1 Monday, 2 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused Radic and Sljivancanin entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
6 Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] By switching on my microphone, I
8 merely wanted to continue or, rather, to complete my submission around
9 MFI 576, and that was why I stood up. By your leave of course, unless you
10 had something you wanted to raise beforehand.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I take it this will be short, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I promised that I would take five
13 minutes only, and now my learned friend, Mr. Moore, asked that I delay
14 this discussion until tomorrow because Mr. Weiner, who is not present here
15 today in the courtroom, was the one who is informed of the issue. I wish
16 to tell you that I spoke to Mr. Weiner personally because I wanted to
17 reach an agreement concerning this matter of MFI to be admitted into
18 evidence. However, they tell me that they challenge the authenticity of
19 the interview of Mr. Hadzic. Therefore, the OTP challenged the statement
20 as such and are opposed to its admission into evidence. For this reason,
21 I will then agree to what my learned friend has suggested and that is that
22 we discuss this matter tomorrow because then we will have the occasion to
23 hear what their reasons are for which they are opposed to the admission of
24 this document into evidence. That is why I move that we wait until
1 JUDGE PARKER: Very well then. Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
2 Mr. Domazet, your client is not able to be present again today. I
3 see there is a consent to -- filed from your client for the trial to
4 continue today in his absence. That is the position, is it?
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Yes,
6 indeed, that is the case.
7 Mr. Vasic spoke to Mr. Mrksic over the phone and Mr. Mrksic told
8 him that due to some swelling that he has, the doctors advised him to be
9 bed-bound until next Monday. I know that, indeed, he signed a consent for
10 the trial to continue in his absence. Based on what Mr. Vasic told me, my
11 client does not agree to the following witness being examined outside his
12 presence, but perhaps we can deal with this a bit later.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Thank you. We have a consent for today
14 to proceed. We will do so on that basis.
15 You have now your next witness ready, Mr. Domazet?
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Witness Gluscevic
17 is ready. Pursuant to the relevant order, I will be examining the witness
18 within the time frame you defined, which was half a session.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will have the witness, please.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir. Would you please read aloud
22 the affirmation on the card that is given to you now?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: BORISA GLUSCEVIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
3 Mr. Domazet has some questions for you now.
4 Examination by Mr. Domazet:
5 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Gluscevic. I will be examining you on behalf
6 of the Defence for Mr. Mrksic. As I already indicated in our proofing
7 yesterday and today, please let us make a pause between questions and
8 answers. Please observe the transcript in front of you and wait for the
9 text to finish so that the interpreters can catch up with us.
10 First of all, Mr. Gluscevic, introduce yourself to the Trial
11 Chamber and the other participants in the proceedings, your full name and
12 other personal details?
13 A. My name is Borisa Gluscevic. I was born in Kamena Gora,
14 Prijepolje municipality, Serbia. I completed the military high school in
15 1962 in Sarajevo. It was there that I served for one year. I graduated
16 from the military academy of the ground forces in Belgrade in 1967.
17 Thereupon, I was posted to the Bileca garrison, which is what is
18 today Republika Srpska. This was an infantry school of the then Socialist
19 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia or, rather, of its army. I spent nine
20 years there, serving the duty of the platoon commander, number 5, for two
21 years, and I was the general tactics teacher for two years.
22 In 1976, I went to Belgrade to undergo training at the command
23 staff academy of the ground forces. I spent another two years there.
24 Having completed my schooling, I became teacher on the subject of
25 general tactics at the military academy of the ground forces in Belgrade.
1 I spent teaching there for -- I spent teaching there 11 years.
2 On the 12th of September --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Or Interpreter's correction: On the 20th of
4 September, 1989.
5 A. Pursuant to an order, of course, I took up the duty assigned to me
6 at the Guards Brigade. It was then that I met Mrksic for the first time.
7 My duty was that of an assistant to the commander of the Guards Brigade
8 for logistics. That was the official title. And that was my official
9 title until my retirement. I carried out this duty at the Guards Brigade
10 also during the Vukovar operation, which meant that I had been carrying
11 out this duty two years before the operation and continued carrying it out
13 As I was carrying out this duty, pursuant to an order, I was
14 appointed chief of logistics of the corps of special units of the army of
15 Yugoslavia, and I carried out this duty for seven years until the units
16 themselves, the special units, were disbanded which was in 1999. And the
17 last two years before my retirement, I held the duty at the logistics
18 sector of the General Staff of the army of Yugoslavia at the operations
19 institute as chief of department for operations and logistics duties.
20 On the 30th of June, 2001, I was retired, and continued living in
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gluscevic, for this information.
23 In short, you have described your entire career up until your
24 retirement. I will go back to the relevant part of your career, relevant
25 to us. You told us what your duty had been in 1991. Can you just tell
1 us, please, what rank you held in the army at the time?
2 A. As of the 22nd of December, 1990, I was colonel and continued
3 holding that rank for 12 years before Vukovar, after Vukovar, and it was
4 with this rank that I was retired.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us something about the deployment of your
6 unit to the Vukovar area, namely what your duty had been, what your tasks
7 had been, and where you were stationed?
8 A. As the assistant for logistics, my duties were quite sensitive,
9 since I had to prepare our deployment to Vukovar. It was -- it fully
10 depended on the quality of the organisation of the logistics; that is to
11 say, the active units were fully dependent on us. It was on the 30th of
12 September, I believe, but don't hold me to that, I'm not really certain
13 about the dates, and besides, all the records existed, although on the
14 4th of April, 1999, it was particularly the military files that concerned
15 me that were destroyed in the bombings. That was why I cannot in fact
16 confirm. It was in the NATO bombing.
17 Therefore, units set out and then spent the night at Sid and the
18 following day I arrived in the territory of the Vukovar area, namely the
19 village of Berak, at the brigade base, where I set up a logistics command
20 post with all the requisite elements that such a base entails. Throughout
21 the time, ever since my arrival in Berak, up until the 24th of November, I
22 was stationed at this particular location and never left the area except
23 to go to Negoslavci from Berak.
24 On average, I had at least once daily phone and personal contacts
25 with Mrksic when he was at his command post. I went to report to him as
1 did all the other commanding officers. Normally it took place in the late
2 afternoon and we reported on the previous 24 hours. If I happened to come
3 across him in the morning hours, then I would report to him then. And he
4 would then relieve me of the obligation to come to him again in the
5 afternoon or evening hours to report.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gluscevic. If I've understood you correctly, you
7 did not leave Berak to go anywhere else but Negoslavci up until the 24th
8 of November, and that included Vukovar, did it not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You said that you would go at least once daily to Negoslavci
11 normally in the afternoon hours, sometimes in the morning. These
12 afternoon meetings, were they official briefings of commanding officers?
13 Can you describe them for us?
14 A. You see, Mr. Domazet, reporting is a customary practice in the
15 army, both in peacetime and in wartime. It is normally carried out at a
16 fixed hour every day, and all commanders are duty-bound to attend these
17 meetings, all the commanders of subordinate units, that's to say assistant
18 commanders for logistics, moral guidance and so on and so forth, unless
19 one had good reasons not to attend them. The meetings had fixed agendas.
20 First -- the first ones to report were combat unit commanders. They also
21 had many questions to ask of logistic commanding officers because their
22 activities involved the spending of a great deal of ammunition, materiel,
23 equipment and so on and so forth, and it would be toward the end of the
24 meeting that they would express their requests that they had of logistics
25 commanders. Colonel Mrksic would, on the basis of the discussion held,
1 issue specific duties and tasks to every single commander.
2 Q. Thank you. As I see, your presence there was indispensable in
3 view of the activities your units were charged with; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You said the meetings took place in the afternoons, just before
6 nightfall. Do you know, was there a fixed hour for these meetings, or
7 would the time of the meetings vary?
8 MR. MOORE: My learned friend now I think three times has said
9 afternoons. The witness actually said late afternoon and my learned
10 friend has not operated on that basis, and now we are moving on to before
11 nightfall. The witness should be allowed to give his own estimate of
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore. I hadn't noticed and still
14 don't appreciate any major movement.
15 But carry on, Mr. Domazet.
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Please go ahead, Mr. Gluscevic, tell us something about that. To
18 the best of your recollection, when were these meetings held?
19 A. Mr. Domazet, I cannot say exactly after such a long time but I
20 think that they took place at 1700 hours, or perhaps 1730 hours.
21 Now, why? Only due to security measures so that we would get it
22 done and over with as soon as possible and that we would go back to our
23 units and give them orders.
24 Q. Thank you. Can that be seen from some documents?
25 A. But of course. Probably from the operative logbook which was kept
1 regularly at the operations room at the command post of the corps, and I
2 could also proffer my own documentation, if it could be present here
3 today. We would see that from the work notebook and there would be no
4 dilemma as to when these meetings were held, what was said at these
5 meetings and who said what at these meetings.
6 Q. What about you personally? Did you record in that diary of yours
7 not only the time and date of the meeting but also who said what and what
8 was discussed?
9 A. Absolutely. Everything that had to do with me and my
11 Q. Thank you. Mr. Gluscevic, I will go back to -- or, rather, I'll
12 move on to almost the very end of your stay in Vukovar. If necessary, we
13 can go back to some things that happened even before that, but what I
14 would like to do here and now is to ask you about things that I consider
16 Do you remember on which day Vukovar fell, in your view?
17 A. Well, if I couldn't remember that, that would mean that I was
18 very, well, well, how should I put this? Well, let me better not say
20 So of course I remember. The 18th of November. I myself found
21 out sometime between, say, 14 and 1500 hours, if you're asking me very
22 precisely. And I was pleased. I was pleased, because it was a great
23 burden off my shoulders. That's how I felt. There will be no more
24 fighting and no more equipment would be needed, so it was a great sense of
25 relief that I felt then, and also I was happy.
1 Q. I hope I understood you properly, that at first you said that you
2 did not go to Vukovar at all. So even on that day and after that you
3 didn't go to Vukovar? Did I understand you correctly?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Since you say yourself that you remember that date very well, I'm
6 going to ask you whether you remember a meeting, if it was held on that
7 day, with your superior officers in Negoslavci. Was a meeting of that
8 kind held and, if so, do you recall such a meeting?
9 A. Well, you see, a meeting was held, and it was held sort of in an
10 abridged fashion, if I can put it that way. It was quite clear to all
11 that there was a sense of relief. Mrksic chaired the meeting, and since
12 all the results, so to speak, could not have been seen yet, then in
13 principle, well, I'm speaking in general terms now, he gave some
14 instructions as to what would follow in the coming period but without any
15 details, because he could not have -- well, it was just that moment, and I
16 think that we were done very quickly and then we all went to our
17 respective units to make sure that discipline was still there, if you were
18 ever in that situation, then you know what a commander says to his
19 subordinates in that situation, so that nothing undesirable happens in
20 terms of consequences and so on and so forth.
21 Q. Well, what you have been telling us just now, I mean when you say
22 these instructions, these orders, and about these undesirable
23 consequences, what was all of that about?
24 MR. MOORE: I object to this. We have had three 65 ter or two
25 65 ter summaries. We had a proofing note today at 12.30, and there is no
1 reference in any of those documents about any meeting on the 18th. There
2 is no reference to it on the 18th.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet?
4 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wasn't talking about
5 documents and I wasn't asking about documents. I asked about what the
6 witness was telling us about in his previous response. He was talking
7 about what Colonel Mrksic had said then.
8 As for the proofing, it is correct that today, well, not at 12.30
9 but at 12.00 exactly, as soon as I finished speaking to the witness, I
10 submitted what I had to submit, and it says in the proofing notes that
11 these orders would be referred to as well, these orders issued by Colonel
12 Mrksic. I don't want to repeat this in front of the witness now but my
13 learned friend received this and, indeed, this does exist in the proofing
14 notes. There is a sentence about this. So these are not documents but
15 verbal orders that the witness started talking about during his previous
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, I have not seen this proofing note.
18 On the basis of what was previously distributed, I would suggest the
19 evidence should commence on the 19th of November, and deal with the 19th
20 and 20th in particular.
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, that is exactly
22 where we were, the 19th. I'm going to move on to the 19th.
23 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Gluscevic, whether on the 19th a meeting was
24 held and do you remember that meeting if it was held?
25 A. Well, yes. On the 19th and on the 20th and on the 18th, we had
1 these meetings or briefings, or this reporting, and quite a few tasks were
2 spelled out concretely at these meetings. That is to say that for me, as
3 assistant commander for logistics, most of my assignments had to do with
4 technical matters and what was stressed was that I should get ready and
5 the logistics battalion in the brigade base and that the moment had come
6 for us to soon hand over these duties to other units, new units, and that
7 we would go back on furlough or to get some rest or recovery. That is
8 what I could say to you in the briefest possible terms.
9 I told you, if I had the documents I could read it all out to you
10 for each and every piece of combat equipment and so on and so forth.
11 There were quite a few details there but I mean, well, I don't think we
12 have to go into these details because I don't think I could really say
13 everything, but for me as assistant commander this involved quite a bit
14 because this was the result of 60 days of war. Quite a bit of technical
15 equipment was destroyed, also it was all over the front line, all of this
16 had to be brought back in, and to say the truth, we were happy that that
17 moment finally came. When I say "we," I mean logistics. Probably others
18 felt that way too. That we would get out of battle. That we wash up a
19 bit, tidy up. Things like that. 60 days without our families, it was
20 really quite difficult and quite strenuous.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gluscevic. You talked about the 19th of November,
22 the day after the fall of Vukovar and the meeting held on that day. Now
23 I'm interested in the next day, that is to say two days after the fall of
24 Vukovar, the 20th. Do you recall that meeting with the officers?
25 A. Yes. I recall that meeting. Oh, and I've had a countless number
1 of details from previous meetings and other meetings that I could recall
2 but I am just going to refer to one particular detail, that is perhaps of
3 interest to you and others here. I can only say that this meeting was
4 chaired by Colonel Mrksic. It was the customary type of meeting, that is
5 to say customary briefing in the same order as usual, but also there was
6 some information. There was some new information provided there by our
7 subordinates in terms of what had been done on the previous day, with war
8 booty and I don't know, the ill people, and also a certain equipment that
9 had to do with the quartermasters' units.
10 When the meeting was coming to a close, as I was there in my
11 capacity as assistant commander and I was sitting very close to him, I had
12 reason to put a few other questions to him as well, of course in relation
13 to logistics and resolving related problems, nothing special, nothing
14 else, really. And at that moment, well, I mean the meeting was over and
15 people started going their own ways, and as he was giving me some
16 instructions, in relation to some technical equipment, specifically tanks,
17 how to resolve that, where to take them, how to get them out and so on, at
18 that moment, on the door of the operations room, there was Captain Mile
19 Bozic, and Mrksic immediately reacted to that and he said, "Mile, if
20 necessary, take -- if necessary, even a company of APCs and help them over
21 there around Ovcara."
22 At that moment I considered that to be irrelevant, and I can say
23 with full responsibility that after that, we continued for about 20
24 minutes more to discuss our logistic problems. Well, perhaps not 20
25 minutes but it is for sure that for about 15 minutes I was discussing
1 matters with him, that is to say, the many logistics problems that we were
2 facing and that we had to resolve in some way. There were a lot of
3 damaged tanks there, and you probably have some of this information. I
4 mean, I would have had very accurate information, precise information
5 otherwise. I mean, I don't want to say anything that would be wrong or
6 untruthful in terms of the numbers, how many tanks were destroyed, how
7 many were damaged, what we would do with the trucks and vehicles and this
8 and that and so on and so forth. And then when I understood what he was
9 saying and when he understood what I was saying and when he gave me some
10 instructions regarding the handover of certain elements to the 80th
11 Kragujevac Brigade, I mean, that I should not be tight, so to speak, with
12 the equipment that the Guards Brigade had, that I should give them jackets
13 and warmer clothing and so on and so forth. It was getting cold and that
14 I should give them what they needed. So our conversation evolved along
15 those lines.
16 And then in that operations room now who else was there? Was it
17 only the duty officer or someone else? I cannot confirm. I mean maybe
18 some other officers were there too. But anyway, we went our separate ways
19 then. I went to talk to my own officers there, I had two of them. If it
20 is necessary for the Court, this is Captain First-Class Danko Jovanovic,
21 and my first assistant for operations well, my, he's not mine, it's Major
22 Petar Todorovic. But I mean in terms of the chain there, he was there in
23 my unit. So during the Vukovar operation, during my free time, so to
24 speak, during the day most of my coordination took place with them. Do
25 this, do that, have a look at this, have a look at that, and so on and so
1 forth. Then perhaps I spent some 15 minutes with them and spelled out
2 certain things in very specific detail, how things would evolve that day,
3 the following day, rather, and then went back to Vukovar.
4 I cannot say with any degree of certainty what time this was, but
5 I'm sure that for security reasons, it was between 1900 and 2000 hours.
6 That is to say, everything that I've been saying so far was concluded by
8 I went back to my subordinates who were waiting for me there. Of
9 course, they were eager to hear what the commander was asking us to do and
10 whether we would go to Belgrade soon. That's what it was like.
11 Q. Thank you. We'll have to go back to some things a bit because you
12 gave a bit of a lengthy answer. And you described practically your entire
13 stay there up to the very end of that meeting. So I will have to take you
14 back so that you would deal with some of these matters yet again. And
15 could you please respond slowly and could you keep your answers as brief
16 as possible, please?
17 You mentioned the 80th Motorised Brigade. Do you remember who the
18 commander of that brigade was?
19 A. Yes. It was a Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic [Realtime transcript
20 read in error "Vojinovic"]. I met him even before Vukovar fell. I mean,
21 we were discussing logistics matters. I was with his people, that is.
22 Q. This Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, did he attend the meetings at
23 the command that you attended as well, every day?
24 A. I think so. No, it's not that I think so. He did. That evening,
25 as for that briefing, I think, well, it's not that I think, as far as I
1 can remember, it's very hard to say today after all this time, I cannot
2 speak with 100 per cent certainty, but Mrksic introduced him and said that
3 he would be responsible for the Vukovar zone and that we would move on to
4 new assignments that we did not know about yet.
5 Q. When you say that, that Mrksic introduced him as the person who
6 would be responsible for the Vukovar zone, what meeting are you talking
8 A. I think that he introduced him at that key point on the 20th when
9 we knew him quite well. I mean, he got quite a bit of equipment from my
10 base over those few days. If you ever served on the reserve forces, you
11 know the reserve forces come in with trousers and boots that are too small
12 and so on and so forth. So I don't know exactly when he came but I think
13 it was, say, around the 10th. I cannot say for sure.
14 So he sent his own quartermasters and technical support people to
15 link up with my own people and we were together in Berak, and I think that
16 that's how it went. Or, rather, it's not that I think that; that's the
17 way it went. I claim and assert that that's the way it went.
18 Q. I'm going to ask you directly -- well, you did talk about it a
19 bit, but my direct question is: On the meeting of the 20th, was
20 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojinovic there too, in addition to yourself?
21 A. I've already responded. It's hard to say today, but with 90
22 per cent certainty, not more than that, I can claim that he indeed was
23 there. Because in that period, when we were going our separate ways, I
24 wasn't the only one who walked up to Mrksic. Many people did. And others
25 like him perhaps too. There were things that were unclear and people put
1 extra questions. So I think he was there at the time.
2 Q. You were talking about the subject of that meeting, that is to say
3 what was discussed at that meeting. However, if I understood you
4 correctly, you were actually talking about what had to do with your own
5 unit and that's probably what you remember better. Do you remember at all
6 anything else except for what you told us just now, Captain Bozic, do you
7 remember any briefings by other officers, whether any other officers
8 reported to Colonel Mrksic, or do you remember such things or do you not
9 remember at all?
10 A. Well, I could not really say anything that would be of interest in
11 actual fact. I mean, if we had my work notebook here, then you could have
12 a look at it, too, and perhaps you would even laugh at all the things that
13 people reported about. But now, today, saying something, well, I really
14 don't know.
15 I'm not in a position to -- well, every commander ultimately asked
16 through Colonel Mrksic that the logistics people do something for them.
17 And that was a bit of a stress for me at every one of these meetings.
18 Because there was not a single briefing without the logistics battalion
19 being referred to, and that is what really stayed in my mind as far as
20 these meetings are concerned. I took down what other commanding officers
21 were saying as well. I mean, these are my former students, if I can put
22 it that way. I knew them well. I spent years with them in school and
23 sometimes I would ask them a few things. I would sort of say why they
24 were asking for this or that, or why they were reporting in such a way.
25 So that's the kind of thing I remember.
1 Q. You relayed to us what Mrksic said when he saw the captain in the
2 doorway. Can you cast your mind back and tell us whether this was at the
3 time when all the officers were still in the conference room or had they
4 all gone by then?
5 A. You see, at this point in time, the meeting came to a close but
6 the people hadn't left yet. Normally -- I could actually compare it to
7 the situation where you have a lecture that you're holding and then you
8 close it and then all the students go out and some walk up to the teacher.
9 Q. Would you be able to tell us what these words uttered by Mrksic
10 were or who they referred to?
11 A. I can't remember who was it who first raised these matters. I can
12 only assume that it was to do with the problems connected to prisoners,
13 civilian population, the matters that were mostly in the foreground at the
15 Q. Captain First-Class Bozic, the person you mentioned, who was he?
16 A. Captain Mile Bozic, who passed away unfortunately, he was killed
17 in a traffic accident in Montenegro near Pljevalji, I don't recall when
18 this was, was there in his capacity as commander of the 1st or 2nd
19 Military Police Company of the 1st Military Unit.
20 Q. Did he have APCs within his ranks?
21 A. Yes. Military police companies had APCs, and we used to refer to
22 them as guards' APCs. These were combat vehicles for infantry.
23 Q. You told us that you walked up to Colonel Mrksic at that time to
24 raise the matters you mentioned. Was there someone else with you whilst
25 you talked to him or had the conference room gradually emptied and you
1 ended up alone with him? Can you remember that?
2 A. Practically, the meeting had not yet ended for me. I don't know
3 how familiar you are with military matters, but what we normally do is in
4 order not to tire everyone else with matters that are not relevant for
5 them at such military briefings, the commander tells those present to
6 raise these matters at the end of the meeting.
7 The meeting room was full of people. People lit cigarettes and
8 then slowly walked out. I don't think anybody was following what we were
9 discussing because these were matters that had to do with me. And of
10 course these soldiers, they know how these things work.
11 Q. Thank you. Although you might have mentioned this but I will ask
12 you again about this conversation between the two of you. Do you know how
13 long it lasted?
14 A. At least 20 minutes, perhaps even more, because we had a great
15 deal of matters to deal with. And of course this was something that would
16 not be noted down in my private notes or in my work notes that I had.
17 Perhaps we even argued about certain matters because my position
18 was such and such and his was different. So it may have gone like this:
19 Colonel, shall we solve this in this way? And then he would say no, I
20 believe it should be dealt with differently. These were some crucial
21 matters concerning logistics support that had to be solved within the
22 framework of an operation.
23 Q. Did you know or not if you would be going back to Belgrade? And I
24 mean at the time of this conversation you had with him.
25 A. No. Our discussion had to do with military equipment and with
1 what was to come next.
2 He would tell me, Borisa, or, rather, no, he would most often
3 refer to me as Gluscevic. And he would say, "Gluscevic, we'll see about
4 that, we'll see how these matters will be solved."
5 Q. You told us that having ended this conversation with him, you left
6 the room and then met with some colleagues of yours. Did he leave the
7 premises as well?
8 A. The meeting room and his own office is within that same building.
9 I suppose that maybe some of his operatives may have been left behind and
10 perhaps they discussed matters or left. I went to a house that was about
11 100 metres away where I had these associates of mine, my assistants, and I
12 spoke to them and stayed there for some 15 minutes, I don't know, and then
13 I left. This surely was before 8.00 so it may have been 7.30 because by
14 8.00 I had to be at Berak.
15 Q. You've mentioned Berak just now. I have to put this question to
16 you again because I'm reading something in the transcript but I just want
17 to double-check whether you said this, in fact. Where did you -- how did
18 you leave Negoslavci and where?
19 A. I used an old truck and I went to Berak.
20 Q. Thank you. You -- it states at some point in the transcript that
21 you went to Vukovar.
22 A. No. I apologise. It's a mistake. It must have been a mistake.
23 Q. You did not definitely go to Vukovar?
24 A. No.
25 Q. In view of some testimony we had here, on that same evening, did
1 Colonel Mrksic come to Berak as well, before you arrived there or
3 A. I'm really sorry not to see Mr. Mrksic here today.
4 It was only once in these two months that Colonel Mrksic came to
5 Berak, and that was in early November. Never again did he go there. I
6 would see him every day, and he probably didn't go there because he didn't
7 have any problems with logistic support. I will say this but you can ask
8 him. He had great confidence in the entire structure dealing with the
9 logistics support for these units. Nobody lacked equipment, fuel. We
10 were very efficient in repairing hardware. Since the brigade base or, to
11 put it simply, the logistics battalion had a lot of equipment in stock, he
12 would come over to see about that and to procure the equipment. Also,
13 there was a -- there were extra personnel and manpower. So whenever you
14 needed a cook or you needed a butcher or someone because they would not be
15 there at the front line any longer, he would come over see me and other
16 chiefs to discuss these matters, to bring the strength of manpower up and
17 that would be it. And I'm sure he didn't go there because had there been
18 any need, he would go there.
19 Q. Thank you. I'm content with your answer, but nevertheless I have
20 to put the following question to you: Had he come over on that night or
21 some other day, would you have had to know about it? Would it have been
22 possible for him to come there without you knowing it?
23 A. I would have known it. It was a village with only several roads.
24 Both ends of the village were covered by check-points that I personally
25 observed. It would be impossible for a commander to come to the place
1 where his assistant is without letting the latter know about it. And why
2 would he go and check like this? There would have had to be a reason for
4 Q. You mentioned Mrksic as your commander. You said that you had
5 been a member of that brigade for two years before the Vukovar operation
6 and you stayed there afterwards. As an officer whose superior was Mrksic
7 for quite a long period of time, what would you be able to tell us about
8 him in his capacity as commander?
9 A. You see, it was for history's -- the truth's sake that I came
10 here. I can tell you that I don't know whether Mrksic appreciated me or
11 not. You have to ask him that. But I have respect for him because of the
12 following reasons. He was not -- he wasn't rash. He did not bully his
13 subordinates. He did not put people down. And I can at least speak for
15 We, I think, started trusting each other quite soon because as
16 soon as I came there, he did not really accept me right away. It was
17 probably in time, as he saw the performance I had in my work, he grew to
18 respect me and, you see, I'm the sort of person who doesn't mince his
19 words. And I can tell you all the people, his associates around him,
20 could not hold a candle to him. This is perhaps a bit rude, might sound
21 disrespectful to others, but I can tell you that Mrksic is a great
22 person. And I'm sure that if you went to talk to every single member of
23 the Vukovar Brigade, all of them would only support and confirm what I've
24 just said. And I mean the Guards Brigade members.
25 Q. Can you tell me, were you and Colonel Mrksic friends? Were you on
1 visiting terms?
2 A. Well, you see, I had never heard of Mrksic before I came to the
3 Guards Brigade in that month of September. I had been a professor at the
4 academy, and I wasn't that pleased to work in the field, to have to spend
5 time in the boots, and I particularly wasn't that pleased with the
6 department that I was to deal with, the logistics support, having been a
7 teacher myself.
8 In this period of time, I was the chief of logistics support in
9 the corps. My, you see, position was such that I would even envy those
10 persons who he referred to by their first names or nicknames, whereas he
11 always referred to me as Colonel Gluscevic; Colonel Gluscevic would do
12 this, would do that. He never used the familiar expression. He always
13 addressed me with V and not with the personal T in the B/C/S. And he kept
14 this distance, and that's why I appreciate him and have respect for him as
15 a person.
16 Q. Thank you for this answer, but my question was were you on
17 visiting terms? Did your families visit each other? Were you friends?
18 A. No. I was never on visiting terms with my superiors, with my
19 bosses. I had many such superiors in these 40 years of experience and I
20 never became that intimate with them.
21 Q. Thank you. Let us just briefly go back to the commander of the
22 80th Brigade. Can you tell us what his family name was? I believe it was
23 entered incorrectly in the transcript.
24 A. I wasn't there when he was christened but probably his name is
25 Vojnovic, if I understood your question correctly.
1 Q. Yes, yes. Now it's correct. Because the earlier name in the
2 transcript was Vojinovic and that of course is a bit different.
3 You said that it was on this meeting that he was introduced as the
4 future commander of the town. Did his units in fact take over the command
5 of Vukovar and did you have any commitments in this regard?
6 A. I don't really understand what you have in mind.
7 Q. Let me simplify my question a bit.
8 A. Don't call these meetings. These were briefings. Meetings were
9 the gatherings when Mrksic was there. With him I didn't have meetings of
10 that sort.
11 Q. You talked about that time when it was said that
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic would become the future commander. Did you
13 and your units have any obligations in assisting him in this handover?
14 A. Yes. I'm not sure when exactly that was but you can find that in
15 the documentation, in the orders and documents that certainly state this
16 clearly, but you can see there whatever dealings I had with him pursuant
17 to Mrksic's orders at the time they were deployed there.
18 First, they had to be supplied with -- with wood. Through my
19 quartermaster service he was supplied with a quantity of wood from
20 Karadjordjevo. Next, they had to be -- and also with trucks, so they also
21 had to be provided blankets, clothing and so on and so forth. Although of
22 course he came from a different place so he had to be given technical
23 support from us.
24 I don't see this as quite that important to tell you exactly what
25 my dealings with him were.
1 Q. Thank you. Yes, I wanted to hear about the period following his
2 arrival there.
3 I would like you to look at two documents now, Exhibits before
4 this Tribunal, and I have questions for you concerning those.
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Exhibit 425. Could we have that one
6 on the screens? Mr. Registrar, please? And could we first look at the
7 bottom part of the document?
8 Q. Mr. Gluscevic, could you please read the last two paragraphs in
9 this order that is right in front of you where it says "during the course
10 of the day"?
11 A. "During the course of the day, all measures were taken so that the
12 80th Motorised Brigade would take over the organisational and command
13 functions in the area of responsibility of the Operative Group JUG, South.
14 The commander of the 80th Motorised Brigade" -- I'm sorry, I misspoke.
15 "The command of the 80th Motorised Brigade received all instructions and
16 documents for organising command and control in the area of responsibility
17 of the Operations Group JUG, south."
18 Q. Thank you. What does this mean, what you read out just now? Does
19 it mean that this 80th Brigade had already taken over all of these
20 responsibilities or not?
21 A. It means what I already said a few times here. The 80th Brigade
22 took over everything. They had everything in their own hands, and we were
23 there practically just to prepare for what followed on the 24th.
24 Q. Just in a single sentence, what was it on the 24th? What was it
25 that followed?
1 A. Those who are familiar with the army and equipment and technical
2 aspects, a brigade with 700-something vehicles cannot set out
3 immediately. So in the period from the 22nd and the 23rd, we completed
4 certain activities and then we set up marching columns on the 24th,
5 probably in accordance with orders issued by the superior command, and
6 then we returned.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Can we remove this exhibit and then
9 my examination is coming to a close. But first I would like to have 415,
10 Exhibit 415, on the screen, please.
11 Q. You have the document in front of you. Can you please have a look
12 and could you tell me whether you know about that document? Do you
13 recognise this document or not?
14 A. You know what? It's hard to say now what happened 15 years ago
15 but I can say only, but with full responsibility before this Court, as far
16 as I can see, this is a document from the command of the 1st Military
17 District, from the forward command post. Therefore, all documents that
18 come from the -- that came from the forward command post to the Brigade
19 command were distributed, if necessary, as they were, to the subordinate
20 units, that is to say to the assistant commander for logistics as well,
21 and our documents were based on them too. That is to say, our orders and
22 other documents. And I believe that had all of this been kept in the
23 archives as I've said a few times already, had all of this not been
24 destroyed, we could have found this document and its trace from the
25 command to the brigade base, to the logistics post, that is.
1 Q. When you say, Mr. Gluscevic, that we could follow this trace, it
2 seems to me that on the basis of that answer that you've already provided
3 that this should be either this order or an order based on this order. Do
4 I understand you properly?
5 A. Yes, you understand me right. But this -- I mean, the Operations
6 Group South, JUG, should fully act in concert with the tactical and so on
7 and so forth, all of that would have to do with the combat units, first
8 and foremost, and probably the commanders of the 1st and 2nd of the Guards
9 units and so on, it probably had to come in a different form. I mean,
10 Mrksic's order had to arrive. And this copy could have reached me as
12 MR. MOORE: I object to this.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
14 MR. MOORE: I've let it go for sometime. We use -- the phrases
15 being used that indicated it's pure speculation, phrases like "probably,"
16 "probably," "could," in my submission, either this witness has seen this
17 document or he has not seen this document.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, could you get from the witness what he
19 actually knows about the document, if anything?
20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Well, that
21 was my question, actually, whether he's aware of this document or not.
22 Shall I repeat?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Don't debate about it. Just move on and deal with
24 it with the witness if you would. We are not interested in him trying to
25 work out what it must be but about anything that he knows. Thank you.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Gluscevic, you heard this. You see this document now, and
3 perhaps you see a bit more of it right now. Do you know anything more
4 about this document, very briefly, yes or no?
5 A. I can say -- I mean, I'm sorry, I apologise to the Court. I was
6 talking about documents in general. I cannot say anything about this
7 document. I was talking about documents in general, how their trace could
8 be followed, because I saw up here that it was the command of the
9 1st Military District, and I thought that the question was based on how
10 these documents came in. I was trying to clarify how documents went to
11 subordinate units, if I can put it that way.
12 As for this particular document, I cannot say anything. I don't
13 recall it. It had nothing to do me. There is no reference to me here or
14 to anyone of my people. As I said, it only pertained to the combat units.
15 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Gluscevic.
16 Thank you, Mr. Gluscevic. I have no further questions for you. I
17 would like to thank you for your answers, and I would particularly like to
18 thank you for the fact that you came nevertheless in spite of your
19 personal problems and family problems, that you came here to testify.
20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have concluded my
21 examination and I tried to fit into the time that we specified. I think
22 that I started at 2.25.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Domazet.
24 Mr. Borovic, any questions?
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, no
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic?
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask -- well, either to
4 consult my client for a minute or should we take the break now and then
5 perhaps I could put my questions? Perhaps I just have one or two. He's
6 already signaling me now that he has no questions but I wanted to consult
7 him in relation to something. I probably would just take a minute or two
8 of your time, if I were to ask anything at all but we could have the break
10 No, sorry, sorry, sorry, I didn't realise. I thought that this
11 was the time for the break. I see that the time for the break is only in
12 15 minutes. Sorry about that.
13 Can I just have a moment to consult with my client?
14 JUDGE PARKER: Please do, Mr. Lukic.
15 [Defence counsel and Accused Sljivancanin confer]
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No questions for this witness, Your
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
19 Mr. Moore any questions?
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Moore:
21 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
22 Q. When did you first speak to lawyers about giving evidence in this
24 A. I first saw Domazet yesterday, about twice I talked on the phone
25 over the past 15 days. I talked to Vasic three or four times altogether,
1 from when the proceedings started. I mean, if you're interested, perhaps
2 I could say it's been, say, two years. I wasn't noting anything down, but
3 Vasic was the first one who got in touch with me.
4 Q. Would it be right to say, then, that when you were speaking to the
5 lawyers, and we will deal with Mr. Vasic and Mr. Domazet, you told them
6 what you could say, what evidence you could give, to assist Mr. Mrksic?
7 A. Well, you can't put it that way, Judge. When talking to Vasic,
8 that is to say the first time I talked to him, a long time ago, in
9 Belgrade, in Nusiceva Street, I don't know the exact house number, I said
10 that I could give a statement in terms of how certain things were that he
11 asked me about at the time, and quite truthfully so, because I remembered
12 them. That's how it all ended. After a while, he again consulted me with
13 regard to certain matters. I also directed him to talk to some other
14 officers who knew about this better than I did.
15 And at any rate this cooperation between him and me went on until,
16 say, about a month ago, along the following lines, that I would make a
17 statement. Because there are different reasons why I couldn't come here.
18 And if I can put it that way, in a way, I was promised that, but the time
19 came that even in my old age I would have to get a passport and come here
21 It's not a very pleasant thing taking this long journey but I've
22 come here to say the truth and nothing but the truth and no one can
23 convince me of anything else. What I have said is the truth and nothing
24 but the truth.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 Could you just try and keep your answers a little shorter?
2 But I come back to the initial question: Did you explain to
3 Mr. Vasic or indeed Mr. Domazet in terms or in substance what you could
4 say, what evidence you could give, in relation to the case of Mr. Mrksic?
5 Is the answer yes or no, or could you give it in those two words, please?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So did you discuss, then, what had happened at the meeting on
8 the 20th, with Mr. Vasic or Mr. Domazet?
9 A. I don't know what you mean, what had happened. Nothing had
10 happened. I mean -- I mean, we weren't making any such comments.
11 Specifically what the lawyers were interested in, like today, is what they
12 asked me about. And as for some concrete things, well, you know, he would
13 say, was this this way, was that that way, and then I would say it was
14 that way or it wasn't that way. That's the only kind of discussion we
16 Q. Yes. But in reality, the evidence that you are giving here
17 principally deals with the meeting of the 20th, when Mrksic is there and
18 there is reference to I think his name is Captain Bozic. That's what the
19 guts of your evidence is about, isn't it?
20 A. I mean Bozic is mentioned in the context of -- I mean, Judge, Your
21 Honour, when I mentioned this Bozic now, when I spoke previously, I said
22 that at the moment when I was writing in my notebook, he showed up in
23 front of Mrksic and I wasn't interested in that at all at the time. But I
24 came to say what Mrksic's reaction was. He said to him immediately,
25 Bozic, if necessary, take even a company of APCs and go and resolve that.
1 Perhaps he also pointed to this Vojnovic.
2 I mean, at that time I wasn't interested in it at all. I only had
3 my own work to do, and I think that that has been said loud and clear. I
4 don't see any reason why we are going back to that.
5 Q. Well, the reason is actually perfectly clear. It's because I want
6 to know when you first told Mr. Vasic about Bozic. Simple. And could we
7 have a short answer, please?
8 A. Oh, I'll tell you that. The first time when Vasic -- not only in
9 relation to Bozic. I mean, when we met in Nusiceva street, say two years
10 ago or whenever, that is what I said then. Now, how Vasic understood this
11 and what he understood, I'm not going into that.
12 But as far back as then, I mentioned Bozic, because that's what
13 was being talked about, that event, and then I said Mrksic was with me, I
14 said. He was telling me about some tanks, what I should do and so on.
15 All of a sudden Bozic appeared and he said to him, quite harshly, I told
16 him about some details, what Bozic looked like, a big man, and one -- I'm
17 1.000 per cent sure that that's the way it was then. That's what I said
18 to Vasic then. I mean, I did not say that only yesterday.
19 Q. Well, you see, we have a problem here in this trial because we
20 have been going now for a lifetime, approximately a year, and this is the
21 first time that anybody has mentioned about Bozic. We've had witnesses
22 come and give evidence about that meeting and that name has never
23 appeared. You are the first person who has ever mentioned him. Do you
24 understand that?
25 A. Now I understand, after what you have stated, but I mean I don't
1 really mind, it doesn't affect me, because I know this Bozic was there,
2 and I know that Mrksic gave him such orders.
3 Q. It goes a little further than that. Normally, when witnesses give
4 evidence, what is suggested to them is what actually happened. So, for
5 example, let us say, Mr. Vojnovic gave evidence and I'm quite sure you
6 know he did, nothing was ever said to him, "By the way, Vojnovic, we would
7 suggest that it was suggested that Bozic should get a number of armoured
8 personnel carriers and go and sort out Ovcara." Nothing was ever
9 suggested about this at all. Does that surprise you?
10 A. Judge, I'm just surprised that you don't believe me. But I state
11 to you with full responsibility that I'm not interested in what Vojnovic
12 said here or anybody else. I came here to say what was heard at that
13 moment in front of Mrksic or, rather, what I learned then.
14 I mean, I don't know why you insist on it that much. If this
15 Bozic were here, he could confirm that but unfortunately he's not here.
16 He's not among the living any longer. But my work notebook could support
17 that and many, many other things even more. I mean, I'm not saying that
18 it would say in the work notebook Bozic said such and such a thing, but
19 you could see that this conversation took place between me and Mrksic and,
20 well, how should I put this? It just so happened he came there. I mean,
21 I'm not assuming how it was that he came but it is 1.000 per cent correct.
22 Q. So, of all the people in all the world who could have helped
23 Mr. Mrksic, Mr. Bozic, he unfortunately is dead, and of all the documents
24 that could help you, they have unfortunately been destroyed. Is that --
25 is that a correct summary of it?
1 A. Well, I'm not the one who is to judge who can help Mrksic. That
2 is probably in somebody else's hands. I'm here to speak the truth and
3 nothing but the truth. I have said the truth and nothing else.
4 Q. You've told this Court that you've told the truth about five
5 times. Can we just move on to what you were supposed to have said? You
6 see, we got summaries, we got one on the 10th of August, we then got
7 what's called an amended summary on the 6th of September. And I'm going
8 to go through these documents which really are statements of what we were
9 expecting you to say.
10 Now, in the first document, there is absolutely no reference to
11 your attendance at the meeting on the 20th. All there is is, so I read it
12 out to you, "He will testify to the manner of regular informing in
13 Negoslavci, especially to his observations in the periods of the 19th,
14 20th of November while he was at OG South command post in Negoslavci."
15 Not a single reference at all to you being present, about
16 references to Ovcara, references to Vojnovic, references, more
17 importantly, to Bozic. Not a single word. Now, can you explain how that
18 has happened, even though you perhaps did not create the document.
19 Nothing is there.
20 A. Judge, sir, it is inconceivable to have any kind of reporting
21 without the presence of the assistant commander for logistics.
22 Now, who was it that gave you this information that I would not be
23 there, that I would not be present? I mean, that is the mainstay, and all
24 the commanders and all the subordinates move within that circle because
25 without logistics you cannot have fuel, you cannot have vehicles, you
1 cannot have any such thing. Who was it that could have been there if it
2 weren't for me over there in Negoslavci? If you've learned anything about
3 the military, you've got to know that this is a basic thing. One cannot
4 wage war if logistics doesn't function properly. That is a response to
5 what you said.
6 As for the rest, who did what and in that context, who wrote what,
7 I mean, I cannot respond to that, because I, as far as I know, did not
8 provide any such thing to you. Now, who provided whatever is something I
9 don't know about.
10 Q. What you're really saying is that when there are meetings at the
11 command headquarters, there are certain officers who will always be there.
12 For example, commander of logistics. Is that right?
13 A. Absolutely. Not only commander of logistics but all who are along
14 this direct communication line with the commander. They can only be
15 absent if he gives his approval. But then a deputy would have to stand
17 Q. And that presumably would apply to the chief of the security
18 organ. He would be another person. Is that what you're saying?
19 A. I can say what the general rule is, and probably it should apply
20 to him too, but now I mean, well, don't keep putting all please questions
21 to me. Let my statement remain as it is. All of those who are along this
22 direct communication line with the commander, and the book shows who is
23 along this direct communication line and who has to attend these meetings
24 and briefings. You have the books and they clearly show that.
25 Q. And they clearly show that the chief of the security organ would
1 normally be there at the meeting of the command headquarters. That's
2 right, isn't it?
3 A. He would be present unless the commander assigned him a different
4 task to be elsewhere, or if another superior of his issued him with an
5 order requiring him to be elsewhere. That's the general rule in the
6 military. He would be present unless there was a special reason for him
7 to be absent.
8 Q. And can we put it this way, that in actual fact if he wasn't
9 present, he would delegate, the chief of the security organ would delegate
10 someone to stand in for him so that the security organ would be
11 represented? That is correct, is it not?
12 A. Listen, that's a very sensitive issue. I can only tell you the
13 following: When I am required to be elsewhere, then Colonel Stojkovic,
14 who is my first subordinate, will stand in for me.
15 As for the chief, I don't know what the rule book says with regard
16 to his duty. I can speak for myself. Every commanding officer of a
17 certain unit has his entitlements, duties and obligations specifically
18 defined. This includes the person he has to report to. If the chief is
19 not present, then this is something that the commander must definitely be
20 aware of as he would be the one to give his consent for his absence.
21 Q. Are you trying to be truthful here? Are you trying to help the
23 A. Absolutely.
24 Q. That being the case, would you agree the security organ is a
25 crucial component in relation to command structure and operations with the
1 commanding officer?
2 A. No. All of us are important. How can he be more important than
4 Q. Well, can we work on the basis that you're all terribly important?
5 A. Yes. In that joint command, all of us are terribly important or
6 equally important, to be more precise.
7 Q. Now, with regard to the statement that we have, you say that you
8 have no idea why it is that the meeting of the 20th is not specified in
9 the first summary of the 10th of August. So we have heard your evidence
10 on that. What you were actually going to give evidence about was your
11 meeting with General Jerko Crmaric. Do you remember about that?
12 A. Listen, General Jerko Tomanovic is being mentioned here. There is
13 no such person. There is General Jerko Crmaric. Tomanovic is a quite a
14 different person -- or, rather, I don't know about General Tomanovic I
15 know about Dr. Tomanovic.
16 Q. What I'm suggesting to you is this little piece of paper with two
17 paragraphs deals with your ability to give general information and then a
18 meeting with General Jerko Crmaric. That was all we were going to hear
19 evidence about.
20 Now, I want you just to listen for a moment, if you would be kind
21 enough. We then got a second summary from the Defence dated the 6th of
22 September. Now, I accept that on the document dated the 6th of September,
23 there is reference to Mile Bozic. I accept that. But I would suggest to
24 you that the account that you give in this document is different in many
25 fundamental ways from the evidence that you have given. So I'm going to
1 read through various parts and get you to explain how it is that there are
3 MR. MOORE: I don't know if the Court has got a copy of this
4 supplementary note. Might I respectfully inquire if the Court has?
5 Because it's a 65 ter summary supplement and it is important.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Dated the 6th of September, 2006.
7 MR. MOORE: Yes, thank you very much.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Page 1 only. It's numbered 8. It appears to be
9 continuing on but we haven't that.
10 MR. MOORE: As far as I'm aware, it was a composite bundle and
11 this only relates to this witness. The other pages referred I think to
12 other witnesses. I hope I'm right on that.
13 JUDGE PARKER: There is a line and a half on the next page which
14 fortunately I now have.
15 MR. MOORE: All right. Thank you very much indeed.
16 Q. There is the first reference to the fact that you didn't want to
17 go into to give evidence. I'm not going to ask you any questions about
18 this. Second paragraph relates to the fact that you're the assistant ware
19 commander in Berak. I'm not going to ask you about that. Third paragraph
20 relates again to the topic about General Jerko Crmaric. I'm not going to
21 ask you about that. Then there is another paragraph, I'm not going to ask
22 you about that. But I'm going to ask you now to the substance of what is
24 First thing I want to ask you is this: Do you read English?
25 A. No.
1 Q. I'm just curious, because you seem to be looking at the screens.
2 A. Yes. But I don't understand a word. Except for Serbian.
3 Q. Thank you very much. So we'll start, if we may.
4 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I don't know about the tape.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We are letting you run on a moment or two,
6 Mr. Moore, because I thought you were at a point that might be reaching a
8 MR. MOORE: No, regrettably not a climax.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Well, in that event I think we need to have a break
10 now because you only have two or three minutes left on the tape.
11 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn and resume at a quarter past 4.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.53 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Moore.
16 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
17 Q. I want to deal with what you are or were going to say. I'll read
18 it out. "He will testify," the he is you, "to the circumstances which
19 arose from the testimony of Milorad Vojnovic and with respect to the
20 regular reporting at Negoslavci on the 20th of November at the command
21 place of the OG South." So far so good. "On that occasion, after Milorad
22 Vojnovic reported the problems that occurred at the hangar at Ovcara in
23 the course of that afternoon and that he managed to solve and overcome the
24 problems that he induced full control at the hangar."
25 Now, here is a reference to "after Milorad Vojnovic reported the
1 problems occurred at the hangar at Ovcara." Well, we haven't heard any
2 evidence here in your evidence about Vojnovic reporting problems, have we?
3 A. Nobody asked me anything about it.
4 Q. It's not just a case of asking. It's a question also of giving
5 evidence and telling. You can't just pass the buck to somebody else.
6 You're here to give evidence. You were asked actually two or three times
7 by Mr. Domazet to tell us basically what happened in that meeting. And
8 not a tickly-boo was said about Vojnovic reporting problems. How do you
9 explain that?
10 A. You see, when I was preparing myself for the testimony and
11 thinking about what I would say, I had the intention of simply saying the
12 truth. I don't know what Vojnovic said. Had he said something which had
13 to do with me I would be able to tell you that Vojnovic asked me, and
14 perhaps in fact he did, whether the elements that he had in the -- the
15 elements that I had in Berak of the Guards Brigade, whether they would
16 stay behind or not. I'm certain that these matters were discussed, as is
17 stated here, but I cannot tell you what it was that Vojnovic talked about.
18 Q. No, no. In this summary, it is quite specific. It says: "After
19 Vojnovic reported the problems" and goes on "that occurred at Ovcara, he
20 managed to solve and overcome the problems." So it is -- the word is
21 "reporting." Therefore it deals specifically with the problem, and the
22 fact that Vojnovic had overcome the problem and that the problem was at
24 Now, there are three specific references in that account and yet
25 you didn't mention any of them when you were giving your evidence. So how
1 do you account for those three omissions?
2 A. I don't think that I made any omissions. Whatever you asked me
3 about, I gave you my answer. I suppose that if you had been in my shoes
4 at the time -- please put yourself in my shoes and try and picture what
5 was happening there. Not just on that particular briefing but the
6 briefings in the days preceding that day. I told you how things worked
7 and what we got, and I don't think that there was reason for me to --
8 Q. I have asked you specifically about the 20th and the three
9 references. Will you please direct your answer to that question? What is
10 your answer? How is it there are three specific references which you have
11 not mentioned in your evidence, even though you were given many chances by
12 the Defence who are calling you? Why did you not mention problems? Why
13 did you not mention Vojnovic reporting problems? Why did you not mention
15 A. Why would I be mentioning them? First of all, I was never at
16 Ovcara. Second, Vojnovic had no other points of contact with me except
17 for that -- for being at the same briefing there. What else? What is
18 your further question?
19 Q. I'll move on to my next question. Colonel Mrksic stated that
20 problems like those must never occur again and that if needed, Colonel
21 Vojnovic should ask the Chief of Staff, Miodrag Panic, to allow use of the
22 armoured transporters company headed by Mile Bozic.
23 Now, I will go through this particular statement as well. Mrksic
24 stated that problems like those must never occur again. You have said
25 nothing about that at all in specific terms when giving your evidence to
1 this Court, have you?
2 A. I haven't because there was no mention of the commander, and I
3 don't know when it was that he said that, and I mean Mrksic, when he
4 mentioned these matters and where. He did not talk to me about those
5 matters. He talked about the ways in which I could pull out the tank.
6 Q. No, no, no. This summary is what your evidence is supposed to be.
7 This is the 6th of September. There is reference to: "Colonel Mrksic
8 stated." "Stated" in English means "spoke."
9 "Colonel Mrksic stated that problems like those must never occur
10 again. And that if needed, Vojnovic should ask the Chief of Staff,
11 Miodrag Panic, to allow use of the armoured transporters company headed by
13 Are you saying then that you never heard Mrksic say this? Is that
14 what your evidence is now?
15 A. Listen, I can't say that I heard him stating that. I don't see
16 why you're asking me this.
17 Q. Well, I'm asking it because this is a document which we are told
18 reflects your evidence. It's a document that's created by the lawyers of
19 Mr. Mrksic, usually on the instructions of the people that they speak to.
20 Are you saying that this is a false document, that this does not
21 accurately reflect what you told them?
22 A. Oh, come on. I stated what I stated and I stand by my statement.
23 And I meant concerning Mrksic, Bozic and myself.
24 Now, what Mrksic stated where, I don't know, and don't try to put
25 this to me in such a way that I should answer and say that it's
1 untruthful. I can't say whether it's the truth or not. I can only talk
2 about my interactions with Mrksic in the presence of late Bozic. And of
3 course I can answer any other specific questions you may have for me.
4 Q. No. I'd suggest that's not right either. Did you see this
5 document when you came to speak to the lawyers?
6 A. Which document? Can you show it to me? I'd like to see the
7 entire document.
8 Q. Well, I've got an English. And I'm terribly sorry my B/C/S is not
9 quite what it should be.
10 A. I don't speak English. I know -- I can only speak Serbian.
11 I have seen no other documents but the military documents shown to
12 me. I don't know if the document you are referring to is a military
13 document. I didn't see any other documents but different orders, reports
14 and operation log books, things that I'm familiar with as a military
15 person. I don't know what it is that you're showing to me.
16 Q. I think or I would suggest, not -- my views aren't important. I
17 would suggest that you know perfectly well what I'm asking, that this is
18 an account given by you, translated into English, as apparently reflecting
19 the evidence you are to give. This is not a military document. This is a
20 document which reflects your anticipated evidence.
21 Now, were you ever shown such a document or not? Yes or no?
22 A. First of all, I didn't give any statement anywhere. I only talked
23 to lawyer Vasic, as I've already said, and yesterday with Mr. Domazet. It
24 was the -- it was yesterday afternoon that I saw him for the first time
25 and I told you that I spoke to him, but I didn't give any statements or
1 have before me any documents of the sort. I said that Vasic showed me
2 some orders, operations logs and so on.
3 Q. So the reference that Colonel Vojnovic should ask the Chief of
4 Staff, Miodrag Panic, to allow use of the armoured transporters, where has
5 that come from? Where has the name Miodrag Panic come from? Because it's
6 a very specific function, when you are Chief of Staff. So where has the
7 Chief of Staff reference come from?
8 A. Listen, the only person next to the commander to engage all units,
9 including brigade units, is the Chief of Staff. That was the authority he
10 was vested with by the legislature. You're asking me about Miodrag Panic
11 and what he was told or what he said. I don't know about that. I only
12 know that he had the authority to issue orders to me in addition to
13 Mrksic, and he was the only one because Chief of Staff under the
14 establishment is the deputy of the commander, although I know that he did
15 not issue any orders to me.
16 Q. But that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking a very simple
17 question. May I finish? That in this reference, which is supposed to be
18 your anticipated evidence, you're supposed to have heard Mrksic
19 saying, "Speak to Panic." Because he will allow you to use the - may I
20 finish? - to use the armoured transporters headed by Bozic. I'm asking
21 you where has the reference to Panic come from?
22 A. Listen, you're asking me a lot of things. I told you what Mrksic
23 told Bozic. Now, whether at this point or a bit later Mrksic mentioned
24 the Chief of Staff, that he was supposed to sort this out with Bozic, I
25 don't know. My head was full of other matters that I had to deal with and
1 it's been 15 years. I can give you no answer whatsoever to that that
2 would be relevant.
3 Q. I haven't quite finished on this one. There is no reference at
4 all to any conversation with Bozic. Only "Speak to Miodrag Panic who will
5 refer to you Bozic." There is no reference to Bozic being present, no
6 reference to a conversation with Bozic, whereas your evidence says he pops
7 his head around the corner and suddenly gets lumbered with an order. So
8 how do you explain that?
9 A. I'm saying -- well, I can explain that very well, because it
10 remained impressed in my memory, etched in my memory, in fact. Besides, I
11 thought that this was the particular moment where there were officers who
12 were able to hear this. Now, whether Panic was involved, I don't know.
13 However, I can tell you that what I stated with regard to Bozic is 1.000
14 per cent true.
15 Q. We normally find 100 per cent is adequate in this Court.
16 Can we just move on to your proofing note? We've got a proofing
17 note which came to us today, somewhere between 12.00 and 12.30, and this
18 apparently was as a consequence of your conversation yesterday. We'll
19 just go through that, if we may.
20 MR. MOORE: Does the Court have a copy of the proofing note, may I
21 respectfully inquire?
22 JUDGE PARKER: No.
23 MR. MOORE: I would like to put that before the Court so that they
24 can understand the cross-examination. But at this time I don't ask for it
25 to be made an exhibit, merely for understanding.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Please pass up the copy.
2 MR. MOORE: I can put it on Sanction which --
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
4 MR. MOORE: Does Your Honour have a copy of that now?
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
6 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
7 Q. Now, you gave your evidence about what happened, and I want to
8 refer to the second paragraph. Here we are, we've got Colonel Mrksic
9 presenting Vojnovic, the future commander of Vukovar. Now --
10 A. I apologise. This means nothing to me. This isn't in the
11 language I understand, my language.
12 Q. Well, I can read it out to you, if you wish, and it could be
13 translated. Will that help? I'll have it read out to you in B/C/S.
14 "The witness will give evidence in respect of regular daily
15 meetings at command post of OG South in Negoslavci, especially at the time
16 of the fall of Vukovar and with special emphasis on a meeting held on
17 the 20th of November, 1991, when Colonel Mrksic presented
18 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, commander of the 80th Motorised Brigade, as
19 the future commander of Vukovar."
20 You agree with that? No problems?
21 Next paragraph: "The witness will testify that at the time the
22 meeting was about to conclude, and all officers, including
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, were still present in a room, Captain
24 First-Class Mile Bozic entered the room and Colonel Mrksic reacted loudly
25 and said, 'Bozic has armoured transporters. If needed, use them and make
1 them go away.'"
2 All right?
3 Now, that's what your statement says.
4 A. Well, that's not really the case. I stated here the way it was.
5 Mrksic and I seated -- were seated next to each other. At that point,
6 Bozic appeared at the door and probably - I say probably because I can't
7 speculate - Mrksic told Bozic the following: "Bozic, if need be, you can
8 take a company" --
9 Q. You see, what I'm asking is really very simple. Your evidence
10 today is the fourth version of what we have heard, or what's been
11 presented to us, and even this one there is no reference to Ovcara, just a
12 reference to "Bozic has armoured transporters, if needed use them and make
13 them go away."
14 Now, why is there no reference to Ovcara? Why is there no
15 reference to problems?
16 A. You should ask someone else that. At the time, I, and I believe
17 my colleagues, too, did not see -- I'm sure that this were problems, as
18 some of them raised them, but I believe that at the time of the briefing,
19 if we want to really analyse and examine the briefing, there were
20 problems, but they weren't so much in the foreground. To you, of course,
21 they are now very important, but at the time these problems were not made
22 that topical. We had many such instances where soldiers were put under
23 great pressure and so on and so forth.
24 Q. Well, what do you mean that at the time these problems were not
25 that topical, you had many such instances? What do you mean by that?
1 A. I meant to say the following: At that point in time, Ovcara was
2 not -- and not just to me but to most of the people there, was not --
3 well, we were preoccupied with our own problems. I had 700 to 800
4 soldiers and 700 to 800 vehicles in the brigade, and that's where my
5 problems lay. If Vojnovic arrived there and raised some problems, then
6 this must have been problems that were crucial to him and not to me. I
7 only thought of my problems and not of other people's.
8 Q. Are you saying that there were other problems occurring at that
9 time where soldiers were under pressure from the local TO with regard to
11 A. In Berak, my people, no. Let everybody speak for himself. In
12 Berak everything was fine. That's where I was. I wasn't in Berak at that
13 time but I was at the command post in Negoslavci, and I had no pressure
14 whatsoever in Berak. Everything was --
15 Q. I'm asking you were you aware that there were other problems
17 A. What other problems?
18 Q. Problems where soldiers were under pressure from local volunteers
19 or TO who were misbehaving?
20 A. You know what? From this vantage point, I cannot, well, probably
21 I wrote something down in terms of highly organic matter, but I cannot say
22 anything to you with certainty now I am aware of such and such a thing. I
23 could not put it in such decided terms. I mean, perhaps, had they come up
24 with something stronger, I may have remembered.
25 Q. No. I'm asking you about this statement: "I only thought of my
1 problems and not other people's. If Vojnovic arrived there and raised
2 some problems then it must have been problems that were crucial to him and
3 not to me."
4 So I'm asking to you whether in actual fact there were problems
5 being raised at meetings or mention was being made of problems that were
6 occurring with TOs and volunteers but obviously not in Berak?
7 A. If you're asking me whether problems of the TO were being
8 mentioned in relation to that, I mean, that has to do with logistics,
9 well, yes, but if you're asking about something else, then no.
10 Q. Then what did you think was meant, "Bozic, take some armoured
11 personnel carriers over to Ovcara and sort it out?" What did you think
12 that meant?
13 A. Well, to be quite honest, today I can say what was thought.
14 Probably that some unsettled situation should be taken care of.
15 But at that time, I didn't think anything, to be quite honest,
16 nothing. I was just waiting. And actually, I was upset because he barged
17 in that way and interrupted my conversation.
18 Q. So when the Court considers your evidence, and it's the sentence
19 that you say is the true sentence, "Mile, if necessary" -- "take, if
20 necessary, even a company of armoured personnel carriers and help them
21 over there around Ovcara," what is this Court to make of that statement?
22 What is it supposed to mean?
23 A. I just wanted to say that that moment I mean, well, if I mean, if
24 it can be put that way, what happened at that meeting and after that
25 meeting. Now, who is going to understand this, in which way, the Chamber,
1 anybody else? You know what, I was a teacher for many, years and not only
2 from that period, I remember a great many things, remember them very well,
3 although I'm 63 years old, and in an initial story, I told that to Vasic,
4 not yesterday, not today but two years ago. That's what I said then. And
5 then what happened after that, I don't know.
6 Q. I just want to go on with this a little further. There is
7 reference -- perhaps I read it to help you. "The witness particularly
8 remembered that all of them who were present heard that, including
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic. The officers started leaving, except the
10 witness," that's you, by the way, "who remained in order to discuss the
11 task of his unit with Colonel Mrksic and that discussion lasted or another
12 15 or 20 minutes. After that they both went out and separated."
13 Now, we have heard Vojnovic give evidence, nothing was ever said
14 to Vojnovic about "Bozic, go and get your armoured transporters," nothing
15 has been said about Miodrag Panic, and we also have had another witness
16 called Vukosavljevic, security organ from the 80th. He gave evidence and
17 he gave evidence that he spoke to Mrksic after that meeting broke up,
18 immediately after the meeting had broken up. Now, did you see somebody
19 else coming in with Vojnovic speaking to Vojnovic at that time? Because
20 it would be in the time when you were allegedly there.
21 A. That first part of your question or text, when you say did
22 somebody else hear or, rather, that somebody else did hear, I assert that
23 what happened at that moment, when the meeting was over, I, Mrksic and
24 what he said to Bozic, that could have been heard by half of the room and
25 seen by half of the room, but let's be quite honest about this. Did it
1 occur to anyone at the time to write that down? I mean, I was just there.
2 I don't know whether Vojnovic heard it. You should ask him. Whether some
3 third person heard it, I don't know. But really, it is pointless to ask
4 me. I mean, they could have heard, like you can hear what we are saying
5 now. It was a small room, like next to -- like up to those pillars up
6 there. I mean, really, I have told you what I said, and that's it. And
7 now as for the rest that you've been asking me about, I mean, well, I
8 mean, why Panic is being mentioned, I don't know. I mean, you've been
9 going back to that. You should ask him and who mentions him, well, have
10 him brought here and ask him.
11 Q. You see, so there is no misunderstanding, what I'm suggesting is
12 that you are a gentleman who has come here to lie, that there are four
13 separate and different accounts given by you and you're having difficulty
14 actually remembering what was said on those previous accounts.
15 A. Judge, if that is what you're saying to me, I can tell you, quote
16 a famous quotation, well, never mind. When a person says something to
17 another person, if there are no arguments for that, then it applies to the
18 other person.
19 Do you really have arguments to that effect that I'm lying? I
20 mean, don't discredit me that way.
21 Q. There is no reference to Miodrag Panic. There is no reference to
22 Ovcara. There is no reference to conversations in your earlier -- in your
23 earlier statements. There is no reference to Bozic. Nothing. And yet
24 you come here and suddenly we have evidence that covers 15 to 20 minutes
25 when you leave and covers Bozic going to Ovcara. I'd suggest those are
1 the reasons I'm accusing you of telling lies.
2 A. Me? I said that about Bozic?
3 Q. I'm suggesting you have never mentioned Bozic for some
4 considerable time and when you have, the story has changed three times.
5 A. It did not change at all. Look at the first, second and third
6 one. It's always the same. I said that Bozic went to Ovcara? Is that
7 what you said just now? No way. I never said that at all. No, no. I
8 did not even mention Ovcara or Panic. I mean, please now, don't plant
9 that on me. Well, please. I mean, I know, well, I mean, I can take quite
10 a lot but, I mean, when did I say that? Have a look at what I said.
11 Q. Well, then, how did the name of Panic get into this particular
12 summary? Because it's your summary.
13 A. Why are you asking me that? I never mentioned that, Panic. Not a
14 single time. Now, find that place where I mentioned Panic. Show me that
15 document. Now, I mean don't come up with this stuff written by somebody
16 else. In what I stated here today did I ever mention Panic? I don't like
17 to mention him, by the way.
18 Q. And tell me, did you ever sign a statement or produce any
19 documents prior to coming to court or coming to The Hague this weekend?
20 A. [No interpretation].
21 Q. I take it that means no? I have nothing on the translation.
22 A. I did not sign any statement before coming to The Hague or in
23 The Hague. I just conducted a conversation with a lawyer, Mr. Vasic.
24 Q. And if a record was kept of that conversation with the lawyer,
25 would you be prepared to let me see that document? If you're telling the
1 truth, you have nothing to fear, have you?
2 A. Notes kept by who? You mean me?
3 Q. No. Sometimes when people have a conversation with lawyers,
4 lawyers are terribly active and they make notes, and I'm asking whether in
5 actual fact notes were made of the conversation with you. Now, if they
6 were, would you be prepared to let me see those?
7 A. How can I permit you something? I mean, I never kept any notes,
8 in all these conversations, today, yesterday, two years ago. And it's not
9 that it really bothered me in any way. I mean, now I'm a retired person
10 and I did such a lot of writing during my career. I wrote textbooks and I
11 wrote notes, and now, I mean, well, if somebody took some kind of notes,
12 Mr. Vasic, Mr. Domazet, you talk to them. I haven't got any notes, and I
13 have no military memories or mementos, because everything was destroyed in
14 my office, and I'm so sorry about that because there was lots of
15 literature there and other things that have to do with the 40 years I
16 spent working on that job, but that's the way it was.
17 Q. You say -- I've noticed that you use the word "I only speak
18 Serbian." Forgive me for being simple. I sometimes know it as B/C/S,
19 Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian. Is that the same language?
20 A. I'm telling you it's Serbian. Now what you know I really don't
21 know. Maybe it's the same. I'm speaking the Serbian language.
22 Q. You have heard of Seselj, the politician?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How would you describe his political orientation?
25 A. I'm not going to answer to that at all. Although I completed the
1 political school of the Yugoslav People's Army, I'm not taking an exam
2 today to give answers about Seselj and his political orientation. If that
3 is the topic of this conversation, you should have told me and I should
4 have done a bit of studying and I should have prepared for this. I'm not
5 prepared for that kind of thing.
6 Q. Giving evidence is not like a box of Leonida's chocolates. You
7 just don't pick out the ones that you like and disregard the rest. You
9 Now I want to ask you the following question: Do you agree or
10 disagree with what Seselj's political views are?
11 A. I cannot answer that. That is not a question for me. I'm a
12 soldier, a professional. Ask me about my profession. Ask me anything you
13 want from my profession. I'll give you answers to that.
14 As for this Seselj. First of all, I've never seen him, ever,
15 except on television, and I don't see why that question cropped up now.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I object. I think that
18 this question is not based on the examination-in-chief, and it cannot have
19 anything to do with the witness's statement and his credibility. I really
20 think that it goes beyond the scope of cross-examination.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
22 Mr. Moore, it is not obviously on point. Have you had enough or
23 do you want to persist with the subject matter?
24 MR. MOORE: Well, I'll not persist but I would like to pursue the
25 area. It has two relevances. One in relation to the 13th of November and
1 second to a document that I may show this witness in a moment.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Continue, Mr. Moore.
4 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much. I will try and be brief on the
6 Q. Do you accept that Seselj is an extremist and that he has extreme
7 views and had extreme views in 1991?
8 A. Judge, not a word on that question. Seselj is not my superior
9 officer. He's not a like-minded person. He's probably a Serb like I am
10 but nothing else. Don't ask me about that. I came here on account of my
11 colleagues with whom I participated in this. You can ask me about that.
12 Don't ask me about Seselj.
13 Q. Can I suggest to you that you're a gentleman who supports an
14 extreme Serbian view, just like Seselj?
15 A. No, no. You can never ascribe that to me. I was and remain a
16 Yugoslav and a Serb.
17 Throughout the former big Yugoslavia, if I were to stroll about
18 Ljubljana nowadays for about two hours somebody would walk up to me and
19 say hello to me, greet me. I spent over 17 years in different schools and
20 I know people. The same thing would happen to me in Skopje or Zagreb or
21 Sarajevo. I have many friends belonging to all the different national
22 ethnic groups. I can prove that time and again. Not only here. If you
23 were to take me to Ljubljana or to Skopje now.
24 Q. What about Croatia? We have heard the defenders of Vukovar, the
25 Croatian defenders of Vukovar, as being described as terrorists in 1991.
1 Do you agree with that, them being described as terrorists?
2 A. Who described him? Who was it that described them? Let me see,
3 who described them as terrorists. I don't know about that. Terrorist
4 this and that. I mean, now you are going into a political topic and
5 you're asking me about some things that are peripheral as regards this.
6 Now, what is the point? What is the objective? Are you trying to
7 provoke me? Are you trying to put words in my mouth? To say things that
8 have nothing to do with my very own personality or is it something else?
9 I don't know. But I see no reason why you are moving in that direction,
10 things that don't really have much to do with me.
11 Q. I've almost finished. I will move off this topic.
12 The security organ, what is the function or what was the
13 security -- what was the function of the security organ in November 1991
14 and at the time that the guards were at Vukovar?
15 A. Well, again, you're asking me a great deal. If you asked me what
16 the role was of the assistant commander for logistics, namely me, perhaps
17 I could remember -- well, I wouldn't rattle it off like a pupil, like my
18 Radic did a long time ago, but I can say just like you, he's responsible
19 for the security of the brigade and nothing more than that. There is
20 nothing more I can add to that.
21 Q. Is it a case that the security organ is what I will call very
22 hands-on, that they are aware of what's going on?
23 A. I don't know. I was never a security organ. I cannot answer that
25 Q. But you can suggest, I would suggest, because you know perfectly
1 well that the security organ were always involved around and about
2 Operation Group South.
3 A. How do you mean that? All of us were involved in questions that
4 had to do with Operation Group South. I told you a few moments ago, he's
5 not more important than I am and I'm not more important than he is. We
6 all worked as a team. A command is a good team. I don't see that
7 somebody was involved more than somebody else. What was important for me
8 as assistant commander for logistics certainly wasn't important for him,
9 because he had his own line of work, but we got along very well, and we
10 cooperated in terms of contributing both ways.
11 Now what you're trying to ask me about security organs, I mean, I
12 was never with them. I cannot say. I know that they did their job well.
13 Q. And did you have dealings with Sljivancanin?
14 A. Always. It was excellent. I'm sorry that we cannot greet each
15 other properly.
16 Q. And would it be right to say that Sljivancanin was an officer who
17 was involved in the general -- when I say "control," I don't mean it in a
18 military sense. That he was involved around the activities of OG South,
19 as you would expect from the security organ?
20 A. You know what, Judge? Sljivancanin was a major. He was chief of
21 security, as you have put it in your question. This is the second time
22 that I'm telling you that he was involved as much as I was; involved
23 meaning that he did his job, I did my job. Now, where we had points in
24 common, then we would sit down and talk. We all know on what subjects.
25 He could give information to me if he had some better information, not
1 only in Operation Group South but also during the many years of our work.
2 Nothing else.
3 Q. I would suggest that, as I've already done, you have come to
4 deliberately mislead this Court, that you have given various accounts on
5 various occasions, and that in actual fact what you have told, I'm afraid,
6 has been a tissue of lies to help your colleagues. What do you say to
8 A. I've already said what I have to say to that. When a man says
9 something to another man and he doesn't have arguments, then the same goes
10 for him. If you have any arguments that this is untrue, show me these
11 arguments. Since I have been disarmed, so to speak, if I had my work
12 notebook from Vukovar, the one that I kept for 60 days as a teacher and as
13 a logistics man, probably you would have less ability to try to
14 provoke me.
15 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I have no further questions but I would
16 wish to make an application for the summaries prepared to be made
17 exhibits, going to the witness's credibility.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Have they not be the sufficiently the subject of
19 cross-examination to identify the material passages, Mr. Moore?
20 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, can I put it this way? Clearly there has
21 been cross-examination on it and on what I will call the important areas,
22 I hope. Nevertheless, in my submission, it often assists if the full
23 documents can be present so that the Court, when considering the matter of
24 credibility, can look at it with more precision and without perhaps the
25 same difficulty as one would have when looking from a transcript.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE PARKER: We'll leave that matter for the moment, Mr. Moore.
3 You've made your motion.
4 Mr. Domazet, first, at a critical point in cross-examination, you
5 stood. I signalled to you to sit down. I want to be sure that that's on
6 the record so that you have it recorded. And the reason I signalled to
7 you is that the point of cross-examination appeared then to be critical
8 and it would have disturbed it to intervene and interpolate something.
9 Is there some matter that needs to be raised at this point before
10 you re-examine arising from that or could whatever you have in mind, if
11 it's still important, is it better left until after your re-examination
12 has finished?
13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was really patient
14 when Mr. Moore was putting his questions, the same question several times.
15 That and also some leading questions, and he's entitled to that. I rose
16 then, well, doesn't really matter, but it seemed to me that at that moment
17 the question put to the witness was that the witness had said that --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, if you're going to deal with this
19 matter in re-examination, you should deal with it first before saying
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Okay.
23 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour. That will not
24 be the case at all. I have just a few additional questions during my
25 re-examination. That will not be a topic at all. I'm not going to go
1 back to that at all. I just wanted to explain why it was that I then --
2 well, since the witness gave answers. After that, it was no longer
4 I don't know whether at this point in time I should state my views
5 in relation to this motion just made by the Prosecutor, namely to admit
6 the summaries into evidence. If so, I can respond very briefly. I'm
7 opposed to that. It pertains to the previous summaries as well.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Could I suggest you re-examine and then we'll deal
9 with these other matters.
10 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Re-examination by Mr. Domazet:
12 Q. Just a few questions, Mr. Gluscevic, that are based on your
13 answers given to Mr. Moore.
14 One that intrigued me was, in your answer a few moments ago, I
15 think it was on page 54, you said I think, or I may be mistaken, you said
16 "my Radic." Why did you say that?
17 A. I taught him for two years. I was his teacher for two years and
18 that's why it just came out. I'm sorry about that.
19 Q. No need to be sorry. I just asked because that was not the
20 subject of any one of our conversations.
21 You also said at one moment when you were giving your answers I
22 think to what was said about Panic, Lieutenant-Colonel Panic. I wrote
23 this down, you said: "I don't like to talk about Panic." Could you
24 please say what it was that you meant by that?
25 A. Well, Mr. Domazet, it is an ugly thing that we are forced to a say
1 ugly things about our own people, but within the context of today's
2 discussion I mentioned two officers of mine, one being Danko Janovovic,
3 who is an administrator with the operations and technical -- I apologise
4 to the interpreters. With the operations technical organ, and Petar
5 Todorovic who was an administrator for the rear in the Guards Brigade.
6 I don't want to mention Panic, not because I have anything against
7 him, or he against me, but he is a Chief of Staff and you should call him
8 as a witness. I don't want to be the one mentioning Panic and then to
9 have to see him here tomorrow. But if you have something regarding Panic
10 and his relationship to Gluscevic or Mrksic and that this is being -- this
11 is important for the proceedings, by all means call those people to come
13 Q. I just wanted to have this clarified because I thought you had
14 some special opinion about Panic because you had an opinion about Mrksic.
15 A. Well, yes. I said he doesn't even -- that he cannot even hold a
16 candle to him, but I don't want to speak ugly about my people.
17 Q. Since the better part of the cross-examination was concerning what
18 you told to Defence attorneys, I have only a few questions regarding that.
19 I believe you said that you spoke with attorney-at-law Vasic some two
20 years ago. Is that so?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How long did the conversation take, since you said you didn't take
23 any notes. Do you remember whether he kept any notes on that occasion?
24 A. He must have been keeping notes. The first conversation was in
25 Nusiceva Street. So it must have been over two years ago. And he asked
1 me some questions, he asked me, "Do you remember this and that?" And I
2 said, well, maybe some other people can respond better to that.
3 Perhaps a month later, we gathered the people I assembled at the
4 command of the then Guards Brigade at Dedinje in Bulevar Mira Street 92.
5 And we went through those issues with Vasic. Then we dispersed. That was
7 Q. How about last summer or last year, when you spoke to Mr. Vasic?
8 What was the main topic of that conversation?
9 A. The main topic of that conversation, and of the conversations
10 previously, although it wasn't mentioned here today, was the way the
11 briefings went between the 18th and the 24th, what happened on the 18th,
12 the 19th, the 20th, how, and then as two years ago I told him the same
13 thing. I hope I don't need to repeat.
14 And he showed me a paper, a piece of paper, and I can say this,
15 and this piece of paper pertained to Radoje Trifunovic, and to be honest,
16 I was sick to see what he wrote down. I told him this has got nothing to
17 do with anything, that this is untrue, and then in addition to the family
18 problems I had at the time, I just wanted to leave, yet I stayed, although
19 my spouse was sick at the time.
20 Q. If I understood correctly, one of the topics was whether you will
21 testify or not in The Hague?
22 A. Yes. That is correct. We discussed this in detail as well,
23 especially during the last three or four months. My spouse was operated
24 on the 25th of May, and I told you on the phone that I couldn't come at
25 that time. First of all, there was someone sick in my family and also the
1 fact that I was disarmed. I was stripped of my papers. Because I was
2 taught to win by using arguments, and this is what I taught others. This
3 is how I lived my life. I was taught that only through honest work
4 anything good can be achieved.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gluscevic. As you stated yesterday in the
6 afternoon and today, you spoke with me as well.
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. You answered to some of my questions today. Was that a topic of
9 our discussion or did we discuss something else?
10 A. No. We didn't discuss anything apart from the questions you put
11 today, and I provided you with answers.
12 Q. Thank you. And to conclude, since you were told that you came
13 here to testify falsely, to aid Mrksic and some others, I wanted to ask
14 you this: Did you tell the truth here and the things you said today, does
15 it all come from your memory? Is this what you remember?
16 A. Mr. Domazet, I only spoke the truth and nothing but the truth.
17 And only when I was 100 per cent sure that it was so indeed.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gluscevic.
19 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] This concludes my re-examination,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
22 Mr. Gluscevic, you'll be pleased to know that completes the
23 questions that will be asked of you. The Chamber would like to thank you
24 for your attendance here in The Hague and for the assistance that you have
25 been able to give, and you are now free to return to your home and your
1 family and affairs. Thank you very much.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Lukic, perhaps we will deal with some
6 Mr. Domazet, I take it in view of what has transpired that that
7 concludes the evidence that you have available?
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We conclude our
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And of course, that's subject to the
11 leave that we did give you, should you wish to pursue it, of seeking leave
12 to call one witness later on who may at the moment be subject to a health
14 Very well. The case of Mr. Mrksic is now closed.
15 Now, Mr. Domazet, the health position of your client would suggest
16 that unless he consents to the trial proceeding in his absence, that we
17 would need to adjourn for some days this week.
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am afraid this will
19 be the case. As I stated at the beginning, I didn't speak to Mr. Mrksic
20 personally but he spoke with Mr. Vasic, and he told him that he wished to
21 be present during the Radic Defence case evidence. However, he gave his
22 consent to go through with this witness for today, and he agreed to the
23 opening statement to be heard today. I don't know whether he changed his
24 mind in the meantime, but this is what I was told by Mr. Vasic, who
25 unfortunately is not with us here in the courtroom today because he felt
1 tired, but this is what I was supposed to convey to you.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
3 Mr. Borovic, I'm afraid, in the circumstances, looking forward to
4 your witnesses for the moment, that it would appear that we have to delay
5 a few days, because of Mr. Mrksic's health, the commencement of your
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I expected such a
8 reaction on the part of the first accused, precisely at the moment when I
9 was to start presenting our evidence. Therefore, I believe you should put
10 an end to such slowing down of these proceedings with all due respect for
11 Mr. Domazet, and there is for the following reason. We lost 20 days in
12 August. We kept talking about the postponement of the proceedings, and
13 witnesses were called at the last moment.
14 Once I put my schedule together, once my first witness was here
15 and I was about to start proofing him today, of course, I'm sorry for
16 Mr. Mrksic's health condition, but today, when I visited Mr. Radic, I saw
17 him taking his walk in the courtyard of the prison, he wasn't resting;
18 therefore, I have a suggestion to make. Despite the recommendation issued
19 that he should be absent for another week, we'll have to decide yet again
20 what will happen next. This is another unknown in front of us. I do
21 believe that Mr. Mrksic could be able to follow the proceedings provide
22 there had is a videolink and a telephone line to his attorneys during the
23 breaks, and this was used in the Samac case. This would not cause any
24 postponement or delay in these proceedings because some of the accused do
25 not waste any more time in The Hague. I apologise for this expression but
1 this was my personal view.
2 Hence, my suggestion is, provided the Chamber can decide in favour
3 of this, that we continue so that I don't have to send my witnesses away
4 again, because I already have additional problems of seeing those
5 witnesses off, then I have to ask for another permission by the military
6 authorities to approve their leave for some of the witnesses are not
7 pensioners but professional soldiers. All in all, I remember the last
8 Thursday and today we only had one witness. So we've lost our momentum
9 for the past two weeks and now we have to wait for the next Monday and God
10 knows how many more days.
11 I apologise for maybe being harsh in trying to protect the rights
12 of my client but this is his view as well. We would like to start, and we
13 chose to have as few witnesses as possible, although we could have put
14 forth 35, but due to the fairness of the case and given all the principles
15 here, I believe our requests are not unfounded. Hence, I believe I can
16 start with my opening statement today but this will of course depend on
17 your guidance.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, would you like to say something?
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps just to inform the Chamber, I
21 can reiterate what I said last week, and I discussed this with my client
22 today as well, I told you about another intervention that he should have,
23 just so that we shouldn't have to go into private session again, I won't
24 go into details as to how long it should take, et cetera. But in any
25 case, he agreed that no other postponements should be introduced in these
1 proceedings. Perhaps on the day it should happen, and I don't want to
2 mention the date due to security reasons, perhaps on that day he could be
3 present in the morning but I didn't receive any assurances of that.
4 As regards the other two days I mentioned, he would be absent from
5 the sessions on those two days. In case there are sessions on those two
6 days, which is still to be approved, this would make our work more
7 difficult, given the relative significance of Mr. Radic's evidence and the
8 evidence of some other witnesses, and we would have to go through the
9 transcript rather than being here in the courtroom. Of course, this is a
10 problem to us as well to have our client absent, but we also have other
11 accused and we don't want to interfere with the speediness of these
12 proceedings. We want the deadlines met, and we hope that this would not
13 be taken against the number of days given to us to present our case.
14 I know that all of us in this courtroom think along the same
15 lines, that we should conclude this year. Therefore, I don't think the
16 Chamber would want to see anything happen to the detriment of our defence,
17 especially in terms of the number of days that we were given for our case.
18 This is why Mr. Sljivancanin wishes to see this proceedings move on.
19 Should you need any other medical information, I'm prepared to be
20 of assistance, although what I know and what my client knows still is very
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE PARKER: Counsel will be aware that the progress of the
25 trial since the close of the Prosecution case has been interrupted for two
1 reasons, reasons that are of concern to everybody because of the resulting
2 delays in the completion of the trial. The first reason was a significant
3 heart attack that was suffered by the lead counsel for Mr. Mrksic.
4 Fortunately, Mr. Vasic has been able to rejoin the Mrksic Defence in
5 recent weeks. The second is a health condition which affected Mr. Mrksic
6 himself and which led to surgery of some significance last week.
7 Mr. Mrksic is in the process of recovering from that surgery. The present
8 medical opinion we have is that he would need seven days to recover,
9 subject to further review at the end of that time. Counsel will also be
10 aware that under the rules, a trial cannot proceed in the absence of an
11 accused unless the accused consents to that occurring. For reasons that
12 have been explained by Mr. Domazet, Mr. Mrksic does not consent to the
13 evidence to be led from Mr. Radic being heard in his absence.
14 As has been indicated by Mr. Lukic, there is also imminent a need
15 for some surgery to his client, or some intervention, surgery overstates
16 the position, and that is likely to occur in the near future.
17 Mr. Sljivancanin is prepared for some of the trial to proceed in
18 his absence but he too desires to be present during the evidence of
19 Mr. Radic and the evidence as we hear it of at least two other of
20 Mr. Radic's witnesses.
21 The only way of getting out of this difficulty is that which has
22 been suggested by Mr. Borovic, which is to arrange a videolink between the
23 courtroom and where Mr. Mrksic is resting, with a telephone connection to
24 his counsel so that he is able to watch the proceedings, hear the
25 evidence, and communicate with his counsel. The Chamber already has under
1 way inquiries as to whether it is feasible for that connection to be made
2 in the next day or so, and we must also, of course, confirm that that
3 would be consistent with his medical condition. We may be able to get
4 answers to those questions in the course of tomorrow. If it is possible
5 to proceed in that way, we would do so. It may even be possible to do
6 that on Wednesday. It's too early yet to be sure.
7 That, though, will not overcome the problem of Mr. Sljivancanin at
8 the time that, whenever it is, that his medical procedure needs to occur.
9 So that it may be necessary for that reason to interrupt even the
10 proceedings being continued with Mr. Mrksic watching by videolink. That
11 is something we needn't resolve today despite the very cooperative hand
12 signal of Mr. Sljivancanin a moment ago, because it's not yet clear
13 whether it will be feasible to have a videolink and for that to be
14 consistent with Mr. Mrksic's recovery. If it is, we will then look at the
15 detailed problem of Mr. Sljivancanin's relatively short need for absence.
16 We will therefore, of course, hear you this evening, Mr. Borovic,
17 if that is still convenient, in opening your case. You will have to
18 confirm whether there is time enough for you to do that, but if there is,
19 we certainly appreciate your ready cooperation in that regard.
20 We will not at the moment see any point in trying to sit tomorrow,
21 because it is clear that without Mr. Mrksic's consent, we cannot achieve
22 any arrangements in time for tomorrow. It may be possible, if everything
23 comes together, to sit again on Wednesday. You will have to be told as
24 time progresses whether that is feasible or not.
25 If the worst comes to the worst, it would appear that we would not
1 be able to sit until next Monday morning -- Monday afternoon. Should that
2 happen, and that's, it seems, the worst that could happen at the moment, I
3 could indicate, Mr. Borovic, that we already have in place arrangements
4 for us to sit longer hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next
5 week. We have been able to make those arrangements today because a
6 courtroom has become free. So if necessary, we can sit longer hours next
7 week to try and help you with the problems that you are now facing with
8 witnesses being needed at a later time than you had anticipated. And
9 we'll do all that we can to help you with those difficulties, if that is
10 the way things work out.
11 So I regret this but for the moment it would appear we must
12 anticipate that we will not be able to sit tomorrow, and that it may prove
13 possible to sit on Wednesday and days following, subject should the two
14 overlap with the need to take into account Mr. Sljivancanin's procedure.
15 And if the time is lost, and we can help in making it up, we'll do what we
16 can next week and we've been able to make arrangements for Tuesday,
17 Wednesday and Thursday, and we'll continue to look for other opportunities
18 to be able to sit longer hours to help you catch up during the period of
19 your case.
20 We must now adjourn for the break. That would leave an hour,
21 Mr. Borovic. Is that sufficient for your opening? It is? Thank you for
23 We will resume at 6.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.39 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, we come now to the opening of your
2 client's case. His rights and entitlements I know have been fully
3 explained to him by you and we leave it to you then to proceed to present
4 the defence.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Your Honours, and learned friends, the Defence is aware of and
7 shall abide by the guidance issued by the Honourable Trial Chamber that
8 the opening statement should be brief and that we should only deal with
9 relevant matters. Through the opening statement, we are not going to
10 assess evidence and have it confronted. That is to say that through this
11 opening statement, the Defence shall, in the briefest possible terms, make
12 it possible for the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution to follow what will
13 be presented as evidence in the Defence case of Miroslav Radic.
14 As I have already stated to all the participants in these
15 proceedings, Miroslav Radic is going to call a total of eight witnesses,
16 including himself. Out of that, two witnesses are 92 bis witnesses and we
17 have one witness who is a military expert. Therefore, an expert witness.
18 Now, why did the Defence of Miroslav Radic decide on such a
19 seemingly small number of witnesses? Just as I said, precise -- primarily
20 because they are going to be witnesses that are relevant to his position
21 in these criminal proceedings. I am not calling witnesses with regard to
22 general matters because we have heard enough of that. The Defence thinks
23 that through the Prosecution witnesses, it introduced a great deal of
24 evidence that actually works in favour of the Defence, and that that will
25 indeed do.
1 There is yet another reason, as we expect witnesses of the third
2 accused person, who will deal with many matters that were referred to
3 during expert testimony, they are probably going to testify as they did
4 through their statements to the Prosecution. That may be a favourable
5 circumstance, and I believe that in this way, I have saved quite a bit of
6 time in these proceedings.
7 Miroslav Radic decided to be a witness in his own case, and I'm
8 aware of the jurisprudence of this Tribunal and I know that it is not
9 something that is akin to what was the case elsewhere, that he is trying
10 to give evidence in terms of his innocence only. In addition to that,
11 which is not the only thing that I'm referring to, he is not going to
12 avail himself of the privilege to hear all other witnesses first and then
13 benefit from their testimony and then testify on behalf of his own defence
14 before this Trial Chamber. I think that the Trial Chamber should give
15 special weight to this when assessing the evidence. That is the
16 assessment of Defence counsel, and we will see what the view of the Trial
17 Chamber will be with regard to this matter.
18 Miroslav Radic, together with Mrksic and Veselin Sljivancanin,
19 stands accused before this Tribunal for grave violations in accordance
20 with the Statute. He is charged with persecutions, extermination, murder,
21 torture, inhumane acts, all this as crimes against humanity, and he is
22 charged for murder, torture, cruel treatment, which are all violations of
23 the laws and customs of war, grave violations of the laws and customs of
25 In terms of individual responsibility, the indictment charges him
1 with participation in joint criminal enterprise with the other accused in
2 this courtroom, and with persons by the name of Stanko Vujanovic, Miroljub
3 Vujovic, and other known and unknown persons, as stated in paragraph 7 of
4 the indictment, members of the Serb forces.
5 Also, the accused is charged with responsibility in accordance
6 with Article 7(3) of the Statute, that as a superior he knew or had reason
7 to know that his subordinates were about to commit acts or had already
8 done so, and that he as the superior failed to take the necessary and
9 reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators
11 Over the next few days, Miroslav Radic shall, through the
12 witnesses that the Defence has called before this Trial Chamber, will
13 present their knowledge regarding the events that pertain to specific
14 charges in the indictment, and they will explain the role that Miroslav
15 Radic had in these events to the extent to which he took part in this or
16 they will confirm that he did not participate in this, to be more precise.
17 The Defence will prove through witnesses and primarily through the
18 witness Miroslav Radic that he was not a member of any joint criminal
19 enterprise, something that he was not aware of at all. He was not aware
20 of its existence at all. And therefore, Miroslav Radic, together with
21 other persons, known as unknown, could not have shared a common objective,
22 which is very important from a legal point of view, of the said
23 enterprise, as mentioned in paragraph 5 of this indictment.
24 Let me just repeat: The indictment says that the objective of
25 this joint criminal enterprise was the persecution of Croats and other
1 non-Serbs who, after the fall of Vukovar, were present in the Vukovar
2 Hospital. That is the position taken by the Prosecution. Persecution was
3 committed by way of murder, torture, cruel treatment, exterminations and
4 others inhuman acts, which is punishable according to Articles 3 and 5 of
5 the Statute. Miroslav Radic was not a member of any joint criminal
6 enterprise, and he was not aware of the existence of any such thing, and
7 therefore he could not have had the requisite mens rea in accordance with
8 the jurisprudence of this Tribunal with regard to any one of the crimes
9 that he is being charged with.
10 In general terms, the Defence repels every possibility as
11 mentioned in paragraph 8 of the indictment, the crimes that Miroslav Radic
12 has been charged with were the natural and foreseeable consequence of
13 carrying out a joint criminal enterprise and that, I repeat, the accused
14 was aware that the crimes were a possible effect of its commission.
15 During the Defence case of Miroslav Radic, we will show that in
16 contrast to what paragraph 8 of the indictment says, he did not work in
17 concert with or through any individual that is mentioned as a member of a
18 joint criminal enterprise either through that person or through other
19 persons. So with regard to all of this, it is precisely Miroslav Radic
20 who will best be in a position to present his position.
21 In accordance with all of this, the Defence cannot agree that
22 Miroslav Radic was either independently or in concert with other known and
23 unknown participants in a joint criminal enterprise, a participant in its
24 commission or, rather, implementation as described in paragraph 10 of the
25 indictment, specifically under (a), that he directed, commanded,
1 controlled or otherwise exercised effective control over Serb forces as
2 referred to in paragraph 7 of the indictment, which in the view of the
3 Prosecution are responsible for what happened to persons whose names are
4 mentioned in the annex to the indictment. Of course, we are going to hear
5 Miroslav Radic as a witness with regard to this. We are also going to
6 hear an officer who was his superior officer and whose name is on the
7 65 ter list, and we are going to call a very credible witness, a military
8 expert, with regard to all of these matters. We will be in a position to
9 hear him, and through him we are going to tender a great deal of written
10 evidence, documents primarily of a military nature, and you will see what
11 the position of the Defence is with regard to subparagraph (a).
12 Then in paragraph 10 it also says that he personally participated
13 in the removal and selection of about 400 persons from the Vukovar
14 Hospital knowing or having reason to know that these persons would be
15 subjected to further persecution and murder. Your Honours, the indictment
16 even mentions the figure of 300. There are different figures, but that is
17 totally irrelevant now, because we are going to have a clear and
18 unequivocal statement made by Miroslav Radic himself, and I hope that this
19 fair agreement that exists between me and the third accused person will
20 lead to witnesses that I will be able to question in detail.
21 And I've already said several times, if the Prosecution gave up on
22 some of their witnesses, then the Defence of the first accused person gave
23 up on certain witnesses, whereas I waited for the proper moment, namely
24 for some other Defence to do that, all of it with a view to shortening the
25 time of these proceedings.
1 Then, after having become aware that the criminal acts charged in
2 this indictment had been completed, he took steps to hide and conceal
3 these crimes. That is what is alleged in the indictment, but that will be
4 dealt with in a separate part of this opening statement. It will be quite
5 clear, and I think that so far it has become quite clear, even to the
6 Prosecution, that paragraph 16 of the indictment is untrue and that Stanko
7 Vujanovic, commander of one of the companies of the TO, the Territorial
8 Defence, was not under the command of Miroslav Radic in any way. In
9 contrast to that allegation and paragraph 40 of the pre-trial brief of the
10 Prosecution, we see that even the Prosecution's expert witness shows that
11 the situation is actually the other way around. But we are going to call
12 witnesses who are going to refute that. That is to say, all the witnesses
13 who can speak about this shall do so, as well as the military expert that
14 we intend to call.
15 Miroslav Radic was not advised directly or indirectly, and nor
16 could he have been aware, that members of certain Serb forces were
17 threatening to harm or that they had already caused harm to Croats and
18 other non-Serbs who after the fall of Vukovar, for various reasons, and
19 motives, were in the Vukovar Hospital. Therefore, Miroslav Radic did not
20 know and there was no reason for him to know that someone, for whom we
21 still have to prove was his subordinate, and that person was not, that
22 that person was preparing to commit the crimes alleged in the indictment.
23 Or worse yet, that those crimes had already been committed, without
24 Miroslav Radic undertaking the necessary measures to prevent them or to
25 punish the perpetrators.
1 It will become clear through our Defence case concerning the
2 circumstance and the information that exists that the Prosecution has no
3 evidence, no proof. By presenting our evidence we will contest the
4 allegations of paragraph 26, that Miroslav Radic, together with the other
5 participants of the JCE, held the so-called regular meetings in the house
6 in Nova Street number 81. Such allegation is untrue, and the house, owned
7 by Stanko Vujanovic's house -- father, could not have been an operational
8 centre, a place where military operations were planned pertaining to
9 Vukovar. Not even the OTP witnesses were able to corroborate that. Quite
10 the contrary. It would be very difficult to plan such operations in or at
11 an observation post of a company commander. If we stick to the military
12 rules, and if they are used as the basis for some allegations made by the
13 OTP in the individual stages of the proceedings, then we have to stick to
14 them completely, including the rules of service of platoons and companies.
15 Through our military expert, we will also expand on that topic. We will
16 explain clearly what an observation post is. We heard one military
17 professional who was not an expert but was one of the OTP witnesses, who,
18 to a large extent, explained what we will attempt to present to this
19 Chamber using the documents that we will seek to tender through this
21 The company commander we are talking about is tasked with
22 implementing the orders of his superiors. A company commander is a
23 commander at the -- of the lowest rank. According to the JNA hierarchy,
24 Miroslav Radic was not a komandant as we could often hear in this
25 proceedings. But rather he was a komandir. This is a substantive
1 difference in the rules of service, and in real terms.
2 As stated by the military expert that we will see here, the
3 commander of the 3rd Motorised Company of the 1st Motorised Brigade,
4 Captain Miroslav Radic, according to the documents of the command of the
5 1st Motorised Brigade of JOD 1, during the combat activities performed a
6 functional duty as well, this being the coordinator of the 3rd Assault
7 Group. In the initial stages, he cooperated with the -- some Vukovar TO
8 units, this being the detachments of Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica.
9 The orders issued by commander of the 1st Motorised Brigade were
10 simultaneously received by Captain Radic as well as by the TO commander,
11 Dusan Jaksic, and this was later Miroljub Vujovic, as well as the
12 commander of the Leva Supoderica detachment, Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni, as
13 of the moment when these TO detachments were attached, and this is a
14 military term, to the 1st Motorised Battalion, JOD 1. Therefore, Captain
15 Miroslav Radic was not superior to the commanders of the aforementioned TO
16 detachments and this is what we will prove, not only by evidence but also
17 by the opinion of our military expert.
18 The paragraph of the indictment in which the Prosecutor asserts
19 that Miroslav Radic, inter alia, was present when allegedly Vojislav
20 Seselj in the house owned by Stanko Vujanovic's father stated
21 quote/unquote, not a single Ustasha is to leave Vukovar alive.
22 In the pre-trial brief, paragraph 44, the Prosecutor asserts that
23 on that occasion, the goal or the intention to kill the non-Serb opponents
24 began taking on a new form among the members of the JCE. We heard some
25 OTP witnesses drawing on various sources stating that this may have been
1 said in one house or in the street, but there were great discrepancies as
2 to their statements whether Radic was present. We have to state a clear
3 position as regards that, and we will hear Miroslav Radic's to begin our
4 case with.
5 The indictment charges Miroslav Radic with selection of detainees
6 who were put on the buses in front of the Vukovar Hospital on the 20th of
7 November, 1991, as well as Miroslav Radic taking 15 people off the bus and
8 returning them to the hospital, most likely because they were members of
9 the hospital staff. These are two important items. In our view, this is
10 just an improvisation, for want of a better word, from paragraph 34 of the
11 indictment, because as early as in the pre-trial brief, in paragraph 119,
12 it is not clearly stated what Miroslav Radic precisely did on that
13 occasion, if he was there at all. And it is our position that at the
14 moment of selection, he wasn't there. He did not participate. I believe
15 this may be one of the reasons for withdrawing some of the witnesses from
16 the list of the OTP, because they didn't have other witnesses who could
17 have claimed they were part of this selection process, and there was no
18 one else who could have said, "I returned those 15 people to the Vukovar
20 Irrespective of that, with all due respect for the Chamber and our
21 learned friends from the Prosecution, we will attempt to persuade you of
22 the -- of these items as being completely unfounded.
23 To conclude, the indictment charges Miroslav Radic that the next
24 day, on the 21st of November, together with Stanko Vujanovic, in his
25 father's house, discussed the events of the previous night and that he
1 took no measures to punish his subordinates but rather that he even tried
2 to cover up the crime. This Defence will show that such Prosecution
3 allegations are incorrect and that due to the development of events during
4 and after the fall of Vukovar, Miroslav Radic did not have any knowledge
5 as to the events that took place between the 20th and the 21st of
6 November, 1991.
7 Having that in mind, he couldn't have been able to undertake the
8 necessary and reasonable measures to punish the perpetrators. We have
9 already advised our learned friends through our briefs of the witnesses we
10 intend to call and the evidence we intend to lead. And hopefully, these
11 people will, beyond any doubt, confirm our position.
12 The issue of the existence of the armed conflict can be in dispute
13 because the Prosecutor claims that throughout the former Yugoslavia, at
14 the material time, there was a state of armed conflict. One needs to be
15 cautious when discussing this and to see whether this armed conflict
16 included the whole territory of the former Yugoslavia or only a part of
17 it, and whether we indeed are talking about an armed conflict or a
18 rebellion in one part of that sovereign state. This conflict or rebellion
19 was incited and staged by illegal units which were illegally armed by
20 illegally importing weapons. We will not dwell too much on this issue,
21 but we hope that through the expert's opinion and the evidence we will
22 lead, we hope to clarify that issue.
23 The Defence contests the allegation that Miroslav Radic, as a
24 member of the JCE, by acting or failing to act, contributed to the
25 realisation of the JCE plans.
1 When it comes to crimes against humanity our client is charged
2 with, it is stipulated that such acting or failing to act formed part of a
3 widespread and systematic attack on Croatian and other non-Serb
4 populations in a large part of Croatia, including Vukovar.
5 As we will hear from the accused's evidence as well as the
6 evidence of our military expert, we will be able to establish that the
7 joint preconditions for the existence of crimes against humanity have not
8 been met. Such preconditions need to be met cumulatively, and especially
9 the subjective precondition, this being that the accused was aware that
10 there was an attack on civilian population and that crimes were part of
11 that attack. The accused himself will explain what his view of the
12 situation and his understanding was, as well as the other witnesses on our
14 This Defence will focus on trying to show before this Tribunal
15 that Miroslav Radic commanded only over the soldiers of his company, or
16 rather that he commanded the assault group. We will also seek to explain
17 that the local TO as well as the other units mentioned were an independent
18 body. We seek to corroborate this through some of the OTP witnesses'
19 testimony as well, and we will also have some of the witnesses called here
20 by the first accused, and we will try to explain as well that during the
21 operations in Vukovar these units cooperated with the JNA but that
22 Miroslav Radic had no effective control over those units, especially not
23 after the cessation of hostilities on the 18th of November in 1991.
24 After you've heard our evidence, it will be clear that Miroslav
25 Radic had no effective control over -- as stipulated in paragraph 247 of
1 the pre-trial brief of the OTP, over some of the perpetrators of the
2 crimes at Ovcara. The engagement of the 3rd Motorised Company as the
3 3rd Assault Group in combat activities in the operation at Vukovar lasted
4 until the takeover of Milovo Brdo on the 10th of November, 1991, according
5 to the log of the 1st Motorised Brigade command, and until the 14th
6 November 1991, at the latest; that is, until the decision of the OG South
7 commander, strictly confidential number 398-1, at 8.00 on the 14th of
8 November, 1991. As of that moment, all TO units have been withdrawn from
9 the 3rd Assault Group and they haven't been under the command of Captain
10 Miroslav Radic.
11 Witnesses will confirm that Miroslav Radic abided by the
12 principles of singleness of command and unity of command as well as his
13 obligation to implement decisions and orders, as being one of the basic
14 principles of the doctrine of the then armed forces of the SFRY.
15 The witnesses you will hear, Your Honours, will also address the
16 allegations of paragraph 22. They will show that he completely
17 implemented the orders of his superior and that he acted completely in
18 accordance with the then rules of service. He also acted according to
19 high professional and personal standards and principles due to which he
20 enjoyed a very favourable reputation among the JNA soldiers he commanded.
21 Not a single OTP witness, no matter how uncomfortable they were, still
22 could not have said anything contrary to such traits of Miroslav Radic.
23 We'll hear several witnesses on this issue, among which of course the
24 military expert, who, in his report, will attempt to show that Miroslav
25 Radic has proven himself to be a successful commander in the Vukovar
1 operation as recorded in the official documents of the 1st Motorised
2 Brigade, JOD 1, and he received a high commendation once he returned to
3 Belgrade. He received a commendation for bravery and an extraordinary
4 promotion into the rank of captain first-class. This commendation was in
5 keeping with the laws and regulations on the promotion and commendations
6 of military personnel.
7 This is a very important issue. And this was addressed also by
8 the OTP military expert. When analysing various statements and evidence
9 as regards that, and when we put all that before the military expert, he
10 had nothing to say. He only principally disputed some of the allegations
11 of the Defence, but we will have yet another opportunity when the Chamber
12 puts the two reports together and compares them. This will also include
13 some witness testimony as regards the military doctrine.
14 The indictment as well as the pre-trial brief of the Prosecutor
15 is, to a large extent, based on witness statements of those witnesses that
16 were originally put on the OTP witness list. However, we were not given
17 the opportunity to hear some of those witnesses. The reasons for that are
18 unknown -- are known only to them but I also believe these reasons will be
19 known to the Trial Chamber as well, once we indeed see those witnesses and
20 once we hear what those people have to say concerning some additional
21 issues that needed to have been discussed.
22 As promised, I won't take too much of your time. My opening
23 statement is rather general.
24 Among the material forwarded to the Prosecutor, we specified as
25 regards what circumstances each witness will testify, including Miroslav
1 Radic himself, and we also attempted to show to them what will be dealt
2 with by our military expert. On the basis of all that, the place and role
3 of Miroslav Radic will be clearer, because as the commander of the
4 1st Company, I believe should not have been made part of this indictment.
5 To conclude, I wanted to quote my learned friend, Mr. Moore, on
6 page 12448. This was during Witness Danilovic's testimony, and I believe
7 he was quite right to have reacted emotionally. He told him that the
8 Chief of Staff is the eyes and ears of his commander. He has to be able
9 to take control of the situation should something happen. So this is not
10 just an ordinary company commander. An OTP position towards a company
11 commander, and this being Mr. Miroslav Radic, is illustrative enough
12 concerning the events at Ovcara. What we have to do as Defence, and I
13 believe we will manage to prove that, and I will also be glad to be right
14 to prove the Prosecutor wrong, was -- will be to address the allegations
15 from the indictment itself.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Borovic.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE PARKER: Now, before we adjourn for the evening, Mr. Lukic,
19 there was a matter you wished to raise, the statement -- the admissibility
20 of the videotape.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It was my understanding that Mr. Moore
22 had asked me to wait for Weiner to be present in the courtroom --
23 Mr. Weiner, because he deals with that particular subject, but I can
24 present my own argumentation now, if you wish to hear it.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we thought it was something that parties
1 needed to get out of the way. Can that be done tonight, Mr. Moore?
2 MR. MOORE: Well, Mr. Weiner is dealing with the topic. I believe
3 that he and Mr. Lukic were talking about the matter. It may well be it
4 can be resolved outside court. I know not, but I would be loathe to argue
5 it without the points that Mr. Weiner wishes to deal with.
6 We did not know, of course, that this week might be aborted. One
7 hopes that it will not be aborted. The one thing that can be said,
8 however, it is not a topic that is burning with urgency. Of course, all
9 topics are, I understand that, but it's not --
10 JUDGE PARKER: The end of this case is burning with urgency,
11 Mr. Moore, but I think in view of what you said, it must wait until a
12 convenient time.
13 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE PARKER: We will not be able to sit tomorrow, just to deal
15 with that.
16 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE PARKER: We did, on Wednesday or early Thursday last week,
18 indicate that the decision would be delivered on Friday on the question of
19 the use of statements in cross-examination by the Prosecution. Following
20 that, further written submissions were received. They are being
21 considered and will be taken into account and that has delayed that
22 decision a short time.
23 But it should be in place, Mr. Borovic, before your client gives
25 In those circumstances, I think the time has come to adjourn this
1 evening. There seems no prospect of us being able to sit tomorrow, and we
2 will advise parties if it becomes possible to sit on Wednesday or any day
3 following during the week, on the basis discussed earlier today.
4 Thank you very much. We now adjourn.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.41 p.m.
6 Sine die.