit.
17 Q. Can you tell me where it was attached to, and where did it go?
18 A. When we left, actually when this military police platoon was taken
19 out of the 80th Motorised Brigade, I didn't know from the superior command
20 where that platoon would be sent. However, later I found out that it was
21 part of a battalion from the Belgrade Military District, and that they
22 were advancing from the Sotin village, Bulgarian cemetery, Mitnica village
24 Q. In any case, you did not have any contact with that platoon in the
25 course of the operations.
1 A. No, it was returned sometime on the 24th or the 25th, but I'm not
2 sure about the date. That was when it returned to the units, but based on
3 the unit documents, you can find this out.
4 Q. I'm going to move now to the part when you arrived at Negoslavci
5 with your brigade, and I assume that you formed a command. So were you,
6 as the security organ, located at the same place as the command and your
7 Commander Vojnovic, or were you at a different location?
8 A. In order to avoid any additional questions, let me tell you that
9 the command of the 80th Brigade was billeted in the three houses at the
10 end of the village of Negoslavci. Different organs were deployed in those
11 three houses. Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic had his command post in a
12 vehicle, a TAM vehicle, and he was there with his signalsmen. I wasn't
13 there with him, I was next door to him, and we could access each other
14 very quickly and we cooperated very closely.
15 Q. Could you please tell us something else: Yesterday to my learned
16 friend's question you spoke very briefly about the organisation of your
17 security organ in the 80th Motorised Brigade.
18 A. Shall I talk about the number and deployment of the security organ
19 in the brigade?
20 Q. Precisely. I would like you to talk about your subordinates,
21 because you were the chief of security.
22 A. I said it very clearly yesterday, and my answer today cannot
23 differ much from my answer yesterday. At the level of the brigade, I was
24 the chief of the security organ, and I had two subordinated officers. One
25 was an officer and the other one was a non-commissioned officer. In the
1 1st, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions the security organs were at the same time
2 organs for intelligence and counter-intelligence, and in the rear
3 battalion I had a security organ who was just a security organ and he did
4 not have the intelligence role. I had two people directly subordinated to
5 me, and the security organs in the battalions were directly linked to the
6 commanders. They informed me about the events in their respective units
7 along the lines of our common profession.
8 Q. Did this also apply to the security organs in the units
9 resubordinated to your 80th Motorised Brigade; for example, the 185th
10 tactical unit?
11 A. I can't remember whether -- which number did you say, excuse me?
12 I apologise.
13 Q. 195th tactical group.
14 A. I can only talk about the things that I am familiar with. We had
15 an uncomplete brigade from Croatia that joined our brigade. They had a
16 lot of technical equipment, but very few men. And in that brigade there
17 was just an officer in charge of security. He was an Albanian. He
18 reported to me and I helped him -- I asked him to assess the security of
19 his brigade. He didn't use that. He had been married to a Slovenian, he
20 returned to Slovenia, he abandoned his brigade, and that brigade no longer
21 had a security organ and that brigade was very soon taken out from the
22 strength of the 80th Motorised Brigade, so I didn't have any contact with
23 them and I didn't have to work with them.
24 Q. Very well then. This is as far as the security line is concerned,
25 and those who were subordinated to you and who reported to you or to whom
1 you gave tasks. At the moment when you --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could I please comment
3 upon the question of the Defence counsel? Because the question was not
4 put in appropriately. I had two immediately subordinated officers, and
5 the others, those who were in the battalions, were not directly
6 subordinated to me. They were subordinated to their respective
7 commanders. We cooperated along the lines of our profession.
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
9 Q. This is what I'm talking about; the security line, the
10 professional line, not the chain of command, which is completely clear to
11 all of us. I'm talking about the line of the security organ that is very
12 special in its work. And if we're talking about that line, I would like
13 to know when you arrived in Negoslavci and when you were involved in the
14 Operation Vukovar. Who was it who gave you instructions, orders, along
15 that line? Who did you cooperate with directly?
16 A. To the Prosecutor's question, I already spoke about that, and I
17 informed the Trial Chamber about that. Around the 10th the brigade
18 command told me that the brigade command was subordinated to the Guards
19 Motorised Brigade; in other words, that the Guards Motorised Brigade is
20 also the command of the OG South, and according to the rules of service, a
21 subordinated security organ has to report to his superior security organ
22 in the command. I went to the command post of the Guards Motorised
23 Brigade and in -- and I found Captain First Class Karan with whom I had
24 the initial conversation that concerned our profession.
25 Q. My question is whether you reported to him like those who were
1 subordinated to you reported to you.
2 A. Yes, yes. There is a uniformity in reporting in that.
3 Q. If there was a role that Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic played at the
4 time, the person who came from Kragujevac, what was his role?
5 A. If you're referring to Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic from the
6 counter-intelligence group of the 24th Corps, he was the assistant chief
7 of security of the 24th Corps for the police work. He was in charge of
8 the work of the military police battalion and all the police units in the
9 25th Corps [as interpreted], those that were subordinated to the 25th
10 Corps [as interpreted].
11 Q. Where were his located physically?
12 A. He was physically located in the corps command in Kragujevac. I
13 can't give you the exact number, but I am going to tell you that on
14 several occasions he came to Vukovar. I would say that he came to control
15 and to assist us with some things.
16 Q. Before I ask you another question, I would like to make a
17 correction in the transcript. I asked you, and you said that this was the
18 24th Corps, and a mistake has been made, and the corps mentioned here is
19 25th instead of 24th. So if I have understood you well,
20 Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic was located in Kragujevac, but he would come
21 from time to time?
22 A. And a certain other number of officers from the
23 counter-intelligence group from Kragujevac, they would come to Vukovar to
24 visit me.
25 Q. And what was their role, his role and those who came with him,
1 with respect to you and your brigade and your work as a security organ?
2 A. Their work consisted of several things. They provided me with
3 instructions, they helped me with certain tasks, but by and large we were
4 colleagues. They would come and help me out on the ground with anything
5 that I was involved in on the ground.
6 Q. Who was in charge of the work of the officers who were involved in
7 counter-intelligence in the 80th Brigade?
8 A. I apologise; can you be more specific? Can you clarify your
10 Q. My question is who was in charge of the work of the officers who
11 were involved in counter-intelligence in the 80th Motorised Brigade?
12 A. Professionally, it was me. I'm talking about the two officers who
13 were my subordinates, so I was the one they reported to.
14 Q. Did you ever receive a plan of counter-intelligence measures or an
15 excerpt of -- from such a plan? I suppose you know what I'm talking
17 A. We can be very open about that. Those are two documents which are
18 not an official secret of the security organ. The security organ, i.e.,
19 the subordinated command, receives from its superior command all the
20 orders concerning security, specifying all the security measures that have
21 to be applied in the subordinated unit, and this is something that there
22 is no two ways about. You receive a document entitled a document on
23 security, it arrives at my address and informs me about the security
24 situation in my brigade, in the neighbouring brigades, in the command.
25 Those are public documents and there is nothing that we cannot discuss
1 with regard to those documents.
2 Q. Since you often use the term "official secret" and you are
3 obviously bound by a secret, if we ever come to something that might be a
4 secret, could you please advise us. Maybe you will be able to answer such
5 a question if we move into private session. If not, and you have called
6 upon some rules, the rules of your service, and according to those rules
7 there is such a thing as official secrets, however everything is used in
8 this Tribunal as evidence, we kindly ask you to provide us with as much
9 detail as possible.
10 You have mentioned a decision, can you please tell us briefly what
11 this is about?
12 A. I have my government's decision here. Maybe I should read it to
13 you, or maybe it could be placed on the ELMO, but I can read it out to you
14 so as to show you what this is all about and what my government has asked
15 me to do and what not to do.
16 "Pursuant to Article 11 of the Cooperation between Serbia and
17 Montenegro with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
18 Yugoslavia --" I apologise. "Pursuant to Article 11 of the Law on
19 Cooperation between Serbia and Montenegro and the International Criminal
20 Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Official Gazette of the Socialist
21 Republic of Yugoslavia, 18/2002 and the Official Gazette of Montenegro,
22 the Council of Ministers hereby issues the following decision --"
23 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is reading too fast. We cannot
24 follow this.
25 JUDGE PARKER: How long is this document? Two pages.
1 Mr. Domazet, I'm not sure what is the point of this document being
2 read. If you have a specific question, put it to the witness. If he says
3 he can't answer it because of that document, then we can deal with that
4 issue. But we don't need to know the details. This is, in my experience,
5 a standard document from the Serbia and Montenegrin government.
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that this is
7 a standard document myself, and that in these proceedings there is no such
8 secret that the witness could not talk about.
9 Q. You don't have to proceed. If we ever come across a problem, we
10 -- I hope we will be able to resolve it.
11 When you were talking yesterday about your relationship with your
12 superiors along the line of security, you said that your impression was
13 that there was a lack of interest among your superiors in you and your
14 work. Did it also -- were you saying that you were therefore sent to
15 Karanfilov as the second in command rather than commander himself?
16 A. This period of cooperation did not last long enough for me to have
17 any more serious intentions. I said that the chief of security of the
18 80th Brigade, Colonel Sljivancanin [as interpreted], was very correct
19 towards me. Everybody else was also polite. But truth be told, the
20 strength of my brigade was not such as to be interesting for the superior
21 command. We had very few men. We only had two and a half independent
22 companies and a headquarters command, and that was it.
23 Q. In your earlier statements and yesterday, you spoke about the
24 reports that you wrote. You said that you wrote these reports in three
25 copies and that you kept one copy for yourself. Did you send one copy to
1 the superior command and did this apply to only this period, or also the
2 later period when you were linked to the command in Sid?
3 A. This was about the time when I was linked to the command in Sid.
4 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] In the transcript it says that you
5 were linked to the command in Sid, but it is not the command in Sid but
6 the KOG, the counter-intelligence group; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, sir, and I apologise for having interrupted you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: While we are interrupting, page 13, on our screen,
9 line 14, it indicates that the chief of security of the 80th Brigade was
10 Colonel Sljivancanin. Is that the answer that was given? Is that
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, no, this is a mistake.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're asking me? No. No, of
14 course not. I was the chief of security of the 80th Brigade, and the
15 colonel was the chief of security of the Guards Motorised Brigade and also
16 the chief of security of the OG South.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
18 Mr. Domazet.
19 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, does this mean that during this period of time,
21 which was obviously shorter, when you were subordinated to the Guards
22 Brigade and its security organ, does it mean that you did not issue any
23 written reports at all, or that you didn't do it as often?
24 A. When you -- you made a slip of a tongue. Between the subordinate
25 and the superior. Let me ask you a question. I wrote one or two reports
1 for Captain Karan, and everything else was in verbal form. But there was
2 not much cooperation because the 80th Brigade did not have a lot of
4 Q. And the hierarchal structure had to be respected; you couldn't
5 skip a level. I'm talking about the security organs line.
6 A. No, not unless that was requested, because, as a rule, everything
7 went along the normal lines in the security matters; it was just one of
8 the regular services in the JNA.
9 Q. When we're talking about your attitude to your own commander, or
10 position to your own commander, you were his formal assistant for
11 security, as the chief of the security organ, and you said - I am going to
12 quote - that the most important security-related information of the unit
13 was something that the brigade commander was informed about.
14 A. No. All the security matters in the unit were told to the
15 commander, according to the security line. Nothing was concealed from
16 him. Anything he needed in order to execute his command duties, he would
17 receive from me.
18 Q. All that related to the security of the unit; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does that relate to information of a counter-intelligence nature?
21 A. Absolutely.
22 Q. Everything or only what was approved by your superior along the
23 security organ line?
24 A. In principle, the time that a commander receives information is
25 crucial. If something is late, then that information is no longer of any
1 use, either to you or to him. So in that sense the security organ has the
2 ability to assess this and to pass on the information. So I would always,
3 without fail, inform the commander, and then after that I would inform the
4 security organs in the superior command. Even together with my security
5 officers in the battalions I would inform the battalion commanders about
6 certain problems so that they would be able to have all this information
7 at their disposal while they were making their command decisions.
8 Q. Can we agree that the tasks that you performed as a security
9 organ, as part of those tasks, some are directly related to work in the
10 brigade as opposed to the intelligence or counter-intelligence type of
11 activities, and that that work in the brigade itself is first of all
12 military police, administrative and criminal activities, and that they
13 directly relate to the brigade commander along this line?
14 A. No, I cannot agree with you entirely. We can agree on the part
15 which is defined by the rules of service for the work of the security
16 organs. So my function would be a control function. In relation to the
17 police, I controlled their work, their training, I possibly suggest their
18 use. As far as criminal proceedings are concerned, the brigade commander
19 has the assistant for morale, who is at the same time assistant for legal
20 affairs. So legal affairs and anything that is criminal related would be
21 in the jurisdiction of the organ for morale and not the organ for
23 Q. All right. So then you take that some of the duties were not in
24 your remit?
25 A. Yes. That is correct. Legal matters are in the domain of the
1 assistant for morale, political and legal matters. So he would be the one
2 to initiate proceedings in terms of what perhaps the public prosecutor
3 does. And if a military tribunal is formed at the level of the brigade,
4 then this assistant can also serve as the presiding judge of that
6 Q. In this specific situation, was it possible to form a military
7 tribunal? Did something like that -- was something like that possible?
8 A. No, the brigade didn't have anything like that. Nobody actually
9 insisted that we deal with legal matters. No security organ in the JNA
10 would deal with legal matters. This would be something that the morale
11 organ would be in charge of.
12 Q. Can we agree, then, the bulk of your duties were
13 counter-intelligence and of an intelligence nature?
14 A. No, we can agree, just as Mr. Moore asked me here yesterday, my
15 assignments were primarily of a counter-intelligence nature. As part of
16 the duties of the Chief of Staff, there is an operations organ and an
17 organ for intelligence matters, and that organ deals with intelligence
18 issues. I am under the commander, but the chief for intelligence is
19 linked to the Chief of Staff.
20 Q. Can you perhaps assess or tell us what the percentages were of
21 your engagement in this sense?
22 A. I don't know. I answered your question already: I was 100 per
23 cent engaged on counter-intelligence duties, just as the 100 per cent
24 engagement of the chief for intelligence would be to work on intelligence
1 Q. Very well. Mr. Vojnovic [as interpreted], when we're talking
2 about informing the commander about all that pertains to the security of
3 the unit assessments data and so on, there is a term, and you will correct
4 me if I am wrong, but it says in the required -- to the acquired [as
5 interpreted] extent, and level. Could you please tell me what that
7 A. Well, you said Mr. Vojnovic. Did you mean Mr. Vukosavljevic,
9 Q. No, did you convey to Vojnovic?
10 A. I am obliged, as the security chief, to give all the information
11 to the brigade commander - in this case Vojnovic - that are essential for
12 the purposes of executing command and control functions of the brigade.
13 There is no holding back. It's all absolute. If you're late with an
14 information, then that is useless.
15 Q. But, Mr. Vukosavljevic, if it says "to the required extent and
16 degree," does that mean you are the one who assesses this required level
17 and degree, or is there somebody else who would make that assessment in
18 passing on information?
19 A. I don't know where you found that, "to the required extent and
20 degree." That would imply absolutely the extent to which the commander
21 can have available information at his disposal so that he can make
22 decisions which affect the security of the unit. That is that measure.
23 Q. Can you please tell me something about the area of responsibility
24 of your 80th Motorised Brigade.
25 A. I don't know that the 80th Motorised Brigade had an area of
1 responsibility. When I came on the 8th, I asked the commander to inform
2 me about the situation. At that point in time, he didn't have any orders
3 relating to the use of units, meaning he didn't have any orders so that
4 the area of responsibility of the 80th Brigade could not have been formed.
5 Q. If not then, how about later?
6 A. Yes, on the 23rd and 24th we did receive orders from the 1st
7 Military District command. The war assignment was formed for the 80th
8 Brigade battalions, and artillery battalions received their assignments
9 and the brigade was assigned its area of responsibility, and it began to
10 draft documents, combat documents, regulating, amongst other things, the
11 area of responsibility. On the working map at brigade command, the
12 brigade's area of responsibility and the deployment of its subordinate
13 units is marked precisely on the map.
14 Q. For example, Ovcara, Grabovo, Jakubovac; such places?
15 A. If they were in the area of responsibility. Well, to tell you the
16 truth, at the brigade level, we only had one working map. According to
17 the rules of service, the brigade organ for security should have a working
18 map too. I should have done that. However, I did not have to carry out
19 that duty. The commander told me I didn't need to do that. The command
20 didn't have two working maps, it only had one working map that was for the
21 whole OG. Even the commander didn't have his own working map that he was
22 duty-bound to maintain. So I really cannot be very specific in my answer
23 about the 80th Brigade's area of responsibility after the 23rd, 24th and
25 Q. Before the 23rd, 4th and 5th, I'm asking you, and I think you said
1 before - I will remind you - you also mentioned in your statements the
2 local commanders, one of these places that I mentioned.
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. And this was something that was decided on by Lieutenant-Colonel
5 Vojnovic, so were these places in his area of responsibility?
6 A. When was this mentioned?
7 Q. Well, I'm going to ask you specifically, but we need to go into
8 semi-private --
9 JUDGE PARKER: Private session.
10 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
18 Q. We're going to continue with the same topic, the security organ of
19 which you were chief, and you had started to talk about this. After the
20 departure of the Guards Motorised Brigade, you talked about several dates;
21 23rd, 22nd, 24th. I don't know if we can agree that your brigade entered
22 Vukovar on the 22nd of November, and there is an order of the 22nd that
23 you were talking about. We are going to establish that on the basis of --
24 A. Well, it would be best to establish that on the basis of documents
25 because I don't have all the dates in my head. It's been over 14 years
1 since then, so please don't take it ill, but I cannot remember the dates.
2 Q. In any case, this was at the time when the Guards Brigade was
3 leaving Vukovar; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember that the Guards Brigade left Vukovar on the 24th
6 of November in the morning, or perhaps you don't even remember that?
7 A. What I know is -- well, I don't know that there were any Guards
8 Brigade units in Vukovar on the 23rd. I think most of those units were in
9 the village of Negoslavci. This is what I know. But I'm not asserting
10 that, I'm just answering your question.
11 Q. Very well. From that period, a day or two before or after, as you
12 say, your superiors along the security organs line were in Sid. Your
13 immediate contact was with the counter-intelligence group in Sid, headed
14 by Colonel Ljubisa Perkovic [phoen].
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Just one correction: It's Colonel
17 Ljubisa Petkovic, not Perkovic.
18 A. Yes, I heard it as Petkovic, and that's how I responded.
19 Q. Yes, I agree. But it's just a mistake in the transcript, and of
20 course it's important that we have the correct transcript.
21 Could you please tell me who Mr. Ljubisa Petkovic was.
22 A. What do you mean?
23 Q. Professionally.
24 A. He was the -- a colonel in the Sid command [as interpreted].
25 Q. Did you know him professionally before that or did you get to know
1 him when you began to directly cooperate with him?
2 A. Yes, I got to know him when we started to work together. It was
3 the first time that I actually saw him in my life.
4 Q. I do have another intervention. You said colonel in Sid, but in
5 the transcript on page 22, line 21, it says the Sid command. So this is
6 another correction. It's the COG, counter-intelligence group in Sid?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. Could you please tell me what a KOG is, a counter-intelligence
10 A. Well, I can give you a general answer: It's a group made up of
11 officers who are involved in counter-intelligence work, using the methods
12 and means used in the service.
13 Q. And that group of officers would have its network of associates?
14 A. Sir, I really wouldn't like to answer that because I don't believe
15 that I have the right to do that.
16 Q. I think, Mr. Vukosavljevic, that we do have the right to find out
17 about this, that that cannot be a secret matter that you were -- did not
18 receive a waiver for.
19 A. I don't have it here in the document that I can talk about the
20 methods of operation or work of the counter-intelligence service. I don't
21 have a decision of the government saying that I can talk about the methods
22 of work of the counter-intelligence group.
23 Q. But do you have explicitly it stated that you cannot talk about
25 A. It's not stressed that I can, so I assume that I cannot, based on
1 the confidentiality oath that I stated and because of the rules of my
2 service. You know that if it's not explicitly stated, it's something that
3 I cannot talk about. You are a lawyer, you should know about that.
4 Q. I think now we have come again to the point where I quite rightly
5 asked you to read the document, even though it's a decision. Could you
6 please read the part of it that says --
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet. The first time that this officer says
8 that he came under the area of responsibility of the counter-intelligence
9 group in Sid was, as I understand it, about the 23rd of November. How is
10 it going to assist the determination of this case to learn whether that
11 group had or did not have a team of officers working on
12 counter-intelligence work? Can you help me with that?
13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this line of
14 questioning can be explained by the fact that this counter-intelligence
15 group existed, it was led by Colonel Petkovic, the witness did not have
16 any contacts with it prior to a certain period of time, and my question is
17 to find out how this counter-intelligence group worked at the time,
18 especially in view of my following question about Captain Karanfilov that
19 you spoke about, and I was going to ask you whether he was a member of
20 that counter-intelligence group in Sid. That was going to be my next
21 question to the witness.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
23 We know from evidence that a Captain Karanfilov was in the area of
24 Ovcara, dealing with prisoners from Mitnica at various times, at least on
25 the 18th and 19th of November. Are you able to say from which unit
1 Captain Karanfilov came?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, he came from the
3 Guards Motorised Brigade. As far as I know, I'm saying. But
4 Mr. Domazet's question is different, and I believe that he was absolutely
5 from the Guards Motorised Brigade, not from the counter-intelligence group
6 Sid, as purported by Mr. Domazet. This is what I know. If there are any
7 documents speaking differently, I don't know.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I think Mr. Domazet is interested in your
10 And perhaps that meets your need, does it, Mr. Domazet? As far as
11 this witness is concerned, he was not from the Sid counter-intelligence
13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Just a few
14 more questions about that, and I will bring this topic to an end.
15 Q. You were talking about your reports and sending them regularly and
16 that you had personal contacts, that you attended meetings; this is what
17 you spoke about yesterday.
18 A. That's correct, Mr. Domazet.
19 Q. Where was the seat of the counter-intelligence group in Sid where
20 you attended meetings?
21 A. After such a long time, I can't tell you. This is a secret [as
22 interpreted], but in any case, it is in Sid.
23 Q. This is where the meetings took place that you attended?
24 A. The meetings took place at different places, not at the post
25 office where the seat of the counter-intelligence group was.
1 Q. You answered, but it says in the transcript that this is a secret.
2 However, you said it was not a secret, that was in the post office in Sid.
3 A. Bear in mind that time and -- I believe that this is not a secret,
4 and yes, it was in the post office in Sid.
5 Q. Your answer is good, but it did not enter the transcript
7 A. It is a secret of a sort, but it is not such a big secret, and
8 especially given the time that has lapsed.
9 Q. Is it also true that -- you said that the officers were members of
10 the counter-intelligence group. Are you saying that all the officers were
11 members of the counter-intelligence group, or only a few of them?
12 A. Every counter-intelligence group is composed of the
13 counter-intelligence officers who are members of that group. And then
14 they receive from their superior tasks to cover a certain unit, and so on
15 and so forth. But a counter-intelligence group as such is an autonomous
16 group, it is autonomous in its activities, and it is subordinated to one
17 of the commands.
18 Q. Do they have a direct command link with which security organ?
19 A. I have just been asked to come closer to the microphone. I
21 Q. Can you repeat your last answer, because there has been another
22 error in the transcript. It is about the counter-intelligence group which
23 is independent, autonomous, and that its activities are under the command
24 of a superior command. You didn't say that, did you?
25 A. Yes, I did. I did. Mr. Domazet, let us clarify your previous
1 question. You asked me about the way of reporting, and the meetings with
2 the officers from the Sid group. I said that these meetings were in Sid,
3 but also elsewhere on the ground. I wanted to provide that precise answer
4 to your question.
5 And now when we're talking about the security line, the chain goes
6 to the chief of the security administration, and every group that is
7 subordinated to anybody starts with independent battalions where there are
8 security organs, then in brigades, and it is all linked to a superior
9 command. In other words, there is no autonomy as such; there is a
10 vertical hierarchy which ends up with the top of the pyramid, that is how
11 it's organised.
12 Q. Yes, but you are talking about the command along the line of
14 A. Yes, the profession is the line in question. But the commanders
15 of the units are also the commanders of the security organs.
16 Q. Now let's go back to the counter-intelligence group in Sid.
17 According to you, whether the security administration was its superior
19 A. I can tell you that the security organ never asks its superior
20 security organ who they're linked to. It is their secret and it is up to
21 them to reveal the secret or not.
22 Q. Are you saying that you yourself didn't know that, or you do not
23 want to say?
24 A. In this particular case, I did not say it is not a secret; I
25 really did not know to Mr. Ljubisa Petkovic was subordinated to.
1 Q. When it comes to prisoners of war, do they fall under the purview
2 of counter-intelligence that the security organ is in charge of?
3 A. When it comes to prisoners of war, there are several services that
4 should get involved, and every service has to do its segment of the job.
5 The first contact that prisoners of war have anyone is with the
6 intelligence service who are to find out who they are and where they come
7 from, how strong their forces are. And then one segment of the work can
8 be carried out by the assistant for morale and guidance who is also in
9 charge of certain jobs to do with psychology, and they have to separate
10 those who were -- who committed crimes against the civilian population,
11 and so on and so forth.
12 Q. Was this done by the security organ in your brigade, in the 80th
14 A. We did not have many prisoners of war. We only had this Mitnica
15 group. We --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Shall I continue while the counsel
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had this Mitnica group that we
20 guarded just one night. They were our charge for just one night. And the
21 hospital group was there for three or four hours, and I was there only for
22 half an hour, not longer. And in practical terms we did not have any
23 other prisoners of war. I believe that there was a group in the barracks,
24 and as soon as the brigade arrived, they were transported to Sid. So what
25 I'm saying is that we did not have an opportunity to get involved in that
1 field of work.
2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Very well, then, we will come to that. But before that, let's try
4 and correct a mistake in the transcript on page 28, lines 3 and 4. When
5 you were talking about certain things, and it says here that those who
6 were in charge of morale guidance were also in charge of prisoners of war,
7 but you were talking about that separately, as a separate thing from the
8 security organ that gets involved with the prisoners of war.
9 Did you go, together with Captain Vezmarovic, to look for a
10 suitable location for the accommodation of prisoners and that's how you
11 arrived in Ovcara?
12 A. First of all, let me correct you. Captain Vezmarovic is the name.
13 Q. But you are clear who I'm talking about. So can you tell us --
14 can you give me the answer?
15 A. I didn't go, I did not choose the location, but what is the
16 specific situation that you are referring when you're talking about this
17 and when you're asking me whether I went to Ovcara?
18 Q. I'll tell you because Captain Vezmarovic testified before this
19 Chamber and he said that he went with you and that he first went to Ovcara
20 and that the two of you chose that location as a camp for prisoners, that
21 you started with Ovcara, that you stayed there, and that you chose that
22 location as the prisoner camp.
23 A. As far as I can remember, I didn't go with Captain Vezmarovic to
24 choose a location for the prisoners of war. As far as I can remember,
25 this is not the case.
1 MR. MOORE: I'm terribly sorry, could my learned friend direct me
2 to the part of the transcript where Vezmarovic says that? Because I'm
3 trying to find it as best I can. Thank you very much.
4 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I have to apologise, it is not
5 Captain Vezmarovic. The information that I have is that the witness went
6 to -- with Colonel Vojnovic.
7 Q. So my question now is whether you ever went with Colonel Vojnovic
8 to look for such a location.
9 A. No, no. But who provided you with that information? If you are
10 asking me that question, I would like to know where that information comes
12 Q. My question is whether you were -- went with Colonel Vojnovic, but
13 you say you don't remember.
14 A. First you said Vezmarovic, now you say Vojnovic. This is
15 bordering on speculation.
16 Q. Do you remember whether the security administration sent
17 high-ranking security officers to control that part of your work, the work
18 with the prisoners of war at that time?
19 A. As far as I know, they didn't. Not as far as I know.
20 Q. Given your position, should you be in the position to know that?
21 And if anybody had come, would they have to come to you?
22 A. It is only polite for those who arrive in somebody's territory to
23 contact their hosts. In other words, whenever Mr. Petkovic arrived, he
24 would announce his visit, he would come and say hello.
25 Q. When you were speaking about the role of the security organ in the
1 selection of people, and I believe you were referring to the interrogation
2 of those prisoners of war, I would like to ask you whether you know where
3 this was done with the prisoners of war from this territory.
4 A. No, I'm -- I don't know.
5 Q. If I put it to you that this was done in Sremska Mitrovica, would
6 you still maintain the same position and would you say that you never
7 participated in that personally?
8 A. If you are putting it to me that it was in Sremska Mitrovica, I
9 can tell you that you are right. In Sremska Mitrovica there was a
10 detention unit where prisoners of war were sent, and to the -- to a
11 question by Mr. Moore, I did say that they were sent there. And as far as
12 I know, there were a number of counter-intelligence officers working
13 there, collecting information from the prisoners of war who were in the
14 detention unit in Sremska Mitrovica, so you are right there.
15 Q. Do you know anything, as a security officer at the time, that
16 anything was being said and that there were different orders about
17 exchanges of prisoners, exchanges with the Croatian side?
18 A. I know, for example, that Dr. Bosanac was exchanged, and I believe
19 that two other members of the Croatian ethnicity were exchanged together
20 with her on the same night. And I also saw on TV that a whole group from
21 Sremska Mitrovica was either released or exchanged. I saw Mr. Filip
22 Karaula on TV - he had been in Mitnica on that night - and I saw on TV
23 that he was one of those who was involved in that exchange. But that was
24 six or seven months before, or a year -- later, actually.
25 Q. But this -- this was later, everybody is familiar with that, this
1 was done publicly. But I am talking about the relevant period of time.
2 Were there some orders issued that arrived at your address, talking about
3 exchanges, exchanges being arranged, organised, banned, or so on and so
5 A. There were no such orders, and as a matter of principle, this is
6 humanitarian work and all the sides are involved in it. This is a
7 positive thing in any war.
8 Q. Thank you. Yesterday my learned friend asked you about
9 evacuations in Vukovar and you spoke about the first evacuation as the
10 evacuation of people from Borovo Naselje that went through Negoslavci.
11 A. Absolutely, sir. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Do you remember, however, that there was another evacuation
13 exercise involving civilians, women, children and elderly that went in the
14 direction of Vinkovci and, as far as we know, it was returned midway?
15 A. I'm not familiar with that event. I know that on our TV, while I
16 was still not mobilised, there was a report on the evacuation of the
17 wounded from the Vukovar Hospital, but I don't know any details but those
18 that were shown on TV. As a security organ, I was never involved in any
19 such thing.
20 Q. My question doesn't relate only to your operative work. Did you
21 hear about this matter from Borovo Naselje operationally, or did you just
22 -- or were you involved with that?
23 A. No, I just heard about it. Later I found out exactly what
25 Q. Regarding the evacuation of prisoners, let's call it that, the
1 evacuation from Mitnica, you know what it is all about; you spoke about
2 that in detail yesterday. And according to what you said, there were no
3 particular problems there, either in the security, departure, or detention
4 of those persons, except for the case of a drunken lieutenant-colonel who
5 had come and also some individuals who came and tried to get to those
6 people. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In that case, the prisoners were there in the afternoon, the whole
9 night, and then until the next morning, and you and Lieutenant-Colonel
10 Danilovic and a captain of the military police throughout that whole time
11 except for the time when you maybe sometimes went away, you were there,
12 and then immediately before they left, you left to rest, and this was
13 granted by Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic. Am I correct?
14 A. No, you are not right when you said that there was some occasional
15 times when we left. There was none of that. We were there the whole
16 time, and it wasn't according to the order of Lieutenant-Colonel
17 Danilovic, but the order of Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic. Danilovic was
18 leading the operation, but the -- but immediately before the prisoners
19 were boarded, Vojnovic came.
20 Q. But I think that you said that Vojnovic had sent you to rest
21 before those people left, and Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic was with you
22 the day before, the whole time.
23 A. Well, I heard you say Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic, and not
24 Vojnovic, and that's why I am correcting you.
25 Q. Well, it's in the transcript, so that's all right.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I would like to move into
2 private session for a moment.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
4 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in public session, Your Honours.
11 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Since you explained that there were no problems with the Mitnica
13 group, so why was not the same procedure used with this last group, then,
14 the group from the Vukovar Hospital? And you know which group I'm talking
16 A. Yes, I know what group we're talking about, but I have to tell you
17 that it's strange to me why the same procedure was not applied in that
18 case, because simply according to what I know, and according to what the
19 brigade commander told me about that, he and the brigade did not receive
20 any orders. This is what I know.
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since we're talking
22 now -- we're going to move now to a discrete topic and we're only five
23 minutes away from our regular break, I think that perhaps this would be a
24 convenient time to take the break.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet. We will resume at a
1 quarter to 11.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Domazet.
5 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vukosavljevic, we began on the topic of
7 evacuations. You said that you remembered the evacuations, you talked
8 about them, you said that you remembered the evacuation of prisoners from
9 Mitnica. The next group that we talked about was the group from the
10 hospital. My question is whether, in the interval between those two
11 evacuations the departure of the group from Mitnica and the arrival of
12 this other group, did any other group come and was it guarded in Ovcara?
13 A. As far as I know, it wasn't.
14 Q. Specifically, a group -- the group of the Mitnica detainees was
15 taken to Sremska Mitrovica in the morning of the 19th; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Are you aware that on the 19th in the evening a large group that
18 had been turned back from the highway, a group in several buses, spent the
19 night at Ovcara and was guarded by the 80th Motorised?
20 A. No. No, I don't know where you get that from.
21 Q. These were civilians. As the intelligence organ or security
22 organ, did you know anything about that?
23 A. No, I didn't any anything about that. I don't know where that
24 information comes from. I would probably have known about it, if it had
25 happened. It's probably another mistake.
1 Q. No, it's not. Let me just refresh your memory. Perhaps you will
2 recall that representatives of international organisations were present at
3 the time and that night the International Red Cross came and the group
4 left on the 20th in the morning. You, as the security organ, I assume
5 would have to know that, even though -- if you didn't participate in that.
6 A. Well, I must have known -- I ought to know about it even though
7 that I do not know. So I must have done my job badly, if I don't know
8 about it. However, I doubt that I did my job badly, because I don't
9 remember that group. It's not likely that it was there. But as I say, if
10 I don't know about that group, I must have done my job badly, but I don't
11 think that I did my job badly.
12 Q. And now we're going to talk about this last group that you know
13 about very well. I think that earlier when I asked you how was it that
14 the group was not secured in the same way as the group from Mitnica, you
15 said that it was not announced, and that this presented -- I think what
16 you wanted to say was -- was some sort of a surprise.
17 A. I think that I answered your question by saying that it was not
18 clear to me why it wasn't done like that 100 per cent, but there is a
19 transcript, so we would perhaps need to read that.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak up.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Sir, could I ask you to try and lift your voice
22 louder. At times you speak very clearly, but at other times your voice
23 becomes very soft. And when it becomes very soft, the microphones are not
24 able to pick it up well enough. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will do my best, Your Honour, to
1 -- to be heard better. Is it -- am I already louder?
2 JUDGE PARKER: You are a little louder, but you are still very
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. I will try to raise my
5 voice, but I don't want you to think that I am nervous and that I am
7 JUDGE PARKER: If you want to shout, go right ahead. We've heard
8 plenty of that in this courtroom.
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
10 Q. We will go on, Mr. Vukosavljevic. My question about this group is
11 the following: You, as the security organ, were you informed about the
12 arrival of that group in advance?
13 A. No. Nobody told me anything about the arrival of that group. The
14 first information about it was, like I told the Prosecutor, when the
15 commander told me to go and see what was going on there. So only when I
16 arrived I found out that it was a group of prisoners from the Vukovar
18 Q. And this was when?
19 A. This was in the late afternoon, or actually at dusk on the 20th.
20 Q. So my question whether this was something that you knew about it
21 on the 19th, before the afternoon or dusk, as you say.
22 A. No, I didn't know about it.
23 Q. Do you know whether there is an entry about it in the war diary of
24 the 80th Motorised Brigade on the 19th of November?
25 A. No, I don't know that. A war diary is not something that a
1 security organ would be interested in. This is something that is recorded
2 by the Chief of Staff and the duty officer in the staff. I didn't follow
3 what was in there.
4 Q. Even though you didn't read it, if something like that was in the
5 war diary, that would clearly indicate that that was something that was
6 known about at the time it was recorded in the war diary.
7 A. Well, it was known to the person who made the entry and the person
8 who instructed the entry to be made. I didn't know about it.
9 Q. Could we look at Exhibit 375 now. Could it be put on the
10 monitor. And it's an entry for the 19th of November at 1800 hours. And I
11 would like to apologise, we tried to provide hard copies, but the copier
12 is not working, so we only have some copies available. But I hope that
13 this will not be that long, and that we will be able to ...
14 We also have the English translation, and it's for the 19th, at
15 1800 hours. And it says the following: "Surrender of the remaining ZNG
16 and MUP members is expected (about 200), and it's necessary to be prepared
17 to guard these prisoners."
18 Do you stand by what you said, that you were not informed about it
19 and that you didn't know about it?
20 A. Yes, I stand by what I said, that I didn't know about this
21 information. But reading this, this is really a general piece of
22 information, and it refers to the Vukovar Hospital in general. If you
23 agree, surrender of ZNG, and so on, is expected. The Vukovar Hospital is
24 not mentioned. So this is practically in the sphere of an assumption.
25 Q. Could you please look more closely. "In the region of the
1 hospital," it says. It's in line 4 in B/C/S: "Combat is going on in the
2 area of the hospital where the surrender of the ZNG is being expected."
3 A. Yes, yes, you are right, sir. I didn't read it correctly. I
5 Q. So this is consistent with what happened the following day, both
6 in terms of numbers and the substance as stated herein.
7 A. Well, sir, I didn't know about the existence of this diary and
8 this particular entry.
9 Q. Can you tell me how it is possible that you, as the security
10 organ, are not informed, either through the chain of command or through
11 the professional security line, you were not, in fact, aware of what was
12 going on?
13 A. Well, it wasn't along any of these lines that I was informed about
14 this particular piece of information, nor did I know about the contents of
15 the war diary.
16 Q. Very well, let us move on to the 20th of November in the
17 afternoon, and this particular point in time is very important, and please
18 focus. Tell us when it was exactly that you learned about this and went
19 over to Ovcara. You said that it was at dusk, however we know that in the
20 month of November days draw in, and can you tell us when it was exactly
21 that you arrived at Ovcara?
22 A. I already answered the question put by the Prosecutor. I said
23 that I arrived there at about 1700 or 1730 hours. Now, if you're
24 interested about who I arrived with, I've already stated that, but I can
25 go through that again.
1 Q. I will try to avoid repetition as far as possible. You said that
2 you arrived with two officers there. My question is, did you -- were you
3 ordered to do that, or did you yourself choose the officers that would go
4 with you?
5 A. No, it was the brigade commander who told me, and assigned these
6 two officers to go with me.
7 Q. Was this a verbal order?
8 A. Yes, it was a verbal order, and these officers were answerable to
9 the commander himself.
10 Q. You will tell me if I'm mistaken, to speed up the process, you
11 thought that it was at about 1700, 1730 hours because this was the time of
12 the dusk?
13 A. Yes, although this was quite a long time ago, and I cannot state
14 this with any certainty.
15 Q. You stayed there for about 10 minutes?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And then you headed in the vehicle back, leaving the two officers
19 A. Yes, that's correct, sir. I have to -- do I have to correct
20 something in my statement?
21 Q. No, no. Just please wait for my question to be put to you in its
22 entirety. Observe the transcript so that we do not overlap.
23 A. Very well.
24 Q. You also told us about the time necessary for the trip. You even
25 stated yesterday that during this trip in this car with the driver, that
1 you regretted the fact that you left the two officers behind and were
2 heading back alone, or just the two of you. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. However, this trip did not take that long, so when was it,
5 approximately, that you reached your command and went to see
6 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic?
7 A. As far as I remember, it could have taken some 20 minutes.
8 Q. Very well. Let us move through this quickly. You didn't find
9 him, you were told that he was in the command with Colonel Mrksic,
10 attending a meeting or a briefing that they had?
11 A. Yes. That he was in a meeting where they were briefed, something
12 of the sort.
13 Q. Are you aware of the fact that a briefing was held with Colonel
14 Mrksic every day?
15 A. No, I didn't know that it was held there every day, but I do know
16 that the commander went to the Guards Motorised Brigade for briefing.
17 Whether this was a daily occurrence or not, I don't know.
18 Q. If I were to tell you that these briefings were held before 1800
19 hours because, among other things, at 1800 hours a report was compiled to
20 be sent to the commander of the military district, does this accord with
21 your memory of these events, or are you not aware of this at all?
22 A. I am not aware of this at all, but I'm sure that Colonel Vojnovic,
23 brigade commander, was familiar with this and I suppose you could deal
24 with this with him. As far as briefings are concerned, yes, I do agree
25 that they might have been held at a particular hour every day, but I was
1 not privy to this.
2 Q. Based on your statement, you arrived there and waited quite a long
3 time for the meeting to end. First you stated that you waited for about
4 two hours, then you corrected your statement and said that it lasted for
5 about an hour and a half. But even this period of time is quite long.
6 You had ample time to observe the premises where you were waiting quite
7 well. Can you describe for us where it was that you stood or where you
8 were sitting, who was present in the room with you, what the rooms were
9 like and where were they.
10 A. I know the house where the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade
11 was. It was the largest house in Negoslavci. On the right-hand side, as
12 one enters the house, there was a staircase, and it was like a hallway,
13 because there wasn't much furniture there. And there was a warrant
14 officer there and two or three police officers who stood in front of the
15 door to the room where the meeting was held. The driver who brought me
16 there had orders to return back to his post as soon as possible, and as I
17 was waiting there for quite a long time, he came to ask me what he was to
18 do. I expected the meeting to end quite soon, based on what the warrant
19 officer there told me, because normally the commander, when discussing
20 matters with the security officer, this is something that he would do with
21 his closest associates eye to eye. That was why I had to wait outside,
22 and I was walking to and fro, waiting for the meeting to end. However, by
23 the time I realised that the meeting was not going to end that soon, I
24 told the driver to go back to his post and that we would see what we would
1 Then Rajacic, a commander of a police battalion, arrived. He was
2 in my brigade in November to conduct an inspection. He took me to a
3 dining hall there, and he asked me whether I wanted to have something to
4 eat. And of course I accepted gladly because I didn't have a chance to
5 eat regularly. We talked there, he told me that he had arrived from Sid
6 with an armoured combat vehicle in order to take on some Croatian soldiers
7 for some exchange. I spent about an hour with Rajacic in this dining-room
8 of the command of the Guards Brigade. When the meeting ended, I saw the
9 officers coming out of the room, I went upstairs, and met
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, and I told him what I had already stated in
11 my testimony here.
12 Q. The dining-room is something that you mention now for the first
13 time. Is that in the same building?
14 A. Yes, in the same building but in the basement. So one had to go
15 down the stairs to the basement. So it wasn't the ground level, but the
16 basement level.
17 Q. You tell us now that you were there until the meeting ended and
18 officers started coming out of the meeting room.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us whether you remember who these officers were. Did
21 you know any of them, and how many of them did go out of the room?
22 A. There were quite a few officers. I didn't know them, I can't tell
23 you their names, but there were quite a few of them. Your colleague, I
24 believe his name is Vasic, if I remember well, he asked whether this was
25 just a meeting between Mr. General [as interpreted] and Colonel Mrksic.
1 The gentleman is right that this was a meeting involving large numbers of
2 officers from the staff. Mr. Vojnovic was the subordinated commander, so
3 in addition to staff members, there were subordinated commanders, in
4 addition to the members of the staff of the Guards Motorised Brigade.
5 Q. I understand. Please try and be more specific. This group of
6 officers, how many of them were there, in fact? Can you tell us who they
8 A. In military terms, you would say that a group consists of three to
9 five soldiers. In these terms I would say that this was larger than a
10 group. There were more of them than just a group, but I cannot be more
11 specific than that.
12 Q. Therefore, you did not recognise anyone save your commander,
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Can you tell us the ranks of these officers?
16 A. Well, all of them were officers holding ranks from captain above.
17 Well, I can't say that they -- all the ranks were represented, but they
18 were senior officers. That's an observation on my part. I can't be
20 Q. Very well. And you tell us that it was then that you saw your
21 commander, Vojnovic, you approached him and told him then what you already
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you told him how concerned you were about the Ovcara
25 situation. Yesterday, in response to my learned friend's questions, you
1 stated that somewhat later you talked with Colonel Mrksic personally and
2 that was in the room where the meeting was held; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were examined on this particular matter on several occasions.
5 Let's recall the first such examination, which was in Novi Sad before an
6 investigating magistrate, and you also gave a statement to investigators
7 involved in the Ovcara trial; is that correct?
8 A. Two to three days after the Sablja operation, I gave a statement
9 to the investigators of the Serbian police. I also gave a statement at
10 the trial against Sasa Radak, who I had never seen in my life before, I
11 want to be specific.
12 Q. Yes, we're talking about the statements we have before us, the
13 statements that are available to us. If you recall, when you were giving
14 a statement to investigators, you were presented with this Novi Sad
15 statement, and at the very beginning you furnished very accurate
16 corrections to that statement. There were two or three, four or five
17 things that you wanted to rectify.
18 A. Yes, I can enumerate them now.
19 Q. Please.
20 A. It was Mrksic, not Brksic; it was Vezmarovic, not Bezmarovic; and
21 then there was some time I had to rectify; and I cannot recall the fourth
22 point. You would have to refresh my memory.
23 Q. Well, let me see.
24 A. Well, if you think it's important, then please do.
25 Q. Well, something concerning the immediate commander.
1 A. Yes, yes, you're right, sir. My immediate commander was Colonel
3 Q. That's correct. But I will draw your attention to a portion of
4 this statement which does not [Realtime transcript read in error "in the"]
5 accord with what you stated here yesterday, and you did not ask to rectify
6 this particular part. Although you stated that you remembered that there
7 were some misspellings of names, perhaps this is something that you do
8 remember, and it has to do with your encounter and conversation with
9 Colonel Mrksic, which we just mentioned a moment ago.
10 I'm faced with a difficulty, which is -- well, I would kindly ask
11 that the English version be placed on the monitor, which is ET 0299-2626.
12 This is page 3, where I'd like to read out a couple of lines. If you have
13 the Serbian version, you can follow, or if not, you can listen to me
14 reading, but perhaps I should ask the usher's assistance in handing the
15 witness the statement.
16 JUDGE PARKER: While that is happening, Mr. Domazet, page 46 on
17 our screen, line 17, I think the answer was -- or your question was which
18 does not accord with what you stated. The transcript suggests you said it
19 was in accord.
20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, well, it must be an
21 error. I can't find it now. But at any rate.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I think it's in your favour, Mr. Domazet. Don't
23 worry about it.
24 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.
25 Q. This is the first statement, practically page 1, toward the end of
1 page 1. Perhaps some 10 lines from the bottom, where you said that you
2 briefed Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic on the situation and then it says:
3 "And then Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic went with me to Colonel Mrksic and
4 introduced me to him as brigade commander. I informed him of the
5 problem. I furnished the details. Colonel Mrksic said that he had other
6 obligations to attend to, and that he didn't have the time to deal with
7 this matter, and to put it colloquially, he simply brushed him off."
8 And then the following line: "There upon Lieutenant-Colonel
9 Vojnovic reviewed or considered the situation --"
10 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry, I have no problems at all about the
11 question, but if it's going to be put to the witness, surely what was said
12 must be accurately repeated by my learned friend. With regard to the
13 English translation, there were two reasons given, and my learned friend
14 has only given one. Perhaps it would be easier just to read it. I see my
15 learned friend's concern, but that's certainly my understanding from the
16 document I have.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid the Chamber is at a disadvantage. We
18 are told the document has not been provided in English and so is not
19 available electronically.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I am assuming that my learned friend is
22 referring from the OTP witness statement. He did say at the beginning,
23 but in actual fact it's page 12 of the OTP statement. I'm working on the
24 basis that that's what the cross-examination is on, in relation to that
25 statement and no other. Perhaps that could be clarified.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Mr. Smith [as interpreted] is right.
2 You were looking at the OTP statement, and I'm reading from the Novi Sad
3 statement, and hence the discrepancy. I am reading the Serbian version,
4 the B/C/S version of the Novi Sad statement. We have two copies for the
5 Trial Chamber. If we could ask the usher to provide the Trial Chamber
6 with the copies. We don't have any more copies, unfortunately, because
7 the photocopier was out of order. And hence the mistake -- I am pointing
8 to this fact because, as Mr. Moore has said, there is a significant
9 discrepancy between the OTP statement and the Novi Sad statement.
10 Q. Sir, I am reading the statement that you gave in Novi Sad,
11 Mr. Vukosavljevic. I'm going to read the relevant part again, I'm going
12 to read it carefully, and this is the translation that does exist. This
13 has been translated into English. We have provided it to the Trial
14 Chamber. This is on page 3 towards the end of that page, and at the
15 beginning of page 4, the first paragraph on that page.
16 I'll start as follows: "Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic --" I
17 apologise. I'm reading the relevant sentences. After the meeting with
18 Vojnovic, you told him what was happening. And then the next sentence
19 that I deem important reads: "Thereupon Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic went
20 together to see Mrksic and introduced me as the commander of the brigade
21 --" this is erroneous, but that doesn't matter. "... informed him about
22 the problem and I filled him in with the details of the situation.
23 Colonel Mrksic said that he had other obligations, and that he didn't have
24 the time to resolve that and, to put it colloquially, he just brushed me
25 off." And then the next passage which reads --
1 In the transcript we have, "... he brushed me off," although in
2 the original it says "he brushed him off"; i.e., this brushing off does
3 not refer to Vojnovic.
4 "After that, Lieutenant-Colonel considered the situation and told
5 me that I had convey to Captain Vezmarovic the message to withdraw the
6 military unit from the security of Ovcara, and he never explained to me
7 how and to whom Captain Vezmarovic was supposed to hand over the
9 Is this what reads in the passage, with all the mistakes?
10 A. Yes. And there are mistakes here. The whole transcript is rather
11 full of mistakes. It says here, "Thereupon Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic
12 went together to see Mrksic," it should have stated together with me.
13 There are a lot of mistakes. And then he introduced me as the brigade
14 commander. I was not the brigade commander. This is another mistake on
15 the part of the Prosecution and my mistake. As far as the entire
16 statement is concerned - and this was taken by the Prosecutor in Novi Sad
17 - it is rather archaic. I have corrected three or four mistakes, and for
18 that reason I did ask to be given an opportunity to authorise my statement
19 given to The Hague Tribunal, and if you have that document, you will see
20 that I signed every page of that second document in order to avoid the
21 repetition of such mistakes.
22 As far as the whole procedure is concerned, as I have already told
23 before this Trial Chamber and before the investigators of The Hague
24 Tribunal, I would like to adhere to this: I would like to remind you of
25 another thing that you know as a lawyer, and it has to do with the way
1 you're being interviewed. Mr. Mijovic [phoen] was in haste, I was the
2 last witness on his list for interview and he did not ask me the same
3 questions you are putting to me now. He did not go into any details as it
4 is being done here today.
5 Q. I can partially agree with what you are saying. I am pointing to
6 some of the mistakes, but the ones that I do not consider important -- the
7 fact that you were introduced as the brigade commander, that is not
8 important; the fact that you were not mentioned as a person who went with
9 him to see Mrksic, it is clear from the context. But the statement was
10 dictated to you and you signed every page, didn't you?
11 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry. It probably flows from the witness, but
12 the English translation that I have is that -- clearly shows that they did
13 travel, or he did travel with Vojnovic. Phrases like, "Thereupon
14 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic went together ... and introduced me ..." Now,
15 that's on the English translation. It can't be said that he's just been
16 taken individually. I know the witness did say that, but it's clearly not
17 correct from the translation. There is a reference to Vojnovic going
18 together and "introduced me." So that has to be wrong.
19 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes. This is the English
20 translation of the original Serbian statement, and I read it out in the
21 Serbian, and it says here: "Colonel Vojnovic together went to Mrksic."
22 Q. Is that what it says in Serbian?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In other words, they went together. Maybe this has been
25 translated erroneously in the English version, but this is the original.
1 Yesterday you told us that Mrksic left the room, then you approached him.
2 It says here that together with Vojnovic you went to see him, and that is
3 a big difference which has nothing to do with --
4 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Mr. Domazet. I didn't understand any
5 evidence of the witness yesterday to say that Mrksic left the room before
6 there was a conversation between Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, this
7 witness, and Colonel Mrksic. He said there was that conversation in the
8 room, and then Colonel Mrksic went to leave through a doorway at the far
9 end of the room, and Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic escorted him at least
10 part of the way to the doorway. And then this Vojnovic returned and this
11 witness and Vojnovic spoke after the colonel had left.
12 Now, that is my recollection of the evidence of this witness. You
13 were putting something, I think, quite different at that point.
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Maybe the witness is best suited to
15 say what happened, whether he spoke in the office or in the hallway.
16 A. In the hallway. And if that had been put to me as a question in
17 Novi Sad, I would have said that. The whole statement, the record of what
18 I said, is rather archaic, I have just said that. Full of mistakes, that
20 Q. However, would you agree with me there is a difference in the fact
21 whether the conversation took place in the hallway or in the office, as is
22 stated here, and I will accept your answer, but is it true what it says
23 here, that Colonel Mrksic, to the two of you, said, which you never
24 disputed or corrected in the subsequent intervention, that he said to you
25 that he had other obligations and that he didn't have the time to resolve
1 this matter?
2 A. I apologise to the general for the jargon, and when you give an
3 interview sometimes you can't find the right word, and I apologise for
4 using this, General, but he did brush me off. I did use this jargon word,
5 I apologise. I didn't find a better term at that moment.
6 Q. There is no need for you to apologise, this is what you said.
7 A. I do think that there is a need for me to apologise and that's why
8 I'm doing it.
9 Q. But it says here that Vojnovic personally considered the situation
10 afterwards and then that he told you what you should convey to Captain
11 Vezmarovic. Yesterday, however, you said that after that there was a
12 conversation that you partially heard, partially did not hear, you don't
13 know what they were saying, and you never mentioned that subsequent
14 conversation, the conversation that you did not listen to. Do you agree
15 that there is no mention in the Novi Sad statement about that
16 conversation, about that subsequent conversation?
17 A. Let me tell you, I believe that there is an approach in the
18 interview that was taken in Novi Sad, the approach of the interviewer
19 there and the interviewers here in The Hague. The questions that were put
20 to me there differed from the questions that are put to me here now. I
21 don't see any problem here. I do not see any contradiction here with what
22 I said yesterday.
23 Q. Can we then agree that what you stated here is correct?
24 A. You mean here in this statement. No. I believe that this record
25 is very bad, that the sentences are incomplete, there is no logic to some
1 of them, and I believe this cannot be used to seek difference --
2 differences which are practically not there, in my view. I did sign this
3 record, I am not disputing that. I was the last witness on that day,
4 everybody was in a hurry, and that's how it happened.
5 Q. But let's go back to this. It says here that after you were
6 brushed off by Colonel Mrksic, Colonel Vojnovic considered the situation.
7 After his consideration, he told you what to do.
8 A. You are sticking to this phrase "consideration." I can't tell you
9 anything in that sense. This is what it says in the record. After we --
10 our consultations with Mr. Mrksic, Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic ordered me
11 to convey the order to Captain Vezmarovic to withdraw the military police
13 Q. He didn't tell you then what to do with the prisoners of war?
14 A. No, he didn't, no.
15 Q. And let's be very precise - and you are also under the oath here -
16 you didn't hear Colonel Mrksic saying anything to that effect on that
18 A. No, I didn't hear him issue an order to colonel --
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic on the withdrawal of that unit.
20 Q. Did you mention before Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic that it might
21 be in order to issue a written instruction, or you never discussed it?
22 A. In my capacity as a security organ, I was not in charge of
23 command. I did not command over any unit, and I did not need such an
24 order from him. Whether he was supposed to ask for a written order from
25 his superior commander, that was up to him. It was his choice. I
1 couldn't do anything about that. It was not my call. We might have
2 discussed it, but I don't remember having discussed that with
3 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic.
4 Q. You will agree that you thought that your role was to convey the
6 A. Yes. I was a courier, although this was not within my purview,
7 but that's what I did at the time.
8 Q. Because of the fact that you did not have the right to issue any
9 such order, and according to your own words, you acted as a courier, was
10 it then necessary to have a written order of the Lieutenant-Colonel
12 A. I'm not saying this. The rule of service -- the rules of service
13 for the work of the security organs says that. It says that the security
14 organ does not command any units in the military police. My view in that
15 respect is not important. This is what is regulated by the rules of
16 service, and there is no dispute about that.
17 Q. In legal terms you do have a certain influence on the military
18 police, but this is beyond our topic now. I'm talking about the order by
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic. Since you didn't have the right to issue any
20 orders, you only could act as a courier, and in light of that fact, was it
21 necessary for him to issue any orders?
22 A. It should have been the commander of the military police company
23 who could have asked him to do that. It was not up to me.
24 Q. Very well then. But as far as I understand you, you are still not
25 sure whether you ever conveyed that message to Captain Vezmarovic, given
1 the situation that you found on the spot; you could see them already
2 getting ready to -- for movement.
3 A. Yes, you're right there.
4 Q. Can you now go back to the timing that we started discussing
5 already. I believe that after the conversation with Vojnovic you went
6 back to Ovcara. How long did it take you to get there, and can you
7 remember, when was it that you arrived in Ovcara?
8 A. We can do the math together, sir, but let me tell you, after 14
9 and a half years, it's very difficult for me to remember exactly how long
10 it took. In my first interview in 2003, this was 12 years after the
11 event, which is still a long time, and I can't tell you exactly how long
12 it took. We can just arrive at some conclusions as to how long it took.
13 We can do the math together.
14 Q. You can, or we can try.
15 A. Well, we could do it together. This is how I see it. If I was
16 there at around 1730 hours, then arrived at the command at 18, 1810 hours,
17 then waited for an hour and a half, that's 1930 hours. Then I came back
18 at about 2000 hours, or between 20 and 2100 hours. That would be an
19 approximate time, I think.
20 Q. If it was 1730 hours, and you will allow that it gets dark even
21 before that, perhaps it was even earlier than that. If we take that
22 briefing as some kind of pointer, it was supposed to have finished at 1800
23 hours, the briefing with Mrksic, and then the report was submitted from
24 that meeting -- was supposed to be submitted at 1800 hours, would that
25 change the time, that the meeting ended at 1800 hours?
1 A. As I said, sir, it's very hard to ask me to talk about precise
2 times after 14 years. I didn't know when the briefing was at the
3 headquarters of OG South or the 80th Motorised Brigade. I don't know if
4 the meeting was long or short, but I know that the part that I attended
5 was one and a half hours. I was there at 1800 hours, and I think I -- it
6 went on until about 1930 hours.
7 Q. But we can take it that immediately after the conversation with
8 Vojnovic and what he told you, you went back and you reached Ovcara quite
9 quickly. And I think something else, and you said that you abide by that,
10 that practically you didn't say there for a long time, that you picked up,
11 in a way, some of these two officers, put them in your vehicle, and you
12 brought them back. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. But you are aware that there is a note in the operations log-book
15 that at 2235 hours the pull-out took place?
16 A. Yes, I am aware of that entry, and when I was replying to your
17 questions, that's what I had in mind. However, as you said, I personally
18 -- I have to stick to the truth. I personally believe that the duty
19 officer who was -- who made the entry might have extended the time a
20 little bit. I think the unit came back earlier. I think -- I'm not
21 saying anything; an official document is an official document, and as far
22 as I'm concerned, as a security organ, it's an official document. But I
23 think that perhaps the duty officer extended the time a bit. I know this
24 information, I talked about this on the basis of my recollection. So I
25 stand by what I have said.
1 Q. So if I understand you --
2 A. I did not fix the time, although I know that in the war diary it
3 states 2235, but I am giving my statement.
4 Q. I think that in response to a question by my learned friend you
5 said that you conveyed to Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic on the way back that
6 you replied that everything was in the spirit of the order that he gave.
7 Did I understand you correctly, what you said yesterday, did I understand
8 that correctly?
9 A. Yes, you did.
10 Q. So literally you did not tell him that you had conveyed the order
11 and ordered in his name, ordered Captain Vezmarovic to withdraw?
12 A. We just commented on that. We felt that the job was done in the
13 spirit of the order, and that is how we acted.
14 Q. When we're talking about the way it was done, don't you think that
15 as the intelligence, or rather, the security organ, you were obliged in
16 respect of the prisoners of war to see or to express an interest in what
17 would happen to them?
18 A. In principle, everything is of interest to the security organ.
19 But, in this case, no particular reserve, in terms of what would happen,
20 did I express, because from what I understood, my commander received an
21 order from his superior commander. And I, as the security organ, was not
22 in touch with the volunteers and TO units and so on and so forth. My
23 commander also was not in contact. We practically, as far as I
24 understood, he received an order from the commander of the southern front,
25 which was in joint coordinated action with the members of those units that
1 were at Ovcara. And as far as I know, this coordinated action went on for
2 longer than a month or a month and a half. So he is in a position to know
3 much better than I am, or my commander.
4 Secondly, the units that remained were, according to what I know,
5 under the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade. Practically, I did not
6 permit myself to teach or instruct someone who, in the military sense, is
7 better educated or trained than I am.
8 Q. In this quite lengthy answer it states - and it is in English - I
9 would like you to clarify this order from the commander of the OG South.
10 What are you talking about?
11 A. I don't know how it was translated in English. You were listening
12 to me in Serbian and we understand each other very well, that I assumed
13 that my commander received an order from his superior commander, from the
14 commander of OG South, to pull out. So that commander, in -- as part of
15 his forces, had units that remained at Ovcara. So anyone who hangs a
16 rifle on their shoulder must be familiar with The Hague conventions. So
17 whoever was in charge or had anything to do with guarding the prisoners
18 had to have been informed or had to have known about The Hague
19 conventions. This is what I'm saying.
20 Q. Of course I have to agree with you. I agree with what you say.
21 But what we're talking about here must then be an assumption because you
22 didn't have any personal knowledge about that, nobody said anything
23 specific about that, and I think that we clarified that in the course of
24 this that nobody ever directly told you that the commander of Operations
25 Group South issued such on order or that you heard about that. Do we
1 agree about that?
2 A. Yes, we agree about that and we agreed about that earlier as well.
3 Q. Thank you. I think that you spoke about this before, and I think
4 it's important, so let's confirm it in some way or another. About this:
5 You didn't have any written information, you didn't issue any written
6 information as the security organ to any of your superiors according to
7 that line of security hierarchy. I assume -- you said that you were told
8 that the KOG Sid told you that you should not be involved with that and
9 that somebody else will deal with that. Is that how it was?
10 A. I would like to correct you a little bit, Mr. Domazet. I said
11 that on the basis of rumours that were going around among members of the
12 80th Brigade, and the local population, I wrote to the executive
13 operations group that there were rumours going around about the execution
14 of prisoners from the Vukovar Hospital, that information was going around,
15 that this information was going around about that. And in that sense I
16 received a recommendation from the superior security organ that I should
17 only deal with the security issues in the 80th Brigade, and that others
18 are going to investigate this other matter.
19 Q. Let's be specific. It says here that it was reported of the
20 operations group. Did you mean the counter-intelligence group?
21 A. Yes, yes. I made a mistake. Thank you for that correction.
22 Q. I think it's important.
23 A. Yes, yes. It went to the KOG in Sid in written form, in one of
24 the daily reports. Not -- not later 24th, 25th.
25 Q. Yes, you've clarified everything. It went to the KOG in Sid, you
1 said, several days after that. So you're talking about the 24th, the
2 25th. I assume you're thinking of November?
3 A. Yes, November.
4 Q. In view of what are you told orally, that the KOG in Sid would
5 pick up on that matter, were you later told what was done in this respect?
6 A. It was suggested to me that I should not deal with that, that I
7 should worry about the brigade and not worry about this other job.
8 Q. So you don't know if anyone -- if the KOG Sid informed anyone
9 superior to them about this matter.
10 A. No, I did not have access to any such reports.
11 Q. When you were talking about the way of communicating by written
12 reports with the KOG in Sid, you wrote about reports that were coded which
13 you personally had to type, because they were strictly confidential, or
14 someone else did that who was authorised to do that and that these reports
15 were delivered by courier; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it's correct. I don't know how to type, the reports were
17 handwritten, but then later when I had some help, my colleagues, officers,
18 would -- or non-commissioned officers would then type the reports.
19 Q. When you were talking about making these reports in three copies
20 and that you kept two for yourself, and one copy you, at some point,
21 destroyed and gave one copy to the security of the 24th Corps in
22 Kragujevac; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that is correct. I was obliged to write two reports, one for
24 my superior security organs, one for myself, but during visits by security
25 organs, they occasionally asked me for a report in order to complete their
1 -- or justify their visits to the front. When they would arrive, I would
2 give them the reports. Everything that I did not give to them, I took
3 over there. So as a rule I had to always write reports in two copies.
4 Q. You said that you destroyed this third copy. When did you do
6 A. Before leaving Vukovar.
7 Q. Do you have any information about whether these reports are still
8 kept in the archives of the 24th Corps? Because in your statements you
9 frequently said that you do not remember exactly what you wrote but that
10 it's all contained in your reports.
11 A. Yes, I gave that to the organ chief of the 24th Corps, where that
12 is archived. I don't know where and how it's -- where these documents are
13 and how it's archived, but if you can, you can always check that.
14 Q. Thank you. Was Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic perhaps informed about
15 that? Because in a way, he is the superior along that line.
16 A. No, sir. Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic was Deputy Commander of the
17 corps for police matters. And the commander, or rather, the corps chief
18 security -- security organ chief is actually more authorised to cover my
19 work. Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic is in charge of the work of the military
20 police in the 80th Motorised Battalion, and some other units in the corps.
21 You may disagree, but that's how it is; I didn't make this up.
22 Q. And who is this other commander, this other person?
23 A. You have to wait a little bit so I can recall the last name. I,
24 at this moment, I cannot remember. He was also a lieutenant-colonel at
25 the time. Later he was a colonel. Later, perhaps if it comes up, I will
1 -- when it comes up, will tell you the name. It's Lieutenant-Colonel
2 Jovasevic [phoen]. I'm sorry, I needed a little time to remember it.
3 Q. Now, tell me the following: Since the evening you returned from
4 Ovcara with the two officers, and then for those few days that the Guards
5 Brigade was still there, did you have any opportunity of meeting with
6 Captain Karanfilov?
7 A. Not Karanfilov, but I did see Karan.
8 Q. When you would go to Sid, did you find out about a school in Sid
9 by the name of Sremski Front? Are you familiar with this school? Do you
10 know if any organ was located at that school?
11 A. No. I don't know anything about that. Perhaps if you told me who
12 was supposed to have been stationed there, that might jog my memory.
13 Q. Yes, I asked a little bit earlier about Captain Karanfilov. We
14 have some information that he was connected to that school, but I thought
15 maybe you would know what period that was.
16 A. I know that he was the security organ in the counter-intelligence
17 group of the Guards Motorised Brigade. That's how he was introduced to
18 me. What the actual situation was, perhaps you can get the book of
19 records of the Guards Motorised Brigade, and everybody's entered there
20 according to their establishment position.
21 Q. I was interested in something else. If he had -- I just wanted to
22 know if actually his duties in that line perhaps were in the Sid KOG. Do
23 you know anything about that?
24 A. No, I don't know. I can't really tell you anything about that.
25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am nearing the end of
1 my cross-examination, and there's still some time left before the break;
2 however, I would like to take the break now, by your leave, because I seem
3 to have gone quite quickly through my questions and I would like to check
4 my notes and see whether I maybe overlooked some of my questions, or
5 perhaps I can even cut my examination shorter after the break.
6 JUDGE PARKER: We will take the break now then, Mr. Domazet.
7 In view of the progress of time, the Chamber would indicate that
8 it will keep open the prospect of extending the hearing today to be able
9 to finish the witness. It seems now a reasonable prospect of doing that,
10 so that arrangements can be made for that during this break. Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.26 p.m.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as promised, I used up
15 the break to cut my examination as short as possible. I only have a few
16 questions left for the witness.
17 Q. My first question is: Was there another KOG active in the
18 territory? You have mentioned something to that effect.
19 A. Yes, there was.
20 Q. What can you tell us about that?
21 A. Well, I can't tell you anything more specific since there was no
22 cooperation on our part with them. There were several commissioned and
23 non-commissioned officers there, but -- we used to see each other, but
24 there was no cooperation.
25 Q. Does this mean -- actually, what does it mean when you say there
1 was no cooperation? Does that mean that there was no cooperation between
2 you yourself and them, or between the Sid KOG and them?
3 A. I didn't have any cooperation with them. If our superior would
4 instruct us to that effect, we would cooperate, but we didn't.
5 Q. Was one of the officers there Major Muncan?
6 A. Quite possibly, but I can't tell you with any certainty.
7 Q. You were saying something that -- to the effect that at the time
8 the brigade was leaving Negoslavci for Belgrade, and your Motorised
9 Brigade was assuming responsibility for the town, you, as the
10 counter-intelligence and security organ, were given this new assignment
11 which had to do with the Sid KOG. Can you tell us who was it who linked
12 you up with them for this transfer of duties?
13 A. A meeting was called for the entire Operations Group South, which
14 meant that all the security organs were there from the level of the chief
15 of security of brigades down to battalion and independent unit security
16 organs. This was held at Sid in a large cinema hall where we were given
17 our future assignments.
18 Q. You personally, on behalf of the 80th Motorised Brigade whose
19 security organ you were, you cooperated with them on your tasks that were
20 germane to your expertise?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] This completes my cross-examination.
23 But, lastly, I would like to present the view of the Defence for
24 Mr. Mrksic, or rather Mr. Mrksic himself, as regards the meeting with him.
25 He, unfortunately, does not remember you personally, that's to say having
1 seen you there, or the meeting itself, because of the lapse of time and
2 the eventful period. I wanted to inform the Trial Chamber of this.
3 Thank you, Your Honour, I have completed my cross-examination.
4 MR. MOORE: With the utmost respect, I would submit that the case
5 should be put clearly whether there was a meeting at that time on the
6 20th, whether Vojnovic attended that meeting, was there a subsequent
7 meeting with this topic being mentioned with Vojnovic and Vukosavljevic?
8 And it is not, in my submission, appropriate just to say, well, he cannot
9 remember one way or the other. I would submit the case should be put
10 absolutely clearly, so everybody knows where they stand.
11 JUDGE PARKER: What, Mr. Moore, are you saying has not been done
12 in compliance with the rules?
13 MR. MOORE: I am submitting that there is an earlier challenge
14 that should be looked at. That was a challenge, I believe, put to the
15 Witness Trifunovic. My understanding was that Mr. Mrksic was not at
16 Negoslavci for any particular meeting. Now, I cannot from the back of my
17 memory quote exactly word for word --
18 JUDGE PARKER: You have said enough, Mr. Moore. You have reminded
20 If the Defence is maintained that Colonel Mrksic was not at
21 Negoslavci on the evening of the 20th of November, 1991, that should be
22 put to the witness, Mr. Domazet.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on that afternoon, as
25 was customary, a briefing was held where commanders reported to Colonel
1 Mrksic, and it is quite evident. However, as I told the witness, the
2 meeting was held until 1800 hours, because after the meeting, that's to
3 say at 1800 hours, a report was submitted to the 1st Military District as
4 was, in fact, the practice, the daily practice. This report was signed by
5 Colonel Mrksic, and we have it as Exhibit 341, unless I'm mistaken, and I
6 don't believe I am. It's part of the case file. That's how long the
7 meeting lasted, and what happened about it. Now, whether
8 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic was there or not, it's difficult to say. The
9 witness himself does not remember. Had there been mention of this, he
10 would probably remember this. And after that, he left Negoslavci. That's
11 why I insisted on this particular time-frame, and I tried to establish
12 when this conversation took place.
13 If you believe that I need to add anything to that, I will follow
14 the Trial Chamber's instruction; however, I believe that this is enough
15 from the point of view of Mr. Mrksic's Defence.
16 JUDGE PARKER: As I understand the effect of what you have just
17 said, combined with some cross-examination of an earlier witness, the
18 position may be advanced by your client that he was not in Negoslavci on
19 the evening of the 20th of November, certainly at any of the times
20 suggested by this witness, but that he had, in fact, if I remember, gone
21 to Belgrade.
22 Now, if that is the position of your client, you need to put this
23 to the witness. If it's not your client's position, if he accepts that he
24 could have been at Negoslavci at the times indicated by this witness,
25 which, as you have pointed out in your cross-examination, extend very well
1 beyond 1800 hours, then you should be putting -- you would have no need to
2 put it. But if it is the case that you advance that your client was not
3 at Negoslavci then, then in that case you should raise this matter with
4 the witness.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will proceed in this
8 Q. As was quite evident from my line of questioning, you saw, sir,
9 that I insisted on the timing of the specific events because, I repeat,
10 this particular meeting which was held every day, including the 20th, had
11 to have ended by the 1800 hours, could have lasted perhaps a minute
12 longer, but not more than that. In your statement you state that it was
13 at around 1900 hours or 2000 hours. At that time he was no longer the
14 commander at Negoslavci. He was not at the command, that's to say, at the
15 command at Negoslavci. As you have heard the Honourable Judge, I am
16 duty-bound as the Defence counsel for Mr. Mrksic to put this case of ours
17 clearly to you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Can I put this to you: It is a position, as I
19 understand it, advanced by the Defence of Colonel Mrksic that he could not
20 have been at the meeting at Negoslavci at the times you have described in
21 his evidence, and that because he had left Negoslavci very shortly after
22 6.00 p.m. on the evening of the 20th of November. Now, does that
23 proposition affect your recollection or your evidence in any way?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I stand by my
25 statement. I said clearly that I could not specify the time because of
1 the lapse of time, because of the situation I was in. I stand by what I
2 said, that I informed Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic of the situation as I
3 stated. Mr. Mrksic and Mr. Vojnovic together.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And does it remain your evidence that
5 immediately after you and Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic had concluded the
6 meeting with Colonel Mrksic that you then were ordered to go to Ovcara by
7 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, and you went directly to Ovcara?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 Mr. Borovic.
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Borovic:
13 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, my name is Borivoje Borovic, and I appear for
14 Mr. Radic. My first question: You stated that the 3rd Infantry Battalion
15 of the 80th Motorised Brigade was stationed at the Petrova Gora area; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's correct, sir.
18 Q. Was it in coordinated action with the other units in the area in
19 the period you were discussing?
20 A. I am not aware of that. It was under the Guards Motorised
21 Brigade, within their structure, and I do not know who they acted jointly
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know, in what period of time was the 3rd
24 Infantry Battalion of the Guards Motorised Brigade present at the Petrova
25 Gora area?
1 A. I believe -- can you hear me now? Can you hear me well? It's
2 fine, thank you.
3 The 2nd Infantry Battalion, as far as I remember, was mobilised in
4 late October, early November, perhaps during the last two days of October
5 and the first three days of November, but I believe that the officers of
6 the Guards Motorised Brigade would be more familiar with this and you can
7 find it in the files.
8 Q. Very well, but you just mentioned the 2nd and we talked about the
10 A. Mr. Borovic, I might confuse the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd Infantry
11 Battalions, that's why I will mention the commander, and that's the
12 Captain First Class Lalovic. But as far as I remember, that was the 2nd
13 Infantry Battalion, and the security officer there of that battalion was
14 Tomislav Vukelic, along with Commander Lalovic.
15 Q. Did I hear you well in saying that in this particular battalion
16 you had your own security officer?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did he report to you from the area?
19 A. Yes, for the -- rather, no, not for the time he was within the
20 Guards Motorised Brigade.
21 Q. So when was it that he started reporting to you?
22 A. As soon as he returned to the Battalion of the 80th Motorised
24 Q. Thank you. Would you be so kind as to tell us the strength of
25 this battalion.
1 A. It had about 2 -- 360, 370 men, but it should have had the full
2 strength of 500 men.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. I'm giving you the figures as I remember them.
5 Q. The company of the military police commanded by Vezmarovic, did it
6 have the status of a battalion?
7 A. No, it was an independent company.
8 Q. Thank you. Pursuant to military regulations is it not the status
9 of an independent company to be that of a battalion?
10 A. Let us talk about the company, the independent company of the
11 military police. It is at the level of a battalion, but the colonel-major
12 would be commander of the battalion, whereas the captain first class would
13 be the commander of the independent company. They are -- hold the same
14 level as do the battalions. That's to say in terms of their superior
15 officers, because their superior is the brigade commander.
16 Q. It seems to me that in your ICTY statement you seem to have said
17 that it the status of a battalion.
18 A. No.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. MOORE: Could my learned friend, if he's going to make that
21 suggestion, just refer the witness to the passage so that we have a clear
22 perception of it and the witness has a clear perception.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Since I respect the rules, and I
24 said "it seems to me," I did not refer the witness to any passage. When
25 the time comes, I'm ready, and I have all the witness's statements, and I
1 also have the English version for the Trial Chamber and the OTP so as to
2 save them time. If I ask the witness to read something, then I will
3 confront the witness with the passage I want him to read and I will
4 provide you with the directions as to where to find that passage.
5 Q. One of the witnesses in this trial stated that there was a Desna
6 Supoderica detachment. What do you have to say to that?
7 A. I can say to that when I asked somebody about Leva Supoderica,
8 they said they didn't exist. When I asked about Desna Supoderica, they
9 said they didn't know about that. I don't have any personal knowledge
10 about the Desna Supoderica detachment. I just -- I can just tell you what
11 I heard from other people, and other people told me it didn't exist.
12 Q. When you arrived in Vukovar, what was your task in the 80th
13 Motorised Brigade?
14 A. Can you be more specific? Can you refer me to a specific period?
15 Q. When you went to Vukovar, when you arrived in Vukovar, what was
16 the task of the 80th Motorised Brigade?
17 A. It was the last unit in Vukovar. Its battalions, the 1st, the
18 2nd, and the 3rd, had its deployment, the divisions as well. In practical
19 terms it was the unit stationed in Vukovar.
20 Q. My question was very specific: In military terms, where was it
21 stationed? What was the reason why you were sent to Vukovar?
22 A. This was according to the order of my superior command.
23 Q. What was your task?
24 A. As I have told you: That was the unit that was deployed in
25 Vukovar, in -- as simple as that.
1 Q. Let me be more specific, then. Was your task to take Vukovar and
2 protect the Serbs in that area?
3 A. I don't know anything about any such task.
4 Q. Now I am going to ask the usher to give you your statements. And
5 since you have authorised your statements in B/C/S by your signature, can
6 you please locate paragraph number 35 in your statement. I never thought
7 that you might dispute this, to be honest, but can you look at paragraph
9 A. Where is that paragraph?
10 Q. That is your ICTY statement. Can you please locate paragraph 35.
11 You are a security man, I am sure you will not have a difficult time
12 finding it very quickly.
13 A. Mr. Borovic, do you know what you asked me?
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, there is a mistake in
15 transcript. Page 72, line 20, page 71, line 23, I asked about Desna
16 Supoderica and in the transcript the reference is to Leva Supoderica.
17 Let's not dwell upon the transcript. I repeat my question:
18 Q. Was there a Desna Supoderica detachment in Vukovar?
19 A. Mr. Borovic, you are now mixing two or three issues.
20 Q. Let's drop that at the moment. Since your transcript does not
21 reflect what you said, we are going back to that question. Was there a
22 Desna Supoderica detachment in Vukovar?
23 A. As far as I know, there was no such detachment. I didn't know
24 anything of such detachment.
25 Q. Now we go back to paragraph 35, and would you be so kind and read
1 the two first sentences in that paragraph.
2 A. "I did not have any particular information about the mission of
3 the 80th Motorised Brigade when we were mobilised and sent to the SBZS. I
4 believe we were sent to take Vukovar protect the Serbs."
5 Q. Thank you very much. Does it say here that your task was to
6 protect the Serbs there?
7 A. Mr. Borovic, I understand your question. You're asking me about
8 my arrival in Vukovar on the 23rd and 24th or the 25th, when the 80th
9 Motorised Brigade entered Vukovar. The 80th Brigade did not go to Vukovar
10 as a formation as it was. It was mobilised and all the battalions were
11 resubordinated to other units, if you were listening to me carefully.
12 Q. We are wasting time here and I did not have any reason to ask you
13 about the 23rd, 24th or 25th of November of 1991. I just asked you about
14 the liberation of Vukovar, what was the task, and now you are moving on to
15 a different topic. Let's go back to paragraph 35. What was your task --
16 what was the task of the 80th Motorised Brigade --
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I'm being interrupted all the time.
18 MR. MOORE: You're not being interrupted all the time, and with
19 the utmost respect, if my learned friend is going to refer to paragraph
20 35, he should look at the subheading that is immediately above that. It
21 relates to the 15th and 18th of November.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I saw the paragraph very clearly,
24 but in this paragraph, in this sentence --
25 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Borovic,
1 no need to go into explanations.
2 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. When you were in the territory, did you have conversations as a
4 security man with the Serbs who were in Croatian prisons?
5 A. Yes. With a number of Serbs who were in Croatian prisons I did
6 have interviews and I talked to them.
7 Q. Thank you. Did they tell you about the situation that they were
8 confronted with and what their life was in Vukovar during that period of
10 A. Yes. I didn't talk to many of them, but I did have an opportunity
11 to talk to some people whose names I don't remember. There was a man who
12 was a Serb, and he was the chief of anti-aircraft defence in the municipal
13 staff of Vukovar before the beginning of the war there. He was arrested
14 by the Croatian armed forces and they used him to dig trenches and graves,
15 and as soon as I got his initial information, I handed him over to others
16 who continued working with him and talking to him. People from the
17 command who were in charge of that.
18 Q. In paragraph 35, which you can now consult, that's why your
19 statement is in front of you, you stated, "When I was in the SBZS, I
20 talked to some Serbs who had spent some time in Croatian prisons." You
21 mention a number of Serbs. What did they tell you, how did they perceive
22 the whole situation?
23 A. Their prison time was very difficult. There was ill-treatment,
24 they were beaten.
25 Q. Were there any killings in the Croatian prisons?
1 A. I did not receive any such information. Nobody told me that.
2 This person that I mentioned told me that he had fared badly, he was
3 psychologically disturbed, and as soon as I heard that, I handed him over
4 to the organs in my superior command who continued working with him.
5 Q. After the fall of Vukovar, did you come by documents written by
6 Jastreb, the commander of ZNG?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you personally get in contact with those documents?
9 A. I saw the letter that he sent to Tudjman in which he says that if
10 he didn't send help, the situation would repeat in Zagreb. We also seized
11 his radio set. It was an American-made radio set, and I ordered the code
12 to be broken in, but the superior command did not deem that necessary.
13 There are also some other documents, but it is very difficult to now
14 remember all of them and list all of them.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you find in these documents confirmation on the
16 need to protect the Serbs in the JNA -- the Serbs in Vukovar by the JNA?
17 A. What are you asking me?
18 Q. That there was a need for the JNA to protect the Serbs in Vukovar?
19 A. No, I didn't find that, or maybe I don't remember finding anything
20 like that.
21 Q. Can you look at paragraph 35 again, and can you read the last
22 sentence in that paragraph. Can you read the four last lines, starting
23 with, "Our military police ..."
24 A. "Our military police found documents signed by Croatian military
25 commander Mile Dedakovic when they got into former Croatian headquarters,
1 located in a cellar. Those documents confirmed the information about the
2 need to protect the Serbs."
3 Q. Thank you very much. I don't understand you. What are you
4 saying? Are you saying that this is correct?
5 A. No, no, no. I signed the page. Those documents confirm the
6 information about the need to protect the Serbs. I did sign the
7 statement, I don't have any doubt about that, but I don't remember any
8 documents expressing the need to protect the Serbs. I did sign the
9 statements, but I apologise, I didn't -- I don't know, this must have been
10 a slip. I don't know how I authorised this, because I don't remember any
11 such thing.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Did you receive information that Serbs were
13 threatened in Vukovar before you arrived there?
14 A. Yes, yes, I did receive that. And it says that in paragraph 35.
15 Q. So you can confirm that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you personally visit the area called Petrova Gora?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When and why?
20 A. I was there on several occasions. That's where one of my
21 battalions under the command of Captain First Class Lasovic [phoen] was
22 deployed, and I visited and contacted all the battalions, including that
23 one, sometimes on a daily basis.
24 Q. Does that mean that the battalion was there in October and
25 November, as you said a while ago?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. And that it I had some 400 to 500 men?
3 A. I believe that according to its formation, it should have had 499
4 men. At that time 500 people was the strength of battalions. At that
5 time I believe that they had under -- somewhat under 400 men.
6 Q. Thank you very much. Did you ever hear that Captain Miroslav
7 Radic participated in any evacuation of prisoners?
8 A. No.
9 Q. On two occasions you visited Ovcara, you were in Ovcara.
10 Yesterday you said it was around 1700 hours, and I accept that, and you
11 also stated yesterday and today and in various statements that we are not
12 going to go through, that you found Captain Vezmarovic there when you got
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You also confirmed today that in the operative log of the 80th
16 Motorised Brigade it says that the military police company withdrew at
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. Does that mean, do you agree with me when I say that Captain
20 Vezmarovic spent at least five and a half hours in the hangars, if he was
21 there at 1700 hours and if it says in the log that they withdrew at 2230?
22 A. I don't know whether the times in the log are correct. In my
23 view, there is a mistake.
24 Q. A mistake that was slight?
25 A. It must have been more than half an hour discrepancy.
1 Q. Even if there is a half an hour discrepancy, does that mean that
2 Captain Vezmarovic must have spent at least five hours there before you
3 found him there in Ovcara?
4 A. One could say so.
5 Q. Do you know when the military police company went to Ovcara on
6 that day?
7 A. No, I don't know.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you know who could have issued an order for them to
9 go to Ovcara to provide security for the prisoners who were there?
10 A. To Captain Vezmarovic, you mean? It could have been only the
11 brigade commander, nobody else.
12 Q. What brigade?
13 A. The 80th Motorised Brigade.
14 Q. That was Colonel Vojnovic, wasn't that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. In one of your statements you described the vehicles
17 that you used to go to Ovcara on the first occasion, as well as on the
18 second occasion. In one of the statements you say that your second
19 departure was sometime after 2100 hours, but that is not important. You
20 also mentioned that you were in a Campagnola vehicle when you went there;
21 is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that the 80th Motorised Brigade had, on
24 its fleet, those Campagnola vehicles?
25 A. It had in the brigade command and in the communications company.
1 Q. Thank you. Are you aware of the fact, do you know whether with
2 that group of prisoners the military police company of the 80th Motorised
3 Brigade arrived in Ovcara, together with that group of prisoners?
4 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
5 Q. Does that mean that you know [as interpreted], but that may have
6 been the case?
7 A. Precisely so, that is what this could mean.
8 Q. The second time you went to Ovcara you said to the investigators
9 of the OTP that you found there about 200 to 300 people. Yesterday you
10 said that there could have been even more people, over 300 people
11 altogether; however, in the statement that you have before you under
12 number 3, the statement that you gave before the Belgrade court, to the
13 question put to you by the Presiding Judge, you said that there were over
14 60 of them. 60 members of the Territorial Defence, and locals. Would you
15 accept that you said that in Belgrade?
16 A. I have to find that.
17 Q. Page 16.
18 A. This is the record.
19 Q. English version, page 23. Did you find it? The Presiding Judge,
20 question. Can you please check whether I have provided you with the
21 correction information and that is that you stated before the Trial
22 Chamber there that there were over 60 members of TO and local population
23 at Ovcara when you arrived there for the second time, and before you
24 returned from there?
25 A. What I said before, that there were over 300 people, that is the
1 realistic picture.
2 Q. Just a moment. But does it say here in the statement that you
3 mentioned the figure of 60?
4 A. Yes, it does.
5 Q. Did Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic tell you at any time that on the
6 20th of November he was at Ovcara? Do you have knowledge of that? And if
7 you do, what time was he there?
8 A. I don't recall talking about that.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry, I have had an opportunity now of locating
11 what my learned friend has been putting to the witness. And, in fairness
12 to the witness, my learned friend has not put the question to him from the
13 Presiding Judge, and it is the Presiding Judge who actually numbers or
14 names the number, and asks the question, "Does that mean there were over
15 60 of them?" The answer was, "It was definitely over 60, now I am not
16 [sic] giving a number." It was a result of a question where the number is
17 given. He is not saying himself that he estimates 60.
18 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] We will resolve that now.
19 Q. I didn't think that this was in dispute. Please take your
20 statement. I provided the entire statement deliberately. I am going to
21 read and you can follow so everybody can see where we are.
22 "Witness Dragi Vukosavljevic: If -- so when you don't have the
23 balance of power, 1:3, then the situation is slipping out of control and
24 you cannot control it. These are the regulations.
25 "Presiding Judge: And if there are 20 of you and ten of them,
1 that is one to three to whose advantage? 1:3 the advantage of the forces
2 who are carrying out something? ... I'm not sure if I understand."
3 "When you don't have the balance of power 1:3, then the situation
4 is slipping out of control and you cannot control it. These are the
6 "Presiding Judge: And if there are 20 of you and 10 of them,
7 then it is 1:3 to whose advantage? The advantage of the forces who are
8 carrying out something, 1:3.
9 "Witness Dragi Vukosavljevic: You see, if.
10 "Presiding Judge: I'm not sure that I understand.
11 "Witness Dragi Vukosavljevic: If you are securing, you could be
12 three times weaker and carry out the task of defence and security poorly,
13 but if you have to intervene and do something, then you have to be three
14 times stronger. That is the basic rule in the army.
15 "Presiding Judge: What now? On the basis of this we are trying
16 to establish how many members of the Territorial Defence were there,
17 people from Vukovar. If there were 20 of your men, does it mean that
18 there were over 60 of them? So the ratio was 1:3?
19 "Witness Dragi Vukosavljevic: It was definitely over 60. Now
20 I'm giving a number."
21 And you didn't provide a number. Is that correct?
22 A. Well, I did give a number, but you are taking the thing out of
24 Q. Did I read everything correctly?
25 A. You probably did.
1 Q. Did you mention in that statement the figure of 300 people or not?
2 A. I don't remember that. We would have to read the whole thing to
3 see if I said that or not.
4 Q. Thank you. Since I did read the whole statement, perhaps if my
5 learned friend the Prosecutor found any information that you mentioned the
6 figure of 300 people at the Belgrade Ovcara trial, I will accept that
7 without hesitation.
8 Do you know Jovan Novkovic?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Did he have a nickname?
11 A. We called him Joca. But there was no special nickname. In some
12 lists he is mentioned as Joca Kafic. I knew him as Joca, he was a morale
13 person in the --
14 Q. Thank you. Was he (redacted) assistance for morale?
15 A. That's correct. He was.
16 Q. Is that one of the persons who had the legal authority to initiate
17 legal proceedings in the event of criminal acts being committed in the
18 area that he was in?
19 A. I know that the assistant commander for morale in a battalion has
20 that right. As for the same function in the artillery battalion, I don't
21 know. The deputy -- the assistant commander of the commander for morale
22 is at the same time the assistant for legal affairs. I don't know if that
23 is the same in an artillery battalion, though.
24 Q. In your modest knowledge, as you describe it, is he as a morale
25 person duty-bound -- or assistant for morale, duty-bound to send a report
1 to his chief of morale in case a grave crime is committed, and he
2 established that it was so, in the area where he was?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. You were at Ovcara on two occasions. We're now talking about
5 that time you arrived there at dusk, at around 1700 hours. The question
6 is: Did you see, in that brief period of time, any liquidations in the
7 hangar or in front of the hangar?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you see some groups of people being taken away somewhere from
10 the hangar?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you. Did you see a large pit in front of the entrance to
13 the hangar?
14 A. No.
15 Q. At 2100 hours and on, until 2230 hours, in that period of time did
16 you see any corpses in front of the hangar, in the hangar?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you hear in that period of time, which was from 1700 hours to
19 2230 hours or before 1700 hours, did you notice any liquidations, people
20 being taken away for executions, and so on?
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the whole
22 question. There was something about units.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. When you came --
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since the interpreters
1 did not catch the whole question, I'm going to repeat my question again.
2 Q. Did members of the 80th Motorised Brigade- and I'm first of all
3 thinking of the military police company - in the period before 1700 hours
4 when they were there and in the period after that, from 1700 until 2230
5 hours, tell you that there were any liquidations or any people being taken
6 away for execution or not?
7 A. No. Nobody told me anything to that effect.
8 Q. Thank you. Did you, at any point in time, notice an excavator in
9 front of the hangar entrance?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Can you please speak up.
12 A. Very well.
13 Q. What was your answer?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you notice in that period that there was a tractor in front of
16 the hangar entrance?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. Thank you. And now a more general question: When you were in
19 Vukovar, did you know where the headquarters was, where the operation to
20 liberate Vukovar was being executed from?
21 A. No, no; which staff, what do you mean?
22 Q. Was there any kind of headquarters or staff overseeing the
23 liberation of Vukovar?
24 A. No, there was the 80th Motorised Brigade and the Guards Motorised
25 Brigade staffs, and they were in charge of this operation.
1 Q. And where was this staff?
2 A. In Negoslavci.
3 Q. Thank you. Would you please kindly tell us what a staff is.
4 A. What do you mean what is a staff or headquarters?
5 Q. What constitutes a headquarters?
6 A. Headquarters or a staff is the command part of any unit. The
7 first staff would appear at the unit at the level of a company or a
8 brigade, and then later -- and also light artillery battalion. And later
9 you would have it in the regiment a brigade division. So a staff or a
10 headquarters is that part of a unit that controls and commands the
11 services and branches in any given unit.
12 Q. You said something, but I don't want to dispute that at this
13 moment. But my question is: What is the first establishment formation
14 unit that would form a headquarters?
15 A. A headquarters does not have a headquarters, it has an observation
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
18 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. If I were to tell you that you were the first person besides the
20 Prosecutor to say that the komandir of a company is the first person to
21 have a headquarters, what would you say?
22 A. That is the command of a company.
23 Q. Does that mean that that is not a staff in the military sense?
24 A. In the military sense, it's called the company command.
25 Q. But not a staff or a headquarters?
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. In the end would we agree that a battalion is the first
3 organisational unit to have a staff?
4 A. Yes, yes, you are right. You are right about the company command.
5 Q. Yes, that's right. I am right.
6 A. Yes, the lawyers would appear to know something.
7 Q. And the Prosecutor is not right?
8 A. Well, I didn't say anything.
9 Q. Thank you very much.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise about the comment, but I
11 will continue. This is in the spirit of my communication with my learned
12 friend from the Prosecution and I hope he won't take it ill.
13 Q. Did you not say that you recollected about talking with the
14 commander of Ovcara, the local commander of Ovcara.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] So for a moment I would like to move
16 into private session.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 8776-8778 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. You said that Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftic came to assist you,
11 although he was charged with the police at a certain point in time; is
12 that right?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Therefore, what is your answer?
16 A. To the question whether he came to assist me; yes, the answer is
18 Q. Thank you. Was that in the period starting with the 18th of
20 A. I would rather say it was after the 20th.
21 Q. Was he in Vukovar on the 20th of November?
22 A. I don't think so.
23 Q. What do you base your opinion on?
24 A. I didn't see him. I didn't see him.
25 Q. Was it necessary for you to see him upon his arrival or not?
1 A. Well, I suppose it would have been proper for us to meet. I
2 didn't see him.
3 Q. At the time of the Vukovar events, as the security officer there,
4 did you follow the work of the journalists?
5 A. No, not that much, no.
6 Q. Well, can you tell us what you know of it, to the extent you dealt
7 with it.
8 A. I don't recall meeting or seeing a journalist at the time. I am
9 not sure what you are referring to specifically.
10 Q. For the duration of war operations in the areas you toured and at
11 the Negoslavci headquarters, did you see journalists reporting on the
12 events and were you in touch with them?
13 A. Yes. Yes, I believe there was a schoolmate of mine, Jovic, there.
14 Q. Which newspaper?
15 A. I believe it was magazine Svetlost, from Kragujevac, and he was a
16 schoolmate of mine.
17 Q. Very well. Let us finish. At the time of the events at Ovcara it
18 is the Defence case that the local commander of Ovcara was (redacted) from
19 the 80th Motorised Brigade. With him there was his unit too. As well as
20 the assistant for morale who was, to a certain extent, duty-bound to
21 launch investigations into war crimes if any are committed. Initially
22 there was a military police company there from -- which means on the 18th
23 and the 20th. You were there as chief of security with your two officers?
24 A. No, not with two of my officers.
25 Q. With two officers who were accompanying you when you came at
1 Ovcara, and there was also Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, who stated so
2 himself. My question to you is as follows: All of you from the 80th
3 Motorised Brigade who were there, and in view of the fact that the first
4 and the second time you arrived at Ovcara you stated that you did not
5 notice members of the Guards Motorised Brigade --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- am I right in saying that you too incur some responsibility and
8 the 80th Motorised Brigade?
9 A. Do you mean I personally, or the 80th Motorised Brigade?
10 Q. I mean the 80th Motorised Brigade and its commander. Perhaps
11 those who are most responsible for not taking any action, because after
12 2230 hours, when you were no longer there, very serious crimes were
14 A. I believe that the commander acted within his chain of command,
15 that he could not be held responsible for that.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have completed my
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is one point that
19 I overlooked during the examination by Mr. Borovic. Mr. Borovic mentioned
20 paragraph 35, where the last sentence says the following --
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation].
22 Q. Please wait a moment. I have finished my cross-examination, and
23 now you seem to be going back to that. What is it that you want to say?
24 A. I want to say that you misled me with your question in the
25 following way: It says that: "These documents confirm the information
1 about the need to protect the Serbs." You brought this into the following
2 context, if I understood you well. That the HVO, that's to say Dedakovic
3 provided a document with a view to protecting the Serbs. I'm standing by
4 what I said before. These documents confirm the information about the
5 need to protect the Serbs, and this refers to the documents we found in
6 Dedakovic's staff, because in those documents one could see that there was
7 a threat to the Serbs. I did not have any specific information on the
8 mission of the brigade, I merely stated that this was with a view to
9 protecting the Serbs.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the witness please not
11 interrupt each other.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I'm certain that none of what the witness has read was, in fact,
14 entered into the transcript because he read it too quickly. Could you
15 please slow down. There was nothing misleading there. Can you tell us
16 what the problem is?
17 A. I understood you, Mr. Borovic, to have put to me that in this
18 paragraph 35 that the Croats had the intention to protect the Serbs.
19 Q. No.
20 A. Practically, the documents found in the headquarters of Mile
21 Dedakovic pointed to the need for the JNA to protect the Serbs.
22 Q. No, thank you. I put the question to you quite clearly, and your
23 answer was clear. There was no misunderstanding there.
24 A. I apologise, Mr. Borovic. I really misunderstood you, and I
25 wanted to rectify any possible mistake that might have been entered into
1 the transcript. I apologise.
2 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this completes it.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. I have ordered redactions of
4 the name of the protected witness in the cross-examination.
5 Mr. Lukic. Oh, Mr. Bulatovic.
6 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to
7 receive your instruction as to our further proceeding, because we are due
8 to sit longer. Perhaps because of the interpreters and the other staff,
9 we should decide when we have the break. I can proceed, and I believe I
10 shall take some hour to one hour 15 minutes, roughly. Now, perhaps, we
11 should decide on the breaks we are going to have for the benefit of the
12 interpreters and others.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I am pleased to assist you. We will sit for --
14 until five minutes to 2.00, or a slightly earlier time if that's a
15 convenient break. We will then have an hour break for lunch. And we can
16 then sit for one further session only, which will be the completion of
17 your cross-examination and Mr. Moore's re-examination. So your estimate
18 of time of just over an hour, will be excellent. Thank you.
19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] On my part, I will do my best,
20 Your Honours, to follow your guidance.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Bulatovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vukosavljevic, can you hear me?
23 A. Yes, I can hear you well. Can you hear me?
24 Q. Not that well, but I'm sure we will overcome the problem
25 eventually. My name is Momcilo Bulatovic, and I am one of the counsel for
1 Mr. Sljivancanin, and on behalf of the Defence team of Mr. Sljivancanin, I
2 will be putting questions to you. I will do my best to make my questions
3 brief and clear, and I appeal to you to do the same in answering my
4 questions, which will ensure your speedy return home.
5 I kindly ask you to make a slight pause before answering my
6 questions so that we avoid overlapping. This will be of assistance for
7 the interpreters and will make sure the transcript that Their Honours will
8 use will be accurate.
9 Mr. Vukosavljevic, we had occasion to hear the jobs you did, and
10 what it was you did in the army. These duties you had, and the scope of
11 activities of the security organs, was this governed by the rules of
12 service of the security organs of the then armed forces of Yugoslavia?
13 A. Among other things, by those rules as well.
14 Q. These rules, did they govern the scope and activities of the
15 security organs, including the command and control of these organs?
16 A. The last time I used or had occasion to consult these rules was in
17 1999 when I was mobilised for some three months. I would not be able to
18 tell you anything specific about this.
19 Q. From your memory - we want to save time and not have you read the
20 rules now - having had work -- having worked as a security officer for a
21 long time, could you tell us and the Trial Chamber some of the basic
22 duties of the security officer.
23 A. I already stated that, and I said that these were mostly
24 counter-intelligence activities and -- and the rest is secret, so I
25 wouldn't be able to go into that.
1 Q. In your testimony here you talked of the position of the security
2 organ in the establishment units. You spoke of your brigade, the 80th
3 Motorised Brigade, and you stated how many battalions it had, and that it
4 had security officers there as well, and what the relationship was. My
5 question is, this structure, was it governed by the rules, and was it the
6 same type of structure in other units?
7 A. As far as I know, yes. As far as the 130th Motorised Brigade was
8 concerned, which was under the 24th Corps, the structure of that battalion
9 was identical to ours; however, there were other units, like tank units,
10 PVO units, and so on and so forth. It depended on the manpower they had.
11 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have Exhibit 107 on the
12 monitor, please. This is the entire document, that is the rule of service
13 of the security organ. Could we have page 16. The ERN number is
14 0090-9825. That's right. Thank you. Could we please have item 16 zoomed
16 A. I can see it clearly, sir.
17 Q. Let's see if this can be done.
18 Mr. Vukosavljevic, can you see item 16 of the rules of service of
19 the security organs in the armed forces of the SFRY?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I will read out paragraph 16, and then I will have a couple of
22 questions for you. "The security organ is immediately subordinated to the
23 commanding officer of the command unit, institution or staff of the armed
24 forces within which establishment it is contained, and shall be answerable
25 for its -- for his work to that particular commanding officer whereas the
1 security organs of the JNA in the organisations for the NVO shall be held
2 answerable to the competent assistant to the federal secretary for
3 national defence."
4 Have I read this out accurately, sir?
5 A. Yes, you have.
6 Q. Can you explain for us now, what does this part mean, that the
7 security organ shall be immediately subordinated to the commanding officer
8 of the command?
9 A. In my case, that meant that I was directly subordinated to the
10 commander of the 80th Motorised Brigade.
11 Q. Thank you. You said that the security organ has no command role
12 whatsoever in the unit of which it is part.
13 A. Except for the two officers there who were with me in the staff,
14 in my staff.
15 Q. Could we see ERN page -- that's page 12 of the rules, the ERN
16 number being 0090-9823 on the monitor. I apologise, that's page 13 of the
18 On page 13 we have subparagraph d). Could we have that part
19 zoomed in, or can you see that, Mr. Vukosavljevic?
20 A. Yes, I can.
21 Q. I'll read it out. It is part of paragraph 7, that's 7 d), it
22 says: "The security organs shall participate in commanding in the
23 professional sense over the units of the military police."
24 A. I -- I was looking at the other d), which means collecting and
25 checking data for operational needs of the security organs.
1 Q. No, I have this on the monitor. It's item 7 on page 12, that's
2 where it -- item 7 starts, and then we're looking at the subpart d), which
3 is contained on page 13. Do you see that?
4 A. Yes, I'm -- I can see that, in commanding in the professional
5 sense over the military police units.
6 Q. The security organs participate in the command, in the
7 professional command of the units of military police; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that is what it says here.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If I may intervene and make a
10 correction in the transcript. This is what we discussed a few days ago.
11 Professional command and control. The interpreters now, on page 98/23,
12 the word used is "command" although we have an official translation in
13 which in the English in paragraph 2, it says performing specialist, and I
14 had to intervene in that sense. This is what we discussed earlier on, the
15 difference between command and control, and the special aspects of the
16 two, which are very specific in this case.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters would have appreciated if they had
18 been given an official translation of the document.
19 JUDGE PARKER: You have heard that, Mr. Lukic. The interpreters
20 are translating in the ordinary flow of language as it happens. If you
21 want to ensure that some very specific approach is taken, it's in your
22 hands. Thank you.
23 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I would now kindly ask you, Mr. Vukosavljevic, since you have
25 provided us with a lot of professional explanation about the relationship
1 between the security organ and the military police, which is a
2 relationship which is very important here because we are trying to
3 establish what that relationship contains and how it functions on the
4 ground, and now you have heard about the difference in terminology and --
5 and how confusions may arise. Could you please try and explain, what is
6 the role and function of the security organ vis-a-vis the military police?
7 A. I don't think I'm professional enough to provide you with that
8 explanation because these tasks and these jobs concerning the professional
9 guidance was something that Colonel Jeftic did, and he came to assist me,
10 and in that professional sense I wouldn't be able to tell you much more in
11 addition to what it says in the rules of service, in which it says that
12 the security organ coordinates, they do not command, the units of the
13 military police. You will see that if you go back, and you will see that
14 the security organs do not command over the military police units. They
15 can provide guidance, they can coordinate, but not command.
16 Q. In other words, we can agree that there is no situation in which a
17 security organ could issue any orders or instructions to the military
19 A. No; in my knowledge, that is not the case.
20 Q. Do you know that one of the jobs and tasks of a security organ is
21 to participate in providing security for high state officials, foreign
22 heads of state, and so on and so forth?
23 A. No, I am not aware of that. I know that the duty of the security
24 organ of a brigade is provide security for the brigade commander. And
25 anything beyond that is beyond the scope of my knowledge or authority.
1 Q. I'm not going to ask you anything about that, but with regard to
2 what we have just discussed and what you have spoken about, I'm going to
3 ask you one more thing. An officer of the organ of security who has
4 professional duty towards the military police but does not have a command
5 role vis-a-vis military police, does he propose to the commander of the
6 unit, institution, and so on so forth, how to use units?
7 A. Yes, if that proposal is asked from him. Or he can do it of his
8 own accord if he feels the need to do that.
9 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, we have stated that this is what the rules say
10 and that the rules are there to be implemented. Will the two of us agree
11 that the rules were what they were, and that the procedure was what it
12 was, and that you followed that procedure in your capacity as a security
13 organ, and this is exactly what was followed in practice?
14 A. Yes, theory and practice should overlap, should be one and the
16 Q. Now we shall move on to the developments that we are interested in
17 here. Let's start with a bit of a technical introduction, although you
18 have provided us with a lot of technical details. You said that the
19 military police company of the 80th Motorised Brigade was an independent
21 A. It was an independent company of the military police. And it
22 differed from the military police companies that are on the strength of
23 any of the battalions.
24 Q. Can you explain the difference to me?
25 A. I know what the military police company of the 80th Brigade looked
1 like, and I can repeat, although I have already said that.
2 Q. Yes, please do.
3 A. The two battalion -- it had two squads. One was the traffic
4 squad. It had a service department for the commander. And those squads
5 consisted of 10 people. Those were younger people who were lower-ranking
7 Q. I believe that your answer has not been recorded properly on page
8 101, line 24. Mr. Vukosavljevic, I would kindly ask you to speak slowly
9 and to repeat the strength and the composition of the military police
11 A. The composition of the company of the military police of the 80th
12 Brigade was as follows: The first and the second police squad, there were
13 two platoons; there was one traffic platoon, there was a department for
14 services. There was a commander of the platoon and platoon officers.
15 Q. Do you know whether the company commander had his deputy; and if
16 he did, who was it, if you know?
17 A. According to the establishment, I don't think that there was a
18 Deputy Commander in the -- in the company. I may be mistaken. My memory
19 may be jogged with some documents. However, in principle, a Deputy
20 Commander is the commander of the first police platoon. It can be
21 somebody else if that is according to the commander's orders.
22 Q. We heard that Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic was Captain Vezmarovic's
23 superior officer. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Does that mean that Captain Vezmarovic could only be issued orders
1 by Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic?
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer.
3 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. There was nobody else --
5 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 102 of the
6 transcript, line 25 -- actually 23, the answer should have been recorded,
7 the answer provided by the witness to my question whether Captain
8 Vezmarovic could be issued orders by anybody else but Lieutenant-Colonel
9 Vojnovic, and the witness said, "That is correct." The answer has not
10 been recorded. If you want me to clarify this with the witness, I shall
11 do so. If not, maybe we can agree that this answer is recorded the way I
12 have just said it.
13 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... that the
14 answer couldn't be heard. That being the answer, please move on.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I will try to speak up.
16 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, during your testimony, during the
18 examination-in-chief and the cross-examination by my colleagues, we have
19 dealt with a number of things. I may have to go over some of the ground
20 again, and I have to ask you again. There was no way that Captain
21 Vezmarovic could be issued an order by a security officer, either from the
22 80th Motorised Brigade, the Guards Brigade, or any other establishment?
23 A. A security officer can, if he is issued an order to convey an
24 order to Captain Vezmarovic, but this is the order of the brigade
25 commander. The brigade commander can also send that order by
1 communication means, by courier, but the order that is issued to the
2 commander of the military police has to come from the commander of the
4 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is this a good time
5 for the break?
6 JUDGE PARKER: I think we would all benefit from that. Especially
7 the interpreters and those supporting us. We will resume at 3.00.
8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.59 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 3.05 p.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Judge Van den Wyngaert is not sitting this
11 afternoon. The other two judges have resolved to continue the hearing
12 under the rule.
13 Mr. Bulatovic.
14 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Can we continue, Mr. Vukosavljevic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You mentioned security officers of the security organ, namely
18 Mr. Karanfilov and Mr. Karan.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You stated that you were particularly in touch with Mr. Karan and
21 you mentioned --
22 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry. If -- it must be a misinterpretation,
23 because security officers of the security organ, they are security
24 officers of the Guards Brigade actually, are they not? Important
1 JUDGE PARKER: That is a matter of contention. There is enough
2 that they are security officers.
3 MR. BULATOVIC: [No interpretation] [Interpretation] I did not
4 wish to state at any moment that Mr. Karan and Mr. Karanfilov were not
5 officers of the Guards Brigade.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
7 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, you said that you had rare contacts with
9 Mr. Karan on a professional basis, that you exchanged information through
10 two written reports, if I understood it correctly, and the rest was just
11 oral exchange of specialist information. Am I right?
12 A. You understand what I said.
13 Q. Is it possible that Captain Karan, as the security officer of the
14 Guards Motorised Brigade covered, in terms of security, the units at the
15 rear post of the Guards Brigade?
16 A. The chief of the security organ decides himself on the engagement
17 of his security officers. I can tell you how I myself acted when using
18 the services of my security officers.
19 Q. I'm merely asking whether you allow for this possibility, since
20 you yourself gave assignments to your security officers, and you said that
21 the -- Mr. Karan would cover certain duties.
22 A. Yes, but that was a matter for his chief to decide upon.
23 Q. You stated that you met Mr. Sljivancanin, you described this
24 encounter, and you said that he referred you to his officers, professional
25 associates, with whom you were supposed to exchange information. Do you
1 recall at the time of meeting Mr. Sljivancanin for the first time telling
2 -- that he told you that Mr. Karan was the competent security officer and
3 that he was his assistant for counter-intelligence and that's why he
4 referred you to cooperate with him?
5 A. No, he didn't tell me that -- or he didn't have any need to refer
6 me to him. He didn't tell me of his title. There was no need for that.
7 Q. You said that you had cooperation with Mr. Karan. Can you tell us
8 what sort of cooperation that was. Was it correct or was there mutual
9 respect and so on?
10 A. I already told you what the elements of the 80th Motorised Brigade
11 were. The security information concerning the Motorised Brigade were not
12 the same as when the brigade was up to full strength. That's why this
13 cooperation was not quite extensive. As far as our personal relationship
14 was concerned, well, Mr. Karan was quite forthcoming; he offered whatever
15 equipment he had at his disposal for me to use, like the telephone
16 services, and so on and so forth.
17 Q. Therefore, insofar as you cooperated, the cooperation was quite
18 correct and proper?
19 A. Yes, you could put it that way.
20 Q. You mentioned Colonel Danilovic as the person who -- or rather,
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic - I apologise - who led the operation at
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you explain for us what this -- the conducting of the
25 operation on his part involved?
1 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic was the chief of the staff of the
2 80th Brigade, and in the absence of the military police company, the
3 commander opted for him, and also because he was reliable. That is why he
4 deployed the forces and gave them assignments for security. And both him
5 and I observed and controlled the way the action was going.
6 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, during your testimony here, you explained why
7 you were present at Ovcara between the 18th and the 19th of November, that
8 it was, in fact, in order to oversee the action.
9 A. This was one of the duties inherent to my post as a member of the
10 security organ.
11 Q. Can you tell us what the overseeing itself, the monitoring,
13 A. It included the control or supervision of both the internal and
14 external security, the supervision of the soldiers, and it was all within
15 my regular line of duty. There wasn't anything exceptional or
16 extraordinary about it, requiring any exceptional action.
17 Q. In order not to mislead anyone, my question concerning
18 Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic and yourself had to do with the security of
19 the Mitnica group at Ovcara.
20 A. Where Lieutenant-Colonel Dan --
21 Q. It does not involve Ovcara itself.
22 A. Yes, because Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic wasn't present there.
23 Q. In one part of your testimony you stated that at some point
24 Mr. Karanfilov arrived and handed the members of the Croatian forces from
25 Mitnica over, and that there was Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, Danilovic --
1 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter didn't hear the last name.
2 A. Yes, but Vojnovic was lieutenant-colonel at the time. He was
3 brigade commander.
4 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my question was not
5 entered into the transcript. My -- that's why I will repeat the question
7 Q. At Ovcara on the 18th in the afternoon, there were
8 Mr. Vukosavljevic; Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, commander of the 80th
9 Brigade, Motorised Brigade; Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic, Chief of Staff
10 of the 80th Motorised Brigade. All of them were together when
11 Mr. Karanfilov arrived, and handed these prisoners over to them. Is that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you remember what Mr. Karanfilov said, if anything, who he
15 talked with, and what his role was, as well as how long he stayed there?
16 A. I talked about this already in my testimony here, and if you want
17 me to, I can repeat what I stated. I can't repeat it word for word, but
18 at any rate he arrived with the group, he talked to us, and to the
19 commander of the Mitnica group, Mr. Filip Karaula. He said that there
20 would be separate rooms for him and his officers, and a separate room for
21 the troops. We offered him food, and he only asked to be given water for
22 his soldiers. We billeted them at one part of Ovcara. There was a rope
23 that was pulled up, and then he left. I didn't hear much of the
24 conversation, because he spoke with Lieutenant-Colonels Danilovic and
25 Vojnovic more than with me, and I am not privy to their conversation.
1 Q. Can you just tell me how long Karanfilov stayed there on that
3 A. I cannot really tell you that. It was a long time ago.
4 Q. After the evening on the 18th, did you see Mr. Karanfilov again?
5 A. I believe I did. I used to see him at the command and in the
6 general area, but these were not official contacts. We merely said hello
7 to each other in passing.
8 Q. I will ask you specifically: Do you remember, before leaving
9 Ovcara on the 19th, seeing Mr. Karanfilov at Ovcara?
10 A. No, I don't. I told you that I had left.
11 Q. Did you see Mr. Karanfilov at Ovcara on the 20th?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know, Mr. Vukosavljevic, who sent the military police
14 company of the 80th Brigade and elements of the commanding personnel to go
15 to Ovcara on the 20th in the afternoon?
16 A. Are you referring to the security provided to the group from the
17 hospital? The brigade commander. It must have been the brigade commander
18 who did that. But there were no commanding officers, save the two
19 officers who were with me, because the men there were members of the
20 police and the army, as far as I was able to see when I came there.
21 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can we see Exhibit
22 371 on the monitor. This is the operative log. And can we see an entry
23 for the 20th of November at 1600 hours. We would like to use that in
24 order to confirm that we have just heard from the witness. The entry for
25 the 20th of November, please. At the very bottom of that page, under 1600
1 hours, can this be zoomed in, please?
2 Q. Can you see the entry in the operative log?
3 A. This is a copy, which is not very legible. Maybe your eyes are
4 better, maybe you can read better than me.
5 Q. I can see the commander of the brigade asked for the shifts of
6 officers to be defined in order to provide security for the ZNG soldiers
7 and MUP members, and the command officers were designated for that.
8 A. And what was the date?
9 Q. The 20th of November, 1991.
10 A. I have never seen this before.
11 Q. This is part of the operative log that pretty much conforms to
12 what you explained.
13 A. This is a log that was with the brigade command.
14 Q. I forgot to ask you about the 18th and the meeting, i.e., a chance
15 meeting that you had with Mr. Karanfilov and the time that you spent
16 together there. With regard to that meeting on the 18th at Ovcara in the
17 afternoon hours, I am interested in one thing only: Did you hear that
18 Karanfilov had issued any orders to Vezmarovic or did you hear that
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic had issued any orders to Captain Vezmarovic to
20 the effect that in the future all the orders would be issued to him by
21 Mr. Karanfilov? Can you just say yes or no.
22 A. Just one question, Mr. -- Are you referring to the time when the
23 group from Mitnica was guarded?
24 Q. Yes. When the Mitnica group was guarded on the 18th of November,
25 1991, in the afternoon.
1 A. The highest ranking officer was Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic, and
2 he was in charge of the operation. If the commander said that, the only
3 person he could have said it to was Lieutenant-Colonel Danilovic, not a
4 commander of the military police company.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask the usher to provide you
7 with the copies of this document. I'm going to be putting questions to
8 the witness, I am going to be confronting him with certain evidence, and
9 that's why I would like the Prosecutor to have that. The witness already
10 has the statements, this is for the Trial Chamber and for the Prosecution.
11 And this is the statement for the witness.
12 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, on the 19th in the morning until the 20th of
13 November, 1991, in the morning when you left Ovcara, until the 20th of
14 November of the same year when, pursuant to the order by Colonel Vojnovic,
15 when you left to -- when you went to Ovcara, did you have any contact with
16 the security organ of the Guards Brigade?
17 A. I suppose so. We may have visited each other, we may have
18 exchanged information. I'm probably -- did because that was my duty.
19 Q. If you did have any contacts, were -- was there anything within
20 the scope of that exchange of your specialist information that was
21 different, that could have struck you as unusual?
22 A. There was nothing special that happened or was said.
23 Q. You returned after the meeting in the brigade command, the command
24 of the Guards Brigade, you returned to Ovcara, and you were with your
25 driver, as you have already said, and you had left the two officers
1 behind, the ones who were with you the first time around.
2 A. You are talking about the 20th?
3 Q. Yes. The 20th.
4 A. You confused me on the dates. You switched between the dates
5 quite often, so I have to be sure. Yes, I did go with my driver.
6 Q. You say that when you arrived you found the situation as it was
7 and there were more chaos than at the time when you left.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You have also told us that you saw three Pinzgauer vehicles that
10 were ready to go back towards Negoslavci, that's how they were facing.
11 A. Yes, you're right.
12 Q. How many members of the military police were there? The military
13 police of the 80th Motorised Brigade, how many of them were there in
14 Ovcara on the 20th of November, 1991, the second time when you went there;
15 do you know?
16 A. The number was the same as the first time, but I don't know what
17 the number was. It was a long time ago. Maybe Vezmarovic would be better
18 suited to tell you that.
19 Q. You testified before the judge of the Novi Sad court, Mr. Alimpic,
20 the investigating judge of the Novi Sad court. I believe that the
21 statement is before you. And you said at one point that -- in B/C/S
22 version this is on page 2, and in the English version it is also on page
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] If you can just bear with me for a
1 moment, Your Honours.
2 Actually, this is page 4, paragraph 2.
3 [Defence counsel confer]
4 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] So in the English version it is
5 page 4. The statement was given on the 20th of July before the
6 investigating judge in Novi Sad.
7 Q. You say, Mr. Vukosavljevic: "When I returned there in order to
8 convey the message to Captain Vezmarovic, the situation was even more
9 delicate than before. The police had been pushed behind the hangar and
10 were standing by the vehicles." And then you continue to say -- can you
11 explain this: If the police had been pushed behind the hangar and were
12 standing by the vehicles, how can you say that they were ready to leave,
13 that the vehicles were ready to leave?
14 A. You are asking me the same thing that the judge in Belgrade asked
15 me. This was not behind the hangar, they were actually leaving the hangar
16 to go towards the vehicles. They were not the behind the hangar, as it
17 says here. This is just a mistake, a typing mistake.
18 Q. I will allow that.
19 A. There is one letter more than it should be, so hence the mistake.
20 The troops were not behind the hangar, they were coming from the hangar
21 towards the vehicles.
22 Q. You went to convey the message to Mr. Vezmarovic, the order that
23 had been issued to him by Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the order was that the troops of the 80th Motorised Brigade
1 should withdraw from Ovcara.
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. This is what you were supposed to convey to Vezmarovic.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You are saying that you are not sure, because of the situation at
6 hand, that you ever did that.
7 A. Because he was already in the process of doing whatever he was
8 supposed to do.
9 Q. My question to you is as follows: When you arrived there, did you
10 see anybody, any of the officers close to Vezmarovic, who might have
11 issued him with an order to withdraw from Ovcara?
12 A. No, no. Save for the three of us; myself and the chief and the
13 chief of HBAO [as interpreted], there were no other officers that I saw
15 Q. You're talking about the chief of artillery and the chief of ABHO,
16 but they could not have issued such an order to Captain Vezmarovic. Am I
17 right in thinking that?
18 A. Yes, you're right, they couldn't do that.
19 Q. Will you then allow a possibility, Mr. Vukosavljevic, that you are
20 the one who conveyed the order to Captain Vezmarovic, because it is so
21 obvious that nobody else was there and we heard from you that he did not
22 have any communication means, that he could not communicate with the staff
23 in any other way?
24 A. Truth be told, what I told you I'm not sure that I am right,
25 because he was already in the middle of the operation of evacuation that I
1 was supposed to tell him about. They had already been packing, they had
2 already been getting ready to get into the vehicles, and there was no need
3 for me to convey any messages or orders and that's why I told you that I
4 cannot tell you anything exact after such a long time. In practical terms
5 he was already doing what I was supposed to tell him to do. He was
6 already acting according to the message that I was supposed to convey, the
7 order that I had been given for him.
8 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, we have information in the operative log that
9 it had been ordered to the military police company to go to Ovcara. You
10 have explained who it was who was the only person that could have issued
11 such an order to Captain Vezmarovic. Could Captain Vezmarovic abandon
12 that place and abort the task of his own accord, the task that was given
13 to him by his superior? Could he withdraw from Ovcara without anybody's
14 orders, of his own will?
15 A. Only if he wanted to break the military rules, that was the only
16 way he could have done it. Otherwise, there was no way for him to do it.
17 Q. You had an occasion to talk to Captain Vezmarovic after all the
18 developments that took place in 1991 -- between 1991 and 2003.
19 A. Yes, but we spoke about this only after we provided our respective
20 testimonies before the court in Novi Sad.
21 Q. Can you please look at the statement you gave to Judge Alimpic.
22 This is page 3. Page 3 of B/C/S, and fourth page of the English version.
23 Let me read to you one segment of the statement that you gave. It reads:
24 "I never spoke to Captain Vezmarovic about this. It was only in April,
25 2003, when I spoke to the authorised personnel of the Ministry of the
1 Interior of Serbia, and when they asked me about Captain or Lieutenant
2 Karanfilov, who was an active officer in the Guards Brigade, that I
3 practically learned from the police officers that he had maybe passed
4 along the order to Captain Vezmarovic."
5 A. That is correct, sir.
6 Q. Does this mean that Vezmarovic never told you that Karanfilov
7 either issued an order to him or conveyed an order to him and that you
8 only learned about the fact from the police officers during that
10 A. Although I spoke about that with Captain Vezmarovic once again
11 about that, after the statement, that -- when I gave the statement to The
12 Hague Tribunal in 2003, and after I gave the statement I spoke to him and
13 he told me, I don't remember everything at Ovcara that night, but thank
14 you very much for having told the investigators that there -- an order had
15 indeed been issued for me to withdraw. Thank you very much.
16 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, does this mean that we can conclude that you
17 cannot rule out the possibility that members of the military police and
18 the troops of the 80th Motorised Brigade were getting ready to withdraw at
19 the time when you got there and that they were actually waiting
20 someone to convey this to them, and that perhaps you were the one who did
21 so, owing to the fact that you had left behind two officers who had been
22 there with you on the first occasion, and who knew where and why you were
23 going to the brigade command?
24 A. Well, actually, I tend to give another explanation. Vezmarovic
25 had probably already received an order from someone before I got there.
1 In other words, I think that this option is more acceptable to me as the
2 security organ. This is more likely, in other words, this version that he
3 -- rather than the version where he would have left the hangar without
4 actually receiving an order.
5 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, I asked you whether there were any commanding
6 officers there, and whether there was anyone who could issue such an
7 order. You said that Vezmarovic was there and you said that there were no
8 commanding officers.
9 A. Yes. Not in my presence. But whether there had been someone, as
10 Mr. Vezmarovic is claiming, while I wasn't there, and this is something
11 that Mr. Vezmarovic did say, he said this to me also in 2003, he was very
12 certain about this.
13 Q. If I understood you well, you left Ovcara together, according to
14 the log, around 2200 hours and 35 minutes. It could have been a little
15 earlier, but that's not really relevant. What I would like to know is
16 something else. After your return, did you talk to Vezmarovic? Did you
17 have -- did you go to the command to submit a report? What did you do?
18 A. I went to the command, to the brigade commander, and I reported to
19 him. I said that I had conveyed his order, and that -- and I returned to
20 my brigade.
21 Q. Was Captain Vezmarovic present during this reporting of yours?
22 A. As far as I can recall, no.
23 Q. Do you think that it was Captain Vezmarovic's duty to report on a
24 mission accomplished, or on the implementation of an order?
25 A. Yes, and I believe he had done so, but not in my presence. This
1 is something that you should check with Mr. Vezmarovic and Mr. Vojnovic.
2 Q. I was very careful, and I looked through all these statements that
3 you've given, Mr. Vukosavljevic. There is the statement to the
4 investigating judge of the district court in Novi Sad, and then the
5 statement with the investigators of The Hague Tribunal of 18th and 19th
6 July. Then there was your testimony before the special court in Belgrade
7 on the 24th of November, 2004, and I would like to ask you about it. I
8 would like to ask you about something that I have found as a red line
9 through all these statements, and I found it very interesting. It is my
10 impression that when you spoke about this in your testimonies and talked
11 about your conveying the orders to Captain -- to Mr. Vezmarovic, to
12 Captain Vezmarovic, that you actually had some sort of reserve in this
13 area, that you weren't quite open. Am I right or wrong?
14 A. I think you're wrong.
15 Q. Could you please now take a look at the statement to the -- to the
16 representatives of The Hague Tribunal. Have you found it? I'm looking at
17 paragraph 64 of this statement. So this is your statement, and you've
18 signed it, so there is no reason to doubt what's -- what is stated there,
19 because you have signed it. What it says is the following. I will not
20 read the whole paragraph, because I don't think it's relevant, but it says
21 the following: "If Captain Vezmarovic, commander of the military police
22 company of the 80th Motorised Brigade, was sincere with me about the
23 order, the order which was conveyed to him by Lieutenant Karanfilov ..."
24 et cetera, "the security organ in the Guards Motorised Brigade to withdraw
25 the military police from Ovcara and hand over the prisoners ..." et
1 cetera, et cetera, no need to read the rest. What I'd like to ask you is,
2 where does this question come from, your question, if Captain Vezmarovic
3 was sincere? What is it that makes you doubt his sincerity?
4 MR. MOORE: I object to that question. I have no problems with
5 the question being asked if the whole sentence is read to the witness.
6 But my learned friend is just -- I will use the phrase selecting
7 beneficial passages. The whole part must be read, surely, for the
9 JUDGE PARKER: The witness is reading it, Mr. Moore. I think we
10 can let him deal with that.
11 MR. MOORE: But Your Honour, do we not need it for the transcript?
12 JUDGE PARKER: You want it for the transcript.
13 MR. MOORE: Yes, please.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
15 If you would, please, Mr. Bulatovic.
16 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Well, I'll read the
17 whole sentence again, and I'm not going to read the whole paragraph, but
18 just the relevant sentence. Whether it is useful, we'll see.
19 JUDGE PARKER: The paragraph, Mr. Bulatovic. Would you like me to
20 give you a break and I'll read it?
21 "If Captain Vezmarovic, commander of the military police company
22 of the 80th Motorised Brigade, was sincere with me about the order, which
23 was conveyed to him by Lieutenant Karanfilov, the security organ in the
24 Guards Motorised Brigade, to withdraw the military police from Ovcara and
25 hand over the prisoners to the armed local Serbs, Colonel Mile Mrksic,
1 commander of the Guards Motorised Brigade, should have obviously responded
2 differently based on the information provided to him by Colonel Milorad
3 Vojnovic, commander of the 80th Motorised Brigade, and me. Mrksic had at
4 his disposal the Guards Motorised Brigade, including two military police
5 battalions, to do something. Mrksic was better informed about what was
6 going on than we were. Commanders are kept informed so they can decide on
7 a further course of action."
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So, Mr. Vukosavljevic, you heard this. My question is, why or
10 wherefor this if he was sincere?
11 A. I do not doubt his sincerity at all. Simply I used that word. I
12 could have used some other word. And my reservations with regard to the
13 sincerity of Captain Vezmarovic is non-existent. It could have said there
14 whether it was correct. In other words, that sentence could have been
15 worded differently. I mean, you're stressing this, and I don't quite
16 understand why. There were no reservations at all on my part with regard
17 to Mr. Vezmarovic and, as I've said, after all these years -- after 12
18 years, he said to me in this context, thank you for saying that it was the
19 commander who ordered the withdrawal of the unit because I had no cover.
20 This was another -- this provided another cover for me. And as for
21 Karanfilov on that night, I did not see him that night [as interpreted].
22 And the fact that you are insisting on this term -- let me just read that
23 one more time -- the term "sincere," it could have said something else
24 there, to be quite honest. There was nothing, no reservations between me
25 and Captain Vezmarovic, in Vukovar or otherwise.
1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Your Honour, I
2 believe --
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic. I kept thinking it was Mr. Bulatovic
4 that was speaking, and I couldn't see him speaking.
5 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, but I had
6 to intervene. I think that the reply to the previous question was not
7 correctly related in the -- in the transcript. Perhaps the witness was a
8 bit too fast, so some sentences just got scrambled up. I mean the portion
9 on page 120, from lines 9 to 22. And specifically, it relates to what
10 Mr. Vezmarovic said to the witness in respect of Captain Karanfilov. I
11 think the meaning is not correct in the transcript. And my learned
12 colleague could perhaps ...
13 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps you would be good enough to indicate to
14 Mr. Bulatovic what your problem is. You can do it privately, if you like.
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Page 120, lines 18 and 19. Where it
16 says, "And about Karanfilov that night, I did not see him." That's what
17 it says in the transcript. But I believe the witness did not say that,
18 not for that night.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to say whether -- I take it you are
20 not able to read the English transcript?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It's recorded that your answer said there were no
23 reservations by you about Mr. Vezmarovic, that he said to you in this
24 context, "Thank you for saying it was the commander who ordered the
25 withdrawal of the unit because I had no cover. This provided another
1 cover for me." Is that what you said?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. But I also said that he
3 told me that Karanfilov had ordered this, had issued this order to him.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So let's go back again. At the beginning of my cross-examination
7 we discussed the position and status of Mr. Karanfilov, and that it was
8 out of the question - and you confirmed this - that he would issue any
9 orders. So my question to you is: Did you ask Vezmarovic - you, as the
10 security officer - how it was and under what rules he was issued an order
11 or had been issued an order by someone who had no authority to do so and
12 to -- and that he actually implemented that order, executed it?
13 A. I did not discuss this with Vezmarovic, I never asked him this.
14 Because according to what he believes and in his knowledge, the security
15 organs are his superiors. That is his position, his opinion. But I
16 understood him to mean something else, that Borce Karanfilov had informed
17 him that he should withdraw the unit. That was how I understood what he
18 said to me. Otherwise, I just need to say that the security organ had no
19 authority, could not issue any orders to the military police. And what I
20 understood Dragan Vezmarovic to say was that he had been informed by him
21 and that he had just acted on this order. I did not go into polemics with
22 him about this. There is a slight difference of approach between the two
23 of us on that issue.
24 Q. Let me ask you something: Is Captain Vezmarovic an untrained or
25 insufficiently trained officer?
1 A. I couldn't really say anything about that. You should read his --
2 the assessment of his work and perhaps you can find it there.
3 Q. Could you please now take a look at the statement given to the
4 investigating judge of the district court in Belgrade on page 9. Page 10
5 in English.
6 A. What page was that?
7 Q. That's page 9 in the B/C/S version. Under item 2.
8 A. That's fine, that's fine. I'll find it. I'm sure we're all
9 working in the interests of justice here.
10 Q. The 15th line from the top, the sentence begins with, "I returned
11 to Ovcara."
12 A. Could you please just tell me what page that is on?
13 Q. It's on page 9 in the B/C/S version, and 10 of --
14 THE INTERPRETER: And page 12, interpreter's correction.
15 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. -- of the English version.
17 A. I found page 9.
18 Q. Now please take a look at line 15 from the top. The sentence
19 begins with, "I returned to Ovcara ..." Have you found that?
20 A. Yes, I have. That's toward the end of the sentence.
21 Q. Please let me read this. I will read this part for you, and then
22 I'll have a question. So this is what it says. This is part of your
23 answer in response to the question of the presiding judge.
24 "I returned to Ovcara, and when I returned to Ovcara I noticed
25 already that they had pulled out of the 80th Brigade, members of the 80th
1 Brigade, I see that they were the ones, the vehicles which were turned in
2 the direction towards Negoslavci were now headed in the different
3 direction, in the direction of Vukovar, and Captain Vezmarovic told me
4 that he was withdrawing. This was not in contradiction.
5 "Now, he had some version that he had been told -- that he had
6 been informed of this by Lieutenant Karanfilov. I did not attend any
7 conversation between them, but he told me that Lieutenant Karanfilov had
8 told him even before I did to withdraw the unit."
9 Have I read that correctly?
10 A. Yes, but if you can see -- as you can see, this entire text is a
11 bit -- is written in a bit -- in a funny or confused way, archaic. I
12 think that some things that I may have just said there did not enter this
13 transcript, and I think that between these two statements I -- in 2003 I
14 had a conversation with Vezmarovic, and this is what I referred to in my
15 statement. But -- but we did not discuss this in 1991. But this entire
16 transcript is very poorly put together. It's full of mistakes, and very
18 Q. I am interested in something else, Mr. Vukosavljevic. I am ending
19 this part, and we're moving to something else. In the context of my
20 earlier questions, and this is something to do with something you
21 mentioned just now, that's to say he had some other version. Again, these
22 words, the way you put them, also show that you seem to have some sort of
23 doubts vis-a-vis his statement.
24 A. Well, let me tell you this: You should take the audio recording
25 of my statement. I believe that whoever was putting this on paper did it
1 in a lopsided way, taking bits and pieces. I think you seem to be
2 insisting on something that simply does not hold water.
3 Q. Mr. Vukosavljevic, if I were tell you that this is a transcript of
4 the audio recording which was typed out word for word, that's to say that
5 your statement word for word the way you gave it before the trial chamber,
6 was recorded here, and therefore I don't see that there is space for any
7 doubt as to the accuracy of this transcript. You're saying that some
8 words are scrambled up and so on.
9 A. Sir, you do not know how I speak before a court of law. I always
10 speak in an articulated way, I never leave my sentences unfinished. I
11 always -- it's a narrative that I give, in the same way I have been giving
12 one before this Tribunal. I believe that every person is entitled to
13 taking his own approach to matters and I do that as well.
14 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thank the witness
15 for answering my questions and I have no further questions for him.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Moore.
18 Re-examination by Mr. Moore:
19 Q. I would like to deal, if I may, with the exciting topic of command
20 structure and the role of the security organ.
21 You have told us and directed us to the rules or regulations that
22 show that a security organ may politely advise a military unit about how
23 to do things. It's in an advisory capacity. That is the principal role,
24 is it not, for a security organ?
25 JUDGE PARKER: If you would please notice, Mr. Moore is now asking
1 you questions. Mr. Bulatovic is finished.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Go ahead, Mr. Moore. Sorry.
3 MR. MOORE:
4 Q. That's not a problem. May I deal with the topic of command
5 structure and the role and function of the security organ. You have told
6 us, and in cross-examination, that the function of a security organ is to,
7 what I will say, is to perceive and advise, apart from their own role.
8 Would that be correct, if one was dealing with, say, for example, military
10 A. Well, no. The role of the military police is different, and there
11 is a difference in the work of the military police and the organ of
12 security. There is a bigger difference than that. The work of the
13 military police is by and large a public work, whereas the security organ
14 works in a different way.
15 Q. I suspect it's the way I put the question. You were referred to
16 the security organ regulations, the role that they play within a military
17 unit. And you seem to be suggesting that they had no command function
18 with regard to other units. They could merely advise.
19 A. That is absolutely correct. And this has been confirmed by the
20 Defence counsel in their statements, and they even emphasised that
21 particular role. And in that you agree with the Defence counsel, and I
22 agree with you in what you have just put to me.
23 Q. Well, we all agree, so that's splendid. Now, let's move on.
24 That's the first part. The second part, how one deals -- the security
25 organ deals with commands or orders, is where a security organ can convey
1 an order. So he becomes - I will use the English word - he becomes the
2 conduit pipe. He conveys the orders from, let us say, the commanding
3 officer. Do you accept that?
4 A. Yes, but that is not the basic function of an organ of security.
5 When the security organ visits different units, they can convey orders of
6 the brigade commander to the battalion commander, and vice versa; they can
7 convey information from the battalion commander to the brigade commander.
8 As they move around, the security organs do receive information, can
9 facilitate the exchange of that information, if you will.
10 Q. I agree, thank you. But I would suggest there is a third way.
11 That if, for example, we have a commanding officer of a unit or a brigade,
12 is it not correct to say that he can, and I will use the word "empower"
13 the security organ with the authority of the commanding officer? So he
14 transfers the ability to command to the security organ for a specific
16 A. Well, this doesn't happen that often. That doesn't happen often.
17 In simple terms, the commanders do not yield their authority that easily.
18 They do not pass their authority down to their subordinate officers. My
19 commander, for example, never gave me any of his authorities, and not just
20 the one -- the commander that we are talking about, but any commanders
21 that I ever worked under. It doesn't happen that often.
22 Q. But you are not saying it can't happen and doesn't happen, do you?
23 A. It does happen, brigade commanders may transfer their authorities
24 to one of their officers, but that is done in writing, it has to be done
25 in writing, and if it is not done in writing, then it does not have any
1 force, it does not mean anything.
2 Q. But the reality is that a commander or commanding officer can pass
3 his authority down to a security organ to perform a specific task with the
4 authority of the commanding officer residing in the security organ. That
5 is correct, isn't it?
6 A. Yes, in hypothetical terms, in theory, yes.
7 Q. Thank you very much. Now, let's move on, if I may, to, again,
8 other exciting topics. Can I please refer you to the regulations on the
9 application of international laws of war in the armed forces of the SFRY.
10 It's Exhibit 396, and I would like, please, to ask you about Articles 20,
11 but more particularly, Article 21. The page number, to assist the
12 registry, is 0080-7699.
13 Now, while that's being turned up, you have told us about going to
14 the headquarters of the Guards Brigade where Mrksic was having a meeting.
15 You then meet Vojnovic, you inform Vojnovic what is happening to Ovcara,
16 and on your account, Vojnovic and yourself then return to speak to Mrksic
17 and inform him of what is happening at Ovcara. So I just rehearse that to
18 assist your recollection. What would you expect a commander to do, having
19 been informed of such events occurring at Ovcara? What did you expect
20 Mrksic to do, having been informed of that by people who were subordinated
21 to him?
22 A. I expected him to take appropriate measures with a view to
23 protection. However, the units that were at Ovcara that wanted to take
24 over the prisoners of war, were under the command of the Guards Motorised
25 Brigade, in practical terms.
1 Q. And what would be the appropriate measures, in your view?
2 A. Accommodation of the wounded in health facilities, health care
3 facilities, and accommodation of the healthy ones in an appropriate way,
4 in appropriate facilities, where they could tend to their normal needs and
5 where they would be guarded until any further notice.
6 Q. And when you use the word "protection," what do you mean by that?
7 Protection in respect of what? Commission of offences?
8 A. General protection, general protection of human beings, like the
9 two of us are safe here at the Tribunal. Protection for prisoners of war
10 who enjoy certain rights according to The Hague convention. For example,
11 one-third of the meal that are normally received by the troops in units,
12 the right to health care, the right to rest, and so on and so forth.
13 Q. The right to be protected from physical attack?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. The right to be protected from death?
16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
18 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my learned friend. I'm
19 not clear on his question. Is he actually using this witness as an expert
20 witness or is he just confirming what the witness knows personally and
21 what has already been the subject of examination-in-chief and
22 cross-examination? I believe that my learned friend has changed the role
23 of this witness, and he has transformed this witness into a person from
24 which he seeks opinions on certain matters. And this is not the scope
25 of --
1 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... was prefaced,
2 "What did you expect?" He is asking the witness's personal expectation.
3 Thank you.
4 Yes, Mr. Moore.
5 MR. MOORE: I had actually concluded, but may I move on, then,
6 please, to Article 21, as I have already referred to. I hope it's now
7 found. It's, as I say, Exhibit 396.
8 Q. Witness, do you have that document in front of you on the magic
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Have you had an opportunity of seeing this particular article,
12 which is from the regulations?
13 A. Yes. I read it in 1991, in 1999. I peruse it from time to time,
14 and if there is a delicate situation, I always go back to it to consult
15 this document.
16 Q. Why do you consult this document? Why do you peruse it? For what
18 A. To be informed. To be educated, to gain knowledge in order to
19 avoid any mistakes or omissions.
20 Q. Does this, or did this have an application, as far as your
21 understanding, in 1991, either directly or indirectly at that time? I
22 don't ask for a legal reply.
23 A. When I saw the title page of this law, I can see that it was
24 printed in 1988, so it dates back to 1988, and I'm sure that it was
25 applied in 1991, since it was out of print in 1988.
1 MR. MOORE: I have no further re-examination for this witness.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
3 You will be pleased to know that that is the end of the questions
4 for you. The Chamber would like to thank you for coming to The Hague and
5 for the assistance you have been able to give, and you are now free to
6 return to your home and your affairs. Thank you, indeed.
7 I would like to thank counsel and the staff - interpreters and
8 transcript people - for extending the time today to enable this witness to
9 conclude. The problems of securing a time when he could return were very
10 considerable, and they have been able to be avoided.
11 We will adjourn now and resume at noon on Monday.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.21 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Monday, the 15th day of May,
14 2006, at 12.00 noon