1 Tuesday, 26 September 2006.
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. I understand, Mr. Vasic, there may
6 be some unhappy news?
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
8 morning to everybody in the courtroom. Unfortunately, Your Honours, we
9 have bad news. Yesterday we mentioned the medical condition of my client,
10 and the information I conveyed to you yesterday is not complete or fully
12 In the meantime I had the opportunity to see my client at the
13 hospital and I must say that there was no regular examination performed on
14 him, that that's what he said to me in person, and I would prefer to give
15 you the other details in a private session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
17 [Private session]
11 Page 12342 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Well, Mr. Vasic, we understand from you
4 that your client is undergoing some further tests at Bronovo Hospital
5 today and we will await the results of those with interest and concern,
6 but in the meantime your client has indicated his agreement to the
7 evidence of the present witness continuing, in his absence. Yes.
8 Thank you very much for that. If the witness could be brought in.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 WITNESS: RADE DANILOVIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness testified through Interpreter]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir. May I remind you of the
13 affirmation --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: -- which still applies. Now, Mr. Vasic.
16 Examination by Mr. Vasic: [Continued]
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Danilovic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. We'll now continue to hear you where we stopped yesterday, and
21 that's why I would ask for document 65 ter to be put on the screen. The
22 reference number is 1D07 and ERN number 0D000511. That's the report of
23 the wounding of the commander of TO Vukovar that we started discussing
24 yesterday, but we stopped because our time had elapsed.
25 This document is part of the set of documents. It's the sixth in
1 the sequence, under --
2 A. Yes, I can see it on the screen.
3 Q. Tell me, in what capacity did the Colonel Vojnovic report to the
4 commander of the motor district about the wounding of the commander of TO
6 A. I suppose that as a town commander of Vukovar, he was required to
7 report to the superior command about this grave incident.
8 Q. Please read to us the first sentence from this report.
9 A. "On December 4th, 1991, in the Velepromet building in Vukovar
10 where the TO Vukovar is stationed", well this is not the exact formulation
11 as it should be -- "while returning to an official task to sheet [as
12 interpreted] the commander of TO Vukovar Miroljub Vojnovic was wounded by
13 his personal escort Goran Covic".
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Danilovic. We needn't go on.
15 A. But this should read the Chief of Staff of TO Vukovar. This is
16 not phrased the way it should have been.
17 Q. Yes, thank you, but I would like to know something else. The
18 staff of TO Vukovar was located at Velepromet. Are you acquainted with
19 this fact?
20 A. Yes. The staff of the TO of Vukovar was located at Velepromet,
21 and all persons to be identified were sent to the staff, which was located
22 at Velepromet, because the staff, who were locals, knew most people from
23 the area, and that was the main reason.
24 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to tender
25 this document into evidence.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: With Exhibit number 781, Your Honours.
3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 Q. Yesterday we spoke about the order of the commander of the 80th
5 Motorised Brigade to relocate the command of the unit to the barracks, and
6 your role in that process.
7 I now suggest that Exhibit 444 be put on the screen. Thank you.
8 Perhaps we could zoom in on the first half.
9 Mr. Danilovic, you will not find this document in the set you are
10 looking at, so please look at the screen in front of you. Please take a
11 look at this order and read to us the letterhead and what does this order
12 represent. Wait for the interpretation to finish, please.
13 A. This is an order of the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade
14 dated November 22nd, 1991 about the regulation of the establishment of
15 military authority and the -- providing security for the units and the
16 command in the town of Vukovar and the wider surroundings, actually in the
17 area of responsibility of the 80th brigade.
18 Q. Kindly read to us the first paragraph of this order.
19 A. Item 1 of this order reads that: "The relocation of the unit into
20 the Vukovar barracks is being ordered. The 80th company of military
21 police, the 80th company of communication, the 80th platoon of ABHO and
22 the 80th command -- 80th command as well as the brigade command on
23 November 22nd should be relocated there. Accommodation shall be provided
24 for the units, and duty as well as security shall be organised.
25 "Under the conditions of permanent readiness, to be able to react
1 to attacks on military and other buildings of special significance in
2 order to organise functional military authority". This is the content of
3 item 1 of this order.
4 Q. Apart from this relocation of this command to the Vukovar
5 barracks, is the second part, the organisation of security, in any
6 relation with what you told us yesterday about attacks on some units by
7 remaining forces of the ZNG and the MUP?
8 A. As far as I remember, and I think I remember well, between the
9 15th and the 18th of November, a complete -- the complete command of a
10 unit was massacred because there was no adequate security provided.
11 I remember that until December 6th or 7th there were instances of
12 members of the ZNG and the MUP of Croatia were pulling out from hidden
13 shelters and we know that in the town of Vukovar there were many
14 underground catacombs, so to speak, where they were hiding. And there was
15 constant danger that some of the units or commands as well as the
16 population, although there was little population left in the town, so
17 there was constant danger of them being at risk, and that's why these
18 measures were ordered, and based on the order of the command of the first
19 motorised district and the command of OG South, that were in force at the
21 Q. You spoke at more length about the relations with the motor
22 district and OG South, but let us now take a look at item 2.
23 A. Item 2 of this order reads: "The staff of TO Vukovar in
24 cooperation with the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade shall organise
25 the establishment of authorities in local communities, so that they are
1 functional, organise the manner of movement of the population returning to
2 town --
3 JUDGE PARKER: Excuse me a moment.
4 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt my learned friend.
5 We've been trying to get it in English. We don't have the electronic
6 version in English at all. We only have it in B/C/S. I don't know why
7 that should be, because clearly the Court has got it in English. And when
8 I go on to e-court, I've only got it in B/C/S.
9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps I can help, Your Honours. My
10 reference is ERN 0D000531 -- 39, that is the English translation.
11 JUDGE PARKER: The problem seems to be resolved, Mr. Vasic.
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We can continue.
13 Q. Mr. Danilovic, please read item 2 once more, as slowly as the
14 first time round.
15 A. So item 2: "The staff of TO Vukovar in cooperation with the
16 command of the 80th Motorised Brigade will organise the establishment of
17 functional authority in local communities, organise police stations,
18 regulate the manner of movement of the population returning to town, and
19 the mandatory identification at the Velepromet centre". This is the
20 complete content of item 2 of this order of the command of the 80th
21 Motorised Brigade.
22 Q. We're speaking about mandatory identification at the Velepromet
23 centre. Was that the identification that you mentioned a little while ago
24 while we were speaking about the wounding of Miroljub Vujovic?
25 A. Yes, exactly. That's it.
1 Q. Thank you. Please read out item 3 of this order.
2 A. Item 3. "The staff of the TO Vukovar shall be deployed at a more
3 adequate site in the vicinity of the Vukovar barracks, according to the
4 decision of commander Miroljub Vujovic".
5 Q. This reads: Commander Miroljub Vujovic. They didn't say commander
6 of what?
7 A. The commander of -- the commander or rather the Chief of Staff of
8 TO Vukovar I suppose it is.
9 Q. Kindly read out to us item five.
10 A. Item five of this order reads: "The staff of TO Vukovar in
11 cooperation with the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade will prevent
12 all sorts of theft and misuse of property in the town of Vukovar and the
13 surrounding villages".
14 Q. Can you tell us what the relationship was between the staff of TO
15 Vukovar and the command of the 80th brigade, bearing in mind the fact that
16 they are working on the same task and this reads, in cooperation with.
17 What kind of cooperation was that, and how did they cooperate on those
18 tasks in Vukovar?
19 A. The staff of TO Vukovar, in military terms, was not subordinate to
20 the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade. This is why the order
21 reads "in cooperation".
22 So there was two-way cooperation between the command of the 80th
23 Motorised Brigade and the staff of TO Vukovar. So this was two-way
24 cooperation, and it had to do with the tasks mentioned in this order, and
25 in other documents that defined other tasks and authorities and the
1 commander coordinated certain tasks with the staff.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Danilovic. Please now read out item 7.
3 A. Item 7 of this order reads: "The necessary coordination of the
4 rehabilitation of the theatre shall be regulated by the command of OG
5 South in cooperation with the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade, and
6 the staff of TO Vukovar".
7 Q. Hereto, the word "cooperation" is mentioned. Can you tell us
8 about the relations between OG South, the command of the 80th Motorised
9 Brigade and the staff of TO Vukovar as we're talking about cooperation.
10 A. It is obvious from this order that the command of OG South has the
11 responsibility to rehabilitate the theatre and this shall be done in
12 cooperation with the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade and the staff
13 of TO Vukovar.
14 Q. Was that after -- after handover?
15 A. I suppose that this was at the very junction when the command of
16 the brigade was no longer part of OG South, and that's why this
17 reads "cooperation". Otherwise the command of OG South would have given
18 out orders rather than cooperating.
19 Q. Thank you. We will no longer need this exhibit. I would now go
20 back -- or discuss the following events. Do you know that in early
21 December in Vukovar a civilian authority was established? Are you
22 familiar with that?
23 A. As far as I remember, I think that Babic or what his name was was
24 the president of the executive council, but I cannot tell for sure. I
25 know that the establishment of a civilian authorities had begun, and the
1 command of the first motor district made efforts to assist them, also by
2 sending some officers over from Belgrade.
3 As for the exact date of the establishment of civilian authority,
4 I really don't remember what date it was. It's been a long time.
5 Q. Thank you. You did say something about that yesterday, and we'll
6 not be requiring a specific date. If you can't remember. I would like to
7 go back to that mission you had on the 18th of November, as commander of
8 that collection camp for POWs at Ovcara, those were being brought over
9 from Mitnica. I would like to see Exhibit 432 please, more specifically,
10 page 48 and page 49.
11 This document is already an exhibit. This is the working notebook
12 of Captain Vezmarovic, the commander of the military police company of the
13 80th Motorised Brigade. Pages 48 and 49, please.
14 Mr. Danilovic, on the right hand side you see a list starting with
15 Filip Karaula and then it goes on. We look at the following pages -- if
16 we could just turn the page, please, and have a look at another couple of
17 pages, number 50, 51, 52, 53. This is a list which Captain Vezmarovic
18 claims he drew up himself, a list of the captured members of the MUP and
19 ZNG who had been brought over from Mitnica and who were guarded on the
20 18th and the morning of the 19th at the Ovcara farm.
21 Are you aware of a list like this being drawn up by Captain
23 A. To be quite honest, I can't remember whether indeed he drew up a
24 list like that, or not. But he probably did. I can't say I noticed him
25 doing that in all honesty. I couldn't say. I suppose he did make a list.
1 It is obvious he --
2 MR. MOORE: Could I just object, because it's happened a number of
3 times that the witness himself says he doesn't know, and that he's
4 guessing on a number of occasions.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It sounds conjectural, Mr. Vasic, just the witness
6 trying to see what he suggests is an explanation for the document.
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I am asking the witness about this
8 document and he'll tell us what he remembers, and what he does not
9 remember, what he knows and what he does not know.
10 JUDGE PARKER: He says he doesn't remember, Mr. Vasic.
11 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] He says he doesn't remember the list.
12 I agree. I will refrain from showing him the list any more, since he
13 doesn't seem to remember this list, or rather, he said he didn't remember
14 Captain Vezmarovic drawing up a list, but perhaps I can ask the witness
15 the following question.
16 Q. Was there any order to draw up a list of POWs?
17 A. Yes, an order came to make a list, for us to know exactly who the
18 POWs were. There was an order like that.
19 Q. But you don't know who made the lists or when?
20 A. It's really difficult for me to say. It has been a very long
21 time, and I would be hard put to remember the exact time when lists were
22 made, in terms of hours and minutes.
23 Q. Could we please go to page 63 now. It's not about the list. It's
24 about something else.
25 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry. I tried to indicate to my learned friend
1 that I did object to that course, if this witness doesn't know that this
2 man has made the list, how can he be referred to the content? All it is
3 is analogous to leading the witness, at the very least.
4 JUDGE PARKER: We have moved on, Mr. Moore. I'm sorry, you're
5 still wanting the witness to look at some part of this list, are you?
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. This is in fact no
7 longer a list. This is a note about the handover of POWs, or rather,
8 their surrender. I want to know whether the witness remembers.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Well, Mr. Moore is objecting to the procedure of
10 showing the witness a document and then asking for his comments. As you
11 know, the normal procedure would be to ask the witness about events. And
12 if the witness, in his recollection, recalls a list or recalls a note or
13 is then able to identify a note as being what he was talking about, the
14 document becomes admissible. It's going to be slower, but Mr. Moore is
15 putting that objection, as I understand it.
16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour, but the document
17 under consideration now is already exhibited. This is a Captain
18 Vezmarovic exhibit.
19 JUDGE PARKER: It is not a matter of exhibiting the document.
20 It's a matter of whether the witness knows anything about the document or
21 what is recorded in it, and that should be his own oral evidence, not
22 prompted by what somebody may have written in some document at some time.
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, Your Honour.
24 I'll first ask the witness and then we'll see what happens.
25 Q. Mr. Danilovic, you were the commander of this facility on the 18th
1 and 19th of November.
2 A. Indeed.
3 Q. Can you tell us who brought these people from Mitnica to your
4 facility, the facility under your command and control? And who did you
5 surrender these people to?
6 A. The ZNG/MUP POWs were brought to the camp by a security detail led
7 by an officer, whose name simply escapes me.
8 We put the prisoners up in a building at the Ovcara farm where
9 security was provided. From the afternoon of the 18th through the
10 following night to the 19th, at some point in the morning when they were
11 transferred to Sremska Mitrovica for further procedure. Now which officer
12 it was who brought them there with the security detail escorting them, I
13 really can't remember the officer's name.
14 Q. Do you remember if they were surrendered to that same officer on
15 their way to Sremska Mitrovica?
16 A. I really can't remember.
17 Q. Was there an officer to whom you surrendered these POWs when they
18 were being taken to Sremska Mitrovica?
19 A. Of course. We couldn't just leave them to the security people.
20 There had to be someone to officially take charge of them and escort them
21 to the collection centre in Sremska Mitrovica.
22 Q. I would like to show you, now, what Captain Vezmarovic noted down
23 about the surrender of these prisoners or about their handover, to see if
24 that can jog your memory, and that's what I have on page 63. It's about
25 the officer you mentioned.
1 "Received on the 18th of November, 1991 at around 1600 hours at
2 the Ovcara farm. Handed over to Captain Karanfilov. On the 19th of
3 November at about 11.30 hours. List submitted to the Sremska Mitrovica
4 KPD on the 19th of November at about 1530 hours". What about this entry?
5 Does that perhaps ring a bell? Do you remember that, the officer
6 mentioned here, this Captain?
7 A. I suppose that it was almost certainly him, but I couldn't
8 remember his name. It has been an awfully long time and many things
9 happened, too many things in fact for me to keep track of every single
10 person that appeared.
11 Q. Who brought these lists to Sremska Mitrovica? Is this something
12 you remember? Was it actually Captain Vezmarovic who physically took the
13 lists as far as Sremska Mitrovica?
14 A. I think it might have been him, but I really can't say with any
15 degree of certainty whatsoever.
16 Q. Thank you. You told us yesterday that in your capacity as Chief
17 of Staff, while you were away, you later familiarised yourself with the
18 entries to the operations log as to what happened while you were away,
19 because one of your duties was to check the operations, the war log,
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can we just please have Exhibit 371, the entry for the 20th of
23 November at 1600 hours. For the benefit of my learned friends, the
24 English reference is page 11.
25 We can have the English brought up on our monitors, since the
1 witness has a B/C/S copy available.
2 Mr. Danilovic, have you found that?
3 A. What exactly did you say?
4 Q. The 20th of November, 1600 hours.
5 A. Yes, I've got it.
6 Q. Can I ask you to please read what it says there, and tell us what
7 it means.
8 A. It reads: "The brigade commander has requested that shifts of
9 officers be assigned for guarding the captured ZNG and MUP members. A
10 military police platoon will be responsible for this, as well as the
11 officers from the brigade command". It's a poor copy of the handwriting.
12 It's not readily legible. This was actually an assignment that was handed
13 out by the brigade commander.
14 Q. Doesn't the same thing apply as to when you were the security
15 commander, the same units were used, the military police platoon and the
16 brigade command officers, right?
17 A. Yes. I can't really be that specific. There may have been
18 someone from the reconnaissance company involved in the security regime on
19 the 18th of November when I was a POW camp commander.
20 MR. MOORE: I object again. Pure speculation. The witness has
21 given evidence that he wasn't at Ovcara on that day. He is using phrases
22 that it may have been, and it's exactly the same objection that I lodged
23 earlier on.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Vasic, it is an objectionable
25 way of obtaining evidence. The issue is whether this witness remembers
1 anything about these events. And on the face of it at the moment, he does
3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was asking, based on
4 this entry, about the units that were used. I didn't ask the witness
5 whether he was there on the 20th. I just wanted to check whether he saw
6 the same units being used in the operations log, and then asked him
7 whether these were the same units he had used on the 18th based on the
8 entries in the operations log, but I will stop this line of questions so
9 we can move on.
10 Q. Mr. Danilovic, what sort of reputation did Captain first class
11 commander of the LAD PVO of the 80th Brigade enjoy with his soldiers?
12 A. It is with full responsibility that I can now tell you that the
13 commander of the LAD PVO of the 80th Motorised Brigade was a highly
14 trained officer held in high esteem by his soldiers, and well liked too.
15 They trusted him in every way, ranging from his military training and
16 ability to any other quality that might be desirable in a military
18 He enjoyed a particularly high reputation in his own unit, and in
19 his work with the soldiers.
20 Q. Did you ever hear of any problems that he had since he's known to
21 be a non-Serb and joined the division just before the departure for
23 A. Nothing that I'd be familiar with. Nothing that I'd know of. It
24 is quite evident, however, that he was the one who got the division
25 mobilised, who brought it into the deployment area of the brigade, and
1 that he was involved in combat operations throughout. I can't be
2 specific. There may have been random individual incidents, someone saying
3 something, but nothing that could possibly have affected his work as an
4 officer or could have kept him from performing his tasks, establishment
6 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Danilovic. I'll ask you some questions
7 to do with the rules that applied in your unit.
8 What about the security organs in your unit, did they hand out
9 orders to military police units that were there?
10 A. The chief of security of the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade
11 was authorised to issue certain orders directly to the military police
12 company commander. No doubt about that. And the same thing applied to
13 the brigade commander, or the Chief of Staff in his absence.
14 Q. You referred here to the commander's absence. You were Chief of
15 Staff of the 80th Brigade, right? What were the situations in which you
16 were authorised to sign orders on behalf of your commander? Give us an
17 example, please.
18 A. A Chief of Staff in any command only ever signs documents or
19 orders when the brigade commander is absent. If he's at a forward command
20 post or anywhere outside his original command post, then the Chief of
21 Staff has the responsibility of signing documents and orders in the
22 commander's absence. And this is in keeping with the combat rules for all
24 Q. If I understand you correctly, you say that he exercises command
25 over a unit when the commander himself is absent. He acts as some sort of
1 a deputy, right?
2 A. Yes, that is very much so.
3 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Danilovic. I have no further questions
4 for you.
5 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this concludes my
6 examination-in-chief of this witness.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
8 Mr. Borovic.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
10 No questions.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It would seem that I have several
14 questions for this witness, since I've got my lectern up and all the
15 questions prepared. So if I may have a go, please.
16 Cross-Examination by Mr. Lukic:
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, as a special privilege, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Danilovic, good morning. I'm Milan Lukic, one of Mr.
20 Sljivancanin's Defence counsel. I would like to ask you a number of
21 questions now stemming from the answers you provided to Mr. Vasic. I'll
22 mostly be addressing the subjects that you have already discussed.
23 A. Clear enough.
24 Q. The same thing applies as before. Please hold a little after each
25 of my questions so as to avoid any overlaps between questions and answers.
1 Question number 1. Can you tell me about the similarities and
2 differences between an operations log and a war log, in a brigade? You
3 appear to be familiar with the way these documents are kept and produced.
4 A. There certainly is some degree of difference between the two. The
5 name itself, a war log, implies that this is one of the paramount
6 documents in any command. The kind of document kept in wartime is combat
7 operations, are conducted entries are made to the war log recording the
8 most important developments over a 24-hour period in an area of combat
10 An operations log is more of a peacetime thing, it's kept in
11 peacetime. Normally it records the situation that prevails at a certain
12 time in a unit. And this would be the essential difference between the
13 two. Now, why were both logs kept? I don't think that is a relevant
14 issue right now.
15 Q. It's not something that I necessarily want to know about. Perhaps
16 the OTP might. You have looked at both documents during your proofing and
17 during your preparation for this testimony. I'm talking about the
18 operations log and the war log of your own brigade.
19 We agree, if I put it to you that in relation to the security
20 regime at Ovcara and what went on there, in terms of putting up prisoners,
21 their detention, there's a lot more information in the operations log in
22 relation to that than in the war log, if you look at all the information
23 that both documents bring. Or rather, this information in relation to
24 this matter primarily entered into the operations log as opposed to the
25 war log.
1 A. Quite obviously entries should have been made to both logs.
2 However, the operations duty officers of the brigade command, depending on
3 whose shift it was, did what they did and kept the logs this way.
4 Sometimes -- not all information was recorded in great detail, but
5 sometimes even the nitty-gritty was provided in specific cases. As far as
6 Ovcara was concerned, both sorts of entries should have been made just to
7 keep it identical.
8 Q. But there's actually more information to be found in the
9 operations log?
10 A. Yes, that's how it comes across. That's how it turned out and
11 that much is obvious.
12 Q. I'll ask you several questions regarding the military police
13 company, what Mr. Vasic asked you near the end of his
14 examination-in-chief. The evidence that we have heard suggests that the
15 military police company remained attached to the command throughout its
16 time in Vukovar and that it was a staff unit for all practical intents
17 throughout the fighting in Vukovar. The military police company led by
18 Mr. Vezmarnovic. Would you agree with what I'm putting to you? This is
19 merely evidence that we have heard in this trial.
20 A. Yes, that is not in dispute.
21 Q. You looked at the operations log twice yesterday and I'm not
22 asking for that to be read out again, but I would just like to remind you
23 that 14th of November entry at about 1700 hours, the 15th of November,
24 1700 hours, daily combat reports recorded in the operations log in both
25 cases we have references there; two reports by the military police
1 company. What exactly do you know about those daily combat reports? Were
2 they regular and who were they submitted to?
3 A. Daily combat reports were submitted by all the brigade command
4 units, including the staff units, including the military police company.
5 These were received at the operation centre of the brigade command, and it
6 is the duty operations officer who receives all of these in order to draft
7 a regular combat report which, in turn, is signed by the brigade commander
8 and submitted by the brigade commander to the superior command. This is a
9 document about the overall combat readiness of a unit on a given day.
10 Q. As far as I understand, these reports were submitted on a daily
11 basis by 1700 hours, right?
12 A. Yes. On a daily basis.
13 Q. Do you know if these reports continued to be submitted at the time
14 the brigade moved to Vukovar and, for all practical intents, became the
15 town command?
16 A. Yes, the practice continued. Reports were still being sent.
17 Q. A little while ago Mr. Vasic said to you about -- asked you about
18 who was authorised to pass orders to the commander of the motor police.
19 My question is whether the security element was authorised to give orders
20 to the commander of the company of the motor police or only if authorised
21 to do so by the commander.
22 A. It is usual practice for the commander to give authority to the
23 commander of security, to give authority to the commander of the military
24 police, since he is best acquainted with the capabilities of the military
25 police, and thus best able to employ them as a staff unit.
1 Q. You have also said already, and I will repeat what we have heard
2 already, you, as Chief of Staff, that's how I interpret your testimony --
3 MR. MOORE: Could I just.
4 Q. -- were authorised to pass orders.
5 MR. MOORE: Sorry, I'm concerned about an entry on 2123, and it
6 has an importance for the case, clearly. I read, in the English: "It is
7 usual practice for the commander to give authority to the commander of
8 security, to give authority to the commander". Our understanding would
9 be, is that it is orders, and not authority. And I see Mr. Lukic nodding
10 in agreement with that. And there is an important distinction.
11 JUDGE PARKER: You are content that the word is
12 appropriately "orders", are you, Mr. Lukic? Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I didn't want to discuss this issue
14 with the witness or to produce evidence, but the question was: Can the
15 security element give orders? I'm not speaking about control of the
16 motorised police, but can the security element at the brigade, the
17 motorised infantry brigade give orders to the motor police only if
18 authorised to do so by the commander?
19 So if they have a special authority to do so, that is what I mean.
20 A. I believe that I said a minute ago that certain authorities for
21 their employment, but that is regulated by the rules that are in force for
22 the motor police, what the security element can do, what kind of orders
23 they can pass, if authorised by the commander. This is usual practice and
24 has never been a problem and we didn't have any problems with that while
25 we were attacking Vukovar, as far as I know.
1 Q. Let me simplify some more. You know that there are rules of
2 service pertaining to the activities of the military police and the
3 security element.
4 Do you know whether, at the time, these rules were adhered to in
5 your brigade?
6 A. Yes. They were adhered to the way it is regulated by rules of
7 engagement for the units.
8 Q. Did you, as Chief of Staff, at any time -- we're talking now about
9 the time when your brigade was around Vukovar -- pass out orders to the
10 commander of the military police company without prior authority received
11 from commander Vojnovic?
12 A. Whenever the commander was absent, I gave orders to the commander
13 of the military police, but while the commander of the brigade was
14 present, it was not necessary. Only if the commander was extremely busy,
15 I consulted him whether I could give orders to the military police, to
16 perform some duties from his responsibility.
17 Q. So only after prior consultation with the commander?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So this refers to the testimony about that -- that was on page
20 8829, reference number 15/5. You testified about your departure on the
21 mission at Nemci village. So you left on the 20th in the morning and
22 returned on the 21st.
23 Do you know -- I will first ask you if any soldier is killed on
24 that day in your unit? Is it necessary to report about that to the
25 superior command if the death of a soldier is established and his identity
1 is known?
2 A. Absolutely. At the same moment. As soon as possible a report
3 about an extraordinary event in the unit is made. That's what we did and
4 there have been no problems with that. This was also the case with
5 soldiers being wounded or committing suicide or leaving the unit. This
6 was all reported and this was also put in the combat report.
7 Q. If the military police must conduct an on-site investigation, this
8 is probably also reported, isn't it?
9 A. Yes. A report is produced, only -- as far as I remember some
10 reports followed the security line. They did not follow the line of
11 command. That was what the rules said too. But in the case of woundings,
12 et cetera, this followed the command line. But certain reports followed
13 the security line toward the superior command.
14 Q. Do you remember that Captain Vezmarovic, on the 19th or 20th,
15 performed an on-site investigation in Sotin. Do you remember anything
16 about that? If you do, all right. If you don't, well ...
17 A. I remember little. One or two soldiers from the pioneer regiment
18 were killed while clearing the area. I cannot remember anything more,
19 because it's been too long a time. So I cannot confirm who was where, and
20 at what time and so on.
21 Q. Sir, please take another look at Exhibit 371. The entry dated
22 18th November, 14 hours 30 minutes. Mr. Vasic has already read this out
23 to you, so I won't repeat that. The operations log.
24 A. Just a minute. On the 18th?
25 Q. Yes. At 14 hours 10 minutes. This says that everybody had left
1 to the Ovcara farm and the task was to establish a camp to admit captured
2 members of the ZNG and MUP from the Mitnica area.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you said about the following item that you had been appointed
5 as commander of that camp.
6 A. Yes. Indeed.
7 Q. And on the following day, as has been said, at 1200 hours, they
8 were handed over and taken to Sremska Mitrovica for further processing?
9 A. Yes. For further processing.
10 Q. And so was then the procedure about the group from Mitnica
12 A. Yes, this part of the task was accomplished and the Mitnica group
13 was taken to the collection centre at Sremska Mitrovica without any
15 Q. And you will agree with me that what is said here on the 19th at
16 1200 hours is followed by the sentence that you had been relieved from any
17 further responsibility regarding these POWs?
18 A. Yes, that's what it was.
19 Q. You testified to Mr. Vasic that according to your recollection on
20 that night, there were no problems. Do you remember whether Mr.
21 Vezmarovic was present while security was provided?
22 A. Yes, he was there. But whether he was there all the time, I can't
23 say. But certainly he was present.
24 Q. Do you remember the presence of Mr. Vukosavljevic during that
25 night, the head of security?
1 A. I think that Dragoljub Vukosavljevic came there. He wasn't there
2 all the time, I think, but he did come to Ovcara sometimes.
3 Q. Do you remember whether, during that night, some local people came
4 there to enquire who was in there, and what will happen to them?
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm referring to page
6 8412 of the testimony.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that during that night
8 there was no intervention, no enquiries by local population or members of
9 the TO on any grounds at the established POW camp.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. We heard testimony here that they went there and enquired what was
12 going to happen to those people. Not that they had any requests. Is it
13 possible that anything like that happened?
14 A. Mr. Lukic, I can say for certain, where I was, with security,
15 which means inside the hangar, nobody was admitted. Nobody came there.
16 Nobody enquired. I cannot say what went on outside that facility, because
17 there was also external security outside that facility. For that part,
18 outside the camp itself, I cannot say anything about that. But I can make
19 statements about the situation inside the camp, because that's where I
21 Q. While you were inside, did you receive an information about the
22 arrival of some drunken officer during the night? Did anybody inform you
23 about that?
24 A. Frankly, I really cannot say. I don't remember.
25 Q. Good. All right. At the moment, when you were appointed camp
1 commander, you will agree that as of that moment the security of the camp
2 was your responsibility?
3 A. Yes, absolutely. If you're commander, then you're responsible for
4 the duties entrusted to you. The POWs are entrusted to you, to look after
5 them and keep them safe under the orders of the superior command and under
6 the orders of the superior command you will pass them on. I don't think
7 this is unclear or problematic in any way.
8 Q. Yes. I agree. Don't mind my asking such questions, which are
9 important to me because of some facts. So if you are camp commander,
10 according to the principles of unity and subordination, unity of command
11 and subordination, then you received orders and passed orders to your
13 A. Yes, absolutely. The security or responsibility exclusively is to
14 the camp commander for the carrying out of their tasks. That's what it's
16 Q. Can you tell us who Vezmarovic was and what his responsibility
17 was, his tasks?
18 A. Vezmarovic's soldiers and the ones from the company of the
19 military police had the task of securing those prisoners. So his role was
20 very important and responsible.
21 Q. And he received orders directly from you?
22 A. Yes, absolutely.
23 Q. Let me ask you first, did you spend all that night inside the
24 hanger or did you go outside also?
25 A. I may have gone outside a few times, but most of the time I spent
1 inside. You'll understand, there are physiological needs.
2 Q. Did you receive information or did you see, during that night,
3 that a large group of civilians was brought to Ovcara and that a number of
4 vehicles was left there, civilian vehicles? Do you remember anything
5 about that?
6 A. I cannot remember details. I think that there were some busses,
7 perhaps a truck too. Those people were civilian population that was to be
8 evacuated to the Croatian side. But the Croats refused to admit them and
9 I think they were returned to spend the night there, and then it would be
10 decided what would happen later. As far as I remember, that's what
12 Q. Did you receive information that on the 19th or during the night
13 of the 19th there was a number -- great number of civilians who spent the
14 night at Ovcara?
15 A. Yes, that's how it was, what it was like.
16 Q. But you didn't receive any orders regarding the providing of
17 security for those civilians?
18 A. I, as camp commander, had no authority for providing security for
19 civilians. I have had no relevant tasks.
20 Q. Mr. Danilovic, do you know what kind of means of communications
21 were in place between the command at Ovcara, which we call the yellow
22 house, or the whole area of Ovcara and Negoslavci, were there any kind of
24 A. I believe that there was no wire communication. We only sent
25 carriers, because the camp had to be established very soon and events
1 happened very rapidly. There may have been radio communication, but I
2 don't remember details, but we did send carriers. Absolutely.
3 Q. Could we go into private session for a moment, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
5 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I'm now referring to the events after the 20th, when you returned.
23 Did you learn anything about the drafting of a list of persons brought to
24 Ovcara, and that that list was with Vojnovic?
25 A. No. I really didn't.
1 Q. Does the name Gavrilovic mean anything to you, with regard to the
2 facts I am asking about? Not generally speaking.
3 A. No, I really cannot remember.
4 Q. I only have a few more questions and I'll be done before the
6 I'm looking at the entry dated the 18th of November where the --
7 where it is announced that the Mitnica group would be brought there, which
8 actually happened. And on the following day they were taken away.
9 You said that they had surrendered, that the surrender was
10 preceded by negotiations about the surrender to the JNA.
11 A. I, as camp commander, had the task of organising shifts and
12 soldiers for the -- for securing the POW camp. It was -- I was told that
13 they were soldiers from Mitnica. About the other details, the manner of
14 their surrender, and their changing clothes, et cetera, I'm not familiar
15 with. I really don't know anything about that.
16 Q. All right. Could you please take a look at the entry in the war
17 log dated November 19th, 1800 hours. We read that yesterday.
18 A. Just a minute. I have to find it first.
19 Q. It's the war log.
20 A. The war log?
21 Q. The entry dated 19th of November, 1800 hours.
22 A. 19th, 1800 hours. Yes.
23 Q. It was established that they were taken away and the following
24 sentence: "That combat operations were conducted in the area of the
25 hospital, and that the surrender of the remaining forces of ZNG and MUP is
1 expected, and that providing security for the POW must be prepared".
2 A. Yes, this is what it says.
3 Q. Did you receive any information that anybody had surrendered in
4 the area around the hospital on the 19th or the 20th of November or were
5 you informed about that? I'm talking about the surrender.
6 A. I do not remember whether I had any information about surrender --
7 surrenders at the hospital area.
8 Q. Did you receive any information about surrender of other groups of
9 soldiers, organised surrender after the Mitnica group?
10 A. Until -- or before I left to the other motorised battalion, there
11 was nothing of the kind. After returning from the inspection of the
12 Second Motorised Battalion, there was no official meeting about the
13 surrender of members of the ZNG and the MUP of the Republic of Croatia in
14 the area of the hospital about the surrender or providing security for
15 them. So there was no discussion about that at any official meeting. I
16 am positive about that.
17 Q. Yes, that was all I wanted to know.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm done with examining
19 the witness. Thank you.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. We will have our first break
21 and resume at ten minutes to eleven.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore now has some questions for you. Mr.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Moore:
2 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
3 Q. Mr. Danilovic, I have some questions. You'll be pleased to hear
4 not too many. I would like clarification about some of the things that
5 you have said.
6 Now when I ask these questions it is not to catch you out. I just
7 want it to be clarified. You understand that? Is the answer yes?
8 A. Fine.
9 Q. Thank you. In your evidence you said that the security organs,
10 the chief of security was authorised to issue certain orders directly to
11 the military police. No doubt about that. What did you mean by that? I
12 didn't quite understand.
13 A. Your Honours, Mr. Prosecutor, without entails, there is only
14 certain orders, in terms of using military police as a specialised unit
15 for certain purposes, because a security organ is the officer in a unit
16 command providing specialised guidance, technical guidance, and he is the
17 one best placed to advise a commander on how to use that unit. There are
18 certain orders, such as setting up reception, and other such assignments
19 involving command security, such orders can be issued by the chief of
20 security. So that the unit commander is not responsible for every single
21 order that is issued.
22 It is for ease of handling in order to make the unit itself easier
23 use. What that means is that the chief can issue certain kinds of orders
24 to a subordinate unit as far as special purposes or special use are
25 concerned, be it a MP battalion, MP platoon or MP company. So that is
1 precisely what I had in mind when I gave that answer, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 Q. When you say -- thank you very much. When you say "setting up
3 reception," what do you mean by that? Give us an example, please.
4 A. Every command has an entrance or a gate. Some sort of reception,
5 that is normally organised. This is normally manned by soldiers or
6 policemen. You must have enough of those. Especially if that unit has a
7 military police unit. So this is used to filter visitors to the command
8 in a way, in terms of identifying any persons coming in, in terms of
9 announcing their arrival to the commander, whoever is in charge, and have
10 the reasons clearly stated.
11 It is for security reasons that such receptions are set up at the
12 entrance to any headquarters or command. And this is normally the job of
13 a security chief. That is a simple example.
14 Q. Well, can I try and ask a simple question. Why is it -- why would
15 a security organ be responsible for that? What attributes do they bring,
16 to ensure that they control that situation? I don't understand.
17 A. The combat rules or the rules governing the work of a security
18 organ envisage a very specific set of criteria. I'm not sure when the
19 last time was that I looked at those, but based on my work, as Chief of
20 Staff, I know that it was a chief of security that I'd always task with
21 setting up the reception area.
22 It is not really a complicated or a difficult task, but it is
23 certainly necessary to ensure a proper functioning, in terms of security,
24 of any headquarters or command post.
25 In my evidence, I pointed out that because no security was
1 provided for the command building between the 15th and the 18th of
2 November, 1991, an entire command was wiped out, massacred. So I'm not
3 sure how to put this. It's not really that simple a task either. But it
4 is not quite so difficult as to make it impossible for a security organ to
5 carry out. However, this sort of assignment is normally left to the
6 security organ.
7 Q. Can I just read something to you. It's evidence that has been
8 given by a witness and I would like you to, if you're able to assist us,
9 and do so. The following question. The military police, who gave them
10 orders? Answer: Usually it was the chief of security who issued orders
11 to the military police, as did the Chief of Staff. Perhaps some of the
12 operative organs, if the people I mentioned previously were absent.
13 Question: What about the security organs, did they or were they
14 able to give orders to the military police?
15 Answer: Yes. Especially in professional matters.
16 Do you agree with that?
17 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I certainly do. I don't think there's anything
18 contradictory about this. It certainly can happen that one of the
19 officers in charge is away from the command at any given point in time,
20 and that's why an operations organ chief, at the brigade command, for
21 example, can give an assignment to the commander of a military police
22 company. I don't think there's anything contentious about that at all, or
23 unclear for that matter.
24 I think that is the way it works. I think so.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 A. You're welcome.
2 Q. Can I ask you about the Mitnica evacuation. Would you mind?
3 A. Not at all. Why would I? I've told you all I know already and I
4 did take a solemn oath yesterday, didn't I? The threat was 100,000 Euros
5 or seven years of prison for perjuring myself, therefore I can hardly
6 avoid saying what I know was the case and only the truth.
7 Q. I'm very grateful for the figures. I wasn't aware of them. I
8 suspect someone else has told you and I'm not go going to be suggesting
9 that at this point anyway, but can I just deal with Mitnica, if I may.
10 If one sits back, looks at Mitnica and the evacuation, the control
11 of the prisoners and the subsequent removal to Sremska Mitrovica, would it
12 be right to say it was an operation well done and without any significant
14 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, this was a long time ago and if I consider
15 that and all of the events that followed after the evacuation, not just
16 because I happened to be the camp commander, I'm sure the other officers
17 would have done the same thing, but I think it is quite evident that this
18 went smoothly. No major problems, at least. And fortunately, the first
19 group arrived where it was supposed to arrive.
20 I must say I deeply regret that this tragedy occurred. I regret
21 the fact that those people were killed in such a barbaric and inhumane
22 way. I'm not sure what sort of prison sentences were passed in relation
23 to those 16 TO members who actually massacred those people. But I'm
24 equally sad about these people who stand indicted in terms of command
25 responsibility for something that happened after Mitnica.
1 I'm sorry for providing such a broad answer to your question, but
2 it is with the best of intentions.
3 Q. Can I ask two small favours of you. Firstly, would you avoid
4 calling me Mr. Prosecutor. You can call me Mr. Moore, or, sir, I don't
5 mind. I don't really like the term Mr. Prosecutor. I'm just trying to
6 present evidence. That's the first thing.
7 The second thing, could you just keep your answers a little
9 In relation to the reply that you gave, what exactly do you
10 mean "I'm equally sad about these people who stand indicted in terms of
11 command responsibility for something that happened after Mitnica." What
12 do you mean by that?
13 A. My desire is to be entirely honest about this. My main reason for
14 being so saddened is the fact that the command of the Guards Brigade or
15 rather those members who were involved in capturing the ZNG and MUP
16 members, if they'd wanted to have those people killed, they would have
17 killed them during combat operations. This, however, was most certainly
18 not the case.
19 The Guards Brigade had as many as 30 per cent of its own officers
20 killed, while combat operations were still underway. But it never for a
21 moment occurred to anyone, during the actual fighting, and the capturing
22 of these people, to even lift a finger or to do anything to these people
23 or to harm them in any way. So if anybody could please interpret that for
24 me, I'm sorry I just had to get it off my chest.
25 Q. Well, you see there is a problem in relation to that reply,
1 because we've got a document and we'll show it to you in a moment from
2 Zivota Panic on the 18th of November, where he specifically warned against
3 the possibility of atrocities and he clearly foresaw the difficulties that
4 not only might occur but had occurred elsewhere. Have you seen this
5 document? Have you been shown it? It's Exhibit, I think, 415. Have you
6 been shown that by Mr. Vasic or anybody else?
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it would only be
8 fair for my learned friend, Mr. Moore, to give the exact reference to the
9 witness about the document. This way we don't have the document number.
10 We don't have the dates and perhaps it could be displayed on the screen
11 and then the witness can answer. I think that would be the right course
12 of action to take.
13 JUDGE PARKER: The question so far, Mr. Vasic, is simply: Have
14 you been shown it or seen it? If we go beyond that, your comment is
15 entirely wise and appropriate. Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Moore.
17 MR. MOORE: Well, the first question is: Have you seen the
18 document? Have you ever been shown the document dated the 18th of
19 November, from the Zivota Panic to the various units?
20 A. I would really like to be reminded of that particular document.
21 It's very difficult to be specific, Mr. Moore, about this and I'm being
22 very honest. If it's available, I would love to see it, please. Perhaps
23 then I could give you a more specific answer. It has been a very long
24 time, and I would definitely be hard put to remember every single detail.
25 Q. Well, as I say, I think it is Exhibit 415. Can that be pulled up
1 on the screen so everybody can see it.
2 Have you got it in front of you?
3 A. Yes, I have.
4 Q. Have you seen this document before?
5 A. [No interpretation]
6 Q. Well, could you feel free --
7 A. I really can't say. I can't confirm that, Mr. Moore.
8 Q. Well, can I try and help you. If one -- and feel free to read the
9 whole document so that you don't think I'm trying to catch you out. But
10 the core of the question really or the substance of the question can be
11 found in paragraph 8.
12 So would you like to take some time and read that?
13 A. Fine. Well, there is nothing special about this, except it is
14 pointed out that any acts of revenge will be prevented against those
15 captured. We all knew about this, the subordinate commands, but its all
16 about the international law of war and the Geneva Conventions. It is all
17 enshrined right there. I don't think there is anything very particular
18 about this. The command of the 1st Military District focuses on this, and
19 underlines the need for care to be taken of this at all levels of command.
20 Q. Well shall we have a look little at the paragraph 8? Shall we do
21 that? And ask you one or two questions about it. So if we can focus on
22 paragraph 8. Have you got it there? You can read it.
23 A. Sure I can. Sure I can, Mr. Moore. It's no problem the at all.
24 Q. "So every unit must fully control the situation on the territory
25 of its area of responsibility". Well, that's actually a matter for any
1 commanding officer. You agree? It's obvious.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And then a reinforcement of it. "Commanders at all levels will be
4 responsible for this". So it's indicating it's obvious, but beware,
5 chaps, because if you don't do it, you're going to be responsible. Yes?
6 A. Yes, yes. Clear enough.
7 Q. Because the doctrine basically is: There is culpability when it
8 comes to zones of responsibility. A person can be held responsible for
9 something that may be happening within his zone of responsibility or units
10 under his control. That's right, isn't it?
11 A. Definitely.
12 Q. Wartime laws have not entered into force and therefore, as always,
13 nobody has the right to retribution or other kinds of revenge. Again,
14 here we have a situation in Vukovar, it has been a extremely hard fought
15 battle. TO units, paramilitary units and tempers are up and threats are
16 around. So be careful. That's what it says. Do you agree? Again,
17 nothing exceptional.
18 A. I do agree with that, Mr. Moore, yes.
19 Q. Thank you. But look at the next phrase. "Which some local
20 TOs/Territorial Defence units carried out". Now, that phrase isn't
21 saying: May carry it out. It actually says "have already carried it
22 out". It's in the past tense. It's not saying beware because I am
23 looking into a crystal ball. It is saying, "beware" because some other
24 local TOs and Territorial Defence units have carried this out. That's
25 right, isn't it? That's the guts of paragraph 8.
1 A. Mr. Moore, that's what it says. However, I think I can state with
2 full responsibility that I'm not familiar with any act of retribution that
3 was committed. I as the Chief of Staff of the 80th Motorised Brigade,
4 there can be no doubt that these things did, indeed, occur as reflected in
5 the order of the commander of the 1st Military District. All I'm saying
6 is, I was not aware of anything like that. I wasn't aware of any specific
7 areas. I wasn't aware of any specific places, or any specific TO units
8 that committed such acts.
9 Q. Well, forgive me. There is two questions that arise out of this.
10 You are not aware. This is coming in from Zivota Panic to Mr. Mrksic and,
11 basically, with this sort of order, and I seem to remember it says:
12 "Very urgent". Are you saying, therefore, as a Chief of Staff, you were
13 not informed of the contents of this particular order?
14 A. Mr. Moore, I believe we received an order from OG South, because
15 this order went straight to the command of OG South. General Mrksic
16 received this order. It was based on this order and that was the usual
17 practice, the order was passed down on to the lower level commands.
18 Therefore, I probably did not have this document physically
19 available to me.
20 Q. The reality is, you have actually no recollection of receiving any
21 written order from Mrksic on this document. That's correct, isn't it?
22 That's the truth? Do you remember the seven years, 100,000 Euros?
23 A. We did receive the order. We did receive the warning, Mr. Moore.
24 I never denied that, did I? I'm just saying I do not believe actually
25 having this specific order in my hands to look at, but an order stemming
1 from this very order was received at the command. That much is certain.
2 It was pursuant to that order that the brigade command was supposed to
3 take appropriate measures.
4 Q. Well, can you tell us where this order is? Because nobody can
5 find any written order at all. And you can check the war diaries, you
6 check the operational diaries. There is nothing in there suggesting that
7 this has been transmitted. Can you assist us with this, please?
8 A. The order simply had to arrive at the brigade command, Mr. Moore.
9 Given the fact that it was described as very urgent and strictly
10 confidential, this certainly would have meant that serious issues were at
12 If the order was somehow misplaced at the command of the 80th
13 Motorised Brigade, then it should have been found at the command of OG
14 South, because of at the very end of the order it is stated explicitly who
15 the order is submitted to, and who it was forwarded to. You always have a
16 list of addressees at the end of every order, who the order is supposed to
17 be forwarded to, and you have a list of specific units that are supposed
18 to receive an order. If there's none to be found at the command of the
19 80th Motorised Brigade, then it should be at the command of OG South, as
20 having been forwarded to the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade.
21 Q. You keep using phrases "it had to", "it should have". Can we
22 actually deal with what you know? Shall we? Shall we try and deal with
23 the reality rather than the speculation.
24 Now, you have no recollection, have you, of receiving a document
25 which transmits this. Yes or no?
1 A. I'm certain that I never laid hands on this order.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. I did not actually have it.
4 Q. And if you had received this as Chief of Staff, would it be right
5 to say that you would have issued an order yourself to subordinate
6 commanders, knowing it was from Zivota Panic and very urgent?
7 A. Mr. Moore, I most certainly would have written an order and I
8 would have had it forwarded to all subordinate units. The battalion
9 division commands and the commands of all the staff units, pursuant to an
10 order from the command of the 1st Military District, measures are to be
11 taken as follows in these nine items. There is nothing contentious about
12 that. I think I would have done it, and any other officer of a similar
13 level in the brigade command would have done the same thing, I'm positive
14 about that.
15 Q. What is the function of an operations diary?
16 A. Mr. Moore, both an operations log and a war log are wartime
17 documents. War documents. These are kept at the command and can be used
18 to draw conclusions regarding the course of combat operations, the
19 readiness of certain units, its losses and casualties and so on and so
20 forth, as well as the most important moments occurring during combat
21 operations. Wounding. Killing. Loss of lines. All taking up new
22 positions during an attack. That is also recorded. This is a paramount
23 document for history. Please go ahead.
24 Q. Well, can I suggest perhaps history only --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
1 MR. MOORE: Can I suggest that perhaps history plays a slightly
2 insignificant part at that particular time, but the function of an
3 operations log is exactly that.
4 Q. It is to ensure that important orders received, orders given, or
5 events are recorded. Would that be a fair analysis?
6 A. Yes, Mr. Moore. That's accurate. There is nothing contentious
7 about it.
8 Q. And would you be kind enough now, please, to just refer to the
9 operations diary and refer to the entry showing that this Zivota Panic
10 order was transmitted in some form to lesser commanders in your cell.
11 Would you be kind enough to do that for us. Or might you have some
12 difficulty doing that?
13 A. Well, I'll have to take a look, because I can't say off the top of
14 my head.
15 Q. Well, we know it arrived on the 18th. So we look after that,
16 shall we?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Well, I've gone to the 18th. I haven't found anything. Have you
19 found anything?
20 A. On the 18th, there is -- it isn't there.
21 Q. Shall we move to the 19th?
22 A. Let's take a look, Mr. Moore.
23 Q. Can I help you to say that I haven't found it. Can you find
25 A. No, no, I can't see anything. It isn't entered.
1 Q. Shall we have a look on the 20th?
2 A. Yeah, we can have a look at the 20th, too.
3 Q. I can't find anything on the 20th. Can you?
4 A. I've scanned it as far as 1600 hours. Just a moment, please. No.
5 It isn't there.
6 Q. You said earlier on -- and because of this rolling LiveNote I can
7 never find what you say -- but from memory, you were not aware of
8 incidents previously demonstrating that TOs or irregulars had behaved in a
9 way that would place you on notice. Do you remember saying that?
10 So what you're saying is "I didn't know about any incidents."
11 That's what you said, I think, isn't it?
12 A. To be frank, I am not aware of any such incident. What the
13 commander of the first motorised district is warning about, that there
14 have been atrocities committed by some unit of the TO until the 18th of
15 November, I am not familiar with that, and I really cannot speak lightly
16 about this, but I'm sure that there has been arrogant behaviour by TO
17 members, that is certain.
18 Then there have been great problems with that. I remember some
19 small details that even in the coordination of activities with TO Vukovar,
20 without our knowledge they received financial assistance and other
21 assistance and they used it the way they wanted without informing the
22 commander of the town, and there have been such instances and nobody can
23 deny that.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic?
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] An intervention with regard to this
1 transcript. Page 45, line 2. This is about the staff of TO Vukovar. So
2 the witness was speaking about the staff of TO Vukovar, that even though
3 there was cooperation with the staff, they couldn't, et cetera. That's
4 what they meant.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I meant.
6 MR. MOORE:
7 Q. Well, don't worry about that. We're not talking about money here,
8 are we? We're not talking about arrogance. Are we? We're talking about
9 rights to retribution and other kinds of revenge. You wouldn't call that
10 arrogance, would you?
11 A. Well, when this qualifies as a crime, this is a very serious
12 thing. This goes beyond arrogance. Everybody knows that.
13 Q. When we're talking about right to retribution and other kinds of
14 revenge, we're talking about certainly serious physical harm and perhaps
15 killings. That's what we're talking about, or beatings. War crimes.
16 A. Well, yes, sure. We understand each other, Mr. Moore. There is
17 nothing contentious about this.
18 Q. Well, can I suggest to you if Colonel Mrksic had said to you, in a
19 briefing: Listen in commanders, there have been beatings, atrocities,
20 killings occurring by TO members, you would remember that, wouldn't you?
21 Because it would place you on notice of the dangers of the same thing
22 happening in Vukovar. That is correct, isn't it?
23 A. Mr. Moore, I, as Chief of Staff, I believe I was once or twice at
24 the command of OG South, but that was not in an official capacity, nor did
25 I see Colonel Mrksic, as far as I remember. Lieutenant Colonel Vojnovic,
1 in accordance with the line of command, did go to see him, did refer about
2 the situation in the brigade, and went to receive tasks. Such a high
3 ranking officer must have been warned about these things, as the command
4 of the first military district is warning about. But I did not receive
5 knowledge about that. You should ask Lieutenant Colonel Vojnovic about
6 these things, because he would be able to give you a good answer. I
7 suppose that his answer would be frank and objective, as every officer
8 should be, because the lives of their subordinates are entrusted to them.
9 They are charged with leading their men through combat so that as few as
10 possible are killed. And this applies also to this other aspect as the
11 respect of the Geneva Convention and international rules of war.
12 Q. But that's not my point. My point is perfectly simple. You are
13 Chief of Staff. If you had been told, let us say, in documentary form, by
14 way of an order coming from OG South, that atrocities had already
15 occurred, committed by TO units, it is something you would remember. That
16 is correct, is it not, because of its significance.
17 A. Well, I would have to remember. I surely would have to remember.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Shall we move to another topic? Let us deal
19 with Mitnica and the security organ.
20 You have said that Mitnica -- and I think it is generally accepted
21 the Mitnica evacuation was almost a textbook evacuation. It was well
22 organised, it was well performed, and there were no losses or significant
23 troubles; that's correct, if we look at it in the round?
24 A. That is absolutely accurate, Mr. Moore.
25 Q. You told us in evidence and I will try and find it. Oh, yes, here
1 we are. That an order had come to make a list. Why is it necessary to
2 make a list in an evacuation?
3 A. Well, Mr. Moore, that's the -- a duty and requirement so that it
4 is known which prisoners of war, by name, were surrendered for keeping so
5 that this is forwarded to the centre in question. A collection centre.
6 So that people know who is supposed to be handed over and, therefore, a
7 list is necessary. I believe that is generally known.
8 Q. Can I suggest it's a question of common sense as well, the number
9 of people that you have coming in should be the same number of people
10 going out. It is just a question of common sense, and making sure that
11 security is applied. Yes?
12 A. Absolutely, Mr. Moore. We agree on that. I don't think there's
13 anything unusual about that.
14 Q. If we look at the Mitnica evacuation, you told us that a security
15 officer came. My learned friend Mr. Vasic suggested, and indeed I
16 suggest, that the security officer was a fellow called Karanfilov.
17 A. As far as I remember, I think it was him. But don't nail me down
18 on this. Because when I'm sure, I'm sure. I think the guy was Karanfilov
19 but I can't tell 100 per cent.
20 Q. What is the function of a security organ in those circumstances?
21 Can you explain this to me?
22 A. Mr. Moore, the security organ, in such a situation, is tasked --
23 at least that was customary always -- to inspect this, the carrying out of
24 this task, which is very responsible. So he had to surrender those who
25 were entrusted to him to someone else so they would be transferred to a
1 collection centre and the further -- for further procedure to be
3 Q. But again just to try and help me, because in our army we don't
4 have a security organ -- at least not that I'm aware of -- when you're
5 talking about the security organ or the evacuation, we know the Mitnica
6 evacuations ended in Sremska Mitrovica. Why did it go to Sremska
8 A. Well, Mr. Moore, it wasn't my decision as the camp commander. It
9 was my task to accept these people, to provide accommodation for them at
10 this camp, the POW camp - whatever we choose to call it. It doesn't
11 matter - where they should stay for, for some time until they are
12 transferred. Why they were transferred to Sremska Mitrovica, I can only
13 guess. Probably the conditions for accommodation and security conditions
14 there were such that they could stay until a decision is taken what will
15 follow. Perhaps until it is established whether they had committed crimes
16 in Vukovar.
17 I can only suppose why they were sent to Sremska Mitrovica. I
18 maybe wrong, though. Obviously in Ovcara the conditions were not
19 satisfactory for a camp to function. There were no facilities. There was
20 no proper accommodation. The conditions were harsh. I described them
22 Q. Can I suggest you're absolutely right, that Sremska Mitrovica is
23 the obvious choice for the transfer of potential prisoners of war, or
24 perhaps from a Serbian perspective, to clarify if there is anybody there
25 who may have committed war crimes? It's the place that is well -- or, is
1 able to provide accommodation and an ability to filter out suspected war
2 criminals. Would that be right?
3 A. I think that's absolutely what it was like, Mr. Moore.
4 Q. And why do you say a holding facility in the Vukovar area would
5 not be appropriate for that?
6 A. Well, we have seen the order issued by Mr. Panic, one of the
7 reasons was to avoid pressure being exerted from commanders of local TO
8 units who knew the ZNG and MUP members well, so they knew perfectly well
9 what they had been doing in the preceding month -- months, during the
10 first and initial confrontations, because of which the JNA had to go there
11 to protect not only the Serbian population, but all other population too.
12 For all the well known reasons, we don't need to go into history as far as
13 the Second World War and so on.
14 So Vukovar certainly was not appropriate for POWs to be held for
15 any longer stretch of time.
16 Q. And it's much more than that. Vukovar was not appropriate for
17 POWs to be sorted. It was a -- what I will call a facilitating or a
18 transferring location, that is right, isn't it?
19 A. Well, it was a facility that was in provisional use until they are
20 evacuated for further processing, and in accordance with the Geneva
21 Convention and the rules and customs of war. I don't believe that is a
22 contentious issue.
23 Q. But why was Ovcara chosen as a detention facility, as opposed to
24 the JNA barracks?
25 A. Mr. Moore, the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade, as well as
1 the command of OG South, were at the village of Negoslavci, which means
2 that on the 18th, when the town of Vukovar fell, there weren't even the
3 most basic conditions, security conditions or others prevailed at the
4 barracks of Vukovar.
5 You and this Court are familiar that we -- with the fact that on
6 the 22nd or 23rd requested for the barracks to be repaired, to be put into
7 use because not even minimum conditions prevailed there.
8 Ovcara was suitable for passing at least one night there, so that
9 on the following day, in day light, the captured members of ZNG and MUP of
10 Croatia can -- could be transferred. So the barracks, from our point of
11 view, was completely unsatisfactory to accept POWs.
12 Q. Can I deal with Ovcara, the location of Ovcara and the choice of
13 it as a detention unit. Now, this is not an exact science, it depends on
14 the perception of the person who chooses, but with regard to Ovcara, it's
15 right to say that it was a road that went -- one road that went through
16 it. Secondly, it was not in a built up area, which meant that it
17 minimised the danger of involvement from other persons. Would that be
18 right? It was isolated.
19 A. Well, Mr. Moore, taking into account the whole of the problems
20 with relation to Ovcara, as of the 18th of November, it was appropriate
21 for setting up a camp for the collection of POWs in a safe manner, until
22 conditions for their accommodation at the main collection centre in
23 Mitrovica are created. And they could also be transmitted or emitted --
24 evacuated in a safe manner. I'm talking about the first group. And
25 that's how -- what should have happened to the second group, also.
1 What you are saying is not contentious. It is an isolated
2 facility. There is a road leading to it, and out of it. So that under
3 wartime conditions a brief stay of captured army members was possible.
4 Q. Why do you say in your evidence, That's what happened with the
5 first group and that's what should have happened to the second group? Why
6 do you say that?
7 A. I'm saying that because Ovcara -- in Ovcara, there were minimum
8 conditions for the evacuation of prisoners of war without any problems.
9 So if it was possible to do that with the first group, then it should have
10 been possible to do that in the same manner with the second group, that
11 should have been taken to Sremska Mitrovica. I have no special -- other
12 information about this.
13 Q. Thank you. Now can you try to throw your mind back to Mitnica
14 when you were there, the night of the 18th. I want to deal with that time
15 specifically. When you go to Mitnica. You remain at Mitnica. So I want
16 to deal with that, please.
17 Was there at any time -- sorry, there's an objection.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was at Mitnica.
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I don't know whether possibly the
22 interpretation is wrong, but it is suggested that my witness was at
23 Mitnica, which is not the case. We never heard that he was at Mitnica.
24 He was only commanding the group that came from Mitnica.
25 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry. Sorry, I put the question because we
1 talked about the Mitnica evacuation.
2 I want to talk about the Mitnica evacuation. My fault. I think
3 you understood that anyway.
4 A. It's not a problem.
5 Q. I just want to deal with the Mitnica evacuation and obviously it
6 is at Ovcara. So I want you to think about that, if you'd be kind enough.
7 You say that things went well. Is there anything that you can
8 remember that caused what I would call a smell of fear that might have
9 caused people to be terrified and literally I use the phrase "a smell of
10 fear"? Anything that happened when you were there to cause that?
11 A. Well, Mr. Moore, I can say quite honestly and with full
12 responsibility that I had no fear at all with regard to the prisoners
13 taken in the area of Mitnica. I don't know who could have been in fear.
14 Maybe the prisoners themselves, but I really did threaten the commander of
15 that group. I don't remember his name. And I said to him: Listen here,
16 don't you try to run or -- or do anything else that's funny, because fire
17 will be opened. So don't do that because it would be a very dumb thing to
18 do. And I guarantee that you will safely transfer to the collection
19 centre where it will be determined what will happen to you afterward.
20 So of course I cannot now go into conjectures, whether anybody was
21 in fear or not. That's my personal opinion anyway.
22 Q. No, I would suggest all you did was, you told the leader of the
23 Mitnica group: "Behave. And if you behave, nothing will happen to you."
24 In summary, that's what you said, isn't it?
25 A. Well, I can't exactly reproduce my conversation with him, but
1 that's basically what it was. And if he was here as a witness, he would
2 have been able to confirm that. And all that I have said so far,
3 yesterday and today, confirms that. So you, of course, can say when you
4 don't agree with something. But I do remember some detail from that
5 period and I think that's -- that it all was that way.
6 Q. From memory, there were 181 people, I think. 181 or 182.
7 Prisoners inside the hangar. The people guarding them, would it be right
8 to say they operated in shifts? Can we just keep your answers short on
9 this, please.
10 A. There were security shifts. I think there were two such shifts.
11 There were no problems with those shifts. As far as I remember, there
12 were 181 or 182 possibly, but I know that that was the figure. There were
13 that many people inside the hangar. The shifts took turns, one or
14 two-hour shifts, I can't remember, but it was very cold obviously and you
15 couldn't keep people just standing there in the cold with their rifles at
16 the ready. And the shifts may have been one-hour shifts or two-hour
17 shifts, but they were rotating, regularly, and they were guarding those
19 Q. And with regard to the hangar itself, it was what I will use the
20 phrase "pretty packed", fairly full of individuals inside. There was 181,
21 plus the security detail. That's right, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. Yes, that's true. I agree.
25 Q. And for lighting, did you use -- I think you used vehicle lights
1 originally; is that correct?
2 A. I can't quite remember that of all things, and I would not like to
3 be speculating about this, so say anything that was in fact wasn't the
4 case. I don't think that was the main problem we had. Our main trouble
5 was the cold and we tried to deal with that by using the haystacks in that
6 part of the hangar where the security were deployed. We gave them those
7 to use so they had something to lie down on top of, and warm up a little.
8 As for the call of nature, we tried to use those buckets and cans.
9 We tried to improvise in the corners of the hangar. It wasn't possible to
10 have each individual leave the hangar to respond to the call of nature.
11 That wasn't possible to organise. So this is what we did. And I don't
12 think it was a problem really.
13 Q. I'm not going to ask about the toileting facilities, but what I am
14 going to suggest to you is that if you want to deal with security with 181
15 people, it is essential to have light and an ability to see what they
16 might be doing. Would you agree with that? You're not just going to have
17 181 people sitting in the dark, are you?
18 A. Mr. Moore, there was some lighting. I can't say that it came from
19 a motor vehicle. There were lamps, batteries, torches, but there was
20 lighting and all movement among the prisoners could clearly be discerned.
21 The distance between those captured and their guards was no more than
22 three or four metres, I would say up to four metres at most.
23 Q. Well, are you saying, then, that somebody who would come to a door
24 of the hangar, because it was packed and there was lighting, they would be
25 able to see people inside?
1 A. That would be difficult. There were guards at the entrance and no
2 one was allowed inside without approval by the commander, approval by the
3 camp commander, and that was me. No one was allowed inside without my
5 Q. What about if someone came and came in and saw only a group of 50
6 or 60 people, in a group looking absolutely terrified. Does that
7 correspond with your memory of the 18th of November, and the Mitnica
8 evacuation? No one else seen, just 50 or 60, with complete fear in their
9 faces. Did that occur in the Mitnica evacuation?
10 A. I assume that they were afraid for the fate they would eventually
11 meet, but I didn't consider that a problem at the time. I did warn their
12 man in charge that nothing whatsoever would befall them, that they
13 wouldn't come to any grief, but at the other end of the hangar you have
14 all of those guards -- I did provide guarantees to these people that they
15 would come to no harm at all, and that was as much as I could do under the
17 Q. It's clearly the way I'm putting the question. But I will ask it
19 Let us assume that a person goes into the hangar, actually into
20 the hangar. Do you think it's feasible that he would only be able to see
21 50 people, just in a group, and not be able to see the remaining 150?
22 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Vasic.
24 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I think this is precisely what Mr.
25 Moore was objecting about earlier. He is asking the witness to speculate.
1 Would a person coming in see this many or that many people? How could the
2 witness possibly know?
3 JUDGE PARKER: Your answer, Mr. Vasic, may turn on the lighting
4 and how the prisoners were grouped inside, so the witness may be able to
5 comment. Thank you. Yes, Mr. Moore.
6 MR. MOORE:
7 Q. Can I suggest the following to you. That if a person went to the
8 door of the hangar or went slightly inside the hangar, they would not just
9 be aware of 50 people. They would be perfectly aware there would be a
10 large number, almost 150 others in that relatively small hangar. That's
11 right, isn't it?
12 A. Well, Mr. Moore, they were how should I put it? Cramped, packed
13 tightly together in that far half of the hangar and they were better off
14 that way. They were a lot warmer. It was easier for them to survive the
15 night like that. Many knew each other so they talked and talked and
16 several times I had to warn them about talking loud.
17 I had to ask them to lower their voices and whisper, because we
18 the guards were greatly bothered by this, as the whole thing went on. As
19 for how many people a person could spot on the way in, well, that really
20 depends. It was a rather small area. That's a fact. But in this
21 specific situation, under those specific circumstances, if you have 15, 16
22 or 17 guards, for example, watching over 180 men, I as an officer saw no
23 other way to do this. And this is eventually what we did. Was I wrong?
24 Was I right? That's a matter that needs evaluating.
25 Q. Well, I'm not going to express any view right or wrong. That's
1 not my task. But can I just move on to one or two other little areas.
2 Nothing actually happened at Mitnica to cause any difficulty or
3 concern, that is right, isn't it? There wasn't any crisis, any
4 significant problem, was there?
5 A. No. No problem. But in the circumstances under which those 180
6 people had been taken or the specific area -- well, this is something that
7 I'm not familiar with, and I don't wish to be speculating. They were
8 concerned for their lives, you could tell that in their faces. And that
9 is beyond dispute. Nobody can deny that. The situation was what it was.
10 It was my task to make sure they were safe. Once they were evacuated we
11 would leave it to others to take care of that.
12 Q. I'm not trying to fetter your reply in any way, please understand
13 that. But could you try and keep your answers a little shorter? If you
14 feel you have to say it, do say it. But can you just try and consciously
15 keep them shorter.
16 So it's right to say, there was nothing immediate that caused
17 concern; there was no event that caused concern? That is right, isn't it?
18 Nothing out of the ordinary?
19 A. I think not, Mr. Moore.
20 Q. Thank you. That's capable of two interpretations, when you say "I
21 think not," do you mean that there wasn't any problem?
22 A. Well, security-wise, we had no problem. Its an individual matter.
23 It really depends on which each of the prisoners were feeling at the time,
24 under what circumstances they had been taken, what they had been doing up
25 to the time of their arrest, their individual responsibilities. It's very
1 difficult for me to go into that. This was the very first time in my life
2 I put eyes on most of those people anyway.
3 Q. Were you in radio control or contact? Were you in radio contact
4 with any other units?
5 A. I don't know which specific unit you have in mind, Mr. Moore.
6 Q. Well, any units. Did you have a radio capability at that time?
7 A. As far as I remember, there was a connection to the brigade
8 command. I don't think we had a line open to any of the subordinate
9 units. There was no communication capability between the compound and
10 subordinate units. I don't think so, but that wasn't necessary.
11 Q. Did you, at any time, contact the brigade command to say: We need
12 help, or we have a problem? We need help?
13 A. Well, I don't know. There weren't no problems to begin with. Why
14 would I want to create one, since there were none? So, no, I requested no
15 assistance simply because everything was going according to plan. And
16 there was no need for me to request assistance. I don't know where you
17 got this from. Maybe it's something someone stated, but what I'm telling
18 you is what I, as the camp commander, know with sure and set knowledge.
19 Q. So whoever would state that would state it in error? That's
20 correct, isn't it? That's what you're saying?
21 A. Well, what I wish to say is, that is erroneous. Absolutely.
22 There was no trouble. I could start making things up, but it's pointless
23 and it's speculation. If you say that assistance was requested on the
24 night of the 18th, during the night and by 1830 hours the next day when
25 this group was taken to Sremska Mitrovica, I think that would be
1 responsible for me to issue any statements or assessments like that.
2 Q. Can I just please once again say: Keep your answers shorter. I
3 am not, in any way, suggesting that you have behaved improperly. Do you
4 understand that? Please understand that. I am not suggesting you behaved
5 improperly. In actual fact I would suggest you behaved properly.
6 Now, can we move on, please? You have told us that you
7 remember -- you seem to remember anyway a police unit attending. Do you
8 remember saying that in evidence? Yes or no, please.
9 A. Well, there was the military police company of the 80th Motorised
10 Brigade or rather an element of that unit which was involved in guarding
11 the POWs, that is quite accurate.
12 Q. So as far as you can recollect, that is the only unit that came
13 that evening to Ovcara to deal with the Mitnica evacuation? Is that
14 correct, or not?
15 A. Mr. Moore, this unit was required to guard the captured ZNG and
16 MUP members as part of a security regime that was in place. I can hardly
17 be expected to say whether there were perhaps a few of the reconnaissance
18 company men involved. Please don't expect me to provide a specific figure
19 as to how many soldiers were there.
20 Q. That's not what I'm asking. I am dealing with a very simple
21 issue. As far as you're aware, once the unit that was guarding these
22 prisoners was at Ovcara, that was the unit or the attached members who
23 stayed with the prisoners until they left the next day.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. That's right. That's right, Mr. Moore.
2 MR. MOORE: I know it's a little early for the break, but I have a
3 reason for asking if Your Honour could take the break now. It may be that
4 the Court time will be saved in the long run, and I know that that is
5 always an attractive proposition to Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, Mr. Moore. We will resume at 12.30.
7 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.10
9 --- On resuming at 12.35.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
11 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
12 Q. Mr. Danilovic, you were being asked about OG South. When did OG
13 South cease as a being? You thought after the 20th, somewhere around the
14 22nd. Would that be right?
15 A. The 22nd or the 23rd. I think we discussed that yesterday. Don't
16 hold me to it, but I know that that was when the Partisan Brigade -- or
17 rather, the 80th Brigade took over the area of responsibility from the 20
18 Partisan Brigade, Jakobolac [phoen], Ovcara, as well as some other
19 villages in the general area.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. It was after that that the brigade command started to operate
22 independently and was now outside OG South, on the 22nd or possibly the
23 23rd. But please don't hold me to it.
24 Q. I'm not suggesting you're wrong. I'm going to show you a document
25 in a minute. What is the function -- in very short order, please -- what
1 is the function of a regular combat report? In very brief terms, just
2 describe it to us.
3 A. Mr. Moore, a regular combat report must be an overview of the
4 combat readiness of a given unit, as well as an overview of the
5 development over the last 24 hours. Those that are most important and
6 those that might affect the combat readiness of a unit.
7 Q. I'm going to try to deal with this quickly. I want you to look,
8 please, at Exhibit 426. So could Exhibit 426 be put on the monitor,
9 please. Can you tell me, please, when you've had it on the monitor or
10 when you can see it.
11 A. Yes, it's right there.
12 Q. Let's look at the top, OG -- basically OG South. And the time is
13 1800 hours, 23rd November. Hmm?
14 A. Yes. That's right. That's right.
15 Q. Negoslavci. Clearly it's to the command of the 1st Military
16 District. Regular combat report. Important point, I'd suggest, is that
17 the 23rd of November, 6 o'clock in the evening, as we say it as lay
18 people, and when we turn to page 2 there it is. It is signed by Colonel
19 Mrksic. Can we turn over the page, please.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I must say I'm listening
22 to the B/C/S interpretation and I think it is very difficult for the
23 interpreters to keep abreast with my learned friend. I think half the
24 question is there, and half is missing.
25 MR. MOORE: I will go slowly.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MR. MOORE:
3 Q. Can we just start again. We've got the document on the screen.
4 It says: "Regular combat report". The important point I would suggest,
5 it's from OG South command. The timing is 1800 hours, 23rd of November,
6 and when we turn to page 2, if that can be done, please, have you got page
7 2 yet?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And there we can see stamped for receipt 23rd of November, signed
10 by Colonel Mrksic. So can I suggest to you that in actual fact if one
11 works from this document, you are quite right, it is actually the 23rd of
12 November. Do you agree?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Let's move on to one or two other topics. Yesterday when you were
15 giving your evidence I closed my eyes and I asked myself, what is this man
16 saying? And it seems to be that you are suggesting that the LAD was never
17 subordinated to OG South. That's one of the things.
18 Now, is that what you're actually trying to say?
19 A. I'm truly sorry, Mr. Moore, for giving rise to this
20 misunderstanding. The 80th LAD PVO throughout the fighting and ever since
21 its arrival in the deployment area, meaning the general Vukovar area,
22 remained under the direct command of the commander of the 80th Motorised
23 Brigade. It was not at any time resubordinated in its entirety to any
24 other unit. The fact remains that some batteries from the anti-aircraft
25 defence units were at various times attached to other units, but for
1 individual missions. Nothing more. I'm not sure if we understand each
2 other better now, but that was my original meaning. So if you
3 misunderstood my original answer, then this would be a new one and
4 hopefully a clearer one, for you.
5 Q. Well, I wouldn't blame yourself. Sometimes I don't quite follow
6 the point and it is usually my fault. But can we look at one or two of
7 the entries of the war diary. And that is -- if I can just get my
8 reference -- it's Exhibit 375, I believe.
9 Now, you've been asked some of these questions, but I want to try
10 to just deal with it fairly sharply.
11 We have got on the 10th of November -- have we got that, 1600
13 A. Yes, I see that, Mr. Moore.
14 Q. Now, if one looks at that, we've got LAD PVO is operating
15 according to OG South plans and combat tasks. You've already been
16 referred to that, haven't you? Have you got that?
17 A. Yes. Yes, Mr. Moore. Indeed. If I may just clarify something.
18 The order for the anti-aircraft defence, chief of PVO, Operations Group
19 South, what you saw there was the assignments for all PVO units and the
20 order was served on all the units. The order to unify all operations
21 against any aircraft flying over the area, the meaning being the LAD PVO
22 was to act on this order that had arrived from the command of OG South
23 and, needless to say, pursuant to the orders of the brigade commander.
24 The LAD PVO was not separate as a unit. It would have been quite
25 ridiculous for the commander of OG South to be in command of the 80th
1 Motorised Brigade and again also the LAD PVO, that would constitute dual
2 command, which is unimaginable in the army that I served in.
3 Q. Thank you. You have told us this but I'm going to try to quickly
4 take you to various parts. I would like you to, then, see or have
5 presented Exhibit 367, because that perhaps is the core of the problem, if
6 it be a problem. And then we will come back to the war diary.
7 Now, have you got 367 on your screen?
8 A. Fine.
9 Q. I haven't got it, but never mind. The front page should say the
10 9th of November, the 9th of the 11th, 1991. Village of Negoslavci, to the
11 command of the 80th LAD PVO. So we can see, quite clearly, this order is
12 directed to that particular unit. Do you agree? Can you just answer.
13 A. Mr. Moore, could I please look at the entire order? If we can
14 please scroll it down a little.
15 Q. We will go on to the order, but I want to deal so that everybody
16 knows where we're -- the date we're dealing with. If we look at the top
17 of the page, we've got command of OG South. We've got the 9th or the
18 11th. It is important to get that into perspective and to whom it is
19 directed, namely to the command of the 80th LAD PVO.
20 Now, can we just move on, as long as you agree with that. And
21 what I would like to do --
22 A. This order is addressed to the command of the LAD PVO, as an order
23 regulating anti-aircraft combats within OG South. This is specifically in
24 reference to the 80th LAD PVO. If you ask me, it is not the nature of
25 this order to suggest that the 80th LAD PVO was specifically subordinated
1 to any other unit within OG South.
2 When you asked me a while ago, it would have been quite illogical
3 for the commander of OG South to be in charge of both the 80th Motorised
4 Brigade and the 80th LAD PVO at the same time, given the fact that the
5 80th LAD PVO was, in fact, part of the 80th Motorised Brigade.
6 Q. I'm not trying to catch you out. I'm trying to direct your mind
7 to a piece of evidence. Now, can we try to do that, please?
8 So let's go to what I would call number 7, so it's number 7
9 itself, where it deals with the headings of ammunition and missile
10 consumption. So can we go right forward to that. Now, have you got that
11 part? If we look at paragraph 7, do we not have the fact that the LAD PVO
12 of the 80th Motorised Brigade is to provide security for the real units of
13 OG South until the 11th of November? And thence the security of the 80th
14 Motorised Brigade? Now it's clearly in an order. So it tends to suggest,
15 perhaps, to people looking at this, that you're talking about the LAD of
16 the 80th, I will use the word subordinated in a neutral sense, protecting
17 the real units of OG South and, then, realigning itself with the 80th
18 Motorised Brigade. Do you agree with that or not? Is that what it seems
19 to say?
20 A. Mr. Moore, this has jogged my memory a little. The real battalion
21 of the 80th Motorised Brigade was on the move on the 9th between Smederevo
22 and Sotin, I believe. They were supposed to move along that axis and
23 redeploy so that they could provide adequate support to all the units
24 there, including the 80th LAD PVO. The reason being the brigade's rear
25 battalion was not what it was supposed to be. And the division had to go
1 into action and that is why that was made available for support for the
2 benefit of Operations Group South, and that is precisely what this order
4 I hope that resolves your dilemma. If you're now satisfied, well,
5 fine. If not, we can try to go deeper into this matter.
6 Q. Well, thank you for that kind offer, but regrettably I'm not quite
7 satisfied and I want to deal with one or two other topics. Would you
9 So we go back, then, to the exhibit dealing with the war diary.
10 So we have the 10th of November, which corresponds with this order at 6
11 o'clock, 10th of November, exactly in the timespan that that order
12 designates, and it says: "LAD PVO is operating according to the OG South
13 plan and combat tasks".
14 Can I suggest to you that that entry reflects the order that we
15 have just seen. Would you agree with that?
16 A. Well, Mr. Moore, I do not wish to create any disagreements that
17 are not strictly necessary between us. But I explained about the LAD PVO
18 being deployed as a support unit for OG South. I explained about that,
19 and that's in reference to that. What it says here about them, performing
20 tasks according to a plan produced by OG South, the reference here is to
21 the general order that was passed along by OG South to all of their
22 subordinate units. And believe me, I state this with full responsibility
23 as a military officer. If you don't take my word for it, you might as
24 well get an expert to confirm what I'm telling you now.
25 Q. Can we just forget about the personal element. No one is trying
1 to say that you're deliberately misleading or you're incorrect. I'm not
2 trying to suggest that, so please relax in relation to that, and let's
3 just look at this particular document.
4 "LAD PVO is operating according to OG South plan and combat
5 tasks". That is a direct reflection of what I've just shown you. That, I
6 would suggest, must be correct. Don't you agree?
7 A. Well, Mr. Moore, I do acknowledge your role in this Court, but I
8 tried to give you a simple example for what I'm saying. It would have
9 been anything but normal for the commander of OG South to command the 80th
10 Motorised Brigade and, apart from that, separately, command the LAD PVO.
11 From a military perspective, this would be beyond reason. I don't want to
12 insult anybody, of course.
13 Q. What you were concerned about is duality of line of command. That
14 is what you're talking about, isn't it?
15 A. I said why, so I've stated the reasons. And it's only because of
16 the security support of this unit for OG South, and that's why this order
17 was passed, to regulate support, security until the support battalion
18 arrives at the area. We believe we can find this in the operations log,
19 and compare the entries, if there is a problem.
20 Q. Well, let's move on to the 11th and then I will come to the point
21 and move on to another topic.
22 If we deal with the 11th of November, 1800 hours, the point's
23 already been made. LAD PVO are still in the same positions. Do you see
24 that entry? I think you've already been referred to it.
25 A. Yes, all right. That's clear enough, Mr. Moore.
1 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you to go to the 15th of November. This is
2 something you have not been asked about.
3 A. So, let's see what it says for November 15th. 1800 hours, did you
5 Q. Yes, but I don't want to deal with the LAD PVO. I want to deal
6 with another unit. So have you got the 15th of November? 1600 hours?
7 A. The 15th?
8 Q. Have you got that?
9 A. Just a moment.
10 JUDGE PARKER: 1600 or 1800?
11 MR. MOORE: Sorry, that's my fault. I think it is.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It is in the transcript in error one point earlier
13 as well.
14 MR. MOORE: 1800 hours, I'm sorry.
15 A. Oh, yes. Yes. I don't know which unit you mean.
16 Q. I want to deal with the OKB, have you got it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What is the OKB?
19 A. It's an armoured battalion, Mr. Moore, that's the abbreviation
20 that is commonly used. This battalion was resubordinated to the 130th
21 Motorised Brigade, so it was not attached to the 80th Motorised Brigade to
22 which it originally belongs.
23 Q. Well, I'm not trying to suggest it is. But let's just look at the
24 language used. "The OKB is", note the word "still under the command of
25 the 130th Motorised Brigade and operating on 103rd Motorised Brigade
1 combat tasks".
2 You actually used the words "resubordinated" to reflect the
3 words "under the command", isn't that right?
4 A. I don't see where 103rd. This reads the OKB is part of the
5 103rd -- is attached to the 130th Motorised Brigade and operating on
6 combat tasks of the representatives of the command. This is what it says.
7 Well, it isn't really the proper military style.
8 Q. Well, let's just see actually what you said. It's an armoured
9 battalion, Mr. Moore. That's an abbreviation which is commonly used. And
10 the following words "this battalion was resubordinated to the 130th
11 Motorised Brigade".
12 So you are using the word "resubordinated" in place of the
13 phrase "under the command". Is that right, or not?
14 A. Mr. Moore, both are correct. So when a unit is resubordinated
15 then it is under the command of the unit to which it was resubordinated.
16 I don't think that is a problem.
17 Q. Thank you for that. Can we then just turn, please, to the
18 following. Let's go to the 12th of November.
19 A. Oh, I have to go back. Let me just find it. At what hour, Mr.
21 Q. Exactly the same hour. So if we go to the 12th, we've got PVO is
22 still at the same positions. LAD PVO was still at the same positions.
23 And then it goes on about the second LAD, the third LAD and then the
24 following phrase: "They continue to proceed in line with OG South combat
1 So does that mean, therefore, that OG South combat tasks are
2 controlling their position?
3 A. Mr. Moore, the entire 80th Motorised Brigade is active in
4 accordance with the plans of OG South. I believe that this is mentioned
5 in the war log only because we received a special order for anti-aircraft
6 defence, which includes all anti-aircraft units as far as general tasks
7 and the control of air space are concerned.
8 There was no other reason for the entire 80th LAD PVO to be
9 subordinated to OG South. Why should the command of OG South have two
10 units on their line of command? There was no need for that.
11 Q. Thank you. Well, you have told us that the word "resubordinated"
12 in place of the phrase "under the command", you say both are correct. So
13 when a unit is resubordinated, then it is under the command of the unit to
14 which it is resubordinated.
15 Let's look now at the 13th of November. Can we just look at the
16 entry for the LAD PVO. Have you got it?
17 A. Yes, I found it. But the one who wrote this phrased this in a
18 funny way. I'm speaking as a professional soldier now.
19 Q. Can you just answer the question, please --
20 A. But you know --
21 Q. -- rather than answer before the question is posed. Because if
22 what you say is right, this particular entry "it is under OG South
23 command" means in actual fact, by what you have said earlier on, it's
24 resubordinated. I see you nodding in agreement with that. That's right,
25 isn't it?
1 A. No, Mr. Moore. I am constantly trying to tell you what it was
2 really like. I cannot explain why the operation's officer made this entry
3 in this -- in the log the way he did. But I can show -- if there is an
4 order, according to which the LAD PVO was resubordinated to OG South, if
5 we can find that, I will apologise to you, because the resubordination
6 cannot be conducted based on some oral agreement. Only in exceptional
7 circumstances, if the situation is extremely grave. But under any other
8 circumstances, this can only be done based on a written document. You can
9 verify that any time.
10 Q. Well that raises two issues, but let's deal with the first.
11 The first is, if a person reads this diary and these words, "it is
12 under OG South command" it means, whether you agree with it or not, it
13 means that the LAD PVO is resubordinated and under the command of OG
14 South. That is correct, isn't it? That's what those words suggest. You
15 may disagree, but that's what it says.
16 A. Well, Mr. Moore, I insist that they were not resubordinated to OG
17 South. I gave you a simple example why would the commander of OG South
18 single out LAD PVO as a separate unit. So to have two units to command
19 both the 80th Motorised Brigade and the LAD PVO? I don't know how much
20 you know about military terminology, I don't want to insult you or anybody
21 else here, but that's how things are.
22 That's why I said I really would like to see the order for the
23 resubordination of LAD PVO to OG South. But look at the entry under LAD
24 PVO. This says: The HAD 105 millimeters. It says on the orders of OG
25 South, delivered fire on the orders of OG South.
1 If we were to follow this line of thinking, we would also conclude
2 that this HAD was also resubordinated of OG South, which was not the case.
3 Q. I would suggest that is not the case at all. And you should not
4 assume that you're the only person in this building with military service.
5 Can we just deal, please, with this particular entry. Is it right
6 that the words in this diary, that if they are taken at face value,
7 irrespective of what you say and the Court can weigh it up themselves, if
8 you look at the words, it actually means that the LAD PVO is
9 resubordinated to OG South. Whether you like it, whether you don't,
10 that's what the words mean, isn't that right? Can we have an answer,
12 A. Mr. Moore, I was Chief of Staff of the brigade and I insist that
13 the 80th LAD PVO was never resubordinated to the command of OG South,
14 which you can verify. This is my opinion. I didn't want to slight
15 anybody's military expertise. If that's your impression, I do apologise
17 Q. Well, I can assure you my military expertise is a lot less than
18 yours. Let's move on to a different topic, shall we?
19 When one looks at what you are saying in evidence here, are you
20 actually saying that (redacted) was to blame or had responsibility for the
21 killings at Ovcara? Is that what you're actually saying?
22 A. Mr. Moore, I really cannot anticipate anybody's guilt, that's up
23 to the Court to decide. Please do not lead me in the direction of stating
24 my personal opinion.
25 I'm only saying what things were really like at those times of
1 war, and I would never venture to forecast any decision of the Court. I'm
2 here to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth. I trust that we
3 understand each other.
4 Q. We do understand each other. Can we understand each other in the
5 following terms, that the 80th Motorised Brigade, that was the zone of
6 responsibility for that unit? The Ovcara hangar was within that zone of
8 A. That is not at all contentious, Mr. Moore. That is obvious, from
9 all the documents.
10 Q. Thank you. We agree on that. If the commander of the 80th
11 Motorised Brigade informs his senior officer that something is happening
12 within the zone of responsibility of the commander of the 80th Motorised
13 Brigade, if I read the regulations correctly, that means that the
14 commander of OG South has the responsibility to deal with the problem. Is
15 that right, or not?
16 A. Well, how do I put this? Every commander, in accordance with the
17 decision and the tasks, carries out those tasks in his zone of
18 responsibility. If the commander of the 80th Motorised Brigade reports to
19 the superior command that he requests help or assistance of any kind, then
20 the superior command is required to take adequate measures to resolve the
21 problem that has arisen.
22 I cannot assess how the commander of the 80th Brigade requested
23 any of the assistance, or what he has done. Mr. Moore.
24 Q. Let's deal with the reality because we're going round in circles
25 in this case. The reality is, if Vojnovic as the commander of the 80th
1 Motorised Brigade is aware of something happening within his zone of
2 responsibility, then informs his superior officer that there are problems
3 within Vojnovic's zone of responsibility, Mrksic, who is the commander,
4 has the responsibility transferred to him. That's right, isn't it?
5 A. As long as he is in the zone of responsibility, that is the 80th
6 Motorised Brigade, within the OG South, the commander is responsible for
7 that zone. The commander of each unit is responsible for his zone of
8 responsibility. This applies to the 80th Motorised Brigade and OG South
9 also, and General Mrksic is responsible for everything that goes on in the
10 zone of responsibility of his units -- his unit, and the units
11 subordinated to his unit.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, let us deal with lines of command. Let us take a
13 situation where we are talking about the zone of responsibility of the
14 80th Motorised Brigade. Clearly the zone of responsibility is the
15 responsibility of Vojnovic as a superior officer, do you agree?
16 A. If we're speaking about the zone of responsibility of the 80th
17 Motorised Brigade, then the most responsible person is the commander.
18 This is general knowledge, Mr. Moore.
19 Q. Well, is the answer "yes" to my question?
20 A. Well, the unit commander is responsible. That's my answer.
21 Q. That's Vojnovic?
22 A. Well, the commander of the 80th, Lieutenant Colonel Vojnovic, is
23 responsible for his zone. I can't say anything but that. So every
24 commander is responsible for his zone of responsibility.
25 Another issue is, if I may take a little more of your time?
1 Another issue is whether or not it is necessary for the superior
2 commander, that is the commander of the OG South, to participate in the
3 resolving of some problem. I'm now only talking about the objective
4 responsibility for a given zone.
5 Q. So I will try one more time. If we have a situation where the
6 zone of responsibility -- the 80th Motorised Brigade, it would be
7 Vojnovic. That's right, isn't it? He's the commander -- that's right?
8 How come you're not saying "yes"? Don't you know?
9 A. Yes, the commander of the 80th Brigade is responsible.
10 Q. If a commander sees something occurring within his zone of
11 responsibility, which he has never been informed of, and he, because he
12 wishes to do so, goes to see his superior officer to clarify what on earth
13 has been happening, what is the responsibility of that superior officer
14 once he's been told that by Vojnovic?
15 A. I do apologise, but I have not really understood the question. If
16 you could repeat it, please. I didn't understand it well enough.
17 Q. We have the zone of responsibility of the 80th Motorised Brigade.
18 The 80th Motorised Brigade is caught within OG South. The commander of
19 the 80th brigade is Vojnovic. If we take the situation where Vojnovic
20 finds something occurring within his zone of responsibility, which he is
21 firstly unaware of by its happening, and, two, who is there, and he then
22 goes to his commander, namely Mrksic, Mr. Mrksic, and tells him: There is
23 something going on within my zone of responsibility, namely the 80th,
24 which is clearly your zone of responsibility, OG South, it's right, isn't
25 it, that Mrksic becomes involved in the process because he's been
1 informed? That's what command responsibility is about, isn't it?
2 A. Well, now this is an issue of command responsibility. In the
3 concrete case, Lieutenant Colonel Vojnovic should have checked all the
4 circumstances -- I don't know, now, I'm now speaking hypothetically.
5 If he was unaware of any events, he should have checked what had
6 happened, and then requested assistance. I don't know what kind of
7 assistance he had requested from General Mrksic. I'm not -- I'm not
8 familiar with all of these things. It would be best to ask him, because I
9 couldn't say anything of that nature, but certainly every commander is
10 responsible for his zone of responsibility.
11 The town commander for the town, the brigade commander for another
12 area and the commander of OG South for the entire area covered by his
13 subordinate units.
14 Q. I believe I've asked you a perfectly straightforward question. I
15 know you're a witness for Colonel Mrksic, but you also are a witness for
16 the Court and you say that you want to seek truth. Now I will ask this
17 question one more time. Do you understand? And I will repeat it.
18 If you have a situation where Vojnovic, as the commander of the
19 80th Motorised Brigade, finds something happening within his zone of
20 responsibility, which causes him considerable concern, and he then goes to
21 his superior, namely Colonel Mrksic, are you saying that Mrksic has no
22 responsibility? Now, kindly answer that question in a simple way, please.
23 A. That's a complex question, Mr. Moore. The guilt must be
24 established in terms of command. You are now asking me to say who is
25 guilty. I cannot go into that.
1 The events that happened must be fully investigated. The
2 circumstances must be clear why the event happened, and after that,
3 inferences can be made about who bears the greatest responsibility in that
4 chain of command, although to be frank, the very notion of command
5 responsibility is a rather flexible thing to me. It's like the brigade
6 commander learns of -- if you just let me finish -- learns of a crime
7 committed by some group and now we're chasing the brigade commander
8 because he can't really hold the hands of 5.000 soldiers and tell them how
9 to behave. Morally, of course, he is responsible, but the most concrete
10 responsibility lies with the one who committed the concrete crime. As we
11 cannot -- the same way we cannot say that a whole people is guilty because
12 some persons who belonged to that people committed a crime, and it's much
13 the same way with a military commander.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that my
16 learned friend is pushing the witness to speculate.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic. I do not agree. The
18 witness's answer is speculating, but not the question that was put to him.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. MOORE: I will not move away from this topic unless ordered to
21 by the Court. Do you understand? I have given you a situation. I've
22 absolutely no doubt you know perfectly well the reason why it's being
23 asked. You say you've come to tell the truth and I'm suggesting to you if
24 Vojnovic tells Mrksic, as his superior commander, that incidents are
25 happening within the zone of responsibility of OG South as well as the
1 80th Motorised Brigade, Mrksic is informed of the matter and he is
2 responsible. That is right, isn't it? Yes or no.
3 A. Well, Mr. Moore, I think in that case you should ask both Mr.
4 Mrksic and Mr. Vojnovic. They'll tell you what it was about and why. I
5 can hardly be expected to blame, either. I'm not familiar with the
6 circumstances. I was not at the command of the 80th Motorised Brigade at
7 the time and anything that I might say would be fortuitous, in a way.
8 These men should be asked how this whole thing came about. You
9 should talk to them. It is very difficult for me to be the judge of this
10 particular matter. You have all my sincerest apologies but you should
11 hear these people out. They'll tell you about the circumstances which
12 brought this about. And then you will be able to draw an objective
13 conclusion as to individual guilt. I'm not sure if that satisfies
14 your ...
15 Q. I'm not asking you to attribute guilt. That's not a matter for
16 you. It's not a matter for me. It's a matter for the Bench. Do you
17 understand? I suggest you are deliberately avoiding answering this
18 question. That's what I'm suggesting. And you know perfectly well that
19 if that scenario is correct, Mrksic has responsibility. It's as simple as
20 that. Just on the line of command. That's right, isn't it?
21 A. Mr. Moore, I'm so sorry that we seem to be talking at
22 cross-purposes. You are demanding a specific answer from me, and to
23 apportion blame. I remain adamant about telling you this. You should
24 hear out both these commanders. They will tell you about the
25 circumstances of this event. They will tell you about the multiple
1 causes, what brought this about. Once you've heard that, you will be
2 better equipped to judge whose fault it was and who is to blame for what
3 happened, with all due respect, sir. Please don't get me wrong. Please
4 don't leave me in this position. Please don't expect me to assess these
6 I was elsewhere when this unfortunate event occurred. I had been
7 speaking about all of the places that I was physically present at and all
8 of the developments that I personally was in a position to effect. In
9 this particular instance, I was 20 kilometres away from there and there
10 was nothing I could do about it.
11 Q. I will let the Court draw their own inferences if they deem it
12 appropriate. I will move on to another topic.
13 Let us take a situation where you have a zone of responsibility,
14 and let us say it is the 80th Motorised Brigade and you have persons come
15 into that zone of responsibility who are from the superior command. What
16 then is the person whose zone of responsibility it is, what is that person
17 to do if someone comes into that zone of responsibility from the superior
18 command? Do you understand the question?
19 A. Yes, I do, Mr. Moore. That depends on who it is coming into the
20 zone of responsibility of a unit. They would first be required to report
21 to the most senior officer and to explain their mission and reason for
22 being in this particular zone of responsibility, that is the done thing.
23 Q. It may well be the done thing, but if it isn't done, if a -- an
24 officer or officers from the superior command come into that zone of
25 responsibility and don't introduce themselves and say "we're here because
1 of A, B, or C," what is that officer in charge of the zone of
2 responsibility, what is he to do? What is his position?
3 A. This officer -- unless the arrival of these persons has been
4 announced, cannot but send these persons away from his zone of
5 responsibility. At least that's what I would do. As for anybody else,
6 well, that's their own business.
7 Q. But bearing in mind they're from the superior command, is not one
8 of the options to clarify from the superior command why they're there?
9 A. I do agree with you, Mr. Moore. That is also something that is
10 done in these cases. You would put a call through to the superior
11 command, but this is rarely, if ever, the case. This sort of thing
12 doesn't happen that often.
13 The questions should then be: Why have you sent this group of
14 officers? What's their mission? And what exactly are they supposed to be
15 monitoring? If a negative reply is received from the superior command,
16 then these people are sent away. At least, these are the steps that ought
17 to be taken in a situation like that.
18 Q. So what you're saying is that one clarifies with the superior
19 command. They clarify whether in actual fact the unit should be there, or
20 not, and if the unit should be there as a consequence of the superior
21 command's orders, then they have priority. That is right, isn't it?
22 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Who has priority?
23 If you could please run that past me again.
24 Q. You have the superior command. Let us say, in this case, it is OG
25 South. OG South has got priority or is the senior to the 80th Motorised
1 Brigade. That's correct. You know that.
2 A. Yes, yes. Most certainly.
3 Q. Let us deal, then, with the zone of responsibility of the 80th.
4 Let us assume for a moment a unit comes into the zone of responsibility
5 for the 80th. And that unit is from the superior command.
6 Now, you have told us that the unit from the superior command
7 should approach the 80th commander, or whoever is in command and say: We
8 are here because. You've already told us that.
9 Now all I'm saying is, if in actual fact the command -- the
10 commander of the 80th Motorised Brigade contacts the superior command, let
11 us say Mrksic, and Mrksic says "Well, they're from the superior command."
12 The superior command unit has the priority in the zone of responsibility
13 of the 80th, doesn't it? Because it comes with the orders from the
14 superior command. That's right, isn't it?
15 A. Well, my apologies, Mr. Moore, but you seem to be using two
16 concepts there. First, you're asking me, if a group of officers arrived
17 in the brigade's zone of responsibility, what would the procedure be and
18 now you're saying, if a unit arrived, and -- these two concepts are
19 slightly at odds to say the least but the procedure applied seems to be
20 the same.
21 If, indeed, it arrived, although this is very exceptional, then
22 the commander of the 80th should put a call through to the command of OG
23 South to enquire about the reasons why the unit had been sent to him.
24 Based on the answer received, the commander then decides whether he will
25 absorb the unit, if indeed they are there on orders from a superior unit,
1 or if on the other hand he gets a reply from the OG South commander
2 saying, no, I never sent that unit to your zone of responsibility, then he
3 will just send them packing. I'm not sure if that makes it any clearer,
5 Q. Yes, it makes it very clear and I think we're absolutely in
6 agreement. But can I deal with this, then.
7 It's right, isn't it -- and I think you've already told us -- that
8 in actual fact there was never any indication of any evacuation from the
9 hospital coming through Ovcara. That's right, isn't it?
10 A. I don't know -- well, actually, I don't quite understand. What do
11 you mean the evacuees from the hospital passing through or coming through
12 Ovcara? I'm not really sure. Can you please repeat that question for me.
13 Q. Yes, I'll repeat the following. You had no indication, you were
14 not informed that there was anybody coming through from the hospital which
15 the -- which your unit, the 80th Motorised Brigade had responsibility for.
16 You never received any indication that that was going to happen, did you?
17 A. It's either in the operations log or in the war log, I can't quite
18 remember, but you have an indication there that preparations were ordered
19 to receive prisoners from the hospital. It was written down there that
20 shifts were to be set up in order to set up a security regime for that
21 purpose. We can go through the two logs, if you like, but it's right
23 I saw it recorded there, which means that the arrival of this
24 group of prisoners from the hospital was expected.
25 Q. Can I suggest while there is an entry in the log, that in actual
1 fact it is not a specific order. It is merely a warning order that there
2 is a possibility that that might occur.
3 A. Mr. Moore, it's either in the operations log or in the war log,
4 but it's certainly there. It says that the brigade commander orders --
5 feel free to use that word, because it definitely applies -- that steps be
6 taken to ensure the prisoners from the hospital are received and that a
7 security system is set up for guarding them. That's what it says. I'm
8 not sure what else it could possibly mean.
9 Q. Then can you explain how it is you mentioned to this Court, gave
10 evidence to this Court in the following way in answer to my learned friend
11 Mr. Vasic, the following question:
12 Did you receive any information that anybody had surrendered in
13 the area around the hospital on the 19th or the 20th of November, or were
14 you informed about that? I'm talking about the surrender.
15 And this is the answer you gave.
16 I do not remember whether I had any information about surrender,
17 surrenders at the hospital area.
18 Now, can you explain to me how it is you gave that reply at 31, 6
19 today. When I give the reference, it's the time. How you're able to give
20 that answer and yet, now, you say there was an order given. Can you
21 explain the inconsistency?
22 A. Well, Mr. Moore, I don't think there is any inconsistency there.
23 That's what it says. It's either in the operations log or in the war log.
24 You have the brigade commander there ordering shifts to be set up, and for
25 the prisoners taken in the hospital area in Vukovar to be put up. Since I
1 wasn't there at the time, when these prisoners were brought in, I can't
2 tell you much about the specific circumstances of the case in hand.
3 Q. So are you saying, therefore, that you actually don't know, but
4 you're working from the log?
5 A. Well, yes. Yes, that's precisely the case. I'm working from the
7 Q. So you have no personal knowledge? You are using the log.
8 A. Well, I wasn't physically present at the command at the time. I'm
9 not sure if you understand that. I was elsewhere on a different mission
10 at the time. And I'm not sure how to put this. I wasn't up to date on
11 anything, every little thing that was going on. But I have the log for
12 that, the log says that a surrender of POWs is expected in the hospital
14 Q. Were you ever told -- well, you wouldn't have because you have no
15 personal knowledge of it. Let's move on to another topic.
16 Is your father called Vlado, V-l-a-d-o?
17 A. That's right. The late Vlado.
18 Q. And the village, I will attempt to spell it rather than pronounce
19 it. Z-l-i-j-e-b, does your family come from that location?
20 A. The name of the village is Zdrijelo. That's where I was born.
21 I'm not sure how that is relevant to our discussion.
22 Q. Were you ever a commander of the 3rd Mountain Infantry Brigade?
23 A. No. The mountain brigade? Never. I was commander of the 3rd
24 Podrinje light infantry brigade.
25 Q. So where were you in March, 1993?
1 A. Mr. Moore, I would like to kindly ask you to not ask me to share
2 information with you about my involvement in the war in the Republika
3 Srpska. I have not been granted a waiver in relation to that sort of
5 If you could please continue to ask me questions about anything
6 that you might deem to be relevant to this trial, because that is what I
7 am here for.
8 To be quite honest, specifically, I really can't see any possible
9 link between this trial, this case, and my involvement at the front line
10 in the Republika Srpska.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour. I
13 object to this sort of question. This is outside the framework of the
15 We've had a situation like that in this case with Mr. Imra Agotic
16 when my colleague, Mr. Lukic was asking him questions about 1993. And the
17 ruling of the Trial Chamber to the effect that that had no relevance at
18 all. And was not in any way linked to our own case. We have the specific
19 reference, 2124 and 2125 of the transcript.
20 Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
22 MR. MOORE: I would submit the credibility of a witness is an
23 important issue for a court to determine. There are matters I would wish
24 to ask this witness, in brief outline, that may affect the credibility of
25 the witness.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Given the hour, Mr. Moore, I think we must deal
2 with this tomorrow morning and perhaps, if the witness remained outside
3 tomorrow morning, the issue can be ventilated, Mr. Vasic and you putting
4 your positions, and we will see what the position is.
5 Did you grasp that, Mr. Vasic?
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour. Thank you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can you please ask Mr. Vasic about
11 the witnesses to follow and the respective schedule. I have been planning
12 my own witnesses. If there are no further witnesses to be heard tomorrow,
13 I would like to know what to do next and what about this other witness who
14 has been subpoenaed? Thank you.
15 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, could I respectfully reinforce my learned
16 friend, Mr. -- or should I say Judge Borovic's submission in relation to
17 this. And also, we do not know what witnesses are being called by the
18 Radic team and we would be grateful for such pearls of wisdom three days
19 before the event.
20 Secondly with regard to the waivers, I believe the waivers now
21 have been released and we, again, would wish to have a slight conversation
22 with those witnesses prior to them giving evidence so that we can
23 translate those interviews.
24 JUDGE PARKER: We will take things one at a time, and I suspect
25 they will simply go on too long for resolution. But the most important
1 and pressing matter, Mr. Vasic, is the question of witnesses for tomorrow
2 and the conclusion of your case.
3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 Much as the last time I addressed this issue, now again I can say, this is
5 our last voluntary witness. We have two witnesses who have been
6 subpoenaed. Mr. Domazet tried to get in touch with one of these over the
7 weekend and I was going to tell you about that tomorrow.
8 As for the other witness, he was finally traced in Belgrade. And
9 it might be helpful, should the Court deem that to be necessary, to have
10 this witness via videolink as well as witness Puskar in relation to whom I
11 would like to submit some medical documents at a time deemed appropriate
12 by the Trial Chamber.
13 Perhaps even outside the case of Mr. Mrksic, outside our own case.
14 Apart from those two witnesses, we have no further witnesses to
15 call. Likewise, the Defence will be filing a motion to tender into
16 evidence certain documents that were not associated with individual
17 witnesses by the Chamber's leave, of course.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, does that mean that you are not in a
19 position to present any further witnesses in your case?
20 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as planned, after Mr.
21 Danilovic we have two witnesses remaining and both are under subpoena. As
22 well as a third witness who suffered a heart attack and who is now in
23 hospital, instead of our courtroom. We shall be requesting a videolink
24 for that particular witness at a later time, whenever it is deemed to be
25 appropriate and feasible.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Witnesses may be under subpoena, but if they do not
2 respond and the Chamber has not been persuaded to attempt to take any
3 further steps, well that means they are not available, and you will not be
4 calling them.
5 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Things being what they are, we have
6 managed to get in touch with one of these witnesses and I would move that
7 he, too be heard via videolink just like Mr. Puskar, the one in Belgrade.
8 For the other witness, my colleague travelled to Zagreb and could not seem
9 to get in touch with the witness, except via the interphone. And we don't
10 see any other way we could possibly be bringing that witness here, unless
11 other higher authorities step in to resolve this matter. It is now beyond
12 our power. But I would like to be granted an opportunity to make further
13 submissions about this tomorrow, Your Honours. I won't take more than
14 five minutes.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Do I understand there is no present motion and no
16 arrangements made for a videolink?
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have information that
18 this witness has been traced in Belgrade. The first time around we were
19 told that he was not at home, so there was a late phone call to this
20 witness. Last night. As for Mr. Puskar, we are expecting medical
21 documents today and some -- it will take some time after he has been
22 hospitalised for these medical documents to eventually be issued.
23 I ask to have these in the course of the week running, so that we
24 may make appropriate applications for a videolink sometime after we have
25 concluded our case, in relation to these two witnesses, whenever this is
1 most feasible. Thank you.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, it would seem you should plan for next
3 Monday, as indicated when we last discussed this matter.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are starting on
5 Monday. That was my plan and my schedule. I sent Mr. Moore a seven-day
6 witness plan. Seven names. Seven addresses. Seven days. All the
7 witnesses, according to my schedule at least, so I think I had every right
8 to step in a while ago. I do not wish for this trial to go on endlessly.
9 That at least is what the Radic defence believes.
10 If they have no witnesses, then all of these additional deadlines
11 should not be accepted by anyone. After all, we can't toy around with our
12 witness schedule and we can't toy around with any visas that may be
13 required. That is the principal reason for my previous intervention.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, it seems you ought to have received a
16 witness list from Mr. Borovic.
17 MR. MOORE: We obviously know who the witnesses are but we don't
18 know the sequence of how they're being called.
19 The second matter is --
20 JUDGE PARKER: You can discuss that with Mr. Borovic.
21 MR. MOORE: Thank you for that. But what does concern me is the
22 waivers. Now, I understand the waivers have an application to the Court.
23 I understand that fully. But they also have an application to the Defence
24 and the Prosecution. We would like to speak to these witnesses. We tried
25 to do so. The Court knows that I've been to Belgrade. I was unable to do
1 so. And for my part, I would like to set up, please, some method of being
2 able to speak with them because I don't want to delay the Court. So this
3 is a problem we have.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, I think you stand little prospect of
5 delaying the Court on the issue of whether or not you have been able to
6 speak to these witnesses. It should be able to be resolved between
7 yourself and Mr. Borovic, for you to look at the waivers, if that is the
8 issue you want.
9 MR. MOORE: We will do our best. Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. We must now adjourn overtime and we will
11 resume tomorrow at 9.00.
12 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, could I mention one matter. I'm sorry,
13 it's not to do with me and I know Your Honour is exasperated but I have to
14 deal with the topic. Monday is a Jewish holiday. We were hoping that Mr.
15 Weiner would be dealing with the case of Radic. He will be in
16 difficulties if he has to attend on Monday, and we would ask, on his
17 behalf, that the Court does not sit on Monday.
18 His religion, it's Yom Kippur and it creates difficulties for him.
19 JUDGE PARKER: We have some time ago, Mr. Moore, set a timetable.
20 It was suggested bringing it forward to Monday without any issue being
21 raised. That is to next Monday. I can only suggest that for the purposes
22 of Monday, some other counsel will need to be in attendance.
23 MR. MOORE: Would Your Honour consider sitting on Friday, if that
24 was the case.
25 JUDGE PARKER: That puts an obligation on Mr. Borovic. It is
1 short notice to come forward an extra day. And I don't want, in fairness,
2 to put that obligation on him.
3 MR. MOORE: Well, I will speak to Mr. Borovic outside about it.
4 Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE PARKER: The judges are here, but we've got to try to be
6 fair to both sides.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.55 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
9 September, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.